Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Me helping Samuel on his training skateboard (thanks to W&J&L!) Beautiful nature there in the background. The view just to the right of us is spectacular! Posted by Picasa

Sally on her new scooter (thanks to W&J&L!) Posted by Picasa

Some pictures at last! Thanks, Mom, for sending them to me! OK everyone, this is Stu's mom and step-dad's new house. Well, it's the middle section of the house. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Home Again

We are home after a nice visit with Stu's extended family. We saw lots and lots of family on Christmas Eve, and then we went to his mom and step-dad's new house north of Sacramento. It is a beautiful house with spectacular views, and we had a great time there. Sadly, I forgot my camera. (Anyone with good pics of the kids, please email them to me! Thanks!) If I had it with me, you'd be looking at several shots of trees and rolling hills. Beautiful views. You'd also be looking at several pics of my cute niece, who is a delight. When she smiles at you and wrinkles up her nose, she just melts your heart.

We left there at noon, and didn't get home until 10:40 pm. It was an awful trip, since I have a head cold and the pressure from coming down the mountains plugged up my ears in a most painful way. However, nobody threw up, and we didn't get into any accidents or have any unfortunate situations, so I'm very thankful for that. Also, we were able to listen to the book, Prince Caspian (of the Chronicles of Narnia series), which helped to pass the time.

So now it's unpacking, laundry, and rest to try and shake this cold. I may need to go to the store for some pringles . . . .

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Merry Christmas! Posted by Picasa

Watching The Grinch (cartoon version) and drifting off to sleep. It's a family tradition. (Thank you, J and S, for the comfy blanket. We love it!) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Three Things Thursday

Christmas Past - Babes in Toyland.

Here's some pics of me and my babies at Christmas. (I know it's not Thursday, but it is a little crazy around here, so I thought, Better to post early than late! )
PS ~ Don't bother clicking on the pics for a larger version, because I messed up the settings somehow and the archive sizes are actually smaller! I'm not sure how I did THAT.

(1) Christmas, 2003. Sally is four years old, and Samuel is six months old. We were finally getting settled in our new house, my painful gall bladder had been removed the month before and I was feeling better, and Samuel was sleeping all night (at least I think he was). Good times. Posted by Picasa

(2) Christmas, 2000. Here I am with Sally, who is sixteen months old. That's my dad on the right. Sally and I are opening a little dollhouse that she got from Santa. Posted by Picasa

(3) Christmas, 1997. At least, I'm pretty sure it's from 1997. My baby then was our dog, Sambo (who's name has been changed to Simba). He's almost a year old here. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 19, 2005

Signing off . . .

. . . for a few days. We are going to move the computer desk (double yikes!) to a new location in our house, so I'm going to be off the e-map for a few days. Not to worry - I can always post from my daughter's computer in a pinch. I'll be back for Three Things Thursdays :) and it will be my Christmas Past edition. (ooh, anticipation!)

Glimpses of Heaven

Our church service this Sunday was near perfect. All right - it was perfect, but for the sadness of saying goodbye to my good friends, Ted and Jaymarie. We prayed for them, and the tears came to all of us who were holding them back, trying to make our last memories happy ones. We broke. We cried. We prayed for them, for their safety, for God's guidance, for His peace. Then Stuart gave a short talk on Love and lit the fourth advent candle. I may be biased, but he was great. Bible verses, quotes from favorite Christmas carols, and some lead-in material to the sermon, which was all about my FAVORITE Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life". Our pastor chose lots of clips, which made me cry all over again. Then he showed the last scene, where the town comes in with all the money, and the sound was turned off and Tyrone Wells sang "When All is Said and Done". (The song title link is a site that has a link to the song - you should listen to it. It's amazing.) It was so moving. The whole morning, I felt like the physical world and the spiritual world were overlapping a little bit, and I could almost see Heaven. Almost.

And I did feel like the richest girl in town, because I have such excellent friends.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Favorite Fotos Friday


This was Sally on Sunday at our church. She did a dance number with one other girl while the kids sang "Do You Hear What I Hear?". She did such a great job! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Three Things Thursday

Today I'm doing three Christmas decorations in my house. A photo TTT! I'm trying very hard to relax (sounds like a contradiction, no?) and enjoy the season, so I did not haul out every decoration I own, and I am trying not to be too picky about the fact that I have two opinionated young kids in the house, and we have conflicting tastes when it comes to the concepts of 'matching' and 'tacky'. Anyway, enjoy three of my favorite decorations this year:

(1) Red & Gold Christmas decorations. That's a large vase full of mini reeses peanut butter cups, that I let the kids sneak and they think that I don't know. Posted by Picasa

(2) The VeggieTales Nativity. Please appreciate my growing photography skills - I got a pic with the blinking carrot-star light on - on the first try! She blinks and sings O Little Town Of Bethlehem. Posted by Picasa

(3) The stockings were hung on the overcrowded bookcase with care . . . Stockings lovingly made by my mom. Aren't they so beautiful? (PS ~ If you look at this picture larger, check out my sock and Sally's sock. Sally was pouting yesterday as she looked at them. "That one (pointing to mine) should be mine!" she said. I tried to explain that ours were very similar, with the Baby Jesus and the animals. "Yes, but you have Mary and Moses on yours!" Mary and Joseph, sweetie. You were close.) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Boy's New PJ's


"I no take off my jammas. I Pider Man!" (We're going on 36 hours in these 'jammas' now.) Posted by Picasa

Not that swear word!

