Monday, December 29, 2008

Over the Mountains and Through the Woods....

For Christmas we packed the car up and headed over Santiam, then South for the Sisyku's, South yet to Sacramento, then East into the Sierra Nevadas to stay with Ralph's folks. We had a fun filled time there, with present opening, Christmas Dinner, lots of cookies, poker, and fun. Friday we went sledding (I was too busy sledding to take pics) and Saturday we went to a Gold Mine in Placerville. The whole trip was a whirlwind, so much fun. Thanks Nanna and Grandpa for a ton of fun, and a pile of little-boy-booty!

Monday's Back!

I'm taking time out today to make another entry for the Simple Woman's Daybook. Read more about her here.

Outside my window... the wind is kicking it up. It's chilly and breezy out there, but the sun is peeking through.
I am thinking...of all these thoughts I want to blog.
I am thankful for... home sweet home.
From the learning rooms...Christmas break, but we have an ant farm going, and lots of art work and building happening.
From the kitchen...I'm working on that. It's empty, so I'll have to be creative for dinner.
I am wearing...tennies, yoga pants, a favorite sweatshirt
I am creating...some order to this crazy-post-travel house.
I am take a nap today.
I am reading...Stuart Little to the boys, and the Bible
I am hoping...for a restful, playful week.
I am hearing...Joey playing the drums on the kitchen table, it's seriously loud.
Around the house...laundry, christmas gifts scattered playfully, unpackingness.
One of my favorite things...windy winter days
A few plans for the rest of the week: a little penny poker with my man, laundry, grocery shopping, one more Christmas gift, a gift exchange on New Year's, corned beef and cabbage, laundry, maybe catching up with a friend or two.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

my little miners in CA taking a tour of the gold mines

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Wonderland

As most of you have, I think, we've had our share of snow. Ralph and I can't remember the last time we lived anywhere with snow on the ground for more than a week, and it just keeps coming. It's such a treat!

We've managed to stay inside most of the time. I've pulled out all the stops and done all the cabin fever prevention a woman can muster for a week.

We built marble towers....

The boys created a ship on the landing, played there for hours...

Even got a good ride out of our indoor doggy...

We loved our own amazing icicles~

visited Mai Mai and Papa,

and got in lots of reading!

Yesterday, we threw caution to the frigid wind and went out anyway. It was still not even 10 degrees, but the wind had settled for awhile, we went out to play.

This morning we're off to adventure down to warmer California. I imagine by the time we get back the snow will be but a fading memory...

Merry Christmas, my friends!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas "Shoes"

*My dear friends,

Somewhat embarrassing to admit, I'm not getting an annual bonus and
Christmas is tight this year. I will be making bedroom slippers for you
all as gifts. Please let me know your sizes. You'll most likely agree
that it's a splendid idea, and should you wish to do the same, I've
included the instructions below.

How to make bedroom slippers out of maxi pads:

You need four maxi pads to make a pair.
Two of them get laid out flat, for the foot part.
The other two wrap around the toe area to form the top.
Tape or glue each side of the top pieces to the bottom of the foot part.

Decorate the tops with whatever you desire, silk flowers (this is most
aesthetically appealing), etc.

These slippers are:
* Soft and Hygienic
* Non-slip grip strips on the soles
* Built in deodorant feature keeps feet smelling fresh
* No more bending over to mop up spills
* Disposable and biodegradable
* Environmentally safe
* Three convenient sizes: (1.) Regular, (2.) Light and (3.) Get out the Sand Bags.

I've attached a photo of the first pair I made so that you can see the
nifty slippers for yourself....

Awaiting your res ponse. It's crucial that I get the right size for each
one of you.

*No, I didn't write or "create" this, got from a friend. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our bitty Christmas Tree

These photos are from a while back, but so Christmasy none the less, got to get you all a little caught up. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Peace On Earth- Day 18; Contentment

Well, if you saw my post yesterday, you saw that I was looking for input, and I got it! I'm going to cheat for today and steal my friend Cathy's "peace" (thanks Cathy)

Enjoy, be contented...

