Tuesday, December 30, 2008

WE Had/Are Having CHRISTMAS!

I love traditions--don't you? There is usually a really good reason why you started doing something the same way each time, and a really good reason to continue doing it that way. We had "traditions" while our kids were growing up. Some have been discontinued because they are no longer needed/applicable to the situation, and some have remained because we like them[!] or they are easily adjustable to our needs.
"Driving around Christmas Eve to see the Christmas lights": This was supposed to get the kids 'sleepy' so that they would go to bed more easily so Santa [and his elves] could come. It worked pretty well, most of the time; but it could not be carried too far, as a tradition, after the kids were grown because they needed to absorb their spouses traditions and establish their own.
"Family coming to OUR house for Christmas": Ron and I were the youngest 'kids' in our respective families, and we tried several years to 'go to Grandma's' for Christmas, which meant 2 different houses in 2 different locations! The last year we did it, we lost small little parts to several toys, had so much packed into the car--luggage,presents, baby 'paraphernalia', kids and us--that we felt 'squished' together for two whole hours and were cranky with each other when we finally got to our destination! Ron and I looked at each other and said "This is no way to spend Christmas!!" So, we let everyone know that we were going to spend the next Christmas at home! and if you want to see us and have Christmas together, you are welcome to come to our house on Christmas day! This worked very well for us for many years. But once the grandparents were gone or had moved away, and our kids began to marry and have their own families...we couldn't all 'fit' into our little house! For several years, we all[at least those who were still in Missouri] went to Karen's and Chris's house. When they moved out of state, Kirk and Stacy graciously invited us there. Over the years some have had to spend their Christmas in various other parts of the world and we miss them, greatly! [Keith and family have not been able to come for years!] And, in the past few years we have had to change the day from Christmas Day, too. After all, new traditions have to be started, and other families have traditions to work around,too! We can be adaptable!!
"Our Kind of Christmas Dinner": This tradition was born out of frustration,too. I realized that I was NOT getting to enjoy watching my kids enjoy their presents [after the big 'opening'!] because I spent most of Christmas Day in the kitchen either FIXING dinner or CLEANING UP after dinner! My Mom and I discussed it and decided to pray about a solution. This is what we came up with: Everything needed to be fixed ahead. It should be 'different' enough to make it seem 'special',and served on 'throw away' plates, etc.
We have a VARIETY of various things: meats, cheeses, breads, fresh veggies, pickles olives, and other condiments, chips and dips, crackers. And [of course!] desserts: pies, cakes, cookies, and candies. It is mostly just left out [some things may be returned to the refrigerator] for people to sample and munch on all day. Now that the kids are grown, with kids and grandkids of their own they are insistent on keeping this tradition. Everyone signs up to bring something on the list, and usually throws in something extra,too, that they want us all to try.

This year we got together on the Sunday after Christmas. Three of the kids and families were able to be there: Kevin and Cory, Kristopher, and Kirk and Stacy. We missed: Keith and Sharon, Karl, and Karen and Chris. We will go see Karl this coming Saturday, and take Rob[his son] and Val [Rob's mom] and Dillon [Kevin's oldest son] along. We have talked to Keith and family by phone and Karen and family, too.
How is it that old saying goes? The more things change, the more they remain the same. Or is it: the more things remain the same the more they change? Either way, it shows that we all must be able and willing to ADAPT when we need to!
Here's wishing all of you a Happy New Year! May you establish some NEW traditions this year---or adapt some OLD ones!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just in case...

...I don't get back here tomorrow...
Merry Christmas! To each one of you! May you have a day that is warm with love: from your family and friends, but mostly from our Heavenly Father. Who loved us so much He sent His Son to become one of us and die in our place for our sin.
Thank you God for that first Christmas gift!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ron's Christmas Pageant

I don't remember a time when Ron ever participated, in costume, in the Christmas pageant. He ALWAYS helped with the music, usually playing the piano, and everything he did was "off stage".
The director asked him to be one of The Kings this year and he agreed. You might notice that there are 5 of them---I'm not sure why-- but I do know that they all had a great time! Here they are singing "We Three Kings"--in a style and manner you have never seen or heard it done before!
Here is a close up shot after the program. Notice the big turban with "jewels"? You should have seen it bobbing and bouncing on his head while he played the piano for the congregational singing.

