Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas break




Here are a couple pictures of our Christmas break activities: Happy Meals and Wii! Seth loves the fries, but isn't so excited about any of the meat.



Makenzie has to be starving to finish her whole meal. Joel scarfs his down before we even get home from McDonald's, and Luke does a pretty good job, too. The wii, of course, caused some arguments ("let me play -- you've been playing for a long time -- play with me"). So now we're on a schedule -- 1/2 hour per child (if I remember to call downstairs that the half-hour is over and it's time to switch). Whoever's turn it is can decide if he wants to play alone or with someone else. It's been working pretty well. We're also reading another "Little House on the Prairie" book (I think it's the second-to-the-last one). We're trying to read enough chapters every day to finish it before school starts on Monday. The third picture is just a "you're so cute with your hands in your pockets, let me take your picture." He's just ADORABLE (even when he's pouting in my room because he just made his sister scream for the millionth time).

I'm STILL sick. Sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, cough -- YUCK!!!! and OUCH!!!! We had to go to Walmart this morning even though I'm sick and it's WAY too cold to be outside! Seth refuses to keep his mittens on -- I even put on the kind that go all the way up to his shoulder. He's a little Houdini. (I had to look up that name to make sure I'd spelled it correctly -- lol -- will I always be wacko like this?)

I've always liked all different types of music. Of course a rock sound is appealing whether it's Christian or top 40 or 70's, slow or fast or in between; my parents listened to country so I did, too; classical music is beautiful; musical movie songs are fun, especially to movies that I love like "The Sound of Music," "The Music Man," and "My Fair Lady." The only kinds of music that I don't like at all are rap (I like some, though -- dc talk -- not all of theirs even) and heavy metal. I've never really been able to pin down, though, what my very favorite is. Maybe with each different stage of life, my favorite would change. For the stage that I'm in now, I have two favorites (one female and one male): Sarah Kelly and Third Day (Mac Powell). These two people have absolutely hypnotic voices. I could listen to their cd's over and over and over -- in fact I do. Sarah Kelly's newest cd is what I listen to every morning while I do my face and hair and one of Third Day's cd's is in my kitchen player on continuous repeat. Right now as I'm typing, I'm listening to Third Day on my mp3 player (which is still working -- yay!!). Their voices, their style, their bands, the words to their songs -- LOVE THEM! Third Day is going to be in concert here in Anchorage next Saturday. All at one time, I'm jealous of people who can afford tickets and glad that I can't afford tickets. I would LOVE to see them live and maybe even get close enough to shake their hands, but yet I would HATE to go to a concert with the crowd and the volume and the reminder that they're not just regular people. I know in my head that they are normal people; but when I see famous people "in person," I get a little depressed that they're doing something so "above" all of us "little people." silly, i know -- so I'm going to compromise -- as soon as I get finished typing on here, I'm going to ebay and order one of their live concert dvd's :-) Much cheaper and MUCH safer for me :-)

handmade jewelry



These are the earrings and bracelet I made for Jason's mother for Christmas. I think they're pretty :-)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

sick on vacation?:-(

NO FAIR!!!! We're all sick except Joel. I'm glad he's not sick, and I REALLY hope he escapes this because it is NOT pleasant! We have each taken a turn with at least two days of VERY sore throat, then a few more days of cough, runny nose, sneezing. We wanted to invite friends over, go outside, be comfy at home. There's no "comfortable" about this sore throat!!!! Thank goodness, the kids are over the sore throat. Now it's me with it -- I get some relief for awhile after I take some dayquil and ibuprofen. But it's only for a couple hours. At least I don't have a migraine on top of it all, though -- PRAISE GOD, I haven't had a migraine for quite some time!

I think I've been forgetting to take pictures the past few days -- everything's kindof a running-together-blur. I keep forgetting what day it is and what I'm supposed to be doing. I haven't been on the computer, either, because Jason's been downloading some baseball games onto itunes and that clogs up the whole computer. I decided to pause the downloading tonight so that I could check my e-mail, though. And while I'm on here, I'm enjoying listening to my new mp3 player that WORKS very nicely :-)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Makenzie's "cleaning"



I told Makenzie to clean some of her room while it was Luke's turn to play the wii. This picture is her version of cleaning. Princess dolls with hair nicely brushed talking on their phones and a little dog with a muzzle and a bottle. The room is no neater than it was before, but at least she was entertained. And yes, she's wearing pajamas and hasn't brushed her hair today. It's Saturday, she's still not feeling completely well so she couldn't leave the house, she's playing the wii or playing in her room all day, so her choice of what to wear today was jammies (clean ones, of course because she does still have this ocd mother).

