Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 18

 Five years ago today, I went on a first date with a man who changed my life.
Four years ago today, that man asked me to be his wife...

December 18 is a great day.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Fun Stuff...

The Christmas season is so busy for us... just like it is for others, but I have always loved it.  I remember back in high school how busy I was with music concerts, church pageants, charity work, Christmas parties, and gifts to friends and family... and I remember thinking how much I LOVED being so busy, because it was Christmas busy.

The fact of the matter is, that Hubby and I are ALWAYS busy -- well, August-June, we are always busy.  We have a very flexible schedule in July.

The fact is that the Christmas season is SO busy because it requires regular day-to-day life to continue... PLUS all the great Christmas extra stuff.

Our work still needs to be done, trash gathered, house vacuumed, dishes done, laundry folded, baby supervised... but then ADD to that all the wonderful extras that make the Christmas seasons so magical -- that's the fun stuff.

I don't mind being busy at Christmas time, because I recognize that I CHOOSE to do The Fun Stuff... and I absolutely love it.

My favorite "Fun Stuff" of the Christmas Season:
  • Baking Christmas cookies
  • Decorating our house
  • Hanging outdoor lights
  • Cutting a real Christmas tree
  • Creating Christmas cards, writing a Christmas letter and mailing them to 175 or so friends
  • Attending local Christmas music concerts
  • Giving away Christmas cookies and Christmas cards to co-works and community First Responders
  • Compiling Christmas presents for family members -- a mix of practical, and whimsical, inexpensive, and great deals
  • Trying out Christmas crafts with Tracey Ann (thank you, Pintrest)
  • Having Christmas movies playing in the background as I work on other tasks
  • Wrapping presents
  • Burning copies of "Jiminie the Christmas Tree" and sending to young families whom I think might enjoy it
  • Leaving Christmas cookies for the mailman
  • Taking time to sit down with Hubby and read aloud the Christmas cards we receive from friends and family
What are some of your extra fun things you make time for during the Christmas season?

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Grown-Up Christmas List

I have loved the Amy Grant Christmas song "Grown-Up Christmas List" since Christmas 1994, when my older sister, Tracey, gave my parents the Amy Grant Home for the Holidays CD.

I have sung that and many of her songs at the top of my lungs every Christmas ever since -- wow, that's 20 years I have sung this, and other songs.

This year, as a mother, I found myself wondering what I would put on my grown-up Christmas list, and I found that I had two grown-up Christmas lists.  One was my list for the good of humanity -- the list that SHOULD be my grown-up Christmas list; and, the other was my fun, Brooke grown-up Christmas list -- the list of my grown-up wants and needs that I wish Santa would deliver under the tree.

My Grown-up Christmas list for the good of humanity:
  • For marriages across our nation, and the world, to be healed, reconciled, nurtured, grown, and solidified
  • For parents to delight in their children, and delight in their role of training, teaching, and loving their children
  • For grandparents to lovingly invest in the lives of their children and grandchildren and recognize their unique and beautiful role in their children and grandchildren lives
  • For wives and mothers to love being wives and mothers and fill their homes with the love and God and Spirit of Christmas this season, and always
  • For husbands and fathers to be leaders in their family and draw their family to the study and learning of Biblical principals
  • For families to cherish each other and for them to be together this time of year
  • For a spirit of forgiveness to sweep across the earth like a powerful wind
  • For hearts of stone to draw near to the manger and experience a life-changing transformation
  • For children, and adults, to experience the magic and beauty of Christmas, and for them to know that magic, and beauty, and wonder of Christmas is the Love of God coming down to Earth -- Emmanuel, God With Us
  • For these three to reign -- faith, hope, and love... and the greatest of these is love.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sights of the Season I

This month, in an effort to keep myself focused on the joy of the Christmas season every day, I have been posting 25 days of instagram, sort of an Advent Calendar of sorts.

Do you remember Advent Calendars?  I guess they were the old fashion version of Elf on the Shelf.  My understanding is that the Elf hangs out at your house to keep an eye on the kiddos and report back to Santa in the days leading up to Christmas.

When I was a kid, there was no elf -- there were 25 pieces of candy, 25 Bible verses, and 25 ornaments to put on a tree -- one each day leading up to Christmas.

Well, I've been posting one picture a day each day of December leading up to Christmas.

Here are some that I posted -- days 1-5:

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Saturday, December 13, 2014