Monday, December 31, 2007

Letterboxing






This has quickly become a favorite family hobby. LETTERBOXING. We started early this summer and have really enjoyed it. If you are unfamiliar with it read this short article in Family Fun Magazine. http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/feature/ff0906-letterboxing/




We love that it takes us to new places. We have enjoyed being out doors and exploring nature. I use http://letterboxing.org/ and http://www.atlasquest.com/ to find the boxes we are looking for. We have even planted some boxes.




This was a micro or mini box made out of a film canister. Most are in small Rubbermaid type of containers. This box was attached to the side of a railing. Most boxes are hidden under branches or leaves.


After you find the box you "trade" stamps and journal a bit about your time.

When we solve the clues and find the box and finish the task...we feel pretty proud. There have been a few times that we failed and didn't find the box.







Sunday, December 30, 2007

IKEA made me think...

I was just sitting at IKEA with the family enjoying a light meal and I had some interesting thoughts. For starters...what a great place to people watch. It is kind of a international Mecca of home decor. Lots of languages and a great variety of people. I do love to people watch. It is interesting to observe the dynamics of different families. One lady had nothing positive to say about the place and another said she loved it and would come back a lot. I noticed that it is often the mom who gets everyone set up with drinks and napkins and ketchup for the hot dogs. One guy gave up a seat for his wife and mother and children (chivalry isn't dead.)

I also noticed that my family enjoyed this meal quite a bit. Pretty simple of hot dogs and chips and such. But our whole meal was less than a tip that we had left earlier in the day a brunch. We had a nice brunch with our neighbors at a local restaurant. Pretty good food on the buffet, but I knew that Tristen would never eat $7 worth of waffles and fruit.

I did find myself feeling overwhelmed in the giant home store. Watching the people file in to go up the escalator and stand in line for the bathrooms. Mobs of people. Lines of people. Crowds of people. I don't think I would make good decisions on my decorations in such a chaotic place. After Christmas crowds and all. But...I did enjoy the people show.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Wise Words for Moms




I noticed my kids were bickering the other day and it just wouldn't stop. One thing after another. I haven't done it in awhile, but I pulled out my Wise Words for Moms chart.

I picked this up a few years ago when I heard this lady speak at a conference. She encourages parents to deal with the root of the problem. Rather than disciplining for arguing, find out what is the root. In this case it was selfishness. Then we talk about putting off selfishness and putting on generosity and thinking of others. It was a great reminder to me to be patient in my parenting and really deal with the issue at hand.

I have such a passion for GOOD PARENTING. I believe it is worth the effort it takes to have enjoyable children. I believe that Mom's often don't get encouraged to keep up the efforts and hang in there. No one gets a pay check for this or even a performance appraisal.

This chart is a tool I have used and thought I would pass along the info. As with any book or speaker or anything, I don't agree with every idea, but I found some great information in it. I even bought her talks on CD and Chuck and I have listened to them and gained great insight.

So I am encouraging my 'blogging friends" to hang in there, good parenting is worth the effort it takes.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Highlights of the Day




We had a very nice Christmas. Very low key this year. Even so...I am still up wrapping gifts and making strata for breakfast past midnight on Christmas Eve. (When will I learn?) The girls enjoyed their gifts and the day was wonderful. Even went out and letterboxed that afternoon (another post to come).


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas Across the Ocean



From our home to yours...Merry Christmas to my dear sister and her family. We love you all.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Creative Daddy Dinner


Chuck has always done a great job of making a creative snack for the girls. He never stops amazing me with his wit and charm. String cheese, peanuts and a donut (he needed something round).

Campfire






We have been busy taking down trees and trimming up the pines in the yard. In order to get rid of it all we have been burning as much as we can in our fire pit out back. We still need to make a larger fire ring, but for now our little fire pit works and we used it for a cook out the other night.


Saint Lucia



The girls woke us up this morning with a Saint Lucia tradition. They get up early and "prepare" breakfast (with help from Grammy). Then dress in white and enter the room with a wreath and candles on their head. As they enter they say "Saint Lucia invites you to breakfast."
It is a Scandinavian tradition that we have picked up. You can also read about it in the Kirsten American Girl books. It is one of my favorite traditions. They work hard at keeping it a secret.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Christmas Cradle

Chuck was asked to record this story for use in the Christmas service at our new church. It will have music and video with it later, but the voice track turned out so good I thought I would share it here. Settle in... it's about 6 minutes long, but it's really really worth listening to. It's interesting to think about the significance of Jesus being born in a stable, having his birth announced to simple, lowly shepherds and his having a trough for a bed. I hope you like it as much as I did. Have a very merry Christmas!

video

Thursday, December 20, 2007

NOEO






























The year we are using a new science program called NOEO. It uses living books and hands on
experiments.

This is the girls learning how a windmill can make energy from moving wind.

We have had fun making a parachute and a helicopter and understanding about wind resistance. They love the hands on stuff. I love how it all ties in together. It has been a fun program.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Twas the week before Christmas...






The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...










The lights were strung...











The bears have fun...




Baby Jesus, God's son.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Guest House Tour






















One of the biggest reasons we bought this house was for the added bonus of the 600 s.f. guest house above the garage.

















We want to officially invite our family and friends to book a weekend get away here at the PETERS PINE TREE LOFT.


We saved our furniture and quaint country decorations just in case we got this house.




It has a mini kitchen (you can do your own cooking), LR and BR with a BA.





The view from the deck is great. You can see the yard, garden, pool area and fire pit. Looking out the window to the pine trees feels like you are in a tree house up there.









