Monday, December 31, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas & Basketball

So, how was your Christmas?

Ours was pretty good. We had several places to go to, and the boys definitely hit the jackpot once again. They got SO much stuff. This was the year of the video games...Brendan received about 10 new Game Boy Advanced games, Adam received new Leapster games, and Joe's sister & brother-in-law gave the boys their X-Box along with about 20 or so games to go with it! (they bought a Play Station 3 and didn't need their X-Box anymore, and they knew how much fun the boys have playing their X-Box when we visit). On top of all of that, both boys got a lot of other stuff too- toys, games, books, clothes, etc. Brendan found the pickle at 2 of the houses we went to, so he was feeling pretty clever. Okay, so, how many of you do the pickle? Do you even know what I'm talking about? lol It's an old German tradition, there is a pickle ornament that is hidden on the tree, and the first person to find it gets an extra gift- the pickle gift. At one house the pickle gift was gift certificates to McDonald's (score!) and the other pickle gift he won was a really soft beige colored blanket. I might have to swipe that one when he's not looking. lol

Anyway, we enjoyed being with family and the boys had a blast seeing everyone and playing. My mom gave me an MP3 player, so I guess I am no longer the last person on earth to not have one. heehee. I don't know how to use it yet, but I hope to have time to play with it this weekend. Yes, yes, I know I am many years behind technology, you can stop laughing now.

I was going to upload a few pics from Christmas, but I apparently walked off without the cord to my digital camera, so I can't right now. Will have to do that later.

Brendan is on a 1st grade basketball team, and they had their first practice last night. After a minor meltdown/pouting session after getting hit in the face with the ball, I was eventually able to talk him in to sucking it up, going back out there and not giving up. After that, he had a blast, and even made 6 baskets! It will be fun to see him play and learn over the next few months. Between Basketball practices, Basketball games, Cub Scouts, Swimming lessons, and Tae Kwon Do, we will be running all over the place.

Well, anyway, hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or whatever you celebrate).

Now it's on to New Year's eve, when I "get" to work all day and all night while everyone else has fun :(

Happy and Healthy

Graphics at

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Little Late, But Here it is...

Isn't this amazing?! A picture just doesn't do it justice, but let me assure you it is AWESOME.
This is what they call The Magic Tree. The guy who does it every year likes to be called Will Treelighter. He has a very detailed purpose and meaning that this tree is supposed to represent. I will copy & paste his description below if you're interested in reading it:
The purpose of the Magic Tree is three fold. First and foremost it is a "senseless act of beauty". This idea, that there can be a senseless act of beauty is actually a misnomer for beauty all by itself has the supreme purpose of conveying the human/divine ideas of hope, goodness, peace and even love. Beauty has a way, when we recognize it, of putting us at ease while at the same time exciting us, paradoxical yes, but true. I think this particular paradox is better known as the state of joy. This is a healing state of mind that can have a powerful affect on heart, mind and soul not to mention the body. Acts of beauty, then, are always quite sensible.

The second purpose of the Magic Tree follows quite naturally from the first and that is to illicit from the viewer a sense of their own natural goodness. What you perceive outside of yourself you have also within you. We spend far too much time seeing what is wrong with each other and the world. What we see outside of us we reinforce within us. It is of course important to acknowledge those things in the world that are not working and find creative solutions but in order to be creative we also must acknowledge those things that do work. Doing so reinforces within us the ability and power to be a solution to problems in the world, in our relationships and within ourselves instead of a part of the problem. Beauty is a powerful ally along with good natured humor in confronting the woes of the world and empowering our sense of Self, our sense of worthiness and response-ableness. So the second purpose of the Magic Tree is to reflect back to you what you essentially already are, a healing being of hope, goodness, peace, love and joy.
The third purpose of the Magic Tree also follows naturally from the first two and that is to bring your attention to the great Being of hope, goodness, healing, peace and love that comes to us by right of our own readiness and developement in these aspects of divine manifestation through the human system. Maitreya is said to be the expected one of all the various religions and also for those who hold to no religion. Maitreya is someone like us but who has gone on before us in His personal evolution to the point where He embodies these divine aspects like no other to date on this planet. He comes to inspire the changes needed in the world to restore balance to the human to human relationships and the relationship of the human system to the other systems of the planet. We however are the ones who must do the work because doing so further developes our own abilities to represent the divine in the world and Maitreya would not take this opportunity from us. I have no proof of Maitreya's existence but only a deep sense of hope that it is true. The prospect of His presence encourages me. How else, without the guidance of this Great Encourager and elder sibling of the human family, can we together work out the solutions to this time of turmoil that we find ourselves in?

