Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

November 3rd has Come and Gone {sigh}

November 3, 2009

If you have followed our eternal adoption saga, you know that I’m a tad sad today.  November 3rd is the last day of the year 2009 that a referral call can be received from Bogota… and your child can be home by Christmas.  Our call did not come today.  This will be Christmas #3 without our baby girl looking wide-eyed at her first glistening Christmas tree, or having a family to gather with and sing carols in a strange language, or making Sugar cookies in the shapes of stars, candy canes and snowmen with sprinkles.  I don’t know if I can stand to put the baby ornaments on the tree this year.

When I think of the life Zaza is most likely living right now… down in Colombia… it makes my heart sad.  We pray for her every single day to be cared for, warm, fed and loved.  I know it will be the shock of her life to leave all that is familiar to her… food, weather, friends, home, caretakers, clothes, smells, Spanish, songs and games.  I’m glad that we stay in Colombia for a month to get used to each other in her surroundings.  But I honestly cannot wait to shower her in love and kisses.  To bring her to her own home and show Zaza her darling yellow room with the purple bed.  Her very own room!  With butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and the sun painted in bright colors and glitter dancing around the tops of her walls.  Her own curvy mirror to look in, comb her black hair that is just like her daddy’s and admire her beautiful clothes.  I can’t wait to hear squealing in our home again, high-pitched laughter and giggling.  We haven’t had princess tea parties in many years around here.  And dancing.  Yes, we will dance with Zaza.

We started a unit with the boys today on patience and plant growth.  As I read the definition “patience is waiting without complaining” I realized why God planned for us to start the unit today… Nov. 3rd.   I plan my homeschool year in early June, when I wasn’t aware of the Nov. 3rd cut off date.  And of course it would be patience out of all the character traits that it could be.  HE knew!  So we planted grass and flowers and herbs and vegetables today.  Of course I thought of doing all this with Zaza by my side making a mess next year.  I pray she loves gardening even half as much as I do.  We’ll have great fun together with the dirt, water, seeds and rocks.  I’ve been eyeing the little gardening gloves, rubber boots and color coordinated kid-sized garden tools at JoAnns.  I LOVE those!  A must have.

The courts in Bogota are closed from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15th, so there will be no action at all until after that. {sigh} The good news of Nov. 3rd being over is that the holidays are spent focussing on the family that is here, the few years we have left together, and making memories that will last. 

Seed Is a Promise

I read the book A Seed is a Promise today…. and it is, whether it is an actual plant seed, or the seed of a child born in your heart.  It is a promise.  A promise that will come true… if we have patience (and wait without complaining!)

No News is NOT Good News

September 2, 2009

School is underway and I am treading water with my head just sticking out of the water.  It’s hard to keep my mind from wandering off to Colombia and a sweet, little black-haired girl that is waiting for us to come and get her.  I keep thinking, Spelling and grammar are important but if the referral call comes, spelling and grammar are history, baby!  At least for a little while.  I made the most strictly structured schedule that has ever been in existence at L.A.K.E. Academy (our homeschool.)  L-arisa, A-ustin, K-eeve, and E…….  (Wouldn’t it be just like God to have Zaza’s name start with an E!?! )  The schedule is the only thing keeping school on track.  The boys check it regularly throughout the day and keep us on course.

We were supposed to have adoption news last week.  It didn’t materialize.  The next scheduled news about our case should be available next week… Sept. 10th, so we’re told.  Is it too much, after almost three years of waiting, to ask that our little girl is home before Christmas????  I had a hard time last year putting the kids’ birth ornaments on the tree without Zaza’s in the mix.  Another year with three stockings when we know there should be four.  Another year without Barbies under the tree.  {sigh}

I have this underlying anxiety currently.  I’m not sure what it means or where it comes from.  I hope it’s my maternal instincts kicking in to prepare for a new child.  We’ve cleaned, painted, scrubbed and wiped pretty much everything now.  If the call came tomorrow, I’m ready.  I try not to dwell on the time that we have been on the adoptive parent wait list in Bogota (19 months), but it does come to mind on nights like tonight.  The house is quiet.  There probably are three million things I could be doing, but I can’t concentrate on any one thing.  It’s like something or someone is missing…. because she is.

Come on, GOD!

Christmas Wish Lists

December 30, 2008


Calm down.  I realize some of you think it’s selfish and greedy to make a Christmas Wish List, but hear me out.  Old folks don’t know what to buy for young folks.  Young folks don’t know what to buy for old folks.  It’s not like we’re writing Porsche or gigantic flat screen TV on our lists.  And for goodness sake, you have to know the name of the game system, or you’ll be a sad pile of tears in Game Stop.  Believe me, I’ve shed a few in there.

