I'm still finding it hard to believe that Christmas is tomorrow. The year has gone past so fast! This year for Christmas we cut back on things we did and goodies we made. Still I have felt a bit overwhelmed by everything we did. Of course catching a cold and sharing it in the family this past week might have made a difference. I don't have a long post for today, but I wanted to share this youtube video with y'all.

God bless us each and everyone! ~Tiny Tim
I hope you all have a blessed Christmas with your families. I'll see you all the week after Christmas, with if I can remember, pictures!


McKenzie is hosting this last carnival over at her blog, Pecan Pastures! I hope you will join us and please don't forget to add your posts to the mcklinky!

Please add your posts in the MckLinky below. If you are having trouble with adding your posts, please leave a comment with your blog name, the name of your post and the link and I will add it in. Don't forget, this coming Thursday is the last carnival day and it is being hosted by Pecan Pastures.

It's time for this week's 'Tis the Season carnival post. I hope you all will join us! We have almost all of our decorations up, except for the tree and we probably won't put it up till Wednesday or Thursday. I can't believe Christmas is this Friday! We are continuing what I think is a common tradition. We all have colds, ugh!

Several years ago, Daddy brought home an animated movie, I think it was called The Legend of the Candy Cane. I enjoyed watching that movie and the story, err, legend, behind the candy cane. 

The Legend of the Candy Cane 

The development of the candy cane took a few hundred years. Before the invention of the modern pacifier, parents used to give their babies unflavored white sugar sticks to suck on. During the 1670's a German choirmaster had the sugar sticks bent into a shepherd's staff and passed out to children attending the Christmas services. This holiday custom spread throughout Europe and fancy canes, decorated with roses, were used as Christmas decorations in many homes. About 1900 the white candy cane received its traditional red stripes and peppermint flavoring. At the same time the legend of the candy cane came into being. According to this legend, a candy maker in Indiana designed the candy cane to tell the true story of Christmas - a story about a virgin giving birth to a shepherd who would give up His life for the sheep.
The most obvious symbolism used in the candy cane is its shape. Turned one way, it looks like a "J" for Jesus. The newborn Lamb of God was named Jesus, meaning Savior, because He was destined to "save His people from their sins". Turned the other way, candy canes remind us of the shepherd's staff. The first people to hear of Christ's birth were shepherds guarding their flocks at night. Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd and the Bible frequently compares the actions of the Messiah to those of a shepherd searching for his lost sheep, feeding them, gently leading them, and carrying them in his bosom. The sweetness of the candy reminds us that we are fed on the sweet milk of the Gospel of our salvation and peace.
The hardness of the candy reminds us that Jesus is our rock of refuge. In rocky lands like Israel, people often sought shelter from their enemies in the caves or rocky crags of cliffs. Rocks also remind us of the solidness of the promises of Christ who is a precious cornerstone and sure foundation to those who follow Him, but a "stone of stumbling and a rock of offense" to those who reject His gift of peace.
The whiteness of the candy brings to mind the Virgin Birth and the sinless life of Christ. We also are made as pure as the snow through the cleansing action of His blood.
The traditional candy cane has 3 small red stripes to remind us of the soldiers' stripes by which we are healed and a larger stripe which represents the blood shed by Christ on Calvary's tree. Some people say that the 3 small stripes honor the Holy Trinity while the larger stripe reminds us of the one true God. Others claim that the small stripes represent our mini-passions or sufferings and the great stripe symbolizes Christ's Passion. A green stripe is sometimes placed on candy canes to remind us that Jesus is God's gift to us. (Green is the color of giving.)
The peppermint flavor of modern candy canes is said to be similar to hyssop. In Old Testament times, hyssop was associated with purification and sacrifice. During the first Passover celebrations, a bundle of hyssop was used to smear the blood of Passover lambs upon the doorposts of houses so that the Angel of Death would pass over their occupants. Bundles of hyssop were also used to sprinkle blood on worshipers and objects during Mosaic purification rituals. After his affair with Bathsheba, King David appealed to God's mercy crying, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow". Peppermint reminds us that Jesus is our Passover Lamb. His blood cleanses us from sin and destroys the power of death.

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.  So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
  Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:1-7

See you today and don't forget this Thursday is the last day of the 'Tis the Season carnival. We hope you join us today at One Southern Girl and this coming Thursday over at Pecan Pastures.

All quotes and story is from ChristStory Christmas. Candy picture from Wikipedia. The Legend of the Candy Cane from CBD

When 'J' was transferred to Georgia from Minnesota, we met a dad who always wore a joker hat. He was staying with his little boy who was in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit). Pierce had the same leukemia 'J' did and Pierce and 'J' had another bond, you see, both of them have Down syndrome. We've been following their journey since 2007. Pierce was scheduled to finish chemo this spring, but several weeks from finishing Pierce relapsed and had a BMT (bone marrow transplant). He did great through transplant and was doing awesome at home. A couple weeks ago, Pierce's mom posted that Pierce had relapsed again and there really wasn't anything they could do, it was just a matter of time. When 'J', Momma and I were in Atlanta in Monday, we saw Pierce and his dad. They had decided to stop Pierce's chemo since he was getting terrible mouth sores that Friday. Momma talked with Mr. Bill for awhile and I took 'J' back to triage. When we got to our room, Momma said Mr. Bill didn't think Pierce would make it to Christmas. Last night, I was checking my email and saw there was an update on Pierce. I opened it and saw that Pierce had passed away in his sleep that morning. There was another update this afternoon, Pierce's little brother, who is 3-4 years old, is taking Pierce's death hard. Please keep them in your prayers in the upcoming weeks.

