Friday, December 31, 2010

As This Year Comes To A Close

There's something about this song "Try To Remember" that always makes me think of not only New Year's Eve and another year coming to a close, but it makes me think of life in general ebbing it's way to the finish line. I first heard this song on the radio when I was about eleven or twelve years old I guess, and I found it so hauntingly beautiful. I especially love the way Roger Whitaker sings it.
He doesn't sing the full lyrics to the end though, so I've written them here:

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow

Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow
Try to remember when life was so tender
That dreams were kept beside your pillow
Try to remember when life was so tender
That love was an ember about to billow
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow

Deep in December, it's nice to remember
Although you know the snow will follow
Deep in December, it's nice to remember
Without a hurt the heart is hollow
Deep in December, it's nice to remember
The fire of September that made us mellow
Deep in December, our hearts should remember,
And follow

I found this New Year's poem/wish online but there is no author to credit. I loved the sentiment though and I copied it for you:

May New Year's Eve find you seated around the table, together with your beloved family and cherished friends.

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them.

May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blinded to your blemishes, and tell the world about your virtues.

May you remember to say "I love you" at least once a day.

And may we all live in awareness of God's Love for each of us.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

A lot of the 'girls' in the family were going to get together this week, we had plans to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but Mother Nature had other plans:

The view out our front door ~

The Blizzard of 2010 is cramping our style!

Jayden and Paw got busy shoveling us out:

And they took a little time out from their work to build a snow fort:

Ray, Katie, and our brother-in-law Steve work in Manhattan and they said the streets are not cleared yet. I saw on the news that some buses, and cabs, and emergency vehicles still sit where they have been abandoned in the middle of the street! It's almost impossible to surmount the mounds of snow on the street corners, it is piled so high, and people are having to wait in the middle of the street for buses and cabs.

So I am disappointed because it is a rare treat for so many of us girls to be free at the same time to do something together and I was looking forward to a 'girls day out' but I guess it will have to wait until Spring break and the spring thaw. Oh well, something to look forward to!

Now, here we are three days later and we are still snowed in! I've heard this blizzard called 'The Bloomberg Blizzard' on the news. Mayor Bloomberg is not doing a very good job at clearing the streets. I used to laugh when relatives said their areas further south would close down at just a dusting of snow. I was used to big snow storms and having them plowed away by the sanitation department in no time. This city almost never closed down for snow. It's a very different story this time! I've heard that New York City is in a lot of trouble financially and there have been many, many lay-offs. Funny though how when they take services away from us they never lower our taxes. In fact, for the privilege of NOT getting service we get to pay MORE taxes! I love New York, but we have to get out of here, we're going broke living in this city!

The sun has been helping to melt some of the snow a little:

But there is still just so much snow around!

I am so glad Jayden has off from school this week because I would not relish trying to maneuver these mounds of snow on every corner!

And the streets are no better with cars skidding all over the place!

But here is this little man still thouroughly enjoying the Bloomberg Blizzard! He's in his glory!

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our 'Secret Santa' Gift Party

A few years ago we decided not to exchange gifts with everyone. Instead, on Thanksgiving Day we write everybody's name on slips of papers and throw them into a bowl, and then we each pick a name out. It makes everything so much easier, and it's so nice to concentrate on just one special gift each year.
We usually get together either the weekend before Christmas or the weekend after Christmas to exchange (my sister-in-law Susie and I like getting together after Christmas because that really makes Christmas last longer). With Christmas falling on the weekend this year we did our party the day after Christmas.
And, we happened to have a blizzard that day! Sadly, the New Jersey relatives weren't able to make it (wise choice, I don't think they'd be able to relax and enjoy themselves thinking about the long trip home), but the rest of the relatives braved the weather and made it here!

The tiniest girl and the tallest guys:

Rudy ~ Erin ~ Donald

Flora ~ Brian


Grandma loves those boots!

Oh, wait! We can't forget her 'dress-alike' dolly!

Some of the guys:

Mikael ~ Donald ~ Rudy

Jayden ~ Brian

Mikael ~ Erik

Jayden ~ Andrew

Some of the girls:

Jillian ~ Ellie ~ Mia

Susie ~ Diane ~ Eileen

Jackie ~ Susie ~ Erika ~ (and Ray trying to peek in)

Susie ~ Erika ~ and one of Susie's favorite things!

Diane ~ Ann ~ Eileen ~ Lori ~ and Erin in front


It was Scott's Birthday!


Ray on clean-up duty again:

Thank you again, Ray!

And in between the eating, and the partying, and the gift-exchanging, Brian and Jayden enjoyed the blizzard that was raging outside!

Brian does double-duty with the snow shovels!
'Happy to report that everyone got home safe and sound!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Christmas Day

Christmas morning started with a very happy and excited boy making his way downstairs:

Lots of smiles!

"Look what I got!"

Happy Mommy and her happy boy!

I could not stop laughing at Jayden really getting into one of his 'mind control' gifts:

(I don't think he ever got that ball in the tube to rise up, no matter how hard he concentrated!)

Here he's modeling some new clothes:

A Happy Christmas mess! And 'Paw' trying to get some new toys to work!

The family arrives and it's time to get dinner on...

What's Erik hunting in the refrigerator for? (I guess I must have forgotten to put something out.)

...and clean-up. Thanks, Ray!

Then it's Mia's turn to open a few gifts:

And Mia gave Grandma one of the gifts she looks forward to every year ~ the grandkids calendar!

It's time now to sing "Happy Birthday" to The Guest Of Honor:

Jayden and Mia make a wish for Jesus and blow out His candle for Him!

Steve & Diane:


Here's the three sisters and Aunt Florence:

Okay, the three sisters decide they look too fat so they stupidly try to hide behind little throw pillows...

...of course that didn't work, so they blamed the photographer for making them look fat and they make Steve take a close-up:

We decided that still wasn't enough so Donald & Steve piled on more pillows for us.
Now that's more like it!


'Hope your Christmas was Blessed with family, friends, and love too!

Tomorrow 'Secret Santa' gift party!