Tuesday, December 06, 2016

December goals

Definitely a few days late posting these, but here are my goals for December:
*Possibly work on an Advent study
* Continue to read and meditate upon read Abby's posts at 25 Days of God-Given Gifts
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones.
* Add 4 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook
* Continue study for Sunday School -- Following God With All Your Heart
* Exercise or walk at least 20 times.
* Get to bed by 9:30 pm each night. 
* Limit sugar and red meat.
* Drink enough water each day.
* Keep up with Kelly's missions in homemaking zones of the week.
* Post in my Christmas blog daily in December if possible
* Post in this blog daily in December if possible
* Bake Christmas cookies
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects
* Purchase remaining Christmas gifts -- almost done!
* Wrap Christmas gifts
* Finish decorating for Christmas
* Spend several hours updating my A-store.
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Plan a special time with three of our grandchildren
* Attend a Christmas party for my hubby's work
* Take part in our church family gift exchange
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able
* Write and send out Christmas cards
* Clean church and set up for potluck meal
*  Figure out just how we'll celebrate Christmas with my dad
* Sort out and declutter my dad's house
* Make a photo book
* Make a photo calendar
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating
* Plan and enjoy our Christmas dinner and Christmas Eve supper

DECEMBER'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully

Monday, December 05, 2016

It's not too late to start an Advent Bible study ...

Beautiful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
... and I heartily recommend it!

One of the easiest ways to do this is to participate in Abby's 25 Days of God-Given Gifts at Little Birdie Blessings.  Abby has these beautiful graphics for each day, as well as verses and illustrations for each God-given gift.  These readings are not lengthy but they are most meaningful, so you can easily go back and make up the days you have missed.  Then, you might wish to go over and look at this series each day.  Abby also provides links to follow the series on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.

The Road to Christmas, from Love God Greatly is an Advent study I've done in the past and highly recommend.  God With Us is their current study.  It seems as if the journal and reading plan may be downloaded for free on their site, but if you want to purchase the book it may be found on Amazon.

Another study I have done which I greatly enjoyed in the past was this free download from Good Morning Girls:Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus.

Even though you might be a bit late in starting these Bible studies, I would suggest starting one if you have the time.  You will gain so much from an Advent study.  It is never too late to begin a good Bible study that may impact your life for eternity!

For one final bit of inspiration, you might visit my Christmas devotionals Pinterest board.  Lots of good reads there, and also a Christmas-themed Scripture writing plan that, again, it wouldn't be too late to start.

I do apologize for being so delinquent in getting these links posted, but I hope that someone will use them in spite of my tardiness.  My only excuse (and it's not a very good one) is a busy life!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

December 4

It's been a long and busy day but I wanted to quickly pop in with a short post.  We took my dad's lighted ceramic Christmas tree to the nursing home and set it up in his room this afternoon.  Although he hasn't had a real Christmas tree at home for many years, he has very much enjoyed this little lighted tree, turning it on at dusk each evening.  So we trust he will enjoy having it in his room.

Next week we plan to take up his creche, complete with a wooden stable.  My dad made many of these for gifts over the years, and I thought it would be nice for the nursing home staff and visitors to his room to see something that he had made.

I thought it would  fun to show my readers what the stable looks like.  The creche figures in the scene I have are quite unattractive and really don't fit the scale of the stable, but I hope eventually to find nicer ones.   The ones I will take to the nursing home are the figures my parents always used and they are very nice looking (though not expensive).  When my dad built stables for his married grandchildren, I was sent on a hunt for nice looking creche figures.  I found some beautiful ones in Lowe's, of all places.
Creche with a lantern I found after Christmas last year
I got the idea to put a little New Testament, open to Luke 2, in front of the creche, from Sandi at Christmas Pudding.
 Do you set up a manger scene?  We certainly enjoy ours.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

December 3

Today was our annual Ladies' Christmas Fellowship at church.  We tried something different this year and had a brunch.  For years we had the fellowship on a weekday evening at the church, then switched to having it at someone's home.  Last year we held it on a Saturday afternoon.  This year I had the thought that a brunch might work even better, because it would free up the afternoon and evening during a busy season and would eliminate the concern which many of us have of driving after dark.  We decided to try this and to have it at the church as a more central location.  Most of us felt that it worked out very well as a brunch.  Making foods for a Christmasy brunch is just plain fun.

I brought a California Egg Casserole -- something I have never made at Christmas time before, but it is perfect with red tomato, green avocado, and white cream cheese.  Here it is uncooked.  I failed to get a picture after it baked.

I also made a Cranberry Coffeecake -- a recipe I sort of cobbled together and was so pleased with.  I hope to share the recipe this coming week.

