I had lots of bonding time with John and enjoyed every second of it. Here are some of those moments captured on film. Playing with all the police cars. Aunt Teresa made a road out of the memory cards and we were driving around the road.
Giddy up Horsey!
John loves to read, so this was just one opportunity he had for someone to read to him that week.
Coloring. John was very opinionated when we would first color. "Treesa blue." And then he would show me where to color. In the end, I could pick whatever color I wanted and we were both okay with it.
This Christmas was fun because John is just getting to that age where he is beginning to understand more and more. This year, Chris and Ann worked to teach him about Santa Claus. Here is the explanation of Christmas Eve and Santa coming. John got to carry the plate filled with Santa's cookies to the table. Here he is placing them on the table next to Santa's milk and his napkin. There was lots of explaining about how these are Santa's cookies and how Santa was going to come while John was sleeping and bring presents and eat the cookies and drink the milk. John kept pointing at the cookies saying, "Santa eat the cookies. These are Santa's cookies." High five for a job well done!
And this is the empty stocking that Santa would fill when he brought presents. John seemed to understand the traditions. The next morning he definitely saw that the cookies were gone and was able to say, "Santa ate the cookies."
A Christmas tradition in my family is to make kolachkis. It is a cookie with jam in the middle sprinkled with powder sugar. At Thanksgiving, Mom and Ann taught John how to make them, so they wanted me, Chris, and Ann's sister to be able to witness how fun it is to make cookies with John. Here are some of the pictures in no particular order. Flour was John's favorite part (as you can tell) and whenever Mom would say, "More flour, " he would quickly reach for the container and grab a handful and then play with it until Mom had him spread it out.
Look at all the flour on my hands!
A cute floured look of concentration.
My brother tried to get out of the cookie making fun, but John called to him from the kitchen, "Daddy's turn!"
Ann took this picture to show that John has a long way to go before he learns the correct proportion of jam to cookie ratio. Once he filled all the cookies, Ann would secretly fix them so they were properly proportioned.
Floury kiss for Grandma.
Look of delight at all the flour he was getting to play in. When it actually came time to roll out the dough and use the glass to cut circles, John would declare every one of them "Circle." and then "Perfect!"
Chris, Ann, and John were in Illinois the weekend before Christmas and Chicago got a pretty good snow, so John got to play in it! I think he has actually gotten to see snow in Georgia twice since he's been born. Family picture.
I love this picture because it looks like he is on a cross-country hike all by himself :) It's Frosty!
This one looks like he is contemplating taking a bite out of the branch!
I just started my vacation!!! WOOHOO! I just finished almost two hours of paperwork. I worked a little over 20 hours the last two days. Sigh. I know that's not much for some people because for some people a 10 hour day is normal, but for me it was a lot! Anyway, to end my year off right, I thought I'd post a funny conversation I had with a client (I had two, but I forgot the other one!).
Last week, I met with a 9 year old female client that I've only been seeing for two weeks. Here is the conversation we had: Client: Do you have any kids? Me: No, I don't have any kids. Client: Are you married? Me: No, I'm not married. Client: Do you have a boyfriend? Me: No, I don't have a boyfriend. Client: Have you EVER had a boyfriend? Me: Yes, I've had a boyfriend.
Fast forward to later in the session. Client: How long has it been since you've had a boyfriend? Me: You know, I don't think I'm going to answer that question.
For me anyway. One more day of work and then I am off until January 4! I am SO EXCITED!!!! Of course, I was feeling adventurous and decided to fit 7 or my 8 clients into two days! So, it was an extremely busy Monday and it will be a pretty busy Tuesday. I'm going to try to get to work super early to get paperwork from today done so that tomorrow night I will only have to do the paperwork for Tuesday. We'll see how that goes. But I don't care because I am SO ready to be on vacation. Yippee Skippie!
As many of you know, I have been committed for awhile, to spending at least 30 minutes with God (in prayer and study) before I can get on the Internet. Most days, that time is spent in the morning before I really start my day. It helps to get me focused and start my day off right. Sundays are often the exception (mostly because I just want to sleep in a little bit). However, the last month, I have consistently woken up 30-40 minutes before my alarm clock (do you think God is trying to tell me something?!). So, this morning I was reading in Romans. I am currently reading through the New Testament. However, I am learning that Romans is a LITTLE deep for the morning (sometimes I am not fully awake and alert to really dig in and study). So, this evening I had the opportunity to again read through the couple of chapters I read this morning. I cannot begin to summarize the depth of information found in chapters 5 and 6 of Romans. Let's just say, I am so thankful to serve a God that I can find and place my hope in. I am thankful that, if I have to be a slave to something (and we all are), I can be a slave to righteousness that leads to LIFE EVERLASTING!
