Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'll be home for Christmas

Aunt Mindy came home for an early Christmas! Of course we had to go to one of our favorite donut spots in town!
Stopped by one of the infamous trains we encounter in town. This one had 114 cars!

Christmas donuts for the season!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hannah's Photography

When Hannah came over yesterday, I asked her what she would like to do.

"Let's go for a walk."
So we bundled up as it was pretty chilly in the late afternoon.

"Aren't you going to bring your camera?"
"Would you like me to?"

"Yes! I've been learning about how to take photos."
"You have?!"

"Yes. I have been watching "Create" (a PBS channel show). They have filmed tornadoes, deer, flowers..."

So I took my camera and helped her shoot pictures.

She thought the reflection on the lake was pretty cool.

The geese had swum (is that a word?) to the other side of the lake. Hannah thought it would be fun to take a picture of them in flight so we began to shout at them. You can see one irritated goose.

And they all took off. (I got that photo)

She wanted a photo of the pine cones so I showed her how to hold down the shutter half way to get it to auto focus.

She was doing a great job in taking photos!

I don't think there was much danger that we would swim that day. Brrrrr!

My sweet little photographer!

She took another picture with reflections in the water.

I got this one of the geese flying north. I said, "I don't know that they are going to fly south this year." (I have heard they haven't been doing that as there is plenty of food around here)

"Maybe they are flying to the North Pole."

I'm so proud of Hannah for wanting to learn how to take pictures. I do mine in auto. I would love to learn manual but it seems too daunting to me. I don't understand numbers at all. My mind doesn't work math. Maybe I can take a class someday.

My grandfather was into photography. He even developed his own pictures in the cellar. Here is a photo of my mother as a baby.

My Dad took lots of photos when we were in Japan. I wonder how many. I'm guessing over 1,000. Maybe over 2,000! They used to have to show slides to churches when we would come to the States on furlough to show them the work they were doing.

My brother also enjoys photography and my son does it as a hobby too. It is only natural that Hannah would enjoy it too!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

worshipping at the manger

My grandson, Elijah, loves Lightening McQueen from the animated Pixar film "Cars".

He calls Lightening McQueen, "Baby Kachow". He loves to play cars so much!

Here he is tractor tipping, like in the movie.

Eli's other grandparents sent me the picture below.

"Worshipping at the manger?? Soooo sweet!!!! May God help us all to stay focused at the manger this time of year!!!!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lunar Eclipse

Did you catch the lunar eclipse the other morning? It was pretty neat! We heard it would be at 4 am. I wasn't going to get up for that (although sometimes this old body sometimes wakes up involuntarily at times at that hour!). I woke up sometime around 6 and saw this!
And here it is as it is getting lighter and as it is slipping down to the horizon.

We only got a partial eclipse in this part of the world, but it was neat to see anyway.

On Wednesday between 1 - 3 am, there is going to be a meteor shower; one every 1-3 minutes. We may be foolish enough to get up to watch this. Al says to look in the north east. Which means we can probably just lay in bed and watch them!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Kansas version of the Nutcracker

Today I took the girls to a Kansas adaptation of Tchaikovsky's traditional Nutcracker. It was at the Hutchinson's Historic Fox Theatre. Allen and I used to go to the movies here back before we were married! I got my first job after school at the office across the street.

The girls thought it was soooo fancy!
They wanted to climb the stairs up to the balcony so we went to the restroom up there. They wanted to sit there but I had already ordered reserved seating. You can see Sophie looking at the balcony seating and thinking "I wish we could sit there!" But our seats were good. I was surprised to see that we ended up with 2nd row seats and in the middle so I think they did ok!
The setting is not in Germany, but in the heart of Kansas. The story begins on Christmas Eve, 1869, at a Kansas western fort. Nine-year-old Laura has just arrived from Boston along with her father, Lieutenant MacGuffie and his wife. Lieutenant MacGuffie is there to fulfill his Fort West post. (Incidently, Laura looked very much like our friend Kendall as a little girl! It was like I was just watching her through the whole program!)

Laura's friends gave her a fancy Boston china doll as a parting gift, but they have also filled her head with warnings about Indians, coyotes, prairie fires and tornadoes.

The new arrivals are greeted at the fort by the commanding officer and his wife and their oldest daughter. The Officer's Christmas post party is about to begin.

Following the party, as Laura is about to go to sleep, the commander's daughter gives her a prairie doll which years ago had comforted her when she arrived here from the East. Laura is not interested in the doll and throws it out of her bed. She much prefers her china doll!

But then Laura has a dream. The prairie doll has come to life! What magical moments as toys come to life, snowflakes dance, there are deer and antelope, prairie fires and yes, even a tornado.

In the end, Laura awakens and takes the prairie doll in her arms. What a precious ballet for the girls and I to watch!

We stopped to eat supper before going to church for Cocoa and Carols, a great fun-filled family night where we sing Christmas carols, Santa Dave comes to tell the Christmas story while children cluster around him (his granddaughter climbed in his lap and played with his beard), there was a silly Johnny and Chachi video followed by cocoa, cookies and fellowship.