The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Saturday, December 29, 2012


I had this idea to get Jac some claymation software for Christmas.  Because I'm tired of dragging him away from video games.  It was a crapshoot...but I was hopeful.

He says it's his favorite gift.  So...go me?

He is still figuring it out.  So far, none of the creations have sound and all of his sort of revolve around the same theme.

I'm more interested in the clay possibilites than playing with Legos.  I could probably allow myself to get really amused and take over his gift.  Maybe.  My first attempt...he took the pictures while I played with clay.

Next time, maybe we'll treat you to a full-length feature.  With sound.  :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Obligatory, annual "after Christmas" trip to the mall...was supposed to go to the Military Bowl, but I decided I wasn't really up for sitting out in the cold and wind.

Friends since K...

 What Jac and I and Ryan did while the girls were shopping...pretty much hung out on a wall I'm fairly certain was not intended for seating.

Sort of a dream come true...except the quality was not so great.  The stuff in here is about the same quality as Rue 21 or one of those kinds of stores...blah.  Disposable clothes.  Which kind of defeats the point?  Still...I will acknowledge the attempt with "two thumbs up".

Is it just me or does produce always look especially delicious during "The Season of Eating?"
Getting ready to dismantle the house and put it back together.  Taking down the decorations is always sort of depressing, but I've learned it's better to have it done prior to going back to work.  Lest they are still on display in February. The upside is our house will suddenly appear larger and cleaner without all of the holiday clutter.  Looking forward to that.
Sigh...Winter Break.  Why is it going so fast?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


1.  Not a huge fan of snow/rain/sleet/ice/  know..winter.  Just glad it happened today and not yesterday.  Wished I could have stayed in where it is warm (and dry), can only reschedule a dental appointment so many times.

2.  Winter break is flying by.  There were all these things I thought I'd be doing.  Plans...why do I even bother making them?  Sigh...everything can't be about me.  When did this change for me?  That I didn't have to make some crazy attempt at fixing things?  Just let it be...even if it makes me sad.

3. awesome.  There is no picture, because there are times when photography is grossly inappropriate.  Worship falls in that category for me.  Totally worth venturing out in the cold/wet/rain/slush for.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

25th Day of Christmas

I should see who knows me well enough to know what my "It's time to get quiet." music is. Because I'm suddenly wondering if anyone knows me that well. It's the same album every time. Been the same for at least 2 years. Anyone know? Just the artist will be good enough. I'll give you a prize if you guess it correctly.

 I skipped day #24.  I'm aware. 
I love Christmas.  The friends, the family, the decorations, the food, the traditions...I love all of it.
Everyone has gone home now and I'm on the backend of one of my favorite traditions.  (Can I call it a tradition if I've only been doing it for 3 years?) 
Christmas, for me, ramps up the morning of Christmas Eve.  I run around like a maniac getting groceries, cooking, cleaning, expecting the first leg of guests.  I cook lunch for everyone and then dinner.  And then later we have dessert.  The next morning I cook/bake a giant breakfast which is followed by an appetizer bar which is followed by a mid-day dinner which is followed by dessert.  The season of eating?  This is how we decided it would be when Alicia was a baby and we've done it this way for the past 16 Christmases.   If you want to see us, we want to see you.  But, you are going to have to come here.  I love it and wouldn't change a thing about it.
Even though I'm exhausted by Christmas Night.
I used to just go to bed and leave the mess to deal with the day after.
It's not like that anymore.  
After everyone has gone home and Ryan and the kids have gone to the basement to play with some new thing, I'm intentional about finding the quiet as I go about washing the dishes for the 47th (and last) time in 2 days, packing up and finding space for the leftover food, sorting out boxes and gifts and piles of party evidence.  I'll mention it's not literally quiet, because I always listen to "It's time to get quiet" music.  What I mean is that it's the time I get completely lost in my own quiet.
The quiet of Christmas.  Thinking, listening, wondering...awestruck by the whole concept of Christmas.  And overwhelmed that concept applies to me.
There's no place I'd rather be than in this quiet with the only gift I'll ever need.

Friday, December 21, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #21,#22, #23

 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9

Sometimes things don't turn out like I imagine.  O.K.  Frequently, things don't turn out like I imagine.

