So, I wanted to share a few updates before I start. First off, my brother's wedding was beautiful. It was a nice, relaxed, fun wedding that everyone really enjoyed. And my song went really well! (Thanks to everyone who prayed for me) It's funny, I actually got a lot of complements on it, I think just because everyone was so startled to hear me sing in that style. I'm glad it went well...I wanted it to be a gift to my brother and sister-in-law.
They're now settled in to their apartment and doing really well. They're so cute together! :) It is a little bit surreal to think of my little brother as a married man, though. :)
The girls were great as flowergirls. My youngest was a bit figety (okay, maybe that's a little bit of an understatement) :), but everything went smoothly overall. Thankfully, at that age, people still think you're adorable even if you make a few mistakes. :)
In other news, I have officially decided to rebel and not send Christmas cards this year. I've been so stressed out with everything that has to get done this month and I was running into obstacle after obstacle with my cards (from not having my family pic ready to losing Internet service, when I make my cards on Costco.com). After a total meltdown moment yesterday, my loving, patient husband made me realize that the world would not end if I didn't send Christmas cards this year. I will miss it, because since I don't do Facebook, it's one of the main ways I keep in contact with friends and family from my past. But after thinking about it for a while, I realized it wasn't worth the stress and pressure I was putting myself and my family through. I'm actually thinking about sending "Un-Christmas Cards" (you know, like "un-birthday" from "Alice in Wonderland"?) some time this next year, just to be unique. :)
I don't know why I shared that last part with you, since none of you are on my Christmas card list. I guess I just wanted to get it off my chest. ;) I'm hoping that I can keep eliminating the unecessary stresses this month as Christmas gets closer and closer. I just want to remember the true reason for the season: the birth of my Lord and Saviour. I'm hoping that in all the craziness and activity I'll be able to hold onto that. I don't want to lose sight of the precious Baby who grew to be a Man that sacrificed Himself for the sins of the whole world. A Man who was also fully God, and who didn't stay dead, but was victorious over the grave. Because of His sacrifice, I can now live eternally, too. Talk about the ultimate Christmas gift! :)
Well, I just thought you might enjoy seeing some pics of my Christmas decorations. As my post title says, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" around here. :) Enjoy!
Our beautiful Nativity Scene from Costco. We wanted this to be a very visible part of our Christmas decorations to help our girls remember what Christmas is really all about. This is one of the best purchases we ever made. I'm sure it will be something our family cherishes for years. It's a bit of a pain to store because it's so big, but even with that inconvenience, it's totally worth it! :)
Here are our Wisemen. And yes, we have 4. Bible factoid of the day: the Bible doesn't actually tell us how many Wisemen there were. The fact that there were three gifts given to Jesus (gold, frankincense, and myrrh), songs like "We Three Kings" and other Christmas traditions have led us to assume that there were 3 Wisemen. So I made it a point to have more than 3 Wisemen, just because it goes against assumed tradition (I can be kinda stubborn that way). We also don't have them at the manger because it is very likely that the
Wisemen were not at the manger (the Bible mentions them going into a "house" to see Jesus and present their gifts-see Matthew 2:11). It is also possible that Jesus may have been as old as 2 years when they came (one of the reasons for this theory is the fact that when King Herod heard about the birth of the "King"-Jesus, he ordered all of the baby boys 2 years old and under to be killed-see Matthew 2:16). Personally, I find this all fascinating and like to be Biblically accurate. You may now know way more about the Wisemen than you ever wanted to, though. :)
Here's a special embroidered picture, handmade by my grandma. She passed away when I was in high school, so it's nice having a reminder of her.
Our piano decorations. The piano is usually the main spot I decorate now. I used to be the type that decorated every flat surface, but having 3 kids cured me of that. There may be a time for that in my future, but we'll see!
These snowmen are really special to me. When I was growing up, my mom had a set of snowmen just like these, made by my grandma, that represented each of our 4 family members. When I got married, my mom talked to one of the older ladies in our church and asked her to make me my own snowman family (mom had the same pattern that my grandma had used). Every year we had a baby, I got a new snowman for my family. It always makes me smile when I see them.
Some more festive little guys. The white snowman on the left was my husband's when he was little, and the mouse was my grandma's (the same one that embroidered the picture and made my mom's snowman family). The snowman with the accordian was one I purchased on a sale several years ago, and the snowman on the far right is another Boyds figurine.
Do any of you remember Rodney reindeer and his friends from Hallmark in the 80s? You might remember them from their re-issue last year...that's where the big Rhonda in the middle of the picture came from. The smaller Rhonda and Ramona (the girl in the red jammies on the left) were in my Christmas stocking one year as a little girl. Rodney and Randy (the other one in red jammies on the left) were eBay purchases to help me relive my childhood. :) I get the reindeer out each year for the girls to play with, just at Christmastime.
Here are our Advent Calendars. The red one was mine growing up. My mom got it at a craft fair. The tree has 25 buttons on it, and below it are 25 pockets. Each pocket has a mini ornament in it that you can hang on a button to help you count down to Christmas. The girls love taking turns with this calendar.
Our other calendar is a Playmobil one that was given to us as a hand-me-down. Same concept (duh, it's an advent calendar) :)...it has 24 boxes that each have a Playmobil toy in them. There's a little display that goes with it (see pic below). The girls love playing with this one, too. They're always sad when it's time to pack the toys away until next Christmas. I'm not sure how long this one will last. It's made of cardboard, for one thing. The other problem is it's really hard to keep track of all the pieces. Last year, we lost one Playmobil person. This year, I was able to shuffle things around in the boxes so that there would still be something to open on each day. If we lose too many more, though, I'm not sure what I'll do. :)
And last, but not least, here's my doll room. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. You can see more pics at Tess and Maggie's blog HERE. I did a fun little "decorating for Christmas" story with lots of pics.
Hope you enjoyed seeing all the pics, and hope you're enjoying decorating your own homes. From our house to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! :)