Thursday, December 31, 2015

A bit of Christmas DIY

In March of 2014 we picked up some lovely, large pine cones while traveling through California.   Heading into Christmas, I saw some glittery pinecones for sale and told Anna we could make our own.  

 And so we did.  The entire family got in on the fun.  We simply applied a spray adhesive then sprinkled glitter on the cones.

 I included the cones with other decorations around the house, including on the fireplace mantle.  I was quite pleased with the result!
 Another view of the mantle,  not including the pine cones.
 And a couple of peeks at another room:

This weekend I'll have to put the decorations away.  I will reuse the pine cones next year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


A belated Merry Christmas!  As you can see, we had a white Christmas.   Despite the fact that I don't like snow, I think it is incredibly beautiful against a clear blue sky.

We had a fairly quiet Christmas.  My kids aren't little anymore, so the excitement is waning.  My Dad spent the night, as he has each year since we moved back.  In addition to Dad we had one friend with us for Christmas Eve, which is "the big event" for us.  We went to a 4:00 church service then came home to a traditional dinner of meatballs and lefse. After dinner we open gifts.  We also get a few gifts from Santa on Christmas morning.  That's how things were done when I was growing up and we continue that tradition.

Atypically, the kids made small gingerbread houses this year.  That was never a tradition for me, but my daughter especially wanted to do it this year, so I bought a pre-made kit and let the kids do whatever they wanted.

I am quite happy that we have passed the shortest day of the year.  Currently we have sunlight only from approximately 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  In the summer we stay light until nearly 10 p.m., which I much prefer.

I bought a fondue pot on an after-Christmas sale.  I'm hoping to start a New Years tradition of fondue for dinner.  I think I'll need to make creme brulee for dessert,  as we've done that 2 of the past 3 years and my daughter wants that to be an annual event.

What traditions do you observe?

Monday, December 14, 2015

A living Christmas Tree

It's been 20 years since I left cold, snowy Minnesota for the warmer, drier high mountain desert of Idaho.  I was the last member of my family to leave.  Just over a year ago my youngest brother moved back to Minnesota.   I thought he was crazy.

This year I've been waiting for the frigid winter of my childhood memories to force my brother to admit I was right about being crazy to live in Minnesota.  Sadly, things aren't going as I expected in the weather department.   While my brother posts pictures on Facebook of his green lawn, I am forced to post pictures like the one above.  I took it tonight when we, once again,  got blanketed in snow.

I don't mind it TOO terribly much since Christmas is coming.  And it is pretty, especially with the lights. Apparently a little humility is in order for me.  Frozen humility.

Monday, December 7, 2015

I'm a pessimist.  Recently I was wondering if this might be our last abundant Christmas, and I remembered that I have wondered the same thing on many previous Christmases.

I'm attending Bible Study Fellowship this year and we are studying the book of Revelation.   It is beyond anything I expected and nothing like I expected. I've always thought of Revelation as the book that tells all of the terrible things that will happen at the end of time, and I suppose it does.  But so far (we've gotten through chapter 5) it has been focusing on the praiseworthiness of Jesus and the wonder that awaits us when we get to heaven.

Last week we were looking at a verse which talks of how all creatures on earth and in heaven and under the earth and in the sea are going to praise Jesus. One of the ladies wrote a beautiful,  poetic description of various created beings praising God.  I was stunned by her writing and, besides appreciating what she wrote, I realized my pessimism is getting in the way of fully enjoying and appreciating Jesus.  So I determined that this week I would make a conscious effort to shelve my pessimism and get EXCITED about eternity.   This week, however, we are detouring from Revelation to the book of Joel. What I've read so far was total gloom and doom, sackcloth and ashes, weeping and mourning stuff.  I couldn't help but laugh - so much for my attempted optimism!   But then again, it did make me laugh, so maybe all is not lost!