Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

2009 ends with a lovely family dinner, followed with a stroll about town, greeting friends. Perfect.

Christmas Part II

The reality of 21st century life for many families with parents of a certain age is that our children and our children's children ultimately will settle far from the family homestead. Honestly, I do understand that careers beckon and, truth be told, I love visiting our daughter's home, even though we all grouse about the day-long drive to get there. However, because we were in North Carolina for Christmas, we were unable to share Christmas with our son and his new bride, but that is what today is about! It seems somewhat removed to have Christmas on New Year's Eve day, but we are doing it, and it finally feels okay. I am coming to terms with the need to stretch and change traditions as our family blends and expands, and that is a beautiful thing....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Post Christmas Strays

For months leading up to Christmas, my knitting has been focused on making gifts. But now the gifts are (almost) all given, and I am left to think about more leisurely and serendipitous knitting. Yesterday, I ordered some purple yarn to make the Big Sack Sweater from Stitch'N Bitch. Until it arrives, I thought I would use up some stray balls of yarn, piling up. I made a couple more Bulky Mittens and started a Neck Warmer/headband. Quick and easy gratification both!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Some of my most favorite Christmas presents...

were spending time (wrestling and playing "Go Fish") with red-robed Alexander, finishing (Christmas Eve!) the Shalom cardigan for my darling daughter Barbara; and gathering our family (as many of them who could be there) around a North Carolina Christmas tree...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gifts of Writing

I have a traditional, before-holiday break activity that I do each year with my high school students--it is called "Gifts of Writing." This year I added "Reading" to the descriptor so today was the day of "Gifts of Reading and Writing."

A little backstory. Each night, my students are required to read 15 minutes of a book of their choosing; that is their primary homework assignment. When I announced this in the early fall, these kids (all struggling readers and writers) groaned audibly. Today, the gift we gave each other was to bring in a book we had read and chat about it..a book club of sort for teenagers who would "never-no-way-ever" be in a book club. The conversation was heartwarming, and I now wish I had turned on a tape recorder. Our following activity was to make a "gift of writing." More groans. I described to them my desk drawer full of notes, letters, special programs, newspaper clippings, and cards--all gifts of writing that preserve time, occasions, and loved ones for me. I challenged them to think of one person- a friend, a parent or grandparent, or even (gasp!) a teacher who would cherish a gift of their words. They roll their eyes in disbelief. But it never fails, and today was no exception. I gave them some ideas of forms, provided models, pretty paper, piled up usable cards, and put out ribbon, glitter and glue. By the end of the period, I was writing late passes, passing out more cards, and oohing and ahhing over what they have produced. Later in the day, five kids returned to make "just one more...."

And here is the coolest cookie I have ever seen, presented to me from one of my at-risk learners. My last name, written in cookie dough with READ! written in red on the first letter. A gift of me.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The end of December is upon us

and I have not posted one time. My shopping has concluded, the gifts were wrapped just this morning, the tree is up and decorated, the house looks festive, a few batches of caramel corn (destined for neighbors) sit on the counter,
I I am almost finished with my gift knitting, and today we have had a steady falling of light, white, snow. Beautiful.
Tomorrow is the last Sunday in Advent...."O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord."