Sunday, December 26, 2010
Yesterday was a day for both.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Last year's pictures are kept safe and sound on the computer that isn't charged. So I can't show you what Yoshi wan K'Noshi used to look like in his clothing last year, but it appears that he has robbed Benjamin of any growth spurts...because they don't fit anymore!
Last year's coat isn't a great success this year.
He's like the Incredible Hulk. Only not green. And a dog. And less angry. Ok, so maybe not a good comparable.
The sweater wasn't much better.
He was a terrific sport to let me squeeze him into clothes that obviously would never fit. But I wanted to see just how much they wouldn't fit!
Ok, Mama...that's enough please. Can I wear something that fits now please?
I aim to please Yosh! The jacket we bought this fall is actually too big, so I'll need to make a few accomodations to it...but for now, he loves it!
Who knew Yosh would love to be read to? We sure didn't!
It took awhile for him to see his gift sitting quietly under the tree.
But boy oh boy, when he did find it, there was no turning back! Daddy, please can I have it? Please? I'll even lay down w/o being asked.
Not that? How about sit?
No? Lay down then?
No? Just grab it?
Ok, sit right?
Oh, thank you Daddy!! Yum-my!
Now, I sleep.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
It's been a wonderful, snowy, cozy day. Our frozen tundra has been experiencing a wonderful winter storm since last night. And now...this is the view we have from our front door.
I got the priviledge of watching Brian and the neighbors plow each others driveway, 6 men plowing and shoveling their way through this glorious snow -- together!
It was awesome to watch from my cozy kitchen! These 5 men (+ one more) are champions for doing everyone's driveways! What a wonderful community we are blessed to be a part of!
A lazy morning, a hot cup of coffee, a stop at Trader Joes (yes, we have one now!!!!) and a day of cooking have been the perfect snow day activities for me! Now, while the gingerbread dough cools in the fridge before rolling, we are going to wrap some gifts! I love this time of year!!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
I am sitting in a quiet (for now) house listening to the classic Johnny Mathis asking me if I'm listening to sleigh bells! Umm, no I'm not. But suddenly I wish I were!
I'm sitting next to my crackling fireplace, smelling the bread baking in the bread maker whilst venison (say what?!) cooks in the slow cooker. I'll fill you in on the venison another time-- like after we've eaten it!
Back to Johnny....
One of the things my mom did during the holidays when I was young was play her Johnny Mathis CD over, and over and over (and over and over and over) again. My sisters and I hated it at the time. It really got old. I mean really, how much can a girl listen to Johnny?
I continued that tradition for a few years. Just in the last few years I've started branching out to other Christmas CDs, and I'm so glad I did. I can't imagine the holidays now w/o some of the new, fresh sounds of Christmas echoing through our home! However, it never fails that Johnny can instantly bring me back to my youth. Drinking hot chocolate, building snowmen and snowforts with my sisters, watching the snow fall out our windows, sitting in front of the wood fireplace, building puzzles and snuggling in for the winter. Even the dreaded chores of carrying in wood and shoveling the driveway are looked upon with fondness because when I think of all the good things, the bad things are far outweighed.
I didn't know at the time, that what my mom was doing- whether intentionally or unintentionally, was shaping how I would look at the holidays. For many of us, December is about waiting for Jesus's birth. Just like Mary and Joseph did. Waiting. To spend that time thinking about what would be under the tree, and counting the days until the gifts are opened would be missing the purpose of the season.
Instead, we made the best of the snow days. We didn't have cable growing up, so we never sat glued to the TV, we were busy little bees-- while we waited for the birth.
While we waited, we sang along with Johnny.
Thank you Johnny for being a part of my youth, for helping me to reflect back on the holidays as a child.
I can only pray that the traditions that the boys, Brian and I have maintained through the years will hold a warm fuzziness for the boys when they're older. I pray that they'll look back on the holidays have the same fondness that I had when I was young. Maybe it won't be Johnny who will bring them back, maybe it will be a smell, or a color, or maybe a Christmas ornament...whatever it is, I hope that it will bring them the same love and happy heart that I have right now.
