Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I resolve...

I've never been good at making New Years' resolutions...   yeah, I should probably lose that last 5 pounds... it was 10 yesterday but the flu is good for something right?  I should probably teach my kids to cook - and I should probably spend more time in religious reflection.  Somehow though - writing these things down on a scrap of paper never does the trick... maybe a tattoo?  Oh wait, maybe not...

this year - I am resolving something, you see this has been a little bit of a “come to God” month for me - with two dear friends/relations who are incidentally YOUNGER than me suffering from maladies that I have formerly “poo-poohed” being as I am far too young and vibrant to be victim to such things... well - apparently I am not because both of these people were younger - and more vibrant than I!  (and no, they're not being victim to these things - they're doing great)  With complete respect for their various trials I will not go into depth, but I'll take the warning to heart and this year I resolve to get a check up - my doctor won’t recognize me it’s been so long, but I’ll be making that phone call.  I'm willing to endure a little pinch/squish/look the other way and pretend that this is not the most uncomfortable procedure in the world for that little peace of mind.  

So - to my two dear friends/relations who have inspired me - I love you and thank you - and if you need a meal brought in I make a MEAN homemade chicken noodle soup!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I have a curious craving for Blancmange...

- and I don't even know what it is!  I just finished reading Heidi Ashworth's new book Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind - and enjoyed it thoroughly!  Some of you may have paid enough attention to remember that I won this book in a random drawing just a few weeks past and until yesterday my life had me a little too busy to devote the proper time... so I began reading it last night... and finished it this morning - 263 pages of amusement, delight, snickering, and joy.

Note:  this is SO outside the usual genre of book that I read.  I knew that going in but given that Heidi (I have a strong desire to call her Miss Ashworth after reading this book) has quite the bloggy wit I decided that it was worth the risk.  

The book is labeled a "historical romance" and reminds me of reading Jane Austen... except I hesitate to say that because while I fully enjoyed this and found it an easy and relaxing read - Austen can be taxing to my psyche.  I thought the characters in Heidi's books were great - there were a few that I would enjoy having for supper and a few that I would cross the street to avoid!  Her obvious familiarity with the works of Shakespeare had me so involved in their "recitations" that I almost forgot I was reading a work of fiction!

My only suggestion for improving the book - a recipe for blancmange so I didn't have to go look it up on Wikipedia right now :)   Oh... hmmm, maybe I'll just have a cookie... that looks difficult to make!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A little of this, a little of that...

