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31 December 2007

More than certainty...


Thanks to Andree Seu for reminding me of the subtle difference once again.

(and, while you are there, you can't go wrong checking out the rest of the December 29, 2007 issue of World. Good stuff!)

27 December 2007

A Movie Review

Willing suspension of disbelief:
a literary term, referring to the "willingness of a person to accept as true the premises of a work of fiction, even if they are fantastic or impossible. It also refers to the willingness of the audience to overlook the limitations of a medium, so that these do not interfere with the acceptance of those premises."

Take a heaping helping of willing suspension of disbelief when you go to see National Treasure 2, Book of Secrets. But don't let that stop you from you from going to see it.

The H. family enjoyed National Treasure 1 (not to mention, the draw of Mount Rushmore in the previews, my all-time favorite national landmark, was too much to resist!) and so with a kind gift for the kids (thanks Aunt Lu!), we pooled our resources and queued up for a rare first-run movie viewing with the entire family. NT2 finds the characters searching for treasure, this time in order to save the Gates' family name and honor. A crazy succession of events and scenarios follows (and plenty of gasps of THAT couldn't happen! from me), but it was fun and family friendly and good entertainment on a winter day, and what more can you ask for in a film? We especially enjoyed the goofy character of Riley, the idea of the President hitchhiking on the side of the road, and pondering the thought of how all that gold got there, anyway?

14 H thumbs up for NT2!

Feasts and Scrabble

We enjoyed, devoured, reveled, in a Christmas feast with most dear friends this year. It's not any ol' couple that will invite our crew to dinner! And what a dinner! Complete with Christmas crackers. We're grateful, for full stomachs, and even more, sweet fellowship.

Then, in an effort to avoid the post-dinner nap (all those familiar with H's patterns are smiling now...), we pulled out the Scrabble board. Not just any Scrabble board. This is Super Scrabble, complete with quadruple letter and quadruple word scores and lots more letters. The boys took on two teams of girls, and despite our best efforts, the boys won. (if I could figure out how, I would have written that last part in very tiny print...) Good show, men!

25 December 2007

Christmas past

What a cool gift! My sister scanned a bunch of old photos and sent them to me via email!

So, a flash from the past...
Christmas, oh, 1969 or '70....


Merry Christmas!

24 December 2007

That's what Christmas is all about

This is my FAVORITE (with capital letters!) of holiday clips. As my kids will be quick to tell anyone, I have it memorized and blurt it out at least daily between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But perhaps Linus recites these ancient words, this glorious promise, the best...

23 December 2007

a stone's throw from...

Who knew?
My neck of the woods has been the scene of all sorts of celebrity sightings in the last week.

First, Bono ate just down the road. Twice.
Then, I discovered scenes from a major motion picture (isn't that what you always hear, "major motion picture"?) were being filmed at a house just four blocks west of my house.

Go figure... :-)

22 December 2007

Holliday elves

This little clip is very amusing. (it's even more amusing with the boys, including the dogs, dancing, but, alas, we lost that one...)

Get ready to giggle.

Christmas tea party and cookie exchange


when it's snowy and cold...

where do we go?

To the desert.
To the jungle.
To the beach.

ok. Really, we just go to the zoo.

And for a short time, we are transported.
The Desert Dome actually seemed sunny on Wednesday.

It was feeding time in the aquarium, so we were able to watch sharks and rays and turtles gobble lunch.

The jungle steamed up my glasses.
The kids swung from vines like monkeys. Really!
It was a good get-away, with good friends.
And it warmed us, in and out.

It's a Risk...

We're on Christmas holiday and it's game-o-rama around here. Recent family faves are Blokus, Risk, Life and Scrabble. That might change after Christmas... :-) (oh what a tease for young family blog readers...)

16 December 2007

Holliday concerts...

'Tis the season for lots of holiday music. Last week was a two-gig (stealing Auntie's lingo there...) week- the first with Veritas, the home school choir all five H kids sing with. Great concert. Lousy photos- low light in the church. But, take my word for it- everyone looked and sounded great... :-)

The next day, three of our piano students played in the "Holiday Under the Glass" lunchtime concert series at the Joslyn Museum. Now that's a setting with better lighting! So, I'm trying a "Prone to Wander" first- home video. (forgive the marginal audio- it's just a camera you know, and I'm not claiming to be a professional...) There's a bobble in the middle of the piece (which shows on the players faces...), but overall, it was a good show.

