Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas alive

Christmases have always been special for me; each with it's own general mood and feeling. Some spent close to home and some away visiting my grandparents or other family. But this one was different for me....bigger possibly, yet quieter. Maybe more settled than ever before...more grown up? I am not sure exactly the change but I can say that without a doubt today As we enjoyed our Sunday December 30th together home as a family I was not yet ready for it to end. I think my oldest daughter Emy felt the same as she set up her tiny new precious moments nativity from Memere and Pepere in her room, smiling at the little baby Jesus with his bit of curly hair, she told me decidedly that she wanted it to stay out all year. I chose a favorite Christmas CD to put on for the little girls' bedtime music and read an extra three chapters to Emy tonight, enjoying the freedom of time that comes with holidays home together. I think her and I would have loved simpler days on the prairies, maybe even on this very spot where we live now. We are two of a kind in the way we love life. Simple joys and moments of heart are our greatest riches.

But back to this Christmas; I think that it is quite possible that the true spirit of the season lived in my heart in a bigger way than ever before. It was as if it all came together just right and created a kind of glow, a contented fullness and true joy. I am trying to give words to something that is so hard to describe...easier to feel...almost tangible.

This year was not filled full with all of my usual handmade holiday projects ( a first since...well, as long as I can remember) Our tree was not a wonderful masterpiece by most standards, but a delight to us. It stands here, still spreading its warm glow beside me with funny clusters of carefully placed candy canes, sweet little ornaments that the girls made for us, as well as a very lovely paper chain. There are small teddy bears that have been nestled in the lower branches by chubby little hands, and some Christmas cards have made their way to nest here and there. It was the girl's masterpiece this year and that makes it one very happy tree.

I didn't spend the weeks before Dec.25th in the malls looking for perfect presents. This year instead of Christmas being what I may have thought it should be in the past, I just soaked it all in.

I slowed down to "feel" the true holiday spirit and embrace it. I turned off my computer completely and read 8 great Christmas books that all touched my heart. We took the children to Bethlehem live at a nearby church to take in the sights and sounds of the very first Christmas, and my dear friend Kristie took me to see Steve Bell's Christmas concert with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

This year the impact of baby Jesus was really huge.
Of course we have always known the story; we have grown up making little Christmas crafts in Sunday school, and we can say the lines of the Angel with our eyes closed. But the fact that God came to earth as a tiny baby, just as we all do, and was born in a stable where the animals live. The fact that God came down at Christmas to live among us, well, it is like us going down to live in the mud with the worms, and that is pretty darn cool! I read that comparison in "The Christmas Shoes" as the mother in the story talks to her son about Christmas being a time for Miracles, and I thought it the perfect description.

The significance of that first Christmas seems bigger to me this year than it ever has in the past...more real..more present. And if He could give such a miracle to us, then I felt like maybe we needed to look a little bit farther ourselves, to pass on the love and blessings that we feel all year long. This year we had a special project on our hearts and we did our best as a family to spend the week before Christmas gathering special gifts, baking and preparing everything we would bring to a sweet family in need on Christmas day. I hope they really felt our love.
The girls were just shining as they helped to carry presents and cookies to the door and share their sweet little greetings. I think that was my very favorite '07 Holiday moment. I am feeling like the spirit of this Christmas needs to go on all year, and I think it will. We will eventually take down this adorable tree, and at some point I may not be putting on The Merry tunes for bedtime, but I think that Christmas will live in our hearts every day until next year when hopefully we can experience another season of such beauty and love.

wishes of peace and Joy to you and yours.
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 17, 2007

The time that matters

Just a few thoughts on "time"...

One of the quotes I have written down in my creative notebook as I have been reading through Ali Edwards' new life artist book is "I have the power within myself to stop the stress" Such good good words.

It really is the truth. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to "keep up" depending on what our life holds; to keep up with consistent posts on blog(s), to keep up with the other mom who volunteers 4 times a week and always puts on the coolest parties, to have the kids running to x number of activities like their friends, and be sure to send out the right amount of Christmas cards and complete x number of Christmas projects. This doesn't all apply to me, I have always tried my best to keep in my vision what matters most, but some of it does, and I see it in so many others that I care about.

why do we do this?

For a long time I have kept this quote framed somewhere in my home and held dear these words:
" One Hundred Years From Now
It will not matter what kind of car I drove,
what kind of house I lived in,
How much money I had in my bank account,
Nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a little better
because I was important in the life of a child."

-Forest Witcraft

I love this, it is such a great reminder, because really in a hundred years all of the hustle bustle and keeping up appearances will not matter one bit. It is the love we gave and the time we took to breathe and be centred so that we can offer something great to this world that just might make all of the difference.

peace, and many deep breaths to you dear friends

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

From Paris

This cool red wheel on the Eiffel Tower just made me happy. Came across the photo today when I was looking for another

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

taking a break

It was a crazy year in a lot of ways for us 5 Muckoskys.
My new "career" brought all kinds of fun and new adventures and with it a lot of adjustment for us as a family.
Tiara's struggles and amazing journey through all that she has been dealing with has had a real affect on us all ,
and lots of other life stuff has come our way over the last 12 months or so.

