Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So grateful...

In truth, I shouldn't take time to sit here and write a blurb - 10 credits, 3 classes, 3 papers due by Friday, one quiz to take, one test to study for. Enough said. BUT, a few events have been crowding my mind lately (outside of school). First, a sweet, kind, generous and anonymous person has given us gifts lately - It may be more than one person. Before Christmas, we sat with our children in family council one Sunday and decided what we wanted to do to make someone else's season brighter. We made a plan. It wasn't big or earth shattering, but we were excited. As we carried it out, the children were thrilled, and we truly felt the joy of Christmas that changes our hearts and focus from "getting" to "joy of giving"! About a week later the doorbell rang. The children ran to see who was visiting, and we found a card on the ground. It was filled with gift cards to several different stores, totalling FAR more than we had given in our small offering. I cried. We sat in amazement for a time. Kindness beyond belief - and why us? Things are tight - but that seems to be a catch phrase for most! We planned to have a small Christmas in the way of gifts, but felt no sorrow or deprivation in that choice. Simply trying to be wise and enjoy the season. We used the gift cards to purchase the little things that we had been putting off, and felt grateful and guilty at the same time, knowing that others have needs far greater than ours!
Two nights ago I was at gymnastics with the girls. Nate called, telling me I would never believe what was on the porch. A plate of warm cookies and a card. The card spoke of treats that are neat, and some green for when times are lean. Again, a financial gift from an unknown angel.
So, I share this story, full of gratitude for the kindness and generosity of others, determined to look outward and make opportunities to lift a heart like mine has been lifted!
My other thought provoker happened on Sunday night. A friend that I have known since childhood called, telling me of another of our dear friends son. Nearly 4, he came home from church feeling unwell. A short time later his eyes rolled back in his head and he was unconscious. They took him straight to the hospital, where he almost immediately stopped breathing. He was flown up to Primary Children's, where they found a tennis ball size tumor in his head. He has had surgery, and they are waiting. The tumor is cancerous, and the damage done is still unknown. I have thought about and prayed often for this little guy, and his parents. We never know what challenges will come our way, or what we will be asked to endure! I have taken the time to hold my own children a little closer when I give them a hug. I am grateful for my own challenges - I really don't want to trade shoes with anyone, even if at times I don't enjoy my own shoes!
So much to be grateful for, and so many people to love!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

While driving in the car...

Derek and Andrea were discussing many important things.

Andi - "I wonder what I will look like in the future?"
Der - "Well, you will have white hair, your body will be poof, poof (indicates with his arms more space around the body), but your face will still be the same. You will look like grandma, but with your face."
Andi - "Oh yea, you're right!"

They then moved on to another subject - what plants do while they are buried under the snow.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tiffany's poetry

Tiffany broght home her poetry book yesterday. The whole book recieved 74/75 points, with the missing point due to some missed capital letters in some titles. Anyway, I thought I would share. (By the way, she is 10 years old)

Baby Blue

Lively feelings, slick ice, happiness

Soft sounds, sweet music, laughter

Tart blueberry, sweet candy, moist cookies

Wind on my face, raindrops everywhere, hands gripped


Makes us smile

(Here is a great one - Nate and I just looked at each other after reading it. We asked her where she comes up with her ideas. She just shrugged, and said it just comes to her)


A Love Life Gone Wrong

I am a tragic love life

I dress in a suit of rejection

And heartaches

I need hope to find your sense

And bring it to me

I am related to dread and hatred

I vacation in the deep falls of nothingness

My job is to run to your side and feel close

I desire to have my life linked

And entrusted

To your mind and heart

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Fun of Christmas!

Our Christmas Eve is always such a treat!! The kids are SO excited, and we even have some traditions! (I am somewhat of an anti-traditionalist, so that is big for me!) We LOVED our tree that we chopped down, and it has stayed fresh and pretty. It always looks so pretty, with the wrapped gifts ready and waiting.

We actually found a Christmas bargain - another thing that I don't do very often. I suppose it is because I don't shop much, and don't enjoy shopping. You have to look for bargains or shop often to find the good deals. They don't just fall from the sky into the kitchen - to bad for me! ANYWAY, Nate and I were at the mall (side note - my 10 year old informed me, when we went to the mall the day after Christmas to exchange something, that it was the 2nd time she had ever been to the mall...any mall! You know, I actually feel ok about that - again, I am not a shopper!) Back to the story, Nate and I were shopping for jammies - I had a GAP gift card, hence, the mall - and we decided to walk down to Macey's. There were some stocking holders that sit on the mantle, and they were 60% off the price. Price rang on the sign was $15 - $600 for everything on the rack. I have been wanting to get stocking holders, but they are ridiculously expensive. SO, big sale. Problem - no price tag. 60% off what? We asked a passing worker. She told us that the person setting up the display had thrown away the boxes, and the boxes had the barcode for the price. 45 minutes later, a different cashier had called two different stores trying to find out how much the holders cost, but the other stores didn't know. Finally a manager made an executive decision - she said they are $15. Then we got 60% off that. THEN there was a 20% off coupon for any transaction over $20. SO, we got the holders for $4.80 each. We bought 7 instead of just 2 or 3, which I had originally planned. I thought we might just buy a few a year, and build up. It was a fun deal to find!

We have the tradition (non-original tradition - everyone does this!) of opening jammies on Christmas eve. Even though the kids know it's coming, they still get excited! (Actually found a great deal on jammies this year too - The Children's Place had jammies on sale for $8 the day after Thanksgiving, and then everything in the store was an additional 20% off that day. Cool!) The stripes look very "Who from Whoville" look. Pretty cute! We also open a Christmas book and read it, read the nativity story from the Bible, and open a family game to play. This year we got a CD "Deal or No Deal" game. It was hilarious! We played boys against girls, and the boys won both times. What's up with that?

On Christmas morning the kids woke up about 8 am. Jas had brought his cello upstairs the night before, and played Christmas songs. The other kids sang along - what a fun thing to wake up too!

Cameron's favorite spot was on the pillow - it's always his preferred spot. He assured us that he would roll out of bed when Grandpa got here - he hoped it would take a while.

Opening gifts is so much fun with the kids! They get SO excited for each gift, and even MORE excited for what everyone else opens! The last gift this year was from grandpa. A ping pong table. We have already had a blast playing around with it - Derek and Andi are even getting the hang of it, and I played and beat both Cameron and Jason. Nate has assured me that he will skunk me when we have our own personal tournament ...Dream on dude! (Notice that I haven't made the time for the all important game yet...)
The best thing about this time of year is that we have time together! Nate worked two days last week and three this week. We have played games, relaxed, gone sledding, and finished off some projects. Oh, and we have sat around and watched some movies together. I love that we can just take some time doing nothing much! It is truly relaxing!