As the sister of a modern-day cowboy, I'm surprised I didn't know about this before, but there it is.
I'm a city girl myself, but I grew up watching TV Westerns and pretending to be Little Joe Cartwright or The Deputy. I had cap pistols and a cowboy hat, and I'd gallop my little red stickhorse all across the "range." Yes, there's something about a cowboy that fires the imagination. I even wrote about a cowboy in my novel A Horseman's Heart.
They don't make TV Westerns like the used to, do they? What are your favorite TV shows, movies, or novels about cowboys?
Right now I'm reading Over the Edge, the third book in Mary Connealy's Kincaid Brides series. Mary definitely has a knack for bringing the Old West to life with romance, grit, and humor.
Take a trip down Memory Lane with these links:
It's going to feel weird this year since the kids are traveling and we won't have family in town to celebrate with. One thing we can count on, however. The dogs are going to freak out at the first pop of a firecracker!
We'll enjoy a lazy day, maybe throw something on the grill. Or better yet, eat out! (Have I ever mentioned on this blog how much I dislike cooking???) In the "olden days" when the kids were at home, we'd haul out the ice cream freezer and make up a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream. This year we'll settle for a couple of very generous slices of ice-cold watermelon!
What are your plans for the Fourth? Any favorite traditions? While you're celebrating, take a moment to remember how privileged we are as Americans. Thanks to all the men and women throughout our history who have been willing to fight and die for the freedoms we enjoy.
Please join me in welcoming Love Inspired author Missy Tippens! Missy will be giving away an autographed copy of her latest release, A Forever Christmas, to one lucky commenter!
I’m so excited that the holidays are almost here. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of my favorite times of the year. Since Myra invited me to come share about my new release, A Forever Christmas, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Christmas memories.
Christmas was always a huge deal in my household. We would start celebrating on Christmas Eve with our annual dinner out…at Pizza Hut! And actually, that was a thrill, because when I was young, my family didn’t eat out very often. So every Christmas Eve, we would bundle up and go to a late dinner at Pizza Hut (remember when the only crust they had was thin crust, and if you got it to-go, it was wrapped in paper that poofed over it like a tent??). :) Then we’d head to our church for a late candle light service. And, FINALLY, we would go home and get to open one gift of my parents’ choosing.
I remember one particular year where my dad let us open a gift he had made for us. He gave my sister and me leather coin purses. There were slots for each size coin, and it snapped closed. A really special gift. Of course, at the time, I probably wished for a toy! <grin> But I wish I had that coin purse now. Wish I could find it.
As I look back now, I realize that what I loved about Christmas Eve was living out a family tradition. It was something I could count on year after year. Even when we got older and off to college, we’d keep up that tradition (although we started opening all the gifts that night so we could sleep late). :) There’s just something special about being able to say, “My family always does ________ on Christmas.” And I hope my husband and I are creating wonderful Christmas memories for our kids as we attend a candlelight service, bake (or sometimes buy) cookies to set out for Santa, then read “The Night Before Christmas” and the Nativity Story. And we usually watch some of the fun cartoon movies like Rudolf as well. Now that the kids are older, they sometimes grumble a little or make fun of the tradition. But I can tell they still love it, especially once we squeeze together on the couch and my husband starts reading.
So what’s your family tradition? Can you fill in my blank above: “My family always does ____ on Christmas.” If you’ll leave a comment with contact information, I’ll enter you in a drawing for a copy of A Forever Christmas. Or if you prefer, you can email me at missytippens [at] aol.com. Just be sure to put Myra’s blog in the subject line!
Myra, thanks so much for having me today.
Missy Tippens is a
pastor’s wife and mom of three. She has a story included in Blessings of
Mossy Creek, published by BelleBooks. After ten years of pursuing her
dream, she made her first sale of a full-length novel to Steeple Hill Love
Inspired. She still pinches herself to see if it really happened! Her debut
novel, Her Unlikely Family, was a 2009 American Christian Fiction
Writers Book of the Year contest finalist and is now available in large print
from Thorndike. His Forever Love was a June 2009 release from Love
Inspired, and A Forever Christmas is on the shelves now!
