Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Eve Invitation

Hi there, friends and family,

I know I sent most of you an e-mail earlier about Christmas Eve, but I don't have everyone's e-mail who reads this blog.

Just thought I'd let you know that my church, Springfield United Methodist, is having two Christmas Eve Services. 5 PM (a little more contemporary with the praise band) and 11 PM (a little more traditional with the chancel choir). There will be lots of music! (at the 5 o'clock service we'll be doing a few songs arranged by Third Day and also at both services we'll be performing "Mary, Did You Know?").

If you're in the area with not much to do Wednesday evening, we'd love to have you join us. (especially if you're an old college friend!) (I mean it! Come on out in the cold! It will be warm inside!)

Merry Christmas a little early!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Maggie in Stages

It's so hard to believe that we brought Maggie home from the hospital 2 years ago. Let's go down memory lane, shall we?

Owen the happy brother...although he was a little disappointed way back then that she didn't poke him back. Now he gets all that he dished out (and a little more!)

My contented little sleeper...I swear she slept the entire first 2months of her life...and finally woke up when I had to go back to work!

Here she is about 6months, smiling like a pro!

Scooting around...gaining some independence!

Her she is, one year old...(Olan Mills portrait)

Not sure what she's doing.

Last summer out at Owen Landing in the Platte River State Park. We really had to watch her to make sure she didn't dive for the ducks in the water!

Here she is just a few weeks ago!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Birthday Dance

How much cuter can a brother and sister be? (Owen totally picked out the orange shirt to go with his red sweater and gray "cozy" pants).
Here's our Christmas picture, courtesy of "Granny Spiehs." If you haven't guessed it, here are some pictures from our Maggie celebration! She officially turned the big 2 TODAY, Dec. 18th. She has officially graduated into the world of tantrums (only once in a while), screaming/crying when she wants something and doesn't want to talk, pestering her brother (although I think she mastered that about 18 months ago), and realizing the value of "my toys," and how hard it really is to share!

The beautiful birthday girl, note...the doll's dress matches Maggies. (For a girl who wore all of her brother's clothes the first year of her life, has 2 pairs of shoes, and didn't have her own doll until about 6 months ago, she's quite the girly-girl.)

Here's Maggie with part of her cousin, Hannah, and Aunt Mindy.

Overall, I think she had a good day. It took her a while to warm up to having 13 relatives in the house...I didn't put the pictures of her crying in my arms while we sang "Happy Birthday" to her! (Owen had to blow out the candles for her!)
Here's to another good year, Maggie!

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Last night I dreamt that their was a "warning message" on this blog. In red, it said: "Warning, due to financial difficulties of the internet and the stress of the economy, your previous long post will be published in sections."

Me? Long winded? Not really. Just really thankful for all my friends, family and the little things that make me happy.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Here's Maggie on her new big-girl bed. She loves it...hasn't had any problems transitioning to it from her crib. It was so nice to say "bye-bye" to the old crib.

Can you believe this little cutie-pa-tootie is almost 2?? We're celebrating her birthday this upcoming weekend, since the next 3 weekends are going to be crazy.

I had full intentions of updating the blog this last weekend. To say the least, it was a little crazy. After the excitement of Saturday night and the wee hours of Sunday morning, I decided to write more about what I’m thankful for. Tis the season for being thankful and all…

In random order:
1. Friends and family who are willing to come over and watch the kids, or take them for the weekend. It’s the little things that make me happy…like when Dave’s brother Darin was here for the weekend and I was able to shave my legs. Although, getting the big projects out of the way is nice, too. Dave and I have been up to our necks in projects and having a hiatus from parent duty frees us both up to finish up the loose ends and really get a tremendous amount of work done. As it is, when we are working on a project, one of us is with the kids; thereby freeing the other one to work without having to worry about a child poking themselves with a hot clothes iron or soldering iron, or a hundred other things that could go wrong. This weekend we were able to finish up the new sound system project and replace Maggie’s crib with a regular, big-girl, twin-size bed, clean out the kids’ closets in preparation for new toys, and deep cleaning of places that haven’t been touched since June.

