Friday, January 29, 2010

Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me

Well, you guessed it, we missed our retreat. It snowed and blew till mid afternoon here, the sun was hiding, and the roads were just treacherous. I was just a stewing, stressed out mess all morning long wondering if the storm was going to end in enough time for the sun to come out and thaw the roads slightly. I continually checked the weather reports and the KDOT road condition map. Salina had barely any snow (so I was told) and the show was definitely going off as planned, only with 20 fewer kids and sponsors! They had slightly over 300 kids attending so I hope they are having a FANTASTIC time. The way that I came across the information was a complete and total fluke, or as I thought, a God thing--so I spent some time asking why He had brought us across that information, only to change our plans and place it out of reach--maybe for safety reasons, maybe to identify an interest in our area, maybe to put it on my heart that there may be things I can do to bring information to our area. . . I don't know why--but it is not really my position to HAVE to understand it. . . but I would totally be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. So after I made the decision to cancel and got everyone called, we did this instead-

They were even having fun! Look fun to you??

This is where little C and I watched the action!

D's not much of an adventurous nature either, at least not when
it comes to looking like his brothers did!!

She finally decided that she needed to try this out
We made two laps and called it good. GOOD!

Thanks for your prayers!! As I told the lady in Salina "It's better to be safe than dead!" There will be another opportunity! Hope everyone else is enjoying the outdoor snow sports, the bottomless hot cocoa cup, and the mountain of wet clothes and boots!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Zero the Hero

It's a bird. . . It's a plane. . .NO!! It's Zero the Hero!!

The first graders have a friend named Zero the Hero who comes to visit and read a story every ten days of school. Today was their 90th day of school!! They were quite excited to see me coming--obviously they have a lot of fun with the visitors who wear the special cape and glasses. But I didn't fool anyone!! Everyone knew it was Devin's mom. My friend Kayla is D's teacher. She planned a Kansas Day theme for today's story and asked if I might bring some antiques or Kansas items to show the kids after the story. The story was about an aunt who raised her 9 orphaned neices and nephews on a small farm in Kansas. Their house was hit by a tornado and turned around so the front faced the "johnny house." You should have seen their faces when I told them what a johnny house was!!

They were very quiet and good listeners as I read the story. Aunt Minnie used a school bell to get their attention when she needed them to come to her.

I called several people yesterday to try to find an old school bell to use with the story (My mom
has 2 on her school desk at home, but of no help to me here) Jeremy's grandma didn't think
she had one, but found one while looking for the fountain pens and chamber pot I asked her to send over. The kids got a kick out of the loud clanging to get the attention of Aunt Minnie's kids!!

The book talked about all the chores they had then like the gardening, canning, storing things in the root cellar and making treats like apple butter and applesauce. I decided while I was at it that I should get some apple butter to share with the kids. I threw some ingredients in my bread machine this morning to go with it. None of the kids in the class had ever tried apple butter, which looks totally nasty (I was surprised that everyone tried it!). All but one kid loved it!! (Jeremy said it was just because they were starving--I went at noon--but in my defense, the kids had just eaten lunch!!)
They enjoyed watching me pull lots of stuff out of my basket and the chamber pot. I showed them a candle holder, curling irons, fountain pens and the ink that they dipped them in, an old 2nd primer that was J's grandpa's, a milk bottle, a canning jar, some kitchen utensils, and of course the old chamber pot that you see in the picture. They looked pretty grossed out to think that people used to do their business in that pot and then had to walk out in the snow to dump it out in the winter time! This is a good time to remember to be thankful for our wonderful technology--I know I wouldn't have fared well at all with no plumbing, or having to go down into a creepy hole filled with who knows what kind of critters with only a small candle to get food!

After my storytime they went to work making a big sunflower with ninety petals (their hand prints) and ninety sunflower seeds (I'm not sure what those were for as I had to get back home to get Cam down for a nap--J graciously took her to the chiropracter over the lunch hour).

