Friday, April 30, 2010

Fabulous Friday!

Yeah, I'm on a roll here...ya wants some chips with that? Get it? :)

Anyhow...Miss Chrissie, the Serbian Sensation (see button on side of my blog) is hanging in there like a trouper. Go, God! Go, Chrissie!!!

It is bright and sunny, and hit about 77 degrees today. Tomorrow they are calling for more of the same, except warmer! Yeah! :) My kinda weather! And tomorrow is...drum roll, please...SATURDAY!!!! PERFECT!!!

The one little fly in my ointment is my bus aide, Gerry (short for Geraldine.) She is VERY old...for a bus aide. Maybe close to 80? And weighs MAYBE 90 pounds...she is about 4' 8" tall. Teeny, tiny. And...I guess my driving scares her to death. The very first comment she made, the very first day, within the first 30 seconds of getting on the highway (I KID YOU NOT...30 seconds!!!) was "I've never had a driver go over 60 before!" Um...lady...the speed limit is 65. It's a van, not a bus. We're allowed to do the speed limit. The traffic is FLYING. If we don't get up and keep up the speed, we're gonna be rear-ended!!!!! Since then, she has told me about all the very many drivers she has been with, all who stay in the slow lane, and don't go over 60. Aiyiyiyi! Luckily, I actually LIKE her, when she's not doing a running commentary on driving skills! :) Thankfully, she does not work on Mondays, so I have 3 days off. And the young man that she aides for graduates in less than 2 months, so that will be that. PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Other than that....things are good! :) I have a new endeavor, I am doing digiscrapping for an orphanage in China!! It is run by a South African woman who was raised in the US, and all the babies that come to her are special needs. They can be there for a few months, or up to several years, before they are adopted by their "forever families." And Amanda likes to take pictures...1000's and 1000's of pictures. SOOO...we are making scrapbooks for each baby, to give to their new families. Cool, huh? Lovin' it!!!!

Not much other news than that. Hope y'all have a GREAT weekend!!!! :)


Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Thankfulness!

I'm BAACK! :) Errands all done, laundry in wash, load in dryer, and I don't have my 12 o'clock run, so I have time to blog a little more!

Thankfulness...actually, if you REALLY want to experience God's miracle moving stuff, go to the button on the side that says "pray for Chrissie." I have been haunting that site for days now, and OH, what God is doing in that little 4 year old's body and life! You GOTTA read it. It's beyond belief. God's still in the miracle business today, folks! You have only to meet Chrissie and you will be full convinced! I am THANKFUL for His great and mighty heal, to love, to forgive. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and ALL that is within me, bless His holy Name!

You know...that's enough...go meet won't be sorry!


Thankful Thursday!!

It's Thursday! Wahoo! A day like any other to cherish and savor, and squeeze until you get every morsel out of it! :) Actually...every day should be that...but it IS fun to have one day a week to actually POST about the thankfulness we should have at all times!

I am thankful for all the "usual" home, my precious treasure of a child, my job, my family, friends, and YOU, my bloggy whom I sometimes feel closer to than the people I see everyday! :) Strange how that I chat with "them" about this and that, but I pour out my heart to "you." Wierd, really, when you think about it!

I am thankful for the two new tires on my car. Thankful that we did not have a serious blowout but instead had one go flat overnight. Much safer that way, eh? I am thankful that I had the money in my checking acct. to pay for them. I am thankful that I think even with that huge (to me) chunk gone, that I WILL be able to pay my rent for next month. AND pay my utilities, as well. That's God, friends...cuz usually there is NO cushion available!!

I am thankful that when we went to the Emergency Clinic, that Shao's wrist was just sprained, and she just needed to continue what I had been having her it, ice it, take Ibuprofen 4 times a day. I am thankful that I just typed that, which reminded me that I have to run to the store and get a bottle to take into school for her! So...I'm outta here! :) Might be back, because for sure, I have more things to be thankful for! But gotta go take care of that, before my senility sets in again, and I forget! :)


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A list, as requested!

So...a sweet reader asked me to post a list of things ShaoXi needs for her trip to camp! My sweet sister in the Lord, Sherri, is buying her a set of extra-long twin bed sheets! YAY! Something we absolutely didn't have. The list the Conservatory sent is divided up into a few different sections. Bedding: sheets, mattress cover (didn't notice this one til right now!), towels and wash cloths (but we have these...may be old, and not matching, but we DO have them!)

