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Monday, December 31, 2012

365 Days of Living in the Moment


Living in the moment…

  As we turn the calendar to
           a new year…
   full of new opportunities
new moments to be living,

I want to focus on fully living
in those moments.
    … to see   … to touch
… to feel each moment
               with my heart

I want this to be a year of living in the moment.
      … to reflect each day on a moment from that day that was special, beautiful and FULL.

Each week, I will recap these moments in a 365 days of living in the moment post… this way I can look back and see the fullness of living… life.

This ordinary life laced with
        extra ordinary moments…

because we have an extraordinary  God 
      who puts His handprints on every single day.

Won’t you join me on this journey
        of discovering those moments…
Things I am thankful for this week:
Christmas with the whole fam
house guests
waiting patiently
free haircuts
special service
reflecting on my Saviors birth
coffee with the ladies

~living in the moment
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

in excelsis Deo

During this Christmas season we sing we have been singing some of the traditional Christmas songs, and I am always moved to tears as we sing and reflect upon the birth of Jesus. 

I love birth stories… hearing others, telling my own… each and everyone of the birth of our 8 children has a story…

a story of love, a love at first sight kind of story, a love that goes beyond all words…
                                  a story of hope as each child was held for the first time…
                                         a story with a new song of it’s own…

the angels sang a song at His birth… at the birth of Jesus:
Angels we have on heard high
Sweetly singing ore the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains

Their song was…
Gloria in excelsis Deo  - Glory to God in the Highest…

I reflect upon the words of my favorite Christmas song:


In the city on the hill
Hear the bells chime
Peace on earth good will
Its Christmas time
Glad tidings we will bring
of Christ the new born king
And with the angels sing at Christmas time    
Its Christmas time
In exelcis Deo...

As I have been singing these songs, I have been reflecting upon what it means to sing Gloria in ecelsis Deo…. to sing Glory to God in the Highest…

   to sing this song of praise… this song that the angels sing…
         this song of new birth … the celebration of the birth of Christ
              this song that brings glad tidings…   good new  
                     this song that brings good will and peace…

What it means to be a city on a hill that sings Glory to God in the Highest.
            Jesus taught us with His own words:

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

He calls our lives to be a song of praise… our deeds - our actions to shine forth and be a reflection of our heavenly Father.

      He calls it to be “Christmas time” in our hearts…
                              celebrate life… new birth…
                                              everyday… everywhere…

                                  to reflect “Christmas time all year round…

Be have been studying Bach for our Music Appreciation and I leave you with his rendition of Gloria in excelsis Deo… the celebration of Christ birth.

Gloria in excelsis Deo was written in Leipzig for Christmas Day, as indicated by the heading on the manuscript in Bach's own handwriting, "J.J. Festo Nativit: Xsti." (Jesu Juva Festo Nativitatis Christi - Celebration for the birth of Christ), to be sung around the sermon. Recent archival and manuscript evidence suggest the cantata was first performed not in 1743, but in 1745 at a special Christmas Day service to celebrate the Peace of Dresden, which brought to an end the hardships imposed on the region by the Second Silesian War.

~ yearning to live a life of Christmas Time Pin It

Monday, December 24, 2012

The CHRISTmas Story

With all the events and circumstances that we have been hearing, seeing and living in this past year, I have been reflecting upon the state of our world, our communities and our homes…

we have seen so much hurt, harden hearts, hate and darkness… yet, we are reminded in God’s word that in the midst of this darkness our God had a plan…

let’s pick up the story in  Isaiah 9:2-7:

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.

For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.

Ever warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.

For unto us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

We have always been a people walking in darkness…

            in a world full of trails, hurt, pain and hate…


a world full of HOPE…

for a  light broke through that darkness…

                       the darkness of our world…

                                   the darkness of our souls.

This great light broke through like the dawn…

        like a brand new morning…

                   full of new light

                         full of new promise

                                full of new mercies.

This light shattered the yoke of the burdens of mankind…

                      this light came to shatter their oppression

                               to bring them joy and rejoicing…

in the midst of their darkness…

           in the midst of their trials

                   in the midst of their circumstances

                           in the midst of their hurt and pain…

this great light was given to us…

By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”   Luke 1:78-79

and He is called:

          Wonderful Counselor

                     Mighty God

                             Everlasting Father

                                      Prince of Peace…

Peace is not a feeling…

           Peace is not an absence of trails or heartache…

                      Peace is not a quietness of circumstances…

    Peace is a person… who came to bring us hope…

  who can to bring us light and show us the way…            

… the way of faith         … the way of hope              … the way of love.