It is snowing as I type tonight, which is causing me frustration. I stumbled upon a retreat for kids aged 7th grade through 12th grade teaching sexual purity. I was hoping to take a few kids from our youth group, and ended up with 16 kids from several different churches and some from no churches. The retreat starts Friday night and is being held in Salina. We are hoping and praying to be able to get out of town here by mid afternoon. Initially, the snow was only being forecasted for our area, so once we got about 30 miles north, we were going to run out of it. Today it looks like most of our driving area will have some snow of varying accumulations.

The last month has been the most unusual for me so far in our family planning clinics. I have seen MANY 14 year old girls with multiple partners and who have been active since they were 12-many have had drug habits and some still struggle with those habits. Their family situations often are bad. This week I even had to tell a 14 1/2 year old girl that she was pregnant. I have come home from those clinics emotionally drained--the counseling opportunities were fabulous and a great experience--I know that many of those girls are hearing what I say, and truly want to make changes in their lives--I just hope that they can find the courage and outside support to change!! So you see why this retreat is so dear to my heart--I am excited to go as a sponsor to see and hear how these people are presenting their message. So anyone who reads this blog before noon tomorrow, send up a prayer for clearing roads and non hazardous driving conditions on the roads we need to travel! We really want to be present! Hope to be able to share pictures later in the weekend.

So with no further adue, Zero the Hero must take off and get some sleep--Her last night of work was quite traumatic too, as she had to send a family friend involved in a pickup accident to Wichita early this morning with extensive facial fractures! Up, Up, and AWAY!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend Projects

Well, we are at it again. Must be the winter blahs!! We suddenly have a multitude of home projects going on at once. Now don't get me wrong. . . Home projects are right up my alley--I love to get stuff accomplished to improve our place!! But we haven't had any for quite a while, so I am out of practice! First things first, we had a great time in Wichita Friday, just me and the old man!! Enjoyed a sangria over good conversation and shrimp for lunch at Red Lobster and then got all our shopping taken care of--crabs and a toilet (though not the kinds that are associated together). We exchanged 4 crunchy, frozen, and then thawed little crabs for 4 new ones. The crustaceous king at PetSmart told us that probably the crabs had died over territorial "disputes" I nearly laughed out loud, but I was able to control myself. So we picked out some more, the boys are sure these are bigger and tougher looking than the first ones, and I bought another hidey-hole for them, so they might all find a "territory" all to HIMself (near as I can tell, they are all men--testosterone--it's all the same) and leave each other alone. I can see that the territory thing might be an issue, because they certainly can't urinate on their spot and expect it to "hold water!" HAHAHA Ahhem, anyway, on to other things.

We also got the toilet. The toilet has been a winner from the start!! If you are in the market, bypass the Jacuzzi Maxima and go for the American Standard Champion 4. (I wonder what job title the toilet namer gets!!) It flushes and it is still clean!! Plus it's quiet. It's a match made in heaven! We did buy a different seat that is NOT made of plastic, and it is much more comfortable!

Saturday found Jeremy working on a foot rest for our breakfast bar. You can see in the picture the wall underneath the bar has been rubbed off by the black seat covering on the bar stools. It is ugly and has been paining me for months. Right before Christmas I did some researching on available things to put at the bottom to keep the chairs from bumping up against the wall. I found several ideas--mostly metal (which is actually what I initially had in mind) like what you would see at a restaurant bar. Then I saw one constructed of wood, which is the idea that we finally went with. Once again, J was able to construct his plans from the ideas taken straight out of my brain. It turned out great and I think it will be just the ticket. He finished it today and installed it. Yesterday I repaired the dents in the wall and repainted it. I painted our front room with a light gray paint and then used a gold colored glazing to sponge over the entire room years ago. I absolutely LOVED the effect, and had just enough leftover when we remodeled the kitchen to repaint the part of the room that got sheetrocked. Unfortunately, the technique was used on the bar wall too. I tried to make it work with what I had around, but ended up painting it the same color as the kitchen walls, which worked out fine. (the picture makes it still look speckled, but that is just the wall texture)

We picked up some carpeting in Lowes to put down in the other half of this big room. We were going to recarpet it in June after wheat harvest, but with the new desk coming within the next few weeks, we didn't want to dismantle that sucker to carpet. J carpeted Grant's room several years ago and did a fine job, so we decided that would work out good here too. He will lay that sometime this week, and then we will refinish the original hardwood floors in the little hallway by the bedrooms. I will show pictures later so those of you who haven't been to my house will understand.

