Christmas Traditions

Now that Christmas is over, I just wanted to reflect on a few of our pre-Christmas traditions.  Holidays are a time for traditions and making the time special with our family.

Jesus is the true reason for the season.  Every Sunday during Advent, we do a scripture reading and light an Advent candle.  This year we tried to add a reading everyday as a family, but sometimes our busy schedules got in the way.  When I was little, my great Aunt made candy count down strips similiar to these.  When Elizabeth and Erik were little they were able to have a small piece of candy each night on the way to Christmas Eve.  Our strips had not made it out of the Christmas box for a few years, but reappeared this year with their favorite pieces of chocolate candy.

Over the years, we have received many ornaments and it is hard to decide which ones to put on the tree as they all have special memories…from the ones Jim and I had our first Christmas as a married couple to those first baby ornaments.  Elizabeth and Erik have also gotten ornaments related to the activities they are involved in.  This year, they were able to decide which ornaments went on each tree, with ornaments left over.  It is a joy to look at the trees throughout the house and hold close those special memories.
Christmas music can be heard throughout the house all through the month of December.
A favorite basket of Christmas books to be read and shared.  When Elizabeth and Erik were little we would read Christmas stories throughout December.  As a mom who loves children books, it is hard to put the basket away….we still read the books, but not as often as before.

Merry Christmas

It is so hard to believe that it is only a few days until Christmas!! Today we delivered a food basket for church to a mom and her daughter.  They were so touched as were we in giving it.  I hope I can remember the feeling that I had today….the true reason for the season.

Here is the Christmas letter we mailed to family and friends.  You may read it here before receiving your copy in the mail.

Maisy.  She loves to have her daily walk and lets us know if she doesn’t get her exercise.

 Elizabeth and Erik.  They keep growing and keep us busy with their many activities.  Elizabeth is now 14 and a freshman.  Erik is 10 and a 5th grader.

Respite.  I am working with a church based organization to help provide respite care to families with children that have disabilities several times each month.

 Recitals.  We are very fortunate to have musical children.  They both sing in the Newton Community Children’s Choir.  Elizabeth continues to play the violin and recently received a scholarship to assist with her continuing to take private lessons as a High School student.  Erik plays the piano and is already planning a second instrument when he goes to 6th grade.

 Young children.  Jim and I continue to work with young children on a daily basis.  Jim is seeing kids at 2 schools in Newton and I continue to see infants and toddlers in Harvey County.

Chaperones.  Jim and I were chaperones for the Newton Community Children’s Choir in May.  The choir spent 4 days in Branson.  We spent time at Dixie Stampede, Silver Dollar City, the Haygoods Show, and the choir had a performance at “#1 Hit of the 60’s.”

 House.  We painted our bedroom during the summer and are almost finished with the basement.  We will probably try to put the rest of the trim up over the break.

 Road Trip.  We took a weekend trip to Manhattan KS this fall to watch the NU volleyball team play and see the cousins.

 Interesting info.  Check out our blog to see our latest news, www.jmbrow.wordpress.com I try to update it with new information on a weekly basis. 

 Sports.  Erik played soccer this fall and is currently playing basketball.  In the spring he will play soccer again and then baseball.  This summer he also participated in a youth triathlon and took 1st place.

 Trees.  Erik sold Christmas trees with the Boy Scouts over the last few weeks.  Elizabeth decided she was too busy for Girl Scouts this year so you will have to look for those yummy cookies somewhere else.

 Mom. Joyce drove to Newton to see Erik get Baptized and Elizabeth in the play the weekend before Thanksgiving.

 Annie.  If you have been reading our blog, you will know that Elizabeth had a part in the High School Musical as an orphan.  She had a great time and we look forward to more productions in her future.

 Seasons.  The seasons change, but there never seems to be enough time to enjoy them as much as we hope too!  During this wonderful season, of celebration we hope you and your family are blessed.

Here are the pictures that we had taken this fall sporting our true Husker spirit!!  Wishing you a season filled with much love, joy, and happiness.

Baptism

Erik decided early in the fall, he was ready to make his confession of faith and be baptized.  At the church we attend, Disciples of Christ, parents dedicate their children to the Lord when they are infants.  We promise to teach them and show them how to lead a Christian lifestyle.  Then when they are ready to make a commitment to Christ, they attend a Pastor’s class and make a confession of faith in front of the congregation and then are baptized.

Erik was baptized on Sunday, Nov. 21.  Besides his immediate family being there, his grandma, Aunt Melinda, Uncle Keith and Aunt Barb, and Uncle Mike, Aunt Peggy, Sarah, and Zach. 

After being baptized, I asked Erik  how he felt and what it meant to be baptized.  He responded by saying, “Great!  I have a new relationship with God.”  Today I read this in his certificate of Baptism…Erik enters into the newness of life and is made one with the Body of Christ.  Paul said in his letter to the Galatians, “in Christ Jesus you are all children of God, through faith.  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greeek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Galations 3:26-29.  Erik was right on when he said he has a new relationship with God.