Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wrapping it up Daybook

In the garden...
...it's dark, and it's cold, and every once in a while we get a thin covering of snow, but so far there is no real hope for a white Christmas. I know most of you are not fans of snow, but I find it to be so soothing and magical, I wouldn't mind a few inches.

I'm thinking about...

...well, Christmas. How 'bout you? I have the third batch of cookies in the oven (biscotti tonight and pizzelles earlier today, springerles last week); about one quarter of the gifts are wrapped; and I still have some that are unaccounted for which I hope show up on my porch tomorrow or Tuesday.

I finished all the hand-sewn gifts, even with my temperamental sewing machine not working half the time, and my gifts of jewelry are finished, as well. Now I have just shopping, wrapping and the rest of the cookies to bake. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope to have a few moments through the beginning of the week to rest, watch a Christmas movie or two and catch my breath. If not, I guess it will happen during the Twelve Days, which has become my favorite part of Christmas.

I am wearing...

...a charcoal great skirt, black knit top and a black scarf. Earlier I had on my black suede boots and earrings, but they came off after Mass. 
In case you care. ;-) 

I am reading....
...I just finished One True Thing, by Anna Quindlen, one of my favorite modern books. I love it because I feel it validates my vocation, and work as a homemaker. If you've never read it, I'll warn you, it's sad, but it's good. I don't agree with much of it, but there is more good than bad. The book, of course, is so much better than the film, but the film is good, too. 

I'm also listening to Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, but I haven't had much time for listening.

I am creating...
...a sweater for Faith is on the needles, but most of the other creating is over and ready to be wrapped. I made two pairs of children's pajamas for a nephew and a Godchild, and eight seasonal pillowcases for Doug's niece (one of the favorite gifts among all of our nieces nephews and young gift recipients).

Also pictured is the garter stitch shawl I recently finished.

At the school table...
...no school for two weeks (whoopee!), although we have a stack of Christmas books to read.

Plans for the rest of the week...

...wrapping and baking and celebrating.

A few of my favorite things....

...friends who check on me when I've been absent from here for a while
...children who can get along long enough to put up the Christmas lights -- all by themselves. (whoopee!)
...cookies in tins (though not so much the making of the cookies)
...a lit tree in a dark room

Prayers sent heavenward...

...for my husband and children to do God's will
...for answers to medical questions...still
...for all the priests and religious
...for all the babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion this week, for a change of heart

Thought of the day...

...these thoughts are compliments of my mother-in-law who has been ill with bronchitis, and she sent me this poem she penned the other day:


My heart is filled with many things
Scraps of cloth, bejeweled rings
Sparkling glass and shiny floors
Praise of people and much more

The things that have to be just so,
A perfect gift, the so-so bow
The perfect word for perfect prayer
The perfect weight, the perfect hair

It tires me and weighs me down
 The things I do to gain renown
 The idols fashioned through the years.
My lack of love, the harbored fears

Yet only You can ease this pain
Can empty me of all that's gain
 Free this captive, bring new birth
For this is why You came to earth.

 I've waited in this Advent time
 Longed to feel your touch Sublime
 My heart is filled with many things

 I long to empty for my King.

--Susie Stein


  1. Someday, I would like to knit/crochet as well as you! It was wonderfull to see a picture of you. Sorry there are still medical questions, but hope the answer comes soon. Take care and have a Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you, Suzie. You're so sweet. Merry Christmas to you, too.

  2. OOooo I love all your beautiful bird pictures and your beautiful shawl!! And thanks for sharing that lovely poem. Beautiful.

    1. You're welcome, Anne. I love snapping shots of my bird friends, especially the Jays -- but they move so quickly!

  3. Are all the birds from your yard? They're beautiful to see. I would love to sit by the window with a cup of coffee and watch them play!

    You have been busy making and creating!! It all sound lovely and I love what you showed us in the post. Beautiful work!

    The poem. Your MIL wrote that? What a gifted woman!

    1. Yes, Patty, they are right outside my kitchen window-- I love to watch them all day and when I feed the blue jays peanuts, I do grab my cup of tea and just watch them swoop in. They call all the other jays and have a big party!

      Yes, my mother-in-law wrote it. It is beautiful, isn't it?

  4. I forgot, wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

  5. I'm enjoying checking in with you this morning. You always write so wonderfully and I like the warm feeling of home I get when I stop by.
    The birds are so beautiful. What lovely photos to share!
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful poem by your MIL. What a treasure!
    May the coming days be filled with rest and relaxation for you and your family. Advent and Christmas Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Sarah. You're so kind.

      Merry Christmas!

  6. I haven't even starting baking yet. I just went to the store yesterday to get some of the things I need! this Advent is going by so fast!

    Have a beautiful last week of Advent and a very merry Christmas Barbara!

    1. I agree, that Advent went by so fast. I always feel like Lent is so long, but I need 40 days for Advent! ;-)

      I am making two more batches of cookies today and I'm done. Each child (and my husband) gets to pick one recipe and I'm and worn out by that! I think I lost some of my German that used to get me through no matter what.

  7. Your mother-in-law's poem is so beautiful, Barbara! I think this is a theme on the hearts of many ... We still have much to do around here, too; mainly wrapping, baking, cooking and cleaning. I have to take the kids shopping for their "Kris Kringle" gifts, too. Why do I wait until the last minute for that task? I can only imagine Target today! I hope to enjoy these last days of Advent, as well ...

    It is hard to believe, but we have no snow either! It is rainy and warm(er). We might have a couple inches by Christmas but nothing major. I like a white Christmas, too! And the kids have not wanted to play outside, because it is not fun to be in the cold without snow!

    Well, I hope you and your family have a very blessed Christmas, Barbara! God bless!

    1. Today our temps got to 55 and tomorrow 60! It's crazy. And doesn't feel like Christmas at all, but I bet Mary would have preferred it to the cold!

      Merry Christmas, Sarah! Give our love to all.

  8. Oh, that shawl is perfectly lovely!

    I continue to pray for you each day. You are on my list of daily intentions.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

    1. Thank you, Jenny, and thank you for your prayers. They are such a beautiful gift!

      Merry Christmas -- and if your sweet daughter needs a place to spend the holiday, she has one here!

  9. Merry Christmas! I love your birds also and I myself love to feed them and take pictures of them...however, the 3 cats have really scared them all away;( Hope all is well with you and your family!

    1. Our kitty stays inside and the birds tease her all day!

      Merry Christmas to you, too, Christine.

      PS I'm so glad you left a message. I lost track of your new blog address (are you still blogging?)

  10. Merry Christmas to you and your family Barbara! Thank you for posting that poem. It was just what I needed to read today!! God bless you!!

  11. I'm glad you stopped by, Kirsten. The beautiful thing about Christmas is Our Lord comes to us whether we are ready or not. :-)

  12. I hope your Christmas brings you a refreshed soul. Thank you for posting the beautiful poem.

  13. I'm so happy that you are posting again! Love all the pictures. Your MIL's poem just hit home. So perfect!

  14. That shawl is beautiful!! But I'm even more happy you pictured YOU. Beautiful YOU.

    Merry Christmas Barbara!


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!