Category Archives: Christmas

Familial Vocabulary

Every family has its own special vocabulary.  Over the years, words are added that have meaning sometimes only to the family who created them.  Some of my family vocabulary includes “girts” (skirts), “the oceanbath” (the ocean), “whydidyoudothistomes” (needles and pins), and “yogs” (those chemical fireplace logs).

This is the story of how one of our family’s words came into being…..

A few Christmases ago, because he was new to Colorado, I bought my little nephew (he’s not quite so little anymore) a pair of insulated overalls for playing in the snow.

I called them snowveralls.  I thought I made the word up, but I have since found that I am not the original I thought I was!  🙂

When Mitchell opened them up, he was quite excited!  His mother (my sister) asked him “Do you know what those are??”.

He nodded in the affirmative and replied…..”ovaries”.

So, we now call those slickery insulated winter clothing items…..”snovaries”.

True story.


“Aspenglow” – Words and Music by John Denver

Not unfamiliar with the music of John Denver by any means, I was amazed listening to the radio the other night to hear this song.  How did I get to be as old as I am without ever hearing one of the most practically perfect songs ever written?  The lyrics are uncomplicated and not profound, but they are woven together with a light and delicate musical arrangement and sung in the crystal clear voice that only John Denver possessed.

See the sunlight through the pine
Taste the warm of winter wine
Dream of softly falling snow
Winter’s gold, Aspenglow

As the winter days unfold
Hearts grow warmer with the cold
Peace of mind is all you know
Winter’s gold, Aspenglow

Aspen is a life to live
See how much there is to give
See how strongly you believe
See how much you may receive

Smiling faces all around
Laughter is the only sound
Memories that can’t grow old
Winter’s gold, Aspenglow

Aspen is a life to live
See how much there is to give
See how strongly you believe
See how much you may receive

See the sunlight through the pine
Taste the warm of winter wine
Dream of softly falling snow
Winter’s gold, Aspenglow

Unable to find an online player that would play the full length song, I resorted to a YouTube video.  Listen especially to the music.  It’s divine.


I gave my nephew Mitchell a pair of snow overalls (what I call “snowveralls”) for Christmas.  When he opened them up and pulled them from the box, his mom asked him if he knew what they were. 

 Almost without hesitation he nearly shouted…  “OVARIES!”.

True story.  I was there!

Joy to the World

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
while fields and floods,
rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessing flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love.

Joy and peace be to you as we celebrate the birth of the savior, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Chico and Grass Valley

Kari and Michael are Ian and Colin’s parents.  Ian was “one of my kids” on my mission trip to Sicily in 2007.  Colin is Ian’s little brother.  I love the boys and they let me, which is pretty cool, cuz I’m just an old lady.

This week I got to meet their parents, who live in Chico.  The ladies on my mom’s side of the family get together every December for a shopping trip.  This year we met up in Grass Valley.  Kari and I, who have become friends without actually meeting in person, have been wanting to meet, and they live “sort of close” to Grass Valley, so I extended the trip a bit and planned on making that happen.

I flew into Sacramento and was very glad that I hadn’t checked any bags because I don’t think I would have been able to find it in piles of luggage in the baggage claim area!  🙂

Sacramento Lost Luggage by you.

I retrieved my rental car (a Ford Focus which got nearly 34 mpg, btw) and had the most lovely and serene drive from the airport there to Chico.  This sunset was happening out my driver’s side window.  The smell of freshly turned earth was in my nose.  The mist was settling into the valleys and around the hills.  Geese, swans, and heron were settling in for the night in various water filled rice fields.  The grass was emerald green between the groves of fruit and nut trees.  It was one of the most nearly perfect drives I have ever taken.  It was too dark for pictures, but the sunset made it all magical.

99 Sunsets by you.

Kari and Michael?  Love them.  I stayed with them before going to Grass Valley for the weekend.  I drove out to Grass Valley and pulled up to where I would spend the next two days…a beautifully restored victorian home, A Victorian Rose.  There I met up with my mom, my aunt Leslie, my aunt Lynne, my cousins Jane and Jeannie, Jane’s mother-in-law Norma, and an old family friend Susie.  We spent time together, laughed together, dined together, and shopped together.  We had the house to ourselves and we made ourselves at home.

A Victorian Rose Breakfast by you.

My Mom, Jeannie, Jane, Norma, Leslie, Susie and Lynne enjoying dinner together

We left there on Sunday morning with a light snow falling.  Perfect.  I returned to Michael and Kari’s to spend more time getting to know them and fellowshipping with them.

