Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Christmas Blessings

It's good to see that there are
people out there that know what Christmas is all about.

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their
means and then never had enough for the necessities.
But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all
outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes
from giving, not from receiving.............It was Christmas Eve 1881. I
was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me
because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd
wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some
reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in
the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of
the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still
feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood
to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up
again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already
done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy
wallowing in self-pity. Soon Pa came back in.
It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on,
Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really
upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa
was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could
We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else
that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.
But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd
told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got
my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the
do or to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what..

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was
the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were
going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell.
We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.
Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up
beside him. The cold was already biting at me.
I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and
stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think
we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high
sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the
low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a
lot bigger with the high side boards on. After we had exchanged the
sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of
wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and
then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting.

What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are
you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow
Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year
or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight.
Sure, I'd been by, but so what? Yeah," I said, "Why?"

"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in
the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt."
That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed
for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high
that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally,
Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa
took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told
me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a
sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in
his left hand. "What's in the little sack?"
I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks
wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I
got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas
without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried
to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly
standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what
was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into
blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so
we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa
buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow
Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood
as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the
door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who
is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a
bit?"...... Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a
blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in
another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire
that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match
and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of
flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had
the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantl y and took the shoes out one
pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the
children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her

She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled
her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like
she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out. "We brought a
load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go
bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat
this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring
in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to
admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing
those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing
there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her
heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled with in me and a joy
that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas
many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I
could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids
started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow
Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for
a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I
know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he
would send one of his angels to spare us." In spite of myself, the lump
returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd
never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen
mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a
better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all
the ti mes he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others.
The list seemed endless as I thought on it. Pa insisted that everyone
try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I
wondered how he had known what sizes to get. then I guessed that if he
was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the
right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to
leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug.
They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed
their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to
invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The
turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get
cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals.
We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little
ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell."
I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and
had moved away. Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Mr. Miles. I
don't have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't
even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said,
"Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a
little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for
you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a
little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and
me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and
I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw
little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in
those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money
for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again.
I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle
seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more.
He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles
of her three children.

For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensen's, or split a
block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy
I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than
a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

40 Things you'd love to say at work


1. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of sh!t.

2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.

3. How about never? Is never good for you?

4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.

5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.

6. Who lit the fuse on your tampon?

7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.

8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.

9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a damn word you're saying.

10. Ahhhh...I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.

11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.

12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

13. I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don't give a damn.

14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.

16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.

18. Any connections between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.

19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks?!?!

20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.

21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.

22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

23. And your crybaby whiny-a@@ed opinion would be...?

24. Do I look like a freaking people person to you?

25. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.

26. I started out with nothing & I still have most of it left.

27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.

28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?

29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.

30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.

31. Oh I get it...like humor...but different.

32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.

33. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?

34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

35. Nice perfume...Must you really marinate in it?

36. Chaos, panic, and disorder...my work here is finally done.

37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?

38. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a paycheck.

39. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.

40. Wait a minute --- I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.

I've been tagged again!

I've been Tagged! Again yeah!!!
4 Things I am looking forward to in the coming year:

Another new niece (Now there will be 4 little girls and 14 boys) so yes another girl is exciting(: We are so out numbered!
Going to Nationals to watch Alex, state to watch Brock and State Swimming for Kassy.
Moving into another new house.
Buying and insuring a car for Brock to drive.

3 joys in my life:

My awesome family.
Spending time with my husband and kids.
Watching my kids in any sport they are doing at the time.

4 movies I have watched more than once or twice:

Steel Magnolias-
Harry Potter-all of them
Independence Day
27 Dresses

3 Fears:

Losing my kids
Dying young like my mother and sister.

4 favorite foods:

Shrimp Capresse from the Olive Garden (although now I have the recipe I make it at home all the time!
anything chocolate(It is one of the basic food groups ya know)

3 goals I have set for myself:

To be alive at the end of the year!
To go home again to visit
Think about losing weight so I don't resemble Grandma Lewis quite so much!

