Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday. Yeah!

Go ahead... PARTY all night!! You know you want to!

See ya next year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Have you wondered where I've been???

I can't believe that Christmas is less than a week away. Where has the past few weeks gone???

Last week (Tuesday) we had our Ladies Christmas party for the girls at church. It was fun. We exchanged gifts and I ended up with some cozy, fuzzy pink socks. And a little bag that Abby has claimed as her own. We also spent some time encouraging one another. Oh yeah, and the food was good, too.

When I got home that night, Abby had a fever of 103. Poor thing. Some of her cousins had been sick the previous weekend and now she was getting her share of the virus. Thankfully, all that accompanied the fever was a runny nose. Nothing else has been runny. Thank you, Lord!! She still had a fever Wednesday evening and had to miss Rainbows at church. She was devestated! She kept telling me, "Mommy, I feel better. Can I go to Rainbows?" I felt so bad for her.

She was feeling much better by Thursday evening.

Friday morning, Billy got a couple of cavities filled at the dentist. And I was watching Mama Lily's kiddos while she had her dental consultation.

That afternoon, Abby had her 3-year check-up at the Pediatrician's office. She officially weighs 27 pounds and is 35 and 3/4 inches tall. That puts her in the 10% for weight and 25% for height. Mom told me later that Rachel was 36 inches when she turned 2. I think that Abby will be one of the shorter ones in the family. Which is another reason why we want to adopt again from China - so that Abby will have someone like her in the family.

Friday evening was the cousins' piano recital. They all did very well. Abby stood in the isle and did little dances to the jazzy piano tunes. Good thing we were sitting in the back. I can't wait to get her into a dance class of some sort. I know she'll love it.

Saturday morning was Puk Puk's birthday party. And that afternoon was Children's Choir practice. I have been practicing a couple of songs with the kids at church so they can perform at the annual Christmas Dinner.

Children's ChoirSunday night was the dinner. For the past five years, we have also had a Variety Show as the entertainment portion of the evening. Each year, members of the congregation share their talent in the form of singing, reading poetry, skits, etc. It is always quite entertaining. This year was no exception. I was proud of the children's choir. They did great. And the youth group's skit stole the show.

Monday was the day to recover from all this flurry of activites.

Wednesday evening, Billy and I are going to the Cleveland Orchestra to hear the Christmas portions of Handel's Messiah. I am so excited! We were able to get half-price tickets through Billy's employer.

We still have one more Christmas party - Thursday night for the Youth Group. That should be the most fun party of the season. Those kids are hilarious! We enjoy being with them. I'm sure I'll have hi-lites for you on Friday.

Friday, December 15, 2006


BooMamaWelcome to BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes. This is the first time I've participated in something this big. It's exciting! Hope you enjoy my little Christmas corner of "Bloggyville." And then go check out all the other Christmas tours.

My Spiced Cranberry Cider is simmering on the stove. Ahhhh. I love that aroma. The recipe is below. Would you like a cup while you look around?

I just have a couple things to share with everyone. The first is our Christmas tree. I've done it in mostly blue and white as those are my favorite decorating colors. You can see some of my favorite ornaments by looking over this past week's posts. A fiber-optic angel graces the top. I love how her wings and dress light up with different colors. Subtle and elegant.
O Christmas Tree

My favorite Christmas collection is my Nativity Sets. They come from all over the world: Italy, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Israel, and the U.S. (probably made in China). My mom made the ceramic angels when I was growing up. And the Little People set was a birthday gift for my daughter when she turned one.
Nativity Scenes

I hope you enjoyed your cider. It is my favorite Holiday recipe that my best friend from Texas gave to me.

Spiced Cranberry Cider

2 quarts apple cider
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice
4 long cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Remove spices and lemon slices. If you like, you can float fresh lemon slices in each cup as it is served. Makes about 25 servings.

I hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite things and you'll stop by again some time.

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chinese Girl

China GirlI bought this ornament last year for Abby. I ordered it from Asia For Kids. They have dolls, videos, books, and pretty much anything you could want with an international theme for kids - not just Asian.

With all the little blond girls (angels and other ornaments) on the tree, I thought it would be nice to have one that looks like Abby. I'll be looking for more in the coming years.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Snow People

You've been seeing a lot of my ornaments this week and I thought you might be missing seeing the pictures of Abby.

Here she is decked out in all her snow gear. She is ready for some serious snow fun! This was taken last week when we got less than an inch. She prays almost every night for God to make it snow "lots and lots." We keep waiting.
Snow Much Fun

And so as not to deviate too far from the ornament theme I have going this week, I present you with Abby's second ever handmade ornament. She made it at Play Class last Friday. And the best part is... SHE WROTE HER OWN NAME ON IT!!! And you can totally tell what the letters are. I am so proud of her! Wow! And she's only 3.
Abby's Snowman

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Two Hearts

Today's Christmas ornaments are hearts. And they're both international.

