Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013

What a whirlwind Christmas it was. I can't believe it's over actually and I'm back to work tomorrow. It whizzed by faster than ever before.

We did all the usual of course: watched Elf, Polar Express, Love Actually & Christmas Story, drove to see lights at Alum Creek and the neighbourhood, played board games, pulled crackers, drank and ate like champions. But we also saw a lot of people - maybe that's why is seemed to go quick. We never really just sat and did nothing. We didn't even get a post-dinner nap!  For the first time in a couple of decades I also went to church. Jack's friend from school was in a Christmas Eve nativity play at the local church so we went. I really enjoyed it and belted out "Hark the Herald Angels Sing!" with the best of them.

On Christmas morning the boys jumped out of bed and checked to see if Santa's milk was gone. They loved their gifts and we got to skype with several people on the big day. It was great. Both of my boys 100% believe in Santa, which made it magical for us all.

We got to see Dave and Eric quite a bit. We got to see Char & Jan. We went to a neighbour's annual party. We went to a Boxing Day party with the British Expats. We had Vicki over for dinner. We hosted a couple of kids on play dates and we just had friends from Tennessee stay with us for the full weekend. Now I have a big burning desire to be a hermit.

Shaving with dad
Danny wore his new dragon PJs for 4 straight days, even on the trampoline. 

Loves his metal "contector"

Got the kids out of the house

So now my house is wrecked and the bins are full. There's Playdoh everywhere and pine needles are a-dropping.  I feel a strong urge to clean and purge, which I'll get right on after I get off from here.

I feel so grateful that we had a Happy Christmas with food and warmth and a healthy family (except my stinky head cold). Bart & Ben got spoiled to death too, of course. Back to work (boooo) tomorrow then NYE to deal with. Right now I can think of nothing better than celebrating by hunkering down at home but who knows - maybe I'll feel social again by Tuesday night.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jack's Concert

It was Jack's Christmas concert yesterday. Craig and I were able to go. It's been so nice that Craig actually has enough holiday time this year to go to both concerts. So here's a little video. Jack was so "cool",  chewing gum and I thought he might not do it but he was getting into it and singing and doing the moves a bit (he's in front of the blow-up tree that kept deflating). I also love to watch the special education kids have fun. One little boy at the front had a festive hat on and was clapping and grinning and dancing in his chair and it was wonderful. It makes me get choked up but it's also such a happy event. And once again I sat in my chair and thanked my lucky stars that my kid goes to this school. It's the best school on the planet.

Jack and some of his class friends

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Santa & Danny's Concert

We took the kids to visit Santa on Sunday and it was freezing. We stood outside in the queue for an hour while I was grumbling and cursing. People were so slow and hogging his time. By the time we saw him I was not exactly in a festive mood but the kids were. They were over the moon to see him. They both still believe. We also got to see Matt & Gina & baby Josephine. That was a bonus.
Is he the real deal or what??
Yesterday we had Daniel's school concert. I bought him a new blue shirt and I did my best to get him used to it before the day, but when he got to school he refused to take his winter coat off and wore it the whole time - during the concert, the classroom party and the visit fro Santa. He said he didn't want strangers looking at him. I don't care - he sung and he enjoyed himself. Who cares if he wore his coat.

Danny, top right, giving a Benny Hill salute
Here's a 30 second terrible video of them singing "Peppermint Stick". Craig and I were sat in the balcony as we got there too late to be near the front. We were waving frantically at him for about 10 minutes before he saw us. Unfortunately every other child saw us first and they were all waving at us. Ha!

Today I went Christmas shopping for an hour after work and also got them both to our favourite barber shop. It's Jack's concert tomorrow.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Busy Busy Festive Stuff

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted, so I'll get the boring stuff out of the way first:  I went to the docs and I'm right as rain!  No problems with this old bird, I am far too hardy.  I got through my busiest week of the year (finals week + big conference). Highlights? Seeing my friend Todd get a big award and seeing ex-coach Tressel.   Craig took Jack to a cub scout thing today with shooting & archery etc. and they had a great time. I'm loving that they are doing that together. I'm keeping my distance :)

Anyway, I'm going to play catch-up today by sharing some photos from the last 2 weeks, since they tell the story better than lots of words......

We have had about a foot of snow since the beginning of December. It's been awesome. 

We're getting festive. Last year we started too early and I was over it by Christmas. This year we timed it right. 

There's a pretty cool sledding hill in our neighbourhood. Boys love it.

Look who started snow boarding. So we got him one, and he's now a "dude".

I love love love Christmas.  93.3 FM is on,  apple & cinnamon candles are burning, advent calendars are ripped open each morning, there's snow, my neighbor is decorating his huge tree, and we have school concerts. Bring it all to me! 

Buckeyes lost, so no championship game  (thank God because we'd have got thrashed. Let's keep it real people).

Our resident squirrel. He keeps us all amused for hours.

