December 31, 2012

The Road Not Taken is The Road Less Traveled

I have always looked at my blog as a living thing.  I know it sounds crazy, but I think, "if it's not growing, it's dying".   I have also seen it as sort of a book, each month being a new chapter.  So, when I embarked on my "book" a year and a half ago, it was to be about primitive things with some random life happenings thrown in here and there.
Now, as any author knows, when you run out of content and start repeating yourself, it's time to end the book.  Problem is, that would mean killing my blog.  GASP!!!!!  Unthinkable.  I have too many wonderful friends and have invested too much time and effort, thought and myself into it to possibly say good by.  I knew that having a very specific blog title would mean that one day this might happen.  I simply don't have enough of the "primitive" thing to share to be able to create post after post after post about it.  I have a public blog so I don't feel comfortable in sharing what my life is truly about, and frankly most people in this crazy world wouldn't care.  
Having a blog was about creating something and being successful at it.  I have been having such an amazing time meeting new friends along the way that I never stopped and thought about an end, but here it is; quite abruptly and not by choice (if Misi and Robyn had not had the Merriment chain, this post would have showed up even before Christmas). I have nothing left to share but the life happenings of a Mother and actually, that's boring for others to read about. I know that my besties wouldn't care if that's all I posted about, but I do.  I don't want a blog just filled with that stuff.  So, I am at a the fork in the road that Robert Frost depicted.  Now, if I can only find the road that has been less traveled and morph this blog into it. 

 I imagine that road is very quiet....relaxing...
beautiful.... inspirational.....and spiritual.  All the things that life needs more of. 
It's funny how a blog name can become part of your identity.  I don't want to rename my new road.  I will always be ~Steph~  from Front Porch Prims, but the detour I am taking is going to have to have it's own name too.  So, while I am standing with my back to the world at the fork in the road, looking down the one less traveled, I will just visit all of your paths until I can get the courage to step out and start my new journey.  
Wish me luck.......Love you all.
May 2013 be as great as last year.

December 19, 2012

Merriment Chain ~ Day 24 ~ Thank You

A few weeks ago I listened to a Christmas devotional in which it was relayed that you would have a more meaningful Christmas if you would spend time doing things with others.  Those things could be activities with your family, a church get together, neighborhood parties, office celebrations, service groups, etc.  
I know that by participating in this Merriment chain with my fellow blogging friends, that it has added greatly to the Christmas Spirit I have felt.  It has brought me closer to the ladies I have visited with each day for 24 straight days.  It has allowed me to share things that I may have not otherwise.  
I have been able to join with mother's in their excitement of children coming home for the holidays and in the frustrations of having Christmas lights stuck in the mailbox. I have wept with those who posted about the tragedy in Connecticut and laughed about ladies dining rooms being taken over by greenery.  I have cheered along with those who are just beginning their prim journey and have drooled over the perfect homes of those who know what they are doing:) I have smelled the wonderful scents of pine and cinnamon and tasted yummy chocolate cherry cookies.  I have had bad dreams of spooky vintage elves and glorious ones of friends meeting together for parties.  I have learned alot about my friends and they have learned some more about me.
So, to all of you who joined in the Merriment Chain and to many of you who stuck with me for 24 straight days (Christine you know who you are)
I just want to say thank you.  Thank you for making this the Merriest blogging season ever:)
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Merriment Chain ~ Day 23 ~ Snowman Poop and Mistletoe

I usually purchase gifts for the teachers and put them in pretty gift bags, this year I got a little more creative.  Nothing big, but it seems more meaningful if there is more thought and creativity behind it.
My youngest goes to pre-school where there is 1 main teacher (she actually got a "real" gift delivered to her home) and 3 para's.  This is what I made for the aids in her classroom.

This is what the older two are giving their teachers.

