Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a wonderful Christmas! Bryan worked all weekend at the hospital but we made the best of it. The boys and I spent lots of time at home and spent Christmas afternoon at the hospital to see Bryan. They got lots of treats there. It is always fun to go and hangout in the lounge and this time we played games. Jaden is teaching me chess and I look forward to many more games with him.

The boys now have a "playground" in our basement. They didn't really appreciate their gifts when they opened them but now that everything is setup, they are loving it! They have already started to play in the basement by themselves (big step)!

Here is our Christmas letter for anyone who hasn't read it yet (click on it to enlarge).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

giving vs. receiving

Right now we have a few presents under out tree. There is one for Clay and one for Jaden and 2 for my niece, Kira, and 2 for my niece, Brinley, and 2 for grandpa Oscar. I knew this would bother the boys because they each only have one gift under the tree and other people have more. I thought this would be a great time to teach them about the real meaning of Christmas. You know, Jesus, and the spirit of giving. I was explaining to them that other people got more gifts than them and trying to explain that gifts are not the focus of Christmas. As I was saying that, Jaden blurts out, "Ya, but it's ok because mine is bigger."

Wish you could have seen the looks on Bryan and my faces! Wow, you have really missed the point, Jaden. We have got to work on this some more. We did have a nice laugh over it. There is always more to teach your children. I am still working on more ideas of how to remove the focus off of gifts when the kids get so many from all of their loving family.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

kuchen with grandma

Today I had the pleasure of making kuchen with my 90 year old Grandma Alma. This is a big process that nearly took us all day to make 11 German custard pies, which is how I describe them. They are served for breakfast at my family's houses. I think they are really dessert but there isn't much better than dessert for breakfast.

My boys love kuchen and request is every time they see Grandma Judy (my mom). She has become synonymous with kuchen because she is the "kuchen bringer." She now makes kuchen way more often than she ever thought she would because she is my Grandma Alma's caretaker and daughter-in-law. Alma is unable to make kuchen by herself ever since she had a major stroke 7 years ago. She moved in with my parents after her stroke and it has not been an easy 7 years.

I took-in a piece of my grandma's feisty-ness today while cooking together. She is getting more forgetful, opinionated and stubborn as she ages. These traits can be hard to deal with when you are 90. But they become increasingly difficult to handle the longer you are around them. After today I can relate to my mom better on her hard days of dealing with grandma.

My parents are saints for taking care of my grandma. I hope that I can pass on that blessing to them someday. I know it won't be easy and can only be accomplished with God's grace but they deserve the best care including family around them.

I have been told that I share many personality traits with my Grandma Alma (and I agree) so I am praying hard that God crafts me and molds me to have more loving kindness in my character. I know that my sons and future daughter-in-laws will appreciate that someday when they deal with me as an old lady.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I am officially part of the unemployed. I am collecting unemployment as of today. I finally got my first unemployment check deposited into my checking account.

I have technically been unemployed since November 1st. I can't believe it took 5 1/2 weeks for me to start collecting unemployment. I did collect two weeks of severance pay and I technically worked during the week of November 1st so there goes three weeks. Then there is one waiting week where you don't get paid. That is up to four weeks now. Then you finally have a week where you get paid (the 5th week) and you can't collect it until the following week; hence 5 1/2 weeks later my first payment arrived. Wow, I sure hope others are not counting on unemployment to arrive right away.

I am getting outplacement services, paid for by ATK, to get me ready for my next job. Job hunting skills, resume updates, interview skills, etc. I am also getting very familiar with the MN Unemployment services. I have been looking for jobs but there is not much for me to apply for in the space field, particularly with NASA. I will open my horizons when I am dying to get back to work. For now, I am just trying to enjoy being unemployed.

Friday, December 3, 2010


There are some new pictures posted at Picasa from our trip to Chicago in October and Halloween and Jaden's birthday.