Friday, December 30, 2011

Small successes

I have Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotional delivered via email every day.  Today’s really hit home with me.

You can check it out here: Proverbs 31 Ministries Devotional – When the End Goal Seems to Hard by Lysa TerKeurst

I need to celebrate the small successes more like Lysa’s friend did with resisting the bag of M&M’s.  I have a hard time with that.  At the time, I never see how resisting once can start a pattern, so what the heck why not eat the M&M’s!  I want to see pounds drop away quickly, not a pound or two a week.  I want to finish a quilt in a day not months.  I want to get my house cleaned in a few hours not all day.  I want it and I want it fast.  Not always in God’s timing though is it?

This morning is a good example…I was scheduled to have a nucleoplasty procedure on my lower back today but I had the unfortunate circumstance of coming down with the flu yesterday, so today was a no-go.  While I was feeling better this morning, I hadn’t been fever free for long enough.  My timing was to have the surgery done now while on Christmas break from work, on this years insurance deductible and be ready to head back to work on Tuesday.  4 – 6 weeks recovery brings me to a week or two before we lead another mission trip to Hackleburg, Alabama.   Good plan, eh?

However, God’s timing & plans can be different than ours can’t they?  I am rescheduled for January 13th which bumps me right up against our Alabama departure date of Feb. 18th.  So, I’m praying for a cancellation and a problem free recovery so I’m ready to roll for the week we are gone.  And maybe, just maybe this hitch in my plan is so I rely on God just a little more and get my strength from him instead of my own will.  Could be?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 25–“The number 25”

Day 25 of Susan’s 25 pictures of Christmas photo challenge is “The number 25.”  Shouldn’t this have been easy?  Not so much.  So no matter how lame it is, here’s a “25” log bonfire!

Our December weather has been unseasonably warm for us, in the 30’s, so my SIL and BIL decided to have a Christmas bonfire up on a hill behind their farm. 


And the fire came complete with a beautiful sunset.



What a great way to celebrate Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas 2011 from the Millers!

Christmas card 20110001

Day 24–Children, Sleeping

This child who is sleeping is the real reason for this season. 

We can get so wrapped up in baking, parties, shopping, etc that we lose the real focus of why we celebrate Christmas. 
On Christmas Day we celebrate that Jesus Christ came to earth in human flesh born in a meager barn to save us from ourselves.  There can be no better gift than that!

As the hustle and bustle of the next few days ramps up, we need to remember why we really celebrate. 
It’s not about “did we get what we wanted?” or “did we get any gifts at all?”  “or was the ham done to perfection?” or “did somebody say something they shouldn’t have at a family gathering?”.  Can anyone else relate to these statements?

It’s ALL about Jesus and I, for one, need to remind myself of that fact instead of letting myself get stressed out trying to make sure everything goes like I think it should and trying to make everyone happy.

Yes, Jesus is the ONLY reason for the season and that’s reason enough for me to celebrate!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 23–A Shining Star

Day 23 of Susan’s 25 pictures of Christmas photo challenge is A Shining Star.

Last weekend we took in a Luminary walk in a local town.  All(mostly) the neighbors in a 4 – 5 block area lined their sidewalks with luminaries.  It was a nice enough evening for December so DH & I and another couple decided to walk the Walk.

Some used paper bags as luminaries while others used mason jars [my personal favorite].  IMG_8720
This particular house decorated all of their jars with a “Shining Star” and raffia and they had a lot of jars to decorate.
This street the Walk was on has many beautiful older homes.  They look even more stunning when lit up at Christmastime.





I especially liked how some decorated their lamp posts.


There was even a photo opp with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Smile



So, only two days to go…who’s ready for Christmas?!?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 22–Holiday Greetings

Today is Day 22 of Susan’s 25 pictures of Christmas photo challenge and the subject is Holiday Greetings.

Don’t you just love this time of year when you can go to the mailbox and see something other than bills and almost on a daily basis?

I love receiving Christmas cards, especially the photograph kind.  I even like getting the “brag letters”.  Honestly, most of the ones we get aren’t braggy at all but just an update of what’s going on in their life so I enjoy reading them.

After we read them, I put mine in a little tin Merry Christmas bucket on our kitchen island so I can look at them and re-look at them as Christmas gets closer.

Day 22

In our old house, we had archways that went between the kitchen and dining room and the dining room and living room so I used to tape them to the archways.  When you receive Christmas cards do you display them in any way?  or do you just store them away?  Do you keep them from year to year or dispose[gasp] of them after Christmas is over?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 21–Tiny Tots with their eyes aglow

Day 21 – Tiny Tots with their eyes all aglow --

One of my favorite Christmas memories when our boys were young was this…


We had gotten them each a remote controlled CAT construction toy.  After everything else was opened and wrapping papers cleaned up, we brought these special gifts out. 

We had wrapped the boxes with only paper over the ends.  DH stood around the corner and pressed the remote.  When the engine started up, they went crazy.  Then he moved it forward and it broke through the paper at the end of the box.  The expression on their faces was absolutely priceless (see top picture).  Good times!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 20–A Winter Wonderland

I’m cheating a bit here as we haven’t had much snow yet this year.  Mind you, I’m not complaining in the least.

These were taken last December after a foggy morning with the frost still hanging on the trees and bushes. Beautiful!

