Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We will celebrate Hanukkah

     When I made my 101 List I thought that I wanted the use of a new Advent Calendar to be my new family tradition. I also considered a few other things but I came around to something totally different; possibly controversial. The purpose of my resolution to decide upon a new tradition and to develop it is to create something unique that my family does that will educate our future children and has meaning. After reading and great deliberation on John and my behalf, we have decided that our family will celebrate Hanukkah.

      In no way are we leaving our Christian faith or roots in the church. However, correct me if I am wrong, but did Jesus not celebrate Hanukkah? Do the Christians and Jewish faith not worship the same God? Christianity has it's roots in Hebraic tradition and our religion was born with the Jewish people.

     I am not ignorant nor naive enough to suggest that there is not a great divide that happened many centuries ago between the people of Judea and the Followers of Christ. I have simply made the decision that we will recognize and celebrate the holiday.

Hanakkah is what exactly?

       (Excuse the simplification) Hanukkah is also known as the Feast of Lights. Israel was under the rule of Alexander the Great but the Jews were allowed to continue with their religious practices and celebration of their holidays. Then after several generations, a localized ruler came into power (Antiochus IV) and began to oppress the Jewish people. This time period included the massacre of their people, prohibition of practicing their religion and the desecration of their Temple.

      A rebellion against the opressors came into fruition led by Mattathias and his son Judah Maccabee. The rebels were able to push the Syrian opressors out of their land. It came time to re-dedicate their temple; however, when it came time to light the Menorah, there was only one small jar of oil sealed by their High Priest available.  Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days until new oil could be brought in. 

     Since then, Jews have celebrated the victory over their oppressors and the Miracle of the lasting oil. The celebration lasts 8 days and on each night a new candle is lit on a special Menorah.

     God's provisions for His people was a miracle for them, and I believe His miracles should be celebrated always. If there was a holiday dedicated to the splitting of the loaves and fish - we would honor it as well. 

The 7 Biblical Celebrations
       When you look at the 7 different Biblical Celebrations, all a part of Jewish tradition you will find that they are all full of Messianic significance pointing to Christ.

Our Celebration

      We will still celebrate Christmas - and when the two holidays occur at the same time, Hanukkah will still have an important role in our household.  We will light a candle each night of Hanukkah remembering how God provided for His people in a time of need. Each night when we celebrate we will pray for the missionaries and people around the world. 

      For those who question how this will impact our future children, I answer that our children will understand the holiday and respect the importance of it to the Jewish belief and how the history is involved in our Christian Faith. 

     Since the celebration of Hanukkah will be about understanding and respect, I'm not sure if we will have gifts during the holiday or not. Possibly once we have children, but small things only. 

      I know many Christian families that do not include Santa Claus in their Christmas traditions, or they don't give gifts on Christmas (rather they choose Kings Day in January or Boxing Day on the 26th). Others choose not to include the Easter Bunny or eggs in Easter, or even yet call it Resurrection Day rather than Easter at all. Now I have learned of the many, many Christian homes who celebrate Passover and Hanukkah and various other Jewish celebrations 

While we don't have children, I believe we will probably keep the pagan rituals in our holiday celebrations but teach the true meaning of the Holiday. After all, none of these is a Biblical holiday or a Commandment from Christ - the purpose of all of these celebrations is to celebrate God. If your heart is in the right place you are celebrating the true meaning of the holiday.

Chanuka Sameach or Happy Hanukkah!

** Regarding marking this off my 101 list - while we have decided that this is what we will do, I will wait to mark it off the list until I have purchased a Menorah and we have actually celebrated the holiday. **

Pinterest Love

       If you aren't familiar with the wonderful world of Pinterest - you need to be!! Some people just use it to collect other peoples "pins" - but in my case where I had been saving pictures of products, websites and blogs to my Microsoft OneNote - this was a great breakthrough!! I could save the same things, in a very similar fashion (using "pin boards" rather than pages in the software) but even better was I could share them with my friends on Pinterest, send it over with a simple "like" on to Facebook and access it from any computer, or of course my handy dandy phone!

       You have to be invited to join - or you can put your name on the waiting list. So, if you would like to join - send me your email address and I will invite you!! You should know, it is highly addicting!!

