Showing posts from November, 2011

Beginning Advent

Our fondest Christmas memories began to take place ten years ago,  when a few odd circumstances set into motion a new tradition for our family,  one which we would come to anticipate with great joy,  relish its duration,  and look forward to next year.  The tradition of Advent.
The first thing that happened, was that we moved away from family into a very small parsonage with our (then 5) children.   Christmas time came, and we had absolutely no room for a Christmas tree.   Secondly, we would not have family to celebrate with,  and thirdly, we had very little means to purchase our chilren gifts.  But alas, Brian found a wonderful book that inspired us to new beginnings.  That would be The Advent Book, by Jack and Kathy Stockman.  I think back on that year as a providential "accident" that led the way for our family to let go of what we thought Christmas should be like  and simply embrace celebrating the coming of Christ.
The way in which that formulated for us, was each evening for fam…

ThanksGiving Feast

The table was set. Tthe children wriggled and paced impatiently for the guests to arrive  for a midday feast.
My dear, wonderful, servant husband awoke at 5 am to put the 25 lb. turkey in the oven.   We have long prepared our turkey the old fashioned way.   Remember the magazine "Crowned With Silver?"  I found a turkey recipe in it years ago, and we all agree it is the best turkey ever.  First,  rub the turkey with salt and pepper inside and out, then glaze it with olive oil.  Then cook it slowly at 325 degrees for 8 hours, basting every hour.   By 1 pm, all was ready, and our 6 college age guests were eyeing the dishes  whilst small children climbed all over them.   Such is the hospitality at  our home.

Finally all are seated at the two long tables pushed together to house all 16 of us.  5 kernals of corn are given to each person to contemplate as Brian reads to us of the first Thanksgiving.  We took turns around the table giving thanks,  and then, the feasting!

Gabe liked desert the b…

At Our House This Weekend

Counting our blessings on this wonderful weekend.

Speaking Life

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue."   Proverbs 18:21
This verse is written on the white board.  Under it, I also wrote, as much a reminder to myself as to the children, "Choose your words carefully.  Think: am I speaking life?"
Words give life to our very souls. We want to teach our children to understand that their speech can foster harm or health.  Psalm 34:12-13, one of the three rules in our home says:  "Whosoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies." 
Sarcasm and complaining are two negative habits that lead to death.   The Greek word for sarcasm literally means, "tearing flesh." If we use sarcasm in the home, our caustic words  rip at the hearts of the one we speak to,  and  shred apart who they are.  I know this well, having a fresh experience with it just the other day.  I used a sarcasitc coment, thinking it would be funny,  but to my horror, the person I …

The First Snow

Last evening:

The first snow of the season is falling gently this evening,  in great big thick flakes wafting down from heaven. 
Inside, the children are playing a game they made up titled "Finding Nemo"   where they hide a plastic Nemo fish and everyone searches for it.  
Gabe has gotten tired of it and is putting all his dinosaurs to sleep.

The snow is supposed to continue,  which means that tomorrow we will make paper snowflakes and sugar cookies,  as is our tradition.
Soon it will be time for tea and a story before bed.   The children will be all cozy in warm jammies, nestled in a heap on the couch, the littlest ones will fight sleep, but finally their blonde heads will flop over as weariness defeats them.  I love watching this.  Their eyes blink,  opening less  and less... and finally not at all.

What am I thankful for at the end of this day, the first day of snow?

For the warmth of the fireside...
the new stove set in place with only the mantel left to finish.

For friends who know you and…

A Change of Plans

"Thou art the God who does wonders; 
Thou hast declared thy strength among the people."
Psalm 77:14

God is who He says He is.
We need to trust in Him. 
He will provide.
He will watch over you.

  As is the case so often,  my ideals for a "normal" schedule of just school, church, and hospitality  have gotten reorganized into something altogether different.  It is alright, we are used to being flexible.
I am getting the idea that NORMAL for us
means that every day is different
and I can expect that it will rarely be just school, church and hospitality.
I can expect that God has great things in store,
and so I may trust Him
even when things look different than what I thought should or would happen.

First, our old wood stove, given to us years ago as a hand me down,  had some sort of catastrophe in its catalytic and began performing poorly, burning through our hard earned wood rapidly and putting all the heat up the chimney.  We could not go on like this, our large home was co…