Friday, November 28, 2008

Rhett's dear Santa

Dear Santa Claus,

My name is Rhett. I am a boy and I am already 7 years old!! I live in the great city of Edmond. Of course, that's in Oklahoma, United States, but I'll bet you knew that!! This year I've been so good that my halo is just a teensy weensy bit crooked!

Santa Claus, some things I might like for Christmas this year are:
-Nintendo DS;
-I phone; and
-Wii football game.

Santa Claus, I almost forgot to say...Have you hit your head on the north pole?

Love, Rhett

(This letter was written at school and by email on Santa even replied to him. Very cool).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

...I hope you all have a wonderful, thankful day!

I am very thankful for my family who lives with me.

I am so thankful for the rest of my family, who aren't here with me today, but I am thinking of and wishing I was with you.

I give thanks for my friends, close and far away. Know that I am giving you cyber-hugs here at my computer.

Love you all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

misadventures at the post office

...I just haven't had time to take a picture of my decorating, so it will probably be after Thanksgiving. Yesterday, I went to see Noah's Thanksgiving program. They sang cute turkey songs and then had a big feast.

I also went to the post office. This is how it went. I took the package that needed to be mailed (my niece's b-day gift!) and went straight to the Automatic Postal Service machine. Love those things! I got all the way to where I had to enter the zip code and realized I forgot the address in the car. I had to cancel the order, go back to the car and get the address. I decided just to leave my purse in the car and just carry my wallet in with me. I resumed my business and when the label printed out, I realized I had no pen with me. No pen was anywhere near the APS so I had to go back to the car. I wrote her address and was going to just mail it in the mailboxes outside, but realized I couldn't go that direction (curb). By then, I had to go to the aforementioned program, so now the package is sitting in my car, still unmailed.

Oh, and later that day, I find out that a letter I had also mailed at the post office with a deadline coming up had the wrong zipcode on it.

I was frustrated beyond belief. It seems like that whole trip had been a waste. I have learned now that I will not go to the post office when I am in a hurry anymore. It is not worth it.

Today the boys have no school and I hope that we can run some errands (like to the post office!) and hope I can clean my house.

I am thankful for the time off of school. We all could use a rest.

Monday, November 24, 2008

dad, i'm sorry

...I started decorating for Christmas today. Before Thanksgiving.

I can see my father shaking his head right now. I am sure he is wondering if I learned anything from him.


I'll have pictures tomorrow of something very cool that I did. Yes, it relates to the decorating for Christmas.

I could make excuses but he wouldn't care to hear them. I could say that I haven't gotten the tree down yet and I won't until the day after Thanksgiving. But that probably doesn't matter either.

I can remember when we would get a real tree and my dad would spend so much time trying to get that (insert word that any man would be thinking) tree trunk to fit into the tree holder. Then he would listen to us say, "It's leaning." over and over again. Then he would put the lights on the tree. And by now, he was in a not-so-jolly mood. My mom would have The Osmonds playing on the record player and I'm sure he wanted to run away screaming. But he didn't. He stayed, did his part, then let us finish decorating the tree without him. I think Mom might have made him caramel popcorn at times.

One year, our lovely leaning tree fell over, completely decorated. A few ornaments broke. And my dad had to put it back up. It was by our lovely wood-burning stove and I am sure my dad wanted to shove the whole lovely tree into the fire by that point. I don't know, I am just guessing.

When we got an artificial tree, I was a little sad. I know my dad wasn't.

I asked Seth the other day if we could get a "real" tree. I can't be sure, but I think I saw the same expression my dad had on his face when my mom mentioned it was time to get a tree.

I promptly dropped the subject.

See Dad? I did learn something.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

'tis better to have one than none at all

...I missed posting yesterday. I have done pretty good but not as good as Krista. Anyway, I have a topic that closely relates to my sister's posts from the last two days. It is about Christmas gifts.

