Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009- a photographic montage............

Ah, who am I kidding. I don't have the energy to filter through an entire years worth of photos in search of 12 to put here. That and the fact that I get all emotional-sappy when thinking how fast this year has gone and how quickly my children are changing and growing. And right now I can't do tears. So consider yourself spared.

Instead- photos of Allyson's new gift.

I got up and was in line at 6am- on a Sunday- in the freezing cold- in order to get this. Everyone was sold out, like way before Thanksgiving. But a certain R Us store got in 5. As in f.i.v.e. And when they opened at 7am- they would sell them to the first fools in line. And I was one of them.

It's mindflex- you strap this horribly ridiculous thing to your head and then clip these doogies to your ears and you 'control' the ball with your mind and make it go through the maze. Sounds farfetched? Yes. But who can resist the urge to try?

Since one can't live on mindflex alone- I decided to get myself a hobby. So I held Shelley hostage one day this week until she taught me something. After about 4 hours- I had been able to whip up this:

That- in case you can't make it out- is a pot holder. A home made crocheted pot holder, made by ME! Shelley deserves a badge of honor for listening to "What did I do- Is this right- Where do I go now- What on earth" for hours on end. And although it is totally misshapen, it is all mine.

So moving on- I am making a king size blanket. Just kidding. Shelley thought I should start smaller (geesh). So- a scarf. Or a blanket for a very small person. I haven't yet decided.

Truth be told- I think Shelley offered to assist me with my new hobby just to get a chance to play Ally's new game------

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mad Scientist

One of the treasures Sam unwrapped Christmas morning was a Spider Man bath set with fizzing bath salts. Right after breakfast- the child stripped nude and headed to the tub with his new toy. And there he stayed for over an hour until the last of the bubbling salts was used up. He was so funny, I enjoyed his excitement in his new set (complete with test tubes and goggles)- but not as much as he did!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A very busy place...............

We had a wonderful Christmas! It has all come and gone so fast, that my head is still trying to embrace the fact that it is over!

We spent Christmas Eve at Moms with my was wonderful!

And Emily was 'blessed' enough to get kicked in the face by her sister- knocking out her very first tooth (rest assured- it was super wiggly before the incident!)

Santa even left a gift for Lew- I don't think he has moved from here since Christmas Morning!

And then Christmas Day we spent with Dans family. Sam was in heaven getting to spend hours upon hours playing with his cousin!

So, let me recap. In a matter of 24 hours we visited with all of our family members, had a visit from Santa, a visit from the Tooth Fairy, and much to my surprise- a visit from Aunt Flo (she only came to see me). But her visit meant no visit from the Stork- so I suppose it was a welcomed visit? I can only imagine how full the house was when they all popped in to drop off their goodies- we probably should have left out extra cookies!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It takes my breath away to think about our awesome Lord and His divine plan.

He must have been so disappointed in us. To constantly turn away from what he was clearly telling us to do. (as a parent- I can understand a little) And then to punish us, over and over, to no avail.

And then, as a final offer of sorts, He promised to send the Messiah. And He sent him as a baby. All we have to do is accept him.

Today- I am beyond excited about it being Christmas Eve. The kids and I are going to have a long day as we wait for tomorrow. But my heart is filled the love for our Lord. And my acceptance of His son, Jesus.

It is my entire family's prayer that those who have not met Him, will have their eyes opened to the miracles of our Lord. And as we prepare today to celebrate the birth of Jesus, I feel completely overwhelemed by the gift that He represents.

Merry CHRISTmas! And Happy Birthday Jesus! And thank you God!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mary or Martha?

There is a familiar story in the bible about Mary and Martha. Jesus comes to visit them, and Mary collapses at Jesus' feet and spends the time he is there listening to him. Martha, meanwhile, scurries around and makes preparations for him the while time he is visiting. After a while, she comes whining to Jesus about her sister and her lack of help. But Jesus says that Mary is the blessed one who has done what is important. (this is me paraphrasing and I am no biblical scholar ya'll- it's in Luke 10:38 if you want to read the real version).

I awoke this morning at 4am with the desire to read this story. No doubt I struggle with who I should be- Mary or Martha. Obviously I want to be Mary. But if we were all Marys- who would be Martha? Someone has to get all the 'stuff' ready- right? If none of us did the preparations- then how could we possibly have the things done that need done (food, shopping, wrapping, cleaning, cooking, on and on and on)? But in my heart, I know that the 'stuff' is not what is important.

As we rapidly approach this Christmas holiday, it is the desire of my heart to be more like Mary and less like Martha. I have worked hard to prepare physically for what I know needs to be done for this holiday. But now, I will spend my energies preparing mentally for the birth of our savior (after I work today and go to the grocery- that is). And if he were to come to my home, it is my hope that I could brush the dog hair off the sofa for him to sit and collapse at his feet in sheer wonder and amazement. And maybe, I could even offer Him a plate of our homemade cookies (if He gets here before the children eat them all, that is). But I'll order a pizza instead of making one?

