Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I am enjoying the fact that it is 9:00am and I am still in bed! I've been enjoying some peace and quiet and a good book I picked up yesterday. My laptop was nearby so I am taking the opportunity to attend to a very neglected blog.

Dean said something I thought was very profound the other day. I was playing Christmas music and he said, "No! That's just wrong!" When I asked him why it was wrong he said, "I haven't even gotten to relish and enjoy Thanksgiving yet. You're rushing through to the next holiday before we even have a chance to savor this one. I love Thankgiving! I want to enjoy it first."

Wow, isn't that good. Totally changed my view of Christmas music and a few other things. I started thinking about what he said and I realized I LOVE Thanksgiving too! I love the fact that it is all about people and fellowship and nothing about gifts. The gift is the gift of our presence. The gift is the gift of fun. As I was thinking, I realized, it might be my favorite holiday. Christmas brings so much pressure to get all the right gifts but stay in my budget. It is so much work. Our time together is spent throwing paper off packages and then off to the next gathering where we do more of the same. The older I get, the less important the gifts become and the more I long for simplicity.

I love the fact that my boys love Thanksgiving. It's the holiday where the tradition includes their participation. They discuss plays the Kansas City Kids can use against the Greenbay Grown Ups. They plan activities that include kids and adults. They look forward to how they will spend time with their cousins and aunts and uncles. Their appreciation reminds us adults that they really do just want our time and interaction more than they want our gifts.

Too often I have treated Thanksgiving as the warm-up, the prelude, before Christmas. But I have already been in the Christmas frame of mind. This wouldn't be a bad thing if it meant I was focusing with awe and wonder on the fact that God became man so He could dwell among us and be the "with us" God (Emmanuael). But of course, instead it means that I'm making my lists and checking them twice and trying to figure out that perfect gift for everyone on it and wondering how, if life already seems busy, how I'll squeeze in everything that means Christmas.

So thanks for the reminder Dean to enjoy this day. To savor it's meaning. To revel in wonder at the abundance of God's blessings and provision but also to remember that the greatest blessings we have, next to our salvation in Christ, is each other. We are so mightily favored it is almost hard to take in.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bacon Fever aka Swine Flu aka H1N1

First of all, thank you for your prayers for our family. God has been so generous in His blessing. Dean started not feeling well on Sunday morning but Dean has had no fever today, no headache and only a slight cough and the rest of the family is doing great! Dean really has not been miserable at all and he is planning to go back to school tomorrow and will be able to perform in the matinee tomorrow! (No cross country or church youth group though.)

I thought I'd share what we have been doing to help Dean get over it so quickly in addition to your prayers, of course! God has also been faithful to lead us to healing supplements.

Dean has been taking liquid called ACF Fast Relief from a company called Buried Treasure. It contains in 2 tablespoons:
1000 mg vit c
600 mg Echinacia
350 mg Citrus bioflavinoids
15 mg. zinc
100 mg osha root
100 mg. Usnea Lichen
750 mg. Elderberry extract
200 mg Goldenseal
100 mg Myrrh
100 mg. Thyme
100 mg. Ginger root extract
300 mg. White willow bark
100 ppm Colloidal Silver

He has taken about a tablespoon 4 times a day. In addition he has taken, also 4 x's a day:
700 mg astragalus
1 Airborne
5,000 IU vitamin D-3 (make sure it is D-3)

He has also sucked on vitamin C throughout the day and drunk lots of water and I rubbed garlic oil on his chest one night.

The rest of us have taken 3-4 times a day:
1 Airborne
700 mg astragalus
5,000 IU vitamin D-3

And another product called Prevention, also from Buried Treasure. It contains in 2 tablespoons:
1200 mg vitamin c
15 mg. zinc
500 mg black elderberry extract
200 mg olive leaf extract
200 mg astagalus
150 Beta 1, 3 Glucans
150 mg. Echinacea purpurea extract
100 mg. cat's claw
100 mg. Reishi mushroom extract
100 mg. shtake mushroom extract
50 mg. maitake mushroom extract
50 mg. ginger root
10 ppm colloidal silver

We have been taking about 1 tablespoon each 3-4 times a day.

