December 31, 2008

2008: The Year of the Boogie

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December


Happy New Year, everyone!

December 29, 2008

God's Perfect Provision

Because of my serious lack of blogging over the past two weeks, I may have to do some backtracking. Then again, I may share this and forget about everything else!

For Christmas I got a bonus from my boss. I didn't tell DH about it, thinking instead that I would use it for a surprise super-fun gift for him. Last Monday the plan was that after DH got home from work I would go out and finish the Christmas shopping all by myself (yay for Boogie-less shopping trips!) I secretly intended to cash that check and go on a Super-Fun-Gift-For-DH hunt. But what actually happened was that when DH came home his right eye was red and irritated. He said that it had been bothering him all day, and that it felt like there was something in his contact, even after he took it out and cleaned it thoroughly. He took out his contacts and I took a look at his eye -- people, it looked like a divot had been taken out, right across the pupil. It still gives me the shivers to think about it (I cannot bear eye injuries. I can give birth without an epidural. I can watch open-heart surgery on the Discovery channel. I can listen to your story about a post going through someone's leg. But please, please don't tell me about a detached cornea or show me your bloodshot eye or anything like that. It makes me quavery inside.) We called an opthamologist and they got him right in. The doctor gave him a prescription for antibiotic drops and an ointment as well. When DH called from the pharmacy to tell me he was super-bummed about the cost of the meds. Wouldn't you know that the copay to the doctor plus the cost of meds was exactly, to the dollar, what I had left of my bonus after tithing? TO THE DOLLAR, y'all. So there was no Super Fun Gift but DH has a healthy eye, and that is all that matters.

You can't tell me that was a mere coincidence. God always provides exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

December 27, 2008

Holi-Daze

What a busy time we've had over the past two weeks! We had some friends over for dinner; hosted the monthly ladies' meeting at our apartment; went to several rehearsals for the Christmas play and then had the performance. I sang in the choir and DH played the role of Grandpa -- doesn't he age well?
SIL2 pulled this play together and did an amazing job. BIL2 built the set. Many folks from church assisted with acting and singing and everyone did great!

One afternoon we had a party with MIL's family from Delaware (these pics are curtesy of SIL1 as I had forgotten to bring a camera): We got to spend more time over the weekend with one cousin who stayed at 52 for a couple of days:


In between all of these events I shopped for gifts and spent hours making beaded ornaments. I only got one good picture of the ones I made but most of them turned out pretty well. I could only work on them at naptime and after the Boogie went to bed because the combination of her with my beads was a potential disaster that I did not care to risk, so there were many late nights. Next year I think I'll try to get a head start of a month or two.


DH had Christmas Eve and Christmas day off which was wonderful. On Christmas Eve we wrapped gifts and cooked a turkey (my first one ever!), attended the Christmas Eve service at church, and headed to 52 afterwards to eat and exchange gifts.

All the LCs:

Pop Pop reads the Christmas story ... or rather, attempts to:
The Boogie is very excited to open presents!
Tearing into the gifts:
Christmas morning we slept in which was wonderful. We have to take advantage of that while the Boogie is still young enough not to wake early. :) It was so sweet to see her reaction to her new table and chairs and new (to her) play kitchen. She sat across the table from Curious George and chatted with him for quite a while.

video
video
We got dressed and went out to breakfast, then came back home and opened the gifts from my family and each other.
Our afternoon was spent on the phone with Kentuckians and Warshingtonians, and around 4:00 MIL, FIL, and SIL3 showed up for dinner. We ate and afterwards watched The Shop Around The Corner. All in all it was a wonderful, relaxing day!


I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas, and that the rest of your holiday week is nice as well!

December 25, 2008

The Countdown ... Oh Wait, It's Here!

Merry Christmas to you all! I have been terribly remiss in posting, I know. I apologize. There will be a nice long catch-up after the holiday, with pictures and everything. Meanwhile it is 1:30 a.m. and I finally finished wrapping! Time for sleeeeeeep ...

