Tuesday, December 30, 2008

kindred spirits

what a treat to spend time with my bestest friend.
as sappy and sentimental as we are sometimes, i really do treasure this girl.
i am so blessed to have her as a lifelong friend.

tromping in snow
checking the maple trees
impromptu photo shoot
picking out my own christmas gift
sentimental greeting cards
green smoothies
a purring black kitty
"mindless entertainment" (in other words, princess diaries 2)
re-writing the ending to be even happier
not getting any dinner (or at least the worry that this might be true...)
christmas gifts
homemade bread
lucy being "bossy" =)
poetry critiques
robin hood
falling asleep to christmas lights
poppyseed pancakes

lucy & alison in the secret maple grove

the "engagement" picture-
we really intended to look like we were anne & diana, expressing our loyalty and forever friendship love...but instead we got an engagement picture

happy to be on the road of life together =)

in the air!

no sleeping in the igloo tonight

yay for christmas gifts!

Friday, December 26, 2008

ding dong merrily on high

what a splendid christmas we had.
the snow prevented gramma from going to aunt connie's, but we were happy to have her with us. delicious food, fun gifts and good company all made the day a delight.

our delicious gluten free christmas bread!

"christmas means carnage." -babe

gramma with her christmas paper

my brothers are spies.

alison & john

mommy & alison with matching christmas light strands
(thanks to gramma & grampa!)

twinkle lights

yay for christmas dinner!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

good news of great joy

the portion of scripture that i feel like God has impressed upon my heart for this christmas season isn't found in any of the gospels, as you might suppose.
instead it is found in philippians:

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father." -philippians 2:5-11

as i've read the bible for myself, listened to sermons and even just had conversations with other people, i've had a firmer grasp on the concept of the sacrifice jesus made by coming to earth.

not only did he give up his divinity, but he willingly took on shame and gave up his right to reputation and power. he chose to be born to a woman who was unmarried. a scandal tainted his birth. mark 6:3 has jesus being referred to by his mother's name, showing that even as a grown man, jesus still had the stigma of being an illegitimate child. when jesus talks to the jews in john 8, one of their defenses is that no matter what else they may be, at least they aren't illegitimate kids. the culture jesus was a part of placed a huge emphasis on honor and shame.

i heard in a sermon this month that it has been thought that bethlehem may have been too small for an inn. in a town where joseph would have had family, and in a culture renowned for its hospitality, there was "no room for them in the inn." this speaks volumes about the shame surrounding the birth of our lord.

jesus made it clear in his time on earth the gospel is for all people.
"i bring you good news of great joy for ALL THE PEOPLE" declared the angel to the shepherds.
by including women in his genealogy (and not just any women-adulterers, prostitutes and gentiles), along with willingly accepting the shame that came with his birth, jesus demonstrated that he truly is "emmanuel-God with us." jesus can actually say, "me too." he truly is a God who understands and draws near. and not just to the privileged or the wealthy or those of good repute. he draws near to all people.

christmas is good news for EVERYONE!!

merry christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

won't you guide my sleigh tonight?

its no secret that i love to dress up. and i am related to such good sports who go along with my desire for silliness and pictures. here we are as festive reindeer and santas. =)

i belong to a family of reindeer
(rudolph is in the back row)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

to live would be an awfully big adventure

it is a scary thing to grow up. i've never been a grown-up before, and i don't really completely know how to begin. of course, i have done grown-up-ish things, with more of them in recent days, but still i am a little nervous about being 'up.' after all, i only have one more semester to go.

although i am looking forward to the prospect of an end to intense studying and looming tests, i do not look forward to growing up. sometimes i think it would be nice to go to never-never land and be a girl forever. but as wendy says, "forever is an awfully long time."

as i watched peter pan again, i was oddly comforted at the prospect of growing up. although it would be easier to not have to change, i would miss out on so much. flying, fighting pirates and spying on fairies isn't much fun if all my other friends are grown-ups without me. maybe growing up is scary, but often scary times call for bravery. and often, when bravery is needed...a grand adventure is about to be undertaken. and i do like adventures.

"i want always to be a boy, and have fun." -peter
"you say so, but i think it is your biggest pretend." -wendy

"there are many different kinds of bravery. there's the bravery of thinking of others before one's self. now your father has never brandished a sword nor...nor fired a pistol, thank heavens. but he has made many sacrifices for his family, and put away many dreams. " -mrs. darling
"where did he put them?" -michael
"he put them in a drawer. and sometimes late at night, we take them out and admire them. but it gets harder and harder to close the drawer...and he does. and that is why he is brave." -mrs. darling

holiday favorites

these are just a few of my favorites of the season:

eating cookies

decorating cookies
christmas hymns and carols

christmas candles and advent stories

the smell of pine and cuddly kitties

boys who help make fudge-
this is paul, the savage nut-chopper

and peter, the boy who is excellent at stirring

yay for fudge!

Monday, December 22, 2008

24 years

happy anniversary mommy & daddy!

sledding adventures

after a little bit of pleading, i agreed to journey to the yard to have sledding adventures with my brothers. and as you can see from the pictures, we had adventures!

preparing for our sledding adventures

paul's ride met an unexpected end

peter is a turtle

peter doesn't know how to sled with such long legs!

apparently somer-saulting is the way to do it!

alison & paul

what kind of snow IS THIS?!?

john & alison

peter & alison

see our house through the holly & trees?

snow angels!

paul as a snow dinosaur!

walking in a winter wonderland

mommy and i had a pleasant walk through the snow this morning. i think it helped that we were prepared for the snow with our snow pants, layers and boots. i do love tromping through the snow!