Merry Christmas

Luke 2:8-20

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


"Helping" put up the tree

It's been a couple of years since we've had the tree up. Last year we were away half of the month, and the year before we had a new baby and didn't think about it too much...besides not having room with a swing and excersaucer taking up so much space! In fact, we had to remove our papasan chair so we could have the tree up this year! But the sight of a pretty lit-up tree is nice, even though it takes up so much of our living/playing room. Callum loves to help. With everything. His favorite saying lately has been "No, my do it!" or "MY turn!" Note the concentration...

Callum loves the "kismis tree".
I see you, Mommy!


Another Great List

Have no fear! Help is here! After scouring the web for the best toys for kids that don’t contain questionable chemicals like phthalates and BPA or heavy metals like lead, Healthy Child, Healthy World presents the ultimate gift: a guide to save you tons of time this holiday season. Forget paging through catalogues (do people still do that in the digital age?) or spending hours traipsing from store to store. You will find everything you need for everyone on your shopping list right here. So, bookmark this page and start amassing the amazing gifts that will light up your child’s eyes this season (with the durability to last for many more).

Healthy Child also shares some tips for choosing toys, as well as a handy pocket guide for when you're out and about.

• Opt for solid wood instead of plastic (look for FSC-certified wood [sustainable] that is either unfinished or has a non-toxic coating).
• Choose soft toys made of organic textiles (cotton, hemp, wool, etc).
• If you select toys with batteries, choose rechargeable ones.
• Save money and reduce pollution by considering used toys from your local thrift store, eBay, Craigslist, Freecycle, or yard sales (follow these tips for secondhand safety).
• Look for toys made with post-consumer recycled materials and those made with minimum packaging, or packaging made from post-consumer products.


Malachi 3:3

I recieved this in my email the other day and it really spoke to me. Trials that come our way bring us closer to God, and that is what I've experienced.

Malachi 3:3 says:
'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed..

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'