Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of 2011

We had lots of happy family times this year. Jaime and Aaron moved into a new house near mine. We had some sad times, too, finding out about Mia's illness. But it was a good year. This pictures above are just a small reminder. I wish for a happy, peaceful and prosperous 2012 for us all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Christmas Faces

Aaron and Jaime


Jonah and Mia

Mia and Jaime

Jaime with long blonde curls

Steph and Cory

Cory and Jill

Jaime and Jill are running the light show

Bruce and Mary


 Roger and Nibbles

Friday, December 23, 2011

Visit to Santa

Mia and Santa

Jill and Santa

Mia, Jaime and Jill

Mia and Jaime 


 Cory and Jonah (who just watched)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mia and Jill's Art Work

This is the best of 3 drawings Mia did. All required lots of work to fill the whole page with bright color.

Some of Mia's recent art work. She sat down yesterday and wrote out the alphabet. The last I saw, she could do the letters, but not so neatly and not all the same size, etc. She said she learned this from her Leapster. Yea, Leapster!

These are Jill's masterpieces that she brought home at the end of school last year. I think they are wonderful!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mrs. World and Christmas Happenings

Cory and I went to the breakfast at Jill's class. Right - Jill and her teacher. Mrs. Wilson has taught Jonah and Jill so far. I told her Mia is coming!

Jonah's garden - just outside his classroom

Top pictures show the new Mrs. World, who is my friend and my neighbor's beautiful daughter-in-law. First she went and won the Mrs. America contest and now she is Mrs. World! The picture on the right is of Sylvia on her way to the pageant. April Lufriu, the new Mrs. World, is doing a great job for her charity, retinitas pigmentosa, which affects her own family. We always knew she was pretty, but now we know how special she really is. Congratulations, April!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Magic

Coca Cola Santa copied from Google Images

I like the Santa of my imagination the best. I think Santa suffers from over exposure sometimes. Just give me a "Ho Ho Ho" and the sound of jingle bells in the air. A glimpse of Santa on his throne in the mall is fun, but the closer you get, the more jarring imperfections are apparent. Even the most realistic Santa is not the same as the magical elf who appears when you are sleeping, and fills the tree with magical, sparkly packages. Norman Rockwell and Coca Cola images will always define Santa for me.
As a child, the most magical time was the middle of the night when I got up for a drink of water and found the dark room transformed. Once I found a beautiful little dressing table with a frilly skirt. Another time,  I swear I heard jingle bells in the air and the sounds of hoofs on the roof, but when I looked into the dark night, I saw nothing. I don't want weather forecasters telling where Santa is, or phone calls or letters from Santa.

A neighbor decorates his whole house with amazing lights every year. We walk across the dark golf course for a yearly visit with Santa. But wise little Mia told me that is not really him. She thought his voice sounded a little like her Dad. She said, "I don't know why he pretends to be HIM."

My son, Cory, was 9 when we moved for a year to Pennsylvania. He didn't believe in Santa Claus that year until he looked under the tree and there was a toy truck just like his stepfather's big rig. It had little mirrors and all the parts and pieces. He tells me he thought that Santa must be real to leave such a perfect little truck that looked as if it had been shrunk. Unfortunately, he also tells me that he later found the box in the trash. I am so sorry for that. I know my mother would never have made that mistake!

My mother and her sister were raised in a children's home in North Carolina. She says they always had a big tree and lots of presents. I don't really know about her Christmas, but I know she made Christmas truly magical for me and my brother and her grandchildren. Jaime once asked me, as Jill has recently, if I would tell her the truth if she asked me a question. I feared a question about the source of babies, but Jaime said, "Grandma is really Santa Claus, right?"

For me, anticipation is everything. That is why I have always loved Christmas Eve more than Christmas morning. After that, Christmas becomes all about the people, the old traditions, the music, the food, and finding a way to make Christmas magical for someone else. Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Happenings

Mia wrapped up in a princess blanket like a little Russian doll

Jaime didn't win the sweater contest at work but she won a prize for her ornament ear ring

The beginning of Christmas

Last weekend Linda had her annual cookie decorating party. There were three generations of Linda's family and a few friends including me, Jaime, Jill and Mia. The oldest generation mostly visited and ate appetizers while Tina, Sarah and Jaime ran the show. The children had a blast jumping on the trampoline and Jill made a new friend. I'm sorry I didn't take pictures.

Earlier in the week, I went with Cory and Stephanie to see Jill's Holiday program. She looked so grown up in a little silver and black striped dress knit dress with a cute scarf tie. Stephanie took some pictures of that.

Mia has a little Christmas caroling party this week for her school and Jill's class will have a Holiday breakfast on Friday. I love Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Conversations in the Car and a Christmas List

Jill to Dad:

          Jill: If I ask you a question, will you tell me the truth?

          Dad: Of course!

          Jill:: Is there really a Santa Claus?

          Dad: Do you really want to know?

          Jill: Yes

          Dad: There is no Santa Claus.  
Jill: (crying) But what about the Easter Bunny?
Dad: Nope
Dad: And there is no Tooth Fairy either. 
Later, to Stephanie:
Jill: If I ask you a question, will you tell me the truth?
Stephanie: Of course!
Jill: Is there really a Santa Claus, an Easter Bunny and a Tooth Fairy?
Stephanie: Of course! Where else would all those presents come from?
Jill: Yeah, that makes sense.

Mia's Christmas List (Written by Jill)

A little zee toy that sings the ABC's
A baby bumblebee pillow pet
or bees or bees lamp
Lala Lopsey silly hair
A Barney movie
Candy (shugger free)
Flat screen 3D TV
Another puppy  (golden retriver)
A Winter the Dolphin movie
Disney Tangled for Leapster Explorer
Toy Story 3 for Leapster Explorer

Mia and Jill were talking about caterpillars when Jill told about a butterfly cage they had at school. First the caterpillars ate the leaves, then they formed a chrysalis, and then the kids actually saw a butterfly emerge. Jill said there was "paint" on the bottom of the cage from the butterfly's wings.
Mia: I think the fairies paint their wings. (Pause) I want to catch a fairy.
Jill:  Once, when I lost a tooth, I saw a little light under my pillow!
Mia: I saw that, too!
I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Mia trying to wiggle one of her teeth.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Precious Christmas Memories

One of Cory's first Christmas gifts, a toy barking dog - 1972

 Jaime and me - 1981

Jaime, Mom and me - 1980

My favorite picture of Jaime by the tree - about 1985

Jonah - 2000

Jill - 2003

Jonah and Jill - 2003

Jonah and Jill - 2005?

Jill and Jonah - 2004?

Jill, Santa and Jonah - 2006

Jaime and Mia - 2007

Mia and Jonah - 2007

Santa and Mia - 2010

Shari and Roger - 2006

A few old pictures from Christmas past.