Archive - December 2006

1
Random Thoughts for a Tuesday
2
A Thousand Words
3
A New Place
4
The Nativity, a Play in 5 Acts
5
I’m Still Here!
6
Something Close to My Heart
7
Advent
8
O Christmas Tree!
9
So it’s December

Random Thoughts for a Tuesday

About the Girl: Pumpkin Girl fell off our shed on Sunday and smashed her face. How many times do you have to tell them to GET OFF THE SHED? I don’t think she’ll forget anymore. Her nose is swollen and bruised (think Marsha Brady when she got hit with the football) and scratched on one side. She has two black eyes. I don’t think it’s broken because it’s sore like a bruise, not painful like a break would be. I’d post a picture here, but she looks like she got beat up. I don’t need a visit from CPS adding to my Christmas Cheer. Not that three hots and a cot wouldn’t be nice about now.

About the Boy: Phil had The Talk with Boo. Or rather, read him The Book. On Sunday while Pumpkin was lying on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on her nose, Phil took the opportunity to take Boo to his room and read to him. Reports are that it went well. Phil told him that if he had any questions, to feel free to ask. Boo’s reply: “No, that pretty much explained everything.” Well, everything an 8 year old would want to know. By the way, if you have a child that needs to know about the facts of life, then this book (#2 in a series) is a great one. Check out the reviews on Amazon (follow the link above) – I pretty much agree with all of them, especially the one dated June 28, 2000.

About being neat and tidy: I let a strange man into my house today. Well, he wasn’t a strange man, he seemed normal enough, but he was a stranger. He was a federal investigator doing a routine background check on one of our friends. He interviewed me for about 10 minutes and was done. We get a lot of these investigators in their overcoats and hats, flashing their badges. Most of the time I don’t know the people they are investigating. Boo, ever the inquisitive one, always asks who was at the door. One time I told him that it was a federal agent, wanting to know what he’d been up to. His eyebrows shot up into his hair. I had him going for quite awhile until I finally admitted that while the man indeed was a federal investigator asking questions, he wasn’t asking about Boo. So when I let the man into the house today and Boo found out who he was, he made himself scarce pretty quickly. I guess he wasn’t taking any chances. But see, just one more reason for keeping your house clean – you never know when the Feds are going to knock on your door.

A New Place

Well, it looks like this is my new blog home.  I’ll be testing it out during the free trial period and seeing how I like it.  If all goes well, I’ll move in completely in January.

The Nativity, a Play in 5 Acts

Our Catholic Homeschool group on base performed their Christmas play yesterday. The children wrote the play themselves and came up with most of the ideas for the songs and staging. We rehearsed every day last week, with a dress rehearsal in the chapel on Friday afternoon. The children invited their dads to attend an evening performance, followed by a pizza party. We were all so proud of how hard the children worked at learning their lines and stage directions. It wasn’t easy rounding up 15 children and getting them to pay attention, especially with 4 babies/toddlers roaming the set and playing with Baby Jesus. At times it felt like a scene from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” But in the end, it all came off beautifully and the dads were suitably impressed.

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Real Shepherds Wear Plaid. Pumpkin Girl as a sheep, with Boo, her shepherd and their best friend, Andrew.

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Singing “Silent Night”

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The shepherds have announced that “The Savior has been born, Alleluia, Alleluia” and the entire ensemble sings “Joy to the World.”

I’m Still Here!

After the recent maintenance here at HSB, I was one of the many that was unable to access their blogs. As you can see, that issue has been resolved. We’re still busy unpacking. Most of the boxes have been emptied, just a lot of stuff needs to be put away. In fact, I really need to get back to work. Just wanted to let you know that I have not abandoned my blog!

Something Close to My Heart

Please pass this information on to every single person you know.  I know it’s late notice, but if you have a blog, please consider posting the information there, too.  I ask that you join me in remembering children of all ages who have died way too soon.  Please keep their families in your prayers as you light a candle on Sunday night and especially during this time of year.  I know that this candle lighting is easy to forget, maybe you could go right now and place a tea light or pillar candle on your coffee table or dining room table to help you remember.

The Compassionate Friends
Worldwide Candle Lighting

Held annually the second Sunday in December, this year December 10, The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe as they light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.

Believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting started in the United States in 1997 as a small Internet observance but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance. A memorial message board is available during the event at TCF’s USA website www.compassionatefriends.org. Hundreds upon hundreds of postings are received each year from all over the United States, as well as dozens of other countries. Some messages are in foreign languages.

Here in the United States, publicity about the event is widespread, being featured in the past in Parade Magazine, Ann Landers column, Guideposts magazine, Annie’s Mailbox, and literally hundreds of U.S. newspapers, dozens of television stations, and numerous websites. Information on the Worldwide Candle Lighting and planned memorial candle lighting services is posted on the TCF website at www.compassionatefriends.org each year as the event nears.

The United States Senate has, for many of the 10 years of the Worldwide Candle Lighting, joined in the remembrance by unanimously passing resolutions declaring the second Sunday in December of each year National Children’s Memorial Day to coincide with The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting.

 

The Worldwide Candle Lighting gives bereaved families everywhere the opportunity to remember their child . . . that their light may always shine!