Be forewarned, both of these products taste bad, the ACF worse than the Prevention, although Micah downs Prevention without even a blink and even asks me for it. So we mix it with the last swallow of Airborne and follow quickly with water.

I have gotten them at Prairie Harvest in Newton but you can also order them online to have on hand. They are good once you open them for about 18 months.

Of course I'm doing less with Micah, no extra astragalus and about a teaspoon of the Prevention and Airborne only twice a day plus some chewable vitamin C and some Vitamin D-3.

Aunt Sheri shared that her Homeopathic doctor friend is saying that 50,000 IU of vitamin D-3 for three days at the onset is getting people over it pretty fast. Also, coconut milk has proven helpful because it binds to toxins and carries them out of the body. Another herbalist friend also recommended spiralena but we did not have either of these last two items around to try.

I purposefully recorded this here so I wouldn't forget and so we would have a place to refer others. So, hope this information is some you never need! But just in case you do, hope it helps!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Micah's News

Micah at times longs for heaven. It used to scare me a bit but he has done this for over a year now so I'm no longer bothered by it. He will say, "Mom, I want to go to heaven" in this whiny voice similar to what he uses when he says, "Mom, I want to watch a movie" when I have told him no more electronics! It's as though he is being denied the thing he knows will most make him happy. We have not talked a lot about heaven so I can only suppose his knowledge and hunger for it comes straight from God Himself. I have often wondered, from the things my kids say in their preschool years, if they somehow have memory of heaven or at least a more direct connection to God. The things they say about God have not been taught by human parents.

But this last time, he had a follow up question. "How do you get there mom?" So I told him that heaven is for everyone who has asked Jesus in their heart. He said, "I want to do that." So we talked for awhile about why we need Jesus in our heart, that we have sinned, what sin is and what Jesus did to pay for our sin. I fully expected him to lose interest as we talked and to move along to another topic but he did not. He said he wanted to have Jesus in his heart and asked me to help him. So we prayed together and he asked Jesus to come into his heart! I was very excited and asked if he wanted to call his grandparents but he said, "No, I'm goin' outside to play."

I've heard him singing loudly a few times, "Jesus is in my heaaarrrt!" I remember very well the day I asked Jesus in my heart when I was about his age so I hope this day will remain a cornerstone for him. I am greatful for this "deposit" by the Holy Spirit into Micah's life. I am greatful for his yearning for heaven. He is good at reminding me that this world ain't it. IT is still to come!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Micah's Philosophy

We were at Dean's basketball game the other night when Micah noticed a little girl about his age enter the gym. She had long brown hair. Micah said in a breathless voice, "Mom, look at that beautiful girl." I looked and said, "Yes, she is pretty isn't she." He stared for awhile and then looked at me and said triumphantly, "Jesus made another friend just for me!" I said, somewhat facetiously, "You and Adam, huh" not thinking he would get it. But he thought for a moment and then said, "Except that snake was naughty."

That pretty much sums up Micah's approach to life. He has this approach of "I know we are going to be great friends so let's get on with it." Dean was a lot like this too, and still is really. Whenever we go anywhere new, Micah looks all around for someone his size. When he sees them, he says, "Mom look, a friend for me! Can I go play with them?" He's realized four year olds are more receptive but if an adult shows any interest at all, he's not picky. He would crawl into the lap of pretty much any stranger that showed him the time of day.
(Kind of scary!) I hope we can teach him to maintain his approach to friendship while still teaching him to be cautious!

Projects Galore

My sister has been inspiring me on her other blog, Budgets are the New Black, to pay closer attention to our finances. At the rate we are spending money, it's seems like an oxymoron right now. However, it is spending we planned for and we have not gone over budget. So far, we are under budget. Hope it stays that way.

