Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's All In The Name

One of the most exciting times in any couple's life is when they find out that they are going to have a baby. There are many things that must be done to prepare for the birth of a new baby, but none is more important than choosing a name for the baby. A baby's name is chosen very carefully because the baby will live with that name for the rest of his or her life. When a couple is choosing a name for their baby, they will sometimes go to a bookstore or a library and get a book like, or go online and look up meanings and names. Many names have a special meaning I looked up a few popular names to see what, or go they mean.
Lilly – Purity
Karen and Kathryn – Pure One
Kendall – Valley of the Spring
Tucker – all heart, brave
Abigail – Father’s Joy
Jackson – Son of Jack
Breanna – noble/strong
Mason – stone maker
Heather- flowering plant
Brandy – burnt wine
Harley – farm by the rocks
Marie - Beloved
Charlotte - Free Woman
Margaret - Pearl
Debbie - Bee
When Mary and Joseph found out that they were going to have a baby, they didn't go to the bookstore and get a book to help them choose a name for Mary's baby. In fact, they didn't choose the baby's name at all! God chose it for them! God sent an angel to tell Mary what to name her baby. The angel said to Mary, "You will have a son, and you will call his name Jesus" You see, the name Jesus means "the Lord saves." Was it important for Mary's baby to be named Jesus? Yes it was, because the Bible tells us that there is no other name that can save us from our sin. (Acts 4:12)

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Response to Snope, or Teddy Stoddard by Any Other Name......

As a teacher one of my favorite stories is about a young child named Teddy Stoddard.  Over the years I have seen several variations of his name, but honestly it really isn't about the name.  I love reading the story at Christmas time and at the beginning of each school year because I hope it makes a difference in how I treat each student.  I am sure you have seen this story.....but it is worth a repeat read.  It goes like this:  "There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big F at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around."

His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken."

Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper,except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.
Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher’s pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it,and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he’d met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference." Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."  It is at this point that I always choke back some tears.  In my 28 years of teaching there have been several students....who in fact were teachers....MINE!  I learned a lot about human nature, love, strength, etc. from them.  For that I am, and will always be eternally grateful.  I decided to Snope the story.  I do that sometimes just to see if there is something more.  This is what I found:

Snope:  "This touching tale is one of pure invention: there is no Teddy Stoddard whose life was so changed by one special teacher who reached out to him, no Mrs. Thompson of rhinestone bracelet-wearing fame. This work of fiction was penned by Elizabeth Silance Ballard in 1974 and printed that year in HomeLife magazine, a Baptist family publication, where it was clearly labeled as fiction and presented as such, not as an account of a real-life personal experience. Although Ballard based some of the details on elements of her own life, she has expressed disappointment that her fictional work continues to be circulated as a true story:
Reached at her new home in Rockingham, N.C., she was dismayed to hear it's still being passed off as truth. "I think it's absolutely wrong to do that."

"I've had people use it in their books, except they made it as if it happened to them. In the '80s I heard Robert Schuller tell this story on one of his broadcasts. He told it as if it was someone he knew."

Many of the details, including the homemade wrapping paper and Teddy's wedding date, were taken from her own life. She remembers vividly her humiliation at giving a home-grown present to a teacher as a child in North Carolina, she said. The broken bracelet and perfume were a tidbit from a teacher friend who had gotten such a gift from a child in the class where she was a long-term substitute.
Schuller's personification of the tale is far from unusual: folks determined to make a point will often claim a closer relationship to a story than actually exists in an effort to get their message taken more seriously. Someone charmed by the Teddy Stoddard story will thus claim to actually know the teacher or the boy, although neither exists.

Elizabeth Ungar (née Ballard) has come to see her story attributed to others. Those who do include the author's name along with the
piece almost always get it wrong, with "Elizabeth Silance Baynard" proving to be a popular choice for this form of misattribution. Yet the name "Ballard" is key to how the fictional little boy (named Teddy Stallard in the original version) came by his name, and during his 2001 interview with the author, Dennis Roddy uncovered the backstory.

