The Wonder of it all…

O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.

decor-snow-008

O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.

15350722_10211481173333267_2168368375254520100_n

15401100_10211572009244108_6822594339722315818_n

15541476_10211572025164506_7860611052854446480_n

decor-snow-009

decor-snow-003

Hope you are enjoying the Wonder of Christmas and the Wonder of it all…

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and now her elves are working hard keeping us on track.

I’m heading to downtown Seattle today for the Seattle Sounders Victory Parade and Rally. Hope my nose doesn’t freeze and fall off. Our deck is a sheet of ice right now. No snow or rain is forecast so that is good.

Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day be filled with lots of love and joy and a little ho ho ho!

2012-12-031

This afternoon we’ll be at a Christmas Eve service and then come home and have some fresh hand made tamales for dinner.

Twinkle 003By midnight tonight or a little after all our kids except for Andrew will be under our roof. Hopefully they’ll beat Santa here. Dear and I will be fast asleep by the time they arrive but we’ll let Katie greet the late comers and welcome them here.

IMGP1036

IMGP1037Christmas morning we’ll open stockings first with a cup of coffee and then we’ll have our traditional Swedish pancake breakfast that Dear makes for us.

IMGP1039After breakfast we open up the gifts under the tree. This year after we read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 we are going to have Katie read a very interesting article on some of the Christmas story that has been ingrained into tradition that might be on the urban legend side of things and not really historically and culturally accurate. Don’t worry we don’t have our knickers in a knot. We still know the best truth of Christmas is that God came down and we can now be lifted up to Him through what Jesus did on the cross for us.

IMGP1024

Mystery Tree 2013 027After we open up our gifts I’ll start preparing for our Christmas dinner. We will have our traditional Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding with roasted root vegetables, creamed corn from scratch, and a salad. For dessert this year I’m planning on making an apple tart from apples off of Dan’s property in Eastern Washington.

IMGP1046Of course all through the day we’ll have our favorite Christmas Cd’s playing in the background. Knowing our kids while the roast is cooking there will probably be some games around the table.

Praying you know the real Joy of Christmas!

IMGP1052

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

God bless us everyone…

Up Close…

Xmas close up 002A Crown for my King.

Xmas close up 005

Old and Primitive.

Xmas close up 004A landmark from England.

Xmas close up 006The Amiable Guinea Pig ~ Beatrix Potter

IMGP1059

Hunca Munca ~ Beatrix Potter

Xmas close up 008Frosted Window Panes from Russia.

Xmas close up 010Katie, 1986

Christmas 18-55 lensOur First Nativity, small and wooden. This one has been well used and some parts have been glued together. One of the animals is missing a leg.

IMGP1024The controversial blond Mary.

IMGP1036Ded Moroz Father Frost from Russia.

Just a few of our Christmas things up close and personal. I’ll be sharing a few more in the near future.

I shared a story earlier in December about our church Toy Shop Project for needy families in our community. Our church was able to help 315 families with grocery gift cards and toys for their children. We had over 2000 new toys that we gave away. Our goal was 1800. What a wonderful experience to be able to share in this way in our own community.

I’m so thankful for a quiet week leading up to Christmas. How are your days?

O Mystery Tree, O Mystery Tree…

Mystery Tree 2013 001

Our Mystery Tree tradition is continuing this year. On Sunday we put the back seat down in the jeep and headed to the Home Depot to pick out our tree. Our round trip from home to the store and back again took a little under 45 minutes total! We arrive, we spy out the trunks of the trees in our height range in the piles where the trees are still all tied up, we pick one, buy it, throw it into the back of the jeep and head home where the stand is ready and waiting. Dear cuts off a portion of the trunk and gives it a good thrust into the stand. Tighten the screws on the trunk and get ready for the reveal…

2013-12-10 Mystery Tree 20131

It’s so much fun to stand back and watch as Dear cuts the string off the branches.

2013-12-10 Mystery Tree 2013

Tah Dah!

Mystery Tree 2013 010

2013-12-10 Mystery Tree 20132

When I got home late last night Dear had put the lights on the tree so I can now finish decorating it. We’ll see what gets done today.

2013-12-10 Mystery Tree 20133

Little by little it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around this old house.

