Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Glance Back

I am amazed at how time can seem to stand still at some moments and then quickly go to light speed leaving you wondering what day it is.  Christmas came and went quickly leaving a now empty tree (or two) to be taken down and Christmas wrapping paper and boxes to be taken out for the garbage man (tomorrow).  Lovely made some delectable treats this yearDSC02211.  She calls them her Christmas “rats”.  I can get a little melancholy come the few days after Christmas…especially when it’s a good Christmas as this one was for usDSC02212 .  Now it’s time to unplug the lights, take off the ornaments and put things away leaving only a Christmas memoryDSC02213.  This is just a short post my friends.  I know it’s been very difficult for some of you during the holidays but the reason for the season goes far beyond the gifts and trimmings of of the day…or lack thereof.  Now we look forward to the hope of a new and better (by God’s grace) season.  The Reason for the season is more then a concept or philosophy, He is a person who was born, grew to a man, died for us then was raised to glory.  This was the ultimate expression of God’s love for us and that doesn’t pass when the day we celebrate Christmas passes.  Look back for a moment on ChristmasDSC02214then look ahead my friends.  It reminds me of something that Dad always told me:  something good is in store, something good is about to happen.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bits ‘n Pieces

We continue to have bitterly cold weather with just tiny amounts of snowDSC02199.  Fact is as I’m sitting here today there is no snow but it is still very cold.  It’s a mystery to me how the heatless sun can still manage to melt off the little snow we’ve gotDSC02200yet melt it does…even in the shadier places where I’d think it would hang onDSC02201.  Inside things have been a joy to me…especially when cookie time rolls around againDSC02202!  We really have enjoyed doing this  together…making plain sugar cookiesDSC02203into little works of artDSC02204.  Not much could look more Christmas like then that don’t you thinkDSC02205? Not all the cookies were created equally but here is the pick of the liter:  DSC02206 .  I went out today to get some more outside pictures but was greeted with a bitterly cold wind and no snow, just a lot of dead leaves and suchDSC02207…I have to say it’s pretty hard to get inspired by thisDSC02208.  I trudged in and looked under the treeDSC02209and I realize that though there are gifts there you all are some of the most wonderful gifts God has ever given meDSC02210!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jack Frost

It’s been pretty much snow free around here and when it does snow it doesn’t seem to be around all that long.  One thing that is hanging around?  Cool temperatures and frost that lingers throughout the dayDSC02192.  One must take care of the ice that seems to form out of nowhere on the stepsDSC02193.  The bright sun and blue sky still leaves cold in the shadows where frost powders the rocksDSC02194.  I guess on the bright side we don’t have to shovel the walk or mow the yardDSC02195.  We had a cold rain that froze leaving the standing water looking like it’s still wet however it’s mostly solid right nowDSC02196.  The deck was about as dangerous as you want to get so I took only one photo from the bottom of the steps todayDSC02197.  Ice does have its own charm in photos if you ask me…I think Jack is quite the artistDSC02198.  Cutting this rather short.  Our family will see some Christmas lights on houses tonight and tomorrow we will all see “The Hobbit” which we’ve been looking forward to.  My Mom read that to me as a young boy I loved it.  My kids have enjoyed it and with the cost of movies these days this is a rarity for us all to go at once…Christmas has come a bit early and I appreciate it!  Merry Christmas to all once again!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

One thing that I love about the season surrounding Christmas is that it makes me see things that it seems at other times I don’t notice and appreciate as much.  It’s not that I don’t notice and appreciate my family rather it’s just I notice my love and appreciate it more right now.  I never have been less impressed with the things commercialism offer any less than now either.  I attribute this directly to God.  I don’t think I can work up a single good thing on my own…if it’s good it’s from God.  Simple things fill me with delight.  A chance to show some kindness to someone else…what a treasure!  A chance to sing the songs of the season with those I love…it’s really a wonderful thing!  They say commercialism ruins Christmas…I say only if you let it.  I’m doing all I can to pass on the reason and love of the season on to my children.


