Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lest I Forget

He has said so many cute and funny things this year and every time I hear one of them I think I should write that down before I forget.  Well, I haven't and I know I have forgotten some good things, but I have remembered some.

Last summer he kept calling rhubarb, rhubark.

Instead of saying I'll be right back, he says I'll be rue back.

He was playing horsey with one of my brooms and would say getmeup not gittey up.

I hope I always remember:

how he told me Santa says Ho Ho Ho (in his deepest voice),

how he told me I looked pretty and had flowers on my funny pants (it was a skirt),

how he sounds saying The Lord's Prayer,

the excitement in his voice when he talks about my house, my beautiful bathroom, my MaMa, my DaDa (this one big guy's my DaDa.

I hope I remember everything, but I know I won't, so I need to write more things down.  To jog my memory.  For the day he towers over me like his DaDa.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve at Nathan and Stacy's house.  Kaiden was very excited about opening presents, but very careful.  He untied his Christmas bag and took each item out and looked at it. 

After dinner and presents we went to Christmas Eve service.  I could not get him to take off his mother's new purple gloves for a picture.  At least they matched his tie!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011


I have been thinking about Christmas traditions and wanting to write down some ours for Kaiden.  I realize they are evolving.  Some we have had for years and some are fairly new.  When I was a little girl, my mother did a lot of cooking.  She made fruit cake, breads, cookies and candies, pies.  We always had a large gathering on Christmas - there were 5 of us kids, spouses and grandchildren.  I do not remember many leftovers.  I think the tradition of all the cooking and especially the baking came from the time my parents grew up.  The sweets were not an everyday thing especially during the depression when my oldest siblings were raised.  These sweets were special and part of the gifts of Christmas.  My parents recall getting an orange, hard candy and nuts in their stockings - usually the only time they had oranges and hard candy when they were growing up.  Items not grown locally and sugar were not items readily available.  I do not do much baking anymore.  Our gatherings are smaller, my kids do not eat many sweets and we certainly do not need them and they are not as special anymore.  I do make pizzelles every year.  I think I would be in trouble if I didn't!

When my son was a little boy Santa filled our stockings and hung candy canes on the tree.  He had a tree in his room decorated with his ornaments.  I made our advent calendar (the original one is at his house and Kaiden puts the ornament on everyday).  He learned you could rearrange the letters in Noel to spell Leon, a tradition that continues today.  We went to the candlelight service on Christmas Eve, which we still do.

After Tito and I were married and our families blended, we blended our traditions.  Some decorations were packed away for Nathan and Carrie, some continued to be used and we acquired new ones.  We started buying an ornament from our trips, we have a lighthouse from Maine, a Canadian Mountie from Victoria, little birds from Mexico, chili peppers from Taos, an elk from Estes Park. 

The year Tito was battling cancer and going through chemo, we made several changes.  Since the kids had other families to celebrate with and we were dealing with so many changes in our life, we changed our celebration.  Having a "traditional' Christmas dinner on the 25th didn't seem so important anymore.  It could be brunch on the 23rd, tamales on the 24th, leftovers on the 26, just as long as we were together.  In order to bring some fun to our house that year, we started our Stocking Stuffer game.  All the items that would normally go into stockings were wrapped and put in the center of the table, dice are thrown, when certain numbers come up a gift is taken, when they are gone from the center they are taken from each other, when other numbers come up, all gifts that person has go back in, the gifts are not opened until the time limit is over.  We really have a good time with this. 

After Tito was well and free from cancer we decided to start a tradition of creating memories as our gift at Christmas such as our trip to the Colorado symphony this year.  No matter what traditions we hold onto, or change, or create, we will always keep two things, Jesus and family.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

No matter how I tried this year, I could not get the top of my tree to look straight.  I yanked, I turned it around, I moved branch, I gave up.  It isn't as bad as it looks in this picture because it seems, I can't get my camera straight either!  So last weekend when our friends came to dinner and to exchange gifts, someone said it would probably look better, if everyone would lean to one side. 

So we did,

and then I was told my mirror was crooked.  Oh, well.

These 2 couples are the ones who took the challenge to give gifts made in the USA.  It was a challenge, but I think we did pretty well.  There were puzzles, hot sauce, candles, liquor, bowls, wood chips for smokers, bbq rubs, refrigerator fresheners and a door bell button* -  all made in the USA.  There were also many homemade food goodies and beautiful table runners, napkins and hot pads made in the USA (technically, even though it is hard to find material made in the USA). 

I think we all had a little more fun this year, because we had to put thought into it.  We had a blast opening the presents to see what everyone had found.  We are so blessed to have such great friends - that was the best gift!

*Vivien thinks that the little plastic door bell button that come with houses is pathetic and has found beautiful replacements ones made from metal with designs (ours is a chili pepper) that are made in the USA. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Colorado Christmas

Our big Christmas gift this year was the symphony for Colorado Christmas.  It was a wonderful program with the symphony, the Colorado Chorale group and the Colorado Children's Choir.  The music and the singing were beautiful.  Kaiden was enthralled and was so good.  Some of the highlights for me:

During Handel's hallelujah chorus he was singing hallelujah forever and ever Amen.  Later on in the car he sang hallelujah whatever.  We all chuckled.

I was singing along with Silver Bells and he told me not to sing because it was their turn (the children on the stage).  A minute later, he told me it was my turn.

There was a reading of The Night Before Christmas (with great music back up - the theme to Tom and Jerry after the line "not a creature was stirring"; the theme to Mission Impossible after the line "he spoke not a word but went straight to his work").  Kaiden  said "that's my story, you read to me; DaDa read to me.

Then the grand finale - Santa Claus is Coming to Town - with a guitar playing dancing Santa - just like Papa (Stacy's Dad plays the guitar).  And Santa looked our direction and waved.  Kaiden says he waved at him and said Ho Ho Ho!

We went to Carrie & Dave's (or as Kaiden says "Auntie Carrie's place") for coffee and cookies. 

It was a great evening.  A great Chirstmas present.  A great memory.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm Christmas

He put this Santa had on and announced "I am Christmas".

He wouldn't hold still for a decent photo.

He may not be Christmas, but he sure brings joy to our house.