Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Thankful Happy New Year

Look what I found on my old camera!  Connor sat on Santa's lap too -- at the extended family Christmas party.

Today was a good day and I think this will be the last post of the year.  Don't be sad.  The new year is about to begin!

I'm thankful today that I felt well and got a few things done that usually don't sound like fun, but did today (I cleaned out half of the filing cabinet and the office closet ).  I'm happy that Derek got to come home early from work.  I'm thankful for nice neighbors.  I took one neighbor a thankyou note today because she brought me a gift and my family a treat for Christmas.  I hadn't done anything for her and thought she should know that I appreciated her thoughtfulness.  I was greeted with a "Come in!  I was just going through my books and thought you might want some."  So I came home with more presents for me!  How nice is that?

Kayli keeps cleaning and cleaning and I've given up on trying to convince her to relax and so I'll just enjoy her help.  And, just a minute ago I got to talk to a friend who lives on the other side of the country.  She gave me the Lion puppet that starred in "A Christmas Carol Puppet Show" at the family party.  It's good to have helpful, thoughtful friends.

I'm thankful for Angela because I got to talk to her a couple of times lately and it made my day.  Besides, cousins played and had a good time and happy kids help Mom be happy.

I'm thankful that Russell is around to help me troubleshoot my computer when my equally helpful brother Brian is a bit far away.

I'm thankful that I made dinner for a change because I was really hungry and those hamburgers hit the spot.  I'm really quite thankful for the idea of writing about what I'm thankful for.  It helps me to think every day about how many blessings I have. 

Thanks again to all of you.  You have helped me throughout the year in many ways.  May we all have a thankful, happy new year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Latest List

I thought I'd better write before you wondered if I was not finding anything at all to be thankful for -- which would be tragic.  So here are a few things that I have been thankful for lately.
 I'm thankful that we all look totally awesome in our new pajamas.  This is our traditional Christmas Eve pajama picture.
 I am really thankful for enthusiasm over gifts -- even pajamas.  Connor is great at showing enthusiasm.

 I'm thankful that Derek was willing to put his new puppet on his hand and make us all laugh.  Of course, he said I could give him a puppet but I couldn't choose its personality.  This "knight in shining armor" is a bit like Sir Lancelot.  He thinks he's very wonderful -- esecially for the ladies.
Jake took this picture of me so that I could show you my new Superwoman shirt.  I can wear this on days when I feel like Superwoman, or on days like yesterday when I want to feel like Superwoman.  Okay so I can wear it whenever I want. 
 Those of you who are observant will have noticed that Trisa was missing in the pajama picture.  If we are all wearing our pajamas on my blog then she should have to also -- right?  She came on Christmas morning (which we were VERY happy about) and we had her change into her new pajamas before opening gifts.
Tia got me a warm, fuzzy, cheerfully colored blanket and Kayli got me warm fuzzy slipper socks.  These are great gifts for me since I am perpetually cold.  The note from Trisa warmed my heart.
This is Derek's knight and my princess posing on the bed posts.  I did this one day to make Derek smile when he got home from work.  I forgot to be in my room when he saw it though and so I can only assume it worked.  What's not to like about being greeted by two slightly humorous smiling faces?

Other things I've been thankful for:
* Erin and Russell and family came over on Christmas and helped us have a happy day.
* Russell helped by fixing Trisa's computer.
* Derek and I got to sit in his parents fabulous seats for a basketball game.  Fourth row is awesome!
* Music -- to work up enthusiasm for today I played some favorite hymns "Onward Christian Soldiers", "Called to Serve", and other of the marching type of hymns.  It worked.  I also enjoyed "C'est Moi" from Camelot -- sung by Sir Lancelot.  Really, he is conceited and this song is kind of funny.
* I got to talk to my Mom.
* My presents included another game that can get me some exercise on the Wii.
* I really have the best family and friends around. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Illustrated Blessings

Here are a few illustrations, and explanations of things I am thankful for.
I'm thankful for Kayli who turned 15 on Sunday.  This is her pretending to blow out the candles on her piece of pumpkin pie.  I have a new camera and so operator error caused me to miss the real blowing out of the candles.  I'm not sure what Derek is doing --maybe helping her pretend?

Here is Dan with Santa Claus.  You can see that they are great friends because Dan is such a good boy.  I'm thankful for all of my children.  They are all on the nice list.  Dan was just the only one who posed with Santa.

