Archive for December, 2007

As sung from the back seat of a car driving through the snow.

“The ice takes the pond.
The ice takes the pond
Hi-ho the derry-o,
The ice takes the pond.

The pond takes the snow.
The pond takes the snow.
Hi-ho the derry-o,
The pond takes the snow.

The snow takes the sidewalk.
The snow takes the sidewalk.
Hi-ho the derry-o,
The snow takes the sidewalk.”

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I’m taking a quick break from chocolate truffles, Smarty Party, triple chocolate fudge, Cranium, dark chocolates, and Are You Smarter than I Fifth Grader to announce the winners of the Lullaby CD, the giver of the amazing Advent basket, and to brush my teeth.

Before I reveal any identities, let begin by sharing the last few gifts from the wonder basket.

Here’s the candle I mentioned in my last post that I opened the day I smelled my neighbor’s spice candle.

The day after I bought my sister-in-law earrings and thought, “Hmm, maybe I should add earrings to my wish list, I opened

The day that we left for a long road trip, I opened

The day that I realized I forget to pack shower gel for stated road trip, I opened

The day I chewed my last piece of mint gum, I opened

And while many of you thought that mind reading gift basket may have the power to produce Uggs, there were no Uggs in the basket.

And there were no Uggs under the tree.


do not sigh,

because Ava and I now have a matching set of these:

It’s off to the pond we go! Thank you Meme and Papa (for mine), and Grandma Penny and Grandpa Lyle (for Ava’s)!!

As I unwrapped each of the gifts, I became more and more curious about the giver of the basket. How could she have boughten and wrapped all these gifts? How did she know so much about me? Why would she choose me to give so many sweet and thoughtful gifts to? And how did she know what I was going to need each day???

I was both excited and terrified to open the last gift.

The more sweet gifts I opened, the more I wanted to know the gift-giver. Not because I hope that she will give me more gifts, but because I have come to love the person behind the gifts. Through her presents, I have learned that she is thoughtful. She is kind. She is practical. She has good taste. She likes chocolate.

It occurred to me as I waited to open the final gift that Christ’s gifts similarly reveal his character and make me long to meet him. I don’t love Him for His gifts, I love what His gifts reveal about who He is. He is loving. He is kind. He is merciful. He is all-knowing and provides what I don’t even know that I need. Now I only know Him through His gifts, someday I will know Him face to face.

So with great excitement and trembling, I opened this:

and this:Dear Rachel,
I hope that Christ has revealed more of Himself
to you this Christmas season
and pray this basket has been
an expression of His deep love & sweet care.
Love, Christy

Oh Christy, my friend, my sister, thank you, thank you, not only from me but for the sweet readers who have enjoyed the gifts along with me. Thank you for creating this beautiful picture of Christ’s deep love and sweet care for us. I, for one, have been profoundly blessed. You are precious!Thank you feels so small, but this one is very full. Thank you!And now, I would like thank you for entering my contest and to present two of your with the “Moon in my Window” lullaby CD.

The CD goes to:……Kristi



Hurray for Kristi & Sara, your children will sleep more peacefully than they have in their entire lives (and that means you too), thanks to Leah and her lovely voice.Send your addresses to Pretty Leah at backtheroad@gmail.com and she will send you your sleeping pills, I mean, CD.Remember you can buy your own copy of “Moon in my Window” for only $6 (including shipping) by contacting Leah.

And while you are rocking your babes tonight, will you please say a prayer for Sweet Maisie and her family.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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merry christmas!

Wishing YOU a Very Merry Christmas!
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shined.” –Isaiah 9:2Rejoicing in the Light that came to give us Hope!

Merry Christmas
~Nate, Rach, & Ava

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Coming to you almost live is the Christmas story according to Ava.

Several weeks ago, Ava recited her favorite Christmas book while riding on her school bus on her way to see The Madeline Christmas Play. Her teachers enjoyed it so much they asked her to bring in her book and read it to her class.

That morning, I videotaped her reading the book in front of our Christmas tree so that I could share you the excitement with all of you. In the great family video mix-up of 2007, I taped over her reading when I went to her preschool Christmas program.

I cried. Then I called Nate and cried again.

Ava wiped my tears and graciously agreed to read it again for Nate’s family at our Christmas celebration on Friday night. The lighting may be dim and the sweet cousin may be chatty, but Ava still manages to tell us the story of Baby Jesus.


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Last Christmas, one of my favorite people who happens to house the most beautiful voice that I know recorded a lullaby CD for her friends and family. It is equally loved by Ava and I.

In addition to her own lullabies, Leah included our family’s favorite version of “Hush Little Baby.” The lyrics where take from Ava’s book by Sylia Long (with permission of course), and tell the story of a Mama sharing the beauty and wonder of creation with her child.

If I was as tech saavy as my husband, I would find a way to post one of the songs here, but I’m not and he is still sleeping off his beef tenderloin and pecan pie from last night’s oh so wonderful Christmas festivities. I can however, put up a link to Leah’s myspace page, and send you to the source. “Moon in my Window,” is written by Leah and the title song of the CD.

