Happy New Year 2010!

Happy New Year to one and all, out with the old and in with the new. The new year is a time to reflect on the past but not dwell on the past. We have all made mistakes and we need to fix them if possible and if not ask forgiveness and ask forgiveness for yourself. The new year is a time to try to be a better person, friend, mother, wife, daughter, etc. The new year is a new beginning for all of us. Here are a few photos from “out with the old.” The Christmas decorations need to be put away for one more time but hopefully the meaning of Christmas and the hope of Christ will linger for a lifetime.

This beautiful hand carved nativity shows 3 angels holding the baby Jesus with the Hawaiian Christmas greeting Mele Kalikimaka. We bought this at the Hawaiian flea market and the artist signed his work for us. It is carved from several kinds of exotic woods. It is so beautiful that I hate to pack it away for an entire year.

Mele Kalikimaka – Merry Christmas. The words “Mele Kalikimaka” are a phonetic translation. When the missionaries and other Westerners first brought the custom of Christmas to the islands the Hawaiians had difficulty pronouncing Merry Christmas and turned it into words that rolled more easily off their tongues.

The entryway with our nutcracker collection.

This is a close view of the hall banister. We have always decorated with a nutcracker theme. I have always loved the Nutcracker Ballet and for many years we would get tickets for the Christmas eve matinee on the first row. We started collecting nutcrackers on our first trip to Europe when we visited Germany. It cost more to mail the nutcracker home than to purchase the actual nutcracker. Which nutcracker was the first nutcracker we bought in Germany? If you guessed the one on the far left on top of the table, you are correct.

This nativity is another favorite of ours. Our dear friends The Pacini’s gave us this Chinese hand carved nativity last year for Christmas after a recent trip to China. We love the Chinese people and the beautiful baby Jesus.

Here is Nichole and Patrick’s Christmas card featuring Alec who is 5 months old in this picture. He has on a very long Santa hat that is bigger than he is. We love his big blue eyes.

A close-up view of some of the ornaments on our Christmas tree. Here is a Doberman ornament. We think Dobies are sleek and majestic. Jefferson is our 3rd Dobie. First we had Sativa and then we had Goliath. Both of our other dogs died at age 6 years old.

Here is one of my favorite thoughts about the new year. It is from Music and the Spoken Word.

“New beginnings can be invigorating. Just as a fresh blanket of snow changes the landscape into “unmarked territory,” calling out to little explorers with their sleds and snow boots, blank pages of a new calendar can give us a sense of opportunity, possibility, and even resolve. Whether beginning a new day, month, or even year, something about starting over generates energy and commitment. We work a little harder, reach a little farther, and somehow do a little more. What may have seemed out of reach just days before suddenly enters the realm of possibility when a new year comes.

Not long ago, a group of school children gathered for a long-jump competition. They marked a line in the dirt from which they stood and jumped. Their teacher used a stick to mark where their feet landed as each child took a turn jumping as far as he or she could. Interestingly, most of the children jumped to about the same spot, until a new group of children (their same age and size) joined the game. As soon as one of the new jumpers leaped a little farther, the other children started increasing their own jumps to reach the mark he had set. Anytime someone exceeded the longest distance, everyone seemed to be able to jump a little farther than before.

And so it is for us as we set goals and work to achieve them. If we set our sights even a little bit higher, do just a little more than we did before, we’ll exceed last year’s marks—and maybe even next year’s expectations. Think of those school children and the long jump. They could do more than they thought they could, and so can we. Instead of leaping as far as we always have, let’s stretch a little and try a little harder as we look to the new year.”

Happy New Year to all and my we all try a little harder to make this world a better place to live. We also keep praying for a miracle for Nichelle. We hope this is the year that she is out of excruciating pain, always nauseated, and able to walk one again.

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