Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's a small world


Last night we went to a soccer game between Newman and St Thomas (in New Orleans). As I was walking to the concession stand a women stopped me and said "Harriet....do you remember me?" Well, the Harriet was a dead givaway that she was someone I knew in college! When I looked at her, I knew exactly who she was (thank goodness). She was one of the first girls I met going through rush and was one of the reasons I chose KD as my sorority. We clicked right away and were good friends. I spoke to her for a while and caught up....then went to watch the game. Before the game was over I wondered back over to where she was sitting so I could say Goodbye. Her daughter (girl in pic with Liz) was with her and so she introduced me to "Drita".....now you don't hear about many girls with the name Drita and chills went up my spine. I said by chance, did you go to Greencove camp in North Carolina? She said yes and I told her I was Elizabeth Gambel's mother. She and Elizabeth had been good friends and camp and Drita had even just called her several days ago when she saw Elizabeth's picture in the paper for Squires! She didn't even know Elizabeth was on the field playing so they had a big reunion when the game was over. Is it Karma when that happens? Good friends daughters meet hundreds of miles away and become friends as well? It was a nice way to end the year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The most exciting moment of the year


Several weeks ago, Ellen told me what was the most exciting time of the whole year for her.....the moment just before you go out and check out all the loot Santa left you. Of course, I try to drag that moment out as long as possible. I have to make my coffee, find the camera, take some pics, and whatever else I can do to torment them! As you can see from the picture above, Ellen has all her friends in tow for the big event....Bitty Baby, Samantha and her favorite stuffed animal, "Apple" After a hectic week and a busy day on Christmas Eve, it was nice to wind down with Christmas Eve mass at Gary's parents house. It is forty year old tradition for close friends and family to go to the Gambels and a priest has mass at their house. It puts the Christ back in Christmas and by that time all I have concentrated on is getting presents in the mail, wrapping gifts, mailing Christmas cards and all the other trappings of Christmas. It is a great reminder of what it is all about. After mass (around 6:30) we headed back to the log cabin and decorated our tree. Because of our "snow storm" the log cabin lost power for several weeks. We were not able to come out before Christmas to decorate our tree so had decided to do it Christmas Eve. It was really nice and afterwards we read Christmas books and sipped on eggnog. I didn't get the boiled custard made this year so we had to make do with eggnog. All in all it was a great Christmas and I am looking forward to the new year....2009! Wow!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

She had a "ball"


Squires ball was last night and Elizabeth was a maid. Five of her close friends came and watched her be presented in the ball. Afterward there was supper dance ( it is a high school organization) and there were lots of young eligible New Orleans fellows to dance and chat with. The ball was at the Hilton and the band was awesome. We stayed until the end and they danced all night! After co-ordinating all the details ( dress, alteration, hair, makeup, purse, gloves, shoes, invitations), I feel like I have had a mini prep for a wedding. It was worth it as she looked fabulous!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our "Mimi" Christmas tree















For the last four years one of our very good friends (Mimi) has given each of the girls a Christmas ornament. As I was brought up in a household where only red and green ornaments (with the exception of those oh so darn cute homemade ornaments), were allowed on the tree, this is quite a departure from my traditional Christmas tree.  So this year I came up with a wonderful solution....we would dedicate a whole tree to the fabulous and uniquely different ornaments that we will likely be receiving for many years to come. We now look forward to what this year will bring us and can't wait for her to give us some new ones. There is a lively debate going on in our house about just which ornament is the girls favorite.  I go back and forth between the oil slick cat and the pink sparkly pig. The girls argue endlessly between the grey octopus and the yellow, pink and purple glitter fish....I didn't even put all the photos up of our wide variety, but did choose the finalist of our arguments. So how about a vote. We want to hear from your children and maybe the winner can be chosen. When this years batch arrives,we will start the process all over again. Now that I have conquered the posting of pictures....I am dangerous.

