December Daily | Christmas Day

Merry Christmas!  I can hardly stand it as I type I'm so excited to finally wrap up ....December Daily 2011!  I had many snapshots to choose from, my favorites were all the blurry...."be still, don't jump up and down ones"  ha!  Above all my favorite of all my favorites... {the words}....
the words I chose to use as the titles for my pages.  I added a third page to Christmas day in order to display them all clearly.  As a gentle reminder the love that surrounds each one of us if we stop and be still.  Here they are one more time...
imagine, sparkle,remember, hope, joy, magic,enjoy, moments, goodness,  treasures, memories, laughter, happiness,  embrace, love,  faith,  giving,  blessings.
Thank you,   for looking, sharing and caring.

December Daily | Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve... OH MY GOODNESS!  This December Daily has been truly an adventure of
GOODNESS... Goodness for Goodness sake... YES indeed!  A crazy, busy project that requires time and time one must commit in order to complete this baby.  Whew! So happy to have said all that,  It definately needed to be said so the weight can come off.  hehe.  Ok, Ok, seriously, I really really really learned so much about... the importance of documenting not only the big moments throughout the season but the little things as well,
  1. the cup of cocoa..
  2. the time cuddling watching a Christmas lol movie..
  3. the meaning of giving..
  4. the appreciation of now..
  5. the excitement watching presents grow under the tree..
  6. the anticipation of advent..
  7. the daily dose of chocolate..
  8. the saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone you meet..
  9. the art journal turned Christmas 'wish list'..
  10. the Christmas twinkle lights..
  11. the hot cocoa drinking during a Christmas light tour..
  12. the hope of Christmas to others.
  13. the begging to eat unlimited Christmas candy..
  14. the mess in the kitchen after cookie creating..
  15. the wrapping... and more wrapping..
  16. the checklists... ugh, the checklists..
  17. the love..
  18. the thoughts..
  19. the hugs..
  20. the smiles..
  21. the laughter..
  22. the family..
  23. the JOY..
  24. the TRUE meaning of CHRISTmas!
{For the journaling on my pages I added the timeless poem...}

Twas the Night Before Christmas
Original by: Troy Sentinel 1823

1 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house,
2 Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
3 The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
4 In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
5 The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
6 While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,
7 And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
8 Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap-
9 When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
10 I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
11 Away to the window I flew like a flash,
12 Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
13 The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
14 Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
15 When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
16 But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
17 With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
18 I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
19 More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
20 And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
21 "Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
22 "On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
23 "To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
24 "Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
25 As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
26 When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
27 So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
28 With the sleigh full of Toys - and St. Nicholas too:
29 And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
30 The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
31 As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
32 Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
33 He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,
34 And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot;
35 A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
36 And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack:
37 His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
38 His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
39 His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
40 And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
41 The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
42 And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
43 He had a broad face, and a little round belly
44 That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:
45 He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old  elf,
46 And I laugh'd when I saw him in spite of myself;
47 A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
48 Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
49 He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
50 And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,
51 And laying his finger aside of his nose
52 And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
53 He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
54 And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
55 But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
56 Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

I do wish you all a very very happy Christmas Eve and a blessed Christmas Morning!

Digital December Daily | December 23

Shopping trip... one final checklist... When I mentioned one more shopping trip,
your nose squished up in...disbelief.
"Mom", "Why can't we be done already?"
As a Mom, one would think that a nine year old princess like Raeleen would be thrilled to go on yet
one more shopping trip. I must admit shopping on the 23rd of December was a bit much after such a crazy busy month already. Regardless that we left early, the roads were bumper to bumper.  The stores, Oh, the madness in the stores. What seemed like hours standing in line, and what seemed to be only the stores we were shopping at. Needless to say we did have a great time,  I got my Starbucks.. a couple in fact.. Raeleen got her hot cocoa.. a couple in fact. At the end of the day, our checklist was

Happy December 23rd!

