Thursday, December 10, 2009


Tradition have been on my mind lately.  This year is the first year the kids seem to be interested in our traditions.  I was thinking of changing some things this year and but Autumn was all you can't change things now.  It is  tradition.  It surprised me because I haven't thought too much about what we do and when we do it.  The kids haven't complained or said much of anything about anything that we do.  It is nice to have the feedback to know there are things they look forward too.  Seth this year is interested in the ornaments on our tree.  He was standing looking at it one day and was curious about the ornaments with his Dad's name on them. So I told him about some of the ornaments and he told me about what he remembers about the ornaments.  It was a fun conversation and I am glad that he noticed a tradition.  

Our traditions are this, we go to the Christmas concerts for the kids.  We go caroling with a church group or scouts at the local nursing home. We perform in the live nativity and become icicles.  But we also go on sleigh rides and get warm by the bonfire.  We drive around town and look at all the lights everyone has put on their houses.We sing solos during Christmas Eve church service.  We open one gift Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning. Christmas morning we spend enjoying our gifts and each other.  We usually watch White Christmas, The Santa Clause, and a few other Christmas movies during some weekend. I try to fit in making cookies but that sometimes does not happen. 

During Christmas time we are busy with school and basketball games.  Next year will be different as we won't have basketball games to go to anymore. I might find more time to bake those cookies.  We see how it goes and what new traditions will form as our family changes.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Good Intentions

Every Christmas time always brings good intentions.  I intend to write a Christmas letter and send cards.  Along with those cards I want to send pictures of the kids.  But as usual with basketball starting, work getting busy for the spring, and all the Christmas programs etc.  It just never gets done.  This year so far I have written a letter and got my list of people to send cards. There is always hope that it gets done this year.  I might even go ahead and buy my stamps too.  This is the most prepared I have been in years we will see how long it lasts.  I have pictures of Autumn (senior pics) and tonight I should be able to get one of the boys too.  Seth's concert is tonight and I made him a box to fit over his head so that he can be a present. It should be interesting.    I will post my last two Journal my Christmas entries when I get home tonight.  I can't believe I am up to date on this.  Last night I was looking for my X stamp maker and I found my previous Christmas journals.  I farthest I have made is to the 7th of Dec.  I hope to do the whole thing this year.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Winter Weather

I woke to a world of white this morning.  It actually started to snow yesterday afternoon. Now it is still snowing and the ground is covered with white.  After looking at the weather forecast,  we are supposed to get another inch. I love snow during Christmas but I do get tired of it by the end of December. If only we could get it just before Christmas and then it could melt and I would the happiest person around.  The years we haven't had snow for Christmas just seemed so wrong, like it just wasn't Christmas yet.  I have a feeling this white look is going to stay until the spring.  I do love it when it is untouched and no footprints, mud etc to mar its existance. Snow always make everything seem new somehow.  I have always lived in the north where snow is always a possiblity.  There are so many different types of snow. We have the heavy, wet snow in Ohio and the dry, light fluffy stuff we usually get here in North Dakota. I guess winter wouldn't be winter without the white stuff.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

JYC Manifesto

IMG_1918.JPG, originally uploaded by stephrussell2001.

This is my first page in my Christmas journal. I love doing this activitiy every year. It gives me something to look forward to every day. I can sometimes get too caught up in the push and shove to really stop and enjoy the season just for its own sake.

This reads:
Starting Dec 1st, I will keep a Christmas journal. In it, I will write something every day to reflect on the holidays of my past, enjoy the holidays of my present, and dream about the holidays of my future.

To some this will be a stack of papers and trivial scribbles, but NOT to me. I am taking back my Christmas. I am letting be something I relish and most importantly, I am giving at least 15 minutes every day to myself no matter how crazy the season becomes. I hope you will share, encourage and understand as I make something with my own hands, my own words and my own memories.

Enjoy the season: I will.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving prepartions have started.

Here is our Turkey getting all drunk so to speak.  It is being brined in a combination of cider and beer and spices.  It usually comes out very nice.  The family really loves it. So this is tomorrow's dinner.  I am so looking forward to having 4 days off.  I don't get that much and we are staying home. I am looking forward to spending relaxing time at home with the family. 

