Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday decorating and memories

I love getting our Christmas tree and dressing up our house the weekend after Thanksgiving. Going through the ornaments and talking about where they came from, watching my kids' faces glow with enjoyment at putting up candy canes and stockings, having candles in my windows and remembering how much I loved falling asleep with them on when I was young. The memories and tradition of it all is just so wonderful to me!
This past weekend proved no different. In fact, there was an unexpected addition to it all that evoked even more childhood memories:

There's my little Caedon, his body burning up in fever and dealing with strep throat and the horrible rash that comes with it. He would hang some ornaments, sip a drink, hang some more, lay down, go play with toys, lay down some more...that's pretty much how Saturday went for the poor kid.

And when I looked over at him, my mind instantly went back to a Christmas season over 25 years ago, when my childhood friend Amanda was at my house, decorating and hanging up ornaments with me, my mom, and Grandma Markey. It was probably late afternoon when both of us started to not feeling well, and we each laid down on different couches near the tree, falling asleep. Both of us came down with the flu that afternoon...both sick on Christmas tree set-up day. I have such a hard time remembering things from my childhood, so it's funny how I can remember the feelings and people from that afternoon. :)

(Amanda and I, in the middle...she's the one with the great tan. I'm the pale kid with the rosy cheeks.)

I hope you are making Christmas memories of your own and enjoying this time of year!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My 3 year old and bedtime

Initial findings indicate he didn't go to sleep right away. Instead, he trashed his sister's bookcase, played with toys, and passed out in the hallway almost two hours after bedtime. This seems to be his nightly routine lately.

Time to intervene.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November Update

So much to say, with so little time! For whatever reason, life has kicked into high-gear, and the holidays aren't even here yet. Maybe I'll just give you a preview of life and what it's like to be inside my brain these days:

* Puppies: We are down to only three (YES! Count 'em: 1, 2, 3!) little eight-week-old pups in our house, and all three leave tomorrow morning! Whenever I look back over the past eight weeks, I wonder how in the world we maintained sanity with 10 dogs and 4 people in one house. No, seriously...even though the dogs were kept in one room (that needs a complete makeover anyway) or were outside all day on warmer days, between the smell, the mess they create, and the time it takes to feed and clean up after them, sometimes I felt like I was at my breaking point. And if you know me, I can usually juggle many things at one time, so admitting that I was ready to lose it is saying a lot! Yes, the puppies are super cute, and just like I tell my kiddos, they are lucky they are! :o) In the end, I am just SO thankful that God brought along the right people for these dogs. And for the record, we won't be breeding again until AT LEAST spring of 2013...if not later or never. :o) Next up in the doggy world: a special bath/grooming for Lucy, and maybe we'll throw in a little toy. ;o)

* Kindergarten: My daughter is doing really, really well in her first year of school. Scratch that...she's kicking butt! We had her parent/teacher conference two weeks ago, and Danae has met the reading goal for the year, as well as the number & letter recognition goals. Since our state has adopted the Common Core standards, math concepts will be introduced at the Kindergarten level within the next few which Danae will be very excited. (In the spring she was asking if she would be learning more math in kindergarten...yes, we know, we have an over-achiever on our hands.) ;o) For a few weeks we were dealing with crying before school, not wanting to go, complaints of being bored...but Danae seems to be over that now. I think her pediatrician telling her (at her six-year check up last month) that she won't be as bored next year in 1st grade and that she should look at Kindergarten as a "really fun play time" really helped Danae get over it. I also see in Danae the anxieties and home-sickness that I experienced as a kid, so that is playing a role, too. Ahh, yes, what a joy it is to see your shortcomings and personality glitches in your offspring! ;o) FYI: 6-year-old pics coming soon!

* My little man: Boy, oh, boy...does my son know how to work my heart! Caedon has superbly mastered the art of cuteness, and lately a little hug and flash of his dimpled grin gets him many things - a little piece of chocolate before dinner, extra snuggle time, sleeping in our bed here and there, extra tv time. Dude, this kid is one lucky boy! I'm not sure if it's because he's my youngest (and more-than-likely last), but while I try hard not to baby him (trust me, he gets his fair share of correction!), I also can't help but bend the rules here and there. My favorite part is when he gets that little piece of candy, and then sometimes asks for one for his sister, too. Yes! They sometimes DO look out for each other!

* Hubby: He's alive and hasn't fallen off of any roofs in a while. ;o) As indicated by my previous post, Hubs celebrated his 32nd birthday last week, complete with dinner out, a cookie cake (that had the most amount of icing I'd EVER seen), and a few presents. One of his favorites would have to be this little beauty, drawn by Danae:

Aww, how cute, you say? Look a little closer...see that person to the right, with the big red mouth wiiide open? Danae says that's me, her Mama. And the feature that made this masterpiece her Daddy-O's favorite? The bumblebees around Danae's mama, stinging her. Yup...this drawing was Hubby's favorite, earning the cherished spot of front-and-center on the refrigerator. (Maybe if I gave in to Danae like I do to Caedon, I wouldn't be the one stung by bees...just a thought.)

In other news, Hubs is also up for eldership at church. He won't know for sure until the end of the month, but it looks like he will be serving more...meaning more time away from home/the kiddos/each other. We prayed that God would just shut the door and not make this happen if it wasn't meant to be, but things seems to be falling into place. Hubby feels really comfortable doing this, and while we know it's a big time commitment, we're confident it will work. :o)

* Me: Well, since I'm here typing, you know I'm still alive, too! :o) Besides working part-time (partly in the office, partly from home), I've been trying to keep up with the house and dogs, maintain my kiddos, spend a little time with friends and the youth group, fit runs in and figure out what upcoming races we'll be doing, keep a girls' lacrosse club running, and now I'm adding School Board Director to the mix. No, of election day last week, it's official: CV School Board, you are stuck with me for the next four years! I'm thankful that one of our dear neighbors is also on the Board, and I'm familiar with most of the other members...but honestly, some days I look at myself and think, "Woah...I am TOTALLY under-qualified for this." It excites me to learn more, grow, and do more for the schools and community, and that's what drove me to slap my name on the ballot for the primaries back in May. But, to be honest, sometimes I feel intimidated. Scared about what others might think/say about me. Unsure if I'll "fit the bill" and meet the expectations. We had been praying (just like for Curt being an elder) that if this is not part of God's plan, that He'd shut the doors and not make this happen...but it did, and I'm very comfortable taking on this position and know it will balance into the rest of "life". Now I just need to work on getting over the "nervousness and insecurity" part!

So there you have it...our family update! Hopefully I didn't overwhelm you, and hopefully your life isn't overwhelming YOU! I realize God gives each of us what He knows we can handle, and we all need to realize that it's not the same for everyone. May you find the balance in your life, maintain it, and live each day to the best of your ability, using your God-given talents for what He made you to do!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy birthday!

In the midst of the mayhem (and boy, has it ever been!), we are pausing to say Happy Birthday to my hubby/our Daddy-O... hard-working, quiet, caring, teaches our babes with patience and love...

...he deserves so much and doesn't ask for anything.

Happy birthday, Curt!