Sunday, December 27, 2009

decisions, decisions.....

So you may or may not be aware, Hubby is a die-hard NY Jets fan. Couple that with the fact that we live in the hometown of the 14-0 Colts and most weekends its' no big deal, but today is another story! Hubby's family is in town for the big game - yikes! whatever will I wear? I'm certain the four of them will be in Jets' green, do I dare? I haven't had to choose before, I have a little clothing for both teams - probably no chance of mixing and matching? I'm not sure that I will know until we leave the house which team my clothing will be supporting!
Who will win? The experts would argue, the Colts will win IF they play their first string, but do they go for a perfect season, or rest their star players for the playoffs? They have plenty of names already on the injured roster, would hate to add some more. The Jets could make a place for themselves in the playoffs if Pluto and Jupiter align (according to hubby) but they have an excellent defense, so if the Colts rest and the Jets play really well and everyone else has an awful week, then maybe Hubby's beloved Jets will continue on into the playoffs! Only time will tell! Watch your local news for the results (or not!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

And a very Merry Christmas to all of you...

On this glorious day of our Savior's birth, I pause to wish all of you in bloggy land a very Merry Christmas to you and yours. Like many of you, I will be spending this day with my family - hubby and the 3 crazy girls and hubby's little brother is supposed to come down for a few days! We will open presents, have a nice breakfast, relax - the kids will play and the boys will probably watch football, then a nice dinner together! Calm, quiet and just the way I like it! So to you all, remember why we all celebrate this day, thank God for your blessing and enjoy each other!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve is upon us! Everyone celebrates this day differently. Growing up, we went to the family service at 5:30pm, home for dinner then put presents under the tree. There was great fun in opening all the boxes that came from out of town and seeing the wrapped gifts for the first time! Then we put our gift to each other out. There was always one gift chosen especially to be opened on Christmas Eve, so that was next! Then, depending of the time, we hung out and went to bed!
Hubby's Christmas Eve was much different. He spent Christmas Eve with his dad's side of the family and Christmas day with his mom's side - both experiences are very different from each other! Christmas Eve at his Grandma Gen's is an experience not to be missed! She is an amazing cook and does the all our, no meat Italian catholic Christmas Eve dinner! The house is small which makes it super cozy and it is filled with love and laughter! The evening is always fun, a little raucous and I night I never want to miss when we are in New York! I look forward to it every time and miss it when we're not there!
Either way, I often enjoy Christmas Eve as much or more than the day after. Each day has it's own charms and reasons to celebrate! Our Christmas Day traditions growing up were equally different, but somehow in our own little family, we have merged a little from each and created some traditions of our own! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Things to look forward to in 2010.... tv version

Not that anyone but me and hubby care, but several of our favorite shows are coming back in January and I for one and VERY EXCITED!!!
Have you watched Burn Notice on USA? If not, go rent the first 3 seasons NOW and watch them so that you will be caught up when the reason starts! Check you local listings for dates and times!!!! USA said goodbye to Monk - a very sad day, but there is In Plain Sight to look forward and Royal Pains is decent, a definite third to Burn Notice and In Plain Sight, but worth watching!

The of course, there is the polygamist Big Love that I love! It's like trying to drive by a car accident on the highway without turning to look! The show is very well done and their lifestyle just adds all sorts of twists and turns to this fabulous show on HBO!

The biggie of course if the fourth and final season of my beloved The Tudors! Of course since it is historic and we all know that Henry died, the show has no choice but to come through and end since he has plowed through most of his wives already. I will be very sad to see him go, but I am going to savor every moment of the series until that sad fated day arrives! Shotime, you better find something good to replace my dear Henry and don't try to tell me Weeds will do it, I watch that too, when is she coming back?

That's what I've got for your viewing pleasure! Of course the usuals on the networks will be back.. Big Bang Theory is a must! There are others, but this blogisode was dedicated to my "special" shows that have those annoying mini seasons, so I wanted to be sure that you didn't miss anything - set your DVRs now friends!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baby sister's current predicament

Ok, so not the end of the world, not life or death, but incredibly painful, awful miserable... baby sister has a 5mm kidney stone. I had the when I was pregnant and they are a miserable experience and here, less than a week till Christmas, kids home for a 2 week break, and she's writhing in pain, loaded up on pain meds and having spent the first part of the day in the ER. I feel so badly for her, but I always believe that a little humor always helps the situation, so I had to add a few little cartoons here to put a smile on her face - not that she'll read this in her current state, but later, perhaps, she'll find me amusing!!
ok, you have to admit that this is a little funny!!!
We all have our fingers crossed that this day will come sooner rather than later! If you have a free second, send up a "quick passages" prayer to the big guy on baby sister's behalf - it would be greatly appreciated!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This could have been us....

