Monday, December 14, 2015

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful, but the Fire is so Delightful!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) Light traffic Monday's!  I just love it on Monday's when the traffic is light on my way home from work.  If I didn't have to make a stop on the way home, I could have been home early.  Love that!

2) My kids who had the house all picked up and the rest of the Christmas tree decorations on the tree.  Thank you, thank you!

From the Camera:

On my way to work today it rained and there were accidents all around the valley, so I took surface streets part of the way to work.  When I got to just about the midway point and after the rain had slowed down a bit, I saw this bright rainbow.  It was so pretty!  When I stopped at a street light I tried to snap a couple photos waiting for the light to change.  Below are those photos from in my car.  You can see some of the raindrops on my windshield too.

I turned a couple corners and tried to snap some more photos, but I couldn't get a good shot....

So, I decided to pull over to try to get a couple photos of the rainbow.  Below are some of the other shots I took.  

My photos do not do this rainbow any justice!  I wish my camera could show you just how beautiful it was.  

From the Craft Room and Other Cool Things:

Isn't this wreath super cute??  I wanted to make one for my door.
I even picked up a top hat for it and everything, but I never got around to it.  Other things came up that were more important.
I just love it!  It's so stinkin' cute!  

From the Heart and Spirit:

From the Kitchen:

From the Schmidt's:

Here is a "bright" idea and a "reason for the season" idea.
I have a friend that does this each Christmas....
It's their favorite Christmas tradition and has been for the past thirty years and she calls it the Circle of Light.  Each December, they have twelve candles on their dinner table.  She used to use a wooden candle holder, which she had made, but it got tired.  Now she uses twelve star-shaped individual candle holders (found at Pier One) that she places on a round tray in a circle (the tray is a silver pizza pan).  Beginning on the 13th of December, the family lights one candle at dinner time.  Each night after that, they light the original candle and one more, and they keep adding one more each night until Christmas Eve, when they have their formal dinner, then all twelve candles are lit. (Was that as clear as mud? So, on the third night, three candles are lit, the seventh night seven candles are get the idea.)  The candles stay lit during dinner time.  It's not very bright to eat by on the first few nights, but as the twelve days progress, it gets brighter and brighter.  
Then during dinner, as they light the candles, they discuss Christmas, the life of Christ, His teachings, why we have this special season, what Christmas means to us and really try to focus for, at least a few moments, what Christmas is really all about.  On Christmas Eve, with all twelve candles lit, it is actually warm and glowing.  Then they discuss how His life brightens ours.  It's been an important part of their Christmas for almost three decades now and they hope that one day, their own children will carry on the tradition.  So, if you want to try this pick up twelve candles and holders and a silver platter, or pizza pan, or something to fit your decor today, even though it's a little late.  You could start the meal with one candle and maybe at certain points of the meal or discussion about Christmas and Christ light another candle until you are where you need to be today with the right number of candles lit.  It's a tradition worth remembering! 

Gift idea:  This comes in handy every year.  Actually, I will admit, I don't always do this, but I am always grateful when I remember this idea.  Purchase a few puzzles, games or chocolates.  Wrap them and label them, so that you remember what's in the box.  Place them under the tree along with your other gifts.  When that surprise visitor/old friend arrives unexpectedly bearing a gift for you or yours, you've got one wrapped and waiting just for them too!  Calendars, cookbooks, and coffee table books work great for this as well.  Just purchase items that you can use yourself if they don't end up being gifted or use them for birthday gifts later. 

Blog Challenge:  Does Santa wrap the presents or just sit them under the tree?

As most of you know, my children are not young.  My oldest is 27 and my youngest is 16, so they ALL know where the presents come from.  However, all of the presents under our tree are wrapped and the tags states they are from Santa.  This is done to keep the "Magic" in Christmas around our home.  Sure, I could say all of the presents were from Kevin and I, but where is the fun in that?  I can do that all year long and I do, or they even do that for Kevin and I.  BUT, Christmas is special and I want to keep it that way, if you know what I mean?  ~wink, wink~ 

There is something that has been bothering me for the past couple of days.  At work our offices are really nothing more than glorified cubicles, so I sit in close proximity to another group or team just on the other side of the wall from where I sit.  Well, the other day I overheard the person on the other side of the wall from me tell her teammates that she had to be careful what she said because I was Mormon!  To be honest, that kind of bothered me, and I don't know, maybe it shouldn't bother me, but it does.  I'm being honest here, and I've been thinking about that comment for a few days now.  So, why does it bother me?  After all, I should be happy that this person was concerned that they might offend me, or maybe because of me, this person thought about her behavior and the words she might use before she spoke, right?  I think the thing that bothered me about this was that I was just barely beginning to feel like a part of the group.  Like someone others would confide in and talk to.  Not someone everyone tried to watch themselves around.  Know what I mean?  This reminded me of how I felt not too long ago, like even though I work outside of the home and spend more time with the people at work than I do my own family, I will never be someone they will totally open up to.  It made me sad that I was being judged by others when they had not really given me a fair chance.  My feelings are a little hurt, but I do understand where these people are coming from.  I believe this person views me as someone with strong religious values, which is true, but at the same time, I like to have fun and be a part of the group too....and I believe that I can have both!  Am I wrong or too naive?  I don't know.

Right now I sit in the middle of our team area but that will soon change.  In less than a week we are getting new desks.  You know, the kind that will allow us to stand up and do our job or sit if we want to, which will be awesome.  The only thing is, I will be moving to a corner where there are no other people to talk to which I am not thrilled about in the least.  You see, right now I sit near a new member of our team who also has strong religious values for her faith, but others do not view her in the same way they view myself, so she is accepted just on that fact alone.  I have been with this company for 10 years and I can honestly say that I was finally feeling like I had some good friends.  Friends I would even think about inviting over for dinner or something.  It's not easy being one of about three Mormon's that I know in our entire organization of over 300 people.  It can be tough!  My fear is that with me in an area away from everyone I will get forgotten.  I know it sounds childish.  And it is a little.  But at the same time sitting where I was at was helping me to not keep things bottled up inside, and it was helping me open up more.  I guess I need to find a way to make sure that that doesn't happen, and not allow others insecurities, or fears about my religious beliefs get in the way of what I need to do, where I am going, and who I am.  At the same time, I need to remember that it isn't easy for others.  I need to remember to be patient with them and hope that they will come around and realize that I'm not one of those people that will freak out if they say something around me, or talk about the parties they go to, or tell jokes.  I'm not going to judge you or hold a grudge.  That's just not who I am.  AND, I am NEVER going to talk about my religious beliefs with someone in a flip manner, or allow you to mock my beliefs, and I would never try to convert you against your will either.  The things I believe I hold very sacred, and I will never get into a discussion on those things with someone unless I know that you have a real desire to know these things, and have a true interest.  And, I certainly would not talk religion at work, unless you bring it up first and most likely, if I did talk to you about my beliefs it would be an outside of work discussion.  That just isn't my thing.  Enough said.  (sorry for the rant)

It's getting late and I need to get ready for bed.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.  Enjoy your Tuesday!

From the Missionary:

Quote of the Day:
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