I will close this thought with some photos from our season.

The kids are about to explode from all the excitement of Christmas. And this morning, I am too. Two more days.

Monday, December 21, 2009

You can stop looking in your mailbox...........

In an effort to regain my sanity (yeah right) I have ‘let myself off the hook’ for sending Christmas cards this year. Partly this is due to my complete inability to plan for our family and manage my time- the other part is due to the lack of ability to get all 3 children dressed and together at the same time for a photo. Probably falls back on the planning and managing thing- but oh well.

So instead, I have chosen to post here what my Christmas note may have looked like, had I actually decided to prepare one for mailing. And based on it’s content and my less than pleasant disposition right now- it’s probably to everyone’s benefit that it not arrive in their joyfully adorned mailboxes.

Dear family and friends,

Another year is just about under our belts. With any luck at all we will ring in yet another new year in just a few short days. Bring on a brand new insurance deductible to meet!

As for an update from our family- here it is.

Sam- Sam has proven to be all boy. He has dang near destroyed everything we own in our house (including most of the Christmas tree ornaments) and is currently working on the items that belong to the girls. I can’t begin to explain what fills my heart when I hear the constant screaming and crying that is constantly coming from one of the girls based upon something this small boy child has done. He sits more in time out than I get to sit in a whole day. Good news is that at 3 ½ years old he did manage to finally potty train. And with the super freezing temperatures we are currently experiencing, he hardly ever heads out onto the deck to take a leak anymore either. Yeah for small miracles! He started preschool this year, and lucky for his teachers, he has somehow managed to refrain from his normal ‘home’ behavior. In fact they said that he was very social and doing remarkably well- I had them check to make sure they’d grabbed the right file. I’m glad that he does seem to love it there, although he typically describes the stuff they do as ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’. Why do we try so hard to encourage these small beings to speak? Next thing is to strap any movable stool type objects in the house to the floor- as he is still a climber and has become super inventive as to how he reaches items above his head. On a lighter note, he only managed to bust his eye open twice this year- that’s less than a dozen stitches total! But with time still left in the year, we’ll just have to wait to see what happens.

Emily- Emily has begun Kindergarten this year. She loves it, her teacher, the bus ride and everything about the entire experience. Except the fact that they don’t feed her while she’s there- she’s still kind of bitter about that one. Thanks to her early twenties, super thin and enormously trendy teacher (who Emily ADORES), she has come to the conclusion that her mommy is puffy- unlike her teacher. Yeah, thanks for that one. Couldn’t she have gotten an old ratchety fat teacher? At least I’d still look young and hip in comparison to that. She, being an elementary kid now, has joined Girl Scouts and another club at school. She seems to love it, she is so social, but I really think it’s because they serve snacks at both.

Allyson- Allyson is in her fourth grade year, the last at the elementary school. Her hormones are running amok and basically causing her to either love or hate us- all the time. No happy medium. I can hardly wait until she ‘blossoms’, she’s such a joy all the time already- what with all the anger and yelling and all! She is still in piano- but now thinks of it as more of a prison sentence. I can’t begin to tell you how many tearful screaming matches we’ve had over the old ivory keys. Good times. But- on a happier note- she only managed to break 1 bone this year! Her foot- while jump roping in gym class. Who knew? That landed her in a cast for a few weeks- but fingers crossed- it was our only visit with the orthopedic doctor this year. She was on a basketball team for the first time this year- but the whole broken foot thing landed her on the bench for most of the season. Better luck next year. She is taking more responsibilities at home- and although still lazy and unmotivated enough to pay me a quarter a day for not making her bed, she is now earning her keep by doing the dishes. Not joyfully, but at least I’m getting some help in the kitchen.

Dan- still working at UPS. I hear he is doing well. Based on the fact that we are rarely in the same place together at the same time I will have to take other peoples word for that. These kids and our crazy life keep us running, mostly in opposite directions. But based on the fact that I still find his laundry in the basket to wash- I do know that he is still around.

Me- still working part time for the air show. Running around like a complete idiot trying to keep up with three children and a husband- and failing miserably at it. I’m not even sure I’ve had a haircut this year. Most days I feel like I am loosing my ever loving mind, but there is just not time to admit myself to the psych ward. And much to my dismay, the gallbladder I had to have removed did not weigh 50 pounds- so I am still suckin’ on the whole weight loss issue as well. Looks like I’ll have to lap off a leg if I want to see the scale go down.

Our family- We still have Lew, our severly overweight beagle. And we had added two guinea pigs to the mix as well. What a mess of hair and poop we have going on over here! For a while I thought Dan has surprised me with carpet for the living area- turns out it was just an enourmous collection of hairballs. Oh well. But whatever. They are neat to have and the girls love them. And Sam learned last week that trying to load the guinea pig cage onto his dump truck was not one of his better ideas. Once we got the pig out from under the bed, we had a long talk about that (while I cleaned up the cage that got dumped all over the carpeting). Why even today, the little child was feeding one of the pigs a peacock feather- he sure does enjoy having them around!

Oh- and we have a fish. Whoever said that carnival fish don’t live for long was sorely mistaken.

So there it is. We are a mess. Our house is a mess. Our laundry is a mess. Our schedule is a mess. And basically I know all the employees at our local grocery by name, because I am there all.the.time. But our home is full. And our hearts are turned toward the Lord. So all is right in our world, and most days, we feel so very incredibly blessed. And apparently feeling blessed means you feel like a complete nut job.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The first............

This will be the first Christmas I will have celebrated Christmas without my Grandma Larsen.

During the last few years of her life, she didn't remember me. But I remembered her. I remembered enough for both of us.

When I would visit, which wasn't often, and now I realize should have been more, she would chat with me. But she would talk to me as though I was a stranger. Because to her, she had never met me before that moment. And that was okay.

I watched the strong, faithful woman I grew up with slip into a wheelchair bound physically weak woman. But her spirit, and her faith- it remained strong.

I have this overwhelming feeling this week to go and sit in her presence. But she is no longer with us, and I am missing her.

These ornaments on our tree, made by her and passed to me by my mom, are a reminder that she will always be a big part of my life.

And as I placed them on the tree this year, I realized how very much I miss her.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

There is not enough Vodka in the world for this much crazy.........

My mood is- well- less than joyful.

Today is 'make sugar cookies' day. And there is powdered sugar EVERYWHERE.
That and egg yolk paint, lovingly splattered all over the dining room. And I am trying really hard to enjoy this with the kids, because the love it, but I am just miserable today. Grumpy, hateful and tired.

Add in the fact that it snowed- and blech!

Because Allyson started at 8:14AM asking if they can go outside.

Then the little ones started begging too.

After the first batch of cookies were in the oven, I caved and told them all to get dressed.

Don't get me wrong- I'm all for sending these crazy people outside to pester the neighbors for a while- but it's sooooo much work.

Find everyones boots. Discover they are all apparently missing (probably in Dan's van- he's generous like that). Track down footwear, check! Time for snowpants. Being the first snow of the season- try to figure out what fits who. Snowpants on- check! Coats. Emily's is, you guessed it, in Dan's van. Give in an let her wear wool dress coat. Coats- check! Gloves and hats. We seem to have multiple single gloves, but not a complete pair of anything. I bought 423 pairs of gloves last year, yet they all seem to be gone. Finally find enough mismatched to at least cover 6 hands. Gloves- check! Hats- check! Allyson decides now that she doesn't want to go out. I threaten her with her life and tell her she IS going- she started this crap after all. And out the door they go, and I am now a sweaty mess.

2 seconds later- in comes Sam. He wants his toys out of the garage. I declare war with this small blonde boy- no way in hell am I going to have them drag everything out of the garage and litter it all over the yard. Back out he goes.

I slap some frosting decorations on their cookies while they are outside.

I can hear them fighting in the front yard. But at least they are outside.

In comes Sam for snowman decorations. Being the good mother that I am, I send him out with a rolled up tortilla for a nose and chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth.

I mop up the track small boy made when coming inside.

Allyson comes in to complain about the decorations. I send her back out.

Allyson comes in to complain that Sam ate the eyes and mouth.

I threaten them to stop fighting.

They continue to fight in the front yard until Emily finally comes in, crying, saying Sam pushed her off the snowman. And asks if I have the hot cocoa ready.

Send her back out. Make hot cocoa.

In come three cold, dripping wet children and all the associated stuff they were wearing.

Hang it all over the house to dry.

They take all the chairs to the counter to eat cookies and drink hot cocoa. I am sitting on a foot stool typing this.

There is cocoa and cookie crumbs all over the place.

I am just not happy. Momma needs a margherita.

And these guys have got to go find something to do that does not involve me having to do anything to help them. If only there were not still cookie dough in the fridge to finish making.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Christmas Story- again- but with a new cast of characters

There was a man and a woman named Mary and Joseph who lived with their donkey.

An angel of the Lord came to them and said they would have a baby and name him Jesus.

They were called to go to Bethleham, and when they arrived there was no room in the Inn.

But the inn keeper said they can stay in the stable.

While they were there, the time came for Baby Jesus to be born. Mary placed him in the hay.

An angel of the Lord appeared to sheperds in a nearby field- telling them to come and see the baby. They were to follow the star.

The magi came to see the baby too and brought gifts for the baby.

And then they all sang Jingle Bells. No not really.

Merry Christmas, and may the peace of Jesus be with you and yours.