Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year once again

It's hard to believe that 2008 is about to end. Where does the time go? It seems like just a few weeks ago, I sat down and typed out my resolutions for the year. I think it's true that the older you get, the faster time goes.

I had such big expectations for 2008. It was the year I turned 40 and I just knew it would be the year I made some big life changes. Fortunately I made it through the year, unfortunately not so many big life changes were made.

I wish that I could say that in the past year I...

lost enough weight to fit in those size 6 jeans
exercised every day
kept my house clean
read the Bible every day
had an endless supply of patience
submitted my pages to get published in a magazine

Instead, in the past year I...

rearranged my scrapbook room several times and it's still a mess
still haven't caught up on my kids scrapbook albums
stressed way to much about the little things
never really got into an exercise routine
haven't organized my master bedroom closet
still haven't hung up any pictures upstairs

However, the past year wasn't a total loss, because I did make some positive changes. In 2008, I...

discovered Facebook and reconnected with some old friends
completed a bible study at church
worked on building a stronger relationship with my husband
spent more one on one time with my kids
practiced small random acts of kindness
learned that I need me time and worked on making it
stopped saying yes every time someone asked me to volunteer
rediscovered my love of reading

In the next year, I am hoping to...

cook healthier meals
be more consistent at blogging
continue practicing small random acts of kindness
further develop my relationship with God
start exercising more (and maybe fit into those size 6 jeans)
laugh out loud more often
be more accepting of others
stop beating myself up for not being perfect
cuddle more with my kids
stop worrying about the unimportant small things
have a date night with my husband a couple of times a month

Happy New Year to you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Under the tree

Yesterday's Advent Calendar event was to sleep under the tree. The boys were excited about the prospect of camping out but Haley decided she preferred the comfort of her own bed. Here are my guys sleeping with the glow of the tree making them look like little angels.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Too young for a gun

My 9-year-old has been trying to get my husband and me for weeks to buy him an Airsoft gun. While I lean toward "absolutely not, are you crazy you'll shoot your eye out". My husband leans toward the "why not I had a BB gun when I was a kid". Of course I carefully remind him that he also did other crazy, reckless things when he was young that I do not want my child to do EVER. But I digress.

My husbands argument is that it's a right of passage for all boys. He had a BB gun when he was a kid and he survived. No one lost an eye and no one was seriously injured. My argument is that I don't think a 9 year old needs a gun that shoots pellets. I don't have issues with my son playing with a gun, he has plenty of Nerf guns and play guns that don't shoot anything (or anyone). It's just that when I read the packaging on the Airsoft gun and see a warning that it isn't to be used by a person under the age of 18, I am pretty confident that it was put there for a reason.

For those of you not familiar with the Airsoft guns, they use little plastic pellets rather than metal BBs. This makes them safer than a normal BB gun but they can still put out an eye. The guns come in spring, compressed air and electric versions, but they all basically work the same way, which is to use compressed air to launch the pellets at an impressive velocity.

Airsoft guns also look like lethal firearms because they are exact replicas. The only notable difference between airsoft and lethal weapons, other than the blaze orange tip, is that airsoft guns fire small plastic BB’s instead of metal bullets.

One of the top selling online stores has this to say about safety and the airsoft guns.

First and foremost, protective gear should be used at all times. This includes, most importantly, eye and face protection. While airsoft shooting goggles or glasses (with shatter resistant lenses) are a must, a full protective face mask is highly recommended. Full face masks protect against facial damage to cheeks, teeth, and ears, as well as providing complete protection for the eyes. Along with protective face wear, the use of a thick sweater or jacket, a balaclava (a cloth head mask), gloves, a hat, hard-soled boots, and knee and elbow pads are also recommended. As a final safety measure, the covering of all exposed skin is also highly advised.

Does a 9 year old need a gun that might require him to wear a full protective face mask and cover all exposed skin?

Some of you might think I am overreacting or being an overprotective mom but this seriously causes me some concern. Does there come a point where we give in and compromise our child's safety to let him have something that "all the other kids" have?

The only positive that I can find in letting him have a gun is that it provides an opportunity to teach gun safety, which will be an important lesson for later in life. The cons as mentioned above are the safety issues.

We are at a standoff now. I am being the bad guy and standing my ground. On the other hand, I feel that my husband with enough pressure from my son, would cave. Until we can come to some common ground on this issue, I will continue to say no to the gun. I love my kids and it is my duty as their mother to protect them from things I find harmful. I wouldn't send them out to play in a busy street and I certainly wouldn't buy something that would put them in any danger.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm Dreamin of a White Christmas

I cannot tell you how long it has been since I have seen snow on Christmas. Actually I can because it is the ONLY time I have seen snow at Christmas. It was 1989, the same year as Hurricane Hugo made landfall on the coast of SC.

In Charleston, we don't get much snow or cold weather (I know there are those that would argue with me about the cold but I am talking cold as in freezing). The average high for December is 61 with the average low being 39. Today's high was supposed to be 77 degrees (but at noon my thermometer read slightly higher at 79). Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that this is December. You are not supposed to need your car air conditioner in December.

Looking ahead, the forecast for Christmas Day is 65 degrees so I guess the only snow I will see this year is in the neighbor's giant blowup snow globe (and that's a whole other blog entry). It will even be to warm to rent one of those snow blower machines (don't laugh people really do that here).

I am not saying that I want to move to somewhere like this.

I wouldn't even know what to do with that much snow.

Oh but to wake up on Christmas morning and have my yard look like this would be such a wonderful sight (of course my house isn't that nice but you get the picture, right?).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Fun-due" at the Woods

Last night for our advent activity we had fondue. I took care of all the preparations before we even sat down for dinner. I made a cheese fondue and a pizza fondue (with hamburger). Our dippers were veggies, bread and pita chips. I also cut up some chicken and steak and stir fried those. We had ranch, ginger teriyaki and barbecue sauce for dipping. For dessert it was yummy chocolate fondue with strawberries, apples and bananas. It was a lot of work but the kids really enjoyed it. We had enough leftovers for another entire meal so next time I will definitely make less.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dear Santa

Dear Santa:

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find any more free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple,which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy. If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog. If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,

A Grateful Mom

P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

(I am not sure who wrote this but it could have been written by any mom)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Angel

The boys went with me yesterday to take Haley to get her flu shot. While waiting, Harrison started looking through one of the magazines. He came across a picture of a baby with angel wings and pointed out that the baby was an angel. I said, "Yes, most babies are angels. But then they grow up." Then I said "Well, you are an angel most days, aren't you?" Without missing a beat, Harrison said "Only on Tuesday and Friday."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Celebration

Not long ago, Holden came home from church and told us he had asked Jesus to come into his heart and that he wanted to be baptized. This was a big step and we wanted to make sure he was doing this for the right reason so we talked to him about it.

A couple of weeks before the baptism our church videotapes each child answering 6 questions. Three of the questions are pretty basic like your name and age and who would you like to thank. The other three entail more thought like how did you ask Jesus into your heart, why do you want to be baptized and what is your favorite bible verse. Holden was very nervous about this part but the day of the taping he did fine.

Tonight before the baptism, they showed the videotape of all the children who were being baptized. It was touching to hear these children talk about this important decision. Their innocence shines through in their simple, straightforward answers. What it came down to was that these kids loved Jesus.

The baptism took place outdoors (thankfully the pool was heated) with the children all surrounded by their family and friends. Afterwards, we went indoors again to celebrate the most important decision that these children will ever make. As the children's minister said, these children will go on to make many important decisions in their lives but nothing even touches this.

Here is Holden being asked a few questions by
the children's minister before the baptism.
Holden made the children's minister laugh
when he asked "How long are you going to hold me under?"

After being baptized

Friday, December 5, 2008

More Christmas fun

The advent calendar is a big hit at our house. It has been a good way to make the family slow down and do things together. One of the activities I came up with was indoor s'mores. David thought it would be much more fun to roast them outdoors so he set up the cooker. The kids had a blast roasting their marshmallows even though I was a nervous wreck that they would burn themselves.
It's all about the simple things.

Enjoying the finished product.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On the First Day of Christmas

I got an advent calendar this year for the first time. I was in search of something with boxes and after seeing some for $30 and up, I stumbled across a much cheaper version at World Market. It's in the shape of a Christmas tree and has a small boxes for each of the days leading up to Christmas. So I removed the piece of chocolate from each box and insertd a slip of paper with an activity on it.

On Day 1, the activity was for the kids to write their letter to Santa. Since Harrison is still young, he dictated and I wrote. He didn't want any opening to his letter, he just got straight to the point. Here are some of his wishes:
  • a robot like Holden's
  • a bike with skeletons and pegs on the wheels
  • Bakugans
  • skateboard
  • remote control car

He wanted much more so I suggested that we tell Santa he would like surprises and would be happy with whatever he was brought. Daddy said that Santa would be able to tell that was a mom suggestion as Harrison would never actually come out and say something like that.

Holden wished Santa a good Christmas and asked for:

  • a Nintendo DS and some games for it
  • Bakugans
  • Lego's
  • Wii games and extra Wii remote

Our little attorney also tried to negotiate with Santa by saying if he didn't get a Nintendo, he'd like a new bike. Holden also added a P.S. to his letter asking Santa to give him a call.

Haley said that she had been good this year and would like:

  • a new Ipod
  • curling iron
  • Nintendo DS games
  • Wii games

She also asked for world peace and no offshore drilling but said she understood if Santa couldn't produce those things. And being the kind child she is, she said to tell the elves, reindeer and Mrs. Claus hello.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Just a little fraction

Boys love the excitement of fast cars and motorcycle stunts and there is no shortage of video clips for either on You Tube. The other day, Holden and Harrison were watching a video clip of a guy riding his motorcycle. The guy ran into something and flipped off his motorcycle. Harrison gasped and said "I think that guy is dead." Holden replied "No, I think he just got a fraction."