Mary- Did You Know

joy our redeemer lives

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During the Christmas season when we focus on celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I can’t help but think of the Crucifixion as well. They are inseparable, without either one there would be no salvation and redemption.

Growing up in church I was told many times how God gave His Only Son. He did, this is truth but I always thought that Mary kind of got left out- Jesus was her son, as well.

For many years I pondered on Mary, what it must have been like for her. The joy of bringing the Son of God into this world. The bitter sadness of bringing the Son of God into this world. Being the Jewish girl that she was, she knew the prophecies, she knew what lay ahead, she knew the sacrifices she and Joseph had already made to get this baby here. This was her son, too. She loved him as any mama loves her baby. Given all of that, I always wondered why she didn’t get more credit. She gave her son as well as God.

God gave his Only son, Mary of course had more children, but did that really mean it was no big deal that she gave Jesus? Then it came to me- when all of the events of Jesus’ death began to happen and as she stood there and watched him die on the cross- as a human, she could do nothing. It was out of her control. She certainly sacrificed, felt the grief, and was probably so angry she could have spit nails, but all said and done she had no control. Jesus was a grown man and he made his choice to follow God’s path and set us all free from eternal death and restore us to our Creator.

Now God, on the other hand, He was Almighty God- Commander of the Angel Armies.  At one word Angels could have swooped in and took Jesus home to Heaven

He could have stopped the pain with a thought. He could have said “enough” and Jesus’ and His own suffering would have been over.

As God, he was in control and he had the power to stop the whole horrible day.

But, He did not.

He gave his only son.

How much He must  love me and you. He could have stopped his child’s suffering, but He saw the big picture- our redemption- and He restrained himself and let Jesus die. What a sacrifice, what hurt. God felt the same pain, grief, and anger as Mary. We are made in His image, we have feelings and emotions -so does He.  But He endured the pain and hurt so that you and I could be restored, forgiven, and set free.

Could it be that the pain of seeing all of us lost to the evil one and separated from our heavenly father was more painful than watching his only son- the perfect one- die on the cross?  He wants a relationship with us that bad…  Mind boggling that the creator of the universe, the Alpha & Omega likes me that much.  I don’t know about you- but that motivates me to live better and love more.

God gave his only son…. So Celebrate this Christmas- Our Redeemer Lives!

Christmas Parade

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DIY Keepsake Ornaments

DIY ornament

As I spoke about in a previous post, the children are given a new ornament each year.  I try to buy the ornaments while on our summer vacations, but to be honest that is hard to do sometimes.  If I was content with buying a mass produced ornament at a big box store it would be easy- but I am not.  I want ornaments that tie into our trip and experiences in some way.  Then I discovered clear glass ornaments at Hobby Lobby.  Now, I can use all the shells, sand, leaves, twigs, and such to create ornaments.

This years ornaments have a beach theme as our trip was to Galveston Island.

What you will need:

  • Clear glass ornaments from a craft store
  • Ribbon
  • Filling for the balls- sand, shells, drift wood, sea glass, etc.
  • Embellishments of you choice- I used metal letters, glitter and jingle bells
  • Modge Podge

Step 1, pour sand and add large items

Step 1: pour sand in the ornament

Step 2: place the larger items in the ball- I started with the drift wood.  As the pieces we brought home were large, I broke off small pieces that would fit.

Step 2, adding shells in the ornament

Step 3:  add shells & rocks- obviously not a lot of the shells will fit through the hole at the top, but you can collect enough to do the ornaments.  This is a good use for the pieces of sand dollars and mother of pearl that you find.

metal lettersStep 4: Prep the embellishments for the ornaments.  I am using metal letters I bought at a local flea market.

Applying modge podgeModge Podge makes a great medium for applying glitter to the letters.  Of course, shinny paint or any other form of paint would have worked.  I like bling.

Applying the glitterOn goes the glitter. Notice the brown paper covering my work surface- this is contractor paper from Lowe’s super useful stuff and really cheap.

putting ribbon on the glittered lettersStep 5- Add ribbon to glittered letters- once they have dried.

keepsake ornaments put togetherStep 6- put it all together.  I added a jingle bell with fishing line to the ornaments as well.  You can tuck the ribbon and fishing line into the hole of the ornament then press the metal hanger and cap back into place and this will hold it all together.