I am still trying to clean and declutter from the last several years of our lives. You know how easy it is to just stuff things somewhere and forget about them. Our how easy it is to start throwing things in a certain place, like in a drawer, and then you have a disaster. I worked over my laundry room drawers Saturday while Cami slept. They were filled with nails and screwdrivers and loose nails and extension cords and little outdoor flags and nails and velcro pieces to keep the floors from getting scratched and plastic light switch covers. Did I mention that there were NAILS everywhere?? Spilled in every drawer along with screws and other hardware parts. OH MY!! I found some little plastic tubs and filled them with stuff and then used my new favorite gadget to label them. I took this baby, brand new in the package, down to the church Thursday and WOW, what a cool little toy! We labeled all the kitchen cabinets that were reorganized. Then I took it into the Sunday school classroom that needed overhauled and labeled everything in there, and well. . .I just couldn't help myself. I brought that sucker home, refilled the label tape and started in again. Of course, I didn't label the outside of the drawers here, but I must admit. . . I seriously thought about it!! (Hey Becky. . . How about this--- Hi, my name is Melanie and I am an organizational FREAK!!) I also bought this cool 12 X 12 storage box with 3 drawers on Friday to organize my scrapbook papers in. (I had got one for the classroom at church and then decided that it was so slick, it might help that mess of a drawer too)! So I cleaned out that drawer too. Now I can see the bottom of the drawers, and I don't even have to dig. Martha Stewart would be proud!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekly Mish-Mash

Changes are a'happenin around here. Basketball has come to a close for the season. The boys made many improvements in their skills as the season progressed. Overall, I think they enjoyed it. They have about 6 weeks off now before track season starts. It will be nice to have them home before 6:45 at night. They will be participating in 4-H Day soon doing talks and musical ensembles as well as vocal and band contests for school.
The warm weather has allowed us more time outside these past few days, which has been wonderful!! I watered my newest plants and trees because it has been so dry here!! It also gave me the opportunity to ponder the next landscape changes to occur here, namely that of finishing a retaining wall with limestone rocks and a new limestone firepit. Hopefully that work will start in the next couple of months with a trip to the folks'. The kids have been on the trampoline, swing set, and bike riding too. It's been nice to see J's big shop door left open for fresh air.

Last weekend I took off for a local auction Saturday afternoon. My favorite kind. . . short and sweet. There wasn't a lot of stuff so it only took about 2 1/2 hours. But I love to watch people think fast on their feet and I really enjoy getting in on the bidding action. I came home with a huge terra cotta pot and some large shallow saucers, 5 tomato cages just the perfect size for my greenhouse plants (honestly, I had looked to buy some at Lowes several weeks ago and they didn't have any yet), an antique wooden cheese box that also happened to have a mint condition wooden antique curling iron in it (as well as an antique harmonica that works quite well, and a big whistle, which no one has found yet!), an antique tin that held milk sugar (used for making milk into infant formula way back when), and a couple of very cute bud vases, one of which is a pink fenton glass vase, that also came with an antique set of salt and pepper shakers in a real silver caddy. All of that fun and enjoyment cost me a grand total of $30!! I also enjoyed visiting with people that I never get to see--ALL BY MYSELF--and I loved every minute of it!

Sunday we went to the first bow shoot of this season. I continue to find that I really enjoy that. I am always just thankful to hit the target--anywhere, but this time even had a few bullseye shots! We break off and the guys go in a group and the girls start at a different time and go as a group--the company is enjoyable and there is no pressure at all. The guys on the other hand!! They have a great time too, but they pick specific "shots" to make it harder--I think that it is the testosterone influence. Dev got to shoot the second round with his good friend (whose parents host the shoot) and he was pretty pumped up!! The big boys didn't want to go--they would rather shoot their guns than the bow--but maybe we can get them practicing more so they will enjoy it!

