Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh NO! It's a boy!

I am not referencing my new nephew that should be born today or tomorrow. I'm happy that he is a boy and am looking forward to holding him. No, I'm referring to the boy who, according to Tia, "is totally in love" with her. The boy who gave her a Christmas present of a necklace and earrings which she wore because "they're really pretty". Now, to be fair, Tia has always been very sensible -- but will it last? When handsome boys are giving her presents and following her around drooling will she be able to keep from giving them an adoring look in return?

Now, to be fair, I received a gift from a boy when I was in seventh grade. It was from a boy named Chip who I wrote about in my journal. My kids like to giggle over it. He gave me a locket and a poster of puppies that said "Puppy Love". Of course, when I say he gave it to me I mean his sister handed it to me. I'm not at all sure I ever really talked to this boy. I talked to his sister who talked to him who talked to his sister who talked to me. Tia is not in seventh grade and the boy gave her the present himself. Sigh. Her imitation of him was pretty funny. It sounded a bit embarrassing and awkward but he did it.

So ladies, when did you receive your first gift from a boy and how much influence did it have on your feelings toward him? And, I guess I'm not counting things like when a boy gave me more Valentines candy in the first grade than anyone else but my friend Carrie who was his first favorite girl. I was only his second favorite. Maybe this should be after elementary school. Men, how much did you have to like someone before you were willing to go through the torture of actually handing her a gift?

I'm sure in some way this boy made Tia feel special. As a Mom though, I can't help thinking "Oh NO! It's a boy!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kicky Kayli turns Terrific Teenager

Kayli Marie was born 13 years ago today. She was my biggest baby (until Dan) and was my only dark haired baby. She was born near Christmas and came home in a big Christmas stocking. Okay, honestly we brought it home seperately since she had to go into a car seat. We did take her into her Grandma C.'s house on Christmas Eve in that stocking though. We now use the stocking to hold Christmas movies which can't come close to being as precious as the stocking's original cargo.
Kayli was the best baby ever. She came home sleeping five hours a night and continually improved. We thought of her as the baby we were blessed with so we'd be willing to have more. Her birth went well and she was a genius at sleeping. It amazed me how much it helped me to get that much sleep in a row with a new baby. She had her own funny quirks as she grew though. She liked to kick so she was called "Kicky Kayli" by her Dad but she did NOT like to stand on those legs. If you picked her up she would hold her legs up and refuse to put them down. Thus she was our slowest walker, finally agreeing to walk on those legs, and learning how by 15 months.

Here's my cute Kicky Kayli with her blond hair and her legs out. She got around our wood floor by scooting on her bottom and used to kick her legs and make herself go in circles.
Kayli grew up a bit and had a little brother named Connor. In the picture above she is five and Connor is two. When Kayli used to go play with her friend across the street at this age, I used to send Connor with her. My saintly neighbor never complained and would only send him home when he didn't smell so nice and needed a diaper change. Kayli asked me once why she could never play with just her friends and not Connor. I explained that Connor would be sad and she kept taking him. What a good sister! They are good friends still and this is a blessing to them both.
Kayli became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in January of 2004 and our good families supported her. The above picture includes many (though not all) of her uncles and her Grandpa C. Kayli went over to visit Grandpa C. this summer and chatted with him for two hours. This made Kayli very happy. She loves a good listener.
Now Kayli is a teenager who can play the piano and the flute. She has played softball before and likes to play basketball and soccer. She mostly likes to "hang out" with friends. The best thing about Kayli for me is that she notices when I need help, and often steps in to do what she can. She often babysits for us (sometimes more often than she likes) and this is helpful to me too. Hooray for Kayli who will be a terrific teenager.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer"...

"is singing loud for all to hear." You may recognize that quote from the movie "Elf". Here are some other ways that people have spread cheer this year (that I am personally aware of).

I have been blessed to see the generosity of others to those who are in need, and to see and hear of the difference that generosity has made in the lives of some of my friends.

