Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scenes from Christmas

We're stuck in Flagstaff, Arizona waiting out the storm and the highway to clear.  Here are some photos from our trip to California for Christmas.  More to come later.  Take a look!

 Stan and I Christmas Eve

 My nephew Eric, the new father, and AJ at my sister's Christmas Eve Banquet!

 Eric's wife Amber and my father, Arland.

 Me and my sister Cheryl.

 What a cute couple!  My nephew Andy and his girlfriend Dayna.

 My mother, Mary Louise, the great-grandmother with her great granddaughter, Cassandra Jade.

 My handsome son Kevin, with grandma peeking around him.

My cute brother-in-law, Don.

Friday, December 17, 2010


For many of us, sadly, the spirit of Christmas is “hurry.” And yet, eventually, the hour comes when the rushing ends and the race against the calendar mercifully comes to a close. It is only now perhaps that we truly recognize the spirit of Christmas. It is not a matter of days or weeks, but of centuries -- nearly twenty of them now since that holy night in Bethlehem. Regarded in this manner, the pre-Christmas rush may do us greater service than we realize. With all its temporal confusion, it may just help us to see that by contrast, Christmas itself is eternal.~~Burton Hills

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A New Member of the Family!

We have a new member of our family!  My sister's youngest son Eric and his wife Amber had their baby Tuesday, a girl they named Cassandra Jade.  She's just beautiful!

I'm pretty sure that Christmas Day will be spent playing "pass the baby."  Isn't she just the most precious little thing?  Who wouldn't love such a little angel!

Here is my sister, the new Grandma, holding her granddaughter.  I told her I thought it was awfully nice of Eric and Amber to give us such a nice Christmas present.

The new little family.  Aren't they sweet?  This is going to be a special Christmas for them, I know.  And every Christmas from now on will be a new adventure as they watch little Cassandra grow up.  What a happy life awaits them!  I can't wait to see them all and to hold my new little niece.  I always said I was a great aunt, but now I really will be a GREAT aunt!   Yay!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Light Night

One of our family traditions is Christmas Light Night.  After dinner we go out and drive around the neighborhood checking out all the light displays.  It's a lot of fun!  And when we're done we find someplace to go out for a piece of pie and maybe some hot chocolate.  Took some pictures to share here.  If you live near me, you might see your house!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Was That?

When I was little I got confused pretty easily.  I remember being about five and listening to Christmas music and putting my own spin on things.  Even today when I listen to some songs I remember them the way I thought of them then.  It's pretty silly actually, and would like to think that there are others out there who have had the same experience.

For example, in the song God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Perry Como used to sing the line "in Bethlehem in, Jewry, the blessed babe was born."  Now, you don't here this line too much anymore, they've changed it.  But when I was little I'd never heard the phrase "Jewry" and thought Mr. Como was singing "jewelry."  I knew what jewelry was.  I also knew Jesus was born in a manger, and one of the three wisemen brought gold.  I knew gold was jewelry.  And what was frankincense and myrrh?  That was probably the other jewelry!  I never asked anyone, I just knew I was right.  I listened to Perry Como last night and sure enough, when he sang that line a picture of a pirates treasure chest came into my mind.

In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer they sing about the deer shouting out with glee.  Again, at age five this as not a word I was familiar with.  But I did know the word Gleem, which was a toothpaste they advertised on TV all the time.  I knew what they were talking about!  The reindeer brushed their teeth with Gleem and then shouted about it.  Probably, I pictured in my mind, while baring their pretty white teeth so everyone could see how good they brushed.  I used to do that for my mother before going to bed every night.  She would cover her eyes and tell me my teeth were so shiny they hurt her eyes.  Same thing with the reindeer I figured.

The other song that confused me was Jingle Bells.  I thought the name Bob Tail for a horse was totally wrong!  I had a dog I'd named Star.  I thought it was a perfectly lovely name.  But Bob Tail was so dumb.  I would have named him King, like National Velvet's horse, or Flicka, or something really wonderful like that.

To this day when I hear these songs for a brief second I think of them the way I did back then.  I was so sure that I was right that it must have burned itself into my brain. 

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else had similar experiences.  Christmas is, after all, a time of sharing!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where Are You Christmas?

"Where are you Christmas, why can't I find you?  Why have you gone away?"

This song has been haunting me.  I haven't been able to feel the spirit of Christmas this year.  We aren't getting a tree, and we are not exchanging presents.  My sister wants us to come for Christmas and money is too tight, but I'm not sure that's the reason I'm feeling out of it.  So I'm focusing on "my favorite" things instead, and try to bring the spirit of the season into my heart and my home.

I love Christmas music.  In fact, I've been listening to it since the end of September.  Now I can listen to it with abandon.  It's playing everywhere and it's so great!  How can anyone feel anything but grateful and blessed and happy when listening to Christmas music?

Kevin and I are planning on doing some baking this week.  Ginger snaps, almond cherry cookies, and Russian tea cakes.  Yum!  The house will smell so good, and we can share the cookies with people we love, and induldge our sweet tooth in the process.  I'm so looking forward to it!

We put our manger scene up on the piano.  This is so special to me.  The Christmas I was preparing for my surgeries, some sweet, good-hearted friend gave this to us.  I don't know who they are, but every day one piece would arrive on our doorstep with a poem or a note about Christmas.  On the last day the stable was delivered.  When we put this together it fills me with such emotion.  That someone loved us, loved me enough to give this gift touches me deeply.  Not only the sweet individual who delivered the creche, but also my Father in Heaven who gave His Son so that I could have this wonderful life that I live.

All the Christmas movies and shows that are on now.  Some, like Charlie Brown, bring back the time when I was a little girl and first watched them, and others I remember sitting and cuddling my own precious babies while watching them.  From the Winter Warlock to the Little Drummer Boy, they each hold memories.

Christmas Light Night!  We pick a night every Christmas to go out and see all the decorated houses we can.  We have a nice dinner, then bundle ourselves up and get into the car and off we go!  We especially love to visit the Church of the Nazarene over off Fountain Avenue which has such an amazing display of music and lights that we never miss it!  When we are done, we stop off at a restaurant for pie and hot chocolate before we go back home.  I am really looking forward to Christmas Light Night this year.

Hopefully everyone else is enjoying the season and feeling the spirit.  I sure hope I can too.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.
Oren Arnold

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Am a Professional!

Today is a red letter day for me!  I received my first check today from for sales from my first book What Would Nancy Do?  I guess that means that I am really a professional novelist now!  Woop Woop!

Part of me doesn't want to cash it.  I just want to sit and look at it.  I guess that would be silly.  But what can I say?  I feel silly with excitement.  I'm so thankful for Stan, AJ, Kevin and all my friends who have supported me and helped to get me here.  I wish it was enough to throw a party for you all!

Just wanted to share .......