<< my week in review: 12/14-20

Good clean fun.

I'm not a hat person.
But if you need to run errands and you haven't done your hair, hats are useful.

Talking with my honey over warm drinks. So cozy.

The girls and Oma and I went up to the cities to the American Swedish Institute.
I hadn't been there since they added the new Nelson Cultural Center.

I was kinda sad that we couldn't go into the mansion anymore.
We used to get in without paying because we'd just go into the store and coffee shop.
Yet still, we'd get to see the beautiful and ornate details of the mansion as we were shopping.
The Nelson Cultural Center is nice, though.
Exhibiting more of the modern Scandinavian sensibility.

We went there to meet my mom's sister and my cousins and kids for our annual 
Nelson Girls Christmas Get Together.
My mom's side of the family is big into our Swedish heritage.

I may have salivated a little bit over some of the Swedish stuff.
Both the modern and the more traditional, though I seem to have only taken photos of the Christmas nic-nacs.
I look at them, then look a the price, and then I say to myself, "I could make that."

We hadn't been in the gift shop for two minutes when my daughters asked when we were leaving.
I felt for my cousin-in-law who was corralling three littles, more energetic than mine.
Whoever decided on having our get together in a gift shop and museum hasn't had littles for a long time, I think.

So we changed our plans and went to my cousin's house.
It was much more family friendly.

My cousin took out her lefse for our spontaneous get together at her house.
Kaitlin buttered and sugared it just right.

Kaitlin said, of the get together change of plans, "that was pretty crazy."
And I said, "yeah, that was pretty typical, actually."
You gotta just go with the flow when you're at a Nelson get together.

And always have lefse ready to pull out at a moment's notice.

As long as we were in Minneapolis we had to go to this place.
 It's like a beacon in the foggy, rainy night calling to us to come in and buy candles and napkins.
You can never have too many candles or napkins.

John's been collecting pennies.
On Saturday he started building the Lincoln Monument out of pennies, but went to bed before he was done.
He left this note:

Don't touch ->
<- Don't take
(God is watching)

Unfortunately he built the Lincoln Memorial on our kitchen table and we were having our small group over on Sunday night.

After the cookie decorating, we went caroling.
It was interesting to see our neighbors' responses to our caroling.
One generation loved it, they sang along.
Another generation appreciated it, they listened with smiles.
And another generation avoided it, they peeked out the window then ran away. 

Jesus is my hope.

A lot has been said and written about what happened in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.
I don't believe I can do my feelings and emotions justice by trying to write a post about it.
Just.... my soul cries. 
For the children. For the families. For our nation. For humanity.

When I talked with Sarah about it, 
I asked her if she had any questions or concerns that she'd like to talk about.
She said, "yes, I'm concerned that Satan could take control of someone and make him do that to kids. That's scary."

So, I will say this:
As long as we are on earth there will be evil. (1 Jn 5:19)
And evil is scary.
But "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 Jn 4:4)
If we have Jesus in us, we have hope.

Thank goodness for the cross, for Jesus' death and resurrection, 
for his victory over sin and ultimately his victory over Satan. (1 Cor. 15:50-57)

This world is not our home. (Phil. 3:20)
One day there will be no more tears. (Rev. 21:4)
It's all right there in the bible, we know how it ends (Rev. 20:10)

That gives me hope.

Driving home in the dark is a bummer.
But it lifts my spirits to see the Christmas lights.

I told my kids one night how I really wanted them to turn on the Christmas lights before I got home from work.
Because I want to see them lit up when I drive up the street to our house. It just makes me happy.
"Make your mama happy," I pleaded somewhat jokingly, somewhat desperately.

After that, my husband and kids have made it a point to have the lights on for me when I get home.
It makes me feel loved when I turn the corner and see those lights on.

And this! 
O my GOODness!
I came home from work on Monday and the table was set! 
With napkins!
And Kaitlin was cutting potatoes to mash!
That made me feel so loved too.

This is me, naturally.
On this particular day I didn't have much time to get ready, so I just dried my hair curly.
Except that I when it's curly, it feels more like messy to me.
So then I round brush it out which takes even more time.
(Not to mention the time I took to get a picture of it...)
Every time I get my hair cut, the ladies tell me how great my curl is. 
And, I'm sure it is. I just don't know how to style it.

That's me without makeup too.
I kind of feel at a loss when teaching my girls about beauty because I don't really know how to do the whole hair-styling and makeup thing. 
I just wing it, really, and hope it's okay.
But one thing that I hope that they get from me is that they do not need makeup to be beautiful.
Sometimes I go out in public without makeup just to let them see me do it. 
Confidence is beautiful and you don't need makeup to be confident.
But it does help me to look not so tired.

Our Christmas cards came in the mail this week, so I'm spending my evenings addressing envelopes.
We have 150 cards to send out, but I still want to address them by hand.
(Maybe they should have been New Year's Cards.)
I love handcrafted artisan soap.
Not only does it look nice and smell good, but it's also really good for your skin.
I'm giving away a box of my favorite soapmaker's best sellers!
It's good, clean fun!
Be sure you do!
The odds are in your favor since I don't have a lot of readers. 
I'm @annebickle on Instagram.
life rearranged

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