December 24, 2012

joy


May your Christmas be over-flowing with sweet peace and hope-filled joy as you celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

December 20, 2012

how to receive the good news

We slipped into the back row and waited for the music to begin.

As the banjo, cello, and guitar strummed their melodious sonnets of Christmas joy, a slow smile spread across Grant's face and he began to rock in sync with the music; his body keeping the rhythm like a ticking metronome.


Mesmerized.



When the first song ended, Grant clapped enthusiastically and bellowed his normal sounds of glee. A few people turned around in their seats to see who was expressing such loud accolades, but then knowing smiles embraced their faces as they settled back and relaxed to the next song.

All was OK.

No one was frustrated with the boy who boisterously exclaimed his joyous approval.

No one was annoyed with the boy who was... different.

Because here, all are welcomed.

The good news is for all who will listen. I marvel that God chose lowly shepherds to be the first to hear of Jesus' humble arrival... and then those simple men were serenaded by a sky filled with a heavenly host. Can you imagine being one of those shepherds as they rushed to see the Messiah?

I looked at my oldest son, who was again rocking to the music, and thought, May we all rejoice as freely and loudly as Grant when we hear the good news!
  
"And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." Luke 2:20  

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


For a couple weeks we enjoyed 70 degree weather in North Carolina - in December. Believe me, the boys took full advantage of the warm weather.







. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This year we were diligent about incorporating some family traditions into the weeks leading up to Christmas: reading portions from the advent scriptures, decorating cookies, attending a couple Christmas events, making homemade ornaments and driving around to look at Christmas lights.

One special event I think we'll keep (occasionally) year-round is family movie night.

I'm pretty sure the boys thought life couldn't get any better than this... eating in the living room, staying up past bedtime, and watching TV as a family.


During the movie Wesley was content to slowly munch on his popcorn while lounging with Daddy.


Grant consumed his popcorn in 15 seconds and resumed his position on the trampoline.


He spent most of the movie looking like this. :)

I love my boys.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


While we have been experiencing a warm streak here in the Carolinas, we've also had our share of rainy, gloomy weather. What a perfect excuse to break out the soft Christmas music, put a simmer pot on the stove, and cozy up with my boys.

Here is my favorite simmer pot recipe:

  3 sprigs evergreen or a handful of pine needles
  2 cinnamon sticks
  2 tablespoons whole cloves
  2 pieces (or more) orange rind 


Fill a saucepan with approximately 2 to 3 cups of water.
Bring to a boil.


Add the ingredients.


Boil for a couple minutes.  
Turn down the heat to simmer all day.
Add more water as needed.


Enjoy.

Click here for more simmer pot recipes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

May you have a joy-filled Christmas!

Charlie Brown Christmas

December 19, 2012

December 5, 2012

prepare Him room


"The greatest gift you will ever receive will never be found under a Christmas tree. It is far too valuable to be stored in any other place but in the depths of your heart." 
~Anonymous

 

November 30, 2012

continuing Thanksgiving








The final leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping. The day marked Thanksgiving has come and gone - but I am lingering in its memories.

Too quickly the eloquent phrases of gratitude, reminiscing our blessings both big and small, are being replaced by Christmas wish lists, persistent holiday commercials and over-crowded stores. I feel surrounded by loud "hurried-ness".

I must admit, at first I was tempted to isolate myself and resist the advances of the holiday season (and risk being labeled a scrooge), but as I pulled out the advent devotional and unpacked our little manger scene, I began to realize that my soul's yearning aligns perfectly with Christmas. It is a day to give thanks and celebrate the biggest blessing of all.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

I want to celebrate hope. I want to celebrate truth. I want celebrate Jesus' birth.

I want to spend Christmas day giving thanks and eating birthday cake. :)

You can have all this world, just give me Jesus...

And so I will continue counting my blessings while joyfully celebrating the greatest gift of all... the Word made flesh.

"...let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:28-29

As you prepare for the Christmas holiday, may you remember to marvel God and His life-changing gift to us.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Just a few blessings that fill my heart full of gratitude...


The Autum season. Colorful, fallen leaves. Playfulness.


Smiles.


Laughter. Swinging.


More smiles.


Long walks. Beautiful weather. Fresh air. Sunshine.


A joyful heart. More laughter.


Quiet. Slowing down. Peacefulness.


Beauty. Blue sky. Creation.


Brothers. Companionship.


Grandparents. Patience. Support.


Rest. Hugs. Unconditional love.


Books. Simple pleasures. Warm home. Blankets. Husband/Daddy. Family.


Cuddle time.

May your heart be full of gratitude as you continue to ponder your blessings and remember the reason for the season.

November 16, 2012

lift up your eyes


"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. 
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 
The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore."
Psalm 121

November 13, 2012

beautiful ordinary


It has been a month full of ordinary.

Washing piles of laundry, organizing parts of the house, grocery shopping, meal-making, Bible study, occupational therapy, speech therapy, mounds of medical paperwork and play dates have consumed every spare moment of my time.

While I have ached to sit at the computer and write, my family has needed more of my attention. Mommy-duty filled with reading books, wiping noses, late-evening "flashlight" walks and backyard games of "fumble" always come first - and sometimes it requires every nook and cranny of my day.

So thank you for letting me slip away for a short spell. It has, for the most part, been good. My days have been full of beautiful ordinary.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Even though the past few weeks have also been filled with colds and flu-like illnesses, we have found ways to weave in autumn pleasures. We have enjoyed long walks to breathe deeply the cool air, piling up leaves to jump into, apple pie, and a couple trips to a pumpkin patch at a local family farm.













December 24, 2012

joy


May your Christmas be over-flowing with sweet peace and hope-filled joy as you celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!


Pin It

December 20, 2012

how to receive the good news

We slipped into the back row and waited for the music to begin.

As the banjo, cello, and guitar strummed their melodious sonnets of Christmas joy, a slow smile spread across Grant's face and he began to rock in sync with the music; his body keeping the rhythm like a ticking metronome.


Mesmerized.



When the first song ended, Grant clapped enthusiastically and bellowed his normal sounds of glee. A few people turned around in their seats to see who was expressing such loud accolades, but then knowing smiles embraced their faces as they settled back and relaxed to the next song.

All was OK.

No one was frustrated with the boy who boisterously exclaimed his joyous approval.

No one was annoyed with the boy who was... different.

Because here, all are welcomed.

The good news is for all who will listen. I marvel that God chose lowly shepherds to be the first to hear of Jesus' humble arrival... and then those simple men were serenaded by a sky filled with a heavenly host. Can you imagine being one of those shepherds as they rushed to see the Messiah?

I looked at my oldest son, who was again rocking to the music, and thought, May we all rejoice as freely and loudly as Grant when we hear the good news!
  
"And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." Luke 2:20  

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


For a couple weeks we enjoyed 70 degree weather in North Carolina - in December. Believe me, the boys took full advantage of the warm weather.







. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This year we were diligent about incorporating some family traditions into the weeks leading up to Christmas: reading portions from the advent scriptures, decorating cookies, attending a couple Christmas events, making homemade ornaments and driving around to look at Christmas lights.

One special event I think we'll keep (occasionally) year-round is family movie night.

I'm pretty sure the boys thought life couldn't get any better than this... eating in the living room, staying up past bedtime, and watching TV as a family.


During the movie Wesley was content to slowly munch on his popcorn while lounging with Daddy.


Grant consumed his popcorn in 15 seconds and resumed his position on the trampoline.


He spent most of the movie looking like this. :)

I love my boys.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


While we have been experiencing a warm streak here in the Carolinas, we've also had our share of rainy, gloomy weather. What a perfect excuse to break out the soft Christmas music, put a simmer pot on the stove, and cozy up with my boys.

Here is my favorite simmer pot recipe:

  3 sprigs evergreen or a handful of pine needles
  2 cinnamon sticks
  2 tablespoons whole cloves
  2 pieces (or more) orange rind 


Fill a saucepan with approximately 2 to 3 cups of water.
Bring to a boil.


Add the ingredients.


Boil for a couple minutes.  
Turn down the heat to simmer all day.
Add more water as needed.


Enjoy.

Click here for more simmer pot recipes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

May you have a joy-filled Christmas!

Charlie Brown Christmas


Pin It

December 19, 2012



Pin It

December 5, 2012

prepare Him room


"The greatest gift you will ever receive will never be found under a Christmas tree. It is far too valuable to be stored in any other place but in the depths of your heart." 
~Anonymous

 
Pin It

November 30, 2012

continuing Thanksgiving








The final leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping. The day marked Thanksgiving has come and gone - but I am lingering in its memories.

Too quickly the eloquent phrases of gratitude, reminiscing our blessings both big and small, are being replaced by Christmas wish lists, persistent holiday commercials and over-crowded stores. I feel surrounded by loud "hurried-ness".

I must admit, at first I was tempted to isolate myself and resist the advances of the holiday season (and risk being labeled a scrooge), but as I pulled out the advent devotional and unpacked our little manger scene, I began to realize that my soul's yearning aligns perfectly with Christmas. It is a day to give thanks and celebrate the biggest blessing of all.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

I want to celebrate hope. I want to celebrate truth. I want celebrate Jesus' birth.

I want to spend Christmas day giving thanks and eating birthday cake. :)

You can have all this world, just give me Jesus...

And so I will continue counting my blessings while joyfully celebrating the greatest gift of all... the Word made flesh.

"...let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:28-29

As you prepare for the Christmas holiday, may you remember to marvel God and His life-changing gift to us.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Just a few blessings that fill my heart full of gratitude...


The Autum season. Colorful, fallen leaves. Playfulness.


Smiles.


Laughter. Swinging.


More smiles.


Long walks. Beautiful weather. Fresh air. Sunshine.


A joyful heart. More laughter.


Quiet. Slowing down. Peacefulness.


Beauty. Blue sky. Creation.


Brothers. Companionship.


Grandparents. Patience. Support.


Rest. Hugs. Unconditional love.


Books. Simple pleasures. Warm home. Blankets. Husband/Daddy. Family.


Cuddle time.

May your heart be full of gratitude as you continue to ponder your blessings and remember the reason for the season.


Pin It

November 16, 2012

lift up your eyes


"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. 
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 
The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore."
Psalm 121


Pin It

November 13, 2012

beautiful ordinary


It has been a month full of ordinary.

Washing piles of laundry, organizing parts of the house, grocery shopping, meal-making, Bible study, occupational therapy, speech therapy, mounds of medical paperwork and play dates have consumed every spare moment of my time.

While I have ached to sit at the computer and write, my family has needed more of my attention. Mommy-duty filled with reading books, wiping noses, late-evening "flashlight" walks and backyard games of "fumble" always come first - and sometimes it requires every nook and cranny of my day.

So thank you for letting me slip away for a short spell. It has, for the most part, been good. My days have been full of beautiful ordinary.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Even though the past few weeks have also been filled with colds and flu-like illnesses, we have found ways to weave in autumn pleasures. We have enjoyed long walks to breathe deeply the cool air, piling up leaves to jump into, apple pie, and a couple trips to a pumpkin patch at a local family farm.














Pin It