Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero on Christmas Day

It is Sunday, and it is Christmas Day.  What Christmas Day meant to the Hero  was two things, first, the celebration of the birth of Christ, and second family.
Until my parents moved to Texas, we altered going to either his parents or to mine mine in Oklahoma.  He had so much fun going to my family when we were first married, but as the older members of my dad's family passed away, the trip didn't seem necessary any longer as our parents were near us.
This what our Christmas day was like.  After reading the Christmas story, then opening presents, we would drive 2 hours to his parents to visit extended family that had come from places like Chicago, or Arizona.  As the scrapbook page shows, his family was a large group. The Hero would enjoy visiting with everyone and dining on yummy food.  He sometimes ended in the chair snoozing after all the "food" and activities.
Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Today is the Third Year of Losing the Hero

The Hero with his family.
I wanted to thank all of my blogging friends and family on this night.  It was three years ago that the Lord mercifully took the Hero into his arms and gave him peace.  We did not want him to go, but it was at great sacrifice that the Hero stayed the extra month with us allowing us love and good byes that would not have happened if he had not given up freedom from pain for communication and hugs.  I am thankful to him that he desired to be with his family as much as possible during his last days.  We laughed, we cried, we said, "I love you."
He tried valiantly to make it to Christmas Eve to see his daughter that was driving through a snow storm to get home.  It was so hard to tell her he would not be home to greet her.  We were the only ones who knew she was on her way.  It was a surprise to the rest of her siblings.  We were thankful to have her with us.  My second daughter still doesn't want to be without family around at Christmas.
It has been a long three years, I know we will make it through, but not without some lingering tears.  I have had many around to shore me up when my knees were weak, for that I am truly grateful.
I will close tonight saying thank you again and thank you for listening to the Hero's stories.  He must be smiling at my being able to remember what he told me.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday Christmas Decorations

Beaded tree made in 1965, by Lillian Ellsworth Sherman.
Her gr granddaughter inherited her box of beads. She was fascinated by the tree when she saw it while visiting her grandmother this month. Now, she wants to learn the craft.

So excited!  I found a blog in Czec, google chrome translated it for me, that give the instructions for making a Christmas Tree of Beads.. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sentimental Sunday. The Hero Was Protective

The twins. The Hero on the right.

 We stopped on the way from my son's graduation from college ("Big Yeah!") to visit with my mother-in-law.  We were discussing the different traits of family members and old stories about the Hero. When Hero's protective streek was mentioned, the Hero's mother declared, ""Oh yes he was!  He always been protective of his sisters and his twin brother! I put them in the same class in kindergarten... and the teacher left one of the mothers in charge for a minute. His twin got up and started running around and the mother said, 'If you don't sit down I'm going to tell the Sister' (it was a Catholic school). Hero stood up and shouted, 'No you're not! If you do I'll tell my Daddy. He's big and he'll come and whip you!'"  At this point in the story, Mom chuckled.  "Yes, he was always protective of his family.
It carried over to his own family as our children grew.  Good father and husband. : )

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Had Christmas Traditions

While the Hero was living, we always split our Christmas days. We spent early in the morning with my mother, the late in the afternoon with his mother...  Both mom's are now in Assisted Living, and the Hero is gone, things have changed.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 Forgotten Cookies

At a church Christmas activity for the youth, a young girl brought some meringue type cookies for refreshments. I fell in love with them and asked what the recipe was. This is the recipe she brought me. I love that you make them and leave them in the oven to cook. Tastes wonderful and leaves time for you to play with the cowboys and princesses in the family.
Created for John

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 Parties

This is probably the biggest party I have ever attended for Christmas: Thomas McEntee's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.  : )
Since we were a plain family not prone to partying, this is a stretch.
I haven't any pictures for this post, but I know many of you have Polish, Bohemian, or Czech backgrounds and will be able to visualize.  
The year 1959, my parents and I went to my aunt's house in Albuquerque for Christmas.  There, I had my first experience with a Wigilia Christmas Eve Party.  My Uncle Stan's family was Polish.  They were bigger than life. I had never been to a boisterous family gathering before. In my dad's family, it was relatively quiet other than chatter while working in the kitchen and children running around.  Uncle Stan's family had great discussions, and loud speaking...I think to overwhelm the person they were "talking" with.  If I had not know better, I might have thought there were a lot of disagreements going on.
The food was a traditional Wigilia Christmas Eve event.  What I remember the most is the two dishes, Uszka and Barszcz.  The taste was exotic to my mid-western fried foods taste buds. Not to mention the coloring. Beets were a side dish usually, sliced and/ or pickled for us.  The Barszcz was pink!  I had never had pink soup before.  The taste was great.
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

