Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Fun with Friends and Family

Just a few pictures to let you know what we've been up to these last few days. We can't wait to see what 2009 will bring! Happy New Year.













Sunday, December 28, 2008

What sound does a giraffe make?

Boden received a wonderful gift from Grandma Debbe. It is a Noah's ark with animals that make sounds. It has a giraffe and we wanted to make sure that the noise was true to an actual giraffe noise because it sounded a little like Chewbacca. An Internet search seemed less than helpful, but finally we found this informative YouTube video and now we know the truth. I suggest you add this to favorites because the time will come when you also have to answer this question.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Reason

I just wanted to wish all of you a very merry CHRISTmas. I wanted to post the "Christmas Story" from the Gospel of Luke, just in case you haven't read it in a while or perhaps you have never read it. Take the time to reflect on what a precious gift we are offered.

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord" and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons."Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel
." Luke 2:1-32


Merry Christmas.

Santa's Shop of Horror's

This is the year. The year I finally sneak some creepy ornaments that ended up in Norse's ornament box back to the house where they belong - my in-laws house. Hehehe. I did however want to justify this incident by showing you a few specimens of what is to return.

First there is this...I am sure that this was a lovely homemade ornament in it's prime. I can't be too cruel because I am told the story behind this ornament is that it was Norse's moms and it was one of the few things that survived a house fire. Thus, this ornament NEEDS to go back to mom because of the sentimental value it holds.

Then we come to this...
Parents, would any of you take your child to see this Santa at the mall? Um, NO. He is the creepiest Santa I have ever seen. His eyes give away the pervert inside the red suit and with his three fingered prosthetic hand I am not sure I want to know the story about how he lost it (no offense to real people that actually have been amputees, you don't creep me out at all).

Next we come to this... When did Christmas become a holiday that included clowns. I already hide my eyes at the circus, children's birthday parties and A-1 Vacuum (Who's mascot is apparently a freaky clown) now I have to hide a Christmas too? May it never be.

What are these? It isn't bad enough that we got one of these mutant chipmunk reindeer in his box, but we got TWO! The one even has some sign of what was for dinner on a Christmas past... could it be Cheese Wiz? Maybe peanut butter? I guess it could even be ear wax. Gross!

I am pretty sure Norse never asked for this...
"Dear Santa, All I really want for Christmas is a cute ice-skating pink bear to hang on our Christmas tree. Please, I've been a very good boy." This probably belongs to one of the sisters.

Finally, reassuring me that I am not mistaken, these ornaments are most likely NOT Norse's is this...I am sure Norse could have made a one eyed Rudolph, but this one bares the initials of a certain sister "GLS" I am sure she is heartbroken, wondering why her favorite ornament never made it into her box :)

Perhaps you have some ornaments that you inherited that give you the "willies" instead of the "warm fuzzies" , I would love to see them :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

VOTE

Hi everyone! I am doing some shameless campaigning here. Please go to 22 Wordsand vote for my story "Bad Roads" (I guess only vote for it if it is your favorite)

It would be so fun to win these books and share them with my silly nephew.
Thanks.

*UPDATE: We WON! Thanks for voting everyone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa's Workshop

When my sweet hubby was a boy, his Aunt and Uncle gave him a very special gift...

It is an ornament box. Every year following they would give him an ornament that was just for him with the intent that when he left home and had his own Christmas tree he would have this beautiful box full of ornaments. I can assure you he had a box full of ornaments ...

however, they were not all his :)( I'll have to do a post on some of the dandy ones we ended up with :) The good, the bad and the ugly) Special note: The tinfoil star was from our first Christmas together as BF/GF in college. We still have yet to get a tree topper.

I just thought this was a FANTASTIC idea and now that our family is growing I convinced Norse that this would be a great gift for the nieces and nephews. So we set out in search of wooden soda crates with the dividers still intact (so they will hold ornaments). We ended up with Pepsi because Coke ones are really hard to find and people it was the week before Christmas. We had to make due with what we had. My amazing husband, the perfectionist, made the lids and put on hinges and latches.
I think these latches are great!

He must get mad props (ha... had to bring that back) for freezing in the garage and still managing to keep the profanity to a minimum when dealing with those minuscule nails.

Then it was my job to paint the lids. This sounded simple when I agreed to it. Buys some stencils, get some paints and brushes, and wah-la beautiful Christmas boxes. However, stencils must not be as en vogue as they were in the 80's because I ended up making my own and free-handing the lettering. It took forever.
All in all I think they turned out pretty cool. We are amateurs, but let me know what you think. Perhaps we can open an etsy store and cash in on this nifty gifty.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"You'll shoot your eye out."

Well, 5 more days 'til Christmas. I can hardly believe it. I am a little less scrooge like than I was a week ago. I am pretty sure it is because I have watched my favorite Christmas movies - A Christmas Story and Elf.

This year we decided to make Christmas presents because our extended family is growing at a rate that our income is not. I would also like to contribute it to this great movement called the Advent Conspiracy (Watch the video).

I don't want to give it away, but I stole my crafty idea from the Simply Vintage Girl.(Pics to come after the big day) Too bad I wasn't able to sew or I would have made stockings like this amazing one of my husbands. I guess it would be "vintage" since it is from the '80's (I can't believe I am getting old)

I also decided that because homemade is so, well, homey, that I would wrap our gifts in paper grocery sacks.
Not only are they free, I think they have a country charm. It works great, but you do need to have some store bought wrapping paper on hand so you can wrap the big stuff. This is also environmentally friendly because trees are a renewable resource and this was a great way to reuse all those bags!

While I was feeling festive, my family was feeling tired.

I am sure he is dreaming of me.


Pretty sure this one is dreaming of pureed squash.


This one only thinks a two things "Ride" or "Treat"

On a financially "tight" year it is nice to remember what Christmas is all about. I love those handsome boys and the God who blessed my life with them. What more could a girl want for Christmas?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pick Me! Pick Me!

So 22 Words is hosting a contest for the best kid story to be told in 22 words (Are you seeing the connection?). If you win you get two great Bible story books (UPDATE: We WON!). I am submitting the following entry about my nephew because every time I think of it I smile. I of course will share my prize with this crazy kid if I win. It is difficult to summarize a story in 22 words, but here is my try.

White knuckles. Bad roads. Absolutely NO stopping.

Kyron (Age 3): "Is it OK to poop your pants if you already peed them?"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ode to Mullet...

Christmas often brings many surprises, but this year I was surprised by the gift of seeing little Norse sporting a mullet in some elementary school pictures. Remember folks, mullets were cool at one time, so these just go to show what a hipster little Norse was. I just want you all to know that I did get Norse's permission before posting these.


We are guessing this is about age 5/6?


This one was noted as "Norse 10 yrs"

To finish off this post, please sing this little song (by KJ-52)

Chorus:
Do you got a mullet a mullet going on?
Do you got a mullet is it beautiful big and long?
well If you got a mullet there's no need to hide
cause it's plain to see just so plain to me that we just need mullet pride

Verse 1:
I saw a man a walking just the other day
I saw a man a talking and this is what he say he said to me
he said son your hair is real short but in the back it's long
well if it is and it really is then you can sing my mullet song
(then he said to me)

Chorus

Verse 2/font:
I said sir I have a question there's a question that I must ask
why is it when I go out in public why do these people stop and laugh?
he said the answer to your question sir it's just so plain to me
now the problem is just with these kids they got mullet jealousy
(then he said to me)

Chorus

Verse 3:
the moral of the story it goes a little something like this
if you got a mullet well it's a haircut not a fish
and now when you wear your mullet just remember this little fact
see a mullet is business in the front and then a party in the back
(now everybody sing)

Chorus

La la la la la la (repeat)

I know someday he will repay me for this with my big bangs and bad teeth pictures :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In a Funk at Christmastime

I usually don't use my blog as an outlet for any angsty moments I may have, but this is an exception. It's Christmas and I feel like the grinch, OK not really, but I do feel kind of sad and lonely. I hate writing this for all to see because I think most people will respond with one of the two options
1. "Why is she complaining, she has it so good (which I really do). What a selfish baby"
or
2. "How can I encourage Jesica, I want to do something nice. (which really is kind, but I am not sure I am ready for too much kindness, because then I will know you read this and feel sorry for me, when really you probably have your own troubles that I am too self-absorbed to notice)

With that said, I cannot understand why I am in such a funk. OK, I do know. It is because when your relationship with God is off, so is your relationship with everyone else.

Last week three of our appliances had issues. The microwave that only arced occasionally was now zapping flames at almost everything we put in it. I can only imagine that the radioactive food we've been eating has contributed to my sudden pessimism. Thankfully this made it easy for me to pick out an overpriced early Christmas present for myself... my beautiful GE Profile "over the range" nuke. Isn't it beautiful. I am now laying on the vast counter space that I now have. Not really, but it is nice to see that corner of the kitchen again. Also our water heater bottom element bit the dust..err, limescale. Which made for a chilly shower Sunday morning (always a great way to start the day). Thankfully, Norse fixed that too. Finally, the fridge is shorting out. But, yay for Bud Block appliance repair finding out that if we removed the light bulb from the dispensing unit, it will work without shutting OFF the entire fridge/freezer every time you wanted a drink. Maybe this was just the needle that broke the proverbial camel back.

For weeks I have been struggling with my spiritual life. Here are the reasons as I see them for my lackluster relationship with my Father. a)Boden is a crazy man (in a good way) b)it has been months since I have sat through an entire sermon c)Our local church is having some "issues" as of late that continue to bubble beneath the surface instead of being truly resolved (at least in my mind)d)I miss having bible study and prayer with a Christian woman e)I can't remember the last time I spent an extended meaningful time in prayer and scripture reading (don't get me wrong I shoot up a lot of "HELP ME's" in a day). I hate it when I know the answer to my own problems.

