What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Three Birthdays in One


She may have broken her arm on her 9th birthday but up until that point, it was a pretty great day.

She woke up to a birthday greeting from her favorite animal ever.

She asked (begged) that we invite company for her birthday celebration.  Apparently, because Adele's birthday is so close to Thanksgiving, everyone just gives her gifts at Thanksgiving and no one comes OVER.  And coming OVER is pretty special, so I am told.

Apparently she is the ooonnnllllyyyyy one who hasn't David and CC (neighbor cousins) over to share cake and that is just plain tragic.  So we made it happen this year.

Her birthday meal request was elegant... Iceberg wedges with drizzled dressing.  Lasagna.  Garlic knots.

Boy, howdy.  I've got an elegant one.



And she didn't want cake.  She wanted a donut tree.  (She's pulled that before.  Oh look at that teeny little girl!  )

And I didn't complain.  
(Especially since I had a Dunkin Donuts giftcard hanging out from last Christmas! This one took 100 donut holes.  wow.)


Her favorite part was the little friend tucked inside the donut gate.  



We had a camera malfunction for a blowing candles picture- so you just get a delighted girl instead.


Her favorite gift, and the one I was most excited to give her, was a resurrected chicken purse.

You may remember she was given one once before.  And a few weeks later, she left it at church and it was lost for good.  She's lamented that fact ever since.  


Chicken purse version 2.0 has a few upgrades...a nicer strap for one

AND....

it's LINED.  

Whooooo boy.


And since we are talking birthdays... guess who never got their time in the birthday-blogpost-spotlight?  

Yep, these two:

Corynn turned 14 and Judah 7 making this a once-in-a-lifetime event when Judah would be exactly half of Corynn's age.  



Corynn didn't ask for cake this year either.  She asked for macarons.  

(By, these girls just elevate the place.)

I had never made macarons before.  And they are notoriously finnicky.  So what does one do, knowing these two facts?


Why, she offers to make THREE different batches, of course!

Pink Lemonade~


Smores~


and Pistachio~


And I really botched most of them.  Many were cracked on top.  A few got too brown.  The smores' filling was so slippery the tops slid right off some!

BUT- I have a generously sweet girl who was thrilled with them just the same.

(I will say though, despite their looks, they were pretty darn good.  Or so I am told.  I was so mad at them I refused to eat a single one.)


And Judah requested a backhoe cake.

I wonder when he will outgrow equipment cakes?  That will be a sad day indeed.  Although- it is getting harder and harder to come up with fresh and different ideas for equipment cakes...


He said it was exactly what he wanted.



It was several months ago so I don't remember the presents- except that book gifts put a quick halt on gift-giving for a bit.

I always forget that until it is too late.


It is amazing to me that God has given me these children to rear and love and it is becoming more and more obvious that this is a temporary gift.  As they grow into these capable, big, wonderful people, I see the day coming closer and closer in which they leave me.

I can't cling, white-knuckled, to these~ my sweet fledglings.  (Even though I fight that urge daily.)  But I can remind myself every day to etch them into my soul.  And I can thank God for these, my greatest gifts.  

They were inside of me once.  In a different way, they are still.  And always will be.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Decking the Halls



I hung our Christmas lights the day after Thanksgiving.  Not necessarily because of any Christmas urges- but because it was such a mild and sunny day.  Determining not to freeze my digits off, I grabbed the bull by the horns.  And let me just say...hanging Christmas lights on a 45 degree day is just downright pleasant.

The children helped me haul all the Christmas boxes/bins from the Granary and then everyone SCATTERED except this little elf:



"Mamaaaaa....I'm not an elf!"  
Well, and there was this girl.


She wasn't a helping elf but more of an overseer.  A nibbling overseer.



As you will see later...you gets it from no where strange.




On the first day of Advent we have our Trim the Tree Party.

It is one of the only 'Just Our Family' parties every year which in some ways make it even more special.

But the most special part of the trim the tree party is the food!  We splurge on 'treat' foods we don't get throughout the year.  The one rule is- it has to be eaten by finger or toothpick.



Cashews.  Little Smokies.  Fancy peppers and grapes.  Gouda cheese.  Eggnog. And...wait for it... spray from a can whipped cream!  Woot Woot!   I also made meatballs, which we do get throughout the year but not enough to lose the special factor.

It was even more delicious this year thanks to the kind generosity of friends who give delicious pity gifts to girls with broken arms.  We got decadent fudge, amazing chocolate chip cookies, Chex mix, and spinach artichoke dip with a bag of pitas.  OH MY!

(I wonder who could break their arm NEXT December?)


We always have an eggnog toast to get things started...



And then the fun begins...



Oh look...a few more 'overseers'.  (I told you- no where strange.)




Don't let him fool you- he put the first ornament on and the last ornament on and called it a day.


We all have our favorite ornaments...

Ineke got her footprint made into an ornament to hang this year.  We have one for each of the children hanging.



Adele's favorite:



Ineke loves to play with the jingle bells on pipe cleaners.



I remember when two little hands laboriously cut bits of pipe cleaner to make that ornament.

But, Miriam, you'll have to tell your dad one of our favorites has to be this one:





One of the best parts of getting the Christmas stuff out is...



getting reacquainted with old friends.




Oh look!  Someone left some bread and grapes out for the birds.  Yes, they did look rather emaciated.



Now the house is shiny and sparkled up.  Just the way I like it.

And just in time for St. Nicholas...