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Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve

* Editor's Note - I started this post December 26th but didn't get around to posting it until today, January 5th which is why the dates don't match.  I didn't know it did that.  Well, as the saying goes - if you didn't know, now you know!  Now I know!  LOL

HI!  So clearly I am behind as I am just getting around to posting the pictures from Christmas and it is already January 5th.  I am sorry.  I was trying to decide the best way to post everything and I believe I will post everything separately, starting first with Christmas Eve, which is what is below.  There aren't many pictures, just some of my favorite.  Over the next few days I will try to do the same with Christmas as well as post some new pictures from Cub Scouts, per request of Grandma.  :-) 

Christmas Eve was pretty quiet around here.  For once I was done with all my shopping, although I still had quite a bit of wrapping to do.  The kids and I baked chocolate chip cookies and fudge and delivered some to a friend earlier in the day.  We got all dressed up and went to Christmas Eve Mass and the Church was so beautifully decorated.  I took some pictures before the Mass began but my camera did not do it justice.  It was so breathtaking.  Cort has been wanting to sit in the balcony at our Church since we began going there.  Typically it is not open but for Christmas they have it open and have a hand bell choir up there.  We decided to sit up there and we really enjoyed it.  The Mass was beautiful and I loved that both of my kids could recite the "Our Father" perfectly and that Elizabeth did it with a lot of ... enthusiasm.  At the end, she said AMEN so loudly that some people laughed and if you have been to a Catholic Mass recently you know you don't say Amen at the end of the Our Father, there is more to it but she is so used to saying it at bedtime that that is exactly what she did.  I loved it.  When we got home the kids opened their gifts.  Traditionally in our house, our elf "happy" leaves a present for each child to open on Christmas Eve.  Magically Happy relocated while we were at Mass and was sitting under the Christmas tree next to two gifts addressed to the kids when we returned home.  Naturally the kids got pajamas and a robe.  They were quite excited.  They put on their new pajamas and we set up the chocolate chip cookies (Elizabeth said 3) and fudge (2 pieces per Cort) for Santa as well as some milk.  The kids left him a note and off to bed they went.  Once I was sure they were asleep I enlisted the help of my elf - Henry and we wrapped all the gifts and put them under the tree.  So, here's the funny part - after we were done wrapping I decided to straighten the house.  Henry went upstairs to play on the computer and I was just going about things.  Next thing I know I hear something in the living room.  I come in to discover Scott, our beloved 11 year old lab has eaten Santa's three chocolate chip cookies.  Thankfully he didn't eat the fudge.  Well the next morning when the kids come down and see the plate Cort says "Hey mom, Santa ate all the cookies, but I guess he didn't like your fudge."  If only he knew.....  Henry and I both laughed at that one.  Anyhow that was our Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve Mass - as seen from the balcony where we sat
(Pictures obviously taken before Mass)

Christmas Eve Mass

The Nativity on the Altar, I thought it was so beautiful

The Hampton Coliseum, all lite up.

The two gifts the kids would open on Christmas Eve

Quickly opening the gifts

Their new PJ's and robes

One last picture before bed on Christmas Eve - Cort, Elizabeth and Scott

All ready for Santa....Good night and Merry Christmas

My Talented Friends

Its kind of amusing.  I am blessed to have several good friends here in Virginia.  Two in particular have their own talents for which I have given each of them their own nicknames.  This being Christmas, they didn't disappoint when it came time to bestow little gifts of friendship and Season's Greetings, and when I say they didn't disappoint I mean they stayed completely true to their nicknames.  Their gifts were amazing, thoughtful and perfect as is their friendship that I am blessed to have every day of the year.  But it did make me laugh when I thought about each of their items and the nicknames that I had given them many months ago. 

My friend Betty (as in Betty Crocker) brought over the most delicious goodies to eat.  My family and I loved everything on the plate.  There was even a little mouse created.  Henry had a lot of fun "eating" the cute little mouse.

