Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa is Alive and Well...

And We Are On His Team

I had posed some questions about Santa on my Facebook page. Specifically, if I tell my kid that Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and God are all real, then he finds out that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are NOT real, why shoud he believe in God? I got some amazing comments - even one from my friend Damon who is a paster himself!. It wasn't that I was thinking that we would be doing away with Santa...it was that I was trying to find a good way to make our Christmas about the gift of Jesus and not so much about the gift from Santa. I've posted this a few years in a row on this blog...it gets me every time. I absolutely love it and intend fully to make my boy a Santa some day!

I remember my first Christmas party with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.

"Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill , wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about though, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's second grade class.

Bobbie Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobbie Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

"Yes," I replied shyly. "It's ... for Bobbie." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons, and write, "To Bobbie, From Santa Claus" on it -- Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobbie Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobbie's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobbie.

Forty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

Author Unknown


In the Krech, Kleeberger and Porter households, we're on his team too!



Peace, everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My New Favorite Christmas Songs:

This has become a tradition on my blog…

This year, I’m liking this amazing and gorgeous song by Downhere. Its called How Many Kings:



And this one: I Celebrate the Day by Reliant K.



Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Solitary Life

This is something I've had for a few years now that just floats around on my PC until its time for Christmas.

The credited author is Dr. James Allen Francis.

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home.

He never wrote a book.

He never held an office.

He never had a family.

He never went to college.

He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.

He had no credentials but Himself...

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves.

While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat.

When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.


Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.


Never underestimate the wonder that God can do with one simple and solitary life!

Peace, everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby!

By the time you read this, I will be on my way to the hospital for a BIRTHDAY!!!

Pray for my baby boy's safe journey!

We'll post pictures when we can!

Peace, ya'll!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How did the Shepherds Know Where to Look?

Because they followed a star? Nope....

I read THIS and found it fascinating!

I've posted this before, but it never ceases to amaze me how God perfectly orchestrates all the tiny details!

PS...The star was for the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12).

Have a BLESSED DAY!

Peace ya'll!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fill-In’s #155

ffi

1. No, we will NOT panic. It will all still get done.
2. Dinner to night with Grandma Barb and Grandpa Steve – Friday Pizza at the old kitchen table.
3. I watched the steam rising from the hot cup of coffee (or tea) and thought: I wish I had decaf so I could have another.
4. An un-perfect Christmas is still a perfect Christmas – its all going to be okay.
5. I'll take a couple of magazines, my Bible and the Christmas Stories by Dickens book to read in the hospital.
6. When Obama’s campaign advertising told us it was time for a change, I don’t think that the bulk of his voters realized just exactly how painful that change was going to be… at least from my point of view.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with mom and dad, tomorrow my plans include Costco, Target, and time with my big boy before the new arrival and Sunday, I want to pack my hospital bag and spend one last peaceful day as a family of three!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Fill-in #154

ffi

1. Good times: laughter, conversation, peace – wherever you can find it.

2. I adore and want to share my home as a place of peace and rest (of course I’ll have to kick the boys out to achieve that!)

3. Sleigh bells ring when Jayden shakes that jingle-bell bug-toy-instrument thingy…which he loves…and why I hide it often.

4. My 3 year old acts so much like he’s 10 that its sometimes hard to remember he’s still little.

5. Once more we are preparing our home to receive the gift of a child. How amazing!

6. Why does the kindness, generosity, joy and outpouring of understanding of the Christmas season have to end?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to wrapping gifts and watching a movie, tomorrow my plans include wrapping gifts and watching a movie and Sunday, I want to wrap some gifts and watch a movie!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Patience

I don’t apparently have a bunch of it when it comes to myself and my deadlines and my to do lists and my desires…

Huh…

Go figure…I’m type A!

But we all knew that, didn’t we?

So..babies and Christmas and work and home repairs and time itself (as in I can only be on my feet so much of it and there are only so many minutes in a day to cram everything) have all conspired against my plans and I’m now in a place where patience and kindness to myself are no long optional…

Firstly, Christmas shopping is more or less done – as I’ve already said. However the wrapping…not so much. I have tons to wrap and to box and to ship and…well…its just a big ole pile in the middle of my office. Patience...it will get done...even if mom has to help me when she gets here.

While I’m on the topic, piles of stuff are one more thing I have no patience with!

