Friday, December 31, 2010

One Hundred

The excitement builds and I am thankful for . . .

86.  Time at my MeeMaw and PawPaw's house every Christmas Eve

 87.  Dropped off coats 
88. Live Nativities
89. Family together
90.  Singing
90.  Christmas Eve photo shoots
91. Tired smiles
92. Silly hats
93. Christmas Eve pajamas 
 
94. A familiar sight- a comforting sight- on Christmas Eve
95. Gifts waiting
96. Taking Turns
97. Untying bows- Opening presents 
98. Small snow- safe roads    
99. Christmas morning brunch

100. That many thanks- that many blog posts!



Merry Christmas!  ~Megan

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Adam

A few years ago, Sophie and Camille were inspired by the name Christmas Eve.  Since it's the day before Christmas they decided that the day before Christmas Eve must be called Christmas Adam and it has been called that ever since.  

This year Sophie, Camille, my Mom, and I spent the afternoon of Christmas Adam with my MeeMaw, Aunt Judy, Aunt Laura, and cousin Caitlin.  First, thanks to reservations made by Aunt Judy (who we did this with last year, just on a different day), we enjoyed lunch at Andre's.

Even the napkin is cute! 
The full table





Which tea to choose? 
A peek at the counter
The holly outside-- quite felicitous this time of year


After lunch, we went off to enjoy the Toy and Miniature Museum. 



 Pictures are not allowed inside, so I took a picture of a dollhouse in the brochure outside.

Later that night, after getting back from our outing, Sophie, Camille, my Mom, my Dad, and I played dominoes. 
I lost by a long shot and would like to think it is proof that I don't play dominoes very often.  Camille, however, doesn't play dominoes very often either and still won.  That annoying double 9!   

And before going to bed, I got my gifts wrapped (one of the things I was going to do on Saturday.) 
 I hope you too had a merry Christmas Adam!  ~Megan

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Being Careful

On Saturday morning the members of my family were in different places.  Sophie, Camille, and my Dad were at a church activity, my Mom was on the phone to my Gramma downstairs, and I was cleaning in my room upstairs.

I was almost finished.  All that was left was putting a few decorative things up on my mirrored door chest. Merry Christmas was being sung on the radio in every imaginable way.  I was dreaming about all I would get done once I finished.  Getting up on my desk chair, I could tell I didn't have my balance, but didn't think much of it.  Then I could feel the chair tipping and myself going down with it. I reached out to stop my fall, but everything was a blur. A long moment later I realized the fall was over. I tried to focus my eyes on the broken glass I knew was on my bed.  My eyes focused and I saw the glass, broken, like I expected.  Then I looked down at my right forearm. It was being held by my left hand.  I caught my breath.  There was a cut.  It wasn't very long, but I knew a band aid wouldn't make it all better.   A wave of embarrassment swept over me.  I had been hurrying and had known I didn't have my balance on the chair.  Though these thoughts crowded my head, I knew I had to show the cut to my Mom and fast.

When I came through the door of my parents bedroom, my Mom, still talking to my Gramma, mouthed the words, "Are you okay?"

Normally, I would answer, "Yes, but,"  and go on to ask a question.

Today was different.  I simply answered, "No."

My Mom quickly told my Gramma she had to go.  I showed her the cut and she took me into the bathroom.  She took a red towel out of a cabinet and wrapped it around my arm and had me put pressure on it.  I told her what happened, seeing everything I could have done to prevent my fall.  All she asked was, "Did you learn a lesson?"  The answer was definitely yes.

In the next short while my Mom helped get me comfortable and called my Dad home.

About an hour later I was sitting at our kitchen table reading a sweet Get Well Soon! card from my cousin and listening to my Uncle Gary cheerfully talk about the first aid kit, complete with needle and thread, he keeps in his car.  Uncle Gary is a dermatologist, and we had called him to see if he thought the cut needed stitches.  He thought it would, and offered to come to our house and do it himself.

Uncle Gary is very good at talking as he works, but all I could think about was that needle.  I was looking away, but still having trouble not shaking.  All of the sudden I heard him say, "Do you want a pillow to lay your head on?  I think we should get you one."

My Mom came over with a pillow and I put my head down.  Then Uncle Gary started joking about how he didn't want me to faint.  After that, while working on my arm, a steady conversation about fainting was kept up between my Mom and him.  Five little black stitches later and the cut was gone.  A band aid, cotton ball, and a stretchy, tape-like wrap was put securely over the stitches.  After that Uncle Gary checked my pulse, had me move my fingers together, and proclaimed me healthy.  "In one week," he said, "I can take out those stitches."

