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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

I know that Christmas has passed, but I wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas. I hope your holiday was very blessed.  Our Christmas was a lot of fun.  Grace is such a good gift opener.  I wish I could be as good of a gift opener as she is.  She opens each present and makes a HUGE deal over it before moving on to the next one saying, “Oh, THANK YOU Grandma!” and running over to give Grandma huge hugs and kisses.  I tend to be a little bit more reserved in this area.  It’s not that I don’t say “thank you”  or make a comment about how much I like it, I just don’t get as dramatic as she does……..anyway…….

I know that holidays can be a tough time of year for single parents.  Not only can staying within a reasonable budget be a challenge, but things don’t always go as planned, you get sick, you split holidays, or you spend the holiday alone. 

I was reminded by a good friend of mine, who also is a single mom, that even though we’d like to have more money to spend on our kids, we’d like to celebrate a certain way, or we’d like it if we weren’t alone for Christmas, Christmas is not at all about us . (gulp) It’s all about celebrating Jesus’ birthday. (She’s good at putting things in perspective for me, even if it hurts for me to hear it.)

The day after Christmas, Grace and I went to check out some of the sales and have lunch together.  We also cleaned her room and donated books and toys that she doesn’t need anymore to a thrift store.

I’m contemplating my goals for the New Year, as soon as I finalize them, I’ll post them here so you can see what I’ll be working on this year.  In the mean time, I’m busy organizing almost every closet and drawer in our house.

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Grace and I made gingerbread men tonight.  We’re decorating them tomorrow and leaving them out for Santa tomorrow night.  She is getting to be such a great helper in the kitchen.  She puts things in the trash and sink for me, pours ingredients in after I measure them and stirs the dry ingredients.  Of course, I’m sure she only helps out in the kitchen to get a sample of the dough……

Here’s our recipe for you.  We also made my butter cream frosting to decorate them with and colored it red and green.

Gingerbread Men:

2c Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk

Mix together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl mix sugar, shortening, and molasses until fluffy.  Beat in egg yolk and add dry ingredients.

Roll out dough to 1/4″ thick and cut into gingerbread men.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Have fun decorating them!

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I’ve been asking Grace what she wants for Christmas every week for the last few weeks, just to make sure that’s what she REALLY wants.  (I don’t like buying toys that don’t get played with.)  Amazingly, her list has stayed the same since the first time I asked her.

Here it is:

A Scooter
A Helmet and knee pads
A “detective thing” (magnifying glass)
A Bicycle (she thinks she’s 8 or something…..)

These are the BIG things she really wants…I think she wants them for a couple of reasons, #1, Little Bill was wearing a helmet and knee pads on an episode last week when he was learning to skate.  #2, these are all things that she sees the “big girls” playing with, so I think she has the idea that if she gets them for Christmas, she’ll automatically be a big girl…….she’s already growing up too fast for me, and in her mind she’s just like the big girls.

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“Every day is Christmas. Some days you get to be Santa, and other days you get to open the presents.”

I don’t know if this is really a quote, but a man at the Post Office said this the other day, and he’s right……if we look hard enough each day, either we are blessed by someone or we bless other people.

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Mary, did you know, that your baby boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know, that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? 

This Child that you delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod, and when you’ve kissed your little baby, you’ve kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know?  The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.  The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the Lamb.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy is Heaven’s Perfect Lamb, and the sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great I Am?

This is a beautiful song.  If you’ve never heard it, one of my favorite versions of it is sung by Kenny Rogers on his CD  “the gift.”

I’m pretty sure that a lot of the questions that are asked in this song, Mary knew the answers to.  She knew that Jesus was the Messiah, she knew that He would die for us and perform many miracles…..the angels told her many thing about her Son before He arrived….I think that what this song is really saying “Mary, as you hold your new born son, do you really realize the magnitude of who He is and what He will do for the world?” 

In Luke 2, it says “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”  I can’t help but wonder if she was pondering and imagining all of the wonderful things her Son would do one day, yet treasuring her baby boy all at the same time.  I wonder how long it took it to really sink in after Jesus was born that she was the mother of the Messiah.  That she was raising the Son of God.

 I cannot even imagine how it must have been for Mary, seeing first hand her own Son turning the water into wine, feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes, healing sick people, and raising people from the dead.

I also can’t imagine how it must have been for Mary to watch her Son die on the cross.  As she watched, was she remembering the night He was born?  Was she remembering when He was only 12 and she thought she lost Him in the crowd, only to find Him in the Temple with the Priests.  Was she thinking about His first miracle at the wedding in Cana? 

Even before Jesus was born, Mary knew that one day He would have to die for our sin, but still I don’t think it was an easy thing for Mary to watch. 

Mary, did you know?

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This has been a SUPER hectic week, but I got so much done.  All of the Christmas shopping is done and I just have a few more things to wrap.  I love getting done with my shopping early so I can enjoy the last week before Christmas. 

It SNOWED today!!!  Just a little, little bit, enough to cover the grass and Grace was SO excited…..she had to get her snowpants, boots, mittens, and coat on and go make some snow angels.  After a few minutes, I was ready to go in, but she wanted to play in the snow a little more, so I sent her out to our fenced in back yard and she had a FANTASTIC time.  She played out there for almost an hour.  When she came in I made her hot cocoa and she gulped it down.  She was so cute out there playing on her swing and trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue. 

I grew up with LOTS of snow and I do like the weather out here on the West Coast, but this time of year, I really want snow, it doesn’t feel like Christmas without it.  Part of me wants to move back where I grew up so that Grace can experience building 9′ snowmen that last until spring and building snow forts, and then part of me really likes it that winter lasts 6 weeks here and the snow melts off and spring comes. 

 I’m glad that Grace likes snow as much as I do, and I know that this is all she knows about winter, so she doesn’t miss having tons of snow.  I just remember waking up almost every morning to more fresh snow to shovel, and then building snow forts and going sledding with my friends and skating on our pond.  Even though it was so cold out, we played out there for hours not once complaining about the cold…….it’s wierd how when you grow up, it seems to be a LOT colder during the winter.

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Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus, I’m so glad it’s Christmas,
all the tinsel and lights, and the presents are nice,
but the real gift is You.

Happy Birthday Jesus, I’m so glad it’s Christmas,
all the carols and bells make the holiday swell,
but it’s all about You. 
Happy Birthday Jesus, Jesus I love You.

I don’t know who wrote this song, I’ve never seen the music to it, but I’ve figured out how to play it on the piano.  It’s a favorite of our Children’s Choir at Church this time of year.  It’s a very pretty song and right to the point. 

I have a feeling that it was written in the 50’s or by someone who grew up in the 50’s because today in music class, I had to explain to one of the little girls what “swell” means.  She kept singing “makes the holidays swells.”  she had no idea what she was singing or what that line meant.  When I told her that “swell” was a word that kids used a long time ago that meant “cool”  she looked a little bit confused.  It was too cute.

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