Friday, December 28, 2007

A Christmas to Remember

Our stockings were hung by the chimney (some with thumbtacks). Merry Christmas everyone. We had an interesting Christmas this year. It started out with Jackson getting some sort of stomach bug...long story short, we ALL got it. The count is at 10 people in the family who have passed it around all stemming from a 30 pound 2 year old. Crazy stuff! James and I were in bed all day Christmas day sick to our stomachs. Lana took care of the kids, who the day before was sick with the "bug." We didn't get to go to Christmas dinner and exchange presents with the fam or anything! It was a saltines and gatorade diet for us. One good thing about it was we saved ourselves from all of those calories!! I actually lost weight! Anyways, we are all feeling better. Enjoy the pics...

Jackson discovering that Santa had been to our house and left him presents....I think James was more excited than he was! His face is priceless!

Beau and Holly spent the night Christmas Eve and we all got up and opened our presents together!
Charlie enjoying the tissue paper. Merry First Christmas Charlie!
A massive dump truck from Uncle Beau and Holly! gee thanks guys :)
"his" and "his" chairs from Auntie Lana. They'll be put to use many times on rainy days for movies!! Jackson calls them "big boy chairs."
Quickly getting a coat and shoes (crocs, like they will keep your feet warm, yes folks, it was actually cold here on Christmas day) so he could test drive his new set of wheels....look closely it even has a water bottle holder ha!

Santa has been here!
Santa devoured the cookies Jackson left out for him!
Charlie checking out his new chair and his name apparently.
Big smiles! Ok, yes, Charlie's hair is really long. Everyone tells me to cut it because he has a mullet. I wanted to wait until he was at least a year old, but I might have to give in. Oh, and everywhere we go people say, "SHE is so cute." I am constantly telling strangers that SHE is a HE. One lady actually said, "Really?" I was dumbfounded. No lady, I don't know what the sex of my own child is..COME ON!

The Gilmore's new residence. We are enjoying being back in town, and I in a neighborhood with some civilization. The "country" wasn't cutting it for me anyways. However, we have to constantly tell Jackson that he in fact does have to put on pants or underwear or whatever item of clothing he is lacking at the moment to go outside and play. We don't want to be "those"neighbors :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

lil inspiration

Only a mother will truly appreciate this
...It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, "Who is that with you, young fella?" "Nobody," he shrugged. "Nobody?" The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, "Oh my goodness, nobody?" I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family - like "Turn the TV down, please" - and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, "Would someone turn the TV down?" Nothing. Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when you are." He just kept right on talking. That's when I started to put all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me. I'm invisible. It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not! No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30 , please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going she's going she's gone! One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees." In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: * No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. * These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. * They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. * The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."And the workman replied, "Because God sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women. ~ Nicole Johnson

Thursday, December 13, 2007

the stinker and the angel

Well, it's that time of year picture time. I was sort of dreading it. Didn't think we would get a great Christmas card picture of the Gilmore fam all smiling, looking at the camera. I was right. You will all see when you receive the Gilmore's Christmas card in the mail. Oh well. We'll try again next year. Charlie was the "angel" and you can guess who was the "stinker."
He was pooped from snapping so many photos he just fell right asleep. Eat your heart out Grandmas...
He's getting so big! Just this morning I went in to pick him up from his morning nap and he had rolled over!
This is right before he conked out :)
Just thought I'd share with you what our lovely photo session entailed. I tried everything from tic tacs to popsicles--even CANDY!! and nothing worked. Jackson was not to be bribed today, so he cried. (and cried and kicked and screamed).
I felt bad for our friend Tony, the photographer.
Hey, Merry Christmas everyone!
btw...Lana said "fyi...just because your homeless doesn't mean you get to slack on your blog"
So here you go folks.