Sunday, January 31, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasure #31

For today's winter pleasure, I am chosing this blog and in particular, this challenge! Although I have not always gotten the pictures posted on the day they were taken, I have really enjoyed looking for the special moment in the day. I love looking for the good in things and I'm really trying to slow down and notice the little really be present where ever I may be...This blog has helped me stay focused in so many ways and I am going to miss the challenge of this project. I don't know if anyone else is reading these posts but if you are, I hope you take the time to notice the little things that bring joy and pleasure into your life!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasure #30

I was talking to my gram today and for a bit she was her whole self, less confused than usual. I'm not even sure how we got on the topic but she asked if I knew what happened to these dishes...She was so excited to know that I have them...It makes me feel good everytime I make the girls jello or pudding in them. I can remember my gram making special treats in them and somehow they always tasted better in these dishes! It really is the little things that we remember isn't it?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasure #29

It's funny how something simple like a tea pot can make you remember someone that is gone....

Giveaway Heaven!!

Beware! You will want it all and spend a good amount of time doing everything you can to get entries!! lol Go HERE and cross your fingers!!! The amount of amazing giveaways is staggering! I'm off to put in more entries now! On second thought, maybe I shouldn't tell anyone... lol Hurry! Go! Enter!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasure #28

Yes, we had all our fun activities for the day canceled due to....rain! But did we let it get us down? NO!!! lol When do we lose the joy in eating foods shaped like animals? "Puppy dog salad" is the new best thing in our house! As if they didn't already eat enough fruit! lol

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #27

I love that they love each other so much!!! Now if only the grey one (Kobuk) didn't get fur balls from cleaning the other one (Dori) we'd be really happy! lol

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #26

I never knew slicing eggs could be so fun! lol

An educated man

I can remember the night we got the call like it was yesterday.... It was 26 January 2007, Superbowl Sunday. I didn't understand the magnatude of losing a grandparent before then nor could I have forseen the change in me it would leave forever. My grandpa was a quiet man who loved to work...He loved his family and God and he had something about him that made you feel safe...I don't feel like I ever really got to know him how I would have liked to but his death changed me in a way I will never be able to express...this song is as close as I can get....

Educated Man

by Hobo Jim

There were few books on his shelf
Zane Grey and a Bible
And nothin' else

He never went too far in school
Always thought himself a fool
So much he couldn't understand

Ah but give him a torch
and some metal rod
He could weld anything in this world by God
When it came to workin' with his hands...

He was an educated man

He was a master of his trade
He could fix anything ever made
With his hands.

Smarter than most PhDs
He could build anything you see
With his hands

He was an educated man

He never traveled very far
He only used his car
to pick up parts

And the only world he knew
was his shop and all his tools
And the work he'd left to do

Ah but give him a hammer and a box of nails
He could build you a wagon or a ship that sails
When it came to workin with his hands
He was an educated man

He was master of his trade
He could fix anything ever made
with is hands...

Smarter than most PhDs
he could build anything ever seen
with his hands

He was an educated man

While he was here
He taught me all he knew
And when he left
He left me all his tools

Here I am with his ol' chisel in my hand
carvin' here lies an educated man

He was a master of his trade
he could fix anything ever made
with his hands

Smarter than most PhDs
He could build anything you've seen
with his hands

He was an educated man...

He was an educated man...

I couldn't even explain it at the time, but something inside of me wanted his scrollsaw....I've carried to Missouri, Alaska and Texas...and now we use it to make toys for our girls. He would have loved them so!

Today the world lost another incredibly loved great Aunt Joyce... Time goes so fast and in an instant the world is a different place. Celebrate those you love while they are still someone you love for no reason....give someone a hug just because...and always remember....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #25

I love the things that J comes up with!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #24

1/2 large cucumber

one small bunch of parsley

one large pear

approx 1 cup strawberries

2 stalks of celery

4 Fuji apples

4 organic carrots

= 4+ cups of juicy goodness!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #23

After the rain...this was THE brightest rainbow I have ever seen!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #22

I've have been feeling the need for a pick me other hair done! lol But I didn't want to fork out the big bucks to get it done. ugh! So, the other day while I was at Walmart (another ugh) I bought a box of hair color and today I took the leap!!

I don't remember the last time I didn't have highlights, heavy blonde highlights, at times so heavy that I was more blonde than brunette. I've had my hair artificially colored for as long as I can remember and I think I even started to think that it was me...but it's not. Now, perhaps these feelings will pass but for now I almost feel free! For the first time in 10+ years, I have dark brown, close to my natural brunette hair! Now I can't wait to see the reaction of my girls and favorite guy! lol I didn't really plan on this today so they didn't know I was going to do it either!

The last time I got my hair done I was high as a kite and felt shiny and new coming home to show off my new do! Until, my very dark headed little girl asked why I made my hair yellow like her sister's and when she could get it done too! How am I supposed to teach my girls to love themselves when I don't feel good in my own hair! (Again, this feeling may fade but for now it all makes sense!)

Today has been a rough one, as said brunette daughter seems to be going thru "something". I can't quite put my finger on what that "something" is but she really seems to be needed some extra TLC from me and I guess I'm just not coming thru for her as much as she needs/wants me to. Maybe it's the upcoming move, or Daddy's busy work schedule these days, maybe it's her very baby acting sister or maybe it's just being five almost six! I feel very helpless with her frustrations and outbursts. I am really hoping that it will make her feel good that now we have the same color hair...perhaps it will magically fill in some need she is lacking? Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #21

She wants to be like J so badly! She got ahold of her V-smile when sister didn't know it! lol

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #20

As much as I would rather have a "real" winter, we are so enjoying the beautiful days Mother Earth throws our way! Our walks our priceless!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #19

I love getting to experience things with them for the first time...what a great day at the firestation!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cozy and Coffee!

I happened on to a great new blog with a fun new give-a-way! Check it out, tell your friends! Who can resist mittens and coffee...and top it off with chocolate!!!

Simple Winter Pleasures #18

Forgotten treassure we found while cleaning out and repacking! I can't wait to get to unpack these!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #17

A sunny day and nothing to do but draw! I love to see them together like this !

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #16

While most of the packing and house staging is tiring and emotionally draining, using our Christmas money for a new tv stand was so great! The best was even on sale! Woo hoo!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #15

The packing and cleaning out has begun...I am so proud of how the girls are handling it! They downsized three boxes of toys down to two...what a great start!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #14

Unexpected mail from New Zealand~ I miss you Toni!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Simple Pleasures #13

I am SO thankful for such a great friend! Brandy came over and helped me get kick started on the packing! It felt good to get a start on it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #12

It was the last place on our list but at least we have a direction back in our lives again! Washington here we come!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #11

I didn't think it would come this soon...Cooking side by side in the kitchen with my five year old! I was making salsa and she was making pudding all by herself! She was so proud! For a few
quiet moments we were there creating together with coffee (for me), peppermint tea (for her) and all was right...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #10

"Mom! Quick! I need some tape! I figured out how I can fix your pot!"

She was so convinced she could fix it for was just so sweet...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #8

It's amazing what some free play with a magnadoodle will bring... While working on vaccuuming the living room, my dear self-starting daughter yells out "Hey mom! 4 plus 4 plus 4 plus 4 equals 16!! " So we talked about multiplication. lol
Thanks to this simple toy and some quiet time, DD is now starting on her 4 times table! Now if I can get her to back track to 1,2 & 3 we'll have it made! I am so thankful we have the freedom to let our kids teach themselves a thing or two from time to time! :) Learning really should be a joyful adventure. I'm just so glad I'm along for the ride!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #7

An amazing night out with (altho incredibly loud!) shopping afterwards...who could ask for more!? I am so very thankful for my fellow homeschooling mamas!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Crossing my fingers...

Can you imagine the patched skirt I could make with this fabric???? It's it adorable!? I can just see R wearing it on her birthday...I wonder if I could make it stretch for two skirts? Hmm...Crossing my fingers! Ü

Go enter for your chance to win too!