I can't say it enough, I ADORE this time of year!
Peace Love Joy. While we wait.....
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I wonder when the day came that the toy box became obsolete. We still have one, but it holds toys for the neighbor's kids and our friend's little ones to play with. When did the day come that the boys no longer had toys for the toybox?
I wonder when the day came that my 12 year old developed an opinion about everything, and takes it as a personal offense if we don't do something his way.
I wonder when the day came that when I open a bag of mini marshmallows for hot chocolate that no sooner than 6 hours later, said bag would be empty.
I wonder when the day came that the boys would no longer need me to bundle them up to go outside, so that when I look out the window, I would see them doing front flips into the mountains of snow at the end of the driveway-- sans gloves, hats, boots, snowpants, and scarves.
I wonder when the day will come that these things will stop nearly bringing me to tears. They're growing up so fast....too fast.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Thanksgiving has passed, and our family is getting into full holiday mode! I love this season! The smells, and sounds, and sights of the Christmas season make me feel warm and fuzzy all day every day. I adore it.
That's why our family takes tree shopping
The boys think it's too fat. Sigh....
We listened to dad's old Christmas albums while we set up the tree. It was a beautiful afternoon!
At the Lincoln Auction this fall we bid on - and won - a piece of art from one of the staff members. He will take a picture of our choosing and draw it to the size of our choice. I've been snapping pictures here and there of the boys, this is one of my favorites so far! Great shot of my beautiful boys!
Friday, November 26, 2010
Meyers lavendar scented cleaner. Wow! How much do I love thee? You and your dish soap have become my new cleaning buddies.
Another new found love--Williams Sonoma sponges. The price has prevented me for a long long (long) time from purchasing these, but then, I splurged. I'm so glad I did. They are compact enough to fit the extras in my cleaner carrier, yet enormous when they get wet. Together-- they make a great team. Pop them in the dishwasher to get clean in between uses or a quick zap in the microwave to kill germs...love!
Why Jodie why are you talking about cleaning supplies? Because today, after a day of Black Friday shopping -- well more Black Friday crowd experiencing for the boys-- Christmas tree selecting and putting up, shopping in the cities and dinner out with the hubby, I cleaned. Our house experienced the stomach flu this week. First Benjamin, Brian was the next to fall, and then the bug bit me. I cleaned earlier this week, but since I was the last to fall, it hasn't been cleaned for a couple of days, and tonight = scouring. There will be no more flu. No.more.flu.
Speaking of the flu....turns out Yoshi is terrified of the ancient stock pot (it used to be dad's -- we have 2 others for cooking) that we used for our bedside bucket (if you catch my drift) The combination of the odor (gross I know, sorry) and the noise of the lid rattling against the metal must really really bother him. He wouldn't even go in our bedroom today when he found out it was in there. He trembled and wimpered to get away from the bedroom door. It's hilarious. So after it was scoured and cleaned, where did it end up?
He won't be drinking from the tree this year, that's for sure!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Back to the drawing board. He wants them flat and skinny.
Who knew that having a back yard with woods would lead to an afternoon of smashing pumpkins?
Who knew that our beautiful MoJo would find the garland so comfy cozy that I wouldn't have the heart to take it away?
Who knew that this very cat would look very black in real life, but would photograph in red tones? Such a pretty girl....
Who knew that ordering a baby gate online to use for the dog would lead my children to question the soda that I drank later that day.
"Mama, does that have caffeine in it?" "Yes, my sweet sweet Christian, it does have caffeine. The baby gate is for the dog. Not a baby."
Who knew that this Lion would be the gate keeper to one of the most relaxing and laughter filled weekends I've had w/o my family?
Really. Who knew?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
For instance, on Sunday when I went to Allison's to make lefse, I didn't bring a jacket because it was nice outside when I left. However, when I needed to go home, it was brisk and drizzly so I wished I had a jacket and gloves. Lesson learned? It's winter now, and I need to have warm clothing where ever I go.
