Saturday, December 26, 2009

Most Unusual Christmas. . .Ever!

Well, I have to admit that this Christmas certainly wasn't THE perfect Christmas. It's so easy for me to get into that "mode"--you know--everything has to be just right. This Christmas wouldn't have been MY choice of turnouts. . .but then again, it was perfect in it's own right. I had a good life lesson on "perspective!"
We had a fabulous Christmas at my folks' last weekend. I am SO glad that we planned to do it early!! As it turned out, the weather this week would have been issue for some of our family, and illness, another. Thankfully, I had finished up gifts, wrapping, baking, and cards last week. So Christmas week we were just down to relaxing and partying. . .HMMM. Monday started out with a sick D, who, I wasn't sure wasn't just mostly tired from too much cousin time at Grandma's. However, around 6 that evening, I started to believe that maybe he had been under the weather. J and I went to the hospital Christmas party that night, which was my first and last Christmas party of the season. We had an enjoyable time and didn't even bring home bad stuff from the "dirty" Santa gift exchange that we always play. (Not dirty as in DIRTY--for those of you who might have been wondering--it was a COMPANY party :-) The big boys enjoyed their school dance that night too--and their "girlfriends" LOVED the gifts that they picked out for them (and purchased with their own hard-earned money)

Tuesday found me in bed with a horrible headache, fatigue and body aches. Cami enjoyed a lot of Dora that day. The school called that morning to report that D had experienced a nose bleed that freaked them all out. . . evidently one of the para's that wasn't supposed to be there, heard him crying from the bathroom and helped him out--poor guy couldn't see in the dark to find his teacher. They got the bleeding stopped finally and found him a shirt! Later that day, I managed to sanitize myself and led the 4-H kids in their caroling party--we rode on the back of J's flat trailer and caroled around town--it was only 27 degrees--I know--I'm an idiot. I was a total goner after that. I went to bed at 6:30 that night with my coat on and my electric mattress pad turned up to 9 (out of 10). And there I stayed. I watched half of my outdoor lights come flying off my roof in the hurricane force western Kansas wind--and I didn't even CARE!! I'm sure it was influenza (I NEVER get sick--EVER--and NO I didn't take the flu shot--either of them). I was able to be upright by later in the day Christmas eve--even if only to straighten out my back from the bed. C and I sent the guys to the Christmas Eve service at church--and I put on a mask and went to work (I thought I was safe enough to take my call that night--it is Christmas after-all--Sick or not, the show must go on!)

I found it hard to sleep Christmas eve--excitement, headache, too much sleep already? Probably slept around midnight, and then woke up drenched in a sweat around 1:15 with a pain in my head so severe that I was sure I was on my way out! I couldn't open my eyes but had very vivid red and green flashing lights--like a strobe light in my head. After about 10 minutes of this, I decided that I was probably going to live, so I groped for the ibuprofen in the dark and stumbled for some water. Phone call at 5:30 needing me at work. Head still hurt!

The unusual starts in that I am NEVER awake before the kids on Christmas morning--EVER. It was too late to go back to bed and snooze before they woke up, so I decided to make some coffee to see if that would fix the headache that seemed barely touched by the medicine (after all, I hadn't had a single cup for days--maybe that was my problem). So, I got the opportunity to give thanks to God for the day and the Son's birth over a cup of coffee in my quiet house looking at the beautiful Christmas tree lights. I love my Christmas tree.

