Monday, December 31, 2007
I changed the background several
times tonight when I figured out
HOW to do it! I put a Wolf Kahn:
It looked GREAT with the green
background but too summery.
I have this living Vermont -NY artist's
Calendar for 2008.
I replaced my 2007 calendar:
Carl Larsson, Swedish painter,
The background above
is his painting called Kitchen Scene.
Last day of this year and I think
about the Lord's goodness unto me!
He hears so well my voice. That amazes
me. He heard today as I prayed to find
a lost folder for my oldest son. He needed
to post on this day, Dec. 31, 2007,
a form for the CPA exam to be
paid for ~~ and I prayed to see that which
is lost! There it was on a book shelf, right
in front of Elizabeth Goudge! What a
combination ~~ a tax firm and an English
writer! All full of character! I praised God
that I know He is there, He is my Hope
(Sunday's sermon) and a new song continues
into the New Year!
Here's a link to a beautiful photo on Elizabeth
There's a Christmas poem of hers on the
front page and a tranquil home in the snow!
Sing hey for the God who fashioned for us
This bountiful splendour of earth,
Sing hey for courage and wisdom and love,
For beauty and healing and mirth.
But most for the Child Who on Christmas Day
Took upon Him our human birth.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Christmas gift giving got over
on Thursday at one of my older
brother's house in Chapel Hill.
Fun evening with cousins and
in laws and 2 brothers and 1 sister.
I am one of 8 ~~~ so quiet is
something I treasure because there
was always some sort of commotion
going on! Such good memories nestled
in my mind to pull from for a good
story! We stopped in Southern Pines
to see the Christmas trees decorated
on every corner on the main street,
to eat at Sweet Basil ( lovely homemade
soup served in these colorful small bowls
that make it like a work of art) and then
to Mary, Mary Quite Contrary ( fun gift
shop) and the Country Bookstore. Stopped
by my mother's grave on the way out of town
to see sprays of holly, magnolia leaves and
nandina berries on each of her families graves.
All from my grandmother's yard! She loved
flowers and planted for every season to bring
into the house!
I'm reading some Elizabeth Goudge
Christmas short stories while preparing
for an "Odyssey" with my high school students!
Never read that epic! We'll celebrate when
done for such a feat! The Lord keeps giving
me a lightness to that journey of Odysseus!
May the Lord Jesus become more
of a lover of your soul. Amy Carmichael wrote:
"Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is."
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Emma and I were a
team last night in the Scrabble
Tournament. It was against the
two winning brothers and a dear
friend of ours. She is sort of like
an Aunt to my kids! Emma got
all the high counting letters and
used them.....with a little help from
her Mom, the scorekeeper!
Warm and cozy on Christmas
Monday, December 24, 2007
24 years ago when our oldest,
Bryan, was born today! Actually,
it was at 12:59 a.m. which could
account for his night owl hours
today! It was one of the coldest
Christmases in Charlotte . Ken
brought all the presents to the
hospital the following morning.
A baby at Christmas.....!!!
We have a Scrabble tournament
going on during the holidays while
these college guys of ours are home
and with anyone who wants to play.
Bryan has won two games and Gordan
one. Their dad is awesome at it.
Emma and I do pretty well to keep
up. Now we all are trying to beat
Bryan! Watch out. His first word
on the first game was TAX ~~!!
and a Happy Birthday
We love you!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
After a wonderful, fun dinner
last night with my Bible Study
girls and husbands, tonight was
quiet. We watched an "angel"
movie ~ an old Cary Grant called
The Bishop's Wife. He's the angel
akin to It's a Wonderful Life. Black
and White and it's a snowy Christmas
in the movie. I always want to be
there , a sort of warmth to snow,
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
That small town hasn't changed much.
You'll be able to see it in "Leatherheads"
which comes in April! They filmed
up there for parts and in SC and in
Charlotte ( which my husband got in
on as a Press Agent). I smiled when I heard
from the media about filming in this
crossroads that my roots come from.
Oddly, I only have been there 3 times!
Clooney paid some children 20.00
at their lemonade stand for a drink
Emma and I met my sister and her
husband up in Tobaccoville yesterday
for the funeral of my mother's cousin
who was 94. Yes, there is a town , south
of Mt. Airy ( Mayberry) right near Hanging
Rock and north of Winston-Salem that
has that charming name! Gail and I
had been up to see the "Old Homestead"
after Mom died and to do some geneology
work! (even gravestone rubbings!) Evelyn
helped us identify Who was Who in old
photos. My sister whispered to me the first
time we went to the retirement home: "You
will remember her! She will remind you
of Mom." THAT was an understatement!
I walked away thinking I had meet a sister
of my mom's. Gail and I conclude to this
day that Mom was so busy with 8 children
that we didn't go up to Tobaccoville with her.
