Monday, January 17

A Child's Perspective: Martin Luther King Jr

Ummmmm....Mary....did you know Mark...Mark???...(deep breath) today is for Marktin Lufer King Jr and that he fought with lots of people and then he died...later on...I guess he got old. And then he got his own day.
(pause as he considers that a dead person doesn't really need a day off, but whatever, who is he to question)
BUT did you know he wore black ties NOT red ones?

(trying not to smile or laugh)
Hmmm. I didn't know that about the ties, but did you know that when they say Martin Luther King Jr "fought" with people it was with his words?

(silence while looking at me like I'm nuts)

One of the reasons he fought with his words was because back when he lived, people wouldn't let  black kids go to school with white kids?

Van & Kenyan, together:
(Collective gasp)
What?!? That's craaazy?!?!

I know~that's why he was fighting--with his words.

But Mary: he wore black ties NOT red ones!

So what you're saying here, is that you need a black tie?

(big sigh of relief that I finally got the point of the conversation)

I'll see if I can find one for you at a store, but it might take me a while, ok?

(big smile) OK!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day!

PS: Van, after a lot of searching, I found a picture of MLK Jr wearing a red tie!!!

Christmas Day it's now the middle of January and I never did a post about our actual Christmas day. Figures.
Suffice it to say, it was lovely.

My brother and SIL spent Christmas Eve night here hanging out & prepping for the big day. The presents under the tree multiplied...

That morning we brunched and then snacked and waited and waited and waited for my sister and BIL and Teag to finish their Christmas morning family time so they could come over and eat and open presents with us and then eat some more...

They finally came (ok so it was like 1pm and I hadn't even gotten up til 11 or so!). The packages under the tree multiplied yet again.

Teagan was dressed to the nines and was so happy: "Is Christmas! Is Christmas! It's a party!"

First things first: we broke out the Swiss Colony basket and snacked...

We opened gifts. I love that Teagan likes opening her presents a bit at a time. She played with whatever she opened. Wandered around checking out other people's gifts. She continued to be enchanted by the lights & decorations.

She did love her musical instrument sets (that's right: plural: she got 2!)

And her butterfly antenae head band from her Unca James & Aunt Danielle

But most of all, I think what she liked best having everyone together.

Love Mikey's Christmas sweater!
He finds sweaters like this at thrift stores & then tricks them
out with bells & lights!

That evening we were joined by Mike's parents (for too short a time!) and by his brother's family. Kenyan was with her dad, but it was fun to have Van over on Christmas day! He was such a good sport about leaving his brand new Wii at home in order to come over to our house for dinner.

How cute are these cousins?

And what a dinner it was!!! My sister made the best lamb shanks you'll ever taste in your entire life! They were incredible! I can still taste how incredible they were. We all were a little sad when they were gone. I'll admit it: I still miss them...and they were accompanied by some equally yummy foods: mom's spanikopita, citrus garden salad, Dani's homemade bread...
Ok~and this isn't even cooked yet and it looks good!
Pistachio, garlic, rosemary, dijon rub...yummy, yum, yum!

While some artists cooked, others painted more Ukranian eggs...

Don't they look like professionals...
or perhaps slave labor:
"No pretty egg, No dinner!"

It was a wonderful day & night!

Saturday, January 1

Little Blessings

One morning, about a week before Christmas, I came downstairs to find my mom crying...

Turns out she was crying with joy over all her "little" blessings. She had been watching the screen saver on the computer which I had set to run through photos of this holiday season. As I mentioned in this post, we had a long & wonderful holiday season.

The pictures that made her cry, though, might surprise you. My mom has a Christmas village...not the fancy expensive kind from Department 56, but she loves it and enjoys putting it up each season. Last year Van & Kenyan were fascinated by it. This year, Teagan, too got caught up in the magic:

 Helping to set up the village:

Playing with the village:

The best thing about it for the kids is that Gramma doesn't get mad if something breaks accidentally~and they are so very gentle with the items, it's sweet. All three kids spent hours playing with the village. And Gramma loved every minute of it!

But what made her cry was not their joy in her village (and my nativity), but these pictures...their additions to her village, that suddenly struck home and made her realize, once again, how blessed we are to have these precious children in our lives...

Van's Motorcycle accident at the ice-skating pond:

Teagan added princesses to the village square:

Kenyan thought it high time Ariel and a Power Ranger met Jesus (they were bowled over by His power!):

It reminded me of that wonderful book, The Best Christmas Pagent Ever, where at the end the grubby little angel is standing there shouting, "Hey! Unto you at Child is born!" So true. And the scripture from Matthew, "Suffer the little children not, but let them come unto Me."

Powerful reminders of God's grace in such simple ways.

Mom got this in her Christmas card from me this year: a reminder of her little blessings:

Admit it: makes you want to tear up, too, huh?