Wednesday, December 14, 2005

From the very foundations of the world, it was predestined that I would be a part of the McDonald clan, and even more, a part of the James M. McDonald V family. Since the day of my birth, I have been blessed far beyond measure and I continue to wonder at the goodness of God in placing me in this family, and under the guidance and care of my dear father.

My Dad is truly a man after God’s own heart and he is always implanting a deep love for the Triune God in the hearts of his children. He is a constant source of patience in the midst of strife, of searching for the calm of Christ in the eye of the storm, and of seeking the will of God in our everyday lives. My Dad willingly gives place to others, shares his precious time to minister to the needy around him, and daily sacrifices comforts to provide for his family and guard his flock from the attacks from without our sweet haven.

Today, December 14th, we celebrate the wonderful act of God in bringing my Father into the world. As I look back into my childhood days, I see a loving and doting father raising his young family, not knowing what the future held, but knowing that as he walked with Christ, he was not alone. Now, as I work with him side by side, I see the same Father raising his much larger family in the strength of our God. I feel his passion, I sense his excitement, I see his vision, and I see his joy and I know where it comes from, because he has put his trust in God.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you.
My Dear Father
The James M McDonald family (missing William)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

We had a delightful caroling party last night. Although we were very disappointed our friends from out of town could not make it, we still had a good turnout. Most of our church family came, except for those that were sick. We also had some very dear old friends and some new soon-to-be dear friends, who also brought friends! :)

Some of us dressed for the occasion, though we were all attired from different eras. Abby and Sarah A. wore Baroque gowns, Robin and I wore Regency, Merisha looked like she had just stepped out of the 1830's, and my dad was, as usual, dressed very handsomely in his Victorian garb.

When we made it back to the house, and after we defrosted in front of the fire, and after we stuffed ourselves with all the scrumdidaleedumpcious (yes, that is a word, at least, according to Roald Dahl) food, we went out to dance. 'Twas a lovely night indeed and I only wish it could have lasted longer.
Those of us dressed for the occasion (L-R) Me, Sarah A, Abigail A, Merisha and Dad
Sweet little ladies.
Acknowledging the other couples
Begining formation...
Getting direction from Merisha
Down this way?
Where are we going?
Almost there...
Finishing the set
Back to postition
Saluting corners
Turning corners
Turning corners.
'lil Emma
Some of the guys.
Sir Russell O.
Some of our carolers
Giving gifts
Little William and Sam A.
Miss Sarah and Miss Abigail A.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The weather here has been oh-so fabulous! The temperature dropped fifteen degrees in just a few hours on Sunday, which meant that we could finally wear our very few and limited winter outfits. :)

After service on Sunday, and after everybody was done eating to their hearts content...(our church is never lacking in food) we had a Psalm sing. Once everybody had their part down, the Psalm sounded beautiful indeed. Around five or six 0'clockish, some of us drove out to The Woodlands where we spent a delightful evening in the sweet company of my dear friends (of whom I can't say enough praise of) Allison family. The WSO (Woodlands Symphony Orchestra) was performing the Messiah, which they do but once a year. The choir could have sang with more gusto, but other than that it was simply fastidious! :) They didn't do the whole Messiah, which was rather disappointing, but what they did do was wonderful. I've wanted to hear and see if live for quite some time now, so this was quite a surprise.

On the way home we stopped to get a quick bite to eat, (which we ordered to go, of course) and I also ordered a milkshake. The Whataburger we stopped at had, oh, about ten people in the kitchen, all tripping over each other to do each other's work. It was incredible! Those of us that work in the tea room, never go out to eat without critiquing all the kitchens/wait service and other such ridiculous things. ;-) I don't think we will ever return to normal life.

Anyway, everybody ended up sharing my chocolate milkshake. The chocolate, sugar and the late hour all combined made us all a bit hyper, and we ended up singing the Twelve Days of Christmas from the beltway to our house. We came up with several different ways to sing it, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, or both combined! When we pulled up into the parking lot at out house, we decided to surprise Mom and Dad and pretend to be carolers. Soooo, we crept around to the front door and started singing the Twelve Days of Christmas and knocked on the door. By the time we made it to the fourth thing our true loves gave to us, I realized my parents were sleeping. So, with a sigh, I unlocked the door, and we all piled into the warm house and clambered up the stairs and went to bed.

Yesterday wasn't very busy or exciting, except that our new ginormous convection oven was installed in the store kitchen. So, our collection of huge things is getting bigger...funny how that happens. We know have a great big orange salad spinner, a huge container of baking soda, enough chicken to last a small family for a year, three refrigerators/freezers, a big sink with a garbage disposal and spray all we need to do is get a commercial dishwasher! The downside was that we had to completely re-arrange the kitchen, something we have done way too many times lately, but the food service went much smoother today with the new set-up. We have a party coming in tomorrow, a group of 30 girls and eight mother on Thursday, and a party of twenty on Saturday, which is also our caroling party! Whew...this should keep us pretty busy.