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Friday, December 26, 2008

To Christmas and Beyond

Well, Christmas was a little different this year to say the least. We've had so much snow that the majority of our holiday festivities were either canceled or postponed. We did make to our homeschool Christmas party, that happened right before all the snow hit and hit and hit again. I think we had at least a foot of snow, but I'm pretty sure it was more like 16 or 17 inches (although it partially melted one day, before we got a ton more). Our street was full of icky snow ruts and frozen melted snow. No fun!
Thankfully, we were able to get out this week and even managed to finish Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. I haven't shopped on Christmas Eve for years (in fact, I'm not sure I EVER shopped on Christmas Eve before) and I don't intend to repeat that next year! I've already started my Christmas shopping for next year. I got some good deals on some nice things, so I have a head start!
We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at home, just the three of us. We spent Christmas afternoon and evening at Colin's parents' home. Ian was so antsy to open presents! He just couldn't wait. We had a nice Christmas and got a really cool present for the whole family. Colin and Ian were really trying it out today!
They played Wii bowling and Ian even managed to get a strike or two!
Tonight was Ian's Christmas program at our church (another thing that was rescheduled due to snow). The kids were performing the Christmas musical Christmas Comes to Lone Star Gulch. It was really cute. The kids dressed up like cowboys and if they didn't have a main part, they were a towns person. Everyone was on stage for the whole performance (except for the tiny kids, 2's and 3's). The two and three year olds came in at the very end, dressed for the nativity scene. I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to dress the little ones as Joseph and Mary and a lamb and an angel, but that's what they did. It led to quite a bit of laughter. The lamb was all over the place. He stared in amazement at the audience, tackled his older sister twice, ran off stage and later returned. Mary spotted her mother in the front directing the singing, so she hollered from on stage " Hi Mama! Hi Mama! Mama! Mama!" while waving and holding baby Jesus rather peculiarly and then proceeded to run off stage to make sure her mama knew it was her and managing to lose her head covering. When she returned to the stage she tripped on her robe climbing the stairs! Ian was certain that the little kids had ruined the play, but we told him they didn't, they just provided the comic relief! And yes, I did manage to get most of the chaos on video. I'll try to post it later. What a hoot!
Hope your Christmas was filled with love and all the people you care about and that you remembered why we celebrate Christmas...the birth of our Savior, Jesus.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Movies

You know, I used to love to watch movies, not every single one that came out, but a lot of them. I used to care about what the movie stars did and, not so much. One reason for my change in attitude is movies changed. They used to be fairly clean or they were rated so you knew it wasn't what you would want to see. Hollywood and the constant paparazzi gave us a little too much information if you ask me. I honestly don't care what kook is running around in their underwear or without it...ugh!
Enough of the soapbox. What I really wanted to talk about was a movie I watched tonight and an article I read this week about romantic comedy movies.
I'll start with the movie I watched, Click. I watched it on TV so I know I escaped some bad language (thankfully). I really liked the message of the movie. If you haven't seen it, it's all about a man who is basically overwhelmed by his life. Work and family are hard for him to balance. He ends up getting a "universal remote" that actually can control his life. He can now fast forward to the "good stuff". Only when it is too late does he realize that all the stuff he thought was unimportant really was the good stuff. It does end happily.
Very good message in that movie. Don't wish your life away. It goes by fast enough without us wishing we could get past where we are today and get on with better things. Treasure what you have been given. Your family, your friends, even your work. Make sure your priorities are where they should be. Treasure each moment.
So, that was topic number one. On to the second topic, romantic comedies. The article I read said if you want to stay together, don't watch romantic comedies because they lead to unrealistic expectations from love and relationships. I happen to like romantic comedies. Without them, I never would have met Colin. About a month before I met Colin, I watched You've Got Mail and the idea of chat caught my fancy. So, disregarding my mother's sage advice on chat rooms (for the most part she was correct) I signed up and about a month later I met Colin and the rest is history.
I would really be interested to know some background on the people they did the study on for this article. Were they only influenced by romantic comedies to have all these unrealistic ideas? Did they read trashy romance novels which are WAY more unrealistic? I'm just really curious, because it seems to me that if you are already firmly grounded in reality, a romantic comedy is just a sweet, fun movie!
So I guess, unless I find more information that supports their ideas, I'll just stay where I am, enjoying my occasional romantic comedy. Maybe I can find one of favorite ones on television this month, Christmas in Connecticut. I love the old movies!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Dogs