Seven Christmases ago, on the last day of school before the break, I thought 2:10 would never come.  That year, my first year teaching, was likely the longest year of my life.  Just making it to Christmas felt like an achievement.  Every day was long.  And they weren't easy.  It took me awhile to get over what I thought "should be" and to embrace "what is".  If you don't know what I mean by that, well...come visit me or something.  At that time, not in the deepest recesses of my imagination, could I have thought there would become a pattern where all the days would flow into each other and Christmas break would just be a part of that flow.  Who knew that while I was sitting in those moments thinking "What am I doing and why am I here?" that I would come to understand this is where I am supposed to be? 

In six hours, it will be Christmas break.  Those six hours will pass in the blink of an eye.  In theory, this probably should be the hardest day in my teaching career.  Things happen, as they sometimes do, and maybe I'm supposed to be scared.  I am not afraid.  Instead, I'm feeling this crazy kind of peace I don't know that I've ever felt before.  Which makes me wonder...Can you really feel peace if you are not looking straight into the alternative?  Is peace like grace?  One of those words that sounds all pretty and good, but that is meaningless on it's intended level until it is realized?

Hmmm...peace while I sit behind a locked door and listen to kids talk about things I wish were not part of their realities.  Peace when I drove in and counted the cops this morning.  Peace while I look at their obvious attempts to make their weapons visible. 

Yesterday, someone remarked "It's like being sent to war without a gun." (in reference to coming to work today).  First, I will submit that person has no idea (in my estimation) anything related to the idea of personally going to war.  Second, I will offer they have the opportunity to live a life that takes them nowhere alone.  Even war.


Taking a couple of days to be quiet and live in a less virtual world.  Will be back...

P.S.  I have no idea whose picture that is.  It's not mine.  I took it from the internet somewhere.  Would give credit if I knew whose it is...just sayin' case someone feels like suing me or something. ;-)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #20

Yada Girls Christmas Party

“Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”
-C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #19

The only thing today's entry has to do with Christmas is that I'm having a party tomorrow night.  After I get home from work.  And I was going to bake cookies and do the other ton of stuff I have to get ready for it, tonight.

I'm kind of "bah humbug" at the moment.  O.K.  Not really.  Once you've been married to someone for roughly 20 years, you have a good enough idea how this is going to play out.  It will be fine.  Even though it doesn't look anywhere near fine right now and probably still won't when I finally go to bed.

The other thing about being married to someone for so long is that one comes to realize hanging out in the kitchen trying to hurry things along isn't going to be helpful.  I took out my frustration in Jac's room which is now clean.

So...Happy #19 day of Christmas? is happy.  I am happy.  Because, if for no other reason, Jac's room smells like "peach rain" (or some such thing) and not "11 year old boy".

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #18

Sleepy today.  But not so sleepy I didn't notice I wrote "26 Days of Christmas" yesterday.  Must have been tired yesterday, too.

FCA Christmas Party

(I forgot to take sufficient pictures without their faces and none of the ones I got are editable in that regard. is what it is?  What it is...look how many kids are coming to FCA!)

We played "Secret Santa".  I got a glow axe, lol.  I regifted it to someone else. :-)

Monday, December 17, 2012

26 Days of Christmas #17

(Roughly) Circa 1978 (or maybe '79).  Bridget was born right after I turned 6 and she isn't here, so that must mean I was 5.  We always went to G'ma Helen's on Christmas Eve.  She made us sit under the Christmas tree every year.  (The last picture of all of us together and under the tree was when I was 18 and my brother and I were both home from Germany.  Somewhere, I have that picture.) 
It makes me sort of sad I was not a smiley child.  I look serious in nearly every picture.  What kind of kid looks sad while sitting under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve?  Sigh...I don't believe I was sad.  Just looked sad.  And then I sad kids know they are sad? 
Blah...this is a post not going anywhere very good.  Sorry. 
The first cousins on my mom's side (I don't have any on my dad's side): Me, Carmen, Jeremiah (my brother) and Josh.  Monica is the baby.

