Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
josh is feeding him ice cream and he's loving it
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
tomorrow morning we will get up early, let drew open his presents, head to bob and kathy's again for more present opening, then be on our way to beattyville. i love that tim has a great family close so we can share the holidays with them. i am a little nostalgic for home though, i don't think that will ever change. so many years of waking up on christmas morning with a full house makes it really hard to adjust to new traditions. i hope we can make drew's memories as sweet as all those tim and i both have from our christmas holidays. i'll post pictures tomorrow of all our christmas eve/day gatherings.
in the meantime, here are some christmas eve facts:
first, we have the santa tracker: http://www.noradsanta.org/en/home.html
next, we have our facts about the celebrations in some churches. i had to put this one on here because it made me remember a time when i went to midnight mass with mamaw. i had gone the year before by myself because i was asked to sing in a choir for the service. this was not at my church but at the episcopal church. (we have very similar beliefs/traditions and this is where my best friend went to church.) anyway, a few things are different in their ceremonies....namely the end of many ceremonies they say peace to one another. having never witnessed this, i thought everyone was saying "pleased to meet you" therefore when all the attendees turned to me to shake my hand, i said "pleased to meet you" to everyone. no one even told me what i was doing wrong until i shook the hand of my high school librarian (who was such a good friend to sarah and i--definitely our confidante) and she laughed hysterically at me. she informed me of my mistake and told me i was supposed to say "peace be with you". yes, it makes much more sense but i had no idea....i giggle everytime this happens in a service now and i always think of that midnight mass. :)
The Christmas season liturgically begins on Christmas Eve, and is preceded by a four-week anticipatory and penitential period called Advent, which can include acts of almsgiving, fasting, and service while the season unfolds. The Mass of the Vigil is said in the late afternoon or early evening hours of December 25th. The Christmastide season continues through until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on the Sunday following the Solemnity of the Epiphany.
Many Roman Catholics and Anglicans traditionally celebrate a midnight Mass (Eucharist) which begins sometime before midnight on Christmas Day; this ceremony, which is held in churches throughout the world, marks the beginning of Christmas Day. A popular joke is to ask what time Midnight Mass starts, but in recent years some churches have scheduled their "Midnight" Mass as early as 7 p.m. In Spanish-speaking areas, the Midnight Mass is sometimes referred to as Misa del Gallo ("Rooster's Mass"). In the Philippines, this custom lasts for nine days, starting on December 16 and continuing daily up to December 24, during which Filipinos attend dawn masses, usually starting at around 4:00-5:00 a.m.
Lutheran parishes often carry on Christmas Eve traditions typical for Germany and Scandinavia. "Krippenspiele" (nativity plays), special festive music for organ, vocal and brass choirs and candlelight services make Christmas Eve one of the highlights in the Lutheran Church calendar. Christmas Vespers are popular in the early evening, and midnight services are also widespread in regions which are predominately Lutheran. The old Lutheran tradition of a Christmas Vigil in the early morning hours of the 25th of December (Christmette) can still be found in some regions of Germany. In eastern and middle Germany many congregations still continue the tradition of "Quempas singing": separate groups dispersed in various parts of the church sing verses of the song "He whom Shepherds once came Praising" (Quem pastores) responsively.
Methodists celebrate the evening in different ways. Some, in the early evening, come to their church to celebrate Holy Communion with their families. The mood is very solemn, and often the only visible light is the Advent Wreath, and the candles upon the Lord's Table. Others celebrate the evening with services of light, which often include singing the song "Silent Night" as a variety of candles (including personal candles) are lit. Other churches have late evening services at 11 pm, so that the church can celebate Christmas Day together with the ringing of bells at 12 am. Others offer Christmas Day services as well. Each church is welcome to celebrate Christmas Eve evening and Christmas Day in their own special way.
The Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast annually from King's College, Cambridge on Christmas Eve has established itself as one of the signs that Christmas has begun in the United Kingdom. It is broadcast to many parts of the world via the BBC World Service.
