Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Slow Fade

I can't believe it's over... the nice holiday cheer... the shopping for that perfect gift... the talk about Christ and the the blink of an eye it's over and everyone but me seems to be anxious to get back to the same old grind. I just don't get it! The build up of the holidays seems to lead up to a cliff that everyone seems so anxious to jump off! lol Why would you want to just pack it all away the day after... why not saver it for a few days at least.... take some time to wind down and enjoy a few days of quiet enjoyment before jumping back into the day-to-day bustle of normal everyday activities?  It just makes me so sad to hear people saying that it's so great to have it all over with... on the day of Christmas... or that they can't wait to "reclaim" their houses the very next day! Am I the only one that wants to at least wait till the new year to enjoy the holiday season? 

In a world where you can buy Christmas decorations in June and they have Valentine's goodies out the week before Christmas... don't you just want to go against the flow and enjoy the holiday for what it is before moving on to the next one? As for me.... I will fight to keep this warm and cozy feeling in our house for as long as I can... I love the added light that the decorations bring to the house and I want my girls to learn to savor this time not cast it aside as some silly ritual that we do simply to be going thru the motions...Just because Christmas is passed doesn't mean that winter is over and it doesn't mean that we are ready to get back into the more fast paced days of spring and summer that will surely be here before we know it! I just want to take the time to breath.... to enjoy watching the girls play with their new treasured toys... to take joy in the quiet of a cold morning and a good cup of coffee sipped by the light of the Christmas tree... I am not in a hurry to banish this season of comfort and joy...I want to soak it in and keep it with me throughout the year... not rush off to yet another over commercialized holiday that seems to be losing it's meaning a little more each year...I want to take it slow and enjoy what is left of this year because as time tends to go... the new year will be here before we know it and with it it will bring a whole year full of holidays and other events to fill our days.

I guess what I'm really saying is, I wish this holiday could BE more... MEAN more and be ENJOYED more by people... if it really is the important holiday that it is... why would anyone want it to be over? Isn't it just making it about the presents if the Christmas season is over the moment they are open? Hmm... just a thought... maybe it's me that is holding on to it for too long but for some reason this whole topic makes me think of the Casting Crowns song "Slow Fade". Now, I know that song isn't about Christmas... but if you listen to the words it could be... if you give yourself away... not holding true to the meaning of the season then it's just a slow fade of falling into the general public's view of it...

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away

It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray

Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid

When you give yourself away

People never crumble in a day

It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

... I just want to be sure we are celebrating for the right reasons... and don't want to fall into that grey.... ya know? I'd love to hear your thoughts on I off my rocker?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bring on the light!

Happy Solstice!

... I know... a day late... but since when can I get anything posted on time these days!?

This was taken during the eclipse... right before the clouds took over!

And this is one of the lanterns we made for our lantern walk on Solstice. We've never really "celebrated" the winter solstice before, I always read these amazing blogs about how others do it and I just always tend to run out of time for any preparations and end up just not doing anything because it won't be perfect.... So this year, I said to heck with it! We are going to do a lantern walk and if it's a flop we'll make it better next year!
We made these pretty little lanterns by covering a balloon with tissue paper and then popping the balloons. The four of us got bundled up and headed out for a walk in the woods... only having to light the candles half a dozen times or so before we made it to the woods! The wind was not cooperating! lol As we got closer to the woods, we saw a little light down by our little duck pond/large puddle.... We called out thinking someone was camping in our yard but no one answered.... and as we got closer we found it was a gnome couple fishing by candle light!!!
The girls were just giddy and even DH admitted later that it was SUCH a cool experience...

So... into the woods caroling we went!

This is the first Solstice that I was eager to welcome... bring on the light!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five Question Friday!!!

Want to join in on the fun? Fill out these questions on YOUR blog and then link back to My Little Life! It's that easy!

1. Do you regift...and if so, do you have a regifting horror story?
2. Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year?
3. Who brings the most gifts in your family, you or Santa?
4. What store do you love to by jeans from?
5. Christmas meal: Big, All Out Meal or Snacks and Apps?

And now for my answers....

1. Do you regift...and if so, do you have a regifting horror story?

I guess I probably have regifted although I can't really think of anything in regifting horror story either. Although, I did once recieve a pair of brand new pjs from someone... that I had originally given them too!!! lol I don't think it even dawned on her... and I was glad that I always try to buy something I would like! haha!!

2. Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year?

I already got what I wanted... he's sitting right next to me! :) I think maybe I'll put a bow on him for Christmas morning... what do you think?? :)

3. Who brings the most gifts in your family, you or Santa?
 Umm... I would say that Dh and I bring more than Santa, but not much. We each usually bring one or two little things  (it all dependso n how much time we have to make them! ) and Santa brings one thing for under the tree and the stocking goodies.

4. What store do you love to by jeans from?
That's a tough one, I like to buy second hand but if I were to actually go to the store to buy them it would hands down be from GAP!!!

5. Christmas meal: Big, All Out Meal or Snacks and Apps?

We usually snack on Christmas day, hang out in our pjs and then actually get around and make a ham for a late dinner, sometimes with friends sometimes just us.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Can't you see it?

It's been almost two years since my obsession with little dogs began. If you are new to this blog you might want to start reading here first to get the whole story... Once again, I have had this eerie feeling that the stars are adjusting themselves and God is smiling down on us in great favor lately...

In light of my past postings about little dogs, it's no secret that for two years I have felt this hole in our lives that could only be filled by a little furry being... oh sure, I know how lucky I am to have the family that I have and the life that we live however I still have still felt this yearning that I can't discribe... Those feels came to a head last weekend.

I've been looking at dogs, secretly for months on Petfinder and Craigslist. Not really saying anything out loud to DH until a month or so ago when a friend sent me pictures of a little dog in Missouri. For some reason, that little furball really spoke to me and I had everything worked out in my mind as to how we would get him north! :) DH didn't go for it tho... so I started looking locally again with a vengence and started sending little "hints" to DH's email... lol Yeah, subtle is not one of my strengths! lol I would just send an email with a link and never mention it again.... I figured that if the pictures spoke to him then it would be the right time and I would just know....So... I waited patiently, or at least as patiently as I get haha! And nothing was said!  I didn't even know if he was getting my emails! lol I finally said a few bigger hints and then I at least got a response that told me he'd been getting them but not really the reaction I was hoping for! I had pretty much given up when we were talking to my mom on the phone about her newest love and I brought up a craigslist ad in front of DH on the computer....

When we hung up the phone from talking to my mom, he just casually said "He's cute, why don't you call about him?"

WHAT!?!?!?!? Did I hear him right? Take a deep breath.... maybe I'm imagining things, could this really be happening?!

As you can tell, I was a bit surprised and my mind was is overload!!!  So, I emailed and got all the questions answered that I wanted and set up a time for the owner to come by the next day!  Holy cow did that really happen? I think I am still in a bit of shock! The owner was a very sweet gal who just wanted the best for her dog. She found that she was working 12+ hour days and he was spending way too much time alone in his kennel.... So, she wanted to find him the best home she could and required a home visit to ensure he was going to the right family. This all transpired on the same day that we tried out our new church so you can see why we feel the warm glow of God showing favor on us...

But I'm getting ahead of myself...she brought him for a visit, and stayed for about 2 hours I think. You could tell it was hard for her to leave him and I was afraid that she might change her mind... but he really did seem happy here, and of course the girls were just crazy about him. Karma didn't seem to care in the least and DH.... well, you could tell he was trying to be the strong and silent type saying not much more than "He's cute" the whole time but I could tell he was interested and couldn't wait to start bonding too...
Now for the freaky I mentioned, it's been almost two years since we "lost" Remi. It was the 30th of January, just two weeks before Valentine's day.... and this new little love of mine was born that February. Yeah, try to soak that one in....I knew even then that there was a bigger purpose. I just re-read my entry from the day we got the phone callfrom Remi's owners, and even then I knew that there was a reason we had to love a little dog only to lose her... I just never could have imagined that it was for a puppy that would be born and raised nearly 2000 miles away!!!

