Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

It's just something we do...New Year's Resolutions.  It makes us feel good inside and we like to think we are going to stick to them and make us better.  Maybe many of you are much better at this than me.  Anyway...here are my three.....

1.  Project 365 - This is a scrapbooking kit that will go on sale Thursday.  It's creator, Becky Higgins, designed it for the too busy to scrapbook person like myself and it's even great for the non-scrapper.  Check it out  www.kitofthemonth.blogspot.com .  Maggie Holmes has a cute example of one week she's done in December.  I've already started my journaling and picture taking on Sunday without owning the kit.  I can't wait to get my hands on this one!!  (I know this will be one resolution that I can stick to.)

2.  Anytime Fitness -  Andy and I joined Anytime Fitness, which is just down the road from us.  We now are members for one year, so we better go.  I think I'll make my first visit on New Year's Eve, so no one will be there....hopefully.  Then I'll come home to see Lisa Bearnson and her latest in scrapbooking on QVC at 11:00 eastern time.  I know what your thinking....wild woman out on New Year's, huh?!  

3.  Mission 40 x 40 -  This is my project of doing 40 things by age 40 and it's not going so well.  I guess I can add text messaging and joining a gym to my list.  Kind of boring...but forty things are a lot.  I better kick it in gear! 

Please let me know what your resolutions for the new year are going to be!  I'm anxious to know! 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Vest Christmas

Christmas is over....and I am finally ready to say this is the last posting about Christmas happenings.  Here are a few of my favorite Christmas pictures of 2008.  
Tyler received a cell phone much to his excitement.  This was one gift that I've had many misgivings about.  Tyler hope you prove me wrong on this one!  
Baby Xander looked so precious in his little Santa outfit.  Many babies in the family have sported similar outfits over the years.  
I gave Mom "The Last Lecture" book by Randy Pausch...of course, she has already read it!  And yes, Grant's shirt is on backwards...that's another story!
Grant received a toilet seat for potty training, but he's not ready as you can see.  He thinks it makes a better hat!   

And here's my Madison with her two favorite gifts....a pink Nintendo DS (pink so Tyler won't use it) and her new friend, Mia.  

Christmas at St. Mark's

Our family attended the 6:30 Christmas Eve service at St. Mark's United Methodist Church at 84th and Pioneers.  It's a long trek to St. Mark's, but we feel at home there.  We heard beautiful choir music, a flutist and of course, an inspirational message by Pastor Wayne Alloway.  We took these pictures of my family, at the front of the fellowship hall, which will be their last for Christmas services.  Next year's Christmas service will be in the new sanctuary that's currently under construction at the other end of the building.  

Friday, December 26, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Things #12

Here are just a few of this year's Christmas cards that we have received.  I also did get many Christmas greetings without pictures, but I decided for the sake of the blog that maybe some of you would find humor in possibly spotting your picture that's micro-mini on the computer.  I must say that finding Christmas cards in my mailbox ALWAYS bring me endless happiness and joy!  It's one of the things I truly love about Christmas.  So, if you haven't sent me your Christmas card yet (for my scrapbooking purposes), please know that I also accept New Year's Day cards! :)

The Broeker Christmas

We traveled out to Bartley, Nebraska for our Broeker family Christmas this year on December 20th and 21st.  Carla and Scott hosted the get together and we enjoyed a nice ham and baked potato dinner.  The traditional Christmas story was read before we opened any gifts.  It was nice to hear Kati, Madison, Tyler and Zack take turns reading about the birth of our Savior.   

In the evening, we ventured out in subzero weather to McCook to attend a living nativity at Scott and Carla's church.  Their church went to a great deal of work with the nativity.  I have never seen a church go to the extent of having an actual market place that depicted the time of Jesus's birth.  Amazing detail!  

