25 December 2008

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

Well I had to expect that I'd be up past midnight, so the title is appropriate. I had a couple of posts that I wanted to do before Christmas, but time has gotten away from me. So for now, I'll just post a few pictures of the seasonal artwork floating around my house these days.





Above: Tristan's Polar Express

Below: Julien's untitled Christmas artwork







Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

23 December 2008

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night

The following is a fun little "lip sync" we did long ago to a song called Fifteen Animals from the album Philadelphia Chickens, by Sandra Boynton & Michael Ford. This one would be fun to do at the school "talent" show, although I need to work on my directing skills. (I need a sound editor to get rid of the baby jumping in the background on this video, too.) But it was a fun waste of time. The lyrics are below.




Fifteen Animals

I really like animals.
I like them a lot.
Fifteen animals is what I've got.
I've got fifteen animals,
they're friendly and tame,
and I've given each one a special name:

I've got a cat named Bob, and a dog named Bob,
and two fish called Bob and Bob.
Then there's Bob, my hamster, and Bob, my horse,
and my piglet known as Bob, of course.

Yeah, I really like animals.
I like them a lot.
Fifteen animals is what I've got.
I've got fifteen animals, they're friendly and tame,
and I've given each one a special name:

Well, there's my rabbit, Bob,
and his bunny wife, Bob,
and their kids, Bob, Bob, and Bob,
There's Bob the mouse,
and Bob the bird,
and my turtle,
Simon James Alexander Ragsdale III. (Here Bob!)

22 December 2008

Pat-a-Pan

More video! This time of the LOUD little angel playing with the sweet little baby child.

While I was videotaping Rosalind playing pat-a-cake kinds of things with Brendan, Enoch was with the boys "patting the pans" in the kitchen. (That's the unusual background sounds you'll hear.) I apologize for the terrible lighting; blame it on those nifty eco-friendly lightbulbs we purchased. All those dim bulbs... We'll call it "eco-ambiance."





21 December 2008

Angels We Have Heard On High

(I am new at posting video, so I'm not sure if this will work. And even if it does, I'm not sure how to rotate the video picture, so I apologize to all of you who watch this and get a sore neck. Thankfully it's short.)





Isn't she pleasant? Isn't she lovely? What a little angel! If pictures could only talk. Yes, she's sweet and lovely. And very very LOUD. And very very ASSERTIVE. And a two year old. But to her credit, the following video was taken before the lovely pictures above.


16 December 2008

O Christmas Tree


This year I enjoyed taking a step back and letting the Enoch and kids do most of the decorating of the tree. My job was to untangle the ornament hooks, and give each ornament a hook that needed one, and I really enjoyed it! Occasionally I'd have to help bring "balance" when one or two branches became particularly overdecorated, or hang a particularly fragile or special ornament up high, but I really enjoyed watching the kids enjoy the process.


Enoch and I reminisced about some of the tree decorations: We still have a handful of small wooden ornaments purchased in Bethlehem, shortly after we were married. The blue and silver ornament balls were purchased a few years ago from IKEA. They are plastic, and one of the best Christmas ornament purchases we made, especially with our young kids. We also have a box of red berry sprigs, which were the results of a failed craft project a couple of years ago. Last year we decided to stick them on the tree, and were very pleased with the splashes of color and the simplicity of being able to just put them anywhere without a hook. Each year we all get new ornaments from Enoch's parents, and it's fun to see how the collections are growing.



I got to thinking about how eclectic our tree has become, and how relatively "unplanned" are the assortment of ornaments. It's mostly looking very "red-white-and-blue," but not in a patriotic sense. I began to think about what our tree looked like when I was a kid, and I wondered what our tree will look like when our children are grown and take their ornaments with them to decorate their own trees. I made sure the kids knew that I wanted them to be very careful with my twirly glass icicle ornaments (also bought from IKEA), because I think I'll want those on my tree years and years from now. And I really, really enjoy the tradition of having the decorated Christmas tree in our home at Christmas time.



How about you? What do you like or dislike about your Christmas tree?

12 December 2008

What Child Is This?

I've been wanting to do a post about this for some time. You'll see why. When people look at the "newest addition" to our family, they often try to determine "who does this one look like?" Now that we've had four of them, we have a good number to look at and compare, and a photo library to sort through. And what we have discovered is: they all look like each other!




Clockwise from top left: Julien, Tristan, Brendan, Rosalind




Clockwise from top left: Julien, Tristan, Brendan, Rosalind




Above: Brendan and Rosalind look alike in these newborn photos.