This is as close as we could get - M, like many a young child is a tad bit afeared of the man in the red suit...  so when we were hanging out at the Elementary school waiting for H's party and he walked in, suddenly I had a 4 year old to carry around.  She's getting a tad bit heavy to be carried around constantly so I tried to talk her down.  "look, Santa's nice right?" "yes, he brings me presents" "wouldn't you like to go and tell Santa thank you" "no" "what do you want to tell him" (thinking I would get her wish list...) "I tell him that T is naughty" (my oldest son, not ME of course)...  Poor T must have really ticked her off that morning!The Ham Junkie - because I was feeling bad that W was so under-represented in the blog until now I was paying special attention to him with the camera... well, that and the fact that this kid was so excited for Ham that he was doing Happy little dances all over the house!  I think he even wrote a song devoted to the heavenly meat!  He even requested that we save the ham-bone... not for use in a delectable soup - but he just wanted to gnaw on it later.  
My favorite Christmas gift!  Some of you may know that for the past... ermmm - let's call it 3 years I have been asked what I wanted for Christmas, my birthday, for dinner - and without fail (well, maybe not for dinner) I have answered SHELVES!  I'm an avid reader - and I love not just the stories but the books... a good hardcover with pretty end-papers sets my heart a-flutter more than Edward Cullen!!  Anyway, as always I had "shelves" at the top of my Christmas wish-list.  Actually, aside from the lovely book light that I also received it was the only item on said wish list!  Come Christmas morning I was afraid that I was going to have to put it back on the birthday list yet again...  because honestly - how could the Man Of The House (I would abbreviate that - but who wants to be known as MOTH) really sneak in a carpenter to build the shelves I wanted?  In my own defense, 3 years ago I wanted simpler shelving...  but leave me long enough to dwell on it and now they have to be built in!)  Well, M.O.T.H. came through and although they are not done, he has found a carpenter and so Christmas morning I found a piece of butcher paper taped to the wall with many books drawn on it... the titles he chose were absolutely hi-Lar-E-Us... but mostly inside jokes so I won't go into that :)
The Mess:  5 weeks of shopping, 5 hours of wrapping, 20 minutes of opening...  Worth it?  yep.
A long time since they were recognized!  As we were enjoying our Christmas Dinner and toasting with the Martinelli's Sparkling Cider M.O.T.H. (this might stick... sorry hub) notices their label has their "awards" listed...  and just in case you can't make them out from the photo - the awards say:  Sacramento 1890, San Francisco 1894, Atlanta 1895, Buffalo 1901, Seattle 1909, and San Francisco 1914 - Impressive?  I have no idea if it's impressive - but one does wonder why there have been no awards in nearly a century to brag about?  I hereby award the Martinelli's company with my own award... heck, even this teetotalling family needs a little holiday cheer to toast the holidays with!  Check it out, next year under the ancient awards it just may say "You Asked for It 2008"!
Another Photo of W - hey, he's a cute kid right?  Yesterday we braved the cold out of town and drove up to do some sledding.  W had a little time to practice with his snowboard on the little hills - we skipped the canyon because we just weren't THAT brave!  The kids all had fun, hit a few little jumps, and learned that the new "snowfling" toy also doubles as an emergency trumpet... much to the dismay of our fellow sledders!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The twelve months of 2008... (a.k.a. - our Christmas letter)

No, you don't have to sing...
On the first month of 2008 my favorite (humor me) blogger gave to me an 11 year old sledding on his knee!
On the second month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - two boys in gloves (okay, so we ALL wore gloves... and boots... and as many layers as possible - it's cold at the cabin!)
On the third month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - leaves falling by the tens (of thousands... I don't know why the tree won't drop its leaves in the fall like a normal tree - we have a fun but messy spring)
On the fourth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - a big party for the herds (Q celebrated the big 4-0 with a surprise 80's party... he was a good sport and is EXTREMELY young and spry and didn't even make me say that!)
On the fifth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - Five home runs... (W & P both played ball...  I'm not sure about the actual home run number, but hey - do you really believe all the stuff people tell about their kids in their Christmas letters anyway?)
On the sixth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me all the kids at the sand dunes playing (June is HOT around here, but we had to try out a new vehicle at the rental place... only got it stuck twice!)
On the seventh month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - seven people camping but not swimming... (too cold)

One the eighth month of 2008, my favorite blogger gave to me one maid left at home while other were off at school a-milking (hey, they had milk with their lunch - you want Keats go read another blog!)
On the ninth month of 2008 - my favorite blogger gave to me - the nine year old advancing. (Yay! P is a Bear scout!!!)
On the tenth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - great weather we are keeping
On the eleventh month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - the thankful turkey to quash the griping!

On the twelfth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - (finally!) that picture of her haircut that we voted on in February (oh, it was November?  yeah, well that didn't work with the meter of the song!  get over it)

And because this post will also serve as a Christmas greeting for the many friends, family and strangers on the street that I invite to come by (and because I'm noticing an absence of H is any of the years' photos) I hope that people will click the following links for a little closer look at the family and their antics this year :)  Merry Christmas - Happy New Year... and no, this is not just a pathetic ploy to get more readers for my blog... but yeah - if it works that way I'm okay with that - come back anytime, leave me a note to say hi - I'm always here :)

T (the teenager) or this... if you're into laughing at how short I am... 
W must be an angel because his blog appearances are all brief and sweet

and honestly - I'm just lucky to have such a great family that doesn't mind me sharing the funny moments of our lives with the world!  Q's a great husband - T's a teenager of the best kind - W really is a super kid with a super sense of humor - P is an early bird without an inside voice but also a heck of a lot of fun - H is my mini-me and gives the best (and most) hugs and kisses this side of the Mississippi - and M... sweet little M, I can't imagine what life would be without her keeping it interesting, fast-paced, and LOUD!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Ode to Snow...

