Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Not-Resolutions

It's that time again... the point where I sit quietly, alone in the living room with my dog, cat, and computer, and muse over the year's accomplishments, disappointments, surprises, and challenges. I spent some time reading over old blog posts - an enjoyable experience - and now I suppose it's time for the mandatory resolutions post.

Except I'm not doing resolutions, per se.

You see, a lot of the things I "resolved" to do didn't exactly make me a better person. A lot happened this year, and the vast majority of my list was never even begun. I'm okay with this. In fact, I'm not even going to review what I did right and what I did wrong. Doesn't matter - 2008 is done and over. Can't fix any of it now.

So this year, I am abandoning resolutions. Instead, I have a handful of goals - namely things that will pretty much have to be accomplished in the coming year for life as I know it to continue. Oh, I guess there's a few things that won't stop the world going 'round if I don't do it, but I'd like to, anyway.

1) Cut spending. With a new vehicle, school, and a soon-to-be new rent house, we are going to be very tight on money, at least until Jeff gets out of school.

2) As a family, learn to life a healthy lifestyle. Forget losing weight - that is no longer my primary goal. Yes, it still has to happen, especially if I am going to survive clinicals this fall, but I'm more interested in making my family healthy. We are going to go mostly vegetarian. I will allow my meat-eating husband the occasional steak or chicken, but frankly I am so tired of meat I can't stand the sight any more, and Bebo will hardly touch it anyway. We are also going to find some activities that let us play together as a family. I don't care so much about dedicated exercising as I do about just being active.

3) Keep up my grades - I am terribly pleased with my performance the first semester back, and I'd like to maintain that standard.

4) Read my Bible. I know, I know - this is on my list every year, and I have yet to make it past March. However, I am hoping I have found the key - a chronological Bible. A couple of years ago I bought a daily Bible, but since each day read from the New and Old Testaments, I found it hard to shift gears. The chronological Bible might suit my brain waves a bit better.

And that's it. Mostly it's stuff I have to do anyway. No numbers. No quantifiers. Just a few goals for the coming year.

I have to say, my outlook for 2009 is better than any year before it. My marriage is great, our future is looking up, and changes are coming that will hopefully make our lives better and easier. I'm excited about what is to come.

Life is good. Praise God!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Home Sweet Home

You don't have to like the place to you live to be happy to return to your home - especially after a week of sleeping on uncomfortable beds, miles and miles of travel, and food that just ain't your thang. Seriously, every year I think I might just say to heck with Christmas altogether - the travel just makes me insane. Guess I'm a bit too much of a homebody. I was so glad to come home that the first thing I did was take a nap in my own bed - just to say I had slept in my bed again!

Besides the load of gifts that found their way to my humble abode, a new-to-us vehicle is now parked in the driveway. Jeff's dad agreed to sell us his F150. My sweet hubby is thrilled beyond all reason. I would be ecstatic, too, but I am coming just shy of that emotion - mostly because I can't drive a manual transmission. I will learn, though! It has 120,000 miles, but is in fabulous condition, and looks awesome. I have wanted a truck for so long, and it is going to come in handy soon, because...

unless something changes, we will be moving in March!! We've found a nice little rent house. It's smaller than our place, but has a big yard and is a bit off the beaten path. No more crazy people knocking on the door at all hours of the night asking for handouts. Braeden can play outside without me being worried sick that someone would drive through the yard and hit him. Plus it's only 3 year old - no frizzled wiring, stinky mold, or busted-up floors. I am sooo excited!

Now I have to go on a search and destroy mission through ten years of accumulated junk. We'll be having a yard sale probably around mid-February, in case you are interested. ;)

Gotta go now... time to reload the fridge.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

North Pole Limited

Twenty-two bucks a ticket, but absolutely worth it. Seeing Braeden clap his hands over his mouth in sheer ecstasy, watching him climb over Daddy in the seat to get a glimpse of Santa, listening to him jingle the little bell over and over - yeah. It was definitely worth it.

Each kid got one-on-one time with Santa. They served us gingerbread cookies and chocolate milk. "Elves" told stories and sang songs - heck, even my non-singing child joined in! It was brilliant, and I am so glad we went.

Early Christmas

Jeff and I agreed to buy each other one small present for Christmas - partly to save money, and partly because there just wasn't anything we either wanted or needed. My request was for the Charlie Brown Holiday Collection. In fact, I've been asking for the cartoons for at least three years now, so he knew he better get it this time. :) His only request was for a new set of poker chips.

