Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas Eve:

In typical tradition we went to my moms for dinner; she made yummy prime rib!

For our Christmas gifts this year from mom and Dan, we were each given money so we could carry on the spirit of giving this holiday. So we all gathered around the speaker phone with Nate to share our stories. Ryan donated to hospis, Lisa gave food and gifts to a family, Aaron bought a bunch of toys and donated them to Toys for Tots, Kara found a family in need, Nate and Kristen went to the grocery store and found someone with a cart full of good food and bought their groceries. With Brian and I's money I pooled it all together and bought myself some new North Face boots that I have been drooling over....

Well that's what I told everyone,but really Brian and I pooled our money and provided Christmas for a family from my school, the mom was just diagnosed with cancer and her one wish was to have a nice Christmas dinner with her family, so we bought dinner and all the fixin's, some extra food for the holiday break, and each of the 5 family members some gifts to open on Christmas morning. One of the kids needed a winter coat, so Brian asked around work and found a nice Carhart coat and pants, brand new in his size, and his work donated it to him. We took the pants to Murdocks and they were so helpful they gave us a gift card for them and we were able to buy hats and gloves for everyone in the family. We were both truly amazed at how far we could stretch the money. It was a good experience for all of us. And of course mom cried through each of our stories.

The funniest part of the evening was when mom had the kids draw numbers to open presents. Maddox started jumping around frantic..."I want number one! Which one is number one!" He was so worried about picking "number one" that he couldn't even pick one, so he got what was left, and guess was number one. Though when he opened it he fell apart, "This isn't number one.." but it really was, we were all laughing so hard at his display... I told him to look at it and read it..."I can't read" he exclaimed in the saddest most defeated wail "It's not number one." We all tried to convince him that it was number one but he was having none of it because it looked like a scribble. When my mom was writing the numbers on the paper the pen wouldn't work so she scribbled up and down to make it work and that was number one. Finally I took the paper went and wrote a "real" number one on a different piece of paper and gave it to him. He looked at it and immediately stopped his pouting and was just like "oh, this is number one." It was quite a hysterical display I only wish we had caught it on tape. Now I am not so proud of his fit about having to be first, but it shows just how competitive this boy is, and him not seeing that the scirbble was actually a one shows just how literal he is.

We also decorated cookies, and this year Roxy showed up Brian in the cookie decorating. Usually Brian decorates inappropriately like putting Adam and Eve leave son ginger bread men, or bloody decapitated cookies. This year Roxy had a massacre on hers... you'll see when you get to the pictures.

It was a nice low key evening with everyone.

Christmas Day:

Once again we (Brian and I) were up before the kids. Finally at 6:30 Brian went and turned on the tree lights, then the phone rang-- Brian said it was a wrong number, but I think it was really him calling to try and wake the kids ;)... Madison woke up shortly after and finally at 7:00 we let her go and wake up her brother. Both kids enjoyed all of their presents. Maddox got a new baseball tee, and was disappointed when he couldn't play inside and we didn't want to get our snow clothes on to play outside. Madison loved her clothes and new soccer gear. After we opened our gifts here we got to hand out for a while and just enjoy the morning as a family.

Around 10:00 we went to Brian's parents for the traditional Christmas morning breakfast and gift opening. By this time Maddox was pretty sure where ever we went he was getting presents. It was a difficult thing to explain, and reexplain through out the day, that Christmas is about being with your family and celebrating Jesus' birth, not about getting presents...but he is only 3.

We headed back home and took naps or watched our new movies. Around 4 we headed up to my dad for Christmas dinner. It was a nice quiet evening with good food, dad made prime rib too!

By the end of the day we were all exhausted and ready to fall into our beds. Reflecting on the day it was very relaxing, I didn't feel the anxiety that typically accompanies Christmas, not sure what the difference was but it was nice.

Enjoy the pictures....