"My peace on earth right now is: contentment.
Something I've struggled with my entire life and interestly enough at a time when my present outward circumstances would(in the past) have thrown me for a loop, right now are growing and teaching me in ways I could never have imagined.

~So I'm content that I haven't once stepped foot in a store to do Christmas shopping.
~I'm content with our little tree with homemade/construction paper ornaments, homemade foil star, and borrowed colored balls, lights, and tree stand.
~I'm content with the food we have, because God gave it to us.
~I'm content in my relationships.
~I'm content with my roles in life right now.
~I'm content with my old clothes because I'm not naked! (I think we can ALL be thankful for that one!)
~I'm content with not giving out Christmas cards, because I'm sure my friends will be OK.
~I'm content where God has placed us right here, right now.

Not just contentment, but also JOY because these things have made me look even more intently at the birth of my Savior and how it changed the world forever and my heart.
It's been Christmas simplified down to just Christ. And I love it."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Peace On Earth- Day 17- Can't find it!

Okay, let's be real here....

I looked for my peaceful idea, I thought and thought and thought...I just wasn't finding it. I couldn't figure it out...why?

I figured it out, it's THAT da y. You know ladies, THAT day. So I've no inspiration...if you want to send some my way, I'll be happy to share...

....Jenny says:
During THAT day, I like to be still and know that HE is God. Not me. Ever. I don't have to control a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. And Praise God for that!

So my Peace on Earth for today is: Stillness.

Stillness in my heart; and if I can, my mind. To know I have a connection with the Creator is like my own little secret hiding place.

Take a deeeeeep breath in... let it out slowly and BE STILL.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Peace On Earth-Day 16; Joy

Ladies Restroom Saga

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of
women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn,
you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied.
Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman
leaving the stall.

You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait
has been so long you are about to wet your pants! The dispenser for the
modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy,
but empty.

You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there
isn't - so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom
would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down
your pants, and assume " The Stance."

In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake.
You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat
or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance."

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you
discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can
hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you had tried to clean the
seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs
shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the
one that's still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck,
that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the
same time). That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible.

It's still smaller than your thumbnail

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work. The door
hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your
chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the

"Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your
precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your
footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is
wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late.

Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life
form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper -
not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know
that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you're
certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because,
frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so
confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose
against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that
covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush
somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the
empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too. At this
point, you give up.

You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're
exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket
and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic
sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and
walk past the line of women, still waiting. You are no longer able to
smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points
out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that
when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in
the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this."

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and
left the men's restroom. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and
why is your purse hanging around your neck?"

Laugh today. Find a reason, make a reason. We need to have joy in this season, if you're clenching your teeth, you need to laugh.

Psalm 126:2 (New Living Translation)

2 We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy

Monday, December 15, 2008

For Today

For Today...

Outside my's still snowing and five degrees. Beautiful to be locked in! I just need a copy of White Christmas....

I am thinking...rather, I'm avoid it- leaving me lying in bed for hours thinking all the things I've never thunk before.

From the learning rooms...four days until winter break!

I am thankful for...a warm home with enough room for five shut-ins, make that six, including Juneau...btw, I'm thankful that I gave him a bath yesterday so he smells nice shut-in.

From the tea and a nice candle. A bunny is lying in my fruit bowl (??)

I am wearing...thermals and warm clothing

I am reading...oh, I wish I had a good book. Might have to find one tonight.

I am's secret. Sorry.

I am creating...a nice big bubble with my gum.

I am hearing...Peanut play 'rocket's in outer space phewwwwssshhhhhhh...with crayons, no less.

Around the house...two boys in the tub, dog is sleeping and the tree is lit up.

One of my favorite things...quiet, I remember it, really!

A few plans for the rest of the week...a haircut, library trip, a christmas party, maybe, all day Saturday date with my husband, worship practice, and to resume running.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
a little excitement around our teeny Christmas tree

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Peace On Earth-Day 14: Rest, again

I'm tired.

I operate so much better when rested. I am going to get a nap in today, or tomorrow...and I'm going to go to bed a bit earlier, starting right now.

