Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post Christmas Ramblings

I can't say I'm enjoying the movie, An American In Paris. But I'm still in the room with my daughter and husband just because it is rare that we do things like this and I don't want to leave the moment.

How was your Christmas?
Ours was lovely, even though my sweet husband had to work. He got up extra early, went into work and came back in time for stockings and presents.
My poor eldest child is always, always the first one up Christmas morning. We have beaten it into her head she is in no way allowed to wake up Miss B before 8a.m. Trust me on this one-as sweet as my child is, if you wake her too early and then bombard her with Christmas, she is not easy to live with. At all.
All that to say, Lauren was up from 5:45 on, excited as she was when she was little. 
I so love her for this.
But I almost love her more for staying in bed.

We have had our annual Christmas illness, and I'm happy to report all barfing made it straight to the bathroom. Just thought I should share this.
Your welcome.

I haven't done much in the way of art, I have done a lot in the way of clearing out the wreckage of opened gifts, and hanging out with my girls.

I really, really need to stop eating peppermint ice cream with home-made hot fudge sauce. Hot fudge sauce is one thing I didn't burn over the last two weeks, so maybe I'll stop eating it tomorrow.
Or Friday.

Did you get any strange gifts this year? I got a scarf half knitted from a crazy-busy college girl with a promise of it being finished before she left for school again. 

I made Butternut Squash Risotto last night. Oh, have mercy. It was so good. I almost burned the rice, but caught it before it was too late because I could smell it staring to burn. I really do know how to cook and do enjoy it, but I'm telling you, something is up this vacation.

I have a confession.
I did not take ANY photos during December 25.
Not one.
Have I lost my mind as well as my cooking abilities?
Oh, wait. I took one. 

I took down my "late" Christmas tree two days after Christmas.
It was a goner.
Can you tell in the photo? The tips of the branches are turning in.
Unlike the fake one, which is still up.
And might be until mid-January.
Who knows.

What do you do for New Year's Eve? I'm so pathetic, I love to be in bed early and feel human the next day. Unless there is something totally, super fun to do. Which kinda never happens. 

Well, I could keep going, but 
I'm also guessing this has gone on long enough...
Have a fabulous day, my friends!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

It's official.
I should not cook dinner during Christmas Break.
Now, I'm a good cook. I really enjoy cooking.
But there is something about cooking during the craziness of Christmas.

Besides burning popcorn and about 3 dozen bagels and tossing every cookie sheet I own into the trash, I charred pizza last night.
Since I didn't have any cookie sheets left (really. I tossed all three of them with quite a diatribe into the trash can after messing up the bagels. You should try it. It was very freeing.) I had to put the pizza I had planned for dinner on the grill. I have done this before and it turned out beautifully. 
This pizza?
It ended up in the trash.
It looked like briquets.
Or a tree after a terrible firestorm.
Charred beyond recognition.
All this after telling my eldest, I love cooking for my family. It's nurturing and creative.
She was still hoping I would rather do her laundry.
I just might be persuaded.

My wish for you this Christmas is peace, laughter with your family, (whether or not you burn dinner beyond recognition), moments you can treasure and HOPE.

Enjoy a quiet moment listening to this beautiful Christmas song:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Take Good Care of This Moment, Take 4.

Welcome to Take Good Care of This Moment.
 I know it' a very busy time of the year, but I'm hoping these have brought some great time to reflect and think about what moment you would like to tuck away in your heart and mind for later.
If you have one to share, please feel free to join in the linky below!

Today was one of those "spectacular" days in Southern California. The winds have been at it again, howling away, but during December they blow cold, and the sky is swept clean and clear -you can see forever. 
Not that I was enjoying it much.
Somehow I got a wild hair to make home made bagels.
It took about 5 hours, a bag of flour, several bowls, three ruined cookie sheets, one bent spatula, two times sweeping and mopping the floors, and I don't know how many times I scrubbed the counters of flour and bagel water.
Not to mention having to take apart the stove top to clean water that boiled over from the bagels. It was SO not my finest moment as a cook. 

