Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Pathetic Wonderful Tree

So, I do NOT have time for blogging right now, but I'm going to.

First of all, I love Christmas and I love Christmas Trees! I love REAL trees, LOTS and LOTS of lights, and then more lights. (I currently prefer white lights, but grew up loving the mulit-colored)

Now that we have that established, my story.

I love our tree! It's a weird shape--heavy on the bottom and VERY light on the top. It is pretty scragly--not a lot of branches for ornaments.

It had to be 'enhanced'.

"What is 'enchancement'?" you say? Well, it's a little known art established years ago by...ranchers who had hundreds and thousands of trees on their land, but no time to prune them throughout the year. These same ranchers thought it was ridiculous to spend hard earned money buying a tree that they could just as easily cut down in their own back yard. And lastly, these ranchers could not afford to take a WHOLE day at the beginning of december to go Christmas Tree Hunting on someone else's land--have to feed the cows you know.

So these ranchers cut down a tree that looked "pretty darn good" and then a couple extra branches for good measure. When you get home, you put the tree up to it's most flattering angle and then start adding in branches with your drill and some good deck screws.

The family and friends stand back and say helpful things like, "A little more to the right", "There's a bald spot over to the left there", and "Hey! I think you have a bald spot from this angle."

After about an hour of enhancing, I started putting the lights on our new tree. LOTs and LOTs of lights. About 5 strings. But, she "shines like Orion's Belt when I'm out on the ice." Each branch is individually wrapped up and down. It's really quite majestic. AND I'm the only one in the family that does it. Guess that's what I get for being so darn picky.

And I LOVE our tree--no, it's not a perfect triangle, like some fake tree. Yes, it takes over 4 hours from bringing it in the house to completion. Yes, it is a weird shape and guests literally laugh out loud when they lay eyes upon it. Yes, it looks a little like a Dr. Suess tree with a large amount of ribbon gathered at the top.

We call 'er Martha Suess. The tree, that is.

Yes, you have to be carful how you hang your ornaments because some of those branches aren't quite attatched.

But you know what? I love it! I love it because I'm blessed.
So blessed.
I don't need some fancy prelit tree, I've got one that my husband cut down with a hand saw. He wants to go with me and search until we find a tree he knows I'll love.
I don't need some fancy tree from a tree lot, all perfectly shaped, we cut a scragly one down as a family, on our ranch. unbelievable.
I don't need some predecorated tree, I've got years and years of ornaments from my family that loves me and I love them more than words can say. And everytime I unwrap those ornaments every year, I think of them.

I love Christmas, spending time with family, traditions, celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ, God's own Son.

But, I also have a tree on the ground right now, because it fell over.

I think this is the 3rd year in a row.

I'm going to appreciate my little beautiful Martha Suess tree this year, because...

I'm also going to see if any of those fake trees are going to be on clearance next week.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cleaning a Mess--at "The House"

After a tumultuous night of sleep, I woke up late and headed straight out to the house. We have a friend from Casey's work helping us! Oh wow, it feels nice to have someone else who is SKILLed in carpentry out on the house, on our side, GETTIN' STUFF DONE! :) His motivation is probably prodded with the incentive of $$$....maybe.

Finished: The french doorway header we put in between the dining room and living room. Before it was a single door off to the side.

See that door way? It was small and really shut off the living room from the dining room and kitchen.

Now that whole wall of studs you see to the left is basically a span wide enough for french doors and some 'sidelights' (indoor window panes up the sides of the doors). Although its not even walled in or anything, it looks BEAUTIFUL!! (I'll post what it looks like, when I get my camera charged.)

Also finished:
  • Kitchen windows framed in.
  • Kitchen doorway we are getting rid of, closed in. (the one on the right)

  • Linen closet smaller--so the cold air return can be in there--so there is more room in the new laundry room! Which is important, because how can one fill up the linen closet if one don't have a highly functionable laundry room?--first things first a this house!)
  • Powder Room framed up--almost--might have to change something.
To work on tomorrow:
  • Changing the size of the powder room doorway.
  • Framing master closet wall.
  • Framing toilet room in master bath.
Oh! and today Casey and I spent about 2 hours picking up, sweeping, removing lathe and plaster and INSULATION that is still lingering around. It looks SO MUCH better and hopefully work will go more quickly because there isn't all that JUNK around--or as much of it I guess!

I am very thankful for my extremely hard working husband. Seriously, and in the COLD weather. (I don about 4 layers which makes it hard to move, but at least I'm warm. Being warm is more productive then being free to move--learned that the hard way!)

I better go get some sleep if we are going to get this house done by 2014!


So, lately, I've been reminded of a quote I heard in premarital counseling, "The purpose of marriage is not to make you happy, it is to make you holy." (but for the sake of argument, let's change it to "The purpose of _________ is not to make you happy it is to make you holy.") Which, when you first hear that as a prospective wife, or as a person, it is almost infuriating. Why do something or continue something if you aren't happy? It's really been on my mind how human nature/society has a belief that if it doesn't make you happy/you hate it, you shouldn't do it. So not true. "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons" Heb 12:7. Sometimes we endure things we don't enjoy, or even hate, to grow our character. To test our faith. "God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness." Heb 12:10b Can you believe that? We get to share in HIS holiness. Unbelievable. The trial will pass, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we will be better for preservering. And even if our 'trial' at a particular time is not a 'discipline', we are certainly called to nothing less than what Christ did for us! "but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." Phil 2:7 THEN, "...he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!" NOTHING I could ever go through would EVER compare.  He is good!

And I'm not saying you can't be happy in marriage or in life. You can be happy. Very happy.

That's how much he loves us.