Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Blessings at this most wonderful season to you and yours. This was my favorite photo of the kids - I love how Michaela gave herself the rabbit ears...

Phew… am I glad THAT’S over… As much as I love it I'm always sad to see Christmas day finally arrive and then relieved when it's finally over!

I fell into bed at 6 a.m. Christmas morning and the kids were up at 7. I couldn’t open my eyes and Brian let me sleep until 10 or so. I missed the kids’ first reaction but I’m glad I slept. I keep saying I'm not going to stay up so late but I haven't been able to manage it yet...

Brunch was delicious – we had stuffed French toast, hashbrown casserole, muffins and fresh oranges. After it was all cleaned up we started opening gifts. One by one (which is very difficult for the children) we opened them all, enjoying the surprise for each. The children of course got at least one thing they’d asked Santa for. Zachary received his pool table – His letter to Santa had said, “Dear Santa, for Christmas I want a pool table. Size doesn’t matter.” Jacob received his parking garage and Michaela received her Dora talking cash register (and way too many other things.)

And now the recovery begins. Anyone placing any bets as to when all the decorations get completely put away? I'll let you know as soon I'm done...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Here Comes Santa Claus

Just a slight twist to the plans… My parents are staying over for Christmas Eve. Seems that they smelled smoke and it was the breaker box. Everyone is safe – they smelled the fire before it became a major catastrophe – just the breaker box was in flames.
Mom said it took the fire department 15 minutes to get there (she wasn’t thrilled about that) but that they had it out by then. The concern is there’s no “main” to shut off the electrical. The FD checked it and they packed up and came over her for the night. Dad will likely go check things out in the morning.
Dinner was wonderful… my potato soup just gets better and better even if I do say so myself ;0) Brunch is made and there’s a plan in place for lupper. All the stockings are stuffed and the gifts are wrapped now – just need to put bows on them, write the note from SC, trashed the cookies (they’re old…) need to wrap the clock I made for the in-laws. I got all the photos printed for FIL’s album finally but just don’t have time to do it now. Maybe I’ll slip an IOU in his stocking…
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel… I’m hoping to be in bed by 2:30, which would be GREAT for me on a Christmas Eve…

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Workshop is winding down

Due to the lack of fundage this year I'm making a lot of "our" Christmas gifts. But I gotta say - I've really enjoyed making my gifts and didn't miss the shopping at all. I just wish I'd had more time to make more gifts! First I made this desk top birthday flip-calendar for a Secret Santa of mine. I was just going to do the 12 calendar pgs but decided to make a blank for a photo on the opposite side. I tried out the different decorative stitches on my machine to embellish. I'm sending along the stickers that came with the papers so she can embellish them how she wants. The book itself is 4x5 & was a little quote book that Mack got with a tea set last X-mas. I took it after she wrote all over the pages! (Now she wants it back :0)
I had three Secret Santas this year and I made the pink and black calendar/organizer for the second. I liked it because it had a plastic cover and would protect the "art" during the year. There's room inside for favorite photos too. Then I made the "Santa Baby" pink velvet paper and feather boa paint can to hold the gift. I think it's one of my most favorite paint cans ever. My third Secret Santa gift I can't mention...since I'm still a secret until Spring :0)
The last gift I had time for was the clock I made for my babies daddy's parents (AKA my wonderful mother and father in law.) It was really fun to make and I plan to make to others - stay tuned...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fairies Apparently Only Fly VFR

Last night while I was at the gym I got a call from Zachary… I REALLY don't like to get the "home" ring when I'm at the gym - it's my current "me" time with none of my family there (unless, of course, my parents and sister are there working out too...)

So I was surprised when I answered and it was Zack on the other end...

Z: hey mom, guess what! Jacob’s loose tooth fell out all by itself…
M: Really? All by itself?
Z: Yeah – while we were playing dodge ball.
M: In my HOUSE ?!?! you were playing dodge ball in my house??? And... his tooth fell out all by itself…?
Z: well yeah… after he got hit with the ball – and it BLED a LOT! It was cool…
M: Great… where’s your dad?

So after, I went by Big Lots - still searching for a pool table for Zachary… It’s all he’s asked for – his letter said:

Dear Santa,
For Christmas I want a pool table. (size doesn’t matter)
Love, Zachary

Well – they just sold the last pool table that day but said check tomorrow since we got a truck today. (I called – no luck…)
Anyhow… I asked for cash back at the checkout for the TF but they don’t do that there. Well the whole tooth thing slipped my mind after that since I came home and the kids were all in bed and I went straight to work on my Christmas gifts…

Jacob woke me up this morning SO disappointed that the TF had neglected him (he’s got his eye on some “candy logs” that he saw in the birthday express catty… He says he can afford them with just a couple more dollars… they’re $ .99 and with shipping his total will come to just about $8 ! LOL!)

