Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path."
Psalm 119:105 KJV


For more word filled wednesday go see the 160 acre woods.
*Photo from google images*

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just a quick hello to let you all know I'm still around!

I am having a wonderful, relaxing holiday with family.

We have had a huge snowfall here and, unfortunately, amongst the fun of tobagganning and such, I took a spill and broke my hand.

Needless to say I won't be putting many words with my blog posts for a while... It's just too hard to type with one hand!

But I'll still come by and "visit" you all!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia.

Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance - a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.

~Augusta E. Rundel


Many blessings and peace to all of you on this beautiful day.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday

Be still, and know that I am God,
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10 NIV

For more WFW go to the
160 acre woods

(I know it's not Wednesday yet but Amydeanne decided to post a couple days early.)

Winter's Sparkle

On my winter walks the last few evenings it has really struck me how beautifully the snow sparkles under the glow of the street lights.

I just can't seem to take my eyes off of it...
it is just so breathtaking.

What is it about sparkle that captures the imagination and makes us so full of wonder? Why do we want so much glitter and light in our lives?

Just look at a child as they gaze in wonder at all the beauty that surrounds them during this season of celebration.

Many of us, as adults, have lost that sense but when we stop in silence and wait and listen and really feel what's deep inside our souls, isn't this what we want? What we were made for?
We were meant to enjoy beauty, just look at all of nature that He so lavishly gave to us to care for.

And we were meant to be beautiful...

Can you think of a time in your life that you felt the most beautiful?

I automatically think of my wedding day and, yes, I felt very beautiful as my father came to take my arm with a gleam of love and admiration in his eye and as I walked down the isle towards my beloved and saw the look of awe on his face, it was every girls dream come true.

But seeing the sparkle of the snow last evening seemed to trigger another memory... one that I haven't thought of in years.

It was on an evening during the Christmas season in my 13th or 14th year, or so, that I took part in a Christmas Production that the choir of our church put on. I was fairly new to the choir but the director asked me to sing a duet with a friend of mine.

I was to be an angel and I felt beautiful as I stood up on the stage in white, with silver garland about my neck, and sang my song. I don't remember, even, what song it was anymore, but I remember the feeling of the floodlight from the balcony shining down on me.

And the best part of this memory is when my grandma came to me later and asked me if the earrings I had been wearing were diamonds because they sparkled so beautifully in the light and that I really did look and sing like an angel. And her words meant the world to me.

I believe that this is what we are meant for and I wonder.... I am full of the wonder of ...

"what will heaven be like".

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Talent of Giving...

"Giving presents is a talent;
to know what a person wants,
to know when and how to get it, to give it lovingly and well."
~Pamela Glenconner

Yesterday and this evening I received two wonderful gifts from two beautiful friends.

I so love to receive pretty packaged gifts from people who have put a lot of thought into what I like and would want.

They hit it bang on with these gifts: A package of Raspberry Hot Chocolate, Beautiful Christmas Tree Ornaments, and a Vanilla Scented Candle in the shape of a coffee mug!


Friday, December 19, 2008

fphoto friday

If I had to sum up Friendship
in one word,

it would be Comfort.

~Adabella Radici


My son Jayden and his cousin Lindsey,
off to get an ice cream cone while camping in 2005.

For more fphoto Friday visit Natalie at Married to the Preacher.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Love to Read?

Jeannette tagged me in this... and so I must be it!

Well, here goes:

Who is your all-time favorite author and why? I guess I'd have to say Jane Austen, because she wrote so many of my favorite books... but it's hard to pick just one... there's so many!!!

Who was your first favorite author and why? I think my favorite had to have been the author of the "Mandie" books, Lois Gladys Leppard. I remember, when I was a young preteen, saving my money and buying each new book as it came out... I must have about 14 of them or so! These boods were wonderful for young girls, just enough mystery to keep it exciting!

Do you still consider him/her to be among your favorites? No.

Who is the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why? I don't know!!! But I will say that I am thoroughly gripped by the writings of Harriet Beecher Stowe in "Uncle Tom's Cabin"... a real heart wrenching book.

If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Probably Francine Rivers.

So now I tag:

My Sister Tracy:
You've just GOT to check this out! She's posted pictures of SOME of her books... you'll be amazed. (:O
Simple Beauty

Well, girls, if you want to play, here are the rules:

(As you can see, I didn't follow them to the letter 'cause I only tagged 3 people. 6 people was just too much... I hope that's okay, Jeannette!)

Link to the person that tagged you, post the rules somewhere in your meme, answer the questions, tag six people in your post, let the tagees know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog, let the tagger know your entry is posted.

So, what have you been reading lately?

Photo: what I am relaxing my way through.

Warmth Inside.

The most wasted of all days is
one without laughter.

~e.e. cummings

Yes, it's been another cold day... outside, that is.

