These decorating decals aren’t really my thing, so when we arrived last July we removed most of the ones we found in our new house. But this one felt hand-picked for us. In the beginning, it seemed more like a challenge than a belief statement. Could we really embrace togetherness enough to call this new house or any other place we wander this year: home?

It definitely felt like we were coming home last Sunday after a three-week trip to Tanzania. Our hearts and brains were overflowing from amazing experiences. How good it felt to sleep in our “own” beds!

Monday- we had so much to unpack, wash, and process. Thankfully we got several loads of laundry done, everyone showered, and a grocery run completed when… the power went out. Too bad the dinner casserole was still baking. We learned that we should have been paying the electricity bill to the city not to the rental company. Why they accepted payments from us without sending it along or alerting us, I’m not sure. “If it’s not one thing, it’s another!” is beginning to seem like it would be another appropriate decal for this home. So we marked the summer solstice the same way we usually spend this date back where it’s winter- by candle and lantern light.


Calls and more calls sorted things out pretty quickly and by Tuesday afternoon we were back on track. Uploading photos and other post-trip tasks will have to wait though because Christmas is only a few days away! It will be a simple one at our place which suits these four tired souls just fine. First up, decorations. Snowflake workshop turned out a nice wintry collection for the windows.


Another decal that made the cut last July was this tree. Not an evergreen for sure, but everyone agreed we could transform it into a Christmas tree.


Food boxes were turned into decorations.  (Read the fine print.  I bet your Corn Flakes box doesn’t say “made from real mealies!”)





But can Epworth sports socks really serve as Christmas stockings!?


Wishing you a home filled with togetherness this week!


10 thoughts on “Home

  1. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Looking forward to your arrival home so we can hear more stories. Enjoy your time.

    God’s Blessings, Peace, Aanen and Carroll Gjovik,


  2. It sounds like you are on track for a special and memorable Christmas!! Enjoy!

    It is still in the 40s and 50s here and rained lots today…..so not the usual Christmas here either! At least it is good travel weather. We are looking forward to Jess arriving tomorrow.

    Merry Christmas to you all! I really enjoy all of your news updates.


  3. Thankful for a safe trip back to S. Africa. Merry Christmas to all. Hope the kids get the small pkg. in time for Christmas… and the card we sent for you. I’m sure we will Skype when things settle down there.
    Love to all.


  4. Welcome “home”! I am inspired by your beautiful decorations…well, let’s not include your school ‘stockings’ in that statement. 🙂 What a memorable way to spend the solstice…sounds like a frustrating discovery, but symbolic! What are your highlights from Tanzania?!

    Peace to your rest and travel recovery this Christmas week! It will be fun to hear how you celebrate Christ’s birth and Santa’s journey in SA!

    Amy, thank you for your BE letter!! It’s in my care now and I’m going to write a reply and pass it on…you will get our BE circle letter in the new year. 🙂

    We are blessed to swaddled our own dear babe this Christmas; best present already unwrapped! Dawn asked our family to be Mary, Joseph, babe, angel and shepherd Christmas Eve. We said yes…and warned that there’s a strong chance this baba will cry! She said it would make the worship service all the more real….I’ll try to remember that ! 😉

    Ayden is clearing snow from the yard one toy dump truck load at a time. And he can’t wait to go out and get to work everyday after school! He’s hugely disappointed the snowmobile won’t start yet; hopefully during break!

    Azahna loves wrapping gifts, baking and decorating so she’s been enjoying herself too!

    Aila is making more faces and watching us intently. We get big chuckles watching her! She has her colicky moments/ times/ days still, so we savor the moments she isn’t fussy!

    We have our first real Christmas tree.. Not as big as your tree though! 😉

    Merry Christmas friends! Peace and Joy!


  5. Hello Amy, Scott, Simon and Elsa Ruth and Merry Christmas to all of you!

    Thank you for your wonderful posts. We read each of them and look forward to the next. Can’t wait to hear more about your trip to Tanzania! It must have been exceptional for all of you – especially for Scott and Amy. And NICE JOB on your tree decorations! Very festive and ingenious!

    We have another Charlie Brown tree this year that no one else has wanted. We like it! You’ve probably heard that we are going to have a “Green Christmas”. No kidding. We had a late, wet fall, and the grass just stayed green, and it still is! Unbelievable! I don’t remember such a warm, green winter as we’ve had so far.

    We will be missing you on Christmas Day, but we will be thinking of you and wondering where you would distribute the funds from the Baby Jesus basket if your name was drawn? I’d be interested to know. We will have Grandma Lois, her friend Carole from the Northfield Retirement Community, Ben and Sarah, Grandma Nancy (though I still call her Aunt Nancy), Bryce (who has returned to MN from Las Vegas after so many years away! He is living in Apple Valley, so we get to see him frequently – such a blessing!) Jessica, Andrew and Makenzie (who would follow you kids all over the house if you were here! And, of course, Joan and yours truly. We will all fit around the big table this year.

    We hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season in the summer hemisphere! Simon – you are dressed nothing like Uncle Mark in the pictures in this blog – I’m wearing three layers! No long johns yet, though.

    God Bless and keep you, and keep the posts up! We love them and YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Uncle Mark


  6. Jim and I want to wish you and your amazing family a wonderful Christmas. Totally enjoy your posts and photos. Have a safe and healthy New Year.


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