Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Card

Fifty free cards, most to family members, I'm out of cards. So to all my cyber friends, long lost friends, and friends, consider yourself wished a Merry Christmas from the Whitings.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I love to watch people. It's been a tradition of mine from as far back as I can recall. It probably started when I was about 5 years old and my brother was sitting on a bench at the boardwalk. I sat down beside him and asked something to the effect of what are you doing and why aren't you playing instead. He replied that he was people watching and that to him it was fun. And so started my own people watching affair. It isn't so ominous as watching and critiquing or judging, just simply watching the small moments of peoples life and seeing what makes them happy.

When I married Travis we started our married life by alternating homes at Christmas time. My first year at his house I was surprised and saddened by all the traditions that were so different than my house. But with the passing years I can't help but people watch and take the best of what I have learned. I have learned that my Mother In Law loves her kids, 5 boys and 1 girl. I have watched her slave in the kitchen at the holidays taking each child's favorite treat request and making it. She seems to enjoy this for no other reason than it makes her kids happy. I love this about her. She is such a role model of good mothering. Additionally I watch the kids lovely adore their Christmas stockings up close as well as from a far. And each year they engage in teasing banter about who's hand stitched stocking is the best and why. These beaded and sequined, hand stitched, felt masterpieces are a work of love. And the kids couldn't appreciate them more I don't think. It is a way they bond with one another.

And so after watching for years I can't help but borrow the best ideas and carry on a tradition of love. So this year I embarked on making these stocking masterpieces. Not all of them will be done in time for the holidays but I can't help but be thrilled as the kids have already gone bonkers numerous times and compared theirs with one another. And I have started taking requests about favorite holiday goodies. And although I can't stand coconut I am about to make a Cathedral Window, which is Travis's favorite goodie, from his mom. Wish me luck. Thanks Treila and all the other mothers out there for being such a good examples to me. I'm stealing the best traditions and carrying them on.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas

It was with anguish that I have been approaching the holiday season, typically my favorite time of year. I was struggling to feel the real impact and meaning of the birth of Christ and was being distracted by things which I didn't feel like I could eliminate from my life. On Saturday morning as I closed out our last ward choir practice before the big program, I wept as I prayed that we would remember the miracle of Jesus' birth and life and what it meant for us. In the car I relayed my sorrows to my husband and he as ever listened patiently.

We headed to the store. We were going to let the kids do their shopping for one another. We go into the store one kid at a time while the other parent sits in the car waiting with the others. As we had finished with all four kids, I loaded out one last time, put the bags in the trunk and walked to my own door. A man stepped out of the crowd handed me something and said Merry Christmas. I thought it was literature on Christ or something and so I thanked him and got into my car. I opened it again to see that it was a green bank envelope with $100. This had been just what I needed, not the hundred dollars. Although I don't care who you are that is a nice gift. It was that I had finally seen the spirit of the season through this man and his simple gift.

Later that day we had a semi impromptu trip to the Smithsonian as a family, where the kids got to see the Hope Diamond and other cool exhibits. We then went over to the temple and visitor's center to see the lights, trees, and nativity sets. Then on Sunday we had a lovely church program. Latter that night we made holiday cookies for friends and neighbors. And then got a call from some friends for an invitation to go caroling. It was great and we came back to the house for some hot chocolate or apple cinnamon cider and pumpkin roll. Yummo! After I went to the airport to pick up my Sista, woot woot! The holiday has officially started. Surrounded by family and friends and the kindness of other I can remember why this time of year is so important after all. I hope you are remembering too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Church Santa

Spoiler Alert for the young reader:

This past weekend our ward had it's annual Christmas Party. Of course Santa happened to make a visit and allowed the kids to sit on his lap and make Christmas requests. Here is the story, assimilated as best as possible from several sources:

Issac jumped up on Santa's lap joyfully and listed a quite extensive list of items that he wanted for Christmas including a toy plane, a real shotgun, and some toys. Santa replied that he would probably get everything he wanted. Next Kody made his way over to Santa and told Santa, "I don't want to sit in your lap." Santa said that was fine but asked him what he wanted for Christmas anyway. To which Kody replied, "A hippopotomus." Laughter ensued all around. Last Wyatt got up on Santa's lap and expressed his hearts desire to be given a Wii. Santa replied that he didn't know since Wii's are pretty expensive.

Now I ask you Santa, which is more realistic an expensive Wii for a practically 7 year old or a real shotgun for a barely 5 year old. Those crazy church Santas might make for an interesting Christmas morning.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thieving It Like A Robber

Christmas Card Review:
* before you view please be kind and
remember that I was either 6 0r more months pregnant or
I had a baby less than three months old every Christmas since 2001
(i like to call the last 8 years the chubby years),
but the pics start in 2003.

2006 2007(actually 3/2008)20082009 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Couldn't Resist

Recently I stumbled on this beauty while checking out a friends Facebook pictures.
Winner of
the World's Most Awkward Picture
Guesses as to what this picture says:
1. We can't seem to keep our clothes shut.
2. I'm competing with Robert Pattinson for most gruesome naked chest picture.
3. I've got a gun and I'll protect my unborn child.
4. I think I may be able to squeak one out without anyone noticing.
5. We're too cheap to purchase maternity apparel.
6. I sure like to hold a gun someone else is wearing.

I really don't know, but it makes me laugh every time I open it, because this pic is now on my desktop for quick referencing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What Does It All Mean?

I know that everything isn't all about me, but let's be honest a lot of it is - in my life anyway. Okay with that being said recently I have realized upon a little mental quandry. With the new digital age and internet networking I have been reconnected with tons of friends and "boyfriends" of long ago. Now to my benefit I have had boyfriends, but I feel the quotes need added, because none were long term nor were any very serious.

