Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

Here's a few photos from our day....

Our Tree

The boys when they first see the goodies Santa brought them.

Let the fun begin!

Blake got the Pioneer Woman's cookbook, a new flute case, and some new camera lenses. The lenses were part of a surprise package that a friend sold to me for practically nothing. We now have 2, yes I said 2 Nikon D50's with all the lenses! Wahoo! (While we don't have a picture of it, I am the proud new owner of a standup mixer. I hope to make lots of bread & goodies with the help of this new toy. I've already made one batch of pizza kneads stuff we need soooooo well! Wahoo!)

Ian got some Halo undies, and games, and can now say "This is all I need..."

Cole was happy with his Halo toys, book (which he read in 1 day!), and his surprise MP3 player. Now he can be like the big kids & walk around listening to his music...and NOT have to listen to his brother sing.

The picture of the day was Ma & Poppy....we got Ma a 'head massage thingy'...I think Poppy likes it!

The kids ALL got some Silly String. It made for a fun Silly String battle in the front yard at Ma & Pops' place.

Riley got the first present of the day. He's been so excited & anticipating his new 'duck', so we gave it to him first thing Christmas morning. He was such a happy puppy....and he's so easy to please!

With all the hustle & bustle, and business of the Season, sometimes we get crabby & grumpy...especially with the ones closest to us. Recently, after an especially 'challenging' day, I declared a Christmas assignment. We were each assigned to write down 3 things we love about each other. We had to put some thought into it, and really think about what we love and appreciate about the ones closest to us. Christmas Morning, before opening anything, we took time to reflect upon the special meaning of Christmas, and read our 3 reasons to each other. It was really sweet & special. Blake being Blake decided to take a poetic turn with his thoughts.....
(click on the picture to enlarge it)

The day ended on an especially pretty note....

Thank you, Lord, for Christmas, for unexpected blessings & surprises, for boys & their toys, for happy pups, for poems and their inspired writers, and for beautiful sunsets. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How to Make Ian Smile....

Yesterday I took the boys to the mall for their annual "Santa Picture". (WOW, was it a mad house of crowds!!!) Yes, they are wise to the Santa thing, but I have to have a picture so they deal with it. I frame these pictures & display them ALL together on the piano every Christmas. It's quite a walk down memory lane and fun to look at the boys growing and changing each year.

I told Cole to wear something nice & Christmas-y....he wore his Halloween "Fart Face" shirt!!! Yes, it's red...but, but,'s stands for something so rude, crude & tacky!!! I started to take the big 'F' off, but he wanted it to stay. Sooo, for December the big F stands for Food, Fun, and Feliz Navidad! So There!

While we were waiting in line & Ian sees some friends from High School. They stop & speak to us, laughing because we're in line to see Santa along with all these little kids. I told them they were afraid to join us because they knew they had been BAD and Santa wouldn't bring them anything. So there! So they laughed & went off into the crowd. A little while later it was our turn to see Santa. Ian & Cole sat down next to The Man, briefly chatted & said 'cheeeese' for the camera. Then Ian started turning red & laughing....his buddies were walking by again and had stopped to point & laugh! I told the photographer "quick, take another picture!" And now we have a picture to remember.

(Next year, I'll have to call Ian's friends ahead of time to coordinate a rendezvous.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

'Tis the Season for....concerts & fun!

Busy -Busy - Busy ~ that's what December brings!

We had Ian's HS Band Christmas Concert. Wow! Those HS kids really work hard & do a fantastic job. There are some very talented musicians in our band and we're proud of each & every one of them. They played everything from "Amazing Grace", to "Selections from the Nutcracker", to the traditional "Sleigh Ride". Thanks Mr McC for all your hard work and passion for teaching these kids.

Blake played with our church Celebration Choir's Christmas Concert. It was a beautiful peace called 'God So Loved' and his flute accompaniment really added a special element to the piece. The choir (and Blake) are going to perform this piece again on Christmas Eve. (The boys & I were especially tickled to see his bandanna peeking out of his back pocket. You can dress him up, but he's still gonna be our Blake!

And last night Cole had his very first concert ever! He started playing saxophone just this fall. He's doing really good...although we usually make him go into his bedroom & close the door to practice. Once he gets a little more confidence in himself - wow, he's going to be awesome!
Here he is before the concert, proudly wearing his new TMS band shirt. He's excited AND nervous. Dress for the concert required band shirt, black pants, black socks, and black DRESS SHOES - no, he had to wear Ian's marching shoes! While they were really too big - we stuffed the toes with paper towels, so he managed to keep them on. =) (We just couldn't justify spending $$ on some dress shoes that he's probably never wear again...especially as fast as he's growing!)
WOW - talk about a big band! There's almost a 100 beginning band students up there.

And here's our Cole...really, he's in there somewhere!

Just one more performance this year - Blake & I are accompanying a soloist at church on Dec 27th. (The church schedule was too full to get us in before Christmas.) But we're doing 'What Child Is This'. Blake will be on guitar, and I'll be on my hammered dulcimer. I'm really out of practice, but with a little work, I think it will be lovely. If I get a picture of us playing that morning, I'll add it to the blog post later. Otherwise, just use your imagination! (This is when Blake, Rusty & I played on Christmas Eve a couple years ago.)

Riley is STILL watching & waiting near the Christmas tree. He KNOWS his toy duck is up there somewhere. And he KNOWS he's going to get it soon....he just doesn't know how many days until Christmas!! Waiting is soooo hard!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One of our best Christmas Card pictures...

This photo was taken at a Christmas tree farm in Dec. 2001. (Ian was 8, Cole was 3.) I was trying to get the boys to pose nicely...and as usual, it was not going well. But out of the chaos one perfect picture emerged. (Remember this was PRE-digital camera days. You took a few shots, and hoped for the best!)

Looking back - I just love the mischievous looks on their faces. That's my dear, sweet pickleheads! Christmas excitement was in the air, and they had such sweet twinkles on their little eyes!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Is...

Christmas is so many things. Family gatherings, new traditions & old ones, shopping, special music, pretty lights, and glittery things. It's making things for loved ones, and wrapping up presents. Keeping secrets & trying to remember where you hid the goodies! It's fun ~ people smiling & laughing together at parties, going to band concerts, and spending a day (or 2 or 3) decorating!

Here's a little bit of the Christmas at our house...

Christmas is Joyful angels, angels on tabletops, atop trees, and all over the mantel with a nativity scene. And stockings lovingly made and hung with care.

Christmas is a piano covered with snowmen, santas, and pictures of the boys with Santa. Silly little snowmen who shouldn't have had hot chocolate, and pretty snowladies made with love... that make you smile. I love looking at all the pictures and how the boys grew each year.

Christmas is nutcrackers and snowglobes, and villages complete with their own Bumble! I think these are Cole's favorites. He puts the village together & arranges everything, and he plays with all the Nugcrackers & Snowglobes.

Christmas is being silly...
Ethel found a cozy place to sleep amongst the Santa hats.
Riley discovering there is a new toy 'duck' hidden on the tree. He knows it's for him and gets so excited!
Bobbin looks like she's worried...she knew she's been bad! So now she's snuggling up to Blake, trying to make some brownie points before Christmas!

The boys not cooperating for a Christmas's practically an annual tradition. We settled on the 2nd was the least lame of the bunch. =/

It wouldn't be my house without a quilt decorating the room some how...
and a wee little quilt hung on a door, too.

But above all Christmas is Jesus. After all... Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

Merry Christmas!