Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
We did our Christmas with Jeff's family last night. After dinner and opening presents, the kids split off to various areas to play with their new treasures. Jeff was working on his dad's computer. His sister & her husband, his parents, and I were laughing at Zach in the living room. 8 year old nephew and 12 year old nephew headed upstairs to play video games. Teagan and her 8 year old cousin, Jillian, went off to play together. After a while, my mother in law got up and went around the corner into the laundry room and I hear, "Girls!! This is NOT a sandbox!" She brought a handful of toys out and set them down and announced- "They found the litter box!" Yep. My 4 year old (she'll be 5 in March) and her 8 year old cousin decided to play in the cat's litter box like a sand box. And they got litter EVERYWHERE in this laundry room. Every inch of floor, every corner. To be fair, Teagan hasn't ever seen a litter box. But still... the litter sand box? EW!
One of my favorite funny stories from Christmas isn't really my own. It's a conversation I had with a 10 year old boy at church. I asked him, on Christmas Eve, if he was excited for Christmas... and his response?
"Not really. See... I'm having a hard time... I have this feeling... I'm really torn...
I think I might be Jewish."
After a conversation about Jesus and God and holidays and ham and bacon and cheeseburgers and what it means to eat kosher... he got a little tired of my knowledge and understanding of the Jewish faith and instructed me to go and sing with my friends.
I am very ready to go back to work tomorrow. Jeff will be home with Teagan (they have a special movie date- if she can get her act together), Zach at daycare. My mom is coming Tues-Weds. My daughter has been a nightmare the last 36 hours. Even overnight. I pray for Jeff's one on one time with her to be a really good and helpful thing. Because we can't keep going like we've been going. It's come to a new level and I feel inadequate and forced and bordering on out of control- not of myself, of the situation. More on that later, I'm sure.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
So much going on the next couple of days! So I’ll just share a bunch of pics (click to see them big size) from our recent holiday adventures!
I do have some memories of my mom and I making gingerbread houses with graham crackers and icing. And it’s a tradition that I enjoy passing on to my kids. We haven’t done a house at home this year, but they did the graham cracker and icing houses at school. Grandma has actual gingerbread houses ready to be decorated on Christmas day. And we went to Conner Prairie last weekend and enjoyed the Gingerbread display.
Teagan’s gingerbread house from school- followed by pics of Teagan enjoying her sugar high and a nice pic of the kids sharing the gingerbread house.
Some of the pics of the professional gingerbread houses we saw- amazing detail!
And some pics of our trip to Conner Prairie. The grounds were beautiful in the snow. We enjoyed our visit so much that we got a membership! It’s a real deal- the annual family membership is only $65 and they were doing a promotion for $5 off! So I guess you can expect a lot more pics from CP over the next year.
Ca-Joh, Flartus, and my other cooking buddies- I thought of you when I saw how they were cooking the turkey for that night’s feast!
Connor Prairie also afforded Zach his first time to really play in and experience the snow. He was out in it last year but it didn’t mean much. This year, he discovered the raised garden beds at one of the CP homes and we had to almost literally tear him away…
I hope you are enjoying your Christmas Eve or your Thursday or whatever you have going on today!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
It's been a crazy, busy, wonderful week! I plan to blog details- soon, I hope. Tuesday evening was Teagan's preschool Christmas program. It was adorable. I hope the video Jeff took turns out and that he has time to edit it this weekend so I can show you the highlights! Teagan was adorable and did awesome! Even when faced with some tough stuff, she handled it all like a pro. A fantastic evening!! Wednesday was the church program that I was also part of (but kept forgetting, all day long, that I had a job to do in the program!!). I was the narrator and the kids did the singing. It was fantastic and the parents and friends and family really enjoyed it!
When I hear my husband chanting "sack, sack, sack" from the living room, I really hope he's watching football and not some gross adult channel...
I cannot believe next week is Christmas and 2009 is coming to a close. Crazy!
I have Christmas cards to mail out. I hope they make it into envelopes, the envelopes get addressed, and they get stamped and mailed before Christmas! Ack!
Christmas Eve will be interesting. I've been to our church service a couple of times and enjoyed it. But with the kids being so little, we haven't gone the past few years. This year, we are taking both kids to the family service at 7. I'm singing with Music Team. Then we come home, open 2 presents (pre-set on beds- pj's and ornaments), read some books, get snuggled in, kids go to bed. Jeff and I will handle stockings and such. Then I run back to church for the more traditional Lessons and Carols service at 11. Whew! Then we are up and at 'em first thing Christmas morning and then off to Cincinnati for Christmas Day with my family.
This weekend, we will either go to the Children's Museum OR go to Conner Prairie. Conner Prairie is free on Saturday so I am really leaning towards that option. Plus, it's much closer to home and will most likely be less crowded.
Guess what I'm doing today? I finally get to meet my blogging friend, Amy of The 4th Frog! WAHOO!! We are having lunch today. She's meeting up with me to deliver a gift she's donating to the Graddy Family and it just turns out to be a great excuse to finally meet each other and spend an hour together!!
Did I mention that I'm tired?
Saturday morning, Teagan got up and asked if she could go to dance class that day. I was happy but my heart crumbled a bit because I had to tell her that we can't just drop in any day, we have to plan ahead and I have to call the studio and make sure there is still room for her in the class. She had wanted to go so she would be there to dance The Nutcracker in class. I love that she remembers that!
I think my shopping is done. I hope my shopping is done. Now... the wrapping must begin.
