Monday, December 29, 2008

Skating Day

We gave the kids skates for Christmas, so today they had fun breaking them in. (I skated, too!)
This was the first we've skated in four years (when Grandpa and Aunt Susan were here and shared in the fun).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A favorite Longfellow

The Arrow and The Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

I enjoyed a knowing hug from a friend today. It felt just like this -finding the unbroken arrow and hearing the song I'd sung echoed back in perfect harmony. Thank you H.W. and God bless you, dear friend.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cotton candy dream come true

Erin's BFF is making her way through bright clouds of happiness to our doorstep today. She should be landing at the airport any minute and neighbors of ours, who are arriving home from their Hawaii Christmas, will be meeting her at baggage claim and driving her over the river and through the snowy woods to our home - 'twill be a sweet reunion.

(The above photo comes from Cloud Nine Cotton Candy in Austen, TX - so you Texans, check out their cotton candy party services.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Here I go again...

'The history book on the shelf
is always repeating itself.'
(from Abba's, "Waterloo")

Erin and I watched the movie, "Mamma Mia" this evening. Afterward, we couldn't help but go to the sing along feature on the DVD.

We had great fun singing the ABBA songs together... "Honey Honey," "Mamma Mia," "Dancing Queen," "The Winner Takes it all." I flashed back to the teenage me singing and dancing (with much enthusiasm) to my Abba albums on our stereo console in our basement. When we sang "Dancing Queen" and came to the words "You are the dancing queen young and sweet, only seventeen" Erin shrieked, "AAck, I have less then two weeks to sing this song!" (She's having a wee little crisis in turning 18 - all kinds of things trigger this kind of panic.) We could barely get through the song, "SOS," because of Pierce Bronson's, ahem, slight struggle. The "Waterloo" reprise was great - Meryl Streep, et al, hamming it up.

Jivin' to Abba, 30 years later, with a super-cool teenage daughter. You just have to smile.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


"I Remember Mama" closed a week ago tonight.

Last night, I finally took a breath. In the evening, Erin arrived home from an afternoon of shopping with a friend. I listened to the colorful tale of the teens' four hour Christmas shopping adventure. This began my time for rest and entertainment, my easy breathing. And then for some reason, Erin thought her 18th birthday, which lands two weeks after Christmas, needed discussing. While we fondly reminisced about past "Erin birthday celebrations," restful entertainment still set the tone of the conversation. (Although, I'm afraid she took the crazy idea born out of it quite seriously.) After promising Erin we could decorate the tree after she and Dad watched an episode of "Lost," I treated myself to a warm bath.

"Evie's Christmas" on the CD player. Shiny ornaments. Trying to pull Brady away from his computer game with a friend. Empty cartons and wrappings carpeting the floor. Brent placing the high ones. Peppermint tea. Memories recollected only with the unwrapping of Christmas ornaments. Glue for broken pieces. Picture taking. Warmth. Tree decorating follows the same routines every year, but doing it feels as fresh and delightful as a child's new adventure.

In the morning we woke to a glittering, white pipe cleaner world. Every single piece of earth had been decorated in the same freshness and delight that our indoor tree trimming had inspired. Brent and Brady left to take Erin to dance class (with some other mysterious mission in mind). I could contain myself no longer. As I fondly recalled one of my teen Christmas Days, skating with cousins in a sparkling world as original as this morning's, I hurried to find long underwear, a heavy sweater, and my heavy coat - a remnant from winter days spent in Iowa.

Fluffy, virgin powder almost to the top of my knee-high Sorrells. Gleeful steps. (Will walking in heaven feel like this?) Open garages with cars warming. Neighbors pushing shovels. Tires scrunching in snow paths. Several flocks of birds trimming the frosted branches with songs of joy while basking in God's glorious Wonderland.

My walk fixed the pace for the rest of the day. Book reading in a sunshiny room. Football game whistles and commentary from a distant TV. Quiet, guitar melodies floating down from above. The aroma of sweet, slow-cooking stew permeating every nook and cranny . Yummy gingerbread men cookies (SCD legal!) specially baked, carefully wrapped and sent from Grandma. We breathed in Christmas spirit and then, around our dinner table, out came Advent hymns and Christmas carols from our a cappella voices.

Christmas shopping, errands, and food preparations still need attending to, but this reprieve has been a cinnamon-scented mercy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Narnia personality test


The description of Bree was accidentally deleted at the web-site, but no matter...I'm Bree!

(Bree is the horse in The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis.)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Road trip on Thanksgiving Saturday

Mission: 1) Brent and I needed to pick Erin up from an acting class (she'd ridden with a neighbor earlier that morning). We hoped to shop a couple of hours at the mall first. It was a foggy, wet two-hour drive north.

The previous night's SNOW carpeted the fields about an hour into our drive.

Our first Christmas greeting of 2008.

The wildlife must gather around this tree on Christmas Eve, don't you think?
Below: Where we picked Erin up. Stars in training!
Both on the way up and way back, we watched a group of townspeople, in this small town, decorate their main street and city park. 'Tis the season.

I wonder what this use to be?

An old dance hall sits (behind an ugly, modern liquor store). I can almost hear the Big Band orchestra playing and see the skirts flying. I bet it was a happening place.

Lots of logs waiting their turn to become 2 x 4s.

Home before dark thankfully. Fog was its thickest of the day as we drove into town. My driver is exhausted.
Look what we found going on in our basement. (One person is hidden behind a machine. Eight gamers are all involved in the same game together at Brady's LAN party.)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Poetry Friday


Love was not given the human heart
for careless dealing.
Its spark was lit that man
Might know Divine revealing.

Heaped up with sacrificial brands,
The flame, in mounting,
Enkindles other hearts with love
Beyond the counting.

Reflected back into each life,
These vast fires, glowing,
Do then become the perfect love
Of Christ's bestowing.

by Grace Coolidge, first published in Good Housekeeping magazine

(Happy Anniversary, today, to Tyler and Debby!)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

7 random things

My friend, Nicole, at Art and Aioli posted a meme of 'seven random or little known things about yourself' and tagged anyone else who wanted to do it. I enjoyed learning more about her, so I thought I'd share in the fun, too.

1) I love to hunt rocks and seashells.

2) My permanent teeth were permanently discolored, before they were in, from fairly large doses of the antibiotic, tetracycline.

3) I lived one summer with a buffalo herd.

4) I've been inside the mountain of pure, white marble in Colorado, from where the stone to make Lincoln's Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was mined.

5) Two things that freak me out: Snakes on my walking path and mice in my house. (I drive my kids crazy, though, with my kindness to spiders.)

6) I've gone spelunking in a cave.

7) I get claustrophobic.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I Remember Mama

Door to the girls' dressing room

A peek at the set

Tonight is the second to last rehearsal for "I Remember Mama." (First one being October 13th; open auditions weren't held as the director handpicked the cast from "Fiddler" participants.) Opening night is Thursday!

This musical takes place in the same time period as "Fiddler on the Roof." It's set in San Francisco with a Norwegian immigrant family. Erin plays Mama's 20-year old sister, Aunt Trina, who seeks permission to marry a Swede...a Methodist one at that (during the first read-through of the script Erin looked at the director and said "What are you doing to me?!"). Despite these similarities, Aunt Trina is a completely different from Chava. Erin's had fun getting to know her. I can hardly wait to see the results of Erin's and everyone else's efforts in the creation of this production.

We're counting on your prayers for us. This is a 7 performance run these next two weeks.