Wednesday, December 31, 2008

No Time to be Crafty

My no time, no inspiration, no supplies, running out the door thank you card.......

Friday, December 26, 2008

Favorite Things Friday - A Very Merry Christmas!

I almost went to bed without posting a "Favorite Things Friday" entry...
I will make this simple (because I'm tired!) This week, one of my favorite things is a mostly stress-free Christmas (which is huge because I am usually stressed) and loads of fun had by all. And that is exactly what we have had so far! We had a GREAT time yesterday with our kids and our festivities continue this weekend. My husband's brother and sister and their families are coming into town which I am so excited about because they are not just family, they are friends!I hope to be able to spend some time with my side of the family in the coming week or so.....the fun doesn't have to stop at the 25th!

We also ran into Santa during our trip to CA this month!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Inescapable Truth

We have dear family friends that because they live in Texas, we only see them once or twice a year. In spite of the distance, they have always been an important part of our lives, especially during the landmarks: babies born, family losses and UNLV football games! Diane is spending her first Christmas without her husband as he went home to be with the Lord this past year. She, their four children and grandchildren are missing him tremendously. I wanted to share something Diane included in her Christmas letter - a message that has brought her comfort and really spoke to me as well:

The Inescapable Truth

At one particular point in my life, I felt totally alone. The heaviness of this thought gripped my heart, and I ended up telling the Lord that I was overcome with loneliness. As I spent time with Him that day, I sensed Him saying to my heart, “I am with you. I have not left. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere.” These words conveyed the reality of Christmas—God with me—and filled my heart to overflowing with a fresh sense of hope.
One of the most wonderful aspects of God is the way He loves us. He listens to the cries of our hearts—the ones we don’t even know how to express—and hears them perfectly. When we are hurting, we need to know someone cares, and that Someone is Jesus Christ.
So as you read these words, know that God is with you. He is walking right in step with you. Christmas is a reminder that God was not satisfied to remain solely in heaven. He wanted to come to earth. He wants to have a personal relationship with you. He is holy, but He desires your fellowship. God has shown His immeasurable, undeniable, and unfailing love to us through the birth of His Son. And today, through the presence of His Holy Spirit, we have living within us the true sense of Christmas. The awareness of His presence is all the comfort we need to face every problem with hope and unwavering certainty. Because He is with us.

You can read the entire article titled, The Promise of God’s Presence: Our Savior is With Us During Even the Coldest Winters, by Charles Stanley here.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Cards I Can Enjoy

I love all the Christmas cards that come in the mail and I keep many of them, but during the holiday season they usually end up in a stack on the counter as I never really found a good place in this house to keep them on display without them looking like clutter. So, the other night I decided to put some wide ribbon I had to good use. I used my hot glue gun to attach a strip of ribbon on clothespins to make them a bit more festive. Clipping the cards to the ribbon, I hung 2 ribbon/card strips on both sides of the brick around our fireplace.
I had to hold back from getting out the paint and all sorts of supplies to REALLY decorate the clothespins. My husband was watching me and I was afraid I would forfeit the right to complain about how much I have to do if he watched me spend heaps of time decorating clothespins :) Next year I will use more colorful ribbon though. Anyhow, this took about 15 minutes and we can now enjoy our Christmas cards!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's Really Important?

Each year I get overwhelmed with gift-giving at Christmas - we never go all out, but I always seem to feel the stress of what to get people, how they will like what I bought, if someone will be offended by the size or quality of their gift (or lack thereof) and doing it all within a budget. I thought that this year would be different; with the state of the economy (and our own economic state) we decided that the only Christmas gifts we would buy would be our children's. I envisioned a Christmas of simplicity, centered on the true meaning of Christmas, stress-free and fun....
Well....then I got to thinking (big mistake). I decided it would be best if I bought the young family members gifts, but then how do you buy gifts for some siblings and not others and risk offending them (or their parents) and then what if someone gets you a gift and you don't get them one and what about the people whose birthdays are on Christmas, and ........ well, you get the picture.
So, yesterday, as I was out shopping (not a great idea on the Saturday before Christmas when my husband had already asked me to stay home and rest since I was fighting getting sick) and I was stressing over yet another gift. I thought about the nativity we had visited the night before. I thought about Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and how hard the journey had to be both physically and emotionally. Having had three children in the comfort of a hospital with the best medical care, I thought about the God of the universe being born as a baby in a stable for animals. I thought about the sacrifice God made on our behalf because He loves us so much. And as I stood in the middle of JC Penney, with my head throbbing, upset at my children because they were misbehaving, frustrated over gift choices...I felt ridiculous. I decided right then and there that I was done. I had already purchased gifts from the goodness of my heart (what little there is :) ) and anything more would be for the wrong reasons. I apologized to the Lord for once again getting wrapped up in the craziness of the season and losing sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, we will have a Christmas with all the trappings, a decorated home, food, family and gifts as that is how we celebrate this special day. But with little reminders (like I got yesterday) I will daily realign my focus, taking it off myself which is exactly where it is when I am worrying about what others think, and focus on God's blessings in my life and His most important gift to us..Jesus.

Christmas Countdown

Half the family has the sniffles so, needless to say, we won't be going to church this morning. I don't think the other moms would appreciate me bringing germs around 4 days before Christmas. Wow, 4 days 'til Christmas! This seemed to be a particularly long year for me, but as usual, once Christmas rolls around I marvel that it is already here!
Friday night we took the kids to a live nativity scene at a local church. I didn't know anyone still did live nativity scenes - I hadn't been to one since I was a child. There was a petting zoo, a choir of angels singing Christmas Carols, a presentation of the Christmas story with live characters and animals, hot chocolate and cookies! The kids loved it......We all did!

It's not very often you get your picture with Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus!

We also watched The Nativity Story again last night. I had forgotten what a great movie it is... (if you want to watch these clips, be sure to pause the music player)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Favorite Things Friday - Peppermint Mochas!

I only have a minute, so this will be short and sweet (literally). It's the simple things in life that make me happy......
It's that chilly time of year when enjoying a hot drink is one of my favorite things to do. I often grab a cup of hot coffee or tea while I take leisurely time out to relax run around like crazy trying to get things done during the day. Every holiday season I look forward to one of my all-time favorites, the Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha Twist. Although they serve these fabulous drinks year-round.....for me it is a holiday treat.

Imagine my delight (along with the delight of my wallet and waistline), when I made this discovery in the grocery store this year!

Yum. Have a delicious day!
Have a favorite to share this Friday?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Winter Wonderland.....

Yesterday it was COLD. We haven't had snow like this since 1979. We moved to Las Vegas in January of that year, and much to my parents' dismay (since the major appeal of Vegas was escaping the east coast winters), February 1979 brought the most snow the city had seen in 30 years. And now, almost 30 years later, we have snow again. The schools are even closed today! Snow day in Vegas!

I love the snow - well, looking at it from inside in front of a warm fireplace is how I like it best. Although I fully appreciate its beauty; If I am not skiing or snowboarding on it, I really don't have much use for snow. With my husband at work, I was hard pressed (by three little ones) to find a way out of a snow play day. I tried to explain to the kids how great it was to just have pictures of our house with snow on it (needless to say, they didn't go for that)......

Along with Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus....

No swimming today!

When I saw after a couple of hours that there was no sign of it letting up (the snowing and the begging), I just had to give in. And the smiles made it worth every frozen minute.....


And fortunately for me, once Daddy got home, he was more than willing to take over supervising the snow play. I think he had more fun than the kids!

And even though it was well past dinner time and quickly approaching bedtime, they built a snowman......
And then ventured into the backyard......

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

With love from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Family Photos

We've been in California for the past week both to visit family and for my husband to take care of some business and we just got home. I'll have more to post later, but thought I would share these pictures our good friends from Washington took of us last time they were visiting so that we would have photos for our Christmas cards. Thank you David and Destiney!

Kylie Grace

Savannah Faith

Samantha Hope

Blog Candy Alert!

I had given up on blog candy followings for a while.....too busy, and I just never win! But this one was too good to pass up! Check it out! It is open until January 1, 2009! Thanks for the heads up Joey!
And here is more at Rica's Haven....
And some Fiskar goodies from Kath too......
And some really good stuff you won't want to miss here at the Pink Piggy site....

I happened across this blog also by Kim, I LOVE IT! and there is some great blog candy on there too...Hurry, it ends 12/17 at midnight!

Good stuff here too at the Crafting Magic Site!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I wanted to share this for the Disney fans....its a video to one of my favorite songs this time of year.(be sure to hit 'pause' on the playlist first!)

Well, it really is cold outside here today and very windy (20-30 mph) - and it is supposed to stay cold this week too! (50/60 daytime-30/40 nighttime) My apologies to those who are shoveling snow....this is cold for me! Bundle up and have a great day!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

These are a Few of My Favorite Things....

Julie Andrews did it best (reminiscing about her favorite things), but my kids and I began a weekly project a few months back that we call "Favorite Things Friday". Each week we think about and discuss some of our favorite things and on Friday the kids sit down, draw or paint a picture of that favorite thing and we talk about what they have chosen. It has been quite fun and prompts them to think regularly about the good things in their lives and I have found that I get to know my children better through the process. For example, my oldest (who is 6) surprises me every once in a while with a favorite thing she has never even done! Then there is my "note to self" to make sure we do it!
Although "Favorite Things Friday" is by no means an original idea (especially in "blogland"), I have decided to make it part of my weekly blogging. Thanksgiving-time got me thinking that we could all use encouragement to focus on the positives in our lives-especially in these times. One of the things I have always loved about the holiday season is that even the most cynical of people can be persuaded to take a moment to find something to be thankful for or happy about.
So, today is not Friday, but here is my first contribution to Favorite Things Friday:


I know, it is hard for me to cope with the fact that it is almost winter, especially when just less than a couple of weeks ago, we had days like this one in our neck of the woods (okay, our neck of the desert): This was 11am IN THE SHADE!

Okay, so when my friends were decorating their homes for Fall as soon as the calendar said September 22nd, I just couldn't do it, especially with the temperature hitting 90 degrees on most days. So, I waited for some 'Autumn' weather and once again found myself putting up my Fall decorations just in time to take them down for Christmas decorations! I still love it.

Although we don't get to enjoy strolls down tree-lined roads with changing leaves and crisp, cool can't beat being able to run around the yard in shorts and flip flops, squeezing in the last bit of swimming before it's too cold. I love Autumn in this town.

NOT our City.......But not far from here!

We did make it to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch just across town. Call it what you like, it was still in the middle of the desert, so I don't know what I expected!

So, that was October/November....We now have 18 days until Christmas and although I can keep the windows open during the day and the kids still eat lunch in the front yard, it has been great having chilly nights where we can sit by the fireplace and enjoy the holiday smells and sounds. This time will be short-lived as our desert winter is rapidly approaching and each year it seems to get cold and windy before I am ready, but I still love this time of year!

Happy Fall!
What is one of your "Favorite Things" this time of year?

"Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am so excited that Thanksgiving is finally here!
I grew up in a family that rather than getting more family time during "family-oriented" holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.), we got significantly less family time due to obligations outside the home. Yet, since I was a child, Thanksgiving Day was the one holiday I could count on for us all to be together, focused on each other, enjoying food, football and family fun! Each year I could not wait for Thanksgiving time and I still look forward to it with excitement!
My brothers and I are adults now and we all have children and families of our own. In this season of our lives, I am thoroughly enjoying creating our young family's memories and traditions. My prayer during this time of year is that our children will look forward to this holiday with anticipation because it is a time committed to family togetherness, but more importantly, a time to consider all of God's blessings in our lives and give thanks to Him.
I can't believe it has officially been a month since I have last posted! My intentions have been good, but my schedule has not cooperated! Many of you know I am big on "resolutions" throughout the year rather than just on January my first Thanksgiving Resolution is to get back to blogging!
God bless your families this Thanksgiving! Be sure to take time to reflect on the "good things" in your life and if those "things" happen to be people God has blessed you with, be sure to let them know you are thankful for them!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

No Rest for the Weary

I have not been able to post as things have been soooo busy here - and that's an understatement! But, alas, I will get that break....I will be going to our quarterly crop for a weekend of scrapping fun (okay, half a weekend)- starting tomorrow.....I can't wait! I am SO not ready, I still have supplies to gather and photos to organize - but just to have a day and a half with friends and fun - I'm okay that it is 2am and I am not organized! And our girls are looking forward to having Daddy all to themselves!

I know I bragged about her before, but I just have to share our friend Andrea's latest creation. I asked her to make an initial plaque for my niece's 2nd birthday and how great is this?

You can see her other creations on her Etsy Shop - Sassy Signs by Andrea. I love it....Thanks Andrea!