We'll call this photo "Live long and Prosper".  Derek has been a fan of Star Trek since he was a boy.  His friend at work got him this Star Trek Snuggie.  Derek was modeling it for us while we all joked about Snuggies in general.  So, I'm thankful for Derek, his sense of humor, Derek's friends, and the amusement the Snuggie provided for me and our guests (Quinn and Tonya's family).  I'm also thankful for Star Trek.  We used to have a tradition of watching it with my sister Tina's family every weekend.  Star Trek gave us entertainment and a reason to get together. 
I'm thankful for awesome moves.  Need I say more?

I like Dan's self portraits too.  Are you smiling?

Our weather forecast yesterday called for an inch of snow or two on the valley floor.  We woke up to a good foot of snow which has piled up to 18 inches.  The power even went out for a while.  School was cancelled and I've never seen that happen here.  Derek and Connor went out early and helped shovel people out.  Derek shoveled and shoveled and, after a few messages on his phone, decided he'd better go to work.  He took the truck.  We got to keep him all the way until 11:00.  That was great.

*Kayli and Connor built a snow fort with friends.
*Trisa and Jake are improving in health.
*Dan got on his coat to go play with Dad.  Fortunately I followed him out since Dad didn't know he was coming.  We followed the path that Dan was sure his Dad had made just for him into the backyard and jumped on the trampoline (which Derek had cleared).
*Tia was pleased that both of her schools were cancelled and headed off to build snow forts with her friends too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Grouch Returns!

 A few of you will have heard me complain that my Oscar the Grouch shirt was missing.  Thankfully it is found!  I was probably on the phone while folding laundry and it ended up in Connor's pile.  He somehow didn't notice the bright green shirt he was shoving in his drawer and he didn't find it for a couple of weeks.

I like to wear my grouch shirt when I wake up grouchy (unless that happens for days on end -- then I would smell like a trash can).  Wearing my grouch shirt cheers me up almost every time.  I think it's kind of funny to wear a particular shirt because I'm grouchy.  Sometimes the grouch shirt days are the best days of all.  Here I am, wearing my grouch shirt on a day that started off rough but ended up with me getting my early Christmas present of a camera that works.  Dan loves it and took a lot of pictures including the two below.
Above is one of Dan's self photos.  He saw my camera while I was typing this and he's at it again. 

Other thankful items:
1.  Erin chatted with me on the phone on Sunday which was a very happy thing for me.
2.  I don't have any cavities.
3.  It turns out that Tia's cavity wasn't really a cavity, it was "calcium buildup" and that saves me money and her some pain.
4.  Angela watched Dan for me and even fed him lunch while I reclined in the dentist chair.
5.  I have amazingly musical friends that I got to practice songs with last night and that was fun.
6.  Derek had pity on me this morning and shoveled our surprisingly large amount of snow (it was supposed to be just a little on the valley floor - not about 6 inches!).  That snow was heavy and I was hungry.
7.  Tia's new phone took a dunking but it appears to be making a recovery.  It's sitting in a bag of rice.
8.  I have had a great primary team teacher for two years. (I'm still working on being thankful that she has a different church job now and I'm on my own).  I had a different great team teacher before and hopefully I will again.
9.  I'm almost done sending out my Christmas letters and I've gotten more in the mail.
10.  Trisa gets to come to the Christmas party on Saturday.  Hooray!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Elise Mommyop, Elise Mommyop: I Want to Wish you a Merry Christmas

I just thought I'd type this in quick since Dan was just singing this over and over.  Elise Mommyop is really Feliz Navidad.  I guess I know what he thinks they're saying now.

Other things I'm thankful for:
1.  The chance to go with Erin and Russell to his work party and see Russell win twice.
2.  The chance to laugh at Brian Regan again.
3.  Jake and Dan were really good at the dentist -- nevermind that they have multiple cavities.
4.  Jake and Dan were really good at Tia's school having their hair cut.  Jake liked chatting with Tia and Dan is always popular.  He was singing Christmas Carols for all to hear -- which did seem to bring Christmas cheer.
5.  We got to have one of my nieces and one of my nephews over to play this morning and they were cute and good and we were glad they came.
6.  My piano teacher friend came Christmas shopping with me yesterday.
7.  The boys actually slept through the night -- I think.  At least I did.
8.  We got some Christmas letters yesterday.  I love those.
9.  I don't have to go anywhere today if I don't want to.  Nice.
10. Have I mentioned my great family and friends lately?  You're all terrific!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Long Time Friend

I have a good friend that I met about seventeen years ago.  The first time I saw her was at church.  She had a new baby and she looked beautiful.  Her hair was done just right and her makeup was perfect and I thought "Wow, we would not have anything in common."  I was thinking (in a sadly judgmental way) that I, who didn't wear makeup and combed my hair once a day and called it good, would just not know what to talk about with someone who did.  Silly me.  We ended up working in primary together and became fast friends. 

