What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, December 01, 2016

The First of December

A superboy cape and boy for Tye.  

Planted 145 cloves of garlic before the snow fell.  Now they are all snug in their wintery beds.  With plenty of garlic to spare for cooking (I hope!).

Garlic Onion and Dill homemade cheese.  Our personal favorite flavor.


That beautiful wintery snow (above) was the first snow of winter and happened over a week ago.
As I type, the ground outside the window is brown and muddy once again.  A rooster just pecked up some water from a mud puddle and the pasture is empty of livestock, them taking up residence in the barn because of all the rain we've been getting.  But that first gorgeous snow really kicked off the season for us and now, with Advent officially begun, we are getting very much in the spirit of things.  I feel ready and refreshed for the beginning of a new year, a new season.

I grew up in the Reformed Presbyterian church and as such, there was no 'church holidays' to celebrate and certainly no Advent.  I hold a special place in my heart for that heritage in which I was shaped and formed in my early years but I have learned that Advent brings such a focus of truth and renewal and hope and light and refreshment and anticipation. We are moderates when it comes to Advent- there is no fasting in our home and we put up our Christmas tree before Christmas Day.  Even still, there is a richness and fullness to the season that was lacking before.  It is as if our year is marked by the coming and going of Christ than any calendar and indeed, it is.  Two Advent books we are going through this year:  Advent and Christmas Wisdom from G.K.Chesterton and God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas by Bonhoeffer.

Little bits of Christmas are popping up here and there.  The outdoor lights are hung (and with the storms, now a bit wet and droopy.  Don't you love it when you hang lights that are working and then, just a little while later- they poop out on you?  I love it when that happens.  (or not.)  I always buy our christmas lights during the post-holiday clearance sales, so unless there are comparable deals at some point before Christmas, we'll have to wait until next year to brighten up that sad, dead and dark portion of the porch.  The kids are itching for our Trim the Tree party to happen this Sunday.  We'll see.   In the meantime, the dollhouse has a new Christmas tree with fancy lights (I love the new seed lights that are everywhere nowadays! Way better than those strands I used to get at the dollar store with ten little bulbs on them.) I found the strand we have at A.C.Moore, using a coupon of course, and discovered not only are there more than 10 lights- but they actually have several different modes!  Faaaaann-cy!  Adele' has been busy making sculpy clay feast food for the dolls and I may or may not have a few presents to tuck under their tree when the time comes.  ;-)

Christmas making is in full swing and I love.every.minute.of.it.  I usually get started much earlier on the gift-making as our gift lists are so extensive but I didn't this year and for some reason, it doesn't seem to be bothering me.  I'm sure it will get crazy toward the end, as it always does, but I love the feel of this slow-paced, all-the-time-in-the-world lingering over projects.

The glass ornaments (above) were made by filling a container with water and drizzling different colors of nailpolish on the top and then dipping glass ornaments into the water slowly.  The children loved the process- and the results are stunning.  My only regret is not having a more varied color palette to choose from- we just used what I had for my own nails.  And I guess another downfall is the fact that all my nailpolishes are now empty.  hehehe  Two things- make sure you use a disposable container- they are impossible to get clean! And- colors with a metallic luster give the prettiest effects.

Corynn is nearly done her entire gift list (and she gives gifts to EVERYONE!) and loves to rub it in that she is on the tail end and I am only beginning.  And of course, we have another little baby celebrating a birth this Christmas- so there is some birthday crafting for Ineke on the docket as well.  I have two cowls on needles or hook (both gifts), lots of peg people being painted (something I find ridiculously relaxing to do), a birthday dress and bonnet to sew, and a doll much like I made once upon a time, a castle...well, perhaps the gift-making isn't bothering me because I haven't taken the time to really consider the whole list?  So, I'll take this moment to stop considering.  ;-)

Speaking of Ineke~ thank you all for your kind care and concern for her and her mouth injury.  We had the follow-up appointment this week and the pediatric dentist was overall pleased with the healing of her bone and a bit disappointed with the healing of her gums- apparently the attachment of lip to gum is pulling the gums forward so they can't stay in place long enough to heal.  More time is needed there and only time will tell if the teeth (and nerves) are damaged and will need to come out...but today we are very thankful for a girl who seems perfectly back to normal.  We gave her cheerios with her breakfast this morning to celebrate!

(kkco and Ginny's yarn along)


Sarah Benedict said...