Secondly, babies…ours is coming. Whether or not I’m ready…so…I printed a list of things I will be bringing to the hospital…is my bag packed? Nope. Am I even sure I know where everything on that list IS in my house right now? Nope…so…I guess that is a mental pile in need of some packing to relieve it. Patience...it will get done...even if my husband has to come back to the house AFTER our little bundle gets here to pack my things.

Work…well…lets just say that I have not been as productive as I’d hoped…and that the project I’m working on has been more involved than I originally anticipated…is it done? Nope…Patience...it may have to be finished by somebody else while I’m out on leave…

And lastly – home repairs….Which sounds ominous and I guess is sort of. In an effort to help me out, my husband was in the attic getting things down and putting things up when I heard a crash…you guessed it, he put his foot through the ceiling accidently. Enter contractors. The hole is fixed…but I had hoped it would be completely fixed (aka, ceiling skimmed and painted) this week so I could have the housekeeping company come next week and deep clean my house before my mom and dad get here…cuz you know I’m not deep cleaning my house in my state! Anyway…the drywall is done, but the skim/paint part won’t be DONE until next week…and there is no point in deep cleaning when there will be construction in the house…sigh. Patience...my mom and dad don't care if my ceiling is a mess...and they also don't care if I deep cleaned as long as they have clean sheets and towels.

And lets not forget that I've embarked on a couple of scrapbooking adventures this December - most notably the December Daily album. December daily is being done in my notebooks…I will be updating the journal cards this weekend. BUT the pictures I’ve been taking will all be developed professionally (and not on my less-than-optimal printer), so the bulk of the picture pasting will have to happen in January. Perhaps I’ll share some of the pics and their accompanying journaling sans December Daily pages here…When I find the time…

Here's the deal.

I have been very excited that we knew what day our little bundle was going to arrive due to doctor’s recommendations. Its great to know when to call the insurance company, that you can plan around some things, when to have long-distance relatives arrive…you get the gist. Its much easier to know the date and plan around it than it is to hurry everything up and spend time waiting for the little joy to make an appearance.

But while God has allowed me to schedule some things, He has allowed other events in my life these last few weeks to make it clear that I am not in control. WHAT!?!?!? I'm not in control...huh...what a concept.

I guess He’s going to make sure I learn patience and how to be gentle with myself one way or another…

As if sending me two boy children wouldn’t eventually teach me that anyway!


HA!

Peace, ya’ll!!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wreath Love

As I anticipate decorating my own home this weekend (I know…those of you who have known me for some time know my house is usually done by the end of Thanksgiving weekend!) I’ve been drooling over the amazing Christmas décor that is everywhere.

I am a wreath-on-the-door kind of girl – I have one for Valentine’s Day, one for Easter, two for summer, one for autumn…its sort of a fun thing for me to decorate that front door!!!

Now, I’m an extreme traditionalist with my Christmas décor – for me it means an evergreen wreath with red bows and berries on the front door and white lights on the Christmas tree…I try to keep it simple and uncomplicated…there is such beauty in that!

BUT I came across one very unique wreath…and being the obsessive that I am, I kind of went on a quest for unusual wreaths…there are so many amazing options out there! And some of them are SUPER easy to accomplish yourself!

Here is what I found:

Better Homes and Gardens is always a great place to start…they had this super cute (and kid-craft friendly) snowball wreath :



I also found a really cool Fish bobber wreath (Mom, this would be SOOOOO cute hanging on YOUR DOOR!)



This Ceiling Medalian Wreath is probably the easiest thing to make…and its so cute!



Sharyn Carlson has posted some gorgeous paper wreaths on her blog. You could so customize this idea to any color combo and style you wanted…and for the expense change it up every year!



Be Different Act Normal has posted a really cool picture frame wreath :



Apartment Therapy has posted several book page wreaths here . This is my favorite…but for the price of a cheap paperback, some hot glue and a little time, you could come up with something really amazing.



So, what are you doing for a wreath this year?

Peace, ya'll!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Manic Monday (After Black Friday)

I’m sad to report – I did ZERO scapping or crafting this weekend…sad, I know.

But I’m HAPPY to report that I am pretty much done with my Christmas shopping.

I confess…the internet is my huge friend…

And I’ll tell you why…

I use Amazon.

And I use it to my HUGE advantage…

First of all, I use the Wishlist Feature . This is where I keep track of things I see that I would like for myself. Its brilliantly easy to use and takes pretty much no time to set up. Its also sharable. So if you would like to share your wishlist with somebody for a birthday or Christmas, you can just send them a link.

