Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our First Advent Activity, Tree Day

Well it is the season of advent and we started a little earlier than usual this year. All three of us were going to be home with no plans the day before Thanksgiving so we had our Tree Day a little early this year. This was our first advent activity of the season. Ever since I was a little girl Tree Night, although we did Tree Day this year, was a very special event. We would eat dinner together, back then we would go pick out our real Christmas tree, go home and set it up and decorate it while we ate sausage balls, cookies and other snack foods and watched a Christmas movie. I’ve carried this tradition on into my own family ever since Justin and I got married. So we got up and Justin and Ava made the sausage balls together. Then while Justin pulled all of the decorations out of the attic, Ava and I made my mom’s M&M cookies, my favorites! Ava was a great helper especially when it came to putting the M&M’s on although I think she got a lot more in her mouth than on the cookies! After our treats were ready we started hanging ornaments on the tree, always a sentimental moment for me as I reflect on all the memories the ornaments hold- childhood memories, our first year married, our first home, our trip to NY, my first marathon, Ava Kate’s first Christmas, etc. Ava even helped hang a few ornaments although she is still having a hard time understanding that the ornaments are supposed to stay on the tree. In fact I often find a few ornaments sitting on the tree skirt when I’m picking up the house at night, I wonder how they got there! After we got the tree decorated, Ava and I set up the nativity, one of my favorite Christmas decorations and we talked about baby Jesus and all of the people that were there the night of His birth. We finished decorating the rest of the house and Justin even hung the outside lights and then we all sat down to watch Elf together. And now it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Jarrett house!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It's the happ, happiest season of all! I think you all know how much I love this time of year! Here is my top 10 list of the activities and things I love most about Christmas (in no particular order)!
1) The Christmas Story! Without it there would be no reason to celebrate, no reason to hope and with it comes everything- Jesus, my savior, my life, my hope, my faith,my purpose, my joy!
2) Traditions. I love traditions, I love the memories my mom created for me as a child!
3) Christmas decorations especially my nostalgic Christmas tree. It's nothing fancy or elegant but it is covered with ornaments that remind me of special moments throughout my life!
4) Christmas lights. There is something so beautiful, magical and peaceful to me about Christmas lights. They are the perfect reminder of the hope, peace and beauty that the light of Jesus shines!
5) Christmas music. I get giddy the first time I turn on the Christmas music!
6) Christmas movies. Some of my very favorites are White Christmas, Elf, Christmas Vacation, Muppet Christmas Movie, The Christmas Story
7) Family. I love that we get to spend so much time with family at Christmas!
8) Children. There is nothing like experiencing the magic and wonder of Christmas through the eyes of a child!
9) Festivities. I certainly enjoy all of the festivities with friends, coworkers and family that Christmas brings.
10) Sharing. I love that Christmas seems to bring out the spirit of sharing in people. I love taking part in Angel Tree and Operation Christmas Child and other opportunities to share and serve others.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blessed & Thankful!

"Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care."
Psalm 95:1-6

This is the verse Justin picked to read at our Thanksgiving lunch today. We had a perfect Thanksgiving today with both of our families. I love that our families get along so well and we are able to all be together for holidays. We all brought our special dishes to mom's house and enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast together! Thanks to a couple of facebook friends I found the thankful pumpkin idea and we all wrote what we were thankful for on a pumpkin. Keller was thankful for everything in his life especially God and Jesus, Ethan was thankful for his bubba and Ava was thankful for kitties (at least that's how I interpreted her writing)! The kids had a blast playing together and entertaining us all. Most of us got in a nap and of course there was football. After we rested a while and let our lunch settle we went back for round two. Justin's dad was sick so we packed up a plate of food to go for him and thankfully he is feeling much better now.

I have so much to be thankful for- a loving husband who does so much for Ava and me, a precious daughter who brings an abundance of love and joy to my world every single day, our loving and supportive families, our families health- this one is huge to me because I know so many people who are dealing with difficult situations related to their own health or the health of a loved one, our friends who encourage and pray for us, our incredible church family where I am overwhelmed by the presence of God every single week through amazing worship and very humble but gifted pastor, our Life Group who I'm so excited to be doing life with, our jobs where we work with people who truly do love us and have our best interest in mind, our warm home because as the temperature drops drastically tonight I know there are many that don't have a warm place to go and most of all a loving, faithful, patient, giving, healing, saving, merciful heavenly Father who is so passionate in His love for me that He pursues me everyday!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Visions of Sugar Plums...

Today Ava Kate and I got to share a fun afternoon together at the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea. Those of you that know me very well, know that I LOVE dancing! I love the Nutcracker! Therefore when I was pregnant with Ava and got an invitation in the mail for the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea I was already dreaming of the day I'd get to take her to it. Linda, Jill and Caroline were sweet enough to invite us to join them. I tried to prepare myself that Ava was still a little young and might not be all that interested yet. That was not the case at all though, she loved it, every bit of it! She got to pick out her first Nutcracker doll. When we walked in aand sat down nd she saw the plate of pink sweet treats and the pink punch she was in heaven, if you know Ava very well, you know she LOVES to eat! She was not all that interested in the style show or silent auction presentation but performance began and the Sugar Plum Fairy came out and started dancing she was mezmerized! She oohed and aahed and sat with her mouth wide open while the dancers presented a short version of the Nutcracker. She would clap enthusiastically after each song, it was priceless! She took a couple of pictures with the dancers but was a little timid of some of them especially the little Harlequin dolls. We had such a fun time and were both so captivated with the ballerinas we came home and put on her ballet dress and tiara and we danced around the living room together. I love making sweet memories with my little sugar plum!