Get some rest this week. You'll feel better, you'll lose weight, you'll be kinder, more patient, more better. :)

Proverbs 3:24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

To pray...

Some of you saw my unmentioned prayer request, thank you for praying.

My dear friend has a tumor on her ovaries, she is going in for more testing tomorrow, please, pray, pray.

Thank you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Peace On Earth-Day 14: Rest and Reflect

It's Sunday. Rest.

Yes, breathe, nap, smile, laugh, play, eat, nap, worship, rest.

Psalms 116:7-8
I said to myself, "Relax and rest.
God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you've been rescued from death; Eye, you've been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling."

I know already that so many of you are working hard to help our little ones really understand the meaning of Christmas. I'm fighting, day by day for the understanding to come through. I knew I had a small success; at the post office I was given the option of Christmas stamps. I was holding Critter, and I gave him the choice. There were nutcrackers, and a very "religious" looking picture of Mary, Joseph and of course baby Jesus. I completely expected Critter
to choose the cartoonish nutcrackers, he surprised me by saying:

"Jesus, of course Mom. Christmas is HIS birthday! We are celebrating Him."

I sat with a stack of Christmas books the other day. I read about Snoopy's Christmas, Rudolf, Santa. Then, with a last minute thought I explained that these traditional characters and "things" we practice (gifts, trees, cookies, candies) are all just ways that we celebrate Christmas.

And here, is the story of Christmas: I read the story of Christs' virgin birth. No confusion there. Just as the cake and gifts are part of the celebration of a birthday, all these things we celebrate with are just a tradition...HE is the story. It's HIStory.

Enjoy reminding your kids today, again, what we're celebrating. Don't beat yourself up for not celebrating a formal advent (if you don't) just talk to your kids, they're listening. Pray with them, plan to make a birthday cake for our King who was born so long ago.

And rest, In Him. Rest, right where you are.

Psalm 23:2 He lets me rest in green meadows;he leads me beside peaceful streams.

Psalm 30:2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,and you restored my health.

Peace On Earth- Day 13: Appreciation

Today I have a houseful of munchkins, I'm trading in on that wonderful date day with Kristin. Really, it just feels like I have 5 kids, Scooter and Jeffery are contentedly building some wonderful Lego land upstairs, I've only seen them once today and that was eatin' time.

At any rate, probably all I'm going to get done is laundry and meals (making friendship bracelets, setting up racetracks and playing playdoh and an occasional game of Nerts) Really, it's not so bad.

I am also going to be brainstorming as I work and play some thoughts for a letter, a love letter. It will be a gift to my husband this year.

I don't honestly remember the last time I wrote a love letter, do you? We regularly exchange little notes here and there, but an inspired letter, oh, it's been years.

Will you join me in writing sweet everythings to a loved one? A husband, a friend, a mom or dad? You can write....appreciation, sweet memories, specific things you love about them, whatever you like.

Oh, and the tile is done,wonderfully,(no more nasty-garage-tracking-in-carpet)

my bird feeder is up,

all thanks so my husband, yes, he rocks.
I have a prayer request that can't be shared, as we all know God knows just what is on my mind, will you take a minute and pray for this really important thing?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Peace On Earth~Day 12 Prepare (Updated)

My week has been crazy. I am definitely feeling the pinch I have been so busy, Peanut hasn't been feeling great=not much sleep for me. I feel like things are escalating as we circle nearer to Christmas.

Therefore, I am going to heavily employ my crock pot.

I love my crock pot, maybe not as much as this gal does,

but she has some incredible ideas. :) Check out her site for fun and yummy recipe's and reviews. Tonight I'm settling in with my favorite Crockpot cookbook and I'm going to plan meals that I can double, and stock up for the next couple of busy weeks. Join me! Tell me about your favorite recipes!

James 3:2-5
Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

Peace On Earth- Day 11: Reflect

My dear back East girlfriend wrote this; read and enjoy. Thanks, Nicholle!

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."

