Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our Christmas Celebration

We had a beautiful Christmas! I am still blown away by how the Lord blessed us, over and over. Thank You so much, Father!!! And a big thank you to our family for their generosity and to our friends who shared so much with us. It even snowed on Christmas Eve, which made it feel so much more like "home."

I never get tired of watching the snow fall...

Here are several of our Christmas traditions. The first one is that we allow the children to open one gift each on Christmas Eve. I guess this started when I was little and my parents let my brother and me open one gift to settle our curiosity. It still works. Haha!

Years ago we started making Mexican food for our Christmas Eve dinner. This year I made cheese enchiladas, beef enchiladas, Spanish rice and served them with chips, guacamole and salsa. I also purchased special drinks for the occasion.

I love how the lights are so twinkling and magical!

This beautiful artwork greeted us Christmas morning...

On Christmas morning, while breakfast is baking in the oven, we start with our stockings. This picture makes me smile.

Then it's on to the gifts under the tree, if there are any. Some years we've just had stockings. Some years we've had more. This year was a year for more. I am so very thankful!

Usually for Christmas brunch I make a coffee cake, Farmer's Casserole and serve them with some kind of fruit. Sometimes I do more, if we're having guests. This year was more simple. I also served my Mom's recipe of Almond Tea.

The kids had fun with their new toys and games!

Christmas crackers...a Canadian tradition!

Here we are with crowns from the crackers and our Christmas dinner...

Christmas red wreath...

Winter sky...

Our Christmas crew...

The Lord kept bringing these verses to my mind during the last few weeks...

In the countryside nearby were some shepherds spending the night in the fields, guarding their flocks, when an angel of Adonai appeared to them, and the Sh’khinah of Adonai shone around them. They were terrified; but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. Luke 2:8-10 CJB

I am so thankful for the announcement of Good News so many years ago and the fact that Jesus brought life and great joy to earth!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Balancing Grief and Gratitude

I haven't been able to bring myself to write anything or blog in the past five days. I have been weeping and weeping with those in Newtown, Connecticut who are weeping. I am just so heartbroken for each family. And then this morning there was the story of the one child who survived the attack because she had the wherewithal to pretend she was dead. Oh, mercy. And the faces. The fresh, sweet, innocent, smiling faces. I just don't have it in me right now to say much. I have been spending more time with my children (yes, I'm home with them already, but you know, really being with them). We've played games and baked and watched movies and read books. We were going to do all those things anyway, but it's been in a different atmosphere than I had planned.

So, I am still weeping and thinking of those precious people who are starting to hold the funerals for their loved ones. I am praying and speaking the peace and comfort of Jesus over each one. I can't, maybe it's won't, get back to life as usual quite yet. I refuse because there is no "normal" for them anymore. Their new normal won't come for awhile. It will come. God has a plan to bring good out of this tragedy. He always has a plan, even in the midst of evil. I don't believe He "called" those children home, in the sense that He planned for or wanted them to be murdered on Friday, but I know that He loves each one and welcomed them into heaven. But I will not go on with business as usual out of honour and respect to the town in Connecticut that is still reeling from Friday's atrocities.

God is blessing me in so many ways right now. It feels like such a dichotomy...the grief and the gratitude. I'm just giving it all back to Him. He can handle it all.

Have you seen this yet? It's a beautiful song (I've always liked CeeLo). The gritty imagery just seems fitting...


Monday, December 10, 2012 - Review

As I shared on Friday, I was chosen to be a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. I will be periodically reviewing products in our homeschool and the first one is! This fabulous treasure trove of resources is the creation of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I cannot believe the number of resources that are available on this site. It was actually a little overwhelming at first, but after I watched the info videos and clicked around a bit, I saw just how much of this material I can use in my weekly school plans. is for Grades Pre-K through High School. Perfect for my family, eh?! I found something for everyone. I thought the checklists could be very helpful in monthly planning and accountability. This site has everything you would need, whether it's an entire school year's worth of lessons or supplemental lessons to fill in some holes. Take a look at the sample lessons.


