Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Family Christmas Gatherings

These pictures are long overdue. They are also in pretty random order. I put quite a few on here, but wanted to share plenty for a couple cousins that live far enough away that they didn't get to be there. You were missed!
We start with the Schwartz Christmas.

Aidan Hasbrouck, 2 yr old. "Mmmmm......homemade ice cream that Papa Schwartz (Fred) made. Gotta get this stuff to my.......
......mouth! Yep. I did it. Notice no drips of this stuff landed on my shirt! Yum!"

Nathan, Merlin and Gina's youngest. What a little cutie!

Merlin approves of the look Aidan has going on.

My sister Laura.

Emily Mast, one of many cousins to follow. Gotta say I'm pretty impressed with her camera.

Rasika Keely taking a break from her self-appointed job of expediting the white elephant exchange. I don't think she realizes yet that she's just beautiful.

Singing a couple Christmas carols. This was just before everyone old enough to remember Grandma Katie was crying as we sang Silent Night, her favorite song. I like knowing that she heard us from heaven. She sure is missed!


And more cousins!

So many little cousins, otherwise known as great grands, that it's hard to keep track of which ones belong with which older cousins.

Two of my uncles, Fred, Merlin, and a couple grandbabies.

And now a few of the Eichorns. I'm not quite sure why, but I didn't take many pictures that day. I think it's probably because I get to see them more often.

Isaac Miller and Joel Eichorn.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Boy do I have some catching up to do! There were a couple family Christmas gatherings that I should post some pictures for. I made promises about one of them that I haven't kept yet. There was also a trip with my family to St. Augustine, Florida, a generous gift from my parents to their 3 children, spouses, and one soon-to-be-born grandchild.

For now, though, I'm still putting that on hold. I've only been with my church family once in the last 7 weeks or so, I've lost track. Obviously the trips mentioned above had something to do with it. They were all very enjoyable, but I also miss Central when I'm not there. This morning was such a good morning of worship and Word. There were a lot of things that just seemed so profound at the time. I honestly can't remember them all. I guess it's good that we have a week to ponder before we have more to digest.

I learned a long time ago that there are times when I need or want to pray, but I just can't find the words. Other times I may feel frustrated enough about a situation that if I allow myself to pray complete thoughts, I begin to wander back to frustration rather than handing it over to the One that can do something about it. Jesus. That's where I need to start. There's one song that comes out most of the time. It's "Holy and Anointed One". The link isn't necessarily the best version I've ever hear, but this girl is singing alone, without assistance or anyone else around. That's often the case when I sing it at home, so I felt like it fit. I also sing it a lot on the mornings I sing with the worship team because it helps me prepare for worship along with warming up my voice.

This morning we sang this song. Usually the part that sinks in the most is simply the word Jesus. We can't think on Him too much. The notes accomanying the Word ring sweetly in my ears. Today as we sang I got stuck on the phrase, "Your Name is like honey on my lips". Obviously, honey is sweet and most people like it. As we sang, other uses for honey came to mind. (After singing it during practices then through a couple services, I had a lot of time to consider all of this.)

Honey is a natural antibiotic. I don't know a lot about the details of that, but I've read a little on the net. In 2007 when I worked on the hospital ship, we used purified honey on patient's wounds. Let me tell you, that just didn't feel right the first time I did it. You don't put food on a wound. I can say, though, that I watched wounds heal faster with honey, and prayer of course, than I've ever seen them heal on their own or even with antibiotics. They could shrink by as much as half an inch, sometimes more, in 24 hr.

Remember the song, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"? Well, honey does the same thing. I've recently been trying ginger tea. It's supposed to have some good anti-inflammatory properties as well as being good for the stomach. It's not so good for the tongue. Tingly doesn't begin to describe it. Talk about zing! I discovered putting 1/2 tsp. of honey on my tongue and swallowing part of it coats my tongue and throat enough that I still get the benefit of the ginger without quite so much kick.

Jesus is the same, but with so many more "beneficial properties". For years, I've sung that song thinking about how sweet He is. It's true. He is. In many ways. Not only is He sweet, He is balm to an open, seeping wound. Life isn't always easy. Facing it with Him helps filter some of life's zing. It doesn't mean the zing and the wounds won't occur, but He can ease them and take them away.