Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

The list is long, but I've got 365 days....right?
#1. Get back into shape...and I'm not talking about the current round floppy shape either.

#2. Get organized...closets...drawers...the van...my school stuff...you name it!
#3. Make time for people and things that are important by cutting back on the less important stuff.
#4. Quit procrastinating...JUST DO IT instead of always putting things off!
#5. Hmmm...I'll finish this list later...sometime...
Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gratitude-Smatitude!!

We all miss the green of summer when we are entrenched in the gloom of winter. Planting a tray of oats for the cats is a nice treat that will help them maintain hope that someday they can be out hunting in the tall grass again.

Neptune LOVED the oats and grazed until she was full.

Pug was too confused to understand what to do. (Confusion is normal behavior for him)

Kramer would eat them IF I first picked one and then hand fed him. Nice....

video

As I shut off the camera, he ran into the playroom and sprayed the wall. It's really NOT biting the hand that feeds you...more along the other end of the animal!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Slippin' and Slidin'

The Christmas Day sliding party is always one of the best parts of Christmas. Last year, somehow, someway, someone crunched up Dad's sled. Jill found a new one for him for Christmas this year.
Christmas Day was perfect for sliding. Not too cold no so frostbite...not too hot so the snow didn't melt...no pesky sunshine to give us snowblindness and LOTS of people to make it fun. Here we have Dad taking the first run of the year on the brand new sled!

Noooooo, this isn't Rudolph or any of the reindeer! This is Katie with her Christmas horns that the Yunkers gave her. Actually, these are her trophy horns from her first deer hunt.
(With Tara's Kia)
Go Emily go!!
Snow
Soft, fluffy
Invigorating, snowing, exciting
Getting frosty, getting squished
Thrilling, freezing, slipping
Wet, cold
Ice

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Miracle

Christmas morning with Kramer seems like no big deal, but after his near death experience, it is a HUGE deal!

video

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve!!
What a great night! We all went to Shepherd of the Valley for the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and then out to Jill and Jeff's for dinner and for fun!
The Yunkers made it home from Florida just in the nick of time for the party.
Check out that tree!! Jill and Jeff cut the tree and couldn't pull it home. They got the tractor to drag it back to the house and then had quite the adventure getting it into the house...into a tree stand...and mopping up all the melted snow. It looks like all the trouble was worth it though!
The kids table and the kids that sat there...
Granny and Grandpa and all the grandkids, minus Lindsay.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Festivus for the Restofus!

The Christmas season is jam packed with fun traditions. If you don't buy into all the hub-bub that accompanies this frantic time of year...no fear...December 23 is the holiday for you! Festivus!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice Day



Yippeeee!! Things can only get better!

I like winter solstice because from now on the days get longer again. Today is a special winter solstice coinciding with a total eclipse of the full moon for the first time since 1638.

Celebration of the Winter Solstice or the Roman "Festival of Lights" is far older than our celebration of Christmas and many of the traditions were incorporated into Our Christmas.

Happy Winter Solstice Day.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thank You Wright Brothers!



December 17th the 107th anniversary of the flight that changed the world. hursday, December 17, 1903, dawned windy and cold on North Carolina's Outer Banks. At Kill Devil Hills, the thermometer hovered around the freezing mark, and a 25-mile-per-hour (40-kilometer-per-hour) wind blowing out of the north made it feel even colder.

Orville climbed into the primitive cockpit and lifted the "Flyer," as it was called, from the level ground of Kitty Hawk into the air and flew for 12 seconds before landing with a thud 120 feet away. The brothers made four flights that day, the last one soaring 852 feet and lasting almost one minute, launching the world into the aviation age for good.

It was the U.S. government that encouraged the first mass manufacturing of the airplane, which it saw as a potentially powerful weapon. When World War I broke out in 1914, airplane technology sped up dramatically and was a pillar of the wartime economy.

By the 1930s, the U.S. had four airlines delivering millions of passengers, limited mostly to the upper class, to points across the country and the Atlantic Ocean and, by the end of the decade, the Pacific. With the dawn of commercial air service, the world opened up in a new way, allowing people to visit places they'd only read about in books.

Aviation greatly affected the outcome of World War II, too, and war equally affected aviation. Airplanes carried paratroopers across the English Channel, dropped the first atomic bomb and, by the end of the war, its manufacturing had helped put the United States at the forefront of all the world's postwar economies, where it remained until the 1970s.

There was nowhere to go but up. The birth of the jet age in the 1950s, man's first steps on the moon, even Richard Branson's just-announced commercial space tourist plan, all have their scientific roots in the field of Kitty Hawk.

In less than 100 years, the Wright's shaky craft had turned into a vehicle fit to explore outer space.

Besides all that, if the Wright Brothers hadn't gotten powered flight "off the ground", what would I do with my students during our flight unit?
video

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Almost Ready!

Christmas is little more than a week away!! Lots to do and so little time to "git 'er done!" There's lots to love about this time of year!

