Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year is Fading

fog maria
photo by Maria

That 4+ feet of snow that fell here in December went up in a fog after Christmas. It was beautiful. I rode around all day, in a fog, wishing I had my camera and was glad Maria captured the view in our backyard.

Here's a good verse for the last day of 2008:
"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."
Jeremiah 6:16

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Few More Christmas Photos

I just wanted to post a few more Christmas photos before it's over.

girl cousins w opa
Girl cousins with Opa

Boy cousins

john maria
John with Maria

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Tiff with her new bag

Christmas morning with coffee and John

Monday, December 29, 2008

Aunt Michaela, It's Your Birthday!

uncle ray aunt michaela
Master & Mistress of Ceremonies, 1988, of our wedding

I always think of Aunt Michaela on this day, December 29 because it is her birthday. So firmly engrained in my head is the "way" about Aunt Michaela that I was just thinking that last week when I went home for Christmas that I would walk over next door for a visit. But no... I forgot she moved. So anyway, here's a happy cyber-birthday Aunt Michaela!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

On the Occasion of Edward's 19th Birthday

Below, we are gathered around the table at our Christmas ham dinner, and this is what we do every year for Edward's birthday. As we were setting the table, Mom told me it was an "occasion", and so it was. We celebrate Christmas the evening before with the entire family present, and my sister Paula's family comes on Christmas, too.

Christmas Dinner

This year, I was struck by how Edward looks like a college student now. He only blew out 18 of his 19 candles, which surprised me seeing that he is a runner. He must have been laughing.

edward's b-day

You can see below he really did get red velvet cake and he does not appear at all deprived by having a Christmas birthday. Mom said that by reading my blog, she remembered to get the peppermint stick ice cream too. This involved an exasperating trip to both the IGA and Drug Mart, but it was worth it.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Four Sisters Photo

After yesterday's Christmas photo of 40 years ago, I thought it would be fun to show this Christmas with one additional sister.

We always pose for the Four Sisters Photo when we're together. I guess I forgot to wear holiday dress. What can I say? I was coming from the rough, cold, snowy North. We had a GREEN Christmas in Ohio after having suffered through all the snowfall in Michigan :)

sisters christmas

Our 5 daughters also get to pose together. Fun times.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Love Thursday


Today we celebrate the day when Love came down. Have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Spirit

Even Leo seems to be getting it...

... it's been snowing and snowing and snowing...
tree 002

... leaving our fence looking like a big birthday cake!
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We will be heading over the river and through the woods this afternoon to Celeryville for Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sharing a Birthday with Jesus

Back when I was overdue with Edward 19 years ago, I remember an old lady walked up to me at church and told me I was cheating my baby having it so close to Christmas. This didn't set too well with me at the time being overdue and all, but I've since realized what a blessing it was for our son to be born on the day when peace and joy reign.

No one could plan a bigger celebration of your birth! You have the whole anticipation of Advent building up to the day and everyone is bustling all about you. Instead of rubber balloons that pop, there are millions of bright white and colorful lights glowing in every home, and instead of clowns doing magic tricks for your friends, you get to gather around a beautiful tree with your family and eat Red Velvet cake and peppermint stick ice cream.

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And so, Edward loves his Christmas birthday even if he does get birthday presents sometimes wrapped in Christmas paper, and he never sees his friends on that day, and the best one - the COMBINED Christmas/Birthday present :)

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Edward, a jolly old Santa

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blizzard-y Family Christmas

Today, we woke up to blizzard-like conditions here in Michigan & our church was cancelled. We ventured out though in John's Tank, er...Volvo to John's sister's for our Christmas party.

Edward was given the Santa job and he took it very seriously!
ed santa

John's Mom gave all the girls cute rubber-soled Mary-Janes:
maria shoe

And they danced with joy!

The boys loved the ice cream part. You can see they are dancing on the inside.
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sticking Together

snowflake cross
"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things but look at what they can do when they stick together."

One of my latest Facebook friends is the local meteorologist and yesterday, I noticed her status was something about tracking a blizzard for Sunday (today). I'm already tired of snow and it's only the first day of winter! (It might have something to do with low iron and B-12 levels, but we're working on getting those up.) Someone had written the above quote on her wall which carries a lot of truth with it even with regards to more than just snowflakes.

