Friday, December 23, 2011

snow fun

I finally let Joel and Makenzie invite friends over to enjoy Christmas break. I got up early and went to work from 6:30 - 9 a.m., got my last Christmas things (i hope) from Walmart (plus necessities like light bulbs, t.p., and super glue -- how in the world do we go through so much super glue???!!!!), then got home to make phone calls to the other parents. The boys went sledding, but the girls played in the snow in our back yard.

I finally found Seth's boots and made him go outside. He didn't like it, though, because he doesn't know how to entertain himself out there and I didn't feel like being outside anymore after shoveling the deck. I'm hoping to get him into the front yard to do a little sledding (our front hard has a pretty steep little part that ends in the driveway).
Seth got too cold and had to be warmed up/wrapped up :-)
Now I really need to get out of this chair and make the pie crusts for Christmas. As I've said and I'm sure everyone knows by now, I HATE TO COOK!!!!!! So the music is going to be LOUD to make me forget that I'm in the kitchen :-) Also, it helps that my pies usually turn out to be very yummy, and I LOVE pie!!!! It takes quite a bit of will power to not eat it all myself, but I do share with the rest of the family :-) I should probably make one just for the six of us for tomorrow. We exchange our gifts on Christmas Eve, rest all day just the six of us together, and go to the Christmas Eve service at church. This year Makenzie is singing in the Christmas Eve service :-) I'm hoping to have a video on here by Monday. HERE is the video that Jason took from the kids' choir performance, but it's a little fuzzy because Jason had to use his phone since I forgot my camera.

procrastination -- typing more and more information until there's not enough time to make those pie crusts today :-) just kidding -- i'm really looking forward to eating them, so i'd better get that music started :-)

Friday, December 16, 2011

catching up again

I forgot to get back on here after that last "my kids behaved so maturely" post. The next day, I could've posted a sequel to that one: "THEY'RE BA-A-A-A-CK!!" They were back to their normal yelling and crying and fighting the next day! Oh well, it's nice to know in an emergency, they CAN behave.

Joel was SO cute playing in the jazz band at the airport!! He got to play a little solo (which i need to put on youtube! subscribe to my youtube page -- polarmom4 -- if you want to see when i finally do that).
We had some HORRIBLE Chinook winds Sunday. Flying garbage cans are usually the only problem we have in high winds, and that's easily remedied since we have a garage. Sunday night, though, we lost our last front yard tree when the wind blew it over onto Jason's truck. There are only a couple dents on the truck, but the tree is obviously ruined.

Yesterday was Seth's last day at Chester Valley Elementary. He handed out Christmas tins with homemade candies to each of the teachers and staff members that we could find. We have enjoyed Seth's experiences at Chester Valley and appreciate ALL that the staff there have done to help and care for Seth. We have a meeting at his new school this morning to discuss what's coming up next for him. I'm not good with change, so I'm a tiny bit nervous. But I'm pretty sure this is a good change for Seth, so I'm looking forward to it.
So here's a funny story about those Christmas tins of candies. I don't usually give Christmas gifts to the kids' teachers because there are so many teachers, and I would feel SO bad if I left someone out! But since Seth was leaving his school, I decided to make candy for the people who have been so nice to us there. I started the list with the teachers and aides, then added the office staff, then added . . . . then added . . . then added :-) Three batches of candy, three nights, and i'm not sure how many trips to Walmart, Fred Meyer, and Costco -- there should be Christmas tins for every single adult that all four children come in contact with at both schools. Jason and the kids have been making fun of me about the whole thing, laughing about how the list of additions keeps growing. Jason suggested he quit his job and we go into the Christmas candy tin business. By the third batch, though, we did have a pretty good system going. Maybe we'll do this every year. (or maybe not)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

such good kids!

Last night, my kids showed just how great they are :-) I had a horrible headache and was in bed, in and out of sleep. When Makenzie and Luke got home from kids' choir practice, I barely heard them come in. There were NO fights and NO noise. At about 9:30 p.m., I decided that I REALLY needed to get up and get everyone ready for bed. I walked into the living room to see that Joel had corralled the other three together on the couch and put on a movie, telling them that I didn't feel well so they all needed to keep quiet. He had the phone in his hand, trying to find his grandmother's phone number because Seth needed a new diaper. They were all so very sweet sitting on the couch trying to let me sleep off that headache! So I changed Seth and let him fall asleep with me in my bed while the older three watched a movie downstairs. When the movie was over, everyone went to bed quietly. My kids have NEVER before acted so maturely and so nicely to each other! I'm really loving the "growing up" here :-)

Yesterday was a day of good news for Joel. His trumpet was fixed and ready to be picked up. He was pretty excited. After dinner, he gave me a little concert (which is why I was in bed -- I couldn't be in the same room with the trumpet playing. Trumpets are VERY loud! He knew I wasn't insulting him by going in another room. I really wanted to hear him play, just at a lower volume.) He's pretty good for a seventh grader! I was impressed. Also, his new glasses came in. He was SO relieved to throw away the taped-up pair that had no nose pieces!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November's over???!!!!

I feel like I missed a month somewhere -- where did November go?? This has been the snowiest, coldest end of "autumn" that I've ever experienced in the 15 years that I've been in Alaska! Time has just been flying by, and I'm not quite sure what I've been doing all month. I didn't even take many pictures this month. Here's the total of my photographic recording of November, 2011:

Sunday afternoon nap/movie time:

Seth trying to make Luke feel better, but I don't remember why. And why in the world does he have a spanking spoon in the other hand? My guess is that I left the dishwasher open to let the dishes dry, and he stole a spoon because he does that kind of thing. It probably ended up thrown behind the couch like most things do that Seth gets his hands on
Seth occasionally makes up disguises. This was a pretty funny/cute one:
My almost-teenager is amazing me with his musical talent. Actually, I haven't heard him play his trumpet in a long time, but he is advancing quickly in the school bands. He's in the junior high band, but the teacher asked him to join the high school jazz band. Three mornings each week, Joel goes to school at 7:15 a.m. to practice with the jazz band. He'll be having a concert at the airport next week with a couple solos I think. I can hardly wait to hear him. Last week, though, something broke on his trumpet. I took it to the horn-fixing store, and they were shocked that a junior high student owned this trumpet. They said that it's a professional quality trumpet and is worth at least $3000!!! I asked Joel what he thought about that, and he said he didn't know it was worth that much money, but he really likes his trumpet better than the one he's borrowing from the band teacher (in other words, "Mom, I don't care about money. Just get my trumpet back fast!").

The same week that his trumpet broke, his glasses also broke. Not just a little break, but they broke right in half at the nose bridge. This is a much bigger problem since he doesn't have a backup pair. We got his eyes checked to get a new prescription and ordered new glasses, but he's been having horrible headaches while we wait for them to come in. Today, he taped the glasses to his head to alleviate some of the eye strain. We're hoping his glasses come in tomorrow! Plus, we're ordering him a second pair just in case.

The church kids' choir is putting on a musical this Sunday night. Makenzie has one of the main parts. She's so calm on stage and so dependable for the choir directors. She makes me proud :-)

I'm excited to report that Luke has NOT been sent to the office this whole entire semester!! Granted, there are still two weeks left, but he's done so well, that I'm confident his bad-behavior-at-school streak has ended. Jason made up a system to get Luke to do homework more quickly. He sets a little timer for five minutes and reports back how much he got done in that five minutes. If he doesn't complete a set amount of work, he gets a spanking. Apparently, I've lost my touch in the spanking department because he laughed after I spanked him yesterday. But he's still scared to tears of Dad's spankings.

This will be Seth's last month at Chester Valley Elementary. When school resumes after the Christmas break, he will be going to a school that has a special ed. class. On one hand, I'm very sad that he has to leave a place and people that he has grown comfortable with and who love him so much. But on the other hand, I'm looking forward to seeing how much more he can learn in a more special-needs-adapted environment. We haven't had any more luck with the potty training :-( I'm hoping to be able to dedicate lots of time over Christmas break to finishing this process for the VERY LAST time!!!!

Besides the normal teaching, coaching, training for his next marathon that is always the list of "Jason's world," he is looking forward to coaching Luke's basketball team next month :-) I'm thinking that "looking forward to" gives the wrong impression, but that's ok. Let's keep it positive :-) We were going to give Luke the entry fee for a basketball season for Christmas, but then we found out that if Jason coached the team, Luke would get to play for free. Yay, Coach Jason :-)

I have to chuckle as I type all this because it's a little difficult to type right now. I have band-aids on three of my fingers because my fingertips split open when the temperature gets below about 20 degrees. The cuts are very painful and start bleeding if I don't cover them. I currently have "grown-up" regular brown band-aids on them, but earlier today, Spiderman was protecting the cuts :-) A couple weeks ago, I had Disney princesses on several fingers.

I'm LOVING our new van!! It's so nice to be sure that my vehicle will start when I turn the key :-) I've been trying really hard to take care of this van and not get in too much of a hurry. Hurrying makes me careless and messy. That's why our last van was filthy most of the time and had so many mechanical problems. I had been doing a pretty good job of being careful until Monday morning when I was running behind and needed to quickly get Joel to band practice. I forgot that it was garbage day and just backed down the driveway without really looking -- and plowed over the recycling bin, breaking the passenger tail light. That little mistake cost over $100 and counts as my Christmas present this year (along with an eye exam and a new pair of glasses).

On a disappointing note, remember this lamp shade that I was creating with beads?
One of the side posts broke loose, so I had to disassemble the whole thing :-( Today I bought a new lamp, took the material off the lamp shade, and look forward to starting over!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with lots of good food. I made the pies -- always an adventure and a bit of a risk since 1) they have to be gluten-free, which is tricky and 2) I'm not a very good cook, probably because I get distracted and don't always follow recipes exactly. My pecan pie looked like it didn't have pecans in it, so we called it "maple sugar surprise" I think. It tasted really good, though. And I bought the wrong kind of cherries for the cherry pie, but it still tasted good. I was very upset when Jason said that this year's apple pie was the best ever! I usually buy apples, peel and cut them, and make the pie completely from scratch, thinking that would make it the "best ever." This year, I couldn't handle making four pies from scratch, so I bought apple pie filling (because Joel insisted that we MUST have apple pie). How can a can of pie filling be better than "from scratch"? Oh well, opening a can is CERTAINLY easier than peeling and cutting apples!

This wasn't the most exciting post, but it was "catch-up" time :-) Maybe I'll do better with paying attention and blogging in December (again, don't hold your breath for that to actually happen :-).

The Hofacker Family 2008