And we’re wrapping up the year with very insightful thoughts…
By Aaron Kangas
After a looooong travel time (thanks Delta!), I made it to Kentucky.
December 5, 2011 at 12:47pm
Tomorrow night, my band, Back In Time is playing at the Mulz Shed!
December 9, 2011 at 5:43am
Shortest day of the year – 8 hours, 25 minutes here in Spokane.
December 21, 2011 at 2:40pm
4 day vacation before a 3 day week. Nice.
December 23, 2011 at 10:43am
“He’s makin’ a list / and makin’ a list / then he’s compiling the first two into another list / Santa Claus is a compulsive list-maker”
December 23, 2011 at 11:41am
By Dana Kangas
Here’s a great prayer from “The Uncluttered Heart” in yesterday’s reading: “Loving God, be patient with me when I stray from you, when I fail to turn to you during challenging times. Help me remember the simple things I can do to return from chaos to hope, peace, and serenity. For you are able to care for all that exists. Amen.”
December 1, 2011 at 6:25am
And the prayer from today: “God of comfort, wrap me securely in your nurturing arms. Let me be your voice, your heart, your loving touch to someone who needs a word of grace, a voice of hope, a loving hug during these sometimes difficult Advent days. Amen.”
December 1, 2011 at 6:28am
“No Shave November” has finally come to a close. Hooray!!!
December 1, 2011 at 7:29am
We’ve been elfed!!!
December 1, 2011 at 9:11pm
It’s the simple things in life that make me happy today…
1) Lots of friends and family coming in and out of my house today.
2) Decorating the outside of our house with Christmas lights and wreathes.
3) Celebrating Advent with my daughter and husband.
4) Treating Ben and Alyson to Krispy Kreme donuts.
5) Celebrating a new house with a friend.
6) Eating fancy cheeses (from Saunder’s Cheese Market), trying new wine and dinning on gourmet chocolates with the love of my life.
December 1, 2011 at 9:32pm
“We have hope not because we are powerful or smart or resourceful but because of who God is. And as we test our hope by acting on it, we release God’s power into our circumstances. Our ‘hope muscle’ grows stronger and our desire for God more compelling, just as exercising strengthens our physical muscles.” -Mary Lou Redding in “While We Wait”
December 2, 2011 at 6:28am
- “God of the universe, accept my tentative offerings of hope, and strengthen my practice of hope. Sharpen my vision so that I may see the signs of your goodness at work in the world. I am your partner in hope. Amen.” -The Uncluttered Heart December 2, 2011 at 6:29am
The live nativity was pretty sweet this evening…and so was the “Rice Crispy Treat” mangers that we made at home (and yes they were made complete with a little baby Jesus for everyone).
December 2, 2011 at 10:17pm
Disney on Ice was absolutely incredible this afternoon!!! It made me tear up a little. I have a lot of great memories as a kid watching the current Disney on Ice each year with my grandparents.
December 3, 2011 at 7:03pm
A good reminder that hope can open my heart…”God, open our hearts and the heart of the world to your transforming hope. Peel back the layers of our stubborn opinions, our fearful assumptions, and let the light of your life-giving spirit enter in. Amen.” -The Uncluttered Heart
December 3, 2011 at 8:02pm
I’m having too much fun this month to clean my house. Does anyone want to give me an early Christmas present and pay for a maid for December?
December 3, 2011 at 8:42pm
It has been a long time since I’ve been alone in my own home. Both Aaron and Naomi are gone on their own separate adventures. I can’t decide if I should clean this messy house, take a nap, or read for a while. Maybe I’ll do all three…
December 4, 2011 at 3:43pm
Dear Future Dana,
When you’re feeling really emotional, don’t go back to the calendar and count how many weeks you would have been pregnant at this point. You’ll thank me later for this friendly reminder.
December 4, 2011 at 9:03pm
Last week we went to the christmas tree farm, then out to Coeur d’Alene for the light display…we visited a live nativity (Journey to Bethlehem), watched Disney on Ice, played the drums at Mobius, played in the snow and went to see some real reindeer. Despite all the fun we had last week, I’m really looking forward to a mellow week this week.
December 5, 2011 at 11:43am
Here’s a joke for you this afternoon…I should go clean the house now!!! “One evening my dad returned home from work, walked into the kitchen and Said, teasing my mother, “You know, dear, I can write my name in the dust on the mantel.” Mom turned to him and sweetly replied, “Yes, darling, I know. That’s why I married a college graduate.””
