Friday, December 29, 2006

This and that and some other stuff

First, I want to say thank you for all the kind comments about my Wordless Wednesday post about my mom. I was 10 when she passed away. It wasn't until I was an adult and had kids of my own that I realized just how much I lost when she died. My mom was one of the friendliest, most giving people I've ever known. Even when I was 10 years old at over 5 foot tall and 100 plus pounds, she used to tell me I'd never be too big to cuddle in her lap. She died of breast cancer, so as a friend of mine would say, go get those mammies grammed!

I am officially ready for the holidays to be over. New Years eve at 911 is really not a fun place and I'm dreading it. Last year, between midnight at 7 am, our center answered about 3000 calls. To compare, most nights we answer around 1000, give or take a couple hundred. The supervisors were happy that we never went over 40 calls holding at one time. If for some reason you find that you need to call 911 on new years eve, please remember not to hang up if you get the recording that says all lines are busy. Work has been interesting lately - on Wednesday we had a rash of guys calling the non emergency number asking for "Monica." Apparently, Monica gave her would-be suitors the phone number to the police instead of hers. It was kind of funny to hear them say "The POLICE??? This is the police?? Oh man! She got me!" In other work stuff, I'm kind of nervous about this dispatch training thing. For one thing, when it gets busy, I really struggle. I feel like I'm not fast enough and my brain is too old to learn to get faster. Part of it is lack of sleep due to working nights, but right now it's my only option. And on top of that, my trainer is going to a different shift so I'll be getting a different trainer. I'm just not real sure about the person my supervisor has chosen. I sat with her one night when my first trainer was sick, and she barely said anything to me. So any spare prayers would be appreciated :) I'm not going to give up yet, but man, feeling inadequate is not fun. Now I remember why I hated 911 training so much.

So, are you the New Years Resolution making kind of person? Me, not so much. If I make them, I always break them right away. But I think that's because they're really ME things. "I'm going to lose weight" "I'm going to stop smoking" "I'm going to..." kinds of things. But I do have a hope for the new year. Within this past year I think I've finally come to understand what it means to trust and obey God, and that obedience is a form of worship. Took me long enough! But in this new year, I want to be able to trust and obey even more. Because it really is a cycle - when you trust you obey, and when you obey God, you find out you can trust Him. I'm finding that it really does lead to God's best for us. That's where I want to be.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

WW - In loving memory

Linda Jean Childers ~ January 3, 1941 - December 28, 1977

I miss you Mom, see you when I get Home

Visit the WWHQ!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Blessings

  • Everybody loved their presents. Here's Sassy with her favorite...
  • The food. OMGosh the food.
  • The scenery for our Christmas dinner...
  • The fun. We laughed and played and had such a good time.
We have so much to thank God for, and I do, I am so very blessed. I think I have the most wonderful kids on the face of the planet. Well, most of the time I think that anyway... :)

There's just one thing though... I want to know WHY everytime they come into contact with fruit salad, they have to start singing that Wiggles song!?! Even the 17 year old!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Final Countdown

Well I still have a few more gifts to buy/wrap, but that shouldn't be too bad. And I still have to get the groceries for our Christmas breakfast and Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner is going to be a bit weird non-traditional this year. I have to work the night before and Christmas night, and I'll have to sleep somewhere in there so.... Here's how I'm thinking the day will play out:
7:15 am - Arrive home from work, get breakfast started, and get everyone up to open presents.
8:00-12:00 - Nap while the bigger kids get some of part of our dinner prepared.
12:00-1:00 - Get ready to leave the house to go on our... Christmas day picnic! That's right. The menu for Christmas dinner is - Steak, baked potato, corn on the cob, and fruit salad enjoyed somewhere on the side of a mountain! For dessert, chocolate chip cheesecake! The activity for the day will be hiking up the side of that mountain.
5:00-9:30 - Try my best to get some more sleep before it's time to go back to work. Here's praying for a boring night at 911, but Christmas can be iffy - families+alcohol=not always a good thing!

I do have a lot to do between now and Christmas, and I bet the rest of bloggydom does too. May you all have a blessed Christmas full of wonderful times with those you love. It's not about the presents or the bows or the cookies baked to perfection - it's about letting the people around you know that you love them. So get busy! :)

Merry Christmas!!

