Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Beauty In Bare Bones! :)

While I love all the color and life of spring and summer I also have a love for the beauty we only see in the winter, when all is bare! I particularly enjoy seeing the water droplets dangling from the bare branches! These dainty orbs capture the light and give the illusion that mother nature has dressed all the trees in strings of white lights! Once the leaves begin to grow they hide the orbs from view and we don't enjoy them untill winter comes again!
The first photo was taken with my Power Shot, but the rest of these were taken with my new cam'! I was eager to see how my world looks through it's lens! :)

Again I encourage you to try clicking on the photos to see if they'll enlarge for better enjoyment! I hope you can see the beauty in bare bones, too! :)

Christmas Cam'! :)

Of all years, this Chirstmas I felt the most satisfied, relishing the joyful feel in the air, and felt no gift could add any more to the celebration than what I was already feeling in my heart! :)
I could relate with the Whos down in Whoville who sang even when the Grinch stole their Christmas! "Christmas came, just the same!" "It wasn't about boxes, packages, and bags!" "Christmas wasn't something you could buy in a store, - Christmas, it seems, was a little bit More!!" :)
So imagine how I felt with the Added joy of receiving My Dream of having a Canon camera with the 300 lens capacity to take actual close ups on birds and wildlife!! :)
I've been eyeing this digital camera for awhile now and even though I'm out-of-my-league, with something this fancy, it doesn't keep me from wanting to give it the old college try!! :) I'm very eager to see what I can do with it!! :)

All the buttons and fanfair, and fancy lenses, is a little intimidating, however, and I feel a little less able to rush into taking photos, the way I did with my Canon Power Shot A1000! I only hope this Canon is as user friendly as my Power Shot cam' is! :)

So this little booklet of 195 pages is going to get good use as I try to learn enough to forge ahead! I hope to be sharing photos with you that I've taken with my Christmas Cam'! If I'm successful, you should be seeing some bird photos this coming 2010 year!! I Am a "bird-brain", after all!! :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Just Think, ... ! :)

Just think, ... nearly two months from now the early tulips and daffodils will be starting to bloom and the hummingbirds will be zipping to and from the feeders!! :)
This is the time of year when I become aware that Spring is around the corner! The days are getting longer ( even though we may not notice it yet) ; Christmas is over; and we are about to welcome in a new year! The first nursery seed catalog has arrived in the mail, with more coming, and soon I will be pooring over them, planning our 2010 veggie garden! :)
With the new year comes the resolve to set, or renew, goals in the never-ending quest to better ourselves! :)
With the realization that spring is around the corner, comes the awareness of needing to get this body more fit and prepaired for that yard and garden work I intend to tax it with! :)
This year I'm not waiting for the new year to begin my fitness program, but began today! I've decided there's nothing like the present and I best seize the moment and begin! :)
I seem to forever be looking forward, prepairing for the near future, while enjoying the present!
I love the seasons and derive a great deal of pleasure from each one! One of winter's pleasures is celebrating Christmas! Our live Christmas tree is still looking attractive and I'm finding it difficult to want to put all the Christmas decorations, lights, and tree away! It must go by the new year, but I'm still enjoying it! - All the while I'm also enjoying the thought that Spring is just around the corner! I'm enjoying the frosty-white winter mornings and looking forward to nature awaking and bulbs stretching up through the soil, - all at the same time! :)
Just think, ... with four wonderful seasons, each following the other, - there's always something to look forward to! :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fanciful Frost! :)

Lately we've been waking to frosty-white mornings! The frozen dew makes everything look magical, not unlike the feeling one gets when observing everything blanketed in fresh snow! I took several photos around the property and hope you find some enjoyment in them! :)
I almost didn't post this one as it was a bit too unfocused near the lens, but I love frost on everygreens and decided to post it anyway! :)

Who would have thought that pesky moss, that grows on our trees here, would be so beautiful covered in frost!? :)

Here's what's left of the frozen mushrooms! :)

A hydrangea blossom blew some distance to land on some mushrooms. I like the combination!

