Wednesday, December 31, 2008

JYC Dec 31st

December 31st One Last Night
Here we are the biggest party night of the entire year, it is 8:50 pm and I am already in my pajamas. It has been a few years since we have gone out. When I did go out, I prefer to go to a friend’s house and just sit around talking with good friends. No big glitzy parties for me. I was always ready to go home shortly after midnight anyway. I do remember one New Year’s Eve when I was in college. I was home from school for the holidays. The college group from church was getting together at a friend’s home. Many of the parents were also together. We spent the time, talking, getting caught up on what had happened the last semester and of course munching on food. One member from the group needed to make an appearance at another party and left. The weather had started getting bad, so he called us to tell us to stay put and not go home. Most of us checked in with our parents and they all agreed that the roads were getting bad and we should stay put. At some point after midnight we all began to fall asleep. The next morning the parents of the person whose house we were at came home to find about 20 of us all asleep. People were laying all over, on the floor, on the couch, etc. I am sure it was quite the picture. Looking back on it, I wish I had a picture. Not a single parent was worried about us as they knew we

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

JYC Dec 30

Todays assignment was to create a year in Review. We choose the top 10 items for the family. Notice quite a few are of Sarah, but that is a sign that she is growing up and becoming an adult.

December 30th 2008 in Review
1. Family trip to St. Louis
2. Sarah made Football Cheerleader
3. Sarah qualifies for State Fair with two different exhibits and Share the Fun
4. Kristen’s First Piano recital
5. Sarah is confirmed
6. CHS football team made it to the first round of playoff
7. Kurt missed first football game in 22 years
8. Sarah was gainfully employed for first time.
9. Sarah travels to Colorado without parents
10. Sarah starts high school

JYC Dec 29th

Today's assignment was to create your album cover or title page. Since I am in the process of cleaning the house for a party on Thursday, I chose to pass on this for now. Will take care of it after the holidays are over.

JYC Dec 28th

December 28th Indulgences ( what do we do this time of year that don’t normally do)
1. Stay Up late
2. Sleep in
3. Eat Christmas Cookies
4. Stay in Pajamas longer in am
5. Getting together with friends
6. Spending time with immediate family
7. Sitting in the living room with nothing but tree lights on in the morning before rest of family wakes up.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

JYC Dec 27th

December 27th Sleep
What a timely topic. I came down with a little problem while at the restaurant last night and wasn’t able to get to sleep until around 1:30 and then woke up about every 75 minutes for the rest of the night. Went to the Doctor’s this morning and got some antibiotics. I came down with something else after getting home. I tried to get a nap in, but just couldn’t fall asleep. Kristen has spent the past two nights sleeping in the living room. She must really like to do this as she is always begging but we only let her on special days, when there is no school. I have noticed however that I am able to sleep in during break which is something that I never used to be able to do.

JYC Dec 26th

December 26th Boxing Day
In the United States we don’t celebrate Boxing Day but we do have some of our own traditions. Many people take advantage of the clearance sales that start today and are out shopping picking up the rest of the Christmas items marked down at least 50%. I don’t jump on the shopping bandwagon. I really have no desire to fight with the crowds over some cheap wrapping paper or lights. Instead we are spending the day just enjoying the family. We all slept in late. I even made it to 6:30 am; that is really late for me. We have watched some tv, spent some time cleaning bedrooms so that we can put away the new toys and clothes. (I really need to clean out Kristen’s closet and see what either doesn’t fit or isn’t “qualified” to wear. She is really picky regarding her clothes. To get her to put on a pair of jeans requires force and threats. At the moment we are watching Emergency on TV. Hoping to watch Kristen’s new American Girl movie Kit and my new movie Wall*E yet today. We did get Kristen’s movie watched but didn’t watch Wall*E. Instead we went out with some of my Scrapbooking friends. Kurt hadn’t met most of them, but he still had a great time. We went to La Feria, I had never been there but the food was good and not too expensive. Hope to go back soon.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