Project Number One - new storage is DONE in the den. Mark did most of the work. Didn't he do a great job! We bought the cupboards at Lowe's and painted them, added hardware, the shelves in between them and created the desktop over both. (That was my part.) While I was staining, I also redid the top of the coffee table. (What do you think, Carmen? ) I'm still trying to decide whether to paint the fireplace white but think I'll leave it for now. Anyone have an opinion?

We also added cupboards above the desk at the other end of the den. The purpose in all this is to have a home for everything. I would get so overwhelmed looking at all the paper sitting around my house and I realized so much of it did not have a place to go. So now, I am excited to say, there is a home for everything with room to spare. What a relief.

We also put a new light fixture over the kitchen eat-in table and in the kitchen itself. The former involved climbing around in the attic for an hour or more so it truly deserves some kudos.

The next project has been the roof. Drew, Mark and Dean each put in about 19 hours in a day and a half. They started at 6:30am Friday morning, quit at 9:30pm and then finished on Saturday morning from 6:00am to 10:00am. They had help from two other guys from our church, Roman on Friday day and Craig on Friday night and Saturday morning. Craig (pictured here) was our expert who made sure we didn't mess the thing up. Mark also replaced all the facia (sp?) board and flashing. Gutters still to come.

We have hired Craig to come back in a couple weeks to help us replace windows and siding. I should have taken a picture of our current siding so you could appreciate the need. I'd have to be able to take a picture of a draft to show you the need for the windows - something my technology cannot do but I'm guessing it's out there.

Front done, back still to go.

Super Mark is also planning to build a carport over the slab next to our double garage out back. We have been hiring the boys to help with all this so this is their summer work as well. Poor Mark isn't getting paid directly of course but if he stays underbudget, that's kind of like wages, right?

I was so proud of how hard the boys worked. My quads are aching and all I did was clean up debris around the yard for several hours. I know they are sore today. Halfway through Saturday, I was telling Dean how proud I was of him for working so hard and he said, "It feels good to work this hard!" I joked and said in my bass voice, "Yes, it is good for a man to do hard, hard work." He replied, totally serious, "It really is." In some ways, this became a right of passage, a landmark that they will look back on and know they did man-sized work and took another step toward becoming a man. You may laugh and think I'm making too much of it but I don't think I am. It is a good example of why telling a kid, "Be a man" doesn't work but making him work or act like a man does.

We were supposed to go boating with friends at Table Rock this weekend but I decided they needed to stay home and help with this project instead. (I could have taken the kids on my own.) I'm so glad they did and what is amazing is so are they. Of course they both earned $200 so that helps too.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Month in the Life

I can't believe summer is finally here. And just in time. The Energizer Bunny I am not. I am not genetically encoded to keep going and going and going.

Here is a pictoral review of the past month in no particular order since I can't ever get pictures to stay where I want them in this blog.

Plenty of concerts - both band and vocal.

Still try to make time for Micah in the shuffle of activity. He loves to take pictures of carpet, chairs, ceilings and feet. This time I tried to show him how to aim.

Regional, Sub-State and State Tennis thrown in the same week as graduation. Drew and Joel got beat by the eventual state champion doubles team at Sub-State. Mark's other doubles team took 3rd and his singles player took 8th.

A little 2 on 2 basketball as the school year was winding down. I'm not sure who won. Drew and Grant took on Dean and Dad. I think it was pretty even.

Prom. Drew took his friend, Emily Harder. Aren't they dapper?

Drew was officially awarded his scholarship for his Veteran's Day essay at the Award's Banquet.

Dean "graduates" from middle school. Two in high school? How is this possible?

Micah is finally four. I don't think he could believe the day had finally arrived. For several months he had been asking, "How come it's taking for so long to be four?" Hannah and Scott were there as well which was a treat!

