Sunday, January 11, 2009

Getting back into routine...

The week after Christmas's soo hard to get back into routine. Work was great-I reviewed procedures and routines with my 4th graders-they're like a well-oiled machine. And Maggie goes with the flow...usually. Owen, on the other hand...let's just say it was a very long week for him. Monday through Friday we couldn't get him out of bed with a cattle prod. (We didn't really use one, but the thought crossed my mind!) And then on Saturday, he was up before 6. Ugh.

To get a little peace, I took my little girl grocery shopping late Saturday afternoon and on the way home she started talking about the "petty pink ky." (pretty pink sky) I then noticed what a beautiful sunset she was talking about. Then she started singing along to the song on K-love, "Shine," by the Newsboys. It WAS a gorgeous favorite kind-with bursts bright pink and orange and the prettiest robin's eggshell blue all around it. I'm so glad SHE had the sense to call my attention to it. The next song that came on the air was Chirs Tomlin's, "Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone." What a great song to sing in the car with your little girl. My favorite part of the song are the last two verses:

The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.

My chains are gone, I've been set free. My God, my Savior has ransomed me, and like a flood His mercy rains, Unending love, Amazing grace.

The The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine, but God, Who called me here below, will be forever mine. Will be forever mine. You are forever mine.

The second week of January is turning out better than it started.
Owen and Maggie are still napping, too. :)

All is well.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Maggie the Talker

I'm not sure why we ever worried that Maggie lagged behind Owen in her communication skills. She just turned 2 a few weeks ago and she spouts off the ABC song about 10,000 times a day, talks back to Owen, and can say up to an 8 word sentence. At bedtime and naptime we often have to tell her that her "babies" (she has 7 of them) are sleeping and we have to stop talking now so we don't wake them up in order to get her to stop talking so she can fall asleep.

It's also really cute how she's starting to recognize more of our neighborhood, landmarks in town and the people on our street. There's a wonderful couple down the west side of our street (we'll call them Joan and Allen). We stop to talk to Joan when we happen to be outside at the same time. On Sunday we took an afternoon stroll around the block, we were on the east side of the block where Joan and Allen live. As we got close to Joan and Allen's house she started talking about Joan. She said, "There Joan house-ee. Joan nice-ee. I'm cold. Let's go home." And then as we passed another great family's house (Lisa and Greg and Leo and Claire) she stated, "Claire and Leo not home. Claire has nice toys. I'm cold. Carry me, pease."

What manners.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

What was all that noise last night?

I heard lots of noise last night. Woke me up right around the stroke of midnight. I think it was Joan and Allen from down the street setting off fireworks (illegally) again.

I've never been much of a New Year's Eve partier. Mostly because I don't like to interrupt my sleep schedule. I think the last time I stayed up past midnight on New Year's Eve was in 1999. Just to make sure nothing went wrong....If someone were to hand me a ticket to Sydney or Tokyo, or London, or NYC to watch the big fireworks and events, sure-I'd go. But I was quite content to go to bed last night at a respectable hour.

We did end the year on a good food note, however. We hosted a few friends over at our house...I'm quite proud of the spread I put out...homemade everything: French Onion Soup, (we used up onions from the in-laws garden, plus garlic from my garden); a pork dish I call "Piggy Goodness," (pork tenderloin butterflied and stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto, and then drench it in a honey mustard soy sauce dressing). I also made nut brittle and a New York style cheesecake. And a few veggies on the side.

I do have to admit that I fell asleep during a game of Trivial Pursuit. I have never been in pursuit of trivial knowledge, so that game bores me to snores.

So I guess it's the first day of 2009. It doesn't matter what year it is, I still have to think every now and then about what year it is. I still sometimes write 1988 (the year I got my checking account-7th grade! The first check I ever wrote was to the school's library for overdue books).

What's going to be different about this year, than the last one? Not sure. I try to tackle change as it needs to happen. There are things that I changed last year that I want to always practicing with a metronome. When in a small group, listening before I speak. Listening to the music inside my head. And just always be open to change. You never know what great things can happen if you aren't willing to take a risk.

Christmas in Gothenburg

After a day and a half in Phillips for the Spiehs Christmas, we headed further west to Gothenburg for the Hudson Christmas. It was a little bit quieter for this part of the was us, Dave's brother Darin, and of course, Dave's parents, Dan and Karen.

Here's Maggie excited to have a new blankie.

By now, Maggie is getting pretty good at opening up boxes!

Darin, Dan, and Karen watching the kids opening their presents....probably amazed at the enthusiasm they have for opening gifts.

Owen...note he's still in his Batman jammies and it's around 5 PM. He's going through a big comic book hero stage the last few months. I just hope he grows out of it by the time he goes to kindergarten!
We also had an extended Hudson Christmas that weekend at Dave's Aunt Ramona's house.

Christmas in Phillips

After Christmas in Springfield, we loaded up the new wheels and headed west to Phillips, for our "Spiehs Christmas." Owen and Maggie have 3 great Spiehs cousins: Hannah (3 1/2, she's exactly 2 months older than Owen) and Jack (1 1/2) go with my big brother, Jeff (and his lovely wife, Mindy); and Emma (1) is the daughter of my little brother, Toby (and his lovely wife, Cynthia). This first picture is of Owen and Jack playing with Barbies....

Here's Hannah, Jack, and Owen with Uncle Jeff.

Maggie just hanging back to checking out everything going on.

Cynthia and Toby helping Emma open her gifts.

Cynthia and Emma.

Hannah and Owen, Jack is in the background.

Jack, the big boy opening all his presents by himself!

There's Grandma and Grandpa having a blast with all the grandkids.
It's always a fun (and loud) time when the whole crew gets together. I really don't remember the last time my whole family was together on Christmas Day. Somehow all 13 of us (and the food) managed to fit around the dining room table. I don't think I'd ever since the old table stretched out that was like a banquet table for a diplomat with all the food and people around it.

Christmas at Home

Here's the disaster zone Christmas morning. Everything is unwrapped and partially put together. I believe the kids are finally eating breakfast at this point in the morning....which is why they're not in the picture. We had our usual "don't have to go to work, so mom cooks breakfast for us breakfast..." pancakes, eggs, fruit, etc...
Here's my gift (on top of the Dex phone book). I've been having lots of fun loading songs onto it. I've already used it a lot...especially when the kids are napping, I can crank it way up and not have to worry about waking anyone up!

Dave's gift...the Patrick O'brien novels. (Owen got the Superman book of comics).

Owen and Maggie playing nicely side by side with their own respective toys....for awhile, anyways!

Owen is trying to figure out what in the world is in the box. (It's an inflatable snow sled. We did have a white Christmas, but we left for our other Christmas celebrations that afternoon, and when we came back a few days later all the snow was gone. I'm sure he'll be able to use it eventually. If not this year, maybe next year! Ha! Wishful thinking!)

Owen and Maggie gleefully unwrapping some of their gifts.

Christmas morning. We couldnot get Owen to give us a nice smile. (This is the best one!)