So, as sad as I am about our little mini family reunion at my parents house, mom had lots of sweet things for the girls and we haven't all been together since the wedding in Cali in July. Baby sister and her hubby and their 4 boys were all coming - and a girlfriend to boot! There was a big party with vino and yummy food. What a bummer. This morning they had 16"+ and still coming down. Apparently lots of people spent the night on the side of the highway - that very possibly could have been us. So, we will look forward to rescheduling a visit sometime in the future as we sit back and wait to see how the New York branch of the family fairs later today! Enjoy the snow if you are on the east coast - be smart and stay safe!

Friday, December 18, 2009

sorry I've been MIA...

ok, I will apologize for being MIA for so long - caught up in all the Christmas preparations, I'm sewing a large number of our Christmas presents, so my sewing machine and I are close friends, and no, I'm not done yet, and now our trip home to Virginia has been cancelled because of that awful storm that's on the way, so I have to finish my sewing and then go stand in line at the post office with everyone else and their grandmothers! Poo, I am not happy. I have not lost my Christmas cheer, just have to shift gears. Once the sewing is done, I will be back to wish everyone a proper Merry Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Anniversary Hubby!

Fourteen years ago hubby and I walked down the aisle! Our first dance was to Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight" but since it was just 9 days before Christmas, we had a "last dance" after we changed our clothes but before we left the reception and we danced to "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire..." or "Christmas Song" as it is apparently actually titled!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It wouldn't be complete without...

For the kiddos and the kids inside of us, no Christmas music sampler would be complete without Alvin and the Chipmunks!

Monday, December 7, 2009

More holiday music review....

I first heard about the a capella group called Straight No Chaser over a year ago - they are fabulous!! This year they came out with a Christmas album - you just gotta get it!! Some of their songs are simple and serious some of them are all mashed up and very funny! They got their start when they were students at IU (Indiana University) and went their separate way after graduation, but one of their videos hit the internet recently and it got to the eyes and ears of a record company and now they share their immense talent with all of us! I (thanks to my dear friend Bryan - shout out!!) now know how to embed the videos straight into my blog, so enjoy...... Straight No Chaser!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

St Nicholas Feast Day

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas and I would be remiss if I did not give a nod to the great man, who other than the obvious saintly attributes, gave us today's santa!

Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas was born in 260AD in Patara, a coastal town in what is now Turkey. The poor knew him throughout the land for his generosity, his love for children and being associated with ships, the sea and sailors. He was eventually consecrated Bishop of Myra, just miles from his hometown.

Our western tradition of Santa Claus and Father Christmas originates with the beloved saint. Many Christian churches and many countries observe December 6th, his feast day, with great celebrations, processions, services and gift giving.

Many legends surround his life. During the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian, Bishop Nicholas was imprisoned and tortured for his beliefs but he never forsook his faith. The new Emperor Constantine eventually released him. Tradition has it that Bishop Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 with many other bishops, a meeting that produced what we today call "The Nicene Creed".

Traditional image of Bari, Italy

Traditional image from Bari, Italy

Images of St Nicholas in paintings, icons, statues, collectibles and stained glass often show him alongside three young men in a barrel that he brought back to life after an innkeeper murdered them. He is almost always seen with three bags or balls as well, symbolising the three bags of gold he tossed through the chimney of the home of a poor man in his village for the daughters' dowry, so they would not be sold as slaves. Thus he is also seen as the "gift-giver". A ship and the sea are also common symbols of the saint. Western and Eastern depictions of Blessed Nicholas differ in style and costume.

Saint Nicholas is a patron of many places and people. He closely associated with Russia, Greece, Holland, Austria, Belgium, Aberdeen and New York. Pawnbrokers, travellers, unwed persons, children, sailors and many others claim a special relationship to the saintly figure. Many churches are dedicated to him as well, in England, over 400. Nicholas is third most popular subject of icons in the church, with only Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary having more representations.

The beloved bishop died in 343AD and his body buried in the cathedral at Myra.