Philippians 2:5

Is Christmas shopping hard for anyone but me? As I walk through the stores glancing at the decorations, I can feel my blood pressure rising as I think about all the gifts I need to find by December 25. I suppose I have more of my father in me. He likens the malls to a combat zone and prefers to give practical gifts like cash or winter boots. My mother, on the other hand, takes great pleasure in bargain shopping the entire year to find gifts that total $2 but are probably worth $200. In theory, her way is the smart way to save money and avoid the Christmas rush, but it hinges on one critical technique: browsing. In my opinion, "browsing with children" is the ultimate oxymoron, and I would rather stick hot pokers in my eyes than attempt it. So here I sit in November, way behind on my shopping (by her standards). The words "give, give, give" ring in my ears. Slowly, my thoughts change to "serve, serve, serve."

Serve? The Lord responds, "Yes. Serve. Give of yourself." If God Himself were physically standing in front of me, He would be met with one huge blank stare. My clueless expression would hopefully communicate to the Lord what He clearly must have missed over the past decade: My whole life is about giving of myself! I am richly blessed with a devoted husband, three beautiful children, and a wonderful home. Yet they are the reason I have not sat down in about ten years. Patiently, the Lord clarifies, "Yes, but your focus is on the action of serving, not the attitude of the action." My deer-in-the-headlights stare continues. The Lord gently reminds me of Philippians 2:7 which tells us that when Jesus was born, He "made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant." He literally emptied Himself of all the glory attached to His deity so that he could serve, not be served. Philippians also tells me that my attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. The fog starts to lift. You see, in the busyness of the holidays, or really the busyness of everyday life, it is easy for most women to do, do, do -- to serve in our homes, workplaces, schools, churches, and communities. It is much harder to do, do, do with the attitude of Christ Jesus. Yet that is his call to us.

So how do I go from serving "with an attitude" to serving with the attitude of Christ Jesus, especially in the frenzy of the Christmas season? Scripture tells us to serve wholeheartedly as working for the Lord, not men. Our focus should be on the Lord, but this is challenging. I serve my family daily, but I often expect a "return" on my "investment." Certainly, there are many returns on the investment of being a wife and mother. However, on a daily basis, I seem to expect more "returns" than they are humanly capable of giving. I'm serving them, not the Lord.

I threw a temper tantrum recently. I had spent the entire day making homemade soup. In the past, my kids loved this particular soup, but something changed, and now my fickle little cherubs did not want it. That fact was painfully obvious as we sat down to eat. As I watched the kids move restlessly around in their seats, my husband gave me a sympathetic smile. He insisted he liked the soup, but my agitation over their apparent disdain of my meal prevented me from believing him. I could feel my agitation turn into anger as I watched my seven-year-old push the broth around in his bowl, hoping it would absorb into his body by osmosis. My four-year-old plainly said she was not hungry. When my two–year-old shouted, "No!" and pushed the bowl away, I had had enough. This is where my attitude kicked in, not the attitude of Christ Jesus. I grabbed everyone's bowls, dumped them back into the pot, stomped upstairs, and went to bed. I had prepared a meal "as unto my family," not "as unto the Lord." I expected appreciation for the time I had spent in the kitchen. I expected praise for the meal. The more I thought about it, the more my anger illogically snowballed. Seriously, my kids should thank me for the career sacrifice I made to stay home with them! Why am I the only one who picks up shoes in this house!? And, oh by the way, honey, what is it like to have clean clothes appear in your dresser every week? In the end, I was left feeling resentful and empty because I had expected my family to meet needs only He was intended to meet. Really, my family didn't need to change. My attitude needed to change.
Thankfully, the Lord does not leave us empty-handed in His call to us. Like Santa's sleigh overflowing with presents, His Word overflows with helpful promises that He wants you to unwrap with the same excitement a child has on Christmas morning. Starting this Christmas season and resolving to continue through 2009, embrace the demands of your life with a renewed attitude, but do it with the strength God provides (1 Peter 4:10). Start by reading Philippians 2:1-18 (Yes, your personal study of God's Word is very important during the holidays, contrary to what the enemy might have you believe.). Memorize one verse that speaks to you. I love the promise of Philippians 2:13, "…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Then through prayer, don't just serve, but serve with the attitude of Christ. The Lord will be pleased and will reward you with an inheritance that never perishes (Colossians 3:23-24). You will feel better because serving with a Christ-like attitude is the appropriate response of gratitude for the gift of God's Son (2 Corinthians 9:15). Finally, the people you serve will not be unfairly expected to meet the needs that only He can meet (Philippians 4:19). Everyone wins, and you have a gift that will reap returns from 2009 into eternity. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Peace On Earth-Day 10~Prepare

