Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I fully expect to see some of these flowers at the supermarket when I go shopping today. The stores always bring them out first thing after Christmas, it seems.
I used to think that they were called "prim" roses because they are "prim and proper" little ladies. It would seem the root word is closer to "prime" as in "first". And they are often the first flowers to bloom in the gardens in springtime here in Germany (where they are called "primeln", by the way.)
The stores are practicing good marketing! After the holidays, we sometimes go into a slump and these little bursts of color bring some cheer. And they're inexpensive, so still affordable to holiday-shopping-depleted pocketbooks. So, I'm using them as my page background this month...enjoy!
Friday, December 25, 2009
In Germany, the big celebration is on Christmas Eve. I was invited to join some friends and their family for dinner and fellowship after church. It was a lovely meal and lovely evening. I overdid it on the sweets AGAIN. I've taken a break from tracking just to make my hectic week a little less stressful with all the special occasions going on. I'm back to tracking today. And tomorrow the last of the cookies will be leaving the building!!!
Today, I made the decision to stay in my jammies ALL DAY LONG! It felt great to have a day with no outside commitments. That may be the best Christmas gift I got this year! I had a good time of prayer this morning, caught up on emails and on Spark business, updated my budget and spend some time checking out flights for my trip to the States in February. That's about IT!
Tomorrow, there's another little event - a white elephant gift exchange with some friends from church, a yearly thing we do. It will be fun. I will NOT eat cookies.
There's so much I love about the Christmas season but I'm always glad when the holidays are over, too. Life can get back to "normal," though I continue celebrating Jesus, knowing his presence with me, and his power at work in me every day. That makes "normal" very special!
I hope all you dear Spark friends have been enjoying the holidays!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
...to another Sparker's blog that I just recently discovered and have been enjoying the past few days. EDWARDS1411 is posting a Christmas song every day this month, along with the history or story behind the writing of the song, some trivia about various versions, and a link to a recording. If you like Christmas music like I do, these blog posts will be right up your alley!
Monday, December 07, 2009
Every year, the Royal Ranger (Christian boy and girl scout) troop in town puts on their "Waldweihnacht" presentation. I went for the first time this year. It was cold, rainy and the path through the woods and along the little fishing lake to the Ranger cabin was dark, and full of puddles and mud. But it was so beautiful and sweet how the kids and their Ranger leaders told the Christmas story on the way, acting out the parts of Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the three wise men, the angels and the innkeeper. Some of the Rangers carried torches to light the way. Everyone had been working hard all afternoon to prepare the venue, get their costumes together and to fix mountains of food.
Teenage Mary rode on a live horse, guided by her "husband." As we followed, we were greeted by the other players who told us their part of the story. There was a big bonfire when we got to the cabin. But there was no room for Jesus and his parents there, as the innkeeper shouted from the upper story window. Instead, we made our way around to the back of the cabin, where a tent "stall" welcomed the little family, and a narrator read us the rest of the story from Luke.
Afterwards, grilled sausages, gingerbread, and hot fruit punch were served to all us pilgrims. There was a nice little crowd of about 80 people there. For some, participating is an annual tradition.
The picture shows one of my little piano students, Gina, hanging from a tree as the "Fear Not" angel. If you look closely, you can see her rubber rain boots and jeans under her golden finery. That seems so fitting - the beauty of one of God's heavenly beings contrasted with the humblest of conditions that Jesus met when he arrived on earth to carry out his mission of saving the world. Jesus had to get his feet dirty, too, when he came. In fact, he continues to do so often, as he slogs through the mud of our trials with us, even carrying us through the roughest patches of the trail. Thank you, Lord!
Today, I had a nice surprise when I logged on to SP - I was awarded Community Team Leader of the month! Perfect timing because I had been kicking myself around for sampling too many sweets these past few days and (maybe) blowing my weight loss of last week. The award was both an encouragement and reality check. I know how to do this and I can do it better than I did over the weekend! Getting back on track today.
Friday, December 04, 2009
...to catch the underground yesterday, so I wouldn't miss my connection to the train home. It felt really good! It felt good to BE ABLE TO run, and it felt good to just run.
I haven't been jogging this week because I've had a cold. Cardio exercise has been walks. I guess I'm feeling better! I'm glad of it because I've missed my runs. Who woulda thunk it a couple of years ago, pre-Spark?
Oh, and I caught the train!
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