Dean and Tanner were asked to MC the middle school talent show. They did a great job - kept the show moving with just enough self-depracating humor to keep things light. They were also very encouraging to every single act. I was told by the director that they set a new standard for MC's! (Dean's in blue. I know it's too far back.)

Drew wanted to have a campout in the back yard when school got out. When I saw the tents from the house, I did not immediately think "techno campout" but sure nuff. Extension cords hooking up tvs and game systems all housed in a game tent (to keep off the dew I was told - good thinking!) Not a lot of sleeping though.

Now we are settling into our summer routine. Whatever that is. Micah and Grant are taking swimming lessons this week and next, as is Daniel who is staying with us through next week. (J & S on holiday.) Tennis clinic will start next week. Micah is also doing "preschool" two mornings a week with four of his friends while I work . Our pastor's daughter was needing a June job to raise money for her trip to Indonesia in July. A win-win for her and us moms.

Micah has been enjoying having his brothers around and just being home more. We all have. He's getting plenty of attention these days and not asking every minute for a friend to come over. We were all needing a change of routine from being "bossed around" by the school calendar. I think we're all breathing a sigh of relief.

Mark's been working hard around the house. He installed new lights in our kitchen this weekend and we all worked in the yard. Yesterday and today he is painting some cupboards we're going to put in our den.

I'm mostly focusing on trying to get the house picked up, touching base with work (I'm covering for Tiffani who had her baby yesterday) and staying one step ahead of the rush for food. The first and last one are the biggest challenges. We had 8 for lunch today. I suspect that will be a recurring event.

We have been having a "no electronics" week so the boys have really been filling their time well, playing tennis, seeing friends, reading, playing with Micah, riding bikes, playing their instruments, trips to the library. It really helps us all make the transition into summer if the TV and games stations are not an option. (Sorry Daniel - we didn't warn you about that.) Everyone is so much more content. It's quite amazing actually what a good effect it has on our whole family. We may have to extend it but make an exception for the French Open. We did watch a rented movie tonight together. Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler. It was really funny and entertaining. Thumbs up for the whole family!

Hope your summer is off to a good start! We are loving ours so far. I had the boys write their list of things they want to do this summer. That way, if they get bored, they can read it and remember what they wanted to do before the summer slips through their fingers. It always goes so fast.

Just found an older draft that I never published with pictures of Micah and Kenzie last fall. If you'd like to read it too, click here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hesston Variety Show

The Variety Show was such a blast! We had such a great time and laughed so hard. I wish you all could have been there. Here's a sampling:

Drew and Jessica Betts sang a duet, "Lucky." Listen to that smoothe tenor.

The opening number "Come on Everybody." Drew is on the right. His partner is wearing a lilac poodle skirt. The lighting starts out kind of wierd but it gets better.

The boys sing " Roots of Rock N Roll." Drew starts out on the back row, right.

Drew, Garrett Byler and Joel Thiessen in a skit called, "Normal Guy." I think Drew was glad to be in his part and now Joel's! The second to last line is kind of hard to hear but it is, "Think I should call and warn the nursing home?"

The whole group performing "Brotherly Love." Drew is on the right and at the beginning one of the other guys jumps into his arms.

The group makes up "ditties" to introduce themselves. Pretty funny!

We've attended this show for so many years (20+) and it is always fabulous. It's a bit surreal to have your own child up there! What a great opportunity and so fun to watch your child blossom before your eyes! Thank you Mr. Miller!

I noticed that Blogger seems to crop the video so if you want the full screen version, go to YouTube and type in Hesston Variety Show 2009 and you'll find these and more.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Growing Up Too Fast for Mom's Liking

My shy, oldest son has volunteered to wear a white tux all day to school today for a Tux Shop in Newton. As a reward he will get his tux at an extreme discount for prom. I'm proud of him for thinking financially and for being willing to put himself out there like this. However, it's a bit too much of a reminder of how fast time is flying by and how grown up he is getting! Doesn't he look HUGE! The girl he's taking to prom might come up to his chest, maybe.

