Thursday, December 17, 2009

Random Dozen

1. Gingerbread: For or against? Discuss.

Ok, I assume you mean gingerbread as in gingerbread houses and gingerbread men – not the muffin kind that is great with a large glass of homemade lemonade? Gingerbread houses and men – AGAINST. They can cause nightmares. They represent my absolute inability to create cute warm fuzzy kind of baked goods. When I worked with the 4-H office, one of the Sr. 4-H’ers needed to enter a gingerbread house in a local contest. Bless her heart, she was stuck with me. I really wish there had been a prize for the ugliest. It was humiliating next to all those beautiful time consuming detailed works of art –(Lid – yours was wonderful last year! Wish I could build a one half as nice as yours). Ours looked as if a three year old had made it with no adult supervision. It was bad. Shameful!

2. Is it important to you to always stay (live) close to family?

Hmmm. I don’t know. I have never lived more than 25 miles from my parents. But I think it would be ok if we/they needed to move further away.

3. Which holiday pretend character do you wish really existed?

They are pretend??? They don’t really exist?!?
The elves, if they would come and clean my house and straighten the yard and rub my feet!

4. Which holiday movie best represents how you feel about Christmas or life?

Ohhhh this one is hard. I am not sure. I know which ones absolutely do not represent my feelings of Christmas or life: Scrooge or The Grinch.

5. Is there a particular Christmas song that you're enjoying now? Any that you're tired of?

Tired of? Hmmm probably Jingle Bells. I have part of a song stuck in my head. It is newer Christmas Song – Sing Mary Sing, lullaby the King . . . I am enjoying that. I realized though, I have not heard “I saw three ships” nor the “Holly and the Ivy” this year. I would like to hear them …

6. What is your favorite way to remember those less fortunate at Christmastime?

We have a couple ways – Samaritan’s Purse, Salvation Army Buckets and the ongoing food collections at Church.

7. Does it upset you to see "Xmas" instead of Christmas? How about "Happy Holidays" etc., instead of "Merry Christmas?"

No to both. I use Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas interchangeably. The Holidays include the New Year too me.
As long as we don’t see “Happy Winter” start popping up – I am ok, I will refuse to say the “politically correct” winter jargon. As for the X in place of Christ. I did look this up once, but did not have time to dig too deep. But X is Greek? Hebrew? Ancient symbol for Christ. I realize though, that most who use that, is just for short hand purposes. I am secure in my faith walk and God’s power, I don’t feel I need to be offended and I choose not to make that an issue while there are so many other needs that deserve attention.

8. How many Christmas programs are you attending this month?

One. Wait, no, two if you count the Sing Along last Sunday evening. Candle Lighting is this Sunday night

9. Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Any chance of that dream becoming a reality?

Oh, my it IS time to start my yearly mantra… Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Chances are slim to none though.

10. Tell me about a Christmas present you received as a child. Pics are always nice.

A Barbie doll storage case full of home made Barbie Doll clothes, A Barbie swimming pool, A Barbie Condo with it’s own elevator. I liked Barbie. And her figure I don’t believe caused any self image problems. My figure is no where near Barbie’s physique. I also remember my mom giving me one year two pant set outfits - one pink – pink pants, and a pink vest. The other was red corduroy pant/vest. I was so proud of those out fits!

11. How many Christmas parties are you attending this month?


12. How do you keep yourself centered on the significance of Christmas?

I am not as successful with that as I would like. I try, but I wrestle with it. The hurry and stress fights with my desire for ease, peace, smiles, joy, sleep. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Goodie Finished . . . and winners

Several months ago I came across a website that had a frame that spelled out a name. The letters of the name were made up of picture of items in that shape. For example an E was one track of a train track and three of railroad ties. The "a" was made up of tree limbs, the angle taken just right to form an "A."

I loved it!

Then I had this idea that I could do that. Well, like most of my "I can do that" adventures, it has pushed down to the wire. I finally found a frame that held 5 photos in a row. Then there was the search for the letters.

"L's" were very hard for me to figure out and Sam's online digital kept zooming in on my O's (well actually cropping for some reason). But I have it finished.

