Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Tonight we celebrate God's blessings and provision from 2009. Hard to believe this year and all that it has entailed. I wish I could bullet all blessings from beginning to end but I do not have the strength. If you are that curious about my year you can go back and read in the archives.

Let me just say that at the beginning of this year we could not even guess that we would be unemployed for 6 months. Especially since Les had just started a new job the September before. With fear and trepidation I look at this upcoming year but only when I forget that despite the economic setback we endured --God's blessings saw us through. His amazing blessings. The details of the timing of the unemployment right down to the time of the reemployment were exactly perfect. The fact that Les' boss called him back to work for 25/30 hours a week kept us afloat. The whole COBRA allowance helped tremendously and allowed us to keep our insurance and not lose our house.

January 4th starts a new job for Les. I have 3 new students and because of that my schedule is full. I have no empty spaces and even a waiting list. Economically we'll be able to move forward. To catch up and be better stewards. I want to remember all that God has provided for us in this last year. Like standing stones I want people to see God's hand in our lives. That even on the crummiest of days we made it. God provided a way. He parted the river and we are standing again on solid ground.

God bless your 2010. I pray that it is a year of blessings and just enough trials to bring you closer to Him.

Before and After-After Pictures on top!

Working out

Okay, so today is my Wii Workout day. I'm happy for it. Absolutely happy for it. I will say that over and over and over and over. Why can't I just be healthy. Isn't health in the constitution? Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness..... Guess not. It seems though, however, that it should be a given. Like air. Health should be like air. A given.

I'm almost done with the Family Room. In the midst of finishing the family room I have shopped the house and now I have empty bedroom walls and an empty hall way. Thats okay though because it gives me an excuse to finish some other projects. Can't wait to post the true before and the final after pictures.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Almost there.... but not quite

The bottom two pictures are the after... in case you are wondering. Found that bird cage on the mantle for $2.00 at the Goodwill and love it. Still working....

A look at New Year's Resolutions-

Actually I think I will steal an idea from Nester

I have a fabulous old door in my garage that I've been wanting to use in the house. I think I will put that door behind the big comfy chair and call it a day. Once that gets up there with the panel I think I'll be set. Aren't you glad I took the time to spell this all out for you?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Before After- After not quite completed

Well, I moved the cabinet to the other side of the room. I think I like it better but am seriously thinking about doing a plate display on the wall above the comfy chair. I like the flag turned the long way but need to get creative on the mantle. Trying to use what I have in a new way. I have a ton of things in the basement I can use it's just a mater of getting down there to pick things out. Still have an issue with the cord.... any ideas? I also have a great panel I plan on using behind the big comfy chair. Might be time to get rid of the quilt and do something completely different. Really, I just need the Nester to come over for tea and take over. Still struggling with above the the kitchen cabinets and probably always will until I just throw up some foliage to fill in the spaces and gaps. Feels so good to concentrate on home things again.

I broke my toe.

Do I need to say anymore? I'm trying to finish well and in the process dropped a brass tray on my toe, edge side down and from about waist high. Silly actually but now I'm trying to figure out how to function and finish rearranging furniture and knick knacks. In the meantime I moved the black cabinet over to the other side of the room. While it looks better I still need to add the curtain and get a new lamp shade. Something fun and fabulous. I'll post pictures later. Pictures of the room not my toe.

You know those moments when life truths

When life truths hit you in the head like a ton of bricks. I mean, they are usually moments not intended to hit you upside the head but do anyway. You know when your five year old says you look like Santa... ok, I get it! A few less sweets and few more hours on the treadmill.

I had one of those todays. One of those, "that pretty much sums up my life" moments. I posted on my facebook account that I was going to start a 2010 project today. Nothing wrong with that. In my mind I'm getting a head start on the new year. However, a friend posted back that it was actually the last of the 2009 projects since today is 12/29. Ouch a little because this is really the story of my life. I never finish well I always start well, but never finish well. I do great with the first 20 chapters of a book and then- well, skimming is faster and I can get to the end and move on to another book that I can read the first 20 chapters. Or another example, cleaning the house. I have to start at a different place each time. Not because it's more exciting that way or because it breaks up the monotony of cleaning but because if I didn't, certain sections would never get cleaned. I do not finish well.