You have the option of setting up baby and wedding registry's this way as well.

The next thing I did was set up a Gift Organizer for all the people in my life. This magnificent thing lets me keep track of gift lists for those that I buy gifts for. As I am browsing and see something that might be perfect for one my gift recipients, I simply add it to the gift list for the right person. You can set up birthdays, ages, interest profiles, notes, etc. to keep track of things you see that you feel would be a good fit for those on your gift list. You can schedule reminders to come via e-mail…and if you are like me and building a potential gift list all the time, when you get a reminder, you just go out and see what’s on the list of interesting gift ideas. One of the coolest things about this is that I can mark any purchase I make using Amazon.com as a gift for anyone in my Gift Organizer.

Lastly, I’ve set up the Universal Wishlist button. With this button, I can add anything from any website to my wishlist. Talk about AWESOME! Since I browse and keep track of many sites, I LOVE this button. It puts all my wished for items in one place.

So, with the exception of one trip to Target and one trip to Walmart, I pretty much did all of my shopping on line.

I even cheated a bit…

You see if you add things to your shopping cart while logged in, Amazon holds those items in the cart. If they go on sale between when you put them in the cart (or go up in price…which also happens) the shopping cart will tell you that a price has gone up or down. I put my gifts into the shopping cart before Thanksgiving day. But as Amazon posted their daily sales last week, I would check my cart to see if anything in it went on sale that day…I lucked out and got everything in my cart on sale!

My only problem now is getting all these lovelies wrapped and tagged…did I mention I didn’t spend any time in the craft room?

Peace, yall!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fill In Friday

1.Wait! Wait, don't forget to get a bottle of water! (Water must go EVERYWHRE we do!)
2. Coffee is the first things that must be consumed in the morning followed at once by a few minutes non-movement on the sofa.
3. The trouble is there is not enough time between now and when the baby comes to get everything done all by myself. I need a clone. Where can I get a clone?
4. My family lives far too many miles away.
5. With a faint pop I heard my visions of time spent scrapbooking this weekend disappear.
6. I don’t believe our future needs to be shadowy and ominous.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Pizza Night, tomorrow my plans include cleaning, organizing, putting up the tree and taking things to the Good Will and Sunday, I want to finish the pencil holders for Jayden’s class, wrap the Christmas gifts I’ve received and make some gift tags!

Peace, ya'll!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Remembering Thanksgiving

With me being all pregnant and sentimental, I started to reminisce through my Thanksgivings past.

Sadly, I have no pictures for some of them…

And frustratingly, I have pictures for others, but they are not currently with me as I write this post…

My childhood Thanksgiving memories are few…I remember sort of flashes… We lived most of my childhood in a small town in Colorado. Its so cute, right???? Its one of those terribly small and close-knit towns…it IS cute…but I couldn’t wait to get to something bigger.



It seemed like we often had company for Thanksgiving and that Turkey might have NOT have been on the menu. There always seemed to be something more exotic…like rabbit. I do always remember there always seemed to be Pistachio Salad or Ambrosia Salad. My parents are from the mid-west….no mid-west meal is complete without a pudding/cool whip or jell-o type salad!

It was always snowy.

Speaking of snowy, when you live in Colorado, Thanksgiving weekend means one thing – opening ski weekend. Once I could drive, my Thanksgivings were often spent working at a local ski area.



When I went away to College, it was far far away – to California. I think I only made it home one Thanksgiving in the four years I was in college…Let me ask you – If you could spend Thanksgiving HERE wouldn’t you?



I have a very fond memory of sunbathing in the back yard here one Thanksgiving…this was the house I shared with my first husband.



You know those Thanksgivings were the craziest I’ve ever experienced. There were usually between 15 and 20 people in attendance – the food was outrageously abundant…and after the dinner was all over, we’d sneak away to a movie while everyone else slept. Fond memories!!

Then I went through a divorce...and had a few more "single" Thanksgivings. I have these amazing friends – Jackie and Trent – who are married, but seemed to know only single people at the time…so they would have “Singles Thanksgiving” and invite us all over to their house to celebrate the holiday with other people who had no family in the area. Those were wonderful moments!!

