Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve 2009/2010!

Once in a blue moon there is one on New Year's Eve.

Revelers ringing in 2010 will be treated to a so-called blue moon. According to popular definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a month. But don't expect it to be blue - the name has nothing to do with the color of our closest celestial neighbor.

A full moon occurred on Dec. 2. It will appear again on Thursday in time for the New Year's countdown.

So...if you're out tonight, look up in renewed wonder.

I give you these words from Martin Luther:

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth .

Happy New Year, family and friends. Get ready for good things to come in 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

For We Need A Little Christmas!

The goodness of Christmas always deck our halls on Christmas day. It doesn't get any better than this...unless ofcourse, more of you were there!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sabonis-Chafee Caroling Party

Way back when Mike and Kim were in high school, we began a tradition of caroling at Christmas. In the early years we invited a few friends to sing and come back for chili. Our group would always return from caroling with far more people than we had when we started! Neighbors would join us to spread the joy. Well, it kept evolving; one year it was pouring down rain so we all gathered in the kitchen at Shiver Summit and people would shout out phone numbers that we would call and carol to over the phone. Then there was the year that we were in between homes and we rented the "Town Square Delicatessen" of the apartment complex we lived in. We stood on the town green, in front of the lighted fountain and beautiful Christmas trees and caroled up to the apartments above. People flung open their windows to listen. There were also times that Shannon would come dressed as Santa Claus and sing, solo; "Rudolf with you nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight", when the carolers sang Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer, for the children that came to the doors.

As Mike and Kim's friends got older and their generation started to multiply, Kim took over the annual tradition, and we moved the party to Roswell. Mike makes his famous turkey chili, Tom his smoking HOT chili and I make mild chili for the children. Kim welcomes us into their beautiful, candle-lit home with the halls decked out in Christmas finery. Chips and dips, crackers and cheese, ham and biscuits, cookies and bars and cookies and cookies. It's a smorgasbord of culinary delights! She does such a lovely job putting all that together.
But that's not the best part. The best part is that the joy of Christmas abounds. As we don the red scarfs that I made so long ago at Shiver Summit, one notices that the children are excited and that they know just what to do. It has become their party too, and they honor it as such. They are fully in charge of the passing of the jingle bells and the ringing of the door bells. They sing and eagerly eat the treats offered at the homes of a generous audience.

"Oh come let us adore Him." (Boys), "Oh, come let us adore Him." (Girls), "Oh, come let us adore, CHRI-IST. THE LORD." (All)! We sing, as our leader (Kim) taught us. What a joy to "go tell it on the mountain!" It's the one night that I can truly say it's about the Christ child.

So, in the tradition of the Carolers as we leave each house, "We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Popcorn balls and Hobo Dinners...

Would you believe that I was having such a good time with my granddaughters last night that I only took two pictures! Well, it's true. Emily, Morgan and Issy came over to spend the night and we just had a lovely time.

Before Morgan arrived Joe got to stay with Em, Issy and me, while his mom went for a run in our neighborhood so she could experience some different scenery. We took advantage of the time and made POPCORN Balls! They were about as much fun to make, as to eat, and the girls did a great job following Joe's lead making them uniformly the size of baseballs.

Later that evening, I called the girls up from the basement, where they were playing on Morgan's new Christmas mini laptop, to help with dinner. I cut up chicken and vegetables and the girls put together hobo dinners. Another great job! Not only did they make them perfectly, but they enjoyed eating them as well. My grandchildren love to make their own dinners!

For Beth: Recipe for HoBo Dinners...

Ingredients, per dinner:

hamburger patty (we used chicken strips)
potato slices
baby carrots
canned green beans
squash slices (optional)
sliced onions (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
cream of mushroom soup
Lipton Onion soup mix

If using lean meat, butter the center of a sheet of foil (about 25"long)
Place meat in the center and surround it with a serving of each vegetable.
Salt and Pepper generously.
Dollop the top of meat with (maybe an 1/8 cup) cream of mushroom soup.
Sprinkle about a tablespoon onion soup mix on top of mushroom soup.

Loosely, bring up the long ends of foil together, fold slightly, then crimp sides to seal package.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

(The soups should mix together with the juices from the meat to make a tasty gravy.)
Originally these were cooked over an open camp fire with just meat, onions, potatoes and carrots, therefore, Hobo dinners!

I feel very special to have my own built-in slumber party guests. They are such great kids that I want to do it again and again!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A White Christmas in New York!

Knowing the thrill I get from falling snow, Kate has Skyped me a couple of times, raising the bathroom window and holding her body and her computer out in the cold to show me the glorious frozen precept.

Oh what wonderful snow cream that much snow would have made when I was a child! Daddy would have chopped up candy canes to make peppermint snow cream or added choco, lemons, any varity of things to make it new and interesting. Then we would go for a snow trip! Yes, a snow trip! Daddy always made an adventure out of snow.

Thanks, Kate, these pictures were a treat to receive. I hope the weather doesn't keep you from coming home for Christmas but I too would love to be singing, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

From the House of the First Born...

