Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Always remember God loves us, all the time

God's care
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26, NIV


May you have a blessed year, and always remember God cares for us. We can trust Him; we need be anxious for nothing!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Word verification game

I saw it done on a blog I found through Flickr today: Stuff Christians Like
and I've been doing it on a few blog comments I've made.

Make up a definition for the word verification "word" that shows up when you want to make a comment on someone's blog. For instance, "thethi: reverse tithe, your church gives you a tenth of your income."

It's fun!

Here's a meme started by one of my friends on Bookcrossing

1 - Of all the things currently inside your fridge, what is the thing you like best? Does freezer count? We have 2 slices of kumquat pie which we'll have for dessert tonight.

2 - Pick a quote, any quote, and share it here. It may or may not be apropos to the season. "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." the Bible, Philippians 4:13

3 - Of all the weather you've experienced in the last 7 days, what was your favourite moment? I like how trees and other familiar things look mysterious and enchanted in the fog.

4 - Regardless of what you celebrate, or when, or why, what was your favourite gift that you received recently? Books - three from my BC wishlist from my son, a cookbook from my other son and d-i-l, and a new Bible from my husband. Mine is getting worn out; the cover is coming off.

5 - If you have pets, do they behave differently when you are home more than usual (ie, days off as opposed to when you are at work most of the time)? I'm home most of the time anyway.

6 - Post one favourite photo you've taken this year and tell why you like it.



It's my son holding his brand new baby daughter for the first time - I can tell that he's very near tears of joy!

7 - Have you made any new friends this year? All of you here on Blogger!

8 - Have you read more books this year than last? Is that something you consciously try to do or doesn't it matter one way or another? I've read fewer books this year, but there were some big ones: Les Miserables and East of Eden, for example. I was in online read-alongs for those.

9 - How many 2009 calendars do you have? Three: one for my bulletin board, one for my purse, and new pages for my day-planner.

10 - Did you learn or try anything new this year (a skill, a hobby, a food, anything)? A little bit of html, to post pictures and links.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I missed a couple of days of the Christmas pictures, I've been busy ...

Making cookies

Making cookies!

Christmas cookies

The sugar cookies are the Pillsbury slice and bake roll, decorated with icing and sprinkles. The chocolate chip are made from the Toll House cookie recipe on the package of Nestle's chocolate chips. I added a cup of chopped pecans.

*******

I'll be offline for a couple of days, so don't worry if you don't hear from me. (((Hugs for all)))

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Treasure Party

World of Treasures Party


A few of my treasures: my angel collection

December and August angels
"December" was my first angel, given to me by my beloved aunt because my birthday is in December. "August" was given to me by a friend who has gone on to glory. It was hers when she was a child, and it's so similar to mine that I think they must have been part of the same series.
Playing horn while birds listen
This was my second angel, and the one that started my collection. One does not make a collection, but two is a good start! This one was given to me by my next-door neighbor, a dear elderly lady who offered me much encouragement and friendship during the early years as a new wife and mother.

Angel helping a little sister
My two sons gave me this one when they were young teens. It reminds me of the Boys Town logo and slogan, "He ain't heavy, Father, he's my brother"

Spring angel with violet
I'm sorry this one's a little out of focus. I think I must have shook the camera a bit. She's a spring angel, with a light green dress and holding violets, but she joins all the heavenly host at Christmas time!

Angel in red dress with candle
Here is a true Christmas angel, with a red dress and a candle!

Two musicians
This pair of musicians came from a flea market. They make a joyful noise to announce our Savior's birth!

Angel trio
This trio of "Peace" "Joy" and "Love" was a gift from my younger son when he was in college. Very appropriate message for this season.

Angel with Christmas tree
This cold weather angel is wearing a coat with a hood, and carrying a lantern and a Christmas tree. Somehow, she reminds me of Hans Christian Anderson's Little Match Girl.

Angel in blue with book
This is a little angel in light blue, holding a book. I don't know if it's a hymnbook or a Bible. She has a sweet face.

Adoring angel in dark blue
This angel in a dark blue dress holds nothing. She has just come to worship and adore the Son of God.

White and gold angel with trumpet
This white and gold angel blows the trumpet to herald the birth of the Christ child. Why are angels often depicted as female, when in the Bible they are described as male?

I Samuel 16:7
My sons gave me this angel when they were teenagers. I wondered why they gave me one that was not so pretty as the others, but it finally came to me that this one is a reminder that God looks at our heart, not at our physical appearance. I Samuel 16:7, "God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

African American boy angel
This is one of my few boy angels, and the only African American angel. He's holding a sceptor with a star and a teddy bear, perhaps it's a gift for baby Jesus?