The boys each want a Nintendo DS Lite (the hand-held gaming system). They have wanted these things for a long time but Seth was against it (just another thing to buy expensive games for) and I was a little wary (would they bury their little heads into those things and never come out) so after a long discussion, we came up with a compromise.

Ask for ONE Nintendo DS Lite.

Just one. They will have to share. We explained that this would be better: there would be limits on the time played on them anyway, those things aren't exactly cheap, the games cost money and if they had one they would at least still talk to each other.

Rhett understood. I think he was just relieved we were letting him ask for one.

Noah was a little sad. "Now I am going to just cry more!" he said. Then he asked why they couldn't ask for one from Santa and one from us, the parents.

Seth said that although Santa must be rich to buy all those presents for everyone, we can't ask for lots of expensive things because that isn't fair to the other children in the world.

I think, in the end, Noah understood. He still wasn't exactly fired up about the idea but that is okay. Like Krista said, they have to learn not to expect the world for Christmas. It is not about the gifts you get anyway.

Whenever I talk to one of my friends about Santa gifts, she always laughs. Apparently, her two kids (5 and 3) think Santa just gives cookies, candy and maybe one or two little dollar store gifts. That is it. So they don't even ask for things for Christmas.

I am sure my kids have other friends who do get the world for Christmas (or at least to my boys they do). Their parents wouldn't think twice of getting two DS systems.

I think both ways are fine. I am glad we are trying to be more in the middle though.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear Santa Friday

...Real Simple Magazine had a feature in December's issue that gave me an idea. There were several writers that wrote Dear Santa letters at different ages in their lives. Most of them were hilarious but some were very poignant. I decided that on Fridays until Christmas, I am going to write my own Dear Santa letters. There is a lot I want to say to Jolly Ole St. Nick. Here is the first one:

Dear Santa,
I first want to say that I am sorry I haven't written in so long. It wasn't because I stopped believing, althougth there were a few years that you existing was doubtful to me. Let's call those, The Dark Years.

You know the ones. The year I wrote left you milk and cookies and I must have told my mother that I really hoped you wrote me a letter in return. That was the year I started questioning. My brother had already made up his mind. I remember my sisters and mom trying so hard to convince him you were real. He just wasn't buying it. I tried to, but was wary. What if you weren't real? Did magic not exist?

Anyway, I did get a letter that Christmas morning and my heart sank. I tried to conceal my disappointment and even hung the letter on my bulletin board, but the more I looked at it, the more it became clear: My mom wrote that letter.

I don't (and never did) blame my mother. She has excellent penmenship and I know how hard it is to write differently (especially because I now have to do it myself to my kids). But I was so sad to know that you weren't real. It was all just a story.

Flash forward a few years. In junior high, each homeroom class had to decorate their door for Christmas and the best door from each grade would win the contest. (Isn't it sad that contest probably isn't even allowed anymore?) Anyway, my class chose to put the letter, "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" and when I read that letter, wrote those words down on huge paper to cover the door, my heart rejoiced.

You became real again. And at Christmas, I became a child again.

Now, I am a mom. I have two boys and one is reaching the age I was when I stopped believing there was magic for awhile. While I wish it wasn't so, I know that soon, he will not believe that I heard reindeer hooves on the roof. He will study his letter from Santa and know, just know, that I wrote it.

I hope though, that when I read him the letter, written way back in 1897, he will know that you do still exist. Maybe not in the way he once thought, but in an even more real and special way.

Until next week,

PS- For the letter, and a neat background of the editor and Virginia, click
And click
here to see a scan of the original letter in the newspaper. Just for fun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

let us all eat cake as much as we want

...It is officially less than a month until Rhett's and Noah's birthday (they are counting down!). I am really not wanting to have a party this year. But how? how? do I tell them? This is what I am thinking: on the day of their birthday, they can choose where or what to eat. We'll have a cake at home (Yes, I am making two. My mom always made two for Casey and me. It is only fair.) Then maybe the weekend after their birthay (or before) they can choose an activity (Science Museum, bowling, movie) and choose a friend to go with them. Then we will eat more cake.

