Saturday, December 31, 2011

last post

of 2011!

this past year has flown faster than i ever imagined it would. it's held many exciting events, as well as sad ones. i still cry, tommy. it's held a lot of firsts, and set up a path for many new adventures. i've had more emotional ups and downs this year than ever before. oh, it's been crazy - but crazy is fun.

this next year is going to be awesome.

really awesome.

i can feel it in my bones.

God, thanks for 2011. thank you for showing me what's really important in life. thank you for tommy and his testimony. help his family and all of us as we approach the one year mark. thank you for all the opportunities you've given me this year. thanks for the pool and the people i met there. help me continue to build those friendship and reach out. thank you for our wonderful church and our declaration of intent and baptisms this year. thank you for our farm, thank you for the time we got with caspian. thank you for our friends. thank you for our lives. thank you for love.
please let 2012 be just as amazing. teach us more, open our hearts, open our minds.
in Your holy Name.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

jolly holiday

oh, i'm having a jolly holiday! no cares in the world, just lying around the house doing diddly-squat.

sort of.

i am having a jolly holiday, i do have no cares in the world, but my "lying around" has simply extended to sleeping in until eight or nine each morning (i'm usually a five-thirty or six am riser), and i've been cooking a lot for new year's. but it's all fun stuff.

today, dad and all us kiddos went on a seven-mile hike that was rather vigorous and took all day. we got great exercise, saw some beautiful views, explored the wreck of an old plane (crashed in the 60s), and met two hikers at the little AT shelter off the path. we were all very tired and cold afterwards, and i changed into my pajama pants as soon as we got home :) *cozy*

yesterday, i talked on the phone with my dear Katy for an hour and half, since it was her birthday. oh, i can't wait to have y'all close to us again!!!!!!!

i've also been reading. the phantom of the opera exceeded all my expectations, and i felt like i was reading the "behind the scenes" of the musical - not a new story altogether, as some might think. also re-reading jane eyre, since i have my own copy now and no one can tell me not to mark it up :P just got the part when jane's walking around outside of thornfield hall and gets her first sight of mr. rochester. *shivers*

oh, and we have friends coming out for New Year's Eve, the Cavaliers' bowl game that night, another party on New Year's Day, a possible night at Grandma's next week, a high school swim meet to attend and pool friends to catch up with.....such a jolly holiday.

also, see this?
do you know what it's called?

it's called: new sewing project. definitely a jolly holiday. more info coming soon :)

are you having a jolly holiday?

Monday, December 26, 2011

something special

"it seems that the day holds something special/something holy, not superficial/so here's to the birthday boy who saved our lives/it's something we all try to ignore/and put a wreath up on your door/but here's something you should know that is for sure/Christmas must be something more...."
- christmas must be something more // taylor swift

for your information, i am still wearing my pajamas. yes, i am aware that it is almost bedtime again, but my pj pants are so warm and soft and brand new that i just couldn't bring myself to change. thanks leia, for the cozy gift :)

i'm also sipping a peppermint mocha - my new staple drink. four in two days. hmm. maybe not such a good idea....but all were decaf, so i will not have a headache tomorrow and thursday. (no "addiction" this time - haha.)

my poor tummy is not feeling the best at the moment - something to do with a sudden overload of sweets and food in general in a very short period of time. i think i shouldn't eat anything for about a week, just to start feeling normal again. not even thinking about maintaining weight - utterly pointless. in january. of course.

Christmas 2011 was just lovely. we celebrated with the maryland cousins on the day before Christmas Eve, and then with our in-town family on Christmas Day. lots of fun, lots of joy, lots of excitement. we missed Mark (first Christmas he's ever missed :/), but he was with us in heart and spirit, and all were pleasantly surprised when he called us in the middle of supper, using a hard-earned two minute phone call. Funny though, I thought he with us already. Hmmm. (^^see picture above ^^)

We also had Christmas on the 23rd with our cousins from out of state:

i also felt the miracle of the incarnation very strongly this year. i spent a lot of time meditating on the fact that the Holy Spirit actually worked with nature in the womb of a virgin (who was mostly likely younger than myself) to bring about the birth of God. birth of God? how amazing is that? God became man. just think about it. "fullness of God in helpless babe...." joy to the world! amen?

i think i said way back in August that i thought next summer would be the best summer of my life. i really didn't know why i said that, i just felt  it. well now, this summer seems to be shaping out to be just that. can't exactly tell you why yet, but lets just say it could involve a lovely several-week trip to new england :) plus more, of course. *excited jumping*

oh, something a little random: i spent about an hour on Christmas Eve making gift tags for presents. i'm very pleased with what i came up with. i love markers :)

and my brothers are now wearing make-up. oh joy!

okay, lovely people. i'm off to watch The Young Victoria (thanks Grandma!) and then to bed to dream away the beautiful night - because we all know that night time sharpens and heightens each sensation, and darkness stirs and wakes the imagination! *cackling*

really going now.



p.s. also got the book The Phantom of the Opera to add to my collection - been reading all day and am crazily in love with it :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

then one...froggy christmas eve?

