Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Everyone!!! Can you even believe it is 2009? I don't know about you - but for me, 2008 was just sort of a blur! (If it wasn't for scrapbooking, I may not remember all that we did last year!) There was a shift last year and many people experienced changes and big life transitions and I believe that 2009 holds many more changes and improvements, if we are willing and ready for change!

Up until last year, I really wasn't ready or willing... and while I am still in a place where I am happy and blessed and comfortable in the life that I am living - I also know that Change is good and I am coming into a season where I am more open to it... trusting Papa to lead and guide us. If I want more - if I want to do more, experience more, accomplish more - then I have to trust more, step out more, & be willing to stretch more...

Our Christmas was amazingly relaxed... we are lucky in that we honestly get along with both sides of the family and it just sort of magically worked out that I was raised celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve, and Dave was raised celebrating on Christmas Day - so both of our families are able to get together and we do not have to choose! Nice, I know!!! So - Christmas Eve was at our house... we host every year and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I love everything about it (except maybe the cleaning the house part?! LOL?!) We all pitch in and have a very easy menu plan for each year... snacks/appetizers/finger foods! Great! I think I tried 6 new recipes! LOL! (Drives Dave CRAZY that I do that each year!!!) They all turned out GREAT! I had actually made a couple of them for my Bunko group the month before... so they weren't ALL new?! Anyway - the food was awesome:
(Spicy Taco Pizza)
(Artichoke Feta Dip)
(Stuffed Mushrooms)

(Coconut Meringues)
(Oreo Truffles)
I also made a yummy Buffalo Wing Dip and lots of crackers and veggies, etc! We met up and hung out upstairs, enjoying dinner and visiting! My sister and her family from Walla Walla (aka Stars Hollow) made it home for the holidays and that was SO GREAT!!!
A bit later, we moved downstairs to open the crazy amount of gifts!!! (Mom!? We all tried to scale back - but you would never know it thanks to Grandma and Grandpa!)
The 'kids' are getting older but everyone had fun opening gifts this year and afterwards, we all relaxed through out the house visiting and laughing and just enjoying all being together! (Shaela, Kaye, Michael, Karianna & Brandon)

On Christmas Morning, we were able to sleep in a bit... we're able to do that because we have an only child and she doesn't know any better?! LOL?! (Oh yeah - AND she is a teenager - so there ya go?!) I made our traditional Christmas breakfast - albeit a little Spark-ified! After breakfast, we did our Stockings and let Kaye open a few more gifts from us... among them, her new iHome and her new MP3 player! She was a happy, happy girl!!!
After a bit, we headed over to Dave's parents where we had lunch and opened yet more gifts... and then somehow sat through ALL of Wall-e!? Am I the only person in America who thought that was a long boring movie?! I mean, c'mon?! Really!?
Anyway the next day happens to be my Honey's b'day and we went out to lunch with friends/family and just sort of enjoyed some more family downtime!

So - over the holidays, I managed to read several books - at least four since my last post... a nice little break that probably helps to explain my absence here as well!? Sorry for that?! LOL?! I read two Richard Paul Evans Christmas books, a Debbie Macomber Christmas book, and the newest Nicholas Sparks book as well... plus I am re-reading The Shack, leading a discussion group online for that. I have enjoyed hanging out with my kid and watching Gilmore Girls, or movies, or Monk and Psych together... I have done ZERO Scrapping... not even Amy's birthday card yet... (yeah - it will be a bit late... sorry about that one!) I took Kaye to see Marley and Me and cried my eyes out... I'm not even a Dog person - but who couldn't fall in love with him? Of course - it was not MY couch, or shoes, or WALL he was eating either?! Anyway - Kaye got the book for Christmas and I can't wait to read it now!

I also was able to connect with my two best friends from high school days! Annette and MaryAnn were able to come and hang out for a few hours and just catch up over coffee... another relaxing, fun get-together!
(Me, Annette, and Mary Ann)
We also went out with friends and I was blessed to take some Family Portraits of them, and then we had dinner and played their Wii for the night... oh yes - and we played Scattegories with them too... they were pretty tame compared to Chuck - but I think that sort of goes without saying, right?! LOL!

