For Unto Us...

Julia made this beautiful drawing on our chalkboard wall on the utility room for this glorious season.  I had asked her to make a silhouette of a tree and I do believe she did a most wonderful job.  Thank you Julia for the reminder every time we left or entered our home:
"For unto us a child is born"



A cute pic I wanted to throw in.  We played a fun, but different kind of white elephant game, and I will say every single person that played liked it so much more than the regular one, because you read a poem and it TELLS number 1 what to do and who to exchange with or not, then number 2 and so on, so there really isn't hurt feelings, you just play by the rules.  Anyway, Jenny had a picture taken of herself and autographed it "to my favorite fan  Jenny" and it was great.  The 1st time we used it however, she ended up with it back!  We could never have planned that!  It was way too funny.  The next time another family member ended up with it.  She had fun with it; she is our comedic relief in our household.  We wouldn't have it any other way, she's a blessing.  Love you Jenny!

Tell us a fun game or a fun time you had with family and friends during the CHRISTmas season, we'd love to hear!

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

Our Chickens' Christmas

We had to let our chickens get in on the festivities as well.  We are very thankful to some very special friends who gave us our wonderful egg-laying chickens, and the eggs taste oh, so good!  So enjoy the pictures of our cute chicken house, next year we may have to put lights around the lot as well.  







Sorry the last pic was blurry, I don't do well trying different settings so it is just a simple click, you get the idea though.  It was cute!  We had several neighbors comment on the lights.  I'm sure the chickens loved it as well, don't you?  *grin*

Did you decorate an outbuilding or something else fun this year?  Let us know by leaving your link in the comments.

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

Caroling

The seniors of our church had a get together and asked our children to play Christmas carols.  We had a wonderful time!  They ate, exchanged cards, Steve read the beloved Christmas story about our Savior's birth, and then they led us in song.  
What a joyous time!


Go, sing, and tell what Jesus means to you!
Bless someone's heart as you minister in song!
We still have a few homes for our family to sing to.
Blessing those who cannot get out, we end up on the receiving end even more so!  
Oh, how giving blesses the heart!!!
Thank You, Jesus!!!

(Archived from postings, this was 2011.  The kids sang for the seniors again this year, but I was too sick to go and hear them, so I wanted to post to make me feel like I had been there.  They had a great time again!  We love these dear people who have paved the way ahead of us.)

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

The Nativity

Remember the birth, remember the nativity.
Without it, there would be no death, 
there would be no resurrection, 
there would be no salvation.
Remember the nativity after the "holidays,"
Remember, after the decorations are down,
after the lights and trees and ornaments are in their boxes.
Remember, do not forget.
His name is JESUS!!!






Remember our Savior
Jesus Christ
Wonderful Counselor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace.
Remember, Love Came Down
for you, for me, for us.
Remember...

(Archived from postings)

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

CHRISTmas Hospitality

Our ladies at church had a "Holiday Hospitality" recently, where a lady decorates her own table and invites guests to sit with her.  The girls and I took part this year, and made room for 5 guests.  We had a good time decorating and finding some little gifts for our guests to have when they arrive.  Here are pictures of the decorations...We used my "Ever Grateful" dishes from Dayspring and some other Dayspring products.  

Since we needed to fit 4 people on one side of the table, we brought a bench from home that had been given to us from a friend, and we love it, it worked wonderfully!

We had a table near the window and an outlet so we added another small table, some extra greenery and lights.  My "Immanuel" blocks from a friend, are also from Dayspring; they are in front of the basket to which Julia so elegantly added greenery.

We chose a music theme because we love music so much!  I even have a music themed tree at home.  Sarah's violin was the centerpiece.

"Ever Grateful" vases were on either side of the violin.  Perfect reminders to be ever so grateful for ALL things.

A tree branch, painted gold, was decorated with our music ornaments and hung above our table.


My glasses were a previous Christmas gift from my sister.  Very fragile but they made the trip to the church and home fine.  Whew!



Pretty gift for a dear friend, with thyme and a candy cane.





The girls and one dear guest and friend.  Jenny loves dressing 40s style, see her gloves.

Another dear friend.

The men were asked to serve during our dinner, so here is Jamin putting ice in our glasses and being ever so gracious to help.  Thanks, son!  Isn't he handsome?



Two young ladies, who were daughters of a friend, were guests as well.  Lovely.

A picture of our room filled with all different tables and themes and wonderful ladies.

The young ladies gifts were palmlets Julia made for them.  They loved them...perfect.

Our full table of beautiful young women.  Thanks for being our guests and more importantly, our friends.



Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

A Happy Thanksgiving

I am backing up one holiday to finally put our Thanksgiving Day meal on.  My brother-in-law and his wife had us over to their home because they have a totally open basement that is big enough for a still ever growing family.  We wanted to have a "traditional" meal with ALL sitting around one table and ALL the food being passed.  We did it!  We had 9 tables together and decorated it and even used REAL dishes.  It was wonderful and so much fun!  There were 25 present and that included my parents as well.  I am the only in-law with still living parents and both our parents' have been lifelong friends.  My sis and family as you recall are in AZ, so since Steve's family is bigger and all are here, we include my parents.  

Steve's parents are on this end and mine at the other end.  Wish I had taken pics of the decorations, they were so pretty and the dessert table, oh the dessert table!  Sorry you missed out!  Enjoy!



My parents on this end.

My dad has a poem he found and enjoys reading it every Thanksgiving, and so with Julia playing softly on the dulcimer, he read, "My Cup Overflows."

