Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Every year our local zoo decks out in lights for a few weeks. We decided to take our grandson to see it tonight. It had been foggy all day and so I naively thought there wouldn't be many people there. Boy, was I wrong. We got there just as the lights were lit and already there were so many people it was hard to walk around. We bought tickets to take the train around the compound before we realized that the line was 1 1/2 hours long. It got longer so I guess we were fortunate.
It was really pretty and worth the wait. I had my hands full entertaining the grandbaby so the pictures were snapped very quickly and not the best but you get the idea. They were selling hot cocoa with lots of whipped cream that looked particularly yummy and everyone was in a festive mood. I just loved being there watching whole families of grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents and kids enjoying the experience with wonder and delight.
It was so cold though. I came prepared with three layers of clothes in addition to a warm coat, gloves and hat but the baby only had a coat so we went straight to the gift shop and bought him the cutest monkey hat and gloves and a blinking elephant necklace. I love being a grandparent. Can't wait until Christmas morning.

I am hoping to peek in some in the next few days but until then I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all feel blessed by the love of family and friends and most importantly by the love of a Savior who came so many years ago to give us hope.
God bless,
Teri Leigh

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Baking

I have been baking my little heart out. So far I have made: Peanut Blossoms with dark and chocolate carmel kisses, Hello Dolly bars, Butterscotch brownies, Rice Crispie treats with a twist, and Cranberry Almond bars. Today I will be making sugar cookies and if I get enough time I will make Russian Teacakes and Peanut Butter balls. My family is very happy but doesn't know what to think. I never bake because I'm the one who will eat it all. I nibble away until it is all gone. That is definitely not a good thing. I put aside a plate with a sampling for Christmas and they can have all they want of the rest until then. Oh, and I must remember to make fudge. Lots to do today so I had better get going. Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born.
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
This was my mom's favorite Christmas song. She would sing it at church every Christmas.
Now that she is no longer here; I think of her every time I hear it.
That bond between mother and child is not like anything else.
Now when my family have finished decorating the Christmas tree,
we turn off all the lights, except those on the tree, and sing Silent Night.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Beck's in Indonesia

There is a young family from my church who has moved to Indonesia to do mission work. Ryan was the youth pastor at the campus we attended and I worked alongside him when I was the Women's Ministry leader there. Him and his wife and two kids have signed up for the long haul and yet 5 months into it they are so homesick with it being Christmas and all. I know they would appreciate some prayers and a visit or two to their new website. The pictures he has posted are stunning of Indonesia.

Here's a snippet of an email he sent:

We hit the 5 month mark of being here. It feels as if this has been a really long vacation and now it is time to go home. It would be so good to be home with you this time of year, but with your prayers and God’s strength we press on. We each recently had our first of 3 formal language evaluations. It is cool to share that we both are where we ought to be and are progressing well.
Still though it's humbling! In trying to compliment and tell a middle aged woman that she was still (muda)=young, I instead said she was (murah)=cheap. Embarrassed after realizing my mistake I then tried to correct myself and say the right word but still got the word wrong calling her (mudah)=easy. I essentially called her cheap and easy! (muda, mudah, murah)...they really shouldn't let me talk.

You can check out their website here. I'm sure a few words of encouragement would go a long way to build their spirits up, even from strangers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas tree memories

I was thinking that this month I would do a few pages in my journal devoted to memories of Christmas growing up. This page is about the tree we had. I think it is important to write down stories and memories, especially the good times.

My grandmother was a story teller and boy did she have a lot of stories to tell. We video taped her right before she died telling some of those stories. I can't even imagine how many memories were lost by not writing them down. She was an artist too and if there had been such a thing as art journaling then I'm sure she would have been amazing at it.

I am finding these days that I just can't remember things very well. It has nothing to do with age, just too much to remember in everyday life that crowds out the important stuff. They say when you get really old all you remember is stuff from your growing up years so maybe it will all come back to me. In the meantime I will write a memory down as it comes and see how many I get. These pages in my journal will have less to do with art and more about the journaling.

The last week has been so cold here that I just can't get warm. It finally warmed up today and feel like I can actually function. BRR! The only problem is that now we get the rain forever and ever and ever. We would have snow if the two would meet in the middle. I guess I will keep hoping for another week.

Healing Expressions give-a-way

Just a quick note: Lani over at Healing Expressions is having a give-a way. Take a moment and check out what she has to offer. Enter the give-a-way and you may find some last minute gifts to purchase too.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Decorating the tree

We decorated our tree last night and had so much fun. There was a little bit of a rough start just figuring out what box the decorations where in. Apparently I have too many Christmas boxes and the storage room light was not working and all the flashlights had no batteries. So typical for our household. We did manage to find the right one with a itty bitty flashlight I had in my purse. Because the tree is smaller than usual we only put on about half the ornaments but everyone got to put their favorites on. It is always the ones they either made or represent something special in their lives. Sounds like a hallmark commercial.

I have two favorites. The Blob, that I made in the third grade. Many jokes have been made about this ornament over the years but it has it's own place on the tree; on the bottom in the back and tucked behind a branch.

The other ornament that brings back many memories is one that I have had as long as I can remember. My two sisters had similar ones in pink and green but mine was blue and I have hung it on the tree every year. It is a girl singing, probably in the church choir. As a little girl I sang all the time so that is probably why I was given this one.