Simple Winter Pleasures #6

It has been months since our trusty french press bit the dust. First it was the spout that broke and even tho it made a leaky mess when we poured with it, it still worked. Then came the large crack down the front and we finally had to retire it. So, I gave in and let DH replace it with a junky plug-in coffee maker. Ugh!
Well, due to other circumstances, we had to get rid of that junky one and I insisted on replacing it with the real thing again! DH insisted on getting a good one and now our mornings feel like they are back to being good again. I love the difference in the taste and the simplicity of the french press! Now I need to knit it a cozy to keep it if we ever leave and left over coffee behind! lol

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Simple Winter Pleassures #5

Demise of a snowman!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #4

Even when you don't feel like it, sometimes you just have to stop and play a game! Tonight it was Hi Ho glad we took the time!
Kobuk made the game extra interesting when he decided he would spin the spinner too! lol

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures #3

I know this isn't spiritual, magical or simple....but a very bright spot in an otherwise very long day!!! lol

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures Day 2

Do you remember the blog post I had on here about a give-a-way for a mini Waldorf doll? I won!! Sue over at PolarbearCreations contacted me and I was just beside myself with excitement! And then it sunk in that I would have only one of these darling little dolls and two very excited little girls! So I emailed her about purchasing another one to match and she wrote back telling me that she had one and she would include it too at no cost!!! I couldn't believe the amazing kindness of a stranger! She was already being so giving with one but to give two was above and beyond!!!
In todays mail we got the package! lol You would think that those girls didn't have any toys (which you know is FAR from the truth!) by the way they were carrying on and the way they set off to feed their new babies. I hadn't even gotten to hold them yet and they already set to digging out things to wrap them in and making beds for them to sleep in! J instantly found a cloth cradle for hers and R put hers in a cloth carrier and they had names picked out in no time! J's has alphabets all over the fabric so she named hers Allie and R actually named hers on her own and wouldn't even listen to my suggestions! lol Her's is now named NeNe after J's imaginary friend!
These babies have already brought so much raw, simple joy to our home. J keeps teling DH how they are stuffed with lambs "wool-fur" lol and R is just so excited to have named hers and she snuggled in with her at bedtime.
Sue, if you are reading this...I thankyou more than words to say. Your work is amazing and the dolls are SO BEAUTIFUL!!! I wish mine looked half as good!! lol
If you are ever looking for an amazing gift for a little one....PLEASE check out her shop! You won't be disappointed! And the best part is, the kiddos love them and they aren't flashy or battery run! It's a win-win!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Simple Winter Pleasures Day 1

The days are numbered for our Christmas decorating. I know the day is coming that we will pack it all away for another year. (ugh) This year we added a small disco ball looking ornament on a spinner (the cats love it! lol) and we discovered that at about 5:15 or so every afternoon, when the sun gets to just the right spot in the sky our living room has bits of shattered light bouncing off the walls from the reflections given off from this ornament! For a few moments in the day, our livingroom feels like magic and the song from Sleepless in Seattle plays in my mind... In the wee small hours of the morning... I know it's not in the morning but I can't control the songs that stick to certain moments in my mind! lol Personally, I think this ornament has a bit of magic and just wants us to all slow down for a few moments in the day and enjoy something simple...

Taking the time to focus...

What is focus?

According to Webster's dictionary the meaning is~ a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding

When you really think about it, aren't we all striving for that? Maybe not everyone, but I know I sure am! Even just considering the day-to-day trials we all have to endure, focus can be difficult. You add in any of lifes big diversions and focus is nearly impossible! Lately, our lives have been a bit murky on the understanding and perception side of things. Living the life of the military has taught me that nothing is ever for sure and that your life can be very much at the mercy of someone you may have never even met. That's what we have been learning lately anyways. For now, we are here and that is all I can focus on in the now. The future and where we will be is for another day to worry about. I am hopeful but still question the how and why of our lives lately so this new year of opportunities and resolutions is coming at a perfect time in my growing process! The only thing I am in control of is me so why not focus in that for the time being!?! lol Actually, "resolutions" probably isn't the right term because I think as a whole people have good intentions of making them come true but get caught up in the everyday things and those big resolutions rarely come true. ..

