Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Archive for January, 2015

Midwives and Crusty Coots

I’m glad  you came to my blog today so that I can tell you that you are crazy for having your kids vaccinated, and crazy for NOT having them vaccinated.  I’m totally firm on that.  Don’t even TRY to make me budge.

I keep thinking I’ve made my mind up about things, but then I keep changing my mind.  I only seem to change my mind when other people tell me to change it.  So, at least there’s science behind what I do.

I started thinking about how wishy washy I am when I was chatting with all the crusty ol’ coots I hang out with on the Wisconsin Wrestling forum.  I’m a regular reader and contributor to this forum.   It’s weird that I do that.  Trust me.  You probably don’t know just how weird, but it’s weird.

Hanging out on that forum reminds me of when I was fresh out of college, selling time on the radio.  I had to visit a LOT of “seasoned” businessmen in a rural area.  These guys were hunting, fishing, farming type of guys who often gathered for coffee in the morning, to jaw about oh, I dunno, whatever guys like that jaw about. Maybe guns and trucks and 4-wheelers…whoa.  Sorry.  I just fell asleep while I was writing that sentence. I got really bored.

I don’t have much in common with those kinds of guys.

I was in my early twenties then, and not from around those parts.  Sometimes, I’d walk into a store with a group of these guys, drinking coffee, yacking away; they would see me coming and the conversation would abruptly stop.  The group of buddies would stare at me while I’d make my spiel to the shop owner, trying to convince him to do business with me.  All those guys were completely comfortable with making me completely uncomfortable.

I really forgot about that part of my job until I started writing this post.  I’m glad I remembered, because I want to have this story on hand when my kids complain that they have to do something hard at work.  That was hard for me.  Truth be known, even though I am not shy, I do NOT like a live audience.  Really, I don’t.  Ask the people who know me best.  I’ll joke around all day when I’m in a comfortable group.  But, I don’t like real people looking at me with expectation.   I actually suck at official performances.  Makes my bones rattle.

Those rural business owners actually ended up not being so bad.  Turns out a lot of them were salt of the earth type guys, who helped keep me employed.  I think guys like that just think people should have to work for things.  They sorta like making people sweat.

So, about this wrestling forum.  The deal with that is somewhere in the last 25 years of watching wrestling, I’ve become a fan.  I like the forum, because they talk a lot of wrestling, and I can learn a lot from all those crusty guys.  This week they’re talking about a unique type of head gear.  One guy would say this head gear is the best.  He loves it.  Then, I’d think, yeah, me too.  I love it too.  Then, the next guy says the head gear is dangerous.  It does damage to the opponents face.  The head gear should be banned.  And, I’m like, yeah.  I think so too.  Let’s ban that head gear.

See what I mean?

Scott has always said that if people say things with enough confidence, everyone believes them, whether or not the person yammering on is speaking the truth.  I think Scott says that because he doesn’t now how to make false proclamations. And, maybe it bugs him that other people do. Scott is very, very (Did I mention very?) slow to state his opinion.  He won’t make a bold statement unless he’s completely and totally sure he has the facts.

I, on the other hand, get excited about things all the time, and can’t wait to share my opinions, based on quasi-truths.  It’s just one more thing I’m good at.

I told Scott he gives know-it-alls too much credit.  I said most people know that the folks who think they have all the answers are generally people who are full of crap.  How can a person know so much about everything?  They can’t.

Wow. That’s kind of mean.  Doesn’t mean know-it-alls aren’t nice people.  You can be nice AND full of crap, right?

That’s a lot of rambling with no particular point.  I’m sorry about that.  It’s been a quiet week.

Here’s one thing I DO know.  Take this statement to the bank: Netflix is awesome.  Definitely one of our family’s best purchases.  Zeke, Scott and I have invested about half our lives so far in various intriguing series.  We just finished “Lost”. That took some commitment.

Eddie has always accused Scott and me of not having a life.  Netflix isn’t helping.

We are currently searching for a new series to start.  I suggested, “Call the Midwife”, produced by BBC.  Scott saw just a few scenes, and he was completely appalled.  He couldn’t understand why anyone with a shred of dignity would watch this show.  It’s about women having babies a long time ago in London.

Every episode has multiple birthing scenes.  “Lost” had a few birthing scenes in it too.  Those scenes for sure were Scott and Zeke’s least favorite.

