Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"You are not driving Mom!"

"Just let me put my shoes on and I'll drive you."
I don't think you can prepare yourself to hear those words out of one of your kids mouths, but I guess you'll hear it sooner or later.  For me it was in this morning.
I had set a heavy board down, leaning it against the school desk, then turned around to grab something else and the board fell over on my foot. The rough edge scraped down the side of my foot after the flat part had finished mashing it, so my foot hurt pretty bad. Of course it would be my right foot and all the rushing around to settle things was because I was trying to get out the door to run a quick errand before Superman got here.
I could have driven. It would have hurt, but I could have done it. Actually, I know exactly how much it would have hurt because I had Ri switch places with me for a bit so I could drive over a spot that still had ice and snow on it. Suffice it say that while it was possible for me to drive, I'm just as glad I didn't have to.
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow, snow, snow, snow.....snow!!!

I know that ya'll must think we get a lot of snow, but we don't. Last year was extremely unusual, and so far this year is looking pretty abnormal as well. We ended up with 9 inches. You're probably getting tired of snow pictures, especially if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, but since we don't  usually have it, I just love these.
Self explanatory - swing set in the back yard.
Up close - and at a weird angle. Gotta wonder what she was doing.
Part of our neighborhood.
Another street in the neighborhood.
These remind me of pictures I've seen of places up north.
I just love all the snow on the trees. (Don't bother telling
me it's dangerous - I know it is, but it's still pretty.)
A walking trail we have not too far from here. Actually, the
back end of it loops fairly close to the house, but you have
to cut through the woods (almost impassable in the summer)
in order to get to it from our cul-de-sac.
A creek runs next to the trail,...
but I guess in order to deter people from walking close to it,
there is not clear path from the trail to the creek. Here Bree is
climbing down to get closer to it. I'm told that this photo was
snapped about a half second before the inevitable happened and
Bree took the express route down. I was also told that both she
and Ri ended up in the creek before it was all over with.
One of many snow ball fights that took place over the
last couple of days.
The girls had lots of fun, and since I didn't have anywhere I needed to go, it didn't bother me in the least. I got to sit back and enjoy the view, all the cold, wet, excited children, make snow cream and drink hot cocoa. It can go ahead and snow just any ol' time it fits this well into my schedual. :D
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

A White Christmas

That's right, a white Christmas. According to the news it was the first time snow fell on Christmas day in our area in over 60 years. We had a little snow on the ground last year at Christmas, but it was only a little left over from a rare, early snow we had the week before. The girls had made a big deal out of it, figuring they would never again see snow on the ground at Christmas. This time the snow started during the day and had everything completely coated before dark. Superman had come over early to open presents with us on Christmas morning and was planning on staying all day, but he ended up having to leave well before supper because the roads were getting pretty bad. He did manage to hang around long enough to have a snow ball fight with the girls though. Then they had another snow ball fight this morning with one of the neighbors' sons, who came down to spend Christmas with his family. I got a few pictures of the girls throwing snow at one another when they were cleaning it off hubby's car too. I'll see if there's a couple I can post tomorrow.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

My best wishes to everyone for a very Merry Christmas!
I hope you each have a day surrounded by those you love, making fond memories for the future.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homemade Gifts and Blessings

We were so blessed today.
When Ri, T.Lynn, and I went to pick up our milk this afternoon, Mrs. Diary Farmer met us out front with a big bag of of grapefruit and oranges. I was so tickled. Then a couple of the girls called me (they were very excited) and told me that Grandma's pastor and his wife had stopped by and brought us some packages the church had made up for their shut-ins. I kind of understand bringing something for Grandma, but I never would have expected them to bring a package for everyone in the family, plus one extra. There were apples, oranges, tangerines, boxes of raisins, and of course candy in each of the packages. Just look at all this fruit!
Mmmmmmm! See, I told you - we are very blessed.
Isn't that beautiful? Maybe I should start giving out fruit. I sure do like getting it as a gift.

