Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hurtlin' towards 2010

Hard to believe 2009 has gone by so fast.

In fact, December is coming to an end...too fast.


I know many of us are trying to keep up, and sometimes we feel we are so way behind, when will we ever have time to ...like, you know...catch up?

Today I met a friend halfway to pick up my son.  We hung out in McD while our sons romped in the Playland. The friend and I chatted about many random things.

See, earlier, I had been fighting off a migraine...it was one of those very stubborn ones...and no meds I had at home would work. Finally, before I headed out to Brooklyn (Michigan!) to meet up with the friend, I stopped at CVS to get something something.  I got the excedrin's migriane and popped a couple. Drank some coke (I know, I know...I should have had a tall glass of water with that...) and headed out for the 25 minute drive Out West.

Ordered a kids' meal for Josh, and a yogurt parfait for me, chatting with the friend, I started to forget the pain in my head.

Midway during our conversation...it was gone. YAY! 

I thanked her for that.  With many people I know being gone for the holidays, it's kind of hard to meet with friends in person and just...chill out.  She needed it, and I needed it. It was awesome.

I'm starting to look forward to New Year's Eve. I am excited to try my latest recipe on my friends...the bacon wrapped water chestnuts. I know my friend's husband will fall in love with it and try to sneak off with the tray. Yeah. He tends to do that a lot, every time I bring something delish-ious over.

Annnnd....I think I will make that heart-clogging dip as well.  So easy to make.That, I know, will be gone in matter of seconds.

For 2010, it will be a new start, a new year of new beginning and a new chapter in my life. No looking back, but moving forward...and looking forward to what God has planned for me. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

Happy Christmas Eve!

This morning I worked in the kitchen without my glasses or my hearing aid. I kind of like that, sometimes. Early enough but not too early...to get started on marinade sauce for the bacon-wrapped chestnuts (YUM!)...to bake later on.

The pie is bakin' away right now.  I attempted to put the top shell on (one of those ready made ones you buy at the store) and it...crumbled apart on me. How dare you!  So, I threw that away, and quickly googled on crumb topping for pies. Oh, Google saved the day!

Looking back over the year of 2009, I have to say, whoa. Where did the time go?  It flew by so fast.  Didn't I just blog about Halloween?  No? Oh.

Anyway....this afternoon, the big family will gather at my sister's house here in Tecumseh. It will be a fun-filled afternoon.  I'm responsible for appetizers and desserts. So, I've pretty much checked off my list.  Only two is half-checked off.  When the pie's done, then a full check.  The bacon-wrapped chestnuts will be checked off later this afternoon.

I watched The Nativity Story movie (it came out a few years ago) and while they were pretty much 95.5% biblically accurate, it was fun to watch where Mary and Joseph had been traveling, and during one of their stops, they talked about what it'd be like to raise the baby.  Joseph's comment, "I wonder if He'll learn anything I teach Him?" really set me back a bit.  Trying to imagine knowing the fact you will be responsible for raising the Child of God...it just was so beyond ..I mean, mind-blowing.

Sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him
'Cause never in a million lives
Would he had dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
And Joseph said...

Why me, I'm just a simple man of trade
Why Him, with all the rulers in the world
Why here inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she's just an ordinary girl
Now I'm not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth
But Joseph knew the reason
Love had to reach so far
And as he held the Savior in his arms
He must have thought...


Now I'm not one to second guess what angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world
...this is such a strange way to save the world...Saving the World

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Up and at 'em!

Man, it's nearly 4 a.m. on a Wednesday. 2 more days until Christmas.

I had gone to bed pretty early, as I was just so doggone tired yesterday. It was one of those days knowing it was your last working day of 2009.  And it feeling like a Friday, where the clock never seems to move.

It was a moment, when, you look around your desk, and all the books that needed to be checked in/out, processed, or just taken back where it belongs or whatever. And finally announcing to the 2 other ladies working in the office, "I'll just do them when we come back 'next year'--(which would be Jan. 4th)"  They both agreed that it was a very good idea.

