Friday, January 2, 2009

5 Christmas Celebrations & 10 Pounds Later ...

I'm serious about the 5 Christmases ... and I'm hoping that I'm just bloated - because it certainly couldn't be from all of the cookies upon cookies, ham dinners upon ham dinners, chocolate goodies upon ... well, you get the picture!! I can't remember the last time that I consumed so much "not-so-good-for-you" food within a month!! UGH!!

But! I have a plan ... Wii. (hold your laughter.) Our family all pitched in after Christmas to purchase this little must-have form of family entertainment. And, let me just say - it can really be a workout! So. That's my plan. Less cookies and kicking my hubby's butt in all forms of sports via Wii (cause Lord knows that's the only way it could possibly happen!! He's one of those annoying types that usually wins at everything that he does. It's a good thing that I married him, because otherwise, I wouldn't be friends with him. LOL!) :)

Ah, so back to the holiday - Is it any wonder why I feel wiped-out by December 31st? FIVE Christmases? This is insane! Lovely ... but, insane. And, did I mention that my children received a car load of gifts at practically every celebration? It's quite overwhelming. AND, my daughter has nerve to say to me ... get ready for this ... "I'm bored." (deep breath ....) WHAT????? How is that even possible? Spoiled. That's how this happens!

Truly, we are not a household that spoils our children. In fact, my kids typically only receive presents or goodies on holidays and birthdays. Never just because - so, why can she not see how blessed she is to have received such lovely and entertaining gifts this season?

I threw my hands up, my head back, breathed a HUGE sigh and headed into her room (where she was sent) to discuss being grateful, appreciative, blessed, thankful and any other form of guilt that I could throw at her. It seemed to work. For today. (*shake head*)

I think that our family is reaching a point where we need to strip down our Christmases to make the "reason for the season" our focus, rather than Jesus getting lost in all the trimmings and fluff. To let eachother's time, love & attention be a gift, rather than everyone stretching their checkbooks. I'm just so overwhelmed with the focus on gifts .... do not get me wrong - I absolutely love giving gifts; especially, homemade gifts. It's just the receiving part is just too much. I would love to share in a Christmas where we only exchange handmade presents. What a great lesson that could be to our children. (Especially after that bored comment! HA!) Hmmmm....I'm going to work on this idea...we do have a whole year! Come on people - we can do this!!

While I'm on the topic - I can now share with you my latest illustration. It was a gift to my sister for Christmas, which is why I had to wait to post about it.

A few years back, my sister had given to my daughter a binder of poems that she had written, which -may I say - was received as a treasure! (see ... it's those homemade ones that fill a heart!) A number of times, she had asked me to create some illustrations for them. "When you have time," she says. Funny, huh? So, I thought perhaps for Christmas. I selected a poem that was a favorite and created an illustration to go with it. Again, I couldn't wait to give it to her! That is ... until Christmas Eve...

So, it's Christmas Eve. My sister and I are washing dishes from Gram's Wigilia dinner, when Gram shows Miss one of my presents to her ... a cookbook.
I thought it special since one of Gram's recipes was included, as well as my daughter's winning illustration (there was a contest, I'm just not biased!) for "Vegetables & Side Dishes" and I had designed the cover. My little sis's smart*%# comment? "Jenn just can't put pen to paper without drawing her children on it!" My thought? "Oh, bleep!" For, wrapped all brightly with a bow beneath my tree was my sister's present ...

My children ... strike again! LOL! I hope that she likes it anyways.

Oops! One more tid-bit of news from our homefront ... we have a new addition to our family.

Can you make out what it is? Why, it's a slightly blurry cockapoo! He never stops moving...

Our very first puppy arrived Christmas morning (My in-laws are saying, "Humph! Like @#&* he did!" - as they earned their wings this season by offering to keep our little ball of fur for four days prior to Christmas! A LOT to ask of anyone, if you ask me ... but, so very grateful to see the joy in our children's eyes when our pup came through the door!) I'll try to take some better shots of him if he'll ever be still.

Any housebreaking tips out there? Anyone? Anyone?

:) Hope your holidays were ones to cherish...

Happy New Year!


Tolentreasures said...

Sounds as though you had a great holiday season. Your illustrations are wonderful, what better inspiration than your children! I agree on the gifts. I made a lot this past year, hope to start earlier this year.

Happy New year,


Tammy Sue said...

Jenn -- I'm not sure you have any idea just how much I enjoy reading and viewing your blog! I typically respond via email, since that is how I get a heads up that you have posted something new...but thought that I really should add a comment to let all know just now very much I savor your posts! Thanks for lightening our hearts with your life tales -- rich, honest, genuine, and precious they are.

Peace to you and all who read your blog in 2009,
Tammy :)

Nicole Austin said...

Happy New Year! I can totally identify with the five Christmases! My kids had their share of many celebrations this year, all where they received many gifts as well. It can be a little overwhelming, but I try to make sure we clear out the house prior to the holidays and my little girl is getting pretty good at giving up old books, toys, clothes, etc to donate to make room for new things. (It gets easier as they get older! My teenage stepson is happy just with a few things, and books, too!) It's good to talk to them early and to keep the message going that gifts are fun to receive but not the main focus. ;) My most memorable holiday moment was of me and my husband and our three kids gathered around the fire, all electronic devices turned off (no tv, cell phone, computer, ipod, etc) and we just told stories and played games and laughed. It was better than anything I could have received wrapped with a bow! :) (Next to a handmade gift, of course--that's a great idea to make gifts for each other!) Hope 2009 is a wonderful year for you and your family!


Cynthia's Cottage Design said...

Omg, where to begin! First Congrats on the puppy! how adorable! and your illustrations are stunningly adorable too! what talent you have!!! and that has to be the most special gift of all too! Years from now after all the toys and gifts have broken or seen their day, its that one that they'll still have and love the most! Great idea girly and what a fabulous gift too!!

and, lol, about the food, I felt the same way, I had to start my new years resolution early, lol, just so I could get in my jeans again! argh :)

Anywho, thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet comments too! your the best! Happy 2009!

and btw, watch those needle sharp puppy teeth :) lol

Hugs, Cynthia

Happy @ Home said...

What a wonderful gift you made for your sister. Your illustrations are beautiful and I admire your talent.

Santa left me a Wii this year. My son just gave me lessons on how to use it and I think I'm gona love it.

What a cute puppy.

Happy New Year!!

Donna said...

Hi Jenny,
Happy New Year! It sounds like you had a very good Christmas. Our family likes to give homemade gifts, just makes it very special. Your new little pup is adorable!

I also wanted to thank you for your kind thoughts and comment you left on my blog. My brother is doing better.

Hope you have a lovely day!

Catherine Holman said...

Cute illustrations! I'm sure they loved them. My daughter and her boyfriend made all their gifts this year. It was so much fun! I actually think this was one our favorite Christmas'.