The Godmother

Today Peter Ellis was baptised and Sara is the godmother. He was baptised in the Jesuit chapel with Father McGinn presiding.

Jingle Bells


Today, I found a box of some Christmas jewelry and in it was an item I had almost forgotten about. When I was young, my Mom gave me a Christmas charm bracelet. What I remember most about it was the little bells you see in the picture actually tinkle....the sound is kind of like bells that ring in "Its a Wonderful Life" when an angel gets her wings. As you can see from the picture, the bracelet is well worn...paint has been rubbed off on the charms, the back end of the reindeer is missing....but the bells still ring . That sound brings back memories .

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Soccer Chick

Today Elizabeth had a soccer game in New Orleans.....Elizabeth has never been a good soccer player but loves the game. She is a sophomore in high school and plays for her high school, Saint Thomas Aquinas. After seven years of soccer, you would think she would be awesome... no, she sat on the bench last year and for several games this year. I think after processing her strengths and weaknesses in the game, she decided to speak to her coach about playing defense. He always put her in offence and she has no footwork skills or good co-ordination. He took her advice and tried it one day at practice. She defended against their star player, Cambre. After ten minutes of Elizabeth breathing down her back, springing in front of her at her every twist and turn, and completely cutting her off from any chance of contact with the ball, the star player turned to the coach and asked if he would take Elizabeth off of her.....Elizabeth found her niche. She immediately went from sitting the bench to being their star defense player, starting every game and never leaving the field. They now pick the number one player on the other team and tell Elizabeth to stick to her. Her nickname is Velcro and today I saw why. She brings her own unique sense of style to her position. She is completely in their personal space with about an inch between her face and their face at all times. However, she looks very sweetly at them and smiles that killer smile and says, I am so sorry I have to do this, but my coach told me to play the game this way. From then on she sticks like Velcro to the person. She anticipates every turn or move and is not only in front of them but is literally an inch from their face! She covers them so completely that they rarely get a shot at the ball. As the people she defends are used to being the superstar, this really gets to them. She is in such shape that she can outrun and outlast every player they put her on. She is intense and never lets up. Sometimes, if she is behind them, she is so close to them that she will actually rest her head on their shoulder....they are so freaked out they lose all control of the game. She is now the focal point of all the parents as we want to see just what she will come up with next to completely annoy her target to death. Sometimes she dances all around them when they are standing still...anything she can do to distract her opponent. She has taken defense to a new art form and in the process, become an admired and valuable team mate. Lesson learned....never give up when you are doing something you like to do. You will find your niche and succeed.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Caroling in the park

Our annual Christmas Caroling in Cate square was tonight. It is always nicer than I remember....Everyone in the neighborhood lines their sidewalks with luminaries and then gather in the park to sing Christmas carols. They serve hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies and take pictures with Santa. The Holy Ghost choir was there to sing Christmas Carols. It was nice to cap off a busy day with that. Today was a day I want to always remember. It started with mass at Holy Ghost this morning at 8:00. Whenever I attend the Holy Ghost mass, I am always moved to tears. There is something about seeing 800 children singing, praying and devoting their attention to God that always does my heart good. I literally have to scold myself for tearing up during the service. I mean, that is just silly that I cry for "no particular reason at all" as Forrest Gump would say. Anyway, at the end of the service, they announced that Sara was the 8th grade student of the year and I was just so proud of her. Gary and I were discussing the fact that she makes success look so darn easy. After the service, I ran errands...mailed Christmas gifts, made bread, wrapped packages and around 11:30 ran to take Elizabeth her soccer duds that she forgot. She was still in her Spanish exam and was the last person to finish...her teacher finally said you have to go now, everyone else left an hour ago. This is the class we are most worried about gradewise. We got the word this afternoon that she made an A and that means she has another 4.o this year. Gary and I are so proud. She worked very hard for it this year. I can hardly believe that I have a 4.0 student and student of the year. I am soo tired so I have to go now
Layne