Yesterday found me starting to clean out my office. I think the slower transisition into my part time position was actually a blessing for me, rather than doing it all at once. I am kind of easing into it!! We are finally getting our insurance issues lined out, the expectations cited from both me and the administration, and they will get my contract finished this week. I have finished all the frequent call and have one day of call this week and one day next week left there. I know that I will miss being in the middle of it all, but feel refreshed to get out of the middle of it all too. I will get to keep my office space but the new doctor will be taking up residence in it as well--he will only be in the main office 2 days a week, so it will work out well. As I went through things moving them or taking them home, I found a collection of notes written to me over the years. It was fun to re-read them. There were cards of encouragement and cards and notes of thankfulness. With that collection is also a number of gifted items from different patients as well as a second year sobriety medal earned by one of my most special patients that I helped get into a treatment program years ago. Those type of notes and memoirs don't happen very often, but it is always humbling when people share with you how you have touched their lives! It certainly made me think that we should all be better to do that more often!! Even those seemingly little things that we take for granted should get recognized with a heartfelt thank you!! My challenge to all of us this week is to concentrate on thanking people for their efforts!!

So, as I find my time at the paid job dwindling, I find myself trying to put a lot of other things in order. . . namely my kids and my house. The new secretary for the automotive business (um. . . that's ME) thought she needed a new desk unit to keep everything nicely put together. So after much searching, we found what she needed. A new corner unit from Ashley furniture. We messed with a lot of options and ideas for the space we have available, so I hope I like this one. It will be in around the end of the month. It will combine the two desks I have now for the bookwork and the computer system. It's mission style--my fave!

I have also decided to work on the kitchen at church. Some of the girls are meeting me this week so we can fix the cabinets and label them. Our basement at the church flooded several years ago, and was completely remodeled. Since then the kitchen has been a little. . . well. . .you know, disorganized. Now that we are trying to prepare suppers in it for 15 kids weekly, it has become a real source of pain in my hiney. I also found that our jr high Sunday school room/nursery needed some major attention as well. My noon Walmart trip took me to the home organization section for a good fix, so LOOK OUT WORLD--I'm in a nesting phase of life. (I'm sure there are people everywhere hoping for this to pass QUICKLY!) I'm by nature an organized, type A sort of girl, but if you aren't, you should check out the Fly Lady--she has her own web site. A friend loaned me her book once, which I found very interesting. She gives tons of pointers on improving your organizational skills and also some enlightening information on keeping your house clean without spending light years doing it!

This weekend will find us returning our hole-y toilet to Lowes. I spent 2 hours the other night on the internet researching different toilets to find the best rated. I found out that the one we bought only had a 2 star consumer rating (rather than the 5 star that Lowe's advertised it to be). Hopefully the one we come home with won't be such a lemon and will do a better job of staying a little cleaner by itself!! Enjoy your week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Greenhouse News

The mailbox is filled every day with seed catalogs. As my friend said the other day while paging through hers "I'm like a man looking through playboy magazines." I got quite tickled at that--I might rate right up there with that too. I browse them while eating my breakfast, browse some more throughout the day anytime I have a break, and then again in the evening. The other day I picked my favorite two (so far--still haven't gotten my Park catalog which is actually my favorite) and dog-eared the pages I needed to return to and circled which seeds I wanted--so when I am ready to order, I can calculate which catalog has the best deals and go.

Our new thing this year will be pumpkins. I picked out 3 different kinds to try. We hope J will mulch us a spot by the apple trees (sticks) with baled hay so we can plant in between the mulch rows and not have to be so scared about stepping on a rattler when we check on them.

The greenhouse is doing well, as you can see from the pictures I took the other day. We harvested 2 bush beefsteak tomatos last week. The report from the critique (AKA--J) was "Pretty good, not as good as summer varieties, MUCH better than that crap you buy from the store." I thought that was a good summary. We sliced one up and ate him on our sandwiches--I thought it was good. The green tomatos in the picture are a pink variety--not sure how they will be, but they are sure getting big and heavy. I finally got some of the plants staked up this weekend so they don't break. My little grape tomato plant has a couple clusters of tiny tomatos growing now too. All 6 varieties have tomatos--I can't wait to try the black/purple variety (you know me, I always have to try something a little unusual). The taste is supposed to be phenomenal--we'll see. We have eaten the lettuce mix several times. I usually mix it with regular iceburg lettuce from the store and it makes a good salad. As luck would have it, when we were in the city a few weeks ago, long planters were on my list to start a couple more patches of salad mix. Lowes had some long ones like the ones in the picture on sale for $2.25--down from 8-10 bucks a piece YEAH ME!! I have yet to get them planted, but this week I will get them fixed. The green onions are getting bigger--bet they'll be ready in a couple more weeks. The pepper plants are not thriving--not sure what the deal is, but they have a couple buds on them, despite their very small size. Maybe we'll get some peppers by planting time in May, might even just transplant them into the garden and see what happens.

The lemon tree has been just LOADED with blooms and the greenhouse smells divine when you go in. The other night there were probably 15 tiny lemons on it--now, the last 2 lemons have turned yellow by the time they were the size of an almond, so I have little faith for these--but hope to get around to researching what I need to do different to get them to grow big--because they should reach full lemon size.

I have small pink geraniums blooming as well as my beautiful coleus plant that I brought in. J's grandma also brought me a few cuttings off her coleus with very unique markings. I got them to root (which is supposed to be an easy thing--but I have never tried it before and was thrilled that it actually worked!!) Even had one sweet pea bloom which Cami quickly picked off. I have found out that she is really not a helper AT ALL when it comes to the greenhouse--she wants to pick everything. . . NOW!

Moral of this story--the greenhouse has been a blast!! I have a ton to learn--but I think after a few years, I will have it down. I am concerned about the space when I start all my bedding plants, some perennials, and the veggies, but I'm sure I will be able to make it work. Jeremy is not at all convinced that I can make all my big garden plans work, but I explain to him that I have never had this much time available before to devote to it (I hope I can prove him wrong!!) I have the perfect setup for a roadside farmer's market--not that I would EVER decide to do that, but it is an option. I finding that all the sudden my life is full of "options" and I like it. My friend Missy always said our place would be the perfect place to have a pumpkin patch--she's right. . .HMMM. . .Maybe. . . Someday!

Friday, January 8, 2010

This is a Stick-Up

Does anyone else spend Friday nights like this??
A true "cowboy" draw
Look out for "spooky" (it's his code name--soon we may have to come up with something a little more. . . I don't know. . .macho??)

It's a stand off!

Wait a minute. . . what's this??

"Don't move mister, or I'll put a cap in your hiney!"

It's all fun and games until the paparazzi gets caught.
Stay tuned. . . I'll talk my way out of this somehow!

I think this staying home more might turn out to be kinda fun!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Under the Sea

Ok, got a new song for ya--think 12 days of Christmas--got the melody?? Here's a little tune that summed up our weekend. . . Sing along --12 hours away from home, 11 snowflake flurries, 10 eyes a-looking, 9 obnoxious noises, 8 varieties of animals to choose from, 7 2 X 4's, 6 check out lines, Five hours in the pickup, 4 aquatic crabs, 3 hermit crabs, 2 meals out, and a toilet with a hole in the bowl. HEE HEE!! Aren't you just a little curious now??

Jeremy wanted to get some lumber Saturday to work on a diving deck for his boat this winter. We also have been getting progressively shorter hot showers, so thought we needed to get a hot water heater as well before it was an emergency. Our toilet in the main bathroom also has been having issues with flushing, so that was on the list too. Since the boys had gotten some Christmas money from Uncle Joe and Aunt Lisa, and a 10 gallon fish tank from great grandma, we took them so we could go to the pet store and pick out some fish. Thankfully, granny could keep Cami because that many hours in the car with her is not fun. So we started out early Saturday morning in the snow flurries--the high was only supposed to be in the upper 20's--not a great climate for transporting fish--you know the tropical kind.

