Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Alexis (Lexi) had a Christmas Program at Wells Fargo Bank a few days ago. She had a great performance. They sang about 4 or 5 songs then sat on Santa's lap to tell him what they all wanted for Christmas. Lexi has come a long ways this year! She started out on shaky ground at school (probably adjusting to the move - new environment, no familiar faces, in the minority, more pressure to perform than Juneau, etc...) but now she is in full swing! She is still our shy, sweet Lexi when in new atmospheres.
We have enjoyed all the school activities and church activities this time of year. Its a good way to get together, meet new people, swap stories, share lives, and build relationships. I like it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Tree, Lives adorned by God

Every year we come together as a family and put up the Christmas Tree! We have lots of fun putting the fake tree up. Dad usually grumbles and complains about finding all the right color-coded limbs and tangled nonworking Christmas Lights (seems to make it a little more fun for me when I do)! I think a great torment in hell should be trying to find the one light bulb that is not working on a million-mile strand of Christmas Lights!

Anyway, the above pictures show our tradition of everyone receiving their own ornament to place on the tree. We try to mark the year on the ornament so they can remember when, where, how old, etc... The pictures below are of the kids putting the ornaments on the tree.

I think as Christians we start out like the barren Christmas Tree (probably with lots of complaints and grumblings from the 'Holier Than Thou Crowd') but as we mature (a life time process) God adorns our lives with peace, hope, love, and finally ends up with the Christian with Christian character (read Romans 5 for more information).
For the Christians who are adorned with the right ornaments in the right place - please be patient with those of us who are still being adorned.
For those who are in the process of being adorned by God - don't give up, remember the song (one of my favorites) "He's Still Working On Me".
How or with whom has God adorned your life?

Monday, December 1, 2008


I know becoming a spiritually minded Christian does not happen by accident. Spiritually minded Christians do not become spiritual minded by accidentally reading their Bibles, or by praying “flare prayers” (prayers only offered when in need or distress), joining the assemblies only when convenient, sharing their faith only when there are no perceived threats, etc… Spiritually minded people become spiritually minded intentionally. Intentionally spiritual minded by pursuing a deeper relationship with God through Christ and by intentionally surrendering the “pilot’s seat” over to God and go where He takes you (spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally).
A powerful personal growth tool is the 30-day trial. This is a concept borrowed from the shareware industry, where you can download a trial version of a piece of software and try it out risk-free for 30 days before you’re required to buy the full version. It’s also a great way to develop new habits, and best of all, it’s simple. Dr Harley said, “If you want to change your behavior, consistently perform an action the same time, same way, every day for 30 days.” We really are ‘creatures of habit’.
So, what is THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE for Central? During the month of December schedule an hour a day with the Lord! Replace an hour of television / novel reading / I-pod listening / video game playing with intentional time with God without distractions! I think we will be blessed beyond measure when we pursue a deeper relationship with God. I really think your marriage will be blessed if you take THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE with your spouse!
Drop me a note about the changes, struggles, strengths, blessings etc… during THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE – bruanda2@aol.com

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! We had about 40 or so of Bruce's family come in for Thanksgiving. Most people arrived by 1:00 pm. We finally ate around 1:45. Not too bad!

The Menu:
Fried turkey with Cajun injections- dad and I fried it in my garage (mainly dad).
Turkey breast
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Green Beans
Corn Dish
Sweet Potatoes
Deviled Eggs
Homemade bread
Cranberry Sauce
Potato Casserole
Broccoli and Carrots
Relish Tray
Each family brought a dessert (about 10 different things)
Paper Goods - we didn't eat it but it sure made the clean-up a lot easier!

The best part of all was getting to see everyone again! It has been a while since we have been around that many family members and it was awesome! Some came from Amarillo, Lelia Lake, Childress, Lubbock, Fort Stockton, Jal (New Mexico).

Thank you to all my family for making it so much fun!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Women of Faith weekend by Amanda

This past weekend will go down in the books as one I will cherish for a long time! I reunited with some Juneau and Nevada friends and made a few new friends who live in Oklahoma and Missouri. The unique bond between all of us (besides Christ living in us) is that we have all lived in Juneau for a season in our lives (some for several seasons but we won't call them by name). Vicki, Ann, nor Jill lived in Juneau while I lived there but after meeting and spending time with them I feel as if we were already friends.