4 tv shows I watch:

Cold Files-
Baby Day-
John and Kate plus 8

3 current obsessions:

building a better relationship with my Kassy
Bloom where I am planted I really think I died already I keep forgetting to water!!

4 places I have visited:

New York, New York
Lake Powell
Washington, DC
Mount Rushmore-just recently too!

3 places I'd like to visit:


4 random facts about me:

I work in a prison and love it!
My husband is my best friend, maybe only friend!!
I have a very limited amount of creativity
I love my kids more than life itself.

I officially tag Kate!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My first TAG!! I'm so excited. I don't know if I like this tag, because it let's you get to know me a little better and people really don't want to get to know the "real" me. The "disturbing" me.

10 years ago....I had been in Montana for only 2 years.. I was still debating on whether I liked it or not. Alex was a handsome chap of about 10, Brock was a stout 5 year old and Kassy was a tiny little prissy missy!! I also did not resemble Grandma Lewis quite so much!! I still couldn't take out my teeth!!And I did not have three chins!

5 years ago...I had just got promoted to Classification Coordinator at the prison about two weeks after Grandma Hagen (Scott's grandma had passed away) Alex was now 15 and had just passed his driver's exam and I had a new chauffer!! Brock was now a pudgy guy with a mohawk and Kassy was still a tiny prissy missy but... she was sporting a new hair cut that she did herself.

5 months ago...February. We were on our way to Sioux City, Iowa to watch Alex at the NAIA College Nationals with his girlfriend Jocelyn in tow. Brock had just finished his first High School wrestling season and Kassy was almost a teenager!!!! Scary!!

List of 5 things that I need to do tomorrow...

1. Visit with my Scott since I haven't seen him all weekend!! It was Cut Bank's Swim Meet and Scott had to work. He went to work before I got home and I left for the meet before he got home! Such is the fast paced life of the Calvi's.

2. Go to work and get felt up. Day just doesn't go right if you don't.

3. Laundry since I was gone all weekend.

4. Dishes I know there will be a stack of them by the time I come home!!

5. Talk with my husband some more to make up for not seeing him all weekend!!

5 bad habits...

1. I too have a potty mouth but my husband didn't tell me I figured it out all on my own.

2. Spending too much time on the computer.

3. I have to agree....I hate wearing a bra, too. It's especially bad at night when you lay on your back and they fall into your armpits. That's the worst.

4. Pepsi and green Tea I have to try to balance the bad with the good antioxidant.

5. Not keeping in touch with the people that I love.

5 places I have lived...

1. Scarsdale, New York

2. Reno, Nevada

3. Cut Bank, Montana

4. Mountain Home, Idaho

5. Phoenix, Arizona

5 things people don't know about me...

1. I'm really a young skinny chick trapped in an old ladies body!

2. I used to run the blocks in Phoenix that were each 1 mile long. It was a long, long, long time ago.

3. I love my husband and he's my best friend.

4. My husband loves me even when I take out my teeth or maybe it's because I take out my teeth!! LOL

5. I miss my family so much even though I forget to call and write I do think of all of you often and miss watching your kids grow up....

So there you go. Now you know that I'm really kinda weird. I hope you'll still talk to me and blog me!!

I tag the following: Lynda Muir, Kate, Jenny

Tuesday, July 8, 2008



I don't care if you lick windows,
take the special bus or occasionally pee on yourself..
You hang in there sunshine, you're friggin' special.

Every sixty seconds you spend angry, upset or mad, is a full minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Today is International Disturbed People's Day

Please send an encouraging message to a disturbed friend ... just as I've done.

Today's Message of the Day is:

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And Never regret anything that made you smile.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

From: GOD
Reference: LIFE

This is God. Today I will be handling All of your problems for you. I do Not need your help. So, have a nice day.
I love you.

P.S. And, remember...
If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do Not attempt to resolve it yourself! Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. I will get to it in MY TIME. All situations will be resolved, but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

Should you decide to send this to a friend; Thank you. You may have touched their life in ways you will never know!
Now, you have a nice day...God

God has seen you struggling,
God says it's over.
A blessing is coming your way. If you believe in God, please send this on.