Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this wonderful day & the greatest gift you could ever give. An ultimate sacrifice so that we may be in your presence forever. Please Bless our World and let all of us who are willing feel peace on this day & in the New Year to come.
In Jesus name

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. It feels like it is all flying by. Last year it seemed like the winter was never going to end and now most of the holiday season is gone. Our Christmas Day was beautiful with this pretty sunrise.

We packed up our friends and family's gifts and headed over to our family Christmas party.
We visited with family and quickly began opening gifts.

Valencia gave her Daddy a kiss on the cheek as they met under the miseltoe
A beautiful bracelet given to me by my Mom & Dad.

My brother opening a canvas I painted for himto hang in his recording studio.

My Mom opening her gift. A pillowcase made from a block from my Grandma's old quilt.

We were all so happy with our presents and had a wonderful day shared with loved ones. What more could we ask for?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Valoria!

The cutest little toddler with the biggest attitude!
Tucking her baby doll in her stroller
This look means stop singing to me!! Make a wish Princess!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Evening Fall Dinner

All of these photos are of a new found love of mine. I find a pretty picture of a meal I want to make. It can't just be the recipe. It has to have a photo of the resulting meal. It can't just sound good, it has to look good. Once I've found a dinner and a dessert I make a date with my parents to have dinner one evening a month. We've only done it twice but I'm having so much fun with it. I pick out a color theme and make napkin rings and a centerpiece.

This time we had Pan Roasted Chicken & Spinach

1 1/2 pounds of red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound of onion cut into 12 wedges
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken
1 bag spinach

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Planting Bulbs

Hey guys! I have to show you a few cute pictures we got for my scrapbook of my dad & I planting bulbs. This was my first experience with bulbs. I've done rose bushes and seeds but never bulbs. I still think it's weird to plant one bulb knowing only 1 plant will come of it. When you could just sprinkle some seeds. Obviously this is a rookie talking. I'm sure I'll learn the wonders and pros of bulbs.
If it wasn't hard enough to plant bulbs in my very rocky and clay like soil... add a toddler on your back..Hehe. She's just too cute. Sweet Grandma played with the kids while I got a gardening lesson from my experienced Daddy. I think he would be modest and say he's no pro but he's a wonderful gardener with over 10 years under his belt. And of course he has the most beautiful garden in the neighborhood. I can't wait to see the pink and white tulips and daffodils that come up next spring. (fingers crossed)

To go hand in hand with my Gardening lesson my Dad sat down with me to go through his really really cool gardening journal. One of his firsts when he started 10 years ago. There is even some mention of my hardheadedness as a teen in there:) After I cooked up a dinner and brought it to my parents house for a wonderful evening, my dad & I retired to the couch as my wonderful Mom played with the kids. We had Chamomile tea and Oatmeal/Chocolate Chip cookies (Thanks to my Aunt Ferny..Thank you! They were delicious!)

I teared up a few times at the amazing amount of wisdom and truth there was about life blended in with the gardening tips. Here is one of his great entries ....

January 15th 2000

I'm really getting anxious to get out in the yard. It's like therapy when I'm out in the sun working in the soil. It seems that I can concentrate on nothing but the task at hand when I'm out there. I think this is so because unlike other things you plan out, the garden has it's own ideas, or set of rules to abide by. Toss in the Lucky Excavation Co. (What Dad calls our Beagle Lucky) & his co workers (his other 2 beagles Molly and Charlie) & it's a cooperative effort. Since this is only my 3rd spring gardening, I've got alot of observing to do. A person only has so many springs, and the scope of things to learn about nature is beyond our ability to comprehend. So gardening is humbling as well. Stewardship may be the smartest way to approach a garden. Taking what nature gives, trying to enhance where possible. Accepting that there will be successes and failures & I must adhere to the rules that nature dictates. You see life played out in a myriad of ways. Nature can be cruel in it's disregard for one thing living to benefit another. There is an interplay of relationships that seems endless. How an insect affects a plant, how a predator removes the insect and at the same time is giving to the plant. How life is born from a seed, lives, gives it's gift & dies in a matter of months returning to the earth as much as it took from it. The daily life cycle of a Morning Glory bloom which opens one morning only to be closed a few hours later. It's a picture of life & death on an hourly, daily & seasonal basis. This teaches that our life is but one of millions that nature must balance each day. Victories and adversities are then seen as necessary parts of out life balance. Just as a plant uses all of it's resources to heal a wound, whether incurred from nature or beast. We must show that same survivability, for we know, as the plant does, there are reasons to be conquered in order to produce the fruit we were intended to bare.

Thank you so much to my Dad for sharing your time and knowledge with me and sharing your thoughts in this journal.

Thanksgiving in Steeleville

It's an annual get together in Steeleville Missouri for my Dad's side of the family. We have been going since I was a baby. I can remember getting to ride the four wheeler with my brother on the gravel roads around to explore the small creeks. I brought childhood friends many times. Always so many good memories made here.

