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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good-bye 2011!

It was a fun week...no work for the Daddy, no work for the kids and Star Wars on Blu Ray! The vacuum cleaner was finally run this morning to pick up all of the things that were dropped as we ate a lot of our meals out on the living room and plenty of popcorn to get through the six Star Wars movies.

2011 is almost over and I can't say that is has been the favorite year of my life. In fact, I am not too sad that it is almost over. I don't like that it seems to have flown by way too fast. I fear that this is the way it will go from now on. Looking back, I would have to say that my favorite times were the ones where all seven of us were snuggled up together at home. As the kids get older and busier, those are the moments that I cherish most.

This afternoon I turned the calendar to the January page and was a little shocked that there was very little written on it. That scares me because I know that there are many things coming up and I hope that I don't miss anything! Lessons and practices will start again and taxi-ing everyone to their respective activities will resume. I am thankful for two more days of togetherness before the rest of the world sneaks back in and takes over.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Favorite Christmas Things

The Box Said Bosch!

I love that for all the years of my married life, I have been able to have my Grandma's old Bosch mixer that was just like my mom's. I love that I knew exactly how it worked and how to make all the things that I grew up making because the mixer worked the same as the one in my mom's kitchen. Of course, I would have much rather have Grandma still with us, but that was not my choice to make.

I think of her often when I am making bread, muffins, cake, or mixing up anything that I have to mix! So, when I saw the new Bosch mixer as I unwrapped my Christmas present I of course was excited to have such a nice machine and thankful for a husband who knows that he is married to a woman that does like to get practical things every once in awhile, especially when they are needed.

Grandma's mixer would have been welcomed in my house forever, but even David was realizing that the days of that mixer were numbered. It complained every time it was running with all kinds of unique and often surprising sounds. I knew that it had done its work and I wasn't going to be able to ask it for much more. Still...I love the thoughts that I would think of being a girl and being in Grandma's kitchen.

It was as I was setting up the new machine that I could almost hear a sigh of relief from that trusty old Bosch...it was ready to be done. Besides, if Grandma were still with us, she would have upgraded to a newer model long before this. With that in mind I am certain that just because it isn't her machine that I am mixing with, I will still have the memories as the new model hums along and makes wedding cake for my little girls and all the other food that will sustain my family. I can't wait to break it in!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dawn's Heart

I was reminded again last weekend about the sweetness of Dawn's heart. We were at Grandma's Christmas party and I have to admit, it is hard to witness my Grandma's mind go downhill as she gets older. I know she doesn't like it and I imagine her life feels out of her control. It was a better visit this year than last time I saw her and that was a wonderful thing. She spoke of things that were real and remembered all of us.

Watching Dawn with Grandma reminded me of our visit to see Grandpa Carl in the nursing home when she was 5. Seeing Great Grandpa after his stroke was noticably troubling for all of the kids when we got there but it was not so with Dawn. Although Grandpa couldn't communicate with us at the time, I could tell in his eyes that when Dawn snuggled up next to him and kissed him that it made his day. She stayed by his side for most of the visit.

Sunday was no different for Dawn when she saw Grandma in her wheelchair. She jumped right up in her lap and stayed there for some time sharing secrets and giggles. When it was time to go, I could tell they were both sad. I love the heart I see in my Dawn. There is something special for her future, I can tell, she sees things the rest of us don't always catch.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Zombie Tag!!!

I am sure this idea came from a Phineas and Ferb episode but the new thing around our house is playing "Zombie Tag" and I can't do it justice without being able to hear the kids say it, especially Matthew with all of the doom in his voice that he can muster! I laugh a lot because these are the cutest, most pleasant looking zombies I have ever seen!

Gingerbread Night

Gingerbread house and Christmas tree done! The tree was new for us this year and I am afraid that I got it stacked a little lop sided but the children gathered around afterward talking about how wonderful it looked...they love it and that is all that matters! I am proud to highlight their work in the middle of the table!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Angels Sing

What a fun night. Matthew was so excited to put on his angel costume and go up on the stage. It was a little different than the rest of the kids have been in the past. I guess I really didn't have a "performer" until now. Matthew ate up the spotlight and it was pretty funny to watch. It makes me think about what is in store for us in the years ahead!

Zachary did a very good job too. He wasn't sure if he knew the songs very well but he got up there and did a wonderful job with the actions. We had a good time this year at the preschool Christmas program!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

No Best Mom Award Today

What is this you may ask? It is Coffee and Cookie Bar recipe after being baked 3 1/2 times as long as it needs to be!

I was rushing around like a mad woman today trying to get some help from the little people who really wanted some time to play on a Saturday. I don't blame them. I wanted to as well but with a sick child earlier in the week, I didn't get my baking done for the "playing" that was planned for the afternoon. I could feel my blood pressure rise as the energy level of my children trapped indoors on a rainy day was also rising.

