Saturday, December 24, 2011

monkey-ing around

There are a lot of little monkeys climbing and jumping and giggling.

And yes, you must climb in a pretty Christmas party dress.
Because of course if you're a girly girl with tomboy tendencies this is the most appropriate climbing outfit isn't it?

The excitement is building around here.
And yes, the Norad tracker is being checked and checked again.
You see because Santa must exist if he's on the Norad tracker.

Yesterday while those kiddos climbed trees I remained mostly in my jammies.
A busily working elf.
Stamping more spreaders...I was so busy stamping & packaging away I never took any photos,
but the original post about them is here.

And I am mighty excited about a couple of gifts I'll reveal after Christmas.
Here's just a teeny sneak peak.
Thanks to pinterest for the ideas and to ebay for some cool finds.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone.

Friday, December 23, 2011

candy cane lane

So we've been trying to squeeze in those last few of our favorite things.
Like candy cane lane.
I love how excited it makes my children.
And we turn up our pandora Christian Christmas station.
(In case you're wondering..check out Sara Groves holiday - I love it).
My kids yell Merry Christmas to every passing car,
every person on the street.
Adding in, "And to all a good night."
They're giddy.

And at the end of it all, my four year old said.
"I'm so happy I'm going to cry."
And that in itself made me want to cry.
By the way I asked my daughter how she knew what, "I'm so happy I could cry" meant.
She said she saw a lady say it on HGTV.  Yes, my kids are totally into watching home improvement and cooking challenge shows with us.  It's a special treat.  But clearly this is evidence that they're soaking in everything they see and hear.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

back to bethlehem

My favorite tradition.
Going back to Bethlehem.
I mentioned, it is what inspired my Come Let Us Adore Him print.
For 25 years a local church has hosted this virtual experience of 
going Back to Bethlehem.
But this year, they announced will be the last.
When we pulled up two nights ago.
The lines were longer than I'd ever seen.
All to see the newborn King.
My husband looked at me and I could tell he was leery about the long lines.
If I had said ok, we would have turned around and done something else.
But we didn't.
We stuck it out
and I'm so glad we did.
Because Christ is worth it.
And that wait in the cold,
that was nothing in comparison to what He has done for us.

And the memories this experience will leave for our children, they are priceless.

"On coming to the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, 
and they bowed down and worshipped him." 
Matthew 2:11

gifting fun

Ok...this is going to be quick.

I have about three posts to write, but didn't want to lump them all together so I think I'm going to make them separately.

First, this year I was so inspired by pinterest to do this...
Gingerbread play-doh.  The source is from this adorable blog.
and this adorable packaging sourced from tatertots and jello.

Except I made it a goal to just use whatever I had on hand and not to buy anything new.
So mine are a little of this and a little of that.  With my joy to the world tags I already had printed.

It helps that I seem to save scraps of ribbon and paper from everything.  Sometimes I wonder why I do,
but then when it comes in handy like this I'm glad.
Inside the grown up jars are these cookies from one of my favorite gluten free sources, the pure pantry.
They're dark chocolate dipped molasses ginger cookies, featured on Martha Stewart's whole living site.  You would never guess they're gluten free.  We couldn't keep them in the we'll be making more later today.

Speaking of today...lots to do on my list still.

So I must get going.

Hope you're all having a Merry, Merry Christmas Eve's Eve!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

new traditions?

I'm always up for new traditions.
So we joined a friend on one of hers.
Each year her extended family comes to visit for her child's Christmas show.

And each year, she heads to the city of San Fernando (did you know there was an actual city called San Fernando) off the 118 freeway to a tamale factory where they make fresh tamales right where you can see them.
My youngest, joined us on our field trip.
It was an event I tell you.
And I just love her excitement over nearly everything in life.
Including these tamales.

It was fun watching them being made.
And fun getting a dozen for $22 dollars...meaning I have two meals ready and waiting for those busy nights coming up where I might not know what to make for dinner.

It was a fun day with my dearest friend...(She has the picture of us together on her camera).
And a fun new tradition for us.  Boy I just said fun a lot.  It's late.  Trying to go to bed.
Decided to add this post to my to do list before going to bed.  But you know the picture loading process always takes a bit of time.  I'm not feeling too much like editing my words, so bear with me here. :)

Other little tidbits of inspiration from pinterest this week.

Oh man, it's addicting I tell you, but such a great resource really.

I signed up to bring grapes for my son's class party.

I could have brought them in a simple bowl, but seeing this earlier in the week inspired me to make them more festive.  The original pin suggests using  a star fruit for the top, I did not have time to get to the store to find I cut up a lemon to resemble a star.  It took some serious effort.  But it's close enough.
And these...well these are from one of my favorite gluten free chefs.  Seriously.  Gluten free ginger molasses cookies dipped in organic dark cacao chocolate.  Scrumptious.  The tag line that the ginger adds anti-inflammatory benefits was what caught my eye.  A cookie that's anti-inflammatory for a lady battling (and prayerfully beating) lupus...I'm all over it. :)
Here they are cooling, but as you can see some little fingers already snagged one.
I have another pinterest inspired idea up my sleeve to package them for resource teachers and neighbors.

Hopefully those pictures will come tomorrow.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Are you ever struck right between the eyes with the disparity in this world.
The way we live as Americans.
In one night, as I procrastinate the things I need to be doing.

Browsing through pinterest to pin those 'one day' ideas.
I come across beautiful images of home renovations.

DIY projects galore.

Homemade cleaning products.

Beautiful package wrapping ideas.
And then I come to these.

That lead me to this site.

And her story.
She's a 21-year-old, raising 14 young girls in Uganda, as their mother.

And I suddenly feel like those DIY projects are oh so very frivolous.
It's hard to not feel guilty for being among those that have.
I know there isn't anything wrong with making things pretty and being creative.
God as the great creator, made us in His image and made us a creative people.
And as a family we give and serve, but when I see things like Katie's story I can't help but feel like I just don't do enough.... at all.  My days are so filled with the driving to and fro, the care taking, the classes, the homework, the cleaning up.

I'm not living the way Katie lives.
When I'm in the midst of frustration over a fridge door that is always breaking sending glass jars crashing to the floor, cupboards that are disorganized, children that throw everything in the closet and shut the door, I forget there are women without a home to clean, or if they have a home the floors are made of dirt.

And there are girls without mothers, forced into lives that are unimaginable.
I do have these women, these children, these hurting people on my heart.  And we pray for them.  And we give to organizations that help.  We serve in ways we can.

But I don't feel like it's enough.

I know the Lord has me serving primarily in my home at this time.  But I can't help being bothered by the irony of such beauty, such prettiness, when others are living in such need.  I in no way want to make anyone feel guilty, especially the creators of those pictures I have taken from pinterest.  I loved them all and saved them for a reason.

I'm just wanting to save this feeling of needing to do more...and to see where and how the Lord wants me to do more in this coming year.  And to balance my need to create with my need to serve His kingdom in an everlasting way.
I'm linking to Multitudes on Mondays.

276. a child who always puts things in the right perspective.
277. children shopping for each other for surprise Christmas gifts
278. a kitchen...even with broken doors.
279.  sleeping in this weekend.
280.  a community of women coming together
281.  A Christmas program that centered me.
282.  An answered prayer to be delivered from a stronghold
283.  A friend's husband being delivered from ALS and is now healed in Heaven.
284. A Christmas show tomorrow night that I just know will bring me to tears.
285.  This picture my husband just texted me from Santa Barbara where he's working today.
A perfect display of God's magnificent beauty.  
Aligning perfectly with my quiet time reading this very morning.    
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." 
Psalm 19:1