Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Trip, A Tea Party, & 3 Winners!

Macy's on 34th
John Piper's Advent reading plan on the Bible App has been giving me a lot to think about and be challenged by lately. Here's part of what day 22 said:

"You can read every fairy tale that was ever written, every mystery thriller, every ghost story, and you will never find anything so shocking, so strange, so weird, so spellbinding as the story of the incarnation of the Son of God."
Urbanspace on Vanderbilt
Thank you, Jenna, for the recommendation!
You can also travel to New York City and take in all of its elaborate window displays, giant Christmas trees, and holiday music playing everywhere and forget to set your mind on Jesus. You can even host a Christmas tea party for a great group of teen girls, make gingerbread houses, create handmade gifts, and eat Christmas cookies without considering the baby born to die.

But we tried not to do that this week.
Mary & Izckra got to try the gigantic doughnuts.
Just choosing to go to NYC at the beginning of a busy week was an opportunity to trust God! I had to fight the temptation to fret over all that was not yet done back home, but the calmer of the seas was providing peace and helping me to laugh at the days to come.
We tried the pistachio-cardamom gluten free bread and the chocolate truffle cookies.
First we had a taco, cookie, and doughnut feast at Urbanspace on 44th near where we parked. Then it was shopping on 5th Avenue - Topshop, GAP, Uniqlo and more.  Later we hit the H&M near Macy's, of course.
It was a Sweet Sixteen celebration for Mary!
Skating at Rockefeller was the plan, but the girls decided against it once we were there. It was pretty cold and windy out, so we headed underneath the big tree for dinner and more shopping - gluten free Mediterranean wraps, soup, burgers, sweet potato fries and Starbucks. Wandering around in Anthropologie took us about an hour, but no one dared purchase anything due to the mile-long check out line.

Saks 5th Avenue is directly opposite the Rockefeller tree.  If you've been there, you know that if you turn 180 degrees from looking at the tree you see the front of Saks. Not only are the window displays beautiful there, but they do a light show on the front of their building every ten minutes. Such fun treat - and a lot to take in in just one spot!

My old friend Mike stopped by Rockefeller for a quick hello and then swiped us all onto the subway headed in the direction of Macy's. From there we Ooo-ber'd it took an Uber back to our parking spot and enjoyed chatting with our driver who is planning to enter the NYPD Academy in January and shares a love for the show Blue Bloods. How cool that someday soon he'll be working for Commishioner Tom Selleck.  ;-)
Saks 5th Avenue Light Show
Wednesday was spent getting ready for the tea party (and tonight's open house), and Thursday morning we enjoyed having several of Kayla's friends over for her annual tea party. I just love this tradition!
Dress Code: Pj's
Some friends have moved away and some weren't able to make it this year, but just look at how much they've grown! When we first started doing this, I could totally envision this past Thursday's scene in my kitchen - big girls enjoying all the same tea party activities that they did when they were little.  Does anyone ever outgrow a love for decorating gingerbread (well, graham cracker) houses?
Tea Party 2008
Thanks for reminding me of this pic, Virginia!
After decorating our houses, we moved on to the actual tea party part - eating finger foods and drinking hot tea, hot chocolate, and we've added coffee in the last couple of years. We used to read a children's Christmas book together while everyone was eating, but this year we switched to a passage of Scripture. I chose Mary's song - the magnificat - to read to these girls who are all probably about the same age as Mary was when she was visited by the angel.  We talked about the meaning of "bondslave" and discussed Mary's virtuous character and love for God as revealed in her song. I pray that each of these young women continues to grow in her desire to know and serve God in the same way.

Next we made our gifts for mom - a coconut oil, sugar, and peppermint hand and/or foot scrub...

 And pocket sized hand warmers - fabric squares sewed together and filled with rice which can be heated in the microwave. I thought I might have to spend a lot of time helping them with the sewing machine, but thankfully (and impressively!) several of the girls knew how to use it.  I hardly had to help at all, because they just naturally helped each other.

The boys hung around for a while before letting us have the house to ourselves.
So nice to have them home!
So nice to also have Ms. Abbott with us - or "Sabbott" as she is now affectionately known.
Even Sabbott got sewing instructions from Jessica!
There was cookie decorating and game playing later and I enjoyed every minute of the morning into early afternoon - even the kitchen cleaning from which I could hear the girls laughing and chatting in the living room. Truly a delight.

Mary's song always serves to help me remain in awe and worship during this season...

My soul exalts in the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior...for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on generation after generation toward those who fear Him... Luke 1: 46-50

Thinking on the Mighty One, the Savior, and His mercy have sustained me this week.

John Piper has given me words to pray in request for a heart that is spellbound by the incredible gift of the incarnation, the crucifixion, and the resurrection...

"Oh, how I pray for a breaking forth of the Spirit of God upon me and upon you; for the Holy Spirit to break into my experience in a frightening way, to wake me up to the unimaginable reality of God."

May your heart be wakened by the Spirit this Christmas to the reality of the God who put on flesh for you, to Emmanuel, the God who came near.

And now for the winners of the giveaway...

(I used this website to help me draw your names!)

For bundle #1: The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield, and the Bird's Nest Necklace.

Congrats, Itamar!

And for Bundle #2: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, and the Bird's Nest Necklace.

Congrats, Angela!


And I decided to add a third prize: The One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp.

Congrats, Michelle!

I'll send these your way mid-January and I pray they encourage you as they have me. And if you've already read them, pass them along to someone who could use them!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

How fun to see the pictures of Kayla as a young girl and now as a young woman. Happy Sweet Sixteen Kayla and Merry Christmas Krumreys!
Kim K