Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Highlights!

Sadly my New Year's Eve is spent in my jammies and blogging, but that is okay because earlier was Cyclone with the family and Uno before bed. We spent the day in Columbia with my mom and did Chuck E. Cheese and shopping. Fun times!!

As for 2009 highlights, my friend Denise did this and I liked it so I'm copying her idea.
January - We tightened our budget, not because of a new year's resolution, but because of state budget cuts, Donnie's pay was cut by $400 a month. After a panic attack moment, we realized that God would provide as He always did and He was faithful. I also started couponing that month, not exactly because of the cuts, but it came at a good time and it's kinda fun. On a good note, we enjoyed a snow day as well.

February - Hannah's 9th birthday, and as is typical of February, lots of sickies.

March - the start of our Spring 3 Week break and our trip to Walterboro/Columbia. Jon Tyler got his first taste of "real" food which he took a liking too. Corey really started improving on reading in school!

April - For my birthday my sister threw me a birthday party, Mom kept the kids so we could spend a day at Concord Mills and I got a Wii for my big day! We (Hannah, Donnie and I) played a family in the Easter drama at church, I hosted Easter dinner at our house.

May - Springtime in full swing, Allie's 4th birthday, Hannah's first drama with ATL (she got to play Chip the teacup from Beauty and the Beast during the final performance - the one we got to see!) and lots of outdoor play! We received a huge financial blessing six years late(from an insurance policy my dad cancelled six years ago), and yet at just the right time - 2 weeks before vacation!

June - the end of the school year (Hallelujah!), our annual beach vacation, my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary, Hannah started her first summer workshop with the Chester Little Theater and Jon Tyler put crawling in full swing!

July - a visit to see my Dad who was recovering from back surgery, our best day trip EVER to Looking Glass Falls, the beginning of the new school year (we're on a year round schedule), and Corey turned seven, complete with Indiana Jones birthday party (it was a blast - I hate I never posted any pics of it, because it was the best party I'd ever thrown)!

August - Allie's first day of preschool went off without a hitch. She absolutely loved it! I took a job at the library and then retired before I ever even started, citing no time for "real" work. Hannah completed her first season with the Chester Little Theater with Alice in Wonderland. Corey started karate with school and began demonstrating his new moves on me daily.

September - our fall break and it was BEAUTIFUL! We took a trip to Gatlinburg, and celebrated Jon Tyler's first birthday.

October brought our 13th anniversary, our 2nd anniversary of living in our house, Jon Tyler walking, Halloween and I think that was about it.

November is becoming one of my favorite months with it's cooler weather and the beginning of the holidays. This year we went to my grandmother's for Thanksgiving and it had been a few years since we'd gone, so it was nice. Jon Tyler got his first haircut and showed us all he can accomplish in a small amount of time.

December brought about the busy-ness of the holidays but also a time to spend together enjoying each other. It is always enjoyable, if busy, to celebrate the birth of Jesus. There is to me something magical and fun about this time of year. I hope my children will always remember Christmas as a special time when they grow up. I may not get everything right, but I will always try to teach the importance of Christmas and do for others so my children will know that Christmas is not about what they want or get, but about the gift of God's Son, Emmanuel, God WITH us!

2009 showed me once again to do things God's way and I hope to put this into practice in 2010 as well!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Memorable Christmas Moments

1. Black Friday (need I say more?)

2. 3 christmas programs and 1 piano recital in 7 days.

3. Having my Christmas tree fall over.

4. Christmas with Mom ~ we got a gift card to Frankies Fun Park in Columbia - for the grownups only! I can't wait. Also fun memory - photo session afterwards.

5. 3 days before Christmas, My Sister in law and me, 6 kids, Chick fil A, the mall, bowling and she said, "We keep getting strange looks." That's what happens when the circus comes to town, chick! Welcome to my world.

6. Witnessing my husband's giving heart in action. It never ceases to amaze me.

7. Our Christmas Eve Miracle of being spared the stomach virus. Corey was literally over the toilet Christmas eve, because he felt sick, and I COULD NOT miss Christmas Eve at the in laws. COULD. NOT. It is my favorite of all of Christmas. I was in tears and asked Donnie to pray. He did and five minutes later, nothing. Corey was up and better and pinging off the walls. I know God made him well. It was really quite funny because Donnie told him to stay put and then he had to go set up luminaries at church. Corey came to me in my bathroom and said, "Mom, I feel better." I was ecstatic! He said, "But Dad told me to stay there." My obedient child. Christmas eve was wonderful.

8. My kids on Christmas morning. I love seeing their excitement. Jon Tyler was the funniest. He got a Lion King ride on and played with it all morning. I was impressed. I expected him to play with everyone else's toys!

9. Playing Clue at dad's and my sister saying, "Hide your cards! I'm prone to cheat!" At least she's prone to be honest about her issues.

10. Spending ALL DAY today trying out their (and my) new toys. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark before breakfast, pancakes at lunch time, building Legos, Playing Lucky Ducks, Scrabble, Wii, watching Donnie play MarioKart. Great stuff! Got my new phone working, the laundry room got a new door (and we survived the home improvement project without any (ahem) discussions).

