Month: November, 2010
Last week, several days prior to Thanksgiving, I was in a department store looking for storage boxes. I was in a hurry and the store seemed really busy but I tried to press on and pick up the one item I was looking for and leave – quickly.
And then it happened. I saw the Christmas decorations aisle. Right then and there I froze. If I’m telling the truth, I didn’t just freeze I began to get jittery. Panic attack jittery. Heart quickening jittery. GET ME OUT OF HERE jittery.
So, that’s my confession. I get jittery when I get nervous. Not the kind of nervous one might get speaking in front of other people or meeting new people. My kind of jittery comes on when I feel extremely uneasy.
Christmas decorations aisles can do it to me. They make me extremely uneasy. Uneasy like I want to cry, uneasy.
I got out of dodge as quickly as I could and headed home. Ahhh. Home.
The uneasy feeling I get is propelled by the way Christmas is celebrated around these parts. In America.
Last year, I decided to remedy this by creating a family advent calendar for my family. By creating my calendar last year, as a family we made a promise to one another to be together every day in December. We promised to experience the love we have for one another. We promised to enjoy the days leading up to the birth of the Messiah – our King Jesus Christ. Yes. That’s what we promised.
I went about creating our advent calendar again this year. It’s our daily reminder that we will be together everyday this December. The girls enjoy pulling the tag off of the hidden activity every morning. They know something is under that little tag each day and that it’s a promise that we’ll do something together.
Tomorrow begins our activities – although it really isn’t December until Wednesday. Tomorrow we will ready the big board in our kitchen to make our Jesse tree. Each day has an Old Testament Bible verse that prophesies the coming of the King.
Here is my list of December’s activities:
- Write letters to santa
- Make mistletoe and hang it
- Go to Christmas parade
- Go to tree lighting ceremony
- Go to see the decorated trees
- Make snow scene from jelly candy
- Read Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
- Make Ornaments
- Make Popcorn Garland
- Go see Voyage of the Dawntreader (YAY!!!!)
- Drive through Grand Geneva with hot cocoa
- Bake Cookies
- Read Christmas Story
- Wrap some gifts and make bows
- Make Gingerbread house
- Drive to see neighborhood lights
- Watch Christmas Carol
- Go to nutcracker ballet
- Watch it’s a Wonderful Life and make Caramel Corn
- Wrap Teacher’s gifts and make cards
- Donate to Shelter & give away ornaments
- Watch the Nativity
- Bake more cookies and package them
- Girls play piano & sing carols together
- Celebrate Immanuel
I have extra things planned for some of the days. However, last year we didn’t get to each activity so I decided to make the calendar extra doable and then add delightful things as time permits.
I just wanted to share this – hopefully to help you come up with a list for your own precious family. Because that’s what matters - loving one another and celebrating the King. Not those darn Christmas aisles.
Jesse tree link: advent.html
Today my mom and dad have been married for 45 years. That is quite an accomplishment! That’s what happens when you stick it out for better or for worse. They have never pretended nor said that things have always been roses. What they have done is kept their commitment to one another – the one they made in front of God. They took that seriously. And for that I will be forever grateful. Not only have they been an example of love for their children but an example of perseverance as well. Not only am I grateful but my brother and sister are grateful, I’m sure. And into the next generation – their grandchildren light up when their grandparents enter a room together. My little girls would rather be no place on earth than where her grandparents happen to be. Ask them. That’s what they’ll tell you.
I feel like all of the persevering pays off now; now when it’s time to settle down and enjoy the life you’ve fought for. Now is the time that they can sit back and relish the hard fought battles.
I love you both. We see what you’ve done. And we thank you so very much.
Yesterday we gathered together as a family – like millions of other families in America. We had a traditional turkey dinner (tofurkey, too) – like millions of other families in America. And we played games together – like millions of other families in America.
Yes, millions celebrated just the same way we did. The big difference is that I was with my people. My peeps. The ones who have known me all of my life – and still love me; now that’s really saying something. The ones that I can lounge with and relax. The ones with whom I can be me. The ones that cheer me on and say hard things when needed. The ones that will always be there for me as long as it’s possible. The ones that will fight for me if need be. The ones that shower unconditional love on my husband and my girls. The ones that make me laugh so hard that I cry. The ones that I share millions of memories with. The ones that I go to my knees in prayer for daily.
Yes, they are my peeps and my world is not like millions of other’s worlds because they are in my world. They dance and twirl around my world and make it more beautiful than I could possibly imagine, pray for or hope for.
I love my people. Golly, I do.
My mom and dad………..oh my, my mom and dad. We all ADORE my mom and dad. My mom not only made a traditional Thanksgiving dinner but she also made a vegetarian one, too. How wonderful is that? On top of that, she made this amazingly beautiful cornucopia. Yes – she made it from scratch.
My brother, me and my sister. I couldn’t love two people more than I love them. So, so much.
My very scientific drawing was conducted early this morning. Yes, very scientific. We wrote all of the entry names down on little strips of paper and placed them in a very scientific bowl.
