Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We are halfway through week 2 of Christmas--not winter--break! I cannot believe how fast it is going! The boys and I have had a fantastic break, we have not had to travel nor have I had to to work, so we have spent many hours playing with our gifts from Santa and each other. We have been able to spend time with friends and family over the break and have been able to catch up on the seasons of the Office! I have been looking at my January calendar and it is hard to believe that when this break is over...so is my free time!
This year for Christmas we had a house guest...Daisy Robelia spent a few days with us, and it was kind of fun to have a dog around during the holidays! Christmas Eve--opening one gift.
Christmas morning--What did Santa bring?
Brian's nephews and nieces at his parents
We had a wonderful Christmas with Brian's family, Santa was good to us, and we attended a wedding in Wabasha with Tahnee and Jesse--who we rarely see now that we are out of the old "hood". All in all our Christmas was wonderful...our first as husband and wife!!
Today is New Years Eve, and after having been invited to a few different parties and celebrations, we have opted to stay home this year. I am looking forward to the new year--while I have not always held to my resolutions all year, I am finding myself getting better and better at setting realistic goals. This year I am excited to see how well I do.
1. Send birthday cards to everyone on my list--I have set this 3 years in a row, last year wasn't the most successful after summer started. So my resolution this year, is to make it through the summer and fall.
2. Try a new recipe twice a month...so send them in folks, I'm open to suggestions! It can be a dinner meal, cookies, drinks...anything as long as it is new to me.
3. Spend more time in the yard (when spring/summer hits) No more over grown weeds-- spiders (gulp) will be no match for me!
4. Save and get ahead! This year Brian and I are really going to make changes for the future. We have been in this house for a year and have been able to make some headway...but we aren't there yet! So we are really going to cut back on some of the extras that way when we are ready to move on--we will be prepared to. Having paid off some things has been pretty helpful this year, we no longer have any car payments, and we have paid off and down some of our debt which feels really good, but there is more that we want to do. This will probably mean that I will have to work somewhere that is more consistent than subbing...but in the long run, when we are old and in our rockers, I will be glad that I made this effort now.
To those of you I have not seen, or been able to spend time with, I miss you and love you! I wish everyone a magical new year! I have high hopes for my family this year and I am excited to see what is in store for us! Be safe and have fun!! See you next year----so cliche!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Today is Christmas Eve and I am a little sad about that. The season has flown by, and I will miss it. However, Brian and I are trying to come up with some fun activities to help get through winter...so I will look forward to those. Brian is at work right now, and the boys are spending their Christmas with their dad today so I have been cleaning and wrapping presents all day. It seems endless! So many people = so many gifts! As you can see I need a break--so here I am!
Our Christmas Eve tradition every year is to watch and read Twas the Night Before Christmas before the boys go to bed tonight, and then open 1 gift. Tomorrow morning we will sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and open our gifts, eat breakfast, go to church and head to Brian's parents for our first Christmas as husband and wife!
I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I'll close out with a less tradtional version of Twas the Night Before Christmas...this is one I don't think the boys would appreciate if we read each year.

'Twas the Night Before a Lawyer's Christmas

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse. A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House, were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as "I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the parts of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g. kerchief and cap.)

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtent to said House, i.e. the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter the "Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter the "Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co-conspirator named Rudolph may have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.) Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" Or words to that effect.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

SNOW DAY 2008!!!

What are the odds that the ONE day I didn't wish for the snow day...it came! The boys had some fun activities planned at school Friday, and its a bummer that they are missing out on them...flip side WE HAD A SNOW DAY!!! The boys spent some time in the glorious snow and I snowblowed the driveway...my first time using the snowblower!! I love the extra time with them, and now they have 17 days off for winter break! Crazy!

Thursday night was book club. Again, we had some fantastic foods! This month we did actually discuss the book a little. It was very funny and I highly recommend Lamb-The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. I want to stress that it is meant to entertain, not educate! Brian and I have not entertained much in this house, and to be honest I was a little nervous about how it would go...and it turned out beautifully, so maybe next time I won't be as nervous to have guests over.
We had parents night out on Friday night. Brian and I had a gift certificate to the Redwood Room, so we joined 2 couples from church and had a wonderful dinner! So delish! The 6 of us ended our night with a little B&E (legal of course!!) before the kids were picked up from church!

Today was cookie making day. Each year I make an assortment of holiday cookies, and as the boys get older, the more help they provide. This year my family was not able to join us because of the weather, so it was just Brian the boys and I, but we still had a great time, and we got almost all of them made.

The boys decided they wanted to hang out in the snow in their swim trunks, so we heated some towels in the dryer, and away they went!

After cookie making, Benjamin took out a puzzle and we got started on that while Christian and Brian hung out...It was wonderful!

Tomorrow we have tickets to see A Christmas Carol at the Rochester Civic Theatre. I am excited to see it! It is a one man show, so I am curious to see how it all works out.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


For the first time in ????? we were able to just hang out at home as a family this afternoon and evening! No distractions, no phone calls, no meetings or homework! It was wonderful! But let me back up...
Our week was full of all of the above! Each night was scheduled with SOMEthing to do. On top of having something every night, I was at Lincoln everyday this week either subbing or volunteering...which I love! I'll skip the evening hub-bub and go straight to Thursday which was Benjamin's school program.
(he is in the middle playing the air trumpet!)
He didn't have an active role, but he did sing and dance a little, very entertaining. On Friday I went to see the Nutcracker with Christian's class...again, very entertaining. Friday night was a ladies night out with some of the moms at school. I really enjoyed spending time with these ladies. It amazes me that I see some of these ladies more often than I see my own family, and I learned SO much about them on Friday night! How did I not know some of this stuff? I really enjoyed it and look forward to another night with them!
Saturday Brian had a scout meeting, and the boys had rehearsal for their Christmas program, so I stayed home and read my book! It felt very normal, and nice to just sit! And I got quite far in my book club read. I just got it on Monday, and I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to finish it before our next meeting, but I am almost done. Lamb is just as funny as I was told! So good! Last night we packed the boys some snacks in the car and drove around looking at Christmas lights. It doesn't seem as though people go as crazy with the lights as they did when I was little...but there were still a few that did not disappoint! We had fun looking and even took a drive through our --hopefully-- future neighborhood.
Today was an early start for us all. Typically we go to GIFT and Sunday School at 9:45 and attend the 11am service afterward.

