I just have to ask WHY sometimes....

So I have been working for days, and got the photos all backed up. And I have been clearing space on the desk top. So I figured it would start working BETTER. Instead it's NOT - to say it in as few words as possible.
Last night I was downloading the christmas day photos off my camera, and I thought I was being super careful, and I thought I double checked - then I deleted them off the camera. Well, something went wrong - the computer won't recognize about 50 photos. So now I have been spending several hours trying to recover what I deleted. I hate to be whiney, but why can't things just be simple? I don't feel good enough to deal with all these complications. UGH.


just a few thoughts I had collected...

I am working on cleaning out the "MY Documents" on the computer and had several articles accumulated from several years. I saved them while searching for an answer to what I wanted Christmas to be in our home.
So to keep them and also share them, I am putting the quotes on here, so I can refer back to them later if I need a reminder.


Advent/ What is Christmas

a list of Christmas Activities to Do

"While it's nice to find a thoughtful gift for that special someone, what they really want is you. The people that are most important in your life want your time and attention. They want your happiness."

"Whether you consider this time of year to be an important part of your faith or just a time of goodwill, rushing from store to store will take your mind from the real meaning of the season. You will be focused on things. Not on the relationships that are important to your life."

When angels came that holy night,
They did not visit kings;
A large and glorious army
Never heard them sing.
It was not in a palace
The angels came to earth—
But on a lonely hillside
They told of Jesus’s birth.
They appeared to humble shepherds
Tending their flocks by night
And told them of the Christ child
While the star shone so bright.
If we can be like shepherds,
Humble, pure, and mild,
We, too, can know the Savior,
Once the blessed Christ child.


I will be back

I will be back to blog later on. I have LOTS of fun pictures from christmas day. The boys truely acted like "kids on christmas morning". So excited, so happy. It was wonderful.
(I just wish I could have rested a bit - next year, we are scheduling in NAP TIME!)

I have a little bit of computer file rearranging to do. I got all our photos backed up onto our external hard drive, and need to also add them to the lap top. Then we will be deleting them off our desktop, in order to free up some disc space, because our 5 year old, 250 GB, computer is FULL. And my photo taking really takes up ALOT of space. Maybe next year we will get ourselves a new computer, cuz this one has several disadvantages.

so as soon as I can get my photos moved, then I can put the christmas photos from the cameras on here and upload all the good ones here :) - maybe I should do a slideshow!! haven't done one of those in a while.


it's christmas eve.

Merry Christmas everyone!
I have things I haven't blogged about, but tonight is not the night, so I guess I will do several more on sunday and get all caught up.
I am happy to say that even though I was sick for a while, and missed several of the Journal Your Christmas prompts, I have blogged 24 posts this month! I can't wait to turn several of these entries into scrapbook pages in my christmas 2010 album. I think I may have to take a hiatus in Jan to scrap instead of blog. I don't think we have much going on in Jan until Grayson's birthday at the end of the month, but if we do something exciting, I guess I can fill ya in.

We don't do santa.

I know I have explained this to everyone we associate with every year, but I still get surprized looks (gasp) when I say it, so I will explain again.
We skip santa because:

- Thomas is a bit different, and wouldn't understand it if we tried to explain it to him, so we just never started. Plus, I don't know why I would want to spend the time and effort convincing my kids that a lie is true.

- I want to focus our christmas celebrations around Christ's birth. I do this with the decorations I choose, and with the music we hear, and the activities we do. it's not just for the kids. it is for me too.

- kids are kinda scared of santa. why are parents so mean to put a poor screaming child on the stanger in the red suits lap, just for a picture, when they clearly are not comfortable with this plan?
we went to a "kindergarten round up" on Wed, and they had santa and mrs. claus handing out candy canes to the kids. Grayson was just sitting on my lap, and he was scared when he was all the way across the room. Thomas didn't even give him a second look.

