Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just a Cup of Tea

In the past three days, I've had two separate friends - who I don't think actually know each other - sit me down for a cup of tea.  Sweet, quiet moments in the midst of absolute insanity.

I was astounded at how refreshed I felt, spiritually and even physically, by the simple act of taking time out for this simple ritual.

I've never been "all that" as a Mom, homemaker, homeschooler, or what have you.  Truthfully, I've never even longed for the whole, "let me create a quiet haven for my family with a nice cup of tea and freshly baked goodies" scene.  Maybe I just can't sit still long enough, or maybe I'm too busy with the next project. . . .

But it was lovely.  I don't know that I can pull it off every day, or even every week, but I think we need to sit for a cup of tea now and again.

So in this week leading up to Christmas, I wish for you, my friends, a quiet moment or two, and a cup of tea.

And a good friend to sip it with.

Friday, December 16, 2011

And Then there were Three

Teenagers, that is.  Officially today, we are the parents of three. . . count 'em, THREE teenagers.

(And - we've discovered that we will never have MORE than 3 teenagers at once.  Go figure!)

So somehow, in a few short, blink-of-an-eye years, we've gone from this. . . . .

To this.

To my lovely, Jane Austen reading, costume-designing, ballet-dancing, tender-hearted, beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful, thoughtful, funny, charming, delightful Emily. . . .

Happy Birthday.

I'm so glad I have you in my life to tell me if my clothes match, if our house is decorated correctly, and if I'm embarrassing you too much.

You are a joy.  I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for your life!

And - just because I can - another very special picture:

Emily and Gretchen, friends since before they were born.  Literally.  Wish she could be here to celebrate the day with us!

And for the record?  I think having three teenagers is pretty terrific :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Adjusting My Vision

As I write this, I'm sorely in need of an eye exam.  (And since we've established that my mother does, sometimes, read my blog, I will add this comment:  Yes, Mom, I'm going to take care of that.  Soon.)  Things are just getting a little fuzzy, and I find myself moving books a bit to see some teeny tiny print now and then.  Ah, aging.

I've found that - lately - I've been so swamped with work and schooling and - well - life in general - that my spiritual vision has gotten a bit fuzzy as well.  Unable to see the forest for the trees, I've taken to grumbling and griping, indulging far too often in a pity party that has dampened my spirits and kept me from seeing clearly.

Time for an adjustment.

And so here, in this quiet moment, when the blessing of a head cold (yes, I did just type that. . .blessing) has kept me home all day, I'm taking a moment to reflect.  It's picture-heavy, I know. . .but here are some snapshots of blessings that have abounded to me and mine in the past month or so.

In mid-November, I took an unexpected trip to CT to attend a funeral and love on a dear friend.  Sadly, I have no pictures of my dear Darcy, but here are a few other remembrances. 

A fun night with Sheila and Tammy. . .acting like teenagers texting!
My sweet niece Sarah. . .so good to spend time with her and hear her heart.
How tall I remember them . . . . . .

And how tall they are now!!!

Jeremy, Oliver, Charlotte, Anna, and Caroline. . .I was there when many of them were born, changed their diapers. . . and now they're so grown!!!
With the Dirty Deed!  Just as fun an zany as ever, got to meet Dave & Cheryl Blough's twins.  They're still changing diapers!  Bless their hearts!!!

Thanksgiving. . . . for so many things. . . . . .

Me & Sweet Emily. . .Almost a teenager. . .So lovely
All gathered.  Love each and every one - what a blessing they all are.

Great shot - Dad & daughter doing dishes!

The gingerbread tradition is SERIOUS business.

Grammy & Kat play Scrabble iPad style. . .I get artsy with my camera.  Or at least, try to.

Sisters sharing a secret on the way to Black Friday shopping.

December has already been filled with precious memories - and here are a few of them!

Nathaniel and friends at the BEST Robotics competition.  So thankful for this program - it has really sparked a love of engineering in our boy!

Everyone needs to sleep under a Christmas tree at least once.

You've gotta love a 15-year old who doesn't mind his sister sitting on his lap during lunch - and a bunch of friends who think that it's nothing unusual to enjoy the company of your siblings, no matter their age!

This picture captures their joy.  I just love it.

Beautiful shepherdess at the Walk Thru Nativity.

Ever seen cuter shepherds?  Hannah in front, and Amy in the stripes.  It was Amy's dream for TWO YEARS to be in the scene with the goats. . . she got her wish!!!

Kathryn was a beautiful Mary in the scene where the Angel Gabriel visited her.  "Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord. . . "

Piano teachers are a blessing! 

Kathryn and Fellow Fellows show off their decorated cookies.

The "Flohnson" Learning Community - such a special and FUN group of students!  We were so glad to host them at our house for a Christmas party.  It's been a great semester for Kathryn.

It wouldn't be December without. . .ballet!  Amy in mid-air.

 And now. . . . because of another unexpected but "secret" blessing. . . .(and again, since my mother reads my blog I will say. . .thank you!!!!). . . . I'll stop the pictures for now.

But my vision has been adjusted. 

And I am so very, very thankful and so very, very blessed.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.