I'm a singer. Always have been, and hopefully always will be. We have hours and hours taped of singing and dancing shows I put on, as well as private jam sessions in the kitchen or bedroom. When I was two, I had a large repertoire of songs and "acts" that Dad had taught me that I could perform at the drop of the hat.

One of those songs was "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - a song and movie I have loved since toddler-hood. (even the snow monster scared me every year :D)

As the story goes, when I was two or three (we were still living in our first house), I was heard to be singing Rudolph as follows:

"Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows
All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games
Then one froggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say
'Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?'
Then how the reindeer loved him, as they shouted out with glee
'Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history!"
I do actually remember arguing with Dad about the correct word - foggy or froggy - and "winning" the argument. (most likely due to Dad's 30-year-old maturity in not stooping to fight with a two-year-old)

Ah.....Christmas memories......

Thursday, December 22, 2011

christmas program 2011

to see pictures of last years program, click here. this year's program was unique 'cause Leia, Andrew and I wrote and directed the whole thing (with lots of help from other youth in the church)
calling the cast attention (pre-show)

ready for the big night! (Marie, R., Titty)

the choir


more scripture readers

regal wisemen

Herod (seated) and his entourage 
(notice the star of Bethlehem happily perched in the baptismal)

i love these guys - i'm sooo proud of them!

special music: o holy night

the shepherds watching their flocks by night


at the manger

Mary, Jesus, the donkey, Joseph, the Star
yeah, Avery! you did fantastic with Titus :)

the animals *loved* the wisemens' gifts :)

 the whole cast! what a crazy, lovable, totally awesome group of young people!

Merry Christmas from all of us to you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

white christmas

warning: this is a rave review. i love this movie - a deep heartfelt love. it makes me sniffle and sigh and look forward to the day when i have my very own knight on a white horse. i've seen it twice this month already, and most likely will watch it twice more. love, love, love. xoxoxo. <3 <3 <3.

two war buddies - Wallace and Davis. two sisters - Betty and Judy.

Due to an "angle" of Judy's, the guys come to see the girls preform:

Judy and Davis get along fantastic right from the start - and they're entire goal for the rest of the movie is to get Betty and Bob together...and don't even notice their own relationship :)
beautiful dance numbers throughout!

Unfortunately, the girls are in trouble with the police, so the guys help them out by sneaking them out the window and then stalling the officer by doing the girls act for them:
oohhhh it was funny :P "Sisters, sisters...."

The two acts end up in Vermont together over Christmas and start rehearsing a big show for Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, the two romances are going along just fine splendidly 
this scene is beyond adorable :)

...but then, the house keeper overhears a telephone conversation and tells it to Betty, and it puts Bob in a very bad light. She leaves the inn without telling anyone to start a career of her own in New York.

the male dancer in this picture is George Chakiris - 
most famous for his role as Bernardo in the film West Side Story

But her knight comes after her, and even thought it takes a while, it all turns out lovely in the end.

 Of course, I didn't give you a very good plot description, but that's because the plot itself is a little hard to explain. You just have to enjoy it :)

There's lots of dancing and musical numbers...

....some better than others for sure. *wink*

Oh, it's hard to tell you why I love this movie so much. I love Bob and Betty - a very realistic relationship. I love the knight on the white stallion analogy they use - my favorite one of all the "boy-girl" pictures. I love the shenanigans of Phil and Judy as they try to bring their two favorite people together. I love the friendships. I love the music. I love the dancing. I love Bing Crosby's voice :) I just love everything.

note: Titty (who loves this movie too - see a trend here?) observed that in many of the dance sequences the female dancers are pretty much wearing bathing suits with feathers. *snorty laugh* *coughing* Okay. Moving on. the warning: I know this sounds strange, but I've noticed that that doesn't seem to bother girls as much as it does guys. But since I know for a fact that Scraps has picked up at least three male readers in the past six months, I thought it only just and fair to warn you. Oh, you're welcome. I love you too :)

White Christmas (1951):
strength of characters: *****
strength of plot: **
overall: ************************************************** (that's 50. count!)

