Tag Archives: Christmas

Sabbath Rest – Brightest and Best

It’s just one week until Christmas (as you probably are aware!). One week until we celebrate the greatest gift – God becoming Man to bring us to himself.

Hail blessed morn, see the great Mediator
Down from the regions of glory descend
Shepherds go worship the babe in a manger
Lo, for a guard the bright angels attend

Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion
Fragrance of Edom and off’rings divine?
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean
Myrrh from the forest, or gold from the mine?

Brightest and best of sons of the morning
Dawn on our darkness and lend us Thine aid
Star in the East, the horizon adorning
Guide where our infant Redeemer was laid

Vainly we offer each ample oblation
Vainly with gifts would His favor secure
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor

Brightest and best of sons of the morning
Dawn on our darkness and lend us Thine aid
Star in the East, the horizon adorning
Guide where our infant Redeemer was laid

Cold on His cradle the dewdrops were shining
Low lies His bed with the beasts of the stall
Angels adore Him, in slumbers reclining
Wise men and shepherds before Him do fall
Wise men and shepherds before Him do fall

Brightest and best of sons of the morning
Dawn on our darkness and lend us Thine aid
Star in the East, the horizon adorning
Guide where our infant Redeemer was laid

Brightest and best of sons of the morning
Dawn on our darkness and lend us Thine aid
Star in the East, the horizon adorning
Guide where our infant Redeemer was laid
Guide where our infant Redeemer was laid

Brightest and Best – Feat. Keith & Kristyn Getty and Ricky Skaggs
Traditional – Written by Reginald Heber
Arranged by Keith Getty, Ben Shive and Fionán de Barra
ARR©2021 Getty Music Publishing (BMI) / Fionán de Barra (BMI) / Getty Music Hymns and Songs (ASCAP) / Junkbox Music (ASCAP) / adm at MusicServices.org

Mondays are for Memories – Christmas Memories!

One of the fun holiday things we did while daughter Lara was living in Waco was her Annual(ish) Cookie Extravaganza!

Cookies, Cookies Everywhere – December 14, 2011.

Last Saturday was the “2nd Annual-ish Cookie Baking Extravaganza”. (It was the 2nd annual-ish because, as you might recall this is what her kitchen looked like last year. No cookie baking here!)
But this year she was back on track. Not only on the track but with two ovens this year, thanks to the “summer kitchen” out on the porch (leftovers from her old kitchen)! The recipes were chosen, the invites were out, and the stage was set.
This was the plan – Lara would get all of the ingredients, make up most of the cookie dough ahead of time and have everything ready to go Saturday morning. Everyone pitches in $10.00 and after a day of baking, they all go home with 6-8 dozen fancy Christmas cookies! It was a great deal – and it was great FUN!
Lara got 4 different recipes (4 batches of each) ready Friday night.
And the cookie bakers arrived Saturday morning and the real fun began!
Cookie Extravaganza-1
Let me tell you, there was some heavy-duty cutting and rolling and dipping and decorating going on!
The first cookies were in the ovens by 10:30 AM, and the last batch came out at 6 PM. Now that’s a full day in the kitchen!
Cookie Extravaganza
And I think when all was said and done, only two trays of cookies got a little overdone and didn’t make the distribution cut. Not bad for the total number of cookies that were baked (about 23,879 I think). 🙂
If you’re looking for some great Christmas cookie recipes, here are links for the recipes we used-
Toffee, Homemade Thin Mints, Cinnamon Roll Cookies,
Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies, Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprints, Sugar Cookies, White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies,
Soft Gingersnaps.
Phew, that there is a lot of cookies.

And what, you might ask, was Gary doing while we ladies were being kitchen mavens?
He was happy as a clam, building a wood rack for the new fire pit, and then enjoying the pit as he burned all the scrap from the fall projects!

Definitely a good weekend for all involved!

If you want a closer look at the pictures in the collages (along with a couple other random shots) feel free to check them out here.

Gary being Gary

I was serious about working on a plan for a Whole Family Destination Christmas next year. To that end, we started doing some research and it seemed that this general area (Destin/Ft. Walton Beach) was a good place to start. We found a possible house on VRBO that would fit all of us with room to spare and arranged for a tour today! It was pretty exciting!
It was partially occupied, but we were able to see the guest house
and the second floor of the main house, even though it was in the process of being cleaned for new vacationers coming in that afternoon!
While we were checking out the all of the amenities, the realtor pointed out that the last tenants had broken the top of the TV cabinet.
This place ticked all the boxes – plenty of room, a pool, a private beach on the river (with a boat dock for our non-existent boat) and close enough to the beach. As we were wrapping up our time, Gary mentioned that he’d be happy to fix that broken tv cabinet if they would like. Yes, he just can’t stop being Gary!
I think it garnered us a bit of good will and maybe a tiny bit of a discount, but sadly, it doesn’t look like this property is available for the dates that we are hoping for. But it sure was fun to look!
We’ll keep looking! If you have any suggestions for spots along the “Emerald Coast” – please let us know!!

In slightly different news –
This little guy turned four today! (even though he looks like he’ll be starting college soon in this picture!)
Happy Birthday, AJ! We love you!

Christmas Day at the Beach

Starts with coffee on the balcony.
Instead of homemade sticky buns (a Conrad tradition), we went with fresh hot waffles.
Seemed to do the trick.
Since we didn’t exchange gifts (this condo was our gift to each other), I spent a little time sewing.
Love the view, right?
The best part of the day was, of course, our four family zoom call!
So thankful for technology! Not as good as hugs, but better than nothin’!
We had a little beach time
on a perfectly beautiful day!
Afternoon naps were interrupted by this –
Yep, a fire alarm sounded, and sounded, and sounded and sounded.
Thankfully, it was a false alarm. Phew.  But we did get to greet the neighbors!
The day ended with a beautiful God paintingUntitled
and then we snuggled in to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Ah…..

For us, for this year, it was a lovely Christmas.

I have to say I’m already researching for next year.   However,  it will have to sleep 20, ’cause I’m not sure I can do Christmas without family more than two years in a row! Conrad Family Destination Christmas 2022 is in the planning stages! Start saving up, kids!

Welcome to our World!

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Welcome To Our World

By Chris Rice

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting
Welcome, Holy Child
Welcome, Holy Child

Hope that You don’t mind our manger
How I wish we could have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please, make Yourself at home

Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven’s silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world