December 5, 2011 at 1:13pm
I’m so happy you’re home. Mommy really missed you!!! On the other hand, I am not excited about the fact that you’ve been throwing up for the last 2 hours and have had a fantastic bout of diarrhea. I think you need to limit the amount of snow you’re eating this winter. It doesn’t seem to agree with you…
December 5, 2011 at 5:15pm
Two reasons why I love Facebook…
1) I can video chat with my husband when he is on a business trip.
2) I have amazing friends that know what to do when my daughter is sick (thanks Bob and Diana)!!!
December 5, 2011 at 6:51pm
Trader Joe’s. Peppermint. Oreos. Changed my life.
December 6, 2011 at 3:53pm
What’s on my mind? I’m glad you asked, Facebook. I’m loving this week’s Advent topic of peace. “Peacemakers are those who see that the world and it’s people are broken but also hold a dream, a vision, that God can and does reach out to heal our world. And God does it through the acts of those who live by the values of this new kingdom where God’s will is being done.” -Mary Lou Redding
December 6, 2011 at 4:09pm
I think I should just get a uterus transplant. Mine is defective.
December 7, 2011 at 9:44pm
I feel like a bumbling idiot today. I keep saying the wrong things…not encouraging things…or my mind goes completely blank. Good times.
December 7, 2011 at 5:22pm
“Hope believes that God is not done.” -Sam Crabtree
December 8, 2011 at 7:37am
The colored rice we made last night smells so delicious. Now, I just need to convince Naomi that just because it smells like kool-aid doesn’t mean we need to eat fists full of raw rice.
December 8, 2011 at 9:57am
I seriously feel like a 50 year old woman.
December 8, 2011 at 10:54am
“Understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Advent Conspiracy is not about anger, disgust, or guilt – it is about entering the story of Jesus more deeply with a desire to worship more fully. It is not enough to say no to the way Christmas is celebrated by many; we need to say yes to a different way of celebrating.” – http://www.AdventConspiracy.org
December 8, 2011 at 2:21pm
I’m not sure why women call hot flashes “power surges”. I just feel powerfully cranky.
December 8, 2011 at 9:17pm
I haven’t been to a chiropractor in over 2 years (I’ve been a little nervous since Georgia’s accident). I’m so glad I went in today. My migraine is gone and the numbness/tingling in my fingers have subsided. Hooray!!!
December 8, 2011 at 9:33pm
Who has two thumbs and is excited to see Aaron today? This girl!!!
December 9, 2011 at 10:33am
I think I underestimated the amount of sugar in my advent planning this year. It didn’t look like a lot on paper. Now that we’re half way through Advent, I’m a little sugared out.
December 9, 2011 at 2:47pm
I’m so excited for Alyson’s 16th Birthday party today…and I’m very thankful Sarah is co-planning the party with me!!!
December 10, 2011 at 12:13pm
I’m also excited to dance the night away at Aaron’s gig this evening (after Alyson’s birthday party). We know how to live it up at the Kangas household.
December 10, 2011 at 3:35pm
Naomi constantly brings us the Thesaurus and begs us to read it. I think she’s going to be a super genius.
December 11, 2011 at 12:58pm
Aaron and I decided that we would never go by ourselves to make gingerbread houses at The Davenport. I’m so glad Naomi lets us drag her around with us so we can have a good time.
December 11, 2011 at 4:26pm
“God, when I am joyless, help me stop, turn to you, and take actions of joy. Let me join with you in selfless joy. Amen.” – The Uncluttered Heart
December 13, 2011 at 7:08am
I know my 10th Anniversary is 6 months away, but I’m incredibly excited about our plans for a Hot Air Balloon adventure and wine tasting…only 190 days left!!!
December 13, 2011 at 9:41pm
My house smells like Christmas. S’more Cookie Bars and Mint Grinch Cookies are calling my name in the kitchen. I bet you can smell them through your computer if you try really hard.
December 13, 2011 at 11:09pm
A lovely meditation for today as we celebrate a week of joy during Advent…
Prayer: “Loving God, help me be the face of joy to someone who might be struggling today. If I am facing struggles of my own, gently guide my thoughts toward gratitude, that I may rejoice always in you. Amen.”
Carry These Words in Your Heart Today: “Replace my fear with gratitude.”
