Thursday, December 31, 2015

Laugh

I love to laugh...and if I can learn about God and laugh at the same time, so much the better. The reason I love my church so much is it about loving God but also laughing and learning. This video about the 12 Days of Christmas from the Christmas Eve Service had me laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. I just have to share it.

Have you ever thought about what the gifts from the 12 Days of Christmas would actually be like??? Here's a glimpse of what that loving gift might actually look like.


https://www.facebook.com/highlands/videos/10153289814903341/?theater


And because I love you so much...I have to share some beautiful music from the Service also.


https://www.facebook.com/highlands/videos/10153285139253341/?theater

https://www.facebook.com/highlands/videos/10153291783323341/?theater





Lost It

Laundry, drive, feed the masses...that has been my life this past week...I even start my tea water and head to the laundry room to work on laundry while the water heats up...This means I am a little bleary eyed when pulling things out of the wash to put in the dryer...I found my debit card in the washer and was puzzled how my debit card found its way from my wallet to the washer. Slowly, slowly, it came back to me. I took my debit card and Military ID out of my wallet and put it in my pocket at ICE the other day. However, I could not find my ID anywhere! I prayed to the Omniscient God who sees everything to show me where I would find my ID card. Slowly, slowly, my fuzzy brain remembers pulling out my debit card to pay for something and that must have been when I lost the ID card. Great. Just great. I called Opryland and filed a "Lost" claim and was told it would take a week to process. In the meantime, I can't get on the Arsenal to use the Commissary. I don't think I have mentioned how much my kids are eating these days. I need Commissary access.

Loss of Commissary privileges is actually nothing compared to my Social Security, Greg's Social Security, and both of our birth dates are now in someone else's hands. As if the DOD hack wasn't bad enough (The Hackers got the entire family's information and all Greg's Security Clearance Information) and now I have handed strangers our information. I have a feeling I am going to come home one day and a bunch of Russians will have taken over my home and assumed my ID. I am going to end up living in a cardboard box under I565.

Thankfully, the Husband did not yell at me...he took me to get a new ID. I have my commissary privileges back...I will stress every time I use my debit card for fear someone has cleaned out my account.

Lesson learned...carry the heavy purse. Better yet, honor the Husband...this was Karma...for giving into the Kids' desire to see Ice over my husband's desire to never see ICE again...Next year, Cheekwood for the Dickens' Carolers and hot chocolate.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fingerpainted

Breathtaking...tonight was the third night of beautiful, take your breath away sunset...the swishing and swirling clouds seemed like the great Master had dipped his hands in paint and swoosh...color. I was in absolute awe...I was driving so I asked Hannah to grab my phone and take a picture...she just sat there...I tried to share my enthusiasm for the beauty...no luck, apparently, I was interrupting a group text message about her negligence on "Watpad." What the heck? Wat-what? Take a picture! Let's remember this artwork made just for us to appreciate...Her response..."I'll use my phone, it has a better camera." I hate technology, it has ruined conversations and appreciation for the beauty all around us. Next time, I pull to the side of the road and sit there until both children look up from their devices and are gob smacked by exquisite sunset...or I am slapping them upside the heads and throwing the devices out the window.



How many people can see a Saturn V with this for a background? 
Seeing this coming home from the Rink, made the drive worth 5 hours of sitting through a figure skating lesson and two Stick and Puck Sessions. 

Take It Easy


Sometimes I get so busy I forget to slow down and appreciate the Creation. Last night when I was driving home from taking a friend's family dinner, I looked up and the clouds appeared like they were in the midst of being painted onto the sky...there was a paint stroke effect to them.  It took my breath away.

The other night at the Rink, Hannah was walking by the doors and yelled "Mom! Come look at the sky." I was reading and really didn't want to get up and go look...I am so glad I did...and I am glad I had my phone in my pocket...I wanted to remind myself to look for beauty. Always.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Skate and then...Skate Some More

Skating, skating, skating. Hannah helped a "Learn to Skate for Free" clinic and after that Matthew helped with the" Learn to Play Hockey for Free" clinic. I kicked them out of the van and headed to the Allergist for my shots (did I mention after a year of shots, I have to start all over? The shots were not helping when I am around dogs...my throat still closes off and I sound like a whiskey swigging, cigarette smoking hootchie mama...I digress, like usual).  After helping with the clinics, the kids got to play...Stick and Puck time. It was fun to watch...Matthew was grinning ear to ear playing with a few teammates and Hannah "got a lesson" from the Coach's daughter.  Hannah and Marley made a deal...Hannah would teach Marley to figure skate and Marley is teaching Hannah hockey. Win/win.

