Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Absolutely Nothing Day!

Tired Nana...oh my!  We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of family and friends, presents and meals, laughter and smiles.  Late Saturday morning our company departed, and I headed to the stores for after Christmas specials.  My daughter and I only managed a few stores.  She is pregnant and I am just old =] Later that day I baked a birthday cake and celebrated a good friend's 50th birthday!

Let's see my week started out with the arrival of my son on Tuesday afternoon accompanied by a friend he brought home to spend the holidays with us.  We had a family birthday dinner for Josh that night, prime rib and all the trimmings.  P.T. and family joined us.   The next day on Christmas Eve we went to church, and watched a lovely Christmas pageant.  After church we went back to our place for a sit down meal for 12, serving lasagna and birthday cake. Before our meal we read Barbara's post The Glory of the Unlikely (see previous post) after dinner we tried to play Mad Gab, but my son in law out did us all  :]  After opening presents starting at 9:00 am on Christmas morning with our family and of coarse Puddin Toes as our star player, we had 10 for Christmas Brunch...Eggs Benedict, cinnamon pull apart biscuits, and fruit salad as the main head liners.  I had a wonderful Christmas present as my son's guest quietly did all the dishes and cleaned up my kitchen.   Nick you were such a blessing to me you will never know how much!!! 

On Friday evening we had another family meal this time at a restaurant followed by a late night watching my son's band Lions & Eagles perform at a local pub till one in the morning...and that takes us right up to Saturday morning.  So you know what we did on Sunday...absolutely nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phew!!!  I am looking forward to a few more days of rest. My darling husband has the week off and we are going to just hang out, go out to dinner, go to shows and just relax....I hope =/

My husband bought me a beautiful new lap top for Christmas and this is my virgin blog using this nifty new machine.  We never did get my old lap top completely fixed after wiping the hard drive it still wouldn't connect to the Internet.  I do hope to get if fixed eventually. 

Just one more bit of news...we did have a very snowy, and beautiful white Christmas...but starting Sat. night our local southwest wind start up, something we call a Chinook (old Indian name) and the snow is almost completely gone...50 degrees today!  That was absolutely wonderful timing

So here for your viewing pleasure are a few of our holiday moments ...

Like I said Puddin Toes was our star!
We have a tradition so now it seems of taking a picture with our silly Christmas gear.
Uncle Josh with two babies and tea :0)
Dresses for "The Girls"
Look closely and you will see Elmo slippers and baby hugging...awh!
Dinner Friday night with the Borders!  We have just discovered Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que mmm
Papa flying Puddin Toes
Piggy back ride from Grampa Dave
Auntie "Enna"  P.T. can't say her J's yet :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let us expect to find Him, where we least expect Him to be!

The tree is decorated, the packages wrapped, the food bought and prepared, family on their way back  home.  The holidays are upon us!  

Now we can kick back...well sort of =) and enjoy these next few days with family and friends.  It appears we are in for a very full house this year at our home.  I think I am up to 14 for Christmas Eve dinner alone!

What is on my mind right now, and I hope something I will carry in my heart through out the season and  through this up and coming New Year... "The Glory of the Unlikely"  This post from Barbara has especially touch my heart this season.  Here is an excerpt from her post, please do yourself a favor and read her piece. 

"He is the God of the unlikely, the God who requires stables in which to birth His beloved rather than the pristine palaces we might anticipate. So let us expect to find Him there, in the stables of our lives and worlds, the circumstances, situations and people where we least expect Him to be. Indeed, let us see that the glory of His presence is most often in direct proportion to the appearance of His absence..."

I want to wish all my blog friends and their families a very blessed and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Puddin Toes first "Meet and Greet" with Santa...or

or...Who is the big scary guy in red??????????
Papa...don't you dare let go...!
P.T. is now holding on to Papa for dear life =]
Okay I can sit on Papa's lap and look from a distance.
Well maybe I can get a little closer if mama is holding me.
Nope, I do not think so...too big, too red, too scary!

And it is still snowing!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's official...

Yes, it is official, my hard drive has to be reformatted. We found out that there is no fix for this new bug. It is a new problem with Explorer as I had initially suspected. So in the mean time, I get to steal a few late night minutes on hubby's computer.

Here are some shots of my holiday decorating. We don't have the tree up yet. I need to go buy one tomorrow, because guess what....more snow on the way. We may be socked in all weekend. I will have plenty of time to decorate it then. Yes, I am still buying fresh trees, and will not try another fake tree after last year's tree debacle. click here if you want to see that episode ;) I have been obsessed with glitz this year, and some new found discount decorating stores.

As you can see I am obsessed with snowflakes, stars and glitter :) These tree toppers at Craft Warehouse for $4.00 a pop, how can I not be...but that is not all

I have rediscovered Pier One...who knew, not me. They have gone back to their original style, and prices. In the middle is yet another tree topper, mercury glass...I fell in love! I can't wait to go back after Christmas and hit the sales. It is funny how I won't fuss with decorating for months and months, (too busy with the garden I guess) and then I go on these sprees.