       Number 79 on my 101 List is to complete at minimum 25 of my pins from Pinterest. There are so many great ideas for crafts or storage and holidays ... that if I didn't put a goal and deadline out there I would simply be collecting pictures of pretty things and good ideas for nothing! I went through my various pin boards and picked the ones that I really wanted throughout the year but just didn't have time to do and created a spot for them all together (click the here to see my inspirations!).

       The pins I picked to complete were a wide range of tasks and projects. Many of them were several small projects encompassed in a larger overall goal.

  1. Decorate Ceramic Pumpkins
  2. Make a t-shirt quilt from my high school t-shirts
  3. Create an activity Advent Calendar
  4. DIY ornate Christmas Trees
  5. Fancy up our boring Christmas baubles
  6. Make organic wallflowers
  7. Make a Texas Tech Wreath
  8. Put all our wedding cards into a booklet
  9. Turn all my hangers around in my closet to know which clothes to get rid of half way through the year. (completed 1/17/12 - will clean out the closet again in July)
  10. Paint my knife block to match my kitchen
  11. Start a years worth of memory jar to read on New Years Eve each year.
  12. Get cheap wine goblets to use as candle holders and use them to tablescape at a dinner party
  13. Make Garlic Paremesan pull apart bread
  14. Make a shadow box with keys from our past homes
  15. Try the green Shreck smoothie
  16. Put together a memorabilia frame of things from our wedding - store away what I don't use
  17. create a cupcake stand out of plates and tea cups
  18. Set up storage for wrapping paper on a closet ceiling
  19. make tile coasters out of our monogrammed wedding napkins
  20. Go through and do everything on the daily, weekly, and month cleaning checklist by Martha Stewart in our house to create a really clean home... then I will hopefully maintain it.
  21. Set up and grow a pot of onions
  22. Create a "dates to remember" frame
  23. Make a year round wreath for our front door
  24. Create a visual weight loss aid
  25. Make a baby mobile. Be it for myself (should the need arise) or for a friend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

In no particular order...

       Number 13 on my 101 List is to finish all the major house repairs. Well, if you're superstitious then you're probably right on this one. The number 13 on our list is a bugger of a task. It will probably take one little thing a day for the entire 1001 days to get all of these tasks completed so this can be crossed off the list.
      Some of the things on this list actually have to be done in an order - hence the sub-points, and many of these things need to be finished before we can do several of the other things on our 101 list. We are very grateful that we have a roof over our heads, but that doesn't change the fact that as of now - I would DIE if I were to have a friend show up at my front door. A fact that drives both John and I nuts since we would both love to entertain often.
  1.  Remove linoleum from kitchen floor
  2. Rip carpet out of dining room
  3. Rip carpet out of living room
  4. Fix hole in little bathroom wall
  5. Replace tile fixtures on big bathroom vanity
  6. Replace bathtub in big bathroom
  7. Paint front door
  8. Replace lattice work on front porch
  9. Paint dining room
  10. Paint big bathroom
  11. Install a shelf above the door of the little bathroom
  12. Paint the Little bathroom
  13. Replace the little bathroom door
  14. Install sheet rock on South wall in kitchen
  15. Paint our bedroom
  16. Rip carpet out of our bedroom
    • Completed 6/10/12
  17. Paint the guest room
  18. Rip carpet out of Guest Room
  19. Finish the patio
    • Pallet table
    • paint stones on pathway
    • create stepping stones with quick cement
  20. Paint the living room
  21. Screen door for front porch
  22. Build cabinets for front porch
    • Clean/organize front porch
    •  Paint the porch
  23. Clean out cabinets above Washer and Dryer - fill with dishes
    • Completed May 2012
  24. Resolve pantry issue
  25. Paint storage building
  26. Replace old housing panels
  27. Build lattice work screens for West facing windows
    • grow vines up the lattice work for shade
  28. Remove broken back french doors and replace with a single door
    • install sheet rock
    • texture & paint
  29.  Repair front security light 
    • rebuild that corner of wood
  30. Replace/Repair boards on the house between eves and walls
  31. Move swing set
    • Paint and repair swings
  32. Build a front "play yard" that includes the swing set and garden, section for dogs too
  33. Repair the roof
I'm sure as time goes on this task list will grow, but for now these are the tasks that need to be done and then some that should be done for my mental well being.

