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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

2010 is coming to an end.  Julianne invited a bunch of her friends over and they are having an "all-nighter".  Michael put up the screen and hooked her xBox to the projector so they could play.  So far, they have been sitting around and talking.  Oh, and eating!   I have barbeque meatballs, various sandwiches, little quiches, along with some brie and apples, and various cakes and cookies.  And lots of soda!

I want to leave you with this quote from A. W. Tozer as a reminder for this coming year.  God's timing is perfect!  Whatever the coming year brings, know that you can trust God with everything.  All things are for our good and His glory.  There's much peace in that.

There are no deadlines against which God must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves. —A.W. Tozer

Monday, December 27, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

My family has been sending Christmas boxes through Operation Christmas Child for many years now. This year is the first time I've given online so that my boxes could be tracked. I received an e-mail a few days ago that my boxes were sent to Zambia, Africa. How exciting. Here's some pictures of children receiving their boxes. Such beautiful smiles!!
 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas at Home

I've had this since early in our marriage.  It's my favorite.


Yummy candies on top of a table runner
I bought when I was in NJ earlier this month.
 A lady who bowls with my  mom quilted it.  Beautiful!

Cheery snowmen on my kitchen window sill.


I love this tree.
My sister and I each bought
one a few years ago. 

I've had this little mouse for about 30 years!!




Jared gave this to me when he was in 1st or 2nd grade.


I have all these nativities set up under a little Christmas tree. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ten Questions to Ask at a Christmas Gathering


From Don Whitney:

Many of us struggle to make conversation at Christmas gatherings, whether church events, work-related parties, neighborhood drop-ins, or annual family occasions. Sometimes our difficulty lies in having to chat with people we rarely see or have never met. At other times we simply don't know what to say to those with whom we feel little in common. Moreover, as Christians we want to take advantage of the special opportunities provided by the Christmas season to share our faith, but are often unsure how to begin. Here's a list of questions designed not only to kindle a conversation in almost any Christmas situation, but also to take the dialogue gradually to a deeper level. Use them in a private conversation or as a group exercise, with believers or unbelievers, with strangers or with family.

You can find the questions here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook


For Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Outside my window…a very cold morning with a bright blue sky

I am thankful…for our new heat pump; the house is toasty!

From the learning rooms…I ordered Julianne’s graduation invitations and her cap and gown. It’s really happening!!

From the kitchen...enjoying a leftover blueberry muffin from the other morning

I am creating…cards and finishing up some Christmas gifts

I am reading…Waiting for Your Prodigal: Daily Thoughts and Prayers  This is such an excellent book; it has been very encouraging and helpful to me.

I am hearing…only me typing on my laptop

Noticing that…it isn’t even winter and yet we are having our second snow event and possibly have another this weekend

Around the house...I’m hoping to finally get a chance to put up Christmas decorations!

A few plans for the rest of the week: a surprise birthday party today; tomorrow (if the snow isn’t bad: lunch with a friend, co-op Christmas party, Bible study; dance for Julianne on Friday night and dinner out with our Fellowship Group on Saturday

Here is a picture I’m sharing….. 


Bluebird and Goldfinch on my backyard feeder
If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more like it, please go over here to The Simple Woman's Daybook.  Bring some hot cocoa and relax for a few minutes.  Perhaps post a Daybook entry of your own?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Surprise!!

Last night the weatherman mentioned we might have a few flurries in the morning.  Here's what arrived:


The dogs' water bowls
 
Flower Pots

The Backyard



Tuesday, December 07, 2010

More Pictures

The Lunch Bunch at The Jefferson Hotel
Yours Truly ;-)


Lunch at The Jefferson


I went to lunch today with the Lunch Bunch ladies at The Jefferson Hotel.  It was decorated so beautifully for Christmas.  This tree is in the main lobby coming down the grand staircase (watch the introduction pictures to see the staircase).  Stunning!! 

Thursday, December 02, 2010

My Hiding Place (Psalm 119:114)

My Hiding Place

Hail, sovereign love, which first began
The scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail, matchless, free eternal grace
Which gave my soul a Hiding Place!

Against the God who built  the sky
I fought with hands uplifted high--
Despised the mention of His grace,
Too proud to seek a Hiding Place.

Enwrapt in thick rebellious night,
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure--without a Hiding Place!

But thus the eternal counsel ran:
Almighty love, arrest that man!
I felt the arrows of distress
And found I  had no Hiding Place!

Indignant Justice stood in view;
To Sinai's fiery mount I flew;
But Justice cried with frowning face,
This mountain is no Hiding Place!

Ere long a heavenly voice I heard,
From God's own holy, precious Word.
He led me by His matchless grace
To  JESUS as a Hiding Place!

On Him almighty vengeance fell,
Which must have sunk a world to hell!
He bore it for a sinful face,
And now can be your Hiding Place!

