Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Jesus Christ is the Light of the World

The greatest gift wasn't wrapped in shiny silver paper but in
swaddling clothes.

Jeffrey R. Chadwick has worked in Israel as a researcher and field archaeologist for over thirty years, specializing in the backgrounds of biblical narratives.  He suggested that the manger would have most likely been carved out of white limestone, one of the most abundant natural resources in the Israelite region, and showed pictures of many similar mangers they have uncovered on archaeological digs.  And while we like to think of the baby, "asleep on the hay", he also states that this was also unlikely, as grass was available on the hills surrounding Judea year round.  They really would have had no need to store hay, and the mangers were most likely used for water.

I also learned that while we often think of "swaddling bands" as scraps of fabric, showing the poverty of Mary and Joseph, they were actually a big part of Israelite culture.  When a young women was betrothed she immediately began embroidering swaddling bands, which were 5-6" wide strips of linen that would be embroidered with symbols of the ancestry of the bride and groom.  Thus the bands symbolized the coming together of the two families as one.  They also symbolized the integrity of the woman, as she strove to make both sides of the embroidery match exactly, symbolizing to her soon to be husband that she was as good on the inside as she was on the outside.  These bands were then wrapped around the hands of the couple at the wedding ceremony.  So the bands the Savior was swaddled in may have included the lion of Judah and the stem of Jesse.

The artist, Jenedy Paige, shared her feelings of making, Little Lamb.  As I've sketched and worked, my heart has been so full as I've uncovered this image.  For when you take away the Hollywood drama, the traditions of centuries, and the wood and the hay, all you're really left with is a babe in white linen on white stone.  And my mind immediately went to the purpose of the Savior's life: He was born to die.  He came as the sacrificial lamb for all mankind; so how fitting that He would begin his life on a stone altar of sorts, and be wrapped in white linen, like he would after His death.  And of course He would be placed in a trough for water, for He would be Living Water, and would bring life to all.  I also found myself weeping for the Father, and how it must have felt to see His Son begin life foreshadowing His death.  My heart was so full of gratitude that He would send His Only Begotten to be the Savior for us all.  That He would send His Son, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to die so that we all might live.  What good news, what comfort and joy, what a gift was given to us all.
O come, let us adore Him.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

More October Fun!

Days Farm.
 Dustin took Russ on a father/son adventure.  They kayaked & fished!
 Lucy has volunteered in mock disasters for fire fighters in training.
Things we've been up to in September & October - lots of soccer!  Lucy had a great season; her team came in 3rd in the overall standings with older girls, bigger field, and 11 on the field.  Dustin coached Jarin's team and he made lots of goals!  Russ had an interesting first soccer year.  He plays all the time in the backyard but didn't want to play with his team.  It was so frustrating, but he had a great coach who was so patient with him. Finally at the last few games he started to get into it and made a few goals at the last game!  The kids have been fishing at our local pond and they went to the back to school skate night.  Lucy did roller blades.  Jarin got good at roller skating and Russ went around the rink as fast as he could, as many times as he could on a scooter!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hallow's Eve

 Here are my animals!  I must be a zoo keeper.
 Russ the elephant.
 Jarin the giraffe.
 Lucy the flamingo.
Costumes to school for the parade! I helped with Jarin's class party.
 Ready for candy!
Hank is the cutest chicken you ever did see!
 Russ taking Hank by the hand.
The neighborhood mob.
 Halloween porch...our carved pumpkins.
 The spoils from three hours of walking!

Play'in at 2 new Parks!

We've had an incredible fall with beautiful weather!
Hank photo sessions.  Lots of pics of him because I follow him around!
 Spin Hank for different facial expressions.
 Beauty.
We had a park picnic in Bountiful Halloween morning since school was out. Afterwards we got free frosty's at Wendy's & Swig sugar cookies!  Then homeward bound to get ready for trick or treating!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016