Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter Ponds, Branches, and 2013!

Today is the last day of 2012! It's amazing, and there may be no physical change to be felt, but going into a new year leaves my skin tingling with excitement that something fresh is just around the corner!

And what a beautiful day it was today. It got up to a stunning 48 degrees Fahrenheit today, maybe even hitting the 50 degree mark, so I took it upon myself to grab my camera for the last time this year and truck about my front yard in my warm coat.

The pond in our currently-dormant garden was solid ice the day before, and when I went out to see it today it was covered in thin, crackled veins of ice hovering just on the surface. It was such a pretty sight. The highlight of today's shoot.

Winter is a beautiful time, a time of sleep and peace. In several months, the branches of the muskedines and the fruit trees will be budding with green leaves and flowers. Winter will be but a breath of cool air grazing over my cheek as it melts away into the sky. Its cool freshness will be missed, but Spring will soon have a loving hold on us, leading us into the warmer months.

I will be in school until late August. It will be one heck of a ride, these next eight months, but I know I can do it. I will be driving soon, and then I'll be a licensed cosmetologist before I know it. If I keep practicing and study well, it will be no problem. The Lord will care for me and my family this year, and He has never let us down. I don't even worry about tomorrow, because it is all in His hands. He is my loving Father, and I can close my eyes and walk through life knowing He is holding my hand.

This New Year's makes me smile. It may be hard this year, but I have the Lord and I have my family. I thank God for another wonderful year, and ask that this one coming be just as good, no matter how many ups and downs. I'll smile, hold my head high, pray, follow God's Word as best as my sinning soul can do, and love my family, and I will have a wonderful new year.

I have resolutions, and more will come as the year progresses, I know. But I'm not afraid of change.

May this year be blessed for you all. God has blessed me, and I hope that this year you let Him bless you too!

Happy New Year's, world!

Welcome, 2013!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

And before I call it a night, I wanted to share these lovely pictures of a stunningly purple sky I took when I came home one day back in October. How I wish the sky looked like that now! Today it was dim and cloudy due to all the rain we've been having. Of course, with it being below freezing here, all that rain has turned to ice~! 

Fun everywhere but on the deck. 

Step out the front door at your own risk!

P.S. It may be a dreary day, but I do love these sorts of days. I just wish it wasn't so cold outside! -laughs- Maybe I'll be able to get some lovely shots of the ponds iced over tomorrow...that is, if I don't freeze.

Candle, Candle, Randomness!

Ah, candles! 

Ever since I was little I have adored everything about candles, and that love has endured to even today. Of course, why would it not? Candles are fabulous!

I know, this may appear to be a completely random post, but what post isn't random, really? Nothing beats a totally unexpected filler of fluff to separate the mundane from the insane.

Anyway, back to candles.

I adore the smell of not just the candles, but the smell of matches, too! Nothing beats the scent of a singed or burning match as you're lighting the candle. Then you gently shake the flame away and make the smoke swirl dragon-like through the air right off the little wooden stick. It is tossed aside afterwards, usually into the sink where it doesn't run the risk of setting anything ablaze...much like a dragon, but I don't think I could get one of those into the sink....Nor would one want to be there. 

Then the moment we all wait for: the actual smell of the candle! I don't have a particular favorite "flavor", if you will, but my first choice for everything is always something apple related. Next would be anything fresh, like lavender, ocean mist, or clean linen. I also like citrus mixed with cranberry (something or other like it). I find evergreen to be obnoxious to the nostrils, personally, and when I waltz unsuspectingly into a room where one such candle is covertly melting away out of my sight, I don't have the luxury of putting it out because other people do like that smell. So I run back to my room and stuff my face into an unlit candle jar of apple smellies.  It's torture, but I normally survive.

But after several hours, your stupid nose decided to get used to the wonderful odor of the burning beauty you lit, and all of a sudden you can't smell it anymore. Brilliant. No matter how close you get to the candle, how hard you inhale to try to glean a smidgen of beauty, it is all in vain. You just can't smell it anymore. So, with a heavy heart, you blow the flickering flame out because you want to save as much smelly wax for later when you actually can smell again.

My favorite part: the smell of the candle spewing smoke from the cooling wick! I will purposely hang around just for this, much for the same reason as when a match is blown out...and staying near campfires lit anywhere, but that's a whole 'nother story. I just love the smell of the candle-smoke.

And then it's gone and I'm on my way, waiting for another time to light a candle and turn off all the lights just so I can sit in the dim, flickering light in bliss. I love candlelight, especially when the reason candles are  lit is because the power has gone out during a storm. Makes me safe and snuggy inside with the soft light dancing across the walls and my face.