It was another moment, where, you are enjoying a delicious take-out lunch, not realizing how HUGE your battered fried "giant mushrooms" are, that you have to cut it up in 4 pieces to enjoy them. And what's left, save it for later to enjoy.

Again, another moment, where, you decided the Library's mail-room sorting room needs rearranging, and as the tables are pulled away from the walls, you see years' worth of dust and dirt piled up. I mean, dust bunnies multiplying by large quantities. Yikes!  And, the 2 women from BBC's "How Clean is Your House?" would put us to shame over the dustiness of that room. Oh yeah, I, Kirstan, rearranged the tables with wonderful help from my student assistant, asking for HER opinion (she is one of few who delivers the mail in the building) how the sorting tables should be set up: baskets for each department for us to throw their mail into...throwing out ..."junk" and just feeling lots better. Going through 1/4 roll of paper towels as we dusted, washed, wiped down EVERYTHING in that room.  Now, that room just needs....posters and pictures on the walls. Good thing I dressed very comfortably in jeans and t shirt.

It was also a moment, where, you just want to put your head down on your desk and...relax.

I was asked what did I drink that morning. My bundle of energy was just out of control in some ways. My excitement of it being the last day of 2009 for work, and still feeling burned out, anxious for a much needed 2 week vacation.

I came home, and was very pleased to see my home is still clean!  I had people over on Sunday to celebrate Ashley's birthday. So, knowing everything is in good hands, I announced to my family, "I'm taking a hot bath!" and I filled it up with hot water, and grabbed a book, and soaked. That. Felt. Good.

My husband has a bad cold. So we're working on getting him to feel better.

Today, in a couple hours or so, I will drive up to Ann Arbor's Mall (of terror, horrors and madness) to attempt for the millionth time, to grab a very simple thing...a gift card...from my niece's favorite store in the whole wide world.

Last Saturday I failed in my mission to do just that. I went into the store, around 2:30 pm in the afternoon, only to find a million mile long line inside the store. All I wanted and needed, was a gift card. I just wanted to go up to the counter, grab a card, pay it, and get out of there....fast. Wasn't that simple. I'm sure there were others who lined up for that same purpose. *sigh* And, I don't wait in lines. I'm not that patient.

After that, I plan to visit Walmart and finish up some shopping, and get some groceries as well. Walmart's should not be that bad, right? I mean, they got millions of check-out lanes...so I really have nothing to worry about, right?

I guess I'll just crawl back in bed and relax a bit before getting up..."later" for my trip to the Mall.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Future Opa's Band!

Yesterday, I picked up Josh from my dad's house. Josh left school early because he wasn't feeling good. So Opa picked him up from school.

And my niece, Boo, was there...or did she come over to visit Opa? (I never really quite caught how she ended up there...)

Opa: Josh took out his recorder to show me some songs he is playing...
Me: Oh, cool!
Opa: So, I sat at my piano, and played along with Josh...and gave something to be used as a drum for Boo to bang on....
Me: *grinning widely*
Opa: So we became our own band....
Me: Opa's Band!

Much later...we met up again at my daughter's Winter Band Concert. The kids did great, we commented on how much grown up some of the kids were becoming, etc., etc.

As we waited in the lobby afterwards for Ashley to meet up with us, I commented to Opa about Ashley's wish...

Me: Ashley wants a drum set for Christmas....
Opa: Why? Where would you put it...???
Me: Well, we could rearrange her room and make room....
Opa: You are crazy to think that...it'd be just too loud, especially for your neighbors...
So I think a bit...
Me: Hey! I know!  We'll use your garage! You can drag your piano out, give Boo the tools to play as drum(s), Josh on his recorder and Ashley on the drumset. Hannah (another niece) with whatever she plays, and all your grandkids can gather with you...playing something. It shall become, Opa's Band!
Opa: *rolls eyes at me, scoffing*
Me: Oh, c'mon! That'd be so awesome and you'd all be famous!  Yeah, Opa's garage band or something...that would be really something there....all the kids would just love it!

He just chuckled.

