Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving article

The most interesting part of Thanksgiving is definitely the combination of personalities when extended family gets together. I enjoy observing people, and watching a large mixture of people is always entertaining.
Maybe most families aren't as crazy as mine, but I'm sure most are just as interesting in one way or another. There always seems to be a Grandma who loves to give kisses or an uncle who tells fabulous stories, and somewhere in the mix there is always a prankster to keep everyone on their toes. Then, of course, there are always lots of cousins to play together.
Sometimes there are bad things about getting people together – such as rivalries between brothers, or in-law disagreements. That's bound to happen when many different people spend time together, but, fortunately, roasted turkey and pumpkin pie generally produce happy people.
Like most families, a tradition of ours was to have each person name something they are grateful for before we could eat. The children always had the cutest reasons such as, “I'm thankful for the tooth fairy” or “I'm thankful I don't have to sit next to my brother.” Adults generally had the boring comments such as, “I'm thankful for my job that provides a good income for my family and wonderful benefits so I can be a good husband and father and also for good coworkers who . . . blah . . . blah . . . blah.” The teenagers are generally the most creative, “I'm grateful we are almost done with this gratitude thing so we can eat.”
Then, the feast began. The conversations were always amusing, the food was always delicious, and the spills were always certain.
When the food is all cleaned up there is the after-dinner celebration. The younger guys all watch football games, the kids all get sent out to the backyard to wear off some energy, the women gossip in the kitchen, and the old men fall asleep on the floors and couches and rock the house with the snoring. If you're really luck and have a crazy family like mine, the aunts and uncles will either arm wrestle or start the game of “Do you remember when” while Grandpa and Grandma insert the occasional, “I didn't know that happened!!!”
With so many things to be thankful for, I'd have to say that I am most thankful for the people in my life. Each person influences me and teaches me and makes me smile. Much of who we are is built upon the foundation of our experiences with the people around us. I hope that you enjoy each moment you have with the people in your life.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Black Widow

Yes, this is a picture of a black widow spider on a girl. It's actually a tattoo, but I wanted you to understand how I felt with this entry.

I had a horribly scary experience the other night. I had brought a box of sweaters in from the garage. I was trying them on since I hadn't worn them last year because I was pregnant. I wanted to make sure they fit. When I put about the sixth sweater on I looked in the mirror and saw a giant black widow on my neck. It completely terrified me and I screamed and tried to brush it off. It took me a couple of swipes to throw it onto the floor. It started running toward me so I grabbed a shoe to smash it.

I was shaking for about ten minutes. It really scared me. I am blessed, though, since it didn't bite me. Now, I am much more careful about bringing in clothes that had been in storage.

Picture from

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Headache Updates

So, as many of you know, I have had chronic headaches (and oftentimes, migraines) since the time I was in about seventh grade. I've been to all sorts of doctors and specialists to try to figure out what is wrong. Well, I am happy to announce that I haven't had to take any pain killer for about a week now. After experimenting with a lot of the things that past few months I found what seems to be causing the headaches.

Each time that I get one or wake up with one I take a nap and it really seems to help. I've also noticed that it seems to have a lot to do with my eyes. If I spend a lot of time writing on the computer I seem to get them more quickly. A nap always seems to help (even if it is short.) So, I'm pretty sure it has something to do with my eyes and sleep deprivation.

Whatever it is, though, I seem to have things under control and it is a great relief! Thank you to all of you who have been concerned about me over this. I'm sure your prayers have helped!

Random Happenings

Conversation at dinner tonight:
Annalee: Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!
Jim: Shh!
Annalee: Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!
Jim: Shh!!!
Annalee: Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!
Jim: Annalee, when I say "shh" it means be quiet.
Annalee (in a whisper): Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!

When we were Trick-or-Treating Annalee really wanted to fly (since she was a butterfly). So, Jim picked her up and would carry her really fast so she could fly. She thought it was the greatest thing!

Today Jim was shutting the circuit breakers on and off to try to fix a problem in our electrical wiring. Any time Luke saw lights go off and then on he would giggle. He would watch the lights so intently -- waiting for them to flicker again.

We've had a really hard time teaching Violatte that sharing doesn't mean she can take what someone else has. We have had to tell her, "You can only share what you have." I don't think she quite gets the concept yet. She'll 'borrow' something and say, "Annalee just needed to share with me."

Annalee's favorite shirt this week has been one that her Grandpa and Grandma Howard gave to her. She'll point to the shirt and say, "I need to talk to this Grandpa and Grandma and tell them to come visit me."

Luke now makes kissing sounds by sucking in his lips like a fish face. It's so cute. When he kisses us, though, he just slobbers, still. Lovely!

Every time the girls pray they pray that Trissa (their aunt), Christie (H.), and their babysitter (Leah L.) will come to their house.

Luke waves and claps his hands. My favorite is when he is going to bed. He'll start waving to everyone.

Violatte is reading really well. She is even doing some math lately. I've been so impressed with how quickly she catches on to things.

Luke doesn't roll over so much. Now he army crawls. He sure is getting into a lot more things!

Kids are so much fun!