Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


My Monster turned 6 today.  I can't believe my baby is so big.  Soon he will be a full blown kid, no longer my baby.

His party was last Saturday, and he had a Martial Arts Party.  It was a was the first birthday party I've ever gone to that I wasn't exhausted when it was over.  His friends all had a blast, and the cake and pizza was all gone when it was over.  We played a game that you had to kick a balloon from one end to the other, using only your feet.  If your balloon hit the ground, you were out.  It was hard, but it was fun, and even the adults participated.

Today is his actual birthday.  We are celebrating with cupcakes at school, and dinner, gifts and desert with the whole family tonight.  His chosen menu is Hamburgers, French Fries, Mac and Cheese and Cucumbers.  I've purchased some cupcakes and a Strawberry pie that looks like it's made from ice cream.  He even has a gift and card from his daddy to open.  I know he misses his daddy more on days like today, but he will be surrounded by his family that loves him, and that will help.

Santa is coming through our development on a fire truck tonight...and he's going to call Monster by his name and tell him Happy Birthday.  He is going to lose his mind.  I can't wait.

I love you little boy.  You are a great source of love and joy.  Your imagination and empathetic nature make my heart almost burst with love every day.  I pray you never lose those traits.  Happy Birthday, big boy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fun Monday - RAK

MommyWizdom is our host this week, and she's helping us to remember that it's the season of giving.
The Assignment for this week was:
1) Your job this week is to go out and perform a random act of kindness. Now, before you freak out, please read on. This is actually really easy!! This act may be for someone you know or for a perfect stranger. It can be big or small, it'll all up to you. Obviously, it should be something within your means. For instance, don't go out and buy your next door neighbor a car and then complain to me that you can't make your mortgage payment, ok?
Your choices were to:
2) Blog about what you did and why. How did it impact the person(s) you did it for? And better yet, how did it impact you!? How did you feel after you did it? Would you do it again?
3) If you've had a random act of kindness bestowed upon you (recently), we'd love to hear about it. How did it impact you? How did it make you feel?
I try to live my life remembering to find the blessings in each day.  Early in our marriage, DDS and I were poor.  I don't even think poor is a strong enough word for it.  Yet, somehow, we always managed, and I believe that God led people to do those Random Acts of Kindness when we needed them most.  Remembering those times, I'm always quick to try and use my resources when I know someone needs a hand.

I have a RAK in the works, but can't blog about it yet.

Every year, my section adopts a group of seniors at a local nursing home that don't have any family to provide Christmas for them.  We collect money and donations, and try to get them everything they ask for and more.  This year, in order to make sure we could really do some good for them, we organized a bake sale and silent auction.  When I say we, I mean one of my employees and myself.  It's a lot of work, but we raised over $300 in a few hours.  Our seniors want things like underwear, socks, brushes and such.  It makes me sad to see their list, as there is very little "frivilous" stuff...mostly because they don't need or have room for most things we all want.  They may ask for a small radio, or headset, or maybe a vcr, but never anything really big.  So we make sure we get everything on their list, maybe even extra sweats or something.  In addition, we try to buy some toiletries that are a little nicer than what they get just living in the nursing home.

We go and deliver the packages a few days before Christmas.  I cry the whole time.  Not sobs, just tears.  These people are so appreciative, not just for the stuff, but also for the company and attention.  Many of them decide to wait until Christmas day to open their gifts, but there's usully at least one person willing to open their items with us there.  I love to watch their excitement and joy over these simple items. We've talked in the past about trying to do something for them around Easter or something, but haven't ever pulled it off.  I'll have to post a reminder on my calendar.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The best darn pagent ever...sort of.

Today our services at church were led by our youth. I love these services...they are refreshing and entertaining.

We have a youth handbell choir that PB participates in (as does Bug when she's here). (When DDS and I were engaged we joined the handbell choir for this church...then became members. We stayed active in it for a few years, and then kids and such required us to take a break...and I haven't made it back yet. Maybe next year.) I love handbells. The whole group makes up one instrument, requiring that they work together to make the music. It's a good entrance into music, as you are generally only responsible for one or two bells (notes) to start with. And they just sound so pretty.