This week I am going to memorize Romans 5:5: And hope does not disappoint us, ,because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Well, it's time again to brag about the fun I get to have at work. But first, a kind of sad story (only because it will help explain one of the pictures later). We found out on Monday that they are doing some restructuring at work. Basically the division that my program is a part of will no longer exist as of January 4. We have all been divided up into different divisions in order to cut costs and save money for the agency. I can explain more in person, but just know that it has been a difficult week for us at work and the change will not come easily. That being said, we have been up to our normal office camaraderie. Our division shares the second floor with another division. We have shared this holiday season with each other in many friendly competitions. Today was the door decorating contest. I sort of participated. You'll see what I mean when you see the picture of my door. This is Deb's door. It is a snowman in a snowstorm. This was one of my favorites. The sign on the snowflake says "We can help put your life together."
This is Holly and Anthony's door. Each of their pictures has a pull tab. Holly's plays a song and Anthony's plays a quote from Elf.
This is Becky and Danielle's door. Definitely very creative.
This is my quickly decorated door :). The saddest part is that the lights have actually been up since Halloween.
This is Sharon's door. Another favorite of mine. The sign above her door says, "Santa, I want it all."
This is the most elaborate door/hallway decorations. Each door had a snowman.
A close up of one side of the hallway.
A close up of the other side of the hallway.
Jody decorated her door as a memorial to the loss of Family Preservation (our division). It was complete with obituaries to take, funeral music, a memorial fund, flowers, and a board for people to leave sympathy cards.
The gravestone says, "RIP Family Pres. 1989-2010. All die but not all truly live."
Two of the VPs and someone from development did the judging of the doors. We will find out tomorrow at our Christmas lunch who one. I think it might be me...I worked really hard on that door!
We also find out who our Secret Santa was for the week. I've gotten some good stuff, so I'm interested to see who had me this year.
I was in Target Monday night and saw a package of letterhead for Christmas letters. Now, I can't even manage to send out regular Christmas cards, let alone send out a letter. But the background was so cute. The saddest thing is, my first thought was "I wish that was a background for a blog." It fit me so well. It was cups of steaming hot chocolate in muted colors. It was so cute, I almost bought it. That would have added to the $75 I spent when I went into Target for ONE thing (that did not cost $75!). How does Target suck me in like that?! Anyhoo...I refrained from buying the letterhead, knowing full well that I would not have done anything with it.
Speaking of Christmas cards, I decided that next year, since I don't have a pet or child, I am going to take random pictures of things to put on a picture card. For instance, here is the picture of my Christmas socks. Here is a picture of the five red sweaters I own, and here is a picture of my Christmas tree. Then I will send it to everyone. I won't include a picture of myself, because that would be too simplistic.
And speaking of thermostats...I forgot to tell you guys the thermostat story. Last week on the night before the coldest day of the winter, our thermostat battery light began to blink. I went in search of batteries and realized that I did not have any. When Emily got home, she gave me two batteries. I put them in the thermostat, and TA-DA! Nothing. I quickly realized that the connection was bad. The batteries worked but were not hitting the sensors at the end. The next day, Emily called the apartment and when I got home, we had a new thermostat. Most of you would think, "great! They have a thermostat that works now." Well, you would be correct, but that doesn't make us happy. I live in an apartment that has all the basics. Stove with no timer on it. Freezer with no ice maker. Sink with no spray nozzle-thingy. I'm used to this. But our thermostat was digital so we could always tell exactly what the temperature is. This has worked well for two roommates with very different body temperatures. But the replacement thermostat is not digital. We have driven ourselves crazy this last week because it is so hard to read what the temperature is. And a degree makes a huge difference. I have friend who works in the front office, so I went in and asked if I could buy my own thermostat and have maintenance put it in. She said she would leave a note and see if they could just replace it. I saw her Monday and she told me that the maintenance guy was in a bad mood but she would try again in a few days. Stay tuned to see if we get a digital thermostat put in. I know it's just a little thing, but it has been driving me crazy. The space between 70 and 80 degrees is maybe half an inch. I just want to know the exact temperature! And it has to be more cost effective for me to know the exact temperature. Okay, I'm done venting now! :)
I wanted to blog about something profound. Some sort of wise words that I have for those who read my blog. But I've got nothin'.
I've had two long days at work and wanted nothing other than to come home and relax. So I've been doing a lot of that. Even though I have other things to do.
I've also had a lot of things on my mind. Again, probably not profound things. But things that are occupying my time and energy. Not things I can share for all the world (or my few readers) to read. I've learned that prayer is a good thing!
Okay, so I just read that paragraph and it sounds really morose. I'm not really even feeling that melancholy. Just tired. Tomorrow is another day. And the sun will be out! :)
Here is a picture of our tree with the presents underneath. My mom really doesn't like a tree without presents. I can remember years that Christmas afternoon she was taking the tree down because she did not want to see the tree without presents.