Here is Pierce's website if you want to read it. Pierce Ruck

 L to R - 'J', 'K', me, McKenzie, 'B' and Madeline

In September, we went down to some friends' house for a Sunday dinner. They had just had a baby and we weren't taking 'J' to church during flu season. While we were there, we dressed up. I've always loved to play dress-up. Up in Minnesota, down in the basement, we had a big plastic box full of fabric, play (insert fancy here) dresses that 'K' and I picked up at Salvation Army, Momma's old shoes, beads, etc... We all loved it. When we moved it didn't fit in whatever criteria the packers had.

This particular Sunday, we 'dressed up'. McKenzie let me borrow her hoop skirt, a dress (which was beautiful, BTW!), fixed my hair and did a great job, too. Mrs. Maynor took some pictures of us. This was one of them. So sweet! Someday, I think I'd like a hoop skirt, as long as I didn't have to wear it everyday :*)...

On the home front, 'J' is learning to whistle. It's rather cute and though I know that 5 year olds can whistle, it always surprises me when 'J' is learning something new. On Monday he had his first off-treatment visit in Atlanta and started whistling on the way home (actually he just pulls in his breath, till it whistles) and Momma said, ''J', no whistling in the car!' He got quiet very fast and said 'n um', which is how he says 'yes ma'am'. He usually doesn't say 'yes ma'am' by himself. Then last night, he was sleeping with me and after chattering a bit, he started to whistle. I told him, ''J', Momma says NO whistling in the house'. He got quiet and then pulled the sleeping bag over his head. It was quiet for a few more seconds and then I heard him whistling a little bit. His head popped back out and then he promptly fell asleep. I like nights like those!

It's the second week of 'Tis the Season. McKenzie is hosting this week, so please add your posts in the mcklinky and read the other entries. I'll be in Atlanta all day ('J' has a doctor's appointment) and I won't be able to add your entries in, if you need help with that. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts when I get home though.

Christmas Day is rapidly approaching... My little sisters are counting down the days, only 11 days to go.

We have Christmas songs playing and the hymnals are opening to the Christmas songs section now. One of my favorite things to do each Christmas is listen to the Vienna Boys Choir sing 'Silent Night'! I find the stories behind the carols and songs very interesting. Especially the story behind Silent Night...

How the world's most famous Christmas carol came to be written and set to music

     In 1818, a roving band of actors was performing in towns throughout the Austrian Alps. On December 23 they arrived at Oberndorf, a village near Salzburg where they were to perform the story of Christ's birth in the small Church of St. Nicholas.
     Unfortunately, the St. Nicholas' church organ wasn't working and would not be repaired before Christmas. (Note: some versions of the story point to mice as the problem; others say rust was the culprit) Because the church organ was out of commission, the actors presented their Christmas drama in a private home. Even so, that Christmas presentation put assistant pastor Josef Mohr in a meditative mood. Instead of walking straight to his house that night, Mohr took a longer way home. The longer path took him up over a hill overlooking the village.
     From that hilltop, Mohr looked down on the peaceful snow-covered village. Reveling in majestic silence of the wintry night, Mohr gazed down at the glowing scene. His thoughts about the Christmas play suddenly made him to remember a poem he had written a couple of years before. It was a poem about the night when angels announced the birth of the long-awaited Messiah to shepherds on a hillside.
     Mohr decided those words would make a good carol for his congregation the following evening at their Christmas eve service. However, he didn't have any music to which that poem could be sung. So, the next day Mohr went to see the church organist, Franz Xaver Gruber. Gruber only had a few hours to come up with a melody which could be sung with a guitar. However, by that evening, Gruber had managed to compose a musical setting for the poem. It no longer mattered that their church organ was broken. They now had a Christmas carol they could sing without it.
     On Christmas Eve, the little Oberndorf congregation heard Gruber and Mohr sing their new composition to the accompaniment of Gruber's guitar.
     Weeks later, well-known organ builder Karl Mauracher arrived to fix the St. Nicholas church organ. When he finished, Mauracher stepped back to let Gruber test the instrument. When Gruber sat down, his fingers began playing the simple melody he had written for Mohr's Christmas poem. Deeply impressed, Mauracher took the music and words of "Silent Night" back to his own Alpine village, Kapfing. There, two well-known families of singers -- the Rainers and the Strassers -- heard it. Captivated by "Silent Night," both groups put the new song into their Christmas season repertoire.
     The Strasser sisters spread the carol throughout northern Europe. In 1834, after they had performed "Silent Night" for King Frederick William IV of Prussia, that king ordered his cathedral choir to sing it every Christmas eve.
     The Rainers brought the song to the United States in 1839, singing it (in German) at the Alexander Hamilton Monument located outside New York City's Trinity Church.
     In 1863, nearly fifty years after being first sung in German, "Silent Night" was translated into English (by either Jane Campbell or John Young). In 1871 the English version was published in an American hymnal: Charles Hutchins' Sunday School Hymnal. 