The mp3 player situation got messed up again. The last Hong Kong mp3 player I bought that would only load a certain number of files quit working completely. I had given it to Joel because he didn't want very many songs, but he did want a radio and games to play. He was enjoying it, and I was enjoying my 8gb apple ipod nano that only cost $35 (except for that spin wheel thing -- I hated that part!). So when the blue one quit, Joel was upset. He liked playing the games on there, so I bought him a new one for Christmas. It came in the mail today, so I hooked it up to load his music on there. When I turned it on, though, I found out that it DOESN'T HAVE ANY GAMES on it! some music, radio, and games -- that's what he wanted. So to keep peace and smiles, I gave him mine (I'm still gritting my teeth on this one because I was SO excited to have plenty of space to put all the music I could possibly want on there) and I took the new one since I don't play those little games on there anyway. I'm going to add up how much I've spent on these little dealies -- seven mp3 players, four that work perfectly, one that works as long as I don't re-format it (it loses half its memory every time I do -- it started out a 4gb and now it's down to 1 gb because I didn't understand that I was losing the memory by formatting it), one that is dead for some unknown reason, and one that Makenzie sat on and broke = about $135. I've still spent less than if I had bought a good one to begin with, and we all four have an mp3 player. So I'll try to forget the frustration of the whole deal and be happy to have saved the money.

Friday, December 26, 2008

my space

If anyone wants to see LOTS of Hofacker pictures, you can click HERE to go to my "my space" page.

Seth's kleenex problem



Seth has an obsession with kleenex. He can find the best-hidden box of kleenex, pull one out, tear it to shreds, and carry around the little leftover piece for I don't even know how long. He'll hold it, wave it like a flag, or brush it against the palm of his hand.

P.S. Notice the ADORABLE new shirt Seth has on -- THANK YOU Aunt Amanda, Uncle Darryl, and Gavin!

Luke's funniest gifts











As is obvious from the pictures, Luke got a skateboard and snorkel for Christmas :-) He practiced riding his skateboard in his grandmother's kitchen yesterday morning and in our hallway and kitchen today. When I told him to bring up his clean clothes and take a bath, he brought his snorkel set (no clothes, just snorkel).

pretty Christmas jewelry





"Things" are NOT really important compared to God, people, relationships, good health, real needs. But "things" are nice little extras :-) Some of the "things" that I REALLY like are books (interesting and easy-to-read -- if I'm going to take the time to read, I don't want to have to think too much, I just want to be entertained), computer games (easy ones -- if I'm going to sit in front of the computer, I don't want to think too much, I just want to be entertained), food, and JEWELRY. Pretty jewelry is a little bit like therapy for me. Many days are just plain stupid or even really horrible; but if I have on pretty jewelry, I have a little something beautiful to smile about. Shallow? yeah, pretty much. Distraction leading to denial and fantasy to escape some unpleasantness? yep. But that little bit of beauty sometimes means the difference between survival and breakdown. ANYway, Luke's teacher (Patti Anker -- the lady in the picture with Luke and Jason) works for Two Fish Galleries (a great little jewelry shop downtown) in the summers, so she picked out all this jewelry for me -- the white shell earrings from her, the white shell necklace and bracelet from Rich and Sandy, the green peridot earrings and necklace from Jason and the kids. So THANK YOU Rich, Sandy, Jason, Makenzie, Seth, and Patti for the BEAUTIFUL jewelry and THANK YOU Patti for doing such a good job of picking it all out!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

funny!

