Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

The Thanksgiving holiday meant a trip to K's family with the day after Thanksgiving spent decorating Grandma's Christmas tree.
Sorting the pieces by color

Conleigh the reindeer

Kenson and Grandma

Zeke and Grandma

Does this face surprise any of you who know Conleigh in person?

Zeke beside his handiwork..yes they are all in a row

When we returned home, we put up our tree as well.  I used to be someone who loved the themed trees with their color coordinated, matchy matchy decor.  But then D and I started giving each of the kids an ornament for Christmas, one that represented something significant from that year.  From trikes from the year Kenson learned to ride to plaques with their names written in their not quite perfect 3 year old handwriting to remind us of the year they learned that skill to a scuba diving Santa indicative of a year spent in Haiti, those ornaments have become reminders of lots of memories.   We also started photo ornaments for loved ones who have died.   Our kids have lost several grandparents in a short amount of time and we did not want them to forget those grandparents or be unfamiliar with their faces.  There are also the ornaments the kids have made in school or church and ornaments given to us as gifts plus some unique garlands created by my aunt.  (One is a combination of paper clips and fabric yo yos and was given as a joke following my dad's encounter with meningitis.  The other is folded gum wrappers and I love the old fashioned feel and wish I had more.  Hint, hint, Sheree!)

Our tree
We also started a new advent book series this year after reading several recommendations from others.  This year, we are reading Tabitha's Travels by Arnold Ytreeide.  There are two other books by the same author so we'll try those next year.  We are a bit behind as we didn't actually get started on the book until this week but that's alright.  We can finish up after Christmas if we need to.  

Last, I read this quote today and thought it to be such an apt description of the Incarnate One, a God who doesn't demand that we elevate ourselves towards Him by our good deeds, our perfection or our abilities.  Instead He is a God who brings Himself low, into the smallest details, in the most undignified manner through the labor of a woman.  It's a moment in time full of pain and fear and vulnerability but yet that is how He came.  And it is where He still is.  In the moments of pain and fear.  In the moments of vulnerability and ugliness.  That is where He lives.

If the incarnation teaches us anything, it’s that God can be found everywhere: in a cattle trough, on a throne, among the poor, with the sick, on a donkey, in a fishing boat, with the junkie, with the prostitute, with the hypocrite, with the forgotten, in places of power, in places of oppression, in poverty, in wealth, where God’s name is known, where it is unknown, with our friends, with our enemies, in our convictions, in our doubts, in life, in death, at the table, on the cross, and in every kindergarten classroom from Sandy Hook to Shanghai. -Rachel Held Evans 

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