Monday, December 22, 2008

Listen, Listen!

Last week, after our St. Lucia Pageant at church, I posted photos plus a couple little videos from that event. There was one other video that I wanted to post but couldn't get it to work -couldn't get blogger to load it.

Well, yesterday, I figured out a way to get it available!!!

I set up a YouTube account for myself and got it on there!

I'm just going to give you the url -not try to load it -cause even though Dr. Sardonicus (over at Pole Hill Sanitarium) has tried to give me instructions on how to upload a video from YouTube, now I can't find were I put those darned instructions! So, as a result, I'm taking the easy road tonight by just posting the url and letting you click it to open and view it. Keep in mind, my son did the video for me because you see, I am part of the group singing. Be patient -he is definitely not a videographer, but then again, neither am I so I can't be one to get all critical then, can I?

This is the members of our current choir who were present at the St. Lucia program along with any former choir members (like me) as well as anyone else who felt brave enough to tackle singing a song in Swedish! The name of this song is "Lyssna" and the first line of it -in English is "Listen, listen, hear the angels song." That's also about all the further I can translate of it although I do know the words to it in Swedish by heart -just don't know the exact meaning of them is all.

In other things going on around here, I finally got my Christmas cards mailed out Saturday morning! What a relief that always is to get that job completed, out of my hair! I hate addressing Christmas cards mainly because within about 5-10 minutes, I start getting writer's cramp and my penmanship -which is not the greatest to begin with -turns to absolute crapola then! I used to take the time to do little newsletters to include with some cards -for those who I don't see, rarely talk to and usually, those with no e-mail too. But this year, I only did one "newsletter" and that was to my best friend from my days of working in D.C. at the good old NRA. And even had I wanted to do other newsletters, I wouldn't have been able to do so because my black ink cartridge went dry on me as it was printing the last page of the one I wrote to Joan! So now I have to -absolutely HAVE TO -get another black cartridge and I may as well get a color one too while I am at it. Thankfully, since I got this printer a few months back, it won't cost me an absolute arm and a leg for the two cartridges! The printer I had before -the cartridge costs were outrageous -like $28 for a black cartridge and over $40 for a color one! Sure am glad I got rid of that puppy and got this printer!

Last night was wicked here. Both kids fell asleep early. Maya was out like a light before 8 p.m. and Kurtis was down for the count -or so we thought -shortly after 8 p.m. However, the peace and quiet was very short-lived, unfortunately. Maya woke up shortly before 11 p.m. and it was about 1 a.m. before we were able to convince her to go back to bed. Kurtis though -a horse of a different color!

His sleep between 8 and 11 was very fitfull to begin with -thrashing around, crying but not quite waking up. However, shortly after 11 p.m., he woke up and was totally miserable. Nothing we did seemed to soothe him. He wasn't running a fever or anything like that but just the way he was crying, we were thinking maybe he had a bit of a bellyache or something along those lines. Anyway, both Mandy and I were up till after 3 a.m. with him -taking turns holding him, rocking him, trying to calm him enough so that he could get back to sleep.

As a result, Mandy and I both overslept this morning -didn't wake up until after 9 a.m. -so it was too late for us to get ready then to make it to church. Mandy did however, manage to get herself and Maya dressed and they then made it out to Sunday School.

This evening though, we had a wonderful visit from several of the kids from our church youth group -Christmas Caroling! Their leader -our neighbor, Deb -had called me on Friday to ask if it would be ok if the kids stopped here tonight with their caroling and I saw no problem with that. So we had told Maya all day that there would be Christmas carollers here this evening. Not sure that she knew what was meant by that but we were able to use it as a little leverage with her in the "good behavior" department anyway.

When the kids -along with three of the leaders and Pastor Carrie arrived, Maya initially got a little shy. I picked her up and stood her on one of the dining room chairs beside me as the kids began by singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. By the time they got to the second line of that song, Maya was beginning to smile and when it came to the chorus, she very gingerly started to chime in a bit. Kurtis was just all smiles throughout the whole visit!

The kids sang several songs then -Away in a Manger, Deck the Halls and We Wish You a Merry Christmas -the last two which Maya surprised them and sang along with them, rarely missing a word as she pretty well knows both of them almost completely now. Then they did Jingle Bells too and she chimed in right away with that one too!

The Youth Group also gave out little fruit baskets at various homes tonight too -homes with what are considered have "Shut-ins" and I guess because of Kurt and Maya's autism, they considered them to be "shut-ins" so we got a lovely fruit basket.

The biggest surprise really came after they left though when Maya opened the fruit basket and, of her own volition, tried eating grapes for the very first time! No one egged her on to trying these -she just picked a couple and tried them. Later she told me they were good "But only the white ones, cause the red ones have seeds in them, Gram!" Mandy and I were both really surprised and very happy though to see her trying a new food item without any hissy fits. Kurtis will be happy with the bananas in the basket. Guess that leaves the tangerines, apples and red grapes then for Mandy and me, doesn't it?

