Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Prayer

Precious Jesus,
Every single day of this year you have given me reason to pause and adore You! Some days have been hard and slow. Some days have been tremendously joyful and fast. And some days have been just more of the same. But it is all good with You.

Your love and wisdom is more than I can fathom. All I can do is worship you for coming to this weary world and entering the darkness. Thank you for living perfectly because I surely can not. Thank you for being fully man and fully God. Thank you for dying to take the punishment for my debt. I owe you my life, but struggle to surrender it to you as I should. But knowing you have done what I can not gives me Peace beyond understanding. Thank you for providing a place for me in eternity to enjoy with You and your beloved. I can not imagine the undeserved riches that await me when I see you face to face.

I beg you for the grace to know you more and more each day of 2010. I thank you for the salvation of my sons, and continue to ask for the same for sweet Lydie. And I praise you for a husband that leads by a godly, humble example. May we all grow closer to you through the beauty of your creation, the hearing of your word, fellowship with believers, and time with you. I beg you for the grace to make Your name and work known to those who are lost all around me. Lord, may you continue to gently lift my eyes towards You and Your kingdom and away from earthly desires. Thank you for your beautiful Story. I am honored to be a small part of it.

"Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!"

~a portion from "O Holy Night!"

In the spotlight

The boys earned their yellow belts in karate this week. They have learned so much in their class, specifically how to grow in endurance, strength, and determination.


Lydie performed a little dance for her ballet Christmas party. She loves to dance and has enjoyed her class so much! Her teacher is a doll and is so patient with Lydie, as she is by far the youngest and smallest.

I am very thankful for the resources to allow the children to explore their gifts and talents. Praying they will use their energy, time, and creativity to bring Him glory! It is such a miracle to be made in His image!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas at Mimi and Papa's house

We had a great weekend with grandparents, in spite of a few setbacks. Mimi was just being released from the hospital again due to a nagging respiratory infection that has been hanging on since Thanksgiving! So we had our big meal at Cracker Barrel. And then we came home for presents, playing, cookies, and lots of noise!Andy got a rifle from his parents. It was SO much fun seeing him receive something really special this year! He is always doing without for all of us. I LOVE his expression!
We gave cousin Zoe an apron. She is always the big helper in the kitchen.
Lydie loved her skirt, complete with a button for music. She did the hokey pokey many, many times, along with lots of twirls!
Andy and Papa relaxing together- they are two amazing, sweet men!
Toot got the Eiffel Tower lego set. He was SO excited. We decided we are going to send a picture in to the Lego Magazine when he completes it!
Mimi and cousin Megan at dinner.

Andy and his brother Ben. They are completely opposite, both very talented and generous! So thankful for a wonderful family!
My sister-in-law Kim and myself. This is the only picture with either of us because we are always behind the lens! Kim is quiet, very creative, and always organized. She is the PERFECT mom for triplets! We have a lot of common interests. One day, we are going to get our crafting weekend away!
Lydie can always be found in someone's lap, it seems. Here she is getting some love from her Daddy. If she wasn't in his lap or Papa's...

she was right by Uncle Ben. Like mother like daughter. I didn't quit sitting in my Dad's lap until I went to college!

We had another wonderful celebration! I was sorry that we had illness (poor Mimi! and I had strep throat on Sunday and Monday). But all in all, we always enjoy the fun and relaxation with everyone!

Christmas Around the World study

~Sweden ~
We read Annika's Secret Wish again this year. We had bread pudding for desert and Toot had the special almond in his bowl. He got to make a special wish, following Swedish tradition.

We read this beautiful rendition of The Nutcracker. We also listened to other Tchaikovsky music. And we were able to see The Nutcracker ballet at the fabulous Fox Theatre with our friends! We also baked mouse king cookies for fun this morning.


We read Tree of Cranes and did our best to recreate origami. The example above is a zebra.

We read The Legend of the Poinsettia. The kids did a simple poinsettia craft as well.

~(Ancient) Bethlehem~
We went on our annual Walk through Bethlehem trip as a family.
A few extra resources:
(Rick Steve's European Christmas dvd)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas at Nana and Poppy's house

When we get together, it's a loud, fun, crazy house of chaos. Our breakfast/pajama party on Sunday was no exception. Oh, the lovely, bubbly memories! (We also had parties with extended families, but my camera battery was not charged!)

The 10 Wild Characters:

Greyce: sweet, pumpkin, Lydie's sidekickLydie opening her American Girl Bitty Baby twins. This might be the beginning of a long love affair!
Anna: quiet, observant, and our little helper
Chelle and me: no make-up, silly, proud moms
Joshua got his first "Lego set with two instruction manuals"! 800 or so pieces, I think. A Limited Edition Star Wars kit. He was thrilled!
My brother: goofy, smart, affectionate
My Dad: the family clown, generous, brilliant
Mom: quiet, patient, definitely not a wild character but along for the ride
Jaybird is always excited for a new toy. And he needed some new light sabers. Do they ever get old?
My nephew Ross: vivacious, tender-hearted, athletic
My hubs: wild and crazy at heart. Oh yes, he fits in just fine!
"We only have this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake."
~Marie Beyon Ray
I am so thankful to have a family that knows how to laugh at ourselves and one another. May every moment count for His glory and melt away without regret!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes

I am joining The Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes. Welcome!

Our foyer
My husband gives me a piece of the Dicken's Christmas Village each year.Our kitchen

Our Christmas cards: we hang them on the pantry door and are reminded to pray for our friends and family

I used a lot of my usual decorating pieces with a sprig of evergreen or holly.

I love my simple "Merry Christmas" garland (paper and ribbon).

We have eaten by candlelight several dinners this season. I figure the candlelight will add a little beauty to my frozen Stoffer's meals lately! :)

I sold tassels this year for extra spending money. I let the boys each pick one to keep. This was Jaybird's choice.

Our school room

Norman Rockwell and Tchiakovsky have been our artist and composer for the month. Their masterpieces have enriched our holiday spirit!

We also ordered Ann Voskamp's Jesse tree this year for advent. Her words paint beautiful pictures for us of the beauty and glory of our Savior's birth!

Each day we tear off a link

This is Toot's favorite tassel. The cupcake hangs right above the stash...

Leftovers from making gingerbread houses.

Under that green tablecloth are shelves with our messy school stuff.
Family room

Our accent colors are green, brown and red. So the pillows and wall decor match nicely during the Christmas season.

I bought one of these small berry wreaths for the inside of the family room windows. They were in the dollar isle at Target after Christmas last year.

My favorite spot to enjoy on a little table by the window.

We hope your house is filled with love, faith, and laughter this season!
Merry Christmas!