My new big favorite discount decor store is Real Deals. This place is nuts. They are only open two days a week. They do not advertise, only by word of mouth, and there prices...unbelievable. Here are a few of my finds. Above in left corner glitzy peace sign for $6.00, and the star,$4.00 at Pier One.

My quirky little $3.95 Charlie Brown tree from Real Deals.

Now some old school. The holly elves were my grandmothers, very few of her things survived. I just treasure them!
Dan's newly claimed study with some color.

The hall way, the greens are new from Real Deals.

Glitzy new raindeers...I know I am ridiculous =/
This hall tree was my moms, and she made the ceramic angels years ago for me.
Glitzy new pine cones from Walmart and Real Deals pot.
My mother in law bought this for me many Christmas's ago. I love using it around the holidays.
Here is a picture of my front courtyard after the first snow dump. I am originally a New England gal, so I just love the snow this time of the year...it is fairly rare around here.
Well I better get to bed, Puddin Toes arrives early in the morning. Mommy is going for a Dr. visit, and we will find out what sex the new baby is !!!! I will keep you posted. I have a feeling I might be buying blue :)
Update...I was wrong, Puddin Toes is going to have a new sister. I am so excited, they will be friends forever, only eighteen months apart. And I get to shop for more pink...I think I can handle that :0) (See first pink day shopping)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cranberry Bliss

Well it has been the month for bugs. First I got a virus, now my laptop is full of bugs! I am here stealing a few minutes on my hubby's computer, to make at least an appearance in blogland.

I am busy with getting ready for Christmas, decorating, shopping, and all that goes along with the season. I always find myself in quite a dilemma. I hate to start fussing with Christmas preparations before December. Just not my thing to think about Christmas in July, but...then I always find myself in the middle of the month, woe unto me. Wishing I had done all the hoopla before hand, so I could just relax and enjoy the all the Holiday Cheer, and the Reason for the Season, my dear Lord Jesus!
Soooo.... here is one goodie for you all. Can you believe I just tasted for the first time last week a Starbucks "Cranberry Bliss" Oh YUM! So I went hunting on the Internet for some similar recipes, and pulled a few together and here is what I have come up with. These are my new favorite Christmas treat. But I must warn you they are very rich!

Cranberry Bliss

1 cup butter
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. orange extract
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp.ground ginger
1/2 of an orange zested
1/4 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
cream butter and sugar and all...then add:

2 cups of flour
3/4 cups of dried cranberries
1/2 a bag of white chocolate chips (l lb bag)
Bake in a 9x13 dish at 350 for 30 minutes or so...don't over bake, these will come out chewy like a brownie.
Frost with :
4 0z. of cream cheese(1/2 pkg)
3 cups of powder sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. orange extract
and a little juice from the orange you zested to thin the cream cheese frosting just enough to spread

Frost after completely cooled in pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of chunks of white chocolate, (I used a white chocolate bar for this ) and about 1/2 cup of roughly chopped dried cranberries.

I cut the pan in half the long way, and then cut into bars. After I removed the bars I cut them into triangles.

What are you baking new this year????

I just peeked out my front door...first snow! Somethings make you feel like a kid again!
This is looking out from my front door, I am resisting the urge to go for a midnight walk in the first snow...it is very cold out brrrrrr!

Blessings to all!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks Challenge

Latest P.T. Photo...See my daughter's webpage on side bar Twinkle Toes
she does some beautiful work!

Bloggin Friends

Just wanted to post my Thanksgiving Challenge before I removed it from the sidebar. I have been having some pesky computer problems...hope to be back to posting and commenting soon. I think it is a problem with Explorer. Hubby tried another fix tonight. It started with spam & pop-ups and has gone down hill from there. I can't seem to make one comment without Explorer shutting me down. So hang in there with me till we get it fixed. I still will be reading your posts when I can.

( I just got shut down in the middle of this post...not fixed...it might be awhile till we actually wipe the hard drive and start over...errrrrh)

Thanksgiving was a wonderful time; spent with family and good friends...you know who you are! Love ya

I am thankful for...
that my son made it home for T.G. and that we are all together
the body of Christ
the Holy Spirit leading, guiding, and revealing the truth.
God teaching me about "Unforced Rythmns of Grace"
the gift of friends
health and wholeness returning back to my body
my precious family
Sunday brunch with my family
the Kingdom of God..righteousness, peace, and joy
God, and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build me up
a husband who takes care for me when I am sick
the many men and women who have fought for our country
the creativity gene being passed on to my children
Young people who run after God!
The freedom to gather and pray with other believers
A new grandbaby on the way!
For the freedom to vote
God's faithfulness
An exceptional fall

