Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 2007

A time for reflection...... Not always my favorite thing. New Year's Eve has been a bittersweet time in the past. This year feels different, though. If you look back to my post from one year ago, you'll sense the bittersweet, the desire to somehow hold on to something past. This year instead of looking back with sad nostalgia, I look back with utterly thankful heart. My life is absolutely wonderful. Even with my daily struggles with Jack, and the regular wear and tear of living in a world that is not my true home, I feel that each day is a miracle for me. I feel, in a way, like someone who has come back from the brink of the grave to find life more colorful, more lively, more worth living than ever before. The past is past, and so often in life, hurtful memories begin to fade until only the good ones remain. I rest in the knowledge that my past loved ones are, I believe, in much better places in their lives than ever before, and for that I am truly thankful. We can all be humbled and brought to our knees for the "grace heaped upon grace" from a forgiving, loving Father.

May your New Year begin with a prayer of gratefulness, and may you sleep long and lingeringly in the morning (since I'll be up with my energetic 13 month old son). Happy New Year, dear ones!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Jack's Gift To Momma

Momma, because I drooled on your laptop and broke your mouse and ate your up arrow key, daddy suggested that I buy you your own laptop so so that we don't have to share anymore! I hope you like it. Daddy helped just a little bit but it was all my idea.

I love you momma.


Jack Jack


Super Cool Gifts For Super Cool Kids

This year we decided to take a leap of faith and give the kids cell phones. You can tell by thier reactions that we hit the nail on the head! Mom is a good gift picker!

Grandma Overload, Warning!!! Uncensored!!!

Need we say any more?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas At Grandma-Poo's House

Today was Christmas! Well, to be more exact, it was Christmas at Grandma Poo's house. We had a great time eating yummy food and opening presents. We all got really great stuff, but I have to admit, I was completely astonished to see this beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer all for ME!!!!!! I'd like to think that Santa knew that I was a good girl this year, but it was really Grandma and Gaylene in cahoots with one another! Ohhhhhh, I can't wait to use it!

Catching Up

This is the sight that greeted me one morning last week. My dearest friend, Gaylene, made us a cornucopia of Christmasy sweets! If that wasn't enough, I about split my sides laughing at the note attached to the wrapping. "Pace yourself". HA!!!!

I know that this picture is a little late, but it is of me in Indy the night that we went to the Symphony Orchestra.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Our Day

We are all together again! Yeah! Anne and Bryan are here, and we are having a great time. Our first order of the morning on Monday was to take Anne to the doctor! She got off the plane coughing and didn't stop. Her asthma was really bothering here and she was having trouble sleeping, so we decided that a trip to Dr. Thomas wouldn't hurt. He agreed that her cough was definitely asthma related, so we started the Advair again and also an anti-biotic "just in case". She seems to be doing much better and slept until almost 10 a.m.

Bryan has set up camp in the living room with the game cube, which delights Jack to no end since he loves anything with buttons. Plus, it's a very amusing thing to watch Bry play video games. All I can say is that I'm glad that there is a long cord to his controller because it allows him to do all kinds of crazy antics while he is playing. Right now he is playing "Tony Hawk Pro Skater" and he has some crazy cheat that slows it down so each jump is in slow motion. It drives me crazy! I want Tony to just freakin' land already!

Jack has been ecstatic to have them home. He loves it when Anne takes his hands and runs with him down the hallway. He laughs the whole way. And he loves to sit with Bry in the floor and play with the toys. Both of the kids are really good with him, and, at least for now, are not irritated by his desire to touch everything they have! I'm sure that will wear off!

Today we are going to go see daddy and have lunch with him, then it's off to Wal-mart! These kids like to eat bagels for breakfast and I don't have any.

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ahhhhhh, The Single Life

I am currently blogging from my hotel in Indy. I have a Starbucks coffee nearby (I almost said "in my hand" but then I realized that wasn't really true and I wouldn't be able to type if it were), I have had 9 hours of completely uninterrupted sleep, my sweet baby is being lovingly cared for by his grandmother, there is a fireplace with a lovely fire, my husband is asleep in our hotel room, and I......I am alone. Sigh..........

