Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

It's cold outside, it's toasty warm inside. A bit more wrapping, and hey, I'm ready enough!
We're looking for all of our kids to arrive on the 24th and 25th.
I haven't sent Christmas cards in hopes that I'll soon have a family picture to include in New Year's greetings. I have so enjoyed hearing from many of you. The pictures of families, new babies, adorable little and big children, warm my heart. Thank you to all of you who have sent cards. It's so nice to be remembered! (And to all of you who, like me, haven't sent cards...I understand!!!)
May God bless us all this year with joy, peace and love.
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
I John 4:10

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Count down to Christmas

One week! How does it sneak up on us like that? No matter, I'm ready enough. First we put up the outside tree -- clear lights only, but they didn't photograph very well.

Then we put up the happy tree -- colored lights and homemade pine cone ornaments (Thank you Laura Shaffer Rausch -- what's it been 10 years ago?!? They still look lovely.) Wooden toys and cloth angels and silver bells (actually they're gold, but...) make this a bright fun tree. Under the tree is a nativity set that little ones can play with. It's all child friendly.

This year we have a third tree (maybe we did last year too) and it's all white and gold, snow flakes and icicles and glass bulbs and sparkly garland. Bulbs and the Angel came from Nathan's Christmas stash. Beautiful Hallmark bulbs from Adam and Alicia last year. The tree skirt made by my very dear friend Deenie several years ago. All I need to complete this trip down nostalgia lane is a picture of the stockings made by my mom. They're hung by the chimney with care. I'll save that pic for the next blog -- stockings and a look at the beautiful fluffy snow we've got. Here's dreaming of a white Christmas.


Is it unreasonable to think I could do all of my Christmas shopping in one trip to the mall? That's the challenge of the week. We'll see. I'll let you know how it turns out for me!

I wrote this on the 14th and we (Tom and I) did a super job. Then we went again on the 15th and pretty much almost finished up. Then we went on the 18th to take care of a few exchanges and last minute things.

So the answer is yes, it's unreasonable to think you can do all your shopping in one trip to the mall. But we nailed it in 3 short trips. The stamina for shopping wanes as the years pile on.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hurry, Hurry, Rush, Rush

I decided to  hurry up and slow down. Quick before it's too late. Is that oxymoronic or what? I've missed some pretty important things -- birthdays, thank you notes, bills, nah, just kidding about the bills, but I'm scared to death of that one. So I set up some of my payments on-line. But I forgot. Then the bill came and I paid it. No sooner was it in the mail than it posted on-line, and bing, it was paid twice. It's okay, they credit you the next month around ;-)

Last week I had my computer reformatted and spent a day reconfiguring, reloading, pulling my hair. The cyber gods were tormenting me. But it pretty much all worked out...I think...I hope.

Here's a recap of our Thanksgiving week. Tom and I enjoyed turkey dinner with our friend, Aunt Ronnie, at her house.

It was a pleasant day, with a lovely lady. On Saturday 1/2 of our children arrived and we did Thanksgiving again. I call them the "A" kids: Adam & Alicia, Aaron & Amy (and of course, the little guy too who doesn't have an "A" name.)

The kids all got Christmas trees to take home. We put up the outside tree on the porch on Saturday, got lights on it the next Saturday. I had help on Friday to put some decorations around the house. And my little helper decorated herself while she was at it.

We've been selling trees like crazy. I've been trying to keep up with work at the church and my writing job. Decorating, baking, shopping, doing holiday things...yeah, right, I'm not getting very far. But you know, it always gets done. We had an interesting Sunday School class today on living in and appreciating the moments. That theme was sort of continued in a wonderful message during church from Romans 8. The lead up to that well known and oft quoted verse Rom. 8:28 "All things work together for good to those who love God..." But don't miss the context. "Yet what we suffer now..." Yes, we do suffer. And the pastor assured us that we will suffer in the new year. It's part of life, part of the groaning of creation. It groans and we groan as we wait for His glory to be revealed, when all of God's children will be free from sin, death, and decay. As we wait patiently (or not) we have the Holy Spirit to help us. Meanwhile, trials produce steadfastness and maturity. And God's grace is sufficient. "For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory."

How awesome is that? So if you're going to hurry up and do anything...hurry up and get hold of that right standing with God. He's giving it away. Go get it. It's truly awesome.