This blog is going dark for the next week. (Sam doesn't think I can go technology free for 5 days and he's right but I did compromise and say I would not do any blogging or blog checking.) We are going to celebrate with my family over New Year's and they have no high speed connection so by the time I can get on-line it will be time to come back home anyway. Stay tuned for new posts in 2009 including: Our favorite Christmas memories of 2008 and Sam posting his top 5 most unbelievable retail stories. There might also be a post to get all you lurkers out of hiding. Maybe I'll even bribe you with a prize. You know how much I like prizes!!
Signing off until 2009!
WE WISH ALL OF YOU A 2009 FULL OF GOOD SURPRISES, BLESSINGS, AND LOVE.
Needless to say, letters didn't get mailed this year so decided to post one here now that all the holiday hoopla has died down.
We have had a good year and know that we are blessed beyond anything we deserve. Here are the highlights from our year. (Those of you who read this blog will find most of this repeat info.)
As a family we enjoyed trips to Adventureland in Des Moines, with our good friends the Brockmeiers and a two-day visit to Oceans of Fun and Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. We also attended the Holmes Family Reunion in Wichita. One of our very favorite things we did as a family this summer was tanking down the Calamus (near Burwell, NE) with some of our favorite people. This was something I had wanted to do for a long time (it was on my "list") and we all agree that it may have to be an annual event. Claremarie was in my cousin Natalie's (she married Cody) wedding in Oct. (another thing that was on my "list") and I'm not sure who was more excited her or me. The kids have spent many nights and some weekends out at Fremont with their Grandma and Grandpa Park. They always have so much fun playing games, exploring, wood working and basically being entertained 24/7 while they are there. In June they got to attend VBS in Hershey with Grandpa and Grandma Holmes. We also all enjoyed a week in Hershey in the fall where we had the annual Holmes campfire and weenie roast and took a trip to the town where I entered this world (Mullen, NE). Speaking of small towns in Nebraska, we continued on our quest to visit all of them and even got mentioned in an article in the Fremont paper as we were visiting a town the same time one of their reporters was doing a story on it (Nickerson, NE).
Claremarie turned 8 this year and started 3rd grade. She did cheerleading in the spring and took tennis and swimming lessons in the summer. She wants to check out volleyball next. She got her ears pierced and has become quite a good helper to me as she even volunteered to learn how to clean toilets and do laundry. (Yes, she is our favorite child right now!!)
Camden turned 4 and started preschool which he absolutely loves. A few tears were shed on the afternoon of his first day, as I drove away and realized that for the first time in 8 years there would be nobody in the car with me as I was running errands. Camden played t-ball and took swimming lessons last summer. He is a very precocious child who has a big vocabulary (pathetic is the word today) and loves his big sister. Camden always keeps us laughing with his antics.
Sam and I are both still doing pretty much the same things as we were doing last year. Not much has changed for us. I just celebrated a landmark birthday and he is going to in March. We made it to most of the home football games this year and can honestly say we enjoy it again!! We have also both been enjoying connecting with old friends on facebook and through this blog.
We don't know what 2009 will bring for us and I must confess to feeling some anxiety about that. However, it is awesome to know HIM who does know what will happen and who on HIM we can cast our worry and fear.
It has been a full day. An unusual Christmas Eve for us. We have never been home on Christmas Eve without someplace to be. This year we baked, decorated ornaments, wrapped a few last minute gifts, tracked Santa on NORAD, went to Christmas Eve service at church, came home and had a "banquet" (Camden's description) of french dips, baked potatoes and brownie sundaes, watched old videos of Christmases past and reflected on the GIFT we are truly celebrating. A full day indeed.
Usually I'm all for snow days. What great opportunities to do something fun and out of the ordinary with the kiddos but why does it have to be tomorrow??? I was so looking forward to Camden's preschool program. He got asked to be Joseph and we were all so excited about it. He went to bed crushed and I can empathize with him. Hopefully they will have their program when school resumes in Jan.!!
I know these are teaching opportunities but it is so hard to try and help kids learn something when you yourself are keenly feeling the sting of disappointment too.
