Christmas in July photos & Nativity truth

Christmas in July photos & Nativity truth

I wanted to share a few photos from yesterdays Christmas in July set up and let me tell you, I got a few good ideas for decorating in December. I like to change it up and not do the exact same thing every year…so here you go

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My older sister made this nativity set and gave it to me over 30 years ago! They are individual pieces handmade and embroidered. Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, a shepherd, an angel, and 3 wise men. I learned by doing this (in July) that I could intermingle the pieces with the garland and it helps them stand up a little better! (1 new thing I figured out).

Anyway, I grew up in the Lutheran church and have heard the Christmas story countless times…always with 3 wise men, an angel and a shepherd. Recently I learned that the facts about the 3 wise men, angel and shepherd are not as they appear in the Nativity scene year after year. In truth, we don’t know how many wise men there actually were we just tell of 3 because of the 3 gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The wise men did not come while Jesus, Mary and Joseph were in the stable, they actually showed up later after the 3 were home.

FullSizeRender (72)We teased our Pastor last year when he preached about this, that he had ruined the Nativity for us, forever. Now I have to set my wise men a distance away from Jesus, Mary & Joseph. I still let the angel hover over Jesus and the shepherd is close…but I will always distance the wise men, just a bit from the scene.

When you know better, you do better! … Oprah

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Wishing you all a Joy filled July!

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Christmas in July

Christmas in July

I’ve heard the expression many times and never given it much thought…until this year. I got interested when my daughter said the Hallmark channel was offering their Christmas specials during the weekends in July. I recorded a few. As I watched the movies I realized how much I enjoy the Christmas season. Aside from Jesus birth, why not have some Christmas joy in July?

The movies, the baking, the spirit of good and family and doing good for others (bringing cookies, buying gifts, helping decorate) are all feelings we should enjoy more than just once a year! I LOVE the Christmas season so much, I’ve started getting ideas for this Christmas already.

We have some friends coming for a visit next week so guess what I’m going to do? Yes!!! I’m going to do a little Christmas decorating and baking. My only fear is doing it in July may make December a bit less special? So I’m going to do it minimally in July. Today is a great day to start since it’s cloudy and going to rain. Except for the 80* temp. it looks and feels (if you’re inside with the A/C on) just like Christmas. I might even have a hot cocoa later today! Or maybe a little crème de menthe something or other.

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I’m off to bake and decorate- and here is the thing…

If I feel like December seems a little less special, I don’t have to do Christmas in July next year. My theory is, try it once and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it again. (THIS is the case with most anything in life).

Have a happy Thursday July 20th! only 5 days until Christmas…in July

 

 

 

 

swooned by a 3 year old

swooned by a 3 year old

Tyler came to visit last night. I decided to follow my own blogs advise and create a special rock area in one of my flower boxes. I wanted Tyler to come down and paint a rock for me. It would be his own creation, with no advise or suggestions from me. (I was not good at this with my own kids) (I wanted things too perfect back then).

His mommy brought him after his nap. He started out with a Paw Patrol adventure and a fruit snack (his favorite- here) during which time I fixed him a grilled cheese and some strawberries. One has to keep “the help” happy!

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He didn’t eat too much and it was on to painting. First he went out in our back yard and I told him he could choose any rock he wanted to paint. He choose a rock that he could hardly lift. Good, I thought…big painting surface. The artist formerly known as Tyler.

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While his creation was drying we decided to play a memory game. Ty hasn’t had too much experience with competitive games yet. We organized it and he started getting matches before me. This is always the case when I play games with 3 & 4 year olds, they grab the lead early. Finally I got a match and I said, “yay…Glenda finally got a match.” This did not sit well with Ty and he proceeded to have a melt down. Now I as a mother and former day care provider, do not mind a good melt down. I’ve had a few myself over the years. As I tried to explain how the game works and that Tyler was still the “winner” (I finished the game after my first match with 3 sets, but Tyler had already matched 4 sets), he continued to cry. I also tried to explain how in a game it doesn’t matter who wins, it’s not important. None of this was sinking in and the crying continued. (I consider it a compliment that he feels comfortable enough here and with me to melt down). I finally put him at the table with his hardly touched food and told him he needed to stay there and eat, since I thought he was probably suffering from hunger more than the upset of my getting a match. He sat there for a while crying and finally when I brought him some cottage cheese to eat with his fruit he ate a hardy amount and got happy again.

