Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

If you are familiar with my blog, you know that New Year's Eve is my favorite night of the year.    It is a chance to reflect back on the previous 365 days and although I always have some regret, I mostly am thankful and blessed.  New Year's Eve is also the time to look ahead to the next 365 days and how I will fill them.      At 56 years of age, soon 57, It's more important to me how I spend those days.  I've used the term "finish well" - "focus on what's important" - etc. but it all means that I realize how fast time goes and there are so many things I want to do in my life!  I have the job that I will retire from I hope - I have my home - I get to travel - and so what is left to do is more about having fun, staying healthy, and helping others!

In 2015 I did not . . . 

Lose weight

Read books

Live healthy

Manage stress well

In 2016 I will . . . 

Read  - My sister and I are using our book club to play BINGO - a card full of different types of books to find and read.  Such fun! 

Improve Health - Exercise three times a week, Get eyes checked, Dental visits, cook healthy meals.

Blog - Post weekly.

Attend church regularly, read the Bible, and pray.

Have fun - I will do craft projects, sew, color, and allow myself time to do these things!  Each week!

Help others - I will support Heart Choices Pregnancy Center, DVACK by donating supplies for women/children, and a baby doll ministry with my niece in New Mexico.  

Lastly - one of my intentions for the new year comes in the form of a challenge I made to my sister and that is to come up with one word that describes what you want to work on.  This was easy for me as 2015 was a year of stress at work and stress in relationships.   I thought and prayed on what one word I would choose.  Gentle.  That's what I wanted to see in myself that I was not seeing now.  Gentleness.  I tend to let things build up - then my response can be aggressive - or I tend to respond without thinking things through.  Either way - I am the one who ends up stressed by that.  

All of these items on my I WILL list won't just happen unless I have a plan.  I do.  I will be sharing that more in my weekly blogs.  

Do you have a resolution for the New Year?  I'd love to hear!  I'll sign off now - going to take a nap - and then fix tacos for our New Year's Eve meal (exciting huh! - hubs request).  Then plan to watch football, the ball drop in Times Square, and start a good book!  Book #1 for my New Year - At Home in Mitford!  

Have a blessed and Happy 2016! 

And here's a few of my blessings . . . 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

So this is Christmas . . .

I have been whistling Dixie . . . no I mean Christmas songs around the house for two weeks now.  "So this is Christmas" is one of my very favorite - feel good - Christmas songs.   "So this is Christmas . . . da da da da da da . . . yes I haven't even known the words until this morning!  I pulled up a you tube video of Celine Dion singing it - and the words are on the screen as well! 

Christmas music is one of the best parts of the season for me . . . this music - like no other genre - can cause me to have a mixture of feelings . . . sadness, happiness, carefree, nostalgic, hopeful . . .

   And so Merry Merry Christmas  . . . And a Happy New Year
   Let's hope it's a good one - without any fear . . .

That line jumped out at me this morning - between my make up and my hair spray - "without any fear".   Our great nation is just plain scary right now . . . fear seems to prevail in our hearts.

   And so this is Christmas. . . and what have we done
   Another year over . . . a new one just begun

   And so happy Christmas . . . we hope you have fun
   The near and the dear ones . . . the old and the young.

    Merry Merry Christmas . . . and a happy new year
    Let's hope it's a good one - - - without any fear.

So I ask you - - - What have you done?  As a nation we are a mess . . . but around here I have been watching my friends do RACK - random acts of Christmas kindness . . . bombing parking lots with candy canes . . . leaving change on the pop machine . . . small gifts of thank you . . . donating food to the food shelter . . . giving toys to children . . .

That is one of my goals for the New Year is to find a need and fill it . . . won't you join me?   Share how you are making a difference . . . I know you are!

So This is Christmas

When I am afraid,  I will trust in you,  In God, whose word I praise.  In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
(Psalm 56:3-4)

Thank you for hosting the tour Sprite Writes!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

O Christmas Tree

Is Christmas coming?  With Kansas temperatures this week hanging in the 70's . . . in December . . . it is hard for me to feel "Christmasy".  My tree has stood in it's corner with lights for two weeks now and finally tonight ornaments were added.  Decorating the Christmas tree takes me back through all 56 years of my life in the span of about 30 minutes.  I remember the Christmas trees that we grew up with at home and the ones at my grandma's house and I even remember one "real" tree out at the farm at Grandpa Ab's.    Then I move forward to the 3 trees that I have had in my married life . . . plus a couple of real trees thrown in between.  Bringing out the tree in those days was cumbersome and hard work.  I would climb to the top of the highest point in our Glen Elder home, move decorations around, and drag down the huge boxed tree.  Then once decorated the box had to go back up to that high spot until after Christmas . . . It was quite the project . . . but those were special days with kids at home to help.  One of the first things I always did with the kids was to make a red and green paper chain and it decorated our home on more than one years. . . . Now I have my most favorite artificial tree - it is smalll but still 6 foot tall. It fits just right in the corner of our basement family room.  It was part of our Glen Elder home as well as here in Beloit for the last four years.  But this time . . . the tree has a handy closet right here in the basement where it can reside all the year through with its lights intact.  Gone are the days of climbing to the top of a closet - it's just a simple 8 foot carry from the closet!

Many changes through the years - - - but one constant - - - for at least the last 35 years - - - and that is my box of ornaments . . . you see I don't have a "themed" tree unless "my life" is a theme??  The red apple ornaments from Mrs. Goth's and Mrs. Clausen's 1st and 2nd grade class crafts.  The construction paper ornaments with child's picture in the center.  Several flocked deer because they reminded me of my trees as a kid and a couple of flocked angels too.  Throw in some angels that were big craft projects in the 80's and 90's and of course a white felt dove that came from my mother in law's tree as a keepsake.  A few newer ornaments from time to time . . . and that's done.

It's funny . . . I remember the years of kids wanting to help . . . and I in my OCD tendencies days had a hard time with that . . . but they helped.  Great memories.  Then they grew up and didn't want to help but they were there watching me . . . great memories.  Then they were gone . . . that first year was hard to decorate the tree by myself . . . I believe, if I remember right . . . I called them to let them know I was decorating alone . . . Now I enjoy standing in the hubs's view of the TV decorating it by myself and showing him each ornament and adding a "do you remember this one?" and "Remember when Todd made us this?" or "This one was taken when Casey had a perm".    

No matter which tree it was, or what stage in life I was in to decorate it . . . there was something nice about getting it done and sitting in the room in the dark enjoying the lights!

Chistmas begins . . . Do you have a tradition for getting your tree up and decorated?