Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dream Quests!


I don't do New Year's Resolutions! I just can't. I've never kept one in over 30 years and I'm not about to set myself up for a guilt trip and dismal failure yet again. More info here.

However I have had success with Dreams Come True! And since this time of year is overwhelmed with talk of setting goals and what might be the best course of action to achieve said goals; I can't help but re-evaluate my dreams. Make sure I'm still on track to achieving them.

Since I work on dreams instead, it's much easier to deal with the little set backs. I am better than I was last year at this time in regards to conquering my Clutter Monster. I still have some major wars to win with the beast, but I have learned a lot and made progress in the right direction.

I'm ONLY 21 pages into a new book that's perfect for this time of year. But it's been so chuck full of Wow's I keep going back to underline the parts that really walloped me the first time I read them.


'life is a verb' by Patti Digh '37 days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally.' I'm so digging it. The author encourages her readers to scribble within her book - How fun is that? Here's one of my favorite excerpts - So Far. I guess I can't do an official review until I finish the book.

'Every day's story is followed by two challenges: One that can be done immediately (ACTION) and one to do over time (MOVEMENT). hemingway

Ernest Hemingway warned: "Never confuse action with movement." The more immediate Action Challenges may start the process of change, but without an ongoing practice they can't create enough momentum for real movement - that only happens over time.'

Typical New Year's Resolutions are all about Action - but it's short term. Exercise now to lose the weight then stop. Movement on the other hand is long term - life changing. Want to be in shape then you'll do what it takes on a daily basis - consistency - for the rest of your life. What's your movement worth?

Hope that makes sense?

My Dreams... are to run a Marathon by the time I turn 40. That's in less than 2 years. I want to run it this fall ' The Top of Utah.' And to get there I'm going to attempt my second Half Marathon this June in Seattle. My first Half Marathon was the most amazing experience.

I was talking to my Young and Gorgeous Counselor and she asked what that Marathon would mean to me. I immediately started bawling like a baby and told her that what it meant was that I can do absolutely ANYTHING I WANT TO DO. To go from walking with a cane and feeling like an 80 year old woman to a Marathon. - Well it would be the Tops!

My other Dreams include vanquishing that Dreaded Clutter Monster.

getting organized

Conquering My Financial Nightmare, and most importantly Raising My Children to the Very Best of My Ability. For I know if I do Everything that I can possibly do - I can then turn them over to their Heavenly Father and he will fill in the holes I left behind.


He's my biggest helper, with my kids, and in achieving all my dreams.

My other big helpers are Accountability and Journaling!

So What are some of Your Dreams Quests and what's the one thing you think that helps you Achieve Them?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Taking Christmas Away.

My daughter Hope accused me of being the Grinch today (which she must have watched 10 times this holiday season). I was packing up Christmas and she accused, ' Mom, you're taking away Christmas.' Of course it didn't help that she put on her most sad, eye watering, lip-quivering demeanor as she played Cindy-Lou Who to perfection.

'I'm taking the Decorations back to my workshop - Dear. And with my luck it will take me 2 - 3 weeks to clean up this mess. Don't worry Christmas will be back next year.'

The Big Thaw has begun and the UPS man finally made it to my home to deliver my Home for the Holiday's Christmas Swap Package.


Here's my late Christmas Present.


My swap partner Michelle knew exactly what Magazines and Books I would love spending my time gleaning ideas from.

I just know I'm going to love trying some of the re-purposed crafts mentioned here...


How did she know I'm still battling the Clutter Monster?


And she was very wise and instead of sending fattening goodies she gave me a ubber healthy cookbook. My husband has his eye's on it and since he's the main cook in the house I may have to turn it over to him.


So one of the rules of the swap was to post what we sent as well as what we received. Of course we filled out questionnaires for each other so we could better understand who we were getting gifts for.

Here's what I sent Michelle...

Fall 159

I luckily scored a lot of my gifts for 75% off on Black Friday.