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

December 17, 2008

The Countdown: 8 Days 'til Christmas

On Monday when we went tree-shopping the temperature was in the low sixties. It was an odd feeling, but nice not to have to get all bundled up! It reminded me of the Christmases my family spent in San Diego when we were stationed there. The first year we were married DH and I bought our tree at one of those farm-stands you see by the road and paid (if I remember right) about forty dollars for a five-foot tree. Last year we went to another stand and paid about twenty dollars for a little three-footer (the Boogie was just starting to crawl so we put it up on a table where she couldn't reach.)
By this year we had learned our lesson so we went to Lowe's where we paid $23 with tax for a nice 6-foot Balsam fir. The pickings were a little slim, but DH patiently held each one up and spun it for me until I found the least Charlie Brown-ish one. I think it has a very nice shape and it certainly smells lovely! The Boogie has had a difficult time resisting the charms of ornaments at her level but we hung the wood and felt ones and some plastic Ikea balls at the bottom of the tree, and anchored it to the wall with fishing wire just in case she tries to knock it over. Her favorite ornament is a tiny felt train engine. When we are there she touches it with one finger and says delightedly, "Choo-choo? Choo-choo!" When we are not there she pulls it off and brings it to us saying, "Choo-choo!" The "don't touch the tree" rule is a work in progress.

DH, bless his heart, went up to the third floor and searched around with a flashlight on his head until he found the other Christmas box which contained the square Christmas wreath (proving I am not delusional) and the tree stand. So I was wrong about having more snowmen to set out. Oh, well!

Yesterday I wrapped the gifts for my family and sent them off. I'm glad to have that task completed. I just have a couple more things to mail and I'll be finished for now. I'm not even going to try to get cards out before Christmas. I might manage to get a letter in the mail by the end of this month. Or next month. We shall see.

Through-out the day yesterday it rained and sleeted and snowed -- it was cold! Today I think it's only raining. It's a good day for me and the Boogie to stay home and get some cooking and cleaning done.

December 15, 2008

The Countdown: 10 Days 'til Christmas

Vee (my sister) texted me yesterday from Warshington that she was snowed in. Snowed in! I am not jealous. My favorite kind of snowfall is when it lightly dusts the ground but melts on the roadways, and is completely gone by the next morning. Hold all ice, please.

I am pleased to record that I accomplished several things last week: the living room was cleaned and rearranged and partially decorated; the Boogie's room was cleaned and rearranged, and her toys were sorted through and put neatly away; our room was cleaned and the pile of papers accumulating on my dresser since September were sorted and filed. I even dusted in our room! It has been, I am ashamed to say, months. Ack. To be totally honest, I didn't completely clean the living room. The computer desk definitely needs some work, but I'll tackle that later this week. The ladies' meeting will be here on Friday so that will be my motivation.

Saturday evening we went to dinner at Maggianos in Philly. The food was AMAZING. If there is one near you, I highly recommend it. We dined family style and I tried just about everything. I was stuffed! Afterwards DH and I walked down to City Hall to see the Christmas tree. It was so neat to see Philly all decorated and lit up. We had a lovely evening.

Christmas preparations are coming along. On our way to dinner on Saturday we stopped by Ikea to pick up the Boogie's gift from us, a small table and chairs. Today I'll head to the third floor at 52 and search for the missing decoration box. I know there's another one because our tree stand is in it! I'll do a little more shopping today and meet DH after work to go get our tree.

It is going to be a busy week. Here is the schedule so far:
*Today -- cleaning, shopping, decorating
*Tuesday -- laundry day at 52
*Wednesday -- dinner with the D family
*Thursday -- more shopping
*Friday -- Christmas lunch, ladies' meeting here
*Saturday -- play practice, MIL's family Christmas party
*Sunday -- church and Christmas play
Incorporated into most of those days will be more cleaning, gift-wrapping, package-mailing, cooking and baking, and more decorating.

I think it's time to turn off the computer and get busy!

