December 26, 2011

Comfort and Joy, Christmas 2011

Christmas is over but until January 2nd, the holiday is not, is it? I am taking a light work week this week and am looking forward to some reading, a nap (or two), delving into the two beautiful watercolor botanical illustration books my son, Jesse, gave to me, watching "Islands at War" on Netflix, or visiting the magnificent "The Art Museum" a huge, beautiful, well-organized book of art from cavemen to the 21st century. Jeepers, I have a lot of wonderful things on my list for the coming week. 

But first, a look back on our holiday season, which began when my son, Jesse, called to let me know about the new addition to his family… meet Larry (aka "Mr. Paws"). I am so happy Larry has found his forever home.


Below, you can see our Christmas card pile, including a lovely card with doves from my friend, Janis, and a lovely original drawing card from the talented artist Marion Pack of England.

Bryce completed the Beavis & Butthead drawing tee-shirt transfer project and off we went to visit Flo Clark, who is supportive and interested in all things creative. (See this previous post on her artwork, and here on her dog, Daisy, who passed away earlier this year.) It was lovely to sit with Flo and visit in her son's beautiful sunroom. Bryce wore his decorated shoes.

Farley was worrying about her Christmas present. She realizes, because of her uncanny ability to add and subtract and also smell, that it is not under the tree. Hmmm…

Meanwhile… Bryce was hard at work on a small scrapbook for a relative.

Below you can see a wooden plane ornament, made years ago by my father. Like many families, we have several handmade ornaments and decorations that hold special family memories.

Later in the week, I had lunch with my friend and her daughter, then took her daughter to the mall shopping. It was my first time shopping in the mall with a young teenage girl (or any age teenage girl). What fun! My feet hurt! What fun! It was a very special Christmas treat for me!

Fast forward to this past weekend…

Bryce enjoyed spending time in my art room on Christmas Eve working to enhance the Beavis & Butthead t-shirt with fabric paint while watching a DVD his brother had sent to him for Christmas.

While Bryce was painting, and Mark was watching football, I was making our family's traditional Christmas wreath bread. This bread was made by my mother and served with grapefruit on Christmas morning when I was a child... (and still is, she was making hers the same day, only 1800 miles away). 
Mom has always made some to give to friends and neighbors and for the last several years I have as well. This time I made a double batch and ended up with 5 wreaths. So, after they were done Bryce and I got in the car and visited some friends. 

One of our friends that we visited is a senior citizen who is a better baker/cook than I and probably has twice the energy. She is of Greek ancestry and her home is so beautiful, and was decorated with Santas, angels, trees and many sparkling lights. Bryce declared it "just how I'd want my own home to look, if I had a house of my own." That's high praise. I knew he would love seeing her home. (I wish I'd taken my camera or phone into the house to take some photos!)

At some point, Bryce asked me to take a photo (of the scene below) and email it to Grandma. I did and Grandma replied that this was one of her favorite poses too (with Jackie for a nap). I love having a mother in her ninth decade who emails back and forth sending photos and messages, reading blogs, and following our family's activities as well as any teenager.

On Christmas Eve night I made a huge pan of lasagna and then took Bryce to an historic church downtown to hear the son of a friend of mine sing. He is an opera singer and has been in residence at the Sarasota (FL) Opera. We loved the music, and I loved hearing Bryce belt out "The First Noel."

This is the scene that greeted me and my cup of coffee on Christmas morning. Farley still does not smell  a present for her. That is because I have put it up on the mantle so she would not try to open it before 10 a.m. (You'll notice the gingerbread men my mother made for my sons back when they were small children, in the early 1980s.)

10:00 a.m.
Finally, it is time to open presents!

Here is Bryce looking at the family history scrapbook. Back in June, I started researching our family history on and supplemented it with other searches. I put the information in a 3-ring binder for my sons and my mom (115 pages). It was a wonderful way to spend evenings and weekends and I'm so glad I took the time and had the tools to assemble this information. I learned a lot about history and Bryce will hopefully understand that many many generations before him made the choices they did and the sacrifices as well, to help their descendants have a better life.

Bryce was so happy to receive a Michael Jackson poster, "This Is It" book, and MJ bobble-head figure!

Tyler, ever wanting to be a proper gentleman, sits waiting for a present he might enjoy.


But first… Gracie eyes her Christmas present!

Lucky me! I received some wonderful books. My youngest son sent me three books on my Amazon wish list (2 on botanical art) and Mark surprised me with The Art Museum, below. I received additional very special presents, for which I'm so thankful, including a teddy bear, a DVD I'd wanted, an upside down planter, and handmade soap and a handmade scarf. I am so happy on Christmas day that I can hardly stand it!

Finally! Time for Farley,  Tyler, and Jackie's present!

At supper we enjoyed turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, and cranberries. It was a Thanksgiving-Christmas! Then Bryce and I took Tyler, Farley, and Jackie for a ride in the car to see Christmas lights in our beautiful college town of Athens, Ohio. 

 We also talked with our Florida relatives on the phone and with Jesse and Ashley and also Mark's dad in Shaker Heights. We missed them all very much, but are thankful for all the ways we can keep in touch until we are together again. 

If you missed my Christmas wish for you, please visit THIS LINK.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday week, if you have the time to do so. If not, take heart… New Year's is right around the corner!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Janice for sharing your Christmas holiday with us. Loved it. Sarah

Anonymous said...

Thankyou Janice !! A Happy New Year to ALL of you ! It was SO.... Good to hear all about your Christmas ! Thank God for sending Jesus as a Baby !! Love, Grace & David

Anonymous said...

Sending you a heartfelt thank you for delivering to us a wonderful wreath of bread and you left it even though we were all in Akron when you and Brice came by!! We are so sorry to have missed you; we have all enjoyed the marvelous treat and we thank you again! Please stop by and visit with us again soon. Thank you for sharing your Christmas with always it is one of the treats of the season! Hope to see and/or talk to you soon. Love to all, Flo and family

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed your blog...what a great Christmas you and you family had, including the pets! Hope you have a Happy, Healthy New Year and I will see you soon.


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