She's going to make a fine mother someday...

Ok, so apparently Sassy has learned that if she asks her older sister DQ for something repeatedly, the answer will eventually be yes. Asking more than once with me more often than not gets one sent away rejected, but I suppose there has been a random time or two when I've given in changed my mind and recognized the merit in the request. But pretty much when I say no, I mean NO. But you know what they say, when kids behave a certain way, it's usually mirroring what they see in their parents and now I'm really afraid! Because This morning Sassy kept asking DQ if she could use DQ's hot air corn popper to make popcorn. Over and over, repeatedly. DQ kept saying no. Finally, DQ said yes. So Sassy got to popping. DQ jumped up, ran in the kitchen demanding to know what Sassy was doing. "I'm popping popcorn! You said I could!"

DQ's response? "When I said yes I was just trying to shut you up! You need to learn that when I say yes, I really mean no!" The worst part was, she was serious!

Oy, time to reexamine my parenting skills! Yikes!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

WW - Tree Treasure

Ok, so this is not quite Wordless, but, indulge me this once :)

I didn't participate when other people were posting their tree treasures and linking up somewhere... I can't even remember who was hosting that, but I do have some I'd like to share.

I'm not sure where we got this one, but we've had it for a very long time, since my 21 year old was about 5. A lot of my older ornaments got ruined the summer before last when the kids left the pool water on and flooded the basement. Twice. I'm over it...

My bestest friend in the whole world gave me this one, probably around the same time we got the crayola bear, so this is an older ornament too. She said the piggie with it's head in a barrel is her because she was tired of hearing Christmas music! I think of her whenever I see it. Love you Sarah!

This one was given to me by a friend from church who is moving away in March. I think it's one of the cutest things we have on the tree.

This picture isn't so clear, but it was the best I could do... This one was in a set of 3 sent to me by one of the May Moms either last year after we lost all our ornaments, or the year before, which was the first year after my ex-husband was arrested and Christmas was particularly rough. It's very special to me.

This one is new this year - I made it.

All the ornaments ON the tree are very nice, but I like the ones UNDER the tree - they seem to have taken up residence there!

Dont forget to the visit WWHQ for more Wordless Wednesday fun!

Monday, December 18, 2006

ABC's Blogger Style

I've seen this a few places, most recently at Janean's, so I thought I'd play along...

A - Available or single: Single.
B - Best Friend: Sarah and Becky
C - Cake or Pie: Usually cake, but mostly I'm just a sugar fiend.
D - Drink of choice: Water. Used to be Dr. Pepper, but I've mended my ways.
E - Essential Item you use everyday: Lappy, my laptop. Doesn't everybody name their computer?
F - Favorite color: GREEN
G - Gummy Bears or worms: BEARS! And only one brand will do - Haribo! I'm only a little addicted.........
H - Hometown: Born in Barberton Ohio, but hometown is Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
I - Indulgence: Haribo Gummy Bears, occasionally really good chocolate, and Books. I love books.
J - January or February: I have a kid with a birthday in January, and one with a birthday in February... so can't choose by that... I'd say... BOTH! Because they're both winter, and winter in Phoenix, yeah, that's why I put up with the summers!
K - Kids: 5 kids, ages 21, 17, almost 15, 9 and 6. Their names aren't important, I can never remember them when I need to anyway! Growing up, I was VICKIESUSIEVONDACONNIESTOPTHAT!! Same thing :)
L - Life is Incomplete Without: Faith and Family
M - Marriage Date: I think I'll stay single a while, thanks
N - Number of Siblings: Three older sisters.
O - Oranges or Apples: Both! Love the little clementines though :)
P - Phobias or Fears: That I will die before my kids are grown.
Q - Fave Quote: I don't think I have a favorite.
R - Reason to Smile: My kids
S - Season: Depends on where. If it's Phoenix, winter, hands down. If it's Cleveland, then fall, but I hate what comes next!
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: Nah, just play along if you want to!
U - Unknown Fact about Me: Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, I studied to become a respiratory therapist. I changed my mind after watching someone die from emphysema.
V- Vegetable You Don't Like: Lima beans. GAG!
W - Worst Habit: I'm a slob.
X - X-rays: Plenty, last one was to check on the location of a kidney stone - OUCH!
Y - Your Fave Food: Ohhh, hard to pick a favorite, depends on my mood. Chocolate is ALWAYS high on the list though!
Z - Zodiac Sign: It's all a buncha bolony, but I'm a leo

a leo.

