Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fun With the Kiddos

Just a few pictures from our Christmas this year. I didn't take near as many as I would have liked. You would think that being a photographer I would take pictures of everything all the time. I think I used to. My camera was practically attached at the hip. Now, I am sure to take pictures of the important events but even then it's more minimal. And my kids have been so over photographed they hate it. It did get a few though.

First up is our cookie making extravaganza.

My youngest and I cut out and baked the cookie shapes will the others were at school. When the other 2 got home, we got to decorating.

Next time I'll share with you the 2 pictures I got on Christmas morning. Ya, 2.

Tradition! Tradition!

When I first started this post (3 days ago) I began by saying that we don’t have many Christmas traditions in our family, or at least not as many as I’d like. After a few minutes of writing though, I realized that we do have more than I realized.

Last year we started what we hope will be a tradition of going to Dante's Down the Hatch a few days before Christmas. (for you non Atlantians, Dante’s Down the Hatch is a very unique fondue restaurant. Since it would take a whole post by it’self to describe, you can check out their website if you are interested, .) We went last year and we did it this year too. (Does 2 years in a row make it a tradition?)

Another tradition that we've been able to stick to for about 3 or 4 years now is that we have Krispy Kreme dough nuts for Christmas morning breakfast. Both Paul and I grew up with the traditional Christmas morning breakfast casserole severed in our houses. While we both like that, the kids don't and there's no sense in me making a big ole' casserole that only 2 of us will eat and then have to throw most of it out. So, we do dough nuts. Everyone likes doughnuts, right? And then I don't have to worry about making breakfast on Christmas morning.

One tradition that is lacking in our family is any sort of Christmas light viewing. I've tried year after year to get to get this to work but alas it has not. It might if my husband were more of a willing participant but he is not. He hates going to any lights shows. There are several near us. There's the Lake Lanier Magical Night of Lights. We did that one year. I thought it was good. The kids really liked it. I can't remember why my hus did not. Then there is the Callaway Gardens light show (can't remember what it is called exactly). That one you can choose to drive through or ride the trolley tram thing. I thought it would be fun/different to do the trolley. Well, it was kinda chilly. We had coats and blankets but there was still a bit of complaining. So we haven't done that one again.

Then there is the Life College light deal -ly- o. There was a significant line of cars to get even to the starting line of that one. The hus hates to wait. Patience is not on his long list of character traits. We did wait though and made it all the way through, but I knew when I first saw the line that that was going to be the last time we did that show.

And this year, I've tried twice now to get the family down to Centennial Olympic Park in down town Atlanta to let the kids run around and look at the lights there. On my first attempt, we ate dinner first and when we walked outside, Paul had no sooner gotten the words, "It looks like it's about to start pouring" before it actually started pouring. So that was a no go.

Then after our Dante's Down the Hatch tradition, we (I) tried again. This time it was getting late, parking was not super easy , lots of one way streets ( turning down some going the WRONG way, getting yelled at by a cop who fortunately was on foot), and a mom and dad who were just ready to go home, all made that trip a bust too. I'm not done yet. We WILL go see those lights. THIS year.  I don't care if Christmas is already over!! (actually I'm pretty sure we won't do it this year either, but when I first started this post I was so determined.  Now, not so much but I had to stay with the theme of determination.)

We do have a few other Christmas traditions that we manage to keep from year to year. But now it’s all over anyway. I’ll probably have to get in one more Christmas post before it’s all said and done so bare with me.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yes, I am!!

Here is a Fish Out of Water post for ya... Normally this is the time of year that being in the public school bothers me most. It's ok to talk about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa but not Christmas even though the vast majority of students and teachers have a Christmas tree up in their home. But that's not why I'm writing.

Being that we have been in the public school system for going on 4 years now, my kids are very aware that not everyone is a Christian. This bothers my oldest daughter in particular. She wants so badly to believe that all of her friends and teachers love Jesus and will one day meet us in Heaven. So whenever she comes across evidence that someone she knows and/or cares about may not be a believer, she tries desperately to explain away their behavior and how it could still be possible that they are Christian. And she could be right.

She has this teacher though. She really likes this teacher. She looks up to her. She's a nice lady. So out of concern and a little bit of curiosity, my oldest daughter and one of her good friends, who is also a Christian, take it upon themselves from time to time to just ask people. So one day they asked this teacher of theirs, "are you Christian?". It's the teacher's reply that has me bothered. There was none. No direct answer anyway. They have asked her multiple times and each times she skirts the question like a politician on trial. She doesn't say yes and she doesn't say no.

For me, if I were to be asked that question, answering yes would be as natural as answering the question, "do you have brown hair?" "yes!" or, "are you a girl?" "yes!"  "Are you a Christian?" "Yes!"
So why wouldn't this teacher want to answer their question?

I tried to explain to my daughter that if you are a real Christian you should never be afraid or ashamed to tell anyone. 

I don't know if this teacher is a Christian or not, however, I don't know any true believer that would be afraid to admit it to an 8 year old.  And if she's not, why not just say no?  So...anyway.

On a positive note, my 6 year old brought home a book from the school library that was about Christmas and Jesus!  Yes, they have such a book in the school library!  ( you have to look for and get excited about these little positives when you are the public school system) AND, it just dawned on me yesterday that they still say the pledge every day and the "under God" part.  How do they explain that?  I'm not complaining, it's just inconsistent with their no religion rule. 

2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hung With Care, Finally

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted a house with a fireplace.  I grew up in Florida.  No one has a fireplace in Florida.  And if they do there's not much of an occasion to use it. 

But I didn't want a fireplace just so I could sit by a cozy fire.  I wanted one so I would have a legitimate place to hang my stocking.  As a kid, we used to hang our stockings on pegs on a shelf my dad had made.  A shelf!  It was a nice shelf and very decorative looking but it was no fireplace. 

Five and 1/2 years ago when we first moved into this house, I finally got my fireplace. And it's everything I dreamed it would be.  It's a cozy fire, a warm ambiance, a focal point, but most of all, it's a place to hang our stockings at Christmas.  * Contented sigh