It was an enjoyable weekend and the weather, fortunately, cooperated!  Tyler and Madison love spending time with their cousins Zack and Kati.  It's nice that the kids are all the same age...only poor Grant gets left out a little!  :)

My Favorite Christmas Things #11

This is the third year that I've had my primitive Christmas tree.  I purchased it at Aunt Patty's Attic here in Lincoln and just love it.  Andy thinks it looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and my sister, Jill, believes it looks like it caught on fire, but I enjoy it regardless!  It goes well with my primitive Santa.  I do think I need to find some more ornaments for it because it would look even better...maybe fuller since it's so bare.  The ornaments that I have on it now are all snowmen with garland mittens and a few rusty metal stars, hearts and bells.  Oh, Christmas tree how beautiful are your branches!  

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Things #10

It's already Christmas and I am not finished with my favorite things...go figure!  Here's some pictures from 1972 of my Dad and Grandmother Mira in Schuyler celebrating Christmas....36 years ago.  Wow!  That really makes me old!  So, I must include my a few of my ornaments that I've received over the years.  I think the weird yellow kangaroo is my very favorite....it's very unusual looking.  I have so many ornaments that these are still sitting in a box...maybe next year I'll get another tree and just dedicate it to just my childhood ornaments!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Things #9

The Christmas Pickle has become a tradition at our home.  It's not something that I was really excited about doing, but Madison always asks if I've hidden the pickle yet.  Funny that she'd remember the pickle since she will absolutely not eat pickles under any circumstance.  The legend of the pickle says that the observant child who finds it on Christmas Day is blessed with a year of good fortune and a special gift.   There's no special gift at our house for the child who finds it and a year of good fortune is questionable.   However, it's still something that's a family favorite...maybe not mine, but I'll add it to one of our twelve.  

My Favorite Christmas Things #8

I think this has to be on everyone's favorites list....Christmas sugar cookies.  Christmas would not be complete without them.  I do think buying them already pre-made is the key to holiday happiness.  We made this batch tonight and the dough was so dry that we had to add another stick of butter to it.  They look pretty good, but they just don't taste as good as they usually should.  Next year, I believe Hy-Vee will be making mine!  

My Favorite Christmas Things #7

I so love nativity sets....and so should everyone who celebrates Christmas, right?!  The reason for the season!  I think I could collect nativities, but where would I display them all?  They do take up a lot of space.  This nativity, by Willow Tree, which you can purchase almost anywhere, sits on top of our entertainment center in our living room.  I love having the light shine down on the holy family with some great smelling Partylite cranberry candles burning in the background.  This will be the nativity that my children will always remember.  I love how Willow Tree makes their nativity with expressionless faces and muted colors.  This will always be my favorite!  

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Things #6

Last year one of my students, Tai, gave this primitive Santa to me.  I enjoy the look of primitive things, so I instantly loved this old-fashioned Santa.  I think what makes me like this gift even more is the presentation of the gift.  Tai came running into the classroom saying "Mrs. Broeker, I got you a Christmas gift."  It was the last day before Christmas break, so the classroom was already crazy with holiday spirit.  But what made the gift even more memorable was that it wasn't gift wrapped and he handed me the gift in two parts.  The Santa body in one of his hands and Santa's head in another.  Since the Santa is made out of a paper mache', I don't think the head was ever attached, but just rested on the body.  Anyway, what a cute Santa, decapated and all! 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Things #5

These choir boy figurines are one of my favorite things because they have been in my family for over fifty years.  They came from my great-grandparents' drug store in Little Rock, Iowa in the early 50's.  My dad remembers the choir boys sitting on their very first television, like you can see in the picture below.  This picture would have been taken in the mid to late 1950's of my dad Doug and his dog Cookie.  The price is still on the bottom of the choir boys....29 cents each.  

Friday, December 19, 2008

Newest Victoria's Secret Model

I must say....I did think twice about posting this picture of Grant wearing my bra, but it's too hysterical not to share.  I was folding laundry when Grant took my bra and put it on.  I quickly grabbed the camera and he threw his arms back and struck this pose.  This will definitely be one of my favorite Grant pictures...messy face and all.  In fact, I am still laughing about this one!    

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Things #4

As you can see, I am behind on my favorite things.  I actually am having a hard time getting pictures to download since I do it in the evening and the blog is a busy place.  So, this is my fourth of my favorite things.  

