Friday, December 29, 2017

pronouns and definite articles

One of the gifts Eric gave me for Christmas was Switchfoot's California Vibes Christmas package.  Included was their newest EP which contains acoustic versions of three songs.

In true Carol style, while driving around town running some errands, I had it on repeat so I could really listen and enjoy and soak in the words.  Switchfoot came up in conversation recently and he said it best, when he said they were wordsmiths.  It couldn't be truer. 

The chorus from Hope is the Anthem of my Soul

My heartbeat, my oxygen
My banner, my home
My future, my song
Your hope is the anthem of my soul

Hearing it in this acoustic style I heard the YOUR for the first time.  I always just thought it said 
Hope is the anthem...

YOUR hope makes all the difference.  
Anyone can have a general hope - a positive attitude - a sunny-side disposition, 
but that's not what this is about!

YOUR hope -
the object of this hope is Christ.

This hope is the hope that belongs to us in Christ for his atoning work on the cross for us giving us HOPE for eternity.

Again, this acoustic version made the THE stand out.  
It's not an anthem.  
any old anthem or one of many -

It's THE anthem of my soul.
The thing my soul sings aloud from the mountaintops and from the depths of my soul.
It permeates in and out of me.  Because it's THE anthem. 

YOUR HOPE is THE only anthem of my soul!

- Carol

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ridiculuously amazing

I'm behind in posting about Hannah's recent birthday.  I've had thoughts about what to write at times when I've not had the opportunity to write them down.  Then, of course, when I do get the chance to sit and write here, I can't recall "the perfect" thing I had said in my head.  😧


Just as the card reads... she truly is.

 In a blink Hannah is now 19.    

She requested cinnamon rolls for her birthday breakfast.  That's not so out of the ordinary, but she also requested that SHE make them.  It felt so weird to me to not be making breakfast for the girl of honor, but how could I deny her request on her special day?
She made them gluten and dairy free and they were a-mazing!  (As always!)

For a couple of weeks I had been asking her what she wanted to do on her birthday.  Her college quarter had ended so she was free from the stress of finals.  All she wanted to do was skate.  Thankfully, the Lord provided a sunny day.

She discovered longboard dancing and loves it.  She regularly headed to the skate park before or after her classes to put in an hour or two of practice.  It has become her preferred work/out and way to de-stress.

The fairy wings began with our first trip to Maryhill, but currently they make me think of a butterfly. Over the years, (and especially most recently) I've had the chance to witness this girl unfold into a beautiful young woman with character qualities to be equally admired.  She sets her mind to accomplish challenges with determination, perseverance, and self control.  She is witty with a fun sense of  humor and a smile that is contagious.  She is kind and tender-hearted.  She has really great relationships with each of her siblings.

I know that God used the health trials she has experienced (which now have simply been diagnosed as IBS because all other things have been ruled out.) to allow her to be at peace with seeing her limits, extending grace to herself (and now others through empathy) and growing in a deeper faith in God. 

In spite of all the health challenges, Year 18 was full of high points. She got her driver's license, graduated from high school, began college with a declared major of photography, and traveled to California and the East Coast just to name a few. 

Now we look expectantly for the blessings the new year of life will bring.  All I can say is that I am so privileged to call her my daughter and am grateful for the days we get to spend together.  She adds a beautiful facet to our family.

And just for fun I'll share a few of her current favorite things...
Doc Marten's
Art and photography
Wearing dresses
Specialty black coffee
Playing the piano and ukulele

- Carol

Sunday, December 10, 2017

It's Christmastime!

Certain things for some people signal the Christmas season is here.  It might be their first sip of egg nog or Black Friday shopping, but for me, it's the annual cookie exchange.  
We have our tree trimmed, the shopping is done and most of the gifts are wrapped, Christmas has been in full swing in our home, but now it really feels like it. 

This was the 7th annual cookie exchange hosted by my friend's daughter.  She has the gift of hospitality and she makes it so festive - with a lovely light appetizer table, tasty beverages, and festive Christmas music.

Mary was THRILLED to have a treat that was gluten free!  

The way cookie exchanges work is each person brings 6 dozen of the same cookie.  
Depending on how many guests there are will determine how many cookies from each platter you can take. You repeat going through the line taking the instructed amount until all the platters are empty and your personal tray is full.  😋

We brought these. "Frosted Peppermint Brownie Cookies".  I found the recipe on Pinterst, of course, and the kids say they are delicious!  

Malory's cookie exchange has just one rule - from scratch (no mixes, no plain chocolate chip, no "no bakes", no meringues, or bars.)  The result is such a beautiful assortment of cookies.

It was a festive and fun afternoon of fellowship!  I brought my camera along to get a few shots so I don't get too rusty.  😏 

How about you?  Is there any particular thing that makes it feel like Christmas to you?

. . . . .

Hannah has inspired me to take up my camera again  She mentioned to me that she is challenging herself to take a photo every day.  I told her how difficult I found the 365 challenge, but she suggested that maybe I found it hard because I had to take a photo of something specific, but she was just proposing taking a photo every day.  She paid me the biggest compliment too.  She said she saw such improvement in my photos while doing the challenge (or because of it.) 
So...maybe I'll try again, but no pressure!

Friday, December 8, 2017

In the bleak mid-winter

Recently Hannah played an offratory with a friend at church.  Both girls sang.  Emma played the piano, while Hannah played her ukulele. 

I love this song and thought you would enjoy. 
(Please forgive the awful video skills - it's a feature I am playing with on my camera, but do not know well. )