December 21, 2010

Christmas Card Carousel

My friend, Carol over at Joy in the Journey, linked to this great carnival.  I thought it was such a great idea.  I had to join in.  I love writing letters and sending cards all year long.  At Christmas even more so.  Every year our Christmas cards include our family photo and a newsletter of events since our last Christmas card.  I like to take time to write a personal note in each card naming some way in which the family or individual has blessed our family.  This is usually a family activity and one we all enjoy.

This year our cards were a little different.  For one thing, they are still sitting waiting to be mailed.  For another, because of being sick for most of the time since Thanksgiving, there are very few personal notes in them.  Our family still had a nice bit of fellowship signing the cards and addressing them.

Another part of our Christmas cards is an invite, for those who live local, to our annual 12th night party.  We like to host our friends and neighbors for an evening pot luck each year, usually on January 6th, to celebrate the holidays.  Things seem to get too busy to really enjoy parties during the holidays.  However, come the first week of January, things are looking dark and cold around here.  People are often missing the fun and fellowship of the holidays and a party is just the thing to lift the spirits.  We keep the work simple by having everyone bring an entrée and side dish, dessert or beverage to share.   January 6th became the official date as it is the official last day of the Christmas holidays in our Italian heritage.  It is still the most important day of the Christmas season in many European countries.  We never take our tree down until after the 6th so the house is still decorated and looking festive.

For those who are wondering where your actual Christmas card is, they are sitting under my Christmas tree waiting for the letters and invites to be inserted.  Printer issues, and more printer issues, stopped the progress.  We finally broke down and took them to be printed today and as soon as I fold and lick and stamp they will be in your mailboxes.

Here is the official Christmas card picture

And the newsletter

Dearest Friends and Family,

As the year draws to a close, we pray this letter finds you all in good health and good spirits as you continue to love and serve our Lord. 

He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.”  Deuteronomy 10:21

The topic of praise became our family’s spiritual focus for 2010.  As we examined the idea of praise and how to better glorify our God, He was faithful to try us, test us and help us to grow in this area. 

We began the year praising the God of creation who controls the weather through blizzards that left 5 feet of snow engulfing our home.  When the drought and stink bugs came and we lost our harvest, we praised the Lord who provides for all our needs far beyond our own means. 

We rang in the new year mourning the death of our long time precious friend Anita McKinley and praised the Lord who blessed us with her hard earned wisdom that helped us through our early years as husband and wife and parents.  We thanked Him for the gift of friendship that sees us through the challenges and joys of this life.

In August when we received the news of the passing of our long time friend and dear Pastor, Louis Albert Purks, we praised the Lord of Salvation who gave His life to guarantee an eternal place in Heaven for Pastor and for each of us who have trusted in Him. 

In May we offered praise to the Lord who gives life to every creature when we knew the eighth Wachter was on his way.  In July we claimed the verse from Job 1:21 to sustain us as we learned we would not meet our little one until we wake in heaven, “…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” 

We praised the Lord for His guidance, protection and blessings on our home school as Kaitlin graduated both from high school and FBI.  We were honored to have nearly a hundred friends, family and church members join us for the commencement exercises and reception in celebration of all He has done for us. 

In September we praised the Lord who calls the little ones to Him, when Samuel prayed and gave his heart to Jesus.  There is no greater joy a parent can have than to know our children have put their trust in God. 

As this year comes to a close and we reflect on the many trials and blessings of 2010 we praise the Lord for each of you that He has put in our path to pray for us, strengthen us, uphold us, edify us, weep with us, celebrate with us, encourage us, exhort us and walk with us as we live to love, serve and praise our Glorious Lord.

In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.”  Psalm 44:8 

With love to each of you,

Allen, Kathleen,

Kaitlin, Brianna, Emma Rose, Nathaniel, Aedan, Samuel and Elisabeth

1 comment :

  1. dear Beautiful family,

    Great photo! and a VERY nice letter.

    Love and Christmas greetings from
    your gkey friend

    I did try to e-mail you again awhile back with no luck.
    Could you e-mail me?