Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

I'm totally losing steam, but what a great end to a great year. The family is gone (bad New England weather has forced an early retreat!), the house is fairly quiet (other than Dick Clark and the wii) and I'm ready to head off to bed.... but I know that's not happening anytime soon! I am heading up to my bedroom, where the girls are watching TV and getting ready to write out some New Year's Resolutions. I think they are thinking it's more of a wish list - and I think it's OK to dream a little!

Em ran out of the room screaming something about going to Africa this year and Kt definitely had stars in her eyes. I was leaning more towards suggesting they add something on their list about keeping their rooms clean, not missing the bus, actually landing dirty clothes IN the hamper... you know, stuff that would help me immensely! Instead, I have two girls who constantly are thinking outside of the house. I guess I should be thankful that their 2007 has opened up a whole new world for them - and it's exciting.

I'm not so big on New Year's Resolutions. I do love to dream, though. Here are my dreams for 2008:

1. Go on a cruise. (Did I mention "dream" here at all?)
2. Go somewhere tropical. (More dreaming=))
3. Make it to the gym at least 2 times a week, walk once a week in my neighborhood.
4. Be more consistent about quiet times.
5. Simplify even more - I'm just too over committed to things outside my home, need to be more committed to making a home.
6. Use my spa gift certificate T gave me last year for my birthday (which is in February)!
7. Go to Hungary this summer - make more solid CA connections there.
8. Be more prayerful.
9. Be a better friend to others.
10. Be a better wife.
11. Be a better mom.
12. Love my family unconditionally.

OK - so I'm reaching, dreaming, but I think some of these things can be done. I'd put grad school on there, but I have a feeling that's out for now. I really want to do that eventually, I just can't seem to make a solid decision on it.

13. Learn how to be more decisive.

P.S. I love you: I saw this movie yesterday. I loved it. I don't want to ruin the movie, but at one point in the movie the main character is reminded of the way she used to dream about what she would do with her life. I think that sometimes we become stagnant in our lives, forget how we used to think when we were so idealistic about life itself. Idealism might not be realistic, but it creates dreams in us that often can realistically be turned into reality. Sometimes we just need a good plan.

14. Come up with a good plan for my life. (Of course, God's got one of those for me.... need to give myself some freedom to explore what that is!)

I hope you all have a safe, healthy and happy New Year. Now that my blog is back to it's normal 2 visitors a day (LOL) I can start posting againg so I don't fall off the face of the blogdom! It was a nice break to have my blog seeing hundreds of visitors a day (12,500 in November and December alone!) without barely typing a word. Now I'm a lazy blogger!

15. Be more consistent about blogging. ;-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Day Tragedy

My sister-in-law received some extremely sad news yesterday so we've been spending the past couple of days following a story unfolding in Florida. She was partly raised by a daycare provider who had a daughter her age. Apparently, this daycare provider and her husband were killed in an "accident" in Florida on Christmas day. The woman's parents were also in the car. The stepfather, driver, will likely survive, but his wife is in a coma.

Upon first reading about the "accident" a conclusion could be drawn that the man who rear-ended them going 70 miles an hour in a pick-up truck while they sat waiting for a red light must have been drunk. I mean, why else would anyone do something like that at a major intersection. Not only did he rearend the Tahoe, but after it spun around out in the middle of the intersection he hit it again! Accident?? Unlikely.

Today, these details were released about the man who caused this "accident":

Just a month ago, Belniak, 34, completed probation following a 17-month prison stint for a drug conviction. In 2003, he was pulled over in New Port Richey on a suspicion of drunken driving, and authorities found a gallon of GHB, known as the date-rape drug, in his Mustang. He pleaded no contest to trafficking the drug and was sentenced to two years in prison and a two-year suspension of his driver's license.

In 2002, he was arrested in Hernando County on a charge of DUI. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving, a misdemeanor, and paid a fine.

In addition he has numerous speeding tickets on his record: 75 mph in a 45 mph zone in 1990; 56 mph in a 30 mph zone in 1994; 91 mph in a 45 mph zone in 1995. His most recent ticket was in September.

In 1994, he struck a pedestrian on U.S. 19 near Fivay Road. The woman died but Belniak was not charged.

