Musings of Christmas

This is the third Christmas that I have thought more about Mary than about Jesus at this time of year.

In particular, Luke 1:38
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."

I think about her strength of mind; of her faith in God. I think about how she was challenging everything in her life: her parents, her betrothed, her religion; her culture - in accepting this Holy burden.

How afraid she must have been? What would everyone think? What would they think of her? Would they think she was crazy?

Even after the birth of her miraculous child, she didn't freak out when shepherds - complete strangers - come to see her newborn. Instead she:
... Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
What does this say about her?

Now that I am a mother, I look at the Nativity story differently. Instead of the great miracle of our Lord's birth, I see the strength and faith of a young woman. I see how her obedience to God has prospered us all. I see how her courage has saved us all.

Today, on Christmas day, my wish for you is to find your own strength and courage to be obedient to God.

Crazy Experiments

Ok.. so a couple of weeks ago, I told you that I was sharing my menu with you and that worked pretty good.

2 weeks ago, I did the next step in the whole, domestic goddess path. I did all my grocery shopping for two weeks which meant that I had to do meal planning for two weeks. This was interesting because A) who knew that 2 weeks of groceries would completely fill up the grocery cart? and B) who knew that it could be cheaper to shop for two weeks instead of one?

That second item is technically true. We have a weekly budget that we pretty much follow and that budget has a set amount for groceries. While the cart full of groceries cost more than one week of groceries - DUH - it actually worked out to be cheaper if averaged over two weeks. In fact, it saved us almost $50!!

Why? Because I was able to make a big purchase spread out a little further... I've got to admit that studying the sale paper really helped and so did a couple of other resources:

Coupon Mom lets me know what sorts of things are on sale and how coupons can help. And CouponSuzy actually lets me print out coupons!

Santa 2009

Phoebe went to see Santa a couple of weeks ago.

Every time I look at this picture, all I think is: "At least she wasn't crying."

The dress came from Kohl's and was a great deal.