Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sights of Christmas at the Suemnicht Home

Well, it is the day before Christmas Eve Day. You know what that means? COFFEE CAKE DAY!!!
Tyson's family has a tradition. I don't know how long it has been around, but every Christmas Eve the whole family would gather at Grandma's house after the Christmas Eve Church service. They would always have the same meal every year and exchange gifts and play cards and just enjoy being together. Then, at the end of the night, Grandma would send everyone home with a homemade coffee cake to have on Christmas Morning.
Many years ago, she decided that the family was too big and it was too difficult for her to make that many coffee cakes for Christmas in addition to everything else she had to do to get ready. We all understood, but were sad at the thought of the loss of this special and delicious  tradition. 
So, Tyson and I asked her to teach us how to make them so that we could carry on the tradition for her. She is such an amazing woman! Her husband died when he was 33 and leaving her to raise their 4 children on her own. She did an amazing job! I respect and admire her in so many ways and for so many reasons. It is such a joy and honor to have this tradition to carry on for her. 
It is a bit of work making all these coffee days, but I look forward to it and have so much fun. The years I was pregnant were the hardest years to get them, done, but I think we've only had to miss one year.  Anyway, here are some sights of coffee cake day in our kitchen...wish I could share the smell!! It is heavenly. 
Maybe someday I can do a Coffee Cake Tutorial :-) so that my brother and sister who currently live out of state can and can't always get home for Christmas Day will still be able to make their own coffee cakes. As you can see, my kitchen is JUST the right size for this undertaking. :)

 It takes every bit of counter space. We still have to make the sugar glaze to spread over the struessel...that is Tyson's job when all the cakes are cooked and cooled.
Wish I had one to share for every one of you!

Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
   sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sights of Christmas at the Suemnicht Home

Hanging on our coat closet door...because there is no where else to hang them :) are the stockings. This is the first year that I plan to actually fill the stockings. I don't know why I haven't, but now just seems right. I made these. I made the top two one of the first years we were married. I just made the bottom two in the last couple weeks. The star is for Lucy, our light. The tree is for Judah,our praise. The candy canes are for Mayme, our treasure. The ornaments are for Selah, our rest. I'm not going to explain them anymore than that. It makes sense to me. I don't know if it will make sense to others, but I don't want to ruin it by trying to stretch and elaborate. :-) Anyway, they are fun. Oh, yes, and that is Lucy's Nutcracker. She has always wanted one and we found this one on sale at the fabric store...I couldn't resist letting her get it. 

We have the simple Willow Tree Nativity set. I love nativities. I wish I had more places to set them up...maybe as the kids get older, I'll safely be able to start a little collection. :)
Oh, and please ignore the upside down doll in the background. Grandpa fixed Lucy's broken doll and set her there to dry...and I was in such a hurry to take some pictures while the kids were busy playing
 that I neglected to move it first. :-)

This is a new addition to our Christmas decorations this year. It is called a Jesse tree. We are very behind on it, but that is ok. I still plan to catch up and finish it. I've wanted to do something for Advent season for years with the kids, but never find something and always fail to start on time. This year, I happened to find this little "Jesse Tree" Devotional information...the day before it started! I was so excited. I don't know all the details of what a Jesse tree is because this is our first year and I just jumped right into it, but basically what we are doing is touching on main stories in the Bible starting in Genesis and leading up to Christ. I don't really use the suggested devotional readings, just the suggested scripture readings, and the picture ornaments that we color together and hang from our branch.

Isaiah 11:1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; 
   from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 

So, that night or the next day, when we started doing our Jesse Tree, I ran outside for a few minutes to find some sort of branch because it was suggested it should be used to display our "ornaments". Thankfully, it hadn't snowed yet and I was able to find branch. Then I gathered some other dried grasses and flower heads from the yard. I also cut a piece off the Christmas Tree :) and used a red ribbon to tie it all together. I hung it above our piano and prayed that Tyson wouldn't mind. He is the one with the eye for decorating in our family. :-) I can decorate...his eye for it is just better than mine. Thankfully though he's taught me a lot and I've listened because when he came home, he was so excited and really liked my addition. Yeah! He would have been supportive of it though even if he didn't really care for it too. He's so sweet and would have understood the meaning and value of it as we go through this time of Advent with our children.

