Monthly Archives: December 2008

Snow-Grammy…

I went to visit my friends Amy and George today and was greeted by this wonderful Snow-Grammy.  Their kids had made it with the Christmas snow in memory of Grammy.  I had to get a picture – it was so precious…every part of it has symbolism of parts of life with Grammy.  She may be gone, but she is still bringing joy.

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A Gathering of Gallaghers…

So, we spent the weekend with John’s family.  With help from the girls, John and sisters-in-law we pulled off a nice buffet and had lots of laughs while visiting.  Unfortunately Ryan was home with the flu…as much as we missed him, we were glad he stayed home.  John’s Aunt and Uncle were with us as well and Isabel and Marge were a riot telling stories.  I have some on the camcorder, if I can ever get them off (a long evening of frustration which apparently only imovie ’08 wil resolve).  I was so glad that Hilary was willing to be our photographer.  Here are a few photos.

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They aren’t all blood to me, but they are family just the same and I love them!

A Heavy Heart…

Christmas Eve our friends, Amy and George, and their family were in an automobile accident.  All family members were fine, except for Grammy.  John and I went to the hospital that night and discovered that Grammy had broken the C6 in her neck and her health indicated other complications.  We talked to them Friday and Grammy was heavily medicated.  We stopped by the hospital tonight, on our way home from CT, as George and Amy were leaving.  Grammy passed away this afternoon. Grammy has lived with Amy and George for the last 3 years – she was Amy’s sidekick.  Grammy (Barbara) could not speak or move much more than her head and arms, but Grammy was joyful.  Grammy fully understood all that was going on around her and would give hugs, thumbs up and the most beautiful sounds of joy that I have ever heard.  Amy took Grammy everywhere.  The One Voice family was blessed to have Grammy at all of our rehearsals and we’d even hear her beautiful “music” sometimes.  I loved Grammy – she was full of life and joy in her frail body.  I will miss her smile and heart.  The whole family is “family” to me – my heart aches for them in their time of loss.  The joy comes in knowing that we will see Grammy again when Jesus returns!

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I took this at the Elfin Fair 12/5/08.

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I will miss your smile and your “thumbs up”!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

We did our traditional pizza and “White Christmas” last night (with a detour to the hospital to check on a friend who was seriously injured in an auto accident).  The girls sang all of the songs as they came on the movie.  Katie’s comment was, “Of course I know these songs – I’ve been listening to them for 19 years!”  After the movie we opened stockings.   This morning was presents and Breakfast Casserole.  The most memorable gifts were Insignia mini-camcorder for Lindsey (requested for use at school – such a devoted teacher…), Bamboo Fun for Hilary and Katie (I think I have created monsters with some of the things they have done to photos today), Powerblocks for John and a surprise of Canon FS100 camcorder for me!  John knows the way to my high-tech heart!

We spent the afternoon playing with our new “toys” and having a late lunch.  It is so nice to have all 3 girls here!  I wish the rest of the family was here – I’ve had Christmas with my family once in the last 12 years! It really stinks, but for right now it can’t be changed…maybe someday…soon I hope!

I pray you have had a wonderful time with friends and family.  Here are a few photos for your enjoyment.

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This was our tree on Christmas Eve.  We have some ornaments that always go on the tree…I saw this one on Hilary’s Facebook with a note that says…”He is always with us at Christmas…” it made me cry…happy/sad tears…

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Interesting Day…

We have a “refrigerator wanna-be” in our kitchen.  It was here when we moved into the house 6+ years ago and is about 3/4 the size a refrigerator should be.  We were given a used one about 3 years ago – it will not fit in our kitchen, but has resided in the laundry room where we fill it with all kinds of goodies that won’t fit in the “mini-refrig”.  When we came home from church yesterday the “grown-up” refrigerator had stopped working.  We knew it was on it’s way out (lots of LOUD noises) and is not worth repairing.  Unfortunately, we had to throw out almost everything in the freezer and refrigerator.  We salvaged what we could and then made spinach squares, sausage balls and little smokies in the crockpot and then froze the cooked food, except for the spinach squares…Yum!

