Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ice Crystal
My Mom sent me this picture and I just had to share. They had a frost and these huge ice crystals formed. I thought they were beautiful so I'm sharing! :)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Snitch
This is a picture of my dh and baby girl, also known as, the snitch. We have been married for almost 9 years. Every year dh has talked about how fun it would be to have a RC airplane. But, each year we have not had the money and there was always something else that was needed. But not this year. This year I wanted to surprise him with a very simple RC plane. So, I loaded baby girl into the car and off we went. The first store I went into I was not impressed. I felt like the guy I was working with wasn't being very honest with me. So, I went to another hobby shop and had success in finding what I was looking for. Now, the entire time we are shopping I am explaining to baby girl that this is a surprise. We don't tell Daddy about the airplane. I had her help me wrap it all the while telling her that we can't tell Dad. I thought she had it figured out. But then dh came home from work and I hear her sweet little voice saying, "Daddy look - it's your present. It's a airplane." AACK! All my planning and plotting! At first, I don't think he understood what she was pointing at or talking about. I had stuck the box behind the tree in the corner because it was quite large. So, she took him around the tree and said "See, there it is. Your airplane." Sigh. On Christmas morning dh jokingly asked "What could this be?" And there she was... the snitch saying, "Daddy, that's your airplane!" I chuckled and made a mental note (for the 10,000th time since we got the plane) not to take her shopping with me ever again! She is my golden snitch!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Snow in Palm Springs
I grew up in Idaho. Snow is nothing new to me. In fact, the years when we didn't have a lot of snow were more surprising than the storms that dropped 6-12" of the white fluffy stuff. My kids don't know a lot about snow. As is obvious by the pictures shown above. My oldest remembers snow and sledding from our previous home. My other two... well... a picture is worth a thousand words, right? The snow shown in these pictures was found in a park in Palm Springs. No, it didn't fall from the sky :) There is an annual even that takes place at this park. They bring in snow and make a sledding ramp. Then the kids can visit Santa (which we didn't do because the line was TOO long), play in a jump house, pet a few animals, climb the rock wall or go for a pony ride. And the best part - it was all free. All in all it was a good day - with the exception of the sledding for my two younger kids. Maybe next year they will do a little better with their 5 seconds of snow time here in the California desert.
I hate AOL. I'm sorry that I have been absent from the world wide web. I have to lay the blame completely on the shoulders of AOL. It completely shut down. Couldn't even get to the sign on screen. So, we went for awhile without the internet. I didn't realize how much I relied on the information I could pull from my computer! We needed maps one day and I couldn't pull up my trusty MapQuest to find them. I wanted to review flight plans of family members that will be coming in January, couldn't do that. Wanted a recipe from, couldn't do that either!! So, we have now joined the ranks of high speed internet. Hopefully we won't have any problems with it. I apologize to my 2-3 faithful blog readers :) But now I can say... I'M BACK!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Spirit
I am lacking in Christmas Spirit this year. Usually I'm feeling the warm fuzzy glow about this time. And I'm not even stressed out this year! My shopping is done. I finished my wrapping tonight. Christmas cards are out. I'm working on getting goodie plates done for neighbors. Everything is falling into place nicely. And yet, I'm just not feeling it. Perhaps it's the craziness that is surrounding me. I live in a warm area. And every winter the snow birds come here to get away from the cold. So, there has been a HUGE influx of people. And now this city seems busy, crazy, and almost insane. Nothing against the snow birds, it just means that there are a lot more people around these days. Maybe I don't feel the Christmas Spirit because of the weather. I can't say that I love having snow for 6 months out of the year (I grew up in Idaho... and that happened on occasion). But, there is something wonderful about watching the snow. Unless it is a raging blizzard, it usually comes softly and just kind of floats down. In Oregon we would get rain in the winter. It made everything seem filthy because of the mud. If it did snow then it would make everything seem clean and pure. It's such a perfect analogy for this time of year. Our Savior came to the earth, not with fanfare and parades... but softly, quietly. He came to cover our muddy spots with His clean and pure love. Maybe I'll cut out some snowflakes from paper this week and hang them around the house. Perhaps I'll even write a blessing on each one. Maybe this will help me feel the true Spirit of the Season.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Digital Photos
