Sunday, December 29, 2013

Day 9 of Christmas Vacation and continues to Day 10

Day 9 of Christmas Vacation . . . 

Cody was feeling a little better today - he still fell asleep for a nap, twice. He kept down yogurt and seven up - he has a canker sore inside his mouth that makes it hard to eat. He wanted a burrito tonight and that was a mistake. It wasn't long and he lost that burrito, but then felt better after.

Two of the dogs have horrible gas. We ran out of "their" food and are eating a different brand - BIG mistake! We certainly won't make that mistake again! Sheesh - Courtesy Spray Please!

The temperature was warm today, so Finnigan spent the day outside in his pen. He paced and quacked ~ I think he was actually BRAGGING to his duck siblings about all of the spoiling he has been getting. They didn't even go up to the pen to see him today . . . they are probably put off with his bragging. Ducks can be sensitive.

Ryan has learned the fun of texting. He has a new ipad and Mom let him have a little more "rope" with it. So the boy has been texting me and Randy . . . a lot! He even tried a little Facetime with Daddy while Daddy was at work ~ (I thought it was funny! Randy said all he could see was Ryan's face staring back at him when he answered his Facetime.) My boy is growing up.

Katelyn seems to be on the mend and is more herself. I pray she recovers quickly and completely. 

Day 10:

Slept in this morning - it was easy to do since the sky was dreary. It was wonderful and when I woke, I enjoyed coffee and ipad in bed. I followed that with listening to Matt Chandler from the Village Church ~ amazing God following man. If you haven't listened to him, I encourage you to either go online or download the Village Church podcast. 

The kids decided it was time to spend their Christmas money. I am thankful that I could take care of that from my computer . . . however, I have little boy shoppers that simply cannot decide what they want. I finally had to set a time limit . . . 5 more minutes and we are done . . . after waiting for him to choose for like 20 minutes. The good news - they finally completed their purchases and we didn't have to go out in public to take care of it. Not that it is awful or wrong to go out in public, but the GERMS are incredible and we certainly do not need any more illness in our home.

Little Miss Hedgehog met Mr. Duck this morning - yep, bill to quill! They decided to just ignore one another. Emma followed hedgie around barking after her for 1/2 hour . . . shamie Emma. The other dogs could care less about the hedgehog.

Cody is doing much better this morning . . . Praise the Lord. Katelyn received a call from Urgent Care checking on how she is doing . . . I thought that was really nice. She is doing much, much better . . . Praise the Lord #2.

Now, I am off to enjoy the remainder of the day . . . relaxing.

Have a great day!
 


 

Friday, December 27, 2013

The icks . . .

I sincerely believe Seeley Booth thinks I am the only one that knows what he needs. He comes to me when he is hungry, he comes to me when he wants to play and he comes to me when he needs to go outside. He does not go to anyone else . . . just me. He is not only Beautiful, he is Smart too!
 
 This photo was taken this past summer.
Oh how I miss the summer! 

I was awaken this morning I was awakened very early by a very miserable little boy. Cody woke with a sore mouth, fever and soon after he began throwing up. He pretty much slept the day away in between bouts of throwing up and getting children's Motrin for his fever. Tonight he seems to be on the mend and even wanted pizza for dinner. I was pretty reluctant to let him have it, but two hours later it we continue to be safe, so hopefully he is on the mend.

Katelyn headed to the Urgent Care yesterday and is doing much better today. The Prednisone, Cherrytussin and Zpac have all kicked in and she is doing much better. I am very thankful it didn't turn into pneumonia.

The other boys seem to be doing o.k. for now. Hopefully, the icks will pass them by as well as Randy and I. My sister Janeie dropped by some grape juice as she said it is a remedy against the stomach flu. Three ounces three times a day . . . we are definitely "into" the grape juice today!

I was using hospital grade disinfectant throughout the main floor today. We were able to finish up the main floor cleaning today - and get almost caught up on the laundry. I love that fresh CLEAN sanitized smell, especially during flu season.




Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26

December 26, 2013 ~ I wonder how many people took down all of their Christmas beauty?

Everyone in our home slept in this morning. It was wonderful! After a late, late breakfast we began taking down our beautiful Christmas decor. Time to get the house back to normal. 

The boys all jumped in to help me and Katelyn headed to the Urgent Care. She began not feeling like her allergies were kicking in the other day and began treating them. This morning she was feeling worse and headed off to Urgent Care. She had about an hour wait - apparently, they were the only ones open in town. Katelyn was complimented on her "scent" and knew it was the "signature JuJu scent" as she didn't wear any perfume today. She said she chuckled a little bit and then was complimented on her attitude and courtesy. Yes, this Mama is proud! The doc said Katelyn has an upper respiratory infection and aggravated Asthma. She was prescribed Prednisone, Zpack and cherry tussin, along with plenty of rest and fluids.

The boys and I tore into the main floor and ended up with the foyer, the library, the piano room and family room un Christmas decorated AND cleaned top to bottom. It was a feat and we are totally tuckered out. Tomorrow we will clean the kitchen, pantry, laundry room, mud room and two 1/2 baths - all on the main floor. Shouldn't really be too bad. Saturday, we will tackle the laundry.

Randy arrived home from work and chilled a little bit before heading out to pick up Burger King as the boys requested. Our evening should be quiet now until bedtime. The boys are EXHAUSTED and so am I.

Ryan now has his own email - I apologize ahead dear family for the multitude of text messages and emails you may or may not receive. I have received multiple since sitting down to write this post. I have to chuckle a little - my boy is growing up!

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013 is officially history.

We had a lovely Christmas and are Thankful. So many families are sick with the flu in our area and I feel for each of them.

Not writing a lot tonight as my brain is tired ~ and so am I, but here are a few unedited pictures.


















 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

Whew . . . it has been quite busy for us the past few days. Christmas preparation for two family parties, then enjoying the parties both yesterday and today. Tonight we came home and tended to things around the house so we are ready for tomorrow. Now . . . if the kids will sleep until noon! Probably not a chance of that!

Tonight Max will be put away for another year . . . we will see him again the day after Thanksgiving 2014.

I ordered a cozy sack (think old bean bag chair) that is filled with Memory foam. It arrived in this box and once opened and taken out of the plastic, it slowly grows . . . and grows. I am sure this will be great during movie time!

Katelyn and Beckett tested it out.
 
 
While we were having coffee this morning, Finnigan decided to climb up part of the stairs. Only as high as he needed to get to see inside the fish aquarium on the other side of the stair balusters.

The duck was on a mission!
BUSTED!!! 

Finnigan decided not to fight us . . .
it was nap time!
 
Randy took this photo of Beckett and I this morning.
Not sure I like having my photo taken!

As I leave you this evening, I wish you a Merry Christmas.
Praying you and yours remember to reflect on the
Real Reason for Christmas . . .
The Birth of our Savior, Jesus.
 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Vacation Day 3

Max the elf has not been mentioned the past few days . . . he hasn't moved around much in the past week. I suppose too many things are flooding my brain. Only two nights more nights to hide him and then he will be gone once again until next year.

We have plenty of ice at our house so the boys have not been outside in a few days. It definitely would be nice to send them outside to play ~ boys have a LOT of energy.

Finnigan DID go outside to play today . . . he had a few visitors!

First, the Mallards decided to come up into the yard.

The Cayuga ducks soon joined them.

They went all the way up to the new kennel to see Finnigan.

 It appears they had a little conversation before they went back to the shoreline.

Finnigan enjoyed his time outside and quacked most of the day. I am certain he was letting his siblings know of the wonderful hospitality he has received. 