I think I'm too tired to write good fragments this week... so I'll just sign off for now. Must get some sleep! Happy FRIDAY FRAGMENTS!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Yesterday, through This Is Reverb, I spent a good amount of time visiting Gavin Owens. And my heart broke and shattered in my chest. I was left in tears, my soul shredded. This beautiful family, the struggles and difficulties they have faced, and the raw pain... and even peace... they now have... it's indescribable. And while I am torn up inside... I am so deeply touched by their faith and the comfort they have found in God. Losing one of my babies...
And I think of Tim Graddy who lost Michele back in July to a swift battle with cancer. I think of her children- facing their first Christmas without their mommy.
I think of my friend, Anne. I had asked you for prayers for her last year. I think about her and her husband and her son as the approach the one year mark.
I think of my friend, Elizabeth, who lost her son this past August before even ever having a chance to meet him face to face.
I think of friends who have husbands facing cancer battles... of friends and family facing health issues... single moms, marriages falling apart, spouses off at war...
And I can either be totally overwhelmed by the pain and loss and suffering or I can...
What can I do? I can't solve the problems, I can't fix things, I can't take away the pain. I can organize and donate and collect until I'm blue in the face. But all that pain and suffering and loss is still there.
This won't make sense to some and will make perfect sense to others.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I've talked with Teagan about Saint Nicholas and she seems to really like the idea and has taken to it quickly. She talks about Saint Nicholas and that he gave things to people. After reading the reviews on Amazon, I'm very hopeful that the movie will fall right in line with what I've been wanting to teach my kids.
I also think I might have Santa leave a bag of groceries for Teagan, with a note asking her to take them to the food pantry for him because he doesn't have time to drop them off but he knows she's a great helper and giver. And, like last year, we will work together to go through toys and decide what we can donate to Goodwill. Make room for the new things the kids are getting and also have a teachable moment about charity and giving.
Last year, her environments were still pretty controlled when it came to Santa exposure. This year, she is in school and there is a lot more talk about Santa and traditions. I love that they've been learning about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and Christmas. I love that they've made "reindeer food" and other fun things. I love that she is learning lots of Christmas songs. I just hope that I am being effective and that our church is coming through loud and clear with messages about the reason that we celebrate this season.
Santa and jingle bells and reindeer and Frosty and all that is fine... I enjoy celebrating those things, too. I just want all of it to be balanced. She will learn from the example I set, I know. And, hopefully, I will be involved with teaching music to the kids at church at this time next year so she will be singing Christmas hymns just as easily as she sings Rudolph this year.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I don't do shopping well. I don't do malls. I worked in malls long enough to have a deep distaste for them. I worked at Suncoast Motion Picture Co in high school and college. They are now out of business- they sold movies and movie collectibles. I loved my job, I hated the mall. I worked at The Children's Place when I moved to Indianapolis. Liked my job, hated the mall. The word "mall" seems to have roots in the word "mean" and "rude" and"thoughtless." I got so tired of the crowds of people, the arguing, the negotiating, the complaining. And most of the people aren't there to be around other people- they are there to get what they want.
Hence the reason I've spent many holiday shopping hours at my computer the past few years. This year, I did venture out of my comfort zone a smidge and hit Target and Kohl's. And it wasn't so bad. I sang Christmas songs under my breath the whole time and had full plans to react to any dirty looks with a full blast "FIVE GOOOOOOOLD RIIIIINGS!"
Jeff and I are doing something a little different this year with the kids.
Something you want
Something you need
Something you wear
Something you read
Now, the idea is to use this to control how much stuff you buy. I'm already guilty of buying multiple things in the categories. But it has still limited the craziness I can be infected with at this time of year.
Here's the break down so far:
* Zach is getting Spiderman sheets and a rocket ship night light.
* Teagan is getting a piggy bank and a wearable blanket (basically a Tinkerbell snuggie).
* Zach is getting an Elmo fleece shirt and a Spiderman fleece shirt. He is also getting BIG BOY UNDERWEAR as he is really on the verge of being ready to go full on potty training!! The underwear are Thomas the Tank Engine and Cars (Lightening McQueen, Mater).
* Teagan is getting a pink sweater with a fake fur lined hood, a Wonder Woman long sleeved shirt, tights, Tinkerbell undies, Disney Princesses underwear.
Jeff is in charge of want and read for each kid. I like that we split them up- makes it a bit more challenging and takes some of the stress of me!
I got Christy finished up today. Got teachers and daycare provider done.
But the purchase I'm happiest about is a wok. For Tim Graddy. Our Indy Moms are coming together, once again, to lift up this family. We've got teams for each side of town and each team is assigned one of the 4 kids. I'm taking collections from people who want to chip in to buy gifts for Tim. He asked for a wok. Because the kids love stir fry. I love that. I think it shows how much he is working hard to embrace this new life of widowed fatherhood. He's taken a step back at work so that he can have a position with more stable and regular hours. When Michele was alive, as I understand it, his role was breadwinner, husband. Michele managed the house, the finances, took care of everything. He has had to step up and really learn a new role in life and has had to figure it out without his partner, his best friend. I am so impressed with all he has done, with the people who have stepped up to help, with the support that has come out for the holidays. I'm just so humbled to be a part of this in even a small way- like buying a wok.
And I gotta give a shout out to all the Indy Moms... I have been so impressed, so touched, so inspired by the outpouring of support... I'm watching moms come together and organize efforts to adopt other moms who are struggling this holiday season... and it just touches my heart and soul... to be part of that community but to also witness the power of these women. It's amazing. Truly.
So what are you shopping for this holiday season? Are filling your heart as well as your shopping bags? I'd love some warm fuzzies if you've got stories to share!