Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Shuffle Your FiPod Game


I don't have an iPod; my sister would say I have a FiPod (Fake iPod.) Actually, I like my mp3 player very much except for the really weird name (it's a Creative Zen--have fun with that!)
Aimee played this game and it looked so fun I had to join in.
Here's how to play: hit SHUFFLE on your music player of choice, and post the first few lines of the first 15 songs that come up, unless they give away the title. When commenters name the tunes correctly, strike them out in the list. (The lyrics, not the commenters).
I did leave out the instrumental music that came up, but otherwise you get what you get!

1. Sitting in the morning sun; I'll be sitting when the evening comes Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding)--identified by Aimee

2. It's another [TITLE OF SONG]; Starin' slowly 'cross the sky, said goodbye

3. Raven hair and ruby lips; Sparks fly from her finger tips Witchy Woman (Eagles)--identified by Aimee

4. [TITLE OF SONG]; Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore So Far Away (Carole King)--identified by Aimee

5. [TITLE OF SONG}; I'd be in trouble if you left me now

6. I got a crack in my windshield; I know exactly how it feels

7. [TITLE OF SONG], that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.

8. [TITLE OF SONG] God only wise, In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,

9. [TITLE OF SONG, PARTIAL TITLE OF SONG] wherever he may go, there isn't an ocean too deep. I Will Follow Him (Sister Act soundtrack, because there is NO END to my cheesiness)--identified by Aimee

10. Hey You, you lost your only friend; You can't believe you're broken heart will ever mend

11. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire; Jack Frost nipping at your nose (HOW DID THIS GET ON HERE? I HATE THIS SONG!!!)

12. A lonely child alone and wild, a cabinetmaker's son; his hands were meant for different work Leader of the Band (Dan Fogelberg)--identified by Aimee

13. Moon shinin' down through the palms, shadows movin' on the sand. Somebody whisperin' the 23rd psalm.

14. I'm sittin' in the railway station, Got a ticket for my destination

15. Oh little red bird, Come to my window sill. Been so lonesome, Shaking that morning chill

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snagged

As I bit into the fourth Christmas cookie of the day and waited for my coffee to brew, I heard Little Brother calling me.

"Mom, what's for breakfast?"

"I dunno," I mumbled through a mouthful of cookie.

(Sounds like TheDad is getting ready to make some bacon, so at least I'll have a balanced meal.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Delicious Day-After-Christmas Links

Some things I found this morning--definitely worth the time!

Father Tom, ofm's Christmas homily: "Eat the Cookie!"

Adoro on "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and the idea of the perfect Christmas. She stated it way better than I tried to yesterday.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Jesus and the Griswolds

I was thinking earlier that Jesus didn't come so we could have a "Griswold Family Christmas" with the perfect tree, perfect family reunion, perfect meal. Of course, the Griswolds didn't get that either, but Clark just kept on dreaming that they would.

So even though there are parts of that movie that are a little "mature" for my first-grader, I think the Griswolds' story really does show what Christmas is all about--and what it can do to you.

In his quest for an over-the-top decorated house (indoors and out), a fabulous "cut your own tree" experience complete with carols all the way, and a terrific family dinner, Clark is trying, in his own way, to create something special for his family. He knows that Christmas is something special and he wants his family to know that too.

After all, Baby Jesus wasn't born in a nice clean hospital with all the amenities. He came into the world in the humblest of circumstances, to parents who were basically homeless and probably social outcasts due to Mary's pregnancy. He was laid in an animal's feeding trough. That's not the kind of cozy bed most moms envision for their children.

Similarly, Clark's well-planned Griswold Family Christmas goes all awry due to snobby neighbors, crazy (and senile) relatives, technical difficulties with lights, extension cords, and squirrels in the tree, a discarded cigar and a misguided boss. But in the end he learns that what matters is that the whole family is together--mess or no mess. And that's what's important.

Baby Jesus didn't come to bring us perfection here on earth. He came as an expression of the love the Father has for all of us. And he came to lead us to something better.

Merry Christmas!

Yummy


Look what Santa left in my stocking!

A couple of them got stacked on each other so you're not seeing the full effect.

I scanned these with my new all-in-one printer, which is really awesome.

Meanwhile, I'm ignoring my children, who are testing out their new Marshmallow Shooters. Whose idea was it to buy those?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Very Merry!



The tree is up--and re-lit. Yes, re-lit. I learned the hard way that when you put 1500 lights on your Christmas tree, one extension cord is not going to cut it.

This time I've got multiple cords and all are plugged into a surge protector. I think Bill would be proud.

The gifts are wrapped, but the ones belonging to people who live here are not tagged. I did that on purpose, since some people here should answer by the name of "Snoopy." (You know who you are.) I have employed a secret code for the packages for easy tagging later.

Santa's plate of cookies is wrapped and already on the table, since we do not want to neglect the Big Guy in Red!

Today all the figures will go into our empty manger.

I'm as ready as I'm going to be. Early this morning was the last quiet time I'll get until Saturday.

Come, Lord Jesus!

And Merry Christmas to all my blog buddies, near and far!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

117 People

This afternoon our Secular Franciscan Fraternity once again hosted our Living Nativity at Greccio celebration.

It was a little different this year. Actually, it was very different this year. First of all, we had it in a new location, as our parish merged with another parish and has leased the property where we used to hold this event.

Second, we held the celebration indoors because of the morning's very nasty weather: ice and freezing rain and then damp cold.

Third, we had to cancel the animals as we could not have a pony, a llama, two sheep and two goats in our parish gym.

BUT we found a four-year-old boy who was there with his grandparents and willing to put on a fleecy costume and walk along with the shepherds--even if he did have to exit the scene before it was over so he could take a potty break.

This year, "Baby Jesus" was a very happy little one, so Middle Sister (as Angel Gabriel) and "Mary" didn't have to go looking for the Holy Binky as in years past.

We had a nice big choir and the audience actually sang along. And there were tons of little angels and shepherds.

I did have to zip home to pick up a forgotten costume part, but made it back in plenty of time.

Our indoor Greccio was better than I expected--especially since I didn't have to freeze my fingertips off while playing my guitar.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Reasons

...why this may be the last year I put Real Candles in the Advent Wreath:




Match placement by Middle Sister.
Fire by Big Brother.
Heart attack by SFO Mom.

7 Random Christmas Things

Ellen tagged me for a "7 Random Christmas Things" meme.

I may have mentioned some of these before, so I'll link to that if I have.

1. I just learned this week (because my cousins are on facebook) that my parents' tradition of "Santa decorates the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve" was actually my father's family tradition, so it happened in all my cousins' households as well.

2. We only bake one kind of Christmas cookie here, and it's still too early to do those. If we bake them now, there'll be none left for Santa!

3. Other than the Nativity Scene, my favorite Christmas decoration is the set of "doily on a toilet paper tube" angels that my older children made in pre-K.

4. I love Christmas carols (not "winter carols" like "Sleigh Ride") but my all-time favorite has to be "O Holy Night," followed by "Silent Night" and "Angels We Have Heard on High."

5. TheDad likes to taunt me by "hiding" my unwrapped Christmas gift practically in plain sight. For some reason I never notice it, which mystifies everyone (including me). Of course, he's a last-minute shopper, so he never has to hide it for too long.

6. Childhood Christmas present that I still have and still use: a couple of pairs of mittens knitted by Granma. She had 15 grandchildren and I don't know how many step-grands, and every last one of them got a new pair of mittens every Christmas.

7. I'm all done shopping AND wrapping! Woohoo!

I know it's a busy time so I won't tag anyone, but if you want to play, just say so in the combox!

What My Kids Do

...while they wait for the school bus on a cold day.

I found the evidence this morning: TheDad opened the front door and immediately the windows on the storm door steamed up as the warm air hit. And I saw, in every windowpane (all 12 of them) the smiley faces that the kids had drawn on the window after blowing on it to make it steamy.

Somebody's got an appointment with some Windex this afternoon, and it's not going to be me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Facebook is Cool

I originally joined facebook so that I could spy keep my eye on Big Brother, since he had joined facebook to share photos with friends.

I've recently discovered that I have a whole bunch of cousins, aunts, nieces, and a sister-in-law on facebook! In fact, a bunch of my cousins and I have been keeping in touch this last week, concerning my dad in the hospital. Facebook has been an easy way to keep them updated.

My dad is mystified that I am communicating with the cousins in this manner. He refuses to look at facebook, but he did say that he received a "demand" to be added as a friend, from one of his accounting students. And my sister said that if her cousins want to communicate with her, they can find some other way to do it.

I think it's fun, though. I'm enjoying the pictures of my cousins' kids, since none of us live in the same area! And I think it's good to keep in touch, no matter what way you choose.

Oh, and Big Brother--I have more friends than you. I WIN.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

From a Homily

From my pastor's homily at Tuesday daily Mass:

"We forget his presence when things are going well, but doubt his existence when things are going poorly."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Overheard

At breakfast:

"Little Brother, would you like waffles or cereal for breakfast?"

"Is there any toast?"

"Yes."

"I want waffles, please."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eye Opening

Go over and lend Adoro some support today. She has a fabulous post about "rubrics v. charity" that will certainly inspire some discussion. There's a lot in there, and it definitely moved me to reflect on my attitudes and actions. I hope that in the future I will think and behave differently.

A highlight:
If we love the law so much that we ignore the needs of our neighbor, then we have also failed to love God. The two cannot be separated!


Go read the whole thing
. And respond with charity, not with venom.

Dad's Surgery Over!

My dad underwent surgery this morning to remove a tumor on the kidney. My brother just called to say that it went well; it was laparoscopic which will aid in recovery and they removed under 10% of the kidney. We have to wait to find out if it is cancer but there is a 90% chance of that.

We would all appreciate prayers for Dad during his recovery, and for Mom, whose job it will be to keep him tied down. He is not one for resting. This morning he was jogging at 4:30 AM in the sleet, since he knew he wouldn't be jogging for a while. My brother is considering removing all the front tires of all my dad's bicycles and taking them to an undisclosed location until the doctor clears him to ride.

Dad will be in the hospital probably for 3 more days.

I hope he will be OK. Thanks so much for prayers!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cute shoes!

Today I took Middle Sister shoe shopping today to complete her Christmas outfit. Payless has BOGO right now (I love BOGO) so Little Brother came along to replace his basically-destroyed school shoes. I rejected the Silver High-Heel Shoes out of hand.



Not only did they make Middle Sister WAY taller than me, but they are also not appropriate for a girl her age. I did hear her telling Little Brother to help her beg TheDad for them, but I'm onto that trick and ahead of the game.

So she did find these really cute red shoes. I was happy to say YES to those. Although I did say that she can't wear them with jeans until AFTER Christmas, so that they'll look nice for the special day.



Meanwhile Little Brother found his black sneakers that he needs for school. But there is a TINY blue line (look really hard and you MIGHT find it) and he was all upset about that.



I told him I'd color the black line in with a Sharpie if I had to, but these were the only ones that were available in his size. He was shaking his head, saying, "My teacher is NOT going to be happy about this."

I figure that he moves so fast, his teacher will never see the blue anyway. I swear this kid is basically a blur most of the time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dream Kitchen

Last night I had a really strange dream. In it, we moved to some really old house somewhere. I don't remember too many details about the house itself (other than that it was really big, really old, and I think the roof was a little leaky) but I can remember the kitchen clear as day. I could probably even draw a diagram of it!

First of all, the kitchen was enormous. It was easily the size of my living room and dining room, plus a little extra! Probably it had once been two rooms because there was a little section in the middle of the room where the walls "came in" a little. It had high ceilings (probably 12-foot) and the walls were all white tile with black trim. There was a white vintage gas stove and room for both my refrigerators as well as my upright freezer!

In my dream, we had purchased the home from the estate of an older woman who had lived there alone. She must have been quite the gardener, because taking up about four linear feet of wall space was a large display of vegetable and herb seeds. She had the packets all sorted out, as well as some seeds she was drying from her own harvest.

Many kitchen tools and a worktable were still in the kitchen and, along with the seeds, were ours to use. Of course, in my dream I am just as bad a gardener as I am in real life, so I knew those seeds would go to waste!

Down at the end of the room was an ancient board with coat pegs. I'm wondering if that was actually designed to hold servants' coats. I planned on using it to hang my apron collection and maybe some spare oven mitts.

Often, I dream of places where I have already been--but not in this case. I can't remember ever having been in a kitchen like this. TheDad says that maybe I was dreaming of our future home.

Who cares what the rest of the place looked like? The kitchen was awesome!

Fashion Rant

Today I ordered some clothes for my Big Kids to wear on Christmas. I'd taken care of Little Brother's needs a couple of weeks ago. He got a new sweater that he can wear with the khaki dress pants and a turtleneck that he already owns. So he's all set. Big Brother only needed a shirt, and since he just likes wearing a golf shirt and khakis, his shopping was done in a flash.

Then it was time for Middle Sister. Gone are the days when I could buy any dress with a "twirly skirt" and she was good to go. She's been emailing and IMing me with possibilities and I have rejected each and every one. A halter dress with net top, or spaghetti straps, or deep V-neck and sleeveless--in December? For a 12-year-old?



For a while I thought it was just because she had outgrown the girls' sizes and now had to shop in Juniors, but when I peeked back at the girls' dresses they were not much better. And almost nothing had sleeves. Most of the junior dresses barely hit fingertip length. How do they sit in those things?

And then we've got the shoes, because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like above-the-knee high-heeled hooker boots. (She doesn't understand why she can't have them).

Fortunately we did find a dress we could agree upon, though Middle Sister insists that she's not happy with this choice. But it's modest enough, provided she wears it with some leggings. And she'll get a new pair of flats to go with it.



It would be a lot easier if she'd just wear pants and a sweater....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Things to be thankful for

When you're under the weather you have time to think of all kinds of things to be thankful for!
--a caring family
--Little Brother, who saw the bandage on my hand where the IV went in, and has been very concerned about my injured HAND!
--TheDad, who has been working hard with work and his startup business and Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts AND doing all the kid-shuffling these past couple of days
--a big pot of homemade soup from a friend
--a freshly-opened box of crispy saltines to go with the soup (I swear, saltines only taste good on the day you open the box)
--enough food in the fridge, pantry and freezer that we haven't had to have a takeout run

I wonder if they miss me at Shop Rite? I haven't been there in over a week!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Love This Comic Strip



Zits is such a great comic. I AM THAT MOM, just with shorter hair.

Big Brother tells me that his long-suffering AP Language teacher reads this every day. She puts up with him and his friends in her classroom for lunch daily so I guess she can relate to this as much as I do--if not more! She's got teen boys times ten every day for lunch.

Awesome

My friend SFO Girl called here late this afternoon and announced that she was on her way here with a big pot of Chicken Noodle Soup.

Boy, it was good.

And not only did it take the heat off TheDad for coming up with a dinner for tonight, it's going to make my life easier tomorrow morning when it's time to pack lunches. Guess what's for lunch tomorrow?

I might even have some for breakfast, it was that good.

Prayers work

Thanks for the prayers; I got home early this afternoon, had some lunch (and coffee!), slept a while (and this coffee is probably NOT decaf; I doubt TheDad asked for decaf for me) and that's that.

Keep the prayers coming for our Franciscan Deacon. Yesterday he was storing some stuff to be used at our Greccio (coming up a week from Sunday) and he tripped, landing on his knee and tearing the quadricep. He will likely need surgery.

And I thank you for the prayers on my behalf. I should be A-OK in a day or so.

Heading Out

In keeping with the theme of "you never know what's going to happen during Advent, so don't plan the perfect one" I am off for a minor outpatient procedure.

This means I haven't had any coffee today.

I'll make up for that later. You can depend on it.

The kindness of your prayers would be appreciated!

Advent: Still Keeping It Real

Me: "Stop warming your food over the Advent candle!"

Guilty Child: "Awesome! It really toasted the bread!"

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Multitasking

Earlier this morning, Little Brother and TheDad invaded the kitchen for their Weekend Pancake Ritual, complete with sprinkles on the pancakes.