JYC Dec 25th

December 25th Christmas Day
What a peaceful start to the day. It hasn’t always been like this however. Woke up around 6:20 and went out to the living room and sat with just the tree lights on. How restful. I decided to take a couple of pictures of the after effects from last night. In a little bit the rest of the crew woke up. Kurt and Sarah got ready for church. Kristen and I stayed at home and cleaned up the mess from the night before. We also cleaned up the kitchen and made breakfast. Kristen whipped up the coffee cake while I fried potatoes, bacon and sausage. Sarah called when she and Kurt were leaving church so that I could scramble up the eggs. We enjoyed eating breakfast together and watching the rest of the Disney Parade. (I almost forgot about it this year) We spent the rest of the morning watching Kristen’s new movie Matilda. Sarah loves this movie also, which is why I think she bought it for Kristen. Of course Kurt had to take his traditional Christmas Day nap. In the afternoon we watched Sarah’s new movie Mamma Mia. The girls danced to the show a couple of years ago. In between movies the girls spent time cleaning their rooms so that new gifts could find their new homes. Left for Jean and Marv’s around 4:00. We ate supper around 5:30, Turkey, ham, rolls, and mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, cauliflower & broccoli with cheese sauce, corn, jello jigglers, deviled eggs, and a fruit salad. After getting everything cleaned up we opened presents. Since I have known Kurt, his older sister Jean has always passed out the presents. Today as we sat down, she asked Sarah to hand out the gifts. Sarah was a little surprised to be awarded such an honor. Kristen received clothes. She was thrilled with each of the outfits from her aunts and uncles, from her oldest cousin she received some bath stuff, and she also received a butterfly watch from Aunt Jean. Sarah choose to enter the draw this year. Mary Kay had her name and purchased stuff from Bath and Body Works. She was thrilled. Jean had my name and gave me the movie Wall*E and a gift certificate to CJ Banks. Dean had drawn Kurt’s name and gave him two movies, Spiderman 3 and Fantastic 4. I think that everyone’s favorite part of Christmas this year was little Allison. She is Justin and Rachel’s first child and is 3 ½ months old. When I was a kid, my great aunts and uncles all seemed old. Now Kurt and I are great aunts and uncles, but I don’t feel that old. Kurt and the girls both took turns holding Allison, but I choose not to since I have been fighting a cold. Didn’t want to take a chance on getting her sick.

JYC Dec 24th

December 24th Christmas Eve
4:56 Woke up early so I went out to the computer and turned it on. Watched Santa take off on NordaTrack. After watching Santa take off I went back to bed. Stayed in bed for about an hour and then woke up. Went back to the living room
6:30 While sitting in the dark on the computer Kristen came out. We turned on the Christmas tree and cuddled in the dark with just the tree lights on, watching Santa travel in Russia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands
7:00 Rest of the family join us.
8:00 Everyone is getting cleaned up. Plan is to leave for Grandma Holst’s house around 9:30.
9:15 left for Mom’s for the day. Took us a while to get down to Bettendorf. We took the long route since there was a snow storm. Hoping to avoid the country roads. Kurt and Sarah arrived about 10 minutes after we did. We ate lunch around 11:30 and then cleaned up. After eating we opened gifts. Sarah was thrilled to discover that she had received her own copy of two CD’s that grandma has in her car and Sarah loved. Kristen was thrilled to see a new crayola art kit from Aunt Beth and crew, plus a matching case for her scrapbooking stuff. Both girls also love the silver necklaces they received from Uncle Dan. He has a job that requires him to travel all over the world to the different army bases. He picked up the necklaces for the girls in Iraq. He also gave my sister and I necklaces with the tri gold from Iraq. After playing for a while it was time to leave for church. Kristen not only was an angel in this years program but was also one of the soloist. She did a very nice job. Once we arrived home we discovered that the big jolly elf had arrived. After a short wait Dad and Sarah came home and we opened the gifts from Santa. Kristen was thrilled to receive PixO’s, High Musical Game, and makeup. Sarah was thrilled with DVD’s Mamma Mia and Prince Caspian plus a new stereo. Kurt received a couple of Batman DVD’s, a Brett Favre book, an Iowa Hawkeye Football book and a special comic book. The comic book was fun. Santa didn’t leave it under the tree instead he hid it in the house and then left clues as to the books hiding spot. Kurt had to follow the clues to find his gift. I am not sure who enjoyed it more, Kurt or the girls. I received many nice things. The girls gave me some Christmas embellishments for my Christmas Journal project, and the movie Christmas Shoes. From Kurt I received a new pair of pajamas, the last two Laura Child scrapbooking mysteries that are out, a panther fan lives here sign for outside, some candles and room freshners, holiday grungeboard, a gift certificate for Scrapaganza (for a new paper cutter), Bath and Body soaps and lotions, two hallmark ornaments, and of course some bra’s. At my mom’s house, I received a new toothbrush (we all had new toothbrushes) a hallmark ornament (tradition) mints, pocket kleenex’s and chocolates in my stocking. From Beth and Dave I received a Party lite snowman candle holder, from Dan the bracelet I mentioned earlier and from Mom a snowman light up decoration.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

