Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas celebration
with my parents, old friends, and new!

My parents were here for a week.
Occasionally, we got out of the house...
After a visit to the newly re-opened museum, we headed over to the National Tree.

Christmas Day started early. Hannah was up first... at 5:20. We sent her back to her room until 6. That seemed much more reasonable.

I can't believe I took a picture with that pacifier in Peter's mouth. It's really got to go. I'm just so scared about losing a nap with it. : )

The boys racing down the stairs.

Peter asked for a saxophone. That's all he wanted.

I had fantastic kitchen help. My parents.For Christmas Dinner, we had some friends join us. Our friends that feel more like family - MaryZ, Patrick, and their boys, Wills and Connor, came over, as well as a wonderful woman from our church. It was a sweet time of celebrating our Savior.

Hannah and baby Connor

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hark! The herald angels sing,

"Glory to the newborn King;

Peace on earth and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled!"

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,

Join the triumph of the skies;

With th' angelic host proclaim,

"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Joy and Peace to you and yours this Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Journey

Each morning, the kids find they have moved a little closer...
... closer to Bethlehem, and the stable full of animals
... in the Living Room.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh What Fun!

My in-laws treated us all to a fun-filled day in Manhattan yesterday. This was the kids' first time in the city. And what a perfect time of year for their first time! The Radio City Christmas Spectacular was the main event... 90 minutes of pure fun! During the show, we were taken on a 3-D ride in Santa's sleigh, swirling around the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building (the kids' favorite part). It actually snowed in the audience! The Rockettes were incredible! The whole thing was, well, Spectacular! Inside Radio City Music Hall,
getting ready for the show.the Rockettes as Rag Dolls in Santa's Workshop
Catching snowflakes on her tongue,Hannah soaked up the whole experience!
And this place was a big highlight...
Rockefeller Center
Thanks, Nana and Papa, for a fabulous, memory-filled day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mr. Tchaikovsky & The Nutcracker

For December, we have been learning about Tchaikovsky and Handel, and filling our home (and car) with their music. The Classical Kids CDs are a big hit for time in the car. Tchaikovsky Discovers America is our new favorite, thankfully. I was getting pretty tired of Mr. Bach Comes to Call, which was requested by all three every time we got in the car. We listened to Hallelujah Handel! once and felt the subject matter was a bit heavy for our crew. The Amazon reviews say the same.

Hannah and I enjoyed *two* Nutcracker Ballets over the weekend. It was so exciting for me to see her truly enjoy the music, and be so familiar with it. "Tea" is her favorite.

A dear friend called Friday morning to ask if there was any chance we could get to the 1:30 show at the Kennedy Center, their friends had to cancel. So, we skipped on over in our Christmas finery, sat in the Orchestra section, and enjoyed the most perfect production of the Nutcracker I had ever seen. It was a pure magic! A delightful confection! Thanks for thinking of us, McIntyres!

Saturday evening, Hannah and I went to a much smaller production to cheer on Lulu, one of her best friends. It was adorable... full of lots of mistakes and waving to mom in the audience.

Which one was her favorite? "The one with all the little girls... and Lulu." : )

Thursday, December 11, 2008

5 Years Old

Today is Will's big day! We celebrated by having a few friends over for fun and cupcakes.

He really wanted to have a Monster Truck theme. Not really sure what to do about that, I ordered a couple sets of "Custom Shop" Monster Trucks. It turned out to be a big hit.
Thanks, Mema and Grandpa! He *loves* the guitar!Hannah spotted a gift at the toy store last week she was sure Will would love. So, she enthusiastically spent all her tooth fairy/birthday money to get it for him. I was really nervous he would not be as thankful as I wanted him to be this morning. He was. She was so proud. Sweet girl.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If Only...

the rain falling outside was snow...
Hannah and Will enjoyed using oil pastels to create these fun snowmen.
Peter and Will have been asking for a wreath for their bedroom door.
So, to keep the little guy entertained, I came up with this...
wadded up tissue paper glued to cardboard. Ideally, I would have had different shades of green tissue paper on hand. I'm positive Peter did not care.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thank you, Heidi!