So, this year, the year of 2009, I will finish well. I will complete at least two projects that I've been meaning to do all year and had just transferred to the next year.

So if you get any of those unintended moments in the next few days-let me know so I'm not all alone.

Finishing well in 2009!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Now I literally can not sleep

Isn't it funny how you just live with a problem and then decide to change it and then you can't wait to change it? I'm literally wringing my hands to move the cabinet now. Sadly, I will have to wait until Friday because Les is working and on top of that he has a cold. The last thing he wants to do is help me move my TV cabinet. This is why I need a brother/dad/uncle in town that can help me move things when I need them moved.

It totally makes sense to move it over there and I don't know why I didn't see it before. I think I limited my choice by how long my wire stretched from the wall to the back of the TV. Silly me.

I moved my bedroom around last week and really like the new layout. I'd prefer about 5 more feet to work with but this will work. Moving the bed gives us so much more room in here. I have a small sitting area for writing an reading which is absolutely fabulous for me.

Well, off to put away china and get the house back in order before the new year. Hoping 2010 is our year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My big blank wall

For years I've wondered what to do with this gigantic wall in my Family Room. I like how the front of the room looks but the far side from the kitchen and the "wall" leading upstairs is just hard to decorate. For lack of a better idea and/or inspiration I've just put up a quilt on the wall. Now the quilt is too far over because of where we put the TV Cabinet. I'm just out of ideas. Anyone have a suggestion?

I could move the TV cabinet over to the corner where the stairs are and switch the chair location. The only issue would be figuring out how to make the cable wire longer. That might balance out the room more since that window behind the cabinet is so high. Still wouldn't know what to do with the cord. If I did that I could add another chair next to the cabinet.

Note: I took this picture while my boys were playing Wii. They asked me what I was doing and I told them I wanted to remember this moment for the rest of my life. My son said, "you mean me beating dad at Wii?"

Edited: I am going to do that. Move the TV cabinet over by the stairs. Then I'll get that window back and I can put up a lovely mistreatment. I have this fantastic panel that I've been wanting to use. It would totally pull the front room and the family room together. Now to convince my husband to help me move it, move the treadmill downstairs from the loft and carry all the Christmas decorations back down to the basement.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lucy in the Sky

This is not my writing. I give credit to a fellow blogger named:

"Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies..."

Do you know the story behind the Beatles song, Lucy in the sky with diamonds? In 1966, Lucy O'Donnell Vodden made a friend in preschool. That friend was Julian Lennon, John Lennon's son. 4 year old Julian came home from school one day with a drawing he had made of a girl with diamond-shaped eyes. He showed it to his dad, and when asked about it, Julian said it was "Lucy in the sky with diamonds."

"Cellophane flowers of yellow and green, towering over your head."

The song is widely regarded as a psychedelic masterpiece, replete with haunting images of "newspaper taxis" and a "girl with kaleidoscope eyes." But listen to the lyrics now, with this story in mind, and you can see the world through the eyes of child.

"Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain, where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies."

Last week, Lucy died after a long battle with lupus. She was 46. Julian and Lucy lost touch after he left the school following his parents' divorce, but they were reunited in recent years when Julian tried to help Lucy cope with her disease. He sent her flowers, and upon learning of her love of gardening, sent gift cards for use at a gardening center near her home in southeast England. He also sent her frequent text messages in an effort to bolster her spirits. Julian said he wanted to do something to put a smile on her face. I'm not sure if he accomplished that, but I admire him for taking the time to try. Sometimes it's the little things. Just like the little picture that Julian brought home from school one day.

"Newspaper taxis appear on the shore, waiting to take you away. Climb in the back with your head in the clouds and your gone..."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The countdown to Christmas....

