Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Lullaby

Two years ago when I was tucking Erik into bed I decided to sing "Silent Night" since Christmas was just days away. He loved it. Nearly every night since then he has requested that song. We probably sing it about 300 times a year, and I'm not kidding. (Usually just verse 1)

I haven't grown tired of it. If anything I love the song even more as it has become a daily reminder of my Savior. The melody is calming. The words are simple. At times when we sing the song I might tear up but usually not. Mostly I feel hope. I feel peace. I feel that overwhelming love that our Heavenly Father has for each of us. I want my children to grow up feeling that too.

How wonderful that we have Christmas to honor Him.

Silent night. Holy night. All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace; Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night. Holy night. Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!
Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the Savior, is born!

Silent night. Holy night. Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at the birth; Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

Text: Joseph Mohr, trans. by John F. Young
Music: Franz Gruber

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Cookies & Snowflakes

Claire took a good look and then said, "what is that?"

That, my dear Claire, is a Christmas cookie. Erik style. But to answer her question, I think it started out as a snowman. Erik's decorating strategy is to load on as much frosting, sprinkles, and candy as possible.

The snowflakes today were enormous. It was like 5 regular flakes joined to make 1 gigantic flake. Erik was running around trying to catch them on his tongue. After church Jeff bundled up Megan (Erik and Claire can now get their snow gear on by themselves) and took the kids to the park across the street for sledding.

Getting ready isn't the undertaking it used to be. But the process still reminds me of a scene from the movie, "A Christmas Story" where the mom is bundling up Ralphie's brother to go to school. He is all big and puffy and can't put his arms down. Ralphie describes him as a "tick about to pop." While Megan is also all big and puffy in her snowsuit, she resembles a lavender marshmallow. On a snowy day there is nothing cuter than a toddler in a snowsuit.

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only improper clothing." I've heard a couple of variations of this quote and don't know the original source. But that part doesn't matter. I like the idea.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Amaryllis

Here is a sneak peek at one of our Christmas traditions. It is the official gift for our grandparents, school teachers & primary teachers.

In mid-October we buy a bunch of the amaryllis bulb kits and plant them. Over the next few weeks they are fascinating to watch grow. And when they is so unexpectedly pretty you can't help but smile. Some bulbs grow quickly and are ready to blossom by Thanksgiving while others creep along at a snails pace. Still others turn out to be duds, they shoot up leaves but seem to forget the part involving the stalk and blossom. This year out of the 14 we planted it looks like 2 will be duds.

Just because it is winter it is no excuse to not be surrounded by living growing plants. Plus I can move these potted plants around everyday and they don't mind a bit.