Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Besides Christmas

When the last of the children left, I put away the Christmas decorations and got out the snowmen/winter decorations.

We had had such fun as a family....

playing games,

playing with the toys we got for Christmas,


getting into rousing discussions,
listening to music,

going on walks adventures,


bowling with hedgeballs on the ice...

 Looking forward to what God has in store for our family in the coming year!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Christmas story

Every year as we read the Christmas story, we act it out!
We began when the children were little.

This year we drew names from a bowl to see what parts we would be.
(every girl wants to be Mary, you know)

[We learned in Israel that in 1st century Israel, Joseph and Mary would not have gone to an "inn" - the word for "inn" that we use in the Bible is "kataluma", which means guest room of a house.  The Greek word for a traveler's inn is "pandocheion" (like in the story of the Good Samaritan).  Cultural expectations would be that Joseph and Mary would have gone to the home of an extended family member and as the guest room was full of other family members possibly, they were given the place where the livestock were kept.]

"Uncle Ben!"
"Joseph, welcome!  There is no room in our guest room!"
 "Here is our stable"
The King of the Universe arrived - not in a palace, not in a guest room, but in a stable and placed in an animal feeding trough.

There were shepherds out in the field, watching over their flock by night.

An angel of the Lord appeared to announce the birth of the King!
And a MULTITUDE of angels appeared
 (they covered the sky! - I think perhaps ALL the angelic host!  
who would want to be left out of that kind of announcement??!!)

and sang

and the shepherd went to the place the Babe was sleeping
 The wisemen from the East followed the star

they bowed down and worshipped Him!

One day, EVERY knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord!  (Rom. 14:11)

And now, Christmas is over.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Santa at the Graber house

Every year we have carried on a tradition that my Dad started many years ago.

don't tell the grandchildren!!
            Papa turns into Santa!

Al tells the family he has to go to the bathroom.
Then, while he is gone,

Santa appears

 and hands out the stockings!

This year the children were just sure they were going to catch Papa in the act!
They followed him around all morning!

While he was shaving...
"See!  We have evidence!  He's turning into Santa!"

The children set out food for Santa.

What the children did NOT know was that this year, Al got someone to play Santa!

And Papa got to meet Santa - finally!

He was NOT in the bathroom when Santa came to visit!

"He IS real" Eli marveled!

 Aunt Mindy is awesome!

A thrift store pastor's outfit
bonus Starbucks cards!

Papa received his traditional much wanted chocolate covered cherries.....

 with one cherry missing as usual!

 Books about mice for two girls who had mice in their homes this past month!

And inside the purse?...."free shipping with on-line shopping!!!"
(funny what a girl will get excited about!)

Santa was good this year!