Merry Christmas! Hope you all have enjoyed a peace and blessings of the past two days.
Christmas Eve usually finds us hamming it up for the camera...(love my remote)....heading to Mass ...enjoying listening to Ester and Mabel in the children's choir... and this year, Sally did a beautiful job narrating the voice of Mary in the "teens" pageant.
We also brought our Korean neighbor Kye (pronounced Kay), who was home alone on Christmas Eve. She came over for dinner afterward baring delicious Korean pears.
Watching our favorite version of Scrooge (with Albert Finney) brought some tired eyes and bedtime. Santa arrived shortly afterward.
Christmas night we watched another favorite Christmas movie, The Christmas Story and some televised activities from the Vatican (I just tear up when I see our pope blessing the children as their parents hold them out to receive such a gift.)
Our day was completed with an early bedtime for everyone!
My most memorable and favorite Christmas, was way back ...34 years ago when a new baby brother was born into my family!
I am not sure which twist and turn in the story stands out the most. There were so many that any sane woman (or man) would think my parents completely crazy. But they pulled it off perfectly with their sanity in tacked.
My mother was seven days over her due date. She had been in a small state of panic wondering just when the baby would come.
Lying in bed completely uncomfortable, the hour nearing midnight, Dad made her a high ball to sip in order to help calm her nerves.
That high ball worked. (So we like to think.) No sooner did she take a couple of sips, but her water broke. Midnight. December 22.
The next morning came the division of the troops. We were all being ushered off to different hosts...seven of us had to be split up...my older sisters and I were sent off to Aunt Bernadine's.
This grand adventure was just the icing on the cake after our 10 lb 5 oz baby brother was born...a new brother to even out the ratio of 4:4.
A funny thing happened though.
The first night at my aunt's house found me having a heck of a time getting rid of this real itchy spot on my shoulder. So, I showed Aunt Bernadine my "itchy spot" and she announced, "Chicken pox!" And with a dreaded afterthought added, "Your poor mother!"
Hmmmm...my little sister Jane and I shared a bedroom together. Phone calls were made. You know what is coming next. Jane had the chicken pox as well.
My poor! poor! mother!
By Christmas Eve, Jane and I were really sick with the chicken pox and we were all home under my maternal grandma's care. Even though I remember being quite ill, what I really recall is the magic and joy, utter happiness and peace. A Christmas spirit, one that was truly unique for us, had filled our house.
My grandmother was at our house whipping up homemade chicken noodle soup with fresh baked bread. The house smelled divine, and the snow was drifting. The trees were lit, the stockings were hung, and we were all together.
On Christmas Eve night, Mom came home with baby Jim....in a red stocking that the hospital sent him home in. He was oohed and aaahed over...a little prince....lying under the tree in his red stocking.
Jane and I had to just roll over in our sofa bed to gather a glimpse of that sweet baby. It was so magical for a 7 year old girl. And then I'd roll over the other direction to get a glimpse of my beautiful mother sitting in a chair with her very sore legs elevated on pillows.
Mom had a rough time with varicose veins. Each pregnancy was rather dangerous. She had a history of throwing blood clots.
For me, that seven year old girl, all was well with the world because Mom was home.
Miraculously, Jane and I were able to sleep. We were out cold. Never heard Santa or his helpers making the noise they did; never felt the sofa bed being bumped into.
Christmas Eve night, my two big brothers were initiated into "the club". They helped Dad bring in the gifts that were secretly stored in the neighbor's garage across the street. Through the snow drifts they trudged bearing gifts...back and forth...back and forth. We never heard a sound.
I cannot imagine pulling off what Mom and Dad did that Christmas Eve night. Too many twists and turns for this mother. Utter and complete chaos....but beautiful chaos! In the eyes of a child, it was filled with nothing but the beauty and peace of Christmas. And that is all that matters.
*Why is it that the threat level raises to RED, compliments of my littles....right afterI go to confession?!?!
*Wishing just once that.... my house was cleaned, cupboards stocked, laundry done...all at one time! (Are fairy godmothers available on Craig's List?)
* For the sake of sanity....house chores were put on hold till school wrapped up last week.
Lovin' the clean toilets! I want to put up a sign on all toilets ..."No one is allowed to poop... for three days...at least!"
Around our house...
David and Stan went out into the woods last Sunday. Stan says that he'd like to be an archaeologist (amongst other things) when he grows up.
Look at what they found!
The skull of a wild, baby pig. Stan thought it was the coolest thing ever!!! (I kind of thought it was cool, too.) It still needs to be bleached and the teeth glued down tight.
We received another postcard this week. Yeah!
Isn't it fun?! Sparkles and all!
This one came from Kat and family over at Pappa Doodles. We know Kat and family when we all lived up in Illinois and belonged to the same homeschool group. They moved shortly after we moved...but in opposite direction!Drat!
Always open to more postcard buddies. Just ask for my address.
**At this point, I probably will not have the US map up on the wall till after the holidays.**
A couple people asked about the kids' Christmas trees and our learning room(s).
So ...come on in and I'll give you a tour...
The game room upstairs is where we pray, pledge, and play...where Stan and Mabel learn and grow.
By the way, I took these photos right after we cleaned. It doesn't always look like this ;)
Stan's parking spot is on the left...Mabel's is on the right.
I found that my students need their own "quiet" learning room as they reach the higher grade levels. This is Sally's learning room (a.k.a. her bedroom).
David built her bookcase some years back.
Ester upgraded to her own "quiet" learning area, too. She is doing so much better this year with fewer distractions from the others.
This is Mabel's tree...
And this is Stan's little tree. (Can't trust him at ground level just yet.)
We are enjoying our first week of Christmas vacation!
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in ricotta and vanilla.
2. Combine flour, salt and baking soda: gradually add to creamed mixture.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
4. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla. Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Frost cooled cookies and immediately decorate with sprinkles. Store in refrigerator.