The clincher? It appears this man was driving with a valid license. I sure hope this is a major embarrassment for the state of Florida! I am completely dumbfounded that this man was driving legally after everything I've read above. If you ask me, this looks like homicide to me!

I ask today for your prayers for this family in Connecticut. The couple has three grown children who had to receive this news on Christmas day.

UPDATE: My sister-in-law just informed me that they shut off the life support for the grandmother, whose brain had swelled and apparently separated, left from right hemisphere. She has also passed. Please, again, remember this family in your prayers, and pray for justice for them.

Monday, December 24, 2007

An Ecclectic Birthday

I'll admit it, I love to brag about my kids! Who doesn't?? The truth is, though, that Kt just completely amazes me. Even if she weren't my own kid, she'd amaze me.

Yesterday she turned 10, and as part of a birthday gift to her I stayed away as much as I could from my computer. Thus my late entry for her birthday. We didn't do a party with friends, just a steak lunch with her best friend, presents cake and playing with all her new "toys". So, what does one get a 10 year old fashionista geek? Here's what she got (seriously!):

~ a skateboard from "Mom" (my mother) - this was the only thing she wanted
~ a LeapFrog Fly Fusion pen - she's been asking for this for a year
~ an electronic snap kit (from Uncle Doug)
~ a cute purse and bag from her best friend

She spent half of last night watching Fly fusion tutorials, too wet for the skateboard. Then she watched Hairspray with her friend. She spent a good part of the evening building things with her snap kit - with Uncle Doug's help. This morning, she got up and built a very loud radio, then on her own added a volume switch and is now feverishly trying to add a light. After her father just told her she couldn't do it, she did. She's now explaining resistors, jumper cables and ....???? to me.

What I really love about my daughter is that she is a jack of all trades, and a people person. She's a thinker, she's compassionate, she wants to save the world, especially children and she's got the brain to do it. It's a scary thought that your children are smarter and more able than you, but that's exactly how I feel about her. This year in particular, I've never had so many people tell me so many amazing things about her, mostly her teachers at school. Is it even possible for a child to be all that?

I am so thankful that God gifted us with her. Her impact on the world will be purposeful, original, fulfilling and amazing. I have no idea what it will be, but I'm so excited to find out - and scared! I know in my heart that God created her for a reason and that she's His. That he's entrusted her to us is completely overwhelming sometimes, but we're enjoying her, loving her and giving her some space to become.

Ten short years, and to think in another ten we might be close to setting her loose. I'm just not ready!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas has Begun!!

I love that Christmas vacation is long this year, but we are ready now!! All except for the fact that my sister, who is traveling up here today, is not having a very good trip. Their daughter just threw up in the car.... the jury is still out on them!!

Today began with my brother, T and Em heading out to Home Depot in search of a "screen" for the projector he brought. They brought home a huge sheet of something, rigged it up in the basement and hooked up the XBox and have been playing games all afternoon in our cold, unfinished basement.

I asked T a couple hours ago how it was and he mentioned it would be nice to have a couch. Miraculously, I found a free Pottery Barn couch on Craigslist that was still available, so T and my sister-in-law went to pick it up. It took a bit of manipulating to get into the basement, but they are now downstairs on a comfy couch (that is in really good shape, I might add) playing. I don't think we'll see them until the wii makes it's debut, and then they'll be back down there!

I have a cake to make for tomorrow - Kt's 10th birthday. It was 10 years ago that I was in the hospital going through labor.... long and drawn out labor. In fact, it was induced and started last night! and she wasn't born until early the morning of the 23rd. So, sometime in the middle of tonight is her 10 yr. mark. I can't believe I will have a 10 year old. 10. Even saying that it still doesn't really sink in. How can I be that old?

Once we do all our birthday fun tomorrow, Christmas can begin in earnest.... it's the most wonderful time of the year. I really do love it, and it's fun to be home for once, even though I also love traveling for Christmas. I just hope we can all be together!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Sign

This is either a sign of someone who has spent too much time in a public school or too much time working retail or in a public building.

I'm doing my laundry, which is located in our mudroom - where we come into the house from the garage. Just inside the door to the family, I have three laundry baskets arranged for easy sorting and this thought pops into my head:

"Is this a fire hazard?"