Sun on ice can have a fantasy feel to it! :)

It amazes me how this catnip herb can be so hardy in spite of the single digit freezes we've had! It looks happy snuggled in between these slabs of petrified wood! :)

In spite of the winter chill nature is prepairing itself for Spring! Buds, dusted in ice, await their time to awake from winter's slumber! Even though we are in the throws of winter, I enjoy knowing the days are now getting longer again, and it's just a matter of time untill all nature again stretches and puts on color! Untill then, I'm enjoying the beauty of her frosted bare bones! :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!! :)

Just taking a moment to wish all of you Merry Christmas!!!
We're about to keep tradition by watching "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" ( the original, cartoon one ), and "The Christmas Story"! If we're still game, once those two are over, there's other Christmas movies we may watch too! There will be the opening of one gift from the tree, tonight! The stockings will be first on our agenda in the morning, followed by the tree! :) Then I'll get the ham baking in the oven and will make a variety of veggies and other side dishes to go with it! :)
I hope you're all enjoying your family Christmas traditions, and feeling the joy of the birth of our Savior!! :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Speaking From The Heart! :)

I love snowmen and have quite a few snow-men, women, and children decorations up this time of year! :) One of them is this snow-family that simply says "My family is my treasure."
That pretty well sums up how I feel!! My hubby and children are my joy in life! I cherish them dearly and they truely are my treasure!! :) I love them more than words can adequately say and am thankful for the blessing of being an eternal family!! :)
During the holidays, whether they are by my side or miles away, they are with me in my heart and a connection of some kind is always made with whoever may be missing! :)
Here's hoping you may have those dear to your heart, home for Christmas, - and if that's not possible, - may they be close to you in spite of the miles!! :)
Merry Christmas everyone!! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Stellar Morning! :)

I'm a bird watcher, and sometimes do a head count to have an ideah of how many visiters are coming to the feeders! Through the years the numbers have increased as we've planted more and more trees and shrubs on the property, and more birds have discovered the feeders! :)
In the past the most Stellar Jays I've counted at one time have been 7 & 8! The other morning I counted an even dozen! This morning I counted 15 in the back yard, at once! 10 at the "bird station", and 5 in nearby locations! This unusually frigid cold weather has made them more attracted to seed and suet than usual! The birds need it to keep up thier body heat! The raccoons have been knocking down the feeders and stealing the suet, cages and all, so I've started just throwing seed on the ground for the birds!
The conditions have made it "A Stellar Morning"! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas Everyone! :)

Christmas is my most favorite holiday! I love seeing the Christmas lights twinkling brightly, ( reminding us of the star that led the wise men and shephards to Bethlehem and the Christ-child! ) I love the candy canes ( that are a sweet reminder of the shephard's staff )! The presents and gift-giving ( reminding us of the gifts the wise men gave to baby Jesus, Who was the Beloved Gift to us from our loving Heavenly Father )! At every turn there is a cherished reminder to us of the birth of His Son, Who we joyiously celebrate!! :)
Still, I've longed for some additional way to celebrate His birth! :) ...

So I started a new tradition in our home, a few years back! I lovingly wrapped an empty box, and decorated it with a shiney bow and an ornament of a wise man that simply says "Seek Him"! This gift is the first present to go under the tree and the last to be removed! Each year I fill it with a gift from my heart of something I wish to do for the Savior throughout the coming year! :) Even though I do this for Him, I'm the one getting the most out of this experience and invite anyone who'd like to, to join in this tradition in your own homes! :)

Our tree has become especially fun to decorate as I've collected ornaments that are meaningful, through the years, from the angel on top on down to the special gift at the bottom! :)

Some favorites are ones purchased when I worked at Hallmark! I love the little girl and boy, dressed as angel and shephard! She tells the first half of the scripture story of the birth of Baby Jesus, and he tells the last half! Their voices are precious!! :)

The lamb holds a birthday cake that says "Happy Birthday Jesus"! :)

Behind it's back is a gift with a tag that reads "For my shephard." :)

The three wise men! It's looks like there's only two, but the third is on the other side! :)

This one was from Avon, years ago, of Bethlehem! :)

Of course no Christmas tree is complete without family photos of those so dear! We have many of Sheana and Cal, and now we need to make more, and add Troy and little Brennan! :)

Loved ones made some of these photo ornaments for us, years ago! This one was taken outside the Idaho Falls Temple, on our wedding day, - a sweet reminder of our beginning! :)