I freely admit when it comes to the snow
I am known as somewhat of a Grinch
I refuse to go out when it gets too cold
Below 60 and I start to flinch
I've been there - I grew up in Colorado
Where Jack Frost does nip and does pinch
We're not prepared for bad weather you know
So what do you do in a clinch?
Closing the schools when the wind starts to blow
In the desert - that should be a cinch
I have to admit though, it would seem more apropos
Had it snowed more than one measly inch!
In all fairness to the school district - this picture WAS taken last night when the automated phone calls started pouring in to let us know of the cancellation - by this morning there was slightly more accumulation... but let's be honest - rhyming "2 inches" is a lot harder than rhyming "inch"!


Just a little FYI - mostly for Heidi's sake - that I DID find my camera cord (who put it back in its original packaging in the camera box? I was supposed to look there?) and surprisingly enough - the process is actually just as easy as popping my SD card into the Printer/Scanner/Copier/Card Reader that now only functions as a Printer.  Expect LOTS of pictures this week :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Neighbor Gifts

You know those things that we all think "oh, SO cute" and then shove onto the counter with the rest of them...  the "I felt obligated to give a gift but we're obviously not family so this is what we came up with - hope it's not too useless" type of gift.

Some can be really cute - One year (when the entire neighborhood had come down with the flu just before Christmas vacation) we delivered Snowman bowls and cans of chicken noodle soup...  along with some really cheesy poem about sharing the spirit of the holiday without sharing germs...  I would have shared it with you (because I AM a packrat and it IS here... somewhere) - but one of the downsides of "blogging by the seat of my pants" is that I didn't think of it until I'd already typed it!  Just trust me that it was witty and appropriate to the season!

I was shopping earlier today and the local scrapbook store had a short list of ideas... only I wasn't willing to shell out the $1.50 to buy it, especially since I didn't even get one of them - not because I'm not brilliant, but because the photo didn't show what was IN the bag that went with the saying (and no, I don't remember the saying - only that it was generic)

So - as part of my frugal plan for the day - you all are going to share the cute/crazy/ingenious things you've seen out there!  Ta-dahhh... SO much better than spending the buck fifty right?

To start it off I'll share all the ones I can think of:
Bag of Mini-Marshmallows - "you've been naughty this year - so here's the scoop, all you're getting for Christmas is Snowman poop"
Scented Crayons - "hope you have a stinkin' great Christmas"
Tide or Joy detergent - "... tidings of comfort and Joy"
Big Red Chewing Gum - Hope the Big man in Red brings you all you wish for
Deck of Cards - "Deck the Halls"
Martinelli's Sparkling Cider - Hope your holidays Sparkle with good cheer
Measuring Spoons - Wishing you joy beyond Measure
Paper Christmas Plates - "a bit of disposable Christmas cheer! What could be better? No dishes my dear!"
Jolly Rancher soft chews - "we chews to wish you a jolly holiday"
2 litre of Sprite - "May your day be Merry and Sprite"
Bagged Salad/Dressing - "tossing out a wonderful Christmas wish to you and yours all dressed up with Christmas Cheer"
Cookie Cutters - "cutting out a perfect Christmas wish for you"
Box of Kleenex - "We Tissue a Merry Christmas" 
Chex Mix/Cereal - Santa Chex his list twice - hope you made the cut!
Symphony Candy Bar - just a note of sweet Christmas tidings
Toaster Strudel - May your holidays be warm and Toasty!
Bagels/Cream Cheese - "spreading a little Christmas Shmear"
Scented candle - have a scentsational Christmas
Bounty paper towels - May you receive Bounteous blessings all year long!