This is the Christmas present I got from Amy. She loves to scrapbook and has started making these floating frames. This is a collage of pictures of me with Josh and Daynah. I LOVE IT! Now, some of the pictures I can look at and think, what was I thinking when I got dressed that day, but I can overlook it for the cute babies in the pictures!
She's putting songs on her iPod. The iPod that she has had since JULY that she hasn't been able to use because her computer was too old to recognize the iPod. :) Teresa is very excited. So excited that she is talking in third person!
In other news...I'm excited to be celebrating Christmas #1 this evening. Josh has a program at church that the family is going to and then we're going to come home and open presents. Dad, Amy, and the kids are going to be out of town for Christmas and so am I, so tonight was the only night we all had free to exchange presents. I took a picture of my tree with all the presents under it, since some of them will not be there after this evening. I'll post that later. One thing at a time with the new computer!
I am posting from my brand new computer. It's pretty and shiny and new! Did I mention it's new :). I had Bible study tonight, so I haven't had a lot of time to play with it and figure things out, but I got Internet set up, which I thought would be difficult to do. Now, I should be fast asleep and I'm still playing, so I need to go and clean up some food stuff, get ready for bed, and sleep. But maybe I'll dream about my new computer...
Last night I was sad because I had to set my alarm clock so that I could get to the dentist this morning before work. I woke up to my alarm clock beeping really fast from what seemed like a really far distance. Really fast beeping is my alarm clock's way of saying, "Ummm, hello, can you hear me?" Which means it was going off for awhile. Got ready and out the door on time. Walked into the dentist just in time. Stood in a long line of people to get to the front desk, getting what I felt were strange looks from the staff. Finally, one of the ladies said, "Teresa?" My answer, obviously, was "Yes." Then she said my favorite sentence of the day: "Your appointment is tomorrow." Very, very sad. Now, when I get the card with my appointment, I enter into my day timer and throw the card away. I did get a postcard last week, but I didn't really look at it because I already knew when my appointment was. :) I would like to give the dentist's office the benefit of the doubt that I was the one who messed up, but when I went in for my appointment 6 months ago, they told me they didn't have an appointment anywhere near the time I came in and they fit me right in. So, part of me thinks that this was their mistake also. Who knows? All I know is that I get to get up early again tomorrow, trek through the "blizzard" we are supposed to get, and go back to the dentist. Yippee!
Mom was in Georgia for Thanksgiving, so there were a lot of pictures taken. And memories I missed, but fortunately Ann and Mom took lots of pictures so I could see the memories that were made and I wanted to share them with you too! The fun part of having your own blog is that you can add commentary to pictures, even if you weren't there! :) John LOVES ZuZu! Making cookies with Grandma and Mom. The real reason I posted this picture was so that you can see the tree in the background....this is where the obsession with lights began!
In awe of all the Christmas trees!
At the Christmas tree on the square in Covington. John can see himself in the ornament!
Ann's caption was "Get your groove on!" If one of his feet wasn't in the air, I would have said, "Get your poop on!" Who knows what was really going on :)
Awwww! Group hug. John's looking a little claustrophobic.
More fun at the Christmas tree farm. How tall is this tree, John?
I was reading a commentary this morning that goes along with Ephesians, which we are studying in Bible Study still. Here is a statement that really struck me:
"Spiritual growth does not always involve learning something new. Our most important growth often is in regard to truth we have already heard but have not fully applied." So often we want broader knowledge instead of deeper knowledge. The commentary writer gave this Scripture reference to further his point. 1 Peter 1:12,-13, 15 says, "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory...And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things." It also made me think of Philippians 1:9, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight."
When I sit down to read a passage of Scripture that is familiar to me, I often pray that God would give me fresh eyes and new insight into that familiar passage. I think that is what MacArthur's statement means. I am basically praying that if I've missed something in the past that I should be applying that God would make me aware of it this time and help me to apply it in the future.
Thanks to everyone who posted comments on my blog yesterday. But really...do I only get comments when I beg you to post them?!
It's Community Christmas time at Bethany! That means practice, practice, and more practice! But not for me. I don't sing, at least not on stage for all to hear. :) Every year, Pastor Fred tries to get me to join Christmas Choir. Every year I tell him, "Fred, if everyone joined choir, there would be no one to sit in the audience and listen." That has never been a good enough excuse for him. But today I realized a more important role that I have. This is the second year I have babysat for the same family the two nights before the performance. Dress rehearsal starts tonight which means that Helen is practicing and Mike is helping with sound. If I were in the choir, who would watch Isaac and Anna? The funny thing is, Helen knows how hard it is to find a babysitter for these few nights, so she already called dibs on me for next year! See, I do serve a purpose during this time of year! I wonder if Pastor Fred will think it's a good enough excuse...