You can find Missy at www.missytippens.com.
Happy 2008 and congratulations to Carla Stewart, winner of my December contest! She'll receive the 365 Best-Kept Marriage Secrets perpetual calendar and a gift card to Cold Stone.
So how did everyone spend New Year’s Eve with your sweetie? We were dead tired after driving back from visiting the kids and grandkids, so we ordered Pei Wei and ate in. Jack watched football and I finished reading Julie Lessman’s A Passion Most Pure. (Wow!!! She kept me guessing right up to the satisfying ending!) Then we watched Robbie-somebody on ESPN try to break the world’s record in motorcycle jumps. Fun-fun-fun. (Insert dramatic eye roll.)
The first of the year is also when I start thinking about . . . not really resolutions, but how I want this year to be both different and better. I get quite introspective as I start thinking about my goals and plans for the year. Writing goals. Relationship goals. Spiritual goals. Family and household goals.
How does that saying go? He who fails to plan plans to fail.
Seems like everything slows down during Christmas week. Except the mall crowds, that is. And I’m staying
far, far away from that scene.
Instead, we’ll be enjoying some face time with the grandkids over the weekend. As much as you can get from three very active boys, anyway. But it’ll be good to visit with our daughter and son-in-law and exchange late Christmas gifts.
I turned the page in my 365 Best-Kept Marriage Secrets calendar this morning, and here’s what it said:
Develop a hobby you can enjoy together like playing tennis, dancing, jogging, bird-watching, garage-saling, or gardening. Having fun together will create a desire to be with one another on a regular basis.
Jogging? Not for me. Garage sales? I have enough “junk” of my own I need to get rid of. Neither of us has much of a green thumb, so gardening has never been a biggie. We took a couple of ballroom dance classes many, many years ago, but the occasional wedding reception is about our only opportunity to go dancing.
Doing things together has always been important to us, though. My sweetie and I have come to enjoy backyard bird-watching, if only I can remember to keep the feeders stocked. Before our move last year, we shared the pleasure of volunteering at a therapeutic riding center, and it was a great bonding experience. We’re now members of our church handbell group, since music is something we both enjoy.
What’s your favorite “together” pastime? (G-rated, of course!) How did you get started? What do you enjoy most about it?
And don’t forget, there’s still time to enter my December contest. I’ll announce the winner on January 2, and by the end of next week you’ll see an announcement for my January contest. Also, because of the holidays, I won’t have a “Literary Star” dating story this Friday, but look for more fun stories coming up in January.
Blessings this Christmas season, and best wishes for a prosperous and happy New Year!
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and this will be my last post until after Christmas. In the meantime, here’s another thought from 365 Best-Kept Marriage Secrets (one of the giveaways in my December contest).
Set aside the things that don’t have to be done today, and spend some quality one-on-one time with your significant other.
Perfect advice for these last hectic days of Christmas shopping, cooking, church events, travel plans, and general preparations. Don’t lose touch with the one you love. Don’t lose touch with the One who brought the two of you together.
Many years ago, while I was fighting ulcers during a particularly stressful time in my life, these words of wisdom were given to me:
Rule #1: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Rule #2: It’s all small stuff.
I wish I were consistently better at taking that advice. It might have saved me years and years of unnecessary stress and the resulting health issues. This week, if nothing else, let’s remember one thing, the only “big thing” worth dwelling on:
Jesus Christ was born for us. Born to save us from our sins. Born to transform our lives. Born to show us the way to heaven so we can live with Him forever.
Joy to the world!
Let's just say this is how I wish I handled Christmas. The problem is, I get way too stressed over meeting others' expectations and schedules.
|You Should Have a Blue Christmas Tree|
You avoid family fights, and you don't get too stressed out - even when things are crazy!
You like to make Christmas about making everyone's life a little bit better.
You don't get caught up in greed or commercialism. You're too sincere for that.
Your blue tree would look great with: Lots of silver tinsel
You should spend Christmas Eve watching: It's a Wonderful Life
What you should bake for Santa: Chocolate chip cookies
There's still time to enter my December contest. Details here.