Another example would be that when Christian starts to shut down and lose confidence he quits. If I overplay my excitement and build him up, he'll try again and again until he succeeds. Lesson learned? I have to exaggerate my support for him to build up his confidence. Willingly.
The purpose of my post?
When I am tired, and running on less than 4 hours of sleep, like I was yesterday (true story) I should never. I repeat never go through the past posts that I wrote during 'that time'. I don't even know what to call it. I can't describe what came over me that prompted me to go through each post about dad from April of last year to March of this year. It was dumb. I've been thinking about him alot lately. The holidays are coming fast, and he won't be here. Just last year at Christmas every member of my family was here in our house celebrating the day. He won't be here this year. The boys were talking about Christmas and gifts...only this year, there won't be any from Papa. It's hard to believe that this all happened. One moment it seems surreal, almost out of body when I think about this past year. And then, the reality sinks in and it hurts so bad. My heart is aching these days. I miss him painfully.
You are loved dad.
You are missed.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Benjamin played fullback and defensive end and linebacker this year. I know this because he is sitting right next to me while I blog right now, and I asked him. For some reason, I cannot remember which position is which. Kicker? got it. Quarterback? yep, I know who that is. Safety. nailed it! Benjamin's positions? Well, they may as well be a foreign language because I just can't retain their names! At any rate, he played those positions this year, and had a LOT of fun!
Brian helped with coaching again this year too, and has made some great new colleagues to keep in touch with!
Here is Benjamin with the carry, not sure how far he got, anytime he had a super play, I was too busy jumping up and down and cheering to be taking pictures!
(after uploading these, I can see they don't look as clear or as close as they do on my computer...sorry folks. Maybe it's time for photoshop....Christmas anyone?! ahem, B?)
This is a fantastic block (or is it tackle? I don't know that either) by Benjamin --#72-- that allowed Tristan, or was it Tucker? It may have been Kallis...doesn't matter, whoever it was broke away after this and got pretty far down the field!
I won't bore you with every detail. Like Benjamin getting a concussion. Yawn. I'll just fast forward to the championship game!
They made it all the way through the season with only one loss, kicked butt in the playoff game, and went on to play the one team they lost to in the championship! Under the bright lights of the college football field.
Bleachers, stadium lighting, artificial turf---the whole works! It was awesome to watch the team play, and give their every ounce of energy into the game. While they did not pull out a win, they played with heart, and they gave that team a run for their money. We filled the bleachers, and lost our voices cheering on our Panthers! It was another awesome football season, thanks to the coaches and a terrific group of 7th grade boys! Once again, the season has ended and while we are so grateful to have some normalcy back in our lives, I miss Saturday football. I will patiently wait again for next year!
Now we're 2 weeks into basketball season, yet another year where B has been recruited to coach, so I've said goodbye to him for another sporting season. Soccer comes next. Christian has already made it clear to Brian that after last year's disaster of a soccer coach B must coach that too. Sigh....I guess this is payback for 5 years of ViE and PPT.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Lefse! For many years the boys' idea of lefse (thanks to me) was to take flour tortillas, spread butter on them and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. And then Benjamin met Bennett. Jodie met Allison, and years later Allison and Jodie made lefse. And now? We're lefse snobs. No more flour tortillas, it just isn't the same!
We made lefse together for the first time in 2008, twice last year, and so far twice again this year, and it is truly one of my favorite Allison-Jodie activities. This has unintentionally become a tradition with us that I hope we can continue for years to come!
It's great to sit on my bar stool to turn and cozy turn and cozy.
Unlike 2008, I have graduated to helping roll the lefse out...I think Allison is just being sweet when she says she isn't hyperventilating while I roll out these disasters never to been seen by anyone but the 2 of us.
I'm almost certain that she only lets me roll so that we can have some rejects to eat. She'll never admit it. But I'm sure it's true.
