Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winter Wonderland

As I was driving to work one Friday morning I tuned my radio to 106.9, an all-Christmas radio station. It was still dark outside, the sky was clear, stars sparkling and it was so cold you could see your breath. While waiting for the traffic light to change the song "Winter Wonderland" came on and as I heard the lyrics, "Sleigh bells ring are you listening" ... in my mind I was right back on stage at Kennedy Grade School for the Christmas program ... probably in the 4th grade.
If you attended this school you are probably familiar with the math teacher who walked with a yardstick as a symbol of authority and threw chalk and erasers at students in his class. Most of us were terrified around him. He told us before the program started that ANYONE caught goofing off during the performance would be immediately removed from the stage.
Now ... if you attended Kennedy school or grew up in the neighborhood ... you'll recognize who I'm talking about in my flashback to the past. From kindergarten on this guy (I will not mention names!) was always in trouble and everyone was afraid of him as he got older. Several years ago we attended a church in a small community. One of my fellow grade school classmates was the pastor of one of the churches in town. His sermon was on David & Goliath and in his illustration he used this guy as an example of being afraid of someone bigger than you .... you see, he is a Legend in our school and in the NE community.
Well, as you can probably guess, this young student couldn't control himself during the program. He was on the back riser in the row behind me and all I remember is a hand coming through the back curtain pulling him by the neck off the stage. We knew the "math teacher" had him. We continued singing the rest of the song in perfect obedience ...
A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight. Walking in a winter wonderland ....
Hearing this song that morning brought a smile to my face as I continued my commute to work ... at an elementary school. How times have changed!

Monday, December 19, 2005

NaCl + H20 + Flour = Lasting Memories

This year we needed a "Christmas Decor" update that complemented our new furniture and wall color. I spent some time looking through catalogs, newspaper ads and various stores for a more sophisticated, uncluttered look. I am very pleased with the new look and simplicity. But ...
I have one priceless set that will always have a place in our home ... our Dough People Nativity. It didn't cost much ... some flour, water and wire brush rollers but it will always remind me of the fun and friendship that went into creating them.
In 1982 Nancy & I were both in our first trimester of our third pregnancies. With four preschool boys between us we spent a day in my kitchen molding and shaping each piece of our sets. It took a lot of creativity and problem-solving skills to get the set just right. Nancy developed a drinking straw-hinge for the camels legs and the palm tree had to be shaped over a foil base. Our "wooly" sheep looked like they had rolled in Cheerios and the kings were decked out in royal garb and jewels. The finishing touch was the "googley" eyes. I not only remember a lot of laughter that day but just the fun and fellowship of doing something together. And there was a bonus ... we actually sold a few sets which gave us some added Christmas funds in those lean years.
If you're ever cleaning out an old attic or see those old wire brush rollers at an estate sale, let me know. It would be fun to create another set for "old time sake."

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunriver Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving ... our first attempt at celebrating in Sunriver. What a wonderful time ... turkey and the works, making our traditional fudge, playing games, watching movies, putting puzzles together .... and the added bonus -- SNOW! I think it was the best family holiday I can remember -- our whole family together. Usually I am so busy on Thanksgiving and feel exhausted when it's over but this year we slept in and had homemade pumpkin waffles for breakfast. Since dinner wasn't until 4:00, I stayed in my pajamas most of the day ... very laid back. Most of our meal was "convenience" foods so we didn't have a lot of mess and preparation. We just enjoyed being together.
I'm so thankful for family & fun times at our favorite vacation destination.

P.S. It was very freeing to avoid all the Friday Holiday sales. I really didn't miss getting up in the pre-dawn hours to buy socks 1/2 price ... hahaha!

First Haircut

Grandma got to give Colin his first haircut last week ..... trimmed off those wispy baby hairs in the back and on the sides. He now looks so much older! We gave him a new Christmas book just before I started cutting. When you push a button "Jingle Bells" plays and this kept him distracted while Grandma snipped away. Several times he tried to look back to see what I was doing but all in all he did such a good job of sitting still. Of course, this event was a photo moment .... cameras flashing, film rolling!

Snowman Chair

Last Saturday we enjoyed a visit with Brian, Michelle, and Colin. It was fun showing Colin all the Christmas decorations and tree ornaments. One thing he especially enjoyed ... his own snowman chair ... a gift to us from Gearsdad and Gearsmom last Christmas. Thanks you guys ... Colin loves it!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thanksgiving - Colin Turns One

Colin turned one on Thanksgiving Day. It's hard to think back to the previous Thanksgiving where we spent the 4-day weekend visiting at the hospital while Colin was in the NICU. Those were difficult days but what joy we have experienced as we've viewed life through Colin's eyes this year ... everything is new and exciting. I love being a grandma and spoiling this sweet baby boy!

25th Anniversary

While many are remembering the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death my heart and mind have been on the life changing event that took place that same day in our lives ... Timmy was 3 weeks old and was taken by ambulance to Emanuel Hospital for Aspirated Pneumonia. For those who walked through that with us, you will remember what a difficult day that was -- to see such a tiny baby hooked up to so many machines, wires and tubes. I think I earned all my gray hair that day.
Last Christmas I typed a journal about the week we spent in the hospital and gave it to Tim as a gift .... so he'll always be reminded of the miracle. It was very difficult to go through the process of journeying through it again on paper but it was also very healing. I was reminded of the prayer, support and love of our friends and family. The one word that flows through the entire story ... MIRACLE ... Dr. Olsen said there was no medical explanation for why he was able to go home after one week. He should have been in the hospital for at least a month. BUT we know why!
Each December 8th I am a little sad as I mentally walk through that day so many years ago but one thing it does give me ... a thankful heart for Tim's healing.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

We finally went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire tonight at Bridgeport Village. It was almost like a private showing … less than 20 in the audience in a huge auditorium … nearly like being in our own living room!
I was naughty and had popcorn for the first time in 8 months. It tasted soooooo good. There are so many foods I have missed while on this “eating plan” and every time I go to a theater the aroma calls to me. We’ll see how I do in the next few days!