I love to take pictures. I have a Canon Rebel SLR that is a really great camera. I like to take it on trips or to school events or just snap shots around the house. The problem is that I never get the photos developed. I have lots of undeveloped rolls of film lying around the house. I'm sure that some of them got lost in the move :S This is one of the many reasons I love our digital camera. First of all, I can print out whatever pictures I want. Second, I don't feel bad taking pictures like this one. I never would have taken this picture with my regular camera. It would have felt wasteful (not sure why since I never develop the pictures...). But now, I can take pictures of whatever I want and if I don't like them, I delete them. I especially love to play with the colors in the picture. I have pictures of sand, these beans, my parents kitchen floor... all kinds of odd little things. And I love it! I love the way they turn out. Someday I might even print these strange photos and make a display with them. Or, they might just sit on my computer, kind of like the rolls of film that sit in my closet!
My Girls
These are my girls, Maya is the golden and Maggie is the chocolate. I miss them so much. I've been thinking what it would be like to have dogs again. You see, when we were in Hermiston I tried to talk DH into getting a puppy. One of the ladies at our church was selling some, but DH wasn't quite ready. So, we waited. A little while later a guy from DH's work invited us to bring the kids over to see their puppies. We picked one out, but she wasn't quite ready to leave mom. A little while later this poor little dog got stepped on by a cow. The man who owned the dogs kept this little pup and nursed her back to health, but she had become rather dependent on him. So, we picked out another pup - Maggie. She had such a hard time... lots of crying because she was alone. We took her back to the man's house to get her first shots and DH asked how we could help her... he told him to take another puppy... so, here came Maya. They were so good together. They were gentle with the kids and really good dogs. One night, there were prowlers in the back yard and they went nuts. Woke us up so that we were able to scare these people off. When we found out we were moving we looked for a place that would let us have pets. We found places, but they wanted $500 per pet... $1000 to bring our girls with us. So, we began looking for a home for them. Nothing. No one needed, or wanted dogs at that time. The people who lived behind us offered to take them till a home could be found, but, they would be on vacation when we moved. The people who bought the house offered to keep the dogs till our neighbors got home. We loaded up. And cried. A lot. We were on our way to California when I got a call from our realtor. The dogs had dug out. They had followed a group of kids to the school. I think they were looking for our oldest son. Pet Rescue had picked them up. I heard conflicting things about Pet Rescue. One said it was a non-kill shelter. Another person said that they give them 3 weeks. I have no idea what happened to my girls. I pray that they are okay. I think about them so much and my heart just breaks. I try not to let the kids see. They had a hard time leaving them too. Now, I wonder if we made a mistake. Maybe we should have tried a little harder to find a way to get them down here. It felt so impossible at the time. Sometimes I wonder if we should get another dog. But, I know that no dog could ever take the place of my girls.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm always complaining that I'm tired. And I shouldn't because it's my own fault. I am a night owl. I love to be up watching a show or doing something online or trying to beat my dh in a game of Phase 10. It's a quieter time. The kids are sleeping and sometimes, I just sit around and enjoy that silence. Of course, going to bed at midnight doesn't make me much of a morning person. I'm more like a morning bear than a morning person. I am usually exhausted and cross till later on in the day when I can finally shake that morning crankiness. My children, on the other hand, are morning people. They get up early (if it's before 6:30 I have them go lay back down for awhile), they are chipper and happy in the morning. They are even up early on weekends! This is not the best combination. I want them to go back to sleep for awhile, they want to play Hungry Hippos (which, as everyone knows, is the loudest game on this earth). But, since two of the three have to be on their way to school by 8-8:15, I don't have the luxury of sleeping in. Now, the obvious thing to do here is to go to bed earlier. That way I would have enough rest and I would be a functioning human being in the mornings. But that would be too logical. So, I think I'll go do some email... after all, it's only 10:45... I've still got time.