This is possibly one of the oldest ones, which may have been an Avon one, too. :)

I won't bore you with the rest! You can come visit us and see more if you have a mind to! :)
I wish I could see your trees and the ornaments that are special to each of you! :)
May there be among your decorations things that bond your heart to our Savior! May you feel His perfect love this Christmas, and every day of the new year!! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Silent Snow! :)

An unexpected snow came silently last night, almost like a thief in the night except instead of taking, - it deposited! We wouldn't have even been aware of it had Rud not gone outside for a moment! It started out real fine, then grew into beautiful large flakes! :)
By morning just enough had fallen to make everything white! :)
It's frigedly cold out with night temp's dipping in the teens. It makes our cozy house feel very welcoming! :)
Hope you're all staying warm and enjoying the Christmas season! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stinson Tradition! :)

Today we went to Stinson's to find and cut our tree, keeping with our family Christmas tradition! We've been going there for years now, - probably since Cal was in 2nd or 3rd grade! :)
I couldn't resist buying one of their fresh Christmas wreaths, while there! I watched them finish making it, admiring their handy-work, and enjoying the tantalizing aroma of the fresh-cut greens! :) Mrs. Stinson commented on how little Cal was when we first starting going there and how tall he is now! :) - I love how people can touch other's people's lives and add that feeling of joy and belonging! :)

Another tradition that has evolved over the years, is Cal taking over the task of hanging the Christmas house lights! Rud never liked hanging them and Cal does, so it was just a matter of time untill the swap of responsibility was made! This year he decided to try adding new rope lights on the deck railing! :)
Later I'll add a photo of the tree decked out in our traditional ornaments! :)
This week is going to be one of the busiest weeks of my life, so don't be surprised if it's next week before I get to it! :)
Hope you're all enjoying the Christmas festivities! I sure am! I Love Christmas time!! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Max! :)

Christmas time always brings sweet memories of our Maxwell! He was always first to get his gift from under the tree, and he derived more joy from his one gift than the rest of us did from all of ours put together! :) He'd proudly carry it around, in his soft, lab mouth, showing it to each of us, doing his "happy walk", wagging his tail so gleefully that his whole body wagged with each step! He'd circle the living room, again and again, amid the happy chatter and laughter! He was so happy to be a part of the festivities! :) He was especailly fond of a soft, cream colored, stuffed toy, we called "Baby"! We called it that because he treated it as if it was his baby and liked to have it with him! That was a gift that needed to be replaced a couple of times! :)
Max was a very special canine! Not only was he the most handsome lab we've ever seen, but he had the most loveable personality to match! His one wish was simply to be with us, and it was very easy to include him, as he was so enjoyable to be with!! :) He liked, and got along with, everyone and adored each of us!! He made us each feel that we were his personal favorite!! :)
He loved to run and leap off of the dock, into the water, after a stick one of us had thrown for him. He would do this untill we tired of the sport and then he was happy to return home again! :)
One of his most favorite things to do was to watch the birds! When they perched in the upper branches he'd bark from below untill they flew! He'd then run to the tree they landed in and proceed to bark at them again untill they'd fly again!! He'd smile so wide that his ears bowed! :) If the birds stayed in the yard, he could do this with them for hours, never seeming to tire of the game! I told him he was a "bird brain" like me, since we both love watching birds! :)
When the kids were little they always included Max in their play! One day Sheana called to us to come see Max! When we arrived at her bedroom door, there was Max lying on her bed, smiling from ear to ear with all of Sheana's stuffed toys encircling him!! Suddenly he jumped off the bed, went to Cal's room, jumped up on his bed, retrieved a stuffed toy, and returned to Sheana's bed! He dropped this toy at his side and beamed at all of us as if to say, "There, just needed that one last toy to make this moment perfect!" :) We all laughed sharing the perfect moment with him! :)
Max was very intelligent! At one point we had given each of his toys a name, and we would ask him where a certain toy was and he'd go to his toy box and bring out the toy we'd requested! :)
He'd learned to "go pottie" on demand, within the first two weeks we had him, as a puppy! He never went in the yard, but always went off to the side of the yard! When we moved to the country, he'd go in the field rather than the lawn! He taught this behavior to our current dog, Buddy, when we brought him home! :) We've never had to worry about watching were we step, and the pooper-scooper has long ago been tossed in the garbage! :)
Once he even embarrassed himself! He and Rud were coming around the side of the house, in the dark, when Max suddenly set his front feet and barked defensively! He was protecting Rud, when he realized the object he was barking at was one of our trees! He looked So Embarrassed!
He liked everyone, but there were two times he felt a need to protect us from someone. Once was when Rud had taken him on a long walk in a treed area, and two men of questionable character were walking there too. Max growled at them and kept watch untill they'd moved on. The other time was when I was home alone, and two men came to my door. As I spoke with them Max stood at my side, growling and eyeing them the entire time they were there! I was so thankful for having Max at my side! :)
It may sound funny but one of my most favorite things was to press my face against Max's forhead and breath in his wonderful doggy aroma!! He never seemed to mind, and knew I adored him! :)
It's been over 3 years now since Max has gone. Somewhere Max is barking at the birdies, watching them fly from tree to tree, passing the time untill we are all together again! :)
While children will be seeing visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, I'll be seeing visions of Max, again this Christmas, enjoying the holiday and the joy of family with us! ... We love you Max! :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

