Monday, November 30, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Has it really been a week since my last post? Wow. That doesn't happen very often and when it does, it usually means we've been busy. Well, let's see if that's true...

We hosted Thanksgiving for my mom's side of the family, so we had a lot of cleaning and preparing to do on Wednesday when Alayna was home from school. We also had a breakfast date with Andy's mom and their long-time neighbor and close friend, Velva, who had just come home from summering in Alaska. It was great to see her! Then we hit a movie at the library in place of story-time, then came home to clean and cook.

Thursday morning we watched the parade and did our final touch-ups and cooking. Mikayla dressed up for the occasion of hosting the holiday.

Thursday night my parents took the girls home with them, so I could shop and Andy could hunt on Friday. So Thursday night Andy and I went to see New Moon, his first time and my third. I loved it again and he enjoyed it as well!

Friday morning at 4:30 I left the house and headed out shopping with my friend Beth. We had a great time and got a LOT accomplished. I only have 3 more gifts to buy!! Then I came home and wrapped presents before Andy and the girls got home.

Saturday morning was cleaning up the residual mess from Thursday, then we headed to Gramma Lynn's house to pick up Daddy. Then we did this:

and found 2 great trees for our house. Once those were cut down, paid for, strapped to the Durango and we were nestled back into the vehicle, we headed back to Andy's parents' house for their Thanksgiving. We got home at bedtime, set the trees in their stands and went to bed.

Sunday morning was church, where I was teaching Sunday school and serving coffee after service. When that was all done, we went into town to do some of this with the 4H as our November activity and early December meeting:
Alayna bowling

Cousin Terri helping Lilly bowl

While waiting for the meeting to start, the girls rode a snowmobile
We had pizza and pop before the meeting, then went about business with the 4H. After the meeting was adjourned, Mikayla went into the hallway with Auntie Sherry to see what a noise was. Look what she found! She was so excited!

After the meeting, we went about delivering 13 wreaths and 2 poinsettias that Alayna sold as a fundraiser for the club. Then we came home and collapsed on the couch, ate Chinese take-out with Andy's parents and sister, and played a few games of cards before going to bed about 8:30.

This morning, poor Alayna woke up about 6:20 and said her belly hurt a little but not much. We told her to go potty, then lay back down for a bit. Well, that laying down lasted about 2 minutes before she bolted to the bathroom. Poor girl is so upset to be home today after not having school since last Tuesday. Hopefully it's a small bug that is now gone and no one else gets it!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

This Kid keeps me on my toes

Mikayla is such a riot and every day, she makes me and others laugh. She's always got a funny story to tell, says something hysterical or does some random dance or movement that is just too cute. This age is such fun!

Friday morning we were listening to Christmas music. "Gramma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" was playing and after Mikayla stopped laughing hysterically, she had to call her Gramma's to let them know that they were run over. When we pulled into my mom's driveway Sunday afternoon, Mikayla looks around and goes, "Nope, no reindeer!"

Sunday afternoon, Alayna and Lilly were having some issues with getting along. I was asking them to be nice to one another and prompted them with, "Remember the rule?" I was referring to The Golden Rule but Mikayla pipes up with, "No singing or dancing at the table?!" Well, that's a good one to remember too.

Sunday evening we were getting dinner ready and the girls were playing dress up. Mikayla comes upstairs with her Packers sweatshirt on, a pink sheer fairy skirt, one purple and one pink dress-up shoe, and a green and purple elastic headband from when she was probably 18 months old--on 80's sweatband style. She walked to a few feet from the oven, where she could see herself in the door, got in a perfect sumo wrestling squat and proceeded to do fake karate punches complete with "Hi-ya's!" I'm talking continuous punch-punch-punch-punch with no breaks in between. Then she calmly walked away like nothing happened. I think I peed myself.

I posted earlier today, too!