101 in 1001

       One of my friends posted a 101 in 1001 list on her blog. I think it is a wonderful idea! The basic idea is that a single year isn't much of a time frame to set for tasks and goals to be completed in. I am a list person, so this is a great way for me to get things done. The tasks on the list must be realistic, stretching; all of these things are items that I really want to do or desperately need to do. This is the motivation to do it!
        You get 1001 days because while the purpose of lists is to avoid procrastination, you still need to give yourself a realistic time period for some of these life changing events.

        So far I have been quite surprised at how difficult it is for me to just come up with 101 important things I want or need to do. Some of them were easy to pick, like the trips; others like the Pinterest task were more of a stroke of "oh, I really want to do all these things, but will I ever?"
I know myself pretty well. When I was planning my wedding there was more than one DIY project that I committed myself to that I knew full well I would not A) have the discipline or B) have the time or various means to complete. I was right, almost to a tee. I called it on what projects would fall apart, were too much for me to handle alone or at all, or would simply fall through the cracks. I wonder what a psychiatrist would say about my habitual patten of knowingly setting myself up to fail means? I honestly hope I can actually complete all 101 of these items. They are all important to me in their own specific way.

Starting Date: December 27, 2011

Date to be completed by: September 23, 2014

Items crossed off are complete, items italicized are in progress and items unmarked are still to be completed.
  1. Go to Six Flags (Six Flags Fun!)
  2. Buy a brown winter coat
  3. Take a Cake Decorating class
  4. Visit another country
  5. Visit family that we don't see often in California July 2014!
  6. Visit family that we don't see often in Houston
  7. See the Grand Canyon and visit family July 2014 (family moved back to Texas so just the Grand Canyon)
  8. Build up an emergency fund of at least $1000 (completed in summer of '13)
  9. Have a baby (or pregnant) or be in the adoption process
  10. Start a new family tradition (see the plan & why it's still on the list)
    • perhaps make and use a family advent calendar
  11. Do something that worries me, because I usually wouldn't take that leap
  12. Take a cruise
  13. Paint pottery (with John)
  14. Host a party - just because at our house
  15. Finish all major house repairs.We moved!
  16. Attempt at least one recipe from each book in my collection of cook books
  17. Have a "Christin the China" dinner party!
  18. Create a Menu board, including recipe cards
  19. Do something political I voted... Several times!
  20. Make a purchase of at least one item from (my first Etsy purchase)
  21. Spend a day at the lake with John
  22. Go to the Nutcracker or some sort of a Christmasy fine art event
  23. Have my car professionally detailed
  24. Eliminate all credit card debt (Completed Summer of '13!)
  25. Host a game and dinner night Hosted in Spring 2014 - Apples to Apples and Chicken Parmesan
  26. Go to Lubbock for a fun weekend and Texas Tech football game
  27. Clean out closet and donate all too small or too big clothes to good will or freecycle
  28. Clean out John's closet & donate the clothes to a good cause.
  29. Meet my goal weight of 145
  30. Go to Hawaii
    ... A change in plans, this probably won't happen by the deadline.
  31. Visit John's Grandparents at their house in New York
  32. See New York City
  33. See a Broadway play
  34. Have a family photo session Just after Cora was born
  35. Host a Sunday lunch with my family like the ones we had with Grandma (We started this tradition back in July 2013!)
  36. Have a useful and used vegetable garden Summer 2014
  37. Set up the patio completely
  38. Bake for my office just because (Bun in the Oven Cinnamon Rolls!)
  39. Bake for John's co workers, just because
  40. Go on some sort of an overnight trip with friends
  41. Post to the blog at least once every two weeks in 2012 or start over in 2013 if I didn't succeed.
  42. create a Guest basket for the bathroom  (Created for our new house in July of 2013!)
  43. Have at least one guest over for a night - outside of the family (check!)
  44. Eat at 5 new restaurants with John
    • 1, 2 (completed 1/21/12 - Los Toreros for Lauren's birthday), 3, 4 (Mooyah's for my brother Robert's 22 bday), 5
  45. Start a pet emergency fund, have at least $1,000 in it.
  46. Take John on a surprise local date
