"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Follow That Star!

Ryley’s church Christmas performance went wonderfully…What a great little choir they have!

And Ryan and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when her solo was over. He squeezed my hand, and I could tell he was so proud of her, singing so bravely in front of 1,ooo people at the age of seven. That is something that neither of us would have ever done!!!! :-)




“Countless days on a journey that led so far…

Endless nights they traveled to follow the star…

They did not find a palace, just a humble village home,

And searching for a king, but finding a Child, no crown, no throne,

Still they bowed down!”




It was a beautiful Christmas service! 

Photos are courtesy of my uncle Paul and his amazing new camera! :-)


Tonight’s Ryley Quote, from Which My Love for Her Tripled:

I was making chili, so I was busily chopping up an onion. Ryley entered the kitchen and immediately recoiled from the onion’s strong smell.

Under her breath, Ryley muttered, “You really should be doing that under water.”

“What did you say?” I asked.

“Oh, well, I just read in a book that chopping an onion under water keeps it from making your eyes water.”

“What book?” I challenged.

“The Boxcar Children,” she answered.

She’s learning things from books. And I love her for it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Waiting for Christmas

So tomorrow is the big day...the church's Christmas musical and Ryley's subsequent solo. I am sitting in the church sanctuary during dress rehearsal, due to a new policy that doesn't allow the parents to leave. Why is it that the sound of children singing brings tears to my eyes every single time? It never fails!

Anyhow, I have so much on my plate today, and I was counting on this time to get some things done. If I had known that I would have to stay, I would have brought my laptop. But alas, I only have my iPhone. And so I blog.

Here are some pictures of the Christmas season, as taken on my phone. :-)

This is my office girl Leahh with the massive poinsettia our company received. What is the point of a poinsettia this big?

Here's Ryley goofing around on the piano. Notice half our tree lights are out. Story of my life. At least it's kind of in a pattern. :-)

Ryley mails her letter to Santa. She is asking for an American Girl doll.

Here is our house, all decked out for Christmas!

Ryley after the piano recital...

Ryley sings her solo during rehearsal...

I just love Christmas! I have a co-worker who is a grinch, and it makes me want to blast Christmas music and pile holiday treats on his desk all week long. :-) I mean seriously, what kind of person doesn't like Christmas???

I really love online shopping this year. It is so convenient, and Amazon is so quick that they've been mailing out orders within hours of ordering. There's nothing that dampens my "Christmas cheer" more than standing in a line at Toys R Us or Burlington Coat Factory or the post office. :-)

Last night my friend Jenny hosted a few of us girls at her house for Cookie Bake/Exchange. It was so fun! Ryan and Ryley didn't want me to go, but they were excited that I would be coming home with various treats! Ha ha. I had a really good time.

When Ryley's done here, I think a Starbucks run is in order, followed by housecleaning and editing.

Merry Saturday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Musical Christmas

This past Sunday, I hosted my annual Christmas piano recital for my piano students. They were so adorable! What a privilege it is to share the joys of creating music with these wonderfully cute, smart, eager kids!!! I am so proud of all of them.



It was pretty close quarters as we squeezed 22 people into our tiny living room. Next year I really must splurge on a performance hall of some sort!

I was toying with the idea of playing “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” for everyone, but I chickened out at the last minute. The room was hot and stuffy, and I was nervous.  I never have been as good of a performer as I am a teacher. :-)

Ryley, on the other hand, LOVES to perform. She has been wishing for a vocal solo in the Christmas program at church, and though we encouraged her to audition, Ryan and I kept warning her that usually those parts go to older kids or pastors’ kids. Ha ha. We know how those things go, and we didn’t want her to be crushed for the second year in a row. After all, she’s only 7. So we practiced and practiced, and I felt myself becoming competitive on her behalf. But lo and behold, she got it!!!! She has an adorable little solo, and she is so excited. And I am nervous for her!!!! We keep practicing it constantly -- for my peace of mind as much as hers.

I’m glad that Ryley enjoys music so much. Ryan and I are collectors of good music. I have a theory about the Shazam app on the iPhone….Once you’ve “Shazammed” a song three times, you know it’s one that you like well enough to download. And download I do. And then I organize my playlists and reorganize them and narrow them down to very specific genres or moods. We have 2.8 days of music on our iTunes (not counting the hundreds of CDs we’ve never bothered to upload), and when you have that much, it is so easy to forget about some of your favorite songs. Because I literally have hundreds. :-) It’s a little bit overwhelming, and I worry about becoming jaded and numb to good music after awhile and not able to fully enjoy each song individually for its own merit. It’s funny the things we worry about. :-)


It has been a weird week. Our hot water valve has been causing problems in our shower, so for the last month we have had to relegate/ration our showers to 5 minutes of lukewarmness staggered at different points in the day. So we finally had a plumber come out yesterday, and long story short, we couldn’t use our shower at all last night/this morning, so we packed up and moved to  a hotel. Kind of annoying, except that we each got to take a 30-minute hot shower this morning. :-)

On top of that, we had the city out here digging up our gas lines all last week, so we had a big hole in our yard and construction vehicles blocking us in, etc.

On top of that, I got this great idea to schedule a bunch of doctor appointments for the last two weeks, so it’s been a little crazy. Especially since Ryan’s new health insurance failed to send us our insurance cards. That complicates everything. :-)


So, we’re off to church rehearsal tonight, and I might try to get a little bit of shopping done while I am sans Ryley. Today was Ryan’s first day at his final restaurant placement, so I am hoping he can make it home in time to join us…..That new job thing and getting off on time can be tricky. ;-)

In the meantime, I am the Homework Nazi. Or so it seems. Ryley just gets so distracted by pretty pencils.

Bye for now.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Meeting the Babies!

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend in Dallas! Justin and Aly have the most beautiful twin boys…What a miracle they are! Just look at what God has done:


So identical that it is nearly impossible to tell them apart!



We had prepared Ryley by telling her that she may not be allowed to hold the babies. Being preemies, there are plenty of health risks in the first year. We have all taken tons of Vitamin C in the last two months and have managed to stay healthy just so we could see them. So what a wonderful surprise when within an hour of arriving, Ryley was able to hold both Will and Jack! She was at the height of her glory!



Then I got to hold a baby too! I don’t remember which one; I think it was Will. :-)

Mmmmmm. Turkey!


While the rest of us started Thanksgiving dinner….


Mommy and Daddy fed Thanksgiving dinner to Will and Jack!



Uncle Ryan and a baby :-)


Ryley was such a good helper! She read to the babies…


and made sure their blankets were just right.


There is so much tenderness and love in Ryley’s heart, and it was so beautiful to watch!


I love this picture of Ryley with Mammaw and Pappaw!


Look how Justin multi-tasks….


Playing Apples to Apples



More games with Pappaw:


Ryley and Betsy





Ryley and Mammaw


Ryley and her Baby Sarah:


Super Ryley, Super Will, and Super Jack!



We took some family pictures at a park:

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It got pretty silly. :-)


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What an amazing weekend!!! It was a 14-hour drive each way, but well-worth it!

By the way, the route through New Mexico is not as fast as the route through Kansas/Oklahoma. We highly recommend avoiding Amarillo and all the little towns between there and Dallas.

So we are back in the swing of things now, and I think we all had a bit of the blues today. I have been feeling “behind” since it seems everyone has already decorated for Christmas, and I haven’t even thought about it yet. I expressed that to Ryley, and since we were expecting snow in the forecast, she said, “Well, sometimes the weather does the decorating!” Very sweet.

True enough, we had three inches of snow by this morning.

Now off to bed!