Monday, December 21, 2009


I am glad that I finished reading this one. I actually only had nightmares after the first night reading it. The book starts off with the story of two children being kidnapped. Then goes into the serial killers next victim. This was by far the scariest part for me. My nightmares centered around child abduction.

This story follows Daniel, an FBI agent/behavioral psychologist, who despite 16 victim's and 16 months of pursuing the killer, is at a stand still. When finally they find their first live victim and they thing they have their first major lead. Their victory is short lived when the serial killer, known only as Eve, stops them dead in their tracks with a bullet to Daniel's head and reclaims his victim.

After his partner refuses to give up resuscitation efforts, he is brought back to life. Now Daniel's efforts are renewed and refueled to find the killer. This fire only intensifies when Eve claims his next victim, Daniel's wife. When the truth of what motivates Eve is revealed it may be too late for Daniel.

This book alternates between the story of the abducted children and the story of the killer, ultimately intertwining the two. From the reviews of others it got increasingly scary, I found it increasingly suspenseful. A tale exploring the extent of the power of evil and darkness in our world, and the power of choice, the ease of deception....demon possession. Ted Dekker, once again, did not disappoint!

Learned: Guard your hear, keep it soft to hear God's voice, to be able to listen to your conscience. Most evil does not appear in a moment, but over many moments each of which callus your heart to the point where you don't feel the "wrong" any more. But you always have a choice.

Note: This is my firs library book... I have this phobia of reading library books. The thought that many strangers hands and germs are all over the pages creep me out, but I decided I needed to get over it, and it really wasn't too bad. Think I'll go and get another book today.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who Said What?

Conversation 1:

"I want to go to school"
No, you can't go to school"
Crying by person 1..."But I WANT to go, I miss school!"
"I am sorry, you still have a fever, you can't go to school."

Conversation 2:

"Can I watch what I want tonight?"
"No, I am watching football tonight."
"But I never get to watch what I want..."
"Sorry, but the Colts are on, and I am watching football."

So who said what in each conversation? Make a guess before you scroll down.

Conversation 1: Between Maddox and I. Maddox wanted to go to school so bad. He had stayed home sick on Monday, and by Wednesday he was still not better, so much to his disappointment I made him stay home. The whole time I was having this argument with him I couldn't help but wonder when the roles in this would be reversed?

Conversation 2: Again Maddox and I... I was struck by the oddity of this conversation; how typically the dad is the one laying claim to the TV during sports, yet here I banning anyone from the living room that just might distract me from my Colts.

Learned? To cherish the moments when my children beg to go to school, and how fortunate my husband and son are that I love football.

Book Nightmares

I just started reading Adam by Ted Dekker. The first night after reading it I was disturbed by nightmares the whole night. So I went to Shelfari to read the review of others that have read it and they all had one thing in common... Thriller, Scary, but they loved it.

Now I am one that does not do well with scary movies... (I hid my eye through a lot of Signs, and had to wake Brian by running into bed with all of the lights on after watching The Mummy - it was the bugs... AND had to turn every light on to go to the bathroom at night for 2 years - not exaggerating- after watching The Grudge)... So I am not sure that I can handle the scary-ness of this book.

BUT...there were so many comments saying how they loved the book and thought it was one of Dekker's best... So I will do my best to read it and not freak myself out. Maybe I will just avoid reading it before bed.

Learned? Sometimes even our favorite authors books need to be researched...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Yes, this was me yesterday. (No, not an actual picture of me). But I got to go run! I escaped the sick ward that was my home for just a few moments to run. I have not run since a few days after the Moab Other-Half Marathon, because I have been nursing an injured knee. (It has been over 6 weeks!)

Well yesterday the sun was shining, the snow was sparkling, and the roads were clear enough that I thought I would give it another go and see how it felt before resigning myself to the orthopedic surgeon.