DIY ornamentThere you are- pretty as a picture and full of memories.  That is the way you make a home.

Ornaments, Tradition, & Tapestries

Mickey Mouse & 3 of his friends came from our trip to Disney World

Mickey Mouse & 3 of his friends came from our trip to Disney World

When Cheyenne was about 3, a wonderful lady shared about buying ornaments for her grandchildren to hang on the “cousins tree” in her house.  Each Christmas the cousins would all come over and were given a new ornament to go on the tree and would then decorate the tree with ornaments from years past.  I thought this was great and I changed it a bit to fit the season of life that I was currently in and still am as I do not have any grandchildren yet.

Each year I give the kids a new ornament which is the first ornaments to be hung on the tree.  Their ornaments are stored in a plastic shoe box labeled with their names.  The idea was that when they left home that these would be their ornaments to decorate their own trees.  Last year, the first box left home.  Honestly, this was more traumatic for me than when the child actually left home.  There are precious memories in those boxes.

In the beginning, I wanted a themed tree- you know color coordinated and just so.  So, I purchased ornaments that went with my theme, mainly mercury glass type ornaments in shiny colors.  But then one year when the kids were still very little, I had the idea to purchase the ornaments while on our summer vacation.  I was able to do this without the kids noticing as my husband is great at keeping the kids busy while I hunt ornaments. At Christmas, the vacation would have long been a memory but when the ornaments came out the memories came back. Being stealthy about the ornament buying worked for a few years, but the children being smart and observant started looking for ornaments for me while we would be shopping.  Then this became a new tradition.  Also, it dawned on me the year we went to Chincoteague Island that if I didn’t buy myself an ornament I was going to have a very empty and sad tree when the kids left home.

From the island of Chincoteague- the light house

From the island of Chincoteague- the light house

Now, each year when the boxes are relieved of their contents, we remember each trip and tell the stories one more time.  Some years, there weren’t vacations so the ornaments were chosen based on a significant event in our lives.  Like the year all the kids got into horses, I bought horse ornaments that looked like each kid’s horse.  It has become something we all treasure and enjoy.  My tree is not coordinated, but it is themed.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I often ask the kids about their friends houses at Christmas- I am a bit of a junkie and I like to gather new ideas- so often their response is “The tree is pretty, but not special like ours.”  It seems I set the bar high without even meaning to do so.

Hand blown glass ornament from Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hand blown glass ornament from Hot Springs, Arkansas

This is what traditions are to me- threads that run through the years tying us together and weaving the tapestry that when we look back, it is the tapestry of our lives.  As the mother, it is my honor to be the keeper and maker of these traditions.

Tony would always sing the rymn "little pig, little pig let me in" to the kids and one year I found a set of 3 pigs and one big bad wolf.

Tony would always sing the rhyme “little pig, little pig let me in” to the kids and one year I found a set of 3 pigs and one big bad wolf.

What says Christmas like a pink flamingo?  Brought back from one of the many tips to the coast.

What says Christmas like a pink flamingo? Brought back from one of the many trips to the coast.

This years ornaments were make by me with shells, sand and drift wood collected from Galveston Island.

This year’s ornaments were made by me with shells, sand and drift wood collected from Galveston Island.

Opening the 2013 ornaments

Opening the 2013 ornaments

Hanging the ornaments from their boxes, the three still left at home.

Hanging the ornaments from their boxes, the three still left at home.

Simple Beauty- Christmas Decorating on the Farm

I love Christmas time- I have a  desire to bake, cook, clean, decorate, and wrap gifts tied up with lots of ribbon that sparkles that I am just unable to suppress.  I do get some help from the kids, but mostly its just me and I love it.  Tony enjoys my creations, especially those emerging from the kitchen, but is also content to sit and watch.  Many wives gripe about their husbands not being involved but I don’t see it that way.  He loves what I do but its not his thing to decorate- plus, if he got involved and started having opinions then I would not get to do it my way uncontested.  I like doing things my way.  Therefore, we have a nice balance, I drape greenery and lights on everything that will stand still and then when the sun sets and our home is shimmers, we sit on the couch and he tells me, “It’s beautiful, baby.”  That makes my heart happy and we avoid silly fights.

