Thursday, October 28, 2010

A list that makes no sense.

My thoughts are jumbled today (probably shouldn't attempt to post, but I am).  I'm not really sure what I want to blog about, so I've decided to make a list.  I like lists...a lot.  They are sort of an obsession of mine.  It's true.  I find great joy in marking items off of a list, so sometimes I will make multiple lists of the same thing.  It's also a bit pathetic, I realize.  But I have things on my mind and questions that I want to ask (if anyone actually reads this blog).  Here goes:

1.  Starting to think about Christmas. 
I love the holidays.  I love giving gifts.  I even love receiving gifts (hey, I'm being honest).  BUT I hate how so much of the holiday activities actually take away from the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And since we now have a little family, I really want to make an effort to start traditions that put the emphasis where it belongs. 

I found an article online about simplifying Christmas, and I have decided to put some of the tips into practice.  Examples - Celebrating Advent (I want to find a cute, small Christmas tree and buy/make ornaments that go along with the story of Jesus); Making homemade gifts (Shutterfly has awesome story books that go as great gifts, especially for grandparents or maybe a homemade recipe book for a cook in the family); Holiday gifts/Baking (for friends, neighbors, church family). 
Do you have any ideas, tips, favorite recipes, etc for making Christmas "simple" and focused on Christ?

2.  Christmas List.
Speaking of Christmas, my husband asked me last night what I wanted for Christmas.  I just kind of looked at him and said, "I don't know."  Usually there is something that I can at least say I'd like to have, and I'm sure if I really thought about it, I'd come up with something.  However, I don't just want to add "things" to my life unless they are things that I truly need or that add to the enjoyment of our family/home.  I have always LOVED clothes and shoes, but I realize that I'm pretty much the only person that gets enjoyment out of them, so I'm trying to think of things that can benefit others, too.  Oh wait, did someone say a piano?  Oh yes, I do want one of those. Very. Badly.  However, I don't see that happening any time soon. So, what about you? What is on your Christmas list this year?  Have any ideas for things I can add to mine? :)

3.  Decorating.
My husband and I had some professional pictures taken of Hannah and our family a few weeks after she was born.  We ordered a couple of 8x10's and promptly went to Michael's and bought frames.  10 weeks later, those beautiful pictures are in their beautiful frames and sitting on the beautiful floor. 


Yep, we stink at decorating our walls.  And I'm ashamed to admit I use to want to be an interior decorator.  HA!  That's a joke.  I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday to try to find something to go with the two frames. Who was I kidding?  I couldn't even do that.  I'm HOPING Tom and I can both find something together this weekend.  I'd hate to never get those pictures hung!  Any advice on how to make a collage of frames or other decorative items without making your walls look stupid or overdone?

4.  Recipe Funk.
I am in a recipe funk at the moment.  Anyone else ever experience that?  I think it is due to the weather being so warm (although it looks like its beginning to cool off).  I'm tired of summer dishes, and I'm ready to break out the fall recipes.  I'm also looking for NEW fall/winter recipes.  If you have any favorite websites, cookbooks, or recipes that you'd like to share, please do so!  I'm a sucker for new recipes.  Poor Tom.  He's always the guinea pig.  Never knows what to expect from our kitchen.  Thankfully, he's not a picky eater. :)

5.  Hobby.
I have decided I am in need of a hobby.  Besides reading.  I do love to do that.  And playing the piano.  That has always been a hobby, but since I don't have a piano at my home, it can't be my "go to" hobby.

I need something to do in my spare time (what little that is these days) to keep me going.  You know, when I need a break from the laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.  I'd love to make baking my hobby, but we'd be poor from all the ingredients I'd constantly be buying (not to mention also fat from all of those delicious baked goods).  So, I need a real hobby.  Does anyone have any hobbies that are relatively cheap and easy to do at home?  I'd love to have some ideas of things I could possibly try.

Well, there's a list for you.  We'll see if any of these items ever get "crossed off" or if they just remain out there for me to wander about. 

