The Oldest but Always the First

Our lives are generally setup  by our priorities, our goals and things that move our hearts. For me Christmas moves my heart as I watch people be more loving, more compassionate and overall kinder to each other. So I push it’s envelope a bit by decorating early but I know the average person wants to get through Thanksgiving first before throwing all the Christmas out. I kind of do that as well, but since I have so much stuff that moves my heart over the years, it takes me awhile to get it all up so that the week of Thanksgiving, all lights go on. I have less than 2 weeks and so much still to do as I have added outside features this year.

So this post features old much loved traditions involving how we decorated our (only) tree when the children were very young.

The very first item that got put on the tree, even before lights, is the Christmas Nail.

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The Christmas nail is placed on the tree near the trunk where is really is not seen. It is not meant to be seen. It is meant to be felt, honored and remembered for what it symbolizes…one of the nails that pierced our Lord when he was hung on a tree(cross made of wood). I put it on my large 7.5′ tree.

The hidden nail is lost in the bright lights of the tree, representing that as Christ died for us, His light shines on us and we in turn should reflects his light to anyone needing the light of hope to shine in  their darkness.

The other old but another first is the angel for the bedroom tree.It is an irreplaceable angel made by my oldest child when he was 3 in 1981. This one is a true heart ornament and until he left home to create his own life, he made sure it was the first thing on the tree, after the nail. The nail was always first.

Sometimes the most valuable things we have are made with wooden clothes pins and wrapping paper. As you start off the beginnings of the holiday seasons, remember the reason for the season. After all, its a marvelous birthday party. Spread the love and the cheer to all. And as always, be kind, it more important now than ever as so many people are hurting.

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Christmas Craft Project Done

For some of us, getting ready to decorate for Christmas is almost as fun as the actual decorating, especially if you are into making the decorations or making gifts to give to family and friends.

Today we are in snow #4. While they have not been big snows, its still too early for my liking but we pull up out boot straps and deal with it. I only work 3 days a week now, so I was able to swap out today with tomorrow which allows for me not to have to go out in it.

If you remember I told you about the dog, the tree and the snowman ceramics I bought to paint and that they light up. The snowman turned out the cutest. They are about 7″ tall.

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The biggest Christmas craft project I have ever was done back in 2000. That is when the ceramic houses that you could paint yourself first started being a hot item. My friends and I started a village at the beginning of summer and by Christmas, we both had well over 50 items each. I place it out every year and last year I added a couple of items. I have to  monitor sizes as my houses/business were in the middle of the scale of houses they make today. This year I added a cathedral and an observatory along with some enhancement items like bears in a tree for the mountain cabin and the coffee stand at the tree farm. The new items were already painted so I just got to add them to the collection, but still it is fun.

The layout is broken down into 3 separate sections, one due to the size and one because of it’s theme and location.

First you have “up town” with the government buildings and the large shops. There is the City Hall, the Lawyer office/Police department, the Post Office, the Fire Station, the Bank, the Library, the Theatre and of course a church are located.

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This is an alcove above the fireplace for a TV/Entertainment center

Suburbia is located on an adjacent table next to the fireplace with many favorite shops, homes and added novelties. Throughout the season, I will feature a few of these at the end of each post so you can see the details like the car at the burger stand shaped like a burger.

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Homes, businesses, the mountain house, the Christmas tree farm, Railroad, Antiques, the stream with the covered bridge and the feed store.

The last section is the observatory way out in the country(the other side of the fireplace) on a mountain(a bucket on a snow covered file cabinet) by itself, however there is a hotel and a church close by. And yes, the tree for that room is reflected in the window. Not fully decorated yet though.

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The fun in doing this always brings back good memories, plus that fact that one year I gave some houses away as gifts and still have lots left.

Yes it is a lot of work getting all of this out but I still enjoy it and lay it out different each year.

What are some of your favorite crafts to do at this time of year or some of your favorite decorations. I always enjoy looking at everyone’s as much as I like sharing mine, so share away and lets have fun together.

And in closing you know I always stress the value of kindness. It is a true reflection of Christ and how he wants us to try to always be kind.

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This is What Happens as Fun

Sometimes when you don’t get everything picked up as you should…things you don’t think could possibly happen…do.

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A most wonderful toy

The yarn bin did not get picked up out of puppy reach so…no crocheting will be done from this skein.

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It is lite and easy to shake the life out of 

Yes I know it has no life in it but to her….yarn monster must die. The funny things puppies do. She is a toy hoarder and the only toy she was ever given is the white bear behind Mimi, which is her favorite toy. Her other toys were Mimi’s who doesn’t play with them anymore.

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I cant decide which to play with so I will play with both.

They are all my toys, all mine.

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My pillow, my bear, my shoe, my rope, the yarn monster, my bone and currently in my mouth is my tennis ball. All in my playhouse under the chair.