At a Christmas party this weekend, Sally and Samuel had a blast playing with several other kids. Some of the kids' parents were not attending. One of those parentless kids has a larger vocabulary than Sally. She ran into the kitchen, where I was, and announced that a boy was swearing.

Me: "Why are you telling me this?"
Sally: "He said a bad word and his mom isn't here."
Me: "What would you like me to do then?"
Sally: (silence)
Me: "Would you like me to speak with him?"
Sally: "Yeah, and yell at him, too."

(OK, this is not the verbatum conversation, but this is the heart of it. She wanted some consequences for this kid, and fast.)

So I find the offender, and ask him to please watch his words since there are young children present, and I really don't want them to learn to swear. He was evasive, embarrassed - everything an eight year old boy caught in the act should be. Sally was on the couch, thinking hard and talking to herself.

Sally: "He said, um, what was it? Oh yeah, 'piece of . . ' . . . Mom, what's the swear word that starts with C?"
Me: (thankful that I heard her mumblings and knew what word she was talking about, and so thankful it wasn't another word . . . .) "Crap?"
Sally: "YES. That's the one he said. THAT ONE. "Piece of," then he said it."
Me: "Actually, that's not really a swear word, but one that I would prefer that you don't say. OK?"
Sally: "OK."

Later, I heard that same kid use the word "ship" in place of the S word. I let him have it again. Really, do kids think they are fooling us with that? It didn't work when we tried it thirty years ago, it's not gonna work now. Give it up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

I love on-line shopping. No parking, no lines, no making crazy deals with God to help you get home and get your kid fed before he falls asleep. I start saving my catalouges in October so I have lots of options. I have a whole shopping bag full of them. And, very soon, they will all go in the trash: the sign that my shopping for the year is finished.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas Carols

Sitting in church on Sunday, I realized that I love the wording of Christmas songs. Like this:

"Joy to the world; the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King."

Earth receiving her King. That is just excellent phrasing. It's so descriptive, yet so concise at the same time. It's rich language. Here's another favorite:

"Oh come oh come Emmanuel. And ransom captive Israel."

Ransom captive Israel. What a joyous season this is!

Sidebar News

New stuff on the sidebar - I've put some suggested themes for Three Things Thursdays, so play if you like them. If you want to be on the players list, please put your blog link in the comments of this post. If you have theme ideas, comment those as well.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Favorite Fotos Friday

While I don't take enough pictures to play Four (or Five) Fotos Friday with Sherry, I'm going to try and post my favorite photo of the week. This week's winners:

Samuel fell asleep while watching Go Diego Go and used the wipes box as a pillow. Posted by Picasa

Samuel said to me, "Wook Mom, triangle!" Yep - that's my boy. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Three Things Thursday

~ My Favorite Games ~

(1) Liverpool Rummy ~ My family just loves to play Liverpool Rummy. Whenever we are together, we usually play at least one game (usually more!). (Note to family: I just learned that it is really called Contract Rummy, but I don't care. There is a Liverpool Rummy, but we don't play those rules. Funny, huh?)

(2) Settlers of Catan ~ Our friends, Dave & Rachel and John & Melinda, introduced us to this game. I was hooked on the on-line version awhile back, but I thankfully got it out of my system.

(3) Cribbage ~ My friend, Stephenee, taught me how to play. It makes me really happy to play because it reminds me of my grandpa, who used to play cribbage every chance he could. He loved the game. I remember hearing, "Fifteen two, fifteen four, fifteen six, and a pair is eight" for as long as I can remember, and now I know what that means!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The King Rules

Our new mattress was delivered yesterday, and ooohhh do I love it! As you would expect, Mommy and Daddy getting a new bed prompted all kinds of bad dreams and middle of the night scary monsters, so that all four of us ended up in the bed. And guess what? We all fit. And when one wiggly little body moves around, you can't feel it at all. Just like the commercial. God bless NASA, the fine folks at Fagerdala World Foams of Sweden, and Overstock.com.

Oh, and we are all almost better. As in not sick anymore. It's a good day.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Better but not back to normal

WARNING: This post contains graphic mucus references. Read at your own risk!

Samuel continues to get better, but is still not totally himself. I'm pretty sure he just needs to eat more and rest more, and he would be fine. Oh, and blow his nose. Poor stubborn kid - he really needs to blow his nose, but he refuses. I've tried to be understanding and patient with him, but this morning I reached my limit. He was choking in the night, almost made himself throw up, and he could barely breathe. I looked at Stuart and said, "It HAS to come out. Will you help me?" He said yes, but I don't think he was totally prepared for what followed. After trying several times to coax the boy into blowing - which he can do perfectly well on his own - Stuart held his arms down and I used the nasal aspirator. Copious amounts of stuff came out, and Stuart says, "Oh gross! That has to come out." Yes, it needs to come out or he'll never get better.

