Wednesday, November 30

Christmas chats

I like talking about Christmas, so Patrice's questions appealed today! Also I'm sitting here listening to Sixpence None the Richer's Christmas album, and laughing my head off at Christmas Island. I want to see Santa sail up in a canoe.

What's your favorite day of the week? Why?

I really do like both days of the weekend. That'll probably change once my hubby is working, and then I'll prefer whatever days he has off. But for now, Saturday and Sunday are my Get Out Of The House days. I go to the library, and sometimes church, if I'm feeling brave about the germs. So far, out of all the times we've gone, there's been one visit that we didn't bring home some horrible bug. I've sworn church off until after the holidays. Isn't that pagan of me?

What's your favorite Christmas movie?

Does Home Alone count as a Christmas movie? There's also Its A Wonderful Life, which I haven't seen in years but can probably quote it word for word. Of course, watching it re-enacted in 30 seconds by bunnies scratches the itch pretty well, too.

Is there a Christmas Carol that's special to you?

Well, I like O Come Emmanuel, but really only the haunting version by Eden's Bridge. There's just something about Celtic music ...

Is there an art or craft that you'd love to be able to do?

I keep thinking about getting some clay and letting the kids make Christmas ornaments. Then I remember how messy acrylic paints are, and I shake myself and think, "Maybe next year."

Do you have a live Christmas tree or an artificial one?

Fake one! We have a nice little 3-footer that lives in a box the rest of the year, but it's all we have room for. The kids dearly love it, and plugging it in every morning has become a ritual.

Tuesday, November 29

Socked in

This has been our mornings for the last week or so. Until we get some real weather to push it out, the valley fills with fog and stays that way.

It smells like the inside of a freezer.

Saturday, November 26

Thankful weekend

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. We met at my parents' with our spouses and children, and my folks smoked a turkey. I'm so thankful for my family!

Munchkin A ganking an uncle.

After dinner, it was time for games. Here's the gang learning how to play Resistance.

That left me and my mom to watch the munchkins. Poor Mom came down with the awful cold we've been trading around all month, and I couldn't leave her to watch five toddlers all alone.

They never held still. See how blurry my pictures turned out? Here they are, demolishing apples.

I'm so thankful that my life is fairly uneventful. I'm reading blogs about peoples' divorces, and spouses who are dying or who have died, and the heartbreak bleeds from every word. I'm so thankful that we're all healthy and we all like each other. We can weather all of life's other bumps just fine, as long as we just cling to Jesus like limpets to rocks.

Wednesday, November 23

Cook-frenzy Wednesday

It's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. That means it's the day to pre-cook everything!

I'm thankful for:

22. That moment when the tired baby lays her head on your shoulder and sighs.

23. Coconuts.

Because coconuts are awesome. They may be a pain in the butt to get out of the shell (I read that they take 75 days off the tree to ripen, and once ripe, the flesh peels right out of the shell), but fresh grated coconut and coconut milk is out of this world. Here's how you make coconut milk.

Anyway, I'm off to make coconut cream pie, and look up a jillion recipes for sweet potatoes with those marshmallows on top. Mine will be full of butter and brown sugar and cinnamon, and be as dessert-like as possible. Think pumpkin pie, but with marshmallows.

Monday, November 21

A night at our house

21. I'm thankful for a sense of humor.

Sunday, November 20

Rainy Sunday

It rained almost all day today, and it was wonderful.

I'm a bit behind on my thankfulness list, so here we go:

18. The rain! The glorious rain and how good it smells! I know it's supposed to rain Thanksgiving weekend, too, but I don't care. This is semi-arid Bako, and we need every drop.

19. That I got well so fast. I was sick all day Saturday, and it was lame. But I was a lot better today, and I even got to take everybody out to visit Meg at her craft show. The kids got to see each other for a few minutes, and it was nice. I can't wait to visit longer on Thanksgiving.

20. That we've been so well-provided for this year. I'm so thankful for God's hand providing on our behalf, and I know that He will continue to provide for us. (I keep reminding Him that when he gave us our third child, He promised to give us the means to feed her. He just tells me to be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make my requests known to him.)

There. Now we're all ready for Monday.

Thursday, November 17

Thankful Thursday

I just got up from a nap. I've got a crockpot of taco soup cooking, and it smells so delicious ... I think it's actually what woke me up.

Anyway, today I'm thankful for my sister-in-law and this blanket she made my daughter as a baby blanket.

