Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Be always at war with your vices,
at peace with your neighbors,
and let each new year find you a better man.
~Benjamin Franklin
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Friday, December 30, 2005

The gift of art

I wanted to share two of my favorite Christmas gifts. The two oldest girls took a stain glass class in our homeschool co-op. They learned about the different tools, color techniques and glass. In class, they made cute little sun catchers. Little did I know, the teacher (one of my close friends) helped them make the following treasures as well......

The first is a butterfly. The colors will go in the kitchen perfectly. There is a special clip on the back so it can "land" on a window.
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The second is this free art heart. I love it. The colors - the different textures - the creativity. It will go in the master bathroom with my other pink pretties.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A mish mash of fun

The picture you see would be that of Caleb, aka Disco Master. The boy dances to his own drummer, that's for sure. This was taken after church on Christmas Eve.

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Speaking of Christmas....this is a picture of the favorite gift this year. The boys received lots of fun, exciting, loud toys -- but they have the most fun with their play-doh loot. You would think J and I would learn, huh?

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One of the boys took this picture of my beloved coffee cup. Isn't it a pretty color of blue? I grabbed a set of 6 the day after Christmas. Quite a deal ($1.25 a mug).

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

"Guest Speaker"

Paul Harvey is speaking for me today -- and for the ressssssssst of the story.

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman,
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty.
He never wrote a book,
He never held an office,
He never went to college, or owned a house.
He never visited a big city,
In fact, he never travelled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born.
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness;
He had no credentials but himself.

He was only thirty three when the
Tide of public opinion turned against him.
His friends ran away
One of them even denied him.
He was turned over to his enemies,
And went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing,
The only property he had on earth.

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone;
And today he is still the central figure of the human race, and our perfect example in all things.

All the armies that have ever marched,
All the navies that have ever sailed,
All the parliaments that have ever sat,
All the kings that ever reigned, put together,
Have not affected the life of man on this earth
As much as this one solitary life. Jesus.

~Paul Harvey

Friday, December 23, 2005

From our home to yours

Have a fabulous holiday!

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An early Christmas gift

Jeff has a job! He took an offer here in town. It isn't the ideal position, but it is an income for the family. Jeff will most likely continue to look for other opportunities -- but for now, we are rejoicing. A huge weight has been lifted from our emotions and home.

I want to extend a huge thank you to family, friends, church and God. The suport and love given to us these past 7 weeks has been amazing comfort. I have discovered a lot about myself through this process. I have found it necessary to repent in some areas -- and receive incredible blessings in others. Either way, I've been humbled and stretched. I see the lessons.

Enjoy your day! I know we will!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

That God of ours....

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So, I had a few quiet moments to myself this afternoon. Blissful. I decided to clean off the den bookshelves. They get so dusty and I like the feel of books. They smell good too. (hey, I wasn't a bookstore manager for nothing in my younger days).

Anyway, before I started tidying up the area - I had been in prayer. Prayer over everything. You name it, I prayed it. Look what book literally fell into my lap. I kid you not! Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Here are some words from the back of the book:

If you're tired of worrying about all the "what ifs" in your life and want to experience the calm and contentment promised in Scripture. Calm My Anxious Heart is what you've been looking for. Filled with encouragement and practical help for overcoming anxiety, this book includes a twleve-week Bible study to help you discover what the Bible says about contentment and ways to apply it to your daily life.

I sat there, trying to remember where I found this book. I didn't remember purchasing it. I didn't remember picking it up at church. Suddenly, it came to me. When the boys were born (a high anxiety time - filled with trauma and worry) one of the ladies at church brought flowers, dinner and this book over to me one afternoon. I had intended to read the book while sitting in the hospital, hour after hour. Unfortunately, I never got around to the book.

Admittedly, I have been battling some anxiety issues ever since the boys were born. That whole experience knocked my world upside down and inside out. I feel things much deeper now. I worry more - especially over things I can't control. I have to literally re-direct my thinking and turn to prayer and my loved ones. It has gotten much better, thankfully. Well, it was getting better until this latest upset hit our world. I know. In comparision to sick children, a lost job is small. Hy head knows emotions, not so much.