He's also trying out for a duet at the upcoming Variety Show. He is just full of surprises.

The Swathers made the state basketball tournament so the first game is Wednesday night in Salina. So another week of b-ball for us! Tennis started a week ago Monday so no such thing as a buffer week in this house!
Micah has started falling on the ground and crying, "Nooooo" when we mention heading to another game. We left him with a sitter for Sub-State finals and he was very excited to stay home and play. Grant stayed too and did most of the babysitting I think. Even putting Micah to bed and reading him books.

We are headed for Orlando Sunday but leaving Micah behind. Thanks mom and dad and Des for taking care of him while we are gone. I am SO looking forward to getting away from all the pressures of life and being fully present in each and every moment. No to do lists in my head, no e-mail to check, no phone calls to return, no deadline to meet, no meeting to attend, no house cleaning to do. Just enjoy being together. Pray for good weather and safe travels and that the week will go quickly for Micah and slowly for us! And pray for refreshment of my soul. It could really use it!

We get back on Friday and Grant's birthday is Saturday. Hey Fam, are we doing a March b-day party?

Life is busy but good. Not a lot of time to write as usual.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stimulus Package - I Think Not

Here's a recap of the first three weeks with President Obama.
  • HR1- First bill in office is an 80% increase in spending over last year's budget. $825 BILLION dollars more. (Of course this does not include the $700 BILLION already run through Congress last quarter.) Did you know 1 billion seconds ago it was 1959? Did you know that 1 billion minutes ago, Jesus was walking the earth? Did you know our government is spending $1 billion every 8 HOURS!? As Dean said, "That's crap."

    Yet more perspective: If I gave you $1 million dollars and told you to spend $1,000 every day, it would take you 3 years to spend it all. If I gave you $1 billion under the same conditions, it would take you 3,000 years to spend it! Enjoy your inheritance kids. You just inherited a huge tax burden. Incredible. Infuriating!
  • Promises to pass FOCA - Freedom of Choice Act which would overturn EVERY restriction on abortion including partial birth abortion (even Clinton signed the bill to outlaw partial birth abortion and the Supreme Court recently upheld it) and using tax dollars to do abortions here and overseas. Now your tax dollars would be used for murder.
  • Just signed the Equal Pay Amendment which gives employees unlimited time to sue their employer for what they perceive as unequal pay - used to be 6 months. Now it can be 60 years or more! That should motivate all those entrepreneurs to start new businesses in America!
  • Promises to pass a bill that would make it incredibly easy to form a union - no more secret ballot. (As a thank you to union contributors.) Now the union bosses come to your door, pen in hand, to "suggest" you sign (if you know what's good for you.) Or if you just sign the card asking for more information, that's a vote of yes! Yet another way to keep people from starting new business (or keeping existing business) in the good old USA.
  • A bill to create National Health care for children. It's estimated that 20-40% of people who can afford health care will enroll in this one. After all, our taxes are paying for it!
  • Closed Guantanemo - Might as well bring the terrorists onto American soil. Now we can be like the Europeans who have extra security in the towns where they are housed because their "friends" like to break them out. They win either way, either they go out as martyrs or they succeed. Is Leavenworth, Kansas ready for that?
  • Wants to raise the corporate tax rate, never mind that we have the second highest in the world right now. Yet another reason for corporations to move their businesses elsewhere. Goodbye American jobs.
  • Hired a tax evader to oversee our taxes and all these billions of dollars going into our economy. Reminds me of the verse, he who is not faithful in little, even what he has will be taken away. Evidently Obama doesn't know that truth.
  • He's printing money like Germany did before their economy collapsed, after which it took a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread. Take a minute to watch this video which shows the incredible increase in money being printed and put into circulation. This is completely valueless currency and will result in outrageous inflation.

