Monthly Archives: December 2008

My Christmas Miracle (…or I did something insanely stupid but it worked out okay anyway)

Traduccion al Espanol

It was the Thursday before Christmas and I had spent the afternoon baking goodies. I had decided on a quick potato casserole for dinner with a few slices of ham on the side. The casserole was near completion, so I grabbed the dish with the ham in it to poke it in the oven. I opened the oven door and with my mitted hand I turned the hot casserole dish to make room for the ham dish.

I put the ham dish in the oven and then reached over to push the casserole dish into the oven just a little further. The problem? I forgot the casserole dish was hot and grabbed it with my bare hand – the thumb and first to finger grabbed the dish to shove it in further.

It only took a second to realize what I had done, and with a yell of, “What the heck was I thinking?!?” I dashed to the sink and shoved my hand under cool water.

It burned and hurt so bad. And then, the panic hit. I had to play in church on Sunday. Not just regular hymns, but choir accompaniment and piano/organ duets. It was too short a time to expect someone to learn the music – it wasn’t exactly easy stuff. Not to mention all the singing around the piano we do as a family. I pictured suddenly a Christmas with no piano music and singing family and it was almost unbearable. I was nearly crying, not from pain, but from anger at my stupidity.

Paul suggested a priesthood blessing. At first I was a bit reluctant, “It’s only three fingers,” I said.

“But,” he replied, “three fingers on a pianist is a big deal.”

So, I agreed. One of the things mentioned in the blessing was that while my fingers would hurt, whenever I played the piano they wouldn’t and I would be fine.

I bandaged and medicated my fingers and relaxed the rest of the night. In the morning, I noticed my thumb was blistered, but none of my fingers seemed as sore as I thought they would be. I decided to try out the piano, having faith that the words spoken in the blessing.

My fingers didn’t hurt a bit. That evening the family gathered and sang Christmas carols at the piano as I played, and again on Saturday. Snow was coming down heavily and by Sunday morning church was canceled. And though I didn’t play in church that Sunday, I could have. My fingers were completely healed, even the blistered thumb.

Our Christmas was filled with music the music of my children’s voices accompanying my piano, filling our home with the love and spirit of Christmas.

It may not seem much to many, but it was truly a miracle to me.



By the way, we had our Christmas program at church this last Sunday and everything went really well.  It was beautiful and wonderful and all those participating did marvelously.


Filed under Every Day Life, Miracles, Religion

Happy Birthday to the Little Guy!

Traduccion al Espanol

James is one today, my how the year has flown by. It hardly seems possible that he is one already. I spent the early part of the day preparing his cake and decorating the family room, making it as non-Christmasy as possible to focus on his special day. The kids were excited and eager to help.

James cracked us up with his constant “Hi”s and clapping as we sung to him and sat him down beside his little pile of treasure. He opened Grandma E’s Birthday card first and was completely enthralled by it. He wouldn’t let it go, being much more interested in it than any of the presents to be opened. We finally had to hide it so we could get on with the evening. 🙂

James' 1st Birthday Presents Collage

He was amazed at the Jack-in-the-Box, but not too sure about the big stuffed bear. We warmed up to it eventually, but he was giving it almost the same look as he gave Santa on Christmas Eve. It was quite hillarious.

One-year-olds experiencing cake and icecream for the first time crack me up. I love the looks of excitement and the silly faces they make as they eat the cold treat. James gave us this look of sheer joy and amazement, “This is all for me!” and proceeded to feast away while the rest of the family giggled and laughed away as they watched him.

James' 1st Birthday Cake Collage


Filed under Cakes, Children, James

A White Christmas

The first white Christmas for our little family! On Monday we awoke to another 6+ inches on top of what we already had. It continued to snow throughout the day and when Paul and I measured it later in the afternoon we had a whopping 18 inches! These are a few of the snow photos I took in the morning on Monday – it built up even more later on in the day. In the top picture – the snow is actually deeper than it looks, the girls are standing on a sheet of ice about an inch thick with more snow beneath it.

December 22 Snow Collage

Tuesday and Wednesday brought warmer temps and some snow melt, but we still have a good foot of snow out there today. So, our Christmas was plenty white!

Snow in Oregon brings its own challenges, such as no or little funding for plowing and gravel. As a result it was nigh impossible to get around, which meant an extra day or two home for Paul, which was a huge hit. They finally got things plowed on Christmas Eve day – well, some places anyway. And we were able to get my brother and his family to our home for Christmas Eve.

