Sunday, December 30, 2007

Well, Christmas has come and gone. Now I am just waiting...waiting for tomorrow (my birthday, not a big deal, but still I wait), waiting for the National Championship game, waiting to be home and settled again.
It's been fun being home, visiting. The only crummy part of our trip happened last week, when we discovered all four of our tires were rotten (dry rot, a pre-existing condition, before we bought them brand new and all) and had to be replaced. We got the tires from Simple Simon a little over two years ago, and after a lot of aggrivation, Bart was able to get a good deal from the Goodyear on Lee Dr. So, if you ever need tires...do not, under any circumstances, go to Simple Simon. But, the Goodyear on Lee was great and we highly recommend them. I don't recommend suddenly needing new tires on a trip that is already straining your budget, though...

Friday, December 28, 2007

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

To the Toy Makers

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Toy Maker,

Thank you so much for putting lead in our toys. It has made for some fun times, trying to figure out what could possibly harm my child. I especially like that we've all known for years that lead is bad, but for some reason you are just now doing something about it. That really is really going the extra mile.

However, that is not why I write you today. Today I write to discuss another subject, the enslavement of your toys.

I understand that you do not want for your toys to escape during shipping. I know that toys can be a bit naughty and switch boxes or hide in the back and try to run to freedom when the ship docks. I get it. But, what I don't get is the 5.2 million wires you use to confine these sweet, innocent toys. I think it is inhuman. There are better ways to tame a toy.

Santa came today, you see, and it took my husband and myself over three hours to open the various toys. I am still trying to get all the wires and tape off of one toy. Now, don't just say to yourself, "She bought her children too many toys. That is why it took so long."
Nope. We tried very hard to get toys the children would really enjoy for a long time, not just a quick happy fix. We didn't over indulge them. So, I am still wondering why my fingers have cuts all over them from the packaging you use to contain the toys.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that (generally) all the pieces are in one place and that I do not have to tell a crushed child that he will have to wait to play with his toy because it must first be exchanged for a complete toy. I have seen first hand how naught those toys can be, hiding under beds and in sandboxes, as if they don't want our children to be their masters. But, I am just tired of your enslavement methods.

So, for next year, please consider sedating all of the toys, and including an anti-serum with each toy, so that I can easily open the box and get my child playing. I believe sedation is a lot more humane than tying them up, so please, free the toys. Give them drugs to keep them quiet. Just stop using so much damn wire to tie every nook and cranny of my child's puppets and board games and race cars down.

Thank you.
J. R...a concerned consumer

Will the Christ Child Come?
Written by Gaye Willis


One Christmas we had an interesting experience that I would like to share.
Halfway through December we were doing the regular evening things when there
was a knock at the door. We opened it to find a small package with a beautiful
ceramic lamb inside. We looked at the calendar and realized that the 12 days
of Christmas were beginning! We waited excitedly for the next night's surprise
and only then, with the gift of a matching shepherd, did we realize that
the lamb was part of a nativity set.

Each night we grew more excited to see what piece we would receive.
Each was exquisitely beautiful. The kids kept trying to catch the givers
as we slowly built the scene at the manger and began to focus on Christ's birth.

On Christmas Eve, all the pieces were in place, all but the Baby Jesus.
My 12-year-old son really wanted to catch our benefactors and began
to devise all kinds of ways to trap them. He ate dinner in the minivan,
watching and waiting, but no one came. Finally, we called him in to go through
our family's Christmas Eve traditions. But before the kids went to bed, we
checked the front step - - no Baby Jesus! We began to worry that my son
had scared them off. My husband suggested that maybe they dropped the Jesus
and there wouldn't be anything coming. Somehow, something was missing that Christmas Eve.

There was a feeling that things weren't complete. The kids went to bed and before
I went to bed, I again checked to see if the Jesus had come - - no, the doorstep was empty.
In our family, the kids can open their stockings when they want to, but they have to wait
to open any presents until Dad wakes up. So one by one they woke up very early and I
also woke up to watch them. Even before they opened their stockings, each child
checked to see if perhaps during the night the Baby Jesus had come.