Thanks everyone for your posts, e-mails, and prayers. I made it through the first appointment. Still have to go back at least once more but think I will wait until Jan. for that. Only a few tears were shed before they started the work. It is always the anticipation that gets me. Thanks again!
I'm posting in hopes that the people who read this blog will send their prayers and happy thoughts to me tomorrow morning. I have a dentist appointment. Work needs to be done that they have been wanting me to do for about 4 years so I am finally giving in and going. (Even though it is against every core value I have to get work done on teeth that ARE NOT bothering me.) After 40 years I guess this old body needs a tune up.
Anyway, I am deathly afraid of the dentist. There were some horrible childhood experiences that have contributed to this and also I have very soft teeth. At my last cleaning I broke down in hysterics. It is not unusual for me to cry at least once while I'm in their office but the sobbing uncontrollably was strange even for me. I know it was bad because they are actually prescribing a Valium for me to take before I come in tomorrow. (Those of you who have heard me talk about the one and only Valium I have ever had, after Claremaire was born, will know that I'm excited about that.) I have been going to this dentist for 7 years so I'm pretty sure my chart is flagged as a "problem patient". They probably hate me coming as much as I hate coming in.
It just seems like everything is going against me for this visit. I already had to cancel once because of a conflict (for which the receptionist yelled at me). Now I have a bad cold and can't really breathe but I really do want to get it over with (and I don't want the receptionist to yell at me again). Sam was going to go with me and now he can't. My stomach has been hurting for a week thinking about going and now today I have a horrendous headache which I'm attributing to worry and the fact that I can't breathe.
YES I'm overreacting. YES this is irrational. YES it is embarrassing to be so fearful of this. Why can't I overcome this fear? I have managed NOT to pass this fear along to my kids. They love the dentist. In grad school we learned that people who have control issues don't like the dentist because they don't like anyone or anything who makes them feel vulnerable. Well that certainly doesn't describe me. :-) It is not that I don't like the dentist personally. I'm sure he is a very nice person. It is all the poky, sharp tools that he brings with him and the whirring, grinding noises they all make and the chunky pieces of tooth and debris that fly around in a person's mouth and the way your lips get all dry and cracked and then the bill you get in about 2 weeks.
So pray for me if you think about it. Specifically that I will be a nice patient and that the work will be minimal and that it will go quickly and that I won't have a heart attack in the chair. I will take my headphones and a book so hopefully that will help.
If any of you made it through this thanks for letting me vent.
It has been grainy. It has been runny. It has just been downright bad but FINALLY, on my 18th Christmas as a married lady, I had a batch of fudge turn out!! (I realize that this doesn't speak very well to my baking expertise.) I don't know why it has never worked it just hasn't. Every year when I announce that I'm going to try and make fudge, Sam always groans, rolls his eyes, and tries to talk me out of it. (I think he just got tired of eating it with a spoon.) This year, he had to admit, that I finally did it and it is delicious if I do say so myself!!
Just so you don't think this blog is turning into the all Camden site.....As we walked in the house from school today Claremarie said, "Mom, will you teach me how to do laundry tonight?" Sweet niblets (to quote Hannah Montana) that was music to my ears!!
Camden was playing over at a friend's house and for some reason decided that he needed to take his friend's fish out of the fish bowl and put it in his mouth (That's how he described it but I think it was really more like he kissed the fish.) For a child who screams like we are cutting all of his fingers off when we try to get him to try a new fruit or veggie, why on earth would he do that???When we asked him this very question he said that the fish really didn't have any flavor.
Update on the fish: The fish didn't make it. Evidently he was fatally injured. And yes, Camden will be buying a new one for his friend!! (When I told Camden the fish died he said, "It was breathing when I left it.")
Update on Camden: He was upset about the demise of the fish. We told him he could think about that while he spent three days with no screen time.
I turned 40 on Sunday. There I said it. Well, I didn't actually say it I just typed it. Is that close enough? Is it bad that I've been a little sad about it? Is it bad that I feel like in all actuality many of my best years are gone (yes I know I still have good years left)? Is it bad that I've actually checked into getting botox? (It costs A LOT!!!). As one of my birthday cards said, "You are on the 40 yard line. There's a lot of game left BUT halftime is getting close."