Toiletries: Containers for make-up, jewelry, and hair items (makes sense!)
ANd then the actual toiletries. And I am not sure if it is a communal shower room...if so, I guess she would need some sort of a caddy to carry things to and from the bathroom!

Sneakers/comfortable walking shoes (no flip flops allowed! No idea why!) This girl has SHOES!
no problem there! :)
Coverups for over her dancewear...I think I might make her a couple of those dresses that are gathered on just buy the material, enough to go around her, and PRESTO! A dress! (once you add straps!)
Dance bag/dance wear: Most of this will need to be ordered from their Dance Shop, since it is
very specific as to maker, type and color!
The appliances she is okay with...alarm clock, hair dryer and Ipod (I thought that was a riot, that that was listed ans an appliance!!!)
Cup/mug; stationary; hangers (got those!), Laundry bag & detergent (got the detergent!); Quarters to DO laundry; umbrella; raincoat

She will obviously need to bring all the usual personal items, ie, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoos and conditioners, LOTS and LOTS of black bobby pins (they disappear like crazy!), black hair nets for her bun, to hold it all together; etc., etc.

I also told her I will send her up with a case of bottled water to start with. You can buy it in the Dance shop, but I am SURE it cost money! I was happy to hear that the rooms have a small dorm sized frig, so she can stock it with water! Yay! I will also send lots of healthy snacks, some plastic utensils, a jar of PB, and one of jam, some bread, the POOR child doesn't starve to death! Yes, there is a reportedly very good food program. But you know kids!!! :)

I told her we could untie the curtains from her room at home and take them, in case we can use them...they are tie ons, so easy enough, and just sheer aqua so should work...IF there are curtain rods. Not sure. I am sure she will take along a few of her MILLION fuzzy throw pillows and a stuffed animal or two, as well as her beloved bed pillow. Her gramma gave her a laptop, so that will go along. I need to find a cell phone program that has no set amount of months, that is one set price for a month, all inclusive. Anyone have an idea? I am pretty clueless about anything technical! I do manage to blog here, but it's by the grace of God, believe me! :)

Okay...much of this stuff we have at home. I am resisting beginning packing. Believe me, when I was getting ready to head to China, long before I actually got my referral, I began! Maybe I need to get a cardboard box and begin putting stuff in it...toothpaste, shampoo, etc.! I think that would make me feel like I am doing something...relieve my anxiety, a little!

So...there ya go. A list. Just pray, okay, that we gather everything together. I'm not too worried. Except about the actual dancewear. Not that I'm worried. But that stuff we definitely DO NOT have, nor was I able to find it anywhere on line...looking for more reasonable prices, don't ya know? :)

Blessings...and hugs...and thanks!



That's the sound of me, exhaling loudly. Yesterday was that sort of day. Seriously. To start it off...on Sunday morning, I trotted out to my car (which was parked in an ever-growing puddle), got in, and made it two feet out of my driveway when I realized "I have a flat tire!" Thankfully, my Mom was just coming out of the house, headed to church with my sister, so I borrowed Mom's car, and off I went.

When I got home, Mom called AAA, and they came out and changed the tire. ( I DID move the car to the other side of the driveway, so the poor guy wouldn't have to change it in a puddle!)
Yesterday after my morning bus run, I took the car over to the tire place. He took one look at the flat, and said it was shot. Okay. Not happy, but it is what it is. He said he'd put a new one on the rim and call me when it was done. No call until 10 min. before I was ready to head out the door on my afternoon run, so I told him I would be there after work.

When he put the car up on the lift, it wasn't good news. The OTHER front tire was just as bad as the one that had gone flat. I am buying TWO new tires. Sigh. Walked out $300 poorer, but at least my car is safe to drive! The guy said the back tires looked pretty good. Thank you, Lord! Bad enough. I hate these unexpected things...they really make me scramble for money. I am SURE it is another chance for me to trust God to meet the need. But you know? Sometimes it sure does get tiring! I wish I'd learn the lesson, alright, already! :) Sheesh!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Memorial Box Monday

So, Miss Shao is getting more and more excited about Nutmeg! And I am beginning to start my lists of lists, getting ready for the big day. There is a list of things she needs to bring along, some of it dance wear, and some of it for her dorm room. My little a dorm room. Oh, my heart! Thought I had at least another 4 years to prep for this one! :)

Anyhow...a sweet sister in the Lord, who I am assuming came to my blog through Linny's Crazy Love Challenges, sent me a comment to please contact her. And so I did...and she said God told her it was HER job to provide the extra-long sheets for ShaoXi's dorm bed! Now...sheets, you say. Doesn't sound like a big, huge thing. OH, but it IS!!!!! Cuz the truth is, I just don't have the money to spend on something that she will only need that one time. And sheets aren't cheap, anyways! And MAYBE she will be able to use them again another year. That remains to be seen. And we COULD have used a set of double sheets and made do with it. But no....our God wants to show my girl just how very much He loves her, by using Sherri. And she isn't just "buying sheets." She asked exactly what colors Shao likes. I did tell Shao, and she is very excited to see the surprise when the bedding arrives! So cool! Thank you, Sherri. Thank you for blessing us! We pray that God blesses you back, "pressed down, and running over!"


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Teenagers! AKA Sunny Saturday

So Miss ShaoXi came home all fired up yesterday. She organized a group of girls to come down to our town beach and do clean-up! Pretty cool, eh? I was very proud of her! So...of course, this meant that SOME adult needed to be there as a check-in person. That, um, would be ME, since it was my kid who was the one who dreamed this up!

Lucky for all, it was a glorious day, and 8 13-14 year old girls spent about 4 hours on the beach...some cleaning DID get done, and a LOT of fun! And me? Well, one of the kid's grandmas brought her, so I made a new friend, a very nice lady, and we had a great time chatting.

Let me tell you, teenage girls are a hoot! I LOVE hearing them jabber and laugh together. But I must say...I am glad (OH SO GLAD!!) that tonight? I am goin' solo...girly went for a sleepover! Peace reigns in shaosworld! :) And I'm thinking...four hours of sun and sea breeze? We should ALL sleep well tonight! :) IF my rather sun/wind burned face lets me! YIKES! :)

You know what I REALLY like? That these girls, who do NOT come from Christian homes, KNOW that Shao does not like swearing or inappropriate things. And so they do NOT swear in her presence. I'm thinking...if they spend LOTS and LOTS of time with her, then eventually, maybe the NEW habit of NOT swearing will come into play more than the old! Meanwhile, I pick her and the two girls having the sleepover up for Sunday school and then church in the morning! YEAH! I'm goin' out into the highways and byways, and bringin' 'em in! Let's get them all saved, that's my mission in life! :) At least at THIS point! :)


Friday, April 23, 2010

Fabulous Friday!

So today, I celebrate Friday! This has been an intensely crazy week at work. Coupled with coming back after a week OFF, it has been doubly crazy! So, even though I truly TRY not to wish the days away (when you get to be my age, you want every day to STRETCH!), THIS week I am glad to be done...well, almost. In fact, they just called me to do an unexpected run in half an hour. I pretty much never say no. Which is why they call ME, and not someone else. My mama didn't raise no dummies! :) I need the money, and am thankful for whatever they throw my way. And THIS week, it sure felt like they were THROWING the stuff at me...I was all over the place, and they would send me one place, then call me back, change things a hundred times...nuts.'s Friday. And next week I am SUPPOSED to be starting a new, permanent run. As permanent as it GETS in the Durham School Bus world! :) This will be my THIRD "permanent" run this school year. I think it would be much less crazy if people would just COME to work. It amazes me how many people call out each day. If I was in charge, (and if we had enough drivers, which we NEVER do!) calling out for no good reason would lead fairly quickly to termination. I go in no matter WHAT! I had laser eye surgery yesterday, and fit it in between my runs. I fit ALL my appointments in between runs, when ever possible. I go in when I am sick as a dog. It's my's my responsibility. And it's not like my work can be left undone until I come back...the kids need to go to school and back again!