A friend who was filling in as a Sunday School teacher received a gift of cheap perfume and a broken rhinestone bracelet from a grubby little boy one Christmas, and afterwards she told Elizabeth Ungar about it. Ungar combined this incident with one from her own childhood: her Christmas gift of hand-picked pecans to her long-ago elementary school teacher. The box of the pecans had caused the other children to laugh derisively, but the teacher soon quelled them with the announcement she was making fruitcakes and these nuts were exactly what she'd been lacking. Her teacher's compassionate response coupled with her friend's story formed the basis for the work of fiction we now know as "Three Letters from Teddy." Teddy's last name came from this origin: The surname of the grandmother who urged young Elizabeth to bring pecans to her teacher (Stanley) was combined with the author's then surname (Ballard) to form "Stallard."

Can one special teacher make a lasting difference in the life of a child? Yes, absolutely. Our history books are filled with instances of precisely that. But those looking for a real-life example of the importance of teachers will have to look elsewhere than this story."  I say to Snope.....really?  I have been reading this story for years and while there is no "real" Teddy Stoddard there are hundreds of them who grace our classrooms every single year.  Sometimes they make US feel important....other times we make THEM feel important....and occasionally we BOTH grow from the experience.  I have had my share of "Teddy's" in my lifetime of teaching....their names were Judith, T.J., Derrick...and the list goes on.  Their struggles were real as were my own.  Teaching makes my heart sing........most of the time.....and when it doesn't I remember my Teddy Stoddard's and wait for the song to begin again. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mary, Bronner's, and the Story of Silent Night

My last big traveling trip with my friend, Mary and Kat, and Mandy found us in Frankenmuth, MI at Bronners Christmas Store.  They have over 50,000 things....and Mary was looking for a Nativity for her yard.  We spent seven hours in this place with my friend Mary touching and looking at ever item in the store.  Mandy, Kat, and I were done in about 1.5 hours....but this part of the trip was all Mary had asked to we stayed. If I had known I would lose my friend the next year I would have spent the rest of my life in there with her.  All sadness aside, while we were there we discovered a precious chapel on the site.  It was a replica of the one where the rest of the story takes place.  Inside the Christmas Carol, Silent Night played and outside the words to the first verse could be found in any language.  It was humbling.  I have always loved this song and since that day I have loved it even more.  The other day I was surfing the web and found this wonder site about Christmas Carols.  I found the story that we read inside that little chapel.  The story of the song is this:  "The words of Silent Night were written by a Priest called Fr. Joseph Mohr in Mariapfarr, Austria, in 1816 and the music was added in 1818, by his school teacher friend Franz Xaver Gruber, for the Christmas service at St. Nicholas church in Oberndorf, Austria.
Fr. Mohr asked Franz Gruber to compose the melody with a guitar arrangement. It was several years later that Franz Gruber wrote an arrangement for the organ. Historians who have conducted research in recent years believe that Fr. Mohr wanted a new carol that he could play on his guitar.
There is a legend associated with the carol that says, Fr. Mohr wanted the carol to be sung by the children of the village at the midnight Christmas Eve service, as a surprise for their parents. But in the middle of practising, the organ broke and not a note would come from it! So the children had to learn the carol only accompanied by a guitar. They learnt the carol so well that they could sing it on its own without accompaniment.  However, there are no records to indicate that a children's choir was involved or that the organ was broken!  At Midnight Mass in 1818, Fr. Mohr and Franz Gruber sang each of the six verses with the church choir repeating the last two lines of each verse. Mohr set down the guitar arrangement on paper around 1820 and that is the earliest manuscript that still exists. It is displayed in the Carolino Augusteum Museum in Salzburg. There are a number of manuscripts of various 'Stille Nacht' arrangement that were written by Franz Gruber in later years.  The original words of the song were in German (and it was called 'Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht') and translated in to English went:
Silent night, holy night,
Bethlehem sleeps, yet what light,
Floats around the heavenly pair;
Songs of angels fills the air.
Strains of heavenly peace.
It's thought that the song might have travelled around the area with an organ repairman, Karl Mauracher, who could have taken an early arrangement with him in about 1820. Then two singing families (like the 'Von Trappes' in The Sound of Music) seem to have discovered the song and performed it as part of their concerts. In December 1832, the Strasser family performed it at a concert in Leipzig. It was first performed in the USA in 1839 by the Rainer family, who sang 'Stille Nacht' at the Alexander Hamilton Monument outside Trinity Church in New York City. During this time the tune changed to the one we know and sing today!  It was translated into English in 1863 by John Freeman Young. The carol was sung during the Christmas Truce in the First World War in December 1914 as it was a song that soldiers on both sides knew!  By the time that the carol was famous, Fr Mohr had died. Franz Gruber wrote to music authorities in Berlin saying that he had composed the tune, but no one believed him and it was thought that Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven had written it! But then the 1820 manuscript was found and in the top right corner Fr Mohr had written: 'Melodie von Fr. Xav. Gruber.'"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I Am Dreaming of a White Hodge Podge....NOT!