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

The painting project as of this evening is done! Six coats of paint later after my[so very good to me] husband sanded the whole thing down to the bare wood, a gel stain that was not very cooperative, and several clear coats later...dah dah! Wow, that was excruciating. My husband took on the task of sanding this old mahogany secretarial for me this summer. I know I wrecked a good piece of furniture, but the fact of the matter was, it was given to me by my mother- in law when I first got married, in 1977 and the first thing I did was paint it. Oh dear...what did I know. I don't think it was an expensive piece to begin with. 30 some odd years later...the original paint job was a mess. This time I went for a shabby chic look. After I finished it I deliberately sanded off some of the paint.(click top picture to see artistic sanding job!) Now that it already looks worn, what will a few more chips matter down the road right :o) My daughter loved it and said it looked very Pottery Barn. I guess all things old become new.

I haven't added the glass doors back on yet...mainly because they aren't finished...but maybe I will leave it as is???
Thanks Vee for the side line cheering. So interesting that we both picked the same finish for our projects. I just loved pulling all the little decorations together for the shelves from around the house. I just have one more job to do, and all will be complete. Find my favorite picture of Puddin Toes to put in my frame.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Unforced Rhythms of Grace...revisited :)

I have been asking a certain question of God these last few weeks. God, show me what it is you are doing? Now the reason I have been asking this question is out of a sincere heart of wanting to know. You see I spent many years as a Christian, heading down pathways and following certain journeys only to find out, to my great surprise half way through that I was in the race or on the journey all by myself. Thinking I was doing the will of God…but to my great shock finding out that I was doing the whole thing in my own time, my own strength, my own way… what messes I would find myself in.

Funny thing though, I wouldn’t even notice my solitary walk till I found myself burned out, or really frustrated about what I was doing.

One year I was at the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center and I walked into our room with another family and kids swarming all around me I picked up this leaflet that was the theme of the conference that week and this is what I read…

Mat 11:27-30 Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

I remember sudden tears springing to my eyes, my heart was caught in my throat, and all I wanted to do is run from the room and pour out my pain to God. I came to a quick deep realization at that precise moment that I had no idea what in the world on God’s precious green planet was an “unforced rhythm of grace” …and then I knew I was in for it big time. I needed a lesson on understanding this concept of walking with God. There was a great big hint right there in the passage…walking WITH God…oh yeah…dah!

Well I have had ample opportunity to share this lesson lately with a few young people. And you know how when you share a truth with someone, you find yourself being held accountable to it? So here I am focused, watching, waiting and looking to see what it is my Master is up to, so I can simply join with Him and do that! It is so simple, right? Well is should be ;>)

I think it is a good heads up as we head into the Holiday Season, where so much is going on to distract us and get us off course…His course. So I hope you will join me on my journey with the King this season…following in His footsteps, watching what it is He is doing, and just doing that… living in that “unforced rhythm of grace.”
You can click on unforced rhythm of grace to see my first post if you want on this scripture.
By the way Vee...painting project is almost complete and I will post it for you my dear encouraging friend...it has been horrendous, but I am pleased with how it is turning out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Giving Thanks Creates a Grateful Heart

I am really enjoying this seemingly little exercise of the "Giving Thanks Challenge." We all know that of course we have so much to be thankful for. And this exercise may seem a bit simplistic in its practice. But it is not! Cultivating a grateful heart by simply giving some attention to the blessings that float around us on a daily basis I think deposits into us something deeper than we are aware of. It changes our hearts and our mindsets that truly give us a spirit of freedom on so many levels. It gives us a chance to really see not just with our eyes, but with our spirit. I have been sharing alot with the Interns this fall about mind sets. How so many of our battles as Christians are fought on that front. Taking the time to just simply thank Him, affords a direct deposit into our spirit. It gives us a mindset that is truly more eternally based then the temporal stuff that wants to take us down if we let it on a daily basis. This exercise is helping me to keep my heart and mind accountable to Him. The most high God, the eternal everlasting God, the one who placed His imprint on my soul, my mind, my being! I am finding that my prayers to Him are bubbling up with much more thanksgiving and praise than before I started this simple little exercise. This week we started our prayer time with the Interns with a time of thanksgiving. What a release we all had during that prayer session I believe because we followed a pattern and a principal addressed in the Psalms to "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise."

The Psalms are full of praise and thanksgiving. I would like to challenge myself and those of you that are reading this post and perhaps those of you that are already doing the G.T.C. to add to this challenge a time each day to read aloud one thanksgiving type Psalms from now until Thanksgiving. Lets see if our mindsets and our outlook on earthly things could perhaps be taken up to a different level. I must say the other side benefit I am noticing is that I can't help but be encouraging to those around me. And how fun is that!

Psa 100:1-5 A thanksgiving psalm.

On your feet now--applaud GOD!
Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: GOD is God, and God, GOD. He made us; we didn't make him. We're his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: "Thank you!" Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him.
For GOD is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.

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