We have had lots of company already, so plan ahead and reserve your spot.

Enjoy a chance to get away and relax. Unwind and enjoy the outdoors.

Take a bike ride or play tennis. We may also put you to work on the house or yard. =)

Hope you come for a visit soon.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bird Watching

The other afternoon, I was getting ready to go out and noticed an amazing bird outside the front window. It was sitting on a branch on one of the front trees. We looked it up online and found out that it is a Red Shouldered Hawk. The best is watching it fly with it's larger than 40 inch wing span. It is so fun to see such great pieces of nature out our door. We are hoping that it makes a meal out of one the gophers that are living in our yard. (I had to find a pic online since my camera was broken).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Miss you Sis

Just an old blast from the past. Look at these beauties! My sister and I on a sailboat when we were in high school. Are you out there Sue? Miss you and haven't talked in awhile. Are you still checking the blog?

Traditions

I didn't realise how important traditions were until yesterday. We finally put up our wonderful, pre-lit, 9 foot tree. I wasn't sure if we would have room, but it fit. In the process of putting the ornaments on it, the girls keep talking about how wonderful it all is. They oohed and ahhed over their favorite ornaments. They kept talking about finding the "skater" and that she goes at the top. The skater ornament was one my mom got me when I was little and I am almost sure, but I think she came from a cheap junk store called Insurance Liquidators. My mom had a tradition of putting a little gift in a stocking on our bed room door every day starting Dec. 1st. One of those gifts was this little ice skating ornament. Interesting enough, while Chuck's Mom was here, she too had a little gift for the girls every morning starting Dec. 1st. I just watched the girls open gift #14 this morning.

Traditions are interesting how they change and morph as our lives change. Somehow traditions seem so special at Christmas. I was reminded that it is important to continue making these memories for my children as they grow up. We found the ice skater and she is near the top of the tree. =)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Love this picture


I just love this picture. Look how tall the girls look...and grown up...and long legged. I love that they were brave enough to hold the alligator. I love the eyes on Tally's visor. Just love it... (and to think this is a year ago...how tall are they now?)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Staying busy








We have been staying busy. We just said good bye to Chuck's parents who were here for 2 weeks. While they were here we got some things done. Had all the tile taken out in the DR, KIT, ENTRY, LAUNDRY and MBA. Replaced it all with hard wood except for the MBA (tiled that).
We spent a day sealing the house up so we didn't get tile dust everywhere. It was really messy.
















We are redoing the master bath. Took out the pedestal sinks and are putting in a vanity cabinet. Already did some new lights and we are waiting on our sink and granite counter top to come. We are enjoying the progress.





My camera has stopped working and I am at a halt for including more pictures. Sorry I didn't get more "after" pictures and I didn't get one of Chuck's mom working hard. This is his dad taking out that sink. They both worked hard on getting our trees limbed up and moved many piles of branches to our burn pile.


The girls loved playing on our 3 yards of gravel that we had delivered for our fire pit area. I got them some yard boots so they aren't afraid of playing out where some bugs might be.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Unreached People Group

If you scroll down a bit on the page you will notice I had Chuck post something new. Years ago we used to read from a book called Operation World and pray for groups of people that have most likely not heard the gospel. I found this on another blog and wanted to encourage you to come and visit and pray for these people every day. The group, picture and information will change daily. Hopefully this will give us all a larger world view. I desire to grow and allow God to change me as He uses me to change the world.

It's beginning to look a LITTLE like Christmas...

We have finished the floors and now we can put our house back together again. We haven't decorated for Christmas yet inside the house, but outside looks great. Lots of outside lights and I put up my homemade nativity set. It looks cute. We even did a little shopping last night. A few things for the girls this year and that is it. I will try and get a picture and post it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

laughter

There is something amazing about a great night of laughter. It is almost therapeutic. I love it when Chuck gets together with people who make him laugh and be funny. Haven't had that in a long time. Love our new friends. =)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A mini tour...family room
















I wanted to show a few pictures of our place. I feel like if I wait until it is done it will take too long. A work in progress. We had major work done this week. Pulled out the tile and had the hard wood continued in the kitchen, entry, dining room and laundry. It was a huge job and messy but it looks sooooooo much better. We gave that old tile a fair chance and it was just bringing the house down. I will post before and after pics of the LR later. No window treatments yet, we plan on ordering plantation shutters (cafe style).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A wonderful Christmas gift idea

At church on Sunday we got a great catalog from Gospel For Asia. It is full of gift ideas for needy families and native missionaries in Asia. We had already decided that we weren't doing a big Christmas this year. With the move and all it just seems like too much. After coming across this catalog, we decided to spend our Christmas money for families that really need it. You can buy a pair of chickens for $10. Then that family has a chance to have food and a possibility to make money on selling the baby chicks. Check out the site and see if it is a good fit for your family too. http://www.gfa.org/gift?motiv=WA7A-GFGC

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Food for thought

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Sunday, December 2, 2007

And the Emmy goes to...Chuck Peters


We had a wonderful night at the local Emmy award ceremony last night. Chuck was fortunate enough to win 2 Emmies. The first one was for a show that is on DJTV on the web. That was with a team of guys that were involved in the show.










The second was a personal achievement, for an individual award as writer. A blessing for the night is that everyone who was part of his team won an Emmy. He works with such a talented team and it is nice to have it recognized by the industry.






It was so fun to get dressed up and have a special place to go. By the time it was all over, we were all emotionally exhausted and thrilled at the same time.




We were reminded about how far Chuck has come in his career and how great God has been. He has given Chuck such great abilities and we are all SOOOO proud.