Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Wow! Left off blogging much longer than I'd intended! Our holiday season is flying by once again. Yours too, right?

Thanksgiving was great, but busy. My natural father brought a delicious maple ham for the day, and another friend volunteered a venison roast (actually 2 - we've saved one for Christmas). We were all able to eat at the table together once again, so we made the most of the occasion. :)

Tom's birthday was quiet, but nice. Happy to say that he loved the books we found. I've gotten my turn at a couple of them already- heh heh. We share many of our presents with one another. We don't share our interest in things equally, but we do share plenty of preferences with one another in music, books, movies, games... Makes family life pleasant to be able to share so much so happily. :)) In other news, Becka had her next big test and did reasonably well. We've had assorted colds and allergy days with the up and down weather. Its still varying from the 70's to the 40's for daytime high temperatures. The last two winter systems broke right above us, sending a little rain, but nothing worse. Our prayers are with you guys facing those ice storms! We KNOW how miserable those can be, even though we haven't gotten anything like that in awhile. The surgery has finally got a settled date, after the immediate holidays (providing he can hang in there that long. Here's hoping!) I haven't decided how much of my November mystery to share online. Y'all will have to wait and see!

Here's a few recent holiday photos::

The digital card Becka made for this year is better seen on our Christmas site, which continues to accrue holiday treats even as I type this. Please feel free to check it out. This year we have added a few jigsaws and new word searches, as well as the Christmas stories I've written down over time and the usual Christmas card. There is even a hidden surprise.

Tom's cake was decorated by our loving kiddos. They didn't do to bad a job IMHO!

The squirrel photos are from downtown Williamsburg. We don't often shop there, but when you've looked all the normal places for something... This spunky little guy insisted on following us around Merchant Square parking lot. We think he wanted a peanut, but we didn't have any squirrel treats on us. He ran up a nearby tree when Tom got his camera out, but didn't really leave, as you can see.

The rest of the pictures are from our house to yours.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Educational Holiday Treats

An educational treat from The Teaching Company:

In "Christmas in Victorian Britain," Professor Patrick N. Allitt
explores the celebration of Christmas as we know it today, with
decorations, music, and lavish gift exchanges, and where it
began—Victorian Britain. While the holiday had older traditions such as
those that celebrated the winter solstice, the Victorians enhanced and
clarified the religious elements of Christmas and at the same time
commercialized it.

After familiarizing yourself with the origins of modern-day Christmas,
explore "Christmas in 19th-century America." How did different ethnic
groups in America celebrate Christmas in the early 19th century? Why did
New Englanders often want to avoid all forms of celebration while
Pennsylvania Germans dressed up, visited each other, and drank heavily?
After the Civil War, Christmas celebrations began to be standardized
throughout the nation under the influence of the new department stores,
which ran the Christmas-oriented marketing campaigns we are familiar
with today. "

"You may access your free lectures online between now and January 31, 2008. Please feel free to send the lecture links to any friends of yours who might also enjoy them. They are free for them as well.
Season's greetings to you!"

[Thanks, Chris!]