Because Maya's school is now on Christmas break that means she will be home EVERY DAY now for the next two weeks! The hard part of that is going to be trying to find some structured activities we can do with her on many of those days or else, she will drive us both totally nuts!

Tonight, since she has no school in the morning, she didn't have to go to bed as early as she normally does, and she busied herself with some paper and crayons at the dining room table for quite a long time. Then, she began "wrapping" things -we don't know what she wrapped in these little packets she did up, but she labeled them mainly with names of some of the kids in her class and then, brought them in and put them under the tree. Whatever is in this wrapping -which consists of white, lined, notebook papers -she was quite meticulous in her work and insistant that these packages go under the tree. The first presents to be under the tree so far this year too I might add.

I'm still busy working on the tablecloth but I am finally -I think -starting to see daylight with respect to finishing it! I am down to now only have two colors of floss to work with -a dark red (garnet shade) for a big ribbon at the bottom of each poinsettia-candle bouquet and gold floss for the candles and stars. I managed tonight to get the last of the green stuff done and have 1 1/2 of the ribbons completed now -so only 6 1/2 more ribbons to go! Then, I have six candles and the stars to complete after that so hopefully by late tomorrow night, early Tuesday morning -if all goes well -I should have it completed then! Cross your fingers and wish me luck there.

When I showed it to Mandy a little earlier -after getting one ribbon done -she asked me then if this table cloth is for her saying "It better have my name on it!" That's my intent, my dear baby daughter!

Carrie and her fiance stopped up here Saturday afternoon to pick up some things Mandy had for her that she needed and while they were here, I showed them all the items I have done so far. She and Robert made little approving comments about the items but when they saw the light green tabletopper -with the yellow flowers, one of the first "fancy-type" I had completed, they both gushed over it! And they both also loved the tablecloth I completed a couple weeks ago too -both of which I had posted on here if you recall.

My plans originally -and with a few words from Maya too -were that I was going to give them those tablecloths and the way they showed how much they liked both of them yesterday, I was happy I'd made that decision. The tablecloth with the pink and blue flowers, Maya had told me that I should give that one to her Mommy so, that's who will get that one then! Looks like Uncle Clate will get the bright red and bright green tabletoppers for his house!

My intent in doing these items is that one, I do really enjoy doing the embroidery. And two, it's going to be my way of giving my kids something tangible, that they can have for their homes, long after I am gone. I like to sew, knit and crochet as well as embroider, but the kids are not that big on the things I am able to sew -well Carrie isn't although Mandy is much more agreeable to handmade clothing for herself as well as for the kids. My older grandson on the other hand, loves it if I can make him fleece sweatshirts however, this year, I haven't been able to find any fleece in prints that I know he would like. And I really haven't had time to do any sewing either. I've made each of the grandchildren at least one or two hand-crocheted afghans -baby blankets -and did two embroidered quilts too -one for Alex, one for Maya before they were born. I have yet to finish the one I started for Kurtis though -see what I mean about my tendancy to start but not finish some things? I also have another baby quilt that I embroidered, put together with fill and backing for Maya but it is also unfinished -mainly because I am scared to do the binding, which is something I've never done before! One of these days I'm gonna call the wife of a classmate of mine who does quilting for the church they belong to out in Drifting and have her come down and walk me through doing the binding so I can finally get that crib cover completed then. Mandy can put it back and save it then for someday down the road when, who knows, perhaps Maya or Kurtis will make her a grandmother and she can give it to her grandchild then. Nothing like planning ahead, is there?

And that's the latest from this house for now.

Hopefully, if I finish this tablecloth by Tuesday morning, I will then have time to get a little bit of baking -cookies and bread -done in time for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner!



Suldog said...

My writing is nice enough for business - I print, always, but in very neat block letters - but horrible for cards. Lucky enough, I have MY WIFE, who has beautiful handwriting and also a neurotic need to make every detail of the cards perfect. Now, she gets them out a bit later than I would, but I don't have to do much of anything.

Dianne said...

I don't do cards every year - it really depends on how demanding work is and this year it was a bear

the video was lovely - what a long table full of goodies!!!

and I love how all the singers were laughing at the end

Travis said...

I used to do regular holiday cards, but now I've found that ecards are the way to go. I always end up waiting too late for snail mail.

Maggie May said...

I think that Christmas cards are slowly going out as I had far fewer this year, but I do like to use them in decorations at Christmas and no ecard can be picked up and used as decoration! I started writing out mine a few at a time very early on. (End of November) Doesn't seem too bad that way.

You do sound so busy. Your little charges will be getting so excited. I can just imagine them getting hyped up!
I miss my little ones, they are in Japan for a couple of weeks.
Happy Christmas, Jeni and your whole family too!