DPP ~ Day 2

I am not a collector of anything particular. I can see my beloved reading this and simultaneously snorting and rolling his eyes but it’s true.

Growing up my mother collected salt and pepper shakers. I think at one point she had at least close to a hundred sets. Pretty sure I was a little sad when she stopped and got rid of them. Her mother, my Grannie Ree, collected owls of all sorts and sizes.

I may have stuff but I don’t collect anything specific. And, truth be told, I have gotten better over the years with not really collecting random stuff. Right, Mr. Hadding? (There really ought to be an affirmative comment here because it has taken work to get to this point 😉 )

A few years ago I came across the Willow Tree figurines and just fell in love with them. The natural color palette and simplicity of design appealed to me but as I was working on my packrat tendencies I haven’t ever purchased any or asked for them. Okay, to be truthful I am pretty sure I dropped a couple of hints here and there halfheartedly but my love does a wee bit better if I am more direct in my requests. I was not certain I wanted them enough to do more than give vague “oh, look how pretty this is!” comments though. Part of that is also because I love surprises and I don’t want to request something and then actually get it because where is the fun in that? (Don’t worry. I don’t hold it against him for not reading my mind or remembering every little “oooh” and “ah” I make over something. The failing here is totally mine and I cop to it. And also, I don’t lack for anything. I’m pretty spoiled.)

But I digress.*

So here is the great confession. I know you probably thought all of that up there was a confession but that was just me rambling. Such is the nature of my blogging but back to the great confession.

I don’t have a nativity set. I had one about twenty-five years ago that was all white and had gold trim that belonged to my mother but it went missing I don’t know when and I never found anything I liked enough to replace it. Except last year my sister gave me a really lovely all in one figurine that is quite pretty. But I have still wanted a regular, multiple piece creche to put out. And this year I decided to get the Willow Tree set.

Y’all it came in this morning and it is so pretty! I knew I wanted to use it for the December Photo Project and I fussed around with setting it up and taking the picture. It just looks peaceful to me. Like that one holy moment of silence as if the whole world holds it’s breathe in awe the way every mama everywhere who has given birth remembers it doing as she held her newborn.

Only this newborn was God incarnate. The Holy One who put on flesh and stepped into time and humanity. Legions of angels sang of His birth, farm animals neighed, mooed, and brayed. I still cannot help but think at some point Mary held that precious little wrinkly babe who probably squawked and cried as he nudged and rooted around looking for milk and comfort that the world faded away and the noise dimmed as she put him to her breast.

Sweet goodness, what a moment that must have been!

Next year I would like to get more pieces. I figure since the wise men really didn’t make their way to Jesus until he was a toddler it’s okay for me to wait to add them to my little scene. For now, amidst all the colorful decorations and pretty sparkly lights, there is this one spot in the house that will make me pause, to ponder how, in the way that only God’s economy can, the simple completely and accurately reflects the magnitude of what God has indeed done.

God with us.

*Shout out to my friend Lauren 🙂

It’s December!

And you know what that means, friends? The December Photo Project is back!

I have been participating in this fun little photo challenge since around 2010 I think. It has spanned three different blogs, years of not missing any days, completely bailing one year about half way through, actually posting a photo a day and then other times doing a weekly dump of photos. I use my big camera or my phone. I take time and plan out an image or just grab a random snap. I think I have even gotten the shot for the day and barely slid it in before midnight and the start of the next day. Other times I have more than one photo to share.

It is, quite simply, one of my favorite holiday traditions.

Funny how things become so ingrained they become part of our personal liturgy, isn’t it? There are some serious spiritual truths in that I think…the way we read and study the Word, how and when we pray, how we live in community with each other and how all of that becomes who we are, shaping and forming us.

Something to noodle on, don’t you think? I am going to be contemplating it much this year I think, as we are in a new place, literally and figuratively. What things will stay the same, what will change, what new gets added. It makes me grateful for the things that stay. The anchors we hold to even as we let some things go and shift and change.

Anyways, I am just so happy to be back with the DPP! It’s funny how I even have “friends” that I meet once a year during this time in the facebook group. Anyone can join so if you’re interested in learning more about it click on over to View From The Prairie Box and sign up and just start taking a picture a day.

DPP ~ Day 1
It seems fitting to begin the challenge where my day starts.