When I got married again, my hubs wanted to live in the mountains…something I have always been reluctant to do since my Colorado days..WHY? I don’t really like snow! And in the California mountains, there tends to be a lot of it all at once...And in California, you have to put on CHAINS to drive in it…not something I was interested in. So…I reluctantly agreed as long as I never had to shovel. He thought that was a good bargain. I thought I was crazy – here I was agreeing to live in a small mountain town again!



Well…guess what? The VERY FIRST Thanksgiving, he was playing football and separated his shoulder…GUESS who shoveled the snow all that winter? The boys down the block, of course – you didn’t think I was going to do it, did you? (this is an old layout of that very first Thanksgiving…just the two of us and the dog – and his shoulder sling!



The next year, we moved off the mountain…and started having Thanksgiving with the hub’s parents…These were a far cry from the huge Thanksgiving gatherings I had been used to up to that point in my life…I have to say…they are charming, and calming and the most peaceful celebrations of Thanksgiving I remember!

We did have on year we spent with some of our friends. I mention it because I almost lost my husband that year – you see my friend T made an apple pie FROM SCRATCH…and my husband just wanted to move in with them and stay forever ! HA!


But perhaps, the most memorable of my Thanksgivings have been in recent years. You see, we moved all the way across the country the week before Thanksgiving…arrived in North Carolina the day before Thanks giving. Talk about a change! No palm trees...no 80 degree weather...and are those changing leaves I see!?!?!?!?



And you might be surprised to find that it is a “small town” tucked just outside a major city…and that it snows here! Not really enough for me to have to shovel, but enough for me to enjoy the experience. It’s another gorgeous “little town” and our lives are forever different than they were in California.




Just 11 months after our arrival, our little Bug got here…and Thanksgiving is now about building traditions with him. So far, he likes cranberries, turkey and ham…and pumpkin pie.



Thanksgivings for me have been traditional, contemporary, hot, cold, snowy, sunny, huge, small, with children, without, with turkey, without, single, married, single again, married again…whew….

So…I guess my truest Thanksgiving traditions boil down to these:

Enjoy great food
Love your family
Spend time with friends
Expect change
And above all - be thankful for both trials and blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fun Inspiration

I started reading a new blog…

The name of it makes me giggle every time.

Its called Be Different...Act Normal

Fantastic name, no?

There is a fantastic post over there with the cutest (although kinda labor intensive) Thanksgiving treats…



I’m in love with the stinking things…so cute!

Click Here to see more!


Peace, ya'll!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme


TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?

* A healthy baby
* family pictures
* towels
* a number of books
* a large format printer


2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?

Slippers - where are long worn out!

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?

Card sets for a whole year, Cookie cook books

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?

Books - I remember the books!

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?

This would be a shorter list if I put what ISN'T on his list...he sees something and tells me to put it on his "Santa list."

6. What is your favorite holiday food?

Cookies

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?

Pencil holders, candy bar wrappers and tags - the list is short as I'm due on 12/21.

8. What is your favorite holiday movie?

The Polar Express and Miracle on 34th Street.

9. Favorite holiday song?

Sweet Baby Jesus Boy

10. Favorite holiday pastime?

Christmas Eve Star Wars Movie Festival - we've done it every year we've been married.

Friday, November 20, 2009

All I want for Christmas…



I read an interesting book called Gilead some time ago and the narrator of the story is a third generation pastor. He talks a lot about how tradition ties one generation to the next. I too believe that our traditions are the fabric upon which our families stand. Its so important to remember where you came from.

I’ve got a post in the works for next week about Thanksgiving’s past and where my idea of “our” family traditions have come from…what has stayed constant and what has changed dramatically over the years, what I have a huge, full heart of love for and what I wish I didn’t ever have to remember.

But sadly, my memories are clouded, uncertain and full of gaps. I’ve got some very clear memories, but they tend to be moments – bits from here and there. And don’t happen to be very fluid…Doesn't that seem a little strange...I've got very firm ideas about what Thanksgiving is about...yet my memories are not as solid as my beliefs!!!

I scoured the photos I’ve got available to see if anything jumped out at me from Thanksgivings past and realized I have very few pictures of my childhood to jog my memories.

So…I asked my mom for one and only one thing for Christmas – pictures. I would like pictures of my childhood, the moments, the craziness, the fun, the love, teh little things that seemed important enough to take photos of. I would like to see photos of my parents wedding, my grandparents anniversary celebrations, Christmases past and those moments that can only be remembered when you look upon a lovely 3 by 3 photo and something dawns on your heart.

