Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the year reflections on Listen

(Photo by Dinoguy)
As 2009 ends, I have been reflecting upon my word of the year: Listen. If you have noticed that my posts haven't had much writing in them this year, or wondered why I didn't post for an arbitrary period of time, it is because I haven't had as much to say. I've been too busy listening.

I wish I could say I've mastered listening, but I haven't. I have learned a lot about myself and learned who in my life it is most important to hear and really listen to. Listening has opened up my heart.

I continued pondering gentle as well. (From 2008). I think the thing about picking a word for a whole year is it really gives me time to focus on it. Not be in a rush. As 2009 ends, I'm not ready to leave the word listen. And yet by choosing one word a year I have a definite period to focus on the word of the year. So I've picked a new word which I'll post tomorrow.

In listening I've found out that I have a hard time saying no to acquaintances while its easy with my immediate family. That's backwards and I'm still working to change it.

In listening I've learned we need to slow down as a family and be home more. Some of that may be having a baby, but it is good for all of us. A home should be a haven and a blessed place to be. I want everyone to feel welcome and loved here. So I continue to work at making it such a refuge.

In listening I realized I was too busy to really listen sometimes and I needed to step back from some things, as hard as it is for me.

In listening I have found joy in choosing to do things that call to us despite the uncertainty. Like building a garden, starting violin lessons and making new friends.

In listening, I'm learning. So much.

I've made mistakes and tried to learn from them. I have started to be more trusting to my own inner voice. I'm trying to focus on those things that bring joy, peace and love into my life because when you really listen, those are the things that are worth doing.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Christmas!

It was a White Christmas here in Texas! What a surprise on Christmas Eve to see rain turning into snow. The boys & I bundled up and went around the block with Sarge to enjoy what we thought was a passing chance of flakes. Then it started accumulating and blowing. Fixitman was having flashbacks of Idaho.

Christmas morning was lovely and white and icy. We stayed nice and warm inside and enjoyed playing with our new toys. There were a lot of legos and as a nice addition, a few dolls. Munchkin started pushing her baby dolls around in her doll baby buggy and at some point realized that she could stand on her own. Seeing her realize this and then stand up just for fun was pretty neat.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Visiting Cousins

We have had a change of furniture in our home. We returned the couches we've been borrowing from our cousins for 2.5 years and got some new (free) couches and entertainment center. The new couches are on a smaller scale and a better fit in our small house, and required the shorter entertainment center so we could see the TV. This means the old TV cabinet became my craft cabinet and the office was rearranged as well. It now has a couch with hideaway bed, the craft cabinet and one bookshelf, while the other bookshelf moved to my bedroom.

So for the benefit of family who doesn't see them much, here are photos of cousins as we returned their couches.
And here are photos of the rooms, rearranged.
Munchkin loves it! These couches are easy for her to climb on.The office so far. Fixitman still needs to hang the top doors on the cabinet and fix the blinds and I've got more arranging and organizing to do.
A quick snapshot of the living room as the boys play in it. Have you noticed Dinoguy is too quick for photos recently?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
~ Ebenezer Scrooge in 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens (1812-1870).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Trainboy's Robot Party

Trainboy had a robot birthday party with his friends. I agreed to make him an R2D2 cake, which turned into a huge project. Luckily, you can make any party game into a robot game quite easily and it was a lot of fun.Trampoline games

The cake
Getting ready to sing
Blowing out the candles

Enjoying the top of the cake. It was 4 8" cake layers with a semi-sphere (baked in my mixing bowl) on top, some dowels and cardboard supports as well. The legs are rice krispie treats and Fixitman built me the stand.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Trainboy turns 5!

Trainboy turned 5 this month. He came into our room in the morning with a big grin on his face. We said Happy Birthday! He replied that he was FINALLY 5 and that he hadn't thought his birthday would ever get here but now it was here and it was the best day ever. Great start to the morning.I spaced his presents out throughout the day. Here he is with one after breakfast.

The family cake shaped like a train that evening. He got pizza for dinner and mac & cheese for lunch as well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jolly Old St Nicholas on Violin

The boys participated in a Christmas concert by learning Jolly Old St Nicholas on their violins. Here it is on video.

Please excuse the out of focus picture for the first 20 or so seconds and any shakiness. I'm holding the camera in my hands while Munchkin climbs on my legs.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Munchkin the explorer

Munchkin discovered the drawers under the stove.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fixitman's work

One of the many projects Fixitman was working on while we travelled was to create this lights display.
I prefer my purple house. And my parents said I wouldn't find a guy who would let me make my entire house purple. All purple Christmas lights on the house and trees inside. Pretty fun huh?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thanksgiving trip part 3

We visited Vicksburg on the way back home. It was awesome. We learned all about the battle at Vicksburg, a key battle and turning point in the civil war. There was a 47 day siege here.

We saw the remains of the USS Cairo, the first ironclad sunk by an electronic mine. We saw a lot of monuments and read a lot of plaques. The boys loved it because basically, they played war all day with all the cannons. We counted 98! The ranger said there were 120+ but since a portion of the park was closed for repairs, we didn't get to see them all. They have preserved most of the dirt build up lines dug by the soldiers, putting trees down to keep the soil from washing away. It is neat to be able to realize that the mounds were used as defenses and to be there on an actual battlefield. The boys earned their Junior Ranger badges too, and will tell you all about the battle of Vicksburg if you want to listen.

Learning about the battles in the visitor center

Pretending to fire cannons

In a tunnel dug by the Union soldiers.

In front of the reconstructed USS Cairo.
Vicksburg National Military Cemetery

Munchkin climbed into this at a cool small local museum

A very awesome reconstructed model of the siege at the small private museum. Tons of cool ship models too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thanksgiving trip part 2

We went to the beach in South Carolina of course. The boys insisted on going swimming, despite the cool weather. Trainboy ventured into the waves some this time, which he wouldn't do last year.You can see that it must be chilly in this picture, though they denied it.

Kite surfers were there as well, in full body wetsuits.

It's not cold Mom!

Having fun in the waves

A truely sandy sandwich for Trainboy (due to wind) while Munchkin tries some sand. The verdict? Not tasty.

We went to a holiday lights show as well.

Entirely made of sand! Reminds me of the giant butter sculptures at the Texas state fair.

My baby brother and my kids with Santa.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thanksgiving trip part 1

The kids & I traveled to Georgia and South Carolina to visit great-grandparents and grandparents for Thanksgiving holiday while Fixitman stayed behind and worked a lot. Some photos.
Grandma rocking Munchkin to sleep

Some second cousins and young Uncle Scoutboy.

Munchkin hugging babies!

Boys eating dinner

Munchkin and my redheaded cousin

Munchkin and her namesake Grandma

Munchkin and Grandpa

Munchkin & I

Munchkin in a basket of toys


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