Friday, December 22, 2006
Merry Christmas

I know it's been quiet around here lately- we've had a whole slew of colds & stomach bugs, and are trying to get ready for the Big Day this weekend, but I just wanted to leave you with a very Merry Christmas.

May you find Peace in the midst of the craziness...
May you seek Him who was born to save us.

May you find Grace from Emmanuel.

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire.

This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria.Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there.

He went with Mary, his fiance, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.

This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us."

They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.

The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
my friend rachel postedsome thoughts on her blog today... it's given me a lot to think about so i figured i'd post 'em here too. love good mind food & good heart food.

  • What was that moment like when Jesus was birthed into our cold & sinful world. Was His mind already on the cross?
  • Would I have responded like Mary if I had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus (probably not). What can I learn from her this year?
  • Did the angels sing Glory in the highest & peace on earth....if so, what did that sound like?
  • What must the shepherds have been feeling...being chosen to be the very first in humanity to hear about the arrival of our Immanuel?
  • I love that Jesus' birth was so humble b/c we can identify with Him. If he came as a king or with lots of pomp and royalty, we could not identify with him. It's truly amazing how beautiful a manger has become.
  • Did Mary struggle with insecurities in her parenting of the Great I AM??
  • Did Mary know that her Son would give His life to forgive her sins?
Monday, December 11, 2006
i'm trying to teach myself how to use photoshop finally. it's such an amazing product BUT it is really intimidating to me... but fortunately i have the help of a husband who does graphic design, and several friends that are either photographers or graphic designers by trade. :)

adrienne's blog pointed me towards several helpful links, including jessica sprague's photoshop friday tutorials.dude, they are SUPER easy to follow and right up my alley. the link above is to her old blog, and she just started a new one here in case you are interested.

anyways, so after trying unsuccessfully for about 15 minutes to find the dodge tool (which i discovered was actually in photoshop and not imageready. LOL guess it helps to have the right program open!), i finally figured out how to adjust catchlights in a subjects eyes (woot!) and how to do this:

i'm excited. :)

(oh and julie and any other interested parties- the tights are from hanna anderson, but i also found some similar ones at gap last year.)

my goal is to be able to edit pictures like amber nicole.

if you have a few minutes, go look at her blog. it is pure eye candy. especially go look at her archives from september and october... simply GORGEOUS photos. :)

here's one final photo from a few weeks ago of my friend michelle and her son chad. i just adjusted the levels in it to give it some more contrast, and desaturated the colors to convert it to black and white.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Today we decided to stay at home instead of heading off to church this morning with one cripple, one fevered toddler, one baby that had been up 3 times in the night, and one husband/daddy that was pretty tired of being the only healthy one of the lot.

I tried to just relax mostly today, but I did get a little scrapping done. :) I'm going to do some more tonight. I have so much fun stuff to play with but haven't had the motivation lately.

Here's a pic of my cast with a little decor on it. I get re-casted later this week and will be decorating that one up like crazy. Just call it an "altered cast." ;) And no Gretchen, I didn't bring the supplies with me to the doctor. What, do you think I'm that obsessed that I would carry scrapbooking stuff with me everywhere- like on the plane to Disney or something? ;)

(Heheh that reminds me- you know that you've fully inundated your husband with scrapbooking when he asks if you remembered to take the camera to the ER when your toddler drinks a half a bottle of cough medicine. Forgot to mention that a few weeks ago. )

Speaking of Shaun, he made this really yummy Asian soup stuff again tonight- but with a few tweaks in the ingredients (including some lemon zest). So good. I'll have to give y'all the recipe. And unlike my choc. chip cream cheese ball, which seems to cause disaster (my broken foot, Sally's broken mixer), the soup seems to be safe.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
geez, if i am bored tonight after a fairly busy day, how am i going to feel this week when i am trapped at home with no way to escape?