I am just tired of the whole birthday party scene. Tons of toys from tons of kids, the party bags (Oh the party bags! Who started this little tradition?), ect. We don't need that! Who is with me? (Trust me, I am going to need a lot of support on this!) :)

Speaking of cake:
Today, I am thankful for:
1. chocolate desserts. I have a yummy recipe that I am making for Thanksgiving dinner! It is called Cinnamon-Caramel Ganache Layer Cake and the recipe can be found here.

I am even going to do the chocolate shavings. I'll let you know how it tastes. But I am sure it will taste delicious!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a good question

...Noah: Do you want to know what my bad dream was?

me: Sure.

N: Well, I wish I had a picture of it. Let me look for it.
(a few minutes later)

N: Ok, I can't find a picture of it. But I'll tell you, it was a very big, very hairy spider. You know, the one in the toy magazine?

me: Wow, that sounds scary.

N: And I kept telling myself that it was just a bad dream, but I couldn't wake up!

me: I hate when that happens.

N: Mom? Why is it when you have bad dreams, you can't wake up and when you have good dreams you can't stay asleep!? I always have this dream that we are about to go into a toy store to get really cool toys and right before we walk in the door, I wake up! I don't know why!

me: I don't know either.

N: Yeah, me either.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

free to be

...It is early (at least for me) and the boys are not awake yet. Noah ended up in our bed last night because of a bad dream. I will have to wake Rhett in a few minutes, but I wait, happy to let him sleep just a little more.

There is a list of 13 things that I need to do today but I know it won't all get done. Only 1 or 2 really have to get done, so I have circled those things. I have the ability to put things off that really need to be done and do the fun things instead. It is a gift. ;)

It is Tuesday and I can't believe in a week and a half it will be Thanksgiving. Two of our neighbors are going to spend it with us and we are excited about that.

Today, I am Thankful for just being me. I am not perfect; my house is never clean; I am a wishful organizer and I am not a phone-talker and I can't remember names. But I also think I am a pretty happy person; a glass is half-full kind of a person; loyal and kind. I am thankful for my strengths and weaknesses because that is what makes me who I am.

I hope you are thankful for just being you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

because your card is still in my purse

...Happy Birthday Mom! Thank you for everything you did for us growing up, and everything you dor for us now. We love you!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

i'm getting a lot out of this really

...So our preacher has been preaching a sermon series titled: Advent Consipracy. It is about how we should spend less this holiday on less meaningful gifts and material things and give more of ourselves. It is a great concept. But is it bad of me to think, "Our economy is so bad, we need people to spend more money during the holiday so things might get better." Even if that is not necessarily true, I still think it when he preaches.

I am planning on giving meaningful gifts this year. But I think I do that every year.

I do know the point of this series. It is to remember that Jesus is the reason. Spend time with your loved ones because that is what really matters.

This all sounded better in my head.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

a tiny hint

...Nana and Grandmom: You are going to love your Christmas gifts from the boys this year! I am so excited for them. What they are doing is making me want to dive right in and do one or two too. :)

Just thought I'd give you two a little tease on this Saturday morning.

Friday, November 14, 2008

this is why I do laundry

...This morning, Noah has a new favorite thing:

Warm and toasty clothes from the dryer.

Mmm. It is perfect on a cold morning.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

o Christmas cards

...o Christmas cards, how much do the boys hate to take them? A lot apparently. Actually this was after I made them smile "pretty." Then I told them to make a frowny face for fun and Rhett's was a fun frown but Noah's was a little too realistic. Can you tell he really knows how to pout?

