Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Up on the Hodgepodge, Reindeer Pause

It's a wonderful Wednesday in December, and that means time for a little Hodgepodge. We thank our very busy hostess, Joyce (she's got a wedding coming up!) for posing the most excellent questions, and for bringing us together each week. If you click on the button below, it will take you straight to her blog where you can read her answers to her own questions. :) Lots of our friends link up, too, and you can click on through and pay a visit to all sorts of nice bloggers from near and far. It's lots of fun!
Here are her questions and my answers:

1. What is one new holiday tradition you'd like to establish, or one you've established recently, say in the last year or two?

We have started taking the grandkids to the tree farm to select our Christmas tree (see previous blog post). It's the same farm I often went to as a child, and the same farm we took our children to when they were kids. Then there were a few years, when our kids were teenagers, and too busy to schedule a time to go together, that one or two would be bribed volunteer to complete this chore delightful holiday tradition. :) 

We have enjoyed taking Matthew with us for several years, and now the girls are big enough to come along, too. Hopefully, we can continue this with all the grandkids.

Here is a photo, probably 1989, of our kids riding the wagon at the tree farm with their cousins and Aunt Janet.
Here are 3 of our 4 grandkids last Sunday. So I guess it's a renewed tradition. These three are the children of Andrew, in the red sweatshirt above.

2. It's the second week of December. Have you sipped a cup of eggnog yet this month? Wrapped a gift? Opened a gift? Kissed someone under the mistletoe? Lit a candle? Eaten a Christmas cookie? Seen Santa in person? Watched a Christmas movie or special? Read scripture relating to the birth of Jesus?

Well, let's see now… that's a lot of questions. Here goes:
No to eggnog (don't care for it).
No to gift wrap.
No to kissing under the mistletoe.
I did light a Yankee Sparkling Cinnamon candle, does that count?
Yes to Christmas cookie.
No to Santa.
No to Christmas movie. At least not yet.
Yes to scripture! As it should be. :)

3. Do you think it's better to be an adult or a child at Christmastime? Explain.

Each stage of life is special, but I think it's great to be a child at Christmas. I remember the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve, which included singing in the children's choir at church. We sat up front with a clear view of all those candles being lifted overhead to the strains of Silent Night, Holy Night. And the night did seem holy to me. And magical, and wonderful, and oh so exciting. Yes, I looked forward to Santa, but I mostly remember being snug in my bed, trying hard to sleep, listening for sleigh bells, and feeling loved.
4. It's often said, 'Good things come to those who wait'...agree or disagree? Why?

I do think there are many times when we have to wait for things. We wait for birthdays, babies to be born, and visits from loved ones. We wait for the kettle to boil, the mail to be delivered, and the light to turn green. We wait our turn, we wait for spring, and we wait for vacation time to roll around. Most of the time, a 'good thing' comes at the end of the wait. And anticipating brings pleasure to our patience. And patience is a good thing. :)
5. What's the last sweet thing you baked? Did you keep it, take it to a party/event, or give it away?

I was at Jennifer and Bryan's brand new house yesterday, and tried out the oven for the first time by baking some chocolate chip cookies. I baked the cookies, Nestle made them. :)
6.  This question comes to us courtesy of Jhona who blogs over at The Red House at the End of the Lane. Everyone hop over and say hi to Jhona this week!  Here is her question... "I heard an actor talk about how he makes a conscious choice to talk to people in elevators.  He chooses to connect, make eye contact, and converse. Do you talk to people/strangers when you're in an elevator or any other place where you might have to wait together? Why or why not?"

I do. But it has taken me many years to feel comfortable doing so. I was a shy child and teenager, and even as a young adult I was not good at speaking to people/strangers in a public place. I am not sure when I turned the corner, so to speak, but I find it much easier now. It must be my age. :) It is interesting to see how others respond when I do make an effort to connect. Some respond, like I would have, with a short answer and a downward glance. (Thinking, who is this crazy lady making random comments to me?) Others chat right back, and by the time we've reached our floor, we have exchanged restaurant recommendations and discovered a mutual friend. It's a small world after all. 
7. Are you on the naughty or nice list this year? What put you there?

Nice, of course. Because, Santa, I know him.
And I found this light-hearted look at which names top the naughty and nice list this year, based on an education rewards program called School Stickers. My name isn't on either list (because there aren't many little Susans in school these days… even though there were four in my kindergarten class).
Click on the link to see which list your favorite little ones are on. :)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

There are many stages of parenting. You know, the newborn stage, the toddler stage, the school project stage, the team parent stage, the teenager stage, and the college stage, which begins the moving stage. Move them to college, move them home, move them to an apartment, to the sorority house, back home, to a different apartment, to a rental house, home, up three flights of stairs, in August, to a storage unit, and, most recently, to a newly built home. Whew!

Jennifer and Bryan moved into their brand new house last Friday. Though the movers showed up over 3 hours late, and it was pouring rain, they (with help) managed to get enough furniture in place by evening to spend their first night in their home sweet home.

Jennifer and I waited at the house while Bryan patiently waited for the movers to arrive at the storage unit with the truck. (Good things come to those who wait, you know.)

This is the kitchen end of the room...
and this is the living room end. Notice the barn beam over the fireplace.
The beam came from our barn that was destroyed torn down last summer. They had to do a little negotiating to get it installed, but it turned out so nice!
Not a piece of furniture to sit on yet, but they have Christmas towels! :)
 Still waiting for Bryan and the furniture, but we managed a little pizza picnic.

The furniture finally arrived, along with some boxes for Noah to start unpacking.
The all day rain prevented me from getting a photo of the new homeowners in front of the house, so this will have to do. Weary, but happy. 
Bless this house, O Lord, we pray.
Make it safe by night and day.


Joyce said...

Happy New Home to your kids! Looks lovely! I like the tree farm trip. That's a wonderful tradition. Enjoy your week : )

tammy doane said...

Great family (tree farm) tradition. When reading your answer to number 3, my heart skipped a beat-I teach-and there are so many kids who feel they are not loved today. I am so glad I had parents who loved me. Congratulations to kids on their new home!

retired not tired said...

I love the idea of sharing the traditions with the grandchildren but it is also nice to make new ones. A new house in time for Christmas is worth waiting for.

Cranberry Morning said...

What a fun thing, to take the grandkids along to get the Christmas tree. AND, I love your Hodgepodge title today!! So clever. :-)

Cathy said...

What a beautiful home! Hope they get to enjoy it for many happy years.

Terri D said...

May God continue to bless them in their beautiful new home! Thanks for sharing, and for the fun Hodgepodge answers!

Brenda said...

What a beautiful home! God bless them.
I can relate to your answer for #6. I'm in my 50's now, and it about took that long to finally feel comfortable in my own skin when it comes to speaking up.
Love your sense of humor btw!