Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind
should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne

To answer this question: No! Old acquaintances should not be forgotten. New years is a time to reflect, remember, as well as look to the future. Be thankful for the new . . . New Year, new beginning, new friends and acquaintances. The unknown is exciting! (I am one of the few who actually like change.) Make resolutions if you must to try to better yourself. (eg: get healthy, take a class & learn something new, start a journal, become a better wife, mom, friend, learn a new skill, get organized, etc.) But, as you do, don't forget the past. The people who have been there for you, your family, your friends and acquaintances. We don't have to relive our pasts, but we can certainly learn from them. Grow through them. And help others who are going through something similar to what we went through.

Starting over, or starting anew, doesn't mean we have to completely forget, or walk away from the past. Even the painful parts. Every experience in life helps to make us the person we are. We are always growing, learning, and becoming the person God created us to be, if we allow Him to use the things, the people in our lives to mold and make us the person He wants us to be. But, on the other hand, if we're always looking back, we can't move forward. So, don't be so preoccupied by the past, the people who have hurt you, or the mistakes you've made, that you can't be productive today.

For auld lang syne, my dear
for auld lang syne
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
for auld lang syne

(Old Lang Syne = Days of long ago)

New Years is a good time to remember, but it's also a great time to look forward, to the future, the new. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Being Born On Christmas

Yes, today, December 25th is Christmas! Yeah. I love all things Christmas! The lights, the Music, the celebrations, the decorating, the love and good cheer.

And today, December 25th is also my Birthday. Yes, I was born on Christmas. My brothers have still not forgiven me for that Christmas morning 44 years ago, when they woke up and could not open their presents because Mom & Dad were at the hospital having me. (The BEST Christmas Present BTW!) That's how I got the name Star*, my parents wanted a "Christmasy" name.

This is my Birthday ornament that hangs on my tree every year.

Every year growing up my parents would always have a Birthday cake for me, and give me my Birthday gifts in the evening. (We opened our Christmas Presents in the morning.) And they wanted me to have that special time just for me, even though it was Christmas.

When your born on Christmas Day, people very seldom forget your Birthday. Although I did have those friends that would say "This is your Christmas Gift and your Birthday Present" and I'm thinking didn't I buy you two gifts?! And, as a kid people would always say to me "How cool, you get double the gifts on Christmas!" and I would think yeah, but I get all my Gifts for the entire year on one day. So, there are pro's and con's to being born on Christmas. I know people born during the month of December who celebrate their half Birthday, so they can have two days. But as for me, I love being born on Christmas. It's part of what makes me Me!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joy To The World

Joy To The World
The Lord has come!
Let Earth receive her King

Let every heart
prepare Him room
And Heaven & Nature sing . . .

"Let heaven and nature sing." For those of us who have loved ones celebrating Christmas in heaven, (How Awesome must that be?!) just think, we can all sing together "Joy to the world, The Lord has come!" May He find room prepared for Him in your heart. Remember the greatest Christmas gift ever given was the gift of Jesus, sent to this world as a baby in a manger. To walk among us, and die for our salvation. "Let earth receive her King!"

While reading through the Christmas story, I came across something interesting. After the shepherds came to find the baby, and then went and told anyone who would listen about their encounter, Luke 2:19 says "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." The thought occurred to me, Mary was the very First "Mommy Blogger!" (just a thought!) ; )

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.
Joy to the world!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Favorite Christmas Tradition (Santa Clause Is Coming To Town)

Every year of my kid's lives I have gotten their picture taken with Santa. And I put all the pictures in a Christmas photo album. Along with family pictures we've used as our Christmas cards. We've now filled one album, and are close to finishing off the second one.

When my boys were about 13 & 14, they said "How long are we gonna have to get our pictures taken with Santa?" I said "Until you're married, and have a child of your own to take your place on Santa's lap!" Kyle said "I'll be off at collage, and will have to go get my picture taken with Santa and send it to you." I said "that will be my favorite Christmas gift of all!"

