Monday, December 31, 2007
Auld Lang Syne - a poem by Robert Burns
The poem Auld Land Syne by Robert Burns has been immortalised by the tradition of singing the lyrics to
Auld Lang Syne at Christmas and New Year parties. Auld Lang Syne is also sung on Burns Night, 25th January to celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns. This musical version of Auld Lang Syne usually consists of the first verse and the chorus. Auld Lang Syne was written in 1788 and the words 'Auld Lang Syne' literally translates from old Scottish dialect meaning 'Old Long Ago' and is about love and friendship in times past. The words in the poem Auld Lang Syne referring to 'We'll take a Cup of Kindness yet' relate to a drink shared by men and women to symbolise friendship. Happy New Year!!!
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Mary Beth called me at 5:30 p.m. to tell me that she had an extra ticket to the sold out performance of Anne of Green Gables at 7:30. I jumped at the opportunity. This high school senior NAILED her. It was a pleasure to watch from beginning to end.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Santa Lucia Day is December 13, but we didn't get around to it this year until AFTER Christmas!
Santa Lucia is known in Sweden as the "Queen of Light." She was born in Syracus, Sicily in the third century A.D. of noble Greek parentage. She wanted to give her dowry to the poor, but the man to whom she was betrothed was furious! He brought it to the authorities, and she was martyred on December 13, 304. She is called the "Queen of Light" because she was willing to give up her life to honor Christ.
On this day, the eldest daughter (or mother) in the family protrays Lucia. Dressed in white and wearing a crown of lighted candles symbolic of her name she awakens the family with a tray of freshly baked Lucia buns and hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
Since I am Swedish (50%), it is a way to honor my heritage and pass on this lovely tradition to my children even when it is a little late. :)
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I have been on the couch since 7:30 a.m. The Advent Candles have burned as I have read my Bible, journaled, listened to Mannheim Steamroller, and gotten myself organized for the future. It is almost 3 p.m. now, and there are only two candles left burning. What a lovely and relaxing day.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
We were surprised to see little snowflakes mixed with rain on our way to Newberg this morning. We thought, "It won't stick." Well, it didn't stick on the Willamette Valley floor, but it did at Grandmother's house since it is about 200 feet above sea level! Perched on the side of her hill we overlooked her front acre of evergreens as we ate our Christmas lunch. It continued to fall throughout the meal! After lunch, George and Paul went outside and built a snow man! It was magical since we had not even dreamed of having a White Christmas! We haven't had snow at Christmas for about fifteen years. This picture of the little evergreen tree was my favorite shot of all and taken by my guest photog, George. :)
Monday, December 24, 2007
Before I turned out the living room lights I looked at Mary and Joseph who had just made it to the stable and are awaiting the coming of the Christ like the rest of us.
Today was a day of beauty for me from beginning to end: sleeping in and going to Group Power weight lifting with my favorite instructor, Angie, seeing the gloomy clouds disappear through the cathedral windows in the new exercise room and blue sky emerge, deciding to run outside in the sunshine (after so many days of solid rain) instead of inside on the treadmill, spying a beautiful brook that had emerged through a forest of trees and bright green grass, running through some old running trails near my old house, basking in the sun as I listened to Michael W. Smith's Christmas album on my iPod and worshiping the God who made us all, coming home to a wonderful family, gathering around the advent wreath and singing, and, finally, relaxing with them as we watched movies and ate pizza.
It was a peaceful and wonderful Christmas Eve.
We watched The Muppet Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life this Christmas Eve as we ate "red and green" pizza (Meditteranean Chicken with sundried tomatoes and spinach) and lime sherbet punch out of our fancy glass punch bowl. We usually go to a Christmas Eve service and have a family over for dinner, but nobody could come, and the kids really wanted to stay home after two nights of being out with friends. I loved the relaxed evening immensely.
