Last Christmas (kind of like this Christmas season), I took a blogging break. It wasn't really planned on, it just sort of happened. I was busy. Busy enjoying my family.
Anyway, when I finally logged back on, and began visiting blogs again, I came across this fun
Christmas quiz. But since Christmas was over, I couldn't bring myself to fill it out and post it. So what did I do? I saved it, for this year! Lucky you :)
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?Given the choice of these two, I'd choose hot chocolate, but really, I'd choose a piping hot Tom and Jerry! 2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?He wraps them ~ I sure hope the elves help! 3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Tree ~ colored (I try every year to convince the kids to let me put white lights on the tree.....so far, they are holding out!), House ~ white 4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. Not sure why, just don't. 5. When do you put your decorations up?Typically the week following Thanksgiving, however this year it was 2 weeks after since hubby went on a week long hunting trip with his dad. Couldn't do it without him ~ it's a family affair. That and I can't carry the tree by myself :) 6. What is your favorite holiday dish (not including dessert)?Hmm.... I don't really have one, they are all so good. I hardly ever make mashed potatoes or gravy, so I always look forward to that... and green bean casserole. 7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Talking with my brother through our vents and him sneaking up to my room (from his room in the basement) and us playing cards all night because we couldn't sleep. 8. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yep, we are always with hubby's family and we exchange gifts with them. 9. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Colored lights, sheer red ribbon and lots of ornaments. Some are from my childhood, ones I made or received. Some are random ones I've purchased as gifts for the kids or hubby, or just because I liked them. And, my mom purchases the kids each an ornament each year, the kids love looking for their special ones! 10. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it! Last Christmas there was none and it felt a little wrong! 11. Can you ice skate? I can skate forward ~ not backwards very well. 12. Do you remember your favorite gift? A purple bike with a sparkly white banana seat. 13. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Relaxing and spending time with my family 14. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Probably my mom's cherry pie ~ I have the same recipe, but it just tastes better when someone else makes it :) 15. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Growing up we would always go to mass on Christmas Eve, come home, eat pizza, clean up, then open up gifts from each other. Now we are constantly going from house to house trying to see all of our family, but I still carve out an evening with just Hubby and the kids to eat pizza and open up gifts from each other. 16. What tops your tree? A grapevine star 17. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving. I love searching for just the perfect gift for each person on my list. 18. Candy canes: yuck or yummy? I'm indifferent. 19. Favorite Christmas show?I like the Polar Express 20. Saddest Christmas song? Christmas Shoes 21. What is your favorite Christmas song? There is no way, I can choose just one. I love Christmas music and play it constantly from the day after Thanksgiving until just after Christmas. 22. And finally, what is your favorite Christmas cookie or candy? Toffee.... I love toffee! I'd love to hear some of your answers! Leave them in a comment, or if you blog about it, be sure to let me know!
The before school bickering. The endless questions. The interrupting. The whining.
The love. The smiles. The joy. The carefreeness. The easy laughter. The snuggles.
These are the things I have been thinking about lately. Especially when the top four seem so prevalent some days. Because my kids are still on this earth. Still here with me, while so many parents and families are unable to say the same.
Like all of you out there, my mind has been reeling and my heart breaking over and over and over again the past few days. Why, why, why........... The tears have come and come some more. We will never understand ~ what, why or how. We will never understand the depth of pain too many families are feeling right now. And all I know to do is to pray. I am praying hard ~ and I am loving and holding and cherishing every minute.
As I wrapped presents today, I thought of the many that will go unopened.
As I baked cookies with my girls, I prayed for the families who won't hear the laughter and "sprinkle" debates fill the air of their kitchens. Noises that should be there. But are not.
And while I feel so much sadness, I am reminded in Matthew 24:36
"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,
but only the Father."
So I will continue to pray. Pray for those families who lost their "babies"their son's and daughters, the staff and teachers, they are daughters, girlfriends, mothers, wives and so much more to so many. But that is not where my prayers will end ~ there are so many who hurt, who need, who are lost, hungry, abused, and forsaken. Many who need forgiveness and love. But there is also so, so much to be thankful for ~ for people ~ for things ~ for words and actions.
And I will continue to love ~ love those I randomly encounter throughout the day (a bag of chocolates for the mail man, a door held for a stranger, a smile, a compliment) and especially for the family I have. The ones who are always on my mind and completely in my heart.
And we will continue to love, laugh, learn and make memories. As we did tonight.
Sassy has been on my case since I wrote about what her brother and sister are in to right now. She has not let me forget that I need to write about a few of her current favorite things. So, here we go, these are a few of the "things" my 11 year old Sassy is in to.
Like her brother, #1 is the same:
1. iPod Touch Sassy definitely likes her iPod. Like her brother, she also saved her money to purchase this herself. She doesn't have a cell phone, nor is there one in her near future, but she does use this to text a handful of friends as well as for games and music.
Sassy likes to read. And like me, she likes to read lots of different types of books. But one of her favorite authors has to be Rick Riordan. He is the author of The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (starts with the book "The Lightening Thief"), The Kane Chronicles series ("The Red Pyramid" ," The Throne of Fire", and "The Serpent's Shadow") and The Hero's of Olympus series (which includes 3 books and begins with book, "The Lost Hero").
Well, here I am. Finally taking the time to sit down at the computer and get a few words out. It's been a couple of crazy weeks ~ Thanksgiving travels, Hubby gone for a week, kid stuff, home improvements. The list goes on and on, but finally I'm stopping to breath and do one of my favorite things. Blog.
And since today is Thursday, I thought I would embrace the camera. And this is easy for me this week. You see, last night we decorated our Christmas tree. Christmas music was playing in the background. The kids were arguing over whose ornament was whose and who got to hang up the next one.... it was pure loveliness. No really though, besides the occasional, "No, that's my ornament, I get to hang it up." and "Moommm, can I do the next one?" We had a fun time.
Once the tree was decorated, of course I had to break out the camera.
First for a first look at the fully decorated tree
Then a couple in front of it
Sassy girl and I
Hubby and I
It was a fun night. Full of reminiscing over ornaments (like the ones that were glued back together after the fully decorated tree tipped over a couple of years ago), enjoying the picture ones, seeing how much everyone has grown and of course personal ones ~ like Smileys favorite "Minnie and Mickey" ornament, Action's "Elvis" ornament, Sassy's ice skating ornament and the "Santa Clause" ornament I painted when I was in 8th grade ~ way back in 1989 :)