Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday guests

Two weeks ago, we opened our home to a couple of guests who had no family to spend Christmas with. They were going to be in need of companionship, in need of comfort, food and care. There was no way I could say no.

I had never met them before so I must admit that I was a little apprehensive at first. I worried about all sorts of things. How comfortable would they feel in our home? What would they want to eat? Would they mind the fact that we have a dog?

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was probably worrying for nothing. After all, they came with two pages of instructions, a bag of food, two bags of bedding, and a cute little wheel for exercise. And best of all, my son was so excited to have them come home with us!

Apparently a lot of children at school really wanted to take them home for the two-week Christmas break. You see, they live at school.

Here was their car ride to our home...

Meet the gerbils! You can only see one in the picture above but there are two. They are two boys. Brothers maybe?

So far, they have been perfect guests. And so far, yes I have touched them but no, I haven't picked them up. Let's not push it!

The science teacher said that they like to chew up paper towel rolls for fun. Here they are below enjoying their "hobby".

Our dog Lizzy doesn't seem to mind having them around. As a matter of fact, she likes to lay down not too far from them. Maybe to keep an eye on them and make sure they don't get out?!

At 16, she's used to being the only pet in the house you know.

Poor thing suffered a small injury to her paw yesterday and had to go for a trip to the vet. See her little paw all bandaged up? I'm sure she'll be fine in a few days.

I sure hope all of you are enjoying some relaxing and fun holidays with your family and friends. May this new year be filled with sweet blessings and memories to treasure forever.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

The most precious gift of all

Although there is not a snowflake to be found outside my home, I believe that a lovely blanket of snow adds such beauty and charm to this time of year.

Painting by Thomas Kinkade

Wintery paintings like this one remind me of the warmth and love that come from being home with loved ones at this time of year. Let's all sing together...

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays,
'Cause no matter how far away you roam,
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly face,
For the holidays, you can't beat home sweet home!

We've been away for Christmas in years past but being home with my family is the best! Sitting together, watching a good movie, all of us enjoying hot cocoa overflowing with whipped cream. Does it get any better?

Yes, for me it does, if we're doing all this while watching It's a Wonderful Life. :)

This movie always leaves me thankful for my family and the blessings that God gives us. In fact, the greatest blessing is the one that God gave all of us in the form of His one and only Son. He's the most precious gift of all, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS." Luke 1:30-31.

Despite all the distractions that can surround Christmas, may we honor God by celebrating what Christmas is all about.

Wishing you and yours a joyful and peaceful Christmas!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A perfectly imperfect Christmas

For some people, this really isn't the most wonderful time of the year. Things can be a little overwhelming with all the shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, cooking, baking, cleaning, entertaining and wanting everything to be perfect.

Unfortunately, so many people complain about this time of year, almost as if they dread it. They say "I can't believe Christmas is almost here already"! As for me, I say "I can't believe Christmas is almost here, finally!".

I think what helps me to retain some sense of sanity this time of year is refusing to let perfection be my guide. The truth is I can't handle having to have every little detail be perfect. I don't have that much energy!

No, I'll never have the perfect outfit that matches my kitchen that matches my tablescape that matches my food that matches my drink. And that's exactly what I was thinking when I sat down last week to watch one of my favorites on the Food Network, Sandra Lee.

Isn't that beautiful though? All the red and white everywhere. I sat there on the couch, surrounded by my imperfect decorations, next to my Christmas tree missing its angel which I can't find. And I thought "what a great job she did"!

I really enjoyed seeing all the effort that she put into this episode. Like so many other women, she is an inspiration to me. I thought her table was so pretty I just had to take a picture to show you. But, I sat there enjoying my hot cocoa knowing full well this isn't my reality and feeling completely fine with it.

So, this year again, I will continue to relax instead of letting the hectic pace of the season get to me. I will continue to strive for nice and simple and easy. That's how I stay happy in the midst of such busyiness.

Because did you hear? Christmas is almost here, finally!