I love sales.

In wrapping up Christmas I just have to tell you that our 12 days of Christmas Elf did deliver days 10,11 and 12. I'm just late in posting.

So Day 10 went like this...

Ten Lords a Leaping would be an awesome gift.

But they got stuck while jumping through a white snowdrift.

We had to be content, you see.

To watch the Kettle Corn Fly

So we added a sweet topping to it for you to try.

Fall 420

On the 11th Day of Christmas...

Those eleven pipers piping remind us of our plumber,

To leave him on the doorstep would really be a bummer!

Now make your water piping hot and fill your cups with care,

We're giving you hot cocoa we know you'll love to share!

We simply can't believe this game is almost through,

We have had a jolly time bring these gifts to you.

With only one more night, don't you wish you knew,

Just exactly who we are and why we're doing this for you?

I just love Hot Chocolate...

Fall 444

I didn't actually get a picture of Day 12, because um the kids raided the goodie cookie plate. But included in a sweet red Chinese take out box was chocolate drizzled fortune cookies, and a poem that goes like this.

Christmas Eve has arrived and on this our last night,

One dozen drummers would be a spectacular sight.

But the noise of the drums would really hurt your head,

So eat all these yummy cookies we've brought you instead.

And so we wish you a joyous Noel.

We know that you're hoping our name we will tell.

But our names stay a secret, we just can't simply share,

If just wouldn't be right, no it wouldn't so there

Merry Christmas to each and everyone one of you tonight...

Doing this for you all has brought us much delight!

Thank you 12 Days of Christmas Elf. We have no idea who you were but our holiday memories from this year will be much sweeter because of you.

Yes our holiday was simple but also very delightful. I'm glad it's over because I so need to shed the holiday pounds that I gained this year.

To bad I can't be a snowman. Chrstmas08 171

A couple days of over-indulgent stuffing followed 2 days of above freezing (so I can come out of hibernation) temperatures. And our plump and happy snow man has turned into the Skinny Snowman. It look's like he's sporting a pompous hair-do, beard and doing his best to sing Christmas Carols to our passing neighbors.


O.K. I don't want to be a bearded singer. Just skinny.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cabin Fever

The weatherman told us that it would be warmer today. That it would start to thaw out the mountains of snow in our yard and off the road.

He lied didn't quite get the forecast right. It snowed some more today.

So what's a mom to do when she has a house full of a half dozen snow bored kids.

She sends herself outside and lets them drive their Daddy crazy stay inside.

Then she takes her frustration out on the snow. And shovels the walk, driveway starts another snowman.

Christmas-08 069

For reference - the Big Blue Beast behind Mr. Snowman is 6 foot 9.

As you can see he didn't get finished.

We'll have to wait and see if mom gets stir-crazy again tomorrow.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Winter Wonder(?)Land

We got another six inches this morning.

As of now we have...

A Really, Really, Really White Christmas. Our first White Christmas since moving to the land of Liquid Sunshine nearly 12 years ago.

And You're not going to believe this...

From the land of (It snows two inches and melts by the morning of the next day) rain...


And that measurement was taken from a part of my yard that is sheltered from the blowing snow drift stuff.

And thus, from the land equiped to handle (It snows two inches and melts by the morning of the next day so why bother being prepared for anything but) rain; we have gone two weeks without garbage pick-up and had a good week of not having mail delivered. That and the only people driving around are us Environmentally Un-Friendly Gas-Guzzeling 4X4's with monster truck tires. Arrr, Arrr, ARRRR! Doing our part to help the masses of little gas-sipping mini-car owners weather the storm.

I know, I know, I do enough knocking on my beastly big family bus. I have to say that I'm extremely grateful for it when it snows. For when there is snow on the road, it transforms from the Big Beast into a Big Blue Snow Angel Snow Mobile.

The Big Blue Snow Angel has put quite the miles on her wings over the past week. And spending so much time flying over the snow banks in her took it's toll. It meant my Christmas sewing suffered a bit, O.K. a lot.

I'm sad to say I probably only made it through half of my projects. But the most important ones got finished. And the others I will still finish just not for a little while. I'm done stressing.

By Christmas Eve the traditional new Pajamas were mostly done. Extra's like sleeves on the girls nightgowns and matching flannel pockets on the boys Tee-shirts can be finished later.

All in all Five pair of Pajama bottoms cost around $15.50.
Three nightgowns, three bloomers, and three matching mini-nightgowns for the Build-A-Bear family members cost $6.25.

So P.J.'s for all eight of us was a Grand Total of $21.75.

Every year the kids get a new ornament. This year their ornaments cost me a whole .50 cents. and that was for the ribbon to hang the ornaments. Everything else we had on hand. We made them Christmas Eve.

Prince Erik used his manly saw to cut up a log from our wood pile into little disks. Evo-man then drilled some holes in each disk.
I digged up a 12 year old bottle of Mod Podge and had the kids slap on some of the white stuff to each of the wood disks.
We took old Christmas Cards that we've recieved in the past and cut them up. Threw on the pictures and applied yet another layer of Mod Podge liberally over the first. Let it dry overnight and Wa-la!

A Unique family craft that we'll remember for a long time. And it doesn't look half bad - just different.

Christmas this year was simple - but wonderful. And thankfully none of the kids complained.

I scored the most. Prince Erik gave me the fourth computer laptop that he bought at Best Buy on Black Friday. The other three he E-bayed and with money made on them combined with and something I e-bayed we didn't have to pay anything for it. A Free Laptop. I like free.

I went over my $100 Christmas Budget but I'm pretty sure I stayed under $200. That and we didn't go into debt for anything. So all in all it was the best type of Christmas you can have.
However the kids are going stir-crazy with not being able to go anywhere because of the BLIZZARD.

So what's a mom to do with a house full of kids going Bonkers?

Have them build a monster snowman - that's what. Topped off with a good old stew pot hat, tablecloth scarf, and charcoal eye's and buttons, he didn't turn out too bad.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Went to church in my Pajamas!

Shhh don't tell anyone because I don't think they knew. No it wasn't a dream - just my reality.

So the storm came and so did the snow. Thankfully the Horrid winds they were predicting didn’t materialize. Yeah! We made it through Round One with our power still intact. But with the snow from last week and last night, we actually have a good 13 +++ inches now. We are supposed to get another 3-6 inches tonight, with two more storms on Tuesday and Christmas Day due to drop more of that white fluffy stuff.

So with all the snow and hills and not a lot of people with 4X4’s around they decided to hold church in our homes this week. We have a bunch of emergency prep groups all set up within our wards boundaries and my husband happens to be the unit leader of one of those groups. So it’s our responsibility to check up on close-by church members when something big happens (Snowstorm, Earthquake, and Flooding etc.).

Well our bishop decided that it would be good to still have church but in much smaller groups within walking distance of most of the homes – since driving in this stuff would bring on the label of insanity. So we were to invite our people over for Sacrament meeting.

I found this out at 10:00 a.m. Whoa! I had three hours to clean and de-stink the house before the 4-5 families that lived near-by showed up.

I was wearing my shirtdress that I happened to use for pajamas last night and thought I’d change right before people came. But wouldn’t ya know it – I got so busy that before I knew it people were here and I was still in my Ethel dress. So I threw a sweater over it and hoped they wouldn’t notice. I just thought they would notice more if I changed after they got there. At least it was a dress.

There you go – Another FawnDear first. Went to church in my P.J.’s. Shhhhh - Just don’t tell anyone. And there’s no way I took a picture of how I looked. I do have some dignity I’d like to hang on to. Not a lot but I’ll keep what’s left – if there is any after this post.

