Thursday, December 31, 2009

New ambitions!

Happy New Year!!! This year has been such a blessing. Today, our last day of 2009, came a gift of beautiful white snow covering our world. We spent the day with friends sipping hot cocoa and watching the snowflakes fall while the children were sledding. I have so many new ambitions and ideas for the new year. Here are some of them:

  • New creations-these are already in the works, can't wait to reveal! M and I have been busy in the craft/sewing room, and faithfully attending the church sewing class!
  • New habits-more organization, consistent healthy eating, consistent time spent with God, and reading!
  • New blogs-the revealing of not one but two, coming soon!
  • New adventures
  • New skills-farm skills, like goat milking, soap making and more! Also working harder on newer skills acquired in the last few years-knitting and quilting.
  • New travels
  • New recipes-mostly raw and vegetarian
  • New babies to love-hopefully, foster care has been such a blessing!
  • New studies
  • New farmyard babies!
  • New friends
  • New attitudes-always a need to improve these!
  • New volunteer opportunities-looking forward to this.
  • New opportunities every day to grow in the Lord, to grow as a friend, a mother and wife!

Then He who sat on the throne said "Behold I make all things new, " And He said to me "Write , for these words are true and faithful".

Rev 21:5

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas....

From our home to yours!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nativity scenes from around the world...

There was a nativity set blog carnival going on the other day, and I wanted to participate, but have been so busy, I just now have a chance to put my pictures up. I love the idea of collecting nativity sets from around the world! In fact, I think I just might start collecting them now! I'm all about simplicity, so this one above is my nativity set that I put out each Christmas. I love it. The following are pictures I took of some of the nativity sets they had displayed at the mountain meadow Christmas we went to a few weeks ago:
This one is from Bethlehem.

This one is from Jerusalem.

Even one from Alaska!

Khyrgystan, now this is unique! Why didn't I pick up a Nativity set when I was in russia? I am sure I could have found a beautiful one there. Okay, now I have an excuse for more international travel-that I have been craving lately! It's been too long since I've traveled, and I am getting the bug! Do you think my DH will plan some out of country trips just so I can go shopping?? I can dream!
We studied Germany last month for our country studies homeschool co-op, and being german, I learned so much! M decided to do a presentation on the Christmas markets in Germany. So festive and fun!! They have outdoor markets in almost every town and village! I am dying to go to Germany next Christmas! The cool thing we learned during our studies is that my great grand father came over on a ship from Germany and landed in New York. I know the ship he was on, and what city he was from in Germany...maybe I need to go trace my ancestry, now that's a good reason for a trip, right? Oh, I would love to go back to russia, and china as well...I fell in love with both places. I would also love to see England, Thailand, Italy, and Japan.
The world is an amazing place!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas thoughts, and an update!

Christmas is our favorite time of year. This year, just like last, it snuck up on me faster than ever. I had every intention of making all my gifts, and have everything done in October. Well, fast forward to today, and I was one of those last minute shoppers out among the crowds! Not at all what I enjoy, and not at all what I envisioned! Then I had to remind myself that there is a certain little someone that we have added to our home, and she takes up just about every extra minute I thought I had. It's hard to believe we've had our foster baby for 5 months! She is 6 months old now, rolling all over the room, sitting up, eating baby food, laughing, and bringing us so much joy! She is so cute! Her cheeks are squishable and she smiles every time she makes eye contact with precious!!! We don't know what the future holds for her yet. Her biological mother is not doing well at this time. She is not following her plan, and has been told that she is on the verge of losing her parental rights. She has not even seen her baby in over a month. We were told that at the next court hearing-3 mos. from now, if she hasn't followed the plan they gave her, they will be changing her plan to adoption. If that happens they will explore any relative placements after that. We are just so happy we have been able to be the foster family for her-and we feel so very blessed!!!
We are looking forward to spending Christmas with lots of family this year. We have snow! I was home for our first snow this year, and I sat by my twinkling Christmas tree watching the snowflakes fall with my 3 little girls playing at my favorite kind of day!
One last thing! I am still working at my pediatric job one day a week. I requested a leave of absence after being told that the swine flu and seasonal flu vaccines were mandated this year (the first time ever, and I've been there almost 13 yrs!). Well, my boss got back to me and said that after she talked to the executive team, they decided that while they are still mandating the vaccines, and encouraging all employees to get them, if we choose not to, there will not be any action taken against us, as they do not want to lose good people over this. So, I am still there and happy that I didn't have to leave! I am also so glad I did exactly what I felt was right. I prayed about it a lot and was ready to leave if need be, but it all worked out!
This week we will watch M in our church Christmas program, stay warm by the wood stove at home, play in the snow, and watch Christmas movies all leading up to Christmas day.
Blessings to you all this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Mountain Meadow Christmas

