Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where did the year go?

Tomorrow will be the last day of 2008. It has been a good year that has brought many changes to our lives. We bought an old house, our kids started a new school, we added a kitten to the mix, and I am working for the first time in 8 years. Let me rephrase that, I am earning a paycheck for the first time in 8 years. I am anxious to see what 2009 holds for us.

Tomorrow we will make the trek to Decatur to visit family. It was nice to leave work today knowing I wouldn't return until January 5th. I'm sure it will be here soon enough. In a way I am longing for the return to a normal schedule. Right now it just feels like everything is in a holding pattern. Everyone is waiting for the new year. I am ready for things to feel like they are moving again. Anyway, that is all for now. I hope you all have a blessed new year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Customer Service Woes

I have spent way too much time the last two days dealing with Customer Service people. The only lesson learned is that persistence pays. I ordered some merchandise online Christmas evening with a gift card I received from my loving husband. As soon as I got the email confirmation for the order I realized I had made a mistake. I had intended to order 5 of one item but had only ordered 3. There was a significant discount if you ordered the larger quantity. No problem, I sent a quick email to customer service explaining my mistake and asking if it would be possible to correct it. I received an email about 24 hours later saying that they could not fix the problem via email, but if I called customer service they would be able to resolve the issue. Yeah for me. I called and was told that since the order had already processed they could not do anything. I let it go and decided that I should learn to pay better attention. However, the more I thought about it the more it irritated me. The email led me to believe that they would help me if I called and they didn't help me. John suggested I send another email to express my frustration. So I did. They responded with a new email that said if I would call again, they would fix it. I called again and this time they were able to do a new order for the additional items and give me a credit for the 3 already ordered. I do love happy endings. So remember kids, there is always someone willing to help if you insist enough.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Winter Blues

I think the Winter blues have set in. I guess I need to snap out of it. The tree is down and everything is put away. The lights are still on the roof, but they will most likely be down before the weekend is over. The kids are having fun with their new toys. The cap guns, basketball goal, and Wii Rock Band were all big hits. Now we start the countdown to the new year and all it has to offer. I am hoping and praying for great things. All the economic news makes it hard to be cheerful at times, but there is no sense worrying about things I have no control over. John called and said he is hoping to leave work around 3:00. I hope he is able to. It will be nice to have him home. It was kind of a bummer that he had to work today, but I am thankful he has a good job he enjoys. Sometimes you have to look for the silver lining.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

The presents are unwrapped and everything has been assembled. I am tired. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Making Memories

We are home and settling in for the evening. We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at the Ichiban Grill in Flowood. It was really nice. They haven't been open long, so it was our first trip to said establishment. The food was excellent and our cook put on a great show.
Once we got home the boys opened a gift. Don't they look cute in their new pajamas.

As they prepared for bed it was time for the Christmas story. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Christmas Eve

Wow. Tomorrow is the big day. I am so excited. Knowing that I don't have to go back to work until Monday is pretty exciting as well. I am looking forward to a great day at home with my kids. We need to get some cookies baked for Santa and possibly run to Lowe's for some last minute shopping. We went to Walmart yesterday around 3p.m. It was nothing short of chaos. Everyone had that glazed over look in their eyes. I was glad to get out of there.

Tonight we will continue our Christmas eve tradition of going to a Hibachi grill for Japanese food. We started the tradition when we lived in Ohio. I do miss the House of Japan in Dublin, OH. Anyway, we found a little place in Jackson last year that we will visit again this year. After dinner we will drive around and look at the lights before returning home where the kids will open one gift before bed. That is the current plan anyway. I am hoping it works out that way. Some of it will depend on how my Joshua is doing. He had a little bit of a temperature last night. He just got up and seems to be better so I am hoping he is done being sickly. In case I don't get a chance to write again before tomorrow
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Slowing Down

I love weeks where the calendar is pretty open. This is one of those weeks. Since we had our Christmas party here yesterday, my house is pretty clean. I have to work tomorrow and then I am done for the week. I am looking forward to some time at home to just do nothing.
Speaking of our Christmas party, it was really fun. Counting us we had 29 people here. I realized after everyone left that I hadn't taken a single picture during the party. I took this picture before June got here with the other table clothes. We had seating for 30 so it worked out perfect. The food and fellowship were both wonderful. I can hardly wait until we do it again.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

That's How We Roll

In case you were wondering, the answer is yes. We do know how to have fun on a Saturday night. After the kids were in bed, we set out to clean the oven. We have been in our house for almost six months and the oven has not yet been cleaned. I am not sure if it has ever been cleaned. Anyway, today was the day.I should probably be embarrassed by how bad it looked, but I decided to focus on how great it cleaned up instead. John did a great job.

