Merry Christmas

Some pictures of our escapades in the great white north (MN) can be found over at my Beloved's blog. Enjoy!

I had started to write a post about Christmas but I know there are people who have said it better than I. One person whom I feel speaks very well about Christmas and Truth is a man named John Piper. You can read a few of his articles by clicking on the links - Why Christ Came and Christmas and Truth.
I pray you all have a very Merry Christmas, enjoy time with family and rejoice in the hope that we have in Christ.

We made it!

We made it to MN. It's snowing. It's cold. I love it.

Ruby is warming up to my parents and we're enjoying having all of us under one roof again. My sister brought a friend of hers from China also, so we've got a house full to the brim.

We're going to put up the Christmas tree today and hang out around the house watching the snow blow by. It looks like we're going to be "snowed in" with a pretty good sized blizzared tonight. Good thing we didn't plan on going out. Please pray for the people that are on the road for work, visiting family and those that have emergencies and need to get to town.

Pictures coming soon!

Another picture to make up for my lack of blogging...

My mother-in-law is really good about taking a posting pictures of Ruby. Here's a good seasonal one she's got up on her blog. I hope the last minute Christmas preparations are going well and that you don't forget the "reason for the season." More on that later, now, a cute picture.

T-Minus two days!

This month has been going way too fast. We leave for MN in just a few days and I honestly don't know if I can handle that.

I've been cleaning, thinking about packing, laying out clothes, running errands, remembering that I forgot to eat and trying to get Ruby to take a few naps the past few days. We also had Christmas with Chuck's mom and immediate family last night. It was a lot of fun and we all got treated so generously. Ruby, of course, made out like a bandit and has some great new toys. I don't have pictures right now (as I forgot our camera) but I'll get some soon and probably do a huge Christmas montage later. I don't know how much blogging I'll get done while in MN but I'm sure not too many of you have your hopes up with my terrible blogging track record.

I'm very anxious excited about being in MN this Christmas. It's been about a year and a half since I've been to MN my last Christmas there was in 2004. I'm looking forward to seeing family and friends and even to running into people I used to know. I remember being worried that I wouldn't lose all my "baby weight" before our trip but these last few months have not only resulted in a slimmer me but also in a me that doesn't care about it as much as I thought I would.

I hope the seasons are getting too frantic for all of you and that you take time to slow down and enjoy life.
Happy Wednesday!

Texas "twinkly" lights and shirt sleeves - I'm looking forward to snow and mittens!

Happy Birthday Brother!

*runs hand through hair and sighs*
I can not believe that it's the 9th of December. December? The 9th? Wow.
Not only does that mean that my younger brother is 15 today but it also means that my daugher is 6 months.

I remember when my brother was born! I remember when my daughter (MY DAUGHTER?!) was born!

I wonder if I've lived every moment well. I can't have possibly if I can hardly remember them... Have I lived as if my days with my family were numbered? Have I lived like Jesus could come at any time? After all this talk of births we celebrate His birth in just a few weeks.

I've been doing some research into how to better build up (or count down) to His celebrated birthday and I've decided that instead of a countdown calender (or advent calender) that I remember having as a child, our family tradition will be to have a Jesse Tree.

There are lots of resources and examples and explanations of Jesse Trees online (as there are resources for just about anything - I honestly don't remember how I survived without Google) but I'd like to simply explain it here on my blog.

Our Jesse Tree will remind us for the 25 days of December how the whole Bible, and everyone in it, not only gives Glory to God, but leads up to Jesus' birth. Each day we will place a symbol on a little tree, read a Bible passage and do a family devotional. I'm going to make a magnetic tree out of a cookie sheet and over the course of the next few years I'll make the ornaments. This year my goal is to decide on the Bible passages and make a booklet of the passages and some devotionals. Over the years I'm sure it will grow and change as our family does.
Here's the calender that inspired my magnetic tree idea.
And here's the site that I'm using as a guide for the devotionals and passages.
Also, thanks to Caroline for introducing me to Jesse Trees and for making copies of her tree's symbols. Thanks so much!

It's been too long

It's been too long.
So much has happened.
Ruby reaches out to me. She laughs until her body shakes. She grabs, shakes and talks to toys.
I'm almost done with this semester. Only one more test and it's over. Then there's another semester next month. I'm excited but only so much. I wish I were done.
I'm so grateful that there is something, someone, on which my joy, gratitude and love to terminate. I'm relieved that the same someone has a plan for my life and knows so much better than I. I trust that even when I don't understand He's got it. He is so good.
I love that it's getting colder out. I feel like I may have missed the fall but I always think that here in Texas.
Thanksgiving was a lot of fun and I love that I married into such a wonderful mess of family.
I can hardly wait to spend Christmas in MN. Mom, I miss you (and everyone else) and although I wish we were closer I trust that God had us where he wants us and I'm so glad that we can visit. Make sure you have some snow for us, it will probably be Ruby's first experience of it!
I've discovered that I love Celestial Peppermint tea. I'll probably be drinking quite a bit of it this Christmas.
It frustrates me that I my list is always longer than my ideas for others gifts but I love giving gifts so I'm trying not to think about it and be more creative.
I love my brothers and my sisters and although part of me knows its pure insanity, can hardly wait for God to give Ruby brothers and sisters. She needs at least one brother - if you ask me, which of course, He won't but what a mess things would be if He did.

*sigh* Life is good. And even when it isn't He is.

Have a wonderful rest of the week. I'll have pictures of my Christmas decor up here soon.