Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Out with the Old...In with the New

Last year around this time, my husband and I made a list of goals for the new year, 2008. I learned a lesson this year...if you want to accomplish your goals, put them somewhere visible! I looked at my goals, um, maybe twice this past year, and needless to say, when I pulled them out today to see how I did, I had forgotten about some of them! It felt good to check off a few things that I did, indeed, accomplish, and many will be ongoing goals for 2009. However, this year, I intend to post my goals in a visible location so that I can hold myself more accountable to actually do what I have listed! We will be celebrating the earlier part of New Year's Eve with several other families from church, and then returning home to put the little ones to bed and watch the ball drop from the comfort of our couch. Then, I will be working (time and a half!) at the store on New Year's Day while our traditional pork and sauerkraut cooks in the crock pot all day...yum! I promise to post Christmas pictures soon, and stay tuned for a special post on January 1 regarding our adoption and a special project you can help with...if you want! May each of you have a happy and blessed New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Birthday and an Anniversary

Jonathan in his younger days

Today (12/29) is our oldest son's 14th birthday. My how time does fly...it seems like yesterday when we first met Jonathan at the age of 6! After opening some presents (and reminding him that he already got his money toward his Nintendo DS which should arrive tomorrow!) we took the younger three boys to the sitter's and Jonathan to his restaurant of choice, Red Lobster.

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

Dave at Giants Stadium in August '08

Today was also our wedding anniversary...13 years of wedded bliss! I thank God for blessing me with the best husband I could have ever hoped for, and our boys with the most perfect Dad for them. I'm looking forward to many more years and adventures together!

Happy Anniversary, Dave!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Memories

When I was in elementary school, my Dad had the idea one year to recreate the ambiance of the first Christmas for his three young daughters, allowing them to experience what it really would have been like to have been Mary and Joseph on the night of Jesus' birth. He contacted one of the older couples in our church who had a farm, and they excitedly agreed to allow us to spend the night in their barn on Christmas Eve. After the annual Christmas Eve service at church, we bundled up in warm layers of clothing, packed our sleeping bags in the car (I know, not too authentic!), and headed to the barn. There, surrounded by the sights, sounds, and smells of a real barn with animals, we recited those familiar verses from Luke 2 and thought about what Mary and Joseph must have experienced on that holy night so long ago. The owners of the barn had erected a manger with a baby doll in it to help authenticate our experience...and in their excitement, they even dressed their sheep up...with little bells around their necks. Once we settled down in our warm sleeping bags and turned off the lights (we didn't use candles for fear of all that straw and hay!) we learned something about the farm at night--sheep don't sleep laying down all nice and still...those pretty little bells rang all night long! Needless to say, we were up bright and early on Christmas morning, ready to head back home to Mom, warmth, presents, and turkey. But the memories of that night are forever etched in my mind, and I do have a greater appreciation for what Mary and Joseph endured on the night Jesus was born. And whenever I sing that familiar Christmas carol depicting a Silent Night, Holy Night, I can't help but smile and think Come On, Ring Those Bells!

P.S. We actually did this twice in my childhood...the second time was when I was in junior high, I believe, and we took our cousins along for the experience, mice and all...you really ought to try it sometime!

Friday, December 12, 2008


My sister Stephanie tagged me for this game:


You're supposed to do the following:

1. Open the 4th picture folder on your computer.

2. Choose the 4th picture and post it on your blog.

3. Explain the picture.

4. Tag 4 people to do the same. (I'm tagging three!)

So...here's my picture. This photo was taken back around May, 2007. It is of our son, Benjamin, when he was two years old. He is playing with his Elmo and Cookie Monster stuffed animals (obviously!) in our living room. Other than that, I couldn't give you much more history on this photo...just one of those everyday shots I randomly take every now and then!

This was a fun tag game...some of them are a lot more tedious than this! I'm going to tag a few of my friends with blogs who LOVE to take photos, so hopefully they'll find this tag game fun, too! Here they are...have fun reminisicing over old photos!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Decorating for Christmas

As promised, here are some photos of our home decorated for Christmas...

This is just a cute photo of Nathaniel, taken before we decorated our tree.

This is my nativity set made by artisans in Chile. It reminds me of that country I love so much every time I get it out!

This nativity set was given to me as gifts from a variety of people over the years. I love these figurines!

Not the best photo, but I concocted this decoration for on top of the piano. I love Christmas lights!

This lighted garland hangs between our dining room and kitchen. These cool, retro light ornaments were a bargain from Cracker Barrel!

This is our mantel. Notice there are FIVE stockings...I found a matching Pottery Barn quilted stocking for Sophia on Ebay...already embroidered with her name!

Here I am decorating the tree. Dave needs to learn to use our camera better...

Benjamin is putting a couple of his personal ornaments on the tree.

Sabastian and Jonathan hung there ornaments on the tree this year. They love getting them out and reminiscing about when they received them, etc.

Jonathan has the most, since he's the oldest. Since Nathaniel is so little and still into everything, we elected to just put the kids' ornaments on this year, so the bottom quarter of our tree is bare...but still beautiful!

For Kathy

Here is the little snowman gift bag that I made at our Ladies' Bible Study last week. I actually sewed on a sewing machine and didn't break anything! Fortunately the "hat" part was already sewn for us...all we had to do was put the little man together. I think he turned out cute! My friend Kathy at Lizzie Jane loves snowmen, so this post is for her...and any other snowmen lovers out there!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Busy Time

It has been very busy since Thanksgiving at our house. I worked the midnight shift at The Children's Place on Black Friday...that was an experience! I've never even been out shopping at that hour on Black Friday, let alone working, but I survived. Since then, I've been busy with work, play group, Bible studies (and cooking and/or baking for both of them!), baking cookies and making candy, and running the never-ending errands with the kids. We have begun decorating our house, and as soon as my dear husband unloads my memory stick, I will show you some of our decor this year. Our tree is up but not yet decorated as I haven't been home long enough to supervise. Maybe tomorrow...hope your December has started off well and that you won't lose the true meaning of this joyous season amidst the hustle and bustle!