Friday morning at the breakfast table Jared says to me "Mom, don't say anything about Benji's face". So I'm thinking that he must've contracted a huge zit in the night & I've prepared myself to NOT look at the obvious. Except this is the obvious.
Oh No! Poor Benji was the first to fall asleep and therefore the most accessible target. Madison was insisting this was immature behavior of her brothers when Jennelle, my late-20's something cousin, comes bounding into the room & says "Has Benji seen his face yet?!" Yes Madison, even adults have moments of regression. heehee
Luckily the marker came off. At least on his face. I don't know if he's found the drawings on his legs. I'm sure he has by now. If not, then... "Benji! Wash your left leg!!"
*Big Bummer* I didn't take any pictures this Christmas! I'm hoping my cousin will send me some that she got on her camera so that I can share... but here's how the holiday went for us...
Sat 20th: We went caroling with some friends in their neighborhood! What fun we had! Especially when it was 80 degrees that afternoon... although something seems weird caroling in shorts.
Mon 22nd: Dillon went to work with Scott in Houston until Christmas eve.
Tues 23rd: Got approval for vacation time in January! We'll be coming to Iowa for a visit Jan. 16-23!
Wed 24th: I didn't have to work! We went to a traditional candlelight service at the church right next to our neighborhood (VERY old church! est. 1834). We opened gifts from each other & from Iowa... each of us got fun things: Jared got a class ring, Dillon got cologne, Madison got a bedspread, Scott got a Luke skywalker bobble-head, and I got a sonic toothbrush! Thanks g'ma & g'pa and Damon & Jill for the gift cards & the cool digital pic frame.
Christmas DAY! We had a houseful for Christmas Dinner which we served at 4pm. The meatballs were... okay... but the ham was AWESOME! We had 15 people here & succeeded in stuffing ourselves. Relatively no leftovers since I sent it all home with my cousin Tim. Our guests included my cousin & her 4 kids from Copperas Cove; my cousin from Las Vegas! my cousin from San Marcos; my aunt & cousin from Wimberley; and a family friend who lives here in Round Rock. The kids decided to go to a movie in the evening & then they stayed up all hours of the night.
Fri 26th: All of us went shopping at the outlet malls and got REALLY good deals! Thanks to gift cards we all got new shoes! (and other things but shoes seemed to be the dominant theme).
Yesterday & Today: We spent the day putting Christmas decorations away & getting ready for life to resume.... We enjoyed a very worship-filled Sunday service with Emily, she's such an inspiration for us!
The REASON for the SEASON is still the baby Jesus. Good for us to remember that. I confess I sometimes get carried away with life's busy-ness and forget the significance of God coming to earth. I'm going to work on improving that in 2009.
Scott & I are preparing for a Christmas Dinner at our house for 15 people. 7 of them are hearty young men.... so I'm trying to think of something easy & filling....
As we walk through IKEA the perfect meal hits me.... Swedish Meatballs! They sell them frozen at IKEA and they're awesome. So I bought 3 bags.
Later at home Scott is sorta pouting about not having a 'real' Christmas Dinner. He says "What kind of Christmas meal is MEATBALLS?" I explain that I'll make mashed potatoes & corn casserole but his response is... "I wish we'd have bought a ham (heavy sigh)". Whatever.
At 6pm last night our friends Gary & Mim stopped by to bring us a Christmas present. A HAM!! Can you believe it?!
So we're having Ham & Meatballs. :) Merry Christmas Scott.
A couple of weeks ago the kids had their Christmas Choir production. I've been working on getting the video to the whole thing so I can post it for you because it was VERY entertaining.
The picture below is one of thet men's pieces.... MEN IN TIGHTS. As you can see, the boys are all rolling up their suit pantlegs to show off their tights.
They proceeded to do the exact routine from the Robin Hood "Men In Tights" movie. It was a stitch. The circle on the right is Jared & the left is Dillon. Click below to see what the piece looked like from the movie.
The week following the concert the boys performed at the school administration office & went to Dairy Queen for lunch. One of the boys asked the manager if they could get free food if they sang to them. The Manager said he would give them half-priced meals. So the boys broke out into dance & song doing this routine. How funny! I think the whole group ate for $15.
Jared just called me from work. Here's how our conversation went.
