Sunday, November 29, 2009

Amazing Weekend

We have had a wonderful few days around these parts. We did home repair on Wednesday, and knocked a couple of to do items off our to do list. Our fireplace is now functioning for the first time in a year (thanks in part to the removal of a family of mice, but that is a whole other post), and we have new outdoor light fixtures.

Decorations courtesy of Charlie and Sammy

Thursday was a double celebration for us, as we also celebrated my baby turning 3. Which should be impossible, as Sam was just born yesterday. The party was at Casa de la Kleffman this year, which I loved, as I love to cook big dinners. The turkey turned out great, thanks to whatever they do at the Butterball factory, and my sister brought an AMAZING gourmet mac 'n cheese recipe, which my hips thoroughly enjoyed. I vote for it to become a Thanksgiving tradition.

After the dishes were done, we had birthday cake in addition to our pie and pumpkin crumble cake. Isn't this 3 year old boy as delicious as the turkey?

Sammy had a blast celebrating with his cousins. I love that this bunch is the best of buds...

Sammy's favorite present was a Spider man costume from my sister, and he has worn it every night since. In fact, he insists on wearing it to bed. I have had to sneak it into the wash.

On Friday I went to Target for the Black Friday experience with the awesome Christi, and I scored a few deals. The best part though was breakfast at Summer Kitchen afterwards. Have you noticed yet how much I've eaten this weekend?! SO MUCH FOOD!

Friday was the actual day of Sammy's birthday, so I wanted to do something fun to make it special for him. So, after some encouragement that I could handle it from my sister and Christi, we went to a Christmas tree farm. You see, we have had an artificial tree for 14 years now, ever since I moved into my first apartment in college. I grew up having real trees for Christmas with my parents, but once I was on my own, I was completely intimidated by the tree stand. You know that thing the man in the family has to fiddle with for three hours, and then even after that the tree is still crooked, and then a day later the tree falls down anyway? After hearing the farm we went too has a special "Marriage Saving Tree Stand" they sell to make it easy, I braved my fears to help Sam have a special day. We got on a hay ride and rode out to the tree field, picked out our own special tree, and got to see it cut down (this part made Sam sad-he was sure the tree wasn't liking this!) Charlie loved the free hot chocolate they offered and the machine that shook the trees to get the dead needles off. It's a good thing Evan talked me into the tree we got, because this one almost reaches the ceiling, and the one I wanted was even taller.

We all had fun decorating, and I have to admit, this tree looks and smells SOOO much better than our artificial one.

And the tree stand was a breeze. I think we will be making a return trip next year. When we had decked the inside and outside of our halls, we celebrated with a viewing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, our new Christmas video.

We've had such a fabulous weekend, I am not sure I am ready to go back to work tomorrow. We are ready for Advent and the Christmas season though. I LOVE this time of year!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beyond stuffed...

My friends, I hope you had a wonderful day.
The turkey turned out beautifully at my house.
My father in law told me it was the BEST turkey he's ever eaten.
Is there a better compliment than that?

Sammy had fun with cousins and ate lots of birthday cake.
He blew out the candle on the second try.
Presents were opened and Spider Man costumes were worn.

I loved seeing my family.
We drank champagne to celebrate my new NBTC status.
My fridge is now stuffed with leftovers,
and we have lots to eat while watching football tomorrow.

But there is a bad ending.
Within the last two hours I have come down with what I am pretty sure is strep.

I guess you can't have everything.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to stop in quickly and wish all of you a wonderful holiday tomorrow. I hope you are surrounded by family and friends, and between mouthfuls of turkey and pie, you have a chance to be thankful for your blessings. I have plans to kiss all of my blessings tomorrow. All four of those wonderful boys are getting a big smacking kiss.

We will also be wishing Sammy a Happy 3rd Birthday. I can't believe my biggest surprise in life is going to be 3. I love him to pieces. Every bit of him.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm so excited! And I just can't hide it!!

I love this week, every year. I love the break from school. I love making the dinner (I have 15 people coming for our Thanksgiving feast, and I couldn't be happier!) I love being encouraged to take a moment to look around at all of my blessings. I love going shopping on Friday and fighting the crowds. I love that Sammy's birthday is always right around Thanksgiving, and I will always remember that I went into labor after eating a lot of turkey leftovers, sitting on the couch next to my husband. (Right after the first hard contraction came, I could only think, "I really shouldn't have eaten all that turkey.") I love decorating the tree and the house and listening to Christmas music.

But most of all, I love that we are poised right at the beginning of the most magical time of year. All of that anticipation, excitement, and fun events still ahead.

I can't wait!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon Heaven

I am a HUGE fan of the Twilight series. Today I got to feed my obsession by seeing the New Moon movie (and eat nachos with cheese...AWESOME!). It was so, SO, SO good. I loved it even more than Twilight. I always felt strongly that Bella should have chosen Jacob, and I love the line her father says in the movie, "Sometimes you have to learn to love what's good for you." A lesson I learned the hard way several times over. Anywho, I love that Jacob was the featured guy in this movie.