However, in 1087, Italian sailors who were fearful that the bones would be desecrated or forgotten by the armies invading the country at that time removed the remains of his bones, called relics. They were taken to Bari, Italy, where they rest in a major basilica dedicated to the saint. Special celebrations are held on May 9 each year on the Bari coast to mark the date of the "translation" of the relics.

The name St Nicholas lives in the hearts of people all over the world, young and old alike. His faith and his actions make remembering him important even in our day. He is our Santa Claus and Father Christmas, and we must remind people today of this fact. To this very day St Nicholas (Sinterklaas) arrives in Holland each November, dressed in a Christian Bishop's vestments, and rides through the streets to the enjoyment of thousands of onlookers, to begin his investigation into the behaviour of the children.

Such customs are being revived in Christian communities all over the world.

St Nicholas Day falls in the season of Advent and with the tradition of his bearing gifts, he became associated with Christmas as well.


There was a good bishop who lived long ago

His memory is glorious, His legends are bold

We call him St Nicholas, a servant of Christ

Who loved little children and taught what was right

He is Father Christmas and Santa Claus too

He helped many people, the stories are true

At Christmas he calls to us, both young and old

To see that the story of Jesus is told

The gifts that he brings us are signs of the love

That comes down at Christmas from heaven above

We see Mother Mary, the babe in the stall,

With Joseph, the wise men and shepherds and all

O blessed St Nik'las we hail you today

The patron of many, you show us the way

To be good and generous, to help those in need

To be kind to others in both word and deed

Suggested tune: ST DENIO (Welsh)


Good Saint Nicholas of Myra

deeds and legends tell his fame

Saintly bishop, friend of children

Bari pilgrims chant the name

Blessèd Nicholas, Blessèd Nicholas

He loved all in Jesus' name

Miracles and signs and wonders

he performed to praise the Lord

For a poor and weary people

source of care and joy outpoured

Sailors, nations, people thank him

for the message that he brought

Young and old now hail the memory

Of the lessons that he taught

May his ways of true devotion

guide us on our earthly way

Challenge us to be more like him

as Christ's gospel we obey

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

bind us in community

so that we with holy Nicholas

might eternal glory see

Tune: Regent Square/Westminster Abbey

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

More Christmas music to enjoy.....

I promise nothing more and nothing less than a variety of music for your listening pleasure! I got this album 15 or 16 years ago and although I am no longer a big country music listener, I still LOVE this album! All the songs are great AND there are a lot of originals (unlike alot of others) and one of my favorite songs is "Sweet Little Jesus Boy". Like yesterday, I still don't know how to directly link You Tube videos like my dear friend Bryan over at "That's What I was Going To Say" (hint hint), so I hyperlinked the picture below and pasted it below just in case! Maybe SOMEONE will help me out and my next post will be more "user friendly"!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday music review....

This may be a strange one to start with, but I really enjoy most of Christina Aguilera's My Kind Of Christmas album. I have to admit that I don't love the first song that much, but I really love "O Holy Night". I tried to hyperlink the album picture above, but in case it doesn't work, here is the You Tube link so you can check it out! I hope you like it!

I plan on offering some more Christmas music listening options for you throughout the month of December! I pull out the cds on December 1st every year (of course not before!) but for some reason after Christmas day I have to put them away for another year - not sure why since I love it so much! Just crazy I guess! I have most of my decorations up and most of my shopping done, but lots left to do since we are making a lot of our Christmas presents this year - more personal but not always less expensive! I put the red bow of my car the other day and finally got one on hubby's car this morning before he left - last year he managed to escape without a bow, but I insisted this year!! I still haven't ordered my Christmas cards yet - yes, me the photographer, still hasn't ordered my own cards - on the list for today! So much to do, so little time!! Gotta run - my sewing machine is calling!!
Happy listening!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I am thankful...

I am very thankful this year. The list is long and certainly I will leave many things off that will come to mind later, but better to say what's on my mind. I am thankful for my little family - hubby, Big S, Little S and Little G, for our extended family (that continues to grow much to our delight!), for my many dear friends who mean more to me than I can express (you know who you are! you may be far away, but you are always close in my heart!). I am thankful for my good health and my family's good health, that we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to keep us warm, that we have more than we need and that we are able to share a little with others in need. I am thankful for my faith - it has gotten me through many tough times as well as many joyful and continues to grow stronger. I am thankful for the innocence of childhood - they make me smile, laugh, give me warm fuzzies... I am thankful for the technology that helps me keep in closer touch with those far away and reconnect with friends lost long ago as well as those I have made through technology!!! I am thankful for this and so much more.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dear Santa,