They look revolting, but they tasted pretty good. Especially warm out of the oven with butter and cream cheese.

Feeling like I had completely wasted a day, and more than a little frustrated, I decided it was time for Brenna, Miss Party and I to get out for a bit. 

The three of us bundled up and headed for the dog park. Miss Party is not overly fond of the dog park, but she does enjoy a good walk and Brenna has a bike she can maneuver around the park area. It was good to go, to feel the wind gust and feel the cold against my face. It cleared the cobwebs from my head and seemed to right my thinking. Not to mention it got the smell of bagels out of my head.

I happened to look up at one point during our walk and was literally stopped in my tracks by the colors set up with this particular tree, the sky and the surrounding hills.

The tree was stripped bare of it's leaves, but there were clusters of bright red berries that were set against the blue sky.

It felt as if it were a treat just for me, because I looked up.
It was a wonderful moment to stop, BREATHE, and take notice.
We walked and rode, enjoyed the beautiful day, picked some oranges and headed home.
And somehow the day was better.

Thanks so much for participating by either reading along or posting your own moment!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Week

Christmas week.
I love it!!
Each year,our Bible study hosts a Christmas party for our Adult Disabled group at our church.
It is just the best.
Our kids come home for it, we all pitch in and put together gift bags, buy pizza and salad and make the rounds around town to pick up the party goers and bring them in for some Christmas fun.
It is, by FAR, the best Christmas party ever.
No fuss, loss of giving, sweet receiving, fabulous singing, and merriment in it's purest form.
I'm not sure just how to put into words how amazing it is to share this time with this group.

On impulse last night, we loaded up the car and drove to an amazing neighborhood.

I think we walked for close to 2 hours looking at house after house lit up like Main Street in Disneyland.

It was about as crowded, too!
But just as magical.

We wondered where all of this is stored?
Then we wondered if you sell your home, is it in writing that you carry this on as a new owner? Because not one house wasn't lit up.

Maybe not all were as extravagant as this one, but there were lights EVERYWHERE!

All kinds of interpretations..

And of course, the Starbucks runs this week.
It's just a part of who I am...
and it helps with the wrapping I'm not getting done!

Hope your week is going well and your MOMENTS are piling up!

Join me on Friday-I have a sweet one to share with all of you.

Monday, December 19, 2011


My computer has decided to not connect to Internet, so once again, I'm resorting to my trusty phone..
Which is probably just as well,since I feel a rambling post coming on.
Wrapping. Does anyone actually enjoy wrapping gifts at Christmas? I had an epiphany last night that I do NOT enjoy wrapping. I always want it to look like the simply beautiful gifts on the cover of Country Living magazine, but somehow they look like the grinch and his dog wrapped them.

At least I am finished with shopping. I do enjoy that part.

I'm thinking we could enjoy baked goods say, twice a year instead of waiting to devour all of the offerings in December.

I have only broken one ornament this year, and, as predicted, my eldest does not like Justin Bieber on our small tree.

I love that Brenna still believes in Santa-110%.

Do you buy your pets gifts at Christmas? I'm debating with Miss Party, as she has been on the naughty list far too often this year.

O.k., I do recall saying I would keep this rambling short...wish me luck with Internet connection.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Take Good Care Of This Moment, Take 3.

Thanks so much for coming by and participating in
Whether you share a moment on the linky below or just read the offerings, my hope is that you come away with a renewed sense of joy and peace during this crazy, beautiful, stressful month.

This week, my moment came in the form of a 3 ft. noble fir tree.

