Monday, December 31, 2007

One last Christmas pic for the year...

Because I hate to post without a picture... and I couldn't let the year pass without sending my love and best wishes out to all of you who have taken the time to visit my blog. I know you are out there! Don't be so shy! And a special thank you to everyone who has ever left a comment. It makes me so happy! Thank you, thank you. See you next year...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Yep, I'm actually posting on Christmas day. If you are reading this on Christmas day you've probably celebrated Christmas already or, like me, will be celebrating with the family tomorrow. I've felt Christmas in the air since October and I'm not sure I'm ready to have it over with!

I've had so much fun creating things this year. I just finished this banner last night and I must say, I love it! The Christmas sheet music is copies from a book I've had since I was a little girl.





Every year I try to do something special with my gift wrapping so the person receiving it will be able to tell how much I care about them just by looking at it. For the grandsons this year I made ornaments with their pictures on them to double as gift tags. Click here to see what I did for my friend Jill last year.

A few days before Christmas I got the baking bug. It was nice to be able to share something with our neighbors. HoHos, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Chocolate Crispy Balls, Fudge, Pecan-Cranberry Biscotti, and my favorite this year, Swedish Wafer Cookies. My mom used to make these. She got the recipe from our neighbor, so they've been in our family for close to 50 years(!) They are light as air and oh so rich and buttery, yummm.. I'll leave you with a pic and the recipe so you can try them, but don't wait until next Christmas, with red filling they'd make a nice treat for your Valentine!

SWEDISH WAFER COOKIES

Wafers:
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups sifted flour
Set aside a plate full of granulated sugar

Mix all the ingredients. Chill.
Roll dough out 1/3 at a time to 1/8" thickness.
Cut into 1" circles. With a spatula transfer to sugar. Coat both sides.
Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Prick each cookie 3 times with a fork.
Bake 7-9 minutes @ 375 degrees in preheated oven until just lightly golden.
Cool and fill.

Filling:
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream (the original recipe calls for one egg yolk)
1 drop food coloring

Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

ENJOY!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Only 3 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 45 seconds until Christmas as I write!

Yep, that's what my handy dandy little widget tells me anyway. I believe it too. Seems like everyone out in blogland is super busy. Not many people posting the last couple of days. I just thought I'd share this ornament that I made for Melea's birthday. It's very similar to the one I made for Rachel earlier this month. Yes, we get to celebrate two birthdays and Christmas this month! In fact, Melea's birthday is actually on Christmas. This picture of the two of us was taken this summer...
And earlier this week I got this in the mail from Miss Sandy. I won one of her RAKs the other day on her blog, Quill Cottage. Isn't he a cutie? I love that she used a page from an old hymn book for the theme, Create a Clean Heart in Me. Thank you Miss Sandy!
And just in case I don't get a chance to post again before the 25th, I wish you all joy, peace, hope, love, and blessings this Christmas and in the New Year!

{"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." ~ Ephesians 1:3}

Monday, December 17, 2007

WOW! Week 50!

The year is coming to an end so it should come as no surprise to me that Emily's Deck of Me challenges are coming to an end as well, but it does! Even though I have quite a few catch-up cards to keep me busy into 2008, I will miss the weekly feed back from all of you who stop by and leave comments!

Here is my card for this week, the greatest gift
what is the best gift you have ever received...or given...?

And a catch-up card for week 39, someone spesh! (special that is)
pick someone special in your life (past, present...or even future!) and base your card on them :)

A peek at Santa's workshop...


Yesterday Santa was busy all afternoon wrapping up the last of the Christmas presents. Lucky for him he had help from a couple of Christmas angels!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I Farted on Santa's Lap (Now Christmas is Gonna Stink for Me)


Not me! The little girl in the song! (Rachel, don't you agree, "that's simply not Christian!"?) I put together some Christmas music for your listening enjoyment (or not!) and came across that one while looking for some of my all time favorites. I couldn't find most of them. Guess my tastes are a little wacky - but no wackier than the Christmas fart song! Most of the ones I picked out are sentimental. I suppose that's because I've had my mom on my mind a lot lately. Always do at Christmas time. She loved Christmas. And the songs I wanted most to share with you are from an album that my dad used to love. I couldn't find any of those songs, so I had to put something fun into the mix, to lighten things up. Yep! - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

There really is no place like it!