1. Non-stop holiday songs on the radio.
2. Freedom to wear all of my tacky Christmas sweaters
3. International Delights Vanilla Rum coffee creamer
4. Hanging Christmas lights on everything!
5. The smell of the Christmas tree
6. Ringing the Salvation Army bell with Rene every year
7. Digging out the ornaments and decorations packed away about which I'd forgotten
8. Christmas parades
9. Christmas cartoons on television
10. Listening to the kids at school get so psyched about Santa
11. Eating Christmas cookies
12. Decorating the house
13. Christmas Eve with my family
14. Getting Christmas cards (especially the ones with enclosed photos and bragging letters)
15. Trying to stay awake until midnight on Christmas Eve to see if animals really can talk but falling asleep with all the Christmas lights burning

All of the nutcrackers are out and about throughout the house. These guys stand on top of the armoire and guard me while I sleep (or try to sleep)
These fellows are on sentry duty in the window in my bedroom to keep the cats at bay!
The ice palace
The house is decorated and the tree is up. If only the shopping was done....
The cats do love to sleep in the lighthouse village.

Luckily, Santa paid a visit to Katie already. Click on the link to see what he has to say! (It is a bit slow to load....so....patience is needed)
http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/watch/guest/LB5e4N6NIerlGfEyBuQbQg

Santa also visited Emily. http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/watch/guest/b2GFWSsgjbMASihK9sf3Cg

I hope Santa is GOOD to you!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Back From Break...


I've taken a few years (ok....ten years) off my quest for a healthy weight program. I've started again this week. The exercise plan is to cross-country ski at least three times a week and to exercise indoors on the remaining days.

Eating...that's another story. Geez, Christmas is coming and with it comes all those yummy cookies and sweet drinks and .....

Well....maybe I'll start after the holidays since LUCKILY I found this little "how-to" video on looking your best, no matter how much fat clings to your frame. Check it out and imagine the possibilities!


Today Now!: How To Thrust Your Fat Into A More Appealing Shape

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter is Here...seriously!

A FORECAST OF 8 TO 14 INCHES OF SNOW. THE 14 INCH AMOUNTS ARE OVER WEST CENTRAL WI NEAR EAU CLAIRE AND LADYSMITH WITH AROUND A FOOT IN THE TWIN CITIES WITH 6 TO 10 INCHES ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL MN. AS A RESULT...A WINTER STORM WATCH WAS ISSUED.

AS THE STORM DEEPENS ON SATURDAY...NORTHWEST WINDS FROM 20 TO 25 MPH WILL BECOME COMMON ACROSS WESTERN AND SOUTHERN MN WITH BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. TEMPERATURES WILL ALSO BE FALLING AND THIS WILL BEGIN A VERY COLD PERIOD FOR SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY. WIND CHILLS FROM -25 TO -35 WILL BE COMMON FROM LATE SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY. LOW TEMPERATURES SHOULD BE NEAR -10 TO -15 SUNDAY MORNING WITH HIGHS ONLY CLIMBING BACK TO NEAR 0 DURING THE DAY. MONDAY MORNING SHOULD BE THE COLDEST WITH -15 TO -20 FORECAST.






Saturday, December 4, 2010

Centuria Cozy Country Christmas

The Taylors Falls Lighting Festival was so much fun that we decided to make another parade appearance at the Centuria Christmas parade. We had seven little third and fourth grade shepherds along with the Johnston kids, Emily, and Jodi leading the sheep and handing out candy canes to the crowd. There were about six little angels and "Mary and Joseph" on the "float". Finally, bringing up the rear, there was Ferg, the loyal sheepdog trying her best to keep everyone in line.

These dignitaries were responsible for the fun tonight. Without their guidance when we were kids, Jodi and I wouldn't be as focused on the "real" meaning of Christmas and our float might have been a shopping mall and the shepherds would be carrying charge cards instead of leading sheep!
Mary and Joseph lived in the village of Nazareth lived Joseph and Mary. Joseph was a carpenter and Mary was a young virgin who would become his wife. Mary told Joseph of a dream in which she was visited by an angel who told her she had been chosen to bear the Son of God and his name was to be Jesus.One day the emperor sent notice that all persons were to register for a new tax. They were instructed to return to the towns of their birth. Joseph and Mary left Nazareth for Bethlehem. Mary who was with child, and close to the birth, rode on a donkey while Joseph walked beside her. They traveled for many days and only rested at night.

When they reached Bethlehem it was night. They looked for a place to rest but there were no empty rooms when they reached the inn. As they were being turned away Joseph mentioned his wife with child and close to birth. The inn keeper took pity on them and told them of some caves in the nearby hills that shepherds would stay with their cows and sheep.

So Joseph and Mary went up into the hills and found the caves. In one cave was a stable room. Joseph cleaned it and made beds of fresh hay. He found a feeding trough which he cleaned and filled with hay to use as a crib. The next night Mary gave birth to a son and they named him Jesus, as the angel had said.

When the child was born a great star appeared over Bethlehem that could be seen for miles around. In the fields nearby shepherds were tending their flocks. An angel appeared to them surrounded by bright light. The shepherds were frightened and tried to run.

"Fear Not," said the angel, "For I bring you tidings of great joy. For unto you is born this day in Bethlehem - a Saviour who is Christ the Lord."

"And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

Suddenly the sky was filled with angels, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men."

After the angels departed the shepherds set out for Bethlehem. When they reached the cave they found the stable and inside was the child wrapped in swaddling clothes.


Thanks to shepherd Emily and her traveling flock!