Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I always love a festive table. And red makes me feel happy, especially with all the candle shine.

These people around the table make me feel even happier!

Sorry this is sideways! Blame blogger :)

Grandbabies make the season a lot more exciting...just ask Grandpa

And they seem to really enjoy him as well.
Our Christmas was busy and fun, full of family, food and board games. When there are this many people living in one house, there is always someone to hang out with. Our daughter's boyfriend decided to stay for the week, and Tim brought friends home to play video games in the living room. I love the busyness but I also look forward to January and the calm quiet days of homeschooling our two youngest boys. All in all, I think I am a creature of habit. I do love routine!

It was good to focus a little harder on the birth of our Lord and Saviour. Patrick did a very good job of reading all of us the Christmas story from Luke 2.  We had lovely communion on Christmas Eve and such heartfelt prayer at the Christmas table.

Let's keep the Christmas spirit strong as we head into the new year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To Everyone!

Lunch time already and I have a million things to do to prepare for this evening. We always have lasagna on Christmas Eve and celebrate communion as a family. Then we top it off with a birthday cake for Jesus and read Luke 2. I love the coziness of evening and the warm glow of candles on the table and tree lights in the room. When all my chicks are grown and gone, I will remember fondly all the little faces around the table and the closeness that is so much a part of Christmas. I hope they will remember too and that our traditions will carry on for generations.

Savor each moment and each face at your table. The years go by so quickly and life is so full of changes. Say the things that are on your heart, mend the bridges, lavish the love. Delight in every voice and every glance. And when they speak about you in years to come, let them remember that your focus was on Christ first of all and that you truly promoted the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Christmas goodies always attract mid-day snacking!

Thank goodness the chicken pox cleared up before the festivities started.

Warm glow of candles.

And my hubby's unique wrapping style.

These boys didn't turn down some pre-Christmas licorice.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Life in the everyday....

Round 2 of the chicken pox. I do really have beautiful children. He just doesn't shine right here.

Keep the patio door locked. This thing might try to come inside!

Hubby does not enjoy the cold, but I'm glad he chose to make an attempt to clear the driveway of snow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is coming......Quickly!

Christmas is hurrying closer. We still have chicken pox in the house so between dabbing calamine lotion and stocking the cookie jar, I have little time for shopping. I am not even half done with Christmas presents. Thank goodness for gift certificates and the kids that enjoy them!

It was easier to buy for all our children when they were small and their interests were less complicated. Back then anything Lego was always welcome. Art supplies met all the other needs, and a stocking full of candy satisfied even the pickiest child.

However, the decorations and the coziness that fill our house at Christmas please everyone. I love being a mother and seeing my family's  enjoyment over the lights, the candles, the decorative touches, the traditions, and of course, the food.

It is my desire to attempt to keep the focus on Christ this time of year, but the other things are good too. Traditions keep our families close. They are what draw our children home when they move away. They bring up the comments, "Where is the stick man of Dad that David made?" "Where is Stephanie's Rocking Horse ornament?" "What year did Jon paint that?" "You made that ornament the year Jenny Rose died." "I never threw away that card because Tim made it." "Let Chrissy hang the candy canes. She always has." "Look! Rob and Patrick added new crafts to the tree." "Remember when Kaitlin came over almost every night to do the 24 crafts of Christmas?" "Next year lets get Olivia and Catherine to put up the Christmas village again." "Will Loris come this year?"

These are the voices I want to hear ringing through our lives at Christmas.  When they are all gathered together, I want the sweet voice of the youngest child who is able to read, to share the story of the precious Christ child who was born long ago in the manger in Bethlehem. He is the reason we celebrate this special time of year;  the reason we know we can have our sins forgiven and someday spend eternity in heaven. All these simple things we enjoy on earth will pale in comparison to the joyful celebration we will have up there.

In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of what make Christmas special around here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nativity in the Backyard???

I was taking pictures of the boys making snow trails in the back yard. Just for fun, I also snapped the little stick-on Nativity scene on the back door. The result was rather interesting once I noticed that it looks like they are actually standing out in the snow.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The snow lays deep and silent...

The sky is chilled and gray...

The birds that graced my garden..

Have swiftly flown away.

The tire swing hangs idle...

The yard is still and white.

Thank goodness for the Christmas Time

That makes our whole world bright.
I just shoveled the driveway and it was cold outside! I went outside before most of the household  was up to get a headstart before everyone left for work. At first, I grumbled a bit. "Winter. Blah." Then I noticed how still and quiet everything was. I prayed as I shoveled, for my family, for my sister who's husband is in hospital, for her family, for the neighbors, for my son at college, for my in-laws. By the time I was done, I felt wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, that I grabbed my camera so I could share some of it with you.

Isn't Christmas a special time? What a great God we serve. I think the secret in attitude change this morning, was that I called on Him and took my focus off my own little life and all its problems and thought about others.

"Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; Let the Lord be glad in His works; He looks at the earth and it trembles, He touches the mountains and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live, I will sing praises to my God while I have my being." Psalm 104:31-33

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here, chick chick chick.

Day 4 of a very nasty case of chicken pox.
My 'pretty' tree. The kid's tree is in the family room but this one is mine, all mine!
Two pictures to tell you a little bit about our December. Wow! It has been 19 years since we last had chicken pox in the house and I don't think they were this bad. This was day 4 for Robert and the spots have almost doubled today on day 5. He is no longer feeling photogenic however. Patrick is making a lot of insensitive chicken jokes and will be repaid, I'm sure, in two weeks time when he likely will break out in spots himself.

On a happier note, we did get the decorations up before this illness hit, so the house is tidy and pretty and we can sit around watching Christmas movies and drinking cocoa. Winter is a good time to have chicken pox if you have to have them at all!