December 11, 2008

Aargh

Why won't Blogger separate my paragraphs? This is so frustrating. I really do write in paragraphs. I promise. Please imagine paragraphs in my previous entry.

Smart Boogie

Yesterday I rearranged our living room as you can see by these pictures. Of course if you've never seen our living room in its original state these will mean nothing to you.
I think I like it. It sort of gives the illusion of a separate living room. Originally I did it so we would have somewhere to put our tree but there still isn't a place for one so when we get it we might have to shuffle some of the furniture back around.
Then I started putting out the Christmas decorations. I think I'm missing a box because I didn't end up with very many things. I'm sure I have more snowmen to set out. Also I distinctly remember a large square wreath-like thing with a snowman wearing skis sitting in it. However, just remembering it doesn't mean that it belongs to me. Maybe I saw it somewhere else and it embedded itself in my memory, tricking me into thinking that it's mine. In any case I will have to go looking for another box just to be sure.
I set up our nativity scene on the stand by the front door.
After a while I noticed the Boogie standing on a bag of unfolded laundry, gazing at the scene.
"What do you see?" I asked her.
"Baby," she said, pointing.
"That's right!" I told her, delighted that out of everything there, the tiniest figure was what caught her eye. "That's baby Jesus!"
"Jesus," she repeated. Then the little wheels started turning in her head and after another minute or two she began to hum "Jesus Loves Me"! What a smartie.

That's my girl. :)

December 9, 2008

Getting In The Yuletide Spirit

I love doing surveys about myself. I'm not sure why but it probably has something to do with vanity! Despite my "Nothing Christmasy before Thanksgiving" rule, I completed this one before Thanksgiving. I restrained myself from posting it here, though. You're welcome. Have fun reading and consider yourself tagged!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I've always loved wrapping gifts.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real! Smells SO good ...
3. When do you put up the tree? A week or so before Christmas.
4. When do you take the tree down? Within a few days after the New Year.
5. Do you like eggnog? YUM.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? When I was about 8 (I think) my great-grandma made me a cloth doll. I named her Laura and slept with her and took her with me everywhere for YEARS. After a while my grandma had to put new arms and legs on her because the fabric had worn away. Eventually I had to put her away because her face started to get threadbare.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My mom. She has everything she needs and if she wants anything she gets it for herself.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Dena, of course. Kids are so easy to buy for.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? One year almost all I got was lotion. From everyone. No kidding. I must have looked chapped or something.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I can't pick just one, but I love love love classic movies, like the old black-and-white ones from the thirties and forties. There are lots of cheesy Christmas ones. For kids "The Snowman" is really cute.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually after Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? IDK. Probably!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies
16. Lights on the tree? Yep. And all over the room, over anything that I can drape them on.
17. Favorite Christmas song? "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay at home.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yes
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A penguin!
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve at inlaws with all of DH's siblings and their families, then Christmas morning for just us.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Radio stations that start playing Christmas music right after Halloween.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I really love blue and silver. And snowmen.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Honeybaked ham
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A house. With a yard and a porch swing and a dog.

December 6, 2008

Party Time

Last night was DH's work Christmas party. It was hosted at Merion Caterers which is a beautiful facility. We were actually in the Skylight Room which is what you see on the home page, with the big dome in the ceiling. At our table we sat with BIL/SIL2 and SIL3 as well as two other couples. The food was good and so was the company! We had a nice time and I got to wear my new dress from Ross (I *heart* Ross.) It was definitely an improvement over last year's party...

Last year we missed the cocktail hour and therefore the hors d'oeuvres (a fancy name for appetizers, but it's a fancy place, y'all.) The first course of dinner wasn't served until 8:00 so we were starving. Our table was right under a vent and the air conditioning kept coming on so we girls were freezing. Our table was also all the way across the room from the kitchen so we were among the last to be served. Our waiter was unable to carry enough at once for our entire table so had to make two trips. We politely waited at every course until everyone had their food -- combine that with the air conditioning and our food was cold by the time we ate it. DH's prime rib was mostly fat. GROSS.

The best part of the story, though, happened when we left. We had checked our coats when we arrived. As we were leaving we got in line to pick up our coats and waited ... and waited ... and waited. Soon the line was about twenty-five couples long. I am not even kidding. When we finally got up to the window and handed the coat-checker person our tags he said, "We don't have these." Don't have them? What do you mean, you don't have them? We left them here! Where did they go? Come to find out part of the rotating rack had broken and there were coats all over the floor. Since the tag matches the number on the hangar, if your coat falls off the hangar there is no way to match it with you. So. Coat-checker Person asked, "Can you describe your coats?" Um, yes, we said, they are black. Now readers, just think for a minute about how many people you know who have black coats. Take that ratio and apply it to coats in a coat-check room. It was a sea of black outerwear. Coat-checker Person didn't even try to look for ours. But we weren't leaving without our coats! DH's was leather! So we just walked right behind the counter and started searching. There were coats all over the floor. Some were beautiful fur coats that people were just stepping on (we weren't the only unauthorized coat-searchers in there.) As we looked we picked up what we could and slung them over the rack. After about fifteen or twenty minutes I finally found ours, praise the Lord. As soon as we left the manager closed the door so no one else could go in. It was an eventful evening.


But that was last year and in the past. This year's party was enjoyable and uneventful. We had a snack before we left home. We sat closer to the kitchen and had a capable server -- courses were served in a timely manner, the cold food was cold and the hot food was hot. And I learned my lesson last year. I am now the owner of a pink coat. I know the odds of a coat-check room disaster ever happening to me again are very slim, but I'm taking no chances.

December 5, 2008

Vocabulary

The Boogie is picking up new words every day. She is constantly amazing me by pointing to something and naming it! Since this blog is a journal for myself as well as entertainment for you, here are some of her latest words and phrases:
Ball
Light
Banana
Milk
Yummy
Yucky (when we say something is yucky she says "bleh!" When I talked to her about going to Kentucky she said "bleh!" ha ha ha)
Belly
Mouth
Shoes
Sock
Down/Up (these are still confusing so she often says the wrong one)
Thank you
Oh, man
Oh, wow!
Bless you (after someone sneezes)
No, no no!

She can say most of her cousins' names.

She can tell you what these animals "say":
Fish
Cow
Pig
Dog
Cat
Monkey
Elephant
Duck
Chick

She can count to three.


She can sing along with lots and lots of songs including, we just discovered, the theme for Universal Studios that plays at the beginning of movies.

She is a joy daily, fun and funny, cute and adorable, loving and sweet. She is also challenging and pushing boundaries constantly which keeps me on my toes! It is our goal to raise this child (and any more that God may bless us with) in the nuture and admonition of the Lord. Sometimes it is tiresome but I know the end result will be worth it because He promises "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 Praise the Lord for His promises!

December 4, 2008

Torture By Pilates

Recently I have noticed that things are changing. On me. I won't bore (or disgust) you with details. Suffice it to say that I am finding places on myself that did not exist before. So it's time to do something about that. I found some Pilates videos on YouTube. There are a gazillion of them! Today is day three. I am so out of shape. All I can do is fifteen minutes of stretches and leg exercises and I think I'm going to die. I did notice today that I'm not quite as sore. *sigh* This better be worth it.

Christmas progress is as follows: I have purchased gifts for one parent and three LCs. I have pretty good ideas for the rest of the gifts except I am totally at a loss for what to get DH, aside from boring stuff. Actually I'm not at a complete loss but what I come up with is waaaaay beyond the budget, so ... it's pretty much the same thing. I'm secretly hoping that I'll get a huge check in the mail and can buy him what I want to buy him! There has been no Christmas decorating yet. The boxes of decorations are on the third floor at 52. DH said he will get them down this weekend. I guess that means I should get serious about cleaning and rearranging.

