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Monday, December 8, 2008


I'm a little loopy today; I can't decide if it's because Kai kept us up coughing all night or if I'm coming down with his cold. Either way, I'll make this short. Well, maybe not short so much as lots of pictures and very little writing.
Kai's worse and we're exhausted.

On the plus side, we got the house cleaned and the rest of the Christmas lights and decorations put up.
This is the first year that I've decorated the kitchen cabinets and I'm very proud of myself.

These are living room shots and my mother-in-law's nativity set.

Brian got some good shots at Graeme's basketball game.

I have to admit that I'm struggling to find things to be grateful for today. When I'm tired, I just don't deal well with anything. However, since I started looking for things to be grateful for I've been much happier. Things don't look so bad when I seriously count my blessings. So here goes; today I'm most grateful for:

Clocks. When we're up all night with one of the kids, it's nice to be able to look at the clock and be reassured that time is indeed passing and that morning will come. Eventually. It always brings to mind a line from a Michael McClean song: "There's no telling how much the sunrise means to the one who had a terrible night"
Brian's willingness to help with the kids day and night. He's a good partner and there have been many times that I wouldn't have made it through if he weren't helping.
Cheap gas. I actually paid $1.34 per gallon on Friday. Yippee!
Central heating. Even though we turn the furnace down at night, inside the house is still 30 or 40 degrees warmer than outside and, frankly, getting up with a sick child at night would be much more difficult without that extra warmth.
My sewing machine. I'm not sure what we would give for Christmas this year if I didn't have it. And, Chloe's dress is all done! (More on that later!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Graeme's great!

Graeme's teachers have a fantastic discipline/organization system in place. Really terrific. Of course, Graeme is having a rough time, probably because he is physically incapable of sitting still for longer than about 30 seconds. Seriously, he doesn't even lie still when he's sleeping.

Anyway, Graeme's teachers give the kids a strike each time they break a rule, disrupt the class, etc. Poor Graeme always gets at least one strike each day. Until Tuesday! No strikes! Hooray! The same thing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! Hooray! I'm so excited I can't hardly stand it! He's so smart and creative and tender-hearted that it was just killing me to have him get in trouble all the time.

We all made a big deal and took him to McDonald's for dinner tonight. He also got a couple of awards at school. I'm sure Monday will be business as usual, but it was sure a nice break from all the stress and worry. Hooray for Graeme!


Today was grocery day. That means spending the entire day in town buying everything we will need for the coming week. A daunting task, but for me, it's easier to get it all done at once and not have to keep running to the store every other day. Anyway, Kai's developed this nasty, barky cough and he felt really warm when I got him up this morning. So you know what I did? Took him grocery shopping anyway. I know, I'm a horrible mother but I didn't actually take his temperature so maybe he didn't have a fever. Right?

Well, I repented and took his temperature before I put him to bed. I'm embarrassed to admit that it's 102. Sigh. I guess it's another round of the sickies for us. At least I got my shopping done, though.

Today, I'm most grateful for:

M and M's. Not only are they great potty treats, they help convince a very sick three year old to take his medicine.
A digital thermometer. So I don't have to guess just how hot he really is.
Payday. What a blessing it is to have enough money for all of our needs!
A barf bucket. It's so much easier to clean than sheets, carpet, couch, etc.
Ibuprofen. As a fever reducer, it just can't be beat. And, honestly, when his temperature is down he sleeps, and when he sleeps, I sleep, and when I sleep, I cope.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I guess the powers that be overheard me complaining about our complete lack of snow, because it snowed early this morning! Here are some pictures I took before it melted away:

Guess it's time to wrap the trees.

And take the net off the trampoline.

And clean off the back porch.

The snow was really a nice surprise, though, because the weather people all said the storm would pretty much pass us by. Hah!

