Christmas Rewind

I wanted to share how our new Christmas activities that will become traditions went.  Our advent tree was wonderful.  Everyone so enjoyed talking and sharing abut how awesome Jesus is – what an indescribable gift!!

 

 

Also, this year we decided to give back to Him for the first time.  A couple of weeks before Christmas we told the kiddos about our idea to give back by shopping a few catalogs.  Again, inspiration from A Holy Experience.  From her list of catalogs we chose three.  We allowed the kids time to peruse and explained that they would be using some of their own money for these purchases – we wanted them to sacrifice as God had by giving His only son.  Then on Christmas day we all sat down to make our purchases.  My husband and I went first to set the tone.  Then they all took turns picking and placing their orders and paying me their cash.  Let me just say I was shook to the core by their generosity.  Sure, they had raked in the cash for Christmas but still they had already begun to make plans for that cash and now they were giving it away.  It blessed my heart.  I read so many stories of families giving back at Christmas over the years, and to be honest, I made excuse after excuse as to why we couldn’t do that.  Now, I will never miss it.  Looking forward to finding other ways we can teach our children how to look outside themselves.
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Gifts List Challenge

I finally finished reading Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts”.  Wow.  If you haven’t read it – read it.  If you want to be inspired on a regular basis check out Ann’s blog here.  I love the way she writes, and her book spoke directly to my heart.  At times (many times), I felt God was speaking to me through her.  Thank you Ann for being God’s vessel.  I shared with you here how thanksgiving changes your attitude.  I so need a change of attitude.  So, I am taking Ann’s challenge on for myself.  To journal my very own gifts list.  I would love for you to join me!!  It’s not difficult, not time consuming or expensive.  You can use any form of journal you would like.  I received a really cute – purple my favorite color – note pad from my mom for Christmas and as soon as I pulled it out of the bag I knew what I was going to use it for.  It wasn’t until last night when I pulled it out to make my first entry that I noticed what was printed on the front on the pad and on the pen….why was I surprised, this is God we’re talking about.  Thank you Father for your never-ending love for me.

 

 

Will you join me in counting your blessings – rejoicing in all things because friends, God is in all things.  Here’s to an amazing 2013!!
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December in Review {Insta-Style}

I wanted to take a moment and blog about the behind the scenes happenings in my family this month.  December always zips along at a fast and furious pace, but it is always filled with family fun.  So, this is going to be a snapshot of December Insta-style.  🙂

Starting with a Christmas children’s choir concert at church.
Followed by a school orchestra Christmas concert – yes that is my daughter behind the music stand.  No matter where I sat I could not see anything but the music stand…
My girl went to her first high school dance…what??
Dinner date with this dude – yes he asked for teeth for Christmas – still haven’t came.
Anniversary celebrations – 20th engagement anniversary 🙂
Christmas movie watching – lots of this – Charlie Brown is my favorite.
Candlelight Christmas Eve service – love.
Christmas light looking in our Christmas PJ’s – yeah that’s how we roll.
Snow?  Yes snow, on Christmas day – not quite the 6-8 inches they were predicting but hey, snow is snow.  (The weathermen here get really excited when predicting snow, it’s like a contest.)

 

Happy Birthday Jesus pancakes and…
Happy Birthday Jesus cake – decorated by my daughter the up and coming cake decorator.
Hope your December was filled with lots of warm family memories.  I am working on a list of home goals for 2013.  It’s really long right now so I need to pare down.  My chunking stuff I don’t need, more organizing, more making my home function for my family.
Blessings to you and yours!!
 life rearranged
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Happy Birthday Jesus!!

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the Roman empire the inhabited earth.  This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is MessiahChrist the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men of good willwith whom He is pleased.”
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
Luke 2:1-20
Happy Birthday Jesus!!  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

 

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Christmas Home Tour 2012

Praying for continued peace and comfort for the families in CT.  Still, no words.  Still trying to process.  Just trying to stop the clock and hold onto the moments that are given each day.
Today I am sharing the touches of Christmas around my home this year.
You may have already seen my mantle here.

 

And you may have seen my nativities here.

 

 

And my tree here.

 

Learn more about this beauty here, and here is what it looks like now – 16 days in.
Here are some other touches of Christmas decor from around the house.

 

My husband commented that it was the “year of the ribbon”.  I bought this ribbon last year after Christmas and I love it, and I did put it everywhere 🙂

 

I couldn’t leave without showing you two of my kids trees.  The little sad tree on the left belongs to my 17yr old.  That’s about as Christmasy as he was getting this year 🙂
The one on the right is my daughters.  She loves decorating just as much as I do 🙂

 

I want to leave you with this picture.  I’ve said it before but I’m saying it again.  This is the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas, because Christ is born.  This is what I have hanging on my front door.  Simple with a little sparkle that lets everyone know what’s going on inside our home.
Merry Christmas everyone!!
Linking up to these fun parties, check them out for beautiful Christmas decor.
 
 
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