Friday, December 29, 2006

Random Photo's from Christmas Eve & Morning!

Just a couple of random photo's from Christmas Eve & Christmas Morning!
Our White Christmas Eve (day!) View from out our Front Door

The Happy Tears from those 12x Posters!? Who Knew?!

...and The Happy Scrapper!Happy New Year!!!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Quiet Aftermath...

Aaah yes... the quiet and calm of the days after Christmas!

The decorations are still up - although the tree now looks rather sad and lonely!

The wrapping and empty boxes fill the garbage cans to overflowing.

The new clothes have been tried on, the games have been played, the CD's listened to, and the money and gift cards are just now beginning to burn a hole in some pockets!

Yes - it is the quiet aftermath of a frenzied and fun Holiday weekend!

My daughter has her bff overnight and they are still asleep on the hide-a-bed in the family room - I have a sneaking suspicion that they were featured playing new video games all night long... they will wake soon and want to get on here - to play the new Nancy Drew game... but all of that means that I have had time to sit and relax this morning... do a bit of reflecting and really drink in the events of the past days!

So many great memories made... so many blessings counted! We were missing my sister and her family... and my nephew who is away at college... their absence was felt several times through out the festivities. My Dad experienced his first Christmas after losing his mother last Spring. His father died a few years ago and he has yet to deal with that loss. I know that this year must have been difficult on him... and yet he is not approachable and his denial is where he wants to be. Still - it made me sad to think that he could be sitting right beside me in my home and be hurting - but would not receive any support or emotion. I had moments of watching him out of the corner of my eye and trying to 'see' beyond what he was showing... he seemed fine... so who am I to bring it up!? I just said a prayer and returned to enjoying watching my own child! She was a joy to behold! Thrilled beyond measure at every gift - exuberant and happy and showed her appreciation! It was, as she said, "the best Christmas EVER!" Did she get that ipod she wanted?! (No!) ...what about the laptop or the cell phone? (No!) But - she did get things that she has wanted for awhile... a green purse that she fawned over every time we would go to this store... I couldn't see my way around buying a $3 or $40 purse for an 11 year old... my sister, however, could! Kaye was pleased to say it mildly! Of course - she also got a Scarf and Watch to match! Then the other gifts on her list like a Hoops & YoYo T, the Dream Life Game, some CDs, etc.! Then - the one that pushed her over the edge to Happy Tears... was posters. Yes - people... posters!? She has wanted to hang posters in her room for some time now... I always said no. The thing is... who do I want her to spend her time focusing on, thinking about, and wanting to be like (or date?!)... um - couldn't' really FIND any posters of those kinds of people... I know many think it is fine and harmless... but I just think we have to encourage them to be so careful with what they focus on and who they strive to be... then - I found 12x12 posters on eBay of some of her most favorite Christian artists... I think I paid less than $1 for each of them... and this - THIS is what pushed her over the edge?!

Anyway - Dave and I do not trade gifts... we do each others Stocking Stuffers but we do not exchange gifts. Sometimes we will buy a Family gift... something for the house - like an entertainment center, a stereo, DVD player, etc. This year - Dave surprised me and bought some new towels to match our bathroom! We have not bought new towels for a LONG time... so it was a nice surprise! He also bought us a new phone system... our answering machine broke months ago and we were constantly missing calls. His birthday is the day after Christmas too - so that is how I am able to not buy too much for him for Christmas! LOL! I can cheat and buy it for his birthday instead! Plus we tend to cram things into those stockings that really don't fit?! LOL!?

All in all - we had a great few days of celebrations! Today - I MUST get back to the Gym... I have managed to not 'black out' too badly over the holidays - although I DID make this incredibly yummy Tiramisu Cheesecake... oh my?! It is so easy - and so delish! I can't be left alone with it! LOL! Sometime today, I need to take Kaye and get her new lenses put in her glasses and pick up my own new contacts... ("I could have been seein' stuff!") and I am sure once we are out and about - Kaye will remember that she has about $100 to spend from Christmas money as well!?? Of course - right now... the girls are just waking and will not want to get out of their new robes or leave Nancy Drew unsolved too soon!

I have been praying for you all - knowing that God has blessed you and been with you in your celebrations as well! What are you all doing for New Years Eve?! I am sure we will end up with Dave's family, playing games... that is our usual back up plan anyway - and we have nothing else lined up (since the Beeler's have moved away!)