So - I am working on kitting those Valentine's Flipbooks... well - I SHOULD be - but haven't started yet... hopefully early next week! We'll see!? I really have all month - so it's no big deal! I suppose what I really should focus on in the next day or so is putting away all the Christmas stuff - but I hate to put it away!? How long is too long, really!? What do you think?! How long can I get away with it without seeming just really really lazy!?

I pray you all have a Happy healthy New Year!
I pray this New Year holds many blessings,
...many changes for the better ahead for you and for me!
Scrap On!

Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Family Christmas Letter

Yes - it is true... this is sort of like cheating - but with Christmas only a couple of days away, I wanted to post some sort of update, and yet am (like everyone else) a little short on time! I have recently commited to leading a workshop at an all day Crop at the end of January... and I bet you can guess what I will be doing!? (Yes - a Valentine's Flipbook, of course?!) Maybe by then, I will be all flipbooked out?! (Maybe!?) Anyway - I am working up a kit so I can give a price for the class and am hoping to get that all organized before the New Year...

So - below is our family Christmas letter for 2008...
Until next time (which, in all honesty, will probably be 2009!)

I don’t know about you, but we are still waiting for snow– still waiting for it to begin to ‘look a lot like Christmas!’The decorations are on display, the lights are on,the tree is decked out, & (some of) the presents are wrapped & yet it still seems impossible to be sitting here,writing another Christmas Letter already! This year has gone by SO incredibly fast, & it was a busy 2008, full of family, friends, & fun times! As I reflect back over the year, I can honestly say that I am in AWE of how God blesses & takes care of us; of how He leads & loves us! Speaking of LOVE, our little family all three decided to read “The Shack” this summer. If you haven’t heard of this little book, you are about to! Even though inevitably there will be something in there that you probably won’t agree with, or that doesn’t quite line up with your thinking, I highly recommend this book. I would love to send a copy along with each letter because the allegory so tenderly yet powerfully expresses the Father’s Love! It’s hard to not find ourselves focusing on LOVE this time of year! Between family & friends, nostalgia & tradition, shopping & wish lists, parties & pageants… at the root of all we do, it is (or should be) Love that compels us! After all – we are called to follow after our newborn King who was so compelled by His Love for us, that He willingly gave up His life, so that we may live! As if that wasn’t enough, it’s His Love that continues to draw & guide us! At the end of last year, I had come to a point where (finally!) I was ready for change! As much as I did not want to make a New Years’ Resolution, I knew it was time & by the end of January I had made some changes & stumbled upon So far this year, I have lost 60 pounds (& counting).I knew that this year would bring breakthrough in many areas & would open up new opportunities for me, - for all of us! Kayelyn had a new opportunity of her own in January when she attended her first ever church camp! Winter Camp was amazing for her & it really impacted her! In February, we took Kayelyn & Holly to the Portable Sounds Tour with Matt West, Jeremy Camp, & TobyMac. What a show! We also got to see our favorite comedian live in town at the Capitol Theater! We had a great time laughing at new & old material with Brian Regan. He makes us laugh every time! In March, thanks to Facebook, I met up with one of my dearest friends from high school days! It was so great to catch up & pick right up where we left off (many) years ago! In the Spring, Kayelyn began private tennis lessons again, & the month of May was VERY eventful for us! We now have an official Teenager in the house! Dave went to a men’s retreat, Kayelyn got contacts for her birthday, & she & I went to see Carrie Underwood in concert. Dave hooked up with an old buddy of his own & they went to see RUSH at the Gorge! Summer brought a family reunion, a trip to Boise, a summer youth Intern program for Kayelyn through our church, Summer Camp, a family retreat at a cabin near Walla Walla, a Christian conference in town, a trip to Whidbey Island, a weekend with my high school BFF’s Annette & MaryAnn, along with Kayelyn (& the Super Mall), a visit from the Beelers & the Balls, & the beginning of Junior High! (Insert deep breath here!) In September, Dave took a Flight lesson & loved it, I became the “Scrapbook Queen” of Yakima, & Dave & Robert went on a fishing trip on Roberts’ new boat! Fall brought our 16th Anniversary, a trip to Walla Walla, meeting up with more old friends (thanks to Facebook, again!), our annual Leavenworth weekend, a wonderful Thanksgiving, & even a little Black Friday shopping for Dave & I! I just got back from a powerful women’s retreat & we are looking forward to doing some outreaches as a family this holiday season! Once again, this time of year stirs up so much reflection…& while life is full of changes, of ups & downs, twists & turns, I find more & more that I am at peace & the most happiest when I am able to sit back & know that it is Love that compels me. When Love is my motive, things tend to fall in place much easier. When Love compels me, He shines all the more! Our hearts’ desire is to be vessels that He freely flows through this season, & all year long! We so want everyone to know that God is so FOR you…! He loves you so… &, as William P. Young says in The Shack,“Papa is especially fond of you!”

