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Showing posts from December, 2012

Coincidence? Maybe not.

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing,  some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”   Hebrews 13:2
A week before Christmas I was having tea with my friend Monica.  We were warming ourselves in front of a fire when the doorbell rang.  It was mid-day.  The girls were playing upstairs lost in a world of Playmobile.  I was not expecting anyone.   Parked across the street was a pick up truck, and standing in front of me was a man, asking if I would like him to work on our yard.  It was not hard to tell why he picked our yard.  We never did a fall clean up.  Dried leaves lined our fence and gathered at the bottom of our stairs. Our holly bush had one lone branch stretching towards the gutter.  Our lilac was unruly and overgrown.  It was not that we did not want to fix up the yard, but with Greg traveling and working extra long hours, our weekend time became extra precious.  Spending half a day doing yard work simply was not a priority.   I asked him to wait a moment…

Christmas Every Day

This is one of our favorite Christmas songs, written by Smokey Robinson (Christmas Everyday lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group).   He was born so far away So the story's told We remember Christmas day When winter days grow cold
With the time it passes by We put away the trim Then we live and wonder why We can't remember Him
The Christmas star shines once a year And then it fades away Keep the spirit in your heart It's Christmas everyday
It's not the bells and it's not the snow And it's not the gifts we get But He was born so long ago It's easy to forget
Peace on earth, goodwill to men But men can't go alone We get lost along the way But He can bring us home
Remember Him throughout the year Without the star above He left us all a Christmas gift He left the gift of love
The Christmas star shines once a year And then it fades away Keep the spirit in your heart And it's Christmas everyday

Cookie Day, a tradition continues...

When my girls are grown and moving out on their own to explore their own destinies, I wonder what my home will be like when the responsibility of major holidays shifts from my mother, to me.  What will be the staple meals that the girls ask for when they bring a boyfriend home for dinner or when they call and say they are homesick at college and want to come home for the weekend.



Of course this is making major assumptions, a) my girls will stay close to home as they mature and b) they will WANT to come home.  My family never strayed too far from home.  We move as a pack.  I live only 2 miles from my parents, my sister is about 30 minutes and my brother about 45 min away from home base.  This geographical closeness has allowed certain traditions, like Sunday dinner at my parent’s, to continue for years.  While we may not meet up every week, we can count on at least one or two dinners a month.  I don’t have to rely on Facebook or Instagram to watch my nieces and nephews grow, they grow a…

Fashion Design

Lilah has been developing a new interest - fashion design.  Discarded designs litter her bedroom floor.  A brand name and logo have been created.  Lilah is desperate for a dress form made from duct tape and pvc piping, and that is on our to-do list along with a much needed trip to Joanne's for fabric!  I remember when I wanted a career in fashion.  I thought it would be fabulous to travel to the world’s fashions capitals and buy fabulous clothes from fabulous designers for fabulous stores.  I took art lessons and Italian lessons (so I could speak fluently while traveling to Milan).  In my dreams I would have attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.   The reality was that I choose to study International Business in order to have a broader understanding of how business works and have more options available to me, than if I had a degree in something specialized like Merchandising.  I learned that a foreign language is not easy to learn if you do not have the opportunit…

Gingerbread Houses

A holiday tradition continues....











Art Journaling: A Prayerful Offering

There is healing in the process of doing something that you love and turning it into a gift for others.  Our church is close to St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown.  The Religious Ed Director of that church has come to ours several times to speak to our parents and offer us new ways of thinking about raising our children in our faith.  A few years ago I was lucky enough to be in attendance and I heard words that changed my way of parenting, and actually my way of living.


