I'm done with the outside, but need to finish the inside. I'm so scared I'm going to mess up the inside that I think I'll put an insert in for a layered effect. The picture is a wedding picture of MY great-grandpa and great-grandma from 1899, so it will be Nathan's great-great-grandparents. After awhile of fiddling on the computer getting the picture purple, I printed it out and played with embossing powder and distress inks and ribbons for the rest of it. The color turned out funky on the scanner, but you get the idea, right?
I opened up the exposure to 2+. That's why there are little lines on the last two pictures....interesting. Did you know I love to move the logs around and am fascinated with the flames and coals and the colors, etc? So I guess you could say I like playing with fire.
First we ate, of course. The first suprise was my brother-in-law wearing a polo shirt. He's usually in a colored plain T-shirt and his Converse high-tops--his signature look. He went to church with his girlfriend for the first time in boo-koo years, so he said this was him dressing up. But then he wore bunny slippers. He said he didn't wear those to church, though.
Surprize #2: Little did I know, the kids were entertained by a stuffed chicken with reindeer antlers that plays the "Chicken Dance" that I got on clearance last year. That lasted for at least 45 minutes.
Then we played the left-right game where someone reads a story and everytime the story has left or right, you pass the prize in the respective direction. Mom brought a cool present, but the next surprize was that Shay won the reindeer candy pooper that poops out jellybeans. I guess he's never seen one before, but he and the kids loved how the jellybeans shot out of the back of it. That's what Alex is laughing about in one of the pictures below. She's the girl with the long blonde hair.
Then we played our white elephant game. I ended up with the present I brought which was "Tommy Boy-Holy Snikes Edition" DVD. I was happy about that. In this paragraph, I will mention another surprize which is that Manon actually started talking to me towards the end of the evening. She's shy, and I was shy when I was little so I can relate. Kyndal promised me that when she grows up she will talk to me right away and remember our bonding time (she's the baby in the pictures).
Then we played this game I made up where I put a lot of different questions in a hat and everyone had to pick one and answer it--kind of like "Truth or Dare" without the dare. My mother-in-law approved of it when I told her the idea. I put in questions like "What's your favorite restaurant? What's Star Wars character would you want to be? What was your most memorable Christmas present? What accomplishment are you most proud of?" etc. I thought it would be fun to get to know things like that about our family. I thought the adults might enjoy it but the kids might think it was boring. To our surprize, Blake and Carson loved it and wanted to keep playing and playing.
It was good to see Uncle Byron and Aunt Dee. They are living in an RV now, so I guess it wasn't a surprize that they didn't host the party.
Mom and Becky and I went to the 11 p.m. candlelight service at Aldersgate UMC after everyone had left. When the service was over, it was officially Christmas Day. Surprize--you'll have to wait for another post to read about that!
Regarding my mom and her pancreas, my mom has an appointment in Minneapolis on January 4th with a gastroenterologist. It was the earliest they could get her in. We're not really sure what will happen.
So the plan is that I will meet her in Minneapolis and then we will go to Fargo for my nephew's wedding on January 6th (which I was planning on going to anyways).
I normally wouldn't post that I will not be home just in case someone I don't want to know is reading this, but my husband will be home and knows how to use a weapon and scored great on the "Zombie Survival Quiz" in case anyone wanted to break in my house. My previous "Stupid, not stupid" post will explain that.
Hey...I've been frequenting this blog I wandered upon, and you should check it out. It's What's the Story. Are you wondering why I posted the photo above? It's on the blog on the December 24th post. I took the pic when I was in Lawrence last spring. Be sure to read the comments, as they are pretty funny. Just click on the "comments" under the picture, and a little box will pop up where you can read other peoples' comments and add your own. This last sentence is for my mom's benefit. Hi Mom!
The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. Dennis Bratcher
The Advent Season is over per the calendar, but may the spirit of advent still remain with you.
I love March of the Penguins movie and any movie I've ever seen with talking animals in it...
Yes, I'm procrastinating and should get my butt in gear and finish getting ready for Christmas...I also should've gotten on the treadmill already today.
Also, don't expect me to organize my posts with this new "label" feature on blogger beta, because I don't like organizing. I'm learning more and more about myself. I also don't buy as much when I go shopping because I discovered my satisfaction is when I'm at the store checking out and I hate putting things away when I get home.
The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness. Proverbs 15:14.
I was reading someone else's blog that I found from some other blog (by the way, my husband thinks I'm addicted to reading blogs), and someone wrote about this Bible verse. He had Bible verses all over his site, but under this one, he had a list of things that he considered foolishness----watching TV[ie. Talk shows, Reality Shows, Sitcoms etc]-reading or watching the secular news-reading magazines produced by worldly people-reading books that do not teach anything of value.
I can see how those things can hinder him from his walk with God, but I seem to think that God can speak to me through even nonreligious avenues. Regarding watching TV, I'll admit that some shows are trash. Sometimes I learn about human behavior from them, though. Regarding watching the news, how would you know what's going on in the world or what we need to pray for(even though I don't watch that much)? Regarding the books that do not teach anything of value, I think I need balance in my life. I cannot read "heavy books" all the time such as C.S. Lewis, Thomas Merton (He's too smart for me.), etc.
My friend Melanie just made an analogy earlier about Alice in Wonderland and her faith walk on her blog (It's her December 6th entry at www.melanie-pearl.blogspot.com). I just got done reading Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller where he compares Romeo and Juliet to our faith walk.
Please don't be offended if you don't feel the same way and never listen to secular music, but I just think God can use it if you're looking for it and are open-minded. I'm not trying to put that guy and his blog down. I just think "foolishness" is unique...We all have different worldy vices (my husband thinks my new one is blog reading) or thorns in our sides that hinder our relationship with God.
Back to that Donald Miller book I was reading...he talks about the Bible being filled with stories and some of us just wanting to make up a formula for becoming a Christian and living a Christian life...how we are more apt to be attentive to the parables and beautiful poetry and stories as opposed to x + y = 42. (If you've ever watched the movie Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you know that's where I got the number 42.) Maybe that's why my physicist brother is wanting us to give him a formula that makes sense to him about why we believe in God and we can't give him one.
On a side note, there was one sentence in the whole Donald Miller book that I could've been offended about (regarding some news station), but I'm open-minded and digested the rest of the book. It's kind of like how I love Steve Earle as a musician, but do not agree with all of his political views... So I hope you take all this I have written and be open-minded and still want to read my blog. THE END
Went to the movie Pursuit of Happyness last Sunday. I love stories where people overcome adversity (We shall overcome; we shall overcome). You can click on Chris Gardner to read an interview with the man whom the movies is about. The only religious reference in the movie was towards the end where he and his son when to church once.
I'm amazed at other survival stories such as Castaway where people survive the loneliness, etc. without God. How much easier it would be to go through the valley with God.
By the way, if you like those sort of stories also, I would recommend reading When Hell was in Session. It's about a POW in the Hanoi Hilton.
p.s. This is my first time using a link, and it really works!
So my mom just called from the oncologist's office. The doctor said that he needs a biopsy to confirm that it is cancer (not what the family practice doctor said) and that she will need to go to a gastroenterologist to possibly get a stent put in because some ducts are blocked. So we are waiting for the nurse to schedule the appointment now. They also mentioned that she might need to go to a surgeon for some of this.
My mom asked the doctor if he was optimistic, and he said "yes".
**Edit--The doctor's office is trying to get my mom in at Hennepin County in Minneapolis to get this done before Nathan's Wedding on January 6th. They said they will call her on Tuesday (day after Christmas).
My mom called. The CT scan report is back, and the mass on the pancreas is irregularly shaped and is pressing against the gallbladder. She will go to the oncologist (cancer doctor) on Thursday morning and will find more out.
Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem, Shine upon us until the glory dawns. Give us the lamp to light the way, Unto the land of perfect day, Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on. by R. Fisher Boyce
I made this 8-1/2 x 11" collage before Thanksgiving and before it seemed like everything was turned upside down. If you are lucky enough to be one of the 40+ people to receive a Christmas card from me, this is where I got the photo on the front from. If you do not receive a card from me, please consider this your card. Merry Christmas!
Going through my address book every year to do Christmas cards is a little depressing...You see, I just can't erase the addresses of people who've passed away. It's somehow my memorial to them. But then I need to focus on all the new friends God has given me. I seem to add more each year. Do you feel this way, too?
Yesterday after work I got to spend some quality time with my friend/neighbor Melanie who I'm so thankful for. My husband said that his mom and Debbie called to check up on me while I was gone.
When I got home, my oldest sister called. When we were about to end the phone call, I told her "thanks for being my big sister". Well then she said "thanks for being my miracle sister". (My mom had melanoma before I was conceived and some doctors said they should abort me). Miracle sister, how cool!
When I got off the phone, Debbie and David brought over a poinsetta for us! In their Christmas card they said "how lucky we feel to have such terrific neighbors". Wow! We've asked them to watch our dog when we've been gone and David always helps out when my husband has ungodly heavy things to carry into the house like a gun safe, etc.
Yes, I'm feeling that somehow all this goodness should be reciprocated, but I am trying to just accept it and absorb it all in! Just like God's love.
Played Bunco on Tuesday night, and it was held at Mary's house. All year I've been hearing about her hosting December's game and her trees. Well I finally got to experience it. There were 16 of us, and the oh there was so much food!
She had a (1) A peacock tree, (2) a real tree, (3) an aviation tree for her husband, (4) a tree for the lady of the house, and (5) a "Perfect Christmas Tree" that goes on the wall. She also decorated a tree for the "Festival of Trees" themed Winter White Wedding. I think she's found her niche or should I say branch (bad joke).
Here's some closeups of the peacock tree which was my favorite.
Our family is having another crisis. Please pray for my mom and her health. I will post more later.
Edit on Friday Morning: The doctor did an ultrasound and told my mom she has pancreatic cancer. I am awaiting the results of the CAT scan that may be in today or Monday and then I will believe it. I am wondering how they can tell by just an ultrasound that it is cancer.
The reason I am so leery is because my mother-in-law had a brain tumor 10 months ago and the first doctor said it looked like an astrocytoma which is very, very bad. When we went to see the neurosurgeon, he looked at the same x-ray and said "Oh, it's benign." So I believe in miracles and that doctors are human and can make mistakes.
Another reason I'm thankful to work at home---an email reminding in-house staff to keep snacks in air-tight containers and empty the trash cans at their desks if they through food away... "If you see a mouse, please get a sticky trap off the refigerator in the breakroom and put it out." I would hate to come in one day and find a caught mouse!!!
Thanks, Gracie, for letting me post this! Here she is; my instructor showing off her talents. Picture #1: Two cylinders of clay put together. #2: Yes, it's a hairdryer. It helps dry the clay so it sets up faster and one doesn' have to wait as long. #3: Three pieces of clay and a whopping 16-1/2 inch high pot! Maybe I'll be able to do this in five years, huh?
Visit Yosemite or, oh heck, visit every national park in the U.S.
A really good pot is in the details. --Doug Casebeer at the Ceramics Workshop in Jamaica '10
There's only one way to grow while making art: take risks and allow yourself to make a lot of bad work, then look at it. I consider what is working well, what missed the mark or confused the reading, what needs to be adjusted on the next one. --Linda Arbuckle in The Penland Book of Ceramics
All great actions have been simple, and all great pictures are. --Ralph Waldo Emerson