Friday, December 31, 2004

Good Bye 2004

I always get a little melancholy on New Year's Eve. Today is no different. I think back over the year and go over memories--some good, some bad.

I think about all the violence and tragedy people went through, the horrible crimes committed, all the sad things going on that I have no control over. The only thing I can do is to pray when I hear and see these things that are out of my hands.

I also think about the good times. These memories most always include my boys--all three of them! They have grown up so much this year--Isaac is so mature (most of the time!). Ben is so funny. They are great kids and I think they are happy--which makes me very happy. Jeff and I are half-way through our 15th year of marriage and going strong. Life is good.

We have wonderful families, good friends, a close-knit church family, a roof over our heads and plenty to eat. We have cars that run, 3 adorable cats (well two are adorable, one is old and grouchy) and we are growing in our spiritual lives--all four of us. I have much to be thankful for.

As I look towards tomorrow and the rest of 2005, I want to better myself--be kinder, more generous, a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, mother and wife. I want to focus on the important and manage my life in a bit more orderly fashion. I'd like to take my kids to the ocean, take Jeff to Vegas, and take my friends out to lunch more often. I want to landscape my yard. I want a nice boulder. I want to watch the Oscars without being interupted. But these things are wants, not needs.

I NEED to help other people, give more time to my church, do what I can to make a difference in this sometimes crummy world. I need to contact friends and family I don't call often enough. I need to spend more time in Salmon with my sisters and parents and grandmothers. Time is going by--life does not last forever. We only have the here and the now.

Today I am having a glass of wine with an old friend. Then Jeff and I and the boys will have our annual seafood feast of shrimp and crab legs. Then we are going to the movies. Tomorrow we start the year by spending it with our nieces and Jeff's brother. Sunday we celebrate Ben's birthday two days early. We'll be off and running--hopefully taking the time to smell the roses and look at the sunsets.

Happy New Year to you all.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Christmas Music, Wet Stuffed Animals, A Good Man and Wacky Phone Calls

I have been listening to Christmas music everyday for about a month now. I like them all, but one of my favorites is "The First Noel." Each night at bedtime for the boys, I put on a CD of children singing Christmas music. Isaac has memorized most of them and is not shy about singing loudly! As he belted out "The First Noel" last night, my heart almost burst with love! He absolutely does the best version!!

For the past several weeks, Ben has insisted on taking his 3 favorite stuffed animals in the tub with him--sometimes twice a day! He washes their hair, combs them, sings to them, takes them everywhere and even saved his Taco Time leftovers for them yesterday! Since it makes him so happy, I have resigned myself to using multiple washcloths as towels for his friends. He lays them out beside the fireplace to dry. If they are not quite dry by bedtime, I put them in the dryer--because he can't sleep without "his guys!" Their names are: wolfie (a wolf!), mousie (a mouse!), and Raccy (a raccoon!). I love this age!!

Jeff is busy working on a contract job he took on a couple of weeks ago. He is also getting up at 3am to go to Micron so he can get home and be with the boys while I go to my training class for a job I am starting in January. What a guy! I don't know how he does it all. He keeps going even on 4 hours of sleep, which is what he gets most nights. I on the other hand become a crazed lunatic if I don't sleep at least 6 hours!

Like I mentioned, in January, I will start a part time job at EDS through Kelly Services. I will be taking inbound calls from customers who need to change their account information. Sounds easy, but they train for 5-6 weeks (1/2 days) and I am amazed at the process I will go through on each and every call. It's like McDonalds--there is a specific way to make each hamburger--and there is a specific way to give good customer service on the phone. Part of the training requires that I listen in on live phone calls with seasoned agents. Let's just say there are some very strange people out there. And they talk about the weirdest things. I think this will be an interesting job. I was afraid I would get bored taking phone calls 5 hours a night, but with the variety of people here and in Canada--I don't think that will be a problem!

We are staying here in Kuna for Christmas--probably take the kids to a few movies, sleep, eat and enjoy the down time. The kids will be singing at church on Christmas Eve. I hope all of you have a refreshing Christmas.

Oh--our Christmas pictures didn't turn out again--so, we will be doing cards later--maybe for the New Year. Have a great Holiday!!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Tree Fight, Vomit and Dragon Eggs

Hi. I am writing to tell about our weekend. From the title, you can guess it was a weird one.

Friday night started out great! We were going to buy a Christmas tree! We enjoyed A&W and then headed over to Home Depot. We had previously discussed buying an imitation this year, but hadn't really carved it in stone. So.....we looked at imitation, sort of glanced out at the real, back and forth. Well, it turned into a debate and ended up with Jeff and I giving each other the silent treatment for the next 24 hours.

About 2am that next morning, Jeff started vomiting. I'd like to think it was because he was so sick over our disagreement, but I think it was some food poisoning or something. Saturday, he layed around and me and the boys put up the artificial tree (it's beautiful!). Since I wasn't talking to Jeff, I gave him AlkaSeltzer every four hours then left him alone. I know, I'm a cold woman. I just couldn't get over the fight. He didn't want to talk to me either, so we were both fine with the situation.

Sunday was a quiet day at home while Jeff recovered. We started speaking and even apologized. I tried cooking some things--they were horrible. The boys took the balls off the tree and put them in a box. They pretended they were dragon eggs and took very good care of them until they hatched.

Over all, the weekend was a success--our tree is up, the kids played with their friends from the neighborhood, Jeff recovered and actually caught up on his sleep and I had a great conversation with my sister Amy--who celebrated her birthday on Sat. I also talked to my mom and she thought my marital struggle was quite hilarious!! I'm glad she got a kick out of it.

Marriage is funny. Sometimes you love your spouse with all your heart--and sometimes you'd like to run them down with the car--I mean sometimes you'd like to not talk to them for 24 hours!!

Monday, December 06, 2004

What Bugs Me?

Getting Christmas cards on NOVEMBER 30 (I had two in my mailbox that day!).

People who have their entire houses decked out completely... I mean miniture trains, wrapped presents, Christmas art hanging on the wall...by the first week of December.

Truckers who put wreaths on their grills.

Tacky yard decorations...ie...hanging extentions cords.

Now don't get me wrong...I love Christmas. Let me re-phrase that...I love the meaning of Christmas. It seems as though all people care about is getting stuff and out doing their neighbor on lights and blow up Santas and FurReal reindeer on the roof. It has become a competition. Well, I'm not competing this year.

Yes, we have lights on our house. We decorated our mantle last night and put some decor in other parts of the house. We have some presents bought, but not yet wrapped. We will put our tree up on my sister's birthday like we usually do....Dec. 11! (The horror--that is almost the middle of December!!!!!--I know. People who put the tree up Thanksgiving Day almost choke when they find out how late we put ours up!)

However, I'm not going to be pressured into feeling rushed or consider myself a Scrooge if my house and timeline doesn't meet my neighbors' or other people I know or visit.

This year my goal is to enjoy the season and focus on Him. I want my kids to understand that its not about toys, and Gameboys (which they don't have, but want, and aren't getting). Fortunately, Jeff feels like I do about this.

We recently saw "Christmas With The Kranks." I didn't want to, but did and am glad I spent the $22.50. We had our kids with us and all of us enjoyed it. The premise is about a couple who wants to skip Christmas and take a cruise. Their neighbors are appalled. The Kranks made them lose the decorating contest because they didn't put any lights out!

This year I don't want to be like the Krank's neighbors. I don't want to be like the Kranks and skip Christmas either. I just want a happy medium--I hope you all have one too!