I'm absolutely ready for Christmas. Besides having a few gifts to wrap and cleaning the house up, we're ready. We are supposed to get a ton of snow tonight. I hope that's the case. I hope it snows and snows and snows.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My dog

It appears my dog has separation anxiety in a very bad way. Poor dog scratched through the fence in the backyard. This is not the first time he's done it. This time though it was harder for him to do it and it left blood on the boards. I think it is from his paw but I can't exactly tell. His nose is scratched up too. All of this has me worried. Not just because he broke through the fence again and hurt himself but because the last few months his behavior has really changed. He's become much more territorial and aggressive when someone walks past our house. Heaven to Betsy if you come to my house while I'm not here and just the kids he will bark like he's going to tear you up. My dog is also going blind. I think that may have something to do with all this dramatic change in behavior. I would say the last six months he's been getting progressively worse. He seems to be fine when I'm with him, but as soon as I leave, it gets bad.

For now, we'll crate him and see how that works. I'm going to crate him while I'm home and when I leave with a chew toy to keep him happy. Honestly and seriously, I am afraid that he's just getting older and these are all the signs of an aging dog. His vet appointment is in January for his shots and check-up. We don't know what we'll do if this dog is ready to move on. He's been such a good dog but he's just getting old.

Friday, December 18, 2009

When we don't believe

This is the first year Emily doesn't believe in Santa. I told her there wasn't one. I was a little worried that she still did believe in Santa because Lauren hasn't believed in probably 3 years. I feel bad in a way. I mean, the magic and the wonder of Santa is something I love. That's why I keep my Santa's up all year. It reminds me to be charitable, thoughtful and giving all year long.

The wonder of Santa is gone for Emily. She said to me that she wished she could believe one more year. Poor girl. Maybe I should have let her believe one more year. Or at least waiting until after Christmas this year to tell her.

However, I just read an article about a mall Santa and a little girl that sat on his lap and asked if his dad could become an Elf. The Santa asked why and she said, "because my dad has been out of work". The mom started to cry as the Santa asked the little girl if he was good with a hammer. This year has been tough on us but thanks to friends and family we've been able to keep our heads above water. While it's not as big a Christmas as usual the kids still have presents under the tree. The stockings will still have presents in them and we'll have a nice Christmas dinner. God has blessed us and I wish I could be more grateful, more giving, more generous like Santa. Because when we don't believe we forget that the greatest gift of all was a tiny baby. A Savior for mankind. All but for grace are there presents under the tree and all but for grace I am saved.

This morning

This morning Emily worked on school while Lauren is at a friend's house babysitting. Jackson is playing quietly and trying not to interrupt his sister. I'm listening to Celtic Christmas music and cleaning the house. I have quite a bit left to do yet today but wanted just to sit down for a minute. This afternoon I'm off to buy stocking stuffers for the kids and Les' Christmas present. Wish I could give him the moon this year. It's been a hard year for him.

I wrapped some Christmas presents this morning and realized I'm just not good at that. Les does a fantastic job and Lauren is taking after him. She's very precise. I'm so excited about her Christmas gifts this year. Absolutely excited for Emily's present and I think Jackson is going to go bonkers. We didn't buy much but we were careful to get the kids exactly what they wanted most of all. I'm going to relish this time with the kids these last two weeks because it's going to be nuts starting in January.

Are you praying for a White Christmas? I'd be absolutely over it for a White Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

If you are the perfect wife and mother stop reading this

Seriously, stop reading.

My new stove arrived today. It's beautiful. I said a loving goodbye to my old stove thinking of all the memories. Including the one where the mouse ran up it and out of the top- okay, not so lovely memory. Sadly and oddly I cleaned my old stove before they carted it away. I mean, scrubbed the thing. Like it would really make a difference to the people who are recycling it or whatever it is that they are going to do with it.

My new stove is perfect in every way. It even has a Sabbath setting. Since I am not Jewish or even a Messianic Jew I have absolutely no idea why that's needed. I can vaguely guess that you aren't supposed to work on the Sabbath including cooking but not sure how the setting on my stove helps with that. In any case, I'm impressed. If it would do the dishes too I would be in heaven.

