Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Christmas Letter I Should Have Written

I love getting Christmas letters.  I am going to say thank you right now to all you wondeful people who send them.  I know there is a split camp out there on giving and getting a Christmas letter, but I have to say ....

I LOVE getting them.  If I get Christmas cards during a busy part of the day I usually wait until I have some quiet time in the evening and then I carefully read every last drip.  I LOVE them!

When I get a Christmas card with no letter I have a moment of sadness.  I am glad to get the picture, but I feel like I want to know more.  Call me a busy body..Ijust like to know things.

Some people argue that the letters are phoney.  That people never tell the truth.  I think that is silliness.  People tell you the best of what has happened to them that year.  They share what is worth remembering.  I think we should all try to focus on those things as well.
Pete always jokes that he is going to send a  goof Christmas letter, starting something like this;

Dear Friends and Family,

We are finally getting rid of the awful rash we all came down with this year, skin pealing, bumps everywhere...not pretty.  I was hoping to go over the year with you but I really can't remember anything past last years Superbowl.  Lisa, the kids and I tried to have a fun family party but as usual we had people throwing up and peeing on the floor, all in the first quarter. So now you have an idea of the memories we make around here. But really, who can remember much with all the screaming?  I have to admit this is a year I would like to forget.  Hope you all are doing better than we are.
Can you imagine getting a card like that?  If it came from a guy like Pete, or Tony Russel than I would know it was a joke.  But what if you were not sure??

Anyway, you would think since I have such a deep affection for getting Christmas letters that I would send some....not exactly.

I have to admit that I don't even send Christmas cards.  I want to.  I really do.  And every October I have every intention of going for it.  But then the plan never comes together.
I want all 7 of us in a picture, but I want to be the one to take the picture.
I want to send a personal note to each person.
I want to include a letter.
With all of that being a part of it...none of it gets done.

And then I think, most people I would send a card to SHOULD be reading my blog and they know more about me than necessary.
I know I have been kicked off certain people's Christmas card list because I have not sent them one back in ...a....long...time....
I just want to say to those people....I love getting your cards.  I love hearing all about your family.
I am like the most grateful Christmas card getting person in the WORLD.
So if Rose McIntyre still reads my blog..please send me a card...I am sorry it has been so long ..
Kimberly Powers...Laura Timmons...
I really like your cards.

And just consider my blog you daily Christmas card!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Not Sure I Will Get Invited Back

My friend invited us over again.  Tonight it was for dinner.  Yum!!

She mentioned something about her family seeing the pictures from the gingerbread decorating the other day.  She said her family liked seeing the pictures of her kids since she never sends them any.

So, never being one who needs to be asked I said.."Hey, I'll bring my camera tonight to take some pictures to give you."

And then I immediately said, "We will be over at 4:30 so I can get some good light. OK?"  Never stopping to think that 4:30 might not be what she was thinking. It's all about me and my need to take pictures...whether you like it or not!

So I was just 10 minutes late and the light was getting pretty shady..but I grabbed 5 of her boys and asked them to quickly follow me..with smiles please...

And they did!

 Right after they dropped their basketballs.
Taking pictures of boys is just a wee bit different then little sweet girls.

Faces, noises, and some joyful "playfulness".

Then I decide I needed to move the party inside ...

Not sure if they wanted me following them around the kitchen clicking away...

But hey, it's all about me playing with the light and practicing on moving objects.

So thanks for inviting me over,

And I will try to not take pictures next time we are invited over..... if there is a next time.

But with all these smiling faces....

lots of moving objects....

how can I resist?

And if anyone else would like to have us over for dinner I promise to ask you what time you would like us to arrive.

And I will try not to think about how much natural light will be left for me to take pictures.

And one other thing...

I took 144 pictures in about 20 minutes.
What you see here are the best 28 of them.

The rest are on the cutting room floor.  Not because of the subjects...but I should have invited myself over 30 minutes earlier.

The light would have been a little bit better.

Hey , there is always next time!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This Is It!!

What a Welcome!!  That is how I want to greet Jesus when Christmas morning comes.  I want to throw up my arms and rejoice that He became one of us.  I want my children to have that same emotion.  But unfortunately for my friend Caren she was not welcoming Jesus this particular day.  Not even close...
My amazing gingerbread making friend graciously invited my family to her house to decorate HOMEMADE gingerbread houses.  It took me all of 1.2 seconds to respond, "YES!!!" Not the same yes that Mary proclaimed ..but just as enthusiastic.

And I wish I could tell you that this post will be a tutorial on how to create such beauty for your family.  That would be impossible because I am still amazed at Caren's AMAZINESS..that she made like 15 personal gingerbread houses.  I brought M&M's.  You don't need a tutorial on that...trust me!

Besides loving the fact that we were invited to a friends house to do something so memorable as decorate gingerbread houses...I love going into people's homes.

I may be an annoying guest though.  I don't mean to be, but I ask like 500 questions.  I usually start out with something broad like, "OK Caren...tell me everything."

I want to know how she made these houses, when she started, how long has she been doing this, where she got that cute piece of furniture my purse is resting on, how does she school her 7 kids, how do you like having all these beautiful windows in your kitchen area?  I am just giving some of the first few questions I asked when I got there.

I like to know things.  I learn so much from asking so many questions.

And I have a lot to learn.  I am really still very new at this whole, "I am in charge of all these people" thing.
It is up to me now.  I am the mama making LASTING memories.

I need lots of help. 
The big show is in 3 days...I hope I get it right.  This is the first year in a  long time that we are all by ourselves for Christmas.  I have nobody here to "help" make Christmas...no mom, no dad..just ME!!

Well, not JUST me...6 other people.  And I want to make simple feel special.

I want to build tradition that ties us all together, and ties us to our faith and to our Saviour.

This year if I had to have a Christmas motto it would be one word....


We are borrowing a few "new" traditions from my friend Caren.  During our Q & A, I mean gingerbread decorating, she told me how they do Christmas morning.  I loved it...I am borrowing it...I am excited!!

The kids come down all together. They may NOT go to the tree.  They all sit down at the table, read from the Gospel of Luke.  Then they EAT BREAKFAST!!!  After they eat a good protein rich breakfast they let the kids go to the tree, youngest to oldest. 
I love that there is still waiting, still anticipation. 
I love that everybody is doing such a big task (opening presents) AFTER they have eaten.
I love that the morning is not rushed..but savored.

So excited.  Thank you Caren for the GREAT day with your family.  So many of my friends change me in such GOOD and Holy ways.  I am forever grateful to women who know how to be amazing at what they do..and then they teach others how to do the same!!

Merry Christmas Eve's Eve Eve!!!
I love saying that!