Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

As the song says - "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" And for me it certainly is a wonderful time! 2009 proved to be a much better year in real estate and I am feeling much more at ease this December than December of 2008. I am thankful that the Lord continued to provide and bless and that He gave me the strength to trust Him.

I am thankful that all our gifts are purchased, wrapped and tucked under the tree. I have enjoyed that our social schedule has been fairly light. We have committed ourselves to not "over comitting" ourselves. I have enjoyed reflecting on our Jesus and what his birth means for us. I have also been looking beyond the manger to the cross! Thinking not only of the Baby Jesus... but Jesus, True God and True Man. The Jesus that was born into this world to redeem the world from sin. The Jesus who came into this fallen world to save it! What joy fills my heart! I know Christmas can be filled with many emotions... some not as positive as others. There is heartache, loneliness, anger, dissension... I am praying hard for those who's joy is dim and heartache is great. I am thankful that Christ will return in God's time and fulfill His eternal plan! I have reflected on John 3:17 quite a bit during these days of Advent. John 3:16 is perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible. Many non-believers even know that verse... however I always tell my husband - I sure wish when someone shares John 3:16 that they share John 3:17 ~ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Hallelujah! God sent His son to save the world, not condemn the world! That's a message worth sharing! Share that message my friends!

Speaking of sharing... I thought I would post some pictures I have taken this year of my home! I have really enjoyed the gift of my home this season and I wanted to share it with you! Sure wish I could have each and e very one of you over for coffee or tea in front of my fireplace!

Last year my dad gave each one of us girls some of my Grandfather's Socony Tavern Candles... I always loved them when I was a kid and will treasure them always!  I have some displayed in one of the guest rooms and some on our mantle!

A few under glass on our sideboard!

Our Godson gave us these ornaments several years ago...
 he calls us Tante und Onkel (Aunt & Uncle in German)

I love these glittery snowflake ornaments on the tree in our small guestroom!

One of my Nativity Sets - I purchased at a craft fair many, many years ago...
& a new addition My Nativity Cross


Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby it's Cold Outside...

Friday was my sister and my annual trek to the mall w/ our Grandma to help her w/ her Christmas shopping!

Here is Grandma & Jennifer!

Of course we made a bee-line for Santa so I could give him my Christmas list!
So... I give Santa my list and walk to the other side of the mall... LOOK at what he gave me! LOL

