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Monday, December 27

Christmas Joys

I don't have many days left to get to 100 joys, but I've got a lot to be joyful about! Let's see how many I can come up with for today.

11. We had really good flights. Both of our flights arrived early, due to strong winds pushing us along. I didn't lose any luggage this time, and we didn't have to go through the full body scanners or be patted down!
At the Denver airport.
12. I had time to paint some Christmas ornaments. We usually have themed Christmases on my Dad's side of the family, and we pick a country and eat their food, play their Christmas games, and sometimes even dress up. Nana tries to have an ornament for each year, and last year was South Africa. So I painted these for each family.
South African Flag. I made two of these.
A green elephant. The date is on the back. I don't know why Blogger likes to put my pictures up sideways.

A gray elephant. 
13. I was able to put the ornaments in my carry on bag, and they didn't break!
14. We had wonderful time staying with my sister, brother-in-law and niece the first night we were back.
She loves her citrus!
Uncle Brian

15. Brian and I really enjoyed celebrating Christmas with my Dad's side of the family. Everything was taken care of for us: our hotel room, and Nana and Papa even put in white elephant gifts for us.
16. Our hotel room had a hot tub!!! 
17. From the white elephant gift exchange, I chose three heirloom ornaments.
18. The next morning, we were supposed to get up early and drive to Brian's parents' home for the traditional Christmas Eve celebration. We had arranged for my family to bring two cars so that we'd have something to drive. They forgot. Thankfully, my uncle offered to give us a ride to Des Moines, and Brian's grandma agreed to let us drive her car to my in-laws'. So although we had an extra hour and a half of driving, we made it back!
The view from the dining room


Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Our somewhat matching Christmas socks.

19. I asked for a pearl bracelet and earrings, and I specified fake ones, like the cheap ones at Target. I got a set of pearl earrings, bracelet, and necklace and they are real freshwater pearls. I've worn the bracelet every day and I can't stop marveling over how they shine!
20. Most of our gifts arrived in time for Christmas Eve!
21. By buying flower pins from the Mercy House Shop, we supported the maternity home and give lovely gifts that my sisters (and myself) really love.
22. By using the Food For the Hungry's web catalog, we gave gifts of hope by donating in honor of Brian's cousin, my brother-in-law, my in-laws, and my parents. We gave a total of four guinea pigs, vitamin A for children and pregnant women, and two chickens.
23. By using Voice of the Martyr's website, we donated for four Bibles to be sent to China in honor of my sisters-in-law.
24. Because you've taken advantage of DaySpring's After Christmas sales, I have $20 to donate to Food For the Hungry!
25. We had a wonderful two days with Brian's extended family in Des Moines.
26. Brian's sisters are home for the holidays!
27. We celebrated Christmas with my family last night.
28. It was a joy to hang out with my little brothers and help my mom in the kitchen. And play with my niece, of course!
29. My mom bought the most amazing present for Brian and me!
30. It snowed off and on through the weekend, making a perfect white Christmas! 
31. I forgot to mention, while our flights were early, we did run into some trouble when someone took our suitcase, mistaking it for theirs! Thankfully, they realized their mistake a few hours later and brought it back! 
32. In keeping with the family traditions, I have my own Christmas stockings now!


33. Usually, my immediate family opens presents with a free-for-all frenzy, everyone opening them at the same time. Brian's family and extended family always does it one person at a time, as does my brother-in-law's family. So even though some complained about how long it would take, for the first time my family tried it. I greatly prefer taking turns, because then everyone gets to enjoy the gifts.
O Christmas Tree the 2nd



Ethan's holding all his presents at once

And so is Edward!



34. I've sold four books through Amazon.com!
35. We've had safety through all of our traveling last weekend. 
36. I asked for a stamp with fancy script, preferably unreadable and French, because I'd used one belonging to someone from church like that and it was so versatile. And I got the exact same stamp for Christmas!
37. Since we've been back, we've gotten Starbucks a few times. It's a special treat, especially the peppermint mocha!
38. We're only waiting for one more Christmas present to arrive in the mail. It's for my in-laws, and I ordered it a little late, but it shipped today and will probably be here soon.
39. Brian and I had a friend take a Christmas picture for us, now I just need to make it into a Christmas card!
40. Brian and I don't have anything really planned today, so we can finally relax after a very busy weekend!

I hope you had a very merry Christmas filled with joys and blessings!





Saturday, December 25

The Story


So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.


And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
(Matthew 2)
 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a]from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
   who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]
  Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


Wednesday, December 22

Home For the Holidays

First things first: the winner of the CSN Stores $35 gift code is... commenter number 16, edmontonjb. Congratulations!!! I hope to hear from you soon! If you didn't win, don't worry, there's more coming.