I've always had a hard time with the decade birthdays starting with 20. It is not really the age that bothers me. I think it is just the passing of time that I have to mourn a little each decade. This one seems especially hard to accept but I suppose it is just a pride thing as I'm one of the first to turn this age amongst my friends and 40 just seems to move one up into a different age category.
There have been some fun things about turning this age. The month started with an awesome shopping trip (arranged by Sam) to Kansas City with 6 friends (no kids allowed). It was so much fun to shop, eat meals someone else cooked without worrying about kids, talk, laugh, relax, and just get away from it all. We were only gone two days but it was a wonderful break for me and I hope for everyone else. Thanks ladies. You are the best!! When can we go again??? Mall of America here we come.................
This last weekend my sister and parents along with some help from Sam planned a party for me with my family. There were about 40 (that wasn't planned) people there to help me celebrate (commiserate) my landmark birthday. My sister did a great job with the arrangements and a fun time was had by all. Thanks Rhonda, Sam, Mom and Dad!! One especially nice thing that my mom did for me was to make a scrapbook with lots of baby pictures and many other old photos of my growing up years. It was so fun to look back and remember things I had forgotten.
When we got home from the party Sam gave me my present which was a laptop with lots of bells and whistles. That has been a fun distraction and will keep me busy for awhile. Hey, it takes us old folks a while to learn new things.
My mind has been spinning since Tuesday and I will probably have to process but not tonight........
We are heading to Lincoln for the FB game tomorrow. It will be cold but when it's cold they have really good hot chocolate. Hope the game is a good one. Don't think I can take another loss so soon after Tuesday.
Tonight was the big High School Musical 3 viewing. It was OK but not as good as the first one. (Claremarie like this one best. Sam liked 2 the best.) Sam didn't even get to see the last 30 mins. because Camden decided that since he hasn't had one for months it was just the perfect time to throw a huge tantrum.
We got some Christmas shopping done today for the kids. The goal is to have all shopping done by December 1st.
Any of you who are not on facebook need to check it out. It is so fun to connect with old friends. I really have to be careful not to spend too much time on it because it can be quite a time waster.
This week at school another girl told Claremarie that she was so random. She gets that from me. Who wants to be predictable???
I don't want to have B.O. for four years. In fact I do my best to avoid having B.O. whenever possible. If I were still 2 (or if I thought it would be socially acceptable) I would be throwing myself down on the ground having a temper tantrum right now........................
A plumber dares to question the "great" B.O. and he is harassed, investigated and humiliated.
A reporter dares to question the "great" BIDEN and she is cut off, threatened and shut out of further interviews. Not to mention the fact that her husband has also been subjected to scrutiny.
The three major newspapers who endorsed McCain have been asked to leave the B.O. plane for daring to have a different opinion.
What does this say about the future of free speech in this country if we all have B.O. for the next four years? Will everyone who speaks against him be singled out, investigated, and silenced??? OR will all the media fall in line with him (kind of like they have already done during this election cycle) so the American people will never know the truth about anything? What does this say about religious freedom? If we don't agree with his "christian" beliefs will we also be silenced?
For once I find this Halloween very scary............................
Ever since she was born, I have always hoped Claremarie would get asked to be in a wedding. In fact, Sam would say I have been obsessing about it. (I'm not sure what he means unless it has something to do with the fact that I have humiliated myself by asking two near strangers if they needed a flower girl for their weddings?!)
A couple of summers ago my awesome cousin Natalie took pity on me and promised that she would have Claremarie in her wedding if she got married. I thought that was so sweet of her considering the fact that she has 6 nieces of her own. Well, Natalie got engaged last Christmas and married on Oct. 11 (for complete wedding coverage go here) and true to her word, she asked Claremarie to be a candlelighter. Yeah!! I was so excited. Claremarie was excited too but this was really more my dream than hers I guess. I'm not sure why it was so important to me other than I got to be in several weddings when I was little and always think back on that fondly or maybe it was more about wanting to see my little girl dressed up like a princess in a fairy tale setting. Probably a little of both.
Anyway, thanks Natalie (and Cody) for making one mom's dream come true. I promise to stop harassing strangers about having Claremarie in their wedding. Now I just have to work on getting Camden into one!! Anyone need a ringbearer???