As Christmas draws nearer, the trees grow brighter. God has blessed us with so much in this family. Mike just sent me the beautiful tree that proudly stands in the den of the home he, Mary, Joe and Isabelle share. Mary has done such an incredible job bringing in the sight and sounds of Christmas. She is checking her list, and checking it twice...I know because I've talked to her while out shopping for those she loves. She always seems so joyful.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Family Christmas Tree

I know three kids that are going to be very happy under this tree on Christmas morning. Thanks Kim for sharing your family tree with those of us who read Chatterbox. We are looking forward to seeing it in person at the annual Caroling Party this Sunday. (If you're in Atlanta, and didn't get an evite, give me a call and I'll see about getting you an invitation!) It's always a great night.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First fake trees for the SSC family!

The SSC family is going out of town this Christmas to be with other family members in Florida. Well, Shannon decided that getting a real tree would just be too much for such a short period of time. So, while walking through Walmart he picked up a green, white and pink bottle brush tree in hope that the colorful forest would please the family and not shed needles if it had to stay up for a while after Christmas. Disappointed as Molly might have been, at not having her traditional tree, she was a team player and went along with another one of Shannon's unconventional ideas.

I kinda like the whimsical look myself!

Send me pictures of your tree. It will be fun to share them.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas doings with the S-C family

Today was a day filled with Christmas activities. Church was a good place to notes read things like; "Christmas is Merry because Jesus came to set us free, not because of the gifts under the tree." "It is impossible to live like Christ unless we know Christ." "Give all your sins to Him and you will find peace."

After Church the S-C family (our children/grandchildren and fellow worshipers) took us to their club for our annual Christmas brunch together. What a treat to share this time with them! The food is always good, the company a pleasure and afterwards we get to go down stairs and have a visit with Santa himself! Use to, the singing of the Messiah at Westminster and the Lawyer's Club Christmas Party would kick off the season for me. But now, I think it's this afternoon brunch that starts to get me excited!
Grandad and I came home for a short rest then headed back to the church for children's Christmas Nativity. It was a huge event and we all watched proudly as William played the part of a Shark (Shark, you ask?...something to do with ALL creatures.)
He was a very good shark. (below, William is the big fish in the
Whatever you are doing to prepare for Christmas Day, I hope you are feeling the spirit too. I can't wait to see all of you.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Remembering Daddy

My white hair was a gift from my Daddy. I wonder what he would have thought about it? Today, along with Mom and my siblings, I am remembering and celebrating his "dash"...5/4/24-12/8/05. (See queentalks)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bethann, Esq. Visits Father's Law School

Terrence got a call a few days ago. It was daughter Beth, calling from the campus of Michigan Law School. I could hear the pride in his voice when he told her places on the campus he wanted her to see: "You must go to the law library....., then, go upstairs on the second floor of the law school building and look for a plaque on the wall and see if you can find my name."

Well, Beth did all those things and even sent pictures to prove it. She found the plaque commemorating Terrence's victory in the Advanced Moot Court "Campbell Competition" in 1964. Although not shown on the wall, he recalls that he also won the prize for the best brief, and at the awards banquet following the final argument, which was presided over by a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Terrence was appointed Chief Judge of the first year moot court program for the following year. All in all it was a big day for him.

Beth made her father feel very special to be able to share those memories with her.
Thanks Beth, for sharing your visit with us. I hope you were as proud as of your father as I am.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mary's Day

Tomorrow is Mary's birthday! If I had an angelic voice I would figure out how to add audio of myself singing, "Happy Birthday To You", as you read this post on Chatterbox. Oh well, as it is, just know that you put a song in my heart and I will be singing your praises on your birthday.

I love you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving, Kate's way...

I got these picture off facebook from one of the many that were lucky enough to grace Kate and Jeremy's Thanksgiving table. Her dishes sounded so amazing that I can't even attempt to describe them. How she managed to cook so well and serve so many in a small New York apartment, I'll never know. But I do know (because I know her) she makes everyone feel welcomed in her home.

Kate, you are welcome to post some of those delicious recipes on Chatterbox. Good job, sweet girl, I'm proud of you!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 2009

Emily made the placemats for Mimi and Grandad and the children's table.

We prayed together a humble prayer of thanksgiving.

We served ourselves amazing food; cooked by all!

We ate!

We laughed

We enjoyed our time together.

It's been a wonderful day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

For all that God has given me, I am truly grateful, but for you, who love me and those that I love, my cup runneth over.

Wishing you a Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for. You will be in my prayers of thankfull praise. Merry

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Survival Game

The following slide show should be viewed with caution. It contains survival games that only 13 year olds would endure for a buddy on his birthday. It includes not only sleeping outside in the cold and cooking their own dinner, but also: making your own death defying cookies, an obstacle course blindfolded with only the help of team guidance to get through, face freezing, undiluted lemon juice drinking, eating vomit and booger flavored jellybeans, searching for handcuff keys in a vat of slimy spaghetti to free a handcuffed teammate, sucking vegetables (baby food) from a straw and transferring the yuck to a cup, oatmeal face planting, dads giggling at you and oh, so much more! It was horrible…but they all survived with the encouragement of their teammates.