The whole Christmas card thing is bothering me. On one hand, I love getting cards and also giving the cards to show off my boys. On the other hand, I dislike having to address them. On another hand (pretend I have more than 2 hands), I could just email out my holiday greetings this year because it creates less waste. On yet another hand, there are those who would not get them then. And also, I received less cards last year than the year before and am wondering if giving cards is just too big a hassle for people. Would anyone care if they didn't receive a card from me this year? (Well, I know one person: My grandmother's friend who just loves Noah wondered where her card was this past year and even asked my mom about it. I forgot to give her one). So what to do?

Really, what do I do? Or better yet, what are you going to do?

The one thing I am thankful for today is this little gem found in Oprah's magazine:

Barn's burnt down-
Now I can see the moon.
-Masahide (17th-century poet)

Certainly makes you see things in a different way, doesn't it? Everything has a reason, everything has a lesson. Good things come out of bad things, you just may have to look deeper.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a short list

...My Favorite Things Today:
1. Chocolate Caramel Popcorn from the Boy Scouts. Yummy.
2. My friend Cathy
3. My Clean Bathrooms
4. This weather
5. My sweet boys
6. Seth

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

thanks anyway

...As I was cleaning dog poo off of a neighbor kid's shoe this afternoon, I thought, "Today hasn't been my favorite day." I guess some days are like that.

So here is "Even though it's been bad day here are some things I'm Thankful For" Thankful List:
1. My New York City photo book came in the mail-finally! Although I noticed a couple of errors (sorry girls), I think it turned out pretty good.
2. I may see both my sisters after Christmas this year! Who-hoo!
3. Seth took both the boys to cub scouts and I am all by myself right now. A good time to catch up on laundry. Oh who am I kidding? A good time to catch up on blogs.


Monday, November 10, 2008

bet you didn't know

...I went to Longview this weekend with Seth and the boys. No, I didn't get on the computer once. I found the "post options" feature on the blog that allows you to put the time you want to publish your blog and then I wrote this weekend's blogs all at once.


I hope that didn't ruin your blog-reading experience. :)

Anyway, it was Scott's birthday and so we went to help him celebrate it. We had a good time. The tall trees were just beautiful there--so colorful. They have this walking path behind their house and it cuts through the trees and it was so gorgeous. It reminded me of all the beautiful stories about children walking through the woods, discovering amazing things (The Chronicles of Narnia, Bridge to Teribithia, Spiderwick Chronicles).

I would have loved having that behind my house when I was a kid. But I did have a cool backyard. We lived on a farm and there were lots of things to discover.

My Backyard Thankful List:
1. The barn: This barn was empty enough for us to play tennis inside of it. We had to be careful though because if we hit the ball too hard or too high, it would go inside the barn walls never to be found again.
2. There was a junk pile of used metal and such that my brother and I made a time machine. I think we were channeling Doc and Marty McFly's time machine when we put the junk together. We had such fun playing there.
3. Beside the junk pile was a huge climbing tree. I loved going climbing it and writing letters or reading books. It was peaceful.
4. For a long time, we had an empty pool in between our house and my grandmother's house. It even had a pool house. I think it was one of our (meaning my brother and cousins) place to play when we were together. One day we decided to clean out one of the "dressing rooms" which was full of junk and we found an old letter jacket (either belonging to my dad or aunt-I've forgotten which). We loved sweeping and cleaning that pool house. Maybe we did it in hopes that our grandparents would see how neat it was and refill the pool. Nevermind that the reason they emptied it in the first place was because it leaked and brought water in their house.
5. We had a huge yard. It became even bigger when Dad would mow it and we would have to rake it. I hated raking the yard. But I passed the time by pretending the grass was rice and we had to rake it all together so the hungry could it. It did help to imagine I was doing it for a good cause (other than the grass would die if I did not rake the grass).

I could probably go on but I am in a baking mood. It is rainy and cold and I want to make some muffins. Have a great day.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

observations from where I sit

...I am sitting at my table with a witch decoration hanging on the chandaleir above me. I haven't returned the Halloween decorations to the closet yet.