Enough said. I left them until I was done, then created an appropriate path in the event of a fire or the possibility that the fire marshall will pay an unexpected visit to my house, which I've never even heard of before!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Makin' a List, Checkin' it Twice, (Thrice and even four times....)

OK, so it's not a list of what I want, it's a list of what I have to do....

Clean up girl's rooms CHECK
Christmas letters - signed, sealed, delivered (sort of) CHECK
Make fudge - CHECK
make dinner - CHECK (Kt made tuna for us!)
make Hershey kiss cookies CHECK (Kt and Em)
make Cherry Chocolate Chip cookies
make brownies CHECK - (Kt is making these - she's such a big help!)
make meatballs CHECK (I'm off the hook, so I don't even need to do this at all - Yay!)
make Cranberry Orange bread (SCRATCH)
go to bed CHECK
put together platters - for T's work and school CHECK
Set up for teacher cookie break CHECK
clean the rest of my house (this could take weeks!)
put together gifts for people at school
go to bed
go to work
go to bed
deliver Christmas gifts
get house ready for onslaught of relatives =)
get ready for Kt's birthday (Sunday!)
get ready for Christmas!!!!!!!!!

OK, so I have a way long way to go! I'm just happy I got the fudge made, even if it is the easiest thing on my list! ;-)

Merry Christmassing!

(Em has joined in the fun. Is it just me, or is my new phone not such as great a camera as my old one!?)

I also just received my last Christmas delivery, so I'm done (at least until I remember the one gift I forgot!)!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Stationary Scam

OK - the Christmas letter is printed, folded, stuffed and ready for labels. We really do love each of you, but when you send out 70 letters and have a million other things to do, it's just impossible to write something to everyone. Maybe I'll do that next year!

I just have one big complaint - and it's about stationary. I picked out the stationary I wanted and picked up paper, envelopes and labels - ALL MATCHING. You would think that would mean the stationary company would print them in MATCHING quantities. NOPE! Instead, I bought 2 packs of 35 sheets of paper, 1 pack of 50 envelopes (I was not buying another 50 - sorry if yours doesn't match!) and 80 labels. Now, I ask you, does that make sense? Or are you thinking what I'm thinking, that stationary companies need to hire people who know at least grade school level math skills!


OK, OK!!! I gave in, I elfed us. I'm fully aware that our faces are not on the correct bodies. I entered them in order but they just plopped our heads wherever they chose - totally random order I guess! Anyway, enjoy!

Desperately Seeking Tropical!

It is so cold and windy outside, I'm missing summer terribly! All night, the wind was roaring around our house. Poor Em was scared and couldn't fall asleep. Last night was also garbage night, so today I have everyone's garbage on my front lawn and remnants of my backyard neighbor's plastic bins they've left out shattered all over the place. I believe it hit our house and is now in a million plastic pieces! On my front porch was a neighbor's delivery bill. He lives quite a ways down another street. I'm wondering if the wind brought it or it blew out of the garbage truck! Whatever the case, no point in cleaning it all up until that wind dies down.

While others may be dreaming of a white Christmas, I'm dreaming of a Caribbean Island.... and white beach.... where my days are merry and BRIGHT! Not to mention all my Christmas dreams are soaked in sun!! (I can dream a little, can't I?)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Long-awaited Christmas Letter

No kidding, I printed two this evening and then ran out of ink. =( I guess the long-awaited Christmas "book" will be a bit delayed, I fear. Of course, we'll be out tomorrow night..... just not having much luck with this thing, am I?


Lately, I've missed my 1,000th visitors, they're just coming so fast! But I caught this one! My 27,000th visitor just stopped by from Camberly, Surrey, UK. Yup, you guessed it, still looking for Christmas card ideas. Which reminds me, I need to get to work or mine won't be out on time! YIKES!

Post Party Pandemonium

Last night, our girls planned and executed (with a little help from mom!) a neighborhood party for some of our girlfriends. It really turned out quite fun, and one couple even went out to dinner and shopping for the evening! Kt planned a scavenger hunt, two crafts, a game, coloring, read a book and pretty much ran the show. Em helped everyone make their pizzas, ice their cupcakes, and gave lengthy descriptions of our three movie choices, of which the girls all chose Ice Age Meltdown. All in all, it was a fun evening and a good lesson in serving our neighbors.

