Thursday, December 31, 2009

what a year!

2009 highlights:

We've had a thoroughly wonderful, and challenging year! A lot of great stuff... a lot of hard stuff (I miss you so much, Amy!) Nothing worthwhile is EVER easy. I know I've got to take the good with the bad (and I know that is a cliche... totally). BUT, it is true. And there was a lot of good stuff!

Danielle got her braces off! The result: a great, beautiful, terrific smile!

Mark worked as an ICU nurse. Result: Mark questions his sanity, and decides to go for the advanced practice degree with my complete and total blessing (translation: another 3-4 years of school).

Tommy participates in the spelling bee - makes it to regional competition. What kind of a spelling word is goatee?

Katie started home schooling with us! Now I question my sanity on most of the school days. The child does. not. sit. She broke her collar bone last month, remember?

Camping and hiking... hiking and camping... I'm looking forward to more "posh" camping with a pop-up instead of a tent... maybe this year.

Home school conference! (!!!) What an amazing, motivating, hopeful, faith- instilling conference to attend. The speakers and workshops were amazing. I've already signed up for the 2010 conference.

Genetics consult... what can I say? We are all created perfectly for Him, by Him. There are no mistakes. There really are no right answers, either, except that He knew us all before we were knitted in our mother's womb, and He holds us in the palm of His hand.

Mud run for Mark -- he got muddy, and dirty, and had a blast running.

Allergy consult- 4 out of 5 of us are receiving allergy shots, now. I'm considering buying stock in zyrtec and flonase. Avoiding wheat does not improve behavior in my autistic child; it only causes strife and breeds defiance. Nor does wheat cause him to break out or have an anaphylactic reaction. We will limit exposure to allergens, but not completely avoid them. This makes everyone (the entire family unit) a bit happier.

Florida for 2 weeks: Sweet, loving, wise G-ma with all her stories, and pictures. A lovely two weeks with a lovely lady, and wonderful family.

Florida for Thanksgiving! A tradition that dates back to before I was married! I love our family! Plus, this year, my parents celebrated forty years together by going on a cruise!

Belvedere Plantation. A beautiful place to celebrate Fall!

A little golf --Tommy played some.

A lot of dance... need I say more?!

Oh yeah... I started blogging. I love it.

Happy New Years Eve!!!!! May we all have a blessed 2010!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the in-between week

I'm always very contemplative this time of year...

It's the in-between week. The week where Christmas is over and the New Year is looming...

I feel motivated to get organized and make new year resolutions; and I feel a bit melancholy about allowing things to become disorganized, and not being able to follow through on all of last year's resolutions. I suppose this is the way of life. It probably isn't unique to just me. I've been really thinking a lot about simplifying things, getting rid of some clutter, and tightening up the schedule. Then, I think about how happy things are right now with almost no schedule ( It is called un-schooling... it sounds like educational suicide to me, but it seems to work for many). Oh, to achieve that balance... I can only pray for wisdom!

I need to mention that many prayers are needed right now! My best friend's mother is in the hospital recovering from a lower lobectomy for lung cancer. My neighbor's father -in -law is in the hospital with cancer, cellulitis, and problems related to the cancer. My little dance friend's mother is in the hospital with blood clot issues. People are traveling, and getting sick. I'm praying a lot... prayer is just a running dialogue, lately, between God and I ... I know I can do better, though!

What a happy Christmas season it has been! We've had way too much sugar, and stayed up too late, and slept in too late... but my, has it been fun. It has been relaxing, too (and hyperactive at times). I've discovered that TV is not harming the children in the short run (but the sugar might be... we're trying to fix that), and sleeping in just feels good. More important is that I feel like I've been able to focus a bit more on the reason for Christmas. I'm not trying to fit the Bible in between dinner and homework, because it is part of our home-school day. And that is just really, very cool!

The husband has been working so hard, and has been running around so much. I've decided to cook again (ham dinner turned out OK on Christmas Eve). The slow cooker may be the way to go for me. I like throwing everything in a pot and being done with it (at the end of the day, I am so done! So it's nice to do dinner earlier). I like trying to be more home-maker-ish for Mark, especially when he has been working so hard. I just don't always succeed! Again, this is the way of life. We just have to keep trying!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

It's been very interesting here! The snow plows were still trying to clear roads yesterday (Virginia is just not equipped for a heavy snow), thank goodness my husband had the presence of mind to go ahead and get the 4 wheel drive model of our car when we bought it two years ago! We may only use it every other year, but it is sooooo worth it!

