Thursday, December 30, 2010

December comes to an end...

As the year winds down, I find myself totally shocked that it has passed so quickly! Of course as far as school is concerned, I still have half a year left. But if I blink, the second half will be gone before I know it. To celebrate the coming new year, I decided to just post a few photographs of my latest crafts and my sweet grandchildren.

When I took the Christmas decorations down, the house seemed so bare. I thought I would try to come up with a couple of things to put on the desk in the entry way and on the fireplace mantle.
I decided to take some wooden blocks and glue on the letters for Happy New Year. In my mind's eye, these blocks looked a lot better. I still want to get some glitter spray and give them a coat of that, then find some sort of sparkly floral-type spray with stars on it. I figure I could drill a hole in the top of the H to stick the spray in. I think that might jazz them up a bit. Right now, they are a little drab.

My friend, Marilyn, suggested I put out some snowmen because they would be appropriate for the wintery months between Christmas and Valentine's Day. I saw one on Ucreate and copied the idea. Ron says they need hats, but I haven't figured out how to put them on. Until then, they are hatless snow people.

Several months ago, the girls and I had a craft day to make presents for the grandparents. Now that Christmas has come and gone, I am able to post a picture of my mother's set. We made another for Ron's mother in browns with sepia photos. Both sets turned out adorable.

Now to finish up recording Christmas 2010. Our Christmas dinner took a turn for the better this year. I really didn't look forward to yet another turkey after having 2 Thanksgiving dinners. And, ham didn't sound great either. One evening I asked Scott what he wanted for dinner and his standard reply came up, "Chicken enchiladas." Of course Ryan was sitting next to him and he second that request. G was sitting just down the table from the boys and he piped up with "Tamale's!" As a result, we ended up with a wonderful Mexican dinner on Christmas Eve. I had found some new place mats at Pier I and couldn't pass them up. I think the colors worked well with our Mexican fare.

Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without Christmas pictures of my sweet grandchildren. Sophie Lyn has turned into such a character. She found Ron's Cowboy's Santa hat and plopped it on her head. That led to a challenging hour trying to get some pictures of the girls. This was the cutest one of Sophie.
Maggie continues to be a ham in front of the camera; so, most of the time her pictures have a huge cheesy grin or a goofy face. This was the best shot I got of her this Christmas. She is the perfect age for Christmas. I think we all got a kick out of her response to each gift she opened.

And then there is my handsome guy Seth. Several months before Christmas, he had come over for the night. I asked him what he wanted and he told me he wanted a Star Wars Lego set. I had him go online to the Lego site and write down all of the ones he would like to have, with the understanding that I would get him one set. He ended up giving me a list that covered the front and back of a paper. I told him the list was a bit long, so I gave him a hi-lighter and told him to underline the ones he wanted most. That narrowed it down to around 20! He said he was please with the one I finally picked out.
Now that Christmas is over, Ron and I are looking forward to a quiet New Year's Eve. We usually get together with the kids and have a game night and shoot off fireworks. This year we are all in favor of staying at home and chilling out. However, knowing my kids, I think that might end up changing.
Happy New Year to you all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A very busy month... and it ain't over yet!

The month of December is often associated with hustle, bustle, and hectic schedules all culminating in a joyous celebration of our Savior's birth. My intent with this post is to record some of the more memorable hustle and bustle events; thereby, freeing up my final post of the year for more spiritual and meaningful reflections.
So, here we go!
For my first event, I will write about Maggie's birthday.

Maggie turned 4 this month. She had her first real birthday party where friends were invited, games were played, and cupcakes were devoured. The theme was Toy Story. Leslie was pretty creative in her decorations.

She took a rainbow colored donkey pinata and turned it into Bullseye using some brown tissue paper...

She used my Sillouete machine to make a cute Happy Birthday banner and cupcake toppers...

Maggie blew out her 4 candles...

Opened her presents... and had a great time.

The second even that was cause for celebration was the end of the first semester of school! It is so hard to believe how quickly the year is passing. On the last day of the semester, we had our Winter Party. As my cute newbie in the room next to me said, "I made out like a bandit!"

I am always amazed at the generosity shown by the parents of my students. Here are a couple of pictures of their gifts. The truly greatest joy I receive when opening their presents is the look of joy on their faces .
I usually end up with some things I will never use. This year, I donated all of those things to the 55 & up club in Harker Heights. Mom said they only have a budget of $1.00 per person for birthday gifts. Some of the things I got as gifts from my students will hopefully be used to extend their budget

The third event was Scott's graduation from the Fire Academy and starting his new job as a fire fighter in Temple.
Scott received his certificates from Chief Bell. He and one other graduate had already been hired by the TFD.

The TFD paid for Scott and Brad's training. However, the rest of these young men are still looking for a job. Hopefully, they will find spots quickly.

