Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celebrating Christ At Christmas

We five sit round the coffee table, legs tucked under and excitement buzzing. The Advent wreath burns slow, dim, with only it's first week's candle lit. Their daddy strums the guitar and the words of Away in a Manger flow out easy and fall down on the three littles, eyes wide with wonder. 

"Sing another one?" our second born whispers. "Jesus Loves Me, Daddy?"
The house is still except for our four quiet voices filling the living room and I can't help but offer up thanks to The Giver. 

We read the words that have long given hope to generations before us. 

"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." Isaiah 11:1

Words that told of His coming. Words that lended to the Christ-Child being made flesh and dwelling among us. Words that would come to define the meaning of Christmas, itself.


Last night, our family began our second year of celebrating Advent and adorning our Jesse Tree. It's our slow and purposeful attempt to teach our children, and often, remind ourselves that Christmas cannot be bought, baked, wrapped up, handmade, or given. It can only be found in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Every evening, Lord willing, until the night of His birth, we will gather, house quiet and lights dim to light the wreath, read aloud the Scriptures that foretold of His coming, worship our Lord, and celebrate the true meaning of this glorious season.

Is it a little crazy with three wiggly bodies eager to open the box, hang the ornament,and blow out the candle? Yes.

It is sometimes rushed, full to the brim with corrections and admonishments to hurry and finish? Of course.

But above the craziness, and the shush-es, and the re-reading of missed verses, is it also our humble attempt at showing our Children that Christ is our treasure? Without a doubt.

And our family would like to invite you to join us. 

Even though our trek through the Old Testament and Gospels has already started, it's not too late for you to join in. Ann, over at A Holy Experience, has once again made her Jesse Tree Family Devotional {including printable ornaments} free to download. No cost, no donation, no gimmick. Just free, that your family might make the journey to manger this Christmas.

Won't you consider it?

In the event that this year has found you overwhelmed with responsibilities, children who don't sleep through the night, or just wanting to see more of what the Jesse Tree is all about, please consider checking back each day as I hope to post a picture of our ornament and the corresponding scripture {just like the one below} that you might follow along with us. 
May God be Glorified as we anticipate the birth of Our Savior! 

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tree Things

In Bear Country, 
Christmas excitement was mounting.
The waiting was down 
To ten hours and counting. 
 The holly was hung. 
The presents were bought.
A magnificant Christmas 
Salmon was caught.
 And now it was time 
For the most fun of all-
Getting the tree!
 A tree full and fat,
Straight, green, and tall, 
With oodles of needles
And crannies and nooks
For the bears to hang
Their tree things by hooks.
 "The tree things!" cried Pop
With the jolliest shout.
"Our wonderful tree things!
Let's get them out!" 
-The Berenstain Bears Christmas Tree-
Stan and Jan Berenstain

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Changing the "To-Do"

For this task oriented mama, the day before Thanksgiving threatens to bring with it a day knee deep in the kitchen. My family gathering contributions of mashed potatoes, cheesecake topped with cherries, pecan pie and of course our Thanksgiving morning tradition of Bubble Bread all call for equal amounts of undivided attention and time. Lots and lots of time. This year, however, a request from the oldest to do a craft had my heart in tune with a different song. My to-do list, albeit still there, changed based on the needs for the moment-something I am still daily {and often painfully}learning to do. What a rich reward, though, to feed more than just their bellies this Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Once Again...

Once again, life for us has been moving at warp speed. This last week found us with our daddy home for a week's vacation {!!}, finally finishing the unpacking {Glory! Hallelujah!}, three sick boys and one on antibiotics, a check up for Baby #4,  killing our first mouse, and our long anticipated surprise 30th anniversary party for my in-laws coming to fruition. And while my camera never made it off the shelf, what I do have is a couple of Abe's hilarious one liners that he's been firing off as off late.

Last night, with the noise level rising to just beyond pleasant, Abe proclaims: "It smells like chaos in here!" 

This was right after he fed us some story about a song he learned at church. When Jer asked him who taught it to him, he said rather matter of factly, "No one at church. It was my son, when he was a little boy."

He's our own little live-in comedian and doesn't even know it :)
In other news, we close on our new house this afternoon. For those of you unaware of our situation, I'll give you the quick rundown-we moved out of our house {which we hadn't sold at the time} into a house that we hadn't bought {and still haven't!}. 

Here's why-as a result of the foreclosure on our new home, the law requires that the house remain unoccupied for 30 days after a contract is written for it's sale. Well the bank neglected to communicate this to us until just a few short days before we were set to close on our old house, thereby leaving us "homeless" for a month.  Considering the circumstance, the bank had total mercy on us and decided to let us occupy the new house anyway until the closing. FOR FREE. {How's that for customer service?!} So we have essentially been living rent free for a few weeks  but yet praying the deal still goes through because , well, we LIVE here. Thankfully, today is the day and everyone involved can relax as of three o'clock this afternoon! 
Last but not least, I will leave you with a quick belly shot, as it is developing quite nicely these days Here it is in all it's 17 week glory...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Settling In...Kinda

It's early and as the sun comes up for the seventh day in our new house, I still can't believe we live here and that this is what we see when we look out of the front door. I also cannot believe that it has snowed, twice, since we've moved in, either.
Can I also just say, that as an Albuquerque native for 29 years, it is so crazy that the sun  in Sandia Park doesn't come up over the Sandias! {Don't even get me started on how the mountains are in the west now too} I'd also like to note that as soon as it goes down, it's pretty much dark-thirty up here too. Yowza. Now THAT is taking some getting used to. Especially when you're sitting in the car that your husband just turned off so he could run around to the back of the house {aka the corner in the movie where if someone goes around it they don't come back} to open the garage door from inside because their are no garage door openers and pretty much every scary movie you've EVER watched or heard about is running on fast forward through your brain, specifically the one where the hook goes scratch, scratch, scratch on the roof of the car. Areyawithme? Nothing a $100 bucks in flood lights from Lowe's couldn't resolve, though Our drive lights up like the airport now when you pull up. Hallelujah!
Our short week in our new house has also found me doing a short stint in bed {48 hours of resting and hydrating-doc's orders!} two sick kiddos and Jer  traveling for work. Which is just a "busier" way of saying our garage still looks like this...
We have managed to unpack the essentials, though. You know, like the coffee pot and of course, the chocolate milk! But our goal is to try and tackle our big mess in the upcoming week and at least make some sense out of it. Jer took a week's vacation this coming week, so hopefully by next Saturday, we'll be parked in the garage. And as for those of you who have asked for pictures of the house, I hope to get those up in the next day or two, which more realistically probably means next week :) You're always welcome to come check it out in person, though. Ahem, momanddebbie.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Don't Forget the Chocolate Milk

Abe, upon waking up in the new house: "Mommy? Does this new house have chocolate milk in it?" 

We're in but still unpacking the chocolate milk essentials. Hoping to be back with a post soon!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Taste and See

"O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him" 
 Psalm 34:8

Recipe inspiration found here!