Ah...I know Ashley wants a drum set, but not sure if that would be possible, but she can continue to dream. One suggestion I have for her is just use the school's drums.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gifts that keeps you full....

Wow, doesn't it look lovely? The pickled pickles and the peppers were given to me by my sister in Lapeer. She has a lovely garden and picked many to can them and enjoy in recipes.  The jar on the far right is something fruity so I have to try it and experiment. I have no idea what it could be...she promised me it's not bananas.

Another friend gave my family and I homemade strawberry jam (jar on far left). I am so looking forward to trying it! 

I was not home all day yesterday. I and my son went out to visit my Lapeer sister, only to get off on the wrong exit (I needed to go 10 more miles for the next exit!)....got lost for 45 minutes, no sense of where North and South is. Got very frustrated but kept calm and cracked jokes with Josh. Finally found the right way and arrived just in time for a very yummy lunch with my sister, her husband and baby Andrew.

I truly enjoyed the time I spent with Andrew. He's just got the biggest brown eyes and long eyelashes. Why do guys get that?  C'mon!   I had been slammed with a migraine...it was a 2 day marathon for it, and thankfully my sister had something I could take, and take a short nap in her guest room. Thanks, sister!  As soon as Josh and I left, her medicine she gave me started to kick in.

Deaf Cafe was a great program last night. They put on fun Scrooge-type dramas and skits. The songs were beautiful...and John B. led a great devotion last night. I really enjoyed it.

So, anyway....Jesus is the reason for this season. Don't forget the true meaning of Christmas. What is its purpose?  To remember God's greatest gift ever...and Jesus' ultimate gift for us.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

wakey wakey....

Well, this week I have gotten up earlier than usual to take my sister to work this week. In that process, I also drive my niece over to Opa's house before we head out on our 40 minute commute to her work then mine.

Early this morning, as I was posting the 10th day of the 12 days of Christmas song on my Facebook, my sister pops up an IM to inform me....

Jedi is sick too.

Well, isn't that dandy.  Boo was sick Tuesday evening when my sister picked her up from Opa's. Then this morning, I just felt it deep in my guts, that my sister would let me know she was staying home today.

Sure 'nuff, Jedi got sick too.  "I'm staying home today...see you tomorrow!"

The life of being a mom. And I got amazing big sister/mommy vibes!  Oh the power!

So, now, at 5:30 am-ish, I'm just poking around killin' time, wishing my husband didn't accidentally break the coffee pot (the glass one for the coffee maker), and thinking about where I want to buy a cuppa coffee, and debating what to wear today.  Oh yeah, on the Christmas shopping list, a new coffee pot...probably snag one from Goodwill or somewhere. I only need the coffee pot. My coffee maker works just fine.

Yesterday was amazing. Or...interesting. Or...frustrating? How about all three?

First off, the drive to work was fine. Little slushy/slippery and bit foggy...and made it to work just fine.

Had a great "Holiday Luncheon" for all those union members of my Local 1975 yesterday. The roast beef was just to die for...it was perfect. Another friend and I were both in agreement that this year's luncheon was the best.  Oh and the cake...oh my! I was stuffed!

THEN...back to work, and I'm trying to create a quick shortcut on my Quick Launch (on the toolbar) from the shared drive, when suddenly, some files were deleting from the computer! Panic mode here. AAAAACK!  So I stopped whatever...I have no idea why it deleted when I was merely trying to put it back into its folder...(I never had that problem before with the old computer).

So, 3 of us stayed until past 5 pm slowly dragging one file by one into the shared drive, and ran into some glitches. In a good way, we needed to address that problem, but in another way, it was still not good because well, it wasn't suppose to act up on me like that.

I do like to think I'm computer savvy...heck, I have a husband who is a true computer geek, and another friend who knows a trick or two with Office, but I pretty much can hold my ground.

When we got our new work computers, we have noticed many differences from that from our old computers. Sometimes I miss my old computer, but not the slowness of it.

Oh, the verdict...someone in the IT department was saving everything into his flash drive...and this morning, we'll see if we can fix that one glitch (a huge report with the longest file name in the world was creating us headaches)...and breathe easy.

