My blog is a way for me to share in the wonder of each day. I know there are others like me that due to medical issues have our days numbered and would like to make the most of them in a positive and gifting way for ourselves and for those around us.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

And the race is on....

Yup, the holiday race is officially on. Check out any retailer and they will let you know that you need to buy something right now while their prices are low and you need to buy from them. With the economy being as bad as it is right now, everyone is in a pinch, so it's a slow start. But, I've had years of experience of being in a pinch and believe me, the race can be a little slower and alot more personal and even more affordable.

For years I have raised not only my own kids but foster kids too. When I was orinally married it was tough and it was also tough when I became a single mother doing all the same things.

My daughter grew up going to Goodwill for our clothes shopping and even doing some Christmas shopping when she was very young. Through the roughest times, we still managed to have wonderful and fun Christmases and we learned to share with those around our little world.

Each year, since Amber was born, I have bought or made each child a new Christmas ornament and put their name and the year on the back or bottom. This tradition came to me because my first Christmas away from home was my most lonely and forlorn.

We had no money, and had just moved to a new community up in the mountains. We lived in a very small basement apartment, and had almost notfurniture. Our couch was an army cot with a large pink pillow my husbands old girlfriend made for him (fun for me). Our bed was a single mattress on the flour and we had no dining room chairs, just two yard sale bar stools.

We had no Christmas tree or ornaments or decorations at all. I made a construction Christmas tree with curled paper for the branches. It was 1 and 1/2 feet tall and I cut out pieces of some old wrapping paper I'd kept, into stars and lamenated them with clear sticky shelf paper.

My new husband at the time had to work all Christmas day and I was alone, sitting infront of my little tree and I cried. Coming from a large family (I was the oldest of 7) I was used to lots of commotion, people and excitment surrounding all of the holidays. This was such a culture shock I didn't know what to do. I didn't think of calling home to my family because I didn't want to barge in and bother them during their celebration. I was under the wrong assumption that once we left home we should not bother our parents for piddley little things like being lonely.

I decided when Amber was born that none of my children would leave home without some special Christmas items to remind them of home and their childhood and so the tradition began. As each of my children and foster children reached 18 or left home or went home to their families, I gave them all the Christmas ornaments that they had been putting on the tree every year they grew up. I am still carrying on the tradition with my grown children and all the grandchildren as well.

Anyway, doing without did help me to desire to reach out to others after that, so when my children reached toddler age and on, we also made special little baskets of fruits or nuts or some other munchy and we made noodle angels that we painted gold and put on strings for ornaments. We made styrafoam popcorn stringers for our tree and construction paper chains too.

Over the years we did such things as baking bread together and pies and pumpkin bread and we made wood crafts we painted or whatever. We gave them out to relatives and to older neighbors we met, even the mean old lady that lived next door that always yelled at my kids for who knows what. My very young daughter (at that time) learned that everyone needs to be cared about and deserves to receive a gift, even grouchy ones.

The foster children I cared for enthusiastically got involved and made something special for their parents and they were so proud. I think it is very important that children learn to care about other's while they are very young and that feeling will carry on into their teen and adult lives and as parents themselves.

I had guardianship of a boy with cerebral palsey in a wheel chair and mental age of about 2 or 3. He was 17 when I got him and he lived as part of our family until he turned 21. He also got involved and did his best to paint a craft for his mother and he laughed with the glee he felt for being involved with the whole family.

My daughter, Amber, began to carry on the tradition of giving homemade love gifts with her children since they were very small. It is something they look forward to and they love bringing Grandma and Grandpa something they made especially for us. It is really true that what we give to other's will eventually come back to us in some form or fashion and what better way to see something we have begun being shared with so many other's.

Amber may post on her blog about how she and her little brownie scout troop that her 7 year old daughter is in, gathered food from family and friends and delivered it to Care and Share last week. They collected 96 pounds of canned and dry foods. They helped the workers stock the shelves while they were there. Now, her daughter Mariah wants to have her birthday party there next summer and have her friends bring food and help stock their shelves.

When taught how to love and share, children are the most selfless people on earth. Not many grownups can say they would just love to celebrate their birthday party at Care and Share working!

Yesterday Amber and I, along with her baby, Evan, went to the baby shower for her stepsister who is having her first baby in January. She decided to have it extra early since the holidays are upon us and she will be due mid January. As a first baby there is always the chance she could deliver early too, making it too close after the holidays to have a shower with a time safety margin.