Yet, every year when we get our Christmas stuff out, all the kids want to look at those photo albums first. And every time they have a friend over, they can't wait to show off all their Santa Pictures! They're fun to look at, not to mention funny too.

And I wanted to share them with you. So John put them all together in a video for me. (It pays to be married to a computer geek! And I mean that with the utmost affection!) So, turn your volume up on the computer, click play, and enjoy watching my kids grow-up before your eyes (and Santa's of course) And it's never too late to start this tradition with your own kids. You will be so glad you did.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Traditions Of Christmas

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I use both, but I prefer wrapping paper, it's more fun to open!

2. Real tree or Artificial? We have a nice artificial tree. But I like to add pine scent to the room and people always think it's real.

3. When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving weekend.

4. When do you take the tree down? After New Years!

5. Do you like eggnog? No.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I was a Barbie girl, living in a Barbie world. And I remember one year my mom giving me a whole shoebox full of homemade Barbie clothes. Some of which even matched some of my clothes.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My Father-in-Law.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Well, besides myself, it would be my girls.

9. Do you have a Nativity scene? I put up several, a beautiful, large porcelain one, with a home made stable made by John's dad. I have an unbreakable one I bought so the kids could play with it and act out the story when they were little. And I would always find Mickey Mouse, Santa, and an assortment of other characters visiting the Baby Jesus! I have a cute little Amish one that sits on my kitchen window sill.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I try to mail them. (I even already have most of mine out, note that it is before Christmas too! Because sometimes they become New Years Cards.) But, I enjoy getting both.

11. Worst Christmas Gift? Fruitcake! (Though I may be one, I don't eat them!) ; )

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Oh, there are so many. I love "It's A Wonderful Life", "The Family Man", "Jingle All The Way", "A Charlie Brown Christmas" just to name a few. I love the old classics, and the new ones too.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The day after Thanksgiving. I always try for earlier, but never really do.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I'll never tell!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My mom's Homemade Christmas Cookies.

16. Lights on the tree? I like multi colored, and some blinking.

17. Favorite Christmas song? "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas", "Silver Bells", "Silent Night", "We three kings" (Because it's about me. . . 'Star of Wonder, Star of Light, Star with Royal Beauty Bright!') ; )

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I prefer to stay home, but I'd love to visit New York City at Christmas time. And Disneyland as well.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Now Dasher, and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, On Comet and Cupid, and Donner & Blitzen, and of course we can't forget Rudolph!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? With a name like mine, of course it has to be a Star!

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve. or Christmas morning? It is our tradition to open one gift on Christmas Eve., and then Santa comes while we are sleeping, so we get up early Christmas morning to see what he brought us and open the rest of our gifts.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? That we get TOO BUSY to really enjoy it.

23. Favorite Ornament theme or color? The most special ornaments to me are all the ones my sister gave me. She use to send me one every year. And I think of her every year as I put them on my tree.

24. Favorite Christmas dinner? Turkey, with all the trimmings, especially sweet potatoes.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Tickets to see "The Lion King" Broadway show when it's here in Jan., But they are way too expensive, so we will have to catch it next time! I also love to get clothes and books.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jinge All The Way

Around here we like to have what we affectionately call "Forbis Family Fun Nights" Where we do fun things together as a Family. And around Christmas time we like to have a night where we all stay home (which is becoming more and more rare!) and watch a Christmas movie together. Some of our favorites are "It's a Wonderful Life", "A Christmas Story", "Elf", "The Santa Clause", "The Grinch", this list could go on and on. One I always look forward to seeing is "Jingle All The Way" in which Arnold's character frantically runs around trying to find Turbo Man for his son. And every time I watch it, It reminds me of a time when my boys were little and we ran around all over town looking for just the right color Power Rangers for them. I know you can relate. If it wasn't Power Rangers, it was Tickle Me Elmo or some other toy you knew would just make your kids jump for joy to get on Christmas morning.