I long to remember some of those things…and to share them with my boys…I am ready to have the “family photos” entrusted to me for scrapping and safe-keeping.

It seems a simple request, right? I’m a simple woman – I don’t need expensive, extravagant or copious gifts…I just want something simple that ties me to the past and to the future.

No pressure Mom…but all I want for Christmas are my memories! HA!

How about you? What is the one thing you want under your tree?

Peace, ya’ll!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Easing Back into This

Ok...feeling more like "normal" than I have in a while...

I thought today I'd use a list from Friday Fill-ins to jump start my blogging:

1. The last band I saw live was the band at church. Seriously - the last concert I went to? Um...it was in California...more than 4 years ago!
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is the time with family making some cozy memories.
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is not even CLOSE to being on my mind at the moment
4. Thoughts of baby/hospital/baby clothes/nursery/preparations fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear skinny clothes.
6. Bagpipes are not on my list of top instruments to listen to.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to pizza night, tomorrow my plans include laundry, grocery shopping and maybe some crafting and Sunday, I want to have a true day of rest!

And one more thing for the road:

New Jaydenism: Mocha Nut Troll....can you guess what it means? I'll use it in a sentence for you: "Mommy, can I push the buttons on the Mocha Nut Troll?"

Peace, ya'll!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sidelined by the flu

Be back soon enough...I don't know how much more of the confinement with a sick child and a sick husband I can take...3 days is certainly more than should be expected from any women...

Peace, ya'll!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I Jam, therefor I Am

I must have been a SIGHT this morning!

I was playing the classic rock station...a little bit of Bob Seegar, a little bit of Aerosmith, a little bit of Foreignor, a little bit of Journey...mmmmmmmmm Hmmmmmmmmm!!! and as my son would say...I was playing it "WOUD!"

After all this time, I have not outgrown my rock-star ways.

Its still in me...

YES I WAS a wannabe rock-star!

See!!!





Just can't let go of the dream...HA HA!

I even did a layout about imagining 30,000 fans screaming my name (among other things):



Ok..but seriously...picture me...in my little Honda Civic, cruising down the road, radio blasting, 7 months pregnant (along with ALL that entails, singing at the top of my lungs, with my hands doing some kind of stage motion and my head bopping...

I must have been a SIGHT!

Cool, right? NOT!

What are YOU doing today?

Peace, ya'll!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I Get Around…

I love the internet...How did generations of people grow up without this wonderful tool?

I'm not exactly a surfer, spending hours and hours gliding from one place to another. I tend to “hop.”

I read some blogs and go some places all the time…and then I find little linkies at my normal haunts and follow those to new and wonderful places.

When I find something that I like, I either add it to my reader or bookmark it. I pay fairly close attention to the sites I have marked. I'm always on the prowl for something inspirational or informational.

Lately, I’ve been hanging “at home” in my normal places…but I’ve gotten TONS of inspiration from these little places (and a few products too!) I won’t lie – I’m totally an enabler…I cannot be alone in my addiction of all things bright and beautiful...just don’t blame me if you click and find something wonderful waiting for you!

Always and forever I will be a fan of Ali Edwards (Thanks Karen!). I love how she tells today’s stories in a very frank and emotional way and I adore her style. I adore her style of scrapping, her thoughtful approach to everything and mostly her philosophy that imperfection is pure beauty!

Scrapbooking from the Inside Out has grown to be one of my favorite places to go each day. I’ve been a member of this community for SOME time now…they are simply a fabulous group of people who are really focused on getting YOU in your scrapbooking or journaling. There is a monthly theme, a fantastic kit to go along (you don’t have to be a kit buyer to be part of the fabulous community!), great designers, challenges that really inspire and make you dig deep…and, the process of creating pages for these challenges is SO Cathartic. Less baggage and more pages are a seriously good combo in my world!

Log your memory is my new favorite place…I am especially fond of the new bookthat this site will support come 2010. I already gushed about it HERE and I’m even already using some of the sections! Plus - an organizational support community (I am a Type A after all!) that is parlayed into scrapbooking!??!!? Seriously on target for my personality!!!

Stacy Julian – of course!! I like her regular blog, her Sprinkles, the things she manages to find on the internet…She is just like an inspiration shot in the arm. I don’t know when she sleeps, she has so much going on!

I’m always on the prowl for fun things to do with my son…I’ve found that my best resource lately for cool ideas is a happy little site called Family Fun. You may either hate me or love me that it is a Disney site…regardless…this is the BEST place to find fun food and crafts for all ages. I ADORE it!

