Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

For those of you who are dreaming of a white Christmas, we have got some snow to come your way but, if you do take some of the snow you have to take the bitter cold and the windchill it has with it this year. We are in the midst of a cold snap that reminds me more of a late January day than a December one but that is ok because it simply means curling up at night with a blanket, snuggling with the family and enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate...when we are home.

There have been some huge changes in our lives this year; it has been a year of stretching, restructuring and the like but it has all been great! BigB & I have both changed jobs and I, especially, am loving mine. I am now at Early Childhood Intervention as the Office Manager and BigB is over at Image Computers instead of us both being at the hospital. We are also building a new sanctuary as a church and we have helped out with that some; i have learned how to mud a bit and have become very efficient at painting trim and at sanding. Rush is also working-two jobs actually; she works as a cashier at Superstore plus she babysits every second week during the evenings for us and another family while we are at school.

Yes, BigB and I are classmates! We are both attending first year classes at World Revival Training Center and the classes, so far, have been incredible (some more work than others but all the same, incredible and life changing)! The kids have all left the public school system this year and are attending WRPS the A.C.E. school at our church and I have nothing but great things to say about that place and the education they are getting! Rush is even paying for her own tuition.

We have been incredibly busy as a family as we are striving to bring ourselves to a deeper place in our relationship with God and as a family. We have made some new and truly fantastic friends but have found ourselves in a position where we are pressed for time (but for great reasons) to get together with family and old friends and they are all greatly missed. I am in the process of fine-tuning the organization of our household and perhaps with the start of 2009 will come the beginning of some new found time.

Rush has spent this current school year learning sign language and is learning new words daily; we are so proud of her and how quickly she picked it up! She started to have bass lessons but they were momentarily halted due to time constraints on both parties, teacher and student. They will be picking them back up in the new year again. Her grades this year have been absolutely great and it is just an absolute joy to be around her. Rush's humor will leave you in stitches and well, she is overall just a great lady to be around. I almost called her a kid but she is 15 years old now and I guess my days of calling her a kid are over...

Jellybean is also doing great at school and has really loved transitioning to WRPS; she loved her old school, teachers and friends but there is a difference here. So far, her lowest mark this year is an 87% or something like that. Jellybean still loves her music and plucks away at her violin at times or her guitar at times. She is a little prayer warrior when she wants to be.

Bug still makes my morning every morning with the sweet look he gives me (like he hasn't seen me in 100 days). He is loving going to school and learning all about letters from Miss Pam. Poor Miss Pam! She has Bug and his two best buddies in her class who feed off of each other like a tornado; I just hope the three of them keep it to a dull gayle force wind for her instead of a full blown tornado... Bug is a worshipper; he has music in his bone marrow I am sure and we will "catch" him in the living room singing and dancing his heart out. He is still too "shy" around non-immediate family to do that in public but it is coming.

We have had a great 2008 and we are looking forward now, to an even better 2009! There is no telling what can and will happen in the new year but we are ready and eager for it to happen!

For you, our friends and family, our hope and prayer is for a healthy, happy, prosperous 2009! You all mean so very much to us and we love you all dearly. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thus ends this latest bout of Teenagitis...

Sometimes I forget (like when she has a day or two of that dreaded, non-treatable disease Teenagitis-now don't get me wrong compared to most other teenagers Rush's Teenagitis is an extremely mild case but when you are used to your child one way any change can seem monumental) but my daughter is great! Fantastic even! I know, I know! It's probably not in the Mom Rule Handbook but I have to toot that horn for my kid, Rush! Toot! Toot! Toot!!!

Let me tell you why (not like you will neccessarily listen but as long as you're all ready here you may as well stay, right?) She is 15 years old, has a job, 2 jobs actually (she is a cashier at a grocery store and every second week babysits 4 other children as well as her brother & sister so the 4 parents can go to their classes), is paying for her own Christian schooling which is $143/month, is getting super fantastic marks in her schoolwork, does the Media Shout at the church and comes out to music practice when she isn't working. She makes supper for us so we can eat at a normal meal time during the week (and boy was last night's seasoned, garlicy asperagus fantasticly delicious! My taste buds are still screaming for more of that delicious veggie!), makes lunches for her, the kids & myself (at least on the weeks we are in classes) and last night we came home from our class (with our brains feeling like mush from the overwhelmingness of our Covenant exam) to find a sparkling kitchen. You guys, it was sparkling like a Mr. Clean commercial only it didn't have the bald headed dude with the earring in it. (Pity because that would have been cool!) Not only that, but, she had completely changed the kitty litter (ok, I will only give credit where credit is due. That has been a daily request for the last week but she FINALLY did it! YAY!!!) and she had (with the help of Jellybean doing her duties-again with the credit where it is due) gotten the mat for the entrance down...unfortunately that was also a battle to get done.

