Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getting to Know You part 12

Q: Will you be staying up to see the new year come in tonight?

My A: Probably not. I haven't in years. The kids go to bed, and I go to bed too. I'll party tomorrow. Happy New Year!

Please leave a comment with your own answer to this question.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I just had to quickly share this really cool Nigerian Christmas carol. It is so full of energy and excitement! What a great way to rejoice in the birth of our Savior! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

for a time

This week is looking super, SUPER busy. Lots and lots to do. Happily, I am not feeling overwhelmed about all of this right now. But in an effort to keep sane this week I've decided to stay away from the computer for a time. Definitely for this week...but it could even last into the new year. I'm just planning to take one day at a time. I am very much looking forward to Christmas!

I might even come back with another new look for my blog. Something for the new year. Amy from A Common Place Life has started a new blog, Patchwork Weblog, all about how to enhance a blog. I followed her tutorial on how to change background color to get my green that I like so much. Thanks Amy!

Have a wonderful week and holiday season! I'll catch you later!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting to Know You part 11

Q: Have you ever traveled or even lived outside of the country of your birth?

My A: Nope. {sigh} Maybe someday. For now it sure is fun thinking about all the places I would like to go!

Please leave a comment with your own answer to this question. I'd love to hear any stories you've got to share.
Edit: If you have never traveled or lived outside your country, where would you most like to visit? I would like to go to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. After that, I have a great big long list...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

O Christmas Tree

On Saturday we went as a family to go cut a Christmas tree. It's a tradition of ours that started with our very first Christmas when James and I had been married for only a few months. We started it then because we both REALLY wanted a real Christmas tree, but knew we could not afford to go buy one. We had heard of people cutting their own trees in the National Forest, but didn't know much about it. We found out that a permit only costs $5. That was in our budget!

We bought a permit, got a map, and headed out to the woods. I have to admit that I didn't really enjoy our time spent getting a tree. It was so nice to spend time with my new husband, but I was cold, and pregnant, and not feeling completely great. We found what we thought would be a perfect tree and managed to get it home strapped to the top of our little old car. When we got it all set up in our apartment it looked funny. I mean funny in a comical and strange sort of way. It was not what we had pictured. But it was what we had. Our decorations were pretty meager as well. We bought one box of small colored glass balls and one strand of colored lights. It just wasn't enough, so we sat down together at our little dining table and made some simple star ornaments out of construction paper and glitter. I think we made 20 or so. Now, 10 years later, I only have one left, and it is faded and misshapen. But it is one of my most treasured ornaments.
That funny looking tree of ours really grew on us. It smelled good. It still had pretty pine cones attached to it. And it was ours. Somehow it made us feel more like a family and not just two people who were blissfully learning a whole lot about each other.

Our next Christmas was quite different. We had a new baby, a new job, and a new home. Since we had so much, we decided to go buy a nice tree at a regular tree lot in town. The cheapest one there was $40. We bought it and took it home. Within just a couple of days it was dropping pine needles like crazy! We found needles everywhere! We were still finding and cleaning up needles from that tree by the time the next Christmas came around. We cut our own tree that year. And have every year since. Well, really James has. Because of babies and small children, I've almost always managed to get out of going to cut the tree. Until this year. James and the kids really wanted me to go, and I knew that Little Man would love the experience, so I said I would go. I wasn't really looking forward to it. But the day came, and I went. I had a good time. A really good time. Things didn't quite go as smoothly as planned. But it was OK! At one point we were all crammed into our Jeep driving through the snow trying to get to the place that the map said was designated for cutting Christmas trees. All of a sudden we came to a dead end. The road we were on did not connect to the one we wanted to be on like it looked like on the map. The kids were starting to ask, "When are we going to stop?" We didn't know. Little Man said, "Out? Out?" I explained to him that we were going to go find a tree to cut down. He looked out the window, pointed and very excitedly yelled, "Tree!" We were in the middle of the forest surrounded by trees. Why should we not stop right there and get one of these trees? He is a smart kid, that one. On we went, slowly working our way back to the main road so that we could go to a completely different area. The snow on the trees was very beautiful. And we were going slow enough (about 10mph) that we actually had time to look a little closer at things as we drove by. We were all squished against each other, but no one was complaining about it. We were warm and munching on the snack we had brought along. I was so content! So happy to have my most favorite people that close to me. I told them so. I felt so good, that I just had to sing. I sang one fun Christmas song after the next. I mostly sang by myself, everyone else was busy eating, but every now and then one or two would sing a little bit with me. It was wonderful! We did finally get our tree and it still looks a little funny. But we love it. And I am very much looking forward to being able to go cut a tree next year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Something new for Christmas

We are definitely getting into the Christmas swing of things around here. We are singing and listening to Christmas music every day, our tree is up and decorated, our stockings are hung, and we're almost done shopping for or making all our gifts. So I had to redo my blog too!

No, I really didn't have to. In fact I probably should have spent the time doing something else. But I didn't. And so far, I don't regret it! Tomorrow morning when I'm running around like crazy trying to find everything everyone needs for the day, but has managed to lose and only Mom can find, I might have some second thoughts about the time I spent on the computer today. But there were some new things I've been wanting to try and some old things I've been wanting to get rid of. There are still a few changes I want to make. But I'll save those for another day.

The bell on the header is from a vintage Christmas card I found on Flickr. (Thanks for the suggestion, Cocoa!) As you can see, I only used a part of it. I'm pretty happy with the way it all turned out. I might play around with it a little bit more, but maybe not. I really am trying to keep life what I have will have to do. I really do like the blue background! It is such a pretty color!!!

Edit: I don't know why I called the background blue. It's green! I guess there is a little blue to it, but mostly green. Still such a pretty color though!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting to Know You part 10

Q: Sunrise or Sunset? Do you have a preference?

My A: I have always loved watching both, but sunrise is my very favorite! When I watch the sunrise I feel peaceful, hopeful, excited, and energetic all at the same time.

Please leave a comment with your own answer to this question!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent Envelopes

I finished my advent envelopes on Monday! Just in time. We sang our first song last night. And it was nice. I'm looking forward to singing the rest. I think the kiddos are too. I know they are looking forward to choosing an envelope and finding out what song they have chosen.

I had considered putting numbers on the envelopes. I think most advent calendars involve numbers. Maybe that is part of the definition of an advent calendar. I should find out. But I wanted this to be a random kind of thing. Definitely a surprise kind of thing.

Here is the list of songs we will be singing this year. I think I will change it a little bit for next year...probably every year after that too. Wait, wait, wait! I'm getting way ahead of myself here. Just wait and see how it all goes this time around!

All of the songs come from the Children's Songbook or the Hymnal. Both from my church. If you click on each title it will take you to a page where you can print out the sheet music or you can listen to the song. If you click play as it is it will just play a piano accompaniment. If you click on "words and music" on the upper left-hand side of the page, then click play, you can hear a nicer recorded version with actual people singing. All of this is available through the Church's Music Website. I LOVE THAT SITE!!! It's amazing!

Away in a Manger

Christmas Bells

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

He Sent His Son

Little Jesus

Mary's Lullaby

Oh, Hush Thee, My Baby

Once within a Lowly Stable

Picture a Christmas

Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus

Sleep, Little Jesus

Stars Were Gleaming

The Nativity Song

The Shepherd's Carol

There Was Starlight on the Hillside

When Joseph Went to Bethlehem

Who is the Child?

Angels We Have Heard on High

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

It Came upon the Midnight Clear

Joy to the World

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful

Silent Night

The First Noel