Ehhh....so...finally, at 5:15 pm, I called home to let them know I was on my way home. My son was sobbing...he cut his thumb a little. *sigh* 

Driving home was a real challenge.  Betty is a small car...you see. A Ford Focus....I love her to death. But driving in 60 mph winds is not ...fun. Very challenging, and oh yeah, very dark.  Hard to see what will be blowing in your path. I've probably run over a million loose sticks....branches...

So.......let's see how today turns out.

Happy Thursday, y'all.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Precious sleep....

Yesterday was such a long, sleepy day. No matter how many cups of coffee I had or how frequent I got up from my desk, I could simply not stay awake.

I knew it was gonna be a long day. 

Of course, you are all familiar with coming right in the house as you get home, to be bombarded with the famous "What's for dinner????" question.

I still had my coat on, mail in one hand, and stuff from a store in the other hand. I looked at him, and said, "I haven't planned dinner yet. You can find something to eat in the kitchen...."  

Truly, we do have plenty where he can choose from.

And I'm fighting off exhaustion.  Since I wasn't in the mood, I suggested to my husband why not he and son go to the church for the free dinner? And I'll just crawl in bed and just rest. After all, I really lack in energy.

So off they went, and after dinner, they'll go to a friend's house for bible study. I can imagine the boys there hiding and ready to ambush Josh as he gets out of the car....they did that last week with water guns. Fun. Funny boys.


Ashley made omelettes for herself. Her very first one. I really will have to encourage her to do her best to learn and cook for herself. After all, mommy won't be around forever to cook for her. She just simply loves the way I cook certain things, oh yeah, that includes how I make hot chocolate. She likes the way I make it. Uhh...just get hot water, then pour the hot coca mix in it. Stir. Bingo. I guess she just likes the mommy touch to the things I create. How sweet. 

Then... I ended up falling asleep ....in my warm bed.

Now, I'm off to get all gussied up and get my hair up. Face on. Dressed. And go out brave the snow and cold weather, wipe my car off...and prayerfully can head over my sister's house without any problems.


I was very glad to get the much needed sleep I needed ...

Monday, December 7, 2009


Well, like my daughter's BF says in her facebook....snow glitter?

That's one good way to describe it.

Flurries came down...and there were some areas where snow ... actually stuck to the ground.

How purty! I can't wait...I think.

That means I need to dig out winter gear. Meaning...gloves, scarves, hats, boots....*shiver*...oh and make sure the sleds are accessible if my son wants to tackle any snow hills.

Christmas specials are on right now. One is one of my few favorite movies when I was growing up...
I still love this movie ...even after nearly 30 years!

The past couple days I spent some time watching the Harry Potter movies on TV. They were having a marathon, in honor of promoting their latest movie coming out on DVD tomorrow.  Interesting, though, with these HP movies they showed, there were MANY scenes that were never shown in the movie theaters or on DVD's. I found that very, very interesting...but all in good fun.

So...yeah. I guess I'll just grab a couple cookies, a glass of milk and go back watchin' that old 1970 movie...memories...ah memories...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My nephew's 1st Vacation...

What I did on my 1st Vacation
By Andrew Beier

I went to Tucson to visit my Great-Grandparents for the first time over Thanksgiving.  I made lots of new friends on the airplane and everyone told my parents how good and quiet I was; little do they know what I do at night!!

I had lots of fun in Tucson.  I got to meet my new cousin, Sunshine (we don’t have those pictures yet).  She kept doing that high-pitched, loud girly scream that I didn’t like too much.  I got my revenge, though. We were taking pictures and I pulled her hair (my favorite thing to do).

Grandma Irene was lots of fun.  She read me books and took me out in the garden.  She even gave me a flower that I tried to eat, until Mama caught me in the act and took it away from me!

