Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas Songs

Christmas music in our house starts playing Thanksgiving night as we start dragging out the Christmas decorations. Kicking off the Christmas music season each year in our house is The Carpenters' "A Christmas Portrait" starting out with "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." Thanks to ITunes, this year I was able to put an old family favorite, "The Gift Goes On" by Sandi Patty onto my IPOD and "Come Let Us Worship the King" and "Bethlehem Morning" conjoured up nostalgic feelings in me from Christmases of my childhood. It seems like every place I go now, Christmas music is playing in the background - malls, Wal-Mart, restaurants, etc. And since I have no control over the music playing out in public, I must take the good with the bad...and I have just as long of list of "annoying" Christmas songs in my book as I do of ones that are near and dear to my heart. So I decided to compile my top seven list of not so favorite songs on this post. They are as follows:

1. Santa Baby. This song is my all time least favorite Christmastime song. It doesn't matter who is singing it (Madonna was the one sticking in my head but my sister-in-law says that Kylie Minogue is most known for singing it) this song gets on my nerves. The words, the way it was sung, my skin crawls as I have to endure this song.

2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen style. I like the song, at least when the preschoolers are singing it at work. Bruce Springsteen's raspy voice is more than I can handle on this seasonal favorite.

3. Feliz Navidad. Are we going to sing in Spanish or English?

4. Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time. I can't put my finger on why this song bothers me - maybe the lack of melody?

5. Deck the Halls by Manheim Steamroller. Yes, it's only instrumental. But I hate the part of the song when it should be "fa la la la la la la la la" - the last 2 la's don't sound right to me. Like they went down an extra step or something.

6. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. I mean who comes up with this stuff?

7. Little St. Nick by the Beach Boys. Can't explain it, I just don't like it. When I'm singing along I want to morph the song into Little Deuce Coupe.

But to end this post on a positive note, I am going to list my top 5 all time favorite Christmas songs.

1. Bethlehem Morning by Sandi Patty. I love this song. I don't care who is in the car, I am going to belt out all the lyrics AND try to hit the high notes, my voice cracking with emotion as I go. It's pretty ugly.

2. O Holy Night - sung by many but I do like Sandi Patty on this one, too.

3. Carol of the Bells - with the lyrics. Too often this song is played instrumental only and that disappoints me. I do like the Garmin commercials where they insert their own lyrics to the tune.

4. Mary Did You Know - I have the Mark Lowry version, but I think I like Clay Aiken better on this one.

5. The Nutracker Soundtrack - especially the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. AND I get to see this performed next Saturday by the Butler Ballet Company! Anna is anxious to see boy "ballerinas."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Problems of a Five Year Old

Anna, my five year old, informed me tonight that she has 3 problems. I was trying to enjoy at the time my big bowl of strawberry shortcake loaded with strawberries, ice cream, and whipped cream, but I tried to show the appropriate amount of motherly concern. She listed her problems in the order below.

1. "My first problem is that I'm scared that I am going to have a bad dream when I go to sleep."

2. "My second problem is that I'm scared I won't be able to find you and I'll look inside and outside and you won't be there."

3. "My third problem is you won't share your ice cream with me."

I'm not sure if she listed her problems in order of importance or not. She didn't get any of my ice cream.


Yes, I was two minutes late to work today. I walked in at 8:02, although the clock in the classroom, which is a little slow, said 8:01. I am normally a punctual, if not a little early person to work.

But today my morning schedule was put on pause at 7:49. Usually at 7:49 I have just finished combing my hair and I am heading into the girls' room to kiss Anna goodbye. I have already told Elizabeth goodbye at 7:44 after getting her out of bed to put her hair in a ponytail. But today when I got to Anna's bed it was empty. So I went into our bedroom and she had just gotten up and was in our room. She snuggled in our empty bed (Jason was in the shower) and as I kissed her goodbye, she said, "Wait, I want to tell you about my dream." Well, it was only 7:51 and I don't have to be walking down the stairs until 7:53 so I snuggled in beside her in the bed. However, it took her 4 minutes in between coughing, wheezing, and stuttering to tell me she dreamed she and Elisha went into a store to buy two Webkinz but once they got in the store Elisha said they should only get one.

So I was two minutes late for work. It's okay. I'll either take 58 minutes for lunch or stay until 4:02.

Monday, September 15, 2008

If Only I Could...

A friend this weekend quoted a great, well, quote. She said, "Comparison breeds discontentment." Actually, now that I have typed that I'm not sure that's a direct quote (how many times can I say the word "quote" in one paragraph) but you get the idea. And I believe that is true. It is easy to be satisfied with what we have or who we are until we start gazing over at the neighbor's house or comparing our children with others or even feeling insecure about ourselves.

However, there are times when comparison and then the discontentment that follows can have a positive effect. Athletics is a good example of this. Actually, any kind of competitive endeavor is an example of this. There have been many times when I have played a video game or a game on Facebook and thought I was pretty good until I watched someone else or saw someone else's score. Knowing that a higher level was attainable motivated me to try harder (and play incessantly) until achieving the higher score. Seeing a 72 year old man compete in the triathlon this weekend motivates me to keep on exercising and stay in shape and not use getting older as an excuse.

