Wednesday, December 31, 2008

our christmas day pics

the master of ceremonies: the head chef: my dad the fritter maker extroardinaire.
Zach,Ryan,Beka And Glory playing in the snow at our house.


A bunch of cousins milling around at the singer family christmas brunch.

the adults milling around the food table.




our time at home before going to nana and papas. The girls were sweet ,they gave Dan some presents they came up with on their own. A ten dollar bill in his stocking and a cool floating spinning photo holder for his desk.

I don't have the pics from our wonderful Schultz christmas eve time. Will post them soon.

Do I believe in soul mates?


A very good question was raised at Sheila Wray Gregoire's site, To Love Honor and Vacuum.
It is Wifey Wednesday there and she was talking about wether we have soul mates or not, and how we can love anyone(especially our husbands) if we give of ourselves.

Boy did she nail it on the head and cause me to redefine something I thought I believed in.

I have been in both positions. First,the selfish one who thought that prince charming was supposed to make me happy (in my first marraige) and was disillusioned and fell into the trap of the enemy when he didn't.

Second, I have also been the one who feels like she can say she has a prince charming because of how I choose to approach my marriage this time. It is not a fairytale marraige by no means. We have our issues. But the one thing I learned from my failed first marraige is that I have to choose to love my husband.

Choosing to love him means I have had to decide that what he does is not who he is. That nagging and expecting him to be any different is a setup for failure. I am not his mother trying to teach him. I am his wife, a special friend who should support, strive to understand and think of what he may have need of in the thing he is going through. I know that the choices I make to serve him and put his needs into a place ahead of my own cause me to grow in my love for him. They even cause my own character to grow which in turn spurs him on to grow and learn and love better also.

I am comparing the things I have been learning and thinking about and seeing in all the failed marriages (even within my own christian community) with this soulmate idea that I so lovingly hold onto.(and yes, even have thought about my husband ) I am going to have to possibly give up this romantic notion that there is just this one right person out there that we find for that perfect fit. While there are good common denominators we should look for, the way to that romanitic ideal relationship has nothing to do with it already being there and you entering into it as it does with you creating it around you and your spouse.

Maybe God had it right from the beginning, that is why he called us a help mate and not a soul mate. That our love and stability in marraige will be grown out of helping and meeting our mates needs, emotionally , physically, and spiritually to name a few.

So,from now on when asked if I believe in soulmates my answer will be different.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our crazy adventure....



forgot to post this:
last night sunday night... we being bored(previously documented below) decided to try and get to our sunday small group waaayyy out in the woods. On the way there we stopped twice to help people stuck in the snow on the side of the road. lucky D had the snow shovel in the back. we finally made it there through the snow and then we go to leave and it has snowed another 4-5 inches.(its already at least a foot out there mind you). We get stuck on one of the hills on the dirt road and instead of letting our friends pull us up we decide to give it another try. D backs way up to get a running start and just as he makes it to the top we hear a bang and a slap, out he jumps and sees our chain has broken off the tire. We flag down our friends who we are following out and they pull us the rest of the way up the hill and then go back to get another set of chains. meanwhile we make it all the rest of the way up the road and wait for them(before heading out to a main road) just to find out the chains wont fit. they follow us a ways down and we make it half way home when a tree falls across the road right in front of us. We get out to clear away some of the branches and then someone (from the lineup behind us)calls a friend who lives near there to bring a chainsaw. meanwhile a guy hooks up his truck with a chain to try and move the tree. the top half breaks off and they throw it off the road and clear it enough for one lane of traffic to get through. we finally make it home, all the way up newberry hill and then our little car cant make it up our driveway so there we ended up for the night, at least only a few steps from our front porch.phew! what a night!

Bored randomness


Here are some random pics of what the Bell family does when stuck at the house for days on end. Build forts, try and find the longest icicles possible, B let me give her bangs the 80's treatment, and D made his ultimate MAN sandwich and had a little man-time alone with the food and the tube. A picture of D's daughter that I embellished with my white pens,think I'll scrapbook this one.
baking croutons and another go round of amish friendship bread, this time with cookies and cream pudding
G made this sign in the snow, it says..our last name and 2008






Sunday, December 21, 2008

Help, I need bird seed!





Dan and the girls found these little birdie tracks outside our door this morning. There were even some by our back door too. I love how they curl around the edge of the house. They were so cute I had to take a pic and then the cat went right out. He was wanting to go to the tree were they were but with a twitch of his tail he went under the deck to stand guard. I wonder how long he will last. Those little birdies must be hungry. I think as soon as I can get the cat in I will put out some bread crumbs.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fridays Meme

This is a journal prompt from a great homeschooling website called Heart of the matter.
Where do I find my Christmas joy?
It is many things all tied together. Like the garland on a tree. Each piece adding to the whole length. Things from my past memories, our family, just my parents and sisters together sharing gifts and laughs and the food my dad made.I didn't realize how special that was until recently. Now the times are filled with many different gatherings of people. All including different aspects of our family(the hubby's and mine) Times with Dan's family, my family ,the church family, friends that are like family. All these are so prevalent that they are mixing in my mind to form the joy I find in this Christmas season right now. The treats, the candlelight, the dinners, the music, the dancing in the kitchen, those impromptu moments that bring laughs and smiles from all. The traditions, the expectations and the time spent meeting them. The constant battle to keep Christ at the center of our Christmas at home. These are all things that I cherish and know I will look back on in the years to come as the way I found things that bring joy to this season of my life at Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

snow,snow,snow







It has been snowing here since 5am this morning! The school district has closed schools but we will be doing a few things before heading to a friends to go sledding!(hopefully) The girls measured 2 1/2" just now. Dan is trying to get home from work.

