Christmas Eve I took the children to an early candlelight service at a church we've been to a time or two. The freezing temperature and the early darkness made me a little skittish about trying anything later.
We found a place in the uncharacteristically crowded parking lot and I remembered my promise to someone who asked me not to snicker at the folks who get all dressed up and go to church but once a year.
Daughter bird ran ahead and announced that this year she would NOT be sitting in the balcony. "I want to sit with the regular congregants" she sang as she skipped "like I do every Sunday when I am away at College."
Fair enough. The boy and I will sit in the balcony "in case he can't handle the whole thing" she finished my sentence for me...we agreed to meet in the *lobby* when the service was over.
We got our order of worship and our candles and made our way up to the balcony, where several families were gathered with children who clearly might not make it through the "whole thing". Crayons and coloring books and other Waiting devices were piled next to the bibles and hymnals.
He noticed that the program was several pages long and pulled a pencil out of his jacket pocket. When things get LONG and grownup, it is useful to have a pencil to check things off as you go as see just how far you've been.
We sort of sang the opening hymn, thoroughly enjoyed the sacred dancing (although his shouts of BRAVO during the clapping afterwards produced more than a few of The Looks from the fine upstanding once a year atendees...I didn't snicker though, not even once. Y'all would have been So Proud.)
We put our money in the collection plate as the children's choir sang sweetly.
The baby Jesus was carried to the manger scene and the boy stepped up to the edge of the balcony for a closer look down. "Happy Birthday baby Jesus" he crowed, eliciting more and more Looks.
I patted the pew beside me and he returned to his seat.
He *gets it* I thought. Will WONDERS never cease!
We listened to the readings and sang another hymn. Then the minister stepped up and said "Let us PRAY." The boy said in a Rather Loudish Sort of Stage Whisper "OKAY now, fold your hands, be very very QUIET and LISTEN!"
Giggles from the regular congregants. Looks from people who thought they were being told what to do.
Still, I did not snicker.
The minister prayed. We sat quietly, hands folded, and listened.
I prayerfully joined in the AMEN and added my silent thanks for an appropriate, full sentence, in CONTEXT, in CHURCH.
The lights were turned out in the church and the flame was passed, candle to candle through the pews. When all the candles were lit, the organist began the intro and we all sang
All is Calm
All is Bright....
It was absolutely Heavenly.
At the close of the service, when the candles were blown out and placed in the baskets and people were leaving, we waited in the lobby for Sister. She shouted from the center of the sanctuary..."hey Mom, How did he DO?" Before I could answer he yelled "great JOB. Good Listening!" A ripple of giggles rang out around us. "Oh" she sang back "GOD will be So Proud!"
Just at that moment it was our turn in line to greet the Minister. The boy bird grabbed his hand and shook it quite enthusiastically. "Merry Christmas!" sang the boy bird.
Merry Christmas indeed.
There is so much good news I hardly know where to begin...
I got my Big Present the day before Christmas Eve. Daughter bird ran out to get the mail and came skipping back with a long white envelope.
"Mom? Is the Dean of the College like the Headmaster in High School?"
"Sort of, why?"
"I'm on some kind of list!"
"May I see that letter, please?"
"Sure, here you go..."
OMG. They are pleased and proud to announce that my daughter, having acheived a 3.5 or higher GPA and meeting additional rigorous academic criteria has made the Dean's Honor Roll List! Additionally, there will be a spring semester ceremony where she will receive a 500 dollar gift certificate to the College Bookstore.
I explain the honor to her.
"Cool. More textbooks for me. Does this mean I passed?"
"Yes, child of my heart it means you passed. With flying colors. I am SO, so proud of you!"
I made some phone calls to share the good news and truthfully I'm still floating a couple of inches off the ground...
I LOVE being surprized by JOY, don't you?
My dear friend, of Debbieduck fame, is the Birthday girl today! We met at a quilt show a dozen years ago, and though we haven't lived in the same STATE for much of the time, we've been the best friends (through the worst of times....).
A toast, to you, Debbie!
We're going to pick up the Boy bird from his nest this afternoon,and he doesn't have to be back to work until Tuesday! Selfish Mommy that I am, I am thrilled to have both my kiddos for a LONG Christmas.
I'm going to be technology free during that time, giving them my full and undivided attention.
May your Holidays be BLESSED, your arms full, and your burdens light. See you next week!
Baking is a gift, for which the Daughter has ALL of the right qualities. I LIKE to bake, but it can be a chore, seeing as how I don't really like to make more than ONE of anything......sigh.
SHE, on the other hand, turned out the most amazing spread over a five hour period of nonstop activity. Dozens and dozens of perfectly matched cookies, decorated in a precision assembly line fashion. She just AMAZES me no end.
The gingerbread is especially difficult to get just right, but hers are perfect, with just the right amount of chewiness.
Yipes. Got to get back to the packaging production line....
Think I Love Lucy episode, teehee.
Daughter is safely back from her trip and ready to start BAKING.
Gingerbread, sugar cookies decorated within an inch of the legal limit, fudge, brownies, and who knows what all else...
