Monday, December 19, 2011

Counting Blessings at Christmas

With less than one week until Christmas, I continue to be on the lookout for everyday blessings.

I had a busy week with several Christmas parties and lots of excitement from the children in our school.  It's such fun to be around little children at Christmas.

A wonderful blogging friend named Sonja (wink, wink) sent me a box of treats for "Miss Debbie's Kids".  I gave each child a chocolate covered pretzel to take home.  You should have seen their sweet smiles. :)

I also had the opportunity to spend an evening with friends that I've known for years.  We always have lots of laughs when we get together and this was no exception.
We did pose for a more serious picture but couldn't resist being silly.  Of course, Georgann's husband captured this moment of fun.

Since the weather in Phoenix this past week had been cold and rainy, the children in our class were indoors playing when I arrived at school.  I got to see them play freely in our classroom and got such a kick out of it.  Normally, when I arrive they are out on the playground.
They love to play dress-up.  They also have a little kitchen with pots and pans and enjoy 'baking' pretend food for Heidi and me.

Aanika is wearing this crown on her head because it was her birthday.  She turned four years old.  The children feel so special when they wear their crown all day.  I think she was offering me something she whipped up in the kitchen.  Yummy!
It's so precious to see friendships blossom.  Little Evan and Max have such fun together.  On the playground, they are ferocious as they play Darth Vader or Monsters.  But during story time, I captured this photo of two little boys quietly listening.

 The parents of our kids hosted our class Christmas party.  They were in charge of the food, entertainment, and crafts.  And they did a fabulous job! Here is Maya working on her gingerbread house.

I love Christmas trees and Christmas music.  I finally have two weeks off to get ready.  This is a photo from the home where I used to live.  I have such fond memories but life goes on ...

The reality is that I've not even begun to set up the Christmas tree.  However, my goal for this week is to get it done.  Even though this house is much smaller and I hope I can find the boxes with my ornaments, I am trying to focus more on the reason for the season.  After all, it's all about Jesus.

I found some wonderful resources to prepare my heart for Christmas.  I downloaded the weekly prayer guide from The Church at Brook Hills here.  It contains Bible readings for Christmas along with Scripture memory verses and prayer.

I also purchased a book on my Kindle called "Away in a Manger: An Advent Devotional" by Ian Strachan.  I first read about it on The Faith Barista blog where they were doing a giveaway.  I've found this very helpful as I read each day's reading.

#263 Thoughtful gift for the children from a precious blogging friend
#264 Seeing the smiles of the children as they are given the special treats
#265 An fun evening of laughter, good food and lifelong friendships
#266 Cooler weather in Phoenix (which is perfect for Christmas)
#267 Observing children at play
#268 Getting to pretend taste the children's baked goodies
#269 Seeing children make friends with each other
#270 Getting to spend time with the parents of the children in our class
#271 Enjoying our class Christmas party that was planned and hosted by the parents
#272 Christmas trees all decorated (except mine; not yet)
#273 Christmas music
#274 Christmas devotionals
#275 Reading Matthew and Luke's account of Jesus' birth
#276 Two weeks off work to enjoy Christmas with family

I'm linking up with Ann Voscamp of A Holy Experience as I continue to count my everyday blessings.

This might be a great time to join in.  I encourage you to do so as it definitely changes your perspective.

Blessings and love,

Counting Blessings at ChristmasSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Merry Christmas to you, Debbie! May your holiday be filled with blessings!!


Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Oh Sonja...what a jewel.

I did Benjamin's Christmas party at his school and had the joy of being in a class of precious were they. What blessed my socks of was when three little boys did the prayer...oh my, God just opened He did for us all those years ago when He sent His son.

What a joy you get to experience each day...and how blessed are those little ones to have you.

So glad you had time with friends...isn't God's hugs through humans the greatest gift?

Debbie...I send my hugs and I too am focusing on really is a heart issue isn't it?

Merry Christmas in case I don't get back here before then. Enjoy your vacation and refreshing in Him who gives us strength.

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

How sweet of Sonja!

Love the picture of the little buddies, so cute!

Hoping you will get that tree up and enjoy this time off.

Yes, I'm pretty sure we could be really good friends if we were ever given the opportunity. For now, we'll just enjoy being each others blogging buddy. :o)

Hugs to you!

Shanda said...

I love Christmas too and love the fact that the whole family gets together. This will be the first Christmas without one of my kids so that is sad. But...I have to count the blessings too.

Debbie said...

Good morning! Love the picture of the little sweet. And what a nice thing for Sonja to do..I am sure the kids loved them. Glad you've got a couple of weeks off to rest up. Enjoy it! Merry Christmas to you Debbie, and may the Lord richly bless your New year! HUGS

Anonymous said...

Very inspirational, Debbie! I love your look on life. Enjoy your time off- you deserve it!

journeytoepiphany said...

Merry Christmas! I happen to be having a photo scavenger hunt at my place, and the photo of the children with a gift would be perfect for today's prompt of gift. Please consider joining us!

Sonja said...


Your thankful list of blessings is such a blessing to me each week. God is putting the song of praise into your heart and it is always sweet to read.

I hope you and Greg have a wonderful Christmas. Now that you have some free time, enjoy every minute! I'll be emailing you too.



BARBIE said...

What a sweet friend you have in Sonja! How excited the children must have been to receive their treats. Love your list my friend. Thankful for the time you have to slow down and enjoy this season!

hk said...

I loved reading your Christmas thougths. I too am thinking of how I might better "remember the reason for the season." What has come to me is to ask myself this question, "how can I bless someone this season?" And I'm not talking about gifts under the tree. A woman in our church community has aggressive MS. I'm trying to organize a group of carolers to go by her house and sing to her. I'm hoping that will bless her as she cannot get out this season.

Joan Davis said...

I love how you always have a wonderful way of looking at the positive side of things! Thanks for sharing your list of blessings! I pray that your Christmas is full of love and laughter and that you are truly blessed!

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