Not long after that, found Jeremy and Cami waking everyone else up by shouting "Holy cow (PG version), Dev, get down here right now, you are NOT going to believe this." The gifts, truly weren't that great, but the statement worked and it sounded like they were pinballs bouncing as they scrambled to get downstairs. Everyone was happy with what they had given and recieved. (except J wasn't too impressed with the million piece set of Legos that Santa had delivered to Dev--because I didn't feel well enough to help him work on it and he got the opportunity to do it! And I probably won't be impressed with it next week when I start stepping on the "lost" ones in the middle of the night) I bundled them all up and sent them to Granny's down the road for Christmas and I went back to bed. J brought me lunch and presents back and when he woke me up, the headache was GONE!! Yeah.
(note to Cami was found in her present from Santa--below picture is what she found there!)
The kids were having a ball and he left me to go back for the afternoon. Called my mom to see what they were up to. She had eaten pretzels and pepsi for lunch and was wondering what else she could eat that started with the letter P. She swore she was NOT watching Sesame street. . but I'm not so sure. After we hung up, I started trying to clean some of my house--only touched by little hands for about a week!! OOOHHH YUUUUCKKK!! J got me a beautiful standing mirror that opens up into a jewelry case. My top dresser drawer was starting to become one big muddled mess of costume jewelry so I enjoyed putting it all away, and using that drawer to hold other clothes.

So in essence, my favorite day of the year was spent by not getting dressed, listening to my favorite Christmas music BLARING on my CD player, cleaning parts of my house and rearranging my underwear drawer--all by myself!! Pathetic?? I don't think so. Disappointing? Maybe a little, in that it wasn't the Christmas I had planned. You remember, the picture-perfect postcard one. But it was a refreshing reminder to me that my heart is good. I didn't feel sorry for myself--I felt blessed that although I hadn't accomplished everything I wanted to, it was enough. That my kids didn't get everything they asked for, but all was good (and even some forgotten). That even though I was seriously wishing someone would run me over with a big truck, I was probably going to get better--how many people feel as miserable as I did that won't even see the New Year in? That even though I spent my Christmas day alone, I wasn't alone at all.

This truly was the most unusual Christmas week ever, but maybe one of the most special--and probably the best Christmas ever--they just get better every year. Hoping Santa found everyone--but more importantly--hoping JESUS found everyone this Christmas season!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet; The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel--which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:20-23

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Letter

I'm not good enough to get the pictures into the real letter, so if you got a copy of the Christmas letter, just check the pictures out! Merry Christmas!

Greetings and happy holidays from our house to yours. We hope this Christmas wish finds everyone healthy and happy, and as always, we look forward to reading all of your family updates in your letters. Here’s our scoop.
Tristan—in the 7th grade. Loved football this year. Totally into girls and cologne—still doesn’t care if his hair is combed or his teeth are brushed. Getting tall, and is officially taller than Granny Jill. Enjoys playing trombone in the pep band—hates to practice or play the trombone in front of people. Became a teenager this past summer, acts like one most of the time. Attends a new junior high youth group at our church and remains active in 4-H. Got a purple ribbon at the state fair on the cookies he baked. Loves to hunt, but hasn’t gotten that 40 point buck that keeps chewing the bark off his mom’s new trees. Went to 4-H camp and church camp last summer and is impressed at the number of girls he can talk to when he goes to school events now! Maturing ever so slightly, but enough to give his parents hope. Overall, a good kid.

Grant—in the 6th grade. Loves junior high. Couldn’t wait for basketball season to start so he could be involved in sports, now that he has decided he sucks, can’t wait for the season to end and relieve him from his misery. Loves playing the drums and makes sure mom is constantly busy straightening her wall art after his trap set practice session. Is now officially taller than Granny Jill. Also likes girls, specifically one in particular. Spends many hours on ebay searching for THE right car or truck, despite the fact that he CAN NOT DRIVE. We had to teach him that just because there is only 1 hour left of the sale, they will NOT sell the 2009 corvette for $100; hard lesson. Also enjoys the youth group at church and 4-H activities. He and his older brother can both bake without the intervention of their mother, not always pretty, but usually edible. Got a purple ribbon at the state fair on a photo of his sister. Shot his first doe last year, no luck yet this year. Becoming quite responsible.

