Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Different Christmas Poem


The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter, beside me, angelic in rest,

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight,
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve,

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But, I opened my eyes, when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps, outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door, just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!

"For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,

I'm out here by choice.
I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.

"My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue. An American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled .
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That, we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Neighborhood Outdoor Christmas Movie Night

Baby it's cold outside, oooh
Baby it's cold outside, oooh
Baby Baby Baby Baby Baby Ba - Ba
Baby Ba Baby Ba Ba
Baby it's cold outside
~Family Song (we made it up :))

For the past two years our neighbors have been having a Neighborhood Outdoor Christmas Movie Night. The neighbors have a huge blow up movie screen to watch the movie on. They make hot chocolate and provide hotdogs for roasting and all of the makings for s'mores. They have a huge fire structure to cook our hotdogs and s'mores over and also have two chimineras for warmth. We all bring a side dish, our lawn chairs, and a bunch of blankets.

This year's double feature started with Home Alone followed by A Tuna Christmas. We only made it through the first movie with the kiddos but it is always so much fun! Today the high temperature was 71 degrees and a cold front came through just before we started the first movie and it was around 35 degrees. We were SOOOO cold!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Little Miss's Christmas Program

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day
That's the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way
To say "Merry Christmas to you."

This year's wonderful Christmas program was "Christmas Around the World". Each of the classes sang a song from another part of the world. Little Miss has been singing Mele Kalikimaka for the past two months and was super excited to sing for all of us :)
These pictures are of her with her school class and with her teacher.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chrismas Cookies 2008

I sure do like those Christmas cookies sugar
I sure do like those Christmas cookies babe
The ones that look like Santa Claus
Christmas trees and bells and stars
I sure do like those Christmas cookies babe
~ Christmas Cookies by George Strait

Yesterday we continued our family tradition of making Christmas cookies! This is by far my most favourite family tradition and my kids have come to love it as well.

Each year we all get together (this year it was me and Ryan and the kids, my mom and dad, his mom and dad, and my sister and her boyfriend) and make an entire day of lunch and Christmas cookie decorating. We all brought a batch of sugar cookie dough along with another cookie dough or dessert item. Each of us also brought our special cookie cutters to use.

Here are Little Miss and Little Man decorating their cookies. Little Miss did a really great job of decorating and Little Man was so into it this year!

We got to mom's house around noon and had a wonderful lunch of Andra's corn chowder. Then the decorating began. We made candy canes, bells, Santas, and reindeer. And then we made the not so traditional cowboys, fish, unicorns, and t-rexes. Lara's boyfriend was so funny this year, he kept making each cookie look like an animal, no matter what it was supposed to be (my favourites were the bell that became a Christmas octopus and the candy cane that became a caterpillar).

(Here are me and my sister.)

Left to Right: Little Miss and MeMe (Ryan's mom) - Little Miss, Little Man, and Nana (my mom) - Ryan with his green glitter decoration gel :)