I focused mainly on the high school level, since my eldest is in Grade 11. We both read and worked through the Career Exploration unit. Emma has been seeking the Lord in what He has for her future and is interested in journalism and drama, so it was interesting to see the test results and analyses. They were a great confirmation to what God is already leading her to do. Cool! Emma said that if she had had no direction before taking the tests and working through the questions provided, that they would be very helpful in exploring different career options. It was also fun for me to take my own set of tests and see what the results were.  I am apparently bent for social work, missions, research or teaching! 


There is so much on this great site. I am thrilled to have it as a tool in my homeschooling! I plan to use it on a weekly basis. The cost to join is only $5.95 per month. There are reading lists, recipes, copy work pages, guitar lessons, French and Spanish lessons, hundreds of ebooks and SO much more. With the purchase of a one year membership, you get all five Schoolhouse Planners, which if purchased separately, would be $125. You can try for one month for only $1! I highly recommend it.


{Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.}

Sunday, December 9, 2012

All Is Well

This has been one of my very favourite Christmas songs for years and years...

Blessings on your Sunday!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Last Week

Here are some photos from the past week...

getting the Christmas books ready...

a fabulous, foggy hike...

the Christmas tree farm...

an injury... :(

celebrating Bob's birthday a few days early, due to a busy weekend (he was surprised!)...

And today we are so happy to have two Canadian friends visiting!

Have a happy weekend!

Thank You!


Thank you for helping us start from scratch financially as we connected with Intercessors for America in January of this year to mobilize prayer around the country for spiritual awakening and transforming revival.  We literally couldn’t be here without your support, and we are grateful.

As we prepare for 2013, we are joining forces with George Otis, Jr. and the Sentinel Group to come alongside communities around the country to seek His face together for His presence to come and change us.  Enjoy this 17 minute short-film about what happened in Manchester, Kentucky, when God came to town:

Click on “Watch Trailer- An Appalachian Dawn.”

Stay tuned….and Merry Christmas!


Bob Royce
Mobilization Coordinator
Intercessors for America
PO Box 915
Purcellville, VA 20134
540-317-2097 Direct

Friday, December 7, 2012

Schoolhouse Review Crew

I'm excited to be a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew this year!!!

Check here to see the list of participating bloggers:


My first official TOS Review Crew post is coming up next week.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Together: Growing Appetites For God - Review

Together: Growing Appetites for God

My review:

I met Carrie Ward when I worked with her husband at KCBI Radio in the 1996. I only worked at the radio station one year and then we moved out of the area. Wes and Carrie also moved on, too. We re-connected a few years ago via Facebook and I was thrilled to learn that Carrie was writing her story of how she learned to read and enjoy God's Word with her children.

If you are a mom who desires to read the Bible with your children but need encouragement in how to go about it, Carrie's book, Together: Growing Appetites for God may just be the inspiration for you. Her stories are sweet and funny and engaging. She is a mom, just like me, just like you. She didn't know how she would get her young children to listen or understand what she was reading, but God was faithful, as Carrie was faithful. Morning after morning they jumped into His Word and not only did her children benefit from the Truth being poured into their lives, but Carries testifies to her own life being changed, as well.

I am so happy that the Holy Spirit led her to simply read the Bible, chapter by chapter, book by book. We have been doing the same in our home for years and I have told many a young mom and/or Sunday school teacher that our children understand so much more than people expect of them sometimes. I am thankful that, like Carrie, I have had hours and days and nights to spend with my children so that God's Word is a normal, everyday part of our lives. It is something we miss when we are not on our normal routine and something we cannot wait to get back to. And I had to laugh at Carrie's story about how her children kept asking for one more chapter and then another, until it was lunchtime (she had started her reading at breakfast). We have had similar experiences in our Bible and worship times. What a gift!

To find out more about Carrie, visit her blog: An Everyday Mama

Buy the book here:

This book would make a great Christmas gift for that young mom on your list.

{Moody Publishers sent me one copy of Together: Growing Appetites For God for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.}
{Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.  Thank you very much for supporting The Scarlett Thread.}

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

TOS Magazine

Homeschool moms, don't miss this! I have been familiar with this great magazine for years and used to subscribe to the print edition.

It's online now and it's FREE. (I still can't believe it's FREE.)

Check it out!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Let me know what you think.