Today is the day.  You know, the one where everything has to be done?  The laundry, the packing, the cleaning, the baking, ect.  
I also have to go to the school to help out with a fundraiser and run to the store for some last minute things.  Oh ya, and to the bank.
The girls have their school Christmas Concert tonight.  I love those things. All the kids are required to wear dresses and ties and everything looks really nice.  Everyone from every one's family comes to watch.  It's just a really nice time.
Have a great day.

December 18, 2012

Merriment ~ Day 22 ~ When Merry Turns Scary

Every year we make treats for our neighbors and good friends we go to church with each week.  "Baby" and I put the plates together in the afternoon and later, after the other girls got home from school, we made Rice krispies treats to finish them off.  
After dinner was said and done, we put all 20 plates in the trunk of the car and went on our way to spread some cheer.  
We ended up having the greatest time singing and feeling the Christmas Spirit as a family. Giving service to others as a family is a huge bonding element.

We had one last house to go.  An older couple who has given countless hours and years in service to the children.  I knew they had a scary dog and I tried to warn the girls before they tore out of the car in a mad dash to the door. They didn't hear me.  The big scary thing came barreling out of the dark corner and knocked "Baby" and "Middle" off of their feet.  "Baby" thought he was playing and was laughing, but "Middle" knew what was going on and screamed at the top of her lungs.  DH went running and yelling at the dog and I ran to get in between. The owner heard the commotion and came out the door and got the dog, but not before the dog got "Middle".  She has a nice puncture wound from the bite and some scratches and big bruises on the back of her leg.  Poor thing, she loves animals so much.  My kids have never seen that side of a dog before.  Luckily the dog is up to date on his vaccinations so all we had to do was clean it really well. (Another round of screaming).
So, if any of you have experience with your children being bit by a dog, I would love some advice on how to keep "Middle" not afraid of dogs.  I am worried that next time she sees one she will be terrified like so many other kids who have been attacked are.
Have a great day.

December 17, 2012

Merriment Chain ~ Day 21 ~ Believe

Day 21 of the merriment chain and I can't believe I  found enough to post about!!!  
This is a special little Nativity.  We had one in our house as children.  My mother shaped and painted each one from bread dough.  How I loved to unwind each piece from it's tissue bed it was laid in at the end of each season, then carefully run my finger along the shiny smooth surfaces and place it on the lamp side to be enjoyed for Christmas.
Sadly, many years ago, our doggie thought they looked like a good snack.  I am sure my mother just cried and cried.
Last year I undertook the (painfully slow and frustrating) task of making my own bread dough nativity.  Just like the one my mother had, right down to the last detail in line and color.  I knew it would be a treasure in my own little family as it was in my Mother's.  
Have a great day.

December 16, 2012

Merriment Chain ~ Day 20 ~ Christmas Past....Christmas Present

Good afternoon blogging friends......and for some of you good evening:)  I thought it would be fun to post the past pictures of my entry way during Christmastime.  It's so fun to see how my decor has evolved over the three seasons.  I have learned so much from blogging.  Everyone of you has been and inspiration to me in one way or another.  In a current entry way reflects all my friendships.
I don't have a lot of spare corners and space to really "do" up, (but I do have a corner upstairs that is going to get some major attention this next year) so my entry way gets most of the focus. 
Isn't collecting things and displaying stuff fun?  I can't wait to see what my home could look like say in.........10 years!!!!!  



Also, something I didn't have in the past was many good friends and a creative outlet.  Something every Mother needs:) 
This Christmas I feel surrounded by those who care because I have such great blogging friends.  Each of you have been such a great support to me. Many of you have visited me regularly over the past year and a half and I have enjoyed getting to know you better. Thank You.
Now, I know no better way than to thank a friend who sends you a beautiful gift than to share it with everyone.  Jan has been a wonderful friend to blog with over the past year.  She is constantly reminding me to enjoy my children and to cherish the time I have with them.  She is a very giving and talented person.  
One of my most favorite things is Primitive Folk Art and guess what..... that happens to be her specialty!!!!! 
This week she sent me a very special gift.  Some of her prints. I just couldn't believe it.  I feel so privileged to have them in my home.  I am going to redo the upstairs family room with them.
Thanks so much Jan.

