Mystery of the Secret Santa

I played Secret Santa on Pumpkin's blog and dang it all to heck, just can't figure out who sent my thoughtful secret santa gift. My guess is Rain, but I really have no idea, just that the person is from Pennsylvania (?) but many people don't put on their blogs where they're from.

Thanks secret santa, reveal thyself!

12 days to Thailand

tse and the coopster
Only 12 days to Thailand. Geesh!

O.K., that made my stomache do a loop de loop!

First Christmas. Well, I had a premonition, intuition, prompting from God (I choose to call it the last one...you may call it something else) that I wasn't supposed to make more than one cookie this year for Christmas or host any Christmas parties at my house.

The last time this happened my mother-in-law passed away....big reason to keep it simple. I wasn't expecting anything like that to happen but I figured there was probably a reason I was feeling this again. Turns out it was SICKNESS~ much better than DEATH but still no fun.

TSE got sick on the 23rd and so did I so we missed Christmas with my side of the family. Max-Ay started coming down with it on Christmas Eve so he missed all the activities (except our gift opening) on Christmas Day. TSE and Meyers D were able to go with me to my mom's for breakfast (that's usually been at my house for the last 7 years). Papa D stayed home with him. And then Max-Ay and I stayed home while the other three went to Papa D's sister's house for Christmas Evening.

All in all it worked out for a very low key Christmas, which is never bad. We still enjoyed our time spent with the kids and like I said, Max-Ay was doing pretty good at 4:45 a.m. when the kids woke us up to open their presents! He started to hit the wall about 6 a.m.

We took our tree down last night because it was very dry and we got it early this year. Also it's time to kick into gear and get ready for Thailand! With all the airline rules about having 3 oz. containers on your carry on I have to go purchase a lot of 3 oz. bottles with stuff in them I don't need in order to put stuff in them I DO NEED! awww....

*I didn't take any pictures of Christmas. shocked? Well my camera is pretty sucky at indoor shots and I just wasn't feeling like it. Also, we went up to Mt. St. Helen's yesterday to go sledding. And although there was snow, it was raining. So didn't take pictures of THAT either. Perhaps today I will get some pics of Max-Ay playing with his new toys. He's the only kid that plays with toys here really anyway.

In less than two weeks I'll be taking travel pictures up the ying yang anyway so perhaps I'm saving myself up! ha!


Cap'n Crunch Candy

Cap'n Crunch Candy
My sister-in-law usually makes this super yummy easy treat for Christmas. This year Meyers D has made it and only needed a little help.

All you need is one box Cap'n Crunchberry cereal and one package almond bark. Melt the almond bark and pour over the cereal. Spread the hot mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and let harden. Store in airtight container.

*Don't eat too much, it melts in your mouth!*



punk rock
changes, changes....

life is full of them, eh?

well, my hubby is turning in his 2 weeks notice for work today. he is an industrial appraiser for our county and he got a new job in a neighboring county which is very excited to have him working for them. he is sort of taking a temporary demotion of sorts. he is going to start his new job just 2 working days before we go to Thailand, which is crazy. he will be a residential appraiser. in a few months there will be an industrial opening which they want him to apply for.

this will make for quite a few changes in our family. first of all, a commute. right now it takes him about 15 min. to get to work (at one time he was able to walk!) soon it will be about a 45 min. drive. he will also be going back to "square one" on his sick leave and vacation time. right now he has about a month vacation leave.

also, with his sick leave and the flexibility he has gotten, he has went to many doctor's appointments with me and been able to take time off when i haven't felt good. this is all about to change!

i may have to learn the phone number for the local taxi service!

i am quite a bit nervous about this, but at the same time, i have to trust that it will work itself out. i can't let my frailties or fear of them interfere with my husband's happiness at work. because of my headaches, he has the sole responsibility of our finances on his shoulders. so it is very important to me that he is happy.

and he is very excited about this change. i am too. just slightly nervous with how this could affect ME!

another thing is that we are getting some much needed work done on our house so that we are ready to sell. we may not sell but we are going to be ready to. he is thinking that he doesn't want to commute. i am willing to move but don't want to. i am so happy with the children's friends and their school. i really like this house too, although it's not the "perfect" house. it's the first house that's felt like home in our marriage (it's our 4th house).

