"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Oh What Fun .....

The Mac family celebrated Christmas with all the children at home this year. We have counted our blessings and are very thankful for each and every one. Mrs. Mac sure could use a long winter's night of sleep ... but will keep on keeping on until everyone is back to school and work in the next few weeks.

Photos: Mr. Mac and Patrick raising the new flags. Ann and Nathan wooshing on the new sleds.
Patrick and Nathan after sledding. Baby Jake's first sledding adventure.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Family Christmas Outing

Most Sundays of late I've been a shut-in so to speak; not able to get to church. However ... not able to get to church is not the same as not being part of God's church family. It is just a season for the moment ... until circumstances change. I look forward to having my husband living at home permanently in a few more months. We have both sacrificed our togetherness for the time being to start a new chapter in our lives. A move that has been done in planned stages and transitions ... carefully laid out and blessed by God. So until he returns home permanently, to be my helpmate once again, I must rest in God's grace being content with our current situation (being the caretaker of our special needs son, Nathan). Nathan has issues that place a great burden on me in regards to getting to church. Having Down syndrome and some autistic traits I am unable to just head off to church on Sunday morning with him. Most churches do not have accommodations for such children. Big church is too bright and loud. Sunday school is too overstimulating and he needs a one to one aide just to keep an eye on him. A quiet room with books and a Bible story movie, two or three other children and a teacher is about as much as he can take. I have faith that God has plans and hubby and I can once again be in church fellowship that hopefully includes our son. Tonight I was reading the paper and saw that two local churches are having drive through nativities this weekend. Now this is something we can participate in as a family and bring Nathan along too. He will feel quite secure observing from the back seat of our truck. We've been reading the Christmas story about the birth of Christ to him from a simple little Golden Book. I'm sure he will make the connection as we drive through the church's parking lot and see Mary and Joseph ... the baby Jesus ... the manger scene ... and the live animals. Simple truth that Nathan can understand ... simple truth that a great percentage of people pass up.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Up To Some New Tricks

It's been a while since I posted any pics of my grandson. He's becoming quite a little monkey with all of his new skills. Just in a matter of two weeks he has learned how to sit up by himself, pull himself up to stand and crawl around thus keeping me on my toes for his safety. We play patty cake and peek-a-boo, read books together and coo back and forth to each other. I love being a grandmother. Last night he got reacquainted with grandpa ... seems afterwards they both needed to change their pants ;) Jacob is such a little squirt.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm Off ... And ... Don't Try This

Today my schweetie-pie hubby returns to me so I'd better get busy tidying up the home. Our weather turned slushie ... but should make for better driving to the airport. Nathan woke up in an extra good mood knowing his daddy would soon be home ... his school week (so far) has been outstanding. And I leave you with this tip: Don't leave a tube of Desitin (baby butt ointment) out on the bathroom counter. Why? Because last night I mistook it for the toothpaste (yuck-phooey-nasty fish oil taste mouth all night long, belck)!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Whatever Happened to ......... Customer Service???

Twice this week I've had my panties in a bind over CUSTOMER NO SERVICE! The first time was when I ordered a U.S. made military (Marine) flag as a gift for my dad for Christmas. This took place over the internet and within a minute I realized I should have ordered two flag clips so he could fly the flag. I called the company and asked them to include said clips so I wouldn't have to pay an additional $7 dollars shipping. The clips are cheap ... under a buck for two and I would have gladly paid for them. My reply was that they have no way to intervene an order once it's placed ... well phooey. Really now, how hard would it be for someone to call over to the warehouse and ask them to put in two little old clips! That will be the last time I buy from this company (U.S. Flags) ... But it was my purchase of a new tv today that really infuriated me to no end. And just what did Mrs. Mac find you ask??? Not one ... no ... but TWO manuals BOTH IN SPANISH!!!!!!!!! No big deal right?? So I gave old Walmart a call and they don't even have the phone number for Sony. Of course the manual has a Spanish number and website to contact ... but there's just one problem. Last time I checked I was living in the U.S.A. and the national language was supposed to be English ... and I don't exactly remember my conversational Spanish from high school ... not like that would do me any good. So I go on-line to Sony and get their customer service number. By the slight accent of the young lady I spoke with, I'm sure my call was sent to a foreign country. She informs me that she cannot send me a manual, but will email me one. Being that I don't want the copy sent via an email ... but instead would prefer an actual 3-D manual, I began to complain to her that that would not be acceptable and to put me through to her supervisor .... dead silence for many minutes followed. I think the call was lost, oops! By now I have found another website where I can order and pay $5 plus shipping for an ENGLISH manual ... but I'm not going to do it, no siree. If they can't at least send me an ENGLISH manual at their expense, then I may just have to take back the TV and exchange it for one that comes with an ENGLISH manual. Thank you for letting me vent ... I'm taking a deep breath ... sigh ... sigh ..... OK ... I'm much better now.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