Here's a funny Christmas video :-)

Merry Christmas :-)



We had a very nice day today. The kids were pretty well-behaved, everyone enjoyed giving and receiving their gifts. The food was great! My pies didn't turn out as well as they did for Thanksgiving -- baking with gluten-free flours is always a risk. Plus I'm SO tired (I'm making excuses now, I guess). Luke had such a sore throat today that he was crying. Not the "pay attention to me, I'm oh so sick" kind of crying. He was crying silently when no one was looking. Poor little guy -- I hope he doesn't have strep!!!!! Uncle Richard loaned us some Chloraseptic, so I'm hoping that makes Luke more comfortable. Overall, today was nice.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve


It's been a good day! There was a minimal amount of fighting/yelling/whining/crying. Joel, Makenzie, and Luke came upstairs at 7 a.m. (not too bad, really). Actually, Joel and Luke came upstairs at 7:00. Makenzie waited at the bottom of the stairs to see if the boys were going to get in trouble for going upstairs a half-hour too early (Christmas break rules: no one gets out of bed before 7:30 a.m. except to use the restroom). Joel went to the stairwell and told Makenzie to come upstairs. She whispered up, "Is she mad?" I must be some kind of monster in the mornings! But they had to wait for Seth to wake up before they could open presents (I'm so mean!). I finally got tired of waiting at 8:00 and woke him up. Everyone was happy with their gifts -- maybe all my "be thankful for what you have" lectures worked for once. We went pretty light on the gifts this year -- new pajamas for all and then three pretty small gifts each. Actually, Seth really got jipped, but he has no clue about that. He got new pajamas like the other three, but his other three gifts were things I'd bought him over the past few months (books and one toy). He's been reading/playing with them all this time, but seemed to enjoy them all over again this morning. I wonder how long I'll be able to get away with that little trick. Seth and Makenzie were both too sick to go to the Christmas Eve service tonight. They just have colds, but they also have fevers. So we stayed home while Jason, Joel, and Luke went to Carrs, Christmas lights looking, and church. Now Seth and Makenzie are in bed. After I finish this, I'll be starting the Christmas baking. I made all six pie crusts this afternoon, so I'll make the pecan and pumpkin pies tonight and then apple and cherry tomorrow. I've been looking forward to more pie ever since Thanksgiving!!!!! The BEST part of the holidays!!! I didn't do my monthly Thanksgiving idea this month because of Christmas, but I hope I can remember to do it in January. It's good to be thankful -- plus, I'll have a good excuse to MAKE MORE PIE!

a gift from Mom


Two or three weeks ago, I got this snowman family in the mail from my mom. She'd been reading my blogs, noticing that I was having a bit of a rough time and decided to send me this "I love you and hope this makes you smile" gift. And it worked :-) MERRY CHRISTMAS, MOM! I LOVE YOU :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seth video

Here's a video of Seth dancing -- it's not very good because I didn't have enough light.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=digmSlBeqHo

pretty Christmas gift











I don't remember if I've written on here already about my volunteer job at school -- and I don't feel like reading through all the back blogs to find out. Anyway, I volunteer during the kindergarten lunch for Luke's class. The teacher writes down what each child is ordering, I enter their order in the lunchroom computer, and I put all the food and drinks on the table in each child's spot before they get to the cafeteria (or I try to anyway -- sometimes I'm a little slow, but I usually at least have everything on the table for them to walk by and pick up). As a "thank you" and a "Merry Christmas," Luke's teacher gave me this beautiful pair of earrings from Two Fish Galleries (a GREAT little shop downtown!). She found out that I REALLY like jewelry :-) And Jason's parents brought back the necklace in this picture from Hawaii.

So today is a "headache" day and some other difficult "stuff" -- so I'm hoping to make it through the whole day without any breakdowns. It should get better now -- two doses of ibuprofen and maybe playing some cards with my kids (one child at a time so the headache doesn't get worse) should help some :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seth was impatient



Today was a good day (it's not over yet, but I'm being optimistic that it'll keep on going like the first 2/3 has been). The kids got out the door to go to school on time. I got Seth up (always SO very sweet in the morning), and gave him a bath. Apparently, I was too slow in getting up off the floor in Seth's room and getting to the kitchen to get his breakfast because when I got in there, he had already climbed up onto the kitchen chair and started eating a doughnut. I had to run back to his room to get the camera for that funny situation, and in that little bit of time he moved over to the couch -- not exactly my approved spot for eating doughnuts. He's SO CUTE!