anyway, even if we don't sell it will be so nice to have some things done that need be. right now a friend from church is hanging a lot of new doors in our hallway. my boys just got a bedroom door for the first time in a year or is it 2. i must admit the same for us!

after thailand i am going to have to repaint our remodeled bathroom that we are finishing. the color i painted it does not go with the tile countertop like i thought it would. which means, i will have to repaint the hallway too as it is the same color as the bathroom and the different shades of the same color will look stupid.

i have been needing to repaint the kitchen so that is on the list too. when the weather gets warmer i have to repaint my bedroom and the living/dining room. the bedroom will probably be a whole new color (as yet to be decided) but the living/dining room will be the same color.

there's an island to install in the kitchen, a deck to build on the front of the house and railing to put on the porch by the front door. also the trim needs to be finished in the upstairs. and, more cabinets need to be purchased for the main bathroom that's being remodeled.

so, we have quite a list and even if we WANTED to move right now we are far from ready to sell this house. and as i said, i am not sad about that!

*something very strange, it smells like my husband is sitting right next to me, i smell the soap he bathes with....strange~*

maybe i'm being redundant here, but although i am quite willing to move, i don't want to. but it will be very nice to get some things done to improve our home and to be able to (hopefully) stay here and enjoy them!


secret santa present arrives

secret santa gift
Look what I got today! My Secret Santa gift! And I have NO STINKING IDEA who it is. What a thoughtful gift though. I can't decide wether to read it now or wait until the 16 hour plane ride. I think it's 9 hours to Tokyo and 6 hours to Bangkok. O.K., so I can't do math.

Anyway, I don't know if I was supposed to wait until Christmas but it's too late anyway! ha!

I can't believe it's only 3 weeks away until the trip. Oh man, that's crazy!


a video message about suicide

my flickr friend MOKI made this great video. it has a very insightful message. thanks moki!


praline pecan crunch

praline pecan crunch
I made this yummy and oh so delish treat for my hubby's christmas party at work.

the best pecans for this and any other recipe are from Green Valley, Arizona.

praline pecan crunch

1 16 oz. pkg. quaker oat squares (8 cups)
2 c. pecan pieces
1/2 c. light corn syrup or honey
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine cereal and pecans in a 13x9 pan, set aside.
In a 2 c. microwaveable bowl, combine corn syrup, brown sugar and butter. Microwave high for 1 1/2 min. , stir. Microwave on high 1/2- 1 1/2 min. more until boiling. Stir in vanilla and baking soda, pour hot bubbling mixture over cereal. Stir to coat evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 20 min. , spread on baking sheet to cool. Break it into pieces when cool and store in airtight container, makes 10 cups.

verry breakable....

christmas present warning
I decided to turn my Plz SAVE my Blog/blog into a place where I could study what words mean in the Bible. We'll see how long I do it, typically I become quite the slacker when it comes to doing this. But I'm feeling inspired to spend a few short minutes each morning and do this. It will give me something to think about when I go on my morning walks and it will be a good habit. Like I said, I'm not making myself any promises because I have TERRIBLE follow-through in this department.

So, if you become ones who visits there and checks out what I'm writing, you have my FULL AND UTTER PERMISSION to say, "hey, what the heck...you're a slacker!"

ha! Basically, I've been feeling verry breakable lately and I've been struggling w/ the cure, so I'm going to find me some new "medicine"....


secret santa

my baby is 48 hours from turning 8 and this is what his christmas wish is...

Hey! I'm not sure anyone will read this, but my friend Writer/Mother/Wife/Me is doing a "Secret Santa" exchange and needs one more participant. I am playing and have my person assigned to me. It sounds fun.

If you would like to play, go to her blog and leave her a comment. You can click on her photos too which will take you to flickr and can e-mail her that route too.

I will post about what I get and make my guesses when it arrives in the mail!

Here's the linkage: http://www.writermotherwifeme.blogspot.com

comment here if you decide to participate.

What WILL be vs. what COULD be....

starbucks, tracey and a cup of joe
I have been struggling so much lately with my Faith. I haven't been reading the Bible for a long time. I think it's because much of my Faith has been based on (probably incorrectly based on) what God can do for me. Since I haven't seen the results I've expected, it's made for a very shakey faith.

It occurred to me yesterday during my pastor's teaching, that perhaps what my Faith should be based on is the end result. The Bible says this:
Revelation 5:9 (the angels are singing):And they sang a new song:
'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because ou were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.'