After everyone had left and we cleaned up a bit, I sent the girls up to get ready for bed. About 15 minutes later, I went up to see how they were doing. It's amazing to me what can happen in a quarter of an hour when left unattended!! I found Em trying put a new pillow case on her pillow, and when I asked why she was doing that, she replied dejectedly, "Because Kt sprayed it with detangler." I looked at Kt and said, "WHY did you do that?" To which Kt replied, "Because Em threw wet cottonballs covered in toothpaste into my room!" I turned to Em (managing to keep a straight face!), "WHY did you do that?"

I'm sure you can guess - she does not know what possessed her to do such a ridiculous thing as to create a supersonic spitball, mint flavored! My girls are getting smarter, quieter, and much more dangerous the older they get. It's exhausting, but fortunately it's not without it's great, laughable moments. How boring life would be without the creative minds of children. (Don't worry - there were consequences!;-))

Friday, December 14, 2007

Will Smith

My husband teases me a lot because, on occasion, I have felt moved to pray for different celebrities. It's really kind of strange, because I have enough regular things in my life to pray for beside people I don't even know!! In the past, I've prayed for Madonna, Britney Spears, Mel Gibson, and Tom Cruise. I have no connection to these people and I have no idea why I'm praying for them most of the time!!

Today I found this article about charitable giving and Will Smith. Living just outside of Baltimore, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith are not old news by any stretch of the imagination. They are very generous, genuine people in many ways who have not forgotten where they came from. This article is a good example of just how true that is.

What I didn't know was that Will Smith was raised in a Baptist home, which makes it very disconcerting to me that somehow he has become entangled with Scientology. From reading the article, specifically the end, it would appear to me that Mr. Smith is sort of grappling with many issues rolled up into one - faith, tolerance, and a deep desire to make an indelible mark in the world. I think he wants it to be a mark that is positive, and has a ripple effect. I'm just not sure he has come to terms with why.

So, anyway.... I prayed this morning for him, and then I got my regular email from our friend, the Pastor Mike Sprague in New Orleans. He has an amazing ministry in New Orleans, which, by the way, is still desperately in need of help! He had a blurb in his letter about -- NO KIDDING -- praying for Will Smith. Now, I'm getting the eerie feeling in my stomach that something big spiritually is going on with this guy. Anyway, take a look at this video he attached. Pastor Sprague is the last guy who waves and yells to Will before the video cuts off to him accepting the honor of leaving his hand and footprints in Hollywood. Very interesting speech and BE SURE to check out what he wrote on his block of cement! Here's what Pastor Sprague wrote:

Oh yeah - Will Smith - you always wonder who you will bump into while you are in Hollywood, right? I got to say "hi" to Will, shake is hand, and get some pictures. Pray for him. In case you don't believe me, you can see for yourself (link above)

Yup, just very strange, I tell you. I'm actually feeling like it's a little creepy, but I'll go with it for now. And should you also feel led, join me! Oh, and I wonder if Will Smith had any idea what kind of a world changer he shook hands with that day! I think he would have been amazed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Season of Giving

Today I was just completely overwhelmed. I spent all morning at the Salvation Army office, which is completely stuffed with gifts for families in our county. Not only is it stuffed, but they have filled an armory across the county with gifts. It was overwhelming, the outpouring of giving this year. Just to try to imagine that it goes much farther than the SA, there are churches, like ours, giving tens of thousands of dollar, Toys for Tots which is collecting for children everywhere, many non-profits who are collecting for the season.

Today, a bus load of people from a company stopped by to drop off their first of three loads of gifts. The company adopted several Salvation Army families to buy gifts for and for the whole day the bussed their employees around to purchase the gifts. In fact, when I was done for the morning at the office, I ran a bunch of errands and took off from Walmart when I saw their bus pull up! It was busy enough already!=) What a great idea for that company - I was completely impressed!

