Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I learned from Christmas 2011

  Try not to blink...because if you do...the little boy in the overalls, waiting anxiously for Santa to arrive, is soon ....

A young man of 12, willing and able to help his family and the neighbors deal with the close to the foot of snow that arrived just days before Christmas.  

 When all else fails, caramel corn that tastes just like Grandma used to make is sure to bring about some holiday cheer....

However, Things given too much sugar are likely to prove to be less than cooperative when you try to take the traditional Christmas Eve-new pajamas photo...
 And while they decided they were too old to build gingerbread houses...they are not too old to build a lego set (Thanks Auntie Laura, it was a HUGE hit!)
 When I set my mind to it....I can indeed channel my inner Martha and put together a delicious feast worthy of the title "food porn".  (notice, veggies without company?  better call the doctor, she must be sick!)
 Just like when they were younger, playing with the packaging is half the fun
 Santa not only sees all, he apparently smelled all!  

 The hubby...can indeed smile (he's got this week off from work...)
14 is not too old for a pillow pet...especially if you finally find a moose one!

As we finish out the year, I recall the blessings of this year....good food, good times, good friends and of course,  good health.  No matter what sadness and challenges cross our path, may I always find the courage to REMEMBER all that is good in my life!  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

IKEA, the rest of the story...

It all started rather innocent...The Things were asking about new chairs for their video den.  I suggested we check out what they had at IKEA.
But first, we decided to grab a snack...

And, while I wasn't looking, I fear they over-indulged on Mountain Dew and Lingonberry  Soda.  For we hadn't gotten very far when younger Thing announced he needed to use the restroom.

As he ran towards the nearest (and maybe only) bathroom, he started to giggle "Man, those Swedes must have BIG bladders...I can't believe a store this big has only ONE bathroom?

Giddy Up, Crazy Child!
             And from there...we all got a case of the giggles.  I watched in wonder      and in delight as they entertained me with their silly and humorous ways.

Even I couldn't resist joining in the mayhem
Bucket Boys...

They were rather amused to find a doll that looked "just like us"....but of course, it couldn't stop there...they went on about "you didn't put us in pink striped onesies" did you?
Through the laughter of it all...I was reminded what the Christmas season should be about...spending time with those we love, those who make us laugh and those who are able to distract us, if just for a few hours from the worries of the day.  Thanks Boys!  You made my day!  

And sadly, we left IKEA empty the chairs were deemed "not right, Ma"...

Who needs Disney?

Friday, the Things were in r.a.r.e form as we visited IKEA. Not sure what it was, but the planets were all in alignment and all three of us were in sync with the sillies. I've tried to upload other photos but Blogger isn't wanting to play nice.

So instead, I shall share with you their grand finale....dancing and singing.
I suppose it was one of those "You had to be there..." but they really were wound up and crazy which just made me smile...for it was one of those days when all I could do was laugh it off.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

3 days to go

Day 28: Thankful that by nature, I am a morning person. I really enjoyed my long 5 day weekend. I found myself staying up late and (gasp) sleeping in. I worried that returning to work this morning would be challenge (or stating it bluntly, re-entry was really going to s*ck). But the truth is, I am mostly a morning person. So while I wasn't awake when the alarm went off at 5:20 a.m., after
my hot shower and cup of coffee, I was set to face the challenges of work.

Judy (holding Thing 2) with her daughter Barb. October 1999
Day 29: Today I am thankful for my health. Oh sure, I have the random aches and pains, the occasional headaches and I am carrying more weight than I should for my height. But overall, I am healthy as is my hubby and my kids. Not everyone is so fortunate....we wait patiently to
hear whether Judy's body is responding to the chemo she has been receiving. Yesterday she was due to have some studies that would give the doctors insight into her condition. I simply cannot imagine what that must be put your body through such challenges as chemo, to endure the testing process and then to wait for the phone to ring with the results.
Day 30: I'm thankful for online friends. While they aren't physically close enough to be a part of our every day lives, they are still as dear to me and precious as my neighborhood friends. Instead of gathering for coffee or joining in book club, we connect through comments on blogs, exchanges on message boards and emails that all offer those same words of encouragement, reassurance and thoughtful insight.

I have a quote that hangs in my craft room....Friends are the family you meet along the way. When my mom made that for me so many years ago, she surely didn't know about Internet friendships (as Al Gore hadn't invented the Internet yet)...but I am sure that she'd have to doesn't matter how the friendship starts...they really do play an important role in our lives.

Thank-you friends and family for joining me on this November journey of thankfulness....

Catching up continues

Day 25: Thanks, but I'll have to pass on the madness of Black Friday shopping. Instead, the boys asked to go see a movie. And there is where I found my daily gratitude: thankful that their taste in movies is maturing. They asked to go see Tower Heist with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. It was a fun movie...and considerably less crowded than the Muppet Movie (which we'd all like to see as well, just not on opening weekend).

Day 26: Thankful for finishing the family Christmas letter. Yes, I isn't even December 1st, but I'm wired such that I can't start the Christmas shopping, decorating or baking until I write the letter. And sometimes the creative mojo just isn't flowing. But it was today and so we cranked it out, picked some pictures and now all I need to do is put it all together and mail them out in the next week or so.
Day 27: Thankful for a dedicated craft space. While it is hard to believe if you saw how much stuff I still have, I have been working on clearing through some of my crafting supplies. Recently, I reached the point where I decided I needed to reorganize the actual storage system and requested an early Christmas present. This is the Expedit bookshelf, sold at IKEA and very popular with scrapbook fanatics because of the square design that fits our over-sized books so nicely. I am in love with my reorganized space and am hopeful that the crafting mojo will really start to flow!

Wrapping up thankfulness...Day 23 and 24

Day 23...thankful for the gift of coffee club. This is a picture from earlier this year, but every Wednesday, we gather at the local coffee shop for good coffee and great conversation. Work gets in the way for some of us, but I know that the love and support of these women is just a quick phone call away.
Day 24: The big day of giving Thanks has arrived. And this year, I was thankful for our simple plans to celebrate. In years past, we've gathered with friends but this year would be different and we found ourselves home alone. There was a sense of calm and quiet that came with just being together as a family of 4. I'm sure next year I'll be up for playing hostess, but this was a treat to just be with my 3 guys.