"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Thursday, December 31, 2015

You're Here by Design ~ Happy New Year !

" Just think, you're not here by chance, but by God's choosing. His hand formed you and made you the person you are. He compares you to no one else - you are one of a kind. You lack nothing that His grace can't give. He has allowed you to be here at this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation."              by Roy Lessin , co-founder of DaySpring.
You're here by design so cheer up, this is your year to enjoy and embrace another year of life from God ! How will you choose to live your life this year ? I am hoping I remember to always be thankful for my blessings and mindful that dark times are hard, but a thankful heart sings with joy amidst the tears and sorrows. After all, if Corrie Ten Boom * could praise God for head lice while imprisoned in a Nazi war camp ( because the lice on the prisoners kept the German guards out of the women's quarters ) then surely I can be thankful for the everyday things that tend to get me down , and some of the bigger worries and pains , well, one day at a time they get dealt with . In God's time !
" To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Ecclesiastes  3:1
~Picture is of Cedar Pond a few years ago.~

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dancing Fairy ~ Frilly Geese ( Gifts from the heart)

 The gift that made my heart sing , a painting done for us as a Christmas gift by our daughter's oldest daughter. She painted what I feel as I watch my beautiful geese swimming in Cedar Pond. The fairy seems the magical embodiment of my geese as she dances over the water. When I look closely ( click onto picture ) at the painting I see so many more details and marvel at granddaughter's ability to capture so much with paint and her imagination. Thank-you KN !
" It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving," Mother Teresa
" You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving." Amy Carmichael
" Some of the most beautiful things worth having in your life come wrapped in a crown of thorns." Shannon Adler
* Pictures are of my Sebastopol geese Ella and Fella .

Friday, December 25, 2015

Our Reason for the Season

" ..for today in the city of David there has been born for you a savior , who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign for you : you will find a baby wrapped in cloths , and lying in a manger." Luke 2:11,12

Monday, December 21, 2015

Santa is My Personal Friend ! ( and WINNER !!! )

Santa and I are close personal friends ( picture of me and Santa taken a few years ago  ) , so when I asked him to draw a name out of his hat to determine the winner of a pair of Wee Little Sheep *  he was very happy to help out. Of course, we waited until midnight Pacific Standard Time of the 20th to draw names as promised and Santa was impatient to get going because he has a busy week ahead. He enjoyed a cup of herbal tea and a few cookies while we waited for midnight and watched some special Christmas shows. But you're not interested in all that , you want to know who won. THE WINNER IS...

Bee Lady ,Email your mailing address to me at jkcedarpond@fairpoint.net and I'll send your little sheep to you. Congratulations !
Here is our youngest grandchild, and he's not too sure about this guy in red. Maybe next year when he's another year older he will be a bit happier about seeing Santa. Which reminds me of a cute and true story. A few years ago one of our granddaughters called me and asked to speak to her Poppa ( my husband ) and told me "just in case Poppa really is Santa I want to tell him what I want for Christmas ".

Thank-you to all who commented . I have some of my grandchildren spending the next 2 nights and 3 days with us and Santa may make another visit to our home too. I will be having fun making crafts and baking cookies with them, plus we have a home movie marathon tonight complete with popcorn and snacks. I am looking forward to visiting again this week all my blogging friends who took time to comment and seeing what goes on around your home during the Christmas season. Blessed Christmas to all of you !

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Nativity Scene ( and last day to win give-away )

 Our family celebrations of Christmas are full of gift-giving, Christmas tree decorating, stockings hung on the fireplace mantle to be filled with little treats from Santa after Santa has made a special appearance in our home to talk to the grandchildren, the excitement in anticipating what will be under the tree Christmas morning, sharing Christmas dinner with family and eating all the special foods of the season....yet this is the focal point in our living room, our nativity scene.

"What child is this , who, laid to rest, on Mary's lap is sleeping ? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet , while shepherds watch are keeping ? This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; Haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary."  hymn 'What child Is This ?'  ~traditional English melody set to text by William C. Dix
The nativity scene might be the focal point of our living room during the Christmas season , more importantly though is that Jesus, the Son of God , our Savior , is the focal point in my heart and life. I don't need a Christmas tree, Santa Claus, presents, or a nativity scene to know and celebrate Him. Jesus, the babe in the manger we celebrate at Christmas grew up and He said in Matthew 11:28~ 30 "Come to Me ,all who are weary and heavy-laden , and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you for I am gentle and humble in heart and you shall find rest for your souls, for My yoke is easy , and My load is light."
Do you want an opportunity to win a pair of Wee Little Sheep * ? Tonight at midnight I will have my husband draw the names of any leaving comments on my blog out of his Santa hat. Your name will be entered for every comment left on my posts ( limited to 1 comment per post ). I will post the name of the winner the 21st.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Kitchen Memories ~ (and chance to win Wee Little Sheep)