Advent

I’ve really been enjoying all the advent blogs I’ve found. Lots of women are so creative and seem to have so much time. I wish I was able to dedicate the time and energy into creating such wonderful, homey crafts and baked goods. I’m having advent envy. Of course, this year, I’m spending all my free time trying to unpack our house. It’s going much slower than I had hoped. Since we moved into an identical house, you’d think that everything would just go right back into the same place it was in the old house. Not so much. Unfortunately, we were not well organized to start with and the packers don’t really care that you’ve got homeschooling books in three different bookshelves that really should be packed into the same boxes. They also don’t care that that big pile of papers should just go out into the recycling. They just dump it all into a box, label it something helpful like “guest room papers” and seal it up. In some cases they literally dumped stuff into a box. Playmobile pirate ship, remote control car, vintage Little People village from my childhood, Hello Kitty playhouse all in one box, with some books stuck in the empty spaces as filler. Two bowling pins (don’t ask!) on top of the Justice League Watch Tower.

OK, this was supposed to be a post about advent. Even in the best of circumstances, I’ve not given much thought to Advent beyond counting down the days. I’m not big on kids crafts, even though I’d like to be. I get frustrated when I can’t find the craft supplies I need for a project and gosh darn it, don’t you know that a 5 year old and an 8 year old just won’t make the project perfectly! Doesn’t add up to a lot of Comfort and Joy. However, in reading some of these other blogs, I’m seeing that Advent crafts do not need to be lengthy, done perfectly or involve hard to find supplies. Instead, they should reflect the season of joyful anticipation and should be heartfelt and simple. I would like to try some of the ideas I’ve found. I love Dawn’s blog in general and she’s got a lot of great advent ideas. I like her sequin ornaments, tissue paper stars, and star candles most of all. I think I’ll add them to my holiday plans binder for next year. Hopefully I’ll be in a better place to accomplish them. Over at O Night Divine, a blog devoted to Christmas, take a look at this homemade advent wreath that is a beautifully simple departure from a traditional wreath.

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What I would like to share is the wonderful advent calendar that my mother made for me when I was about 4 years old. I hang it up for my children now and they take turns pinning an ornament to the tree everyday. I absolutely love my advent calendar for so many reasons – because my not-so-crafty mom made it for me, for it’s simplicity, and for the fact that it has been a part of my Christmases for as long as I can remember.

Adventwreath

Something else I would like to share is our family
advent wreath. This is the latest one that we made at our church’s advent workshop. We first made one 4 years ago and it was then that my husband said he wanted to have an advent wreath every year and make it part of our family’s tradition.

O Christmas Tree!

We did manage to get our Christmas tree up this weekend. We have a permanent tree. You know, the kind in a box.  It’s like an old friend that we see every year.  Then at the end of the season, it goes back in the box until we see it again in December.  I’m so sentimental and prone to weeping, that as a child, when it was time to throw out the beloved Christmas tree, it would just about break my heart.  My dad would even cut off a little branch for me to keep as a souvenir.  Even as an adult, I thought it was so sad to see all the trees laying out on the curb for the garbage man.  So we got a permanent tree.

The first year we had it, it took Philip and I about 2 hours to figure out to put it up.  It’s gone faster each year and now it takes maybe 30 minutes, depending if the children helped or not. 

Getting the tree up was really helping in improving my mood.  When Charlotte came downstairs and saw the tree, with the lights lit but no ornaments she cried, "Oh how beautiful!! Mama!" and gave me such a big hug.  How can anyone be uncheered by a Christmas tree?

So we played some Christmas music and hung the ornaments.  We all have our favorites, of course.  Batman,

Bugs Bunny and the Hairy Monster,

Candy Doll,

Angel,

Rebecca’s Angel, 
Santa peering out of the Hurtgen Forest
(what can I say, Phil was a tanker).

 

 

So it’s December

I have a new winter look for my blog, but I have to admit that I’m not feeling too festive.  I have always loved Fall and Winter, but lately my heart’s just not in it.  Part of it is seeing all the lights and decorations and hearing the music.  I am reminded of December 2003, as I entered the final weeks of my pregnancy with Rebecca.  What a joyful time that was!  As the world prepared to celebrate the birth of Christ, I was preparing for the birth of my own baby.  The clever little thing arrived just 3 days before Christmas and we came home from the hospital on Christmas Eve.  What could be more perfect, than a brand new baby for Christmas?  It would be the only Christmas we got to spend with her.  And so now, as the world again prepares to celebrate the birth of a baby, my  heart aches for my own baby.  It doesn’t make for a very merry season.

I have a sign that says "It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" but I don’t put it up anymore.

I think that knowing that this season brings me such sadness it what drives me to be so organized for Christmas.  While everyone else is bustling around buying presents, I would much rather stay home and pull a blanket over my head.  So keeping things simple and organized keeps me sane.  I have to "do" Christmas for my other children.  They deserve the happy times, because God knows that their little hearts have already been smashed into enough peices.

And to top it all off, our house is filled with moving boxes once again.  Our unexpected, emergency move has really put a damper on the season.  Taking pictures of our ruined, moldy possessions for our insurance isn’t exactly my idea of holiday fare. My husband says that he does know where the decorations are, so we will attempt to put them up this weekend.  I have managed to get a small portion of the living room unpacked and set up, with enough room to put up the tree.  As long as all the Christmas pictures are only taken facing the tree, the chaos of the rest of the house won’t be seen.  I just hope I can figure out where all the Christmas presents got packed away to.

As you can see, I’m really struggling here.  Maybe after this big cold front passes us and our temperature drops from 74 degrees today to 43 degrees tomorrow, my mood will improve.  Maybe seeing Christmas lights on our house will help, too.  Some nice thick eggnog and John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Christmas album might do the trick.  Maybe some prayers from my faithful blog readers, all 12 of you.

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