The first episode of “Call the Midwife” has a lady who is pregnant AND she has a venereal disease.  She takes off her underpants to be examined, and the nurse almost passes out from the stench.  There’s some talk of terrible discharge, and I do mean from her body, and not from the hospital.  You get the idea.

Hard to believe Scott doesn’t like that, right?  I knew you’d agree.

I guess I’m going to watch this one on the side, and  I’ll watch some other low-brow series with Scott and Zeke, if I must.

Call the Midwife … 'We don't go out on bikes.'

Maybe if the show would have put these midwives in race cars, or given them guns, the show would appeal to more people.  Shortsighted on the writers’ part, really.  I might send an email to the producer, and give them my suggestions.  I know a lot about all that stuff.


Our Remodeled Basement

What???  Is this happening?  It is.  It is happening. Our basement is done.  Can you believe it?  I can’t believe it.  This project has been in progress since October.  Wait. That’s not true.  We actually started doing this 10 years ago, when we moved into our cute little house.  We put windows in the basement, and thought we’d finish the rest up right quick.  But then, an expensive sick kid, and all sorts of other stuff threw us off course.

I blogged about this whole thing before, so I won’t bore you by telling the story again.

Let’s just recap by saying our basement used to smell not so fresh.  Maybe a little like pee. Plus, we were short a bedroom. Zeke’s been sleeping on the floor for the last year.  Scott kinda pushed the issue, and said we had to finish the basement, or move.  Only, I didn’t want to move.  I love our house.  So, that’s what this is.

This project took way longer than we thought it would.  I think we started in October, and it’s finally done.  But, it was so worth the wait.  The people who did the work were awesome.  Really. Top notch.  They gave us everything they promised, and more.

We don’t deserve this nice basement.  Don’t worry.  We know it.  But, I promise, we will be grateful for it every single day.  Scott got kinda caught  up in the excitement today, and said now we can invite people over and have parties.  When he said that, Zeke turned to me and said, “This remodeled basement is turning Dad into a whole new person.  He’s not an introvert anymore.”

I told Zeke that I was going to go just a bit slow before I started claiming that was true.  I wanted to see these big gatherings his Dad was planning first.  I feel a little skeptical.

Anyway.  Here is a look at the before pictures.  These are actually cleaned up versions of what the basement looked like before we moved all our crap out.  It isn’t pretty:

basement 1

basement 3

Instead of posting after pictures, I’m posting an after video tour.  This might be the most boring 4 minutes of your life, but that’s why you’re so awesome.  If you post a tour of your basement, I promise I’ll watch that too.

My Montage and Onion Bag Basketball

I wish someone would make a montage of my life.  Let’s get real with each other.  Who WOULDN’T want to do that for me?  I can only think of like maybe one person. Tops.

I’d like to look at video clips of all the good parts of my life set to sentimental music. You know, like they do in movies?  I asked for a label maker for my birthday.  Maybe next year I’ll ask for a montage.

Things are happening right now that I want to stop and think about.  I want to take a moment and just say, “Wow.  I totally love this.”  But, people don’t really get to do that, do they?  People just have to keep going and keep making new things happen, making it hard to remember the old stuff that happened. I don’t want to forget the old stuff.

The wrestling season is in full swing.  I love it.  I love it so much.  In previous years, the wrestling season has been bittersweet. Super fun to watch my sons do what they like doing, but super hard to watch Eddie struggle through at half-strength.  We aren’t doing that this year.  I know I told you this before, but Eddie is doing great.

Scott told me this week that he forgot what it’s like to be in the middle of the wrestling season without that clenching grip around his heart.  I told Scott that was a pretty good way to describe how sadness feels.

I know just what Scott means.  I hope I’m clear when I say I know there is no end to trouble in this life. Troubles are unavoidable, and, really, troubles should be embraced.  Blah, blah, blah.  I know it. Whoever said that can just beat it.

I also know my family is not done with trouble.  I guess that might be why I want to just slow things down and make sure I’m acknowledging and appreciating every single moment of this reprieve.

I had a great talk with Eddie recently about how it feels to be hopeless.  He said he really understands how a guy could feel hopeless.  And then he said he thinks giving up hope is one of the WORST things we can do.  You know what people without hope do?  Nothing.  They don’t do anything to help themselves, because they just don’t see the point.  People who don’t do anything to help themselves, won’t improve their situation.  People who’s situation never improves, feel hopeless.  It’s easy to see what a vicious and useless cycle trouble can become.