Devin—in the 1st grade. Learning to read. Missing teeth and resembles a jack-o-lantern, albeit a cute one. Very sweet spirited kid, usually. Loves his sister. Got to join 4-H this year, which was a BIG deal. Learning how to cook and feeling very grown-up. Loves to sing—in front of people even—did his first solo in church last fall, and loved every minute of it (much to the delight of his mom). Shot his first rabbit—got to eat it too. Seems that was his last rabbit as well. Can be seen walking through the yard with his bow and arrow or his BB gun waiting for something to look at him wrong. Attends after school kids club at church on Wednesday’s, which he enjoys. Not even close to being taller than Granny Jill (yet). No major accidents or injuries in over a year (last year had a bike wreck provoking a hernia surgery and then a broken finger requiring surgery to set). Growing too fast.

Camille—just celebrated 2nd birthday. Totally girl. Can scream in a tone capable of breaking double paned windows. Recently potty trained. Loves to read books, especially “Llama, Llama series AKA Yama, Yama) Also likes lining people out, her daycare provider is convinced that she will be a teacher. Likes gum and knows which people in church are willing to feed it to her. May be a miracle if she doesn’t have to have a gum ball surgically removed from her intestines. Eats periodically, likes popcorn. Figured out Dora the Explorer ROCKS. Loves her dad, especially loves her mom, intermittently likes her brothers, though not always on the same day. Loves music and dancing and men—which is VERY concerning to her parents. Brings us incredible delight regularly.

Jeremy—Old enough to know better. Not mellowing with age. Hair is lacking on his head, but he works out regularly and keeps a cute figure! Still the best mechanic in the surrounding areas. Loves CSI, House and any kind of football game (except for junior high FB). Enjoys archery and gun shooting. Took a conceal and carry fire arms class last year and has a cute little pistol that looks like a child’s toy. Finally finished rebuilding and restoring an old 1930 model A coupe—pleased with the speed too. Picks his guitar on a cold winter’s night—still refuses to accompany his wife in a church special. Can and will cook and clean more than most men we know. Attends a men’s Sunday school class and enjoys that socialization. Still finds himself in the middle of multiple home improvement projects. Celebrated 15 years of marriage with his incredible YOUNG bride that bore his 4 children.

Melanie—Older and better. Hairs turning gray at the speed of light—has become good friends with the hairdresser and feels good about sending her children to medical school. Finally resigned from her full time job. January 2010 will find her no longer answering the phone at 3 a.m., working holidays or weekends, or turning supper and baby over to a 13 year old in a rush. Gets to continue to keep her feet “wet” by working same clinic 1 ½ days a week and continues to do family planning clinic in Oklahoma 1 day per week. Continues full time volunteer responsibilities of 4-H leader, cooking leader, organizing and leading worship music for both kids groups, helping with worship music at church. Loves her yard and the multiple wildlife opportunities it holds (except for that 40 point buck chewing the bark off her new trees) Persuaded dear hubby to build a greenhouse for her which has real tomatoes on the vine as we speak. Started a blog to highlight the routine happenings at this wild and wonderful place we call home—Titled No Place Like Home—found at Regularly posts photos of kids, projects, and home with all the wonderfully funny stories associated with raising 4 children!! Drop in any time.

Hoping that you and your families will enjoy a healthy, happy, and blessed Christmas season and New Year—remember-- the reason for the season was born and died for each and every one of us to save us from our sins so that we will enjoy everlasting life in HIS kingdom!! Now that is a reason to rejoice and be glad in it!!

Blessings to all—Jeremy, Melanie, Tristan, Grant, Devin, and Camille

Monday, December 14, 2009

Check. . . Check. . .Check

The shopping is DONE. . .Check

Christmas cards are MAILED. . . Check

The stockings are hung (poor C and her sad little unfinished sock!). . .