I was thrilled to find a package from Oregon on my doorstep today. Thanks to Heidi at Mt. Hope, I have 4 beautiful books to add to my shelf. I'm placing The Little French Girl by Anne Douglas Sedgwick at the top of my 2009 reading list.
Thank you again, Heidi, for the lovely gift!

Dates with Dad

Hannah and Dad went to the Kennedy Center last Thursday night to see The Trumpet of the Swan: A Novel Symphony. I love that when I told Hannah to go change her clothes for the show, she responded with, "Oh, I have the perfect dress!"

These pictures are not very good, but... The next day, my sweet husband took all three to DAR Constitution Hall to see the Air Force Band's Holiday Concert for Kids. I stayed home and prepared for our Christmas party.

The White House is just next door. Here's the White House tree. Not nearly as lovely during the day, surrounded by fences and cranes.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I was giddy when I climbed in bed last night at 10:15... needing rest after a fun, but exhausting weekend.

Not 5 minutes later, my anticipated night of sleep was replaced with caring for a sick two year-old...cleaning floors at 3am... trips up and down the stairs, to and from the cold basement laundry....

Monday began. The house still out of order from our Christmas Party, piles of laundry on all levels, nothing really to eat. School couldn't seem to get started. There were tears over Math. Aggravation with each other for tapping feet, humming, breathing too loudly....

Everyone. Grumpy.

I cross off most things on our school schedule for the day. And focus on surviving.

Will... on my bed looking at books. Hannah... reading in her room. Peter... crashed on the couch.

I sit down at the computer and read this.

And I pray... and thank God for this woman I don't know... for words that encourage... on days that seem desperately fruitless....

"Aren’t the prayers of our days more important than the products of our days?

And the prayers are the genesis of all that can withstand the flames: love, patience, faith, joy, hope. Our prayers make our work acts of praise; our prayers make our work acts of passion for these people living here. These people we love more than life.

....I’m learning it’s always time to pray. Because the house where He lives is a house of prayer and it’s the only way I can keep mine standing."

from http://www.aholyexperience.com/... visit often.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Only Peter

So, we are at Party City and Peter is begging me for m&ms. I say, "no," without looking in his direction. I ask him to move along.

"I can't. My head is stuck."

Oh my. Peter's entire head is inside the yellow m&m guy and I cannot get it out.

What feels like 12 moms, who are all very concerned, gather around. Each one of them has an idea. And they are all telling me about when there kid's head was stuck in you name it....

I am really. trying. not. to. laugh. No one else is laughing.

Then strangers are tugging at Peter's head. A woman who works there says she has called 911 and they will be here soon.

Oh my.

Peter begins to cry. Hannah gets very worried and begins to cry. Will is showing me a football hat he wants.

Finally, we turn the display upside down and free his head.

Peter looks at me and asks, "Please, can I have some m&ms?"

The woman asks me if I would like her to cancel the 911 or have him looked at by an EMT? Umm... I think he's just fine.

All three kids get m&ms. And I get out of there.

Only Peter. : )

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Antique Books

Have you every read The Library by Sarah Stewart? I haven't read it lately, but it is a delightful read about the life of a book lover, Elizabeth Brown. She fills her life with reading and her home with books. In the end, she moves out and turns her home into a Free Library.

My husband has become friends with an Elizabeth Brown of sorts. Only all the books are antiques.

On Monday, he traveled up to Pennsylvania to spend the day with an antiquarian book collector/seller. My husband has enjoyed collecting a dozen or so antique books over the years. But this man... well, for my husband it is like spending a day with Santa. Thankfully, he didn't purchase anything Monday, but he did take a few photos for me. After looking at the photos, my first question was... "What does his wife think about all this?"

the cover page from my husband's 1644 copy of Luther's commentary on Galatians

a page from my husband's Bullinger's Decades (1587). I just read the excerpt... oops, maybe I should have picked a different passage. : )

These photos are from Monday....

These are all Bibles... And this one is a 13th century manuscript!
Just on a shelf among many in this man's house!
He has many of his books re-bound by an talented book binder... Beautiful!
This man keeps no catalog of books... he just looks around until he finds what he is looking for (or not) in his 3-story home. No "2nd flight, 3rd step, 2 rows back." My husband did tell me that the dining room table is clear of books, where he enjoyed a lunch of grilled cheese, soup, and fascinating conversation. What an interesting living.


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