But tomorrow is reserved for cooking, eating, spinning, and watching movies.  Friday is for getting the house ready for Christmas. Saturday is a basketball scrimmage. Sunday is for decorating the church.  So here is my Thankful list.

I am thankful that David is well and seems likely to stay that way.  I am thankful that Jacob is coming along in school and is a wonderful bright and caring person. I am thankful that Seth is trying to helpful and loves to gives hugs to everyone. I am thankful that Beau is a really good dog.  I am also thank for my far away family and friends for keeping in touch as best they can and sharing their lives with me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy anniversary to us!

IMG_1914.jpg, originally uploaded by stephrussell2001.
Today is my 22nd Annivesary to my wonderful husband, David. I actually forgot about this one as it is our second wedding date. We did get married in July but this was our wedding in our hometown with family and friends. It was a wonderful day even if it did snow. Almost every who was invited came and I hope had a good time. It was wonderful to be with family and friends to mark our life change from single people to an official married couple.

Our time together seems like forever and also seems like we just started this whole thing. It is hard to believe that 22 years have past. Every year brings some new to either be rejoiced for or struggled to get through. We are not the same people who started out on this journey but we still share the same love and devotion that we had at the beginning. This love has matured as well from an exciting future hopes to a warm, close steadying relationship. We are glad to be celebrating this year and I hope there will be many more.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Journal your Christmas

I am looking forward to this Journal Your Christmas journal this year.  I haven't scrapped in a long time since probably last year. But it is always fun and keeps me focused on the reason for the Season.  It also helps to reflect on my feelings about the season and why I think the way I do and what I want to change.   Here are my supplies this year.  I am going to do 8x8 with patterned paper to accent.  Also found some really cute snowflakes to put my numbers for the date. I am hoping to finish this one.  I might go peek at the prompts to remind myself of them.  I also have to pick what pen and other doo dads to use too. I am going to try to keep it simple.  I am glad I got paper that has glitter already on it.  If any is wondering how this works check out this link Journal your Christmas.  This is what gets me through the holidays. I miss some things from my childhood but have done different things with my kids so it is nice to combine the two. Join me if you need to take back your Christmas.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Busy, Busy

I will have to add photos later as I will never get this posted if I wait to get photos up.  After the van fire, I attend a UMW district meeting the following weekend.  It was wonderful to visit with all the different women from around our district here.  Putting names to faces is always fun.   I am still learning my new "job" as district treasurer.  It does take a certain amount of time but I sure it will be easier as time goes on.  This meant that I was away from home over night.  David was fine and so were the kids but I know eating wasn't as dependable.

The next weekend I want on fun and exciting weekend with my spinning and knitting friends.  I went to Watertown, SD to a fiber festival.  There animals mostly sheep and alpacas, lots of yarn and roving too.  I bought a really nice alpaca pin roving and some lovely pink batts.  I took a spinning class on how to spin fine yarn.  It was very interesting and I learned how to trust the thread as you spin.  There was also a deal that you got 4 ounces of fiber to spin and the returned the finished yarn for the auction at the end of the weekend.  It was interesting experience to spin all different types of fibers in one yarn. 

The rest of the time has been spent going to cross country meets for Jacob.  He did a good job this year and looks forward to next year running the longer distances.  He generally runs a 3k but next year will look at doing the 5k. 

Next was Halloween, Seth was Darth Vader.  He had a lot of fun going to a friends party and trick or treating around town.  This Halloween was actually a very pleasant night.  It was a bit chilly but not too close to freezing. 

Autumn has been busy with getting her senior pictures done and given out.  She has been busy with play practice.  Today she starts basketball practice.  I have a feeling our nice quiet weekends will be very busy soon. 

I can't believe that is almost Thanksgiving time.  I am also looking forward to Journaling my Christmas.  I think I will do it as a digital file this time around here on the blog.  It is fun to do and makes me thoughtful at this time of year.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


IMG_1531.JPG, originally uploaded by stephrussell2001.