Another day at the Rink...one more day and then we get two days off and then back to the Rink on Saturday.


M helping with Learn to Play Hockey






H getting a lesson from "Coach Marley"



Coach Marley knows how to put H through the paces!

Off Key

I wish I had the gift of song so I could write a catchy tune for my days at the Ice Rink...alas, I cannot...I can't rhyme, I can't sing, so what can a girl do?

M played in a 4 on 4 Tournament yesterday and I forgot to pack my sense of humor. Never forget your sense of humor with sports...I found myself more frustrated than I have ever been watching sports in my life. The goalie on M's team spent the entire time on his knees and flinching every time the puck came in his direction. I could  hear the voice of our travel team goalie's mom in my head yelling "Be Big, Goalie! Be Big!"  M's team came in last. I had to remind myself this is for fun, world peace is not involved, people have cancer, aren't we blessed to have healthy kids...like I said I completely forgot to pack my sense of humor...I didn't even take a picture...I do not pass the "Good Mom" test...

Hannah had an afternoon lesson with Matthew's Coach to work on stick handling and making the transition from figure skates to hockey skates...figure skates are straight with toe picks and 3 inch heels...hockey skates are curved, no toe pick (can you imagine what hockey players would do with toe picks?) and no heel so Hannah feels like she is falling backwards. She seems to have a natural talent for hockey so if she loves the game, she will go far. Oh, I did find my sense of humor while hanging out with her in the locker room. Watching her put on all that stinky gear with her eye liner and pink lipstick on is...nothing short of a HOOT! She won't let me take pictures...sigh.

So today, back to the Rink. Hannah is a Teacher's Assistant for figure skating and there is a "Learn to Skate for Free" Clinic. The kids are going to Stick and Puck and I will probably be in the parking lot sneaking in a nap...

Monday, December 28, 2015

Blessed

I still haven't made peace with social media...there are good things like keeping up with friends' lives without having to coordinate a good time to call (juggling the time zone and what the person is actually doing with what I am doing requires finesse). There are bad things like Facebook knowing all about you so it can target its ads to you based on what you have been writing in what you thought were private messages...and then there are the annoying posts of memes and the rude people who feel free to dump their uncontrolled thoughts all over your page...and then there is the blocking and unfriending...this is beginning to look like a case for staying off Social Media which is not the direction I meant to go...I'll jump back on track here...then there are the melt your heart things you find on Social Media that makes the negative fade to the background...like this:

Roo posted this on my birthday. I think it is my favorite picture of us. This was taken back in the days when she was an only child and I homeschooled her. We took several road trips to Boston, DC,  and this one to Baltimore. Her speed through the Aquarium amazed me. Who sees an aquarium in 40 minutes...however, now that I know of her love for The Cheesecake Factory. I know exactly why that was a world speed record for Aquarium viewing...The Cheesecake Factory was our dinner destination. This picture is funny because it was taken by my friend's 6 year old.  I digress...again...Lauren's words are so sweet on this post.  We seldom tell people the good stuff, it is so much easier to write it. This was the best birthday present. No need for spending an elaborate amount of money, just a few words, and I am blessed abundantly.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

54 Road Trip

Feeling a wee bit frustrated...I wrote a post (complete with pictures) last night on my tablet...posted...nothing...tried again with my phone...again, nothing...(Yes, I was trapped in a car returning from Nashville and I was keeping myself amused with my wit...well, at least I thought I was witty...the pictures of my beautiful children were fabulous if nothing else...well, Matthew's fell a bit under the fabulous bar since he refused to smile) I would try to write the post again but it is morning...and we all know that I may get up early but my brain doesn't engage for a few hours. I am a bit like the tin man and need oiling (with hot tea, several cups of it and a shower).

In a nutshell, we had our 3rd Annual Celebrate Mom's Birthday with Maggiano's and Ice Road Trip. Greg still doesn't like Ice so he came...but sat outside...I do not know what I am going to do with him...the only thing he likes these days are NASCAR and sporting events.

The food was good, we have lots left over to indulge in some more today after Church. Ice was beautiful, this year's theme is The Nutcracker and my favorite is still the end with the nativity scene with clear ice...I love the clear ice over the colored ice. Here are some pictures (which includes one with our adorable Christmas Scrooge). Oh, and we ran into one of Hannah's skating friends while at Ice.  Enjoying being 54!





















Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours...The presents are opened, the kids are bonding, the parents are hiding, all is well...