So yesterday I was going through Graeme's backpack and I found a letter he wrote to Santa at school. I'm not sure what the actual assignment was, but his letter is hilarious. I couldn't scan it to add to this post, but I'll quote it for you and you can imagine the first grader handwriting and erased words. Here it is, as true to the original as I can get it:

Dear Santa, Thank you fo

-r your reiindeers,and I ha-
ve a few questions,How do
your reindeers fly?How do
your elvs make presents
so fast?And How do you
resist the cold?Well thats
is all the questious so goodby
youxr friend, Graeme Carver.

He cracks me up. The funny thing is, when he read it to me, all the words and grammar were correct. And in case you were wondering, "resist" was one of their vocabulary words a week or two ago. So today I'm most grateful for:


Snow! Because the older I get, the more magic there is in a surprise snowfall.

Yellow grass on the mountain that glows in the sun.

A digital camera. So I can share the beauty that I see every day.
Insulation. This picture was actually taken almost four hours after I turned the heat up to 70. Hooray for insulation!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Kai and I had a lovely walk this morning. It didn't rain or snow and the wind isn't blowing. Also, it's cold enough now that we don't smell all the cows as much. I'm really enjoying this time with just Kai home. Don't get me wrong, I'm also a big fan of him being at preschool twice a week. He's just such a sweet little guy most of the time that's it's nice having one on one time with him.

See what I mean?
After our walk I managed to set off the smoke detector while taking a shower. You'd think I'd learn. So today I'm most grateful for:

Working smoke detectors.
My body. What an amazing, miraculous machine it is. I mean, sure, the maintenance is more expensive and time consuming than car maintenance but it gets me around better than the car and I can count on it running for probably another 60 years or so.
My fat. It keeps me warm and protects my vital organs from windblown debris. Not to mention the fact that it proves I have plenty of delicious food to eat.
Food. Delicious and otherwise.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nativity Scene

I have to confess. I'm really dreading Christmas this year. I have the usual hundred billion things to do, money's really tight, we don't have the decorations up and there's not even one snowflake on the ground. So last night we did our annual, traditional, setting up of the Nativity Scene. Every year Brian reads the story of Christ's birth out of the scriptures and the kids take turns choosing and placing the figures in and around the stable. It's a fun tradition that I (without shame) blatantly stole from my own childhood memories. Here's our main Nativity:
I actually have three Nativity sets and two or three Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus figurines. Here's the kid's Nativity:

I love this one because the kids can play with it and not break the other ones. Although last year, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be horrified when Baby Jesus started flying around the living room shooting at the angel. Heck, this year we've already discovered that all the animals as well as the people, fences and manger can fit in the stable at the same time. At least nobody got shot this time! Yet.

Anyway, back to dreading Christmas. As I sat listening to the Christmas Story (for the millionth time), it touched my heart as it always does. I could imagine Mary and Joseph, so excited for the birth of the Child but still weighed down by so many worries and responsibilities. I pictured the shepherds, relaxing or sleeping or gazing at the stars. Suddenly, an angel appeared to give them the good news! The Christ Child is born! Rejoice! I thought about the Wise Men. Will I ever be that wise? Will I see the signs in the heavens when Christ comes? And, of course, I couldn't help but think about Joe and Bess Average Citizen fast asleep in their beds when He was born. They didn't get choirs of angels but I wonder if Bess woke up feeling a little extra happy, knowing deep in her heart of hearts that something miraculous and tender had happened.

And I realized, (for the millionth time), that this is what Christmas is about. He is born! This ultimate gift from our loving Heavenly Father! Rejoice! So today I am most grateful:

For Christmas!
For Joy!
For Jesus Christ!
For Mary, his mother!
most of all, just today,
For Hope.

Merry Christmas to us all!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gratitude Journal

Okay, two weeks ago one of the speakers in Sacrament Meeting mentioned keeping a gratitude journal. Yesterday, another speaker mentioned it again so here goes. The rules are: you have to come up with five things that you are grateful for and they have to be different each day.

Today I am most grateful for:

My van, because it's running.
My husband, because he fixed the van (among other things :).
The sun, because it warmed my ears as I walked this morning.
My kids, because they are all older than 18 months and there are only three of them.
My husband's job, because of the money, obviously.

What are you most grateful for today?