Enjoy the last few days of No Routine!
& Scrap Happy!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

What's Your Favorite Christmas/Holiday Movie?

Hey there...

Finally - we can officially say Merry Christmas... well - close enough!

It is Christmas Eve and my house is buzzing... the food is in the oven, snack trays have been assemled and coffee is ready to go... the lights are on and the music is playing in the background and I am preparing my heart not only to host and entertain my family, but also to invite my Lord in as well! Most of my family are believers which makes this holiday much more at peace I know... I am blessed. Still - I want them to experience the magic of Christmas and the sense of His Presence in a way that they normally may not stop to notice through out the year! So... I pray... I pray through the house and I pray over the meal and I listen and wait to see what He will say to me!?

Anyway - as the food is cooking, I got to thinking - what are my favorite Christmas movies?! There are a few we watch every single year... and so - I will share a Top Ten list of our family favorites... and feel free to share a few of your own!

1. Elf (even though we know it by heart!)
2. The Sound of Music
3. Miracle on 34th Street (the remake!)
4. The Grinch (cartoon AND movie!)
5. While You Were Sleeping
6. It's A Wonderful Life
7. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
8. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
9. A Christmas Story
10. Santa Claus

Merry Christmas Eve!
Take Pictures to scrap... No, Corinna... NEW ONES!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Playing Around Digitally

Hey there...

I know - you all will notice that - yes - indeed - you have seen these photo's before... Maybe Corinna is rubbing off on me!? LOL!? Anyway - I was just goofin' around this morning a bit!

I am off to Grocery Shop for the weekend... along with everyone else!? (Hey - it's better than trying to go tomorrow?!)

Maybe after Christmas I will have pictures to scrap...

.... NO! NEW ones!!

Happy Day!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Festival of Lights... and Laughter, and, um... wild cats?

Hey there...

Last night we enjoyed lighting the Hanukkah Lights, reading the nightly blessings and scriptures, (playing the Dreidel game) and just enjoying the Peace that seems to come over us each time we sit and relax and reflect over the Lights, and our little Manger scene too!

BEFORE the relaxing evening sitting by candlelight... we did venture out of the house. Kayelyn and I had a slow lazy morning... as I worked on some website stuff and she continually cracked me up... I mean literally laughing out loud - um - loudly - cracking up! The girl is hysterical!? Great entertainment! She has this new trick... I hate it... absolutely hate it... it tends to take the wind out of my sails. Whenever I am trying to discipline her... she manages to just look at me this one way - and it crack me up - every time! Even when I know it is coming and I am really really mad... sort of diffuses the situation!? Sure - it does lighten the mood... and yes - there have been a few times I have had to discipline her while we are both laughing hysterically - which sort of takes the wind out of HER sails. Still... I guess it is a gift... and way much better than yelling and screaming!?

Speaking of yelling and screaming... I had BARELY poured my cup of coffee yesterday morning when I heard a LOUD crash next door. Well - 'next door' means my parents' house and so I felt like I should go over and check. They are not by any means OLD - but they are at that age where they should not fall or make loud noises that I can hear next door?! LOL!? Anyway - my Mom beat me and I saw her in her jammies running to my house for help... turns out one of 'her' strays (...yes - my Mom has become THAT woman! LOL!) anyway - one of the wild cats braved its way into the house... and then immediately FREAKED out!? She feeds maybe 2 dozen stray cats and kittens several times a day... none of them have EVER braved their way into the Feeding house... they all patiently (and not so patiently) wait by her door, on my BBQ, staring in her windows, ...if she wakes long enough - they will move to MY window for no reason whatsoever?! Anyway - this poor cat made her way in and, for the life of her - or maybe several lives - could not find her way back OUT the wide open door! She managed to attempt to scale the cabinets and counter tops, race around the entire upper level of the house and finally scrunched herself into a corner and cried... it took maybe 5 minutes to get her all worked up again and manage to catch her in a box... which we slowly slid towards the door and she managed to escape (with the box for a few seconds!) and run across the yard, under the neighbors fence and beneath their deck. I suspect she is STILL there!?

Anyway - after THAT - I was awake... and we did manage to get to the Library, Bank, Post Office, and Gym. Today we are off to a matinee - Charlotte's Web. I cannot find my @#!* waterproof mascara... so that will be pretty I am sure!? I think we'll go to Red Robin for lunch afterwards as long as I am not streaked in black... it should be fun. I am sure next week we will be featured at yet another matinee - probably the new Ben Stiller Museum movie... I will have to wait and read the reviews first! (You just never know what Ben will 'bring'!?)

