Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008

The month of December came and went in a flash this year! Nate's brother, Jon, got married on December 14th, and preparations for the wedding and hosting both the bachelorette and bachelor parties had Nate and I VERY busy the first few weeks of December, and our poor little ones hustled around A LOT! Once the wedding festivities were celebrated and came to a close, we were able to relax and feel the warmth that Christmas brings--with all the music, cheer, decorating, gift-giving, treats and more. Because Brooklynn is only 2 1/2, and Asher is only crawling and smiling--most of the time, we hadn't yet had a talk with the kids about Santa...until... Brooklynn came to me a few weeks before Christmas and said, "Santa is coming to our house with his reindeer, and he is bringing presents for you and me and Daddy and Asher!" So with much surprise and a grin on my face, I was excited to begin the Santa saga that will last for the next coming years.

It is SO fun being a Mommy. And, It is so fun now that Brooklynn is old enough to do crafts and little projects that allow her to be creative and try new things. She had so much fun making her ornament and the gingerbread tree--and even more fun eating the ornaments off it! This year she also got to enjoy the SNOW! It doesn't happen all that often around here, so to have as much as we did this year was amazing. And it was a huge change from last year as Brooklynn was terrified of it. This year though, she would have played in it multiple times daily. Here are a few pictures from our holiday. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

She loves anything to do with cookies, frosting and candy!

She did such a nice job decorating the tree

This wasn't the only time I saw her sneaking a taste!
But I had to laugh when I saw her chewing on something--but
responded it was nothing, and there leaned against the tree was a
half-eaten candied present. A few days later, she took a bite out
of the red present but the coloring or dye in it had her gagging
and asking for a drink. Silly girl.

SO excited to open her Christmas Eve present.

Dora Dora Dora--was the theme this year!

Very excited about her other new jammies.

Little Asher, smiling his sweet smile. And me, in a funny outfit.
I am not sure that I have ever worn two different types of plaid
before, but I know for sure that the snow outside had our house
SO COLD this year. Let's just say that I wasn't too worried about
the camera this year.

And apparently Nathan wasn't either! ;) Nate and I opted out
exchanging gifts this year. I did however, surprise him with
this Johnny Cash t-shirt and some home-made lovey-wife
coupons. He has been giving me a hard time about the coupons ever
since. I've been trying to get him to realize that trying to cash
one in for a back massage when I am already asleep does not work!

Well, this isn't the photo that I was hoping for, but it
will do. Our family in 2008.

Uncle Timmy stayed the night on Christmas Eve.
He enjoyed watching Brooklynn and Asher open their
presents. Can you tell that he is Nate's brother, or what?

I wish you a wonderful New Year, and may God bless you and your family in 2009!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Finally it feels like Christmas

Hooray! It's finally starting to feel like Christmas! I was worried there for a little bit--that we'd hit the New Year without it feeling much like Christmas, but then it all hit! Today, I was able to spend some time working on the homemade gift that I'll be giving my Sis, Tammy, for Christmas. The girls in my family are doing a homemade gift exchange this year, so it has been fun thinking about which project to choose, and I am looking forward to seeing what has been created by everyone else! Tonight Brooklynn made her (and Asher's) first ornaments for the tree. I am excited to accumulate all the handmade ornaments made by the kids over the years! I just think that they are precious. She did a great job, and I am amazed at how detailed she is at only two-and-a-half! While Brooklynn finished her ornaments, I baked Pear Crumble, with the Asian Pears that Nathan got from a client. And now the house smells wonderful! On top of the thoughts of gifts, decorating, and baking, we are even getting snow! Although the forecast for this weekend looks wretched in most parts, we'll take it for now. It's not every year that we can celebrate the holidays with snow!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another Life Lesson

Last night as I was winding down--blogging, writing emails, and planning an upcoming party, I turned to our local online newspaper for my final reading for the night. I guess I will NEVER do this again, as my night ended with reading the most harrowing & heart-wrenching story. You've heard of the two-year-old who was saved during the terrorist attack in Mumbai, right? When I clicked on the latest update on the story, it showed a picture of the boy crying in the arms of a man. The article went on to describe in detail the Nanny's account of the attack that killed the mother and father (the rabbi and his wife). When the boy was found he was at the bodies of his parents, soaked up to his knees in blood, crying. Immediately upon reading this, I held my face and began to cry. The tears came down, and I found myself trying to control the sadness that had taken over my body.

So why do I tell you this? I tell you this because I realized after that moment of sadness that normally I wouldn't react this way. Because of this, there is something enormous to be said about how desensitized, on a human level, we've become to the violence and terror that our world is enduring. The fact that 99% of the time that I read such stories, (which I do often, because I read a lot,) and that I hardly flinch and then move on, is a critical issue. The issue of one becoming desensitized has been compounding and plaguing our country for decades and decades, and is an issue that is sure to continue.

As I said, the reaction of mine during this reading is sadly out of character. This leads me to my next concern: how will our children feel, or will they feel at all? Will they understand or see the world without the violence, or is it so gravely attached to the understanding of what world means? How can a child, who is known for his or her fresh innocence and whose immediate response is to speak truth, have a chance or one at all when most everything surrounding him or her is polluted and ravaged with violence and sadness? It's hardly seems fair to me that this makes up a huge portion of the world that we bring our babies into?

Although these thoughts run rampant inside me, gratefully I have my faith to turn to, and I am comforted to know that there is a plan in all this. Although there are no answers or promises for tomorrow, there is reason, and it is His reason. Having that faith and to be sure enough that the worries for today are not for tomorrow, but are for Him to address in the right timing, is key thought-process for me. I will never understand all this or begin to understand how I should react or how to exactly address these issues with my children. I just know that tough times lay ahead, and the world will continue to unravel and there will be many more trying times and people who will endure such times. The most I can confirm for myself is that I will do the very best I can to do, for my family and my children, today, so that tomorrow might be better.

I realize that recanting this to you, will do no more for you than what it did for me. It is both tragic and disturbing. I wrote this because I was touched, and it's moments like these that are pivotal in the growth of my spirit, and are important moments for me to reflect on. God is always trying to teach us.

Monday, December 1, 2008

6 Random Facts

I was tagged by my cousin, Tina, over a week ago. Here are the results:

6 Random facts:

1. I spent two college years at Utah Valley State College & two college years at Washington State Univeristy.

2. I took private voice lessons for 5 years.

3. I have great interest in facilitating anti-bullying programs throughout the Vancouver/Portland metro area.

4. I lived in a 3200 sq. ft. brand new home with my family for a year and only paid $2000 in rent and $2000 for window coverings. Can you say BLESSING!?! And a very nice stay!

5. I believe I could have been kidnapped as a young teenager from a baseball park. The same middle-aged man pulled along side me two different times, asking if I wanted a ride home as I waited for my ride to return after a rained out game.

6. I used to sing lots of solos in school. Now, you couldn't get me to do a solo for anything! It's a shame, really. A wasted talent and blessing. I really should climb out of my hole.

So, now I'd like to tag Erin Waller & Brittany Bradford! Here are the rules (which of course I am not following, as I am only tagging two people--I guess I need more blogging friends):

1. Link this post to the person who tagged you: Tina 2. Post the rules on your blog 3. List 6 random things about yourself. 4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post. 5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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