Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oh yeah, it most certainly IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at our house!

This is what happened in our house Saturday morning... Randey, Jacob and Kaleb took charge of the Christmas decorating! As you all know, I pretty much wimped out this year. I just couldn't make myself unpack all the Christmas stuff. Figured it was too stressful and didn't want to take that stress out on the family. But, wonder of wonders, it seems Randey and the boys felt that seeing the Christmas glitter spread all over the house was worth them putting out an effort. A really big effort, as it turns out! They were all worn out by Saturday evening, but they'd gotten most of the stuff unpacked and put up. And here I thought they didn't even notice when the house was decked out every year. I guess they do notice and even better, they love it, too. Here's a few pictures of the "finished" product.

The tree. This is the prettiest tree we've ever had. I loved watching them decorate it and we all had some great laughs while they did it. Kaleb hasn't mastered the art of "spreading" similar looking ornaments all over the tree...he tended to want to cluster them together. Listening to Jake explaining to him how he's supposed to spread them out was priceless. Listening to Kaleb explain how he was creating a "Grinch Village" when he hung 3 Grinch-themed ornaments next to each other was even more priceless.
I guess it's kind of hard to see, but that's our "Christmas Town" there on top of the bookshelves. I wish I had a better place to put it, but I don't. Maybe one day, when we move into our 6000 square foot condo and have space for that grand piano I'll never learn to play, I'll set it up on top of that. (That strange noise is me laughing myself silly at that thought. lol)
Here's my Grinch. He has a microphone attachment so you can sing along with him. But Maddy's the only one who ever really liked doing that so the microphone didn't get unpacked this year. Okay, so actually, Randey likes singing along with him, too, but nobody wants to hear another rousing "Randey Rendition" of You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch so we kind of forgot to keep the mike out. (Love you, Honey!)
These are two of my favorite Santas. Both of them were gifts from Randey. The Irish Santa is from McGuire's Irish Pub in Destin. Randey bought it for me in October 2001, right before he deployed to the Middle East. The other one he bought on a trip to Utah. And the lamp was a gift from my sister, Sherri.
This is the dining room. I replaced the panels in that wallhanging with Christmas fabric. I'm loving the look of it, although I'm not really sure why.....

This is a picture of the dining room taken while standing in the kitchen. See that large "candy" garland hanging over the bar? The kids love that thing. I made it about 12 years ago out of Mylar paper and empty 2 ltr coke bottles. The poor thing is starting to look pretty ragged. Every year I say I'm going to replace it, but never seem to get around to it. Maybe this year. Ah who am I kidding? The thing's already hung up...guess I'd better aim for next year to replace it.
Guess I'm really diggin' the dining room because here's yet another picture of it. See the Santa there on the left? Blu-boy came running into the house and skidded to a stop when he spotted it. I guess he decided it wasn't a threat because he didn't eat it.
See this log? This is one of my absolute favorite Christmas things ever! Sherri bought it for me....I think back in 1999. It's called Yule Burner (get it? It's a take off of Yul Brynner.) Anyway, Yule is motion activated and if you walk by him, he says things like "I sleep like a log at Christmastime" and "Don't stop me now, I'm smoking" and "Hey friend, got a light?". I laugh every single time I hear him. I really don't know why, though. You'd think I'd be used to him by now, huh? But...come on, if you heard him, you'd laugh, too. He talks like he's a 1960's lounge singer in Vegas. Funny, funny stuff. Trust me.
A couple of the "Believe" signs by the front door. There's a big "BELIEVE" set up in the window above the front door (not pictured in this shot). I had it facing the room where you could read it from inside, but then I noticed that, with the lights on inside, the letters can be read from the outside so I turned it around. Now at night, when you look at our home, you see "BELIEVE" glowing in that window. Cool, huh? I'll take a picture next week when Randey's finished decorating the outside of the house. By the way, is it just me or does everyone think of Annie and Izzy when they see the word "believe" these days?
And last, but most certainly not least, check out this wonderful card we got from Jayme . She's so talented, isn't she? And since I'm still attempting to do homemade Christmas cards this year, I can't even begin to tell you how much I admire her abilities. She did Halloween cards and Thanksgiving cards. Makes me feel like a total slacker. lol But I'm glad we're on her card list because her cards are so very beautiful. Thank you, Jayme! We all love it!!
Okay so that's about it for today's post. We're heading up to OKC to spend Thanksgiving with my Dad and my stepmother, Wendy. Can't wait to drag her and Leah, my stepsister, out for a little Black Friday shopping! They don't really seem as excited about it as I am. (I don't get it. lol)
Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our Conner

Two years ago today, our sweet grandson, Conner Jeremy, was born unto this world and, just as quickly, taken away to live forever in heaven. His life on earth outside of his Mommy's belly lasted only 3 heartbeats, but now we know how so much love, joy, pain, sorrow, wonder and hope can happen in the space of three tiny heartbeats. To know Conner existed, filled us all with love. To have seen his beautiful face gave us all so much joy. To know that we couldn't hold him forever made us ache with pain. To have to say goodbye so soon after saying hello caused us immeasurable sorrow. To hold in our arms the body of a Perfect Soul filled our hearts with wonder. To know Conner's soul would one day speak to us again gave us hope for our future.

I've touched the petals of a blossoming rose in spring,

I've touched the silken fur of a tiny kitten.

I've touched the warm raindrops fallen from a summer shower and

I've touched the warm evening air of a soft quiet night.

Of all the wonderful and beautiful things I've ever touched,

none of them can compare to the sweet, smooth, softness of your precious little face.

I love you, Conner.