Today, only the 1st, 2nd and 6th verses are sung. I found the exact translation and I also found the 'common' verses we sing today. Did you know that we don't sing the original music to Silent Night or the original words? When the repairman came to fix the organ, he took a copy of the music and lyrics with him. Somewhere, he lost some notes in the music and when the song was translated, the words changed, too. If you try to sing the english translation below, you are going to need the original music score.

1. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute heilige Paar.
Holder Knab im lockigten Haar,
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!

1. Silent night! Holy night!
All are sleeping, alone and awake
Only the intimate holy pair,
Lovely boy with curly hair,
Sleep in heavenly peace!
Sleep in heavenly peace!

2. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Gottes Sohn! O wie lacht
Lieb´ aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da schlägt uns die rettende Stund´.
Jesus in deiner Geburt!
Jesus in deiner Geburt!

2. Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, O how he laughs
Love from your divine mouth,
Then it hits us - the hour of salvation.
Jesus at your birth!
Jesus at your birth!

3. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt seh´n
Jesum in Menschengestalt,
Jesum in Menschengestalt

3. Silent night! Holy night!
Which brought salvation to the world,
From Heaven's golden heights,
Mercy's abundance was made visible to us:
Jesus in human form,
Jesus in human form.

4. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
Jesus die Völker der Welt,
Jesus die Völker der Welt.

4. Silent night! Holy night!
Where on this day all power
of fatherly love poured forth
And like a brother lovingly embraced
Jesus the peoples of the world,
Jesus the peoples of the world.

5. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit,
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß,
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß.

5. Silent night! Holy night!
Already long ago planned for us,
When the Lord frees from wrath
Since the beginning of ancient times
A salvation promised for the whole world.
A salvation promised for the whole world.

6. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
Jesus der Retter ist da!
Jesus der Retter ist da!

6. Silent night! Holy night!
To shepherds it was first made known
By the angel, Alleluia;
Sounding forth loudly far and near:
Jesus the Savior is here!
Jesus the Savior is here!
Wikipedia has three audio clips of Silent Night being played on a piano, guitar and flute. Which I am currently listening too. Check them out here.

The story and lyrics are from Stille Nacht Gesellschaft and Southern Nazarene University.
Please keep the Duggar family in your prayers. You probably know that the Duggars were expecting their 19th child in March. But Mrs. Dugger was airlifted to the University of Arkansas this past week and the baby was delivered by emergency c-section on the 10th ( J's birthday). Her name is Josie Brooklyn and she weighs 1lb 6 ozs. She will be in the NICU (neonatel intensive are unit) for awhile. I know the Duggars would apprieciate your prayers. We've been there and done that ourselves, not with a preemie though. 'J' was transported to MN Children's the day after he was born because he had a blockage in his intestines. We were there through Christmas and I still remember the day he was released from the hospital. Becca started it all off, when she got sick on Christmas Day at our aunt's house (where we were staying for three days, till the family we stayed with the rest of the time came home from their family Christmas celebration), the night before 'J' was released, I got sick and the next day, 'O' and Daddy were putting suitcases in the van and 'O' threw up just as he came in the door. Over the next couple weeks, everyone, but 'J', got sick. It was an interesting Christmas to be sure!
Happy birthday to my sweet little brother! 'J' is 5 years old today!



"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas  decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

Disclaimer: This is NOT our house! This was an email forwarded to my momma from friends.

The first day of 'Tis the Season - keeping Christ in Christmas. Glad you could make it. Please add your posts to the MckLinky below. On December 1st, my family started our advent devotions. We read a couple verses from the bible, talk about them, sing a Christmas song, pray, recite our memory verse and take turns putting up the ornaments which symbolize what we read about that evening.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.   Luke 1:26 - 38


Tomorrow, McKenzie and I will be hosting the first day of 'Tis the Season - keeping Christ in Christmas carnival... As the Christmas day comes closer, it is easy for us to become distracted with last-minute shopping or parties and forget what Christmas is all about. This carnival is meant to help keep Christ in the forefront for our families and to help encourage others to do the same. We will be posting every Monday, starting tomorrow and will end on Christmas Eve. That's the 7th, 14th, 21st and the 24th for those who want the dates. McKenzie and I will be taking turns hosting every other week.

Anyone can participate, as long as their posts are God-honoring. Your post can be scripture (prophecy or the Christmas story), a Christmas story (as long as it makes the true meaning of Christmas clear), Christmas Carols, etc... It can be serious or fun, but please do not post about Santa Claus or songs like Jingle Bells and We wish you a Merry Christmas. They don't fit in the qualifications of keeping Christ in Christmas.

There are some guidelines to follow and if you click on the picture above, that will take you directly to the guidelines and the hows of this carnival.

If you don't have a blog, you can leave a comment with what you would post if you had a blog.

We hope you will join us... Consider yourself invited!