Friday, January 7, 2011

December 2010 in Review

After doing too much thinking and not enough doing, I did finally get to work on my ladies' newsletter and got it on the table at church by Sunday morning. Whew.  That one was really hanging over my head.  It would really help if I would learn to use a good publishing program, but for years I have just stumbled through all the formatting stuff on my ancient MS Word program. I'll have to put either "learn Word" on my list of to-do's, or save up for the new MS Word, which I hear is wonderful.  ...Eh. There are other things I'd rather save for. and besides, then I would have to start learning all over again!  (Oh wait.  I think I see where my kids are getting their school attitude.)

December has been a month of fierce Fast Scrabble games. What a great game to get kids spelling and increasing their vocabulary!  Emily can now hold her own against the rest of us.  As a matter of fact, she came in first place last night, much to her delight.

This was another birthday month for us.  All my girls have fall/winter birthdays, so they come all at once, then we get a nice long break from celebrations. :)  Elisabeth turned 11, and only a year late it hit me that she is no longer in the single digits!  I'm kind of slow.
Betsy and Daddy had their annual birthday girl date, out for lunch at a REAL restaurant (never McDonalds!) and mini-golfing.
My husband really isn't this short.  Or maybe Betsy really isn't this tall?  I'm confused. One of them is either on their knees or on a stool!  This child is my quiet one.  She grows and discovers and learns without telling anyone, and suddenly you discover she has a new passion or talent, or a lovely character trait is blossoming before your eyes.  Betsy recently discovered crepes in library book.  That would be "kreps", not "krEEps"., as it is often pronounced in my house. Now she is our French breakfast cook. :)

We had quite a bit of home ec going on last month, not even planned.  I love it when things just happen right.  You saw Emily's bread.  That was a result of her Christian Light science unit on how bread gets to our table.  But she is quite a spontaneous cook, and she also fed us cinnamon rolls and a wonderful salad.  Homemaker in training, yes!

A bit of critical thinking going on below:

My 100% right brain child continued to make dolly stuff for her sisters.  I think this became a teeny apron or a shirt or something.  
Amy got the new Adobe Photoshop 9 as an early birthday gift, and she is doing some amazing things with it.  Have you seen her photo blog?  This is one of my favorite shots, full of reminiscing for me:
Now if I can just get this daughter to give as much time and effort to the academics, we'll be doing great!  (She is using her right-brained-ness as an excuse. Right brainers can't do algebra. Right? See Post Traumatic Algebra Disorder.)  *mom rolls eyes*  This requires some critical thinking, comparing this theory against the Bible.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Even algebra.  The theory is false.

Winter is in full swing here.  We are completely acclimated to the freezing cold western AZ winter weather, and have broken out the boots, tights, mittens, long underwear, and electric blankets. Years ago I met a woman from La Paz, Baja California, who told me that in their 60 degree winter they wore mittens down there.  I laughed at her.  Now you are laughing at me. Winter is winter, no matter where you are in the northern hemisphere.

After growing Emily's bangs out for months, I cut them.  Now I remember why we grew them out.  *Child says, "I told you so."* Children are so wise.

A rare photo of Amy. Even more rare to have Em and Ame in the same photo. I can't decide if this photo is supposed to be horizontal or vertical.

Fried bananas with cinnamon and sugar. Sometime you have to use your imagination when there's "nothing to eat".  At least she didn't add tuna to it.

My dad's birthday was a great excuse for my brothers and our families to get together again.  We braved the cold weather, driving across the desert to be with loved ones. We have made this trip many times, but this was the first time we saw a real mirage.  Sooo cool!  Wish we had photos.  Do mirages photograph?

I always have such good intentions not to spend any extra money while we are at my folks', but be real.  This is California we are talking about. There are STORES there, and so many things to do!  Really, I did mean to stay home, but there was a school supply place I had to see, and a mall, and our favorite shoe warehouse...

not to mention a wonderful library,

 AND, the highlight of this trip, the ICE RINK! (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

Poor kids.  I had them dressed for a blizzard, but they were stripped down to normal clothing in no time.  All four of them were so excited to do this for the first time, and then Emily came down with the flu the night before!  Such sadness.  I stayed home with the sickie, but their daddy braved the ice and wowed his kids with a few old tricks, and he didn't even hurt himself. :)  As they were getting ready to go to the rink, my dad and I were talking about the birds in the tree in his backyard.  Suddenly he garbled and stuttered and said, "Stomach".  That was totally unrelated to our conversation!  He garbled some more and then said clearly, "I can't talk!"  I sent him and Mom to the ER pronto.  Sure enough, Dad had had a TIA, or mini-stroke.  That was a good scare.  Apparently it stressed me more than I thought, because that afternoon I had my first-ever insulin  reaction in thirty years, that resulted in me losing consciousness. Now I understand how diabetics can fall asleep at the wheel...  Thankfully Emily was barely conscious herself, with fever, so she didn't have to deal with a mommy emergency.  And Dad is now fine. God is good!