So... that is my lengthy and yet full of fluff update! LOL!

Have a Great Day!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Just for Darcie...

LOL! Well... Darcie asked for an update with photo's of new projects...
maybe she didn't read the part where I said I did not take any pictures in Wallyworld
and that I am all caught up?!

Still... I aim to please... so here are my other current layouts that I did using the

Thanksgiving Tags/Place cards that I made for this year!

Other than these... I think I have showed you all my projects...
I am now working on updating my website... I also just bought a new domain. It will basically send people to my already existing website but that will take some focus as well!

Yesterday I did not leave the house... at all... I didn't even go outside!? This is HUGE for me?!
I am always running errands or going to meetings... something... there is ALWAYS something that requires me to leave the house?! It was wonderful! I read a book (Karen Kingsbury - Like Dandelion Dust)... I worked on the computer a bit, and goofed off with Kaye, we played her GameCube for a bit, I made a huge Mexican dinner that was DELISH! After we put Kaye to bed, Dave and I watched "The Devil Wears Prada" (Great movie... sad that is it basically a true story...) I did brush my teeth, but I did NOT put on any make-up or really 'do' my hair... I wore sweats all day and slippers... I had hot tea (Good Earth - YUM!), and coffee (Peppermint Mocha), and even a little water too!? I laughed a lot (thanks to Kayelyn), cried a little (thanks to Karen Kingsbury!), and just overall had a great day doing nothing?!

Today - well - I MUST get to the gym and the bank and the library... but after that... Wide Open! Aaaah - yes! I LOVE Christmas vacation!

Be Blessed!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Random ABC's

Hey there...

Yes - I am taking the easy way out of an update today... I am stealing Corinna's Random List of ABC's... (Hey... it's the first day of vacation?!) We had a blast in Wallyworld... perfect travel weather... relaxing time of visiting and laughing and walking around downtown!!!I know you all will be SHOCKED... but my Scrapbook for 2006 is somehow WAY too big again... so I left my camera at home all weekend long?! I HAVE to figure out how to make a normal size album for next year... I have a sneaking suspicion it will involve Digital scrapping and putting those on a CD?! Anyway - here is my List - an ABC list of Random Things about me...

A - All about me or knows how to listen to others:
Hmmm - I am a good listener probably more than talking all about me!?
B - Baked or fried:
C - Cake or pie:
D - Drink of choice:
Chai Tea Latte's... or seasonal Starbucks drinks!
E - Essential item you use everyday:
Um... Hello!? The Computer?!!!! Oh yeah - and my contacts and toothbrush too - sure!?
F - Favorite color:
Plum purple!
G - Gummy bears or worms:
Hmm... if I HAD to choose it would be the sour worms, but I'm not a Gummy fan either?!
H - Hometown:
Yakima, WA.
I - Indulgence:
J - January or February:
February! (Valentine's Day!? C'mon!?)
K - Kids & names:
One daughter - Kayelyn
L - Life is incomplete without?
Jesus, Dave & Kayelyn... but Music was good too! HAVE to have music on everyday!
M - Marriage Date:
October 17th, 1992
N- Number of car accidents:
two... as a passenger, when I was maybe 10, and one as a driver way back in '88 or '89... I lived on a busy street and wanted to head the opposite direction - so I did a U-turn from my parking spot and hit another car coming out of an adjacent parking lot!? We were BOTH in the wrong! LOL!
O - Oranges or apples:
Apples - hands down! When I was a kid - I had hypoglycemia and I had to have Oranges or OJ EVERY day... blech... it is a RARE occasion with I WANT an orange now!
P - Phobias or fears:
Heights... but I am getting better! Water - as in being out ON the water... not good!
Q - First quote that comes to mind:
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, But by the moments that
take our breath away!” (Unknown) My Mom bought a wall hanging that says this when we were in Leavenworth - and I have used in on a few layouts or cards recently... I LOVE it!

