Archive for December, 2009

I’m back…..

December 30, 2009

I am back in action and ready for some more random blogging!!!    it was a nice little hiatus, but the holidays have left me feeling EXTREMELY exhausted!!!   I do not have the stamina that I did when the kids were little.  Another thought my mother always insisted on.  God has a reason for giving you kids at a young age.  NO KIDDING !!!  I see the younger generation of my family now and I remain amazed at how they can keep up with their little ones……knowing I did it at one time, and thought nothing of it.

ok,  Enough on Christmas for now.

Is this a lost art?  I certainly hope not.

I need suggestions.... (click to enlarge)

I love the art of cross stitching.  Always have, always will.   I began cross stitching a VERY long time ago, like back in High School.  I cross stitched each gift for my wedding party.  I used to have them hanging all over our house.  (and all my sisters as I always made them as gifts)

Not so much anymore.  I love them, but it does not take much to have TOO many in one home, framed on the wall.  I need new ideas.

I want to do something unconventional with them.   My thoughts are a table runner?  a curtain valance?  help me out here.  The ones I have pictured have literally been in a drawer for YEARS. Sad, I know.

I have also come to the conclusion that my paper crafting is going to take the backburner for awhile.   I love papercrafting, but it keeps me locked away in my craft room, and NOT interracting with my family.  This is NOT good.  I need a craft that is “portable” so to speak, so I dug out the cross stitch once again.  It makes me feel good when I am doing it.  Therapeutic.  And I can do it while my family is watching TV.  I do not do TV, but I can atleast sit in the same room and ‘appear” interested. Nice to always have cross stitching to go back to.  Kind of like riding a bike, you never forget how….but remember, I do not want to “frame” the finished product.

And I had to laugh the other night, as I dug a pattern out, I commented to Glenn, these patterns are ALOT harder to “read” than they used to be!!!  I guess that is what happens to your eyesight over that many years!!!

Suggestions for my dilemma???   bring them on.

(next up:  My SIMPLY frugal homemade Christmas gifts that I RECIEVED)   you are gonna think they are AWESOME, and will definitely give you some  gift giving ideas to use yourself!!!  Stay tuned!!!


Day 24 (whew)

December 25, 2009

I made it.  Making my blogging contribution each and every day from December 1 to Christmas Day.   Yeah for me.  Now I do not feel nearly as guilty for skipping Christmas card …I think I have made up for it.  (atleast where my blog readers are concerned.)

Here is to wishing you all the most SIMPLE pleasures Christmas has to offer.  You will certainly not find them wrapped in boxes and waiting under the tree, but rather the within the loving environment you are surrounded with,  the special people in your lives, and the comfort, warmth and safety you have been blessed with.  It is truly all we really “need”.

A beautiful image and a powerful quote.

True wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants"“True wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants”

Merry Christmas.

Day 23 ( my two reasons )

December 24, 2009

This is two of the reasons I still have magic in Christmas.

Madison and Maison.

Years go by, and memories change, but through the eyes of our children, we see a glimpses of our own childhood.

No more “waiting for Santa”  and the innocent anticipation.  A part of me really misses this.

Now we can attend church together til midnight, and have long meaningful “talks” most any day of the year.    I love and appreciate  this.

They really ARE good help to me in the kitchen.  No need to just PRETEND they are big helpers.

Memories are made with change, and honestly, I have always felt each change came in due time.  I have embraced each and every one of them.   Mostly ready to move forward and see what lies ahead for us.

Enjoy your precious  little ones if you have them in the house, but Christmas with teenagers is a whole other kind of fun …. in a very good way as well.

We appreciate this age,  just as much as we love  the young adults they are both turning  into.

Tomorrow night, instead of assembling all the TOYS that we once gave in the past in what seems like complete chaos , we will gather together, have dinner,  “hang out” and exchange gifts with one another.

And finish off the evening at a late night church service.

Change is good.  Life is good.

Day 22 (my realization) …

December 23, 2009

I have figured it all out.

Why am I not done with my gift giving tasks?

It seems to be SO much harder than it used to be.

Aha.  Now I know why.   I can not just “get a gift” for someone, wrap it, and give it feeling satisfied.

No, I have buyers remorse…. I have it TERRIBLY.  I am constantly second guessing every gift I purchase.

Maybe I have set my own bar too high?  I want that really SPECIAL knock your socks off, nostalgic, personalized, heartfelt gift.   I almost instantly look at any “store bought” gift and wonder…

“Could I make that???  maybe make it BETTER?”

“How could I take that home and ‘alter’ it?  embellish it? personalize it?”

“Maybe I ought to return _____  , and get this instead”

Grrrrrrr…..I know.  I really DO make this much harder than it has to be huh??

Anyway.  Here is a classic example.  Found this at Scheels last weekend.  Bringing it home and wrapping it would have been WAY too easy, besides the recipient does NOT like to hunt OR fish, but would love this way to display different pictures.  Not sure they have EVER hunted or fished in their lives.  Knowing I could do it up better and make it “perfect”  I bought it with a plan in mind.

This is the way it came out of the store. (and the top wooden piece is reversible. ("gone hunting" on one side, "gone fishing" on the other side)

Now, the finished product after I got my hands on it .   I liked it so well,  I even bought one for myself.  I love the way the pictures can be rotated, so I don’t get bored of the same pictures.  I will add seasonal family pictures to mine.  🙂

This one is the gift. One the reverse , it says "memories"

and THIS one is mine to keep. 🙂 I am not much into the cliche' of names, so I used numbers on one side, and plain typewritten random text (my fave) on the reverse.

Do ya like??  I have  a few finishing touches to add, with some sand paper, but then it is one more thing I can cross off my list.  Whew.  I am getting closer and closer to being READY for Christmas.

Now we ALL know how I add so much self inflicted stress to gift giving!!!!!!

…and if anyone knows my sister-in-law??   SSshhhhhhh…..

Day 21 (awesome or just plain AWEFUL?)

December 22, 2009

Oh my!!!

we Rozenboom girls pride ourselves in either giving really AWESOME gifts, or just the opposite….those kind of gifts leave you scratching you head!!!   I am thinking this could be one of them.  🙂

Gee, thanks Kim ( I think ) haha

My sister Kim gave me this gift today (for doing her nails for the last 12 months!!)

You should have seen how giddy she was, and how hard we laughed as I opened it!!!!!!   eek  !!!!!!  a grey poodle made MANY years ago, out of Macrame (?)   and I swear, I think it was created out of steel wool.  SCRATCHY!!!!!   but it does eerily look like my DOG !!!!

she has no idea we are actually making fun of her!! but ya gotta admit it is strangely similar huh???

She snagged this beauty at a flea market, for nothing more than TWENTY FIVE CENTS   !!!  what a steal  !!!! Glad I have worked the last 12 months for THIS!!!!!

Give me your thoughts.  Awesome or Aweful.  I have my guesses on the consensus.   LOL

Kim and I both have broad shoulders, and it takes quite a bit to offend us.  Whew huh??

**and make note:  this was not the only gift.  She did get me an honestly AWESOME gift.  A big tumbler drinking glass with a type written letter “K”.   OF course, my favorite letter of them all!!!

….another of the MANY MILLION reasons I am thankful for sisters.  We humor each other quite well!!!

Day 20 (one of my faves)

December 21, 2009

Time is of the essence tonight.

I am tired from a long weekend.

For some ODD reason, my eyes are BURNING!!

I know when your ears are ringing, someone is “supposedly” talking about you….

When your nose itches, you are going to be getting unexpected company…

What does burning eyes mean???  I think it just means you need to CLOSE them and maybe go to SLEEP???   nahhhh…I have too many things to do, now that the family is asleep.  This is when I do my best work. 🙂

Anyway, will leave you with this beautiful video.  A little “dated” maybe, but still a beautiful and VERY true grown-up Christmas list.   If I could get these things, I would certainly never “need” for  anything else.

Day 19

December 19, 2009

A little frustration.

A little LOT of help.

A little humor.

The Des Moines trip was fun.  Not sure how PRODUCTIVE it was, but we had a darn good time while we were there.

The one thing I went for was a small gift for my husband (from the kids).  Nothing huge, just a new thing we discovered and know he would love.

these are AWESOME!!! clips underneath the bill of a ball cap to guide your way in the dark. The only time he does NOT have a hat on, is in church. He will love it!!

Upon arriving home???   every single item I got was in the bag EXCEPT for this!!!!!!!  helloooooo……. 1:00 am, and I was NOT happy!!!  Obviously it got lost in the shuffle at the check-out counter and did NOT get in my bag!!!  now what to do???  I am certainly NOT going back to Des Moines, and there are none to be found locally, so……what does a person do, other than vent to all her “friends” on Facebook??   I did just that.  🙂

Mid morning today, I got a phone call from a friend of mine and former employee.  Said she saw my post on Facebook and just HAPPENED to be going to Des Moines today!!!   yeah!!!  how completely nice was that???   She probably has it in her possession as I type.  *crossing fingers* !!    she has definitely saved the day!!  thanks Shari.

How is that for an “opportunity” to do a kind and helpful deed???  however small or large, she saw it, and rather than to dismiss my “dilemma” for the day (like we are all inclined to do on occasion) she is taking care of it FOR me!!!

Lastly,  some good ole Iowa humor for ya.  The kids and I are always on the lookout for Lit-up neon signs with missing lighted letters.  They are everywhere, but I think we caught the best one we have ever seen last night. Hopefully you have heard of the store “Big Lots”?   I honestly think I am going to submit it to Jay Leno or something……this is too good to keep to myself.  Jeff actually spotted it.  Thanks to you too Jeff!!!

