Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our Tree

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Tis the season to be Jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la. Up on the Housetop click click click....I could go on and on singing my favorite holiday tunes, but I will spare you.

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 very seriously vaguely seriously. B and I take it seriously, the boys are just so trusting carefree, that they just come along for the ride! If you remember, last year our attempt to cut one down was a flop. The year before the boys battled it out with the boughs of pine. This year, they were nowhere to be found. (no camera this year either, we forgot!) Dodging in and out of the trees, playing and laughing, they had no say in this year's tree. B and I were left to choose it with the same guy who has helped up the last 7 years. I think we were successful!

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

New found loves

Move aside vinegar and water. I wanted so much to believe in you, and for several years I did. However, I really miss the smell of clean. So I've found a new love. Don't worry, I'll still use you for carpet spills, windows, mirrors and all things shiny. But, from here on out, there is a new go to guy for counters, bathrooms, cabinets and floors.

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!

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

Who knew?

Who knew that after years and years of practicing and editing chocolate chip cookie recipes to make the cookies rise up thick, that my eldest son would want me to knock it off?

Back to the drawing board. He wants them flat and skinny.

Who knew?

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

Lesson learned

Everyday I learn a lesson of some sort.

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

Goooo Panthers!!

As promised, over and over and over I have finally gotten my act together to post some pictures of Benjamin's football season.

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 take 2 or is it 5?

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

Working on it...

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

Make it worthwhile

We are successfully 2 months into the school year.

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

Wouldn't know where to start

Can I just say that I have been absent from blogging for so long that I don't even know where to start? Really. Truly. I can't possibly bring all ya'all up to speed, so I've decided not to even try.

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 likely possible that I will post a picture or 2 of this event.

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!