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!



The Hofacker Family 2008