Quick note: Today’s our anniversary! 🙂 I’m thankful for how God has worked so much in both of us and in our marriage in the last year. More probably coming later as we are actually able to really do something for it this year!
One of our Advent activities. My post-Advent thoughts: these 25 things helped S a lot with having things to do and counting down, and the community service-type ones were actually rather challenging for me, but made me realize how easy it is to carry around a grocery bag to put trash in when we see it, and how little I talk to people I see on the street, in the store, etc. – but how simple and rewarding it is to do so.
Recording for 25 Days of Christmas. This was the first time I had really tried to do a multitrack. I had kind of done one before, on Audacity, but that wasn’t working this time, so I learned how to use the recorder we bought a few years ago and never used to its full capacity. I got not only better sound quality but was able to really get it all together. It was fairly simple and SO MUCH FUN. I miss playing in ensembles so playing with tracks of myself playing gave some of the fullness of sound even though it wasn’t quite as nice.
Ezra was away for a few days, but we stayed busy painting, walking, Christmas music dance parties, playing, and as a special treat we went out for lunch.
His time away was productive on his end and encouraging for me – a year ago, 4 days alone with the girls was unthinkable, yet here we were having fun and doing more than just surviving.
We had a kombucha explosion…
Christmas is my excuse to actually bake and eat “real” desserts. 😉 I’ve noticed that sugar really does affect me and I feel much better when I avoid it but we couldn’t resist the challenge of this pavlova – and it wasn’t really that challenging, which was a pleasant surprise!
I made my baguettes too long.
The rest of our Christmas baking. Gingerbread is my favorite!
A fuzzy shot of someone’s light display.
Came out of the morning Christmas Eve service to find this! The evening candlelight service was cancelled because of ice.
Christmas morning kisses and pancakes.
Stuffing her face with peanuts and oranges. I love how much they love being given “all you can eat” food. 😉
Wearing her playsilk and using her new crayons.
Traditional Christmas lunch at Ezra’s family’s house.
Boxing Day beauty!
… and ugly sweater cookie decorating.
We stopped in with my extended family on the way home, and got to see my sister’s family again too!
And then we had our own family Christmas a few days later.
I was reading World Magazine’s News of the Year issue and feeling overwhelmed by how much tragedy there was, then looked up and saw this hanging on the tree.
The weary world rejoices.
Because weary I certainly am of this dark and fallen world… But rejoicing that One came who brings life and light and healing. (Ornament by @heart2artcrafts)
For New Years’ Eve we hosted a somewhat impromptu game night with most of our church and actually did stay up until midnight for the first time since before S was born (the girls went to bed at their usual time and had no idea of the festivities going on since we put white noise on for them!).
Hymns of the month// Joy to the World // reviewing all the old ones
favorite recipes// sourdough baguettes // cranberry pomegranate pavlova (minus the mascarpone)// pumpkin custard (AKA how we used up 6 yolks, though I used milk and sweetened it with banana to make it lighter) // chicken & gnocchi soup // flourless chocolate cake // gingerbread dutch baby // butter chicken //
best of online// updated our Advent post // Lutheran Mass for Christmas Morning // recording a multitrack on Zoom H4N // BB Warfield, Imitating the Incarnation // Coventry Carol again // a new podcast I love // Fantasia Chromatica // Victory over ISIS – Now What? // the problem with holly jolly Christmas songs // 12 Days of Writing // 110 Tolkien Drawings // Spurgeon’s 15 Tips for a Deep and Effective Prayer life // best science images of 2017 // 9 Things about Christmas Traditions // 5 Misconceptions about the Christmas STory // A Case for Marrying Later // 5 Lessons Learned from Counseling Anxiety // 9 Questions to Ask Yourself for 2018 //
reading of late// Teaching from Rest // Between the Woods & the Water // Parenting // God’s Prayer Book // When Postpartum packs a punch // 3 Years in Afghanistan // Spiritual Depression // The Secret Garden // MacDonald’s Christmas Stories // Skimmed Educating the Whole-Hearted Child
“I never lost my body. It just went through something incredible and changed, and I’m not going to punish it for that via workouts or words.” from Whole Food Diary.
“Worry and fear say that the world is threatening and that you are alone. But when the kingdom of heaven pierces the earth, God is establishing his control in a new way. Now that the King has come, you will never be alone.”
— Ed Welch, Running Scared
“It is here at the first Christmas that the most profound and unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie. In the manger, we find not only the Savior of the world, but also the Creator of the universe, God with us— Immanuel. The One who put the stars in the sky lay beneath them in the form of a helpless baby, entering time and space not to let us know He exists, but to draw near to us and invite us into His everlasting kingdom.” Alastair Begg, Christmas Letter
“You possess everything when you have Christ.
In your weakness you have his strength. In the midst of fear, you have the confidence of his unchanging character. In the unknowns you have the God of all wisdom who lights your path. In your exhaustion you have the faithful One who will cause you to mount on wings as an eagle. In your desperation you have the Living Water who quenches your thirst and satisfies your longings. In your grief you have the One who was acquainted with grief and stricken with sorrow.” from here
what brings joy// friends on our journey // peppermint whoopie pies // hearing everyone’s breathing falling asleep // waking up all together // rocking chairs // Csehy benediction at Christmas // lovely gifts: Bread Book, warm gloves, Prone to Wander book, Before You Now CD, chocolates, Benediction Gracelaced cards, Ellie’s pillow, play silks.