Friday, December 16, 2011

Faith over at Walk with Me by Faith is hosting her Christmas Card Carousel as she has for the past several years. I love joining it albeit a couple of days late. Thank you for hosting, Faith. 
Go over and check it out. You'll see some beautiful Christmas cards.

We wish you a Merry & Blessed CHRISTmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

1. Do you put Christmas decorations in every room of your house? If not every room, what rooms do you decorate?
I try to put decorations in just about every room, but the main ones are the kitchen, living room, and entry way.
I guess it depends on how much energy I have.

2. If you could visit one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) which one would you choose and why?
I would visit Norway because my maternal grandfather was from there. Our first daughter, Braaten, was given his last name, my mom's maiden name, because I always loved it. It has been told by my very best friend, Annette, that in the 7th grade I said that if I ever had a daughter I was going to name her Braaten.
She is Braaten Noelle, born 2 weeks after Christmas, and will be turning 14 very soon.

3. What does the word faith mean to you?
Faith for me means believing in the One that I cannot see. It means trusting in Christ with my whole heart, knowing that He came to save the lost. I once was lost, but now I'm found and what a blessing that He chose me even before I was knitted in my mother's womb. 

4. You can go back to your childhood for one day...what day and age would you choose?
When I was about 10 years old, in 1976, the Bicentennial year, I entered the standing broad jump competition during a meet. I had never done anything on the track before and my gym teacher at the time encouraged me. It was a huge event because of the timing in our history, a place where families gathered, and schools in the area came together. What was I thinking? I was a bit of a tomboy, but like I said, I had never done anything like this in the past. 
It was my turn. I stood there bent at the knees, swinging my arms to and fro, to get as much distance as I possibly could. I leapt into the air for what felt like an eternity. I landed at 5 feet 8 inches. There were paparazzi everywhere taking pictures. OK, it was just an area journalist. I have been reading too many books about the Baxters and Flanigans by Karen Kingsbury. Anyone else reading this series??
I placed first, made it in the Jersey Journal, and both my parents were there. My dad didn't make it to many events. He worked a lot. What a grand day! Annette made fun of me for years, still does 'til this day because I brought my trophy in and walked around to different classrooms to show off that large trophy. My teacher encouraged that, too, so I went for it. Ah, what a day in the life of me. :-)

5. When did you last have 'punch'? If it's not too much trouble share your favorite punch recipe.
I think I had punch at a shower about 8 months ago or so. I enjoy it, but have never really acquired a go-to recipe. 
6. Do you fill stockings at your house? Are stockings opened before or after the bigger gifts?
We do fill stockings. The kids love them and look forward to seeing what awaits them after opening everything else.
Shawn and I quite like them ourselves. I enjoy getting Cella's chocolate covered cherries each year. 

7. What takes your breath away?
Do I have to list just one thing?
Seeing my children for the first time after being away from them for a day, or two, or a long weekend. 
I love watching them perform at recitals, sports, etc. 
And because I can't list just one thing, I love seeing my husband's blue eyes in photos. Each day, we put a new photo up on our Mac as wallpaper and whenever there's one of Shawn up, I am always drawn to his eyes. I will just sit here and stare and then whisper, as though he can hear me, "I love you." 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
It's a soggy day out there, 50 degrees,  and absolutely no sign of snow. I have twin boys that were born on Christmas Eve that are about to turn 10. They are having their birthday party this Sunday with 10 friends and they are reflecting on how much fun they had last year sledding in our backyard. It doesn't seem likely that we'll have any snow for them, but I sure would like to see a white Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cookie Craziness!

In the past couple of weeks I have been to 2 cookie exchanges-
one at my church (Victory Life in Battle Creek), and 
one at my friend, Jamie's, home.
She and Sarah know how to pull off a fun shindig and the ladies of VLC do all things with excellence.

Between my daughter, Braaten, and I, we have baked at least 19 dozen cookies,

and have taken home as many. Oh my.

We enjoyed exchanges that were full of fun and fellowship,
and sampled too many cookies for our waistlines.

We had the nerve to wear ugly Christmas sweaters,

and received an "ugly" ornament which inspired this lovely look on my face.

Ellie, Braaten, and Renae donned these Goodwill finds.
You sure are growing up, Braaten, when you can join me in ladies' affairs.
I love you, Honey, and I'm proud of you for wearing that scalloped-edged, screen-printed, turquoise-ish sweatshirt. You rocked it!