Oh for crying out loud - that's probably more than I needed right there!  Oh well...  please share your own - or groan along with me at some of these...  some I've encountered personally - some I stole from a newspaper article (deseret news - 2006) - and I will lay no personal claim on any (except the chicken soup one that I can't find)

Next year - FOR SURE - we are organizing as a neighborhood and donating all the "neighbor gift" funds to the local homeless shelter!!!  That way everyone wins!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Living La Vida Tech-NO!

Definition:  Tech-NO... one of those people who shuns the new gadgetry until they are so hopelessly behind the times that nobody wants to call them because they haven't even got an answering machine!

Okay, so maybe I'm not that bad - but since I was born into a family of computer geeks it sure feels like that.  Hmmm... maybe I should say that I was born into a family that morphed in computer geek-dom - you see, back in 1972 it was a little hard to be a computer geek unless you were one of "THE" computer geeks (who are all fabulously wealthy now by the way... not a bad family to have gone to...).  

Really - they might be reading this and take offense at the word "geek" or "morphed"... but I guarantee you that it would take me less than 1/2 an hour of phone calling within the family to find someone that spoke C++, Fortran, Klingon, and any number of other computer geek languages that I don't even know the names of!  Me?  Yeah, well - I can type pretty fast... in English...  

I have a computer (obviously), and I have a cell-phone (finally got one last Christmas - most teenagers I know had one before me), I learned a few weeks ago how to send a text... it took me about 10 minutes... in which time I could have just called, gotten the answer, and completed the task at hand.  I do not have Caller I.D. because I figure you probably know your own name and you can save me a few bucks a month by telling me who you are when I answer.  And yes - it probably would save me a few times a year when we get called to speak in church or when the neighbor kids are calling to ask if my refrigerator is running...  wait, nope - I'd still answer it because I'm really okay with speaking in church (shoot, Ben, pretend I didn't say that!) and I really like to tell the brats that "yes, it's running and it's almost to your house so you'd better hide under a table"

I have a brother whose entire house is controlled by a remote control... television, stereo, VCR/DVD, lights, probably some other stuff that I don't even know about...    He brought me some of that fancy gadgetry and dropped it off... luckily he was back through town a week later to explain it again... and then 6 months later to give me a quick run-down so that I could use it in a different room...  apparently I'm hopeless?

Too bad all those computer geeks live so far away - I'd really like to move this computer downstairs - move that one upstairs - use the Wi-Fi (which they bought and installed) to network them (I think that's the word) and hook up my new scanner/printer/card reader so that I can finally get some PICTURES on the blog instead of all of the meandering excuses as to why I still can't post anything Christmasy.  And before you ask - yes, there is a cord thingy somewhere that I can connect the camera directly to the computer - but NO... I really don't know where it is or how to use it...   (and yes, in this house "whatsit", "thingamajigger", "dealiebob",  and "weird shaped thingy" are all the technical terms we need to know!)

I hear the local community college offers a "technology for grandparents" class...  but somehow I don't think I can pass for twice my age...  maybe half?  I might be able to go in as a the grand-kid since I was recently shoo-ed from the halls of my sons' middle school :)  gotta love being short!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

4 more things you never really needed to know

What?  seriously, I missed another Tag? - one of these days I’ll be able to just tell people to refer to old posts because I’m pretty sure that I deserve the title of Tag Queen... I’m sure there’s a crown out there with my name on it!!!  Chelsi has given me the task (opportunity) to share with you 4 things about a number of things... hmmm, except I’m not even going to look - so here you get whatever comes off the top of my head - and just because I haven’t been very Christmasy lately - we’ll theme it:

4 things I dread about the Holiday Season:  Decorating, Wrapping, Un-decorating, Calories.

4 things I love about the same aforementioned time of year:  Food, Family, Peace, Warm blankets on a cold night

4 things I want for Christmas (but am probably not getting):  built in shelves, a really nice book light that will last for more than a month, did I mention the shelves?, and world peace.

