Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Hiding Place to Through Gates of Splendor

We love to read as a family.  I did this with my older 3 and now Patrick and I are enjoying it with our younger kiddos, too.  We just finished up The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it!  It is the story of the Ten Boom family that hid jews in their home during World War II.
We went around the room last night sharing all that they have learned from this book and their major take aways.  It was amazing what they've learned!  This is one of the books that helps you to grow spiritually and closer to the Lord.  It makes you want to be more bold in your stand for Christ.  As I finished the last chapter I fought tears as I read aloud.  To have joy in a difficult, painful circumstance is amazing and comes from the Lord.  To continually look for good in every situation is something that is a choice for all of us.  In this book you see Corrie and her sister make those hard choices and the impact on others is amazing.  This is also a book that makes you thankful for where you are and what you have.  It's a must read!

 Last night we voted on which book to read next and we chose "Through Gates of Splendor" by Elisabeth Elliot.  It's the story of her husband Jim Elliot that was a missionary martyr.  My husband has read it before, but it will be a first for me. 
 I have one of Jim Elliot's quotes on my wall that says, 
"Wherever you are, be all there."
  I can't wait to read this with my family!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Just One More

I feel like my Christmas posts are going on forever, but since this is my way of journalling what's happening with my family, and December was a busy month, I needed to squeeze in one more and post about our wonderful Christmas Day.

I heard movement about 4:30am.  Thankfully, our sweet kiddos waiting until a little before 5:30am to wake us up.  They were excited!  We pushed brew on the coffee pot, had everyone wash their faces and brush their teeth, start the Christmas music and then met together in the living room at our appointed spots. 

Then, we stopped and had some time praying together.  It still amazes us that on Christ's birthday, He bestows many gifts upon  us.  Not just all the wrapped presents, although those were many and wonderful, but He gave us the greatest gift of all....a relationship with God.  Not only do we have eternal life in heaven, but we have a constant friend anytime of day, we have peace that only He can give, we have brothers and sisters in Christ....I really could go on and on.  It was great to pause and tell Jesus "Thank you!"  and "Happy Birthday!"

Then, we passed out all of the gifts from  under the tree.  There were a bunch!  We don't yet do the exchange the name thing between our children,  So they each have gifts for each other.  And there are gifts from Patrick and I as well.  So there are plenty!

Then, the opening begins.  I know every family does it a little different.  We start with the youngest person and they give all the gifts to people they bought.  We open them one by one starting with the youngest.  So, Callie always goes first because  the youngest is Micah and he gives the gift he bought, first, to the youngest person.  Does that make sense?  We all watch as that person opens their gift. They oooh and ahhh, maybe unwrap it and turn it on.  It takes a bit, but it's fun!  Then, Silas would be next to open from Micah.

Slingshots for our boys.  What in the world were we thinking?

We usually pop in a couple of cans of cinnamon rolls in the oven and take an eating break halfway through.  After we are done opening, it's play, play, playtime!  I love it!  We usually jump from one thing to the next and it's great fun!  

Joshua, Tabitha and the girls came over midmorning to say Merry Christmas.  Liberty asked if I could make her some hot cocoa.  Of course!  So, I was able to have hot cocoa with my grandbabies on Christmas Day.  That was such a treat and a blessing, I can't even describe it!  

Then, Josh brought over one of his gifts for all the boys to play.  They had fun together!

After lunch (we had shrimp cocktail, yum!) Callie and I made the birthday cake for Jesus.  We had been watching videos on mirror glaze cake.  We knew we wanted it to be red and green. We used this recipe for the cake and made it a yummy peppermint cake.  We used the white chocolate buttercream recipe from my Cranberry Cake, and we found this mirror glaze recipe on food network.  It was so fun!

Although the red and green ended up meshing into a brown in some places, and someone referred to it as a grinch cake, we had fun making it.  And it was yummy!!  So so so good!  I love the tradition of having birthday cake for Jesus at our Christmas meal!

Micah started building with a kit he got for a car.  And Silas started whittling with kit he got.  He was so excited about learning!

And when you learn to whittle, you usually have a slight injury.  And fingers tend to bleed pretty good!  Needless to say, he now wears gloves when he whittles!

After a wonderful afternoon of playing, we went over to Denise's house for Christmas Dinner.  She made a turkey, ham and all the fixins'  It was sooo good!

And being around the table with ones that you love is a treasure!

Then, it was more gifts!  Wow!