Welcome to the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge. Nobody has anything else they should be doing today, do they? So why not join the party here? As a reminder the Hodgepodge will be on Christmas vacation next week, so no questions/answers on Dec 23/24th. We'll be back to ring in the new year together the week after, December 30/31.  If you want to read everyone's answers or participate then jump over to Joyce's blog and check it out.

Here we go-

1. Time magazine has selected The Ebola Fighters as their person of the year for 2014. Do you agree, and if so who do you think is a close second? If you disagree with their choice, who do you think should have been chosen?  I am glad it is at least someone/some group that has made a positive impact on the world.

2. This question comes to you courtesy of Susan who blogs over at Stew Mama Says. She knows we have a wedding happening any minute now and she asks, "What's your favorite something old? Something new? Something borrowed? Something blue in your home? Be sure you hop over and say hi to Susan today!  Something old? My grandfather's Tater Bug mandolin.  Something new? My 2014 monogramed ornament that Miss Wendy made for me.  Something borrowed? An Amish Christmas book borrowed from Miss Jane.  Something blue? The blue candle Renee gave me for my birthday.

3. Fudge-yay or nay? Your favorite flavor? Do you make it yourself? With nuts or without?
Not a huge fan of fudge....I like fudge, but don't love it. It is way too rich. I enjoy a sliver and that's enough. My favorite flavor is just chocolate and walnuts and preferably from Mackinaw Island.   

4. December 17th is Wright Brothers Day, commemorating the first successful flights made by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. How old were you when you made your first flight? Do you like to fly? Have you ever been to Kitty Hawk or other parts of the North Carolina Outer Banks?  I flew to see my grandparents when I was 9.  I actually got wings from the stewardess for this flight.  I like to fly...prefer to drive so I can see more.  I have been to Kitty Hawk and loved it.  
5. Do the people in your family tend to follow a particular career path, and if so what's the path?
Most of my family are in some form of the medical profession.  There are a few of us who teach.....but no one really has followed any particular career path.

6. What is one thing you absolutely, positively must accomplish today?  Make sure all my semester exams are graded and entered into my gradebook.
7. This Christmas I hope______________________________________.  I have to agree with Joyce on this one.  All is calm. All is bright.  
8. Insert your own random thought here.  Are you finished shopping?  Remember there is just one week until Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

God Gave Us Angels

About The Book:  “What do angels do all day, Papa?”  When Papa finds Little Cub looking for angels, it gives him a chance to tell his beloved child about those that may be in their midst, even when they can’t be seen.  Exploring their exhilarating Arctic world as they talk, Papa lovingly answers all of Little Cub’s questions about angels—and as usual, she has a lot. She wants to know what they do, how they look, how they guard God’s loved ones, and best of all, how they serve the Creator of the world.  “God really created angels to serve him more than us, Little Cub.  They love him and would do anything for him.”  This uplifting tale will encourage young hearts by exploring the glory and design of God’s messengers, while turning toward him with praise. 
Also available:
God Gave Us You
God Gave Us Two
God Gave Us Christmas
God Gave Us Heaven
God Gave Us Love
God Gave Us the World
God Gave Us Easter
 Over two million copies in the series sold!

About The Author:  Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling author of over thirty novels, children's books, and nonfiction books. She's currently working on a teen time travel series called River of Time. Lisa and her husband Tim reside in Colorado with their three children.
My Thoughts About The Book:  I LOVED THIS BOOK!  It reminds me of the children's book, The Littlest Angel.  This was my first read of the series and I am going to have to buy the rest.  This is a great bedtime read for your small children, your grandchildren, or just for the inner child in you.  A definite 5 star book in both writing and illustration. 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogging For Books and Edelweiss as part of their Book Review Blogger Programs. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Preparing For Christmas

My scripture is from John 1:12

This is the time of year when everyone starts getting ready for Christmas. The stores are packed with people buying gifts. Elevators are filled with instrumental Christmas favorites. Those boxes packed away months ago are brought out and all of that lovely Christmas stuff is put out. The houses are decorated with lights and trimmings and yards become the showcases of Christmas splendor. So, What do you do to prepare for Christmas?  Well, In my house there is a mass cleaning effort. The whole house is cleaned from top to bottom to get everything in tiptop shape. Before any decorations can be put out the whole house gets a good cleaning.