So, as Thanksgiving came and went the bins of decorations came out.  I have collected many items over the years that I love.  I usually pick a few things up each year after Christmas has passed.  But the things I love most are vintage junk.  The junk ( more on the great junk in another post) plus Christmas photographs of my children when they were little make up the most treasured of our Christmas decor.  For a few weeks, I am once again surrounded by their little cherub faces and toothless smiles.  These framed photos are stored in the bins with the other lights and ornaments.  As the bins are emptied of the Christmas contents, I pack away all of my usual decor into the empty bins- giving me a clean slate on which to create.

Decorating for Christmas can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.  Simple white lights mixed with fresh greenery is beautiful and elegant.  Add in some cheap dollar store bead garland and you have a classy display.  The greenery can be obtained by a county drive with a pair of lopping shears.

Cheyenne and the greenery

Vintage ChritmasWhite lights and greenery mixed with a vintage tool box, glittered Merry Christmas and a ceramic Santa painted by my very talented Aunt.

Coca Cola Christmas TreeThe only artificial tree that I have in my house, this white tree with white lights holds all my Coca Cola ornaments that I have been collecting for over a decade now.  The Coca Cola Christmas village was given to me by my awesome mother-in-law.

China HutchThis china hutch has a mixture of tool, white lights and glittered Pine Cones– the pine cones are a really fun project to do with the kids.  We made our pine cones about 5 years ago.  Each year I store them in large zip lock bags and they have lasted really well.

Merry & BrightThis in an antique window that I painted an ornament on.  The ornament is patterned after my favorite Merry Brite ornaments that hung on my parents tree for years.  I love those old ornaments.  As you can see, I need to fix the white stripes.  I stored this window in the storage room in our barn, this summer the cow got inside and licked off a lot of the paint.  I repainted the dots, but wouldn’t you know it I am out of white paint.

vintage santaSince, before I was born ( I am 41) this Santa covered my great-grandmother’s front door.  After she died, my grandmother moved into her house, so I have spent every Christmas Eve in that home and so have my children.  One day, I was over at Grandmother’s house and she was going to throw out this Santa.  I said, “I will take that, thank you very much.”  Now, it has hung in my home for over a decade.  My children  do not remember a year when that wasn’t apart of our house.

I love making memories.  I look at is as my privilege to be the keeper of those memories as well as the creator of memories for my family.  My Christmas decor is filled with memories of the people I have loved, many of them are no longer with me.  In this way, they live on.  In years to come, I hope nieces and nephews, grand children and children will pull something out of a box or smell are familiar aroma from the kitchen and remember me fondly.

 

 

 

 

 

Mary, Did You Know?

During the Christmas season when we focus on celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I can’t help but think of the Crucifixion as well. They are inseparable, without either one there would be no salvation and redemption.

For many years I pondered on Mary, what it must have been like for her. The joy of bringing the Son of God into this world. The bitter sadness of bringing the Son of God into this world. Being the Jewish girl that she was, she knew the prophecies, she knew what lay ahead, she knew the sacrifices she and Joseph had already made to get this baby here. This was her son, too. She loved him as any mama loves her baby. Given all of that, I always wondered why she didn’t get more credit. She gave her son as well as God.

God gave his Only son, Mary of course had more children, but did that really mean it was no big deal that she gave Jesus? Then it came to me- when all of the events of Jesus’ death began to happen and as she stood there and watched him die on the cross- as a human, she could do nothing. It was out of her control. She certainly sacrificed, felt the grief, and was probably so angry she could have spit nails, but all said and done she had no control. Jesus was a grown man and he made his choice to follow God’s path and set us all free from eternal death and restore us to our Creator.

