Putting Christmas away

7 01 2008

This is how I begin the process of putting Christmas away…


And this is how Abby begins putting Christmas (in particular, a Santa Claus toy) away…


the past week

1 01 2008

Just some pix. I’ve been sick, exhausted, and on vacation. Aside from those first two negatives, however, there have been some fun times in the past week. So here are some moments in pictures…

Sledding on Christmas Day

Our Christmas tree… I love our tree… I’m going to miss it.

Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown, Minneapolis. Best pancakes in the world: Wally Blue’s.

Hiking with the dogs… along the Mississippi River.

Minnesota Wild game… after we won in overtime.

After the game.


20 12 2007

100_9399_ikea.jpgNo, it’s not one of those cell phone commercials. The ones who combine the city names in one word. And no, it’s not a typo. Though when I titled my Advent Photo #18 last night, I separated the three words with a space. But today I re-thought that. Because it was such a surreal funny experience, it just felt all mushed together.

Jim and I were at IKEA yesterday. Jo Ann drove out and met us for lunch, on a study break. Jim went to visit a friend at a nursing facility in Carol Stream. When he returned, and after Jo Ann left, Jim and I did a quick walk-through of IKEA. As we were heading down the escalator from Level 2 to Level 1, these two elderly ladies–obviously sisters–somehow caught Jim’s attention, then showed him their shopping carts, each of which held about 5-7 circular candelabras. Jim said they looked like Lucia crowns, and that now these two ladies could have their own Lucia celebration. I actually thought Jim knew these ladies, the way they were talking to him. It was funny. Then I realized they didn’t.

“Lucia!” they said.. oh, they added. We know Lucia.. We’re half Swedish, half Italian.. both sides have Lucia. Jim suggested they sing the Lucia song… and so he began to sing. But as he started, one of the ladies said, “wait! wait!” and began rummaging in her purse. We looked at each other wondering what was going on. And the other sister said to the one rummaging, “Do you have it? Oh dear! Don’t encourage her!”

Then the first one pulled a kazoo out of her purse. And began playing the tune of “Santa Lucia”. So Jim began singing. They were side-hugging, while singing/playing… passersby staring at them, some laughing, some smiling, some just looking puzzled. And, of course, Jim was singing in Swedish.

Quite funny. And fun…

Reindeer sadness

18 12 2007

I found out tonight that one of the reindeer died–one of the reindeer at CaPaul’s Christmas Tree Farm. I’m not sure which died–Holly or Ivy. Nor do I know who’s who in my reindeer photos… all I know is that I absolutely enjoyed petting these guys, and hope the one who is still alive is ok. Apparently they do not do well alone.

I’m very sad.

my photo somewhere else

15 12 2007

Pretty cool. Check it out. Scroll down to the section about houseguests… and there’s one of my reindeer photos.


I might be going to hell…

14 12 2007

if the phrase, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” is true. Thankfully, though it may be partially true, I realize there’s more to it than that. But, just for a split second today, I realized that my “good intentions” list has been growing and growing… and my actual productivity level has not been growing in proportion. So, here are some of the many things I fully intended to do this week or last week or last month or even today:

send a Thanksgiving letter

write a Thanksgiving letter

catch up on work I’m behind on (church work)

reply to all those emails that came in that I’ve forgotten about, yet need a response

send a Christmas letter

write a Christmas letter

send Christmas gifts to friends and family

buy Christmas gifts for friends and family

post today’s Advent photo before noon

take today’s Advent photo before noon

respond to hard words rather than react

go to bed earlier than 12:30 am

walk the dogs today

forgive someone hard to forgive

ask for forgiveness

write a letter of appreciation for someone who is leaving his position

clean the house

move the home office downstairs

organize my winter clothes

start our child’s nursery

call friends and family

start sermon early

finish my list of “necessary phone calls” yesterday

Advent devotions today

call youth to see how they’re doing

read a book

read several books

play in the snow with the dogs

blog several times in the past week

read the newspaper

play the geography games online that help me learn world geography

check our adoption paperwork to see if it’s all good (might need to be fingerprinted again… joy)

call my Mom

spend less time on the computer


do my laundry

clean my church office

finish my Guatemala ’06 scrapbook

and many many more things….

ah, well… such is life. Good intentions are great, but now I need to work on some of these items. Thank goodness–no, thank God–for grace.

Today’s photo:Advent 10

11 12 2007

and explanation… This is Advent Photo #10. It’s for Donna, because when we lived in NJ, Donna stopped by one day before Christmas, and I had my Christmas mugs box out… 100_8761_mugs.jpgEvery year I unpack my Christmas mugs, and pack my “rest of the year mugs” in the Christmas mugs box for the season. Donna got nervous, thinking that I was packing to move somewhere… We laughed about that, and still do, each Christmas season. We weren’t moving then… though obviously we did at some point.

So, Donna, this photo is for you!

p.s. Notice the dogs outside the window.. so cute, hey? They love the snow.