Grab your favorite blankie before playing “Moon in my Window,” for I assure you that you will be curled up and sucking your thumb before she is finished lulling you to sleep.

I have long wanted to share this CD with you and now I get to give out two CDs for Christmas!

Pretty Leah will mail a CD to two readers as a Happy Christmas present to you. To enter the contest, simply post a comment on this post before 2:30 AM Monday morning (have to give HuberHadley a fair shake). Ava and I will hold another official drawing and post the two lucky winners Christmas day.

Oh, and if you would like to purchase “Moon in my Window,” Leah is offering these CD’s to my readers and friends for $6.oo, including shipping. Simply send Leah an e-mail at backtheroad@gmail.com, and then settle into your rocking chair with your favorite cuddlebug.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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It’s time to sing again:

“On the twelfth day of Advent, my secret sister gave to me

Coffee for sipping
Cookies for dipping
Cutters for baking
Sprinkles for shaking

tissue for wrapping

Candles for burning
Paper for wrapping
Hot soothing tea
Bows, curling ribbon
Tree gift bags
Bird paper pad
and three shades of shiny lip balm!!

Oh, the song may have ended (thank goodness), but the basket is still bringing forth much fun and frivolity!See for yourself:

I know that I have already told you this, but I must say it again: this basket giver has the ability to read future thoughts.On the day that we are out of tape, I open tape. The day I need to wrap preschool teacher presents in a pinch, I open tissue paper and use the gift bags from a previous day (notice how the bird paper made a table runner).
The day Ava’s nose starts dripping, I open penguin tissue. The day I compliment my neighbor’s spice candle, I open an organic, soy-based “secret spice” candle. The day I’m craving chocolate, I open organic chocolate (Oh, wait that’s everyday).And here’s the whopper–one morning as Ava and I were driving to the store, we spied some children ice-skating. Ava is now the proud owner of shiny used ice skates cannot wait to try them out on our neighborhood pond. As we were discussing future ice-skating plans, I thought wouldn’t it be nice if I had a thermos to bring hot chocolate in. And that day, I opened…a thermos!

It’s starting to feel like a genie-wish basket!

There is only a few presents left, and I’m more eager than ever to find out who made this incredible basket.

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for a white elephant gift:

  • 1/2 liter of Sprite
  • 1 bag of ACT II microwavable KettleCorn
  • 1 DVD of Ocean’s Thirteen

Oh, wait the DVD is actually a rental from Red Box and there’s a note on the DVD: “Please return by 9 pm Sunday.”

Last night was our annual White Elephant Gift Party with our church small group. And my husband takes great delight in wrapping up the bizarre and random.

If you think his please-return-me-or-else DVD was clever, check out his Merry Mountain Dewsicles that he gave last year.

As ridiculous as they seem, Nate’s gifts have been the most stolen items both years. Oh, the power of pop (and humor).

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cake & popsicle

“Ava, we’re going to have cake for breakfast!”

“Well, maybe after we eat some lunch, we can have cake.”

“No, for breakfast, Ava. Do you want cake for breakfast?”

Well, I can have some after I eat my lunch.”

Not today, because today your breakfast is cake served with a ice cold Popsicle.

We are headed out of town tonight, so our fridge and pantry are quite bare. I have to pull the past few meals out of the freezer.

Blueberry coffee cake made with frozen blueberries and the Trader Joe’s pancake mix, and grape juice Popsicles.

Eat up, little Ava, this may be your only nutrients of the day. For lunch we’re having wrapping paper and tape with a side of ribbon.

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After Ava’s school buddy, Sarah visited today, all I have to say is two preschoolers are way easier then one preschooler! I couldn’t believe the space and freedom I was granted by the presence of another playmate. I hardly knew what to do with myself.

My friend Kirsten assures me that they novelty of another child wears off, but I’m not convinced.

Take a look at my list.

Thanks to Sarah, today I did not:

  • Wear a tiara
  • Eat wooden food
  • Hide from badgers
  • Braid pink pony’s purple hair
  • Glue glitter and gemstones on Gingerfoam Men
  • Voice a bunny or frog puppet
  • Morph into a human jungle gym

And here’s what I got to do:

  • Sweep the dust that multiplies on my floor.
  • Track down addresses for Christmas cards, update them in my Contacts, and finagle some mail merge thing.
  • Stand on my tiptoes on Nate’s desk and single-feed envelopes into the back of our printer, which is on shelf way above his desk. I’m 5’4″, Nate, I’m 5’4″.
  • Write notes on our Christmas cards and stuff them into envelopes.
  • Lick way too many envelopes.

Wait on second thought, maybe the first list is better.

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“Mama!! The badger is going to get you! He’s going to eat you, Mama!”

“Where, Ava, where?”

“He’s right there. He’s going to eat you all up. Badger, don’t eat my Mama! DON’T EAT MY MAMA!!!! Don’t eat her until my daddy gets home.”

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