Thursday, December 28, 2006

This is an experiment. I am having trouble blogging using Picasa, so my daughter suggested I upload my images directly through blogger. Problems with Blogger, too. I cannot hit "enter" to add lines - I cannot format and when I tried to upload images, it still says, "Your images are being uploaded to Blogger." It has said that for at least 5 minutes - probably more. No images. So, I published what I had to this point and returned to edit. I was able to format the text (colors, size), but still cannot add lines. My daughter and niece both suggested I switch to the new Blogger, but I did that several weeks ago. I had these issues on the old version and, again, on the new version. So, before I give up, I will try to add ONE picture. Nope, "Your images are being uploaded to Blogger." 5 minutes - easy! Oh well. Not meant to be for me tonight! One more time two images - one of Natalie and one of Alissa. It took 15 minutes, but the photos uploaded. :) Finally. Now for formatting . . . I will address that problem another day! Good night and good news!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night . . . .

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
I am lucky, no not lucky, blessed to have a wonderful family - terrific husband, great kids who have married great partners and a wonderful Dad! We are a happy, healthy, close-knit family!
I am blessed to have a brother & family and sister & family to love and to love me in return!
Life is good! I have all I need and more than I could ever want! Plus, this time next year, Matt and Whitney will have blessed us with a new little one to love!
What more could I ask for??
Merry Christmas to all - near and far (you know who you are) - and thank you for making this a beautiful holiday!
And remember - draw near to God and He will draw near to you!
Count it all JOY!
Me :)
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Christmas Evening at Dad's/Grandpa's/Great-Grandpa's

Drew gets tips from the Game Boy master!

As with every celebration for as long as I can remember - the floor is full of people. The people have changed over the years (thankfully, because I'm not as good at gettng up off the floor as I used to be!), but the crowd and the camaraderie has not!

Although recuperating from surgery, Terry was able to make it to today's gathering and Great Grandpa got a big hug from Drew (or is it the other way around??)!

Alissa, Drew and Nick were only here for a short time, but it was fun to see them! We all missed Andy, though!
We also missed regulars Matt and Whitney and Doug and Kellie!
A good time was had by all!
Merry Christmas, 2006!

P.S. It took me MULTIPLE tries to get this to post. What am I doing wrong? The frustration is beginning to outweigh the joy of blogging! Is there a better blog site for the obviously blogging-impaired?? Any and all help is appreciated!
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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas #2
Christmas morning traditionally begins with the "kids" opening Santa presents. This is when they get the gifts they wish they had gotten the night before! [The trouble with opening gifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning is that the amount of presents has to be divided by 2 - half to be opened one night and the rest the next morning. As the kids were growing up, it seemed like Dad and Mom always gave the ho-hum gifts, while Santa got all the glory. Now that the kids are grown, they know how it works, but it still feels like Santa is the one who comes through with the "good" stuff. Oh well. It all works out the same (except to Santa's helper)!]
Gift opening is followed by eggs and sausage (served on a very messy kitchen table!) cooked by Dad!
Natalie and David leave to spend the afternoon with David's family before we all meet at Grandpa's for the coup de grace!
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Merry Christmas Eve at Grandpa's
After church, we head to Dad's (Grandpa's) for our annual family gift exchange. Several were absent this year from our usual gathering - Terry, Alissa and family, and Matt/Whitney. Terry is recovering from surgery and decided to save his energy for Christmas Day; Alissa and family will come for Christmas after Santa visits their house; and Matt/Whitney are enjoying a beautiful holiday in Utah with Whitney's family. The rest of us still had a good time! What's not to like?? Family, food and gifts - an unbeatable combination! :)
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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Eve :)

The celebration begins at our house where family presents are exchanged. It was fairly quiet, but still festive - just the four of us and Abby, of course. Abby doesn't seem too impressed with her gift, but I'll bet she plays nonstop while we are away at work. :) That's why she sleeps the entire time we are home, I'm sure!

Once presents are opened, we grab a quick bite to eat and head for church for the candlelight service. This year Gary ushered, Natalie worked in the nursery and David elected to go keep Grandpa company. It looked as though I might have to sit by myself, but Nancy was able to come, too. So, we enjoyed the story of the birth of Jesus and sang lots of Christmas carols. Christmas isn't Christmas without church!Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas #1!!
Because Matt and Whitney are leaving on Friday, 22 December, for Utah to spend Christmas with her parents, we celebrated our Christmas with them on Friday, 15 December. We had a nice variety of snacky foods and then opened our gifts. And, what a selection of gifts there was! As wonderful as all the gifts were, the best gift of all was in a small tin box with a happy snowman on the cover and the words, "Joy to the World." Well, let me tell you, I don't know if the gift inside will give joy to the world, but it certainly will give a lot of joy to the Stephens family!

