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Archive for December, 2008

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As the year draws to a close, it is a time of reflection. A time of remembering…the good and the bad.  2008 has been a wonderful year for me.  So many good things have happened.  I have grown immensely as a person, and my family is something I can be proud of.  Not everything I planned got done.  Somethings, I realize never will. Not everything I tried was a success, but next year is coming! 

I would like to share with you some of the highlights of this past year.  Some of the thing I never want to forget.

My Most Memorable Conversation:

Daniel had just begun potty training, and I was sitting in the bathroom, talking with him.  He told me this and that, rambling on, when I told him he was precious.

He looked at me a moment, then smiled, and said, “Yah, I’m precious!” 

Something about the was he said it made me wonder what he was thinking, so I asked.  “Daniel, do you know what precious means?”

He smiled, and said, in his deepest, growelist, hissyist voice, replied “Yesss my Praciousss.”  A perfect imitation of Smeagol.

Oops…should use the words properly before allowing a monster to introduce them!

My Favorite New Recipe:

Ginger-snap Cheesecake, with Blackberry Topping.

My Most Useful New Skill:

Knitting socks and sweaters.

My Biggest Accomplishment:

Getting published!

Biggest Project Stated Finished:

The Wedding Dress I made…starting with making the pattern to fit the bride and match a picture she had found on line.  (Sorry, all the pictures are stuck on my old computer.)

Actually, time wise, my husbands socks was just as ‘big’ of a project…but the skill needed and scrutiny involved were different.

Most Important Truth Discovered:

People will treat you the same, whether it is money or love they owe you, when they are not willing to repay.

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

-Romans 13:8

God used the above verse to teach me this, when I was quite upset by some ‘friends’ who would no longer speak to me, after I had helped them out.  (I didn’t help them out for any reason other than “that’s what friends do.”  I never expected to be repaid, or even really thanked.  i.e. pass it along, if you feel the need to do something.)  He showed me that they reacted the same way as those who had left my daycare, still owing some on their bill.  (Several people would not talk to me after they left, on good terms…and I never sent more than one bill…so it wasn’t like I was pestering them or hanging guilt over their head.)  I value relationships very highly, and try to be a good friend.  This was a very important lesson, because it showed me that no matter what you do, someone will not be happy with it!

Favorite Blessing, sighted this Year:

“May your dreams come true, and your dragons be few.”

Best Gift Received:

My garden!  Thank you Manny, for tilling it up.

Best Habit Formed:

Picking up after myself.  Though this one is not perfectly mastered, I find, like with an instrument, the more I practice it, the better and more natural I become at it.

All-time Favorite Blessing:

“May those who love us, love us.
And those that don’t,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles.
So we will know them by their limping.”

-An Irish Blessing

 

Thank you for stopping by.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for the kind comments left behind. 

May you have a wonderful, beautiful, New Year!

-Christa

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When the Adam and Benjamin opened these gifts, their expressions said, “Oh, Grandma got us books.”  They were not too happy about it.  Apparently, the Christmas ornaments their younger brothers had been given, looked more appealing.  

I sighed in frustration.  These were books my brother had loved, and I thought my children would feel the same.

After quickly glancing through them, the books were carefully placed on their bookshelf.  I feared they would be quickly forgotten, but my husband took and interest, and built an item out of the toy one.  The boys thought it was pretty neat, and told their father he could look at the books, any time he wanted. 

Then Sunday came.  They packed their bags for church and added their new books, stating that they were small enough not to cause a problem.  I agreed.  During the service they doodled a bit, then pulled out the books.  It wasn’t long until several pages had been book-marked. 

After the service, Benjamin quickly put all his things away, and ran to play.  Adam sat, looking at his book.  He looked until the last person had left the room, and finally, feeling alone, reluctantly put his things away, and headed out. 

Since then, Adam has carried it everywhere, looking and learning.  He now knows three different ways to make a make-shift tent, and has found several boat designs that could be built on sight, at our favorite mountain lake.  He has also found several other books to compare the information with, and is gaining a greater understanding of mechanics.

Ben found instructions for making his own gas motor, and thinks that is the project he would like to start with.

It worked!  They have an ‘I can’ attitude, and are using what they know to further their understanding of new things.  They still are asking plenty of questions, as they should, but I see the ability to teach themselves growing!

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These last few days have been filled with painting:  The kids all got painting supplies for Christmas, courtesy of Nana.  They opened all their gifts, looked everything over, then gathered the painting supplies and  began filling pages with anything that came to mind.  It is fun to see their creativity.

Even Gideon got some paint.  I kept it in the packaging as long as possible, not real excited to have my baby painting; but eventually, he got them out, and insisted on joining the party!  As you can see, he tasted as much as he painted, but was very happy to be doing what the others were.  I think the actual concept of painting escaped him, as he scribbled with both ends, equally.