Now God, on the other hand, He was Almighty God- which means Commander of the Angel Armies. He could have stopped the pain with a thought. He could have said “enough” and Jesus’ and His own suffering would have been over. As God, he was in control and he had the power. But, He did not. He gave his only son. How much He must  love me and you. He could have stopped his child’s suffering, but He saw the big picture- our redemption- and He restrained himself and let Jesus die. What a sacrifice, what hurt. God felt the same pain, grief, and anger as Mary. We are made in His image, we have feelings and emotions -so does He.  But He endured the pain and hurt so that you and I could be restored, forgiven, and set free.

Could it be that the pain of seeing all of us lost to the evil one and separated from our heavenly father was more painful than watching his only son- the perfect one- die on the cross?  He wants a relationship with us that bad…  Mind boggling that the creator of the universe, the Alpha & Omega likes me that much.  I don’t know about you- but that motivates me to live better and love more.

God gave his only son…. So Celebrate this Christmas- Our Redeemer Lives!

Christmas Parade

Divorce & The Holidays

christmas

As the holidays approach, life can really get complicated.  Add in blended families and divorced parents and it can be a real mine field.

So I am going to offer something that, I hope will make your holiday what you hope for.  Sit quietly and think about what memories you would like to make with your children and what you want them to remember when they are grown and look back on the holidays that they shared with you.  Frankly, this applies to any facet of life- what do you want your kids to remember when they look back and make that happen.

In regards to the holidays, don’t let all the voices pulling at you influence your dreams.  Just take a few minutes to dream about what you would like and what would be best for your children.  Now go do that.

I am reminded of a conversation I once had with a friend.  Her children were all little and she was married to her original husband who was the father of all four kids.  The stress she was feeling was that both his and her parents were divorced and remarried- and all wanted them at their respective homes for the holidays.  She was exhausted and didn’t really want to make 5-6 stops in a 48 hour period with four small children in tow.  This was not what she thought was best for her kids or herself.  When asked what I thought I offered this:

“You did not create the problem.  It was not your decision or your husband’s for either of your parent’s to get a divorce.  The adults at the time made that decision.  Now, they have to live with the consequences.  Because they chose divorce, they now have to understand that they will not have all the children and grandchildren at every holiday.  And that is not your fault or your problem to fix.”

Now, will people get mad when you choose to stay home or only visit one or two homes?  Yes.

Will they get their feelings hurt?  Probably.

Will they be harmed? No.

The main thing is that you live and establish YOUR family in the way that is best for you and them.  Your  children are only little once, don’t let it pass by missing out on what you dream of by trying to make everyone else happy.

I hope this helps someone have a less stressful holiday.  The holidays should be a time of joy and celebration- but we have to be purposeful for that to happen.

 

Christmas On The Farm

One of the chicks that hatched on Christmas Eve.

One of the chicks that hatched on Christmas Eve.

Christmas this year brought an unusual sight in Texas- snow! We had a wonderful time with family gatherings at my Grandmother’s house, my parents house, and my in-laws house.  Each year you can count on fun, family, and good food.  This year was no exception.

I am not surprised by the snow, not because it was common, but because of something I said to Jonathan a few weeks prior.  Every now and again, Jonathan will get fixated on a subject and relentlessly bring it up in conversation.  Snow at Christmas was one of those topics.  Again and Again, he would say, “Remember when it snowed at Christmas… I hope it snows again.”  To this I would reply, “you remember wrong, it does not snow at Christmas in this part of Texas.”  Well one day I had enough and basically yelled, “IT DOES NOT SNOW AT CHRISTMAS!”  As soon as the words left my mouth I had this inkling in my gut that I might just get proved wrong due my hateful response to the only kid I have left in my house that still gets excited over the little things at Christmas, like watching every Christmas movie we own and listening to Christmas music all day long.  So, Christmas Eve rolls around and at the gathering at my Grandmother’s house on Christmas’ Eve I was relaying this story to my sisters and cousins as we watched the weather report calling for snow on Christmas.  Then my sister informed me that the year we all took the family Christmas picture that it did snow- nothing stuck, but snow flurries fell all around.

Jonathan with me and Rylie, making Royal Icing

Jonathan with me and Rylie, making Royal Icing

So, I was wrong on both accounts.  I did not count the snow flurries as significant that one year, but Jonathan did remember it.  I think that is what makes Christmas different for children.  They still get excited over the little things.  There is none of the “been there and done that” in their soul yet.  I myself, get wrapped up in the huge and significant parts of the holiday and tend to miss the everyday little things.  However, it is in the everyday little tidbits that we live and make memories.  I hope I do better in the new year.  However, I did do much better this year at staying calm and making memories without getting as wound up as I usually do.