Digital December Daily | December 22

SNOW!!!  Woot!!! Just they other day I... tweeted...  "Looks like my #decdaily" will not include snow"  Guess what... I realize it's not much just a few flurries late last night. But here they are....A small collection of flurries that settled on the deck.  And there ya have it... snow flurries in my December Daily! I'll take it!

Digital December Daily | December 21

Christmas Gift Cards are simply.. the bomb!!  Literally, as the kids, including yours truly, rips the envy to discover a shiny gift card. OH the excitement, the squeals! Perfect moment and Perfect gift for everyone to get that special something they have been wanting all year.

Digital December Daily | December 20

December 20th... Wowza... December Daily is quickly... coming to a close. So happy to have taken on this project.  I adore all the goodness of December.  This snapshot needs no journaling, no words, just one glance is all that is needed.

December Daily | December 19

Hello electric meter! Ruger helping the big boys dig.  Play in the dirt... Work in the dirt... Live in the dirt... d-a-i-l-y!

Digital December Daily | December 18

Sweetness, this is.  Writing out her 'wish list'.  Always helping her Mama to not forget.

Digital December Daily | December 17

Our first Christmas cards from Oklahoma..Sitting on our new front porch, staring into the glaring sun.  Forgive the squinting. Cards galore. Honestly this is the most cards ever sent from us.

Digital December Daily | December 16

I need a Silent Night.. Guess what I really really.. had one, a real live Silent Night!
Jeff and I were able to have a date night tonight that was so needed. Stress free to say the least.  Calm and quiet, no kids, just us two.  Doesn't happen very often. Jeff shopped for the three boys and I shopped for our little princess. Needless to say Jeff had much better luck and was so better focused than me. He just Rocks!  Ok, so I have some shopping to do still.  Gosh, I have my hands full with one girl, I cannot imagine any more .....  eeek.  Don't get me wrong ..  LOVE my girl!  But boys are so much easier. 

The page I made for today was an awesome moment.  I sneaked up on Raeleen rearranging the ornaments (seems to be her newest obsession).. the lights were down and the tree just sparkled perfect she appeared to glow.  Thrilled I was able to grab my camera and catch this moment.

Right here,  Moments like these,  are why I love December Daily. 
There are unlimited amounts of "Goodness" to Remember!

The journaling is simple: I Need A Silent Night  by: Amy Grant 

I've made the same mistake before | Too many malls, too many stores | December traffic, Christmas rush | It breaks me till I push and shove | Children are crying while mothers are trying
to photograph Santa and sleigh | The shopping and buying and standing forever in line | What can I say? ....
I need a silent night, a holy night | To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise | I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here | To end this crazy day with a silent night | December comes then disappears | Faster and faster every year | Did my own mother keep this pace or was the world a different place? ....
Where people stayed home wishing for snow | Watching three channels on their TV | Look at us now rushing around | Trying to buy Christmas peace | What was it like back there in Bethlehem
with peace on earth, good will toward men? ....
Every shepherd's out in the field | Keeping watch over their clock by night | And the glory of the Lord shone around them | And they were so afraid | And the angels said "Fear not! For behold I bring you good news of a great joy that shall be for all people. | "For unto you is born this day a
Savior, who is Christ the Lord and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace."

Digital December Daily | December 15

Life Moments.. Snapshot of the day meant so much..
I couldn't resist this moment.. Raeleen stared out the window..silently wishing the raindrops sliding down the window pane were snowflakes of December. She had no idea I snapped this shot with my phone, but when I was done she and I had a talk about waiting out the rain and soon the rain would turn to snow if we stay patient. As we chatted about this and that I grabbed my journal and asked her to tell me about moments that mean so much to her.  This is what I compiled together, a collection of thoughts straight from my journal...

are like RAINDROPS on a window..
with the SUN..
when the day is DONE..
true happiness is REVEALED..
only if there is LIGHT.. from WITHIN..
If we can IMAGINE.. RAINBOWS.. as
we set out the RAIN.. we can know HOPE..
This MAGIC..  of LIFE.. is as WIDE..
as a SMILE .. as NARROW.. as a WINK..
as LOUD.. as LAUGHTER ..
as QUIET.. as a TEAR..
 as TALL.. as DEEP.. as EMOTIONS..
so STRONG.. it can lift the SOUL..
so GENTLE.. it can TOUCH..  the HEART..
It is the MAGIC.. that BEGINS..


