Saturday, December 25, 2010

#25 of 25

I cannot believe I did it. 25 days in a row. Before you think better of me, don't ask about the December Daily. It is stuck somewhere in the middle digits. This will be short and sweet because I am really,genuinely,exhausted. I plan on sleeping in tomorrow, no matter how much fake sleeping it takes. Fake sleeping is where you or your spouse pretends you have not heard the precious pitter patter of little feet at 7am. Whoever can fake sleep and not move the best, wins. I am planning on bringing my A Game tomorrow.

Here are some of my favorite memories from Christmas:

1. Last night, Emerson asked me to be sure and unlock his window, so that Santa could get in.

2. These glasses, a gift from Lincoln to his brothers.

3. Watching Lincoln's face as he realized we had, in fact, gotten him a iPod.

4. Lincoln trying to get us out of bed at 7am. It didn't happen.

5. Seeing a beautiful snowfall all day, covering everything, and giving us a gorgeous white Christmas.

6.All photography related gifts from my Micah. Well done buddy.

7. Sneaking underwear in as one of Micah's gifts. Priceless.

8.Not having to see another buckeye for a whole year. I think I just heard the Hallelujah chorus!

9. Alden's foot. In a toilet. A non-empty toilet. Only at the casa...

Merry Christmas friends, see you in January...

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Eve

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve, but the highlight for me was holding Alden this afternoon while he slept. Ok, while we both slept. On the couch. While there was a rousing and insanely long game of manapolly being played. As he stirred and I looked at his beautiful face, I was struck with how Mary must have felt as she held a son that she knew was born to die. There is no way I would ever give one of my children for any human on this earth. Yet, Jesus was given to us, by God, when would knowingly reject Him, disappoint Him, ignore Him, and even fight against Him. I honestly cannot imagine. I have tons of photos from today, and lots of fun memories, but I just wanted to share that simple thought.

Amazing love, how can it be, that you my King, would die for me?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Almost there...

It is December 23rd. I am not sure what to write about today. I will go list style, since I have not abused that yet this month.

1. We got a new roof put on and have our septic tank dug up awaiting the arrival of... whatever you call the guy who fixes your septic tank. If I ever open that kind of business, I want to call it the "Crapper Keeper". You know, like a trapper-keeper of the 80s, only crapper, because it is where you keep, quite literally, your crap. This was a lot more funny in my head.
2.I still have a lot on my to-do list. A little baking, some buckeye finishing up, and of course... wrapping. I just realized as I type this that I forgot tape at the store. It is a good thing this is not an audible blog.
3. I am super bummed because I cannot find our copy of "The Legend of the Candy Cane." We always read it multiple times throughout December, and I am missing it. Somehow, reading Clifford's Christmas is just not the same.
4. I put a plastic tablecloth on the table today, and let the boys have at it with some crafty goodies. I learned that Alden can stack foam stickers like nobodies business, and that boys need some sort of craft goal.
5. I made my most favorite cookies ever yesterday and do not plan on sharing them with anyone. Sugar cookies with craisins and white chocolate chips. They are supposed to have pistachios, but at $19.99 a bag at Costco, I decided to go nut free this year.
6. My friend Heather makes the best oyster cracker snack mix in the world. I did not share this with my children either. What? They have their spit laden cutouts and buckeyes.
7. I used a Saran Wrap Quick Cover as a hair color processing cap today. It is good to know which kitchen items are truly useful.
8. My mom sent my kids one of those adorable books where she records the story. You know, like in the Hallmark commercial. I almost bawled at the cuteness of it all. Those three tough boys hit the couch before I could say "Hallmark moment", waiting to hear the story.
9. This is the first year that I have not dragged my children into the local tobacco shop's humidor to pick out a stocking stuffer for their dad. I went alone and the owner actually looked at me funny, but since I am normally toting my children... into a humidor... I am guessing he assumed DSS finally got them.
10. In a memoir I am currently reading, the author's mother throws the Christmas tree off the deck one year. I could relate.

The End.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The cookies...

So today was the day. I made the cut outs and assembled the necessary frostings and embellishments, and as my boys were so sweetly decorating, and licking their fingers, and the frosting knives, I realized... we will never be able to share these with other people.

Now, for your viewing pleasure... the cookies...

The Supplies. I had to remind myself not to be too OCD about the decorating process.