Homemade gifts are another good idea. We almost always give out several homemade gifts each year. Sometimes it's just packages of baked goodies, but those always seem to be greatly appreciated as well.
Here are some things we made this year.
Ri cross stitched a couple of bread cloths. The other was
the same pattern, she just made the line in green instead of red.
You can find the bread cloth material for as little as $5, and it doesn't take much thread. You can pick up an inexpensive basket; I've found red and greeen ones in the Christmas stuff, just the perfect size for a bread basket for as little as $1, and have a cute little gift for under $7. Or you could just wrap it around a loaf of cinnamon, or banana nut bread. We're doing that this year.
I knitted some dishcloths. I used this pattern.
I made all of the dishcloths above from the spool on the right, which started life the size of the one on the left. These large spools of cotton yarn costs less than $7 (and no, I don't mean it was $6.99). The colored yarn for the stripes was $1.99 for a small skein. You don't have to make the stripe, or you could make all the stripes out of the same color if you wanted to save a little money. I plan on keeping various colors around to use many times. A couple of the stripes were made from leftover yarn I had from other dishcloths I've made in the past. It takes very little of the colored yarn, so I have no idea how many of the stripes you could make from one skein. I have already made eight dishcloths, and I'll be able to make a few more out of the rest of the spool, so each dishcloth would cost less than $1 to make.

In years past I've also made cross stitched dish towels, embroidered pillowcases, dresses (for little girls, not for women because that would require fittings), decorative pillows, and the occasional craft. I also like to make cross stitched bibs, or hooded towels for baby gifts. A few times Ri has worked with me and we made matching sets that would have a hooded towel and a washcloth, or a towel and a bib, and once we made a set with all three. Home canned food is also a good gift idea. We've given away jelly, preserves, and apple butter, and this year I'll be giving my older brother some of the apple pie filling we canned because he really enjoyed the pie we made at Thanksgiving. After eating a piece he asked me for the recipe, but I told him that the only part of the recipe I could really give him was the crumb topping. The filling was some we had canned and my recipe makes 7qts of pie filling (add to that the fact that I don't really measure all the spices out - I just add and taste), so trying to cut it down for just one pie would probably be a shot in the dark. To make it a little more special, I decided to mix together the dry ingredients for the crumb topping and put it in a ziploc baggie with instructions on the outside, and then put that together with one of the jars of filling in a gift bag. All he'll need is a pie crust and a little butter and he'll be able to have another apple pie, this time hot out of the oven. 

Years ago I remember hearing my step-mother say that she loved to receive handmade gifts because she knew the person that made it had thought about her everytime they picked up the piece to work on it. That kind of stuck with me and I try to get around to making a few things every year.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Well then, he needs to run really fast!

I think T.Lynn sometimes forgets that Superman's main reason for visiting is to see her sister.  They could have been siblings for life the way they run around playing, wrestling and teasing one another. A few months ago, the two of them got into a huge tickling, wrestling match (in Superman's defense, it started when she tried to swipe his keys off his belt loop - again) that ended up with both of them on the floor trying to make the other one smell their feet. It's a good thing she was wearing pajama pants under her dress. At any rate, one of her favorite things is for him to throw her up in the air. WAY up in the air. The ceiling in the living room is 10ft. high at it's lowest point. I have no idea how high up it is in the peak, but I think Superman is doing his best to at least let her see the top side of the ceiling fan. She gets very high. It's a good thing I'm pretty laid back about that kind of thing. Note to self - NEVER let my mom see him do that.  After many months of being thrown in the air almost every time he came over, they decided to add a twist. She jumps off the the stairs and he catches her. They've worked their way up to more than halfway up the stairs. Of course, I'm not kidding myself to think they ever started on the first - or even the fifth step. I think they're up to the eleventh - I know she's jumped from the tenth numerous times. There are only 16 steps. I'm begining to believe the only thing that will keep them from going much higher is how far out it's necessary for her to be able to jump to clear all the steps. I'm glad she's little. I'm glad he's strong, but I do need to work on that absolute trust she's apparently placed in him. Not that I don't want her to trust him - I do, but there are limits to everything. When he was over a couple of days ago they were once again at the whole kid throwing thing. At one point he told her he was going to throw her, "...over that way.", indicating with a nod of his head toward Ri, who was, for the record, objecting. T. got a little confused (a side effect to all that rapidly changing altitude I'm sure) so I told her he was going to throw her to the left. Her response? "Well then, he needs to run really fast!"
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas...or a pagan holiday

First off, I'm not taking anyone's side in this. One of my favorite verses in the bible tells us that we must be convinced in our own minds with regard to our beliefs.  That doesn't mean we justify what we want to do by saying "Well, I believe...." and then go about acting any way we want. It means we are to search things out, pray about them, and ask others to get opposing viewpoints; just make sure they can biblically justify their position and aren't following someone else blindly or justifying their own selfishness.