Jeff and I went to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Christmas Show and stayed overnight in a hotel because A & B are coming today!!!!!!! So Grandma Poo is watching Jack-Jack! It is the first time since he was born that we have been an hour away from him all night. I did really well last night, but I am starting to go through withdrawals this morning. It's not at all out of fear for him that things aren't going well. Good grief, he's safer with Grandma than he is with me! She knows infant CPR and probably doesn't have to look up the number for the Poison Control Center (by the way, Steph, what IS that number?).

The show last night was very good and extremely reminiscent of my days with the MSO. It was funny because we ended up coming in the back way to the Hilbert Circle Theatre at about 7:40 (show time at 8:00), and we ran into some musicians with their instruments entering the building! 20 minutes before the show! That is SO like a professional musician. These Christmas programs are cake for them and I doubt that they even did much practicing for it, if any. I was very impressed with their orchestra--it was really good--and seemed much smaller than Milwaukee's. The stage was teenie weanie! Especially compared with MSO, and they didn't have a chorus, rather they had guest singers that formed a sort of small ensemble. They were good, especially a lady named N'Kenge. I can't even describe it. She is definitely somebody and I know I've seen her on TV before. She has an unbelieveable range and is able to sing many different styles without blinking an eye. At first I thought she was singing the low alto parts, because of the solo that she did (was very low) but then by watching closely during the group numbers I discovered that she was actually singing the first soprano and was SKYING. Very cool.

Well, I guess it's time to go wake up my hubby and get this show on the road. They're going to kick us out of here in an hour or so. Too bad. I like it here. Oh, did I mention that there is a plasma screen TV just about my head? Man, this place has everything!!!!

Have a great day, and my apologies to all you choir members out there that are currently at the 3 hour Saturday practice for the cantata. Ooopsie!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

City vs. Country

For the past decade or so I have owned cats. My first ever cat was Hero, and I loved her greatly, but alas, she had a tragic fault. Tragic for me, that is, because I could not have a cat that wanted to pee everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. So Hero left me for (hopefully) some elderly person who did not mind the smell and greatly benefited from her sweet nature and love of snuggling. At least that is what I try to tell myself since she was taken to an animal shelter. After Hero came Dala, or Queen Amidala, as I named her. I felt that her beautiful looks required a regal name, and being the Star Wars fan that I am, I felt that Amidala suited her. "Dala" was a great short name too. I have a picture of her, and if I can find it, I'll post it, but after going through several hard drives, my pictures are a little scattered (just another thing on my list of "things that I need to do"--organize my digital pictures). Dala was very quiet and very sweet. When we got her, she had spent the last few weeks being traumatized by 3 large hunting dogs and so she was very skittish. It took her a while to settle down, but she did, and was a great cat (and still is I believe). There were a series of kitties along the way, and I forget their order, but homage must be paid to them. Pika was a great kitty, but we gave her up to a nice family in our church, then there was Ringo, he was a foster kitty and was later named Stu, much to our disappointment. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. And then came Nutmeg. Nutmeg was supposed to be "my" kitty, because I picked her out (even though Dala always was and still continues to be my favorite). She was awful cute, just a few weeks old when we got her, and looked as though she had gotten her tail stuck in a light socket. She was GREAT fun growing up. However, something happened in her tiny cat brain that I can't quite figure out and she turned into an orange and white demon. And cats like that usually live for a very long time, so I'm sure she is still demonizing her current owner. I had to give Dala and Nutmeg up because I was moving to a place where I couldn't have cats, and though it was sad, I believe they are loved and taken care of as though they were family. This brings to me to my current status as cat owner. When I married Jeff, I inherited his two cats, Bart and Callie. Bart is an orange and white Tom and Callie is a petite little Calico. Callie is the mommy of Bart. I was ecstatic to again be in possession of cats, but I quickly learned that this was a new breed of feline. These two cats were "outdoor" cats. I'd never had one. Mine had all been very civilized (exluding Nutmeg) indoor kitties who licked their paws and sat in patches of sunshine on the carpet. However, Bart wouldn't know a litter box if it bonked him on the head, and although Callie truly believes in her heart that she is an indoor cat, her taste for live animals completely keeps her off the list of "animals that I will let sleep on my bed". At first I was mortified at their behavior. I had never before been "offered" a dead mouse on my front porch step, but Callie faithfully feeds her new "mommy" (me) and proves her love and devotion on a regular basis. The first time I opened the door and saw a dead, decapitated mouse (she loves the heads) I recoiled in horror until I saw Callie standing by, meowing and rubbing her tail around on the door as if to say, "It's all for you, mommy (except the head, of course, must keep the best part)." So I begrudgingly said my thankyou and asked Jeff to "please get rid of that dead mouse". Somewhere along the way, though, I began to see that these cats were truly the way that God made them and were only acting out their natural instincts. Now, when I see a dead mouse, I wholeheartedly thank Callie (she's the only one who brings them to the door) and say "What a good mouser you are!" She is truly showing her appreciation for me in a way that my other cats never did. I know that this seems to be a non sequitor post, but it was just kind of swimming around in my head this morning as I watched this drama unfold in my back yard. I took pictures of it, mostly so that Grandma Poo could see what a good kitty Charlie is! Charlie is Grandma's kitty that we let go outside when she broke her leg, and I have enjoyed having him here very much. He has his moments of wanting to come back inside, but I don't think he would give up the joy of catching his own live chipmunk for a sofa, so he stays outside and is very happy to do so. Go, Charlie! Go, Bart and Callie! What good kitties you are! Now, if only I had a little doggie........