I can hear a collective, "Oooooooooooo." :)

This first one is from my brother. He bought it while he was stationed in Germany. I love the way the light reflects on it, and that it is so delicate.
Glass Heart

This next heart was purchased on our trip to China. We visited a Cloisonne factory in Beijing. It is fascinating how this process works - so many steps and it is all handmade. We bought several ornaments while we were there. We gave them away as gifts but I kept this one for us because, well, it's a heart. :) And it has a pretty pink rose on it.
Cloisonne Heart

Monday, December 11, 2006

The White House

This is my newest Christmas ornament. I purchased it this past summer while on a missions trip with our Youth Group. In July, eight youth and three leaders (including me) went to Washington DC to pray for our nation. We prayed outside the Supreme Court along with members of the Justice House of Prayer. We also visited The Capitol and our Congressman's office as well as other monuments and landmarks around the city.

We did not get to visit inside the White House but I saw this ornament for sale when we were having a tour of the Pentagon (given by my brother.) My sister has collected these White House commemorative ornaments for several years and so that added to my desire to have one. (Click my sister's link to see some of her previous years' ornaments.)

The White House 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Star of Bethlehem

I love this little ornament. It is not flashy. It is small and simple. I love the contrast of the blue star and the white figures.

Another reason that I like it so well is because it was given to me by my "other set of parents" growing up - Jerry and Dora Ann. They are very special people to our family. Our families would get together for almost every holiday on the calendar and birthdays as well. I loved to sit on Jerry's lap. And Dora Ann made great brownies. They had converted their garage into a Christian Bookstore and we would wander around looking for treasures. This ornament was one such treasure.

Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus
Click on the image to view larger.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bear Ornaments

The tree is finally up! Yeah! Now the rest of the house needs some TLC. All those boxes and bins from the attic really take their toll.

One of my favorite things to collect is ... bears! Boyds are my favorite. I have a couple Boyds ornaments and some other bear decorations. This year, I decided to put Shagga on the tree. I put a blue bow on him so he would match the other ribbons and bulbs. I think he looks cute. See for yourself.
Bears on our Tree

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's Beginning to Look A *Little* Like Christmas

This is as far as I've gotten... but it's a start! Putting the tree together and getting the lights strung (thank you honey) is the biggest job anyway. The rest is the fun stuff!

This is Abby's first hand made Christmas ornament. It just warms my heart!

Hopefully by the end of the weekend all the decorations will be up. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's Hunting Season In Ohio

But I don't think this is what they had in mind.

Billy's Car

This is Billy's poor car after a run-in with a deer at 6:45 am on Tuesday. Thankfully, the deer hit only on the front and not into his door. As soon as he hit, the hood of the car flew up and covered the windshield. Billy was able to keep composure and slowly come to a stop along the side of the hiway. God was certainly protecting him!

No, we did not get to keep the deer. It disappeared into the fog and snow over the bank. Poor thing. Not a great way to start the day. He did leave a little souvenier under the hood. There was fur all over the engine.

Deer Fur

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Look Inside

Yesterday, at Abby's "Play Class," I was having a conversation with the other mothers around the rice table (it's a sand table with rice substituted for the sand). The fact that I was engaging in conversation with ladies I don't know was in itself a step outside of myself.

We were commenting on the ages of our children and what sizes they wore.

Mother #1: My daughter just turned two but she's no longer fitting in the 2Ts.

Mother #2: My daughter's the same way.

Me: Abby just turned 3 and she wears 24 month size.

We kept talking for a few more minutes on this subject.

But soon it turned to birth weights. One commented that her first one was big and the second was bigger. I heard the other say, "Susie was 11.5 pounds but she just popped right out." The conversation continued on to include epidurals and other child birth experiences.

And I wonder if they even noticed that I had stopped talking.

I'm not really sure what to do in those situations. I obviously have no experience with pregnancy and delivery. Before Abby, these conversations would have depressed me.

It did cause me to stop and think about my response - or lack of response.

I am not usually interested to hear of a childbirth story because I have nothing to relate it to in my own life. Nor do I have the hope (anymore) of that experience happening in my life. Dwelling on these things tend to get me down. It's as if I have not had this "right of passage" into womanhood and am therefore disqualified because of it. I guess I am still dealing with this "loss" in my life.

But I AM a mom, and that should count for something. Right?

I guess I could have told the ladies that I WISH I would have had an epidural or other powerful drug to get me through 14 hours in a plane (both ways) to "deliver" my baby. And how we endured culture shock and weird food. And had an 11 month old baby who was so distraut over the whole experience that she cried a lot and wouldn't eat.

But they probably don't want to hear about it cause their experience isn't relative to mine.

I'm still wrestling with this. I don't have the answers, yet. My heart is still healing.