Our "Nighttime Talks" were definitely learning experiences.

We had many opportunities to connect as friends. It was kind of like Ecclesiastes "A Time For ... A Time To ...". We had a time to shop, a time to eat eat, a time to play, a time to pray, a time to search our hearts in light of God's grace.

Why GOD Gave Us Friends
GOD knew that everyone needs
Companionship and cheer,
He knew that people need someone
Whose thoughts are always near.

He knew they need someone kind
To lend a helping hand.
Someone to gladly take the time
To care and understand.

GOD knew that we all need someone
To share each happy day,
To be a source of courage
When troubles come our way.

Someone to be true to us,
Whether near or far apart.
Someone whose love we'll always
Hold and treasure in our hearts.

That's Why GOD Gave Us Friends!
Author - unknown

Friday, November 7, 2008

50's day Lexi's Class

For making it through the 50th day of school the kindergartners were challenged to dress up as if they were in the 50's. Most of the parents to the kids never experienced the 50's except maybe Melissa (her husband is young though)! Anyway, Lexi dressed up in her poodle skirt (I had no idea the famous poodle skirt actually had a poodle on it!) Some of our heritage is a little "iffy" at times.

Lexi looked really cute and I think she probably enjoyed the attention as well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

10 ways to ensure that your spouse feels loved

Ten Ways to Ensure that Your Spouse Feels Loved
During the next four weeks:
1. Pray with your spouse every day.
2. Enjoy a “date” every week with your spouse.
3. Spend 10 minutes each day listening to your spouse share his or her day.
4. Discover & fulfill four ways your spouse likes you to receive affection.
5. While at home wear only what the other desires you to wear, as long as you feel comfortable doing so.
6. Give your spouse 15 minutes per week to ask you any question and answer each question honestly.
7. Spend 5 un-interrupted minutes each week telling your spouse what you specifically appreciate about him or her.
8. Ask your spouse what domestic chore he or she would like you to do for him or her, and do it.
9. Save up to $25 this next month that you would normally spend pampering yourself and put it into your retirement fund.
10. Spend at least two hours every week for the next month doing something enriching for your entire family.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Masks, Costumes, Dressing Up

Makayla and Lexi have joined Girl Scouts again. Amanda and her good friend Tiffany were Girl Scout troop leaders in Juneau before we left. Our kids really enjoyed it! Now they have joined a troop in Tulia and are having fun, making new friends and participating in new adventures. Last Monday the kids had their costume party. Here are some pictures of the event.

Hunter didn't want to be left out so he dressed-up too. I have never seen Superman with 10 staples in the back of his head! (he gets the staples out Thursday, pray for us - dad and Hunter - please!).

Like Hunter's physical wound, we all have sustained emotional spiritual wounds that we ourselves cannot heal. "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." - I Peter 2:24-25. What we usually do is put on a mask, dress-up and not let anyone "inside" to share those moments of pain and "failure". I hope when attempts of "crying out for help" are sounded we are not too busy in our own world to stop and listen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another escapade - compliments of Hunter John!

Hunter has given another avenue to get into the lives of people around us! His little "Tarzan" demonstration led us to the Hospital Friday morning. Hunter received 10 staples in the back of his head. It could have been worse, it could have been the front of his head!

I am sure Amanda has spread the news already but I do not do blood, gashes, stitches or staples all that well, especially when happen to my own flesh and blood! 4 of us started out holding Hunter down while the wound was cleaned and stapled. I took a little break from the action. I started feeling cold and sweaty, tasted a weird taste in my mouth, and looked white as a sheet. That is when the Dr suggested, then ordered me to sit down. She said it would be easier to hold Hunter down than to pick up 200 lbs of me! I thought it was a good time for a restroom break anyway!

I really hate that Hunter had that little experience but I really don't mind all of his spirited, creativity as longs as he comes back OK or better off. I would hate to break his spirit and make him into a robot. I love, like, appreciate and even envy his attitude and activeness at times.