If you look very closely, there is a small chipmunk being stalked here.

Bart helps close the gap.

Charlie is triumphant!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Time Has Come!

I have finally gotten my Christmas decorations up! This is really the first year that I've put much thought into it in my new house. I can't even tell you what I did last year. I honestly have no recollection of even putting up or taking down the Christmas tree. I know that we did have one, but I can't remember when I put it up! Things were kind of blurry last year since Jack was only two weeks old at this time last year.

I was kind of at a loss about where to put the Christmas tree. I was afraid that if I put it upstairs in the family room Jack would tip it over. So I ended up putting it down in the basement living room. It seems a little bit out of place amongst the big screen TV and movie posters, but all in all it looks quite good there. Anne and Bryan will be happy because that is where they like to be and they can help me make sure that Jack stays out of the tree. Once again, I am so thankful for my husband, for this beautiful home that he has shared with me, for our children and our church. Life sure is good.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Did You Know?

You experienced mothers out there will probably laugh at me for this one....

Last night Jack, Daddy and I played really hard before Jack went to bed. He was all sweaty and panting, so I gave him a good drink before taking him upstairs. Then at 2:30 p.m. he woke up (probably because of the extremely rare 3 hour nap he took in the afternoon), so I gave him an 8 oz. bottle and put him back to bed. I could tell when I gave him the bottle that he was wet, but I have learned that the best way to keep Jack UP in the middle of the night is to change his diaper. So I figured he'd be wet through when he woke up in the morning. In the middle of the night this is something that a tired mommy can certainly live with (and sleep on). So, at 8:00 a.m. this morning I went and picked up my baby from his crib. He was very happy and smiley - not at all bothered by his wet pj's. I first realized something was a little "off" when I put my hand on his foot as we were coming down the stairs and it was, well, squishy. I thought that a little odd, and had a puzzled expression on my face as I laid him down and unzipped his pj's. Apparently, some diapers (at least Luv's do) EXPLODE when they become completely saturated! Did you know that?!? There was this pile of jelly stuff on his tummy and down his legs into the footies of his pj's. I wasn't really sure how to clean it up. I took his pj's off and put him in the bathtub (which REALLY made him happy since it is rare that he gets a bath in the morning), and got out the vaccuum cleaner. Yes, honey, I used our vaccuum to suck up the saturated pee jelly from our son's diaper. I didn't know what else to do! I tried using the broom and the dustpan, but it didn't get it all, and some of it spilled out on the carpet that we JUST had cleaned. So, I swept it up. There, it's done. I'm sorry if I've ruined our vaccuum, but, who knew? Did you?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Not Sure I Agree

I'm A Midwestern Girl

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The Northeast
The Inland North
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Friday, December 01, 2006

December 1st!