- and one big reason is because I don't want the kids thinking they can ask for a rediculously expensive gift, and say "well, I will ask Santa for it". Like I said at the beginning of this journaling experience, I don't want christmas to be focused around the gifts - they are a cool part - and they are fun to give, but they can't be IT.
so there ya go. it's not a big deal. I hope you can understand and maybe even support us, instead of trying to convince us we have made a bad decision.
Merry Christmas (mas =more = More Christ)


Crispy Treats

I saw these online and thought it would be fun to make them with the boys.

Well, ours didn't quite turn out, it wasn't quite as easy as it seemed, so I said "heck with that", and put them in a pan. But they were still tastey.

Thomas loved them.

But Grayson doesn't like his hands to be dirty, so he had some concerns. LOL. He kept picking the stuff up, and then getting mad. And both Thomas and I were laughing, so that made him even madder. But he was very upset with me, when I ran and got the camera, instead of cleaning off his hands (after he had stuck them in there for the third time).

So much for doing an activity to keep the kids happy. LOL
Tomorrow, the boys will get to help make pies. They really like helping mommy in the kitchen. :)


Christmas music

what are you favorite songs or albums?

I remember, as a kid, listening to christmas music on RECORDS. I am sure my parents cautioned us to be careful with them, cuz they were fragile, or could be scratched easily as we tried to reset the needle to play them over and over and over again.
I think I will have to go to Newton and raid my dads albums, just so I can record what the albums were that I used to listen to, and maybe I can find them on cd now.
I do remember one with the nutcracker music, and dancing all around our huge living room in Trier.

I don't remember having too many christmas albums on tapes, except for one German one that had the Kling, Glöckchen, klinglelingeling. I learned how to sing that song in one of my german classes, that is why it's special to me.

Most people get irritated when the radio station starts playing the holiday songs too early. But I LOVE it. Sometimes I can start listening around halloween ;)
I also love seeing the christmas stuff arrive in store early too - I know that is strange, but that is my perogitive. LOL

Since being married to Tyson, though, we wait until after Thanksgiving to start anything christmasy. Because he doesn't believe in "skipping holidays".
So the first music I can play around the house on Thanksgiving Day is an album by Liona Boyd - A guitar for Christmas. I don't know what it is about this album, but when I listen to it, I feel so peaceful and festive.
Another album that I could never live without at christmas time is the Carpenters - A Christmas collection.
all other stuff is secondary to these two albums. They are MY christmas music.
One other album I recommend is The Gibbons "come Let us Adore Him".

I used to sing in the choir when I was younger. That made every song even more meaningful. I don't sing anymore, because I lost my soprano singing voice several years ago, with a bad case of acid reflux. I can do alto sometimes, but I was never trained with it. And I can only really sing one octive now.
Anyway, several titles of songs I loved that you won't hear most anywhere were: Shine for me again/Star of Bethlehem, From Swaddling Wrap to Crimson Robe, Were you there on that Christmas night, Candlelight Carol and of course singing Silent Night in German (Stille Nacht).


the Nativity

This fisher price nativity is so adorable. I got it a few years ago, and Thomas loves playing with it each year.
This year has been different though. Instead of enjoying it and playing with it nicely, the boys have thrown it all over. Their favorite thing to do it put the cow on the top of the stable where the angel goes. For some reason there is some unwritten rule between them, that it cannot stay in the place I have made for it. It cannot stay on display. It either gets all knocked to the ground, hidden under the couch, or taken to the toy room.

But I got it for them to handle. So I will just be grateful that it is being used. :)

the light show

we drove down to Fantasy at the Bay last night for Family Home Evening. It cost $8 a car to get in. Thomas complained the whole time. But as we went to leave, he asked to go again. So we drove around a second time, and he was a totally different boy. He was giggling and smiling and talking about each display. I was glad he cheered up.