4 places I’ve spent far too much time and/or $ this past few weeks:, CostCo, Target, WalMart

4 places I’ve gotten paper cuts during the wrapping process:  Thumb, wrist, other thumb, “tall man” finger.

4 reasons to be grateful this year in particular:  Hubby still has a good job that is supposedly “recession proof”, My kids are all reasonably healthy - and now old enough to know what to do when the flu hits so the clean-up is a lot more tolerable, Junk food consumed in the days prior to, including, and immediately following a national holiday is magically calorie free, I have friends and family who allow me to live in my fantasy world with all of my delusions

4 people I’m sure will be happy to just see their name in print and not worry too much about the whole “tag” aspect of this thing:  Janet, Laura, Nanny Goat, and...  You - yeah, you know who you are...  don't look the other way :)

4 favorite (calorie-free) Christmas Treats:  Caramel Dipped pretzels coated with White chocolate and Sprinkled with crushed Candy Canes, Peanut Butter Fudge, Sher's Ginger Cookies, and Candy Cane Kisses.

4 things I worry about too much at Christmas-time:  a well-decorated house, being "fair" in my gifting, making all those wonderful yummy treats, getting to all the concerts and parties.

4 things I wish we could spend more time on:  Christ, Giving, Service, Family

4... oh never mind... that's enough 4 now!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Obsess much lately?

okay - so I'm obviously not doing the whole Christmasy post thing... it's just not spur of the moment enough for me I guess...  well, that combined with the fact that it's really hard to post about my pretty tree vs. my ugly tree when my computer is still on the outs with my memory card!

So, obsessions...  yeah, well, we're placing all of the blame on CC - because really, it IS her fault that I started blogging.  Seriously, back in early March I probably wouldn't have been able to tell you what a blog WAS let alone tell you how to set one up.  Actually, still not sure I can do much more than that... but thanks to this gal I can now receive e-mails that tell me when comments roll in AND set up future posts.  Hmmm... not sure I'll use that second one - that whole "spur of the moment" thing and all...  Anyway - like I said CC's fault - all agreed say Aye.  

Then (and this part leaves CC off the hook - we'll place the blame for this one on my mother... because even if it WEREN'T her fault - and it IS - mothers are always the ones to take any unclaimed blame) my sweet mother invites me to join Facebook... because apparently it's a good place to play Scrabble games even though I am separated from my family by many miles and some very tall mountains.  This is fun...  oh look - friends from high school too?

I can walk away from the computer - I really can... Like yesterday - because my neighbor S was kind enough to drop off a book I'd wanted to read... so I stayed away from the computer - and read the WHOLE book...  in 9 hours...  now I ask, whose fault is that (Say S's...  personal responsibility is NOT something I'm fond of right now)  In my defense - it WAS a great book - I'll post a review at my other blog tomorrow.

Well...  you see, I distinctly remember a discussion once with my uncle when we were both young...  discussing Alcoholism I believe?  Now, neither of us were drinkers (umm... of course we weren't THEN - I mean were aren't drinkers), so even though there was some history of alcoholism in the family we were pretty safe...  but we were wondering if that same gene made us more susceptible to addictive behavior in general?  Maybe this was just Unca D's way of warning me away from some questionable friends I had?  Maybe it's true?  Maybe I think about "oh, that's bloggable" a few times a day... Maybe I have reconnected with some of those questionable friends who still crack me up 20 years later and I have wasted a few too many hours shooting back snarky comments on photos and not enough time playing Scrabble with my mother...  

Like I said:  CC's Fault, Mother's Fault... S's Fault, and apparently - I can also blame it on my Genes... wait, that's just my mom's fault again :)

(for the record - I did "ground" myself this morning and wasn't allowed to turn on the computer until my house was clean...  of course, then I got up at 6 a.m. so that I could start cleaning!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You have GOT to be kidding Kid...

Yesterday was one of those days that I will be laughing uproariously about in a few months...  give me until then to get over the feelings of inner pain that accompanied all the hilarity though.