 Christmas in the kitchen around here makes me happy. Even if I am not baking or entertaining guests the kitchen is full of cheerful reminders of this season. Some of the things in my Christmas kitchen have been with us for many years and bring with them happy memories.
 This Santa cookie jar needs to be filled with cookies. The butter is out for softening at room temperature so my husband can bake his Berry Butternuts * , jam thumbprint cookies his father made every year and now my husband continues the tradition for our family. I also make *sugar cookies  every year using my favorite recipe from many years ago. Often I wait to make and bake these cookies when I have grandchildren over a few days before Christmas.
 This teapot is my hot cocoa pot, and the goose mugs are for serving lots of hot chocolate with marshmallows during the Christmas season. We received the mugs as gifts from my husband's parents many years ago. We got the teapot after his parents died. This set always remind us of my husbands' parents and their love of celebrating Christmas with family.
 My Santa sugar bowl and creamer. I made these the first year my husband and I were married and have brought these two out every Christmas season. They sit beside the coffee pot ready for guests needing real cream and sugar in their coffee or tea. There are so many good memories surrounding these little Santa accessories , and the privilege of being able to serve coffee, tea, coco, and so much more to family and friends over the years is not taken for granted by my husband and me. God has been generous with us in the gift and blessings of so much family and so many good friends.

My Christmas kitchen is ready again for company and full of sweet reminders of Christmases past. Christmas kitchen memories of good times gone by and the glimmer of new memories in the making.

Don't forget to leave a comment if you'd like to win a pair of these Wee Little Sheep*. The 20th is the last day of this give-away opportunity. I will enter your name for every comment you leave ( limited to one comment per day ).

Monday, December 14, 2015

Don't Worry ~ Sing Carols !

There has been so much senseless evil and tragedy in the news. It is difficult not to become anxious and fearful. Yet here I am decorating my home and planning special meals and treats for those I love, because as Christians we celebrate the birth of Jesus this month, and I am forgetting He is the very reason I should not be fearful. When I feel the old familiar darkness of fear slithering into my thoughts and spewing the infection of anxiety throughout my being, I know the cure. " Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." Proverbs 12:25

" Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." Corrie Ten Boom

"Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles. " Charlie Chaplin
"Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged , it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained." Arthur Somers Roche
Time to put on the Christmas carols , bake my sugar cookies and sing loudly ( and off key ) JOY TO THE WORLD the Lord has come !

If you'd like a chance to win a pair of these Wee Little Sheep* simply leave a comment on my blog. Your name will be entered every time you leave a comment ( limited to one per day ).


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Winter Takes Hold ~ All Is Well ( Thursday Update )

 Time to pull the Christmas dishes out of the pantry. This chickadee teapot is not strictly for Christmas but I use it especially this season. The teapot reflects the sights around Cedar Pond this time of the year. We have so many chickadees helping themselves to the sunflower seeds filling our bird feeders. The chickadees don't seem greedy either. They grab one seed and fly to a nearby branch to crack it open and eat the seed meat inside before flitting back to the feeder for another seed. The chickadees are with us all year and although easy to overlook for the more dramatic birds , they make me happy. Chick-a-dee-dee-dee !
 Ella and Fella my Sebastopol Geese hang out under the bird feeders eating any seeds the birds fling over the feeders. It is good to know the expensive black oil sunflower seeds don't go to waste around here.
 The bees are snug in their hives during the very cold weather. My husband makes his honeybees sugar boards to eat during the winter.
 Deciduous trees have shed their leaves . Our cedar and fir trees seem even more beautiful to me in winter with their deep green showing against the stark bare trunks and branches of the aspen, oak, alder, and maple trees.
 The last few days were very cold, below 30 degrees. We kept a fire in the wood stove the whole time. Nothing warms a body up as well as hauling several loads of firewood into the house. Now the temperatures have risen sharply and according to the weather man we're in for a very big wind and rain storm. It is good to be prepared for these storms because we frequently lose electric power when the high wind gusts knock trees down onto the power lines. I've already filled containers with water , have the candles and matches near, firewood stacked and ready to burn, a battery powered radio , and books to read. Especially books to read !
 Our pond was almost bone dry the end of September and two weeks into October we had big rains . More rain in November helped fill Cedar Pond and the water overflows the banks of the island in the middle of our pond.
 Our creek ran dry in June ( very early for this to happen ) and is now flowing rapidly adding more water to the pond.

 My sheep don't suffer the cold or wet because their wool coats keep them very comfortable. ( This is Tovah , one of my 4 horned sheep.)
 I found some dishes for our Christmas table settings. The green goblets and cream cloth napkins I bought at the dollar store go very well with the dishes. My winter teapot also looks pretty nice with these dishes.
I could easily use these dishes all winter because this is a common winter sight for me, wild bunnies bouncing across our lawns, gardens, and under the firs and cedars. Winter has taken hold and all is well here at Cedar Pond. God is so good to me and I am thankful.

Don't forget, any time you enter a comment ( limit 1 comment per post ) you're entered to win a pair of Wee Little Sheep * .

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas !

 It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. The fall decorations are ready to be put away , slowly I am pulling out the boxes of Christmas decorations. Mostly though , it looks like Christmas because I am making little nativity sheep and my work room is full of the little woolies.
I realize for me this is a tradition. I started making them to sell at local Christmas bazaars and have been making little sheep for about 20 years. The sheep change ever so slightly every year as I fiddle around with them, trying out new things. I am always on the look-out for miniature charms to adorn their necks. I vary wool color and give some spots. I am now playing around with giving some of them horns. My daughter and oldest grandson figured I must have made about 2,000 little sheep over the years. Oh my, that is a lot of time crafting them. Yes, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here .

If you want a chance to win a pair of Wee Little sheep *  I'll enter your name in a drawing every time you leave a comment on my blog .( limited to one comment per post )

" Much we owe to the gentle sheep, who as man's first domesticated animal, bearing on his back potential warmth for the world's comfort.... Wool has been of greater use to us than any other fibre. " from an old book called 'Wool Stitchery' by Osma Gallinger Tod

Monday, November 30, 2015

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year ! (And a GIVE-AWAY )

It is the most wonderful time of the year, the month of December when our family celebrates Christmas. Yes, I do mean the whole MONTH ( plus ). Decorating usually begins just after Thanksgiving but our family plays Christmas carols year round. ( Picture above is of me and our daughter's three youngest children.)

I spent the last 9 days with our daughter and her 3 youngest children on a trip of her choosing, her birthday present to herself in celebration of a milestone birthday. I am honored she and my grandchildren wanted me to accompany them on their trip to Disneyland and Universal Studios. This was a gift for me too since she paid my expenses. We drove 20 hours each way ( not including stops for gas and rest-room breaks) to get there and back.

Do you like my mouse ears ? It is hard to see them in the picture because they match the tree ornaments, but my mouse ears light up and the lights blink showing snowflakes. I will be wearing them a lot this month.

I am happy to be home now and getting ready for Christmas festivities. In honor of this month of giving I am offering a give-away. I will be sending a pair of Wee Little Sheep* to the winner. I will enter anyone who leaves a comment on my blog beginning today through the 20th of December when I will draw the name of the winner out of Santa's hat. I will enter your name every time you comment ( limited to one comment per day ).

For our family Christmas is especially dear because our faith, our lives, our very being , rests in the person this holiday season is based on ~ Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour of all mankind who put their trust in Him. ( John 3:16) Yes we know He was probably not born on this day of this month and many Christmas festivities trace their beginnings to pagan roots. Yet my husband and I grew up celebrating Christmas with the knowledge we were celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus. We joyfully celebrated Him with our children and now celebrate with them and theirs. I am eagerly looking forward to this month and sharing good times with family and friends, including you, my blogging friends. Bless you all !

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hanging Out, Giving Thanks

I spent last week bathing and prepping chickens for a poultry show. This is Lil' Blue , a bantam ( small ) self-blue mottled d'Uccle hen. I entered her and her mama in a show mostly because I love hanging out with the people who raise and show poultry. A few of those people are related to me or are long time friends. I have a lot of fun hanging out with chickens and the people who keep them.
I will be spending the next 10 days hanging out with family because my daughter and her kids want me around with them on a major holiday experience. My goodness, they want to hang out with me ! Well, I want to hang out with them too. Happy Thanksgiving to you all. When I am done having so much fun with my daughter and her kids I will be posting a give-away for the holiday season.
Thanksgiving = giving thanks ! "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands. Come unto the Lord with Thanksgiving." Psalm 100

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cozy at Home ~ Stormy Day Crafting

Tuesday tea time in November is usually a quietly busy time . It is raining ferociously outside so I am sipping hot tea as I craft indoors. Listening to the high wind gusts and knowing the huge trees surrounding Cedar Pond  are rooted in very soggy soil and prone to topple over bringing down power lines gives me cause to consider my preparation for power outages , frequent events for us during the fall and winter season.
I have water for drinking , candles, flash-light, battery powered radio, plenty of food, and crafting to keep me busy indoors. Yes, we're ready . The lights have already flickered a few times and finishing this post today is even in question if the power goes out .
I am working on a different type of Wee Little Sheep . I decided after many years of making at least a thousand little sheep I would have some fun changing things a bit and experimenting. I am giving some of them horns , spots, and different facial markings . More like my real flock of Jacob Sheep.
I have been doing a lot of spinning wool too, especially when I watch television with my husband. When I am spinning wool I can justify just sitting around because I am still getting something productive done .

The winds have picked up , I can hear them outside as I work and blog. I am going to make another pot of black tea now and shut down the computer before the power goes out. I hope you're having a cozy tea time indoors and I will catch up with my tea-time friends after the storm passes by, hopefully tonight ! I am so blessed and thankful to be cozy at home while the storms rage by. Please check out the links below as you sip your tea , cozy at home.
Bernideen ' Tea time Cottage and Garden Blog Party. *

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Marines, Thank-You Veterans

Today is the birthday of the United States Marines, established November 10 , 1775. This is a picture of our favorite Marine and veteran , our oldest son and "his" tank. Happy Birthday ,Marine !
To learn more about the marines and their 240th birthday click here. *
The picture below is of the tank crew. 

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Thank-you son for your service. We're so thankful God chose to bring you safely back home to us and your 4 daughters. ~ " The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war , no matter how justified , shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." George Washington