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Fishing

Thanks to some sweet friends for taking us fishing! The girls caught two each – but wouldn’t touch them!

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A blizzard (or two) changed our Christmas travel plans, but several very, very good things happened anyway.

First, a few firsts:

– This is the first Christmas we’ve spent at home as a family. Maybe appropriate since it’s also the first one in our home. Despite missing grandmas and grandpas, we all had fun just being together.

– The first Christmas we hosted non-family for dinner. We invited several local friends we thought may also be snowed in or alone. Six friends came so our dining room table was full with eleven! We roasted a turkey and improvised with seasoned rice, gravy, veggies, chip dip and Christmas cookies. Our guests added yams, fruit salad, Coke and so much more than food!

– The first time I’ve used my wedding silverware! We needed the extra settings. Now if I only had enough water glasses!

Next, a few blessings:

– Much conversation, laughter, eating, singing carols and playing games.

– Everyone who came said thank you for the invitation and was very excited to come. I got tears in my eyes when one man said being able to gather for fellowship with us was the blessing God wanted for him on Christmas and that must be why he didn’t get to travel where he’d planned. Yes, me too. What a blessing to have friends and fellowship.

Finally, something very, very old:

NOTHING can change the fact that Jesus was born on Christmas to bring love, peace, joy and hope to each of us.

And even more if we are hurting, sorrowing, sick, sad, grumpy, angry, depressed, hopeless and fearful. Jesus came to “seek and save” the lost – that’syou and me.

So, if you are missing someone right now – whether because of weather or death or illness – know that Jesus understands, he left the glory and perfection of heaven to be born in a stable so YOU could know Him. So I could.

I hope your Christmas involved people you love, good food and fun, but even if it was full of disappointment, pain and tears, Jesus offers you hope.

Accept His gift.

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This ceramic ornament was made by a dear friend while Josh was in seminary. It was for each of us in the group of wives who met regularly for fellowship, prayer, Bible study and speakers. Good memories – those women were so important in helping me become who I am and several are still wonderful, supportive, encouraging, fun friends!

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Ornaments – Africa

I didn’t get this one in Africa (although I was in Tunisia in northern Africa for a few days), but it is from Africa – from a college friend of mine who is now teaching at a Nigerian university. If you’d like to read about her adventures go to her blog at http://katrinainafrica.blogspot.com/. She’s got some incredible stories!

I’m linking this up to The Inspired Room’s Christmas Beautiful Life Fridays.

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Favorite ornaments

I want to share a few of my favorite ornaments this month. I’m going to try to post one each day – we’ll see how that goes. I’ll put a picture and a bit of the history of the ornament so you can see why it’s special to me.

This sweet picture of two sweet girls was given to me by our next door “Grandma” who made the frame and included her granddaughters’ picture as they were like cousins to me. She passed away 16 (I think) years ago, but I still occasionally think, “Oh, I want to show her this or tell her that.” And the girls? Well, one is in college and one is going to have her own baby any day now!

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Ever since I first looked at our house, the wallpaper was NOT one of my favorite features. But my dear hubby assured me that we could rip it all down and he would paint every room in the house if I wanted. And even change the color if I didn’t like it in a room. (Yes, just A room gets a change!)

Anyway, now that we’ve lived here three months (or so), I finally took some wallpaper down with the encouragement and help of a sweet, experienced-with-old-house-wallpaper friend.

Daniel’s room went from this:

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To this:

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And it only took 3 or 4 hours of work! The paper came off quite easily (nice for a first project!) as all the previous layers had been completely removed – except behind the radiator. And there we found evidence of probably five previous wallpapers.

And just look at the gorgeous woodwork! I am amazed – and very excited – at how much more the woodwork stands out when the busy-ness of the wallpaper is gone! Especially since the all-original woodwork is one of my favorite things about this house!

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Now I just have to decide what color to paint …

(I’m linking to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land. Fun!)

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Lights

A friend told me yesterday that he thinks I’m the only woman in the county who didn’t want a gazebo and got one with my house! It’s not that I don’t like the gazebo in our backyard, but it was never something I wished for – or even thought about, really.

But I like it. What’s not to like?

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But THEN!

A friend of ours (same one as above) offered to loan us some of the LED lights he sells (go see at ImaginaryColours) to dress up our gazebo for the upcoming Christmas season. So we said, yes, please, thank you. (It took a little more discussion than that.)

And look at her now! (Ok, I never refer to inanimate objects as “her” but Miss Gazebo is too pretty to just say ‘it” now.)

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If I didn’t think people would see me, I would sleep out there all winter! Oh, and if it wasn’t too cold. I should have done it last night since it only got down to 50 or so.

So what would you do with a beautifully lit gazebo? What should I do?

(I’m linking to Kimba’s DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land. Go see all the other beauties!)

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