Jared: "Mom, Did I ever throw up on the ground, like on the carpet, when I was a kid?" Him & his fellow employees must be sharing gruesome childhood stories... so as I'm thinking back to Jared's childhood & the middle of the night puke sessions... I'm jolted back to reality.
Jared: "Some kid just puked on the carpet here & we're not sure what to do."
Me: "Do you have a shop-vac?" Scott's answer to all liquid emergencies.
Jared: "No. Would spot remover work?"
Me: "Yes. With lots of hot water & LOTS of paper towels." I have a feeling Jared will be coming home early today. He totally cannot handle puke, especially someone else's.
Dillon & I went to the mall last night to get some shopping done when I got a frantic call from Madison.... "Mom! Quincy has a tick! It's really gross! What should we do?"
My mind went back the times when I was a kid & my grandma lit a match, blew it out & laid the hot match-head to the tick & it let go on its own. I quickly thought of Madison with a lit match going towards a hairy dog and decided not to tell her of this procedure. "I'll take care of it when I get home" is what I told her.
Eww..... this thing has been feasting on Quincy for a while. It was the size of a large raisin. Tucked behind his left ear.
Thank goodness for internet. We looked up what to do & Dillon, Jared & I donned laytex gloves & went to work. Minor surgery was performed on our entryway tile and the parasite has been removed! We used a pair of tweezers & alcohol and had a very good patient. He's got a bit of a scabby-hole where the icky thing was but I think he's going to be okay. :)
Hey! I went to a conference in Austin last week. Our County Vital Statistics Unit received an award... not just any award... an EXEMPLARY award! The Williamson County Clerk had us come to the County Commissioner's meeting yesterday to officially give recognition to us within the County. Read the NEWS RELEASE that was published today: NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Nancy Rister FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 512-943-1515 (office)
COUNTY CLERK EARNS 11TH CONSECUTIVE 5-STAR VITAL REGISTRATION AWARD
December 17, 2008 (Williamson County, TX) -- During the 54th Annual Conference on Vital Statistics in Austin on Dec.10-12th, the Williamson County Clerk’s office was presented for the eleventh consecutive year the Five Star Vital Registration Award by the Texas Department of Health, State Health Services Vital Statistics Unit. This award is presented annually for exemplary work in the area of Vital Registration. The criteria for qualifications of this award include timeliness of filing death registrations entered into the state database by the clerk’s office, annual training at conferences, use of the Texas Electronic Registrar (TER) for all birth and death registrations, completing an assessment survey and providing documentation of recruiting physicians to sign-up and use TER-Death registration. This year's competition included over 529 local registrars, out of which there were only 65 local registrars across the state that met the five specific criteria needed to achieve this prestigious award. Forty-one were County Clerk’s offices. Three employees in the Vital Statistics area, Shirley Merkord, Susie Napier and Shelly Cole attended the conference. Mrs. Rister attributed the eleventh consecutive win to her staff who have strived to maintain the high standards. The annual three day conference included topics on Master Registrar Certification, Identity Theft, Twogether in Texas, Statutes Governing Local Registration, VS Document Fraud, Enhancing TER, Disaster Planning, Mexican Consulate, Remote Birth Access, Paternity Certification and others. The staff were recognized in Commissioner’s Court on Tuesday. Pictured below from left to right are: County Judge Dan A. Gattis; Shelly Cole-Deputy; Shirley Merkord-Deputy; and County Clerk Nancy Rister.
It's time to start the Christmas decorating. I spent some time on Saturday clearing a corner of the living room to put the Christmas tree up. When I finally finished that task I went upstairs to retrieve the decorations from the spare bedroom closet. Big mistake. There were piles of sheet music on the floor, many articles of Dillon's clothes (which he denies), blankets tossed onto the floor from the bed (did someone actually sleep in there?) and toys from Jared's newest game - the indoor-basketball-hoop-throwing-thing that takes up half the room. I couldn't even make it to the closet without stumbling.
I picked up a long lost dinner plates, a fork, & 2 glasses on my way to the closet door.
Inside I found boxes stacked to the ceiling with an ocassional one opened & contents sprawling out of it. Mostly scrapbook memoriabilia. Granted it was fun to look at some old school pictures & relive some of Dillon's elementary school wrestling moments when we found some winning medals... but it's not helping the Christmas cause.
Madison (bless her little Christmas heart) spent the day cleaning the spare bedroom & we are now ready to commence with decorating when Scott gets home on Friday night. Yay! Thanks Madison!