With regard to Christmas, these are things I've used to help me decide about it.
1)There is (obviously) nothing whatsoever in the bible about it, so you have to draw your own conclusions about it using prayer and common sense.
2)Try not to use irrelevant bible verses to justify beliefs about it - as I've said the bible doesn't say anything directly about Christmas, so verses such as Jer.10:2-4, which is often used by people as an argument against Christmas trees, aren't relevant. Jeremiah was not referring to a Christmas tree; this verse seems to be describing a gilded statue, and even at that the bible tells us not to be afraid of them because they (the object) can't do evil or good.
3)As far as people saying it was originally a pagan holiday and that's why we shouldn't observe it, well, the days of the week are named after pagan gods and we don't have a conniption fit about that. Several months also derive their names from pagan gods. There is way more out there that originally came about through some pagan holiday or custom than we can imagine and if we spend a huge chunk of our time fretting about all of it we are really missing the point of living a faith filled life.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think you can go about doing as you please, or putting yourself in questionable situations and claim you have the faith to see you through it, I'm just saying you shouldn't go looking for problems. Paul tells us this in ICor 10:27 where he told the believers that they could eat with unbelievers if they were asked to, that they just shouldn't ask whether or not the food had been sacrificed to idols. You could eat the unclean food as long as your conscience was clear because you didn't know it was unclean; the food was not the issue.

I don't see any problem with observing Christmas. I don't worship any pagan gods, so in my opinion it doesn't matter if I'm doing something on the same day someone else is worshiping a pagan god. For all I know one of my kids may have a birthday on one of the pagan holidays, but just because I'm celebrating that day, doesn't mean I'm celebrating that god.
I do think you should consider other people's beliefs. If you know of someone who doesn't celebrate Christmas, don't invite them to your Christmas party. This would certainly fall under Romans 14, but it's also just common decency.
One final thought. Even if you're not worshiping a pagan God, you have only Christmas hymns playing all throughout December, and you attend all the church Christmas programs you can possibly get to, you can still be rolling about in sin with regard to the holiday. If you are so wrapped up in it that you turn the holiday itself into an idol then you are in sin with regard to it. We are all human and tempted to get wrapped up in that kind of stuff because of all the pressure society puts on people, especially at this time of the year. I've missed the point before, but I've also been completely ready to chunk it all on a year when several of my children were sick and one had just had surgery. My focus at that point had to be my children and not the holiday. For the record, we did still have our Christmas dinner that year, but my mom and aunt were responsible for it instead of me. They brought Christmas to our house and stayed to clean up the mess.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

More of Ri's Sewing

Although she would disagree, Ri's sewing is coming along quite well.  These are the last two things she was sewing for the two little girls at our church.
It's kind of hard to tell from the photo, but these are tiered skirts. She has made several A-line skirts, so I figured she could use practice with a different style.
Her next projects are a couple of dresses for herself. We found a really cute pattern she wants to use to make a special dress for a photo she wants to have taken, but we always need to alter dress patterns quite a bit for her. She'll be making a "test dress" first, out of a less expensive cut of fabric (one we already had on hand), just to work out any little quirks in the alterations we make before cutting into the really nice fabric. I showed her the alterations that would need to be made for the pattern and we cut out the test dress last night. I can't wait to see how it turns out because I really thought the fabric she chose for the test dress was cute too.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

One year and a week ago…

…I had my whole life planned out. I was going to graduate in the beginning of spring, going to get my driving permit, going to start online school for photography and start online college for theology.                

One year and a week ago I wanted to be a photographer and travel the world.

