Monday, December 21, 2009

I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

In a few short days we will all be celebrating Christmas according to the traditions we have formed over the years. Ours will be spent with some of our children on Christmas eve. Eating, talking, laughing, and eating! and eating! and eating!

Christmas eve day we will have sledding with the grandchildren
and baking with our daughters.

Christmas day will be just Dale and I and Landon home enjoying the day together.

So from my door to your door, I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas day.

I will be away from my blog starting tonight until about the first of the year.
Christmas hugs to you all!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

White Wednesday and a special little Nativity

Today I would like to share with you my favorite Christmas decoration in the house. This little clay Nativity was made by my oldest child Kimberlee when she was in fifth grade. She was the only one of my children that was lucky enough to have Mrs. Hendrickson as her teacher. My daughter's class was her last in this little Idaho town. She had been raised here and I believe that this was her first teaching job after graduating college. She and her husband moved from here and she took a teaching job elsewhere, but not before she left her wonderful mark on many students here. One of the things she enjoyed teaching each of her fifth grade classes was working in pottery and baking them in her kiln. I have some sweet little pieces of art made by Kim, with the help of her teacher. This Nativity means so much to me and I love displaying it every Christmas. I'm very lucky that Kim hasn't asked for this little set, because I really don't know that I could part with it. Every year when I unwrap this little trio, I am flooded with memories of my sweet little fifth grader and how proud she was the day she brought this home.
A lot of my Christmas decorations are very humble and wouldn't be worth much at a thrift store, but they have the power to take me back through time and unbury memories that bring back the magic of the season. To me they are priceless!
If you love white like I do, you may want to go to Kathleen's Faded Charm for some real white inspiration.
I wish all of you a wonderful White Wednesday!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A beautiful giveaway...

Can you believe how sweet this is?! This is what Dawn at The Feathered Nest is offering to the winner of her giveaway celebrating her 1200th post and 400 followers. Can you believe 1200 posts?! Sometimes I wonder if I will hang in that long!
Run right over there to Dawn's to enter to win this little pretty made by her very own talented hands. Good luck to us all!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Merry and Bright...and a giveaway win!

Just in case I haven't said this enough already...I LOVE THE CHRISTMAS SEASON!

Out by the pasture fence
I love the celebration of our Saviors birth. I love the nativity displays, both live and in statue. I love the good will t'ward men.
I love the spirit of it all. I love the lights. I love the music. I love the movies. (heck ,I even love
the commercials)

I love the smiles. I love the hugs. I love the candy and the cookies. I love the parties. I love the decorating. I love the store fronts. I love the cards from friends and family. I love the mall Santa, the S.A .bell ringing Santa, the stuffed Santa and the real Santa.

A little table top in my living room
I love the holly. I love the pine boughs. I love to hear the bells ringing and the carolers singing. I love the sledding and the skating (when I was younger, of course) I love the Christmas pageants. I love the baking...and I LOVE the eating.

And lest you think I only decorate in are some of my favorite mercury glass ornaments above a window in the family room. I like how they look with the lights reflecting off them.
These just say 'merry and bright' to me. I can't wait to get these out each year and add the sparkle around the room.

And you remember the cones?! Here they are dressed with greens. Some asked me if I made these...I wish...but no, I got them at a wonderful florist shop in Boise one year. If you want to find unique and beautiful Christmas decor, don't overlook garden centers and florist shops. I find my favorite things there. They also have the most beautiful displays found anywhere. I just went to Sun Valley Garden Center yesterday in Bellevue (used to be in Sun Valley) a town just a few miles from here and I just couldn't get enough of the beautiful trees and displays.

At the garden center I worked at for several years, we put up about ten trees just covered in ornaments for the customers to shop from. We also had many beautiful displays all over the store. Working there almost spoiled Christmas decorating at home for me however, because after tree trimming and doing displays since the first week of November, I no longer had the desire to do it at home too.

Now, for my giveaway win.

Look at these wonderful treasures I won from Melissa at Piney Rose!!! My camera did not want to take a photo of this little birdie that would do it justice. It just sparkles. It is covered with glitter and fits right in with all my white decor. It came with a pretty vintage doily and a little snowman cheese spreader, and a beautiful tag.

Just look at this amazing tag!!! Isn't it gorgeous! I love it all Melissa, and thank you for such a wonderful giveaway! I am lovin' all my Christmas treasures from your beautiful blog and home.

Oh, and just in case you all didn't hear me the first two hundred times...I LOVE THE CHRISTMAS SEASON!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Deck the halls!!!

Today I'm joining those at House in the Roses for 'show your cottage Monday'. Thank you so much Cielo for hosting Cottage Monday.

I've been putting out a few things for Christmas in the past ten days or so and it is slowly beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. I really love this holiday season. I love the warmth that seems to radiate from everyone I come in contact with. The joy that is expressed in the songs I hear and the words I read. I enjoy the feeling of home that fills my heart with the desire to decorate every nook and cranny. I'm having to hold myself back from hanging wreaths on everything that moves. I want to hang them everywhere, including every horse stall on this place, but I will resist because I know I could not convince the horses not to try to make a meal out of them. I made T.T. Rabbit a little Christmas collar, but he doesn't seem to appreciate it much. Every time I put it on him he manages to rip it right off. I guess I can't force the holiday spirit on everyone! When I get a photo of him with it on I will share it, because he looks so darn cute.