Here are the pretty new vintage looking dresses I found for the girls at Kohls. It seems like they are always having half off sales on these dresses so I've never really spent over $20 on each.

I'm not jealous or anything but here are Valoria's favorite people in the world. Her Grandma & Papa. I shall not address the princess Valoria in Grandma's presence because she will ignore me :) I'm just so glad Valoria had such a happy day being with her Grandma ALL day long!
Jaedin also had an amazing day playing with his many cousins. They found many hours of fun by playing tag in the hay barn.

My Dad this year came over about a week before we went to this Thanksgiving celebration to help my put in my first bulbs ever. It was fun learning the basics and spending the time with him but I must have the rockiest & hard soil ever. More about that in another post. So we took advantage of my Aunt Carolyn's extensive garden. It was fall so of course it was scarce but I felt like I was shopping for plants that I'd love to add to my yard & it was perfect b/c I could see what exactly they would look like during the winter months. Here were some of my favorites...
Burning Bush

This day usually is full of a few 15 minute walks to the river. The first of which Jaedin and I took alone. It was so wonderful. It was a great memory. A quiet walk with me watching him run with the dog. He thought it was the coolest thing when he would run the dog would run so he ran the whole way. I have video of it to cherish forever. Here is his first visit to this river that he'll remember. He threw rocks and sticks and shells, whatever he could find until I begged him to go so we could eat. After our Thanksgiving feast we burned the calories with another walk to the river with the whole family.

Valoria in dreamland with her Grandma.
Papa showing Jaedin how to skip rocks. He was still too young to understand their was a certain technique to skipping rocks. I think he got a little frustrated when his rocks didn't do what Papa's did.

This photo is an eerie way to leave the post. It turned out a little darker than it actually was. Jaedin walked really close to me and even had me carry some of them the way because he said the "trees are very spooky". A big thank you to My aunts Carolyn and Ferny for always putting on a great family get together. I'm so glad they share their gorgeous and peaceful pieces of land with us. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families.

Friday, December 5, 2008

First Snow

The magical wonderland that is my Dad's backyard. He should have his own blog Garden blog dedicated to the beauty just in his yard. He has beautiful woods behind his house. This picture reminds me of a movie I watched this weekend. Prince Caspian, it was a really cool film.

My 3 little munchkins with Daddy. All bundled up.I'm usually not a big fan of winter but it's not bothering me so much this year. Maybe it is because when I shovel off my car, it's not early in the morning & I don't have to go to work:)
Or maybe it's because we've only been dusted twice. I'm sure I'll feel different when the big snow comes.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jumping in the leaves

How silently they tumble downAnd come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,Colors gleaming in the sun.
At other times, they wildly flyUntil they nearly reach the sky.

Twisting, turning through the airTill all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth belowTo wait, like children, for the snow.

poem courtesy of

Jaedin and myself doing a yearly must do tradition in Grandpa's beautiful backyard.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What I'm reading this month...

Hey guys! It's good to be back to blogging again. I took a big long break. I'm not really sure why. I guess I just needed a while to get back into it. It hasn't helped that my husband has had the computer all tied up. He's a big online gamer with the new Call of Duty out. I barely get to check my e-mail. Silly Boys!
To keep myself busy and learning I've been reading. All of these books are the books I read throughout November.

As I was at the library looking for Francine Rivers books I saw the binding of this book and chose it because it was so pretty. It just so happens it's about a woman in her 40's who moves to a small town to realize her dream of opening a girls foster home. I loved the small town's loyalty and love for each other. Always helping each other out and bringing baked goodies and keeping together through faith. This book inspired me to finally get involved with a volunteer program to meet people in my church. This is a leap out of my comfort zone so I hope I will do well. I believe God gives everyone talents and interests for a reason & I think using them to help others and teach others is going to be very full filling. The first program I'm getting involved with now is an Adopt a family program through my church called Christmas Wishes. What I'm So excited for is they are having Wrapping Parties to wrap almost 3000 gifts! I love wrapping so it's perfect. Also, after talking to the program director she is having me fill out those 250 families names on their gift tags! I'm so excited!

I'm also so glad I found this book because it has gotten me interested in Annette Smith. Right now I'm also reading a Crooked Path which is not pictured but is great. There is a lesson to be learned from every book I read & now I'm excited to go find all of her toher books. I was happy to learn she has a blog too. Come meet her here!
Of course more Francine Rivers books. This is one of 5 books in the Sons of Encouragement Series she wrote about the 5 men in the bible who changed the world.
Leota's Garden was a very beautiful book about an 84 year old woman who is living out her days alone in her home. Estranged from her 2 children. It's about her journey with God and how she gets back to doing what she loves. Being with her family and gardening.