January Evening with Friends

Last night, we had some long-time friends come over. They are moving down to Florida. We had fun talking and eating ice-cream and brownies with them. We did our best to convince them to stay here in Cleveland, but seeing that one of them never took off their jackets (yes, they had multiple of them), I think they are looking forward to getting back to warmer weather. 🙂 We’ll miss having them here, but we’re thankful for the time that they’ve lived near to us.

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Christi’s 15th Birthday

On Saturday night, we celebrated Christi’s 15th birthday.

 I am so thankful to God for my sister. She is always ready to give cheer when cheer is needed; she is ready to help when assistance is needed, and she is ready to be there when company is needed. May God continue to grant you grace to keep growing in Him this next year.

 Here are some pictures!

Ice Cream Cake!

Ice Cream Cake!

Christi and Mom after making the Cake

Christi and Mom after making the Cake

Opening Presents

Opening Presents

Dad Testing out my Camera

Dad Testing out my Camera

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Very tasty!

Very tasty!

 

Christmas Celebrations – 2013

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.

– Dr. Seuss

Our family had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas – 3 times! What does “celebrating Christmas” mean to you? While I am not an expert on the origins of Christmas, a few brief seaches online reveal that the word Christmas comes from “Christ mas,” a service commemoration Christ’s birth. When Jesus came, He came as the Light of the World, a great gift. Today, thousands of years later, we celebrate our national holiday by giving gifts. While I like to consider this a reminder of Christ’s gift to us, it is can be easy to allow the material gifts overshadow some of the very real gifts around us. Following is a list of several of these other gifts which I am thankful to God for now:

  1. God, and His Salvation
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. A warm house in this cold weather (around 20* F)
  5. Work to keep busy and earn income

Following are a few pictures I enjoyed from our family celebrations. Merry Christmas!

Christianna Daniel & Dad

Andrew Wrapped Creatively...

Andrew

Daniel... and a camera. What else is new? :) Daniel… and a camera. What else is new? 🙂
Andrew Wrapped Creatively…

 

Christi & Libby Ski masks for Christmas Daniel's humor

Libby Daniel and his camera... again!

We moved the table the plant is normally on. This flower fell off, so I took a picture.

We moved the table the plant is normally on. This flower fell off, so I took a picture.

Mom & Mimi

2013 Church Christmas Party

IMG_0901Today, we spent most of the morning at our church Christmas party. We played several games — complete with a white elephant Christmas gift exchange. As usual, there were many unusual items, such as chicken hats. 🙂 Afterwards, since we have about 6 inches of snow, we had a good snow-ball fight. 

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One of the games was a Ginger Bread Decorating competitions for the kids.

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Church Christmas Cantata

IMG_0722Our church did a Christmas Cantata titled “He Gave Everything.” Our family was able to do various parts for the cantata. Andrew, Dad, and Mom sung in the choir and acted in the reader theatre part of the cantata. Christi sang in the choir; Matthew did sound, and I did lighting. The message for the cantata was excellent, as it portrayed how Christians often rationalize their lack of action of what God has commanded them on excuses that actually “sound good.” After practicing for about two months, the cantata went quite well; the actual performance was definitely better than all the practices. I’m really grateful that we were able to help with the cantata

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Thanksgiving Visit with Family

IMG_0666For Thanksgiving, we visited my grandparents in Indiana. My uncle, aunt, and cousin from Seattle came also. It was great to see them again, as we haven’t seen them for a couple years. As usual, Grandma had plenty of food (including cranberry sauce) and a fun time was had by all. Most of the time, we stayed at my Grandparents house and played games such Chess and Dutch Blitz; though we visited the farm also, and had a bonfire to clean up some of the brush.

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Thanksgiving

WIMG_0398e have so much to be thankful for. Most of all, God loved the world enough to send His perfect Son to die for us, His enemies. Now, those who have repented from their sin, and believed in His Son, can have eternal life (John 3:16 and Luke 13:3). What greater thing could we be thankful for? Yet, God continues to give so much more. It reminds me of the hymn, “The Love of God.”

“The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.” – Fred­er­ick M. Leh­man

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Now for Autumn

Well, the snow didn’t stay, but what can be expected in October? However, we continue to see a couple snow flakes here and there – now that we are in November. Surprisingly, we still have a good amount of leaves that are yet to come down.We’ve been keeping busy raking/blowing our yard, as well as a couple of friend’s yards.

About a week ago, I visited Cuyahoga Valley National Park with a friend. It is about half an hour south from here, but there were even more leaves on the trees there. We spent a couple hours in the park taking pictures, and had fun doing it.

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Ritchie Ledges