Packages are MOSTLY wrapped. . . Check minus
Goodies are made. . . Check, Check (and are in the process of being sampled by lucky persons everywhere!!)
Gift baskets and teacher gifts are started, but, alas--much work
yet to be done there--just not in the mood tonight! Check-minus, minus
I am enjoying the business of preparing for the holiday immensely--as usual. It is a magical kind of busy. Only 10 more days till Santa will make his whirlwind trip. Only 10 more days until you head to church for that Christmas Eve service only to wonder--what was THAT night truly like?? Was it clear and still with bright, beautiful starlight and a crisp bite in the air? The excitement of a new baby! What a wonderful and miraculous season!
The gift giving has begun and the parties are right around the corner. As for me and my house, we are prepared to enjoy every Christmas book I have collected and every Christmas movie we can find on TV. We are prepared to eat and share and eat some more of the gallons of Christmas cookies and candies and treats we have made. We are looking forward to the Christmas caroling, the church Christmas program and candlelight Christmas Eve service, the Christmas parties at work and at school, as well as another trip home to enjoy our families. I hope you all are taking a moment each day to reflect on the fun of the season and time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Enjoy the last few weeks of holiday carols, Christmas lights, and threatening your children that Santa will NOT come if they don't stop that RIGHT now :-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Cookie Exchange That Never Happened

One of the activities that I love to fill my spare time with is leading several cooking groups for our 4-H kids. We try to meet 5-6 times each year to practice cooking (as well as reading, comprehending, math skills, and generalized socialization and getting along). We have taken numerous field trips to some very cool places too. Last year I got this brainy idea to host a cookie exchange. So I located some rules, modified them and sent invitations. We had about 10 kids and several families. We sampled cookies and sipped cider and enjoyed visiting before we traded out our creations and took them home to our families. I enjoyed it so much and had such good feedback that I decided to host it again this year!! I took Friday off (partially trying to burn some vacation time, and partially to get D's buddies together for a birthday bash) and decided that would be the perfect time to get our cookies made!! 3 kids X 4 dozen cookies apiece=1 MESSY kitchen + 2 many cookies +1 mildly stressed out mama! Actually it wasn't ALL that bad. T's buddy Tylyn stayed for the afternoon to get a ride to the game that night, so they worked very well making 3 batches of the these iced citrus crackle cookies. After we got them baked however, we changed the name to WHIMSICAL iced citrus crackle cookies--because they ended up looking like a bar cookie with indentions. (when I tried out the recipe several weeks ago, they were beautiful chunky, round cookies.) But, being the pinch-hitting, non-perfectionistic person that I am, I played it off as they were SUPPOSED to look like triangles and rectangles and other little weird shapes with no names!! He chose the lemon ones (which are SO good, and nearly-pucker-your-mouth lemony). It is a refreshing change from the rich flavors we usually enjoy!

G decided to do one of our Christmas favorites passed to us from my mom. They are a thumbprint cookies that uses icing in the thumbprint and a peanut M & M. Yum!! they are a little bite-sized cookie and probably his dad's favorite. I helped him make the little dough balls (after he got the dough mixed up) and he dipped them in the egg and coconut or pecan coating. I was in a hurry and got our "balls" a little big, but they were yummy just the same--more of a Manly sized cookie!! His good friend Jake also made a thumbprint cookie--but it was chocolate with a fudgy filling and crushed candy cane on the top--a different twist and very tasty too! I personally love those little cookies because they are SOO pretty on my beloved cookie plates-very festive!

