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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

1/23/17 college and Christmas trees…

Maggie has dropped out of college.I asked her what she wanted to do now. She said she wanted to get a job. I said that would be good and asked her if she wanted to work at Menards, I think they are hiring and since she doesn’t drive it is close for me or her grandma to take her to. She didn’t look thrilled but said that this would be OK.
We need to take the Christmas tree down soon.We usually take it down some time in January, unless we are really busy with the kids school activities, then it is later. If we can’t take it down in January, we do take the Christmas wreath off of the front porch and put the regular wreath back up.  The cats have taken off the ornaments from the bottom foot of the tree. I wanted to turn the lights on the other day but couldn’t find the extension cord. Maggie said that she had taken it. We must have borrowed it from her and she thought we were done. The tree needs its own cord. It is sitting there not lit up with the ornaments from the bottom foot missing. Its just so sad.


12/19/15 Christmas pictures…

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8/22/15 the boiler, school breaks and the weather…

written 1.20.14 –  It was chilly in the house when we got up today. The pilot light on the boiler had gone out. We have lit it before. It usually only goes out in the summer if the basement windows are open and the wind happens to get into that small opening. I tried to light the boiler. It wouldn’t light so I found the directions and read them. I tried to light it again. It didn’t work. It is so frustrating to try to to everything for my family, take care of the kids, pay the bills, make the meals and then something goes wrong that I have no idea how to fix. It is extra frustrating when the boiler goes out in the winter and the house is getting colder and colder.  I want to do everything right for the kids, but how can I be good at everything? We needed to leave to get Maggie to a school function. How can we leave the cats here in a cold house. They have fur right? How cold can it get before they feel cold? Later I called the repairman. He came over and looked at it. A small part needed replaced. While he was here I asked if I had been lighting it the correct way. He said no and showed me how to light it. I am so glad to have the heat back on. It may get down to ten degrees tonight.
It is cold and there is snow but the roads are clear.
Beth is so glad to be back at school she loves seeing all of her friends. He kids were on break for Christmas which was at least two weeks long. Then they were off for the bad weather. Then they had finals week where they only had school for half days that week. Then they were off for Martin Luther King Jr day on Monday, then the teachers had an in-service day on Tuesday and the kids had a two hour delay on Wednesday. Beth is glad that there aren’t any more vacations planned soon.
It was about two degrees today. It has been cold for a while. When I was young it stayed cold and snowy all winter. Lately it has been back and forth between cold and warm. When the temperatures change a lot between cold and warm we end up with a lot of ice on the roads. This year we have had a lot of cold weather. The steady cold weather does mean that we don’t have the ice on the roads


7/29/15 family history, cats…

1.10.14 My mom has been recording some family history on the tape recorder. The first few days she recorded a lot, but now she records on it now and then. I need to get the recorder back from her and record the information on a second recorder so that it will be in two places.
It is about twenty five degrees today. By Friday it should be forty degrees and raining.
I was driving home yesterday and saw some kids walking home. While waiting at a stop light the kids came to a waist-high pile of snow in their path. Instead of walking around it, they crawled over it and slid/rolled down it. They were having a great time. I remember being that young. We haven’t built a fort  or had a neighborhood snow ball fight in years.
One of the best decisions that we made in the last year was to get a second cat. She has added so much to our family.
I have made my New Years resolutions. There are twelve of them. Most of them involve helping my kids do something, so they will be ongoing.
We will probably take the Christmas tree down next weekend
It was forty-two degrees today.


7/21/15 a storm and holidays…

written 11.18.13 – A storm came through our town yesterday. It hit some of the areas to the south of us pretty hard. I heard that a gas station was hit and lot of people lost power. The kids youth group was cancelled tonight to let people recover. There may still be a lot of people without power.
We went to the mall tonight. It is not even Thanksgiving and they have Christmas music playing. I love Thanksgiving and don’t like to see it skipped. It is my favorite non-religious holiday. We all get together and cook part of the meal together. There is something about having the whole family in the kitchen at the same time trying to cook. Everyone here likes to take a turn mashing the potatoes. We have some white material that we lay out each year and we take a sharpie marker and everyone writes on it what they are thankful for. At first it was easy, most of us wrote things like we are thankful for our families. Some of us write more creative things like we are thankful for Google Chrome and books. It is difficult to think of new things each year. We starting thinking farther ahead each year to have something to write. We also put our name and the date by what we wrote. I am not sure if the kids write what the cats are thankful for. I will need to look.


7/8/15 giving to the Goodwill…

written 1/27/14 – Maggie reorganized her room and brought down some things for Goodwill. When the kids were young we would take a load to Goodwill at the end of summer. It was a good time for us to sort things out. The kids have their birthdays in September, October and November, and then there is Christmas with another avalanche of toys coming into the house. At the end of summer we aren’t into school work yet, and the kids know that they have more toys coming to replace the ones that they have given away. We have to sort out the toys or we would get buried. When the kids were young, the girls would keep ten to fifteen dolls and ten to fifteen baby blankets, etc. William would keep about as much of his army men etc. They never were without toys, but a good sort out is sometimes necessary. The first year of giving was the hardest. The kids understood that they would be getting more toys soon and that they still had a lot, but it was still hard to part with anything. About two weeks after giving the toys to Goodwill the first time Beth started sobbing. She had given away a doll that was her favorite. She said that she had taken a long time to decide which dolls to give away…remember that she did keep about fifteen dolls…but she regretted not having this one. She was so sad with her tear stained face and sad eyes. I went to the trunk of my car where the Goodwill load was and got her doll. She was so happy. I hadn’t delivered the load because I knew that this would be tough and I wanted to have the toys in case anyone melted down. I kept the toys in the trunk for about another month. Then I asked the kids if it was OK to deliver them now. We had the birthdays and Christmas and the kids got more toys. The next year it was easier. They knew what was happening. I want the kids to have toys, but we can’t have so many that we can’t walk through the house. Now they do their own sorts when they rearrange their rooms. I do go through their items. Sometimes they throw away a yearbook or something else that is precious to them by mistake. I still keep the items in the trunk for a week or two…just in case. What yearly events do you or your family do to keep things running smoothly?