However, today Benjamin played bells at the 8:30 service, with practice at 8am.

Not exactly how I like to start a Sunday, but it worked out in our favor because Brian and Christian were able to do some Christmas shopping before our next activity. The boys had their Christmas program this afternoon, which was again...very entertaining!

I loved watching Christian belt out those Christmas carols with his mouth open wide! Too cute! (he is the glowing eyes on the top left row)

Benjamin served as an usher...nice work!

After the program, we came home and cleaned up a little, Brian looked at snowblowers (its time!) ate dinner, and watched a movie! HOW GREAT! Now while the kids read, I blog!
It has been a wonderful weekend, sprinkled with such a variety of people, and I am grateful for each one of you!

OF COURSE...just as I finish up, the phone rings with a subbing job for tomorrow! Go figure! The week has started just a little early!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wonderful weekend!

This past weekend was such a nice way to kick off a crazy week!
Friday night we went to dinner and drinks with Paul and Allison. While we were at Whistle Binkies, Paul's sister Beth had a BIG bull delivered to the front of his house for his birthday. Of course Brian and I always enjoy our time with them, but this time I was almost giddy to have the night end because I knew it would mean that they would go home and see the bull!

Saturday was a full day of Lincoln-ites. First was the fundraising at Shoppes of University Square. Benjamin had the opportunity to sing with the choir inside the S of U, along with the band and orchestra from Lincoln. It was his first concert-so to speak- and it was neat to watch him! We did some shopping and had lunch, and each of the stores donated part of their days proceeds to Lincoln for our laptop initiative. As you can tell by the picture, if you tell Lincoln to be somewhere, we will go! The halls were PACKED with Lincoln families...this is just one side!

After Benjamin was done singing Brian stayed with the boys to do the holiday activities that they had going on. Like saving Santa from a rooftop downtown, petting the reindeer and enjoying some fun snacks. I went with the Naptons to flamingo Paul's yard for his upcoming birthday. We rushed out to the party store to pick up the 40 black balloons to tie to the flamingo's necks (one balloon for every year)

We managed to get all 40 balloons and all 5 of us into the Napton car, and off we rushed to the Robelias' to plant the flamingos in their yard while they were at brass rehearsal! It was quite an adventure tying balloons, sticking them into the frozen yard...the get-away wasn't as flawless and we thought it would be since I got stuck inside the garage..but it was FUN, and we did manage to get away before they came home!

Then was the holiday party...held by none other than Paul and Allison. We thought for sure they would have removed the flamingos before all the guests arrived, but Paul was a wonderful sport and left them for everyone to see! We had a great time during their party. Brian was able to put more faces to names, and I was able to mingle with people that I don't get to see that often outside of the school walls. All in all it was a terrific time and a great way to wrap up the day. Allison made some delicious appetizers that everyone just devoured! It was a very late night getting home with both boys, and then there was church the next day!
Now we are in the midst of craziness, we have something every night of the week, and this week I will be at Lincoln everyday either working or volunteering, which is A-Ok with me!
I am sooo engrossed in this season! I love the smells, and the sounds and the sights of everything Christmas! In fact I think it is going WAY too fast! Only 2 weeks left and it will all be just a memory. If only I could finish my holiday shopping list....
We have our wedding pictures...they will be posted soon!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday season!

Sunday was the first shovel of the season, and the boys did it themselves! It was pretty cool to see them out there working together. Now we need to work it into their allowance. How much should 2 kids get paid for shoveling? We are open to suggestions!
We put up our tree this weekend, and it is absolutely beautiful! Once again, we went to Jim Whiting to get our tree, and once again, we are not disappointed. It isn't the same as going to a tree farm to cut one down, but we still have fun picking it out. This year we picked a much smaller tree than we have in the past, it isn't quite as tall since the ceilings in this house are 8 ft rather than 10 ft BUT, I didn't need to buy more ornaments this year either, so I am content--for now!

The boys found some boughs and played swords with them!

Both Benjamin and Christian helped put the tree up, and they did most of the decorating themselves! Each year the ornaments get higher and I am proud to say that the ornaments are higher than 3 feet from the ground! And they are not clumped together in one spot...they did great! They definitely aren't toddlers anymore!

My cute little reindeer of a husband!

We even had an audience...all dressed up for tree decorating!

This weekend has been busy with family, on both sides, and friends. We spent Thanksgiving day with Brian's family, Friday and Saturday were spent mostly with my family, and Sunday Benjamin and I were able to spend time shopping for the holidays! I am EXHAUSTED!!! Monday I was been in bed all day, sick, tired, pounding headache... Brian took care of the boys and dinner, and carpooling everywhere. They even brought me something to eat in bed when they got home from work and school. I'm lucky to have them, but I would trade the pampering for feeling better any day!