She also taught me how to play the piano.
I was so good at it; I could even do it while eating!
Grandpa John was also lots of fun.  He talked to me, played with me,
and even tried to convert me from an MSU Spartan to a UA Wildcat.  I don’t think so!
I got to go to lots of new places – but then again since I’m only 7 months old, everywhere is new for me!  We went to Saguaro National Park where I got my nifty new Junior Ranger hat. Now I can collect pins of all the places I go!
We went for a walk and I got to see lots of different cactus.  Mama tried to hide from me, but I found her!   
Boy, it sure was hot that day!  I drank lots and lots and lots.  My parents sure got a surprise that evening!  I had Papa calling for Mama (who was ignoring him), until he started yelling, “ALARM! ALARM!” Mama and Grandma came running and Papa went running in the other direction.  All I can say is, a bath sure is nice to sit in after such a warm day . . . . .    
I also went to Old Tucson, which is Papa’s favorite place to go.  He’s into the westerns and country and stuff.  We went for a stagecoach ride with Clementine and I don’t remember the other horse’s name.  It was really bumpy but fun! 
Mama tried teaching me to shoot, but she’s not a very good shot.
or is she?
But then I got locked up for the dirty deed . . .
I eventually made my escape, though!  Thank goodness for the high-speed locomotive!
I also got to go to the Sonora Desert Museum.  It was so neat there! We went through this cave thingy and my parents put these bat ears on me.  I was not amused.  As if I need bigger ears to help me hear my fussing and crying . . .
I found this just laying around and wanted to bring it home as a toy for Max and Toby, but my parents said, “No Way José!”
We also saw these Javelinas (I have no idea how to spell it, I’m just a baby!) and Papa was thinking that it was getting close to lunch time.
There was this Humming Bird house that had all these humming birds in it.  They were zooming around and landing on branches, then zooming off again.  I don’t how many were in there, but there were a lot!  Mama said she could have stayed in there for hours watching them.  But, I started crying and fussing (hello . . . tired and cranky baby here) and we had to leave.
The day before we flew home, we went to Phoenix to meet with Cousin Betsy and Yago.  They were very nice.  I liked their house and cat.  I wonder if they still want children after I spent the night?
So, that was my vacation. I had fun.  I think Mama and Papa need a week to recover.  I wonder how they’ll do when we go to Germany in the summer?  I’m not sure, but I know I’ll be having fun!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A very wet Wednesday

It's December already, and we had rain all day.  I just looked outside and shivered.  Wet.

I had spent the past few hours cleaning, cleaning, cleaning...wow.   And decorating as well. Once I get one more thing cleared off, I would be able to put out more of my Christmas things...but at the moment they are all cluttered atop my "mantle" (a built in bookshelf that houses many things! Even the TV!)...I had wondered how I did it last year. 

So, one nativity set is AWOL, and I don't have enough surfaces to spread out ....

Found more Christmas lights!

Gotta figure out where I'll string it up....Ahhh...I love Christmas decorating.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More Turkey for Tuesday...

My family and I visited a church that provides dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We decided to check it out...and it was a perfect opportunity for this mom who did not feel like cookin' after a long, busy day at work.

The people were very friendly, and very warm.  So my husband, son and I sat down at one table, and they served us as if we were in a resturant. How cool was that???  Lemonade was pretty tart, I think, but still good.

We had what might be considered in this (points at myself) person's opinion, leftovers from the church members' thanskgiving dinners...thrown all together in the church's kitchen????

Nah.  I'm kidding. The turkey were little dry, and everything else...little tired lookin'. I wonder if we are just plain turkeyed out?

My in-laws had sent my family ham for Thanksgiving but we opted for a real Thanksgiving dinner...and saved the ham for later.

Yesterday my husband thawed it out and we were able to use it for lunch and such. I shall whip up something fancy tomorrow evening with it. What shall it be? 

I may be no Rachel Ray or anything, but I can whip up a great feast out of practically nothing.

I have a busy schedule ahead...and just called my dad to invite him over for the Christmas Parade my town is having on Friday.  The best perks of living downtown is that you can see everything from your windows...if it's too cold outside!  I plan to provide hot drinks and cookies and such.  Yeah.

Oh man, I better stop blogging and start prepping the home for the invasion.....