December 19th, soon after arriving at my good friend, Taci's, beautiful new home for our Bloggers' Lunch, I met our newest blogging friend, Becky. Becky knows how to knit, but is especially interested in photography. In her blog she recently held a giveaway that I won, much to my delight and surprise =) Becky brought my giveaway gift, One Thousand Gifts: Finding Joy in What Really Matters, by Ann Voskamp, and gave it to me. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are was on the NY Times bestsellers list for 60 weeks. I was interested to learn that Ann not only is a successful published writer, but also writes a daily online journal. She also is a homeschooling mother of six and supports Compassion International as a global advocate for needy children. The book Becky gave me contains excerpts from her bestseller. I am eager to give it more focused attention soon. Thank you Becky, for your generous gift to me.
Becky also made candy, and, lovely calendars for each of us, using a photo she took on a nearby Oregon farm. Taci gave us pretty, hand crocheted washcloths and magnets, and candy. Teresa gave each of us one of her wonderfully crocheted, Scandinavian red hearts, and a pretty red globe Christmas tree ornament and a piece of candy. Betsy gave each of us shell necklaces from her recent trip to Maui, pretty cotton yarn, and cute winter outfitted seagull statues. Our blogging friend from across the pond, Helen, sent us lovely hand-stitched heart ornaments through Betsy. I admire the creativity of each of these lovely ladies, and thank each of them for the generous gifts they gave me, but I especially am grateful for the gift of friendship they share with me each time we have contact.
On Christmas Eve two of my children and I attended a vigil 10:30p.m. to midnight service at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Portland...a new and beautiful experience for us; but we did not get home and into bed until 2:00a.m. My four little granddaughters and their parents were up at 7:00a.m. to investigate what Santa had left in our socks. Mercy! Our sock investigation was fun! We had a yummy breakfast of Christmas oranges and waffles and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus...without a birthday cake this year. We gave, admired, received, and unwrapped gifts much of the day, and had ham and salad and olives and sweets throughout the day. However, in the midst of our celebration, we sympathized with little Rosie when we realized she had stopped bouncing on her pony, Pokey, and had settled down for a bit of a winter's nap.....
Notice the sheep on Rosie's sleepers? I think she did not have to count sheep to fall asleep today, and I strongly doubt I will have to count sheep to fall asleep tonight!
On whatever day you may be reading this, have you been busy creating, recognizing, giving and receiving countless gifts...and getting the right amount of rest you need? I hope so!