The first batch this year went entirely to the Lincoln Auction, but this time, it was all for keeps! Well, at least the ones that Lefse Lenny doesn't eat! Yumm!!
Next time, football....
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
As I was wrapping up the post with pictures, it froze. Just stopped. And frankly, it took a long time to get it to look the way it did, so I stopped.
I'll get back to it again. Just not today.
I decided though, that if I was going to get back into the blogging routine, and give you all something to look forward to each morning, or evening or somewhere in between, I could write anyway. Right? So pictures are coming. Football, lefse making, fall parties, lady gagas, apple orchards, and just plain family fun will come your way soon.
So instead of pictures, I give you a piece of my mind! (in bullets of course!!)
- I am absolutely on pins and needles for Christmas (NOT winter) break to come! I am already getting the warm and fuzzies to hang out with the boys everyday, drink hot chocolate, watch the office, build puzzles, and snuggle by the fire. can.not.wait.
- It should be a rule that kindergartners learn how to blow their own noses before they start school. You know ABCs, 123, tissue=sneeze. Right? Right.
- I love shopping online. Not so much the shopping part of it, but the mail part of it! I love to get the packages in the mail. I've even found myself taking some time while I'm running errands to swing by the house to see if there is a package waiting by the door. Too bad they aren't for me. Except the one.....
- Slippers should be required in every household. Feet are gross, dirty, smelly, and body icky, and they have no business touching carpets or furniture.
- After that last comment, it's hard to believe I worked at a foot clinic. It definitely reinforced my dislike for the appendage. Nothin' but love for Dr. P though...he is great! Highly recommend him for all your foot and ankle needs!
- 2 of Benjamin's closest friends turned 13. That means he is not far behind. This makes me sad. Almost tearful sad.
- Norwex rocks!
- Being a part of a staff that focuses so much on strong family values and involvement is a blessing in ways that I still even now can't wrap my head around. Lincoln is an entire staff of people who care about the education of every student. Our staff meeting today was an enlightenment for me, and I appreciate them even more than I thought possible.
- That 70s Show is a kick in the pants! HA!
- Wendy's frostys are my favorite.
- The commercial with the sleeping babies while the woman sings Silent Night should not be a Pampers ad. It should promote Christmas break from school. *See bullet #1
Sunday, November 7, 2010
2 months into having a 7th grader. A 7th grader who would likely forget his head, knows everything, is insecure and full of ego all at the same time, may have asthma, played an awesome year of football, and is still not ashamed to call me mama and initiate cuddle time.
2 months into having a 5th grader who for the first time since he started 1st grade is rocking out the beginning of the year! He has been on his game since day one, completing his school work w/few to no reminders, scoring well on all his tests, is engaging new friends, is learning to say 'I can' rather than 'I can't', who is charming and naive, and who is still not ashamed to call me mama and initiate cuddle time.
I'm loving my new job at the school! New job at the school you ask? Yea, I haven't blogged about that yet. Sorry. I have a position at the school as an Early Childhood Special Education Paraprofessional. ECSE for future reference. I work one on one with a child in kindergarten who has down syndrome and can I just say that this is above and beyond the most rewarding and satifying and pleasing job I have ever had. (that I get paid for that is....mothering is light years ahead of any job ever) The student I work with is sweet and lovable and is performing far and above the expectations that not only the school, but his parents had for him when they decided to send him to Lincoln. I'm thrilled to be working everyday in the boys' school, and to be apart (officially) with the staff at Lincoln is a pleasure that I didn't think was possible. God has blessed me once again with my heart's desire, a desire that I am grateful for beyond words.
Best part? My name tag says ECSE Kinder Para. That's right, I'm 'kinder' than the rest of 'em!
I know it has been ages and ages since I've posted photos, and I am working on that! Next up will be a photo only post. I'll provide a montage of photos of the last few months to bring you up to speed. Deal?