The morning was productive -- laundry, etc. Then I decided to eat lunch with Luke and Makenzie instead of helping Luke's class the whole lunchtime. I put their food on the table and then ate with my kids. It was pretty nice (except that Luke wasn't really in the mood to eat right then and I had to throw away over half of it -- I hate throwing away food!). I had a great plan for enduring the post office Christmas package line this year: Seth in a stroller so that I could read until it was my turn. So the wait seemed really short -- too short since I had to stop reading in the middle of the chapter (my mom will love that one -- she would get so irritated with me for wanting to finish a chapter or a paragraph before I'd put my book down when I was in gradeschool, an irritation I now understand completely thanks to my own two bookworms).

Now dinner's in the oven and it's nice and cozy in my nicely-painted house with Celtic Christmas music playing softly. I'm going to finish this writing, play an "I Spy" puzzle online with Joel, have dinner, read a chapter of whichever "Little House on the Prairie" book we're on, kiss my kiddos goodnight, and then make pbj's for Luke's Christmas party. I know the day seems pretty dull when it's all written all out like this, but it really was a nice day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ipod

Yes, I believe I do have a happy ending to the mp3 story. I got an apple ipod nano (seems to be the real deal) for $33, and it seems to be working properly! Honestly, I believe it had to have been stolen to be that cheap, but since I have no proof, I'm keeping it.

The End

Monday, December 15, 2008

Luke is HILARIOUS


Luke is one of THE funniest kids EVER! He put on his sunglasses and did this little "I'm so cool" click with his tongue and pointing his fingers. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPk88lzLQDM

SWEET SETH





At speech therapy this morning, Seth and his therapist were playing with a doll house. There were little toy people for each person in our family, and the therapist told Seth to say bye-bye to each one because they were going out the door. So Seth said bye-bye to the Joel doll and put him out the door. He said bye-bye to the Dad doll, gave him a kiss, and put him outside the door. The Mom doll, however, got hugs and many kisses before he reluctantly put her out the door. It was the strangest looking doll of the bunch, too, but because the therapist labeled it "mom," Seth loved it :-) These pictures are from this afternoon when Seth got up from his nap. I DID have cute clothes on him -- Oscar the Grouch sweatshirt and jeans. He spilled his juice on that outfit, though. So he got jammies in the middle of the afternoon, a rare occurrence for my children!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

KIDS!


I have four of the MOST beautiful, intelligent, adorable children ever born. I love them DEARLY and want them to be happy. I'm not understanding, then, why they fight me on EVERY SINGLE thing I say to them! They are either fighting with each other or with me almost from the time they wake up until the time they fall asleep. No matter how much trouble they get in, they keep on being mean. It's REALLY driving me nuts!!!! And then there's the direct disobedience. Again -- no matter how much trouble they get in, they backtalk, ignore, or just flat-out disobey my instructions. And it's not because they get away with it. I spank them, use "time out," take away tv or other privileges. They're angels (well, Luke's almost an angel) at school and with their friends, but they turn into little monsters when they get into this house or our van. I've heard this is normal, but it's not acceptable to me. The problem is that there are four of them and only one of me. I'm going to have to get more creative in the discipline here.

Joel got to spend the night at the school with his dad and the high school wrestlers and then help with the wrestling tournament yesterday and today. He was so excited and had FUN! That's encouraging -- he had to work, but he still had fun :-)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

my favorite stones


This is a pair of earrings that I made with my FAVORITE stones -- but I don't know what they're called. They're not real, whatever they are, but they're green (I know the picture doesn't show them very clearly), and they resemble agates, and I really like them. (and that sentence gets a "C-" for grammar and "gradeschool report" sounding)

It keeps snowing, which is pretty but messy for driving. Christmas is getting SO close!!! I need to get in gear on the gift making/buying/sending! I got Christmas cards in the mail today -- I used to send out about 50 Christmas cards every year that I had made myself! Now I don't send any. Someday, I'll get inspired to be creative and productive again. At least I hope I will.

And just in case anyone reading this has been "sitting on the edge of your seat" waiting to hear the conclusion of the mp3 saga -- I think I might have found a good one. At least it's 8gb and being shipped from the United States instead of China. We'll see if it's any better than what I've gotten so far. Even if it's not so good, it's going to be good enough because I'm finished wasting money on this stuff. So now we'll have to wait for the post office to deliver the device before we can finally say "the end" to this one.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

sledding in the dark


Luke decided that he really wanted to sled. We have a pretty steep hill in the front yard, so I told him he could go out as long as he stayed in the driveways and front yard. It was already dark, so he wanted someone to go out there with him. No one else wanted to go outside, though. I think he took an imaginary friend. Apparently they had fun :-) I went out just for a few minutes to take pictures. He's a funny little guy!

