Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two Babies In a Manger

I was looking for a good Christmas Story and I came across this one. I really liked it and decided to share it with you all.

Two Babies in a Manger

In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in the public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage. They relate the following story in their own words:

It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger. Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word.

Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city. Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel (cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia ), were used for the baby's blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States.

The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help. All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about 6-years-old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy's manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger.

Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately -- until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib.

He made up his own ending to the story as he said,

"And when Mary laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with Him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift to give Him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept Him warm, that would be a good gift." So I asked Jesus, 'If I keep You warm, will that be a good enough gift?' And Jesus told me, 'If you keep Me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave Me.' So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and He told me I could stay with Him -- for always."

As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him -- for always.

And the Americans? They had learned the lesson they had come there to teach -- that it is not what you have in your life, but Who you have in your life that really counts. We all should give thanks for the people that "keep us"- in life - and for all of God's many blessings to us: freedom from want, life, love, togetherness, and for the enduring love of Jesus Christ, the one person who keeps us warm and safe for always.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

3D Part II

We had another appointment yesterday. Everything is still going well. In fact, Dr. Erickson said that I make pregnancy look easy. I did ask him about my deep voice and if I should be concerned about it. He said that I more than likely have laryngitis. but that he wasn't worried about it. He said that it has been going around and to let him know if it gets worse.

We also had another ultrasound yesterday. I had a long talk with Joss on the way to the doctor. I told her that she needed to be cooperative today. She was very obedient and we have lots of pictures of her cute little face, even if the pictures are a little "creepy". It was so neat being able to see her little face and to she her moving around. I love my little girl. Also big plus, she is no longer breech! I can't believe that we only have seven weeks left until our due date. It is getting so close.

Here are some of the ultrasound pictures. They are all close ups of her face. She is too cute.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Baby Shower

Here are some pictures from my baby shower. Thanks to those that helped in throwing it! I really appreciate it. Also thanks to all who came to help celebrate.

This is the gift table and also the beautiful bouquet that my sister Heidi made for me. It is so cute!

Here are some photos of me opening presents. So many cute outfits! Joss will be so well dressed!

Here is a photo of the three birthday girls and some pictures of the crowd.

And lastly, a picture of the clothes line that Heidi strung up to hang all the cute outfits. Unfortunately, the outfits were too heavy and it would collapse.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Little Help Please!

Patrick has become a little bored with his lunches lately. I wish I could send him with our leftovers for dinner, but he doesn't have a refrigerator or a microwave to reheat them, and he hates to eat cold leftovers.
Anyway, I am looking for a little help with some lunch box ideas. What do you send your kids to school with? All I can think of are sandwiches or wraps. I know I'm totally lame. If you have any ideas, please post them. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Doctor's Visit

Yesterday, Patrick and I went to another OB appointment. This time we had a 3D ultrasound. We were pretty excited to see our little girl again. Unfortunately, she was a little camera shy and decided to hold her foot in front of her face the whole time. Oh well. She has retakes in two weeks, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We did get two photos. At least we know that she has all of her toes!
She is measuring right on schedule, within a few days. She is estimated to weigh about 3 lbs right now. Everything else is going well too. Our visits will now be every two weeks. It is getting so close!