It was actually a really nice little meeting. Perfect for a before Christmas Sunday. Simple and Humble. We probably had around seventeen people in our front room; couple of wiggly tot’s (including mine). But I’ll always remember it because it was simple and lovely and humble.

After church was over I did get dressed in something a bit more dignified and warmer because we couldn’t keep the kids in with fresh snow outside.

I know you’ve seen a million snow angels but here’s a couple more. Well start with Princess - who is absolutely a snow angel but need to work on her leg action.

And not to be outdone was Hope, who happened to like the snow so much, she was out after dark making this here impression.

And you know, Lea was making her share of snow angels because she is now sporting the fetching look of matted snow dog hair.

I didn’t think our Christmas Elf would make it. And I was really afraid that he’d end up in a snow bank somewhere. Rudolph must have been free to help tonight.

Here is the sweet gift for tonight.

Nine ladies dancing would be too big a crowd,
Besides their music is WAY too loud.
Christmas songs for you to enjoy with each other,
Just don’t listen to them too loud for sake of Dear Mother!

So we stuck in the CD and watched Hope and Princess twirl around with dancing glee. Maybe crazy me, myself and I joined in on the dancing. Maybe I didn’t? After all I’m still trying to hold on to some dignity. Maybe I should try dancing in the snow next.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On the Eighth Day of Christmas...

Had another visit from my friend today. Notice the eye contact! We were sending subliminal dear/deer messages to each other like,

'Oh hi there cutie,' me

'It's that freaky lady with the camera again,' Bambi - then he bounds away after his mom and sister.

I got absolutely nothing concerning Christmas done today. Instead we spent the day battening down the hatches, so to speak, in prep for the Gigantor wind/snow storm we are supposed to get tonight. Gas for generator and one drivable snow vehicle– check, Food for the hungry masses – check, Firewood stacked out of the weather – check, Sidewalks shoveled – check (but I don’t know why because it’s supposed to just get buried again.

I also unburied the laundry room so someone could finally come and look at our dryer. After he looked at it we decided to wait on fixing the beast. Ugh. Because we have to decide whether to fix an expensive piece of junk or spend the same amount of money on a new cheaper thingy.

Personally I want to find a 15 year old dryer that still runs. The fix-it guy says the newer models are all cheaply made junk and they always need work within the first couple of years anyway. So we are thinking out our options. Wish decisions came a bit easier.

Our Christmas Elf made it back with these goodies while Prince Erik took the big kids Christmas shopping (love that $1 store). Here’s the darling package they left for our Eighth day of Christmas.

On the 8th day of Christmas, we’re busy as a bee.
Eight maids-a-milking, no where do we see.
But there in the barn we spy a tasty sweet,
Yummy chewy caramels, oh what a special treat.

We hope you enjoy this extra chewy caramel surprise
We’re sure it will disappear without too many sad cries!!

Hope raided the candies and ate all but three of the boxes before the other kids got home so darn-it we got some sad cries after all. But not too sad, cause they still got something.

Also got this cute tin from my Craft-Queen friend Cheri…

So if you’re brain-storming last minute gift ideas for friends check out her workshop. Love her ideas and recipes.

Dear Christmas Angel,

We received your gift a couple of days ago and are still a little overwhelmed by your generosity. It’s something my husband and I never expected. Dear Angel, you came silently and anonymously so we have no idea how to thank you.

At first it was very hard to recognize your sacrifice, probably because of a little pride on our part. Our first thoughts were there are sooooo many other people who are in worse condition who deserve this more than we do.

Yes, we’ve had some unexpected and expensive things happen to us over the past couple of months, but as would most people, we were just moving forward, making plans and working out solutions to our problems. We did not feel that we were in real need.

I guess what we’re saying is – It’s really hard for us to ask for help. And sometimes it’s harder to receive. We like to give. When I (FawnDear) got sick a couple of years ago. My husband and a good friend gave me a blessing. In the blessing I was told I would be whole again. Normal. But our wise friend told me he really thought that blessing would come true (and it has), but he was inspired to tell me that it would take time and that he really felt that I needed to learn how to receive help. I needed to learn the blessing of letting other people give service.

For a little bit, we secretly thought of giving your gift away. I’m sorry that we thought that. Then we realized how we would feel if we gave a precious gift to someone who turned it away – it would break our hearts. I guess that’s when we finally saw you. You dear angel have opened your arms and heart to the true meaning of Christmas. God’s love for all his children shines bright in your actions and in giving to us you have given much more than we could ever receive.

Matthew 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Dear Angel, thank you for sharing your Christ-like love with our family. Thank you for your example and your gift. We will treasure it, honor it and always remember it.

Love, Prince Erik and FawnDear

Friday, December 19, 2008

On the Seventh Day of Christmas...

What? Only Seven more Days? Ahhhhhh!!!

So this morning I woke up super-duper early to this beautiful and peacefully calm vision.

It lasted about 2 ½ hours and then the kids woke up. But I did get a good bit of secret sewing done during that time. Then I bravely put my old Idaho mad snow driving skills to the test and made the trek in our 4X4 into town to pick up some notions to finish my Christmas projects. I’m hoping to start showing you what I’m making tomorrow.

While I was gone our Christmas Elf dropped off not one but two days of presents.

Day Six…

Six geese a-laying what an interesting sight.
One of them squawked and they all took flight!
What they left in their nest, you’ll just have to see
Wait oh wait just what could it be?
Holiday dishes that will be great in a pinch
And then use the cutters for cookies… Oh what a cinch!!!

Again we say Merry, Merry to each of you,
Could it possibly be true that you still don’t have a clue?
Have we been tricky enough to stay a secret spy?
If not we might have to really try hard not to cry!!

This rather sweet package came wrapped in this gorgeous gold ribbon. Since we haven’t topped our tree yet I decided to tie up the bow on top as a temporary.

And since I’m not making cookies for a couple of days I thought I’d tie the cookie cutters on the tree as well.

This way I won’t misplace them, or lose them in the mess I call home.

And Christmas Elf – We are still entirely in the dark as to your secret identity.

Also left was Day Seven

The 7th Day of Christmas and we are half way done,
Remember no peeking or you’ll spoil the fun.
On this day of Christmas how nice it would be,
If seven swans a swimming your family could see!
The pond was quite empty since the swans have gone south,
We could only find yummy gummy fish to put in your mouth!

Yummy, oh yummy, oh yummy, you’ll see…
How much more fun could this really be?

Note: The elf left more than one package but my kids raided the stash before I got home. I did get a picture of one of the little wigglies before it met its demise.

We are battening down the hatches because they are forecasting a Wow-ser of a wind/snow storm. Last time I checked Wind + Snow = Blizzard. Burr, I'm cold just thinking about it. We are crossing our fingers and hoping that it won’t leave us in the dark like our last big windstorm in 2006. Then we were out for a whole week. Aught to make for an interesting day tomorrow. Fortunately we have a generator powerful enough to power my sewing station so I'm still good to go.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the Sixth Day of Christmas...

We finally received the snow the weatherman has been promising all week. In fact we believe we just experienced the biggest snowstorm we’ve had since moving to the northwest almost 12 years ago. The snow was even deep enough to keep our dog inside. Our house, not his. I don't think he could fit through the opening of his house right now.

The weather even kept our Christmas Elf away. Seems Rudolph was busy getting ready to pull Santa’s sleigh he couldn’t help out our wee little Elf find his way through all that snow. But they did call to let us know they’d be back tomorrow.

So, all this snow means no school now for the rest of the year. And I was so hoping for at least 3 days of school to work my sewing magic without the kids under the roof. Seems my procrastination is going to cost me some late nights.