A Home Blueprint

Home ~ a world of strife shut out, a world of love shut in.

Home ~ a place where the small are great, and the great are small.

Home ~ the father's kingdom, the mother's world, and the child's paradise.

Home ~ the place where we grumble the most, and are treated the best.

Home ~ the center of our affection, round which our heart's best wishes twine.

Home ~ the place where our stomachs get three square meals a day and our hearts a thousand. ~ Charles M. Crow


Yesterday's Christmas blog party was so much fun and proof once again that there really is no place like home. Every home was obviously loved and filled with love!

I had a blast visiting every one's holiday home. Yes, all 150, and I tried to leave a comment on as many as possible. I thought I was through decorating, but I was so inspired I think I'll bring out a few more of my favorite decorations.

Thanks to everyone who opened their home, and especially to Karla for hosting the party!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Welcome to Karla's "What Do You Love About Your Holiday Home?" party!

I think it's the little things, old and new, that I love the most about my holiday home. They bring a smile to my face and evoke sweet memories of Christmases past and all those who are dear to my heart.

For example, this little music box angel belonged to my mother...


and these little elves.


Some new to me World War II ornaments...


My grandson drew this sweet snowman when he was little. It made a cute pillow, don't you agree?


This is my collection of weird snowmen. You either love 'em or you hate 'em. I love them, my youngest daughter hates them!


I bought Donald for my oldest daughter when she was little, but I just got Mickey last year. Don't they look happy together?


And finally, a picture of my lavender Christmas tree! Long story... let's just say next year my tree will be green!

Thanks for stopping by. May the love and light of Christ fill your heart and home this Christmas :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Time to play catch-up again!

I've got a lot of catching up to do on my Deck of Me cards! There are only three weeks left and I'm 14(!) behind!

Here's the first one, Challenge #48 - "don't you love getting a good idea? tell a story! share how (or where) you get ideas, a bad idea you have had...anything to do with an idea!"

Saturday, December 01, 2007

December Birthdays

This is on its way to Rachel for her birthday. She took the picture of us under the pier in Huntington Beach on our trip to SoCal this October.

Christmastime equals birthday time at our house. Obviously there is the birth of our Savior, but there is so much more to celebrate than just his birth. It's a perfect time to contemplate his life, love, and example. A time to remember why I was created and how I want to be a reflection of his love, to be a light that shines bright in an often dark world.

It is also a time to celebrate the births of my two daughters and the light they are in my life. It has been so enriched by these two girls, now women. They helped me to grow in ways that only loving and rearing children can. Yes, there were many challenges, but the memories of them growing up are something I hold dear to my heart. Little ones, so fresh from God, yet grown and gone so quickly. Oh, the laughter and giggles that filled our home! Warm baths and lullabies at bedtime; Silent Night for Rachel, We're All Children of the Lord for Melea. The slumber-birthday parties. "Fishing" in the house. Clowning with Grandma. Mooning the moon. Trips to the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Ka'neta, and Mount Saint Helens after the eruption. Visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Arizona. Rafting on the Colorado River behind Grandpa's boat. Feeding donkeys on the streets of Kingman and the porch on the North 40. Rides in the bucket of Grandpa Jack's tractor. Camping at the coast. Books from WinterRiver. Reading in the trailer. Shelling crabs. The joy of watching them build driftwood forts in the sand with their dad - even in the rain. Playing kitty and Indians. Susan and the girl in the mirror. Stick horses. Cookies, thunder, and lightning in the middle of the night. Rats, rabbits, birds, snakes and other assorted reptiles, and yes, even puppies for pets. The fair and 4H. Seeing Eye and Hearing Ear dogs. Love notes taped to a mirror. Visits from the tooth fairy and Spring Bunny. Sunday treats from "the little market store". No T.V. for nine years! Five Mile Creek and Ann of Green Gables over and over again. (Me crying every time Matthew died.) Reading, reading, reading; All of A Kind Family, Winnie the Pooh, Little House, The Wind in the Willows, To Heaven on a Horse, Indian Captive, We Were Tired of Living in a House, Marvin K. Mooney and so many more! Riding horses and overnights with friends. Carving pumpkins and trying to sell roasted pumpkin seeds to the neighbors without success:( Trips to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor in the fall. Sharing milestones like a first bra and the prom. Ballet, dance, piano, and Tung So Do lessons. Gymnastics and cheer leading. Romping through the woods and snow looking for the perfect Christmas tree. Hot chocolate with marshmallows and Chili to warm up. Dad trimming down the "perfect" tree to fit indoors! Stringing popcorn and cranberry garlands. Baking plates of cookies for new neighbors and at Christmastime; Kojos, Snowball, and Sour Cream. Protein fingers and Porky pine Balls. Grinding wheat berries to make bread. Holt picnics in the summer. Walks in the woods by the light of the moon. Playing hooky from homeschool when the call of the spring sunshine was too incredible to resist. "Science" in the trailer by the pond. Trampolines and arithmetic. Winston Grammar and Math-it. Bunny rabbits and Spanish lessons. Recitals and Christmas programs at church. Little arms around my neck and kisses planted on my cheek. Little feet in my face in the middle of the night. "I love you, Mommy," whispered in my ear. "I love you too..."

