Sunday, December 30, 2007

...and baby makes THREE!

More of my brother's baby HERE

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I have not been blogging lately, but I've been thinking about it...and that should count for something!

We are off to Sacramento for some family fun. I hope you all have a spectacular Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2007

TRADITIONS...old and new

I LOVE traditions. The holidays would not be the same without them. Which is why I have started thinking a lot about what I want our family traditions to be.

As a kid we always depended on a few things (some of which may be familiar to you, too):

1. New Christmas PJ's opened on Christmas Eve

2. The Christmas morning breakfast casserole (one year home from college my mom
decided to "mix it up" a bit and try something new. That one did not go over well with us kids!

3. The "themed" Christmas card my dad puts together with his catchy play on words
and poetic phrases. One year he made a snowman family for all of us to sit by, including dogs. Another year we were all on a raft and the theme was something like "Sailing Through the Year". Cheesy, but a tradition nonetheless.

4. Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus with candles and all! Yes, strange, I know.

5. Reading the Biblical account of Jesus' birth.

6. Around high school, our stockings were discontinued and we graduated to pillow
cases. These would be stuffed with all kinds of junk food like Fiddle Faddle, crackers, cookies, candy, sweet cereal, etc. You would understand why if you grew up in my family. My dad was a bargain shopper and was known to buy expired, foreign foods from grocery stores you never knew existed like the Rainbow Market, dollar spot and the 98 cent store. He also bought horse feed in bulk, cooked it up, and tried to pass it off as OATMEAL...EVERY morning. So you can see why we appreciated our pillow case full of brand name junk food!

7. Christmas decorations! Like the wooden, toll painted tree that held suckers. Or
the curly ribbons we would throw over the christmas tree like tinsel. Or the
terribly tacky stained-glass Christmas tree (oh the magic of lighting the candle
to light up that tree)

These are the memories we used to thrive on. Now as I am older, I want to continue some of those traditions, but start new ones too with my own kids. Here are some new traditions that I really like:

1. Dinner in Bethlehem - dress up in era-appropriate robes and eat a dinner of pita
bread, fish, nuts, and dried fruit by candlelight. Talk about the Savior's birth
and what it would have been like to live in His time.

2. Christmas morning TRAP - My friend Amy makes a trap of string and bells down the
staircase that her kids have to get through on Christmas morning in order to see
what Santa's brought.

3. Wrap 30 children's Christmas books and put them under the tree. Each night in
December the kids can pick one book to read.

4. The day after Thanksgiving give your kids a Christmas pillowcase made from
festive fabric to put on their pillow. Tell them it's time to start dreaming of

5. My friend Kelly gives her kids 3 gifts for Christmas. One is a gift of LOVE
(usually something homemade), a gift of KNOWLEDGE, and a gift of JOY (something
fun). I think this is a great way to keep out-of-control spending in check.

6. Elf on the Shelf - this is a book and doll that can be purchased. After
Thanksgiving the elf comes out. He is Santa's spy from the North Pole to see
who is being naughty or nice. Every night he returns home to the North Pole to
report to Santa on your kids' behavior. When he comes back to your house he is
hiding in a new spot and the kids have to find him. Can you imagine the good
times this could bring to a young believer??!

What are some of your favorite traditions? I would love to hear!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Breaking my own rules.

I have always maintained my strong moral code of NO Christmas celebration BEFORE Thanksgiving. I thought it was a good rule to stand by. Things can get really out of control, you know, with decorations starting to infiltrate retail shops in OCTOBER!...Ridiculous

But this year something strange happened. i started thinking about Christmas early. The tinsel at Target in October didn't bug. The Christmas music on my cozy station 103.5 didn't seem to phase me. The smell of cinnamon candles was welcome.

So, i broke my own rules.

But I was justified in doing so. Since we were going to be out of town for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, I figured I would set up the X-mas home decor before Thanksgiving break so that we could come home and enjoy it for as long as we could!

Boy was that a good decision. We are swimming over here in lights, music, candles, baked goods, poinsettias, and holiday spirit.

and I LOVE it!