Preceding the snow came some nasty thunderstorms as the cold air met up with the warm air.  Just before all of this weather started up, Tony and I made a trip to the house to deposit the gifts that were received and pick up the gifts that were going to my mother’s house.  While there, we turned on the heat lamps and heater in the greenhouse, fed all the animals again (more feed = more calories to burn and keep them warm),  moved a few goofy hens who wanted to ride out the weather in a hay feeder to the hen house, and generally set things up for the night.  Big weather “events” can be demanding enough on a farm when you are present, but they are really stressful when you need to be away.

As I headed back to my daughter’s bedroom to get a gift sack, I heard chirping coming from the incubator!  The Christmas chicks had begun hatching a day early.  So, we had to get the brooder box ready and put a heat lamp on it.  We placed 3 hatched chicks into their new home with food and water.  The rest would hatch and in the morning we would move all of those into the box.  That was the plan anyhow.

During the wee hours of the morning, the thunder began rolling, the wind howled, and the rain came down.  I began to pray over our animals and our property, a little while latter I heard Tony muttering something and when I said, “What?” he replied, “I was praying.”  Then we decided to pray together.  There was a time when our world had been uncomplicated and storms meant little to us.  That was before we began homesteading.  Now with the experience we have gained ( meaning knowledge gleaned from things gone wrong)  there is a whole list of possibilities of things that could go wrong that run through our minds.  However, you can’t control it so you just have to move on.  We got up and opened presents and had a great time.  Before breakfast Tony ran back to our farm (15 miles from my parent’s house) to check on things.  This way he said he would be able to relax and enjoy things.  As soon as he left the bottom fell out and he had to feed in a torrential down pour.  It was a good thing he went home.  The power had been knocked out and the heat lamp on the new chicks was out.  By the time he got them back to my parent’s house, the chicks were cold and the incubator had cooled off.  My two nieces and my kids each got a chick and rubbed them to warm them back up.  With help and a heat lamp the little guys made it ok.  Sadly, no other chicks hatched, just too  cold during such a important stage of the hatching.

Everyone working to warm up the cold chicks.

Everyone working to warm up the cold chicks.

Due to the weather, Tony and I did not spend the night at Tony’s parent’s.  The kids stayed on and brought themselves home the next day.  However, there were no more complications and Christmas 2012 slipped pleasantly into history.  What a great year it was.

 

Me & my sisters with Grandmother on Christmas Morning

Me & my sisters with Grandmother on Christmas Morning

A Merry Christmas – What A Great Weekend

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

My daily posts have been delayed since my Thursday post because me and my little nest have been celebrating our Christmas together.  You may find this odd, but then my family is odd in a sense (or more than one sense) but it is odd in a good way.

For long before I entered this world, my mother’s family have been celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve so that the children could go to the “other” side of the family on Christmas Day.  In all my 41 Christmases I have only missed one, when I was 7 and we lived in New Mexico.  So, for my whole life I have spent Christmas with all my aunts, uncles, cousins and extras (our family is open and if you need a family to share, we have one).  This is a highlight of my children’s lives as well.  For all their lives, we have to my grandmother’s for the day then go to my parent’s house to spend the night and all wake up together on Christmas morning and eat breakfast.  Then we pack up all the kids and gifts and head to Tony’s (my fabulous husband) family.  As you might imagine, I am beat at the end of all this merriment, but I would not trade it for the world.  When I went to college, I realized how odd my family was in the fact that I knew more than one set of grand parents and great-grand parents, knew my cousins and aunts and uncles.  I had a very large safety net and support group.  In this day of most families being far flung and fragmented I had a great rock.  In that way, we are odd.  I am so glad.