So anyway… LONG story a little longer… I told him the TF probably couldn’t get through because of the weather – something about not being able to navigate in the blizzard conditions... only being able to fly when they can see - planes were grounded and people had to sleep in airports it was so bad… and the photos of all the snow in the midwest have REALLY helped to back me up!

So I'm off to find a cash machine… I’d like to avoid writing a check and putting it under the pillow tonight…

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

After the Storm

I’m much better today but totally wiped out. I felt more energetic after evicting a 9lb. 3 oz. baby from his first apartment... but I was definitely worse yesterday before I got better.

Brian went to the store for my chicken soup and ginger ale and took the kids with him.

I had to call him to come home immediately (and he DID).

Apparently I passed out while emptying the contents of my stomach into my Tupperware cuz I woke in a puddle of said contents all over my bed, hair and clothes. I remember sitting up in the bed and hitting the bowl. I opted – wisely, to not try to make the bathroom… It was a pretty tough go…I was praying for "this cup to pass from me"and next thing I knew I was waking up and I was all wet and cold.

Poor Brian - he's really not good at this sick nurse thing... I can't think of any worse task for him than cleaning up after a sick person... I did manage to get myself into the shower and then on to my new place on the couch. The living room really is a better place to be sick anyway - it's nice and dark in there - and there's a TV to drone over the noise of the happy children noises.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Toenails in Tupperware

I am thankful that I replaced the trash basket by my toilet with a solid plastic can…

I am thankful that this is happening Monday rather than last Friday…

I am thankful for Imodium… hopefully I can keep it down…

I am thankful for Progresso Chicken Soup when I have a vegetarian husband…

I am thankful for a husband that actually came home from work to keep the house from burning down while I grip my plastic bowl…

I am thankful to be rid of all those naughty calories I consumed over the weekend…

And I pray that this is just one of those 24 hour things (and my family doesn't get it...)

I am thankful I have a bed to go back to now...

Saturday, December 9, 2006

The Party's Over

We made it through - but it was the closest I've ever come to that re-occurring nightmare that I have where I'm having a party and people are ringing the doorbell and I've still got a towel on my head.

It was successful though - nobody noticed (or at least cared) that I didn't get all the candles lit or even all the lights plugged in. They didn't ask me to open my bedroom door so they could see if I'd gotten the tree up in there (which I didn't.) It didn't seem to bother anybody that the table wasn't set perfectly when they arrived. They all had a good time and raved about the potato soup (or as I like to call it now - "Coronary in a pot".

I did finish covering my hot cocoa canisters (such an important detail, no? Not like something minor like being able to open the master bedroom door...) The big one with "regular" and the small one with "sugar free". I used the Basic Grey papers and adapted a snowman tag I did for a swap years ago - the colors in the paper (and on my snowman) were perfect with the light blue and reddish lids from the cocoa canisters.
The kids had a great time decorating sugar cookies. Michaela was unsupervised for a bit and iced her own... I think it was at least 3 inches deep!

Jacob (our future Food Network star) did a nice job on his cookies too... We've set some aside for Santa - assuming he'll be visiting in a couple of weeks...

I'm glad it's done - but look forward to doing it again next year!

Monday, December 4, 2006

I can talk about it now...

Last Thursday was just not a fun day.
It started off very cold (which was fine... I really enjoy the cold weather) and the kids were bundled up and playing outside, but soon Zack came running in and said "mom - there's water leaking from a pipe in the front yard..."
Well - "water" wasn't really an accurate description of it... "sewer water" would have hit the mark.

I came in and called my daddy (who still offers great advice on many occasions) and he directed me to the water company - and they directed me to waste management... I was told they'd come out to check it out and let me know if it was on "the city side or my side". If it was on "my side" I'd need to call a plumber. well I haven't had many occasions to call a plumber (except that first week of 2003 that we had water running out our laundry room and one week and five holes driven in my concrete floor later they found the leak under my kitchen cabinets ACROSS the room from my sink! Thankfully homeowners paid for that... cuz it was spesive!) Anyway, I knew calling a plumber was not going to be cheap a month before Christmas or ANY time.

I called the kids to my bedroom and we all knelt and prayed, playing the "where two or more are gathered in my name" card. We prayed hard that the block was on the "city side" and we'd be spared the dreaded call to the plumber.

Someone from the city came by and said they didn't know where the block was but someone from waste management would come asses it too. Soon after, the bell rang again and this time Donnie from waste management said he'd checked it out and the block was on our side. Horrors!

I found a plumber (after calling daddy again and getting a recommendation) and surprisingly he was there in about 10 minutes. He worked for about an hour and said he just couldn't get it clear and wondered if it was indeed on the city side. (a glimmer of hope...)

Really long story shortened - We had to call the city back out to meet with our plumber (notice he's now our plumber) and they determined in about 5 minutes that the block was indeed on the city side (praise the Lord for answered prayers!) and they cleared it immediately. "The city" came to the door to apologize for the oversight (of the manhole across the street and the incompetence of the worker they'd sent out...) and said to let them know if the plumber actually charges us for his 2 hours of work... (He of course did) So now I need to get the whole thing documented and turned in to the city so they can reimburse us. Fun.

