Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmastime Reflections

In some ways Christmas lasted through several sweet days set gracefully in the midst of a gentle season.

In others, it went by at the usual blinding speed.

Christmas music played non-stop, and by the  middle of the month my children knew all the words.

Sometimes I've thought how lovely it would be to deck the entire house with greenery and candles
and ribbon... this is not the chapter in my life for that.  Thankfully I have learned to appreciate the
simplicity of putting out the wooden Nativity that my brother made for me, hanging the stockings
and lighting a Christmas tree.  Depending on inspiration and available resources in a given December
some other festive bits may be tucked in here and there.
I happened to find a few boughs of prickly ground-creeping evergreen by the front walk to trim a
table decoration and stick in between some candles on the mantle. So good for the soul :-)

My first wee ones are now big enough to put out some of those touches themselves, and their
ability to concoct secret plans and implement creative inspiration is pretty wonderful too!

Zachary made Chocolate covered Cherries.  Clay strung the most popcorn and cranberries.
Bryce and Lori-girl painted every wooden object they could get their hands on.
Susanna and Olivia began learning to sew and created many wonderful gifts for each of us.
Miles did his part and got underfoot distracting us all from progress as we stopped to give him
six squeezes and a dozen kisses.

This piece of our story reads very full.
In every way full.  Full of people and of busyness.  Full of life and lots to laugh about.
Full of favor and God's ceaseless outpouring of grace.  Full.

I am so thankful for today's mercies and each breath of life I cannot count on.  It makes the bumps and
bruises seem inconsequential.  Do you know that God chooses the foolish things to confound the wise?

Every day.

I'm praying for purpose to look at those things in my life which others may deem foolish, through the lens of His heart.  He is faithful!

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 
  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 
That no flesh should glory in his presence. 
 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 
  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

Corinthians 1:27-31

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Season's Sweetness

In this season of our lives we've made the decision to hunker into home
and not be going fifty places.

As one precious mother pointed out to me, there may come soon a time for a different season.

My big ones are getting bigger
and coming into their own interests and friendships.

We are beginning to add in outside lessons
and making a priority of personal desires which take us on adventures further away.

This decision has been less for the purpose of insulating us
and more for preserving sanity.
Desiring to make our family life one of peace and as much joy as we can capture.

Besides, it's a serious undertaking at this stage (with babies and toddlers and associated gear)
to go anywhere.

All that said, Christmas is a peaceful dreamy time around here.
We may use other adjectives to describe it in future, but in this season it is - truly - magical.

This was a first introduction to the Nutcracker ballet and the stringing of pop corn.

This is a beautiful "Thanksgiving" dinner that Zachary made
in celebration of the Christmas season.  
Pies, Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Olives (for fingers, of course)
Yam Casserole, Green Beans, Cranberry, Rolls, Gravy, and Sparkling Cider.

The other day we had some sweet friends over to help us sip Hot Chocolate
and decorate our annual Sugar Cookies!

And this is my fun "new"wall which has needed cup hooks and something colorful for a while.
Zachary knocked together this sign for me to paint.  Pure therapy :-)

If that frosting-covered face doesn't say it all :-)

And this is one more newly-toothed irresistible face to smooch!

"Haha!  Joke's on YOU mama!"

And this is an amazing feat all its own:
a Christmas stocking completed in time for a first Christmas!

The kids say there's room for more :-D

So that's a sneak-peek into our home this Holiday season.  We've just done the basic traditions
this year and haven't pushed too hard for extra projects and activities. The kids have been
elving in the shop, and at the new sewing machine (which the girls are quickly learning to use!).

Miles is crawling around faster than lightning, pulling himself up on things
and putting everything into his mouth!  Aloria is potty training.  Doesn't that say enough?
If you wonder what I'm doing with all my free time, it's taking Aloria to the bathroom
and chasing Miles. Haha!

Life is good.
Very sweet.

Blessings upon you each this Christmas season and the Joy of knowing Jesus as Lord!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

MacKerricher State Park and Glass Beach

I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
It was a lovely time~