P.S. I'm DYING to make AND EAT some more cherry pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Makenzie's excitement














Makenzie and Jason got to go to a father-daughter gala. They got all dressed up, went on a horse-drawn carriage ride (someone told me that the carriage was like Cinderella's), had a nice dinner, listened to speeches, and danced (a waltz, I think, and the chicken dance). They enjoyed the evening!

Less exciting, but part of life: Makenzie was the third Hofacker to get the flu. She started feeling "not quite ok" before Sunday night church and started upchucking at about 9:30 p.m. She did that a couple more times (1 a.m. was the last one), then felt yucky all day Monday, and went back to school on Tuesday (although she still didn't feel like eating on Tuesday, either -- I probably should've kept her home that day, too, but she was dying to see her friends!). She's fine, now -- I'm so glad! I REALLY hope that this thing doesn't get into Seth!!!! or me or Jason, but especially not Seth!

time flies!



Time has just been ZIPPING by! What have I been doing all these days? Mostly obsessing about mp3 players. I know it's silly, but I keep trying to find an mp3 player that I can afford and that will hold all my music and maybe even a few pictures. I thought I'd found it -- 8gb for only $25!!! But it'll only load about 2.5gb. That's more than I've had before (all the ones I bought so far were only 2gb). But I want the eight. Joel doesn't want as many songs as I do, so I gave the thing to him. It also has FM radio and a few games. He's happy. Makenzie has a little pink shuffle from Hong Kong ($15 instead of $50 for an American version). Luke's is green. Joel gave me his black one in exchange for the blue one with a radio. His old one would be perfect for me if it had 4 or 8gb, but it only has 2. See? I'm obsessing even here. Anyway, organizing and loading music has apparently taken up all of my time that wasn't already used on cooking, cleaning, laundry, kids, sleep (well, I gave up some of that time for the music), or lunch/work.

Someday I'm going to remember to ask someone how to load pictures on here in different spots in one blog so that I don't have to make a separate blog for each topic of pictures. But that's not going to happen today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Seth can hear!


Seth got his hearing tested again yesterday. He can hear again!!! The fluid behind his eardrums has all drained out and dried up, and he doesn't have a cold. His hearing isn't normal, but it's good enough. When there's no other noise and he's within a normal conversation distance, he can hear just fine. When he's sitting close to me, he can even hear me whisper. When there's background noise, though, he can't hear so well. That's not too bad, though, since most of his speech-development learning comes from one-on-one with me or his therapists.

I bought a generic ipod from Hong Kong on ebay, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to work it. I'm getting VERY frustrated. I'm happy with it because it was only $25 instead of $150, it holds 8gb, and I can choose what song or album to listen to instead of having to click the forward button until I come to the song I want. I'm not happy with the fact that after I load my music library on it, I can't seem to load anything else. If I get more music that I want to put on it, too bad, I guess. It says that it's loaded on there, but I can't get to it. Plus, I'm supposed to be able to load pictures on it, but I can't do that, either. frustrating!!!

Since June, I've lost 25 pounds. I lost that before October, but I haven't lost any more pounds since then. I'm trying my best to "hold her steady" at this weight. It's a real struggle. In the summer, I walk for about 45 minutes almost every single night. Jason put the treadmill in the garage for me so that I could walk all winter, too, but I'm too lazy to go out in the cold and dark to get to the garage. So I'm getting no real exercise, and I'm wanting to eat ALL of the time. Today was even worse than nibbling all day. I had coffee, cereal, and oatmeal (woohoo -- I bought some gluten-free oatmeal) for breakfast, sprite and another coffee for lunch, a tootsie roll for a snack. If I'd had a normal amount of food for dinner, that would all be ok (except for the nutritional lack). But no, I had to go and eat three bowls of cheese soup for dinner. I'm STUFFED!!!! Like "man, I wish I could puke" kind of stuffed. I didn't even stuff myself this much on Thanksgiving!!! I'm pretty disappointed in myself. and thirsty!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving -- Christmas



Thanksgiving, the actual holiday is over, pies are all devoured, and the "Christmas season" has begun. I love the truth of Christmas -- remembering and celebrating the birth of my Messiah and Lord. But I hate the commercialism. When I really think about the traditions that we Americans have, I realize how stupid it all is. We give gifts to everyone why? Because the wise men gave gifts? No -- they were giving gifts to Jesus. We don't give gifts to Jesus, we give gifts to other people and expect gifts in return. I'm wondering if this gift-giving tradition comes from St. Nicholas, who gave gifts to poor people. Even that, though, is now skewed. We don't give gifts to poor people. We give gifts to friends and family. The whole thing just irks me. It's not that I don't want to give people gifts, but I just wish we didn't do it as a part of "Christmas tradition."