My job was to clean the racks. I am glad he lets me have the easy jobs.

Saturday Fire Returns

I know you have missed it as much as we have. Today the fire returned. Since we were pretty much confined to home due to the meat in the smoker, John decided it was a good day to burn stuff.
While the fire burned, the boys had fun playing with a BB gun. I should have been inside cleaning but it was too pretty to be inside. I pulled up a chair by the fire and just marvelled at the world around me.
I am amazed by how much things change in such a short time. When we moved into this house in June the trees were full and it was hard to see the sky through them.As the leaves changed colors we experienced a completely different beauty. Now the trees are so bare. It looks like a completely different place. It is still beautiful, but it is just a different beauty. It will be fun to experience Spring as the yard puts on a new outfit.

It has been a wonderful day so far. I loved being able to just sit still and take in the Lord's handy work. I think we should all take more time to just tilt our heads back and breath it all in.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Break

Yeah, Christmas break is finally here. I think I am more excited than the boys. I am so ready for Christmas. John called this afternoon to let me know he finished our Christmas shopping. That means we will have a couple more gifts to wrap tonight. It is a good feeling to be done with the shopping. Now we can breath easy and just look forward to Christmas morning.
This weekend will be busy, but I expect things to be less hectic next week. I am going to go to work for a little while in the morning. Since I took all day Thursday off and left early today, I have some things to catch up on. Once I get home I will try to get most of the floors mopped so that I won't have as much to do Sunday. Our Christmas party for our Sunday school class is Sunday night. I am looking forward to time with friends. We will spend Sunday afternoon setting up tables and chairs and getting the family room ready for the event. We will also need to redecorate the tree before then. The cat has done a great job of knocking most of the ornaments off of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Sweet Life

Tonight John and I spent some time baking cookies. I have to take them to work tomorrow since we are having a goodies day. This weekend we will have to bake a few more batches. I need some for our party on Sunday, and John's work is having a goodies day on Monday. I am not much of a cook, but these cookies are kind of a Christmas tradition for us. I do like tradition. We have it down to a science. I cream the butter and sugars while John combines the dry ingredients and grates the chocolate. Once that is done I put everything together and roll it into balls. The last two years we have made about 32 dozen each year. We are scaling back this year.

Christmas is getting close

We are rolling right along. Tomorrow will be the last day of school before the Christmas break. Today we went to Jacob's Christmas musical. He played the part of tree #11 in the Littlest Christmas Tree. It was cute. His line was "Don't you think I'm the perfect tree, Santa?" After his play, we went to his class Christmas party. We could only stay a few minutes since we had to go to Joshua's Christmas party as well.

I just wanted to share some things that I found in Jacob's back pack this afternoon. The letters below are so sweet. He has such a loving and generous spirit.

Translation: All I want for Christmas is to give my heart to God, for him to forgive my sins. And thank him for forgiving my sins. Christmas is not all about presents. It's about God's birthday.
Translation: I been a very good boy. Can you please give the ones that can't afford Christmas what they need.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I mentioned that we went to a friends open house/Christmas party on Sunday. The above is a picture of the house warming gift she sent home with us. She knows us well.
Jacob has a play at school tomorrow. The first letter that came home said they need to wear a long sleeved red shirt. Jacob has a long sleeved thermal shirt that will work. The letter that came home Monday said they need to wear a red turtleneck. I looked at three stores and couldn't find a red turtleneck. That means he is going to wear the thermal shirt. I debated going to the mall this evening to search for a red turtleneck, but my better judgement won out. He can just wear what we have. I am not willing to battle the crazy people for a shirt he will only wear once.
The rest of this week should be pretty calm. Jacob's play is at 8:15 in the morning. After that they have their Christmas party. Joshua's Christmas party is at 9:00. I will go to each party for a few minutes and then I have an appointment at 10:40. I plan to go grocery shopping after that to get ready for the weekend. John is going to be smoking briskets all weekend. Several people asked him to smoke them for their Christmas dinners. Also, some are giving them as gifts. I think he is planning to smoke twelve briskets plus 3 or 4 roasts for pulled pork. We are having pulled pork at our Christmas party on Sunday. The good thing about him cooking all weekend is that it will force us to stay home. That will be a great thing. I need some time to recharge.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It is hard for me to believe that Tuesday is already here. I have a ladies night out planned for tonight and John is taking the boys to cub scouts. I would love to just stay home and rest, but I know I will have a good time with my friends. The picture above is the tree in the foyer of our church. I think it is really pretty.This past weekend was busier than I like. Saturday morning the kids had dress rehearsal for their Christmas play. Jacob got to try on different wise men hats. I got to sit around and visit while they spent two hours rehearsing. My friend Tonia met us at church around noon. She dropped her daughter off to spend the afternoon with John and the boys while she and I went shopping. It was fun and most of my Christmas shopping is now done. Saturday night we went to the Florence Christmas parade. It was nice. The boys got lots of candy.
Sunday morning we went to church and Sunday afternoon John and I wrapped gifts while the kids took a nap. We had to be back at church by four for one last practice. On our way to church for practice, we stopped by some friends house. They were having a holiday open house/Christmas party. We didn't stay long, but we felt we needed to make an appearance. The play was at six and it went really well. Joshua had the lead role and he did awesome. Jacob was a wise man. He also did great.