Friday, December 08, 2006

My Nativity

I have coveted this nativity set for a long time! Is that bad or what? But, I now own it! On the day after Thanksgiving I picked one up at a craft store in Idaho Falls. It was 25% off, which is a rare thing for the Demdaco Willowtree items. They don't ever go on sale. But this store has them once a year at 25% off. So, I'm slowly going to build this up. Next year I'll probably get the Wisemen or the star backdrop. There is also another shepherd and a creche... but I don't know if I will get those. First of all, I have one shepherd. Don't know if I want another... I'll have to look at the other and see... and the creche is $90!! Now, to some people, that may not seem so bad, but that's a lot for me. So, they may just have to sit on top of the entertainment center or piano each year!

Christmas Dangers
I always love to get my Christmas shopping done early so that I can relax and enjoy the holidays. But, I have now decided that this is a VERY dangerous thing to do! I get done shopping and I'm feeling pretty good about things and then WHAM!! All of the sudden I see it... the PERFECT gift for that special someone!! DH and I had set a limit on our gift giving before Thanksgiving. I was doing so well sticking to it and then on Monday I was shopping. I came around a corner and a light from heaven lit on the item and the angels began to sing! It was perfect and I had to get it for him! (I'm not going to say what it is because I have finally told him about the blog... and I never know when he's reading it!) So, I totally blew the budget we had set. But I HAD to! Now, I would take back some of the other things I got for him, but I bought them in Idaho at stores that aren't found here in Southern Cali. Now, DH isn't the only one I have over spent on. My kids are a tad over budget too! And just the other day I saw a horse that I would love to get monkey girl, a game for my red head and a Thomas train set for my little silent man. It's so hard to not snatch all of it up and just forget the budget! I'm trying, but it's hard!! Maybe someone should lock me up and throw away the key. I am clearly a danger to myself and my bank account!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Beach
I'm just in a blogging mood tonight :) I love to do creative writing and that's something that I haven't done in a long time. I have become very good at writing lists, but there's really nothing too creative about milk, cereal and eggs. Anyway, I love this picture. I love to go to the beach. We are so close to it now that I think we will try to make several trips each year. There is something so calming about the ocean and yet, it scares me too. I don't like not knowing what is out in the water. Rip tides, sharks, or even broken glass in the sand... it all scares me. This picture was taken this last fall. My kids would wade farther and farther out into the water till I just couldn't stand it any more and I'd yell at them to come back. There were times when they were knocked down and tumbled around by the water, but they were always okay. Someday, one of them is going to want to try something like surfing and it's going to make me insane to watch! I try not to pass my fear onto my kids. I want them to be brave, but I don't want them to be stupid. Have you ever noticed that it's a fine line between the two? So, I guess the question is, how do I teach them the difference? I don't want them to go throughout life being afraid. I've already planted a few fears unintentionally. I don't want to do that anymore. I guess the best way would be to conquer my own fears. Or at least pretend to.
The View
I don't usually watch the morning tv show "The View". But, I have seen it a few times and I noticed one day that they say good-bye the same way each day. They say something to the effect of "Take some time to enjoy the view". I don't know why, but I have been thinking about this lately. It could take on so many different meanings. Enjoy your own point of view or the point of view of another. Enjoy nature (like my picture from the backyard). And then there is God's point of view. I have a good life. Good kids. A great husband. A fairly normal extended family :) Friends who love me. We are all healthy and well taken care of. He has given me all of these wonderful things. He has the best "view" of my life. And if I take the time to see things as he sees them, my perspective changes. My view is good and I'm going to take a little time each day to enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

O Christmas Tree
This is our finished product. Not the most beautiful tree in the world, but we love it! :)
Candy Can
Yes, I know it should be candy canE. But, my little girl calls them "candy cans". My kids say the funniest things. The other day my oldest son asked if we had electricity when he was born (he'll be 8 in January). My Dh told him no and that we used to have to go outside to go to the bathroom too. Good one dad ;) He also asked me if I believed in Santa Claus. I turned the question back to him and he said, "Well, I don't know if I believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny. But I do know that I believe in Jesus." That's good enough for me! My middle child is 6. He has autism and does not speak. But lately, we are starting to hear a few things from him. The other day he said "excellent" and I threw a little party right then and there! On Saturday we were at Toys R Us. We were looking at Toy Story toys and there was a miniature set that he has always loved to look at. I handed it to him and he said "Please want.... please want...." I was so excited that I called my mom right there and then tried to get him to say it again in the phone! We did get the Toy Story toys, but he doesn't know it. It's going to be a Christmas gift from his big brother. I know that he will be so excited to open it! I'm excited for him to open it! My kids are my love and my insanity. It's a good thing they do these fun things every-once-in-awhile to remind me how cute they really can be! Now I'm off to go share a candy can with my monkey girl!
I love to try out new crafts. Of course, most of my crafts look like they came out of a kindergarten class room. Not always well put together, but lots of heart went into it! I have more fabric than one person should probably be allowed to have. I have boxes of flowers and craft supplies! And for some reason, I like to buy craft items. Maybe it's so that if I ever get the urge to do something crafty, I will have all of the supplies right at my fingertips. That way I don't have to drag my kids out shopping at a craft store - which, by the way, is one of the most horrible places to take small children!! I like to picture things in my head and then attempt to make it look right. Sometimes, it works and other times it's a complete disaster. Now, I am not one of those super crafty gals. I can't paint or draw anything with great detail. Stick figures are my best work and I now LOVE the new vinyl lettering so that I don't have to try and make my own writing look legible. My sewing skills are fairly limited. I have made several quilt tops, but I hate quilting. Kind of a strange thing about me... so, I sold the tops at a yard sale. I kind of regret selling one of the tops, but that's okay. I can make another! My DH thinks I'm crazy to go through all the work of piecing a quilt top together and then sticking it in a box or selling it at a yard sale. Maybe I am crazy! In fact, I'm almost positive that I am! I've also made some pajama pants, but that is the extent of my sewing skills. I like to do floral arrangements, but have never taken a class. I think I'll just keep plugging away at my craft skills. Maybe one day I'll be a super crafty gal! And all my projects will look professional... till then, could you pass the Elmer's glue?