And all this went on while I put myself through the self made hell of trying to get the dreaded and impossible perfect Christmas card photo of the children... I finally settled on this one - but as you can see I had to go through a lot (about 80 shots) before I got there...

Then Brian came home and said he'd been hit by a truck on the way home - literally... He wasn't hurt, but the car got scratched up enough that it needs to go in and be worked over. Luckily - the truck hit disguises some of the scooter marks the car received in the driveway... I'm hoping against hope that we'll have to get the whole thing painted (or maybe if I'm lucky they'll total it! LOL!)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

One of Those Days...

Do you ever have those days where you're in your jammies all day long?
I don't particularly care for those days... just seems like the day gets away from me and I go from one "task" to another and never get to the "basics" of the day... like a shower...

And now it's time to go to the gym. I don't particularly want to go to the gym - but at least I won't be here with my screaming banchee children and my annoying babies' daddy...

So... I'm off to the gym with a new scrappy mag... Maybe I'll take a sauna and shower there.... yeah....

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Food of My Soul...

Music. Can't imagine life without it.
I MISS making it! Especially this time of year... I'm actually thinking of attending a church on Sundays too just so I can sing with a good choir! (or maybe find a duet partner...) I just miss the challenge of a good choral work.

Anyway - I figured out how to add a little music to my bleck... um... I mean blog... so here's a little Norah Jones - one of my very most favorite artists... I could sing back-up with Norah... in fact I DO.

Don't get too attached - I'll probably change the song in a few days if I can find a nice Christmas piece...

(didjuh' see how I added those italics and bolds back there? I'm catchin' on quick... just something else to suck up my time and irritate my babies' daddy...)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Blessing on the babies AND the mama's!

He's done it again... Blessed us more than we deserve...
I sit on the school board at our church's private two-room school and we're in the process of bringing the playground up to code. About two weeks ago I asked the principal what plans we were making for the old equipment - thinking we could buy it from the school. Well... she said it belongs to the Adrian W. family at the church and they wanted it back after the school was done with it. Oh well... I tried.
Well yesterday Adrian called and said, "did I hear that you were interested in the old play equipment?" I said that we sure were and asked him how much they wanted for it. He said, "you can have it... just go get it today!"
We called in a solid from another friend at church, Mike S. It just so happens that Mike owns a crane... isn't THAT handy?! He brought it over today and dropped it in the yard with the precision of a Golden Knight paratrooper! Now we owe Mike a solid - even though we paid him with about 40 of the worlds best homemade chocolate chip cookies ;o)
We, (and by "we" I mean Daddy and Grampa...) still have some putting together to do - there's a bar for swings and a big sand box also. We'll finally have a place to hang the horse tire swing they got for Christmas LAST year!
God is good!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Let the Madness Begin

It's officially the Christmas season! I'm up to my eyeballs, literally, in Christmas tubs and boxes and there is still much more in the shed to be brought in! It seems like just yesterday that we packed all this Christmas stuff up... but it was actually August. Yes - August... easily the LONGEST I've ever had Christmas decorations out. They weren't still up - just out needing to be packed.

So far we have one tree officially "done" and 5 more waiting to be completed. We went with a live tree (really dying... as soon as you cut it, it starts to die...) again. This will be the 3rd year in a row and the 4th year ever that we've had a live tree. We never had them when I was a child. I do like the live trees. I was finding that after 13 years of Christmas photos in front of the tree they were all starting to look the same. I was even hanging the ornaments in the same spots! That's pretty pathetic, no? So this year our tree isn't quite as tall and it's much stouter than the past trees and yes, it probalby has way too many lights - but we could use another lamp in the living room anyway...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Teeth and Nails

I've fought it... fought it hard... and I just may continue to fight - but for now I've succomb to blogging... BLECK! what a word... sounds like something you have to clean up after a bout with the flu!But it's Thanksgiving today and I wanted to express how thankful I am for so many things...My wonderful Christian husband, forgiving and tolerating me for the last 16+ years. How he does it I've no idea...My impatient, entitled attitude, beautiful, (yet hopelessly selfish) children... all three of them. Our home, which I love and my tolerating DH allowed me to talk him into (which is now making us poor...) My wonderful Christian parents and husband's Christian parents living so close... it really is nice to have them near.My ability to stay home and educate my kids now... I have to keep reminding myself of this because at the end of most days I'm ready to sell them to the next passer by...My net friends. I don't think I'd make it long without them. Sometimes I need to take a break and step back from the business of other's lives, but I miss the contact. I don't have any close girlfriends where I'm living now - you know - the kind you call and say, "hey - wanna take the kids to the mall and stand in line for hours to get a shot with Santa?" or "hey - feel like coming over to scrap?" So my net friends keep me going... and I love them.
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