Above: Tristan (left) and Brendan looking very much alike here!
Below: Set #1 on the left, and set #2 on the right.


This wasn't easy to do! I have SO many photos of them, it was hard to choose. I have a few funny ones of Julien that I might have to string together in a future post.

07 December 2008

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well, we're a week into it, and I'm finally getting around to posting in December. After a month of daily blog entries that practically wrote themselves, I'm now taking it easy. Blogging with small children is challenging; you have to commit to getting up early and doing it in the morning or when they're napping. And if you have other projects or things to do, something has to give. Well, this month is full of projects and things to do, isn't it? It never all gets done, it seems, but there's still plenty of month left to work on things. So I'm just posting to get past that first bump, and perhaps it will get easier, not harder, to be consistent. I'll try to use Christmas carols as all my posts titles just for fun. And I'll post a couple of photos so the grandparents and aunts and uncles can remember what the kids look like. They change so fast!










30 November 2008

Thankfulness in November-Conclusion

Well, we made it! When I look back over the last 30 days, it's full of one thing or another that makes up the bulk of what we call "life." So much has happened this month, including some big things that didn't get mentioned: our 13th wedding anniversary, the arrival of the first great-grandchild, Alexis Nicole Brown, born on my parent's 41st wedding anniversary, a summons for jury duty, more leaky kitchen pipes, and harvesting the last of the carrots in the garden. Whether the events were big or small, planned or unplanned, I found it helpful to find something every day for which to be thankful. I found myself thinking of other ideas that I could suggest for next year--like a clean-out-your-sock-drawer day, and charge per pair, per mate-less sock, and per hole in the socks. Perhaps a clean-out-the-fridge tax would be good in preparation before Thanksgiving, and another tax if you've started to decorate or listen to Christmas music before December 1. Other suggestions are welcome--just leave comments in the comments section.

All that to say that I'm thankful that I have so much to be thankful for--there's so much more to be thankful for than we often think about. And even though this is the time of year when we all seem to go broke, it will be a thrill to bring so much "little extra" just to give to God and to show our appreciation for His bountiful blessings. Thank you for participating with me and following along, even if you didn't post any comments. I'm looking forward to doing this again!




Please bring your contribution to church on December 7th.

Thankfulness, November 30

This has been quite a month! We had our fair share of sickness and car troubles which kept me from church a couple of times. And today I'll get taxed again! It just goes to show that it never pays to skip church!

Day 30:



If you missed any church service in November, fine yourself 10 cents for each time.

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

29 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 29

Day 29:



How many dinner plates do you own? A penny for each plate please.

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

28 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 28

Day 28:



Were you a guest in someone's home yesterday? Say Thank You with a 50 cent gift.

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

27 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 27

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! We plan to get up early today, bundle everyone warmly, hop on the local train, and ride into Philadelphia to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It's fun to try new things. I hope the weather isn't too windy or wet. I'll have to report on it later.

Day 27: Thanksgiving Day



Say thank you for at least 10 blessings. Pay at least 5 cents each.

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

26 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 26

Day 26: It's the day before Thanksgiving!



Do you have guests coming for dinner? If so, relax, all others pay 25 cents. ( I dislike going a day without paying a toll, so we'll pay for each guest we have coming, which is only two.)

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

25 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 25

Today's Thankfulness in November challenge has to do with pets. My husband and I grew up with pets in our homes, although he had far more than I did. But now that I'm a housewife and mother (of children who are still in diapers), my desire to own a pet is little to none. In fact, before Rosalind came around, I told my husband that I'd much rather have another baby than to get a pet, because at least with a baby you eventually potty train them and they can do work around the house, whereas with a pet, you are stuck cleaning up their poop and messes for LIFE! At least a person has an eternal soul. We've had 2 more children since then.

I did say that once the last one is potty trained, I'd be open to getting a pet that helped contribute to the household--a working pet like in the olden days. Maybe a mouse-hunting dog or cat. But there's still the issue of poop. A chicken would be nice. Their poop can be used in the garden for fertilizer (I think), and they can produce eggs and meat for our growing family, and they are outside animals, so my house wouldn't get dirtier from them. Sounds good to me! I'm just not sure how well a bunch of chickens would do in a yard that's so close to a couple of dog kennels. And our yard is very very compact. We'd have to be real careful where we'd place the coop. Plus there's the zoning issues we'd have to get approved, not doubt.

I know pets can offer something that is hard to match: companionship. That's why today, instead of not contributing to the bank because we don't have pets, we'll charge the kids for every stuffed toy that they keep as companions. At least each one of them will have to pay something, since they all have their own special "doggy," plus a few more. How about you?