After the pancakes were all made, Little Brother poured himself a cup of ice water and headed to the dining room to chow down. On the way, he brushed by a dish towel that was hanging over the back of a chair, and knocked it to the floor. So he bent over to pick up the towel while still holding his water cup--spilling ice water everywhere.

"This rag never says here," he muttered to himself as he started wiping up the spill with the offending towel. "Mom, I made a mistake!"

Then I heard TheDad intervene: "Little Brother, let me take your water cup while you wipe up the spill. This way you won't make another mistake."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Clash of the Christmas Carols

Middle Sister just came in here to ask if she could go with her friend to the Dickens Festival. Then she wanted to know what they do there.

"Basically, they walk around dressed like characters from A Christmas Carol," I said.

"We just finished reading that in class," she said. "The third spirit is my favorite."

"Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol is awesome," I remembered. "We should rent that."

"We just read the Charles one," she informed me.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Unboxed

I spent about 5 hours today working eliminating a giant pile of clutter from my dining room. It was SO worth it.

This stuff has been sitting here since February, when the role of minister of my SFO fraternity was thrust upon me. The out-going minister handed along a File Box O'Stuff.

Then the parish merged with another parish and we had to clean out a file cabinet in the rectory basement. Guess where that stuff went?

Yup. My dining room.

Much of this stuff is stuff that the minister needs to keep at hand. But it was really getting in the way, especially since I need to start getting cleaned up so the Christmas decorations can come out to play. Plus, the cloth file box stacked underneath a cardboard file box next to a tote bag was SO attractive in my dining room.

So I cleared the dining room table and immediately covered it with the contents of those boxes and the tote bag. Then I found a small file box (that fits under one of my living-room side tables so it's covered by the tablecloth) and got down to business.

Five hours, one bag of recycled paper and a trip to the Parish Center later (to drop off some books for the fraternity library) I was all done. Everything important is filed in the box. Meeting minutes are in the proper places in the proper binders. I found papers in there from the days when the fraternities were bound to Friar Provinces rather than Regions. I kept one copy of everything but tossed most duplicates (like we needed 24 "programs" from a Mass celebrated in 1984....) Things are now filed and portable--so when elections roll around this summer I can easily pass this stuff off to the next minister!

I've still got a couple of tote bags out, but they're neat. One for choir, one for SFO and one for SFO music and Greccio scripts. They are all lined up next to my guitar. Not bad for a day's work, and the backache is worth it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Advent: Where Table Manners and Fire Collide

As usual, my kids are finding ways to sink to a new low around the Advent wreath.

I'm spending a lot of time employing the Mom Glare in the vain hope that it will discourage the Big Kids from putting out the candle with a wet finger--mostly because I don't want Little Brother trying this.

And then, overheard tonight: "I like to put the candle out with my spit."

This is where we parents say the kinds of things we never thought we'd need to say: "No spitting on the Advent Wreath!"

Next year, I'm thinking we'll switch to battery-operated candles. They're not only safer, they're more hygienic.

Overheard

Boy Next Door is over here playing with Middle Sister and Little Brother. His dad called to ask him what side dish he'd like with the chicken he's having for dinner. (Apparently it's "just the guys" over there tonight, so his dad thought he'd give Boy Next Door a choice).

I wasn't surprised to hear the answer: "Ketchup!"

We Never Get the Advent We're Hoping For

I've been noticing a theme among many of the moms whose blog I visit: this is not the Advent we had planned. For some of us, it's due to sick children; for others, there are other circumstances that have made this Advent not go as planned. (And we're only 4 days in!)

Jane observed,
I'm finding myself getting--not necessarily the Advent I hoped for--but in some ways, the Advent of quiet solitude and prayerful reflection perhaps I need.


I never thought I'd quote the Rolling Stones in a post about Advent--but Jane's thoughts sound suspiciously like
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need.


Fr. Tommy Lane, a faculty member at Mount St. Mary's Seminary, observes,
"Sometimes we pray for what we want and instead God gives us what we need. What we need is not always what we want but God in his provident mercy gives us what we need."


So, I didn't get the Advent Chain done this year. I was late getting the stable and the wreath set up. And in many ways, I feel like I'm a few steps behind, and getting "behinder" at every turn.

It's Advent. Will we ever be truly ready? Probably not. Jesus came to a world that was certainly not ready for Him. There wasn't even any room in the inn in Bethlehem, and surely Mary wasn't too thrilled about making a census-related journey late in her pregnancy. Christmas will come whether or not we have found the perfect candles for our wreath or the perfect gift for our kids' teachers. We know this, because the first Christmas came in a less-than-perfect manner. Even the Grinch learned this lesson:
"'It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!...Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!'"


I think Advent is less about preparation and more about trust. "Preparation" implies that we are concentrating on the worldly, the material. "Trust" demands that we concentrate on our souls, let go of our need to have everything perfect, and reflect upon the beautiful gift of the first Christmas.

Six Things that Make Me Happy Meme

Rosemary tagged me for the Six Things That Make Me Happy meme.

In no particular order, here are some big and little things that bring a smile to my face.

1. Music! (Right now, Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve and Other Stories)

2. Family and Friends! I couldn't ask for a better husband or children, or better friends.

3. Reading!

4. Cooking and baking (for family and friends)! I'm not good at arts and crafts, but I do enjoy creating in the kitchen--and I enjoy sharing these creations with my loved ones.

5. Writing! (here and here and here)

6. Being a part of a wonderful faith/parish community and Franciscan community.

I declare an OPEN TAG on this one. If you haven't yet played, why not do so?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Thank you for indulging my little Pity Party.

Party's over, folks. (Get thee behind me, Satan, and all that.)

Instead, I'm going to listen to Christmas music, and let the joy take over.

Want some FREE Christmas tunes? Amazon has one each day for the whole month. Today's is gorgeous!

Have you ever...

Tami posted this and it looked like fun.

How to play: BOLD anything you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars (in a tent, does that count?)
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (DisneyWorld)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (in general)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke - if that's what you want to call it!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Pardon Me, Your OCD is Showing

My kids have found me out.

Now that I think about it, I can't believe it took them this long.

Last night I was chopping stuff up for our dinner (Sweet & Sour Pork) and I felt like having a little something sweet. So I opened up a little bag of Skittles.

Middle Sister walked into the kitchen to find that I had sorted out all the Skittles by color, and had them sitting in a row of pairs, waiting for me to eat them. I don't even realize when I'm doing this.

I do the same with Smarties, jellybeans and M&Ms. It just has to be done. (And I save my favorite colors for last, too.)

Of course, Middle Sister had to immediately rat me out to Big Brother, and the two of them mocked me for a little while. I may never be able to eat M&Ms or Skittles in their presence again. I'll have to start eating my candy in secret, so I can furtively indulge my little (harmless) compulsion.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Bitter Pill

I'm the one feeling bitter, actually.

Just got back from cantor practice at church.

The choir I sing with has not been assigned a Mass on Christmas. If we want, we can join in with the organ-accompanied choir at the 10:00 Christmas Eve Mass.

So a group that volunteers Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, and that has learned all the new music that has been thrown at us since June (including an Advent that is All New Music All The Time) will not be allowed to handle familiar Christmas carols on Christmas Day.

I consider it a gift and a privilege to be able to sing and play at Mass. It's nice to sit with my family, but I know they like it too, when I am part of the choir.

And yeah, I'm hurt.

In the grand scheme of things, this is really not much. But it's something to which I am very dedicated (and I can say the same for the other choir members). Many of us have been part of music ministry for almost 30 years. We don't take much time off--and when we do, we arrange with the rest of the choir for coverage. And basically, it feels like we're good enough to jump through all these hoops for Advent, but not good enough to do Christmas carols. Thanks for that.

Complete with Remote Control

Adventure Boy and his grandfather are here, awaiting the start of a Tiger Cub Scout meeting.

While the kids wait for everyone else to arrive, they are building things with Legos.

"This is my grandpa," Adventure Boy announced. "Grandpa, this is you!"

Adventure Boy's grandpa admired the creation.

"My grandpa rocks," Adventure Boy continued. "He's handsome."

His grandpa looked at the Legos again, and asked, "Does it have remote control?"

I'm not sure who was more disappointed that it doesn't--Adventure Boy or his grandpa.