Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas A to Z: ZION

And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.                                         1 Nephi 13:37

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas A to Z: VIRGIN

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.                                    Luke 2:26-28

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas A to Z: UNITY

For there is no respect of persons with God. Romans 2:11

. . . he inviteth all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.  2 Nephi 26:33

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas A to Z: STOCKINGS

Knitted works of art made by my mother. She knit stocking for my dad and herself, their six children and five spouses, and twenty-seven grandchildren. Then she was done!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas A to Z: REDEEMER

He began as we all do, a tiny baby.
Through His Atoning Sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane,
and on the Cross at Golgotha He redeems us from sin and death.
 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophesies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.                                       2 Nephi 25:26

He will come again as Lord of Lord and King of Kings, Our Redeemer!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas A to Z: QUILT

Quilted tablecloth my mother made for us Christmas 2011.
She died 1 May 2012

Detail of quilt
Detail of stitching

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas A to Z: NATIVITY

A few of my sets; if I had more horizontal surfaces I'd have them all out.

L to R: Porcelain, Angel Moroni (not strictly Christmas, but hey, he's an angel!), solid glass, glass, print in frame.

Solid glass back-lit with tea light candle
Porcelain set

Glass figurines in front, framed print behind

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas A to Z: LIGHTS

Salt Lake City, Utah Temple and lights

Life size Nativity in front of Salt Lake City Tabernacle (Home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas A to Z: KINGS

Variously called Kings, Wise Men, Magi, it is my personal belief that the men who came from the east to see the newborn King, were prophets of God, journeying to see for themselves the promised Messiah.

"Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? 
". . . And because that I have spoken one word, ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever."     2 Nephi 29:7, 9

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas A to Z: JOSEPH

"Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
"But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
"Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:"                                             Matthew 1:19-21, 24 KJV

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas A to Z: FRUITCAKE

Fruitcake has a bad reputation, but the recipe I use is an old family favorite and once someone tastes it their mind is changed forever.

The candied fruit are the colors of Christmas. And true to my frugal nature I bought some of the ingredients last year on clearance.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas A to Z: DONKEY

I know a donkey is not scriptural, but I can't imagine that Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem on foot. This sweet story is one of our family favorites.

Anna, over at Pleasant View Schoolhouse, has a real live donkey.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas A to Z: ADVENT

Years ago when we had just three children I made this Advent Calendar in an effort to keep the focus on Christ during December. It worked very well as we watched Joseph and Mary progress from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

We haven't used it in recent years (can you tell from the wrinkles?) but I got it out this year to count down because all of our children will be home for Christmas this year and I'm looking forward to that day!

Miser Mom has a great idea for a simple advent calendar made from printer paper and sticky notes that is wonderful for older children and teens.

I'm sure Pinterest has tons of ideas too. I made this one for a "Super Saturday" Relief Society activity; it was really fun to see how others interpreted it as they put theirs together, the creativity was super!

Do you have a favorite Advent Calendar?


Plenty of blogs and websites extol the virtues of the simple life on a homestead, providing your own food and being self-sufficient in many ways. While I applaud their efforts I beg to differ that their life is anything approaching simple.

I've read enough domestic history, journals and memoirs of pioneers and nineteenth century homesteaders (even some early twentieth century) to know that life on the farm is anything but simple. It is hard work and long hours each day and everyday, all year long. The work is complex and interrelated and ongoing. I like to think I could have been a good pioneer or homesteader but I'm sure glad I don't have to be one now.

I thoroughly understand the hunger for a simpler life. Time seems to rush; days go by quickly, years flash by, and we still haven't accomplished what we wanted to. There is too much to do and seemingly too little time to do it.

I believe the simplicity we hunger for is that of a life free from the multiplicity of possessions, activities and distractions (also known as the internet) that we burden ourselves with.

When asked for my occupation I respond with "stay-at-home" mom, homemaker. At times, though, I wish I could be more like Caroline Ingalls, the Ma of the Little House books. She was a true stay at home mom, she rarely ever left her home, even to shop for groceries and fabric. And I envy the Amish for the tight-knit community and frequent personal visits.

I don't know the full answer to the problem of claiming, making, and finding more simplicity in our lives. I do know that concentrating on things of eternal importance feels more satisfying than anything else.

As we enter the Christmas season may you have peace in the simplicity of the eternal message "A Savior is Born".