(Snow generates a lot of laundry, and very wet floors!)

Snow play has been fun, but I think the novelty is already wearing off... my kids just want to stay in their pajamas today.

We are celebrating Christmas with Mark tonight because he is on duty tomorrow. So, in a few short hours we will be keeping an eye on the chimney for Santa Claus, I will then attempt to feed my family a ham dinner (remember to pray for me, I have zero cooking ability), and then we will go to church tonight to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
I love, love, love Christmas Eve church services! The candles and music are so beautiful, but I love the feeling of being at church celebrating the miracle of Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Background Fairy: Free Blog Buttons - Teal Birds

The Background Fairy: Free Blog Buttons - Teal Birds

Such cool art and stuff! I liked the santa button!

Let it snow...

Last night... out the front door...
This morning... out the back door...

We are literally snowed in. The last storm that dumped this much snow on the state of Virginia happened before I had kids that wanted to go out and play in it! I love a good snow storm... I love the gift of being forced to STAY HOME. I wonder at the beauty of God's marvelous creation... is it true that no two snow flakes are the same? Really? I ponder the global warming scenario (18 inches, 28 degrees... this is the south). I really hope we don't lose power (I like heat inside when it is cold outside). I'm thankful for a hard working husband (48 hours ON duty for the citizens of Fairfax). I pray for warmth and safety for everyone in the midst of a perfect storm...




All had fun playing this morning! All are now inside... drying and thawing out!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Still slightly crazy...

Danielle celebrated her birthday last Sunday (the "day after"). She had a party at a spa that is just for little girls. So, it was funny that all of the girls at the spa party getting pedicures had danced the night before in the Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker was awesome! I know there was a lot of (self-induced) stress trying to make rehearsals and a lot of busy-rushing-around to make it work, but it was fun and exciting. The dress rehearsal was awful, and I think most of us had our doubts about the performance going well, but it really did go well! Even though Katie had to perform in a sling, and we were all soooo tired, it felt great to be a part of a production. I felt like a real ballerina for the past two weeks because I've been working so hard... my feet and toes are a mess (I really need a pedicure!), but it felt good and real.

Now that the entire family is able to breathe again, we are all getting in the Christmas spirit. I wore Christmas tree earrings this past week, and pulled out the candle lamps for the windows. I've been talking to the kids about preparing our hearts for Christ, not Santa Claus. It just feels better, lately. I'm looking forward to Christmas. I'm remembering that it is really the most wonderful time of the year!

Danielle and I went to see the Rocketts last night... WOW!!!!!!!!!! SO COOL!!!!!!! AMAZING!!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

first try at video blogging

I am totally waiting for my computer to import CDs for the various i-pod/ MP3 devices in the house. It is taking a long time. So... I'm going to try to attach a video (actually 2) to this post.

Last weekend, Danielle got to perform a lyrical dance, and tap dance for a local tree lighting ceremony (Katie was supposed to tap, but, well, broken clavicles aren't sympathetic to dance routines).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Still here!

I have wanted to write an entry to my blog ever since we've returned from our Thanksgiving journey... But...

A. I'm crazy (it's actually a Vitamin D deficiency... I have to get sun and Vitamin D supplements...)
B. Our Nutcracker production is this Saturday (definitely contributing to the crazy diagnosis)

C. We are taking up a second residence at the dance studio (6 days out of 7 per week, 4 out of 5 family members)

(Danielle getting ready to perform a praise dance for church)

D. Katie cartwheeled and broke (yes, broke, x-ray confirmed) her collarbone (it is not only uncomfortable, but it is cramping her fashion sense of style)

(Katie, pre-incident)

E. Homeschooling three children, all with different learning styles and learning issues

F. Only two whole days have I spent time with the husband because of work, school- work, and dance (I did get to see him the night of the injury... there is a silver lining when the man can meet us at the Emergency Department in uniform)

(Oh, yeah... it has snowed twice so far... not a lot of sun, which you need; it helps your body absorb vitamin D)

G. I did mention crazy, right?!