Matt makes things better

December 19, 2009

Matt as usual was a big help with getting ready for Sean’s graduation. He helped watch Bo, shopped for last minute stuff at Costco, picked up the giant party sandwich and burned a DVD of Fire Academy photos to play during Sean’s party. He also shot a music video and edited it while in San Diego. He’s the best!

Sean is San Diego’s Finest

December 19, 2009

Sean graduated from Fire Academy #72 and takes his place as a San Diego Firefighter at a thrilling Dec 17th ceremony.
His first rotation (24 hours on/24 hours off) starts immediately at Station 10 near San Diego State.

Still Smiling

December 18, 2009

Bo got a little cranky (he missed dinner and the room was noisy and hot) during Sean’s Fire Academy graduation. But he’s still smiling here!

Giving and Thanks

December 12, 2009

Am I horribly old fashioned to expect a written thank you from recipients of gifts given? I got a Christmas card today from the Review-Journal delivery guy who shoved it in my local newspaper sack that he tossed on my driveway. Last year I mailed him a $100 gift card from Best Buy. I’ve never met the man but wanted to do something surprising. He didn’t send a thank you or even a note in my post-Christmas news bags. Was I shocked? Not really, but it would’ve been appropriate.
Two years ago I got five one-hundred dollar bills from the bank and looked for needy people to just spontaneously give them to. There is a handicapped woman at the movie theater sitting in her wheelchair tearing stubs in half. She wasn’t working the day we went to the movies. I ended up giving one to the frozen yogurt server (going on his LDS mission to South America) and putting one in a Salvation Army kettle. It was hard go find who I could give the money to. People were busy and not even willing to make eye contact let alone interact with me.
The guard gate attendant at our development got a Target gift card from us last year too. No real response—- did he think it was fake? A joke?
No thank you, nothing.
In giving to friends and family, sometimes the lack of gratitude is glaring . Are we so well off? Jaded? Too busy? Forgetful? Lazy?
An e-mail, or a text may be replacing thank you notes. But something is better than nothing.
The written word still counts for something.
I too need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

This year I put $5 in the bell ringer’s bucket. He seemed so surprised and exclaimed, “How nice of you!”. Isn’t anybody giving anymore? Is “THANK YOU” a forgotten phrase from the past?
Is there a cause and effect relationship here.
I won’t want to give to someone who doesn’t express thanks. But maybe that’s just me!

Groundhogs Day in December

December 11, 2009

Do you remember the movie, “Groundhogs Day”??? In it the characters re-lived the same day over and over. It turned out to be exasperating for them. BUT
what if a beautiful joy filled day could just linger longer and be savored frozen in time and memory????
I remember years ago randomly picking the date December 10th as the PERFECT Christmas point. The tree would be up, the decorating done, cards in the mail, other people’s cards would start arriving in our mailbox. On the 10th there would still be two full weeks of joyful anticipation. Plenty of time to bake, buy all the gifts on my list, tears spilled watching those sappy Lifetime movies and at get togethers with friends. When the kids were young, there’d be Christmas plays, holiday concerts, school programs, class parties. We’d schedule our family
celebrations —- who would host Christmas Eve? Where would we open presents? Eat the requisite Christmas dinner? Crowds in the kitchen, posing for pictures and lots of love.
I always hated for Christmas to end. I dreaded it particularly. I loved how the house looked, smelled (evergreens, cookies, prime rib). I looked forward to friends gathering, parties thrown and gifts given. My heart would be full.
Years and years of Christmas-es have gone by.
Christmas is still busy but now it’s all optional. I have to find things to fill my time: Tree trimming party, Book Club Brunch, Catalina’s crazy slate of events, Awana flashlight Nite (100 kids running around in the dark– such fun), babysitting Bo, cookies for a neighborhood party, dog walks on the frosty golf course past Canadian geese. I’ve been to my neighbor’s Choir presentation of the “Messiah”, the Henderson Symphony’s winterfest concert and church.
Glenn is in Scottsdale holding things together at the Ranch. Our next court hearing is Monday, December 21st. Is it any wonder I am nostalgic for happier times???
Freeze frame—- a table full of friends or acquaintances sharing stories and laughter. Good food, Christmas trees twinkling. Time standing still— nobody having to rush off to end the reverie, or break the spell.
Freeze frame— Bo playing with his toys, watching Muppets. He runs wuth reckless abandon. He loves to be chased. He giggles, falls, gets up and goes. His smiles are like candy.
Freeze frame—- the beautiful music that my neighbors the Whites sing and friend Rosemary plays with the Henderson symphony. Handel’s Messiah—- standing in respect for the
Hallelujah Chorus in a room full of people. “and He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace”.
But time doesnt stand still it marches on. Its December 11th. It won’t ever be December 10, 2009 again. Magical Moments pass but memories linger.
Happy Christmas today, tomorrow and even after.
I’d like to re-live some Christmas times but will instead look forward to the new and surprising blessings God has planned.