If you are experiencing trouble, I want you to know there is ALWAYS hope!!!  Please do NOT stop hoping!

eddie with hope

One fantastic part of this wrestling season is getting to hang out with our wrestling friends.  Those are some ridiculously cool people. We also get to see family members who come to watch our boys.  I was so happy Scott parents came to the meet the other night.  I’ve said this before, but those two in-laws of mine…I don’t know.  You just have to meet them to know what I mean.  They’re just lovable.


Scott and his siblings are all funny and humble.   Really.  Four out of four.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence.  Scott’s Mom, Gail, tells the BEST stories.  I’ve heard many of these stories over and over, I know many of these stories by heart.  For some reason, I never get sick of hearing Gail tell a story.

Wait a minute.  Did I just have a moment of self revelation via my blog?  I’m a story teller too.  I also tell the same stories over and over.  Did Scott marry his Mother?  I’m sorry.  I’m going to have to digest that privately.

When Gail and Marc were raising their offspring, money was tight.  Marc and Gail were honest, blue collar, hard-working, no-nonsense parents.  Thanks to them, I’m skeptical that it’s possible to raise hard-nosed, unspoiled, athletic kids without their magic formula.  I wonder if my own kids have a slight disadvantage in life, just because Scott and I live a bit more comfortably than both our parents did.  That might sound a little crazy, but still, sometimes I wonder.

One of my favorite stories from Scott’s childhood is about Scott’s gym bag.  When he was younger, Scott remembers standing in line for gym class.  He went to a private Catholic school.  Most of his classmates could afford private school, so they were not without means.  Scott can recall that all the other kids in line had their gym clothes inside their sporty duffel bags.  Scott had his gym clothes in a bag too.  A bread bag. His Mom told him that the bread bag would work perfectly to carry his gym clothes.  It’s not like the bread bag was from some cheap, generic bread.  It was a “Wonder” bread bag, which is basically like designer bread. I don’t know what Scott was complaining about.

Scott has lots of stories like that, and they’re all my favorite.

Last week Marc and Gail (Scott’s parents) came for a short visit after the boys’ meet.  We’ve made some nice upgrades to our house since the Smith’s last visit. The thing that impressed Gail the most was the basketball hoop in our kitchen.  She couldn’t get over how nice it looked, and wanted to know where it came from.  I told her we bought it in the toy aisle, and that the kids fixed it up with duct tape. That hoop is always hanging in the kitchen.  I don’t even see it any more.


Then, Gail told me that when her kids were young they had a hoop up all the time too.  She said her kids’ hoop was an old onion bag.  She told us that she would get sick of the onion bag always hanging there, and take it down.  But, before she knew it, the kids would replace it with a new onion bag.  Seems like a waste of some perfectly good onion bags to me.

See what I mean?  How could Scott and his siblings possibly be so awesome, if they would have owned fancy duffel bags and real basketball hoops when they were little?  What would there be to laugh about now, if they had?

43 things I Have learned in 43 years

I know.  That’s a lot of things.  I was trying to think about how to commemorate another year on this Earth.  What I thought of was a really, really big surprise party.  I mean, I’m simple. So, not a formal black tie thing.  Just a couple hundred people (or so) waiting to surprise me  at a fine restaurant.  Special people from throughout my 43-years will be there to offer their kind tributes and special memories.  We’ll have a table set up for gifts and money.  A really big table.

I tried organizing this thing, but it’s weird.  No one was calling me back.   I have a sneaky suspicion they’re organizing this whole thing without me. They probably don’t want me to lift a finger.  I get it.

I keep spying on Scott when he’s on the phone, to see if I can catch him in the act of making plans for my party.  He’s so good.  He always makes it seem like he’s talking to his assistant coach about wrestling.  He’s very convincing.

While I’m waiting for the gala to get off the ground, I thought I’d make a list of 43 things I’ve learned during my 43 years on Earth.  If you don’t have time to read the list now, don’t worry.  I’ll read them out loud for everyone at my surprise party.  You’re invited…to organize it.

43 Things I’ve Learned:

1. Keep your expectations for birthday’s and other holidays low.  Then, you’ll be happy with whatever you get.  I always do this.

2. Beans make you toot.  (I’m sorry.  It’s just that I’m scared I won’t be able to think of 43 things. I thought I’d start with the basics.)

