Christmas Traditions

24209137_1413034562098078_169668152_oWe have no kids home for Christmas this year. Not a one. It’s the first year that has happened to us, but it’s okay. We had warning, and celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving instead (Santa owed me some favors so we had official approval on the switch). That way, we were able to embrace some of our family traditions, and we celebrated with Mom and 4/6 of our kids.

When the boys were young, they would sometimes get a box of Popsicle sticks as a gift. Armed with glue guns, those sticks turned into many hours of wondrous creativity (some of it a bit dangerous, I have come to learn — apparently one son made a shield so strong that he encouraged his brother to come at him with a knife so he could ward it off (ACK!!!!! Thank goodness for the angels that guard my boys! And I’m also super thankful the shield did its job. Whew!) )

This year I was feeling a bit nostalgic (Zeb kindly (and rightly) pointed that out to everyone when they opened their gifts and looked up with puzzled eyes). Knowing they were traveling soon, I chose our Popsicle stick alternate. The one we used for car entertainment when the kids were little (in retrospect, one of our more brilliant parenting moves). We gifted them with pipe cleaners. You can make a million things with them, and they are easy to travel with. No glue required. Also, I now realize they are a lot safer since they cannot be turned into bona fide shields.

A few days after they all returned to their lives away from us, Mollie sent us the picture of her pipe cleaner creation. I loved it enough to want to share it with you all. Isn’t she creative?

Soon I’m off to our candle-light Christmas service then will snuggle in for movies and junk food with Mom and Chris as I watch the incoming snowstorm from the coziness of our house. How perfect for a second Christmas.

We hope you all have a truly blessed holiday season.

Love to All – Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

This holiday season has given me a mind shift and mental reboot, which I hope will lead to my being a better contributor to the human race. After a wonderful day of snowboarding with my family (yesterday), I now sit here and write in front of a lit tree, with a fire on the TV in front of me (I pretend it’s real), “For Unto Us a Child is Born” from the Messiah on my Pandora, our dog, Star, at my feet and a son by my side. Dinner is in the crock pot, smelling fabulous, and church is in two hrs. Pure Bliss.

Our world has shifted radically this year, and I’m starting to come to terms with it, I think. There are steps I’m making to implement changes that reflect the shift. I’m sure I’ll be sharing some of those with you over the next few weeks. For now, though, I’d like to leave you with the warmest of thoughts and two of my all-time favorite holiday songs. From Pentatonix and Straight No Chaser:

May you all be blessed in this upcoming year.

The Techie Mama Turns 43

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I turned 43 on Saturday (no, I have no problem with my age), and it was one of my top five birthdays ever! Not gonna lie. It was filled with family, love and friends.

To begin with, I slept in. Although I never have to set an alarm (thanks to my job and homeschooling), it still seemed luxurious to wake up whenever I wanted and not have any agenda. I think I woke up around 8.

Then I curled up on the couch with my coffee and started reading a book my cousin Lars wrote entitled The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings. It just came out on Amazon.

My husband emerged for coffee and a nice yak, then we headed off to the local ski slope (our family loves Swain Resort, and two of our sons work there as snowboard instructors). We took a few runs then headed home for a nap.

Believe me, naps are a treat at 43.

Then the real fun began. Our kids, their girlfriends and other friends joined us as we decorated for Christmas and settled in to watch some of my favorite flicks–Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Widescreen Edition)
and Alvin & the Chipmunks.

How perfect is that? Topping that all off, I got to spend the day reading Facebook greetings and talking to loved ones on the phone. Year 43 certainly is starting off well.

I am one blessed chica!