Saturday, December 15, 2012

Two Newtown Educators Went the Extra Mile for Students - NYTimes.com

Two Newtown Educators Went the Extra Mile for Students - NYTimes.com

This is not a moment of joy. This is not a time of happiness. Twenty-eight families went home yesterday missing someone so dear to them that it's difficult to comprehend. I found it terribly ironic that my virtual advent calendar opened today on "fears"... because the writing for it was done weeks ago. But yes... there are fears in the world.

Later, when the initial pain has died down a bit, I'll have more to say on this horrible thing. Right now, I need to show that there ARE heroes and they are in our schools and our neighborhoods. I wish sometimes that we lived in a world where we never needed to KNOW about heroes, but I'm glad that they're there.

At the Sandy Hook school, two heroes were defined. Do you know what a hero is? It's someone who runs toward the gunfire, not away from it. (And please, know that I am not putting down any of the people who hid or ran... because it's probably what I would do in that situation. I'm not a hero.)

Principal Dawn Hochsprung was a hero. She was at a meeting, heard the gunfire, and the person she stuffed under the desk for safety said she sprang out the door running toward the gunfire. Let me say it again: she was a hero. She cared that much about our children.

Ms. Sherlach was the school psychologist. She was apparently in the same meeting, and followed the principal without the least hesitation. She was a hero.

Last night, I lit a candle for these two heroes. They ran into battle without a backward glance. They did their best to save their charges, and unfortunately they died in the process.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Christmas Tree

My Christmas Tree 2012
Okay, I'm unhappy with how this one turned out. The theme for the day was "Christmas Tree" and I thought it'd be easy, but man I HATE photographing them. No matter what you do, every photo comes out looking like a bad 1970s Polaroid!

However, I think I managed to capture at least some of the spirit of my tree. It's full of many ornaments, some new and some old. There are more lights and ornaments in the bottom two thirds because we have twin 7 year olds and that's as far as they can reach.

Check back often for prayers, spiritual musings and all manner of religious discussion and talk. If you have questions or comments, please write to me below. I love to answer questions! If you purchase items I have linked through ads or Amazon, I receive an affiliate portion of the sale. If you find the items are useful, please purchase from my site!
 
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Keeping up... barely!
Pretty Paper all Around Me
My Nativity
Shopping and Bright Things
Red, Joyous and Warm

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Keeping up... barely!

Dec. 11 - Greens
The challenge for Dec. 11th was "greens" and the only greens around here right now are Evergreens. There's no snow yet, but there's not a lot of green growing stuff around either. It's kind of a depressing grey color. I love the fact that our town decorates for so many holidays. These beautiful swags of fir grace the fencing around the top of our town dam, and it just makes the whole place look terrific.

Dec. 12 - A beautiful sight
All around me are beautiful sights, ranging from our children on their best behavior, to our decorated tree, to the neighbors homes all around us. Nothing seems quite as beautiful as these swags, though, and this one was touched with a heavy frost which just begged to be photographed!

Dec. 13 - Family
In lieu of a family photograph (something we don't have time for today due to swimming and getting ready for the holidays), I've taken a photograph of our Wall of Fame. There are pictures of the older kids when they were little, of hubby's brother and his kids, of hubby himself (top center, the one in the bib), our twins, and sis. I love this wall.

Check back often for prayers, spiritual musings and all manner of religious discussion and talk. If you have questions or comments, please write to me below. I love to answer questions! If you purchase items I have linked through ads or Amazon, I receive an affiliate portion of the sale. If you find the items are useful, please purchase from my site!
 
You may also be interested in:

Pretty Paper all Around Me
My Nativity
Shopping and Bright Things
Red, Joyous and Warm
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Pretty paper all around me!

Something you're reading - Goblet of Fire
December 9th's challenge was to photograph "something you're reading." Hardly a challenge, although most of what I'm reading nowadays is on the Kindle app of my phone. However...

The girl-twin and I are slowly making our way through the Harry Potter series. She's a total Potterhead, it's true, and so am I. She loves listening to me do all the voices of the characters, and giggles when I try to get my voice low enough to speak for Hagrid. We're currently on Goblet of Fire, which is incredibly good. It's also vastly different from the movie, which is nice, because she never knows what's going to come next.