It began snowing heavily during church and John had done one time of snowblowing by 4 PM.  Lindsey’s plane was still scheduled to land in Portland Sunday PM.  The original plan was that ALL of us would go; however, in case her plane was delayed etc., we decided I would be the one to go.  I left around 4:30 PM so that I could pick up a few things once in Portland.  My normally one hour trip took two hours.  The roads were fairly clear until I got to Portland.  I pulled into the A.C. Moore to pick up something for Katie and Lindsey called to say her flight had been cancelled.  I had brought a few things in case I needed to stay in a hotel so I wasn’t too stressed until she called back and said that all flights to Portland were booked, but they could get her in TUESDAY NIGHT!!!  Crazy!  They offered to put her on a plane to Boston that night, so I told her to take it and then call me and I’d give her C & J Bus Line information to get her to Portsmouth.  It was now 7 PM.  Instead of going home for a few hours and then heading to Portsmouth I decided to just go from Portland to Portsmouth and wait at C & J for a few hours.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  I grabbed a wonderful Peppermint Mocha Latte from Starbucks and headed South on I-95.  The road was HORRIBLE and visibility was pretty much 0%.   I went at a snails pace and did OK, even though it was stressful.  Crazy people were passing me going 45 mph (I was doing about 25 mph) and I would see them further up the road stuck in a snowbank…hmmm. It reminded me of the time we drove from Lenox, MA to Deroit, MI across the Trans-Canada Highway in a blizzard.  Dad had been speaking at Berkshire, but had to get back to preach on Sunday at the church in MI.  I remember Melodie and I laying down in the backseat trying not to look out the front window because it was scarey not being able to see anything but white.   Once I got to Wells the snow let up and the roads were better,  It took me almost 2 hours to get to Portsmouth.  I got something to eat and went to C & J.  The snow eventually stopped and the wind picked up and was swirling snow everywhere.  Lindsey’s flight was delayed several more times, but she eventually landed in Boston around 11:30 PM and took the 12:10am bus to Portsmouth.  The roads were bad, so the bus did not get in until about 2:45 AM.  We arrived home at 4:00 AM – about the time John was getting up for work.  It was a LONG day/night and an adventure I would rather not repeat, but we made it home.  We are both a little beat today, but have gotten a few things done in preparation for Christmas.  Hilary taught Lindsey how to use Guitar Hero.  I took this photo with my phone…it isn’t great, but I like the way the lights on the tree look.  I hope you have had a wonderful day and that is is NOT snowing where you are.  We are expecting more snow Christmas Eve – we got 2 feet in 2 days…

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What a Thoughtful Touch…

We ended up with 9″ of snow last night and flurries most of today. Hilary made her quick roundtrip to CT for Andrew’s family’s Christmas party. I did laundry and made 3 Pumpkin Rolls to put in the freezer and ran a bunch of errands.  One of those stops was at the Post Office.  Imagine my surprise when we had a letter from Unionville Elementary School – where Lindsey teaches.  Inside the envelope  was a letter telling us about the impact our child is making on the students of the school and a picture of Lindsey with some of her students.  I shed a tear.  I am sure many other parents got the same letter and a photo of their child, but I was so impressed and appreciative of the thoughtfulness of the school Principal.  Thank you Sharyn VonCannon – you are a wonderful example of caring and support for those who work under your direction, as well as the students, parents and community you serve.   Here is the photo

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Yes, I am still around – I just haven’t had time to do a long post and put up some pictures until now.  Right now the Christmas tree is lit and surrounded by a mountain of presents and my wonderful Soyfire candle makes it smell like a real tree. Katie is upstairs with a headache, John is sacked out on the couch and Hilary just finished making a double batch of Orange Balls.  School is now done and I don’t got back until January 5, 2009! I get a full 2 weeks off!  Hooray!! We are in the middle of a snowstorm.  It looks beautiful outside, but I am glad I am inside where it is nice and warm.  With the wind chill it is predicted to go to -7 tonight…BRRRR!  More snow is expected for Sunday and Lindsey is supposed to fly from Charlotte to Portland on Sunday PM.