And What Would You Like For Christmas

... little boy? "Wat wewe" says Nathan to Santa. Lost in translation: Rat Movie ... i.e. the new Ratatouille cartoon. Nathan knows he had better be extra nice this coming week at school. Last week was a doozie behavior wise. I hope he makes the connection ... "you'd better be nice" ...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Whatever happened to:
  • neighborhood church bells
  • a reverence for religious and national holidays
  • special occasion dresses
  • waiting until December 25 for a present
  • a much anticipated long distance phone call ... for just a few minutes due to cost
  • 99.9 % of stores and businesses closing for Christmas, Sunday, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.
  • saying "Merry Christmas" ... instead of "Happy (generic) Holidays
  • Christmas savings programs through your bank so you didn't owe on credit cards for six months past Christmas
  • moderation
  • being content with whatever present you received ... instead of handing out a wish list
  • driving to grandma's house for a family gathering
  • meaningful Christmas music
  • nothing remotely Christmasie until after Thanksgiving ...
  • the real reason for celebrating Christmas ...
  • whole intact families

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Operation Root Canal Redo

Open wide and say OUCH! Three or four years ago I had a root canal and permanent enamel covered crown affixed to tooth number 13 in my mouth. Having the root taken out there should not have been any long lasting pain associated with this tooth. Other crowns have taken a while to become desensitized ... but this tooth has bothered me for some time. It became even more painful when I was under stress from building our new home. I tend to clench me teeth at night when stressed out. My new (state of the art) dentist sent me to an endodontist today for what I thought would just be a consultation. I started suspecting I was in for the procedure when he reclined my chair and whipped out a q-tip with numbing gel followed by a Novocain shot. I usually need a day or two to psych myself up for any type of medical procedure. Having one root canal performed on a tooth is bad enough ... but having to go through it a second time because dentist #1 didn't do a good job is the pits. But, alas, the outcome is good. NO MORE PAIN ... except in my wallet to the tune of $1200. I sure hope my dental insurance will cover the redo of the first botched job.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sick to Death of Drug Ads

So I'm flipping through my Guidepost magazine in preparation for a hot bubble bath ... I always read in the bubbly bath ... but before doing so I have to rip half the magazine apart just to throw out all the expensive drug ads ... now my magazine is this skinny little leaflet with just a few good stories to read and soak in. I make certain not to pay any attention to what the drug companies are pushing ... to me it's ridiculous that a person has to decide which drug to ask their doctor to prescribe ... didn't it used to be the other way around? You were sick and the doctor gave YOU a prescription. Let's get some type of legislation going to ban the expensive drug companies from peddling their pills to the consumer before they even call the doctor. And one more thing ... now that I'm on my soapbox ... my mute button on the TV remote control is just about worn off from quieting the same drug companies from their drug pushing in my living room too. No wonder the prescription drugs are so costly. OK ... now I'm off the soapbox and have taken a few deep breaths. Calm down Mrs. Mac ...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Granny's Day Out

A day to myself. I have eight hours today without one thing scheduled on my agenda. The kids are at school, the grand baby is with his parents, hubby is off working, the roads are clear, the sky is blue, and I have a full tank of gas. After being housebound the past few days, this will be a perfect day to finish up my Christmas and grocery shopping.