When the cleaning is complete; the house needs to be arranged for the decorating. Everyday decorations are put away. The whole house is given a new look in preparation for the decorations. After all of the proper arrangements have been made, the decorations come out and everything begins to take on the look of Christmas. The tree is set up with lights strung from top to bottom and ornaments are scattered on the branches. Various other trimmings make their appearance around the house. When all of this is done the work of preparation is nearly finished.

The final preparation for Christmas revolves around the gifts. Lists are created of certain wants or specific needs and the shopping begins. Multiple trips are made to various stores and shopping centers. Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without four or five trips to the mall. The shopping is done so that we can give and receive gifts on Christmas day.


All of this is a great illustration of how God wants us to prepare for Christmas. When we truly prepare for Christmas, there is a personal cleansing. When we truly prepare for Christmas, there is a new arrangement of our priorities. When we truly prepare for Christmas, there is a decorating of the heart. When we truly prepare for Christmas, there is a receiving and giving of gifts.

The first thing we are going to look into is: The cleaning of the heart.  Matthew 5:8 says,Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.”

The word “blessed” literally means happy in the original Greek. From this statement of Jesus we see that the pure in heart are the happy in heart. Why? Simply because they will one day see God. Now this sounds really simple, doesn’t it, because all that you need is a pure heart. I don’t know about you but there are a lot of days when my heart seems more polluted than pure. I sometimes get a wee angry when someone cuts me off when I’m driving on the highway. I get frustrated when my best plans come unraveled. I still lose my temper over stupid and insignificant problems. I still get jealous when I hear of others whose achievements out shine my own.  Like when my wonderful Homecoming door did not place in the top three winners.

Maybe none of this applies to you. Maybe, you aren’t like me and you have your life completely together in your life. Maybe you have no problem with this pure in heart issue. But for those of you, who are like me and still struggle with being pure in heart; I have a question? How can we become pure in heart? What do we have to do?

I have some extremely bad news for you; there is NOTHING you can do to make your heart pure! The good news is that God is the one who cleans the heart and all that you need to do is ask Him. David asked God for this exact thing: Create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10).  God granted David’s request and gave him a clean heart. He can do the same for you; all you need to do is ask Him.

The second thing we need to address is The arranging of priorities.  We find in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”  An essential part of preparing for Christmas involves re-arranging. Just as we arranged our homes, schedules and other aspects of our lives for Christmas. God wants us to arrange our hearts for Christmas. His desire is for you to make more room for His Son in the room of your heart.  When we make this extra room in the heart, God blesses us with more of Christ. It is then that the blessings of God begin to rapidly flow into our lives and overflow into the lives of others. When we put Christ in the center of our lives, everything else just comes together.  When Jesus made this statement of seeking the kingdom of God first, he was giving the antidote for worry. Jesus makes it clear that if we are to succeed in life; our focus must be on God first. We become so busy celebrating the season that we totally miss the reason for the season! We become centered on shopping for the right gifts and forget to tell others of God’s perfect gift. We are not prepared for Christmas until our priorities are in line.

The third element we need to look at today is:   The decorating of the heart.  What does God do to decorate a heart?  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. God decorates a heart by gutting the old and creating something new. When decorates a heart he must have complete control over the whole life. Far too often, we only give God partial control and we only allow Him to make the changes that we approve. God’s desire is to take your life and make it even more beautiful. God wants to add value to your life.  God wants only the very best for your life and he wants to be the influence of your life. However, he waits for you to give Him permission to begin the work. God desires to decorate your life with his blessing and give you something completely new.

Our fourth area of concern is The receiving and giving of gifts.

          A. The receiving of gifts

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12.  John speaks of those who received Christ. The Greek meaning of the word “receive” means “to welcome” or “to accept.” John is making it clear that we are to welcome Christ into our lives. This receiving is not just for part or some of our life but rather it is for every area of our life.  Christ must also be believed. To believe in the name of Jesus means to put faith in Him as a person and in what he represents. The simple act is life changing and transforming because we become children of God.  God has given us an incredible gift. By faith, in Christ, we can become children of God. When we accept Christ we are ushered into God’s family. John says that through Christ we are given the right to become children of God. Literally we are given permission to join God’s family. By faith in Christ, we become a part of eternity. Our citizenship is changed and we gain an interest in heaven. Our position in life is changed. We gain a dwelling place in heaven and divine grace from God the Father.