Other churches also hold a candlelight service, which is also typically held earlier in the evening; these often feature dramatizations of the Nativity. Similar worship services are held in many Protestant churches on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
he is starting to talk like crazy, i can't believe all the babbling he's doing. today i was showing him a book with animals, pointing to them and naming them as we went through. when i got to the fish, i said it then he repeated "shish". i love it! he points at it now and says "sh, sh". his grandpa is going to flip when he hears it....maybe that will be his christmas present from drew!
be safe in your travels tomorrow if you're out and about. i have a feeling tim's going to have me out doing a few last minute deals. :)
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
drew had also started saying "thank you" when we hand him something. i guess he's picking up different things we say lately. everytime i hand him something i'll say please before i give it to him and thank you after. it sounds a little more like "tink to" but hey, i know what he's trying to say. :) when tim realized what he'd said today he said, "wow, wouldn't it be nice if we raised a little boy with good manners?" i just looked at him, a little stunned and said "do you honestly think he's going to be allowed to be anything other than polite and mannerly?" i guess i just never thought of it as being an option. now i'm having these thoughts where we raise this rude, impolite little boy!
since we didn't finish our last minute shopping today, we'll go back out tomorrow. i'll have drew so bundle up he's probably going to be sweating. wish us luck!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
drew, as always, made himself the center of attention whenever possible. he is such a ham. lots of good pictures were taken, though i once again left my camera in the car....i'll have to post some once i get them emailed to me.
five days until christmas....this is one of my favorite times of the year!
Friday, December 19, 2008
first we had christmas breakfast which was a blast. next, we had AR store, then we were off to the christmas play. after that activity, then lunch, the computer lab for math....finally it was time for stockings and stocking stuffers. we had planned to do it in the morning and get it all over with but the morning was jam-packed and we had no time. after being asked 44,000 times by 19 kids when we were going to do it, we finally got it over with. jennifer and i stayed in the back of the room handing kids their stuffers to hand out. the funny part is that we both had our empty gift bags full of stuffers by the end of the sharing session. two grown women, who have eaten for the last two weeks like it's the last supper, (well, i have, sorry if that offends you jenn), and here we are collecting candy canes, double bubble, mad libs books, heart shaped sunglasses and huge bling-bling rings. from the dollar store...it was definitely a kodak moment. too bad we didn't get a picture. my glasses ended up making me a little sick. you know when the plastic isn't really plastic and it makes everything look kind of wavy? it makes me very carsick but i couldn't take them off because they were all watching, making sure i was as fashionable as third graders thought i should be.
i got so many nice, thoughtful gifts. it always amazes me how the boys are so in tune with what i like...sometimes you think they aren't listening, but they really are. some of my favorites today were my new nike backpack and headbands (thank you emory, jennifer and i made use of them on our run after school), the dog photo frame, ornament and magnet from jacob, BEERCHEESE from alex and abby, huge, fluffy slipper socks from destiny, good smelly lotions, all the chocolate, my waco loopers ornament, a bybee pottery platter and several more gifts. my kids and their families have been so generous and thoughtful this year. it made me so happy to see them want to give to their classmates, their teachers and our little boy we sponsored from ripples of hope.
now, i think i need to go lay down and let all this food digest before we hit it to ohio for tim's family christmas tomorrow. i'm going to be ten pounds heavier before the weekend's over!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
one more day until christmas break! it's amazing to me how wild things can get around christmas...i think my head was spinning today. i wrapped about 25 presents before 9:30 while teaching reading and a writing lesson. i ended up having to let my kids help me wrap some of the gifts....i should have taken pictures of their wrapping jobs. then again, they weren't that much worse than mine. :)
i can't remember if i've already mentioned it, but i did not put ornaments on our tree this year. most of mine are old ones mom and tim's mom gave me from when we were both little. lots of mine are paper or felt ones that we made when we were 3 or 4. since we have drew walking now and ruby reeking havoc wherever she goes, i decided it was probably best that we didn't put them on until things settle down a little. if ruby were to eat one of my old ornaments, i might lose it on her. i kept thinking maybe i would end up feeling guilty and get them out. tonight however, i realized i had made a very wise decision. as i was crawling after drew while he was wildly punching buttons on the remote and running, yes running, across the living room ruby gets in my face crunching on something. after i ran my hand down her throat to retrieve the object, i was not surprised to find a christmas light in my hand. i thought well, at least i can replace a single bulb. yes, you could do that if your dog politely chewed only the bulb off. you cannot replace it if she chews the entire wire and bulb off.
as i went to search and see which bulb she got, i promptly jerked my hand back after getting shocked. even though the whole row of lights on the bottom of our prelit tree was dark, the wire was still live. it can't be replaced. how do you restring a prelit tree? oh, well. i just unplugged it, so not to get shocked for the third time, (because once wasn't enough for me to touch the wire, i had to check again to make sure i really did get shocked the first time like a dummy), and bent/wrapped/hid the live wire up under one of the branches.
mom swears she is marley, the yellow lab from the book marley and me. i refuse to read the adult book because i have a feeling what happens to the dog in the end....i'm reading the kid's version of john grogan's book to my kids right now and they love it. maybe ruby is like marley....i still can't help but love her. she is my special dog. :)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
- blue christmas - only elvis
- o holy night
- hark the herald angels sing
- silent night
- angels we have heard on high
- away in a manger
- baby its cold (the bing crosby/doris day version)
- do you hear what i hear - i will forever picture mrs. eversole when i hear this
- any charlie brown christmas music
- christmas canon rock - always reminds me of sarah....
