Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Giving

Many of you know that I read a blog called Cake Wrecks it is generally a very funny blog that leaves me smiling. From the 11th of December till the 25th they are adding something different to each of their posts, they are including the name of a charity or organization that they will be donating to and are asking that you join them in just giving a dollar a day (you can see their original post about it here.)
For the past week they have been giving to some amazing organizations, things that I would never even have thought of but that were going to people/animals in real need, today's was a little different. Here is what they wrote in their blog:

Today's charity is something different, so I hope you'll bear with me. You see, on Tuesday night 27-year-old Amanda Buckland lost her husband, her 4-year-old son, her 8-month-old daughter, and everything they owned in a house fire. (The house they'd recently begun renting had no smoke detectors.) She and her 12-year-old stepdaughter only escaped thanks to a quick-thinking neighbor with a ladder.

Take a second and think about that level of loss. I, for one, cannot even begin to fathom it.

So today, John and I are donating to the Buckland Family Trust, which was set up by Amanda's employer. I hope you'll join us by donating your dollar, too.


Even though I have lost my Dad I can't even begin to understand what Amanda and her daughter must be feeling, but I echo their words and ask if you will join and give but just a dollar to help her. (The Donate button through paypal can be found at the bottom of this post.)

The Flute



I wish that I had talent like this on the flute (which would probably have a higher chance of happening if I practiced more :D)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Invisible Women

I was blog-stalking today and the blog that I was looking at shared this video, it is very true. Though we might feel that we are invisible to others, we are most definitely not to Heavenly Father.

Friday, December 4, 2009

(DD) Holiday Decor

"The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas." W.C. Jones

PICTURE: A favorite piece of holiday decor.

WRITE: Talk about a sentimental piece of holiday decor.
I am not quite sure why this is one of my favorite holiday things but for some reason it has always been. My Grandma and Grandpa Williams cut and painted the tree and all the pieces that go with it. Growing up every year my parents would write on the calendar who's day it was to pick an ornament and hang it on the tree, they would rotate every Christmas who got to put the star on Christmas morning- generally if we had a visitor they were bestowed that "great" opportunity. When I was younger I always thought that my turn never came soon enough and once every 6 years was not cool to get to put the star on tree, so every time my turn came around I would pretend to take a long time considering what ornament to put up but then I would pick the star and put it on the tree-sometimes on the top where it belonged or other times somewhere else (in hopes that my Mom wouldn't notice). Most of the time my Mom wouldn't catch on the first time but then she would and every other time she would check and tell me to go back and change it, I always would giggle and go do it-it was almost like getting the double amount of turns. (This year because it's just Mom and I and as we have two advent calendars Mom has taken over the one in the kitchen and I get to do the tree in the living room-it's not quite as fun when it's yours to do as you please :D)

REMEMBER: Do you have any decorating traditions that were handed down to you?
Mom and I have been discussing it and she can't really think of any that have been continuing traditions except the candles. We have electric candles that we put in every window of our house, Mom said that was something that she had in her house growing up also.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

(DD) Something Warm

"There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, and traditions." Bill McKibben

PICTURE: Something warm
WRITE: For today's journal you were supposed to read the article "Welcome Home, for the Holidays!" that can be found here and then write your thoughts.
At first when I began to read it, it made me sad, what she was explaining as what happens at Christmas was most certainly not what I look forward to and not what I have felt in the past. Then I finished the article. I have been to the home where it is completely white, where there are glass chandeliers hanging in every room and where the carpet is two inches thick, I was afraid to touch anything, afraid that if I were to breath I might brake something. We went into a back room where the family was, this room was so different, completely relaxed- kids bouncing a basketball and laughing and completely at ease. What a difference your surroundings and attitude can make.
Christmas can be all about you, you, and you- about the gifts, what you want this year, who has the most lights on their house. Or it can be about others- whom can you serve this year, who can you remind of the true meaning of Christmas and bring love and joy into their hearts.
I hope that I can make Christmas about others this year, I hope that I can help them remember the true meaning and serve them through my example, love, and actions.