Hope you're having a great Thursday!  The weekend is almost here (and we have no plans but to just enjoy our family time)! Whoa!


  1. I like lists too... lots of your thoughts, made me think of things as well... maybe some of it could be helpful :)

    *about Christmas, I really enjoyed reading Noel Piper's book called Honoring God in our Traditions (I think that was the title) she talked about all sorts of traditions - holidays and others as well, might be a good one to check out if you've never read it... also last year I read on some blogs about Jesse Trees (again I think I'm getting that right!?) which were simple trees which told the story of Christ's birth from the prophecies throughout Scripture which were each connected with an ornament... you could buy the ornaments in a set, make them, sew them, etc. but there were specific ideas connected with the passages

    decorating... my mom always hangs our pictures :) I was thankful she was here to help us move in when we hung them in our apartment and again when we were getting Moriah's room ready, Martha Stewart has some tips about it for sure, you could probably check her web-site... a bit thorough for sure, but they'd be nicely hung I bet!

    recipes... potato soup? chicken pot pie? white chicken chili? and all things pumpkin if you like pumpkin - we enjoy pumpkin pie oatmeal (google it, I found it on a blog last year), pumpkin pancakes (from Taste of Home, could find it online too) with apple cider syrup, and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

    hobby... ever tried to sew? you could start really simply and even make some baby girl things for Hannah! if that seems too daunting, I really liked to punch needle (found mine at Joanne's) which was quick and simple, I could see my progress which was always encouraging and I made something I liked well enough to hang in our home!


    just read this blog and thought of your post... all about holidays, simplifying, and traditions!

  3. Ash,

    Oh you and your lists.... it's so good to know that some things never change. :) I miss making lists with you.

    So... here is my list in response to your list:

    1. Simplifying Christmas: Our church does "Bless a Family" in our community groups. Basically, our community group selects a family, and then spends time getting to know them inviting them into our lives, and then helping them to have a special Christmas - this could mean a meal, inviting them for Christmas dinner if they have no where to go, buying gifts for the kids, etc. It's something you would probably want to do with your small group, but I know it has been a big blessing around here. :) On a smaller scale, my family has been doing this for years - I know you do Christmas presents on Christmas eve, but... we have a very small and quiet Christmas eve with "just us" (and any guests who are staying with us) at home. We read the Christmas story together and then my sisters and I each get a new piece to our Fontanini Nativity sets. It's a good way to take time out, be quiet, and put the focus where it should be. It is another "gift," but it's also a lifelong tradition that has helped me to keep Jesus as the center of my Christmas at my home with a beautiful, tangible reminder in my nativity set. :)

    2. Christmas List: I have an idea.... a GIRLS weekend!!!! We could all take a little mini-vacation, just the girls, somewhere fun. We've talked about this for years and never done it - I think the time is now. It wouldn't have to be crazy... just a weekend to somewhere a little farther than Branson. :)

    3. Decorating: Oh girl... you are in good company here. I lived in my last house for 2 years and never hung anything on the walls. The current roomies have saved me from having completely bare walls all over the house.

    4. Recipes: I count on YOU for my recipes. :) Yours are always the healthy version of something yummy, so... I hope you find some good ones. :) Just a thought - the Weight Watchers receipes on Gina's (I think - you might google it) Weight Watchers website are usually really good, and very healthy. :)

    5. Hobbies: Not sure on this one... I am not sure that it would be a true "hobby," but you have always been an encourager and a note writer... what about making your own cards that you could then use for special occasions and for just the every day encouragement that you are so good at. :)

    Love you and miss you - can't wait to talk to you!

  4. Yep.....I LOVE Noel Piper's book,too, about yearly traditions. It is the best I have found. It is short and sweet but FULL of easily implemented ideas. Even more than Christmas, I learned so much about celebrating Easter in a much more meaningful way. And she had great ideas re: children's birthdays, and the importance of being a hostess. What a wonderful resource.