Angels on High, Reflections of Christmas

“And the angel answered him saying ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God and I was sent to speak to you about the good news’.” Luke 1:19

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Gabriel

Gabriel was the main messenger angel that is mentioned several times to tell the world the good news of the coming Christ. Angels are personal creations of God that serve Him and carry out His purposes.

I believe angels are around us today and that sometimes we engage with them, not realizing it, until after the fact, as somethings the outcome can be explained no other way. I have had one major event in my life that can be explained no other way but I am sure there are others that I did not recognize. I am also sure and for certain that my oldest son’s guarding angle worked overtime when he was young and very possibly my youngest as well. Boys!

We see a lot about angels at this time of year as we reflect on the scriptures, Luke 2:9-14 telling the story of the angel of the Lord announcing to the shepherds of the birth of Christ and the sky being filled with heavenly hosts singing and praising God. Debbie Smyth posted a magnificent article of the Angels in London. If you have not see it, please go review. It is truly marvelous.

I am a major collector of angels and some of these creations stay out year round to remind me of their love of God, their love of me and their focus on the purpose of God’s ways.

Some people like stars on their tree top as the reminder of the star over Bethlehem but I like angels. I have several that I use, some are beautiful and ethereal but I like the one I call Gabriel with his robe flowing around him. Some have told me I should call him Michael but Michael is an archangel. An archangel is a leader of angels and Michael is listed as a warrior archangel and is his story is told during battles with satan and during the end times of Revelation. Gabriel not an archangel, he is a messenger angel and very prominent in the birth of Christ. Therefore…

My children know of my love for angels and have given me several over the years. My oldest made me one when in high school, art class.

The picture of the three at the top were given to me by my youngest representing his love for me as he thought I was his angel during a very hard time when they were young. It shows angels with all three of my children, the oldest son, the girl in the middle and the baby boy. That group stays out year round. Below are other pictures of my angels that I thought you may enjoy. Later I will share all of my nativity scenes….yes I have lots of Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of year.

Baby Angels…..

Kissing Angels…these were my moms, so they hold an extra memory.

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Table Top Angels….

Ornaments…too many to show but here are a couple. Several styles of hand blown glass.

 

And as always I throw out my encouraging thought on being kind. Instead of the hustle and bustle of the holidays control your energy, let kindness be a large part of it. It will make the holidays seem brighter. Follow suit and be part of being RACK.

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November Thankful Challenge, Week 3

Welcome to week 3 of my November Challenge to help me remember all that I have that makes me thankful of all my blessings. We should not wait until a certain time of year to bring all of those wonderful gifts to mind. At lease during the holiday season we bring them to the front all the wonder things we are thankful for and try to share the joys of love and kindness throughout the season.

  • Nov 12 – I am so thankful for the guarding of an over protective hound who actually has kept some door-to-door bothersome’s away from my front door.

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  • Nov 13 – I am thankful for the extraordinary vision given by God to enjoy the beauty of nature.
  • Nov 14 – I am thankful for the beauty of hearing the wonderful sounds of peace and power from the same substance – water.
  • Nov 15 – I am thankful for this season to remind us of all the wonderful things to be thankful for.
  • Nov 16 – I am thankful for all the small things in this life that makes me smile.
  • Nov 17 – I am thankful that again my cactus is going to bloom for the season. It looks like an ornament on the tree.

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  • Nov 18 – I am thankful that even though it snowed(again) last night, the ground is still warm enough where the roads are still clear.

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So I challenge you regardless of where you are in this season to remember the love, gratefulness and the kindness of this season.

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And remember the value of kindness during this season of thankfulness. They go together like toast and jam.

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Three New Fun Ornaments, TPC

Tuesday’s Photo Challenge made me giggle as I just bought a trio of new ornaments for my “Fun Tree”. This tree has the quirky ornaments, the ornaments my children made over the year and then back filled with colored balls to reflects the light and love of the tree. This tree is located in my bedroom in a large bump out window. Perfect place for a tree.

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Mermaid S’More at the top, Angel S’More in the Center and S’More with Reindeer

The S’More collection started when my kids were in high school and pranksters. My oldest gave me the first one and that started a trend where now I try to find a new one each year. This year I found 3 that I didn’t have that I liked. I think I now have over 30 of them and the fun tree is quickly becoming the S’More tree.