By now, it was getting to be supper time and the big boys had to get to town to play in the pep band for the ball game. Jeremy has been SUPER swamped in his shop this past week (like 4 vehicles were unexpectedly towed in to be fixed in one day--and he was already booked out a week!) He went back to the shop right after supper, which left me and the two little ones to get D's goodies made. We had more fun!! He was actually fixing peanut clusters (simple enough for a first year cook). I thought that name sounded boring so in my head I was trying to come up with a flashy little name for them when I got the idea to drizzle them with white chocolate to fancy them up a bit. We collectively came up with the name D's Decadent Double Chocolate Drops--much better than Peeeanuut Clusssters. . . don't you think?? We were impressed by it. He punched numbers into the microwave, and he stirred, and he punched more numbers, and he stirred some more, and we gave Cami this to keep her quietShe pretty much left us alone after that. . . except to let us know when she needed MO!! You may take notice of the chocolate smear on a large portion of the visible table--we had quite a mess goin' down--and she got 2 showers that night. Of course, with my husband's amazingly IMPECCABLE timing (as usual) he showed up just as C was trying to eat the spatula off the stick and we had spooned our last Drops out onto the waxed paper. So he whisked C off to the shower while the cleaning up took place. Our white chocolate drizzle was more of a white chocolate marble, but we thought they were great!! And he was SO proud of his creations!

So with all the cookies ready all we had to do was wait for Sunday to show up and the party to arrive. Unfortunately, the weather arrived before the party guests! With the threat of icing rain, and numerous critical accidents in the surrounding counties, I sadly called everyone to cancel our cookie exchange an hour and a half before the scheduled time. While discussing what we should do with all these cookies, my friend Becky and I decided to have everyone drop off their cookies at her house in town so we could "exchange" them while everyone was at work and then they could pick them up later in the afternoon. Perfect!! It just worked out great--and we have been enjoying everyone's hard work and efforts!
And I was so glad that this mess beyond all messes. . .
wasn't all in vain!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Terrible (I mean TERRIFIC) TWO

Little miss turned 2 this weekend. What a fun time. Great-grandma made a totally pink princess cake that stole the show. Grandma Vickie helped her get close enough to see (and also close enough to sample a little tiny bit!!) We had a good turnout of all the grandmas, grandpas and greats, as well as uncle Joe from Houston. The present opening, was by far the favorite!! She just loved everything. We had to show her how to rip open paper in big chunks instead of little tufts of paper at a time. She savored each gift and was enthralled with them all!
She loved the new bedding she got from us. She has just had a little bedspread salvaged from a friend since moving to the big queen bed we had put in there for Tristan several months before she developed. I have been looking for quite a while trying to decide what to do with her room. She had a black and white toile crib set to work with the black border that we had painted in there with the silver and green baseball guy border. It had then turned into big pink hearts painted over the baseball stencils. I was hoping not to have to repaint the room this time either, so I was delighted to find this set on sale in Penney's. The sheet set was BRIGHT pink and makes her whole room look different. She let Papa Don and Grandma sleep in it last night, so tonight was her first night to try it out. She decided it was nice and warm!!

She also got a nice new tricycle. She was pretty pleased with that too, though not as pleased as her 7 year old brother, whom we can't keep away from it--neglected child, he never really had a trike--he learned to ride a 2 wheeled bike when he was 3 (without training wheels. . . NO KIDDING!) The trike will go to the garage to wait on nice sunny days and spring! I will really have to watch her or she'll be GONE!

She got lots of other fun things. . .like a princess story book that plays toddler songs, a new purple purse with lots of bling, glasses, and a cell phone that is nicer than mine--you'll see her all "decked out" in a picture below--thanks Aunt Kristi--and even a tea set--Tris is awaiting the tea party, which we didn't have time to do today--how old is HE?? Anyway, she just ran from present to present trying everything out, looking and playing. What a fun sight!

We had spent the first part of the weekend hosting D's friends for an overnight party. They had a ball--they were coat-ed up and outside by 9:30 am and it was only 10 degrees--I love it at this age when playing outdoors is more fun than playing on the computer!! They were some busy boys! We also fixed our cookies for the cookie exchange that we were hosting this weekend. That took us all afternoon and part of the evening. I have a post coming later this week dedicated to that!
The boys played in their BB tourney Sat and Grandma and Papa were able to come watch them. That means a lot to them!! They enjoyed the experience and the practice is always good, albeit a little painful for us to watch from the bench! Our last Dave Ramsey class was tonight, so that 13 week adventure is complete as well. Again, it was a FANTASTIC class-very light-hearted and educational--everyone should take it if they have the opportunity! This week finds me with no family planning clinics, so two days at home, hoping to get some Christmas goodie baking done--my favorite task of Christmas!! 19 more days till Christmas--be safe and savor the season!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

So I'm a little late in getting my pictures posted, but better late than never! We had a great Thanksgiving weekend!! It was the first time in years that we have traveled straight through without stopping!! Except for one little bathroom break. On the way home, we found out that Cami will pee anywhere, including in the dark on the side of a highway! Her dad has been training her to pee on the floor in the back of the shop if he has her out there when he is working--poor little princess--doesn't stand a chance!!

The cousins had a blast playing. Grandma had a new pop-up book that they were pretty interested in. The thing about Grandma working in a library--she has no lack of very COOL books to read at her house--the kids all enjoy that. Papa also gave rides on the ranger. We piled the little girls in and covered them up--just like an amusement park here!! My big boys especially enjoy getting to drive the ranger, and Tris is getting be a help, as I understand, he is periodically allowed to take it by himself and help pick up the guys and run errands for them!
Mom, Kristi, and I did a little black friday shopping--mostly Walmart, but also a few specialty stores as well. My Christmas shopping is nearly complete--YAY!! Now all the wrapping begins.
Friday night we made peppernuts--an old Czech recipe (right mom??) We used to make them every year when we were kids, and the recipe came from my maternal grandma. I haven't eaten them for YEARS--like 20 or so. They are a tiny little cookie (so we made like a million). They weren't as nasty tasting as I remember, but I thought the experience with the kids would be fun. It was. The little girls were hysterical to watch and listen to. And everyone wanted to do the "big people job" which was rolling out the dough into little "snakes" and chopping off the little cookies. Everyone got to take a huge bag home. You can see that huge bowl above with the big mound of dough I'm holding. That recipe called for a 5 pound sack of flour! Also has strange stuff like anise and black pepper in it. Not too bad.

The boys are getting pretty proficient at Texas Hold'em (or hold' up if you are Devin). And anyone can play. Papa didn't fall far from the tree of his dad--I remember Grandpa ALWAYS telling us how we should have played the cards or how we could have played the cards. Papa sets the kids straight and I know they will learn the tricks and be good card sharks.
We also enjoyed the pool Friday afternoon. The kids love to go to the indoor pool there. Kristi and I talked the guys into going with us, so we played Scattergories while the kids swam--fun for all of us!
So after MANY good meals with TOO much delicious food and drinks, we parted ways until Christmas. Each gathering seems to get more animated. One of my favorite memories of my paternal grandparent gatherings was the noise. They had six kids and 13 grandkids and when we all got together it was LOUD!! The grown ups were all sitting around card tables playing pitch and the kids were all running like wild indians everywhere (but upstairs). Our gatherings are getting to be a little more like that each time we meet up!! You can hardly hear yourself talk, let alone think--just the way I like it!! The Christmas crunch is on now; shopping is nearly done, made Christmas cards last night (via, wrapping is started, baking is yet to come (my favorite part!) Cami turns 2 this weekend, stay tuned for her birthday pictures!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Look Who's 7

I have really missed writing over the last couple weeks. Somehow our lives have just been spiraling in that out-of-control sort of way that reminds me consistently why have chosen to decrease my work hours! We have been involved in a lot of things, and I hope to be able to make a post about the 4-H achievement night last week, but for now I choose to carry on with something much more important than that, and skip to what is truly a BIG deal!!

Dev has been impatiently waiting for over 2 weeks now for this day!! It was going to be the best day ever--and so he tells me tonight that it HAS been the greatest day ever--although he didn't get anything truly fancy and great, he went to daycare, and even had to forgo homemade goodies for HONEY BUNS as his treat today (what a great mom?? In my defense, we made cupcakes for school on Sunday, and I thought he was staying home today--he let me in on the secret last night!)--I have wondered so many times in the last few weeks where the magic of a birthday goes?? I am just so amazed at their excitement in it all.

