Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pure Talent


I have talented, generous, and just plain awesome friends!


Thanks, Annette.


Merry Christmas!

No Room


It's December 23rd, and I'm officially done.


Done with anything that doesn't involve a baby and a savior.


Done counting.


Done adding.


Done worrying.


Done planning.


Done stressing.


Done crying.


Done comparing.


Unless you can save me (and that would mean you're Jesus), don't ask.


My friend Todd Agnew once again hits the nail on the head:


No room (The Innkeeper)
by Todd Agnew

from the album Do You See What I See?


There's no room...no room in the inn,

If you were someone important

we might try to fit you in,

but there's no room in here for you.


There's no room...no room to lay your head,

If you were wealthy

we might find you a bed,

but there's no room in here for you.


'Cause I'm cold, and tired of working my whole life away,

Every hand, needing one thing more,

comes knocking at my door,

I got a hundred people calling out my name today,

and you come to my door,

And I can't care no more,

unless you can save me.


There's no room for you and your little lady,

(you and your little lady)

There's a manger in the stable;

should be just fine for your little baby,

There's no room in here, no.


'Cause I'm cold, and tired of working my whole life away,

Every hand, needing one thing more,

comes knocking at my door,

I got a hundred people calling out my name today,

and I can't care no more,

And you come, asking for something for nothing,

What can you give me?

Can you save me?


'Cause I'm cold, and tired of working my whole life away,

Every hand, needing one thing more,

comes knocking at my door,

I got a hundred people screaming out my name,

and I can't care no more,

You come, needing more when I got nothing,

What can you give me?

Can you save me?


Oh, please, little baby, can you save me?

Little baby,Can you save me?


I got nothing left for anything that isn't the CHRIST of Christmas.


Funny, yet sad, that it took me until December 23rd to get there.


How many other things have I tried to fit in this season, that I thought were so important? Effectively telling Jesus I had no room? I can think of very few Christ-like things I have done this Christmas season.


No more. My heart is open. Wide open. There's room for Him.


Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Carolling, Carolling, Carolling, Carolling

Colton's class has been busy with Christmas fun this week.

They adopted a needy family in their class, and each child signed up to help in some way - either with Christmas Dinner or with gifts for the family members. Colton chose to sign up for treats, so we spent Tuesday night making these (thanks, Terri!):


Then, the class got to meet the family, sing for them, and deliver all their goods on Wednesday.

Today was the last day of school before break, and Colton's class went carolling in the halls. They all had little bells or tambourines, so they were very jingly indeed. They were trying to hard to be quiet in the hallways in between knocking on classroom doors!

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Colton's words of wisdom from this week, which I know will serve him well:

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1. Mommy, when the family comes to the classroom, you shouldn't say things like "Why are you so poor?" or even "Hey, I'm glad you're poor so you could be our Christmas family." Because that's rude. It might make them feel bad.

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2. If you don't want to sing while you're carolling, you should just keep banging your tambourine against your leg like this - **insert a little rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, complete with tambourine action.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Official BooMama Christmas Tour of Homes

BooMamaChristmasTour

Funny things happen when you schedule a Gingerbread Party that no one can come to - your decorations get put up well before Christmas Day! Accordingly, you are done decorating in time to participate in Boo Mama's famous Christmas Tour of Homes. Woo Hoo!!

Dining room doorway

This little guy sits on the landing of our "grand staircase"

Ignore the pink, theater carpet - it will soon (hopefully) meet it's demise!


Santa pics of the boys from itty bitty until now


The stockings were hung by the piano with care . . .




The little, wall hanging Christmas tree. Just decorated with simple green, red & white lights.



The Wall Hanging Section

A Santa my sister-in-law made us years ago. She is a quilter-extraordinaire!




Mary Engelbriet, I love you! We are all believers around our house!
Snowman courtesy of Colton.






A Santa quilted wall hanging my mom made. It's so cool. She is dying right now because I didn't iron it before I hung it up. Sorry, mom!





Another mom original. This one is my favorite.




The Nativity Section
Apparently, I've got a bit of an addiction!


