Friday, December 31, 2010

Dear 2010

Dear 2010,

Today is the last day you will be with us, and I wanted to take this time to thank you for you've given us in the past 365 days, and to tell you that you will be missed. 

You've given me a lot of firsts this year -

first drive as a *permitted* driver

first blogging anniversary

first class taken at a community college

first and only sixteenth birthday :)

first blogging friend met

first Sunday as a sign language interpreter

You've given us our share of trials too - it's been an uncertain year in many ways. But through that, our family has learned to lean on the Lord more than ever - that's a treasure that we'll never forget and hopefully never lose. I've learned some important things about life and world, had ups and down with friendships, matured more as a sixteen-year-old (the most awesome age ever!) and matured more as a Christian.

Yes, 2010, you've been a good year and a good friend.

And 2011 - we're ready for ya! We're counting down the hours! And there's one really bizarre group of us in NYC who are watching a ball drop, shivering outside in the snow. They'll be happier to see you than anyone else :P

And Jesus, thank you for giving us 2010. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just a Note... let you know that our computer is currently in the shop...and will be for possibly the next two weeks. Hooray, right? Anyway, I know you probably weren't expecting me to post very much this week, but in case you're wondering why my background is still Christmas, etc. I just though I'd let you know. :D

I have loads of pictures, stories and more to share...but it'll all have to wait :/ Here's a few teasers - I'm now sleeping with a gun to my head *every night* all night long - I ate Darth Vader, so you don't have to worry about him bothering anyone anymore - I'm singing "...but there is something there that sounds so square, it's a grand old name..." - John-Boy is off to college! - my feet are toasty warm - Straight No Chaser music is awesome! - a suit is coming - ....and that's it :D

Old Year's Day is just around the corner!!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"And she brought forth her first born son, and 
wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger."

Up until today, I've mentioned different reasons why I enjoy the Christmas season, saving this all important point until today.

{5} The Birth of our Savior - Jesus Christ!!!
Today, as we exchange(d) gifts, I thought about what a marvelous Gift that YHWH gave to us over 2000 years ago - the gift of His Son. What an amazing thought that God Himself became a man, one of us, born in a stable to save us! What love! What sacrifice!

May the peace and joy and love of Christmas fill all of y'all today and always! 

Much love and many {{{{{hugs}}}}}

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

what I like about Christmas - two more points

{3} the memories
Christmas is memory making time at its best! My first Christmas memories are of a Christmas that we spent in Columbia, SC with my mom's parents. That year for our "big gift", we were given a big wooden table to build train tracks on. At that time in our family history, we were still firm believers in Santa Claus. (can't believe I admitted that...) I spent *many* an hour wondering and wondering how in tarnation Santa got that train table down the chimney! *laugh* And if that weren't funny enough, it was only four years ago or so that I was able to figure what really happened. *blush* (we stopped Santa a long time before that, but I still couldn't figure out the mystery! LOL)

Okay, so that was Jo's secret of the week day :P

{4} the food
Haha, seems I'll be letting more secrets here :D *chuckle* With a family of amazing cooks on both sides of the family, I have learned to appreciate good holiday cooking! When we celebrate with Mom's side of the family, the food is cooked Southern style and is probably the same menu my mom ate growing up :D On my dad's side, each dish is important and traditional and cooked in whatever way works best :P Grandma prepares all the food herself, always has. Sometimes she lets Julia, me, or the aunts help but that's rare :) The pies are cooked by my Aunt Janet or Mrs. FTR (or both) mostly. Counting the days till Saturday!!!! I always eat a ton on Christmas - even more than Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, I normally just eat "normally". On Christmas...I don't :D *chuckle chuckle*

Alrighty! Enough of that. Is this a post about Christmas or embarrassing confessions???

Back tomorrow with more Christmas-y posts!!!!

A Christmas Tag!

I haven't done a Christmas tag in....a year, just about :D This one is from my dear friend Nana, who tagged all of her followers :D

1. What is your one favorite dish to see on the table at Christmas dinner?
Hmm....well, all those lovely pies all lined up for us to dig into are a beautiful sight :) 
2. Do you have a Nativity scene or a creche? 
Do we have *a* Nativity scene??? How about seven? or more? :) We have lots of Nativity scenes around the house! My favorite one is the very fragile china one in the sunroom - except that the Mary is blond haired and blue eyed. :) 

3. What is your favorite Christmas movie? 
Unlike Nana, I've only seen a handful of Christmas movies. My absolute favorite one is "It's a Wonderful Life", closely followed by "The Nativity Story". I do love Rudolph, Frosty and the Grinch...and that's just about all I've seen. :D 

4. If you and your family could spend this Christmas in another country, where would you go? 
For Christmas? Umm....maybe Austria or Switzerland. 

