On Thursday Sarah passed her driver’s ed driving test – the last step of her driver’s education program. Wow! Such joy and relief!! Sarah is an incredibly careful and cautious driver, and she gave great attention and time to the work for her class, spending hours on her homework and logging drive time. Can NOT believe my youngest is 16 and can get her license in 6 months!!! Proud of you, Sarah!!
We had such a lovely Christmas this year – very relaxed and full of family and friends. Our only sadness was not having Joshua and Kelsie here for any of the holidays. This post if especially for them – so they can see some of our Christmas pictures and feel a part of our December 2016.
I sent several boxes of Advent goodies to Tennessee in November and couldn’t resist hanging Joshua and Kelsie’s stockings on the mantle. They were with us in spirit!!
Daniel spent part of December working for family friends in Idaho. Upon returning home, he quickly resumed his job at Chick-Fil-A. We’re proud of him for working hard to earn tuition money for another semester at Calvary Chapel Bible College. Rachel’s roommate got married on the 17th (Hooray Kaylee and Matthew!!!) and another friend on the 18th, so Rachel wasn’t able to fly home from Tennessee until the 19th of December. So late!!! Thankfully we have her for almost the entire month of January as she’s not taking any classes during Jan Term this year.
Christmas fell on a Sunday this year. We celebrated with our church family on Christmas Eve and hosted Tim’s parents as well as his nephew (and family) on Christmas Day. Such a sweet time. Of course, as always, our favorite start to the holiday season is when Tim is off work and declares Holiday Hours!! Time to watch movies, sleep in, open presents, relax, and play games!!!
On the Monday after Christmas, we were able to celebrate with more of Tim’s family. His favorite (okay, only) brother came to town with his beautiful wife and two children (visiting from Tennessee). We missed Joshua and Kelsie keenly but were thrilled to have some time with the PMGE’s.
And we all loved having Tim P join us for some of our family time. He and Rachel spend as much time together as they can. Long distance (from Union University in Tennessee to University of Washington in Seattle) relationships are hard.
Right in between Christmas and New Year’s we hosted a lovely dinner with the Pancho family. We have known and loved the Panchos for 11 years. Holly is one of my dearest friends and Tim P was one of Joshua’s Best Men in his wedding last year. I wanted to do something special for our two families in the midst of the busy holidays and to celebrate TimP and Rachel’s relationship. We had a gorgeous meal, lots of laughter and games and a surprise visitor (aka baby Asher)!!
Code Names was one of the popular games this year. Jenny, TimP and I are constantly begging the rest of the group to play with us.
So thankful for the time to take a little break from school and work and enjoy this marvelous time of year when we recognize the blessing of Immanuel, God With Us.
This morning Tim and I snuck away for a little date. Our church offers a worship service on Saturday nights, and we went last night before our big New Years Eve party, leaving this Sunday morning, Jan 1st, quiet and peaceful.
I was given the January Starbucks mug for Christmas (free brewed coffee or tea every day in Jan), and Tim wanted to take me out for my first cup.
Coke Zero for Tim and dark roast blend for me.
We had a sweet time talking about 2017 – some goals, plans for the month of January, and ideas for the blog. This will be our 25th year of marriage and 13th year of blogging. We’ve ranged from 4 blog posts last year (blush) to 405 in 2007 (wow).
We write mainly for our family – to chronicle our days and capture the special (and ordinary) moments. And we write to sharpen our thinking and express the truths the Lord reveals to us and honor Him in return.
We are still reflecting and pondering how we will structure our family blog this year, but we have definitely committed to writing faithfully.
This year I think we acquired new Christmas decor from three different places – Sarah’s homeschool co-op Pinterest class, Starbucks, and a local Facebook “for sale” page.
I love that our co-op offers such a diverse collection of classes. I am NOT artistic, so it’s a treat when Sarah or David can benefit from the other talented moms. Sarah made several beautiful things this past semester in her Pinterest class.
For some reason, I decided to splurge and treat myself to several mini Starbucks ornaments this year. I had a few from previous years, and couldn’t resist buying one or two throughout the month of December. I kept them in their little box until late December – still not sure if I was keeping them for myself or giving them as gifts. Heh heh. Then I stumbled on a small golden ornament tree for sale on our local Facebook page.
There’s room for a few more ornaments. Next year??
I even hung them on this little tree IN their boxes. Toward the end of the month a sweet friend gave me two more ornaments I was missing, and Sarah looked at me knowingly.
“Mom, you’re not going to give these away. You think they’re too much fun. Just take them out of their boxes and enjoy the coffee tree.”
Sigh, when your kids know you so well, what can you do??
Over the month I did quite a bit of odds and ends shopping on the FB site. I picked up a tree, some garland, several ornaments, fleece pj’s, decorated mason jars for candles, and so on.
Our master bedroom is big enough for it’s own tree. I hung all the ornaments on it that I haven’t used in years – memory ones from our first year of marriage, themed ornaments that just didn’t fit on the main tree, childhood creations. I even put lights over the window and around the room. Tim works from home several days a week. Our room became one of our favorite Christmas spots of the season.
Of course, putting Christmas decorations AWAY is never as much fun as taking them out – the END of the season is always bitter sweet (kids going back to college, Tim off to work, homeschooling and ministry responsibilities returning). Going through our Project 365 pictures, blogging about the big and small moments of our days, and smiling over it all, helps to keep me thankful and aware of all our abundant blessings.
Project 365 Days 341, 342 and 344 (Dec 7, 8 and 10)
I think between us, Tim and I took some sort of picture every day in 2015. The one day I completely forgot, Rachel saved my bacon and sent me one she had taken. Whew.
Now, that doesn’t mean all the pictures are very good. Heh heh. One of the purposes of a Project 365 is to become a better photographer or improve general photography skills.
And sometimes it’s not about skill.
Sometimes you just need to take a picture. And check the Project 365 box.
I couldn’t just pack away all those pretty jewel toned Christmas decorations from the Christmas Brunch, but the rest of our Christmas things are in the traditional red and green colors. What to do? What do do? I couldn’t put them in the master bedroom because I had already hung a huge Christmas quilt in red and greens on the wall and put on our forest green down comforter.
Then it came to me, the bathroom would be perfect! We have a nice, big master bathroom in neutral colors. Gleefully, giggling to myself, I hung the bright pink, purple and turquoise snowflakes across the long mirror. I draped the ornaments atop the light bulbs and tucked the colored glass bottles on the edges of the counter.
So much of life seems to be finding joy in the little things, appreciating that which makes you smile, and being thankful for treasures big and small.
Project 365 – Day 340 (Dec 6)