Was planning on making some other kind of cookie tonight, but these were sort of in progress when I came through the door.  One kind of cookie per day is enough.  It's actually strangely comforting to come home to discover cookies baking.  No dinner...but cookies.  Beggars can't be choosy, I guess.

Back in the day, before we had kids and when we had friends who had nothing to do but hang out with us every Monday night watching Monday Night Football, we had a spaghetti night tradition.  I would come home and make a huge batch of spaghetti (with the flesh of dead animals in it) and cheesy-garlic bread.  For a time, this was the highlight of my week.  Somewhere along the line (We had kids and moved from Alaska-where Monday Night Football starts during the dinner hour due to the time zones to Maryland where it starts late-ish at night), Monday Spaghetti Night became less and less.  Now, we eat "capelini" from Trader Joe's and leave out the animal carcasses.  No cheesy bread.  Sure, it's good...but it isn't really the highlight of my life anymore.

It was never really about the spaghetti.  Just so you know. :-)

I was going to forego the picture, because you all don't really need to see a picture of the spaghetti called capelini, but here it is anyway.  A boring plate of spaghetti.  You should know I hide stuff in the sauce.  I've always done it, so they don't really know any better than to eat it.

I'll end with something you just can't make up.  The backstory:  We were told at a staff meeting we have to limit our printing in the name of conserving the printers.  They are old and breaking down and the ink is expensive, blah, blah, blah...  There's more to this story and I could make you laugh in the telling of it, but I'd like to remain employed and since this is a public blog and all...

So today, there's this notice in my mailbox.  Evidently, I've printed 793 prints in a 4 month timespan.  Before you go off thinking I'm just being wasteful and frivelous with your tax paying dollars...I have 175 students and I'm also doing some of the printing for the sub in our dept.  Honestly, I think 793 is pretty impressive.  Considering I work in a school.  Not that I was counting or even concerned with my printer useage, because...umm....who just prints for the sake of printing?  I like to live in the world where I believe if someone printed something it is probably because they needed it.  Do adults just sit around idly printing page after page of documents they don't even need?  Something to chew on, I suppose.

The part I find ridiculously humorous is the fact that each person received one of these notices.  So...probably 300 of them were printed?  Which is almost half of what I've used in a 4 month timeframe.  The irony of telling me I'm doing fine in the printer conservation efforts via a print-out.  (Why is this so funny to me?) I also took notice the printer used for the job seems to be having some issues.  I've been silently laughing to myself since I had it in hand.  Ryan came home and howled over it.  He was going to take it to work with him (because it's funny and, like I said, you couldn't make this stuff up), but we compromised and now it's hanging on the fridge where we both can get a good laugh every time we wander by.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #16

My first thought is "Whoa. How can it be the 16th already?" 


Last year, my girl E said "I didn't figure you for one of those lame people who send out newsletters." Sorry girl. You are friends with one of those lame people. :-)

Movie night, Nutter Butter reindeer (that I don't even have to be the maker of anymore), forcing the dog to wear holiday's all about traditions around here. 

P.S.  Movie night always involves the retelling of our childhoods when there were only 3 channels and cartoons were not a 24/7 opportunity.  It seems everyone in my generation waited impatiently every year for Charlie Brown specials and then the whole family gathered 'round.  Charlie Brown was a big deal.  I guess you probably have to be in your mid-late 30's or older to remember that.  The kids always look at us like we are saying "used to walk 100 miles barefoot and in the snow...". 

I've been dreaming about a decent sandwich all day.  The kind other people make.  Couldn't talk anyone into driving to get me one.  In their defense, it would be a 30 minute drive to any option who sells what I wanted.  In the end, I sucked it up and drove uptown to get the stuff I needed.  Best sandwich ever.  Or, at least today...the day I was consumed by good sandwich thoughts.  :-)

12 grain bread, roasted garlic and chive hummus, avocado, tomato, cucumber, red onion, vegan monterey jack and alfalfa sprouts.  There was some huge dilemma over the hummus, because horseradish mustard is sooo good.  Tomorrow, it will be the mustard.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #15

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”-Psalm 46:10

Thursday, December 13, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #14



Christmas Shopping W/ My Girls


Yes, I know I'm posting for day #14 when it is still only day #13.  I won't be able to post tomorrow.  Too busy.  By the time I finally drag in, I'll probably flop down wherever and sleep until Saturday.