Tonight the doorbell rang and I went to answer it and the man said, "Hi, I'm from the Obama campaign for change and hope and I would like to talk to Sam Park." I opened my mouth to say, "Oh, what is BO going to change other than make America into a socialist nation?" but then thought the better of it and just said, "Sam's not here." Sam was so disappointed in me. Oh well. It didn't seem worth it and judging by the short amount of time he spent on our street he wasn't finding many willing listeners.
We are off for the weekend (to my cousin's wedding-Yeah, Claremarie gets to be in it!! More about that when we get back.) and some of the week for a little mini vacation. I'm looking forward to being "unplugged" for a few days so that means no computer (I'm going to miss that especially facebook. For some reason Sam doesn't think Facebook is enough to warrant me needing a laptop!) and no news (I will not miss this!). To those I owe e-mails to I'm sorry I will hook up with you when I get back and to those who desperately need to reach me try my cell.
Between politics and the Huskers, it has been a rough fall around here.
As far as the Huskers go it looks like it is going to be awhile before we are back. Last night as we were leaving the game (at the end of the 3rd quarter, which we have never done before), Sam said, "We should have known our defense isn't that good when a running back who has never played defense can switch positions, start for our team, and be one of the best players." I guess we will just have to suffer through this year and hope for better days ahead. My problem is trying not to buy into Sam's ever-optimistic view that we are always going to win. He always gets me to thinking that it is possible even when I, as a realist, know that it isn't!!
As far as politics go, I'm trying to support McCain but I just feel no excitement for him whatsoever. If I didn't honestly believe that electing a snake-charmer like B.O. is so dangerous to the future of our country I don't think I would even vote this year. I feel like this bumper sticker so aptly says how I'm feeling and I'll apologize in advance to those of you who this will offend.
When Sam and I first moved back to NE in 1997 we decided to try and visit every town in the state. We can't exactly remember why but we think it was for three reasons:
1. We had heard about someone doing something similar to this in MN and thought it was cool.
2. Unlike most transplants who live here or people who drive across in the middle of the night, we happen to think NE has some beautiful scenery and some really cool little towns in it.
3. It was something to do to re-familiarize ourselves with the state after having been gone for a few years.
There are rules to our little adventure:
1. We have to be there together (Sam and I).
2. We have to actually spend time in the town either by buying something from the local store, exploring a historic sight, or by playing on the playground (This one is new since we had kids. No we didn't do much of that before kids.)
3. We have to take a picture of something that has the name of the town on it.
4. We will end our big adventure in a town called Parks (in the southwest corner of NE) for symbolic reasons of course and provided the town is still there by the time we get to it.
So on our way to our tanking trip, we spent one day visiting towns. We actually hit our 200th town that day. Who knew there are over 700 towns in NE? Anyway on that day we stopped in a little town called Nickerson. It is kind of close to Fremont. Sam was taking a picture of us by the town sign and all of sudden we hear someone yelling, "Hey, exactly who among you is a big fan of Ramon Janssen?" (As you can see by the picture Nickerson is his home.) We turned around to see someone else with a big camera headed our way. Come to find out he is a reporter from the Fremont Tribune who is visiting every town in Dodge County. He actually walks through each town to see what he can see, who is friendly etc. He was quite interested in our story but he didn't know if he could fit us into his article. Well, he did and here is a link if you are interested. He even has a picture too.
Definitely the most exciting thing that has happened to us on our quest so far. Well I guess there was the one time when my sister was almost picked up by the town drunk but I'll save that for another post.......
P.S. No, I'm not pregnant. I think my shirt just got caught on my fat roll!
P.S.S. If you think that picture is bad just be happy that the reporter didn't take a picture of me playing tether ball in the Nickerson park. Now that would be scary!!
I'm so tired of listening to all the debate and the cliches that are coming out of each of the political party's mouthpieces. But I am particularly annoyed by hearing the following from three different people today. It is so obvious that it is not an original line but rather one that willing accomplices seem to have latched onto and are spreading like a bad rash.
"Jesus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a governor."
