Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Card

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!
I wanted to share our Christmas card with you all and wish you a
Merry Christmas
Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Wrap Up

Haven't been blogging lately.
There is just too many fun things going on this time of year and in the evenings, when I usually blog, I've just wanted to sit by the tree, watch a Christmas movie and enjoy a hot toddy of sorts!
Tomorrow we head up north to spend Christmas with family at my parents' house,
so I thought I'd post some pics to share what we've been up to this month!
In sunny Southern California we don't get snow!  But our church brings in 95 tons of it each year for a Christmas extravaganza for the community. 
Nothing is better than hitting up the sledding runs a few days after when everyone is at work!
Auntie Becky came for a quick 24 hours to wish us some holiday cheer!
Then Grammie came for her traditional cookies and gingerbread house making

Little Dude was a shepherd at his Christmas performance!
The girls celebrated a Medieval Christmas with our homeschool group

Our friends had us for a magical Christmas Jammie Cookie Decorating Party!

Little Dude had his class party and made precious Mangers!

As I picked up the masterpiece to take it home, in slow motion it flew off the plate - I scrambled to catch it with the plate - hit the wall - crashed to the floor and shattered.
As he began to cry, I let him eat the gumdrops and all was well!
At least I got a photo of the Holy Family before I dropped them all!
And get out of town with these cupcakes!
Sweet Baby Jesus!
And we did a little beach photo shoot for our family Christmas card

I'll post the card next week for my final post of 2013!
5 days left to throw your list away and just sit with your friends and family and enjoy the season!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Family Christmas Party

It's one of my favorite holiday traditions, started by my girls!
The Family Christmas Party
A few years ago, my girls saw all the entertaining we do and decided they wanted in on the action!
They planned a Christmas party for just our family.
Saturday we had our 3rd annual Family Christmas Party and it was a blast.
We play games
(Zingo is awesome for all ages!)
Uno Moo is also fun for littles
We eat yummy foods and usually drive around to see Christmas lights, but this year they just wanted to keep playing games!
Then we got on jammies and watched Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas (another favorite)
Christmas time can get a little nutty!
So, it's fun in the midst of all the entertaining and holiday events, to take a whole afternoon and evening and just spend it with our family

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Miracle

It's one of my favorite holiday traditions.

The day after Thanksgiving we go up to the Empire Mine in Grass Valley, CA.
It is the oldest, largest, richest gold mine in the West!
It's also one of my favorite places to take photos!
I was all excited this year because I just finished Ashley Ann's Snap Shop class and I couldn't wait
 to try out my knew knowledge of photography!
BUT, I was mortified to find out that my battery was blinking and I didn't have the charger or spare!!
There was nothing I could do.
So I tried my best to get over it and take as many as I could while the battery lasted.
And guess what?  It lasted the whole day!!!
My first Christmas Miracle!
 The leaves were beautiful
and so were our grandparents!

 Then it was time for the big moment!
 Getting to see Santa!
Check out my post from last year where I share the story about this incredible man!
It was our 4th year seeing Santa at the mine.
We stepped into the Clubhouse where Santa waited to see the children.
I think my heart skipped a beat when I saw him!
I just love Santa!
He asked the children what they wanted for Christmas and they shyly told him their wishes.
Then his tone got more serious and asked the children,
 "why have you been fighting so much with each other?"
(How did he know?  My second Christmas Miracle!)
My little sensitive boy's head dropped and his smile was gone.
"Family is the most important thing and friends may come and go, but your family is with you forever.  So you need to be nice to one another and love each other.  Don't fight."
"Ok," the children quietly said.

 When we left the clubhouse my little boy still had his head bend down and he said to me,
 "I don't think we're going to get any presents this year."
I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time!
He was so sad and so remorseful!
I assured him that Santa just wants families to love each other, and we do love each other!
 I mean come on, do these look like kids who fight with each other?
(Thanks Santa for the little speech, it's working like a charm!!
My third Christmas Miracle!)

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Before I hurry up into December,
I wanted to highlight our Thanksgiving.
We went to Northern California to my in-laws'
The kids had a ton of fun making balloon creations!
I think my son has a future as a clown!
It was a beautiful, sunny day that we mostly spent outside.

As we sat at the dinner table, we did the traditional, "go around the table and say what you are thankful for," game.  Well, it's not really a game, more like a tear jerker with us! 
It is pretty amazing to sit at a table with all of my family - my brother, parents, in-laws, husband, children - everyone gets along so well and makes the drives from all different cities
 to be together for the holidays.
It's pretty special.
We've had several close friends lose loved ones in the past few weeks.
With that, my husband said, "I'm most thankful for this moment right now."
How true.
This very moment is something to treasure.
I said that I was most thankful for redemption.
Last year I lost a lot during my struggle with anxiety and this year God has been giving back what was taken from me.
It's been a beautiful year of redemption.
 Now as December has rolled in so quickly, I'm going to dig my heels in and fight every threat to rush through this month, busy with events, shopping and baking.
I'm going to discipline myself to keep a heart of thanksgiving and take time to treasure every moment.
How are you going to enjoy December and not miss it?

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Ends of the Spectrum

We had a weekend that spanned both ends of the spectrum.
One of my closest friends lost his brother to cancer a few days ago.
He left behind 3 children.
Our dear friends called Saturday morning to tell us their mother passed away.
I was in disbelief.
It wasn't long before I started to think of losing my own mother and
I'm just not ready to begin this next phase of life where our parents are getting older and some are stepping into eternity.
I know this world is not our home, but young or old, it just seems like it happens too soon.
Saturday was spent playing with our friends' children while they went to be with family and make preparations.
The children spent hours on end creating these bracelets.
Oh that crazy Rainbow Loom!
Sunday was spent on the other end of the spectrum of grief.  We celebrated our dear friends retirement from over 4 decades in full time pastoral ministry.
It was incredible to see a sanctuary packed with colleagues, friends and believers from the many churches Dave and Nancy Worth served in over the years.
It was even more incredible to hear many of these people share about how Dave and Nancy had blessed, changed and encouraged their lives through the years.
Nancy said, "You usually don't get to hear all these nice things because they are spoken at your funeral!"  She was grateful that she was alive to hear all the affirmation.
I laughed, then my heart sunk as I thought about our other friends, preparing to say incredible, nice words over their mother as she is laid to rest.
Life and death are so closely tied together.
We try to separate them.
We try to remove one from the other.
We would rather stare one in the face and run and hide from the other.
But no matter how hard we try, we cannot have life without death.
And if we want to know true life, abundant, rich, full life, we must die to ourselves.
Death is part of life.
Life is part of death.
I'm grateful for the hope and promise God has given us.
Death does not have the final word!
And while we have the opportunity to speak words, let's share with those around us how special they are and how much we love them.


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