Sunday, January 8, 2012

Merry, I Mean Happy New Year!

Yes! I am actually writing on my blog!
In this new year I have so much to be thankful for.
I look around me and see the beautiful, warm, cozy home that I live in and give thanks.
I sit at the dinner table and look into the eyes of each of my children and my loving husband and thank God for His bounty.
When I wake up with my husband on one side of me and our beautiful 11 month old on the other I praise my Creator for His sovereign plan.

This past Christmas season saw a continual busyness that I have still not learned to like.
I personally to stay home....unless I am traveling.
I have always enjoyed getting out on the road but I dislike the busyness that sometimes can creep into the lives of moms who school the children at home.
I did try. I did try to slow things down and enjoy a few moments reading books with the kids on the couch. And, we even worked on our Jesse Tree project.

I thought I would share some photos of my attempts in decorating.
This year we bought little, fake trees for each child so that they could decorate the trees the way they wanted. It has been fun to see each child's creativity come alive.
Miss M is using some of the old favorite ornaments with a silver and red theme.
Daisy is as funky with her tree as she is with everything else in and other bright colors along with old favorite ornaments.
Foley has decided to collect beer caps and wine corks. He came up with all kinds of creative things to make with both and then added some baseball stuff to his tree.
Brown Sugar and Sweet Pea share a tree and it is decorated by me! I have all these fun stuffed hearts made with the fabric of my old dresses and these cute shaped felt ornaments that my mom made for me years ago. Added to that are some snowflakes and some red hearts. It has a Mary Englebert flavor to it just like their room.
This meant that the family tree would finally be the way I have always wanted the tree to look. It is white and red in flavor with snowflakes and red tin stars and red beads and white lights.
I love it...I so enjoy sitting in front of it in the evening and just think about life with no other lights on except the white twinkling lights.
Ah...pure delight!

I have found Pinterest! For the past four years I have done very little in the way of crafts. I gave up quilting because of my eye sight. I gave up on scrapbooking because of how time consuming it is.
I do still knit because it is a great stress reliever and I can take it everywhere I go.
But, it was Pinterest that stirred up those creative juices again.
So, here is my attempt to decorate with little time on my hands.
It was made our house more like a home.

My mom started the tradition of making stockings for me and my siblings when we were young. She has kept up the tradition by making them for all of our spouses and children. The only problem? They are so big that it is hard to fill them!

I have wanted to complete Anne Voskamp's Jesse Tree Journey for the past four years. I bought it the Christmas before Eric died. He had been in the hospital the month before and so I really didn't do much with it that year. I have not been able to do it since. Last year I tried but I allowed our schedule to get to booked up. This year I worked harder to make it happen...even with a very needy baby.

Thanks to a friend of mine, we used some peach branches for our tree. We did get about half way through the book. Next year we will get all the way through it.
What I loved about this year was that I made new traditions, gave placement to my decorations, created a homey atmosphere for this big house.

My daughter, Miss M is quite the photographer. She has made a little business out of it and is doing quite well. She has been the assistant photographer at a few weddings and has taken quite a few family groups. Well, our family was one that needed a new family photo and here is the collection.

Love this one of Sweet Pea.

Sweet Pea has a proclivity to tearing our lips off with her death grip.

Brown Sugar is growing up...sniff, sniff! She is a very precocious six year old. Thankful that she is showing reading readiness...this girl needs something to do and I believe that reading will help her with her adventurous spirit and keep her away from the scissors!

Foley is such a handsome young man. Learning some hard lessons lately but man, that smile just gets him through so much boyhood craziness! Foley still loves to bike around, skateboard and if we had the money he would be the best dressed kid around! He has great taste in clothing (although he didn't think it was cool to have his shirt tucked in for this picture!).
He is a great reader and has more friends than he knows what to do with. I believe he is going to be an amazing young man with a powerful voice wherever God places him.

Daisy is as funky, quirky, sweet, and loving as ever. This girl can get down on the level of little ones so easily...she reminds me of her dad when she does this. I love her adventurous spirit. Part of that spirit is what drives her to learn Spanish, French, and ASL all at the same time. She wants to be able to speak clearly with when she travels the world.

Miss M is ready to face all of lifes darts. She is an intelligent young woman who can't wait to tell you all about this years Debate resolution (it happens to be on Federal revenue generation) or why you should vote for Ron Paul. She is still looking at all the possibilities of becoming a midwife which I hope she will be successful at...she has only dreamed of being one since she was a little girl!

Phil has officially, as of last week, finished his dissertation. He now has to prepare the bibliography and a small conclusion. He should get the rough draft of the last chapter back this week so that he can work on it and get it sent to the editor.
A defense of his dissertation is what is next on the list of things to accomplish before he can walk the aisle for his PhD. Yep, come this spring we can all start calling him Dr. Phil!
I am trying to keep up with everyone. Sweet Pea has turned out to be a high needs baby. She has no physical problems that we know of but she just does not like to be very far away from neither her mother or father. Its just in the last month that she has finally attached to her sisters giving me some breathing space and a chance to get back to shopping without it taking all day!
Between debate season, errands to run, homeschooling, and a house to keep up with, I am one busy momma. I love it. I love my life.
I thank God for this incredible journey that He has seen fit to set me on.
And, I am incredibly thrilled that I actually got this post done...even if it is an hour past my bed time! I hope I can keep journaling my journey for you and for my family this next year.


Vanderpolclan said...

Thanks so much for updating, Heather. I think of you often, with your little one, as our little one is the same age.

I love the family pictures. You have a beautiful family.


emily said...

Hi Heather, I was so glad to hear from you. I started reading your blog when Eric passed away, and you have been an inspiration to me. I hope you do find some time to post occasionally, it blesses me! God Bless! Emily in Iowa