It was a night to remember for teams: The Dead Crickets and The Jackalopes (The Jackalopes being the winners!).

The Survival Game Camp-Out 11/09 from Croft on Vimeo.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Open Letter from Tom

I know Tom sent this letter to many of his family members but I felt he spoke his heart and it needed to be part of the Chatterbox files. Thank you, Tom, for sharing your pride and joy. I, for one, could feel the warmth of the fire.

My son became a teenager today. I'm so proud of the boy he is and the man he's becoming.

Two weeks ago, he and I celebrated the end of an 18 month journey together. A Father/Son program through our church designed to offer boys a Christian perspective on manhood. It involved a novel and separate father and son study guides, then culminated in a camp out ceremony. Andrew now has his own real sword to mark the occasion. A part of that ceremony was a letter written from each dad to his son. Following is an excerpt from mine.

I am so proud of you. I am proud of your talents and accomplishments; your servant heart; how you give of yourself to your little brother, how you love and support your little sister. I am proud of the respect and honor you show your mother, both alone and in front of others. It’s a great indication of how you will treat women as you grow, and it warms my heart. I am proud of everything you are and are becoming. I can see you allowing God to work in you ... And it humbles me. It fills me with joy and sorrow; anticipation and apprehension. It’s difficult to look ahead and see the point of letting go on the not-so-distant horizon. I can’t wait for the emerging man, but I mourn the loss of the fleeting child...

...Pray for direction over what you can control and for obedience and acceptance in the areas that are in God’s control. If you do that, you can guard against fear. For if you abide in Christ, you can rest in the knowledge that that His perfect plan is in place. You need only listen and follow. Remember the words of Paul. “ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

There was much more, but the rest is top secret. It was fun, touching, memorable. Hopefully an important and defining moment in Andrew's transition into teenhood.

That same weekend, Andrew finished his run of the middle school play, "How to Eat Like a Child." Since entering middle school in 5th grade, he has been a part of all 5 shows. He's shown his talents in everything from support to lead roles to musical solos. In an interesting side note, he has spoken the first word or sung the first note in three of the five shows (including this one). This show was an ensemble cast in which Andrew displayed impressive comic timing in a show that was fun, silly and very enjoyable. Andrew, through his own talent and an awesome middle school theatre program has had the opportunity to become quite a fine actor at a relatively young age.

As soon as the show was over, Andrew went directly into swim practices and participated in his first Wesleyan swim meet on Saturday. Dare I say, he performed swimmingly. He really looked great, especially considering he has only been a summer swimmer, up against a whole lot of obviously year-round swimmers. He swam in two solo events and two relay events and kept his team in the mix.

Throughout all this, he has kept up impressive grades as well. Recent test scores even had him selected to participate in the Duke Early Talent Search. This is a program which allows him to take the SATs this year with a select group of 7th graders. It gives him a "practice round" and puts him in a group Duke will be keeping their eyes on over the coming years.

It's a lot for a thirteen-year-old and his parents to be proud of. And we are. We can't believe he is becoming a teenager, but here he is. And we couldn't be more pleased with what we see.

We love you, Andrew. May God bless your life. Happy 13th Birthday!
*I get to hear success stories like this one from the parents of all our nine. It never ceases to amaze me. Then when I have the opportunity to experience it first hand, like the past four days alone with Joe (Andrew too!), it just blows me away.
For me, for ALL of you, I will "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." (Colossians 4:2).

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A word of Invitation and Thanksgiving from Kim and Tom

Join Tom and me as we celebrate our oldest child turning 13 today!
It is a joy watching him grow into the man. His gentle spirit, wit and passion for life and others fills us up! Thank you to all those who have come along side Andrew and have in some way helped shape him. I look forward to the years ahead and thank God for the 13 awesome years that have past.

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 3:14

Tom and Kim

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A Big Week!

Kim and Tom celebrate their 19Th Wedding Anniversary! Thanks for your faithful example. It is a joy seeing you two together!

Morgan and Ford (Ford's first!) go to Chattanooga to race in a Soapbox Derby Race!

Joe's team (The Colts) win their first play off game!

Andrew swam in his first meet for the Wesleyan Swim Team!

Grandad goes to NYC and gets to visit with Kate!

Mike and Mary go to Amelia Island for pleasure and an annual seminar. AND They celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary, honoring their marriage commitment and life together. Beautiful!

Issy gets to stay with her other grandparents while Joe stays with me!

Mimi and Joe went to see This is it!

Mimi and Joe have dinner with the S-Cs!

Joe and Andrew spend the night with Mimi!

AND...Andrew turns 13 years old on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! Life keeps happening every day.
and we're saying, YES!

To God be the glory.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Joe's Days with Mimi in November

Joe is staying with me (4-8) while his parents are on a yearly trip to a legal program in Florida. We have done this for many years and other than having to get up before daylight, in order to get him across town to school, he is a delight to have around. This year Grandad is also out of town and I am finding Joe really good company. I am praying for safe travels for everyone and for us to enjoy our time together. I am aware that they are precious.
Note: Joe does his homework without complaint. :) Smart boy!