Oh please give me a break here. One of the people I heard saying it was Susan Sarandon. Like I would ever take political advice from her anyway.
I don't know how you feel, but the Jesus I love and serve doesn't fit into any job description and can't be described by definitions that we try to assign to make ourselves feel better or use for political advantage (i.e. community organizer, liberal, or even conservative).
Just spent the last two hours watching actual footage from different, amateurs who were shooting in NYC the morning of 9/11. I feel like I've been through the wringer so I can't even imagine the horror those people who were there experienced or witnessed. The confusion and trauma, just so overwhelming........ 7 years seems like along time in some ways but when you are grieving 7 years is barely a drop in the bucket. The pain is still very real. Those families that lost loved ones still need our prayers.
Makes one stop and think and I'm just throwing this out there, not endorsing. Can our country afford to have someone as president who thinks that Iran is a small country, small problem to deal with? Can we afford to have someone as president who is going to negotiate with Al Qaeda and other terrorists? Can we afford to have someone as president who thinks that Russia and China are countries "who have it going on"?
Back to 9/11. That entire day I was obsessed with making sure we had milk. It was a very strange coping mechanism. That was shortly after I quit my full-time job so I was already going through a major life change not to mention that I didn't sleep for about 50 hours straight because I was so engrossed in the coverage. Even when I did sleep, I would dream that the trade center rescuers had found someone alive only to wake up and be so disappointed to find out it was just a dream. It was definitely a horrible day but one we can't afford to forget.
We did so many fun things this summer but last weekend was definitely the cherry on the sundae. Claremarie always makes her summer dream list and this year we did everything on it. I told Sam that I was going to make a list of what I wanted to do this summer but the only think I could think of was tanking. What's tanking you ask? It is basically like tubing except you float down a river in a horse tank. It is not a traditional metal horse tank but rather a fiberglass blue tank. You can bring coolers and some people even bring grills. The tanks don't tip over like a canoe so you don't actually have to get wet unless you choose to do so. We floated down the Calamus River near Burwell, NE. There was a group of 16 and it was a blast. We had 4 tanks and 4 tubes. Claremarie and Camden loved it but Sam and I are afraid we created little monsters as they really liked the tubes better than the tanks and now tubing is all they can talk about. My cousin Ted, who is in a wheelchair, even got to go with us. I don't think there was a better way for us to finish out our summer adventures than floating down the river with some of our favorite people, through the sandhills, surrounded by the quiet and the beauty of that part of NE, while drinking peach nectar and eating delicious homemade donuts and cookies (Thanks Joye), cheese and crackers and brownies (Thanks Jane!) and plenty of diet coke! It was just so much fun. I will put a couple of pictures on the blog. If you want to see the entire adventure please go to my Picasa album. Thanks Ted and Joye for getting everything arranged. This will probably need to be an annual event!!!
Today is the first day of 3rd grade for Claremarie. It is the first year we haven't cried once we dropped her off. I think that is because we had a great summer full of fun with no regrets about things we should have/could have done. I just pray she has a good day today as nerves got the best of her last night. She woke up at 12:30 am and didn't go back to sleep until around 3am. I was so hoping she didn't inherit the worry gene.
This last picture always just kills me every year.
I'm just sitting here watching Steven Curtis Chapman and his family on Larry King. They are talking about the death of their 5 year old daughter. It is so heartbreaking to see them be so real about their grief and yet so comforting to see them be so strong in their faith. What a great example.
I know I'm especially sensitive to the age issue this year due to my landmark birthday quickly approaching but honestly. Several times this summer I have been asked if my kids are my grandkids. The latest was while we were having Camden's birthday party at Chucky Cheese. Do I really look that old??? (If so please don't feel the need to comment and tell me.) I know I am a somewhat "older" mom but seriously people. They have no idea the damage they are doing to my self-esteem.
As you can see, Camden had a Scooby Doo birthday. He loves Scooby Doo. I started letting him watch it (the TV show-not the real people movies) a couple of years ago because as far as I remembered it was harmless. I watched it when I was little and for the most part the shows that are on now are the same ones. Until Camden started watching it, I had not remembered all the witches, demons, magic spells, etc. that the show contains. We usually don't let our kids watch shows like that so now we had a dilemma. Should we continue to let him watch it or not? We decided to only let him watch the shows without any of the supernatural stuff in it and I have been vigilant about making sure that he only sees the appropriate shows. However, we may need to rethink our decision on letting him watch it at all.
