Monday, December 31, 2007

Presents for Mommy

Much to Bruce's dismay, we have quite a crop of chives that flourish in our front yard. Ever since I mentioned to David what they were and that they can be used for cooking, he has taken it upon himself to harvest them for me...he brings in huge handfuls of them and insists that I put them in a Ziploc and store them in the fridge to have on hand for cooking...of course, I could never use in a month as much as he brings me in one handful, but I haven't told him that -- he's so earnest about bringing them and it's very precious! I dutifully bag and store them, then regularly dispose of them when I am in the kitchen by myself!

I love how he wants to take care of me -- several times a day he wraps those long little arms around me and tells me how much he loves me...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fun Saturday visitors

Today RaDora and her mom Dora (who, by the way, is the maker of the incredible sourdough bread that I've posted about before!) came for a visit -- it was great to finally meet Dora, though I felt like I already knew her -- like me, Dora has a son and a daughter, both of whom have hearing loss, so she has walked the same road I'm on with my two kids! RaDora has been our go-between until now, but it was so nice to meet in person.

The kids, of course, thought the only reason RaDora would come here was to see them and so they 'made' her play with them and most of their new Christmas toys for most of the visit!


In less exciting news, I took down our Christmas tree this evening -- I hate to take it down when it is still so beautiful and holding its needles so well, but I am tired of the clutter! David insisted that this was a noteworthy occasion, so he took a picture for the blog.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Quiet house

Well, the company has all gone home and it feels very quiet and empty in our house today...on the one hand, it is always nice to have the space, routine, and everyone's own beds back, but it's also very sad to have everyone leave. We had a wonderful visit. I tried more than once today to load some pictures, but kept having problems, so I will try again tomorrow!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ten years ago today...

...Bruce asked me to marry him!
What a wonderful ten years we have had...
I couldn't dream up a better husband
than the one God sent to me!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Auto adventures

Last night, just before 7 p.m., we got a call from Bruce that he had been in an accident about a mile down the road from our house (he was on the way home from work). A young guy was driving too fast and lost control coming around the curve; he hit Bruce head-on, though at a bit of an angle. Thankfully, no one was injured, though Bruce's car looks very sad and the kid's Camaro looks like scrap metal. We are very grateful that Bruce is safe...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy birthday, Mom/Grandma!

Today we got to celebrate my mom's birthday with her -- this is the first time I got to do that since I got married and moved away. We had a nice, low-key day and celebrated tonight with angel food cake (with strawberries and lots of Cool Whip, of course!).

Happy birthday, Mom!

(David was very relieved that Grandma "needed" help to blow out her candles -- but Abigail was too busy trying to make her noisemaker work!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas company!

Our next round of Christmas company starts to arrive today -- my parents are driving up from Florida to be here for Christmas (my two youngest brothers will leave after work on Friday and arrive sometime during the night). I LOVE VISITORS!!! I think I might be even more excited than the kids! ...and we were doubly blessed to be able to have both sides to the family represented for Christmas festivities this year. It's been very different -- but very nice! -- to have our family come to us for Christmas celebrations. For the first nine Christmases of our married life, we hauled to New York and then shuttled between Rochester and Syracuse to see all of our family for the holiday. Although we very much miss seeing our extended families, and we even miss seeing some snow, we do NOT miss the two-day trip on both ends of Christmas! It is always a little sad to see old traditions change, but then there is opportunity for new traditions to begin... Today I am going to attempt a special surprise for my dad...I will share more once it's accomplished, but I don't want to give anything away right now!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Kids with Grandpa & Grandma McKee

Thanks, Dad and Mom
(Grandpa & Grandma),
for such a wonderful visit!

We love you.

(G & G gave this dress to Abigail for Christmas -- isn't it adorable?!)

McKee family Christmas

This past weekend my parents-in-law were here for our McKee Christmas celebration -- they arrived Friday and went to our church Christmas party with us that night, then on Saturday, Chris (Bruce's brother) and his family came over and we 'had Christmas'. It was a wonderful day -- all of the adults enjoyed the time to relax and talk, and the kids played so nicely.
***On a side note, if Bruce looks ill in the shrimp cocktail picture, it's because he and his family all eat their cocktail sauce so chock-full of horseradish that the whole time we're eating it's a chorus of "WOW! (sniff, sniff, cough) This is great! (sniff cry sniff cough) Boy, this is good! (cough cough gasp sniff sniff)"!
I take mine much milder -- just enough to give my tongue a little tingle -- and I think they're all crazy!!! =)

Christmas pictures best and worst

Here are some of the results from our Christmas photo shoot. It was as much fun as those things always are...!

At this point, Abigail was wailing, "I need to take a nap!!!"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas entertainment

Hope you enjoy the very dramatic singing
by David (he gets that from his father!!!)
and the Nutcracker-caliber ballet
by Abigail!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books
Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Hearing checks & heart update

The kids had hearing checks on Tuesday and were pretty stable yet again. Yay! It has also come to my attention that I never posted the good news that the enlargement of Bruce's heart has diminished from 'gross' to 'mild' -- praise the Lord! He is doing well -- he hasn't gone into a-fib since early September -- he is still on a large handful of medications, but they are planning to start trying to wean him off of them this spring.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another happy birthday today

...and, OF COURSE, happy birthday to Amanda C.,
& I apologize profusely for the delinquency...

Happy birthday, Krystle

Happy birthday to
my sister-in-law Krystle (Jared's wife).
Hope you have a great day --
we love you!

(...she fits into our crazy family very well!!!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Away in a Manger Part 2

Okay, here it is. The best part of the whole thing is right at the beginning; at the end of verse two, where it says "And stay by my cradle 'til morning is nigh", David is convinced that it says "'til morning is night", so this video starts right where he is belting out his solo of "NIGHT!" We thought it was very cute! (When he turns around and looks behind him, he is looking at his daddy in the choir section to see if Daddy's pleased, and of course he was...!) I got laughing this morning, though -- right after David's solo, watch our friends' daughter Lauren (front left) -- the look on her face is a riot and clearly expresses her thoughts about David's faux pas...!
Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Monday, December 10, 2007

My baby boy singing about baby Jesus

(The camera quit in the middle, and for whatever reason, part 2 is refusing to load, so I will try again later!) I have yet to watch this without getting teary-eyed -- not because it is such an incredible performance per se, but because it is incredible to see our little boy being able to hear, understand, and sing the song. He used to use made-up words for any song he sang because he couldn't understand what was actually being sung; we were so concerned that he would lose all of his natural hearing before he could learn what music really sounds, in addition to the simple fact that there is something especially poignant about little ones singing about our Saviour's birth, you understand why this is so incredible to me!
Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Emily Dickinson's birthday

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830...
a good excuse to re-read some of her poetry today!
She sweeps with many-colored brooms,
And leaves the shreds behind;
Oh, housewife in the evening west,
Come back, and dust the pond!

You dropped a purple ravelling in,
You dropped an amber thread;
And now you ’ve littered all the East
With duds of emerald!

And still she plies her spotted brooms,
And still the aprons fly,
Till brooms fade softly into stars—
And then I come away.

~Emily Dickinson

Friday, December 07, 2007

Remembering, 66 years later...

Remembering those who lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941, and during the aftermath.

I was not even alive at the time of this attack and yet I owe a debt of gratitude to those who lost their lives on that day and since for the freedoms I have today.
Thank you to all who have served in defense of our country.

Christmas decoration Dec. 7th

This elegant nativity set was given to us several years ago by my parents-in-law.
It graces our mantle front-and-center during the Christmas season.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A hearty appetite

As you can see, David thoroughly enjoyed a recent meal
of spaghetti with homemade sauce...

Regarding Bruce's method of housekeeping

Bruce read this quote to me yesterday and said that he was very much in agreement with it. Anyone who knows Bruce can picture the grin that accompanied this delivery...!
(FYI, before I posted this, I did ask him if it was okay to quote him!)
Household tasks are easier and quicker
when they are done by somebody else.
~James Thorpe

Christmas decoration Dec. 6th

Bruce let me pick out this rosemary topiary this year in lieu of our traditional poinsettia. I've always admired any kind of topiary, and this one smells lovely. If I can avoid killing it over the holiday season, I can then plant it outside in my herb garden, which would look really pretty!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A completed project!