Not a great picture of the picture , just could not get the lighting right, and I needed to get it wrapped and ready to be taken to my brother and sister in law. I am sure the professional ones are better and the letters sized more appropriately but the printing was giving me a devil of a time. I had fun having The Man help me figure out which pictures looked best of our choices. He noticed the pattern modern to natural and then the black backgrounds. I was surprised at what he noticed and how he saw it.

I loved the tree that we used to make the second L (yep, that is what that letter is suppose to be - it's abstract, ha!)

And the Y...

And now....

For the winners of the Christmas books

Belle from Life of a Southern Belle

Tracie at Tale Of Many Cities

Thank you ladies for coming by and now, send me an email with your address and I will get your packages out to you!


Monday, December 14, 2009

A Gift To Give . . .

I have a little gift to giveaway. Nothing big, sorry, no Kitchen Aids or American Express gift cards. Just something simple.

I bought these small, short Christmas books last Christmas so wanting to join in the fun of sending someone a goodie to find in their box. But time raced by me, why does it do that in the month of December?

But I AM doing it this year, the giveaway is a couple of seasonal books.

Just small ones, great for stocking stuffers or just quick little reads for the season, or too put a smile on your face for being drawn and having a surprise arrive in your mailbox...snail mail!

To win?

Just leave me a comment sharing with us your Santa tradition. Does he wrap the gifts? or leave them open. Does he give the big presents or just stocking stuffer items? Footprints in the carpet?... Just leave it before 5:00 p.m. (est.) Tuesday, and I will draw a winner and get the little goodie package in the mail.

Let the comments begin!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Random Dozen

1. Which physical trait do you now accept--maybe not love, but accept--and no longer feel extremely self-conscious about?
My feet/toes. A guy friend (yes still a friend) in high school told me I had the most masculine feet he had ever seen on a girl. I was mortified! I did not wear open toed shoes in public for the following 10-12 years. As I neared 30 and I noticed more feet and realized, for the most part, feet are feet and toes are toes, with a few exceptions of pretty ones - few and far between. A spring pedicure helps too!

2. This week Meredith Baxter Birney, best known as the mom on the favorite 80s sitcom "Family Ties" came out of the closet, which led me to formulate this question: Who do you think is/was the best TV mom?

Really? She did? I missed that! Claire Huxtible (sp) (Cosby Show) would be my pick. She was not too silly, not too over bearing, not too feminist, not too white picket fence may I cook a batch of brownies for you...

3. Do you speak any foreign languages? Are there any you'd like to learn?

Only if you call the southern accent a language. Hmmm, maybe re-learning French would be nice, but learning Spanish would be practical

4. Who is your personal hero?

Personal hero ehh? I can't actually think of someone that I would consider a personal hero. There are many people I know personally that I truly admire, that have been an inspiration, but I can't think of an actual hero.

5. What is one holiday food that you find extremely difficult to resist over- indulging in?


6. Tell me about a Christmas decoration that has special meaning or sentimental value.

I have several. I have truly enjoyed starting a small collection of creche'. I have several that I just love and they are put out every year, even when the other ornaments are limited. The ornaments from the first year Will and I were married are special too!
7. How do you feel about snow?

Wish for snow every year - But just enough snow to make a snow ball or two, then it can melt and go away. I really would rather not have shovel sidewalks and such. But I LOVE the look in the night sky before a snow fall and the landscape of freshly fallen snow. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . .

8. On average, how many hours of sleep do you get each night? Not that I'm jealous of any number over three or anything.

I shoot for 8, but with things that go bump in the night, that does not happen often enough.

9. Tell me about your first crush.

My first crush was when I was probably 8. He was probably 16. I don't remember his name, but he called me kool aid because I was always smiling at him. Yikes! That was young for a crush on an older guy!

10. You're stuck in a room for 2 hours with only a chalkboard and chalk. What will you write/draw?

Draw for sure, silly stuff - flowers, geomentric shapes,

11. Do you dress for the current temp or for the day's forecast?

Spring, Fall and Winter: the day's forecast. It is not unusual to have a 30 degree change in less than 4 hours. Summer - hot is hot, always dress for hot. Unless you are going to the movies - they will freeze you out.

