Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas - Decorations and Traditions

So, having been absent again for a little while I thought I would put up some pictures of our Christmas decorations for this year, since it is Christmas and everything that goes along with it, that has kept me from this blog!

The tree. (Ignore the laundry basket underneath!)

My mantle

Again, ignore the big bare space in the middle. I do have plans, well did have plans to put a big white frame with white ornaments hanging from it up there, but it just hasn’t happened! The frame is over near the tree waiting to be painted, and the decorations are in my spare room waiting to be hung! By the time I get to it I’ll have one day to enjoy how it looks and then it will be time to put all the decorations away! On the bright side, next year it will be like I have “new” decorations for the mantle…haha!

I just went to a cheapo shop for the baubles in the glass jars on the mantle. I have more tiny ones in a vase elsewhere around the house. I think they look really cute, and no one would know that they cost like 3 bucks for 20! Who doesn’t love a bargain?

I feel like this year I have been so much more flat out getting organised than last year. The days are just flying past and I have been packing so much into each day preparing for Christmas day.

Despite all the busyness of this season, I have found myself to be more contemplative than last year. I don’t know if it’s because I have been thinking more and more about having children, or if I’m just at a different place in my walk with the Lord, but I have been trying to centre my thoughts on what this season is really all about.

I have struggled this year with the idea of receiving and giving lots of things that I don’t really need, that others don’t really need. Christmas for the masses has become about stuff, not about the Saviour.

Do children who last year screamed “where’s my next present” really need more toys, toys that will simply be thrown onto the pile in the playroom? Do adults with houses full of things they never use really need to have loads of money spent on them? Do I really need to receive new things when I have so much already?

And if I don’t change this year, how will I teach my own children, when we have them, what this season is really all about?

So this year, a step in the right direction, the start of some new family traditions. I don’t how they will look in the years to come, how we will mould them, and shape them and add to them, but here they are for this year.

Reading the Christmas story together from the Bible, first thing Christmas morning. What better way to start the day of Christmas than by reading about why we celebrate.

Gifts of Compassion. Want to give a gift that will be used and really appreciated? Well you can, and make a difference in someone’s life at the same time! Best bit (I mean a part from the fact that you are being God’s hands and feet!) you don’t have to face the crazy Christmas crowds to do your shopping, it can all be done online here. Why not really bless someone this year?!

In the past I have been involved in Operation Christmas Child which is all about giving gifts to children who would otherwise not have anything. This is a lot of fun!

Something I want to do next year (I was too late getting onto it for this year) is a fabulous appeal in our town called Adopt a Family. Through the local newspaper, people can register to adopt a family for Christmas, who might otherwise go without. Once you have registered you are then paired up with a family (not in person, just by being given ages, gender, and some other basic details). You are then asked to purchase a gift for each family member, as well as make up a food hamper.

I have also been starting to think about how we can really incorporate Jesus in to the lead up to Christmas. I downloaded from Ann Voskamp her Jesse Tree Devotional for Advent. She writes so beautifully, and I just loved this idea.

The other thing that I am thinking of doing is the Elf on the Shelf! I think it is a really fun way to add some whimsy to the Christmas season. Yes, I want to keep Christ at the centre (like always!), but I think there is room to allow some fantasy to be a part of the celebrations, it’s all about finding the right balance for you. I think the Elf of the Shelf is a cute way to do it!

So there it is, some of my thoughts on Christmas and traditions, and my half-finished Christmas decorations!

Have a lovely evening!


Monday, December 13, 2010

2 Years

Two years ago today I walked with my dad down a very long aisle to a beautiful song by Lifehouse. Waiting for me at the end was the man of my dreams.

I can't believe how quickly two years has gone by. Before we know it we will have reached five years, and then ten! Time moves on so quickly.

I can honestly say that these last two years have been the most fun, and most wonderful years of my life.

That Saturday afternoon two years ago I though I couldn't love Dave anymore than I did right at that moment, but I was wrong. Two years of married life has made me love him even more, despite disagreements, and toilet seats being left up! (just kidding, he actually never leaves it up...what a man!)

I am blessed beyond words to have a husband that will do the cooking when I can't be bothered, will do the dishes when they pile up, who will rummage through both our recycling and garbage bins when I think I have thrown out an envelope full of cash (turned out I hadn't!) and I am in such a panic I can't think straight.

I am blessed beyond words to have a husband who constantly encourages me, who makes me laugh, who I know is by my side always and who always has the sweetest things to say to me and about me.

Happy anniversary Dave! I am thankful everyday that God would bless me with you.

I love you!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Man Rules

These rules made the rounds via email this morning at work. I just had to post'll see why!

The Man Rules

At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down.
Finally , the guys' side of the story. ( I must admit, it's pretty good.)
We always hear " the rules" from the female side....Now here are the rules from the male side.

These are our rules!

Please note.. these are all numbered "1 "


1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat.
You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down.
You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports, It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides.
Let it be.

1.. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want.
Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work!

Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are.
Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one

1. You can either ask us to do something Or tell us how you want it done.
Not both.
If you already know best how to do it , just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials..

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched.
We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong.
We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really .

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as Footy or Fishing.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this.
Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;
But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping!

So hilarious!! I was practically rolling on the floor...which always looks a little odd at work.

It's so funny because it's true...I just hope no feminists read this! ;)

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

U2 360 Concert and Bendigo Weekend

I will start with the most exciting part of this blog post.

Friday night Dave & I went to the U2 360 concert in Melbourne!! Oh my....possibly the best $40 we have each spent this year!!

We only got our tickets at the last minute because I thought that they had sold out. Turned out I was looking at the wrong ticket agents website!

So Thursday morning I was online trying to get a hold of tickets. As it worked out we got pretty good seats!
That shot isn't even zoomed in!

I will admit that this was my first ever concert! Yep, never been before, and I have to say you can't get much better that U2 for your first concert!

Great night! Except for the usual hour drive home becoming a three hour drive home with all the concert traffic!! But who cares....U2!

Last weekend we went away for a much needed break for the weekend. We hired a house in Bendigo and just got away for the weekend. We left our messy house behind and our regular busy lives and just went somewhere else.

The house we stayed at is owned by a missionary couple who work with an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory. They are only home for two months of the year and so for the rest of the year they rent out their home for others to use. They charge hardly anything to stay there and they do it to bless others!

The kitchen and living area

Outside BBQ area...that didn't get used!

It rained the whole weekend, but we went out around town and shopped a little and had a meal, and then spent the rest of the time doing nothing. It was bliss!

The town has heaps of beautiful old buildings like this one

Where we had lunch

And I just had to throw these pictures in. Victoria has been in drought for a long time now, but this last month we have had an unusual amount of rain. These are some of the former dried creek beds we passed on the way home!

Crazy huh!!