Preparing for a Christmas card making party with 6 of my grown up friends, I made a few treats this morning and the kitchen was a mess. I decided to throw the last recipe in the oven and then go and make sure everything downstairs was set to go. As it turned out, I didn't make it back upstairs before guests started to arrive. We got into the card making and all was well.

Upstairs the rest of the family had sat down to watch Cars 2. All the cleaning up and running around had culminated in afternoon fun for all who were here. It was an hour and a half later when my wonderful husband came half way down the stairs and asked "did you have something in the oven"?

I actually had to stop and think about it because it had been an hour and a half! But yes, it was then that I remembered that I had put the Coffee and Cookie Bars in the oven and had forgotten to turn on the timer! Who knew that burning chocolate still smells so yummy? Everyone upstairs claimed not to have smelled anything burning.

The fact of the matter is, if you cut around the outside inch and get into the middle, it still actually is edible. They can't wait to dig into it, which they will do tomorrow since they had eaten way too many other cookies and treats to need more sugar today!

I was pretty demanding of them this morning when I was trying to get everything ready for the afternoon and felt pretty bad about it when all was said and done. I have days like this sometimes, like when I hear my voice over and over again asking for this to get picked up or that to be done. I am certain that all they hear is "waa waah waaahh waah waah" like on Charlie Brown. Some days I even yell to make sure they hear me, and they do: "WAA WAAH WAAAHH WAAH WAAH!!!"

There are a few of my friends out there that I love because they have kids older than mine. It is encouraging to hear that this can be outgrown. For now though, as I wind down my day in the quiet of this hour, hearing a "Jesus Loves Me" duet sung by two brothers in their beds is a pretty sweet sound. Sometimes His mercies are new even before I go to bed!

Jesus Tree

I love the Christmas season. It always makes me sad when I hear people talking about how much the dread it. I love everything from decorating to baking to searching for the perfect gift for the people I love.

It gets harder as the children get older to fight the "gimmies". The things that they want tend to be bigger and take up more space in their mind. This year with a rearranging and purchase of new furniture for the living room, we had to find a new place for our Jesus tree.

We get to go through Jesus' story day by day and add new ornaments to the little 3 foot tree. Each year as the kids get older the big ones help share the story with the little ones. Last year where Matthew was just present during the reading, he is this year putting ornaments on the tree with everyone else. I hear Zach telling Mat

thew what the red ribbons are for and I smile knowing that for a few minutes a day the kids know what Christmas is all about along and can see what a right focus can give in all of the talk of wanting and getting. I love the cozy feel of my living room and the smells of yummy treats.
People ask me every year about the story of the Jesus tree. Starting on December 1st it goes like this:

Day 1:
  • GREEN TREE - Jeremiah 31:3 "I have loved you with an everlasting love."
  • WHITE LIGHTS - John 9:5 "I am the Light of the world."
Day 2:
  • RED RIBBONS - Hebrews 9:22 "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin."
  • SMALL BIBLES - John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Day 3:
  • NAME TAGS - "I have called you by name, you are mine."
Day 4:
  • SHEEP - John 10:14 "I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own sheep and my sheep know me."
Day 5:
  • MAP - John 14:6 "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Day 6:
  • BAR OF SOAP - 2 Cor. 5:21 "God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God."
Day 7:
  • GLUE/GLUESTICK - Hebrews 13:5b "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake
  • you."
Day 8:
  • MUSICAL NOTES/INSTRUMENTS - Zeph. 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
Day 9:
  • SNOWFLAKES - Psalm 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful."
Day 10:
  • HEARTS - John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
Day 11:
  • ADOPTION PAPERS - Romans 8:15 "For you did not receive a spirit of slavery leading to fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father".
Day 12:
  • PAINTBRUSH/PAINT ROLLER - Eph. 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works."
Day 13:
  • ANGELS - Psalm 91:11 "For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."
Day 14:
  • KLEENEX - Rev. 21:4 "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Day 15:
  • EYEGLASSES - Isa. 43:4 "Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you."
Day 16:
  • MODELING CLAY/PLAY-DOH - Isa. 64:8 "We are the clay, You are the Potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Day 17:
  • SHIELD/BADGE - Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped."
Day 18:
  • CONSTRUCTION TRUCK/TOOLS - Phil. 1:6 "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Day 19:
  • CANDY CANES - Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
Day 20:
  • SILVER COINS - Matthew 26:14-15 "What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you? So they counted out for him thirty silver coins."
Day 21:
  • BUTTERFLIES - 2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Day 22:
  • NAILS - Acts 2:23 "This Man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death nailing him to the cross."
Day 23:
  • CROSS - 1 Cor. 1:18 "For the world of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God."
Day 24:
  • CROWN - John 18:37 "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born and for this I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
Day 25:
  • WRAPPED PRESENTS - Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace we you have been saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is a GIFT of God.