Monday, December 30, 2013

On Getting Old

A friend of our's, who turned 90 this year, sent this cartoon with her Christmas card.  It cracked me up! 

In case you can't read it the words are:

I'm getting so old that all my friends in heaven will think I didn't make it.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Recipe for Fun

Take one leftover Christmas box.

Add one young artist equipped with washable markers.

Add one little sister.
Throw in a dog leash and a dice game because you 
never know when you might need them.

Find a grandpa willing to push and drag the box.

Then relax and enjoy the ride.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Day 2013 in Photos

Is there anything cuter than a baby with a baby?

Sam, snuggling Miss Jane, while wearing a new hat.

My husband is such a fun Grandpa.
The girls adore him!

Our son-in-law, Eric.
You can't really tell but he's wearing his new
49er's jacket.

Elise enjoyed carrying the gift bags around as if they were purses.
In this photo she was settled in, waiting for me to give her and her
"purses" a ride on the wheeled kitchen chair.

Maria and Cordelia opening up a special surprise gift. 
It was a box of vintage My Little Ponies from one of 
Maria's friends in Montana (thank-you, Robin!) to Cordelia

That girl loves those My Little Ponies!

Mike has been talking about getting a new mandolin
for some time but always talks himself out of it.
I decided it was time for him to have a new toy!

I received such lovely gifts, but
none more precious than 
memories of these beautiful faces.

I hope your day was memorably sweet as well!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chinese Food and Church

9 years ago, a few days after Christmas, I went out to coffee with a new friend. She was talking about her nice Christmas Eve Dinner and told me that on their way to their church that night, she saw people sitting by the window at a local Chinese Restaurant. She felt so sad for those people, having to eat out on Christmas Eve. Well, guess what. That was our family! We didn't need pity, though. We were having a lovely time!

I used to cook a big meal for Christmas Eve but when we moved here that became very inconvenient. Our home is quite a ways from our church. We had two services, one before dinner time and one after dinner time. I was having trouble figuring out how to work all that out when we decided to just go down the street to a Chinese Buffet. It made things so easy, we've kept up the tradition. 

Cordy was adorable and charming. Elise felt beautiful and kept showing us her dress. We all enjoyed each other's company. It wasn't perfect, as Ben and Sara weren't there, but it was precious time nevertheless.

Eric and Cordelia





After dinner we went to the church. Eric and I are both on the worship team and Mike has pastor duties so we always go pretty early. The church was full and the feeling was wonderful! The Worship Team sang for a good half hour before the service. 

I love singing! 

I love it when the church is full!

I love seeing people there who are home for Christmas with their families!

The whole evening was wonderful. I felt wrapped in love and tenderness.

After church, it was time for a few photographs. I'll leave you with those...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Playing with the Nativity

I have a lot of Christmas Eve and Christmas photos to process but I wanted to get this one up right away. Nothing says Christmas quite like a little child playing with an old Nativity set. Cordelia was having all the characters talk as she basically retold the story of Jesus' birth.

And by the way, when I offered to wash off her soy chocolate milk moustach she said, "No thanks. I like it."

I hope you all had a lovely day. I sure did!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Blueberry Oopsy

Late leaving work, rushing

Supper is going to be late

Hurry, Hurry Hurry!

Then this happens...

 Those are blueberries... everywhere!

The entire carton

All around

My check-out lane,

The check-out lane to the left,

The check-out lane to the right.


Who knew blueberries could bounce

and roll

and roll

and roll>


Oopsy again.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snow Day Contentment

This week-end looked like this outside. I had two getting-stuck-in-the-snow adventures but I don't really want to talk about that. 

Instead, I want to tell you that I enjoyed spending some quality indoor time with fabric, needle and thread. That is one of my favorite things. I felt content.

I can't tell you what I was sewing as it is top secret and it isn't even my secret. I was just doing some finishing work on one of Maria's projects. Don't worry. After Christmas I bet I can get her to tell you more about it on her blog, Little Things are Big. As projects go, this one is pretty sweet! 

What are your favorite things to do on a snowy day?

Friday, December 20, 2013

I've Been Wondering...

 (from Free Blog Photos)

Advertising is very expensive. Did you know that? To put up a billboard, have a little TV spot or an ad in the paper is really quite costly.

So, I was wondering about designer labels...

How did that start? I can remember when we kept our labels neatly tucked inside. Who was the genius that changed all that? Can you imagine that Monday morning meeting where some young, new grad (I'm totally making this up as I go,) said to his boss, "Let's not pay for advertising any more!" The boss probably couldn't believe it when the kid when on to suggest that they start putting the labels on the outside of their clothes, rather than discreetly hidden. Did he then go on to mention that if they raised the cost of the clothing, people would desire wearing the labels on the outside as proof of their own wealth and good taste? Genius, really.

Then, it spread! People wanted to show off the brand of beer they drank so they bought hats with the name on it. They now buy t-shirts that show off what brand of tractor they prefer, jackets that show you their favorite vacation destination and coffee mugs to prove they are part of the team representing the most popular brand of coffee.

Humans are strange beings. We do not charge these companies for being their living billboards. In fact, we pay them for the privilege!

That's it. That's the deep thought I was having. That's what I've been wondering.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blue Tongue

One of the fun things about being a Grandma is receiving  text photos when I am at work. This one was especially delightful. Apparently Maria and Elise had stopped  in to see grandpa and he gave Elise a blue sucker...a REALLY blue sucker.

