Thursday, December 18, 2008

School Pictures

In kindergarten I had been absent from school for several days due to illness. On the day of my return I had school pictures. My mom had not been made aware that pictures were to be taken so no special care was made with my appearance. And after having been home for several days I imagine she was just glad to have me out of the house.

Original portrait
When they called our class it was during play time (yes in those days they let the kids play in kindergarten. See how old I am.) So I went with the class and had my picture taken. Only when the pictures came back did we see that the cheap chain necklace that I had on during playing house was still on. My hair was sticking out all over the place and my collar was not straight.

This experience had a massive effect on my attitude about the images I captured for the little children I would photograph. I didn't want anyone else to have a photo like the one I had as a memory of kindergarten.

When David had his picture taken in October I did not go to oversee it. I know he has a great smile and don't want to be a hovering mom. Later I wished I had. The photographer didn't order the package I paid for. She also didn't take a very good picture of David. She had him lean forward so his shoulders were all hunched over. His eyes were also not as open as they should be. I had the pictures retaken because of the problems and this time I took him to school and oversaw the process.

The retake
Even though this photographer had the student before him lean forward I told David to sit up straight. The smile was great and the eyes were more natural. David fussed about sitting up straight because it didn't feel good. He actually has good posture and this has not been a problem before. We have finally received the retakes and when I showed David both pictures side by side he said "boy my shoulders sure look bad" to the first picture.

I am glad that the company now sells CDs of the images with a release, which I purchased, so that I can legally show you the images.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Pageant

Sunday evening our church put on a Christmas pageant that involved our adult choir and the children in the church. Rich sang in the choir so I took pictures from the balcony.

The children in their costumes were so adorable. I was so glad that they allowed all the children who wished to participate to be involved. Even our pastor's seven-month-old daughter was able to be a little lamb. The only problem with this was that the slightly older lambs wanted to play with her instead of paying attention to the music and the play going on around them.

Having been a children's photographer for six years I love to watch children. It was so much fun to watch the children's antics as the adults sang Christmas carols behind them. They began making faces, using their shepherds crooks to "capture" their friends and our pastor's young son checking the bottom of his shoe. We had two little lambs that must have realized that sheep don't wear shoes so they decided to remove their own.

The choir and children did a wonderful job. Many of our church members brought unsaved family members to watch the pageant. It was a great outreach with light snacks served in the fellowship hall after the program.

The church had so many people who worked hard on the program. They also stayed late into the night Saturday in order to return the sanctuary and hall back to order following Saturday's wedding.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For Everything There Is A Season

Today the verses that my heart keeps returning to are Ecclesiastes 3:1&2.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.

Early this afternoon we received the news that our friends Joe and Abigail were the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl they have named Isabella. Joe's sister is so proud to be an auntie. This was the expected due date so she didn't disappoint those of us who couldn't wait to meet her.

As we began making plans to visit the happy family I received a phone call less than an hour later from my mother that my grandfather had passed away late last night.

This was exactly two weeks after her original call that they didn't expect him to make it through the day. He began to rally and they thought he would pull through with talk of even going to a nursing home. Over the last two weeks this cycle repeated several times.

My grandfather was always the strong silent type and he will be greatly missed. He also instilled within me a strong desire to learn about my Dutch heritage. Over 30 years ago he gave me a small silver charm that was shaped like a wooden shoe. When he purchased this token he told me he wanted me to have it so that when he was gone I could look at it and remember him. I still have this beautiful reminder of him and of our heritage, but I also am reminded of him as I sit at our kitchen table and look on the picture that always hung over their kitchen table. I also have the little cast iron stove above my sink that I played with at their house as a reminder. Grandpa's lack of a stable family growing up made him really treasure the family that he and Grandma had.

I was really glad to be able to rejoice with Joe and Abigail later at the hospital. Both sets of Baby Isabella's grandparents arrived from other states following the birth in order to meet and help the beautiful little princess.

This new little life has healed my heart just a little.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tm and Melissa Ice- A Winter Wedding

This past weekend we attended the wedding of a couple in our church. Tim and Melissa have dated for several years and on Saturday we were honored to be a part of their commitment to each other.

David and I sat up in the church balcony in order to be able to see better and get good pictures. Rich played bass before and during the ceremony so I was glad for my escort. After getting up to the balcony and getting settled, my escort, David, abandoned me. Our friend Abigail had decided to join us upstairs since her husband would be playing guitar and sing during the service. So David went and sat next to her.

The church was beautifully decorated in a very Christmas way. There were five trees on the platform with white twinkling lights and pointsettas lined the outer edge. Large red ornaments and hurricane lamps brightened the window sills.
Melissa was a beautiful bride. She wore a very elegant gown and the bridesmaids dresses were beautiful.

The couple incorporated their families well into different aspects of the service. Melissa has a large extended family that live in the area and we have gotten to know them well.

The reception was held at a renovated old building downtown. The building has a wonderful sweeping staircase at the rear of the building that the couple entered through. The wedding cake was made by our friend Stacy, who also acted as the wedding coordinator. We enjoyed fellowshiping with some good friends during the reception.

The couple will see many changes in the next few months. First their marriage then in the new year Tim will begin his career in the military as a chaplain.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Virginia Christmas

Everyone who know me knows I love Christmas. Sunday we traveled back in time with our friends Joe and Abigail. A local historic site, Point of Honor, held it's 26th Annual Christmas Open House. Point of Honor is a home that is being restored to the period of 1815 to 1830 when Dr. George Cabell and his wife owned the home.

