Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Birthday, Paul!
Paul turned 10 on Dec. 30th. I'm a little slow with this post, probably because we actually spent a good deal of his birthday in the van, traveling to Chadron. On Friday evening Paul had 3 friends over for pizza, and then we went to the movie, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium." Then, on the 30th we had cake and ice cream at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Hope this next year is great for you, Paul! I'm so proud of the young man you're turning into. I appreciate your thoughtfulness, sense of humor, and intelligence.

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Fun with the Ready Fam in Kearney
We were able to get together with Rod, Diane, and Grant last week, just to hang out, go to the Big Apple Fun Center, and stay at the Holiday Inn. It was great seeing them, as usual.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21b
My dear Grandma Galbreath had her first Christmas in heaven yesterday. She passed away yesterday afternoon, after struggling to breathe for several days. She has lived in a nursing home for almost 8 years, so it has been a slow and steady progression from being a vibrant, very mentally sharp woman, to being only a shell of what she once was. These last few years, she was unable to talk clearly, as she'd had several strokes. Her eyesight had failed her as well, due to macular degeneration.

It's hard for me to put into words what this woman meant to me. If you would have asked me when I was, say, 10, "who is your favorite person?", it's likely I would have said that she was. We had something special. I have so many memories of walking to her house after school, where we'd watch soap operas (something forbidden in my house :-), drink Mt. Dew ( you think there's a connection to my current addiction?), and eat air-popped popcorn. When I was really little, I'd climb up into her lap and sit there most of the time. As I got older, I started sitting on a little stool that she'd set right beside her Lazy Boy. Yes, there was a couch I could have sat on, but I had to be close to her. I suppose that as I became a teenager, I moved to that couch. I spent countless nights at her house. As with the lap, stool, and couch, there was a progression from sleeping with her (she had the patience of a saint, I'm pretty sure, as I now know what it's like to sleep with a squirmy 4-yr.-old), to sleeping in the spare bedroom, to eventually not having very many of those sleepovers. Of course, as is the normal progression of life, I grew up, got married, and had my own kids. Our relationship changed. It has been very difficult to watch her go downhill these past few years. But I can see now that I've been letting her go, very slowly, for quite some time now. I'm crying as I write this, but I do praise God for the 93 years he gave her, and the 34 I've had with her. It drives home to me the importance of grandparents, and the huge impact they can have in a child's life. She was my soft place to fall, the one who never could really get mad at me, the one who would spoil me just a bit, the one who always had a full candy jar in the kitchen, and a pack of spearmint gum in her purse. Thank you, Grandma. See you someday in heaven. We'll sit down with a Mt. Dew, and I might even crawl into your lap.

When Paul was just a month old. This is how I want to remember her.

Marie Johanna Holtz Galbreath, 12-13-14 to 12-25-2007. Sonya's middle name, MarJean, is after her, as well as my Grandma Jeanette, who died a little over 4 years ago.

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Christmas Day with Skeltons
We spent Christmas day with our friends the Skeltons. It was lots of fun. Aaron spent most of the day playing computer games with Josh and Jesse (shocking), Olivia and Sonya followed Kelsie around, Paul and Miranda got to go sledding, and I basically was lazy and just stayed in where it was warm and dry. I think we were all pretty content.

Kelsie and Lana made this. The tree is made of cookies, and the little snowmen where basically like wedding mints. I was amazed with the detail. There was a Shrek, a Mr. T, a queen, and everything in-between.

Listening to the Christmas story again, this time the King James Version (probably because James was reading it)

Miranda spent quite a bit of time playing dress-up. What a goof.

Paul's post-sledding shot. Brrrr.

They must have had fun, though. They were all smiles!

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve was pretty quiet, relatively speaking. We went to church, came home and ate chili, and opened presents. The kids opened their stockings the next morning.

Reading the Christmas story, with a little help from Livvy Lou.

And Paul and Miranda took turns reading verses, too.

Sonya's got it figured out.

Olivia's favorite toy--a dog carrier. First, she named the dog "Runza." Now she's informed me it's Wally.

Stocking time. I didn't capture Paul opening his main gift--a huge set of Lego's. Yay--more pieces to keep track of!!!

Miranda's checking things out, just to make sure he doesn't get more than she does.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A-moving we will go!
A-moving we will go,
we'll leave Arapahoe (street)
One block west, more space to rest
A-moving we will go.

Ok, so I'm not really a songwriter, but I've been doing lots of piggyback songs with my Kindergartners, so I'm just in that mood, I guess. Anyway, if you're totally confused, basically the news is this--we've sold our house! We're really excited. The house we'll be moving into has about 3400 sq. feet, 3 bathrooms, a garage, a nice family room, and basically just a lot more SPACE!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The bouncy ABC's

Livvy Lou turns 4!
Tonight we celebrated Olivia's birthday. It was pretty low-key, but a good time was had by all. Hey, you just can't beat mac 'n' cheese, or a giant frosted sugar cookie from Wal-mart, can ya?

It's so hard for me to believe she's 4. What a fun girl she's turning out to be. Olivia, may you always march to your own drummer, just a little bit!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Church Christmas Program
Last night was our church's Christmas program. I was very happy with how it went. Olivia was an unruly lamb, Paul was the Donkey who carried Mary to Bethlehem, and Miranda was Mary. She did not, however, actually ride on Paul, although they asked me if they could do that! Aaron was the narrator for the 7-12 grade play. He also found a way to embarrass me at the end of the program by having me come up so the whole crowd could sing Happy Birthday. Although I'm sure my face was red, it was nice to be recognized that way. You only turn 29 once, right??!! ha ha

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ok, I'll just admit it. I'm really not a fan of snow, winter, cold, or anything that comes with this time of year (except my birthday and Christmas, of course). Aaron seems to think there are too many people in California for his tastes, so we'll just have to put up with midwest winters our whole lives, I'm guessing. I just took these pictures so I can show I was a good sport while the girls played in the backyard. I actually stood on the back step and took pictures!

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Beat this one!

7th grade--I apologize if you're eating and suddenly feel as though you need to run to a commode. Don't ya love the braces that go ALL the way around my teeth? (I had an old-school orthodontist). And the perm? And the drugged-out expression? I defy any of you bloggers to beat this one!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

For your viewing pleasure.....or for a good laugh, anyway....

Age 4--I had never had a haircut

Kindergarten--I had JUST had eye surgery a few days before

4th grade--when my hair grew, it grew! My mom always spent so much time on my hair. I am so not like that with my daughters, unfortunately! Also, my mom made my outfit!

9th grade--I'll skip the jr. high years, just in case some of you are eating while viewing these. You've heard of Ugly Betty, right??

11th grade--perm+big poufy bangs+no layers=triangle; 'nuff said; (and I never even took geometry!)