Monday, December 30, 2013

Joy to The Earth

It's been a while since I've posted and I was starting to get that guilty pull toward the computer that tells've kept this blog for almost 8 years, don't let it slide now! A voice that directly conflicts with the one telling me to relax on the recliner, keep reading Divergent and let Facebook mobile uploads to all the work for me.

Part of the reason for my absence is that we've had a super busy, super great month of December. I might even venture to say that it's been the best Christmas in our history as a family. Everyone is healthy, thriving, energetic and we try to give credit for that directly to the Lord where it is due. We feel blessed.

When I left off we had just been to the PMO Christmas Show and Tessa's first grade pageant. So here's a highlight reel of things that followed.....

Charley had a Christmas program too, for his Pre-K class. Is was short and cute and we sat right in front of him so he made faces at us the whole time.  Even though we had done some test shots of Tessa to hone in the best camera is downright IMPOSSIBLE to get good pics of kids on stage.

We've been trying for a couple years now. Impossible. But there he is, you get the jist.

I wasn't super happy with the family picture on our Christmas card this year...where was this one when I needed it?

Tessa's class also invited parents (and little brothers) to come in one day and make gingerbread houses. Charley commandeered my camera and I got a good close up so I could check out my makeup skills...yup, lookin' good.

I'm pretty sure Charley wasn't aware there was a house involved. Just a tray of candy placed before him.

I never did make any super cute Christmas lunchboxes, just this with some cheese and candy cane shaped cheese and tortillas.

We went down to celebrate Mamaw's 88th birthday with her. She's a smart lady...put on a pot of chili, buy a sheet cake and then ask all of the energetic great-grandchildren to decorate your tree for you. I like her style.

I spied the dusty fondue maker in our closet and decided that cheese fondue should be our first meal of Christmas break. Then forgot to buy sterno. Since our local market didn't have any, we had a choice to make....send someone out to the local super-store on a Sunday evening three days before Christmas or plug in the crockpot and eat fondue directly from the kitchen counter.

We chose wisely.

Christmas Eve we spent all day at Mom's eating cheeseball, Ro-tel in on the mountains, drinking Cran-a-ritas and watching Christmas movies on TV.

Eventually we opened presents as well.

Then that night headed out to the farm for more food and more presents.

That night we stuck around for the candle-light church services as Mom and Dad's church. So so different from our church but it was really cool.  Five of those manger people are family members!

Christmas  morn was biscuits and gravy, fireplace, pajamas and presents. For whatever reason our camera took only crappy pictures that day so these three are all that turned out well.

Jeremy gave me this awesome frame with pictures of our four grandmothers as young adults. I had given him the one on the right of our grandfathers on his 30th birthday (many MANY years ago). I was totally surprised and love how nice they all look in the dining room.

On the 26th we took a road trip with Mom and Dad up to visit Gramaw (lower right in the picture above) at her assisted living facility. They get a kick out of kids riding walkers in the hallway there.

We spent a night in a hotel that had a pool and waffles for breakfast, and the kids were both super sad and dragging their feet about coming home to a house full of new toys.

Speaking of waffles, some six year old is super excited about her Christmas present. Waffle Fridays every week where Tessa is in charge of finding a recipe and cooking for us? Man I hope that idea sticks!

And that brings us to today...getting ready for Small Group game night and NYE tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Aging Angel

The first time I took Tessa's picture as an angel in a Christmas pagaent, she was 3 years old and in preschool.
She also came right up to the mic and proceeded to pick her nose and eat it while saying her line. 

Last night when I took her picture at 6 years old, she was one of the brightest stars in the angel choir.
Amazing how time flies and things change so quickly.

The Kid's First Christmas Show

This past weekend we took the kids to see their first PMO Christmas Show at Purdue. They were finally old enough to sit through it and they did a mighty fine job. PMO is where Jeremy and I met, and dancing on the Christmas Show stage together is where we fell in love. Okay that sounds super cheesy...but it went something like that.

When I tell people that we were in choir in college I sometimes get the 'oh isn't that sweet' kind of reaction, and I immediately know that they don't know much about what PMO is. The Christmas Show itself is a huge deal, since the music hall seats 6,000 and we would do 6 performances on the weekend before finals. That's 36,000 people. And huge awesome sets and costumes. Months of preparations. Almost enough to make you feel like a professional singer.

And then we'd wake up Monday morning and start finals week. Truly exhausting...the hardest I've worked at almost anything I can remember. 

Aside from my actual major, PMO took up my whole life in college. Actually, it often took up more of my life than the actual schooling part! And of course I left with good friends, memories and a tenor husband.

So when we go to campus and start walking towards the hall of music, it's like homecoming.

We have never brought the kids to campus and they were so curious about everything...what is a college, where did you live, what's this building, what's that big thing over there, where's the lunchroom?!

This was our failed attempt at a selfie by the bell tower.

Both kids sat nicely and both dozed off for a bit too but mostly they loved it. It's half secular Christmas songs and half Sacred Cantata, so I always loved how it covered the whole gamut of Christmas music.

This year was the 80th anniversary so they showed a lot of old PMO pictures on the Jumbo-tron and walked through each era of Christmas music starting from the 30's to present.

When it was all said and done, we walked back through the bell tower and over to a favorite pizza joint where I had trouble restraining myself from their world famous cheese-sticks. The kids got shirts from the bookstore and we headed back home.

And now that our big kids can enjoy the Christmas Show, we WILL be there every year from now on with bells on!

1st Grade Christmas Pageant

The first and second graders put on a great show for us last night. And if I thought 20 minutes early was surely enough time to get a good seat, man was I wrong because it was PACKED. So we were parked in last row but had a really good view of our favorite angel.

They did a great job and I couldn't  help but notice Tessa smiling and being expressive when she sang. Maybe that recent trip to Purdue to show her our PMO roots rubbed off on her?

When it was all over we did what any sensible angel would do...found some delicious frozen yogurt to celebrate. And we'll do it all over again on Friday for Charley!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Scenes from Thanksgiving- 2013

Another great year at our house. We hosted for about 15 people in my family. The kids all had a great time, the husband went crazy in the kitchen, the men watched football, the dogs begged for scraps, and the food was great. When it was all said and done everyone settled in and watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. It simply isn't turkey day without it.

This year we are thankful for too many things to count. But today...for family.