One year and a week ago I couldn’t be less worried about getting married and having a family. Maybe one day, but certainly not anytime in the near future. And whoever I married, his last name would not start with an “M” because my initials are MMD and nothing was worse to me than the idea of having MMM for initials.

One year and a week ago I met an old family friend and was chatting with her. She asked me about my plans and I explained all of the above to her (probably not in that order though). She asked me if I had a boy friend to which I replied “goodness no! I don’t have time for a boy friend and I really don’t want one either”.

One year and a week ago Superman (interesting name, no?) texted me and asked me if I liked him after a bit of small talk. I freaked out. I was only 17, I didn’t need a boy friend, I didn’t want a boy friend. A boy friend meant courting, courting meant getting married, getting married meant that all my plans would go BOOM. I didn’t want my plans to go BOOM, I worked hard on them. I didn’t want to see them go to waste. But I had one possible out. My family did the courting thing, he dated. There was no way he’d be interested after I explained it to him. He was Superman and he belonged with Lois Lane, which I most certainly was not! So one year and a week ago I began explaining  courtship to a normal, public schooled, dating, albeit cute, guy who had no clue what it was. I did everything possible to scare him away. “It leads to marriage”, “You can’t go in to it lightly”, “You do know that this is to look for a spouse, not just casual dating, right?”. I brought up marriage and life-long commitment as much as I possibly could. I knew if anything would scare him away, that would (he told me later that it nearly did), Well, needless to say it didn’t scare him away. He just kept saying “Ok, I get it. So, do you like me?” to which I would respond “This isn’t just about liking. It’s more, do you think we could get along well enough to get married?” to which he’d respond “yes, I understand that, but do you like me?” and so on and so forth all day long until I finally gave in and answered him that I liked him enough to give it a try. I didn’t have a crush on him, I didn’t “like-like” him, but he was (still is) a good friend and we got along well, so why not?

One year ago yesterday Superman asked dad if he could court me and one year ago yesterday dad said yes. I’m so glad because now all my plans have completely changed. I want to get married, I want to be a house-wife/stay-at-home mom more than anything ever. And I’m even willing to marry Superman although his last name starts with a “M” (I can’t convince him to change it, he apparently likes his last name. I gotta admit, I like it too!).

Yesterday Superman and I have been together 1 year and it’s been great. It doesn’t seem like it’s been a year since we had that talk over text, but it has been! And I am very glad that I didn’t scare him away.

Your very happy, 


Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's December 4th...

...and it's snowing. It was unusual for it to snow the week before Christmas last year. This is highly unusual.
We didn't have our first hard frost until late in the season. We were still getting tomatoes well into November. But it turned off very cold a few days ago and now it's snowing. I'm glad the gas tank for the fireplace is full.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm in the home stretch now!

It's been a bit since I've posted, but I've been on a mission. I tried my best to relax after our really big Thanksgiving dinner (the one we had on the Sat. before) and just enjoy the two dinners I had on Thanksgiving Day (with Superman's family) and on Black Friday (with my Dad), and I did.  I didn't have to cook at all for the dinner Superman's mom invited us to, and I only had to cook up a batch of chicken and dumplings for my Dad, so both of the dinners were pretty low key, but then I set my sights on getting my Christmas shopping done early. I decided that I wanted to do my best this year to not be frenzied throughout December. I want to be able to slow things way down, focus on the truly important things, and spend a bunch of quality time with my family.  I was determined to get all my shopping done this week, and I've almost finished. I just need to buy some candy; a little for the girls' stockings and some for the gingerbread house (or whatever - last year it was a gingerbread train), and I also have to get a gift for my Dad. Then that's it - I'm done! I'm truly thankful for online shopping (I used this method for about 1/4 of my shopping this year), but it didn't save me from "The Mall" - ugh (wish I knew how to put that in some kind of Halloween type, creepy font). At least I don't have to do that again anytime soon. I plan on wrapping a few presents at a time for several days in order to get them all done and ready to go under the tree once we get one up. One of the things I'm looking forward to the most this year is joining in with the girls on the night they watch movies and string popcorn. I haven't done that with them in several years. I can't wait!  post signature