Okay, so how stimulated do you feel to go spend some money? Me, I feel like hiding mine under the mattress! So, the addition we were planning for our house? No, don't think so. I am incredulous how fast we are heading to socialism. So much for inspiring confidence in the average American. Even those who believe the Obama bull must be thinking, "This is craziness! " If credit card debt doesn't work, how can congressional debt in the billions be the answer?

Should we be suprised? You can read all about it in Zephaniah:

"The great day of the LORD is near— near and coming quickly.
Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter,
the shouting of the warrior there.
That day will be a day of wrath,
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of trouble and ruin,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness,
a day of trumpet and battle cry
against the fortified cities
and against the corner towers.
I will bring distress on the people
and they will walk like blind men,
because they have sinned against the LORD.
Neither their silver nor their gold
will be able to save them

on the day of the LORD's wrath.
In the fire of his jealousy
the whole world will be consumed,
for he will make a sudden end
of all who live in the earth."

I have always wondered when I read prophecy how it could all possibly come to pass? How could we go from greatness to dispair so quickly? How could we be so gullible to let a liar and anti-truth follower lead us and follow him so willingly? How could we possibly so fully forget our heritage and follow the path of distruction that so many nations before us have. How could this happen? Now it is displayed for me to watch and see how. Americans with their heads in the sand who wouldn't recognize truth if it bit them on the rear. Truth? Do most Americans even believe in such a thing? Our constitution is being overturned with every court case. Obama has even stated that it is time for us to declare for ourselves a new independence - independence from the foundation laid by our forefathers.

So, that's all depressing if it meant that those against truth had the last word. But of course they do not. Our God is sovereign and He will have the final say.

Psalm 2:

Why the big noise, nations?
Why the mean plots, peoples?
Earth-leaders push for position,
Demagogues and delegates meet for summit talks,
The God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers:
"Let's get free of God! Cast loose from Messiah!"
Heaven-throned God breaks out laughing.
At first he's amused at their presumption;
Then he gets good and angry.
Furiously, he shuts them up:
"Don't you know there's a King in Zion? A coronation banquet
Is spread for him on the holy summit."
Let me tell you what God said next.
He said, "You're my son, And today is your birthday.
What do you want? Name it:
Nations as a present? continents as a prize?
You can command them all to dance for you,
Or throw them out with tomorrow's trash."
So, rebel-kings, use your heads;
Upstart-judges, learn your lesson:
Worship God in adoring embrace,
Celebrate in trembling awe. Kiss Messiah!
Your very lives are in danger, you know;
His anger is about to explode,
But if you make a run for God—you won't regret it!

What is amazing is the mercy He has displayed these last 40 years. This is also a time of mercy. A time when God will strip away the things we have relied on and considered safe and secure - our false gods. A time when our friends and neighbors and co-workers will be looking for answers and truth. They will not find the safety they are looking for in this world, that will become infinitely obvious. God's mercy will be abounding for those who will cry out to Him. And what an amazing opportunity to be ready for an answer for the hope that is within us.

So in the mean time, we will be held accountable for using our time well. So e-mail your Senator. Tell them to stop HR1 before it's too late! Sign the Fight FOCA petition. Let your voice be heard. Be a light in the darkness. We know that God uses darkness to make the light shine even brighter. So listen to His voice and follow it! Don't retreat!

If you don't have that hope - hope in a great God with a great plan to bring glory to His name and who has prepared an eternal place for you where the doom and gloom are gone - then come now to Him. If there is anything we are bound to learn in the coming months it is that we cannot save ourselves. We need a savior. And He stands ready and waiting to receive those who will humble themselves and receive Him. He promised to collect his chosen ones and gather them to Himself. We don't know when but we don't have to wonder "if." It will be just as He has said. Do not face the coming days without knowing your eternal hope is secure!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My New Year's Resolutions

1. Get moving. Spend time every day, stretching, moving, exercising, something to get more limber and de-stress. Mark and I have a contest going. First one to not exercise/move (he has to do push ups and sit ups) 5 of 7 days, loses. If he loses, I get a 1 hour massage. If I lose, he hasn't told me what he gets yet. He's still thinking. :-0

2. Spend more time in focused prayer, especially to start my day, asking God to help me see what is important and what is not. And asking for help in letting go of what is not.