However, no matter how much I compare myself and no matter how discontented I get, there are some things in life that I will never be good at. Some of these "things" are unattainable because I am simply unwilling to devote the time it would take to become proficient in them - i.e. fixing a car (actually, even changing a tire), playing the violin (or any other musical instrument for that matter), mowing the lawn (I tried once, it wasn't pretty.) But some of these "things" are unattainable because I am just not made to be able to do them. For example, those picture puzzles where the squares are scrambled and there is always one empty square space so you can move the pieces around to assemble the picture - I am terrible at those! But luckily life doesn't routinely put me in a position where I have to assemble those pictures in order to be successful. However, there are some areas that I wish that I was just awesome in that I quite frankly will never even be mediocre at. They are as follows:

Medical emergencies - oh, I'm trained, all right. 30 and 2 for CPR, 5 back blows and 5 stomach thrusts for the heimlich. But when a medical emergency is unfolding before my eyes, I break into a sweat, my eyes fill up with tears and my first instinct is to pray - not just for the victim but for someone else who is competent to take charge. I wish I could be the type of person to take over and apply the appropriate treatment, but it just isn't going to happen unless I am the last resort.

Singing - I wish I could sing. I mean REALLY sing. Not just sing somewhat on key in church. My voice is more in the alto range but I don't know how to sing parts. So my poor little old low voice tries its very hardest to reach those high notes on How Great Thou Art but we can only hope that only the hard of hearing are near when it happens. Now I'm not asking for American Idol type talent, but I would like to at least be good enough to sing in the choir and maybe even a solo in church.

Interior Decorating - I wish I had a knack for it. I'm really good at going into other people's houses and knowing what I like and don't like, but when it comes to my own house, I'm at a loss. I need someone to come in and give me three different ideas and then let me pick which I like best. I think I would be good at the execution of the ideas (i.e. painting, finding the "items" that would look good in the house) I just need someone to lay it all out for me...for free.

Landscaping - this is very similar to the interior design, but it's the exterior design. Again, I am so willing to buy the items and do the manual labor, it's just knowing what to get and where to put it. Of course if I would just water the flowers I did plant...

Play the drums - now maybe if I did devote the time I could learn how to do this, but let's just face it, it's pretty unrealistic for a 33 year old to take up the drums. So I'm planting the seed in Anna's head and maybe we can learn together.

So before I get too down about what I CAN'T do, I need to go do something I am good at. Actually Anna is calling me right now to help her pass a section of Chicken Little on the that's something I can play!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Babes...

I guess my five year old was into the Olympics this year more than I thought. When I asked her today if she wanted to go to a volleyball match with me on Tuesday night, she asked me, "Is it in China?"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Get to Know Me Better

I googled myself last night - was interested to see what kind of information on me the internet had to offer. (Am I the only one who has ever done that? Can you stalk yourself?) With a last name like Wuertley, it is quite easy to find links that talk about me and not some other Deb Wuertley in Arkansas. The majority of the links either were to this blog or to triathlon information. However, I did find one interesting link - to a website called For any of you out there who find that Deb Wuertley, Overtly does not disclose enough information about me, for $39.95 you can get the following information: my age, addresses (both past and current,) relatives, statewide criminal background check, bankruptcies and liens, sex offender info, and small claims and judgments.

Of course I must warn you that the information you get may not entirely be accurate. On this site they did give a couple of juicy tidbits about me to entice you to buy the package - my age and a little bit of address history. Both were wrong. They said I was 33, and I am only 32, and they had 9 address listings for me, but outside of IWU, I have only lived at 3 addresses. But hey, for only $39.99, what can you expect? So for a limited time only, I have decided to go one step further. For a grande mint choclately chip frappuccino from Starbucks, I will sit with any of you for an hour and give you the above information and more. It's a steal of a deal. But if anyone does buy the package and finds that I owe someone money, please let me know.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Got Milk?

I was in an elementary school cafeteria earlier this week when a poster promoting milk caught my eye. After reading the poster, I came to the conclusion that the milk industry really needs to take a second look at who is doing their marketing. The poster read as follows (the caps are my doing for effect.)

The PROTEIN in milk helps build stronger muscles, and SOME studies SUGGEST that TEENS who drink it TEND to be leaner.

Could that be any more ambiguous?

Also, ironically Vince Carter was the promo athlete for the poster, and he isn't a teen.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blog Hiatus

I don't even know if I spelled the title of this post right, but hey, it's Mothers' Day, so cut me some slack!

It's almost been a month since my last post, and even then it took an earthquake to prompt me to write. What is the cause for my long dry spell? I could say it is the end of the school year which is the busiest time at work for me. I could say it is because with springtime came time to work in the garden, so every free minute on a nice day was spent outside. I could say it is because springtime also brought soccer games, tennis matches, piano recitals, and daylight savings time which made the evening seem longer than it really was. But the REAL reason for my lack of posting...Webkinz. Yes, Webkinz, the furry little stuffed animals that kids buy to give them a code to a virtual pet world where they nurture their pet (or pets) and buy them things. The way you earn money to buy the things your pet needs is to play games. Even though these games are geared for kids, they can also be quite challenging for adults, and the more levels you complete on a particular game, the more points and "money" you earn to spend on your pet. There are three games in particular that are fun to play and also earn my kids quite a bit of money - Cash Cow, Cash Cow 2, and Hide n Skunk. Cash Cow is a cross between Bubblepop and Tetris, and Hide n Skunk is a replica of Minesweeper, except instead of mines there are skunks and instead of flags there are flowers. I can't seem to get past Level 9 in Cash Cow and Level 12 in Hide n Skunk. If any of you out there have ever gotten to a higher level than those, please let me know - I need a little competition to further my game. Oh wait, I guess most adults don't play these games. I mean if your kids have gotten past these levels, please let me know.