Monday, December 24, 2012

It's That Time of Year...

....When the house is decked with garlands, bows, and lights
-The kitchen is filled with aromas of the many delicious baked goods...and the household is in a state of constant "sugarhighness"
-Pine needles become the number one item tracked throughout the house...usually only outmatched by the tracks of dirt that come with living in the country
-The special pumpkin and apples candles get taken out and lit, adding to the sweet aromas
-Purchases of Costco's Holiday Coffee blend replace the usual French Roast
-Anticipation is high...excitement level's at its little ones rejoice over their three week break in school
-Everyone rejoices over the fact that they have the men of the house around 24/7 
-Each day, eager faces peek out of the windows to see if, by any chance, the passing FedEx truck is meant for them...then the crowds re-position around the mysterious box just delivered
-Piles of gifts surround the Christmas tree, as some gather around to carefully inspect each gift...which involves: checking for peak holes in the packages, poking them, and jiggling and jangling them in every which way (don't ask me how I know :)
-It's time for those bits of unfinished stories to come out, and those piles of books you've had stacked up for months, with the intentions of reading them, to finally get done...time to join the littlest sis, after months of begging, for a time of dolls
-Everyone around sends out their wishes to all of the scrooges of this year for a very merry Christmas...NOT a happy holidays :)
-Old Christmas songs are taken out and played all day long...girls pick up their Christmas sheet music selections instead of the regular classical music (whew!!! :)
-The events that fill their schedules seem altogether more attendances at the Word of Grace Bible Church for the annual Christmas concert (the prettiest thing you ever saw!!!), driving to down town Portland for the play "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol" (Which was also an amazing success), and shopping at the Woodburn outlets, all lit up with the lovely lights and the famous Woodburn Christmas tree...and all around, the stop lights seem to flash a brighter red and green...yes, that was very original, wasn't it :)
-It's time for the traditional movie marathon to begin...this year being none other than the famed "Pride and Prejudice"
-Traditional Christmas movies are watched that are ONLY ever seen around Christmas the George C. Scott "A Christmas Carol" (it's important that I specify ;), "It's a Wonderful Life", and "Christmas Card" (I know, I need at least one cheesy hallmark film for the holiday season :) Oh, and I can't forget..."Cricket on the Hearth" all time fav!!!
-Old and young alike are dreaming and praying for a white Christmas
-Jesus birth and coming death is remembered...the birth of our knew hope in Him....of a grace undeserved, and righteousness that we did not earn...Jesus Christ: the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas!...and like Ania told me as she reached chapter 2 in Luke, "Nae-Nae, I just skipped over that because we're gonna be reading it in a couple weeks." :)
-And like every Christmas year before this, the Spafford family resolves to send out a family picture to all their friends and family....and as tradition would have it...they never do :)

Have an amazingly Merry Christmas, filled with joy, and thankfulness....and lots of Christmas baking ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tis the Season!

Seeing as how it's so close to Christmas and all, (I can't believe...only one more week!!!), I thought I'd post a few of my favorite Christmas songs, two of them being new to this year for me.

First, I really like this beautiful version of "Mary Did You Know" by Scotty Mcreery...adding a splash of country to the song :)

Secondly, I won't be offended if no one likes this one...seeing as how I'm the only one in the family who does :)

And lastly is Casting Crown's, "While You Were Sleeping", sadly applicable to America today. It's a good reminder that, through all of the most recent difficult events of this year, it was similar to the way the world was at Jesus birth.  As Russel Moor said, "Jesus was not born into a gauzy, sentimental winter wonderland of sweetly-singing angels and cute reindeer nuzzling one another at the side of his manger. He was born into a war-zone...The mystery of evil is a declaration of war on the peace of God’s creation. The war goes on, but not for long. And sometimes the most warlike thing we can say, in an inhuman murderous age like this one, is “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”
It's a good reminder at this time of year, that as it's fun to be all together, receive and give gifts, (and to fill your house with Christmas baking :)....this is not to be our focus; we're looking at the birth of our Lord and Savior, with also the remembrance of His death on the cross. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Reason for these Insane Hours!

It's all been since Daddy's left...everything has been thrown off rhythm, schedules have gone kilter-wacky and life's routines have become, well, non-existent. It has been since then that we have not "hit the hay", so to speak, any earlier than...2:00 AM :)

At first it seemed like it was for a good enough excuse.....Mom was determined to finish the over-abundant supply of apples that we'd obtained. For not only did we have the 1800 pounds that I'd mentioned before, but a couple from our church had offered us another 200 pounds of apples..and mommy just couldn't turn it down :) Hence, our last few weeks have been consumed in none other than apple canning. But, Jonathon got rather tired of coming home each night, expectant of a lovely meal to fill his empty stomach  only to find that there was not a stitch of dinner to be found, and no signs that any attempt to do so had been made. He was told it was because all of the stoves, oven, and crock pots were occupied....this did not console his aching stomach. Finally!!! ABSOLUTELY appled out, mother determined to finish them that night...even if we had to stay up till 3:30 in the morning to do so :) 

Next, we were struck with that panicky feeling that you get around Christmas time, when you realize Christmas day is only three weeks away, and you have yet to finish the present shopping (or maybe that's just in the big families when there are nine different individuals to shop for :) So, the next few evenings were consumed in online Christmas shopping. Due to the number of people we had to shop for, it usually took us till late into the night, and early into the next morning.

 After a few days of this, we finally came to the realization that this was totally messing up our day schedules...and we were not getting up till around 10-ish...which meant we either had a sort of brunch when we woke up....or nothing at all :)  The positive to this was that it did help sleep some of those hours away that we might have spent agonizing over Daddy's absence ;)

Another reason for these late hours was because of that final rush week for Jonathon, it being the week before finals, when he and his team had to finish up all of those unfinished projects before presentations...(and we girls, who already absolutely never see him, see him even less.) Starting from Tuesday, we'd plan on Jonathon's friends coming over every evening...and often times working late into the night. Our job was to keep them in plenty of brownies and coffee. (The above picture is one we shot of his team of 2012)

This has gone on since Tuesday, following all of the way to Friday, which was another grand finale of 3:30 AM. The number of eager stayer-uppers had dwindled down to a faithful three: mom, Leisel and I. Mom and I were determined to finish some of the shopping that night...or rather early morning. Leisel could not be part of it since some of the shopping was for her. We began the online shopping...but as we neared the end of it, things became...well, a little less enthusiastic. would find something I liked online, show it to mom and then pause to wonder in my half awake state why there was no response from her...then, looking over, find her in a state of un-awakedness. I then would start to think, with the part of my brain that was still awake, how my words were sort of slurring together and the mouse wasn't going where I wanted it to. I am afraid to say we slept in embarrassingly late that same morning. When the Dentist told me that day, "Yah, today is really going by fast for me." Little did he know the reality of his statement...we'd only been awake for those last two hours, and it was 1:00.

You may be wondering, "Do I have a solution to these messed up sleep hours or disheveled schedules???" I am afraid that it is not one to be got till the return of the head of the house ;) That might then begin to renew that same vigor that we once had for normal life once gain.