Jenster's Musings

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pretty Palm Springs

Three minutes from right now it will be 2009. Most likely it will be next year by the time I finish downloading some desert photography. Tomorrow (or later today as the case may be) I will start filling you in on the little tidbits I left you with the last time.

I've been enjoying 2009 for over 20 minutes now! And I could have kept going with the pictures, but I didn't want to lose you all completely.



Mused by Jenster :: 11:57 PM :: 5 People musing:

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Just a Quickie

POST, People! A quickie post. Geesh!

It's the day after Christmas and it's gorgeous here in Palm Desert. I have lots of pictures - like 600 so far.

Here are a few highlights:

* I got to meet up with HisGirl and Frumpmamma (now known as Fabmamma because she is totally fabulous) on Tuesday morning. More to come. Just know it was so much fun!!!

* Taylor has continued on with his yearly Christmas tradition of being sick on Christmas. Poor baby.

* The food has been phenomenal.

* We're up to 14 people (counting the twins) in two condos and there's always something going on. Katie has shown her competetive side which makes me think of a story. Sorry. You'll have to wait for the story.

* The temps have been in the 50's and everybody thinks it's freezing, meanwhile the boys in my family are walking around in shorts and t-shirts.

* I shall be forever grateful that Taylor brought his computer, otherwise I might be rolled up in the fetal position in the corner shaking uncontrollably. But don't tell him I said that. I gotta keep it cool around him.

* Grandpa made a total funny about books. I'll tell you about it later.

* People who live in golf resorts don't look kindly upon golf cart races. Just sayin'.

* Todd's back. Just a little teaser. More on that after the holidays.

That's all for now. We're headed out for more blog fodder.

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Mused by Jenster :: 2:46 PM :: 9 People musing:

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Girls Gone Mild!

Katie and I have had a bookend girly day. What I mean by that is we had a girly morning and now we're having a girly night.

This morning we went to the very quaint village of Skippack for manicures and paraffin treatments. We were treated royally and had so much fun! And our hands are now silky smooth. After our hour at the spa we enjoyed a late breakfast at the cutest little cafe. It was a great morning.

Sadly we came home to the drudgery of laundry and packing. Blech.

But now we're watching Mamma Mia. Taylor's at a Christmas party and Todd would rather sit alone in the basement than watch the movie. I find Mamma Mia an entertaining and fun movie, but I have two problems with it.

1 - Pierce Brosnan's singing (I use the term "singing" loosely.)

2 - The song Slipping Through My Fingers.

Schoolbag in hand
She leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye
With an absent-minded smile
I watch her go
With a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm loosing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes
Her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake
I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone
There's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt
I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
Well some of that we did
But most we didn't
And why I just don't know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers -

Schoolbag in hand
She leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile

I suppose the lyrics go with the theme, but was it really necessary to include the song? The movie is supposed to be fun and lighthearted. I shut my eyes and plugged my ears, vehemently requesting Katie fast forward through that part. She finally found the mute button, but it was too late. My eyes were all leaky. Thankfully I managed to suppress the outburst that threatened. It would have been ugly, folks. Seriously horrific. Especially considering how much we enjoyed hanging out today.

Why must they grow up? Then again, we wouldn't have had such a great day if she wasn't growing up. Maybe I can get her to stay this age. Minus the moments of teenage angst and girl drama.

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:53 PM :: 12 People musing:

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Even Doctors Have Holiday Spirit

I had my yearly female exam today. Don't worry. I'm not going to go into great detail about it. I just wanted to share two things with you.

1 - I spied the enemy, the scale, as the nurse and I approached the place where she would take my vitals. I'd been dreading that part of the visit for weeks. But instead of asking me to step on the scales, she asked if I knew my weight. I was so shocked that I actually told her the truth! After I thought, Man! I should have told her 115!

2 - Check out the picture I took while I was waiting for the doctor.

That is some funny stuff!! The doctor told me one of the nurses "decorates" the exam rooms. In November the stirrups had turkeys. Almost makes me want to go back in February and see if there are hearts.

As soon as I got in the car I had to send Todd the photo. He called shortly thereafter and said he wasn't sure which was more disturbing. Santa on the stirrups or the fact I'd take a picture of it.

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Mused by Jenster :: 7:13 PM :: 15 People musing:

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's All About The Weather

It seems that Winter has Wunt. (If Spring was Sprung, doesn't it stand to reason that Winter has Wunt?) Monday was a very mild if not warm day, but yesterday we had a wintry mix from about 11:00 a.m. until into last night.

The kids and I were really hoping for a 2 hour delay this morning, but no such luck. Sookie decided she needed to go out at 3:30 this morning and that's when I knew there would be no automated phone call from the school district. You could hear the drip, drip of melting ice and snow everywhere. Thankfully she was quick to go about her business and I managed a couple more hours of sleep before I had to get up at my regular time. Even though there was a whole lotta thawing going on I snapped some good photos this morning, too.