D usually gets to have his birthday celebration on Thanksgiving (yes we actually eat pie AND cake). Since we are going to the folks for a Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday, we had his party on Monday night after school and work. He requested tacos for supper and we enjoyed a basketball cake that his great grandma made (she has made all of our birthday cakes since we got married, with the exception of one football cake that I made for Grant when she was hospitalized after a surgery--he was SURE that I would never be able to carry that feat out--another story for another day)

In the picture above, he was excited to find some money--so he can shop--my boys like to shop! Grandma always brings a little something for the other kids too, so they get into the action.
Today he got to open his present from us--a new OU t-shirt (just like he had asked for--WOW!) and some little remote control cars, complete with chalk and cones so he can race them with his dad or brothers. Cami thinks the cars are mean, but chases after them just the same. Cami just LOVED her new doll baby complete with a baby bottle to feed her--there's another expression of pure excitement and delight!! Kids are truly amazing little creatures aren't they!!

Dev is looking forward to the trip to his other grandmas house tomorrow (mostly for more presents, but also because he misses everyone). We are all looking forward to a day set aside especially to be thankful for our abundant blessings--and we are ABUNDANTLY blessed. We are wishing everyone a yummy, food-filled, laughter-filled, ABUNDANTLY blessed day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Family Update

Hope everyone is well! Things are great here. We have been so busy enjoying the BEAUTIFUL fall weather, that I have neglected writing for a bit. Halloween night was the epitomy of trick or treat weather! Cami loved it! She would say so demurely "Tick o teat" and then with out missing a beat followed it with "Sank, yooooou" and then the bucket went to the ground and she would make an attempt to retrieve whatever just went in. . . just to test it I suppose! I was blessed to be able to trick with them all evening and got called about 30 seconds after we got to Granny's house, our last stop of the evening!

Here's the latest scoop on everyone at our house.

Cami--talks constantly. New phrase "Shut up, wee-tawrd" Angelic, huh?? The boys just clamp their mouths shut and look at the floor. Is wearing princess panties daily, pees in them occasionally, poops in them only when she can't hold it in any longer--why do children decide that a generally easy task will be such a traumatic ordeal?? We're making headway though! Suddenly has discovered the magic of television. Favorite show: Dora the Explorer. New song: D-D-D-D-D-Dora. (I cracked up the first time I heard her sing that!! sounds like she is stuttering) She has become a tease at daycare. Taunting the little boys daily (that estrogen stuff works as early as the testosterone--you know "I can't FIND it" "Move something!!" "OH") Getting ready to turn 2 in less than a month!

Devin--Learning to read. Pretty good speller. Still likes school. Picked his first 4-H projects yesterday--he chose foods, woodworking, geology, and archery (if there is no age limit) Attended his first cooking meeting a couple of weeks ago--attention span was pretty much that of a 6 year old! He likes to help in the kitchen. Is learning how to work for a commission. Quite proud of himself when he gets that money every week. Can make his sister scream loud enough to break glass (that can be a good or bad scream--they all sound alike) Sang his first solo in church a month ago or so--actually looked out at the crowd while he did (YAY--I finally got one that likes singing as much as I do!!) Can hardly stand the wait till his 7th birthday in 2 weeks.

Grant--Could hardly wait for BB practice to start--now thinks he stinks so bad, can hardly wait for it to end. First game is Thursday night, there is a C team so he will get to play. Elected recreation leader again this year at 4-H. Designed the winning T-shirt for our 4-H club this year. Gave his talk last night at our meeting about photography tips. Also performed for music appreciation with 2 kids in his class. He and another girl will play music next weekend for the offeratory at church. LOVES our new youth group. Is challenging kids at school with things they are learning. Has been searching ebay for ideas on the car he wants to buy (he doesn't care that he doesn't have a license yet--I have already used that!) He's trying to save his money to buy one. Getting ornerier, but developing a sweetness too! Loving school, getting pretty good grades.

