Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking Forward to the New Year

We ended up having a really nice Christmas holiday with extended family down in the Chicago suburbs. I have to say it was strange with no snow on the ground! We all gathered at my sister's house (my dad and step mom, my 3 sisters and their husbands, nieces and nephews, and some family friends who stopped by). It was fun seeing everyone's reactions to their new gifts, including the homemade ones from us. This year I made gift boxes for my sisters families that included a family calendar with photos from the year, two mason jar desserts of muffins and cookies and a homemade wreath ornament. Once my computer returns and I can upload pictures again, I will share a specific post with our homemade gifts. As I made the gifts, I took time to pray for each person I was giving them to. I think that was my favorite part about making them. At one point during our celebration, I stepped outside where my brother-in-law had a fire going in the fire pit on the patio. I soaked in some precious moments alone as I stood outside in front of the fire with the crisp air and the Christmas lights of the neighborhood all around me. As I looked up at the stars and thought about the true meaning of Christmas, my heart was filled with thanks for the amazing gift of God coming down to earth in human form, as a little baby.

We hope to do something special as a family to ring in the New Year. We have yet to finalize our plans. Every year we also set aside some time as a couple to reflect on the year that has passed and create a vision for the year to come. We go through our journals and talk about where we saw the Lord at work. We talk about the ways we have grown but also confess what areas we still need to surrender. It takes a lot of compassion and understanding to allow us to honestly share our feelings and this tradition has been an important part in growing our marriage relationship.  We are both excited for what the Lord will do in the coming year.

In looking forward to the new year, I also want to take some time to look back on the blog. I thought I'd share some of my favorite posts from the year:

Preparing for "Holy Leisure"

Random Things of Beauty (Sept.)

Our First Week of Preschool (Robots Unit)

Fixing Our Eyes on What is Unseen

Welcome to My Home

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season and I thank you for visiting!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Computer is NOT fixed ... But I Need to Catch Up!

So my computer wasn't fixed after all. I had it home less than 24 hours and it was constantly crashing so it had to be sent back! Thankfully, we do have a back up computer, but it is so old and slow that I haven't been able to put together a post of significance until now.

I have had no shortage of projects keeping me busy ... I decided to do homemade gifts this year (keeping those a secret until after Christmas) and I'm finding that very enjoyable. Making things by hand has been really rewarding, especially as I get closer to the finished product. We've also had some fun Christmas parties we've attended. One of them was with my mom friends as our husbands watched the kids which gave us a chance to get together. We had some really good conversations as we shared a meal, enjoyed Christmas music and decorated Christmas cookies together. Last night we went out caroling for our 3rd or 4th year. My husband likes to organize it, printing out the music and coordinating everything, then a few friends join us for the caroling. It is a lot of fun going out and bringing glad tidings to a few families, one of whom was a 92-year old woman still living in the home she grew up in.

My husband and I have been going through a really good book together, Celebration of Discipline - The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster. Each chapter looks at a different discipline of the spiritual life (prayer, meditation, fasting, study, confession, etc.) and it has opened up some good discussions. Lately, a struggle has been sitting down for an extended period of time just being quiet before the Lord; taking time to read his word, reflect and pray without any interruptions. It's been hard to do that regularly since my Thanksgiving vacation where I had some extended down time and it came naturally.

One place it seems to come more naturally is out in nature. I love getting outside in the fresh air and taking time to appreciate the beauty around me. I have really been hoping for some snow since we've only gotten a light dusting a couple of times so far. I love winter. Especially putting on snowshoes and heading out with my husband with J in the backpack to spend time together as a family just enjoying creation. I am always refreshed spending time outdoors yet I haven't been getting out enough lately.

I hope to post again soon, but I'm not sure when I'll get the chance. In light of that, I want to take time to thank you for reading and visiting and I wish you a very blessed Christmas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Computer is Back!

I am so excited that my computer came back from the tech center this week! I am now up and running again, and hope to have a new post soon.

Thank you for patiently waiting!!

Hope you all are enjoying this holiday season :o)

Picture Credit: Microsoft Clip Art