After seeing all that people have given, I went shopping for a wii game that my mom is giving to Kt. She ordered it from back in November, was sent a notice that it had shipped just before Thanksgiving, but it never arrived. Fortunately, the company believes her (or deceived her!) and they are refunding her money. I looked at four stores and it was sold out. Talk about being unenamoured with the materialism that is so rampant at Christmas - and feeling like you are buying into it!! I came home feeling rather defeated and then found it on for $10 less than it was listed on there last night. Yahoo! Yup, totally guilty as charged. I'm a material girl! And I love to be the problem solver.

I just have to say, that for all the selfish, materialistic people I've seen, I have seen the most amazing outpouring of generosity in that as well. I am completely impressed by the wealth I see around me, not because it's so negative as it is being used as a vehicle of giving in such a big and abundant way. Thanks, folks in Howard County, for thinking of others this year.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful!

We are just getting hammered this month! Ice and snow are just not normal weekly occurances in December. Maybe we'll get one or two little snows, but this every single week sleet, snow, freezing rain... lasting days. It's really just depressing! Florida is on my radar - some sun and some warmth!

Prayer & Praise

My brother's office was apparently evacuated this morning in downtown New Haven. There was a three alarm fire, 5 businesses are a total loss. No word yet on whether that included my brother's architecture firm. Please keep them in your prayers!! I imagine for something like an architecture office - with all the thousands of dollars of equipment, not to mention all the blueprints and projects, it would be very difficult to recover from something like this.

UPDATE: I just talked to my brother, who is telling everyone he just had an adult version of a "snow day"! LOL Anyway, amazingly, it appears as though his office is intact. The crazy thing about that is that their building is only two building away from the Brass Monkey, where they believe the fire originated. The buffer? His building is surrounded by a parking garage, which they are assuming kept it from going up in flames. The office itself smells really bad, but they are also fortunate to have their power back on already. It will have to be declared structurally sound, but they are very, very lucky.

My brother mentioned that there is a restaurant on the same block, Vito's, that is frequented by the firemen, policemen and mayor, that they worked very, very hard to save. It is also intact. It's a good thing to befriend those kinds of public servants!;-)

His building is the one on the corner - second floor. Taken by his friend, Joe.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Seis Anos de Espanol

Of course, I can't type in Spanish - I have no idea where to find a tilde! Anyway, for the first time since my very last Spanish class my senior year of high school, I am finally using it this afternoon. I'm heading off to Brownies to teach a teeny tiny bit about Mexico! (I don't know where the accent marks are, either!) I originally signed up to do a "winter craft" with the girls and somehow that has ended up being Mexican Holidays, which incidentally are all Christian. I'm being extra careful, though, as one of the two Brownie leaders is actually Jewish. Hmmm.... anyway, hasta manana! (looks funny without that tilde!)

Monday, December 10, 2007

One Way to Lose Your Job!

My work sends out a monthly calendar of events at the pottery shop. At some point, Kt put her email on the list to receive this monthly news. Yes, my 9 year old has an email address under the condition that her parents can access it, which I do occasionally to delete inappropriate junk mail.

Last night I was doing just that when I noticed that she had replied to that monthly mailing from my work. I'm not sure why she did it, but here is exactly what she wrote:

"Can you take me off the list? I hear enough from my mom about how her day was all boring and stuff! :-)"

Wow. She's got a little bit of 'splainin' to do!! Not to mention a lesson in how to keep your parents employed!! She's right about one thing - I always tell her, with a big smile on my face, not to worry. My job is "boring" - because she thinks I spend 8 hours a week having fun, painting pottery. I've assured her it's not all fun, but I guess I just took it for granted that she would understand that "boring" only applied to her perception. Now she'll know! ;-)

Sunday, December 09, 2007


I have that sitemeter thing on the bottom of my page that tracks visitors. Kind of fun. Here's a graph of the last month of visits.
Notice how, just a few weeks ago I was lucky to get 30 visits in one day. With the help a Creative Christmas letters link to a 2 year old post, I've had over 3500 visits just in the first 9 days of December. CRAZY!

I'm suspecting this will all settle down within the next week or so and I'll go back to being a blog in oblivion. I mean, Christmas is 2 weeks away and if you don't have your cards/letters out soon, well, you might as well call it a year! I must say, though, it was great fun!! I wonder if this will happen again next year??