Tristan--Loved football. Got to play quite a bit, looking forward to next year. BB is seemingly going well. He is still behind the kids who have played peewee ball for the last 4-5 years. He gets to suit up for the varsity tourney tonight. First real game for him is Thursday night. Is "in" to cologne. You can generally smell him coming before you can see him--we explain that girls won't talk to him if they can't breathe in his presence--he informs US that THEY think he smells AWESOME (GAG!!) He is totally into girls. He is NOT into grades or school--and is currently thinking he will attend trade school so he can be done quickly. He does not like physical labor, so we keep telling him he better get BETTER grades. He enjoyed playing pep band for high school FB games. He is also shopping ebay fervently to locate a car--he also is oblivious to the fact that you NEED a license to USE the car. No one listens to their mother here!

Jeremy--He FINALLY got the model A running and has been giving people rides--you can't really have a conversation while cruising, but he thinks he can make that better--Mom, he needs earplugs for Christmas!! He reports that WAY more people wave at him now that he drives a COOL car! He has taken the boys to cut firewood twice for our new outdoor wood furnace. Is very pleased with the way it is working. Got out the bows last weekend and did some target shooting, also helped Dev and Tristan shoot their guns-they also got to shoot his pistol (me too) and were thrilled. He had an endoscopy last Friday. He thought the Versed was a "hell of a drunk" and wondered how he might procure some for home administration in the event of a "shitty" day. I thought that the whole "versed thing" was overrated from my viewpoint, and had to remind him how he got his clothes back on. He didn't care. The test showed some small ulcers in his stomach either from excess bile or the meds he was taking at home to treat the chest pain. No explanation for the chest pain though, other than his constant leaning over under the car hoods and pulling and pushing on stuff. We briefly discussed the fact that he may have to change occupations one of these days.

Melanie--counting down days till my full time status changes. Finding myself very anxious and worried about the whole situation. But excited nonetheless. Enjoying greatly the Dave Ramsey financial peace class--I highly recommend that everyone take the class if it is ever in your neighborhood, young or old, in debt or not--he has FANTASTIC points and advice. I have worked up a cash flow plan (sounds much cooler than a B-U-D-G-E-T) for 2 months in a row. That, coupled with our current Sunday school lessons on attitudes, specifically coveteousness and contentment--is making my upcoming girls weekend Christmas shopping expedition look a little glum. However, advised my husband, the nerd, that since I HAVE no debt, AND I still work full time, I WILL have a fun time shopping and will probably come home with something that I did NOT need, period. Loving the greenhouse--will get pictures soon, tomato plants are getting big, onions have sprouted, lettuce is looking yum-licious. Busy with 4-H club. Started cooking meetings a few weeks ago and have planned a cookie exchange in December--we had a ball last year at the cookie exchange. The leadership aspect of the club is a lot of work because everyone else is SO busy that it really limits the help available to put things together. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Wicked production we saw a few weeks ago--everyone should go see a broadway musical at least once in their life!

So there you have it, everything this family has been up to the last couple months. I didn't realize how many changes and things take place around here. When you multiply that by six--it adds up. We are practicing Thankfulness in this fantastic season that is before us. Take time to count your blessings today!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!


Tristan decided to dress up but is still undecided as to whether he will get out!!
A cool last minute idea I thought! Like the bloody nose!!

Not sure what Grant is--a jester of sorts.
Not sure that he is going to get out either, but I told them both that if they decided that they wanted to get out of the car later, they had to have a costume!


Pretty little angel!
The real trick or treaters!!
The kids are trick or treating at Great Grandma's now (little too far for my call range--I didn't get to go). Supper is ready and we will be ready to hit the streets soon. Hope everyone has a safe and "sweet" Halloween!