This year is a little sad for me because all my kids are now getting too old for toys. Shopping for toys can be so much fun. I remember finding out I was pregnant with twin girls after having two boys (and thinking I was done having kids) and actually saying out loud "yeah, now I'll get to shop in the Barbie isle!" As your kids get older their presents get less exciting to shop for. (Not to mention more expensive!) I told my girls what I was gonna ask Santa for this year is for my kids to stop growing up!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Gift Of Today

God even cares about the little things in our lives. Today I was to work all day. 9:30-6:30. I was starting to get really stressed out about Christmas, and how far behind I am in everything that needs to be done. Monday is John's day off, so I gave him a list of things to go shopping for. Two of the things he hates most in this world are being alone and shopping. And he had to do both of them today. Also my girls had their very first band concert ever tonight, that starts at 6:30, they play first, and that's right when I was to get off work (unless I'm busy with a customer and can't leave right away) I was afraid I was going to miss it.

But God. Just as I was about to pull into the mall parking lot, my cell phone rings. It's work telling me they aren't that busy today, so I don't need to come in. So, John and I got to spend the day together doing some much needed shopping. I addressed my Christmas cards. And I got to be at my girls First ever band concert, and see the whole thing! (And while the other band was playing I was able to fold all my Christmas letters!) The girls did Awesome! Each section played one song by themselves and then they all played it together. Lexi and the Flutes did amazing. And since Erica is the only French Horn, she got to play a solo. And did so good!

Yesterday is History,
Tomorrow a Mystery,
Today is a Gift,
That is why it is called The Present.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Welcome To My World!

Yesterday I worked all day at the Portrait Studio, so John had to play "Mr. Mom!"

He and the boys had youth Praise Band practice in the morning. The girls had a friends Birthday Party to go to in the afternoon. So, he had to help them wrap the gift I laid out, make sure they got dressed & that their hair looked okay. Zach had a youth event in the evening. And Kyle had to work. He started a job the night before at a store in a different mall than I'm working at. Yeah! But getting everyone everywhere they need to go is crazy!

John put over 80 miles on his car yesterday driving everyone where they needed to go! He also had to make sure everyone was fed, etc. I think it is safe to say he might appreciate me a little more now. (Though he really always did anyway.) The hardest part for him is not being able to talk to me when I'm at work.

And this week since it's getting closer to Christmas, I'm even working more hours. My Girls have their first ever band concert. And with all the Church related activities, it's crazy right now. I've hardly gotten any Christmas presents bought. Let alone wrapped, and have no idea when I'm gonna have any time to do either. Yet in spite of it all, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Favorite Child

I am from a very large, very close family. I'm one of seven kids. And all our lives we've argued over which one of us is "The Favorite", though deep down inside, I know that all of my siblings know I am the favorite! Well to prove it, on Thanksgiving as we were leaving, my mom called me aside and handed me a gift bag. She said "now don't tell your brothers I gave you this" I opened it and inside was a Christmas Ornament. It said Mom's Favorite, and then had the name of one of my brothers on it! I said, this says Danny! She says oh no, I gave you the wrong one. She took it back and handed me another bag where the ornament inside had my name on it. She said I didn't want anyone to know I gave one to everybody. (She still thinks I am the only one who knows everyone of us got one! So if any of my brothers are reading this DON'T TELL MOM!)

Now, in our family, we may all Love ourselves a little too much, and be conceded at times (not to mention Humble) but I don't think there's a single one of us who would truly think my mom would actually tell us we had always been her favorite. We are a bunch of clowns and when we are together we laugh a lot. And my poor mom really wants to be funny, and she tries to be. But when she's not "trying" to be funny she'll say or do something that just cracks us all up and then when we laugh, she'll say What?! We all go to each others houses, so you would think she would realize we might see the ornament hanging on our siblings tree. But she really believes she has pulled one over on us all. (Well, not me, because she knows I know, since she gave me the wrong ornament, but she didn't want me to.)

