Thursday, December 31, 2009

Say good-bye to 2009 and Hello to 2010...

Well I'm ending 2009 with one last Christmas layout (opening that one gift on Christmas eve to set the anticipation into high gear) and one to start the new year. I've decided not to set goals in the normal "self-fulfilling prophecy set up for failure" mode I usually do by highlighting those things I don't like and declaring to fix them, but instead to visualize where I want to be at the end of the year and make a stategic plan of small steps to help me get there. So what will you accomplish in 2010?
Twilight Zone Kit by Digi+Licious (DivineDigitals by Christine Mortimer)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009,...2010 soon to begin

The Grinch did not steal Christmas although our house was much less decorated than ever before, yet we managed two decorated trees, one for Santa and one for family. And at the last minute, late Christmas Eve, the stockings were flung against the chimney without care...ok I cared. So they were leaned against the fireplace to be filled before morning. It was a successful Christmas filled with time to hang together, do seasonal baking, visit family and even stay up to the wee hours to finish the wrapping. I now understand the inspiration behind the invention of the gift bag. Somehow in all the hubbub I forgot to check into my blog, but I did scrap. Some things are sacred. Here are some of my efforts during my online absence.

And now in less than one day, a year ends and a new one begins. How long will you take to remember to write 2010? Do you have a vision of who you will be at it's end?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Grinch vs Santa 1:0

It started like any other year. But for some reason all the other activities in projects, soccer tournaments, chess tournaments, saxophone concerts, poetry readings and play auditions just took over and here we were at 10 days left before Christmas with nothing. No decorations in sight. No presents. No Christmas cards. No Christmas baking. We hadn’t even been to visit Santa. You’d have thought we were relatives of the Grinch--non-believers, but alas, the boys rallied together. They dug out the tree and began setting it up. So now we are proud owners of a Naked Tree! Where did those ornaments go and will we find them before Christmas?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet Christmas Traditions

What kid doesn't like candy? And if you love to create, making gingerbread houses or miniature graham cracker houses is right up there on the favored Christmas preparations as cookie baking. Being given free reign to slather on frosting and a multitude of bits and pieces of sugary concoctions, all which you get to taste test first, is hard to beat especially when you're 10 years old. But does anyone know, are you really supposed to eat these evenutally?

To be able to sleep anywhere

What a talent that is. Today I felt exhausted. Too many late nights and rushed days filled to the brim with responsibilities. My candle is burning out at both ends. Sometimes I envy my son, who seems to be able to sleep wherever and whenever he wants. He always has and I have some great photos documenting this hidden talent that I'm sure when he's older he'll deny it ever happened, but if only I had that ability because even today, a hard kitchen chair looked inviting as a pillow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sometimes it's hard to be Santa

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be Santa? Two Peas this week challenged us to create a page from Santa's perspective. It's good to know that documenting one of my boys' earlier visits to Santa that took over 2 hours wasn't done in vain. This challenge was perfect for this Christmas memory.

Text reads: It started like any other day. They had waited in line for at least 30 minutes in the cold. They had watched numerous other kids come in and leave. They peeked at me through the window. When they walked in, I greeted the twins with a big smile and a hearty, "Ho Ho Ho" and invited them to come and tell me what they wanted for Christmas. That's when PANIC set in, as Noah screamed "Noooo!" His brother, Owen clung to Mom. So she walked them around Santa's house, pointing out the tree, the presents, the fireplace. They weren't convinced. So Mom set up snack. Then the boys played and snuck peeks at me over their shoulders. Time went on...lots of time...2 hours of time. Mom was very patience. Finally the boys agreed to sit on the bench, but didn't want me anywhere around them. Just as they were distracted by the lady at the camera, I jumped in behind them to get in the picture. Oh, somedays it's hard to be Santa. But once done, Noah gleefully grabbed his hard won candy cane and off they went. I so needed a nap.

So on your next visit to Santa, give him a wink ( or slip him a gift certificate to Starbucks) to thank him for his endurance.

Normal or Not?

Just a quick layout of Noah this summer done for challenge at Two Peas in a Bucket (use a fabric as inspiration). I decided to go bold and pick up a similar design from hsi blanket. Noah always gives me a goofy contorted posed face if he catches me taking his picture. Now I ask you, is this NORMAL or NOT?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Circle of Life

Have you ever wondered how different your life might have been if you had gone with a different choice somewhere back when, or if by choosing the path you chose if that prior choice would present itself again if it truly was relevant? Seems to me life has a way of coming around and catching up when you least expect it. I never dreamed I'd grow 1 1/2 inches at age 35 nor that having passed up the opportunity of training to be a math teacher, that decades later I'd find myself doing just that...teaching math. What is the probability of that happening? Now that's a problem I may have to do some pondering on.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Could we just have a virtual tree?

Christmas doesn't officially begin until the tree is decorated. So I'm hiding my head in the sand and in full denial that Christmas is a mere 15 days away...eeks, barely 2 weeks. The house is totally "Christmas lacking." We have no decorations or stockings. No tree, no lights and no presents in sight. And even if we had been naughty this year. the coal is amiss. Mama's too pooped to to even have checked the list. But the weekend is coming and by Sunday evening perhaps, perhaps with a little luck and lots of tea, Christmas will awaken at our house finally. So until then, I'm going to bed, to rest up for the tasks ahead. To dream of "Merry Christmas decor" as I fall to sleep (hope I don't snore).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My plate is overflowing

"Wow,your plate is full!" What they don't say, but is implied, that when your plate is too full, you start dropping stuff over the sides. December has presented me with a too full plate and I've begun to drop stuff unintentionally, like updating my blog, staying current with facebook, even reading my emails and listening to voicemail. It's not that I don't care, it's I haven't had the time.

In addition to our "regularly scheduled activities" in the last couple weeks:
  • My boys have done a great school project of creating, drafting, proofing,writing and illustrating a picture storybook plus practicing how to present it.

  • They've also been practicing reading yet another picture book focusing on tone, emotion and cadence all done within a certain time frame to participate in the annual literature circle competition at school.

  • Add to that, playing in the soccer tournament in freezing temperatures 3 x/week

  • Attending an all day chess tournament on Saturday

  • Practicing lines for the 4th & 5th grade play auditions coming up Monday,next week

  • Practicing their saxophones for the Winterfest concert next Thursday

  • Preparing for the advanced Math Champs geometry test tomorrow

All which takes my time as well. Then add to that, the complication of having one son home sick for several days.

So, Christmas prep is a little late this year as I have yet to decorate the house, put up the Christmas trees, make a wishlist for shopping, buy and wrap presents, draft a Christmas letter, take photos for a Christmas card, have our annual Santa photo taken or do any of the Christmas baking.

Is it a wonder, that the "normal" day to day tasks are feeling a bit neglected? I think not. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who is feeling just a wee bit stretched at the moment. But this too will pass. And I still try to make sure I have some "me time" each day where I can sit and scrap for an hour just to reflect on times less hectic. So please forgive me if I've spilt a bit on you in my haste to carry a much too full plate. I'll carry extra napkins.

Last year we had an early snow to start off the Christmas break. This is just a quick layout showing my boys in their winter finery heading out to build a snowman.