Friday, December 26, 2008

Memories Made

Each Christmas season we make sure we stay focused on the reason for our celebration. Beginning the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, we set up the Advent Wreath in our tradition to retell the Christmas story. There are 5 candles on the Advent Wreath, each one representing a certain aspect of the Christ story. The Prophecy candle which tells of His coming in the Old Testament; the Shepherd Candle telling the story of the proclamation of Christ's birth, the Bethlehem Candle foretelling the place of the birth, the Angel's candle describing the angelic visit to Mary and Joseph. Each Sunday a new candle is lit in addition to the previous one(s) until all are lit. The final candle is the Christ Candle and it is lit on Christmas Eve, culminating the long awaited anticipation of Christmas Day. During the week, we try to have evening devotions with any of the children that are home, keeping the focus of Christmas on Jesus. We have carried on this tradition for many years and the kids have always enjoyed it. I have found various advent wreath candle holders at yard sales and thrift stores that I give to my kids to use with their families. We have treasured our family times around the advent candles.

This is the first fake tree I have ever had. I actually liked it. No mess and I didn't have to cut down a tree just to decorate my living room for a few weeks.

We had a full on dinner with the all of the family and some extra guests. The girls each brought home a boyfriend this year, that was different!

Darling DIL made this cute little gingerbread house for us to devour. Notice how absolutely perfect the "snow" is!! We hated to break it apart to eat it! Although the boys thought it was great fun to "bomb" it and make holes in it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

When the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, winter arrives like a long lost friend. Just on the heels of a comfortable, gentle Fall, the rainy season has come. Various rooftops in the neighborhood sing their song of rain pattering against their shingles, each unique in their tune.
The wood shed is full, the delicate plants are put away, and the dog gets to sleep inside by the fire. The floors are continually stenciled with muddy footprints, unbeknownst to my valiant efforts to wipe them away.
'Tis the time to nestle. Time to settle into winter mode, dragging out the projects that didn't get finished last year. The knitting needles are clinking away as I try to finish up last minute gifts for my family. As you race through the day of gift giving and dining, take a few long moments to reflect on just how blessed you are and how wonderful our Heavenly Father is. Before you jump out of bed to spy the contents of your Christmas stocking, pause and give praise to the One who has given us the greatest gift of all, salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Because if it weren't for the free gift that God has given us, we would be lost in a sea of condemnation instead of sailing on an ocean of grace. Merry Christmas to all of you. Peace, good health and love are the gifts I wish for each one of you this season.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Family Frolic

They got a hold of my camera again. Quite often I am surprised when I go to use my camera and find various snapshots of my young adult children. They really like taking photos of themselves!

I have a very expressive family!

Monday, December 01, 2008

For Baby

Ev's friends gave her a baby shower last weekend. She got some really cute stuff. We sat outside on the front patio in the beautiful 70 degree weather. Hard to believe it was the end of November. Little Tallulah is to arrive in just 6 weeks. We can hardly wait.

Here are the girls sampling different baby foods for a game we played.

The November sky gave us a fond farewell as we welcomed December. The fall weather has been nearly the best I have ever experienced here on the Northcoast. Warm days with just enough rainfall to freshen up the landscape.