We pray you know that - that it settles in you deep & brings you peace!

Merry Christmas!
Love to you –- Ours & His,~The Aggetts~

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Flipbooks, and other Random thoughts...

I can not even believe how fast this entire year has gone! It must be part of (gasp?!) growing older, but time seems to be moving so much faster?! In some ways I like it - and in others, of course, I do not! I am officially DONE with all things Christmas as far as shopping or running around goes! I do still need to head to the grocery store for a few dinner items - but other than that - I am completely done, wrapped, mailed, stuffed, etc! LOL! It feels nice! I actually started and nearly finished a book yesterday - (A friend loaned me a couple of her Richard Paul Evans books... so I am reading Finding Noel right now - and will finish it tonight... and then move on to the other one - which I think is The Carousel!)

Over the past few days, (in all my spare time?!) I have worked on a few digi's - mailed off those Leavenworth flipbooks pictured below, and got myself 'all caught up' again in paper scrapping! Here are some shots of what I've been working on:

This is the RAK that Denice won for her Thanksgiving Random list of things she is thankful for in my comments... what won it for her was the "Lipstick in every color!" Who doesn't love that, really?! So - she won this little beauty - and I can't wait to see what she does with it! (I am almost certain that there WILL be some Stickles applied somewhere?!)

Here is what I worked on last night at my monthly Crop:
(I added a tad bit of Stickles to the frosted berries on my photo... so fun!)

Also last night, one of the gals at my Crop gave me an early Christmas gift - she bought me a super fun new Cricut Cartridge (Fabulous Finds)... I can't WAIT to play with it! I think I need to buy a new matt though - as none of my paper will stick?! I am trying to re-stick it and play today - but I may just have to wait!
This is a Digi I made for my SparkPeople Spark Page... I try to keep a somewhat updated count...
In other news... I mentioned before that we have a new little Nephew... he is gorgeous - and oh so sleepy! I got to have him (well - hold him!?) for a couple of hours and I barely got a peek at his gorgeous blue eyes!? He lost a bit of weight and so we are praying that he will regain a healthy appetite and gain back that weight... Welcome little Lincoln James Cole!
(This is Kaye, me, and Lincoln Log!)Here is Uncle Dave holding a still sleeping baby Lincoln! (This was a different day!)
Speaking earlier of how fast time flies by and all of that... I have to say how blessed I was when our daughter decided that she was going to work her little booty off to make some money to purchase gifts for all of her friends... she has a fairly large circle of friends thanks to her involvement in church - and so she ended up buying for about 15 or 16 friends... some of them were 'private jokes' and some were 'real gifts' - but she had SUCH a blast picking them out, and wrapping them up! She got to deliver them Santa-style at Youth group on Tuesday! She filled this giant Stocking stuffer and carried it with her to pass out the gifts! So cute! She truly did get the true spirit of giving... what a blessing!
Oh yes - and that same day - before GC, I took her to get a trim...
um - yeah - that is NOT a trim!?
It looks super cute - but there are about 8 - 10 inches gone?!
So - that is all I have for today... this is my last day with an empty house and I am off to finish that book and enjoy the quiet a bit...
Scrap On Everyone! I pray you are wrapping up all your Holiday running around, and you too will be able to relax and truly ENJOY the holidays! (Praying for Larry's safe return Na!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finally an Update - and the Winner is...

