Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thanks Christmas! Happy Birthday Jesus!

Happy Birthday Jesus!
I was originally going to post our whole Christmas newsletter on here, but then 2 things occured to me: 1) most of you who read this already got our newsletter in some format and 2) there are some personal info tidbits on there that not everyone needs to know (well, because you know, thousands of people check us out everyday! ha!)

I do want to share with you this amazing and poignant story that was the headliner of our recent Christmas letter - it is amazing what comes from my children, they teach me all kinds of lessons, everyday. The title of this was:

Thanks Christmas

From the mouths of babes, or so they say, comes our new Christmas greeting. As Hudson and I were driving back from preschool a recent chilly morning, he was happily chatting and finished up with “Thanks Christmas, Mommy!” I replied, “Merry Christmas, Hudson.” An emphatic voice came booming from the back seat – “Thanks Christmas! It’s Thanks Christmas!” I smiled, but as I kept on driving, I thought how true this greeting really is. If only the rest of the world would realize that it truly should be the greeting of choice. ‘Thanks Christmas’ sums up so succinctly what we know to be true. We should be thankful that Christ chose to come as a babe, fully human, yet fully God – totally helpless. Thankful that because He walked among us, He intimately knows our weaknesses, our struggles, our joys. Thankful that without Christmas there would be no Easter, no resurrection, no hope for redemption of our sins. So Thanks Christmas it shall remain – for we’re thankful to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

ghetto eye follow-up

Just for those of you who are oh, so worried about my eye - it isn't better. So, the docs have begun me on eye drops in addition to the anti-biotics (read: horse pills that take some serious self-pep-talk to take). And, here's the great news: if I don't improve soon, I am to call tomorrow so I can have a CT-Scan done - on Christmas Day. I can say that I am ever grateful for a good healthcare system and doctors that want to make sure everything is ok. Thank you God for that blessing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to me....

And this is my Merry Christmas to me - a ghetto eye.

I woke up with my eye swollen shut - nice, huh? I called the doc, and they saw me because it didn't sound like pink eye. It isn't - I have periorbital cellulitis. Basically, cellulitis of my eyelids on my left eye. I look like a pirate - complete with the one eyed wink and an argh for the headache I have. I'll post our Christmas letter tomorrow for those of you who didn't get it in the mail - we were trying to save a bit on postage (oh, and our mailbox was vandalized on Saturday too - that kinda stopped things too.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Memorable Performance

Hudson had his first "on stage" performance this past Tuesday as his preschool class put on a Christmas program. Dad, Mom, Anna, Grandmom and Uncle Bryan all braved the winter weather to enjoy quite a performance....particularly from Hudson. Let's just say he "stood out" in every way possible. What can I say, he will be a headliner! We thought you might enjoy seeing snippets from the performance.

You'll notice Hudson coming to the front of the stage and being taken down - this was because Hudson declared he "had to go potty"...three times and they finally let him off the stage. The next scene you will hear one voice above the others - and a little delayed - that would be Hudson. He did a great job with the hand motions...and crunching on the snow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"So Big!"

Anna had her 15 month check up today - and despite having run a fever for the past three days, she is still growing :) We never questioned that she is growing - she eats more than Hudson...which is fun to see. Plus, she's not picky either, and that is a blessing. She will be on meds for her viral cold turned infection, but as long as she's well rested, she's in a pretty good mood. She is 21 pounds (20th%) and 31.5 inches long (80th%). She's "so big!"
And since this is about Anna, I'll post 2 rare Mommy and Anna shots (usually I'm behind the camera, but I like these two pictures with my jellybean).

The house that Hudson Built and other goodies

When Mrs. Shelly came over last week, she brought a fun project for her and Hudson to do, but they were having such a blast, they ran out of time - so she left the goodies for us to complete the project.

We've also been busy making yummy Christmas treats - mommy's favorite (and Daddy says these are the best he's ever had), Peanut Butter Blossoms. I think the trick is cooking them for 2 minutes less than asked because they remain soft and chewy - Oh, and I have a recipe with a mass amount of peanut butter, so they are really "peanutty". :) (Shout out to GNO goers there.) We've also done some cut out cookies - does anyone have a good recipe for this one? These were a little too sticky - even after refrigeration for 4 hours.
Anna trying a sugar cut-out cookie.....
Anna's response to the cut-out cookie!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Macro Hero

Ahh - look at this dapper fellow - isn't he a sight for sore eyes? :o) No really, this is my Macro hero - this is Snowflake Bentley (Wilson Bentley). I don't know which way to go first - macro or Snowflake - I'll start with the old timer up there. Snowflake Bentley was the first man to photograph snowflakes. He began his obsession at an early age and at the age of 17, his parents chose to spend their savings to purchase him a microscope camera. This camera enabled him to "catch" samples of fresh snow and then photograph them.
Not only was he the first to photograph these crystal beauties, after nearly 5,000 still captures, he was the first one to announce to the world that no two snowflakes are, that's why this man is amazing - people thought he was nuts for taking pictures of snowflakes, but now his work has been immortalized in a truth that we are taught from a young age (at least those of us who are blessed to grow up knowing what snow is!).