Across from me are the photos of my family, from 2 years ago during Thanksgiving. I look at my nephews and nieces and sons and marvel at how fast time goes. All the children in the pictures look so young and chubby-faced.

Behind me are my cluttered shelves; stuffed full of crafts, scrapbooks and books about the environment, education, taking care of our bodies and gardening. There are many magazines where I have dog-eared pages that have gift ideas. On top of the shelves are things I love--Noah's "Van Gogh" artwork that he painted in art class, Rhett's portrait of me from Mother's Day last year, two drawings from both the boys that I framed, my tiled mirror that my mom surprised me with one Christmas and my LIVE sign which reminds me to be happy.

I am surrounded by clutter on my side of the table-my camera, stacks of school papers, my date book and the current book I am reading. There is a blue and green bowl where I house my keys and sunglasses. I have a water glass by my side at all times because I always have a dry mouth. Should that be something I look into? Hmm. There are two framed pictures of our beach vacation from this summer. I look at these pictures and see fun and peace.

The boys' side of the table only has a toy magazine and a green marker on it right now. Noah has taken after me and marks what he likes.

Noah's chair has stickers on it. Many "n" s. These stickers will probably be hard to take off and I will probably be annoyed while doing that but for now I smile.

This room is our craft room. Once a dining room, my sweet husband went to Ikea with the boys and bought tables and chairs and shelves and we transformed it into our all-purpose crafting, homework, computer, ect. room. I may no longer use it much for what it was intended (scrapbooking)but no doubt I use it everyday. The boys love this room too. They can be found here first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It is never clean, always cluttered with things and there is always trash on the floor. The other side of the table near the windows has stacks of magazines and a box of potato chip bags (remember the purse?). So now there is trash in boxes too. But I don't want to change one thing. I love this room. I am so thankful for it. From this room, I can hear the music that my husband goes to sleep to in the living room. From this chair, I can see the boys play the Wii from the family room or talk to them across the table while they are working on their latest project or homework.

That is why I love this room.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

running in the leaves

...Aaahhh. Fall is here. The leaves are falling from the trees and collecting in piles around our yard. I love the rustling sound. I love the sound of two boys running through them.
I think Noah and Rhett ran through these leaves about thirty times before they claimed exhaustion. They decided to just throw them up in the air instead:
I absolutely love these boys playing in the leaves, making my day. Making my beautiful fall day.

Friday, November 07, 2008

a Keats poem for you

...The weather this week was warm. Too warm for November. Yesterday and today, however, was perfect autumn weather. The following is a picture I took at a pumpkin patch back in October but I thought it was fitting with the following poem. Enjoy!
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
-John Keats
Ode to Autumn.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


...Growing up, Thursday was always my favorite day of the week. It was because it was the day before Friday. The anticipation of the last day of the week before the weekend was great and nothing could ruin that.

Thursdays brought clean sheet day. Every Thursday without fail, my mom would have us strip the sheets and by the afternoon, we would have clean sheets. I hated re-making the bed but I loved getting in between clean sheets. I don't wash sheets on Thursday now and a part of me wishes I did. (I do it mostly on Mondays, sometimes a little later)

If I looked into why I liked Thursdays, I would probably find a connection on how I live my life. I love the expectation of something. I love the moment before the surprise is unveiled, the present is unwrapped, the moment before you open your eyes in the morning. What will it be? (It being the surprise, the gift or what the day brings)

I admit sometimes the moment after or the day itself is a let-down but the anticipation never is.

