Merry Christmas!

I know it’s a little early, but I doubt I’ll have time again until AFTER the happy holiday to say hello.  Have a happy happy Christmas.  🙂

Another month gone by, nearly.  I’ve been rushed off my feet with day to day commitments and had been wondering how proper working mom’s handled it all when I had this epiphany: while I’m not paid in cash for any of my volunteer time, I am certainly WORKING in my volunteer hours. So I added up the ridiculous number of volunteer things I do, subtracted out lunches that were more friend visits than volunteer business, added in things that felt like friend things that were actually more volunteer work and came up with NEARLY full time job hours.  It was astounding. (Volunteer work I do: Student Health Advisory Committee, Campus Objectives Council, Elementary PTA Secretary and Membership and Homeroom Parent Coordinator–basically 3 people’s worth of jobs, Middle School PTA board, on a team that works as Senders for a Missionary Family, a couple hours a week in the school library, Kitchen Crew at Church, Children’s Social Director at church…and it really does feel like I’ve left something out…)

Anyway, I am still here.  I’ve had my last loading dose of Orencia and am having my next dose in January.  Still nothing but nausea and easily flushed skin and being sweaty nearly without effort and I’m on the fence as to whether the shortness of breath I’ve had recently is a side effect of the drug or my sedentary lifestyle (I will tell them about it next time I go in, I promise).  I’m not noticing any good effects of the Orencia.  In fact, I’ve been having a pretty constant mini-flare for the last month; I’ve had to completely take off my wedding band due to circulation issues and can’t get it back on now.

A drug that IS working now is my anti-anxiety drug.  As I told my husband yesterday, there are certain things I don’t care about any more and I don’t care that I don’t care about them.  It’s really quite funny when you think about it.  I’ve been told a few times recently that I’m not acting quite myself…and I’m not.  I’m finding myself freer with people again, giving them hugs and laughing more and speaking my mind and just feeling mentally better in general.  It’s very nice. 🙂

In other news, my mom is still having health woes.  She dropped a bomb on us during dinner the other night that she’s in Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease.  Later on my dad told me that it’s closer to Stage 4, actually.  Basically her kidneys are shutting down and it’s just a matter of time before dialysis or kidney replacement.  Some people do stay at Stage 3 for quite a few years though before heading downhill to Stage 4, though.  She has a special diet to follow and my dad is trying to get her to follow it.  I don’t know how successful he’ll be at that, since it tells her to cut out most of her favorite foods and replace them with things she doesn’t care for and she’s already just not as hungry as she once was.


Greg’s Power Ranger Birthday: he had a dress-up party and is, of course the Red Ranger. We provided t-shirts and Power Belts and balloon Zords for all the other kids. 🙂


Ben’s Pokemon Party: I made this Pokeball out of a soccer ball pinata I found. We let each kid be chosen by a “pokemon” (an old stuffed animal) and “train” them playing games in the yard.

Let’s see, what else?  The kids are getting bigger and bigger.  Greg turned 6 recently and Ben turned 9.  We had a Power Ranger party and a Pokemon party.  Greg is struggling with learning to read, which is a new experience for us at our house.  We had Ben tested for the GT program and he can read and do math on a high school level this year.  David is still struggling with the middle school transition (he went from 20 minutes a night of homework on a bad night to 3 hours of homework on a good night). He’s in four Pre-AP classes.  Nick got kudos at work for his exemplary work this year.

We just had a huge weekend of busy-ness, with a trip to the Polar Express (a local train does a short run to the “North Pole” and back, complete with dancing chefs and elves and Santa) on Friday night,


All Aboard the Polar Express! 🙂 First Class Boarding!


Food from the Whisky Tasting. Can’t find a picture of the whisky or people. *boggle*

 a Whisky/Beer/Wine tasting hosted by us on Saturday night,and the Annual Family Anniversary Dinner last night.


Me and my new sister-in-law Heather, who announced that night that she and her husband were moving 8 hours away soon.

I am worn out.  Fortunately my day ahead includes nothing more stressful than waiting for the appliance repair man and then driving a friend to Goodwill later (she’s loading the ent

irety of her tiny garage into my van and we’re dropping it off.  WHEE!).  So glad it’s due to be a quiet day. 🙂