Life continues to keep us on our knees in the midst of this joyful time of Advent and more and more we look to the Hope we have in Christ. We had one of those 3 A.M. phone calls where you know the news can’t be good. A Brother in law had a heart attack that was caught in time and arteries were cleared. He’ll be home soon. We know the reality of how fragile life can be. We always wait for good news from Afghanistan. “Made it back from the Mission, I’m O.K., going to bed now, talk more later.” We rally around each other supporting each other in whatever life throws our way.

Faith

I will have faith,
However dreams are shattered;
I will have faith that righteousness can live;
I will have faith e’en when my heart is breaking,
To work and pray and give!

I will have faith
When troubled is life’s ocean,
When low-blown clouds the Pilot’s face shall hide;
I will have faith when my fair ship is battered;
I will await the turning of the tide!

I will have faith
That God is still in Heaven;
I will have faith that He is by my side;
I will have faith though every star is darkened,
That He and truth abide!

The Residence, Denver

Celebrating Sixty Two!

This year we celebrated my birthday on two different continents and 2 states! We arrived in Milan on my birthday but after being airborne for many hours and arriving in Amsterdam and then Milan, Italy I had to be reminded it was my day. After we arrived back to Seattle our oldest and our lovely DIL decided we should head out to celebrate after the fact.

Josh and Laura picked a restaurant for brunch in Seattle close to Queen Anne Hill. They offered several great dishes to choose from.

The name of the restaurant was Toulouse Petit Kitchen and Lounge. There was a long line up but it was worth the wait.

This is the front door to the restaurant. I’m not sure what the story of the cross in the door is. I like it!

We headed to Kerry Park after brunch to get a view of Seattle from above.

Someone was blowing bubbles at the park and I was happy to catch this one on the bottom of the photo!

Before my birthday we celebrated a wee bit early with my family in Southern California along with celebrating Katie and Andrew’s 2nd Anniversary at Julienne in San Marino.

This is my brother Steve with Katie and me.

My nephew Joe, nieces Michelle and Melissa, and grand nephew Jack.

Katie, niece Debbee, and Laura.

My sister Kathy. My sister in law Kelly and grand niece Avery were at breakfast, too, but I failed to capture them in a photo.

Here’s what my kids ordered for my birthday gift …

They delivered it to me on Easter. I thought that was so appropriate bringing our celebrations full circle from the birth of Christ to His death and resurrection. Now my nativity scene with Wee Forest Folk is complete except for one wise man.

We are looking forward to a weekend of celebrating with friends at a wedding on Saturday evening and a breakfast on Sunday. What do you have planned?

The Perfect Scene…

…to display beneath the star.

I bought this flag at the Evergreen Fair a couple years ago and realized that flying it wouldn’t allow anyone to really see the scene.

We decided to try it attached to the window below the star. We liked how it looked during the day and we waited to see what it would look like at night.

We were happy with the result.

 I went with decorating light with the tree this year. I pulled out very few of our collected ornaments. Since the majority of our kids aren’t arriving to celebrate till after Christmas I think light is good.

Now to the mundane…something is going on with my back which is slowing things down around here. Another good reason to go “light”. I haven’t uploaded photos from our anniversary dinner out yet so I’ll share on another day. I’ll also take some photos of our tree to show.  No baking in my kitchen yet. How are your festivities and decorating shaping up.

FFF ~ I’m in Hot Water Now…

It’s time to reflect on your past week and see the many good things that you were blessed with. Visit Susanne at Living to tell the Story to join in this worthwhile exercise.

My favorites from this past week…

 

1. A decorated Christmas tree filling the living room with a nice fragrance. Oops somethings crooked!

 

2. Nativities to remind us why we celebrate Christmas.

 

3. Hot Water! Our old water heater was giving up the ghost and we didn’t want to be surprised some morning with a cold shower so Dear with his handiness put in a new one this week. We had to live without hot water for 24 hours but we knew about it in advance and boy are we all ever thankful to have the hot water flowing again.

4. Thankful once again for a husband who can take on most any project around the house and do a good job at it!

 

5. These great words I read this morning;

2 Timothy 4:18 (ESV)~

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

and 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17 (ESV) ~

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

This weekend Dear and I are escaping to Whidbey Island for an overnight at a Bed and Breakfast Inn to celebrate our anniversary. I hope to tell you all about it next week. We have a heavy rain and flooding forecast which might make things interesting on our trip. Enjoy your day and weekend!

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.