Sunday, December 14, 2014

What's all this Talk about Advent?

It's time for Advent! I love this time of year. I love preparing for the coming of Jesus! For years we have participated in Advent. It has been different through the years and we have tweaked it several times but ....  we make it work for us.

I do post pictures of our activities and readings on facebook so lately I have had several ask me about the way we do Advent. I thought I would list several things we do.  I would love to hear how you celebrate/prepare for Jesus.

Years ago I used little brown bags and numbered them from 1-25. I put a little piece of candy or a tiny toy, pencil, gum etc.  We would read our Advent devotion (I have used several) and then they would open a bag.  This worked great when they were younger.  Wyatt & Wesley are 17 months apart and the years they were 2 & 3, or 4 & 5 for that matter,  it was about all we could do!

Then for several years we did the Jotham Trilogy books. They are really good. We would sometimes read another Advent book with it and I would over do and stress that I couldn't keep their attention or make it work.


For the past couple years we have been doing a Jesse Tree.  I first read about this over at Ann Voskamp's blog.  Jesus is from the lineage of Jesse.  She had an ebook I printed out with some ornaments and we started reading that ...    hung our ornaments on what we called a Jesse Tree.
We also do the Way of the Light Wreath.  So as we are reading we light a candle as we count down to His birth!
This year I am reading this to the kids and I am reading the adult book.

I started about three years ago doing 25 Surprises. Found the idea on my friends blog and decided to try it too. They love it. Each day/night of December all the way up to Christmas day we do something special.   KEEP IT SIMPLE.   I thought maybe they would be toooo old this year but they asked and so we are enjoying it.... making memories.....  
With older adult children.....  I know how short this time is. Maybe next year they will think it is too childish our "Advent Surprises."   We will also do a few service projects.....   we want to give to others.....   I want them to understand ....   this is what we are called to do and that it is usually by giving that we are the ones blessed.

So that's how we do Advent.  It works for us.  Would love to hear some of your ways....

Give yourself as a gift this year, sponsor a child!
Grace~ Teena

Sunday, November 30, 2014

We will Understand Why.

 This may be my theme song for this year.

So often, we do not understand why....   but Farther Along we will understand why.  The words of this song along with the scenery in this video speaks volumes to me.

Isn't that just like God though? He meets us. Where ever we are... He is there.  He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

I love beauty.  I see it around me....   I love to go to places that are beautiful. I think that is why I love Destin so very much.  It isn't that I "worship" the creation but the Creator. To me....  He is there. 

With the hard this year....   I long for Destin more. I dream about going during the "off" season. I see pictures posted from there....  the beaches are empty....  oh what glory. 
So many things we do not understand .....   but you know .... one day we will....

Still i get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin' for my soul
And i've got no place left go
Cause i got changed by what i've been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin' on
Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I'm free to love once and for all
And even when i fall i'll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup

Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levee and my bluff
Let the flood wash me
And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the son of god is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we're the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing lord, come soon


Saturday, November 29, 2014

How We do Black Friday~

This time of year there is lots and lots of talk about Black Friday.  Statements like "we give thanks one day and the next we fight people over STUFF."  We have never really played into all that....  but we do go out on Black Friday. Lysa and I pull an all nighter.  We usually leave around midnight or after and drive to the closest "big" town...  about 2 hrs away.  By the time we arrive most of the crowds/fighters have left....   Around 5-6am when Lysa is getting sleepy I treat her to a Starbucks!

We are always at Lifeway at 7.  We are always looking for the Jesus Story Book Bible because most years they are $5. We give them away.  This year we hope to give some to our Backyard Bible kids.

We love Lifeway ....    people do not push or grab. In the line we talk to others and once I met a girl and we connected. She shared how she loves Compassion and her sponsored children.  We are now friends on facebook.

We go to lunch and may even take a nap in the car. Last year Lysa didn't feel very well so we decided to take a break and we went downtown.....

This is St. Joseph's Cathedral in Macon, Georgia.  Such a beautiful place.  We went back a few weeks later to show the boys.... it was decorated for Christmas.
j So for us.... it is more about making memories.  If we find a few special things great. We have a wonderful time and have laughed and laughed about our crazy adventures!

That's  how we do our Black Friday......

Grace~ Teena

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lifetime Memories

For years our family went to our local state park to camp.  Twice a year....  Spring and Fall. We have made so many memories through the years.  We do this with other home schooling families. Several do not camp so they come out during the day and evenings.
We started doing this in 1995.  Our Dakota was 2 yrs old.  We started with one other family and then other families started coming.  It warms my heart when I think about the lifetime memories we have made.
This October our two youngest boys and Lysa were so excited to go camping. We hadn't gone since 2012. Things kept coming up and we would put it off and then the weather would either be too hot or too cold.  Three other families camped with us!
My dear friend that camped with us back in 1995 whose children are all grown now.... decided to camp too! Her and her family hadn't been since 2010!  One of their adult daughters (who always always played with my little boys and who is great friends with my older kids) decided to come too!
Campfires, smores ... sitting around and talking.  Taking walks and even sleeping in tents!  Bike rides and Capture the Flag, Sardines and walking the trails..... oh and Apples to Apples.

I could hear the boys in the tent with friends ....  all boys... about 7 of them.... laughing until about 2am!
These are the things they will remember.....   the time we spent with them.  The slow moments.
Lifetime Memories made.

Grace~ Teena