Well, I think the picture says a thousand things. But I will tell the story anyway. It all starts with my arriving home as usual on a Friday evening. I gathered my things from the van and headed into the house to relax and get into comfy clothes. After I talked with the kids and changed clothes. I happen to look outside to see smoke coming from the van. Well, we have been have some issues with burning oil. When I went to check if it was just a small issue no, Lots and Lots of smoke coming from the van. So I called 911 to get the firemen on their way because there was no way I was going to be able to handle it by myself. I get them alerted and hang up with them. I called David and told him the situation which he was a little disbelieving but I was too. Luckily he was already on his way home from work. I hung up with David and continued to wait.....and wait.....and wait....I ended up calling 911 again because there were flames on the entire front of the van and we were hearing small explosions. Since it was close to the house I was a bit concerned about it spreading. But only the little Geo Metro was affected since it was the closest. When I was on the phone with 911 the second time she verified the directions which were wrong so I told her the right ones. Then finally after a few more minutes of waiting. I can see the firetrucks coming down the road. What a relief that was! It took a few more before they got ready and put it out. Once they finally did the the damage was visible. They figure it was an electrical short near the headlights because most of the damage was done on the driver's side of the engine compartment. I am just thankful I wasn't in it when it started. So we are feeling a bit sad that our van is gone but happy that everyone is safe and sound.
So let's hope this is the only thing that will happen for the next while. Have a happy and safe Labor day weekend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The summer is coming to a close

Lots of things have happened since I last wrote here. Autumn had a wonderful prom. We lost a member of our family to cancer quickly. Visited with family we haven't seen in years. Reconnected a bit and hope to continue to do so over the coming years.

It seems this summer like we really haven't had a summer. It has been cool and not very summer like for the most of it. The kids are all ready back in school and the grind begins again. Jacob is loving his cross country running. Autumn is looking forward to her senior year in high school. Seth is just enjoying being with all his friends and he has a loose tooth too. Everyone is growing up.

David and I are trying to keep up with all the kids. Also trying to find time to ourselves too. In a few short years it will be back to just the two of us again. It is hard to believe we have been married for over 20 years. It seems like we just got married a few years ago. He is "enjoying" being union steward for his workplace. I am trying to adjust to another volunteer position for my church's women's group. It is take more time than I would like. But it will be fun to do some traveling.

I have finished a few knitting projects this summer. The first one I was a ruffled shawl that I gave away. I am going to have to make another one. That was a fast and fun knit. The other one was a handspun, handknit shawl. I gave that to Jacob's title I teacher. She has helped so much over the years that she deserved it. Now I am working on another shawl that will be given away but also for a good reason. That is also a handspun, handknit as well as my own personal design.
I have a several other projects that I want to get done before the end of the year.
Rhinebeck cardigan-have to spin more yarn, knit the rest of the body.
Bristow-need to knit the two sleeves.
Sugar Maple socks-just have to finish the foot.
Aphrodite Shawl-will work on that as I can no deadline on that.
Desdemona Shawl-would like to get that done. I am getting the 3rd installment of lace club soon.

My next in line projects should be mittens for everyone. I need to spin those. Will probably be simple simple ones but that is just fine with most likely alpaca interior. Yummmm, soft and cozy for the really really cold winter.

Need to go and do some work today. Wheat harvest might actually happen this week.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Busy life too much going on

I am so tired of this weather. It is all snowing and flooding and muddy. Yuck! I keep telling myself in a few weeks the grass will be green and it will nice to outside the mud will be gone. I can't tell you how much this winter has seemed to drag on and on. I am trying to think of a place that has season but that isn't so freaking extreme. I will have to investigate that for my old age.

Things here are busy...Autumn has prom in a few weeks. We are actually going to be chaperones. I am looking forward to it. It is so nice to see all the kids dressed and having fun. Jacob is busy with track, speech and school homework. I can't believe he is 14 now. His birthday was yesterday. We took him to Texas Roadhouse and his present was a PSP. His is so excited about. He is getting so tall and growing up fast too. He is a pretty good kid. Seth is at his inquisitive stage. ASking all kinds of questions and telling you what to do because at six he knows it all too. He has some pretty funny I put a cover on a our new couch. He says " What are you covering that up for?" He just ughhhh's and walks away. He also is very personable to everyone he meets. He comes to where I work after school and strikes up conversations with anyone and everyone he sees there. Seth is our social butterfly.

Well, I suppose I should get David and go out and try to get our van out of the mud it has been in for 3 weeks now. I would like to drive it again. I am sure Autumn would like to have wheels again too.