Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-Bye 2009

It's been fun. The second half of the year has been more than I ever could have imagined. I can't wait to see what 2010 holds for all of us. I think it is going to be even bigger than I can imagine even now with my brand-new mind and heart.

God, thank You for Your incredible love for me. Thank You for everything You have done for me this amazing year, and all my life before this. You have been with me through everything, good and bad. Thank You!!!

Psalm 126
When the Lord restored his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!
We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said, "What amazing things the Lord has done for them."
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
What joy!
Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert.
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Snowing!!

The boys are super excited. They insist the rain now coming down to melt the snow we got over the last couple hours is simply more snow. It's switching back and forth between a light drizzle and a light snow. Joshua is outside with a garbage bag trying to slide down the driveway. The mixture of slush and gravel that is his trail is not looking very promising. I have to give him points for enthusiasm though :D

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A "Few" Christmas Pics

The first view of Christmas 4:45 a.m.
They took turns picking each other gifts to open. I love Joshua's pose: "what to pick, what to pick..."
I think he likes it
After carefully informing us that he likes piano better than guitar and that he really would like a real-size guitar some day, but that he is perfectly happy with a little one in the meantime...
Brannon with his sand castle and jungle stickers demonstrating with a shiver that it is too cold outside for either of those scenes in reality
At Grandma and Grandpa's house after a marvelous and ridiculously large breakfast contributed to by everyone we set about exchanging gifts. Here is Chloe helping us not get buried under discarded wrapping paper
All the kids opened certain gifts from Grandma and Grandpa at the same time. It is Grandma's theory that clothes are much more exciting received as a group...

They all look pretty excited to me :D
Ely is so stinking cute! :D
Chloe is getting way too big you guys! I can't believe how fast they are all growing up
I think this one takes the prize for best pic of the day. An Eliana and Grammi moment...
They Love the new hats Aunt Naomi!!

Nate and Jake, checking something out. Maybe Nate's new ipod case.
Half the crew...
Okay so, Grandma and Grandpa got Joshua a really great gift, a battery powered LED lantern. A real one. He looked a little puzzled for a moment until I explained it was a real lantern for going camping. At the word camping he got a huge grin and started to bounce up and down and hug his lantern. Then he stuck his hand inside and began to pull out the batteries Grandma had put in the box. Now, a week or two ago Papa pulled the nine-volt batteries out of the smoke alarms to check them. In a move only a dad would be responsible for he enticed each boy to stick his tongue on the end of the battery. Brannon was not too thrilled with the ensuing surprise. Joshua, on the other hand, in typical Joshua fashion found the shock very entertaining.
So, to the general hilarity of the rest of the room...

Noah and his sweet mama
It's me, so happy to be happy.
If you weren't there to hear Haylie shriek in delight at receiving an umbrella...I'm sad for you :)

Merry Christmas everyone :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry, Merry Christmas!

We have been busy around here cleaning house and cooking. I have two more gifts to wrap, and craft supplies to find so we can make some ornaments tomorrow if the boys feel like it. The orange banana tapioca and eggnog are made and chilling in the refrigerator. I am so looking forward to the candlelight service this evening and driving around to look at Christmas lights afterward.

Tomorrow Nate and I will rise a little before six, turn on the Christmas lights and music, pour tea and eggnog, and gently wake the critters. They will stumble out rubbing their eyes and starting to grin. I think they will be a little bit thrilled with the giant candy canes in their stockings (pretty sure it will be Joshua's favorite gift of the day). A handful of gifts to open, then it's off to Grandma Shelley's house for a gift exchange and a giant, noisy breakfast. We will eat quiche, potatoes and sausage, orange tapioca, and fruit, happy to all be together in one loud house. We'll visit for a while then wander home to do some crafting, Christmas story telling and cookie making while the rest of the family dashes around from house to house to visit other relatives. This is new for us this year. Every other Christmas we've run the gauntlet for two or three days, making sure we fit in everything and everyone. This year we decided to take it much slower. Saturday we will have another gift exchange and breakfast with Nate's family.

I am so thankful for my lovely families and the time we get to spend together over the next few days. I love some of our traditions and am excited to be making some new ones. We will experiment until we find what works for us. Some of the ambitious plans we laid last year for the month of December did not even come to mind over the last few weeks. We've been preoccupied with so many things. As always I hope to be more together next year. But I am happy with the few familiar traditions that are so ingrained they come easily, without planning and working.

Wishing all of you the very merriest of Christmases, whatever you may be going through right now.

"Suddenly the angel was joined by a vast host of others--the armies of heaven--praising God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors." When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come on, let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009


My poor neglected blog! I will write a little something for you today...

December is flying by as quickly as every other month this year has flown. I can't believe it's almost Christmas. I don't feel terribly Christmas-y. Once again I have let the month slip by with very little in the way of crafts and baking and storytelling. *Sigh* We do have a tree and other decorations up. I have a bit of sewing, gift wrapping, and cooking to do this week. Sadly I think I may need to venture into a grocery store. I thought I had everything I needed for the week, but I've forgotten a thing or two.

Nate was in a rotten tomato fight this afternoon. The boys and I stayed home to nap, so we missed out on I've been informed over the phone that a very smelly, slimy husband is on his way home.

My writing project is going well. My partner keeps asking if I am still having fun. I've even been called a loon. They can't quite imagine writing being fun rather than a chore. I am actually giddy with the fun of it. I love words and the rearranging of them into a pleasing form is enough happiness to make me silly with it.

A week or two ago I introduced my boys to the movie "The Neverending Story" for the first time. No one was feeling quite up to par that week and so they watched it nearly every day. By the fourth watching they were happily quoting their favorite parts. I enjoyed their enjoyment immensely.

Well, while it's not a very long ramble, at least I wrote something. :D Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Swordfighting in the Park

Father and son exchange blows

A peaceful exchange
Can I hit you and still keep out of range?
Good times all around

I realized later I didn't take pictures of the funniest swordfighting a little later in the day-- the two dads duking it out. Bear and Nate are peas in a pod when it comes to silliness :D

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

You may have noticed that the previously suggested posts have not been delivered. Sorry to say it's not happening this weekend either (sorry for me any way because I really do want to keep up this blog thingy) too busy with good stuff. I am happy to report I have begun my little writing adventure, just today in fact, and am finding it every bit as marvelous to play with words as I thought it would be. I'm a little nervous still, but that just adds some spice, right? The dear person who I am writing for claims to have no expectations, therefore there is no reason to be worried about it. Ha. Ha, ha, ha. Easy for you to say. I can't wait to talk with them, hopefully tomorrow and show what I've done so far and see if we are on the same page. Good times :) Hopefully I will have some new pics up in a couple days and a new progress report on the writing. Until then, have a wonderful weekend full of happy Christmas plans.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I have pictures of boys sword fighting with foam swords; maybe I will get them on the computer tomorrow and post them. Maybe I will even take a picture of the wonderful-looking cranberry bars I am making tomorrow. And if we find a Christmas tree you may hear about it. Or maybe not. No promises :) I might find napping or cooking more important than blogging tomorrow. Especially if the pics refuse to load... stuff I know. I'm not very good at blogging about little projects, Christmas crafts and such. We haven't really gotten into any of that stuff yet. We've been busy trying to get our house clean around all the usual stuff there is to do. Yikes! And the kitchen and laundry look like I've been ignoring them for a week. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


Monday, November 30, 2009

Belated Cyclocross Pics

Last race of the season.
A set of barriers in the middle of a deep puddle. Nate was one of the few racers who enjoyed the added challenge (most would say unnecessary discomfort).
And two of the cutest boys anywhere... My little bell-ringer (I'm not allowed to call him little within his hearing any more)
How I love his expressions!

Joshua is running after Nate so as to be able to cheer longer
The start of the "a" race. Bear is the yellow and red in the middle of all the blue. A's get to run to their bikes instead of starting on them. More challenging for the riders and entertaining for the watchers.
Here you can see the big puddle
Nate is clearing weeds that are in the way of a shot he wants to attempt
He was hoping to catch a really good splash :)
And that's all the cyclocross for this year. Nate took second in his class. He'll have to move up next year if he keeps riding. I think he's planning to race mountain bike short track in March. I think we're both looking forward to it. He would like to talk me into racing cyclocross next year. I would have to start progressing physically a good deal faster than I am at present to consider it. Might be fun though... :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Rambling Time

Yep, it's time for me to talk without a goal. To wander around the recent moments in my life that stand out to me as I sit this morning.

How does one keep little boys from bickering all day long when the sun doesn't shine? Whether they are busy or not it seems to come pouring endlessly out of them. Legos, crafts, school, firewood, food...doesn't seem to matter.

On the other hand, those adorable smiles, inquiring minds, sharp little wits and glorious hugs make for the best days ever!

A new writing project looms before me. Looms in every best sense of the word. Can looming be a positive thing?? Should I say...uh, strange, a different word to use escapes me at the moment. When am I ever wordless? OK, so it's not looming. I just can't wait to get started. I'm waiting on someone who I'll be working with. Just a little waiting and I'm going nuts. I'm a little excited. More than a little. But, I'm nervous too. I've never worked collaboratively with someone before, not on non-fiction anyway(in high school my friends and I did a little swapping fiction back and forth). I'm nervous to put my words to someone else's thoughts. What if I don't get it right????? Lol! But I was daydreaming last night about having the material in my hands, organizing thoughts and themes, polishing, rewriting and I was getting happy :) Happy at the thought of sculpting with words. After a long, long time away from such work.

We are attempting at last to clean our house of all the clutter, and because of the clutter all the trash, dirt, and piles of un-put-away stuff that has accumulated over the past three years. I started yesterday with enthusiasm. By the end of the day I was thinking this is impossible! I'm trying not to look too closely at anything right now. Trying to keep my mind on small bits of the project so as not to become completely overwhelmed before we even have a good start on this. My plans for yesterday were derailed by a particular circumstance which caused me to have to clean a different room than I planned on starting with. I mostly didn't let any frustration into my thoughts. Until this morning when I will be gone for a while and my hubby can't do what he planned to do while I was gone because I didn't get to do the "before" step I planned to do yesterday...

It's all right though. He and the kids will have a great time hiking up the mountain instead ;-) They are exploring places to make some bike trails. We are excited to share our wonderful property with our mountain-biking friends. Once our house is clean, ahem, we'll have some of them over to help us clear trails and whatever other fun we can get up to.

Well, I'm off to see if the boys' breakfast is ready, do my stretches and otherwise get on with my day. Thanks for joining me this morning :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

For The Crayon Stains...

I am going to try one of the recipes here:

Ok, I tried a mixture of detergent, borax, oxiclean, and vinegar. Soaked for a few hours and then checked. Decided to soak overnight. Washed twice(agitated twice I should say, without rinsing); rinsed twice, this morning. The lightest stained clothes came somewhat clean, all of the t-shirts have big oily stains all over though. The heaviest stains still left some color in the clothes. So this was a partial success. Not as much as I was hoping for with all the rave reviews on the site I got the recipe from.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Strange Surprise

Yesterday evening I opened the dryer to pull out some comfy pj's in preparation to cozy up for the evening. Imagine my surprise as I stared at clothes covered in a rainbow of colors. Yellow, teal, orange and red. What?!?!?

Then I spotted it.

An empty crayon wrapper. And another, and another...

Some little boy's pockets had been full of crayons. And his mama apparently forgot to check said pockets before washing clothes yesterday.

So, I don't suppose there is a way to get melted crayon out of clothing? Some of the clothes are obviously hopeless. There are a couple things, like my work-out pants that have only a few splotches on them though...

I am accustomed to finding rocks, screws, nails, acorns, leaves and various other small objects in the dryer. This is a first for crayons though, and hopefully the last time :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OK Matt, The "REAL" Pics From Sunday :D

Well, some of them anyway. The stinking computer wouldn't let me upload any more. Hope it's enough to get your fix, lol