Peace is a person…  the person of Christ…

who fills our darkness, with His light….   with His presence.

The CHRISTmas story is a story of faith,

                                                  … a story of hope

                                                           … a story of love.

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

~Resting in His love, resting the in Prince of Peace.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Bells of Christmas – Part 4

“It’s Christmas Time” by City on a Hill is my absolute all time favorite Christmas song… 

DSCN1396 This is one of those songs,  

I listen to over and over and over again…

In fact this year, my special son started listening to it over and over again and over…

He loves tradition and this is the first Christmas cd and song we take out to listen to.


In the city on the hill
Hear the bells chime
Peace on earth good will
Its Christmas time
Glad tidings we will bring
of Christ the new born king
And with the angels sing at Christmas time
Its Christmas time

In a town of Bethlehem
See the stars shine
Fall down and worship Him
Its Christmas time
Glad tidings we will bring
of Christ the new born king
And with the angels sing at Christmas time


In exelcis Deo...


May you listen for the Bells of Christmas this season~

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Bells of Christmas – Part 3


Celebrate Christmas

I love this version of the “Carol of the Bells.” This just makes me want to celebrate!!!

The Carol of the Bells just seems to make you want to cheer “Christmas is Here.”

Hark! how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say,
"Throw cares away."
Christmas is here
Bringing good cheer
To young and old
Meek and the bold
Ding, dong, ding, dong
That is their song
With joyful ring
All caroling
One seems to hear
Words of good cheer
From ev'rywhere
Filling the air
Oh how they pound,
Raising the sound,
O'er hill and dale,
Telling their tale,
Gaily they ring
While people sing
Songs of good cheer
Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
On, on they send
On without end
Their joyful tone
To ev'ry home
Ding, dong, ding, dong

I leave you with an instrumental version of “Carol of the Bells”

Enjoy listening to the sounds of Christmas~
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up – Weeks 14 – 15

DSCN1378  We are full fledge into our Christmas Unit and off for the month on December with regular studies.
DSCN1321We are so enjoying our Advent activities, using the Jesse Tree Calendar Connections  from 1+1=1=1.

On Friday Hubby and I took our unique son with us to pick up our missionary daughter at the YWAM base.  We spend the weekend celebrating our unique son’s 17th birthday and relaxing… It was great. 

DSCN1294    DSCN1310 DSCN1298DSCN1302Goofing off at the mall.
DSCN1287My little one made the cutest check off list to mark off the weekend and count down the days until she would see her big sissy.

We were waiting for our missionary daughter to set up the tree, so we took it out on Monday and set all the ornaments on the DSCN1331tree that night. 

Each year we add 8 new “picture” ornaments to the tree.  This tradition started out years ago when my mom sent picture ornaments for the kids two years in a row.

 We loved the idea of having a picture from that year on the tree and it became a  tradition. A few years DSCN1407 back we stopped adding any other ornaments to the tree because the “picture” ornaments took up the whole tree. 

We figured out this year that there are 139 picture ornaments DSCN1381 on the tree.  I love taking them out each year and putting them away.  I have a box for each child and I take my time putting them away…  cherishing each picture and looking at how much they have grown over the years… fills my heart with such JOY!!!!

It has been so wonderful having everyone home.  We have enjoyed just hanging out, watching TV together, playing games, doing activities together and just plan being together
DSCN1364  DSCN1477DSCN1417 DSCN1426  
I know that this month is going to go so fast, so I am enjoying every moment of it…

Cherishing Family Time~
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Bells of Christmas – Part 2




Celebrate Christmas

Last week I posted about who we are in Christ through the acronym BELL.  This week I want to share how we can know our Savior more intimately and make Him know to others through this same acronym from Cedar Point Church.

The BELLS (adapted from Michael Frost’s book EXILES)

BLESSING—The Hebrew for “blessing” (barak) means “to empower to strength”. We seek God’s blessing and pass that blessing on to others. *Bless 1 person this week (preferably a non-Christ follower)

EATING—Sharing food has always been central to a life of community. We want to place worship and communion back where it began, as a provider’s delight in the middle of the shared table. *Eat with 1 person this week (preferably a non-Christ follower)

LISTENING—We believe that God is capable of speaking to us. We do not confine Him to any particular medium, but we try to be attentive to His voice, wherever and whenever it speaks. *Take time to listen to God for 1 hour this week (listening, not talking)

LEARN—We desire to take on the image of God and to participate in His plan. We seek out knowledge about God to help us to do this. *Study Jesus’ life a little bit each week from the Gospels. How did he live? With whom did he interact? What were his commands? Then “go” live like Jesus did.