We got to go see The Nutcracker again this year. Makenzie gets so excited to get all dressed up and go to the theater to watch ballet. When she was younger, she would make up her own ballets to express her love for different people. Such a sweet child!


Friday, November 28, 2008

black friday




Since I don't remember when, I stopped getting up early to do the day-after-Thanksgiving Christmas shopping. Jason does it, and I'm GLAD to get out of that! I get up early every day (somewhere close to 5 a.m.), but it's for my own time -- get ready without hurrying too much, read my Bible, have some coffee and breakfast before starting work. Plus, the idea of being in the crowd of shoppers makes me cringe. I much prefer shopping semi-early morning weekdays other than black Friday. I usually have stores almost to myself then.

Luke still wasn't feeling completely healthy today. He had a headache and didn't eat much all day. He has also been saying that his feet and legs hurt almost every day. It's hard to know whether he's trying to get out doing something, trying to get attention, or telling the truth. He's pretty tough, though, so I think for him to notice that something hurts, it must really hurt. I feel so bad for the little guy after all he's had to go through with his feet -- casts for such a long time, braces, surgeries, now stretching and dealing with the constant soreness. I hope the pain stops when his growing stops! That's still a long way away, though.

Joel and Luke were mean to Makenzie this morning before breakfast, so they lost the t.v. until I got all my work done (with their help, of course). They had to help with the laundry, changing the sheets, picking up toys downstairs, and watching Seth. Joel knows how to do almost anything that I ask him to do, so he did most of the work. Luke tried, though. It's still Thanksgiving (we ate Thanksgiving dinner again tonight) -- I'm THANKFUL for Luke Anthony Hofacker!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving :-)


Thanksgiving should DEFINITELY be a monthly holiday, not just a yearly holiday! I think I'm going to start that tradition -- the fourth Thursday of every month (are there always four Thursdays?). Maybe it'll get the kids -- and me -- more in the thanfulness mindset. The pies were a great success!! Either that or everyone was awfully kind. I thought they were delicious, but I've been on a gluten-free diet for almost ten years now, so they'd have to be pretty bad for me not to like them. I also ate a little bit of turkey, green bean casserole, rolls, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and waldorf salad. ALL YUMMY! I love a special day to remind me of the SO very many things I have to be thankful for.

Seth was amazing today, so well-behaved and cute. He kept his slipper-shoes and glasses on the whole time we were out this afternoon/evening. What a good boy! And he made a real decision tonight. I didn't do the laundry today, and he only has one pair of winter pajamas. I had two more in the closet with the tags on them just in case -- if we ruined the first one, I could get out another one or take them back if we didn't need them. So I got out the two extras and asked Seth which new jammies he wanted -- the dinosaurs or the dog. He looked at them both, walked up closer, and pointed to the dog pj's. Pointing is what we're supposed to be working on right now, and HE DID IT!!! I'm so thankful for Seth Allen Hofacker!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING



Thanksgiving can be hectic/busy/lots of work. I'm not feeling like that this year like I have other years. I do a little something and then take a break, do a little more, take a break, etc. This morning, the kids woke up EARLY (6:30 is when they came upstairs, but they had already finished a movie that they'd started last night). I let them watch PBS Kids while I finished getting myself ready, read my Bible lesson, and put the dishes away. Then I had them all take showers and get dressed before we went to Carrs for doughnuts and coffee. The kids aren't really understanding the concept of "this is not a day for fighting; this is a day for being thankful and nice!" It's "business as usual" for the siblings. While Seth and I ate a little lunch, Jason and the kids were outside shoveling and playing in the snow. Now it's time for a little Seth nap so that I can get the other kids' lunch, make the apple pie, and lastly make the rolls -- yummmmm, nothing better than fresh bread and then pie!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

charcoal lighter, pies, & music


I'm coming along nicely with the pies! All six crusts are made, and the pecan pie is baked (and looks DELICIOUS! thanks to my mom's yummy recipe). After I finish on the computer, I'll make the pumpkin pie. While it's baking, I have to finish the laundry which I forgot about in my excitement to get to work on those pies. "Excitement" is most definitely sarcasm, but I did want to get them done. The house smells SO good!