I told his mommy I would give him a bath before I brought him home. He loves to bathe at my house. There is a certain plastic fish that always joins him in the tub. While I was drying Tyler off and he was running around the bathroom, he suddenly stopped, tilted his little head and said, (in the sweetest voice) “Glenda, I sorry” and crawled into my lap for a super snuggle. My heart LITERALLY MELTED A LITTLE. I asked if he was sorry about his crying episode earlier and he said (again in the sweetest little voice) “yaaaa”. After a good long cuddle/snuggle he popped back up and in perfect Tyler form started being crazy again.

I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.

And probably, this one too.

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Are you a “homebody?”

Are you a “homebody?”

Are we considered a homebody because we love our home? Or because we don’t like to travel? Are some people naturally not able to sit still, while others could sit all day long, every day? Does it have to do with age?

I’ve always considered myself a homebody. One might not think so based on the amount of time I’m gone from home. I’m gone, usually because my people are somewhere else, and since I’m retired, I can be.

When I worked full time and my kids were young, I wanted to be home. Aside from the vacations etc. we enjoyed being home as a family. My husband enjoys watching TV, but he works hard, keeps long hours and travels, so I get it. He plays “catch up” TV on weekends. He loves his recorded regular shows and sports.

I love the house I currently live in. I love my yard, now that it’s smaller and more manageable. I like a clean house and I enjoy cooking most nights…NOT every night. So, I have lots of reasons to stay home. It’s hot in Vegas but I like to read, put puzzles together, practice my clarinet, color and paint, all indoor activities. I really don’t watch too much TV. I will avoid the grocery store at all costs. I don’t know why, I just don’t like to grocery shop. I’m not really a good window shopper either. I mean if you need it buy it, otherwise the nonsensical looking around doesn’t do anything for me.

So again, the question, are we naturally a homebody? or do we become a homebody? Are we only a homebody when we are home? Or are we always a homebody that WILL travel when necessary?

What are you? A homebody or a busybody?

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Appreciating teachers- mid summer!

Appreciating teachers- mid summer!

Today I wanted to acknowledge and give credit and thanks to my teaching friends everywhere! What a difficult job you have! What a blessing you are to so many!

I have several friends and relatives who teach. My older sister is an exceptional elementary school teacher. Many of the young women I’ve coached over the years, have made teaching their chosen career. To those who teach- you are a gift and a safe-place to many young people. You take on the job of teacher, mother/father, nurse, counselor, friend, coach and mentor. Your hats are many, your days are busy and your nights are sacrificed for correcting papers and prep. While some would say that teachers only work a 6 hour day, I know MUCH BETTER. I don’t think my sister has ever WATCHED a movie. She listens, while correcting papers each night and planning her next awesome day.

I’m gratetful beyond words for the wonderful influence and impression left upon my own children by outstanding teachers and coaches throughout their life. Sometimes you are making impressions you are not even aware of. I still remember my 5th grade teacher 50 years later!

I know it is becoming more and more challenging to teach. Yet, where would we be if everyone gave in to the challenges?

So today verbally, but everyday quietly I’m SO THANKFUL FOR WONDERFUL TEACHERS. If you are still teaching, thank you! If you have retired from teaching, you deserve it, enjoy it.

And may young people everywhere continue to be blessed and grateful for the extraordinary teachers who impact their lives in ways to numerous to count!

Enjoy your summer break, my dear teaching friends.

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Win/Loose…play fair

Win/Loose…play fair

May we forever impress upon our children, it truly doesn’t matter if you win or loose, it’s how you play the game that counts! And being friends at the finish line!

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“When winning is the only objective, cheating then becomes an option – and in a society that overlooks this type of behavior, we have a sad situation.”

John Naber, Olympic Swimming Champion

 

In the heat-survival…

In the heat-survival…

Well summer is in full swing! As I write, my husband is outside in the 100 degree temp. (9:30am) attaching a line to each plant that is currently being watered by hand. It is really the only way, once the heat/extreme dryness sets in.

I’m learning to find plants and trees that will thrive in the environment they are placed in. I used to get really upset when plants didn’t make it. Now I realize it’s just survival of the fittest. (Those things that can tolerate their environment)

This tree is called a dessert willow. We noticed them as soon as we moved here and I LOVE this tree. It is easy to keep cut back to a good size, pretty (it drops a lot) but anything that flowers is going to be messy. I don’t mind the dropping flowers, since it colors the dirt.

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I wanted color in spring and discovered these little cactus. I’d seen them in the garden department but never thought much of them until my daughter bought one for herself. I decided that would be a great way to have a little color distributed here and there.

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And the tree that fell over and up-rooted during winter, is doing fantastic. The fast action of getting it back in the ground and treating the roots really paid off. It is very healthy! The pictures below are winter, right after we got it back up, and today!

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My favorite thing in the heat of summer, is to sit back in my air conditioned house and look at everything pretty outside.

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Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. – Confucius