Currently, this is the scene out of my picture window.
Yippeee! Let it snow!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Happy Thanksgiving

I know that this is coming somewhat late, but I did want to comment on what a terrific Thanksgiving we had. We had approximately 30 people at our house on Thanksgiving Day, with dinner being served at 3:00 p.m. A couple of weeks ago Jeff decided to fry the turkeys for our dinner, and I, very skeptically, agreed that he should. In my defense, I've only eaten fried turkey once, and I didn't think that it was that great, so I was a little worried about serving all of our family this "wild card" turkey. I am very traditional when it comes to my holidays and to me there is nothing better than a bird baked in the oven! But Jeff assured me that it would be great. He asked me to purchase several ingredients for the marinade, and being the food junkie that I am, I was VERY interested in the whole process. The only thing I did for him was thaw and wash the birds, since I knew that removing the giblets could be a bit of a queasy task for him. I watched in wonder as this husband of mine, who is so very multi-talented, made a homeade marinade and injected it into the turkeys and put them into the fridge to "soak" overnight. The next day he got all of his tools and ingredients ready, and fried us up some turkey! When the first turkey was brought to me proudly on a cookie sheet, I was shocked. It was black. Black, like, burnt to a crisp kind of black! All of my fears were completely validated at this point and my heart sank a bit as I tried to think how we were going to feed 30 people with the turkey that I had decided to go ahead and bake in the oven "just in case". But Jeff still seemed pretty proud of it and told me to carve it up and see how it tasted. So I did. I was surprised to see that the inside was quite juicy. I gingerly placed a black piece of skin and white turkey meat in my mouth, and was overwhelmingly amazed to find that it was not burnt at all! Rather, it was quite yummy, and I quickly popped in another piece, just to be sure. So, we were back on again and I was once again astonished at the many talents of Jeff.

As the three o'clock hour rolled around, people started arriving, and my kitchen counter was filled with an array of yummy food. Everybody grabbed a plate and found a seat and the eating commenced! It was a great success. Afterwards, my mother, bless her soul, cleaned up the whole kitchen and carved up MY turkey that hadn't even gotten done in time for dinner, and stored all the leftovers in the freezer. We had people in just about every room of the house, chatting, watching football, and a large group in the dining room playing cards. The last guests left around 10:00 p.m.!!! It was a blast! We will definitely do it again, and I will definitely let Jeff fry the turkey. Everyone thought it was great.

In the middle of the evening we paused to celebrate with Jack on the great accomplishment of his first birthday. He was a bit tired and overwhelmed at the number of people in his house. When everyone got together and sang Happy Birthday, he cried. I guess you just have to put yourself in his little baby shoes and think that maybe the prospect of thirty people all looking at you at once and singing loudly could possibly be a scary thing. But he got over it and had a great time opening up his presents. Thanks to Jeff's dad, we have pictures!

Jeff and I have so many things to be thankful for: God's love and grace to us, our marriage, our children, our health. Over all I think that this year our biggest blessing has been our family. We were so pleased and thankful to have them all here with us.

Jeff with his "Magic Turkey Fryer"

Jason called it a "Flaming Caulderon of Death"

Aunt Mona

Mom saving the day! (thanks mom!)

Aunt Jill & Uncle Gary

Not so happy 1st birthday

Now he is interested!

Fun toys!

Jack with his cousins

Mommy joins in

Cousins Blake & Rachel with Mom Beth

"The Rat Pack"
Our sincere apologies to Uncle Phil....

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Birthday To Our Sweet Baby

It's hard to believe it, but our little baby is now a year old! What a bundle of joy and energy! He was very happy today and went around screaming and laughing, as if he really knew this was HIS day. It was very fun to watch him open his presents, practice his walking, and eat cake! Here are a few highlights.

Happy 1st Birthday Jack Jack!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Happy Thoughts

The Fireplace

I'm just playing near the fireplace, mommy.

I'm just turning to see if you're looking, mommy.

I can't help it, mommy.

Mommy had to put down the camera for a few minutes.