Friday, December 28, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Memories

Christmas week started with a marathon afternoon of cookie baking. Before the day was over, we had made sugar cookies, gingerbread boys, and candy cane cookies. Chris stopped by on his lunch break, donned my apron, and rolled the sugar cookie dough.
All Dugan children participated in the event.
I wonder why Katie's body is missing and her head is on the counter.

The sugar cookies turned out lovely, don't you think?
As did the gingerbread boys.
On Sunday evening we had our annual Kapala Christmas event at the Kapala's house this year. As always, I brought the Christmas crackers and everyone wore their crowns.
Even Ann, Greg, and Terry.
Here are the kids coming into the living room to see what Santa left for them under the tree. No lumps of coal this year, as they have been nice and not naughty.
Mark, Nikki, and Will joined us later in the morning to see what Santa had brought them. Please don't ask me about Mark and Will's stockings, they will be ready by New Years, I promise. I'll bet ya $100.
The Christmas cake I mentioned in a previous post.
It was Mark's mom's 60th birthday,
so Todd (Mark's brother) and the fam came up from Ames to surprise her.
She was surprised.

Christmas Day dinner. More Christmas crackers. Don't we look festive?
The birthday girl and her kids and grandkids.
In the evening, as always, the Honeybaked ham materialized at 6:00 and people arrived to pay games, mingle, and nibble on treats.
The game in the dining room was Apples to Apples.

Here are some people mingling and nibbling on treats.
A new game was being played in the living room. Sort of a telephone like game involving drawing and writing descriptions of what was drawn.
Very fun.

And that was our Christmas. Now, if you'll excuse me,
I think I'll take a nap.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tim Hawkins - A Homeschool Family

Awkward, but funny

After a busy day, Terry and I were setting the table for dinner and there was a knock on the front door. I had just gotten off the phone with my sister-in-law Diane who mentioned that her husband Steve was stopping by to drop off some packages. So, when the knock came, I assumed it was Steve and headed for the door yelling, "Come in!"

As I got to the door, I noted that it was unlocked so I yelled again, "Come in, it's even unlocked!"

No one came in, so I opened the door to find our former neighbors, Paul and Sheilah, standing there with the annual Christmas cake! I laughed, welcomed them in, and we got all caught up on the year.They moved a couple miles away in 1993, but every year since 1984 when we moved in, they have delivered a pineapple upside down cake in the shape of a Christmas tree that we faithfully have for breakfast on Christmas morning. Moving away didn't stop them and we always look forward to seeing them. I love traditions like that and faithful friends.

I explained that I was expecting my brother-in-law and we laughed about my yelling, "Come in," before I knew who it was (really kind of a dumb thing now that I think of it). A few minutes later, Steve did arrive. He knocked and was greeted by Sheilah who looked at him and said, "Where have you been?" Without missing a beat, Steve said, "I've brought these for you," and handed her the bags of gifts, which she readily took.

I guess you had to be there, but it was pretty funny and we can't wait to eat our Christmas cake.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Mansion

Back in the day when Chris was still in high school, his literature class at Heritage Academy (aka homeschool) was A Beka American Literature. We read many great plays, poems, and stories, but the one I always remember was written by a Princeton educated author and Presbyterian clergyman named Henry van Dyke.

Henry van Dyke wrote dozens of short stories and I have only read a few. When we
were in Chicago for Julia's wedding in 2001, I remember going into an antique store in St. Charles that had volumes of old van Dyke short stories. They were $25 each and at the time I thought that was way too much, especially since there were many volumes in the set. But, I digress.

I like short stories for two reasons. They are short. And, they are stories. Can't beat that.

The Other Wise Man, is a great story by van Dyke and is tied for my favorite with this one.

The Mansion.

So, if you have time for a short story this Christmas, might I recommend The Mansion.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Leader of the band

I always thought this was a beautiful song and was sorry to read that Dan Fogelberg passed away this weekend.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Links

My nieces Reesha and Michelle are blogging and I enjoy reading about what they are doing in Brazil and West Bloomington. Thought you would, also. I have been enjoying their mom Nedra's blog and sister-in-law Cari's blog for months. Welcome to the blogosphere, Reesha and Michelle, I'm glad your here!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Worth the read

Terry's brother Pat wrote this after a recent trip. It's well worth the read.

Saturday's Mail

Mr. D received two items in the mail on Saturday. One was an offer for membership in AARP and the other was the utility bill
from the City of Bloomington.

I only received one item in the mail.
It was postmarked Crawford, TX.
It was from the White House.
It was from George and Laura.
Here it is.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I'm Amazed

Christmas 1979 was my first Christmas as a mother.

So, what's a new mother to do in the weeks before Christmas. Sew Christmas stockings for her family, of course! I went to the fabric store and settled on a Vogue pattern that had lots of lovely Christmas projects. That year I made a stocking for Terry, me, and new baby Nicole. I also made one for my sister, my dad, and my mom. And, just because I was in the sewing mood, I believe I made one for my old "sinkmate" Teres.

