Monday, December 31, 2007

Jesus IS Coming!

Before I usher in a New Year I think it high time I blog about Christmas!!!! Where has the week gone? Where has the year gone?

Christmas, in the sense of the December 25th celebration of the birth of my Lord and Savior is past. But the beauty of God’s love for us ALL will forever continue to brighten my days with hope and fill my heart with peace and joy.

This Christmas, like many other days with children, was different. We had a lot of Kodak moments and some not-so-Kodak moments that have forever been written upon our hearts as memorable moments and learning experiences… I am convinced that rearing children is the best education a person will ever receive!

Sweetness loved her Samantha Doll, Movie, horse family, heart necklace and perfumed soaps. Cutie Pie loved his train set, wooden blocks, and guitar, however he did not ask for a John Deere bike, therefore he did not want a John Deere bike and furthermore he dislikes surprises as much as he dislikes large crowds and strangers. So no more surprises for Cutie Pie! They both love the real looking 5' stuffed alligator pillows Treasure Hunter got them.

What else did I learn? No matter how much sugar is in the house during the holidays we MUST not cut back on sugar by eliminating the Happy Birthday Jesus cake. I usually make the cake on Christmas Eve, but felt we had digested too much sugar all ready and sugar tends to make me cranky : / But it just wasn’t Christmas without the cake, so I baked it on Christmas night, lit the candles, sang the song, made a wish, blew out the candle and finally Christmas was complete.

I also learned that King Crab legs are not as tastey as Snow Crab Legs.

I was reading Am. Girl Josefina to Sweetness last night. The tradition in her village was to act-out the Nativity scene ! Now why did I not think of that? The kids would LOVE doing that! So let me record this idea on my blog, so when I look back next year I will remember to begin this tradition with my family. That is if the Lord doesn’t come back before then. I am so looking forward to His coming! How about you?

If and when we meet again next year I pray everyone have a safe and Happy New Year!

Love and Prayers
JOY <><

Friday, December 21, 2007

Who is Coming To Our House?

This is the second year the children and I have enjoyed the book: Who Is Coming To Our House, by Joseph Slate. The story is about animals getting their stable ready for a special guest ; ) I deepen my voice when the cow asks, "Who is coming to our house?" And I make a squeaky voice when mouse replies, "Someone's coming to our house." The animals prepare for their guest of honor and at the end Joseph and a very pregnant Mary ride up on their donkey, and the next page shows baby Jesus being swaddled in Mary's arms. I just LOVE this book and my children do too.

Today we had guests coming to our house. I did not tell the children anyone was coming as I wanted them to be surprised, and not anxious ; ). We carried on our usual morning routine then the kids were engrossed in playing with the new toys that they received from their cousins as I prepared lunch for our guests. I was surprised that I did not raise any suspicions as Sweetness came in for a strawberry and seen the food I was preparing. But once I placed extra chairs at the table, she was on to me.

"Who is coming to our house?" Sweetness asked

"Someone, someone!" I replied in my mousey voice.

"I know who it is! Anna." she said.




"Someone's coming to our house," I repeated.

Aha! "It is Tami, because she is most like Jesus."

"YES, you're right..."

You could imagine the chills Tami got when I told her what Sweetness said. You never know the impact you can have in a child's life and Tami has certainly made a good impression on Sweetness. So glad she see's Jesus in those around her.

Tami and her 3 children blessed our home today with their company. It felt so good to fellowship with a homeschooling Christian mom. I could go on for hours of the conversation we had and how encouraged I was. Thank you dear Heavenly Father for sending Tami and her family our way.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Memories Begin

Here are some special events worth journaling!

"Mom what do you want for Christmas?" asked Cutie Pie

"Good Kids!" I replied.

a few days later ...

Feet are scurrying up the basement stairs!

"MOM, dad just wrapped you a huge present and it ain't good kids."

My mom called yesterday! Imagine my mom speaking in a high pitched WV accent as you read the following!

"BOY am I excited!" she exlaims. "This is the most beautiful gift! It is so perty. My goodness it was heavy. I put it in the drawer all ready. What a shame ya have to hide it. Thank you so much."

"Glad you liked the set of silverware mom : )"

I will NEVER EVER be able to thank God enough for the JOY He gives to my MOM : ) It is extremely contagious!

"Mama, if you don't get good kids for Christmas, I'll get you a new set of headphones." said Cutie Pie w/ a concerned tone in his voice.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Warm Spot Turns Cold

Treasure Hunter found a delightful spot for nature gatherings. It's a "warm spot" on the side of the hill that overlooks our beautiful lake and rolling stream. It is covered with a straw like grass that is dried to a golden wheat color. This spot was discovered yesterday during a windstorm when Treasure Hunter, Sweetness and Cutie Pie ventured over to cut some of the golden grass to place in our chicken pen turned stable and manger scene. (Treasure Hunter NEVER ceases to amaze me.) While the wind was stirring up a gale with bone chilling temperatures that sliced through your skin straight to the bone the warm spot was sunny and calm. The children tore off their jackets as they began to sweat cutting down the golden rods. They brought their harvest home, placed it in the stable making the manger scene look more authentic!