And Mimi just looks at her like “whatever” and goes to lay on the bed. If we could all go through life like a happy puppy wouldn’t that be great.

We tend to get so caught up in the everyday stress of life we forget how to be happy. We let our well being depend on our circumstances and the events of the day instead of closing off the world and being at one with our creator. Try to take time for yourself each day and spend time with God.  He will surround you with his peace and ease the worries of the day off of your shoulders. But it takes purposeful quietness of the day. Find it. I promise it will be worth it. And when  you find that peace, use it to spread kindness…a true reflection of Christ himself.

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Memory Prompts

Do you have things you see that bring back an instant memory from the past…preferable a good memory. It is a shame that bad ones come around as well but lets focus on the things that make you smile or laugh.

One in particular for me is a bright moon. When my oldest was about 2 1/2, we lived in Asheville N.C. A beautiful place. We had friends who knew rangers who allowed people onto the mountain fire trails to pick up felled trees for firewood. It helps the people and aides in forest cleanup.

So off we go in search of firewood and it was right chilly. I had my son all bundled up like an Eskimo and we got enough wood to last all season. Coming home it was a clear cold cloudless night and my son spotted the moon. He had just started talking so when he pointed at that bright light in the sky and said moon as only a two year old can, it was a precious time for me and a memory shared in the family through many years.

I thought of that night last night with a clear sky after several days of damp dreariness.  As I was walking the dogs, the moon was perfectly framed in my neighbor’s tree and Venus, I think, is located just to the right. So I thought I would share that spot of peace and a memory that makes me smile.

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The world can really be beautiful if you still the madness of the day and try to look through God’s eyes at His creation. I envision God as He was creating all of this for US with him thinking…’Wait until, they see this,” and 90% of the time we miss the gift. I fully believe He knows the trials we are going through and throws little things our way to distract that trial, for a brief moment to bring us a moment of peace. If we can focus on the brief moment of peace, the moment can stretch and become bigger, allowing us extra peace.

May you all find the small gifts of love thrown in your path that make you smile and for a split second forget the pulls of every day life. And as you smile from these tiny gifts, may they grow exponentially allowing you to share you the gift of peace you feel which will bring you more happiness, more memories and more peace.  With the added peace you feel, may you also add kindness in all you do.

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Joy, A Good Start for the Day

This is the day that the Lord had made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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Today’s comforting point in Jesus Calling devotion is regardless of your circumstances, you can still have joy. We get confused thinking joy and happiness are the same thing or come from the same feelings, they are not. Joy comes from inside where God allows it to grow for we find joy in His Presence.

 

Our day can be dark and gloomy surrounded by pain, loss, illness, depression and fear but if we lean on His everlasting arms we can find Joy as we search for it in hidden places. I encourage you today, knowing he creates each day, that he reminds us to be glad and rejoice in it. Somewhere the warmth of His Presence will shine on you and the gloom will soon turn to brightness. Reach out to Him and he will scoop you up in His arms and carry you to a brighter place.

Remember the kindness He has shown you and show it to others. It may be the one thing that cracks that person’s gloom and allows the light of Joy to shine through.

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Let Joy brighten your day and you brighten others.

Yep, It’s Time

I am fully aware that is just mid-October but if you have lots to prepare for and many things that needs to get made you have to prepare and get ready ahead of time so when it time, you are ready. What in the world am I talking about…

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Decorating for Christmas

This year I am able to decorate some outside, so new toys. Yea! I had house repairs made which included fixing my outside energy source so, let’s let our light shine. Last year I was not able to walk much due to surgery on my feet, and the sunroom remained closed off all winter long because the fireplace had issues. The fireplace got fixed this summer, the junk in the room was dealt with and now to reorganize that room which will take time. But cute stuff goes early, so we buy early. Added more pieces to my village, added a table tree to my woodland theme for the bathroom…cant wait to get started organizing everything so that by the middle of November the trees (3 large, 2 small) can start going up. Takes time to do all that but it is my favorite time of year to decorate the house.

As we think about the coming light season, remember the inner light Christ has given you and to let it shine reflecting His love for everyone. You don’t need a season for that; that’s and everyday thing. Have a great week.

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Radiate God’s LOVE.

Lines of a Circle; lines&squares

I don’t care much for the recognized day of Halloween because my Christian beliefs and for a certain experience I had.  But I saw this web coming into church today and webs can be quite beautiful with water droplets clinging to them, so I thought I would share with Lines & Squares for Becky’s challenge and give the photo a touch of dark creepy light play on it.

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These are the types pictures where I wish I had a better camera. It really was a quite elegant web.

Even in  things we don’t understand, there is usually a touch of God’s creative beauty, kindness and love in things that have breathe of life in them. Remember the creator’s kindness shared with us and share likewise.

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