Rush has recently gone into remission from her Teenagitis; it is so great to look into her eyes and see a smile in there just begging to come out, to see a peaceful countenance on her, to hear her laughing with her brother & sister and to not hear sharp comments, rude retorts or see major eye-rolling an it is such a relief to not worry about the proximity of sharp objects (:D)! One thing I can say about Rush is her bouts of Teenagitis don't last very long and that is such a relief because one of the side effects to Teenagitis is that parents develop Parent-rage (similar to road rage) and there are times where it is pretty touch-and-go as to whether someone will get their tires shot out or not (:D).

This last bout wasn't very long but it was long enough that we missed our Rush with such an intensity. We thought perhaps she was lost forever in the clutches of Teenagitis; we were about ready to get her picture on a milk carton, brick of cheese, yogurt tube;any and all dairy products we could get our hands on was about to have her missing picture on it.

One of the most recent coversations we have had with Rush went something like this:

BigB: It's good to have you back, Baby.

Rush (soft and sweetly): It's good to BE back.

Brings tears to a proud mama's eyes just thinking about it.

Now her eyes are shining, her voice is its soft, sweet self, she is huggily and snuggily and thanks to her friend, Laura, she smells like "Amazmint" lipgloss and I get a craving for candy canes whenever she is around...Gee I love that girl!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Like a crocus poking its way to the surface.

That's how I feel today-so much more hopeful and full of life than yesterday. My feelings of general crapiness yesterday were the result of an oncoming migraine. Haven't had one of those in a while. I left work at 2:30 yesterday and headed straight to my beautiful bed, dark room and promptly found a cold cloth to put across my eyes. I had a wonderful sleep and felt a lot better when I woke up at 6:30 but still not great. At 10:30 I headed back to bed and fell into another deep, quick sleep (with the help of my dark room and, again, cold cloth) and awoke this morning feeling hopeful and like new life (that crocus poking out as winter tries to cling to itself and spring pushes forth for hope and joy...)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My butt she be draggin'

Is it just that today is "hump day" or is the last few weeks completely catching up to me? Today I feel weary; I am past tired-way past. I keep pressing on, pressing in and pushing past because it is not about how I feel but be that as it may, I am weary.

It could be that I "feel" a little bug coming on; my eyes hurt, my bones ache, my head seems helium balloonish and that that is what is causing my weariness that and I really need sleep.

I haven't had a good night's sleep in about a month with working full-time, night classes, homework and studying for night classes and some good, old-fashioned building project work. This week's classes are on covenant; it's pretty intense, a lot of heavy thinking, heavy re-thinking and re-vamping and a lot of cramming of information into my brain. It's been an incredible class so far; I just don't know if I am looking forward to tomorrow's exam and essay! I don't get a huge quantity of time to study and the time I do get isn't quality because it is rushed during breaks at work or after class when my brain is all ready overloaded mush.

This weekend is going to be nice family time but still, there is a lot to get done in a short two days. I have a breakfast with the worship team and then music practice until 1, our plan is to get the tree up and decorated (the house decorated too) and then on Sunday we have church service (which I know will do me a world of good for renewal), bigB has a media meeting immediately after the service (for an unknown length of time) and it sounds like we are going to be able to enjoy a nice visit with J while we decorate our gingerbread house (which adds one more thing to my list of things to do...must get the rest of the candy, fruit roll ups, etc for the gingerbread decorating party).

My body & mind are really looking forward to the week I have off at Christmas. Unfortunately for both of them I all ready have a list started as to things that need to get done then too...My body and mind are longing for white powdered sand beaches, greenish-blue waters, the heat of the tropical sun and a bed with no alarm clock just for 4 or 5 days (mind you, I have never experienced that so maybe once I got there I would want a lot more days or a lot less).