About 5 minutes outside of town (OUR town) D started asking questions. We tried really hard to convince him that Granny's would be MUCH more fun than our trip, but he wouldn't budge!! "How many towns do we have to go through?" "Where are we going?" "How long will it take anyway?" "When can we eat??" "How many minutes left now?" "Nope, I don't want to play the gameboy yet." "How many towns now?" You get the picture, or should I go on?? The boys were all gracious enough to let me stop at Hobby Lobby first because scrapbook papers and stickers were on sale. I got lots of so-cool paper and stickers. . . and the boys. . .They got space food (??), venus fly trap seeds, and Triops eggs (you know the prehistoric creatures that hatch in purified spring water kept at 72.7 degrees precisely, under grow lights, within 30 hours--still waiting on them to hatch!!) Honestly, we are trying to help them be good stewards of their money. . . BUT MOOOOOMMMMM--we NEEEEEEEEED these!! OK.

Our favorite stop of the day, hands down, was Petsmart. After we got J's curiosity settled over whether you pronounce it "Pet-smart or Pet's-Mart, we went in
and thoroughly enjoyed checking out all their stuff--we have never been in a pet store. . . EVER. So the decision went from which type of fish to OMG the choices we have!! After an hour of looking and thinking (they had to share the fish tank, so some mediation took place as well) Grant and Dev decided they needed aquatic crabs--so they chose four in addition to the food, rocks and a few little tank decorations. They were as happy as they could be. Tristan didn't agree however, so he took his money and bought 3 hermit crabs and a little critter keeper for them. Those creatures are the grossest things. You don't see their heads, just their long legs protrude from the shells as they move around--creepy!!

After we had the "pets" in our possession, the boys were done getting out of the pickup--they just sat and gazed at their new guys. So J, D and I went into Lowes to get the lumber, the hot water heater, and the toilet. There were at least 20 different toilets to choose from--unbelievable. Most of them looked the same. So we finally decided on a mid-price one that had 5 star flush power and was cute (as far as toilets go). We headed home after that and picked Cami up before bedtime.

Of course, the boys had to set up their gear for the new critters right away. Cami was impressed by the 4 little crabs, who immediately started exploring their new home. They are interesting little things--and Grant swears that he can tell them apart--and even has them named. We still haven't seen anything of Tristan's except for their little legs, but he seems to be tickled to death by them.

I know that you are still curious about the toilet with the hole in the bowl. So, Sunday afternoon, we removed the old toilet from the main bathroom. J kind of laughed as we hauled it out the back door--something like "We better not throw it off the deck until we know that the other toilet works. HAHA" We got the new pot moved in, held up over the screws (cause you can't set it down until it is perfect or the wax ring will be ruined) and put in place. YAYY!! Water got turned on and the toilet started filling. "WHERE THE HECK IS THAT WATER COMING FROM???" FLAAAAAAAASHLIIIIIIIGHT! Then. . . laughter! "You are not going to believe this," he says. So I get down on all fours and stand on my head to look at the bottom of the toilet where there was--no kidding--a PINHOLE in the porclean where the water flows from the tank into the bowl. Each time you flush it, the clean water oozes out of the hole and onto the floor, when the bowl is full, the leaking stops. What are the odds of that!! So when we have a free day???. . we will unhook the miserable thing and return it to Lowes--for a whopping 10% discount off the previous ticket.