I know that I may be a little old for this, but just in case Santa reads my blog, I thought I'd put a couple things out there that he may want to drop off when he's flying over Indy Christmas Eve!
Yes, this is the main body of the D3000 - beautiful, isn't it? It's the professional version of the D80 that I currently shoot. Now let me justify this by saying that I love my D80, but 1) I really need to have 2 camera going at most of my shoots and 2) I rented one to see what it's like and the quality of the pictures is waaay better than what I can currently produce! Of course, the lenses for my D80 don't work on the D300, so I would need a couple lenses too! The number one is the basic 18-135mm or whatever the equivalent is for this model - it's the basic, must have lens that will do a lot, but not all, of what my current needs are! Then of course, there are the next line of must haves - we'll call it the 2nd tier of useful lenses!

You need something that will give you a lot more distance, something that will give you a nice wide angle, and a fish eye for those fun shots! Not, I don't currently own a fish eye lens, so I will be happy with one that fit the D80 or the D3000!!
I just want to put that out there for you Santa, in case you were wondering what to get me that I can't/won't get for myself!!
PS The girls are working on their lists, so I'll send them out shortly! Glad to see your mailbox is out at Circle City Center!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A new kind of adventure...

Now you may not know this about me, but I have become a big fan of Goodwill over the last several years! Our local stores get good stuff and I can usually find stuff that my kids want that I am not willing to pay regular store prices for! They are happy to have the stuff regardless of how it made it to their closets and my oldest has even been known to brag about my bargain hunting prowess to her friends! Well, last week hubby and I had a little adventure together! We hear that there was a Goodwill outlet not too far from our house (how had that secret been kept from me? my dear friend who loves to get stuff at 'GW fashion' didn't know about it either!). So friday morning after the kids went off to school, hubby and I checked out GWO! I was excited and curious - I had planned on going on my own or with my friend, but hubby surprised me by saying that he wanted to check it out too! It was an experience like no other...
So, when you go to the outlets, it's NOTHING like the stores, let me make that clear... NOTHING LIKE THE STORE! Now there are no racks, everything is in bins, not like the one below, you could NEVER dig through that thing
the bins are fairly shallow, about 6-9 inches and they are lined up in rows - 2 bins wide and 5 bins long. So, you walk in and just start going through the bins - there are about 10 row throughout the store, so you just pick a starting point and work your way through. Simple enough, right? Not so fast....
All the bins are turned over every 2 hours on the odd hours, so you have to pace yourself! That's when the craziness begins! As soon as they start pulling bins out of a row, people start lining up along the lines waiting for the 'new' bins to brought into place! There is a specific etiquette that goes along with this process! NO ONE can touch anything in any new bin until all the new bins in a row are in place! It's hysterical because people stand with their hands behind their back so no one can accuse them of starting early! As soon as the last bin is in the row, there is a frenzy as everyone digs through the new bins. I must say that most people that are regulars are looking for specific things and they are after the non-clothing article primarily (the total opposite of what I was interested in). I learned to stand back and wait till the 'pros' were done, then step in! the only non clothing stuff I really had on my list were legos, most of which were loose in the bins, so I had to look carefully, but I left with a nice little baggy full to add to our slowly growing collection! Most of my "finds" were great name brand things in great shape that went straight into the washing machine before the girls even got a look at them! Hubby hung around for about 1 1/2 hours before he had to leave for a meeting, but truth be told, he was DONE! I made a few new "friends" who gave me some great advice - like next time wear gardening gloves and if you don't have 50lbs worth, ask someone to weigh in with you to get the lowest price (59 cents/lb for 50 lbs or over - the highest price is 1.59 for 10 lbs and under, so it's still a great deal!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A fabulous assignment...

