Saturday, December 26, 2009

christmas 2009

One decorated tree. Finally. Courtesy of Mother's Christmas bears and lantern lights. Also note a touch of Megs, too. She made all the heart and star ornaments a couple of years back.
Speaking of Megs, run over to her blog. She posted a couple of vids of Christmas Eve. Good times.

I bribed Cate with a sucker if she promised not to touch Grandy's tree. It didn't work. She enjoyed the sucker though.

Syd snapped this of the fam earlier in the month. Again, notice the sucker Kenz is holding as she briefly snatches it from Cate's mouth. We are big on bribery here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

driving home for Christmas with a thousand memories

Yesterday afternoon.

Kenz: So what are you bringing to the extended family Christmas Eve?

Me: Dunno. Penee said it’s just munchies so I’ll probably bring taquitos.

Kenz: What did you used to have growing up Christmas Eve?

Me: Cream cheese sandwiches.

Kenz: What? How do you fix those?

Me: My mom would tint cream cheese pink and green. Cut the crusts off the bread and then spread a layer of pink cream cheese and top it with bread and do the same with the green. Then she would cut them up in itty bitty rectangles.

Kenz: Oh. Did you like them?

Me: No. No one did. But they were really pretty. I think my Dad ate them. That and the red punch served in her punch bowl made Christmas really, um, uptown festive.

Me: Christmas Eve. That was the big party. Originated with my mother’s family. They opened up gifts then and then Santa came the next morning. Santa gifts were never wrapped.

Hard as I try I cannot stop thinking about the Christmases I knew as a child. What is up with that? Like all things lately, I’m sure it’s an over 50 thing.

But! I found a new song this morning to love. It’s peppy. It’s profound. You should sing along.

Get your feet back on holy ground.

Monday, December 21, 2009

still no decorated tree.

I have been working extra hard this year at this Christmas thing. I've dipped chocolates, baked gingerbread houses, and Elf'd myself. I've been playing Christmas tunes on Pandora and dutifully finished shopping.

I would flat out say 'I'm not feeling it', except clearly I am feeling something. Just can't quite put my finger on what it is. And why my non-decorated but lit up tree should come to symbolize my mood this year is beyond me. There's a metaphor in there somewhere. It's weird, I just want it to be bare this year. Still, every time I look at it I think of my mother. What must she think. This was a woman who took infinite pains with her Christmas trees, using a new theme to decorate every year. I have boxes of her ornaments sitting in the garage.

I did set up my jumbo Nativity, though. It sits atop my old piano. Yup. Not on my grand piano but on the piano I grew up practicing and playing on and the one we are storing for Meghan. It just seemed fitting to put it there.

Larry, mr. taskmaster since Thanksgiving, has been collecting old family photos and scanning them in. He’s admirably making a digital history for which we’ll all thank him one day. But looking at them, coupled with the time of year, makes me, well, a little reflective.

”Experience again the full range of emotion memories invoke. Let them play a nostalgic melody on the strings of your heart. Remember the warmth..., the comfort of kindness, the closeness of family. Think about the Christ Child in Bethlehem’s manger and the nearness of God. Blink back the tears, if need be, and swallow past the fist sized lump in your throat, but don’t quench the memories. They are a part of your history, part of the web of experience which God has woven into the tapestry of your personhood.”

Richard Exley

MoSop's music video. Here:

And then in Sunday School today we watched this:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

6 days left

As you can see, still no decorated tree.
What the heck is wrong with me?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

too long, too forced, too commercialized

My tree is up but not decorated. Somewhere I put the big box of ornaments.

Have you seen this? Some folks at BYU put it together. Love the images:

And this:
Can you tell I'm looking for Christmas spirit?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

another time sink

I’m kinda liking this site, sorta like Ted (the site I mentioned this summer).
Check out Sputnik Observatory, a site dedicated to the study of contemporary culture.

I should be making fudge for my visiting teaching beat but here I sit being fascinated. Nothing I love more than listening to ideas.

Go have a look. Tons of conversations, and they’re short, too.
Cliff will like the UFO stuff. HB may enjoy the topic Plants Talk.

And JLW may enjoy this on gaming:

and then this one:

Why you don’t want to use the words “I feel” in your blog posts. You’re being monitored, people.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

yet another reason why i love to read

"Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul."
— Joyce Carol Oates

Yup. Check out this vid. Visually explains imagination in the reading brain. Amazing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

treadmill motivation

1. We all have to go through the awkward stage of any newly acquired behavior…There will be more firsts that we will encounter in which we will feel awkward for a while, until we get the hang of it…So what. Do it anyway.
Any thing you want to learn, you are going to be awkward at first. Give yourself permission to be a beginner, a learner.

2. One of the greatest misconceptions about becoming successful is the idea that you should ‘feel good’ or ‘motivated’ before you act. Motivation almost always follows action, but seldom precedes it. Champions commit to disciplined actions and pay very little attention to how they feel.

3. Don't remember who said this: “Everyday! In these two words can be found the secrets of all attainment. It’s not what we do once, with all our hearts and with every splendid ounce of strength that counts, so much as the things we have been doing everyday, whether we felt like it or not".

4. You have to use energy to have energy. Get off your butt, you slug.