Wednesday, December 29, 2010

34th Street Lights

We took our annual jaunt to 34th Street in Hampdon.  The neighborhood was faithful to light up the street once again.

In the meadow you can build a snowman, or take some bicycle wheels, paint them white, stack them on top of each other and put them on your roof!
They just can't give me a normal smile!

But they can...100 points for the girls!

Did I mention it was freezing out?

One of the neighbors is an artist and opens his front room for all 'spectators' to see his wares.  These glasses were dangling from the ceiling and probably 5 feet wide.

Art deco!  A nativity made from metal, tubes, tin, and yes, Virginia, those are garbage cans.
And for the grand finale there in a window is the lamp from A Christmas Story.
Merry Christmas,


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Exchange

The first annual wand exchange happened on the first Wednesday after the last day of school before winter break. Each person bought each other wands. This year, Furl (who got the wand of Hermione Granger), Rufus Darth (who got the wand of Albus Dumbledore), and myself, Monty Thread (who got the wand of Severus Snape) exchanged wands. 

Although only three participated, seven were present during the opening ceremony of the wands. Gred and Forge Grafeley, Vamp Darth, and R.J. came to the exchange.  Next year, they too will participate in this historical event.

My dress attire was quite exquisite. Each wand is different, making them unique. Each wand reflects the owner's character.

Everyone found this time to be an enjoyable experience. I cant wait for next year!

Guest blogger,
E.W.'s Eldest

Taste and See

I went to the bookstore in search of a new devotional.  Which one to choose?  John Piper has written many books of which I have gleaned and grown from reading.  This book popped out at me over and over again as I perused the shelves.  The back cover reads:

"The soul tastes truth like the tongue tastes food.  Spiritual hunger cries out for rich, substantial nourishment.  It is remarkable how much meat these daily portions contain.  This devotional of contemporary meditations on biblical reality will whet your appetite for more of God himself and refresh you in your daily communion with Christ."

I have read the first devotional twice to really savor the scriptures about reasserting God's rightful place in my life.  Each 'chapter' is 2-3 pages in length, most of which is scripture in bite size pieces, small enough to memorize one a day if you choose.  Today I memorized Zephaniah 3:17 (see side bar).

Coram Deo,

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Merriest of Christmas to You!


Behold the Lamb

This is one of the songs played at the Christmas Concert, Deliver Us. My eldest son played all the songs for the script Behold the Lamb.

Everyone picked the songs they wanted to sing and there was one song left over that NO ONE wanted to sing. So, my eldest stepped up to the lone plate and said he would sing the Matthew Begats song. The reason no one wanted to sing it is because it's a very very dry song, not a lot of interest to the piece (AKA boring!). He added a little flare to it...

If you would like to see the entire program click here This was my favorite gift of the season.  I cried and was overwhelmed at the story and the talent of this group of kids.  I am so proud of all of them!

I am so blessed!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Festive Red & White Swirl Origins

My Christmas treat for the season is to go into Starbucks and order a cup of coffee in another language, it's not pig-latin it's more like coffee culture.  I order a tall, peppermint mocha, decaf, soy, no whip and try to get the bubbling giggle out of my voice.  Beatnik's whipping up and frothing up java, dressed chic in black everything and most wearing heavy dark rimmed glasses...what's up with that?  I really 'feel' 40 when I am in there.  I try not to stare at the dessert case when I am waiting in line but I cave by the time I place my order, thinking all the while, I can make that when I get home. Just writing about the peppermint mocha makes my mouth water!

There are so many 'symbols' we latch onto, sometimes never really wandering or questioning where the origins come from.  Candy canes, Christmas trees, Santa are some of the symbols we pull out during this holiday.  There are different historical accounts of these symbols.  The candy cane was said to have originated in Indiana or was it a choir master trying to get his students to sit for the duration of the lesson?  What about the Christmas tree?  Wikipedia accounts for the trees beginnings like this:

The origin of the Christmas tree is obscured by uncertainties of oral histories of pre-literate European and Asian cultures. For example, according to Christian lore, the Christmas tree is associated with St. Boniface and the German town of Geismar. Sometime in St Boniface's lifetime (c. 672-754) he cut down the tree of Thor in order to disprove the legitimacy of the Norse gods to the local German tribe. St. Boniface saw a fir tree growing in the roots of the old oak.
The custom of erecting a Christmas Tree can be historically traced to 15th century Livonia and 16th century Northern Germany. According to the first documented uses of a Christmas tree in Estonia, in 1441, 1442, and 1514 the Brotherhood of the Blackheads erected a tree for the holidays in their brotherhood house in Reval. At the last night of the celebrations leading up to the holidays, the tree was taken to the Town Hall Square where the members of the brotherhood danced around it. In 1584, the pastor and chronicler Balthasar Russow wrote of an established tradition of setting up a decorated spruce at the market square where the young men “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame” In that period, the guilds started erecting Christmas trees in front of their guildhalls: Ingeborg Weber-Kellermann found a Bremen guild chronicle of 1570 which reports how a small tree was decorated with "apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers" and erected in the guild-house, for the benefit of the guild members' children, who collected the dainties on Christmas Day.

We have honestly never danced around our tree and then set fire to it, but I personally know a few pyromaniacs in my house who would like to give that a go!  What about Santa?  I love Wikipedia, it says:

Nicholas of Myra is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Sinterklaas. He was a 4th century Greek Christian bishop of Myra in Lycia. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.  He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity. 

He sounds like a very decent guy!

But the coup de gras of this holiday is celebrating Jesus.  SO many people dispute his actual existence on this earth.  Okay so a question for you... it has been 2010 years since what?  There are countless archeological findings, facts, testimonies, and witnesses to have encountered Christ.  The Bible is our main source of these origins.  We easily, without thought or care will embrace these pagan traditions of trees and Santa yet argue Christ's life with vehemence.  A child willingly believes his parents story about a big guy sneaking into their house at night, while they sleep, and leave gifts under the tree.  The rest of the time we tell our kids that strangers in our home, especially at night, is a really bad thing.  Sorry if I am ruffling feathers here.  Why then is it so hard to believe God and his Word?  John 6:47 says' Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life."  That is a promise, I like promises, especially God's because He keeps them!  As Christ claimers we are to believe in all of God's Word, not just the parts that sit well with us!
We are to dig in and seek our heritage, the pillars of our faith to know for ourselves how things have trickled down through the generations.  God instructs us to 'grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.' 2 Peter 3:18

Should you have unbelief cry out to God, "help my unbelief."  (Mark 9:23-24)  Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."  The book of Luke in the New Testament is a biography of Christ's birth.

These are my ponderings of the day while sipping my peppermint mocha.  To think this post started because of the minty fragrance, that then made my think of candy canes, that made me think of origins.  See I can go backwards and see where the writings of the day began!

Merry Christmas,


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Christmas Story

I love the sheep and the star!  What a precious retelling of THE story!

Merry Christmas,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Date Night

Tonight you are invited to come and behold the splendor of the King. At 1:15a.m. there will be a show just for you! A magic show, where the moon will disappear, but not for too long. Twill only hide for a while. You don't want to miss it, it won't happen again for another 300 years: A Total Lunar Eclipse on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, facing from the east coast perspective. Mr. moon will pass behind the earth, slip into the earth's shadow, become engulfed by that shadow, and then reemerge. The moon has been known to turn dazzling colors during this event. The eclipse will last 3 hours and 28 minutes. For 72 of those minutes, the earth's shadow will completely cover the moon. The peak will be at 3:17 a.m.

He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it.  Job 26:9

In Awe of Him,

Christmas with a capital C

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cookie Extravaganza

 Middle school girls gathered together to bake up a storm.
8 sweethearts gathered to whip up some treats.

 Their fearless leader Mrs. Sandy organized the cookie bake.

 All of them anxious to get those Kitchen Aids whippin.

 Taste and see that the Lord is good!

 Chocolate chip, oatmeal, snickerdoodle, pumpkin, peanut butter blossoms, butterscotch and more...

 No troubles finding volunteers to unwrap the kisses!

 Make new friends but keep the old,
one is silver and the other gold!

 Sandy has been one of my dearest friends since the beginning of my motherhood.  She is always ready and rare'n to go!  "Hey you wanna help me make cookies with the girls on Saturday?" she asks.  Sure, I'll go just about anywhere with you girlfriend!

 I knocked this coffee cup over at least three times during our baking extravaganza.

 The music got louder as the kitchen heated up.  Then the dancing began.  Then they disappeared to the gym for more space to dance, dance, dance!

I want to take this shot in 20 years from now of these girls in this kitchen, dancing and baking cookies.

 Group Shot
Pretty smiles

 Group shot
Silly faces

 Three ovens going at the same time.
Hurry with those kisses!

 So I gained 3 pounds today because I HAD to test every batch that came out of the oven.

 Robin wins the prize for persevering the longest.  She would hang out till the last cookie was cooked!

 Every one took home a tray of cookies.
Ours lasted about 6 days.
Okay so maybe I gained more than 3 pounds,
sugar is addicting, what can I say?

 Sprinkles, lots and lots of sprinkles

 Robin shared a little trick, sprinkle the top of the cookie with milk or water before putting on the sprinkles and they won't all roll off!

I love spending time with my girl, her girlfriends, and my girlfriend for the afternoon.  The next time I need to bake 9 different kinds of cookies I am gathering up the y chromosome sect and heading to the church kitchen!

Merry Christmas,