R - Reason to smile:
Thinking about my Blessings, hearing Kayelyn's Laughter, having Dave make me laugh, and - yes - like Corinna said... "Life, an old memory, my kids, sex."
S - Season:
Like you have to ask?! Um... FALL!? The changing colors, crisp mornings, smells and routines, and just the overall mindset of the season!
T - Tortilla chips or potato chips:
Organic Tortilla chips with some Fresh homemade salsa...Mmmm - sounds like LUNCH to me!!!
U - Unknown fact about me:
I was not supposed to live... nearly died several times in the first few months of life!
V- Vegetable you don't like:
Cauliflower... raw or cooked?! blech?!...
W - Worst habit:
scratching... especially in the winter... my skin gets dry and itchy and I can black out and itch for too long... LOTION is key!!!
X - eXtraordinary memory:
The first time Dave ever told me he loved me... it was a big production... also my Wedding Day... and the day my daughter was born.
Y - Your favorite food:
Anything Italian... Mexican is a close second... and Thai!? LOL!? Yeah - I like food!
Z - Zodiac sign:

So - there ya go... things you never needed to know... but - an update nonetheless!? LOL!


Friday, December 15, 2006

Busy couple of days...

Hey there Everyone...

It's been busy here - but not out of necessity... I have actually had TIME to scrapbook and play a bit... with Christmas music playing... tree lights lit... snow falling... aaaah - yes! It's been a busy couple of days!

I also worked on my Thanksgiving Tag Layouts! I am - ah yes... wait for it... All Caught Up!

I am off to Walla Walla tomorrow to play Santa Claus and deliver gifts to my sister and her family from the rest of us! We don't get to be with them over Christmas - so we try to make a trip there the week before! Hopefully when I return, my porch swing will still be here?! Last night - the wind that was literally about 75 mph tore apart the top/cover canopy and it is now hanging in shreds from the top frame... makes me sad - but at least it is cold and so I can't care too much about it today!?

Happy Scrappy Everyone!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Favorite Spot

C'mon People... I KNOW you all have a favorite Christmas Carol?!

Makes me not want to update for a bit... in hopes of getting some comments here... LOL!

But - just for fun - here is a piece of our Christmas Letter from LAST year... (minus all that personal family info...)

I can't believe that it is already the time of year that finds me browsing over our yearly calendar & making plans for the weeks to come as well! With the decorations all around, the lights plugged in, & the carols softly playing in the background, I find my focus & peace as I gaze at the Manger that occupies our Living Room. This little Babe, after all, is why we celebrate! If not His Birth, then at the very least, His purpose... Love! "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." It's such a familiar passage that we sometimes forget... "For God so loved... that He gave..." For God SO LOVED... that HE GAVE! That is amazing, isn't it?! He still gives today, you know?!

We so often sing the carols about Jesus... His Birth... His Gift... But what I have been thinking about lately is what have I given?! We are not required to do "good works" to earn His Gift of course... we'd never be able to work enough to EARN it... (that's what makes it a gift!) But we are called to bear fruit! The Bible says that people should know that we are Christians 'by our love.' So, what do I do to let His Love flow through me & shine into a dark world? How do I allow Christ to be seen in me? I think we'll be surprised when we see the various ways He worked through each of us from the other side of eternity! It is in the big AND the little things! It's in the sacrifices AND the things we love to do! One Sacrifice I make each year at Christmas time is such a small thing...but it helped me to communicate with my daughter a powerful truth of habit & home!

Creatures of habit... that is what we all are! Whether you think back to childhood memories or current rituals.. we all have our favorite spots! At the dining room table, in the car, your side of the bed, etc.! We have been blessed with a room with a view... a huge picture window that overlooks our city! There are better seats in the Living Room... there's a spot on the couch that if you sit there as the sun rises, you can watch Mt. Adams change colors as the sun reflects off the snow; there's the Loveseat that is angled to look straight out the window & give a view of the city lights at night time. But my favorite spot is in the chair in the corner! It's close to the window & I can still enjoy our view... I can watch the sunrise, hear the quiet of snow falling, or see the twinkling of lights below...But my chair is also angled in, so I can see into the rest of the house. I am able to see when someone comes home, or enters the room. & I am able to keep an eye on all of the activities going on! It's a comfy chair, & the side table has everything I need when I come & meet with my Lord! It's got my favorite lamp (a keepsake souvenir from a trip with friends.) It's got a few of my favorite scented candles, a framed photo of friends & family, & the current books I am reading. Just below that I will find my Bible, & a choice selection of Journals for me to write in! It's close to the stereo so I can set the mood with music, & close to all my other resource books, if God sets me on a chase in His Word! We used to have a room in our home that was the designated "Prayer Room" - I used it especially when my little one was younger. She came to learn that if Mommy was in that room, I was meeting with God in prayer & worship. She would come in from time to time, but it was a necessary spot 'set away' so she knew if she was coming in, she'd have to pray & wait... a great lesson to learn! As she grew older, & we housed more & more guests, our "Prayer Room" became our "Spare Room" & I found myself sitting in this chair in the corner, more than anywhere else!

