Thursday, December 27, 2012

Just Lots of Christmas Pictures, Mostly For Me....But Fun To Share Too

I'm taking a few minutes out of my Christmas leftovers eating project to post a few pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas day. There are no deep thoughts or moving story here, just pictures to help me record a family activity, like much of my blog. I'm glad to share them with anyone who wants to look through them.

Christmas Eve couldn't have been more beautiful. A light snow started falling just about dark and lasted through the night. We woke up on Christmas day to a bright White Christmas.

We had lots of family and friends here on Christmas Eve....there was such a crowd that Beck felt like he needed to personally keep an eye on the candy in a candy dish. He really did just stand looking at it for a long time until someone finally gave him a piece. 

EJ's piano performance will be even better when she actually learns to play the piano.

Even Jared, at 12 years old, still seems to think it OK to get new pajamas on Christmas Eve.

Wil seems to think these will fit him just fine.

New Christmas Eve pjs for EJ. Beck,

and Hope.

Christmas Day

No one had more Christmas spirit than our two 4 year olds, Anna & EJ.

Wil wasn't too sure about the plan to have brunch before opening presents.

Brunch for everyone....

and then the cousins exchanged gifts with lots of hugs and thanks.

It was news to me, but apparently these Superman socks (with a cape on the back) became a big deal last year when some football player wore them for the Heisman Trophy presentation. That's all I know, but everyone was excited that Jared got a pair.

Whew, Christmas can make a little guy pretty tired.

I hope we are all getting rested from a good Christmas and looking forward to a positive new year.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Think I Might Be Turning Into A Christmas Slacker

Here it is just a couple of days before Christmas and I'm really not feeling much stress at all. I think I might be turning into a Christmas slacker.  It's not that I don't have plenty that I need to to doing and maybe stressing about at least a little bit.. All the gifts are bought and wrapped so there's no stress there, but I do have about 35 or so people coming here for Christmas Eve that I have to prepare food for. Oh well, the food is all bought, some of it is prepared and the rest will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm pretty sure that if I wasn't turning into a Christmas slacker I would be worrying more about it today. I think the sure sign that I am, indeed, a Christmas slacker is that I am not all concerned about this stain that I just found on my table cloth (just left of center at the bottom of the picture-it is worse than it looks in the picture). As a Christmas slacker I just figure that it will be covered with platters of yummy food so there is really nothing to worry about.

Another thing that helps me stay stress-free is that the really important part of the food for Christmas Eve, the baking, is being done by my daughters. They spent all day yesterday and most of today baking dozens and dozens  of cookies and making candy and and all sorts of other Christmas treats.  These goodies along with the wine, egg nog and so forth that Doc has bought will mean that nothing that I have to prepare will matter that much.

Lots of sugar cookies, my favorite, mostly kid decorated.

Joanna still has a smile on her face even after two days of baking.

Beck was no slacker when it came to checking out the Rice Krispy wreaths.

One thing I don't want to be a slacker about is 
wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Whatever your plans are I hope you have a wonderful 
and stress-free day.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

All I Can Offer

I can't offer any new words of sorrow or eloquence of wisdom to all that has been said about the impossibly tragic school shooting. I can't give any comfort in a personal way to those who are suffering. The most and best I can do with my shock and grief is to offer compassion, love and hope to those who are in my own life in the best way I can.

I don't envy my children who will have to talk to their own school age children about what has happened. There has been a lot of advice in the media about how to do that, but none better than this offered a long time ago by Mr. Rogers. I have always been a fan of his quiet wisdom.


In another word about hope and love, I want to say congratulations to our friend Addison, an 8 year old little boy who is fighting for his own life in a battle with Leukemia. On Macy's Believe Day on Friday he delivered   8960 letters to Santa that he collected from friends showing their hope and love for him, raising $17,920 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.


I pray for more hope and love in this time of tragedy and for God's blessings on those whose lives have been shattered.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chaotic Tradition

I love family traditions and one of my favorites is my grandkids coming every year to decorate my Christmas tree. There is always some chaos when all my grandkids get together but the tree decorating always seems to  have an extra measure of chaos.....good chaos, fun chaos, but chaos nevertheless. 

They love checking out the ornaments that they made when the were little and having a laugh at the ones with pictures that their parents made when they were little. My tree is not elegant, but it has a lot of tradition with ornaments going all the way back to my childhood.

Beck was very serious about finding just the right spot for each thing he (sort of)  hung on the tree. 

The older kids make sure that at least a few ornaments make it toward the top of the tree.
Jared (12)

Hope (10)

The real chaos comes into play when we try to get a picture of them all together in front of the tree. Beck was not exactly into being still for a picture.

