Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Even though I'm starting this a few minutes before midnight, it will be midnight before I post it, so HAPPY NEW YEAR!

My girls are next door having a sleep-over at Grandma and Grandpa Dack's house, Andrew is fast asleep and so is James! He went duck hunting today which meant getting up at 2:30 a.m. to drive to the coastal range and then go lie in the dirt until the sun started to come up. Fun???? Apparently so! He shot two ducks, which the kids were quite impressed with and Emily even touched one. Braver than her mama! Anyway.....James is tuckered out and fell asleep hours ago so I've been working hard on a project I should have done weeks ago and watching t.v. So I'm going to watch the new year come in, right here with you!!

I hope this year is...

....a year full of peaceful, precious moments with the ones you love.

...a year of surprises, some about yourself and the new heights you will find yourself upon.

....a year of health.

....a year of dreams coming true, even those you'd given up upon.

....a year of personal success, whatever that means for you.

....a year of creativity.

....a year of loving hard.

...a year of being loved.

Happy New Year, Sweet Friends!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Song

I love sister showed it to me. I love the song but the little animated music video is just darling. Watch the whole thing....the best part is the end! So sweet.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mish Mash...It's a long one...

Just a quick post to say hello and share a few photos of what's been happening lately! Just like you, we are busily preparing for Christmas and so excited that it's only one week away!

Here's some piccys from Thanksgiving.

This is James making his famous mashed-potatoes. Have I mentioned that I am the lucky wife of a man who cooks? He shops for food and prepares dinner every night. Thank goodness he enjoys cooking! I DON'T. This shot is James wearing my very sexy apron (why do I have this when I don't cook....good question!) and saying, "You better not take my picture and you better NOT post this on your blog!" Oops.

On Thanksgiving my Andrew turned two. I can hardly believe he turned TWO! It is amazing how fast these two years have flown. Andrew is a delightful, sweet, active and smart little guy and I am so blessed to be his Mama. He said, "Mama" for the first time the day after his birthday, which of course melted my heart. He has been saying "Ennee" (Emily), "car," "tain" (train), "dink" (drink) and lots of other words for quite some time. So to hear him say my name for the first time was very sweet. :)

We celebrated his birthday next door at my inlaws' on Thanksgiving. Isn't this reaction so TWO?? Got him to wear his cowboy hat with the boots for a few minutes because his grandpa had HIS cowboy hat on! A guy can never have too many cars!

Mama and her Big Boy...

My two girls in the middle with brown hair, their cousins with the blonde hair and a NEW cousin, Garah, who is gorgeous and had the girls mesmerized.

We gave Andrew this huge fire truck toy that makes noises and has lots of fun details. We captured the VERRRRRY excited reactions.

Andrew and my youngest sister, Laura Joy, have birthdays within days of one another so we often have a combined family party.

I have no idea what they were reacting to in this photo but isn't this hillarious?
Some sweet pics of Raychie (Andrew's there but wouldn't sit still) working on an impromptu craft project which turned into a modern-art-looking family tree!

We had a lovely visit with our nephews and neices. Here's Emily and Nathan playing the piano.My sister, Ray, with little Aubrey.

Rachel and Summer...we hardly saw them the whole visit, they were so happy to play together! "Summer has MAKEUP," Rachel said. Very impressive.

Last Sunday was our church Christmas program. Emily was Mary this year! That's her on the right, kneeling down. She was relieved that they changed it so she didn't have to hold Joseph's hand. ;) She asked us the week before, "So since Jesus is the main thing of Christmas but in our play, he's just a doll, doesn't that make me the star of the show?" Good heavens....Rachel was an angel (quite appropriate!). That's her second to the left between the taller girl and her blond, curly cousin, Brenna.

"The stars in the sky...""Look down where he lay..." And lastly, I want to show you that I actually HAVE been making things! I made these ivory-embroidery-on-ivory-linen bookmarks for my aunt to give her friends for Christmas. Each one was slightly different and had the recipient's inital and a vintage embroidery motif on the top and bottom.

And here is a little "sneak-peek" at some gifties for a few of my friends. Can you guess what they are?

Well that's it! I am sooo looking forward to tomorrow being over because both Emily and James have a 3-week Christmas vacation. We have lots of plans....going to the mountains, playing in the snow, cleaning out the garage so we can actually park cars in there, making curtains for windows that still don't have proper coverings and just RESTING.

I hope you are having a wonderful week and enjoying getting ready for Christmas. If I don't talk to you before then, I hope you have a lovely Christmas full of precious memories.



Monday, December 1, 2008

"The Activity Scene"

That's what my four-year-old kept calling the Nativity Scene today as we talked about setting it up and then unpacked it and set it up together. I kept correcting her but to no avail. But hey...there was some really great activity in that little corner of the world that first Christmas night. So we're just going to go with it... :)I actually have stronger memories of setting up the nativity scene as a child than I do of decorating the tree, although we did both each year. There was something so magical about pulling each bundle out of the box, unwrapping the newspaper and finding out which character would emerge. I was NUTS about setting up and re-setting up the scene...thinking about different ways the animals could sit or switching the magi and the shepherds to opposite sides of the creche.

We definitely enjoyed setting our nativity up today...even Andrew!
As I looked through the camera lens at this shot, the foreshadowing that this photo can represent gave me serious chills.
"Lo He lay his glory by, born that men no more may die; born to save the sons of earth;

born to give them second birth..."

My nativity scene is so special to me. The figurines are by Willow Tree and I have several of the "family" themed ones that I keep around during the rest of the year. But at Christmas I bring this set out. James gave me part of it, my mother gave me other parts of it and my mother-in-law gave me other parts, until I finally had the whole thing. The creche is actually really special, too, although not made by Willow Tree. James found it on a website and ordered it partly because of how beautiful it is but also because of how they are made. This was several years ago before either of us was familiar with the term "altered art." :) But the artist who makes these makes each one by hand, out of discarded scrap wood, giving it a new life, making something beautiful out of something wanton and (I like to think!) helping it become what it was always meant to be. Such an apt word picture for the season, I think!

Here's the kids' "activity scene" that Rachel and Andrew played with for a good half hour. Rachel asked me to take a photo of it. :) I love how the cow has edged Joseph out to the edge of the scene!
Hope you and your family are enjoying these first few days of the holiday season, too.