Later this morning, round two. Only this time, I'll be flying solo.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Survived The Night

After being sort-of sick for a day, Samuel kicked it into high gear last night with a fever of 103. The Tylenol that I gave him at 10:30 pm didn't work, so we made him drink water, opened the windows to cool down the room, and I tried to put a cool washcloth on his forehead. It finally dropped down to under 100, and we all went to bed in our bedroom around 12:30 - both kids in a bed of blankets on our floor. I woke up several times in the night to check his temperature, and almost cried with relief when he was cool. I woke up to his little voice - "Mom, I want milk pweese. And I watch Bob."

So thankful he's better. So very tired.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The IKEA story

As we were discussing what to do with our bedroom (which is a bit of a mess since we put in a new window, covered an old one, and still have not patched up the drywall or painted since we moved in), Stuart came up with the brilliant plan: let's get new bedroom furniture. Our old stuff was bought from a neighbor about eight years ago, and it has served us well. It's dark wood, and it's big, and there is lots of it. Oh, and it is a queen size bed, and because of the way the bedstands connect together, we can't upgrade to a king size bed with this set. So, we head off to IKEA to check stuff out. We find some we like, and make some notes, and head home to measure, plan, and dream.

That was the week before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day, Stuart finds the 10% off ad, which is this: if you arrive before 10:00 am on Friday, then you will get 10% off of your entire order. There's a catch, though: Stu had to work Friday morning. So I went with the kids. Now, my friend S offered to watch them for me, but I wanted to take the carpool lane, and I was planning on getting everything delivered. That seems sensible, right? Right? So I get to IKEA, and it's not a complete madhouse, but it is very crowded. I find my bedroom set, wait in line to get some help (which wasn't too long), and ordered up my bed frame. Problem: the rest of the stuff is in the self serve warehouse. No problem: I won't be discouraged. I think, I'll just go down there and arrange the delivery.

So I go downstairs, where I find some lamps and sheets that I need (got to get bigger sheets, you know), and go to the self-serve help desk. Problem: I have to get the items I want, take them to the checkout, pay for them, and then arrange for delivery. This is my first sign that things will not be as I planned. So I pay for my sheets and such, and think of a way to do this. By this time, Samuel is asleep, sitting in the shopping cart, leaning against me. I can't do this with him. But - inspiration! I have the small stroller in the car, which Sally can push. I get everything to the car, put Samuel in the stroller, and ask Sally to help me. She does in exchange for an ice cream. So I get an ice cream for her and a roll and coffee for me and we sit in the cafe for awhile.

Sally and I go and load up two dressers and two nightstands without too much trouble and head to check out. By now, Samuel is awake and realizing that he got ripped off because he slept through the ice cream bit. So I bribe him with a large chocolate bar, and we stand in an incredibly slow-moving long line, with a young child in the next lane who insisted on banging his stroller against my cart while his ditzy dad stared off into space. The whole time, my nutty brain is telling me, You've come this far, may as well just put it in the car and save the delivery fee. Which, of course, I do.

But that is not the end. No, the bed frame must be picked up at the special item pick up door. (Love IKEA stuff, hate IKEA procedure.) So I drive my car over, and (thank you Lord!) I find a space near the door. Leaving the kids in the car (oh hush, I kept checking on them) I go in to arrange for the frame to be delivered. But, once again, I betrayed myself. Why don't you see how big the boxes are first - they may fit in the car. Yes, though they were quite heavy, they did fit in the car.

So I drove home, three and a half hours later, with everything I needed, except the mattress. Which is backordered. Because they are shipped out of - can you just guess? - out of Louisana and the hurricane has delayed every king size mattress shipment for over six months. Ah, not a problem. My wonderful husband has ordered us a mattress, not from IKEA, which will be delivered directly to our house.

So, my long story ends well, although we still are not finished putting everything together. Photos to come - hopefully next week!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Three Things Thursday

(1) I love to sing loudly in the car. My sister, Joy, taught me the best way to do this: heat on, windows down, driving fast at night with her Erasure "Innocents" cassette on track #13 - River Deep Mountain High. Good, good times. (I miss you, Joy.)

(2) I knew Stuart was right for me several times in our dating relationship. One of those times was when we double-dated with some friends during college, and he turned to them and said, "If you ride in the car with Sheila and me, you have to sing. Loud." He then put in my pirated copy of my sister's music, and turned up track #13. And we sang.

(3) I knew that I would fiercly love my children, but sometimes how much I LIKE them takes me by surprise. When we get in the car, Sally frequently asks me to put on "her song" and turn it up, please. Her song is "Believe" by Cher. (She knows all the words, but is still not convinced that Cher is a woman.) The other day, we were doing an errand, just the two of us, and I reached over and turned up her song. Then I turned on the heat and rolled down the windows. She beamed at me. "Thanks, Mom." Then she sang.