December 10th - wrapping paper
I've mentioned in other places that I love to wrap presents. It makes me smile! I take great joy in making each gift a delight to the eyes. I loved the contrast above, between the light blue paper and the bright red of the ribbon. I like things that POP when you look at them.

Check back often for prayers, spiritual musings and all manner of religious discussion and talk. If you have questions or comments, please write to me below. I love to answer questions! If you purchase items I have linked through ads or Amazon, I receive an affiliate portion of the sale. If you find the items are useful, please purchase from my site!
 
You may also be interested in:

My Nativity
Shopping and Bright Things
Red, Joyous and Warm
Following the Star
My favorite holiday movie

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Nativity

Nativity
The photo topic for today was "ornament(s)"... which left me confused as to what to take a picture of. We have literally hundreds of ornaments. I think there's only about a quarter of our ornaments on the tree itself... there isn't room for all of them! Then I remembered...

Our Nativity scene.

I hadn't put it up yet, but I decided to do that this afternoon after I finished cleaning the living room. This is a gift from friends of ours. The glass figurines are antiques, absolutely beautiful. The tree-shaped "stable" and star on top were made by them, adding a touch of pagan flare to it. It speaks to me, and it is just right.

Check back often for prayers, spiritual musings and all manner of religious discussion and talk. If you have questions or comments, please write to me below. I love to answer questions! If you purchase items I have linked through ads or Amazon, I receive an affiliate portion of the sale. If you find the items are useful, please purchase from my site!
 
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Shopping and Bright Things
Red, Joyous and Warm
Following the Star
My favorite holiday movie
Capturing December

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shopping and Bright Things

Dec. 6 - Shopping
I will admit I had a hellish time with yesterday's assignment. I just don't DO Christmas shopping, for the most part. I mean, I guess I could have taken a picture of myself sitting on the computer, but that didn't seem to capture the spirit. I decided that what we were looking for, in essence, was the SPIRIT of shopping, or that love of picking out the perfect gift. That led me straight to my sewing corner!

Above, you can see a skirt I'm working on, and underneath it are several other presents for various people. My cross stitch projects are behind the glass jar of cut threads. That's my shopping, really. I get the joy of picking out something each day as I sit down to work on things.

Dec. 7 - Bright
Today's picture was trivial to figure out. I went straight down to the wood stove and opened it up. That warmth, that brightness, is what this season is all about to me. Things haven't faded into January's dullness yet, and the heat coming out of my lovely fire was just right.

Check back often for prayers, spiritual musings and all manner of religious discussion and talk. If you have questions or comments, please write to me below. I love to answer questions! If you purchase items I have linked through ads or Amazon, I receive an affiliate portion of the sale. If you find the items are useful, please purchase from my site!
 
You may also be interested in:

Red, Joyous and Warm
Following the Star
My favorite holiday movie
Capturing December
The waning light

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Red, joyous and warm!

Dec. 3 - Red
It's been a busy few days! I'm learning how to use Drupal, rushing to get boxes ready for out of country and out of state friends and family, and of course we put up the tree and started baking holiday goodies. However, I did get my photos taken!

December 3rd's challenge was 'red'. I thought long and hard about it. I took some experimental shots of some red stuff on the tree, but when I looked at them, they didn't really make me jump for joy. I ended up taking images of some of the red bows I use for decorating packages and ornaments, and I think it turned out rather well!

Dec. 4 - Joyous
The December 4th challenge was 'joyous,' something that I thought would be easy and turned out to be really difficult. Yesterday was kind of a tough day, because I'm suffering from a cold and it's dragging me down. Finding the joy was escaping me, even though I was making delicious soup. In the end, I kept looking back at this little fuzz ball of red and green tinsel. It's too small for the tree, but I kept it thinking it could be used to spruce up a present. In a close-up shot, it looks very joyous to me, very colorful and bright.

Dec. 5 - Today's temperature
That brings us up to today's challenge: today's temperature. That was definitely not a joyous thing. It's quite warm here, in the mid- to high-40s. There's no hope of snow in the near future, and they're predicting more rain. It's wet and blowing and yucky outside. I wanted a picture that evoked that feeling of stark chilly-but-not-cold. Our thermometer, which reads inside and outside temps, is right by the kitchen window, against a badly painted window frame. That seemed to speak of the blah of the moment.