And then one little hand picked the name from the very scientific bowl.
And then she read the name:
CHRISTINE F. – you are the winner!
Thank you all for entering the drawing. I wish I could give away twenty five sessions! For those of you who entered, however, I am offering some discounts. If you entered the drawing and you book with me in 2011, you will receive $20 off of the session fee and 10% off of your total order! I’m very grateful for the interest in my photography and thank you for the lovely sentiments you left here for me to cherish. Cherish them I will – for a long time to come. Thank you.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated Lulu’s birthday at the Museum. It was lovely and I loved our friends and family for coming to celebrate our spunky girlie.
For her birthday, she asked me to sew a bag to hold her ballet things. I’ve learned to love embroidering personalized things, so before I actually sewed the bag I personalized it for her. I’ve decided that I love linen. I made the bag out of plain linen. I was so tempted by the reduced price of the “faux” linen but I’m very thankful that I didn’t go for the fake stuff. I love the way it turned out.
Marshmallow treats on a stick (the were so easy to make) & pretty goodie bags:
The beautiful treats Livy’s GrandMary made. Aren’t they precious (and they were yummy!)
Earlier in the week, Papa took photographs throughout the museum. We placed the exact same photographs in two envelopes, divided the children up into teams and off they went to find all of the items in the photographs. We also played old fashioned games – aren’t those the best ones? Pin the tail on the donkey – only we played pin the ear on cotton (the horse Olivia rides) and musical chairs.
I love her.
We are giving away a gift card for a dawn nahorniak photography photo session! The winner of the gift card will be entitled to a full photography session (typically lasting between 1 – 2 hours) for no more than 5 people, unlimited clothing changes, up to two locations (within 15 minutes driving distance between locations), a private online gallery of artistically edited photographs, 4×6 prints of each photograph in the online gallery as well as 1- 8×10 and 1- 5×7. The location of the shoot must take place no further than 30 miles from zip code 53104. The shoot will be scheduled between May, 2011 and October, 2011.
The gift card will be beautifully presented in a wooden gift box. It is a perfect gift for you to give as a Christmas gift or to keep all for yourself – so spread the word!
The winner will be randomly drawn and announced the day after Thanksgiving – November 26th. Enter by leaving a comment to this post. Be certain to include your email address so I can contact you if you win!
Sometimes while I’m driving I am completely distracted by what the Lord has painted in the sky. Here’s one such example – taken by my iphone in the early morning last week.
Today our Lulu turned 8 years old. She turned 8 years old at about 1:10pm this afternoon. I have a scar on my stomach to prove it.
We cuddled up on the sofa this morning and I took time to smell her hair and to look at her hands. After that she chose one of her favorite dresses to wear to school and ate m&m pancakes. Isn’t that the right way to begin your birthday?
Her papa and I brought her lunch and made certain to bring her a vase with flowers to set on the lunch table. Doesn’t everyone need something special like that on their birthday?
Her U.J. picked her up from school and considering that he’s a rock star to the birthday girl and her big sister, this was pretty righteous. I’m pretty sure that’s what the kids would say. Shouldn’t everyone have something righteous like that happen to them on their birthday?
And then her U.J. took her to her riding lesson so that she could see her favorite horse, Cotton. Her big sister tagged along. Shouldn’t everyone visit their favorite horse on their birthday?
Her papa, her mama and her big sister all made birthday gifts for her birthday. Aren’t homemade gifts the absolute best? Her sister made her a painting, her mama embroidered her name and a pretty, girlie design on ballet bag sewn by hand and her papa made her a teacher’s desk, since she loves playing teacher and all. Isn’t it a lucky thing when you get handmade things for your birthday?
And the UPS man made a few stops to our house today to deliver other gifts from out of town family. The UPS man should certainly visit your house on your birthday. She plans to give little girls and boys in the worldvision catalog things in celebration of her birthday. I think everyone should make others more important than themselves on their birthday. Isn’t it great that she thinks so too?
On the way to dinner at the restaurant she was very concerned about something.
“Mama, do you think I can perform the Star Spangled Banner AND compete in the rodeo when I grow up?”
“Well, I’m not sure about that Lu. You might be busy getting your horse ready and I can’t imagine that you’ll want to sing to open the rodeo before you are getting ready to compete.”
“Oh,” she said, “I think I can do both. I can sing and then go and hop on my horse.”
After that quick exchange she chided her sister because she was concerned that if her big sister went into the profession that she was talking about, she wouldn’t be able to attend all of the rodeos. And that was not at all cool to Lu.
Last night she exclaimed that she could see the big dipper in the sky. When I looked at her face all excited and bright, I could see the stars in her eyes. I could also see them in her heart.
Her papa told me that yesterday she saw a rainbow and quickly exclaimed “He is clearly seen!” When he told me that a feeling of calm and warmth swept over my entire body. The sweeping took place because God is making Himself known to her. And that is more precious than silver and gold to me.
I love my dolly……….tonight she has holes in her stockings.