I know, I know?! Life is busy for ALL of us lately - especially this time of year! I hope for you, like me, that at least SOME of your busyness is FUN and relaxing! I am alive and well and gearing up for some much needed 'down time' for the holidays! Yes - that is right! You read that correctly! FOR the Holidays... not after - but before and during! I have just a small touch of OCD and I set a goal for myself every year to be finished or at least mostly finished with all things Christmas by December 10th... I still have a bit of wrapping to do - and I need to drop off the cards and letters to the post office... plus of course, those last minute (non-7-11 type) Stocking Stuffers are still on my list - but all the gifts are bought and everything seems to be lining up so I will be completely done by the end of the week - with PLENTY of time to actually be able to ENJOY the holidays! I even have a whole week before school vacation - so I can relax and read a whole book (or three?) before vacation officially begins! Nice!!! It makes all that crazy running around I have been doing the past few days seem worth it!

I have been a busy girl... but much of it is busy doing things I LOVE...

On Thanksgiving morning, I woke up EARLY (when it was still FREEZING outside!) and went for a hike with my Dad and my sister! It was frosty out but it really helped me to count my blessings and see just how much my life has changed this year! There is NO WAY last year that I would have even considered getting up so early, in the cold, and walking - much less hiking... here are a few photo's of our trek...
I was amazingly not even nervous about Thanksgiving as far as the food and choices... I felt equipped and ready! It helped, of course, that I was cooking a good portion of the main dishes - and I was making a healthier version of each of them! The non-'healthy' eaters didn't even notice and I was able to actually LOSE a pound over Thanksgiving weekend!

On Thursday night, as we were getting ready for bed, I mentioned that I would love it if my Honey would go with me in the morning! Let me first explain this - I NEVER go Black Friday shopping... Chuck has tried to get me to go for years... I'm not a fan! However, there were a few items that caught my eye - and I wanted to venture out to just a few stores! I decided it would be to my benefit to have Dave along to immediately go stand in line for me... then I could get what I wanted to go... it worked like a dream and the only place he refused to go with me to was Office Depot! Here in Yakima, people were in line at that store on Thanksgiving morning... it was a good call to skip it! Here is part of what I scored:
Last week, I was asked at the last minute to go along to help out with a women's retreat! At first, I was asked to come along as part of a Prayer Team to pray for the speakers, as well as offer some personal prayer ministry to each woman. This is what I LOVE! I am a huge believer in teeh power of Prayer and I know that Papa speaks to me and through me in prayer - so I was excited to go... of course, once I committed to going - I was 'let in' on the secret of being one of three people going and the likelyhood that God tricked me and would end up wanting me to speak!? Now - I LOVE to do this - and haven't had the opportunity for awhile... however, as most of my faithful readers here know, I am a PLANNER... this means I like to study and research my message and write it all out so I know what I want to say... and well, there was just no time for this?! God was going to force me to simply trust that He would give me the right things to say/share and we would be flying by the seat of our pants! This is what happened, and while it was completely out of my comfort zone - it was also VERY powerful! It was asmall intimate group - about 16 of us in all... and every single woman went home changed and empowered... Papa made sure that each one of them knew that He is especially fond of them! It was up in an area of my State that I have never seen - and as you can see yourself, it is gorgeous up there! To be honest - I was sort of hoping for snow! Still - you can imagine how beautiful it must be when blanketed with Winter!

(Sorry you silly girls... it's the only Group Shot I have with me in it!? LOL?!)

I got home on Saturday and Sunday night was our town's Christmas Lights Parade and Tree Lighting downtown... our church choir sang during the Lighting as well and we all were FREEZING - but it was super fun!

Monday was my weekly study - which I am still SO loving!!! And yesterday was a CRAZY day - which included a one on one Bible study, writing/typing/printing/copying/folding our Family Christmas Letter, shopping and getting the rest of the Christmas gifts, working out, and wrapping gifts... whew?!

What did I do today, you ask? Today I led a Flipbook class at our church and we all had a blast making these super fun, super quick little mini books... and next up is finishing a few on my own, working out, picking up Kayelyn and going to meet her new cousin Lincoln James Cole (who arrived after over 30 hours of labor for poor - and TIRED - Mommy Heather!) Tonight we have a dinner at the local Mission and I will finish up with the wrapping of gifts! So - that may explain why I haven't updated lately - but it's at least for the most part been a Good kind of busy!!!

Oh - yes... and the Winner is...
My last post on Thanksgiving asked for comments and we would give out a RAK... well - after randomly listing the items you all are thankful for - which were ALL great, of course! - the winner is "Lipstick, in every color!" (~ Denice~) You can be expecting something in the mail SOON!!! Can't wait to see what you do with it!

Scrap Happy!