December 21, 2009

Christmas Countdown - Day 21

Remember our hedge apple tree out back? It's the one with the fruit that repels bugs and is usually thought of as inedible. But apparently once it freezes, the fruit becomes palatable to the deer.

This is what we've been seeing every dusk for about two weeks now. The several hedge apple trees on our property were loaded with fruit this year, so I'm guessing this will be a regular site for quite a while. The other site we've seen is a number of orange vested men looking longingly at all the deer on our property! We're not sure of all the rules regarding how close to a home they can shoot, but we keep saying that if the hunters would only knock on the door and ask, we'd set them up on our deck and serve hot cocoa to them as they "decreased the surplus population" - to quote Ebenezer Scrooge!

Countdown continues:

1. Christmas cards are arriving and it gives us such pleasure to get news and photos from friends and family. We have longtime friends who were once next door neighbors, and they sent a report about our daughter's first Christmas tree, a blue spruce that's planted in the backyard of the home we lived in then. It's about 10 feet tall this year! They also send us new photos of their beautiful little girl each year and we miss them all the more when we see her sweet face!

2. We made arrangements to visit my grandmother on Christmas. I hope she doesn't get too wound up between now and then. She's always been a worrier (which I inherited!), and at 99 years of age, she is very good at it! Here's a picture of the little tray favors that DD and I have been making to take to the nursing home.

3. DD and I took one more shopping trip this past Friday to get her Christmas shopping finished, get our Christmas meal ingredients, and start finding the things she needs for her mission trip to Guatemala after Christmas. Does shopping ever end?

4. Our Christmas menus are planned and will be very simple this year, since we'll be traveling around a little for services and visiting. Christmas Eve will be soup made with lobster ravioli, salad, and my favorite rolls. Christmas Day will be a brunch and then later on an appetizer assortment, including a round of brie that we found - wrapped in pastry and ready to bake - oooo la la! However...there is a rumor that a nasty storm will visit us mid-week and last right through Christmas morning. This could change all carefully laid plans!

5. Yesterday was the 4th Sunday of Advent. We're getting close! The fourth candle in our devotions is meant to represent the Angels that came to tell the glad news of Christ's birth. We've always needed this good news, could it be that we need in a special way this year? As we watched Glenn Beck's Christmas special, he interviewed troops in Afghanistan who started by saying hello to their families, revealing the number of Christmases they'd been away from home, and then ended the interview by proclaiming that they knew that the true miracle of Christmas was with them no matter where they were, and that they were grateful for the birth of our Lord above all else. There is absolutely nothing left to say now, is there?
Don't forget to pray for our troops.

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