Sunday, December 30, 2007

Some hours spent with my choir family today

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, all of the Mass from the prayers, to the homily etc were mentioning family in one form or another. I felt a little sad and lonely that my family are far away in Ireland and I didn't get to see to spend this Christmas with them, especially since we got a new family member this year, Eimear Gwendolyn my nearly 6 month old niece. 
The one thing that did give me some solace was that I have my choir family and it did feel good to spend  the time at practice and then sing with them all at Mass today. It really does refresh my soul to sing especially under the direction of Tim. 
Of course, I had my iPhone with me and took some pictures during practice here are some:

Yep Declan is the star of most of the photos. In the second last photo I went to whisper something in his ear and he moved thus I got lipstick all over his cheek instead, not sure it was the right shade for him!! He is such a cutie and I love his Irish name. 

The one thing that was very popular during practice was the fact that I had some pictures of Marcus, our friend and fellow choir member, Therese's son. They are currently in Moldova with Marcus's Daddy Nils. Here are the photos I had with me:

Everyone agreed his is very handsome and a big boy! We are counting down the days to June when they return to us.

We sang some wonderful Christmas music tonight two of my favorites are Christmas Lullaby and Child of the Poor.  Christmas Lullaby  can be heard here from when we sang it at the Christmas concert. It felt very surreal to sing it today at practice and for Anne to have Declan in her arms and hear his little child like sounds as we practiced. It was also cute during Mass when Anne went up to read the Readings, Declan kept calling "Mommie" from his seat with his Daddy. It created allot of smiles in the first few rows of the congregation. 

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Pictorial Review of Christmas Day

Enjoying the California Sun

Larry and Leona with their friend Mickey showing sunny California

Gift Giving

1) I got my Butterfly Kite - just what I wanted - need my arm to heal now so Larry can go tell me - "GO FLY YOUR KITE"
2) Frank and Tamara enjoyed Buzz Lightyear at their recent trip to Disney - now they can play themselves at home!
3) Frank opening his new French Coffee Press
4) - 5)  Tamara reviewing her 12 Teas of Christmas and showing off her new JOY, Faith and Love mug
6) -10) Larry checking what Santa left in his stocking. He got Winnie the Pooh & Spiderman lollipops, Two bars of Peppermint Bark, Breathe Right strips and Coal chewing gum ( just to show that he is not always a good boy!!) 
11-12) Santa needs to explain why I only got a lump o' coal in my stocking. I really have been a very good girl we need to have a discussion about this, Sir! 
13) Frank excited to open up his new GPS "Gabby"
14-16) Larry loving his Marvel Vault, Simpsons PJ pants and Simpson's Movie

Everyone got wonderful gifts and we are very blessed  this Christmas! Well I could do without the arm issue but hopefully I will be better soon. A cute story from my 2 1/2 year old niece recently  proves that I will be better soon. She told me that she was at the church  and she put in some money, lit a candle and told Holy God to make me better. Note that she didn't ask Holy God to make me better she TOLD him, with her innocence she must have a direct line above! 
Getting the food ready

1) - 2) Larry getting the coals ready for the Salmon and working on the vegetables

3) Shrimp Fried Rice in progress

4) Everyone busy in the Kitchen

5) Gwen's Fish Pie and Sweet Potatoes ready to come out of the oven!

Having fun with Crackers!
I introduced the Irish tradition of Christmas Crackers to the McCann's and we had lots of fun once they got the concept down that you don't pull it yourself but with someone else. Here are some of the fun shots I got:

Relaxing before dessert:

Larry doing the dishes:

Maybe  I should keep my sling for next Christmas and "pretend" I hurt it again to avoid the dishes!!

PS did anyone else notice that my husband did three wardrobe changes on Christmas day - one outfit for gift exchange, one outfit for Grilling and one outfit for doing dishes. Is he a diva or what? 

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

St. Steven's Day American Style

So today I had to work and it felt really weird and sad to be in the office when all my family in Ireland were gathering in Lynwood to celebrate Christmas together.  St. Steven's Day in Ireland is a bank holiday and is another day to dress up in your new Christmas clothes and go visit friends and family, then go out to the pub or a house party to catch up with friends who are home from all over the world for Christmas.

I did bring my Mac to work with me so I could get Skype set up with my headset so I got a glimpse of EImear, my newest niece and Aoife and Aislinn who at one point they decided they would have a sleep over in the beds in the computer room. They then got to excited and decided to jump up and down on the beds - it looked like they had great fun. It reminded me of the days when I used to jump on the bed in the room I shared with Nan as we had the same type of twin beds. Eoin, Brian and I used to jump up and down the exact same way!

Just after Aoife and Aislinn said good night to me and they headed off to their cosy beds in Alderbrook, I went for a wander around the office to see who was in and David was in with his son Darina. I of course started to chat with Darina especially since he had a Spiderman t-shirt on. Spiderman is a favorite is our home also and maybe one of these days Larry and I will be fighting over the fact that Peter Parker McCann would not be a good name for a boy just the same as Joseph Montana McCann wouldn't work for me also!! lol lol. Darina was very responsive to me and I told him to come by my cube anytime he wanted a break from his Papa. David told me that this was the most that Darina ever spoke to an adult he just met and I felt very honored.

Darina and I struck a deal that he would draw me a picture and I would put it up on the wall of my cube! After about an hour I went back to see what the little artist has drawn me and asked him if he would visit my cube to hang it up. He looked at his Papa who gave him the go ahead to go with me. Here are the pictures of him putting up his wonderful drawing at my desk:

A few minutes later a very scary thing arrived in my cube, I thought it was a big spider but was soon corrected that it was a tarantula! Boy was I really scared at that point. It was a remote controlled one and very soon we were both outside my cube playing with it. I even got a co-worker, Ninoscka, to take some pictures of us:

Next Ninoscka and I was treated to playing with his dump truck. We set us some papers for the recycling day and then it was compost day when I had my teabag on the ground and my bowl of blueberries. Darnia knew what the blueberries were there as pretend but he could help himself if he wanted to eat some! This game went on for about an hour and a half.

The tarantula came back again for a while but this time I was not so scared. Quietness reigned for a about an hour and I went to look for my new friend and this is what I found under the cube next to his Papa:

I think I wore him out!! 

God brought me a little St. Steven's Day angel and his name was Darnia! The initial plan was for him to spend the week at a camp at the San Francisco Zoo but due to the unfortunate incident there the evening before, he had to come to work with his Papa instead. I am so glad he was at the office as he made my day brighter!!