Angel band
This is a quartet of musical angels: two with fiddles, one with a banjo, and one with an accordian, ready to play and dance for our Lord!

Angel made from Alabama red clay
This angel was made from Alabama red clay. I bought this one at the gift shop at Noccalula Falls, near Gadsden, Ala.

Nativity surrounded by my collection of angels
Here are "all the heavenly host" gathered around the humble stable, worshiping, adoring, praising, announcing the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I love red poinsettias!

I love red poinsettias!
I have to have one for the Christmas season! One year we planted one outside, and it turned the next Christmas. It froze the year after that, though. It had grown too big to cover well.

Christmas 2005

November, 2006 Sadly, it froze to death the night of December 8-9, 2006.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Last Christmas

Last Christmas I was recovering from a broken neck (auto accident), and my sweet hubby was doing all the housework: cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. I couldn't decorate a tree, and I didn't want to ask him to, in addition to all else that he was doing for me. He was doing his own work, too, of course. So, we decided to put the outdoor pre-lit tree in the living room window, undecorated! It looked nice, bright and cheery!

Christmas tree inside

Here is how it looked from outside:

Through the window

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Santa

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus
Driving their sleigh through the Christmas village

This was taken in 2006; they are arranged on the mantle this year.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Creche in front yard

Silent Night

This nativity graces our front yard every December, and reminds those passing by at about 60 mph (we live on a busy highway) that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

My husband made it from a kit. (I helped a little.) It is simple white with a spotlight shining on it at night, making it visible in the daylight and dark.

Star on chimney

This huge star with twinkling colored lights, shines from the chimney wall, overlooking the nativity.

Christmas yard

This is how it looked three years ago. Hubby's back is bothering him, and he didn't feel like putting up the icicle lights and the lighted trees this year. That's fine with me; I'd rather he take care of his back!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Growth of a village


This is the first little house I had. My mother gave it to me, and I used to display it along with Victorian man and woman bell figures. The figures were too big to have gone in the house if they wanted to, though! I don't know what happened to them; I guess I gave them away years ago.


Later, I bought this "Santa's Workshop." It's in three separate stories that I put one on top of the other, and there is no room for a light bulb to illuminate it, so it remains dark. It's Christmas Eve, after Santa has finished his work, so he's closed his shop!

In succeeding years, we bought several buildings at a drugstore nearby, of the Dickensville collection, a lot less expensive than Department 56. The church is completely different; it is translucent when lit.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas village

Church with nativity

This is the little church in my Christmas village. As you can see, it has a Nativity next to it, so all the people passing by can see it, and contemplate the true meaning of Christmas. If you'll look closely, you'll spot Santa Claus with Mrs. Claus riding through town in their sleigh!

If you click on this picture, you will be taken to my Flickr photostream, where you can see a few more village pictures. It is the same village that's on my blog header, but on the fireplace mantle this year, so the background is a brick wall instead of a painted wall.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

O Christmas Tree

I finished decorating the tree today. It took hubby a day and a half to find the lightbulb that caused a whole section to be dark, but he finally did it, and then I started.

Christmas tree in corner

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A few of my angel figurines

December and August angels
My aunt gave me December when I was a little girl, and my friend gave me August when she learned that I collect angels. It was apparently given to her when she was a child. They look like they came from the same set of "angel of the month."

Angel trio
Peace, Joy, and Love
Given to me by my younger son

Two musicians
Two musicians, bought at a flea market

Angel in red dress with candle
Christmas Angel

Spring angel with violet
Spring angel with violet. I'm sorry she's a little fuzzy; I shook the camera.

Angel helping a little sister
I love this one! It reminds me of the Boys' Town slogan "He ain't heavy, Father; he's my brother" My sons gave it to me when they were young teenagers. It is very dear to me.

Playing horn while birds listen
This was the second angel in my collection, and the inspiration for starting a collection. The first one was December Angel, given to me when I was a child, and this one was given to me by a dear friend and neighbor, an elderly lady who lived next door. She had had it for a long time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Our old-fashioned nativity



The figures were my parents when I was a little girl, but we had to replace the stable. It and the manger were cardboard, and they didn't survive this long. I got a nice sturdy wooden stable at an after-Christmas sale a few years ago, and I use an oyster shell for the Christ child's manger. He fits in it well, even though it may seem a little odd. I really don't think He'll mind. He looked cold, dressed in only what looked like a diaper, so I wrapped Him in a doll blanket from a doll house, not having any swaddling clothes handy.



Nativity

All we have are the Holy Family and the angel (Gabriel, I suppose), a cow, and two sheep. We don't have any shepherds or wise men, and I haven't been able to find any that match this set, or even go well with it. I do have it surrounded by the heavenly host of angels - my angel collection. I will show them individually the next few days.