SENT—We are ambassadors who bear God’s image in the world. Remind yourselves regularly that we are “sent” to participate in God’s activity and mission in the world. *Take time each day to reflect on the question: “How have I worked with or resisted Jesus today?”

Living a mission-minded life is not adding mission oriented things to your life, but a way of life focused on others and the mission of God. Try the BELLS for a month and see how your life and others are change.

Celebrate His mission this season…

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent Calendar

clip_image002Celebrate Advent

We have started our Advent calendar count down.  We are using the Jesse Tree Calendar Connection cards from 1+1+1=1, along with the e-book and ornaments.  Here is a picture of our calendar, that hangs on the door to our garage (in the living room next to our learning center.)  We have been placing the ornaments on our Learning Tree. DSCN1279   DSCN1253

I also found these Advent Activity cards:

 image  image

You can download these visiting Wendolonia.
I cut out the ones that work for us and I have placed them on the back of the  Jesse Tree cards and placed them along with the ornaments in the pocket chart slots. 

We will be gone this weekend picking up our missionary daughter and taking our unique son to the YWAM base for his birthday.  He wants to see some his buddies from the 23/7 program he did this summer. During the days we are gone I put in activities that my giving son and rock star son can do with them.  If they do not get to them, I will do them with them when we get back… so needless to say, these days have light activities in them. Actually most of the activities are things we can do without to much effort.

DSCN1276 DSCN1278

DSCN1286We read from our kindle app on the i-pad the daily reading that goes with the Jesse Tree Calendar Connection cards. 

The girls will also have their advent box activities from my missionary daughter, we have been putting the tags from the daily gift on the tree.

DSCN1256DSCN1272 DSCN1273

We also put the annual picture we get of Nana & Papa on the tree as a reminder to pray for them.

This has been very doable and the girls were able to complete the activities themselves one of the days that I had to run to meet people for house stuff.

Enjoying this Advent Season~

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Bells of Christmas – Part 1


Celebrate Christmas

I came across this at Ginger-Snap-Shots 

Christ’s Bell
I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3 :20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13 )
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).. I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven ( Col 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
Who you are?

 His gift to us is like a Bell
B – Belonging to Him was the Father’s Plan… He calls us His own
E – Eternity was bought for us by his humble birth
L – Liberty was won for us by his great sacrifice
L – Love everlasting is His promise to us
This Christmas may we be
                 reminded of who we are as we
                           remember to celebrate who He is…
Merry Christmas~
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Milk and Hot Chocolate Mixes

Hot Chocolate Season is here…  I love making Hot Coco in the morning for the girlies…

We add candy canes to ours to add a festive flavor…  So good and comforting.

homemade nesquik Homemade Nesquik Recipe

2/3 C Sugar
1/3 C Cocoa
Pinch of salt

Combine the three ingredients and store in a sealed container.

Add about two tablespoons to a pint-sized mason jar of milk…but add to your taste.  You usually need a lot less than the commercial stuff!


semi-homemade hot chocolate  Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 cups powdered milk
  • 21.8 oz box Nestle Nesquik (substitute the homemade Nesquik recipe from above.)
  • 16 oz instant coffee creamer
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Mix all of this together in a big bowl.  Pour into a storage jar or canister. To make a mug of cocoa, fill it with water or milk and heat in the microwave. Add 3-5 heaping tablespoons of mix to the cup and stir well.

Enjoy some Christmas Joy~

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up - Week 13

We had a very light week, winding down on our November Unit…  Europe.  We will continue part 2 of Europe in January. 

We did our regular dailies (the 3 R’s – Reading, aRithmetic and wRiting…) I need to take some pictures of us doing these thing.  Maybe next week : )

We are finishing up reading William Booth.  Amazing     all he did for the poor of Europe and around the world…  We finished Thanksgiving on Thursday and the Pilgrims go-along book.  We have one more chapter in The Tales of the kingdom.  We are looking forward to starting the next book in the Trilogy.

We worked on putting together items for our Co-op and we finished our school on Friday with co-op and celebrating Christmas around the world.  Was a great day.

DSCN1242The highlight of our week was receiving this box from my missionary daughter for the girlies…  DSCN1230
The squeals and excitement was wonderful!!!

The note inside read: 
She is so thoughtful… the girls opened the first present today…

DSCN1232   DSCN1234  DSCN1235
Inside were candy kisses and hugs, with a special note of love…

DSCN1238  DSCN1239
Makes my heart leap for joy…

Linking up to: Homegrown Learners Pin It