This is the kid's nativity. They pick the backdrop and arrange the figures. I try really hard not to re-arrange them when they're done. It was a cheapie, because I figured it would end up broken, but this is it's 5th year, going strong. We've come a long way from the first year, being set up in one big, long, very straight line!





A simple, rustic nativity. I think the antique radio actually makes a pretty good backdrop!







The Willow Tree Nativity.
Overlooked by our Little Drummer Boy doll - a present from Grandmother to Chance to celebrate his favorite Christmas song.






Our main nativity - we got this one for our wedding 12 years ago, and I still love it!






Another small, simple one. Goes perfectly atop a cake stand, and is perfect for the dining room.

The big picture - tree and all.

I love Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Game On!

We had a fun weekend in the Tri-Cities watching Chance play hockey. This was his first tournament of the year, and his first real competition playing as a Squirt, which is the 9 & 10 year old division of youth hockey.

It seems to be a huge step up from last year (Mites, 8 Under) - in speed, positions, physical play, and competition. I'm going to pull a typical mom move and say "he just looked so big out there!"

Last year was the first year our community had organized hockey, and it was reflected in our scores. The first tournament we went to was something like 24-0, 27-1, 25-0. Inexperienced was truly an understatement.

This time, it was 11-0, 7-0, and 10-0. Vast improvement.

In the first two games, the other team didn't score for several minutes into the first period, and our kids looked halfway like they knew what they were doing! The improvement is amazing.

Chance was still very disappointed that they lost every game, and even more disappointed that they didn't even score. But, he got a few shots on goal that were really strong shots, and blocked by a goalie that must have been a teenager. Okay, the goalie was certainly a 9 or 10 year old, but at least they had to actually play defense, if only a few times!

Our poor goalie took 61 shots the first game, and I'm sure had similar numbers the next two games. That's a whole lot of shots to have to block. And, that doesn't count all the times a shot got deflected by a defender before it reached the goalie. The kids worked their tails off!

Chance slept all the way home, went to bed on time, and still didn't want to get up this morning. He was one tired kid!


Here's to an improving team that's getting more and more fun to watch. To a great coaching staff that is both patient and tough. And mostly, here's to scoring at least one goal in our next game. As with the team last year, we are "ON THE RISE!"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And so we punted

We were supposed to have a Gingerbread Party last night. The kids each chose a few friends, and we invited their families over to eat, relax, and construct gingerbread houses.

Mother Nature had other plans. Her plans called for rain, then snow, then icy fog, combined with kazillion mph winds. With us living approximately in the middle of nowhere, this was not a good party combination.

Many friends called to cancel, and I could not blame them a bit. But, with each cancellation, the tears loomed that much closer for the boys. Finally, we were down to two other families, and I called them to cancel and reschedule - not wanting anyone to brave the roads for a now less-than-stellar attempt at a party.

It was approaching all-out meltdown for two boys that had been looking forward to a veritable gingerbread village all week.

Talk of icy roads and inclimate weather did little to sooth them. I even pulled the "we don't know what plans God has for this" card, to no avail.

We re-scheduled for this Friday, and made several phone calls. This appeared to lessen the pain.

Then, we made the best of the situation.

We threw together some ham sandwiches from the ham and rolls we were supposed to eat.

We made some hot cocoa.

We put in a movie (thanks, Tina).

And we absconded one of the precious Gingerbread Party kits to make as a family.

It turned out all right.

I hadn't seen this version of Miracle on 34th Street, and we all enjoyed it.

We actually learned a couple things that will help us this weekend for the "real", albeit postponed, Gingerbread Party, which will save some catastrophes, I'm sure.

And, we had fun.
If nothing else, I'm all about the fun.

Okay, that's a lie. I'm all about the planning and scheduling and lists and such. But God laughed at my plans and threw them out the window, right down the icy roads. So, for one night, I was all about the fun. It was good for us all.

Friday, December 12, 2008

At least some of the lessons are sticking.


We had to do some shopping the other day.


To the Dollar Store for tablecloths, gift wrap, and bows.


To Safeway for Gingerbread kits.


