Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a . . . . .

Yes, of a white Christmas. And for me, it is just like the ones I used to know. But today I was made aware of the fact that my 34 year old husband couldn't remember it ever snowing on Christmas here in Washington. Of course, this was something that we were talking about around 10:00 am or so. After watching the nightly news, we were given actual statistics saying that this was the third Christmas it had snowed since 1948 or something like that. But earlier in the day I couldn't help but feeling a little sad for my kids that they (most likely) would never experience the thrill of waking up on Christmas morning with inches of snow already on the ground while the white fluffy flakes continue to fall gently from the sky. I'm so thankful for the years we spent in climates that allowed those childhood fantasies to be fulfilled.
As I was talking with a friend, she mentioned that one of her boys had declared, after hearing that Christmas was just days away, that then it would snow. She had to gently let him down to the fact that most likely there would be no snow. That even though so many of the Christmas movies and stories show Christmas and snow arriving at the same time, that isn't always the case. I have also had a couple of different conversations recently about different Christmas traditions. This got me to thinking about the different things that signify, to me, that Christmas time is here.
So here goes round #3 for a "list" post. Please take the time, if you can, to leave comments regarding your own family traditions or things that signify Christmas to you!

1. First and foremost is the Christmas music that we pull out very early on in the season that helps bring the Christmas spirit and joy in on the right foot! Some of my favorite Christmas CDs are; Amy Grant's - A Christmas Album, 4Him's - Season of Love, Carpenters' - Christmas Portrait, The Chipmunks' - Christmas with the Chipmunks, Michael W. Smith's - christmastime. These are just a few but definitely get the most "air" time!
2. Christmas lights - we don't ever put any up on the outside of our house but I love seeing the houses all decorated. And to be quite honest, I really don't mind the big blow-up yard decorations.
3. Though we missed both this year, for the past couple of years our old small group from Bethany has went to the mountains for a playing-in-the-snow/cutting-down-a-tree trip and the ladies have a cookie exchange/craft night. It is such a joy and a blessing to be able to gather with friends who share our belief in a holy baby born of a virgin who would later be our risen Saviour. The ultimate Christmas gift! What an amazing gift that was and continues to be!
4. Christmas programs at church and school.
5. The buying of the girls' Christmas dresses and then the bringing them home and having them try them on for Daddy. I love to see them get all "foo-fooed" up and then watch them spin and twirl. I can still remember the feel of it myself and how much like a princess that certain dress can make you feel.
6. Taking a day to bake and make Christmas candy with my mom and sisters. Some years are more extravagant than others but we always have a lot of fun and of course enjoy the "fruits of our labor".
7. I was very lucky to marry into a family who celebrates on Christmas Eve. Because we've never moved away, we have never had to choose for ourselves how our immediate family would go about opening our gifts. Traditionally, we spend Christmas Eve at Keith's parents house. We have dinner together, open gifts and if we are lucky get to sneak in a game or two before its off to church for the Christmas Eve service.
8. After last night, I would have to say that my favorite tradition would be attending our churches Christmas Eve service. It is beautiful and wonderful and is the perfect way to bring all your thoughts right back around to the true and real meaning of Christmas.
9. I suppose this goes along with #7 but MY family has always celebrated on Christmas Day. On the off years that we actually aren't living with my parents we usually head out to Mom and Dad's after the Candlelight Christmas Eve service, where we all crash in empty rooms to be ready for getting up bright and early. My sisters make homemade bagels and cinnamon rolls and we sit around the tree and the Christmas story is read. Then we open gifts. I love the family time spent together.

Well, these are a big part of the list, though I'm sure I'm missing some things. As I finish up this post, the rain is coming down in icy sheets and I can't help but wish that we might wake to a wonderland of white!

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love and Hugs from the McCoy Gang

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deck the Halls (or walls) . . . with lots of color

Yes it's true! Paint, we've got paint! I'd actually say we are about 95% done with painting the inside of the house. Of course, that doesn't include doors, door jams or trim. Besides, doors are highly overrated. Kidding . . . we like doors. We're just trying to keep an upbeat attitude about having to pee in a bathroom w/o a door. But at least we now get to go in a toilet and not a bucket in the garage. WOW! How did I get so off track with my original thought? Must be the lack of sleep and completely overworked mind and body.
So getting back to what I was saying. Our halls and walls have been decked out with color. And not just a little color or a light color. We are talking in your face color! Now some of these color combo's were not my idea and some didn't exactly have the effect I was originally going for but overall I'm thrilled, absolutely thrilled with the paint. I'd love to show you pictures but they just don't do the colors and rooms justice. Really, they need to be seen in person. Which means, ya'all will just have to come over when we are moved in to see what sort of crazy combo's I came up with.

Now about the halls and walls of my trip to NYC/DC. Lets touch on a few things about my (our) trip. This was my first trip back east. It was definitely an eye opener in a wonderful way. I loved both cities and would go back in an instant. On our first full day in NYC, we rode the subway in to Manhattan. (We are not wealthy people and were gone for 11 days so to be able to afford this trip had to stay out in Queens. Jamaica-Queens to be exact.) When we came up out of the subway station, got our bearings and started walking up (up isn't actually accurate since we were heading east) 42nd St towards Broadway, it was a bit overwhelming. Buildings so high with all sorts of advertisements and billboards and TV screens right on them. The streets and sidewalks were so crowded. The hustle and bustle was phenomenal. We definitely looked and acted the part of the average tourist. Cameras out and clicking away. Maps out trying to find exactly where we were headed, all while our heads are cocked back at these insane angles trying to take everything in. You could definitely say we "absorbed" as much of the city as possible.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Time goes by so fast . . . .

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted. I have to be honest. Trying to stick with only titling my posts with names or phrases from songs has kinda been a hindrance. Also I feel like I have so much to share about my trip that I don't' even know where to start. Plus I really wanted to post pictures along with my stories but that proves a little more difficult. So I just haven't blogged at all, which is bad and not good and a tad bit sad. Lets see. What are some things that happened since my last post? My very, very good friend in Oregon gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, my niece in Kansas turned 2, we got our house sheet rocked, textured and Keith primed the whole thing last night after work and I went to NY and DC! We also had our first snowfall and then horrendous flooding in the area, though we weren't affected by it. God is good. Our garage had started leaking through the roof but then during the worst part of the rain it stopped. We have all of our flooring, all our kitchen cabinets and all of our doors in the garage besides for all of Keith's tools and such. It could have been pretty bad but God protected our stuff and we are so grateful. Today we start painting the house and that will probably take us a couple of days. I will be posting pictures of the trip and house soon and also filling you in on all the glorious details of my amazing trip!