Monday, December 31, 2007

A very Merry Late Christmas

Well, my kids got home from their dad's yesterday, after many hours of airplanes, layovers, and waiting for luggage. They were very tired (I could tell by the grouchyness) but we had a few presents to open, including stockings, and I wanted us to have at least 1 nice meal together before they scattered in different directions on New Year's Eve and the days that follow as Emily prepares for Godspell.

Here's Emily opening her much awaited Blake Lewis (American Idol!) CD and new CD holder, since the CD holder that only held 50 cd's was waaaay too small!! PS... aren't her new glass adorable!

And, believe it or not, a very nice picture of Stephen being calm and normal... his main gift this year was a laptop case and laptop cooling fan, but he opened those before he went to Indiana, so yesterday, he only had this book to open. Not too exciting, but it's a phenominal Star Wars "Vault" book.. full of actual tickets, programs, pieces of film, and all kinds of memorabilia. If you're a Star Wars van, it's a must have!

I love this picture of the two of them together... again, it doesn't happen very often, and as the years go by, and we all get so busy, I treasure these all together moments more and more, especially if they're getting along! LOL I know before I blink too many more times, they'll be leaving for college, or moving away, or getting married, etc.

And speaking of getting married (no it's not ME!) my neice Lauren got engaged a few days before Christmas, and her fiance Steve made his debut at our family gatherings over the holidays. He survived all the family "grilling" that we have traditionally put all the men who have tried to make their way into our family. He did quite well. Congratulations Lauren (or LOLO, as she was called as a baby, because her sister Lindsey couldn't say "Lauren") and Steve! I see some stamped wedding stuff in my near future! Woo Hoo!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Reason For the Season

Just wanted to share with you a few more of the Christmas cards I made this year. When I realized I needed about 10 more cards to send, I needed something very simple. I bought this little baby Jesus stamp a long time ago, (he is stamped on shimmer white with black staz on and colored with markers) and I don't think I've ever actually made anything with it. Shame on me. Isn't he cute? I rarely use Not Quite Navy, and wouldn't normally have thought of this color combo for a Christmas card, but this DP from DCWV glitter posies pad looked great with Not Quite Navy Paper, and a touch of Saffron. Of course, it includes the new round scalloped punch from Stampin Up, a MUST HAVE for everyone! The little Peace word stamp is from last year's holiday mini, and it is stamped on white shimmer also, and punched with the word window punch. A touch of white ribbon and wa-la!
My last group of cards this year was modeled after a card we made at Jami's club night, called a "Hot Card". The name doesn't really tell you exactly what to do... but it is such a great technique.
You stamp on plain white tissue paper, then crumple the paper up into a little ball, then smooth it out, and layer it on top of a piece of plastic wrap, then put that on top of plain white cardstock.
Cover the whole thing with parchment paper/ freezer paper, and then iron the whole thing. You'll probably end of up with plastic paper sticking out around the edges, but just trim the edges and make your card. I actually did a whole sheet of snowflakes and then made that into 4 cards. The Peace sentiment is from PaperTreyInk's "Snowflake Serenade" set... one of my all time favorite Christmas sets! Add some ribbon and a little sparkle from a glitter pen, and you have a simple, yet elegant card.
Today is my last day by myself before my kids come home tomorrow, and I had high hopes of stamping, and shopping, but I have a horrible headache, I think from an oncoming sinus infection or cold, so I think I'll go back to bed! Have a safe, healthy, yummy, and fun New Year, whatever your plans are!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What a Team!

The biggest part of my life, besides my kids, is the time I spend with these 3 ladies in my office and in my ministry at Lakewood Family Church in Long Beach, California. I love these ladies with all my heart, and I know God has placed each of them in my life for different reasons.

From left to right you see: Heidi, our "Creative Program Director" (she runs our Sunday morning KIDSTUF production for elementary kids... including drama, music, Bible, and all kinds of crazy fun)... then Michelle, our "Early Childhood Director" who works very hard at keeping everything safe, fun, and enriching for our Babies through Kindergarteners, plus juggles all the volunteers that staff that area of ministry, then ME, then Kelli, our Secretary, who does anything and everything we need her to do. Between the 4 of us we have 9 children which keeps us all hopping, and also gives us a huge passion for making sure the families of our church and our community know and love Jesus. This picture was taken on Sunday, Dec. 23 at our SNOW DAY at church... 5 tons of snow shredded and blown right on our playground, for kids and families to play in. It was a "BLAST".... get it?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wishing You Joy

I hope you've been having a wonderful time, surrounded by family and friends the past few weeks as you have been celebrating this special time of year. My kids left on Christmas eve morning, after rushing to get lots of suitcases and presents packed, and even finding time for them to each open one gift. They are in Indiana with their dad, stepmom, and stepbrother and stepsister until the 30th but right before they left, we snapped this picture in front of our tiny tree... so tiny that you can't even see it in this picture!

Whenever they're gone, I have very mixed feelings. I enjoy the time to myself, because that doesn't happen very often, and it gives me a chance to do some "deep cleaning" in their bedrooms :) and go to the movies with friends, but I also get a little depressed when they're gone. It causes me to reflect on lonliness, and the events that lead to me becoming a single mom. All my sisters and my brother, plus all the spouses and lots of the neices and nephews got together this afternoon and evening at my sister's in Thousand Oaks, so it was really good to be together with my wonderful family, even though my kids weren't there.
We will celebrate a little more Christmas when they return on Sunday. In the meantime, I know I have so much to be thankful for, and one of those things is the opportunity to spend time with the Lord, worshiping Him, and having extra time this week to spend in His word. I'm praying that I will take advantage of those gifts from Him! "Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift!"

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas by Candlelight

My daughter's madrigal group from Lakewood High School was privileged to sing this evening at Disneyland's Candlelight Procession and Ceremony. It was amazing. I have seen this show one other time about 7 years ago, but back then it was done "back" in the pavillion near "It's a Small World." Now it's done on the steps of the train station and everyone STANDS on main street to watch. There were 700 singers from various church and school choirs, all wearing robes carrying candles, singing the beautiful hymns we all know and love about our wonderful Savior's birth. Jane Seymour was the narrator, and read the Luke 2 Christmas passage so elloquently, surrounded by the singers, bell ringers, full orchestra and even 7 buglers, standing all the way on TOP of the train station. That was my favorite part! This was Emily's first chance to sing the Hallelujah Chorus, something I think EVERYONE should learn to do in their lifetime. She had a great time, but boy is she exhausted. It was fun to see her sing and such a wonderful magical place, along with my sister, my mom, my mom's friend, my son, and my nephew. We even had a few wonderful friends stop by to watch her sing too. What a great way to start off the month of December! I hope I can keep this Christmas message in my heart and mind throughout the coming month as life becomes a little frazzled in the days and weeks ahead.