Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shock and Awe

I'm feeling sick tonight - bronchitis and no voice.  Just a few minutes ago, I was huddled in a big chair with a blanket.  I looked over to the kitchen and this is what I saw.

My little elf unloading the dishwasher!  Christian just up and started unloading the dishwasher!  His sis joined him, and right now, as I write this, it is done, and they are loading the dirty dishes.  Whose children are these?  This truly feels like a miracle.  He has never unloaded the whole dishwasher before.  I wish something this wonderful for you tonight.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cajun Christmas

The Cajun bloodlines on my husband's side of the family mandate certain Christmas traditions.

Yes, those are my kids eating raw oysters.  Dad convinced them oysters might taste better if they closed their eyes.  Oyster Tally:  Anna - 3, Ehren - 1, Christian - 0.  What are your unique Christmas traditions?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's a Pillow

...It's a pet.  It's a Pillow Pet! 

The music from the Pillow Pet commercial is stuck on replay in my mind.  I wonder how many Pillow Pets are in the arms of American kids today.  Is there a Pillow Pet in your house?  I don't know the national stats, but I now count three in our house.

In other Christmas gift news...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Still, Still, Still

I received many wonderful gifts tonight, but my favorite may have been singing the song, "Still, Still, Still" in church.  I knew this song in German from my grandma and have always loved it, but I've never sung it or heard an English version.  I give you the beautiful lyrics:

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.

Hear the tune here.  I learned that it is a traditional Austrian carol, not German, as I had always thought.  And now, as my children have gone to bed, I wish for you and for me only still, still, still. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Cold

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Friendly Germs?

Bara gave the kids their Christmas gifts early this year since she's travelling over the holidays.  Ehren loves science, so Bara and I thought he would love his present, "Disgusting Science."  When he first opened it, he said, "What is this?"  Bara explained that with it, you could grow germs from your own body.  Ehren said, "germs?"  He looked puzzled.  She went on to say, "germs from your skin, friendly germs, all kinds of germs."  He put the kit down.  She continued on about how exciting it would be.  He carefully backed away from it.  With every word, he looked more horrified.  "Mom, do I have to touch it?"  I thought he might cry.  Christian chimed in, "I want to try it."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stock Up Sunday

On Sundays, I try to make a few things for the week, so I don't have to cook each night after work.  My little helper and I made this Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup

Later, I also made Friendship Soup and cut up snacking vegetables for the week.  Finally, to balance out all that healthy stuff, we made the super easy Fudge recipe you find on the back of the marshmallow creme jar.  To economize, we substituted 32 large marshmallows instead of the marshmallow creme.  Yes, it has 3 cups of sugar.  Here's wishing you a sweet Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Shepherds were TERRIFIED!

I didn't even know Ehren and Christian's class had a recitation until we got to their Christmas program today.  Here is a post-performance run for the camera.  I love how Christian looks up into the air to his imaginary cue card.  He has kind of a photographic memory, so I know he's visualizing a mental snapshot of the words as he's talking.  He can't remember things he hears, but he can remember things he sees.  Ehren is the opposite.  It seems like they each got a different half of the brain in utero.

Oh Brother!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Preschool Christmas Program

First of all, hats off to my manager, who let me telecommute two days in a row so that I could participate in my children's lives.  Yesterday, Anna had her last day of her first session of gymnastics.  I'd like to post photos from this event, but the battery in my camera died right after I arrived at the gym.  To sum it up, preschool gymnastics is fun, but not amazing. 

Today, Anna had her preschool Christmas program at school (I arrived with camera battery fully-charged).  It's amazing what a difference a year can make.  As her teacher reminded me, "one year is a quarter of their life." She knew (loved) all her songs and was a joy to watch.  The funniest part was seeing her re-tucking her shirt into her skirt throughout the program.  Only a girl.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Going To Be a White Christmas

Remember those years when we felt sorry for the ski areas and we read headlines like, "Snowmobile Sales Stagnant, Polaris to Increase ATV Production"?  Maybe you know someone who was a kid in the late 90's or maybe you were one.  There were definitely a lot of years where we wondered if we were going to have a white Christmas.  Some of those kids may be thinking about moving south now that the real Minnesota has come roaring back.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's that time of the year again...

This morning, as I flipped through the radio stations, I heard Katy Perry’s new song, Firework (yes, I’m 41 and I like Katy Perry).  I stopped and cranked it up.  I'm rockin' out to the song, "Baby you're a firework. Come on let your colors burst..." when all of a sudden the music fades, and a mother’s voice is saying, “She can’t do things the way other kids can, so it really made me proud when…”     

Ten minutes later on another station, “This kid … who has Aspergers and has trouble making friends…we're going to give him a new smile so he's not self conscious about it…” Another Christmas wish granted.

Arrived at work and went to get some coffee.  Yesterday’s newpaper is sitting out on the counter with a huge photo of a smiling down syndrome student from a local high school highlighting a story about a student mentoring program for special needs students.

At Christmas, it makes people feel good to take time out to talk about kids with special needs.  Grand and generous unless you're a mom of two kids on the spectrum who likes her 9 hours of denial time at work.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


When I awoke this morning, the thermometer read 0 degrees.  I thought to myself, "You picked a great one for your first day as parent recess volunteer at school."  By the time noon rolled around, the temperature was up to 15 degrees, and it was one of those bright, sunny, blue sky winter days that make me love winter in Minnesota.  Recess is glorious!  I forgot just how fun it used to be.  What could be better than sledding on a sunny winter day with 50 of your friends?

Earlier in the month, when I told the boys I was going to be a recess volunteer, they were so excited.  But when I got there, it was all about recess, not mom.  They said "hi" while running past me.  However, at the end of recess, I did get two funny tidbits to share. 

Earlier in the week, Christian and I filled out his "Star of the Week" questionaire.  One of the questions asked, "What is your favorite color?"  When he answered, "Pink," I said, "That's kind of a girly color.  I think the kids will laugh at you.  Do you really want to say 'pink'?"  He answered, "Mom, I'll tell you if anyone laughs."  Today, on the way in from recess, he stopped and said, "Mom, a few kids laughed."  It took me a few seconds to realize what he was talking about.  He was totally cool about it, and said the kids weren't really laughing at him, they just thought it was funny.  He definitely has a mind of his own.

My other funny moment was observing Christian and his good friend, who happens to be a girl, as they stood in line waiting to go back inside school.  They were quietly talking to one another, when I saw her reach out and start smoothing Christian's hair.  Christian has poor personal space boundaries, and much earlier in the year, the situation was reversed during the children's sermon at church.  Christian was sitting by the same friend (crowding her) and then he reached up to touch her shiny blond hair.  She looked so irritated, I thought flames might start shooting out of her eyes (not that I could blame her because I would have felt the same way).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Their Mouths are Identical

All the kids had dental checkups tonight.  After Christian and Ehren had finished, the dental hygenist came out to say, "Their mouths are so much alike, it's like looking at the same mouth twice.  They have the same cavity on the same side, and their baby teeth and emerging adult teeth are all exactly the same."  It's true.  So far they have lost the same baby teeth at almost the same time.  I never thought about it too much before the hygenist's comment.