For long time readers you may be well aware that our sweet little M is rather... ermm... obsessed with her friend A who lives next door - if you don't know this then it's probably time to go back and read about the restraining order.  Well, A is just a few days older than M - slightly taller (of course) - but they share their blonde hair and a love of all things dress up/Polly/Pony/Barbie!  M suddenly came to me yesterday for help sounding out a word she wanted to write down... the word?  "Adopted"... she decided that she wanted for K (that'd be A's mom) to adopt her.  She had it all worked out - packed a bag with her Polly Pockets and a teddy bear... and waited for A to pick her up.  A?  Yeah, she was totally on board with this as far as I could tell - she doesn't have another sister...  she even helped M come up with some of her rebuttals to all of the hurdles I presented:

But M...
They don't have a bed for you  A can share her bed
H will miss having a sister   You can pray to have another Baby (A's idea...)
Your Christmas presents are here Santa will know I was adopted!
K is a bad cook (sorry K, I was desperate) I can visit here to eat
Who will read you a bed time story? I can read my own princess book
Whose bed will you jump on in the morning: A will be there
We want you to stay (in tears) I will miss you, but I want to go there...

and on and on...
That's right... tears...  it was heart-wrenching AND hilarious all at the same time.  I tried to not let it affect my inner self - I tried to focus only on what a cute story it would make when she was all grown up...  but really - my baby wants to find a new mommy!  And this was not just a 20 minute whim guys... this lasted from 10 in the morning (when she came up with the idea), through preschool (where A was brought in on the plot), and to the packing stage...  Dinner felt like a last meal together at times - but then Dad suggested she watch home videos (which she did for 3 hours and is doing again this morning) and by bedtime she was happy to snuggle up with her own big stuffed animals and hear her bedtime story read by her own parents...  Haven't heard a word yet today...  as much as I respect adoptive moms and birth moms (and I REALLY do) I really don't want to give up my baby girl!

I'm focusing on the humor side of it now...  I can see it, I really can... and hey - it DID make for a good blog topic right?  RIGHT?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Needing a Break...

Too much Holiday stuff rattling around in my brain - I was going to move on to "Christmas Present" for a little while, but frankly...  between the fact that the shopping is NOT done, the house is NOT decorated and the gingerbread houses with spun sugar smoke coming out of the chimneys are NOT even on the wish-list...  we're taking a break!

So... I went to see Twilight finally...  I know, I know... every twi-hard worth her salt has already seen it twice and blogged about it 3 times... Blah, blah, blah...  So here's my take on it:

You can never compete with my imagination when it comes to putting a book onto film.  Never - because the vampires in my head were WAY hotter - and the sparkly skin was... well, certainly less... well let's just say that at that point in the movie a very distant, very geeky part of me was saying "beam me up Scotty" and expecting Edward to disappear in the transporter!  The Cullen house was a little bit (make that a LOT bit) too modern for my tastes - where's the old Victorian mansion restored lovingly by Esme?  The cars... well, whatever - that didn't really bother me.  And I won't complain about all the bits they missed because I am well aware that nobody wants to sit through the 6 hour movie that it would have been if everything had been there!  The one thing I WILL complain about is the little scene in her bedroom... and if she'd just been wearing sweats to sleep in it really wouldn't have bugged me... but as it was, she left behind the shy girl act a little (a lot) too abruptly... I didn't buy it - this one scene... well, let's just say it will keep me from taking the kids or recommending it to relatives :)

All that being said - I actually enjoyed myself.  Hubby was brave enough to accompany me - and just as planned we were able to enjoy the movie in a theatre that was completely free of fawning and fainting teenaged girls.  I don't think I would have tolerated THAT very well at all!!!  Charlie and Mike seemed perfectly cast to me.  Alice has long been my favorite of the Cullens - and she did not disappoint.  Her role was quite minimal, but just enough for me to have great hopes for the future :)   I'll look forward to them being a little more a part of the movies.  With that team backing you up (as long as they remain on their diets) wouldn't you feel safe?  Doesn't everyone want to live next door to the Cullens???  Well, too bad - because they're MY neighbors and I'm not giving them up :)  Really though - that is my neighbor's name... but they're an older couple with their children raised... I wonder if they've read the books?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Past - all the rest of them...

