Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Being different is a blessing! (a re-post)

I read this post the other day.

About Rudolph.

Wow!  It really is an amazing Christmas story.

I asked my friend Jill, from The Glen, if I could re-post her post.....  :)

being the friend that she is.....

She graciously said 'of course'!


Do you know this story?

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty
apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob's
wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand
why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's
eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?"
Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought
waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life.
Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was
too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names
he'd rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never
seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and
was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during
the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it
was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer had stripped them of all
their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a
two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before
Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even
afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was
determined to make one - a storybook! Bob had created an animal
character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara
to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story,
embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was
the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography
in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he
was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a
big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his
little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little
storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to
print the book. Wards went on to print,_ Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
_ and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores.
By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies
of Rudolph . That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the
rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all
rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and
marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing
family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving
daughter. But the story doesn't end there either.

Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph.
Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby
and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.
"Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a
phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song,
with the exception of "White Christmas."

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept
on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the
lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so
bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Cookies.....gone in a flash!


On Christmas Day.....

While getting the ham ready......

These very anxious and excited 'cookie helpers' had a chance to actually do some {very little} Christmas cookie baking!

Nothing fancy.

Nothing complicated.

Just easy peanut butter/chocolate kisses with red and green sprinkles Christmas cookies!
Like I said ~ super-duper easy!

The Littles 'job':
Operation un-wrap!

Done with gusto!
(Just a side note: Notice how Shea's candy kisses are all lined up?  Notice how Avery's are not?  My girls in a nutshell!)
Done with high levels of concentration.

Also done one-handed! ha!
Talented girl!

The dough was rolled, sprinkled and ready to go!
It was baked.
Kisses were plopped on top.

Cookies cooled.

And just like that....

Then were gone!
Like in a matter of seconds.
The horde family descended upon the couple of dozen cookies....
And they were gone!
Gone! I tell you!

Pretty sad.
So far those are the only Christmas cookies I have managed to bake....

Hoping to bake some more this week.
My daughter-in-law emailed me a recipe called
"one dough can make many cookies".
(Sounds like my kind of recipe!)

Oh well.
Shea & Avery had fun 'baking' for those few minutes!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Snapshot {A-very Merry Christmas 2010}

Awwwwww, another Christmas....

What a wonderful day we had!

Our first Christmas with Avery.....

Didn't take her long to figure things out!

Our first Christmas without Scott.....
(We missed you!)
His first Christmas as a married man!
(We love you Stephanie.....and of course, you, Scotty!)
Merry Christmas, you two newlyweds!!!

Drew and the Littles.

Faith with the Littles......
Checking things out.

Avery "helping" Jon with his present.

Jon is quickly becoming part of the family.....
He scored big time with these gifts of Pillow Pets!
He certainly knows how to make these two little girls smile!

As well as this not so 'little' girl.

Some other favorite gifts.....

Merry Christmas!

Lest {we} forget the real reason for this holiday.....

Most definitely!!!

Click on the button....

Ni Hao Y'all

and join the fun!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holy Cow! Is is really almost Christmas??????

Oh, how I have missed blogging...

Oh, how I have missed my bloggy friends....

Like really missed y'all!  For real!

Where have I been???

Teaching math.

Long term subbing.

All day!

At my Shea & Avery's school.

Teaching math.

To fifth, sixth, seventh, & eighth graders!

Oh, did you know that I am actually a Language Arts teacher???

You know, like Literature, grammar, writing?????

I think I did alright....
It's like riding a bike...kind of.
The 'math' stuff....it all came back to me.
My left-brain was is overdrive.....
It is a good thing to tickle that side of the brain....every once in a while! ha!

One of  'my' sixth graders told me that I'm not so bad as a math teacher....gee, thanks!
An eighth grader commented that he was surprised that a Language Arts teacher can actually teach math.....
Again, thanks!

I have been teaching for a couple of hours in the afternoon since the beginning of the school year.
I do teach Language Arts to eighth graders.
The above 'commenter' is one of my current students.....hmmmmm.....

Anyway, this teaching full-time...
has KICKED MY BUTT!!!!!!! (just saying)

But, I'm done! 
I'm done! I'm done! I'm done!!!!!

Please don't misunderstand me.
I love teaching.
For the past month,  I have completely enjoyed these {my} students!
Teaching math was....well, fun! (kind of)
The kids made me laugh.
The kids are sweet! (for the most part)

Teaching all day.....was! completely! exhausting!

Here's the thing....

Back in my thirties, I use to teach middle school all day long.
My three oldest kids went to school with me. (That is until they went to high school.) ;)
It seemed to work.

So why did this teaching gig kick my butt?

Cuz, I am OLD{er}!

I am old{er} with two young children....

I am old{er} with two young children, and I want to enjoy every minute I can with these two little ones!

I must say I am in total awe of women who can work outside the home and inside the home!


How do you do it????

Like, really....
How do you do it?

My laundry has taken on a life of its own.
I can't remember the last time I washed my floors....
I have piles of paper all over the house....
Both my kitchen table and my dining room table are covered.....with (I don't know what) stuff....
My husband asked me the other night where (in the house) are we going to eat....since there is no room on the tables!
I have been doing 'drive-by' grocery shopping....
You know, where you run in the store and just buy enough food to feed your family for that particular night!

Oh yeah, and then there is Christmas.

I am feeling stressed!

Shopping for presents.(on line)
Wrapping presents. (really?)

Christmas Cards.

Christmas baking.....


Baby Jesus!

Taking the time to revel in this miracle....
Hearing Avery talk about Jesus.....
Her first Christmas home!

Baby Jesus!

Avery wondering when He will come to our house so we can sing Him "Happy Birthday".....
Avery telling me that she loves Him!
Wants to hold Him!

gently & humbling reminding me.....

Christmas.....means Jesus!


Holy Cow!

Christmas is almost here....

And, I am ready!

Ready to embrace the Miracle that is Christmas!

Ready to 'see' Christmas through the eyes of a four year old....


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Snapshot {Happy Birthday Sleepy Head}

My sweet Shea turned six ( yes, six!) on Friday.
She could hardly wait to begin her day!
Turning six is some big stuff!

As usual, she was up at 5:30 am.....sharp!
Good thing, Daddy had {this} ready to go.....

Of course, she wanted to 'try it out'!

Of course!

Good thing Daddy is an early riser as well....

He took her through the house for a quick spin!

Shea had a wonderful day celebrating her birthday at school....

Passing out Christmas-y cupcakes to her friends & teachers....
Wearing a birthday crown....
Having 'Happy Birthday' sung to her by her kindergarten friends then her Spanish teacher then the 'big' kids at lunch time made her feel very special!

We took her out to eat at her favorite local restaurant....where she reveled once again in all that 'Birthday Attention'......
Must have tuckered her out....
She feel asleep on the way home....

Poor baby!
Turning six is big stuff!

We had to wait to do {this} on Saturday:

She looks rather happy......

Shea told me this was her 'best' birthday ever!

This is our fourth birthday celebration with our darling daughter.
Ever year has been the 'best' for us....simply, because we get to celebrate with her!

I hope every birthday Shea has is filled with wonder and delight....
I hope she always knows how much  she is loved.....and treasured.

Happy Birthday, precious girl!

Ni Hao Y'all

Make sure you check out the other Sunday Snapshots! :)