5. Does your grandmother usually knit you something for Christmas, or does she give you something different -- say, a Wii? 
Neither of my grandmothers knit, so no to the first part of the question. One of my grandmothers finds us lots of unusual things for Christmas and birthdays, the other grandmother is a little more traditional but still finds some fun stuff for Christmas :D Neither of them have given us a Wii though *grin* 

6. Have you ever gone out of the house wearing a reindeer headband? What about a Santa hat?
Both, actually! But that was a very long time ago *chuckle* 

7.  Do you usually make or buy your Christmas gifts? 
This year I purchased all my gifts, but I have made things in the past. It really depends on my resources at the time :) Can't buy something with nothin' :P 

8. When do you set up your Christmas decorations? 
We normally set up our decorations on the weekend after Thanksgiving and draw it out all the next week. When we moved out here to the farm, we stopped putting up lights, so that's a lot less work we have to do :) 

9. What kind of activities does your church usually have at Christmas? 
The music director at our church is our piano teacher as well and she's put together some kind of Christmas program each year. This past year was huge and went off really, really well! 

10. Did you ever believe in Santa Claus as a child? 
You should see the post I'm about to put up *sheepish grin* 

11. Which of the Gospels gives your favorite account of the Christmas story?
I've memorized Luke's account, as well as the story of the magi from Matthew, so either of those are probably my favorite. 

12. Have you ever acted in a Christmas pageant? 
This could be a post too...let's just leave it at I've acted in a Christmas-themed play - and made quite a few memories that I'm never going to forget :P 

13. Do you buy Christmas presents for your pets? 
Of course! Every year...we spoil them rotten :P 

14. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Maybe bumping down the stairs on Christmas morning....another post :P LOL.

I tag....everyone who has had their picture taken with Santa Claus at one point in their life :P

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

what I like about Christmas - two points

{1} the joy
I love the feeling in the air at Christmastime. The mercy, the love, the generosity. The Salvation Army bell ringers, the toy lift, the food bank, etc. Even non-Christians feel the joy of Christmas, they act it out, they participate - without exactly knowing why. :)

{2} the music
I love Christmas music! The radio is going full blast all day around here, we've probably every song they play by now. Here's my 2010 list of favorite Christmas songs that I've heard on the radio this year:

1. Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano (somethings never change :D)
2. 12 Days of Christmas - SNC
3. O Holy Night - Josh Groban
4. Silent Night - Susan Boyle
5. Mele Kalikimaka - Jimmy Buffet
6. The Gift - Aselin Debison
7. Grown-Up Christmas List - Amy Grant
8. Christmas Eve Sarajevo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
9. Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
10. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
11. Christmas Must Be Something More - Taylor Swift
12. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
13. Snoopy's Christmas - Royal Guardsman

....and the list goes on! I could just sit here and add songs and add songs.... :D My playlist has a good 42 songs for y'all to enjoy, so let that give you a bigger idea :D

....more points to come tomorrow!!! I'm out of time tonight :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Saturday Morning Daybook

If you want to join me, CLICK HERE and follow the instructions :)

It's been a few weeks, but here it is!

Date... December 18, 2010
Starting time... 8:28am
Outside my window...snow!!!!
I'm thinking...I wonder what we're doing today
I'm currently reading...Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Road Dahl (be happy, Gab and Vivi - I have begun the job!)
I'm listening to...Dad and Mama in the kitchen
I'm pajamas and warm fuzzy robe :D
I'm looking forward to...Christmas break!
I'm hoping...that I can get the December quotes quiz up really soon
Yesterday, I...went tubing at our local ski resort and had a scrumptious dinner at the base of the mountain later in the evening
I'm hungry for...nothing really
The song stuck inside my head is..."The Gift" sung by Aselin Debison (I hear it on the radio just about every day, plus Rachel and Sarah have it on their blog playlist :D)
I love...Continuous Christmas music!!!
I I'm feeling right now (sick)
This week, my goal *completely* finish every teensy little bit of school that may still be left so that I can start fresh in January!
Did I meet last week's goal?...I think so...
Ending time...8:32am :D

Thursday, December 16, 2010

still another holiday video!

After reading all of y'all's comments, I decided to go ahead and post up this video too. I was going to wait a few days, but it seems like most of y'all have seen it already :D Enjoy!