I went to my sister's house this morning to help her clean and she unexpectedly invited me out for lunch. We went... just the two of us... her oldest daughters watched the rest of the children (thank you so much sweet Janina and Breanne!!!) and when we got back we sat and chatted and laughed.

Oh, we laughed so much, and it felt so good! I just love a good laugh... one where I can feel completely free to be myself... there's just nothing quite like it. You know what I mean?

Thank you, dear sister, for the warmth of your home and for the warmth you brought to my heart today.

Yes, it was cold outside, but that's okay 'cause inside all was warmth and coziness.


I posted over at my other blog today as well! Click on the link in my side bar to your right.

Photo: Our backyard after a night of snowfall.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Could it be Pent up Feelings?

I sigh.

I sigh when I'm happy, I sigh when I'm sad. Who doesn't, right?

But apparently I sigh when there's no reason in the world that I can think of to sigh. I do it subconsciously and never realized it until my hubby started bringing it to my attention.

"What's wrong?" he'd say.

And I'd look up from whatever I was doing and, surprised, say "Nothing, why do you ask?"

"You sighed" he'd say.

"Really? Oh..." I didn't even know I had done so.

What is it about sighing that makes us do it, even though we don't do it on purpose?

I wonder if it's just our way of letting out pent up feelings... you know, the feelings we aren't letting ourselves feel... the ones that are deep down, the ones that need to escape but we won't let them.

That's probably why I sigh subconsciously. I don't even know I'm doing it because I won't let myself feel what's inside.

No, seriously, there's nothing wrong that I can think of,

but I sigh... do you sigh? ...subconsciously, I mean.


Photo: A silent moment by the wildly rushing river on our 10th Anniversary 2007. When it's nature, somehow even the noise seems like silence because it's just so beautiful.

Maybe it's because I can think my own thoughts and nature doesn't interrupt.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Creating Christmas Cards

The life of the creative man is lead, directed
controlled by boredom.
Avoiding boredom is one of our most
important purposes.

~Saul Steinberg

I created this Christmas Card while avoiding boredom on a quiet Saturday afternoon.

The only problem is that it took up to half an hour to design and create. Do I really want to spend so much time on each card?

Hmmm... maybe I'll try to come up with something a bit simpler...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Quiet Days, Stormy Nights... Updated in Comments.

Sorry about another really long post... please bare with me... I'll get this all figured out eventually! : )

So, this is what's been happening this week as a result of this post from last Monday. I'm having a hard time with only being on the computer in the evening. Sometimes I want to post things in the morning, (like yesterday morning or this morning when I took these pictures of the snow from last night) and it's too tough for me to wait 'till evening to type it out and post it. So I'm gonna change things around a bit.

I'm gonna post things through out the day when I get the urge and save my blog visiting and such for the evenings. This may 'cause me to be on the computer more than I had originally said but then at least I'm not trying to blog and visit your blogs all at the same time. The thing that is really working for me is the fact that I am not reading other blogs through out the day... that was just taking up way too much time and is very addicting because I'm sure you all know how,if you let yourself, you can just keep clicking and clicking for hours!

Now about these pictures... aren't they great? I just love freshly fallen snow! Just look at what we found when we opened our front door this morning... and the wreath!... isn't it pretty?We had a crazy windy snow storm last night with fierce winds from the north. The noise kept me half awake all night it seemed. Probably because of the wind chimes and the gazebo almost blowing away right outside our bedroom window! Anyway, enough about that.

There is another thing I've been wondering though and that is, "how many of you go back later to the blog that you commented on in order to see if the blog author has responded to your comment?" I'm just wondering if there is even a point to responding to my comments on my own blog if they never get read again? I know I have done this a few times to blogs were the author does this but I wonder how many of you do it, too? I'm thinking of maybe starting this on my own blog and doing it for every post that I get comments on. What do you think?

Oh, and I also posted a "Moment" over on my other blog, "of books,blocks n' boys".

Friday, December 12, 2008

I almost forgot... It's fphoto Friday! I really like being a part of this over at Natalie's blog. Probably because I enjoy photography so much and like to go check out every one else's photo's, too.

So here's my photo for the week...

I captured this moment of my son Marcus on the swing while we were camping this past summer. I just love the joy and carefree feelings it gives me when I see my boys soaring up and down as high as they dare (or as high as the swing allows, anyway). One just never knows how high they would fly if they were able to.

So, what are some of your favorite things about watching your children play outside?

What is it about us Moms?

What is it about us Moms that make us shoot out of bed from a deep sleep, with our eyes barely open, at the sound of a soft sigh from a sick child at our bedroom door?

How is it that we are able to stumble through the dark, directing our child to the toilet without banging our heads on doors or stubbing our toes on corners (okay, maybe that happens sometimes, too,) just to be able to get said child to throw up in the toilet and not on the floor... please, not on the floor!!!

How is it that we are able to keep our wits about us as a child throws up in a bucket we are holding time and again, you know, to the point where it's just dry heaves. Ugh, I feel all shaky just thinking about it. And no I am not sick, myself, not yet anyway!

Or how about cleaning up the bed clothes, from a child who just threw up in them, without fainting dead away at the smell? Or how are we able to go about peeling off the clothes that happened to get splattered in the process with out getting any on ourselves?

It must be because we are mother's and if we don't do it who else will? Yes, Dad will help, too, he is so good about that but ultimately it is the mother that the child wants and the mother that has to sit with the child long into the night until the child falls asleep again and then go back to bed herself only to be jolted awake at the next soft sigh heard at the bedroom door.

I'm assuming you all can relate. Needless to say, I am tired today. I have lots of laundry to do and lots of cuddles to give. I just hope I can pull through without getting sick myself...


P.S. I know I'm not supposed to be on the computer right now, but I just had to get this posted and I didn't blog last night so I figure that makes up for this, right? :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Package in the Mail from Opa and Oma!

My Mother and Father- in- Love send us a Sinter Klaas package in the mail every year around the 5th of December as a
celebration of St. Nicholas Day. It is a huge deal to us, not just the kids are excited, but DH and I are, too! This is my favorite part...

Kruid nootjes, speculaas popjes and chocolate letters! Both my hubby and I love these and horde most of them for ourselves, when the kids let us... they love them, too!

There is always a little toys for each of the boys as well and the exclamations of delight coming from them are so priceless!

This has been a wonderful tradition that they have made for us. DH says that he remembers getting a package from Holland every December from his Oma and Opa who still lived there and has fond memories of how exciting that was for him and his 8 other siblings. I think it's really special that his Mom and Dad have carried on that same tradition with our boys.

It is so fun to get a package in the mail and my boys are starting to know that when we get a package around this time of year it's most likely from Opa and Oma!

Probably because of the big deal we make out of it when it arrives!

We're just like kids ourselves!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jayden turns 7

Every year, on your birthday,
I think about how glad I am

that you were born,

how thankful I am
to have you as my son.

Every year is another year
filled with the special joys you bring

just by being yourself.

Every year, when you open your birthday gift,

realize what a gift you are to everyone who knows you,

especially me.

Happy Birthday!

By Joanna Fuchs

Had a wonderful, quiet day at home. Reading lots of children's books to the boys, and making play dough and birthday cake together.

Photo's of Jayden's birthdays every year to age 7.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Appreciations and Confessions... Update at Bottom.

First of all I want to deeply thank all of you for keeping up with my blog, for leaving your kind comments so often and for even "following"! You have all made my life so fun and exciting these last few weeks. I have so enjoyed reading all of your blogs and getting to "know" you. I truly think of you as my friends and am thrilled that you think the same of me! Thank you to those who have put my blog link in the side bars of your own blogs (Rebekah and Kelli!) and whom ever else may have done so. I never dreamed that this could be so much fun or that others would actually want to read my blog! (This sounds a little like an acceptance speech for an award, doesn't it?)
However, this has also been very addicting to me and I find myself using this as a way of escape from life when I'm bored or just don't feel like doing some of the things I know I should be doing... like spending quality time with my boys, house work and even quiet time with my Lord. I want to make a point of reading His Word each day and have been trying to follow along on Prairie Passages (thank you for this, Prairie Chick!) every morning but I get so distracted by everything else, mainly the computer.
Yesterday, at church, we had a message on the Spiritual Discipline of Fasting and how it doesn't always have to be about food but can be about anything that has been put before our time with God in our lives and I immediately thought about the computer. I know that what I am doing is not wrong or sinful in and of itself but, because it is taking away from time with my family and most importantly my Lord, it has become an idol in my life.
I have been convicted of this for a few days now and I know that something needs to be done, so... here is my plan of action. I want to start by taking a break from the computer during the day... and we'll see what happens from there!

I will check my computer to find out what Prairie Chick's Bible Passage is for the day and then read Ann's blog "a holy experience" (her writing is so uplifting and I love to read hers in the early morning hour of each day). Then I won't go on the computer again 'till after the boys are in bed in the evening and then only for an hour and a half max. (This may seem like a lot but it's not near as much time as I have been spending!) I still want to keep posting everyday if possible so I hope you all will still stop by and comment once in a while! : ) Please? I'll still be checking your's too, just not during the day when I should be doing other things!

Now, I know that I could have probably done this all on my own without having bothered you with this LOOONG rambling post, but I guess I felt I needed to for my own sake... sort of like an accountability thing. It makes me more inclined to follow through with my plans if I've told someone else about it... and I want to be honest.

Are you the same way?! Please tell so that at least I don't feel like I'm the only one with blogging addiction! : ) Ultimately, I just want to get to a place where it can be an enjoyable pass time for which I am not obsessed.

I sincerely hope (and also honestly believe) that you won't stop reading and commenting as a result of me baring my heart and revealing my weaknesses. Like I said, I deeply appreciate all of you. Thanks for "listening".

UPDATE: Wow... I am completely floored by all of your heartfelt encouragement and honesty. Thank you all SO much! Today has been wonderful, though hard at times when I was feeling the call of the computer. I didn't go on it at all except for the reasons that I stated and I must say that when I finally sat down after the boys were in bed it was like Christmas with all those wonderful gifts of words from you all waiting to be read! I loved it and am so happy I have gone through with this... you all are so understanding and supportive, I feel that maybe this will work and I'll be able to find some balance in my life again.

Well, I'm off to check out your blogs!

Oh, and BTW I just posted a really cute tidbit on my other blog "Of Books, Blocks n' Boys" about something fun I had Jayden do today and how he fooled me quite thoroughly. :o)
Check it out if you're interested!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm Gonna Miss these Moments...

I know I have posted a picture similar to this in the recent past,
but I wanted to post this specifically for this reason.
Pam is asking us to post pictures of moments we know
we're gonna miss when they are past.

I thought it was a really neat idea and I immediately thought of
this picture 'cause I know I'm gonna miss this...
cuddles with my youngest son, Allan. He does this so much, and I let him, because I know that all to soon he won't come to me for this anymore.

For more posts like this visit Pam over at Your gonna miss this...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy SinterKlaas Day!

It's fphoto friday and Sinter Klaas Day so I decided to
combine both in one post!

Because both mine and my husbands family are dutch we
celebrate St. Nicholas Day (or Sinter Klaas) as we call him.

"The name Santa Claus was derived from the Dutch Sinter Klass
pronunciation of St Nicholas. Early Dutch settlers in New York
(once called New Amsterdam) brought their traditions of
St Nicholas. As children from other countries tried to
pronounce Sinter Klass, this soon became Santa Klass,
which was settled as Santa Claus."
Santa's Net

Although we don't go near as much into depth with the
celebrations as this, (though I really like the idea of the adults
playing tricks on each other with much hilarity!
) we do
put up the stockings over the fireplace this evening and
read the story of St. Nicholas together.

The real fun comes for the boys tomorrow morning when
they will discover the bulging stockings and
we'll be able to open them together and enjoy all the "loot".

I like that we are able to separate the stockings from
Christmas morning and yet the boys still can have the fun of
having stockings to hang and enjoy.

Then on Christmas morning it's not about Santa at all
but only about the Coming of Our Lord Jesus.

For more fphoto friday pics visit Natalie at Married to the Preacher.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Strumming my Guitar

I've been doing a lot of practicing on my guitar lately.
Trying to learn a few Christmas carols.
I have never had lessons by a professional and am finding it quite
difficult to remember the different chords, but I so enjoy it...
even if the tips of my fingers are aching! Jayden wanted to take a few pictures and this is what I found when
I checked out the pictures this afternoon!
Is he a natural, or what???
All I had to do was a tiny bit of cropping and color change,
but that's it. He could work on getting better focus
(especially in the top picture)but after all he's only (almost) 7!
I am so impressed with his photography! I may never need
to get professional photos again! : o)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just a few cards I've made in the past
that I wanted to get pictures of
before giving them out.

Now it's time to start the Christmas cards.
For some reason, I just can't bare to give store bought
when I know how to make them myself.

...Even if it is extremely time consuming.
Are you the same way?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Decorated for Christmas

I decorated for Christmas on Friday morning. Ultimately I wouldn't decorate until after Jayden's birthday which is December 9 but our town has their "Parade of Lights" on the last Friday in November every year. So I put up the tree and decorate and the children get ridiculously excited and we walk down to main street to watch the parade and then gather in our home with friends afterwards for hot chocolate, goodies and games. I must admit it makes me excited, too. It's like a big kick-off to the Christmas season.

The only problem is that we missed it this year because my husband and I had to go to his work Christmas party. I was very disappointed about that but we borrowed out our home to friends of ours and they took the kids and then hung out at our place until we got home. At least the children got to enjoy it!

Here is a picture of a craft that DH did with the boys yesterday. The body of the bird is an old light bulb covered with rice and then spray painted... pretty cool, eh? The boys are thrilled with them and want to play with them but I think they are so nice that I want them as decoration! : )

I bought this angel last year for our Christmas tree and found out
when I got home that it was way to big! So now it sits on our
mantle and I like it there a lot.

Our 119 yr. old piano.

The "Amazing Grace" cross stitch is something I completed back
in high school for a convention in Portland, Oregon
and won 3rd place. (yeah, me!)
I recently got it re-framed and am so happy with it!

And here is the tree, sans decor. I just wanted to keep it simple this year and personally I like it better this way.