Once again this comes to mind... :)

Isaiah 43:19 (New Living Translation)
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

  And so...that is how Linus came to live with us... isn't he a dear!? lol This picture was taken the first day we had him... Karma hadn't had the chance to warn him about the girls' love of dress-up time! ha!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Straight pins and bobbins

It's been a mad dash of sewing to get things done in time to mail... and there have been straight pins and bobbins covering my table for days!! lol I am going crazy cause I can't share what i've been working on for fear of someone seeing their gift too soon so for now you'll have to settle on this... I think it's the only gift that is for someone without a computer! :) DH's Grandmother is crazy into crafts like me and is a GREAT cook so I thought this was fitting for her!
I got the pattern from Fiber Works in MT. It has got to be THE  prettiest quilt shop I have ever been to! Be sure to check out the pictures of the store when you get a chance! I can't seem to find the pattern on their site but I'm sure if you call you could just ask for it. It's called "Easy Apron by Laura Heine". If you do call, be sure to tell them I sent you! :)

And, I got my fabric at Gee Gee's (my newest favorite outing!) You can order from their site... they have THE best selection I've ever seen!!! It makes it oh so dangerous to go in there! :)

In progress

For once, DH is getting in on the fun of making presents for the girls too!

In a world where everything is bigger and better, we really really try to make an effort to simplify at Christmas. I think last year will always be the year we are striving to recreate... not to much, not too little, just right!

So this year, instead of going to the store and ordering a painted up, run of the mill Barbie house (wooden, plastic or whatever else they come up with these days!) we are creating one that will be bookshelf style and simple... perfect for their imaginations and love of crafting to go wild!

But, as we all know... a house is not a home without some of the creature comforts of furniture! So, Daddy and I went into the woods on the search for "logs" for the beds....I love that we were able to turn what would be garbage to anyone else into something that will brign such joy to the girls. Now I need to get working on the bedding!  :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The blogger perceptions...

I read a blog today  called Along for the Ride that really hit home and seemed like she has been listening to the thoughts I've been having in my own head lately... I think it's something worth reading...

I too have struggled with these feelings... and continue to do so even more when I get compliments from friends saying "I wish I was crafty like you" or "You have so much talent, I'm jealous"...while all those things make me feel awesome, I also feel bad at the same time because of course what I post is the good stuff...the crafts that turn out or the recipes that are simply amazing...having really nothing to do with me! lol And then that makes me think... those blogs that I adore are doing the same thing... I find my self wishing that my house had more order and my kids were calmer and that life in general was just simple... and then I remember that other blogs are struggling too... only they are just sharing the good stuff... not the messes on the floor, and the screaming kids and the crafts that didn't turn out so great... I think we all have so much to gain from all the messes life brings ourway too...and we all have matter how "perfect" our blogs are! lol :)

The stars are aligning....

There has to be a word, just one single word, that means "the stars are aligning"...if you know of one please share because I'd really like to have a word to describe the last few days...

I'm sorry I've been MIA as far as the blogs go. This time of year is so busy anyways and then when you add in our last few days.... it's just insane...

If you've been following me very long, you know that we have been displaced from our ideal place in this world. Alaska was just it for us... and it left this hole that we just haven't been able to fill. Part of that hole was from simply missing the landscape, part from friends we left behind (one of which is moving here!! Woo hoo!!!) and a big part of that hole could only be filled with our church family.  We tried to find a church family in Texas, but there just never seemed to be anywhere that really made us feel like home...

I don't know if I can truly describe the feelings we had about our church, or the apprehensions we felt about trying a new if any of this comes out offensive to you, please know that it was not my intention, just poor wording.  I don't know if we idealize our church in Alaska and see it with rose colored glasses just because we've been away, or if it really was that perfect....we started going there when we first got married (the first Sunday after our honeymoon actually!)  and we just fit... it felt like home.... and the people felt like family. When we left there was literally this pain in my heart, that even now as I am typing, has brought tears to my eyes. So when we got to Texas, we had such high hopes for any of the churches we tried and such disappointment that we didn't get that "warm fuzzy" from any of them. They all felt like your stereo typical church...fake smiles on "good Sunday church folk" and sermons about going to Hell and giving them money.... so NOT the homey feeling we were looking for... so for four years we were miserable. Miserable in our location, and missing that church family that we longed to have....

Flash forward and move your mental picture farther north to Washington....

