Saturday, December 29, 2007
Seeing LM Just Shake His Head
Funny Little Moments
or "don't shoot that at people"
no time will ever be as joyous or fun as an eternity in heaven together,
full of joy and peace as mine has been.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
And then it occured to me.
Playing G in a head to head round of golf requires a well developed swing - performed entirely with the left tumb on the XBox360 controller.
I wonder if Tiger's thumb ever gives him such trouble.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
...that we broke our favorite wooden spoon making applesauce this year. And so he bought me a new one f(and an extra!) for Christmas.
...that you cannot lie to Mom. So he bought me a plaque for Christmas that says, "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool Mom."
...that I love York Peppermint Patties right from the freeer, so he wrapped some and led me to the freezer with a clue under the tree.
...that I don't have salt and pepper shakers and that I might be embarrased if we ever had company over for dinner. So he bought me a set.
...that he accidentally broke my small Pyrex glass measuring cup (in our pre-microwave days) and so he bought me a new one.
...that I love Hershey's with almonds, so he tucked one in my stocking.
...that our attempt to make homemade moose munch at Thanksgiving didn't go so well, so he bought me some of that, too.
...that I love plants, so he conspired with Nana and bought me a beautiful Ivy topiary for Christmas.
...that I love the little things about Christmas, so he wrote funny things on the tags and made a game out of some gifts.
...that I have a sense of humor, so he sang the "cha-cha-cha" part with George when we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. (Forgive me, Heavenly Father. First, a store-bought cake, and second the Scooby-Doo Birthday song...)
...that Thank-You notes are a big deal to me, so he wrote them during the ride to Ohio today without complaint.
...that this was an extra special Christmas for us, spent with my sister and her family here in Michigan, and hugged me several times and thanked me for such a great Christmas after the evening was over.
...that I would miss him terribly over the next two weeks while he spends time with his grandparents and his dad and so he jumped out of my car and threw his stuff into Nana's and never even hugged me goodbye.
Well, I'll forgive the last one. But I'll hug him extra tight when he returns back home.
Thanks, LM for the best Christmas ever. You know me so well and shared such a special day with me. Enjoy your time with your dad and I'll see you in two weeks!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Only the cake pan is in a box in Julie's barn.
When I call to tell her I'll be climbing up in the barn tomorrow when I drop off the kids, I interrupt her pie-baking. We talk for a few minutes and I realize she's making a lemon meringue pie from scratch (two of them, actually) to take to her outlaw's for their Christmas celebration this weekend.
I told her that God gave Betty Crocker a gift. A talent to share with the world. And that I certainly thought that a pre-made or bakery-made or even a store-bought pie filling would be good enough for her outlaws. I mean, if a boxed cake mix is good enough for Jesus, isn't it good enough for Bear's family?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The folder on my desktop containing his research is labeled "Science oylimiad".
All that money, down the drain.
Stacy, you had no idea what a hit your gift - er- the packing of your gift - would be, did you?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
You see, it's all about fantasy football.
My team did well this year. Not as confidently well as last year, but I made the playoffs and then the final four. But it was that last milestone that gave me pause. Last year I won the tourny to the great surprise of everyone including me. This year, my former company was kind enough to include me in the league, but I would imagine few expected similar success.
Making the final four was enough, to me, to say hey, I'm not half bad at this. Certainly there is a lot of luck in such things, but at least I demonstrated that what little skill I had, I put to good use on occasion (and made some remarkably dumb move, too). But I found myself cheering for former co-workers to go the distance and win the tourny this year instead of wishing I would win myself. I just didn't think that would be much fun for everyone else. I don't even work there for crying out loud.
So I started to think maybe I should tank on purpose. But there are male egos to be dealt with a tanking on purpose wouldn't go over well, I suspect. So I decided to leave my team alone and just hope that either in this semi-final round or in the finals next week I might be outplayed and I wouldn't win it all, leaving someone still in the office, still around to enjoy the glory to win.
And it would seem as though Mother Nature stepped in and honored my request. The New England blow-out of the Jets would have solidified my spot in the final game. But today, with inclement weather, the Pats ran the ball leaving Brady without a single touchdown and a fraction of his usual passing yards. Moss was left with a less than stellar day. And while some of my other players stepped up to the plate and made some big yards and a couple touchdowns, it won't come close to being the points I will need to win.
And so I am relieved.
And no male egos are injured. And everyone back at the office should be happy that the final game will be between two of their own.
And while I expect I might play next year, I won't play again in this league as I think it's time to move on. Thanks, guys, for inviting me to play and for all the fun of becoming a completely obsessed football fan. And to PC - I wish you all the best in the finals!!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Queen of the High DiveHer birthday party was so much fun. It was still fun and not yet embarrassing to have her dad and her uncle cannonballing off the diving boards to see who could make the bigger splash. Everyone had fun, friends, cousins, the young ones and even the boys all had fun
"Is it time for cake yet?"