JYC Dec 23rd

December 23rd The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care…
I really miss having a chimney to hang the stockings by. When we were kids we would carefully hang our stockings above the fireplace (no mantel). The girls have stockings that were made by their step grandmother Roberta when Kristen was a baby. Kurt has a Ram’s one that I picked up and then he purchased a snowman stocking for me. Last year my MFL Secret Pal sent me 4 Disney Stockings 2 with Minnie and Mickey and 2 with Pooh on them and then this year my Secret Pal sent me a really nice red stocking with Mickey and Minnie on the front dancing and my name embroidered on it. The girls stockings are hung on the piano. Kurt’s stocking is also hanging from the piano. He has a Batman hanger that I also picked up for him. My stockings are strung on a piece of twine and hung from the top of the entertainment center. As kids I remember getting a tangerine in the toe of my stocking. To this day, I love tangerines, but think of them as a Christmas treat. When packing the stockings for my family, I always try to include an ornament or two, plus some candy. There is usually something else but it depends on what I find that will fit.

JYC Dec 22

December 22nd Making a List
With only a couple of days, just what is left to do.
1. Wrap presents (Kurt is hard at work on this and should be done tomorrow)
2. Clean Living Room (seems like we are always doing this)
3. Still have a couple of Christmas presents to pick up
4. Get Christmas Cards ready to be mailed. (Just why do I hate this so?)
5. Make Turkey and Stuffing for Christmas Eve supper
6. Get Car started so that we can get out of house. (note here, finally had car towed. They fixed it on Tuesday said that it was the cold and this car can’t handle the cold.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

JYC Dec 21st

December 21st A bit of reality.
Today’s assignment is to record how the house is decorated. I am choosing to use a series of pictures.

JYC Dec 19th

December 19th Dr. Santa
As a kid we always wrote letters to Santa, but for some reason it hasn’t been as big a deal for my kids. Since today ended up being a snow day we are home for the day so I was able to get the girls to write a letter to Santa. Kristen was thrilled and couldn’t resist, but Sarah was another story. She grumbled about it the entire time insisting that no 15 year old writes letters to Santa anymore. She made her letter short and sweet. It seems that she only wants 3 things. I know that she is getting one of the items and one of the items there is a NO way she will be getting it. We will have to see about the final item. Depends on what we find tomorrow when we go shopping.

Dr. Santa,
I haven’t written to you for many years. It does seem a little awkward to be writing to Santa again, but I will try it. What do I want, not much just a few things. I would really like a clean house and some time to myself so that I can get some scrapbooking done. If you can’t get me that I will accept some books to read, some scrapbooking supplies (new trimmer, page protectors, adhesives etc.)
Thanks Santa,