It's a vast, fuzzy, warm blanket, and I shamelessly appropriated it for naps when the weather cooled off. I sleep so good under the thing. I justify myself by looking at the kids all bundled up in their own blankets. They don't need one more. Right? Right?

I'm also thankful to have Meg as my sister-in-law (and here's her blog!). We trade ideas back and forth, and I enjoy the things she knits (I also have a pair of her fingerless gloves). We're having babies at the same time, and it's so much fun to have a friend who's at the same stage of life that I am. And special bonus is that she's family!

Wednesday, November 16

Thankfulness and boring

Head munchkin playing with his train in the "snow". I thought that was pretty creative.

I've discovered by updating my blog almost every day that I really am very boring. There's nothing much to report that would make a good blog post. "Yesterday I ran out of laundry soap. I bought some cheap stuff, and only read the directions after I found it caked all over the clothes after the wash."

Because that's so interesting.

Anyway, thankfulness!

15. How much fun I have with the munchkins when we're all just being silly.

16. My husband, who is so kind to me. Have I been thankful for him yet? I think it'll be a recurring theme. I am so very thankful for him.

Oh yeah, that's why my brain is shut down about yesterday--I tried to read Hank Hanegraaff's The Apocalypse Code.

*insert stock image of a brain exploding here*

Mostly the book's about how much he hates the Left Behind books, and he uses every study technique that he can to show that Revelation happened in 70 AD. Monsters and demons and meteors falling? All metaphor. Anything that applies to helicopters, tanks, and nukes? Boy, that's all literal!

When I learned about Bible prophecy, we were taught about how every prophecy is in layers, and each layer applies to something different. Sure, some things in Revelation and Daniel and elsewhere apply to 70 AD. But there's multiple layers there. It wasn't completely fulfilled then, and I think to state dogmatically that it was, you remove some of the multidimensionalness of the Bible.

Anyway. I didn't mean to blog about that. I find that it's dangerous to talk about things I don't fully understand, and Revelation is one of those things.

Monday, November 14

Thankful Monday

It's been a busy Monday! I have a whole weekend of thankfulness to be thankful for. Does that even make sense?

12. An efficient heater that warms our whole apartment within fifteen minutes, which is really nice when I forgot to turn it on before bed, and I get up at 4 AM with ice crystals hanging from the ceiling.

13. Soap and hot water. Having just bathed the munchkins, I'm thankful for these things. Also watching certain dirty, unwashed protesters on the news. Are they protesting personal hygiene, too? I'm beginning to wonder.

14. Doctor Who. It gives my husband and I so much to talk about. I'm starting to have violent Doctor withdrawal, so we're going to pick up where we left off in season 2. Good thing I like David Tennant. :-)

Friday, November 11

Windy Friday

Since the weather cooled off, the munchkins have been really into indoor activities. Like art.

Here they are, showing off their handiwork with the markers. They're so proud of their pictures.

Today I'm thankful for the stormy weather that isn't all that cold, and that my mom is willing to watch the kids while my husband and I go on a date. We haven't had a date in months, and I'm so looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 9

Thankful chats

Doing both my memes today before it's too late!

What accomplishments make you the most proud?

Being married, having kids. Each new baby is a huge accomplishment, but now I have to raise them. That'll be a huge accomplishment in and of itself! I think that's what I'm thankful for, too. For my husband and my munchkins. I'd be so lonely without them.

When did your family first come to the country which you now live?

Um ... my mom answered this question over on her blog, and for the life of me I can't remember what she said. I'm tired. This time change does not like me.

What's your favorite way to serve carrots?

I like them steamed with brown sugar and butter, but the rest of my family prefers them raw. So I serve them raw. Sigh.

Do you decorate with anything that has Santa or Father Christmas when you prepare for Christmas?

No, because I don't have room. I'd rather have a Nativity scene than a Santa, anyway. I want the munchkins to know why we're celebrating this holiday in the first place.

Do you prefer big dogs or small dogs? Something in between, maybe?
I'm not really a dog person. I like medium-sized dogs, if I had to choose, though. We saw this Pomeranian today that was the size of a chihuahua. I think it was a miniature Pomeranian or something. I snickered at it the whole time it was toddling past us on its leash with its silly little rat-legs.

Tuesday, November 8

Food blogs

Guess what I'm thankful for today? guessed it!

Food blogs.

The reason being, I can go into a panic about dinner, spend ten minutes online, and have dinner ready in the next 45 minutes. This evening, for instance, since it's an early dinner evening, we're having chicken nachos, but without the Chipotle peppers because I forgot they were part of the recipe.