George the Sea Dragon
LM Ready to Swim
Bird admires the purple fuzzy scarf we gave her
(along with an American Girl doll skirt and a new wallet for all her birthday cash!)
Thanks for letting us share this day and every day with you!
"Oh man, you have to come here! We heard you trumpets out there and you guys were awesome! We really need some good trumpet players here!"
I smiled and said quietly, "you'll have to wait. LM here is only a sixth grader." The boy looked astonished and then replied, "It's worth the wait. Besides, I'll still be a senior. Just remember, when you get to high school, you have to come here!"
As we finished the evening off with our traditional post-band-concert ice cream treat I smiled and thought to myself that maybe, just maybe this was exactly the education LM needed.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
"A Christmas present for someone far away."
"What is it?"
"It's actually several things, George."
"How many things?"
"I don't know, maybe seven or eight. Just some little things I wanted to send to a friend."
"Is it corn?"
"No, George, it's not corn."
"Is it a violin?"
"No, it's not a violin."
"Is it a bouncy ball?"
"No, it's not a bouncy ball."
We approached the counter and the postal clerk asked me if anything was fragile, liquid, perishable or hazardous. I said it was fragile and perishable.
"Aunt Fred? What does 'perishable' mean?"
"It means can it get rotten," I replied, trying to explain the idea to a seven year old.
"EWWW!! You're sending something rotten to your friend for Christmas?!"
"No, George. It's not rotten now. It just could get rotten if it got lost in the mail."
"What is it?"
"You remember in my hall closet all those jars you saw when you were over? A friend of mine wanted me to send a couple to her."
"Aunt Fred!! You're sending a friend 8 jars of rotten applesauce?!"
"No, George. It's not rotten!"
"But it will be! EWWWWW!!!!"
There was no convincing him otherwise. Even the postal clerk had to stifle a laugh.
So, my dear friend who is receiving the specifically requested applesauce, I doubt there is anything about it that is worth a personal shipment (and don't worry, I didn't send 8 jars of sauce!), but I am ever so grateful for the occasion that provided me with such an incredibly precious moment with George.
These are the little moments I've been missing. But now, now I can treasure them. And oh, how I treasure these moments.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
"LM." I said, waiting for him to stop and take a breath.
"I know who the box is from."
(While he had been rambling incessantly I had actually thought of shouting, "It's a bomb, get out of the house!" as a joke until I thought better knowing he might actually believe me and while playing jokes on my kid is funny, scaring the crud out of them isn't. Well, it isn't most of the time. Well, it isn't some of the time. Well...)
The box needent have contained a thing. It meant the world to me to just know that a friend, a very dear new friend thought of me and wanted to send me something. But inside were two packages, one for the boy and one that I know to be homemade although I don't know what it is. Both went ceremoniously under my tree to await Christmas Day. There were two tins of cookies which were immediately opened and went ceremoniously down my throat (okay, I waited until after dinner and I didn't eat all of them, but still, they were delish!) And there were cranberries. Which are meaningful in their own special way.
As I sit here tonight, I am delighted to have little bits and pieces of things (not literally pieces of things) to send back in the direction this box came, I am delighted more by this friendship than I have words for. Mig, you are my kindred spirit. You bring joy into my life every single day. I am so glad that distance and space aren't challenges to this friendship and I thank God that he brought you into my life this year.
I wish all of you a sweet box full of friendship this holiday season.
Monday, December 10, 2007
And that says nothing about how hard it is to look at these children who are far far behind their peers, who have various disorders impairing their learning abilities and come to school hungry and filthy and exhausted. The school district can supply a hearing-impaired child with extra auditory enhancements including a microphone that her teachers dutifully wear and pass along to one another but they will do NOTHING if the wax and dirt build up in her ears is so thick and disgusting that sound wouldn't dare venture in if it were forced.
And can I just mention how disturbing it is to me to be working carefully with a second grader who is doing his best to make English his primary language and to catch up on all the schoolwork he has missed due to migrant parents only to have him write in his journal entry every.single.day about how he can't wait to get home to play Halo 3 or Call of Duty 4.
And to think that I spent no less than a full hour every day doing therapuetic sensory brushing and compressions on more than five different children three times during the day every school day knowing that these same techniques are never performed by the child's parents after school.
Can I just say that I don't know how my second mother taught special education for so many years and didn't lose all hope for the children of the world (or their parents)?
Sunday, December 09, 2007
LM and I had already talked about Christmas gifts. We knew what we wanted to buy for his dad's side of the family and had just a couple of those gifts left to get. LM had his wallet with his saved money and a few additional dollars from Mom to buy a gift for her.
