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Christmas 2017

Well, we are nearing the end of Christmas break. And overall we had a pretty great Christmas. Gideon got sick during the night on Christmas Eve, so I didn't make it to church on Christmas Day. But, no one else got sick, so it was okay and we still enjoyed Christmas together and with extended family.
The kids decorated a gingerbread house before Christmas  We also Skyped with my parents on the Saturday before Christmas and the kids opened the gifts from Grandpa and Grandma. They really enjoyed the craft kits they recieved and spent the rest of the day working hard on them.

 New PJ's from Great Grandma!
 We did a lunch of appetizers and finger foods on Christmas day.
 Gideon really got the whole idea of gift opening down.
 We a nice afternoon of opening and then playing with gifts.
 On New Year's Eve, we celebrated Christmas with the Talen family that was here.
 Joash had to run around the house 5 times before he could open one of his gifts.
 Reina made this really nice puz…
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Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules for Victorian women are strict, their roles limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents has brought them to the Sinai Desert--and into a sandstorm. 

Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a street urchin who is learning to be their ladies' maid, the two women are on a quest to find an important biblical manuscript. As the journey becomes more dangerous and uncertain, the four travelers sift through memories of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the circumstances that brought them to this time and place.

I have read a few of Lynn Austin's novels and I really enjoyed this one. I loved the setting as I am a bit familiar with Chicago and its history. I also liked the strong female characters that were searching for their calling. It hit me right now as I am searching a bit for my …

Free of Me by Sharon Hodde Miller

Our me-centered culture affects every area of our lives--our relationships, calling, self-image, even our faith--and it negatively impacts each one. The self-focused life robs our joy, shrinks our souls, and is the reason we get stuck in insecurity.

In Free of Me, Sharon Hodde Miller invites us into a bigger, Jesus-centered vision--one that restores our freedom and inspires us to live for more. Drawing from personal experience and Scriptural insight, Sharon helps readers understand how self-focus sabotages seven areas of our lives, and learn four practical steps for focusing on God and others.

I just read this book as the start of this new year and I couldn't think of a more fitting way to begin the year. This book was a great reminder of how to turn our like a focus away from ourselves and turn it to the place it really belongs, God. I appreciated her relatable personal stories and practical tools to help me focus on God. It is a book I think I will be reading regularly to help kee…

The House on Foster Hill by Jamie Jo Wright

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious demise fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

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December Books

Here are my books for December. Top three are Peace Like a River, Little Broken Things and Flight of Dreams. I also highly recommend Caroline, but only if you were a die hard Little House fan like me. Otherwise, I don't think it would have the same impact.

Gideon - 20 Months

M(om): Gideon, you are 20 months old already! Sorry missed it by a day.

G(ideon): That is okay, Mom. We have been having a lot of fun with Christmas and everything.

M: What have you been up to lately.

G: Well, I am getting very good and walking and I like to try to run too.

M: You are getting pretty fast and sure on your feet. And you do like to walk by yourself, which is nice, most of the time. How about talking?
G: I can say more words, like water, turtle, baby, Opa, and cheese.

M: Yes, it seems like we add a new word everyday and it is fun to figure out what is going on in your mind. Thanks for talking to me for a bit.

G: Your welcome, Mom. I love you!

A Few Christmas Things

It is that time of year again where we do a few of those things we only do at Christmas time.  We have made Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies. The kids each decorated their own.  The final products.
 We had two Christmas programs last week, which were both very nice. Mataya was an angel in her preschool program.
 Another project we worked on was a nativity seen that we need to press out of a book and then assemble together. It took us a bit of time, but the final product turned out very nice and the kids were quite proud of it.