The problem that arose was with Tony’s work schedule.  As a flight medic, he worked a 24 hour shift and the medical field knows no holidays.  If your schedule falls on a holiday too bad.  Then there was the issue that we wanted to make Christmas memories with our family at our home.  What to do?  There is only so much time in a day…  Well, we decided that with the population increase and all that Santa might just need to divide up the delivery days.  So, Santa began to  hit our house on Christmas Eve morning or which ever morning fell closest to Christmas Eve and Tony was off.  This has worked great for many years, but this year posed another hitch.  Cheyenne, our oldest, had moved out and now had adult responsibilities, she can’t just come home and stay for a week on end so that we can all celebrate.

So, this year we moved the celebration all together.  Really, it is not about the day specifically, it is about the celebration of Christ our Savior being born.  That our salvation entered this world- that is the point.  So, to honor God and His gift we celebrate with our family.  The Hobbit was also coming out this weekend and we thought this would be a fun part of the celebration as we were all looking so forward to this movie.  The movie did not disappoint, it was wonderful.

And what a wonderful weekend it was all the way around.  I spent Friday preparing and Saturday cooking.  Jonathan helped me with every dish I made.  I am so grateful for his help.  We ate by candlelight on the fancy dishes, gold-ware, gold- rimmed stem ware and Damask tablecloth.  Of course, there was a small quarrel about who would light the candles- guess you never get too old to light matches.  Food just tastes better on a finely set table.

Because I believe that my children are destined for greatness, I have made certain that they know table etiquette and will know what to do should they find themselves at a table with more than one fork.  My older two daughters have done their share of setting the table and serving dinner, but this night was Sierra’s turn.  Sierra is a bit different from my other children.  It is as if she were born knowing that she should have servants, since we don’t have any servants, her father and I will do.  It has been quite funny to watcher her.  We do, on occasion, have hired help working on the farm and in the nursery and it never has occurred to her that she was either too young or too short to give them orders.  One young man in particular was 6 foot 4 inches tall and I walked around the barn to see her at a whopping four foot 2 inches and 10 years old telling him what he needed to do (her chores of course) for the day.  It is hard to describe the air with witch she carries herself, it was not a bossy or bratty way, just one of authority- apparently because he went off to do her bidding.

So, because of this she was not so crazy about some aspects of being the hostess.  When Savannah asked her for more potatoes- the food was served in courses so this was not a family style meal with the food on the table- she looked at her with such a “you have got to be kidding me’  look, it cracked us up.  She then got up and took Savannah’s plate.  Just before she returned, Savannah said, “she had better not bring me just one potato”.  Well, these two might just know each other pretty well because just as she spoke Sierra returned with her plate with one lone slice of potato on it.  Sierra then proceeded to tell Savannah that she needed to go on a diet.  The whole family cracked up!  Of course, if you have ever seen Savannah you would know that last thing she needs is a diet.  Anyway, it was a great meal and we made some great memories.

Dinner 2012

Christmas Dinner 2012

Our Menu:

First Course: Mushroom Soup

Second Course:   Beef CarbonnadeGratin Dauphinois, and Sweet Peas

Third Course: Pistachio and Chocolate Delight

Recipes to follow…

Christmas Gifts All Around!

Christmas Gifts All Around!

Sierra learning to be a good hostess.

Sierra learning to be a good hostess.

Jonathan won out and lit the candles.

Jonathan won out and lit the candles.

Now, on to the rest of the Christmas celebrations.  I thank God for blessing me with so much.

All That Glitters…

Beautiful Bunch!

Beautiful Bunch!

All that glitters may not be gold, but it sure is pretty!  Which is good, because the floors in my house glitter, the table glitters, my laundry glitters, and the interior of the truck glitters. It seems that when you work with glitter it just gets everywhere, kind of like sand at the beach.  As we prepared for the Canton Christmas Parade, I made signs for Cheyenne and of course a beauty queen needs sparkle on her signs- which is the source of all the glitter!