Well quite a while back I found that one particular boy whom I was very good friends with and who had asked me to several dances and I went to my senior prom with turns out to be homosexual. Well he was never a boyfriend and he was quite effemenate in high school and so the admission was not really that surprising. But I couldn't help but wonder why he would ask me to so many dances and out so frequently in general. Was he gay then? Unsure? Why bother with me if he was? What did this all mean?

My brain was beseiged with questions and so I did what any self preserving woman does and I put it to the back of my mind never to be contemplated again. Although my nagging worry remained, what if I wouldn't have rejected this boys advances so frequently would that have made any difference.

Now swing to near present. I stumble upon another boy who was a good friend of mine. One of my best friends in 9th grade. When we had classes together we were partners and I loved his sense of humor. He was reasonable handsome and so when he wrote me a note asking if I would be his girlfriend, I replied yes. I mean I adored the boy. But later at lunch when my friends found out I am ashamed to admit they teased me and I surcame to the peer pressure and either later that day or the next broke up with him once again via letter. My sister let me know that she thought it was a mistake, but I my friends had convinced me that he was not my type, read cool enough.

Since high school he has been one of my biggest regrets. I had rebuffed this guy who I adored for no other reason than he didn't meet the social approval of the "in" crowd. I have dreamed about him, thought about him, and wished I would have been strong enough to stand up to my peers countless times. Recently I find him on facebook and what should my eyes behold but him appearing to be gay as best as I can tell from his facebook profile. It's not subtle so just assume I'm right here, because I am. What does this mean?

Seriously did I scar these men? Was I someone safe, a cover perhaps? In the movies more often than not the men unsure in their sexual preferences have paired up with a girl who more often than not ends up being a lesbian. Should I be a lesbian? Am I a lesbian? Well obviously not, but what is with the men in my past, these are just two examples that are closer to me. All of the questions are back in the forefront of my brain. What does this mean?

Tell me, dear reader, I implore you!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Keeping Up

In reverse order in the last two weeks we have.... had an old man back into my not moving vehicle. $600 dollars to his insurance later it looks marvelous, but that is ludicrous. We have had the van start making funny noises, strand Travis in a rain storm to walk home, and that will be fixed by my super handy hubby tonight.
have made birthday treats to take to school. Rice crispy circles with chocolate frosting and mini Reese's Pieces. As well as baked 4 batches of cookies for Manheim Women's Club, assemble 130 some odd 1 lb. packages and sell them at the Manheim Auto Auction. This year the flattery from the Auto Auction men was laid on as thick as ever. What a good day! And cooking more cookies for a neighborhood cookie exchange.
have been spoiling Issac's very particular birthday whims of breakfast in bed. Check out his mini 6 pack. Remember this child is also considered obese on the BMI body chart.
have been having lunch dates with neighbors and friends and kids.
have spent a lot of time at the shooting range. Recently we joined Manheim Sportsman Association. The kids love our quick impromptu trips to shoot for a bit. They have little point competitions, here they are checking the scores. Also I saw a mildly attractive man there, who got a whole lot hotter, in his camo fatigues practicing pistol drills and doing awesome. Something very primal about knowing that man could protect a woman.

celebrating Thanksgiving both in the school for the first grade feast, and the actual day of with Turkey Bowl football, which I also cash in on and dinner at my brother's house with his family.

We have been keeping super busy, but every minute is better than the last, so I can't complain.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dear 24 Hour Fitness,

I miss you. I miss the convenience of a big gym with all the equipment, unlimited classes, and pickup sport games arranged in the evenings. I miss the convenience of having my body fat tested monthly and a sense of accountability to the people who I see at the gym everyday. I miss going to visit you everyday. I miss the included gym daycare center for my kids, as well as classes included in the price. I miss everything about you.

Why not move back here to the east and open one up in some town close to me? Why don't you take my husband up on his offer to build it? Why must you hoard such a wonderful and reasonable gym experience to those in California, Utah, and other western states. I will faithfully visit you almost everyday if you come here. It's just not the same running on your neighbor's treadmill, running in the snow around a field while your kids play on the playground, or turning to fat and lard from all the fabulous and hearty German food back here in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Longingly missing you, Mary

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Sporting Goods Section and Me

Who am I?
  • I've never gotten a gift that didn't come from the sporting goods section of the store.
  • I get super deep dark tan in the sun.
  • I like to tell jokes like "Pete and Repeat were walking down the street. Now Pete is gone. Who is left?" followed by answers "You're right and then it starts all over again" or "Pete-ra-tee".
  • I am nothing like my dad, yet my middle name comes from his side of the family.
  • I look exactly like my mom when she was younger and pretty much the same as she does now.
  • As a baby I cried nonstop but at about 3 I flipped a switch and have been the happiest boy ever since.
  • I'm fearless.
  • I have blond hair, and my blue eyes from babyhood at age 3 1/2 changed to bluish, greenish, and gray all mixed.
  • Today is my birthday and I am five.
  • When asked what would make my birthday a good one, I quickly replied "Breakfast in bed with french toast, bacon, apple rings, cereal, and orange juice which you can put on my dresser."
Answer: Issac Ames
If you haven't guessed by now, I'm totally enamored with this boy. My little Issac man! He cracks Travis and me up daily. He is a life force to be reckoned with. And even today as Kody declares, "I don't like Jesus" a post for a different day, Issac says "Kody you have to like Jesus, otherwise you die. Because he is the Savior, Save-your." Issac will someday be a crazy man standing in front of a tornado saying bring it on, I'm not afraid. I'm tougher than you. And you know what he just might be. I think this smiling madman just might be able to conquer the world.