I was so shocked! Can you see the disbelief on my face? Ha!
We had a lovely day shopping. Enjoyed a nice lunch and by the time we left the mall... the parking lot was a zoo! I was ready to get home!
So... I arrive home and the house has an awful smell! Something burning? I was a bit freaked out! The furnace (heat pump) was running very rough and I knew we had a problem. I called Jim (he was in a closing) and I said "you need to get home soon and you need to call Sean!" Sean is our HVAC guy! Sean comes over about 6:30. The fan or something that has to do with the motor is out of whack. He says it should be fine until Monday. We also found out that the person we had been paying to clean it every year... well, he wasn't cleaning it. (another story). Sean leaves, Jim goes to get some Chinese take-out, I contine to stoke the fire I had built when I got home from the mall. Jim arrives home.... we start to eat the yummy food and the furnace makes an awful noise and we could tell the motor locked up! Uh Oh! Did I tell you that the low for overnight was to be 19 degrees? (Baby it's cold outside) Jim calls Sean - Sean says "Jim I can come out for the repair, but the cost for an after hours call provides an extra charge. Not Sean's charge, but the after hours emergency warehouse/supply surcharge. An extra $200-$300. Uh - NO WAY! We told him we will make due until Monday.
So our weekend adventure began. And that's the way we looked at this... an adventure. We continued to feed the fireplace... the living room was nice and toasty. We had 2 space heaters going - one in the kitchen and one in the back hall. We also have an oil space heater that looks like a radiator that we put in the back bath every winter - it was warming the small bathroom. We have a heated mattress pad (if you do not have one... I highly recommend you purchase one or put one on your Christmas list), we periodically turned on the oven, warmed it up, turned it off and then opened the door to help warm the kitchen. We were very toasty Friday night.
Of course we had to go to bed and that meant space heaters off, fire in fireplace would die out and it would be chilly. On Saturday morning I was definitely bundled up in bed. The warmth of the heated mattress pad... ahhhhhhh! The bed was warm and I could definitely feel the chill in the air. I could hear Jim in the kitchen getting the coffee going and then starting a fire in the fireplace. I got out of bed once the house was warm and toasty... well, the living room and the kitchen were.
We spent a cozy weekend bundled up at home. Not ideal, but we survived. Had it been much colder, we would have packed up and gone somewhere else. We had a lot of offers, and are so appreciative and thankful of friends and family.
As I pondered the inconvenience of a broken furnace and the cold air in the house. I thought of those less fortunate... I have a roof over my head, walls that surround, a fireplace to keep me warm. Some spent a cold weekend homeless. Without shelter, without food and the warmth of a blanket, a fire and the love of family. I said a prayer for them... as I know God loves them. Homeless... my heart breaks. I said a prayer of thanksgiving that I have luxuries that can so often be taken for granted. Heat, a roof, a blanket... He provides for our needs. We complain that it's cold, we complain that snow and ice hinder our ability to get to and from work or play. Yes... it's cold, but aren't we fortunate that our beds are not made under a bridge. Perhaps we need to change the way we think. Winter might not be your favorite... but as scripture tells us: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven ~ Ecclesiates 3:1 God has given us nature, and He has created nature to cycle. Should we curse the winter because we are cold & it's inconvenient? Or should we embrace it giving Glory to God, as He is the creator of winter. I choose to change my attitude, my way of thinking. Winter might be inconvienent at times (as is 100 degree summer days in my book! ;) ) but praise God we have the luxury, yes luxury of a furnace, a blanket, a bed...a home! We have the luxury of appreciating one season to the next. Winter is inevitable. No amount of complaining will stop winter from coming. We just don't have that kind of power!
So as winter arrives... I pray you can think of the glass half full and not half empty. Embrace it friends... there is more to do than complain!!!!

PS: Sean is here right now getting the furnace fixed. I am thankful that we have a friend who has the talent, training and ability to fix a furnace!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It's that time of year! Yes, the Christmas music has been playing for almost a month now. The retail stores had the halls decked just after Halloween. I am sure many of us are making our lists and checking them twice. Shopping, parties, gatherings... so many activities fill up a short few weeks in December.

My home is all ready for the holidays! Many of your took a tour of my home last year via blogland, so you know that it takes a lot of work to put up my Christmas decorations. (I love decorating for Christmas). But the one thing I HAD to do before a single ornament was placed on the tree... I had to prepare my heart. Prepare my heart in aniticipation of the coming of the Christ child. Just as my Christmas trees provide a sparkling light to a dark room. Jesus is the brilliant light that came into a dark world to save us from our sin.

As you begin to prepare for the Christmas holiday, as you walk these weeks of Advent toward the manger... prepare your heart, first for the coming of Jesus! The rest of your holiday preparations will all fall into place. And if something doesn't turn out quite right remember... Christ the Savior is born! The tree might be crooked, your cookies might not look as perfect as the pictures in Martha Stewart's magazine... but the babe will still be lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes.

I am currently using "Our Daily Bread" Christmas Edition for my morning devotions. The insight from yesterday's devotion stated this: Isaiah is the largest of the "major prophets" and contains more prophecies of the coming of Christ than any other Old Testament book. Perhaps you can read through some of those passages during Advent as your prepare Him room in your heart!

As for me... tonight I am enjoying a toasty fire in the fireplace. My Chrstimas tree is twinkling, the cold rain is falling and Rudolph is playing on the television. What a lovely evening! My plans for this week is to finish my shopping. My sister and I are taking our Grandma out on Friday to "enjoy" the mall! LOL! I know we will have a wonderful time! Friday night we will relax and I just might make some cookies. We have a Christmas party to attend on Saturday and of course Sunday we will enjoy worship, breakfast at Jim's mom's and then watching the Colts with friends!

I pray you enjoy these precious weeks leading up to Christmas. I look forward to visiting your blogs to see what you are up to!

The virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. ~ Isaiah 7:14