Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Haitus

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. We sure did! We are heading out to see my family this weekend and have had a very busy few weeks. I am going to take a blogging haitus for a while.


I will return when I can, but until then, please have a lovely January!




Monday, December 19, 2005

I love Christmas!

A Merry Christmas to you!



We are happily finishing up our Christmas duties and I am wrapping gifts late at night while the little ones are sleeping. I love Christmas and our children are so excited. It is infectious and I look forward to this friday, when we will see my husband's family, as well as to Christmas morning here. We do stockings, and gifts, and we have really really enjoyed reading Jotham's Journey. He has not quite finished it yet, and I believe he ends on Christmas Eve. What a wonderful story. We will have to get one of the following books for next year.


I have enjoyed much Christmas music this month as our local Christian station has played it non-stop all month! We also have a few very lovely albums that I enjoy a great deal. One of my favorite songs is Angels We Have Heard on High. There is nothing like Christmas music to bring about a happy feeling.


Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.


Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!


Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?


Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!


Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.


Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!


See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.


Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Indeed, glory to God!


Some CDs you might like for next year...


Michael W. Smith's, Christmas



Mark brought this home from his trip to Tennessee:


Appalachian Christmas: An Old-Time Country Christmas

(featuring Scott Miller on Hammered Dulcimer)



Celtic Christmas by Eden's Bridge



And my favorite Handel's Messiah from our BMG Music Club a few years back!



There are so many great ones - what are your favorites?


May God give your a blessed Christmas as you enjoy the day we celebrate His humiliation. May you, like me,  remember the reason why He needed to come - why He suffered Himself to become a man so that we could have life!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What a beautiful discovery of ancient faith!

You can see some lovely pictures of it at the site linked below.

Israel Church a Major Discovery
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
MEGIDDO PRISON, Israel — Israeli prisoner Ramil Razilo was removing rubble from the planned site of a new prison ward when his shovel uncovered the edge of an elaborate mosaic, unveiling what Israeli archaeologists said Sunday may be the Holy Land's oldest church.


The discovery of the church in the northern Israeli town of Megiddo, near the biblical Armageddon, was hailed by experts as an important discovery that could reveal details about the development of the early church in the region.

Archaeologists said the church dated from the third century, decades before Constantine legalized Christianity across the Roman Empire.


"What's clear today is that it's the oldest archaeological remains of a church in Israel, maybe even in the entire region. Whether in the entire world, it's still too early to say," said Yotam Tepper, the excavation's head archaeologist. (…)


Razilo, who is serving a two-year sentence for traffic violations, was one of about 50 prisoners brought into the high-security Megiddo Prison to help excavate the area before the construction of new wards for 1,200 Palestinian prisoners.


Razilo was shocked to uncover the edge of the mosaic. The inmates worked for months to uncover all the parts of the mosaic — the floor of the church, he said.

"We continued to look and slowly we found this whole beautiful thing," said Razilo, who used a sponge and a bucket of water to clean dirt off the uncovered mosaics Sunday.


Two mosaics inside the church — one covered with fish, an ancient Christian symbol that predates the cross — tell the story of a Roman officer and a woman named Aketous who donated money to build the church in the memory "of the god, Jesus Christ."


Pottery remnants from the third century, the style of Greek writing used in the inscriptions, ancient geometric patterns in the mosaics and the depiction of fish rather than the cross indicate that the church was no longer used by the fourth century, Tepper said. (…)


The inscription, which specifies that Aketous donated a table to the church, indicates the house of worship predated the Byzantine era, when Christians began using altars in place of tables in their rituals, Tepper said. Remnants of a table were uncovered between the two mosaics.


The building — most of which was destroyed — also was not built in the Basilica style that was standard under the Byzantines, he added. (…)


(The rest of the story here - with more pictures!!)

What moves me the most is to think that so many years ago, our brothers and sisters in Christ were here worshipping the same Savior we do! And we will meet them someday. What a legacy of faith through their beautiful artwork they have left behind for us!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

God Working in the Lives of Men and Women

That is what history is. God's hand over the course of events. I recently discovered a gorgeous blog full of insightful posts and beautiful letters of history. If you are in any way like me, a person who loves real stories come to life, then you will really appreciate this blog! Melkhi is posting her grandmother's letters about her life growing up in a Polish orphanage starting here. They are moving and painful to read sometimes because of what they faced, but worth you time!


I hope you stop by her blog.



Thursday, December 08, 2005

Books of Beauty

This week I have been a reading mother, amongst all the other things required of me! As a family we are reading Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent. I really had no idea when I bought this that the message of consequences for life's choices would be so powerfully displayed. In most places this book is hard to find because it is towards the middle of the advent season, but if your family is looking for a quality book to focus on the Christmas season, this is a really good one.


