Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Back in the Saddle...Sort of. Inspiration Thursday

After taking a few weeks off to move into a new house and change Internet providers, I am back...sort of.  I may take a few weeks to get back into the rhythm of regular posting, so bear with me.
Well, we are moved, mostly.  All of our stuff is in the new house and 99% of the boxes are unpacked and put away.  It has only taken ten days to get this far along in "Operation Downsize".  Of course we only moved about 10 miles.  We moved from a very wooded, semi-rural lot into town and a pretty standard sub-division lot.  We have had three rooms completely painted and the ceilings in three others painted a new color...white!  For several years the trend in new home construction has been to paint the walls and ceilings the same color.  That's fine, up to a point.  There comes a time when the color of the walls/ceilings and the age of the eyes don't provide enough light to see.  I am there.
We can even get both cars in the garage!
Phase One of downsizing involves moving into a smaller home than before (not significantly smaller).  Phase Two is the realization that you didn't give away enough of your stuff prior to the move.  There will be a garage sale in the spring to further thin the herd.  Phase Three is deciding where will all of those pictures be placed in the new residence and what new furniture is required to truly make the new house feel like a home.
Our plan is for this home to have a little more casual feel than our previous abode.  That is due in part to the truly open plan of this house.  The living, dining, and kitchen share a large open space.
If there is a Phase Four to this downsizing process, it is definitely the yard.  It is smaller, and flatter than before, so maintaining it will be easier.  Still, there are some things that need attention to make it our yard, but that will be a post for another day.  All in all, the move has gone very smoothly and we are very happy with the new house.  When was the last time you packed up your life and relocated to a new home?  Did it go well?
Life is filled with changes.  Our recent adventure in moving is just another one of those changes.  How we deal with change can affect our life in many ways.  It can even impact our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.  I think this move will have a positive influence on all of the above.  Ever since we built our last home, ten years ago, I have stood in amazement of what God has allowed me to do.  I truly don't deserve any of the blessings that He as poured out on me and it is only through His love, mercy, and grace that I have anything.  Thank you Lord for all that you have done.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Bird Feeder Chronicles

I find it a little ironic that my first post of the new year will be my last post in our current home.  We will be moving into town this week.  We built this home in 2004 and I thought it might be our last residence.  I was wrong.  The opportunity came to downsize and simplify our lives a little bit, so we made the commitment to pack up all of our belongings and move.
One thing that I am going to miss about this place is the close proximity of the woods and the variety of birds that come to our feeders.  This past week I spent a few minutes each morning, before the packing started, to capture a few images of my feathered neighbors.  I'm going to miss these guys, but I'll just have to make new friends in town.  Hope the new birds are as colorful as this group.

I'll be down for a couple of weeks.  Between unpacking and getting a new internet service provider, I probably won't post again until the first of February.  But check back anyway, I may sneak a post in before next month.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Memories 2014

The Christmas of 2014 will be remembered with both joy and a little twinge of sadness.  The joy comes from our family and sharing special times together.  The twinge of sadness comes from the fact that this will be the last Christmas in our current home.  My wife and I are downsizing a bit and moving back into town.  We built our current home almost eleven years ago and it is really the only home that most of the grand kids have ever known as "Nana's House".  We love this house but the time has come to make decisions that are best for us, going forward.  We will be moving in January, so packing has already begun, but the pace will pick up very, very soon!
One of the joys of the season was watching our middle grand daughter dance in a local production of the "Nutcracker".  Photos of the actual performance were not allowed so all I have are some rehearsal photos that I took a couple of nights prior to the show.
I caught Emily during a short rehearsal break and captured this image for posterity.  Then it was back to work for her.

Emily is normally pretty quiet, but put her on the stage and she lights up like a Christmas tree!  She has taken several forms of dance lessons but ballet has always been her favorite.  I think is suites her very well.
Christmas Eve found the whole family at our home.  The evening started with a Christmas Eve worship service at church.  We came home and had a very casual "Tex-Mex" dinner with some friends.  Of course there are the annual photos that will be turned into ornaments for the "grand kids" tree.  You will have to scroll back a few posts to get more information about this Christmas tradition. 

Finally there were a couple of photos taken for our last Chirstmas in this home.  It was a bittersweet moment, but there are more great Christmas memories waiting to be made in our new residence. 

The evening concluded with reading the Christmas story from the second chapter of Luke, giving thanks to the Lord for His care, mercy and grace, and opening our packages.  I hope that your Christmas was filled with those things that will become precious memories for the future.  Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 28

Merry Christmas!

 Merry Christmas to all.  May the gift that is Christmas be in your home and heart on this day.  May the God of all creation give you peace, joy, and fill your day with those things that bring a smile to your face and fill your day with memories for the future.
Since we will soon be moving (packing has already begun), I will be taking a break.  I may post a couple of more times before New Years, but I probably will not post during January.  You can check back just to see if I am up and running before the first of February, but my plan is to take the month of January off and get settled as best we can in the new home.  Again,  Merry Christmas to you and your family from my family.  And now, the final videos of this marathon.  Did you have a favorite?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday/2014 Christmas Music Marathon-Day 27

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

2014 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 27

Ruby Tuesday/2014 Christmas Music Marathon-Day 26


My personal all time favorite Christmas song is the Hallelujah Chorus.  Several years ago a flash mob performed the song in a mall in Philadelphia.  I would have given almost anything to have been there.  What a glorious way to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 25

O Holy Night
One of the most iconic Christmas songs ever written is O Holy NightIt has been recorded by virtually every well known vocalist in the music industry over the last 60 years.  This music marathon would not be complete without including what I consider to be the best arrangement of this song ever recorded.  David Phelps gives this song the power and majesty that it deserves.  Enjoy.