Okay - so really I don't have THAT many past Christmas Stories... and I'm eager to move on because I know EVERYONE is DYING to know all about what's going on this year...  (pretend to care at least guys - my ego is riding on this one!)

So, here are the cliffs' notes for the rest of my Christmases:

Really young - Grandma gave Z and I dolls for Christmas - Z got the pretty girl doll with the long brown hair and I got... the boy doll that went with it.  Was I a gracious gift recipient who ran up to my Grandmother to give her a thank you hug?  Did I smile and suck it up?  Yeah, not so much - I threw a fit, made Grandma feel bad, embarrassed my mother no end...  So, Sorry Grandma, Sorry Mom... I did learn a good lesson from it... and for the record - that doll you gave me last year (the boy Indian one) looks GREAT in my family room and I LOVE it :)

Still really young - Z convinced me to wait on the stairs after being sent down to our basement bedrooms (see, I told you 2 posts ago that the basement came into play later!) so we very quietly sat there out of sight of the living room until some very LOUD and TALL elves came to fill the stockings...  What a disappointment...  but hey, I still got some good gifts!

Not quite as young - but still young enough to use it as an excuse:  We snuck into the living room to check out the haul at... well, probably around 2 a.m. - it was REALLY dark (and now you know the reason behind the plywood wall from the previous post) - Our gifts from Santa were not usually wrapped, so mine were in a pile where I saw box containing a cute little Avon Bubble Bath in the shape of a groundhog... I like groundhogs :)...  I wanted to see it up close so I opened the box...  ooh, a STICKER - gotta love stickers... and this one was a "weather prediction" type sticker that changed color according to the temperature (of the bathroom?).  I couldn't wait, but in my haste I tore the sticker's backing off the wrong way and was disappointed (and plagued by feelings of guilt) for the next 6 months (until the bubble bath was gone) because my cute little groundhog's plastic molded umbrella weather prediction system never changed colors!

Hubby and I:  for the first 12 years of marriage I tried to do the 12 years of Christmas... each year he'd get something that sort of went along with the song.  I usually had to call my Sis In Law Sher to get some ideas because after a few years I felt brain dead... Did Hub appreciate this?  yeah, probably not - being as he's a MAN and men well, not knocking men but, men don't typically think "oh, she must have been thinking about this for 365 days - how sweet... as a matter of fact, Men don't usually use the word "sweet" and that's probably for the best :)  I don't remember all of them, but he did get 2 yellow chore gloves our second year that he still uses... and 3 cornish game hens the third year...  5 bags of peachie rings... wipers wiping...  guitar strings for strumming... oh Sher... do you remember?

Okay - that's more than enough of a trip down my memory lane!  Anyone have any great Christmas Past memories to share?  Hurry hurry hurry because the Ghost of Christmas Past is on his way OUT and we're moving on to Christmas Present soon...  really really soon (okay, probably not for at least 24 hours!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Past (installment two) AND... Whooooo-Hoooooo!

Because I have achieved the ripe old age of 36 I have many "Christmas Past" memories... of course, whittling them down to the ones you would actually care to read about has been... well, actually pretty easy since I'm SURE nobody wants me to go into details about the year H covered my brand new coat in her Christmas Eve dinner!

