Thursday, December 27, 2007

A little more Christmas....

It is such a blessing to have so much family living so close by. As a result, we get to extend Christmas one more day in order to spend leisurely time with everyone! Here is a glimpse of more Christmas fun.....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Morning

Merry Christmas Everyone! May you be blessed to spend time with loved ones doing what you love to do!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

When life gives you LEMONS....


Granny and Grandad have a lemon tree and we are thouroughly enjoying it's fruit this year!

Christmas Eve~Eve

This year the Ryan family gathered on the eve of Christmas Eve to enjoy a traditional lunch and then exchange some gifts and attend our church service together. A good time was had by all and we especially enjoyed having our cousin James with us as his counts were high enough for him to join us...our own Christmas miracle.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

'Tis the season

As mentioned in the holiday quiz, I have been working on getting the perfect (and ever-so-evasive) Christmas card photo. So very soon you should be receiving yours in the mail. In between cookie timers yesterday, I went online and ordered the cards and they will be ready to pick up today. I will race to process the addressing and stamping and get them to you sometime the week before Christmas. Yay! I thought you may enjoy some of the photos that led up to the one we finally chose (which you shall see when it arrives is far from perfect, but fun nonetheless!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Holiday Quiz

Kathryn had this on her blog and asked all her fellow blogging friends to answer this questionnaire. I have seen dozens of variations of this type of deal where bloggers "tag" each other to answer random questions about their husbands and various other topics and I have ignored them to this point, but I have not blogged about anything recently, so, here I go:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?Both, but when you do most things last minute like I do, gift bags are lifesavers!

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, it lasts longer. Maybe if we lived someplace where we could hike up a mountain in the snow and chop down our own and have sap sticking to our fingers as we try to read in bed that night....

3. When do you put up the tree? As soon as i get around to it, usually soon after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down ? As far into January as I feel I can get away year it may have even been February. I have a hard time letting go.

5. Do you like egg nog? Never tried it. What exactly is it? May have to google the ingredients.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hands down, it was 1974. My mom was expecting and delivered my very own sister on Dec. 23. They brought her home in a stocking. She was the gift that keeps on giving.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? I have one nice one that is ceramic and broken in places from kids and so many moves. As a result of that, I also have 3 for the kids to play with. Little People, Veggie Tales (we lost the baby Jesus this year, wish you could order replacement parts. There's gotta be a lesson in that...keep Christ in Christmas or something), and Playmobil(lots of little pieces all over the family room each night, you should get it)

8. Hardest person to buy for? With Woodforest Visa giftcards, how hard is it anymore, really?

9. Easiest person to buy for? Again....Woodforest Visa giftcards. I used to hold on to ideals of finding something special for everyone on my list, but the truth is, money works in almost any situation. Everybody's doing it.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. I have a not so wonderful tradition going of waiting until like December 15 to get a good snapshot of the boys. Then I race to the photo shop at Sam's and do overnight development of hundreds of cards asking for an advance on the envelopes. Then I race against time to get labels printed and have the envelopes ready to stuff by the time I pick up the photo cards the next day. It is very merry. At least this year I can do some of it via computer instead of standing in the store.

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? My spiritual gift is mercy, people. Like I could identify any gift as "worst". Please.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? CHRISTMAS VACATION, and all the sappy Lifetime and Hallmark Channel movies. So bad, but so good. Kind of like when 'Gran' Alice Horton puts the 'Tom' ornament on the Horton family Christmas tree and they use that little computer generated sparkle when they pan over all the ornaments with names on them quite dramatically ending with Tom and Alice, or maybe this year she will have to have someone else do it because the sweet thing can barely be represented anymore just sitting in her chair as the matriarch of the show glancing lovingly at her family and the photo of she and Tom on the side table as the snowy computer video effects close the show for that day and the "in memory of" message appears on my screen. Good stuff.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Again, mercy. No way would I ever be able to give away something someone gave me.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sugar cookies with frosting. Yum.

15. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear.

16. Favorite Christmas songs? I really like a variety. An old favorite is the Amy Grant album I have on cassette. I love the musicians at our church and all the songs they sing at our Christmas Eve services.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home, our families are all here! I would love to go to New York and Disney some time during the season though.

18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Who cannot? Thanks to the song. You know Dasher....

19.Open presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning. And whenever we do "Christmas" with our extended family.

20. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Honestly , and this is gut-level here, the bell-ringers for Salvation Army outside the stores. I get a guilt trip every time I brush past them. From the minute I see them while parking, the mental anguish begins. Then I resolve within myself to look them in the eye and smile knowing that I decide which charities I give to in advance and give to them not because of mounting pressure as I come out of a store with things for me and my family who feel very blessed, yes, but can not stand feeling guilted into giving. AAGGGHH. Maybe I should just drop a dollar in.

21. Favorite ornament theme or color? I like the ones the kids make. We have two trees though, and one is 'Patriotic" (red,white and blue, stars and stripes) I started it the year after 9-11. As we decorate and enjoy it, I talk with the boys about the soldiers who are away from their families at Christmastime and how thankful we are to be Americans and have the freedoms we do, thanks to the brave men and women who sacrifice for us. It makes me cry. They think I am nuts. Being the only woman in house full of boys is really fun. And I mean that.

22. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? Look at me....I like it all. Traditions are really so satisfying.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year? To continue teaching my family the true meaning amidst all of everything else going on, and for them to "get it". The things I really want and can't have are not concrete. Lots of hard situations our loved ones are dealing with this year, and I wish I could fix them all. Is the question referring to something material? Oh, I can never think of anything.

24. Who is most likely to respond to this? What kind of question is that? Probably someone who doesn't have/take the time. Silly.