But by the time this is published, Brian and I will be somewhere on the way to visiting our home sweet home, family and friends. Have a merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 17

Wishing For This

This is one of my new favorite Christmas songs! I'd never heard it until this year. It sums up what I really need this Christmas. 


I included the lyrics, but I could only find it on one website and it was full of typos. I did my best to fix them, but if it's not quite right, I apologize.


Are you still listening for His voice this Christmas with me? 



I can hear the bells they're ringing out
to say that it's Christmas.
Everybody's wearing too few grins
and checking off their wishlist
And I'm looking over mine
It's obvious that I'm hoping for something different

So drop your hands into this heart of mine
Oh how it needs lifted
I want to forgive and I need to be forgiven
I wanna let live and I need to do some livin'
I wanna find the light this christmas night with you
I wanna find the light this christmas night with you

I try to find my coat and gloves then I
will join them out there
I walk into the soft and dreamy white
that's blowing through my hair
And I feel a little numb 'cause I wait for you to come
Answer this one prayer

So drop your hands into this heart of mine
Will you show me where?
I can forgive and I can be forgiven
I wanna let live 'cause I need to do some livin'
I wanna find the light this christmas night with you
I wanna find the light this christmas night with you

I'm looking for a sign
It's obvious that I'm hoping for something different
So drop your hands into this heart of mine
Oh how it needs lifted
I wanna forgive and I want to be forgiven
I wanna let live and I need to do some livin'
I wanna find the light this christmas night with you
I gotta find the light this christmas night with you


What did you think? I love this Holiday CD so much I added it to my page. If you click on the MP3 Clips music player button to the left, you can preview the other songs on this CD.

Don't forget to enter the CSN Stores giveaway! Just click on the cupcake button to the left. 


And, in case you're shopping for a few last minute gifts, check out the new Clearance sales at DaySpring:


New Clearance Gifts
SAVE on hundreds of gifts for all the special people on your list, includingChristmas Ornaments starting under $3!


Joy - Postcard from HeavenHope Dove - Reversible Charm Necklace


Christian Home Decor Sale

Share a gift that adds God's beauty and Christian meaning to your loved one's home.
Now On Sale! All Christmas Decor and Nativities. While supplies last.

Jesus Is the Gift Snowflake Collection - 9 3/8Jesus Is the Gift Snowflake Collection - Oven Mitt and Potholder

What's a new or old favorite Christmas song of yours? I'd love to check it out! 

Thursday, December 16

Today's Joys


Today did not start out like a good day for finding joy. 

As part of Brian's Christmas Present, I got up at the unearthly hour of 4:30 a.m. and made his lunch, and saw him off to work. I figured I might as well stay up, because at 9:00 a.m. I was going to the church to volunteer for secretary work. At 8:00 a.m, I was barely keeping awake. My head was starting to hurt, and I decided to lay down for 10 minutes. An hour later, I had a migraine and I was still in my pajamas. I rushed around getting dressed, making my lunch, and trying to make myself look good without showering, all the while feeling like I was going to vomit because of the pounding, skull crushing pain. After some coffee and Aleve, by the time I made it to church I felt much better. 

It was cold and rainy, and when I got to the church, no one else was there. I couldn't find the secretary office. And I couldn't get in touch with anyone who would know. Finally, my friend Kasha, who is heading up the secretary volunteers responded to my text and told me where it was. There were no messages to take, no emails to send, no mail to sort or mail, basically, I just had to sit. 

Kasha stopped by in the afternoon, and we took care of the few things we could, and then my day started to get a lot better. Since I was done with everything I could do, we left to do some Christmas and craft supplies shopping at Target and Hobby Lobby!

So, without further ado, here are my joys:

1. The rain! It doesn't happen often, and it smelled so fresh and sounded so relaxing falling on the roof. 


2. Coming home from shopping, all wet and cold, and siting in my chair with hot chocolate, French vanilla snowman marshmallows, and Cinnabon cereal.
3. My Christmas lights! And, Brian's Christmas present. It brings me joy knowing that he enjoys it so much!
4. Our Christmas tree! I love the star on the top, it's an ornament we have fastened there.
5. I found this little typewriter at Goodwill, and I love it! Those little rings are for pictures or my numerous sticky notes.
It's a little too small to type on!
7. Kasha had these shoes in her car; she was taking them to Goodwill to donate. But, I just happened to wear this size, and she gave them to me!
8. I got these picture frames at Goodwill for very cheap. They're perfect for some pictures I ordered printed from Walmart!
9. Christmas ornaments 50% off! The red ones are for a craft, and the light blue are either for hanging in the window or for one of our Christmas trees. 
10. Future Christmas crafts! 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! Just click on the button with the cupcake on the left. What joys did you find today?