- carol of the bells
- we three kings
- joy to the world - oh, eloise trying to out sing mrs. eversole....great memories
- and the angels cried
i guess i just love church at christmas and i always loved the music....when the lights were turned out and nothing but candles were giving off light, what a warm feeling. i insisted that drew be baptized at church last christmas even though he was only about 4 weeks old. tim was baptized along with him and i was so happy we could do that at christmas. it's always seemed so special and especially so since drew's formal acceptance into the church, where tim and i pledged to always care for him and teach him the way to be a good person, a good christian, was at christmas.
okay, mushy stuff aside, here are some of the not-so-favorites:
- of course, simply having a wonderful christmastime
- hard candy christmas
- deck the halls
- where are you christmas
- my grown up christmas list
- we wish you a merry christmas
- let it snow
- santa baby
i'm not sure why i don't like these, i just don't care for them very much.
i used to really not like the little drummer boy but since our kids at school sing it for their program nearly every year, i have come to love it. i crack up every time they sing "pa-rrrrrum pum pum pum". everytime they get a little louder until they're basically yelling at the end. hilarious.
i started thinking about songs because we've been listening to christmas music in my room the last few weeks. i've been a little peeved at one of my kids because he keeps telling my other kids santa is not real. he continues to do this even after i've given him "the look". we've had a talk and he still refuses to believe santa is real. that stinks for a kid that age to not believe but it's even worse that they will tell their classmates and send everyone into a frenzy. i tell them over and over, you have to believe to receive. i still believe...there were many christmas's when we would have gotten very little had there not been a little santa somewhere to help mom and dad out. santa comes in many forms....like i told the kids, santa is like jesus - you can't see him, but you better believe in him.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
i used to love calvin and hobbes cartoons....here are a few to go with our first snow day. i had to insert them as links because they wouldn't fit as pictures....:)
Monday, December 15, 2008
school was a little crazy today....everyone's schedule's are so mixed up this time of year. christmas store, potlucks, sickness, and talk of bad weather just fuel the fire. if we get snow tonight and school is called off, i'll....i'll....well, i'll believe it when it happens. let's just say i'll be laying my clothes out tonight and getting drew's things ready just like every other night. i hate breaking routine.
i haven't blessed you with any randomness lately and i've been thinking:
- why has my baby decided he needs to carry around a dust pan and broom everywhere he goes lately?
- will i always call him my baby, even when he's 50 years old. (i already know the answer to that one....of course.)
- don't you wish when you hit that "next blog" button at the top of the blogger page, and you get to a really cool looking blog, everything wasn't in flippin' japanese? tonight i came across and arabic one with lots of pictures....it's kind of like when you're getting your nails done and all the people working there are jabbering up a storm. you just know they're talking about you. total paranoia.
- will ruby ever settle down?
- why does drew always have to poop after i've given him a bath and wrestled him into a diaper and sleeper? no matter how long we wait!
- why, when drew does fill his britches, does he go under the kitchen table to do it? such an odd place to choose for privacy...
- do i have whooping cough? in the middle of the night, i've succeeded in convincing myself it's true.
- why is night always a time for thoughts to creep out and make you think you're crazy?
- will my buddy get to feeling better soon? it stinks knowing they feel like you-know-what and i feel helpless.
- will i ever find a gift for uncle jon? should i just go for cigarettes and beer and call it a gift?
- will the weatherman finally be right? you know, we teach our kids a prediction is an educated guess or estimation....do they need a refresher?
- what will i do when i've finished my last twilight book?
- is waylon really a dog or should i start researching reincarnation a little more? sometimes, i think he's human.
- should i whack that kid tomorrow that keeps telling the other kids there's no santa? he told my kids santa was dead. DEAD! i promptly told him santa was like jesus, he would always be there. either i get points deducted from the hell ticket, or i get them added on for making a slight comparison of santa and baby jesus. i really think i'll get points deducted because that really made my kids happy. they now think santa and jesus are either related or just best buds....
