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November 2011
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December 2011 entries


Aidan and Gabrielle frequently have discussions about their futures -- you know, the typical who's-marrying-whom. Tonight Aidan said this memorable line: "I don't want to get married because if I have kids, they will drive me bonkers."

Yes, this is nonfiction, folks. I couldn't make this stuff up.

Making Merry

Somehow, it's already Thursday of our week off.  Sigh.  I suppose the essay tests that I, the mean teacher, gave my Honors 11 kids on the day before break started aren't going to grade themselves.   Today, Mike is off to Lock Haven to work on his musical props and to plaster the town with posters advertising School House Rocks, Jr!  Time for me and the kiddos to have some fun!  I've cleaned the garage and did some laundry -- oh wait, that doesn't sound like fun at all.  Seriously, I'm sure today will be like the last few days -- filled with fun and relaxation (much needed right about now!).  







For a family of church musicians, Christmas can seem like a blur. On Saturday night, close to a thousand people came to the 4 pm Mass at our church, where Aidan was a shepherd in the play, I cantored, and Mike directed the choir. Liam and Gabrielle stayed at home with Mike's mom, Aunt Michelle and Uncle Adam.

We had dinner, set out cookies and milk and letters to Santa. We put the kids to bed, and I headed back to the church to sing the 10:30pm Mass with our contemporary group. We ended around midnight, so it was close to 1 am by the time I cleaned up and locked the church.

Santa came (ahem) and it was around 1:15 when we got to bed. No lie, Aidan was by my bed at 1:30 reporting that he "took a peak and saw presents under the tree!". Luckily, he complied when I told him it was way too early to get up. After a couple more requests, we opened gifts at 6 am.

I headed back to church to sing the 9 am Mass (note to self: outsource this mass next year!) and then we spent the day in Lock Haven with Mike's family.

Highlights of gifts: Aidan got the Phineas & Ferb Wii game and a lot of art supplies; Gabrielle got ballet gear and a lot of Barbies; Liam got a train set and a lot of cars. I, much to my surprise, got running shoes -- just my size! Mike's mom had the kids paint pottery for us, so my favorite gift is a coffee cup Ellie made. Mike got dress shirts, ties, and a Nerf gun. So there would be no fighting, Aidan got one too. No wait. So there would be fighting, Aidan got one too. Gabrielle photodocumentaried it all on her new digital camera.

In short, though it was a busy 48 hours, a good time was had by all. And I think somewhere along the way, we all remembered that "God is Santa's boss" and that yesterday was "Jesus' 2011th birthday."


Shhh...Don't Tell Dad

A few days ago, I went to the running store in our area and selected a pair of Sauconys for Mike and the kids to give me for Christmas. Mike knew I did this, obviously (it was my idea), but the kids didn't. Mike brought the shoes in last night, showed Aidan and Gabrielle what he got me.

This morning, before leaving for a run, I said facetiously, "Gee, I really hope I get new running shoes for Christmas."

Gabrielle leaned over to me -- the boys were in another room-- and said, "Shhh...don't tell Dad, but he got you a pair of running shoes for Christmas."

I just love that 1. She can't keep anything from me and 2. She told me because she didn't want me to worry about not getting them.

All I need for Christmas? My awesome family...oh, and those Sauconys would be nice, too.

A Great Start!

Our hallway was just serenaded a saxophone quartet from our high school band.  They sounded great! 

and Ryan -- also known as Jack Worthing from The Importance of Being Earnest -- gave a me an awesome present:  two neon fish and a large shrimp!  I named the shrimp Ryan.  Seemed like the right thing to do, you know?


Motivational Messages in Unexpected Places

I have a cold.  This is annoying for several reasons:  as a teacher, I use my voice a lot and I've been coughing and sniffling and sneezing.  As a singer, I need my full voice, ya know...since Christmas services are 3 days away.

Evidently, Halls Cough Drops understands my struggle because they include motivational messages on my cough drop wrappers. 

Cough drop

Now I "know that I can" "get through it" if I just "put my game face on" and "seize the day."  This cold is goin' down!  "Champ!"

This is not the first time that I've noticed motivational messages on the wrappers of products (though I was told by a few people that "only an English teacher would actually read the wrapper of a cough drop").   Always tells its consumers to "have a happy period" --uh, is that possible? -- and Playtex adorns its product with inspirational messages as well:


I have no idea what the "goal" to be "focused on" would be for the use of this product, but I'm glad that Playtex cares about me enough to provide some much-needed encouragement.  Seriously, though, I have to wonder who came up with the idea of "a pep talk in every [cough] drop" or inspirational feminine hygeine products.  And who is the target market?  Are we actually supposed to feel inspired by these canned cliches? 

I'm feeling pretty down and out.  Time for a cough drop!