Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year Anniversary!

Fourteen years ago today (almost to the minute) Sylmon and I were exchanging vows at Liberty Christian Fellowship, the church we met in (singles' group!). Our reception was in the beautiful lobby of a women's dorm at William Jewell College, 10 minutes' drive from the church. It was a cold, dry winter, but it snowed that one afternoon for our wedding and was the only snowfall all winter. During our wedding photo session, I found a shiny new 1994 penny on the front porch of the dorm and slipped it into my shoe. I wore my mother's pearls and my grandmother's gold wrist watch. We decorated the reception with discounted Christmas decor (lots of greenery, including a cut up Christmas tree; twinkle lights and gold wrapped candies). I highly recommend a winter wedding, especially just past Christmas!
Happy New Year to you and Happy Anniversary to us!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Am Still Here!

I apologize for my long absense (Linda!) I wanted to be a good little blogger and post beautiful, wintery Christmas photos of us all decked in our finery and entertaining family and friends. I didn't take my camera with me to my sister-in-law's house and besides, it has thawed and then rained since my last beautiful, wintery post. Waaaaaa! Today it was feeling down right spring-like. Too warm for Missouri in December!
Aside from that, with the kids home from school for another week (this week), my time is not my own. Enough excuses.... we had a very good Christmas. At the beginning of December I didn't know what money we had for gifts, so I encouraged Victoria to make gifts or to salvage stuff from the bottom of the toy box. It was hilarious to see what some of the mysteriously wrapped packages were, but Rebecca was as happy with the old, long forgotten doll that her older sister just updated the hair do on, as with the new My Pretty Pony DS game she got (she inherited her bother's Nintendo DS). I got TWO pairs of identical fleece pajamas in different sizes-- a larger size was bought first and then when Victoria interrogated me and found out I wore a slightly smaller size, my husband bought the smaller size, but didn't swap out the gifts. I opened BOTH Christmas morning and then we returned one pair after Christmas. Silly, really. I gave Victoria the assignment of finding her old Game Boy so I could play Dr. Mario on it and so I got that Christmas morning. So instead of posting on my blog, I have been happily injuring my thumbs playing on a silly electronic game. heehee Last night I could feel my hands cramping and decided it was time to retire the game for awhile. hahaha My in-laws gave us an X Box 360 as a family gift and yesterday my husband came home with GUITAR HERO. He and Victoria played until past midnight. He said it was a good father/ daughter bonding game. I was dropping pills on germs on my Game Boy while I half paid attention to their progress. I'm surprised the X Box or our TV hasn't burned out, because both have been on, non-stop, since Christmas Day afternoon. We eat, sleep and play video games. Isn't that the American way? haha! It's been too wet and muddy to be outside. I am hoping for more snow again soon.
I am also hoping I can stay focused long enough to clean up Christmas along with some neglected clutter. I am itching to do some creating again, but want to organize a few things first. I want to start fresh with the New Year. There will be a lot less video gaming, but for now we are still on vacation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Day

Angels leaving their mark.

Our jockey looks quite festive with his red jacket and snowy shawl.

The kids are off from school. Pictured: Victoria, friend Mariah and Rebecca.

Lucy knows not to eat yellow snow!

Some have left a vacancy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Shack

You HAVE to read this book!

First off, I am someone who does not normally have time to read, but I MADE time to finish reading this book (I had a hard time putting it down). Secondly, I don't cry easily and I yet I had to stop twice, while reading this book, to BAWL my eyes out.

I read a library copy, but now I want to OWN the book so I can reread and underline and highlight the passages that struck a chord. And I want to get several copies to give as gifts, because this is an incredible book!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Counting the Days

Linda, who was first prompted by Anna, invited me to try a December journal. I was questioning whether I could make the commitment, but said, "yes" anyway.
I am SO glad I did.

Of course, mine looks nothing like the fancy scrapbooker's, but I am making no apologies.

I haven't seen theirs yet, but I made mine out of a binder once created for Hallmark ornament collectors (25 cents at the thrift store). The cover is a beautiful green with metallic gold accents.

I used a few of the blank pages that came with the binder, but thought it would be a great place to display Christmas cards collected from past years. I also added photos from previous Decembers. The program from Victoria's winter concert this year (she is in choir) also joined the mix.

The end pages are my two most favorite *glitter* Christmas cards.