Grilled hot dogs was only a dream -- we're out of lighter fluid. There's an ancient can on the shelf, but I couldn't figure out how to open it. My neighbor was starting his truck when I was going to the garage to see if any was out there, but I didn't have the guts to ask him if he had any. Oh well, we didn't go hungry -- I microwaved the hot dogs. They were good -- more because of the sauce I concocted and the provolone cheese than because of the meat -- but not great like they would've been on the grill. Plus, I was really looking forward to making and watching the FIRE!! I was disappointed, but too busy to really think about it too long. So "fire" is a topic I don't usually discuss, but here goes. I'm afraid of fire because of the damage it can do, but I LOVE fire, too. In high school, one of my best friends and I used to light paper on fire to singe the edges -- it looked VERY pretty when we were finished torching it. For awhile, I was making a fire in the fireplace here almost every night. I love the sound, the smell, the sight of the flames. Still afraid of it, though.

The only way I can tolerate cooking/baking with anything close to a good attitude is to have some good music playing. One of the best gifts I've ever received is an under-the-counter cd player/radio. I use that thing every single day! When I was making the pie crusts, I was listening to Brad Paisley. Country music makes me a little homesick (my parents always listened to country music, so it makes me remember being a kid, feeling safe and happy at home), plus there are some sad memories connected, too. I decided to change the cd to something that really lifts me up, makes me sing and dance, makes me praise God with everything in me. My favorite cd does just that -- Sarah Kelly's "Born to Worship." The only problem is that this past summer, Seth got ahold of that cd and used it to "clean" the hardwood floor. It's so scratched up that only songs one though five will play. Halfway through song six, I have to stop the cd and start it over again. That's pretty frustrating! I have the cd saved on the computer and on my mp3 player, but those don't sound as good as my under-the-counter cd player. So I listened to songs one through five about four times -- which is fine since those songs are SO GREAT! And of course, I can almost forget that I'm doing something I don't like when I'm hearing and singing along with that music. It's a good thing that no one's ever around when I'm cooking/baking -- I couldn't enjoy the music and distract myself from the unpleasant work. The only people I think I've ever shared the "sing and dance with music" experience with are my college friends. We even have pictures of that -- my roommate and I dancing on top of the bed, singing "Hard to Handle" into our curling irons. Great (and very funny) memories!

PIE

I've started the Thanksgiving pie-making project -- woohoo!!! All I've done, though, is make one batch of crusts. They're wrapped up in the fridge waiting to be rolled out. I have two more batches to make. Then it'll be time to make hot dogs out on the grill (yes, I'm one of the laziest moms ever -- I hate to cook, and I'm sick to death of trying to think of nutritious/balanced/delicious meals, so I tend to stick to at least semi-yummy/a little bit nutritious/EASY). After the kids go to bed, I'll make the filling and bake at least one of the four pies, hopefully two of them. Since my cherry pie experiment was a HUGE success a couple days ago, I'm feeling pretty confident about making all these pies. Making anything gluten-free, though, is always a risk and an adventure -- I never know for sure if something's going to turn out, even it was great the last ten times I made it. I'm pretty sure that tomorrow night after the kids go to bed, I'll be on the treadmill because I LOVE LOVE LOVE pie, but pie has about a MILLION calories in each and every piece. I intend to eat at least four pieces tomorrow -- one of each kind. Maybe I'll skip all the rest of the food all day and just eat pie. That sounds like a great plan to me! I'll still be on the treadmill, though, because even if I didn't have another calorie all day, four pieces of pie would be over my calorie limit for one day. I DON'T EVEN CARE for just this one day :-)

Some people really like to get compliments and thanks and recognition, but I'm absolutely NOT one of those people. I appreciate a quiet thank you when I do something nice, but I hate being in the spotlight. Small, unexpected, quiet, quick compliments, though, just make my day!!! I received one today from a girl in Joel's class. She looked at me in the cafeteria while she was waiting for me to ring up her lunch order and told me quite seriously that I'm pretty. She didn't say it in that "now give me a compliment back" kind of voice; she didn't say it loudly or insincerely or any other negative adverb. She was just stating what -- in her opinion -- was a fact. And she REALLY made my day!

