Saturday, December 29, 2007

16-0

Videotape this.



What Christmas Means to Me

Little Gifts that Mean A Lot
LM didn't think I'd get him drum sticks, despite the
fact that he's drumming on everything with everything.
Since I kept discouraging him from buying a set
(because I already had a pair for Christmas)
he thought I just didn't want him to have any.

Seeing LM Just Shake His Head
When once again, I try to ingrain in his mind that
he is a Wolverine (Go Blue!)

Reminders of Jenny
My mom used to always tuck animals in the tree,
write something funny on the gift tags,
or create a game out of finding your present.
I love bringing memories of her into our holiday.
Having Three Kids to Spoil
Need I say more?

Funny Little Moments
George and Maggie, both banned from the kitchen.
Like two peas in a pod.

Laughter
Whether it's G playing Dance Dance Revolution
or finally getting my sister to play cards
I never laugh nearly as much as I do when
I'm around my family.

Seeing Loved Ones We Haven't Seen in Awhile
Including Maggie. The life of the party.

Nerf Dart Wars
Let's just say all my years of saying "we don't play with guns"
or "don't shoot that at people"
went completely down the drain when we
were fighting for bullets and running through the house
shooting at each other
and laughing too hard to aim straight.

Being Together
We're so very different but we have so much fun together.
Remembering the Reason
There's no greater gift than salvation,
no time will ever be as joyous or fun as an eternity in heaven together,
no love as real or complete as that from our Heavenly Father.
I hope you all had a holiday season as blessed and
full of joy and peace as mine has been.
I wish everyone a joyous 2008
where I encourage you to make people a priority in your life.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Par For the Course

My left thumb has been bothering me all morning. I kept wiggling it and rubbing it wondering all the while what on earth I could have done to have injured my thumb of all things.

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

He Knew

...that I broke a spatula a couple weeks ago. And so he bought me a new one (and an extra!) for Christmas.

...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

If It's Good Enough for God

In preparation for our Christmas celebration tomorrow night (LM is off to spend the holiday with his dad's side of the family early Saturday morning) I headed to the kitchen to make cake. As part of our family holiday traditions, I bake an angel food birthday cake in honor of Christ's birthday each year.

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.

From scratch.

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

It's Kinda The Same, Only Without The Weird Opening Ceremonies

Just because he scores in the 99th percentile, just because he's in the gifted pull-out program one day a week, just because he reads at a high school level in sixth grade, just because he uses words like "botany", "trebuchet" and "je ne sais quo" in his conversations, just because he's on a special science team preparing to compete with other science teams across the area, the state and possibly the nation, does NOT imply that he can actually spell "Science Olympiad".

The folder on my desktop containing his research is labeled "Science oylimiad".

I.kid.you.not.

I Could've Saved Myself a Fortune

Hundreds of dollars invested in these....
And LM is giddy over the idea of dissolving packing peanuts.
He spent 20 minutes and 54 billion gallons of water (so much for environmentally friendly) playing with them in the kitchen sink.


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

Curbing the Competitor Within

I've given it more thought than I'd like to admit. Over the past few days I've asked the opinion of no less than five other people about what to do. Even today, the day of decision I was still uncertain if I had done the right thing.

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

Bird

She's me when I was eleven. She loves horses and cats and all stray animals. She's a second mother to George and any child put in her charge. She loves homework and helping her teacher. She sings with the radio and talks to her friends on the phone for hours. Deep down inside somewhere my sister and I must be somewhat alike for her to have produced a child so remarkably like me.
Little Bird


In early December, Bird celebrated her eleventh birthday. It was at her birthday party at a local indoor pool that I realized our first major difference - she is completely uninhibited. Standing in the locker room completely naked, she's talking with her friends, telling me about something that happened at school and was in no rush whatsoever to actually get her suit on. I was ready to crawl into a bathroom stall out of embarrassment for her, but she wasn't phased at all.



Queen of the High Dive

Her 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?"

Littlest Cousins

George the Sea Dragon

LM Ready to Swim

We enjoyed a Hannah Montana birthday cake and Bird opened more Littlest Pet gifts than I knew existed. George kept us entertained with his antics as well and LM endured sitting in the close proximity with several fifth grade girls without complaint.



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!)

Happy Birthday, Bird!
Thanks for letting us share this day and every day with you!

