Monday, December 31, 2012

Blessed, so blessed...

In the middle of a season of more than enough,
when my husband got me my dream camera for Christmas,
and then told me that God had spoken to him to bless me the 12 days leading up to Christmas
 with a love note and some sort of gift each day, 
everything from fresh flowers, to a book, a favorite movie or gift card,
then our church blessed me with a B&H camera store gift card that enabled me to buy a new lens for my new camera,
in the middle of all this I won, not one, but two blog giveaways!
I won a $50 credit from the Rusted Chain, and was able to get the necklaces in the photo above.
The one with the heart says eucharisteo, (give thanks), on the other side.
Then I won a package of lovely things from Becky at Timewashed.

I don't know why I was so lavishly blessed on all sides this season.
I certainly didn't earn or deserve it.
But I'm so thankful and grateful.
Thank you, Beki and Becky!

Still following,

Goodbye 2012...

The Christmas decorations are all put away,
and soon 2012 will be behind us as well.
Many bloggers are posting their end of the year posts...
 most viewed posts,
 favorite posts, 
or favorite projects.
I thought I'd mention some eucharisteo highlights, 
some big things that happened in 2012 that I'm giving thanks for.

-ringing in the New Year with my son-in-law, daughter and grandkids in South Carolina

-seeing them fulfill their dream of a long term mission trip to Ghana, West Africa
-visiting Ghana ourselves in April
(if you are interested in reading more about it, click Ghana under categories in my blog sidebar)

-youngest daughter going on a ministry trip to Cyprus and Israel

-after years of renting a public school on Sundays for our church,
building and moving in to our own building

-raising funds to build a well and irrigation system for the village of Homabenase, Ghana, West Africa-
(We're very close to our goal-if you're interested in giving to the well project, 
there is an Ask For The Nations paypal link on my sidebar. 
A team from our church, including my husband, son-in-law and daughter 
will be going in February to build it.)

-seeing our youngest grandbaby, who was only a month old when 2012 arrived,
 roll over, sit up, crawl, stand up, walk, say some words, and turn one

-a family reunion with all of my siblings and many of our children and grandchildren

-youngest daughter moving back home to Portland after living in Missouri for 3 years

-a trip to the Redwoods with my two youngest daughters and two oldest grandkids

-God's continued blessing on Hope City, oldest daughter and son-in-law's church

The weather here will be clear and cold as we ring in the New Year tonight.
I'm tempted to make it a quiet celebration, just the Hubs and me....
we'll see.
New Year's Day all of our children and grandchildren will be over for a feast of Thai curry,
 made by a young couple from our church, who will be joining us.

I'm looking forward to 2013,
another year of counting my blessings.
I’ve taken the Joy Dare.

I’m counting one thousand thanks in one year.

I hunt for thanksgiving using the prompts Ann gives us each month.

If you are interested in joining in, click the link above or at the bottom of this post.

I continue to count my thanks

piling up gratitude day by day

in my little black journal.

3 gifts humble-
-the Humble King
-my Hubs, who blesses me with the way he serves and helps me
-my favorite old things, humble vintage wooden totes, old earthenware mixing bowls, bread boards, dishes and silverware...all things used in everyday life in days gone by

3 gifts in Luke 2-
-the good news that brings great joy to all people
-in the Amplified Bible it says an army of the troops of heaven, a heavenly  knighthood, praising God joined the angel who told the shepherds
(makes since to me that the armies of heaven accompanied the Captain of the Lord of hosts on His mission as He became a man)
-the shepherd's example-they made haste, by searching they found Jesus, they made Him known to others

3 gifts in Christ-
-He's trustworthy (trust is my word for 2013)
-He's always good and does good
-Amazing grace

a gift found-
-photos of my mama holding my grandbabies

a gift shared-
-a quiet evening shared with my Hubs

a gift saved-
-years and years of old journals, and now, my gratitude journals too

3 gifts lingering-
-alone before everyone else is up, savoring my coffee and the quiet
-lingering under the Hub's grandma's old wool quilt on a cold morning
-how photography makes me notice, stop, linger

