Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Christmas!

Wishing you the joys of Christmas as we join together as families to give thanks for the birth of God's Son given to us as a gracious expression of God's love for this world.

 For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. ~Isaiah 9:6a

Monday, December 15, 2014

birthday message

December moments

December always has its own roller coaster of moods for me. Excited about plans, overwhelmed by ideas, stretched for new gift lists, anticipating family time and travel plans, keeping up lesson work and housework, it all comes to a head this time of year. I don't do well with Advent daily readings, as we always get behind, but we are reading applicable Bible passages and discussing things on our own.  We are of course reading Christmas books and those that that fortuitously coincide like Mr. Pipes Comes to America. 
A quick visit from my mom to spend time with us before Christmas arrives and she is always eager to play a game or two. Next up is Kate's birthday and then it is full steam ahead to Christmas celebrations. I figure another ten years or so and I will get to have those quiet, reflective Advent moments that people are always talking about. (Wink, wink.)

Friday, December 12, 2014

links in the spirit of Christmas

To read:

Eleven Christmas Books Everyone Should Read

Operators Are Standing By


Professor Carol

To watch:

Rick Steve's European Christmas

A Christmas in Wales

just a few Christmas books...

Slowly, we are building a collection of good Christmas books that we look forward to reading each year. For the last several years, I have wrapped twenty-four books and the kids have taken a turn unwrapping one each day until Christmas Day. This year, I started wrapping and forgot to take photos until at least a third of the books were wrapped. Doh!

And the rest are helpfully sitting here, clothed in their paper finery waiting to be picked. We have more than twenty-four books in our own collection, so some of the lengthier books do not get gift-wrapped because they take longer than one sitting to read. Great classics like The Story of Holly and Ivy, The Christmas Carol or Tolkien's fun Letters from Father Christmas.

And then we have the library books, some of  which get borrowed every year until we get our own copy, and others which we test run to see what we think. Wenceslas, Christmas Farm, and A Star for Christmas are old library favorites(and mine), the rest of the books pictured below are newly discovered ones that made the cut for this post. The rest are going back to the library. But my request list has more books coming so hopefully we will have more to add to this list for another year.

One of Laura's favorites

Seth loved this edition. 

A unique story from Patricia MacLachlan.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

gift ideas for the mama (and other women too)

So apparently some of you(looking at you, Kathleen) didn't really want suggestions for kids, you wanted a list to give to your husband. Righty-o.

  • gift card to fabric stores, craft stores, IKEA, online stores, hardware stores, home stores, spa and hair salons, clothing and shoe stores, other retail, etc
  • craft and sewing supplies
  • garden supplies and planning time together
  • books, bookmarks, reading lamps, journals, bookshelves, desk, nightstand
  • music (albums, instruments, sheet music)
  • dvds (movies, series, documentaries, concerts)
  • stationary supplies (cards, paper, notebooks, journals, pens)
  • fine art supplies (drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. supplies, )
  • coffee and teas
  • chocolate and sweets
  • wine, ciders and beers
  • concert or show tickets
  • weekend get-aways
  • time to just be
  • dinner plans
  • thrift store finds
  • completed home projects
  • camera, phone, computer, accessories, etc
  • travel mug, bags, luggage, etc.
  • home appliances, large and small
  • fresh flowers, house plants, dried arrangements, vases, containers, greenhouses, baskets, etc.
  • board games, card games
  • candlesticks and tapers, votives, kitchen, table and home linens
  • framed prints, photos, artwork from him or the kids
  • and of course, woolen socks, hats, scarves, mittens, boot cuffs, cowls, and sweaters
Lastly, good words on marriage to remember especially during a time of gift-exchanging.

"You marry a man. Strange how easy it seems to be for some women to expect their husbands to be like women, to act like women, to do what is expected of women. Instead of that they are men, they act like men, they do what is expected of men and thus they do the unexpected." ~ Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be A Women