I had the very distinct pleasure of photographing a beautiful Persian wedding ceremony this past weekend! I have never attended anything other than a christian or civil wedding ceremony and I was so excited to have this opportunity! The bride was absolutely lovely, the groom was sweet and the entire extended family was warm and welcoming! Can you tell I had a blast?
This first picture is of the sofreh aghd - it is a low table covered with all sorts of lovely things - all of which represent something important for the couple's future life together.
These men were on the sofreh aghd and are a personal favorite of the mother of the groom!
This is the couple's name in a middle eastern calligraphy
I love this picture! I worked pretty hard to get their reflection in the mirror to be in focus! The mirror and matching candlesticks on either side were hand carried from Iran by one of the family members -it is old and beautiful and hand carved in silver!
The wedding cake was beautiful! It had the paisley from the sand art on the sofreh aghd and their names in the same calligraphy as the red painting above.
Aren't they sweet?
A few of the guests dancing! It was quite a party! Lots of fabulous middle eastern music and beautiful dancing!
I couldn't get enough of the two grandmothers - I just thought they were darling!
The immediate family on the grooms side - I think some of them might have even left before we took this picture!!
Thank you so much for sharing your special day with me!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fall in Indiana..

I took the girls out last week to take some pictures in the corn field across the street from our neighborhood. I have wanted cornfield pictures of them for years, but I always put it off and then they plow the fields and I'm so bummed and have to wait another year, so this year I got them out there early! Of course I'm hoping to use them for our Christmas cards, so I'm not posting them here yet! This is what fall looks like in Indiana!! At least on a good day ;)
Can you see me in the picture?
The sun was already getting low and it was only about 4:30pm - the down side of ending daylight savings time!
I love this one of the cob of corn -kinda cool, huh?

Friday, November 6, 2009


Ok, so it's better late than never! I of course HAVE to post Halloween pictures! The girls were cute again this year - of course! Big S wore her fire suit and sunglasses with her .25 hat (her favorite racing hat I think!), Little S wore the same cat costume as last year but had a different tail, ears and shoes (had to mix is up a little!), and Little G wore a cute little witch costume (she definitely was a good witch with all that pink and flowers!) and for those of you who were curious, I included a picture of me in my handmade kimono (I'm holding a friend's darling little super girl) - It's not a great picture, but all the full length pictures were taken by a child (who will remain nameless so as not to appear chastised for their skills) and because of the angle, I look like a complete cow! I sprayed my hair black and tried to do some geisha makeup (but didn't have any white cake makeup for my face, so I had to make do! I did put some chopstick in my hair that my parents brought me back from China (my parents went to China and all I got were these lousy chopsticks! not really, they brought us lots of cool stuff, but it sounded funny in my head!)

It was a little nippy out and no one wanted to wear a coat - they look chilly, don't they?
Big S - we made the chechered flag bag to go with the outfit!!
Little S - my cute kitty!!!
Little G - loved the cute feather broom!!
me and Super Baby!! Her "big" sister was super girl - it was waaay too cute!

Monday, November 2, 2009

One holiday at a time please...

Halloween is over. True. Time to decorate for Christmas? Seriously? I can not stand to walk into store in October and find Christmas decorations up already. Little S and I were in the grocery store on friday and there were NO Halloween things out at all, but Christmas candy took up 1/2 of an aisle and misc Christmas took up half of another. It's ridiculous! I love christmas, don't get me wrong, we even had a December wedding because I love Christmas so much, but did everybody forget about Thanksgiving? I am ready to put all the Halloween stuff away and move on - I always feel that way once a holiday passes, but I love getting ready for the next one and unless there was a calendar change made that I am not aware of, Thanksgiving is next! Time for turkeys, pilgrims and yes, still pumpkins (that's when the fact that we didn't get around to carvings ours comes in handy!); but NOT snowmen, stockings on the fireplace or santas - can we please wait until December to get them out? They will have the entire months to be on display. Until then, show me some pilgrims!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day


By Bruce Prewer

Uniting Church of Australia

Living God, in whom there is no shadow or change, we thank you for the gift of life eternal, and for all those who having served you well, now rest from their labours.

We thank you for all the saints remembered and forgotten, for those dear souls most precious to us. Today we give thanks for those who during the last twelve months have died and entered into glory.

We bless you for their life and love, and rejoice for them “all is well, and all manner of things will be well.”

God of Jesus and our God, mindful of all those choice souls who have gone on ahead of us, teach us, and each twenty-first century disciple of every race and place,

  • to follow their example to the best of our ability:
  • to feed the poor in body or spirit,
  • to support and comfort the mourners and the repentant,
  • to encourage the meek and stand with them in crises,
  • to affirm those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
  • to cherish and learn from the merciful,
  • to be humbled by, and stand with, the peacemakers.

Let us clearly recognize what it means to be called the children of God, and to know we are to be your saints neither by our own inclination nor in our own strength but simply by the call and the healing holiness of Christ Jesus our Saviour.