I could set it to not post until tomorrow.  But then my girls would have to wait to see themselves. :-)

Fun, fun, fun...too much fun.  We only bought things for ourselves.  And we got food/treats.  Twice. 

Erin and I were trying to find something to wear to church on Christmas Eve.  We had settled on tiaras, but it turns out I don't have enough hair to hold one on.  So, I chose a beautiful, butterfly mask instead.  Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a butterfly mask, right?  She's still planning on the tiara.

25 Days of Christmas #13

Is it too late to be thinking about sewing a Christmas dress?

That's sort of a rhetorical question. 

1.  I'm not into holiday themed clothing.

2.  I don't think I'm going anywhere that would require such a thing.


1. I just realized I don't have a single winter dress that fits me other than a couple of those knit numbers from Land's End.  What if I decide to go somewhere that calls for something a little better?  Something a little more tailored to the body than the frocks I have which resemble  t-shirts more than they do dresses.

2. I have fabric.  It doesn't scream "Christmas" or anything, but I have enough to make a dress.   And a pattern that I've been oogling for probably 2 years while it lay on my table.  I like the idea of this dress.  A lot.  I've been afraid to make it, because I don't want to be disappointed if it once again turns out to be something I love that wasn't made for my body.  Thinking maybe I should get over that.

So, is it too late?  I don't think so.  If I don't finish it...whatever.  It's not like I'm going anywhere.  :-)

Tomorrow, I'll return to peppermints and cookies and all of that stuff.  By then, I'll be a day behind and will be posting today's activities tomorrow.  But, no worries...I'm so busy tomorrow I won't even be home to do anything festive, let alone post about it.  Should be all caught up by Saturday.

Getting ready to take my 6 favorite teenagers to the mall for dinner and shopping. :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #12

Today is the day I am officially excited about Christmas.  Officially.

Maybe, it's the wrapping of the first gift...there's just something about gift wrapping even when the finished product doesn't look like I had envisioned.  Maybe, because sometimes  I'm wrapping things everyone I know other than the recipient would be all "What kind of gift is this?" and I'm amused by that imaginary interaction going on in my head. 

Right now, I'm on the hunt.  I'm thinking about this music I was listening to way into the night last year on Christmas Eve.  Somewhere, in this crazy house, is that CD.  I must find it tonight.  I must, I tell you. :-)

Update:  I found it.  It's as good as I remember.  One thing you should know about me is I don't know anything about music.  I only know what I like and what I don't like.  I tend to go for imperfect music.  The kind where the musician is free when it is happening.  This is especially true for worship music, but seems to apply to all genres. Imperfect music gets me.  Even if I don't know enough about the technicalities to know it's imperfect and have to be told.  What I'm listening nice.  Perfect is subjective.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #11

Hot Chocolate Dippers

I was going to have a party tomorrow night, but now I'm not having it until next week.  Which is kind of awesome, because I wasn't inspired with what to do with it until today and I was finding myself in a timecrunch. at my Wednesday at 7.  Bring an ornament for the exchange and an appetizer to share.  We will be eating cute food.  It's possible there will be a hot cocoa bar.  Thank you Pinterest.

Monday, December 10, 2012

25 Days of Christmas #10

Latkes for Dinner

Yes, I'm aware Christmas is the wrong holiday for these.  But one of my students was harrassing me about making them (and threatening to bring me some from his house...eww...I don't think they'd travel all that well), so I said I'd make them.  Just for us.  Not to drag into school or anything.

I actually do think of Christmas when I hear "latkes".  When I lived in Germany, I used to go downtown all the time to the Christmas Market and there would be people on the corners frying these things up.  How can you turn down a potato pancake? 

Next door would be a vendor cooking spiced nuts (Hmm...maybe tomorrow?) and somewhere around there would be a guy selling gluhwein

I'm one of those people who associates smell with memories.  All of these smells on a cold, winter day filling up the market place...sigh...

I don't recommend the gluhwein.  It doesn't smell bad, but I have no idea how anyone can drink that stuff.