 I spent the better part of that afternoon on the sofa in our living room watching TV.  My arm felt okay, especially if I didn't move it.  My mind is what was bothering me.  Suddenly, I was thinking about if there were any other glass objects in my room. . . if I could take away all other glass objects in my room.  Since I was "safe" I had found out that, if in a slightly different position, things might not have gone so smoothly.  Looking back, I could see how God was watching over every little detail.  My Mom was not at the store like she had planned on being.  My Uncle Gary was available to save us a trip to the emergency room.  My cut was in an okay spot. 


 I could now recognize all the little every day tasks that could possibly be dangerous but are not.  I was more thankful than ever for how often I don't get hurt.  Now, a few days later, I am able to use my right hand almost like normal, though moving my wrist very much is still not comfortable.  In the mean time, my left hand is gathering some much needed coordination.   But, thankfully, I can write and type just fine using both hands.

 Gratitude this week-- 

71.      My right arm is fine
72.      My left arm has never felt better
73.      My Mom was at home when I fell, and my Dad could come home quickly
74.      My Uncle Gary was available
75.      The card and candy canes sent with my Uncle Gary from my cousin
76.      I didn’t have to go to the emergency room
77.      I didn’t faint
78.      We were able to have my PawPaw’s birthday/ family Christmas celebration Saturday night
79.      The twelve of us laughing around the dining room table
80.      All the broken glass is gone from my room thanks to my Dad
81.      Christmas break
82.      Intentional pajama days (I was in my pajamas much longer than I wanted to be on Saturday) 
83.       A fun time seeing the city lights Friday night
84.      Supplies for Christmas treats sitting in our kitchen
85.      That God can work everything out for good



So, this week before Christmas, I was reminded that my life is in the hands of God.  It is a comforting thought, to know he's got you covered.  But please, join me in being careful while standing on chairs!  ~Megan

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lights

A few nights ago, my family and I got in our van and drove off to see a light display near us. It was a blur of snowflakes and stockings, trees and trains.




Seeing all the lights was a lot of fun. After all, light is yet another thing that came to us that Christmas long ago.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." --John 8:12

May your week be full of light~ Megan


P. S. I have changed my background. Now, what does this have to do with lights? Well, I am hoping that the new design will allow me to make my photos bigger and easier to see. Let the experimenting begin. . .

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Advent Countdown

Weeks go along as the candles are lit, one after another.





Though life goes on faster than ever, each night we gather to sit and watch. After all, busyness is never an answer.

The quiet moments are when things happen-- when we are attentive enough to see what is happening.

Expectations rise for the hope that is drawing near. Gratitude rises for the blessings that fall down, covering up other troubles.



This week I am grateful for. . .


61. The first snow of the year 

62. Safe roads despite the snow 

63. An afternoon spent reading 

64. An evening spent wrapping gifts 

65. The pink hat I received from a friend 

66. Birthday plans being made

67. Books to curl up with on dark nights 

68. Chocolate

69. Hope 

70. The quiet times



Blessed quiet to you~ Megan

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Houses

                                                             The gingerbread house we decorated


             Middle Sister's graham cracker house made at our piano teacher's Christmas party



                                My graham cracker house made at the same party


                                                              Our advent cottage


                                 The Barbie houses before they were re-decorated 
 


                                      The Barbie houses after they were re-decorated

~Megan

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Now that a month has gone by since--

Youngest Sister forgot her beloved Panda in the excitement of seeing toy catalogs that had arrived in the mail,



our neighbors put red and green lights up on their house,



and the radio started singing about home during the holidays,



I have found myself getting very excited about the thing at the core of all this doing.



Christmas is coming! ~Megan

Monday, December 6, 2010

Closed Doors

As an only child for the first four years of my life, I played a lot with my cousin Zachary. He was just a little younger than me, and laid back enough to let me take charge, a thing I loved to do. We made a great team and together fought the most evil villain we knew-- boredom. We had never come face-to-face with our foe. . . we were much too crafty for that. Instead we used our little brains to make up new and interesting things to do.




One day, when my Mom and PawPaw were watching us at Zachary's house, I had an idea. While they were talking, Zachary and I went up to his room, closed the door, and started making a pile of everything in his room in front of the door. We were not trying to make a mess. We were just trying to have fun. We lifted and stacked, impressed by all that we could move. Out came the dresser drawers. Off came the sheets on his bed. We didn't realize that the boxes in the storage closet attached to Zachary's room might be "off limits" so we took them to our pile as well. I can still remember trying to reach a box on the top of a pile and having the whole stack fall down in the process. Well, that got it down was my naive thought. We didn't miss a thing.