Abigail has a beautiful red and black dress for this winter and I wanted David to have a coordinating vest to wear under his I bought some lovely red and black brocade with the intention of making said matching vest.

I must ruefully admit that I am notorious for buying the fabric -- and maybe even cutting it out -- but not actually finishing it. But this time, voila! Except for the buttons (which I need to purchase), it is done and ready to wear on Sunday for our Christmas program at church!
Now if only I could hire a housekeeper, I could sew for my family every day...! =)

Thanks again, Mom, for being on call for moral support!

A goodbye to "Grandma" H.

A dear lady from our NY church family went home to be with the Lord last is so sad to know that she is no longer here on earth with us, although there is sweetness in knowing that she is with her Saviour, reunited with her mom, and is no longer in pain... Our love goes out to her family during this time of grief.

Christmas decorations Dec. 5th

This musicbox, with the snowman who "skates" around to the music, was an obsolete product sample that I got to keep from the last outside- the-home job I had before I became a mom. The kids love to watch the snowman skate, of course, and seeing my kids fascinated by this one always sparks a childhood memory -- my Grandma O'Gorman had a musical skating thing that used to fascinate me as a young girl!

Cold treats

It's been cold here -- in the twenties at night -- and the air temperature stays cold, although the sun is warm enough that the kids can play outside without freezing. Yesterday they were outside for almost two one point, David ran to to door, all excited, to show me that they'd found a thick sheet of ice on top of the birdbath. A few minutes later, when I checked out the window, they were happily eating pieces of that ice...(yuck!) They were so disappointed when I suggested that they just feed that ice to the dog and not eat it themselves...sometimes moms are such party-poopers!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy 21st birthday, Caleb!

Happy birthday, Caleb!!!
Wish we were there to celebrate with you,
but we're looking forward to seeing you soon.
We love you!
...and congratulations on your promotion, too!

Christmas decoration 4th

Deb, a friend from our Chicago days, gave us this set of three burgundy and gold glitter-encrusted ornaments -- the camera doesn't show how beautifully they sparkle and reflect the colors of the tree lights...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sharing our Christmas decorations

I love to decorate for Christmas but always feel a little bit sad that I don't live close enough for most of my family or any of our long-distance friends to stop by and see them, so I decided that, each day in December, I will highlight one of our decorations. I have post-dated the first two and will try to keep track the rest of this month, at least until Christmas! They are in no particular order; I'll just pick one every day as we go along. Thanks for letting me share with you! (If any of my blogging friends/family would like to post their favorite Christmas decoration in response, just let me know and I will post a link to it! Or, for non-bloggers, if you email a picture I will post it on mine.)

Christmas decoration 3rd

Bruce proposed to me on Christmas Eve of 1997 and we were married in June of 1998. That first Christmas as husband and wife feels like such a long time ago!!!

This was a gift from my dad- and mom-in-law in 1998.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas decoration 2nd

This beautiful nativity set was a wedding gift from our dear friends (we think of them as family!), Fred & June Allen.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas decoration 1st

Of all my Christmas decorations, this one evokes the most nostalgic feeling. My mom had a tree almost exactly like this when I was growing up, and it was my favorite decoration for as long as I can remember. When I was getting married, I felt a little sad about having a home without THE tree, but it obviously was not something I was going to ask to take away from my mom! However, during our engagement, Bruce's grandpa passed away and we 'inherited' this beautiful tree from him -- so it has a double-fuzzy feeling for me, since it is like my childhood favorite and since it is a little piece of Bruce's grandparents' history, too.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Library Christmas gala

Last night our library held its annual Christmas gala, where they have crafts for the kids as well as Christmas music, drawings for prizes, a Scholastic book fair, and lots of Christmas trees throughout the library to look at and enjoy. We also picked out new books and videos to check out and the kids got to sit and play the computers for a while, which is a treat -- usually when we go to the library, we pick out our stuff and leave!

I tried to take a nice picture of the two kids in front of their favorite tree, but they were tired and here are the two pictures I have...a slice of real life!