A couple of nights ago, Jeff took Braeden to Wal-Mart and purchased my Christmas present. The first words out of Braeden's mouth were "Mommy, we got you a Christmas present and it's a surprise!" Despite his eagerness, he managed to keep the contents of the present a secret.

Today I went out to buy the poker chips. I made the mistake of taking Braeden with me. I gave him strict instructions not to even mention the present, much less spill the beans. So what does he do?

"Daddy! Mommy got you a Christmas present! It's a poker game!"

Rats! I mean, we knew what we were getting each other, but it would have been nice if he could keep it quiet for at least ten minutes! So we went ahead and traded presents, and Bebo and I are happily watching Linus tell about the meaning of Christmas.

And next year, Braeden will not go shopping with us!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Santa on the Polar Express

Seriously, now - it just doesn't get any better. Personal, one-on-one time with a fabulous Santa, a ride on the Polar Express, chocolate milk, a gingerbread cookie, and wearing pajamas all day long.

Yeah. Life is good!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good News

Well, for me, at least. :)

1) I got all A's for my classes this semester. I cannot begin to tell you how happy that makes me.

2) Sande Krieger, a digital designer at Two Peas, asked me to design for her. Cool beans! I'm excited about it. (Page below.)

3) The Transformers bike arrived. Jeff got it put together. No pieces were missing. The evidence is safely hidden.

4) This is my last week of work before two weeks of vacation!!!

5) Christmastime is here.... happiness and cheer... fun for all that children call their favorite time of year...

Oops. Just lapsed into a Peanuts haze for a moment.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Newest Family Member

My family has been adopted by a very skinny yellow tom cat. The little guy was stuck underneath the house, and because of the bitter cold, Jeff (against his better judgement) fed him and moved the doghouse to the front porch so the cat wouldn't be so cold.

Now, this little guy is uber-friendly. In fact, I've never seen such a good-natured, loving cat. He snuggles on everyone - including my dog! I think he must have been somebody's pet, because he hasn't jumped on the furniture one time (except for taking over Braeden's little Thomas chair), and even though he has claws, he hasn't scratched anyone or anything (except for Buddy, and that was because he accidentally stepped on the cat). And even though we'll likely be moving to a rent house soon that won't allow cats, we just didn't have the heart to make him stay outside.

So I asked Braeden what he thought we should call the cat. After all, even a short-term pet needs a name.

"Lee," he said (except it came out "Wee").

"Lee?" I asked. "Why Lee?"

"It's a good name."


"But he needs a middle name and a last name, too."

"What should be his middle name?"

"James." (James is his middle name. Lee is mine.)

At this point, I am thinking it is a bit odd and maybe even a little boring to call the cat Lee James. So I asked him what the cat's last name should be, fully expecting him to reply with our last name. What he said made me fall out of my chair laughing. With a perfectly straight face, and as matter-of-factly as can be, he replied, "Sizzle."

"Sizzle?!?! You want to call the cat Lee James Sizzle?!"

"Yup. It's a good name."

And with a name like that, there's no way I can get rid of the little guy now!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Headlines on Yahoo!

Note the three that are on the news page of Yahoo! this morning:

Poll: Calif. gay marriage ban driven by religion

Couples staying together because of poor economy

Abortion not seen linked with depression

Folks... if you don't believe that a Christian world view is under attack, think again. The media no longer has any compunction about criminalizing Christians for our beliefs and actions. It makes me extremely uncomfortable. Does it you?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Snow Days & Bicycles

Wouldn't ya know it? School was out yesterday. It was obvious - plastered all over the local news. Today, I searched all the same venues (we don't have a radio), finally concluded that school was in session, and sent a cold, unhappy husband off to take the boy-child to school.

Then I got this call from an even unhappier husband. Turns out school was cancelled after all. It wasn't on the news, the school website - anywhere. They tell me there's a number to call, but I couldn't find that, either. At any rate, the unhappy husband is (happily) sleeping, and the boy-child is "playing" Transformers on the XBox. For a kid who can't read, he's doing remarkably well. Truth be told, I think he just likes destroying things, rather than going to all the trouble of completing a mission.

Wouldn't ya know it (part 2)? The awesome Optimus Prime bike that I ordered for the aforementioned boy-child is arriving here. Today. How in the world I am going to keep it a secret from him, I do not know. Of all days for the county to decide to have a snow day!

And since I need to get back to the important stuff (work & study), I will leave you will another picture of my cute little self. Ta-ta!