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A new tradition is born....

.....in our home.

Thanks to this fantastic mama I have met on the net, Catherine.

Catherine is a really cool mama.....not only is she raising up her little ones to walk with God (she has two and one more joining them any time now!) ........she is an incredible thrifty woman! You would not believe how she shops and saves just at CVS with their "ECB" (Extra Care Bucks) system and clipping coupons. She has it down to a science. I think most of the time, she ends up walking out with five bags full of stuff and CVS owing her money! Unreal! Anyway......check out her blog, she always has something interesting going on or a great money saving tip! (her latest thrifty tip is that Home Depot and Lowes usually have all the clippings from their Christmas trees available for free, so that you can make your own fresh green garland.)

OK, so last year, I read about a tradition she had in her home called The Jesse Tree. It really intrigued me as I had never heard of it, but have now found out there are some great books written about this custom of nightly devotions during The Season. With each night's reading, you learn about the story of God's salvation plan from Creation throughout the Old Testament. You also make (or in my case, I might have to buy due to my lack of craftiness) ornaments that reflect that night's devotion and place in on your Jesse Tree. You can make a felt one and velcro the ornaments on.......or maybe find a 2-3 foot Christmas tree. I might try to find a large branch out in our woods, that has a lot of little branches and secure it somehow it in a nice bucket. If that fails.....I'll figure something out. :) Either way, I am very excited about this.

So I started a separate little blog devoted to Our Jesse Tree, so that I can have it on hand for all our Christmases to come. (I put the link in my side bar too)

One tradition that we have always kept in our home.....is getting our tree on December 1st. Each year, a different kid gets to go with Josh and pick it out. They go to a local tree farm and cut it down themselves. This year it's E's turn. I am thankful, as E is a very practical kid and will choose a practical tree. Not that I don't love him just as much, but G is not so practical. The "bigger is better", arr arr, arr (*insert male grunting sound) , testosterone DNA has been passed down from his dad. When Josh and G came home that Dec 1st, 2002 with the one that he (they) picked out.....it took every ounce of willpower for me to not scream, "what are you crazy?!?". Josh's good friend David (Lili's husband) was over and it took both of them to carry it in. This monstrous tree was well over 20 feet tall. In fact, we had to lop off a couple of feet to insure it wouldn't kill a small child in the event it fell over. To get a good idea....our ceilings are about 20 feet at the highest peak and this is after they cut it. Then after we secured it to the wall, I had to run out and buy an additional $30 worth of lights to decorate it. I think we had 1000+ lights on the tree that year....adding a nice chunk of change to the electric bill too. So this year.....I will gently remind Josh to keep it under 16 feet so that we don't create anymore power outages in the neighborhood.

Enjoy your Monday.....it's now December!!!!!!!!! :)
Peace, love and stay barefoot~

PS. I totally forgot to mention that today is World AIDS Day.....one of the many great organizations that spread the message of hope as well tranforming lives and communities is Samaritian's Purse. They have a great presentation on their site dedicated to today. And it's not too late to participate in their Operation Christmas Child program. :)



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