I might just go with red bell peppers.

Because red bell peppers are divine.

I sound like Pioneer Woman.

So yes. In years before the internet, it was all cookbooks and cooking magazines. And now, not only do you have a vast library of step by step recipes at your fingertips, you can leave comments like, "Gee, I didn't have any Chipotle peppers and it turned out just fine!"

Monday, November 7

This tumultuous life

Tis Monday night, and I have two more things to be thankful for:

1, For having a warm, dry place to live, as more storms prepare to march down into California, and

2, having an interesting life.

By interesting, I mean every word that is not Boring. Exciting. Fascinating. Entertaining. Frustrating. Thrilling. Hilarious. Just thinking of the day I spent today, cleaning house around the edges of holding Claire, who has a cold and did not want to be on the floor, and watching the other two bounce off the walls ...

Yes. All of the above adjectives, and more.

For some reason it makes me think of Psalm 1:

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

I've been reading Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, by Madeline L'Engle. I may not understand her fiction very well, but this book is absolutely wonderful. I want to quote huge passages of it on my blogs because they have such deep thoughts.

One thing I liked was the phrase, "Be time." You know how people go on about needing a little "me time"? L'Engle says, "I've long since stopped feeling guilty about taking be time; it's something we all need for our spiritual health, and often we don't take enough of it."

It's when you get off by yourself and watch the wind blow the trees, and the birds fly, and just be quiet. But I've never been able to articulate what that is until I read that.

So anyway. Busy day today in which I didn't accomplish much, other than talking to kids a lot. Ryan eventually had to run the vacuum for me, because it was dinnertime and I still hadn't gotten it done. My man is a saint.

Saturday, November 5


I'm thankful for ...

4. Naptime!

5. Books!

Naptime lets me get this blog updated, and books entertain me in quiet moments when the munchkins are asleep. I picked up a random one at the library and I'm enjoying it immensely. I also picked up Something Wicked This Way Comes by Bradbury, but I don't know if I'll have the nerve and/or the time to read it by the time my books are due.

It's brilliantly blue and sunny outside, but also chilly. Of course, 50 degrees feels absolutely frigid after months of 70s to high 80s. We have another storm coming, so the sky is starting to be sprinkled with little gray clouds. It's funny that they're gray, not white, like they have more water in them.

Thursday, November 3

Giving thanks in November

I'm going to try to join this little Giving Thanks Challenge by South Breeze Farm. You're supposed to be thankful for something each day until Thanksgiving.

Since I'm starting on the 3rd, I'll list three things to start with:

1. Our new car.

2. My dear husband and his new lease on life.

3. Having enough money to buy food with. This is a Big Deal, because this time last year, we barely did.

Hopefully this will encourage me to write a blog post every day. :-)

Tuesday, November 1

November chat

Here's the munchkins shortly before we set out on our trick or treating adventure last night. We went out about dusk, because I didn't want to be out a long time after dark. We just stayed in the apartment complex, and visited apartments that had decorations up. So we visited about 8 apartments, heh. Everyone was very nice and handed out handfuls of candy, because there were no other trick or treaters.

The decorations of spider webs, witches, ghouls and skulls were a bit much for them, though.

Anyway, on to the meme! This is from Everyday Ruralty.

Alison asks: What's the biggest obstacle you've overcome or need to?

My own laziness. Always have battled it, always will battle it.

Julia asks: If you won $100,000 what changes would you make?

I'd buy some shelves and look into bunk beds for the munchkins. I think we have just enough room, as long as they were child-sized.

McGuffy Ann asks: What's the most unusual pet you've had?

A couple of iguanas. I wasn't a very good pet owner, though. My first one died because I didn't know they needed a heat lamp, and the second one only got fed when I remembered him. He eventually was given away to a guy who raises reptiles, and hopefully is immensely fat these days. I liked my chickens much better.

When do you start decorating for Christmas?

Usually in the start of December. I have, like, two decorations to put up, and a little artificial tree that the kids decorate. It still makes it feel so Christmasy in here. I do wish I had a little Nativity scene like my mom's, that the kids could play with.

What's your favorite type of magazine to read?

I used to devour Reader's Digest before their format changed to Women's Home and Garden. (Remember the Drama in Real Life column? I remember it. Sigh.) I don't really read magazines aside from the occasional cooking mag that my mom lends me. Taste of Home is always nice.


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