The One Voice performances of One Quiet Night are now over, as of Sunday PM.  We had a full house for each of the 3 performances.  Everything came together and it really was wonderful.  Due to snowstorms, we ended up doing our Dress Rehearsal AND 2 shows on Saturday!  I guess the most memorable moments were during the Matinee.  One of our two big light boards that were filled with flashlights that spell the word “LIGHTS” fell over right before they were to be on stage for the song “Riggin’ Up the Lights”.  People quickly got all but two back in place and the light show was a BIG hit.  Before and after the song I had people moving props out and back from the “pit” area.  We were in the middle of the most serious part of the show and the main character was singing “Word of God, Speak” when the stage manager told me to look at the monitor and then off the stage…that there were paramedics taking a guy out from the front row on a stretcher!!! I couldn’t believe it, but sure enough the house lights were up and they were there.  We decided to let the Carrie finish her song and if they were still there we would stop the show.  I went to find John and see if he knew what was going on.  He said he thought he had heard someone fall off the stage when he was moving props back, but didn’t see anyone and really didn’t think anyone could do that with all the glow tape we had everywhere.  I looked again across the stage and realized it was Dale, one of our people, being carried out by the paramedics!  By the time Carrie finished singing they were out the door and the show continued.  Dale’s wife and daughters finished the show and then went to the hospital to check on him. Believe it or not, he was there for the second performance! He has done damage to his knee, but he actually came to all of the performances and watched.  He told me he knew he was supposed to go in between 2 monitors, but for some reason he went around the second monitor to go get his prop – and there was no stage or steps.  He laid there and figured his wife, who was also supposed to go down the steps and get a prop, would see him, but she forgot to go move her prop!  SOOO there he lay until a person in the front row called 911!  We were oblivious to ALL of what happened until the paramedics were in the auditorium.  WOW!!  I am so thankful Dale is OK and that we didn’t have that much excitement at the rest of the performances.  After the show John, Hilary, Andrew, Katie and Alex took me to Patrick’s for my birthday dinner – it was great!  Below are some photos taken by Hilary and my friend Krisin Brown.  Thanks ladies for your wonderful photography and willingness to share. ALSO, the box set was AMAZING – beyond what I had asked or imagined (hmmm-sounds like something from the Bible).  It was in 2 parts and they were rolled in for the drama scenes.  PS-ALSO, the backdrop for the waltz scene is an actual reproduction of Norman Rockwell’s Christmas on Main Street in Stockbridge, MA.  We paid a fee for the digital image to use for this weekend. On another note, John, Melodie and I went to college a few miles from Main Street, Stockbridge, MA.  Anyway…enjoy the photos!

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Ahhh…

Yesterday was a LONG One Voice day for me – left the house at 1 PM and got back at 9 PM.  John was on call for work and basically showed up and then had to leave…oh well.  I am not as stressed as I was about props etc. and things are falling into place.  We had a great day and church and at the Christmas Brunch that followed.  I sat in the corner at the Brunch and thought, God is bringing people and calling them in HIS way to our church family.  We have been blessed by folks who love children and all of the sudden have 4-5 families who are part of the foster care system and the kids they bring are receiving a lot of love from our people.  It was a nice time together and then I came home and slept for 2-1/2 hours – a much needed nap.

The rest of the day was spent cybershopping and watching part of the PATS game.  I will admit that we changed the channel when it appeared all was lost and didn’t know until LATER that the PATS had pulled it off!  I know Lindsey, bad PATS fans!

My parting thought is this video done by Katie, her roomate, Jess and their friends Tommy and Joshua.  Enjoy…

Holiday Happenings…

So, tonight I was the elf that helps children get their photos taken with Santa.  I wore my super-cool coil-spring lighted hat and ran the photo printer and made kids smile.  I had a great time – there were 5 elves and of course, Santa.  Our giving tree is up at school and I have already bought gifts for 4 names on the tree.  I hope to get them wrapped and back to school by Monday.  The kids had their Christmas Concert tonight and the Elfin Fair was going on.  It was BUSY, but a great time for everyone.

Tomorrow John and I have a 5 hour One Voice retreat.  Next week we have dress rehearsals in Guilford and performances begin Saturday afternoon. Sunday is the Christmas Brunch after church. Also, I was asked to teach my workshop for the paraeducators from all the other elementary schools at our inservice on next Wednesday! Yipee!  I love the software program and the chance to train people again.  Next week will be a blur…

Hilary was able to get some Christmas shopping done and is getting ready for finals next week; Katie is too. They will be home on 12/12. Lindsey took the plunge and bought a MAC tonight…since her computer has been on it’s last legs for months – this is a good thing.

The Swing Club at Eastern U had a “Charlie Brown Christmas” Dance Thursday.  Everyone was invited.  Katie helped teach some of the newbies some steps.  She and her dance partner went as Linus and Sally Brown…Here are a few photos.

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Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!