I’ve been really tied up and unable to take as many pictures as I’d like but I have a few for you today.  These things aren’t really my favorite on their own but they represent what I love.  Good times putting up things for Christmas together and loving each other…that’s what I love!  Here’s another little ornament we found in GhanaDSC02181.  This has so many wonderful memories.  The fulfillment of the dream I always had of bringing my family to the first time place I went abroad as a missionary when I was eighteen years old.  This globe ornament represents the love we’ve had for the world and the places we’ve beenDSC02183.  We also have some ornaments on the tree upstairs that shows our particular love for AsiaDSC02184.  Travel to Asia has forever changed our lives…I met my wife there.  I have been forever shaped but the things I’ve seen there remain eternally grateful to God for the opportunities I’ve had to visit several countries there.  This ornament is a lighter thing really.  I think most know I love music very much and love my i-Touch as well.  Each year we take these little elves and put them around the ornament we like…well, here’s mineDSC02185.  Lovely and I found a sale and got this new nutcracker…last one and he was in the back of the rest…that must mean he’s a good one rightDSC02187?  I decided to show case these snow men though they are technically not nutcrackers…I like the diversity they add to our collectionDSC02188.  Last but not least this is one other one we found this year…I think he’s got character…it was fun to find and I think he’s pretty uniqueDSC02189….Want a cupcake…low calorie, high fiber!  LOL!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Last Days of November

It’s been all over the place in the weather so I thought I’d get out there and get some snow pictures before it was all gone…as it actually is today.  The day before the snow came along it was really fantastic outDSC02155.  The sun had been so nice in the evening…kissing the top of the trees in such a beautiful wayDSC02156and then it went all wintery where the sun is shiny but gives little heatDSC02157.  Finally the snow began to fall heavilyDSC02158but I didn’t mind because the usual awful bitter cold didn’t come with it…it was barely freezing in fact so it didn’t stick all that much but it looked delightfulDSC02159…it’s so nice maybe I’ll indulge in a little barbecueDSC02160…or maybe not.  Our once delightfully golden tree is quite barren now but the sun provides a delightful shining Christmas ornament don’t you thinkDSC02161?  I’ve grown really fond of this tree no matter what the season isDSC02162.  The sun through this tree always brings me hope in a way I can’t quite explainDSC02163.  A light snow and hard frost made things look like a scene cut from “A Christmas Story” though I didn’t have a Red Ryder B-B gun handyDSC02164.  My mind was playing Dance of the Sugarplum fairies as I looked at the snow dusted rocks which reminded me of some kind of sugar plums themselvesDSC02165.  The field beyond had it’s winter best onDSC02166though now It’s back to its tired browns and golds.  Can anything beat the promise of a snow kissed evergreenDSC02167?  I’m quite glad for our new fangled fence which can withstand just about anything nature can bring itDSC02168

Time to turn our view to the inside don’t you think?  We’ve decorated the downstairs with a chalkboard having a countdown to Christmas for the kids to enjoyDSC02169.  This tree has some unique ornaments on it like this little wooden duckDSC02170and even some things we picked up in Ghana West AfricaDSC02171.  Other things I just like because I’ve not seen too many like it…like these little turtles for exampleDSC02173.  Note:  yes, those are popcorn strands…my daughter makes a mean bowl of popcorn but many went to the tree this time.  We had an extra white tree so it’s near the dinning room table this yearDSC02175.  I thought I’d showcase some of the other nutcrackers that didn’t get any limelight last timeDSC02176.  Those three look down on the dinning room from on top of the cabinet for our better dishes.  This one is closest to the front doorDSC02177…his partner is on the other side of the hall mirrorDSC02178…yes he’s the rat king from “The Nutcracker”.  Some nutcrackers are not so serious…this one reminds me of my time in the tropics…he stands on top of the living room TVDSC02179.  Now last but not least stands this classic next to one of the all time favorite carvings from Africa that we haveDSC02180.  There’s a slice of Christmas before December even begins.  The reasons for the season are so beautiful…they are priceless and eternal.  God Bless you all.