Friday, December 22, 2017

In This Mountain Home~ All is Calm

I was off work early today which was a surprise from my boss.
It's a wonderful treat, because
this is what I drove home in.
It's kinda funny really,
my mom is stressed to where she was almost in tears the other day.
I of course eased her mind and lightened the mood by telling her
it was okay not to clean the bathroom.
That drain monster is a family pet.
The slime in the shower proves you have a "green" home.
And the toilet water only goes down so it doesn't count.
She had certain projects to finish, 3 batches of cookies to make,
and regular house cleaning to do.
What actually makes this funny is that Christmas is at our house this year.
They will have no company etc.
Silly Mom.
Meanwhile up the mountain~
at our house where people will actually be visiting,
there is laundry on the couch,
a wicker love-seat in the kitchen/dining area (yes, like on the porch- long story)
plastic totes from decorations are still near the front door
(but the tree is decorated!)
our family pet drain monster is alive and well in our bathroom,
the floors are coated with debris from boots and firewood,
the table has a partially finished craft project on it,
and I'm not worried.
I still have two days ~ plenty of time.
I remembered to take the turkey out of the freezer so all is well.
We never seem to have a shortage of food.
The snow is absolutely beautiful and creates a hush in the forest.
It's kinda like Someone is whispering,
 "Shhh, pay attention.  You won't want to miss this."
And for that, I am so grateful.

As our family comes together and reunites beneath the snowy sky,
near a cozy fire, and around a crowded table (especially if I don't get the love-seat out of there!) let's remember why we've gathered.

From our home to yours a very blessed and merry Christmas to you.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Budget Friendly Gifts for Kids

Let's start with a little excerpt I read recently. 
It kinda stood out to me. 
This is from a magazine article published in 1897. 

"It is the true spirit of present-giving; and let not any of our readers despise it as childish; rather let them remember that that which costs no time, no thought, no self-sacrifice is but of little value in the eyes of affection, and pleases only where the gift is valued for itself, and not for the giver."

This was over one hundred years ago. 
The pace of our lives has only increased since then - dramatically I might add. 
Our families (and communities) are more disconnected than they have ever been. 
Electronics rather than imaginations have become the babysitter. 
That said human nature is still within the hearts of children. 
They still crave attention and interaction
 (though now they often have not been taught the appropriate methods through which to gain attention and interaction- not their fault.)
Please keep all this golden information in mind as I present a couple of ideas for gifts. 
*A ream of paper along with a book or printed hand outs on how to make paper airplanes. Yes, they could do this on their own, but how about each person making one and having a flying trial to see which flies the fastest, farthest, straightest etc.
* A loop of string. I love this one!  Make it a nice sturdy string but soft to the touch and of a generous size.  After all by the time you warp it around your fingers for a mean round of cats-cradle, it shrinks up significantly. You could even print out instructions from the internet if need be. I love this because it actually takes 2 people. It requires interaction. The gift is really the time spent teaching and playing the game and giggling at the funny faces made while concentrating on not making a big knot. 
* Table top bowling - bare with me here. 
A few clothes pegs and a marble (boulder) and there you go. 
Here, I'll sow you ~ 
They are evidently called "doll pins" now - no hanging clothes with these.
You can even include a length of felt if you prefer it to be a bit quieter. 
I of course had to try my skill at which Mr LB laughed.
I got 9 then missed the spare.
I pick these up at thrift stores very reasonably.

I'll also share one from the past in case you missed it. 
Homemade Pickup Sticks
You could color the "bowling pins" in the same way as the pick-up sticks.

I love the feeling of Christmastime, but the consumerism not so much. 
I hope this gives you an idea or two or at least gets your thinker working creatively. 

And lastly, I would like to thank you all for your patience while we were without internet.  We were back in service by Wednesday evening, but it's incredible how long it takes to get caught up on things like that - or maybe just back in the swing of things.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Just So You Know

Our internet went out Thursday evening. 
Evidently, 6 years is old age for a motel. 
We are on the books to receive new equipment Wednesday morning. 
Until then, I just have my phone when I am in town. 
It's peaceful at least.