I was given a gift certificate to Ten Thousand Villages this Christmas. I love that store.
There is so much to choose from!
Hand-made musical instruments
Flower and garden pots
There is also coffee...
GOOD coffee.

I walked around the store for about half an hour (sipping a sample of...well you know), and ended up buying the items that caught my eye from the start.
A love-erly scarf from here.
And some whimsical stars from here.

Think I'll string the stars along our headboard in our bedroom.
Or wrap them around my neck along with the scarf.
Either way they will add some cheer. And CHEER is good.


Christmas 2012

What a wonderfully memorable Christmas we had this year.
Lots of intentional, encouraging conversations on the Neufeld side.
Calm and cheer-filled fellowship with the Rygiels.
Matthew "singing" along to Sound of Music
Adorning birdhouse ornaments in memory

Grandma thought of everything.

A feast
Probably my best Christmas yet!


Songs for the season

This morning I felt like a 500 lb balluga whale as I shuffled about the house nibbling on stale chips (left out from the night before), and drinking pop straight from the bottle. My head pounded and my stomach felt squeamish (which is why of course, I was eating chips?). I had the unfortunate luck of picking up Liam's 24 hr flu, and was inevitably drowning my sorrows in an irrational junk food fest.

You see, I  had hoped to take the kids down to Winkler this afternoon and kick start Christmas 2 days earlier than we had origanally planned. I needed a break from the house....more specifically the visual nagging reminder that nothing ever is truly "done" (shopping, cleaning etc. etc.) unless or until the premises are DeSERTED.Out of sight and out of mind! And...l needed a break from being a wife for a little while if you know what I mean.... (maybe you don't-which congratulations is a good thing!!!)

So yes, last night Liam started puking (poor kid), and I woke up this morning feeling like steam-rolled piece of scrap metal (an obese piece of scrap metal may I add). And proceeded to purposefully wrap myself up in an attitude of despair and self loathing for most of the live long day...

It has been mentioned here before that I rarely sit down at our piano for anything other than solitude and comfort. I don't play well enough to entertain anyone but myself and the occational family member. And i like to relax at the keyboard. There is something quite theraputic for me about singing and pressing the piano keys (even when hitting a million wrong notes). The music stirs something within me....and sometimes changes my toxic thoughts to heavenly hope. So this evening was no exception as I slumped down at the old keys and began to play my favourite Christmas song, "O Holy Night". The lyrics and melody flooded my mind with happy Christmas memories from the past, when our family was complete. And when my Dad would unwind after a long day stretched out on the couch, eyes closed listening to the stereo. cranked. Like I mean so loud you could hear the cello line or bass thumping outside.

Playing and singing (screeching more like), turned my heartache to joy as I imagined my music-loving Dad surrounded this Christmas with a celestial chorus more wondrous (and loud) than anything ever heard or experienced on earth!

If you have a chance read or listen to verse 2 of "O Holy Night".  Those words really did me in...(broke the downheartedness if for a moment.) The lyrics are full of worship, adoration and hope- so very relevent for us even today. "And in his name all oppression shall cease".

For all those who have loved ones in heaven this Christmas, let us find comfort in the knowledge that they are participating in live worship...falling to thier knees as they hear the Angel chorus!!

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