It was lovely. I just love The Christmas Carol by Dickens, and I really think that the Muppet Christmas Carol gets it RIGHT in terms of having lines directly out of the book. It was such a pleasure to watch with the ones I love.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
We light this candle on the fourth Sunday in Advent to remind us of God's gift of His Son Jesus. In giving us His Son He gave us Himself. In our house, it is purple to remind us of the wise men who came and brought gifts to the baby Jesus.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Remember the 4th of July Party Hostess with the Mostest, Lisa? Well, she and her lovely family also host a Christmas Caroling Party every year. (except they were in Australia last Christmas and DIDN'T fly home to host the party. Imagine that?).
What a blessed time!
Friday, December 21, 2007
The festive weekend began with a couples dinner at our house with dear friends. We dropped our kids off at Doug and Lisa's to hang out with their kids, and D & L and Pete and Sharon came here for a quiet candlelight dinner. We had a lovely time.
My only regret is that the picture of Doug and Lisa was too blurry in the low light and didn't make the photo mosaic!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
My mom used to make Spritz cookies for us every Christmas as her mom did before her. We carry on that tradition only GEORGE is the one who usually makes them. He presented them to me on this lovely Christmas plate so I had to take a picture because it looked so pretty!
Last year, catastrophe rocked the "W" household when our Pampered Chef Cookie Press ring BROKE in the middle of the process! This year was saved without having to purchase a whole new press thanks to my friend and Pampered Chef consultant, Dorothy. She was able to replace the ring for only $3! Really, don't mess around with those laborious metal cookie presses. Buy the Pampered Chef one if you want flawless and easy Spritz cookies everytime.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Today, we volunteered with others in the community (including four other homeschool families) at the Linn-Benton Food Share. We prepared 9,000 mailers for mailing and had a great time in the process. We met a new family who wants to start an English country dance club (think Jane Austen flicks)!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
We were all excited to spy this four point buck in our backyard today. According to you Easterners, it is considered an eight point buck!
We just finished the seventh season of Monarch of the Glen, and this guy reminded me of "Big Eric"!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
We made our way down to Southern California today for my mom's memorial service. We decided that we needed a place of refuge apart from family members to have privacy and rest and relaxation while we mourn. We are staying at the South Coast Winery Resort and Spa. (http://www.wineresort.com/) We have a beautiful villa with a HUGE bathroom overlooking the vineyard. It is lovely (and for a discount price!).
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
This morning, the sun came shining through the window during my quiet time on the couch. I know it sounds so silly, but God always has a way of confirming things with me by having sun shine through windows. George noticed the dance of light on my hair and called it my "slice of happiness." I see it as God's confirmation that George (My Mr. Knightly) was right in having me come home even though my mom is not gone. I needed the rest, and God's light made that abundantly clear this morning.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
George thought this one told a story. I wish I could say I purposely got the Interstate 5 sign in the picture, but it just happened to fly by while I was snapping!
Northern California is spectacularly beautiful, and Mount Shasta was particularly breathtaking this morning!
BTW, I am home! My mother is still alive but has stabilized for the time being. It was time for me to be at home with my family for a while before I go back in the near future for her homegoing. I know I made the best decision for my family and for my own mental health.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
My kids are the consummate travelers. We have taken the 1,000 mile trip to Southern California and back so many times, and they always make the best of being stuck in a car for 16 1/2 hours. I am so thankful for them.
Monday, November 26, 2007
This building was my "home away from home" for much of November. So, I had to take a picture of it for my final day here. It is a very nice retirement community with a senior residence, assisted-living facility and Alzheimer's unit. My mom is in assisted-living on the second floor.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Liz came to visit my mom today. She talked of fishing and boating and water-skiing and all the fun times they had together. Liz is 86 years old and still driving, leading Bible study, and feeding the homeless in Oceanside. She is the only one of my parents' old friends left of the group of friends who moved to Fallbrook after their retirement from Rockwell International in the late 70's. It was a sweet time that concluded in a heart-warming prayer for my mom's elevation to her heavenly home.
One of my favorite things about my growing up years were my parents' great friends! Thanks Liz.