Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Here We Are At The End of 2011

We are living in the last week of 2011. I don't know why I love time markers so much, but I tend to put a lot of thought and significance to dates that mark time. So I am writing a post of reflection to put meaning and remembrance to the last 365 days.

My Word for 2011 was Renew. It was a perfect word for me for the year because at the close of 2010 I was at the end of my rope - spiritually, emotionally and personally. Renew began as a whisper of promise that at times culminated in a crescendo of hope. I determined to focus on God and began with memorizing a scripture verse every month and a plan to read my Bible through in a year. Those small steps began a process in my heart that kept growing and developing. God brought a broken friend into my life who was trying to figure out what she believed and why. She came from a church that was only concerned about outward appearance and taught nothing about relationship with Jesus. Her view of God could be summed up in three words: Thou Shalt Not. As I mentored her, I began examining my own beliefs and claims of faith. Were they just words? Did I really mean them? As I studied and read and answered the tough but honest questions from my friend I found my faith being strengthened and bolstered. God is so faithful. Here I am a year later strengthened, uplifted, and renewed! Any my sweet friend? She has exchanged legalism for relationship and is thriving in it!

Vacations and Getaways happened this year. They don't always but this year was epic and I was able to go to San Diego in February with my daughter and two grandsons. I was the nanny. I had a very good deal. In June my husband and I went on a two week road trip that encompassed a western tour of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. When we pulled into our driveway at the end of our trip we looked at each other and said, "Let's turn around and do it again". I can't think of a better way to say we loved every minute of it. In August I went back to San Diego on a business trip but my husband went with me and in the evenings, after my conference adjourned for the day, we played hard. It was great. And then in October I went to New York City for the first time ever and to Washington DC with my mom and my sister. We had a fabulous time and made lots of memories.

Hobbies and PastTimes included knitting and quilting. My knitting has really taken on a life of its own and I have a full blown love affair with fiber going on! My dream is to raise a sheep, shear its wool, learn how to spin it and knit myself a sweater. Wouldn't that be so awesome?! I chose to knit gifts for Christmas and I also made a quilt for each of my four daughters. I have decided that I will NOT be doing that again. Sewing and knitting on a deadline takes all the fun out of my projects. While I was working on the last quilt my fancy/schmancy expensive sewing machine quit sewing. It needs to go to the doctor. I had to finish the last quilt on my vintage Featherweight singer! I found it very ironic to be quilting on such an old but solid machine while my expensive one sat by looking on! The photo is of a sweater and hat I made for sweet Ava Claire. It looks so nice on her and it is really soft and cuddly. I really wished I would have had one more sheep button to put on the hat but I didn't. This picture at the top is two of the quilts I made my girls. I really hated them by the end of the project. But it's funny, after wrapping them up and putting them under the tree for a few days my attitude changed about them. When the girls opened them up I loved them again. And they did too. So while I'm glad I made them, it won't happen again for a long while. I think next year if the gifts can't be ordered online, they just won't happen! I look forward to knitting and sewing again without an agenda or timeline.

GrandBabies oh how they are growing! Tyler and Ava Claire are now three years old and are just as darling as ever! Aiden is 15 months old and walking and talking and baby Ryan is 9 months old and has the most charming smile you have ever seen! Tyler and Ava were in the Christmas program this year and it was so fun to see them on stage. My "career change" begins in about three weeks and I am excited and ready.

2012. I am looking forward to this next year. I am looking forward to being a full-time grandmother. We have some special trips planned. I have some knitting and sewing projects in mind. I look forward to the warm summer months. I have been praying about my Word for the Year and there is a word that continues to roll around in my mind: Improve. I have a few ideas about how I am supposed to use this word and some of it seems a little overwhelming and I may even feel a little bit reluctant about it. But I trust Him and I know that He has my best in mind. And as with everything in the Christian journey, trusting Him makes all the difference.

Here's to 2012 - maybe my blogging will IMPROVE!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Two weeks from today is Christmas. That means the next two weeks will be crazy and busy and full of events and things to do. Every year I say I am going to slow down for the season and enjoy a slower pace and I've yet to follow through with that. I really don't think there is any hope for me. And when I think about it I realize that having a full plate, dozens of projects to finish by the 24th, and deadlines that seem impossible to meet is just how I roll. It is who I am. So I am just going to embrace it and let it all be what it is!

I wish I could share what is going on in my sewing room lately - I promise I will post pictures after Christmas! Today little Miss Ava Claire was over and she asked me if we could go out to "our" sewing room! She loves being out there while I sew. I keep little crafts and projects for her to work on and she enjoys it so much. Among my projects I have finished a Christmas stocking for Aiden and have helped Andrea make one for Ryan. I have an old Debbie Mumm pattern I have used for years and today I folded it up until the next baby in the family comes along.

I missed college football this weekend. It seems like it will be a long time until next fall. Our Boise State team had another great year and sadly, they were not rewarded by the BCS system. We are getting used to the outcome although it is hard to understand how we get no respect just because we are small but what a joy it has been to watch our team have so much success. We need a new system that is more fair and objective but until then I will just keep cheering for my team.

The countdown is on to finish up at my job and start my new responsibility as daycare provider for my four sweet grandbabies! January 20th is my last day in the office and January 23rd is my first day as a fulltime grandma. I am excited and ready.

I hope to get the Christmas shopping done this week.

My husband informed me this weekend that he is getting a miniature horse with a cart for the grandbabies for Christmas. I don't even know what to say about that.

We don't have any snow but it is cold. I think if it is going to be cold - we should have snow.

For the first time ever I hired someone to come put up my Christmas lights. It was awesome. The job got done and my husband didn't grumble at all :)

My poor husband has been having some serious health issues since June. He got sick while we were on vacation and was diagnosed with pneumonia. It never went away and his breathing got so bad he could hardly preach. He wheezed and coughed and took prescription after prescription of antibiotics that never seemed to help at all. He finally got in to a specialist last week and was diagnosed with adult-onset asthma. I was so relieved because I had done plenty of internet sleuthing and had him diagnosed with a much more serious ailment. He is doing amazingly well now that he has the proper medications.

I started reading Brock and Bodie Thoene's series "The Zion Chronicles" over again. I love these books with all the history from World War II.

I am still on target reading my Bible through in a year. Just started Revelations. I think I am going to do a chronological Bible for 2012.

My word for 2011 has been Renew. God has been faithful.

I am not sure if I will be blogging before the new year. It's funny how I used to post almost every day and now it's like once a month. I think it took me about three years to get all my words out - now that I'm caught up I don't have so much to say anymore. But I still love my little blog and plan to check in from time to time.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas with people you love and cherish.