I volunteered at a thing with some of my favourite ladies

Danny was sick for a day. 7 loads of laundry sick, bless him.

I hid gifts at Eric's so went to wrap them. Big Mistake = hangover! Seriously though, I love him & Dave (& Maureen in the pic, my Brit friend)

I volunteered at Jack's Holiday Shop. My favourite day of the year. Helping kids shop for their family at Christmas is just the best thing you can do to feel good about humanity.

They wrote to Santa and pulled a fast one. After saying what they wanted weeks ago (presents are ALREADY BOUGHT), they asked him for something else. Little *******!  Hahaha!

They made a gingerbread house and it was fantastic and messy but they loved doing it.

So there you are. We are visiting Santa tomorrow. Then a playdate. Then I'm going to bed as I have a horrible head cold. But I'm feeling festive people! 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

My Future

Julie read my cards last Friday night. She offered me 3 options - guardian angel cards, tarot cards, or a cold reading. I asked for her opinion and she said the first one. So I did the guardian angel cards and picked 4 angels, only later realising that these angels are strongly rooted in faith: Ariel, Pistis Sophia, one that looked like a star, aaaannnnd I can't remember the 4th one. Darn it.

Anyway, before we started she told me to take a deep breath and be quiet and think of a question I have for my angels. Before I could even over-analyse it (like I normally do) my stupid brain blurted out and said "Do I have cancer and will I see my boys grow up?" Inside my head of course, not to Julie.

When I picked the Ariel card I was told that she was the ruler of the earth and the overseer of health. To connect with her I need amethyst.  Julie asked why I was worried about my health (yes she did!) so I told her a few things and we chatted back and forth for a while. We even decided to sign up for zumba together at our local rec center. What a bonus that I have a friend who both sees my future health problems and stops them from happening!  I  don't have cancer by the way. Like I said, stupid brain.But I do need to get some things checked out, and I will I promise.

I do remember a lot about what she said about Pistis Sophia, the universal mother. She is the soul of a human being. I think that means the little sparkly cloud that floats away after you die. The soul is also a real thing - the thing that keeps you grounded and happy and kind. Sophia came to me because I'm neither grounded or happy, living a life I didn't want to live, in the wrong calling, in a rut. She is supposedly asking me to go back to me and remember what makes me happy and do that. To stop being so manic & driven. Just get back to focusing on the real worth in life: myself and my family and friends.  That's hard for me. I've always been a people pleaser. I sit here tonight with hairy legs, unpainted toe nails, and old clothes. I spent all night looking for toys for Jack's school's holiday party. I don't look after my soul AT ALL I know. No excuses.

The third was a star (can't remember her name). She told me my nether-regions are okay and I'm doing great (or something like that). Thank you star angel.

Can't remember the 4th.

Now my friends had completely different readings to me but they all felt like she was a good medium. Some more than others. It's not ethical for me to post about their readings but she did a great job of telling them things that they have going on in their lives.

Right then, off to bed with me. Will ring the docs tomorrow and paint my toenails. But I'm not shaving my legs till April 2014.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Birthday Cooking & Catching Fire With Jack

We celebrated Craig's birthday again today with breakfast in bed. Actually the front room, because he woke up. Then Craig spent some time teaching Jack some cooking skills. Rather him than me, but I LOVE this picture.

A picture that warms my heart

I then took Jack door-to-door while he dropped off bags to neighbours for them to fill with food for our local food pantry. I stood at the end of the driveways and let him do it and he did really well. No one said no, but then you'd have to be a real curmudgeon to say no wouldn't you. 

This afternoon I cleaned the house and did laundry. Hate it Hate it Hate it.

At 5.30 pm Vicki came and her, me and Jack went to see Catching Fire. I loved it again. Vicki loved it. Jack loved it but was terrified in a couple of places. I don't think I should have taken him. Not because of the film but because of the setting. When he watched The Hunger Games he was at home, with a few lights on and a familiar setting. At the cinema he was in a dark room with a HUGE screen. I think that was the difference. I asked him several times if he wanted to leave but he said no. He did completely bury himself under my armpit during the flogging scene and the scary monkey scene though. At one point he knelt on his seat and said "no!" very loud. It wasn't a scary scene, it was just when he was mad a President Snow for being mean.  And he also asked lots of questions and I started off saying "shhhhhhhh, just watch" but then realised he'd enjoy the movie a lot more if he knew the answer. Most of his questions were about Katniss & Peeta & Finick & Johanna. He kept leaning into me and frantically whispering do they all live? So I told him the answer.  
Bottom line with this: I should not have taken him to the cinema to watch this. At home is the best place to watch action/scary films. 

When we got back the boys got to bed and Craig and I watched our favourite shows: Walking Dead & Homeland. We had a snuggle. I should say that he got some fabulous presents off family - a book about Sir Alex Ferguson, a book about Harleys, a trail camera, and heated socks. He also has an extra pressie sitting in the kitchen that he'll see in the morning, on his actual birthday.  I hope he's had a good time.