Til then! Prayers to my friend Kami on the birth of Ethan Bennett! He is beautiful and I can not wait to come and meet him! Congratulations Kami and Monte!!!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I will however share a few things with you.
I LOVED watching Benjamin play his play off football game under the bright lights of a college football field. On the bleachers. It was terrific. It's
Ok, so this is just a teaser because I have oodles of things to do and places to go...but I will leave you with someone who has not neglected her blog. I laugh out.loud. nearly everytime I read this.
Soda came out of my nose once. It hurt. It wasn't fun. But it was funny!!
I'm giving you a link to today's post, but go ahead and check out more of her posts....she's GREAT!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I didn't make a single post in September, which has not happened since I began blogging almost 3 years ago!
I did however start several different posts during September, I just never finished them!
This time is just s teaser though, but I've got some great new photos to share, as well as some fantastic news that hopefully will allow for more time and energy for Our Family MoJo!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Football for Benjamin is well under way. He has some great kids and some great coaches this year, so he is pretty excited about this season. Brian is coaching again, and is so far liking the coach and his ideas. 7th grade is going to be a great year for Benjamin.
Christian is finishing up his summer work sheets, and is actually doing them w/o constant reminders! He rocked his MCA scores this year, and I am so so proud of him. Hopefully because of such great scores he'll start 5th grade on a better note than past years. I pray that this is the boost he needs to go into a school year with confidence that he hasn't had before. If any child deserves a break...it's this one!
My schedule at work has been so flexible... and nearly non existant this summer. I have been blessed with ALOT of time off! Thank goodness for a boss who respects a working mother. In addition to being given a ridiculous amount of time off this summer, I have also been given a new schedule. One that includes every Friday off. What? Every Friday? Yep. Best part is that I didn't even ask for it...it was offered to me. Awesome! 3 day weekends, and a solid day that I can dedicate to Lincoln, not only to volunteer, but to sub if they need me! Seriously, this job just can't get any better!
I really have been blessed with a husband and sons whom I love, friends that I adore, a job that contours our family perfectly, and a community of people who support me unconditionally. Praise God for all His blessings.
I'm looking forward to our Bible study at church to start back up...along with Confirmation for Benjamin, my final year as PPT president, my first fall with a regularily scheduled job, and free time to do my thing, as well as an entire day to dedicate to one of my favorite places! This is going to be a fantastic year for sure!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
When that something is 7 wonderful, intelligent, talented, supportive, and creative women that you feel dumb lucky to be in a sisterhood with. When you're sitting around an outdoor table on a patio surrounded by a beautifully manicured lawn with lush greenery, and flowers bursting with color. Soothing jazzy music plays in the background while the summer sun dips into the horizon. Conversation is being held by 2s and 3s, while dishes of mouthwatering famous 'last dishes' are being passed at the same time that wine and cocktails are being poured and taste tested. Plentiful laughter and gossip, groans of delight over the latest bite, all while the water fountain gurgles in the background. The 5-yes FIVE- sumptuous desserts get passed around and the moans of utter perfection are in surround sound again. The fire gets lit, and the sweaters get wrapped tighter, the blankets adorn laps, and the outdoor swinging benches are set into motion as we settle in around the crackling fire.
I took many moments today to look at each of the women at the table so that I could take in a scene that has been broadcast on the big screen more times than I can count. Today, I lived it.
April, thank you for hosting tonight. The music was perfection, your backyard is stunning, and your home is cozy. I am afraid for my child--not really, but kinda....Thank you.
Cate, thank you for bringing wisdom and guidance to our group. You keep us up to speed, and your knowledge is priceless. Your beauty shines, and your laughter is contagious.
Allison, thank you for knowing what I am going to say before I do. Thank you for being the person to finish my sentences, and for letting me finish yours. Lefse-nuff said.
Juli, thank you for your subtlety. I love to sit back and take it in with you. One of these days, we'll know what they're talking about. You make me laugh, and I can't get enough of your friendship.