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. I love everything about it--family togetherness, a wonderful meal (my favorite meal as a whole) but mostly because it's a day set aside to give thanks. Like everyone I know, I tend to take advantage of certain things. I have always had a roof over my head, so I sometimes think that it will always be there. It's something I tend to take advantage of. I've always had clothing on my back, food in my belly, material possessions like tvs, radios, books, toys...I've always had a loving family, filled with not only my parents, sister and grandparents, but many aunts, uncles and cousins who support me and love me. I have an amazing husband and 3 incredible children. I have a large network of in-laws who accepted me for me and love me because I love Andy. I have many wonderful friends. We all have our health and our happiness. I have lived a very fortunate life, but nothing very different from my neighbors or friends or relatives.

However, my life is very different from thousands--millions--of people. There are people who do not have tvs and radios. They don't have food in their stomach or clothing on their back. There are people without a home. There are people who have no family, no friends. There are people who have never known good health or true happiness.

The older I get, the more I appreciate what I have and try to help those who are less fortunate. I thank God every night for the wonderful life that I live, and I pray for those who don't have what I have. Thanksgiving is a day to really reflect on what we have, and give thanks to God for all that He has done for us. But each day should be Thanksgiving. Each day should be a day for giving thanks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I let the dogs out the other morning, and there the cats were, huddled atop a case of anti-freeze. I think they had the right idea, it just didn't work quite right. But it was only 24 degrees, so maybe it helped a little. Regardless, it made for a cute picture. And don't worry, they all got some snuggles for a few minutes before I got cold in just my pajamas and needed some anti-freeze of my own.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Welcome to the World, Eddie!

This morning, one of my very best friends delivered her third baby, a little boy they named Edwin and will call Eddie! We are so very thrilled for their whole family!

Nick (the dad) and I have known one another since I was born. We grew up going to church and school together, though he was in my sister's grade. When he was in college, he met Andrea and they later got married. That's when the trouble began. Andrea and I are very much alike, but also different in ways that compliment each other. We're both chatty and a little crazy. We have similar life and parenting styles, a lot of the same interests...We also look somewhat alike, which garners a lot of comments like, "Are you two sisters?" when we're out in public, especially when we were pregnant together and due only 7 weeks apart! Lilly and Roz are the best of friends, and they also have another daughter Clara, who is only a few months younger than Mikayla. Andrea and I talk at least every other day, we get together for girls' nights or family nights, we go on mini-vacations together and watch each other's kids. We know one another's families. It's like we're family, too, not just friends. I couldn't be happier for them right now.

Welcome to the world, Eddie! I can't wait to meet you later tonight and get to know you over the coming years!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Great Danes don't grow thick winter coats... Marley borrowed Andy's sweatshirt. See how she's admiring herself? It looks like she's trying to figure out how to take it off, but really, she loved it. She couldn't stop walking all funny to see how it fit and moved with her. She couldn't stop nudging it, trying to get it just right. She loved it. Either that, or she totally hated it.

But she was a good sport and we only kept it on her for about 5 minutes, long enough for a few pictures. Oh, how her doggy friends will mock her if they read my blog!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Young One

I have one older sister, and that's it. Even though are only the two of us siblings, that doesn't mean we didn't have the same sibling squabbles (say that 5x fast!) or the same feelings of unfairness and injustice over something the other one got to do. I distinctly remember wanting to get chicken pox because my sister had them and got to stay with Gramma during the day, watching movies, eating ice cream and having fun. Of course, I didn't understand that they itched and hurt and all that. I was thrilled to have the pox show up a few days later, anxious for my own special time with Gramma like my sister.

In my home right now, there are 3 siblings, all sisters. I see how upset Alayna gets at times, being the oldest and therefore the one we expect the most out of because of her maturity. I see how upset Lilly sometimes gets because she can't do fun things that Alayna gets to do because she's not old enough, but she doesn't get away with certain things like Mikayla might. And I see how upset Mikayla gets, always being the baby, always trying to play catch up to the big girls.

