Monday, January 4, 2010


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Happy New Year!! I hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas! Ours was peaceful. FYI, I'll be switching my blog music back to my regular music AFTER our last Christmas celebration is over -- Sunday, 1/10.

Nathan asked my neighbor if I could borrow her camera again--for Christmas day--so I was able to take pictures! We plan to purchase another, but we want to wait for tax money. Things are slow at work for Jim, so I want to spend money wisely. Good stewardship is a goal of mine for the new year. My interest in photography is growing! I love taking pictures--just about EVERYTHING!

I'm not a New Year's person. The old year goes out and the new one comes in quietly in our house. No celebrations. And I don't like making "resolutions". However, it IS a new year, so I chose to make goals instead. Here are some goals, off the top of my head (not necessarily in order of importance):

1. Be a better mother; spend more time WITH my boys.. not just live in the same house.
2. Be a better homeschooler; be more organized but still have flexibility
3. Be a better homemaker; again, organization
4. Do whatever I can to make selling our house and buying a house with acreage happen sooner than later
5. Make Christmas gifts throughout the year, so that I'm ready!
6. Take more pictures of more things!
7. Be a better blogger
8. Be a better friend--keep in touch better. Happy that FaceBook helps with that!
9. Be a better follower of Christ
10.Be a better wife; learn the art of submission ;o)
11. Be a better steward

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! ~Philippians 4:13

That said, we had a productive first day back to school. Still can't figure o
ut how Melissa and Tami do it with 8 children each!

Back to Christmas. We had a peaceful Christmas Eve. We decided to stay home this year, instead of going to church. I took the boys last year while Jim worked. It was kinda depressing. I wanted to spend the evening with Jim, so we had our "service" at home. Had all my wrapping done before Christmas Eve--oh, except for the 3 pairs of jeans that I ended up buying that day WITH the boys! I didn't have a chance to get out in that week. Okay, so they weren't surprised, but that's okay! Yes, I went shopping -- with kids in tow -- Christmas Eve day! Am I crazy? Yes! Actually, it wasn't that bad probably because it was early in the day. AND Walmart was smart enough to have the registers well manned!

Christmas morning was nice too. Christmas Eve and day is just our family. The boys opened gifts quickly. The pictures will say more about that. After which we had a breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls. Then there was LOTS of video watching. The boys got several videos: Daniel Boone TV series (seasons 1 & 2); comedian Tim Hawkins (both videos); Golden Age of Steam and America by Rail (train video sets of 4); Homestead Blessings series (6 videos--a family gift for all of us); Guidepost Junction video (w/Jodi Benson) for Owen; and Andy Griffith Show (seasons 7 & final season) They also got some audio series(s) -- Jonathan Park (Vol. 4 & 5) and Adventures in Odyssey--The Truth Chronicles. Plus a couple of other AIO audio albums on cassette. They're no longer available at cbd.

Although Jim and I are NOT opposed to technology, I think that kids, when allowed to, can become dependent on things like video games, hand-held video games, the Wii, texting, MP3 players, etc. My boys have played the Wii at my sister's, but we don't want one for our home. Unfortunately, that doesn't always go well--unsupervised, that is. Nathan and Jared are allowed to play computer games at home (racing, driving or learning games) for 20 mins. a couple of times a week. Nathan bought a truck driving game, but it didn't work on our dinosaur computer! When we upgrade, they'll be able to use it. They received MP3 players from our neighbors, but they will be limited. At this point, they're just listening to the radio and recording messages! We'll figure out the music downloads when we can! All that will be under supervision; songs must be approved by me. Believe it or not, there are a few songs on the Christian radio stations that Jim and I don't approve of them listening to over and over... sadly. Yesterday, Nathan wanted to listen to his MP3 player while he was shoveling. I told him that he couldn't since he was working with his dad and his brother. If he was shoveling alone OR mowing, that would be different. We want to promote family communication not isolation. Properly used, the player will be fun for them!

Jim's back to work, which is always sad after vacation. This was his first vacation in 2 years! Remember that Jim doesn't get "weekends" off. He always has Sundays off, but his 2nd day off is an assigned floater. He never knows earlier than the afternoon before what his day off will be. So we can't do weekend things--like visit his mom in Plattsburgh. It makes it hard. BUT it's a season that we'll get through! It could be much worse. He could be on the road for 5 days to 2 weeks at a time!! God is good.

Jim worked on Saturday (his regular day) so that he could have the whole next week off for vacation. We just hung out together on Sunday and watched videos. His mother called us and said that the weather was supposed to be bad for Monday, so we waited one more day . We left a little before noon for the 3 hour trip up north. The boys were thrilled to go to Nana's -- we hadn't been there in almost 2 years (for her birthday in Feb. '08) My boys, Nathan and Jared, are into the sites and smells of memories. We had a nice time visiting with Jim's mother and his brother's family. Jerry's kids are growing so fast! We left around noon on Thursday--New Year's Eve. On Saturday, Jim made the mistake of answering the phone when his boss called. He thought that he called about his truck that was in the shop while he was on vacation. Nope. He asked him if he could work. :o( I wasn't very happy about it, but the hours are nice to have. It put a damper on him relaxing his last couple of days.

Then my family's Christmas gathering was cancelled for Sunday. We'll get together this coming Sunday. The weather wasn't so nice anyway. Now I get to listen to Christmas music for an extra week! That's my excuse.

Well, here are the pictures:

Jared and his new cap gun!

Owen pouting because JARED got a gun!

Owen and his Bibleman figures form Nathan and Jared

Jared with new train from Doc

The Pajama Cowboy
Jared and his new hat from Nathan and new gun.

Our Happy Birthday, Jesus cake

One of Owen's favorite gifts--a "vitamin" case!

Nathan with his trains, some he got for Christmas

Nathan with his train gifts from Doc!

Owen with his new cowboy boots
New Year blessings, joie