During Prayer meetings, Bible Studies, or morning Devotions, this chair is my 'Withdrawing Room" as R. B. Munger writes. I have made my heart Christ's home, & we meet here ~ in my favorite spot ~ to talk about my day, pray over what concerns me, or just sit & spend some quiet time together. Whether it's intercessory prayer, a morning devotional time, or evening reading, if I am seeking God or communing with Him 'on purpose' ...this is where you will find me!
I light my candles, grab a drink, open up the Word & feast with Him at this banquet table He prepares in my Favorite Spot! There is about one month out of the year that I sacrifice my Spot! As we decorate for Christmas, I move my Chair into my daughter's room. She absolutely LOVES that! It is where I will find HER praying & reading in the mornings & evenings during the holidays! In place of my chair, we set up our Hay & Feeding Trough... & we place a "Babe wrapped in Swaddling Clothes' in that spot! We hang a Star from the ceiling & shine a spot light on Jesus - our Reason for the Season! As the holidays near, we put gifts around the manger scene & spend some time focused on WHY we are celebrating!

One day my daughter asked why I put this scene in my Favorite Spot, giving up my normal routine each December. I thought about it for a moment & said, "It's a little sacrifice for me, but that is the spot where His Presence is... it's the perfect Spot! It is where I honor Him throughout the year...where else would He go?!" My Favorite Spot is surrounded with some of my favorite things, but it's His Presence that draws me there - to our "Withdrawing Room." I know I carry Him with me in my heart... & where I go, He is. But there is something special about having a tangible meeting place set up! I encourage you to search out your heart & your home, & prepare Him room... Prepare a place for Him! Whether you have never offered Him your heart - or that was done years ago... I encourage you to pray about how You are loving those around you... what can you give... what do you sacrifice... how does He flow through you to bless the world around you!? ...When we 'Prepare Him Room" - Oh My - how He comes!

So - now TWO questions...

1. What is your Favorite Christmas Song?


2. Where is your Favorite 'spot'


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Favorite Christmas Carol?

Hey there...

Yes - It is December 10th... the 'deadline' I set for myself every year... and yes - I DID make it!

Well - in theory! I am done... we have one Starbuck's gift card to buy for a teacher... we have one couple gift to buy for friends, and we have one gift to buy for my nephew... but those three things (plus a gift exchange gift for a Christmas party) are all Dave's responsibilities! He offered to buy those gifts... and as time ran out - I agreed! All so I could say I was done! LOL! No - honestly - I agreed because he does like to help with the shopping - but by the time he is ready and in the mood to shop... well - as you can see... it is December 10th at the earliest?!

So - I do all the decorating, the making of the cards, the writing of the Christmas Letter, the addressing and mailing... I do all the cleaning and baking and shopping of gifts... and the stocking stuffers... so - his only real responsibility is my own stocking stuffers... that, I do not do... (although there have been years when I wished that I did... LOL!) I know - Darcie - Dan still 'wins' on the stocking stuffer/7-11 fiasco! But still... ?! I am ready to mail off the cards tomorrow and then the 'fun' festivities begin... Kaye's Choir performance, a Christmas party for Choir, caroling will come in play somewhere I am sure... holiday entertaining here at home... then Christmas break will be here and we will have sleep overs and baking, etc.! And... today - right now... I am at peace! ...and ready to enjoy the season!!!

So - as I sign off... I was thinking today about my favorite Christmas song... hands down, for me, it is O Holy Night! What more needs to be said about Christmas that this song does not say!?

O Holy Night

O Holy Night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees, O hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night divine, O night divine,
O night divine!
Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need; to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!

A close second would be O Come, O Come Emmanuel! I remember hearing a gal at church about ten years ago - she had a rich alto voice... and sang this song accapello... it gave me goosebumps!

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel
O come, thou rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of hell thy people save
And give them vict'ry o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel
O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here
And drive away the shaves of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel
O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
And close the path to misery
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel
O come, O come, Thou Lord of might
Who to thy tribes, on Sinai's height
In ancient times did'st give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

So - what are your favorite Christmas Carols or songs?! (And why!?)


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Merry Christmas, Baby!

I know, I know... I have sort of taken a breaky... I will post a 'real' update soon...

but - until then - enjoy this: