Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gearin' Up For 2010

The last full moon of 2009 - and what a beauty!

Well I can see how it's going to be.

I know that tomorrow is January first, but I opened my Bible last night to get a head start on this 90 day reading assignment.
Good thing too, because I only got eight chapters in (out of sixteen) before "life" rudely interrupted me.

"Life" has no scruples about distracting, and that's the fundamental problem with this whole concept where I am both a spiritual being and a flesh being (heavy on the flesh).

You see, my flesh wants to breeze through all those chapters.
My spirit wants to know what I read.
It's rather a conflict of interests.
Matthew 26:41 (which, incidentally, isn't anywhere near Genesis) says to

"Watch and pray,
that ye enter not into temptation:
the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak"

I take from this, that this venture will require some battling on my part!

"...the spirit is willing..."

Yes. It is.
In fact, the spirit has gotten me as far as mid Deuteronomy in my previous attempts to read every word between the two covers of my Bible. Genesis is interesting, exciting - riveting even!
Deuteronomy? Not as much.
Maybe I should be starting at Deuteronomy. HA!
Or perhaps I should use this opportunity to slay the flesh and strengthen the spirit?


To read through the entire Bible in less than a year is a noble goal for a fleshly, distractable being such as myself.
To see the Lord God increase my thirst for His word, and and hope He will mold me more and more to the image of His Son in the process would be even better.

So I forge ahead! Sixteen chapters a day? Perhaps not, but as my friend Mother Hen says:

"Do it in 90 days,
or do it in one year,
or do it in some other amount of time.
Just be sure you read your Bible!"

And with this I concur. I plan to read mine through - however long it takes!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Around The Bible in... 90 Days?

Can it be done by Momma Bug?
Hmm... I know better than to commit myself to a goal I'll miss before the second week starts, but I LOVE having the list that shows just how much to read in order to get from cover to cover entirely in 90 days.

  • Bible in 90 Days promo button
I don't know as I've ever read straight through and have been wanting to do this for quite a long time, but you know?
A year seems almost too long.
If it stretches out too far I lose momentum (unfortunately I am easily distracted by life itself. It's a wonder I manage not to forget dinner every night - HA!).

I printed off this plan, and I am going to give an honest attempt to keep up, but I'll tell you a secret:

My own goal is to get through this list as fast as I possibly can. If it takes more than three months and I complete it in less than six, I'll consider it a victory!

Blog about it? maybe.
I suspect that the natural outgrowth of reading God's Word will be fresh excitement and the desire to tell about it.
I also suspect that the discipline of reading this much could interfere with blogging...

Anyway, what do you say?
Wanna do it with me?

Ready... Set... GO!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No Longer 6

My Great Guy and I decided some years ago to make Birthdays a bash.
A day to show each precious son or daughter just how wonderful we think they are!

As you can imagine, having a December 28th baby has stretched our ingenuity in the way of making Clayton's day "special" following on the heels of Christmas.

Traditionally we don't make Christmas a gift-giving day, which serves several purposes.
1. We are able to focus on Jesus Birthday a little better, and
2. Gifts are then a unique thing to Clayton's birthday and not just more of the same desserts.

This year we filled stockings for the children.
While tradition is delightful, it is a blessed experience to exercise our freedom in Christ when we "change things up" and do what seems good case by case.
We ALL got a kick out of stuffed stockings. The sweets. The frill and foof was, well... FUN!

BUT... How to make a "bash" for Clay after all that?
Here's a peek in pictures. (and I might add, he was a pleased as pie - it must have been a success!)

He is such a sport! Even wears the corny hat Mom set out for the Birthday Boy!

Need a little help Buddy?

A Treasure Hunt to discover a special gift from Mom and Dad...

What's this???...

A shoe?
A strange looking shoe...

And the Treasure is...


Your very own climbing wall! (to share, of course)

And mom is so glad...

You won't need to climb the door jambs any more.

Or the pillar by the pool table.
Or the trash can.
Or the shelves.

Thanks for donating the room and the help to install it Uncle Wyatt!

New hat and Bible...

Well. It was a GOOD day for a little boy.
Even without cake. Why no cake?
C'mon! Christmas, remember? Jesus's Birthday cake... ugh. Still plenty of that left. Jesus didn't help us much with His share of it!

And besides,
Clay got a box of Tic-Tacs!

What more could a fella want?!

We love you Clayton Praise!!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reflections From a Heart Overflowing

I am not yet tired of Christmas music, candle light, licking flames on the hearth, and the Christmas lights that are beginning to sag on the tree.

The Tree? It is a desert tree after all. It's practically a cactus anyway, needing little in the way of water. It's a hardy tree, thick in the trunk and limbs.
It was yellow in the needle before I ever laid eyes on it, so being that color now doesn't tend to disappoint like it would if it had started out it's privileged position in a hue of deep dark green.

I think it'll still be here when Grams and Pops visit in another week and a half.
We'll see. :-)


This evening I stirred ground beef and beans for burritos, and while Clayton grated cheese I told him of this night seven years ago.

Uncle Wyatt had been visiting OUR house in California for Christmas that year, and I was as large as Mary with baby Jesus and ready to meet my own dear babe.

Labor started, and in no time flat we were racing up the hill where our hospital and midwife waited 30 minutes away. It was Winter, wet, and cold. I rolled the down the car window and breathed in the icy rain with intense relief.
I arrived at the hospital 9 cm dilated. I grinned at the nurses and they in turn raised their eyebrows in dismay. (See, I knew I was almost done. Sweet victory!)

An hour and a half later my mom and brother arrived to "wait" for the baby.
AJ ushered them into my room dimly lit and peaceful - blankets tucked around me, and a bundle in the crook of my arm.

"Do you want to see him?" I asked.

"Him?!?" I heard echoed


"Clayton Praise" I said.

The nurses thought it was a name for a big man.
I hope so. I expect the Lord will do something special with my son.
For HIS glory.

He has. And is in the process of doing.
Big things - some I can see, and others I can't. Perhaps never will, but that's okay. My Clayton is on loan to me, the best Christmas gift I ever received... seven years ago...

Cheese piling high under the grater (and some making it's way to the tile floor below), Clayton listens with that contagious grin taking over his entire face.
It's his "last night being six" I remind him with a pang in my own heart.
He asks me questions, and I remember out loud to him.

I remember Uncle Charlie, not yet married to his sweetheart, sitting in my hospital room with his injured leg encased in a cage. I knew it was a privilege to have him there with his life and limb.

I remember Zachary's first glimpse of his first brother. He was more interested in lying on that cold hospital floor and playing with the foot pedal on the trash can "Flip-clack, flip-clack, flip-clack". And the remote that made momma's bed si-----t up, and la-----y down.
He grew into the big brother roll gracefully, all things considered.

I remember the red, green, and white knitted hat that the nurses sent Clayton home in. Only the Christmas babies got hats like that - hand made by some dear old ladies who loved the Itty-Bittys born during this season.

Oh how I remember...

It is good to reflect back, to enjoy memories.
And it is only prudent to look forward and plan for the future.
But tonight after I tucked in my brood - all six - and while I was decorating, and wrapping gifts for, and appreciating my son, I remember that it is the wise woman who lives in the now.
Relishing the "now" moments, and not just documenting them to look back on later. What I like to call "reveling..." just taking it all in and being thankful. Ever so thankful!

Lord, thank you for my Clayton Praise!
And help me to love him and enjoy him each and every moment you continue to share him with me.

Happy Birthday dear one!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dear Auntie Kim, Uncle Ben, and Cousins McKenna and Hailey,

Thank you for the wonderful Hats and mittens! How did you know that this crew was just outgrowing their favorite fleece hats?

The thing that surprised me most, was how donning these items of apparel seemed to transform my sweet little darlings into...

Well, I'm not sure what.

Into hooligans posing as Super Hero's or something?

Hmm. Maybe Super Hero's posing as Hooligans?

They definitely have a super power for making corny faces!!

Today these pictures can be used for a great laugh,

tomorrow for blackmail,

and far into the future I'm sure we will find them a tonic for the soul.

Thought you'd enjoy.
I did! :-)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Things That Made Me Smile Today

Christmas Eve.

Clayton made a "Happy Birthday Jesus!" cake. He went with Daddy's favorite: yellow cake with (real) chocolate frosting, and decorated the top:-)

I finished painting a Marvel Hill poster for AJ to hang in his office - really enjoyed that bit of self expression!

I talked to my brother. Sigh...
Missing family today.

We made mini quiches and Cheesy Chicken and Artichoke bites for tomorrow.

Oh! And AJ made the Christmas Shrimp! Our favorite tradition which involves boiling the shrimp in a spicy brew and them cooling them to peel and eat with cocktail sauce. Mmmm...

(Charlie - I thought of you when I witnessed AJ's method for cooling them down. Are you jealous?) ;-D

Tonight we ate Tacos and home made salsa.

After dinner I made hot chocolate on the stove top, and the children declared themselves "full" after just a few sips! (I indulged in a few sips myself)

The Buglets opened Gramsie's box and discovered pajamas and new hand-made-with-love pillow cases for each of them!

It turns out that the box of See's dark chocolate candies for "Adam-Jon" was also for Analene (Trouble Maker! good thing I read the tag for myself!!) Thanks Mom and Dad!