This morning as I was getting Alayna ready for 3rd grade and Lilly ready for 4K, Mikayla woke up and announced that she was going to school. When I told her she can't go to school with the girls, she responded, "But I'm taller! I big now." Oh honey, if only it were that easy. Then as we watched the girls climb onto the bus, Mikayla proudly told me that she's going to school tomorrow. "I read my books and play outside." When I told her they do much more than that at school, she responded with, "They jump with their friends? I can jump, so I go to school!"

I can relate to that, being the younger sister. I remember my sister having her first sleep-over at our house, or at another friend's house. I remember her playing sports and me watching from the sidelines. I remember my sister and her best friend making me play all the "undesirable" characters when we played because I was littlest. I remember her driving and me sitting next to her, envious. But I also remember getting away with things that she didn't, simply because I was younger and "didn't know any better". And I remember feeling more confident in several ways because I had already watched my sister go through sports, or drivers' training, or whatever. She was my inside information, from watching her all those years.

So I understand when Mikayla wants to be like the big girls. I get it. But as Mom, I want to slow her down and make her be my little girl as long as possible. I know how fast it goes. I've been there with her two older sisters. She wants things to speed up and I want them to slow down. But instead, I play along and pretend that we have a schoolroom in the kitchen. We read books and play games, and our school is much better than real school. But she knows. She knows it's not the same. And she still wakes each day, hoping she's now tall enough to go to school like the big girls.


Every day this month, I've been posting at least one FaceBook status saying I'm thankful for something. Some days it's been something silly, like left-over Halloween candy that I can munch while the kids nap. Some days it's something not silly, but not overly huge, either. Like when I said I was thankful for a good book to get lost in. In the grand scheme of things, a book is a book. But in the moment, when I'm able to relax and enjoy a story woven by someone else, it's pretty big. Other days it's been something serious, like being thankful for a husband who takes care of the unimportant, but meaningful, things--like filling my tank with gas for me before a road-trip without him, or buying me a bottle of Sierra Mist on his way home, or setting out a towel when I'm in the shower and he sees I've forgotten to get one out myself. Challenging myself to find something to be thankful for each and every day has been an eye-opener. It's made me realize just how much I have, and how blessed I really am.

Emily at Chatting at the Sky is asking us to unwrap the daily gifts amidst the ordinary, sometimes messy, lives we live.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kid Jokes Are the Best

Lilly: Knock, Knock

Mommy: Who's there?

L: Cow.

M: Cow who?

L: Cow milking on you!

We all do the obligatory laugh, even though the joke makes no sense. But to her, she just did stand-up on the Jay Leno Show. So because we all laughed, she tells everyone the joke. Over and over. And she's so proud of her own made-up joke. I love that kid.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Welcome to the Family, Lora!

Tomorrow, my cousin Matt is getting married. It's kinda crazy to think about, because I babysat Matt, his twin sister Chrissa, and their younger sister Brianna. I remember when Matt ate nothing but chicken nuggets and pb&j. Now he's in the Navy and getting married.

Lora is one of those girls that everyone loves. She's funny, pretty, gets along with anyone and just seems at ease. She's a great match for our crazy family and we all couldn't be happier that she's joining our zany bunch.

So Matt and Lora, congrats on your marriage. May you have many happy, healthy years to enjoy one another. And Lora, welcome to the family!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not by the hair of their chinny-chin-chins

We had a great Halloween. It was kicked off with a party for Lilly's 4K classmates at the school on Thursday, carving pumpkins on Friday night and a town Halloween party at an area school on Saturday before trick-or-treating. The girls had a great time and we had lots of compliments on our costumes.
Mikayla dug right into her pumpkin, shocking us all!

Alayna drew her own face but Daddy had to carve it

Mikayla with our rendition of Alayna's smile

Lilly with the face she drew and Daddy carved
In the Durango on our way to the party!
3 Little Pigs, Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood