We are wishing everyone who visits this website during this holiday season,  a very


From our house to yours,  Allen & Mary Benner

Joshua 24:15 NIV  "But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."



December of 2008 was a "melancholy" time for me, a year and a half earlier my father had passed away after a short illness and my brother, Mike, and my mother, had passed away many years before him.  Both of my daughters were now married and no longer living at home, my first two grandchildren had been born and my third grandson was due any time.   So I had been quietly thinking about my family members and the Christmases of my youth.  And I was thinking especially about my mother who I always think about at Christmas time.  It had been 11 years since her passing and I was feeling very sad that I could not remember what her voice sounded like anymore.  When I was young my mother used to make us candy apples for Christmas.  Most of the time she would cover them with caramel and decorate them with candies and sprinkles and she would put them by our pillows on Christmas Eve so we would find them when we woke up in the morning.  My mother's father, Carl Larrabee, was a blueberry farmer and used to hire rakers in the the summer to harvest the berries and ship them to factories where the berries would be processed.  So in the later years of her life, my mother loved to collect anything with blueberries on it,  salt and pepper shakers, cups, stationary, clocks, aprons, you name it, she even had a blueberry sweater!  One year for Christmas she sent me a blueberry hurricane lamp and some blueberry coffee cups!

Anyways, about a week before Christmas 2008 my daughter, Marlee, came to visit with her daughter to take photos of Sarah sitting in front of our Christmas tree.  While we were busy trying to pose a squirming Sarah,  I got a knock on the front door,  it was the UPS man with a package that I had been more or less expecting.  The package was from Marie Osmond's doll company.   I had been designing dolls for Marie's company for many years and every year her company would send me, (as well as their other artists), a Christmas gift.  Usually it would be a box of chocolates,  or jams,  and one year, (the year Marie went on Dancing with the Stars), I got Marie's & Donny's Christmas CD album.  But the package I received the Christmas of 2008 was different,  the box that arrived was fairly large and covered in a BLUEBERRY design, which I thought was kind of odd because for Christmas usually you would think holly berries or mistletoe.  But the biggest surprise was what was inside the box,  4 caramel apples decorated with candy sprinkles similar to the candy apples my mother used to make for me and my siblings when we were young.  However my brother Mike had passed away,  and there were only 4 of her children still living!  Blueberry box,  4 caramel apples inside,  a coincidence right???  Or not???  Maybe some divine intervention by a loving Heavenly Father who knew how much I was missing my mom that year.  I don't know but I was reminded of this verse in James‬ ‭1:17-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬;  “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.”

It is my hope that all who read this will turn their hearts to the One who created us,  the One who sustains us, the One who loves us, the One who saved us,  JESUS the Messiah!  Happy Birthday Jesus!
























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