- can i get fired for the jesus/santa talk? ah, i'll just say i was teaching them about similes.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
thank you for this flattering picture, tyler. i truly appreciate it.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
- According to Peter Billingsley (young Ralphie) in the DVD Commentary, the nonsensical ramblings that Ralphie exclaims while beating up Scott Farkus were scripted, word for word.
- For the scene in which Flick's tongue sticks to the flagpole, a hidden suction tube was used to safely create the illusion that his tongue had frozen to the metal.
- Ralphie says that he wanted the "Red Ryder BB Gun" 28 times.
- The film was released just before Thanksgiving and became a surprise hit. By the time Christmas rolled around, the movie had already been pulled from most theaters because it had been "played out". After complaints were lodged at the theater owners and the studio, the film played on select screens until after the first of the year 1984.
- Inspired the creation of "The Wonder Years" (1988).
- Director Bob Clark mentions in the commentary on the 2003 DVD that he worked with writer Jean Shepherd for nearly ten years on the concept of ‘A Christmas Story’ before the film was made.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
first, i never get phone calls, especially that early in the morning so i immediately knew something was wrong. it was mamaw calling to tell me aunt sister had passed away in the night. her birthday was just last week...
my mamaw is the youngest of 10 children and her sister, ruth, was the oldest. you can imagine how much like a mom she was to mamaw. she was even her teacher while mam was in school. all the siblings called her sister as well as calling their oldest brother, brother. i guess it stuck because that's all they have ever been known as. i guess it sounds odd to other people when they hear us say "aunt sister" and "uncle brother" but it was never odd for me.
aunt sister and i used to write letters to one another every week. they'd be pages long sometimes. i think i started doing this because she always wrote mam letters and i would see them laying on the mantle. one day i decided i wanted to write her as well, so i got the address off one of the letters and sent my letter out later that day. i can't even remember how old i was -- maybe middle school? anyway, we kept up with the correspondence for years, all the way up to my college years. at that point, she was getting a bit forgetful and would write the same things or lose the letter she'd started, find it a few days later and start writing on it again. i loved getting those letters in the mail. i have a very wide sentimental streak so i saved all the letters she sent me. i have them tied with a ribbon on the table in drew's room and just had them out looking at them a few days ago. they made me smile still....i guess they did their job. :)
i know this isn't a christmas theme today, but she was a blessing to mamaw, to big mom and to me. i think i am very much like one of her daughters, sissy, and i've always loved that. she lived a difficult life at times and i'm sure she's in a better place now.
on the way to work when i got off the phone with mam, i couldn't help but cry a little...just nostalgia i suppose. i also thought of how fitting it was that though she passed, another little life will come into this world in her place. i am sure she would be thrilled to know her place in this world would be filled by a sweet child....sometimes, that's what makes the loss of a loved one okay, the fact that another will get the chance to enjoy the sweetness of that new life.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
i just found my bestest bud SAS has started her own blog...i'm so excited. and yes sarah, i can now stalk you as well. Ha, ha.
sarah mentioned something on her blog i hadn't even thought to mention lately -- the cold weather. we both hate it but i can't believe i haven't really noticed it so far this year. i think since i'm running again it's just one of those gotta deal with it kind of things. you bundle up and go out. my absolute favorite part is that people drive by at the point where you've stripped off your long sleeves and notice you running in 30 degree weather with a t-shirt and running tights. i LOVE those crazy looks! it makes me feel superior in some weird way. maybe because i'm doing something they could be doing but won't. i can remember being very upset when i would see others out running in the cold, heat or rain and think "gosh, i want to be doing that!"
gear up girls, it's only gonna get colder. :)
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
day 3 of ye ol' advent blog is dedicated to those christmas gifts you just didn't understand....
as you can tell from the title and pictures, some of the gifts josh and i received (but didn't really understand) were socks, cologne and an easy bake oven. now, we had many, many christmas mornings when we were surprised and excited. many good gifts were given in the neiderman household. sometimes i don't know how mom and dad did it....4 kids, mom staying home most of the time we were growing up and living off of one income. things were cheaper then but still, they really had to stretch. so, not to sound ungrateful in this entry, i had to get that out of the way.