12. Favorite Christmas movie is?

I think almost all of them. I could watch a marathon of almost all of them!

Thanks Lid for another great list!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Homemade Gifts

As I took this photo before wrapping the gift, from the other room I heard a commercial.

"Homemade gifts stink"

Oh well. Ho Ho Ho!

I spotted a shell shadowbox in a Wisteria catalog. That triggered the thought of all the shells I have from the beach. I have wondered what to do with them and rarely collect any more.

So, for my mother in law, I took the shells from her favorite beach and made a shadow box for her.

A sand dollar broke, so see those itty bitty white spots below the top sand dollar? They are the tiny dove shaped shells inside of each sand dollar. I couldn't believe that they did not break while trying to glue them to the arrangement.
Off to work with the caterer today. Cooking and baking for a Christmas lunch party...

Monday, December 7, 2009


Someone was recently talking about a comment they read that said (paraphrased) - I use to think life was mountain tops and valleys but they now think it is more like a train track, the good and bad running along side each other.

I thought, “how true.” I usually have a lot of good going on at the same time as the bad.

I have been there lately. Nothing Earth shattering bad or devastating, but wrestling with many petty issues that seem at times to consume our little spot in the world.

I have had a lot of good lately too. I have been blessed with door openings, new opportunities.

That is why the post have been sporadic. Some days, when I have time to sit down and type, the bad track of this train ride seems to be consuming and draining.

The past few days have been no exception. In the midst of juggling schedules, training kids in the way they should go, rising health care premiums ($165 increase a month!!!!!), Christmas shopping, I have been seeking to show the Christmas spirit, feel the Christmas joy but mostly yearning for Peace.

Saturday, after a wonderful meeting with a new client, that will have me cooking for her and a friend weekly, I headed to the mall to pick up a few items on sale. While still excited about the meeting, I moved quickly through the store.

My cell phone rang the Jack Johnson tune I have set for hubby. I cheerfully answered and he cheerfully responded, but with a little something odd in the tone. He chuckled, because there was not much more to do at that moment, and said “I just had a car roll onto the truck.” He had just been in accident. One of those that you see unfolding before you and landing in your lap.

He said to go ahead and check out before I came. As I quickly, and cautiously, left the mall I felt whiney. “Lord, can we have a break for awhile, can things just be calm…” You know, level, boring for goodness sake.

I got to the intersection with the accident and took in the site.

Be thankful in all things? Yes, I could. Not a single person was hurt!

As the light turned green, my husband waited to make a left hand turn. As the White Explorer headed in his direction, he noticed a truck coming from the left, it was not slowing down. When the truck realized he was running a red light and into the Explorer, he slammed on brakes and tried to turn, in doing so, still nailed the back of the Explorer causing it to roll, rolling into the front of my husband’s truck.

About four years ago, in Kansas, a week before Christmas, a cousin (at least 10 years older than me) that I had not seen since I was child, was sitting at a red light waiting. A similar scenario, car runs light hits another car. But that other car did not just roll, it went air born, landing on the cab of the truck my cousin was driving. He did not survive.

As I looked at that accident I felt bad for complaining. And as odd as it is, while waiting to find out if a new car payment is headed our way, or if we will be one vehicle short while waiting for the repair – there is peace about it all.

Maybe all those irritations of life just help cushion us for the bigger irritants.

This morning, as I churned over repetitive irritants with the offspring living under our roof, I sat down to check my email. A friend had forwarded an email to me – a daily devotion she receives. The story was about the wrestling Joseph experienced, the wrestling of what to do with a pregnant betrothed, pregnant not by him, all his conflicting thoughts and feelings. So appropriate for this season itself, and for the season our family is in. One particular section I wanted to share:

Many of us come to Advent wrestling and waiting; life has us in a head-lock and we’re trying desperately to find the right move that will loosen its grip. With the Psalmist we ask “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts?” (Ps. 13:2). Christmas doesn’t change the fact that we’re wrestling with decisions that need to be made, decisions we wish could make over again, afflicted bodies, conflicted relationships and competing expectations. We wrestle through one challenge only to face another.