3. Exercise helps almost everything.

4. So does a positive attitude.

5. Exercise outside whenever possible.

6. Being outside helps when you’re sad.

7. If you’re sad all the time,  something is wrong.  Address it.

8. People who know you shouldn’t have to worry about what kind of mood you’re in.  Be predictably pleasant.

9. Happiness = gratitude

10. Gratitude = liking the way God made you, and what you have already.

11. Don’t be hard to please.

12. If you’re thinking a kind thought about someone, tell them.

13. If you’re not thinking kind thoughts, ask yourself why.

14. Hear people.

15. Don’t interrupt.

16. Always bring more than your fair share.

17. The only right place to brag is on your resume.

18. Be curious.  Try new things.

19. Figure out what comes naturally to you, what you’re passionate about. Embrace it.

20. People want you to listen and care.  They rarely need your advice.

21. Root for other people.

22.  If you don’t like Doctors and taking medicine, eat real food.  Don’t eat more than you need. You don’t need as much as you think.

23. Don’t spend more money than you make.

24. Be organized.  If it’s hard for you, you can teach yourself how to do it.  Pinterest.

25. Work hard.

26. Being nice isn’t the same thing as telling people what they want to hear.

27. Be quick to forgive.  Don’t hold grudges, especially against yourself.

28. Say you’re sorry.

29. You know  you’re with good friends when it feels effortless.

30. Read.  A lot.

31. Look your best.

32. You can’t look your best with no effort.

33. Don’t be easily offended.  If things bother you a lot, that’s not things, that’s you.

34.  The more you talk about religion and politics, the less likely people will be to listen to you.

35. Don’t say mean things.

36. Don’t believe mean things you hear.

37.  Some people will never like you.  Like them anyway, and let them go.

38. Figure out what you believe.

39. Little kids and pets.  The best stuff life has to offer.

40. Laugh every chance you get.

41. Wearing fancy name brands for others to see.  Joke’s on you.

42. Quality over quantity.

43. Beans really do  make you toot.

This is my list.  I doubt these things have ever been said before.  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s like you just heard from a modern day Socrates.  I’m not trying to be a control freak about this surprise party, but you might want to think about mentioning the Socrates thing  in your tribute.  Just a suggestion.  But, really, do what you want. Remember? I’m not hard to please.

P.S. I asked Zeke and Scott to listen to my blog as their Birthday gift to me.  I’m not sure those two guys even know I write a blog. Well, they listened, and they gave this post the thumbs up.  Almost.  Scott said he had some slight reservations.  He said he really just doesn’t think beans do make you toot.

Then, he wanted clarification.  Scott said, “I mean, are we talking green beans, black beans, what kind of beans? Because, I’m not sure you can just simply say beans make you toot.  How do you know they do for sure?”

P.P.S. I’m not going to read Scott any more of my blogs.

P.P.P.S. Zeke didn’t like #31.  He thought it was weird that I said looking your best was something I would say I learned.  That IS weird, because mostly I’ve told my kids it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

I told Zeke that I thought looking your best gives you a psychological advantage.  And, I told him it’s good for a marriage to…

“Stop, Mom.  I don’t want to hear another word.”  Zeke interrupted me.

P.P.P.P.S. I didn’t enjoy reading the list to those guys as much as I thought I would.

Your visits here helped make my 43rd year AWESOME! That’s your gift to me, and I want you to know I’m grateful!  Here’s to 43 more great ones, and to staying the heck away from beans.  Tooting jokes always kill.

Birthday 43

I’m actually 43, not 34. I just wanted my age to be perfectly clear to my dyslexic friends.

My New Cult and my Aging Parents

It’s true.   I am a part of a cult.  It’s called Fit Bit.  Do you have a Fit Bit?  If you do, there’s a good chance you know what I mean.

I asked for a Fit Bit for Christmas.  Do you know what a Fit Bit is?  If you don’t, there’s a chance you just woke up from a ten year coma.  You might want to check with your doctor about that. Here’s what a Fit Bit looks like:


At first, Scott scoffed at me for wanting a Fit Bit.  He doesn’t get it.  He said, “I just can’t get you one of those.  It’s the principle of the thing.  If you want to work out, just work out.  You don’t need an expensive watch to motivate you.”

But, I do need an expensive watch to motivate me.

Exercising is literally Scott’s favorite thing to do.  He doesn’t do it to lose weight.  He doesn’t do it to impress people.  He does it because it brings him joy.  If Scott couldn’t exercise, he’d be a sad man.  I’m not braggin’ on him.  That’s just how God made him.  Lucky Scott.

