Thursday, December 27, 2012

Just Lots of Christmas Pictures, Mostly For Me....But Fun To Share Too

I'm taking a few minutes out of my Christmas leftovers eating project to post a few pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas day. There are no deep thoughts or moving story here, just pictures to help me record a family activity, like much of my blog. I'm glad to share them with anyone who wants to look through them.

Christmas Eve couldn't have been more beautiful. A light snow started falling just about dark and lasted through the night. We woke up on Christmas day to a bright White Christmas.

We had lots of family and friends here on Christmas Eve....there was such a crowd that Beck felt like he needed to personally keep an eye on the candy in a candy dish. He really did just stand looking at it for a long time until someone finally gave him a piece. 

EJ's piano performance will be even better when she actually learns to play the piano.

Even Jared, at 12 years old, still seems to think it OK to get new pajamas on Christmas Eve.

Wil seems to think these will fit him just fine.

New Christmas Eve pjs for EJ. Beck,

and Hope.

Christmas Day

No one had more Christmas spirit than our two 4 year olds, Anna & EJ.

Wil wasn't too sure about the plan to have brunch before opening presents.

Brunch for everyone....

and then the cousins exchanged gifts with lots of hugs and thanks.

It was news to me, but apparently these Superman socks (with a cape on the back) became a big deal last year when some football player wore them for the Heisman Trophy presentation. That's all I know, but everyone was excited that Jared got a pair.

Whew, Christmas can make a little guy pretty tired.

I hope we are all getting rested from a good Christmas and looking forward to a positive new year.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Think I Might Be Turning Into A Christmas Slacker

Here it is just a couple of days before Christmas and I'm really not feeling much stress at all. I think I might be turning into a Christmas slacker.  It's not that I don't have plenty that I need to to doing and maybe stressing about at least a little bit.. All the gifts are bought and wrapped so there's no stress there, but I do have about 35 or so people coming here for Christmas Eve that I have to prepare food for. Oh well, the food is all bought, some of it is prepared and the rest will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm pretty sure that if I wasn't turning into a Christmas slacker I would be worrying more about it today. I think the sure sign that I am, indeed, a Christmas slacker is that I am not all concerned about this stain that I just found on my table cloth (just left of center at the bottom of the picture-it is worse than it looks in the picture). As a Christmas slacker I just figure that it will be covered with platters of yummy food so there is really nothing to worry about.

Another thing that helps me stay stress-free is that the really important part of the food for Christmas Eve, the baking, is being done by my daughters. They spent all day yesterday and most of today baking dozens and dozens  of cookies and making candy and and all sorts of other Christmas treats.  These goodies along with the wine, egg nog and so forth that Doc has bought will mean that nothing that I have to prepare will matter that much.

Lots of sugar cookies, my favorite, mostly kid decorated.

Joanna still has a smile on her face even after two days of baking.

Beck was no slacker when it came to checking out the Rice Krispy wreaths.

One thing I don't want to be a slacker about is 
wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Whatever your plans are I hope you have a wonderful 
and stress-free day.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

All I Can Offer

I can't offer any new words of sorrow or eloquence of wisdom to all that has been said about the impossibly tragic school shooting. I can't give any comfort in a personal way to those who are suffering. The most and best I can do with my shock and grief is to offer compassion, love and hope to those who are in my own life in the best way I can.

I don't envy my children who will have to talk to their own school age children about what has happened. There has been a lot of advice in the media about how to do that, but none better than this offered a long time ago by Mr. Rogers. I have always been a fan of his quiet wisdom.


In another word about hope and love, I want to say congratulations to our friend Addison, an 8 year old little boy who is fighting for his own life in a battle with Leukemia. On Macy's Believe Day on Friday he delivered   8960 letters to Santa that he collected from friends showing their hope and love for him, raising $17,920 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.


I pray for more hope and love in this time of tragedy and for God's blessings on those whose lives have been shattered.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chaotic Tradition

I love family traditions and one of my favorites is my grandkids coming every year to decorate my Christmas tree. There is always some chaos when all my grandkids get together but the tree decorating always seems to  have an extra measure of chaos.....good chaos, fun chaos, but chaos nevertheless. 

They love checking out the ornaments that they made when the were little and having a laugh at the ones with pictures that their parents made when they were little. My tree is not elegant, but it has a lot of tradition with ornaments going all the way back to my childhood.

Beck was very serious about finding just the right spot for each thing he (sort of)  hung on the tree. 

The older kids make sure that at least a few ornaments make it toward the top of the tree.
Jared (12)

Hope (10)

The real chaos comes into play when we try to get a picture of them all together in front of the tree. Beck was not exactly into being still for a picture.

Oops, there he goes.

Oh, well 6 out of  7 isn't too bad.

This one is from 4 years ago.....I can't imagine how grown up they will be 4 years from now.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Unstoppable Happiness

I couldn't think of a better way to pass my holiday wishes to my blog friends than with this card designed by Addison, an 8 year old who is fighting cancer. I have written about Addison a few times since he was diagnosed with Leukemia in April, 2010.  He will have his final chemo treatment in June, 2013. Addison, whose mom is a good friend of my daughter Joanna, is an amazing kid who has fought his disease with incredible courage and the motto "I don't have time for cancer".

For those of you on Facebook you can click on the link below to share this card and generate a donation to fight childhood cancer.
Share this holiday card designed by Addison, an 8-year-old facing cancer, by December 30, 2012 and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation will donate $1 to fight childhood cancer - up to $25,000.


Throughout his treatment Addison has been a spokesperson for fund raising for childhood cancer.  One of his projects has been to collect letters to Santa for the Macy's Believe campaign which benefits the Make-a-Wish foundation. Addison, who is a Make-a-Wish child himself, collected over 4000 letters last year and wants to surpass that number this year. Macy's donates $1 to Make-a-Wish for each letter received. You can read about Addison's efforts here:

Thanks to Addison for helping me wish each of you "Unstoppable Happiness" 
throughout this holiday season.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jolly Pink Elfus

You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry.........

My youngest daughter's family is having fun with the Elf on the Shelf this Christmas season.

The elf is an elf scout sent from the North Pole by Santa to families with kids to keep an eye out on who is naughty and nice and report back to Santa. He turns up in a different place in the house every morning and the kids have to find him to see where he will be watching from for the day. Each  family gets to name their daughter let each of the kids contribute to the name. Hope chose "Jolly", Beck wanted "Pink" (his favorite color) and EJ  chose "Elfus", so their elf is Jolly Pink Elfus. He especially likes to see nice deeds to report back to Santa.

Jolly Pink Elfus

I don't think I need an elf at my house to report if I'm naughty or nice, but I sure could use a Jolly Diet Elf to keep an eye on things around here through the holiday season.