Okay...enough venting! :) FABULOUS Friday, remember? With a bit of Thankful Thursday thrown in! :)

Today I am thankful for:

my sweet apartment, with all it's beautiful wood floors, and 250 year old charm

my precious daughter, who went to school this morning with a kiss and a smile

my job...having been unemployed regularly for 4 years, this is a blessing! I know there are many folks out there with NO job.

my family and friends who love me despite of myself!

my Saviour, Jesus, Who is faithful, true, and loves me beyond reason!

Hope you all have a terrific weekend! I plan to! Miss Shao has taken it upon herself, in honor of Earth Day, to organize a crew of girls to go to the beach and clean it up! You go, girlfriend! I am so proud of that kid! :)


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Slightly Late Memorial Box Thursday! :)

A month ago ShaoXi had the awesome opportunity to audition privately for Nutmeg Conservatory. Before we even drove up for the audition, I had inquired about scholarships. I knew the price...$4900 for the 4 week program. That is way more than a third of our annual income!!! So I KNEW that a scholarship was our only chance! But the director did say there were limited scholarships available, but sounded like it was not a shoe in, by any means.

Going up there, I told her I thought it might be about a half hour audition, since she was the only one! WRONG!!! She danced for almost two hours, all by herself, with the director. No mamas allowed. I sat in the foyer and waited...and waited...and waited. After about 90 minutes, the director came and found me, and said Shao was taking a little break, and then they were going to do pointe! YIKES! Talk about thorough!

Finally Shao came down, and Mr. Alexander came and ushered us into his office. The first thing he said was "Well, you're definitely accepted!" That was a relief, and a proud moment, as well! He put a folder out on the desk, and said we would need to get the $500 deposit in very quickly, as the spaces were filling up. And although I knew the price, I asked again. Nothing had changed. So I inquired again about a scholarship, and sounding doubtful, he said he would speak to the scholarship committee. We were hopeful, and trying not to get too excited!

Poor Shao was famished and exhausted, so we went to Applebees and used a gift card we had received for Christmas (Thanks, Dickie!) While there, she called her Gramma Donna to let her know, since she had asked to be called as soon as we were out of the audition. Gramma told Shao she'd see about helping out financially, once we heard from the committee. I figured it would be the end of the week before we heard. It was gonna be a LOOONG week!

But early on Monday afternoon I got a call saying she had received a merit scholarship of $2500!!! WOOHOO!!!! But that still left the other half. Which in our little world is a small..make that LARGE fortune! When Shao heard, she immediately called Gramma & Grampa. Then I talked with them, and Donna said if I could cover the deposit, she would cover the rest. Thank God for tax refunds...I had put it aside, to help us get through each month, especially with summer coming up and no work. But I decided that THIS was important, and that as I have done for many a year, I would just have to trust God to provide this summer. our Memorial Box will go a little pair of ballet slippers that usually hangs on our tree each Christmas! I guess we will put them back on the tree each year! And of this point I don't HAVE an actual, physical Memorial Box. But even so...we are blessed!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Prayer needs...Crazy Love Challenge

Our needs remain the stability, health, etc. Please also pray for both ShaoXi and I as her time at Nutmeg approaches...we have never been apart more than a night or two. I suspect baby girl will do far better than her mama! :) While I think she will come home on weekends, still, four weeks is a long time! Pray for her to be a strong witness for Christ to those around her, both students and faculty alike. Pray for her to make right decisions while there, without mama to run them by. Pray for me to find ways to keep VERY busy! :)

Also, for the final finances for Nutmeg. We got the paperwork finally, and she needs 3 different leotards, tights, pointe shoes, 2 books, 2 ballet skirts. Yikes! :) Not to mention the stuff to furnish her room, though it's not much. But we don't HAVE extra long twin sheets! So that's another expense...although I MAY see if the twin sheets we have will fit...I do know they are BIG on the twin bed we have! So hoping this works! :)

Pray for my health. While the diabetes is stable, I am experiencing increasing joint and muscle pain/weakness, which is concerning. Either my arthritis and fibromyalgia are ramping up, or there's something else going on.

And here's my heart's desire...I would SO love to be able to go help Katie in Uganda...or Bill and Lynsay in Beijing...or travel with Dw and/or Linny on a trip to Africa or Haiti. But we are scraping by, barely, every month. But I KNOW our God can provide this. What I would REALLY like is to adopt again, but my age is against me...but I long for babies to cuddle and nurture! So I'm thinking...mission trips to baby homes! Yeah!!! :)

Thank you all SOOOO very much! I will pray for you all, as well! Isn't our God WONDERFUL?!?!?!?


