Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Adieu 2009! (Woo-Hoo!)

All I can say is THANK GOD THERE'S ABOUT A DAY LEFT IN 2009! (Yes, I was shouting as I typed that.) Last year as "the ball dropped" to welcome in 2009, I just felt an absolute sense of dread. I knew it was going to be a tough year, just how tough though was not clear yet. Paul was due to leave within the first 2 weeks of January and we were prepared to be separated for 12+ months. This much I knew. I set out to make the best of a crappy situation for myself and the kids, we planned activities, moved into a new house, worked hard to do well in school and work, and adapted to our situation, as many military families have to. In the summer, we promised ourselves to go to the beach at least once per week (which we did), we travelled up and down the east coast to visit family and friends and enjoyed some R&R when Paul was able to come home on leave. He and Fam at a beach house in Emerald Isle for a week, truly a blast! (I hope we can make it an annual occurrence!)

We suffered great losses in 2009, with the tragic death of our cousin, Matilda, in the Colgan plane crash last February and again in August when our Uncle Joe lost his battle with cancer. They left great voids in our family that will never be filled.

Joyfully, we welcomed Paul home a bit early, in October, so we were at least able to celebrate the holidays together, a true blessing. His early return was a wonderful surprise to all of us and was just in the nick of time as Abbie started working on some algebra that required me to go online for assistance. Seriously, she's working on math in 8Th grade that I did in Algebra 2 as a Junior in high school. BTW, has anyone really had a use for the quadratic equation in "real life"? I'd like to see it applied to my household budget please.

Now that we are embarking on a new year, the last year of the first decade in the new millennium, I hope and wish everyone peace for 2010. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shopping 101...

Paul and I just got back from a "date"...of Christmas shopping, (sigh). First, we went to dinner, (I was hoping to loosen him up with a cocktail or 4), and then headed to the shopping Mecca of New Bern; Target. Poor Paul, after nearly 17 years of marriage and 20 years together, he didn't know what I was capable of accomplishing when Christmas shopping sans kids. He was a little shell shocked to say the least. I think he actually had a little bead of sweat form on his brow as the shopping cart filled up in under 45 minutes. (Look, I didn't create these 4 kids by myself...the sweat should have formed long ago, when "two pink lines" appeared on the magic wand x 4!)

In the car on our way home he was dead silent, until this song came on the radio. At first he didn't know what the heck was happening, thinking the radio station was having technical difficulties, but quickly realized it was intentional. He finally cracked a smile, and even giggled a bit, especially at the end when he recognized the last song by Toto?, so here's to some Christmas confusion.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Elf on the Shelf...

While visiting with family over Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law, Christine, introduced my son to, The Elf on the Shelf. For those that do not know what I'm talking about, this is the story of an elf, one of "Santa's Helpers", that visits your home before Christmas. This elf sits on a shelf, or mantle, or kitchen counter, or ceiling fan. He's magic and cannot be touched by children, or his magic may go away and he won't be able to say if you've been good or bad. You see, he "watches" the kids and flies back to the North Pole nightly to give a report to The Big Guy ...all the good and bad. The Elf will be found in a new perch the next morning.

Now, since I didn't have time to shop at the bookstore in VA, I figured I would just wait until I got back home to buy it. I went to the 3 "bookstores" in New Bern, and no one had heard of this Elf on the Shelf. Finally, when I was lamenting to another parent about how I should try to explain this one to my son that won't stop talking about said Elf, another parent chimed in and told me that I could find the Elf at Branch's Furniture in downtown New Bern,(because when you think of a children's book and doll set, you think of an expensive furniture store where you DO NOT WANT TO BRING CHILDREN, or some adults for that matter!)

Once the Elf was discovered by Drew, we read the story that accompanied him. He had to name the Elf...he chose "George". He then became very concerned and wanted to know how long George would be staying with us, and more importantly, when was George going back to his own house.

I could just see him, 20 years from now, reclined on that tufted, dark brown, leather chaise lounge, "talking" to a Freudian psychiatrist and blaming all of his "issues" of always trying to please everyone on poor little George. Ahhhh, the true meaning of Christmas!

Shall We Catch Up...

Yes, it's been pretty busy...and for Pete's sake, it's December! Thanksgiving was a lot of fun and a lot of food...16 people, 9 of them children and I never forget, 4 of the 9 are mine. Thankfully, my in-laws' home is able to accommodate everyone, including our 2 dogs!

Now on to Christmas! Ugh...