So, instead I am looking for focus... Since moving here, my family and I just haven't found a church that makes us feel at home. We do however have the pure joy of listening to our Paster, Ed, online thru our old church~ Riverside Community. If you've never listened to a sermon online, please try out this one! I can't imagine what these 3+ years would have been like without Ed and God's directions we have gotten from the sermons. Even all the way from Alaska, Ed is still giving us the words we need to hear to get through the days. I think our church family is the driving force for us getting back there. Sure we miss the mountains, the culture and food but you know what my first thought of returning is? Pulling up to Riverside, sneaking in unannounced and seeing the look on our friends/family's faces...ok I have to stop...the tears are coming...

Anyways, Ed had a new lesson last week about focus and how important it is in our lives as Christians and he has a step-by-step guide to figuring it out on his blog that DH and I are doing. We are only a few days into it and already I am looking at my days in a different manner. Taking more time to focus on who I really want to be and what I want to be remembered for later. Doing this process with DH is also a nice experience. We have always been open with each other about our thoughts and ideas on things and usually we are on the same page but somehow this is different. Maybe we are just both doing some soul searching these days and it's just nice to have someone along for the ride! lol

The first step on this journey to focus is writing down your dream. Now for some this would be easy but I actually found it rather hard to put into words because my dream isn't just one big thing, it's a lot of "little things" that aren't so little to me!

My dream is to have a home that is full of order and peace so the creative juices have room to flow. I want to live in Alaska (duh!) and be surround by nature. I dream of our girls being taught by earthschooling in every sense of the name with the mountains and trees as their guides and the skies their limits. I want our handmade toys and crafts to reach far away lands and bring joy to children and adults of all ages. I want to wake up every morning refreshed and enjoy coffee and conversation with my husband and feel satisfied with my day and it's accomplishments as the night sets in. I NEED to feel like I am home....

Tall order, I know! I guess I better get started!

What's your dream? Please share!

One last challenge I am giving myself is to take part in a "Simple Winter Pleasures" collection of photos that show little views of our life on a daily basis. I read about it on BlueBerryCottage (isn't she just full of good ideas lately?) and thought it went along nicely with my goal of getting focused. Each day I will post a picture of something I consider important, spiritual, magical or just plain simple that aides in me becoming a better me...can you join me at taking notice of the little things?

One small change...

Can you imagine the impact that just one person can make on the world? Can you picture the amount of change that could be inspired by one person, making one change for the good? I can't even phathom how much goodness we are capable of. It's not the kind of thing you see on the news!

I am excited for the new year full of new chances, fresh starts, exciting adventures and endless possibilities! I am also excited to have read one of the blogs I follow,
BlueBerryCottage. She is taking the One Small Change challenge over at HipMountainMama and I have decided to join her!

This passed summer, I realized how many paper towels we actually use. I mean, it is just entirely too easy to go thru a ton at an insane speed! It's just soooo easy to use and toss and the amount of money and paper wasted was staggering! So I quit! I figured- it we don't buy them we won't use them! Ha! Easier said than done! Having kiddos, you know there have been lots of messes and with animals there are entirely different messes of their own! But, we got used to it. I have a drawer of baby wash rags, older cloth diapers and other rags that quickly took the place of their paper, tree killing counter part! lol We went about 6 months before I finally broke down and bought a pack of three paper towel rolls (I know! Gasp!) I was doing so good until DH spilled a bucket of paint and I had nothing buck cloth to grab! ugh! So, I bought some paper towels and kept them in hiding so as not to be temped. I save them only for extreme messes and so far so good! We still use our cloth rags for everyday clean up and I'm so proud of the "small difference" we are making!

As most of you know, we also used cloth diapers and I really like the idea of getting multiple uses out of household items! SO... our small change for this month is going to be taking the reusable item list to the next level! We are going to use cloth napkins in place of paper ones. While our family was here visiting, we happened into Dillards (only my second time ever!) and I was shocked to see beautiful cloth napkins on clearance for $.80! Now, they aren't all matching but for now they will get us started on this journey!

I am excited for the challenge and will be anxious to see all the small changes that will make a HUGE DIFFERENCE! Every little bit counts! What can YOU do to make the world a better place?