Monday, December 31, 2012

A quiet day



It has been a quiet day at our little house today. At my request my DH brought in the boxes so I could pack the Christmas tree, ornaments, village, etc away for the year. I still have the nativity water ball out. It will stay out through the month of January as will the Christmas lights on the house.  I'm just never ready to pack it all up at once.  The snow has fallen softly all day long.  After the decorations were packed up and the vacuum run we have just been reading...  Mr. S. is reading Killing Kennedy, by Bill O'Riley.  It was one of his Christmas presents.  I am reading one of his gifts from last year, Killing Lincoln, by the same author.  Mr. S. loves history.  He also received an entire set of Time-Life books on WWII.  He is loving those!


Beautiful set.


The house looks clean and fresh waiting for the new year.

Wishing you a very happy New Year!
a little bird

Thursday, December 27, 2012

On the 3rd day of Christmas...


Are you still celebrating Christmas?  I hope so.  It is a time to reflect, and praise.  

The twelve days of Christmas are a quieter time.  The hub-bub of all the presents, commitments, RUSH has subsided.  Now we have a time to contemplate Luke  2.  The story of Jesus' birth.  God came to the earth.  He came to  save us from our sins to give us a way to be made right with God.

So I hope you will stop, reflect, and worship Christ the newborn King.


Angels from the realms of glory
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story
Now proclaim Messiah's birth:

Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
Watching o'er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant light:

Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sages, leave your contemplations
Brighter visions beam afar,
Seek the great Desire of nations,
Ye have seen his natal star:

Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sinners wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you -- break your chains:

Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Though an infant now we view him,
He shall fill his Father's throne,
Gather all the nations to him,
Every knee shall then bow down:

Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

All creation, join in praising
God the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising,
To th'eternal Three in One:

Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Darling FREE printable calendars!







Great printable calendar #1 HERE

Great printable calendar #2 HERE

You can download and print.  Thank you to Prepared not Scared for sharing these darling FREE calendars!

a little bird

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

'Made the good list'



Last night I got a phone call from our 5 year old granddaughter.  In a very excited voice, "Mimi, Mimi, we emailed Santa and I made the good list!!"  (Papa and I  almost fell over in laughter.)  L. is old enough to be worried about the naughty list I guess, and she was a bit concerned that she might not make the cut...

She informed me that G., her younger sister (2), made the good list too.  Oh the delights of making the good list.

Merry Christmas!
a little bird


Miss Chessie

Miss Chessie woke me up this morning.  She would run in jump on the bed  and then run back to the family room... I finally gave up and got up.  She must have known it was Christmas and some of the presents under the tree were hers.

Merry Christmas!!





Happy Birthday Jesus



 Happy Birthday Jesus!
a little bird

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve

We will be doing this...


and then this...


I pray that your merry Christmas eve is filled with blessings as well.
a little bird

Make a parchment cone




This is much less expensive than the plastic disposables. My aunt taught me this years ago. She does beautiful cakes You can use this with a coupler and tip as well. 








Tonight's fun was chocolate cookies. Recipe from HERE

The Christ Candle



The last candle on the Advent Wreath.  The Christ candle is lit on Christmas eve.  It is the last day of waiting  (advent) for Christ's birth. 

 I hope the candle of 'advent' is lit in your heart as we await Christ's second coming as well.  The first time he came as a baby in a manger the second time he comes in power and strength.   Are you waiting... are you ready...  blessings to you.
  a little bird


A family speaker might say: “As we light the Christ candle, we celebrate the birth of Jesus and rejoice in His coming into our lives. Jesus is our HOPE, our PEACE, our JOY, our LOVE. Because of these truths, we can claim the promise of John 3:16. “Whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” Welcome to our hearts, Lord Jesus. Please keep our faith in You strong. Amen
excerpt from -article by Dick Hagerman - Used with permission

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A bit of snow

let it snow...
We are getting a bit of snow right now.   It is so pretty.  The Christmas lights are on and the snow is falling.... It's beginning to to look a lot like Christmas.
a little bird

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT




Words for this gathering might begin: “As we light the fourth candle – the LOVE candle, we think of the meaning of the Advent Wreath – an everlasting life circle of HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE. Jesus, the one whose birthday we are about to celebrate has brought us all these gifts. HOPE for eternal life by His Resurrection. PEACE in our hearts as we trust His presence beside us each day. JOY as He allows us to know Him as our savior. LOVE through His gift of life to us by His death on the cross. And a command to LOVE other people as much as we LOVE our self.” (Matthew 22:39).
Grant us the strength, Oh Lord, to LOVE others as You have LOVED us. Amen

excerpt from -article by Dick Hagerman - Used with permission

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Play Day

All the 'necessary' things are done, so today was a 'play day'.


Last night was the baking.


This is a 7.5" giant snowflake

No two snowflakes are alike...



Doilie, cookie, doilie,  cookie etc...

Top layer, some mittens to keep your hands warm as you eat those snowflakes...
:-)

Ready to gift.