We all snuggled into a heap together and read a few chapters of "In Grandma's Attic" together before tucking in.

I called Gramsie for an uninterrupted chit-chat. Sigh (again)... It was very nice.

Caught AJ taste-testing the Christmas Shrimp. Tsk-tsk!

Poured a little Martinelli's sparkling cider to sip.
Martenelli's is the only sparkling cider you'll see in our house. AJ's grandparents knew the Martinelli's and Gramsie (his mom) has a very neat oldMartinelli's apple peeler/corer which sits in her kitchen window sill and has Zachary's name on it:-)

Have now stuffed some stockings and am sitting in the fire-lit living room relishing Christmas music and candle light.

Thinking of God's perfect gift - His Son who brought salvation. The good news! Atonement for my sins and eternal life with the King of Kings!

Thinking of Mary and how difficult and uncertain this eve was for her and her betrothed many years ago.
How thankful I am.

I am truly truly reveling in the Lord's daily mercies!
I hope you are too:-)

Merry MERRY Christmas Friends!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hooray! A Package Came Today!

Well Mom, you are vindicated and your word proven good as gold.
Your "Box of Love" arrived with Mr. UPS - even though there was enough snow to wonder if he'd make his rounds.

Did you know you packaged so many smiles in your box?

The children exclaimed:

"Whew! It's a LOT bigger than it looked in that picture Gramsie sent of Pops holding it!"

(I guess that's good?) I figure dad is big enough to make even a big box look a little ashamed next to him;-)

Daddy let the Buglets open the box, but they got no further.

Later in the evening at the dinner table, Olivia told him she was planning to open her present from Grams "Because I want to."
To which Daddy trumped her with "I will decide when you get to open it because I am the dad."
Uncle Wyatt snickered, and under my breath I suggested it's a good thing the kids don't have Gramsie's number...

Perhaps tomorrow, and I must say that one more day of anticipation as we enjoy your lovely wrapping is probably making the "love" that much sweeter!

Thank you dear Grams and Pops :-)


Carolina joined the bead brigade today...

Pretty fun!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Today Zachary finished his very first Math workbook!!

Today Olivia woke with a sore throat.

Today Clayton created secret Christmas gifts for Gramsie.

Today I am still hurtin' when I nurse.

Today I started a pot of chicken soup.

Today I accomplished little, but made Bible reading a priority.

Today I put family pictures in a frame for AJ's office.

Today we napped. (hooray!)

Today Carolina told her sister to "Don't fro' a fit!"

Today Susanna whizzed through two more chapters in her "learning to read.." book.

Today Olivia colored 8 squirrels with a black crayon in her Math book.

Today I got the few last things for making Christmas meals special.

Today Bryce captivated (translate: distracted) my attention away from chores.

Today our new tires (ordered for the van) arrived.

Today it started to snow again.

Today the end comes faster than I want it too. As do most days.

Perhaps I'll really DO something...



Sunday, December 20, 2009

13 weeks, and a Wild Party

Bryce has hit the three month turning point. He is SO cute, cuddly, fun; mellow and less fussy.

Twice after I go to bed, he wakes to nurse.

Several days ago I was initiated into the pain of nursing with a cracked... um. ouch.
I've never experienced this before, and it has gotten progressively worse each day, until hopefully the lanolin I bought today will help.

I mean to tell ya! I have more compassion now, for the gals with whom this malady is the norm.
I've never before been so loath to see those couple hours pass from the last meal, and been driven to tears. This brings "toe curling" pain to a whole new level!!!

If you can tell me any thing else that might help, or how long I might expect this to last, I am all ears.


On a lighter note, we hosted an open house last night. Along with the Smith's, and Mrs. Smith's precious parents, five other families joined us which brought the children tally up to 38 children plus two in knitting!

It was a wonderfully full and fun-filled household. We were privileged to enjoy people who we now consider friends - no longer people we just met.
Along with our "old" friends (that we met under two years ago), we had the delight of getting to know some "new" friends too.

This is a precious season, and we are blessed to have such lovely memories which we will cherish always.
Our pictures didn't turn out fantastic, but here are a few for proof.

The only thing that could have made this event more perfect would have been the presence of friends in the area who couldn't make it, adding to that our beloved family from "home" in California, and lastly a collection of saints from all over the rest of the earth.

It's probably a good thing you all didn't come because we wouldn't have had enough room for that many children - even if we stacked them five tall and side by side!

We love you from here though.
Blessings to you each and every dear ones!

(Mrs. Smith it looks like you really DID leave with everything you brought!
And Jenny, I have your fondue dish and Christmas tray. I'm holding them hostage so you'll come see me again!)