Saturday, December 30, 2006

Don't fake it this year...


Words adapated from a traditional song
by Rabbie Burns (1759-96)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne


auld lang syne - times gone by
be - pay for
braes - hills
braid - broad
burn - stream
dine - dinner time
fiere - friend
fit - foot
gowans - daisies
guid-willie waught - goodwill drink
monie - many
morning sun - noon
paidl't - paddled
pint-stowp - pint tankard
pou'd - pulled
twa - two

Happy 2007, everyone!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Had myself a merry little Christmas...

Of course one of the best parts of Christmas is the wonderment visible on children's faces. My 14-month-old niece, Carlee, obviously was awed by the snow and grand tree behind her.

Though we actually didn't have a white Christmas, Darren, Nik and Izabella used the snowy backdrop to their advantage as a festive Kodak moment.

Not the greatest quality photo, this sets the scene for the billowing bounty of blessings we Risley's did enjoy. (Why are kids always more enthralled with the packaging than with its contents??)

And what picturesque Christmas is complete without gawking at elaborately lit trees? We caravaned and took the whole family 45 minutes to Chickasha, Oklahoma to see the popular "Festival of Lights" on display there. Over 2 million lights transform this park into a majestically Christmas wonderland.

Now that all the hussle and bustle is over, the presents are all unwrapped, food mostly eaten and families back in their respective homes, we now prepare to transition out of this familiar 2006 and into the unknown of 2007. Whether you make resolutions or not, let me encourage you to take some time to reflect back upon the gifts you received this past year. Use the knowledge, talents, friendships and memories you gained in 2006 to illuminate the paths of 2007; make this the most joyous and fulfilling year of your life. May you plan to also, in turn, enrich someone else's life because of all you've been blessed with. And, may you also finally learn the words to "Auld Lang Syne" before midnight on the 31st so you can confidently sing along instead of lip-syncing this year!

Good tidings and all the best for you in 2007!
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

O, Tannenbaum

I've been taking a journey down memory lane today and came across this photo from last Christmas in England. It was my first real Christmas tree experience and I purchased it for 10 pounds from the tree lot at home store B&Q. My friend Carla-Marie came with me and we ended up taking it home that her tiny car! Later she helped me trim the tree and I'm not ashamed to say that it stayed up in my home until nearly February! The conversation piece of my home that season, my wonderful friends cut a piece of its branch and made it into a tree ornament for me to have. In putting up my fake and inferior tree this December, I placed the tree branch ornament in the very front, which reminds me of the splendid holidays I spent in Loughborough with genuinely splendid friends. -- " lovely are your branches!"
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Monday, December 18, 2006

Milestones = Piles of Fun

My youngest Noonie, Drake MacArthur, celebrated his first birthday with a family party last Saturday. Complete with balloons, an awesome collection of birthday presents (including a revamped hand-me-down teddy bear from his Daddy), and, of course, his own cake, Drake had a swell time.

They sure grow up fast, don't they?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Frozen raindrops on roses...

and snow play with Claire Bear... these are a few of my favorite things. Oh, what fun it is to be walking in a winter wonderland with a niece! During "The Big Chill" (as Oklahoma City tv stations were calling it) last week, Claire and I got to help my brother Dustin put up garland and lights around the outside of the house, a perfect introductory time to the season that's come upon us...upon a midnight clear.

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