Miss Van Zandt County signs were not the only thing we made for the float.  Tony built me a small stable with a cross attached to it.  I have been wanting one of these for several years and it turned out just a great as I imagined.  On the cross I wrote “My Redeemer Lives” after all, what would Christmas be without the celebration of the birth of our Savior?  All along the rails of the trailer we attached bows of pine, cedar, and nandina.  A new use for duck tape was found along the way.  In areas where I could not wrap wire, the duck tape worked just great for fastening the greenery to the trailer.  It really turned out really pretty.  A bale of hay was placed in the stable and Sierra & Jonathan rode along.  Katie and Rylie, my lovely nieces, accompanied Cheyenne and sat with her.  They were dressed in the cutest red outfits with tutus.  My sister, Windy, always has them decked out right.

Jesus is the reason for the Season!

Jesus is the reason for the Season!

This was our first Christmas parade and although at the beginning I was really nervous about such an undertaking, it was not hard a bit.  The only thing “new” was the stable and that was built from salvaged lumber.  Everything else came from the land or was borrowed from Windy.  She had these really large ornaments that looked fabulous wired in with the greenery.  No one fell off or even looked like they might.  All of the greenery stayed in place along the parade route that started at the Jr. High and looped around the square.  I did also purchase an adapter that plugged into the cigarette lighter.  This powered the lights via an extension cord that was run out of the back window.  This little contraption is wonderful and will be used a lot to charge phones and laptops as we travel.

Getting the float ready

Getting the float ready

So, at 6:30 all the floats and other entries powered up and the procession began.  What fun!!  There was a record 50 entries in the parades this year and more people than I have ever saw came out to watch.  It was just so much fun to wave to all and have lots of people shouting out “Merry Christmas”.  What a great memory.  One little boy imp-articular made me laugh.  As we rolled by, he figured out what the cross said and began to shout, “My Redeemer Lives!”  it was awesome and I certainly believe it made God smile.  Then he looks at his mom and asks, “What is that?”  I like to believe that a seed of faith got planted.

Having fun!

Having fun!

After all the festivities were wrapped up, all anyone local who came to the parade came by the house for soup and cornbread.  That was really nice, too.  Not surprisingly, the boys ended up outside burning things in the chimenea.  Next thing I knew, all the adults had made it out there, too.  Not that it was cold and a fire was needed.  I was grateful the cold weather held off another day, dressing warmly was one thing I did not have to worry about.  Another Christmas season is passing by and we are making some really great memories.

May your Christmas Season be filled with joy and love.  And remember- Our Redeemer Lives!

Beautiful

Beautiful

Sierra & Jonathan

Sierra & Jonathan

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Wall’s Family Farm- A Great Place for Family Fun

Our lovely tree for Christmas 2012

Our lovely tree for Christmas 2012

I am one of those who likes to give Thanksgiving its due.  I don’t take down the pumpkins or the garlands until Thanksgiving has arrived and we are stuffed full of good food.  But once that happens- we roll into Christmas with gusto.  First stop on the Christmas parade is the tree.

Each year it is a bit of a debate as what kind of tree and where it will come from- a pre-cut lot or a you cut it yourself farm.  Last year, due to the drought, I won out and got a Scotch Pine from up North.  We were concerned that a tree cut locally would dry out too quick considering the severe lack of rain and high heat we had during the summer.  I really enjoyed that tree.  Personally, I think the Scotch Pine is one of the prettiest trees for Christmas.

But this year, we all wanted to head out and cut down our own tree.  When we turned on the county road and the trees arched over the road with their golden and red leaves, I was smitten.  The beautiful drive ended at an old red barn with tractors coming and going taking families out to the fields on the hayrides.  The place is Wall’s Family Farm- run by the family.  We met several generations of the family.  We had a wonderful time.

My 4 Greatest Blessings

Riding the hayride back to the barn with our tree.

Not only did we get a lovely pine, but we also gathered pecans in the orchard.  This was a new thing for us and we had a ball.  The little two climbed trees to shake down the pecans- not that they were really effective but that was not the point.  There were smiles and laughter all around.  The weather was a bit warm but at least it wasn’t warm enough to break a sweat.   We have cut down Christmas trees in all kinds of weather even though that each year we get our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving

With the sun shinning and the leaves crunching beneath our feet we made some more memories.  Each memory adds up to what my children will remember of home and what I will remember of their childhoods.  On this day we made many more.  If you haven’t got your tree, this farm is a great place to get a tree and make a memory.

Life is Good!

Life is Good!