(Photo by Maria Rose)

Text Photos

One of the fun things about being a Grandma is receiving  text photos when I am at work. This one was especially delightful. Apparently they had stopped to see grandpa and he gave Elise a blue sucker...a REALLY blue sucker.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

LIVING WITH JOY - Francis Chan

OK, this is a whole sermon. That may not seem like something you feel like listening to right now. We are all so used to quick quips and 2 minute videos. This is more than that. I really hope you will listen to it, though. Give it a chance, please.

Just click it to play and sit down and listen. You deserve a break. Or, take your computer, IPad or cell phone while you go clean up your kitchen or dust your living room or while you are driving in your car, playing Candy Crush or addressing your Christmas Cards (something I've not yet done but I don't want to be worrying about it). I really think that if you listen to this, even if it is a bit in the background of your day, you will be enriched. Let me know what you think.

A Walk down Christmas Memory Lane

I was looking at some of our Christmas decorations last night and I realized many of them are sweet reminders of their givers. Let me show you.

This star was a gift from some church friends.

 I guess I don't know where this one originated but I think  it came to us
from Mike's Mom. It was one that Mike knew from his childhood and that makes it special.
I am really appreciative that it has held up over time
(and that I haven't squished it).

Ben made this one for us.
Wasn't he a cute little guy?
This one is all the more special as Ben is far away
from us this Christmas.

This is one of many hand-painted ones that originated in Harlowton, MT and were
give to us by our friend, Evelyn. She gave us a new one each Christmas we lived there
and she even continued sending them to us for several years after we moved away.
Evelyn is gone from this Earth now but she is not forgotten!

When we moved from Harlowton to Alamogordo, NM we made another friend who
purchased fancy ornaments from Hallmark for us each year. This was one of my favorites.
Her name was Laura and she also has moved on from this life.
Our memories of her make us smile.

Sam also gave us an ornament featuring his own sweet little face.
For the record, that was the year he tried trimming his own hair.
Even so, he was pretty cute!

I really like this rag angel. Our friend, Kim, gave it to us about 15 years ago.
Kim was a young mom who volunteered to babysit Sam when I first went back
to college. She was very sweet and so generous with her time. We went on quite a few excursions
together with our little kids. She was always ready to have some fun!
The last time I talked to Kim she handed the phone to her husband so he
could tell me about the rare disease she had developed, the one that was robbing 
her of her personality and eventually her life.

Well that was mean of me to start out with a happy-go-lucky type of post 
and then to throw the sadness of loss in your face. 
I feel kind of bad that I did that but I wasn't really expecting to take that turn myself! 
Sometimes my posts take on a life of their own.

Even with the sadness of loss, I am so grateful for these and so many others
who have been a part of our lives over the span of many Christmases.
We've been blessed.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Keep Calm and Look at Old Photos

Last night I had a brief time of panic. You know what I mean,  I bet. It is that moment when you realize Christmas is almost here and you have a bunch of stuff to accomplish yet...that "Oh, I will NEVER get everything ready in time" moment. I had to calm myself down and remember that I do this every year. Maybe I don't get everything done but Christmas comes anyway. As it turns out, all those things I worry about ahead of time really don't matter so much.

I admit I got up this morning with lots of chores running through my mind again. I started over with the calming thing. One thing I did was browse through my photos from Christmas last year and I came across some I just loved. Each reminds me of what is important about Christmas.

So keep calm.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Twirling Mary

Yesterday our Sunday School Children put on a fun little Christmas Play. You've got to love those, right!? They are funny and sweet and just adorable.

I'd planned ahead to take my good camera, imagining myself getting some really tender little photos of the sweet little person who was assigned to play Mary. Yep, Cordelia was Mary! I knew I had only taken a few photos since I'd charged my battery so I was ready to go.

EXCEPT... when I double-checked my camera I realized that after I had taken those few photos, I'd left my camera on! Yep. My battery was dead. What kind of grandma am I! Good grief.

Well, I managed to take a few cell phone photos of her.

 She was pretty cute with only her sweet little face showing. She did a twirl at one point! No, that wasn't in the script, but maybe it should have been. I'm sorry I didn't capture that moment.
Trust me, she wasn't so sober throughout the play!

Cordy's twirl made me wonder why we adult women don't still twirl from time to time. You know, little girls really have that down. I think the world would be a better place if we sll did more twirling. I'm going to work on that this week.

OK, I may not do more twirling, but I do think I want to try to show more joy this week. Maybe I will just start by trying to smile more.

I hope your week is twirly!

Check out Maria's blog today; I think you'll enjoy it!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Caroling Encore

We enjoyed an evening of Christmas caroling tonight. A good group of us met at our church and we went from there. We try to go to the homes of people we know who are shut-in or who for one reason or another might appreciate a serenade.

I always worry that we may make someone feel uncomfortable. Maybe that is because I'd feel weird to receive that kind of attention. Still, it does seem that people like it; some even join in the singing.

Besides going to private homes we also caroled at an assisted living center and a nursing home. When we arrived at the first, another group was just finishing their caroling.  It seemed a bit awkward but we sang anyway as a lady from our church was sitting waiting in the dining area there. Later, when we went to a nursing home, those same carolers were there! This time, we joined together and sang as an even larger group. It was really kind of sweet.

As we were leaving that last nursing home someone caught us at the door and requested that we come back. One of the residents had just turned 100 years old yesterday and she wanted us to sing "Happy Birthday" to her. I pretended we were asked back for an encore! 

Do you go Christmas caroling? Where do you go? 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Featured Post

My Life as a Travel Agent

On a recent morning I was at work and as one of my patients was waiting for his death, I thought again about an idea that keeps popping int...