I am now enjoying a bit of lunch and then I need to clean my kitchen back up.  But I had a wonderfully fun morning playing.

a little bird

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christ-mas

I wish you a beautiful and blessed Christmas. Happy Birthday dear Jesus. a little bird

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Security


David Bowman's photo

David says, Hope this painting of mine can bring some tiny ounce of comfort after this horrible incident in Connecticut. It's called "Security". Feel free to "share"/pass it on if you'd like.

This beautiful painting blessed me and I wanted to share it on so it could bless you as well.
a little bird

Joy - the third Sunday of Advent





I feel that our joy has been tainted by the evil of Friday's shooting.  I think as a nation we are stunned and weeping at the violence against innocence.   My dear friend Heidi  shares that our God weeps with us.   And I know that she is right.  


The beauty of the birth of our savior was tainted by violence against innocents too.  


Massacre of the Innocents

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:


18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”


So as with Rachel we weep and mourn.
a little bird


The fact remains that it is the third Sunday in Advent.  And because of Jesus we can have Joy.

By now the family has probably decided on a day to circle round the Advent Wreath. At this gathering a third candle is lighted, and a member of the family speaks: “Today we will light the third candle – the candle of JOY”. This might be a time when the family reviews some words of a mighty church hymn: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. No more let sins and sorrows grow. He rules the world with truth and grace.” Perhaps this is a time when family members can be reminded that God’s Holy Spirit surrounds each one and waits to guide each one through the future. Read John 15:11, and remember; God sent Jesus His Son to offer us a JOYFUL life. Thank you, Lord that you bring us JOY. Amen

excerpt from -article by Dick Hagerman - Used with permission

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wow, are you busy?

Are you feeling a bit busy too?  I am trying to get the presents boxed and shipped.  Have a few more to order on  Amazon and have shipped directly. I would like to make those beautiful snowflake cookies... but that is lower on the list right now.  I've lost a receipt - it may have ended up packed in a box and on it's way to New Mexico.

I always feel such a relief when all the boxes are shipped. so that is top of my list today.

Today is a staff Christmas party and I am one of the staff doing the party so decorating and cooking is on today's list.

Hope you're having a great day and not too stressed or busy to enjoy what Christmas is really about.
a little bird


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Flu Prevention



Did you get your flu shot?  It's not too late if you haven't. A flu shot and the following are the best ways to prevent the flu.


  • good hand hygiene
  • wash hands or use hand sanitizer
  • don't touch your face or eyes
  • cough into your sleeve
  • stay away from sick people and crowds.

The word is that this season is hitting harder than it has in a decade...  So be proactive and keep yourself healthy for a wonderful holiday season.

Some great prep tips and tools if you do catch a bug - A Mom's Survival Guide to the Flu

a little bird

Monday, December 10, 2012

Giant Snowflake Cookie Cutter



I bought this beautiful snowflake cookie cutter.  It is 7.5 inches across...  
My plan was to find some 8 inch diameter tins...  Well so far they have eluded me.  
I must have a lovely tin to put these cookies in don't you think?

Idea from Opulent Poppy


Just to bless your Monday

If you're not smiling your missing it.

Christmas Gift Idea

Are you searching for a Christmas gift idea? How about the gift of preparedness. a little bird

Where are you Christmas

Sunday, December 9, 2012

SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT




Again, sometime during this week, the family gathers around the Advent Wreath, two candles are lighted and a family member says: “Today we light the candle of PEACE. Jesus has promised us PEACE in all situations (John 14:27). Our responsibility is to accept His presence in our lives and trust His guidance to lead us through all the bogs and breakdowns in our lives. Come into our lives Lord Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 3:16) Amen”

excerpt from -article by Dick Hagerman - Used with permission

Carol of the Bells - Happy Holidays

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor Day…


USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of O Ľahu was the action that led to United States involvement in World War II.

The memorial, dedicated in 1962 is visited by more than one million people annually, spans the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it. The sunken remains of the battleship were declared a National Historic Landmark on 5 May 1989

Did You Know?

The Japanese aerial bomb that struck the forward section of the USS Arizona ignited the forward magazine causing a catastrophic explosion that sunk the battleship in nine minutes.

File:USS Arizona oil seepage.jpg
Oil still leaks from the ship - The "tears of the Arizona"

File:USS Arizona memorial interior.jpg
"To the Memory of the Gallant Men Here Entombed and their shipmates who gave their lives in action on December 7, 1941, on the U.S.S. Arizona" — inscription in marble with the names of Arizona's honored dead.

Information and pictures from HERE

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hot Cocoa from the Pantry

photo by: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos


Ingredients
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Hot water Directions Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water. Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk.
Alton Brown - Food Network

When I make cocoa I reduce the amount of sugar.  It's just a personal taste.
a little bird

Sunday, December 2, 2012

DECEMBER 2, 2012, FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT:



ADVENT
A time to involve the whole family in the meaning of Christ’s birth.
There are calendars that have pop-up squares to excite little ones as they anticipate the next picture. There are Bible stories that tell children of the Wise men’s eagerness to find the special Jesus child, and hymns written by men of God that sing to the excitement of the arrival of the Savior promised. There are Bible verses that tell these truths. (Galatians 4:4).