Oops, there he goes.

Oh, well 6 out of  7 isn't too bad.

This one is from 4 years ago.....I can't imagine how grown up they will be 4 years from now.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Unstoppable Happiness

I couldn't think of a better way to pass my holiday wishes to my blog friends than with this card designed by Addison, an 8 year old who is fighting cancer. I have written about Addison a few times since he was diagnosed with Leukemia in April, 2010.  He will have his final chemo treatment in June, 2013. Addison, whose mom is a good friend of my daughter Joanna, is an amazing kid who has fought his disease with incredible courage and the motto "I don't have time for cancer".

For those of you on Facebook you can click on the link below to share this card and generate a donation to fight childhood cancer.
Share this holiday card designed by Addison, an 8-year-old facing cancer, by December 30, 2012 and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation will donate $1 to fight childhood cancer - up to $25,000.


Throughout his treatment Addison has been a spokesperson for fund raising for childhood cancer.  One of his projects has been to collect letters to Santa for the Macy's Believe campaign which benefits the Make-a-Wish foundation. Addison, who is a Make-a-Wish child himself, collected over 4000 letters last year and wants to surpass that number this year. Macy's donates $1 to Make-a-Wish for each letter received. You can read about Addison's efforts here:

Thanks to Addison for helping me wish each of you "Unstoppable Happiness" 
throughout this holiday season.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jolly Pink Elfus

You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry.........

My youngest daughter's family is having fun with the Elf on the Shelf this Christmas season.

The elf is an elf scout sent from the North Pole by Santa to families with kids to keep an eye out on who is naughty and nice and report back to Santa. He turns up in a different place in the house every morning and the kids have to find him to see where he will be watching from for the day. Each  family gets to name their daughter let each of the kids contribute to the name. Hope chose "Jolly", Beck wanted "Pink" (his favorite color) and EJ  chose "Elfus", so their elf is Jolly Pink Elfus. He especially likes to see nice deeds to report back to Santa.

Jolly Pink Elfus

I don't think I need an elf at my house to report if I'm naughty or nice, but I sure could use a Jolly Diet Elf to keep an eye on things around here through the holiday season.

Friday, November 23, 2012

No Shopping In My Plan Today

Other than enjoying that I don't have to go to work the day after Thanksgiving for the first time in many years I don't really have a plan for today. If I did have a plan it would not include shopping. I admire people who get up really early and  have the courage to fight the crowds to get a great bargain. I am not one of those people. I don't like to shop in the best of circumstances so I'm sure I would not be very good at fighting someone for the best bargain at the bottom of the bin. 


Just as I was enjoying a piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast I heard on the news that it would take 56 times around an ice skating rink to burn the calories from a piece of pumpkin pie. The little skating rink in our town is smaller than the norm, so it would probably take more times around than I could count to burn those pumpkin pie calories. Besides, I have broken my tail bone too many times to make ice skating a good idea.

I guess I could try a ride in one of the horse-drawn carriages that they have in the area around the skating rink. I would probably have to be one of the horses for that to do me much good calorie-wise.

The town library is right across the street from the skating rink.....that sounds like a much more likely activity for me today.

I just hope I don't hear anything about how many calories a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce has or what I would have to do to burn those calories

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

You've Gotta Love The Knife

A nice Thanksgiving picture by one of my grandchildren, saying "Would you want to be the turkey?

But you've gotta love the knife. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I Knew It!

One of my favorite things that I have been able to do since I stopped working full time last summer is taking Dodger for a long walk every morning. We usually walk for about 45 minutes, with the first 10 minutes or so dedicated to Dodger doing a lot of sniffing and taking care of other business. After that we complete the walk at a pretty brisk pace. I always take my pedometer along in my pocket so I would have an idea of the length of the walk on the various routes we take. When I would check the pedometer when I got home I always felt like we had gone a lot farther than it said. Anyone I mentioned that to just gave me a sort of "yeah, sure" look.

Well.....this week I tested the pedometer. I took it with me to the rec center where the big sign on the wall says 10 laps = 1 mile. That is surely not something the rec center would lie about, so I put the pedometer in my pocket and at the end of 10 laps this is what it said.....

.61......just a little over 6/10ths of a mile.

I knew it, and I did it twice just to be sure.

I don't exactly know how to do the math, and I don't really know what difference it makes at this point, but I'm pretty sure that I have walked somewhere around a gazillion more miles than I thought I had.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Fragments

My two daughters are almost 6 years apart in age and my youngest daughter's two girls, Hope and EJ,  are also almost 6 years apart in age. Sometimes being the little sister can be a little rough........