  47. Take a spontaneous trip out of town with John (see #52)
  48. Have all Christmas Gift shopping finished by December 1
  49. Go to a fine arts event with John Dallas Symphony Orchestra with my brother Robert and his friend Kimmi
  50. Purchase another vehicle. My Mom-Mobile!
  51. Bake for a social event I'm not hosting
    • See the cake I baked here
  52. Take John to Corpus Christi or Galveston
  53. Visit St. Augustine Florida
  54. Go to the Harry Potter Theme park in Florida
  55. Have a spa day - get my nails done and maybe a massage John's 1st anniversary gift to me!
  56. Clean out my undergarment drawer and go panty shopping. Buy at minimum 5 new sets of panties and bras.
  57. Go to either the Dallas or Fort Worth Zoo It was actually the San Diego zoo... which is better so I say it counts!
  58. Help a friend in a major/life altering way
  59. Design/create/buy some sort of kitchen pantry (we moved and have a pantry in this house)
  60. Celebrate 1 year of marriage
    • Read about our anniversary celebrations here.
  61. Celebrate 2 years of marriage   - Check!
  62. Go on a picnic (using my handy dandy picnic basket) We take picnic lunches to Daddy sometimes to get out of the house and visit him at work!
  63. Help a new mom with any aspect of life involved in being a new mommy Dinner for Tiffany's family!
  64. Give a gift to my choir students that is from me, not the choir budget (completed 5/9/12)
  65. Have our house Decorated for Christmas (completely) by one week after Thanksgiving
  66. Clean out our guest room that is currently acting as a storage space. Put everything away or give it away.
  67. Decorate our bedroom - including buying a comforter set and pillows
  68. Find our 9 puppies a safe and loving home (completed some time in mid-March)
  69. Get Pepper spayed.
  70. purchase appropriate storage for my Christmas dishes and store them away
  71. Purchase appropriate storage for my Bankhead silver and store away.
  72. Either buy new or refinish an old china hutch to properly store my nice dishes and crystal.
  73. Have a Will in place for both John and I designed to span, at minimum, until we have heirs.
  74. Draft a Declaration of Final Arrangements for both John and I.
  75. Draw up a Medical Power of Attorney Document for both John and I, to be used in the event that one of us was to become incapacitated. 
  76. Purchase a nice new black winter coat.
  77. Install a television in the East end of the house that can be watched in both the bedroom and the dining room/kitchen. (thank you Daddy)
  78. Should one of my brothers become engaged, host a special bridal event for either the Bride or the couple. Something other than a traditional Wedding Shower: qualifying events include a true Bridal Shower, themed wedding shower, Couples Shower, Engagement party, Bridal Luncheon.
  79. Complete a minimum of 25 of my pins on Pinterest. These pins cannot be counted if they also go towards marking off one of the other items on this list or the home repair list.
  80. Pay off current car loan
  81. Be at least one payment ahead on all student loans by the end of the 1001 days.
  82. Have John visit an orthopedist for his knee and shoulder.
  83. Take a multivitamin every day for 6 months, or begin again.
  84. put together a wedding photo album
  85. Prepare a weeks worth of outfits (including jewlery, accessories, shoes etc) on Sunday afternoon. Do this for a minimum of two weeks in a row.
  86. Cook at home every day, for 5 days in a row. Only days 6 and 7 can be "left over" days.
  87. Read 5 of the books that I have purchased and not started. 
    • Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin; completed on  1/22/12
    • Something Blue by E. Giffin; completed on vacation in late Aug. '12
  88. Finish wedding Thank You cards in some capacity
  89. Host a family affair at our house that my family and extended family attend. Spaghetti Dinner when Cora was born. We had 13 guests, filling the extended family requirement!
  90. Go to a sporting event that I would not normally attend; basketball, hockey, or soccer.
  91. Go on a camping trip!
  92. Start a batch of Friendship Bread and pass it around
  93. Buy a nice watch John's 3rd anniversary gift to me!
  94. Install smoke detectors in the house
  95. Purchase a new set of Corelle dishes, so we don't break our nice stoneware or china for everyday uses.
  96.  Donate Blood (completed 9/14/12)
  97. No fast food for a month
  98. Update my legal name documents and get John a passport
  99. Run a 5K
  100. Stop biting my nails (consider accomplished if I have successfully not bitten my nails after 6 months)
  101. Create a new 101 list upon the completion of this one.