Instead of tagging along in the stores and being there to pay at the counter, this year he was on his own. I asked where he wanted to go ("Lowes") and I drove. And I waited in the parking lot while he went in to choose and to buy. And when he came out empty handed (whew!) we headed out to another store, one full of unique craft items. Again, he headed in alone and I waited in the parking lot. I was instructed to "pop the trunk" when he came out so I wouldn't even see the bag (he knows how much I enjoy the surprise of a gift!) This time he came out with a bag, although I quickly covered my eyes so I wouldn't see too much and when he got in the car he proclaimed, "Mom, I don't know how you don't OWN that store," after seeing all the options he knew I would love inside.
Even later, in Target, he thought of something he'd like to get and told me he'd meet me at the car.
Today, he spent four hours wrapping seven gifts. He had music on and was hiding behind a closed bedroom door lest I see. (Not all seven were for me and I knew what all of those were, but he was still hiding while he wrapped.) He came out at one point with a tiny little package. He laughed and waved it in front of me and said, "You'll never guess what this is!" Proud of himself for the choice and the secret wrapping.
I wonder what the store clerks thought of this boy wandering around looking carefully at various items. Did they worry because he was unaccompanied? Did they think he would steal something? And what did they think when he approached the counter with an item and pulled out his wallet to pay? I wonder what was going through LM's mind during the four hour wrapping event. Did he smile thinking about the recipient opening his gift? Did he worry if they will like it or if he should have chosen differently?
I hope the store clerks and all LM's recipients, like me, realize the milestone my son just surpassed. He is now officially his own shopper. He did it all on his own. I hope someday LM's wife tells me what a great gift giver he is. I'll just laugh and smile and say, "I know."
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
For the past two years, however, I've been a little pre-occupied with NaNoWriMo in the month of November to focus any creative energy towards the ol' Christmas card, and frankly, starting such a holiday task in October is just a little too much for me.
Similar to last year, I started to panic during the last week of November. How on earth was I not only going to write the last 10,000 words for NaNo, but also complete a somewhat witty, fairly informative Christmas letter, too?
The solution: write the letter while stuck in the car going back and forth to Ohio!
LM took notes while I spewed clever ideas and phrases and helped me to work it into an organized format. I actually wish you could see his version of the letter, it's really cute in its own right.
As of Thursday, November 29th, when my NaNo novel was complete I had only LM's notes on the letter and nothing more. Friday evening after a church event, I spent about an hour formatting and getting the cover design ready (by ready I mean downloaded). Saturday morning I put it all together, addressed and stamped envelopes and with LM's help, printed out the cards and a photo to go inside.
Once again, my cards are out on time. Even more shocking to me, however, was that after being placed in the mail Saturday at noon, cards have already arrived in Eastern PA today (Tuesday).
Sunday, December 02, 2007
There were presents to be opened.
(My sister looks beautiful in red, so we got her this gorgeous sweater from Coldwater Creek)
There was even a little time for horsing around with the kids.
Happy Birthday Dear Sis!! As you pointed out, for two years in a row now we've had the chance to celebrate your birthday together! Thanks for letting us share in your day!
*A note about the cake(s). I offered to bring the birthday cake and coordinated with Bear about the details. Ms. Birthday Girl stepped in to tell us exactly what kind of a cake to provide (as if growing up with her all those years ago didn't leave me with a lasting memory of her disgusting peference for German Chocolate Cake). In her defense, she suggested I bring something everyone would like, not just her. As one who loves surprises, I decided to make neither, but instead paid a visit to Coldstone Creamery in hopes of ordering a special birthday cake. I was overwhelmed by the options, however, and decided to order a selection of their mini-cakes instead. Thinking there would be 10 of us there to celebrate, I ordered 7 cakes. There only ended up being 6 of us there with more cake than we knew what to do with. But, oh, what a sweet problem to have!
Snickers, Peppermint, Peanut Butter, Cookie Dough, Butterfinger,
Mint Chip, and Red Velvet Cakes
Today I spoke with her around one, when she called to talk about various things, none of which were really her birthday. We didn't have to talk about her birthday, we were going to be a part of it.
LM and I went over to Jules' house around 3:30 after picking up the cake(s) (more on that later). I helped Jules work on her Christmas cards and we laughed and enjoyed a call from Dad. The whole gang of us went out to dinner together and then back home for cake and present opening. Knowing my sister was onto the plan that I was making her birthday cake, and after she took the time to tell me exactly what kind to make, I decided to shake up the plans a bit. I had gone to Cold Stone Creamery to order her a cake, but was overwhelmed with options. I ended up ordering seven MINI-cakes, all different flavors. Seven? Yes, seven. I thought there were four other people joining the six of us, but there weren't. So we had a lot. I'll post pictures at some point so you can see how amazing these little cakes were.
I had so much fun sharing part of the day with my sister and sharing cake and presents with her. It's how a birthday should be: full of laughter and family. Happy Birthday, Jules!! Thanks for letting us share in your special day!