No memories , but the GRACE of God is
sufficient. We sat yesterday with all these distant
relatives who have the same BROWN
eyes as my mother and 7 out of 8 of her
children. (there's a blue eyed one from
her father's side!)
Amazing to hear that 5 generations were
present AND her oldest son sat with us.
He is 74~ imagine knowing your mother at
We sang a hymn called "Ninety and Nine"
that Evelyn had chosen because she
remembered her grandfather singing it
to her. That would have been my great-
grandfather. Evelyn was a charter member
of this small town church since she was 21.
Such deep rootedness! I found out the origins
of the hymn today and it birthed from a collegue
to DL Moody while in Scotland . There's a
connection to Northfield, Mass. in the late
1800's . My older brothers went to Mt. Hermon
in Northfield for their high school! Imagine
that! I wish I had known that yesterday or even
when we visited Evelyn.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Emma was given some tiny Christmas
tree lights for her dollhouse, that is
all decorated for the holidays!
Thank YOU to a dear friend!
We'll take some photos to post
when the head of the house gets
home! We are just bakers and
wrappers today ~~ decorating
the Christmas cookies and wrapping
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I sat down with my Bible to do
an Advent reading from a handout
from church. Psalm 72:18-19
Blessed be the Lord God,
the God of Israel,
WHO alone works wonders.
And blessed be His glorious
And may the whole earth be
filled with His Glory.
Amen and Amen.
From the short devotion:
Out of silence came the prophet,
John. Prophets come at God's
good pleasure for His purposes.
OH , how glorious a purpose was
the coming of John! The wonders
of God's greatest work began in
Zachariah's house. God glorifies
His name from the front porches
of His people~~
That was what happened in
my previous blog ~~ wonders
to show His good pleasure for
( not my house, but a bit similar)
I watched and heard God's fingerprints this week
upon two lives~ my sister's and a brand new
homeschooler. The latter needed courage to
take a step of faith with her 4 dear little ones
to bring them home. The angels surrounded her
amazingly. The first morning she saw another
mom walking with her children. Never saw her
before. She had prayed and God brought this friend
of mine into her path on the very first morning of
her homeschool. My week was bookended with
Ann. Late yesterday afternoon we got Ann a
babysitter ( my sweet neighbor who is Emma's
dear "older sister" in so many ways) so she
could go to a Christmas Party to celebrate! God
certainly does work deeply in our lives. He sort
of weaves this amazing , colorful tapestry as Edith
Schaeffer wrote about. I think this part has a
golden thread in it!
Monday and Friday were only the second
and third time I have ever seen Ann. I think more
times are coming!
Perugia Triptych: Angel of the Annunciation. 1437. Tempera on panel. Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia, Italy.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Tonight is the second performance
of The Songs of the Saviour at church.
Ken and Emma are in choirs and last
night was absolutely magnificent. Part
of the Charlotte Symphony plays with
harp, flute, strings, harpsichord, oboe,
brass......and most of the songs are from
Handel's Messiah. By the time we got to
O Come All Ye Faithful, you had to contain
yourself for that is right after the Hallelujah
Chorus from the Messiah! How can you
not pour out in praise unto the Lord.
Emma said the audience looks so colorful
from the stage! She said it like she was looking
at a Christmas Tree!
another Angel from Fra Angelico
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Listening to Mass of the Children by
John Rutter. He wrote it in 2002 because
he had never written a Mass. Performed
first in Carnegie Hall . The Children's
Choir opens with Awake , My Soul
and frame the ending with Glory to Thee.
In between , the Adult Choir sings as one
waking up to the end of the day and
It's very, very heavenly and
angel like! Don't you like when the
composer tells you , just as an author in a
Preface, what and when it all happened ~~
that spark of creative energy, sort of electric!
The laundry is hung on this very warm
day in Advent as the third load is in the
Karin By The Linen Cupboard,1906
Thursday night our Book Club gathered
with a festive spread that included "Rout Cakes
for Mrs. Elton" ~~ IN Jane Austen's day, a rout
was a fashionable evening party and these were
( a shortbread cookie from Tea With Jane Austen
by Kim Wilson)
and a telephone call to the author! What
fun! We were all so excited to hear her voice
and ask her questions. Imagine doing that with
other authors! Lori Smith's second book is
about her journey to England to follow Jane's
steps and she wove her spiritual journey right along
side it. Very well written and I missed Lori's
voice when I closed the book. Her honesty and
struggles as a single , amidst the joy of knowing God,
reached past the issue of singleness-marriage.
Such delight in God's grace in her book:
" And this is where my walk with Jane Austen
comes in again, because Jane taught me
something about the value of an ordinary life~~
things I'm not sure I understood before I
was stripped of being able to do the ordinary."
....."there's no end to God's grace -- which is big
enough for every single day that I got up..."
Good book to recommend! Thank YOU Lori for
the blessing you gave us in a conversation with
you! Check out her blogs:
You'll find her in good company .