She already knows it'g going to be a boy so everyone knew what kinds of things to buy. Amber made a very warm baby blanket for her and I pitched in with the material. Her own kids all have one and they still use them all the time since they are really nice and big. Here it is below. the back has teddy bears and the front has fire engines and police cars etc. so it should be good for many years.

Today I had my granddaughter and neice, both close to the same age, and we went to the western 'Ghost Town' museum here in town. We had a great time. They especially loved the old western jail with a jailbird included.

The stage coaches and first motorized cars were so cool.

They saw a mercantile with the types of things people could buy back in the 1800's and there were no racks of cute clothes or shelves of games and toys or anything especially colorful but it was definitely a peek into a past they just couldn't imagine. I took several pictures of our fun.

There was even a bent mirror that made them look especially tall or extra short and they even got to pan for gold.

Well, last but not least, news about David that everyone has been so loving to think about and pray for. He chose to skip the PET scan appointment and said he didn't want to know. Actually he does but he is afraid they might say it's not all gone and they would have to do it again. He doesn't always think past today and when he is emotionally caught up in other issues he can't face this too. Not the wisest choice but he's 18 and want's us all to know that.

I am hoping and prayers are still needed that he will see the wisdom in getting this taken care of even if he does have to do the chemo one more time to be sure it's all gone. He still hasn't grasped the reality and the seriousness of his situation but I hope he will not let time pass much longer and will try to resolve all the effort that has been put into his getting well. He is so lucky so far and just doesn't get it yet, so please keep remembering him until he get's back to the doctor.

p.s. My husband, my brother with his 3 boys and my father, all went rabbit hunting today and got nothing. Are they bad hunter's or where have all the bunnies gone? At least they took their fishing poles and tossed their lines in the river and resevoir awhile too but not much luck there either.
I think those guys just go out there and sit around a little fire and roast hotdogs and tell tall stories all day. I may have to go along and make sure they are doing their duty out there. I told my husband I wanted some hosenfeffer for supper but nothing but an old beaver head skull did he find. The grandson liked that though.

Moral of the story? The more hunter's you send out, the less likely they will hunt!! Ha!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Catch up and join the Holiday race

I've been neglecting my blogger friends so decided it was about time to get off, oh no, I mean on my duff and write.

My hunter came back home last week safe and sound and nary a rack in sight. Of course he didn't have a license this year since he didn't get lucky in the state draw, but never the less he did see some deer. My dad did get a buck after all, so at least someone will have some good eatin meat on their table. Maybe we'll be more lucky next year.

Halloween candy still permeates my house and in fact I'm munching on some of those sour little things I love right now. I sure don't need them, but since they're sitting right here by my computer...(don't know how that happened), I might as well enjoy them until I'm all puckered up. Maybe then I'll go find my hunting hubby and see if he can pucker too!

I thought it would slow down once the weather cooled but not so. Between trips to Denver for my son's chemo treatments, my own doctor appointments, hunting season on top of Halloween and playing with the grandkids then of course walking Myrtle at the park, I've been pretty busy. That's not counting taking my car in for a new starter and then for a door replacement after a lady backed into it, and writting some more for my book.

I have also been creating some word puzzles for all my grandkids and young neices and nephews for Christmas. Then there's cooking for my love, and trying not to over do myself to boot. I haven't done any painting since last spring, but I plan to start that again too. It's hard to keep balance in my life but that's how I've always thrived in the past. I don't let things keep me down any longer than I can help it and I can't help but look for more to do than I can actually do.

Even as I am writing this, I'm still not doing enough. See how Myrtle looks so dejected?

That's because she brought me her ball to play a few minutes ago and I told her I would play with her later. Now doesn't that sound just like all us mother's and father's when our little one's come along and want to play?

You will be happy to know that I took a break to play with Myrtle just now so she knows that even she is important enough for me to put what I'm doing down and spend a little time with just her.

I guess that can be my main point tonight. It's not how much we do or accomplish, it's who we spend our time with and how we do it. Do we rush our time with our loved ones or do it with half our attention? Are we invested in our relationships with other people and especially our children enough to pull away from our own hustle and bustle to really see them and hear them and hug them, and play with them? That can go for our husbands and wives just as much.

As the holiday season get's going, how are you going to be sure you have enough time to spend with those you love most? I know I will definitely have to cut out some of the busyness and even fun projects that can run my life if I let it.

Since I have been so ill, and even before things got really bad, I had to learn how to say no to things. Things someone else asked me to do or things I put on myself when I did what comes naturally to me, and that's to over schedule my time and energy.

