Monday, December 24, 2007

A frosty Christmas Eve

I was wrapping presents last night when my little sister called and said I had to go out to look at the bright star hanging just to the top right side of the full moon. Wow!!! As I stood gazing at the star, shivering in the cold, my thoughts took me to another place and time...that of the very first Christmas. Oh, what it must have been like to have been there. I thought of the song by John Denver. It's called Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913 and was taken from a poem written long ago by Robert Bridges. It's not a very well-known song, but it speaks of what I was feeling as I looked at that star last night, and what it must have been like the night of our Savior's birth. Maybe it's just a little bit more special to me because I was born on a frosty Christmas Eve many years ago. Anyway, if you have clear skies tonight, take a moment to check out that bright star by the full moon. And if you have the Christmas CD by John Denver and the Muppets, listen to that song. For those of you who don't have the CD, I've posted the words below......very appropriate for Christmas Eve.....

A frosty Christmas Eve,
When the stars were shining,
I traveled forth alone,
Where westward falls the hill.
And for many, many a village
In the darkness of the valley
Distant music reached me,
Peals of bells were ringing.

Then sped my thoughts to olden times,
To that first of Christmases,
When shepherds who were watching
Heard music in the fields.
And they sat there and they marveled,
And they knew they could not tell
Whether it were angels
Or the bright stars a singing.

But to me heard afar,
It was starry music,
The singing of the angels,
The comfort of our Lord.
Words of old that come a traveling
By the riches of the times,
And I softly listened
As I stood upon the hill.
And I softly listened
As I stood upon the hill.

Merry Christmas, my friends, and many blessings to you and your families and loved ones......wherever they may be..... :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmases past

I finally finished decorating our Christmas tree last night. I have to admit that it has been a struggle this year. Not for the usual reasons, like having sons on opposite ends of the Earth or anything like that. I mean, all of the boys will be home for Christmas this year, so what do I have to complain about...right?? It just seems to have been difficult this year.

For one thing, my two oldest boys were living here for a while until they found a house to lease. We had stuff piled everywhere, which put my decorating plans on hold. Even if I could have gotten to the Christmas tree in the attic, I had no place to set it up. Then when it came time for them to move into their house, the weather was terrible, so it took over a week for them to get completely moved out...and of course, we were part of the moving crew..... :)

Another thing is that I caught a cold over a week ago and haven't felt much like decorating or shopping or anything. Now that the worst part of my cold is over, I have this lingering cough that's driving me crazy and wearing me out. Arrrggghhhhh!!!!

Anyway, I've been thinking alot about Christmases past...yeah, okay, reminiscing..... :)

When the boys were young, they got up earlier and earlier every year on Christmas morning, until we finally told them they couldn't wake us up before 6 a.m. Right!!! Ken and I would laugh as we listened to them whispering in their rooms before 6, and then hear one of them sneak down the hall and then go running back to tell his brothers that Santa had been there. They could hardly contain

When they were teenagers, and the Santa Claus thing had worn thin, they slept later...we wouldn't get up until 7...hahaha. What can I say?? Christmas is just magical...even at my age.

In 1998 came the military years. Kevin would come in from Barksdale AFB for Christmas and the boys would all sleep in until 9. Talk about a role reversal, Ken and I would be the first ones up, after all those years of being dragged out of bed before dawn by antsy little boys, and we were waking them up. Then came 2002, when Seth joined the Army and went off to basic training right before Thanksgiving. They actually let them go home for Christmas in the middle of boot camp, which shocked me, but I was thrilled. That was the last year all the boys were home for Christmas together until last year. Christmas 2003, Seth was in Korea and Kevin was in Alaska; in 2004, Seth was here, but Kevin was still in Alaska; 2005, Kevin was still in the great white north, and Seth had just left for Iraq. As difficult a time as that was for me to have two sons away from home at Christmas, it was even harder for Katie, but she was a real treasure to me that Christmas. Watching her give Ken a hard time while we decorated the Christmas tree made me laugh. I mentally thanked Seth at that time for giving me a daughter-in-law. Anyway, I got an email from her a few days ago about their Christmas plans and I told her that I wished she was here to help me decorate the tree like she did two years ago. She laughed and said I should get Ken to help me...yeah, right..... :) She remembered how "helpful" he was the year she was here.....hahaha.

Then last year, with all the boys and Katie here, it was absolutely wonderful. Kevin had returned to the lower 48 and could make it home without spending an arm and a leg on airfare and Seth was home from Iraq. It couldn't have been any better.

I know this Christmas will be another good one, and I'm really looking forward to it, but the decorations are lacking and I've only been shopping once. Oh well, the shopping may not get finished, but c'est la vie...that's not the important thing. What's important is that I'll be surrounded by my wonderful hubby of 35 years, my three boys, and my sweet daughter-in-law. I can't complain..... :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Exciting news

There's been so much going on lately...I just had to tell everyone about it.

Rick found a nice house and he and Kevin will be moving in this weekend. I'm excited about this for several reasons. For one, they've been planning this and looking forward to it since before Kevin left active duty in May. The house is bigger than our little crackerbox and has a nice yard for Sierra, Kevin's pup...the one we've been taking care of since February. Sure, I'm going to miss them, but it's only about a 15-minute drive from here. Which brings me to the second reason I'm excited about this. Rick has been living with us for about a week now because he had to vacate his apartment before the house became available, so every corner of space is packed with stuff. So...once they move all their stuff out of the garage, I'll finally be able to get to my Christmas tree..... :)

Seth turned 26 yesterday, and it was so exciting to get to hear his voice on the phone. He was originally supposed to be here for his birthday, but their conex came in from their trip to NTC and he was called into work. Oh well, at least I got to talk to him. It's so hard for me to believe that my baby boy is that old. I can still picture all of the boys as...well...boys..... :) Anyway, happy birthday, baby boy!!!

But probably the most exciting news today is that Kevin completed the first step in his big dream...the one that he left active duty for. He got his helicopter pilot's license today.....yeehaw. He texted me at about 7 pm tonight, saying "I am now a pilot." I was driving home from the airport on my way home from a business trip and couldn't stop smiling after that. Even the terrible traffic couldn't make me stop smiling.

There's something so overwhelmingly wonderful about watching your children grow and seeing their plans and dreams come to matter what that dream may be..... :)