back to the pictures...i guess when a boy is growing up and hits a certain age, it becomes very difficult to find appropriate gifts. i remember one christmas when it seemed like josh got nothing but tube socks and stetson cologne. bottles and bottles of cologne. did my family think he smelled bad? did they think the 80's scented cologne was a chick magnet? either way, it was way too much of a bad thing. josh is never one to complain so he really took it in stride. he just loaded up his bundle of goods and made his way to his room. we always enjoyed taking all our new goodies to our rooms to arrange and display them so we could look at them for the next few days and continue the enjoyment....i bet if i looked really hard in his room right now, i would be able to find a bottle of cologne left over from over a decade ago.
now for the easy bake oven....i'm sure most little girls would love to have something like this however, i was more of a ball glove, cleats, swishy wind suit kind of girl. i liked tonka trucks and slingshots, army men and tennis shoes. when i opened my big gift from mom, dad and santa one year it was an easy bake oven. honestly, i didn't even know what it was. i had never heard of one of those contraptions. what the heck was i supposed to do with it? mom and dad saw the crestfallen look on my 9 year old face and knew something was wrong. for some reason they thought they overheard me saying sometime before christmas that i wanted one. i have no idea where they got that because i had never heard/seen one in my life. for about a month i don't think i even opened the box....maybe i was a little afraid of it, i'm not sure. anytime you cook a cake with a light bulb things are bound to turn out bad.
one snowy day later when i had exhausted all other options for entertainment (and had probably been banned from all board games at home) i ended up using that easy bake oven. one sixty watt light bulb and tin pan later we had a delicious, rock hard "chocolate" cake. (of which i made everyone sample.) let's just say the oven was shelved after that attempt and i never heard a word about it from the folks. to this day the easy bake oven is my christmas "poke" from family just as josh's cologne and socks are his poke....no one forgets, most of our family have memories like elephants.
i am thankful for all the gifts i received as a kid. i was always a little embarrassed to open my presents because i felt bad people had spent money on me. we were always very blessed with the giving spirit our family possesses. here's what made the good list:
- karaoke machine
- our dog, nelson
- our dog, kris
- trampoline (guess they got tired of us doing back flips on the bed!)
- all the tennis shoes i've received over the years
- my gorgeous lamp from mom
- cd player
- the t.v. josh and i got to share (this caused many fights as we each got to keep it in our room for one week at a time....it was horrible when you would really get into a show and the other person would show up to "repo" the t.v. for their week)
- a stereo
- castle greyskull (or was that josh's birthday?)
- my little ponies
- my pearls
mom, dad, mam and pap (both hollon and neiderman) always did good....always thinking of others and teaching us to do the same. there are so many less fortunate and i'm sure they would have been ecstatic to open up socks, cologne and an easy bake oven. :)
"Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree."
~ Charlotte Carpenter
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
the beer carton tree
the mountain dew can tree
the mountain dew can tree all done up
now these are what i call real trees. they are such a cultural symbol of where i'm from. i'm so proud they are displayed on the internet for everyone to search, copy and paste. i especially like the keg tree. wonder if they floated them first or if they lugged them up there full?
so, to all you tree lovers, it's too bad we can't do our annual christmas photos in front of one of these dooseys. i only wish i had a picture of my charlie brown tree from last year to add to the mix. i do enjoy a christmas tree very much, no matter what the size, shape, material or theme....love one, love them all.
Monday, December 1, 2008
i always loooovvvvveeeddddd advent calendars and would get so excited when mom put one up on the fridge. having 4 kids in the house, it took a while to get to our "turn" to open the little door or window covering our number. this was the beginning of many knock-down drag out fights between 4 children arguing over whose turn it was that day....all in the name of our sweet baby Jesus. we probably all deserved coal for that one. well, me anyway. (i can equate the opening of the advent calendar to the games of sorry! that took place in my youth....these games usually ended with me being sent to my room because i could not stand to lose and would throw a horrible fit.) i can't remember if i ever got sent to my room for fighting over the advent calendar...since i remember nearly everything from my days of tantrums, i would say mom must have taken pity on me and not banished me over that one.
for my first advent entry, i have had to change my choice of photo just now.....all because i just found out tommy's faithful dog, wondergirl, died this morning. it almost made me cry. you all know what a dog lover i am, (much to tim's dismay), and i cannot stand it any time something happens to an animal. tommy, i know you loved wondergirl and i am so sorry she died this morning...:(
however, the advent spirit must go on. instead of posting my original choice of photo, (which i will post tomorrow), i have chosen one to honor wondergirl. may she always be the one in doggie heaven to issue the triple dog dare and never the one to accept. here's to you, wondergirl.