The Nativity of Our Lord Presented in Verse and Song

 The Nativity of Our Lord
The Nativity of Our Lord
I began collecting Fontanini nativity figures soon after I got married and have added one or more figures to my collection each year.

As I arrange the scenes, I recall the Biblical narrative, and I am reminded how much we in the world today are not so different from the people who lived at the time of the birth of Christ.

Some people wait in eager anticipation for His (re)appearance. Some worship and adore Him. Some believe the truth of His message and others do not. Some seek Him, while others reject or despise Him.  I created this video presentation of the Nativity with narration and music to encourage all who view it to consider their own relationship to Christ, the Prince of Peace.

(Click on the image above to view the video.)

God Bless You

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Wait on the Lord

God has laid these three words on my heart of late:  Diminish – Wait – Glorify (That is . . . Diminish Myself, Wait on the Lord, Glorify the Holy Trinity.)  I have been learning something lately about what it means to “wait on the Lord.”  It is not a passive state as one might think, but rather a very active one.  It’s not so much like waiting for a bus as it is like waiting on tables.  In the Bible verses where it appears it can mean “to look for, hope, expect” or “to bind together.”  Here are some things I’ve experienced recently about waiting on the Lord:

The Chrismon™ Tree

What is a Chrismon?

The word “Chrismon” is a combination of the words “Christ” and “Monogram” (meaning symbol). Traditionally, Chrismon ornaments are not sold; they are homemade. They are always white and gold. . . white symbolizing that Jesus is pure and perfect, and gold symbolizing His majesty and glory.  They can be made from paper, styrofoam, wood, embroidery, needlepoint, beading, or any other material and process. Making Chrismons is an excellent project for a church group to share in fellowship while learning about Christian symbols and the life of Christ.

History of the Chrismon

Chrismons are first of all Christian symbols. From the beginning of Christianity, persecuted followers used symbols to communicate secretly with each other. Christian symbols have been used in churches ever since.

Trash to Treasure: Pumpkin Wall Art

I love to decorate for the seasons of the year.  I think the fall decorations are my favorites.  I love pumpkins, and when Thanksgiving is over and it's time to bring out the Christmas decorations, I like to take my pumpkins outside and decorate the back border of our property with them, setting up colorful vignettes that I can see from the windows in my house.  Throughout the remainder of winter, I don't have to wait for spring blooms to make their appearance in order to see bursts of color among the dead leaves or blankets of snow.

I took photos of my pumpkin displays, and all of a sudden the idea hit me to recycle these pumpkins yet again by having a photo of one of my own pumpkin displays enlarged for framing.  How exciting!  I love it when an idea like that strikes me! The real fun was searching for the perfect "trash to treasures" frame.

In the end, these recycled pumpkins served as decorations for our home for a third time. First, the fresh-picked pumpkins decorated the inside of our home in the fall. Then they decorated the outdoors behind our house throughout the winter months.  Finally, they re-entered our home as an image captured and a memory that lingers.  If you're interested in the step-by-step how-to's, read on.

The Sweetest Applesauce!

We eagerly look forward to canning applesauce as soon as we turn the page of the calendar to the month of September.  Our main motivation for canning is so that we can have those wonderful tastes of summer and autumn deep into the winter.  We also want to save money by growing fruits and vegetables or by looking for the best value.

We have an old apple tree in our back yard that does not produce well, and the apples aren't so great for applesauce. So we do our legwork each year looking for the best tasting apples at the best price. It's fun, especially when we find it!  We strive to make the sweetest applesauce .... without adding sugar!

Shiplap, oh yes, Shiplap!

We remodeled our kitchen several years ago, installing a farm sink and stone counter top, but I just couldn't decide what to do about a back splash on the wall.  I thought seriously for a while about subway tile, which I love, but we really didn't want to apply adhesive and grout to the plaster walls that could cause damage or be hard to remove in the future.  We wanted to do something less damaging, but what? 

Irish Soda Bread in time for St. Patrick's Day

Irish Soda Bread isn't just for the Irish.  In fact, Native Americans were making soda bread before the European settlers arrived. It became known as Irish Soda Bread because it was considered a poor man's bread; it was the easiest and least expensive bread to put on the table during the great potato famine in Ireland.  It has become a common tradition to buy or make soda bread for St. Patrick's Day.

Easy-Make Gourmet Cupcakes for Valentine's Day

For delicious gourmet cupcakes, through and through, try these easy steps to delight your family and guests!

Keeping Chickens in the Winter

In southwestern Pennsylvania, our winters can range anywhere from mild to blizzard conditions, dipping into the 'teens at times. Keeping chickens during the winter months is really not any more difficult than the rest of the year.  You just need to be attentive, observant, committed, and provide what they need--the same as the rest of the year, right?  Except that, the needs are a little different in the winter.

Cleaning the Hen House

Keeping backyard chickens does not have to be complicated or difficult.  If you're able to let your chickens out in a run or to free-range, it's even easier.  An important part of having chickens is to provide them with a shelter that is safe, draft-free and clean in order to keep them healthy and productive. 

Katie's Old Fashioned Mac 'n Cheese topped with Roast Beef and Stewed Tomatoes

When I think of comfort foods, a few leap to my mind immediately:  Mac 'n Cheese, Roast Beef, and Stewed Tomatoes.  Have you ever combined them into one dish? Mmmmmmm!  One of my very favorite places to visit is Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  There I can count on being soothed by the idyllic farmland pastures and the reverent pace and values of the Amish people. And there I find a few of my favorite diners and dishes.