I got to go with my friend Christi, which made it even more awesome. I love girlfriend time. It's been awhile since I've gotten to see her, so I had some volcano of the mouth issues as I gushed all of my news to her. Being with Christi is like soaking up sunshine. NO KIDDING! I feel so cheery and positive after I have spent an hour or two with her, which is why I am going to brave the crowds with her on Black Friday. And then we are going to have breakfast afterwards so I can gush at her some more. I love that she still likes me even though I can't stop talking when I am around her.

I am topping off my great day with family movie night. The boys picked Rudolph, which I thought was a fabulous choice, since I could watch Christmas movies all year long.

Happy Weekend to you!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kiss Your Brain!

I am just so excited today-I have really and truly been on cloud nine for the last 14 hours. At 8:30 this morning, I found out that I passed all of my requirements, and I am now officially a Nationally Board Certified teacher. It took me 18 months of blood, sweat, tears, and more tears, but I did it. I was so convinced I would fail. I found out on Wednesday that the board would be releasing the scores on Friday morning, and I didn't tell one single soul that I would be finding out, because I was dreading telling everyone I didn't make it.

So, when it popped up on my computer at school this morning, I screamed in surprise and happiness, and scared the ever living daylights out of my quietly working students. When they asked what the matter was, I told them all about it, and one of my little girls said, "Mrs. Kleffman, you are so smart, and we are so proud of you! You need to Kiss Your Brain!" (This is what I make them do when they have a particularly fabulous answer or solve a problem). Which was so sweet, and I was so emotional, I burst into tears. To have my students be proud of me? What could be better?

I have been teary on and off all day. Mostly because I did this whole thing to prove to myself that I could, to walk outside of my comfort zone, and to show myself that even though I am now a wife and mother I am also still Christy the girl who loves to teach. To have those things reaffirmed to me was awesome. I have been saying prayers of thanksgiving all day long. Thanking God for my gifts, because without him, I would not be a teacher. I am thankful for the mission God gave me in life. To help kids, whether they are my own or mine through my classroom.


I am going to spend the rest of the weekend Kissing My Brain, because darn it, I am PROUD OF ME!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Happy 100th

We are headed out tonight to celebrate my Grandpa Creighton's 100th birthday.

He actually died in 1991. I was 13 when he died, and his death was hard. I missed his guiding presence at family get togethers, at my annual birthday celebration with my grandparents, and being able to see him with my Grandma Sophie. Sophie and Creighton were married for over 50 years before he died, and I remember them shining with love for each other when they were together, even when they were in their 80s. They provided 10 children and numerous grandchildren a powerful example of a loving marriage.

Too celebrate a wonderful man, his children are getting together tonight with fun, food, and football. I love that we are still loving him, and thinking of him almost 20 years after his death. It is a great way to pass on to my own children our memories of a man they will not have the chance to meet. I love that he continues on through us.

When my Grandma Sophie died in 1993, one of the last things she said to her children was a request that they still get together, still have holiday parties, still see each other often after their parents had both gone. She would be so proud to see them gathered today. I am proud of them too, and proud to be part of a family that loves each other always.

Happy Birthday Grandpa Creighton!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Germs Germs Germs

I was excited on Monday to be able to have a normal week with healthy children and 5 days of school to catch up on things at work.

The germs attacking my family had other plans. They decided our week with H1N1 and high fevers last week was not nearly enough fun!

So today, when Charlie woke up from his nap, he had a fever of 104 again. Awesome!

Back to the doctor we went, where we discovered he had a raging case of strep. His pediatrician said it was one of the worst he has seen he has seen in a long time, probably because his immune system was in poor shape after his bout with the flu.

I am back to sanitizing the house, even though I just went through this ritual over the weekend. I just don't want ANY MORE SICKNESS. Does everyone hear me?! I AM DONE WITH THESE GERMS. Amen, The end.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We got a head start to the season of being thankful on Saturday, when we were all extremely thankful that everyone was healthy enough to go trick or treating. I was really worried Sam wouldn't make it, but after one more day of laying low, he was up for the job of being adorable in his Clifford costume. He didn't really make it too far around the neighborhood before he got tired, but it was far enough for there to be way too much candy at our house.

Charlie was a very spooky spider (even though he only had six legs-oops!)

Sammy as Clifford the Big Red Dog-don't you love his floppy ears?

And Evan as the spooky goon. As soon as Evan put his costume on, Sammy refused to call him Evan and instead said things like, "Mom! The Goon won't hold my hand!" and "Hey Goon! Wait for me!" It was hilarious how seriously he took the whole costume thing.

This was taken roughly 30 seconds after we got back in the door. Sammy made a bee line for the couch to pick out all of his packages of "starwars" (aka Starbursts) from his bucket, and eat them as fast as he could unwrap them. Apparently this is his new favorite candy.

SO glad we had a succesful and happy Halloween!! Hope you did too, and that you had lots of candy to enjoy!

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