Goodbye 2011........Hello 2012

Friday, December 30, 2011

Another year is behind us.......and another one stands before us.   It's always interesting for me to think about the new year ahead - completely new.  365 more days of unknown territory yet to be explored; another chapter yet to be written; a brilliantly wrapped package waiting to be unopened.....a new saga....the sequel to 2011's best seller....

Okay, enough with the flowry language.  :-)  Down to business.  What I really wanted to say in this post.  :-)
I don't want the last day of 2011 to go by without giving it some thought.  Maybe you have some goals or resolutions written out already for the new year. 

I only have one this year.  Yup, just one.  Maybe I should have more....but for some reason this is the only one that seems to matter more than a typical to-do list.  It's a resolution I pray never stops appearing on my yearly list.  Here it is:

"Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!  For I am God, and there is no other."
(Isaiah 45:22)

That's it.  I desperately resolve to look to Him every day of this coming year.  I need to be saved - oh, how I need it - and not just once, but daily!  I need saving from my obsessions, my worries, my anxieties, my
self-focus, my distractions.  In every struggle, every problem that seems un-fixable, every issue that troubles me, I resolve to look to Him.  To the One Who gave His life for me.

Because He knows what He's doing......He's working everything out for my good (Rom. 8:28). 

I desire to spend time with Him every day of this new year.  And not because I feel obligated, or because He's probably up there tapping His toes and looking down at me with head shaking and arms crossed.  No, quite the opposite - I want to be with Him because I want to be with Him.  Because I really love Him.....because He first loved me.  He's captivated me, won my heart.  I'm in awe of Him.  I want more of Him.    I want my heart to beat with His.  I want to be passionate about the things that He's passionate about.   I want to know more about this God who loved me enough to die for me. 

I have only just begun to explore the endless frontier of Him, the Saviour.  In the scope of it all, I've only dipped my finger into the Niagara Falls of God's goodness and life-changing grace. I have so far to go!  And yet, looking back, I've come so far.  When I dig far back into the caverns of my mind.....I remember little snatches of when I was seven, then nine, where I felt Him tugging on my heart.   Even as a little girl, He loved me!  It's sweet to remember.

May you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve.......reflecting on the events of last year....and looking with anticipation to the possibilities of the new.  :-)

"Every man's life is a fairytale written by God's fingers." 
~ Hans Christian Anderson


Our Christmas Eve Service + Video

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our church normally meets on Sunday evening........however since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, we had our special Christmas Eve service on Saturday night.  It is always a very enjoyable time! 
 Some families didn't come because of other Christmas Eve family traditions!  But we still had a nice group....enough for the younger children to do their Nativity play.  Isaac got to carry the star down the picture is so blurry so maybe Mr. D. can help me out with that?  (hint hint!)

 Joshua here sitting next to me.  He didn't quite know what it was all about, but he had fun! 

 The A. girls sung beautifully, as usual.  They always do a great job!

 Some of the children singing carols together!

Lots of music was played by many different people (myself included).  The R. girls plus their teacher played an amazing piano trio of the Hallelujah was incredible.  Good job, girls!

Even Isaac got up there to sing "Joy to the World".  He didn't really sing but loved being up there!  He had his hands in his pockets the whole time. It was cute.

 Each family memorized Scriptures that told the Christmas story......we all took turns going up and saying our verses.  Isaac got to say a line this year - you can see that in the video below.

Afterwards, everyone met in the fellowship hall for birthday cake and punch!  It was a delicious and memorable time.  :-)

Waiting in line for cake.............mmmmm.

This video is our family saying our verses, as well as my violin solo, Ave Maria.  You can't see very well, but Mom accompanied me on the piano...thank you Mom!



Christmas At Our House

Sunday, December 25, 2011

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration today!  As usual, we rose early and opened our stockings.  In years gone by I have been so excited on Christmas Eve that I can't even sleep......but this year sleeping somehow won over excitement. :-)  I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep when David came in our room at 5:10 THISMORNING because he couldn't go back to sleep and was dying to open his stocking!  I was a bit groggy to say the least!   

Anyway.  After we opened our stockings (no a.m. pictures are being disclosed for obvious reasons) we had breakfast, read the Christmas story, and then began our organized gift unwrapping!  And yes, it is very organized.  We open presents one at a time, so it lasts a few hours.  It's nice.

David is posing by a few of the gifts.  He wasn't too thrilled about the one I gave him (a tie) but I told him it was time he learns how to dress up!  Men wear ties so it's about time he learned.  :-)

First present of the day!  Isaac was very excited.

Oh the excitment!!

David got a model plane kit from Dad. 

A Winnie the Pooh figurine set!!  They loved this.  They have been very much into Winnie the Pooh lately so this was right up their alley.

Yup, just what she was hoping for......

....a new purse!  Mom and Dad let us older children kind of pick out what we would like for Christmas ahead of time, because it's harder to surprise us with things we like at this age.  This was one of the gifts Courtney and picked out a few weeks ago.  She's been dying to use it!