The other book we are reading as our history read aloud, Alone, Yet Not Alone: The Story of Barbara Leininger. It is the amazing story of God's providential protection of two young girls after their captivity by indians during the French and Indian War. It is a moving account that brought me to tears more than once.



God's faithfulness and the faith of Barbara Leininger were powerfully displayed in this book. All I can say is this is one beautiful story.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You know your day is doomed when...

You offer to baby sit for your friend so she can take her friend to the doctor. You offer thinking the hospital is filled with germs and why expose her two-year-old to that, right? Well, the day goes well until you see your youngest daughter getting red cheeks and she has not been outside and it is not terribly warm in the house. Hmmm you wonder - what could that be from? It goes from bad to worse when her eyes glaze over with fever as you are cooking dinner for your friends now. You rock her and she falls asleep in your arms. Unheard of unless she is exhausted. Oh boy. She wakes to a  stomach that rumbles and proceeds to evacuate her stomach contents onto your person. Hmmm. This was *not* what I had planned for today and I can guarantee you that it was not what my friend had planned for.


Thankfully my smallish person is well today. It must have been a quick bout, but I sure hope they are not blessed with the same quick bout on account of me!


Pre-sickness picture...



She is simply too squishy to be sick.



Monday, December 05, 2005

Wisdom in young places

Spunky's recent post, is a really important and powerful one. If you have not read it, I encourage you to. How are we to get to the end of our parenting journey? It is a good lesson for me and a sad one for others.


Here is a good bit of it...


A month ago we all heard the sad story of the double murder of Kara Borden's parents by David Ludwig. This week brought more tragic news of fourteen year old Marlee Johnston allegedly murdered by fourteen year old homeschooler Patrick Armstrong.

Do the teen years have to be so turbulent? Here is a previous post recounting a conversation I had with my own son about the teenage years last year. I don't consider myself an expert on parenting. My own children are not yet grown up. So my credibility is not super strong but I am seeing encouraging signs. Here's the post...

Don't Bend The Wire
A few months ago I took Jason (then 14) out to lunch. Actually, he suggested it and he was buying so off we went to Arby's for the 5 for $5 special. While I watched him eat his four sandwiches in the length of time it took me to eat one, we chatted about a lot of different things. When there was a lull in the conversation I switched the subject to a scripture that I had been meaning to ask him about. Proverbs 22:36 says "My son, give me thine heart and let thine eyes observe my ways." This seemed like the appropriate time to ask him if we still retained his heart even though he was in the middle of growing from a boy to a man.

He grinned and said, "Mom, if you and dad didn't have my heart then do you think I'd be sitting here with you at Arby's right now?"

Good point.

So I pressed him a little on why he thinks teens seem to stray away and what could a parent do to keep a child from rebelling against them and the Lord.

He said, "Don't bend the wire." I was confused. What exactly does that mean?


For the wise and important answer, click HERE. Thanks, Spunky, and keep up the good work!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Official Mascot

This is one of our official mascots, Mr. Meriadoc Brandybuck. He does not look like a male, but he is. We call him Merry for short.



We think he looks Egyptian and really should be a female, but that was not for us to decide.  All we have to decide is what to do with the cat that is given us.


This is our son with one of our mascots.  Good thing I didn't say he was our other mascot, huh. This is because I don't give birth to cats. I know that was on your list of concerns. In case of possible mix-up, our son is on the left.


Seven Sevens

In answer to Spunky's call for seven sevens here are my answers in no particular order.


1. Seven things (I hope) to do (or see) before I die


Go to England and Ireland with my family.
See my children all walking with the Lord.
See my children happily married.
Live a long life with my husband.
See the east coast with my family.
Buy a brand new vehicle.
Read all the books I wish to.


2. Seven things I cannot do


Stop loving my husband and children.
Eat liver or salmon.
Mountain climb.
Snow camp, again.
Work on our van.
Fly to Europe without my family.
Stop reading good books.


3. Seven things that attract me to my husband.


His faith in Jesus.
His laughter.
His eyes.
His humor; most of the time.
His support of me.
His love for our children.
His commitment to me.


4. Seven things I say most often


Sit down!
Eat your food.
We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Do your math.
I love you.
Clean your room.


5. Seven books (or series) I love (quick thinking list)


Lord of the Rings
Jane Eyre
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility
Cadfael Series
E. Nesbit books


6. Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would watch over and over if I had the time)


Lord of the Rings
Pride and Prejudice
Wives and Daughters
Little Women


7. Seven people I want to join in, too


Jo's Boys
Anne of Green Curtains
Middle Earth Mom



Now, if you are one of these folks and you kindly participate, please do let me know by a comment here. Happy thinking!