Monday, November 30, 2009

All kinds of birthdays

Yeah, I know. It's been a while. I've started two posts, but never finished or actually posted them. It's been that kind of month. And it's over! Tomorrow begins a new month, so I'm starting fresh too.

Clay had his movie birthday party-absolutely the Best Party! A little fun with the kids, as much popcorn and soda as you can hold (oh, yes, it upped the bathroom frequency..), a movie, and that's it! They clean up, and we go home. It was lovely, really. I would SO do it a million times over! : ) I hope there's a movie coming out for Mary Claire's birthday next year...I'll have to work something out with Disney. Heehee.

Then we had Thanksgiving here, very nice. More cake for Clay with family. Then we had his big dinner out Saturday night (he had his choice: Saturday for dinner or Sunday for lunch), and he chose Red Lobster. We like it too, but we remembered why we haven't taken the kids for a while: the $72 bill. The kid orders like a pro! He had the Ultimate Feast (only $22.99!) with lobster tail, crab legs, shrimp, fries, and I don't know what else. He ate every single bit of it, and brought the crab claws home and put them in the refrigerator (yes, it freaks me out just a tiny bit to see them). We actually do this from experience. If you let him keep them in his room, they begin to stink! Anyway, he got the big song and dance, and was adored. He was so sweet! He is very happy to be truly nine, and says he doesn't feel much different than he did at seven. (I don't feel much older than I did at 16 or 17, so I understand!)

Now we are back to school for the last three weeks, a countdown to Christmas. Advent has begun, and we already have two loops cut off of our chain. We are inching so close to Christmas. Is it me, or is this year going super fast!?

We've begun our Christmas card list (well, actually I've printed labels, and am halfway done sticking them and stamps on the envelopes!), toured the Lights of the Ozarks on the Fayetteville square, Christmas shopped with the kids (ha-fun, until Ethan no longer was allowed to keep adding to the cart-for himself!), and have put up one Christmas tree. I don't know why, but I'm feeling like keeping it so much more simple this year. I have two more (big) trees, and bazillions of garland for all the curtain rods and stair rails, etc. but I'm just wanting to celebrate more and decorate less.

The kids did get their trees out, and each got a new ornament Saturday afternoon. Mary Claire's lights aren't all working, and it's on my to-do list (to buy a new set!). We'll get there.

I like that Ethan's birthday is right after Christmas. He knows that it's coming, and I think he understands the "celebration" that goes with it. It's good that we have a Little People Nativity that he can play with, and we can remind him that it's Jesus' birthday too! Let's remember the Christ in Christmas this year! : )

Luke 1:30-33 (NRSV) The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."

Advent begins a new liturgical year for the church, so we begin fresh with the birth (and preparation!) for Jesus. I can remember finding out with each child when I was pregnant, and every time it was with immense joy. I can only imagine what Mary must have felt like to learn she was pregnant from an angel of God (and not a pregnancy test!). But to think that her tiny baby would grow to be a king and have an unending kingdom? How hard to conceive. I'm thankful for my humble kids who will grow up not as kings, but mere servants. I know she was an amazing woman to have found favor with God!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hugging the Cryers

Today was our school's flu vaccine clinic. What a day! I'm so tired. Emotionally and physically! I was Ms. Tracy's "right-hand-man" and ran errands, called parents, ran to the office, hugged kids, gave out suckers, pulled forms, sent kids to tables, etc. It was a good day, and I felt needed and like I really helped.

I really like these days. Sometimes I don't get to help anyone outside my family, and I just love to be available! There were some screamers, one who passed out (hyperventilated really), lots of tears, and some surprising brave kids who didn't need anyone to hold their hand or anything! They actually surprised me more than anything else I saw today! : ) Maybe I stand amazed since I hyperventilate at the sight of a needle, so the young people who don't - wow.

My kids only got the h1n1 flu mist today, so they weren't afraid. Clay did plug his nose, and wouldn't let the nurse spray into it for a couple minutes. It just prolonged the process, but he didn't realize that. I went through with some kids I knew and some I didn't. It's almost better if they aren't with their parents; they almost behave better! I think their bravery shows.

We are still busy-at-it, with basketball pictures and practice tonight, the same tomorrow, and a JDRF event tomorrow. I've pretty much accepted lots as standard, so I'm fairing well. I am into a great book, so now I'm pretty preoccupied! I haven't watched tv in a while, and I have to finish! I'm into three books currently, but it's fiction, so somehow it goes faster! I'll be done in a couple more days. I love to throw in some fiction for fun (and escape from real life?) now and then!

Ok, so my posting is less frequent, and lower quality...heehee, like it was ever great. I feel like it's between errands now, but I suppose it's better than nothing. : )

Friday, November 6, 2009

Finding Joy in Others

Adding insult to injury...
Maternity benefits only pay out if you are actually still pregnant. Go figure. I had no idea. If you miscarry, you pay the per visit rate, which can add up if you have blood work and visits three times in a week, and a recheck at two weeks. : ( They only charge for delivery so all the visits are "free", so. . .they don't get paid if you don't deliver. I learn new things every day.

Yes, busy with two kids in basketball, and still hard at it in scouts for both, gymnastics, etc. Last weekend was so nice with no games... This weekend we have four!

Tonight is Mary Claire's first sleepover! She is going to Emily's house tonight, and we plan to pick her up around 10pm. She's having pizza and cake, so we'll estimate a bolus for her over the phone, but I'm sure she'll go high! : O It'll be easier to go pick her up, bring her home, let her sleep in her bed, and we'll check her in the night to bring her blood sugar back down. Our plan is to take her back in the morning for a craft at Home Depot (that she sooo doesn't want to miss!), but her two games are during that time, so we'll have to do some bargaining!

She's just so excited! : ) I love to see her all hyper and happy. We went to Build-a-Bear last night to get her friend a gift pet and jammies, and she had so much fun! We also got Ethan a sweet teddy bear since he's been pushing Mary Claire's bear around in the pram for a couple days. We hear him telling it that he loves it, and he feeds it, covers it up, and pushes it all around. It is just so sweet! He also did that with her Big Sister Dora doll, and then looked it in the eye and said, "Look at me. Listen to me." It was so funny!! I wonder where he got that! : ) He is just so sweet; he just makes me smile. : )

Psalm 16: 5-11:
5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,

10 because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

11 You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

My kiddos are filled with joy lately-what a blessing! They sure can make or break your days. When they are full of joy it's hard to be in a bad mood around them! When they are crabby, I'm busy searching for some light from within to bring their spark back. Isn't it great when we can find joy in others? : )

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Three Cuties and some judging

Had to post this one in a post, since it was actually good of ALL of them! So very rare at my house! : ) They were so excited, and knew we weren't going "visiting" until I got a good picture. So, candy = good picture. Good to know. : ) You know, for future reference.

How do you feel about people who are judgmental? I don't want to judge them (heehee), but does it run in families, or in neighborhoods, or among "Christians" judging other Christians (or heaven-forbid, non-Christians!), I mean what gives them the right? There's not necessarily a Thou Shalt Not Judge, but it's pretty explicit. So, back to the do you feel? What do you say to them? How do they know what is right for someone else or another family? Let's just all put away our pointing sticks, and ask if they need help instead?

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
-Matthew 7: 1-5

Let's just pray that we see our own faults and work on ourselves. We all have areas we need to improve on, and I'm just going to say I have things I'll work on inside my house before I move to someone else's...