But in the midst of the wrestling, Joseph’s and ours, there is this assurance: the Holy Spirit is at work. To see it may require waiting, long waiting and still more wrestling. But God is active in your wrestling story.

My wrestling match is so insignificant to the matches others may be facing, but obstacles and opportunities for all of us, whatever they may be, are that: obstacles, and many times overwhelming, mystifying, stressful, and uncomfortable. So for, whatever your challenge is today, here is the prayer from that devotion:

Grant to us, O God, the patience to trust you in all things and the strength to wrestle long until we see your hand at work: show your hand in the difficult situations, the perplexing questions, the stubborn circumstances that refuse to budge. Be present with us in the struggles of this day, making us confident as we wrestle and wait in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.

~William Penn

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Dozen

Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee has again given us a list of questions . . . Thanks Linda!

1. Which Wizard of Oz character are you most like?

Ok, on any given day it could be any number of them. Sometimes I am happy to be a part of the lollipop guild, many days I know why the Witch was mean – she had all those monkeys flying around her!

2. When you're deciding what you're going to wear each morning, which item do you select first? Why?

Bra. Sorry. BUT, I tend to grab a lot of white shirts, and I am not real keen on my underwear showing, or showing through. And that reminds me of an older lady at church – I would say she is late 70’s, early 80’s. Well, one Wednesday evening as I headed to the table to eat dinner. There she sat, with her friends, and I had to take a double look. She wore a silky older lady cream colored blouse. Showing through was an animal print bra! PricelessI I think I want to be in my 70’s and still indulge in the sexier undies. Grrrrrr…..

3. What kind of animal do you think the world could live without?

I don’t know of an animal – but I do wonder if mosquitoes and gnats are really that necessary. Sure seems like a lot of other bugs out there that are less annoying.

4. How many Christmas trees are in your home?

Counting every single one? Tiny too big? Well right now, one metal one and about to move 5 smaller various size fake ones out of the attic. I think we are skipping a full size tree this year.

5. Would you prefer to be emotionless if it mean you didn't have to feel a heartbreak?

No! You know there are a few people floating around out there that are rather emotionless. They seem to be unable to connect, to enjoy life, get satisfaction. It is also hard to warm up to them. I would think that would be very lonely.

6. Do you ever experience holiday let-down or depression?

I use to not. But I do tend to experience the let down part now. I think that is why I don't feel like getting a full size tree. All is SO busy anymore andI like to give, but I put too much concern on whether the recipient liked it or not – mainly when I know the recipient has loftier expectations than I might be able to afford or am willing to indulge. But I love the season, the music, the decorations, the feeling of kindness received and given – wish that happened more often throughout the year.

7. Do you like Michael Jackson's music?

Yes. I do not own a single album. But I did like his music. "I'm looking at the man in the mirror . . . "

8. Why is it that we never judge people who have their teeth fixed for cosmetic reasons, but every other cosmetic procedure has a stigma?

Never thought about it. Now that I have, there is a difference I guess, in how society judges this. I personally, crooked, not whitened tooth person I am, don't really see the difference. It is all cosmetic. Maybe, contrary to first thought, more people are bothered more by bad teeth than small bosoms and big noses.

9. Enjoy horseback riding?

Have not been since I was a young child. I have thought it would be nice to try. But I have a very healthy respect for horses. They are big, have a mind of their own, and I’d like to keep my toes on my feet and no head injuries.

10. Shoes--practical or stylish?

Some of both. Yes, 14 pairs of black shoes are necessary. They might not match my purse, but shoe variety is a must.

11. What was the name of your first pet? Feel free to post a pic.

Purity. It was a cat and I was a baby. Maybe my mom has a picture.…

12. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done?

Over 80%! I love getting items throughout the fall and not being rushed. Crowds are fine for watching, but, for me, not for fighting over items to buy.

Wordless Wednesday - The Shack