Merry Christmas to All!!

As I write this, our children are off to the movies in celebration of our family's Christmas boy, our Immanuel's, 20th birthday. I decided to stay home and spend some quiet time to contemplate and meditate on the miracle of the birth of The Christ Child, THE Immanuel (God with us). As I contemplate on this Christmas Story, I am in awe. What a miracle indeed! From the angel Gabriel appearing, to Mary's "yes" (as in Luke 1:38: "may it be to me as you have said."), to the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude and joy leading me to pause from writing for now and savour the joy that seem to be engulfing and embracing me at this very moment.
Merry Christmas to All!!

Babes in Toyland

More Babes in Toyland photos from the dress rehearsal courtesy of Tracy

at the toy factory after Isabella's french doll dance

The Fairies

Isabella's inspiration, Ms. Tara
Ms. Tara is such a beautiful, graceful and inspiring dancer
the darling sheep with their incredible and awesome teacher/artistic director, Ms. Molly.

Babes in Toyland

a huge success!! Absolutely fantabulous show!!

here's a couple of photos from my friend, Tracy. I did not bring my camera to the performance. I got busy with set up and ticket sales. Thanks for the photos Tracy and for being a great costume mistress for Isabella.

here is Isabella at the dressing room as French Doll
with GFF, Sonja, as Toymaker's Assistant
they had a make-up artist create Isabella's french doll look

and here they are after the show as darling sheep

Babes in Toyland

Tomorrow is THE Big Day for Coastal Chamber Ballet and Coastal Dance & Music Academy. The debut of their first ever ballet production, Babes in Toyland. We are all very tired but very excited. This is what's been keeping Isabella and I very very busy these past couple of weeks. Isabella has been hard at work with rehearsals. My own little contribution is making the programs. I finally got done with layout, folding and stapling all 400 booklets (with the help of some of my angel elves:) Tomorrow is the culmination of everyone's hard work. It promises to be a wonderful ballet production. I will keep you posted on this exciting show. But for now, here are some photos I took from today's dress rehearsal.

Isabella is The French Doll in Act I

She is so very excited for this role as she pops out of a big gift box.

here's a photo with her very close friend, Sonja, on the right as the Toymaker's Assistant,

and with Molly, as Mary Contrary.

here's the entire cast of Act I in front of the school

Here is Isabella as a sheep in Act II with Holland as Bo Peep

And the entire Act II cast

Indescribable Title

My husband has been without a contract since June. For almost six months now we have been living off of our savings, maintaining two homes, and supporting 4 children, 2 in College. Despite the seemingly negative situation, by the loving grace of God, I am drawn, even more so now than ever before, to all the blessings that I have been...well, blessed with. Blessings that cannot be quantified nor shaken by the instability of the world around us. Blessings of a wonderful family and friends, of health, of faith, and of the love that binds us all together, near or far.

I am so grateful for all my friends. Most of them are far away from me and yet their love is ever so close. These past few days I have been blessed with wonderful and uplifting conversation and fellowship with friends closest to my heart. Thank you to my dearest friends...angels sent to me....

My loving husband,Russ, has become my closest BFF:) Thank you my DH for trying your best to stay positive and never losing hope. I am so grateful for all your love for me and our kids.

tita Rose, ate Lolit and are very instrumental in my spiritual growth. thank you for all your love and prayers.

ate are my role model, a beacon on a hill...thank you for all your encouraging words, your time and unconditional love.

GFF are my only close friend here in Pismo. I am so glad our amazing Lord God put us is each other's path. Thank you for always thinking about me...we will continue to uplift each other.

ate Cecile...though we are far from each other and busy life happens, I know that you are and will always be there for me. Know too that you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Paz...thank you for always being there for me and for your love and care to my darling son, Immanuel.

ate dear cousin thank you for thinking about me and sending uplifting emails like this one...

Subject: Blind girl.
It's not so much the story but the underlying message

There was a blind girl who hated herself
because she was blind.
She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend.
He was always there for her.

She told her boyfriend,
'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her.
When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything,
including her boyfriend.

He asked Her,'Now that you can see the world,
will you marry me?'
The girl looked at her boyfriend
and saw that he was blind.
The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her.
She hadn't expected that.
The thought of looking at them the rest of her life
led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears
and days later wrote a note to her saying:
'Take good care of your eyes, my dear,
for before they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift

Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before whining about the distance you drive
Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job -
Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down -
Put a smile on your face and think: you're alive and still around.