Michael, (Lou), and KARI!!!! by you.

 Michael, Me, and Kari in Bidwell Park by the redwoods

Good times with family.  Good times with new friends.  But it’s always good to get back home, isn’t it?

Thanks to all for making this trip a wonderful one.  And thanks to Vickie for taking care of “my girls”, Mew Ling and Lu Na, once again.

Unto us…

…a child is given.

May your Christmas be filled with love and joy.

And with the remembrance of our Savior’s birth.

Straight No Chaser

My dad forwarded this to me.  It’s an a cappella group out of Indiana University with a very unique take on some of your Christmas favorites! 

You might also want to take this opportunity to listen to go back to this post and take a listen!

Dan, A Wal-Mart Associate

My best friend’s parents live in Arkansas.  Though he doesn’t look it, her father Dan must be Jamaican….he has like thirty jobs.  😉

One of those jobs is a night shift at Wal-Mart.

Dan and Lorraine are prolific e-mailers.  They used to be prolific letter writers…but then the internet happened.  Boy, are they are FUNNY!  They write the most amazing vignettes.  I am lucky enough to be on the family distribution list, so I get regular e-mail updates from them.  I often, and I mean OFTEN, want to start a new blog where I would just post their e-mails, but that would be sort of rude, since they are personal notes, AND I’ve not exactly been authorized to do that!

However, tonight’s e-mail entitled “Wednesday Evening” contained a couple of sentences that I couldn’t resist:

“…they announced in our
Associate Meeting (which ends in a silly Wal-Mart Cheer) last night
that “Santa will be in EVERY Wal-Mart
…EVERY weekend…until Christmas”
…”So bring your kids and a camara”.
How is this possible? No wonder the toys all come from China…Santa is too busy
hanging out at Wal-Mart. At least Stone County is “dry” so Santa will be sober

Classic.  Just classic!

Since most of the people I know get plenty of lead and Rohypnol in their diets already, I’ve decided to “boycott” China and not buy anything that is made there or imported from there.  I have found that I needn’t bother shopping at all, so I’ll sure save a bunch of money on presents this year!


I prayed for a white Christmas since many of my family were visiting Colorado Springs for the holidays!  We got lots of snow, as you know, if you’ve been watching the news at all!  I’m not saying MY prayers were answered, I’m just saying, my Christmas was very white. 

And nobody was more happy about that than me, except for Mitchell!  Mitchell is my four (five in February) year old nephew, and he was in pig heaven with all that snow in which to wallow!  We decided to take the cog railway up Pike’s Peak on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  When we left the depot in Manitou Springs it was a bright and sunny day.  The temperature was balmy, and in the 40’s!  The mountain was clear and we anticipated amazing views from the peak as there wasn’t a cloud in sight!

As we chugged up the mountain, the mist settled in.  The temperatures dropped.  As we neared the summit, we could barely see thirty feet out the windows as the snow started.  Never did you see more excitement than Mitchell, seeing it snow for the first time, as he yelled out “Guys!  Guys!  It’s SNOWING!!!”.

With the conductor’s warning of not wandering off and not being late returning to the train as we would NOT be waited for NOR looked for (he said, “we’ll leave without you, and instead of being a passenger, you’ll be a hiker!”) ringing in our ears, we stepped off the train.

And the breath was nearly sucked from our lungs!  It was COOOOOOLD!  Twenty below!  The winds whipped the summit, and everything else in its path at 45+ mph!  It was glorious!  Mitchell was running around and having an absolulte ball.  After a few minutes I saw that he’d become a little bit frosty.  Here’s Mitchell, with pure joy on his face, sharing his eyesicles with us.  If you look closely you can see his sweat frozen to his face as well! 

EyeSicles, originally uploaded by Blah Blah Blog.

We ate “high altitutude donuts” (yum) and we smashed pennies.  And we huddled inside our inadequate clothing.  And we discussed the fact that we were probably no more than about 15 minutes from certain death.  And we laughed.  There was no view to be had!  And when we returned to the lower altitudues, the snow continued despite there being no snow in the forecast.  What a gift.  I say, let’s do it again next year!

It’s That Time of Year Again!

You’ve probably all seen these before, but it’s time to bring them out and dust them off, and watch and listen again!  (I am somewhat envious of these efforts.  I myself have been unable to yet locate the five strands of colored lights I have for my four foot tall fake tree!)  

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