2. Dave. By now most of you know that Dave was involved in the 30 + accidents on I-80 Saturday night due to the black ice, caused by drizzling rain. The truck was totaled more than once. (The truck was hit 3 or 4 times). This is the second time (in 3 years) he’s been in an accident where the vehicle he was in was totaled out. The Mustang was repairable. The truck, however, is pretty much a sardine can. It probably can be used for something; scrap metal, most likely. Trucks and cars can be replaced; loved ones cannot be. I think once I got past the initial shock of what all happened, and what could have happened…I’m proud to say that we are handling the situation as best we can. I think a lot about one’s character shows up in times of duress. We could have freaked out. We didn’t. We could have thrown our hands up in the air cursing our bad luck. We didn’t. I think we’ve learned that life throws us all kinds of curve balls; and that it’s always going to be throwing us curve balls when we’re not ready for them. It’s how we respond that really matters. There is truth to the saying that you can find a silver lining in every dark cloud. Once the insurance settles, we will probably be able to get another vehicle that we can put car seats in…and hopefully the replacement will be better for us to drive in the winter than the Ranger was.

3. Pumpkin yogurt from Target, pumpkin tea, pumpkin beer, and pumpkin pie. I like pumpkin. If you’d like my secrets on how to make an incredibly scrumptious pumpkin pie, you may make the request via e-mail. It will cost you one item per each secret you desire. (I have 3 of them). Items that I will trade my secret for: new Cubby t-shirt (mine finally bit the dust and is now a pajama shirt), sheet music for the Beatles, sheet music for Tom Waits, CDs from the following artists: Todd Agnew, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Audio Adrenaline, Third Day, Bebo Norman, Mandisa, Point of Grace. You may also offer me a free car (it must run and be able to put car seats in)! (Do that soon, though, before the insurance adjustor finishes up the claim and we start looking for a replacement for the truck!)

4. My part-time job at the church. I’d love it if it were full-time with benefits. I never thought I’d be a choir director, but it’s working out quite well. The folks in the chancel choir appreciate having someone to direct them; and I’m delving into different parts of the bible, which the songs we’re working on are based from. I’m working hard on incorporating the themes Eldon’s talking about each week into our music. I know I’m not absolutely perfect for the job; but who is? I’m learning a lot along the way. I already know of several things that I will do differently next year for certain holiday sermons. I’m really looking forward to our Christmas music. I picked out some traditional-contemporary versions from Third Day; and we’re also (hopefully) going to be performing Breath of Heaven and Mary’s Song.

5. Our children. Although at times when both of them are in crisis over something trite; overall they’re wonderful blessings. It’s hard to remember that, though, when Maggie doesn’t want to use her words and screams instead. Or when Owen is being defiant, just because he’s 3 and he tests us on everything. But it’s all worth it when out of the blue they come up to you and tell you how much they love you and shower you with hugs and kisses. I suppose one day Maggie won’t want to rub noses and cheeks and pat my hair; but for right now I’ll take all I can get.

6. My job. I’m sure there are many blogs you can find written by someone being laid off, or already out of work. I was never sure what I wanted to be when I grew up (and honestly, I still don’t really know), but education has proven to be a good choice for me. I really enjoy teaching 4th grade. They don’t have that “attitude,” yet…and they still like playing little kid games every now and then. I also really like being able to walk to work. Switching to Springfield Elementary was a good choice given the situation with our lack of a vehicle right now. Being able to walk everywhere –church, the bank, grocery store, work- (as long as the weather holds!) has been a blessing.

7. My sniffer. One of my favorite things about the holiday season are the smells of pies baking and turkeys roasting and all of the wonderful aromas (cinnamon, vanilla beans, cloves, thyme, nutmeg, cedar and pine trees, wood stoves, etc) which fill a home. I think I had the worst cold ever beginning about 3 weeks ago and I’m finally beginning to get my sense of smell back. 4th graders don’t smell too bad, but I’ve been unable to detect dirty diapers. Sorry, Maggie.