Monday, December 25, 2006

Wonderful Time with Family

Robbie and I have the privilege each year of spending Christmas with our families. And again, this year has proven to be awesome! We had an awesome time spending Christmas eve with my family* in NE Arkansas. It was fun eating Italian food (non-traditional Christmas Dinner) and playing dominoes! I don't think my Grandmother approved of the non-traditional dinner, but she ate it anyway. Thanks Grandma for indulging us!

We got up at 4:45am Christmas morning to travel to central Arkansas to be with Robbie's family. We drove in heavy rain and 45 mph winds. That was a blast and with our 2 cats in the was a hoot!

We just finished exchanging gifts with Robbie's* family and we are now getting ready for lunch. It has been a fabulous time and I look forward to the rest of the day.

Thank you God for allowing us to have awesome families, but more than that, thank you for your Son, Jesus!

*In actual terms, we do not have separate families. We are all one big family (my family and Robbie's family). I have 2 sets of parents and so does Robbie. I made the distinction here for your reading benefit only!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Annual Christmas with "The Gang"

Robbie and I have the privilege of having true, very close friends we call "The Gang." Each Christmas, "The Gang" gets together for food, fun and gift giving. This year's event was the best one yet. We had great food, great fellowship and gift giving and a total blast watching the kids open and play with their gifts! We are blessed by these dearest friends; our inner circle. We praise God for their devotion, friendship and love. May our relationships stand the test of time and may we always call each other friend! We love you Freemans, Stotts, Skelleys, Paynes & Hawkins!

Russ & Robbie

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Don't Cheapen The Art of Gift Giving!

Every day you see people buzzing around with a million places to go and a million things to do. When you ask someone how they are doing, you get the standard answer, "I am tired" or "I am overwhelmed" or "I am sooooo busy!" It is rather ridiculous how busy we are! We never have to worry about the Bible verse that says, "an idle mind is the Devil's workshop."

In this overly busy society, we look for ways to make our lives easier; ways to lighten our busy schedule. We are a society of convenience seekers!

I was confronted by convenience seekers recently. They asked Robbie and me to make gift giving convenient; easier. Robbie and I protested the idea; yet we were over-ruled by the majority. It was a sad day for both of us. How in the world could we cheapen gift giving by making it easy and convenient? Especially our own family!

I will be the first to say that I am unable to give a gift to everyone! I can not buy a gift for everyone person I know or every friend that I have. I fully understand that gift giving can be very expensive when there are many gifts to give. And there is also the time factor. Some people don't have a lot of time to shop.

BUT....Who ever said that the act of giving a gift is supposed to be easy and convenient? If we strive to make it easy and convenient, then we stop giving gifts and engaged in the act of swapping tangible goods!

Some of the most memorable gifts I have received were ones that cost very little. Some were even home-made! It wasn't the gift itself I remember the most. It was the person I remember; how they gave me something cool when they had very little to give. That is amazing!

I implore each and every one of us to examine why and how we give gifts. We make time for and spend our money on things that are important to us. All you have to do is look at our bank accounts to know where our priorities are. Lets make gift giving special this year!