I can't help but wonder if God looks down on us and thinks, "Quit being so timid and lifeless! Go for it!" Sometimes when we do go for it, we get hurt! The best part is that our Father is not squeamish at all! He helps us up, teaches us and inspires us to "Go for it" one more time! Of course, that's if we're listening to Him!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Family Traditions

Amanda and I have been facilitating a new class on Sunday mornings called FANTASTIC FAMILIES
6 Proven Steps to Building a Strong FamilyDr. Nick & Nancy Stinnett and Joe & Alice Beam

It seems an important component or commitment in healthy strong families is Family Traditions.

In the book Fantastic Families, which I highly recommend (take the course too!) there are 6 commitments that families need to adhere to. #5 is Commitment to Family Traditions
· Family traditions serve an important role in family cohesiveness
· The Lord instituted a family tradition for the Jews – Passover Celebration
-The oldest son would ask; “What does this mean?” as the meal begins
· Traditions provide a sense of history for the family
· Traditions create memories for family members
· EX: Meals together, devotionals, holidays, vacations, birthday celebrations, etc.

We have several traditions in our family - one is Pizza night on Thursdays. This past Thursday evening the kids made their own pizzas. Believe it or not they actually turned out delicious!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stone Soup

Amanda and I have started having Stone Soup with the Wednesday morning Bible. We had our first Stone Soup this past Wednesday. We are studying Hebrews. I really like the book of Hebrews. I have enjoyed teaching it and getting reaquainted with those special folks in the class. They are a fun, loving, interesting group of people to be around! I hope they like us as much as we like them!

Amanda and Robin Stewart helped combine all the ingredients our class brought into a roaster/crock-pot. They also made Jiffy Cornbread (I like Jiffy - its like having cornbread and dessert at the same time!)

Here is a picture of that fun loving group of people I am talking about.

Brooklyn liked the lunch too. She ate, got her tummy full and took a nap! What a way to live!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wasp nest, sting of death, bug spray

Tuesday evening, after growing weary of killing wasps with Amanda's shoe (they are flat on the bottoms and make for a good splatting weapon) it finally dawned on me that there may be a wasp nest under the eve of our house. Sure enough, there were two! Amanda knew about one and assumed I knew about it. To date, I have killed about 45-50 wasps! I bought a can of wasp spray form our local lumber yard, killed wasps and pulled the wasps nest out.

We are extremely grateful that nobody was stung during the whole ordeal!

I am reminded that sin and death sting! I am so grateful that the stinging is over and the rejoicing because of new life continues! - I Corinthians 15 is a great place to learn about our victory over sin and death (Romans 8 is a good text to read and believe too).

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Celebrating Hunter's Birthday

October the 4th, 2004 in the Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, Alaska the Baird's celebrated a new addition to our family. Hunter not only changed the number of our growing family but he changed the way we do everything now! He is so active, effervescent, and a joy to be around (in other words I loose a lot of hair and create ulcers) but I wouldn't have it in other way. Our lives have been very blessed by having Hunter in our lives!

Here are some pictures of Hunter's birthday party.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Races, joy, cheering

We went to the races with some friends of ours (the Leathermans) at the Route 66 Speedway in Amarillo a week and a half ago. Our kids loved the races! Hunter loved the loud and fast cars, the girls loved to watch and cheer and we all loved the mud that was slung upon us when the cars came out of turn one. Every once in a while we would get hit with a big round ball of mud, the kids would yell and we all laughed ... it was fun being a kid again. Too many times I catch myself taking life too seriously. I am reminded of Hebrews 1:9 - "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.". The author is speaking about Jesus being swallowed up, bathed, lavished in joy. Jesus lived a life that was serious and seriously full of joy. Life in Christ ought to enjoyed as one cheering other Christians on to run the race and while running the race itself.

How are you doing cheering the participants of the race?

Keep in mind you might get some mud slung on you while cheering!

Also, Christianity is not a spectator sport, get in the race!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Children, Messes, Mom, Rewards

The first week we moved into our new home Amanda prepared spaghetti for dinner. Amanda is a great cook! We all think she does super when she has KP duty! We all would be much skinnier if we didn't like her cooking.
Anyway, when she fixed spaghetti Brooklyn decided to test it to see if it was cooked enough to eat. How do we test pasta? Just look at the pictures and imagine the action!

