Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
And hopefully, for the most part, we all can give positive answers. But sometimes, it's also a time for some brutal honesty. I remember the end of 2005, the first year I actually made a concerted effort at some self-evaluation. I was pretty disappointed in myself. I realized I didn't seem any different than a year ago. I was coasting. There is a saying out there that goes
"If you aim for nothing, you are bound to hit it." That pretty much sums it up, eh? ;oP That was the first year I sat down and wrote up some goals for myself, spiritual goals, physical goals, projects I wanted to get done, and also goals for the kids.--how's my parenting, what do I need to improve on? I picked a word for the year "JOY." I think God knew I was serious about growing. Two months later I found out I had a brain tumor.
What does that have to do with goal setting, you ask? Well, growing, particularly the spiritual kind has a whole lot to do with the trials we persevere through. How easy it would have been to work on joy if my life was perfect--if Josh made millions of dollars, my kids were perfectly well-behaved, my house was my dream home and never messy. Who couldn't be joyful under those circumstances, right? It was a lot harder with a brain tumor. Growing comes about through struggle, discipline (you know, those FUN words that we all love so much). And so with seriousness I contemplate this last year and the new one quickly approaching.
Where am I at? I do see a different person than I saw three years ago. The process has been tedious. I fail quite miserably on a daily, ahem, hourly basis. And yet I anticipate the new year. I'm considering my "word" for this year, 2006 was JOY, 2007 was FAITHFULNESS, 2008 was STEADFASTNESS, 2009 . . . I'm looking over my routines (or lack thereof) and deciding what is working, and what is not. I'm making a plan. But I'm going to be honest--I love planning. I love brainstorming new ideas. I love writing up schedules, chore charts. I love the sales on organizing supplies that stores have in January. I love a new calendar or planner. It makes me a bit giddy. It is always the "making it happen" that I struggle with. Because let's face it, "making it happen" brings us back to that favorite word again--DISCIPLINE. Discipline is not fun. I'm good at making excuses for myself.
And so I look to the new year. I wonder what lies ahead. I'm making new goals and adding to old ones, and hoping Lord-willing that one year from now there will be growth, maturity, and a general heading-in-the-right-direction.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
"Candy Cane Milk"
This is good stuff--trust me.
Instead of baking gingerbread we cut the tops off of cardboard milk cartons, covered them in felt and decorated with felt cut-outs, pom-poms, and sequins. I was amused at Marissa and her need for symmetry and Isabella's more "free-spirited" approach--a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Idea courtesy of my Family Fun magazine.
These are a tradition in our home each Christmas. However I was really dragging my feet on decorating them. Usually I make a huge batch of butter cream frosting, divvy it up into bowls, tint it with food coloring gel and then the girls and I spend several hours decorating. I kept putting it off. Finally I gave the girls the left-over frosting from the cake and all the sprinkles I owned and said "Go at it." I think that is how we will do it from now on. It was much simpler and the girls enjoyed it more. I can easily see the boys getting in on this next year too.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Heavenly hosts sing Hallelujah
Monday, December 22, 2008
These are some felt cookies I made for my first grade group of "Girls of Grace" at church. I slid a sliver hook through the stitching so they could be Christmas ornaments--or the hook can be removed and the cookie used as a refreshment at the next (pretend!) tea party. They were a lot of fun to make. I am discovering there is a whole world of felt food out there--donuts, cake slices--I can't wait to try something else. This stocking is another Aun.t Pat.ty's Attic "knock-off." I needed something to hang on this shelf for Christmas, and this was perfect (and also pretty simple to copy). ;o)
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Each year it was always something different and always in a variety of craft forms--sometimes cross-stitched or something done on plastic canvas, an angel made out of a variety of pasta noodles, or something ceramic, there was always something new, and always one done for each of us. The majority of our Christmas tree was handmade ornaments, added to yearly by Granny. It wasn't just ornaments she made either--each of us had an original stocking made by her hands. My sister and I had similar ones done in needlepoint, mine was red with a little girl on it, hers light blue and proclaiming "Noel." My brother Jared had a simpler stocking because that was the year Grandpa got sick and she didn't have the time for fancy work. And my youngest brother Lukas had a dazzling one with a snowman and lots of sequins that we all admired. These all hung in a row, pinned into the woodwork between the living room and dining room.
Friday, December 19, 2008
~Was in dire need of breakfast-pronto!
~And some orange juice
~Insisted upon cracking the eggs while I made pancakes
~Ate his pancakes peacefully
~Dumped a mixture of a full bottle of onion powder and what remained of the chocolate sprinkles (see post below) on the kitchen floor
~Drove trains through aforementioned substance while I showered in blissful ignorance
~Dumped a container full of nail/staple/metal pointy object miscellany on the carpet
~Used jumbo wooden puzzle pieces as cymbals
~Encouraged Emmett to join in
~Got himself a mid-morning snack of baby carrots and ranch dressing
~Dumped milk on the floor while trying to get himself a drink
~Followed me around sobbing for reasons I can no longer recall
~"Cheers-ed" his milk with Marissa's at lunch--too hard--milk everywhere
~Used a screw driver to pop berries off the garland on the Christmas tree
~Got the baby bathtub out of storage and wedged himself inside with his blanket because he was tired
~Ran around in circles with his siblings while they ALL screamed in delight
~Was fallen on by Marissa who had climbed the door frame (and subsequently lost grip)
~Claims Marissa broke his leg
~Accomplished all of this before 11:30 a.m.
So, anyone up for a playdate? At your house? ;o) Josh is done with work at 2:30 today. I may plead for the rest of the day off . . .
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
3 cups of all-purpose flour
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. On lightly floured surface roll half the dough at a time to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
antidotes, like "My brothers are crasy (crazy)." Yes, the spelling is not the greatest, and there are a lot of run on sentences going on, but I am so thrilled. Apparently it's all about the notebook. Which is a good reminder to me--in the end it's about meeting them where they are at, even if it means they do their writing in an obnoxiously furry "thing". ;o)
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Earlier this spring I bought the author's first book entitled Sew Pretty Homestyle. And although I have yet to make anything I was very inspired--and the same goes for this Christmas version. Many of the projects would work year-round too, not just for Christmas time. So, I have something going on my Christmas wish list. HINT, HINT! I am particularly loving the pattern for an adorably simple teddy bear--I think it would make a perfect new baby gift along with a handmade blankie.
After my stint at Barnes & Noble I headed over to Michael's for some crafty supplies, mainly for the girls. We'll be painting up some gingerbread men and twisting some candy canes out of chenille stems (pipe cleaners is what we used to call them) at some point this month. Overall, a very wonderful and quiet evening. I'm so thankful that Josh makes this happen for me every so often (and does so without any begrudging-ness).
But back to real life . . . there's a LOT of laundry awaiting my attention. :o)