Hubby was sure to leave me with a working chain saw that I can manage, and a snow plow to use before he left last month, nice guy, eh? The plow came in handy three times this past week, but alas, our snow has melted due to the "Pineapple Express" that blew through the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday it was a balmy 57 degrees outside.

Daylight is burning ... I'm outta here.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Crazy Little Thing Called Life

I'm so dizzy ... my head is swimming ... that is my latest mantra! We have been minus a car for the past week since I loaned my oldest daughter our van. Her hubby's car has been in the shop for repairs ... so my life has been running here and there and being available for everybody's schedules. Ann usually drives my mom's mini van much to her disapproval. But now that she has been inconvenienced, maybe she will appreciate her mode of transportation. Checking with my watch, I see it's time to run down to the bus stop to pick up Nathan. Catch you later, maybe.

I'll leave you with a photo taken this week from my front porch.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My Likes

1. reading a magazine while taking a bubble bath
2. a good night sleep
3. a back rub
4. first cup of coffee in the morning
5. solving two newspaper puzzles a day
6. hot cocoa laced with a whiff of peppermint schnapps
7. unexpected refund check in the mail
8. having a dependable sitter for Nathan
9. the great outdoors
10. an afternoon nap

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Best Thanksgiving Wishes
From Our Family
To Yours

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fast Forward Fifteen Years

The past four weeks have zipped by with barely a chance to catch my breath. First hubby was home for three weeks, then a long lost girl friend flew in from Texas for a week to catch up on fifteen years worth of our lives. Last time we visited, our now grown children were toddling around in diapers. Time has a way of standing still in one's mind ... but oh its effect on the body is something left only for the imagination. She, of course, looks fabulous at 50. I, of course, must have put on twenty-five pounds and, well, after four children, look a bit different. Today was supposed to be a 'day off' ... but my youngest had a rough night and little sleep ... so did I. So it wasn't really a day off after all.

This year for Thankgiving I'm taking the day off ;) ... to be exact ... we're eating out. With Elizabeth having to work that day, I would have been doing all the cooking (and a lot of the clean up) ... so we're heading to the Coeur D' Alene Resort for their sumptuous feast. Ann put up a stink about our home not smelling like her grandma's kitchen ... but she was out numbered. ... maybe I can find a pumpkin spice candle to burn, eh?

"Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold."

unknown author

Thursday, November 08, 2007

On This Our Wedding Day (Plus 27 years)

"I DO" ... words spoken and unbroken many years ago. Two sweethearts starting off on life's adventure. Today we are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary. Four children and one grandchild later, we have been through high water and a few low tides. Always clinging to our faith and never taking one another for granted. I hope and pray that our own dear children will make lasting vows as they marry.

Friday, October 26, 2007

History Buff's Dream Date Night

The Mr. and I attended a dinner/lecture last night sponsored by the Idaho Humanities Council at the CDA Resort. Guest speaker was the New York Times Best Selling author Andrew Carroll. He spoke about the importance of preserving our nation's history by protecting wartime correspondence before they are lost or destroyed. Many of these letters have made their way into his books and PBS documentary War Letters. If anyone would like to contribute a photocopy of a personal war time letter, find further information at www.warletters.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A New "Ann-e-ism"

Ann-e-isms are off the wall sayings that spew out of my seventeen year old daughter's mouth. Some of them are gems ... from younger years ... but her most recent verbiage was: "Did you get my channel-of-mind-link? " This being said after we both started saying the same thing at the same time last night. Her most famous line was part of a middle school report about creation -vs- evolution. It went something like this: "People have the need to know the true believings and the real happenings." After I read it, she handed the paper to her dad to review. He happened to be watching a football game on TV and glanced it over once, handed it back to her and told her "good job." My jaw dropped and I asked him what he had been smoking ... and to please read it again. At age eight she told my mom: "Grandma, when I grow up I want to look just like you ... but I want my own skin." (I'm sure this was said in reference to my mom's wrinkles). At age 12, while she and I were walking from the far end of the Target parking lot, commented how "those handicapped people are so lucky, they get to park up front." For this she got a tongue lashing from dear old mom. And last but not least she she told my grandfather when he turned ninety: "Grandpa, you're almost out of your numbers." Art Linkletter was right when he often said, "kids say the darnedest things." What are some of the funny sayings you've heard your kids or grandkids say?