The Cookie Monsters

The Process

The Finished Products. The tie dye tree and the eyeball were made by yours truly. Gotta keep up with the traditions.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


That's right. That number above reads
four thousand one hundred and twenty two.
That would be the approximate number of times today my children asked to eat that rank gingerbread house. The photo below has nothing to do with this at all. I was not feeling very photosnappyesque this morning when I woke up to find Emerson and Alden talking to the nasty house, and apparently, discussing their plans to eat it. I give up. I would complain more, but then my mom will call and remind me about the time a certain young girl kept the same piece of gum on her bedpost for months.
This photo is actually my sweet Micah's birthday breakfast. Did you know that it is pointless to zoom in too much on a croissant? They look like flaky turds if you do. Just a little photo FYI for ya'. Happy Day to the love of my life, your patience never ceases to astound me...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Construction Zone...

It all starts with this innocent looking box...

And these cute supplies...

That is how they rope mothers into buying these gingerbread house kits. They really are senseless and kind of gross when you think of it...
Here kids. We are going to make a house... out of very heavy, ginger flavored dough. Then we will expect it to stand with the aid of some... frosting,of course! Nothing says super heavy duty sealant like a crisco based item. Next we put on hard candies, gum drops (which should not even technically get the privilege of being termed a "candy".) peppermints, and other assorted items.

The final step is real genius, and was clearly started by someone without three little boys. We tell the children, "Ok, enjoy... by LOOKING at it." Yes, we expect our kids to get joy out merely sticking frosting laden candies on the leaning tower of ginger, and not want to eat it.


And yet... we make them every year. I will be honest, I fear food poisoning if my boys attempt to eat this one. I got the kit last year, just days before Christmas, and well... we never got around to making it, so I, uh... you know... saved it. Ok, there I said it. We made a one year old gingerbread house, and you know what? I am a little concerned frankly. That gingerbread was still soft! What is it made of? Cotton? Oh well... here's to hoping no one loses dental work trying to nibble on those candies!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Not so Silent Sunday...

Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things. ~Author Unknown

Today a friend presented me with this gift, an adorable German ornament. It was just what I needed and her timing was perfect. Thanks friend...

I ♥ cute packaging.

A close up, just in case you missed it, she does resemble a certain someone, no?

A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked. ~Author Unknown

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Yes, that is a phonetic title. Lincoln sounded out the game "Monopoly" but he keeps saying it "Manapolly." I am not going to lie. I find this highly annoying.
Almost as annoying as actually playing Manapolly. I used to play it alot as a kid, with my friends Jen and Kelley. They may be shocked to learn, I am not the Manapolly genius they thought me to be. Every time I was the banker I totally cheated. Yep, how's that for true confessions?
I always like the first ten minutes or so. You buy some property, pay a few $14 rents, and enjoy trying to land on Free Parking. Once the properties are bought up and the trading starts, that is when I begin to get bored. Trade me this, give me that, build a house here, blah, blah, blah... The fun ended for me when the shopping for real estate was over.
So,today, Micah decided it was time for our children to learn this fine, fine game... Manapolly.
Here we are:

Lincoln. Sadly, his car lost steam pretty quick.

Micah. The Battleship.

Hadji, of course, as the Dog.

What else could I be but the Shoe?

The End.
Oh, you want to know who won? It came down to me and Hadji and after a few go rounds I actually begged to go make lunch to get out of the game. Apparently, he beat me. Oh Manapolly, they love you, and now I shall be forced to play you for years to come.
Stinkin' Manapolly.

Friday, December 17, 2010

They're coming...

This photo can mean only one thing...

I have no idea what the four food groups are.
Not really. It actually means I have begun the annual process of making "Buckeyes". Some of you weirdos call then peanut butter balls. Not too creative. If I were a more industrious gal I would google the history of why they are called buckeyes.

*A man named Buck was the first to make them? (don't laugh, we all know what John Crapper invented.)
*A hunter's wife made them wrong and they were really hard and he threw one at a deer and it took out its eye, proclaiming, "Look Billy-Bob, I got that there Buckeye!" (what? Rednecks invent things too. Where do you think we got Pabst Blue Ribbon, and ball caps with fake mullets?)
They originate in Ohio? Wait, that one makes sense, I mean, if we know what an actual Buckeye is???