Meanwhile, my Mom and PawPaw realized how quiet it was, and came upstairs to investigate. When they found Zachary's door closed and were unable to open it, they asked us through the door what we had done, then to move enough of the things so they could open the door. We did but it took some negotiation. We were proud of completing what we set out to do. Eventually we move enough of the things out of the way so some very worried people could open the door. We had basically dismantled Zachary's room in less than five minutes. Unfortunately, it took my Mom and PawPaw two hours to put everything away (no, they did not "let" us help. . . I think it was nap time.)

Needless to say, our little mission was never repeated.

Over ten years later, Zachary and I don't see each other quite so often. School and sports have separated my little teammate and I. We have both grown, Zachary now going by Zach and I not making near so many messes. But, though our room destroying days are over, on the occasional get together I know Zach will follow his sister and three girl cousins up to the play room before being called down to dinner. And every now and then, after that call comes, I know we'll be given a hard time about when we destroyed Zach's room.

Unfortunately, this lesson hasn't yet penetrated completely. Though I no longer make piles of things in front of real doors, I do in front of spiritual ones. Whenever I place material things in front of my walk with God, I am closing a door. His voice can still come through, but it is much harder for me to hear him. He has blessed me with a life full of things to do, but it is never good when I use those things in ways he didn't mean them. I suddenly have a mess and it is blocking help. It is a struggle to get the door open again but, when I do, my mess becomes smaller. Eventually everything gets put back in its place. In the process I have recovered a new delight in the blessings and in the light from the open door.

So, this week I am thankful for--

41. My cousins

42. A visit from friends preparing for an adventure in Germany 

43. Clementine oranges in season

44. Quiet confidences concerning Christmas gifts 

45. A 7 year-old sister who recently listened to (un-abridged) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott on CD 

46. Seeing four friends in a Little Women play

47. Warm showers

48. Frost on the ground

49. Two little blond heads bent over knitting 

50. The poem about sheep that helps teach them to knitt

51. Cheerful music in the background

52. A little advent cottage with two doors and twenty-two windows 

53. Two purple candles lit in front of the Christmas tree 

54. Long hair growing longer

55. The box of Christmas gifts under my bed. . . shhh! 

56. My camera

57. The knowledge of how to upload pictures from my camera

58. Flowers not yet dead from the cold

59. Forgiveness for my messes 

60. Open doors—Opened doors 



~Megan

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yet Another Math Problem

Lately, I have been finding it difficult to focus on math. To begin with, it is the first subject of the day, and I am not a morning person . Second of all, I get preoccupied trying to warm my cold hands. Thankfully, I have discovered a solution to my problem-- a cup of tea. A Christmas mug makes it especially nice.



Tea that helps our head and heart.
Tea medicates most every part.
Tea rejuvenates the very old.
Tea warms the hands of those who're cold.
--J. Jonker, Amsterdam, circa 1670

Yes, tea seems to be the right choice! ~Megan

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Trees

On Saturday we decorated our Christmas tree. One by one ornaments saying things like My First Christmas and Joy to the World came out of the box. Looking at how many ornaments have been collected over the years led me on a train of thought that ended with wondering: Are people like Christmas trees?

Christmas trees start out small, then grow up to various heights.
People start out small, then grow up to various heights.

Christmas trees are filled with ornaments, ones in remembrance of special occasions and ones that are simply decorative.
People too are ornamented, on the outside with things to make them more beautiful and on the inside with memories of special occasions.

Christmas trees are topped by a bow, angel, or star.
People are topped by either their own selfish desires or the desire to serve God.

Finally a Christmas tree just isn't quite right without lights on its branches.
People aren't quite right without the ultimate light, Jesus, in their life.

In the daylight, or easy times, the light blends in with the rest of the tree (or person.) It is easy to focus on the ornaments and forget about the lights.


However in the night, or hard times, the ornaments mean nothing. They are still there, but not even visible in the darkness. The lights are what make you know the tree is a Christmas tree, or the person is a Christian. By the lights you can appreciate the ornaments.



Continuing with gratitude during this advent season, I want to make sure I am focusing on and being thankful for the light. Ornaments make us each unique, but the light is what makes us whole.


21. Jingling Bells

22. Pictures newly hung up on my walls

23. Time to work on Christmas gifts 

24. Candles in our windows 

25. Sleeping in on Black Friday

26. Treasures found in my Nana’s old printers drawer

27. Christmas carols being played on the piano

28. A craft store close to our house

29. Beautiful November weather

30. The hope of snow to come 

31. Arrival of the Advent season 

32. Tape to heal my paper related woes 

33. Home schooling 

34. Victorian pictures above my computer

35. The red cheeked snowman on my desk

36. Carmel tea

37. Mechanical pencils

38. Pink sunsets

39. Lit-up Christmas trees
  
But, even more,

40. Lit-up people











~Megan