Nestled in the box was a precious ornament - a baby "bundled with love." A little sign hanging from the ornament says, "BEAUTIFUL BUNDLE BOUND TO BRING BIG BLESSINGS" on one side and "ETA Aug 07" on the other side.

Matt and Whitney are giving us the gift of our first grandchild! How exciting!! We are so thrilled - not just Gary and I, but all of us. I think David was initially stunned, but he is coming around! Whitney and Matt are so happy and Whitney is a beautiful mother-to-be! She already has the gorgeous glow of pregnancy!
Thank you, kids, for this wonderful gift.
As Eddie would say, "It's the gift that keeps on giving, Clark."
Merry Christmas 2006!
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The last blog went on try 5 - I'm on try 2 of this one. Wish me luck! I don't seem to be having much luck blogging lately. I tried going back to the old blogger, but it won't let me. Oh well. I must admit - it is taking all the fun out of it.
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Putting up the tree . . . .

Whose childhood ornament is cuter?
Dad even helped!

We put our tree up on 10 December and I have tried to blog the event four times and all four times it has *poof* disappeared without posting. Very disturbing to put all your energy into one entertaining blog and have it disappear. I just don't have the wherewithal to recreate it when that happens. Since it happened on two different occasions, I figure it wasn't meant to be.

BUT, I will try again, because it really was a red-letter day. Gary helped!! I don't think that has happened in ten years! The sad part of the event was that I had to leave to attend a Christmas party. It was a beautiful party, but it is always hard to leave the family behind when everyone is having a good time. :)

Anyway, they finished putting up the tree without me and did a stellar job. So, Christmas is official around here (and has been since the 10th)!
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Friday, December 08, 2006

(last year's tree :)

Having been tagged by Alissa (a week or more ago), here goes -
(But before I begin, is this pronounced 'meem' as in theme - or me me as in me me?)

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate with whipped cream or tons of marshmallows
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? She always wraps gifts - usually in red or green tissue.
3. Colored or white lights on tree/house? Colored - no question. White are way too classy for me - beautiful, but they don't match my not-so-classy personality.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? I used to, but it disintegrated and I never replaced it.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Around the 15th - with a cut tree, there would be no needles by Christmas if it was put up much sooner.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I do love the New Year's pork and sauerkraut. Now that Ma is gone, Dad makes a great pork loin and I make a pretty good sauerkraut, if I do say so myself.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Singing Christmas carols around the tree with all the lights out, but the tree lights. No accompaniment - just all of us singing. This is something I've never been able to duplicate in my adult life. Oh well, we have lots of memories that are every bit as precious. :)
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Santa is real - no doubt in my mind. I know it for a fact!
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Family gifts on Christmas Eve; Santa gifts Christmas morning.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I still use the "old fashioned" indoor tree lights - not the little sparkly lights. A few of the lights twinkle and a few of them bubble. Then, we add lots of old ornaments from when we were first married and from before that. Then, ornaments that the kids made when they were little. Just a conglomeration of things that are important!
11. Snow - love it or dread it? Love it if I can sit inside and look out at it. Hate it if I have to drive to work in it.
12. Can you ice skate? I used to try when I was a kid, but I think I'm a bit beyond that now. I'm a bit more fragile than I used to be!
13. Favorite holiday movie? It's a Wonderful Life and the 1939 version of A Christmas Carol. I also like "The Muppet Christmas Carol." :) My favorite holiday TV special? The Grinch or Peanuts
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Time with family
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Cookies - about the only time I get fresh-baked, homemade cookies.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I'd like to say trimming the tree, but I don't think any of my helpers would agree with that! I believe they are coerced into helping. So, in place of that, I'd have to say having the kids over on Christmas Eve - going to church - going to Grandpa's and coming back here for the night so Santa just has one stop instead of three! (I used to love leaving cookies for Santa when the kids were little, too. How cute is that??)
17. What tops your tree? A frosted-glass ornament tree topper - about 10-12" tall.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I love to give, but I sure feel the pressure of trying to find the perfect gift. Giving is really fun if the receiver is genuinely happy with what they get! I always suffer from the "I sure hope they like it" syndrome!
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I love to hear the traditional carols at church on Christmas Eve. Silent Night always makes me cry - I can hear my Grandma singing it!
20. Candy Canes, yes or no? I keep candy canes in the "candy boot," but I usually only eat one or two the whole season.

I tag: I don't think enough people read my blog to bother with the tagging portion of this meme. :)
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