Thursday, December 25, 2008

A GLORIOUS Christmas Day in the Eifel

Today was glorious. Simply glorious. I am overcome with gratitude... I hardly know where to begin...

...of course, chocolate is always a good place to start!
These were sitting on the dessert table at our friend's house when
we got to their place today. Oh, but wait... Let me back up.
This morning we woke up... leisurely (which totally surprised me given how excited the children were last night when we tucked them in bed). After a pot of hot oatmeal, (during which Israel commented, "This isn't a very fancy breakfast for Christmas, Mom."), and cleaning up the dishes, Eli read the Christmas story to us, and then we opened gifts. The morning flowed. It felt luxurious. We all felt spoiled. I got most everything on my wish list... including a new paper hole punch, (from Isaiah), so that I don't have to pry my old ones apart every time I punch a hole through the paper. Bless that boy!! We reminisced over the past year, shaking our heads in wonder. How good God is!! How amazing His grace!
After opening gifts, the children spent the next couple of hours playing with their new toys. This gave LeRoy and I a glorious two hours (2 hours!), to spend alone in the kitchen, drinking coffee, cooking together, and... oh, Bliss... Talking!!

So, where was I? Oh yes, Dani's house! When we arrived, we walked in and found this beautiful, glorious, dessert table set up in the foyer. But, the children walked right past it! Do you know how pleased I was that they were more interested in seeing their friends than raiding the dessert table?!! Believe me, Folks, I tuck these moments away in my heart... and remember them during much needed moments of encouragement! I admit, as for LeRoy and I, we didn't waste any time picking out our favorite off the plate, gratefully munching away while we hung up coats and unloaded the few items we brought.

At first, we all settled in, watching Tim Allen in "Santa Clause," playing Othello, catching up with one another's lives... But then we all bundled up...

...and headed out for our traditional Christmas walk. Remember last year we walked around Bitburg Stausee? This year we walked on a nearby path. Of course, it was every bit as romantic.

Almost right away Adianna found this purpleish-pink snail shell. Oh! The glory of treasure-seeking... and the reward of a fabulous find!

Like my favorite kind of conversation... we meandered on the path, each person either caught up in their own heady dreams or engaged in dialogue with a friend. The brisk air kissed our cheeks and noses leaving them a rosy pink as we stuffed our hands a little deeper into our pockets or curled them up inside our sleeves. I felt grateful for the warm long johns my family gave me for Christmas -- the ones that kept me gloriously toasty!

The Crew (minus the Mamas)

"Mommy, look! I'm going to find a friend for it so it won't be lonely!"

My cool son, Eli.

Sweet Ayla walking Mindy...
(I wish you could hear her squeals of
drama and delight! So fun!)

Another one of my cool sons, Isaiah!
The path got to be a little long for Ayla's little legs, soooo...
Eli carried her on his shoulders for awhile.

Boys and their sticks!

One of numerous attempts at capturing the glorious depth of color we experienced today.

We walked up to this flock of sheep grazing in the field before turning back to the house.

Isaiah and Mindy
Though each of my children expressed deep gratitude for getting to help walk the dogs, they all said it made them miss their dog, Jack, in the States.

My girlfriend, Dani. Isn't she beautiful?
She's a nurturer... extremely kind, compassionate,
generous, and thoughtful. I have much to learn from her!
(She reminds me of you, Colista, in so many ways!)

I paused to take pictures all along the walk. The scenery was glorious,
awe-inspiring. I tried to capture it on camera so I could share it with you all...

"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness."
Psalm 29:2

Sweet Dani and Ayla!

Gourd left over from harvest.

Dani spotted the gourd. It was so fun walking with Dani as we marveled together over the wonder of the glory of the Lord. She has such a great eye for detail and noticed some of the coolest things to take pictures of!
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, [like taking a walk with loved ones in the Eifel region of Germany on Christmas Day], do it all for the glory of God." ~Psalm 10:31
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
~ Psalm 19:1

The tree that still had three ripe apples on it... in the middle of winter.

"You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
~ Psalm 16:11
Ayla finally fell asleep while being carried in her mother's arms.

Then Eli ran back from where the rest of the group was (way, wayyy up ahead), so that he could "relieve Miss Dani" by taking over and carrying Ayla the rest of the way. He's carrying Alyla in this picture, with her sound asleep in his arms... that's dead weight... and there was still quite a ways to go! Soooo my heroe!

"Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens."
~ Psalm 8:1

...Almost back to the house.

There's the barn and the farm house! Ah! The Germans love color! (Another thing I love about their culture!)
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'"
~ Luke 2:8-14
A Christmas Day full of good news and great joy... glorious indeed!
Thank You, Jesus! May I look for Your glory in every day!


  1. Love it Sharon. Cute pictures. Fun descriptions. Thanks for keeping up on your blog. It is fun to watch you all from afar!

  2. I absolutely love seeing the character of your children coming out! I can just feel the personality of soul they all have. They just seem so very good at being themselves a whole lot. I admire that! Of course they have great counterparts in you and LeRoy to learn from!

  3. Where IS this? Please tell me!