Just a little background history:
A few years ago, I caved and got a fake tree.
I did.
My eldest daughter was so incensed, she refused to decorate it and while I hung ornaments on it, she stood in the background reminding me of what a sad, sad state our family had fallen into. True to her form, she never hung an ornament on it. I have since defended our sorry fake tree (yes, it really is kind of a lame little tree) and have grown to be rather fond of it.  My kids have never really spent much time decorating any tree real or fake, so I'm happy with my quick to put up-pre lit tree. 
But, I have to admit. It's just not the same with out a real tree and the first year we had the fake tree, I conspired with some friends who were leaving on Christmas morning to drive to Colorado to stop by our house early in the morning and leave their tree. It arrived before anyone was up, in a stand, with the lights still on it. Doug and the girls came downstairs to open stockings and found that little (real) tree waiting for them, just so ready to spread Christmas joy. It was a fabulous moment!

Fast forward about 6 years:

We still put up that silly fake tree and then go find a real tree, smallish in size for the family room.
This year, Brenna and I took on the task and went after school to our local Lowe's. When we first entered the tree area, we were a little taken aback as there were only a handful of trees left. We were informed that they had been selling like mad and "this late in the season, there weren't many left." 
Late? Since when is December 14th late to purchase a tree??? 
Maybe I was supposed to get it on black Friday?
To be honest, I had a small moment of panic, because the only trees to be seen were the giant, 10-12 foot variety.
Then, back in the corner, there they were.
The smallish ones.
Very smallish, but when one is "late" in purchasing, I guess you can't complain.
Full of green, piney good smells, standing proud with all it's 36 inches, I didn't care how small it was, it was just plain CUTE.

Brenna and I were pretty slap-happy by now and the man who was supposed to be helping us was busy doing who knows what on the phone, scanning who knows what to replace the trees that were bought by more savvy people than myself, so I began to sing.
"Have a holly, jolly Christmas, and in case you didn't hear, have a holly jolly Christmas, this year."
Thank goodness Brenna likes to join in on the fun, so she began laughing and I began marching around the tree, twirling it, singing what ever verses I could recall from Burl Ives.

The nice man from Lowe's was taking quite a long time to re-order trees for the poor, unfortunate, late-in the-season people, so we laughed and sang our way around our cute tree until I was a little dizzy. The other nice thing about being late-in-the-season-purchasers is that no one else is buying a tree, so we were free to fully enjoy ourselves and embrace our MOMENT.

We then went to purchase our late bloomer of a tree and I did a double take at the register.
Say what?
 Half off for the poor, late-in-season-people.
I almost burst into a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus, but kept my wits about me and purchased three little poinsettias instead, put our treasures in the car and at home, jimmied it into the monstrously large tree holder.

It's awaiting it's decorating debut today.
It will be an honored tree.
For you see, there is not just any ornament to be placed on this late-season tree.
It's a Justin Bieber ornament.
Yep. Brenna's pick for the year.
This tree knows good things come to those that wait and sing.

A Little Art Offering For The Day

How is everyone's week going?
It's the final days before Christmas break around here, and TONS to do before school is out.
One thing I like to get done before my girls are out of school is all the Christmas shopping.
It's a rather large goal, and one I don't often accomplish, but I just might do it this year!!

I took a little bit of time to journal and work on my Sketchbook project this morning before starting on the day,
here is my little art offering:

I found the text from a commentary on Romans 5:13 (message version)-

"Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives filled with the life giving energy of the holy spirit will brim over with hope!"

Are you looking for your MOMENT that you will take good care of?
I found mine yesterday. I can't wait to share it with you!!!!
See you back here tomorrow for the linky party...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Coming Up For Air.

Hey, friends!
So sorry that I have been MIA since Friday.
It's been...a little crazy.
Since Friday, I've attended a funeral, an all day class with Jenny Doh, a Christmas party, finished 8 journals, a canvas and got everything together for an art show.
I was a little more than loopy by Sunday night.

But it was well worth it.
It was one of the most fun shows ever.

Ten artists in the alleyway next to a well-loved coffee shop in downtown Redlands called Augie's.

I packed up part of my living room, some twine and my canvases and met two of the bestest gals ever who helped me set up and ease my panic.
(THANK.YOU, Robin and Rach!)
 Yeah. Just a little panic. When I arrived, NO ONE was there and for a brief 2 or 7 minutes I thought I had gotten the date wrong and the show had all ready taken place. 
Kinda like those dreams you have of never really finishing high school.