It was almost supper time not long ago and I heard a small voice from the living room say, "Fetch me my supper you serving wench."
ZOINKS! DID I REALLY JUST HEAR MY SON SAY THAT??????? I couldn't believe my ears and immediately asked where he had heard that. Guess who went to a renaissance festival to solve the latest mystery? The one, the only Scooby Doo (and Shaggy too!).
We just got back from our bi-yearly Holmes Family Reunion, a gathering of the families of the 11 children of Arthur Lisle and Lucy Holmes. There are 50 grandchildren, 109 great grandchildren, and we are still counting the great, greats. After thinking about it (more like obsessingly analyzing it), here are my personal reflections...
I wish I were better about making conversation. It really is an area I'm lacking in. Some people have the knack for it but I'm definitely not gifted in that category. I seriously doubt that anyone left the reunion thinking, "Wow, I sure wish I could have had a conversation with Sherilyn." However, there were lots of people I wish I would have been able to talk to. It truly is an art form to be able to conversate easily and with anyone. This is something I will work on in the next two years and I vow to be better at our Colorado reunion in 2010.
So, I felt a little sad after the reunion thinking (actually obsessing over) that I had very few conversations that weren't just fluff. I should have gone deeper with people and in turn, been more real with them. We all want to be "known", to belong to something bigger than our own little world, and today (after a week of analysis :-), I realized that these people, my relatives, do know me. It doesn't matter how bad of a conversationalist I am. It doesn't matter that we only see each other every two years. It doesn't matter that they don't know all the inner workings of my mind. They have known me since I was born. They know my parents, my siblings, my husband, and my children. They know where I come from.....and, that is enough. For we are family and that is a bond that cannot be broken and I will be comforted by that. I found this quote that says it better than I ever could.
The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. A person needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born. ~Pearl S. Buck
I have been meaning to post about this for the last month (and a little more). In June, 4 friends and I completed a 5K. Here is the picture of us before the race. We were raising money to send foster care kids to camp through an organization called Child Connect (one of the branches to the agency I work for-Children's Square U.S.A.). Anyway, it was a lot of fun. Thanks for doing it with me Diana, Becky, Susie, and Jenny. Thanks to Becky's mom for creatively capturing the moment!!
We have been having major water problems in our basement this summer. These problems have been occurring mainly due to the freaky weather we have been having (i.e. many rains of 3 inches or more). Tonight it has rained 4.5 inches here and it is still sprinkling. We only have a little bit of water coming in tonight so we are thankful for that. We are trying to get ready to go on a little mini vacation to escape the water. Ironically, one of our stops......Oceans of Fun.
The little steps on the road to independence are coming fast and furious this week............
Step 1: We are just finishing up with swimming lessons and we went to the pool to practice the other night. Claremarie wanted to jump off the high dive and so I said you can't because you can't swim across the pool without stopping yet. She promptly did so and there came my dilemma. Do I let her try it or do I think of another obstacle for her to overcome? We ended up letting her do it so now she is an official member of the "I can jump off the high dive" club.
Step 2: She is now starting to think that maybe she likes the name Clare better than Claremarie. WHAT? Doesn't she understand the thought and planning that went into choosing her name? More than that doesn't she know that you can't have two one syllable names together (i.e. Clare Park)?? :-)
Step 3: Last but not least, I finally gave in and let her get her ears pierced. She had been asking for quite a while and so we went ahead and let her do it. (By the way, did you know it costs $40.00 to get your ears pierced now? I was expecting it to cost $10-15.)
I'm holding on but the road is getting a little scary!
I just realized the other day that Camden has quit calling Claremarie sissy. When he first started talking I taught him to call her that because he could not say Claremarie. I always thought it was so cute although I know it drove some people crazy. Anyway, now he says her name. Just another reminder that he is growing up. I just wish I would have known the last time he called her that was going to be the last time.
Today at 3:01 pm, Claremarie celebrated her 8th birthday. It is her golden birthday since she is turning 8 on the 8th.
To sweet Claremarie........
"God shaped you first inside, then out; He formed you in your mother's womb. You are breathtaking! Body and soul you are marvelously made! What a creation! God knows you inside and out. He knows every bone in your body. He knows exactly how you were made, bit by bit, how you were sculpted from nothing into something. God watched you grow from conception to birth; all the stages of your life were spread out before Him, the days of your life all prepared before you had even lived one day."
Psalm 139:13-16, The Message
I'll never forget how excited I was 8 years ago today when the dr. said, "It's a girl." I was so convinced that I was having a boy. You are my precious firstborn, the child that has had to be the guinea pig while your parents learn how all this works. You have such an easy going personality and sweet temperment. I hope you know today and always how loved you are by your dad and I but most importantly how loved you are by your Heavenly Father.
A two day garage sale, A friend's birthday party, Swim lesson registration (yes, this is hard), First day of tennis (Claremarie), First day of t-ball (Camden), Adventureland (Sam and Sherilyn....just kidding. I guess we'll take the kids.), Decorate 48 cupcakes and one dog birthday cake (which must look just like our dog??) Claremarie's "friend" birthday party at BounceU, Claremarie's "family" birthday party at the Park homestead, Claremarie's golden birthday, and then pack both the kids up and ship them off to the Grandparents for 5 days!! YEAH!!
Today the Omaha World Herald has a really neat special section about 100 WWII vets. Some of it is online at Rendezvous with Destiny. It is a really neat tribute. The first quote on the front of the section is stirring around in my brain this morning. I try to imagine what it must have been like in those days right before and during the U.S. involvement in WWII but I don't think any of us will ever know. Here is the quote......
"There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny."
Favorite Kid's CD (that does not drive me crazy): Deliberate Kids by Phil Joel
Favorite New Break from Reality: Watching the reality show Top Chef
Favorite Books for Summer Reading (Christian Fiction): Sophie's Heart and Pretense both by Lori Wick
Favorite New Cookie Recipe:
courtesy of Rachael
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies 2 c. butter 2 c. sugar 2 c. brown sugar 4 eggs 2 tsp vanilla 4 c. flour 5 c. blended oatmeal 1 tsp salt 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp baking soda 24 oz chocolate chips 1 (8 oz) Hershey bar, grated 3 c. chopped nuts (your choice), optional
Measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, then mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375. Makes 112 cookies. Recipe may be halved.
Favorite New Polish for Summer Toes:
OPI Flashbulb Fuschia
Favorite Ice Cream
Breyer's All Natural Black Rasberry Chocolate Ice Cream
Claremarie is a sweet girl. She is very even-tempered and laid back, relatively slow to anger, and doesn't really show too much emotion over all. So obviously, she takes after her dad.
Camden, however, is very high strung. He can be laughing one minute and throwing a bloody fit the next. He is stubborn and ornery. He likes everything to be just so. To say he is "passionate" would be a big understatement. He is very dramatic, very type-A. I can't for the life of me where he gets these characteristics from. :-) When he is in a loving mood it is just the cat's meow. Almost every night, after he has been tucked in, he always calls me back into his room yelling, "Mommy, I need to tell you something." I go into his room and he always says the same thing. "Mommy, I need to tell you that I love you and I like you." Makes my heart melt every time.
These are so easy I'm almost embarrassed to post the instructions. Basically you just make cupcakes (we used white cake but I suppose you could do any flavor). Frost them with yellow frosting (again I'm sure you could use any color). Cut large marshmallows in 4 pieces. I used kitchen shears because a knife didn't work. You are supposed to shape them into petals but I found that when I cut them they automatically made that shape. Pick any colored candy for the center. We used melt aways because CM loves them. Put five marshmallows and the candy on each cupcake and wallah (Is that how you spell that??) Flower cupcakes!!
I'm not the craftiest person in the world although I would like to be, but I do try hard. Usually nothing I do turns out very well so I just live vicariously through my friends and relatives. I did make these cupcakes for Claremarie's school birthday and some treats for my MOPS group. They won't exactly provoke envy in anyone but it is pretty good work for me!