Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Last night, we went hunting. (Didn't expect that, did ya? :)

Gift hunting, that is. It was quite a hunt, full of conspiracy and secrecy and dodging and hiding and so forth. It is very interesting to shop in a large store (aka super Walmart) with your siblings while trying to buy presents for them. Have you ever noticed that when you want to find your family in Walmart, you never can, and when you don't want to see them, they are everywhere?? It is a very strange phenomenon.

At any rate, there Josiah and I were, shopping. Guess what we were looking at. I bet you can't guess. Hmm... I guess I'll just tell you. Wait. One more piece of information. We were shopping for Cheryl and Hannah. Now you probably have more ideas, and they are probably all wrong. hehe. Okay, that's enough. We were shopping for.... pocket knives. Yup, pocket knives. Was that your guess? Was it? Huh? Anyway, we were looking at knives.

The knife guy (as Josiah and I have dubbed him) was very friendly and happy, the type that doesn't really belong in Walmart, because they are too smiley. (I bet you didn't know that they have a rule that only the smiley stickers are allowed to smile.) (Okay, so that's not true. But it seems like it at times.) So anyway. He looked at us, and said, "neither of you are old enough to buy a knife." And we looked at him. And paused for a bit. And then I said it. "I'm nineteen." And, of course, he was rather shocked. People always are, whether they show it or not. At least he showed it in an interesting way. "You should buy a T-shirt that says, 'I'm nineteen.'" :)

As nineteen is apparently old enough to buy a knife, we told him which knives we wanted to see. (Or rather, which ones I wanted to see, since I was now buying the knives. With Josiah's money. So yeah.) We liked both of the ones we originally liked, which was nice, as it saves time. I also saw Hannah and Cheryl (of course! What did I tell you?) and waved at them. I hope they didn't notice that we were at the knife counter. :)

So, after I bought the knives, (Please remember, if anyone asks you, that I, Carissa, bought the knives. We don't want to get "the knife guy" fired. No matter what he thinks.) we turned to go. And he said, "Happy Holidays!" to which, I, being ever so not politically correct, said, "Merry Christmas!" To which he replied, "same to you, but I'm not supposed to say that." (I begin to wonder about this now, after having heard 4 other Walmart employees say the "forbidden" Merry Christmas. This is my theory: He works near the knives, guns, etc... right? So, they really don't want to offend people in this area. Apparently, Walmart does care a bit for their employees, despite what you may have heard. Or maybe they just don't want to get sued. That's probably it.) So, I said, (being in a merry mood, and also being Carissa) "Just say it!" And he said, "Merry Christma." (He put his hand over his mouth at the last part.) And then said, "you guys really do want to get me terminated!" With a large smile. Perhaps the knife guy wants to get fired. (we already wanted to get him fired, because of the whole Josiah/me buying the knives.)

So, there you have it, a small portion of our hunting trip. It was pretty exciting. I do like shopping with Josiah! He is a good cart pusher, by the way.

Oh, we also saw the knife guy again. Guess what he said about me (with Cheryl right next to me, of course) to another Walmart employee? "Watch out for her, she's got a knife!" (Actually, it was already in the van... and I had two. :)

And, I thought of a new "game" you all can try when you go shopping next. See how many people you can get to say, "thank you" to you in one shopping trip. I only got one last night, but if I was trying harder, I probably could've gotten more. And then post here and tell me how many you got.

Well, in the words of the knife guy, Merry Christma!!! I hope you all have a splendid one!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Woman's Role, as Told to Caddie Woodlawn

"It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman's task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It's a big task, too, Caddie---harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things... A woman's work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man's."--Caddie Woodlawn

Friday, December 4, 2009

Faith, simplified

On pages 56-57, Piper wrote:
"You may ask, “What’s the key for linking up with this reality? How can this be mine? How can I be among the dead who are alive with Christ and who see and savor and spread the glory of the cross?” The answer is implied in the words about faith in Galatians 2:20. “The life I now live . . . I live by faith in the Son of God.” That is the link. God links you to his Son by faith. And when he does, there is a union with the Son of God so that his death becomes your death and his life becomes your life."

We were listening to a message by Mr. Harris, and he was talking about faith and how we are to have faith not only unto salvation, but also in His rules, in our everyday lives, etc... Faith means to have confidence, trust, believe in someone or something. Like you would trust in a parachute when getting ready to jump out of an airplane.

That really helped me to better understand what living by faith means in action: To live our lives trusting that God is good, that He does keep His promises, that He desires what is really best for us, that His ways are the best ways, and so on.

When we believe and trust that all those things are true, (which they are) it makes obeying God the obvious thing to do.

I hope that now that I understand that better, I will be able to live it out more fully in my daily life. That it will help me to be more willing to do what God would have me do.

(This is something that I wrote for the discussion on the Rebelution forums about the book "Don't Waste Your Life". It is very elementary, but still something that I think is helpful to remind ourselves of.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Odd Things People Have Said to Us

(Trying to be slightly insulting and exaggerating) "There are hairs in this pool that are like... a foot long!" (meanwhile, I am laughing inwardly, saying to myself, "You have no idea. Some of those hairs are three feet long.")

"Are you from Little House on the Prairie?" (This was not said insultingly, merely smilingly. I hope they weren't actually wondering that.)

"Look at those walking Jews!" (um, okay, hi to you, too!)

"Are you Amish or something?" (I guess they've never seen Amish people before... we wear buttons, prints on our clothes, and so on, and we don't wear black aprons or caps.)

"How do you run in a dress?" (um, kind of like you run normally... you know, one foot, then the next foot, and repeat quickly)

Once, I was walking around our small block with my brother Matthew, and someone drove by and stuck their tongue out at us! I just waved and then laughed over it later. It was so random!

I'm sure there are more things, but that's all I have at present. I'll try to add more later.

Our Thanksgiving 2009

Early morning found the Mann girls up and about, tidying the house and preparing breakfast, which was pita bread split into two circles, buttered, toasted, and peanutbuttered. After we were all done eating, everyone except mama and I left for the "Turkey Bowl". This is a church gathering where we attempt to play softball. I say attempt because my family at least is not especially skilled at it. (seeing that the only real chance we have to play is once a year on Thanksgiving. :))

At home, after I got off the computer, mama and I started doing the last minute things to prepare for our company... getting tablecloths, platters, etc... I was just getting started on the dishes when I heard a loud knocking at the door. I was somewhat shocked, not knowing who would be coming this early. I went to the door (wiping my hands on the way) and opened it, to find my cousin Victoria standing there!! I was very happy, to say the least. After we had all hugged each other and said Hi and so on, I went back to finish the dishes. :)

After I was done, Victoria and Michaela and I looked at Josiah's legos and stuff in my hope chest. We had fun talking together and laughing about various things. It is so nice to have cousins! :)

Our moms then reminded us that we needed to help get ready for everyone to come, which we did. I also showered, and when I came out, the rest of my family was getting home. It then got much louder and busier, with every one running around doing things and showing our cousins various things. We cleaned up our yard, got the tables set up and scrubbed, helped with food, and so on.

Uncle Richie was the next person to show up. He was pretty excited about all the food. :) After he came, our friends the U. Family came. They have six children and are like cousins to us. The noise, of course, increased, but we didn't mind. They brought lots of yummy, interesting looking foods. By this time, everything was smelling really good. Once everything was brought in, the girls sat on the couch inside, talking and playing a game, and the boys played light sabers outside. (see, boys and girls really are different.)

The reason we did not begin eating was because our Grandma, in keeping with tradition, had not yet arrived. She came, with Grandpa, an hour late. As is usual. We must keep up the tradition, you know. :) We were all quite hungry by this time, having eaten an early and light breakfast, and it now being about two o 'clock in the afternoon.

We had turkey, salmon, roast, ham (and Auntie Kim's ham sauce!) stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, ratatouille, carrots and turnips, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, corn, peas and pearl onions, medieval salad, fruit and rolls. We also had apple cider, eggnog, and water to drink.

We all got our plates filled, and the children (under 20 :)) went outside to eat. I went back in to get a drink, and when I came back out, I got a small bug in my eye, which stayed in there the rest of the day, as it went beyond my reach when I attempted to get it out. Sad. Oh well, it didn't hurt much.

We ate and talked, mainly about strange things. Which, if you haven't noticed, is what tends to happen when you are with family and people you know extremely well.

After we were done eating, we played "Apples to Apples" for awhile, visited, and did random other things until it was time to head over to our other Aunt and Uncle's house for dessert. We had several kinds of pie, cookies, and more.

They had a football game on, and Josiah, Michaela and I had fun commenting on it. (I think people that actually like and watch football might have been slightly disturbed at our comments...) We took some pictures of us all mashed on their couch (I got a good spot, on papa's leg. :)) and then left.

The U. family came back to our house (they didn't go to our Aunt and Uncle's) and we talked and played card games with them. After they left, we set up the air mattress, and started talking with our cousins about plans for the next day. Which happened to include hot chocolate. And we didn't have enough hot chocolate. So, we asked if we could go to Walmart, as I can drive and am more prone to agree to drive to Walmart at elven at night than our moms.

They said we could go, so we went. On the way, we listened to "The Fox" by the Desert Skies band. We really like that song. Well, Josiah does. Anyway. We went to Walmart, picked out our hot chocolate (we got the most for the least money) and the various other things we were told to get, and headed home. We got a few rather odd looks, which is not really unusual for us. But I do think we looked a bit odd. Seven of us, most of the girls wearing dresses, going around talking and getting random things.

We came home, brought out our stuff, and started talking more. In the kitchen, us children went around and said what we were thankful for. We then remembered that we hadn't read "Old Man Rabbit's Thanksgiving Dinner" (Which is a tradition for us) so of course we had to read that before we went to bed. I was appointed by Josiah to read, since papa was in bed. I finished at 12:03. At which point, we said good night and went to bed. We talked surprisingly little.

And that, my friends, is how both the day and this tale end. Hope you (Andrea, since you asked for a post about Thanksgiving) (Okay and everyone else, too) enjoyed my extremely long post. Now you really know how our Thanksgiving was. :)