When I was feeling less than cheery at church due to the less than terrific behavior of one of my children, a concerned friend came over, and seeing a need, offered me what she had -- a "gently used kleenex". Lest you think this is really gross, she had only used it to dab her own eyes and it gave me something to chuckle about which was as sorely needed at the time as was the kleenex.

I finished putting the lights on a friends tree and her approval of my light placement and her happiness at not having had to do it were very cheering -- though her company was the most cheering of all.

Dan always gives me a bit of cheer and since it is Christmastime I'll call it Christmas cheer. He loves helping me by putting presents under the tree. Of course he might be muttering "that's mine" too but he's always happy to help. He moved the container for the trains to a spot directly on my foot this morning and said "That's better. Say thank you mom!" He always likes to remind me to say thank you for random things, and during the holdiays and any other time really it is good to remember to be thankful. It's a lot easier to spread Christmas cheer if we are feeling thankful.

Thanks to all of you who commented on my poem -- I'm trying to not let it go to my head. Thanks to those who have called me, or chatted with me when I called. Thanks to those of you who managed to get out a Christmas letter already -- you are my heroes. I love Christmas letters. It's not too late for those of us who are a little slower. Thanks to the nice man at KMart who said "Merry Christmas" instead of getting frustrated that the thing I was buying was not ringing up properly and was taking "forever". Of course it wasn't my fault but his cheerfulness was appreciated.

Now, I've got to go and follow your examples and spread some Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Assignment

When I go on cruises I give myself assignments -- or things to accomplish while I am gone. One of these is usually to write a hymn, or a poem. I am going to bravely share one with you -- though I will confess to not being sure exactly how it is supposed to be punctuated or what the title should really be.
He’s There

In the stillness of the morning
In the warmth of noonday sun
In the shadows of the evening
In the starlight when the day is done

Evidence of God surrounds you
Evidence of His love and care
Proof that He is in His heavens
Just be still, and know He’s there.

In the mist of stormy mornings
In the wind of noonday storms
In the crash of booming thunders
In bending trees and fearful forms

God is still up in the heavens
Reaching out with helping hands
Caring for His children lost
And roaming in the storm filled lands.

When the storms are all around you
Ranging widely across the land
Reach up to our Lord in Heaven
He will reach down with His hand.

In the stillness of the morning
In the warmth of noonday sun
In the shadows of the evening
In the starlight when the day is done.

Evidence of God surrounds you
Evidence of His love and care
Proof that He is in His heavens
Just be still, and know He’s there.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Activities

On Thanksgiving, since you either have eaten or will be eating lots of food, it is good to get in some physical activities.Derek and my brother Brian organized some of the children into teams and had a game. Fun was had by all until the next day when Brian became fully aware of how many muscles he doesn't use while working on the computer.
Playing on the swingset and in the dirt / rocks was a favorite activity too. I went down the slide a couple of times but I had to duck so far down to get on the slide that I always went down on my back and so I decided to watch.
After all of that activity in the beautiful weather, it is good to have a little rest.
Following the rest, which came after the playing, which came after the fancy snacks, it was time for dinner. After dinner it was time for the traditional pies. Oops. No pumkin pie! No worries -- there were plenty of other kinds.
After the food it was time for some more physical activity. An improptu arm wrestling tournament started by Jenny provided lots of fun and a few sore arms. Jenny beat Tina. I beat Jenny. Tina beat Jenny in a rematch. Tina and I each tried hard to win but finally called our match a draw. Those who watched Jenny and I arm wrestle said we both moved our elbows a lot (which is technically cheating) and so I guess I out cheated her.
The men arm wrestled some too. Derek beat Jeff but my brother Ray was the winner -- beating Derek out rather quickly. Derek says he can't be expected to win against my brother whose arm was compared to a tree trunk.
The day after Thanksgiving we went rock climbing (indoors). Jenny and Jeff do this a lot and Jeff was like Spiderman without the suit. If Jenny and I were having a rock climbing match she wins.
The weather was beautiful, the company couldn't be beat, the food was good, and the activities were fun. Hooray for Thanksgiving and for Thanksgiving Activities.