Sunday, January 27, 2008

January Update

I don't know if anyone noticed, but I totally skipped December. I realized I had missed the last Sunday in the month and planned to write all during the next week, but never got around to it and then just decided to skip until now. December was a bit of a stressful month, but ended nicely with Brian home for almost 2 weeks for Christmas & New Years. We had a good Christmas with all our usual traditions. The one I think all of us enjoy more every year is decorating gingerbread cookies on Christmas Eve. The kids all do a great job and Brian amazes me with his creativity. He always has the most fun gingerbread guy--he really is very creative--although he will never admit it! This year I really wanted to find something that would help the kids understand Christmas is more than getting things and start to feel the excitement of giving. So we decided to do the 12 Days of Christmas for 2 of our neighbors. I should have thought about it a little more than 2 days before starting, after about 5 days I was totally running out of ideas for gifts! Both were older couples and I didn't want to over-treat them, so trying to come up with other things to give was a bit challenging! But we did it and had such a great time. Jake and Ben really loved trying to deliver the gifts without being caught. I know they were caught several times, but I never told them so. It was a huge success and Jake even made the comment on Christmas night that he thought gift giving was more exciting than getting. I thought, "Yeah! We are doing something right!"

New Year's Eve we went to see National Treasure 2--all of us loved it. Well, except Kash. He made it about an hour and then he and I ended up on the concrete at the back of the theater driving his tractors around that I luckily had in my bag. After the movie we went home and ate lots of great food and played games. Kash obviously didn't make the New Year, Sally & Ben were close, both fell asleep just after 11. Jake has made it the last few years and LOVES being able to stay up late. I used to as well, now I barely make it to midnight and I am finished!

Brian left for CA the same day the kids went back to school, and he was gone for 2 weeks--that was LONG! The Friday before he came home I had a bit of a meltdown, but other than that we survived. And as much as I hate it still, I am getting used to doing things on my own. I still completely look forward to his visits home, but we are doing fine. I think several of the women at church are very concerned for my sanity (I wonder if I give this appearance at church). Anyway, one woman today totally caught me off guard and said they were planning a girl's night out for me. I really don't know her very well--she seems very nice--but I think I seemed a bit rude because she was the last person I would have expected to be planning something like that! I totally appreciate their thoughtfulness, but wonder if I am looking a bit haggard?!!! I really do think I am doing fine!?

The last time Brian was home, at family prayer the kids would always say "thank you that Dad could come for a visit." After about 2 days of this, he asked if they would please say thanks that Dad could come home, he didn't like them thinking it was a visit. I laughed and told him that really was more true--his home is more often CA--the kids definitely look at his time at home as visits--Brian didn't like that at all! He laughed, but I know it kills him to miss so much of what is going on here.

Jake & Ben are TOTALLY into football right now. They are SO excited about the Super Bowl next Sunday and can't wait. They are both rooting for the Patriots, but I don't think either have "chosen" a favorite team. Right now Jake is thinking the Steelers are his team, but Ben changes between the Eagles and Steelers. I think they are both in trouble when we get to Texas and everyone is Cowboy fans--we will see what happens. They are both doing great in school and looking forward to starting basketball in a couple of weeks. Sally is starting basketball too and is very excited, but she is already worried about what shoes she will wear--everything is a fashion show and social event to her! She too is doing great in school, she is reading better all the time and loves being there.

Kash is trouble. I still love having him home all to myself, but he is getting a bit more mischievous. The other day he had his favorite little friend, Anthony, over. I could hear them playing and then all the sudden their voices were getting farther away. I ran to the mudroom where I last heard them. The door was open--I found them outside (it was 10 degrees). They had put on Sally's shoes (no coats) and were trying to find Kash's lawn mower--they were both upset that I made them come back in. He LOVES Bob the Builder and he calls me Wendy a lot of the time. Sally and I both get called Wendy a lot--depending on who Kash thinks he will be most successful in convincing to help him "fix" something. I love these kids!

I got a treadmill last weekend! I was missing my morning walks so much! I told Brian I had to do something, so we bought a treadmill. I walked on it 4 times last week and loved it! I do miss Bonnie and getting outside, but it at least gets me moving in the morning. Once it gets a little warmer, me and Kash can walk outside, but I am thrilled about the treadmill!

Most exciting news! We asked Kathi to come stay with the kids while we went to Amarillo. I talked to her last night and she told me that Jen, Brian's sister, and her kids are coming too. Jake was about in tears, literally, when he found out and Ben did a dance. They are going to stay for a few extra days as well, so I get to enjoy them too--we are all SO excited! Just having Nana come was great, and now it is practically perfect in every way to have the Stewarts coming as well. I am anxious to see just how flat Amarillo is and check things out--it will be nice to go somewhere with Brian either way.

That is about all for January. It is just cold and dreary. It is about this time every year that I can't wait for some warmer weather--which to terrible because it takes forever to get to western NY!

Hope you are all well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Praise to Jen & Kate Day

I have to wish my sister, Kate, a Happy "Praise to Jen & Kate" Day. I guess it was about 13 years ago that we were thinking January was depressing. After Christmas can be such a let down with no holiday to celebrate until Valentine's Day. So we decided to create "Jen & Kate Day" because we could think of no one better to celebrate than ourselves--weren't we clever?! Well, the holiday never quite made it to calendar status and a couple of years later, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was created. I wish I would have known the higher power that decides on holidays, I could have let them know that me and Kate had things totally taken care of! Not to take away from MLK, Jr., I have read some of his speeches and he was a great man with incredible passion and hope--his life is most definitely worth recognition. Kate & I just thought we were pretty great at the time. I must say, I still think she is fabulous along with my other sisters. And as much as many of you may love your brothers, I am quite sure I was given the best brother in the world. Anyway, Happy Day, Kate! At least we have husbands that celebrate for us!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Getting Started

So I am really going to do this! I was happily surprised how quickly I could set this blog up and get it going. Hopefully I will keep things posted and keep everyone up to date on the things going on at our house. Nothing too noteworthy at the moment. We were glad to have Brian home the last few days, but he left again this morning for CA and won't be back again for another 10 days. I hate this arrangement, but I know it will come to an end soon enough and I can't wait! More later, it is getting late and I should get to bed as much as I would rather stay up and sleep in--just not going to happen!