Sunday, December 26, 2010

Homemade presents

My Christmas memories are full of handmade gifts from my inventive parents. My dad who turned baby food containers into speakers for our Walkmans and my mom who sewed elaborate lined doll clothes and painted a multi storied doll might say...inspired me this Christmas. As well as, I have come to think that scarcity equals appreciation. My kids are more creative, less whiny and play longer when there is an empty box and scissors than a closet full of battery-powered toys. Several years ago after reading Clarence Thomas' autobiography where he said juice containers became toy trains and sticks and stones were his only other toys, it made me realize the excess in my kids lives. And I decided this year to try to SIMPLIFY.

My girls received little doll beds I made from scrap lumber. All the reversible linens were from my fabric pile and the mattresses were from jeans with holes in them.

Alex with some help made his siblings felt toys. The one with the dark hat is a Star Wars character and I don't remember who, but the recipient recognized him right away.

Maybe this will seem sacrilegious to some of you, but graphic beer bottle tops cover this cross Alex made for his dad. These Shiner tops make me think of how Jesus was our sacrifice, our substitute offering, the replacement ram without blemish. 1 John 4:10 is penned on the dowels we cut with a chop saw for further dimension.

The beds assembled and waiting for some paint.

The embossed felt makes a nifty jacket.

Lego-man and grey cat.

Trying the beds out, two dolls found them exceedingly comfortable and took a nap. Never wear your shoes in bed.

Personalized and silly. My girls will know whose is who.

Laying on hand colored wrapping paper.

Now the rest of the truth, we did get a Wii for the boys and we may soon regret it. The boys chipped in half and the condition was Fritz had to work extra hard on reading for the last three months. It was a unknown outcome till Christmas morning when they followed scavenger hunt clues around the house to the present which was in the dryer under a load of white clothes. The last clue suggested they fold laundry, but in their excitement they forgot and left me matching socks.

A belated Merry Christmas to you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


We took this photo this evening on our back patio. Mr. Pricklepants (the cat who adopted us) didn't seem to mind that the racoon was eating his food.

Ben squirted the racoon with a spray bottle. The cheeky fellow lifted his head briefly for me to get a better photo, but then it went back to eating Meow Mix. Five Star Dining.

Abundantly thankful

I've been missing my photos as they help me remember. At last I have the capabilities to easily load photos again. So here they go.

My brother and his wife had us for Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for.

A Kool-aid smile. Perhaps the Joker in Batman drank a lot of Kool-aid too.

My sister and her men looking particularly jolly. You might think they dressed in coordinating colors. Wink wink.

After 5 years in Saudi Arabia, my parents are back on American soil. I hadn't seen them in over a year. We had a few special days together before they headed to their new home state of Georgia.

A bubble pipe and some adorable feet.

Fritz had been talking about baptism for over a year. He is a very cautious person. He said when he turned 8 he wanted to be baptized. So a few weeks after his eighth birthday he was baptized at our Saturday night service.

It was especially meaningful to me as I know that Fritz's life is in Christ and therefore he is a new creation...spiritually and physically. The last few months have been stressful as Fritz was having unexplained neck pain. One day Fritz began shaking like a leaf in fear and tears were wetting his cheeks as he questioned why he wasn't feeling well. My heart broke because I was incapable of alleviating his pain. When we took him for a MRI, we didn't find a reason for his pain. Fortunately it has diminished and is less frequent. Those baptismal waters were a promise as much to me as to him. One day our resurrected bodies will be free of disease and sadness. I am so thankful to God that the majority of the time Fritz is doing well.

Emily wanted to be baptized as well. She had a huge smile on her face and had a belly laugh when the pastor asked her how old she was. From her 2s and 3s in Michigan where she was angry and oppressed, it was a moment of thanksgiving of God's amazing transformation in her life.

The best of bros.

Fritz and Granddad enjoying a boat ride back from a Texas island.

You never know what you might find on the beach. Actually I still don't know what this is.

My strong, complex, outdoor girl.

Alex is growing and growing. His feet are my size. He is becoming such a handsome young man.

This little cutie loves all things frilly and girly. This picture makes me feel old as she is wearing my ballerina dress from one enchanted Christmas many moons ago.

Ben and I toured this fabulous estate and the grounds were lovely.

We bought a new car.