If you aren't done with your Christmas shopping, carve out a few hours on your calendar to do some shopping. If you're done, try wrapping a gift or two every day.

Don't forget to exercise. Those endorphins are good medicine, I tell you!

Proverbs 12: 3 You can't find firm footing in a swamp,
but life rooted in God stands firm.

**If you haven't peeked, look at the next entry. Amazing song....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our Hope Endures~ Natalie Grant

When I heard this song while running yesterday, I thought of you. You, my friends with empty arms, empty wombs, seemingly empty dreams. You who wait. You, my friends that have chronic pain and illness. You, my friends that go through one painful season after another. You, my friends that are in a restful, painless season. Take a minute and listen, read along with the words of this song. I don't mean for the video to be a distraction...hear the words. Be encouraged, my fellow race-runners. Be reminded, where our hope lays. Our hope endures.

You would think only
So much can go wrong
Calamity only strikes once
And you assume that this
One has suffered her share
Life will be kinder from here

Sometimes the sun
Stays hidden for years
Sometimes the sky
Rains night after night
When will it clear
But our hope endures
The worst of conditions
It's more than our optimism
Lend your
Our hope is unchanged

How do we comprehend
Peace within pain
Our joy at a good man's wake
Walk a mile with a woman
Whose body is torn
With illness
But she marches on

Emanuel, God is with us
El Shaddai, all sufficient

We never walk alone
This is our hope
Our hope endures
The worst of conditions
It's more
Than our optimism
Lend your
Lend your
Lend your
Our hope is unchanged

Peace On Earth- Day 9~ Beautify

(No, those aren't my toes.)

Beautify! Don't you love that word?

Today, think about what you need to do for you before the holidays. Do you need a new pretty sweater or skirt, dress, shoes? Do you need tights or earrings? A haircut? A manicure? Do you need lipstick? Do you need clean clothes?

We're all at different places in life. If you have a baby, you might just be looking for clean undies (or some without holes). Like me, you might just need a haircut to feel good about your untamed locks. Make an appointment to take care of yourself today. You can give yourself a manicure or pedi...better yet, make an appointment with someone for a massage (this could be romantic...)

Oh, and enjoy!

Ponder this scripture, for it isn't our outward appearance and clothing that give us peace...
Proverbs 31: 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY: Simple Woman's Daybook
December 8, 2008...
Outside my window...Venus and Jupiter are still quite visible in the night sky. The sunset was amazing as I ran tonight, gets me all teary- that God would make beautiful sunsets just for us to see, daily.
I am thinking...that I really need someone to rub my big muscles. Okay, my tired muscles.
I am thankful for... the seriously fun family wrestling/tickle match that happened here tonight.
From the learning rooms...we studied King Tut & the Civil War, Artist named Wassily Kandisnsky. I love his work. In a few years, I'll be smarter than a fifth grader, indeed.
From the kitchen...the dishwasher is hard at work. My sweet husband made dinner and the pots are waiting for me. They'll wait.
I am pants, a hoodie, socks and slippers (post running gear)
I am creating...a NEW blanket for a Christmas gift, yes, I finished my red one. If you come over you can see it.
I am the couch, soon.
I am reading...a Karen Kingsbury Book, maybe called Sunset. Just started.
I am hoping...the dishes will do themselves.
I am hearing...Charlie Brown's Christmas, and my boys- delighted.
Around the house...A cool ramp for hot wheels, some wrapped gifts, laundry, toys, dust.
One of my favorite cream after the kids are in bed, before I am.
A few plans for the rest of the week:Bible Study, chatting with my sis on the phone, school, pine cone bird feeders, running, Mom and Dad for dinner Thursday.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Peanut spilled his stars, and picked them up one by one.

