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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Children's Choir Christmas Party/Singing

The kids had their choir Christmas party and singing Wed. night. Unfortunately, Patrick missed this as well. He and Jeff are still sick with the Strep throat and coughs. It has really taken them a while to get over it.
The party and singing went well. The kids opened gifts before they sang in church. Afterwards, they ate treats and played with their new things. That was their last party to go to before we start doing our Christmas gatherings with our families. I finished all of my Christmas shopping today and bought all of the food that I need for the holiday. I'm glad to have all of that done. I'm looking forward to spending a week with family, especially Jeff and the kids!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Anniversary Jeff!

Jeff and I are celebrating 14 years of marriage today. Most people say that it seems like only yesterday that they were married. I don't feel that way. I feel like I have been with Jeff for most of my life. He and I were discussing our life together this morning. We both agreed that we have been happier in the last 14 years than we ever were before we were married. I had a very good childhood and a wonderful time in the years between highschool and the time that I met Jeff, but there was always that longing for the other half of myself....the part that would complete who I was. Everything that I longed to become in life was meant to be shared with Jeff. From the first time I saw him walking into our college class, I felt a pull toward him. God didn't bring us together immediately, but he kept that pull alive in me. He provided the opportunities for us to be together and removed obstacles in my life that would keep me from Jeff. It is amazing now to look back on how God worked it all out. While I thought that I was making decisions in my life that caused certain things to happen, I was, in fact, just traveling the path that God had set for me. So, today isn't just another anniversary. It is a day to be thankful for the life that God planned for me and to celebrate the honor of being chosen for Jeff's wife.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas With Our Church Family

The kids had their Christmas parties with their Sunday School classes and Awanas today. Unfortunately, Patrick and Jeff were both sick today and missed everything. Jeff has had a sore throat and nasty cough for a couple of days. This morning, Patrick woke up with it. By tonight, he was running 102.2 F.
Madison and Carter got to spend their Awana "bucks" tonight at the Awana store. Everytime the kids go to Awana, they receive "bucks" for passing verses. Twice a year, they have a store where the kids can spend the money that they have earned. They do it right before Christmas to give the children an opportunity to buy for their loved ones as well as for themselves. It is so great to see the kids get excited about buying for others.
I had to pick out stuff for Patrick since he wasn't there. He asked me to get something for Madison for Christmas because she has bought something for him and Carter. Madison bought something for Jeff, and Carter bought something for our neighbor, Josh. They also got lots of fun things for themselves!
After buying from the store, the kids got to eat pizza and watch a movie while the adults wrapped the gifts. It was a fun, festive night. I could just feel the Christmas excitement in the air!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Day of Parties

The kids and I went to the homeschool Christmas party at the skating rink today. As always, the place was packed. There were lots of yummy things to eat for the party. I love to watch the kids with the other homeschoolers. I'm glad that we have that monthly meeting at the skating rink...a time for us all to come together. I'm thinking about joining the co-op next year so we can have that interaction one day a week.
Tonight, Jeff and I went to his work Christmas party. The meal was wonderful...so were the homemade cookies! We played games and laughed alot. I really felt too tired to go, but ended up having a great time.
Tomorrow is our last day of school before our 2 week break. I'm looking forward to being able to concentrate on the fun things we want to do for Christmas. I know the time off will fly by too fast. It always does!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Learning To Appreciate Sight

We read about Louis Braille today and wrote our names in Braille. Then, I blindfolded each one of the kids and had them do a daily task to see what it would feel like to be blind. Madison and Carter both brushed their teeth. Patrick chose to pour himself a glass of water. Madison performed her task very easily, however, Carter had a more difficult time. Patrick did great once he found the refrigerator! It was very difficult for them to comprehend that there are some people who live like that every day. Patrick was very interested in the Braille alphabet. I will have to find some more information on it. Carter loved his name in Braille so much that he signed all of his work papers in Braille for the rest of the day! It was a fun activity and a good break from book work!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Still Trying To Find The Good