the kiddos went to a birthday party for Jesus today at church, which provided shaun & i a good opportunity to do a little christmas shopping.

however, i can't really walk around a whole lot so i just went to scrap etc. 2, now open at the pinnacle in trussvegas. :)

i got to see mary & nan & carol & katie & nubia... and of course mo & her family. :) (plus all of the other customers who we were probably driving crazy with our exuberance. hee hee) it was fun, and a nice chance to hang out for a bit.

shaun and i ate moe's (YUM!) and then picked up the kids... and then dealt with a grumpy em who has a fever & a cold and may or may not have the flu. yeck.

so.... not really much going on. i want to scrap but i am feeling really lazy. my nails are drying. i risked a bath tonight- with my leg propped up on a chair outside of the tub. shaun made some sort of noodle asian meatball oniony soup thing tonight. it was delicious. i'm reading "fairest" by the same girl that wrote "ella enchanted" and i totally love it. i'm a sucker for a fairy tale that is retold in an unexpected way.

guess i'll see if the ol' nails are dry and then read some more... and then maybe scrap. :)
Thursday, December 07, 2006
You Know that Song about the Christmas Shoes?
Well, I got a special Christmas shoe today.

I figured since I couldn't get black flip flops, I'd at least get a black one.


It all happened last night- I was coming home from Walmart with the ingredients for some Snowman Poop (aka Puppy Chow/White Trash/Yummy Chex cereal stuff with chocolate, peanut butter, and confectioner's sugar) and the Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese ball (recipe posted below), and it was dark, and I was carrying 3 bags, and I was in a hurry to get in because it was freaking cold... and I stepped on an errant rock next to our walkway.

Not a large rock... just a small one, about the size of two fists put together.

I got off balance, fell forward, twisted my foot... heard a small pop.

I had to call Shaun on my cell (the wonders of technology) and repeat three times why the heck I needed him to come outside.

My hero helped me in and doctored me up with ice and elevation, but this morning I couldn't even touch my foot against anything without excruciating pain.

So now I have a fancy black boot for the next 4-6 weeks. Yep. On the right foot too, so guess who can't drive.

(It's called a "Jones Fracture" for you medical types out there.)

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

1 pkg. 8oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. brown sugar
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Beat softened cream cheese, butter, & vanilla until creamy. Slowly add sugars until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Place mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll ball in pecans. Serve with chocolate graham crackers or 'Nilla wafers.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
why not?
1. I am random.
2. Jesus knows me best. (Second would be Shaun)
3. I feel snuggly with my faux fire in my gas "fireplace" going on.
4. The most important thing in my life is family.
5. I always carry my cell phone, my wallet, my camera, and my neutrogena lip gloss. .
6. I think I will make a chocolate chip cream cheese ball tonight.
7. I am at my happiest when the house is clean and I have a huge stack of unread library books waiting for me.
8. On a Monday morning, you can find me dreading cleaning the house after my one day "off" a week.
9. My favorite food ingredient is chocolate. or cilantro. or salt.
10. My eyes are smudgey with mascara.
11. My favorite material possession is my laptop. or my camera. or my harry potter books.
12.. To relax, I like to read in the bath.
13. The town I live in is a little bit redneck, but that's ok.
14. My worst habit is eating when i'm stressed.
15. My guilty pleasure is reading US Weekly or People at the bookstore.
16. When I look at someone, the first thing I see is their eyes.
17. I wish I was more disciplined.
18. I could live without procrastination.
19. I wish I had a flat stomach.
20. My life is suprising.
Monday, December 04, 2006
we'll miss you.

last week, we received a call that shaun's uncle steve had lost the battle to cancer.

we'll miss you steve.

i've been dealing with all of the emotions and backlash that comes with this kind of stuff... it's taking me a while to focus on life again.

please keep kathy (his wife) and stephen (their 23 year old son) in your prayers. if i'm having a hard time with it, i can only imagine how they are coping.