Well, we got snow today. Enough to make driving on the road a bit treacherous and make our big ditch the perfect sledding spot. So after arriving home safely from the harbor area, Ian took his disc sled out to the hill and had a blast. His first path that he chose made him wind up in the bushes (not that he minded) but Colin saw and helped him choose a better path. The snow was just right to pack down so Ian's path got smoother and faster each time he used it.
While Ian was playing in the snow we took the dogs out in the snow. Oh my, they love the snow. Dilly turned into this crazy snow burrowing thing, leaping and dipping her nose into the snow, she was nearly dancing in the snow. Buster thought it was great, too even though the snow was up to his belly. He was hopping through the snow like a bunny and then he thought it was great to eat the snow. For a while the dogs played together in the snow. They were hilarious!
Usually we get snow and then it's gone the next day. We'll see what tomorrow holds for us, it's really cold, 27 degrees, so this snow might still be here tomorrow and maybe for most the week!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Christmas Party

Today we went to our first home school group Christmas party! Ian was up early, he was so excited. Colin surprised me last night by saying that he was going, too. I loved that! I didn't expect it, but was thrilled to have him along.
We met at a church and the party went in stages starting with crafts. Ian made Christmas dog tags, a gingerbread man magnet, a snowman pin, a wreath ornament and a cute paper Christmas tree. I got to make the Christmas tree, too! I don't think there was a craft there that Ian didn't like. He was very serious about his crafts, too!
After all the crafts were in their drying spots, it was time for lunch. We all brought goodies to share. I took little smokies with cranberry sauce and chili sauce mixed together as the sauce over them. Very yummy! Colin and Ian enjoyed the oranges and grapes, too. They're such fruit bugs!
After lunch, it was time for some games and face painting. The big kids did a Rudolph relay (they put Vaseline on their nose and had to stick a red circle to their nose while they ran down and back). I helped with Bingo and then there was a "snowball" toss through a snowman with 3 holes. The kids got to keep their snowball and eat it later (they were marshmallows in a bag).
The entire thing was very laid back and no one felt pressured to move faster or anything. It was a great time. In fact the only bad thing about the party was the wind and rain outside making us nervous about an approaching storm!
This party was the beginning of what should be a very Christmasy week. Ian has a party at AWANA on Wednesday and at Home School Sports on Thursday. Colin has a party at work on Thursday and I have Christmas Bunco on Friday! Whew! I'm tired just thinking about all of it. That's a lot of cooking! It's okay, though, some years are full of Christmas parties and some years aren't. I like the ones that are full of parties, it's more fun!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Christmas Snooper

In my day, I was a horrendous Christmas snooper. I remember being probably 9 and we lived out in the country in Kansas. That meant we had animals to take care of and being winter, it was COLD! So my mom took care of the animals while we kids stayed in the house nice and toasty warm (and by ourselves). I'm certain that if my mother hadn't given us the warning: don't go in mom and dad's bedroom, I wouldn't have had any interest in going in there, but since she did give that warning, I just couldn't keep myself out of there! So I went in and found a big box that wasn't taped up and I looked inside. Jackpot! The presents for me and my little brother. Of course I had to share my discovery so I called my little brother and we looked for a while and then put things back the way they had been. I guess we weren't too successful in getting things back in the same spots because later that night I heard my full name hollered and I got two spankings that night. One for getting into the gifts and one for lying about it. My little brother got a spanking, too, just not as much as me because I led him down the path of Christmas present snooping. I think he learned his lesson and didn't snoop anymore. Me? Well, that's another story. I still snooped, I just got sneakier. I actually partially unwrapped presents just to see what they were! I never got busted for that, though..told you I got sneakier!
Fast forward to Christmas 2007. I had my son Ian's Christmas presents in my closet in a box on a high shelf. When he was supposed to be playing in his bedroom, he had actually gone and gotten a chair, pulled down one of his gifts, examined it and then brought it to me and told me it was as nice as he thought it was going to be! I can say he wasn't being sneaky! I can also tell you he came very close to losing that gift (he probably should have!)
Fast forward to this Christmas. This past Sunday, in fact. Ian had a Christmas program practice so Colin and I decided to run a couple of errands. We ended up buying a couple of little gifts for Ian. Unfortunately for us, Colin is not sneaky and had left the gifts uncovered in the back of the van (no trunk in a minivan). Also, he had left the van unlocked and Ian had heard me tell one of his teachers that we had done a little Christmas shopping. So while we were talking to some people from our church, Ian was hanging over the back seat in the van looking at his gifts! I don't think he saw much. Next time, I'll put the bags in, I know how to hide things in the back of the van!
Well, at least my Christmas snooper isn't sneaky, at least, not yet!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Shopping Adventures