I know that there is a big picture to everything. In the worse situations, there is good to be found. I haven't found it yet in this one.
Tonight, somewhere, there are four selfish, ignorant, horrible people surrounded by a few thousand dollars worth of new stuff.
At our expense.
Last night, they snatched my purse for the single purpose of taking a couple of cards and discarding the rest of it somewhere where it will probably never be found. The things that were trash to them are MY THINGS!
I am angry. I can't believe how angry I feel. Before we could even stop the cards, they had spent more of our money and put more on our cards than we have ever in that amount of time. Yes, we will get our money back and the charges will be taken from our cards, but I can't get past the fact that they will still have the stuff. Even worse, they are probably spending someone else's money tonight, as I write this.
They still haven't been stopped. They won't stop on their own. Someone else will be sitting in our place before the night is over....this I feel sure of.
Then there are the "little things" that meant nothing to them. The things that I have been told I should not be worrying over right now....my lipstick.....my Christmas lists......my yearly planner....my driver's license. I know that they are insignificant in the big picture, but the loss of them to a stranger makes me feel more violated than the use of the cards. Of course they meant nothing to them...they are my things...little pieces of me. They are easily replaced, this I know.
It's just the fact.
I don't feel like I have handled the situation the way that I should have....however that is. I want to find the good in it, but it is so hard.
Maybe all I need to do is ask.
Forgiving them won't make what they did right.
But it will make my heart right.
I thank God that it was only small, replaceable things and money. It could have been so much more!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Cookies!

We made our first Christmas cookies of the season today. I bought sheets of sugar cookie dough and gingerbread dough for the kids to cut cookies from with the cookie cutters. I was going to attempt to make homemade gingerbread, but couldn't pass up the sheet of it ready to cut. We had a great time making the cookies and decorating them with icing. I have to admit, I ate way too many of them before and after they were cooked!


Sunday, December 03, 2006

It's Time For Christmas!

We have celebrated Carter and Patrick's birthdays for the past three weeks. Now, it is time to celebrate the birth of Jesus! For the boys, I hung paper chains and balloons. For Jesus, we put up our tree. We filled it with as many lights as we could to remind ourselves that Jesus is the light of the world. Our mantle and sofa table are filled with greenery, which symbolizes the new life that we have in Jesus Christ. I want my kids to think of Jesus during His special time. Yes, Santa comes to our house, and we enjoy the secular side of the holiday. However, we never want it to outshine the real reason for the season.
We had a wonderful time getting our home ready for Christmas. Madison and Jeff put the tree up together. Then, we all decorated it while enjoying hot chocolate and our first Christmas music of the year. Afterwards, we lit a fire in the fireplace and roasted weiners for hotdogs. As is tradition in our family, the kids slept on the floor last night. We snuggled them into their sleeping bags and put The Polar Express on for them to watch. I thought it was the perfect end to a wonderful day together.
Some may say that I make too big a deal out of this day, but it means a lot to me. I know that it will not always be as big a deal to my kids to put the tree up as it is now. They expect certain things from this day....what they expect, they will remember. I only have one chance to make the most of these moments. I will not look back and wish that I had!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Our Baby Is 8!

Happy Birthday Carter!! Wow! I can't believe that our youngest child is 8. I remember when they were all little babies and my mother-in-law told me that it would be so much easier when they were all around 8 years old. She told me that it was the funnest, easiest time with Jeff and his two brothers. I remember thinking that it was such a long time until they were all that age. I never felt in a hurry for them to reach this age because I have so enjoyed them at every stage. However, in a blink of an eye, they are here. Mimi, you were right! If I could freeze our lives right now, I would.
Carter was so proud to turn 8 today. I love seeing him turn another year older while still hanging on to his playful nature. He asked to go bowling for his birthday. We waited until Jeff got home and all went tonight. Of course, Carter had a great time! He chose to wait until we got home from bowling to open his gifts and eat cake, so it was 10:00 by the time we got home and finished with them. We let the kids stay up until almost midnight to play with Carter's new games. I think Carter had a fun day. But then again, Carter has fun every day!