Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Just a Quick Pose

Last week I asked the little girls to go into our living room and pose in front of the Christmas tree for a photo.

Here is what I got...  


Really? Please just stand in front of the tree.

Then Cordelia spotted the stool and they decided to sit there. Easy enough-NOT! 

Then, finally!  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Grinch Party

We have a great group of adults at our church who give of their time and talents to provide fun activities for the kids. I have come to really enjoy these events. I love that they always have a Christian lesson. I love that they are multi-generational.

The most recent event was a Grinch Christmas Party.  The party started with a prayer, given by a young man named Bailey. He used to be one of our Sunday School students but now he is migrating into some informal leadership positions in our church. It is exciting to watch him as he continues to grow in his faith and to seek our God's will for his life.  Children  just love him and respond well to his sense of fun.

After the prayer, there was, of course, the reading of the Grinch story and then the crazy joy really exploded! 

There were fun activities such as  "decorate your own tree".  There was a place to make your own green slime, and to make Christmas ornaments. 

Adults were helping kids and sometimes it was hard to tell who was having the most fun.

( Decorate a little, eat a little)

There was"Who Hair" everywhere! 

There were Grandmas who had been run over by reindeer, 

complete with hoofprints in their backs.

The Grinch tried trio steal the Christmas Tree.

But, as the story goes, there is more to Christmas than the trees with presents.

Christmas is a time of love and caring.  BUT, that is where the Grinch story stops. At this party, the children were reminded of the source of all that love and joy and peace!. I Loved Dr. Suess but he didn't quite finish the story. 

The love, the peace.... 

The story is really about Jesus, the baby in the manger. 

This painting was done by a group effort, including two beautiful sisters, Natalie and Gabbie. I got to better know those sweet girls when I was teaching Sunday School as well. They are always ready and willing to do what is needed at church, often working quietly behind the scenes. 

There was also a chance for the kids to fashion clothing for some of the helpers. What do you think of their efforts? 

Mike arranged a little skit for the kids, using Bailey and David, another person I got to know better when I taught Sunday School. He is another kid always participating, always adding to the fun. They did a great job with their skit! 

We have some really great kids with active and engaged parents who bring them faithfully to church. Their parents work hard to teach them of God's love by their own examples. It shows!. There were kids there early, setting up, as well as kids cleaning up afterward. There were older kids helping younger kids throughout the evening. 

It was a fun night and I wanted to end by thanking the adults who set it all up. Thank you for making this a fun night for the children and we adults as well! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Caroling 2015

Do you go Christmas Caroling? We have gone caroling a variety of places.  It is an old fashioned tradition but I am glad it still happens today.

We have caroled in the back of a truck while sitting on hay bales in Montana. Often this occurred in VERY cold weather.

We have caroled in New Mexico in weather that seemed almost balmy compared to Montana.

Wyoming caroling can be really cold, especially if the wind is doing its Wyoming thing.  

No matter when or where we have gone caroling, it is a nice tradition. It is one of those Christmas things that spreads cheer without involving shopping. We generally focus on singing to people who are sick or shut in. It is a feel good activity.

Last night was our annual caroling with our church group.  Mike and I took our granddaughters along, making it even more of an adventure. Buckling and unbuckling them from their carseats, plopping on hats and slipping on four mittens at each stop got a bit hectic. It is possible I got a little careless with it. I would like to tell you that Elise put her own hat on here, but sadly, it was me.

Cordelia is absolutely darling when we carol. I have explained to her that a lot of older people in nursing homes don't get to see kids much and that it makes them happy to see them. She also knew they sometimes want to hold their hands or touch their faces. Cordelia takes her "job" quite seriously! 

At one such stop a lady came up and wanted to hug Cordelia, holding her arms open as invitation. Cordelia went right to her!. The hug went on rather long and the lady just kept holding on to her. I took Cordelia's hand and extracted her from the situation and walked her over to greet a few other people but when the first lady wanted more hugging, Cordy willingly went right back to her embrace. I was so proud of her! 

At a few of the nursing homes Cordelia didn't even wait for an invitation. After our songs she just walked among the people and told them, "Merry Christmas." 

Elise was a lot more reserved but she joined in on the songs she knew, rang her little bells and made people smile. She got pretty tired and sometimes laid down on the floor or buried her face in my hair as I held her, but it didn't matter. She was adorable. She was NOT reserved in the vehicle between stops. She shared her opinions freely and sang "Go Tell it on the Mountain", her favorite song, many times over.

It was a good night.

These photos were at our last stop. Don't they look like they've had fun? 

Yep, a good night.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tears and Laughter

 Mike and I have been out of town for a few days. We made a quick trip to Great Falls, MT for a funeral for Mike's Uncle Harold. This was not a pleasure trip, obviously. We kept talking about Uncle Harold and how weird it was going to be to not be able to see him whenever we go to Great Falls. We were sad, but this trip still had many moments of joy.

As is true with many funerals, they sort of evolve into family reunions. Uncle Harold was all about family and friends. Mike and I both thought he would have really enjoyed his funeral! He would have known everyone there, and there were a lot of people there! 

We saw so many people, friends we have not seen in years, relatives who live all too far away.  I wished we could all have spent more time together but we really only had one day there. It wasn't enough.

Sometimes I wish things were like the old days. By old days I mean days older than me. Days I never really experienced. I kind of wish for the days where families lived nearby for a lifetime And you knew your friends through all their days. I glamorize how it could be, all of us laughing and living in peace. Of course, both sides of the family would mesh together with ease.  Doesn't that sound like heaven?. Well, I suppose it is. It isn't real life, but I like the idea. Maybe that is what heaven is like.

Ok, enough of that.

I want to show you a couple of things from our trip.  First, want to see some mermaids? 

They have shown up at that hotel bar for decades. They look really young!. Yes, those are real. Ok, maybe not real mermaids, but real people. Those two ladies gently swam around for hours. That is not something you see everyday.

We drove home the next day.  I like road trips with Mike. He can be pretty funny, but don't tell him I said so.  

The view was pretty nice most of the way.

So pretty! 

It was a fairly long drive with a lots of wind. This is what Billings looked like.

That is not fog, just dirt.

We almost had an eagle in our laps yesterday. Really. I was crocheting and looking downward but Mike, thankfully, was on top of his game.  I looked up when I heard him say, "Don't do it! " All I saw was the vision of the eagle, wings spread, filling up the whole view out our windshield!. He was really, really big. What Mike had seen was the eagle diving down toward the side of the road, going up, then repeating the dive. He had an eagle eye spotting something below, but ignoring the car about to intersect his dive.  Mike slammed on the brakes and saved the day! Well, he saved the eagle. He saved our windshield. He saved us from having a giant bird in our laps. He did no favors for whatever that eagle was hunting.

While we were out of town, Maria, Eric and girls stayed at our house with our dog. Last time he stayed at their house he freaked out and took bites out of their stairs! 

Anyway, we had some surprises when we got home.

I opened the fridge and saw these notes. 

Funny, huh? 

Then, there was the toilet.

Sweetly, we also had a pretty picture...

So, that was a whole lot of rambling to tell you of both tears and laughter... of life.

We'll miss you, Uncle Harold. 

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