For spiritual inspiration, I find myself often at the Rebelution site . This is a site primarily to encourage teenagers to do hard things with passion, to rise above the blight of low expectations. Is it any wonder I find it so inspiring myself!?!?!?!? I’m ready to go out and conquer the world after reading the things on this site!!!

One final place I find myself frequently? Life Skills Network. This is a group of bloggers who write on various life topics like saving money, smart investing, simplicity, wisdom, organizing, etc…it’s a GREAT source of information!

So…Whatcha looking at in your world?

Peace, ya’ll!

Breathless

I have always loved children.

I just didn’t want any of my own.

In fact if anyone from more than about 10 years ago in my life were to read this right now, they would be side-swiped by my dramatic 180 degree turn on having children. Despite loving them, I didn’t every ever want to go through the pain, sacrifice, anxiety, mess and expense of having any "rug rats" of my own.

Little did I know when I had a child that such a little creature would be capable of stealing the very breath from chest.

I don’t think that this is surprising to anyone who already has children in their lives. But to me, to find out the power one tiny little boy would wield over my heart has been surprising.

He’s such a beautiful child – aren’t they all?????? – and has such a depth of understanding.

Children have a much simpler way of navigating the world. They say what they mean and they mean what they say. They like what they like and they are willing to experiment. They observe us and those of influence around them and they make their own choices about what seems good and right. They are brave and adventurous, strong and resilient, and more than any other creature on earth, they live in the now.

How much we could all learn from the simple and unadorned way a child lives, loves, grows and develops. All of our lives should be so pure and full of good intention and high adventure.

This one knows the inroads to Mommy’s heart. He is highly skilled at communicating with me exactly what he means.




Sometimes its how he acts – like a freely given hug, a kiss on the hand, a jump right into my lap, or wandering up to my side to take my hand.

He will clean his own plate, throw trash away and put his shoes where they “go” without having to be asked by me.

He will wander off to another room and come back with a stack of books, sit at my feet and read by himself.

Sometimes its in how proud he is of things he’s accomplished. I LOVE hearing, “Mommy! Look at me!” and then seeing him master a dance move, climb to the top of a very high slide, or race his trike around the kitchen island.

He’s always proud to show me the good marks on his school calendar, or describe how he made an art project.

I even love it when he “corrects” me with the right words to a song or a poem.

But the place where I catch my breath the most is when he speaks with me. I've always conversed with him as though he were an intelligent human being - no baby talk, no weird sounds. We just talk. As I’ve said often, he has been a very verbal guy for a very long time. And its in the sweet things that come out of his mouth that I find myself wanting to stop time, to hold just one minute, to rewind and play it again.

Like when he sneezed and his ears got plugged up. He said, “Mommy, can you fix my sound?”

Or when he asks, “Mommy? Do you want to be Princess Jasmine or Cinderella?”

Or when he says, “Mommy! We should pray!”

But never more…never more does my heart skip a beat than when he says, unsolicited and out of nothing but his own heart, “I wuv you mom!”

My whole world pivots on those precious words. There is nothing like it on the planet…and for that moment, all the world stands still and I am breathless.

Peace, ya’ll!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Best of Intentions

YESTERDAY was the start of Shimelle’s Blogging for Scrapbookers class.

Yes I DID get my happy little prompt.

Yes I DID read it and do some planning on my first post for the class. The prompt was for us to blog about our intentions for our blog during the time of the class and afterward…

I have intentions…I really do. I even wrote them down and started to ponder what sort of photo I could post that might be fun. She suggested several, but I thought something more tuned to my current lifestyle would be a neat way for me to personalize the post.

Maybe something like this because much of my scrapbooking is currently done at the kitchen table while Jayden paints or does his own "project."



Or maybe something like this one. See that baby gate that his desk is pushed up to? That is my office door. In order for me to have "office" time, I generally have to make sure that his own desk is set up very close by so we can "chat" while he works on his own "wook."



Or maybe something like this one...is there a computer in sight? nope. How about scrapbooking? Nope...but we ARE together and we ARE being creative. Well...HE's really being BOSSY and telling me how to be creative...but it works for us.