Dr. Mom's advice


Last night, I learned an important lesson: anti-nausea medicine does NOT have a positive affect on someone with the flu. Poor little Luke started throwing up at about six o'clock last night and stopped at about 12:30 this morning (not continuously, just about once every hour or two). I thought that anti-nausea medicine would make him feel better so he (and the rest of us) could sleep all night. BAD IDEA! It just put liquid in his stomach to come back up a half-hour later. And red is not a color a mother wants to see in vomit! He's doing ok today, but when he told me "I'm not sure" when I asked if he was hungry, I knew he wasn't ready to go to school. So he's in my bed watching PBS Kids :-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

a "little" overly dramatic



Joel had an upset stomach early Sunday morning and was in the bathroom since 4:30. In between bouts of nausea, he was holding the sides of the toilet and waling "WHY did Adam and Eve have to sin???!!!!" If he doesn't do something productive with his "dramatic side," I'm going to be upset with him. Both of these pictures are Joel. The baby picture looks a lot like Seth, I think. Again -- THANKSGIVING -- I'm thankful for Joel Thomas Hofacker, my first sweet angel baby! I'm amazed at how much he can now do. Since he was sick all day yesterday, he didn't really smell nice and needed to get up this morning and take a shower (usually I have the kids bathe at night before bed). I'm so used to having to do everything for everyone, but Joel's a big kid now and takes care of his own cleanliness (which might be why his hair still smells a little stale and his teeth have a touch of brown coloring). He has jobs now, too -- he takes the laundry basket downstairs each morning (with a reminder almost every day, but he can do it) and gathering the garbage to take to the curb Sunday nights. He has had some lessons in lawn mowing, leaf blowing, and snow shoveling. He's even done a little bit of the laundry now and then. Time flies when I look back. It doesn't always seem to be flying when I look ahead at what's still to come, but one step at a time and we'll make it.

Speech therapy this morning went very well. Seth is learning to be more obvious in his communication. It's not enough to answer a question like "where's the ball?" by just looking at the ball. He needs to point to it. Right now, he's at the "sometimes" level of achieving this goal. Everything about Seth's development is in slow motion. I'd have to really be in a stupor to not be able to keep up and notice his every milestone. I'm not doing very well in my reading about how to homeschool Seth. I keep getting sidetracked -- like right now :-) I should be reading, but I'm typing. Guess what's next on my "to do" list today.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

finished another book

Last night, I finished reading Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson. It took me longer to read than other books have because of the way it was written, but I'm glad that I read it. It's not my favorite book that she's written because of the "cliche-" type things all through it (questions about the Bible and Christianity that people always ask in basically the same way -- for some reason it all comes off sounding fake to me, and "fake" is something that I just hate). But the plot of the book was an excellent thought. A woman is caught up in buying things because she's wealthy (her husband's a heart surgeon). She realizes that this really isn't the way God intended for her to live, so she starts a "journey" of change. She finds that all people have value and good qualities and that living more for other people is much more rewarding than buying "stuff."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

morning with Luke


I halfway woke up this morning at 6:15. I contemplated going back to sleep until I heard a noise coming from the living room. I went out to see who it was, although I was pretty sure that I knew. There was Luke sitting on the couch in the dark, shirtless, wearing just his pajama shorts and leg braces. I asked him why he was out of bed, and he said that he just wanted to be with me. I asked him why he was on the couch, then, instead of coming in my room with me. He said, "I thought you were sleeping." Sometimes that boy surprises me with his thoughtfulness and common sense.

Makenzie my sweetheart


Last night, I had a "little upset," and I wasn't handling it well. Makenzie looked at me and said, "Mom, are you going to cry?" I quickly forced myself to "pull it together" and say "no -- want to play another game of cards?" Halfway through the game, she told me, "I think you're good company, Mom. I like your company." Sometimes that girl just knows exactly what needs to be said and/or done to help a person! I LOVE Thanksgiving -- I'm THANKFUL for Makenzie Renee Hofacker!

The Hofacker Family 2008