CATALINA CHRISTMAS

December 8, 2009

How do I begin to thank God for the wonderful whirlwind week I ‘ve just had? And to grace my life the Lord brought a new friend (in the form of an old high school classmate— she’s NOT old but our high school days are 40 years behind us) who helped me along the way.
December 2-8 can be summed up as a BUSY Blessing. FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) I was making connections for the numerous events happening in Avalon that I would be contributing to.
Kris Anderson (GHS ’71) arrived on her maiden voyage to the island with a wonder of what Catalina is all about and a CAN DO attitude (which I loved and needed).
But it wasn’t all work— I showed her the island via golf cart, on foot and into the Interior throughout the long weekend. We went to the always wonderful Preschool Auction. I got a door prize and one bid on item. We ate lunch at the Airport in the Sky, Lobster Trap and Buffalo Nickel. We saw a Student Play. We delivered hot chocolate and Cmas cheer to Special Ed kids at school. We went to the museum and whizzed past most other local points of interest en during my loaded holiday itinerary. Showed Kris Catalina’s interior, Sean & Steph’s wedding videos, part of the Museum telethon, the Fox Recovery DVD, home movies and more. I introduced her to everyone I knew as she was dragged hither and yon across the island. She began recognizing faces and remembering names — hometown stuff that warms my heart.
The BIG focus for me was Saturday’s (5th Somewhat Annual— skipped one year) Ladies Cmas Brunch. Set up, cooking all the food and presenting the program for 110 women took a full 24-hour effort but was such fun!
Kris was Santa’s helper at Shop at Home in Avalon for the Humane Society’s Pet Portraits. I wrestled two great Danes, two Rottweilers and numerous others into posing with me in the sweaty red suit from 5-8:30 pm and had a blast doing it.
The finale was the Museum’s Open House at Mt Ada. Heavy rains kept us all indoors and caused quite a few volunteers to cancel but the mansion looked spectacular. At one point the sun burst through a bit of blue sky and a rainbow appeared over the harbor.
Kris left on an earlier boat (fortuitous because her original 7:30 boat cancelled) and bobbed across the channel scuttlingthrough the churning ocean buffeted by the massive winds and ominous clouds.
With fewer attendees at what is considered our town Christmas Party there were more door prizes for ME! I won three!
So now I fly back to Vegas for 8 days and more Holiday Happenings.
Phew! I need a nap!

SEAN HIBBS — Firefighter

December 2, 2009

Sean passed his final Fire Academy requirement today and on December 17 he will graduate and begin his provisional year as a San Diego FIREMAN.
This has been a 23 month odyssey which began in January 2008 with two weeks of prayer and fasting as Sean continued seeking God’s direction in life and career.
I had been praying that Sean would find the answers to difficult questions. When I remembered how he loved the movie “Backdraft” and wanted to be a fireman as a boy, we both had an “Aha” moment.
Sean was able to talk to Rob Stefano, an Orange County Battalion Fire Chief (son-in-law to my walking friend and neighbor Kathy). Sean took EMT training while continuing full time work at Hospice. He did 4 months of volunteer firefighting training evenings and weekends at San Pasqual. He took the San Diego Fire Qualifying Exam and was in the top 100 out of thousands. He interviewed and was one of only 40 selected for Academy #72 which started in late August.
Now the completion of this journey leads to the beginning of the next!
He gave up surfing and San-O for most of 2009. When he commits to something, look out.
We are so proud of him!

Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

November 28, 2009

Five days later I am just about done decorating the Henderson house for Christmas. A Tree Trimming Party this Sunday will hopefully finish up the 3 of FIVE trees still bare. As in the title of my blog— Judy’s Too Much— our house looks like Twinkle City meets Nativity Nation. I think I have 20+ Nativities. There are big ones, musical ones, two tiny ones on the edge of my bathtub, imported ones, and pretty much every size, shape and color ones. Garlands abound, as do Santa hats and bright red bows. It’s a whole lotta whimsical winter wonderland with ho ho holly and different themes or styles for each and every room. I LOVE IT!
I have an Angel bathroom, a Mary Engelbreit tree, a Victorian room, a Snowman themed tree, a blue and silver style in the toile room and the family room is all red and green. This is our 8th Christmas in Nevada. The pre-lit top of the line trees of 2002 are getting old and if the house sells, we won’t have anywhere to put this accumulated mountain of decorations. Sadly this could be the end of an era.
But for BO thus year we have gone once more to see what lies “over the top.” Glenn and Matt have helped me with repairs and re-assembly. Together with Mark they hung the outside lights. The annual professional lighting display went the way of my acrylic nails —- outta here!
The little touches are all back with another $$$ Michael’s trip or two carrying coupons.
SPOILER ALERT—- I’m also NOT sending out Christmas cards this year (gasp! What? No Hibbs Holiday Happenings Newsletter, no photos, no personal note on 250 oversized extra postage cards). People will think I died!
Please tell them otherwise.
I’m just circling the planet in December (Vegas to Catalina to Vegas to San Diego to Scottsdale then back to Vegas). Our mail will won’t catch up to us til mid-January. That bites!
But it can’t be helped. Sean & Nicole still don’t know if they are coming Dec 25th. Both had to work last year which really takes the fun out of things. Nobody told me going in that our children wouldn’t be with us for Christmas or 30th birthdays. It wasn’t in the Parenting Book that sons would be closer to the wife’s family or that we would just get boring and run out of things to do with each other after all these years. I’m soldiering on but it’s tough! Nobody even looks for the Christmas pickle to claim the prize— although I continue to hide it year after year. Nobody wants to sing carols in the Nevada neighborhood or drive around and look at house lights. Been there, done that.
Is there any hope for the next generation? Is there a live wire grandkid or two to pick up the gauntlet and do the fun things I love????Gingerbread house decorating, anybody? There’s candy involved.
It doesn’t get any better than that!

30 Years Ago

November 24, 2009

Early Saturday morning Nov 24, 1979 I went into labor and barely made it to the hospital before giving birth to Twin A– Sean Joseph 6 lbs 11 oz and a reluctant Twin B— Stephanie Kay 7 lbs 13 oz twenty-seven minutes after her brother. It was the only time EVER that Stephanie was hesitant about anything!
Our world changed forever. They were such individuals from the get go. STEPH was early to sleep for her 2-3 hour “night”. Sean wanted to stay up late (midnight) before getting his 2-3 hours of shut-eye. Do the MATH— It was a wild and crazy time.
Now they are in their 30’s. Gosh!
Time flies when you’re having FUN!

BO = BLISS

November 22, 2009

We made a beeline to see Bo and Steph when we reached Henderson on Friday. It was mid morning and he was in fine form running around, chuckling and giggling anxious to be chased. He knows me now and always laughs when I make faces or pop out in peek-a-boo. The dogs were running around excitedly and Bo was catching Oscar’s tail and trying to get close to Kit. At our house he loves the single steps up and down —- only went splat! once and didn’t cry. He played with my glasses and a small coffee table knick knack with 3 drawers. Everything he does amazes me. Today I babysat from 9-12 while Steph flew to LA for her birthday bash and Mark was at work. Bo is in constant motion. He runs from room to room always coming back to Sesame Street on the TV. He loves it!
He is pure delight. What a wonderful diversion from the Ranch mess. G is still on the phone to the attorney all day but is lighthearted and laughing at times. STEPH had the new Star Trek movie from NetFlix and he’s watched it TWICE already. Sci Fi therapy!
I bought a new electric blanket. Since it’ll be so nice and toasty lying in my preheated bed I decided to drag the two smallest Christmas trees out of the guest room closets and put them up — one in our room and the blue/silver one in the Blue Toile Room.
Burned out twinkle lights and mashed branches aside I fluffed and fixed them up to enjoy glancing at as I now read a suspenseful Jeffery Deaver book.
Little blessings are BEST. BO, a warm blanket, a good book and my dogs asleep nearby.
God is good!