Saturday, December 10, 2011

Getting in the spirit

I get so excited for this time of year because of our daily rituals. My favorite one is reading our advent devotions after dinner at night. At first I HATED the short days and early nights. (It is completely dark by 5:30 in Alabama!) But the early evenings are not so bad when they are ushered in with white Christmas lights! In fact, I look forward to that time of day now!

Our advent Jesse tree, along with our not-so-spiritual-but-very-exciting Lego advent calendar!
My Dad is such a sucker for Christmas lights. We used to have a ficus tree in the living room with lights on it year around. He called it the "burning bush", which is so hilarious and so HIM! He totally claimed it as a redneck thing, but we all loved it just the same. I think I remember Andy and I kissing for hours at a time on the living room sofa under the lights of the burning bush when we were in college. Good times! I wonder what ever happened to it?
An after school treat from Edgar's bakery on Wednesday. Aren't they cute? I am SO excited for this week! Beginning in the second week of December we abandon all science and history lessons to focus on Christmas. We do some of the same activities every year, and then we add new ones, too. Yesterday was our last day of history and science. This morning we read about the history/legend of St. Nicholas and the children received gold chocolate coins. We also had hot chocolate and enjoyed the Christmas lights on the tree. The boys thought it weird to "study on Saturday". But then they loved the book and the candy, of course, so all was well.On Friday we enjoyed another tradition. We saw the Birmingham Ballet perform The Nutcracker. The ballet stirs my soul, and I especially love the music of Tchaikovsky! The boys even enjoyed the ballet because the costumes, props, and scenery were extraordinary! Lydie cried last night because she was sad that she was not on stage. Maybe next year we will let her audition to be a marshmallow or a mouse. What fun!I took this picture during intermission. I ALMOST got ushered out of the theatre! Apparently I missed the dozens of signs that forbid cameras in the theatre. They were gracious because it was, after all, intermission. I don't believe this picture would have been worth missing the ballet!
We have had fun nights with our friends from Atlanta these last few days. (Please come with Jeff and Charissa next time, Michele!!) They have had a daughter-father hunting adventure this week at our house. Unfortunately they have seen very few deer. But hopefully they enjoyed being together and outside. We really enjoyed the evening conversations around the dinner table. And the kids (especially Lydie) loved having Charissa around! We LOVE having guests! And they survived staying in the trailer on the hill. I was a little mortified, but I'm over it. In fact, they came by this morning and I just stood there and chatted with them in my pjs. Good grief, this farm is robbing me of all sense of reality! :)
Here I sit, dressed for the day until we leave for a Christmas party tonight. I guess if Charrisa and Jeff had to see my in pjs, the owl gown, yoga pants, and pink slippers weren't SO bad!
There are one or two things on the calendar every day for the next week or so. Praying for the freedom to let go of things that can wait (dirty corners) and embrace this fleeting time of year! So full of praise and encouragement as I enter into Advent and remember the birth of Jesus and hold dear to all He has promised me as His child! I am robed in the righteousness of Christ- what freedom! Today is already December 10th! Praying you, too, are soaking in the goodness!

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