At family dinner this week, Scott brought in his fire fighting gear... the jacket (which weighs a ton!)...

Scott's helmet...

And a picture of his everyday uniform.....

So, those are the highlights of December so far. More to come later.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Three trees...

On December 3rd, Seth came over to spend the night. While he was here, Maggie and Sophie came over to take mini ornaments and treats out of the advent cabinet. Even though Leslie bought the cabinet for me years ago, I have never used the cabinet before because Seth hasn't lived close enough to come over every day to open a drawer and hang ornaments. Now that Maggie and Sophie live so close, I decided to fill the drawers of the cabinet with tiny ornaments and pieces of candy so that they could come up each day and take their surprise out. We had already added several ornaments to the mini tree by the time Seth came over, so I had to explain the process to him. I knew he would be visiting from time to time, so I already had 3 of everything in each drawer. On the days he isn't here, Maggie puts Seth's on the tree. As Seth helped put the ornaments on the tree and said, "Gee Mimi. You have a lot of trees!" I asked what he meant and he said, "Well, you have this tree, the one in the dining room, and the one by the door. Mom only put up 1 tree. How come you have 3?" So, I had to explain the three trees.

The first is our mini advent tree, which I had just explained to him. The cabinet was sold at Mervyns and Leslie got it when she worked there while she was in college. It is really adorable and I should have taken a picture of it with the doors open. There are 25 little drawers inside that are perfect for hiding candy and ornaments.
I then told Seth that the second tree is actually for Ryan and Scott. I explained that when the children were growing up, my mother and father gave each one of them an unusual ornament for Christmas. By the time they were grown, each of them had quite a collection of ornaments. When Becca and Leslie moved out, I gave them each their own box of ornaments. That left only Ryan and Scott's ornaments. Those ornaments now hang on a 5 ft. tree that sits in the corner of our dining room because they never put up a Christmas tree. When they finally settle down into homes of their own, they will get their ornaments.
I then explained the third tree; my tree. You see, once the girls' ornaments were gone, our family tree was pretty naked. For Christmas one year after the girls had moved out, I told Ron I wanted to buy my own Christmas tree and new ornaments as my present that year. I decided on a red and gold theme and have added some new ornaments each year. I don't like bows, garlands, ribbons, or tinsel. I usually keep the lights off unless it is evening, because I just like the way it looks when it is unlit. My favorite ornaments are the small, hand carved Santa heads that my father made a few years ago. He actually made them for the kids, but these will stay on my tree until I am gone. Then the kids can fight over them.
After I explained why we have 3 trees, Seth thought for a while and said, "That's cool!" It made me realize that there are often things I do each holiday that I never explain to the grandkids. I know that my children understand our little traditions, but I never actually explained things to Seth. Now that he is older, and Maggie is quickly catching up with him I need to do a better job of talking about the simple things we do as a family. Hopefully, these little things will become part of each of their lives.
Later that evening while Seth and I were watching television, I told him that I actually have a 4th tree that I forgot to tell him about. When he asked me where it was, I told him about the one in my classroom. It holds the many ornaments that I have been given throughout the years I have been teaching. It doesn't really mean as much to me as the ones at home, but it is amazing how much joy that tree brings into the lives of my "other" babies.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What you don't know can't hurt you...

It has been six months since the hip replacement. I am almost back to normal; still a bit of a wobble when I walk, and some stiffness in the mornings. But, one giant step in the right direction took place this week. I went in to see the head of the coagulation clinic to find out when I could stop blood thinners. Good news: I am now on aspirin therapy!! The strange thing about my visit, was finding out so many things that I didn't know. When I sat down with the doctor, his first words were, "So, you had quite a few clots there didn't you?" I was a bit taken aback because I thought I only had the one in my thigh and a few suspicious spots in one lung. After telling him what I knew, he pulled up my test results. Evidently, the DVT in my thigh actually started in my groin, ran down the length of my thigh, and continued around behind my knee. He said it was about 1 cm across. That was just the first of the surprises the test results had for me. The doctor then showed me the results of the test they ran on my lungs. Lo and behold, the lower 1/3 of my right lung was completely black because it was filled with clots. The left lung looked like a Chick-filet ad because of all the black spots. Evidently, there were clots there as well. My response to the news was, "Well, no wonder everyone at the hospital kept telling me I should be playing the lottery!" I told him that no one had even alluded to the severity of the clots and that I was quite surprised. I also told him that I was actually glad I didn't know, because it probably would have worried me the entire time I was in the hospital. He then told me that most people in my condition would have never made it to the hospital. What do I owe my own personal miracle to? Wonderful worthy priesthood holders who exercised that holy power and administered to me in my time of need, and my faith in the gift of healing.