52 years later, the Polish party at my Aunt's house stands out in my mind. Can't believe it is just now being written about. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 Santa

A hero moment here.
When he was small, he and his brother visited Santa. As he grew, he loved playing Santa. When he reached his white hair and beard time period, he was mistaken for Santa.
I believe.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Advent Calendar Christmas Memories 2011 Outdoor Lights

Last year's visit to the Christmas lights.  Won't go this year they are 5 hours away.
Outdoor light have always been something we loved, but did on a very small scale. Lights around a window or around the porch.  We did love to drive around and see the more elaborate lights. Last year I blogged about the outdoor decorations. 
My most memorable year of viewing Outdoor lights was around 1959.  My parents decided to have a Christmas vacation and we went to visit my aunt who lived in Albuquerque.  There were many fun things around this visit, but the Luminarias Tours was one I would never forget. We did not take pictures.  The small lunch sacks with sand and candles in them, and their being set from the street to the tops of the houses was so beautiful! (If you missed it, you can click on the Lumiarias Tours in the sentence and see a picture) I couldn't believe that either the owners or someone hired by them would vigilantly watch the candles and if one went out, they would replace or relight.  I know there are electrical Luminarias you can purchase now, but it was more than the lights themselves. It was the background of the Spanish style homes, and walls that was so very beautiful. It really felt like maybe you had gone back in time. Visions of old style Spanish missions floated in my head.  Maybe, it was a forerunner to my love of history.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Still Makes Me Smile

The last few weeks I have had several occasions to be driven by my son.  I have a tendency to tense  up or grab for the arm rest as we come to a stop or are changing lanes on the freeway.  My son thinks I am funny and will reassure me that he drives to work and home every day.  I laughingly tell him that I say a prayer for him every day.
The conversation turned to his dad and how he handled my driving when he was sick.  The thought made me think, maybe this is pay backs.  I then had to giggle, because the Hero would grab for the handle or shake his finger at me and say "I don't know what you are going to do without me.  I am not sure you will survive."  I would just look at him with a smile and say "Not very well."
Well, Hero, I am still going, but it was so much more fun when you were here.
Miss you.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 Christmas Tree Ornaments

Once again I am falling short in the picture area.  When my first 4 grandchildren were born, I made each of them a personalized Holly Angel hand sewn ornament.  I customized the angel to have the same color of hair and any other marks to match them.  When they moved away, I gave them the ornaments to keep.  I am also about 12 ornament behind for the rest.  My what happens when you are having so much fun.  I loved making the ornaments and still have the patterns for making the others. Here is one of the patterns. I saved the instructions because the patterns were not available any longer.  The plan is to finish when I settled down in my life one of these days.
Holly Babes Needlepoint ornaments.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Advent Calendar Christmas Memories 2011 Holiday Foods

Last year I wrote about the Hero's grandmother's Rum Balls.  Those are still in the oldest daughter's memories.  My food memory is of my mom's Date Roll Candy.  It was a process, not a a quick candy.  I looked forward to her making it, the recipe book she used has been  lost or she gave it away, but I found a recipe on the internet that I think is pretty close. Date Roll Candy.  She only made one and would watch closely and ration it out, because it was so rich.  Yummy stuff, may have to make some this year.

I don't write much about my mom. It hurts that the dementia has taken her from me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent of Christmas Memories: Christmas Tree Wars

1st year in our own home.

Now, why would I say 'Christmas Tree Wars'.  Let's say it was for lack of a better way to express the recent memories shared by my son and daughter when reminiscing about their father and decorating the Christmas tree.
I was visiting with my son and daughter-in-law at Thanksgiving. The subject of getting a Christmas tree came up.  My son said, "You don't like decorating the Christmas tree do you, mom." (Said more as a statement not as a question.)
I was surprised then, smiled.  Before they were old enough to help, their dad and I would decorate the tree.  The Hero loved "perfect lights" on the tree, then he would let me put on the ornaments, next he put on the garland and finished it with icicles.  Okay, he had a plan and allowed me in on it. ; )
3 teen age children helping.

I told my son, I loved helping when they were young, but when they were old enough to help, I got the decorations out and let them and their dad have the pleasure together.  The Hero would sing carols as they worked together.  My daughter-in-law laughed and said that must be where my son got his obsession with the lights.
I stopped by my daughter's home when returning from my son's.
She was decorating her Christmas tree, or maybe I should say she was putting on the lights.  I am giggling as I write this, because it reminded me so much of her dad.  No one was to touch the lights.  They had to be just right, no blank spots, full color, and evenly spaced.
Some traditions are handed down...even when it is not intended.
Now I am waiting for my youngest son to put the tree up at my house. It will be fun to see what he does.
Hopefully my other children will stop by and leave their comment on how the Christmas tree was decorated.