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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Took Longer Due to Picture Taking......

Decorating a home for Christmas is way more fun than the un-decorating process. I usually put it off until New Years Day, but the mood just hit me today after I got home from a few hours at the office.















As I gathered all the nativity sets together I was captured by the look of all the worshipers in one spot around baby Jesus. Kind of cool, don't you think? ........So I couldn't resist giving my Santas a chance to be close to Jesus too!













And for the first time I was able to put the tree lights away using their original boxes!! .......... No, wasn't able to stuff them neatly INTO the boxes, but wrapped them AROUND the boxes. That counts doesn't it?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Butterfly Brenda

I have not had a moments regret for adding this beautiful piece of art to my body this last year. I still love it & the surprised looks on faces of people who saw me as a quiet little former pastors wife. (Note to PWs; don't take offense at that statement, it's just how others label us & it is TOTALLY wrong!)

I love the colors & where it is placed. I love the freshness of being surprised myself when I see it! I love how the butterfly is waving at God when I raise my hands in worship.

Today I am seeing it as a symbol of 2010 & stepping or flying into more & more personal freedom! It's going to be a wonderful year of using the huge wings that have been behind me all along, even when I did not realize they were there.

No more "walking butterfly" for me.......I'm flying into 2010.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Roses!

Gotta love a
California Christmas
where I can cut roses like this
on Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Silent Morning....

It's only 10:30 on Christmas morning and Hubs & I sit here in the living room enjoying our coffee & cinnamon rolls waiting for Rocker Son to arrive so we can go to a movie together. Seems so strange for a Christmas morning!

My mind can't stop going to the long mornings of gift opening we used to enjoy. We would bundle the kids & their presents up early & drive the one hour trip to my Mom & Dad's place. Once we arrived there would be even more waiting as we all had a hearty breakfast & then opened stockings...one wrapped treasure at a time...one person at a time! It took forever, but so fun with tons of laughter no matter what age the opener was. My parents, married sibs & us all bought stocking stuffers for the person we had pulled out of a hat on Thanksgiving!

Then on to the "big" gifts under the trees, yes, my parents had two trees almost hidden behind piles of gifts. They did not have a lot of money but my Mom began collecting gifts beginning in January! She often endured some teasing for finding presents deep in some closet the following July!

Those crazy busy days seem very far away this morning in our quiet house that feels a little large today. This transition time is interesting & I realize this moment that I have a pretty clear choice how to respond to it. More than once in this space, I have admonished young moms to enjoy their season of busy-ness. I have said with some hints of arrogance that it is important to cherish the current moments because someday they will wish to re-live them.

So now it is my turn to embrace the season I am in or to mope it away. I have a dear friend who is enduring her first Christmas without her 31 year old daughter who passed unexpectedly 6 months ago. My kids are both alive. My whole family is happy & well even though we are spread out all over the U.S. this morning. I am thankful for my richness this Christmas. I am warm & healthy. I choose to be thankful, to do otherwise would be unthinkable & some day I may be wishing to re-live these peaceful times.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gift Exchanges Can Be Dangerous, Even in a Bible School....

It started out as a sweet & goofy school Christmas Party on the last Friday before a two week Christmas break. We enjoyed wonderful sweets & anticipation over the huge pile of gifts to be fought over in the traditional Pirate Gift Exchange.

Before we knew it the game was on & cute little Miss X was opening the package she had chosen from the stack of pretties in the center of the room.















But as you can see, she was not thrilled with what lay before her in the carefully labeled & decorated box.

Mr. Dorko (seen here modeling his creation) explained his exchange gift choice this way. He looked up the words "breast & bosom" in a Bible concordance that listed every single word in the Bible. Then he wrote all those verses on a bra with black marker & called it "The Beautiful Bible Bra!"

Miss X & I are already working on our revenge.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a White...Bathroom!

It truthfully makes no sense at all, but today I feeling much better about this season we are in. Yesterday I grumped about the strangeness of our Christmas this year.

That post brought me some really sweet & helpful comments that lifted my head back up, thank you Bloggy Friends!

As goofy as it sounds, today as I have been painting my bathroom a beautiful snowy white; the Christmas Spirit is slowly but surely making itself known in me. (The paint project is part of my "Reclamation Job" of Rocker Son's bathroom & a wonderful result of his moving out!)

Here I am in shorts cause it gets hot in the little room, listening to Christmas Carols blasting in the other room, actually beginning to feel that fun is on the way. I am excited about this bathroom re-do, the plan is to do it in black & white! And RS's empty bedroom will be fixed up as a lovely & inviting Guest Room!

Anyway, I want to send out my thanks to Pam at Grey Like Snuffie , Lisa, Jenners at Life with a Little One & Wendy, a new friend at On the Front Porch.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Simplicity is Over-Rated!

I have to admit, I am feeling kind of sentimental & weepy this Christmas week morning. There is a stage that is unique to empty nesters that is not real fun.


The stage of being a family of adults only. My sons are single, and the idea of grandkids looks pretty far away. Christmas is kind of quiet for us.


Now I know why many families plan winter getaways & activities during this time. The four of us are together a lot all year round & our extended family is out of state, so that leaves us trying to figure out how in the world to make this holiday special!

The only special thing I did this year was make some wonderful Peppermint Dark Choc. Bark for all our co-workers & friends! It was so fun to wrap up 40 little bags of the sweet stuff!