I was also painting; however, I was not creating a masterpiece.  Caleb’s room was turned from green to blue.  He has asked about redecorating his room for two years now, so, for Christmas, I got the paint, and made it happen.  I thought he would be thrilled, but instead he asked, “Can you paint me a picture with frogs in it now?”  I guess creativity is next on my list.

The room really did need to be repainted, although blue was not my first choice–I really like the green that was in there, and with frogs…oh well.  He saw a nursery done in blue and white with navy frogs several years ago, and was mesmerized.

The walls had so many chips and dents, it took me the better part of one day to get it ready for painting.  I have to admit that it looks much better, and I think he will take better care of it, now that he really can make it look nice. 

As for blue frogs?  I don’t know that my imagination can wrap around painting them.  (Sewing some stuffed ones?  Yes.  Painting them? ???)  A blue pond, a blue sky, and green frogs (maybe even with yellow and purple shading, like we saw in one book)?  I can handle that. 

It turned out quite well, despite my hesitations, and I am inspired to do something more for the room.  I will be making some curtains soon; but the frogs, if ever, will have to come after that.

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christmas eve

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We had so much fun getting the tree!  Dad and the older boys went skiing up the mountain and chose a ‘twin’ tree–one with two trunks–so that we could have one for the living room and they could have one in their room.  When we got home they divided the tree and we decorated this one in the living room.  They then decorated theirs, and Caleb, not to be left out, found a branch to be his tree.  It is in a jar on his dresser, with a few ornaments hung from its spindly little branches.  Every one is happy with the work of the day. 

Gideon is so thrilled with all the lights and ornaments, but especially the little bear on a rocking horse.  I think I have convinced him to leave it on the tree–he was taking it down and hugging it earlier!  Now he is pointing it out to everyone, every time anyone walks into the room.

I just love the delight in children’s eyes, when the tree is first plugged in–it makes all the work worthwhile.  Now, having said that, I have a confession to make:  I didn’t feel this way all day.  This morning I was hurrying everyone, trying to get way too much done, and feeling a bit like the Grinch…wishing Christmas would just go away!  I was seriously considering postponing our celebration until next year…around December 25, 2009…but decided the better thing to do would be to put on some music, and dance the stress away!  Out came ‘The Lost Christmas Eve’ by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (my favorite), and a few songs later, I had to laugh at myself.  I heard my thoughts put to music in ‘What is Christmas?

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!!

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feeding the fire

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Last night, the boys came in after playing all day, in our wonderful deep snow, and set about warming up next to the stove.   Adam got permission to stoke the fire, as it was low; but then… I heard funny things.

When I investigated, I found Adam running the vent, Benjamin collecting scraps from the floor, and Caleb scooping bark out of the barrel.   He was bobbing up and down, like a little Jack-in-the-Box, working frantically.  The way they were running about reminded me of squirrels…  I was laughing so hard, I had to run for the camera.

They were working with such determination to not get wood and yet keep the fire blazing! 

I think I would have just hauled some wood in…

(Sorry about the spots…it must have been that dusty)

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snow enthusiastic

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We Finally Have Snow!!!

This morning we woke up with a snowy blanket covering the ground.  It is real snow–not just an icy skiff–coming down.  Deep powder, soft and gentle, it is piling up into a skier’s paradise!  This Christmas break is going to be fun.

When Benjamin saw it, he began shouting, “Hurray! Hurray!  I finally get to shovel!  I really get to shovel!” and off he went. 

The other were close behind, and all but the youngest was dressed and out in it before breakfast.  They have been loving the powdery whiteness all morning, and are curently…shoveling.  However, they have forgotten the walks, and are piling it higher and higher–so they can jump off the horse trailer into it.  O, to be a kid again…

Meanwhile, the snow continues to fall, making me glad we are not traveling this year.  I am looking forward to our Christmas Eve ski trip to cut a tree.  Then,  the warm house, as we decorate it and drink hot cocoa.   The presents have piled up, waiting to surprise young eyes, and the light are anxious to glow brightly, delighting young and old alike. 

I think I’ll go pop some more pop-corn, so they can string and eat when they come in…they will be ready for it.

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stove-top popcorn

Popcorn is an easy, healthy snack.  By making it in an air popper or on the stove top, you control what goes into it and avoid the pitfalls of microwaved food.  Popcorn kernels sell for about $1/pound, making it one of the cheapest snacks available.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Popcorn Kernels
  • 3 tablespoons Oil

Instructions:

  1. Pour oil and popcorn kernels into a heave 3 quart or larger sauce pan with a lid. 
  2. Cover pan, and shake gently over medium heat, allowing steam to escape from popping kernels. 
  3. Remove pan from heat when popping stops and pour into a large bowl. 
  4. Season to taste.  (We like it with a little salt.  Try Popcorn salt, as it is very finely ground and spreads lightly, giving ample flavor.)

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