I must confess, I have not made the progress I had hoped for this week. I had big plans for what I was going to do around here, now that I don't have to go to work. But things pretty much look the same as they did at the beginning of the week. Thankfully I still have a couple of days till the weekend so all is not lost. Yet.

December 1, 2008

Road Trip!

Day One:
DH got up at 3:00 to go to work an hour early. The Boogie and I got up much later and packed and cleaned so that we would come home to a clean apartment. DH was home by 12:30 and we loaded up the car and took off! The Boogie did great for the whole trip. I just kept handing her toys and food.
We took along the portable DVD player for her which was perfect after it got dark and she couldn't see her toys or books and she was getting tired of being in her seat. DH drove the first leg to New Stanton, PA, where we stopped at McDonalds for a much-needed break. After that DH napped and I drove the rest of the way to Reynoldsburg, OH. During my shift I was reminded that I really really really dislike driving on unfamiliar curvy mountainous roads in the dark, especially when signs keep appearing that say "Watch for ice," "Bridge ices before road," and "Road may be icy." Every few minutes I would have to consciously relax my shoulders because they were so tensed up. But we made it safely to Reynoldsburg where we stayed at a lovely Days Inn. We didn't get there until after 11:00 but the Boogie was so tickled to be in a new place (and out of her carseat.) She was laughing and running all over.
Day Two:
Thanksgiving morning we had breakfast at Waffle House. I'd never eaten in one before and I have to say I was slightly disappointed. I guess I thought it would be more like a diner but it was sort of between that and fast-food. It was okay. The weather was beautiful for our drive down to Louisville. We arrived around 1:30. Mom made a HUGE dinner! Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, chicken and dumplings, salad, cranberry sauce, pecan and pumpkin pies ... we were stuffed. The Boogie warmed right up to everyone and was lovely and charming and adorable. She especially loved all of the stairs at my grandparents' house. I think she spent hours going up and down them.
Day Three:
We slept in and were lazy for most of the day. Mom's sister and her three youngest kids came over for several hours.
That evening DH and I went to Walmart after the Black Friday craziness had subsided. All we needed were windshield wipers but we wandered around for a while just for the fun of it. I tell you what, there is a type of people who shop at Walmart that you will not find anywhere else. When you are in Kentucky that type of people is taken to the next level. It is amazing. (Please understand that I don't mean that ALL people who shop at Walmart are of that type, only that there IS a type. After all, I shop there too ... when I have to.)
Day Four:
We slowly packed everything up and left after a White Castle lunch. The Boogie conked out within fifteen minutes of leaving. We drove a little more than halfway home and stopped in New Stanton, PA for the night (a word to the wise: don't stay at the Howard Johnson in New Stanton. Dated, kinda smelly, not as clean as I would have liked.) It was sad to say goodbye but we were so happy that we got to go. The Boogie did so well with my family. She loved her Lela:Wasn't scared of Papaw at all, though when prompted to kiss him wouldn't get within a couple of inches of his beard (he did at least get air kisses):Four generations! Mom is the first-born of her siblings, I am her first-born, and the Boogie is my first-born. Cool, huh?I love my grandparents so much. They have been such an integral part of my life.
Day Five:
Breakfast at Cracker Barrel just before the morning rush. There were Steelers ballcaps and sweatshirts everywhere! After some yummy food and a perusal of the country store we hit the PA turnpike. The weather was nasty and traffic was slow for a while. The Boogie was at her whiniest (though not bad) and needed to watch lots of Elmo, Backyardigans, and Curious George. Every rest area was jam-packed full of people. At one of them we found a small room sort of annexed onto the big main room. It was totally empty so we chased the Boogie around for a bit to run off her toddler energy. We made it home by 4:30 which gave us plenty of time to unwind, shower, and do laundry before bed.
It was a wonderful trip. Lord willing it won't be another two years before we do it again.
And now ... Christmastime is here! There is going to be some serious holiday blogging going on over the next month. To kick it off:

A Christmasy munchkin. :)