I would like to sit down and write an amusing tale of our Christmas celebration but the sound of Star Wars coming from the Family Room to my ears is drowning out any possibility of an amusing thought...let alone a clear thought...As a matter of fact, I should probably just bullet point this post...
  1. Christmas cards - made and sent...for the most part
  2. Presents - wrapped and delivered...for the most part
  3. Christmas baking - Whoops
  4. Cookies for Santa - Fail. See above
  5. Christmas Eve Service - Served and Worshiped. We will put that one down as success
  6. Christmas Eve Dinner - Worst service in the history of the Bices (and we have had some really bad service) One honking big tip from me...cuz it's Christmas and God would want me too...One Husband looking at me with a raised eyebrow repeatedly asking how much did I give...One Wife throwing submission to the wind and not answering...
  7. Presents unwrapped
  8. Sleep
  9. Christmas breakfast made with my favorite oldest daughter. Success...
The only thing left is making Christmas dinner. Would it be rude to hint to my daughters that baking a chocolate cake for my birthday would be so appreciated???


Christmas Movies with my favorite elf


What would Christmas Eve Day be without a hockey lesson for H (who was sweaty and didn't want her picture taken) 


Christmas Eve Service


The sound on the video is really bad, the music was beautiful and this sounds off key


Ready to unwrap


Matthew's list was all Scout Gear


Hannah's list was makeup and clothes. Check


Roo's list was coffee mugs (her passion) Pioneer Women Dishes (I totally get that...they're so happy...color and flowers, my favorite combination...and an Audrey Book for bonus points)


My gift from Roo. Isn't it beautiful? 


The rain is coming down relentlessly and the sound of thunder is interrupting Star Wars but all in all, it's a beautiful Day...Merry Christmas and God bless your New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Almost Christmas...

Christmas is just a few days away and we are still a wee bit behind schedule...Santa's cookies still need to be made, a few stocking stuffers to be purchased but we are having more fun than should be allowed...Friday night, Hannah had a lesson while Greg and Matthew helped setup the Church Office for the Giving Hope Outreach Program for our church.

Saturday morning started off with me going to the 9 am Prayer Service, Hannah off to assist with the figure skating classes...then Hannah started her hockey career with a clinic while Greg, Lauren, and me helped with the Church Outreach. (Matthew slacked and hid out at the Rink with his Kindle). I cannot begin to say how grateful I am for Greg and Lauren's help. I was in charge of getting all the gifts wrapped for the parents to take home...our church is extremely generous and well, there were a LOT of gifts to get wrapped. My team of 8 volunteers was just not getting it done. Both of my favorite oldest Bices pitched in without being asked. (I don't think I have ever seen Greg wrap a present in 28 years of marriage. Roo let me know he wraps like the engineer he is...very precise. Later that afternoon and evening, Matthew had some hockey games and he might have spent some time in the "Sin Bin."

Sunday morning, we were back at the Rink for hockey. M had an 8 a.m. game...the girls and I went to church after his game...well, they left early and were on time...saving me a seat...I have awesome girls. Hannah took her preliminary freeskate at 2:00 and then the girls and me headed to Birmingham for a Christmas service, some Mexican food, and cheesecake....then home.

Today, Hannah declares herself a "legit teenager" since she now has braces...after we did the grocery shopping, made dinner for a friend's family...and then...we napped. I love naps.



My Wrapping Team prior to the Elves Arrival



The Coach said "Be more aggressive!" He was.


Hannah and Coach Melinda
(and her good luck combat boots and Blitzen...because he is the "Dare Deer" which makes him "Dauntless"...it's a Hannah thing)










Mother-Daughters' Night Out in Birmingham 




"The Legit Teenager"

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Counting Down





Christmas seems to be approaching at an accelerated pace this year...I have not finished my cards so today I will skip the Gym and stay home to finish my cards. It's a great day to do this, it's cloudy and drizzly, a perfect day to sip tea and write notes and to those I love.

I purged my camera of pictures yesterday so I have a few to upload today. Hannah tried a hockey clinic on Monday night adorned in all her borrowed gear (I bought a mouth guard, socks, under shirt, and under pants...$150, yikes) She had a small adjustment to make to hockey skates from figure skates. Figure skates have a 3 inch heel so she felt like she was leaning backwards in the hockey skates...and no toe pick, probably a good thing so she didn't do a face plant on the ice. She had a blast! I've never seen my gurly girl so sweaty! She let me know she loves the sport, is ready to commit and I can go ahead and buy her gear. Oh boy.









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