And as I was thinking about how funny all of this is, I remembered an acquaintance of mine, way back before I even had any kids, this person did, and we were talking about her kids. And in the conversation of her telling me about her kids, she matter of factly told me which of her kids was her favorite. I'm sure my mouth flew open wide. My heart immediately broke for her other children. If she said this to me, I'm sure she said it to others as well, and we all know how perceptive children are. How terrible to live with the knowledge of never being able to measure up. Or the guilt you would feel knowing you were favored above your brothers & sisters. Either way it's a raw deal!

I guess my point in all this is it's our responsibility as parents to make all of our kids feel special. Like they are the only one like them in the whole world. (Yes, even with Twins! And that's a real challenge.) And no one else could take their place. And unless you have an only child, please never say you have a favorite child! I told my mom she has seven kids, she can have a favorite one for each day of the week. (except we all know it's really me that's her favorite everyday!) ;)

I guess we know we're doing a good job parenting, if like my mom, ALL our kids believe they are the favorite!

What do you do to make your kids feel special?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Our First Christmas as Husband & Wife!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

When Your Kids Start Dating

I have to be honest, It's a little weird when your kids start dating. But it can be fun too! Seeing them becoming interested in the opposite sex can be very frightening. And seeing the kind of people they choose to be with is very interesting to say the least.

My oldest son Kyle has had a couple of girlfriends in the past, they lasted maybe 3 or 4 months at the most. Then he met Olivia just before Christmas last year when she & her family started attending our church. Soon after, her family left to spend Christmas in Hawaii. She & Kyle were texting the entire time she was gone. (Thank God for unlimited text plans, you couldn't have teenagers with out them!) So, in January when she got home, they started "hanging out" with each other. Kyle was 17 and Olivia was not yet 16. The rule in her house (which I love!) was no dating until the age of 16. So, Kyle takes it upon himself to go to her father and asked him for permission to date his daughter. It was granted. For reasons unknown they really like Kyle! ;)

So, it's coming up on a year the two of them have been dating now. We really like Olivia, she's so sweet, and smart and funny and talented (she plays guitar and sings with Kyle & Zach on the youth Worship team) Hey, don't they say sometimes, that boys pick girls just like their mothers?! Sorry Olivia, (I'm sure she's horrified now! And we may never see her after this post)

Kyle & I have had a few talks about that fact that since he is her first boyfriend he has an even greater responsibility to treat her right. Because, although it does happen, it's not often that people marry the person they dated in High School. (One of my brothers is married to the girl he started dating in Jr. High!, but, for most of us it didn't happen that way) And being Youth Pastors I've seen too many teenage girls totally change themselves to please some guy. Or come to except being treated badly by boys, or worse start to believe that's all they deserve. And having daughters has made me sensitive to the plight of young girls as well. So, I've told Kyle, he has to set the bar high for her. If he treats her well, like she deserves to be treated, If he isn't the one she ends up marrying (many, many years down the road!) She will chose guys who treat her well in the future as well. She will know she deserves to be treated like the princess that she is!

I remember being picked up for a first date with some guy, and walking out to his car, and he went & got in his side of the car. So, I just stood there outside the car until he got back out, came around to my side, & opened the car door for me. I figured if my own brothers could open doors for me, surely any guy who wanted to date me could. (This was not John BTW. Of course I chose to marry one who knew how to treat me well, better than I deserve even) But enough about me, now back to my kids.

Kyle & Olivia go to different High Schools, & Olivia's school was having their Winter Formal and the tradition is girls ask the boys, so one day when Kyle got home from school this is what he saw . . .

An invitation written in side walk chalk. Clever.

So, last night was the winter formal. They looked really great and had a great time. I thought I'd share a picture with you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Photo Shoot

The Family:

The Boys:

The Girls:

Just The Two Of Us:

The Kids:

Kyle & Olivia:

Olivia & All The Kids, Having Fun:

Olivia & Susie, Our Awesome Photographer!:
I told you I'd been thinking about taking our pictures for Christmas cards . . . It's been a couple of years since we've done family photos. And we had a lot of fun taking these pic's! We're really happy with how they turned out. I wanted something different than we've ever done before. Our Christmas cards are already ordered! Just think, I may even have them out on time this year. (No Promises though.)