Tonight is to reach single digit to minus digits in the wind chill category. Tomorrow's temps are to continue to fall and will be dropping to single digit temps and -8 below windchill. Brrrrrrrrr!

~~~~~

Today Daddy was at the helm and this mama had the day off. I slept in very late, enjoyed coffee and chilled out for the day. Daddy had everything under control throughout the day and even got the boys to tidy up their rooms from their weekend fun. 

I am so thankful for a day off from everything . . . I am certainly spoiled and love my man to the moon and back!

 

The BEST Christmas Ever?

Are you burning the candle at both ends to "make" Christmas "the BEST one Ever"?

You are?

Well, would you let me give you a bit of advice?

STOP . . . right where you are, STOP!

Christmas can be "the BEST one Ever" without burning the candle at both ends. You don't have to make sure every thing is PERFECT!

To make your Christmas Perfect . . . all you need is YOU. Spending Christmas with the ones you LOVE! Focusing on the Reason for Christmas!

Christmas isn't about:
  • Christmas cards - although they are fun to receive, they are not mandatory.
  • Pinterest - beautiful ideas, but who has time to keep up with them, let alone try them!
  • Parties - extra planning, extra expense - why not just skip a big party and have a simple family movie night or time of singing carols instead.
  •  Exterior illumination - it is fun to drive around and see all of the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations people spend hours and hours putting up. However, Christmas isn't all about the Christmas lights either.

Christmas IS about the Gift. Not the gifts we give one another, but THE ULTIMATE GIFT . . . Jesus Christ, born in a humble manger surrounded by Joseph, Mary and Angels. God gave Him to each of us . . .

For God so loved the world, that He gave His ONLY begotten Son, the who ever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6





Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Vacation Day 2

The days are ticking down to Christmas morning. I am so very thankful we are pretty much prepared for Christmas. Gifts are wrapped, decorating is done and my car has been loaded with the first Christmas party.

Today was a bit of a challenging day with the boys. They were intolerant of one another for a time today. Tomorrow I am not going to allow television or Wii for any of them unless Daddy or Katelyn are watching something and they would like to sit quietly and watch.

Finnigan the duck continues to do well and in fact has been a little sassy the past two days at bedtime. He absolutely does not want to go into the kennel we have for him at night. He begins quacking, flapping his wings and even nipping. Tonight he decided to nip me on the neck, so he got into a bit of trouble. I told him no and then held him on his back for a few minutes as I talked to him. Katelyn rubbed his bill and I held him so he could not get up. After a few minutes, he was calm and even began to fall asleep. 

Tomorrow will be a bit nicer than today, so he will enjoy some outside time.

I will be making two or three small lists for our Christmas Celebration needs that couldn't be picked up prior to Monday, nothing too large. Whew!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Vacation Day 1

Everyone has turned in for the night . . .

The house is quiet, except for the dogs, guinea pigs and of course the duck. He is in the "dog" kennel for the night but is quacking away as if he is trying to tell me something.

This morning we were pleased to see that all five of our Cayuga ducks had made their way home. It was so nice to see those black ducks eating their corn down on the shore of the lake. Katelyn made a trail for them up to the 10x10 kennel shelter we have for them. We don't want to scare them, simply entice them to enter by leaving a nice supply of feed for them. If we can get them inside, then we can close the door to the pen and keep them safe for the winter. I have prayed they would find their way home and this morning my prayers were answered. 

Today was a great first day of Christmas vacation. The boys played well for a long time, but then disagreements began and I declared it nap time for the ones involved. The other two went quietly to their rooms. 

When nap time began, Finnigan the duck and Emma our Lhasa Apso were sharing the furry little doggie mat. This was the first time we have noticed them "sharing".

When we woke from our naps, we found Finn had moved . . .

Finn was snuggled in at the foot of Cameron's blanket and had been sleeping with him. Seeley was laying next to Cameron and Mia was on her little suitcase bed.


 Everyone is getting along today with the duck. The duck has chilled and isn't afraid of the dogs. Beckett is as close as I have ever seen her to Finnigan without growling at him and Finn huffing at her. 

This evening we all sat down together and watched the movie The Lone Ranger - the newest version. It was good and had many funny parts.

This weekend's forecast is pretty ugly for our area . . . Freezing rain and ice. Should make for an interesting weekend.

 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Crazy Creatures

Let the Celebrations begin! 

Today was the last day of school for the boys and we are thrilled. It is time we begin celebrating!

This morning I was greeted by a noise on the main floor. Katelyn had already left when I heard some ruckus. I headed down the stairs to see what was going on as I was the only human home. I walked into the kitchen to see this in the hall by the dog food/water and guinea pigs . . .

 Imagine MY surprise. Apparently Finnigan has figured out how to escape!

Then as I was working at my computer I heard a rustling sound coming from the pantry. I walked over to the pantry door and Seeley Booth came running out . . . 
 He had a graham cracker bag over his nose. Apparently he was helping himself.
He quickly dropped the bag and looked at me as if to say, "What?"

I had a friend say . . . "It must be a full moon!"

Crazy Creatures!


 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

a Secret

I have a little secret . . . well, maybe it is not really a secret at all. Most people that really know me are quite aware of my "secret". 
I tend to be a problem solver and when I cannot "solve" a problem or situation I feel weighted down.

Tonight I was reading Dear Jesus by Sarah Young and it really hit home.

Dear Jesus,
You know how I long to practice Your Presence more consistently. When I keep my focus on You, my whole perspective is brighter, more joyful. When I am preoccupied with problems, I feel weighted down and anxious. Yet the default setting of my mind seems to be problem-solving. My thoughts tend to flow toward finding what is wrong and trying to fix it. I want to break free from this hurtful pattern, but its roots go deep into my being.

Dear Daughter, 
Beloved, come to Me and rest in My sufficiency. Stop trying to fix yourself by focusing on your failures. Remember that the world you inhabit is fallen, and you are part of that brokenness. You can no more practice My Presence perfectly than you can save yourself from your sins. In a fallen world, all your default settings are tainted by sin. Nonetheless, you are being transformed and renewed by My Spirit within you.
Collaborate with Me as I work to set you free from hurtful ways. View each moment as a fresh opportunity to draw near Me. I welcome you with open arms.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - 
His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
and see if there be any hurtful way in me,
and lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139:23-24 

Isn't it just like God to lead you to read something that touches your heart right where you are struggling?!

I cannot always FIX or Problem Solve issues that arise in our lives. There are so many times God simply wants us to wait on Him.

I cannot always FIX or Problem Solve issues that arise in other people's lives, even though I yearn to.

I cannot bare the weight of other people's choices, problems or concerns. However, I can love and pray for them.

Do you struggle with "Fixing and Solving"?  Do you take on the weight of the world at times?

Take a moment to re-read the message above. Sarah Young writes it so well. If you are like me, I need a flashing neon sign in plain view each and every day to remind me . . . Give it to God . . . He is the Almighty Problem Solver. 


Focus

It is so hard to believe . . .
Christmas is one week from today. 
If you have kiddos in your house, I am sure you are hearing the same count down that I am . . . the Christmas Count Down! 
Excitement is growing each and every day. As this week is winding down with schooling, we turn our focus to 

Jesus . . . The Reason for the Season!

For unto us a child is born, Unto us a Son is given . . . His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace . . .


 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Max the Elf Days 17 & 18

We totally stumped the boys with Max's hiding place. Apparently, they can't see him on top of the clock in the piano room. After several days, it is time for Max to move.

Here is his new hiding spot:

 

Snow, Kids, Duck and TONS OF PHOTOS

A winter wonderland is right outside our home. The snow is so beautiful and makes all appear fresh and new. We were all thrilled to see the snow falling on Friday evening and were so surprised to see EIGHT inches had fallen. Although the weather people say we received a little over 7", we have proof of our 8"of snow.


The beauty surrounds us . . .




 It wasn't long before my boys wanted to head outside to play in the beautiful white. Cameron was with Randy, but the other three headed out back, including Seeley and Katelyn.

















 Finnigan was outside for a while too . . . he was watching the kids play. 

The kids were out for quite a while. I am thankful they like the snow so they could work out some excess energy.

Once inside, Finnigan spotted the fish. Katelyn held him up so he could see them. He tried to catch one through the glass . . . Katelyn quoted the movie Nemo, "Fish are Friends NOT Food!"


After everyone was in and warm we started the fire, put in a movie and chilled out with the furry ones. Finnigan loves to be with his people and yesterday was no exception. He found his place in the family room. Before long, eyelids were heavy and we all took a nap, it was lovely.

We had a really lovely day.


 I slept in this morning . . . it was amazing. I headed to the main floor and found Finnigan on his fluffy taking a little snooze.
 The other Cayuga Ducks remain out on the ice and in the tiny bit of water they are keeping open. We are keeping an eye on them and trying to encourage them to walk across the ice and get home. They are stubborn feathered creatures. I am sure they think they are doing what is the safest, but we see things differently. Katelyn and Randy headed down to the property closest to the ducks. Katelyn threw out food for them and they started toward her, but then stopped. She left food for them . . . we will be making this a daily happening since they won't come home. 

Finnigan is definitely a "spoiled" duck. He is adapting to his new life well. He enjoys outside time each day, but then we bring him in at night. He stays in a dog kennel each night. We have left his kennel door open in the evening while he is in the kennel . . . he starts quacking and then comes to the room we are in. He definitely likes to be with "others". 

Yesterday, Katelyn took him on a little duck walk . . .
 He seemed to enjoy himself on his little walk. We are going to have to get him a harness. lol

This morning the dogs were barking because they heard Randy pull in. Right after the dogs barked, Finn Quacked TWICE! We all stopped and laughed . . . Finn is beginning to act like a guard duck!

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