Dec 25, 2009

A traditional Christmas morn

I have recently been asked by many, "Where are you going for Christmas? Who do you have over..."

I used to wish that I had a different answer like..."Oh, this year we are vacationing in Florida." or "We are having all of our extended family over to unwrap gifts." or "We are travelling to the grandparents'."

Not that I wouldn't enjoy doing any of those; but, I really am so very grateful for the way we spend Christmas-every year.

It really all starts Christmas Eve with my sisters and I sleeping together; I won't dwell there, as my sister blogged about that. Christmas morning starts when we (us girls) quietly creep into my parents room, giggling, and knowing full well that they have been awake for awhile. They lie there with a fake sleepful look on their face, while we hover over them.

Once they are "awakened" we are banished to my room so that my parents can light the tree and start brewing the coffee. When they are ready we anxiously walk to the living room where we see for the first time all our presents beneath the tree. Dad starts off the morning with the reading of the Christmas story in Luke 2.

The coffee is done now, and we all grab a cup then settle down to start the unwrapping. We all exchange cards; I especially look forward to Lauren's card, as hers are usually homemade. From there Dad picks presents from under the tree and takes turns with each of us. This continues for a good two hours complete with coffee breaks, pictures, and changing into new pjs.

Once completed we all pitch in and help make breakfast...the same every year-mixed fruit and monkey bread! We eat a scrumptious Christmas dinner later in the afternoon and spend the day relaxing and having a great time!

Christmas around here does not vary that much from year to year and it is for that reason that I love this time of year and look forward to continuing the same traditions some day with my own family.

Dec 24, 2009

Fun with Girlfriends!

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Two of my closest friends recently came home for Christmas
from teaching in Missouri and South Carolina.
We took a day this week and went to Chicago
via the South Shore Train.
It was a beautiful winter day spent
with great girlfriends!

The reason for the season

Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year...
I love every single part of it; but without God's
greatest gift, we would not have anything to celebrate.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and take time to
remember what the holiday season is all about.


The presents are tucked
By the tree neatly trimmed
Children are excited
As gift giving begins.

Loved ones and friends
Gather as before
To hear the story of Christmas
Told by Grandpa once more.

Everything is ready,
The celebration starts
But something is missing
Could it be in my heart?

Could Christmas be more
Than gifts under a tree?
The true meaning of the season
I really want to see.

My heart begins to ponder,
My thoughts see the sight
Of that very first Christmas,
The holiest of nights.

Angels praise and worship,
Shepherds share the sight
Of God's wondrous promise,
A King is born tonight!

I understand the difference,
The reason is crystal clear
It's JESUS who makes the season
Of family and friends and cheer.

Without the birth of Jesus
The celebration would be gone
HE brings the love of family
HE brings the joy of song.

People would still be lonely,
No hope would fill their way
Jesus is the reason for the season
It is HIS special day!

H. Alan Roth

Dec 19, 2009

My week in pictures...

This week has been immensely busy, leaving me with NO time to blog.
So rather than try to tell you about my week,
I thought I would post a couple pictures from each day...

4-5 yr. old Program: all in all went pretty smoothly

3 yr. old Program: not so smooth, but cute nonetheless

& 7th Annual Christmas Concert at my Church

4-5 yr. old Christmas Party: sugar, sugar, and more sugar!

& Work Christmas Party at Strongbow's Turkey Inn

3 yr. old Christmas party: hyper, hyper children!!!

& Christmas Banquet at my Church

Attended wedding (no pictures)

My "besties" arrived home safely!!! Yippee!

(Agenda for next week...
do nothing!)

Dec 14, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

I read something the other day that really made me stop and think...
Something that made me pause and do a self evaluation; only to realize that I am falling short...
Short in the area of practicing random acts of kindness.

The story I read was about an elderly man who carried a little can of oil with him everywhere he went, and if he passed through a door that squeaked, he poured a little oil on the hinges. If a gate was hard to open, he oiled the latch. And thus he passed through life lubricating all hard places and making it easier for those who came after him.
People called him eccentric, cranky, and weird; but the old man went steadily on refilling his can of oil when it became empty and oiled the hard places he found.

There are many lives that are just like those squeaking doors and creaking gates. Lives that need lubricated with my oil. My oil of Christian joy, gentleness, thoughtfulness, and kindness. I come in contact with people every day; people whom I may only come in contact with once on the road of life. I may never know the influence one random act of kindness may have on some hurting soul.

Dec 9, 2009

From the pen of a child...

Seeing as I spend 8 hours a day with kids at work, it seems as if most of my blogging is about them... Today I was sitting at the table watching 4 year old, Sarah "write" a letter to Santa. I wasn't really paying much attention until I heard her reading the letter aloud as she wrote. I leaned in closer, grabbed a pen and paper and this is what she said...

To Santa.

I lub you. Have a great day.
I have been a good all of the week long;
I wash myself so good every day.
Tessa (her sister) is soooo bad, she
deserves nothing!

This is going to be a great Christmas!
Say HI! to Mrs. Claus for me and tell her
to have fun baking cookies.

Tell your reindeer to drive you safe in
the sleigh. And, make sure you get
home and spend some time with your family!

So...what does the North Pole look like?
Is it always snowy?
Do you live in your workshop with the elves?

Well, have a great day.
Here's a hug and a kiss...XO

I lub you Santa Claus,

And here is the master copy! :)

Dec 5, 2009

"It's beginning to look alot like Christmas..."

So...our house is pretty much all decorated for the Christmas season!

This is our tree in the upstairs; the color scheme
is teal, green, purple, and pink. Crazy fun!

I put up a mini tree in my room, and I didn't even
notice til my mom pointed it out that they were the
same colors as our main tree...

"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care..."
I absolutely love our homemade stockings; I especially love
that Brooke made hers Brooke-like!

Our second tree is in the dining room and has all our
old ornaments from when our tree was Victorian themed...
We call this one our "Charlie Brown" tree. It was passed
on to us from a family friend.

Our third tree is in our downstairs and is my personal
favorite because it has all of our handmade ornaments from
when we were younger!

Our Willowtree nativity set-a present from my dad to my mom...
Acquired piece by piece.

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a goodnight!

Dec 2, 2009

Animal Games

It has been a real interesting week of work... I am really beginning to wonder if I have a classroom full of animals rather than children. As of recent the kids have insisted on crawling around the classroom on all four as opposed to walking. They also make growling noises and bare their "fangs" at each other. The other teachers and I are fed up with it. At first it was funny and cute, but it has become downright annoying! I know that as teachers we are supposed to let the children use their creative imaginations, but seriously when do they cross the line?

Enters Aiden...

Aiden is a three year old boy who thinks he is part dinosaur. And really, he almost has me convinced sometimes. He is repeatedly hitting and making weird dino like noises at the other kids. The other day he had just done so and I was yelling at him, when suddenly he clawed at me and made a noise that I couldn't even begin to try to write in word form.

It was something like this, "ARGH OOH RAWWWWRRR!"

I picked Aiden up and ever so calmly placed him in a chair next to me. After having a serious talking to with him I sat next to him to make sure he did his time in the "time away" chair. Aiden had been sitting for not even a minute when he looked at me and said,

"Shame on YOU!"

"Excuse me," I said. "I'm not the one hitting my friends and acting like an animal... Shame on YOU, Aiden."

"You should be scared," he replied quite forcefully.

"What," I asked "are you talking about?"

To which he responded, "GRRR ARGH ROO! I'm a dinosaur and I'm gonna get YOU!"

I had to turn my head to keep from laughing, all the while thinking, "Wow, maybe he is proof of evolution..."


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