three gifts

I am giving myself parameters this year for giving gifts to my three children:
  1. An experience (inspired by Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse and the Christmas trips she gives her children.
  2. A toy (because they are fun!)
  3. Something practical
One of the things I get caught up in during the holiday season is buying things that look good at the time or in the store, but which my children (or anyone else for that matter) don't need.  Or really, don't even want!  I am hoping these guidelines will lead to a more peaceful and meaningful gift-buying and receiving experience in my family this year. 

I want our family Christmas to be focused on Christ, on waiting for Him and receiving Him as the best and most perfect gift.  We will be giving gifts to Jesus through the World Vision, Samaritan's Purse and Compassion gift catalogs.  We will be using the simple and stunning wreath made by Caleb Voskamp, which we purchased last year, to help us meaningfully walk out the days of Advent.  The Jesse Tree Advent devotional by his mama, Ann, will also be our companion.  

I don't want a Hallmark Christmas.  I want a Christ-focused Christmas full of peace, light, love and the holy joy of waiting for the birth of Jesus.  I desire my gift giving to be meaningful and practical, just like the wise men who came to worship and bow down before the new born King. 

What are your plans for peace this season?   


Daybook on the Thursday before Thanksgiving

Outside my window...
is a beautiful and crisp (for southern CA!) fall morning.  My dogs keep peering at my through the french doors, begging for a walk.

I am thinking...
about adoption

I am thankful...
for my husband and his kind and generous servant heart.

From the learning rooms...
Botany today...the kids and I are using Apologia's Elementary Botany curriculum.  We are beginning the lesson on pollination.  

In the kitchen...
brownies!!  Thursdays we host a bible study in our home for college students, so snacks for the group are a must.  One of our students gave me a brownie recipe on Sunday for the brownies she made for my birthday.  One of the guys in our group announced that they were the best brownies he had ever tasted...perhaps some of those are in order today! 

I am wearing...
a mishmash of old Christmas jammies.
I am creating...
this blog.  Trying to find regular time to write and learning how to choose what I will write from all of the swirling ideas and thoughts in my head and heart.  I am an regular reader of many blogs and I have to work at being myself in this process.

  I am going...
to have to take these dogs for a walk soon!!!

I am wondering...
where we will put our Christmas tree this year.  We need to do some serious rearranging in our living room very soon!

I am reading...
Laddie by Gene Stratton Porter on my kindle; Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander at night as a family, lots of adoption related things.  Those may merit their own post sometime soon.

I am hoping...
for a smooth start to our learning day.  Some of us are morning people around here...some are not!

I am looking forward to...
printing our family profiles and sending them off to our adoption agency.  We are waiting for the OK from our social worker and then they will be printed.

I am hearing...
my husband typing on the keyboard across the room.

Around the house...
I need to finish painting our living room.  Perhaps in the process, we will find the perfect furniture configuration to make room for a Christmas tree?

I am pondering...
plans for Thanksgiving and more plans for Christmas gifts.  Still searching for the perfect handmade Christmas goodie I can make for this year.  In the past I have done homemade mocha mix, adorable potpourri pies and easy handbags.  I am thinking peppermint bark...mmm.

One of my favorite things...
sitting with my daughter during her piano lessons, crocheting and helping as she needs me.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
end of the season soccer game, sleepover for my son at a friend's house and for my girls here at home. 

Go visit the simple woman's daybook for more of these entries!


in all things

The hard eucharisteos today:

- pain in my foot that keeps me from exercising
- finishing a book on adoption and realizing that this wait that we are beginning will be hard
- facing up to my short-fuse these past few days, needing forgiveness and grace

I have counted the gifts, along with Ann, for about a year now.  I write them in a small journal that I keep in my quiet time bag.  Mostly they are the "good things", crisp fall mornings, the sweetness of my husband, the preciousness of my children.

Ann's post today reminded me of the truth that we are called to gratitude in ALL things.  Even in the hard things, perhaps especially there?


milestones and something new

This has been a meaningful week for our family.  Thursday was a milestone, as our six month journey of paperwork and classes culminated in our being certified as an adoptive family.  On Friday, I celebrated my 38th birthday, full of gratitude for my family, and excited about adding another precious soul to the mix.

I also decided to take the plunge on a long-time desire of mine: starting this blog.  I feel called to tell my story, of my own personal life and growth, and of my family and the journey we are taking with God.    

I am an avid blog reader.  The sense of community that comes from people sharing their lives through their blog and others reading and responding through comments, is something I desire.  I am absolutely energized by a good conversation and making friends is one of my all time favorite things to do.  

So this is an invitation, a warm welcome to you who may find this place to come and read and converse.