Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

There’s an interesting article in Sunday’s New York Times What Should a Billionaire Give– and What Should You? Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton, wrote the article, and he said in part:

“We might say that they have a right to spend it on lavish parties, private jets and luxury yachts, or, for that matter, to flush it down the toilet. But we could still think that for them to do these things while others die from easily preventable diseases is wrong.

“In an article I wrote more than three decades ago, at the time of a humanitarian emergency in what is now Bangladesh, I used the example of walking by a shallow pond and seeing a small child who has fallen in and appears to be in danger of drowning. Even though we did nothing to cause the child to fall into the pond, almost everyone agrees that if we can save the child at minimal inconvenience or trouble to ourselves, we ought to do so. Anything else would be callous, indecent and, in a word, wrong.

“The fact that in rescuing the child we may, for example, ruin a new pair of shoes is not a good reason for allowing the child to drown. Similarly if for the cost of a pair of shoes we can contribute to a health program in a developing country that stands a good chance of saving the life of a child, we ought to do so.”

Also today I came across a quote by Winston Churchhill.
We make a living by what we get.
We make a life by what we give.”

Something to consider this Christmas season.


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Carnival reminder

Hey y’all– I’m accepting last-minute entries for tomorrow’s Carnival–any Christmas theme post. Get your entries in to me (owlhaven at aol dot com) soon! Thanks.

Also, Sprittibee is having a contest tomorrow. Post a winter or Christmas themed picture and one person will be chosen to win a resource/teaching guide that accompanies the new Charlotte’s Web movie. Check out her site for more details.

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Opinion Saturday

For this week’s opinion Saturday, I want you to think about your Christmas celebration and describe your very favorite part of it to me. It can be a time you’re looking forward to, or it can be an indelible memory from a past Christmas.

Give me sensory details, bring it to life, and really take me there. We’re all screamingly busy this week, so see if you can give me a clear picture in a single paragraph. Don’t worry if others describe a similar moment. With enough detail, yours will be unique to you.

You have until Tuesday evening to submit your answer. Wednesday morning, I’ll share mine, and I’ll award the Golden Keyboard to the writer who most caught my imagination and brought me into their Christmas.

Hit me with your best thought!

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Christmas Tour Of Homes

Today I’m doing the Christmas Tour of Homes along with BooMama, and I suspect a whole bunch of other nice folks. Click on the picture after you visit here to head over to Boo Mama’s and visit some more people in the Christmas spirit.

First up we have our front porch this evening with the Christmas lights on. Some years we do all the high peaks on our house, but this year my 15 year old just did around the front door, and it is great. Come on inside– it’s cold out tonight.

Here’s our front door. I love this wreath so much that I sometimes leave it up all of January too. One year I was embarrassed to realize it was still up in February — unfortunately I didn’t think of till our social worker was walking up our front step, coming to do a homestudy for one of our adoptions. Thankfully she didn’t disqualify us on the basis of inappropriate Christmas decorations!

We decorated the light fixture above our dining room table with silver balls and white bells on sparkly white ribbon. I saw the idea a couple years ago in Better Homes and Gardens, and thought, “Wow! Finally an idea I can do without going broke!” We think it is festive and fun.

This long skinny Santa is right next to our coat closet in front of our front door. He fits the narrow space perfectly, and I especially love that he says, ‘Believe!’ He reminds me to have faith.

A friend gave me these tumbling snowmen that hang over my kitchen sink. They make me think of the fun my kiddos have outside when it snows. I leave these guys up all winter long.

Of course there’s also our Christmas tree, which around this time in December starts looking ridiculously stuffed with gifts, as well as a little ramshackle from constant redecorating by my preschoolers. Thankfully they don’t bother the gifts — much. And if that gift heap looks excessive, remember, we have TEN people in our family. (The second picture of the tree, showing more of our living room was take in November, before the gift-heap had begun to multiply!

Speaking of ten people, one of my favorite places in the house is this railing where we hang all our stockings. A few days ago I told you the story of the first four stockings in our collection.

Since then we have added a couple other batches, of stockings as we’ve added new family members. They don’t match each other exactly but I think they all look really great together. Kind of like our family!

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Christmas Tree Treasures

Seeds From My Garden had the fun idea of sharing some favorite ornaments on her Christmas tree and invited anyone who wanted to play along.

These little clay bears were a gift from my mother in law on John’s and my first Christmas together. That year we were living in a microscopic basement apartment while we both went to college. It had one room that was a living/dining/kitchen (probably 12×18 or so), a bedroom and a bathroom. We paid $175 a month, I believe, for the privilege of living in that little rabbit hole. There were exposed pipes in the ceiling, and that Christmas we jazzed the place up by wrapping Chrismas lights around the pipes.

This next ornament is one that I painted in school when I was a child. My elementary school was a church-school, with eight grades all taught by my dad. On Friday afternoons my mom and another lady in the church would come and do art with us, so that my dad could work on his sermon for Sunday morning. Art class was a highlight of the week!

The little angel here is actually the newest addition to our Christmas tree. She was given to us by an aunt-in-law, who found her and a twin on the clearance racks after Christmas last year and thought of us. I love her African looking dress and her lovely features. I plan to give the angels to my two Ethiopian daughters when they grow up.

Finally, here is an ornament that has been a favorite of mine for decades. It was given to me by my grandparents when I was a child. They purchased it on a trip to New Zealand. I loved the beauty of the bell, and the knowledge that they brought it to me from so very far away. I decided back then that I would go to New Zealand someday…I’ve been lots of places, but that is still on my list of places I’d like to see.

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No Opinion Saturday today. I’ve decided instead to take control of my life. I’m planning to work like a maniac all day and see how much of this horrific to-do list I can take care of.

1. Address and send Christmas cards. DONE
2. Pay bills so I can still blog the lights will continue working. (1/2 done)
3. Give haircuts to all 5 of my guys. DONE
4. Assess Christmas shopping to determine what I still need to buy. DONE
5. Wrap some of the Christmas gifts trying to escape my closet. DONE
6. Mail rebates from gifts I bought, in hopes of replenishing bank balance.(tomorrow?)
7. Fold laundry so I won’t have to send search and rescue dogs after kids lost in the heap. (partly done)

If I just get the top 3 items on this list done along with 3 meals and Christmas program practice, it will be a good day. I’ll let you know at the end of the day how I did. If you want, chime in with your to-do list for the day….


I’ll leave you with the latest from my two year old.

I leaned down to pick her up and accidentally poked her in the face with a fingernail.

“Oh, I’m sorry” I said, “did I poke you in the eye??”

“Yes!” was her indignant response. “Don’t!”

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All nerves today…

..and a hundred random things swirling around..

Do we have enough school done to start Christmas break before I lose my sanity?

Are my book chapters good enough yet to send to the agents who’ve expressed interest?

When am I going to cut the boys’ hair? Write the Christmas letter? (Update: letter is written) Address envelopes? Wrap gifts, preferably before kids find them? (update: 2 gifts wrapped)

When am I going to finish my shopping? Scrub my bathroom? Put Christmas lights on the outside of my house? Make cookies? Scrapbook 4 pages of cute-kid-pix for grandma’s annual calendar?

And the most pressing questions at this moment: What are we going to have for lunch? And is there any chocolate around here?

Deep breath… remind self of the only source of peace in life…

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