The director challenged us parents to bring God into our children's’ lives.  They will not see him unless we point him out day after day, miracle after miracle, small moment after small moment.  He is with us in the warm embrace we give one another before we turn off the light and say goodnight.  He is with us when we share a meal with someone in need.  He is with us when we honor those we love.  He is with us when we need him, and he is with us when we think we don’t.   We are living in a world that is blocking out …

Sandy Hook

On September 11, 2001 Grace was just three two days shy of her first birthday as she and I played in our family room and the phone rang.  It was my Mother, who was working on the West Side of Manhattan listening to reports that something was happening, while watching smoke rise above the skyline from the south facing windows of her building.  At that very moment I wanted to gather my loved ones close.  I waited hours and hours, pacing until I knew that she and my brother were out of harm's way.  I could not understand why Greg’s boss would not close the doors and tell the staff to go home and be with the ones they loved.  How could someone work as our world was seemingly falling apart? As long as I had them an arm’s length away, I could let out the sigh of relief knowing that they were safe, alive, and able to come home to my waiting embrace. 

Friday I had that same feeling, the same need to gather and protect.  My girls were with me, shielded from the events that were transpiring …

Christmas at Rockefeller Plaza

Sometimes I worry that I am not a “fun” Mom.  I want to be.  I want to love board games, Black Friday shopping and New York at Christmas but part of me just does not like these things.  The older I get, the less I want to be around throngs of people.  I much prefer a quiet night at home, with a good book or movie, the dogs cuddled on my lap, and my girls warming themselves by the fire.  However, this makes me a dull Mom.




Yesterday, we caught a 3:00 train, and rather than spending the night watching Little House, we had the chance to relive what I honestly thought would be a one in a lifetime event, Greg’s holiday party at Rockefeller Center in New York.  Last year I told the girls to soak up every detail of that magical night.  That night will live on in my memory as one of my favorite family moments of all time.

Last night we made some new family memories.  One happened as we were walking along 5th Ave. A older gentleman stopped an NYPD officer to ask him where Gimbals is located.  The…

Elder Berry Syrup

I am deeply afraid of the changes that 2013 will bring in our healthcare system.  I am in agreement with most people that health care costs are skyrocketing, hospitals are no longer efficient because they are being used for primary care purposes and the baby boomer generation is aging and along with that being treated for age related illnesses. There are not enough doctors choosing primary care to treat the population and our needs are increasing from preventable diseases such as type II diabetes.  It is a recipe for disaster.

However, I do not support a universal healthcare system that adds huge numbers of people into a system that do not pay into the system they are using.  I find it offensive that the governing body who passed this law without ever reading it in its entirety exempted themselves from it.  To quote Andrew Wilkow, “Socialism is for the people, not the Socialists.”  I truly believed that our Supreme Court would have found this unconstitutional.  Never before have Americ…

Another Year Over....

Taking the month of December “off” has been wonderful.  I know that back in July when it was hot and we were still plugging away at our core subjects, it felt like torture, but my intent was to finish up what we had let lag due to our insane DI schedule, and close out the year.  Our academic year began in September and since we dropped so many outside activities, we have been very focused on academics.  There is no reason why we can’t enjoy lots of downtime this month and focus on the holiday season.   Work still happens.  Lilah is working diligently to finish up her cousin’s picture book which will be given as a Christmas present.  Grace decided that she too would like to give this gift.  Her story is complete and she will begin working on her book. Grace discovered that the Kindle app offers all kinds of classics for free and is on chapter 2 of Wizard of Oz.  Lilah and her friend have been designing and making clothes.  They have a brand name and logo!  They still have 2 chapters lef…

A New Season

Basketball has begun.  A new season.  Two new teams since both girls aged up onto the 5/6th grade and the 7/8th grade team.  Same coach, thankfully.  I have mixed feelings about basketball this year.  Last year ended with a trip to the ER, a mild concussion, and a sprained neck.   The injury was not caused with malicious intent.  The girl that stopped Grace short, knocking the feet from under her, causing her to topple backwards quickly with no way of catching her fall, did not do this as an act of revenge, or poor sportsmanship.  She was part of the actions that led to my daughter’s injury because she had not been taught to play the game properly.  For that, I blame her coach and ultimately the recreational league on which my girls play.  


I walked away from last season shaken, and angry.  Neither the opposing team’s coach nor the girl involved ever came across the court to check of Grace, to offer apologies, to accept responsibility or at least to ask “are your okay?”.  That left a v…