Digital December Daily | December 14

Anyone care for something C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E-Y?  From Chocolate Pudding to Hot Cocoa and everything in between.. Love this snapshot of Ruger, which displays his licking head dunk into the pudding bowl. We do love us some chocolate goodness, dark unsweetened goodness for yours truly! YUM!  Nothing better than that dark chocolate kiss Starbucks places on every cup! 
Secret alert:  I have a stash of dark chocolate kisses to go with my first cup of dark roast every morning.  

As the kids grow older, I find it useful to have a fresh pot of 'hot cocoa' ready for morning kitchen rush.  Reality alert: "What I'm I to do when they start asking for mochas?"

Digital December Daily | December 13

Super easy paper candy canes.. here's how.. 
Whatcha need: 
*a white piece of paper (preferably plain printer paper or construction paper) we used regular notebook paper to practice with 
*crayons or markers 
Whatcha do: 
1. color a border around all four sides of the paper, you can use different colored layers if you want
2. turn paper over
3. start at one corner and begin rolling the paper up. we used a straw to get it started, you can use a pencil too.
4. after you have finished rolling it up place a small strip of tape to close it.
5. bend one end of your rolled up paper to make a 'hook' and there ya have it, a paper candy cane.

Digital December Daily | December 12

Honestly?  Who is truly in need of Christmas music inspiration this time of year?  I thought I would share some of our favorites.  Around November every year the stores start advertising what new Christmas CDs will be stocking the shelves.  This is the boys thing.. they enjoy standing at Mardel's or our Music Store and listen to the new tunes, so when it comes to finding the best Christmas music they are all over it.   Riley is working on a Christmas song to play at church on Sunday.  Here's to loving Christmas music!

Digital December Daily | December 11

gift giving - wrapping presents - how ever you .. say it - maybe even the stress and chaos of shopping - deciding - need or want - ok.. wants are the 'always' of Christmas. when I wrap presents, I hide away in my bedroom, put the Christmas music on and not your ordinary 
Christmas music, I like the soft, sappy ones.  They seem to calm my nerves a bit while I'm wrapping and tagging. My favorite is "I need a Silent Night" by Amy Grant. 

Digital December Daily | December 10

Paper Snowflakes are gently hung on the tree.. I do wish.. we had collected real snowflakes on black paper then looked through a magnifying glass to spot the seven basic snowflake shapes.  {a post for a snowy day, coming soon, hopefully}  Until then paper snowflakes in seven basic shapes will have to do. 
My Favorite Snowflake Quote:  "The wonder of a single snowflake outweighs the wisdom of a million meteorologists."  Francis Bacon

Digital December Daily | December 9

We love reading Christmas books throughout our 25 days of Christmas.  Almost always we choose books that will relate with our Advent daily readings.  Let me of our favorites: "Songs of a Christmas Night" by B.J. Hoff.  If you have a chance to get your hands on this little devotional treasure, I highly recommend this one. It is a true keeper. 
The gift box includes a little prayer card.. Lord, lift our eyes above the trimmings and tinsel....
Let us look past temporary things | To see the lasting gifts which you have promised | The joy and peace that life in Jesus brings. -B.J. Hoff

Digital December Daily | December 8

A Story Worth Remembering... Straight from my Journal... 
December 8, 2011 
Good morning Mr. Frost, 
This morning I held my coffee mug, fingers clasped together, as I stood in front of a frosty window.  My mind wandered quickly as I was reminded how God is always at work in our lives. How he continues to breathe life into our souls. God breathing on our window pane, the breathe of life, the reality of frost. Gives us something to 'see' .. something to grasp ahold of.  As I stood there my right hand slowly left my warm coffee mug. My finger made it's way to the window and wrote GOD. Then I turned, refilled my coffee mug and continued my morning quiet time in my favorite chair.   An hour later, the children awoke and eagerly entered our living room with hungry tummies. Up from my chair I sprung, even though I wasn't at a satisfying 'stopping' point.  To make pancakes I went.  As the first pancake hit the hot grease on the griddle, my two youngest, Raeleen and Ruger tugged roughly at my sweater.  Mom!  They repeated.  Mom!  My mind wandered to think what could be wrong.  They grasped my hand and said,  Come quickly!  They both took me, stumbling feet,  as they pulled on my hand,  to see...  Mom!  Look!   God! Wrote on our window last night! ~Melanie Britt