So this fall we took a break from the extra activities to just slow things down for a while. We wanted to just breathe a little bit more, we wanted the time to re-group and help the girls get into the groove of where they are at in life right now.

In the past three weeks or so our family has passed around 3 different flus and a pretty harsh sinus thing, so all of My mama lovin' and pretty much all of my time has been needed around here. Waking up through the night to help with a throw up pail or blow a little nose and rub a little back or taking the time I have needed myself to just sleep and get better when it is my turn. Hopefully this means that when it all subsides we will be immune to every possible bug floating around Winnipeg for the rest of the winter??? ( one can hope!)

I have been creating and I do have all kinds of projects in the works but the pace has been slower the past few weeks ,
it has been necessary.

Am I behind in my work? yes,

My laundry pile sky high? oh yeeeah ( I should take a picture it is fairly ridiculous)

The house?
a mess,
please don't ring my doorbell today, I may not answer... might just hide

But we are good. The kids feel loved and valued more than anything else in the world, my heart feels light and good with the knowledge that my priorities are right- for me, for us.

My heart is here at home first and foremost. It always will be.
My biggest and most precious gifts are right here no matter how busy the world may be, I am refusing to get caught up in the hurry worry.

We needed some extra time and love and rest in the last little bit and that is what we have been taking.

Thanks so much for your patience with me.
And thank-you for all of the wonderful emails that we have received in the past few weeks.

May the Holidays and the next year be filled with time that nurtures your spirit and everything that truly makes your heart happy

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tia's gift

My little Tiara was so secretive this week as she rustled around with bags, paper and tape in our dining room. I thought it was cute that she would not let me come in, but I had no idea she was working so hard on a Birthday present for me right from her dear little heart.
So so sweet.

A few years ago we gave each of the girls a 100 picture photo album with pictures that we thought would matter to them; with friends, sisters, themselves, adventures...etc.
Tiara calls it her "scrapbook" and carries it around ALL the time telling us about the photos and sharing her little stories,or just re-arranging things and smiling at her own memories.
So when I opened this adorably wrapped little package and found my own personal "scrapbook" made with lots of tape and Ziploc bags, and filled with her most cherished photos taken right out of her book, I knew that she had given me a little piece of her heart, and she was so very pleased at my teary

just wanted to post this while I remember clearly so I can look back and smile all over again :)


I had an amazing Birthday yesterday.

Having a birthday with little children who love you so much is the best feeling on earth. They treated it like a national holiday and made me feel like a Queen....everyone did actually. The people in my life are the greatest gift I could ever ask for, truly.

It started when my good friend Kristie took me out to a lovely little french restaurant for birthday breakfast; the perfect way to start the day. It was nearby Cam's work so he was able to spend that time having fun with the little ones while Kristie and I got to turn off our mommy eyes and ears and just had a lovely time on our own. This year from my grandparents in Ontario I got White Christmas. I grew up watching awesome old musicals with my Gramie and I still just LOVE them to bits! Once I picked up everyone from school the girls and I cuddled up and watched it together. It is so cool to share that with the girls. when Emy asked me "mama who is the bad guy?" and I answered honestly "there is none!" I realised just exactly why I love those old movies. Entertainment sure has changed over the years.
Cam took me out for a wonderful evening while the kids partied it up with his mom and dad ( thanks so much guys!) and we had such a great time. I also have had a couple of really parties this week with both Cam's and my family and they have all made me feel so very special.

Feeling truly thankful this year for such a great group of people who love me and take the time to show it so very well.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy days

The girls wanted to look at my old photo albums this past week and I came across this great pic. So many memories held here. Uncle Petie and I shared Birthday parties every December for all of my little years. Then along came little Sarah and she was a part of the party fun too. Thank goodness for Gramie and her Polaroid camera, she made me such a great album of memories, those little old square pictures tell a story that is totally priceless to me.
Sending out a big Happy Birthday to Uncle Pete and Sarah!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

in the light

I just wanted to share a page about my little Kaiella, posted on my CK blog when I was talking about life lessons. It was my take on the challenge to scrap what we learn from the kids. I couldn't get this old DC Talk song out of my head so I used it as a quote. It fits so perfectly for what I learn from her and how I feel.

“I wanna be in the light as you are in the light I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens, O Lord be my light and be my salvation all I want is to be in the light”
-DC Talk

Journaling at the bottom of the page says:
"You live beautifully with all of your little heart. You find joy in creation every day and rejoice in the wonder life holds for you. May you always live in the perfect light of God’s Love baby girl."

The font is my own - called CK Believe
you can see the rest of my supplies Here
She is such a sweetie, mmmmm, how I adore my chubby little brown-eyed toddler!
( most of the time LOL ....she happens to be acting VERY THREE this week- anyone who has ever had a three year old knows what I mean, but this too shall pass won't it?!)