My nest is empty now, but my life is not. There are new memories to make and new challenges to be met. I am so grateful I need not walk alone. God is always there for me when I am wise enough to seek him, like the wise men long ago.

{This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good. ~ Author Unknown}

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas...

Now that my girls are adults the one thing I love the most and ask for whenever I am asked, "What do you want for Christmas/your birthday/Mother's Day?" is, their childhood memories in writing. I absolutely love it when they do this for me! They have no idea how happy it makes me to read about their childhoods from their perspective. I am surprised and delighted by the little things that meant so much to them. My DH even gives me a memory once in a while too! Sometimes I add a picture to go along with the memory, or an embellishment. Usually I just slip them into the plain binder I have for them. Very simple, but definitely my most treasured possession.

{It is the simple joys, the simple pleasures the heart remembers and dearly treasures ~ Hadin Marshall}

(Santa & Rachel circa 1978)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What do you LOVE about your Holiday Home?

We're invited to a blog party over at Karla's Cottage! Do you remember I went to her last party, "What Do You Love About Your Home?" in September? What a treat to get a peek into so many well loved homes. I can't wait to see them dressed in their holiday finest.
I hope you will think about joining in on the fun. All you need to do is post some pictures of your Holiday Home and leave a comment December 12th on Karla's blog. She'll take care of the rest. Then grab a cuppa and sit back and enjoy :) I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

simple holiday mojo

Zina Wright shared this idea for recycling old Christmas cards on her new blog, messyart. It's not a new idea and it's super simple, but I had so much fun with it that I forgot all about doing my morning chores and made nine. Best of all I felt creative and I discovered that sometimes simple makes good mojo.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hooking, not scrapping


The last couple of weeks I spent my spare time dying and stripping wool in preparation for this hooking retreat. All of the ladies from the Dyed in the Wool hooking group are so talented! I'm hoping that some of that talent will rub off on me someday. I can pull a loop, but choosing my colors totally stumps me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

SoCal revisited, page one


My little brown paper bag memory book is getting fuller and fuller as I continue to add memorabilia, pics and journaling. I love the way it is turning out :)

Here's some of the journaling for this layout.

October 11, 2007

I was able to find my grandma's old house without any trouble! Amazing! And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it hadn't been torn down for an apartment complex as I had thought. It had just been remodeled. That was probably 40 years ago so it looked pretty run down, but it was still great to be able to see it after all these years. I just wish it had been light enough to get some good pictures of it and the neighborhood.

Some random things I remember about my Grandma Lucy and Grandpa Joe's house:
  • There was a huge avocado tree in the front yard
  • Grandma always had Ice Milk (not cream) in the freezer
  • She always made handmade flour tortillas for me
  • Grandpa rolled his own cigarettes (he died from Emphysema)
  • The front porch was covered and large enough to hold many potted plants
  • Grandma and I would play records or watch Lawrence Welk during dinner
  • She had a wind up clock that you could hear everywhere when the small house was quiet
  • The room I slept in had a picture of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane
  • She would walk to town to do her errands. I don't know if she could drive
  • There was a tiny room no bigger than a closet off the kitchen. I loved that room
  • Picking geraniums to decorate the dinner table
  • Feeling special
{The heart hath its own memory, like the mind, and in it are enshrined the precious keepsakes. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow}

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Every family has one...



And every time I go visit my daughter and grandsons I have to put up with this guy!

'Cause he's part of the package.

Our family clown, nut, joker...