My grandson found the nativity set very interesting. I have a beautiful ceramic one that my mother hand painted but this is a plastic one that I bought when my kids where little so they could play with it. He looked at all the pieces and then put them to bed under the tablecloth. We had to leave them there until he went to bed or he got very upset.

My two jokesters kept things very lively. My daughter was wearing one of the ornaments she made around her neck for a little bling. It did eventually make it to the tree though. My other two kids were a bit camera shy so I will have to snap a few of them later.

My grandson really got into the decorating thing. He was so good handling the ornaments too and hung quite a few on his own along the bottom of the tree. We put on Christmas music and danced and he kept the Santa hat on the whole time. Sweet memories were made for sure.

We have this really old ornament box that has faded over the years but it keeps the ornaments in pretty good shape. We need to get a new one one of the these days. My husband's job is to hand the ornaments to everyone and make sure they all have hangers on them.

And finally, we have the tradition of making our first bowl of chex mix while we decorate the tree. It gets passed around and enjoyed by all. It is kind of funny to me that quite a few of our traditions have been started without a thought to them being a tradition in the years to come. We just did something and then repeated it the next year and then the kids thought it was a tradition that we did every year. Now, if we miss doing something, they are upset. When we are all done decorating we turn off all the lights, except the tree lights and sing Silent Night.

Now we are ready to put some packages under the tree. I guess I had better get wrapping.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday happenings

It seems that we are always so far behind the motivated Christmas tree, house decorating crowd. We decided to get a live tree again this year and it got delivered yesterday. Right now it sits on my front porch waiting to be brought in and decorated. It stands about 4 ft tall and is quite cute, if you ask me. My kids want a huge tree but when it comes to planting it outside after the holidays, you don't want something big to handle. I think it will be very nice once it is decorated. We will decorate it on the weekend when the whole family can be here. We also picked up a wreath to hang on the door while we were picking out our tree. I grew up with lots of decorations but for me simplicity is the answer to a relaxing holiday. We have lights on the house and a wreath on the door and three lighted trees in the yard. I'm good to go :)

Another journal page finished. I have been feeling so tired lately that in the evenings I haven't been working on pages like I usually do. I have been getting some reading in though as I sit in the doctors office with my boys. One got his wisdom teeth pulled and the other just found out he has asthma. Nothing too serious but good to get taken care of.
Right now I am reading Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs, book three in the Friday Night Knitting Club series. It is so chilly today, I would love to crawl under the covers and read all day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pink Glove Dance

A local hospital put together a video for breast cancer awareness and it is so fun to watch.
Follow the link below and watch it today.
I especially love the older janitor with the broom.
Who is your favorite?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Michelle Allen give-a-way

My friend Michelle is having a great give-a-way over on her blog.
You should check it out here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting Caught Up

I worked on the last few pages in my November journal and sewed it into the big journal. I actually got quite a bit done yesterday, which was exciting and fun too.

I am finding more and more that I am OK with leaving a page unfinished for later. Some days are more creative than others and I come back and add little something here and there until it is finished. I just need to finish it up before I move onto a new month because once it is sewn into my big journal it is harder to work in.
I drew this page in pencil of some of the main characters in the New Moon movie. I think I will leave it as a sketch. That's OK too. I don't have to color every page. Hmm, I may change my mind on that too. I am tempted to get those yellow eyes colored in. If you saw the movie you know what I am talking about. I hate those decisions that just sit there and irritate me. Probably means I won't be able to let it go until it is finished, which means color.

Well, the journal is getting fuller and fuller. What a thrill it is to hold it in my hand and let it fall open to page after page of color and memories, feelings and lessons learned all there on the page. I think I should have made the spine a smidgen bigger so the December signature would fit a bit better. I'll worry about that in a month. If I need to I will tie it all up with a big ribbon. We'll see.Here is my December signature. Pristine and waiting for creativity to burst forth on the pages.

OK, I have waited since the first Cricut came out for it to be affordable. Of course I was a scrapbooker way back then but there are many other uses for this wonderful die cut machine. I am making Christmas tags right now. I have also cut out letters to use in my journal. Isn't it pretty and it is so easy to use too. It is addicting though. When I first sat down to figure it out, a couple of hours just flew by without me even knowing. I was just cutting and pasting away. The Xyron Create a Sticker maker works really well with this machine.

Lastly, I just had to show you the cutest picture I snapped yesterday. I sure do love this little guy so much. He is quite the ham. We are all very excited because up till now he has not allowed anything to be put on his head and just recently he has started putting his uncle's hat on his head. Little boys and baseball hats just go together.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm alive

Just popping in to say that I am still here. I have been so busy with life that I haven't posted anything in a few days. I am finishing up my November journal today so I hope to have pictures soon. And, I got a new toy that I will be sharing about.

I had a great Thanksgiving. All my kids came with my in-laws and my niece and her husband. The food was good too. I was a bit nervous when I woke up to put the turkey in the oven and the refrigerator had frozen it, YIKES! Not something you want to find when you are on a time table. I worked a little magic and it all came out beautiful and yummy and on-time. I was so caught up in getting everything taken care of I forgot to take pictures. I get so frustrated when I do that. We need another photographer in the family that isn't the hostess and the cook. Amanda, if you are reading this, I am crowning you the new family photographer. Be prepared with camera in hand. Anyhoo, it was lovely and I am very thankful for my family even though they make me want to pull my hair out most of the time :)

I'm off to create. YEAH!