Sunday, 13 January 2013

Busy as ever

With the boys starting back at school and me returning to work this week, the normal routine has descended upon the Vizor household.  In keeping with my new year's resolution though I have got back in to an old good habit of baking my own bread and our fourth home baked loaf is cooking as I type.

Jacob is back at tennis training and both boys were involved in coaching sessions for younger players this week and this has meant I can get back to the gym or swimming.  Scouting events don't start back till next week but we did have bell ringing practice and rang our first plain hunt on seven bells following the repair of the seventh bell in our eight bell tower.  Josh was, as he predicted, the first in our family to ring the new seventh bell.

The weather reports are talking of a turn in the mild start we have had to 2013 and snow could be on its way.  With this in mind I have crafted a new word of the month for January, which will take pride of place back in the cupboard now that the nativity scene has been packed away.  The snowflake was an extra one I had made for the garland at Christmas, but looks at home here.

January's word of the month
I have also managed to go out for a hen night, for which I am crafting something for a scrapbook of the night.  We are also preparing for my cousin's 40th birthday next weekend so I have made a card for her.  I discovered I had a template for making rosettes and thought it would look great as a birthday card for those that end in a zero!

40th birthday card
In our busy week we also managed to fit in a trip to the cinema as a family and made a last minute booking and then realised we were off to see Les Miserables on opening night!  It was an amazing film, Andy & I had seen the stage version but it was a first for the boys.  We have now been listening to the sound track all weekend.

Another resolution started with Josh and I sorting through all the bits and pieces we collected during the Olympics and Paralympics and choosing our first pictures to scrapbook.  We are pleased with our efforts and just need to find some time and friendly help to create the page titles (a friend has a machine that cuts out letters).

Olympic Hockey scrapbook page
The only resolution not to have started is to study the Bible more and as our service today started by looking at resolutions people make and why they fail, I think I need to do more to ensure I make a start on this.  The reason we fail, we decided is that we don't address the issue at the core, which is how do I spend more time with God to be the person he wants me to be?

This week's Bible passage echoes that thought:

I have died, 
but Christ lives in me. 
And I now live by faith in the Son of God, 
 who loved me and gave his life for me.
Galatians 2 verse 20

 Our prayer as a family this week comes from our service today and we pray that those caught in circle of the past will find the strength they need in God to break free and face the uncertainty that a fresh start brings.  May God guide them closer to encouraging friends and away from past repeating actions.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Wise gifts for a New Year

We have just returned from church where we have looked at the arrival of the Magi following Jesus' birth.  We discussed the gifts they brought and how we can respond in a similar way.  The gifts were lavish (gold), from the heart (frankincense) and sacrificial (myrrh).  My response is to prepare holiday club for the children of Highworth (lavish gift), to help with the food at our local night shelter (from the heart) and to spend more time reading my Bible (sacrificial).  To help us remember these promises we were making we had crafts to bring home.
Promises for the new year
With resolutions for the new year in mind I have made a few more.  I intend to get back into the habit of making our own bread, to craft more scrapbook pages and to spend more time exercising.

We have taken down the Christmas decorations and the lounge now feels very bare.  Which has reminded us that we still have the lounge to decorate, but before we do I thought I would share our Christmas tree with you.

We start the year with a Bible passage from Psalms:

You are my mighty rock,
    my fortress, my protector,
    the rock where I am safe,
my shield,
    my powerful weapon,
    and my place of shelter.

Psalms 18:2

Our prayer as a family is for the promises we are making to ourselves and to God at the start of a new year, that with God's strength and guidance we can keep to these promises and become the people God intended us to be.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Vizor Christmas - Part two

So having celebrated Christmas early with family that weren't in Swindon on Christmas Day, we celebrated Christmas a second time with the rest of the family.

As Josh's birthday is in December we don't decorate the house until after we have celebrated and this year he was 16.  Not sure where that time has gone, but we start on major GCSE revision in the New Year and arranging college courses for September.

The only exception to Christmas decorations before Josh's birthday are the Advent calendars.  We have three reusable versions and then have a fair trade chocolate one as well.

Advent Calendar & bunting - counting down to Christmas
We did decorate a tree on Josh's birthday, but as it was part of the church Christmas Tree Festival we didn't think this broke our rules.  Each of the trees was decorated for a charity or local group and was on the thee of a Christmas Carol.  We decorated ours for Compassion, the charity we sponsor two children through.  Their charity colour is blue and so we decorated the tree with only blue decorations and made the word Compassion in yellow funky foam to hang on the tree.

Christmas tree festival
And so to decorating the house for Christmas and new decorations I have been making recently to incorporate into our scheme.

The hall, with snowflake garland
Josh adapted some baubles, a vase and some LED lights to make a table decorations that we are very impressed with.

Table decoration
Last year I made a rag wreath, which this year we hung above the kitchen door (no pins allowed in the new doors!).
Rag wreath with fair trade bell heart
I love laying the table with all the glitz of Christmas and this was this year's table:

Happy Christmas from the Vizor Family
The bible verse for today sums up the Christmas message:

I told you the most important part of the message 
exactly as it was told to me. 
That part is:
Christ died for our sins,
    as the Scriptures say.

1 Corinthians 15:3

Our family prayer at the start of a new year is for all those who lost loved ones in 2012, in particular the children shot in America.  May 2013 be filled with memories and the love of God draw close to them.

With Christmas blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x