Should sevenfold storms of thunder roll,
And shake this globe from pole to pole,
I've trusted Christ's amazing grace,
And now He is my HIDING PLACE!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Busy Week

Since Thanksgiving I feel like I have been in a fog.  It seems there is so much to be done!!  I don't go to the Black Friday sales so I was spared all that craziness.  I did do some shopping on Monday during the day when the stores aren't so crowded.  The kids are all getting big presents this year so I just needed to pick up some small things and items for their stockings.  Every year I ask them if they still want stockings and every year they say "yes"!!  I guess it is a tradition they enjoy!
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Also on Monday our new heat pump was installed.  I took the three dogs to the kennel so they would be out of the way while the men worked.  Since they would be going inside and out and leaving the back gate open, we thought it was best to have the dogs out of the way.  Michael stayed home from work so make sure everything went ok.  It was so nice to have "real" heat that night!!  And it's amazing how efficient it is.  Tuesday morning I turned it up to 68 from 65 and it only took a little while to reach the temperature.  Our old unit would have run for an hour or more!  I know our bill for this last month will be high because we were  running on emergency heat but I'm looking forward to seeing what it will be with the new unit! 
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We have our claim into the power company and hopefully they will accept it and reimburse us for this unit.  Please continue to pray for us!
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I'm driving up to New Jersey tomorrow and will be back on Monday.  No internet!  I don't mind being without the internet but I do miss e-mail.  Oh well, I will enjoy the peace and quiet.
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See you next week!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!!

It's a day to be thankful for all that the Lord has given us......the most important is the giving of His Son to die on the cross, to take my place, so that I might live for Him.  Thank You, Father!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our Glad Thanksgivings


Thanksgiving

Once again our glad thanksgivings
Rise before our Father's throne,
As we try to  count the blessings
Of the year so swiftly flown;
As we trace the wondrous workings
Of His wisdom, power, and love
And unite our "Holy! Holy!"
With the seraphim above.

As we gather round our firesides
On this glad Thanksgiving Day
Time would fail to count the blessings
That have followed all  our way.
Grace sufficient, help and healing,
Prayer oft answered at our call;
And the best of all our blessings,
Christ Himself, our All in all.

He has blessed our favored country
With a free and bounteous hand;
Peace and plenty in our borders,
Liberty through all our land.
And although our sins and follies
Oft provoked Him to His face,
Mercy still restrains His judgments,
And prolongs our day of grace.

While  we love to count the blessings,
Grateful for the year that's gone,
Faith would sweep a wider vision,
Hope would gaze yet farther on.
For the signals all around us
Seem with one accord to say,
"Christ is coming soon to bring us
Earth's last, best, Thanksgiving Day!

(A. B. Simpson)

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Many Have You Read?


Stephen Altrogge over at The Blazing Center has a great post today entitled, "30 Books Every Christian Should Read".  I've read 8 on the list but I hope to be able to say someday that I've read all 30.  As I was looking over the list, I realized our church's small bookstore has almost every title!  Now I know where to buy them.  :-)

The new year is coming up in about 6 weeks and I know a lot of people make new year's resolutions.  Wouldn't reading all the books on this list be a worthy goal? 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tonight.....



Tonight I will be going to a lecture by Eric Metaxas at the Richmond Center for Christian Study.  Eric will be speaking on the book he wrote about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  I'm about halfway through listening to unabridged audio book.  I'm looking forward to learning more about this incredible "pastor, martyr, prophet, spy".  

Friday, November 19, 2010

From my craft room......








(Click on each picture to see a larger view)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Humility

In our last Fellowship Group meeting, we went over several chapters from the book "Humility" by C. J. Mahaney (see link at the bottom of the blog).  It was all about beginning and ending our day with the Lord in order to attack pride and cultivate humility.  I really liked some of the ideas and wrote them on 4x6 cards so I can refer to them frequently.

1.  Reflect on the wonder of the cross of Christ
       -it is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size
2.  Begin my day by acknowledging my need for God
        -purpose by grace that my first thought of the day will be an expression of my dependence on God, my need for God and my confidence in God.
3.  Begin my day by expressing gratitude to God
        -greet the Savior with gratefulness, not grumbling
        -am I a thankful observer of the countless indications of His provision, His presence, His kindness and His grace??
4.  Practice spiritual disciplines
       -prayer, study of God's Word, worship
5.  Seize my time in the car (or your commute if you work)
       -use the time in the car to memorize and meditate on Scripture
       -there are other "mundane moments" throughout the day that can be seized as opportunities to experience God's transforming grace by memorizing and meditating on Scripture
                 -use those moments to allow Scripture to transform my thinking
6.  Cast my care upon Him
7.  Review the end of my day and carefully assign all glory to God for the grace I've experienced that day
       -this is a humble way to end each and every day
8.  Receive the gift of sleep from God and acknowledge His purpose for sleep
        -be thankful that we have a God that never sleeps or slumbers!
        -if possible, make my final thought each night an expression of gratefulness for the Savior's sacrifice on the cross as my Substitute for my many sins
       -seize this opportunity by setting apart sleep as a holy gift from God, as a reminder of my full dependence on Him and as an occasion to examine my heart before Him

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Really Happening

Last night was the first meeting for parents and students for Julianne's graduation.  It's really happening!  In the past few years the graduation has been held at various churches but they were small and so tickets were limited.  This year the steering committee found a new, much larger, church that holds about 2,000.  We aren't even going to print tickets!  As of last night, there were 39 graduates. 