So, tonight, I opened the book and began reading. It was like salve to my soul. Here are the contents:

My Journey to Contentment -- Content with Circumstances -- Content to Be Me -- Content with My Role -- Content in Relationships -- Never Enough -- A Faulty Focus -- Worry Is Like a Rocking Chair -- Faith:The Foundation -- Trusting God with the What Ifs -- Trusting God with the If Onlys -- Trusting God with the Whys

I look forward to learning more about God's words for a calm heart. How about you?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Cookie Central

Yesterday was spent making cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. We made thumbprints, snowballs, gingerbread, sugar and biscotti. Yum!

Here is a before picture of the sugar cookies, waiting to be decorated by the kids

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This is an after picture. Notice one of the little cookies is missing? He was enjoyed by one of the boys.

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And, the sugar cookies, nestled in my favorite cookie jar. Isn't it cute?!
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And now, the recipe. I received this easy, tasty, foolproof recipe from my friend, Nancy B. Give them a try. You won't be disappointed. Plus! The dough doesn't need to be refrigerated, a big bonus when cooking with kids.

Nancy's Cut-Outs

3 cups of flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup margarine

2 eggs - beaten

1 cup sugar

Mix flour, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in margarine (think pie crust). In another bowl, mix the eggs and sugar. Mix to flour. Blend. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 on second rack from top for 6-8 minutes.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A bit of Christmas

From our home to yours

This is my precious Willow Tree nativity set. It sits on the fireplace mantle for everyone to enjoy. I love that Mary is holding her sweet baby in her arms. That is hard to find in nativity scenes. Let's remember to keep Christ in Christmas, always.

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This is one of the boys, fascinated with Miss Angel on the main living room tree. Oh, to see things from a child's view....
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This is the front porch a few days ago, after a big snow storm. So pretty.

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These are the cute trees, decorated by the kids, in the den. They are filled with all things cute, bright and festive. You should have seen my den after they did the popcorn strands. What a mess - but worth it, yes?

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Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

My area in pictures

I wanted to share some pictures from my neck of the woods. If you are reading this and have a blog, I challenge you to do the same.

This is in a hardware parking lot down the street from our home. Most of the retailers and restuarants in this area provide buggy parking.
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We see fields upon fields of hay during season. These bail stacks are from Amish farmers. They don't have traditional bailers (square bundles) so they use the pile method.
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This is a sklyline picture of downtown Fort Wayne. I don't go there all that much, but it is a nice city.
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During the month of December, the downtown area provides carriage rides on the weekend (weather permitting).
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This is a beautiful old bride in a neighboring county. I need to get out there and see it covered in snow.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"The Spirit of Loveliness"

Next book on my "favorites" shelf:
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The Spirit of Loveliness, Bringing Beauty, Creativity, and Order to Your Life by Emilie Barnes.

First, I love Emilie Barnes. To me, she is the epitome of a a Proverbs 31 woman - full of grace, compassion, fruitfulness and love. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading her work, please give her 5 minutes of your time. She has written several books. They are sure to bless you!

From the inside flap of the book:
A gracious and welcoming home...
A warm and caring heart...
A serene and joyful spirit...
An unique and unforgettable sense of style...

Whatever is lovely...think about such things. - Philippians 4:8

The contents are as follows:

The Spirit of Welcome
The Spirit of Creativity
The Spirit of Femininity
The Spirit of the Garden
The Spirit of the Kitchen
The Spirit of Stillness
The Spirit of Godliness
The Spirit of Hospitality
The Spirit of Celebration

This book does not leave you feeling defeated (ie: "I can never achieve those things"). Instead, it boosts your spirit. It is encouraging. It sparks your emotions, your character traits, your gifts...your passion! Ms. Barnes is a master at reminding women that the spirit of loveliness is already there - ready to be nurtured.

I am blessed to have met Ms. Barnes while living in California. She was doing a book signing at a Christian bookstore. At the time, I was a young mother to 4 very young children. I was hungry for guidance and support. Her writings provided some of that comfort.
Like a wise woman, who can just "tell" what is needed without asking, she wrote -
"To Kimberly, You are rich in blessings. Polish them and enjoy their loveliness. For His glory, Emilie"

It has been 6 years since that book signing and her words mean even more now. Words that are honest and from Him have a way of standing the test of time.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Mitten Strings for God"

Have you read this book?
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The full title is, Mitten Strings for God Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry by Kenison.