REMEMBER: Do you remember making any specific recipe with older family members? What was the experience like?
I am not sure if they were specifying a holiday recipe, but I always remember helping my older brothers bake on Sundays. The experience wasn't always the same- it could either be fun and joyful for both sides or unpleasant for us both. When I made the choice to listen and follow directions my brothers would let me participate and let me feel like I was actually cooking and knew what I was doing, but if I would try to steal cookie dough when they had asked me not to take some or do something else then they would become irritated with me and it would become not so fun anymore.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

iFit


A couple of weeks ago Mom bought a reebok tredmill from Costco. I was so-so on my excitement and energy, not sure if it was really something that I would use. But when it came I helped Mom set it up and move it to where she had cleaned a space for it. I decided to try one of the workouts, I only lasted for about 5 minutes and still wasn't too excited. Mom continued to read and found out that it came with something called ifit- one for walking and one for weight loss. I tried the weight loss one, and I loved it! I am still on the day one workout and can only do 15 out of the 20 minutes, but I feel so good when I am done and I am quite impressed with myself that I can get up to a 7% incline while going 3.4 mph at times. I know that to some it won't seem like much but when I have been doing nothing for the last several months it is impressive to me, now all I have to do is work on my eating habits and the workouts will really help! (one of the best parts is that the tredmill also came with a hook-up so that you can plug your ipod or other mp3 player directly into it and it has speakers, makes it nice so that I am not just staring at a cement wall for long periods of time)

December Daily


Mom reads a digital scrapbooking blog and this year they had something called December Daily- it is a book that she printed out and there is a page for each day of December. For each day there is a picture that you are supposed to take and then has two things that you should journal about-one about now and one that you are remembering. Today (December 1st) we were supposed to take a "Welcome to December" picture, so here is mine, I put a poinsetta in my hair and then stood as close as I could to the tree.
I am still working on the journaling for today-Write your thoughts about your family holiday values (present). What is your earliest family holiday memory (remembering)?

O Christmas Tree


Yeah, Christmas is finally here and we have our first decoration up! Mom got out our advent calendar's this morning and we put red candles all around the house this afternoon, they have been burning since and then this evening we put up the Christmas tree. There are no garlands or ornaments on it yet, but I still think that it looks really pretty. I have come up with the idea that in our new house in Utah we will have two Christmas trees-one with white lights (for Mom-though I think that white lights are beautiful and classic) and another one with color lights (for me because I LOVE all the color). I ABSOLUTELY LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!! (for those that didn't know) and I am super excited to have the decorations beginning to come up.

Black Friday


What a wild ride Black Friday was this year! I worked until 10pm on Thanksgiving night, came home and immediately took a shower, then Mom and I headed to bed. Friday morning we work up at 4, Mom showered and then we headed to Newport. Narrowed down just into a list this is what we did: Wal Mart, Fred Meyer, Staples, JC (for Breakfast :D), pause at home for bathroom break and check our e-mails really fast then headed to Corvallis/Albany where we went to: Michael's, Costco, the mall (Target, Bath and Body Works, and Rue21), Fred Meyer (in Corvallis), another craft store, WinCo, then back to Wal Mart in Newport and Staples again. We left at about 4:30am and finally got home at about 6:30pm!
What a day, we came home with soooo MUCH stuff and probably spent way too much money but it was a super fun day. Of course because we were gone so long I was exhuasted, we came and tried watching one of the movies that I bought, I fell asleep part way through it and got about 12 hours of sleep by the time I woke up- did feel much refreshed when I was done :D

Health Hazard


It's official! My backyard is a Health Hazard, we even have the sign to prove it :D A a couple of months ago the city came and did a smoke test thing that showed that something was wrong with our pluming. Many things have led to the discovery that our pipes are not leading to the main sewer line (which they are not completely sure where the main sewer line is-sad huh?) and that it is just dumping into the ground. DISGUSTING! They came and pumped a bunch of water into the ground hoping to figure out where it was leading but all that I could tell that happened was that the whole outside stunk and that I started gagging REALLY BAD! Hopefully tomorrow the problem solving will be begun and that we wont have problems for much longer, but as for now we are "officially" a health hazard (bet that you can't say that about yourself :D)