Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Tidings From our Home

Like it is for so many other families at this time of year, our world has been a whirlwind of activity lately as we prepare for Christmas.

A couple weeks back our oldest fell down while playing at school and got broke.

Ouch! Our youngest just lost his first tooth, but I'll leave that one to your imagination.

For some reason the urge to make cookie plates has taken hold on me. This only happens once every three or four years, so I go with it.

In another five years I'll get the urge to send out Christmas cards, but by then we won't have anyone left to send to, I'm sure. Sadly, my family members have slowly dropped me from their lists and at this point we get more cards from businesses than from relatives. I hope they know that my lack of Yuletide greetings doesn't mean I love them any less (any friends and relatives reading this?).

The little lamb (of God) cookies from the plates.

For those of you who are also not highly experienced in the culinary arts, don't turn the oven temperature up when the meringues are inside it. You get not good results. This bag is ours. I've already eaten the worst ones.

For my snowmen I didn't have enough marshmallows, so I cut them in half and the hats ended up looking more like cardinal hats in all those paintings of the saints in the art I teach. So here are the St. Jerome snowmen that went to fourth grade (where we studied St. Jerome and his translation of the Latin Vulgate early in history this year).

Kindergarten had a party that involved decorating cookies.

Fourth grade ate snowmen ;-). Ha, ha! Actually, I subbed for the teacher and made the kids take all wrapped goodies home, including the snowmen. There were plenty of unwrapped treats, trust me!

Kindergarten also had a play, so I've made some costumes. (All this and teaching too!)

We've had prayer time for a dear family who are still separated after much red tape. I've thought a lot about homecoming, reunion and faithfulness to our tasks lately and how these relate to the coming of The King of Kings. Please pray for our friends when you remember them.

We've had lots of snow. And just as much melting. Will it ever stay? I love the snow, although I don't care for driving in it. I am, however, growing accustomed to my husband's vehicle (not front-wheel drive, like what I've always driven), and the kids loved the donut I did the other day in a parking lot. It was not intentional (honest!), but it was the very first thing my son told my husband about when we returned from Christmas shopping...

I always enjoy the music of the season. Favorite songs this year include "I Wonder as I Wander," "Gabriel's Message," "The Wexford Carol," "He Is Born, The Divine Christ Child," and "Snow" by Loreena McKennit. My son loves "Feliz Navidad", my daughter likes "We Three Kings" and "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and my hubby likes it all. What are your favorite songs of the season? I'd love to hear from you.

Art I have been working on (necklaces for nieces):

Art I have not been working on:
This is a charcoal rendering of an earlier angel. I keep toying with the idea of adding some pastel colors to the charcoal--we'll see how brave I am over break.

The ubiquitous (in our house) snowflakes that help keep my hands busy.

I am keeping this one. Several years ago I started a book that I keep my favorite ones in, so I need to find it and add.

The house is a mess and I am feeling blessed to go to every other relative's home for celebrations this year. To have to have everything clean by tomorrow would send me over the edge right now. The one thing that keeps us all together in this time, however, is also the most important. No matter how busy we are in our family, we all remember that without Christ we have nothing in the end. If you have never encountered Jesus, I urge you to find out about Him. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Alpha and Omega, Who is coming back at the right time. Don't put off getting to know Him because only the Father knows when our time is up--it could be tomorrow, it could be years. Each year we celebrate the Advent season by adding figures to a nativity calender I made when the oldest child was little. We try to read some of the Christmas story along with the daily updates, and it always leads us back to Jesus and His birth, which is what we celebrate. We give gifts to honor the gift Jesus Christ gives to each person who will accept it: reconciliation with God the Father and everlasting life. The banner on our nativity displays John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Don't miss the gift.

Well, I do have to go tidy some things and finish a horse I am painting for someone for tomorrow. No matter what you are doing, I hope you will take a moment to meditate on why you celebrate this season and pray for loved ones. And with that, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! --L

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