Monday, October 22, 2007

To The Airport (again)

Mr. Mac is returning home around 1:00 today, so I'm off to the airport in about an hour. Three whole wonderful weeks of a helpmate (manservant) to take care of my growing honey-do list. After he's settled in then I'll be back to posting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Choosing Not (To Swallow The Pill Of Bitterness)

Yesterday found me with two sick children at home. One child is small and for the first five of his eleven years had fragile health. The other (adult) child was teased growing up that she was 'too mean' to get sick ... she somehow escaped 95% of the nasty germs our family passed around. My adult child, Ann, will head back to school today, none for the weary ... feeling better. The small boy, Nathan, that calls me MOM (from the top of his lungs) will hang around another day ... sick. He has a throat infection and is being treated with antibiotics and should be fine in a day or so. He has Down syndrome ... a genetic disorder that can wreak havoc on a persons body and mental capabilities ... it will not go away and I've come to terms with the associated problems. Those terms sometimes include sleepless nights on both our parts. Last night was one of 'those terms' and I must have gotten up at least 11 times with him. Eleven times woken from sleepy dreamland to comfort him. Eleven times to change his pants because he needs help. Nine of those times I almost lost my patience ... and two of those times I remembered that he is only a small child, a gift from God, and needs extra protection and help. We chose life for him .... a high percentage of parents would have 'thrown him away' before birth. My inconvenience is short lived ... his 'inconvenience' is never complained about ... he takes his condition one day at a time and in his best efforts, makes beautiful music. Bitterness? Not on my watch.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Last Week In Pictures

Pictures: A visit to Hansen's Orchard, Sunrise from my front porch, "Mangy Moose" painting discovered in an antique shop ... begging me to buy it ;), Mr. Nathan tending the fire with his mutt, the fabulous baby Jake, salsa..salsa..salsa ..yummy!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Are You A 'Manly" Woman?

So I'm having a conversation yesterday with my seventeen year old daughter, Ann. She is the epitome of all things girly (since birth) and is not suited for the "snakes and snails and puppy dog tails" type of existence. Having a way with word faux pases (and I having a list a mile long of the hilarious verbiage that has spewed from her mouth) she said, "Mom, have you always been a manly woman? Did you ever wear ribbons or skirts or dress up?" I, all the while flabbergasted, dropped to the floor laughing. Most days I wear comfy jeans, roll up my sleeves, mow the grass, gather firewood, put up canned goods, burn leaves, and enjoy both typical male and female type of work around the house. Her parting comment: "I don't know what dad would do without you." I love you too, sweetie.

(help me with my French .. is faux pases the plural of faux pas?)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Walk Through Time - Part III (at last .. my feet hurt)

Final tour of duty: SS Lane Victory. U.S. Merchant Marine Navel Ship launched in 1945. Used to haul supplies to troops during WWII. This day trip included our son, Patrick. He's currently active duty U.S. Army and is a tank crewman. His vintage uniform for our outing is that of a WWII tank officer. The day began with a cruise around Catalina Island, involved espionage (a spy aboard ship) ... and was supposed to include a 'dog fight' with a bomber plane ... but it was foggy for part of the cruise ... so no plane ... but the big guns were fired. Lunch and a harbor cruise rounded out the day.

A few of these photos are from the Living Time Line at Ft. MacArthur. The military vehicle and women's military uniform 'museum' belong to Bob and Kathy. The gentleman standing in between Mr. and Mrs. Mac is R. Lee Ermey.

Well, it has been fun walking my way through history. Can't wait to find out my next assignment. Stay tuned.

click on photos to enlarge
Edit: The charge up San Juan Hill by the three rough riders, left Mr. Mac a casualty of war :(