The Concert

Earlier this week I had the honor and the privilege of attending LM's band concert. It was the first concert since our relocation and since his promotion as a sixth grader into the seventh and eighth grade concert band. LM has been practicing hard this year and is currently fourth chair amongst eight trumpets.

The concert was held at a local high school since LM's middle school doesn't have an auditorium. I had spent the previous week fighting with LM's school trying to get the necessary "uniform" materials for LM for the concert. His director had instructed them all to wear black pants, a white long-sleeved t-shirt and a school t-shirt for their concert uniform. School t-shirts were to be purchased from the school office but every time LM tried to buy one the office staff said they had no idea what he was talking about. LM voiced this issue to the director who told him "of course they know what we're talking about. It's a school t-shirt." Well, it was five days later and three days before the concert before we secured for ourselves the t-shirt in question.

The night of the concert it was raining and dark and we got lost on the way to the high school (by a misread in the google directions. When you have an eleven year old read you the directions, he might tell you to turn South on a certain road when the directions actually say to take the north exit onto South Main street. I agree, it's confusing, but it left us miles from where we needed to be. Thanks be to Bear for giving us good directions via cell phone and getting us there on time.)

Arriving at the school in the nick of time still struggled to find an unlocked door into the buildings. While the parking lot was full of cars, none of the doors we tried would open. Running, in the rain, all dressed up, we sought, with other tardy families to find the entrance to the auditorium. At last we were in and LM ran off to find his director and get set up for the concert. It was of great relief to me that the concert band would perform last.

I found a great seat, the room was surprisingly not all that full. I had neglected to get a program in my rush to get seated, but I figured I would grab one (for the scrapbook) on the way out the door later. For now, I was in my seat, glad to see LM sitting amongst his peers in the back, relieved to have arrived on time.

The orchestra was to perform first. It turned out to be a combination of sixth, seventh and eighth graders in the 25 member orchestra. It was all string instruments and as I waited for the concert to begin, I was suprised by how casually the orchestra students were behaving on stage. It was as if none of them realized they were on stage. They were playing around with each other, they were messing around with instruments. There were only a select few trying to get their instruments in tune.

The principal welcomed us and introduced the orchestra director who was in the back row helping to tune some instruments. He didn't acknowledge the introduction, nor did he immediately come forward. When he did, he admitted he had no idea what the principal had said but announced his group and got ready to perform.

"Ode to Joy" was their first song, overly typical of a young musical group, but it was barely recognizable. While I realized some of these students had only held a violin for three months, it was as if none of them had ever seen the music before. It was horrible. They went on to play a couple more songs before the group split in half, assumingly so the older students could now showcase their abilities, although no announcement was made to that effect. The other students all moved to the back row and sat down, instruments casually on their laps, obviously not to be played.

The 15 or so older kids were as bad as the total group had been. I couldn't believe it. While they played the younger students talked amongst themselves and one late-comer actually came up on stage in her coat with violin still in its case and sat amongst the kids in the back row (she never did play, she must have been a sixth grader and their part of the performance was already over.)

When the orchestra completed their final song, the parents and siblings in the crowd whooped and cheered and shouted and screamed as if we were at an Arsenio Hall show. I was appalled.

The choir was the next to perform and only added to my astonishment. Two of the girls were dressed in evening gowns while the rest wore holiday colors of red, black and white in various degrees of dressiness. The girls in gowns, however, wore HOODIES over top, presumably to keep their bare shoulders warm.

The one girl, on the end of the choir was clearly not enrolled in the optional class to enhance her singing ability. She couldn't clap on rhythym, she barely sang and while the smaller ensembles stepped forward to sing, she would trounce down the risers in her very-loud clunky heels and peer over in the direction of the quartet and then scurry back up in a loud clunk-clunk-clunky manner and whisper to her peers some scandalous information about the performers.

(Do take notice that in this picture, the girl on the end is in a white hoodie with her black evening gown and heels. DURING the performance she and the other hoodie-adorned girl SWITCHED sweatshirts.)

