Resurrection

A few days ago I received a phone call from a friend of mine.  He had recently learned that he and his mother will receive their social security cards and residency papers.  They will be able to stay in the United States.  Wonderful!  We are lucky to have them- good, caring people; hard working people.  Gentle.

This family was forced from their home country by negative situations beyond their control.  They moved to the US only to live in the shadows, experiencing violence both personal and systemic.  When you live in the shadows you cannot fully participate and share your gifts.  You live in fear – fear that you will be sent back, you might lose your job and a thousand other fears.  Those fears, though, are nothing when compared to the lived experience that sent you away from home.

Now there is hope.  There is hope of permanence and pertenencia, belonging.  Having grown up in the only city he has ever known, he will now be able to participate fully in all of the rights and responsibilities of belonging.  Moving out of the shadows.  May we hear the same positive news for many other immigrants so that they, too, may move out of the shadows.

This blog was started about 5 years ago as an Advent gift for a 12 year old.  The waiting of Advent has come full circle to an emerging from the shadows:  Resurrection.

You always belonged.  Now it’s official.

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It’s a Wonderful Life

Merry Christmas!

Here is a link to my favorite Christmas movie- It’s a Wonderful Life…Enjoy!

https://archive.org/details/FilmeAFelicidadeNoSeCompra-ItsAWonderfulLife1946

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.49.10 PM

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

23        Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 9.53.42 PMStopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

22  Best Christmas Pageant Ever

http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=d4KSXrz28uE

The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.

None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale — the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating — has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year’s pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

20        A Charlie Brown Christmas

When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees amongst everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle. When an attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir Christmas tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is.

Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown, is from St. Paul, MN.Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 9.41.49 PM

A Visit From St. Nick

19        A Visit From St. Nick

Listen along here.

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

Frostbite

18        Winter Survival- Frostbite

Frostbite

You know how your parents always tell you to wear a hat, scarf and gloves when you are outside in the cold weather? Well, you better listen, because your hands, feet, nose, ears and face are the first areas on the body to be affected by the cold weather. By keeping these parts of your body covered, you can “seal in” your body’s heat and reduce your risk of frostbite.

Frostbite is when the fluids and cells in our bodies actually freeze. This freezing can damage our blood vessels, which can block bloodflow into the area, causing lack of oxygen and tissue damage. This can become a very serious condition if you do not warm up right away.

Whether or not a person develops frostbite depends on a variety of factors, including outdoor temperature, how long you are outdoors, the humidity (or moisture) in the air, if your clothes/gloves/socks are wet or damp, wind, if sensitive parts of your body are exposed to the weather and more. If these factors are in place, frostbite can occur after being outdoors for only a few minutes! And, children are especially at risk for frostbite.

A less serious condition is minor frostbite, or frostnip, which can affect the outer layer of skin, making your fingers, toes or nose look white. As you warm up, the white will disappear and the area will remain red, sometimes for several hours.

So, what are the frostbite warning signs?:

1.) Skin will appear white, grayish-yellow or grayish-blue in color
2.) Skin will have a waxy appearance
3.) The area will have no feeling, meaning it will be numb to the touch
4.) Blisters may be present, signaling a more serious case of frostbite
5.) The skin and surrounding tissue will feel frozen, stiff or “wooden”
6.) The area(s) may swell, itch, burn or have pain, especially as you warm up

 To prevent frostnip or frostbite, or further damage after experiencing either one, follow these simple rules every time you are going to be outdoors in cold weather:

1.) Cover sensitive body parts (ears, nose, hands, toes, etc.), with appropriate clothing before heading outdoors
2.) Make sure clothing remains dry; if you get wet, change out of the clothing immediately
3.) Make sure to choose waterproof boots and coats, as well as gloves or mittens, to help lessen the chance of frostbite

4.) If you notice signs of frostnip or frostbite, tell an adult and warm up indoors – immediately. Serious cases of frostbite can land you in the hospital if not treated immediately!

Always seek medical attention for frostbite, as soon as possible, since permanent damage to affected areas can result in irreversible tissue damage or amputation, in extreme cases. In the meantime, follow these rules:

  • Opposite of what you may think, do not apply direct heat to the affected area. Instead, apply a warm (not hot) moist compress to the area and allow the body to naturally warm-up indoors.
  • Keep the frostbitten area elevated, if possible.
  • Remain indoors for a long period of time. Don’t just warm up for a half-hour then return to the cold, since this can further the damage and cause permanent injury to the areas that are affected.
  • If you suspect a case of frostbite, whether in a child or adult, seek emergency medical assistance.
  • Frostbite is a serious medical condition and should not be taken lightly, especially if your children play outdoors in cold temperatures for long periods. Check their extremities every so often to determine their condition.

Taken from http://www.lanakids.com/frstandhypthrmia.html