Just a bit of decor.  My friend Heather did the decorating and was determined to make it homey.  She succeeded!
We sat in this area, first to eat, then to have our devotional time, and finally to have our Yankee swap.
The hutch in our fellowship hall was decorated with a Christmasy baking theme.
Gifts awaiting the swap
Buffet table awaiting the arrival of the food
My friend Ruth played her guitar and we sang some carols.

This bowl of cookie cutters was used in our devotional time.  There are relevant Scripture verses clipped to the tags.

Finally gifts were opened.  A fun time.

This Christmas fellowship is a nice way to begin our season and  set our hearts toward the true meaning of the holiday.  The gift swap is fun but really secondary.  It was a lovely morning.

Friday, December 02, 2016

December 2

Well, this has been a different day.  Different, but good.

Mr. T has been off from his regular work for a few days (too wet in the woods) and has instead been doing some maintenance and repairs on the equipment he works with.  He and the mechanic have been doing some work on the machine he runs -- and that necessitated a trip to another area of our state.  He would take some cylinders to this facility to have work done on them, then would pick them up a couple of hours later, and finally return back to the job site to meet up with the mechanic to reinstall them.  We saw this as a good opportunity for some time together, so I went along for the ride.

We left at 6 a.m. and ended up here:
Known in the vernacular as simply "Cat"

And, oh happy day, we were only about ten minutes away from this:

And it was by now close to 8 a.m.  So of course we had to have breakfast.  Wouldn't you?

I had the Sunrise Sampler, always one of my favorites ... though breakfast choices at Cracker Barrel are always difficult.

Mr. T chose a seasonal special, the White Chocolate 'n' Fresh Berry French Toast.  It also came with eggs and a breakfast meat --- he chose turkey sausage.

He said the French toast was delicious, but I was in the mood for something less dessert-like.  He also had a taste of my fried apples, some of my ham, and one of the biscuits that came with my meal.
My view from our table
Of course we also looked around in the country store part of Cracker Barrel and enjoyed seeing the many lovely and unique items for sale.  But that will be a post for another day.
The view from Cracker Barrel
We returned to Cat, picked up his cylinders and headed north.  We did need to stop at one of our state's gorgeous new welcome centers en route.  Here is one of the windows in the general store, still painted for autumn:

And a very limited view of the interior of the welcome center:

We came home, Mr. T headed off to the woods with his cylinders and I headed to the computer to finish up a devotional for our ladies' Christmas fellowship at church tomorrow and then to the kitchen to bake a cranberry coffeecake for the same event.

A full but most enjoyable day!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

December 1

Taken in my dad's back yard this morning.
 It really doesn't seem like December when we look at the outdoors.  We have had a lot of rain over the past couple of days.  Tuesday was a rainy day; Wednesday was not, but last night and early this morning we got a great deal of rain.  My dad's back yard adjoins a field with a brook running through it, but when we get lots of rain the field has a tendency to flood.  That is what you see here.

Once the rain ended this morning I was able to go for a nice long walk with a friend.  The temp was in the 40s!  I took the pics with my Kindle upon returning.
Another view
This one shows the bittersweet bush and stone wall
As does this one
A closer look at the bittersweet bush in December
If you look closely (or click to enlarge) you may also see the water droplets on some of the berries.
I hope to be here at my kitchen table each day through December, but we will see.  I'm definitely planning to be over at my Christmas blog, Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen, each day, so we will see if I can come up with enough Christmasy material to post in both blogs!

Meanwhile, the weather is a reliable subject for today.

And, now that the calendar has turned to December, this is a lovely time to begin an Advent Bible study or Bible reading challenge.  I will be doing this and find it a wonderful way to deepen my appreciation of Christmas.  Perhaps later this evening I can add some links to this post.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Last day of November

 Where, oh, where, did November go?  It was a whirl of activity, it seems to me.

We swapped cookies.
Photo and recipe from Steph's Silver Boxes
We met up with a cousin of mine in an equidistant town for lunch and a walk by the lake.  Only a couple of pictures were taken.  It was a glorious sunny day, perfect for what we had planned.
We followed that walkway around to the right.  A lovely day.
We had Thanksgiving dinner on the Monday before with my dad at the nursing home.
Pretty centerpieces, place mats, etc. made this meal really festive.
Tables were set up in the activity room so larger groups like ours could have a table just for their family.  Here you see Sam's heaping plate, while Josiah waits for his to be served.
I made owls and alphabet letters.
I baked pies.  Three, over the month.  Here is one:

And there was much more.  We did some Christmas shopping, we had supper out, went to dental and eye appointments, enjoyed a harvest dinner at church.  Just a busy month.

And now December is at the door.  How exciting!  I am hoping to post daily in both of my blogs, but for sure in my Christmas Kitchen.  We will see!