Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

Farewell 2008!

I'm usually a little sad to see another year pass, but not this time. 2008 has been such a hard year for so many. I will say though, like with all things, we must experience the bad to be able to recognize the good. I've accomplished a great many things this year in spite of a work injury and the accident that left my back aching and my finger broken needing multiple surgeries. I've been reminded that it's the tough times that weed out the weak and help our true characters, for better and worse, to appear and show us how strong we are and what work we still need to do. How has this year shown you who you really are?

Christmas was lovely. Both of our mom's were here and Mason was in grandma heaven! Everyone seemed to enjoy the time together but as usual, Dave worked so hard. I know he loves to cook, but I have to wonder how much of his many hours spent in the kitchen was to stay out of the mix of entertaining the moms! Laughing! We all chipped in and I'm sure this will be a Christmas Mason won't soon forget. What was especially nice was that the gifts were thoughtful, fun gifts but not over the top. Each of us got an instrument, we've all committed to learning to play, and a few other things along with our stockings. Yes, Santa is always very generous with me, this year my nearly three-foot long stocking was filled to more than forty inches! See pictures below.

Have a very happy new year and thank you for all your love and friendship. It means the world to me! Let me send 2008 off with this quote, I think we could all benefit if we could just let go. "For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. "
— Anonymous

Christmas Pictures

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Chritmas!

Merry Christmas!

This week has been very eventful, so much so that instead of a lengthy story-telling e-mail, I'm just going to say have a Merry Christmas and I'll slip some of this weeks stories in over the next few weeks.

My mom arrived last night (very late last night!), and Dave's mom will be here tomorrow. Mason will have Christmas with both his grandmothers and even more special is both grandmothers will have Christmas with Mason!

With love,

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Merry Christmas Laugh!

Earlier this week Mason and I were out delivering the apple butter I made for Christmas gifts to our neighbors. As we went door-to-door, Mason would answer the usual questions about what he wanted for Christmas and has been a good boy. Like his mother, he has no trouble getting right in the conversation contributing what he feels are important and sometimes funny pieces of information.

We arrived at the Dawson's house and were greeted by Cheryl and her friend who was visiting. We exchanged holiday well wishes, talked about homemade gifts, and just then Mason said, "Um, excuse me." We all looked at him and he started his story with, "Today I went pee..." Now I thought for sure I knew where this was going because as we were heading out to deliver gifts, Mason had come from the side of the house in the back yard with his belt off, shirt untucked, and pants undone. I asked him in he had peed in the yard and he shook his head. I then asked him why his pants were nearly off and he said, "Everything just came all undone!" In the next breath while I stared at him with the raised eyebrow mom look, he recanted and said, "I'm sorry, mom, I did pee outside. I don't know why I did it, I guess I just had to go." So you can see why I thought I knew what was coming next. Wrong! Mason went on to say, "Today I went pee in the bathroom. While I was peeing in the water, it splashed up and went right in my eye. I peed in my eye!" He burst into hysterical laughter repeating to himself I peed in my eye! Of course, we all laughed but I tried to stay in mom mode and let Mason know that was not appropriate holiday chit-chat. Cheryl chimed in that she has two boys and her friend has three, they've seen and heard it all. As we left and walked to the next door, I advised Mason not to tell that story again. Mason agreed but looked to me and said, "Come on mom, have you ever peed in your eye?" Again, cracking himself up (me, too!), I replied, "No. No Mason, I have never peed in my eye." Try keeping your face strait with that one!

Thursday night we were at a Christmas celebration in Old Town Auburn. Some local businessmen had snow trucked in to cover a sloping street for sledding, there was a bon fire in the center of the party, live music, kettle-corn, carolers, vendors, and of course, Santa Claus. Mason, Dave, and I went to tell Santa what we all wanted for Christmas and when it was time to leave, Santa asked Mason a question. Mason opened his eyes really wide, gave Santa a sort-of sideways look and said, "Those chimneys are gett'n smaller and smaller you know" all while nodding his head in a way that implied Santa should understand what he was trying to say. Santa looked completely perplexed so I leaned down and asked Santa what it was he asked Mason. He told me he asked him if he would be leaving cookies and milk out on Christmas eve. Suddenly Santa got it! He started to laugh, gave Mason a hug and thanked him for being concerned with his diet and health. As we walked away, we could hear the laughter from Santa and his elves as Dave and I were doing our share of chuckling as well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Hodge-Podge

We have just 10 days until Christmas and our holidays are in full swing! Cookies have been baked, cards have been mailed, gifts are bought, most are wrapped, and now we just get to have fun delivering them. The early preparation I've done this year is really paying off. We've had time to gather in the living room with a roaring fire and enjoy our Christmas tree.

You all must feel like you know Mason by now, and those of you who know me, know he is my son through and through. Last week while I was working, I sent Mason out in the backyard to play. I could hear him talking to Johnny Test and they seemed to be getting along famously. I found myself engrossed in writing a letter when I heard Mason's voice coming from the front yard and he was talking with an adult man. I ran downstairs and out on to the front deck to see Mason in the middle of a sales transaction. He had set up a folding chair at the bottom of the driveway with a pile of his toys on the ground next to him. He was standing next to a truck with a man leaning out the window holding a toy boat (the man worked for Davey, a commercial tree trimming service). He was asking Mason if it floated and Mason told him not so good. I called out to Mason to let both of them know I was there when the man looked up at me and said, "You've got quite a boy here." I nodded while Mason got right back to the sale. Mason told the guy that though the boat didn't float so good by itself, it was still fun to play with in the bath tub. The guy asked Mason what he wanted for the boat and Mason put his hand to his chin thinking. The guy offered him $2.00 and Mason said, "Sure!" I called to Mason to come upstairs and as the guy handed Mason the money, he waved to me and said, "Smart boy. Good job mom." And he drove away. Yes, kids become what they see and it appears my entrepreneurial ways are rubbing off on Mason.

Finally, Dave came up with an idea to use our Halloween pumpkins a third time. We decorated with them alongside our Jack-O-Lanterns and then we used them with corn stalks for Thanksgiving. This weekend at Dave's suggestion, I painted them red and green, painted cocktail cups gold, added a hook made from a hanger with a red bow, and turned our twice-used pumpkins into holiday ornaments in our yard!

I learned this week that I didn't get the job with the National Guard and to say I was disappointed would be an understatement. It's hard to reconcile when the powers that be didn't even meet me and interview me. I tell Mason often that life is not fair. I say it now with a renewed, and painful sense of how true it really is. I know it must not have been the job for me so I better get to finding the one that is. I'm still doing mortgages but really want to find steady, regular paying employment.

I hope all of you are well and enjoying the Christmas season as we are. Even though we've had some recent disappointments, we take time everyday to recognize how lucky we are to have all that we do and mostly each other!

Hodge-Podge Pictures

Mason wrapping the presents he made.

Yep, he did (most of) it!

Uh-Oh! We have a peeker! Yet again, a sure sign he is my son.

Learning to roll cookie dough that's perfect for cutting out gingerbread Santa's

Hanging ornaments on the tree

Riley making the most of all my early holiday preparations

Our Halloween, Thanksgiving, and now Christmas pumpkin ornaments.

Dave's beloved Christmas decorations. It's only too bad you can't see and hear that the lights dance to holiday music!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Cookies

Hi Friends,

I'm late today because I was in Truckee this weekend and arrived home just today. When I got home, Dave and Mason met me to head out to find our Christmas tree so I didn't have a chance to sit and write to you.

The weekend started off with some very sad news. Our horse Chance was involved in a devastating accident and had to be euthanized. It's still very upsetting and we are doing our best to deal with the deep sadness.

On a lighter note, Lisa and I spent the weekend in Truckee making heartfelt Christmas goodies for our friends and family. We made decorated sugar cookies, oatmeal-cranberry-orange cookies, chocolate-peppermint sandwich cookies, and mixed nut brittle. We bagged them to look even prettier and enjoyed each others company. I really enjoyed being able to share my cookie making talent with Lisa and I think she made her way home feeling very proud of her cookie creations.

Finally, Dave, Mason, and I picked out our Christmas tree and put it up. We will decorate it tomorrow and then I'll have to get to the business of wrapping gifts to finish painting the picture of Christmas.

I hope you are in the holiday spirit and enjoying the people in your life. After all, the joy of the Christmas season comes from those we love, not the things we possess.


Cookies galore!
Lisa painting Santa's belt buckle gold.

Some of the best!

Packaging them for gifts.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Official! Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

It's official, today is December first and it's the beginning of the end. The end of the year maybe, but today is the beginning of a magical season. Everyone wears their prettiest clothes, we see people we don't see any other time of the year, we bake goodies, gather at parties, and decorate in such a way that all of our childhood memories come flooding back like they happened yesterday. It's also the time of year that even the Scroogiest of scrooges soften up and find some Christmas spirit.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We spent Thursday with Dave's family and Saturday we did it all over again with friends. One of the high-lights of the weekend for me was playing Pictionary on Saturday night. There were ten of us playing so we picked numbers to make two teams. Mason was one of the ten and played as well as and maybe better than some of us grown-ups. He totally got the idea, guessed only when his team was drawing, and did some pretty great drawings of his own. It occurred to me how special it must have been for him to be up late and playing a game with his parents and their friends. Did you ever get to do that with your parents? When you were five? My family never played games so it never occurred to me that it could happen. I'm so grateful to be part of a happy family raising a child with so much love and friendship everywhere we look.

I've posted some pictures from the Thanksgiving holiday. We had such a good time but there's just too much to share here. Take a look at the pics and let them tell the story. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and will slow down to see the magic of Christmas all around you!

Today's motivator: Christmas is the time of year we find love and charity in our hearts. What would our world be like if we gave of our selves just one day each of the other eleven months of the year? I think we could change the world with this one little act.

Thanksgiving Pictures

This is a spectacular twisted manzanita tree on one of the trails near our house.
This is where we hiked on Sunday morning.
Mayhem at dinner time!

Diana and Julie

Mike and Neave

Julie, Greg, and Dave

Everybody decorated turkey cookies that I baked from cut-outs of their hands.

My husband, quite the artist!

Mason met with Santa on "Black Friday" at the mall

Thanksgiving Day with Ric, Mason, and Terese