About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












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Thursday, December 13, 2007

GINGERBREAD HOUSES, CANDY LAND, & TREASURE HUNTS




Yesterday I blogged about my FLIP FLOP day. When all about me shoppers, planners, decorators, bakers, and gift wrappers were "preparing for the holidays," I took a little journey through my neighborhood to visit some little boys, their baby sister, and their mom. I thought abut waiting 'til after the holidays to visit this precious family whose daddy is on a mission trip in Africa (http://theswineharts.blogspot.com/) , but one morning Betty IM'ed me (is that proper spelling and grammar - if not please someone tell me how to write IM in the past tense) to comment on the Christmas P31 Woman magazine (. In the course of the conversation I offered to come over and play with the kids so she could have some time alone.

Now that is a FLIP FLOP activity for the month of December. I was supposed to be "preparing for the holidays" - right? What a blessing to follow through with my instinct to play with some little boys so their mom could have a quiet lunch alone. I think Betty had a FLIP FLOP day too. From the sound of her trip out into the land of holiday shoppers, I believe she chose peace and quiet over frenzy and rush.

By the way - the gift of SELF and TIME is a present all children long for.


When I arrived we made plans- build and decorate the gingerbread house, play games, and run around outside. We did all that. There was one glitch - we did not finish building the house. While the boys decorated - really ate spoons full of icing and little decorative candies, I carefully held together the four walls of the house. They kept asking me if they could put their decorated roofs on the house. Afraid the house would cave in, I left that task for their mom! Maybe she will post a picture of the finished project on her blog in the next couple of days.

Children love to play treasure hunt. It can be played in the house or outside. I gave the boys a list of three "treasures to find." Before I could tell them treasure number two, they shouted, "A lizard. We are good at finding lizards. Can a lizard be on the list."

"Sure, find me a lizard." They found a daddy-long-legs instead.

The treasure list consisted of an acorn, a red leaf, and a stick. Immediately they found lovely red leaves. They were all over the ground - no snow or sleet here - just a yard full of red leaves - very Christmassy. Tyler ran off to find acorns and Bryce tripped over a log. "Is this a stick?" We had a long conversation about the difference between logs and sticks. "Yes, Bryce, they ARE both part of a tree!"

As there were no acorns to be found, each boy brought me a tiny snail. We ooed and ahhed over the little animal that lived within and then - FLIP FLOP. They tired of the game and we went inside to play board games.

Life is full of FLIP FLOPS. We are never sure what the next day or moment will bring. By the way - I did paint my toenails, but I hear I will have them hidden away in socks and shoes by day after tomorrow - because the weather is about to FLIP FLOP again.

One thing is for sure. The REASON for this season, never FLIP FLOPS. When the weather changes - be it stormy blizzards and ice or emotional upheaval, confusing interruptions, or "walls" that threaten to fall in, Jesus remains the same. His love for us and desire that we love each other is constant.

Do you find your holiday spirit threatening to FLIP FLOP? Why not forget the CHRISTMAS RULES and take a moment or two - enjoy an out-of-the-ordinary activity. I am sure you will celebrate the treasure when you have experienced it.

After all when Jesus came - the world did a FLIP FLOP, to never be the same again.

Rejoice!

12 comments:

Mrs. Ormand said...

Hey! First time visitor to your blog. Aren't kids the greatest joy year round?!? I have always thought that kiddos were the true examples of the carefree attitude we should strive for at Christmas. Now a mom and wife I realize how unrealistic it may be to get exactly to that point of being carefree, but it sure would be nice right?!? Haha. Hope you have a wonderful day! Thanks for sharing!

Digging for Pearls said...

Van, what a great reminder of our steadfast Savior! Thank you for your sweet post!

kris said...

This is my first visit to your blog. Thanks so much for your ideas about the holidays!! And I had forgotten about playing treasure hunt. My grandchildren will love playing that.

tobinmama said...

Van,
You know, I really focus on keeping the true meaning of Christmas in the forefront of our thoughts and actions. I also take on tasks that are focused on others, helping them in this busy time of year. Perhaps my biggest challenge, much to the dismay of my 4 children, is just stopping to PLAY! Thank you for reminding me that sometimes we just need to play, without any particular purpose or itinerary in mind!

Jesstwins01 said...

I LOVE your blog, is there a way I can subscribe to it?? Blogging is kind of new to me. I love what you did on Chritmas morning last year and cried with joy while telling my 6 year old son about it. We are definetly planning to do something similar this year. Thank you for your inspiration. Jessica Miller in So. Fl.

mgioni said...

I love the idea of just playing, being happy in the moment and enjoying, relishing the little things like a snail in his house, the difference between sticks and logs. When my little ones are grown I will miss the very serious and interesting questions and comments from my kids. I had a great discussion the other morning on the way to preschool about whether or not tumble weeds are a sharp as airplane wings. I am trying hard this sesaon to slow us down so we don't miss the little, quiet, unobtrusive blessings that the Lord sets in front of us; red leaves, yummy hot tea with a good devotion, making cheese and chips with my 9 yr old, taking a walk and throwing rocks in the creek with my son, making cookies for friends and looking at Christmas lights. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of looking at others as a blessing and that we have been given an opportunity to serve, make someone's day a bit brighter.

Celly B said...

Hi, Van!
What an inspiring message about taking time in this busy holiday season. Those boys were blessed to have that opportunity with you.

Tera said...

Wow taking time to just play sounds so great. That is probably the thing that gets neglected this time of year. Busy, busy, busy, but time to take a break and play with the kids...

twinsmom said...

Van- as another first time visitor I have to say thank you, thank you and thank you. I live in a FLIP-FLOP world around here but I don't live it with the grace that you do. I needed the reminder that it is normal and ok to live like this- especially with kids.

the swineharts said...

thanks Van! What a sweet post. The boys had so much fun and I had such a relaxing, quiet afternoon. Thank you for blessing me in such a huge way. Love you, Betty

Marsha said...

I do treasure hunts with our grandchildren when they come for a visit. Living in the woods, there's so much you can look for. My 7 year old grandson is into dinosaurs. We're planning a dinosaur dig for home over Christmas (preplanted by Pappy of course!). It'll be so much fun, because then we can share with him great info from Answers in Genesis.

When I kids were little, money was TIGHT most of the time. So we would hide their gifts around the house our outside (if the weather was mild). It turned into so much fun that my children now do the same thing with their children.

MrsProverbs31 said...

Van,

Your link on your comment at my blog site took me to a foreign language. Wow! I finally found my way back. but,here's the scoop: if anyone wants to learn how to make a quillow, she must visit my blog. I will post that soon after I have made one for each of my family.

My little son insist that his present will not be clothes or quillow, instead he wants some "battle wheels." He showed me a picture on the Toys'R Us paper. I told him I do not want to buy anything that has to do with fighting, then he insist on a dinosaur skeleton. "What are you going to do with that?" I asked.

"I'm going to build a dinosaur," he said. Aaaah, Christmas. It's taken me 30+ years to figure out that it is not about me, I wonder if there's a short cut for him.

Really, spending time together is awesome. Sometimes, it is good just to enjoy whatever children enjoy and talk about their things. After all, life is not about "me", but it is about what can I do for you. True? Or am I living an unrealistic life? Please, visit my blog and let me know.