Also, which might seem unrelated, the boys' school is doing a canned food drive. A little bit of competition was added in, where the class with the most cans got awarded a pizza party.


The food drive ended the next day, and Chance's class was 200 cans behind. His class only has 14 kids, so he had figured if everyone brought 20 more cans, they'd still have some cushion.


He also figured that someone would forget, so he wanted to bring 50 cans of food to school the next day.


Yikes!


So, we're making our way through our first stop - the Dollar Store.


I love the Dollar Store.


As we are perusing the Christmas aisles, Colton generously says - "Mom, it's okay if you want to look here. I'll be patient while we work our way back to the toy section. We can just work our way back there, okay?"


Okay.


We finish with the wrapping paper, etc, and are headed toward the toys. They can each pick out one toy. I'm such a big spender.


Anyway, they look and look and look, undecided about which foreign-made plastic trinket that will be broken tomorrow anyway to purchase.


Colton gets a knight shield.


Chance decides not to get anything.


He wants to head to the canned food section and see how many cans he can buy for the food bank.


What a little sweetheart!


Some might think his mama's competitive nature was coming out in him. Or that he just likes pizza a whole bunch.


But, I'm going to stick to the surface on this one, and remember that my boy decided to forgo toys in order to buy food for people in need. It makes for a much better scrapbook page!


Besides, either way, he got one of two main family lessons correct:



  1. Help somebody if you can.

  2. Always try to win.

Not necessarily in that order. Even though they should be.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree



Reasons I love our Christmas Tree:
  1. It is the focal point of our Christmas decorations.
  2. Our family decorates it together each year.
  3. It displays ornaments that hold countless memories for me.
  4. It displays works of art the boys have made throughout the years.
  5. The boys take such pride in rediscovering each of their ornaments and hanging them for the new year.
  6. It will protect many cherished Christmas prizes under it's weighted branches.
  7. It will be the set of continuing Christmas tradition, when Matt and the boys sleep underneath the branches, telling stories and dreaming underneath the twinkle of the lights.
  8. It will stand long after the gifts are opened and flung aside, as a reminder that Christmas is not about the moment of the gifts, but endures much longer, it's true purpose revealed throughout the whole year.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

Your green limbs teach a lesson;

That constancy and faithful cheer,

Are gifts to cherish all the year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Love a Parade!


While it wasn't as great as last year's parade - I mean, who can beat Darla in a Mrs. Claus outfit?, it was still plenty of fun for boys and parents alike.


The boys donned their hockey gear and roller blades to glide through our community's annual lighted Christmas Parade.


Players and mascot from our nearby semi-semi-not-quite-professional hockey team walked with them, and the kids were in 7th heaven!


Both boys made it the entire parade route without needing to ride in the rescue truck, and even more impressive, so did their mom! We were all about the hot cocoa in the car, and hurried home to bed so we could wake up and hit the ice again on Saturday morning!


What a great night!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby!



Today is my 12th anniversary.


And, I don't know if you knew it or not, but my husband's a pretty big deal.


At least to me, anyway.


Thanks for 12 fabulous years of marriage, babe.


I love you!





PS - $10 Starbucks card for the first person to correctly guess the movie reference above. 'Cept you, honey. I'm pretty sure you've got that one figured out by now :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Proud to be an American

And most of the time, even proud to be a Washingtonian.




Even when it makes me mad.


Even when free speech is speech I disagree with.


Even when I grit my teeth and wonder how many soldiers died so someone could display this sign at our state capitol in Olympia this year.


On Christmas. Between the Nativity and the holiday tree.


Because we're all about equality and such.


And you know, everyone's been going nuts, decorating, spending millions of dollars on gifts, and attending church services dedicated to the Winter Solstice for thousands of years now. Or not.


Something tells me these guys won't be standing in a line to volunteer to work in Christmas Day, since they don't believe in the reason for the holiday. I'm betting most of them still sleep in and kick back. Maybe play some good atheist carols. Does Bing Crosby sing any of those?


Who knows.


They make me angry.


God loves them anyway.


MERRY CHRISTMAS.


For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten son. That whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.


Amen.