11. Last but not least, spending special time with all my family. Oh, yeah, and barbeque!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Husband Brag

Saturday was the best day! Why? Because of my honey. I left around 11:45 to run to the post office and I told him I wanted to run by Cato to look for some clothes. He told me to take my time and find something nice. When I got back, we ate lunch and he mentioned that he needed to finish a few Christmas things. I figured he was taking his dad with him, but he didn't. Guess who he took? ALL FOUR CHILDREN. What a man! I had the house all to myself. Since we had planned to clean around here anyway that afternoon, I worked around here while they were gone. I was simply amazed at how much I could get done without anyone around. I even made it to the grocery store for the week. It was so pleasant. They were home when I got here so while I made supper, Donnie started baths. What man would take all four shopping and do baths? I just had to brag.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Mary Christmas

I read an article the other day about a little girl who made a card for her mother and it said, "Mary Christmas." The daughter didn't catch the significance of her misspelling, but her mother did. In Luke 10, the story is told about sisters whom Jesus was visiting. Mary sat at his feet and listened to his teaching while Martha busied herself with making sure everything was "just right" for Him. Martha was upset that Mary wasn't helping, but Jesus pointed out that she had chosen what was better. So, here I am at the end of my Martha week. Actually two of them. We had program after program, teacher gifts to prepare, brunches, drop-ins, you know the holiday drill. Not to mention the wrapping gifts (I'm almost done for shopping for them), the Christmas cards (really, they are coming), etc. My problem is that I love this season, I love the fellowshipping and the extra little things that go along with the holidays. I just wish they were spread out and not all bunched into two weeks. I want to slow down, savor it, have a Mary Christmas! So I have a few days to do this now that the kids are out of school. We are going to bake goodies, because we want to, not because we have to (well, I do have to for Christmas eve, but I'm taking the easy way out, mostly) and beyond that the children and I have no plans for next week. I'm hoping we can come up with some fun stuff to do around here, but I hope none of it involves being out of our jammies before noon. I pray all of you will have a Mary Christmas too!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Battle of Wills and Reverse Psychology

Allie is one we constantly have to battle about eating. She is very picky. Very. Today she had yogurt which she likes but after eating about 3 bites she wanted to be "done." I told her she had to eat it all. For one thing, it was a small container and I didn't think that was too much to ask. Secondly, it was one of those annoying containers with the foil top so I would have either had to ditch it or put in a separate container. After going back and forth, I told her her baby brother was eating his, thinking (for some odd reason) that she might be persuaded to eat hers. I don't know why I thought this as it's never worked before. To this she replies, "He can have mine." Stinker. We continued to sit and argue over this yogurt and informed her that was eating if she intended to get up from the table. After I saw this would work I tried a different approach. I took it from her and informed her that she couldn't have it. I also told her she couldn't have it anymore because she didn't eat it this time. It was gone in 5 minutes. Now who's the master of reverse psychology? Ha!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree.

Wednesday afternoon as I was looking over weekly folders, helping Hannah with her homework, and other mundane Wednesday things, I heard a crash in the living room. I ran in to find the Christmas tree sprawled out across the floor and I couldn't find Jon Tyler. Momentary panic, 2 older kids crying, and one thought - NOT AGAIN (more to come on that). To relieve your nerves at this point, I did find Jon Tyler and he was not under the tree. He was just beside it and is small enough to be hidden by a rather large tree. I lifted it back up, and held it in place while I called Donnie to come home. He arrived very quickly and we discovered that the stand had broken beyond repair. I was devastated. My big, beautiful tree that I've had for seven year, I thought we'd have to get rid of it. Let me digress here to say that artificial really is the way to go. There is just something about being able to manuever the branches to hide the "holes". This comes from one too many trees that looked great at the tree farm only to have a major deformity when I got them home. That coupled with the fact that we are too cheap to buy a really nice one has caused me to gladly embrace my fake tree. Thankfully I found a tree stand to replace that one and we were back in business. Can I tell you that decorating the tree the second time is just not as exciting as the first time?

Our moment of dejavu was met from a similar event ten years ago. I was very pregnant with Hannah and Donnie had just had surgery, so he took his friend Mark with him to get our tree. The story has two versions. One is that Mark cut the trunk crooked and had to trim it off straight. The other is that Donnie didn't want to pay for a taller tree and got Mark to cut it as close as possible to fall under the 6 foot mark. I'll let you decide which of those you believe, I have my own opinions (Did I mention we're cheap?) At any rate, the tree didn't have enough trunk to fit in the stand so we ended up wedging it in. Every so often I would look at the tree and notice it was leaning a little more than before. One night I was asleep in the recliner when I heard it. I didn't want to open my eyes, because I knew what it was. Donnie, on the other hand, only heard a loud bang from the bedroom and had no idea what had happened. I still snicker at my wild eyed honey flying into the living room at 3 am. We hoisted that one back up as well, but another tree stand would not help it, so we tied it to the curtain rod for the remainder of the holiday season.

How many people do you really know who've had a tree fall over ... twice?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009