21 December 2015

My Heart This Advent

(a close-up of my son's girlfriend's stocking decoration 
~ she is so talented!)

It happens every year.
Advent begins;
I am already behind, but still excited.
Advent is my favourite season;
I am always so full of expectations and hopes and dreams!
The first couple of weeks pass.
A melancholy mood creeps in.
I am not living up to my own expectations;
My hopes of actually getting things accomplished are dwindling;
No one around me seems to share in my dreams.

"Is there room for Me?"

My expectations and hopes and dreams can become idols.
I have to be reminded every. single. year.

Hope~Peace~Joy~Love
are gifts that come only in His presence.

As Advent ushers in Christmas later this week
may I prepare my heart to
Come, and adore Him, 
Christ the Lord!

linking up with:

18 December 2015

08 December 2015

Advent in Our Home ~ week 2

My daughter and grandson decorating his stocking:

  Waiting for the glitter glue to dry:

Yesterday, my daughter and her friend made snowflake wreaths:

The rest of this week I intend to declutter and clean.  In particular, I will be clearing out a spot for our tree.



05 December 2015

A Simple Advent Plan

...because, really, that is all that I can handle.

I am at the stage of my life where I no longer have young children at home.  I have five adult children ~ four of whom no longer live in our home ~ and two teens.  They are busy with their own lives.  They work, attend classes, have husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends, as well as homes, friends, dogs ~ and in one case, a child ~ of their own.  I never wanted to be that mama (or mother-in-law) who insisted that they must spend every holiday with us and carry on every tradition.  Some of my children love all of the traditions, some can take them or leave them, and some would probably rather leave them (sniff).  But that is alright.  They are building lives, homes, families, and traditions of their own.  Of course, they are always welcome here; they know that, and I try plan so that those who wish to participate are able to.

This year the best plan seems to be to focus on one or two special activities each Sunday during Advent, and invite all who are interested to join us.
  • First Sunday, 29 November ~ we didn't do anything.  Everyone had been here on Thanksgiving and had drawn names for Christmas gift-giving.  We celebrated our older son's 18th birthday on Monday. I did finally get the Advent candle set up on Thursday.
  • Second Sunday, 6 December ~ Saint Nicholas Day!  The three children still living at home will awaken to orange rolls for breakfast.  They will find chocolate coins, a mandarin orange, and new pjs in their stockings.  After church I will provide a light lunch, some treats, and hot cocoa, and we will decorate our stockings (while watching the Seahawks game;).  
  • Third Sunday, 13 December ~  put up the tree and lights; maybe a trip to Main Street Bethlehem in the evening.
  • Fourth Sunday, 20 December ~ Christmas baking.  That night there is a free Christmas concert featuring choirs from 10 different local churches; this is one of the very few must-dos on my personal Advent list.

04 December 2015

Advent in Our Home ~ week 1

The season of Advent began on Sunday; 
I did not begin until Thursday.


I put the Advent candles (last year's somewhat faded and tilted candles, minus any wreath) in the center of our table.



 I put the Advent spiral on the paint-splattered dresser in our entry way and started Joseph and Mary on their journey.


 I went to Dollar Tree and purchased supplies for door swags.
My youngest daughter and I will assemble six of these tomorrow,
one for us, one for each of my four grown daughters, and one for her best friend.


Sunday is Saint Nicholas Day, so we will be decorating and hanging our stockings.


linking up for {pretty, happy, funny, real}
at Like Mother, Like Daughter

For Your Advent Listening Pleasure

I have quite a large Advent playlist on Spotify, but I would like to share a much smaller one that I put together on YouTube.

It begins with O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, followed be songs for Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, and ends with one of my Christmas Eve favourites, Still, Still, Still.

I hope you enjoy it:



Linking up with:

30 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 30

I have been so abundantly blessed this year!
  • My adorable grandson was born in January.
  • In February I began a new job, caring for sweet baby K, which I am able to do in my home.
  • My sister-in-law and her kids came for a visit in March.
  • I enjoyed Shakespeare in the Park with two of my daughters and my grandson in April.
  • In May, we spent Mother's Day Weekend at a lovely retreat, and we paid off our first credit card.
  • June brought my 52nd birthday.
  • In July, my youngest son and daughter were each able to go to camp, and we attended the wedding of a friend.
  • August brought a rare girls night out, a 25th birthday dinner with our eldest daughter, and my youngest daughter's friend's quinceanera.
  • My older son bought his first car and got his driver's license in September.
  • In October I took a 10 day vacation to Boston with two of my daughters and my grandson, came home for three days, then left with my husband for a 4 day visit to Seattle. I also saw Jackson Browne in concert with my husband.
  • In this month of November we have already gathered as a family for our day of Thanksgiving, and there are still  leftovers to enjoy; the season of Advent has begun; we have paid off another credit card; and today we celebrate the 18th birthday of our older son.
  • And, the good Lord willing, in 23 days my wonderful husband and I will celebrate 27 years of marriage!

29 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 29

Thank You, Lord, for Your grace.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And thank You for my weakness; 
help me to be content and trust in Your strength.

28 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 28

I am thankful for a quiet day spent relaxing and a fun evening spent with three of our kids + one boyfriend and one friend, playing games and laughing . . . a lot of laughing!

27 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 27

My amazing husband spent a good chunk of his day off doing this:
for me!

