Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For unto us a Child is Born!

To me, this passage from Isaiah is the reason for the season. I pray that each of you find Jesus, either for the first time or all over again, in these next few days. For me, He is ever present, but for many I know that He is still not as close. I pray that this Christmas season, He may be re-born unto you and that through this you may find the greatest Christmas gift we have been given: Eternal Life through Jesus Christ!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You finish the story...

Aghh!!! is all I could say (especially with a 3-year old in earshot!) after lunch today. But let's start at the beginning.

Last night after we had a wonderful family evening of dinner, watching Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, and cookies, I decided to give my kitchen a Christmas gift... an on-your-hands-and-knees scrubbing. It needed it. We had baked 4 (but 3 edible) batches of cookies yesterday and I could barely take a step without feeling some nugget of cr%p under my feet. As I was finishing, I looked at the front of the refrigerator and thought "I should really wash that down while I'm hear on the floor" and then I proceeded on. Well, who knew!!!

So today we were pleasantly surprised to have Scott home for lunch (that happens maybe twice a year) so I grabbed some ground beef and sloppy joe mix and made sloppy joe's for lunch. We had a great lunch, sent him off to work again, and proceeded to clean up the kitchen. I was just about finished wiping down the counters when I realized the coffee pot was spotted. So I wiped it down, slid it back into place and then it happened. I realized that is where I had set the not quite empty sloppy joe can... and it proceeded to fall onto the floor, bounce off the rug, and land most of its tomato-y contents on the front of my white refrigerator....Merry Christmas, Kitchen. You are officially clean!

Deck the Halls!

I was not into the blogging world last year for BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes, but I thought it would fun to participate this year. If for no other reason, Maria is frequently asking to see pictures of our new (okay, its not really new anymore) home in Ohio. Merry Christmas and enjoy the tour.***

Welcome to our home - I must say, as tempted as I have been to paint the door, I do love having a white door because everything shows up!

Upon entering, you'll come into our foyer. Typically this has a few other kid friendly decorations, but they appear to have been hidden (hence why they are kid friendly).

The stairwell was new creation this year. For whatever reason, it has gone undecorated in past years. This year it has become a beautiful array of lights (and doubles as a nightlight!)

The Living Room shelf was a last minute creation. I had a lot of ribbon left from another project you'll see later on the tour and I decided to use it on shelves throughout the house. This is one of my favorites, especially because the winter scene in the picture is enhanced by all the decorations.
On the other side of the foyer is our formal dining room. I must say the photographer (that's me) did not really do this room justice. Its much more beautiful at night when the garland is lit and the china hutch lights are on... but you'll need to use your imagination.

Here is a picture of the buffet and hutch up close:

This window hangs over our wine rack and is something that changes seasonally. This year I simply took some of my holly (which I used elsewhere throughout the dining room) and added it to to the ivy. Get it... holly and the ivy!!!

On to our family room. The arrangement of furniture was new this year (and done with the help of my dear friend Kristen) to allow the tree to be in this corner. I really like it here versus other places we've had it as you can see it upon entering the room. If you look closely at the picture, you will see the miniature tour guide, she just couldn't stay out of the picture!

Here is our mantle and fireplace.

And last on the official tour is the Snow Village, each year I wonder where to put it as the village grows and each year it ends up on top of the TV curio. Somehow I always find room for the latest addition. I think year's village arrangement is my favorite.

Although this concluded the official tour of the McGregor home, I did mention my ribbon project this year. After reading and viewing some craft ideas from Maria, I came up with this fun idea for my 5 red stars that decorate my kitchen soffit all year round. It was so easy and it added just a little more Christmas spirit to my kitchen.

Thank you for taking a tour of our home. We wish each and every one a blessed Christmas season.

***I, like Maria, am totally blown away by the beautiful, elegant, and elaborate decorations of these homes. I am not in anyway competing or comparing my work... it would just shame me:)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Christmas Story (on ice)

Ever since Thanksgiving weekend, K has been obsessed with Disney on Ice. She got to see Mickey, Minnie, and the crew on ice in Des Moines while visiting Grandma and Grandpa. While the first 5 minutes were a rather overwhelming adventure (including repeated requests to sit in the car and go home), the minute Minnie walked/skated out she declared "I love this!" So it has been no surprise that for the last 2 weeks, we've been "playing" a lot of things "On Ice". To this point, it has meant we just pretend to ice skate around the basement while playing whatever we were doing before. Today it took on a new level.

Today, we had to play the Christmas Story. K has several books of her own with this story, but her new favorite is a library book that is about a preschool who performs the Christmas Story. So K decided our roles. She would play Mary, I would play Joseph, and her stuffed deer (named Tiny Star) would be Baby Jesus because "he's a good deer so he can be Jesus". We had a Little People doll, Raggedy Ann, and Dressy Bessie playing the 3 Wise Men and a stuffed Snoopy Dog as the Shepard boy. It all seemed pretty normal for a 3 year old mind and then.... "Mary" proceeded to put on her roller skates so we can be "On Ice".

Please picture this... Mary is now roller/ice skating to Bethlehem (aka around the basement playroom) with Joseph (me) and a tiny deer under her arm. When I did ask if "Jesus" was born yet, "Mary replied" " Yes, he already came from the sky" (okay- babies come the sky- good answer at 3!)

After several trips around the basement, a song from the shepherds (Joy to the World- sung by me) and the 3 Wise Men (Star of Wonder- sung by K). Mary and Joseph stopped at the "Inn" (playhouse), rang the doorbell, and proceeded to place Jesus in the manager (doll cradle).

And that folks, is the Christmas Story on Ice... probably not coming to venue near you soon, but if my video camera is within reach next time, it may show up on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Decorating our Hearts

Today is one of those days when I'm in a zone. Today its the decorating zone... all I want to is decorate for Christmas. Earlier this week, I was really having serious motivation issues regarding decorating. I'm not sure if its the perfectionist in me, the insane amount of Christmas out before Thanksgiving, or just not wanting to deal with the mess that must first occur before the final result is achieved.

So last night, after K begged us, we all went out to put out the small amount of outdoor lights that is the norm for our house. And then something clicked. I realized that decorating for Christmas isn't just about getting the house looking perfect and festive, its also a time for me to prepare my heart for the real meaning of Christmas. Decorating is about preparing for the arrival of the King, Christ Jesus. And if God has spent so much effort into creating a room for me in His house, then I can certainly spent a little time each year preparing for His arrival... not only in my home but more importantly, in my heart.

So, off to continue decorating. And while doing so, I'm greatly awaiting the arrival of Christ Jesus again this year.

Happy Advent, Blessed Christmas, and Merry Decorating~