Christmas Can-Can
Straight No Chaser

Christmas, Christmas time is here, and Christmas songs you love to hear
thoughts of joy and hope and cheer, but mostly shopping, shopping, shopping
Christmas. Christmas time is here, the sleigh bells and red nosed deer
songs and songs we love to hear all played a thousand times each year

Heard this same song 20 times and it's only Halloween (Joy to the World)
It's not even cold outside (deck the halls with boughs of holly)

Christmas, Christmas time is here, and Christmas songs you love to hear
(Hark the herald angels sing joy to)
thoughts of joy and hope and cheer, but mostly shopping, shopping, shopping

Christmas season, starting sooner every year
It's October, stores with plastic Christmas trees
Ransack the mall, shop until you lose your mind
Spike the eggnog, sit back and watch
Rudolf, Frosty, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge the price, or Charlie Brown

It's time...
It's time to do the Christmas can-can
if you can't, can't dance well that's ok (not going to do the kick line)
All you need is a tree, some lights about a thousand presents
wrap them up and pray for snow
Run to your closet find your Christmas sweaters screaming carols all the way (fa-la-la-la-la)
Maine all the way to California it's the Christmas can-can Halloween to Christmas day 

It's the most wonderful time of year we're running mad with Christmas cheer
hey what's troubling you my friend?
It's not fair if your jewish, jewish (not fair if your Jewish, Jewish)

Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel I made it out of clay
You realize that Christmas ain't the only holiday

Hey he's right who made these laws
Look! Wait! Here comes Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Santa Claus, Santa Claus (Santa, Santa, Santa, Santa, Santa, Santa, Santa, Santa)

Hey Santa do the can-can help them if you can-can join in the parade
All you need is a tree, some lights about a thousand presents
wrap them up and pray for snow
Run to your closet find your Christmas sweaters screaming carols all the way (fa-la-la-la-la)
Prance all the way to Indiana it's the Christmas can-can that's the end

Wait for our ending
We should share this holiday
I wanna give a happy Chanukah to you, a happy Chanukah to you, a happy Chanukah to you
A merry Christmas, Chanukah and also Kwanzaa. 
Merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, and mer-ry Kwan-zaa too

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

happy anniversary!

Happy 20th Anniversary
Mama and Daddy!
December 15, 1990

another holiday video

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Straight No Chaser

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 
a partridge in a pear tree. 
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 
two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. 
On the fourth day of Christ-- 
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 
five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, 
two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree 

On the ninth day of Christmas, On the eighth day of Christmas 
my true love gave to me my true love gave to me 
9 ladies dancing 8 maids a milking 
8 maids a milking 7 swans a swimming 
7 swans a swimming 6 geese a laying 
6 geese a laying 5--- 
Better not shout, you better not cry, you better not-- in a pear tree 

On the ninth-- NO! 
On the eighth-- NO! 

On the seventh day of Christmas deck the halls 
my true love gave to me with boughs of holly 
7 swans a swimming here we come a wassailing 
6 geese a laying among the leaves so--- 
5 golden rings Faaa-laaa-la-la-la 
4 calling birds 
3 french hens 
2 turtle doves here we come a wassailing 
The boar's head in hand bear I among the leaves so green 
Bedeck'd with bays 

and partridge in a pear tree 

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 
11 pipers piping (ding) 
10 lords a leaping (dong) 
9 ladies dancing (ding) 
8 maids a milking (dong) 
7 swans a swimming (ding) 
6 geese a laying (dong) 

5 golden rings 
4 calling birds 
3 french hens 
2 turtle doves 
and--rudolph the red nosed reindeer! 

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me-- 

I have a little dreidel, I made it out of clay, and when it's dry and ready, my dreidel I shall play 
Oh dreidel....dreidel....dreidel..................(sorry) 

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me-- 

doo doo do do doot dooooooo-(do de do de do de do de do de) 
doo doo do do doot dooooooo-(do de do de do de do de do de) 

On the twelfth day my true love gave to me 
12 drummers drumming like olympus upon the serengeti 
11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping 

9 ladies dancing they were dancing for meeee 
8 maids a milking they were milking just for me 

I had Christmas down in Africa 
I had Christmas down in Africa 
I had Christmas down in Africa (5 golden rings) 
I had Christmas down in Africa (5 golden rings) 
I had Christmas down in Africa (5 golden rings) 
Couldn't deck the halls with the things we never had 

doo doo do do doot dooooooo-(do de do de do de do de do de) 
doo doo do do doot dooooooo-(do de do de do de do de do de) 
partridge in a big pear tree-(do de do de do de do de do de) 
partridge in a big pear tree

Aren't these guys hilarious?!?!?! Here in our town, someone requested that the radio station play this song. No one had really heard of them, but now our station and so many of the folks here in town are crazy about this band! We (with Dad) looked up a few more of their videos, and even though this one isn't about Christmas, I laughed till I cried. 
Here is Straight No Chaser's "Lion Sleeps Tonight":

I hope this brightened your day as much as it does mine whenever I see it :D When I was very small, my dad used to sing "Brown-Eyed Girl" to me (the chorus mostly) so the little bridge that they put into Lion Sleeps (the "shalalala" part) brought back some wonderful memories :D 

Love y'all bunches and have a wonderful Wednesday evening!