The director had made the point to tell us that the choir members themselves had chosen the songs to be performed and they included such juvenile favorites as Rudolph, Jingle Bell Rock and the like. There were no harmony parts. There was no complicated or unique renditions of the tunes. Played to track music piped in, the entire ensemble - mainly seventh and eighth graders sang as if they were at a slumber party. They behaved as if that is where they were, too, and the director was the "mom" who wanted to be chummy with all the girls.
At this point I'll admit, I was near tears. I mean, I'm not some cultural snob but I do expect a certain level of decorum at such an event. How could I have enrolled my son in a school that didn't even teach etiquette and respect? How could I expect him to learn the valuable things in life if he's spending his days with students and teachers that have standards this low? The parents I was surrounded by were no better; one choir dad had spent the time walking in front of the front row stopping to take pictures as if he was the only one present. The cheering was more like football game shouting than a musical performance.
I panicked. I thought about making him move schools at the end of the year. I'd enroll him in my sister's district or somewhere out of the city. I would find a way to pay for the college education we would have received nearly free. I've had my concerns as we've transitioned to a much more urban school environment about what all LM is learning - outside of the classroom - and now I felt as if I were witnessing it all first hand. I would find a way - I just couldn't let this be his education.
And then the band came on stage. The director stood at the podium and checked to make sure every instrument was tuned as well as the ensemble. When he raised his baton, instruments came up in unison. The music was beautiful and complicated and delightful from the first note to the last. My boy, my little trumpet boy was outstanding. They played Winter Wonderland, Over the Rainbow and a Christmas Suite that blended all the favorite carols into one ensemble piece. I took pictures and intended to video tape for LM's dad but was so enraptured by the performance that it was over before I even hit the record button.


No more tears, I was smiling ear to ear. I was so proud. But not only of my son, of the director, for teaching these kids all the parts of being a performer, not just how to blow air through an instrument.

Afterwards, I hugged LM and asked if he would take me to where the band room was. I shook the directors hand (a man who calls me by name) and thanked him profusely, not only for the concert but for all his help with LM. He's been so encouraging to LM this year and has really pushed him.
As we left the band room, two older boys shouted to LM, "Hey! Hey you! Is that a trumpet?" LM raised his case and shrugged, "yeah?"
The boy said, "Do you live in this area? Will you be attending this high school?" A question LM's band director asks him almost daily. With two high schools in town, his band director has been pushing for LM to attend the one he used to direct at.
LM said he wasn't sure where he'd be attending, his standard answer since we haven't bought a house yet.

"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

What I've Been Missing

"Aunt Fred? What's in the box?" asked George when we stopped at the post office today on our way home from school.

"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

The Box

Yesterday LM called me on my way home from school. "A box came today, Mom. I don't know who it's from or what it's for." He spelled the last name to me, never pausing long enough for me to say I know who it's from. He read the city and state that it came from and started to tell me how big the box was and that it wasn't heavy but wasn't light either.

"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

Can I Just Say

How much I hate when little kindergartners reek of cigarette smoke?

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

The Gift Giver

I've talked about taking LM Christmas shopping before. This year, my sister and Bear both offered to take LM shopping so he could buy something for me without my knowledge at all. Unfortunately we just weren't able to get that squeezed in to our schedules so I took LM out this Saturday to finish his shopping before the crowds and stores got beyond bearable for me (they are already near that point).

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

I Was So Going to Blog Tonight

but I was just looking at my sitemeter to see the funny ways people come to my blog. And someone came to me after searching for "some way to make my sister nice".

I'm just laughing too hard to blog. Sorry. I'll try again tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

How It's Done

For as long as I can remember I've mailed Christmas cards out on December 1st. I almost always have all my shopping done by the first week of December as well, although I'll admit, I often pick up little things throughout the month just for fun (and to completely blow the budget).

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).

Happy Holidays!

According to Dad...

"...You know you've spent too much time playing on your new laptop adjusting settings and controls when you enter your pin number into the microwave."

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Happy Birthday to My OLDER Sister

Dinner out with the family


The kids were on their best behavior
(well, sorta. Those notebooks? They are full of 'secret' code to talk amongst the grownups without being understood.)

There were presents to be opened.
(My sister looks beautiful in red, so we got her this gorgeous sweater from Coldwater Creek)

There were wishes to be made, candles to be blown out and cakes* to be eaten.

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











Wouldn't Trade it For the World

Today is my sister's birthday. It usually means a card went in the mail a week ago and today I made a phone call to wish her a great one and to hear about her day.

Not today.

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!