Julianne was excited to see many friends there; she wasn't sure she was going to know many.  The graduates picked their school colors (to be used for their graduation gowns, invitations, etc.):  light blue for the girls, black for the guys.  They decided they did want to have a banquet, which is probably going to be catered by the church.  They decided they did want to have a memory book.  I was glad they wanted this but it will be a great memory later on.  And lastly, they picked their class verse:  "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."  (1 Timothy 4:12)  Julianne also decided that she would like a class ring so we're going to order that soon.  I was surprised she wanted one but she is always full of surprises!

All the parents have to be on one committee and I'm on "flowers".  Each one of us on the committee has to research flowers prices and get back to our leader in December.  After that, our work is done until a few weeks before graduation when we have to pick up the flowers, distribute them, etc.  Never having seen or worked on a homeschool graduation, I was very pleased last night with how smoothly everything went and how professional it was.  Our state convention holds a graduation but with almost 300 graduates it can be rather impersonal and rushed.  I'm looking forward to Julianne's.  It's going to be May 21, 2011.  Mark your calendars!!
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For those of you who follow me on Facebook (are there any of  you who do??), I have deactivated my account for the next two months.  I have lots of projects I need to work on, not including Christmas gifts, and FB was just taking up too much of my time.  Never fear, I will be back sometime after the holidays!  (I know you can't wait; hahaha!!!!)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Trees and Heat Pumps

The autumn season is finally here.  The trees are all starting to turn although the maple in the front year is still mostly green with touches of yellow and red.  We had our first frost and freeze last week but the temperatures have gone back up.  All this week we will be in the 60's during the day and 40's during the night....and it will be brilliantly sunny.  There is nothing like the bright blue sky in autumn!

Remember this summer that we had a fence put in our backyard?  Apparently when it was installed the contracters cut through part of the electrical cable.  It caused our electricity to go out one day in the summer.  The electric company came, worked on and all seemed well.  Until last week.  Again our lights were out but only in half the house.  We finally turned off the power to the whole house to prevent a surge.  Again the electric company came to restore power but too late....our heat pump had seized.  We have it working now temporarily (thanks to our wonderful neighbor) but it will definitely need to be replaced...the whole thing.  All $4500 of it.  Merry Christmas everyone!! 

Thankfully it is working today.  Last night we didn't have any heat and it was cold.  I'm glad we have lots of blankets!!  The temperature in our room was 61* this morning.  Brrrr......I didn't want to get out of bed.  It's now up to 68*, which feels tropical.  Haha!

Please pray that we get the situation resolved soon and that our temporary fix will last until we can get a new heat pump installed.  Thanks so much!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Fall Baking Time


This weekend we're having a marriage conference at church and Saturday morning is a special session for the ladies.  I'm making pumpkin bread to share!  It's always good when you make it a few days ahead.  You can find the recipe at Serving Recipes at Home

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook


For November 2, 2010

Outside my window…yellow, brown, red and green leaves against a brilliant blue sky

I am thankful…that I am secure in Christ

From the learning rooms…lots of studying on Julianne’s part; this year has been somewhat intense

From the kitchen...not sure, haha! Michael is working late tonight because of the election so we may send out for pizza. I have a 50% off coupon from Papa John’s!

I am creating…on Christmas gifts….still

I am reading…a book on quilling; now to put it into practice

Scripture for the week: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

I am hearing…the heater running; it’s that time of year

Noticing that…a lot of trees are still very green; it seems late in the year—I wonder if our dry summer has anything to do with it

Around the house...two major projects this week and next: cleaning out the craft room and reorganizing the pantry

A few plans for the rest of the week: dentist appointment for Julianne, deacon’s meeting Thursday night and then our church’s marriage conference all weekend

Here is a picture I’m sharing…..Michael and Julianne on a recent outing


 
If you enjoyed this daybook, please go over to The Simple Woman's Daybook to  read others.....and consider posting one yourself!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wedding

Tracy and Matt


The happy couple, married 1 minute.....


Another happy couple, married 26 years!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Stay On Mission

Here's a great article on focusing our energies on our children while they are young.   If we are mothers, God has called us to care for our young children and to raise them for Him.  If your children are young, now is the time to minister to them. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A New Recipe

I tried a new recipe last night and it was a hit.  I'm definitely making it again.  Stop by Serving Recipes at Home to try it for yourself!