I thought in this post I would show you a little of the decor around the cottage. There will be a lot of it that I will be sharing on the next few white Wednesdays, as most of it fits with that meme well and I'm running low on whites around here.

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving! The whole family agreed that the best part of it was eating the leftovers on Friday and Saturday and that maybe they will just show up the day after Thanksgiving. Thank goodness the food is gone now and I can get back to normal eating. Today is the first day since Thanksgiving that I have not been miserably full.

I wish all of you dear friends a lovely week!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm so thankful!!!

The countdown to Thanksgiving has started at my house. Since the family will be traveling over the river and through the woods to our house this Thursday, and I will be roasting the traditional bird who gave up his life to help us celebrate this wonderful day, I won't be posting white Wednesday, but because this is the week of Thanksgiving I knew that this post would be about 'some' of the things that I am most thankful for in my life. One of these thankful things is the friends that I have made in this journey of keeping an on line journal.

Today I went to the post office to pick up my mail and in my box was one of those awesome little cards that lets you know that you have a package. It was this beautiful cuff and ornament from a sweet friend that I have made through this wonderful blogging experience.

Judy at Tapestries of Nature was one of the first women to come to my blog and leave me a comment. Of course I wanted to visit her blog and make a friend. So I went and the rest is history. I was enamored by the beautiful art that she created. Then of course, there was the fact that she was going to be leaving for England to spend a few months there. This has always been a dream of mine. A dream that will not likely ever become a reality. So I was happy to just sit here across the pond and wait for her to come home and tell me all about it on her blog.
Judy's talent at creating beautiful things is really a gift. When I saw these lovely cuffs made from snippets left over from her creating, I fell in love with them. She wrote me and told me that she would love to make one for me. I loved the ones that she shared in a post on her blog, but when I saw it in person I was blown away. This cuff is exquisite. She had asked me what word that I would like it to say and it didn't take me long to decide that I would like it to say one of my favorite three letter words...JOY. I can wear it through the holidays and all year long. I hope you can see the beautiful details in these photos I've taken of it. Look at the back of this darling thing. It's beautiful too!

This gorgeous ornament was a complete surprise. Judy makes these with vintage buttons and seam binding. This will definitely find a home in MY home year 'round as well. It's way too lovely to put in a box with other holiday decor.

She put in this little receipt from Dec. 1912 in with the gifts. Doesn't it just give you chills to hold in your hands something that was held by someone so long ago. It does me! I love it! This is what makes my husband call me a 'moony woman'. This, and a lot of other stuff I say and do. Thank you Judy, from the bottom of my heart! Your friendship is a gift.

Thinking about all the things I'm thankful for is always good therapy for me. Of course I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, my family, good health, our home, and our friends, but there are so many things that I take for granted in my life that make it what it is. When I wake up in the morning I have a routine that I go through everyday. I don't vary from it much, it is a part of who I am. I am thankful for this makes me feel grounded and secure. I was thinking about this the other day when I was thinking about what I might be able to do for those this year who are less fortunate in life than me. Those who don't have a routine. Those who don't have a comfortable place to lay their head each night. Those who can't give their children the basic creature comforts that I enjoy and sometimes take for granted. Those whose physical and/or mental health have failed them. Am I doing enough to help my fellowman? Are my prayers for them enough? Is the little bit that I am able to give enough to make a difference? I don't know...but what I do know is that I am thankful for the little bit that I am able to do, for the empathy and love that I feel for them even though I don't know them. I want the muscles around my mouth to be strengthened by the act of smiling. I want to overcome shyness and have the courage to make eye contact with everyone I pass in my daily round so that they know that they are important to me. I want my words to uplift and encourage. Some days I fail miserably at all of these, but I'm thankful that some days I don't. This Thanksgiving I want to be thankful for not only what I have, but I want to be thankful that maybe I have helped someone to have something to be thankful for as well.

I hope that all of you dear friends have a wonderful and joyous Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

White Wednesday---over the fence...

I'm not sure what there is about a picket fence
that makes me love them so.
They just say community to me.

It doesn't matter to me if they are freshly painted or

or chippy and leaning, they are just so charming.

My dream of having one for myself has not yet

come true, but I still dream.

I have always imagined myself leaning over

the fence talking to my sweet friend Sarah.

Trying to solve the worlds problems

one conversation at a time.

I think a cottage looks so much more

inviting, so much friendlier

when surrounded by a picket fence.

Yes, I was the girl that always said
I wanted a house with a white picket fence
and a yard full of children.

Did you ever say that?

When I drive through unfamiliar towns,

I like to take the side streets and see all

the old homes and cottages with their

little white fences surrounding them.

All of these pretty little pickets were photographed

when I went to Hailey yesterday to run some errands.

