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Merry Christmas 2013!

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Today, "May God grant you: The LIGHT in Christmas, which is faith. The WARMTH of Christmas, which is love. The RADIANCE of Christmas, which is purity. The BELIEF in Christmas, which is truth. The ALL of Christmas, which is Christ." -Wilda English


A Very Merry Christmas To You! Sincerely,
Julianne

Baking with Grandma

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Saturday was a special day.
 For the last 11 years, we have celebrated Christmas without Brian's parents,
since they lived so far away.
 But, this year they moved right here ,2 miles from us, so,
with joy
we loaded up the little ones  and went to Grandma's house to bake cookies for Christmas.   Grandma was very organized,
which really helped the day to go well with the little helpers.  We had a wonderful time.   So glad to have grandparents close!













Now, we don't generally eat much in the way of cookies and sugary stuff anymore,  but, this is Christmas, and part of the festivities  includes baking with Grandma  and eating all kinds of goodies mama doesn't usually allow! It sure was a great time.   One I hope we can follow up year after year,  fashioning memories for our children to last a lifetime.  Memories of multi -generations living and loving together.



Beauty in Daily Living

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Today may seem like an ordinary day.   We get up, we eat breakfast, we do chores, then schooling, lunch, followed by free time,  then naps and more schooling, dinner, stories and bedtime.  Seems normal and plain enough.   However, one of the things I like to do the most in my homemaking  is create something beautiful and lovely out of the mundane.
Ordinary days like today can be as meaningful and beautiful as the special occasions in our lives,  it just takes some ingenuity (or copy-catting, *which is absolutely fine*)  and deliberate planning.   The results are well worth it.
In her highly influential book, Living a Beautiful Life, Alexandra Stoddard says,  "Making daily tasks into times of enrichment  through planning  and special personal details  is a way to live a richer, more satisfying life."

I do believe that is a very Biblical principle to live by  if it does not require self absorption or materialism to be achieved.   God is the designer of beauty.   He created this i…

What We Are Reading This Advent Season

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Advent is upon us. A season of Hope,  Peace,  Love,  and Joy.
Christ has come!
And though we have longed for heaven,
we can not reach it, and so,
Heaven came down. Gratitude pours forth,  Oh  how thankful I am!!  


Our family, cat included, is relishing the time of drawing near to the Savior.
  One way our family does just that is by devoting our evening reading to that of Christ's coming. In years past, we have loved reading and re-reading
These wonderful Books,  by Arnold Ytreeide.

but  though we love them, this year we are trying out something new,  along with our beloved Advent book.






I found  25 readings for Advent from The Jesus Storybook Bible on Pinterest.   This is just right for our little ones. 


click here:  advent reading plan



And inspiration for the rest of us comes from a well loved author and blogger, Ann Voskamp,  with her new book, The Greatest Gift.   Ordered on Amazon, it was delivered to our door in two days.  


 In the bittersweet cold, sub-zero weather,  we draw n…

Log Cabin Christmas Decor

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The weather is very cold,  the fire is blazing,  Advent has begun,  which means... it is time to decorate the Lodge for Christmas!
We celebrate Advent, we do not have a tree, or gifts,  and we decorate for the whole winter,  which we think is very fun and festive.  Keeping with a non-materialistic idea of the holidays,  our decor is mostly the natural greens and flowers,  candles, plaids and woolens, and the opportunity to rearrange furniture .... again. (chuckle)
Ya' all asked for a peek, so here we go.... From the dining room working to the right through the living room,  and ending in the sitting area next to the kitchen:









 Notice the little bundle napping in the window seat.  These days of no little wee ones to rock to sleep, I count every day of littles napping a joy to behold.  Children at sleep are just so adorable.
I adore big bountiful mantle arrangements,  but such would burn the house down over a real warming fire such as ours, so minimal it is.





A favorite reading and …

Going To Town

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This is Gabe.


Gabe lives in a log cabin in the woods  with his big brother Ben, His big sister Bethany, and His baby sister Olivia,  as well as Jim, Joe, Rose, Mama and Daddy,  and their good old Pyrenees- Caspian. 
 Daddy said they could go to Town with he and mama.   They are excited, because they rarely go to town.
Mama washes their hair and puts together warm, (it was 17 degrees out that morning)
 nice looking outfits for them to wear on their long journey.  
After a big breakfast,  everyone loaded up in the big white van,
blankets piled all around them to keep them toasty warm, and they headed off down the road.


By the time they are in Town, it is time for lunch.   They are happy to go out to eat, it is a special treat.


 In preparation for going to Town,  the children had made packets full of goodies to give away to homeless people.   They were delighted to find a homeless man to give their gift.   He smiled and said,"God Bless You!" 


Gabe was filled with wonder in ever…

On These cold Mornings

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When awaking to weather in the  single digits,  one has to work up the courage to get out of  a wonderful warm bed piled high with down and wool and quilts.   But, coffee and hot chocolate reward the reluctant, as we gather around the wood stove. As the morning unfolds, it is warming up both inside and outside.


Clear, crisp nights means early sunshine coming up through the trees.



This week has been both productive and lovely.   The charm of a chilly house  is in layering up and snuggling under blankets, reading stories and sipping tea.  Cooking soup on the wood cook stove for lunch and a roast in the Dutch Oven,  these are some of the *loveliness* of winter. 


We have all been busy; some hunting (warning-graphic pictures coming up),  some schooling, some crafting and puttering.   Mama is getting ready for a big Thanksgiving dinner at the Lodge.   I made this centerpiece for the two long tables we will join together for the feasting.



Bethany has been loving her new kitty, (with ample &…

Our First Snow

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It has been a quiet, peaceful week.   Praise the Lord!  I was in need of one. 
 Then, at the end of the week, it began snowing.  To me, the big fluffy flakes added to that cozy, peaceful feeling a Sunday afternoon so often takes on.
 The first snow, to all of us here at Providence Lodge, means paper snowflakes and sugar cookies. I love traditions,  and everyone adores this one,  however, I am not sure what is more fun:  making a gigantic mess, or hanging up the snowflakes that have been carefully created. Most likely, it is both.




Oh my!



After many failed attempts at good looking snowflakes,  my techno-geeky husband looked up a "How To" video on Youtube, and... 


Brian hung the snowflakes from the floor joists to create an indoor winter wonderland.


Meanwhile, Joe made the sugar cookies.










Blessings to each of you this day.   May Jesus keep you and yours close, and may you delight in His goodness and love.
Most Sincerely,
Julianne