JYC Dec 18th

December 18th Food
What would Christmas be without all of the extra food around for the month. Cookies, candy, munchies types of food, sweet breads, turkey dinner with all of the extras, it is a wonder that I don’t gain an extra 50 pounds during the month. I will admit that some of my favorite cookies and candy are ones that I don’t make, but that my mom makes. I love her lemon snowflake cookies and the butter toffee candy that she makes. I also like the traditional turkey dinner. I miss having the turkey done just before we eat it. One tradition that we almost always include is herb bubble up buns. We have been having this for our family meal for since I was in elementary school. My aunt Kathy introduced the bread to the family one Christmas and it has been included in every family meal since then. When the entire family gets together we need between 2-3 batches to feed everyone. I am getting hungry just thinking about the food for the month.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

JYC Dec 20th

December 20th Something unexpected came in today’s mail
Nothing to report yet, but still a few days before Christmas so hopefully I will have an entry for today. Otherwise I plan on using parts of all of the cards and letters we received in the mail.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

JYC Dec 17th

December 17th I saw this and thought of you
It is so hard to find just the perfect gift for many people. I love it when I am able to see something that says that person’s name. This year that hasn’t happened, so I guess that I won’t need to worry about giving away any secrets. I do know that I love a gift that is thought out and really fits what my personality is versus just giving me something. This is hard to do for people as it is much easier to just buy them a present from a list or give people a gift card. I do strive to give the perfect gift, but I am not sure that it always happens.

JYC Dec 16th

December 16th Gratitude
1. I am grateful that my family is healthy. So many families have so much trouble with illness.
2. That we live close enough to get together with family for the holidays.
3. That my girls are doing well in school.
4. A job that I enjoy doing.
5. For technology that allows me to take a class from someone across the Pond
6. That my entire family is off for 2 weeks at Christmas time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

JYC Dec 15th

December 15th Visitors
Today is supposed to be an easy topic and it really is. For the main event we go to other places and are the visitors. We head to my Mom’s for Christmas # 1, we usually pick out a day that will at least sort of work for everyone. Then we always head to Kurt’s family on Christmas day for supper. I really like the years that we do my family on a different day since it actually gives us some time at home together without having to rush to different places in one day. However, we usually have a get together on New Year’s Day. We plan an open house sort of thing where we make a couple of crock pots of chili and then a bunch of munchie type of food. Others come over and bring something to share. It is usually a very relaxed day. Since most of the time I have to go back the next day it is a very nice way to end the holiday season.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

JYC Dec 14th

December 14th Tales of Christmas Presents
When we are at home and it is just the 4 of us, the girls will take turns taking a present and handing it to someone. We then watch as that person opens his or her presents. We enjoy this method as it gives us a chance to see what each person gets and whether or not she likes it. We don’t use tags for the presents instead each person has one wrapping paper assigned to them. Every year we get the cats a small toy also. We usually give this to the cats first and enjoy watching them play with the new toys. Last year we forgot to give the cats their present. Kitty got a little upset with this and went over and stood by the presents meowing and looking at us and then the presents. I am not sure that he thought that his present was really worth the wait. At my mom’s house Sarah reads the packages and then gives them to Rebecca and Grace to help pass out, plus Kristen also passes out presents but doesn’t need help reading the tags. Once all of the presents are passed out we start with the youngest person and each person opens their gifts while the rest of us watch. Before we actually open the presents however each person opens their stockings. Kurt, Dan, and Dave usually have the same things and Beth and I usually have the same items in our stockings. The girls receive similar items according to their ages. It wouldn’t be fair for Sarah (15) to receive the same toy as Grace (almost 2). Kurt’s family passes out one present at a time and then everyone enjoys watching to see what the other person received. Usually Kurt’s sisters Jean and Ardith will hand out the presents. However this year may be different as little Allison will be joining the family for her very first Christmas. It is fun to see how each side does it differently and then how we have combined traditions for our own family.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

JYC Dec 13th

December 13th Fa la la la la la la la la la …
I must admit, I really love the sounds of Christmas. I probably own more Christmas CD’s than any other one form of music CD. I put the CD’s into the player on Black Friday morning and they stay there until the tree is taken down. We enjoy listening to the music all of the time. The only time we aren’t listening to the music if we are home is when watching a Christmas movie and of course when sleeping. It is so hard to try and name my favorite as so many of the songs bring back special memories.