When we were told we could be humorous for today’s challenge, I could not resist. And remember humor like art is in the eye of the beholder.

And I close as I always do in reminding myself and others to always be kind. Today is World Kindness Day, so an extra reminder to be kind.

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My Living Room Tree

I think we all have hobbies or things we collect that make us smile. Mine is Christmas and decorating for it. Unfortunately, my daughter suffers from the same collecting hobby. We are major college football fans and we use the off weekend of play to go shopping for new and interesting decorations. I have three large trees, three small table trees and 4 larger nativity scenes. Then there is the remaining table decor that is spread throughout the house. It’s a lot but evidently not enough as we still go shopping. My daughter also has 3 trees downstairs in her portion of the house. It’s a wonderful bonding time that we enjoy together. In two of my previous posts I shared my dining room tree with the village, the fun tree in my bedroom so now its time for the more formal tree of the living room. If you wish to see the other posts click on the highlighted sections for review. And I do apologize if all this Christmas is just not your thing or way to early for you to get into it. I am temporarily “benched” so I decorated early.

In most homes, the living room/family room is where the main tree is if there is more than one tree in the home. And that is how it is in my home, however I do not have exquisitely formal ornaments. That is just not my style. I do love going to other peoples houses and looking at all of there decorations and seeing their personalities. The decoration styles reflect on the things that we believe are important, so I am doing my reflecting here.

So now that I have displayed all trees, let’s dissect the tree itself to gather its full meaning. It is not just a decoration for the season, there is meaning behind all of it.

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Tree including benches to keep Mimi from running into the tree

The tree itself represents the cross of which Jesus was hung on when crucified. There are 18 reference in the bible that specify that he was hung on a tree due to the way the scriptures were translated. Even the old testament refers to the Holy One being hung on a tree. We know it was not a tree in itself but it was wood from a tree. I placed a square nail on my tree near the trunk to remind me of the love and sacrifice Jesus made for me and everyone else.

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Christmas nail

The lights on the tree represent Jesus’ light that he leaves with us. Numbers 6:24-26 – May His light shine upon you and bring you peace.  We talk a lot about peace at Christmas time and try to always be peaceful and kind during this time of year. The colors of the lights also have a significance in the Christian faith, similar to the Christian beads we make for our children to understand more about Christ’s love for us.

The red lights represent Jesus’ blood shed for us. Romans 5:8-9

The white lights represent our cleansing from sin as we turn from our sin to God. Psalm 51:1-2

The blue lights represents out faith in baptism; 1 Lord, 1 faith, 1 baptism. Romans 8:9

The green lights represent our growing in faith. Colossians 1:10

The gold lights represent eternal life in Heaven with God. John 3:16

The beauty of the tree is then added to by the ornaments we place on it that reflect our personalities, our love, and the beauty of the season.  Below are a few of my favorites that are on this tree that reflect family love and the beauty of the season.

 

I have sincere hopes that as you approach this wonderful holiday season that you are filled with the love of family, friends and the fullness of Christ.

And please remember that tomorrow is November 13, the internationally recognized day of World Kindness Day. There is no act of kindness that is ever too small.

Even animals know, understand and use kindness.

Fun and Memories

Tomorrow is the big day and while I can still do nicknacks inside, the outside must be complete as I will not be able to traverse the front stoop. My style for Christmas decor is a mix between quirky cute and semi formal nice. So outside will be mostly fun. I wrapped concrete blocks in cute Christmas cloth added bows and solar lights and hope they can withstand the coming snow.

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Frosty, Bing and Dasher

I have been waiting 2 years for this “fast growing” evergreen to get big enough to decorate. Its still small but I don’t care, it is now covered in solar lights. They are small enough where their weight should not hurt the limbs. Frosty is a bird feeder and filled with sunflower seeds. Bing is a penguin and of course everyone knows who Dasher is. His nose is not red so he can not be Rudolph. Both of these critters are solar lights that light up in the evening. Christmas should always be fun, something to help you create wonderful memories and enjoy the season. That may be why I do so much Christmas. If you  missed my post yesterday and want to see the first posted tree, that is the most formal tree and is all white. It is located in the dining room and beneath it is my village. Check it out here if you wish. The tree that is in my bedroom is my fun tree.