I just thought I would let you know that I LOVE reading your blog! I'm so happy Matt passed it along to Doug for me :) I hope to see you tomorrow night!

Esther said...

I love this! Happy December! :)

Rebecca said...

Thanks Sarah! What a happy surprise to hear from you! Yep- I'll be there~ looking forward to a night out on the town. ;-)

Esther- and to you!

Ranee @ Arabian Knits said...

Those books look interesting, thank you for sharing them.

I am most interested in your food, though, what is that baked item up top, and what is the feta and herb mixture? They look delicious!

Emily Wilwerding said...

I grew up in an ultra conservative, Baptistic, patriarchal-type homeschooling family that didn't celebrate any church holidays either. My husband & I just started observing Christmas a couple years ago, and this year we're learning more about observing Advent. I'm loving this slow season of preparing our hearts for Christ, and the building excitement of Christmas. It really is beautiful! I'm curious about what type of church you are involved in now.

Anonymous said...

ditto the two questions above! i love your blog ~ love learning about you and from you through your thoughtful pennings. happiest december to all at hopestead, rebecca ~ and hooray for cheerios!
b in va

Leah T. said...

I just love coming to your blog, Rebecca. It is always so refreshing and uplifting. I love getting a glimpse into what's going on in your lives. <3

I can't wait to check out the two books you mentioned! They look very interesting. And who can beat those authors?!

What are the patterns you're using for the cowls? I have so many in my favorites on Ravelry (and have for years) but still haven't made one! Also, I have a new fascination with crochet and am teaching myself how to do it. I've made a couple little star decorations but am going to tackle the Margaret Button Cowl very soon! (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/margaret-button-cowl)

I'm so glad to hear that Ineke is doing well. I'll keep praying for complete healing. I have a "little something" I'm working on for her. I hope to have it done and mailed by her 1st birthday but we'll see.

Much love to all of you from all of us!

Rosie said...

Hi Rebecca,
I "found" your blog a couple months ago (I remember you from when my mama was blogging over at Eyes Of Wonder) and I just have to say how stopping by and reading a post of yours is like a nice long visit in you home, truly enjoyable :) oxox

p.s the kiddos are all adorable.

Amy Marie said...

Beautiful! :)

Rebecca said...

Ranee- the top food are baked apple bars or "apple pizza". A friend of mine introduced them to me and shared the recipe on her blog:

The other thing is a concoction I whipped up to take to a "Friendsgiving" last minute. I am usually not so brave or bold to try something totally new to me (especially when it is made up!) to take for other people to eat (my family are always happy guinea pigs though). It is mashed squash (with a bit of cream cheese and spices) topped with caramelized onions, a TON of garlic (like 8 cloves, I think!), fresh parsley and homemade feta- as much as I could fit on there. It was really delicious and did just what it was supposed to do- I liked it so much I ate leftovers for breakfast!

Emily- wow! That is some first sentence! Our families were similar only in the lack of Advent- but even we had Christmas! I am grateful for even the mistakes our parents made in raising us, as they taught us what not to do! How especially wonderful and rich this time must be for you! Like a peasant walking the halls of a castle, everything is made more glorious when empty spaces are filled so abundantly, where muted moments are made sparkling with meaning. As to your question of church: our church is presbyterian in government and a part of the FORC denomination (Federation of Reformed Churches). If you'd like to read some of the things we believe, you can read a short summary here:


Leah- it is good to hear from you! That is so exciting about you learning to crochet. I knew it was only a matter of time- you are very talented at yarn crafts...crochet was the obvious next step! And I LOVE that Margaret Button Cowl! It is gorgeous! You may find the cowl even easier than the star ornament because shaping is actually quite tedious (I think). The cowl I was working on is a simple rectangular thing but for a portion I skipped stitches (to make the holes). It is just something I have made up as I have gone along. The neatness of the cowl will probably be in the yarn it is made up of and not the simple stitches- it is made from yarn that a blog reader sent me that she no longer wanted! Anyway- any Christmas crafting going on in your neck of the woods?

To all~ thank you for taking the time to pop on here and say hello! I appreciate your kind comments SO MUCH and just love to hear from you all!

Emily Wilwerding said...

Thanks, Rebekah! Haha, I was trying to convey a bit of the belief system I grew up with without writing a whole book! 😊

Emily Wilwerding said...

Thanks, Rebekah! Haha, I was trying to convey a bit of the belief system I grew up with without writing a whole book! 😊