Everyone showed up, but I can pretty much guarantee you they weren't as spazzy excited as I was.
Great music, beautiful art, twinkle lights, and no rain. 
A beautiful time.
Many, MANY thanks to Aeron Brown for putting this together.
He is one seriously talented artist. Stop by his Etsy and take a good look!

I kinda made this sign Sunday morning, about 2 hours before the show. I was having a blast getting ready. 
Until I looked at the clock and had about 35 minutes to shower and get ready!

Two new (favorite) canvases:

Some journals and reliquaries...
I will be listing these in my etsy soon.

I was blessed with great feedback, a few sales and the support of wonderful friends and family.
We are hoping to make this a quarterly event, I sure hope it works out!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Take Good Care Of This Moment, Take 2.

Well, my friends, welcome back to "Take Good Care of This Moment".

Did you find one?
A moment that made you stop and reflect? A few minutes, maybe, that you were able to savor in the midst of this hectic, fun, crazy, maddening season?
If you did, and you would like to share it with us, we would LOVE to hear about it! Link up your moment at the bottom of this post, and we can spread the moments aaaallll over, and when we do, we can encourage each other that our time still counts. That it is so good to stop just for a little bit and breathe.
I know after reading the moments last week, I thought about them during the days after. I thought about rain and windshield wipers in the middle of the night and looking into my child's eyes. 

My moment came on Wednesday.

It started out like a typical day for this month. Brenna and I needed to get her new glasses adjusted. The glasses that she had gotten on Monday and still did not wear. The glasses that I thought were too tight behind her ear and she INSISTED they were fine. Until we got home and I thought she was going to cry because they were too tight. You know the feeling-when the arm of the glasses is hitting that little bone just behind your ear and you think your head will split in two unless you get them OFF.

But I digress.
It took us two days to find the time to get over to have the glasses readjusted. Trust me. It did.
I also got a phone call saying my allergy shots were ready and, wow! I could come in on Wednesday morning. Wow! I said, perfect and would be there after I dropped of my child to school and I could be there by 8:45, as it would take about 25 minutes to get there.

So, Wednesday morning, Brenna and I were able to take a little bit of a more relaxed approach to getting ready for school, as the optometry office didn't open til 8:30. At 7:15, I thought I'd get ready because we didn't need to leave until ten after eight. 
Making sense yet?
I came to at 7:45 and realized that some how I could get to the optometry department by 8:30, have Brenna back to school around 9:15 and get to the allergist by......

I was running up and down the hallway confusing Brenna by telling her we weren't going to get her glasses done, and HURRY, WE HAVE TO LEAVE IN FIVE MINUTES.
Then I ran back down the hallway and told her, never mind, we'll get your glasses fixed and I'll call the allergist.
All the while, Brenna is telling me no to whatever I'm tossing her way about what it is we are or are not doing.
I can't really blame her.

I can say, we got her glasses adjusted, and I made it to the allergist at 9:30.
I've never done this before, but I think I'm going to like it. After my shot, I sat for half an hour.
This is when I had my moment.
Because I just sat.
It was quiet.
I wasn't running up and down the hallway.
I organized a couple of things in my calendar, goofed around on my phone and sat.

Much, much later that night, I realized that the 30 minutes I spent sitting was the quietest part of my day. I was so thankful for it!! I could and did look back on that 30 minutes of peace off and on all day. It was amazing.

So was the coffee I got myself for being brave.
Oh, and we have to get Brenna's glasses adjusted again.
I think I'll wait until my next allergy shot.

Up To My...

