Happy Birthday, Jay!

Today is Jay’s 34th birthday. What a blessing to have the joy of celebrating yet another birthday with him. Jay, you are a dear husband and a loving father. How thankful we are to have you in our lives! We all love you so very much.


This past weekend, I installed some component speakers in the front doors of my car. Quick side note: eBay rocks! I picked up a brand new set of speakers for about half of what they sell for locally. Okay, back to our story at hand.

It proved to be a fun project. I’ve never taken apart car doors, and figuring out where and how to mount the crossovers proved challenging, not to mention overcoming intense inhibitions to actually drill holes in the doors to mount the tweeters. Anyway, it was a fun project and the new speakers are a huge improvement. Think AM radio to CD quality sound.

But that’s not the meat of the story, so let me cut to the chase. I did the first door on Saturday, and, as you might expect, it took far longer than the second door which I completed Sunday evening. So on Sunday I’m cranking through the second door, hanging out with my brother-in-law Andrew, and I’m perhaps taking a shortcut now and then.

I’m making the modification to this plastic doohickey that serves no apparent purpose other than getting in the way of where I want to mount the crossover, and I decide to forego the jigsaw (which I had used on the previous door) since the plastic had seemed pretty soft. Well, once I got it in my mind to cut this plastic with an exacto knife, I sort of ignore the warning signs (e.g. the knife getting stuck) and decide I’m going to make it work, even if it means resting the plastic doohickey on my leg while pushing down really hard with the knife.

Right as I’m thinking “this probably isn’t too bright” and contemplating a retreat to the jigsaw, the knife slips out of the plastic, makes short work of my jeans, and ends up in my leg. Thankfully the blade was only extended about half an inch, and the jeans really did slow it down a bit. I sort of look up at Andrew, and he’s waiting for an indication that I did in fact just stick a knife in my leg before he bursts out laughing, so I graciously offer confirmation.

After retreating to the bedroom and dropping my jeans, I found a neat half-inch cut that was perhaps a half-inch deep. Interestingly, it didn’t really hurt for quite some time. However, I’m carrying my keys in my left pocket today so they don’t bump the wound, as the amnesty was only temporary.

Small Victories

Those of you who know our children well can attest to the fact that like many children, they are fairly picky eaters. I wrote about this last summer in Suppertime At the Hornes’.

Our youngest, Nicolas, has thus far held the honor in our family for pickiest eater. However, tonight, his enthusiasm for his supper almost brought tears to my eyes. He ate grilled chicken, long grain wild rice, and steamed green beans with vigor. While the chicken wasn’t too surprising, I was floored by his delight with the side dishes. He’s never allowed a green bean (other than the mushed-up infant variety served in a jar) past his sweet lips. Tonight he ate two without complaining! In addition, he had three nice-sized helpings of the rice, plus another three helpings of chicken. And indeed, his Mommy was smiling and pleased throughout the supper hour.

“It’s the little things, like green beans, that may yield some of the greatest feelings of contentment and gratitude at the end of the day.” ~Patricia Ann Horne

Simple Pleasures

Again, borrowing from Leslie at Abiding, here are some simple pleasures I’ve enjoyed the last few days:

*Reading new library books with snuggly little children.

*An hour all to myself to go shopping.

*Sleeping late on Saturday (8:30 is late for us!).

*Getting dressed up to go out to an evening wedding with my husband.

*Dancing with my wonderful husband at that same wedding.

*Hearing our 2 year old sing song after song in his crib when we put him in bed for the night.

*Eating leftover turkey sandwiches. (Just so you’re not wondering if we’re still eating Christmas turkey, I cooked a second one a week after Christmas!)

*The feeling of accomplishment after making 4 turkey pies from the rest of the leftover bird.

*Starting a new novel.

*Riding a carousel with all three of my kids (none of them are afraid of it anymore!).

*Eating cheesecake and watching a movie in bed with my hubby after a long day.

Here is hoping you and your family are also enjoying simple pleasures in this new year.

Happy New Year

I hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and Holiday break. Here at our house, the two weeks around Christmas and New Years are always chock full of fun. And BUSY! Here is a bit of a review of what we’ve been doing:

We celebrated on Christmas Day with all my siblings and their families. Aunt Sandra even spent the night on Christmas Eve, so after we all attended the Christmas Eve service at church, the two of us stayed up late chatting and putting final touches on our Christmas Day meal. We probably took our visiting a little too far because we didn’t retire until just after 3am. But how often do I get to enjoy a sleepover with my little sis these days?

Like a trooper, she got up at 6am to stick our Christmas ham into the oven (this is the first time we’ve ever cooked a ham and it was delish!). By 7am I was up and dealing with Tom Turkey. He turned out to be a moist and juicy bird and dinner was great. What fun to have everyone here for the holiday!

The next few days we hung around some, cleaned out old toys, threw away much wrapping paper and packing materials (have you noticed how hard it is these days to extricate toys from their tedious packaging?), and tried to reorganize children’s rooms to accomodate all the special new things. And then, we got geared up for birthday festivities.

On Wednesday night we helped Grammy Ruth “surprise” Jay’s Dad with a 60th Birthday Party gathering of family for dinner and dessert. That was wonderful, and I think he enjoyed himself. We took a bunch of pictures at this event. But, I’ll have to add them later.

Thursday late afternoon was our combined birthday party for Jonathan (turning 4) and Abigail (turning 6), who enjoy birthdays only a week apart on either side of New Years Day. We had family and friends here to help us celebrate and we played “Pin the Tail on the Burro” and “Musical Cushions”, decorated cupcakes, and at the request of the children, batted around a poor Tropical Fish on a string (pinata). What a great time that was! In between directing games and food, I got a few shots of our party. Again, hopefully, you’ll get to see them soon!

Friday of course was New Years Eve: during the day I cooked a turkey for the second time this week in anticipation of more visiting at our house on New Year’s Day. But that night, we hired a babysitter, enjoyed dinner out, and attempted to spend the rest of the evening with some friends. Unfortunately, a pesky headache of mine (likely due to too much excitement and partying PRIOR to NYEve!) sent us home from our friends’ house around 10:15.

The next day, my folks arrived, and we extended our celebration of Christmas even further. We had a late lunch with all our guests, and exchanged more gifts, and enjoyed visiting with everyone.

The children were all exhausted after such an exciting week, and we put them in bed by 6:30. As our kind visitors on Saturday had helped to clean up the dining room and kitchen, things were in a pretty neat state, and Jay and I breathed a sigh of relief as we anticipated a restful and quiet evening at home. And then, just as we were discussing what delightful, relaxing things we might do with an evening all to ourselves, Jonathan appeared at the top of the stairs and announced that his tummy was hurting terribly. Uh oh…..within half an hour, he was in the throes of an awful stomach virus. Poor Jonathan.

That rest we were anticipating hasn’t quite come yet, for we have had two nights of being up with our very sick little boy, as well as a bit of a scare when he was still vomiting 24 hours into the virus. Last night I was up with him again several times, and for some reason, I could hardly drag myself out of bed today! But Jonathan is now definitely on the mend and we are so grateful.

Tomorrow, we hope to all officially be back into our regular schedule of school and activities. Abigail gets to take “birthday donuts” to school for her actual 6th birthday, and Jonathan has requested chocolate chip cookies for his birthday snack at school on Friday.

We are very grateful for a (mostly) healthy holiday and wonderful visits with so many friends and family members over the last couple weeks. We hope all of you are enjoying this New Year, and are excited about what is in store for 2005.