What I've been up to...

Delighting in an abundance of zinnias (if the cat doesn't eat them first)...

And the rusty lyonia under the pine trees in the pasture...

And an entertaining almost-three-year-old donning santa hats and riding a stick reindeer...

And celebrating that same impish almost-three-year old's birthday...
Gavin's 3rd Birthday Party

And crafting ornaments for teen moms to go with little books from MOPS ...

And wondering and wandering about our Pollywog Creek...







We saw the painted bunting this week, but he chose to perch on the shaded side of the feeder making it impossible to capture his brilliant plumage. I'm fairly confident he'll soon return, and like last year, bring the missus back with him. I'll then have weeks of more favorable conditions for better photos.

The zinnias? My grandcat Nicky has an appetite for zinnias, roses and tomatoes, and if any of them are in the house where he can get to them, he delights in nibbling on and destroying them all. I've resorted to giving him his own vase of flowers in the hope that he'll leave mine alone.

Emily's cat Lucy would rather dismantle the Christmas tree. During the day, she curls up under the tree to nap, but while we are asleep or away from home, she pulls ornaments off the tree and deposits them throughout the house.

"Time flies" may be the most over-used cliché {redundant, I know}, but there's little else that more accurately describes the pace at which the days and weeks and years move from one to the next. Wasn't it just yesterday that we welcomed the new year?

We are still three weeks away from turning the page on 2009 and the reflection most of us do as we begin a new year, but the following quote from Tozer in today's devotional resonated with me not only about Christmas, but about those new year reflections, too.
It does seem strange that so many persons become excited about Christmas and so few stop to inquire into its meaning; but I suppose this odd phenomenon is quite in harmony with our unfortunate human habit of magnifying trivialities and ignoring matters of greatest import. The same man who will check his tires and consult his road map with utmost care before starting on a journey may travel for a lifetime on the way that knows no return and never once pause to ask whether or not he is headed in the right direction.
As good as it may seem to have well thought-out plans for the holidays, an organized to-do list, and a detailed list of goals for the new year, nothing is more important than pausing to ask, "Am I headed in the right direction?"