December 14, 2011 at 7:53am
Naomi: “I think daddy is stuck in the ground! We have to save him!”
(Aaron works from home…and his office is in the basement.)
December 14, 2011 at 11:31am
I’m so thankful for my husband. He knows just what I need when the doctors tell me, “I don’t know what’s going on with your body.” Hooray for “Elf” and ice cream/popcorn for dinner.
December 15, 2011 at 6:10pm
My daughter made it through an entire High School Band concert. It’s a Christmas miracle…
December 15, 2011 at 9:49pm
“When I have lost my way, God is. When I am found again, God is. When all around me is chaos, God is. When all around me is peace, God is. When I face tragedy, God is. When I face triumph, God is. Thank you, God. Amen.” – The Uncluttered Heart (I Believe In Love – BarlowGirl Video)
December 16, 2011 at 7:17am
If my cat pees on one more thing I will have to look into the cost of taxidermy.
December 16, 2011 at 11:18am
Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.
December 17, 2011 at 3:35pm
There’s only one more week until Christmas. I’m both excited and sad to see the Advent season come to an end. Our family has had so much fun the last month. My favorite activities from the last week include…building gingerbread houses at The Davenport, creating fun/messy crafts with Naomi, hanging lights on the outside of our house, and going on a one horse open sleigh ride (well, it was more like a two horse enclosed carriage ride).
December 17, 2011 at 10:08pm
The ladies at The Porch really know how to bake delicious cookies.
December 18, 2011 at 9:43am
There’s nothing like a good ol’ fashion game of “Hide + Go Seek” and “Chase” for an hour to get the blood pumping…
December 18, 2011 at 1:52pm
Nothings says sexy like nausea, migraines and hot flashes.
December 18, 2011 at 8:18pm
I’m both sad and relieved that I’m not going to school right now. It’s really not a good time. I hope I can go back someday…
December 19, 2011 at 6:01am
“God, help me set aside my fear and my mistrust so that I can begin each interaction, each situation, in love. Amen.” – The Uncluttered Heart
December 19, 2011 at 7:17am
Fun facts about the Nativity Story that I researched today…
1.) Joseph found out Mary was pregnant in a dream. Unwilling to expose her to public disgrace (and possible stoning for being unfaithful), he married her in a quiet ceremony and didn’t have sex with her until after Jesus was born. This fulfills the prophesy that Mary would have a true virgin birth. (Matthew 1:18-25)
2.) The Bible doesn’t mention Mary riding on a donkey to Bethlehem…nor does it explain that they talked to an innkeeper (this is implied since there was no room at the inn). There wasn’t a barn (only a manger…which is just a food trough for animals) and it’s likely that Jesus was born in an underground cave without farm animal present.
3.) The shepherds witnessed baby Jesus when he was less than 24 hours old. And there wasn’t a drummer boy present in this group of shepherds.
4.) The number of wise men was never given in the Gospels. It’s been suggested that the number of wise men was assumed to be three because of the number of gifts they presented.
5.) By the time the wise men got to Jesus months had passed…maybe up to 2 years…but enough time had transpired because Jesus was living in a house (possibly with Joseph’s relatives since they were poor).
6.) The symbolism of the three gifts is striking. Gold was a gift for royalty and was given by the wise men to signify that Jesus was the King of Kings. This was also used to help Mary and Joseph escape to Egypt. Frankincense was an incense intimately connected with the priesthood and temple sacrifices, foreshadowing the fact that Jesus would serve as our High Priest and give Himself as the perfect sacrifice. And Myrrh has a much more sobering symbolism. When a person died, this perfuming agent was wrapped with the body to help cover up the stench of death. Jesus’ body would be wrapped with this costly perfume that would take a lifetime to save the money for the purchase of such an item.
7.) There is scientific evidence that there was a bright star in the sky when Jesus was born. However, the wise men didn’t know where Jesus was at. They had to go to Herod to find where Jesus was living. The star was not around for that long.
December 19, 2011 at 9:17am
- All this to say…for everyone that is so bent out of shape about the story of Santa Clause (when St. Nicholas was a real dude), remember that the story of Jesus’ birth has been embellished over the years. December 19, 2011 at 9:18am
- Also, most people don’t know that both Joseph and Mary were descendants of David. The purpose of the two lineage is that through Joseph, Jesus establishes His royal line…while through his mother (Mary) it establishes his blood line to the line of David. December 19, 2011 at 2:34pm
As of today, we are done with Baby Step 1 (again). We can skip Baby Step 2. Now, we are starting Baby Step 3 (again…same time last year).