And off we go! We will see if I make it the whole month through 🙂

Playing Catch Up

I seriously try to not only take the picture on any given day but also post it as well but sometimes life just happens and you get a catch up post such as this one. The pictures were taken in a timely manner and a couple of them even made it to the facebook group but a few didn’t.

But not only am I playing catch up with this post but I am also making myself up to date since I am also sharing today’s picture already.

That’s right I took today’s picture at around 6:30 this morning. Gotta love those twinkle lights!

Day 3 ~ My girls leave bits and pieces of themselves all over the kitchen table.

Day 4 ~ My son loves Legos and sets up these epic battle showdowns.

Day 5 ~ I participated in my first Christmas Market. Actually my first market ever. It was a fun experience selling my cards and prints and I think I would do it again.

Day 6 ~ Advent. How my soul drinks it in.

Day 7 ~ I have always enjoyed the early morning quite but there is an added loveliness to it during the holiday season with the warm beautiful decorations.

So there ya go! Not only caught up but current. Let’s see what the rest of the week has in store and maybe I can stay on top of things 🙂

DPP ~ Day 12

Last week we had freezing temperatures. Saturday we lit a fire and we snuggled up in sweaters, boots, and scarves. It was glorious. I am a beach baby at heart by winter is my favorite season. 

Today we woke to a dense heavy fog and gray skies. It took much of the morning to burn off and when it did we had some crystal clear blue skies.
And almost 80 degree weather. 
I was so disappointed. And hot. I have grown up in FL and I realize winter here is different than say, winter in Minnesota but I still dislike being hot in December. 
The fog did make for a good moody photo opportunity though.

DPP ~ Day 11

“It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” ~ CS Lewis
During this third week of Advent, the week of joy, I encourage you and challenge you to pursue real joy. True joy that is more than we can imagine or conjure up on our own imagining. Because even at our best we fall woefully short of the joy that He has to offer.

DPP ~ Day 9

Today’s picture is accompanied by a link to a delicious recipe that I am too lazy to type out and make part of the Pinetrest Test Kitchen series I normally share on the blog. Lazy may not be the right word since it’s not like I am opting to not do anything, I’m just opting to pull out Christmas decorations and get ready for the tree we’ll get sometime in the next few days. Besides, I have a fifteen year old boy ready for his thirty minutes on the computer so there’s that too 🙂

I just realized that I have been calling these pecan pie bars and actually they are Pecan Cake Bars. But no matter what you choose to call them just make sure you call your family and friends because with the shortbread-esque crust they are pretty tasty!

DPP ~ Day 8

Last week was busy. Like ridiculously busy. And as usual laundry is what fell by the wayside so this week I had plenty to do. I mean we’re a family of seven so there is always laundry to do but when I don’t stay on top of it for a couple of days? It multiplies exponentially. To what I am not sure but it grows in an exponential kind of way.

But yesterday, I conquered the mountains of school uniforms and jeans. I scaled the heights of towel tower and took it down. I was a lean mean washin’ dryin’ and folding machine.This morning I grabbed mine and Rob’s towels and tossed them in. When they finished I had one more small load to do that would keep the baskets empty for the day. I grabbed ours from the dryer and went to swap the other load from the washer. When I came back to my room this is what I found.
Earlier I had seen someone post in the DPP facebook group a picture of their cat peering over the edge of the bathtub so I grabbed my camera to catch Tom all snuggled in the warm laundry. Who can blame him though, on this cloudy cool morning?
We’ve had Tom and his brother Milo for two years now and I just can’t imagine the house without them. They’re good company even if they aren’t the greatest laundry helpers.

DPP ~ Day 7

Last night I was taken ill quite suddenly and that was the reason I dropped a picture with no explanation. I didn’t really think much about it more than not wanting to miss a day but my Mother took me to task (in a genteel southern lady way that was very reminiscent of my Grannie Re) about not saying anything about the picture. So, for those of you keeping up at home yesterday’s photo was a Lego helicopter that my son Sam made. Oh, and MacGyver  was flying it. That boy has quite the vivid imagination!

My image for this the seventh day of DPP is a quick shot I grabbed after Vesper services. The kids love blowing out the Advent candles almost as much as they enjoy rushing the communion table on Sundays after the service for any bread that is left over. We don’t have an official list of who gets to do it when but we do try to keep up with who has had a turn and who hasn’t. It gets easier each week with more candles being lit. Tonight my beloved had two of the cutest helpers, don’t you think?