In comparison with 2011 this year has been so much more settled.
I felt my word for the year was contentment and I feel like to a great degree that is the word that settled over my heart and my home. I came to greater peace and satisfaction with the roles in my life – the mother I am and I am aiming to become, the craft-er and sew-er I am, the person I am in the body I occupy.
In my blog I managed 52 posts about Becoming the Mama I Want to Be,
52 Wardrobe Wednesday posts and
52 Make My Week posts.
All of which have been a great delight to do and none have felt like a chore.
I want to thank you for being on the journey with me this year and I hope you will continue to add your voice of encouragement and find this to be a place of joy and encouragement in 2013.
Tomorrow I’ll let you know my hopes and aspirations for the new year.
The final 3 days of Advent absolutely blew me away.
Through the whole of the advent swap I was so blessed by the thoughtfulness, creative talent and heart-felt generosity I undeservedly received from Leonie.
This AMAZING cushion. I have such a thing about Suffolk Puffs and this one has so inspired me to make myself some more puff-craft.
and more beads I love
The boys received their final installment of our nativity pieces
The boys were given these gorgeous pillow case covers with PJ pockets and handles for transporting to story telling spots and sweet golden books too.
and I received this stunningly beautiful hand-made necklace (which I then planned my Christmas outfit around) and this incredible hand-made bag – can you imagine the hours and hours of stitching that went into this???
The boys received gorgeous books and these stunning hand-made place mats (Bounce has decided it’s rather too good for that and it is actually a quilt for his teddy)
and I received this amazing cook book which I have looked at wistfully before
and my own hand made tu-tu/ petticoat. You can bet I am already planning an outfit based around this gorgeous piece of loveliness.
Leonie (ever generous) also sent a gift for The Atlas – unfortunately we had a letter box break in on Christmas Eve so I am really, really hoping it was not in there at the time…..praying instead it has been caught up in the backlog of Christmas post along with another gift that was due to arrive for another family member.
I cannot begin to really describe how special and humbled I have felt throughout December and even more special I have had the pleasure of meeting Leonie and I have her now as a new and amazing friend. I am blessed and blissed!! :o)
The joy is still a flowing on the adventy awesomeness round these parts. :o) Today I’m letting the pictures speak for themselves….
Day Sixteen (and a gorgeous Ingrid Michelson CD which is in the car)
I’m a lucky girl right??
Day Eighteen – the boys were outside at 7.05am with their chalk pens!
If you are keen to see what I’ve been sending (not as exciting!) you can find some posts over here on Leonie’s lovely blog :o)
and these awesome DIY decorations that are now proudly on the tree
Day Twenty-Two (and the wise men have arrived for our magnetic nativity)
For those heading off on Christmas travels this weekend I pray safety in the journey and joy in the reception. Merry Christmas lovely friends xxx
Favourite thins this week was the following conversation
Me: Have you had enough water to drink today?
Bounce: I’ll just go and check (goes to the toilet for a pee)
Bounce: No I haven’t (because the wee wasn’t clear)
He then has some water and races back to the toilet to check, but finds he’s all out of wees
Bounce: I didn’t think there was any left
I think 4-year-old boys are rad.
They have also discovered the delights of sprinkler running and hose chasing over the last few days.
There is always so much to be grateful for but this week I am grateful that it is holiday time and I have my 3 favourite boys home to enjoy the festive season with.
It’s been a busy week – activities and expectations rise and suddenly I realise how mush there is still is to do that can’t be done until just before….
But each morning we have had the delight of unwrapping. I love the concept of this swap the joy of being allowed to open something every day, of pausing to feel blessed that someone has thought of you. Of unwrapping a gift with genuinely no idea of what might be in it!!
I so appreciate the work Cat put in to pairing people up who suited each other
DAY eleven (the boys smelly markers had already been squirreled into bags for show and tell!)
and her gorgeous hand-crafting
DAY thirteen (and more special characters for our magnetic nativity)
and her generosity to the boys (their gifts are disappearing into their room very quickly!)
Bounce got his crocheted bauble off the tree the other day just to show me again ‘this is the one I got first Mama and it’s still lasting.’
DAY fifteen (the lace is wrapped around a whole box of licorice – yum!)
10 days left until Christmas. I hope your weekend is filled with everything good.
with parcels in the post and Christmas cards too (you know who you are)
gingerbread house making
and bike races
and bouncy castles at kindy
and joyful laughing together as a family
Christmas is just around the corner but don’t miss out on today because you are so focussed on tomorrow next week.
Hear your children laugh (or better yet make them laugh), welcome your partner home with a moment of true eye contact and a joyful smile.
This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed getting out of bed so much… over the last 8 days I’ve been woken to the sound of my boys whooping with delight over the beautiful and thoughtful things Leonie has picked out for them each day. (There was no expectation for her to do something each day for them that’s just the measure of her generous heart!)