Pretty soon I found I was using the cards themselves as pages and like how the "page" sizes are now staggered. Sometimes there is room to write on the front of the cards, but most of the time I use the reverse (I just used the covers of the cards). I stamped numbers and sometimes a background design and stars where I plan to write. Yesterday my son commented that the days were "flying" by. For once I did not agree. By writing a little something about each day, I am able to enjoy each day a little longer; commit it to memory. Savor the events. And so although Christmas may be the destination, I am not letting the days before go by in a frantic blur.
Thanks ANNA and LINDA for this GREAT challenge! I might have to continue it in the New Year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Gift You Can't Wrap

NO! I did not get a Harley for my birthday. I got something better. I got time with my Harley riding father-in-law. If you have been following my posts, you know it was my birthday Nov. 28. I am at the age where I think that life is too short not to have FUN. SERIOUS FUN! So I asked Howard if he would take me for a ride on his Harley. He LOVES to ride. These days he LIVES to ride. And he has so few people to ride with. There's his club of old guys that he rides with, but he would love his family members to join him. So my simple request brought a huge grin to his face. I had made his day. And it wasn't even his birthday.

It was 50*F., yesterday, December 2. The sun was shining, taking the edge off the crisp air. We figured this day would be the balmiest for the month of December and the further we got from my birthday, the less it would seem like a birthday present. Can you imagine planning a motorcycle joy ride in December? That was the POINT! A summery ride would have been fun, enjoyable. This was INVIGORATING, dang it! It was foolish, jumping off of the roof sort of high jinx. And I was niave. I was dressed in layers, but only had jeans on, no long underwear. A scarf bundled my throat and chin, because Howard said my chin would get cold. Do you remember as a kid playing outside in the snow (if you had snow when you were growing up) until you were stiff with cold, chilled to the bone and your wet clothing was threatening to freeze to your body? Remember how your mom would call you to come in because she could see that your lips were blue and your cheeks were chapped with cold and do you also remember your reply? "NO! I don't want to! I'M OKAY!" You were having too much fun. Being cold was just a small inconvenience.
THAT was THIS ride.

Five minutes into the ride down country roads, past open stubbly fields, my pampered middle aged body got shocked with cold as the wind penetrated the gaps around my thick suede gloves and cuffs of my jeans. I was 9 years old again, shushing down the sledding hill in Balduck Park on a wooden sled with no means of steering. Back to my middle aged reality of blasting horizontally through space on the back of a motorcycle, maniacal laughter was bubbling up under my scarf and threatening to spew out. OmyGosh! Was I insane? I was COLD! I was literally breathless as the wind whipped against my face. Then I realized that the visor on my helmet went all of the way down. AH! And then ha ha ha HA! That's SO much better! I could BREATHE again and my face thawed. And then I did laugh. HahahahaHAHAHAhahaHA! At my silliness of not knowing that I had face protection. HahaHA. At the incredible scenery whipping by. HaHA! At the sensation of being cold and enjoying every second of it. HA! At being ALIVE and being blessed with feeling cold and happy at the same time. Howard would reach back and give my hand or leg a squeeze every once in a while to make sure I was okay and I would give his ribs a squeeze to let him know that I was. We drove 28 miles on back roads to a larger small town to eat at Buxton Bar-B-Que. The brisket sandwiches and fries were good, but we were both disappointed that hot coffee wasn't available. Otherwise the day was perfect.

If the ride was cold on the way out, it was down right freezing on the way back with my full belly drawing blood from my extremities to aid digestion. You would think hot food would stoke you like a furnace. NOT! We took I-70 back for a quicker return trip since I had to pick Rebecca up from pre-school at 3:00pm. Driving on the interstate had its own thrills (I felt like we were more vulnerable). Back at my in-law's house, I got off the bike and gave Howard a big hug and kiss. "Same time next year?" I said with a wink in my grin. "Uh, lets try for one in the summer", was the cautious reply.

A few minutes later as I headed to town in my warm, enclosed car, I passed my father-in-law riding his smaller, lighter weight Honda. The one he had me sit on to "try on for size". The cute, cheery red one he would love for me to learn to ride so I could go riding with him. I chuckled. Howard loves riding his bikes too much to let a little winter weather slow him down. And I would happily join him again-- only next time I would plan on having long underwear(! ) And he would bring the coffee!