Today we revisited the warm spot. We took PBJ's bananas, crackers and a book. When we first arrived I noticed a lot of trees were down. I thought, "Mercy, that storm really blew a lot of trees down last night." I walked up on the hill to have a closer look at the damage. Many trees were down, but it is the result of some logging activities : ( I've been hearing chainsaws and trees crashing for a week now.

We ate our lunch and I attempted to reard our Christmas storybook, but the children were too busy making straw dolls and houses for them to withstand the weather. I took this "quiet" time to reflect on how wonderful God was to give us this warm spot on this chilly afternoon and how even more wonderful that we celebrate the life of our Savior on the darkest, coldest day of the year. Here I was sitting on top of the world looking down on the glistening creek, listening to the ripple of the water; watching the birds fly above the lake. God certainly knows how to create warm spots.

THEN! What's that noise! Quick children the loggers are back. We gathered our things and headed down the hill just as the chain saw was tearing through another tree and then cabang! The children were a bit frightened and I was too seeing how we were just beside fallen trees! We made it to our property and safety rather quickly.

Then I was reminded of how commercialism can rip Christ out of Christmas just as that chainsaw ripped through the trees and ruined our warm spot. I pray God, don't let that happen to me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Messy Quotient * * * * *

Snowman Paint

Shaving Cream + Glue

Don't worry -- it washes off with soap and water!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cup Fulls of Laughter + Handfuls of Creativity = Awesome MNO

The ladies of our homeschool group sure know how to have a great time! Last night, one of our dear members, and friend, Tam, hosted a Cookie Exchange Mom's Night Out! The creativity, organization, and hospitality of this homeschool mom is phenomenal. I was a bit late, so I missed out on the initial phase of wooping laughter. But as soon as Michelle put on her reindeer nose and her flashing glasses I completely lost all sense of composure and laughed until I had to hide my deformed face behind a bag! YES, she won the prize for most the most festive attire.

Then we played a left and right ornament game and I won an ornament! Perhaps I should play the lottery. I won a citrus peeler at the Pampered Chef party this week. Then it was time to have some yummy snacks of veggies, chips, dips, sausage, hot tea, cider, egg nog that was all pleasantly displayed on a gorgeous dining room table.

Tam, then proceeded to gather us back to the kitchen table and engage us in craft time. Bless her heart she was a good sport as she tried to explain how to make a Neanderthal Book fold! Poor Deb didn't have enough squares! We were so intoxicated with laughter, it truly was HARD to concentrate. We all sat and worked diligently on our cookie bags and recipe books while making wise cracks about getting pulled over for failure to come to a complete stop ! And getting speeding tickets while in labor!

My kids are so delighted that I brought home about 2 dozen of different kids of cookie. WOW mom that was some "meeting". Back to reality here! My kids are diving into the cookie bag for breakfast! Best scoot.

But first I must thank God for a husband who is the world's best babysitter : 0 ) and for good friends who make me a laugh. It truly is the best medicine!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Flurry of Excitement

What an amazing week at Heartfelt!

I can't even remember which day it was when my Night Owl became a Morning Glory jumping up and down on the bed exclaiming, "IT SNOWED IT SNOWED!" Sweetness thereby declared the day a "snow day". Then Cutie Pie declared, "I'm 5 years old." And Joy declared, "I'm having coffee first."

We muddled through reading practice and chores and out into God's fluffy blanket we went! Snow angels, snow balls, sled riding -- it was a terrific first snow. Cutie Pie giggled as he pedaled his bike, and watched the front tire spin. "You need 4-wheel drive, son!"

Then as if our week wasn't good enough we HAD to give the cat a bath. Now, I'm not one for bathing cats unless I have too, however, I will spare you the disgusting details. First I taped his sharp claws then filled two buckets of water and placed them in my bathtub. Then I immersed kitty in bucket one and got him sopping wet. Then the kids squirted him with soap! I lathered him up good and sudsy, then dunked him into the fresh clean bucket of water. It wasn't over yet! Sweetness took pleasure pouring cups full of water over him until he was free of suds. The giggles and laughter were surroundign the house as kitty darted downstaris to find warmth by the woodstove.

Today we baked cookies! Yummy, no good for you oatmeal sandwich cookies using a can of lard, a box of brown sugar, a box of confection sugar, a jar of marshmellow cream! Well, it did have four cups of oatmeal and 4 eggs : /

Thank you God for an awesome week. I look so forward to what next week will bring!