I decided that no matter how good I felt I would only go one mile, so I didn't over do it. I also decided to take Ranger with me since it was cold and a short distance, maybe I could tire him out so he will quit escaping, maybe -just maybe- I will keep running with him while I gradually increase my distance and he can go on runs with me...maybe....

At the half way point I turned around with an acute awareness of my knee, but not really a sensation of pain. When I got home it felt a little stiff but that could have been from my first time running in a while. The good thing is that I could feel exactly where it hurt since there was no swelling or pain that extended beyond an injury site. I really think that it is my ITband, so I did a few stretches that are supposed to help that area. I will keep stretching and running short distances in hopes that I can work back up to my long distances again. If it is not the ITband, I am afraid that I might have a tear in my medial meniscus which of course would require surgery. BUT I refuse to see the glass half empty on this one.

I was amazed that not only did I feel good physically, but also emotionally! My soul felt happy. I knew that not being able to run was a contributing factor to the storm cloud that has been hanging around me, but didn't realize the extent.

It feels so good to run again, I am almost happier at being able to run a mile than I was at finishing my half marathon! Though when I say that it is hard not to get a bit discouraged at knowing I was running 13 miles once a week (and 3-5 miles between) and now only running one... Alas I will focus on my progress rather than my regress... I AM RUNNING!

Learned? I need a physical outlet, running is my meditation, my time to recenter myself, to let things go, to prepare, to just be...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shelter Me

Having two sick kids and being confined to the house for the entire weekend means lots of reading time. This weekend I finished Shelter Me by Juliette Fay. At first I had a hard time getting into it, be it because I had just come off of a series I loved or it was a sad concept, but I stuck with it and ended up really enjoying it.

The story follows Janie and how she manages two children and life after the passing of her husband. Janie's wit and sarcasm, though sometimes and understandably bitter, seems to provide her with enough shelter from the pain that she can manage most days, and it makes a tragic story enjoyable instead of heart wrenching (though there are moments my heart ached for her and her children). In the midst of her sorrow Janie receives one final gift from her late husband, opening the door to a contractor he hired to build her a porch. Since it was already designed and paid for she reluctantly agrees. Little by little people seem to penetrated the shelter Janie has built and each. through their own ways, helps Janie realize that though she will always miss her husband, that doesn't mean she must forgo happiness.

Learned? Bad things happen, all the time, to every person, but that doesn't mean we should give up on life and the hope of happiness.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First Snow Day 2009

Today we were blessed with over 6 inches of snow, and school was canceled! Of course I didn't get to sleep in because the district didn't cancel school till after 5:30, and I get up and start getting ready at about 5. So after I was fully awake I received a call from Santa Clause, wondering if I was a good girl (my AP Mick), and of course I have been, so he gave me the day off!

Maddox was also up early because he doesn't know how to sleep in past 6, and it took every trick in the book to keep him in doors till at least it was light outside. As soon as I could see the first morning light, I decided to give in thinking it would just be easier to bundle him up and go outside and he could see for himself how cold and windy it was and would want to come inside....after shoveling our driveway as well as two other neighbors, he finally got cold and decided to go in. (my ploy backfired again.)

Then we gathered up our winter gear and headed down the road to our friends the Turner's. The kids all enjoyed the snow outside while Summer and I enjoyed hot coffee a crackling fire and Pride and Prejudice! The perfect snow day activity!

I was so busy enjoying the day off that I did not click any pictures. But the snow is drifted up against the back doors, and piled at least a foot high on the grill. In our drive way the snow also drifted into a huge pile at least 2 feet high. The main roads are snowy/slushy, and our little street if is still snow packed.

Brian was the only one that had to go to work today; I was worried because he has a 45 minute trek on the interstate to get to and from work. Thankfully he is home safe!

Now the living room is filled with the glow of the Christmas Tree lights, the smell of dinner is wafting from the kitchen, my family is warm and safe and ready to snuggle in for the night....

Good night to a perfect snow day....

Learned: Today was priceless...(though picture-less).