Monday, December 29, 2008

Another Christmas, come and gone...

I haven't posted in awhile for two reasons -
1. I didn't want to lose the picture of me at the top (totally selfish, I know!)
2. I was busy with Christmas. I LOVE Christmas!!

We had various activities here in the Solo household. Christmas parties, cookie decorating, caroling, church services... the same as across the world. As we were singing in church on Christmas Eve and I looked around, seeing lots and lots of friends and their children, I was filled with amazement. I was wondering how many people across the world were singing Christmas carols at that exact same time. All singing, all joyous, all for the same reason. I'm sure the angels loved it.

Molly did not have an extravagant Christmas list. An Easy Bake oven and Connect 4, which she got, and he threw in the Polly Pocket Jet for good measure.

Do you wonder who is taking the pictures? We have the best neighbor in the world, Rebecca. Not ONLY did she wrap all of the gifts and hide them at her house, but they came over before 7 on Christmas morning armed with a camera and fresh quiche for breakfast!! Boy are we going to miss her and Jim when we move....they are irreplaceable.

Michael had a short list, too. He asked for Lincoln Logs, Battleship, and Sorry. Santa delivered. It will be a sad, sad year when they ask for expensive gifts!! We are encouraging them to stay young and little as long as we can. They grow up only too fast....
Christmas is a funny time when you have kids. I think the best quote was from Michael as he was dumping out his stocking. Our kids get very little candy, so the contents are a bit..."different" from most stockings, I'm sure. Michael shouts out "YES!! My favorite MEAT!!" Santa had delivered some beef jerky. I had to sit there and laugh out loud at that one.
As I sit here and think about Christmas and all that we've done, I will have several favorite memories. A childhood favorite memory is watching out the door to see my grandparents driving down from Amherst, MA. They would have stopped by my aunts and uncles in northern VA and picked up all of the presents and be arriving like Santa's sleigh down the old dirt road. Grandma would have a blanket on her lap and Grandpa would be driving, because she never learned to drive. Can you imagine that today? We would all bound out of the house for hugs, kisses, and of course, to help unload all of those presents!!
An old-ish favorite memory is caroling at the VA hospital in OH with Chris's office. I love carols.
Now we are making new memories. I wonder if my kids will remember they got to eat dinner in their pajamas on Christmas night, and they didn't get dressed for 3 days because they were busy playing!?
Now, my friends, here is my question for you. What do you remember most about Christmas past, and what do you hope your family will remember about Christmas present?? (Even though I'm sure what our families will remember is NOT what we had planned for them to remember!!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Check ME out!

Now, let me tell you the short story behind the picture...

We had a book club weekend in Monticello. Erin is a photographer. A real one, actually. I know, I know, it seems like the "in" thing to do is buy an expensive camera, get a website, and start calling yourself a photographer. Everybody knows one of those. C'mon, don't sit there and pretend you don't. Someone who can't even get the subjects to look at the camera, much less get a decent shot of them. Well, Erin is not one of those. As evidenced by the photo.

I am not photogenic, that's no secret. I usually HATE having my picture taken, that's no secret either. I also don't like singing in front of anyone over the age of 4, but I digress. I knew that she was good at taking pictures. But I had never really been around her because I had my kids way before she started taking pictures. I had decided I did not want her to take my picture. Until she whipped it out. The camera, people...the camera. This is a family blog, remember?

All of the sudden, I realized it might be my one shot in life to get a decent picture. You know, the one to use for an obituary one day, or just to make me think that I - at one time - had a decent picture taken. And here it is, voila!

Please don't send me hate comments about your friends that bought expensive cameras and are great photographers. I already have Erin. She's the butter. Everyone else is just Parkay.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I've made a decision -

I've decided that I always want a table in my kitchen. It doesn't have to be big, or nice, or even totally cleaned off. Actually, a cheap flat surface will suffice. But here's why.

Last night was an evening that I had always dreamed of, yet one that you can't plan. I had gone to the gym, so I was only wearing work-out clothes. I was preparing dinner, unloading and loading the dishwasher, etc. Molly was doing her "math homework" for kindergarten which involved hiding a certain number of her ten bears in a cream cheese tub. She had to figure out how many were hidden by counting what was left on the table.
I had just gotten a book in the mail. Not just any book, mind you. The Book. The book that I had ordered a few weeks ago. It was from Snapfish and was our trip to Europe from August. I had used a coupon that came from Oprah (don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about here...!) and ordered the book. SO, Michael was sitting here reading the book with me helping out with hard words, like architecture. He was LOVING looking at the book and reading it. Loving it I tell you.
I was doing mommy stuff, and they were doing kid stuff. All was well, all were happy. Right there at the kitchen table. Mixed up with their Playmobil Advent calendar toys. I couldn't have planned his good reading, or her good math work. All I could plan was the yummy dinner. Sitting at the dining room table eating that dinner with Chris, Michael, and Molly was pure heaven.
Oh, the icing on the cake? Molly's headband that she was wearing was reindeer antlers. Complete with bells. I can't look at that sight and not smile.