JYC Dec 12th

December 12th Tales of Christmas Past
I thought long and hard about this topic, which is why it is a day late. Had a hard time remembering one specific Christmas, instead I remember bits and pieces of several different Christmases. I remember the Christmas just before I turned 7 when I met my baby sister on Christmas Eve. Or the time when all that baby sister wanted an inch worm so bad. Santa was only able to wrap about of that package. Beth saw it right away and wouldn’t open anything else. Dad had to put it together right away. (How do you reason with a 2 year old). I remember getting my stereo. I think I was about 12. I also received the Carpenters Christmas Album and a 8-trak tape. Does anyone else remember those? I remember the Christmas that we almost didn’t make it to Grandpa and Grandma Steinhagen’s due to a snow storm. Of course there was also the 1st Christmas that Kurt and I spent together. I gave him his NATA certification plaque and he gave me a ring. 6 months later we tied the knot and have been together ever since. There is the 1st Christmas with Sarah and then the 1st Christmas with Kristen. Kristen’s 1st Christmas was also Kitty’s first. I was so afraid that he would climb the tree that I put mothballs down the pole and underneath the skirt. Instead he just slept under the tree for the entire month.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mommy, Mommy the band is here

Mommy, Mommy the band is here, Sarah excited exclamed when she would catch the first glimpse of the pep band whenever I sold tickets for the basketball games. She would then spend the rest of the night dancing to the beat whenever the band played. Of course this was 14 years ago and she was a short curly haired little toddler of only 1 year of age. The joy of her life at that time was to have the pep band play during Daddy's games so that she could dance. How we loved watching her dance to her heart's content during those games. Of course never thinking that some day she would be in that same pep band.

Tonight was Sarah's first pep band. She was so excited to for her first pep band. While she was so excited, I was finding it hard to believe that it had been 14 years since she first discovered pep bands. I hope you had a good time Sarah, you are growing up so fast.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

JYC Dec 11th

December 11th O Christmas Tree
I really think that the Christmas tree is one of my favorite Christmas decorations. I love a nice full tree with a ton of lights. The bigger the tree and the more lights the happier I am. The tree is always the first Christmas decoration to go up and the last to come down. When I was a kid we always had a real tree. While I miss the smell and the fun of picking out the perfect tree, I don’t miss the mess and having to water the trees. Because of this I will stick with artificial tree. Besides the artificial tree is more likely to be just the right shape and symmetrical.

Whittier Christmas Program 2008

Tonight was Whittier's annual Christmas program. This was my 8 year of attending this program. They didn't let the Kindergarten and 1st grade in the program when Sarah was that age level. Tonight's selections were cute as usual, but I miss being able to hearing the traditional songs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

JYC Dec 10th

December 10th Brown Paper Packages
While I love the look of a pretty wrapped package that is not one of my skills. Thankfully, my husband loves to wrap the packages and so he spends between 2-3 days in the basement wrapping away. No one is allowed to come down unless Dad has asked for that person to bring him something. I am so glad that Kurt loves to do this since it is not one of my favorite tasks. If left to me, the presents probably wouldn’t get wrapped until late Christmas Eve. Not only does Kurt love to wrap the gifts, he also loves to have fun with his wrappings. He will take a tiny gift and wrap it in a large box; he loves to make it hard for the recipient to find the present.
One other tradition we have with regards to the presents is to wrap each family member’s gifts in a different paper that somehow says them. One year Kristen has had Disney princess paper or Winnie the Pooh paper, Kurt has had Spiderman or batman paper, Sarah has had tweety bird or Star Wars paper and I usually get something along the lines of snowman. Actually this method saves on the number of gift tags that a person needs to use. I think if we were to go back to just using any old paper the girls would complain.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

