Thursday, December 29, 2011

Two and a Half

I posted in my side bar the two and half books I've read since my last post.

I couldn't make it all the way through  Not in Front of the Servants.  It is a book about the life of English Servants and it was somewhat interesting.  I did learn some interesting facts but by halfway through I was simply drudging through the reading and it wasn't keeping my attention anymore.  So I just stopped and moved on to the next book.  I feel a little guilty, but not enough to pick it up and read the rest.

Today is library day so I get to go get some more to keep me busy!  Yeah!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Very Special Gift

Our family tradition is the children get two gifts, one from us and one from Santa.  The children also exchange names to give each other a little present as well as all together give their mother and father a present.  Those gifts are all opened on Christmas Eve after the 7pm service.  Each of the 12 days of Christmas the children find a little present in their stocking from us.  The last couple of years they also have given their father and I a little present in our stocking each day of Christmas.

This day's was one that was extra special.  It was a cd they made of Christmas hymns.  It included them on their instruments; organ, flute, violin, piano, as well as a couple of sung pieces, including Veni Veni Emmanuel.

I've been playing it over and over all morning.  It is so beautiful, so thoughtful, so eye-watering to a mother.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Hobbit

The trailer for the movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is now available.

To view, click here, and then click "watch now".

We are looking forward to seeing the movie!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book List

Since September I've been keeping a list of the books I've read for two reasons.  One so that I can remember what I've read (I'm very bad at remembering titles, not to mention authors), and two I can see easily the types of books I've read.

Oh wait, there is another reason.  I've never done well with lists of books to read, so I thought a reverse list might be more useful to me.  It might be more motivating to keep a list of what I've already read, more of an accomplishment list and not a chore list.  So far, that has worked.  There's been only one problem.  I've lost my list. . . . twice.

So in order to have a permanent copy I'm creating a new widget in the side bar to keep a running list of the books I've read.  In case you're interested here is what I've read since September 2011.

  • Mt. Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark
  • An Untold Love Story by Madeline Albright
  • The Violin of Auschwitz by Maria Angels Anglada
  • Over the Earth I Come The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862 by Duane Schultz
  • The Company We Keep A Husband-And-Wife True-Life Spy Story by Robert & Dayna Baer
  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Monday, December 05, 2011

Baking, Snow, Friends, and Other Happenings Around Here

This week brings cookie baking for the annual Ladies' Christmas Bazaar and Bake Sale.  Last year I had baked all sorts of things (cheesecake, cookies, and apple strudel) and then the event had to be cancelled due to a snowstorm.  This year it has snuck up on me and I am scrambling to figure out what and when to bake.

This week also brings company, which makes me very happy.  I can't wait to see my friends and offer them a place to sleep and food to eat while they're here to rejoice with their son upon his graduation from Bethany.

We went to Bethany yesterday for their annual Christmas at Bethany.  It was beautiful and I teared up when they began singing Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence by E.C. Bairstow from the  Liturgy of St. James, Fourth (?) Century.  It was so beautifully sung and the words!  Oh the words!

Let all mortal flesh keep silence and stand with fear and trembling,
and lift itself above all earthly thought.
For the king of kings and Lord of lords, Christ our God,
is cometh forth to be our oblation and to be given for Food to the faithful.
Before him come the choirs of angels with every principality and power;
the Cherubim with many eyes, and winged Seraphim,
who veil their faces as they shout exultingly the hymn: Alleluia

I had to force myself to not think about those words, those beautiful words, or I would have been a sobbing puddle and disturbed everyone around me from listening while they wondered what was the matter with that crazy lady.  The choirs sang many beautiful Latin pieces as well as wonderfully singing Handel's For Unto Us a Child is Born, and the Hallelujah Chorus.  It was a very nice evening I thoroughly enjoyed.

We finally got snow this past weekend, so it looks and feels like winter should in this land o' lakes.

The children want to put up the Christmas decorations sooner rather than later.  I love their excitement, it is contagious.  But I will probably disappoint them as I'm not sure decorating will happen until next week.  Although that is such a big motivator, they often get their work done more quickly if there is a possibility of Christmas decorating afterwards.

I'm currently reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. So far (I'm merely at the beginning) it is quite interesting and find the man to be well, weird.  But I am learning a bit more about the era and it made me realize that the culture one grows up in and lives in really shapes a person.  And I can imagine the angst and heartache Steve must have given his parents while he grew.

I've had my own angst over children and it is very humbling.  It isn't easy to see my own little ones grow up and choose things that cause me worry.  But thanks be to God who speaks His forgiveness in my ear when I confess my sins against these beloved children of His.  How beautiful and right that is.

Two new things we are doing as a family this Advent season.  One is actually lighting a candle on our new Advent wreath.  Well it isn't a wreath but a 4x4 piece of wood that David drilled holes for the four candles and a friend stapled greenery around the top.  But it is our first ever Advent wreath and the children love to light and extinguish the candle(s) during our evening prayer.  The second new thing is also during our evening prayer.  Usually we sing a second hymn picked by one of the children, however during this season we are singing Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel in Latin.  Hopefully some of it will sink into our hearts by season's end.  Nathan and Abby both quickly spotted that the Bethany choir sang the first verse (in Latin) yesterday as the very first thing to open the service.