We are both Moms with good families and good extended families.  We both like to chat and we didn't have (and still don't have) any trouble coming up with things to talk about.  Back then we talked almost every day.  I would hop her fence (or she would) and we'd make fancy meals of macoroni and cheese or quesadillas and our kids would play while we talked.  Because of her those years when it was just me and little girls at home during the day were a whole lot more fun than they would have been.  We went places and, even though it was always a bit crazy, we went again and again.

We may not have everything in common, but we have the important things in common.  Yesterday I got to spend another day with her.  We got to chat and help her sister with a painting project.  My first thought 17 years ago came when I made the mistake of comparing myself to her and being intimidated.  I still think she's a bit intimidatingly beautiful but she's also compassionate, and kind, and fun, and generous, and thoughtful.  Many of you will recognize the fact that I'm describing my good friend Shannon.  It's her birthday soon so she will be as old as me:).  I hope it is the best birthday ever.  Time has a funny way of speeding past at alarming speeds and before we know it days and even years have gone by.  I am thankful that I have had, over many years, the blessing of having Shannon as my long time friend.

Monday, December 6, 2010

You're as Handsome as a Cactus

We have a Grinch ornament at our house that sings a part of the song that was in the original Dr. Suess holiday special (animated) sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.  The words the ornament sings are these:

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel,
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch,
You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel!

Dan loves this ornament and presses the button to make it sing so often that his brothers and sisters keep trying to make him promise not to do it again until next year (much to my amusement).  Dan sings along with the ornament with slightly altered words.  He sings:

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are mean,
You're as handsome as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch
(Then he starts to mumble because he doesn't know these words yet).

When he first started singing it was something like "huggy as a cactus" and then it changed to "happy" as a cactus.  Now Mr. Grinch is as handsome as a cactus.  I like it when Dan pushes the button because he sings with such enthusiasm.  When I get tired of it I won't try negotiating, I'll try hiding the ornament up high in the back of the tree!

Other happy things I haven't reported:
1.  I got to spend time with a long time friend.
2.  I watched last years Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Special.
3.  I got a new Christmas CD (Motab again:)
4.  We got to go to the extended family Christmas party and enjoy seeing the nice people we're related   too.  Derek didn't entirely lose his voice being emcee.
5.  Derek and Jake had a good time at the baby blessing for cousin J.D. and got home safely.
6.  I got to talk to a good friend on the phone today.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Superwoman and the Rock Star

Yesterday was a great day.  I was feeling like Superwoman all morning!  I had this incredibly long list of things to do and I was done with all but two by lunch time.  It was great.  Of course, my head could barely hold itself up by 9 o'clock but still -- to be Superwoman for half a day was worth it.

While recuperating from all of my super activities I was sitting on the couch with Derek when our rock star made an appearance -- for real!  Here came Dan who ran down the hall with his black hair looking just like that hair he created for the Wii.  It was, of course, a wig from the Halloween box.  We cheered for our rock star and he took the wig off to show us that he was really Dan.  He's always a little worried that we'll forget who he really is when he's dressed up like some character or another.

His fears might be well founded!  This morning I went to get Jake's backpack, shoes, and coat.  I came back with his coat and backpack and could not find his shoes, which I could have sworn I had just seen, anywhere.  We both looked and looked.  Finally, an odd thought occurred to me and I looked in his backpack.  Sure enough, when I had put his lunch in, I had also deposited his shoes.  At least, though his feet might have frozen, he would have gotten to school with dry shoes!

Other things I am thankful for from yesterday:
1.  The music on the album Ring Christmas Bells by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  In particular, the song Processional on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman".  I had forgotten about this song -- which I love.  When we listened to it in the car Dan somehow thought they were saying "tiny Christmas" instead of "tidings of comfort and joy".  He laughed at the words that made no sense to him.
2.  Trisa called and shared all of the funny stories from her life.
3.  I actually got to see Tia and talk to her for a few minutes.
4.  Kayli got a new haircut and loved it.
5.  Texting.  Derek doesn't mind if I text him at work whenever I want (within reason).  It's great!  Also, I was able to get in touch with a hard to get in touch with friend that way and I get to see her today.
6.  Connor babysat without complaining, did some work on a merit badge without complaining, and in general was happy.
7.  Jake helped out with Dan when I went to Jake's school.  Dan, who didn't "need" to go potty before we left all of a sudden really  needed to once we arrived.  Jake took him.  Hooray for good big brothers.
8.  My comfortable bed.  Nevermind that it was a jack-in-the-box type of night.  The bed was comfortable anyhow.
9.  I'm thankful that, even though it's fun to be Superwoman, I don't have to be her everyday -- sometimes I can me just regular me -- the rock star's Mom.