I have always been somewhat interested in health and fitness, but always have to find new things to stay motivated.  That’s why I wanted a Fit Bit.  It’s a watch that grades my effort every day.  It tells me at 4pm that if I don’t get moving, I’m getting a C – for the day.  Then, I get off my butt.  Start moving, and bring home an A+.  You’re not literally graded.  They count your steps.  But, for me, it’s like a report card.

After Scott’s impassioned anti-Fit Bit speech, I really thought I wasn’t getting one.  But, guess what?  I have a 13-year-old daughter now, and she is my ally.  The way I heard it is that Olivia and Scott were out doing their Christmas shopping, and Olivia said this, “Dad.  I know you don’t want a Fit Bit, and you would never wear a Fit Bit.  But, this present isn’t for you.  Giving a gift means you are thinking about someone else.  You consider their needs and interests, and give them a gift you think they will enjoy.  It isn’t about what YOU want.”

Wow.  Having a daughter is AWESOME!!!

I love my Fit Bit.  I got off to a little bit of slow start, because I got the rotten lung over Christmas.  But, I did my best.  Now, I’m better, and this thing is keeping me moving.  I’m not sure if I’ll get sick of it, or not.  I hope I don’t.  I don’t really have a track record of getting tired of and/or discarding things we’ve spent our precious dollars to have.  We bought a treadmill before Eddie was born, and we wore that sucker down to nothin’.  It lasted 11 years.  I hope this Fit Bit does too.

I have two other sisters who have Fit Bits.  So we talked about Fit Bits a lot at Christmas.  We said we liked our Fit Bits.  We wanted to wear our Fit Bits.  We wondered if our Fit Bits were working.  We used the words Fit Bit many times.  Because, that’s what you do when you have a Fit Bit.  You say Fit Bit. A lot.

After listening to hours of Fit Bit talk, one of my non-Fit Bit wearing sisters eventually told us she’d really like to tell us where to put all of our Fit Bits.  I think she’s the one who said Fit Bit is a cult.  She might be right.

I was thinking about something besides Fit Bits over Christmas.  I was thinking about my parents, especially my Dad.  I think I told you that he only has a fraction of his sight left.  I enjoyed watching my sisters fuss over him. I really would like to know how to make sure my kids will fuss over me when I can’t do all the things I once did.  I think that’s a nice thing for families to do.

I tried to really give it some thought.  What is it about my Dad’s new vulnerability that brings out this fierce protectiveness in his daughters?  I was working that over in my head when I had a sudden flash of memory.  I remembered a pleasant drive I had with my Dad one Christmas.  I was in high school.  It was Christmas break, and I couldn’t get to my sister’s house in Green Bay when the rest of the family did, because I had basketball practice.  Everyone else went ahead, and my Dad stayed back with me.  By the time we could leave for Green Bay, the temperatures had dipped dangerously low.  We left anyway, and I wasn’t worried at all. I knew my Dad would take care of me.

It’s weird how I remember obscure things.  I don’t know why I remember that car ride, but I do.  I felt so happy and content to be driving with my Dad to see the rest of the family.  I actually remember feeling safe and protected.

And, I think that’s it.  I think THAT is the answer to my question.  When parents are in good working order,  they give their kids the luxury of feeling safe.  The luxury of not having to worry about how things are going to work out.  When it is going right,  kids take it for granted that their parents are strong, competent and ready to take on all the grown upish worries, so kids don’t have to.

I think that’s why seeing our parents at this end of their lives is making their daughters hover; wanting to make sure their parents’ every need is met.  Our safe place of strength is vulnerable now.  When my sisters and I were young, we wouldn’t have believed it could happen.  Now that it has, we know what to do.  We know how to protect, serve and offer safety to vulnerable people we love.  We know, because our parents taught us.

dad and heidikaty mom

It’s a Wrap

I already like 2015.  I have a good feeling about it.  Maybe it’s because 2014 was quacktastic.  And, by that I mean 2014 was really good. We’ve got some mo jo going.

I am on my last day of Christmas vacation.  Which is sad for me.  I have enjoyed every single minute of this sucker.  Even the minutes when I was coughing until I threw up.  Just in case you wanted to know about that.  There was some sickness somewhere in those vacation days.  But, who could really notice with all the fun?

I think I can honestly say that this was one of the best holiday seasons I’ve had.  And the reason almost for sure is because Eddie feels healthy.  We’ve had lots of Christmas and New Years when Scott and I  have had to make a mental note to smile in front of all the people we love.  Because, that’s what you’re supposed to do at Christmas. You’re happy.