I decided about 4:30 today that I should probably take a shower. Today was one of those days. I think I loaded the dishwasher and turned it on twice today. Once it wasn't even full. Not even close but I didn't want to wait for more dishes to get a full load because the dishes in the sink were from the night before. I also re-washed the same load of clothes twice today. I am bad for the environment and truly don't feel guilty about it one bit.

When I walked into my room today I could hardly believe my eyes. Somewhere in the midst of the day I threw a load of clothes on the bed with every intention of folding them and putting them away. They are still on the unmade bed. At the entrance to my room I have a big carton of Christmas decorations that never quite got put up and since it's the 17th I'm thinking I may not get to it. I'm not even sure how my room gets so messy. Perhaps a flash from my childhood? I don't know but I hate it and wish I could keep it clean. It ends up being the dumping ground for all things without a home.

I also realized that my "lounge" pants feel more comfortable than my jeans. Oops. Guess I better work on that before my "lounge" pants are the only pants that fit.

It's 7:30 and I'm planning on sending the kids to bed early tonight because I need a break. I big break. I'm ready for the Christmas break for the girls from school. A break from worrying about the school we are not quite getting to each day.

I am having one of those days where I wonder how do people do this right? I can't even seem to keep up with the dishes or the laundry and if you stood on a chair and looked at the top of my cabinets you would be flabbergasted.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What I want for Christmas

This year I have a very short list. I think because we have been through so much this year I would really like nothing better than to just stay in my pajamas all day and not worry about anything. That would be a present in and of itself.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Insurance is expensive when you are a contract worker and not a full-time employee. Not sure how we're going to make this work. Guess we'll figure it out really quickly!

Thank you Lord for a job! Now if we could just have a full-time job with a company that picks up part of the benefits........ please?

Friday, December 11, 2009

A big sigh

Colorado has mild winters. We might have a day or two of snowy weather, gray clouds, cold weather but we are hardly ever just socked in with gray clouds. After every storm, no matter how long or brief, something amazing happens. If you've never been to this state it will be hard to fully understand what I'm about to try and articulate. After a storm, especially a snow storm, the clouds part and the most amazing blue sky appears. It's absolutely breathtaking to see the snow on the ground contrasted with the blue sky. The air is crisp and clean.

I wish I could capture the blue in a picture or a painting but it's just not possible. Perhaps it's because all the senses are engaged not just the eyes. The blue is not just a color it is something you feel in your bones.

The blue is like a big sigh from the sky. It's as if it worked really hard to get rid of the storm and now it's just resting just peaceful. A big sigh.

I feel that today. I feel the peace and rest that only a big sigh can bring. Les has a job that starts January 4th. It's such a relief. Just when things were getting really bad they start to get better. The storm clouds have rolled back and there is an amazing indescribable blue.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I lie

Okay, so I've missed some great pictures this month and have not posted any since December 2nd. Before you agree with me that I'm a "liar, liar, pants on fire" blogger understand that I lost the card for my camera. I have no idea where it I put it. I'm just sick over it because I have to buy a new one and I don't think they are cheap. With Christmas coming up and everything.

I do have to tell you a little bit about some of the things that have happened the last few days. I took Jackson to a science experiment day at the teacher store. He learned about temperature. If you ask him what he learned he will tell you that hot air rises and cold air sinks. It's very cute and I'm proud of him for picking that up at least. We also had an opportunity to see a service dog in action and it thrilled Lauren to no end. The opportunity was perfect for writing her speech on The Way Dogs help People. She learned a ton from the owner of the dog. Emily is entering a gingerbread house contest. She's going to bake and decorate a gingerbread house. She's actually doing a country store with peppermint stick post in the front and a vegetable bin with carrots and potatoes. I'm hoping we can get it to stand up!

I would post pictures but.....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1st

For the month of December I'm going to try and chronicle our life through pictures. You know just the everyday pictures that seem to not get taken and surely never posted.

Day One- Evening (Note: One picture got posted twice and I don't know how to fix it.