JYC Dec 9th

December 9th Year after Year
Traditions are something that everyone has and in some ways guards them and are afraid to let them go. I know people who always do the same thing strictly because that is the way it has always been. To do something strictly because it has always been done that way is not right, but to do something because it is enjoyed by all and brings great joy to all then by all means keep it. After thinking about this all day, I decided that for my first year, I would take a trip down memory lane and write about some of my family’s traditions from when we were little. My Dad’s birthday was Dec. 5th. We would always go out on the weekend closest to his birthday to look for the best tree. I loved getting all bundled up and hunting for the perfect tree. Dad would then cut the tree down and we would get it bundled up and take it home. Real trees make such a mess, but I loved the smell of the fresh pine tree. It was a pain to crawl underneath the tree to water it however. A couple of other traditions that we have had included Santa coming on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. I have already written about that so won’t go into detail now. Once we came home and before we opened our presents we would light a fire in the fireplace. All wrapping paper was thrown into the fireplace. (I do miss the fireplace) After handing out all of the presents we would take turns opening our presents starting with the youngest. This way we were able to see what each person received from Santa. After opening gifts we would have supper. For many years I remember having a frozen pizza or two, then Dad was given some BBQ meat and he fell in love with it. It soon became the Christmas Eve meal. You would cook one beef and one pork roast and then combine them in a crock-pot with barbeque sauce. This was the one night that we kids could stay up as late as we wanted. I remember staying up really late when we were first allowed to do this and then eventually going to bed at a normal time. Most have been growing up. Christmas Day was spent with Grandpa and Grandma Steinhagen and family out at their farm. When I was very young we would go to Grandpa and Grandma Holst house for the evening. Eventually that stopped as the Helble family grew older and some members starting to die off. Usually around the 27th we would then get together with Grandpa and Grandma Holst, Uncle Gary, Aunt Joyce, Connie and Kevin to have the Holst family gathering. We always rotated this from the farm to our house every other year. One thing I don’t remember is when we took the tree down and put Christmas away. Next year I will find out about some of Kurt’s traditions.

Which Christmas Character Are You?

Which Christmas Character Are You?


OK, so maybe you won't go down in history for having a glowing nose or being heckled by the reindeer gang (thank goodness), but like your Christmas counterpart, you're a good friend who'll stick with the people you love through thick and thin.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

Monday, December 8, 2008

JYC Dec 8th

December 8th Do you see what I see?
I love this time of year. It is so much fun to be out driving at night and see all of the lights that people put up. When I was really little we would go for a drive every year on Christmas Eve to see all of the lights in LeClaire. Once we arrived home Santa had arrived. Over the years, I have found some really nicely decorated homes. When I taught in Sterling there was a house on Hwy 30 in Illinois just east of Morrison, that was always decorated very nicely. I always loved it when they put up their decorations. The past few years in Clinton, there has been a house that creates almost a postcard perfect picture with the lights around the window and then the tree all lit up inside the house. I wonder if I could manage to get a good picture of this house sometime.

JYC Dec 7th

December 7th Time to Get Organized
Organized, now that is a dream of mine. I would love to be organized period, but even more so during this highly busy time of life. Here is just a sample of my to do list
1. Decorate the tree
2. Put boxes away
3. Decorate the living room
4. Decorate the bathroom and bedrooms
5. Decorate the kitchen
6. Print off Christmas letter (Kurt writes this)
7. Get cards bought
8. Bake cookies
9. Buy presents
10. Wrap present (thankfully Kurt does most of this, I have to wrap his presents of course)
11. Make Grandpa’s calendar present
12. Make cookies for the Band Cookie Walk
13. Buy the pop and rolls for Kurt’s family Christmas
14. Make Herb Bubble Up buns for my family’s Christmas
15. Address and Mail Christmas Cards
Of course besides the to do list there is also the list of activites this month
1. 4-H Family potluck (first Sunday of December)
2. Whittier Christmas Program
3. Carousel Dance Recital
4. Sunday School Christmas Program Rehearsal
5. Sunday School programs x 2
6. Lyon’s Christmas Walk
We also used to have a Band Concert and Chorus Concert at Washington, but Sarah is now in high school, so won’t have that until Kristen is in Middle School, but then will lose the elementary program

