Butterfly Sparks Designs

Saturday, December 29, 2007

...calling all of you creative people...

get your brains a workin-- drink some coffee and get mentally moving-- i want the perfect church name for our plant.  i was going to say "we need the perfect church name", but that's not necessarily true. we aren't in a huge hurry- we don't NEED it right now- i just want it. soooo, get your creative juices flowing and send me some ideas. PULEEZZZEEEE!  i know you guys and gals are much more creative than i am... 
we thought about something like The Tabernacle of Holy Spirit Deliverance and Redemption Holiness Church, but figured that our friends could help us come up with something better... so if you don't, we might be stuck with something awful... and you wouldn't want to live with yourself if you let us pick a name like that one...

p.s. i'm KIDDING about that name, of course... in case you were wondering...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

... i want...

to NOT want "stuff". it's really difficult in this holiday season when every store and every commercial is telling you the latest, greatest gadget that you "need" or that you need to buy for someone else.  i really don't need anything but jesus, my family, shelter, food, and health.  but somehow i'm convinced i need a cool lands end faux sherling coat, chocolate ugg boots with fur on top, a big brown leather hobo bag, a kitchen aid artisan mixer, and more. the internal wrestling is strong.
the national retail federation estimates that americans spent 457.4 BILLION DOLLARS at christmas in 2006. just 10 of those billion if put towards bringing clean water across the globe would solve the water crisis. 18 of those billion would bring food to every hungry child and adult on the planet. can you imagine if we began to look outside of ourselves during this season? what if we gave sacrificially to those truly in need, to show the love of jesus to those who are the least of these in our communities and around the world?
here's an excerpt from the website adventconspiracy.org:
"part of saying "yes" to Jesus means that we say "no" to over-spending.  we say "no" to overconsumption.  we say "no" to those things so we can create space to say "yes" to jesus and his reign in our lives.  after the holidays we work for months to get out of debt, only to find that the presents we bought in the name of Christ furthered a consumerist mentality in us and our children and took our focus off of the greatness of Jesus.  as Christ-followers, the advent conspiracy starts with us resisting a culture that tells us what to buy, wear and spend with no regard to bringing glory to jesus."
after all, everything we have is his anyway. he has entrusted us with it. let us be aware of his heart when we spend this year. may jesus be honored in how we celebrate his birth!

Monday, December 17, 2007

... another hambrick birthday...

so my oldest turned 5 today. she's growing up each day, and it makes me kind of sad. i told her tonight that she couldn't get any older- i want her 5 forever. she said, "moooooommm- i can't be 5 forever!" i asked her why she couldn't be 5 forever. "because i want babies." oh lordy.... and she says she wants to be 10... (still not old enough for babies)...
we had her "totally christmas birthday celebration"at our house. no worries that our house is on the market and we just had our carpets cleaned. it was a last minute change- originally the party was planned at a new fenced-in park with awesome play equipment. of course the ONE day is it cold in orlando we have a party planned for outdoors. it was 43 this morning, supposedly with a wind chill of 39. i don't think it's been that cold in the last 4 and a half years we've lived here. what the heck!
anyway, 14 kids (5 and under) came to my house instead of the park. we decorated cookies, painted ornaments, played pin the nose on rudolph, and steve read them a christmas book. we improvised quite nicely, if i do say so myself. i had not planned activities because the nifty park would have been action enough. (of course my mind was racing all night long with the details i had to take care of before the party began at 9:30 this morning). it was a small price to pay to honor my eldest. even if my carpets need to be cleaned again....
we ended the day at TGIFridays with a serenade from the wait staff and ice cream to boot. yum.

p.s. my mom is responsible for the loud and ornate headband she is wearing in most of the photos. the nice, classic polkadot bow in the family shot is more my style. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

...pedal that bike, pedal that bike...

anna katherine can now ride a bike without training wheels! yippee! it was an amazing site--
we tried a few weeks back and she was bitter about the whole experience. she actually put her training wheels back on her bike- wrench and all- because she did NOT want to learn yet. last night the family went out to let the girls ride bikes. out of the blue, anna katherine asked steve to take the training wheels off. and then- it was a done deal. remarkable! she began riding as if she had known forever! check it out... and sara on her one handled care bear trike. today anna katherine was twice as steady. but i have no video of that.
p.s. no comments on the lack of a helmet.. we've got one... :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

...here comes santa claus...

so we saw santa today at the mall of millenia. he's the coolest santa in orlando, so we went to visit him on a weekday hoping to miss the crowd. and pretty much did. the girls looked incredibly cute- the photos don't do them justice. (i think it was the washed out green in the chair :)) after leaving the mall, we headed over to bass pro shop so that steve could spend some birthday money on a fishing reel. of course they had a santa there also. anna katherine asked me, "is he another santa? a different one? are there two santas?" i just looked at steve, repeated her questions to him, and we all kept walking. we didn't even answer her. and she didn't even press us or ask again. shocking that we escaped that discussion. whew!!
i'm so torn by the whole santa thing. obviously christmas is about the most important event in history- the birth of JESUS, our redeemer- not about a chubby old fellow delivering toys. we make sure the girls get that, and we make a concerted effort not to talk too much about santa. in fact, i've only resorted to bribing them once this season with the whole "he sees when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake" song. i'm ashamed of myself for that one, by the way, but most people i know bribe for at least a few months prior to christmas. so i figure i'm better than most on that scale... but no rationalizing....
my friend nikki tells her kids that santa is "an american cultural tradition." i think that's great. that way, when they find out the painful truth, she can honestly say she never lied. hmmmm. i'm thinking about adopting that description. i guess i can just repeat that line over and over when the girls ask various questions- "is santa real? he's a cultural tradition. are there two santas? i don't know about that- i just know he's a cultural tradition. is santa going to put coal in my stocking because i disobeyed? all i know is he's a cultural tradition."
i'll take any ideas and advice you have. until then, "he's a cultural tradition."

Monday, December 10, 2007

...a franciscan benediction...

stolen from my friend tammy's blog... (it was too amazing not to share)

"may God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.  may God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.  may God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.  and may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done."

Sunday, December 9, 2007

...zechariah's song...

this can be found in luke chapter 1 verses 67-79. it moves me. 

"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, 
because he has come and has redeemed his people.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us-
to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into a path of peace."

yes and amen.