Braving the elements again, we set off for home early in the morning.  Do you see that snow?  So pretty. From a distance. :)

December was a pretty normal month for school.  I am still playing the role of cheerleader and schoolmarm, second-guessing myself on curriculum choices, and contemplating radical unschooling.  But we did that all summer... 

Christmas activity is conspicuously missing, I know.  We don't observe Christmas.  Baptists never did until relatively recent history, and well, we just know too much to celebrate it with a clean conscience.  We're peculiar, but we're confidently at peace with God over it.  :)

Our 2011 calendar is beginning to fill, but if I tell you our plans there will be nothing to tell later!  Happy New Year a bit late, everyone!

Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, 
who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
 He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. 
He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? 
He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: 
he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
Psalm 147:7,8,16,17,18

Whew, now I can cross this off my to-do list!


  1. My mouth dropped when I saw the rolls! I need that recipe. I tried to make some recently, but they were not as spectacular as your little cook's. Beautiful pictures from the whole month. I'd say you all had enough scares for one month. What a trip to CA.

  2. Love the pictures, so nice. So sorry about you and your dad. Glad you are both ok. :)


  3. Oh how I love the photo at the bottom! It is so like "home" to me. We lived in the desert for years and I can just smell the sage and pine ( high desert!)
    What a lovely review. So glad your dad is okay. And I must pull out the scrabble boards! We usually do over the holidays and somehow this year it did not happen. Love speed scrabble!!!!

  4. Great photos and post! So good to see it all...thanks.

    (Yup, I'm on! :-)...with a little help from our junior member. Very fun.)

    Have a great weekend!

  5. I think you do a great job on your least the one I saw when we were down there turned out great.

    We played Scrabble (regular slow) last night...I lost.

    Yes, I can see Em as a great cook...she will make her future husband very happy some day.

    I love all the photos... fun to see Em in her pick jacket with catus & aloe in the background. Do the mtns. you can see from your house have snow on their peaks? Jeff was asking the other day.

    Lovely photos...great post. I'm glad you & your dad are doing okay. You didn't tell me that you had a bit of an emergency too. Do take care dear...I'm going to ask the Lord for some extra angels over you. :)

  6. I'm jealous... I still need to write a good pondering post on the end of one year and the beginning of another. :/

    SO glad your Dad is well now and that you were there for him. Also glad you've recovered from your emergency. Oh my.

    Had to LOL at your phrase: " I am still playing the role of cheerleader and schoolmarm, second-guessing myself on curriculum choices, and contemplating radical unschooling. But we did that all summer... " Uh-hunh. Totally right there with you.

    All right - must hurry along and go eat dinner at some point. And cinnamon rolls just went on the menu for the week - thanks, Em... :)
    Have a blessed and joy-filled New Year!!!
    Shani xxx

  7. Thanks for your lovely comments on my photos; I love it when a photo comes out *exactly* the way I want it to. :)

    My tips and tricks for good indoor photos:

    Use lots of light. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but seriously, turn on every single light in that room (and usually the room next to it), and then put your item in the sun from a window to top it off. Set your camera to the proper setting for light, and you should be good. I clean mine up sometimes, too, with my photo program on my computer. It gives me a "Fix" option and I hit "Auto Correct" or something like that. Sometimes it washes it out which means I got it perfect originally, so the program doesn't solve everything.

    I also take everything outside that I can, and I only photograph during the day if I can help it. That photo of Piper in the snowman hat in the top left corner of my collage was taken indoors at night, however, as I didn't have a choice, and the photo program helped to sort the colours out.

    Okay, there's all my expertise, rofl. If you need more info than that (and who wouldn't, lol), go see Alyssa over at CrazyBusy on HSB. She's got free tutorials.

    Have a great week! We're back to school tomorrow... I'm scared. ALL of us have horrible habits and no semblance of a schedule anymore. Eek!!!

    ~Shani xxx

  8. Hi there,

    I hope everyone is healthy and happy today. It was so nice to catch up with you! Being down to one computer and lots sick in the home has made getting around bloggyland a challenge.

    Looks like there is good celebrating and learning going on there.

    I too can relate when you said..." I am still playing the role of cheerleader and schoolmarm, second-guessing myself on curriculum choices, and contemplating radical unschooling. But we did that all summer."

    It has been only in the last couple of years did I discover about the roots of Christmas. We no long celebrate it any more. I feel much freer and more at peace now.

    Thanks for bringing us up to speed about your sweet family.

    Blessings and ((HUGS))
    In Him<><

  9. I always love sneaking over at looking at your months in reveiw! But I was also commenting to ask if I would be allowed to access Miss Emily's blog. :)

    Have a beautiful day! The weather outside is beautiful here! Not that 12 degrees is that great, but it's sunny - wonderful!! :)

    Love, Amber

  10. Gorgeous mountain shot. I love these posts. I have been trying to convince Hub to take us to California, and if that ever works out, I am stopping by to eat chocolate chip cookies. I like you. And your girls obviously have an amazing mother who let's them grow into who God wants them to be.


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