Monday, December 08, 2008

Let's play catch-up

There hasn't been a lot of stuff going on in our lives as of late but enough to keep us busy. Last week I was in classes outside of my regular class schedule. The topic last week was Kingdom Worship and the worship team was asked to take part in the class; it was extremely interesting and I am SO glad I was able to go. The only thing was that a lot of things I had hoped to get done didn't get accomplished but that's all right; they'll be there when I am ready. I am really looking forward to this week's class with Pastor Greg...Covenant.

I have finally begun to do some shopping. I found a great pair of American Eagle winter boots (regular $70) at Liquidation World for $10. We found the kids some clothes but man, were we all getting discouraged!!! It is very hard these days to find clothes that my children can wear to school (due to their dress code); it was almost impossible to find dress pants for Jellybean! We finally found 3 pair and a pair of leggings to go with her long tops...We finally found dress shirts for Bug but most boys clothes is rough and rugged. I guess there aren't many 5 year old boys that wear dress clothes more days of the week than not.

We were in "The City" this weekend enjoying a family Christmas meal with my mom, step-dad, brother, sister-in-law, their boys and my sister, brother-in-law and their boy. With that many people my mom had to get creative for us all to eat together and so, this was the first time in my life I have ever eaten Christmas dinner (or any meal for that matter) in the garage. We had a few laughs over that.

Saturday evening was, I think, the most fun of the day...some of us sat around the kitchen table and played a game of Scrabble (Rush won thanks to the help of Uncle :D) and then we played Guesstures. I don't think I have laughed that hard in a long time; it was hilarious watching people try to act different words out (including myself) or guess the words that you were trying to act...

Rush finally had enough money saved up to buy herself a camera and an mp3 player so she is quite pumped. I got a new compact camera just for everyday lugging around...

Yesterday afternoon Rush & I were at the ECIP family's Christmas party; it was in the basement of a church here in town. It felt strange to be there at first...I hadn't been to that church since the funeral of my cousin who was killed while riding his bike 11 years ago (he was 11). Memories were awakened being there...

After the party the entire family headed over to Giant Tiger for a "Friends and Family" invitation only gathering. We got a few things we needed, a few extra things as well (we got 10% off) and the kids each got $5 gift cards to spend. Jellybean bought herself a Gatorade, a Lunchmate (ham) and a package of Juicy Fruit gum (just like Papa chews). Bug bought a big bag of spicy Dorritos and 2 packages of "Papa gum". They were both very proud of themselves (especially Bug as this was his first purchase ever!).

This week looks like another full week: classes Mon to Thurs, Church Friday, breakfast with the worship team and practice Saturday morning/early afternoon, decorating the house for Christmas with the family and perhaps (we haven't planned it yet) decorating the gingerbread house and ending the week off with Church again on Sunday! Looks like a good week! I am certainly glad that Superstore is open 24 hours this month...I may need that to get a few groceries here and there... :D

Friday, December 05, 2008

Is it THAT time of year all ready?

I can certainly tell that our lifestyle has changed quite a bit as a family. Here it is Dec 5 and I have barely started shopping...most that know me know I am usually done no later than mid-October. I haven't had a chance to even think about baking other than to know that we will make some of the cute little chocolate/cherry mice Donna from work made...maybe they will go with our gingerbread house.

The gingerbread house is another thing; it is a tradition and I have to admit I was getting a bit nervous as to when we would have a chance to all have time to put together a gingerbread house and get it decorated and be able to enjoy ourselves doing it-not throwing things on because we have to get going or something like that. Well, I found something at Liquidation World that will shave off the tedious (but extremely amusing-right Jen) part of assembling (That part is fun though...I don't know how many upside down or crooked chimneys we have had over the years or collapsed walls that needed major repair...good times, good times...) and it only cost $5!!!! It is a fully assembled, ready to decorate gingerbread house...Yay for Liquidation World!!!

The tree is another thing that is yet to be done but I am not entirely concerned with that; the month is still early. Growing up on the farm we went and picked out our tree 2-3 days before Christmas, let it thaw in the tub and we all put it up Christmas Eve Day...we all, mom, dad, us kids, the dog, a few cats and the horses would all walk through the pasture until we found the perfect tree. Fun times were had by all. That is a tradition that I really miss...