I am hoping for a peaceful holiday season sprinkled with enough energy to have fun with those I love. I wish the same for you!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Indian Summer?

My husband left me!

Well, sort of anyway. He went hunting for the weekend and will be back on Monday. Unfortunately he didn't get a buck or elk license this year but goes for moral support and cooking and just to be part of it.

Hightailing it for the hills

All of my family has hunted for many years and in fact the place they are hunting at right now is where my Dad and his Dad and brother's have hunted continuously for almost 50 years. I used to hunt but of course I can't now so I'm glad my husband get's to go and hang out with the other guys.
Our family has always used the buddy system so no one has to go up hunting by themselves. The unlicensed people go with the rest for fun and for safety. It has been used for good several times when someone has been injured or has become sick.
Several years ago, my husband and my dad were hiking along the hills when Dad became very tired and lethargic. His limbs were heavy and he just couldn't go on. His lips and hands began to feel numb and tingly too. He was about 70 at the time and is like a mountain goat when it comes to hiking in the hills but this time he was in trouble. My husband left him on the hill and hightailed it back to camp for the truck. He picked Dad up shortly near the trail where Dad managed to climb down to and waited on a rock. Rick and my brother's loaded up camp double time and headed back to town with Dad.
He has had 2 previous heart attacks and has some stints in his artery's so they were worried it was his heart. When they got back to town and got him checked out they eventually found out it was a reaction to a new medication the doctor gave him just before leaving for hunting. Once he quit taking it he cleared up in a day or so thankfully.
Dad is 76 this year and doing quite well and is having a great time. This morning he was the only one that got lined up with a buck and he almost got a five point. (In Colorado when we say a 5 point, we mean the buck had 5 points on each side, not altogether).

Now for the holiday of the month. Halloween!

What a beautiful Halloween we all had in Colorado. The weather was perfect and I looked forward to having kids come by for treats knowing that they weren't freezing or bundled up in coats and gloves over their costumes. It was great to have all of our grandkids come by for something special from Grandma and Grandpa. I even took the time to make a bunch of homemade popcorn balls and some caramel covered apples for them.
I took some cute pictures of them here.
Our cute little witches??

A Bear, A Mermaid, and a Dragon

Maybe Pete's Dragon? Big sister's little bear!

Amber made Mariah's little Mermaid costume last year and she wanted to wear it again. She makes a great mermaid.
A baby bear or an
My little Mermaid

Little Bear meets Bully Dog
Grandma's little bear

I was a little surprised that we didn't have more trick or treaters come by, not even the teenagers that invariably come looking for something sweet. Even with good weather I guess most kids go to family or friends parties or go to the spook houses that are so much fun. I loaded all the kids down with a toy, a handful of candy and a home made popcorn ball on a stick.
One of the scary items I had for kids to feel in a pot!

For the older kids and preteens I had a pot inside of a black bag. Inside were some items that felt like eyeballs, liver, and a brain. they loved it and I supplied hand wipes for clean up. I think most kids like to be grossed out and maybe even a tiny bit scared, which is what makes Halloween so fun. I don't believe that having fun in this way is somehow going to bring evil into a childs mind. I always did however forbid my kids to wear witchy or devil type costumes and had them choose fun or funny costumes. We usually made them up at home anyway.

I guess every holiday has changed alot over the years and even Christmas, Hannakah or whatever holiday we each celebrate isn't quite the same anymore. The holidays have become so commercial that the real reason for it is almost lost. It becomes each families choice on how their kids view them and how they celebrate them.

For Christmas each year we usually baked a birthday cake for Jesus (as well as one for my brother who was born on Christmas Eve, poor guy). The manger scene and the story of Jesus birth was read when they were young too. We enjoyed the fun parts too with Santa and all the gifts to each other. Every Holiday is so much more fun and rich and enjoyable when kids are part of it. Their innocence and excitement and exuberance just spills over and infects everyone around them.
I really miss that, especially on Christmas morning. It's only benn a couple of years since I haven't had a child waking up on Christmas morning to the wonder and excitement of the day. It's just not the same at home and that's exactly where my grandchildren come in. We are lucky enough to be able to share in some little way with them through the holidays, even if it's not that particular day. I guess my ideals comes from my past, growing up in a large family and raising a large family.
I think it's interesting to learn about other people's traditions at the holiday's and I hope to read about your's soon.
The best gift in life is life! So..share it!