Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Homemade Christmas (mostly)

Our Children were blessed with many homemade and non-homemade things this year. Mercy got a hat for herself, and a matching one for her doll, a crocheted horse, a book, a beautiful quilt, and a doll with a stroller.

Julia received: a hat, with a matching one for her doll "taryn", a new outfit for Taryn, a book, a lovely home sewn apron, a crocheted horse, and beads.

sam: crocheted monsters (A huge hit!!), a book, a beautiful quilt full of memories (like uncle eric's shirts, etc), machines, and a table for his trains to go on.

here are some photos of them acquiring these thoughtful gifts.....

we all agree, this has been the most peaceful, restful, stress-less Christmas season yet. I especially loved watching the children be so so so happy and excited about their homemade things. When Sam is peacefully satisfied snuggling in his special blankets, or with his "munsters", it warms my heart to know who made them, and the love that went into every stitch. I'd write more, but i'm really tired from a lot of seasonally late evenings of FUN. Perhaps i'll write more another day, about our travels to B-town and our visit with the EVER SO WONDERFUL V.O.'s.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


"We may not say that we have the answers. Questions of how to conduct oneself as a Christian, or how to serve as a Christian, must be answered by life itself- the life of the individual in his direct responsible relationship to God. This is a dynamic, never a static thing. And how can we speak at all of the true meaning of conduct and service if we do not speak first and last of love? For it is love which sums up all other commands. The one who loves knows better than anyone else how to conduct himself, how to serve the one he loves. Love prescribes an answer in a given situation as no mere rule can do."
— Elisabeth Elliot (The Liberty of Obedience)

ah. reflect. refresh. and sort out those priorities. there we go. Good way to start my day. (with a side of coffee and christmas lights and snow falling softly outside my window)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas....

"...Just like the one we're about to have!

Where they kids are playing,

and friends are staying,

to have hot cocoa before they go!" la, la la la la laaaaaaa la laaaaaaa. Oh, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.....

Nothing special to say today, I just wanted to put up a couple of photos from the last week.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Random Shots from December...

Lazily opening gifts while lying down. :)

Snow snow snow.

Sam and Mercy use this old Calculator of mine as their "IPod" which i find quite funny. Here Mercy decided to "chill" with her "ipod".... hahahaha.

Julia's friend was with us for one of the snow days, so Dave played "school" and made up a lot of math and shape games. He was awesome in this role, and i enjoyed being the arts and crafts teacher alongside him. :) heehee.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

God's mini sculpture : caught on camera!

I call this one: a Fawn.

Amazing that the ice just took form like this, on a twig, in the middle of a bush, with no one to notice it. It is there for no other reason than to bring glory to God as the creator and sculptor of all things. wow.

Christmas Day!

Mercy received a Noah's Ark with all the little animals. :) She sat here playing with it for a very long time.

Sam's favorite gift was the blanket we bought for him, "I dreamed of this!" he proclaimed to us as he snuggled into the folds of fleece . :) I would not have guessed that he'd pick this gift over the Cars book we bought him, hahaha!

Julia received a bath bomb from Sam, how sweet ! :)

Winter Storm: brrrrr!!! I'm not used to -28 wind chill yet... but i can tell you that -6 felt positively warm after the previous temps!!

Everything out of my window is white and soft, oh, except for that first days' worth of snow that turned into chunky ice clumps under the soft drifts...
I love walking in the snow, i love sledding ( we went on one of the three snow days we had this week, with Julia's little friend, oh man, it was FUN!!!!) I love looking for animal signs in the snowy trails, i love tea, coffee, and our hot chocolate tradition after an "exploration" hike!! i love lights glistening on the white drifts.

