Friday, December 24, 2010

It's About The Cross

This is one of my very favorite Christmas songs! The lyrics are just so true and so simple.

It's About The Cross by Go Fish

A very merry Christmas Eve to you all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Day With Natalie

A couple of years ago, two families who live in RV's and travel the country as evangelists came and shared at our church.  One of the families had a daughter named Natalie.  Natalie and I became close friends very quickly, and by the time they left about a week later, it was like we had been best friends for ages.  Since then, we have emailed each other almost every day.  About once a year, the Agents for Christ (that's the name of their ministry) pass through Arizona, and come pay us a visit.

Yesterday was that occasion.  One of the families was not able to come, but Natalie's family visited with us.

Sunday evening we had dinner, talked, played games, and sang worship songs and Christmas carols.  Natalie spent the night with us, and we had fun just talking and playing games before bed.

The next day we just hung out, and did a lot of baking.  We made breakfast, played Dutch Blitz, decorated sugar cookies, wrapped candy, and made pizza.

That night after dinner, we got to go out witnessing.  We went to the Prescott Courthouse, and then the mall, handing out candy canes and tracts, and singing Christmas carols.  We had a great time, and I discovered something new:  It's not easy to walk and sing at the same time in the cold!  I had never before gone caroling while walking, and I was surprised by how difficult it was!  Sadly, I didn't get any good pictures of our time out witnessing.

Even though Natalie was only here for a short amount of time, I was so grateful that she and her family could come and visit with us!  I thank God for such friends as them!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I can't believe it's actually Christmas!

Did Christmas sneak up on anyone else?  It seems like just a couple of days ago that I was saying that Christmas was a month away.  Now here we are: Christmas is exactly one week away!

We started putting up decorations just a little after Thanksgiving.  Isaac had to get up on the roof to put up Christmas lights, because our ladder wasn't tall enough in some places on the house.

We've been enjoying the cold weather and the fires and the Christmas season in general.  My Dad has had the opportunity for lots of overtime at his work, so he's been taking it.  So far, he hasn't been able to join in the Christmas traditions and festivities yet, because of all the time he's been putting in at work.  Now my Dad is a Christmas present enthusiast.  He is almost always the one to say, "Let's open a present!".....  on December 15.  He never can seem to wait for those presents!  He even has a "Christmas face" as we call it.  Here is an example of that face:

So, a couple of days ago, in order to get my Daddy into the Christmas spirit, we let him open an early present.  It was a new stocking that my Mom had made for him.  His old stocking was from his childhood, and was in desperate need of replacing.

Here are some other miscellaneous pictures:

The stockings my Mom made for Isaac and me when we were little:

In the midst of all the traditions and festivities of the Christmas season, it can sometimes be hard to keep our eyes focused on Jesus, the real reason we're even celebrating this season.  However, that is something we are earnestly striving, and sometimes struggling, to do.  I pray that, for me and for you, all the wonderful things that we get to enjoy at Christmas would not get in the way of, but only encourage, the love and thankfulness we have toward God for sending his only son to earth to save us.  Have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Healthy Hot Chocolate

You may or may not know that I am a huge fan of hot chocolate.  And, now that the winter season is here once again, I've been wishing for some.  However, I had just one little problem.  I've been eating healthy, and hot chocolate is not exactly what you would call healthy.

My mom, in an effort to help me, pulled out an old recipe from high school for healthy hot chocolate.  I tried it, and it is delicious!  So, in my ecstasy, I have decided to share this recipe with you.  I must warn you, it's not as sweet as hot chocolate from the packet, but I really enjoyed it and it completely satisfied my craving for a warm chocolate drink.

Sugar Free Hot Chocolate
(1 serving)

1 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. stevia extract powder (I'm sure you can use any sweetener you prefer, but we had stevia so that's what we used.)
dash of salt
1/8 c. or 2 Tbsp. water
1 c. milk

Mix cocoa, stevia, and salt.  Add water and mix until smooth.  Add milk and heat.  If heating on the stove, do not boil.  Enjoy!