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The tree with Santa and Chris Moose

The angle at the top, my oldest son made when he was 3, in 1981, you do the math. Wow, where did time go.

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Jimmy’s angel

Other things on this fun tree are other ornaments my children made over the years, fun ornament gifts from friends and quirky things I have found over the years. I am a big fan of the S’More ornaments. If you are not familiar as to what a S’more is, its a campfire treat with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows – way too sweet for me but I love the funny ornaments. I will post a few today and  post some throughout the season. Do I have enough to last all season long, maybe not but I did find another bag today of ornaments I bought at the end of the season last year. So at least you can join in on my fun memory time.

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My Patriotic Group

The Patriotic group has a S’more dressed up like the statue of liberty and an eagle carrying the American flag.

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S’More and his snowman
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Roasting a hot dog over a pine cone

And as I always share my thoughts on kindness, remember to always be kind.

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Kindness, a marvelous gesture.

More gallery of village buildings

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Lawyer and Police Station

 

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Bakery
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The Holiday Store and the Dress Shop

 

 

 

 

Its Beginning to Look…, #1 Liner Wed

Sometimes as adults we forget to have fun and enjoy the simple activities of fun shared with friends. That is a lot of what blogging and prompts for fun are. A chance to share with blogging friends around the world the things that we enjoy doing. That is what Linda G Hill  has done for us to share with each other activities that make us smile using One Liner Wednesdays.

 

Back in 2000, a friend of mine and I decided to make our own village for Christmas. They were just beginning to get popular but were expensive. The craft stores has ceramic ones that were unpainted that fit more into our budget so we bought a few and spent time in the evenings enjoying each others company and painting houses and business for our own villages. Soon as we got one finished, we would go see what else they had and is was a fun filled summer of adult painting. Sharon even went to Florida to see her family and found a different ceramic store that had other version and brought more home. By the end of the summer we looked at each other and went oops…guess we had too much fun. We both had well over 50 houses and businesses…and no where to put anything that large. I also dated and numbered mine just to keep track of them.

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#10 – The Cobbler

It was such a fun summer of talking and sharing we did not pay attention to how many we actually did. It was “oh, look at this one and gotta have that one” and so on. I gave away several then realized the ones I gave away were houses and almost all I had left was business, so I quit giving them away and found a way to display them. I currently have 41. Here is a picture of the main village located on the dining room table with the 4.5′ white tree. However, there is the outskirts of town grouping in a different location where the country church, the Red Lion Inn and the new addition this year of a Christmas Tree farm and covered bridge. I will post closeups of the houses/businesses throughout the holidays.

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Skeeterville Township

Remember as this is the holiday season of Thanksgiving to be thankful for all your blessings. And as I remind myself, always be kind. An act of kindness can bring ease not only to your hurting soul but to the receiver of that kindness as well.

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Gallery of Christmas Village

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City Hall, the Clock Tower(also new) and The Library

 

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The Fire Station including a fire truck
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Joe’s Burgers

 

The Grand Questions of What and Where

It is getting to be that time of year where we decorate the house to show our fun side or serious side of decorating. Some are very modern, some very traditional and then there is me with what strikes my fancy at the given moment. I don’t really have themed trees but I they are on the specific side. My biggest tree 7.5′ is in the living room and that one generally has the more traditional of nicer type ornaments; the 4.5′ tree on top of my dining room table is decorated all white tree with the village beneath; then there is the fun 6.5′ tree in my bedroom at the bump out window. I am on schedule to be complete by Wednesday and will share my fun when complete but for now I though I would share Santa and Chris Moose as they discuss the best placement ideas for the lights on the tree in the bedroom. Its can be a big discussion…

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Santa and Chris discussing lights

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Christmas is a serious as well as a fun and wonderful time for all of us who are still kids at heart. I wish each of you the very best holiday months as you spend time with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Make sure you hug them all and let them know how very special they are to you.

And as always, I close with a reminder to us all, including my self, Be kind. Sometimes during the hustle and bustle of the holidays we forget and become rushed and self absorbed. If you are too busy to really speak. them remember to smile – a smile can turn a frown upside down.

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Truly immeasurable