My other friend, Suzie (aka - Suzie Homemaker) made me this awesome....... I don't know what it is called but you put it in the microwave for a minute or so and then put it on your sore muscles and it feels so good.  The night she gave it to me I put it around my neck and fell asleep on the couch.  I couldn't help it, it felt so wonderful. 

It is no secret that Virginia has not been my most favorite location that we have lived, but I certainly have been lucky to have met some great people, and quite blessed to call some of the friends. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Random Thoughts

Winter is upon us.... the trees are bare, the sky is grey and the air is cold.  We anxiously await the first snow, hopeful that it is enough to play in, but not enough to shut down the state of Virginia as it seemed to last winter.
As I drove around looking at Christmas lights with the children I was reminded of when I was young and we pulled the lights out of the attic each year.  We had the big bulbs and my parents had written on the box which order the color of the bulbs went in.  We would take the time to screw each bulb in and then hang them.  At the end of each Christmas season the light bulbs were removed from the sockets and placed back in the box until the following year when we would repeat this.  In some ways I dreaded this tedious task year after year but now I find myself missing the comfort of the tradition. 
Speaking of Christmas traditions - we always take turns with the kids regarding who gets to put the Angel on the top of the Christmas tree.  We really had no idea who was supposed to do it this year.  Henry reminded me that I take pictures or video of everything so I quickly went upstairs and looked at the video footage from the last two years.  Last year we were in Florida and Elizabeth put the Angel on the tree at Henry's parent's house.  The year before that we were here in Virginia and again, Elizabeth put the Angel on the tree.  Needless to say we determined it was definitely Cort's turn to put the Angel on the tree.  However watching the old videos, particularly the one from two years ago made me quite nostalgic.  The kids looked so young.  It is amazing how much they have grown in two years.  Cort has gone from the little boy to a young man.  Elizabeth still looking for trouble at 4 years old just as much as she was at 2 years old when she trying to climb the ladder whenever anyone wasn't looking (or so she thought), has grown into a little girl with quite the personality and even quite a bit of hair.  I must remember to get out the video camera more often.  I love taking pictures but there are some things a camera cannot capture, and I love having video to look back at those memories too. 
Henry, the kids and I went to his office this weekend and brought our $3 artificial-after-Christmas-sale-worse-than-Charlie-Brown-tree to decorate.  After we finished I started counting the number of people in the office by their names on the doors.  Henry could see I was up to something.....  I printed out the names of Santa, Mrs. Claus, The Grinch and all the reindeer, to include Rudolf of course and gave each of them a name next to their own names.  It was probably the most fun I have had in weeks.  I wish I could have been there on Monday when they each saw their names.  I wish I could have decorated the entire office with lights and garland but Henry wouldn't let me - that's why he was the Grinch.  LOL

After spending a night at the Den Leaders house for Cub Scouts building bird houses last week Elizabeth has added a "little dog" to her Christmas list.  The Den Leader and their family have three adorable Yorkies.  Naturally the Mommy Yorkie is pregnant.  However this is one Christmas gift that Santa will NOT be bringing regardless.  We will just visit the Den Leader and their family a little more perhaps.  Actually that reminds me of when I was younger and my dad really wanted a big screen TV from Sears.  I told him one year that I bought him one.  He just had to go to Sears to visit it.  :-)   Luckily he found this amusing and it was something we always joked about.   Realistically thought it was the same way when I was little and desperately wanted a cat.  My Auntie Karen who has a farm in Pennsylvania always had kittens running around.  She let me adopt one, but it stayed on her farm and I just got to visit him there.  I found a little black one and named it "Blackie" - yes I was very creative. 
The motion activated singing snowmen wreath on the front door has some serious issues - either the batteries are going dead or the snowmen have been drinking because it is starting to sound a  It's definitely putting a new spin on "Winter Wonderland".
Well that is all for now.  I hope you have enjoyed my random thoughts.  I have enjoyed sharing them with you.  If I continue to do "random thoughts" I may post more because I am always having some random thought about something.  :-) 

Bye for now!