Sunday, 11 November 2012

Half term, fireworks and Christmas preparations

With the end of October we have had much to celebrate, we went away for half term down to North Devon with friends for some well earned rest.  This year's half term included Jacob's birthday and we went to church in a nearby town on his birthday and the whole congregation sang "Happy Birthday" with a second verse of "God's blessings" to him.  The break also gave me time to make a start on my Christmas card making.
A selection of home-made Christmas cards
I managed to make about a quarter of the cards I will need for this Christmas and even managed to get the boys helping me.
Cards made by Josh
We returned home to help with the annual North Swindon Scout Firework display evening, which is organised by the Purton and Lydiard scouts and assisted by troops from the district.  Andy, Jacob and I were helping in one of the food tents and Josh was assisting with the car parking.

The day stayed dry, despite the forecast saying otherwise and we even managed to see the fireworks this year, due to a new position for the tent and a change of wind direction from previous years.

Josh stayed overnight as part of the "security" for the marquees and then helped to dismantle the site the next morning.  The weather had turned and they woke to heavy rain, which later turned to snow! Well the weather man did warn the wind would be coming from the Arctic!!

We celebrated Jacob's birthday again on our return with his friends at a fun evening playing laserquest.

And so with the start of November and the return to school and work thoughts in the Vizor household have turned to Christmas.  Andy and the boys have been out a couple of times without me recently, football and rugby, which has meant that I have had time for some crafting.

Christmas Owl
Snowflake garland
For my birthday I had a book called "Christmas crafts in no time" and I am working my way through them making some delightful decorations for this year.

I have mentioned before that I am a list girl and Christmas really tests my listing making skills.  Last year I tracked down a Christmas planner I had seen previously in a crafting magazine.  This one was on a wonderful Australian blog Shabby Art Boutique and Kerryanne who writes this blog runs an event called Simply Christmas.  So this year I have updated my Christmas planner with a new calendar and room for new lists and I am ready to get ready!

Christmas planner
I have a section which has my to do lists for each week between the start of November and Christmas day.  This week amongst the tasks was sorting the menu plans for Christmas week and then checking the ingredients we already have.  To help with the checking I decided it would be good to sort the store cupboard out.  This meant that cupboard went from this:

                        To this:>>>

That just leaves the important part of Christmas to get right now, placing Christ at the centre of all we do.  Jesus is the reason for the season, as the saying goes and for us as a family he is the reason we exist and the reason we know we have life eternal.  Our celebrations will centre on Christ and that he came to save the world by giving his life.  Next week I am going away on a retreat weekend which will help me spend time focussing on God and have time to prepare some crafts.  My hope at the weekend is that I can find a way for us as a family to spend more time focussed on God each day.

The Bible verse today links well with keeping Christ at the centre of Christmas and fits well with the service we had at church today.  We are not called to follow Christ and be like those around us, but we are called to follow Christ and bring him to those around us in a way they understand.

The Lord says:

“My thoughts and my ways
    are not like yours.

Isaiah 58: 5

Our prayer as a family this week is centred on Remembrance Sunday and we pray for all those who have lost loved ones through service to their country, whether during the two World Wars or in more recent conflict.  May they know the love and comfort of God in their loss.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x

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