Missing that piece of the set seemed to have an odd effect. At least it changed
my focus. I knew there were presents under the tree for me and I was excited
to watch the children open their gifts, but first on my mind was the feeling of
waiting for the ceramic Christ Child. We had opened just about all of the presents
when one of the children found one more for me buried deep beneath the limbs of the tree.

He handed me a small package from my former visiting teaching companion.
This sister was somewhat less-active in the church. I had been her visiting teacher
for a couple of years and then, when she was asked to be a visiting teacher, she requested
to go with me. I had learned over time they didn't have much for Christmas, so that
their focus was on the children. It sounded like she didn't get many gifts to open,
so I had always given her a small package -- new dish towels, the next year's Relief
Society lesson manual -- not much, but something for her to open.

I was touched when at church on the day before Christmas, she had given me this
small package, saying it was just a token of her love and appreciation. As I took
off the bow, I remembered my friendship with her and was filled with gratitude for
knowing her and for her kindness and sacrifice in this giving me a gift. But as the
paper fell away, I began to tremble and cry. There in the small brown box was
the Baby Jesus! He had come!

I realized on that Christmas Day, that Christ will come into our lives in ways that
we don't expect. The spirit of Christ comes into our hearts as we serve one another.
We had waited and watched for Him to come, expecting the dramatic "knock at the door
and scurrying of feet" but He came in a small, simple package that represented service,
friendship, gratitude and love.

This experience taught me that the beginning of the true spirit of Christmas
comes as we open our hearts and actively focus on the Savior. But we will most
likely find Him in the small and simple acts of love, friendship and service that we
give to each other. This Christmas I want to feel again the joy of knowing that Christ
is in our home. I want to focus on loving and serving. More than that, I want to open
my heart to Him all year that I may see Him again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

8 Years

For our anniversary, we went out to Vincenzo's for dinner. Vincenzo's is a little Italian restaurant in the Old Market in downtown Omaha. If you ever come to Omaha, you really should go to the Old Market for a few hours. They have some great shops and excellent food.
By the way, I had the nightly special, which was shark with fresh mozzarella and portabello mushrooms.

A quick snapshot taken by our waitress after dinner. Let's just say our jeans and sweaters were a bit underdressed compared to 95% of the other patrons.
Me on the bridge over the frozen pond at Gene Leahy Mall.
Both of us, as we freeze, on the bridge. After we listened to some carolers (they were everywhere!) and went in a few shops, we went to Delice for some hot cocoa. I got mine with pecan and caramel flavoring...a turtle hot cocoa...talk about heaven! There was a teenage guy playing guitar and singing, so we stayed a few minutes to warm up and enjoy some great music.
We had a great night, just the two of us. However, when we got to the babysitters house, we were greeted by a stomach flu infested Jackson. So...our fun times ended and nursemaid started.
Jackson is better now, and luckily no one else got it...I hope none of the Weaver's (our b.s.) wound up with it!

Brennan's first school Christmas program. The preschool class and kindergarten class sang together. They were the best performers, but I am a bit biased.
Sledding down the BIG hill.
Jackson loved it more than anyone else. He refused to get off the sled, even when it wasn't his turn.
Bart and Jackson
Brennan took a bit of warming up before he'd go down the BIG hill. He mostly stayed to the side on a smaller hill by himself, though he did go down the BIG hill once with me and once with Bart.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas is just around the corner





Santa's elves were busy at the Remington's, building tricycles and scooters.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why is that a pie in your eye?

Well, we all know Bart is a bit silly at times. But, when he came home and told me he needed enough Redi-Whip to make 350 pies, I thought he'd lost his mind. However, there was some sort of contest at work that if you did X, the prize was you got to pie the management team.
So, Bart and Brennan went to Target, bought 50 cans of Redi-Whip, 5 ponchos, and one drop cloth.
And then it got a little crazy...




You'd think Bart would have smelled, and tasted, sweet after this event, but NO...he smelled like milk, left in a metal container in a hot car on the hottest day of the year. Even after he showered, you could smell him before you saw him!
If a pie in the eye is what it takes to get his team to work, well, then by all means, go ahead!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

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Happy Birthday Grandma!

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Happy Birthday Grandma! We love you and can't wait for you to open your present that Brennan wrapped almost totally by himself!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yippie!



I'm so excited. Cause...when there's a new album, there's always a tour...


Jack Johnson in Studio to Work on New Album

Written by Mara Siegler
Published June 07, 2007


The album is being produced by JP Plunier, who also worked on 2001’s hit debut Brushfire Fairytales, which featured personal and fan favorites “Sexy Lexi” and the somewhat oddly worded, yet jamming groove “Bubble Toes.” Long time band members Merlo Podewski and drummer Adam Topol are joining Johnson once again, along with new member Zach Gill on piano and accordion.

Johnson told Billboard ”I’m excited because the first record we did, we basically got the band together for that record. JP introduced me to Adam, and Adam knew Merlo. We went in and did the record in six days, and we hadn’t played live as a band. So it’s kind of exciting to get together with JP now that we’ve been playing for so many years.”

I think its exciting too, Jack, especially if it is anything like your previous albums. For those of you not familiar with his work it is a soulful, mellow blend of easy breezy surfer tunes. He released his first album in 2001 and followed it with 2003’s critically acclaimed On and On. In 2005 he released In Between Dreams, yet another winner. He has plenty of younger fans as well, being responsible for the soundtrack Johnson's Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George. It debuted at #1 on the on the Billboard charts and included guest appearances by G. Love, Harper, Costa, and Kawika Kahiapo.

If you don't want to listen through each album, make sure to hop on itunes and download "Bannana Pancakes," "Taylor," and "Bubble Toes," which should give you a pretty solid idea of his style.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Life and Times of MawMaw Shirley Falgout


Bart's grandmother, Shirley Falgout, AKA MawMaw, or Miss MawMaw to me, passed away Monday, Dec. 10, 2007.
Although I had three grandmothers of my own(two now), Miss MawMaw was still somebody special for me. I was so happy that I was able to get to know her better as I took her to her monthly cumadin checks a few years ago. After we went to the doctor for that, we'd almost always go to Wal-Mart, so MawMaw could get "just a few things", which sometimes turned into a very full basket and a very long morning, but that was okay. Brennan's favorite part of those times with her, I think, was when she sent him home with a bag of grapes, cut in half, just for him.
Miss MawMaw was an excellent cook, as are all of her daughters, from what I can tell. She made roast and gravy that was amazing. I can see why Amy would eat it all. If I hadn't had better home training, I might have eaten it all, too!

She was the mother to ten children, and grandmother and great grandmother to a ton more. She had enough love for that many people, though, so she was perfect for the job.
So, we are all going to miss Miss MawMaw, but I know she is happy, reunited with her husband, PawPaw, and two of her children, Glenda and Jay. I know she's still going to keep an eye on us, though, so we better not start slacking off, but stay united as a family, strong and proud.




Eight Years




Today is our 8th year wedding anniversary. We were married in the Dallas, Tx temple on Dec. 11, 1999. For those of you a little slower at math, that made me 19 (turned 20 20 days later). Yeah, I was young, but I don't think I would change any of it.
I am so grateful for my wonderful husband. He's had a lot of challenges come his way, and somehow, he always rises to the occasion. Together we are (usually) a great team, balancing each other out.
In eight years we've went from an apartment that was maybe 600 sq. feet to a beautiful home, we've went from being two to four, which is a great number. We have faced tragedy as Bart's mother's cancer got worse, we have faced an uncertain future as Bart was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. We have learned to love each other's differences and support each other just the same. We've watched LSU win the National Championship for football and me graduate from that fine institution as well, almost as awesome as winning the big game! We have owned three cars, the third which we will be paying off in March! We have had a lot of fun living life, and there isn't anyone I'd want to be a "we" with than Bart.
So, here's to eight more years (he, he...I mean, forever more years!) Bartie. You better not start to slack off now, because eight is the age you become accountable for your actions.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Snow Days!

It appears that I have been missed...and I haven't even been gone that long! (Just kidding, I like to make myself think I am loved)
Anyways, here is a pictorial of our past few days...and let's just say, it has included a lot of snow.



thursday-a self proclaimed snow day. they didn't cancel preschool, but we called in "snick". brennan helped our neighbor with the snow thrower. jackson and brennan loved playing outside in their snowsuits.

when bart got home from work, we had to go outside (in the dark and cold) and play some more.

friday brennan's preschool made gingerbread houses. it was really fun. the teacher had a signup sheet so there wouldn't be more than 8 kids and parents at a time. brennan had a blast and created the most colorful house of them all. he and ashley (in picture) were the only two afternoon kids to sign up for 8:30 a.m. i wonder why...
the other shot is one of the nativity we did at the church Christmas party. brennan was a sheep. he is the second kid kneeling from the left. you can't really see him. the party was okay, but i think a few people showed up and didn't bring a dessert or side dish. seriously...how many LDS potlucks have you been to where ALL the food is totally gone at the end???

and finally, today! today i went scrapbooking with my friend diana while bart stayed home (and worried) with the boys and played out in the snow and inside, too. there was a winter advisory out, so bart was worried. the weather did cut our fun short, as we left at 5 instead of 9. the roads weren't too slick, but the ice that kept forming on diana's windshield made the 1 hour home much longer. we're all safe, sound, and warm now, so i'd call the day a success...we'll see about tomorrow...if they don't plow the streets, we may just have to call in "snick" to church!
so, how about you? what did you do this weekend?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Many of you said you liked Southern Comfort Egg Nog as part fo the Christmas survey that floated around. Well, Bart bought some the other day, and we have found another fan...Brennan! He can't get enough of the smooth golden stuff. He asks for it all the time. Most kids like Kool-Aid or Coke, Brennan likes Southern Comfort.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Birthday Invitation


As many of you may or may not know, my birthday(#28) is New Year's Eve. For the past few years, three fabulous friends have gathered to celebrate this monumental occasion. Last year there were a few more, but there are always three...Melissa, Burgundy, and Jessica.

This year, you are cordially invited to spend the day scrapping and chatting and getting really creative. We're going to Scrapbook & Co. from 10-6, with a lunch break at maybe The Chimes East (I've never eaten there) or Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro or somewhere equally delicious.
Because it is New Year's Eve, many of your hubbies will be off, so it is a perfect opportunity to take a day off, too, and come have some fun, even if only for a few hours, with ME!

Scrapping, working on any other project and spending time at S&C is free(!), and lunch only cost as much as you make it...so, please RSVP if you are going to join our little party to celebrate...ME! (Oh, and no presents necessary...I am oh so humble like that!)


BTW, is there going to be any fun-filled New Year's parties that y'all are all going to this year?
Bart and I would love to crash one!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gingerbread Wonderland


A Winter Wonderland and Kris helping Brennan with a clue (by the way, that is a stained glass gingerbread piece, with light shining through)

A gingerbread mansion (from the back) and a pirate ship of gingerbread)

Gingerbread train (the best one, though there were lots) and a gingerbread amusement park...the roller coaster actually goes into the smartie mountain!)

Pretty in Pink...and all of us mom's and our cute kids.

This is the same house from front and behind. The detail they put onto the people inside is phenomenal!


Today a few of of my friends and I got together to go see the gingerbread displays at the Mormon Trail Center. People from all over Omaha make these amazing (and a few mediocre) gingerbread houses, trains, tractors, churches, etc, etc. It was a lot of fun. Brennan had a blast looking for clues to win a prize. I am amazed at how much time and effort went into this event.