B. The giving of gifts

          One of the greatest joys of Christmas is found in giving. It is indeed better to give than to receive. I don’t always enjoy the shopping or the wrapping of gifts but I love to give the gifts. The same may be true for you. You love to watch others tear through the wrapping. You love to watch their face light up. You love to hear the words “It’s just what I wanted!”  It might surprise you but this applies to Christ as well. There is great joy when you give a gift to Christ. What does Christ want from you? My child, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways. Proverbs 23:26.  The greatest gift you can give to Christ is yourself

So, where are you with your preparations for Christmas? Are there some areas of your heart that need to be cleaned? Maybe you need to rearrange some things to make more room for Christ in your life? Perhaps your heart is fairly barren and needs some of God’s blessings for decorations. Have you received the gift of Christ and have you given Him your heart. This year the wonder of Christmas can come alive for you in brand new ways if you will open your heart and allow God to prepare you for Christmas.




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Counting The Days Til Hodgepodge

Welcome to another week in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If your week is like my week, you're busy, so thank you for taking the time to play along today. Here we go-

 1. What is one new holiday tradition you'd like to establish, or one you've established recently, say in the last year or two?  Celebrating Advent in the house  We do it at church, but I would love to celebrate it each day at home.
2. It's the second week of December. Have you sipped a cup of eggnog yet this month? Wrapped a gift? Opened a gift? Kissed someone under the mistletoe? Lit a candle? Eaten a Christmas cookie? Seen Santa in person? Watched a Christmas movie or special? Read scripture relating to the birth of Jesus?  I have not had my traditional one cup of eggnog yet.  I have wrapped a few gifts and have several others to do.  I am behind just like Joyce. I have opened two gifts yet. No to the mistletoe, but I'm not opposed to it-ha! I burn candles year round, and my home is full of them at Christmastime. I bought some new ones from Celebrating Home and have really loved the Apple Pie one.  I've sampled a few Christmas cookies  at a couple of Holiday gatherings, and have also seen Santa.  I have  watched  just about every single movie Hallmark Channel has to offer.  I read scripture relating to the birth of Jesus every day during the month of December. I am a preacher and this is my favorite time of the year.
3. Do you think it's better to be an adult or a child at Christmastime? Explain.
I have loved both ends of this continuum.  I loved being a child and getting gifts and experiencing the magic of the season.  I love being an adult and making Christmas happen for those I love and those I don't even know.  My biggest kick this year was sending Christmas to Moldova for a child.  I would do without a gift myself for that kind of feeling. 
4. It's often said, 'Good things come to those who wait'...agree or disagree? Why?I am 100% with Joyce on this one.  Sometimes. And sometimes you snooze you lose.  It depends what we're talking about, but yes I think it can be true.  I think waiting is something of a lost art.  As it relates to Christmas, the waiting for it to get here is one of my favorite parts. 
5. What's the last sweet thing you baked? Did you keep it, take it to a party/event, or give it away?I baked two batches of pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving.  I also made Grannies Pecan Cornbread for Thanksgiving....and baked a few dozen Tollhouse Cookies.  I took most of them somewhere else.  I have a few new recipes I am planning to try out once I get out for the holidays.  I got a new bean pot from Celebrating Home and I can't wait to give it a whirl.
 6.  This question comes to us courtesy of Jhona who blogs over at The Red House at the End of the Lane. Everyone hop over and say hi to Jhona this week!  Here is her question... "I heard an actor talk about how he makes a conscious choice to talk to people in elevators.  He chooses to connect, make eye contact, and converse. Do you talk to people/strangers when you're in an elevator or any other place where you might have to wait together? Why or why not?"  I will talk to  anyone....anywhere....anytime.  Most people that know me know that I have an invisible neon sign I wear on my forehead that says..."If you talk, I will listen." 
7. Are you on the naughty or nice list this year? What put you there?
I am probably riding the fence this year.
8.  Random Thought - Today is Human Rights Day.  Many of you know that my daughter and her husband are missionaries in an orphanage in Moldova.  Talk about Human here and visit the Christmas video for Stella's Voice.  This was the answer to my number 3 from above.  If you want to know more about Stella's Voice just google them.  You can learn all about what they are....