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Home, sweet home!

It's funny. No matter how much fun it is to be on vacation, no matter how much you already miss the folks you were with, there's nothing like coming home. We were ecstatic to be home, to be done with traveling for a little bit, to sleep in our own beds, to be surrounded by our own things. Home. It's a beautiful thing.

And yet...there are so many out in this world who don't have that in any way, shape or form. I think of the people of Haiti, and those in China recently, who have been devastated by an earthquake, and are literally without a single possession other than the clothes on their backs. And I can't fathom that depth of misery. I really can't. But there is a small, teeny, tiny part of me that wishes I could. Oh, don't misunderstand me...I am grateful for all we have. But sometimes it is hard for a spoiled American to even empathize with those in misery around us. And I feel a little shame in that. Maybe more than a little.

Lord, help me to see people through YOUR eyes, which work oh so much better than my own!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun in St. Louis!

I have never been in the midwest before. It is in the high 80's here, if not 90, and GORGEOUS! Yesterday Richard brought lilacs home from work...our lilac season in New England begins in mid-May, at the earliest!!!! LILACS!!!! My very favorite...oh, the smell!

And today I got to rock their baby to sleep...such sweetness! Heaven, in my eyes!

Today we went to a butterfly conservatory, and apparently butterflies LOVE me. Hmm! I had one "hitchhiker" the whole time I was in there, and several who came and went, including one that came and sat on the back of my hand for a very long time. So very beautiful!

Thursday we are going to see the famous "Arch" in St. Louis, and a basilica, and maybe back to the butterfly place. And I don't know WHAT else. Should be a full day! :) And Richard will take the day off, which will be a blast.

Meanwhile, my girlie is plying her now beloved Uncle Richard with deep theological questions...very cool! He is so cute about it...he actually took her list of questions to work with him yesterday and spent time looking up answers and scriptures! Shao said to me, the other night, "Mama, you were right!" I looked at her questioningly and she said "I LOVE Uncle Richard!" I had told her to just wait, she would LOVE him...yep! Mama knows best! :)


Friday, April 9, 2010


Tomorrow...tomorrow I will see one of my very best friends from Bible college, whom I lost contact with maybe 10 years ago! I found them again about a year ago (DUH...finally ocurred to me to call his mama, whom I KNEW would still be living in his hometown!) Anyhow...Shao & I were blessed with tickets to fly to St. Louis, MO, to see he and his wife, and their two boys. But it gets better. I THINK he is going to water baptize ShaoXi!!!! She has asked me if this could happen, and he is working on it. He DOES have a baptismal pool at his church. This is so special! You see, he and his wife and his oldest son Alex drove all the way up from North Carolina when Shao was first home from China to do her baby dedication. And now he might baptize her...the only thing left is to help perform her wedding ceremony! How cool is all that?!?! adoption agency is headquartered in St. Louis! So I get to take my treasure over to see the folks there and thank them...what a gift, beyond all reason, she has been in my life. Hmmm....maybe I need to bake cookies, or something, eh? :) How in the WORLD do you say thank you for such a gift? I have no clue!!!!

We will be there until next Friday. So we get to hear Richard preach a few times, and MAYBE he will be able to set up a baptismal service. I asked him VERY late, as I was waiting for confirmation from Shao that this is what she wanted. And she is eager...oh, my heart, God is good!!!!!!!!

So...I can only imagine they will have a computer at home that I can use. I think I will have some free time, as they both work, although they will take some time off to have fun while we are there. And I did volunteer to care for their 20 month old monkey, Josiah, when they had to work. That will save them some money, which is always a good thing! :) Can you tell I'm excited? It remains to be seen how Miss Shao does. I'm told Alex loves video games, but Shao is more of a climb a tree, do cartwheels, get outside kind of kid. Hopefully they will find some common ground! He is 2 months older than ShaoXi. So, off to St. Louis we go! Gonna be a blast!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I continue to be humbled and thankful for those who drop by my blog. Not everyone leaves a comment, but I know folks have been by. When I DO get a comment, it is such fun, and such a joy to read. And hopefully folks are praying for us...I know many are, I can FEEL those prayers! Let's keep this crazy love going, folks! God doesn't call us to EVER stop! :)


Monday, April 5, 2010

Memorial Box Monday: Easter Blessings and Miracles

This past weekend we traveled down to Downingtown PA to celebrate Easter with my bestest college buddy, Kim, and her husband Henry. We went down on Thursday afternoon, which was the FIRST blessing. On a whim I asked my boss if there was a spare driver with no run, and there I did not drive my last run, instead we were able to leave for PA at 3PM instead of 5...which got us in at 9, MUCH nicer than 11 or more!