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and always give thanks, always giving thanks.

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

CHRISTmas Celebrations!!!

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

I am so very excited to decorate for the birth of our Savior and King!  We celebrate our friends' and family's birthdays with cake, food, decorations, and gifts, so shouldn't we celebrate King Jesus' birth all the more!

Without the birth of our Savior, whether or not this is the exact day, we could not possibly celebrate His death and resurrection come Easter.  Without a birth, there cannot be a death.  O, Jesus, we thank You and wish You a very Happy Birthday this CHRISTmas day!

As I began with our decorations, I thought about why and what we were putting up all over our house.  We began with the Nativity set.  It is to remind us He came to us in a lowly stable, not normally where a King would be born.  He was surrounded by animals and He had visitors come to celebrate His coming.  A prayer of thanks and gratitude every time we pass the glorious scene.


We have lots of greenery around the house, over windows, around doors, and the CHRISTmas trees.  The greenery used is always evergreens which represents Jesus' Everlasting Life.  His birth, His death, His resurrection was all part of the Heavenly Father's Holy plan to bring us to salvation through His Son, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and into eternal life with Him.

The red and the gold ribbon, and red and gold ornaments have representations as well.  Red is symbolic of Jesus' shed blood on our, on my behalf, which I could not do myself.  He laid down, He spilled all, He suffered severe loss, the worst when His Father turned His back on Him, and for what, for whom?  For those who continually reject Him, for those who are disobedient to His will, for those He loves with ALL He is.  Forgive Us, O Lord.  
Gold symbolizes His gifts in Heaven awaiting our arrival on the streets of gold He has paved for us.



We have music instruments everywhere and decorate around those, because the angels sing "Holy, Holy, Holy" to the Lamb of God around the Throne.  We love to sing praises to His Name and give Glory to whom Glory is due.

A CHRISTmas, snow-filled, winter wonderland.  So pretty.

The Blood and Eternal Life, yes, oh yes. 

This particular night we had our Care Group over for our CHRISTmas party and fellowship.  We had an absolutely amazing time of praise, worship and fellowship.  Thank You, Father for such good friends!

There was eating and visiting. We always have lots of wonderful food God has provided by our husbands' and our mens' hard labor in providing for their families.

Always wonderful fellowship!

After the meal and some great fellowship, we had the real meal, the breaking of the Bread, and the Cup.  It is always good to have Communion with family and with one another.  As often as you do this, do in remembrance of Me.  Taking Communion in our home with friends and family has been amazing.  

We sit everywhere in our home, but the fellowship is sweet, just look at that face.  Including the little ones in ALL we do teaches them more than they could ever learn turned away from us in their own group.  Jesus said, "Let the little ones come," not "send them away to another room."  Oh, how sweet!



Snowmen - wonderful winter fun!





To throw in some extra, added fun, we played a few games.  One was "Are You Ready for CHRISTmas?" with a prize for the most ready and the least ready.  This was the traditional, cultural, ready with gifts and decorations, not the readiness of our hearts, which we discussed as Steve read a special CHRISTmas story, "What Child is This?" he reads to our family every year since our children were young.  

Traditions are wonderful!  I wouldn't take anything for the wonderful memories and traditions my parents gave us and some we carry on with our children.  Oh, how sad not to have that.

We played the "Right Left Christmas Game Nativity Story," "A Fun White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem," and a CHRISTmas Carol game.  What fun we had!!!  And gifts from one another, oh the joy!!!  We give because He gave, still gives.



Friends for many years, K and K, and actually, their last names are W and W.  Too funny!

Sweet friend, A, with our baby cousin, WW.  Who needs toys, really?  I am learning by watching them, NO ONE really does.



Ages 8 - 20 gathered for some games, and spoons was a specialty.  No injured players, I don't think. *grin*





Don't hurt anyone!

Sweet Fellowship...my dear ladies.

He already sings with us and with the training from his parents, knows when we have our study, the teaching and prayer, and talks and plays more when we finish, and he's only 10 months old!  They learn so very much this way, much more than we as adults give babies, toddlers and children credit for.

Fellow-ship...

Friends, Big W and wife, C with baby W, not theirs, just lovin' on him; who could resist!

My final thoughts on our joyful gift-giving which surround us this season of Joy.  I  love to give gifts, I mean, I really LOVE to give, and as I pondered this, I thought of Jesus' gift to us, salvation, but another gift came to mind, and we read of it in His Love Story to us, His Word, the Bible.  Jesus has gone to Heaven to prepare a place for us, unlike anything we could imagine.  There are streets of gold, a crystal sea, walls of jasper, gates of pearl, and He is creating it for us to live eternally with Him.  My dear Husband said he thinks of gold as something we place a high value on here on earth, and in Heaven it will be something we walk on.  If God is preparing such gifts for us to enjoy for all of eternity, shouldn't we celebrate His Birthday in an extraordinary way?  I want all who come into our home to know Who we worship, Who we adore, and Who we call Jesus Christ, the Lord.


"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called 
Wonderful,
Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

If you have not prepared for the birth of the King, go now, prepare your heart first, then prepare your home and your family for a birthday celebration like no other!   If you were hosting an earthly King, you would make preparations, go, prepare for The Everlasting Father.

I want to thank my parents for giving me the memories of wonderful CHRISTmas pasts, spent with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.  So much to be thankful for!

I would love to hear how you celebrate the King!  Send me a comment and tell me about your celebrations!   I love hearing from you!

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody