Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Happenings

Been busy making sweet Christmas memories the last couple weeks with more to come this week.  So far it has included a trip Silver Dollar City.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year celebrating an old fashioned Christmas.  Our favorites to see is The Dicken's Christmas Carol, The Living Nativity and The Homestead Pickers.  There are so many lights throughout the town and the hot chocolate is dee-lish!  If you didn't have the Christmas spirit when you came you are sure to have it when you leave!

We had our 2'nd annual gingerbread house decorating day at my sisters.  Of course it's just us girls that participate in this since Dakota no longer has an interest in decorating gingerbread houses.  hehe!  He did join us after he got off work  and we all enjoyed a nice lunch together. :)

We also made Christmas cookies, have been watching lots of Christmas movies and wrapping presents.  We've been having our Advent devotions and we decided to open our "Jesus gift" this week.  We were all surprised at how much money was in our box and really enjoyed looking through the World Vision Catalog to pick out gifts to send.  We decided on a Bible translated in a child's language, vegetable seeds for 1 family, and a rabbit.  We decided that our Jesus gift is definitely a new family tradition!  This week will be filled with my "mom's only" homeschool Christmas party, cleaning, grocery shopping, baking, and finishing up school for Christmas break, and somewhere in there I've got to take my car to get looked at.  Then Saturday begins the family festivities!  Can't wait!  God is good and has been blessing us greatly!  Hope you all are enjoying the Holiday season as much as we are!

Monday, December 12, 2011

When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall has done it again.  She has captivated me with another great book.  She has a writing style that speaks right to my heart and pulls me right into her writings as if I am a part of it.

When the Soul Mends is the 3'rd and final book in the Sisters of the Quilt Series.  The book begins right were book 2 left off.  Hannah Lapp returns to Owl Perch after receiving a desperate call from her sister.  Hannah finds herself facing the people, community and family that hurt her so badly two years earlier.  She is forced to come to terms with her feelings.  She becomes torn between the Englischer world that she has settled into with Martin Palmer and her old lifestyle and former fiance Paul Waddell.    Which will she choose?    The Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she return to the Plain Life and her first love?

This book takes you on a journey of healing, redemption and forgiveness.  Hannah faces her past and the people that hurt her and realizes that some things were not as they seemed.  Before anyone can move forward in life they have to face their past, find closure and healing and that is just what this book is all about.  I could not of imagined a better ending for this series.  Cindy Woodsmall left nothing "wanting".  She answered every question, did not leave anything "hanging" and ended it in a way that is sure to please every reader.

**This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Christmas Singing

A few weeks ago I posted a blog review for the Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall.  Actually I've posted several book reviews of books by  Cindy Woodsmall!  I love, love, love her books and I know you will too!  Here is a book trailer of her book The Christmas Singing.  You know, just in case you weren't convinced by my first post that it is a must read. ;)  You can also read an excerpt from the first chapter by clicking here.

For a limited time you can get 30% off the purchase of this book at  by using the promo code CHRISTMAS11.  Hurry the coupon expires December 20'th 2011.  So what are you waiting for??? :):):)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

St. Nicholas Day

It is more blessed to give than to receive!

Happy St. Nicholas Day to everyone out there in blog land. 
To celebrate St. Nicholas Day our family will be doing a brief History lesson in school about the man behind the legend.   Here is a good site that has everything you need to know. We will mingle Bible in with our lesson including  these verses:  Acts 20:35,  I John 3:17, Matthew 6:3-4, and Matthew 25:35-36

The the kids will check their stockings for goodies.  This is all in fun and the things we include in the stockings goes right along with St. Nicholas and the things he gave to those in need.
The stocking is used because the coins and gifts that St. Nicholas left fell into the girl's stockings and shoes. 

It will include:
1.A mesh bag of chocolate gold coins because Nicholas tossed bags of gold through the open window of his friend's house.
2.  A wooden gift in remembering Nicholas hired a wood-carver to make toys for the children. 
3.  An article of clothing, something simple and practical to remember his concern for clothing the people.
4.  A favorite food item, remembering his generosity in feeding people.  For my kids it's beef jerky!
5.  A gingerbread boy or girl, remembering how he baked bread.

Another great idea to celebrate would be to fix a supper with a mid-eastern menu since St. Nicholas was born in Myra which is present-day Turkey.

Here is one more link to another blog and how their family celebrates St. Nicholas day!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Second Sunday in Advent

Okay, so I'm a little late getting this post in seeing as it's Monday, but better late than never right?

For the second Sunday/week in advent our theme is LOVE.

We relit our first candle in remembrance that Advent is a time of preparation and that we are preparing our hearts.

Then we re-lit the 2'nd candle in remembrance that Jesus came to earth to tell us of God's love.  We read John 15:9-11, Philippians 1:9-11 

We discussed many things about love.  Including the many voices of love, both silent and verbal.  Such as a smile, a kind gesture, or a good deed.  We encouraged each other to use our voices of love this week, continue to fast and pray and give to our "Jesus gift".

Our final scriptures were found in James 1:22 and 1 Thessalonians 3:12

The versus we read during the week during our nightly devotions will all focus on love.

Bethany's Sign Name

Tonight we enjoyed our annual Christmas party/deaf fellowship.  It is always fun to get together with our deaf friends and our friends that are learning ASL.  We played games, laughed and of course ate.  We had pizza, yummy lasagna, salad and some awesome deserts, but the highlight of our night was when Bethany finally received her sign name!! 

To receive a sign name, it has to be given to you by a deaf person.  The purpose of a sign name is that when you are among the deaf community you don't have to fingerspell an individuals name.  If they have a sign name it saves time, plus that is how you are known around the deaf.  Each persons sign name is unique and fitting.  For example, last year Dakota was given his sign name.  It is the signed letter "d" up next to the open flat palm.  It is the sign for "camera" but with a "d" instead of a "c".   He loves to photography and takes lots of pictures.  See how it fits? 

So tonight as we were going through  introductions and it was Bethany's turn she finger spelled her name and signed that she does not have a sign name yet.  One of our deaf friends signed what he wanted to give her..the sign for beautiful but with a "b" hand shape.  Isn't that awesome.  I love it and I know she was so happy to finally get her sign name.  She refused to ask for one because she wanted it to be special.  lol  I always say she is my beautiful Bethany. ;)