Growing up we lived in a pretty basic house - I would ask you to close your eyes while I describe it but well... that may not work so well in this medium.  The kitchen and living room were at one end of the house - the 3 bedrooms were at the other end of the house - they were connected by a hallway which widened considerably at the bedroom/bathroom end since there were a bunch of doors all together.  (there was also a basement, but it doesn't figure into THIS story... maybe later!)  My father was a "project" guy... or maybe my mother was a "project" girl and wished my dad was the same... either way, there was a large piece of plywood propped up in the hall waiting to be used on a project and it'd been there for awhile awaiting its usefulness.  
Early Christmas Morning (and when I say Early I mean EARLY!) I woke up to sneak out to the living room...  I had to be really quiet because my parents' room was right next to mine.  So, out my door, past the clothes hamper and WHAM!  What?  Did I become disoriented in the dark?  Did I forget a turn in the house I've lived in for years?  Okay, back up - yep, that's my room - try again... straight 3 steps, there's the hamper, there's the wall and here's the hal... err, nope, no hall... just a big solid piece of Plywood!  Come Christmas Morning (not so early) the Plywood was gone... not just away from the Hall, but gone... out to the garage or down to the basement or somewhere - who cared, the way to the pile of presents was clear!

Dad denies this to this day - but I've called him on it now for the world to see!  Way to mess with the brain of your precious and impressionable daughter... did you ever think about the future therapy I'd need... hmmm... come to think of it I am REALLY bad with directions - could that be Dad's fault?  We won't even get STARTED on the fire hazard!!!

Oh, you're still here?  you wanted to know about the woooooo.hoooo part too?  Okay, well, all that hullaballoo yesterday over at SITS (my new favorite people) has paid off - I am a winner! Let me just point out that aside from Spelling Bees - I have only won 2 things in my lifetime... some carnival stuffie when I was a kid, and a canvas tote bag that had some Stamp Company's logo on it!  This is MUCH better!!!  They have many lovely sponsors, and lucky me came away with an initial necklace from Charming Gifts!!!  Now I just need to decide if I am selfish and keep this for myself, or am generous and use it as a Christmas gift....  I'll let you know when I finally get past Christmas Past and move on to Christmas Present!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Past Or... My kids are sneakier than Your kids!

I was thinking of many Christmases from my past and thought I'd share a few with you - so to kick of SITS-mas (what's that you say?  Umm, just click it and you'll see... you'll want to join in the fun because EVERYONE wants a Target Gift Card right????  I was going to post a cute "card" for the holiday - but my printer/card reader hates me) Here's the first installment of Christmas Past...

So, to set the scene for you - think back just a few years to when some of the coolest gifts for young boys were the books Pirateology, Wizardology, Egyptology... you know those?  Okay, so maybe they weren't "COOL" in the PSP and GameBoy sense of the word - but my boys really thought they were something else and they WANTED them!

Luckily, they have a kind and generous Aunt who saw their desire and supplied exactly what was wanted.  They arrived a few weeks before Christmas and were wrapped and put under the tree.  My boys know that if I catch them peeking I will go Postal on their little sweet souls and trust me... I was a really accomplished peeker so I know all the tricks.  Or, I thought I knew all the tricks!

My kids have invented new tricks!  I came out to the living room one quiet evening to read a book and find them coloring.  Coloring?  Umm, guys, did you forget you normally don't "color" - so my radar goes off and I check out one of the papers they were "coloring"... yep - Crayon Rubbings - which have shown the book titles clear as day for the kids to read - Christmas Surprises out the window and I just about want to tear them limb from limb...

Well, sorta - first I had to get over that intense motherly pride that my kids were so dang clever... and then I had to hide my jealousy over the fact that I hadn't thought of doing the same thing 30 years earlier... and THEN I could beat their little bums.

(Note:  no children, animals, or even adults were harmed in the actual version of this story)

Oh - and thanks aunt Z - the kids loved the books... maybe your thank you card got lost in the mail?

and lest you believe that two can't play at this game - I wrapped up a few more gifts soon after... but first I took the puffy paint and wrote nasty little notes to my children regarding their wicked and ingenious behavior - and wrapped it up with the gifts...  they got the point :)  We have had to be VERY good about gift wrapping ever since!

any "tricks of the trade" to share?  
(and for those of you blippin' through the SITSmas craziness... Lynn is next)