I KNOW that there are people who read my blog who don't leave comments--I've heard it from their very mouths. So, in light of that information, I'm asking very nicely and sweetly for people to comment on my blog. People besides my mom (no offense, Mom). Of the last 15 blog posts, only 3 have a comment from someone other than my mom, and one of them has 2 comments from my mom! Because, really, if only my mom is reading, I could just email her instead of posting for all the world to see!
Tree Decorating, Part 2: Some of the story that I forgot to tell: While I was putting on the three strands of lights that we used last year, I was quickly realizing that the way I was putting the lights on the tree, those strands were not going to go far. When I told Emily, she stated that I was doing a great job and then when I began to stress again, she said "Teresa, we live in a civilized society and Walmart is just up the road." She left and came back with 4 new strands. When I had gotten through 3 strands, we stared at how little progress I had made and I volunteered to go for 4 more strands. "Surely that will be enough." I got home, continued with the lights, continued to apologize to Emily. She just kept assuring me that she liked a lot of lights and I was doing a great job. 4 more strands later, Emily was back out the door. I was convinced we would only need two more strands, but we wisely decided she should buy 4 more and if we didn't use them all, she could return them. I was almost to the top with the 4th strand when I realized I wasn't going to reach at my continued rate of lights to branch, but it wasn't enough for another strand, so I began to stretch them out a bit. I can totally tell every time I look at the tree. If you look at the picture, you can see a big red bow right under the star. It helps to disguise the lack of lights! :)
When all was said and done, this was Emily's comment (after much gushing about how wonderful the tree looked, of course): "There is more money in lights on the tree than I paid for the actual tree!" :) We were both okay with that.
And thanks to Dad and Amy coming over with some string, the tree no longer leans!
If anyone wants lessons on how to put fifteen strands of lights on a 6 foot tree, I'm thinking of having my mom come and teach! Any takers?!
Here is my post of my 2nd decorating experience in my apartment. Let me start with a pre-story. My mom is the Christmas light putter-onner in our family. My brother is her second in command. It was only ever my job to unravel the lights for them while they put them on. I was always fine with that. It was always a joke in the family that someone would have to run to the store to get more lights because we wouldn't have enough. All those years of Christmas decorating fun have culminated to me taking over the reins in my own household and have resulted in my fun-filled day.
Let me give you some statistics that will make my mom proud :) :
6 foot Christmas tree
3 trips to the store for more lights (2 of which were made by Emily, one by me)
1500+ lights (yes, you read that right)
15 strands of lights (we think at least one of them was more than 100 lights)
2 calls to my mom to ask questions about putting lights on the tree
1 fabulous, magnificent tree!
1 afternoon of fun/roommate bonding
1 more Christmas memory to file away in my brain
Here is the final result:
If you scroll down to my previous post, you can see the poor, pathetic attempt of putting on only 3 strands of lights last year. What a difference 12 new strands makes :)
Here it is with the flash.
Last year I posted lots of pictures of Christmas ornaments on the tree. Here are a few more, plus other decorations in the house. This is my 2008 ornament. I panicked because I couldn't find it at first. But then I realized that I was looking for the 2009 box (which I don't have yet because I haven't opened presents from 2009 yet!).
This is an ornament Mom bought me from my hometown in Georgia.
I have always loved the Willow Tree Nativity set, so I asked for Mom to start the collection for me. These are the pieces I got last year (except the lady holding the lamb and the little boy--those are pieces I have out throughout the year, but decided to add to the Christmas decorations because I figured they still applied).
This is the ornament I got last year at the Forsberg Christmas party. We have a tree that we do an ornament exchange off of every year. You bring an ornament and then take one off the tree at the end of the night. In the background is one of a set of ornament bulbs I bought last year after Christmas because I thought they were fun. They came in all sorts of colors--pink, gold, blue, green, red.
Many years ago Hallmark had these snowmen for sale. Jan Karon wrote a very popular series of books called The Mitford series. These snowmen are inspired by the book and there was even a gift book that was written to go along with the series. Mom let me take them last year to decorate the apartment. This year they are on my book shelves.
Let's see. I am in my thirties and single. I love spending time with my family, friends, reading, playing games, and spectating (but not playing) sports. I was born in Illinois, raised in Georgia, and went to graduate school in Texas. I now live back in Illinois. I work at an agency doing in-home therapy with kids and their families. I attend Bethany Baptist Church and work with AWANA, volunteer in the nursery, and am active in the Career class. My favorite drink is Dr. Pepper (I even like Dr. Pepper Jelly Bellies). Winter is my favorite time of year and in the winter I love to curl up with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate.