Monday, December 31, 2007

See You Next Year

I remember when I was a kid the first time someone said to me "See you next year!" on New Year's Eve. I was so puzzled as to why it would be so long until I saw them again. Then when the joke was revealed to me, I thought it was the funniest thing around. I am guessing I must have said it to everyone. Well, I haven't said it to anyone one for a good many years now, but remembered it today. I knew it would strike my kids funny.

At the grocery store, I was talking to an older woman I know, and as she went on her way, I said without thinking, "See you next year." All of a sudden, I felt like a little kid again who had just repeated their favorite joke too someone one too many times. She didn't realize it was supposed to be funny. But the older man coming out of the next check out, heard it all, and did enough whole hearted laughing to cheer up the whole store. I'm glad someone is looking forward to next year. But the really funny thing is that if I saw him tomorrow, I wouldn't know who he was, because I didn't get more then a glimpse of him before he was gone.

We did have a nice evening. Some friends invited a bunch of us to meet in a room at the church for a potluck supper, and table games. Most of the people there had babies, so things shut down early, but that was just fine with me. We put our kids to bed at a reasonable time too. I have no desire to spend the evening waiting for midnight to come. And we choose to have nothing to do with alcohol.

It has been a good year, and we look forward to all the days of life that God gives us. My desire is to spend the next year walking with God, and let Him take care of the details.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wanted: Beaded Bell Ornament Pattern

In 1980 and 1981 I attended a one room school for 7th and 8th grade. I really loved it there. They were my best two years of school ever. A kind lady from our church came in and taught us how to make beaded bell ornaments for Christmas. I made two and have treasured them ever since. Unfortunately one was broken a couple years ago. I have missed it ever since and would like to make a replacement, but I can't find a pattern. Do any of you have one or know where to find one? I would so appreciate your help! The picture above shows my remaining bell which was on our Christmas tree again this year.

Update on the story: We have found some bells you can order that come with beads and instructions here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday - PJs for the Whole Family

So what was I so busy sewing before Christmas that I couldn't tell you about? I was making some special gifts for everyone who was at my house on Christmas eve. I had to ask for measurements, which some were hesitant to reveal, but gave anyway.

Everyone received sleepwear. I had a hard time photographing them. These photos aren't perfectly clear, but they will give you the idea of what I created.

Daddy and son got matching jungle frogs.

Auntie and niece got matching hot flowers and hearts.

Auntie got ladybugs and someday soon her daughter will have ladybugs too.

Grandma, Grandpa, and two grandsons got bears and fish.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Update on the Camel Packs

Here is my update on how the camel packs worked as a substitute for stockings. The kids loved them. It was much easier to tie them to a chair then to find a place to hang them. I think I made these slightly too small, 10" wide by 12" high. If I were to make them again, I would make them 12" wide and 14" high. And I would sew the corner deeper on the bottom corners, giving a bit more depth to the bags.

Inside each bag this year was something to read, a Sudoku puzzle book, a water bottle, a toy, a fruit leather bar, a gluten free breakfast bar, dried pineapple, a few nuts, and of course a small stuffed animal. (I have been saving these since after last Valentine's Day' clearance sales.)

Blog Name Change

I'm changing the name of my blog from Mama's Song: Joy in the Morning Light to Wildflower Morning. Wildflower Morning is the name of my other blog that I have long abandoned, but the name I still like very much. I'm leaving the URL of my blog the same, at least right now. I'm not sure how to change it actually, so until I do, I won't. And then hopefully I'll begin working on how this little blog looks.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

CeCe and the Christmas Tree

I knew it wouldn't be long after we got the Christmas angel on top of the tree until CeCe our mischievous kitten would come to explore it's wonders. Sure enough, low hanging ornaments were an instant attraction and so were the bright shining lights. CeCe is a smart kitten, so I thought if we started right off, that she would be able to learn that we did not want her playing with the tree. I kept a close eye on the tree, and as soon as I saw her giving in to temptation, I would swoop her up and take her straight outside, away from all the fun, away from all the toys, away from all her favorite people. She would sit at the sliding door and looking longingly in hoping to be let in. After 5 or 10 minutes, I would let her in, and sure enough, she would be quickly back at the tree. Out the door CeCe would be carried.

But the real mischief started when she discovered that a tree is for climbing. Oh my! There are so many things for a little kitty to get tangled in when she is up in the middle of the tree. It appeared to be fun at first, and then she got a little scared. I rescued her and took her out. She only got in the tree one more time, and I think it has been her last time, as I havent' seen her bother the tree since.
In fact, since then on more then a couple occasions I have found her lounging and sleeping at the base of the tree. My hunch was right. She is a pretty smart cat and learns quickly.

Beauty, the Christmas Ornament

Just a few days before Christmas we experienced a wonderful thing. Earlier in the fall, as the weather was starting to get cold, Forest found some cocoons, and brought them in. We forgot about them until this week, when one hatched. She is a sulfur of some kind and a real beauty. Within minutes of Forests discovery, she flew over and landed on the Christmas tree. We've never had a live ornament before. Beauty (her name) is one that I wish I could keep from year to year. But her life was destined to be short. If we had set her free outside, she would have quickly frozen. So we let her stay inside. She liked to rest above the curtain rod in the living room. She was loved while she lived.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sew Crafty Friday - Quilted Table Runner

I do have one more item for Sew Crafty Friday. I made my first quilted table runner. I've made large quilts that require much patience, because it takes so long to finish. But this table runner took me just part of a day! It was so much fun. I purchased the blue and white snowflake fabrics, and then was able to finish it off with fabrics from my stash. At one point I was ready to make a run to the fabric store, because I didn't have the right fabrics to go with the pattern. But then I decided that I'd rather make do with what I had, and I'm glad I did. I changed the pattern to work with the fabric I already had. It turned out great! It was fun to piece, and easy to machine quilt. I wanted the snow flakes to match the winter theme. But also to remind us of how God wants to make our hearts whiter then snow.

P.S. Yes, after I looked at the pictures, I did find a piecing mistake. Isn't it wonderful that our salvation is based on the perfection of Jesus, and not our own?

Sew Crafty Friday - Camel Packs

There has been lots of things happening here at the house now that we are on Christmas break, and blogging isn't one of them. I've been sewing up a Christmas gift storm, but unfortunately can't show you what I've been making. Someone might peek and find out what they are getting. But I can show you one thing I have finished this morning.
We celebrate the coming of the Messiah to this world every Christmas. I want to do all I can to help my kids remember Jesus, our Savior. It is so easy for things non-spiritual to take over, so I am doing all I can to focus our minds and hearts on real reasons to celebrate. This year I am taking a big steps and getting rid of stockings. We don't honor Santa Claus, so it is probably a good idea to get rid of one more reminder of him. But we do like the idea of having a place to put some small gifts for the children. My friend Sandy told me how she would have stockings out on Christmas morning, and that her kids could open them when they got up without permission from the grownups. Inside would be some small gifts and some kind of food treats to hold them over until breakfast. This way the adults did not have to get up too early. After the adults got around to fixing a nice breakfast, eating it, and then cleaning up, the main presents were finally opened. It worked so well, because no one was still sleepy or hungry, and there was no mess in the kitchen to come back to when Christmas dinner was cooked.

At the Timberdoodle homeschool curriculum website I had read about how they had made some simple burlap camel packs to help them celebrate the gifts of the wisemen. Well, I love the camel pack idea, and decided to combine it with Sandy's ideas, and add a Wise Man's party on Christmas Eve, because, "Wise men still seek Him." Christmas Eve at our house is going to be all about seeking Jesus. I am going to write out the story of the birth of Jesus, in a reader's theater form, so grownups don't fall asleep, and children have to pay attention so they can read their lines at the right time. At the time in the story when the wise men come, the men can slip out of the room and come in bearing gifts, all the gifts. This will be the first time they will be in the living room. This night only one gift can be opened, and the one gift will be from me, but it is still a secret, so I can't tell you what it is yet.

Christmas morning each child will find one of these camel packs stuffed with gifts at their chair at the table. I have decided not to put names on them, because each child will already know where their seat is at the table. They are made out of sturdy brown fabric found for $1 a yard on the clearance table. I lined them with green Christmas fabric that has horns and red ribbons for a little color, to remind us to be joyful for all the gifts of God.
I stitched some bias tape closed, and sewed them on the back of the packs to secure the packs to the chairs. I think different styles of chairs will need different ways of attachment, but this looks like it is going to work really well for us. I wanted to get this posted right away because you still have time to make some too, if you want too.

And since this is Thursday night, I'm going to make this my Sew Crafty Friday post. If you have done anything creative, feel free to link up at Shereen's blog.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Beautiful Dawning

There are benefits to getting up early, when the house is still quiet. There is often no time in my day more important then early morning prayer for the purpose of communion with Jesus, and study of the Bible for the purpose of knowing Him better.

Sunday morning, scenes of glory, to beautiful to describe crossed the sky, and only I was awake to enjoy it. The peaceful quiet soothed me. The air outside was crisp and cold. Snow covered fields reflected pinks, orange and red. I opened the door just enough to poke my telephoto out, and then wrapped back up in my blanket on the couch to enjoy the whole display.The love of God in the book of Deuteronomy on my lap amazed me. I had never realized that there was so much love from God in this Old Testament book. God loved His people long before He gave us John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." He didn't start loving people just when Jesus came to earth. He was loving us long before, and He wasn't afraid to say it.

The word "love" is found 29 times in Deuteronomy. Here are some of my favorite verses I found there.

"What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to Him." Deuteronomy 4:7

"Because He loved your forefathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength" Deuteronomy 4:37

"...The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the people on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession. But the Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous then other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a might hand and redeemed you ...Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep his commands." Deuteronomy 7:6-10

"There in the presence of the Lord you God, you and your family shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord, your God has blessed you." Deuteronomy 12:7

"...the Lord your God loves you." Deuteronomy 23:5

And from the Gospel of John
John 16:27
"...the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God." John 16:27

This morning there was more snow. The sky was the same color as the snow. The sunrise colors are gone. But the love of God remains and warms my heart.

May the beautiful dawning of God's everlasting love brighten your day, much as it did mine. He is near you when you pray. He has redeemed you. He has made a covenant to keep loving you. You are His treasured possession.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My Turn to be Thrilled

Last week we had three days of this kind of weather. The kids were thrilled. They got in some good playing.
The neighbor cows weren't as thrilled, but they followed their farmer anyway. He had somehow stirred/plowed up the snow in a small field so that the cows cold find some grass.
I had to deal with this mess numerous times as the kids came in for replacement socks and gloves. I am glad there is vinyl flooring and not carpet by the back door

But then a big warm front pushed strong south winds into our valley. On Sunday you could see the snow melting off the fields and up the hills as the wind shook and rattled the house and mama's nerves.

But now it is my turn to be thrilled, for there is sunshine and blue sky among the scattered clouds, and I got to eat my breakfast out on the deck in a short sleeved cotton dress and I was just as warm as when I was in the house. (I drank a lemon drop smoothie). The air is around 60 degrees, but the warmth seems to gather on our deck so it felt like it was around 70 degrees. Oh that sun feels so good.