Monday morning we leave for Palm Springs. We're supposed to get more wintry mix on Sunday night. Do you know what that potentially means? Difficulty getting to the airport for our 7:00 AM flight and/or flight delays because Philly is notorious for their scheduling problems due to weather. But since this is only Wednesday the forecast is most likely off. I'm sure it's going to be clear skies and mild temperatures and everything will be running like clockwork. (Please God, from my fingers to your eyes.)

I'm sure the ten day forecast is way off, too. There's no way Southeast Pennsylvania is going to enjoy a White Christmas like the weatherman is saying. It would be wrong for this area to have a Currier & Ives Christmas when we'll be in the desert. I'm 43-years-old (or something like that) and I've never had a White Christmas. We had an ice storm one year in Arkansas that made everything white, but it's not quite the same thing. Surely the Philly burbs will wait until next Christmas to have a snow down.

And while I'm talking about Christmas, I must apologize for my last post. Not enough to delete it, mind you. I still mean everything I wrote, but I wrote it while I was in a mood. Probably shouldn't do that anymore. And lest you think I am a total Grinch, the kids and I went to see one of those musical Christmas light houses tonight. Now THAT'S entertainment!


Mused by Jenster :: 9:12 PM :: 9 People musing:

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hello. I'm Jenster, But You Can Call Me Grinch

Tis the season to be jolly... whatever. Christmas is not my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday. There's no gifting pressure, the food is delicious, and I grew up enjoying most Thanksgivings with grandparents and a large number of aunts, uncles and cousins. Good times.

Christmas, on the other hand, inspires so many conflicting thoughts and emotions. I do enjoy the pretty lights and tasteful outdoor decorations. Heck, I even enjoy the yards that look like Christmas threw up. But to actually decorate my own house is just more than I really care to invest any time in. Maybe next year...

I'm not so into the gifts. I think it's preposterous that people go into debt, maxing out credit cards and taking money out of sparsely funded savings accounts just to buy things for other people that they probably don't need anyway. How does that fit into the "spirit of Christmas"?

And what exactly is the "Spirit of Christmas"? Isn't Christmas supposed to be a celebration of the miraculous birth of Christ? Okay. I know Christmas is not a Biblical celebration. In fact it was created by the Roman Catholic church in the 5th century to compete with the pagans' celebrations. Jesus was not born on December 25th. Duh. In fact, very little about Christmas is truly Christian. EXCEPT for the fact it is supposed to be an acknowledgement of one of the greatest events in the history of the world, regardless of when Christ was actually born.

AND it's one of two times in the year that churches across the country, probably across the world, are packed. Regardless of how you feel about Eastmas Christians, that's still two times in a year people are hearing about God's love and thinking about Jesus when they maybe wouldn't otherwise. So how can that be a bad thing?

Then again, Christmas is so blasted commercialized that it inspires righteous indignation of epic proportions on my part. Holiday decorations out with school supplies in August? Come on, people! Why not just leave them out all year long, for cryin' out loud. Though I do always pick something up after the holidays when they're marked ridiculously low, only to put them with the other decorations I'm too lazy to bring up from the basement.

This year we'll be spending the week with Todd's family. His brother and sister-in-law and their twins will be joining us at his parents' condo in Palm Springs. I'm looking forward to seeing everybody, but most especially those babies! They are 18 months, which is one of my favorite ages. So cute and so much fun! That brings me joy. So much more than any gift ever could.

Presents will be under the Christmas tree (which, along with mistletoe, holly berries and wreaths have pagan roots) and children's eyes will light with excitement. Or maybe not. My kids are too old to be overly excited and the twins are too young. And lest anybody think I'm unappreciative, I assure you I'm not. I love getting something new as much as anyone else. I always like the presents I get. BUT there's really nothing I need.

I would so much rather have that money spent on someone who has real needs. Coats for people with nothing, food, medicine -- there is so much poverty in the world. While I do like my gifts, there's a certain amount of guilt that comes with them. I get something else to... make me feel good/entertain me/decorate my house with/whatever - while... a malnutritioned child somewhere goes yet another day without food/a woman somewhere sells her body to keep her family alive/a student goes to school half frozen because he/she doesn't have a decent coat/fill in the blank.

If those of us who are disciples of Christ are going to claim Christmas as a Christian holiday, shouldn't we act like Christians? Shouldn't we take care of the widows and orphans? Shouldn't we feed the hungry and clothe the naked? I realize that not one of us can wipe out poverty and make all the unpleasantness of the world go away. But if every person on this planet who spends $100 or more on Christmas would spend just that much where there's a real need instead the results would be staggering. Mind blowing. I can weep just thinking about how ending world poverty is just within our grasp. It's truly just that close.

Why should I think anyone cares? Oh, I know most people of my acquaintance cares and probably feels the same way I do. But then we see greedy, selfish, moronic idiots who stampede a Walmart on Black Friday, trampling and killing a clerk in the process, just so they can get the sweet deal. Really. What's wrong with people? I know violence is wrong, but I'd love to just slap each and every person who didn't give a care to that poor man they just ran over. I see something like that and I despair for the human race. Are we really that depraved?