EJ: Mom, I have to clean up the whole mess, Hope doesn't even have to help.
Mom to Hope: How did you swing that one, Hope?
Hope: Per the contract. 

That is a hard one for a 4 year old to argue with.

When a 4 year old has a 10 year old sister who sings all. the. time., they sometimes pick up songs that are a little beyond their years. I'm sure you have heard this one way too many times, but the video is only about 30 seconds long. 


Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern and asked how my grandson, Justin, is doing after his trip to the hospital on Tuesday. He only had to spend one night in the hospital and is on the mend at home now. A bad respiratory infection caused his larynx and trachea to suddenly swell and inhibit his breathing. Many thanks to the school staff who acted quickly to get medical help for him. He said riding in an ambulance is not so fun.....they just poke you with stuff the whole time. 


Thanksgiving is kind of sneaking up on me. I will only have about 15 people here this year, fewer than usual, and everyone will help with the food, so it should all be okay. I just have to make sure that this year I get a turkey that will actually fit into my oven.

To participate in Friday Fragments visit here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Big Scare

I got a scary call about 8:30 this morning from my daughter, Jill. My 9 year old grandson, Justin, had developed a breathing problem shortly after he got to school and it got so bad so fast that the school called 911. My daughter got to the school to find Justin surrounded by paramedics, not able to get enough breath to even answer their questions. They got him stabilized enough for an ambulance ride to the hospital where they continued treatment and tried to figure out what was going on.

Justin had felt bad for several days and went to the doctor yesterday and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and given an antibiotic. They said he would be fine to go back to school today.  The first thought was that the problem was a reaction to the antibiotic. As of now it looks like a sinus infection was a misdiagnosis and that he has a tracheal infection. He will spend tonight in the hospital to make sure his breathing is back on track and that they have a firm diagnosis and treatment plan.

Justin is normally a healthy, active kid who will rarely be still or quit being silly long enough to take a picture. Seeing him in an ER bed, looking pale, hooked up to wires and being given oxygen was quite a shock....and, yes, if he grows into those feet he will be one big boy.

He hasn't gotten too grumpy as of this evening, other than complaining about the IV in his arm. I will be glad when he feels good enough to get grumpy about all the hospital hoopla.....then I will know he is on the mend.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Moving On

I hope everyone is moving on after the campaign season and the election. Like most everyone I am glad it is over, but I have been been dismayed by the vitriol I have continued to see and hear from both sides, even though it is a done deal. On Wednesday I spent time with two different friends, of differing opinions, and I couldn't believe some of the things they were still saying regarding the candidate they opposed. These are both good friends and very nice women and it was hard for me to listen to either one of them. In the spirit of moving on, I  won't even mention what I thought about some of the stuff I saw on Facebook.


So, moving on for me has involved a lot of shopping and I am a person who doesn't like to shop. I especially don't like to shop for things I know nothing about like door handles, hinges,  vent covers, light fixtures and lots of other things that I don't even know the names of, but that is what I have moved on to this week. Now they are all sitting on a workbench in the garage waiting for our hapless handyman, Robert, to show up to get them installed. Actually he installed a few door handles and hinges yesterday, but it is a roll of the dice as to when he will show up again to semi-complete the job. 

I added a few new mysterious pieces of hardware to this stack today. 


I was in a Starbucks today between trips to Lowes, Home Depot and various other hardware establishments. I saw a little white haired lady sitting alone at a table with a big cup of coffee at her elbow, and with her head hanging down, chin to neck, looking as though she was asleep. My first inclination was to feel a little sorry for her for being alone and asleep in that setting. That was before I looked a little closer and saw her hands going a mile a minute on the i Pad on her lap.

Note to self-never assume.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

An Election and a Little Catch-up

I know I promised not to talk about politics here, but there is one election I can't help commenting on. My granddaughter, Hope, 10, got a call from her school yesterday and it turns out that 100% of the constituents (ie. 5th graders) voted early and Hope has been elected the new student council president. If arguing her side of things is a criteria for the job Hope will do great. Way to go Hope!


I worked all last week.....yes, five whole days in a row, so I am doing a little Halloween catch-up.

We started with our traditional Jack-o-Lantern Pizza

It must have been good since these guys couldn't stop eating long enough to look at me for a picture.

I finally got them to at least look at me.

Then it was off to trick-or-treating with a witch with braces and a wart,

A princess with Crocs,

and a little lion who did his best to keep up with the big kids.


I am looking forward to the coming week......I won't be working and we will finally see the end of the horrible election ads, at least for a while. Whoever the winner is, I hope it is a decisive result.