Five years ago, I had Tyler draw a picture of Santa and write "I believe in Santa", which he did at the time.  I then transferred it on material and stitched the design and tea stained it for a "vintage" look.  Tyler was seven when he drew the picture, so I had Madison make a similar picture Christmas '07 for me to make her a pillow too.  I really shouldn't say that I make the pillow since my Mom does the pillow part, I just do the picture part.  Anyway, Madison's drawing is still in the drawer....maybe I'll get to that when I do Grant's at the same time.  Also, the above picture is Tyler, this year, holding the pillow.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Things #3

Scrapbooking is my passion!!!  Oh, I could spend hours and hours scrapbooking.  So, I would have to include my many scrapbooks, especially Christmas layouts, as one of my twelve favorite things.  I just hope my children will enjoy having these in the years to come as much as I've enjoyed creating them!  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Three Cute Ding-A-Lings

I just couldn't resist posting my three favorite and I think very cute....Ding-A-Lings!  One of Tyler's many service projects for St. Mark's Church is to ring bells for the Salvation Army.  Yesterday we were stationed in the food court at Westfield Shopping Mall to collect money from 2:00-3:30.  We had many people stop and give us pocket change and saw about eight people we knew including one of my students from last year.  It's such a great experience, one that we should always do every year!  

My Favorite Christmas Things #2

Here's the second of my favorite things.....now these things are not in any order of how they rank as a favorite, but I do love the idea of Christmas stockings.  These particular stockings are from Pottery Barn.  I think they wanted $35 a piece for them and then the cost of the monogramming, but I waited until after Christmas last year to purchase them.  That way I got them for half price and the monogramming was discounted too.  I recall wanting to purchase two more for Andy and myself, but they were sold out of the other colors.  I did see that there are ones very similar in this year's holiday catalog, so I just might need to get those. :)  Now I just wish I had a real fireplace to hang them on!   

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Christmas Things #1

For the twelve days of Christmas, I thought I'd add an item a day that I enjoy for Christmas. Please note these are all things, not people or events.  So, if my house would ever burn down or get hit by a tornado, these items would be the first things I'd sadly miss, but could live without. Now that I've taken pictures of them...I have them forever!  

Okay...the first Christmas thing I enjoy is my Mexico nativity that I purchased when I was seventeen years old before my senior year of high school.  I thought it was the ugliest nativity that I've ever saw at the time, but loved the authentic Mexico feel about it.  I never would have thought that I'd get it out year after year and enjoy it as much as I have.  

The bottom picture is of me from that trip in Taxco, Mexico, which is known for their beautiful silver jewelry.  The picture isn't very clear, but you can see, I have all that "big hair" that screams 80's.  That was a terrific opportunity for me to spend ten days in Mexico with a group of students from my high school.  It's one experience that I hope my own children can do someday too! 

Friday, December 12, 2008

#3 Salem Baptist Church

Okay....I am reaching a little on this one, but I can honestly say that I've never been to a Baptist Church service before, so I am using this as my third 40 new things by age 40.  Anyway, Tyler's confirmation class, at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, takes a trip to Omaha ever year to experience a church service that is very different from our own.  It was a two hour service, but it was very passionate and moving.  Wow!  They can really rock the house with their beautiful and powerful voices!  The first hour was just singing alone...that's it... just singing!  I was also amazed how they do the "greet your neighbor" part of church.  In our congregation, we just shake hands with people sitting around you, but this church gets up and walks all over to greet everyone.  Of course, it did take about fifteen minutes to do so, but what a warm and friendly environment.  I was very impressed and thought that it was such a worthwhile experience.  I am so glad that Tyler, Andy and I got to go!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tree Hunting

I am an artificial tree person and I will always be!  I like the fact that fake trees are easily accessible, cheaper in the long run, are perfect in shape (if not, just bend into shape), and they can come already pre-lit.  I can probably think of at least a half dozen more reasons why I think artificial trees are best, but I won't bore you.