 She also made each of the girls their own ornament.  They have their names on them along with the date.  The girls squealed (as they often do) with delight at the cute shapes.

And lastly, kitty was watching me wrap gifts last night from a very comfy view.  

December 15, 2012

Merriment Chain ~ Day 19 ~ Time For Christmas

Here's a little one in my front entry way.
The clock use to sit by my Grandfather's bed.  It winds up in the back and has the coolest metal ring for the alarm on it. It's one of my favoite posessions.

Have a great day.

December 14, 2012

Merriment Chain ~ Day 18~ Candy Train

When I was very young my mother made this exact train for our family to enjoy.  She set it on the mantle with explicit instructions not to touch.  
She stopped making it after a couple of years, but I still remembered it and got the directions from her. 
For the past 5 years we have been making it with our kids.....and yes, they are allowed to touch:)  On New Years, they take the end of a butter knife and smash it to bits for yummy enjoyment.  
Toot Toot!!!

Have a great day.

December 13, 2012

Merriment Chain ~ Day 17 ~ Pine Cone Pedestals

During the Fall I gathered some candle holders from GW.  I had in mind that I wanted to use them to hold some waxed and grunged pine cones for Christmas.  They smell really good, but you can't really tell they have been treated.  I usually display them in my dining room window, but I moved them to this crate for a picture.

I know I should just be enjoying each day as they come during the holidays, but seriously if we could just get this week over with I will be a lot happier.  I am such a child inside and the excitement of going to visit family and having Christmas day is just about killing me:)  At least next week I can start packing, and cleaning, and wrapping, and all the great stuff to prepare.
This chain has really given me a chance to take each day and celebrate the merriness of the holidays.  Just really what I should be doing.
Have a great day.

December 12, 2012

Merriment Chain ~ Day 16 ~ Santa "Claws" and iChristmas

Last July I came up with this design for a patriotic kitty.  I gave one to my brother and sister-in-law and they fell in love with it.  Both wanted kitty's for each season and holiday.  So, I have been creating more kitty's.  Yesterday I threw these two together.  Santa "Claws" and his side kick Rudy. 
They are being shipped to their new home today. 

Last night my Sweetie came home with this gleam in his eye and said "I got you something".  I knew what it was right away as we had been talking about this for a couple of weeks.  I was unsure how I felt about it though.  I don't really like technology.  It intimidates me and doesn't give me that thrill that some get from it.  I was born in the wrong era or something. 
He set it down on the couch by me and I was looking at it from the corner of my eye.  I really didn't want to pick it up.

" I am doing just fine with my TracPhone Honey.
I don't really need this Smart thingy". Was my reply. 
"You will have so much fun with it Steph.  Just give it a couple of weeks.  I know you don't need it, but after some time you will wonder what you did without it".  He said.
I told him, "sometimes life is just fine when you don't know what you are missing".  (Which is so true for so many things)
So, he set it all up, got my email on it, connected the wifi and showed me how to use the thing.
"Thank you Sweetie for the gift.  I really am excited to use it.  I can stop using my paper calendar now and people won't laugh at my stone age phone anymore".
Welcome to the Twenty First Century Steph:)

Have a wonderful Technological Day

December 11, 2012

Merriment ~ Day 15 ~ Unexpected Gifts

"Brown paper packages tied up with strings.  These are a few of my favorite things".
Because they mean you have such dear and wonderful friends who care and think about you. 
I found this in my mail box this morning.  Such an unexpected and beautiful gift.  Sheila from Seasons of thy Heart makes these absolutely gorgeous arrangements.  I feel so special to be able to have one on my piano downstairs and another one in my family room upstairs.
I was able to talk to her on the phone this morning.  It was so heartwarming to visit with her like that. She lives just a couple of hours from me.  It's fun to have another Idaho blogger so close.

