Nov 20, 2009

just some silliness

four friends + fun music + no inhibitions = great memories

Hope you are having a happy Friday!

Nov 11, 2009

Veterans Day

I picked up my son from school on Tuesday and he pointed out all the flags that he, as part of the Student Council, had put in the front lawn.

I asked him why they had done this and he said something about soldiers. I took this as an opportunity to explain Veterans Day (which of course meant that I needed to Google it when we got home!)

Here's what I found out from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

I'd like to thank our Veterans for their sacrifice for our country. I am very proud to be an American.

Nov 5, 2009

halloween and Christmas

Yes, I need to start with another apology about how long it has been since I updated the blog. I don't know about you, but now that Halloween is over, my mind is on Christmas.

Let me interject a few Halloween pictures here because you know I can't post without some photos or video! And I am reminded once again that I should take their photos the day BEFORE Halloween or some other time because on the actual day of trick-or-treating they have absolutely no interest in having pictures taken! But this year we had Snow White and a hobo (while a perfectly fine, newly bought Army guy costume is wadded up in the boy's closet.)

The kids had a wonderful time and got a huge loot. I have decided to let them eat as much candy as they want, hoping that they will either a) get sick of it or b) run out! So far, neither has happened.

Alright, on to Christmas because even though Thanksgiving is the next big holiday, I don't really have much to say about Thanksgiving. I think I cruise past Turkey Day because we always travel to New Jersey for Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law's so we really don't do any preparation. And this year, we are all terribly excited about only having a 3.5 hour drive vs. an 11 hour drive.

So, as I was saying, my mind is on Christmas. I've been reading a few blogs about how to destress and a few blogs with great gift ideas and I as I find things that just WOW me, I'm going to share them here.

I'm not sure the proper blog etiquette of just ripping off someone else's post, but Karen Ehman says it much better than I could. I'll give you just a taste of what she writes and encourage you to hop on over to her blog for the full scoop. I saw Karen in person at a Hearts at Home conference and appreciated how genuine she is. Hopefully her tips will help make your Christmas a Frazzle-Free Holiday.

from Karen's blog:

Re-evaluating the holidays.

About 10 years ago, I was one frazzled mom when it came to the holidays. The baking, decorating, Christmas cards, shopping, stocking stuffing and such had me in a complete tizzy. I was exhausted trying to create the perfect Christmas. And I wanted to include activities that I thought my kids expected. I also tried frantically to recreate some of my own holiday memories through baking and cooking things my mother had fixed when I was growing up. And, of course, I had to shop for the perfect gifts and stocking stuffers that would draw oohs and ahhs from my family on Christmas morn.

Face it. Moms often fall into this hectic, horrible holiday trap. And it leaves us feeling tired mentally and physically.

Well, that Christmas I had had it!

So, one wintry day, I called a meeting.

I gathered my family and decided to solicit their honest opinions about how we celebrate the holidays.

It was the best thing I ever did.

Holiday Re-evaluation Survey

Gather everyone in your home. Answer the following questions. Encourage one and all to be honest in their responses. The goal is to discover your unique way of celebrating the holidays and help alleviate some of the Yuletide “Yikes!”

* What has been your favorite tradition that we have done over the years and why?
* What has been your least favorite holiday tradition and why?
* Have any adults share their favorite memory of their holidays growing up. Did it have to do more with money or with people, with getting or with doing?
* Can you think of any new tradition you would like to start celebrating and why?
* What holiday foods do you really love and most look forward to?
* What holiday foods could you do without?
* How can we divide up tasks during the holidays so all of the responsibilities don’t fall on already over-stressed mom?

I plan on doing this survey Friday night with my family and I'll share the results here. I'm thinking if you only have little, little children, this might just be a conversation between you and your spouse. But, if you have older kids, I bet they would love to be involved. What do you think? Are you going to to do this survey, too?