Despite my planning, writing and my good intentions, everything spun crazily out of control shortly after my considerations. I spent two extra hours at work and then had to rush to get Jay from Grandma and Grandpa’s. Thankfully dinner was in the slow cooker and I didn’t have to spend much time on dinner other than plating. But I was so late getting home that immediately after dinner, it was story time and bed time for the boy. When my head finally hit the pillow, it was completely blogless.

I’m NOW thinking maybe my picture should look something like this:



Yesterday's outcome drove something home for me: Intention is not a promise or a goal or a task on the to do list. It is somthing you think about. It is a direction you point yourself when considering action.

For me, intention alone is not going to get the job done. This has to be a priority - something I set aside to do for myself, something I place in a position of importance for me.

So, I thought if I'm going to get this moving and really reach my aspirations, I'm going to have to step it up a bit. Just intention won't be enough in my world. so I’m calling them goals. Its just that I know I will handle myself better and it won’t be so easy to let these things fall by the way side while I’m off trying to please everyone else!

My goals are these:
• To make the time to consider each prompt and write about the topic, regardless of whether I feel particularly inspired to do so.
• To blog any of the writings that move me.
• To post a minimum of 3 days per week – even if its not on a blog topic…Goodness knows there is plenty going on in the scrap/craft world alone to find things to post about.
• To focus on my craft and my inspirations and my desires and my goals and those things in my life that help me feel positive and focused and moving forward.
• To trust my own blogging voice. I’m not interested in alienating anyone, but I want to be me.


So...its actually day TWO of the class. I'm off to read the next topic and ponder my response!

Peace, ya’ll!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Off the Bookshelf Challenge

I’m a ravenous reader of the many blogs of Noel Mignon. Her work is so fun and accessible and I simply love it!

She does some really cool and contemporary challenges – more fun design than deep thinking…although I’m certain you could take them in any direction you wanted to.

So…she did an “Off the Bookshelf” challenge HERE:

I’m thinking over the weekend, I’ll try this one from Jay’s collection of many books:



I've got a plethora of snow pictures...maybe I'll try one of these:





Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Some fun and different stuff

I’ve been a little in a rut with the whole scrapbooking thing…

Not so much because I’m ACTUALLY in a rut…but more because I’ve just gotten to a place where the time is so little and the things to scrapbook so big that I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’ve DONE some scrapbooking in the last couple of weeks. I made a darling, totally scrap-lifted fall pumpkin garland for my mantel and yesterday I finally finished up my button studio book that I blogged about in..uh…August.

What with the changes a pregnancy brings to the body, plus my job has brought to my stress levels added to a new nursery, a new bedroom for our big boy, a new office for the man…and the list goes on and on.

I did finally get the whole purge and organize thing done…of course now, my office floor is littered with potential Christmas presents and I’m just not allowed by my son to go in that room without him. Unfortunately allowing him in is completely out of the question…that would be a little like letting While E. Cyote into a roadrunner cage at the zoo.

And, in my sort of frantic, hyper-stessed, hyper-emotional, nesting mind-set of the moment, all I can think about is how much less time I will have once the new little guy gets here. What is a girl to do?

Well…I found the most amazing things to get me back on track organizationally and also to improve my little bloggy here!

First of all, I signed up to take Shimelle’s Blogging for Scrapbookers.



I’m so excited about this class - mostly because of the daily prompts that will be provided…the reminders can keep me on track with my scrapping AND my blogging. And there is a chance to win the class free – go HERE and check it out!

Second, I found the most amazing site: Log Your Memory.
Along with it, the most amazing book!

Now, I'm a journaler...but I'm finding my scrapbooking, bible study, work notes, sketches, and grocery lists are all ending up in one place. Its a GREAT thing to have journals like mine when I think of being dead and gone for a generation and having my grandchildren or great grand children wanting to get a picture of what my life was like. But it doesn't exactly make it easy for me to scrap my memories or ideas later on. I have trouble finding things I KNOW I wrote down to remember!

So..this book is just what I'm looking for - plus it comes with its own support community!

The book itself has daily pages with lots of room for ideas and sketches and marking down things like appointments and scheduled:



There are pages with challenges:



Along with pages for sketches, monthly worksheets to keep up with yourself through the month, birthday worksheets for keeping birthday details and holiday worksheets. Its just the coolest thing if you are looking for an easy way to keep track of the stories and the details and your sketches and everything in a more organized fashion than a typical journal.

And you can get it in three different form: a normal book, spiral bound or downloadable. I chose downloadable and then put mine in a binder, like what is shown.



Once you download the book, she even gives you a tip sheet about how you might want to set up your notebook...I have mine set up with pocket folders between each month to hold memorabilia and little life tidbits as well as extra printings of birthday and holiday worksheets. I'll probably also add some page protectors to keep sketch pages I get from my magazines...literally a one-stop shop for my creative ideas!

And today I had the idea of maybe only carrying one month at a time with me in a small binder - that way it will fit in my bag!

Ok...so...

What are YOU up to?

Peace, ya'll!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If you've never failed....

You've never lived...

Loving this on this bright Wednesday morning!!!



Peace, ya'll!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Retrospective

I know...I was supposed to do this LAST week...it seems like I was supposed to do EVERYTHING last week!

Since I was waxing poetic about how things might look this year, I thought I'd just pop a little retrospective here with pumpkin patch shots...

2007:



2008:



2009:



My how my little guy has changed...he's a "real" boy now...

Where does the time go?!?!?!?

Peace, ya'll!

Did you see this?

My scrapping friends...

And Crafty Friends...

Stacy Julian is giving away the amazing I-top Brad Maker from Imaginisce:



And not just the brad maker, but the brad daddies, and the punches and some premade punches (not shown) and that adorable carrying case!

Go HERE for details and to get your own self into the drawing!

Peace, ya'll!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Because “Creative” means so many things, Part 3

Sometimes "Creative" is about finding new ways to use something familiar...

We do not celebrate Halloween in the more commonly known sense.

Bug is allowed to dress in a non-scary costume and trick-or-treat a bit, but that is where the celebration of Halloween ends in our home.

We do decorate in the "fall" theme, with all the trappings of a harvest on the farm.

But there is one thing that I miss terribly from my days of celebrating Halloween. I miss the pumpkin carving.

Knowing that pumpkin carving will not be happening at my house - except to carve one up to roast and make treats out of - I've been on the prowl for some neat ideas to use these fun little squash to decorate.

This year, these are catching my eye:

Party Pumpkins:



I love this idea, because it would be SO easy for Bug to get into this and these are little ones, so he could manage the size.

But lets not leave out the larger varieties if we are going to be doing Painted Pumpkins:



The only problem I see with this Critter Lodge is that Bug would be taking the critters out all the time.



I also thought this Bird House Pumpkin was a great idea - especially if you could hang something like this from a tree near the door.



What sort of non-jack-o-lantern ideas do you have for pumpkins???

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Because “Creative” means so many things, Part 2

Sometimes, based on my schedule and having a three-year-old, my creative urges are satisfied by cooking. When there is no time for anything else, there is always time for a meal or a treat.

Largely because Bug has no interest in making dinner, but does have an interest in baking, we bake together. He doesn't really eat anything that we bake. He doesn't like sweets - which, incidently, is the one thing that makes us wonder if he was switched by the hospital.

He's more about the mixer, adding in the ingredients, and, if cupcakes are in order, he's all about the sprinkles.

I normally have a Cookie Exchange at the beginning of December. This year, tho, with baby on the way, I've temporarily takin a haitus from the Cookie Exchange.

However, that doesn't stop me from thinking about Christmas Cookies. I've been tossing around the idea of tossing out my normal family traditional cookies and trying something a little unusual.

So far, these are all on my list of possibilities:

Three Pepper Spiced Cookies



Something about using all those spices in a sweet cookie is intriguing to me!

Super Duper Chocolate Kisses:



As a confessed chocoholic, these are simply the most beautiful things I've ever looked upon!

Snickerdoodle Sandwiches:



Considering that the hubs loves both Snickerdoodles and Oreos, I thought this one might hit the spot for him!

Rosemary Lemon Sandwich Cookies:



Ok...so...really...these are all about me. I'm the only one in the house that will eat them...which makes me even MORE tempted to give them a shot. I could actually have a batch of cookies all to myself! What a thought!

Eggnog Frosted Nutmeg Sugar Cookies:



Seriously!?!??!?! Oh, my heavens, these would be gone in 60 seconds!

Chocolate Crinkles:



Now, these aren't new nor is there a twist. But any brownie that dresses up like a powdered-sugar-covered cookie is on my list!

And last but not least - Alphajores:



I use the Dulce de Leche in my coffe. I get it in the Mexican foods aisle at Walmart, of all places. Its really the most tasty stuff.

So...what'cha tryin' that's creative!?!?!?!?