Our youngest son’s Christmas Wish Lists are always my favorite.  I save them every year.  One year his list included: lime green mini Sharpie permanent pen, cardboard to make guitars, Batman bubblegum toothpaste, lime green spray paint and a jump rope with rubber handles.  See?  One trip to Wally World and seven bucks later, the boy got everything on the list.

Our 15 year old daughter produced a wish list about 8 or 9 years ago that included white envelopes and scotch tape.  I love it!  She got smart this year and only put two things on her list… a cell phone and perfume.  She got both.  I wasn’t aware that you can buy a phone for $21 and then the owner has to prepay all the minutes!  Sweet!  (Yes, we did buy her some minutes to call home in case of emergency.)

One year I made a detailed list with pictures of specific scrapbooking materials.  Rick went into the scrap store and just handed the list to the lady.  It saved him time and I don’t get real roses dipped in gold anymore.  (Yes, it’s true.)

Another year, I made my list complete with pictures, and then a week before Christmas, Rick told me he was taking me to -50* Saskatchewan for New Years.  I asked for my list back.  I crossed off everything and wrote PARKA in big letters.  I still have the parka…. and I wear it weekly at the arena.

This year I received a gift that I would never have thought of for my wish list…. it’s a 15 minute spot on a local radio station.  It sort of put me in panic mode… because it’s live and you have to be on your game.  I’ve been fighting sinus pressure and I’m no where near my game.  I don’t even know where my game is, let alone be on it.  But the date was chosen for the 16th of Jan…. so I have time to find my game.

Linda’s Pet Peeve List

December 26, 2008


Hitting my Pet Peeve List just under Car Problems is Electronic Problems.  I believe I”ve mentioned this before, but my lap top took a dive about three months ago.  It would turn on, but I couldn’t get passed the first page of the 1980’s digital font on the “Something’s Wrong” page.  I couldn’t remember all that was stored on there… but I did know our D.C. trip and skiing pictures were only on the laptop.  There was also some of my writing on there too.  We found out we could recover the data for a mere $50 and then throw out the lap top.  This was the laptop that I faithfully watched Netflix movies on while I sewed Bags for Zaza.  I was missing my movies… the portable CD movie player that has a 7″ screen, just wasn’t the same.  Sigh. 

The good news:  seems my laptop just needed a three month nap.  It woke up and all is fine.  My dad copied all data and photos… but I’ve watched Miss Potter twice since my computer came back to me. “There’s something delicious about writing the first words of a story….”

On to current electronic challenges.  Well, 2007 is not current, but the resolution was.  Our video camera battery died.  We would charge it for 2 hours and it would produce 5 minutes of juice for our viewing pleasure.  Our entire video life is captured on 8mm tapes from 1993 to June 2007.  That was when we discovered that the battery needed is an antique… unavailable… not manufactured any more.  Bummer.  So, we asked for a video camera for Christmas because we definitely need to take one to Colombia to capture Zaza’s entrance into the wild and crazy Crosby family.

Fast forward to three nights ago when we had family video night… we decided to check eBay.  Low and behold, there was our prized possession of a battery for $11.49 and free shipping.  Hallelujah!  It’s on its way.

So, last night we are at my parent’s home and trying to take the annual family picture in front of the Christmas tree and the memory card is NOT in the camera.  Oh well.  I deleted some pictures of Larisa’s clay Stonehenge and Trixie sleeping under a laundry basket to make room on the internal storage.  THEN (insert sinister music here) I arrived home to upload the family pictures on the computer and the cord doesn’t work!  WHAAAAAT?  So, it’s onto eBay to find a new camera cord.  Will this ever end?

Merry CHRISTmas!

December 25, 2008


What a blessed day to celebrate the King of Kings!  I pray His love and peace will fill your homes with blessings today and all through 2009!  Happy Birthday, Jesus!

We’re off to my parent’s home for an afternoon of Settlers of Catan and a wonderful Christmas dinner.  I love relaxing family time!  Spread the Joy around!

Take Me Back

December 23, 2008


Last night we opened the box containing Christmas videos… yes, only three days prior to Jesus’ birthday.  At least we found it and got it opened!  Ten years ago, our youngest son was born mid-November.  Being such a youngster he played the part of baby Jesus in the gigantic Christmas Spectacular at Phoenix First Assembly.  My Dad works in the video department, so we were blessed with three different tapes from three nights of baby Keeve being held up the air, half clothed in front of 7,000 people and blinding lights.  He was so darling, if I do say so myself.

From baby Jesus, we moved onto Larisa being a pauper girl when she was 4, dancing and looking adorable and dirty all at the same time…. same show as above… different year.  I love the results from pink spongy rollers!  (Look out, Zaza!)