Saturday, December 6, 2008

JYC Dec 6th

December 6th Mixed Memories
Two memories of Christmas past, one almost perfect and the other not so perfect is today’s prompt.
One really good memory I have of Christmas is the year that Kurt and I were engaged and planning our wedding. I ordered the NATA certification plaque for Kurt for his Christmas present. It came wrapped in 4 different layers. I opened the package and wrapped the plaque then put the first layer of packaging back on then wrapped it. I continued in this way until I had 8 different layers of wrapping around it. I really had fun watching Kurt open this gift. Another gift that I had fun with was a pair of gloves for Kurt. I wrapped up one glove and gave it to him at my parent’s house and the other glove at his sister’s house. His nephew was only about two years old at the time and was really worried about the fact that there was only one glove instead of two. I am having a difficult time trying to recall a really bad Christmas, but I can’t seem to do it. There have been a couple of years when we just didn’t have much money and it was hard to buy the gifts we wanted. In many cases we made do with what we have. There have also been a few times when I received a gift that I really didn’t want or was disappointed in, but it is important to remember that it is the gift that counts.

Friday, December 5, 2008

JYC Dec 5th

December 5th How Many Days to Go
Interesting topic, reflect on how you count down the days to Christmas. We have done a couple of methods since Sarah was little. When Sarah was little I read an article in a magazine about a family that would go out and by 25 brand new Christmas Story books every year. The parents would wrap up the books and place them in a basket, allowing the children to pick one book every night to unwrap and read. I adopted this for Sarah when she was just a toddler. However, I would use the same books each year instead of purchasing all new. The girls loved doing this. They were always anxious for me to get the books up and they wanted to help me wrap the books. As the girls grew older, I picked up a few longer books with a bit more of a detailed story line. Finally the girls outgrew doing this even though Kristen is only 9. (They became so busy, we were hardly ever home in the evenings and was always playing catch up.) Now the girls have an Advent wall hanging that holds 24 candy canes. Each year we fill the hanger with candy canes. The girls enjoy one candy cane every night after supper. One day they will outgrow this method also. Then it will become time to look for another way to count down, or find a way for Mom to count down.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

check this out

Okay, I found this wonderful post on the a different website. It is about Christmas and what I believe. The person who wrote this has a great understanding of things. Please click here to go and read the confesion

JYC Dec 4th

December 4th Perfect Christmas
What would the Perfect Christmas be? My house be twice the size that we have now. The family room and living room would both have fireplaces with a mantel. There would be two sets of stockings hanging on the mantel (both wouldn’t be filled, just for decoration) Of course both rooms would have a large Christmas tree decorated with all of the beloved ornaments that we have collected over the years. On a side table there would be a nativity set. The house would have 4 bedrooms each also decorated for Christmas with a small tree in each room. There would also be a nativity set on either a dresser or night stand in each room. All bathrooms would have Christmas themed towels and little soaps. Plus on the counters there would be some sort of little decorative display. The kitchen would also be decked out in all of its Christmas finery. The dining room would have a beautiful table cloth on the table, plus a centerpiece made out of Christmas greenery. The chairs would also have Christmas backs and cushions just for the holidays. The table would then be set with a set of Christmas dishes. In the corner of course another tree and a nativity set. The house would also have a playroom for the girls that would be decorated according to their individual tastes. Kurt’s Comic book room would have a three foot tree just for all of his super hero ornaments (maybe even some of his sports ones). Finally, I would decorate my scrapbook/craft room. There would be a tree with mini scrapbooking tools hung on the tree, there would be Christmas music playing in the background for all rooms. Of course I would have made my own Christmas cards and had them done by the 1st of November. I also would have lovingly crafted many different Christmas presents for the family. Finally, the big day would come. We would have scheduled family gatherings for other days so that the 4 of us could stay home for day and enjoy each others company. The girls would get up around 6:30 and we would open presents taking the time to really enjoy the gifts and each other. After presents were open, I would have a brunch prepared. We would clean up the dishes and then take some time to let the girls actually enjoy their presents. Finally I would put the finishing touches on a late Dinner around maybe 3. After eating and cleaning up we would then put in a movie or two and spend the rest of the evening together watching a couple of favorite movies.
It really is fun to dream and who knows maybe someday this will come true.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