One of the best things they have said this week was when they opened this awesome magnetic story board with some of the nativity characters in it and Bounce said to me ‘Mum I think Jesus is coming for us‘ (he wasn’t in the first parcel of these they unwrapped.) I thought to myself yes little man how true.
|Awesome jacket and skirt pattern, airhostess beads and gingerbread cottage|
|Story board with nativity characters|
This morning I was thinking about all the amazing things Leonie has picked for me and I felt like oh my gifts are so small in comparison and then I thought isn’t that just like Christmas. We carefully pick gifts for others and wrap them with care but really they are so very small in comparison to what heaven gave us at Christmas. A God who would walk as human, grieve, feel pain, lose friends, have enemies, laugh, eat, hope…. A God who would give up power and clothe himself in helplessness.
(the glo sticks the boys received were squirreled away faster than I could get a photo of them. Flip was found sleeping with his that evening!)
|Brownie In a Jar|
I love how no matter how generous our love, how kind our deeds, how wonderful our words they are only ever a tiny glimpse of the extravagant love of God who gave everything. A God who opens his arms to love us just as we are.
|Gorgeous Crocheted Flannels|
This Advent swap has been so wonderful and it’s not even half way through. Leonie has really chosen things so carefully in line with the things I said I liked. I think it is such a compliment when someone picks something for you, with you in mind. That is really the great discipline of gift giving to buy what someone else would like rather than what you would like yourself.
|I adore this quote – all framed up for me x|
I’ve also had such fun listening to all the excited exclamations of the boys and their sense of anticipation each day. Their absolute favourite has been the magnetic story board and they are already telling and re-telling the story to each other with the characters they have so far. It’s made me think after Christmas I need to make some more characters for them to re-tell other stories they love. I do remember getting hours of delight from my mama’s flannel-graph boards as a child.
Day SEVEN boys:
|More magnetic characters|
Tune in next Saturday to see what else has excited and delighted me… and to see if I’ve been brave enough to cut into this fabric which literally made me squeal when I opened it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fabric I love more!!!
fish language – on the way to school this week I heard Flip telling Bounce he could speak fish language. Bounce said he could too but Flip said ‘no you can’t but I can introduce you to the fish and then when they know you, you will be able to speak their language’.
4-year-old knowing and wonder – we had a beautiful Christmas celebration with some other families this week and Santa came with gifts for each family. Bounce informed me seriously and quietly that ‘Santa was actually Sam’s Dad’. Then the next morning when the Wise Men had moved from the bathroom to the top of the fish tank he said to The Atlas – ‘How could the Wise Men have made it over there? They must have climbed down and crossed the kitchen under the table, climbed the draws and heaved (don’t you love 4-year-old words!) themselves onto the fish tank. It’s amazing.’
I love the look of wonder on the children’s faces when Santa arrived even though they ‘knew’ who he was. They are at this beautiful place of fully entering in to the magic even if they know the truth.
We received all the pieces to make a gingerbread house – Whoop!!
There is actually heaps to love this week and so much of it is about the boys so I might just do another post about them over the weekend. I am so enjoying this Advent season.
I am a gift lover – I really enjoy buying/making/giving – it makes me very happy. On the flip side I also love to receive presents. Primarily I give and receive love via words but loving touch and presents also speak of love very loudly to me.
So just right now and for another 21 days!!!! I am feeling (and so are my boys!!!!) very loved by a Miss Leonie Sunshine (x3). Each Saturday I’m going to share the love so you can see the wonderful things I’ve been unwrapping – because if you can’t have the present at least you can enjoy someone else having them right?
Day Two Me
Day Two Boys
I know today is Monday but I wanted to start with the first three days.
Cat is the wonderful Advent Host and she has links on her blog if you want to go and check out other participants.
My Christmas tree is looking so awesome!!!
Also tomorrow for Becoming the Mama I Want to Be – I would love you to post in with any post (you don’t have to have a link in it) of cool stuff you’ve done with your wee ones – any time this year. Multiple links welcome.
Yesterday it began to rain while I was at school helping to organise the end of year Christmas pageant (so not a pageant but when else would I get to use that word!!) I had washing on the line….
When I came home this is what I found – my neighbour rescued the washing off the line and put the pegs in Flip’s cap and put it all under the verandah thingy we have. God Bless a washing fairy!
These 2 boys that love each other so much – The Atlas and I found them playing together with this suitcase one morning before school.
I love that the when a very large and exciting advent box arrived Flip decided to race down to his room and wrap a parcel for Daddy so he didn’t feel left out – I so love that kid’s generous heart.
I love that I have the best advent swap partner ever!! Leonie is one of those incredible, generous, over-achievers (love a good overachiever!!) – I am in for an AWESOME December.
The box also contained those ‘air bag’ packaging things which were joyfully burst as well.
I love that the box quickly became a boat for the teddies and then a table for a picnic afternoon tea and then a prop in the ‘wipeout’ obstacle course that the boys built.
And I’m also totally awed by our brains – I am learning lines for a performance next week and it kind of blows my mind that we can with a small amount of intention memorize and regurgitate lines we read – our brain is fearfully and wonderfully made indeed.
I love that it’s Friday and tomorrow I proudly turn 35!! Halfway to 70 – bring it. :o)