Well, after a couple weeks of moaning, groaning, attempts to get some pictures.... we finally did it! The picture cards are ordered AND I wrote a letter. I'll warn you, it's a very long letter. No creative juice this year - I won't be linked to any "creative Christmas letter" site for this one. In fact, it's too long to post on a blog. I won't bore you with it (unless the public outcry to read it is just overburdening!). Instead, I will share with you just a hint of what I have to deal with when I call for a family photo shoot! Enjoy!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Well, I'm here. Not driving on treacherous roads, or enjoying a cold, New England Christmastime drive, but here at home while it sleets and freezes rain outside. I'm just glad that I didn't get to go based on something outside of my control rather than just not being able to pull it off myself. Em was a little upset this morning when I broke the news. She asked me slyly, "How about if we take all back roads to Connecticut??" I love her!

My mom called right after I loaded the girls on the school bus to tell me their weather had also changed. They are now expecting sleet and snow, so that about sealed the deal, even though I already knew I wasn't going. Driving around NYC is already bad on a Friday afternoon, but add in bad weather and you could be sitting on the road in that stuff for hours.

So, here I am. I made dinner for a new mom and dropped it off, put a dish of cookies from my cookie exchange last night together and dropped them off at school for those teachers, had a little lunch with Em to make up for not taking her on an adventure and now I'm home. It's very quiet, a little cold, and I'm just wondering what I can do to make better use of my time now that I'm not driving anywhere. It's kind of hard for me to switch gears sometimes. I think I might go do some laundry. Yay, how fun! hehe

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I am having the worst time trying to figure out whether or not to go to Connecticut. I have approval to take Emily out of school to go with me, but I have a bunch of things to do and now they are calling for a light wintry mix, am here and afternoon in CT. I don't like driving in a light wintry mix. I just don't know what to do.

To make matters worse, I have a Christmas party to attend tonight out in the country, where I've never been before, in the dark, by myself and all the roads are icing up as I type. In the directions it says that there is not enough parking, a long, dark driveway and just to park one after the other and we'll leave in reverse order. But if I am driving to CT in the morning, I want to leave early! I don't want to be waiting for everyone else to leave. UGH!

It's times like these when I think that it might be nice to have a glass of wine (or whine) with that!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I greatly dislike snow. This time, it's put a huge dent in my plans. I'm having reassess my trip to Connecticut based on the fact that I wasn't able to go anywhere today and I have more things to take care of than is feasible. I did get 8 dozen cookies baked, my bedroom semi-organized and forced myself to stay home. I can't remember the last time I spent a whole day at home alone - it was really weird!

Tomorrow, if my kids are home with me all day I'll be sunk. If they have a late open I'm semi-sunk. Chances are, one of those two things will happen. I'm not very happy about it, but there is nothing I can do about it. Before I leave for Connecticut if I go I have buy 20 rolls of wrapping paper, 20 tape dispensers, 150 bows and drop them off at church, go to work, make dinner for someone, go to my Christmas party/cookie exchange and figure out what I'm doing for the Brownie meeting I'm in charge of next week (waiting for guidance on that one). Add to that all the stuff I have to do next week - and we don't have anything done for Christmas cards or letters - NOTHING!!

Wake me up when winter's over - please!

Did I Find Someone I Like?

Honestly, I didn't now much about Mike Huckabee. After the recent report of him jumping ahead, I went ahead and did a little research. He's extremely conservative - even more than I am, I think! All in all, I think I like him. More than I like my other choices. Except Condi - now if we could just get her to run!


It's not only frigid outside, it's snowing!! Up north, we'd call it flurries. Down here we call it a disaster! There is a "dusting" on the roads and that means panic sets in, people do ridiculous driving maneuvers and lots of fender benders happen. Since the snow started after the wee hours of the morning, school is on as usual. The girls were a bit disappointed, but from the moment I opened my garage door until I stepped inside again, non-stop sirens.

When the bus driver pulled up, she said there were already 4 accidents on the one of the roads we are enclosed by. She said it's a mess out there, and that's enough for me to know that I'm not going ANYWHERE! It's not that I don't drive in the snow, it's just that I don't trust anyone who was born and raised here on these roads. My first snow day here, I was driving slalom in my little Volkswagon Cabriolet through cars that just decided they couldn't drive anymore in 1 inch of snow and stopped right on the road where the normal speed limit is 55! Crazy, I tell you!