The lighting was poor this day, so I apologize
for the pictures being a little dark.

Hailey is a small town 30 miles from my small

town Idaho. It is so full of charm that it just

seems to wrap you in it's arms.

I love towns like this.

It is much bigger than where I live, but still small enough

that is has retained it's wonderful sense

of community well.

No malls or shopping centers here.

Just a lot of cute picket fences!

Thank you to Kathleen at Faded Charm for

hosting White Wednesday every week.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sanity day...

Today I drove the 60 miles to the nearest little big city
to go shopping and to buy our groceries
for the week.
My husband calls these my 'sanity days'.
These days are pretty special to me. I love the alone time
spent with just my thoughts to keep me company.
When you live in a town of about 450 to 500 people and there
are only two convenience stores in the whole place,
you really get to
where you crave getting out of Dodge and hittin' the stores.
Now don't get me wrong, I really love living out in the
country (sticks), but I would love to live a little closer to
a mall, or a Michael's, or a T. J. Maxx, than 60 miles.
Today was spent shopping for items to do some Christmas
projects with, and a little thrifting.
I found some silver plate that I couldn't seem to
leave behind. I love the butter dish.

I stopped at Barnes and Noble and did some serious damage
to my pocketbook. I will spend all of tomorrow looking through
and reading some of my favorite publications.
Have I told you before how much I love British decorating magazines?

These three are some of my favorites.
I also picked up this new Christmas CD of Andrea Bochelli.
I played it all the way home. There are 2 songs on it that are
just so beautiful. No, I take that back, there are 15 songs on it
that are beautiful, but 2 that took my breath away.
'The Lord's Prayer' and 'I Believe'.
I had chills and tears in my eyes just listening to them.
I listen to Christmas music from now till the middle of January.
I love it!!!

I saw all sorts of great ideas for Christmas today and
I'm feeling very inspired.
All in all, it was a wonderful day all to myself.

I have all the garden work done for Winter, and look who
was a big help yesterday.
This is my sweet little garden faerie, Maddie.
She's my little 4 year old granddaughter.
You can see that the snow melted from that storm I
posted before. We have been enjoying days in the 50's
this past week.

We spread the last of the compost, which was my
final garden chore of 2009.

Now Winter can come to small town Idaho.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Why 'Laughing with Angels'...

Twenty three years ago next month, I gave birth to our
sixth child, our second son. Little did we know that
life as we knew it was about to end, and a new
journey for our family would begin.

I took this portrait of Landon and I when he was three
weeks old. We didn't know at this point that our sweet son
had a condition known as Angelman Syndrome. Named
for the English pediatrician, Dr. Harry Angelman, that first
identified it in a few of his patients in his practice.

From the very beginning, my mother's intuition told me that
our son was very different than our other children as
babies. He was a poor feeder and had difficulty
eating and gaining weight. Our Dr. was concerned as well, and sent
us to specialists in Boise...but Landon's condition
remained a mystery.

This is our boy at about twelve months...when he finally
doubled his birth weight. Let me just say... this was a big deal
at our house!

When Landon was about four and a half, I met a mom at a
conference for parents of children with disabilities, and she asked about
Landon's condition. At this point he had been given a diagnosis
of developmental delay with unknown causes. When
this mom heard Landon's symptoms and behaviors, she said
that she had just read an article about a rare syndrome
that seemed to fit. She said that after she returned home from the
conference that she would send me the article.
I will never forget the day I read about Angelman Syndrome.
I finally could quit searching for a cause...for a reason...someone to tell
me what I needed to do to make this little boy's life better.
I won't go into detail here of the causes of the syndrome, as it is
mind boggling to explain...or the symptoms and
behaviors of this syndrome.
Google lists many sites that explain
the disorder and it's causes very well. Landon is considered
severely affected, as are about ten percent of
those diagnosed.
Landon with big sis, Haylee.
I could write volumes about the therapies and interventions,
but what I would really rather do, is write about
the amazing gift that this sweet son has been in our lives.
The joys we have experienced, have far outweighed the sorrows.
His sweetness of character has brightened our days and lifted the burdens
of his daily care.
This road we have traveled has been paved with beauty.
Yes, I went through my sad angry at the Lord times.
The why mes...the why hims...the what ifs.
The maybe there's a cures... the maybe he'll grow out
of its, but I got through them and now can just appreciate the
gift that is Landon.

And boy, what a gift!

One of the hallmarks of the syndrome is the excessive laughter
exhibited by the children with the condition. Landon
used to laugh all the time as a baby. Seldom did he cry...but would
laugh until we were all laughing with him.

For a very long time I had wanted to write a book about
the experience of raising a child with a kind of
therapy for me. With the passage of time however,
I find that I no longer need to write the story.

I had always planned to title the book 'Laughing with Angels'.

The other night I googled laughing with angels to see if my
blog was there and interestingly, a mother of a child with autism
has written a book titled 'Laughing with angels, dancing with butterflies'

How cool is that!

This is our Landon today.

And that is why the name of my blog is what it is. It is the story
of beauty and bliss and life with an angel!