It's a good thing he's also an all around nice guy!


And here's the whole famdamily dressed in their Halloween finery.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On a roll

I've been back from SoCal for 13 days now and even though I've only posted once, I have been busy. On a creative roll. Loving that! Here are pics of two of the projects I've completed so far...


Stay tuned for more pics as I complete these "works in progress":
  • My trip to SoCal Lunch Sack album
  • Deck of Me catch up cards
  • Hooked Tea Cozy
  • Hooked Rug featuring art work by grandson Josh

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What a difference a week makes...

This is what the skies looked like last week as Rachel and I drove up PCH on our way home from SoCal. The weather was absolutely perfect as we passed through Malibu, past Pepperdine University, and so many of the areas now ravaged by the fires fueled by homes and Santa Ana winds. We called them Satan winds when I was growing up in Orange County. Much more appropriate, don't you agree?

Monday, October 08, 2007

So sidetracked!

Rachel and I are heading down to SoCal for my 35th High School reunion the day after tomorrow. I should have been packing tonight because I still have so much to do. But no. I was busy making this:





And this:

Because Rachel made one that was sooo cute I just had to have one for the trip too!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Week 35 Deck of Me ~ Strength

I LOVE this little boy. I have only 'met' him through his poetry, but his courage and strength was such an inspiration to me while I was caring for my mother during her final months. He lived more fully and deeply in his *short life than many people who live to an old age and he experienced more heartache than most people experience in a lifetime. Yet, as his mother wrote, "he somehow balanced pain and fear with optimism and faith, and found reason to celebrate Heartsongs and life and to 'always remember to play after every storm.'"



The book cover below was the design inspiration for my card. If you would like to read his books I recommend that you start with the one edited by his mother after his death since it also contains stories about this amazing child. It's called Reflections of a Peacemaker/A Portrait Through Heartsongs.



There is also an album of Mattie's poems put to music and recorded by Billy Gilman. I love listening to it whenever I need my spirit lifted. You can learn more about Mattie and hear some of it here:



*Mattie died in June of 2004 at the age of 13 from Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy. He was the National Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for three years. The Mattie Fund was established at MDA to specifically continue research of treatments and cures for childhood neuromuscular diseases.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's in the air

I'm still trying to visit all the blogs involved in Karla's Romantic Country Party! It has been so much fun to see the different creative ways you ladies decorate your homes. It is so obvious that each one of us loves our homes. We are truly blessed!

I had to take some time out to start putting up my fall decorations though. Can't you just feel and smell fall in the air? It's gorgeous here in Oregon. The days are cooler, but still warm, with crisp mornings and evenings.

I hope you take some time to enjoy the beauty the change of seasons brings even if you live in an area where the change is subtle!

{Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus}

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Welcome to Karla's Romantic Country Party!


Karla is hosting a Romantic Country Party today over at her blog, Karla's Cottage. I love to go blog parties, but this is my first time to actually participate in one. I'm so excited! The theme of the party is What Do You Love About Your Home?

Let me start by saying WELCOME, whether you are here by accident or by choice! I hope you enjoy your visit and feel free to stop by again anytime. Really, there is no need to call ahead!

So, what do I love about my home? Many things, but mostly I love that it is a comfortable safe haven for family and friends. I haven't put a lot of thought into decorating in any particular fashion. I just buy what I love and somehow it all seems to come together in a way that pleases me.

As you will notice, I collect stuff. Lots of stuff. It is evident in every room of my house and even outdoors. But for today I focused on what I call "the boy's room". It is actually my youngest daughter's old room, but it didn't look this way when she lived here. The truth is, even though I call it the boys room 99% of that stuff in there is really mine! Years ago I made and collected teddy bears. That led to collecting stuff for them. Now I have three grandsons and needless to say this is by far their favorite room in my house. And some of the stuff is actually theirs :)


The quilts were handed down to me by my mother-in-law. For years they were safely stored away. One day I asked myself, why? So my daughters could safely store them away someday? And their children after them? No, I decided, it's time to actually dig 'em out and ENJOY them!

The books in the shelves are mostly ones that I read to my daughters when they were little and now read to my grandsons.


The basket was my grandmother's. I would use it to collect eggs from the chickens when I got to visit her in the summer time. I took the sign from my parent's property before we had to sell it.
Thanks for stopping by! My furry friends and I hope you have a great day and enjoy the rest of the party!