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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the giver

Every once in awhile, I like to take note of my children's kindness meter. I realize that every child is the center of their own world, but eventually they take steps out to discover the joy of putting others before themselves. RIght? Alex seems to have progressed beautifully into a kind, loving and generous young lady. I wish I would've documented her development so that I had some sort of baseline to compare Cole's development...

This year I asked the kids what was the best gift that they GAVE this year?

Alex took a moment to ponder, then finally replied, "Probably Mario Kart for Cole. He was just so excited and happy. It made me happy."

Thoughtful. Sweet. She made someone (her little brother, mind you!) happy.

Cole didn't blink or hesitate to respond, "Dad's foot massager. It's awesome."

"So, is it your favorite gift because you enjoy it so much?" I ask, in hopes that he corrects me by stating how much his father enjoyed the gift. But no.

"Exactly. It feels awesome!"

I should have recognized the signs when Cole and I went off on our own to do some Christmas shopping. Sitting on any available furniture that resembled a seat. Innumerable "are we done yet?" whimpers. Sneaking off to preview his own wishlist ideas...and being satisfied with any ole' object to give as a gift.

Maybe next year the joy of giving will hit the 8-year old. In the meantime, we'll just get a kick out of Cole enjoying his gifts...

Here are the kids watching Grandpa scratch off his lottery winnings at Christmas...looks like they hit the big one!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Story

A Happy Christmas...Despite This... Wishing you all the joy of the season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Ideas

I read an article in the WSJ about how Santa (and his mall helpers) are hearing wish lists of socks, clothes and "a job for my dad." I related the story to my children. Alex understood. The point completely escaped Cole..."I don't even want socks, Mom. I just want an XBox."

Anyway, if your want to give a cool gift and contribute to a cause, I have a few recommendations:

**Rubi J (surprise!)- making contributions to organizations like First Book for each sale from the READ collection and offering Animal Tales t-shirts to increase awareness of endangered species.

**Beads for Life - chic and rustic jewelry made by Ugandan women trying to make a living. Check it out at

**Last but not least, if you're completely out of ideas, save a hamster. They're low maintenance, cuddly (when not exposing their choppers) and (best of all) PORTABLE!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Molly

Gifts are accumulating under the tree.
Doug and I are reacquainting. It's nice to feel like a family again.
Purchased a dog sweater and noticed a certain spring in Molly's step today. Isn't she lovely?

Monday, December 7, 2009

What a Strange (and Long) Trip It's Been!

Despite this never-ending cold and the impending storm, we have much reason to celebrate in the Kramer household this evening:

Harvest officially began on September 25th.
Harvest officially ended on December 7th.

I'm done carrying my unreasonable resentment from my MIA hubby. It's time to be happy and thankful for the twinkling of the Christmas lights, the picturesque dusting of snow and the fact that I can go back to being the parent that can't say no.

To all you farm wives still having to keep your supportive faces up for a few more weeks...God Bless You.
Here's a picture of the concert Doug had to miss...and I'm complaining about what?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Law of Least Effort

According to Deepak, Wednesday is all about the "Law of Least Effort." This spiritual mantra means that often a better result will come when less effort is applied. I have some difficulty with this one since I was raised to believe hard work is the key to success. And for the most part, the hard work formula has worked for me. So, I've really tried to figure out when this spiritual law works. Well, most recently the shades began opening...

Every year, as I pull my Christmas decoration out of storage, I vow to make my house an inspiration of decor. Then I start working on some decorating task. Three hours later, I've usually created some abominable eye-sore. So lately, I've pulled back. And just throwing a few things together without much though seems to work better for me. So, this year I decided to let the kids decorate the tree. They're still working on it, as they feel like it. But I have to admit, so far it's my favorite tree.

I hate to admit it, but perhaps my kids will outsmart me with this particular spiritual law....however, note that it took me two days to blog on this theme. (I really wanted to pull out the laptop on Wednesday night to impart my knowledge to my mass of 8 followers. But I told myself NO! I'm tired and today is about the Law of Least Effort...)