Monthly Archives: December 2011

December Daily | last week

Going to the movies is always an adventure.

As a family, we go to a movie theater maybe twice a year. It’s just too expensive between the ticket price of $32 and snacks price of $38. But, since the kids are home from school, we decided to see We Bought a Zoo at AMC on Tuesday.

Parker took this opportunity to throw up in the middle of the 2 hour movie. I told the restroom attendant, “At least she made it to the trash can!” She was a very kind AMC employee, showing care that Parker was okay and letting me know that I could get my money back if we leave the theater. As we left to take our sick kid home, Glenn got passes to come back at a later date.

Then Glenn realized he lost his glasses and is convinced they fell out of his pocket at the movie theater. Instead of turning around while we were still in the neighborhood (as I suggested), be chose to “take care of it later”. Later, he makes several phone calls to the theater and even a return visit to look for the $400 glasses with no luck. This has made this movie visit very expensive, not to mention it has made me a very irritated wife.

So, we tried again on Thursday. This time we took in a few of our own snacks but did buy drinks at the concession stand. (Did you know most theaters are okay with this? Day cares and schools always take in their own food when on field trips.) Parker did not throw up, but she did get very restless.

Based on a true story, We Bought a Zoo is good movie. The little girl who plays Matt Damon’s daughter is a scene stealer. However, Matt Damon’s character lost his wife to illness, so he spends a lot of time crying and missing her. His son acts out, rightly so. It has more serious moments than comedy. It is not a light-hearted romp through owning a zoo.

And apparently watching Matt Damon cry is not very appealing to a five-year-old.

Alex took this opportunity to show me that she is more like her father than I admit by leaving her winter coat in the theater. And she was so kind as to wait until we got all the way home to mention it! Glenn said he would go back and pick it up in the morning. I chose to drive back right then, because I am not making that same mistake twice in one week. He may have lost his glasses but I will not buy a new winter coat.

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Giving the gift of technology

December Daily | Day 26

photo by jstunkard

Giving the gift of technology (to someone who finds a simple cell phone a challenge) can be a health risk. And by health I mean your sanity.

We gave my 83-year-old mother-in-law a Kindle Touch for Christmas. She doesn’t have the internet; never has, so we got the 3G upgrade. She can download books just about anywhere without worrying about finding a WiFi hotspot.

The problem? She has never had internet…so she doesn’t have email. You must have an email address to create an Amazon account and register your Kindle.

“Can’t you just put in a fake email?” she asked.


“Are you sure?”


I do it anyway to prove it to her.

I have to bring the Kindle Touch home to use my laptop with WiFi to set up an email account she will never use just so she can download books using gift cards I gave her. Sigh.

Now I am even more convinced if you don’t have internet you will get left behind.

Fast forward 24 hours. She is at our house using her registered Kindle Touch. She loves the feature to enlarge the text so she can read the print. She is even downloading books with little instruction from me. She is playing with the Sudoku book I bought her. I think she likes it.  Now, if an 83-year-old woman can do it, anyone can!

frost on our windows.

Categories: Christmas, December Daily | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

December Daily | Day 25…for a child is born…

…a son is given to us.

The government will rest on his shoulders.

And he will be called:

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

7 His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

Merry CHRISTmas!

Categories: Christmas, December Daily, Faith, Quote of the day | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Our Christmas Letter

Every year my hubby writes our family Christmas letter; and every year family (most notably, his aunts) look forward to reading it. Some would say including a letter with your Christmas card is about as fashionable as a hand-knitted-bedazzled Christmas sweater. Although it may be a little dated, he doesn’t write your typical Christmas letter.

Most of the time the Christmas letters I get in the mail are a glowing recap of the year’s events. I think, “Man, this guy’s life is fantastic!” I mean no disrespect because I love to hear from family and friends that I don’t get a chance to talk to but a few times a year. Why are you telling me only the “good” stuff?

Sure, hubby’s letter includes our-kids-are-great-the-job-is-great-our-health-is-great kind of stuff, but he also likes to keep it real. Good and bad. Funny or weird. And this year “real” meant we lost a lot of loved ones who where very dear to us.

Because real life is not made up of just the good stuff.


Merry Christmas to All!

 I hate to start a Christmas letter on the gloomy side, but I feel that we should all take a moment to remember all those who have passed this year. There were a lot of friends and family members that went on to a better place and I want to recognize them.

 In January, we lost our very good friend Don. He lived a long and adventurous life.

Our beloved beagle, Bailey, lost her battle with Cushings disease in June after 15 years. We will miss her dearly.

My Mother-in Law’s husband, Ron, passed from ALS after a long and tortuous struggle. God bless him.

 Harley’s step son, Ryan, died in July at just 23 years old. That is just too soon. And Aunt Genie, whose smile I cannot get out of my mind.

 My best friend lost his father in September. I knew him since I was sixteen. I golfed with him and valued his advice throughout the years. But a bigger shocker was my best friend, Ed, who died just three weeks later. He was the kind of friend you just cannot replace. I will miss them both dearly.

