Sunday, December 26, 2010

Just Some Christmas Day Pics

Mark got hit with the flu Christmas Day.  That leaves me and Jack.   I realize Mark couldn't help getting sick, but could I just whine here for a minute?  I get a three day weekend, no nursing help, sick kids and a sick husband.  So much for my Christmas vacation.  It's back to work tomorrow and I'm tired.  *sigh*

C'est la vie.  

A few pictures from Christmas Day ....

A new DSi.

A new Wii game.

Love Eric's bed head :)

The aftermath ... not too bad.
The older they get, the fewer (yet, more expensive) gifts under the tree.

Grandpa sharing some words of wisdom (depending on who you ask).

Someone must be telling a good story . . .


More cousins


Conversation around the fire 

Happy boy!

Jack enjoying his Christmas gift -- wireless, surround sound headphones
He's loving them

I got a flip video camera for Christmas, much to Eric's dismay  (practicing his drums on a chux pad!)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing You A Merry Christmas

Two more kids are down for the count  - Mary and Hilary.  The only one left standing (figuratively, of course) is Jack.  It doesn't appear that Mary and Hilary have been hit as hard as Eric, so that is good.  Hopefully they will be feeling better by tomorrow.  Fun times at our house this Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas filled with the love and laughter of family.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Short Update

The little drummer boy is still sick.  This flu has really knocked him down.  I was a little worried yesterday about him being dehydrated and envisioned a trip to the ER for IV hydration if things didn't turn around soon.  Today, he drank a good amount of Gatorade and seems to be feeling a little better.  He should be back to par by the time the man in the red suit makes his appearance.  I got a call from Kristi on my way home from work this evening telling me that Jack didn't have such a great afternoon.  Here's hoping he isn't heading down the same road as Eric.  When I got home, Jack seemed fine, so hopefully whatever Kristi experienced was an isolated event.

Time will tell .....

My shopping is done, my last day of work for the week is tomorrow, and I'm ready to just relax and enjoy a three day weekend.  Well, I'm not sure there will be a lot of relaxing going on, but I'm looking forward to it nevertheless.

Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Little Drummer Boy

Call us crazy, but we signed Eric up for drum lessons!  At his first lesson, he was very intrigued with all the different drums, asked a lot of questions and breezed his way through the first seven pages of drum music.  (The year of piano lessons really helped.)

Here is the little drummer boy showing off his sticks after his first lesson ...

Here is the little drummer boy today ....

sick with the flu.  It really wiped him out - he slept ALL day today! Here's hoping it doesn't spread through the house or it could make for a very unpleasant Christmas Day. 

"T" minus 6 days and I still have way too much Christmas shopping to do.  I'm done with the kids, but I still have Mark and people outside of the immediate family to buy for. I didn't get a darn thing done this weekend (what the hell was I thinking?)  I'm hoping by putting it off until the weekday evenings, the crowds might be lighter.  You think?  

Wishing you all a stress-free and healthy week topped off with a very, merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The live Christmas tree is up and decorated ....

with a few of my favorite decorations ....

the family room is decked out with Christmas cheer

Christmas shopping is almost done; kids are in the final days of school before Christmas break and Hilary will be home on Friday.

All is as well as it can be ...

and this is for ME! 

(a poet I am NOT, but you get the idea)

And for YOU ~

The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you
The love of the Son and God's peace to you.
(Irish Christmas blessing)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Food for Thought Friday

An excerpt from The Pursuit of Perfect by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D

[T]he four benefits of suffering: wisdom, resilience, compassion, and a deep respect for reality.

Wisdom emerges from the experience of suffering.  When things go well we rarely stop to ask questions about our lives and predicament.  A difficult situation, however, often forces us out of our mindless state, causing us to reflect on our experiences.  To be able to see deeply, to develop what King Solomon referred to as a wise heart, we must brave the eye of the storm.

Nietzsche, a wise man himself, famously remarked that what does not kill us, makes us stronger.  Suffering can make us more resilient, better able to endure hardships. Just as a muscle, in order to build up, must endure some pain, so our emotions must endure pain in order to strengthen.  Helen Keller, who in her lifetime knew much suffering, as well as joy, noted that "character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

Everybody hurts sometimes, and allowing ourselves to feel this universal emotion links us together in a web of compassion.  The dictionary defines compassion as a "deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it," but the only way we can gain a deep awareness of the suffering of others is by having suffered ourselves.  A theoretical understanding of suffering is as meaningless as a theoretical description of the color blue to a blind person.  To know it, we need to experience it.

One of the most significant benefits of suffering is that it breeds a deep respect for reality, for what is.  While the experience of joy connects us to the realm of infinite possibilities, the experience of pain reminds us of our limitations.  When, despite all our efforts, we get hurt, we are humbled by constraints that we sometimes fail to notice when we are flying high.

A deep respect for reality implies an acceptance of what is - of our potential, our limitation and our humanity.  Recognizing that suffering is integral to our lives and that there are other benefits to pain, such as the cultivation of wisdom and compassion, we become more accepting of our suffering. And when we truly accept grief and sorrow as inevitable, we actually suffer less.


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Star Student

Last week, Eric was selected as the class "Star Student".  Each day during the week, there is a special activity revolving around the Star Student.  One of the activities is that all the kids in the class have to write a letter to the Star Student.  Eric brought home a folder with all his letters and it was hilarious to read them.

Most of the letters were a version of this:

Dear Eric,
You are a really cool and good kid.  You always listen to Mrs. K.  You are always looking at her and you get your work done right.  You are a really good builder. You can make up something with legos really quick.  You can probably make a robot with legos in a minute.  You are also a good artist. Our giant posturs were really cool and I liked yours the best.  Mrs. K picked you and I think you deserve it.
Your friend,

But, THIS one was the best - you gotta love this kid's honesty:

Congratulations on being star student.  Just to warn you I'm not good at staying on topic so, just warning you.  I like being funny and crazy too so I'm not one of those people who doesn't respect your silliness.  Ugh, I hate writing star student letters. Not that I hate you, but I hate these letters. Why are they called friendly letters? Do you have to be friendly in them or something. Oh, I am closing your letter now so bye! 


My "Star Student"

Have a great week y'all!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit

In an attempt to get into the Christmas spirit ... Jack and his friends and brother decorated the Christmas tree in Jack's room.  I still have a few more lights to put up in Jack's room and have another tree to put up in our family room, but it feels good to have at least started the process. 

A good time was had by all! 

The pictures below don't begin to do the tree justice.  This is actually taken with all the lights off in the room, but you can't tell.  Wish I knew how to take pictures in the dark to get the true effect of the tree.  

Oh well, use your imagination.  :)

This evening, we went to listen to our friend perform in a Christmas concert. Jack got all dressed up in his "Dapper Dan" sweater and really enjoyed getting out of the house.

Hanging out by the Christmas tree in the lobby of the hotel where the performance was held

Hope you all are getting into the Christmas spirit as well.  It's hard for me to get too excited about things this year, but I'm doing my best to put on my happy face and enjoy the season, while remembering the reason.  

Thanks for checking in!