 "and may all your Christmases be white...."

not the best quality, but love it for my sake :P

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

life snapshot

just put my baby sister to bed. i love that girl with all my heart. after i'd diapered her (she still uses them at night), zipped her up in her "cozywarm" and was rolling around on the floor with her before reading a story, she stopped, got up on her knees, put her hands on her knees, grinned at me and said her adorable unique baby accent:

"i nee go pah-yi."

i just looked at her, thinking oh baby, i just got you in your pajamas....seriously? but i just said,


and then she added:

"i wah go en sissy's baff-room."

and then she really gave me a smile - one of those irresistable ones.

what do you say?

so i took her....and it wasn't really that much effort. :) and then we danced all the way back down the hallway, looking at ourselves in each mirror while i sang the chorus of a taylor song to add to the effect. i can't believe how fast she's growing up - seems like yesterday i held her in my arms when she was minutes old, with tears on my cheeks knowing that i had just witnessed the most beautiful thing in the world. i have tears in my eyes now remembering it. "oh, darlin' don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up, just stay this little...."

today we went to gab and vivi's while our little sisters (theirs and ours) were at another event. we had a little tea party, played scattergories, and then talked and listened to music and danced for an hour :) nothing like dancing to songs you all know the words to and love with the music up loud and no one within earshot to complain. love my friends! (and my music!)

we put our tree and decorated it the other day. leia and titty strung our porch with lights, and we're planning on putting the colored bulbs on the back porch later this week. the mantel has a lit garland on it, with three candles (the trinity) in the center. the advent wreath is lit each night, and the menorah is on the top of the piano. our umpteen nativity sets are all over the house, and either the computer, the cd player, the ipod or the radio is playing christmas music all day long. oh, i love christmas.

christmas song to share - my all-time favorite of the non-hymn songs:
we showed the little ones Rudolph tonight for the first time this season. my favorite of all the animated christmas movies! it never gets old. "there's always tomorrow for dreams to come true...."

hoping you have been blessed by the Christ-child during this season already, and that you all will feel His peace more and more each day.....

love you all - nighty-nite!

Monday, December 19, 2011

christmas in conneticut

Titty and I watched this movie about two weeks ago (no one else felt like staying up to watch a black and white movie :D) and afterwards, we just looked at each other and didn't really know what to say. It's definitely not your average Christmas movie.

It starts with Jefferson Jones - the war hero who gave his food to his buddy to keep him alive. In the hospital recuperating, Jones is in the best of moods...except for the fact that the nurses won't give him the food he wants. They keep saying his stomach isn't ready for real food since he went without it for so long.

His buddy, because he went without food for a shorter period of time, is getting all kinds of great food. He recommends that Jones make really good friends with his nurse so that she'd give him more food. ("the Magoo" technique) So, Jones ends up sweet-talking the nurse so much that she the two of them are as good as engaged.

But the problem is, Jones isn't in a real hurry to marry her. She thinks it's because he's never had a real home. So she decides to give him a real home experience so he'll warm to the idea.

They both love a magazine column written by a housewife with an eight-month-old baby living on a beautiful farm in Connecticut. This lady is an amazing cook and Mary (the nurse) writes to the editor to ask if her "Jeffy-boy" can visit the author's house for Christmas.

Sounds like a splendid idea? Exactly.

Except that....
..the columis - Elizabeth Lane- t is living an apartment in New York City, not married, can't cook, and gets all her descriptions of farm life and her beautiful farm house from her friend's farm in Connecticut.


So the movie is about Elizabeth's desperate attempts to first of all, get out of the situation, and then when that doesn't work, her hilarious attempts to re-create her ficitional home for Jeff.
In order to use her friend's house, she finally agrees to marry him. But due to timing and unexpected difficutlies, the judge is unable to finish the ceremony. So the couple just has to *pretend* to be married during the few days.

Oh, and they needed to have an eight-month-old baby really quick.
Elizabeth, Jeff, Mr. Yardley (editor), John Sloan (Elizabeth's pretend husband)

Too bad Elizabeth doesn't know how to take care of children. Good thing Jeff does. Unknowingly, he helps her *very* much by bathing and dressing the little one :)

Too bad Elizabeth doesn't know how to cook either. Good thing her dear Uncle Felix does. And good thing he agrees to come up to Connecticut with her.

Too bad Elizabeth falls in love with Jeff, since he's already "engaged."
Too bad Jeff falls in Elizabeth, since she's (to all apperances) "married."

The movie is full of funny moments, cute interactions, and well-written dialogue. Oh, and unexpected complications - like when the brown-eyed baby girl is changed for a blonde baby boy and then gets "kidnapped"....or when the nurse Mary Lee comes up to see her "Jeffy-boy" unexpectedly (and Elizabeth didn't know he was engaged)....or when the judge keeps coming back to the house to finish the wedding ceremony and has to keep waiting....when Mr. Yardley begs for Elizabeth flip just one pancake for him and she has to learn how in just a few minutes...

I will say, there are some awkward and not exactly appropriate scenes when Elizabeth is flirting with Jeff and she's supposed to be acting married and all...she asks some weird questions. (We do learn later that Jeff knew she was not married the whole time - the honorable Felix couldn't stand the deceit) But that's only a few minutes.
The last ten or fifteen minutes of movie just had me watching literally with my mouth open - couldn't believe all that was going on :) But we had a fun evening, Titty and I. :)

So, I would recommend Christmas in Connecticut if you want something....different and funny. Just don't expect it to be anything particularly profound: just cute.

Christmas in Connecticut - Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, S.Z. Sakall
strength of characters: ***
strength of plot: ***
overall: ****