DPP ~ In Which I Missed A Day

It seems that weekends are going to be a tad bit busy this month but I wasn’t expecting to not have a single photo to share from Saturday. I mean, not even a quick snap with my phone? But apparently it was so.

I had pictures from both my phone and my real camera on Friday though. I guess I wanted to make sure I was covered. Plus, the one from my phone? I would have taken it regardless of the dpp challenge. It’s not everyday that you see your 14 year old baby snoozing away with her teddy bear. The in between spaces of full on teenager and still a child squeeze a mama’s heart. Poor girl missed six days of school because of hives but I am happy to say that she has been hive free for three days now and went back to school today.

Day 11 ~ 1st one is from my phone. The second one was just because I liked the play of light and shadow by my bedroom window.

So I am really surprised that I didn’t actually take a picture on Saturday at all. But honestly, I can’t really remember the day well. I told y’all, it’s been busy around here. So right on into Sunday.

Day 13 ~ I love how beautiful our church looks all decorated for Advent and the Christmas season!

I love my African violet and frequently take its picture but the subdued light of our gray morning really caught my eye.

Day 14 ~ This guy thrives in our bathroom with all of the diffused light and steam from the shower. It was a gift from some dear friends and it really just makes me happy to look at it.

So now I am all caught up and I have only actually missed one day so far. Does that get cancelled out because some days I take more than one?

DPP ~ Day 9

The beginning of my day ~
My love. Just in case I didn’t take any other photos.

But I did and while he is my favorite I liked having a Christmas shot for the DPP today since yesterday was a bunch of chopped leeks.

Not sure which I prefer.

Or
Yeah, I think I do actually have a preference afterall. I’m going with the second one. What do you think?

DPP ~ Day 8

I love cold weather. Winter is actually my second favorite season right after autumn. Those two facts are rather ironic considering that I live in Florida where we don’t really get much of either of those two seasons but we do get cool weather and I was delighted to have soup weather today.

My love and I have been on a Top Chef kick lately and it has really gotten us out of our comfort zones and trying different recipes and such. It’s funny to see how we both interact with it because I am focusing more on homey comfort food while Rob has been getting more adventurous with Asian food. (The man has perfected a killer spicy chicken with rice dish.)

Because it was colder today I did make a new soup recipe and it turned out okay I thought. Oddly enough I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would but Rob and Claire both gave it a thumbs up. Abigail doesn’t like onions so she tasted a spoonful and promptly popped open a can of cream of chicken soup.

This was only the second time I had cooked with leeks and I have to say we really like them! (Last night was also a new comfort food recipe…one that I really enjoyed but it has a good sourdough bread and cheese so what’s not to enjoy?)

Today’s dpp is actually a picture I took today while prepping for the carmelized onion and garlic bisque. The leeks just have a pretty color and fun shapes, don’t you think?

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 🙂

Think On These Things Week Four ~ Love

God Is Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

We love because he first loved us.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 

~1 John 4:7–21

advent

The 12 Days of Christmas

Our family has been celebrating the 12 days of Christmas for quite a few years. Every year I get asked about it and rather than writing a new post saying the same things I am re-sharing a post I did a few years ago. Later this week I will talk about the practical aspect to celebrating this way.

Repairing the ruins.
That’s a phrase commonly heard in our reformed classical circles as it relates to taking back the way we educate our children. As I’ve been thinking through writing this blog post in response to some questions I’ve gotten about how our family celebrates Christmas I realized it’s a rather fitting phrase for more than just classical education.
The truth is that our job as Christians is to be continually at work repairing the ruins. Now obviously we cannot ignore the truth that through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ God has put all things back to rights. But neither can we ignore that we live in the now and not yet-ness of what God has done, is doing, and will do. Or that we have been giving the joyful task of joining Him in that work.
One of the smallest but biggest changes our family has made in recent years is aligning our lives more closely with the Church calendar which functions along the life of Christ. So in one sense we are currently marking the start of the new year as we celebrate Advent even as we recognize the close of the traditional calendar.
Practicing Advent each year was the starting point for us and then we also started looking for ways to change how we celebrate the birth of Christ. I was familiar with the “12 days of Christmas” but always as a time leading up to Christmas, not marking time from His birth to the time traditionally celebrating Epiphany, the arrival of the wise men.
This is important because for most of the western mainstream church the 25th of December is the climax of weeks long anticipation but December 26th doesn’t mean much. Or the 27th, the 28th, and so on. Of course January 1st is marked but then life collapses back into normal until months later when Easter Sunday is celebrated. But there is so much more.
Marking the 12 days leading up to Epiphany means we are celebrating and marking the glorious Truth that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. It’s not just about spiritualizing the holiday as a way of rejecting the commercializing of the one real Holy day most of us agree is actually holy. It’s twelve days of commemorating the greatest gift ever given…God Himself taking on human form and becoming one of us.
There is no Biblical command to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas so not doing so is certainly no sin. And that also means that each family is free to set up their 12 days as they see fit. Our days have evolved and changed over the years with some days becoming set in stone staples and other days being flexible and changing from year to year. The important thing is that we are working to restore the glory of a world changing event that the enemy has sought to tear down and bury under a pile of cheap spit and shine made up thrill meant to distract from the thrill of hope that causes a weary world to rejoice.

Tomorrow I will share some of the ways we celebrate the 12 days but let me give a few highlights we’ve found in this process. First, the fact that it is spread out means that although there is significant planning (I mean we have five children so I have to kind of have my act together) it doesn’t all happen on one day. Less pressure. Less stress.

Which brings me to point number two and one that we really like…hello after Christmas sales! You can take advantage of some major deals.

And third I think our children, and us adults for that matter, can enjoy and savor the time more because it isn’t hitting us in the face at a breakneck pace. It’s lost the overwhelmingness that sometimes comes with major events that leaves us feeling limp, exhausted and slightly underwhelmed because of the momentous days and days of lead up.

An added benefit that we have enjoyed more and more as the years have gone by and others have joined us in marking the 12 days is the sense of community it brings. There are certain activities that we enjoy during this time that are enriched because we share them with friends.

The important thing to remember whether you celebrate one day or twelve is well summed up by Jeff Smith, the Frugal gourmet guy:

“…on our own, Christmas does not work. It is not the tree, or the dinner or the planning, or the weather, or the relatives that make the Mass of Christ. It is the Child. Come to the manager and be amazed…”

It’s Not Over

For most people Christmas ended the evening of the 25th and now they are biding time to ring in the new year. For some of us though, the seasons of Advent and Christmas are the beginning of our year not the end of it. The 25th was the beginning of twelve days of joyfully celebrating, in big and small ways, the birth of our King. It will culminate in a great big ol’ Epiphany feast with roasted pig, copious amounts of delicious foods, libations, laughter and cheer.

But it really is much more than that. It’s not just a beginning of a new church year it also points us to something bigger, something more, something to come.

Have you ever considered the baby Jesus being laid in a manger…a feeding trough?

“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…”

It wasn’t just a miraculous birth. It was a miraculous birth that pointed to a miraculous death and resurrection.

“The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and His presence among us ~ as one of us ~ give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter darkness.”