There is a great Ring -A-Story called Twinkle and the Bethlehem Star. It tells the story of the three kings, through the eyes of Twinkle, an escort for the Bethlehem star. This is the sermon for this service. In addition to the bells, we have children from the church act out the story. Monster was a sheep last year, and he was adamant that he wouldn't be again this year. To quote my sweet boy "I looked ridiculous, and I won't be a sheep again." So, he got to be a king this year. And what a cute little king he was.
They also acted out parts and sang songs before the sermon. My son was right next to the microphone, singing loudly into it. If he forgot the words, he just "ahhhed" his way through it. He made me laugh, but I'm glad he is so brave, so unafraid.
Lest you think I don't appreciate PB's part in this, she (and the rest of the handbell choir) did an awesome job. But I was very busy videotaping, and between services she was very busy hanging out with her friends, so I missed out on a photo of her.
It was a long day, but both services were awesome, and our kids did a great job.
Oh, and I totally made that crown (and two more just like it) using Jessica's Tutorial. Unfortunately, there was no wool felt in our one measley fabric store (the chain one, that's it. Yuck), so its crappy felt, but it did the trick.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

First tree up, but soon to come down.

All day yesterday, as I was feeling so grumpy, I tried to remember to count my blessings. And I know that I have a good life, but sometimes, it all gets to be too much.
I've hinted in the last couple of posts that I had to decorate a tree that wasn't mine and my hosue. I've mentioned my game night before and Thursday night was the time for our Christmas one. The lady that was hostess this month is in the middle of remodeling her house...which means it's not in any state for her to host, so I offered her the use of my house. And then I remembered that meant I have to put up a tree.
My sons birthday is next Tuesday. We've never really been ones to get our tree too early anyway, but when I had him we decided not to get our tree until after his birthday. My husbands birthday is the 27th, so he appreciates what it's like to have a birthday so close to Christmas.
So back to my epiphany. I asked my mom if she could lend me her tree. It's not a very big tree, but I knew I could make it look cute and work. And boy did I...
I chose to go with a color theme, using all lighter green and red ornaments with white lights.  Everyone loved it, and it did the trick.  And I'm enjoying it, as are the kids.  Unfortunately, we have to give the tree back to my mom and replace it with our "real" tree next weekend :)
But I totally think I need one of these for our's not very big in there, and this would help make the space even more festive.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I swear it's coming

I've started the Christmas tree story, but I've been too tired, too bah, to upload the photos and finish it. And now, I'm beat. I've been hanging with my mom and working on Christmas presents, and tomorrow is Monster's birthday party, so I'm off to bed. Night all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bah Humbug

Today was not a good day. I was feeling like a major grump, and had to work very hard not to take it out on those around me. And it started as soon as I rolled over and realized that we had all overslept by an hour. Then I remembered the meeting I had to go sit in this morning, and I sincerely just wanted to pull the blankets back over my head and hide away. And I hear the rain. That tells me it's a perfect day to do just that. But there is work to go to, children to take to school. So up I go.

I take the kids to school, and get to work just a little late. I was out yesterday handling several appointments, so I sit down and get busy catching up. I know I'm grumpy, but I just can't seem to shake it. I head off to the two hour meeting. I sit next to my boss, who is completely handling work while listening, and I'm struggling to stay awake. The meeting ends, and I have a voice mail message from PB's doctor...her blood work came back positive for the one bacteria, she needs to go on an antibiotic. So I give it a little time, and head out to pick it up. The crazy people at Target are weaving around the shoppers coming out, people are parked all wrong, and I feel the grumpiness overtaking me again. I head back, pick up he prescription, and laugh with the pharmicist over my grumpiness. They are nice to me, and I feel a little better. I stop and get a cookie and soda (I love their cranberry walnut oatmeal cookies...yummmy) and I feel a little better. Then I go out to the parking lot, feel frustrated, get in my car, see that I just missed my husband calling me, and look at all the people all trying to get where I am, but blocking me from getting out of the way. And all that feeling better starts to run down out of my soul.

It goes on. More people who couldn't park. A long line of traffic going nowhere at the one entrance to where my kids are. More rain. The stress of getting my house ready. (this getting it ready is a continuation of yesterday...I'll post about it tomorrow. I'm not feeling it today.)

Back in September, my husband was able to make dvd's of himself reading stories to our children through the USO. They arrived yesterday...the DVD and a copy of the book. My son lost it. He threw the book and dvd away, yelled and screamed how stupid it was, etc. I tried to talk to him about the anger and hurt and sadness. He didn't want to talk about. So I encouraged him to yell, to rant and rave. I taunted him a little...told him he could be louder...other people couldn't hear him. We did this for a few minutes, and then the anger left and my little boy cuddled up on me and started chattering and giggling with me again. A little later he asked to watch the dvd and read the book, and he loved it.

Days like this are hard. The time until he is back seems to stretch so far away. I wonder about the toll on the kids, on him, on me. I know that we will all be fine, that it will be good when he gets home.

Tucking him into bed tonight, he told me the story of a little girl doll who was bought at the store. She was very sad, because she missed her mommy. So the lady that bought her took her back to the store so she could be with her mommy. And I reminded him that he had his mommy right here, and I wasn't going anywhere. And he grinned up at me, clutched me around the neck, and declared that he loved me more than anything else in te world. All was right with my world again.