The End.

I told you it was random, but hey. I had to get it out!

Have a wonderful week, everyone! ♥

Friday, December 28, 2012

Reflections and Expectations

Wow. It has been over a month since I last blogged anything. Finals hit, and then the holidays hit, and WOOSH: no time to find anything to blog about. I have been able to do very little in the way of creative things, save the occasional crochet work (mostly by request). 

((I did, however, manage to make a crocheted necklace yesterday following a pattern from a book I got for Christmas!))

That aside, this month has been a wonderful, blessed month. And more so, looking back, this has been a very blessed year (through slow days and fast!). The Lord has smiled upon me and my entire family, giving us a very good year. With these hard times coming, we will smile back on this year and pray for a year as good as this.

That said, the new year looms ahead, already seeming dismal. Gas and milk prices are supposed to rise, which is not a good thing for a family the size of mine (what with there being two growing little ones and me driving back and forth to school all week). It's going to be quite tight, but I reckon there shall be some light shining through these coming clouds. I have resolutions that I do hope to complete for 2013, though I have yet to officially write a list. I have some things in mind, things that have just popped up as I have gotten older. I will be turning 20 in 2013, so there are plenty of things I want to get into the habit of doing now so I can be fit and healthy later. Creativity is something I want to further indulge in and broaden this year, but I may just be sticking to yarn crafts. Maybe wire. Depends on what I get to and how much it costs (isn't that a sad factor of everything?). Aside from the things I know I want to do, I want to do things I don't know that I want to do. I want to walk down this road of life and pick flowers that have never caught my eye before. I want to wave to strangers and brighten their days with just a smile, knowing that a smile may be just what they need to pull through another mile of their road. I want to be free as the wind, yet wise as an owl, knowing when to reign in fun time to get work done. I want to take plenty of pictures and finish plenty of stories. I want to make new friends, and I want to sit back and smile with my family in the evening. 

I want to live.

I just want to be happy with what I have. I want to live simply, yet live large. I want to have everything important and nothing frivolous. I want to check a "I lived" box off at the end of each month, knowing that even though I may have cried or been angry, I had a full, good life during those days. I don't want everything to go my way, I don't want to be a cliche of "happy". I just want to live and enjoy the time the Lord has given to me.

After all, why would I not want to live a life that God Himself gave to me? ♥

Love you all, and may the last days of this year be blessed ones for you!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful for the Mountains~

It's been two years since my family has done any sort of camping. (Torture for me! Torture for all of us, really.) This previous week, we went to the mountains for Thanksgiving. It was SO wonderful to spend five amazing days in the place I feel most relaxed and free!

We went hiking all along the cold and steep trails, then sat around the fire so much that my clothes still reek of campfire smoke. It got so cold that we stayed inside the camper most of one day, listening to the wind howl over the treetops like a stampede of whistling wolves.

I could go on and on forever about it, but it would take forever to write. ♥

It was wonderful. Let's just end it that way. =3

Friday, November 9, 2012

What Can You Do With a Shoebox?

What can you do with a shoebox? What can you REALLY do with a shoebox? Logically, things related to shoes. You can keep that very special pair of heels or loafers inside the box they came in to keep them from being scuffed up or dusty, or you can throw the box away. If you happen to be of the pack rat mindset, you could stash stuff in the box and stuff it under your bed or in your closet where you will never see or think of it again.

As I said, these are the logical choices. But ever since I was a little girl, my family has had an entirely different use for shoeboxes.

We fill them with toys, toothbrushes, and other goodies and give them to charity. Samaritan's Purse to be exact, for one of their charities called Operation Christmas Child.

Every year we delight ourselves in dashing about the store in search of toys and essentials for the potential receiver of this package, smiles on our faces at the thought of the little child opening the box to find goodies they have never seen. We hit the needed items first: toothbrushes and toothpaste, hairbrushes, ponies, and clips (for the little girls), socks, and a little folding tote bag. Then we gathered a pad of colored paper with some Christmas pencils, colored gel pens, and a puzzle for fun times. Lastly, we added in some hard candies and a tin of cookies for that extra hint of sweetness.

After the boxes are packed and ready to go, we taken them to an OCC drop-off point. In our case, it's a wonderful Baptist church in town. From there the boxes are taken to distribution centers, then shipped around the world to places in need of not only help, but also of smiles and the Word of God. Every box opens up an opportunity for the children and their families to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, therefore changing their lives forever and giving them the greatest give anyone can give.

It always brings a smile to my face and makes my heart race with nothing but the purest kind of joy. It is always exciting when shoebox packing time comes around.

So, what can you do with a shoebox?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! ♥

Saturday, October 27, 2012