Monthly Archives: November 2007

I am Thankful for….

Meme 🙂 ok – so I know its been along time Molly. But here I am, finally, to say the 5 things that I am most thankful for. In a very non-eloquent, non-amusing, non-interesting way. (And I am going to leave off the first few obvious ones – Father God, Jesus, the Spirit of God, Scriptures, and my AMAZING family).  In no particular order.

  • Music to express loving God, and all the wonderful writers who give me words to sing when I can’t find my own.
  • Big windows to let the sun shine in whenever it chooses to shine.
  • Chocolate, wine, bread and cheese. And stone fruit. oh. And coffee. – so basically, FOOD!
  • My church family; that irritates me, loves me, cries and laughs with me, encourages me, is painfully honest with me, shares my house and my children. Everyone in God’s family should have a church family… a real one.
  • Life. I am thankful for it. In every way that you could think of. More on that later.
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Christmas Around the World Day 3

LEBANON

  • In Lebanon, the children plant seeds (such as chickpeas, lentils or wheat grass) a couple weeks before Christmas so they have shoots around 6 inches long to use around their manger in their nativity scene. We used lentils to start our seeds.
  • And they use figures made of brown paper bagswe can do that! I used my one brown grocery bag to start our figures for our manger scene. I won’t give pictures yet… I’ll wait till we are finished 🙂 – we have a manger from last year’s Christmas Eve service that is stored in our crawl space… that makes it our now, right? 🙂 I think we’ll set it up on our front porch, and add the figures a couple at a time… should be interesting!!
  • On Christmas morning, they invite friends over and serve special drinks (coffee) with liqueurs and sugared almonds. Its just not a good day for this part of it… but tomorrow we are babysitting some friend’s children, so we’ll incorporate this then… probably not liquers 🙂 We’ll stick with special hot chocolate. Do you think I’ll actually manage to get pics? We’ll see!

And just for fun, cause we can…

  • Today we read “Legend of the Candy Cane” while we drank hot chocolate and stirred it with candy canes 🙂 My children LOVE me right now!!
  • We checked out this art by Gustave Dore – here is a link for the whole Bible and complete illustrations.

Worship Gathering Advent 1 – The Jesse Tree

Edited to add songs and details changed from original post.

For Advent this year, our worship gatherings will be focused on the Jesse Tree. We will still do the regular advent reading / lighting of the candle, and then we will be meandering through the Bible hanging up ornaments that represent each of the stories on our Jesse Tree. Also following each Scripture and story will be a responsive reading / prayer done by the congregation.

Call to Worship / Prayer for another congregation in our city

  • It Is You (Newsboys one)
  • You’re Worthy of My Praise

Isaiah 9: 2-7

  • A Gift of Promise (written by a girl in our church specifically for the Advent theme – we will add a verse each week for the different themes)

Lighting of Advent Candle

Introduction of Jesse Tree

  • Indescribable

The Creation (done by the kids)

The Fall (done by the kids)

  • Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
  • Tell Me the Story of Jesus

Noah ( music will continue playing through this for the sake of continuity)

  • Your Love Oh Lord (Psalm 36:5-10)

Abraham and Sarah, God’s promise of a nation

Sacrifice of Isaac – (this will be a drama by one of the guys in our church)

  • Enough

Jacob’s Ladder

  • He Is Here

Joseph

A Gift of Promise

    Isaiah 9: 2-7 (read kind of as the benediction )

    There will be responsive prayer after each of the stories. Each Bible story, presented by a different person in the congregation, will be represented by Scripture, a short application type of paragraph or two that points to Christ and will help tie each story together. The hanging of a symbolic ornament concludes each story as we move on.

    It looks like it might be choppy, but I don’t think it will be. It helps that we are small and the room is small, so there is no LONG aisles to tromp up for transitions!!

    If it is choppy… well… we’ll change it next week! 🙂 We have four weeks to get it right!


    Christmas Around the World Day 1 and 2

    I’ll just tell you the highlights of each stop. The highlights for us anyway.

    INDIA

    • The poinsettia flower grows wild there, and is just coming into bloom in December. So we went and bought a poinsettia plant.
    • Christians put up Christian flagsso we painted one. (white with a red cross in the middle) – Then Keenan made his own Christmas flag, which was really beautiful. – big blue circle with white lines and dots he made to be a big sparkling star… Lovely.
    • Servants in some households will present the head of the household with a lemon as a symbol of respect and wishes for long life. So we gave Dad a big glass of lemonade! 🙂
    • We read A Christmas in Indiaa poem by Rudyard Kipling. (scroll down half-way-ish) Its beautiful – though a little old for my boys 🙂 BUT I recommend you read it if you can.

    BETHLEHEM

    • Christians paint a cross over their door. So we will put up our paintings we made yesterday over our front door (we have two entries, since we live in a triplex)
    • Most households have / make a homemade nativity scene. We might something like this later in the season.
    • Virtual tour of Bethlehem That was really neat to see

    feeling bummed

    I know.  WHY?? Hello, incredibly blessed woman here!!!

    Well, I wanted to go shopping today and spend money I shouldn’t on things I needn’t… And I’m not.  And won’t, since Bryan is home sleeping from working last night.

    Mostly I’m bummed because he got his December schedule… He is working on EVERY holiday and semi holiday and Eve of holiday.  COME ONE!!! so… bummer.  never mind.  He has a job.  He gets lots of days off, even if its not Christmas or Christmas Eve or Thanksgiving or New Years Eve.  WAAAWAAAWAAA

    ok .  Whine over.  Back to giving thanks.


    It really didn’t seem right to only show a picture of a broken branch

    so here are a bunch of my kids… I should really do this more often…

    Shand… with bed head, with her first pony tail, rugged up in winter hat:

    shand-hair-1.jpg shand-hair-2.jpg shand-rugged-up.jpg

    and my favorite smile…

    shand-smiles.jpg

    and her “I will crawl” faces:

    shand-tries-to-crawl.jpg shand-tries-to-crawl2.jpg

    Eating home made eggnog with the first fire of the season. (not because it hasn’t been cold enough. We are just slow! )

    thanksgiving-eggnog.jpg

    Thaddeus feeds Shand for the first time… its a tad messy:

    thad-feeds-shand.jpg thad-feeds-shand2.jpg

    And I just happen to love this picture of Thaddeus… and I LOVE it when I capture the REAL Keenan grin and not the fake one he has ready for the camera!!

    thad-and-popsicle.jpg keenan-in-box.jpg

    That ought to tide everyone over who is interested!! 🙂


    Thanksgiving Dinner

    A success.

    But really, how can it not be? Family, friends, food, a million and one things to be thankful for!!

    We had less than planned, but I took the 16 including the baby happily:  In-laws, ‘Big” Grandpa (Keenan’s 3yr old name for Great Grandpa), our wonderful neighbors from the last place we lived, our downstairs tenants / church couple (her first Thanksgiving, she is from the Philipines), and a girl from our home church.   A couple army guys, fresh home from Iraq, stopped by.  Good times had by all.  (Cranium Turbo edition… good game!)And the turkey was beautiful, if I do say so myself.   Although, we did forget the corn.  COMPLETELY forgot, until I was reading about javamama‘s Thanksgiving and remembered.

    thanksgiving-tree.jpgWe are going to keep out Thanksgiving tree up 🙂  it was so windy last night, I sent the boys out to bring in a branch to put on our table for the dinner… they came in with a 7 foot branch 🙂 so we stuck it in the big turkey cooker pot on the floor.  We’ll continue adding “thankful” leaves until Advent begins, and then I think it will become our Jesse Tree as we do our Advent readings