The first weekend of December, we loaded up the girls, and drove up to the mountains. We arrived at a christian camp where we were given directions to our cabin. We were sharing a cabin with 3 other families. To our surprise, 2 of the 3 families just happened to be foster/adopt families, and they had all their kids with them that they had adopted through foster care! Only God could have planned something like that! The first night, after playing the decorate your daddy tree game, we spent time singing Christmas carols in the lodge with a big group of people. Here's M singing her favorite song, "Angels we have heard on high".
The next day was filled with more activities than we could count. There were Christmas crafts for kids and adults, writing a Christmas letter to a soldier, Christmas movies, Christmas stories being read to us by the fireside, zip line, meadow games, a gingerbread house decorating contest, and cookie decorating. While we were hard at work decorating our gingerbread house, we gave L some frosting and a few cookies to work with. A few minutes later, I looked over and found this. Who knows how much frosting she had eaten. In fact, it was much worse than this when I first noticed her.
I also learned that decorating a gingerbread house is much more difficult than it looks. We were about an hour into decorating ours, it was falling apart, it barely had any frosting on it, and honestly, just looked like a big mess! At that point, I happened to glance over at a friends table. Her and her husband were just finishing not only one, but TWO of the most beautiful gingerbread houses I have ever seen. Yes, they were already done with two gingerbread houses! They were cleaning up their table, and I was amazed at every minute detail they had so intricately added to their houses, down to tiny icicles hanging from the roof. (Wish I would have remembered to take picrtures of them!) Obviously they have done this many times before, and did I mention they are two very musically, and artistically talented people anyway? I have been to some of the birthday parties they have given for their children, and I am always in awe of the cakes they come up with! So, needless to say, they won the competition hands down!

Here is M on a little nature walk checking out the frozen creek behind our cabin. We took a hike back there, and ended up on a hill next to a large cross! M also got to go on the zip line since there was no snow that day. Then, that evening after going on a hay ride, and having dinner, it began to snow!!! Perfect timing. We headed over to the lodge for a Christmas movie and hot cocoa, and the next morning....

the girls put on their snowsuits and played in the snow! There was a church service, and then on to the big sledding hill!

L loves the snow, and she has no fear! She will fly down the big hill with the best of them! It was such a fun weekend, and we made lots of memories. We hope to be able to do it again next year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Daddy Tree

Shouldn't every Dad participate in the "decorate your daddy like a Christmas tree contest? Our girls were SO proud!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Twas the month before Christmas

Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet during the
holidays a
Christ is "The Reason" for the Christ-mas Season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Life is full!

A real blog post coming soon!!! The holiday season has hit here at our house! We are in the midst of farmhouse decorating, cookie baking, and all things Christmas.

Tonight was my work Christmas party, tomorrow night Awana, Thursday night I plan on going to my homeschooling Mom's support group where we will have a cookie exchange, and fellowship. Friday morning another cookie exchange takes place at our homeschool co-op, Saturday we attend a Christmas program, and Sunday we are having a Christmas party here for our China adoptive families group!!! So much to do!

In the midst of all this a stray cat appeared at our house. She had been here a few weeks before then disappeared. This time she was injured. We got her in to a vet this afternoon, and the poor thing was on the brink of death. She had two bites that had abscessed, and when the wounds began to drain, it all froze to her in this weather that has been in the teens here! Poor girl. The odd thing was, this vet sent her home to us still under anesthesia. We have been nursing her back to health and consciousness. My little animal rescuer, M, is loving this. She would do anything to save a hurt animal. She has lovingly named this cat Amber. Amber is finally awake now, eating, and no longer the wild cat she once was. She is still very sick, and seems to also have an upper respiratory infection. We hope she makes it.

We all went away for the weekend. It was a wonderful time! Stay tuned for our next post on "A Mountain Meadow Christmas"

Waiting for snow,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Have you heard this song?

It's called "Merry Christmas" by Third Day

It is probably one of the most meaningful songs I have ever known. I have been trying to find this song to put on this blog since last year. I just found it, and watched it, and I am in tears, you see, it tells the story of us bringing home Lilyann from China. This song came out the Christmas before we brought her home in 2006. As I listened to it then, I knew that our baby was already born, waiting for us. (Later when we got our referral, we found out she WAS born in July of 2006)I just knew we would have her by the next Christmas, 2007...and we is such a beautiful song, and it tells our story. Amazing. Merry Christmas.