It was so wonderful having them with us – we actually had three Wisemen/shepherds! The cast of our Nativity play went as follows: My niece Laura was Mary, Elizabeth was Jospeh, Paul (my husband) was the donkey, my niece Emma was the Angel, Paul (my brother) was King Herod, and Dorothy, Emily, and Jacob were shepherds/wisemen. Oh, and James was a sheep, while my Sister-in-law and the new baby spectated and I narrated and played piano. It was a hoot!

Christmas Eve Nativity Collage

Later in the evening Santa came for a surprise visit with presents for all the children. James wasn’t too sure about Santa. We got a chance to see his first pouty face ever. Every time Santa even looked at him the lower lip would poke out and he would be on the verge of tears. He lost it when we sat him on Santa’s lap. It was SO cute.

James 1st Santa Collage

All the girls (except the little baby) recieved matching pajamas…

Santa Collage

Christmas was a wonderful relaxed day. Everyone had fun with their new treasures – especially the light sabers – each person (including mom and dad) recieved one for Christmas this year.

Christmas Collage

James sure figured out the present business fast –

James' 1st Christmas


Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature

Our Winter Wonderland

The snow keeps a commin’. It snowed all day yesterday, and then late in the evening, around midnight it changed to freezing rain. This morning we were greeted by a beautiful white crunchy world – a half inch of ice (in some place more, some places less, coated the snow, and everything else.

December 21 Snow

Church was canceled, there was shoveling to be done, and of course some playing. Paul had to show how tough he was by shoveling snow in his sandals, heh. Of course, I wasn’t much better since I ran out in sandals to take pictures and did a bit of shoveling myself.

Shoveling Idiots

There are some definite benefits to having a semi-steep driveway. We created a tobogan run and one adult would stand in the road keeping an eye out for cars, which were few and far between as the roads were sheets of ice covering hardpacked snow. They would give the all clear yell and the other adult would send the kids flying down the driveway and across the road. Paul also towed them around and James especially loved this new experience.

Sledding December 21

And of course, us adults had to have a bit of fun too.

Adults Sledding December 21

And, well, now it is snowing more!


Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature, Photography

She’s Growing Up…. sort of

Last week we atended Paul’s work party and the owner of his company gave every child under the age of 16 a $10 gift card to Target. At the end of the evening we stopped at Target on our way home to let the kids have a little shopping spree.

Up and down the toy isles we walked with all the kids oohing and ahing over the different toys. All the kids except one. Elizabeth walked along, only stopping occasionally. Finally I pulled her aside.

“You’re getting a little old for toys, aren’t you?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

“How about if we walk over to the art supplies.”

She agreed readily. On our way over to the art section, I asked her, “So, what would you like for Christmas and birthdays.”

She mentioned art things, books, clothes, slippers, etc. I couldn’t resist a smile as I replied to her list. “All right, so books, art supplies, clothes, and no more toys.”

She rolled her eyes at me, “I’m not THAT old yet. I still like SOME toys.”


Filed under Humor, Lizy, Things Kids Say

And it Keeps a’comin’ down

The snow from Sunday still lays upon the ground, the roads are snow pack and icy, and today it snowed, and snowed, and snowed, and snowed…  It was wonderful!  I bundled the kids up for a walk in our winter wonderland and we walked to a nearby friend’s house.  From there my friend and I ditched the kids with her teenage son (who was willing to watch them) to go on a long winter walk to the grocery store (roughly 3-4 miles round trip).  It was so much fun with snow falling and swirling all around us.  Its supposed to keep coming down. If we are lucky, we might even end up with a white Christmas. 🙂

The kids love the snow, but are missing school. Each day I tell them no school tomorrow, I am greeted with wails and sad faces.  I think the sadness is due mainly to missing all the Christmas parties that happen this week. 🙂  So, it looks like we get a three week Christmas vacation rather than a two week.

The snow falling today is wetter snow, great for snowballs and of course snowmen, so the kids were out builing away this afternoon.

I love the excitement in the air as Christmas approaches and kids make snow angels. On our walk, Jacob would stop every few minutes to throw himself on the sidewalk and create a snow angel.  The girls rolled snowballs down the sidewalk, the baby went “aaaaaaaahhhhhh” as the stroller bumped over the snow, and I smiled at my five happy children, capturing this magical moment forever in my heart.

It might be a pain to drive in, but snow is Magic!