Here's a photo of the "glass"- one of my favorites from WA artist Dale Chihuly. And, a photo with another duet group. L. also played a piece with a boy from the studio, and they played well, even with only one rehearsal. It's fun to see fruit from the labors at home and in lessons...


C.S. Lewis wrote, "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."

I have a group of friends that was "born" at exactly that moment, when we each discovered we were not the only ones. This group of friends came together WAY back in 1995- when we all discovered each other on that new-fangled internet, in a chat room titled "Summerbaby '95". We all had babies that were born in the summer of 1995. So we chatted. We chatted about babies, and all that, and then, lo, time went by and we chatted about everything under the sun, and imagine!, 12 years later, and we're still chatting, only it's never about babies, and truthfully, it's only sometimes about kids. :-)

These friends are a group of women that live across the country, from sea to shining sea, from California and the Pacific Northwest all the way over to Massachusettes and down to Florida, and all kinds of places in between. They are professionals of all kinds of occupations, from all sorts of faith backgrounds and education and polititical leanings and experiences. We can be an opinionated bunch, but are mindful of being respectful, and grateful for the opportunity to hear from "the other side" in a safe place.

And every year for about the last 10 years, we have a gift exchange around Christmas time. We trade names and send each other ornaments. And then we get online with Instant Messenger (much to my AOL hating husband's chagrin...) and open up our gifts in a flurry of typing. So, look at what I received THIS year! (that's the photo at the top!) A very cool and artsy punched out tin angel. It is perfect for me. Thanks my friend, Michelle. You, and everyone else in our Summermoms, are precious gems.

Hey! Unto you a child is born!

Our family just finished reading this treasure of a little book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever...

H. Family Recommendation: put this one on your list of "Best Christmas Reads for the Whole Family." Two thumbs up, especially for this having-a-hard-time-getting-into-what-should-be-the-"ChristmasSpirit"-mom.

A piece from towards the end of the story...
"When Imogene had asked me what the pageant was about, I told her it was about Jesus, but that was just part of it. It was about a new baby, and his mother and father who were in a lot of trouble- no money, no place to go, no doctor, nobody they knew. And then, arriving from the East (like my uncle from New Jersey) some rich friends.
But Imogene, I guess, didn't see it that way. Christmas just came over her all at once, like a case of chills and fever. And so she was crying, and walking into furniture."

I'm all for a little more crying, and even running into furniture if I have to, to see Christmas, the wonder of that baby born, God incarnate (how can we really fathom?!), again this year. Thanks, Imogene Herdman.

01 December 2007 sets my heart astir!

Thanks to XM Online (love that!), I discovered a new-to-me hymn yesterday- beautiful! I know the music is familiar (this links to an audio clip I found, scroll down...), and one of more more musically savvy friends will probably come up with why I know it- a hymn by another name? But, besides that- look at the words. This is what Winter Wonderland is REALLY about!

I haven't bought a disc for one song in a while, but this might be reason... :-)

What Is This Lovely Fragrance Stealing?
[French traditional]

What is this lovely Fragrance stealing,
Shepherds, that fills the winter air?
Never was sweetness so appealing
Never were flowers of spring so fair
What is this lovely Fragrance stealing,
Shepherds, that fills the winter air?

What is this Light so fair, so tender
Breaking upon our wond'ring eyes
Never the Morning Star so radiant
Followed his course o'er eastern skies
What is this Light so fair, so tender
Breaking upon our wond'ring eyes

What is this Wonder all around us
Filling the air with Music light?
Shepherds! Some magic here hath found us!
Never mine ears knew such delight!
What is this Wonder all around us
Filling the air with Music light!

What is this lovely Fragrance stealing?
Shepherds! It sets my heart astir!
Never was sweetness so appealing
Never were flowers of spring so fair
What is this lovely Fragrance stealing?
Shepherds! it sets my heart astir!


"The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around;
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!"
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

This picture only adequately shows the ice that hangs around this morning. One branch almost touches the ground, heavy with ice. But, now at mid-morning, the temperatures are beginning to rise over freezing, so hopefully, recovery will be swift.

And, what is a swound? :-)