The years went by and soon a stocking was made for precious little Christopher, followed by sweet baby Katherine, then darling Timothy, and the last stocking was sewn with care for adorable Beth just in time for Christmas 1994.

Mark and Nikki were married in 2005 and I had great hopes of having one ready for him, but the pattern was nowhere to be found, so I had to grab him a "stocking substitute" at Target. It was green velvet with an "M" on it and it hung the wrong way. In the 70's the style was for the stocking to hang with the toe facing left, but alas, the look of the new millennium is for the toe to hang to the right. So, Mark's stocking always hung facing the wrong direction. I was worried that he might feel that with the green velvet stocking hanging the wrong way that we were sending negative vibes his way and somehow feel unwelcome which certainly is not the case. We love Mark.

So, I kept looking for that pattern. And looking. And looking, but it was not to be found.

Then, baby Will arrived and I realized once again my dilemma. Where was that pattern?

Tonight, I was looking on e-Bay. Now, I don't normally look on e-Bay for things. And, while I have gone there looking for the G. I. Joe tank complete with turret that fits over a child's bed that Chris had seen in the Wishbook when he was little and we never purchased, I really never knew what else to look for on e-Bay. I'm still searching for the tank, Chris, but back to the stockings.

All of a sudden it came to me. Put the words "Vogue Christmas Stocking" in the search part. And, there it was. The very same pattern. All intact, only now listed as "vintage 70's pattern". It was $6.99 with $3.50 shipping. Terry helped me figure out Pay Pal and in a few days I will have in my hands the pattern I have been looking for. I will embroider Mark and Will (thankfully they have short names since I decided that it was important for the Christmas stocking to have full names, not nicknames).

And, now, may I introduce to you, all the way from the 70's, Vogue pattern 1312.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

Elf Yourself

It's the latest rage.

A little leaven has elfed Hillary, Obama, Rick Warren, and Brian McClaren.

But, it's hard to beat these elves (except maybe if Katie sends me the link to her, Chris, Tim, and Beth elfed.)

First Sunday of Advent

Yesterday was a snow day for us.

While we probably technically could have "gone" to church, the snow plow decided to dump a couple of feet of packed snow at the end of our driveway just about the time we would have had to leave. Of course we still were in our PJs when that happened, so we wouldn't have made it in time anyway.

Instead, I went back to bed and Mr. D did some online research for the service of the church that occasionally meets at the Dugan manse.

Since yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, he incorporated the lectionary readings for the First Sunday of Advent into our service, we sang some Christmas carols, and enjoyed a message from John Piper via the little red Joy booklet that Terry had picked up at Bethlehem a couple weeks ago.

Doing the lectionary readings and thinking about the church calendar got me thinking about how much evangelicals (of which I guess I am one, I haven't fully decided yet) tend to have a strong distaste for things "churchy". Things like lectionaries, and creeds, and church calendars. I suppose anything done by rote can become meaningless. But then, so can the average evangelical service. Sing the worship songs while you clap a certain way, give the announcements, take the collection, it's just a different sort of doing things by rote. Not so high churchy rote.

The lectionary, for example, gives you readings from the entire Bible. You get the whole picture and Christianity doesn't end up as just a "to-do" list from Paul's letters.

Anyway, I found this link on George Grant's blog about the church year and how it is all done to help us tell the Gospel story and wanted to share.

And, don't forget that December 6th is St. Nicholas Day.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Black Friday Impulse Purchase

On Thanksgiving morning, Mr. D and I headed over to the Galleria to Starbuck's to pick up the newspaper. It's the only time we ever purchase a Star Tribune. And, we didn't buy it for the articles, we bought it for the ads.

I passed on the Sears flyer, but Mr. D paged through it and pointed out that the pub table that we had stumbled upon in Sears a couple weeks earlier was one of their early bird specials on Black Friday. Instead of the $199 price tag it would be $99 until noon or so on Friday.

We got up bright and early and headed to Macy's and Penney's at Southdale. Then, since it was only 8:00 or so, we headed over to Sear's at the MOA to check out the table to see if it was as nice as we remembered. It was. So, in the long line we went to buy the table. I was remembering that the ad featured a $10 off a purchase of $50 coupon and was debating whether or not I really wanted to walk back to the car for $10 and just as I was thinking that it would be a good idea to walk back to the car and get the coupon, the nice lady behind us in line heard our conversation, was sure her purchases wouldn't total $50 and offered us her coupon.

We let her go ahead of us just to make sure she was under the $50 and, sure enough, the coupon was no good for her, so it was ours to use. Thank you nice lady in line at Sears on Black Friday. You made it possible for the Dugans to get this lovely pub table and 4 stools for $89. What a deal!

For those of you who know our basement,the "wall of guitars" will be replaced by black Billy bookshelves from Ikea and this lovely pub table will go between the couch and the bookshelves. It will be great for playing games, working puzzles, and holding the projector when Chris comes over so we can watch movies on his projection TV dealie.