I know most, if not all, of you are thinking to yourselves, "Can't you just enjoy the season?" Yes, I can. And I do. As I said, I love the decorations. I love getting together with family. I love the carols and seeing how magical Santa and that whole angle seems to children. I love the look of tinsel and the big Christmas lights. I love the food! A little too much do I love the food. I love the goodness of the season. I don't care that all the things I mentioned are grounded in pagan celebrations. They don't symbolize that to me. I just wish less emphasis was put on things and more on the giving to those who truly need it.

Wow. I really didn't mean to spew like this. I was just going to comment on how I still don't have anything for the kids and how they don't seem to care. They already know Christmas is going to be extremely slim and they're okay with that. I'm grateful that no matter how spoiled with things they are, they still know what's important and what's not.

I know a lot of people deal with depression during the holidays. I don't. I also know a lot of people get stressed out with the holidays. I don't. And yet my heart is always so heavy this time of year because I feel like we've gotten it all wrong. But I'll still celebrate it with my family like usual and see the beauty and the joy in it. And I'll diligently try to focus on the greatest gift of all time, which is the subject of the holiday anyway. And maybe next year I'll do it just a little bit better.

Mused by Jenster :: 1:14 PM :: 17 People musing:

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Here's What's Going On

The first week of my new job has gone pretty well. I have so much to learn, but once I can work for more than 15 minutes without having to ask a question it's going to be great. For all concerned.

Yesterday I spoke for a MOPS group in Bechtelsville (how fun is that to say?). I tried to get a good night's sleep because the bags under my eyes scream TIRED at the slightest bit of fatigue. Sookie had other ideas, though. Todd was out of town and she decided to start barking about 4:00 in the morning. If you will recall - I am NOT a morning person. Thankfully she went outside to do her thing, came right back in, went in her crate and that was it. But then I had a hard time getting back to sleep because I kept waiting for her to start barking again. Anyway, I did get a tad bit more sleep and the adrenaline coursing through my veins before I spoke went a long way in keeping me focused. They were a great bunch of ladies and they gifted me with a poinsettia and a Wawa gift card with a note saying I can use it for either gas or coffee (which is kind of the same thing). They also provided a delicious breakfast! Now I'm really looking forward to my next speaking gig!

Speaking of food (which I kind of was, but not really) Katie has some mad baking skillz. She seriously makes the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had - a talent she learned from her Oma (my mom). She needs to stop. My derriere is getting larger and larger and I don't think the church would like it if I showed up to work in either jammies or old sweats. And the way I'm going that's all I'm going to have left.

Oy. I feel another post coming on. A whiney post. Sorry. It's going to happen. Just consider yourselves forewarned.

Our weather has been mad crizazy!! Sunday and Monday were bitterly cold. Bitter! The kind of cold that just whips right through clothes and skin and settles into the bones. Yesterday we nearly got up to 60! Now today we won't make it to 40 and tomorrow morning we may even get snow. What the heck is up with that???

Last, but most definitely not anywhere near least, I have a message for my mom.

cute myspace layout

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Mused by Jenster :: 7:27 AM :: 9 People musing:

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Monday, December 08, 2008

The Latest Scoop

I realize I have been remiss in keeping people informed about the whole potential job thing. Well here's the deal. This morning I will start my new job as a part time administrative assistant for the preschool and children's ministry at Christ's Church of the Valley. I.AM.SO.EXCITED! Forget the actual job - I'm just thrilled to be working with the people I'm going to be working with! Truly some of my favorite people EVER! (And no, I'm not just saying that because some of them read my blog. I really, really mean it.)

As for the job itself, I'm looking forward to that, too. I get to work at the preschool and see all the precious kiddos without having to sit on the floor and then try to stand back up. At least not on a regular basis.

So there you have it. I'll let you know more later!!

(BTW - It's 17 degrees outside and sunny. What's the point in that kind of temperature if you're not going to have some snow with it??)

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Mused by Jenster :: 7:09 AM :: 13 People musing:

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Mother of the Year

Seeing as how we're well into December and I blew any chances for the above distinction back around the first hour day week of January I figure I've got nothing to lose. I'll try again at the first of the year, but for now it's like I've got carte blanche to be the worst mother in the entire universe.

Why, just this morning I made Katie wear pants to school. I KNOW! Can you believe I would do that? I mean, yes, it was a balmy 26 so it wasn't like her little sundress* wasn't entirely appropriate. I just felt like ruining her life. It's a very liberating and satisfying feeling.


I have over 400 unread posts in Google Reader and I'm so afraid I'm going to have to dump them all. I just haven't had the time or the gumption to go through all of them and I apologize.

*Katie wouldn't normally wear a sundress to school in winter, but it's for the play she's in tonight. They're putting it on for the school this afternoon and she didn't want to have to change at school. I just wonder how long the sweats she put on underneath are going to last.

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Mused by Jenster :: 7:58 AM :: 10 People musing:

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Let It Snow

Here are a few pictures from our first snow of the year (and Sookie's first snow ever) two weeks ago.


Mused by Jenster :: 2:08 PM :: 14 People musing:

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