"Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”
~ Jani Ortlund

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing In The New Year...

We've had a lot going on around here lately, Tim and the girls have put in many extra hours at work, we have taken fun trips, celebrated my husband's birthday, then Christmas.

So I think tonight we are going to lay low.  We were going to do a big party like we used too, and then let Lindsay open gifts at midnight, but with New Year's Day being Sunday - we had to let that idea go.  So for tonight we will eat taquitos and won tons, chips and dip, chocolate cake and who knows what else.  We have our sparkling red grape juice, and Mexican Coca-Cola.

We'll probably watch a movie and maybe play a few games!  When midnight hits we will hug and kiss, wish each other "Happy New Year" and the kids will jump into bed and hopefully they will be able to wake up easily for church tomorrow!

I like the start of a New Year!  Everything is fresh and exciting.  There will be challenges and changes, joys and sorrows, and well, life.  I am so thankful for the Lord and His goodness and His mercies which are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:22 - 23 says - Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not, They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 

Happy New Year!  I am so thankful for your friendship and encouragement.  Thank you for dropping by my cottage and chatting!  You've all been a great blessing to me this year!

Love,
Deanna

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Playing With My New Camera

 Sarah sleeping away in my bed the other evening while I was reading...


 My favorite lantern - it makes it's way around the house - currently on my desk.


 I rearranged my room this week and I am enjoying it very much.  This is a photo of my new camera.  Panasonic Lumix with a Leica lens...


 I was reading a few favorite bloggers...Melissa, my niece


And Rosie, my friend.

Today it snowed a bit, very soft, light snow...

 My lamppost in all it's Christmas finery...


 and the garland, lights and bows.  These will stay up for a while, even though the tree came down today.


 In my bathroom...
 Holly over the kitchen table...


 Sarah's new walking stick...


 Maxx asleep on my bed...


 Festive garland and lights over our bed...


 Greetings from friends far away...


I am enjoying learning to use the camera.  Thanks for letting me try it out on you!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Fun Continues

 From far away my tree is still so beautiful...


 Up close the poor thing is so dry and the needles are falling fast!


The fact that the tree is able to hold the ornaments and other decorations is amazing.
 
 I really should take it down, and I will....soon.



 Right now though we have been having fun - we went to see Tin Tin on Monday night, and Tuesday my mom came and hung out with us, after we finished school.  Then we watched the old BBC miniseries Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with our friend Denny.  We actually started it Christmas night but it is 6 hours so we did half then and half tonight.  It was good, in a slow moving, espionage kind of way.
Tomorrow when Tim gets off from work we are headed up to Cabela's with my folks.  

Yep, that tree is going to have to wait.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Afterglow...

We had a lovely Christmas...

 Sarah

 Rachel

 Kyle

 Lindsay

 Mom and Dad

 The Family

 Emily

 Anniversary's coming...

 Nate, Kamryn, and Kayleigh

We finally got our family photos done...we usually do them around Thanksgiving...oh, well.

I guess people will be getting their cards for New Year's this year!

More to come in the next few days....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

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 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14




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For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

 The older I get the deeper I feel Christmas...it is not all lightheartedness - it is deeper a joy that is increased by knowing that there is much sorrow.  
Among the new babies and marriages, there are those who have lost dearest loved ones and they hurt.  This is why Jesus came...to save us, to bind up our broken hearts, to free us.
I am full of deep joy...I pray you are too!


Blessings...


Deanna

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Welcome Winter

 
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Winter has come, at least to the Mid-West.  Here in the Mid-Atlantic it is so mild.  In fact it is so mild that the Swallowtail Butterfly that spun a late chrysalis emerged today.  She is beautiful, but we do not know how it will survive - there are no flowers to get nectar from.
 

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Instead of the lovely snow in these paintings, we have rain.  We are running around in light coats or sweaters instead of wool coats. 
 
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 Christmas is just days away and I must say that I am excited.  It is a wonderful holiday - one in which we celebrate the coming of our Lord Jesus.  We went to Sight and Sound yesterday to see The Miracle of Christmas.  It was very good and an excellent way for the kids to be reminded again about why He came.

The next few days are pretty relaxed but then Tim's birthday, Christmas, and the next weekend Lindsay's 20th birthday and our 24th anniversary.  I will try to blog as much as I can, but with so much going on (as well as school here) it may not happen.

I want to thank you all for reading here, for your friendships and encouragement to me!  What a blessing you have been!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmastime In New York City

 We took a trip into New York City on Monday.  Yes, I drove.  Once we got into the city our friend Denny and I traded places.  He used to live there and knows the city very well.


 Here is the Freedom Tower on the site of the World Trade Center.
It will be a total of 1776 feet when it is completed.


 Lady Liberty...


 The girls shoes with a tiny Statue of Liberty in the background...





 Brooklyn Bridge...


Metropolitan Museum of Art


 Denny had a bit of shopping for his store to do, so Emily and Tim goofed off....

 I had taken Rachel and Sarah to the American Girl Store which is only a block away from...


 Rockefeller Center...Sarah wanted to skate there very badly, but did I mention how crowded it was in the city yesterday?



 Woody was hanging around so I got their photo with him.  We took it for Kyle who spent the night with our good friends the Eldredges! He had a blast!  Thanks so much!

 Watching the skaters at Rockefeller Center...



 The photos do not do justice to the beautiful windows in St. Patrick's Cathedral.


 She had a really great time - fell asleep about 5 minutes after we got in the car to head home.

 They have a cool Lego store right at Rockefeller Center.


 These are bins of Lego pieces.  You get containers and fill them up!


 This mosaic is all Legos.


 I like this photo Rachel got at dusk... 

 There were about 8 of these guys out in front of this place...



 Lindsay is a huge Apple fan...she was happy to see this place...


 Take a look inside - below street level..


 This building was across from Trump Tower and Tiffany's.


 This was at the corner hanging over the intersection...


 The windows at Tiffany's were my favorite - the outsides looked just like parts of a carousel and inside they had these little horses with jewelry on them...


Inside Trump Tower - the tree is huge we are on the street level from this view point.  We went down to where these tables were and had a coke and the younger girls had ice cream.  Very beautiful.

There is so much to see that we didn't get to see - we walked past Central Park, but didn't have time to go in as it was getting dark, at around 4:00 pm.

We walked all over the city and saw Carnegie Hall, The Russian Tea Room, we saw Times Square (the traffic was crazy and so were the crowds of people!), we saw the ball up on the building waiting for New Year's Eve...we walked across the red carpet where Tom Cruise's premier was for his new movie.  We saw Radio City Music Hall, Saks Fifth Avenue.

If I was going to go at Christmastime again, I would go earlier in the month.   We had a wonderful time.  Would I want to live in the City?  No.  I would like to visit again though.  Now that we've been I am sure we'll be going back a time or two.

All photos were taken by Lindsay and Rachel.  Thanks girls for sharing with me!