Day 8: Peace On Earth- Health

It's not surprising to me to see the sweets & salties sneaking up in the holiday season. I almost started making cookies tonight just because that feels like that's what I should be doing on a December evening, but I stopped myself. I KNOW how I'll feel after I eat way too many of those cookies.

Time to do a little planning. Today, think about how you can plan for good eating habits. Of course a lot of us worry of our weight, but I want to be thinking too about how I will feel and how my kids act when we get too much junk, sweet and salt.

  • Take some time today to search for healthy twists on the recipe's you love, or good alternatives.
  • Plan good snacks to have in your purse/diaper bag or car so that your kids don't get hungry when you're scrambling around running errands, to prevent you from having to buy the "easy" snacks that aren't so good.
  • Make a plan for yourself so you can feel good about yourself when you hit those Christmas Parties and places with favorite meals or goodies. Do you need to eat just 1 or 2 cookies? Do you need to eat before you go so you don't eat any?
  • Don't buy into the Christmas commercialism with food. Avoid those display racks with all the traditional Christmas Candy Clutter. Instead, hit the produce and go for natural sweets. Need a treat? Make yummy trail mix and throw in a few m&m's if you must. Splurge for dried fruit. (As I'm writing this, my husband just said, "Who needs candy? We've got grapes. He has NO idea what I'm writing at this moment) A favorite snack of mine is nuts, they travel well...they are little protien packs. Mmm!
I'm always amazed at how the workout machines and club memberships get so popular in January, waiting for all of us to hit January, our resolutions and "Yikes! I ate too much and forgot to excersize! I feel terrible! How can I buy my way out of this?" Let's be proactive--let's prevent mommy meltdowns...take care of us and eat good foods, excersize. Our families will thank us (and yes, our waistlines too.)

Galations 5: 3-15 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Update on Peace

I thought I'd let you all know what I'm doing with my challenges, having fun with this!

Day One: No, my bird feeder is not up yet. I have put in an order with my sweet husband, but he's up to his elbows in a little project that has our toilet and sink in the garage, and no floor in the bath/hallway. I am happy to see this tiling project get done, but I'm gently reminding about the hook I need. I'll update you when I get the feeder up.

Day Two: I put in a call to a sitter, and am hoping for a date night Sunday or even Friday.

I did get a solid day-date in though, by planning to trade kids with Kristin for two December Saturdays. I'll watch her 4 kids one Saturday, then she'll take ours for another. Our kids get on great, so I know it'll work well. Then Ralph and I will get ample time to hang out and walk around Bend alone (we rarely do). I'm so excited about this. Do you have a friend you can trade care with? A whole day! I'm so excited. I'm sure we'll do some Christmas shopping and dining, long walks in town. I can't wait!

Day Three: I confess, I never got in that tub. But I decided I just didn't need it after a fabulous run. By fabulous, I mean running in the canyon watching our shadows grow long as the sunset, getting to see a little of this with the scent of Juniper rolling through the air. I seriously feel like life couldn't get any more beautiful sometimes when I'm out in the crisp air running. I did promptly shower when I got home, and after I got the kids in bed I opted to curl up on the couch with my Christmas-crochet project next to my sweet man. Perfect!

Day Four: I did come up with some ways in which I can show God how I am thankful;
  • I am thankful for my husband- I will make better efforts to help him out.
  • I am thankful to be a woman who loves to talk- I am working on thinking before I speak. Hmm.
  • I am thankful for my friends, and their listening ears- I will work on being a better listener.
  • I am SO thankful that I'm able to be at home, schooling and playing with my kiddos. I will work at being a better steward of my time, and doing it all as unto the Lord.
  • I am thankful to be at home and have flexibility in schedule. However, schooling at home keeps me busy ALL day. Yes, you schooling mamas know just what I mean. I am getting up early in this season to have time with My Great God.
  • I am thankful for a redeeming, faithful God. I am working on being faithful to Him. After all, there is only One God.
Day Five: Didn't do it, nope, I didn't. I'll let you know when I do this one. Did you?