As it turns out, we will also be returning 2 little dead aquatic crab bodies and getting new ones--hope we don't have to return four little bodies. Not sure what happened to these two, unless they got into a tiff yesterday morning, cause everyone was well and good when we left, and they were both laying feet up by noon. It might be more humane to NOT get any more, but they were guaranteed--to live--for 2 weeks! Oh well, you win a few, you lose a few!! Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, January 1, 2010


It seems like just yesterday we were partying like it was 1999--and now look, a whole decade has gone by--is that even possible?? Does anyone else think that it is a little strange how much optimism we have in our lives as we go from Dec 31 to Jan 1? No other 24 hour period holds that much hope or that much excitement that THIS year will be different from the last--almost like we get a do-over. I was pondering that today while taking my tree down. Any other day of the year tomorrow is. . . well, tomorrow. But yesterday, tomorrow was. . .a new start. I'll take 'em whenever I get 'em.
We have had a good week. The boys have been busy with basketball practice every day. They have also been doing a little work around here, but mostly just messing around. They got some new games for the Wii that has been keeping them entertained! D has enjoyed going to Becky's house with Cami a few times. The hospital has gotten busy again, we have been in a bit of a slow run, but it seems to be in double time now. They hired a Dr. to take my full time place. He can't start work until Feb 1, so that put me in a position to make some more decisions. I will help out with full time call for at least the next two weeks, and will work extra in the clinic, so it seems my slow down schedule is another couple weeks away.
Our regular "hang-out" crowd decided on Wednesday that we should have a New Year's Eve party. We generally do something, but we are getting mighty slow about deciding what and where. Our house seems to be a good location for the parties. It is in the middle of everyone's rural locations, it has several levels for children to scatter to, and the rooms of this nearly 100 year old place are large and open--so it works well. I love to entertain too, so I don't mind. D was asking me this morning how many people were here in all, so I counted in my head and came up with 33 people-over half were kids! It was loud! Callie had brought a bucket of nail polishes and clothes pins (odd combo??) But that kept many of the kids busy for a long time--they painted the clothes pins with the nail polish. Cami got her nails painted too--by two different artists, so she had navy blue on one hand and neon green alternating with hot pink on the other hand. She was quite enthralled with them. Tristan painted her toenails today with my deep burgundy polish, so she is definitely decorated!!
We enjoyed all kinds of finger foods from BBQ smokies to Mexican layer dip and salsas to basil bruschetta and homemade chicken strips and fries! The kids ended up outside for a long time playing flashlight tag in the dark. We played a little catch-phrase with some of the adults. That's a great game for parties. For those of you who haven't played, it has a little machine that you pass from person to person. It has a timer on it and you have to try to get your teammates to guess the word or phrase listed on the screen. There are several different categories and the timer continually speeds up, audibly beeping the whole time to stress everyone out! It gets pretty comical at times! Most of us were able to stay awake until midnight to ring in the new year. Even though Cami didn't fall asleep until a little after 11:00, she was ready to go at 7:30 this morning--I'm glad Jeremy was too--I slept in till nearly nine, when he thought he wanted to go outside and do something!
D and Tristan slept in till 10:30!! Grant went home with his friend after the party last night. The rest of us just stuck close to home today. I watched parts of the Rose Bowl Parade--that's MY new year's tradition. Some day I plan on sitting in the crowds of Pasadena to view it in person. Did you know that every inch of visible float must be covered by something organic?? They use a lot of poppy seeds and coconut flakes! My friend Jennifer said she watched a "Dirty Jobs" episode where they helped take apart the floats after the parade--I would have loved that!!
Now the tree is down, the outside lights are off (the ones that weren't already hanging off from the hurricane winds a few weeks ago), the greenery and pretty red berry sprigs that I have EVERYWHERE are tucked away till next year. I am always so excited to get it all out and make the house festive--but I am also glad to clean it all up and put it away and have a little more breathing room. The snowmen in my collection get to stay out for another couple months--some of them have changed locations, but they all keep me smiling when I look at their adorable little physiques!
This verse is one of my favorites--it is my personal prayer of thanksgiving nearly daily--I want it printed on the program they hand out at my funeral--it reminds me a little bit of our hope for the new year--Lamentations 3:23 Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each day. No matter how badly you screw up or how miserable the day (or year) might have been, every single morning you get a NEW chance to make things right--what a great promise is that!! So enjoy your New Year, fix the things in your life that need to be fixed and live like there's no tomorrow!