Monday, December 04, 2006

I hate laundry. It just never seems to end! As soon as I think I've got it all done, it starts to pile up again. I don't actually mind throwing it in the washer and then the dryer... it's the folding and putting away that I hate. Usually I get it all washed and dryed. The things that absolutely need to be hung up get hung up and then the rest sit in baskets. Then, eventually, I'll drag all the clothes out to the living room, put in a movie (or two) and fold and fold and fold! Then, I'll put all the clothes away and then I star the process all over again! I used to do just one batch every day so that I never got behind... I need to do that again. I have already done 7 batches today!! Yeah, I really let it pile up... :S I've been trying to think of a solution for this problem... maybe I need to throw most of our clothes away. Everyone can have two pairs of pants, two shirts, two pairs of socks ect. That way I can be wearing one and washing the other. Sounds a tad boring, but a lot easier! So now the question is: do I sacrifice fashion for a life of ease? Hmmm... probably not. So, I guess it's time to do some more laundry!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Hunt
I am a bargain shopper. Nothing makes me happier than to get a great deal on an item. This is why I am addicted to things like eBay and garage/yard sale shopping. I buy anything and everything on eBay. I have gotten kids clothes, a GPS unit, fabric and toys on eBay. I've even sold a few things, but I prefer to get the bargains myself :) There is something exciting about digging through someone's old trash to find a wonderful treasure! For example, yesterday I went to a garage sale. In the back of the garage was an old chest filled with purses. I had no interest in the purses, but was excited about the chest. I asked the lady if she was going to sell the chest, she said she would for the right price. I asked what that price might be... $30. SOLD! I snatched it up right then and there. I knew that a wonderful item like that wouldn't last very long. I also found clothes for beautiful monkey girl for .50 each. She has a whole new wardrobe. I got a few videos and some new games. It was a great trip! Now, I just need to get my junk organized and have my own yard sale! Maybe there is someone out there that would treasure my old trash! :) Besides, I have to clear out more room so that I have places for all the new treasures to come.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Beautiful Monkey
This is my baby. She's a tom boy princess superhero. She loves movies like "Cars", "Toy Story", "Dinosaurs" and yet, still makes room for "The 12 Dancing Princesses". She plays with toy snakes and digs in the dirt, yet wears a crown at the same time. She chases her brothers with squirt guns and is a tad of a bully. Yet, she is polite and sweet. She hates to have her hair brushed, but loves to have her nails painted. She'll wear a "pretty dress" over jeans, but it will be a mess in 2 seconds flat. She's her daddy's girl, but loves shopping with mom. She wears a cape while pushing her baby doll around in a stroller. She's my only kid that will eat veggies without reservation, except for potatoes. She prefers to ride in Daddy's truck. I wasn't sure what I would do with a girl. After all, I had spent the previous 5 years with my two boys playing with snakes and learning the names of every dinosaur that has ever walked the earth. Luckily, I didn't have to change much of that at all. She fits right in.
The Perfect Cup
I love hot cocoa. Almost as much as marshmallow peeps, but not quite. I love to put new things in my cocoa to find just the right flavor. Today, I just did the chocolate and marshmallows. I wonder if you could put peeps in hot cocoa? Hmmm... I guess I'll just have to make another run to Target to get a new stash (of course, I just bought two boxes 2 days ago... they are GONE). I love to buy different flavored candy canes and melt them in my cocoa. Peppermint is always a good one, but I also love the strawberry and raspberry. Another fun thing is to melt ice cream in a boiling hot cup of cocoa. It makes it extra creamy and using different flavors gives it an extra kick. I also love to put carmel or white chocolate in it. Almond bark is yummy too. For an extra chocolatey flavor I throw in Hershey's kisses or pieces of chocolate bars. This year it's been to warm to drink too much hot chocolate - until the last few days! It's finally a little chilly here and I'm loving it!! It's perfect weather to get my favorite cocoa ready, snuggle up in a blanket and read a book or watch a favorite movie. One thing I do need to get is a bigger mug. I usually end up making two cups because it's just not quite enough with the mug size we have. Maybe I'll have to get a big mug while I'm out getting my peeps :)