Elizabeth Snow December 17

Dorothy Snow December 17

Emily Snow December 17

Jacob Snow December 17


Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Jacob, Lizy, Nature

Let it Snow!

We’ve got powder! Honest to goodness powder – the so powdery can’t make snowmen powder! It snowed all day yesterday and into the evening. Roads are horrible, so we have Daddy home today. There is something magical about singing Christmas carols around the piano when there is snow crisp and clean outside, the chirstmas tree is lit, and water is heating on the stove for hot chocolate. Mmmmmm.

Of course the kids had to romp and play this morning, and while the snow isn’t deep, it is enough to excite us oregonians.

December 15 Snow Collage 1

December 15 Snow Collage 2

December 15 Snow Collage 3

December 15 Snow Collage 4
And here I sit in my chilly office (I keep my door closed so the heat from the stove stays in the main room where it is needed most) with my red sweater wrapped around me, sipping on my hot chocolate and enjoying a beatiful winter view of our backyard from my window.   (insert sigh of contentment here) 🙂


Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature

A Random Friday Post

My husband kindly pointed out that I hadn’t written in a month – wow! Has it really been a month? That means I haven’t commented on my friends blogs in a month either – sorry guys, I’ve turned into a lurker aparantly. The sad part is that there have been so many funny things happen that I have said, “I’ll have to blog about that” and then I just never got to it – there were always so many OTHER things that needed to get done.


I am nearly ready for the second round of readers on my book, I’m waiting until after Christmas, but I’ll contact those I emailed soon. 🙂 I appreciate everyone’s help. I have been editing, editing, and editing some more. My query rejection count is up to 3 – woohoo! Very cool. Seriously. 🙂 I have a few places I will send the manuscript once I have it as perfect as I can get it. Oh, and I changed the title – it is now Belinda and the Beastly Neighbor


When I haven’t been editing, I’ve been sewing. When Dorothy and Elizabeth were babies I found an awesome stocking pattern idea in a Jo-Ann Fabrics ad. I made each of us stockings, and I have added to them as we have added to our family. This year I got to make James’ stocking and ten more! No – we are not adding ten people to our family, our midwife liked my stockings so much she hired me to make stocking for everyone in her family. I was supposed to do them in the summer, but I couldn’t find the pattern, so I have spent the last 3 weeks or so sewing and glueing feverishly. I finished them on Tuesday, and my brother said to take a picture – which I promptly did.

10 Stockings

10 Stockings 2


Our Thanksgiving was wonderful, and following our recent tradition of four years we went up to the hospital – though Elizabeth was sick again and so I went up with Dorothy and Emily while Paul stayed with Jacob, James, and Elizabeth. It was wonderful as always, though I really missed the rest of my family. We had our yummy dinner on Friday and chopped down our tree Saturday. For some reason, I didn’t sew or edit much that week-end. 😉

Thanksgiving 2008 Collage

Christmas Tree 2008 Collage

Decorating Tree 2008 Collage

James' first Tree 2008 collage


Some things I have learned in the past few weeks:

Your child will not be harmed if you give him an old antibiotic that has passed its expiration date. Jacob had a dentist appointment and I gave him his pre-med only to realize with horror that it had since expired. A quick call to the ped reassured me that I hadn’t done anything drastic, and that it should still be fine – though it could loose some of its efficacy. The dental hygenist said though that they updated the protocal this year and that only heart valve replacements need to premedicate – so I’ll have some questions for our cardiologist when we see him in March.


Paul doesn’t mind helping me look for/ buy feminine products but he will not touch them. I absent mindedly handed him a box at the store and he tossed up his hands, “I’m not carrying those!” I laughed really hard. 🙂


I understand why my father-in-law tells stories about his mother always keeping him with her in the kitchen, etc. Its because he was either always underfoot while she was in there and she put him to work, or it because he was always in trouble when he was out of sight – at least that’s how it is with Jacob. 🙂 We have become BEST buddies lately, especially since if I turn my back for 5 seconds he is into something or doing something he shouldn’t.


3-year-olds trying to help in the kitchen are commical and you get NOTHING done.


Babies grow way to fast (I already knew this, but it has been re-enforced over the last few weeks since James is now clapping, waving, saying “Bye”, standing, and has taken a few steps occasionally.)

James Standing!


Its really funny to watch your flexible kids play Twister with your non-flexible husband. 😀

Twister 2008 Collage

Now I am trying to get ready for Christmas and a first birthday which seems to be approaching way too rappidly.


Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Parenting, Writing