3 gifts of hope-
-Hope City
-the Blessed Hope-Jesus will reign on the earth
-because of Jesus, the promise of a future and a hope, Jeremiah 29:11

3 gifts remembered-
-His broken body and shed blood remembered as we take communion
-overwhelmed still with missing my mama-the other day wishing she was here and I was with her eating her delicious New England boiled dinner one more time
-God's faithfulness in 2012

Gratefully yours,

Friday, December 28, 2012


I've been a lazy blogger this week.
I've been enjoying having my husband home and my family all around me.
I haven't cooked since the pre-Christmas and Christmas day non-stop cooking marathon.
We've been surviving on the leftovers.

Today, the Hubs and I had a date.
We did a little antiques looking and some gift card spending at World Market, 
then went out for a delicious late lunch. 
When we got home, I put on my pajamas and climbed in my bed at 5 p.m., 
my Bible and journal and my computer with me.
It feels heavenly to be lazy after all of the holiday busy-ness.

The day after Christmas, the Hubs and I, with assistance from my grandson, 
undecorated the whole house.
I was ready for things to be clean and uncluttered and back to normal 
after having the Christmas decorations up since right after Thanksgiving.

Last night, my three daughters and I had a girl's night out and went to see Les Miserables.
We all loved it.

Well, now that I've told you more than you want to know about what I've been up to,  
I'll explain the photo of the chalkboard and verse in my dining room.
For quite a few years now,  I've prayed and asked God to give me a theme word and/or verse
 for the coming new year.
Last year, my word was DELIGHT.
The year before it was HOPE.
This year, can you guess what it is?
I find that I'm good at saying I trust God, 
but then I try to fix things, situations, circumstances, and even people, myself!
God, has been showing me, that when I really trust Him and take my hands off,
 He does amazing things.

So, what have you been up to since Christmas,
and do you have a verse or word for 2013?

Still following,

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The Lettered Cottage

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012...

Christmas Eve came and our family was finally all together!
My hubs and I and our 3 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, and four grandchildren.
What a blessing to have my whole family together after being spread across the U.S. and Africa this past year!
We spent Christmas Eve at my oldest daughter's home, munching on finger foods and homemade goodies. 
Afterwards, we wore off a few of the calories by taking a walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.

Christmas morning everyone came to our house.
First we opened stockings, then we had breakfast.
Our Christmas menu pretty much remains the same year to year.
Breakfast is homemade cinnamon cranberry bread, pumpkin bread, boiled eggs, cheese grits, sausage balls and fruit.
I was so excited to have my whole family all together again, that I really overdid the baking.
After breakfast, every year my husband reads a blessing that he prays about and writes for the coming year for each of our children.
This is the most meaningful part of the day for our family.
After the blessing, we open presents.

This year I got my two oldest daughter's canvas prints of photos I took of their kids.
I'm hoping to improve my photograph skills this year with some online courses, lots of practice, and the new Nikon d7000 that my hubs got me, (an upgrade from my d5000 that I sold to a friend's husband so he could surprise her for Christmas with it)!  I've also got a new 50mm lens coming that I bought with a gift card I received.

After gifts were opened, the kids played happily with their presents and the adults got to relax for a few hours before dinner.
Here are some photos of the table all ready for Christmas dinner.
A table runner of old hymnal pages stuck together with double sided tape was an unexpected and fun touch on this year's Christmas table.
Our Christmas dinner, like our breakfast, is pretty much the same year to year.
 We always have boneless leg of lamb, (roasted after marinating all night in a mixture of honey, dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary, orange or lemon zest, salt and pepper), baby potatoes roasted with bacon and green onion, green bean casserole, mashed sweet potatoes, a spinach salad, and homemade dinner rolls.

After dinner and clean-up, we played a game together.
Then the grandkids helped me get the dessert ready-
and homemade peppermint ice cream.
(I used this recipe for the ice cream, but flavored it with 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract instead of the vanilla, and added 3 crushed candy canes to it when it was almost done in the ice cream maker.)