Check back often for prayers, spiritual musings and all manner of religious discussion and talk. If you have questions or comments, please write to me below. I love to answer questions! If you purchase items I have linked through ads or Amazon, I receive an affiliate portion of the sale. If you find the items are useful, please purchase from my site!
 
You may also be interested in:

Following the Star
My favorite holiday movie
Capturing December
The waning light
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Following the Star

One of the angels on our tree
The season of Advent always seems to pull at me, for some reason. Though I am not Christian in the strictest sense, I do believe in Yeshua and I do worship him. During this season, I celebrate the birth of the Son as well as the re-birth of the Sun.

Part of my Advent devotions includes Following the Star, a wonderful site that I found three or four years ago. While D365 does devotions every day of the year, their Advent ones are very poignant. Right now, they are focused on the theme of bringing about peace. How do we do that? Does it have to start global and work local, or the other way around? They touch on some interesting points.

Please feel free to join in Following the Star with me, and many others!

Check back often for prayers, spiritual musings and all manner of religious discussion and talk. If you have questions or comments, please write to me below. I love to answer questions! If you purchase items I have linked through ads or Amazon, I receive an affiliate portion of the sale. If you find the items are useful, please purchase from my site!
 
You may also be interested in:

My favorite holiday movie
Capturing December
The waning light
How do you give thanks?
Crafts as a spiritual practice

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My favorite holiday movie

Quilt pieces
My favorite movie for the holidays is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell. Admittedly, it isn't a standard "holiday movie" in that it isn't about Christmas or any of the other winter holidays. However, it has special significance for me. My Hungarian grandfather didn't speak a lot of English, but he did understand farming. He and I didn't talk a lot, but every New Year's Eve for about 18 years, we sat down and watched the movie together. My grandmother usually worked that night, being the head cook at the Hungarian Hall down the road. I would stay home with him and watch the movie, and we'd laugh uproariously and just enjoy being together.

In the movie, Jane Powell's character Milly wears dresses that are obviously quilted (sometimes too much so, in fact!), and so for my image today I snapped some quilt squares I'm working on with the kids. The homespun feel of the fabric and the simple patterns make me feel all happy and loved.

What brings back happy memories for you at this time of year?

Check back often for prayers, spiritual musings and all manner of religious discussion and talk. If you have questions or comments, please write to me below. I love to answer questions! If you purchase items I have linked through ads or Amazon, I receive an affiliate portion of the sale. If you find the items are useful, please purchase from my site!
 
You may also be interested in:

Capturing December
The waning light
How do you give thanks?
Crafts as a spiritual practice
The power of helping

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Capturing December

My view today
I was bouncing around Pinterest the other day and ran across something called "Capturing December" over at A Content Housewife. I don't do a lot of photography, but this just seems so creative and happy-making that I decided to do it. So... each day I will be posting up a picture, sometimes with a comment and sometimes not. They'll be taken that day, not in advance, and I'll be using my DroidX. The camera isn't professional, but it's the best non-manual camera I've had.

Today's picture title is "Your view today." I decided to take a picture out my kitchen window, which faces out into the woods behind our house. This is the view I see each morning while drinking coffee and making breakfast. It's the view I gaze at in the afternoon while having a tea. I love looking out this window. In the summer, the spot in front of the cut snowy log (center) is filled with the most delicate white flowers that almost glow in the late morning sun. It looks like a spot where fairies might come to dine. Now that it's winter, I suppose the fairies are all in warm places. Mr. Squirrel and his wife come by to pick up the bits of bread and vegetables we occasional toss out for them, and often hop up on a log to wave to us.

I hope you enjoy my view today as much as I do!

Follow the rest of "Capturing December" (list updated several times a week): Favorite Holiday MovieRed, Joyous and Warm, Shopping and Bright Things, My Nativity, Pretty paper all around me! ...

Check back often for prayers, spiritual musings and all manner of religious discussion and talk. If you have questions or comments, please write to me below. I love to answer questions! If you purchase items I have linked through ads or Amazon, I receive an affiliate portion of the sale. If you find the items are useful, please purchase from my site!
 
You may also be interested in:

The waning light
How do you give thanks?
Crafts as a spiritual practice
The power of helping
And you've got a job...