I am also torn because I want alone time, time with my hubby, and yet I am not sure who to leave my crazy boy with. ( I am pretty sure this is a new mom thing, because veteran moms are masters of the babysitter) It is hard living away from family - I miss my mom

And finally, I just want to not have to drive 3 hours to spend Christmas with family. When do you get to start having Christmas at your own house without feeling guilty about not seeing everyone at the 'rents house? Does the guilt ever subside? One of my biggest problems is that I want to keep Christmas - CHRIST-mas, but when we are at someone else's house there isn't usually a consensus about Christ actually being the reason for the season, so all that gets lost. Ughh.

Perhaps just writing this out helps me process it. I understand that this is only for a season and that my life is so amazing. I think I am still learning how to be a stay-at-home-mom. The sacrifice of being a SAHM is worth it, but sometimes I struggle with knowing how to grow and be Jesica the SAHM instead of/in addition to the friend, wife, disciple, worker that I once was. Plus, it seems like so much effort to be vulnerable with a new friend. How do I know if they really care or have time. Plus, I don't want to be one of those parasite friends. Yuck! Perhaps this will resonate with some of you other newly SAHM and perhaps some of you veteran mommas have some words of wisdom (Just don't tell me to join MOPS - I am not in the mood for one more social club, yet)

All this to say that I have laid the cookie-dough eating spoon down and am hoping to start fresh today (because His mercies are new every morning) I'll keep you posted as to my adventure out of this pity party. I thought decorating might help (and I'd like to see your cute Christmas ideas) so I am waving goodbye to the grinch and hoping the light of Jesus starts melting the ice burg in my heart. Thanks for listening. I do feel a little better. Jes

Saturday, December 06, 2008

O Christmas Tree

We spent the morning Christmas tree hunting (and harvesting) with Norse's sister and her family.



Good times. This year there wasn't much snow, but I am thankful that it was a pleasant day to take Boden. As we were driving up the mountain, Norse and I couldn't help but talk about how thankful we are to live in such a beautiful place. A place where in 15 minutes we can drive up an icy road into the forest. We are so blessed.

I've been thinking alot about how having a little person to share, shape, and love really changes a person's thinking. It is interesting how selfish I am without really knowing it, and with each change in life, (marriage, ministry, becoming a mom) God chips away little areas in my life to help me be more thankful, generous, and selfless. I still have a long way to go, but can't help but noticing more of the "good" in life and people, while looking past the little things that don't really matter. I have this verse on our chalkboard this week
"Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ."
(Ephesians 2.4-5a) I couldn't help but feel ALIVE in the cool air, His majestic creation, and the enchanting beauty of my family. His great love for me is overwhelming.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Send


Almost a year ago, we had the privilege of meeting Priyanke. Pri is a native Sri Lanka who God has given the vision to start a camping program in his home country. Pri came to Big Sky Bible Camp & Institute as an intern/student to gain skills that will enable him to direct the camp in Sri Lanka. He is an amazing man of God. He is a humble man of vision and it is clear that in the midst of civil unrest in Sri Lanka, God has called him to be a light. What follows is a portion of a recent e-mail that he wrote to Norse and I, that I want to share with you. I hope that God burdens your heart to pray for Priyanke and to give to Miracle Valley. Please follow the links to the site to find out more about the vision, needs, and how you can be involved in this fantastic ministry that God is raising up.
I am writing to tell you that me and my camp board here in the US have come up with a list of things we want to ship back to Sri Lanka in January. I am passing it to my friends and want to invite you to take a look at it and see if there is anything you will like to help with. I am encouraging people to take a look at the website too since there might be other projects you might be interested in if not for the shipment - there are many options to choose from. Can I also please ask you if you like to help by sharing this vision of the camp with some of your friends who you think might be interested in it? Never know how God might choose to work in some of their hearts. God has already done some amazing things in orchestrating some neat connections with people from all over.

Well, I'll let you take a look at the list (it's also posted on the website) and let me know what you think. I will appreciate prayers for the coming weeks as I will be very busy doing presentations, working and also working on my documentation that needs to be ready before I leave. Hoping to see you guys in January.

Warm blessings,
priyanke


If the links didn't work the site is www.miraclevalleytrust.org . Thanks for taking the time to check it out.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Our AZ Trip

We sucessfully survived our first flying trip to AZ and back. Boden was a trooper and it was so fun to introduce him to my extended family. We tried to get pictures of everyone so Boden will know all the special people in his life. Here are a few (OK - ALOT!) pictures of our family.




It was so wonderful to spend time with my mom and see her interact with her grandson. I miss her. I have always wished we lived closer, but now that I have a child I miss her even more. I now understand why women often move close to "her" parents once the children come. I do have wonderful in-laws, but it just isn't the same. That comfortable closeness is usually only found in the family you grew up in. I have several friends who also live closer to the in-laws than their own family, they also share my sentiment. I am reminded again that I am commanded to "leave and cleave", but sometimes I wish Norse was the one who had to "leave" a little more than I. Regardless of location I am so thankful for my wonderful family in Montana and my wonderful family in AZ. It only makes me cherish the time I have with my Mom, sister and the Lapeirres even more.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.