5:11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
'Worthy is the Lamb (Jesus) who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!'

5:13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!'

The four living creatures said, 'Amen' and the elders fell down and worshiped.

~My pastor was talking about how in heaven, thousands and millions and billions of people will be worshiping Jesus.

It occured to me that my true purpose in life, the destination I should ASPIRE to, my goal, perhaps shouldn't be to function well here on this earth and accomplish this and that thing, but that my ultimate purpose is in heaven. What that will look like is to be one of the millions and billions of people worshiping before Jesus.

It doesn't mean that what I am/do/think/become, etc. on this earth isn't important, it just was a realization of what my ultimate goal could be. And, if this was my ultimate goal, my thinking would be much different than it is now. I've been quite angry and irritated with my current state of health. I feel that if I felt better now that I could enjoy life more, do more, see more, become more, etc. And I long for it to the point of anger.

I'm not saying that's bad or wrong. It just occured to me as he was talking about heaven, that since that's my ultimate destination, it would make sense that it's my ultimate purpose. And then, it occured to me that if this is my ultimate purpose (which I never think about), how would it change my life, my thinking, my emotions if that became my focus. Not how I feel now, but what my role is then.

I don't know if this makes sense, but it's just a shift in thinking. It's not how I think now, it's just something I think I should explore.

All I know is that my life doesn't match up with what I want or desire. No matter how hard I try I can't make that happen. I'm striving after something I can't attain.

Perhaps I should try thinking about something that WILL be instead of something I hope COULD be.

Job 1:1

King James Version w/ Strongs (this version of the bible found @ http://www.bible.lifeway.com/crossmain.asp)

Job 1:1 There was a man (champion, great man, human being) in the land of Uz (somewhere in the Arabian desert), whose name (1b: reputation, fame, glory) was Job (pronounced ee-yobe': Iyowb which means HATED); and that man was perfect (complete, morally innocent, having integrity) and upright (right, pleasing, correct) and one that feared (reverent) God (elohiym) and one that eschewed (avoided) evil (sin, things that are ethically wrong).


max-ay's 8th birthday

attack of the birthday presents
Today is Max-Ay's 8th birthday. He woke up so early, what'd he think, it was Christmas or something? We gave him some birthday hot cocoa to start his day off right.

I got him some cupcakes for class with plastic Star Wars rings on them. He wanted Annakin rings to be on there but I went to Fred Meyer (Kroger's) and didn't call first. All they had was C3P0, R2D2 and Darth Vader. He didn't complain!

After school his friend Jay came over, I got a pizza and then we went to the Journey Through Bethlehem. The local 7th Day Adventist Church puts on a live nativity. If you've never been to one, it's pretty cool. It's quite the production. They put the gig on for 4 days and it's free. It's quite something. There's even a camel, the angel Gabriel (they use a woman, they must read a different version of the bible...) and of course, Jesus.

Afterwards, Jay came back home wtih us, we had more hot cocoa and watched Rudolf on t.v. Very low key, I kind of like it that way.......


my sick boys

don't take a picture of me mama, i'm a sick boy
my sick boy

This morning @ 5a.m. TSE came in my room and said he thought he was going to get sick.

Let's just say, that fortunately, he told me first!! ha!

Anyway, when Max-Ay woke up he said he didn't feel good either, but he didn't look sick. Thank God he didn't eat breakfast when I thought he was faking. Man, that would have been a nightmare.

So they are sitting in my upstairs living room, quietly watching movies. I plugged the lights into the Christmas tree and started a fire in the fireplace. It's very cozy and Christmas-ish looking. The jello is slowly hardening in the fridge for a late lunch.

My friend S.B. called and her boys just had the sickies last week. She is bringing orange gatorade and 7-up. I probably could have lived without it, but sometimes, when someone wants to help you, it's important to say yes. It makes them feel good and it builds a growing friendship. It will be fun to see her face for 5 seconds and commiserate about the super mom of sick boys thing.

This flu bug seems to be short-lived so hopefully after tomorrow we will be done. I just hope the rest of us don't get it, but unfortunately, EVERYONE in S.B.'s family got it. Yikes!!! My neuro appointment is an hour away on Wednesday, but I suppose I could always change it into a phone appointment. So, I won't worry about that yet!