So, I really had something profound to say about all of this but phone calls, lunch for the kiddo and having to hurry so I can take him to school has left me quite distracted. I will leave you with this:

I love Thursdays. So that is what I am thankful for today.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

family ties

...Seth and I have a little Alex P. Keaton on our hands. It was no surprise to me that Rhett voted for John McCain in his 2nd grade class or that McCain won in a landslide victory for the grade. (This is Oklahoma. We are a Red state through and through) Rhett has been saying that he wants McCain to win ever since Clinton lost to Obama last year. (Yes, you read that right.) Anyway, this morning he came into my room and said:

"The election! What happened Mom? Who won?"

I told him Obama would be our next president.

"Aww. But Mom, he is going to raise taxes! And that includes your taxes."

I tried to tell him Obama won fair and square, that I am sure he would do good things in his presidency, that McCain was so gracious in accepting his defeat, that we should all be like that.

Rhett sighed, then said, "Crud."

Maybe his aunt should have a talk with him. ;)

Now that I am more awake than I was this early morning, I will tell him that Obama becoming president is historic and watching Rev. Jesse Jackson cry tears of joy really says it all.

Furthermore, I will tell him that I am thankful that Rhett already cares so much about his country. Very cool.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

i voted!

I Voted glittering comment from

...How exciting to be an American today! We are voting on such a historic election and that will be true whomever wins.

Today, I am thankful that we live in a country where we can vote on who governs it. I am thankful for the checks and balances our forefathers created. I am thankful that we will now have either an African-American president or a woman vice-president. It is about time. I am thankful that we can each have our own opinions on who is the right person for the job.

I am happy I voted. I hope you did too.

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.--Thomas Jefferson

Monday, November 03, 2008

i'm thankful again

...I remember two years ago I posted things that I was thankful for during the month of November. Since I am going to try to post every day this month, this is a good time to do something like that again.

So here is my Thankful List for today:

1. The time change. I really felt less tired, if only for an hour.
2. The lovely weather. It is beautiful. Just nice enough for the boys to wear shorts, which is good because I haven't done laundry yet.
3. Amazing music. The symphony was great. I want to watch some Alfred Hitchcock movies now.
4. Good friends I can count on and relax with are a blessing.
5. The Texas Tech Red Raiders are #2 right now. For the first time ever. Wow. (I won't say how they became number 2 in the ranking because one or two fans of the other team read this blog) :)


Sunday, November 02, 2008


...Here are the photos promised:
Noah was Jack the Beanstalk for his Storybook Character that he wore at school. He had a bag full of golden eggs too but that isn't shown. His only complaint was that I did not make the harp.
Noah the Ninja showed up for Halloween. He only looked this good for about 2 seconds. After many trips and falls (it was dark you know) his belt fell off, his swords were lost and he looked a little disheveled.

Rhett was a leatherhead, or an old-tyme football player. (Note that the number on his jersey is the date of his birthday) Of all the costumes I have ever done, I am most impressed with this one. Just too-small black sweat pants, Noah's soccer socks, Rhett's baseball shoes, an athletic shirt that I painted stripes and a "leather" helmet made out of felt. Don't you think his sports goggles were just the thing that made the outfit? Awesome!
By the way, Rhett did not share the Dove chocolate bar that he promised he would share. He ate the whole thing by himself, in front of me. Sigh.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

what krista said

...So Krista is doing a post a day all month long because it is NaBloPoMo (hee hee). So I told her I was doing it too.

The Good:

Today was Noah's last soccer game. These last two games have been great. Noah has really gotten after the ball and you should have seen his determination. He scored a goal last week and wanted to again, but we were so proud of him anyway.

Last night was fun. I will post the pictures tomorrow. (I promised my kids I would play with them so I can't do it right now). The kids got lots of candy and promised to share the Dove chocolate bar they received with me so I am happy too.

Tonight I am going to "A Symphonic Night at the Movies: Hitchcock" with a couple of girl friends. I think it will be so neat. I remember watching one episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and it was the one where the woman was buried alive. I don't remember all the details but I do remember that someone was supposed to get her out, so she wasn't panicked until she realized that that same person was in the box with her. EEEK! ;)

See you tomorrow!