Friday, December 31, 2010

The Eves

We really only celebrate two "official" eves these days, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.  My two sisters and my Mom and Dad & I usually opened our Christmas presents on what we affectionately referred to as "Christmas Eve Eve" which left the more official days in December for celebrating with extended family. Perhaps it is that tradition that is responsible for my fondness for the eves.
There is so much more wrapped up in the eve of something than in its just being the literal "day before" another day which is, merely by force of calendar supposed to be more special.  An eve holds both the promise of what the next day will bring yet holds as well the distinct honor of being a meaningful day itself.

Consider Christmas Eve, the lights both of candle and of the eye of a child shine in honor of what Christmas Day will be, yet shine they do on Christmas Eve and not on Christmas day.

 On Christmas Day, there is the sense of joy and celebration, of arrival, of dare I say relief (?), of excitement and gratitude.  On Christmas Day, the flicker of the Christmas Eve candle has grown into the bonfire of Christmas Day.  As Christmas Day grows into Christmas Night there is no anticipation left to carry into the morrow, no expectation of specialness to come just a pleasant placement into the heart of the memories that have been made.
Ah, but as the hours of Christmas Eve grow late, the heart grows softer, beats a bit faster, and becomes more ready to experience that which is to come...

New Year's Eve, whose very title, indicates that it belongs to the celebration of the New Year, holds little to looking back on the old year to which, by the calendar, it belongs.  Like Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve is full of anticipation and expectation of the next day and all that the New Year might be. As the New Year's Eve clock marches toward midnight, acceptance of last year's accomplishments yields to the eagerness to make newer and more purposeful tracks on tomorrow's freshly fallen, unblemished year. On the eve, the accomplishment of living better is looked forward to but is not yet taken to task. The idea of doing better is not yet confused with the reality of a tinge of failure here and there on the eve.  On the eve the possibilities are unspoiled and unconquered.  On New Year's Day the conquering must begin. 

 "... in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." ~Romans 8:37

So, friends and loved ones I wish you a special New Year's Eve and a Happy New Year, filled with living better, loving more, and laughing deeply!   

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day Delights

Christmas morning began here later than one would imagine in a home filled to bursting with children. Though we began a little earlier than last year, it was approaching 9 a.m. when Kate awoke and the festivities finally got underway.  First, my Man, as is his fashion, called children to gather on the couch for the Christmas morning reading of the account of the birth of Baby Jesus.

After the Christmas Story, each of us was handed a piece of the Nativity set and my Man asked us to imagine what we might have been thinking and feeling on Christmas day from the perspective of the character we held in our hands.  

A prayer of thanksgiving for God's most Precious Gift was given, 

...and then things got a bit noisy, and a bit messy, and a whole lotta crazy!

Each child received a fleece pull over...

Each received a surprise or two...
Don't you just love it when they begin to swallow their own faces in surprise?

(turn up volume)

Of course, everyone got a BOOK...

...including my Man, whom I surprised with a title he hadn't heard of,
 but which has received rave reviews in both Christian and secular circles.
 (Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit).

Everyone enjoyed a gift that was particularly suited to their individual speciality...

After the wrapping paper was cleared, we all enjoyed a late breakfast of belgian waffles made on my new waffle maker!  The kids and their Dad spent the day inaugurating new toys and games.  After Christmas dinner, we jumped in the van...
 and enjoyed the display of Christmas lights nearby.

We hope YOUR Christmas 
was merry and bright!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reindeer Greetings

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, and Vixen...

...Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen...Rudolph, and all of the rest of you!
This easy and fun cookie recipe "Peanut Butter Rudolph Reindeer Cookies" can be found here from Ladies' Home Journal.

Happy Baking!

(Pictured from left to right, 
Cole, Meg [above], Kate, 
& Molly [below])

Monday, December 20, 2010

This Can't Be Good

Just poppin' my head up above the wrapping paper for a quick "Hello!" Molly has been fighting a rotten cold, and losing since Thursday.
After keeping us up most of the night with a high fever, she seems to be showing signs of getting better today.  While the rest of the PKs (Preacher's Kids) were at church with their father today, Molly and I snuggled in tight so as not to infect our friends in the nursery.

I spent lots of time wrapping packages and Molly quietly watched her favorite shows.  At times, it got way too quiet so I made a habit of checking on her periodically.  Once, I found her perusing her viewing options...