However, hunting for a real tree does have a certain level of fun to it.  This is the second time (ever in my life) that I've gotten a real tree.  I never grew up with a real trees, so that's why I never thought much about it.  Four years ago, we cut down our first real tree.  We drove to Pineland Tree Farm (1486 W. Alvo Road) in search of the perfect tree.  I did find a good one, but before it was cut down I started to have feelings of guilt over killing a very nice tree.  I waivered for about a half hour, or whenever Andy was about to lose his temper with me and then I agreed to chopping it down.  This year I didn't have that same remorse like the first time....I guess I am just over it.   

I do have a few rules over hunting for a real tree.   The first one is that the whole family has to participate.  The second rule is it has to be from a tree farm where we do ALL the work.  None of the staff cutting the tree down or hauling it to your car for you.  That just wouldn't do.  That would take all the fun out of it.  So, we could never go to one of those stores with a cut tree out front and take it home.  Besides, those trees are all dried out anyway!  The third rule is that Mom has to take lots of pictures of the event and get every step of the process on film.  Here are those pictures below.....
Here we are looking through a field for the perfect tree.  Walking around (with a sharp saw too) for twenty minutes and commenting on every tree is part of that important process.  
We finally agreed on this Scotch pine tree that was $40.  It seems like a lot of money when I could have gotten an artificial one for half price after the holidays and it lasts forever.  But, I remind myself it's the adventure that I am paying for....priceless!  Right?!  
This is so funny to watch.  Everyone except the camera lady (me) took a try at cutting the tree down.  No fingers were lost in the process....thank goodness!  
I love this picture of the kids dragging the tree back to the trailer (which was an old caboose) to pay for it.  Pineland is really a neat place to go.  Love the feel of the place with an antique register, wood burning stove and all.  They don't take credit cards...just cash or checks!  Where do you find this anymore?
Finally, the tree is attached to the van.  I like the look of vehicles traveling around town with trees on the top.  Very festive!  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Star City Parade

The Broeker family hasn't been to a Star City Parade in years.  I think the last time we went was six years ago and we went with the Jensen family.  I do recall it being very cold and getting donuts, but that's about it.  This year Andy said, "let's go".  I was hesitant since I'm not one to sit in the cold.  However, it wasn't too bad!  I am glad we did go because Grant just loved it.  He especially liked the giant Elmo and Cookie Monster balloons.  I realized that maybe I should make it my goal to get into the parade next year for my 40 x 40.  Hmmm.....what could I do?  I know that marching in a band is out and probably dancing in a mini skirt!  LOL

Here are a few more pictures from the parade.  I love the one of Madison wearing a hot chocolate mustache!  I also am including the pictures of how they got Elmo under the overpass. We were impressed!  

Campbell kindergarten team starts a trend!

Oh, we are such trend setters!  I (jokingly) brought a catalog to school about these new slipper shoes (indoor/outdoor shoes) called Oobee's stating that we really should each get a pair.  Raette was so funny...she said, "I guess I'll take the black ones."  So, we did it!  We all ordered a pair from www.oobees.com and had a discount code to get them at half price.  The total with shipping was only $16.48 each, so it was good cheap fun!  Also, they are quite comfortable too!  (pictured left to right:  Kerry Boehler, Amy Broeker, Kristi Green, Cindy Lloyd and Raette Bahe.  not pictured:  Krista Wells and Sherri Macfee.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Family of Flakes...Broeker style!

Every year I always say, "Oh, I wish I would have made a nativity scene for our yard out of plywood.  That would look so neat!"  This year, I said it again and then came across a snow people family and realized I could quickly (so I thought) make a yard decoration that represented our "flaky family".  It's not the nativity, since I would have needed months of preparation for, but the Broeker Bunch as snow people.  I came across the image in an old Stampin' Up! catalog and tweaked it to be us.  I added a Colt's hat to Tyler's head and a soccer ball by Madison.  I also put a Husker "N" on the heart since that's Andy's love.  Grant and Amy didn't change much, but I did pick me with a vest on since that's my maiden name.  This project took me two and a half days over my Thanksgiving break, but it was a lot of fun.  It's not the most professional looking, but once I get a spotlight on it, I think it will do.  All we need now is some nice weather to hang up the rest of our lights and outdoor decorations!