If you like what you have read, please come back tomorrow!

Here are some pictures: 12770

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3/17/15 Christmas traditions…

written 12/28/13 – I have a friend who has six kids. At first when they had two or three kids, they opened all of their presents on Christmas morning. When they had a few more kids, it just didn’t work any more. They had presents from Santa, the parents, the presents that the kids were giving each other and some of the teachers sent home a present to all of the kids in their classes. It became too much. They decided to change and have the twelve days of Christmas. They start twelve days before Christmas. Each night has a theme. One night is presents from parents. The next day may be presents from teachers. They have a few of the kids give their presents to everyone one day and others give theirs the next. They have been doing this for years and it really works for them. Before there was so much unwrapping that no one could see what had been opened. Every family is different.

Here are some pictures: Christmas tree1 Christmas tree2Christmas trees birdbarter picturetrees automatic door button



3/16/15 Christmas…

written 12/26/13 – Merry Christmas!

We had a fun Christmas. The day before Christmas we volunteered at church. We are still relatively new there so volunteering has been a good way to meet people. Maggie volunteered in the child care area and William, Beth, Beth’s boyfriend and I made hot chocolate.

On Christmas morning we finish the nativity set. When the kids were young we started Joseph and Mary in a different room and had them move each night closer to the nativity set…unless we forgot about them for a night and moved them an extra amount the next night…or the year that we got busy with homework and they made the whole trip Christmas morning. Then we bring in baby Jesus. We read a little from the Bible, the part about the census and returning to Bethlehem and the angles appearing to the shepherds. Then we open presents. Mom comes over on Christmas. We do have a large family, but mom is the only one in town.

I haven’t written in a while so if I repeat pictures or stories, I am sorry. I repeat myself a lot in real life too!!!

I can’t get the pictures to load. I will have pictures on another post.



3/13/15 putting up the Christmas tree…

written 12/14/13 -We have been busy with school. I also lost my cord for my Nook. I can write on it until it needs re-charged, but I can’t transfer anything to the computer. I would like to say that the cats took the cord, but I think that it is too big for them to carry.

We put up our Christmas tree last night. We keep all of the Christmas things in the basement. We found the Christmas tree, which was at the bottom of the pile since we have rearranged the basement  a few times in the last year. After digging it out, we started looking for the base. We all looked and got a flashlight. Finally one of the kids said that she thought that we had put it in the Christmas tree box so that we could find it. It was there. We brought up the ornaments, which are now all in one big plastic tote with the wreath for outside. When we got them open we didn’t have any lights. They were in the basement in a box which we had labeled “Christmas lights”. I don’t usually label boxes as well as I should so it was nice that this one had been labeled. We separated the tree branches by size and started putting up the tree. We have a long rope that we keep with the tree and we tied the center pole of the tree to the close furniture, to help the tree stay up. Then we put up the tree. By now Maggie had decided that she was too warm and had gone to put shorts on and Beth decided that she was cold and was completely wrapped in a blanket. But everyone was there. We put up the lights with all of us standing around the tree handing the lights to the next person until the whole string is on the tree. We decided not to use the lights that have a music box on them…when they are plugged in the music starts playing. The tree actually looked really good with only lights on it. Christmas tree lights We started adding the ornaments. We were all watching the cats. Our older cat doesn’t play with the tree much, but we weren’t sure what the new cat would do. cat2 (2) cat1 We have a separate little ”parade” of ornaments that go off to the side. They are the Christmas things that won’t go on the tree.parade1 parade2 Maggie set this up and William, Beth and I put up ornaments. Then later Maggie helped with the tree. We have enough ornaments to put about three on each branch, the kids pointed out that maybe that is why the tree falls over is because we have too much weight on it. I think that it is because we need a new base. If we put less ornaments on the tree, how would we decide which ones to leave off. We could rotate them, having a three year plan, but I like seeing all of them. Christmas tree1 Christmas tree2 The new cat started playing with the lower ornaments and climbing in the tree. This morning she was on the back of a chair so that she could look at the higher ornaments.

The wreath is up outside, the tree is up and the manger scene is set up except for baby Jesus who hasn’t arrived yet. When the kids were little we had Mary and Joseph start out in another room. Each night we moved them closer to the manger scene, like they were traveling to Bethlehem. One year we got busy with homework and forgot to move them and they made the whole trip the morning of Christmas. Manger scene We have some decorations that need to be put up around the house and we will be all done.

When we were finished we took a Christmas picture in front of the tree with the kids. Except that William said that he wouldn’t be in it this year. We also got the cats to be in it. Except for our little cat who ran out of the picture. Some years we have everyone and some years we don’t.

I thought that we could finish the evening by watching a Christmas movie. The kids said that they already had ”Sherlock Homes” in. They had been watching it another day and wanted to finish it first. So we finished ”Sherlock Homes”.

So this is us. Our tree doesn’t stay up, we are in shorts and wrapped in blankets, we don’t get everyone into the Christmas picture and we watch ”Sherlock Homes” as our Christmas movie. But we are together, we get along most of the time so from out house to yours, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and you make a lot of fun memories of your own this next year!!!



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