A shot of the whole cast. This was done in our fellowship hall/gymnasium because it had a BIG stage. The one in the sanctuary is very small.

"We... We... We...We... We Three Kings...! " [They finally found their note!]
They were hilarious and "stole the show" ! Everyone was laughing and clapping!
I hope it doesn't go to their heads!!! "Ooooooohhhhhhh !!! Star of Wonder..." Crazy Guys!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Family Christmas Pictures-Kirk and Stacy&kids

The little stinkers- Bostin and Emily.
He is usually very patient with her. He likes to make her laugh, and she adores him-most of the time!

The Family group shot. I love how Emily is holding on to Stacy's fingers!

Look at thos soft natural curls, and that ornery gleam in her eye!

I really love this composite page of Kirk and Bostin. Look at those grins! Like Father-like Son!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Emily at 8 1/2 months

I just love these 2 pics of Emily! We were riding in their van with them on a trip to 'somewhere'. Emily looked so cute and ornery with this little hat on that I just HAD to take her picture! She was just at that age, too, when they begin to figure out you will laugh at their silly antics; and they can laugh at yours!!
Look at that big grin [around the binky]-- and those little ear flaps sticking out. I loved that hat, and Stacy said she did pretty well about leaving it alone so it stayed on her head.
It is amazing how much she has grown and changed this past year. She will be 19months old on Friday. She is already having some 'terrible two's ' issues over 'independence'. Stacy said she has picked up the dreaded "Mine!" word in the past couple of weeks, too. Then she turns around in another minute and gives you a big grin or hides her eyes behind her hands and shouts "Boo!" at you. What an ornery, sweet little character!

Monday, December 8, 2008

An evening in Branson

Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers
Bill Medley with his son and daughter

Paul Revere and the Raiders. Bill Medleys son also sang with the Raiders. Paul called him Baby Raider! He is such a clown!

Me, on the left, and my friend Earline at Dick Clark's Restaurant.

Our two friends Melissa and Pansy sat across the booth from us.
Back in April, three friends and I went to Branson for the weekend. Three of us have gone there nearly every year for several years: Pansy, and Melissa, and I. This year we invited Earline to go with us. Other years we have had one or two others along, but some have moved away . Each time we go we try to see at least one show. Pansy loves anything to do with the '50s, so this year we went to Dick Clarks restaurant and show. There are several 'acts' that appear on a rotating schedule. We just happened to get to see "Paul Revere and the Raiders" and "Bill Medley from the Righteous Brothers". I must confess--I was pleasantly surprised by the show! Very entertaining and lots of 'oldies' that I knew!! Our meal was terrific, too. And I am looking forward to Spring and our next trip to Branson!!
We always have a great time together, shopping and visiting and taking in a show or two. We all scrap book, so sometimes we spend a good part of the time doing that together--all spread out in the condo--yakking and working away. Ahhh! I can hardly wait!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lazy Day and a Pot of Chili

Today was one of those days where you don't get a whole lot accomplished but you don't really care!! Sometimes you need one of those kinds of days to just catch-up with yourself!

My BIG accomplishment for the day was going throught the mound of mail and other stuff that has been collecting since I went to Oregon. I found a couple of cards that no one had thought to tell me were in the pile!; but mostly had a BIG pile of trash to throw away. I'm really glad that chore is not hanging over my head anymore.

Ron's BIG accomplishment was to make a pot of chili [and watch college football games!]. When Ron makes chili he uses my big canning pot and makes a big batch! We had a bowl for supper and I'm sure there will be plenty to share and some to put in the freezer, too.
HMMMMM! wonder who will get some of this batch??