Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas let down

Am I the only one that has the "Christmas let-down"?
By that I mean that there is so much anticipation, so much frantic searching and wrapping and cooking and merry making that when the blessed day arrives, one is so tired that one can only remember blurs of paper and faces. I have that sense of moments missed and I wonder "Did everyone have a Merry Christmas?"
I have asked my kids repeatedly if they got what they wanted? The "Sweet-boy" of course got Thomas everything so he is very happy that Santa finally arrived, but I wonder if the "Drama-Queen" was as elated with her gifts? After all the times that she had to sit upon the fat man's lap and espouse her infinite goodness and right to receive all the things that would make her life complete, was she happy that none of them arrived come Christmas Morning?
So I asked her, and in that soon-to-be-ten-year-old-wisdom she told me that if we got everything in life there would be nothing to look forward to. Wow - I was stunned! So I guess that maybe next year she will get that radio controlled dog or horse or that maybe one year she will get a real horse, but in that moment I realized that we all have our dreams and that is what we are working towards.
So in the end it was a good Christmas, filled with family and lots of love and good food and lessons' learned......even from my kids.


Every year we go sledding the Saturday

before Christmas.

It was a great day with fresh snow,

blue skies and people that I love the most.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

School Gifts

I love the cute little gifts that my kids make for school. I have precious memento's' from the "Drama Queen's" first years in school and this is the "Sweet-Boy's" first year to add to these precious reminders - but can we say something went terribly wrong at school today.
The "Sweet-Boy" has severely sensitive skin, too much heat and he hives out, too much cold and he hives out, too much water, soap, you get the picture.
I wish that I had stock in Benadryl cause we carry it and use it by the case-load.
So there I am volunteering in class and my son comes back from doing his secret present and he is all red, no biggy, but within a minute he is covered with hives and it is spreading down his throat. So I casually tell his teacher that I am taking him and we get the Benadryl magic and head to the Pediatrician, (she is an hour drive from our new location - we made it in 35 minutes) - I wanted her to see this latest flair up. Poor little guy is all splotchy, and groggy from the Benadryl but the prognosis is good.
So after all that, I still cannot wait to see the gift.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I want, I want, I want!

Do you ever notice that this time of year, no matter how old you are, suddenly you get a case of the "I want's". I think that with kids' it is especially annoying and reminds me why I do my shopping late in the evening and alone!

It has always been a struggle to know how much is enough. I know that we should not compare but in the case of gift giving, what really constitutes enough? I was contemplating this question one Christmas and a dear friend of mine clarified it all for me.

"When the son of God was born, the wise men brought gifts, not a multitude of gifts but 3 simple, treasured gifts for the Christ child. Are we any better than our Savior?"

Ever since then I have just given 3 treasured gifts to my children. Sure it makes it hard to know what to do, hard to stop at just 3 presents, but I also hope that in doing this, talking to my kids about the significance of the three gifts to the Christ Child that they will learn humility, gratitude, and the ultimate gift that was given when the babe was born; that Christmas is so much more then "What did you get".

Monday, December 10, 2007

Life Avoidance

Do you ever wake up on Monday and just want to roll over
and go back to sleep?
That is my week in a nut shell.
Right now I should be studying for my final, but I am Blogging instead.
I am also wondering when this rebellious streak will diminish? I have never really been a procrastinator but in getting more seasoned (yes the fancy way of saying really old) I am becoming more and more of a procrastinator.
Why is that?
Is it because my time is not my own, that others make demands
(YES, I am yelling that constantly in my head)
Is it that my inner child is screaming out for playtime?
Or is it that I am just getting more and more selfish?
Then again is it just me......?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Something to think about

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, transforming the yard to a winter delight. The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Sscure and surrounded by love I would sleep. In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, so I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, but I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear. Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, and I crept to the door just to see who was near. Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold. Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear, "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here! Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, you should be at home <>on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts. To the window that danced with a warm fire's light then he sighed and he said "Its really all right, "I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line, that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me, I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me. My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December," then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ', and now it is my turn and so, here I am. I've not seen my own son in more than a while, but my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, the red, white, and blue... an American flag. I can live through the cold and the being alone, away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat. I can carry the weight of killing another, or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all, to ensure for all time that this flag will not fall." "So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright, your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least, "Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast? It seems all too little for all that you've done, for being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, "Just tell us you love us, and never forget. To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, to stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead, to know you remember we fought and we bled. Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, that we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC,

USN 30th Naval Construction Regiment OIC,

Logistics Cell One

Al Taqqadum , Iraq

Must be Santa, must be Santa, must be Santa-Santa Claus......

So now that I have you singing that we go.
I love Christmas!
I have a picture of my kids with Santa every year. I place them lovingly on the fireplace mantle for all to enjoy. I love looking back on them and remembering those magical Christmas'. Last year "Drama Queen" did not want to sit with Santa, breaking with tradition, also breaking my heart. But that was her choice and my choice was to use my less then stellar artistic ability to place her in the photo. So I colored a body, cut out a school picture head and "walaa" she is in the picture with Santa.As I got the pictures out this year she stated/yelled that "That is the dumbest looking picture EVER!!" So, this year when we went, she was given the choice again - and as you can see, my artistic ability will be keep where it needs to be, locked away from critical eyes and we all get to enjoy seeing my kids with they should be.

Merry Christmas!!