26 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 26


Wishing you and yours 

a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

25 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 25

James 1

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

24 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 24

1 Timothy 4

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

23 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 23

Today i am thankful for friends and the gift of friendship.

I am thankful for old friends and new friends, for true abiding deep bosom friendships and friendships which lasted only for a season.  I am thankful for friends that i did not even think i would like until i got to know them (and vice-versa) and friends with whom i felt an instant connection.  I am thankful that God created us for one-anothering and that even an extreme introvert such as I am still has a need for friendship.

I am particularly grateful for those special people who know all about me and choose to love me anyway. . . my friends.

22 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 22

Rejoice always,  

pray without ceasing,  

give thanks in all circumstances; 

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 

~1st Thessalonians 5:16-18

21 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 21

"O give thanks to the Lord,

for He is good;

for His steadfast love endures forever!"


~Psalm 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; 118:29; 136:1 & 1 Chronicles 16:34

20 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 20

Tonight we celebrated the marriage of a young couple at our church, and I am thankful for young love and time-tested love and the blessings of marriage.

Coming soon ...

On Monday I am hoping to join Dawn for Thanksgiving Tea!

Click her lovely button below to read about her plans for a weekly Advent Tea Journal.

http://dawnathome.typepad.com/by_sun_and_candlelight/tea-journal/

My plan is to post here and link up with her.

19 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 19

Today i am thankful for:
  • my dear friend who takes such good care of my mama
  • my brother-in-law
  • my neighbours

18 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 18

Today i am thankful that i live in a fallen world and that i am broken and in need of a saviour.
And i am thankful that that saviour loves me and you and the politicians and the terrorists and all the rest of the broken people in our fallen world.
And i am thankful that because of His love He was willing to give up everything for us.
And i am thankful that His love now inhabits my broken heart.

Jesus, thank You for loving me; please, please help me to love others the way that You do.

17 November 2015

16 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 16

  • my parents and my childhood
  • my church home
  • the family of God

15 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ days 7-15

God, thank You for my children, my son-in-law, and my grandson:
  • Hannah ~ my firstborn with a beautiful voice.
  • Abigail ~ now a wife and mother herself.
  • Izzy ~ my passionate artist.
  • Faith ~ always independent; studying to be a nurse.
  • Joshua ~ number one son; learning to fly.
  • Luke ~ almost a man already.
  • Victoria ~ my baby; becoming a young woman.
  • Derek ~ son of my heart; loves my daughter.
  • Oliver ~ oh, how i love being a grandmother!
I truly am abundantly blessed.

06 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015~ day 6

“Thou that has given so much to me,
Give one thing more–a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.”

~ George Herbert

05 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 5

Thank You, God, for my husband, Brian.  He is such a wonderful husband and father!  He is generous and kind and a man of integrity.  I am so blessed to have him in my life.  Please help me to love him well and to never take him for granted.

04 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 4

Psalm 100

~A Psalm of thanksgiving.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures for ever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

03 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015 ~ day 3

  • my husband's job
  • my job
  • having enough money for food, shelter, electricity, gas, and so forth

02 November 2015

01 November 2015

30 Days of Thanksgiving ~ 2015

  • A lovely All Saints Eve getting to know our neighbours, and the bonus of having my 19yo daughter with us
  • Worship and fellowship this morning
  • Brunch date
  • 25yo daughter hanging out with us this afternoon
  • Beautiful weather
This is the day which the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it!

03 October 2015

Boston Bound!

I am typing this post while sitting at the airport, waiting to board a plane to take me to Boston for 9 days! My children worked together to buy the plane ticket and lodging as my birthday gift back in June. Two of my daughters and my grandson are also going. I am so excited! I have always wanted to visit Boston, especially in autumn, and with all of my research in preparation for our trip I do believe that I have already fallen in love with the city.

22 September 2015

A Daybook on the Last Day of Summer

For Today... 
a Daybook seems a lovely way to get back to writing.

Outside my window...
the sun shines brightly; the dogs laze on the porch; 
another hot day begins. 

I am thinking...
about my son's driving test this afternoon.

I am thankful...
for my job, caring for a sweet baby girl!

I am wearing...
nightclothes, still; waiting to get dressed until i have to go out.

I am creating...
an itinerary for my trip.

I am going...
to  B O S T O N  in 11 days!
to take my son for his driving test this afternoon.

I am wondering... 
if i will ever manage to get my house decluttered and organized.

I am reading...
Esther and 2 Corinthians in my daily prayer time;
The Art of Neighboring with my church group;
Robinson Crusoe with my children;
A Dublin Student Doctor and Inkdeath for pleasure.

I am hoping...
we have all of our paperwork in order, and my son passes his test.

I am learning...
how to quilt.

In my kitchen...
potatoes, sausage, and kale are on the menu for supper.
pretty sweet potato shoots are growing on the windowsill.

In the homeschool room...
we are studying Early American History, 
using Ambleside Online's Year 9 as a rough guide.

A favorite quote for today...
“There is no peace that cannot be found in the present moment.”
 ~Tasha Tudor

A peek into one of my days...
this is my "substitute grandbaby" 
she is 3 weeks older than my grandson, but her mama has to work; 
so i am blessed to be able to care for her

One of my favorite things...
A U T U M N !