What I have learned in the process of raising 4 wonderful kids:

1. Mom's don't get paid enough

2. There are always messes that need to be cleaned and it is usually the one with the biggest shoulders to get it done - mom because "I don't know" made the mess.

3. Mom's are great at refereeing children but get a bad wrap from the "cheated" or "bad call" kid.

4. Mom deals with all the stuff Hunter sticks into his pockets. Hopefully she catches it before it turns to mud in the washing machine or is dumped on the floor.

5. Mom deals with all the "creative craft" that Lexi colors, cuts up into little pieces.

6. Mom picks up after Makayla playing dress up with her dolls and with Lexi.
7. Mom does the laundry, if she can find where her husband took it off and threw it somewhere, or where Hunter took his off (try looking under his bed), Makayla and Lexi just leave it lay in bathroom floor.

8. Mom also changes Brooklyn's diaper, if really messy, then she may have to look for the wipes that the girls were playing with (hint - try looking in the basement - that's where they were last time).

9. Mom also co-teaches a Lady's Bible class on Tuesdays from 12:00-2:00 pm and attends to her husband's class on Wednesday morning from 10:00-11:00 (with Brooklyn and Hunter)

10. Mom host people in her home - in between remodeling, painting, decorating, still unpacking stuff.

Evolution has always puzzled me, if it is true, why do mom's have only two arms?!

Anyway, because I love my wife and for all that she does I wanted to reward her so we went to eat at Chili's and then to a movie - I even took her to Wal-Mart!

Husbands be good to your wives, take her on a date (even inexpensive ones give a cha-ching in the love bank) or do something for her because she is well worth it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Garden, Home Cooking and A Good Helper

A friend of ours, who would probably like to remain anonymous, planted a garden in our backyard when he found out what we liked to eat. He planted the garden before we arrived so we were able to enjoy the produce pretty soon after we arrived. It is good to be blessed by the work of others!
The first photo is of a bell pepper, Anaheim peppers (I think) and yellow squash. Separately they are OK but blended together with chicken, onions, Mexican food spices, and a tortilla they are out of the world delicious! Amanda cooked fajitas, which is the second picture. She was also blessed to have a little helper stirring the fajita "stuffing".
I like the spiritual produce (God calls it fruit, a metaphor of His results because of His working in His people) because of God working in our lives. When our "spiritual produce" comes together we can create an aromatic, savory offering to God. Or we can put our own selfish self-seeking produce together and make a really bitter stinky meal. Sad to say, I think I have contributed to one of those meals a time or two.
Which one would you rather eat? How can you and I prepare a delectable offering for God?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dad! Dad! It's A Sunny Day!

If you are like me then it may take a second or two for your kids to get your attention. My son, Hunter, has gotten into the habit of saying "Dad! Dad!" a few times before I give him the attention he so desires and deserves.

For the last six years we have lived in Juneau, Alaska (and loved it!) where it seems the sun may "never shine". I believe the average amount of sunny days per year was approximately 44 days! That is not a whole lot of sun. For the first 6 weeks after we moved back to Tulia Hunter would enthusiastically say when we woke from the evening's slumber, "Dad! Dad! It's a sunny day!" He usually said this running through the house with a smile on his face. Oh the things we take for granted and forget to thank God for in our lives!

Stop and give God the glory for the "small" things in your life today.

What things have you taken for granted lately?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Playing Catch Up with blogging news

I thought I would use a few posts to play catch up with what has been going on in our lives. So ...

My dad (Lawrence), who lives in Amarillo, Texas and Janet Henderson, who lives in Juneau, Alaska helped us move to Tulia. They were a great help driving and a really big help with our four kids!

We stayed in a Hotel that had a swimming pool with two slides. The kids really had a ball zipping down the slide! That kept us pretty busy as well.

Alexis and Makayla played soccer this year ... for the first time! I think they are MVP material!

They played on a team coached by Cody and Melissa Culwell. They whipped into shape in no time at all!

In the final tournament, the team placed second! We are proud of them!

That is probably way too much blogging ... be patient ... I am a beginner!

The Bairds