I can appreciate the beauty of a pristine winter landscape.  It’s just this part that I can do without!  Thankful for the plow trucks and drivers but not thrilled to be driving in it.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 19–Toys in Every Store

Sorry!  passing on this one! No pictures to share.  Smile

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas finish

Earlier this fall while at a quilt show, I saw this fabric line and fell in love with it.  It’s Montana Modern by Bernatex.  I’ve been wanting to make a Christmas quilt without being over the top Christmasy and these prints fit the bill to a tee.  The black paisley border is my favorite, with the green snowflakes coming in a close second. 

I started this quilt with the intention of making it a large twister but once I had the initial squares sewn together, I couldn’t bring myself to cut it up.  I love the big blocks and the quilting my friend Joyce did is really accentuated in them.

Christmas quilt front 2011

christmas quilt 2011 close-up

Love it!  This will definitely be one of those Christmas decorations I can’t wait to get our every year.

Day 17/18–Mistletoe & a Cup of Cheer

Did you see that?  Neither did I!  Day 17 and it’s picture of mistletoe flew by me so fast I couldn’t catch it. 

In all honesty, I looked all over Google to find a picture like the mistletoe bell that used to hang in our home when I was a little girl.  It was plastic and hung beneath a really ugly glittery green bell.  Even back then, I remember thinking how cheezy it looked.  Anyway, I looked through image after image and none were to be found, so I’m moving on to Day 18.

Day 18 – A cup of cheer…

Day 18

I’m not much of a drinker but do enjoy a glass of wine every once in a great while.  My only stipulation is it has to be sweet and fruity.  This blackberry wine form a local vineyard definitely fits that bill!

I’ve been playing around with altering my photos throughout this challenge and I’m hooked.  Picnik makes it so easy to play with effects on your photographs.  So far I’ve only used the free part but I might have to spring for the Premium in the future.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 16–A Hippopotamus–seriously Susan?

If I don’t stop eating these…

Hersheys peppermint modified

I am going to look like a Hippopotamus!
or at least as round as the snowman standing guard over them.

Cookies made with these little devils are wonderful by the way!  
Thanks Nancy for introducing me to them.
Recipe Courtesy of Recipe Girl and found through Pinterest!


Pinterest and peppermint kiss cookies.  Two serious addictions.  Somebody stop me!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 15–Silver Bells

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city!
A few pics from last years trip into the big city at Christmastime…





Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 14–A Decked Hall

Do you remember a few days ago when I mentioned my work Holiday Walk?  when I was making the blue popcorn?

Our building theme this year was “A Smurfs Christmas.”  Yes folks, sorry this is your governmental body at work.  It’s only one morning a year and it’s on our own dime so it’s all good right?

Quite the motley crew…some get into this stuff a bit much. LOL


Our building is mostly men but the last few years the Nursing department from another building has joined us for the Holiday Walk as well so it’s a more even ratio of men & women.

We had Smurf bowling…


Our “decked hall”


Lots of blue food…popcorn, Rice Krispie treats, blue jello, blue velvet cupcakes, blue corn chips, blue fruit dip, cookies, etc.


This little guy kept watch over the food table.


We even had a Smurf toilet aka punch bowl.  Sick, I know, but that’s how my guys roll.


After everyone was done snacking in our building, we were off across campus to other buildings to see what they had to share.


It really is a fun morning.
You can check out pictures from a  couple of past years here during A Miser Christmas and here for Christmas – Redneck style which I still think was our most fun to date. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 13–Reindeer

I don’t have a single reindeer in the house.  Can you believe it?  This is the closest it’s get around here.
He doesn’t look very happy that I woke him up from his nap does he? 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 11–Something Sticky

Day 11 calls for a photo of “Something Sticky.” 

My “Something Sticky” doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas, but this is what was waiting for me when I walked in the door after work tonight.


See the sticky BBQ sauce?  Work with me – I’m stretching here! Smile 

DH makes great homemade chicken tenders and he made supper tonight.  What a wonderful surprise for a Monday night when I seem to be the most tired for whatever reason.  And yes, I like a few peas with my big ol pat of butter.  My sins found me out, didn’t they?  Add a bit of spaghetti squash and a wonderful supper was had. 

What do you call the evening meal in your family?  Supper or dinner? 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 11–Ribbons & Bows

Today is Day 11 of Susan’s 25 day photo challenge and it’s supposed to be a photo of Ribbons & Bows.

Well, since I have nothing wrapped yet, the location to put them under when they are wrapped will have to do.

Day 3 was “The Christmas Tree” which I didn’t have up at that point so I’ll share it now.

The last few years we haven’t put a big tree up.  We have been gone over Christmas which pushed our family Christmas to Thanksgiving weekend, so I just never got that far into the decorating.  As a child growing up we always had a real tree.  We kept that tradition up with our boys until they got older and too busy to help with or care about cutting down a tree for Christmas.  About ten years ago I bought an artificial tree for those same reasons.  I don’t know what I was thinking!  You can remove the girl from the traditions but you can’t take the traditions out of the girl!

This year, we decided it was time for a real tree again, so DH (so NOT Mr. Christmas), agreed to go along for the ride, so to speak. 

Today was a beautiful day to be out wandering around a tree farm it was!  Notice, no snow on the ground for us yet.  I, for one, am perfectly happy with that!


Putting on a happy face for me…


instead of his typical Ebenezer look.


This is really why I brought him along. Somebody has to do the dirty and lay on the ground to work the saw.  Shhh!  don’t tell him tho. Smile All joking aside, it was a great time together.


and hours later, presenting Christmas Tree 2011.

IMG_8669 with effect