I got six more sewing projects cut out and I’m done with the hard part. The serger and sewing machine are threaded and ready to go. Just waiting for my oldest kids to nod off. I’ve been using the phrase, You So Really Don’t Want to be On Santa’s Naughty list – so Cut That Out.’ Then I send the kids outside to play in the snow, freeze, come inside, change their clothes, then go outside again. Needless to say the washer is going full tilt.

Evo-Man has been outside more than he’s been inside today. Because he wanted to be there, not because I sent him there (Just thought I'd clarify).

Don’t ask.

I have no idea about what goes on in his head.

The good thing is, it stopped snowing, but now it’s freezing cold and they predict that it isn’t going to sneak up above freezing until mid-week of next week. Get this – it’s supposed to snow again Saturday.
Our town is at a stand still. If you don’t have chains, you stay home. And that means everyone. Prince Erik ventured out today and even in 4X4 was slipping around a little. But he made it just fine.

O.K. I think I'd better get back to sewing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the Fifth Day Of Christmas...

On this the fifth day of Christmas we were hoping to get lots done. But they cancelled school on account of about an inch of snow that fell overnight. To be fair the forecast called for a lot more during the day. Of course it didn’t happen until during the evening hours. I’m sure school officials are kicking themselves now.

However, the Christmas lights seem much brighter when there's snow on the ground.

We had our little visit from our very own Christmas elf again tonight and here’s what he (or she) brought and what they had to say…

On the fifth day of Christmas with things rather tight,
It is important to us that we all travel light!
Gold rings are too heavy (and so are gold buckles)
So please be content with sweet rings on your knuckles.

Still hoping that you all are still hanging in for more
And waiting nightly for the next treat at your door!

I also made some nice progress on my gift list. Today I set about to get everything cut out. I almost made it. Still have a couple more to go, but cutting out 14 different projects takes time. It’s my least favorite part about sewing, other than unpicking mistakes of course, for me it’s the slowest part of the process.

Our family was also the recipient of an anonymous and generous Christmas donation. I’m still trying to collect my thoughts about the generosity of this special angel and I’ll probably blog about it tomorrow, but Gratitude doesn’t quite cover how overwhelmed we were when it came, and still are.

So to those hidden angels all around us – Thank you! Even though those simple and beautiful words don’t quite cover our gratitude, seriously – THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

On the Fourth Day of Christmas I realized that ‘Wowser’s, I’ve still got a bucket load of stuff to get done.’ This here lady had better hole up in the Master Bedroom with my Sewing Machine, Insane sewing skills, and maybe some Hot Chocolate for a few days. Fortunately for me Prince Erik is all for the idea.

So I thought I’d toss out some before-they-were-gifts pictures. Can I do it? Christmas for 8 people in under $100.

So I camped out over the past few months at the thrift store on $1 days. Kind of like Treasure hunting.
So for $3 I found some cream top sheets and a white pillowcase that when combined with a $1.99 sale pattern will hopefully make my girls some wonderful nightgowns. Total $4.99 for 3 plus nighties.
.25 cent thrift store pattern and $2.99 flannel top sheet = Two adult p.j.'s for $3.24
The boys were a bit more. However I did get real material for them at 75% off but it was still 1.69 a yard. I'll figure out how much they end up costing after I'm done sewing.
I'll surprise you later with some extra gifts that I'm making using some left-over boat cushion denium...
Some Free Capri Sun Empty pouches...
$1 bedskirt...
And the plastic from a package that contained a dog bed we bought a while ago.
So hopefully in a couple of days I'll show you the results.
Before I forget...
Our sweet Christmas Elf visited again. And No - I'm not trying to find out who it is. When I see the car lights coming down the road I try to distract my kids so as not to spoil the surprise. I am curious. Thank you Elf.
So here is the sweet message and goodies left on our doorstep.
Four calling birds, we can't pay the fare,
For all we have is a purse full of air.
As Christmas fast approaches, and calls you must make,
Don't use these gold coins or the phone you will break.
We hope that you are having as much fun as we are,
Certainly by now you must be looking for our car!!