Day 24:




Do you own a pet? Please deposit 10 cents for each one.

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

24 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 24

Last Sunday Julien had it. Wednesday night was Rosalind's turn. Yesterday was my turn. I spent most of the afternoon at a birthday party with the kids and Julien's schoolmate, and missed my nap. I saw glimpses of a football game involving men wearing Eagles uniforms, but conversing with a house full of strangers was more interesting to me. By evening time, I was feeling very tired and not real hungry. I was ready to call it a day by about 7pm, and I was in bed by 8. But then the vomiting happened. And also the diarrhea. And the overall aches and stiffness. So on a day when I would normally watch a lot of football as well as our favorites, AFV and Nature, I watched maybe a combined total of 1 hour of TV. But other members of our household will most likely have to pay up for today's Thankfulness in November challenge.

Day 24:



How many hours of TV did you watch yesterday? 10 cents for each hour please.


To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

23 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 23

Day 23:



Have you addressed your Christmas cards? If not, get started then fine yourself 25 cents. If anyone can say yes to this, we need to talk. Seriously. Please leave a comment or e-mail me. I will even make you a galette aux pommes!

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

22 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 22

Day 22:




Do you have plants or floral arrangements in your house? Four cents for each one please. Thankfully, or not, I don't have very many of these in my home. (As you may recall, I'm a bit deficient in the interior decorator department.) How about you?


To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

21 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 21

Speaking of doctor's appointments (from yesterday), I have an interesting one to share. (I'll warn you it's a little gross.) As you recall, I stayed home from church on Sunday with Julien because he threw up Sunday morning. The next one to start sounding stuffy was Rosalind. She also had a couple of nights when she woke up numerous times, and developed a cough. Sometimes she would state, "I got boogers," and I thought it was cute, but didn't think much of it. Wednesday night, she woke up crying and shivering. As I held her in the dark, I smelled her stinky breath, and a familiar pungent smell in her hair, vomit. She had puked all over her bed. Good thing I picked her up in the dark. I think if I had known she was covered in it, I wouldn't have picked her up so readily. Yesterday she was a bit perkier, but still had a stuffy nose. It was raw-looking on one side, and that cheek was also reddish. When Enoch came home and played with her on his lap, he complained that her breath smelled bad. I told him that her breath had been smelly for a week or so. Then he wiped her nose, and smelled the tissue. We called the doctor. They were about to close for the night, but they wanted to see her. Enoch volunteered to take her since I was feeding Brendan and we were about to sit down for dinner. The final verdict: they removed a clump of tissue the size of my fingertip that was packed up in there. Hopefully with it removed, she'll be her normal, pleasant, 2-year old self today. But I'm thankful for our pediatricians, and for my husband, and that our daughter is doing much better.

Which brings us to today's Thankfulness in November challenge. One that is rather convicting for me, I'm afraid.

Day 21:




Did you visit the ill or lonely this month? We Thank You, if not pay 50 cents please. I'll have to ante up, but how about you?

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

20 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 20

Day 20:

Yesterday I was supposed to get two fillings in my teeth at the dentist's office. But one of my newer crowns wasn't fitting properly, and we decided while I was in the chair that instead we would crown the tooth behind the "bothered" one, and in the process correct the problem nagging the first one. I didn't think much about how we would be paying for all of this, until I got to the front desk to check out. The receptionist informed me that the doctor was going to submit this to the insurance, and whatever the insurance doesn't pay, she would cover. I was a bit stunned, especially since it is the dentist office that has been costing us a pretty penny these past couple of years. (After 9 years of being MIA in the dentist chair, you know a lot of work needs to be done!) All of this to say that I actually am thankful for my dentist, Dr. Barb. How about you?



Did you have a doctor's appointment this month? If not, say Thank You with a 35 cent gift.

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

19 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 19

While I am thankful for my children, and I consider them priceless, today's page seems it was written with us in mind. At least at this stage of our lives, ten cents each is about all we can afford! How about you?

Day 19:




For each of your children, 10 cents.


To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).

18 November 2008

Thankfulness, November 18

This one is going to be a biggie. But even if you round it up, I'm closer to a half-dollar than a dollar. So I can be thankful for that!

Day 18:



Fill your bank with pennies. One penny for each year you have lived.

To learn more about Thankfulness in November, read the introduction here. I would love to hear from you if you are participating! Please leave a comment below, and even your website if you are going to post about it on your blog. Thanks for your participation! I'm looking forward to seeing what a big blessing we can bring with us on December 7th (the first Sunday in December).