Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...well sort of

Abby modeling in the American Girl Fashion Show

Abby with "Emily" in PJ's

Will, Abby & Ella in Asbury's Christmas Program

Proud Mimi & Aunt Cindy

Abby holding Mia in her new Christmas Outfit

Cutie Patooties

Will playing "Hilton Railey" in his class play

Oma with two of her favorite boys

Ella helping Mommy cook

Jenks East Singers performing for the PTA

Will after my good friend Tiffini showed me how to use my new thinning shears

Ella at Lauren's Pink Poodle Party

The kids begging to put Owen in the Manger and me saying "No!"

1st Day of being Iced In...anyone interested in coming over to clean up this mess?!!

Big Pot of Matzah Ball Soup for my sick, sick hubby

Owen's newest trick...he turns into SUPERMAN on my tub!

Ark (Sunday School) Christmas Party

Sweet Girls
More to come later....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Would Love to Know...

Hey all you beautiful people out there!

I just saw on my dear friend Kim's blog that you can now add a "Follower of this Blog" link.

So...I am adding one myself!

My curiousity is peaked when I see that 350 some odd people are reading my blog each week, but yet only 1-5 ever comment. (Speaking of...would love some more Christmas Tradition ideas from the last post...don't be shy!)

If you wouldn't mind, pretty please click on the link below and to the left and add yourself if you enjoy reading my blog. You can do it anonymously if you would like.

It would be fantabulous to know who you are. :)


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Favorite *CHRISTmas Tradition

The Birth of Jesus Foretold (from Luke 1)
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Now that you have read the foretelling of THE GREATEST CHRISTMAS of all time...I'd love to hear from you guys about what your favorite CHRISTmas tradition is with your own family.

Amidst the secular craziness of decorating tree's, buying the kids matching pajamas, taking that "perfect" Christmas photo for your card, there's gotta be something more. How do you bring out the FAITH aspect of Christmas in your home? How do you keep this potentially wonderful holiday focused on what it was intended for??

I was just telling my hubby the other day that I bet the average family spends at least three-five full days between Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating, shopping, stressing out, working on Christmas cards, hanging lights, etc. Think of what we could do with that time?! (Ooh, and should I dare say all that $$$!) And, all for a 4-5 week period in one little ol' month called December. Speaking of, did you know that Jesus was probably born in September? Seriously. Just a little sidenote.

Okay, so here are Two of our Family's Favorite CHRISTmas Traditions:

#1 As you receive all those beautiful Christmas Cards...collect them in a box, or on a tray. Then, after the first of the year, let one of your children pick out a card each night at dinner. Whoever says the dinner prayer (for us, usually Daddio) prays specifically over that family. This has been such an incredible tradition for us! And, with the number of cards we receive, it lasts for months! I absolutely love teaching my kids about praying for others...and it gives special meaning to each card. I can't imagine just throwing them out when Christmas was over! (This idea was shared with us by our very first Sunday School Teachers 12 years ago...thanks Randy & Chris Bunn!)

#2 Momma (that would be me) sits with candlelight in the front living room where our Christmas Tree resides. We then read the Story of Christmas out of the Bible together on the couch all snuggled up in our jammies. After reading, I turn out any lights and only keep one candle burning. Then, one by one, I take each of my children and look them right in the eye and tell them:
"You, _____ (Will, Abby, Ella, Owen), are the Light of the World"
and Greg and I walk them up to their bed, kiss them, and tuck them in for the night. I dare you to try this without getting chills up your spine. It is an AMAZING experience!
(This idea comes from one of the most faithful Mothers I have ever known... her name is Susan Ekhoff ~ she is the Mother of Seven!)

#3 I had to come back and add one more...God reminded me this morning of this oh so special tradition. Years ago, my good friend Amy Barnes did a wonderful presentation on how to have faith-filled traditions with your family during the Holidays. She brought up the idea of some type of manger in your front yard. It is kept empty until the morning of Christmas. At that time, a baby wrapped in white cloth (an old sheet cut up will do) is laid in the manger. As our children come downstairs, the first thing we do is check to see if Baby Jesus is in the Manger. It is SO precious!! Even Will gets excited to see Him! Then, one of my girls ends up cuddling on Baby Jesus all day long! (*Special note of thanks to my dear friends Russ & Debbie Knight...Russ handbuilt our family's wooden manger. It is a priceless gift that we have cherished for years.)

Okay, now it's YOUR turn! Please take the time to post a comment so we can make our Holidays even more meaningful this year...and bring CHRIST back to Christmas. +*+*+

(P.S. - just saw Rick Warren (author of Purpose Driven Life) on the Today Show...he has a new book out. Looks like a Must Have!