No one wants to sit around feeling sad when there are presents to be opened, and carols to be sung.  Putting on a fake smile works.  Just, for the record.  You can trick yourself into having a better time by pretending to be happy.  You can’t give in to how you really feel when you’re sad; sad sacks NEVER have a good time.

My family celebrated Christmas on New Years.  My sister, Gail, and her husband and son from Colorado have been visiting.  There has been lots of laughing, game playing, eating, movie watching, fire building and teasing.

I thought that some day my kids could put all the pages of my blog together into a book.  If my grandkids (cross your fingers) and great grandkids want to know more about who they are, and where they came from, their parents can give them my blog to read.  That is, if my kids are not ashamed of me.  That’s a big “if”.      Maybe when I’m gone, my kids will want to erase all traces of me.  It could go either way.

Because I have this vision for my blog, I want to add a lot of our holiday photos.  Too many to interest you, and I’m sorry for that.  But, if you could just do this thing for my great grandkids, I’d be grateful.

Here was our Christmas: We played lots of games.  The girls like to play cards.  I’m okay with “Old Maid” and “Gold Fish”, but these girls like longer games that involve a little thinking.  I definitely try to stay away from thinking whenever possible.


Grandpa and the boys almost always play Monopoly when they’re together. I hate Monopoly,  but I love Grandpa and these boys.

monopolyThe day turned into evening.  The sparking cider came out, and let’s just say some things happened that are better off not being remembered.  But, my camera was rolling.  So, we have no choice but to relive these things.

Some of my sisters and I leg wrestled.  Surprise! The one sister with long, beautiful legs, ALSO was the leg wrestling champ.  So, thanks, God.  Give her long, thin legs AND make her good at leg wrestling.  Because, she needs more good luck.  I would think that the least I could get in return for having legs shaped like cement blocks, is some strength. And, some kind of championship.

leg wrestling

We also played a game that I found a bit boring, at first.  One person had to go into a closet.  Then, we appointed someone in the circle to be the leader.  The leader had to make subtle motions.  Everyone copied the leader’s motions. The person who was in the closet, now stood in the middle of the circle.  That middle person had to guess who the leader was.  I know.  It’s complicated.  I was getting a little tired of the game until Scott came out of the closet in a headdress:

scott's headdress

The closet we had to wait in was filled with dress up clothes.  Finally.  The game seemed more interesting to me.  We made a new rule that whoever was in the closet had to put on dress up clothes before they came out.  Suddenly, I couldn’t wait for my turn.  I didn’t have much to work with.  A wig, a hat and a sweater.  I came out singing, “Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my rag time gal…”  And, of course, there was dancing.

hello my dollyScott seemed like he was repulsed by me in this costume.  So, that for sure made me want to be closer to him:

scott's lap

It’s me, Sweetheart. Just give me a kiss.

We ended the night with a hilarious gift card swap game.  And, Grandma and Grandpa gave everyone some gifts too.  Grandma gave her nesting dolls to Olivia and my niece, Naomi.  Olivia and Naomi love to play with these dolls when they come to Grandma’s.

naomi and olivia new years

Olivia and Naomi

I drove the girls home after our party.  The girls agreed that opening the nesting dolls made them happy, but it also made them sad.  They decided they’re going to sneak the dolls back into Grandmas and leave a note with the dolls.  The girls are going to say this: “Grandma, thanks for the nesting dolls.  We like playing with them at your house.  We know we’re going to have many more years to play with them at your house, so we’ll keep them with you for now.”

I knew exactly what they meant.

After the presents we sang a few carols.  We also sang my nephew, Ryan’s, favorite song, “Love Like a Hurricane.”  We shed some tears too; we miss Ryan.  My niece, Libby, said a prayer, thanking God for reminding us of His love for us through the blessing of family.  Then, then we went home.

A lot of the kids ended up in our living room:

cousins sleeping

As far as I can tell, the only bad thing about hanging out with Scott and my families, is that it eventually has to end.  My kids always HATE getting to that part.  Seriously, Zeke and Olivia go through quite a low point after every good bye.  It’s hard for them.

THAT was our New Year’s/Christmas celebration.  I hope you enjoyed your Holiday, and that you can easily recall all your blessings in this world.  I know I’ve told you this, but for sure one of my greatest blessings are the folks who spend a few moments of their lives reading my blog.  I’m so very grateful for that.

Happy, Happy New Year!  Let’s make lots more happy memories this year.

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