Christmas eve-eve-eve-eve

I feel like I am ready for christmas to be here, NOW. I am afraid that in a few days, I may not feel like that anymore. I just have to keep my daily projects simple, so as not to add any stress.
Thomas has his last day of school today, then we have the holiday break... and that means I have to keep him entertained (for 12 days) so he doesn't get bored and go stir crazy. So keep your fingers crossed for me.
The decorations are up.
The gifts are all wrapped. (except for the books that we ordered from scholastic, they might arrive tomorrow, but if they don't we will just have to do without (and yes, that does sorta ruin my "something to read" part, but I am not going to go out and buy something else).
The christmas dinner menu is planned and the grocery shopping is all done.
We delivered the neighborhood gifts yesterday.
We drove around and looked at christmas lights last night.
and we had our little get togethers.
so now we are just kinda in a waiting phase.
4 days to go.
I hope the kids are as excited as I am.


Our little holiday get together

Dispite the yucky rainy weather some of my family came over to our house to make candy houses with us. It was so fun.

I made a cheeseball (it was the best one I have ever made - and we ate every last nibble of it!). I also made a veggie appetizer tree. It turned out pretty tastey too. And mom and dad brought fresh baked turkey and rolls for scrumptious sandwiches!!!!

We needed all that to counterbalance all the CANDY!

Grayson loved sticking things on. and later he kept sticking his fingers in the frosting and licking them clean

Thomas was much more meticulous than I expected.

Zoee only lasted about 2 minutes. I don't think she liked getting her hands dirty. Then she was back down and off to playing in the toy room again. Then AJ got to finish her house up.

We all had a big laugh when Nate kept forgetting how to NOT automatically unwrap then eat the mini Reeses.

The cousins got along so well, and had so much fun with Grandma and Grandpa.

Saturday fun

we got a lot of snow on saturday, so to prep for sunday we had to go out and clear the snow off the cars and the driveway.

we discovered that the snow was PERFECT PACKING SNOW - so we made a snowman while we were out there.


Where's the Line to See Jesus

The Greatest Gift

all wrapped up

yep, all the christmas presents are wrapped. They are not under the tree, as one visitor yesterday observed. Nope. They are all wrapped, but safely stashed away again until christmas morning. I might set a few out christmas eve to tempt them - get them excited for morning, but my impulsive little Thomas doesn't need that temptation for days on days. And I know if Thomas touched them, Grayson would follow suit.
I mentioned on one online forum that my kids haven't left the tree alone since day one. And I was amazed when people responded that their kids were pretty good to just look at the tree and not touch it. LOL - how would that be?
We put the tree up on Thanksgiving afternoon, since Daddy had to go to work, and I wanted something festive to do. But I am pretty sure that we will be taking the tree down the week after christmas, maybe even before the new year. I DO love it, but (especially since it's brand new) I want it to last for a few years at least, so we should keep it's exposure to a minimum.

I just barely got my other stuff hung around a few days ago. Our stockings are hung. I put up some green garland with white lights, and my green shimmery wreath I made nearly 15 years ago. I have one more wreath that I want to make, if I can find the time. I guess I might leave that stuff up a little longer, we'll see.
So I guess you might like to see some pictures, huh?
ok, here ya go. They are not amazing or anything.... but sometimes the blurry ones catch the image I want to tell the story....

Our ornaments include Candy canes (Thomas's favorite), stars that glitter, and jingle bells. And there are a few others, but our ornament collection is small, since this is the first 'normal' size tree we have ever put up. This year they are getting small nativity ornaments in their countdown calendar, and they love putting those on the tree. And I love telling them what each ornament is about (like the "Lego starwars shepherd").

The tree casts a really nice Glow :)

In this picture you see that they put all the big candy canes on one branch. I found that very amusing

The next Morning Grayson was so excited to show Daddy the tree. And we could tell he just wanted to tell him all about it, and how he had helped decorate it. (too bad he isn't talking yet).

here is our unimpressive, but twinkley outside lights - we will do better next year.