My recent reminder of this genius came from one of Hudson and Anna's countdown books - Snowflake Bentley. It was a book I had while teaching and has found it's way onto our bookshelves (because books are meant to be loved on!). I've been pondering and thinking about how much I really enjoy Macro Photography. Really - I like it. I don't have my own Macro lens (someday!), but regardless of the lack of equipment, I have always tried to capture photographs at close range. I'm pretty sure that this goes back to my first camera when I was 6 or 7. I have some up close pictures of fascinating colors and shapes - out of focus because the point and shoot wasn't meant to do that, but that's where this love began. My dad was a great photographer - my mom has given me his old SLR - it's about 35 years old and in great working order - and I grew up with him teaching me how to compose, shoot and look for interesting shots. It's a hobby for sure, but it's something I enjoy. So, here's a few of my "macro" shots from this past year. I've had fun...enjoy.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dumpster Diver of Fruit

This is what I found the other day in the kitchen...

it had been in the trash...on top, but in the trash...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent Countdown

So, my friend, Ginger, had this amazing idea that she claims she got from a parent magazine sometime a long time ago and filed it away in her brain for when she had theory is that she is really just that brilliant and came up with this idea on her own :o) So for Advent this year, she and I are doing an unconventional, yet very exciting Christmas Countdown for our children. Not the calendar that you open the little windows (Hudson would open them all on one day), not the Jesse Tree (we don't have one - but check it out if you don't, they're pretty awesome), not a wall-hanging pocket piece. We have this....
What is this, you ask? This is a basket of children's books - excellent children's literature (I'll post on this tangent at some later date) - that Hudson and Anna will get to open. They will open one book after dinner each night, all the way up to Christmas Eve, and then we will sit together and read it together. The closeness and cuddling of reading books, the gentle up and down melody, variants of syllables in words, the rhythm and pattern to a well written piece of literature....all things I want my kids to be aware of - maybe not consciously, but they'll know they like to be read to. I've wrapped some library books that we've checked out from the library, and the others are books that we have - well, some of them are byproducts of having a teacher on temporary retirement for a mommy. I looted my book boxes for some great stuff (Henry and Mudge, Robert Munsch books, Cynthia Rylant and Syd Hoff). Other books we have and some I recommended to Ginger are as follows: (just in case you were wondering some of the ones in our basket or some you may pick up at your local library or bookstore)....

Snowmen at Night AND Snowmen at Christmas by Buehner

Snowflake Bentley - Briggs Martin (this is more advanced, great pictures - Caldecott winner)

Christmas in the Country by Rylant (Cynthia Rylant Rocks!!!!)

The Mitten by Brett

White Snow, Bright Snow by Tresselt - classic old book, but great reading

Auntie Claus by Primavera

Jolly Christmas Postman by Little (lots of small pieces though - check what you can handle)

The Polar Express by Van Allsburg

Merry Christmas George! (at Kohl's right now for 5.00 Hardcover)

What is Christmas? Adams and Wummer

Who is Coming to Our House? Slate

Snowy Day by Keats

If you Take a Mouse to the Movies by Numeroff (She rocks too - that's the whole If you....series)

Merry Christmas Mouse! by Numeroff

Clifford's Christmas is always a classic

Biscuit Gives a Gift (Hudson loves Biscuit) and there's the Pet and Play Christmas book too)

Room for A little one (board book - by Waddell)

Snowballs by Ehlert - caldecott artist

what Santa Can't Do (it's funny!)

Olive, the Other Reindeer

This is the Stable by Cotten

There was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow (fun take on the old song!)

There are many more, but these were some of the ones I have, want to have, or have gotten from the library because of their appeal to my kids, or just plain great books. Feel free to let me know some of your favorites that we may like to check out or try to find! And.....Merry Christmas!


not much to say here but pictures - they tell the story of the fun of family...and the blessing of family that loves us and supports us....