I think I am now up to my eyebrows in paint. I had a spark of a creative idea that is now a wildfire. But I think it's about 80% contained and there is no need to evacuate the house.
Don't forget to join in on the Linky love back here tomorrow. I know I'm looking forward to hearing how you have "Taken Good Care Of This Moment".
Can't wait to hear and see how we can encourage each other!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Up To My Elbows

Hi friends!
I sure hope you enjoyed the moments people shared last Friday, I know I did! Don't forget to join in the fun this week, we will be sharing those moments that made us stop and remember something amazing or caused us to pause and reconsider things.

Right now I'm up to my elbows in paint, getting ready for a local art show this coming Sunday. It's going to be a blast. Super casual, painting as we sell, music, a great coffee house, what more could I ask for?

Here's a sneak peek at what I'm working on:

Hope your week is happy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Take Good Care Of This Moment

It's here, it's today!! Hooray!!
I'm so very excited you are all here.
I LOVE having people over. I wish you could really all be at my house. I would make coffee and pumpkin bread and we would sit for hours and share our moments.
Ah, well. Someday...
Until then, let's share on this blog. Tell us your moment. The moment of the week where you stopped. You re-looked at your moment. You kept it with you all day, knowing you would save it for a long time to come.

It might just be a photo with a few words. It could be you felt like
 you saw your child's eyes like it was for the very first time. 
Did you see your first snowflake of the season, and did you stop and take in the wonder of it?
Hmmm, maybe you were caught short and didn't know which direction to turn. So you kept that moment and during the day you saw your situation in a different light.

Even if you don't have a "Moment", please look through the blogs that have linked up and take home something wonderful for the day. Leave me a message that you did and I can pass it on to the others.

Here is my "Moment":

This is a small part of our extended family.
There are 5 families. Four of which we have known over 20 years.
We have held each other in and through birth, death, and literally, everything in between. We have all been in Bible study together almost all of those 20 years.

This is a photo of just the girls from all our families:
(not sure where the the guys went, but they were there somewhere!)

But this-THIS is my MOMENT:
The Saturday after Thanksgiving.
We usually spend Thanksgiving day together, and when our family isn't there, everyone comes to our house for a left-over dessert and game night.

When I snapped this photo, I thought to myself, "Oh...there is so MUCH right here, right now."
Is it possible to go through 20 years in an instant of taking a photo?
In this moment, I thought to myself, "This is what life is about. Right here, right now."
Twenty years of knowing what goes on behind the laughter, twenty years of watching and praying and seeing them grow. TWENTY years of shared life. Sending them off, rejoicing when they come home. Sharing in their accomplishments, holding them through their tears.

I have tucked this moment away to pull out through all of December, and for days to come.
The moment of stopping and realizing there is so much fullness in this life. It doesn't come with a fancy price tag. It comes from investing and committing and loving a life. The moment of knowing you have loved and are loved in return.

Thank you for participating!!!

Please feel free to take the Blueskies Badgeon the right side bar to use on your blog, should you choose to participate.
We will be doing this each Friday through the month of December as a way to encourage each other to find hope in this season.

Don't Forget!!

Don't forget!!!
take good care of this moment.
(see announcement here!)
Today is the last day to let me know in the comments if you grabbed my badge and invited your friends on your blog to join in on the love.

If you did, I will send you one of these tags-don't forget to leave me an email address!!!


Don't you love it when other bloggers send you some bloggy love?
It's especially nice when that blogger comes in the voice of an amazing cat!
Yep, that's right.. a cat.
You will have to go check out Romeo's blog.
I'm not a big fan of cats, but this guy, well, he has made me change my mind..at least for him!
He sent me the sweet "liebster" award.

Liebster’ means ‘favorite’ or ‘dearest’ in German. This award, which originated in Germany, recognizes up and coming bloggers and is meant to showcase bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. This is all done in the spirit of pay-it-forward.
So, in that fun spirit, I'll introduce you to some wonderful blogs by ladies I have met through the Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons class I took last summer.
Take a minute to stop by and introduce yourself-you will be glad you did!

(if the above mentioned ladies would like to carry on "the pay it forward", select 5 people you would like to give the award to as well!!)

See you tomorrow!!!