THEN.. the highlight of our evening was a video our kids made with the help of their favorite babysitter, Ashley.  They were 2, 4 and 7.  We laughed so hard… and then played it again and laughed even harder.  Austin, at 4, was wearing these white Elvis pants that were supposed to go on the front legs of a large dog….  need I say more? Yes!  He was bare chested flaunting a gaudy gold necklace and a black wig.  Yes, he sang Blue Christmas by Elvis.  See a trend here?  His performance included the lip snarl and hip gyrations.  Made his daddy proud.  Larisa followed with a ballerina choreographed performance of the Nut Cracker.  I don’t think we realized how good she was at the time, but for a seven year old, it was amazing.  (She is a choreographer now for a drama troupe.)  And Keeve….. cute Keevey… we completely forgot that he lisped his S’s… and there’s two in Merry Chrithmath.  We re-wound the lisp several times until we couldn’t take it anymore for the pains in our laughing bellies.

Good times.  Takes me back.  We’ll have to make some videos this year that we can crack up over in another eight years.

Elvis and Christmas

December 21, 2008


Unfortunately, Elvis and Christmas go hand in hand at the Crosby house during the season when we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday.  Music, ornaments, gifts, etc. etc.  Several years ago mother bought a tasteful 24″ singing/dancing Elvis in his gold dinner jacket playing his guitar with a deformed right arm that is at an unnatural angle… singing Blue Christmas.  It comes out each year and I try to hide it in an obscure corner of the house… laundry room…. garage… but this year EP is standing right next to the computer in the family room for all to push the mighty red button that brings him to life.


It’s not even Christmas yet and Rick has already received three Elvis gifts.  {sigh}  I did give in to my husband’s obsession, after fighting it for 19 years, and cristened the downstairs bathroom a shrine to Elvis Aron Presley.  It is sort of a memorial, being that he passed on in the bathroom an all.  I painted the walls and ceiling red… to showcase the black framed records and pictures.  We even provide Elvis entertainment for our guests who visit the Elvis bathroom… game magazines, trivia books, biographies, and a flip book that shows Elvis dancing… that was purchased at the National Archives in D.C.  (Why buy a copy of the Declaration of Independence when there are Elvis flip books???) 


There is a well-loved book in the tidy black basket that is titled Where’s Elvis?  It’s like Where’s Waldo, but Elvis has been placed in photos from all around the world and you have to find him.  A relative, who shall remain nameless to protect her identity, was in said Elvis bathroom for a L-O-N-G time one day. I finally went and gently rapped on the door and asked if everything was OK.  She frustratingly yelled, “I cannot find Elvis in this picture!”  Another sucker sucked in by Where’s Elvis.


The only song I loathe on one of Elvis’ Christmas albums is Mama and the Roses…. he actually sings the words, “She growed them in the yard.”   GROWED!   The hillbilly.  Makes me wanna say ain’t and spit on the floor.  Good grief.  Pray for me to make it to January… when I get to put the king back in his box.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

December 17, 2008


Sorry for the photo quality… but at least I captured the smiles and colorful t-shirts for my children to look at for all eternity.  (Yes, we’re bringing our scrapbooks to heaven, for goodness sake!  Why else would we put all that work into them???)  Keeve (pictured in the center of younger women) and Austin (below) played pivotal roles in last nights pageant.  Both boys were narrators and, as their proud homeschooling mother who taught them to read, must say they did an excellent job… even looking up at the crowd in between breaths.  They also danced with candy cane canes and shook their booties in rhythm, a true highlight of the evening…. at least for me.

Keeve told us later that he was going to read his part like Napoleon Dynamite, all breathy and slow with a “gosh” and “lucky” words thrown in.  “You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger…. lucky!”  It would have been hilarious, but he is more my child than his father’s, obviously, as he followed propriety instead of breaking out of the mold for a laugh.


Thurston, the rich man who didn’t want carolers on his grass, was masterfully played by Austin.  He was animated and humorous, much to our surprise.  He’s usually icy-hockey-stone-faced-cool.  It was a delight to see the ice breaking up. (Yes, the boy needs a haircut!  Relax, he’s going with me today!)

Rick, my comic-relief husband, was cast to the part entitled Vanna White… yes, it made me nervous.  He was to carry a sign that read “Christmas Eve”…. that’s it.  It was a 20 second part.  But, as the children’s director told me, “It wouldn’t be a kid’s play without your husband.”  {sigh}  He decided to be Michael Jackson instead of Vanna… black suit, white socks…. he even bought a pin-striped dress hat at Tilly’s.  Unfortunately for him and all his practicing of Moon Walking and the Electric Slide to “Billie Jean”, (and fortunately for ME) his part got skipped.  My mother said, “See, the Lord knew he shouldn’t do Michael Jackson in church!” 