Christmas music on the radio,
I'll be wrapping and helping with packaging and cleanup and of course delivery of said baked goods to friends and neighbors so that I don't have more than just Visions of sugarplums dancing in my head tonight...
All the best to you and yours this Holiday season!
Oh, AND. The Carolina Blue sky wrap is finito and wet blocking. I'll be making the delivery sometime tomorrow methinks. I hope it brings her as much joy as it has to me during the prayer filled KNITTING.
So May it BE.
I grew up in a family where multi-tasking is what you do when you aren't feeling well enough to go all out. I've never been very good at just relaxing and chilling out. Napping is a Very New Thing. Still not sure if I should feel guilty for wasting the time ( I COULD have been making something....)
So, I popped my fully napped self into the Mommymobile and drove North to see the most beautiful girl in the world and her amazingly wonderful Mommy, maggi. What a treat. Pulling up and seeing them raking the leaves in the sunshine, and the grin on the wee C's face when I asked her if she'd like to help carry the prezzies...
We knit while the babe napped and ate soup on the front porch and went to the park when she woke up, and colored in the Wiggles book....The kitties helped by trying to eat the crayons, to which the babe sternly told them *NOT a Food Item*. teehee.
Sunday morning we ate waffles and read the paper and *builded stuff* (an imaginary museum, the world's tallest tower, always with ramps for the Little People figure in the wheelchair, and oh, this museum allowed PETS, so a fun time was had by ALL) before knocking them down.
SO now I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy and it's a good thing, too because it started rainng ICE just before the home stretch of the trip...I feel like the star of the Macy's Day parade, all bundled in Layers, cuz it is COLD.
Tomorrow I pick up the Daughter bird at the airport and we'll start the Holiday Baking Marathon. The boy bird has a busy work and social schedule, so not sure yet when he'll be joining us.
It's beginning to feel a LOT like Christmas!
Last night I was feeling overwhelmed and kind of weeblish.
I was wobbly, but NOT going to fall down. Too much to do.
Not enough time to do it all in.
I say this every year
(and I MEAN it, I really do)
*I am not going to overdo it this year....
At six o'clock or so, I decided to sit down on the couch with the poodle
and my knitting and just finish a few more....
then I'll get up and get ready and go to the party and....
Three hours later the poodle woke me up,
sweaty and shaky and EXHAUSTED.
I wanted to go to the party,
I really did,
but clearly, that NAP was necessary,
and it probably would have happened in the dark
on the drive home.
Sometimes the Most Important Thing
is to just lie down
so you can get up the next morning.
Sandy Poodle, here.
I'm in the Penalty Box.
It was all going so well. We had a lovely Poodle and Child reunion, lots of snuggles and kisses, playing with toys....she settled in by the fire to read for pleasure, and Mommy was knitting something with prayers in it...it was LOVELY.
Then I got tattled on.
*Mo-om, Sandy ripped all the packages under the tree open....*
Such lovely paper. It looks better shredded like that.
*Mo-om, Sandy is drinking the tree water and chewing the branches off....*
Pruning, a little judicious pruning, that's what I was doing. Making more room for dog sweaters and chewy toys and pretty packages.
I got a warning for those mistymeeners and Mommy said she was pretty sure French doors were InVENTed by someone with a Poodle.
I went through Mommy's knitting bag to make sure she was working on my cashmere doggie sweater...I mean, there are only ten days left and it is FREEZING around here. You know what? It wasn't even IN there. Plus I got into trouble for unravelling the other thing she's working on...sigh.
I'm TRYING to be good.
We went for a walk and I found something delicious.
The rule is, if something to eat is thrown on the ground, it BELONGS to the dog who finds it.
Finders Keepers, that's the RULE.
Honestly, Mommy can be such an overreactor.
We struggled and glared, and I growled.
Never have a stubborn contest with my Mommy.
She's like the Queen of Stubborn or something.
Born with her Mind made UP, she was.
She made me spit it out
and then we almost had to go to the vet.
I think because she has one of those Headaches again, but maybe cuz I bit her.
So, if you are a person who likes to chew that delicious yummy GUM,
please don't throw it on the ground.
Little doggies like me can't resisit it.
Now she says she is going into the kitchen to make some of Norma's Hot Chocolate
and maybe knit me a Prayer for Judgement.
As long as it's CASHMERE,
that's fine with me.
I could not resist the possibility of posting at 12:12 on 12/12.
Realizing that when this post hits, Rachael will be doing a MARATHON. Wow.
I'll be running a different kind of race,
down the road and back again,
checking the daughter bird out of the dorm
and helping her pack for the holidays.
She called to let me know she had finished with Finals
and I told her how PROUD I am of all her hard work.
When I get back to my computer,
I want to email each and every one of you
personally. For NOW, please accept my
It means the world to me
that my birds brighten your world in
some small way.
Someone sent me an email saying it was the
sweet spot of the day to hear the ongoing empty nest
stories...it did my heart so much GOOD, as I often feel
rather sad and lonely without them
but KNOW this is what I've worked for...
I'm happy to share the Blessings,
it makes them all the sweeter!