 And finally, let us not forget Amy’s father who passed recently. He too had led a long and productive life.

 We know there are others that you all have lost that we do not know or are not aware of, so please, to everyone, we issue our sincere condolences.

 I thought the Second Coming was upon us with all those that we lost suddenly, but it appears we are all safe…for now.

 Oh my goodness, what a year! We have two new family members (thanks to my buddy Ed and his father). Thor is an 85 pound black Lab and Rocco is a 9 pound white Poodle. What a pair! Both are great dogs and well behaved… most of the time.

Alexandra turned nine somehow and loves to ice skate. We are so proud of her as she takes private lessons and does individual skate exhibitions. She did her first show just last week and I had to tear up watching her. She is so beautiful on the ice. Soon she will be competing in the Olympics and making us lots of money! She is still an A-B student at school and is in 4th grade. Have you seen the math 4th graders are learning? Word problems, algebra, fractions, theorems. Calculus must be next year. How will I help then?

 Parker, aka Park E. Bear, is now five. She is just so precious that even her temper-tantrums make us smile. She swings and plays without fear. She wants to try everything and has even begun ice skating. Lessons are next. Jeri skates also. I fall down just looking at the ice. Guess I will just sit on the sidelines and cheer them on.

 Jeri and I have both been so busy with work and the kids, we have had time for very little else but we did get to the Flinn family reunion (Mom’s maternal side) in Fort Worth this year. We had a great time and hope to attend more. We both had good years in business and are both healthy and happy. We look forward to 2012 and hope to see, or at least hear from, all of you soon.

 Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Glenn, Jeri, Ally-gator, Park E. Bear..GRRR, Thor and Rocco

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December Daily | Day 22…snow day

I am snowed in on my day off, again. How is that for luck? At least I didn’t have to brave the commute to work this morning.

Thor loves the snow

“…the closest thing to heaven anywhere is a quiet (almost) Christmas morning in the Colorado snow.” –Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Officially Broomfield, Colorado got 12 inches in total. We busied ourselves making candy for the neighbors.

Parker is taking this very seriously

Chocolate pretzels and peppermint candies...yum!

Chocolate spoons are going to be awesome in my coffee tomorrow!

Luther playing in the snow

We are keeping an eye on our friend’s dog, Luther, while they are in California. He is just a puppy but he is almost as big as Thor (our lab). He came over for a play date in the snow with Thor today. He is sleeping at his house though because Rocco (our poodle) can’t play nice. There is nothing funnier than watching a 9 pound poodle put a 60 pound hound in his place…and the hound backing off. Just look at the muscle on that dog!

Snowflake chocolates

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December Daily | Day 20

Alex started her big day out by vomiting up her dinner from the night before. It’s a big day because she has her holiday skate exhibition at the rink; this is not the way to start the day! Good news is she wasn’t running a fever. I went to work and then left early to take her to the rink. She said she felt fine by 9 o’clock. So, I am thinking it was just bad dinner or popcorn with too much butter that made her sick.

She seemed to be fine getting ready for the show. I could tell her stomach was a bit weak, but she insisted she could still skate. A winter storm starts to sweep the metro area and it is freezing outside.

Once we arrived at the rink we sat down in the bleachers to watch some other the other skaters perform. That is when Alex said her stomach really hurt and she didn’t want to skate. Really? I am not sure it’s so much her being sick as it is nerves that is upsetting her stomach. She is looking out over the large ice rink with lots of people watching…it’s scary. She said she isn’t feeling like she is going to throw up, it just hurts. Yes, her stomach isn’t 100%  but nerves can add to the discomfort. I think she needs to power through it because she will not always be feeling 100% on “game day”. (Call me a bad mother now.)

“Could you be nervous” I ask.

She reminds me that she has never been nervous. Ever. I know.  She has never had nerves before going out on the ice or on stage for ballet. She has always been excited.

We headed downstairs to find her coach. I am hoping she will give Alex a good pep talk to get her through it. She does. Alex performs and does wonderfully. Later, Alex tells me her coach said, “You’re stomach hurts now, but once you get out on the ice you’ll forget all about that. And when you’re done, your stomach won’t hurt anymore.”

Alex added, “And she was right!”

All smiles AFTER Alex performed

I am not so evil now am I? I know my kid. I could tell she was nervous even if she still won’t admit it. But this experience has her rethinking her figure skating competition plans. She has more guts than I ever had. I participated in the Flag Corps in high school and I just about lost my lunch every single time before we walked onto the football field.


I’ve got two Christmas questions for you:

1. Do you known anyone who gathers around a piano on Christmas Eve to sing carols? Everyone in the family is joyfully singing “Silent Night”. Or, does it only happen in Lifetime movies?

2. Do you know anyone you has actually received a brand new Lexus topped with a big red bow for Christmas?

Categories: Christmas, December Daily, Holidays, Ice skating, Life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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