Monday, December 29, 2008
We have seen several of both. One of my favorites is the house in which strands of white lights are draped over the driveway, beginning at the top of the garage and streaming downwards to either side of the driveway. However, there are two that take the cake for us.
The first we saw last year as we were driving around. I'm not usually one for inflatables, but I am a big Peanuts fan and the sight of this inflatable just made me happy. It's an inflatable Snoopy on Sopwith Camel with rotating propeller (said just that way as quickly as possible.) Nathan also gets a big kick out of it. The house's owners also put out a little blinking runway for him. Unfortunately, every time we go to see him, we forget the camera and when we went around taking pictures today, he had already been taken down.
The second favorite house is one Nathan affectionately calls "Mr. Christmas." We didn't see this house until this year and his title didn't occur until we were looking at lights with Elizabeth and noted that for a few blocks on almost all sides of this house, there are very few lights. "Must be another rolling brownout from Mr. Christmas," Nathan commented. A nickname was born. It truly is a fantastic sight. Every time we pass it I want to laugh. Of course, the pictures don't really do it justice. He has cut outs of the Flintstones in the front yard...I'm still not sure what they have to do with Christmas.
There were also lights strung across the sides of the house.
It's impossible to see in these pictures, but there was a functioning Ferris wheel, as well as two miniature villages set up inside.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Every Christmas, Nathan feels the compunction to cover me in the bows we used on the packages. Observe. He was going for a "stegosaurus" feel this year.
The hat Nathan is wearing is actually a Christmas present from his sister to his father. Music was all around at Nathan's parents' house with Nathan playing the piano before he his sister got there, the CD player going while we opened presents, he and his sister playing the piano after we opened presents and Pam also taking a turn at the ivories.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I think that's why these days, if I'm not working on at least one book, I feel rather like a woman without a country. I feel lost and only partially there. This is why, a week before Christmas, with several books on my several lists, I went to the library. I had finished "Dragon Waiting" which I recommend if you're into alternate historical fiction and I couldn't get through "The Real History Behind the Knights of the Templar." I returned them both to the library and picked up "Reading Lolita in Tehran" something I had wanted to read for a while.
I don't know if I'll finish it before Christmas, but I couldn't bear to go a week without reading something.
Books on my Christmas lists:
The Tale of Despereaux--read it, loved it, have to have it
A Lion Among Men--Read the first two in the series, love them, have them
Peter Pan--One of my favorite books of all time
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
That is why, today, when Governor Blagojevich was arrested at his home, I spent the whole day feeling slightly giddy. Every time it came up I giggled. I also happen to be something of a news junkie so I spent an inordinate amount of time at work looking up news stories on the events of the morning.
The reason I have very little sympathy for this man, is because he seems to be spurred on, almost entirely, by his need to increase his own power and finances. Reportedly, the CEO of a children's hospital (probably either Hope or Children's Memorial) would not contribute $50,000 to his campaign and he threatened to pull the hospital's $8 million state funding.
I do feel bad for my lack of pity, but every time I hear about it I just get kind of giggly. I do feel bad for his wife and daughters, though.
Monday, December 8, 2008
The Immaculata Prayer, by St. Maxmilian Kolbe
O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world." Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin
Give me strength against your enemies
Sunday, December 7, 2008
One of the things that's great about my mother-in-law is her talent. She has an eye for crafts and decorations that I definitely don't. She planned the pew bows and made the table decorations for Nathan and my wedding and they were beautiful. Every year her Christmas tree is themed and every year she made one ornament for Nathan and one for his sister. She gave us the box with the ornaments and a record of what year it was, what the theme was, and what the ornament she made was. It's an incredible treasure.
She also made ornaments out of our wedding favors. We used the little gauze bags and put M&Ms and Hershey's Kisses in them with a little favor tag. She baked clay in the colors and shapes of M&Ms and made foil wrappers in the shape of Kisses as ornaments. I absolutely love them.
This is the first ornament she made for Nathan in 1981. It was for her tree with soft ornaments and hung near his sister's ornament which had pink wings and a bow.
I love wrapping presents, so our tree already has a bunch under it, and Hecate is without her blanket.
After this picture was taken I realized I had put out the Christ Child a little too early and removed him from the manger. I would probably have the wise men elsewhere for the time being too, but we don't have that many kitten-proof places.
This last tradition has been in place ever since I was young and could help decorate the Christmas tree. My favorite color is blue, so my Baby's First Christmas ornament, which is quiet heavy, always hangs in a place on the tree with enough room for it, underneath a blue light. (Which you can't really tell in this picture).
Monday, December 1, 2008
Other things I was thankful for this weekend:
A holiday which celebrates both family and good food
Getting to spend four days with a large part of my family
All my friends, those I spoke with and those I didn't
Finding Hecate (twice--see next post)
Christmas season's arrival
The relative good health of most of my family
Our jobs and apartment
The fact that nearly all my Christmas shopping is finished and now I get to do the fun things, decorating, wrapping, and sending out cards