December 19, 2011 at 10:53am
I really want to be a Hipster. But the very fact that I want to be one disqualifies me from joining the club. Shoot.
December 20, 2011 at 10:36am
Don’t worry everyone…Diego saves Christmas. I know you were worried.
December 20, 2011 at 12:11pm
What would any reasonable parents do while their darling daughter is away for the night? I’m glad you asked!!! Our date night last night consisted of things we can’t do with a 2 year old…
1) Eat at a restaurant (and we finished eating while our food was still hot).
2) Sit in our seats for the entire meal (without getting up for a thousand different reasons).
3) Enjoy each other’s company and have multiple conversations without interruption.
4) Drink lots of beer in a dirty bar.
5) Scream and run around the house in the middle of the night (because we can).
6) Play the piano and sing really loud
7) Watch SNL re-runs at midnight…in the toy room.
8) Eat mousse and not have to share it.
9) Sleep until 9:30am and finally start my day.
December 21, 2011 at 10:53am
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear…”
December 21, 2011 at 10:00pm
I would like to take a moment and dedicate this week to my friend Black Cohosh. Without this little natural supplement in the morning, I wouldn’t have relief from these pesky hot flashes. Don’t change, Black Cohosh. Don’t change.
December 22, 2011 at 11:31am
“We have hope not because we are powerful or smart or resourceful but because of who God is. And as we test our hope by acting on it, we release God’s power into our circumstances. Our ‘hope muscle’ grows stronger and our desire for God more compelling, just as exercising strengthens our physical muscles.” – Mary Lou Redding “While We Wait”
December 23, 2011 at 12:01pm
Naomi wanted to dress herself today. The accessories were my favorite…and included a pink sparkle necklace, purple sunglasses, a pink pipe cleaner as a bracelet and a blue cup over her left hand.
December 23, 2011 at 1:19pm
“If tomorrow is Christmas Eve, then today is obviously Christmas Adam.” – Alyson on Christmas Eve Eve
December 24, 2011 at 4:53pm
I love it when people delight in my daughter.
December 24, 2011 at 8:34pm
I have this sudden urge to call people at midnight and wish them a Merry Christmas
December 24, 2011 at 11:41pm
Naomi: “Let’s trick daddy to come upstairs to play, and we will hoop him. Then I can wrap him with paper and he can be my Christmas present.”
December 25, 2011 at 12:21pm
I love it when my house is filled with people I love.
December 25, 2011 at 5:20pm
Naomi is slowly slipping into a sugar coma, and I think the parental units will do the same. It’s time to finally recuperate from all the Christmas festivities before heading to The Schafer’s for our annual evening mini-reunion.
December 26, 2011 at 2:39pm
I think I need to fast for the rest of the year. So many days in a row of tasty food and sweet treats with TONS of people!!!
December 26, 2011 at 2:57pm
I’m excited about spending the next few days praying about my word for 2012. This year’s word was “rest”. I learned a lot about rest and what it means in my life.
December 27, 2011 at 6:45am
I’m so glad we went sledding and snowmobiling yesterday before the rain ruined all the snow.
December 28, 2011 at 9:02am
I’m pretty sure the mailman sees me naked at least twice a week…
December 28, 2011 at 10:09am
A place for everything, and everything in its place.
December 29, 2011 at 3:39pm
Me: “What is your favorite color for kitties?”
Me: “I don’t think they come in pink. How about a different color?”
Naomi: “How about green…so I can name it leafy?”
December 30, 2011 at 7:56am
I love working from home.
December 30, 2011 at 10:08am
You know you’re a parent when…you go to make the bed and you find kid’s toys. Then you realize that they have been there all night and you vaguely remember feeling uncomfortable at times in your sleep. The toys would explain it.
December 30, 2011 at 11:50am
I wish I was a millionaire…so I could pass out money to so many hurting people I know…
December 31, 2011 at 10:34am
What a year for a new year…
December 31, 2011 at 11:02am
I wish everyday was like today…which includes (but is not limited to): sleeping in, an afternoon walk with my two favorite people, 50% off sale at the used book store, coffee at The Rocket, cupcakes at Celebrations, Aaron’s handcrafted soup/sandwich for lunch, movie during Naomi’s nap time…
December 31, 2011 at 2:48pm