3. Looking carefully at my commitments and asking God to help me let loose of things that are crowding out what is really important.

4. Be in the moment. I will capture thoughts that are distracting me from being truly present and hand them over to God for their own time.

5. Turn off the electronics. I'm going to propose one week on, one week off. (I'll let you know how that goes over.) Spend more time playing games and talking.

6. Be more proactive about bugeting and expense tracking. I'm very excited about a new product the bank is releasing this spring that will make this so much easier! I get access early to test it so I've already played with it and I can't wait to really utilize it going forward this year. I really think it will make a huge difference to let us know as we go through the month, not after, how our spending is doing and where we need to reign in.

7. Stop worrying about the future and what I want to be when I grow up. God is plenty big enough to tell me when it's time for something new and in the mean time, I'll be at rest where I am.

8. Practice an attitude of gratitude. I am so blessed. Wonderful family, fabulous friends, great church, Mayberry-like town, good jobs, incredible kids, cozy home, working cars, enough money to pay the bills and still go on vacation, freedom, and a God who blesses abundantly!

9. Stake my claim. I have finally figured out a place in my home for MY OWN DESK. NO BOYS ALLOWED! I will not give an inch.

10. Find time to be still and know that He is God. Not easy to do in my busy life but oh so necessary.

My last challenge went over like a ton of bricks, but I'll try again. Anyone want to share one of their New Year's Resolutions?

Christmas Memories

I had the boys tell me their Top Ten Things They Loved About Christmas Break. Here they are in no particular order:


  • Hanging out with cousins in McPherson Christmas afternoon
  • Hanging out with his grandparents
  • Hanging out with Beth and Jason
  • The College Basketball Experience in KC
  • Sharing a room with cousins (no adults) in KC
  • New Sonic video game
  • New Rock Bank II game
  • Time off and relaxing
  • His New Year's Eve Party with the juniors in youth group
  • His new iPod


  • Spending time with grandparents
  • Spending time as a family
  • Being spoiled rotten
  • Going with the cousins, aunt, uncle and grandparents to KC
  • The new Wii
  • Rock Band II
  • Watching "The Office" for 4 1/2 hours with cousins on Christmas afternoon
  • Spending New Years with his band
  • Going to the gym and shooting baskets
  • Movie Day at Coach Woodward's house with the team
  • Number 11: New room since it happened after the first time I asked

  • The College Basketball Experience in KC
  • Spending the night New Year's Eve at Daniel's
  • Being with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins
  • Ice skating
  • Changing rooms (having Micah move in - I know, can you believe it?)
  • Being at home and not at school
  • Relaxing
  • Christmas food
  • Presents - getting them
  • Presents - enjoying them


  • The trains at the Tozier's and at Union Station
  • Having my brothers around
  • Lightning McQueen
  • No ball games
  • Santa Claus
  • Presents
  • Playing Wii - especially bowling, punching (boxing) and drums
  • Going swimming
  • Going ice skating
  • My new room (moving in with Grant)

Now Mine:

  • Having everyone home
  • Watching the boys open gifts Christmas Eve and morning
  • Being with family
  • The music
  • Watching the boys do snow angels by the pool in KC then jump in the pool
  • Ice Skating at Crown Center and actually being warm doing it
  • Sleeping in
  • Christmas movies on Hallmark which I could DVR and watch after Christmas
  • A lit Christmas tree next to a roaring fire
  • The reminders of just how blessed we are.

Now your turn, what's your top ten?