May God bless you , Lori and answer our prayers for
From a friend's blog:
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
This is a first ~~ being tagged!
It's from a lovely blog called
Letters from a Hill Farm. I was
introduced to Stacey Kent's magical
voice from Nan's blog and even had Ken
look up her blog when I was at Borders
to find this singer's name!
So here goes:
What is your most enduring Christmas memory?
Getting our puppy collie on Christmas morning.
How my mother kept it from us 8 kids, I'll never
know. My older brothers knew Brandy was in the
house Christmas Eve , but we younger ones didn't.
She came bounding out into the living room Christmas
Do you have a favourite piece of Christmas music?
I keep listening to different versions of
On a Bleak Midwinter, in particular a CD
from Redeemer PCA in NYC....
and the Hallelujah Chorus!
Can't help but sing from the depths of my heart
..And He will Reign Forever and Forever! Amen!
Do you stick to the old family traditions?
Yes, because they always feel good like my
old slippers. We have introduced some new
ones as the boys have gotten to be young adults.
One is going out to lunch on Christmas Eve to
celebrate our oldest's birthday, we started when
he turned 21. A friend told me
that they do "secret" gifts within the family. Her
neighbor picks the names out of a hat and they
have to give something that doesn't cost anything.
She likes to get the ones still at home ~~ she makes
their bed and picks up their room every morning for
a year!!! I wanted to be in her family! May start that
tradition this year, once my college sons are home!
What makes your mouth water at Christmas time?
We have lamb on Christmas. I love to light candles
and put on music with dinners. We have Christmas cookies
and we have a Honey Bake Ham dinner sent by
Ken's brother on the week of Christmas. That is such
a gift ~~ the boys always ask if it has arrived!
How soon do you put the Christmas tree up and
when will take it down?
I grew up decorating the tree on Christmas Eve!
My dad would get the biggest tree for a bargain.
We now decorate it about 2 weeks before Christmas
and keep it up until just past New Year's. This year
I may keep the white lights I strung across the mantle
up all year. They have brought a warmth as soon as the
sun goes down! Even my husband said "That is so nice!"
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Those were Emma's words about her
letter from her brother away for one more
week ~~ in college! She giggled while she
read it late this afternoon. I was trying to
do Yoga. I did and hopefully can keep it up
to stretch out these old limbs!
I also got our second Christmas card-letter
today. The first being the Fairy Calendar and
card! Both are from those called by the Lord
to serve in missions. These know much about
prayer and communication!
I'm trying to get cards to college students
before they come "home for the holidays!"
It can be a lonely place and mail always
brings a hug.
I do love this card maker who makes
them to support college ministry~ Coalition
for Christian Outreach. I've never met
Bonnie , the artist. I do help evaluate her
new cards she's designed, which is a blessing
to a letter writer!
Gold Foil G-clef against the stars
And suddenly there was with the angels a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased. —Luke 2:13-14
when I read the letter!
Monday, December 3, 2007
We started the morning at the library
for the Symphony Talk to hear the
Baritone from the Opera , one of the Wise
Men in the production of Amahl and the Night
Visitors. I picked up several new books
and the audio of Shepherd's Abiding.
Jan Karon's book (Christmas story) came
out 4 years ago. I read it out loud to my
mother, who was out of the hospital
with 24 hour care! We started just about
when the story does ~~ October 1st. She loved
Mitford and Father Tim. She fell asleep with
the lull of my voice reading
about Father Tims' surprise for Cynthia.
She only heard half the book, for God
took her on the 22nd to be HOME for
Christmas. How she longed to see her
parents and she had healed down to the
bottom of her soul with any bitterness
towards my father. ( divorce) I saw
the Gospel ringing true to Jesus' words.
"Forgive those who trespass against you..."
He healed a deep wound in her.
We sang Hallelujah as my dear sister
in tears said "We have to sing!" She
was Home for the Holidays!
We're listening to the audio in the car and
the rest of the day was a "Mitford" one.
Heard from a good young mom this morning.
That blessed me! Saw my neighbor at the
grocery store. Then a quilter friend of a friend
right after that. Two at the Harris Teeter!!
Here's what we need ~~ from the first
chapter, the first paragraph:
"The rain began punctually at five o'clock,
though few were awake to hear it. It was
a gentle rain,rather like a summer shower
that had escaped the grip of time or season
and wandered into Mitford several months
Jan Karon's site has the first chapters
online. You turn the pages of the books
on the bottom corners of the page JUST
like you would with a real book. Amazing
Saturday, December 1, 2007
A dear friend's friend in Worthing,
England sent Emma a Fairy Calendar
and a sweet Christmas card that is
an English mailbox. They are different
over the great ocean.
We were so surprised and so deeply
touched that someone thought of her
from afar! She writes:
"and may 2008 be a good year for
you all as you learn more about Jesus."
Something so sparkly and magical in the
Spirit of God!