I'm not staying up late wrapping gifts each night, not buying stupid stuff for stockings, not planning a big Christmas Day meal, not hiding gifts in my office, not wrapping teacher gifts, not making Christmas Program costumes, not decorating sugar cookies with my boys, not walking through the toy section searching for the exact Starwars guy on the wish list.

Sound pretty glum don't I? It is really not like me to be this way. Especially at Christmas time! I know this pity-party is not going to last. I am aware of all the good things in my life right now. I have a beautiful home & some crazy loyal
friends that I get to work with every day. In fact one couple just now called & we are going to see the new movie "Avatar" together later this afternoon! Couldn't do that if I had little ones around could I?

My message to all the moms I have been reading this morning.........






Enjoy the CRAZINESS, take delight in the stress of it all! Let the kids make a mess in the kitchen while decorating cookies. Wrap every single thing in the stockings, even the pack of gum. Go ahead & buy the teacher whatever goofy thing your child picks out. Eat fudge for breakfast.

Ignore all the magazine articles about making Christmas simpler. It will get simpler when your nest is empty. Simplicity can be highly over rated! EMBRACE THE CRAZINESS!



Monday, December 21, 2009

Nativity Set Carnival Day!!

I have always loved nativity scenes ever since playing the part of "Mary" in a church Christmas program as a little girl. I have still never seen a Mary figure that I really liked though. She usually looks too holy & distant compared to the picture I have in my mind & heart.

The golden set was made by my ceramic teacher mom years ago & given to me last year. I love the simple beauty of it.
This crafty cute set all fits in the stable box...after many tries & a little bit of grumbling! I like how the people do not all stand straight & the rough feel of them.

My biggest set is a beautiful ceramic group that my MIL painted for us during our first year of marriage, 31 years ago. I love the process of slowly unwrapping them each year & lovingly placing them together in new spots around the house. The cow has a chipped ear due to our kitten knocking him over the year I set it up underneath our tree. Trees & kittens are always interesting!
I have a funny little quirk that is important to me while I set up my nativity scenes. I always place the shepherds & the kings or wise men in a mixed group. I don't keep the kings with other kings or the shepherds just with other shepherds.
My theory is that being in the presence of Jesus eliminates all levels of status or superiority. It had to be extremely humbling to be in that amazing & holy place. I really doubt anyone was thinking about their position or authority.

That being said...I also know that the traditional Nativity Scene is actually not even Biblical! History says that Jesus was most likely about 2 years old by the time the wisemen found him. Mary, Joseph & Jesus were visited while living in a house not spending the night in a stable. But that does nothing to take away from the magic & delight these sets give me!
Isn't this teeny tiny one cute? It is sitting on top of my microwave! I like their happy expressions.
The all white set is a super cheap little threesome from the dollar store. Again the simplicity captures me every time.
This pastel colored piece is all connected by hinges. So the kings & shepherds are segregated, ha! I love the variety of sets that are out there around the world, it's amazing how diversely this one single scene has been portrayed. I don't care for the silly ones much. Snowman people, puppies or vegetables dressed as Mary & Joseph don't do anything for me.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas!
Thanks for sharing your special holiday mementos with us!


MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Last Minute of Course!

My heart is actually beeping with excitement at an easy crafty gift I just saw on An Inch of Gray! You must go see them! Coasters made of tiles from Home Depot with beautiful initials Modge Podged on! So simple, so beautiful, so personal! Of course now there are only a couple days left, don't really know if I can do it plus the remodel of Rocker Sons abandoned bathroom!
Thank you Anna!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The new Scrooge... my Hubs

Writer Son's girlfriend did this of our family! Hilarious!


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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shower Visitations

Rocker Son moved out of our home this last Friday. I went to bed that night a bit weepy but knew it was the right time & it was done in the right way.

I packed up the Christmas tree ornaments that were his, Spiderman, The Hulk, & a few other obvious Rocker Son decorations. I also included in the box a few of our traditional ornaments that he has seen on the family tree for years. I know they will not really be properly appreciated right now, but if they survive his rowdy lifestyle, they will be good keepsakes for him.

I'm wondering now if I should have waited to give them to him? How do you do this? Is there a handbook on sending young adults out into the world?














Funny thing about that moving-out day that ended with a long hug & a tall hairy guy with a giddy smile...........He showed up here the next day to use "our" shower because his was too wimpy!! He also told us that he & his roommates went to the store to get essentials for the house & one guy actually bought a flat screen TV & then insisted they go home right away. So they get home & still have no light bulbs or can opener or dish soap!! Ha!
This is going to be interesting!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nerds


What do you think of my new Header Picture? Different huh? I love it because it was made in about 5 minutes by one of my nerdly nieces. That's her below, she is now a blond (for now anyway!) & she is also the little blond in the Header pic. She did this little drawing on her laptop of the both of us on our laptops! Cute!

Nerdly Niece is actually the first reason I began this whole online community business. My sons told me that she was a "Friend" of theirs on Myspace a few years ago. We live in different states & I jumped at the chance to get to know my sister's adorable kids thru the wide world of the web! After a few years on Myspace I moved, along with everyone else in the world, to Facebook, which I love. Then I wanted a place to vent freely without hurting feelings or exposing too much of my inner thoughts & ta da, here we are on Blogger talking to strangers who have now become new wonderful friends!
Thanks Nerdly Niece!!