Digital December Daily | December 7

Writing a letter to your children.. 
Today I chose.. to write a letter to Rodney, Riley, Raeleen and Ruger.  The photo collage is filled with snapshots of our favorite ornaments hanging from the tree.  I made the Christmas tree mask in the background and added some glitter. 

The letter reads:
Dear Rodney, Riley, Raeleen and Ruger,
Decorating the Christmas tree was the one thing I grew to 'relax' about.  Having 
four children past the age of five, your Mom has learned to let it be.  Let all
of you children love your own creations, homemade ornaments and even the 
stringed popcorn you string all over the house.  Let you eat candy canes in
cocoa, no matter the sticky fingers and mouths.  As your Mom, I choose to remember
what Christmas is truly about; Advent.. which means a season of expectation.
Advent describes your heart throughout the twenty-five days of December
as you look forward to Christmas day.  The one thing that remains about Christmas
to you my child,  is the memories you keep.  The things you did, the things you said,
the things you ate, the things you made and most of all the ornaments you 
hang on the tree every year.  Even at your tender ages my prayer for each of you at 
Christmas is that you would hold Christmas so close to your heart, you will never take thetrue meaning of giving for granted! 
I love you, Mom.

Digital December Daily | December 6

Christmas Magic..Ruger was found..under the tree staring up into the lights. I managed to sneak in this quick snapshot.  This photo is a perfect example why this is one of my favorite projects.  This is also a perfect example to show the true meaning of.. Christmas Magic! 

Digital December Daily | December 5

Coffee.. Truck.. Lights.. Camera.. Who?.. does that?  Every year.. Yes we do, how about you?
Our favorite thing to do throughout the month of December is jump in the truck, stop for coffee and drive around till we find the perfect Christmas lights and I do love me an awesome nativity scene! 

Digital December Daily | December 4

The stockings are hung.. the bows are sorted officially we are ready for the stockings to be stuffed with care and the bows to top the presents. 

Digital December Daily | December 3

Saturday, December 3, 2011.  A day filled with.. balloons.. presents.. hot dogs, chips, pop, cake and the best part the company of a sweet friend also a cousin! So much fun. 

Digital December Daily | December 2

Enjoy the process...December Daily really got to me LAST year. The craziness, The shopping, The stress, The general idea of a DAILY snapshot.. The list could go on and on... This year, 

I am determined to display this project on a 'brand new' digital photo frame! 
Bring on December Daily! :) 

Digital December Daily | December 1

Here we go.. December 1st.. Oh! Confession: I have.. NOT bought a single present!
If you choose to have mercy on me then you could count the Advent goodie bags I made.
Simple. Easy. Quick.  That was my Advent motto this year.  I took dollar store goodie bags.. 4 packs of 6. Filled with enough treats for each child.  Printed my December Daily labels.  Attached them as the closures.  Printed my 25 scripts of Advent. Attached them to the back. Advent for us has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember.  I have changed things every year.  This year I wanted to be simple as simple as possible.  I wanted my children to remember the story of Christmas in a way that would surely speak to their hearts.  Having said all that, I compiled 25 scripts that best tell the story leading up to Christmas day.

Here are my December 1st Pages.  Click on the image to view larger. 
One more confession: "It was December 2nd and I finished my December Daily pages for December 2nd... So SIMPLE - NEAT - EASY...I did a double take as I saved them to my December Daily Pages file...At that moment I GOT IT...So SIMPLE - NEAT - EASY...I'm in to KEEPING IT SIMPLE!"