Alright, I feel funny about posting one of my Bible-reading-thoughts online, i don't know if i want to... but i wrote it here instead of in my journal this morning... and my sense of productivity tells me it would be a waste of time to have written these words only to erase them. Writing out my thoughts helps me to assess them more fully for myself, hopefully someone else enjoys this read as well:

2 Corinthians 4:5
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.

Words i need to chew on daily: "For Jesus, and only for His Sake" that is why we live, love, care, serve. He must be the motivation. All other motivations and reasons will fail us, and fall empty. Though they may bring joy for a time, it is only joy from Jesus who loves us unconditionally that will last.

I want to live for His sake, i want my words and thoughts and actions to Glorify God and draw people to know Him. I wish it was easier to do away with the desire to feel appreciated and loved here on earth for what i do, but it isn't. I think that battle will last in my heart until i leave here.

Which brings me to the next verse that stood out to me:

2 corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

Cracked and Frail, that is what a jar of clay looks like to me. And how i feel some days when i forget that God is my strength and support. He is all I need, but how often to I act like that?

2Corinthians 4:14
...knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

Isn't that a glorious thought? just think about it for a while. *happy sigh*

2Corinthians 4:17-18
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

This also made my heart glad. I love these verses, the thoughts they bring, the pondering of what needs to change in my heart from what i have heard here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful!

Photograph: the view through the "singlepane" window. (caked with ice on the inside...)

We are under a blanket of white, and in areas near us it continues to pile higher. Just last night (monday the 13th) a state of emergency was declared for this county. yikes. THere are apparently 360 vehicles stranded along our highway, and the local police are risking their own comfort, safety and warmth to rescue many cold travelers.

I think i'll stay in today, and make an extra big pot of coffee in case anyone is cold outside with no where to go.

A "Present Day: Sinter Claus" post is coming soon! stay tuned! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Beautiful Words.

"Show me Thy face—the heaviest cross

Will then seem light to bear;

There will be gain in every loss,

And peace with every care.

With such light feet the years will fleet,

Life seem as brief as blest,

Till I have laid my burden down,

And entered into rest."

Author Unknown

I copied this from "A Disciples Notebook" (.com)

The Getting Of the Tree

Every year we go to this tree farm with Mark and Karli, it is part of our gift to our kids since they get to ride ponies, go on a zipline, and a train, and play in a huge hay maze. I always bring snacks for lunch and dinner, as well as things to roast over the fire provided for us. :) This year we did Bannock and hotdogs, yum!! :)

On this particular day, we not only needed to get our tree, but we also needed to decorate it. Our Santa Claus Day comes early, this year it was December the 6th, we exchange our gifts to one another on the day that "Santa Claus" brings gifts in Holland. This is our way of enjoying gifts to and from each other, along with the fantasy and anticipation of hearing sleigh bells at night and watching for reindeer in the snow.... hahaha. Then once that day is over, we have the rest of December to prepare for Christ's birth.

mercy, getting a better view while we decorate the tree... or, resting on the job...hmmm.

Below: Sam pages through the special book from Nana and Grandpa!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

janelle.... here are some photos for you! :)

Reading the Comic Book Bible on daddy's Ipod. (it is so cool!!!)

Honda Oddessy 2011. As designed by the mommy-son team.

Finished: Project Gingerbread
We decorated this house on a day that Julia's friend comes home from school with us. The more the merrier. They did a fantastic job with artistry and then we all enjoyed some treats to eat!! :)

Dave "nailed" the house together with toothpicks. brilliant man! :)

second post.

Dave was my architect for Project Gingerbread.

Sam, enjoying treats at the Extended Naus Fam. Reunion. Dinner, annual greetings to each other, cookie decorating for the kids that were there (I thought i'd make it a fun memory for the few little ones that come), and a lovely drive home in the dark, watching the stars. Sadly, Dave misses these reunions almost every year due to work, but hey, somebody has to bring home the bacon, right? :)

Ready for the Work Christmas Dinner. :)

A Late November Hike.

Julia in her remembrance day program - in which i cried at everything the school did to remember those who served, fought, died, and lived for our freedom.