Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Bluebirds

I just want you to know that I have seen tons of bluebirds this Christmas. No, unfortunately they weren't the tiny, fast-flying type that catch your eye as they flit through the air. But they were the blessings of a truly special Christmas season, one filled with family and good food and fun times and significance.

And so, here is a list of some of the beautiful "bluebirds" I enjoyed this Christmas:

  • A responsible teenaged daughter who is helping take care of 3 dogs down the street while their owners are away. Abby has gotten up every morning on her own to walk down the street to tend to these dogs, most mornings in her pjs and a coat. She has to give one of the dogs a pill at 7:00 am & pm. She wraps the pill in cheese and the dog bites her hand each time he takes the pill. Another one of the dogs likes to dart out the door and jump in the ornamental pond in the backyard a couple of times each day. Subsequently, Abby has to get the dog out of the pond and bathe it. After the dogs have been in the yard for 20-30 minutes she lets them back in to eat. Inevitably they choose to then poop in the house, which of course she cleans up. I'm proud of her. She's been a real trouper about this ordeal!
  • A son home from college. I LOVE having my son home. Yes, he sleeps most of the time. We rarely see him before noon, but just knowing he is here is a blessing to me. I miss his dry wit and charming smile. I miss hearing him go on and on about thngs I know nothing of, like calculus and computer science and all things technical. Today I will do some of his laundry and I will love it!
  • A husband who insisted that he and the children clean up the dinner dishes, pots, and pans after the big Christmas meal yesterday. HUGE, HUGE blessing to this weary cook.
  • Sitting around the dinner table with my small but so complete family. They thrill me.
  • Sweet and precious Christmas cards from friends far and close. Many included pictures and/or letters. We enjoy these so much. I often feel very isolated out here in the 48th state. It is good to hear from loved ones at this time of year.
  • Going on a spiritual Journey to Bethlehem with my blogger friends on my other blog, Off the Beaten Path. I'm sure there were many days when no one actually read my posts, but writing the posts each day certainly helped me to think more about the meaning of Christmas and our wonderful Redeemer. So thankful for an opportunity to take that spiritual journey.
  • We woke up to a beautiful snow one morning this week, can't even remember which one it was now. But snow always completes a Christmas season.
  • I've been watching the first season of The Waltons on DVD for the past couple of weeks. I started out watching the first season of Thirty-Something, but found my old addiction, I mean friends, to be too whiny.  No kidding, they're ridiculous! And I used to make sure I had my babies down for a nap each day by 1:00 so I could watch Michael and Hope and Nancy and Elliot and Melissa and Ellen and Gary on Lifetime TV. I guess I was whiny back then too and that's why I liked them so much. But after watching about 6 episodes a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't take any more. I asked my husband to get me The Waltons instead (he has NetFlix!). And I've been so grateful for this not-whiny-at-all family. And if one of them does whine, you know John or Liv don't put up with it!
  • I have been a little sentimental lately about FaceBook. That's right, FaceBook. It struck me just the other day how glad I am that this crazy social networking site has allowed me to reconnect with friends all over the world. Most of my FB friends are people who are no longer part of my daily life - friends from high school, college, former churches, extended family relatives or military families who have moved away. I no longer talk to most of these folk on the phone or see them in person. Even if I did live close to them, I probably wouldn't be tightly involved in many of their lives. But FB has allowed me to see what kind of people they have become, a glimpse into their family life, and hear their views on politics and even Jesus. For the most part (probably 99.9%) I have been very delighted at what I've seen. It's so nice to see that so many of my high school classmates are raising their children in godly homes, active in their churches, and worshiping the one true God. I love that most of my friends have the same political views I do. And I love hearing about the little things that fill their days - visiting grandkids, cooking dinner, going on mission trips, going on date nights, taking the family camping, watching the whales, homeschooling, you name it. And it really tickles me when friends who don't even know each other and live in different states are doing remarkably similar things or having the same sentiments about some common, everyday type of event. Amazing.
Precious bluebirds, everyone. I guess it doesn't take much to please me. These are all so simple and ordinary. But lovely blessings all the same.

What are some of the blessings you've enjoyed recently?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas at Our House '09

Welcome "Christmas Tour of Home" Friends!

Welcome to Christmas at our house! 
We're not fancy, but very comfortable and nostalgic. 

The dining room is the first room you see as you enter our home. I love this metal tree. I use it for Easter and occasionally Valentine's Day too, with different ornaments of course!

Another view of the dining room featuring one of my favorite Christmas treasures: a fairly rare Blue Ridge China Christmas Tree plate in mint condition.

My husband gave it to me one Christmas along with 11 other Blue Ridge plates in a 12 Days of Christmas extravaganza. I got a plate a day for 12 days and this was the 12th.


This tapestry of the three wise men actually hangs in my dining room year round, but it is especially significant at this time of year. I just can't bear to take it down after Christmas.

We have a couple of nativity sets. This one sits in the dining room on a table that belonged to my great grandmother. I love the fact that I have this precious little children's book to sit beside it.

We got a new tree last year and everyone in my family except me is still miffed about it. The old one was exceptionally gorgeous, but it took a full day to assemble and then it took me a whole day and a lot of scratches to put the lights on. This one has lights already, though one strand has already burned out! :(

The tree is decorated with the same bows, candles, and garland we started with over 20 years ago. But we've added hundreds of ornaments over the years. I think we have over 400 now. Some belong to my two kids (Cherished Teddies for Abby and Santas for Daniel)and will leave with them one day (boo hoo!) and others were collected on vacations. And I have a few created by my children which are very precious to me.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

These are my hikers!

This is Abby's newest one.

This is a Hallmark ornament modeled after the very first Barbie I had as a little girl. Love it!

One of my Madame Alexander ornaments my friend Kim gives me every year.

Two vacation ornaments and one of Daniel's Santas.

By the way, James has a whole tree for his own ornaments at his office. They are, fittingly, all shepherds.

This little mouse hangs on our drapes every year.

 Greats me every morning.

Maybe you'd like to join me for a cup of hot tea now?

Hey! Join me at my other blog for a 15-day Journey to Bethlehem!

Merry Christmas!