On Dasher, On Prancer, ... On To The Next! :)

It's become tradition, in our home, to decorate on the first of a holiday month! Normally I'd be taking down Thanksgiving the last day of the month, and putting up Christmas on the first of Dec.! :)
For some reason, I'm feeling restless today, and decided there's no point in waiting! Maybe it has to do with all the pie and fuel I've put in my body, that's got my engine running on high! Or maybe it has to do with an additional church calling that requires my attention the first and second week of every month, that makes me want to tackle those things ahead of time that I'd normally do during that first week! :)
At any rate, I started putting away all the 'mums, pumpkins, and squash, and sweeping the deck, steps and walkway! Seeing it bare made it suddenly feel much larger! - With that done, I removed the Thanksgiving wreath and hung the Christmas wreath in it's place! :)
I brought in the Thanksgiving bin and will now put away all the house decorations! If I'm still feeling energetic tomorrow, I'll start bringing in the Christmas decorations! :)
Right now I have the artificial wreath on the door. I use it untill I have time to make one from live greens around the property, ( since Rud and I both like live wreaths )! If I don't end up having time, we atleast have this one that gets us by! :)
I'm feeling anxious for Cal and I to get the house lights up too! :) Since that requires his help, we'll play that by ear! :)
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!? :)
Ours was wonderful! :)
Now I'm ready to move on to the next holiday!! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! :)

Wherever you are spending the holiday, this year, may you feel especially welcome! :)
And may it suit you like a homemade pie, ... all warm, cozy, and just to your personal liking!! :)
May we seize the opportunity to share with whomever we're with, those things we are most thankful for this year!! :)
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Power-Outage Puzzle! :)

Lately I've had this urge to make time for putting a puzzle together, but with a very long "Do-list", it's been difficult to justify taking the time!

A little past 5, this morning, a rain storm accompanied with strong winds caused many trees to fall on powerlines, resulting in alot of outages in the area! Our's lasted untill late afternoon today. Since I couldn't shower to get ready for church, I remained home. I was sad to miss it, but ended up enjoying a very peaceful day! :)

I realized the opportunity was knocking and decided to seize the moment! What better time to put a puzzle together than when the power's out?! :) I thoroughly enjoyed myself! :)
Perhaps the next time we have a power outage I will put another one together!! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Late Bloomers! :)

It amazes me how some plants can be so determined to display their beauty long after the conditions are right for them to do so! Now the days are short, with darkness hanging on late into the morning hours and arriving early in the afternoons! The blustery temp's hold a chill to them now, having caused the bees, and other insects that blossoms attract, to seek hybernation for the winter! :) There seems to only be one reason for them to continue in their daring effort to bring forth blooms, and that is to gladden our hearts! :) With overcast, gray days, now short on light, - this bit of triumphant color is very dear to me! It's almost as if these plants, I give care to, are repaying me with this last push of color! :) ...

I appreciate their show of strong heart, especially since we've had a few hard freezes now! :)
A part of me relates to them in another way as well, - you see, - I was a late bloomer too! :)