On Friday we went to visit a family I met on line. They have 3 girls from China, all around Shao's age. When I found out they live near Kim, we decided to go visit, and it's been the tradition ever since, for about 4 or 5 years now. We walk in the door and it's if we had never left. I LOVE that kind of connection. And we don't just VISIT! Wayne is a fantastic chef, mainly of Chinese food! And this year? Well, he outdid himself! He had a printed up sheet of each course, and there were TWENTY of them! NO LIE!!!!! We only got through 16...and that was with leaving the table after several hours, and then coming back to polish off 3 more! :) YOWSER!!!!!

On Saturday Uncle Henry swept ShaoXi off to go shopping for an Easter outfit. Very secretive about all the plans. Kim & I went shopping too, and when we got home, ShaoXi gave us a fashion show. Let me tell you...her Easter dress was drop dead gorgeous! I will try to download a picture! After buying the dress, then going shoe shopping, Henry took her to Gordon's Jewelry Store. And bought her a real pearl necklace, bracelet and earrings. And THEN they had their first fight. And Henry won. He wanted to buy her a beautiful sapphire/diamond necklace and earrings set, and Shao, ever the thrifty one, felt it was too much. It is beautiful. She felt like a princess, and very, very loved! This by a man who is not really INTO kids. But oh, my, does he love my girl! :)

On Sunday we went to church. Henry guided us to a row about 5 back from the front. I usually sit farther up. So I groused a little about being "so far back," and then acquiesed and filed in first. Soon, from the other aisle, a man came and sat next to me, and then two young ladies a little while after. After singing several songs, we greeted all around us, and then sat down. And the pastor then said there was a "friendship pad" at the end of the pew, please fill it out, and pass it down. The man filled it out and passed it to me, and I flipped it open to sign. And gasped. And looked in right in the eye and said, "MARK STROHM????" He said yes, and I pointed to myself and said "NANCY JOHNSON!" His reply was "THE Nancy Johnson???" We hugged, I cried, I laughed. Oh, it was wonderful!!!!

You see, Mark and his wife Ellen had been my dear friends when I was teaching kindergarten at Christian Life Academy in Brookfield CT. Actually, Mark was the principal/director there, and he was the one who interviewed and instantly hired me! And the week I moved up from PA to CT, Ellen gave birth to their 3rd child, little Julie. I fell totally in love with this family, and with their kids. Andy was maybe 3 or 4, Allie was barely 2, and then baby Julie. I was their babysitter, and more. I hung out at the Strohm home all the time. We were good friends. And then they moved to VA, for Mark to get his masters. And I visited them once...on the way down, I stopped at Kim's to drop off my kittens for her to care for...and then they moved again, to Illinois. We talked once in awhile, and then...lost touch. I would say about 18 years ago. This...THIS was my Easter miracle. I cannot tell you HOW many times I have looked at their IL address in my book, and felt sad. THEN GOD!!!!

Anyhow...come to find out...they had left IL about 7 years ago and moved to PA...and had been attending Kim & Henry's church for all of that time. When I went to introduce Kim and Henry to them, I only got a word or two out when they were all "Hi, Kim, how is your recovery going?" (she recently had some surgery!) THEY KNOW EACH OTHER!!! How wierd and wonderful and just like God to do this, is THAT?!?!?!? And Mark has a sister who lives in my town...and they come here all the time. Do ya think we will be getting together? Oh, you betcha!!!! :)

I have Ellen's business card, and it will go in my Memorial least I won't lose it then! So to say I had a great weekend would be quite the understatement! Thank you Father for ALL that You did this weekend. But of course, most of all, thank You for what you did 2000 years ago, on the cross. That is the greatest gift of all!!!