I hope, as you are busy decorating your homes, entertaining, participating in church choirs, etc., etc, etc., that you will take time to savor the joys of the season!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas angels

We haven't put up our decorations this year yet. We've been working on cleaning up from Thanksgiving first, so I'll show you a picture of a group from my angel collection. I've collected angels over the years, and of course, have received many as gifts. I've given away a few of them, but still have many.

Angel band

Christmas is coming!


I've changed my header picture for the holidays. It's a picture I took last year or the year before, of our Christmas village. I usually put it on the cedar chest in our living room, but I'm thinking of putting it on the mantle this year.

I'll try to post a Christmas picture every day in December, leading up to Christmas Day. We haven't put our decorations up yet, but they are down from the attic, still in boxes, so I'll start now with a picture from last year, of a neighbor's yard.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gratitude #27 - Forgiveness



I am grateful for forgiveness. I am grateful that God forgave me, and that He enables me to forgive those who hurt me. Bitterness is such a terrible burden to carry. It eats away at the soul of the person who is bitter like acid eats the container that holds it. Yet, we hold onto it. Sometimes we are angry and bitter at another person for years and years, and meanwhile they are going on with their lives. Forgiveness is freeing and transforming. I am so grateful that we can forgive one another.



I'm adding this post to Cielo's Hopeful Friday at The House in the Roses.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gratitude #26 - Memories


Picture found on Google Images, www.diavolineri.net


Sweet memories of Thanksgivings past, and the preparations. The children used to help me get the house ready for grandparents' visits, and they enjoyed learning to cook, too. Sweet memories, make me smile!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gratitude #25 - Music

Com'on Baby Give Me a Twirl

I can't sing, nor play any instrument, but I love to listen to music (and sing in church, along with everyone else!) I love to "make a joyful noise," but no one wants to hear me; someone once asked me what instrument I play, and I said "The radio!"

I usually have the radio station tuned to a classical station, but I enjoy many different genres: jazz, "old -time rock 'n roll," golden oldie pops and top forty, show tunes from a long time ago, some country (Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton), some blues, rhythm and blues, Motown, ballads, and "crooners" from the 50s and 60s like Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Mathis.

I also like Christian music: traditional hymns, southern gospel, spirituals, and some praise choruses. All of it pleasing to God, I'm sure, but sometimes a little of the latter goes a long way to my human ears!

I enjoy the music and instruments of many different countries and cultures: Celtic, bagpipes, traditional African, the didgeridoo, Middle Eastern and Asian; in fact I can't think of any that I don't like.

I like many different kinds of instruments, too. My favorites are the harp, some violin music (smooth, not screechy), piano, saxophone, and percussion.

High school band music has always been a favorite. I grew up a few blocks from the high school I attended, and in the late summer and fall I could hear the band practicing every afternoon. Years later, my own children were in their high school band (another school, another city), and I loved hearing them, particularly the drum team, as they practiced for their own competitions. Even now, occasionally on Friday nights during football season, I can hear the band from the stadium about a mile or so from our house. It gives me a thrill, and I open the window if it's not too cold, so I can hear better.

Of couse, I like dance music, many kinds: tango, swing, waltz, foxtrot, samba, cha cha, and rumba.

I'm so glad our world is full of music. Nature has a music of its own: bird songs, wind, the many sounds of water from a gentle trickle to the steady surf along the seashore to the wild roaring of the storm. People seem programmed to make music, and all those musicians and performers need an audience. I am happy to listen!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I wanted to write about music today.

shadow dancing

I will, but I can't compose my thoughts right now. I am grateful for music, but I'll catch up later - I don't know if it will be tomorrow, or when.

Right now I'm grateful that I'm not doing these Gratitude posts for a school assignment! There's no deadline, and I don't think any of you are going to get mad at me if I don't do one every day.

I've been gone most of the day, and very busy after I returned home, and now I'm tired!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gratitude #23 - Food

Dinner at home

I am grateful for God's gracious bounty of food, so many different kinds of food - cereals, grains, fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, meat - so many different kinds of animals from which we get so many different kinds of meat. God is very gracious, and yet there are many people who do not have enough to eat, who wonder and worry how to get their next meal, who cannot feed their children.

Some of us have too much to eat, and our bodies show it. (I'm speaking of myself!) We can choose to eat the healthy, natural foods that God provides, and prepare it in simple yet tasty ways, or we can choose high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar, highly processed meals that will contribute to ill health.

It is our choice, and I'm grateful that we have the choice. I only wish that broiled chicken and steamed vegetables were as tasty as chocolate cake!

Tomatoes, July 22, 2007

For All the Teachers!

Home grown satsumas!

Cup of Tea