Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Night

Well, it is with full belly and tired body I come to you tonight!  We feasted with friends and have returned home to plop.  What a season, eh?  All the planning, anticipating, shopping, wrapping, baking, calling, sending, worrying, juggling (finances, of course) and merry making.........I'm pooped!  

This Christmas was a huge success all the way around.  I'd have to say it was one of the best ones yet.  We were active with friends and spoke often with family, enjoyed each other's company and scored big in the gift department!  My son was thrilled with his booty and he gave me extra special gifts this year.  Moms always love the handmade things the best (which stands to reason, since I am a handmade artisan!  haha), and he made me two books about a Yeti that saved Christmas.  How clever!  They were pop-up books at that!  I had a ball reading them and will treasure them forever.  In fact, they will stay handy all year so I can look at them again and again.

My sister surprised me with a four DVD set of the original Johnny Weissmuller  Tarzan!!  You'd swear I was a four year old that got the gift they asked Santa for!  I had been wanting Tarzan for so long...and not just ANY Tarzan.  It had to be with Weissmuller, which I could never seem to find.  Anyone that walked the earth with the dinosaurs, like me, will remember him.  He was the best Tarzan, and the only one to watch as far as I'm concerned!  Well, needless to say, I can't wait to veg in front of the idiot box and watch them.  Truly a perfect gift.

All in all, this has been a Christmas that they portray on Hallmark Channel!  Everything was perfect, even when it wasn't!  Just having my son and friends at my side, and calls from my sis, made it the happiest of Christmases.  I am so lucky to have made the new friends I have over the past year, and things are starting to gel here in "Hooterville".  We're beginning to feel right at home in this little community.

I hope you all had a wonderful time of it, as well!  Remember to check back in January for information on a giveaway from my ArtFire Studio!  It'll be fun and a great way to kick off the New Year!


Silent Night

So quiet, this night...there's a sense of peace all around.  This Christmas Eve has been everything I dreamed it would be.  Austin and I went to a little country church tonight for the Candlelight Service.  I was looking for the traditions I grew up with, and went away with so much more.

We had the candles, alright, but we experienced something I've never seen.  The attendance was sparse, being a small church, but we were met with open arms and the spirit of friendship.  There was a laid back feeling there, and the people seemed right at home with each other.  There was no hushed whispers prior to the start of the service.  Quite the contrary!  Everyone was enjoying lively conversation and there was merriment in the air.  And why not?  It is the eve of our Lord's birth after all.  Why be down in the mouth?!  Children were not "shh'd" for being happy and enthusiastic, which was refreshing...a far cry from my early days "in church"!

There was a manger with straw set up in front, and I assumed we'd be seeing a re-enactment of the nativity.  We got much more than a simple play.  Pastor Jim, with a voice that grabs and holds you, had downloaded amazing video from the internet.  It's hard to describe what we were was like a movie about the birth of Christ, but done in clips.  The music was absolutely moving and included the song "Mary, Did You Know?", one of my personal favorites.  I asked Jim if he would please hook me up with the link he used to download that, and when I get it, I'll post it so you can enjoy it as well.  Stay tuned for that....

As the story progressed, there were speakers, including "Mary", "Joseph", "shepherds" and "kings", who, when finished reading from the Bible, went over to take their respective places in the manger.  At the end of the video and story, we all went to the manger area and lit our candles.  Singing commenced at that time with all of us included.  I'm sure everyone was grateful I didn't sing any louder than I did.  Bonnie Raitt I am not.

At the conclusion of the service, many people extended their wishes that Austin and I would come back to see them again.  I'm certain we have finally found our niche in this little church.  The warmth and sincerity with which we were welcomed was priceless to me.  It's hard to find the right "fit" with a new church, and its members are the very heart and soul of such a place.  The spirit of God was in that church tonight, and displayed itself through the members of the congregation.

Before I finally say goodnight (or good morning as the case may be at this hour!), I want you to know that my wish for all of you tonight is to find peace, both within yourself, and with family and friends.  May the spirit of the season fill you with joy and contentedness throughout the new year.  God Bless you all and have a wonderful Christmas Day!


Monday, December 21, 2009


I just got off the phone with a wonderful woman named Lisa...a Californian with a tremendously generous spirit and sense of humor (  We were reminiscing about times gone by and it triggered a funny memory for me.

I grew up with a Ukrainian mother and English father.  The English history can wait, but the Ukrainian bit will tickle you.  We were talking about how our parent(s) would speak their native language when they didn't want little ears to be privy to certain conversations.  It reminded me of a story my mom told about her own childhood.

My grandmother knew a little English, but mainly spoke her native tongue to my mom and her siblings.  Well, one day, while my mother was instructed to kneel and say her prayers, my grandmother was supervising.  My mom started the prayer and would pause.  My grandmother would say (and I'm not spelling this right) "Adalla".  My mom replied, "Adalla".  My grandma repeated the word, only with much more insistence.."A-DALLA".  Mom..."A-DALLA".  Grandma again..."A-DA-LLA!!!".  So Mom tried it with real feeling now..."A-DA-LLA!!!".  

Well, my grandmother was so frustrated because she thought my mom was mocking her!  After swatting my mom in the noggin', Mom finally said, "Ma!  I don't know what you're saying!".  Get a load of grandma was telling her to CONTINUE! 

May this holiday season bring back to mind the wonderful, funny memories you cherish.  Hold them close!  For those of us who have lost the people we love, these memories are a way to bring them into our hearts at Christmas and all through the year.