Wish you could’ve been here for this past week while he practiced.  We might even request a family show on Christmas Day.

On the Second Day of Christmas

December 14, 2008

What could be better than chocolate TURTLES and DOVE bars?  I can’t imagine anything better either.  In the Bob and Doug McKenzie-warped-Canadian version of the 12 Days song, on day number two Mr. Truelove brings two turtlenecks, which is really quite feasible and practical in the Great White North.


Without donning a turtleneck today, I braved the bitter 68* and hit JC Penney for a hot-commodity Christmas gift for a child of mine.  The special ended at 1:00 p.m.  I hit the parking lot running at 12:45.  I didn’t want to scan the store on my own, so I parked by customer service and went straight and asked where the gold was located.  With a phone call and a three-way conversation on walkie-talkies, I was sent to THE RED BOX for the desired item.  THE RED BOX is an area in JC Penney near the mall entrance that was wrapped in red paper before all the merchandise was put on the shelves.  The red walls made me want to buy.  Not really, but I’m sure that’s what corporate office hoped for. 

I grabbed said gift and immediately got in line…. 12:54.  With only one lady in front of me and four tellers serving the line, I was assured of my pre-1:00 p.m. success.  As lady #1 moved to a till, my cell phone rang.  NO ONE was going to interrupt my RED BOX deal…. well, unless it was my husband, which it was. 

Seems he locked his keys in his car and was currently stranded by said locked car with three youngsters in his watchful care.  He didn’t seem concerned of my whereabouts.  At all.  “HI!  I locked my keys in the car at Walgreens.  Can you please drive up here right now?”  Walgreens is 5 miles north of our house.  If I was at home, it would’ve been an 8 minute trip.  I was not at home.  I was in the RED BOX line with now four minutes to spare to purchase my 60% off desired item at JC Penney which is 18.56 miles southeast of our home.  Sweet Jesus, Cashier #3 was waving me over… 12:57. “I’m at PV Mall,” was all I said.  Then I hung up.  It was a rational decision on my part.  I could do nothing to aid my key-less husband at the moment and my pre-1:00 purchase pre-empted his situation.

Christmas shopping really brings out the best in people.  Thinking of others.  Saving money.  Holiday cheer.  Love for all mankind.  I was back in the van by 1:04 p.m. with my prized box and Rick was safely home when I arrived.  Another successful day of Christmas shopping and all is well.

My Holiday Planner

November 17, 2008


Aaahhhh.  Organization at its BEST!  Now don’t go thinking I’m taking credit for this fabulous planner idea.  I attended a conference and took a class on building a website.  The gal that taught the course has a website ALL about organizational tips for the holidays.  Well, this is right up my alley, baby.  Not only did I make myself a binder/planner, I gave them as gifts last year too.  Scrapbooking + organizing = priceless.  Here’s Kris Ann’s website:


The book is pure organizational genius.  It starts with monthly calendar pages and moves through every area of holidaying: gifts, decorating, letters, cleaning, favorites, where you hid stuff for next Christmas, etc.  Of course I decorated mine in wintry blues… my favorite colors that remind me of cold Canadian nights in the snow. 


Last year was my first chance using the planner for the months of November and December and it was the first year in 20 years of marriage that we shipped Christmas gifts to the Canadian relatives ON TIME!  No extra postage because of procrastinating!  Wooo Hooo!


The Deep Cleaning page strikes fear in the hearts of my children.  But, boy howdy, does the house look better during Jesus’ birthday.  It lists every cleaning job possible and then every single room and hallway in the house.  Sweet sanitary music to my ears.  You only do one or two rooms per week and it doesn’t even seem that bad, especially when an energetic mother and her three willing assistants attack the room simultaneously.  Ten to fifteen minutes per room… and the disgusting horizontal blinds even shine.


The meal and baking planning sheets were a Godsend come grocery shopping time.  You just can’t put a price on the value of preparing ahead.  It also adds peace of mind to the season that can be so stressful. I used a plain white binder and slid in the cutesy covers with silver glitter.


For those industrious fellow crafters and planners, here is the complete list of tabs: calendar, planner (weekly countdown of to-do lists), Thanksgiving (meal plans and recipes), cleaning, cards (sent/received lists and copies of past family letters), budget, decorating (magazine pictures, ideas from websites, lists of per-room decorations), gifts (planner with immediate family, extended family, friends, Wish lists, Gift Wrap Center, Gift Closet Stocking Stuffers, After Christmas Purchases and where I put them), food (meal plans, Baking planner, recipes), crafts (gifts to make, magazine ideas), wardrobe (A slot for each family members’ outfits: Sunday, Family Photo and Casual), Shopping Lists, and extras (lists of Christmas Favorite movies, books, music and Traveling checklists).

Join me in Christmas bliss.  :o)