I received this Purpose Driven Connection email today by Rick Warrren, it was a great message. The older I get (and wiser) I have realized that the primary person who suffers by holding a grudge is the one holding it. The one whom the grudge is held against is not nearly as miserable as the one who has to live in bitterness toward another person. This message is such a good reminder to be a peacemaker- lets enter in to 2012 at total peace with others! 

Christmas: Peace with Each Other
by Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Connection)
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 KJV)
Once you make peace with God and have the peace of God in your heart, you’re able to make peace with other people
God says, “I want you to be a peacemaker. I want you to be a reconciler.” The Bible calls this “the ministry of reconciliation.” 
As I’ve traveled from country to country over the past few years, I’ve seen a common problem: conflict. It exists between husbands and wives, generations, ethnic groups, religious groups, language groups, and nations. The greatest need in our world is reconciliation. Remember “peace on earth, good will toward men”? 
God says, “Once I have shown you grace, I want you to show it to other people. Show them the grace I have shown you. Be a peacemaker.”
Jesus said it like this. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”(Matthew 5:9 KJV).If you really know Christ, the Prince of Peace, you will be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker — at work, at home, or at school. You will build people up, not tear them down. You will compliment more than you criticize. You will love people the way Jesus loves people.
Christmas is the perfect time to show grace to other people, because we’re reminded of the grace God has shown us — that he gives us what we need, not what we deserve. So let me ask you a very frank question. In the spirit of Christmas — “peace on earth, good will toward men” — with whom do you need to restore a broken relationship this Christmas?
You say, “I can’t do it.” When families get together at Christmas, a lot of times it brings back a lot of bad memories and past hurts and things you just haven’t let go of. You say, “I can’t let go of it. They hurt me too badly. I can’t forgive them.”
You’re right. That’s why you need Jesus! You don’t have it in you to let it all go. That’s why you’re still holding onto it. You need to be filled with the love of Christ and the peace of Christ. Until that happens, you’re not going to have the ability to let it go. 
What is God telling you to let go of today? Ask him to help you do it.


The Best Christmas Soup- Cheese Soup!

This soup sounds funky- Cheese Soup- but trust me, it is amazing! Our family always has it at Christmas so I thought I would share the recipe with you. It truly is the most delightful soup ever! Merry Christmas! 
OH, P.S. If your Trader Joes has the Cranberry Walnut Braid (in the bread section) buy it by the bulk for Christmas- it is so delicious! 

Cheese Soup:
1/4 cup butter (melt in large dutch oven or pan of choice)
2 green onion
3 stalks of celery
2 carrots 
Sauté until Soft (I add a lot more veggies than this and often add potatoes)
2 cans chicken broth (simmer for 30 minutes)
"Dump" the rest: 
3 cans cream of potato soup
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
few drops of tobasco
Course ground black pepper (just shake it to lightly cover top and stir)
8 oz sour cream
**(careful that the veggies don't burn to the bottom of the pan- low and slow is the trick, I put it on low for as many hours as I have at least 2-3)

NOTE: I usually triple this recipe for groups of 6 or more- I say at least double it, leftovers are a must! Also, Dave has to have flaky biscuits with this- they really are a must! 


Merry Christmas!

Here are some pictures of what we have been up to the past three weeks...not much! Having a new baby and recovering from the C-Section has provided us with a lot of "down time"! That, and the girls have been sick, so we are trying to avoid sharing that gift with others! The laundry basket consists entirely of Pj's, which is kind of refreshing for this time of year! Hope you and your families have a very Merry Christmas- I love this time of year to remember...God loves us enough to give us His only son- please know how loved you are by your heavenly father and rejoice in the birth, life, death and ressurection of our savior! God bless you this Christmas as you celebrate The One whom Christmas is all about! 

This is as close as Izzy came to santa this year- better luck next year! 

Merry Christmas from our new family of 5! 


What a Difference a Day Makes!

We went from this scene........

To This!!!!! 

 You've got it...we are home from the hospital! Isn't it amazing how 4 days can seem like an eternity! We have so many stories from the hospital (never seems to be a dull moment when I am checked in to a hospital) however, we are now home and settling in as a family of 5! Can you believe the pics above are hospital pictures? This darling company, bellababyphotography.com is contracted with the hospital and came to our room and took these pics in 10 minutes flat! What a blessing! The Lord showed up in huge ways this past week, it is always amazing to see Him work in little details that seem to be gifts of love just between God and us. We are so blessed to have friends to walk through these life events with us in prayer, thank you to all of our friends and family for enduring our "minute-by-minute" updates and requests. We are crazy about baby Milly and are so excited to get back to our "new" normal!
This is the day the LORD has made;
         We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24) 


Introducing Amelia (Milly) McMaster!

As most of you know, Milly is here! She came 11/30 at 11:53am weighing in at 7lb 7oz and 18 inches long! We did find out today that she is Coombs positive (just as Izzy was) so please keep her in your prayers. She has to be in the ICU until her billie ruben goes down, so as a sleepy mom who just wants to snuggle with her little girl- I am a touch emotional! I get wheeled down to ICU every 2 hours to feed and snuggle for 30 minutes- so we are praying for a miraculous healing so she can come be with us in the room again SOON!!! Meanwhile, I have a touch of time in the room to update some photos- so here you go! Thank you for all of the messages and prayers- we are blessed! 
{Daddy and Milly- the hospital made her that cute stocking!}

 {Izzy is nuts about Baby Milly}

{Ellie (or Mom #2) with Baby Milly}

{Allison with baby Milly- she saved the day hanging with the chix!}

{My big girl at the hospital!}

{The Whole Family!}

{Me and My Girls- Dave is WAY outnumbered!}

{Dave with the girls!}

{Cici and Pops with the McMaster girls!}

 {Uncle Matt, Aunt Emmy and Rogan with Milly}

{Henley and Milly}

{rogan with the girl- we are missing sweet Riv- coming soon!}

{All of 6 Grandkids for Cici and Pops!}

I will hopefully get some cute pics of my precious girl when she is out of ICU- she has a delightful going home outfit I will need to share! :) Thank you again for your sweet thoughts and prayers- Jenica
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