What a magnificent time to share these exciting truths with our family gathered together around an Advent Wreath.

Of course, the Advent Wreath is a European tradition, but can be adapted to a shared family time of gathering evergreen boughs to weave into a circle and finding seeds, nuts, and cones to be placed on the wreath. Make family time while the boughs are weaved into a circle (symbolic of Everlasting Life), and the seeds, nuts, and cones (symbolic of the Resurrection) are placed on the wreath, and an explanation given for the meaning behind each action.

Next step is to add five candles. Three purple (traditional) or blue (modern) candles representing repentance & fasting plus the coming of a king; one pink or rose candle representing joy and a shift in the season away from repentance and toward celebration are placed in the circle of boughs, and a white candle representing the sinless, pure Savior is placed in the center.

Now it’s story time – time to gather around the wreath each week and tell the family that the candles will remind them that Jesus is the LIGHT of the world (John 8:12), the seeds will remind them that Jesus brings new life (John 10:27-28), with joy (John 15:11) to each one of them, and the circle of evergreens represents that life with Jesus has no end (John 14:1-3). It’s a good time to reinforce these truths in their lives.

Sometime this week, the family gathers around the Advent Wreath as one candle is lighted and a member says: “The candles show us that Jesus is the Light of the World. The evergreens and seeds remind us that He is life and brings life to us. All these are arranged in a circle because our life in Christ has no end. Today we light the first candle of the Advent wreath as we begin our celebration of Advent, and rejoice in the great gift that is ours in Jesus Christ. This first candle is the candle of HOPE. We light the candle of HOPE first because HOPE is our assurance that God will do all He has promised in His word. We know all the promises of God are fulfilled in Jesus Christ who is our HOPE today and forever! (2 Corinthians 1:20). Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15) Amen”
excerpt from -article by Dick Hagerman - Used with permission

Thursday, November 22, 2012

on the road again...

My dear dad passed away yesterday. We are headed back east this time not to help but to honor. From a little bird's smarter than me phone

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Made It!



I am home safe and sound.  
"Thank you Lord God for safe travel."

How was my trip?  
I excelled in some areas and room for improvement in others.
Ah family dynamics...

My dear husband held the fort down well.  
He did inform me that my laundry practices could change.  
All these years you've been sorting the laundry, colors, whites, etc...  
He said really you can just through them all in together and it works fine.  :-)    
(thankfully he didn't add bleach to that mixed up load)

I am glad to be home - even if it's just for a short time.  Coffee from my own pot, sleeping in my own bed, hot sudsy water in my own sink... the list goes on and on.

I hope this finds you all well and also thankful for the little things.
Happy Thanksgiving!
a little bird

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Headed home soon


photo is public domain

Monday I am headed home.  This is tough wanting to be in two places at one time.  I am ready to head home and see my DH, #1 son, his dear wife and our granddaughters (I miss the dog too).  I will have been here for three weeks so time to head back to my world for a bit.  I have things that I need to accomplish at work as well. 

But I am leaving here with the understanding that I will come back for a care rotation if needed but knowing more than likely when we come back it will be for a funeral.  I am so grateful for this time to have cared for my dad but also for the time to reminisce. 

We are a yours, mine and ours family.  I was an only child until my mom married a widower with four kids and then they added one more to the mix.  Talk about a change in routine!!  Mom did eight loads of laundry a day.  She skipped Sunday's so on Monday morning there were 16 loads of wash waiting for her.  My S-dad didn't know me when I was young or did all the cute things that kids do, no when they got married I was 13.  So the 'sweet and cute' stage was long gone and the teen stage where things are tougher had arrived.  So yes, there were some bumps in the road, I'm guessing that is normal in any family let alone a blended family like ours.  But my dad was kind.   I caught a cold and dad said you need to drink lots of orange juice - but I didn't like orange juice - so he went out and bought a case of Squirt.  I wanted to go deer hunting so dad took me (and I talked the entire time!!)  That was the only time he took me but memories were made.  When I married my DH, dad said don't take her hunting she isn't quiet long enough to hunt.  :-)

Those are the types of kindnesses done and shared.  So we reminisced.  'Dad do you remember when...'  He would smile and nod his head.  So I had a chance to tell him how lucky I felt to be treated so kindly.  The fun that I'd had and thanked him for stepping up to the plate and being my dad.   His response was "Those are mighty kind words" mine, "I mean them."

So this time has been a blessing.  I know where my dad is headed when he leaves this earth.  It won't make his loss here any less but it will help to know that we will see him again. 
a little bird

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Got some sleep



I have been pulling 'nights' lately with dad (as have my mom and aunt).  Last night I went to my sister's and zonked out.  I slept 13 blessed hours.  It was wonderful.  I guess my nephew had friends over and supposedly they were noisy... I never heard a thing.  It was great to get a full nights sleep.
Color me happy and rested!!
a little bird

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