So, I'll just be home today, baking 6 dozen cookies for my Christmas party tomorrow night, maybe another 6 dozen for the one Saturday, except that I would need more chocolate chips and I'm not going out to get them!! My best guess is that the girls will have early release from school. I'm basing this on the fact that the last time the schools didn't release early on a day like this the bus accidents were an issue. We had icing, multiple accidents, unhappy parents.... who are probably already calling the school! Anyway, I'm prepared to spend a fun afternoon decorating a Christmas tree with my girls should they come home early. What a treat!!

Happy Snow! I'm off to begin my season of hibernation!;-)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


So, I had my 22,000th blog visitor sometime today - from Colorado Springs, Colorado. One of those Christmas Letter tips people. I think my blogfest is coming to an end soon - I mean, shouldn't we all have our Christmas letters written and out soon? OK - I'll admit it. I don't even have one good idea in my head of what to write this year. It's TERRIBLE! Major writer's block. I guess my blog break, due to the increased volume of traffic easing my need to keep this blog alive while it has a life of it's own!, has fed my laziness in getting Christmas news up and running. It's time to Deck My Halls, or I'll be skipping Christmas altogether!

Extravagant Giving

I love Christmas. I love giving gifts. I hate people who think that Christmas is too commercial and we should just stop giving gifts and return to the "true" meaning of Christmas. Do you know why? Because the true meaning of Christmas is about the most extravagant gift ever given. I'm not talking about the gold, frankincense and myrrh. I'm talking about Jesus.

Thankfully, Jesus did not come from Santa. He came from God, or else everything I believe in would be a bunch of elfin magic!! Do we really ever grasp how amazing, precious, perfect and extravagant the gift of God's son was? Would we ever in a million years have thought to ask for something so outrageous as the Son of God, who would offer Himself a living sacrifice for our sins so that we might spend eternity with God in heaven? I'm not sure I would have had the guts to ask for something so audacious. So humbling. So ridiculous. And truthfully, I can't imagine Christmas without giving.

The act of giving for me is in part a remembrance that nothing I have has come without a price, including my salvation. When I give, it encourages me to put someone else ahead of my wants, my desires and think outside of myself. It brings me out of my little cozy cocoon and into the world of others, the world that Christ wants me to see. I think it's so important to teach my kids this same act of giving, of choosing to think about the person we are giving to and understanding that in our giving we need to have an attitude of gratitude, not pride.

I would just not enjoy Christmas as much without the aspect of giving it affords me. I'm not going all consumer mania or anything. We do Christmas on a budget and we set limits, but we are also quite thoughtful about what we choose to give. If unbelievers choose to participate in the gift giving at Christmas, how harmful can that be? If anything, it's a bridge to illustrating what a gift we have in the person of Christ. It's a connection that at some point might be made in their hearts. Exceeding abundant, beyond all that we could ask or even think. That's what the first gift of Christmas really was and is. And it's ours to share with His world.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Verdict

After much deliberation, we've decided on canceling tonight. I'm sending T to his dinner without me. We've canceled the babysitter (although she's going to take Em out for dinner) and the hotel and now I can return all those clothes I bought. Good thing I still have receipts! We're kind of unhappy about it, but that's life! It happens. Now if I could just convince my mom to retire and move in next door.... The girls are quite sad, as they've been very excited to have an overnight babysitter other than relatives. As for tomorrow (a play and then our neighborhood potluck), we'll just have to wait and see.

Derelict Tooth Fairy

We have one of these at our house!! She's not very reliable and apparently very forgetful. Em lost her very first tooth this morning (yup, we keep our baby teeth for a very long time!) and she went to get the tooth pillow from her sister. We have to use the tooth fairy pillow you hang on your door or the tooth fairy doesn't come! (She's so picky!) Anyway, Em brought to me a tooth the tooth fairy apparently left in the pillow from the days her big sister was losing teeth. (Eww, gross. I guess the tooth fairy enjoys handling those icky things about as much as I do!;-)) I hope Em's tooth fairy is a little better about all these things!