 We ended the evening playing a game we got for Marc called Shock Potato.  Crazy!
It really was a great day! 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Eve Night

Christmas Eve was fantastic for us!  We love having our candlelight service at VSIBC!  It's so pretty all lit up and glowing.  The tone of the service is a little more serious and reflective.  Everyone just seems contemplative and thankful as they think about the birth of Christ. (I snapped this photo after getting all the lights on, but before people started arriving.)

This year a cold front started moving through as service began.  There was a ton of wind and lots of rain.  It was pouring down pretty good as people arrived.  But, they came and being around faithful people is a blessing.

Just a few more months until granddaughter number 3 arrives!  So excited! Tabitha is such a cute pregnant lady.  She just glows! :o)  

Liberty wanted her picture with Lollipops.  We said Of course!

Patrick had Silas read the Christmas story from Luke 2.  He did so good!

The people of VSIBC are so gracious and giving!  Mrs. Margarete made this sign for us, although you can't see it very well in the picture. She printed out a poem Beth wrote earlier in the year.  She had her sign it, then mounted it on wood and put a protective coating over it.  It is gorgeous!  Such a wonderful treasure!

My friend, Tracy, knows me very well.  She knows that I really enjoy having goats and bought me this notebook.  Isn't it so cute?!  And what's really neat is that for my goals for next year I was needing 3 notebooks.  Guess how many notebooks I got for Christmas?  God is so good!

We came home during the wind and rain.  Our power had been out, but Thankfully was back back on!  We had a tree down in the yard, but, Praise the Lord!!, it fell in the perfect spot.  Now my goats get  to feast on its leaves for a couple of days!

After spending some family devotion time together reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas and what our decorations and traditions stand for, we opened stockings and gave gifts to Jesus.  I love doing this as a family!

Then, we had the kids all in their beds with the fireplace going. We were all pretty tired from a busy day! I love that they all sleep in the living room together on Christmas Eve night.  Sweet memories!

Christmas Eve with Josh and Tabitha

 We decided to do something new this year.  I really think it worked out well! Maybe this will be something we try again as we forge ahead into holidays with adult children.  One thing I've wanted to be careful of is to let my adult children make their own holiday traditions.  I don't want them to feel like they have to be at a certain place at a certain time year after year.  Each year is different, so it is fun to figure out what will work.  This year Tabitha and I thought it would be fun to do a Christmas Eve breakfast together and exchange gifts then.  It was soooo fun! We made sausage gravy and biscuits.  We also had a bowl of cheesy scrambled eggs.  Tabitha brought hash browns and a super yummy fruit salad.  It was so delicious!  We feasted until we realized we were way too full.  
Then, it was time to open gifts.  There is nothing like watching toddlers open gifts.  It is so precious!! Freedom was so excited!  She tore her gifts open piece by piece. 
It's also a sweet moment when you watch your son hold his baby daughter.  You see the joy he has of watching his little girl.  Wasn't I just in that spot not too long ago?  Life is precious.  And is truly a vapor.
Liberty is the type of girl that has to have all the paper off the gift before she will even look to see what she has gotten.  It's so cute!
And after each gift Joshua and Tabitha had the girls go and hug the person that the gift was from and tell them thank you.  It was so sweet!

Josh and Tabitha gave us all amazing gifts.  They really are thoughtful gift givers!  They bought the boys these swords.   They knew they would love them since they've been reading Chuck Black's series, "Knights of Arrethrae."  We love those books!

My 3 girls are soda lovers.  I mean really...they love their root beer, diet name it!  So, Josh and Tabitha decided to get them a mini fridge for their room.  So neat!

And then they bought them each a 12 pack of their favorites!
 This was one gift I was so excited to give!!Francie Taylor, one of our favorite authors, has a new book out called ICU.  I ordered one for each of the girls.  I also told them that we will study one chapter a month together.  When we have our study I want it to be a special girls time.  Maybe a tea party, maybe a restaurant or a girls will be different every month.  We are so excited to do this together!
When did my boy become a man?  We are so proud of him and how he is such a wonderful husband and father.  We are also proud of the spiritual leader he is and the decisions he is making.  He stepped out by faith when he started his podcast, Sandy Creek Stirrings.  He usually leaves his house before the sun rises and goes up to the church to record his episodes.  The content really is inspiring, encouraging, convicting and just fun to listen to!  We thought it would be neat to order him a cup with the Sandy Creek logo on it.  He loved it!
 It was a really great way to spend Christmas Eve morning.  Sure do love my family!