Monday, December 28, 2009

Four Christmases

I know there is a movie that came out recently with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn titled Four Christmases. I have yet to see that movie. I have, however, lived it.

Our Christmas was a wonderful whirlwind, with the boys anxiously looking forward to their first Christmas (Jeff City at John's parents'), second Christmas (St. Louis at my mom's), third Christmas (St. Louis at our house) and fourth Christmas (Courtois at my dad's). And these four Christmases did not disappoint.

Santa delivered exactly what they asked for, and even managed to produce a picture of Rudolph as requested by Jack. I love the mystery and excitement that comes with believing in Santa and will miss it when they stop believing, but the whole hunt for presents and setting up for Christmas morning will sure be easier once Santa is no longer in the picture.

One of Luke's favorite gifts was a gift I received that he somehow declared both of ours. It is a cooler stool, and I don't think I'll ever get to use it. It is in his room, filled with WebKinz.

He also got a camera, and has been working on taking that one perfect shot that will gain him notoriety as a photographer. This one he believes is the winning shot.

We always see the most interesting things at gas stations on the way to my dad's house.

Jack got a DSi, and I haven't seen his face since.

For the next five days, we plan to play our games, laze about, stay up late, and sleep in. But first, I have to figure out Jack's new alarm clock as it went off this morning at 6:00 am.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

You helped me get through high school.

You helped me get through college.

You helped me find a job when I desperately needed one.

You helped me get married.

You helped me give birth to Jack.

You helped me give birth to Luke.

You helped me grow up.

Every milestone in my life you've been there, guiding me and moving me along a path that I could be proud of.

But more importantly than the big events, you've been there for me always. All day, every day.

I love you. Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To Spend or Not to Spend

Jack surprised me.

After Christmas Jack often has a case of the Christmas blues. He is sad and doesn't know why or how to put it into words. I try to explain to him how it is normal to feel blue after Christmas, after spending all of your hours surrounded by family and laughter only to have to start thinking about going back to school, after getting to stay up late almost every night and have every day bring something special, after waiting for weeks to open your presents and suddenly it's over.

So the other day he came to me and said, "Sometimes I feel bad after Christmas." I started to delve into my Christmas blues talk but he stopped me. He said, "I know that, but I feel bad because I think you spend too much money on me and in these hard times we should be saving money. Maybe you shouldn't get me so much this year."

I was glad to hear that Jack correctly relates the presents he gets under the tree to the status of our bank account. I'm glad that he has a feeling of financial responsibility, but I don't ever want him to feel responsible for our finances (at least not until he is a top-paid major league baseball player).

I thanked him for his concern and assured him that we were doing fine and that there was no need for him to worry about money.

Then he added two things to his Christmas list.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What'd I Say?

My blog has captured someone's attention. I don't know why, but my post Beyond the Dead has become the target of repeated junk comments. Every day, a few times a day, I have to reject a comment such as this:


Do these symbols actually mean something? Please, someone tell me if I'm being cursed.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sleep Symphonies

John has only once told me no in regards to topics for this blog. I asked him if I could record him sleeping and put it on the blog. Not video, just audio. He said absolutely not.

John is a melodious sleeper. He's got his standard snoring, but he also has a symphony of other sounds that he makes while sleeping. I can't describe them. That is what the recording was going to be for.

I am a good sleeper. I can fall asleep just about anywhere, and it takes me only about 3 minutes once my head hits whatever pillow I am using. But, it has to be dark and it has to be quiet. And I'm cranky if it is not dark and it is not quiet and I am in my own bed. It reminds me of a scene from the movie Candy where she's trying to sleep and he's trying to watch t.v. and he ends up with his face nearly pressed against the screen and a blanket over him and the t.v. so the light doesn't disturb her.

So sometimes I wonder if it is just me and my need for silence that makes it hard to sleep through John's snoring.

The other night Jack and Luke had a sleepover in our room while I was out of town. John had fallen asleep with them, which is next to impossible as they are both active sleepers with legs and limbs flying about all night and smacking whoever happens to be next to them in the stomach and head. And Luke can sleep through just about anything. But that night he woke up, woke John up and said, "Daddy wake up. You're snoring three different ways."

See? Symphony.

Monday, December 7, 2009

No Hablo Inglés

Some say English is one of the hardest languages to learn for non-English speaking people. But why should it be?

Each letter in the alphabet has one distinct sound and use.

OK, never mind that, but there is only one letter or combination of letters for each distinct sound.

Ummm, well, there aren't words that sound the same but are spelled differently.

How about each word only has one meaning?

It seems that every rule has an exception. No wonder it takes twelve years of school to get it right.

Right now in school, Jack is learning about verbs, nouns, plurals and possessives. If you were a teacher, how would you explain plurals?

To make a word plural, you always add an "s", like one snake, two snakes.

Unless the word ends in an "s" already, then you add an "es", like one bus, two buses.

Unless the word wants to be Greek or Latin, then you remove the ending sound and add an "i", like one cactus, two cacti.

Unless the word ends in a "y", then you take away the "y" and add an "ies", like one baby, two babies.

Unless there is a vowel before the letter "y", then you just add an "s", like one toy, two toys.

Unless the word is "deer", then the plural is "deer".

Unless the word is one of those words that follows no rule at all, like mouse/mice, child/children, or man/men.

Jack is doing pretty well with learning his plurals, but tends to follow the basic rules for those irregular words he hasn't memorized yet.

He brought home a worksheet the other day in which he lost a point for not correctly providing the plural form of "woman." His answer? "Ladies." I think he should have got bonus points for that answer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Breaking News

I wake up daily this week to a newspaper riddled with world changing news.

President Obama is intensifying the war in Afghanistan.

A serial killer is indicted.

Mr. and Mrs. Reality TV fool security and meet the President.

Health insurance coverage is expiring.

With all that is going on, the news Jack shares when he gets home from school is, "Did you know Tiger Woods crashed his car after cheating on his wife?"

So we talk about rumors, and spreading gossip, and how exactly he knows about Tiger Woods and his reported cheating. I never got a clear answer on that one.

He did ask, "What's a tabloid?"

And I said, "Exactly."