Angel or Star? read on to find out.....

Okay, so the star won out. Not necessarily because it had more votes but kinda by default. We were headed out to put up a tree for someone and I had the idea to add to the decorations we were bringing. We quickly grabbed my angel, ribbon garland, and snowflakes as we dashed out. We now only have the star. After I spent a good half hour fixing it cuz the lights inside it had burnt out and Dans hands were too big to get in there I snapped it back together (barely) and put it up. I like the star, reminds me of the night the baby christ was born.(i dont know if it was a star or planet or what really but from the songs and stories when I was little I think of the star of bethlehem) I guess that is fitting as the nativity is under the tree.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tree Top Poll


We can't decide should we use the angel or the star this year?

DECORATED-the tree







After having our tree for almost 2 weeks we finally got it decorated.

DECORATED- around the house
















Saturday, December 13, 2008

in my head

The other day someone made a comment about something my hubby did the other day. Nothing big, different or out of the ordinary for him. He probably didn't give it a second thought. Just had the idea and did it. But they saw it as an encouragement to someone else. It gave them an idea, a new approach to get through to someone they were having an uneasy time with. That got me thinking. ... that God uses us just as who we are. It gave me a new twist on the scriptures that talk about works. We don't have to think up ideas of things to do but just by being us and doing the everyday stuff that we would find normal or no big deal he can use us to help the person we do those things for and others who see us being us. So by just being the doing comes. Just by living in who we are at the moment the works happen. What a freedom and purpose there is in that. Isn't it good to know that our purpose may not be whole world changing but it is life changing.

Friday, December 12, 2008

studio calico

loving the inspirationn at this blog/website. check it out by clicking on the widget to the right that is counting down. gotta go help the youngen' quit procrastinating and write her report before the principal gets home from work.

Studio Calico

Studio Calico

Thursday, December 11, 2008

****TRADITIONS****

Read christmas short stories
Watch christmas movies
Listen to christmas music
Advent (picture door) book each night
Wise men travel thru the house and end up at manger on christmas
baby jesus is hidden until christmas day and shows up in the manger then
visit both families and go to christmas eve service
bake some things
christmas breakfast at nana and poppas
i make cinnamon rolls for christmas morning
wish for snow
go to see the nutcracker

GRRRR......

Don't be fooled (notice the pizza dough in the bowl is a bit small for having risen for an hour)
pizza dough and amish friendship bread batter, was so excited to do some baking and make homemade pizza for dinner and yet though the pic up there looks good it did not turn out well. I

was soooo frustrated. The bread turned out mushy due to a misprint in the recipe I didn't catch and the pizza didn't rise (think the water I put the yeast in was too hot). I hope this isn't a forewarning of how my christmas cookie baking will go. Maybe it was the warmup. I decided to quit my job as cook and my hubby took me out to fritz fryhouse for our night we have to get out of the house(they use our house for a class for church). The sweet potato fries and good conversation calmed me down enough to reconsider my postion as cook. Thank goodness we get to wake up each day and get a do-over. Today things don't seem quite so bad. But it will be cold breakfast and lunch!
BUT... on another sort of baking note, I found out that my baby sister has as she put it another bun in the oven....!!!!!...yeahhh Congrats to her and her family!

Our winter days are filled with....PROJECTS

Printed off pics of all the kids and got them framed and up on the wall
beka enjoying dads laptop,


girls working on a project for a names of God bible study we are doing this December,


Glory enjoying the pudding she made herself,


working on science assignments and experiments.




Saturday, December 6, 2008

Two Nativities

I had to get off the phone with a friend when I thought I heard WWII breaking out. The girls were fighting over who could play with the one nativity set we have out on the coffee table. One thought the other was moving the shepherds too quickly or too far at one time.(we have a tradition that the shepherds start out far away from the set and make it there on christmas day)so we busted out the paper and pen and made a list of possible solutions to the problem. After crossing out the irrational and unacceptable ones we came up with this one: We would get out the white ceramic set I got for my wedding and it would go on the coffee table(cuz mom didn't want it on the wood floor) and the colored resin one would get moved to the floor under the christmas tree. They would each lay claim to one and peace would reign in the house again!!! I guess there are worse things they could fight about.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Candle Dippers








Here is what I caught my girls doing yesterday. They were at first dipping thier fingers in the big candle and I let that go cuz I remember that fun thing when I was young. You know the hot wax, the hardening, the soft skin after. Then they start dipping pens in it. Oh boy I think, hmm should I stop them? They are noticing the building up of the wax. I,trying to get a homeschool moment out of it relate it to the candle dipping we read about in a book recently.whew- that was a good one,I think. Meanwhile as I have my back turned and am cooking Dan comes out and says HEY what are you doing? I turn around to find the pens have broken/melted open and there is now ink in and on the candle. He, walking in at just this moment has missed the educational part of it and my finesse at turning it into a teaching moment!He only gets to see the mess and problem! -funny how that happens. We made them blow it out and told em we had to throw it away. I have had to stop them from messing with the new candle a few times since.( I did fill him in later on my side of the story) I think he thought I was nuts. Just another crazy homeschool moment I will cherish! 8)

The Cutting of a Tree





The long awaited christmas tree has been cut down and is now in the dining room!! What a time we had getting that tree. It was a LABOR of love. Not the warm fuzzy kind of love either. The kind that keeps you from splitting and ruining your kids idea of a good christmas. The kind that helps you to let go of all the anger raging inside you and find it in yourself to forgive. The kind where you cut off your own selfish root and pray the fruit of perseverence will be produced in your kids. So this year the cutting down of the tree is a symbol of that for me. All season long I will purpose to think of that and remember it when I look at it.