Posts Tagged With: What matters most

Grinchy-Mom’s Week Before Christmas

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Twas the week before Christmas and Mom was a mess.

Instead of holiday happy greetings, all she felt was distress.

“Only five days till Christmas! It’s practically here.”

She grumbled and bristled, felling no sort of cheer.


Christmas cards strewn the table, cookie cutters filled the sink,

Wassail steamed from the kettle for carolers to drink.

The festivities had started, everything had the appearance of jolly.

But Mom, well, she was a grump, and seemed rather melancholy.


“Don’t pull on the ornaments!” “Ahh! Tinsel’s not to EAT!”

“Oh, for Heaven’s sake. Take the Christmas stockings off your feet.”

The old Grinchy-Ma had forgotten what it meant to have fun,

The moment the Christmasy season had begun.


The stockings needed filled, and that should have been easy,

But the thought of another Wal-Mart run made her queasy.

The cards needed stamps, the lights were a-tangle.

She got a headache hearing the bells jingle and jangle.


She’d slaved in the kitchen making cookies and pies,

Even sampling some, which she bitterly knew would be her waste line’s demise.

Glitter and ribbon, googly eyes and hot glue,

Would these silly festive crafts ever be through?


The Elf on the Shelf got left in the storage.

That creepy grin, those sketchy eyes, this year she just didn’t have the time nor the courage.

Each time she swiped the credit card she thought of the bill.

Were the cheap, plastic gifts worth it? But it didn’t matter—she had Christmas list orders to fill.


Christmas carols blared on the radio. The family had watched The Polar Express.

A Christmas Story, Rudolf, Frosty, But admittedly she sympathized with Scrooge the best.

Under the tree were presents she’d spent many nights wrapping.

They’d done it all, so what on Earth was she lacking?


“But I love Christmas!” she puzzled that night under the covers.

“Why can’t I be joyful, like all the other mothers?”

Mom was stressed to the limit, Christmas had plum worn her out.

She’d been so consumed with the going she’d forgot was the season was about.


She stewed and she puzzled till she could take it no more.

She slipped on her boots and walked out the door.

Down the empty streets she breathed in the frigged night air.

Except for the evergreens, every tree stood bare.


No crowds to fight, no bad deals to be dealt.

Her heart suddenly felt full…Could it be the Christmas spirit she felt?

She’d ate way too much pie, it wasn’t a question.

Still sceptical, she thought maybe what she felt was just indigestion.


As she rounded the corner she saw a neighbor shovelling snow.

Not for himself but for an elderly couple who didn’t even know.

Christmas is about giving! How could she not remember?

A heart-felt gesture, a kind smile, serving a little more all though December.


The stars in the sky seemed to twinkle more bright,

And suddenly she was reminded of an ancient Bethlehem night.

A silhouette through a window of a mother rocking her child,

Took her back to a night long ago with Mary so mild.


Ah, now she remembered. The first and best gift wasn’t purchased in a store.

A price could never be placed. It was worth so very much more.

Not the gifts of the Wisemen: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh,

But a baby. A gift so perfect and pure.


The Christmas cheer she had searched for she’d finally found.

The night taught about giving and kindness without breathing a sound.

“All along I was wrong. It wasn’t in the cooking or under the tree.”

“All along the cheer had to be found inside me!


So this Christmas as we find ourselves hustling and bustling around,

Don’t forget that it’s not in the busyness Christmas spirit is found.

It’s not in the packages, or in the crowded isles of Wal-mart.

But the simple things, like family, kindness, and doing our part.


Most of all remember the gift of a Son from above,

Given to the entire world out of pure and unconditional love.

Let’s choose to be happy, let’s choose the real Christmas spirit so bright.

And let’s share the sweet message:

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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

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Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Wingmen

When we moved from our house in town to our house 15 minutes from town, my husband and I started a list of all of the out-of-ordinary animals we saw (or evidence of them) around our property.IMG_0846

  • Muskrat
  • Snapping turtle (we named him Franklin and he lived in our pond until the flood)

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  • Deer

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  • Owls
  • Hawks
  • Eagles
  • Wild Turkey

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  • Rats (So. Many. Rats. I HATE rats)
  • Mice
  • Foxes
  • Coyotes
  • Elk

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  • Bull Snakes
  • Garden Snakes
  • Brown Bear (it knocked over our garbage can and stole bags of garbage one night, then knocked over our grill another)
  • Mountain lion (scat all over by our pond)
  • Rattle Snakes

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  • Bobcat (Howard, our dog, treed it and we watched it hiss at him for an hour)
  • Desert centipede

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  • Raccoon
  • Skunk
  • Milk Snake (in our house!)

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I had no idea what a city girl I was until I came face-to-face with my first rattle snake. Not to mention the rats, the mountain lions, the bears…Early on I realized that life would be different from here on out, and I had to raise my children accordingly. After we moved in, my husband and I set up the “buddy” system. The kids always had to have a buddy at all times when they were out exploring. I found myself constantly saying, “Where’s your buddy? Find your buddy! Don’t leave your buddy alone!” and the boys would run off, rolling their eyes. We found quickly that when we said “buddy” it didn’t have the right ring to it. For three rough-and-tumble boys, “Buddy” sounded far too sissy. But wingmen, now that was something little boys could get excited about. That night we found a really great you tube video of two fighter jets flying side-by-side, and we sat our boys down. We taught them about wingmen and told them of the grave responsibility they had for each other. A wingman never leaves his partner’s side. They help each other, they protect each other, and they warn each other of impending danger. They had graduated from “buddies” to “wingmen,” and it wasn’t a term to use lightly. They had a responsibility as brothers to stick by each other and protect each other, no matter what, no matter where. And it worked. I’m thankful for three boys that stick together, play together, and help each other out. Three wingmen flying side-by-side.

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This month I’ve been thinking about the “wingmen” I’ve had over the years in my life. Those that have flown beside me, who have helped me, and who have stuck with me no matter what. My amazing parents, my awesome sister, grandparents, in-laws, teachers, professors, friends, my husband…Those people that have flown by me both when the skies were clear and when the storms arose or bullets flew. More than anything, I’m thankful for a Father in Heaven who flies next to me, guides me, and lifts me up. The ultimate wingman.

This is a month of giving thanks, a month when we think about the amazing blessings we have in our lives. I imagine the things that we hold most dear and cherish more than ever this month are not things at all. They are the wingmen who have been at our side. Sometimes I think about those I love who have passed on. I think about the life they led and the life they left behind. I will always remember many years ago sitting in my grandma’s little living room after her funeral with cousins, aunts and uncles all around. Pictures were strewn across the floor. Pictures of old friends, new friends, family, and those she loved. Album after album of those that flew by her throughout her life. She left this life with very little worldly possessions. And that didn’t matter to any of us. She left behind so many with memories of her love and her influence. She flew by their side, and they flew by hers.

I’m so thankful for the wingmen in my life. Those that flew by me for only a short time, and those that continue to be there. This Thanksgiving let’s remember that our greatest blessings of all are those soaring through the winds of life by our side.

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Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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