Well, that's all for now. More to come soon!
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Sights of Christmas at the Suemnicht Home

I finally have a little bit of time to continue sharing how we are preparing our hearts for Christmas. you enter our home, the next thing you'll notice is our tree. These aren't the best photos, but I tried. I love our Christmas tree. We wanted it to be simple and to remind us of why we celebrate Christmas. Tyson and I made this star out of lights, beads, and wire one of the first years we were together....because I surprised him with a huge tree in his apartment.
On our tree, we have simple burlap ribbon, wooden red beaded garland (that I found at Menards one year for very cheap), white crocheted snowflakes (which I made one year...before kids :-), and applesauce/cinnamon ornaments. I love these ornaments! They are so simple. We cut them out using shapes that remind us of Christmas too...a star, a cross, angels, trees, people. Hopefully the meanings behind those shapes are obvious to you, but as we put them up, it gives us a chance to talk with the kids and remind us all of what Christmas is all about...Christ coming to this earth ultimately to die on the cross for each of us. There is a little boy or girl ornament to represent each one of us in the family.

Jude wanted Daddy to put his cross ornament at the highest spot is just below our star at the top of the tree.

Oh yes, there are a few little silk poinsettia flowers too. That was Lucy's contribution one year. I had them scattered around the house and she thought they should be on the tree. :-)
I love seeing other families' trees too. There is something so magical and wonderful about a Christmas tree. It warms our hearts and stills our bodies. It draws us in and invites us to slow down and reflect and enjoy Christ and family. What does your tree look like?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sights of Christmas at the Suemnicht Home

Hold on to your britches! I went around the house and took pictures finally! :-) I have a lot of them to I'm going to do it gradually over a few days. Most of our time has been filled with the Buzz in Bethlehem, but in some of our free time, the children and I (and Tyson when he can) have taken time together to focus our hearts and eyes and minds and souls on Christmas...and the anticipation of the birth of our Savior. So, come on in and take a look...
The first sight you'll see as you approach and enter our home are the paper snowflakes hanging on the windows. This is something that we started doing a couple years ago. The kids do a few. I did some (that I copied patterns from off the internet :-) And...yes...Tyson lets out a LOT of creativity. Aren't they amazing! Well, maybe not as amazing as God's snowflakes, but pretty good for a human. We so enjoy the feeling of being inside a "snow globe". :-) It is such a magical feeling that brings the awe and wonder of winter alive in a new way. Theses are some of Tyson's creations. The last one however, the kids and I was a simpler project for them to help with as far as cutting and taping goes.


Come back again soon for more of the tour! :-)
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Multitude Monday

It has been a long Monday preceded by a long weekend. I'm tired and a bit worn. Today has been a bit of a struggle. You know how it is when life is chaotic and busy and you finally have some chance to return to "normal" but don't know where to start and feel like you are losing control of it all. That was kind of like my day. I know some of you have been experiencing that more severely than me in recent days/months. Anyway, to try to feel like I was in control (haha) I wanted so desperately to get the house spotless. However, I have a houseful of little ones who NEED attention and structure and discipline and sympathy. It was a battle of will (well, and maybe the two year old's too) against my wishes. It was a long day, but God's love is long, his mercy is new, his grace is great, He is good. I'm thankful that He gently leads those with young (231). I'm thankful that He answers prayers for wisdom (232). I'm thankful that He makes all things new (233). I'm so thankful for the growing relationship He is giving me with Lucy. She really wanted to play with her tea set today. I really wanted to let her, but the table was full of supper dishes, the sink full of dirty dishes, and the dishwasher full of (thankfully) clean dishes  (234). Mayme was in the tub (cleaning up after another potty training accident) and Selah was wanting to be held. I explained to Lucy my dilemma and why she couldn't play with the tea set right then. She said, "Oh, well, I can unload the dishwasher for you Mom!" So, I let her. She helped me put all the dishes away (235). Maybe it is time to make this one of her regular chores. :-) (with Mommy's supervision of course) Anyway, the sink is empty (236), the counter is mostly cleared (237), the table is cleaned off from the messy tea party (238), the children are in bed (239), the room is still and quiet glowing with the lights from the Christmas tree (240). Lucy's long time longed for Nutcracker (which we found on sale at a store last week) is standing guard next to me. :-) And, though it was a long, trying day, my heart is filled with thankfulness...this is the song the Lord put in my heart today, even though I could only remember the first line :) it helped keep me on track (241). Thank you Lord! Oh yes, one more thing: Selah had her 4 month check-up today and she is a healthy baby! She jumped (in 2 months time) from 25th percentile in weight to the 90th percentile! She's a whopping 16 pounds and 8 ounces! It feels like it too. Is she going to take after Lucy? Thank you Lord for a healthy baby! (242)

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain;
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again;
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me in His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With pow’r upon my heart.
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside;
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly;
Whose ev’ry promise is enough
For ev’ry step I take,
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace.
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To him who reigns above,
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace,
Whose ev’ry thought is love.
For ev’ry day I have on earth
Is given by the King;
So I will give my life, my all,
To love and follow him.
My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music

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