Elizabeth, your wealth of knowledge in things that no one should know is impressive and admirable. You are the only person I know that knows about raccoons, apple seeds AND everything leafy. Your natural beauty shines in all ways possible.
Cherie, you're right, we need Tshirts--can't get enough of you. I want to find
Andi, being a part of your life is a privilege. I am humbled by your ability to articulate your thoughts, and am grateful that you felt at ease enough to share yourself to us so openly. Your grandmother is proud of who you are.
I am so incredibly blessed to be in the company of these women, and so grateful that no matter what happens in our lives, we still have each other. My life would not be the same w/o the 7 of you. Thank you so much for tonight. It really was incredible in all ways.
Tonight was amazing.
I'm taking it in.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
As you may know, we just returned from our trip to San Francisco, and it was absolutely perfect! We loved everything about our trip, we were able to explore not only the big city and Fisherman's Wharf, but we were even able to get out into the mountains of Northern CA and do some exploring there. It was an amazing vacation for every one of us!
Before we flew out of MN, we stopped for some lunch and while we were eating, we realized that we didn't have our camera. So that was one of the impromptu purchases that we made when we made it to the Wharf. Unfortunately, because of this unexpected purchase, neither of us knew anything about the camera...so our photos did not turn out the way we had envisioned. However, we did find some beautiful shots of the buildings and scenery that I just can't wait to get blown up and framed! Good eye B!
W/o further ado...I bring you San Francisco!! In no particular order.
The first picture is from Muir Woods. What a beautiful, serene and humbling place to visit. Not only were the trees stunning in their height and in their size, but Christian also made an observation that resonated with each of us for the rest of the day. Toward the beginning of our visit, he mentioned that the brook that was gurgling through the woods reminded him of Papa's woods. I thought it was sweet that he was thinking of Papa, and it made me reflect on the last walk I took with my dad through his woods before he passed away. Shortly after Christian made the comment, we came across a mama deer and her 2 fawns. It took my breath away as we stood and watched this mama and her babies no more than 15 ft away--eating and paying no attention to us whatsoever. It is no secret that my dad's favorite thing to do was sit on his back patio and watch his deer. They were there the day we spread his ashes, and they were there with us in Muir Woods. In fact, they were still in their places when our family finally walked away. Thank you Dad for being with us that day. We love you.
This is one of the walls of Alcatraz. This was the wall that lead out to the recreation yard. The tour is fantastic with individual audio devices that you listen to as you walk through the prison. The narrators are both inmates and guards, who describe what it was like to be in Alcatraz...all the way down to the last day. Again, humbling.
Here is one of the jellyfish hanging out next to our boat while we were waiting to leave Alcatraz island. The boys got a kick out of the swimming around the boat. On the way back to the mainland, we had dolphins jumping along side us...very cool!
Hanging out on the Pier, waiting for our tour. The boys taught B and I a hand game that we all spent plenty of time playing when we had down time! Good stuff!
Glass Beach. We found some wonderful pieces of glass, played with the crabs, splashed around in the water and hiked around on the cliffs...amazing! Well worth the crazy drive!
My little tree huggers!
On our way back from the Alcatraz tour we were stopped by this magician on the pier who showed us some cool tricks! One of our favorite things about the Wharf is all of the side entertainers. We saw this magician, musicians--of all genres, acrobats, artists, comedians...it was so very cool! It added a whole new element to strolling along shopping and taking in the views! Such a difference they all made!
We JUMP FOR JOY for San Francisco!!
One of our favorite flowers from the Golden Gate Park.
Our trip also included a day at the Exploratorium, Ripley's Believe it or Not, Chinatown, the Japanese Tea Gardens, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, a trip to Sacramento, drive and ice cream in Napa Valley, Wax Museum, Ghiradelli Square, LOTS of walking...and so much more!
My sister stayed in our house with our pets while we were gone, so the peace of mind that was provided by having her here really made a difference for me!
We've got lots going on....I'll share more soon!