Monday went by in a blur. I got all the Christmas cards addressed and they went out in the mail this morning. We did out family picture as soon as we got home from church on Sunday morning. I was not terribly happy with the picture, but I guess it looks like us. I am still trying to comprehend how it got to be Tuesday. The rest of the week will be equally chaotic. I took Thursday off work since the boys have several things going on at school that day. On Friday, they get out at 10:30 a.m. That means I won't work much on Friday. I know the boys are really looking forward to the Christmas break. I am just hoping things seem less rushed next week.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Munchkins playing in the Snow

I reluctantly let the kids go out and play. I wasn't planning to since it is so muddy, but we compromised. We went out, but we stayed on the deck. They had a blast making snowballs. Joshua even made a pseudo snowman.

I tried to get a picture of the water on our drive. The yard next to us looks like a small lake. It is a bit difficult to make out but there is a little waterfall behind our mailbox where the water is pouring over the drive.


This morning as I was getting ready to leave for work, John told me to be careful on our driveway. I asked if it was icy and he said no, just under a couple inches of water. The water is still rising. The drainage ditch that runs under our drive is full and so the water is running over the drive. To add to the fun it started snowing around 8 this morning.

John called me at work around 10:30 to ask if I was leaving work early. Jacob's teacher had called him to ask if Jacob should ride the bus since the school would close at 11:30. Life would have been easier had they just cancelled school today. I hate it when they close the schools early. Anyway, it took me about 40 minutes to get home. That isn't too bad since it usually takes about 20 minutes. The roads were passable, but very slick in places. I saw several wrecks. I hate driving on slick roads. I was so relieved when I pulled into my drive, and even more relieved when the kids bus arrived safely. The kids are playing Wii sports and I am trying to make the most of being home bound. The kids are begging to go out and play in the mess.
At least, the trees look pretty against the wintry backdrop.

In non weather news, Jacob pulled a tooth on Tuesday night. He didn't even need any help. I didn't know he was working on pulling it until he ran into the kitchen with it in his hand. He was pretty proud that he pulled it on his own, and it didn't even hurt.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mississippi Weather

I received a call around 5:30 to let me know they cancelled the cub scout meeting tonight. There is a pretty severe storm making its way into central Mississippi. They have mentioned several cancellations on the news. They don't mess around with thunderstorms in Mississippi. So far we haven't seen a thing, but it looks like it is getting bad north of here. Guess where my husband is? At church which is about 20 miles north of here. He had a council meeting tonight that started at six. It will probably last at least a couple of hours. Hopefully, the worst of the weather will be over before he starts home.

As much as I don't like thunderstorms, I have enjoyed not having to get out tonight. The kids and I had dinner, and they are in the process of getting ready for bed. It is nice to not be rushing around. Tomorrow will be their final Wednesday night play rehearsal. We have a dress rehearsal Saturday morning and the play will be Sunday night. I can hardly wait to see it.
I finally bought Christmas cards last night. Tonight I went through my card list and realized I need another box of cards. We are planning to get a picture sometime between now and Monday. Maybe the kids and dog will be more cooperative this year. It only took us about five tries to get the above picture last year. We will try to add the cat to the picture, but no promises. Wish me luck.