Day Six: My mom and I had plans to go Christmas Shopping, most of the day. I didn't play games with my kids.

Day Seven: Took a big, fat, nap on the couch after church, football was on, boys were busy playing. I slept hard. Needed it, too!

Peace On Earth-Day 7- Rest


I am not a big legal advocate of the Sabbath, however, I think it's fabulous for us to rest. Take your Sunday, do the things you need to do, then rest.

This post is late, I was napping. :) I'm not sorry.

Genesis 2:2 (The Message)

By the seventh day
God had finished his work.
On the seventh day
he rested from all his work.
God blessed the seventh day.
He made it a Holy Day
Because on that day he rested from his work,
all the creating God had done.

This is the story of how it all started,
of Heaven and Earth when they were created.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Peace on Earth-Day Six: Play

Family game time! Memory? Life? Monopoly? Uno? Sorry? Chinese Checkers?

Make it fun too, bake cookies to eat while you gather and play. Christmas music, hot by candle/christmas light. Be creative! Last year we got some Dreidels as a gift from my dad. I'll get those out and we'll play...with Jelly Beans!

Necessity~ Don't forget to excersize. Sure it's cold and you don't have to go ANYWHERE near a bathing suit, but think of how good you'll feel at the end of the day! Pray, read, meditate on the Calmer of our hearts.

Also, it's time to get those Christmas cards going if you haven't already....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Peace On Earth-Day Five: Beautify

Tonight, plan a candlelight dinner for the family. You can still have pizza, or spaghetti, whatever you like. This is fun for everyone, festive and a great place to practice fine dining habits. Kids can get in on this by helping to set the table, making place cards and even a unique center piece (winter branches and pine cones in a vase or basket work!)

Dinner times like these can be a great time to rehearse (without the stress of a formal setting or snooty people without children) manners appreciated in a fine dining establishment. Set out an appetizer, reminding the kids to take what they touch, and only one. Napkin on the lap, proper utensils, phrases, passing the food rules, etc. Ahh...and the forever dislike of foods shall be met with "No Thanks, Dad" rather than the typical "Ewww, gross. This is slimy."

I don't know, maybe you practice these manners all the time- but we don't. We eat with our fingers off the table most of time (fewer dishes) so we need to practice these "restaurant/ relative rules."

Necessity~ Don't forget to excersize some today. It's amazing how great you'll feel afterward. And give your family some time today. A few minutes undivided attention goes along ways...

"It is better to eat a dry crust of bread in peace than to have a feast where there is quarreling."
~Proverbs 17:1

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Peace On Earth-Day Four: Reflect

I'm going to spend a little extra time today when I cozy up to read and pray. Reflecting on Thankfulness this week after Thanksgiving.

My friend Cathy writes in her "Act of Thankfulness";

...then I started thinking that while it's very important to think specifically about everything we're thankful FOR and speak it to God, and in fact God tells us to do this in His word (In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes. 5:18) this Thanksgiving I wanted to reflect on the things that I can do to SHOW my thankfulness to my God. Because giving thanks isn't just about saying the words, but about acting it out in our lives...everyday. It's in how we speak to others in kindness, how we show them we love them in the way we know they need it (even when it's not returned), our attitude when faced with challenges and trials, serving others, serving our church, showing grace, being good stewards of what we've been given, and countless other ways. We tell our kids all the time that a change of attitude is not just on your face, it has to be a change of heart attitude, and the same goes for us. So...Lord, let me not just speak thanks and show it on my face, but believe it in my heart and actively LIVE IT.

So today my challenge is to make a list of 8 things for which I am thankful, and plan...just how can I show God, my friends and family I am thankful?

Necessity~ Inventory time...the snow will come soon. I need to figure out what we have, what we need yet. Then I need to pick up what we need.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Sunrise, sunset

I am ever grateful that the neighbors across the street have Aspen in their yard instead of pine trees or Juniper, in winter we get a great view....