What a sweet book. It ministers to the mother's heart in a very simple way. It speaks truth, compassion, humor and love.

From the inside flap:
Only by slowing down do we make time for one another. Only by stopping long enough to observe our surroundings can we bring shape and meaning to our lives.

In simplicity there is freedom - freedom to do less and to enjoy more.

I can only bring peace to my children when I possess it myself.

The author is like a trusted friend. She shows us how, even in the middle of this crazy world, to calm our schedules and enjoy the quiet times. She uses stories and experience from her own life to teach and guide. Her words are peppered with His grace.

This book would make a great gift for that special woman on your Christmas list this year.
For an extra special treat, you could make a bookmark, using the handprint of one of her children and slip it inside the book?!

I will be sharing a couple other books in the coming days. If you blog, I challenge you to do the same!


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Four random things

Four random things I have learned from my children....

1. Keep asking until you understand.
2. If your mom wants to you hold your hand, there is a good reason.
3. It does matter who started it!
4. Aunties don't mind hearing the same story over and over, but others do.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Aunties rule!

My sister just called from Target (in California) to tell me she found the racetrack! Yippee!
She is mailing it first thing tomorrow. Yay!

I was thinking we would have to find another special gift because even Fisher Price is out of stock. Leave it to an auntie to find the answer!

My shopping is now done. Whew.

Santa needs help!!

All elves on alert! Santa needs help! The toy in question.....Fisher Price Shake n Go Raceway. It looks like this:

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Apparently, lots of children wanted this item which has left Santa struggling to find one for the boys. If you find one online, email me! If you are family and see one while shopping...pick it up for us? We will pay for the toy and shipping, immediately.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Stating the obvious

I am going to state the obvious. Beware.

It snows in NE Indiana. We get ice in NE Indiana.

Without fail, every year, there are goober people on the road - skidding all over creation after the first heavy snow. And no, these aren't new Hoosiers...these are long time inhabitants.
They should know better.

It snows in these here parts. Every year. Without fail. When it snows...the roads get slick. When the road gets slick, you need to slow down. If you don't slow down, you will end up in a ditch or intimately connected to another vechicle. That's a fact, man!

Oh, and while I am here....take the snow OFF of your car/van/truck before you decide to zoom down the highway. Otherwise, that 10 pounds of snow on your van roof will fly onto my windshield. Not fun. My kids hear bad words when it happens. We can't have that.

Gingerbread goodies

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I wanted to share a tasty gingerbread cookie recipe.
This is an easy recipe to work with and makes LOTS of cookies. Enjoy.

Ginger Cookies
by: Kim R.

1 cup butter (don't even think about using margarine)
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
5 cups of flour (yes, 5 cups)

Cream butter and sugar - add molasses and boiling water with soda added. Mix dry ingredients together and stir into the creamed mixture. Roll into ball and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (overnight is best). Roll out and cut with shapes. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes.

1 egg white beaten stiff -- add 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 TBS water and 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Monday, December 05, 2005

Me? A cheerleader?

Yeh, we may be freezing our collective hiney's off in Hoosier-land
but the Colts are on fire!
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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Going nutty with Nutcracker

Tonight is opening night for Nutcracker, which means the past several days have been, well, nuts!

P has had tech rehearsals each night this week, some lasting until 11 at night. It is an exciting time, but exhausting. There are two casts for the production. P's cast performs tonight, tomorrow afternoon and 4 more times next week. The curtain goes down next Saturday night.

Speaking of next week -- next Saturday should be especially crazy. S has a gymnastic comp from 8:30-11 and then P has to be at the Arts Center from 4-closing. I am helping with make-up/costumes that day too. Me thinks I screwed up my calendar.....

This morning will be filled with christmas cookies! Imagine....the boys with various candies, frosting, dough and cutters. Stay tuned for my insanity plea.

Stay warm out there! It is a balmy 22 with a windchill of 8 this morning. Jealous?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A few of my favorite things

I need to write about simple things. Happy things. Yummy things!

List 5 simple, but yummy treats that make you happy.
1. cinnamon toast
2. hot coffee with gingerbread creamer
3.homemade cranberry sauce
4.roasted almonds