P.S. Let me know if you're on Facebook and we can get in touch there :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Warm Welcome

ed triptych
Edward, yesterday

Edward came home for Christmas break at 11:15pm Thursday night and we all got out of bed to greet him. While we slept, the snowstorm started to come and the girls finally got their snow day to enjoy with Edward! I will say, there was a lot of laughing going on. Edward was also mighty handy to have around when he "snowblew" the driveway.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flash Back Friday 99

Edward, Christmas Day, 1989

This was the best Christmas present we ever received. He was born at 12:41 am on Christmas day 19 years ago! A Christmas miracle!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Love Thursday

Photo of Maria by her friend Trudy

I love to see photos of my girls taken by their friends: a new perspective. Maria's friend Trudy who is a senior in high school already is a very good photographer. I believe also that Maria may look differently into the camera of her friend. Just a thought.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yoo Hoo

Sunday night, Maria and the South Christian High School Symphonic Orchestra gave us this enjoyable rendition of Sleigh Ride.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Moon Shadows

Last Friday night, John and I got home at 2:30am (we are not wild, we were just helping some friends move :) ) The shadows out in the backyard were caused only by the moonlight, and it looked really strange...


Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy 47th!

You just take my age and add one... Happy anniversary to my dear mother & father!!!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Joy to the World

Today, I took photos at the church Christmas program and made this slide show primarily for our church's blog, but here too, I wanted to leave the message! Press on the little speaker next to the star for music.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Post 1000!

I made it. I had no idea what it would be like when I started blogging in February 2006, but I must say, it has been quite a trip. The biggest surprise is all of the wonderful people I've met virtually from all over the world (yay people). I also got to hang out (and move) with some bloggers in real life last night (Hi Gracie and Robin) where we engaged in a guessing game about the significant event coming up today (post 1000). Robin, I hope you're getting settled in your new home today, it's looking good. Gracie, I hope your project goes well! Thanks for the prayers!

Here are just some of my favorite things which I've blogged about:


Friday, December 12, 2008

Flash Back Friday 98

Christmas 1999, The Blogger looking like a pension analyst with her 3 kids looking like angels

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Love Thursday

Often times when I need a subject to photograph, our cat Leo comes through. I can only do it when he presents himself to me, because if he's not in the mood, well you know cats.

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From the time we got him about 8 years ago, he has been a character and he often makes me laugh!


This infamous pose was taken almost 4 years ago - he's provided many photo ops since then! To see some more of them, click here.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Bridget, Tuesday morning

She had been saying all the night before that she was optimistic for a snow day because of the weather forecast. I kept laughing and saying that maybe this was a bit pessimistic to not want to go to school. Tuesday morning, the weather wasn't so bad, so she got to go to school with her hair nice the way she had curled it overnight, and it was a good, good day.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Ping Pong Kitty featuring Leo (again)

A few evening ago, the girls & I had some friends over to play ping pong when John was out of town. Leo must have sensed that we needed the table. This was the first time I ever saw him lay on it. He was very photogenic about it though.

ping pong leo

As my friends were getting ready to leave, I gave Cathy a little poinsettia plant and she said,"Thanks for the tulips." This just makes me laugh. We took many photos playing ping pong, but they were lost. Yeah, I know, that memory card is history now!

ping 017

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Kitty

A few years ago, Edward used to call Leo Christmas Kitty because he always liked to lay under the tree. He would have gotten a laugh for sure this afternoon when Leo jumped up and posed next to the Believe sign!

christmas kitty

He sat there for awhile then morphed into his Sphinx pose.

christmas kitty2

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Inside the Snowglobe

The other evening, I was looking out the window at our Christmas lights and wishing all the world could see them under the gently falling snow. So... to accomplish this, I took the above photo. If you put your mouse over it, you will see just a bit of the glory.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Love Thursday

christmas tree

Each year, I'm not so excited about Christmas until I decorate the tree with a favorite Christmas CD in the background to help me meditate on its true meaning. This year the music of choice was Fernando Ortega's new Christmas cd. (I love it!) Every year our tree has been decorated with an assorted collection of ornaments, many of which were made by the kids. Well, when the 13 year old baby of the family says, "Mom, you should just put up the snowflakes", you know it's time you can move on... This year, I just used the gold and white ornaments and bows. The picture on the right was taken with a black piece of paper with a heart cutout over the lens.

Come Thou long-expected Jesus Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver, Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever, Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit, Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit, Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fountain Pop for Sander

If you have ever been to Europe, you may become very thirsty for a big fountain pop with lots of ice! It just sounds so good, but they are nowhere to be found over there. I mean, I LOVE coffee, but Dutch coffee after a week is like sludge on the stomach. And I even drink Starbuck's Extra Bold here at home.

So when my Dutch cousin Sander came a couple of weeks ago, I kept telling him how we were going to get him a BIG fountain pop. I told him how we like to get a 44 oz. when we go on a trip. He couldn't imagine one that size and said it would take him all day to drink!

When we stopped for lunch on the way to Chicago, he settled for a 32 oz.

On our later stops, he had his usual coffee or beer, so I don't think I sold him on the great American fountain pop.