Deuteronomy 6:5-9

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baking with some of the children

Warning this will be a picture overload. Tabitha helped me "try" to recreate Martie's nanny's "apple jacks." (basically fried apple pies) They look better than they tasted. I'll have to try these a couple times. The other little kiddo's joined us for decorating sugar cookies.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 9, 10, and 11 of Advent

 Our study of advent has continued I just don't have time to blog about it every night. In the last 3 days we've read Genesis 37:31-33 and Genesis 50:15-20 (The story of Joseph and his coat) We talked about forgiveness and even named one person we could forgive.

 We also read Deuteronomy 5:1-22. This is the story of the Ten Commandments. We talked about God giving us these commandments and our inability to keep them. This of course led into the discussion of Jesus and His purpose for coming to this earth. Which was to save us from our inability to be perfect and keep all the Lord's commandments. He came and took the punishment that we deserved. We then went around and talked about he hardest commandment for each person to keep. The next day we tried to keep that one.

 Everyone holding up ten fingers for the ten commandments!

Ethan hanging Joseph's coat ornament

Andrew hanging the ten commandment ornament

 Night 11 we read the story of Ruth. We talked about the blessing of being a part of God's family. The children were challenged to write a "thank you" note to someone in our church family. We'll see the results of those "notes" in the morning.

Tabitha was excited about hanging the "Ruth" ornament since she had the same name.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 8 of Advent

 Tonight we read Genesis 28:10-22. This was the story of Jacob's ladder. The ladder was later compared to Jesus. We have no way to heaven but by the rungs of Christ.

 Taylor hung our ornament tonight which was a ladder.
 The children drew pictures of a ladder. They are going to put these in their pockets tomorrow and pull them out every once in awhile. This is to remind  them that God is with them where ever they go.

Interruption of my normal happy posts about Christmas

So, it's that time of year again were I get totally stressed out. Yep, Christmas! Why do I get stressed out:
  1. The expectations that are placed on you by your children, family, church...
  2. The lack of funds to carry out these expectations.
  3. The lack of joy that is truly to be celebrated on Christmas day. Sure we're filled with happy emotions, but we're not overwhelmed by the fact that Christ was BORN! Which means we have a Savior to trust in for eternal life.
  4. The feeding into our already overindulged society and teaching our children to be just that. 
  5. The ungratefulness of children if they don't receive just what they wanted, forget the fact that some people just don't have the money.
  6. The debt that people go into just so they don't see the children have ungrateful attitudes. Instead of teaching them contentment. 
Okay, I could go on I'm sure but I won't. I have to admit, I'm guilty of all of these. My husband refuses to go in debt. (which I agree, and I don't overstep that) However I struggle because I like to buy for people. I love the excitement of my little ones as they rip open the paper to see that "perfect" gift. I love giving to my parents, my husbands parents, nephews, nieces, extended family....

Then there's an even bigger issue this Christmas. One which I am totally torn on. Christmas day is on Sunday. My husband really wants to worship corporately with the church. (however he knows that probably no one will come) Understandably people want to be with their families on Christmas day. I'm sure many will worship the Lord in their own homes. (many/most will not) The scriptures point us to gather corporately for worship. So do we make exceptions for holidays, like Christmas. Why are the churches filled on Easter when we celebrate the Lord's death and resurrection, but no one wants to attend when we celebrate His birth? These are just questions that I'm pondering. I am totally open for correction or explanation.

Every year I try to think of a creative way to celebrate Christmas. (with less gifts and more worship) However, I'm fighting "Goliath" on this one. I don't know anyone close to me that celebrates Christmas in a totally radical way. (less spending, less going, more sitting, more reflecting, more celebrating...)

As I am fighting my own desires to spend money (that we don't have), I am praying that my heart would be more directed at the Lord. I'm praying that He would help me to be content with not being able to give. I'm praying for my children's hearts as we approach this season when we're supposed to be celebrating the coming of our Lord and not the "season of giving/receiving." (although the world has tricked us into the latter) Praying for ways to help my children enjoy and look forward to Christmas without the anticipation or expectation of gifts. I'll let you know if I have some amazing revelation. ;-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 6 & 7 of Advent

 Sorry about the lack of blogging. BUT, we have been crazy busy. When I say busy, I mean we haven't stopped all weekend.
 As you can tell, it wore our children out!
 Saturday, we went to look at a guitar for Taylor (which we didn't get), Joanns fabrics (for me to make a new nursing bib), then we spent the rest of the evening at the church. We decorated the "Crismon tree." You can google it if you're unfamiliar but interested. ;-) We also decorated the float for the Christmas parade on Sunday. The Williams family blessed us by bringing us a super yummy dinner Saturday night.
 Taylor and Rachel gearing up for the parade on Sunday.
 Sunday started early and ended late. We changed the service up a bit. We met at 10:30 am instead of 11. We ate brunch together, read scripture, and had a devotional. Then we loaded up the float for the annual "Parkwood Christmas Parade." This was the only parade in Durham this year. It was an awesome opportunity for us.
 We gave out hundreds of copies of the Gospel of John comic book to the children. We also gave out tons of candy and sang worship music. The highlight of the day was Mr. Boushell making up his own song as we waited for our turn to get going. We had a blast with everyone on the float.
 After the parade we had a table set up at the fire station. We gave away free apple cider and Starbucks coffee. We then headed back to the church to finish cleaning off the float. We ended up staying there with the Iraggi's and Jacob S. and  eating leftovers for dinner (which helped with the clean up). We enjoyed the time after the craziness to just hang out with our brothers and sister in Christ. We love those guys! Stephanie ended up taking Taylor to the grocery store for me after all that and they picked up our Christmas cards. She is a total blessing!
 Needless to say, we did our Advent for Sunday and Monday tonight. (Monday night) Martie read Genesis 21:1-7 and Genesis 22:1-14. The first reading was when God promised Abraham and Sarah a baby. (even in their old age) The second reading was when God tested Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Both of these passages pointed us to Jesus, who God promised to send to us, and was ultimately THE sacrifice for our sins.

The ornaments we put on were of a cradle for the promise of a son and a lamb for the sacrifice.  Just as God provided a lamb for Abraham to sacrifice we talked about ways God has provided for us. Martie told how God provided a trailor for us to carry all our leaves away, and he also provided 2 big boys (Ethan & Andrew) to help load all those leaves. (Just like Isaac helped carry the wood for his dad). God provided diapers and frozen meals for me today. The CC moms in Taylor's class all brought in these gifts of love for our family. The kids all came up with things like, God provided us with dinner, a house, a brother...

On a side note I went to the doctor today. Baby is doing great and we are scheduled to meet our little guy in person on January 5th!