Friday, December 11, 2009

Atypical Post

I don't usually post and or email out things like this but when I read this I had to pass it along.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,

I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
"My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother...
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

I hope we all remember that the freedom we have to celebrate the birth and life of our Savior without the fear of persecution or worse has come, and is still coming, at a very high cost. Please keep these men, women and their families in your prayers, especially during the holiday season.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some Pictures

The results of a napless afternoon

Heading out to the Turkey Trot

She'll probably be able to fit into this shirt when she's 10

Sydney loves Nathaniel

She won't sleep without him

Heading out to see Santa

Sydney's first picture with Santa. She did so much better than I ever expected.

She knows where to go for the good stuff. Senair never disappoints when it comes to cookies.


Peas and Ane Oow

I know it's been a while but it's been busy here in the Hemphill house. We have the tree up and decorated. So far the only thing Sydney cares to do with the tree is pull off a jingle bell ornament and shake it for a good 5 minutes then drop it wherever she happens to be at the 5 minute mark. She does, however enjoy pulling the bows off of the presents very much! I'm going to wait till Christmas Eve to put bows on any more of the packages.

Sydney has used the sign for please for a while now and she also blows kisses to say thank you but the other day she tried something different. She dropped her sippie cup while sitting in her high chair and did the typical reach and whine. I told her she needed to say please and rather than showing me the sign she said "peas". As a mom who is worried about the lack of words my child uses I must say this made me ecstatic. The next day she said "ane oow" (thank you) after I gave her the book she was reaching for. Maybe I shouldn't be so worried after all. Apparently she is going to talk one of these days.