Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to You!

Hi! A quick Merry Christmas!!!

We're sitting and watching White Christmas (Bart grinning as I sing along quietly). We're missing the snow and cold we've become accustomed to. A sweater was all that was needed today although it will be below freezing tonight - warming up again to 60's for tomorrow.

I did have a little funny that I referred to before - garlands. Kendra wanted to wrap the stairways and rails in greenery and I told her it would probably have to wait until next year. I promised to hit the after Christmas sales and buy it all at 50% off. But we had two boxes of Christmas stuff that had been in Des Moines storage and I really couldn't remember what was in there. Lo and behold, I started pulling out 9ft. after 9ft. length of greenery garland. I had enough to do both stairways and both fireplace mantels. Plus lights!

I looked at Bart and said "Did we start wrapping the front porch in Des Moines before we left?" Turns out we had and that's where it all came from. Yeah! I don't have to hit Michaels the day after Christmas now.

Getting things out of storage after 5 years has been a bit like opening a time capsule. And not everything you think should be "revived" is given life. The Christmas tree below is dressed with, not a proper tree skirt, but a big scrap of cloth. The proper tree skirt which had been used in Des Moines was stuck in the "storage" and did not travel with us to Zurich. Nor did the Christmas stockings.

Our first Christmas in Zurich, I realized my mistake and found a big piece of material to wrap around the bottom of the tree. The girls decorated paper bags for stockings. ANYWAY, when I put the proper tree skirt under the tree this year there was a protest. Turns out, the girls are attached to the way the tree looks with that big scrap of material and did NOT want the proper tree skirt. So - no tree skirt. I also asked if they wanted nicer stockings but they like their cheap drugstore stockings with names written in gold glitter. Works for me. My homage to Swiss decorating:

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from Sunny California!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Real Conversation between Mom and Girls

Girls 1 & 2: Mom, can we go up the hill by the big trees and stuff?

Mom: Yes, be careful, don't do anything stupid and stay away from big rocks.

Girl 1: Why?Mom: You know, in case there's snakes sitting in the sun. (Dad joined in on this one)

Girls are getting ready and I (mom) notice the "outfits" they are assembling for the journey.

Mom: OK - NO making weapons or tying up anybody or anything while you're out there.

Girl 1: OK - we won't tie anybody up.

Mom: Weapons?

Girl 1: Moooommmmm. Can't we bring our Swiss Army knives?

Mom: OK. But don't tie anything up or cut off your fingers.

Girl 2: What about the slingshot or my bow & arrow (handmade with backyard sticks)?

Mom: OK. You can take the slingshot but don't aim it at any living thing or person.

Girls: Thanks mom - see ya.

Out they go and I'm left wondering if there's something I forgot to tell them. Thankful that my .22 is locked up in dad's gun safe. Remembering they went tearing through the park just a few weeks ago, Rachel with large stick in hand, and me stomping my foot yelling "no running with sticks!!!" much to the amusement of my mom and sister. They also built a little "nest" bed for their 3 year old cousin in a tree during Thanksgiving break.

You may wonder where they get these ideas? They both just finished the "Hunger Game" trilogy which is completely and totally my fault as I read it and recommended they both read them so we could discuss together. The protagonist, Katniss, is a forager/hunter/protector and the girls loved the series. We're hoping the Movie rating is appropriate or I'll have some disappointment to deal with. I'm just glad they're not acting out the "fight to the death" portions and are focused on the "survival" portions.

So. What do your kids do for fun?

Monday, December 05, 2011

Tap Tap Tap

Tap Tap Tap

Yep. Blogger is still working. Bart asked the other night "are you ever going to Blog? It's been almost a month?"

I find this funny. He is, after all, my husband and therefore knows most of what happens in our little world and "why is he waiting to read about it?" I probably reveal things in a Blog that I don't share in conversation - I am the "Finnish" one of the family after all. Many times I just don't feel the need to talk about everything but there's alot going on in my brain!

Blogging can be like having a confidential friend - it's enjoyable to share pictures and thoughts and ideas. Except this friend is public and as with anything on the computer, there will be a record of it somewhere for all eternity. At least until Armeggedon and then I plan to be propelled back in time to Terra Nova. Well, maybe just while watching Terra Nova on the DVR with my girlies.

As I consider why I've chosen absence from the Blog lately, it comes down to a couple things: priorities, attitude and health. They are all bound up together.

Paul, in speaking to the Corinthians about living a life of freedom in Jesus Christ vs living by the Law (Old Testament Law) says this:

"Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." I Corinthians 10:31

I don't want to take this out of context - Paul is addressing issues of legalism and judgement under the old Law. He tells them that under Christ all things are permissible - there is no longer "clean" and "unclean." I think they are also great statements about everyday living as well.

"All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor." I Corinthians 10:23-24

Where am I going with this? It's been a while since I've written a "deep thought" so I'll do my best to be concise.

Life has been busy. Really busy. I underestimate the time it takes to get things done - for various reasons. Having lived in a "temporary" place for 5 years and moving to a "permanent" place requires a bit of physical (think furniture) and mental re-adjustment. There has been construction, furniture shopping, storage issues, visiting and having visitors, travel, new schools, new friends, old friends!, new/old church, new bible study, new Dr's/Orthodontists, new clients, new groceries, new vehicles and a new schedule.

Ah, that new schedule. I haven't found it yet. I'm looking. I'm frustrated by it a bit. That's why I'm not on the computer much. I used to get the girls off to school and sit for an hour looking at the Lake getting caught up on all things computer. Not here. It's different. I really want my girls and Bart to enjoy being home. That requires me to get some things done before they arrive. And I have some back issues to deal with - therein the health and attitude (currently in diagnosis phase). When you are uncomfortable/pain most of the time (I know a couple of you will relate to this), your attitude can take a nosedive - aka cranky/irritable/short-tempered. I spend a lot of my time doing what I need to without doing too much so that I can be sane come evenings with the family.

Add that to the adjustments we've had and I would turn into a complaining Blogger. I don't want to be that kind of writer. I want to be giving glory in everything I do. It's not always easy and I'm working on it. So many things are enjoyable to do but not all things are right in the circumstance. Are the activities I'm choosing helpful to others or just self-pleasing? Seeking to find my balance in a new place.

I miss posting and hearing from my few precious readers. :) Hopefully I'm back on track and now that the house is festively arrayed, I'll start by sharing pic's and a funny garland incident. We think it's funny anyway. And I'll share tomorrow.......time's up for today.