Thursday, December 28, 2006

VACATION FROLICS!!!!!



I am SO thrilled to have a break and be on vacation!

The first part of this "winter retreat" was filled with Christmas delights! I LOVE Christmas because it is filled with family fun and traditions and reminders of my faith and joy in the birth of Jesus! I LOVE Christmas because it's a reminder of what can happen when you view the magic and majesty of life through the wonder of a child's eyes! A few of the best 2006 Christmas moments for me include:

Going to Anna Seppa's Christmas choral concert- the beauty of those angelic voices and the majestic Church setting still remain in my memory.

Trying to find "just the right gift" for my loved ones.

Going to Zac and Kayla's Baptism on December 10th at Crossover Church! What an important and life-changing moment for these two special grandchildren. Looking over and seeing the tears streaming down Ryan and Amy's faces really touched my heart! Being there with family and three sets of grandparents and all of their parents there was such a perfect Christmas moment!

Getting dressed up in Christmas glitter, going out to Azteca for lunch and then to the NUTCRACKER BALLET with Jessi and Emma! I anticipated this event all year long, got the tickets in September, and LOVED every moment of doing this with my daughter and her daughter! Seeing Emma watch the magic of this ballet will stay with me forever!

Taking hours and hours to decorate our tree with an "old-fashioned" Christmas theme.
Our tree is decked out with old photos of my parents, celebrating Christmas in Hawaii, and family photographs, past and present! The day before Christmas eve I even put roses (with water tubes) in the branches!

Drawing my own Christmas card, spending hours in pen and ink and watercolor pursuits, with the final drawing showing Santa by a Christmas tree "checking his list! The list had the names of my grandchildren on it! Then it was glitter time!!! Each card was individually "re-colored" (after being color copied by Kinkos) and GLITTERED!! Kayla, my grandaughter, helped me with that! What a hoot!! Too much work you say? Not work at all for me! I get lost in drawing and doing art, and it revives my spirit! Put on Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby..I am as happy as a clam at high tide!!

Having lunch with Amy and Jacob and then heading to do some shopping! Seeing Jacob hop up on Santa's lap was amazing and a memory I will store in my heart!

Going to Ryan's 6th grade class at Riverside and doing an "art" Christmas project with his kids! We got wooden ornaments at JOANNS (one of my favorite craft stores :))
and Kayla and I had a blast in Ryan's class as the students made ornaments for their parents! He is an AMAZING teacher! What fun!

Celebrating Christmas at Clinkerdaggers with my dear friend Sharon Hartnett! The decorations there are wonderful and put me in a Christmas mood!

Having time by the fire drinking coffee with Bert as we laughed and remembered Christmas moments when the boys (Chris 45 and Erik 42) and girls (Jessi 29 and Amy 27) were little!

Going out for Thai food with my grandson Zac is a fun tradition we enjoy! It's a one-on-one time to catch up!

Seeing Charlotte's Web with Amy, Kayla and Jacob was so much fun!! That story holds SO many lessons!

Going to Jacob's Christmas program at Montessori and seeing him as a reindeer singing his songs..it warmed my heart! How fun to hear him say to his teacher "My WHOLE family is coming to my program"!!

Talking to Emma about Santa's upcoming visit and seeing the wonder in her eyes as she told me about what she had asked Santa for...well it just doesn't get better than that!

Drinking coffee at Starbucks with Jessi as we shared our lives. Seeing Emma sleep peacefully in Jessi's lap brought back so many of those memories for me when I did that with Jessi!

Having Christmas dinner (with turkey and trimmings) for the Farrell family at our home! What a fun family time and seeing the presents opened and enjoyed was WONDERFUL!

Christmas morning and breakfast with Jessi, Rog, and Emma was amazing, and it was so fun to hear Emma recount that Santa had stopped at the house the night before and knew her name!!!

Listening to Christmas music, watching White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street, and reading my Bible to recount the real Christmas story! All of these helped me to have a "Christmas Heart!"

The "magic moments" of Christmas go on and on, every one of them a moment to cherish!

SO WHAT ARE MY "LIFE LESSONS" ABOUT CHRISTMAS AS I APPROACH 60?

It's easy to get caught up in the pressure, stress and "I'm SO busy" state of mind that can turn Christmas from a JOY into a series of obligations. My learning has been to only do that which is meaningful to ME at Christmas time!! Throw away the imaginary "timetables"..send your cards or letters early or late or not at all. Take time for cherishing the real spiritual reasons for this season! Go and sing Christmas carols to your neighbors all by yourself, if no one else wants to go! Set aside your "adult mentality" and role model your excitement about this special time of year from the children around you!

What if you knew this was your last Christmas? How would you cherish it then?

May the wonder of this Christmas stay with you throughout 2007 and may you anticipate
all the miraculous blessings God has in store for you in 2007! Love, HUGS and God Bless! Linda

2 comments:

The Farrell Family said...

We enjoyed every minute that we got to spend with you over the Chirstmas break. You and Boppa are two of our favorite people!

jessithompson said...

What a special time to reconnect. We loved being able to spend time with you! XOXO

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