So, is this a very good lunch?  Egg Nog is one thing I look forward to each Christmas.  One year, when I was pregnant with "Middle",  I gained so much weight drinking this stuff.  The nurse actually asked me if I meant to gain that much between appointments.  Uh, ya.....
Anyway, it's my lunch today as I am trying to hurry and create some Christmas presents for my brother and sister-in-law.  Geesh.....I better go faster......times a runnin' out. 
Have a wonderful day.

December 10, 2012

Merriement ~ Day 14 ~ Brown Paper Packages

This Saturday, we came home from our time in town and found a big box by our front door.  
"Cindi Claus" sent some of her sweet love all the way from her home to ours.  
Spoiled?  I think so.......Now, I don't know what I did to get on her good girl list, but what a wonderful lady she is.  
She also bestowed my children with gifts that they have been carrying around with them for two days straight.  No matter where they go: bathroom, dinner table, car......the snow globes, and necklaces, hair pretties, and chocolates go with them.

Christmas is a time to think outside of yourself and to give to others.  If you do this, both parties will be blessed.  Thanks again Cindi, for the Christmas magic you sent to our home.  

December 09, 2012

Merriment Chain ~ Day 13 ~ Traditions

Be Certain you are creating a rich environment in which your family can look forward to special times of the year when traditions hold you together as a great eternal family unit.
~L. Tom Perry~

*Photo Illustration by John Luke*

I was reading an article the other day that really made me stop and think.  It likened traditions unto parts of the scaffolding that holds our family units together.  Without traditions our families wouldn't be as strong.  
Traditions don't just have to be the things we do year after year to celebrate holidays and special dates.  Traditions are also the way we worship, the vacations we take each year, the gardens we grow every summer, the small things we do repeatedly as families.  
Then I was thinking further, what ever happened to the righteous traditions of our father's that have not been carried over from generation to generation?  The traditions of hard work, taking care of your neighbors, service, honesty, and a love of God? 
Let us remember to teach and carry on traditions to and with our families.  
Start new traditions with your children and grandchildren.  Carry out old traditions that have been in the family for years.
Let us all have stronger families by creating and carrying forth traditions.
Here are some of the traditions we have in our family.
~ Taking a mini vacation with tax returns
~ Making Valentines sugar cookies
~ Saying family prayer each morning together
~ Having family Birthday Parties
~ Preparing our garden plot each spring
~ Planting our garden each summer
~ Going to the Oregon Coast each Fall
~ Having family night each and every Monday
~ Taking a special day in the Mnts. each fall
~ Family reunions in the summer
~ Going to church together every Sunday

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday.

December 08, 2012

Merriment Chain ~ Day 12 ~ Antique Bulbs

Somehow this day has gotten away from me!!  We had a children's Christmas party for DH's work this morning and have been shopping and preparing for our Church Christmas party that is this evening. (Sweetie is in charge of putting it together).  So, we have been pre-occupied here. 
 I did want to show some pictures of the little tree I have upstairs in the family room.  I put my antique bulbs on it that were handed down to me.  They were once my Grandmother's.

This is my attempt at putting two pictures together.  See the lovely popcorn strings we made the other night?  I also waxed some icicles and grunged them up good.  The heat from the lights make them smell really yummy.

It has been a long day here and I am ready to call it a night.......just as soon as the last Christmas party is over:) 

December 07, 2012

Merriment Day ~ 11 ~ Christmas Camel

A year after we moved to Idaho someone asked me if we had been to the hills to see the Camel at Christmastime.  I said "to see the what?  There is a camel in Idaho?"  I couldn't believe that someone has a camel.  So we took the drive to Hanson where there is the biggest lights display in the valley and the infamous "Christmas Camel".  It has been a yearly tradition since.  
Tonight we get to go feed the Camel his carrots and to walk around and see the wonderful display of lights.  It is going to be so much fun!!

Wishing you all a wonderful day.