The Magic Tree then is a beacon of healing and soothing beauty. It is a call to goodness, drawing out our own innate desire to be the positive changes we want to see in the world. And it is a notice of grace and encouragement to come from that magnificent manifestation of what we together are ready to receive, the Great Encourager, The Teacher, Maitreya.
When the student is ready the teacher will appear. Who shall teach the student, humanity, but one who has been, in many forms and guises, one of us and with us from the beginning?
(as described by Will Treelighter).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

After the ice last week (check out the double-decker long icicles on our garage above), we got the snow to go with it over the weekend. About 6 or so inches. The boys were so happy, since snow is a lot more fun to play in than ice! lol

Last night we took the boys to a "Cookies With Santa" family activity.

(drunk on cookies? heehee)

They had so much fun decorating a foam stocking, talking to Santa, eating cookies and playing.

Brendan told Santa he wanted a Super Mario game...

Adam told Santa he wanted a reindeer! LOL!

Afterwards we drove around and looked at some Christmas lights around town. To which the boys kept asking "are we there yet?" I don't know how many times I had to try to explain to them that it was not a destination we were going to, but that we were driving around to look at all the Christmas lights as we drove by. Brendan said, "but that's boring". So, it wasn't so much the nice warm fuzzy family togetherness I had envisioned, but we got to see some neat lights and several real deer up close in one neighborhood, so I can't complain too much. Even the boys eventually thought some of the lights were really cool. One house had a ton of stuff, from fountains to racecars to sleighs to gingerbread houses and more. Apparently they have done it every year and we must be the only ones who never knew about it until this year. lol The guy was standing out front taking donations to give to Habitat for Humanity. We donated some money and stopped and talked to him for a little bit. He was so surprised that this was the first year we'd been by. I guess we really are out of it by living out in the boonies instead of in the city limits. lol

The other really awesome thing we went to see was the Magic Tree. I will post that pic for Wordless Wednesday tomorrow :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Catching up & 2 Cute Pics

Wow, I ended up being away from my blog longer than I intended, sorry! I'll try to quickly catch up on what's been happening since Thanksgiving...

* Thanksgiving was good, we went to Joe's sister's house and enjoyed visiting and eating yummy food. That weekend we decorated the tree and I put out our greenery/lights/bows on the porch outside. I still can't believe it is almost Christmas!

* Adam got sick last week with diarrhea and fever, but he's finally better now.

* Scouts have been taking up some time, Brendan enjoyed their little Christmas party & meeting the other night, and this weekend they are supposed to participate in a parade and craft show.

* Also this weekend is the annual Cookie Share that our local mom's group does. And a scrapbooking crop that has been rescheduled from last weekend (got canceled due to the ice).

* Ice, ice and ice has been our scenery these last several days. Brendan's school has been closed all week so far. His Christmas concert was supposed to be last night, so he sang & performed for us at home instead. lol

* Joe is still having issues with heartburn and stomach. They had put him on Nexium for chronic heartburn and then he started having stomach issues. His doctor was an idiot and no help at all, so he changed doctors. He is now scheduled for an upper endoscopy on Tuesday.

* Speaking of medical issues, my nephew is having another hernia surgery Monday. This is his 5th hernia surgery I think, and he is only 7 years old! Poor kid.

* Kitties are still doing good. They are crazy little furrballs.

I'll end for now with a cute picture of my 2 boys in front of the tree, and a cute pic of my 2 furry boys too...

Hope you all are doing well! I'll try to come around and visit blogs as soon as I can.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Here's our menu plan for this week...
Monday: Chili
Tuesday: leftover spaghetti from Sunday
Wednesday: Beef stew in the crockpot (one of these weeks we will actually have this! lol)
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Pizza/family night
Saturday: Pork stir fry
Sunday: On your own
Will write more about other stuff later...things have been kinda busy.