Happy Love Thursday everyone. I didn't think it was going to be one, but it sure ended up that way.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm finally finding a little Christmas spirit

I've actually been very busy working on gifts for several weeks now. But tonight I had to actually put up Christmas decorations. I haven't taken pictures...I'll do that tomorrow. But there's at least a little bit out. I have a lot of great ideas for decorating, but not a dime to put towards them. I used a $10 gift card to buy a few things today so that I could have the color scheme I wanted on my temporary tree. I'll explain that tomorrow as well. Now I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Update on my hubby

Daddylang has finally made it to Iraq. He starts his job Wed morning (which is actually now) and he is very excited. I'm hoping that it's everything he wants it to be. Lots of people feel stuck in their jobs, but in the military deployed to Iraq? Not thinking there's much of an escape there.

We sent him a box of Christmas decorations as his "present" since we were advised by the USPS to mail the package by 12/4 to get it there by Christmas. He received the package Monday morning his time, Sunday evening ours. That's 2-3 days. I can't mail packages 3 states away that fast. I'm glad he'll have longer to enjoy them. It's been hard to come up with presents, since he wasn't there to figure out what he needs yet. Hopefully he can supply us a list this week, and we can still get some more stuff there. His birthday is the 27th, so we have to get stuff there for that as well.

He posted today (I think) (this really does get about the box he received, and posted a picture of his decorated tree. THis is the man that enjoys making our house look like the Griswolds. I know he is missing the decorating this year, and I put up some outside decorations in his honor this weekend. I have to admit that I do enjoy pulling up the house in the early evening dark and seeing the lights and blow ups in our yard. And I love how excited the kids are every single night about seeing it again. It's one thing I can do to help them feel like this topsy turvy time is at least somewhat normal.

Times are stressful here, I'm finally starting to feel better, but now PB has a weird rash and has been out of school all week. We go back to the doctor tomorrow for follow up and maybe results from the blood test next week. In addition, work is crazy, and I'm trying desperately to make as much for Christmas as possible, plus decorate the house. I need at least six more hours in every day.

This year, mostly, I pray that my husband is safe. And that my children can remember this time with pride in how we all handled this separation.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fun Monday - Christmas is coming!

I'm hosting this week, and I asked everyone to share their top three Christmas songs, and their favorite Christmas item. Since I dreamed up the topic, I should know what my answers would be huh? But I've really had to think on this topic.

I love Christmas songs, pretty much all of them. Narrowing down my favorites is hard. goes:

3. Silent Night - We always sing this at church as the candles we each hold are lit, on from the other. It's so beautiful, and it never fails to make me cry. I have a feeling it will be worse this year.
2. Mary Did You Know - I've heard several versions, but I love them all.
1. Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant - This is just a great song.

You can see that I really relate to Mary's part of this story. I always wonder about her experience. As a mother, I could totally "get" the meaning of the song, but as a mother to a litte boy it was even more powerful. I know that he was God's son, and that God gave his son to save us. But Jesus was Mary's child. She carried him, and gave birth to him. She loved him and nurtured him. Can you imagine the anguish she must have felt when he was killed? Even believing fully that he was the son of God, and that he would rise, I still imagine there was immense pain. To me, Christmas is as much about all she went through to carry,give birth to, and then raise and love Jesus, as it is a celebration of his birth.

And I chose this video of Silent Night as the group singing it is from my hometown. I'll try not to hold it agains them that they went to college at my schools rival. They are all very talented men.

My favorite Christmas item is our Christmas tree. We aren't putting ours up this year until just before Christmas, and of course I can't find the picture of last years without searchin a bunch (hello New Year's Resolutions), but it is my favorite. I love so much about the holidays, but the beautiful tree, filled with lights and all of my family's memories is my favorite.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Fun Monday - I'm HOSTING!

So I'm crazy and I volunteered to host Fun Monday next week, December 8th. And hopefully I'll figure out Mr. Linky below. ETA: Who wants to host next week? ETA again to say that mommywizdom has volunteered to be our hostess for next week. Thanks!

So here's your topic...

It's the Christmas season, and I want you to tell us what are your three favorite Christmas Carols and a picture of your favorite Christmas "thing". It could be a Christmas tree, or your mantle, or a church, you in a Santa hat.

Thanks y'all. Can someone tell me how to make this a sticky post?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Questions I have...

I'm at the grocery store yesterday, buying our groceries (surprise!) and I notice that my cart has a ton of frozen veggies in it and not so much fresh. Not because fresh isn't available. It's just a little more expensive, and with only three mouths to feed, and a very busy schedule over the next couple of weeks, frozen seems to be the best bet. But it made me think of the question that bug me a lot. To be healthy, you're supposed to eat a lot of fresh veggies. They give you the most nutrients and are better tasting. But if they have to truck those fruits and veggies in, even just from a neighboring state an hour or so away, then you're not being "green" or supporting your local economy. We have a few farmstands around us, and the produce stinks and is expensive. I want to do my part for the environment, but I also have never had disposable income to just throw around. The store I use does try to use local (meaning within a couple of hours from our area), family farms to suppy it's produce. So, what's the right answer here?

I also get angry when people compare gas prices here with gas prices in Europe. Most of the cities in Europe were built well before cars, and the roads can not support the type of cars we drive here. It's well good and fine to tell me to drive a smaller car...which child should I make sit on the roof then? And walk? Let's see, I live with a couple of miles of a couple of stores, but we have to cross two extremely busy roads to get to them. And there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. My children go to school 3 miles from my house, and again there are no sidewalks along the busy road. Also, Europe has a much better public transportation system. Can you really see us trying to build such a transportation system out in the wheat fields of Kansas? In larger cities, mass transit should be an option, but unfortunately, the money is not always available to make that so. My city has bus service, but it doesn't run on was a big deal when Saturday service started a year or so ago. And it's not very user friendly. We are mid size city with quite a few small towns surrounding it. If you have to drive into the city to catch the bus, you might as well drive to your destination.

Whew, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Night!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Family Love

I went to the doctor today, and as I suspected, I have a sinus infection. I slept the afternoon away, and I'm heading that way again shortly.

PB had her choir concert tonight. I love going and seeing the elementary kids perform. It's so funny to see them all dressed up and still being children. They did a wonderful job, and PB managed to deliver her speaking part perfectly.

My SIL and her step-son (so my nephew, right?) came as well as the grandmothers and grandpa. He is one year younger than PB and just came to live with his dad at Thanksgiving. So far he's fitting in well. He's enjoyed his first week of school, and is loving that he has cousins here to hang with. Monster went over last weekend to spend the night, and he was in heaven. It's great that he has a family member that can also be a friend.

I love my family...not just my kids and husband, but the whole group. They really care about us, and they aren't afraid to show it. I was flustered by the time we got there, and they took over Monster, and left me to do what I needed to get done. It was much appreciated.

I didn't do Love Thursday this week, and I haven't listed my blessings lately. So here they are...I am blessed with an awesome family.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I figured out a way to make it a sticky post

It's a bit unconventional, but it works. Now if I could just learn how to code and make my site prettier. Maybe in the new year.

I'm sick, and I feel like I'm geting sicker. I really need a good nights sleep, and to stop having to run all over the place with my kids, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon. Arhg.

I know, boring drivel. Can't help it. Mind is not functioning enough to be depp and insightful. Stick with me, it will get better.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm just not feeling it

It's been a very long day, I don't feel well, and I'm ready for bed.  Talk to you all tomorrow!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Fun Monday, Crazy Neighbors

Ari is our hostess this week. And what a timely topic for me.

Here goes: Tell us about your all-time worst Neighbors from Hell. You know, the family of Irish clog dancers who once lived in the flat/apartment above you? Mrs. Nextdoor and her banshee-like multiple orgasms? Mr. and Mrs. Hard-of-Hearing with their television on full blast? The guys across the street who set off 4th of July fireworks starting in March and didn't stop until the first real snowfall?
When we first moved on base many years ago, we lived next to the Green Bay Packer Fans. They had a logo in rocks in the front yard. The flag flew out front (with the bright light that shined into our room. At least, until my husband loosened the bulb a couple of days in a row.) But the back yard...they had put up an awning, created bleachers, and they would sit out there and watch the games. Every time the Packers scored, they blew an air horn. This was their ritual, no matter what the hour or weather. I was 8 months pregnant when they played a Monday night game. My hubby warned them that if the air horn went off after 9:30 and woke myself or the girls, the police would be called. I was a mean, cranky pregnant woman. He retired and they returned to Wisconsin that spring.

Next was the family that had a bunch of kids...and not a lot of supervision. There were a few others there as well.

We had new neighbors move in last fall. We were excited, as they seemed okay and had kids that were PB's age. They recently moved because they had flies, ants, and maggots. Somehow, I managed not to point out that the maggots were there because of their cleaning habits. Unfortunately, it now sits empty, and I picture the maggots crawling all over the inside of the house. I'm hoping someone does something with it soon, as I believe they were renting, and we haven't seen anyone enter the house in over a month. We live in a relatively nice area...I hope it doesn't end up in foreclosure forever.

Make sure you visit all the other Fun Monday Participants.