Friday, December 15, 2006

And yes...

That's how we do winter in Arizona - light jackets, sunshine, and Christmas programs outside!

Holiday Program

My daughter's class singing Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. She's the one who says "like pinocchio!"

Holiday program

My son's class and part of their holiday program :) He's the 2nd one from the right

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Because I have to do something...

One of our officers has a 6 year old boy that has recently been diagnosed with cancer. The communications bureau where I work is trying to raise money to help with medical costs that the insurance doesn't cover. I'm going to be making lanyards and donating all of the money to this family. If anybody out there in blogland wants one, just give me a hollar and let me know what color you want. Below are two examples, and the one on the bottom is available. They are $15, and I'll ship for free. My email is

Conversations from the Car

DQ (age 14):MOOOOOOM!!! Sassy was in my room going through my stuff!
Sassy (age 9): Don't worry, I'll stay out of your abyss, I've had my fun.

DQ: So, who would you rather be, Scrooge, or the Grinch?
Me: Gee, I d...
DQ: I'd want to be the Grinch. Then I wouldn't have to wear clothes.

More Adventures in 911

Last night was my 911 night again.

Lately I've had a bunch of people calling the non emergency police number and say "Yeah, I need an ambulance." I ask "Umm, do you realize that you've called the police?" They say "Oh! Is there another number I should call?" "You might try 911..."

Last night there was one caller who made me laugh. He sounded pretty tipsy, he was reporting hearing shots fired. It went something like this:
Me: 911, what is your emergency?
Tipsy Guy: I just heard about 3 shots!
M: Ok, what's your address?
TG gives me his address
Me: Did you hear any glass breaking, any arguing, or anybody screaming?
TG: No, I didn't hear anything except it sounded like it came from across the street at the 7-11 parking lot. I hope nobody there got shot. Of course, you know they won't sell me anything anymore.
Me: Hmmm...
TG: Not bread, not milk, not cigarettes, and not even.... BEER!
(Gee, imagine that!)
Me: Wow, so, did you see any cars leaving the area?
TG: No, I was watching my TV. I didn't see anything. I was watching the news, but I hate to watch the news these days, so much bad stuff. I wish MASH was on instead.
Me: Well do you know if there is gang activity in that area?
TG: I don't know about that but one guy just about run me clean over! I was about to cross the street and he come whippin around the corner like a bat outta you know where! These people just don't watch where they're goin!
At this point I'm shaking my head. I ask him if he wants us to send officers to speak to him, get his name, which he spells in our phonetic alphabet - you know, David-Robert-Union-Nora-King, I'm not even sure how he was sober enough to do that. Then I told him "We'll let the officers know, if you see or hear anything else, or find out someone's been injured, give us a call right back, ok?"
TG: Sure thing! Ciao Baby!

BABY? HE CALLED ME BABY?! Well that's not as bad as the one time a caller told a coworker "You know what, you been sweet, but I don't like your style, so bye bye Miss American Pie!" and then hung up on her. Interesting job, this :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

See more Wordless Wednesday fun at WWHQ!

Monday, December 11, 2006

What I learned at work this week

I learned that at 5 am, when I'm really tired, it's a bad idea to try to say one thing and read another at the same time. So the call type I was trying to dispatch, a 901H (said 901Henry) got mixed up with the direction I was reading and came out as 901 henwy. Over the air.

Another thing I learned is that mild dyslexia is magnified at least 10 fold when I'm tired. When trying to repeat the time over the air at 4:57 AM is not an easy thing for me to do.

The third thing I learned is that when you combine the first two lessons in a short period of time, the officers WILL razz you :P

Friday, December 08, 2006

When you think of the nativity...

Is it all warm and fuzzy?


Excerpt from "At Arms Length"

Author Unknown

Dear Flavius,

It was one of those early spring days when the sun barely holds back the chill of the wind. By the time the sun disappeared, it might well have been winter again. I was supposed to be in Bethlehem for supper, but the narrow mountain roads were crammed with people. You were too young to remember but that idiot in Rome had called for another census. Everyone was rushing to the place of their birth so they wouldn't be fined. It had already been dark for a few hours when I reached the Inn and there were no rooms available.

I knew the innkeeper, he was a crook like the rest of them and amazingly a room was found when a denarius "accidentally" fell from my hand onto his table. As I was taking my donkey to the stable, I heard some loud shouting and crashing. The innkeeper was throwing some poor fellow out of his room to make a place for me. So what, I thought, one of us has to sleep out in the cold and better him than me.

I suppose it was all that noise that kept me from hearing the baby crying. But As I reached the mouth of the cave that the innkeeper called his stable I heard it clearly. There was no question about it. There was a baby in there squalling like I'd never heard before.I hadn't brought a torch because it was an uncommonly bright night and I couldn't see into the shadows. Now that I think about it, it was one of the brightest nights I can remember. As I stood peering into the darkness the wind shifted slightly and the full stench of the place hit me so I gagged. That fool innkeeper hadn't cleaned the stable in months from the smell of it. I remember thinking, If I put my donkey in here he'll probably get worms, that's what finished off my last one and they weren't getting any cheaper. But alas the donkey needed food and water, so I ventured in, holding my breath.

There in front of me was a man clumsily balancing a screaming, squirming infant in the crook of one arm. He was trying vainly to wash the child with his free hand. The baby had just been born and even in the darkness I could see he was sill covered with blood. The father was dipping a cloth into a trough of filthy water meant for the animals. It was icy cold and each time the rag was applied to the baby's body, he screamed even louder.

The man didn't see me until I was directly in front of him. He jerked suddenly and almost dropped the baby as my presence startled him. We stared at each other .... Finally he asked, "Are you sleeping here too?"... I responded, "No, I'm only here to put Herod to rest"..... "Herod!", he exclaimed... "Yes", I said, "That's my donkey", hoping for the big laugh I usually got when I told people I called my donkey Herod. But the man said nothing and went back to afflicting his child.

I pulled my beast toward a stall full of hay and almost tripped on the baby's mother lying their in a crudely conceived straw bed. She was nearly a child herself. Her wispy hair was matted to her head with perspiration. The birth had obviously not been easy. She was as pale as marble and if she was breathing, I could not see it. I jerked Herod away from her and pulled him towards another stall. The woman occupied the only vacant one, so I shoved Herod into a cramped space with another donkey. They immediately began braying and biting each other.

It was not right for me to see a woman so barely covered especially right after giving birth, so I hurried back to the man careful not to look at the pathetic girl. I asked," Friend, where is the midwife?"... "There is none.", he moaned, "I couldn't leave her alone long enough to find one. It all happened too fast." ... "Then who delivered the child", I added. ... "I did", he responded, " I don't know how, I just did it."

I should have kept my last question to myself but something made me ask, "Is the woman dead?". He pierced me with a look of animal fear. And with a choked cry, handed me the baby and rushed to his wife. He cupped her pale face in his big hands and soon I heard them whispering together.

In the mean time, I was puzzling over how to hold the infant. I had seen them held, but had forgotten just how. I finally settled on putting one hand under his head, grasping his ankles with the other and holding him out at arms length just in case something should happen. I moved the child into the light near the opening of the cave. His face, purple and swollen from struggling out of the womb was even more contorted as he bawled. I wondered what sort of life a child like this could have, born with animals in a cold dark stinking cave. How many thousands come into the world like this? How many survive? How many live out their days begging, stealing, being slaves, field hands or shepherds? How many wish they never were born? I was glad when the man came back and took the child out of my arms.

"Thank You, the woman is all right", he said. He didn't seem very sure of that however. "We had to travel a long way today and the pains began while we were still on the road. It was very hard for her. There was no room in the inn. We were too late." He stared at me for a moment and almost asked me something. I looked away relieved he didn't ask. Slowly, large dark tears began to form in his eyes and then travel down the lines of his face . With choked emotion he added, "This is no way for my child to be born, no way!".

We all just sat quietly in the dark for a few moments, none of us sure what to say. Even the baby had ceased crying, probably exhausted. The woman then called from her bed and instructed the man to get the swaddling clothes out of one of their baskets. She instructed us in a thin tired voice how to wrap the boy in the long cotton strips. I held a scrawny leg out while the man wrapped it and then took it over to show the woman. "Too loose", she said, so we started over this time binding the child as tightly as if he were being prepared for death.

When we finished, only the child's face peered out of the cloths. The man took the child to his mother to nurse but she was asleep again, hardly breathing. He laid the baby in the manger where the animals who usually occupied the stall ate from.I decided it was time to leave and as I backed out of the stall the man said, "Thank you". "It was nothing friend", I responded as I backed out of the cave. I almost added "Congratulations" but it didn't seem appropriate under the circumstances.

The moment I passed through the entrance to the cave I turned around and ran full face into a big sweaty shepherd. There were four others behind him all puffing and panting as if they had been running. Behind them was what must have been 300 sheep filling the courtyard of the inn. "There's no room in there!", I said as convincingly as possible. "Go somewhere else." ..... "Yessir Yessir", they replied bowing low, but as soon as I turned my back they and half the sheep rushed into the cave. "No matter", I said to myself as I walked to my room. And as I went I wondered who would die first as the night grew colder, the mother or the child.

God's best

It may be cliché to say it, but God sure does work in mysterious ways.

Almost 3 years ago, right before my ex-husband was arrested, I found out my first husband (I refer to him as BH, short for ummm, Butthead, which sadly, was my nickname for him when we were married. Don't worry, his nickname for me was worse. Gee, such a surprise that marriage failed...) was getting remarried. That part didn't bother me. At all. I was happy for them. But then shortly after their wedding, the news broke that she was pregnant. This hit me HARD. Not because I wanted him back, oh heavens NO! She could have him! The thing that bothered me was that my family had fallen apart (or so I thought at the time) and his was growing and happy. I had just lost a husband and two stepsons, and he gained 3 stepkids and a pregnant wife. And they seemed to have and be doing all the things I couldn't convince him to do or get while we were married. But I played the adult and suffered in silence, only asking God how He could do that right then. Why was my nose being rubbed in it? This all happened in July, right around the time I found out some new information regarding what my ex-husband put my daughter through. That was the time when my depression and anger were probably at their worst - in fact, it was around that time that thoughts of causing an accident that I hoped would be fatal (for me) crossed my mind once or twice. Fortunately it was pretty easy to see that knowing my luck, it wouldn't be fatal and things would suck worse afterward. So I guess I wasn't *that* depressed.

Now let me say, I have to admit that that marriage failing was 90% my fault. I could give you all the reasons, but suffice it to say that I was irresponsible in a lot of ways. He was too. We ALWAYS had money problems, and I resented him for it. I resented that after almost 10 years of marriage he was still working the same dead end job that he hated, and was not making any more per year than when we got married. He had no desire to make things better at all. I resented that everytime a financial problem came along, he ran to his mother to bail him out. And his mother did.

I'm not saying it's bad to need help now and then. I've had to rely on being helped a lot, especially after my husband's arrest. I'm not ashamed to admit when I can't do something by myself. What I am saying is that eventually people need to learn to accept their own responsibility for the self made messes in their lives, and quit expecting other people to fix it for them. And they need to learn how to avoid making those mistakes that caused the mess in the first place.

Well, sometimes when you don't learn a lesson the first time, you gotta go back and repeat the lesson until you get it.

Time went on and the jealousy of their new family faded, I got my job and got wrapped up in that and taking care of my kids, and things have settled down nicely.

Today though, my daughter told me that her step mother called to tell her that they were once again struggling financially, and Christmas was going to be lean. DQ even mentioned somethin about the possibility of them losing their house. I felt and feel badly about that, although I can't say I'm surprised.

As I thought of their situation, I remembered that jealousy for the first time in a very long time. And I could almost hear God saying "See? You felt jealous and wondered how I could do that then. I didn't do it, they did it without Me. But you didn't need to feel that way, I had you the whole time. That was never My best for you." Wow.

And as I've been thinking and praying for their situation, I know God's got them too. He never promised things would be easy and bad things wouldn't happen. I know first hand bad things happen even when it's not the result of our own mess making. But I also know first hand that God works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him. Even the things that hurt. And even the messes we make ourselves. He wants to give us more than good though. He wants us to have His BEST.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Work stuff

Had an interesting night the other night at work - we had officers catch an armed robbery suspect who had stolen a car at gunpoint about 40 minutes before that... very cool... even cooler when they found another car in front of the guys house that had also been taken at gunpoint. This is a bad guy they caught. Sometimes the good guys do win!

I'm starting to get a little frustrated in my training. I keep trying to remind myself that I felt the same way when I was in 911 training, that I'd never get it. Nothing like training to make one feel as dumb as dirt and totally inadequate. My trainer is patient, but I can tell she's expecting me to be catching on a little quicker. We're in week 7 of training that usually lasts 6 months or so, and I keep reminding myself of that... but still I'm wishing I were getting this better. For the first time since training started, I'm glad to be in 911 tonight where I know what I'm doing :)

There is, however, comic relief always at this job, in both 911 and on the radio side. In 911, you gotta laugh when people call to report UFO's or claim to be communicating telepathically with their dead girlfriend who's mad because she was decapitated and they can't find her head... However in radio, we have one precinct of officers who have apparently watched "SuperTroopers" one too many times, and keep meowing in the background when other officers are trying to clear over the radio. You should have heard them when they got called to a burglar alarm at a veterinarian's office, and the responsible person said to cancel it because it was probably just a cat wandering around the building...

OMGosh! A bloggy award!!

Grafted Branch at Restoring the Years has started her own awards, and OMGoodness, she gave one to me! I'm touched and honored! Thank you so much! I won for Most likely-to-make-you-smile blog title :) If I can make someone smile, then that's a great thing!
GB, you certainly made me smile today, thank you!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

I wish I could take credit for this picture, because I really like it, but it was taken by my 14 year old daughter. The girl has inherited her momma's love for taking pictures! Thank heaven for digital cameras with no film to buy or develop!

See more Wordless Wednesday fun at WWHQ!

"If it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all" - Eeyore

Not me, but my daughter, Allison, the 21 year old. That's about how she's feeling about her car right now.

She got it in February. She traded in her ugly old white Ford Taurus for a cool, cute red 2005 Dodge Neon. 5 days after she got it, someone hit her. Dented up the driver's side. Nobody was hurt, it was relatively minor but still over $2000 to fix, but the other driver's insurance paid.

Then the check engine light started going on, and she's never been able to get that resolved.

And then someone stole all 4 tires from her car and damaged the underside badly when they dropped it back on the ground.

Then when it came time to need air conditioning, she discovered the a/c didn't work. Have you ever been in Phoenix in July? Have you ever been in a car without air conditioning in Phoenix in July?

Here's what her car looks like today.... apparently her roommate misjudged the distance and scraped up against a pole. I don't think I've ever seen a car with such bad luck!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Holiday Meme

I've seen this floating around on a bunch of blogs, and since I've already done it twice for different email groups, I figured what the heck? All I have to do is copy and paste my answers and PRESTO! A blog post with very little work!! Play along if you feel like it, it's fun!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot chocolate please. Some mint in it is nice.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

He skips our house because we prefer to focus on the babe in the manger :)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

Colored please on the tree, none on the house. I'd like to decorate the outside of the house, but then never do...

4. Do you hang mistletoe?


5. When do you put your decorations up?

Whenever I darn well feel like it! Usually around December 15th. This year it will be December 8th.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

We don't have a set meal for Christmas, lately it's been fettucine alfredo. This year, since I have to work the night before and the night of, I'm thinking steaks grilled out at the park would be nice :) (See song below in previous post...)

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:

The one that stands out the most is the look on my sisters face when she got a huge huge box that had several smaller boxes inside, and it took her forever to get to her present, which was a star sapphire ring.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I was about 8 and figured it out. There was a box that said "Magnavox" in my moms closet, and lo and behold, the record player from santa also came in a box that said "Magnavox." I felt tricked and deceived and stupid for believing it. I was pretty upset about it for a long time.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?


10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

Ummm, with my hands? Nothing particularly fancy, just ornaments we've collected over the years that mean something. Although I lost a lot of the hand made ones the year before last when the kids flooded the pool and then the basement... that was sad, but I'm over it. And I have since gotten a plastic tub to store my ornaments in. Duh...

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?

Detest, despise, dislike intensely, downright LOATHE entirely!

12. Can you ice skate?

You're kidding, right?

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

It was a stocking stuffer - a red plastic donkey sitting on a black base that when you pressed it, the donkey collapsed. I don't know why I liked it so much, it was a cheap Woolworth's stocking stuffer. But my mom got it for me, and I think when she did, we were aware that she might not have many Christmases left.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

Being with family, celebrating the Greatest Gift of All.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

I'm easy to please, but my favorite usually contains chocolate.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Not having any traditions that get in the way of concentrating on what Christmas is supposed to be about.

17. What tops your tree?

A star.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?

Both :)

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?

Silent Night. My mom and I would sing it together at different times throughout the year. I remember doing a jigsaw puzzle with her, singing Silent Night. And it wasn't anywhere near Christmas.

Now of course, it's the song we sing at the Candle Light service at church on Christmas Eve, and I start bawling every time. I cry for missing my mom, who died 3 days after Christmas when I was 10, and I cry for all the blessings God has given us, not the least of which is that we've made it trough another year. The song just holds a lot of meaning for me.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

I can take them or leave them.

21.Do you like Christmas music?

Yes, but by 3pm on December 25th, I'm ready to not hear it again for another year. There are two Christmas songs I really can't stand though, and that's Blue Christmas (UGH like fingernails on a chalkboard! Particularly as performed by Elvis!) and Christmas Shoes. I'd hate it even if my mom didn't die three days after Christmas. It's schmaltzy and manipulative and the only purpose is to get to your emotions. But that's just me. :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Weekend Randomness

Because it's my weekend even if it's not yours yet. I'm off Thursday and Friday nights right now, so this is technically my Saturday evening, even though it really is Friday morning. Don't think about it too much, it will make your brain hurt. At least, it does mine. Anyway, I've got a lot to do this weekend.
  • I have to do laundry. Does anybody know for sure if there will be laundry in Heaven? I really pray the answer is no, because man, I think with 5 kids I've had enough of it here on earth!
  • I have to continue my Christmas preparations. Gotta buy cards, get stamps, get our pictures printed... Still have some presents to buy for my kids, and presents for the Christmas Angel program at work. The Communications Bureau of our police department, which is where I work, has adopted several families this Christmas. It's a wonderful thing, and I'm so excited to be able to participate, especially when you consider that two Christmases ago, we were the family that the Employment Services Bureau adopted.
  • I have to go grocery shopping. Oh how I despise it :P
  • I have to return the item I got scammed with thru eBay. Seriously. Paypal said that if I return it they will refund my money, because the thing doesn't work. It's a cell phone. Because my son's broke, and he found this phone on eBay. We got the phone, found it didn't work, then contacted the seller assuming he was honest. A couple days later, seller is no longer a registered user. GRRRRR. Lesson learned though, hopefully the address paypal provided is correct (it's not a PO Box!) and paypal will refund all of my money.
  • I have to clean my house. ............... Ok, well I think I can get the rest of the list done!

A real 911 call

Wednesday is the day I get to be in 911. The rest of the days I'm in training for dispatch. In some ways, I really like and look forward to Wednesdays. With a little over 2 years experience, I actually know what I'm doing in 911. I'm still learning dispatch and sometimes it's easy to feel in over my head or frustrated, even though overall I am doing well and I do really like it. On the other hand, in dispatch I don't have to talk to citizens on the phone, only officers. And sometimes, I like it better that way. This past Wednesday night, I could tell when I first sat down it was going to be one of those nights, because my 2nd or 3rd call went like this:

Me: 911, what is your emergency?
Very Inebriated Sounding Caller: Umm, I don't really have an emergency...
Me: Well, what's the problem, why are you calling 911?
VISC: Can you tell me... (long pause)
Me: Yes?
VISC: Can you tell me... What day it is?
Me: You are calling 911 to find out what day it is? Do you have an emergency?
VISC: No, I don't have an emergency. But is it Tuesday or Wednesday? Or is it Thursday?
Me: Sir, I need to keep this line free for emergencies. You'll need to call information or look at a calendar.
Then just as I was about to hang up... VISC: I do have an emergency! I need to know what day it is!!