Thursday, December 29, 2005

What I did on my Christmas vacation

I’m taking the week off, and Sarah has got me helping her with some gardening projects. Now, gardening is not something to which I am naturally drawn. It really would never occur to me to go outside and dig holes in the ground. Standing around holding a watering hose is excrutiatingly dull to me. I’m fond of saying that the only thing more boring than watching grass grow is making it grow.

A few weeks ago, however, I had an experience that prompted me to take more of an interest in this hobby of Sarah’s. Sarah had asked me cut down a small tree that was growing next to the house. I misunderstood which thing she meant, and I cut down her favorite plant instead. It was a plant that had sentimental value to her. My cutting it down hurt Sarah.

I realized that I should have known that the plant was special to her, but I never took an interest in the outdoor (or indoor for that matter) foliage. It’s not that I don’t care how the yard looks — I do appreciate the beauty of it all and how hard Sarah works on it. I just didn’t want to do any of it myself, and I only half-listened when she talked about it.

So when Sarah asked me to help her with a few outdoor projects this week, I quickly agreed. Gardening is important to Sarah, so I want to participate. I laid some paving stones in front of the gate, dug out the flower bed in front of the deck, pulled weeds out of the rock garden, and transplanted two or three plants.

Once I got into it, it was actually quite enjoyable. Not because digging holes was great fun, but because Sarah and I spent time together being active, collaborating, talking, and laughing. And that was great fun.

Christmas 2005

We had a nice Christmas, even though most of us didn’t feel well leading up to it. Holland is still recovering, coughing and sniffling, but at least she is happy now. She got some new toys and clothes, as did Kathryne.

On Christmas Day, we were planning to go to Laguna Beach. Unfortunately, it was too cool and overcast, especially with Holland not being completely well. So instead we went to see Narnia. I won’t attempt to write a review, except to say that we all loved it and thought it was great.

Our friends the Merthes came over for Boxing Day, and we had a great time with them, as always. We ate lamb and bread pudding, drank Sea Breezes and wine, and played iMAgiNiff. Naomi won. Fun!

Friday, December 23, 2005

All I Want for Christmas

It’s been a rough month for us, healthwise. I’ve been pretty ill for the last couple of days (cold/flu/somthing), and Sarah has little sympathy, because she was much sicker for much longer. Holland has been suffering for the last few days, starting with a fever and turning now into a cough and runny nose. Being ill, I’m not allowed near the baby, so I can't help Sarah with her. That makes for long sleepless nights and difficult days for Sarah. She is holding on to her sanity by a thin thread. Kathryne has also been battling it; she missed two days of school this week and fun with her friends last weekend.

We’re all exhausted, and I still have Christmas shopping to do. The only thing we really want is for the family to be well. God bless us every one.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Babys

I listed to The Babys On The Edge LP this morning — it rocked! Thanks to Doug McCauley for turning me on to this, the best Babys album. As far as 80s music goes, this kind of crunchy guitar rock/pop is the stuff that holds up the best for me. I especially like the early Pat Benatar albums and a band you probably never heard of, Off Broadway.

I realize that there are a lot of new bands that feature buzzsaw guitars and catchy hooks. Kathryne's iTunes library is full of them. Some of it is pretty good, but I have two problems with the vast majority of what I hear these days:
  1. Whiny, nasal, sneering singers. I can't take a guy seriously when everything he sings sounds like he's tattling on another kid.
  2. Wall-of-mush over-multitracked guitars. A four-piece band should sound like a four-piece band, even in the studio. The guitars in some of these songs are simply a loud, constant din. Boring. The only quality they have is duration.
Getting back to the Babys, however, I did find myself wishing that singer John Waite had a bit more power in his voice. The album would have been even better with someone like Lou Gramm from Foreigner on vocals.

Good News from Home

My dad learned Friday that his gastric lymphoma (stomach cancer) has not, in fact, returned. Several years ago, he endured six months of miserable chemotherapy to treat an egg-sized tumor in his stomach. We feared it had come back, as he had been feeling badly again lately. Surprisingly, my dad seemed to take the news much more in stride than my mom, who was pretty worried.

Early tests indicated something was there, but the final and best test showed only scar tissue from the previous tumor. All I can say is Praise God! I'm very thankful that he won't have to go through chemo again. Thanks also to everyone that was praying for him!

Long Week

It was a long week. Sarah has been really sick with a severe cold. I had it too, but not as badly. Now Holland is sniffly and sneezy — the thing we were trying to avoid. We weren't up to going to church, so Holland's dedication will have to wait until March.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Time is of the essence, and I don't have much time to write, but will try to keep up a nice timeline. Holland is almost seven months old, and I'm still in a bit of a fog. Kathryne is busy with high school and homework and her life. Neither Doug nor I are getting much sleep yet. I say yet, as I haven't lost hope that one day Holland will decide to sleep for eight hours in a row. Ha ha.
I've been able to do a few things for myself, such as jewelry making, organizing all my craft junk, and organizing our recent craft showcase (which was a great success). Haven't been able to do much reading, except a bit of Martha Stewart here and there. I'm missing my bible study on Thursdays at church too, we are on a break. I'm looking forward to January, WBS will start again, and it will be Kathryne's 15th birthday. Yay! You know how I love parties.
Although, coming up on December 10th is Holland's baby dedication at church.
Oh! Gotta go, the little one has decided to NOT sleep tonight. It's way past her usual bed time. Next time!