While helping her select her next movie, I noticed THIS...

and THIS can't be good! 
She was seeking her favorite ornament that one of her siblings had placed very high up on the tree out of her reach.  Molly believes that most of life'e little problems can be solved with a stool.  It's a theory she's held for quite a while now.

If exploring the Christmas tree weren't sign enough of Molly's recovery, this video is definitely is. (Please ignore the odd voice from behind the curtain...)
 Just a bit later, Molly went down for a SEVEN hour nap and which seems to have served to further her recovery! Look out world.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Doodle All the Day

It's mid-December which means that here at The Wright Place, we're neck deep in Snickerdoodles (click here for recipe).  I think we've made about 280 cookies to date and we've about that many more to go!  While all of us are involved in the process, I've noticed that this year Kate has become the Cookie Roller Extraordinaire...see for yourself!

You've really gotta be very vigilant with these little pieces of brightly colored yum.  
If your not careful, they'll take over your kitchen (and your thighs) ! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Pictures

It begins in November, the gentle anxious feeling that takes up residence in the depths of my psyche.  That gentle anxious feeling whispers "time to start thinking about the picture for your Christmas cards."  In November, I carelessly brush the idea aside and soldier on through Thanksgiving with the thoughts of all of the pictures I've snapped of the children all year long.  My logic says that surely there exists among the hundreds and hundreds of pictures, at least one picture of the children together smiling happily in the same location at the same time.  Therefore, even if I'm unsuccessful in my plans to dress the kids attractively in red and green and maybe a bit of sparkle, position them to highlight each of their most winsome attributes, provide ideal lighting, and convince them to smile at me naturally thirty or forty times, I should still possess a "back up picture" from a cherished family event that will more than sufficiently represent our gang to friends and family all over the country on our Christmas card.

Last year, I avoided the photo session altogether out of respect for the episode from the year before where chaos reigned supreme and included a screaming three month old, adorable red velvet dresses with Santa fluff, a bloody nose, and I think I recall a teetering Christmas tree as well.

This year, Christmas outfits have been waiting in the wings for weeks, and I had grand plans.  However, Megan was out of town last week and Molly is currently snowed in at my Mom & Dad's under about 16 inches of snow, so no photo shoot this year either.  Honestly, I am a bit relieved because there is no way that any picture I could take would live up to the expectations I have created in my mind.

Enter "the backup picture" plucked with a grin from this year's vast and varied adventures.  Except...I discovered a small glich in my logic...

"Hey Molly, look at Mommy....pleaaassseeee...hurry, we're late for Sunday School...again."

Mother's Day.
"Molly, less...less gums?"

"Molly, are you hurt? Secret baby hog calling contest? Fire?"

Family wedding rehearsal dinner in one of the most beautiful settings in our state.
"Molly, how do you really feel about having your picture taken?"

After a daring rescue from a church nursery...
"Aww c'mon Molly, I didn't mean to leave you stranded in that nursery, sit up and smile at Mommy."

"Molly...Mollyyyyyyy...Oh, never mind!"

Field trip to a WWII aircraft carrier.
"Molly.  It wasn't that funny."

The day before Election Day.
"Molly, turn the flag so we can see your face. Molly, we want more than the bow in this shot. Molly! This is to honor your country, shape up young lady!"

One would think that any woman crazed enough to take pictures to commemorate Election Eve, would have in her "war chest" an acceptable picture. Unfortunately it turns out that Molly takes great exception to sharing the frame with her siblings. I've got dozens of super pictures of her solo, but very few of her cooperating with the group photo efforts this year.  As a result, I many people will notice if I use a picture from last year when Molly was still young enough to be "contained"?

Here's to living in the past!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'll be sorry later...

In 15 or so years, I'll probably be having this conversation with my daughter...

"Molly, many years ago, I posted some cute little pictures of you on our family blog.  It may have been in poor taste then, but I had a cold
   and I needed to post something that night
      and I had taken this cold medicine that affected my judgement
         AND you had gotten into the sugar bowl again that day
           AND pooped your pants
       AND...well it made me feel a bit better to laugh at your expense.

For that I should be sorry..."

But right now...I'm not sorry...I'm grinning...

...and she's bearing it!

Later however, say in fifteen or so years, I'll be apologizing to this face...

"You showed my WHAT?"

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