The museum staff and the volunteers of the Lynchburg Museum System did a wonderful job. They were so wonderful and informative to all the visitors. The carriage house was used as a hospitality house with warm cider, hot cholocate, and cookies served to the guests while a harpist played. There was a fire pit outside the carriage house that was so inviting.

The house was open and decorated as it would have been for a Twelfth Night Ball supper. The decorations were mostly greenery from the local woods which would have been typical in the Federal period. The table in the diningroom held food dishes that were made following recipes dating back into the late 18th century. In the parlor was a trio that played (harp, flute, hammered dulcimer, guitar) and sang while we sat in chairs arranged around the room.

After leaving the house we headed to the cook house. Upon entering it there was a conversation going on about slavery. The visitor was really into the slavery issue and the abuses of the system. He was questioning the director of the Museum. After the visitors group left and we were able to enter, David enjoyed hearing about the food that the workers had made for the day. He even asked who would get to eat the food since the event was almost over. One of the worker jokingly asked if he wanted to eat the stuffed fish with the heads still intact. They were quite shocked when my thirteen-year-old jumped at the chance because he loves fish. They then explained that due to health codes and regulations they were not allowed to offer the guests the food. One of the workers at the cookhouse works for the museum system to help education systems access the museum. She was wonderful while talking to David and has offered her help with any research he may need for school. She gave me her card and said she would be glad to speak to his history class.

We headed over to the carriage house and got more cider, hot chocolate and cookies. Poor Abigail is just over a week from her due date but she was a real trooper. I am so glad that we have friends that share our love of history and exploring different time periods.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Snow and Soup

This past Saturday was FREEZING! I am a beach kind of woman and would prefer to stay inside next to a warm fire throughout the entire winter. But, this past weekend we visited several friends and a bookstore—even though it was so cold out.

Our friend Mrs. Walker is elderly and can't go out with this cold weather so we had not seen her in several weeks. So we headed over to her house with her Christmas present (which we got on vacation). This was a boost to both Mrs Walker and her daughter Peg. Peg is Mrs. Walker caregiver and I know it must get lonely at times. Mrs. Walker loved the handmade pillow we gave her for Christmas. I figure when you're in your 80s, why not open it early and enjoy as long as you can.

David catching snow flakes
on his tongue
We arrived back home just in time for snow to begin falling and falling. I know that an inch isn't a whole lot but just having snow at all is unusual for this time of year. I had pulled out the leftover turkey bits from Thanksgiving to make soup. David and Rich were very thankful for the warm soup that was ready when they finally came back inside from playing football in the falling snow.

I didn't have a recipe for the soup—I just made it up as I went. But, David even went back for seconds.

Kim's Turkey Noodle Soup
  • about 3 to 5 lbs left over turkey
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped onions
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 package wide egg noodles

I cooked the turkey, salt, pepper, chopped onions and bay leaves in the chicken broth for about an hour and a half. I then chopped the celery and carrots and cooked them along with four cups of water for about a half hour. Then I took out the bay leaves and added the egg noodles. I cooked until it was tender.

Soups ready!

It was really easy, cheap and warmed our insides. What more can you ask for?

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Grand Announcement

Wednesday when David returned home from school he made a grand announcement: "I think I'll write a book about my life." This is a very funny announcement coming from a thirteen year old. When we asked him why he said he has led an interesting life and thinks other kids would like to read about it. He says the book will be about him from the time he was one until now. I guess he was bored when he was a baby.

I am thankful that David has reached the point in his life where he can recognize that not all children have such wide experiences. I was also a bit shocked that he didn't think his life was boring—a common feeling for a thirteen year old.

Yes, he has done and seen many things that most kids have never done. He has gone to professional baseball games and at Camden Yards Stadium our family was the guest of the Orioles. We were given free hats, food and tickets. We have seen the Titanic Exhibit and seen actual items taken from the bottom of the ocean. We have gone to Dollywood, Kings Dominion and all the Disney parks in Florida. We have gone to NASA, the Smithsonians and even seen the president's helicopter land on the White House lawn. David has even been in the pages of a magazine three times.

The best part of all of this was that we did these as a family unit. There was a mother and father to share these memories with. When we grow up we think all families live like ours but he has really been realizing more each day that this is not the case.

So we may have a budding writer in our family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Best Has Been

Grow old along with me
the best is yet to be.

—Robert Browning (1812-1889)

This poem often comes into my mind when I think of my grandparents. For 72 years they have loved each other and grown old side by side. However, today after growing old together my grandmother heard the hard news that this may be their last day together. Even in the nursing home they have shared a room.

Though I will miss my grandfather and cherish the wonderful memories we have shared, I can't imagine the pain my grandmother is going through. Much of her adult life shes has been lovingly "mothering" her husband. My grandfather was raised not by his family, but by a single woman. His own family had too many children to care for so Mrs. Bogart took him in. This was in an age when things were not as legally tracked as they are now. His birth certificate contains his birth name, but by the time he was 21 his marriage certificate states his last name as Bogart. When I questioned him many years ago about it I found that there was no legal paperwork that went through a court for this change. My grandmother never held a job outside the home and often scolded my grandfather when he ate too much sugar or didn't take as much care with his health. This meet a deep need in my grandfather to be mothered, but also my grandmother loved doing it. They have always called each other "mommy" and "daddy," something Rich and I also do.

My grandparents celebrated their 50th anniversary the year I got married. At that time I just couldn't imagine being married that long. Now after 22 years it isn't quite as hard to imagine. The only question in my mind is will we be old enough to be married that long.