Is it "Big Lots" or is it a "Pig Lot" ???

From the looks of the ugly and dirty snowbank in front, maybe Pig Lots is appropriate afterall.  haha.

Enjoy your weekend, and if you are out shopping, check your bags before you head home…..or hope you have a good friend to help you out like I do.

Day 18 (last hurrah)

December 18, 2009

One last hurrah for the big city of Des Moines. I had this trip planned long ago.  I was going to Des Moines the last weekend before Christmas, ALL BY MYSELF.  I would either be rushing to get all my shopping finished, OR I would be casually getting a few last minute items.  Thankfully I am nearly done, so it was going to be a very relaxed trip tonight, all alone.

Until my teenager daughter caught wind that I was going.  She has other plans for me, and it includes she and her BFF Jeff going along.  {sigh}.

It will be a much different night than I once had planned, but who knows, maybe for the better. They certainly ARE great entertainment when they are together with me.

And they already have plans , we ARE eating at Olive Garden.  🙂

Maybe this is just what I need to get even more in the holiday spirit afterall.

Wish me luck. It will be a VERY late night!!!!

Day 17 { Homemade Chai }

December 17, 2009

I recieved this recipe from my niece Tiffany many years ago, and was reminded of it today.  It is really good ( and makes your kitchen smell WONDERFUL) while making it.  Perfect inexpensive gifts, and a last minute idea.  Be sure to keep a nice big jar on the counter for yourself to enjoy the rest of the winter.  🙂   yummy!!!


1 Cup non-fat dry milk powder
1 Cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 Cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 1/2 Cups (white) Splenda
1 1/2 Cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
Run all ingredients through a blender until a VERY fine powder consistency!!!!
I have made double batches using all Fat Free ingredients to keep the calorie count low, but you don’t have to. Store in Ziploc baggies, or small decorated canning jars, and give as gifts, or keep for yourself!!!! I have made it for teacher gifts, scout leader gifts etc, and wonderful paired with a Christmas mug!!!!!
Attach a tag or sticker that reads ” Add 2 heaping Tablespoons to 8 oz. of hot water.
This is DELICIOUS if you like the Vanilla Chai that can be very pricy in coffee houses.

Day 16 { Christmas Caroling }…

December 16, 2009

Sometimes the things that bring the most fun and special memories, are those that are SPONTANEOUS.   A word I generally do not use much, as it seems my life has to be all planned out, minute by minute, but remember, I am TRYING to step out of my comfort zone every now and then.  🙂

Our first stop. (Kathys grandkids) Kobie was still trying to figure out why the HECK we were singing in her house!!

Every December my sisters and I get together for one meal.  No kids and no husbands, and then follow the meal with a SURPRISE visit to all the younger generation in the family, as we arrive at their doorstep Christmas Caroling!!!!

This year seemed to be different. We had not really planned ahead, had no treats that we like to take with us, etc etc….seemed like various excuses to just skip it this year.

This is where the spontaneous part came in.  We improvised.  Kathy and Kris stayed back and cleaned up the dishes, while Kim and I made a quick grocery store run for 4 bottles of Sparking Grape Juice, one to leave at each house we visited

And away we went on the COLD COLD night in my tiny little car.  Unannounced, we arrived, very near the kids bedtimes.  Perfect.

Our second stop. Karlas daughter and grandson. He was so excited he could hardly contain himself !!!

We are fairly predictable as the only song we sang was “We wish you a Merry Christmas”…….seems like all the kids were first SHOCKED that we were there, and then they laughed at us.  Hmmmmm….maybe we did not sound nearly as good as we THOUGHT we did.  haha.

more of Kathys grandkids… (minus one) * see next picture

we arrived too late for this little darling….. she was in dreamland.  Banging on the door, singing and turning all the lights on, she remained SOUND ASLEEP  !!!  (can you imagine sleeping THIS well???)

Bless her little heart. How PRECIOUS is she???!!!!

and the final stop was to Kris sons house, who has her grandpuppy.   Her name is “Idle” but she is far from it.  I am sure she is the most active dog I have even met.  As soon as this STILL image was captured, she was off and running!!!!   makes me thankful for my little 9 pound poodle!!!    🙂

75 pounds of PURE energy!!!

It was a fun time, and it is so heartwarming to surprise the kids and see the MAGIC of the holidays through the twinkle in their eyes.

Next year, we will do it all again, and they will again be shocked to see us.  It is a rare event that all us sisters show up, TOGETHER, at their bedtime, let alone attempting to carry a tune!!.

….and to think we nearly had ourselves convinced to just “skip this for one year” ??

A fine example that you have to improvise sometimes, fly by the seat of your pants, all for the sake of making  someones day. (or night)  🙂