Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Christmas Poem (ish)

Twas the night before Christmas and cousins arrived,
The shocking thing only that Mom had survived.
The presents were wrapped, at least mostly, by then
And Momma was striving for Christmas-y zen.
The laundry was done; the house was quite clean
It really was such a picturesque scene--
As long as the closets and fridge were unseen.

Along with the cousins came uncles and aunts,
Grammy and Papa and Nana in pants:)
We sat down and feasted, then feasted some more
On roast and potatoes, and fresh rolls galore!
The salad was scrumptious, risotto divine
Fresh fruit was included so kids did not whine.

Then after dinner, with costumes on kids
We hopped into cars, headed off to the skids.
Not skids exactly-- I needed a rhyme--
We went to see old folks with plenty of time
On their hands, all alone on this Christmas Eve night.
To share with them music and scripture and Light.

Alas, Momma neglected her camera to bring
To capture the family who'd gone there to sing.
But each of the singers will not soon forget
The faces of those who beheld our small set
And sang along with us when they knew the tune
We knew that we'd come not a moment too soon.

Then home to new jammies and cookies set out
With milk and a note, then to bed with no pout.
For each child wondered, "Is it really true
That Santa will wait for my sleep to ensue
Before he leaves presents and stockings for me?"
Their parents assured them that thus it would be.

The poor parents bustled and bustled until
They at last went to bed with their hearts all a-thrill
At the thought of their kidlets' next morning reaction.
They restlessly tossed, tho fatigued, with distraction
Till six-thirty came and the children all raced
To see what in their stockings that Old Elf had placed.

M&Ms, toothbrush, and gyroscope too
Hexbugs and sunglasses, legwarmers blue
Candy canes, Legos, a little girl doll
Bakugan, Pez, oh, I can't name it all!
They stuffed in their mouths as much candy as fit
While we waited for grandparents over to get:)

Then we went to the tree, all the gifts to unwrap
My readers have no need to get a recap
Of each little thing, but with love we exchanged
Gifts with each other; no one was short-changed.
Then the Dads made us breakfast-- again we were stuffed
And Mommy remarked that her eyes weren't puffed.

She'd managed to make it through Christmas this year
Without ever shedding a melt-downy tear--
That is, if you ONLY count Christmas Day morn
For meltdowns are common at Christmas, we warn.
Perhaps she did freak out a few times before
But nothing like she'd done in Christmas of yore.

And next year she swears to go simpler, my dear,
In order to spread out that Christmas-y cheer
To soak it all up with her kidlets and kin
And not let the stress and consumer-ness win;
But she's said that before-- she is prone to forget
And overdo Christmas for many years yet.

Hope you had a merry, melt-down free Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Beginning To Taste A Lot Like Christmas

Christmas at our house means Christmas Cookies! Here we are making a family favorite. Click here for the recipe.

Margaret helped from her favorite location-- strapped to me in the Baby Bjorn, swiping at cookie dough and candy.

Later that day, we went over to Nana's for more baking. Bronwen helped us clean up after dipping the macaroons.

Today is Christmas Eve. We still have our sugar cookies to roll out and bake before I put the roast in. I guess I'd better get off the computer and back to the kitchen.

Hope your day is merry!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Under Construction

I've been playing this morning with changing the look of my blog. With a house to clean, laundry to fold, a baby to nurse, cookies and candies to make, there's no time like the present for changing my template!:)

I've really neglected my blog lately, but I just got a new camera and am determined to revisit one of my favorite hobbies-- writing on this little blog. New post coming soon with our Christmas preparations and updated photos. I hope you're having a marvelous lead-up to the holiday!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Peace at Christmas?

Most people will tell you that the Christmas season is their favorite time of year. The beautiful lights and decorations, the festive music playing everywhere, the parties, the food, the presents, the time spent with family—indeed, there is something magical about Christmastime.

For some of us, particularly mothers, Christmas is also the busiest time of year. We make lists and check them twice, then three times. We fuss about the decorations and lights; we schedule the parties we want to throw and those we want to attend; we bake more than any other time of year for events at church, school, and work, for our neighbors and friends; we plan, shop for, and wrap countless gifts; we plan activities for our families to soak up the season; we do something special for those less fortunate. All this service to our family and others should be richly fulfilling, and yet we often end up feeling exhausted and let down (and a little relieved) when the season wraps up. That’s not what Christmas should be about. There is no peace in the running ragged that I catch myself doing in December in an attempt to do it all.

Today I wanted to focus on bringing peace to our season of celebration. The angels who sang at the birth of Jesus proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” (Luke 2:14) Centuries before His coming, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). And during His earthly ministry, Christ taught his disciples, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace” (John 16:33).

Christ offers us peace if we will but turn unto Him. We often think of turning to the Lord for peace during times of trial and suffering, but we can and should look to Him every day for peace in our lives.

In my own life, I have seen a direct correlation between me making the effort to seek the Lord’s guidance and spirit through prayer and scripture study and the peace I experience in my daily activities.

Galations 5 teaches: “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance . . .” As a mother, I desperately need those things in my life, and yet when life gets hectic, the simple acts of calling on the Lord and seeking to know His will are sometimes neglected. Instead, I race from one thing to the next, snapping at my husband and children because I feel overwhelmed with all I have to accomplish. Later, when I find myself on my knees, begging for the Lord’s assistance as I struggle to cope with my day, he gently reminds me that I rushed up and out that morning, plunging right into my to-do list and responsibilities without first seeking Him. Again. Why must we learn the same lessons over and over?

Christ has said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelations 3:20). Are we too busy to hear him knocking? We believe in Him, but are we opening the door and letting him in to sup with us?

In these final days leading up to Christmas, I want to challenge myself and each of us to set time aside each day to ponder the great gift of our Savior; to read of His birth, His life, and His marvelous atonement; and to pray to our Heavenly Father, offering thanks for the gift of His Son. Then, we will have his peace in our hearts. Then we will be better able to give of ourselves to our family and friends. We will be better equipped to choose wisely how we spend our precious time and energy. We will feel true joy, happiness, and peace that can come only from the Savior of the World. As Christ taught His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:27).

I know that He lives and loves us. I know that He desperately wants to give us the peace that He promises, that our hearts may no more be troubled. I know that He is the Savior of the world, without whom all would be lost. I am so grateful for His willing sacrifice so that we might have eternal life; and that, though I stumble and make mistakes constantly, He continues to stand at the door and knock for me.

Monday, December 14, 2009


We've been studying medieval China, Japan, and Korea the past couple of weeks and today for our writing time, I decided to introduce the boys to haiku. It happens to be the oldest form of poetry still in use today, dating back from the 13th century. If you're not familiar with haiku, here are the rules:
  • 3 lines, with 5 syllables/7 syllables/5 syllables
  • non-rhyming
  • The theme is always nature
Here's what we came up with:

Blazing Desert
by Kimball T.

Hot is the sun, bright.
Scorching is this desert heat--
Bones lay all around.

by Henry T.

Brown squirrel scurries,
Nuts and berries in his mouth--
Prepares for the snow.

Winter's Eve
by Michal T.

Bitter wind blowing.
Darkness falling, chills the bones.
Trees bend, shivering.

Now it's your turn! It doesn't have to take a long time to write haiku. We'd love to hear yours.