There is a little church in the woods, not far from our house, that I have been eyeing since the first day we moved in. I was going to town for a pizza while we waited on the moving truck. Off to the side of the road, back in the middle of the woods, was this community church and it's almost as if a beacon was pulling my attention to it... I couldn't describe it, it just felt like this force was pulling me there. I went home and told DH about it, and looked up their website online. The website said about bringing the word of Christ to the country... and their mission trips talked about going to Alaska of all places! lol

It's been a few months now of passing this church almost every time we've gone to town, but still we had our reservations about going. The website didn't give much detail about the church's beliefs and to be honest I just didn't want to be disappointed again. I would rather have the hope of it being "the one" than to go and be back to square one again....I know that must sound crazy. We kept telling ourselves that it's only an hour or so, and if we don't like it we aren't out much time and we don't have to go I awoke on Sunday to DH... he had already shaved and showered and told him that he just felt like "someone" was talking to him and that today (or rather Sunday) was the day...

There was kind of a calm feeling about it all...we got up and around, picked out dresses for the girls and took the first step to meeting what could be the best journey ever ahead of us...

Again, the words just don't seem to express how blessed I feel right now...from the moment we walked into that church, I felt so welcome. We got to meet so many people and one of them just happened to ask J where she goes to school....the flood gates were opened....and there was this outpouring of homeschooling moms and kids that seemed to circle around us. One of them mentioned that probably 50-60% of their congregation are homeschoolers! I had this huge lump in my throat as they all told me of things in the area for us to do and one even told me about the co-op that she is part of  and I just felt like this bright and shiny light was shining down on us and God was smiling and saying "I told you so, just be patient"...

 This scripture is one that always seems to find us when we need it most... we love it so much so that I have it written on a wipe off board so that I see it everyday... it is this scripture that has gotten us thru so many rough times... issues with my step-son, our move to Texas... our move to Missouri...the change from Missouri to Washington and so many others in between....I know there is always more clarity looking back on what we've done but this scripture has just been such a reminder to me to keep looking forward...

Isaiah 43:19 (New Living Translation)

19 For I am about to do something new.

See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

I know I don't usually share this aspect of our lives on my blog a whole lot, and don't worry, I don't plan on quoting scriptures being a regular thing...  I just had to share this experience with you and hope that it helps remind even one person that there is a greater plan for all of us....and my gratitude is so completely overflowing!

For the first time in four years, we are looking forward to the opportunities ahead of us, not looking backwards in sadness....I feel so much lighter and look forward to Sunday again!

Friday, December 3, 2010

5 Question Friday

Can you believe it's already December 3rd? Where o where did the last year go?! I must have blinked because I think I missed November entirely! lol I can't believe how fast time is flying and how lax I have been on this blog lately.... it's not as if I don't think of all of you and want to write, it's just that my days have been so full since we got home from our trip that I hardly have time to eat lunch! lol It's been a flurry of decorating and crafting and trying to get presents finished up (ok lets be honest... started... lol). I'm sure it's the same for all of you too right? Well, I will try to do better, really I will. I have missed writing and will try to do it more often as I know I really do need a break from sewing and such. I am beginning to think my hands are going to permanently stay in place for holding my knitting needles! lolThe typing will be good for them! :)

So, in an effort to stay currant with you all, I am going to take part in the Five Question Friday from over at My Little Life... won't you play along too!?

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?!
2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?

4. When do you put up your tree?

5. What is your favorite Holiday?

Here's my answers to them...

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?!

  Hmm... this is a tough one. I don't really have anything that I "need" and I just got my new sewing machine/serger so I don't really feel like it's fair for me to want anything either... but in the spirit of the question and with the idea that anything is possible... as in if Santa brought magical gifts for adults too...I would say a big hat box with holes...and a fuzzy little dog inside... I know, so lame but it's really the only thing that I can think of that would be just for me and totally frivolous (I know it wouldn't really be just for me, as I would have to share with little ones but still)....that would make a magical morning for me. Oh to have wishes like that!

2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?

A few years ago, my husband's grandma and aunt each got me part of a set of Christmas villages from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life"... I was so excited and so surprised! I so enjoy unpacking it every year and remember getting it with such great memories!

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?
I am one of the lucky ones, I am doing exactly what I always wanted to when I was growing up...I can't imagine anything better!: )

4. When do you put up your tree?

We actually put it up on Thanksgiving. While the turkey is cooking, the Macy's parade is playing and we are snacking on chex mix, we all set up the tree and attempt to get it lit...then we decorate it with ornaments the next weekend after we've gotten the rest of the house decorated during the week! I so love this time of year!

5. What is your favorite Holiday?

Growing up it was always the 4th of July but as an adult I would have to say Christmas and New Years....we got married on New Year's eve so this time of year is always special to us!