JYC Dec 3rd

December 3rd Postal Service/ Cards
Wow, our first card came today. It was from someone that my husband used to work with and his family. We have had a relationship for many years now, since before Sarah was born and their three girls were little. I always love to get cards and mail at Christmas time. I especially love the cards that are made out of pictures or the homemade cards that we may get from a few of our crafty friends. I just wish I loved sending cards as much. Every year Kurt takes great joy in writing our Christmas letter. He always begins the letter with some thoughts about the true meaning of Christmas and then ends with a brief paragraph about what each of us has done the past year. He does like to short change his paragraph and I have found myself going back into the letter and adding to his paragraph. Now you would think that it would be really easy for me to get the cards out, address them and then sign the card and put the letter into the card, but for some reason this seems to be a very hard task for me. I am not really sure what it is about it that I don’t like, but there has to be something that keeps me from getting it done early in the season. No matter how good my intentions are, I am lucky if I get the cards out by the 20th of December. Maybe I can try to do a better job. I will see if I can’t actually get the cards done this coming weekend so that they can be mailed on Monday the 8th.

getting to know me

I found this and thought that it would be a great addition to my blog. You are supposed to make everything that you have done bold. If you decide to do this, please leave a comment, so I can check out your list.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band

4.Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6.Given more than you had to a charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8.Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art form from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

I think that I live a boring life.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

JYC Dec 2nd

December 2nd Weather
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. When I was a kid, it seems like the weather was always cold and snowy. One year, I was in high school I believe, a big snow storm hit Christmas Eve. We didn’t make it into church that night and the next morning my Grandma Steinhagen called to tell us not to come out because it was snowy so bad and the roads were closed. At least a foot of snow on was on the road. Christmas just didn’t feel right that year. Then around 1:30/2:00 Grandma called, the plows were coming through we could come out. It didn’t take us long to get everything gathered together and into the car. 45 minutes later we were arriving at the farm. Christmas was saved. Any more it seems like we do get snow most years, but usually it is just enough to cover the ground. We haven’t had a good snow fall before Christmas for a while now. Some years it is even brown.
As I am writing this we currently have a temp of 310 F. My computer keeps thundering at me, to let me know that there is a winter weather advisory for tomorrow. We are supposed to get between 2-5 inches during the day. If we get that much snow driving home after school will be fun.
I will say that the weather this year has been somewhat different. The snow flurries started October 24th already, the first time the snow stuck however was this past weekend November 30-December 1st. Even then most of the snow melted.

Monday, December 1, 2008

JYC Dec 1st

Journal Your Christmas:

I have signed up for a very special online course. This class is called Journal Your Christmas. Every day from December 1st until Jan 6th we will receive a prompt. The goal is to write about that prompt every day. I also plan on turning each day's journal entry into a scrapbook page. My plan is to spend about 15 minutes every night writing about that day's prompt and then spend time on the weekends or when there is nothing going on at night to create my pages. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with this project of mine and will have a wonderful journal at the end of the course documenting our Christmas 2008 along with past traditions and maybe even some future goals. I will post my journal entry to this blog every night and then will post my scrapbook pages to my crafty blog as I get them done. Please feel free to leave comments regarding this project on either blog.

December 1st Manifesto
Even though Christmas is my favorite time of the year, I have found myself becoming more and more stressed with all of the stuff that needs to be done each year. School Christmas programs, band concerts, chorus concerts, dance rehearsals and recitals, decorating; baking, buying the perfect Christmas present have all taken the joy away from the season. I have decided to try and recapture some of that joy of the original Christmas so many years ago. By spending a few minutes every evening journaling a bit about my Christmas past, present and future, and then turning that journaling into a scrapbook I hope to reclaim Christmas for what it needs to be.