Sunday, December 20, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ December 20, 2015

So sorry to have disappeared last week!  A relative, for whom Dave and I are the sole caregivers, went to the hospital with pneumonia.  Thanks to modern medicine and God's mercy, the illness was quickly subdued and all is well again.


In this post, I showed you the conservatory we had painted in October, but I haven't yet showed you the completed "gallery" of paintings by Dave's grandmother, Dorothea Storey Kelsey.  Besides three in the living room, we gathered all her paintings in our possession into this one space, and I love it.

The wall color has more creamy yellow undertones than shows
in this photo.  It looks great with all the wood frames.

 The cellist in the middle is Dave's father, Carleton Spotts, who was the cello professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia for 34 years.  The three portraits on the right are of Dorothea, her husband Luman, and their daughter (Dave's mother) Sylvia.  The portrait over the organ is also of Luman.  I am very pleased with how this turned out and I am finally beginning to like this room. :)


We had a gathering at our house for friends this past Friday.  Yes, it was a Christmas party, but in a university town, if you want to have a Christmas party, you have to do it before everyone scatters for Christmas break, even if it means having it in Advent.  Last year we had not yet gotten to know anyone well enough to even have a party, so we are happy that we've built more connections and made more friends in the intervening year.  A true blessing.



Spotted on a recent Christmas shopping excursion:

But they're plastic?????????


After many weeks of atypical dry weather, the rains finally came . . . and came . . . and came some more.  The pond level has been higher only once in my memory.  The water apparently got high enough to dislodge a volleyball that has been floating randomly around the pond for over a year.  How and when it got there we know not, but there it floats.  One day recently it almost got near enough to the shore to be fished out. Almost. Alas.

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

{Pretty, Funny, Happy, Real}~ Living Advent at Our House (December 6, 2015)

Like Mother, Like Daughter has been talking Advent lately, so here is my humble contribution.


Our Advent observations are pretty simple.  Neither my husband nor I grew up with Advent observations in the home.  Heck, my husband didn't even have much by way of Christmas celebrations growing up.  For the first two decades of our marriage, we wandered around broad evangelicalism, which looks askance at anything liturgical, except for Christmas and Easter (and some Calvinists don't even recognize Christmas).  For nearly the past decade we have been at home~ very much at home~ in confessional Lutheranism and have grown in our appreciation and love for the liturgy. Every year, I think, we do a little better job observing Advent.

Our Advent wreath~

You can't really see it, but it's on a cake stand, which makes it easy to move around.  I saved last year's candles and am using them again because I'm frugal like that, but I'm beginning to be afraid the shortest one will soon be too short!


Besides Sunday morning divine service, we attend our church's mid-week Advent services, which is always a blessing.  I love the Advent hymns more every year.  I think my current favorite is "Of the Father's Love Begotten," followed by "Savior of the Nations, Come."


Our nativity scene is set up (without the baby Jesus) on the fireplace mantel, but I neglected to take any pictures of it.

Besides some extra charitable giving, that is the extent of our Advent observances. It is not always easy to change one's habits and thinking about Christmas and the entire month of December after decades of doing it the culture's way, which for it means the Christmas season begins the day after Thanksgiving and is over December 26. But these simple Advent practices have shaped our lives and thinking as we anticipate and prepare for Christmas and the birth of our Savior.    

Around My House

ing~ Listening~ How Christianity Changed the World by Alvin J. Schmidt    A good counterargument for the "religion ruins everything&...

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