Makeup for Mommy!!  The little boys gave this to her.  We were wrapping it a few days ago, and I let them see it because I figured they wouldn't have a clue what it was, thus, they couldn't spoil the surprise by telling.  Boy was I wrong.  As soon as they saw it, Isaac's little voice piped up "makeup!!"  Then Josh chimed in and they were singing it together.  I gave them a stern talking to, and I have to give them credit, they didn't say a word to Mom! 

I got a sweater!!  I was really looking forward to getting this.

A beautiful decorative plaque for Mom and Dad.
More Muscle Milk for Jonathan!! 

Speaking of which.....I realized I have not yet anounced on my blog that Jonathan is planning on joining the Navy in the coming months!  (Hence the new haircut.)  He is shooting for the Navy Seals and is pretty excited about it. 

A new fleece blankie for Jonathan!  :-)  He likes to snuggle fuzzy things (who doesn't) and his old fleece was super worn out. 
It works!

A new bilfold for Dad.

Both Isaac and Joshua got a huge sticker book - hopefully this will keep them very busy and entertained!
I got both of these books......I was really hoping for them!  I can't wait to read them.  I've heard great things about both.

Courtney gave David this shirt- great, isn't it?  He even went jogging in it this afternoon with Dad.

I gave Jonathan God's Gift To Women by Eric Ludy.  I love the Ludy's books!  I even got one for Christmas, shown in one of the previous photos.  :-)

Courtney got me a new journal!  It's really pretty. I have always been the journaling queen so they're a pretty common birthday / Christmas gift.

I can't believe how tall David is getting.  Jonathan began his growing campaign several years ago and I have been dwarfed ever David is getting close to passing me up.  Both guys are wearing shirts they got as gifts!

Dad gave Courtney and me this incredible gift.....Starbucks hot chocolate.  Mmmmm.

Getting ready for our Christmas feast............

Dad carved the ham - it was so good!!  We normally have a turkey, but this year everyone voted for a ham.

One.  Full. Plate.  Everything was scrumptious!

And that was our day!  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


Christmas Things

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas is approaching way to rapidly for me!  I can  hardly believe it's tomorrow.  This is such a special time of the year ~ and not because of the presents or the festivities (although that helps!), but because of the memory that a Baby was born in a manger over 2,000 years ago. 

And because He was born so I could live

What a incredible thing to think about.  Sometimes it just blows my mind that He loves me. In spite of myself, He loves me.  To think, God cared enough about me to send His Son, Whose purpose was to die in my place.

More cookies.....gosh, it's a good thing I don't bake this much normally.  Snickerdoodles - it was a bit odd that I would choose this recipe, as I am normally of the opinion that anything worth baking HAS to have chocolate in it.  However they just sounded really good this year.  This recipe comes right from my Grandma Carey, and they were so popular that the entire batch (all four dozen of them) were gone within the day!!

Ah, the cookie baking in progress.  It was feeling particularly festive that day because it rained, drooped, and drizzled ALL day long.  Not a speck of sunshine.  The entire sky was covered in dark clouds - it was wonderful!  Listened to Christmas music for probably four hours while making chocolate chip and snickerdoodles.  Mmmm.  
Our mountains are covered with snow this time of the year - I suppose it could be called a white Christmas!  They're just beautiful.  It always makes me think of powdered sugar.  :-)

Last night, Christmas Eve Eve, we watched The Nativity Story for the first time.  It was wonderful.  I was reminded again of how incredible the Christmas story is.  The three stars that came together for the first time in thousands of years to produce an incredibly bright shining star; the miracle of the virgin birth, the mystery of a King being born in a stable.   The best part of the movie was that the whole thing is true!

Everything, every part of our life, every day that goes by, everything that happens, all revolves around the Baby in the manger.  He's the Reason for life.  He's the reason life even matters.......and thank you Lord, for that.  

Hoping all of you have a blessed Christmas day tomorrow.......remembering Jesus' birth and celebrating Who He is - our Saviour!


Just Like His Sissy

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Closed eyes for a potentially stunning picture..... 

...and sometimes not very photo-genic.  :-)(But he CAN take a great picture most days!)



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last weekend, Mom and I took the little boys to a small neighborhood Christmas festival.   Of course, they couldn't bring themselves to call it that - it was officially called "Winterfest" - gotta be politically correct!  Ugh.

 They had a little kiddy train that Isaac and Josh got to ride on.  They were SO excited about it.  It was actually several golf carts strung together and extrememly decorated to look like train cars.  It was pretty cute!

Waiting our turn in line for the train ride!


We sat in the caboose - and yes, it was red.

They were even giving out free cotton candy.  It's been years, literally, since I've had it, and I was surprised at how.....empty it was!  I forgot how once you take a bite it shrivels down into sugar granules!

First cotton candy!  They both liked it.

Who can wear short sleeves and eat cotton candy a week before Christmas?  We can! One of the benefits of living in a hot part of the country!

We didn't stay long, but it was a fun way to spend an afternoon!


About This Blog

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will
make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

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