Dessert was a big hit!
(BTW, my hubs, who is having to avoid sugar, has done so well staying away from the goodies!
The poor man had sugar free chocolate pudding while we were eating our dessert.)
We ended Christmas by driving through the town I grew up in, not far from here, to look at Christmas lights.
It was a wonderful day.

I am so grateful to God, for the Reason for the Season, the birth of His Son.
I'm also so grateful for the blessing of my family.
I'm blessed way beyond what I deserve.

I hope and pray your Christmas was wonderful in every way.
I'd love for you to comment and tell me about it!

Still following,

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve ...

I couldn't let Christmas come and go without posting my gratitude.
These lists of thanks are just inadequate snippets of daily blessings that I notice and record.
I'm sure there are dozens, hundreds, thousands more that I don't notice or don't record.
God is so lavish in His goodness that it's impossible to pen it all.
But you out there, I do notice, I do give thanks for you, those that read, those that follow, 
those that keep me going with your encouraging comments.
Thank you.
May your Christmas overflow with joy and may the lavish love of God overwhelm you.
Merriest of Christmases everybody.
I’ve taken the Joy Dare.

I’m counting one thousand thanks in one year.

I hunt for thanksgiving using the prompts Ann gives us each month.

If you are interested in joining in, click the link above or at the bottom of this post.

I continue to count my thanks

piling up gratitude day by day

in my little black journal…

3 gifts frosted-
-the ground frosted with 1/2 inch of sloppy, wet snow, 
just enough for our grandkids to make  a snowman with a celery nose and pepperoni eyes
-making sugar cookies with my daughters and granddaughters,
and them debating if they should be frosted or not, since one of them doesn't like frosting
-cranberry walnut cinnamon rolls with orange buttercream frosting made for Christmas morning breakfast

3 gifts miraculous-
-Jesus' birth-God in the flesh.
-His sinless life and sacrificial death
-His resurrection and His promised return

3 gifts manger small-

-oldest daughter's good old pug dog who died this week
-one year old granddaughter walking now
-see our great niece, almost a year old, at our family Christmas dinner

3 gifts angelic song-
-oldest granddaughter thinking that the words to Joy to the World are
"let every heart, prepare His broom"
-Handel's Messiah playing while I have my devotions
-my only grandson singing Christmas carols with me while we dip pretzels and cookies in chocolate

3 gifts lit-
-a warm fire in the fireplace
-fragrant candles
-two Christmas trees all lit up

a gift with rejoicing-
-"all I have needed, His hand has provided"

a gift with wonder-
-His constantly amazingly beautiful creation
a gift with praising-
-Truelife Church

3 gifts starry-
-homemade twig star on top of our tree
-gold stars on brown paper packages
-zinc stars hanging from fir branches

Gratefully yours,

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Isaiah 60:1...

I love Isaiah 60. 
 It's one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.
The Bible I use most is the Amplified version.
Here's the entirety of Isaiah 60:1 in the Amplified version of the Bible.

Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!
Isn't that so encouraging?

Here's to shining brightly!

Still following,

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friday Favs...A linen wreath and some hot chocolate

A clearance sale wreath with leaves made of linen at the home improvement store, Lowe's?
Yes, please!
I'm thinking this might stay put, with a simple change of the ribbon it's hanging from, 
even after the rest of the Christmas decorations are put away.
Here's something quick and easy I put together that will also stay put, at least through January.
My old wooden trug, filled with all the fixin's for hot chocolate and set out on the counter where it's handy, has been a big hit with the grandkids.

After Christmas, I'll put the Christmas cups away and replace them with something more neutral.
The instant packages of hot cocoa are handy for the grandkids and, of course, 
gotta have marshmallows!
The big jar of Nesquik is for yours truly...I like my hot chocolate the old fashioned way,
made with hot milk.  No instant stuff for me!

Now I must go address the last of the Christmas cards and finish up some baking!

It's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
and a BLESSED weekend!

Still following,