Despite my plan of trying to shop throughout the year for Christmas gifts, I have found myself short a few items this year. I think it has a little bit to do with our budget, the horrible gas prices of the summer and fall and two vacations within seven months of each tends to limit available resources for shopping.
So this November I found that I had nothing in my gift box for Ian. I can honestly say, this has never happened before. I always have a gift or two for him in my gift box! This meant that I needed to look at all the Christmas ads, especially the Black Friday ads. I really don't like Black Friday. I love some of the great prices, but I hate the crowds, the deranged morning hours that they choose to start these sales and the general chaotic scene that ensues. Unfortunately, I found that Walmart had a gift that Ian would love, a Lego Castle. Normally $100, it was on sale for $50. So I discussed the situation with Colin and I made plans for him to be at Walmart by about 4:45 am (I told you I don't like the crowds, not to mention early mornings). I had a short list of things for Colin to look for, a game for my nephew Andrew and some other things, but the castle was the main thing. Alas, it was not meant to be. Walmart had put the castles somewhere other than the Lego aisle and by the time Colin located them, the last one was going in to another persons cart. Colin did manage to find the game and an external drive that his dad had asked him to pick up. He headed home so we could drive to the bigger city to go to a couple of other sales and to Group Health so a doctor could look at my lovely new case of pink eye.
We went to Walgreen's so I could pick some webkinz on sale. It turned out to be an okay sale as they were the super small webkinz, not the normal sized ones. We also went to Hallmark so I could get their new singing snowman. While we were at Hallmark, Ian spotted the regular Webkinz and fell in love with a dolphin. Of course, I couldn't buy it with him standing there, so I made plans to go back on Wednesday. I went back to find that it had been sold and that all the Hallmark's in the area were sold out of the dolphin webkinz. They took my name and number and told me they'd call if they got one in.
So when I got home last night I tried looking for it online. It was either sold out or it was an outrageous price ($29.95 for something that was $13.98 at Hallmark...not a good deal at Amazon). So I posted my frustration on my Facebook status and my friend Kitsel responded saying that the pharmacy in her town had a great selection and did she want me to check? I said yes and she checked and they had it! So I will get it from her when I see her at my next Bunco game!
I am going back to my shopping throughout the year! This last minute sale shopping and wondering if the store will have what you want in stock is seriously stressful!!!
Oh, I was at Walmart today and they had two of the castles just sitting on the shelf! Don't you just hate that? The good news is we did get a pretty cool Lego set for $50 thanks to Colin's mom being at another Walmart that didn't even get one of the Lego castles. They said they would make a substitution, so we snatched that up!
I hope the rest of my shopping works out better than these past adventures. I don't think I can stand any more stress!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Address Book

So, tonight I was working on my Christmas cards (those of you who know me, please pick yourselves up off the floor, I know you just fainted) and I pulled out one of my old address books. It's not really that old. I think it's approaching 10 years.
It's funny, the changes that have happened since I filled out that address book. It's just a bunch of names and places in an old book, but to me, I see each person in there when I look at their name.
I see family that I loved who aren't alive any more and I miss them. I see friends who have moved so many times, I'm not exactly sure where they are any more. I see people who were married who aren't now. I see people who were single that are married now. In just 10 short years, life, death, love, changes, they're all there.
I look at that book and think, there are people who need to be added. I didn't know them 10 years ago. There are addresses to be changed. Can you believe that most of my family and a lot of Colin's family don't live where they did 10 years ago?
It's amazing, all the changes that I see when I look at my old address book. Wonder what changes the next 10 years will bring?

The Land of Snot

Well, I haven't written for a while. I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving and that you aren't going too crazy getting ready for Christmas!
I haven't written much because since November 15th I have been living in the land of snot. Yes, you read that right. The land of snot.
Ian came down with a bad head cold the night of the 15th. A really bad head cold. Even with his pretty good immune system, it took him 2 weeks to get over it. Since he can never remember to cover his mouth when he coughs, I was exposed constantly to the cold germs and sure enough, I caught the cold about 4 days after Ian.
I'm still fighting it! I thought it was getting somewhat better last Wednesday and I was semi okay on Thanksgiving but, on Friday I woke up congested and with pink eye! Ugh! Now there's snot in my eye (that's pretty much what it is).
I am ready to get rid of this stuff! Enough already! I have antibiotic eye drops for my eyes, but it sure seems slow!
Hopefully, I'll get over this before I start acting snotty (you know I couldn't resist that one!)