December 26, 2006

T'was the Day After Christmas and All Through the House....

All the 'creatures' slept in late and are currently enjoying the treats of the Holyday weekend! Today is a day of pumpkin pie for breakfast, MASH dvds, nuts & bolts (my great-grandmother's recipe for chex mix), laughter and thankfullness!!

We had a wonderful day yesterday. (Santa used to do his job and be done around midnight-1AM ... but over the years and with teenagers in the house, he has had to change his arrival till around 4-5AM!) The job was finished and another couple of hours of sleep later we all awoke to see what 'Santa' delivered!!

We arrived at my brother Marc's house by 10:30.... he, my sister-in-law Darlene and nephew Ethan age 9 live around the corner in the next town (maybe 15 minutes away). My parents beat us and were already enjoying their tea & coffee!! We had a delicious brunch for 11 of us and then shared gifts! What fun!!! Mid-afternoon we came home to put a turkey in the oven (not stuffed) then went to Pete's sister's house to visit with her & her husband and their mother!! The drive was easy and the visiting was relaxing.... and by the time we got home we were all ready for a good meal and a warm bed!!

GUESS WHAT?? We woke up this morning to SNOW!!!! No more dreaming of a "white" Christmas week!

Hope all of your Christmases were as blessed as ours was!!

We put up our Christmas tree on Friday the 22nd....... What a crazy but fun day that was!! We had our usual fare...... "seafood chowder for the menfolk and corn chowder for Audrey & me, artichoke dip w/fresh parm. cheese & whole wheat crackers, taco dip & chips, fresh veggie tray and of course cheese & crackers.....". Audrey & TJ helped prep the food while Austin & Travis got the tree in the stand and the lights & ornaments organized! The tree was decorated with LOTS of memories (Reliving the past ones and creating new ones!) "OHHHH, remember when the kids made the reindeer ornaments...", "Who's turn is it to put the angel on top?" "WOOOWWWW, look how little they were in this picture!" You know, all the sentimental things us moms say as we look backwards ....... :)

The tree is beautiful...... we all agreed *the first time in many years* to have white, non-blinking lights! The ornaments, alot of hand-made ones from over the years, are wonderful! I think this is the prettiest tree we've had in a long time! (My kids tell me I say this every year!)

Our 'finishing touch' to tree-day(night) NORMALLY is to watch "White Christmas" as we munch on the goodies. This year somehow, my movie was left behind in storage. So, instead we watched "The Count of Monte Cristo" and believe it or not, the words "Merry Christmas" do happen in this movie!! (hint... it happens in the jail scenes between the two inmates!) We enjoyed the movie but most of all, we enjoyed the time together as a family! I love tree day almost as much as I love Christmas day itself!

December 13, 2006

"The countdown has begun..." OR "Advent, preparing for Christmas..."

The countdown has begun..... when I was a child, my parents had fun ways for us to count down the days. We had the advent wreath & candles on the table to light counting the 4 Sundays before Christmas, the last one lighted on Christmas Eve. Often times, my brother and I had our own countdown with a handmade advent counter (we would untie or cut off 1 mint candy each day) or open the little doors to see the Nativity unfold day by day. It was a fun way for us to 'prepare' for Christmas.

As an adult, I still like to 'prepare' for Christmas...... over the years, I've crossed off the (available shopping) days on my calender, baked & crafted, made advent counters for the kids, we've done advent stories & Bible studies and even had the wreath on the table.... but somehow, I think there is MORE to the advent season than all of that. These are all GOOD things .... but the preparedness needs to be in my heart. Am I ready for the coming of the "Messiah"?

Will we continue to read our advent stories? Yup, we will light candles & eat candies!! Currently we are reading "Bartholomew's Passage" by Arnold Ytreeide (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ALL 3 OF HIS ADVENT BOOKS! We've been reading them as a family & rotating them for a few years now!) But this year, the 'thought' questions are probing deeper. Think on this... "What if everyone lived as if Jesus were returning to earth tomorrow, not as a baby, but as the King and Redeemer that He is!"

WOW.... this got much deeper then I planned. Somehow, in the 12 day countdown before Christmas, I think I needed to read this and be reminded to keep my eyes on Jesus and my head above water!! God bless your advent season....

December 8, 2006

Let it *snow* Let it *snow* Let it *snow*...

We've got snow!! It is only a couple of inches... but who's counting yet! Most winters we have had snow by mid-November and once in a while in late October. I won't complain as we've enjoyed the borrowed time from fall to finish up those procrastinated pre-winter chores!! IE: putting rakes back in the garage (DONE), picking up the yard & garden(MOSTLY DONE), making sure the animals are set with winter bedding (DONE), changing to studded tires & adding extra weight, shovels & blankets to all the vehicles (NOT YET!) Well, we are almost ready for cold & snowy weather....