I have no clue, but I make them for people every year, which I think is funny... because guess what? I never eat them. Nope. Don't even like them. So, there you have it. The Buckeye.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I am going in...

I think this comic pretty much sums it up...

Tomorrow is the day. I will be entering the most dangerous holiday place of all time. If you know me and have ever read this blog before you know, the post office and I, we have a history. It is not a good history either.
Thanks to school being cancelled because of ice, today's PO run was put off. I am looking at the stuff I still need to wrap, and then mail, and then actually take to the PO. It never fails. I will have to wait in a 30 minute line, or will have something mislabeled, or in the wrong envelope. (why not make international priority envelopes a different color or something? I have heart failure every time I grab one and get told it will be $235 to mail something to Buffalo. )
So, in I go. Tomorrow. I think I would rather give birth, get a tooth pulled, or eat a bug. Well, a small bug. Maybe.
We'll see. If you never hear from me again, you will know... I didn't make it out alive...


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Booty Bank

Ok, I guess it is technically called the "Fanny Bank", but that is not the point. The point is, somewhere along the lines, I forgot tonight, that I am a female. A female who wears high heels and hairspray, I love dangly earrings, and use a napkin at the dinner table, and all kinds of other girly type things. Tonight though, in a rousing game of "Dirty Santa" I lost myself. I was overtaken by my momofthreeboyedness. Someone brought this gift into the mix. The rule is once a gift is stolen 3x it cannot be stolen again. I realized with glee... I had the position and paper-number-drawn-from-a-triscut-box-power, to make that third steal.

Did I take the adorable reindeer laden candy jar filled with candy canes? No.
The beautiful vase? Uh-uh.
The chocolate? Bleh.Why bother.

I happily leapt and stole this Butt Bank. You deposit your coins and the bank passes gas. Loudly. I sat down and declared joyfully, "My boys will LOVE this!"

Then it hit me. I have lost the battle to momofthreeboyedness. Fear not, it is not a fatal condition. It just means that I will be spending alot of money in Spencers apparently...
What's next whoopie cushions as stocking stuffers? Fake poop? Ex-lax laden brownies? Oh, wait I have done that, in high school. Before I was a mom of boys. Crap. (yes, pun intended) I have said it before and I will say it again ...

Ya' reap what ya' sow folks...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The One about the Grumpy Shoppers.

It all started with a list...

I know, we should all expect it. There always have been and always will be grumpy shoppers. They just seem magnified at Christmas time, but what can you do? Shouting, "Hey sourpuss! Wipe that nasty look off your face and get happy about the birth of Jesus!" It just won't do, however much you want to say that. Ok, however much I want to say that.

Then today, the sourpuss was me. I had to catch myself twice. Well, Alden caught me the first time. Some nutball old lady, I mean, some aged member of our community, decided to pull out of her neighborhood and then drive approximately 24 MPH down the road. We were barreling down the road and I saw her and thought, no way will she pull out, until... she did. I responded with a few choice words about her driving ability and then remembered my little rear seat passenger/sponge, who piped up with, "Yeah, you is a stupid lady!" OUCH. Oh no, come back words. So I got myself back in order and on we went with our list of 122 errands and/or stops.

I did well. The inner sourpuss stayed inside. Until... we entered the belly of the beast... Kohl's Department Store. Kohl's has three kinds of carts. One with just a basket, one with a basket and child seat, and one with a basket and two child seats. If you are shopping with your children you will never be able to actually get a cart with a seat for your child. It is Rule #92b of shopping at Kohl's. I knew this would be a sticky area for me, since on any normal day, it irks me when every 50 something woman, feels she needs a cart with a seat so her purse can have its own chair. Today though, today it was errand #4233 of the day, and I wanted nothing more than to sit Alden in a little cart with a seat so the poor kid could eat his snack. Did that happen? No. We had to hunt through the store to even get a cart, and of course, it had no seat. My little stinker was a real trooper, and either walked or held on and rode like a perfectly behaved child. I think this was a result of Micah's prayer as I had texted him before I entered the store asking for divine guidance. Plus, I wanted him to know why he may need to be picking me up for throwing shirts at someone and starting a mom riot.

You should know, I was very well behaved. When some stinkpot lady watched me and Alden maneuver an aisle, and I had to make sure he held my hand whilst steering the cart, I know she knew. She looked at her purse, in its own little seat, and she knew what a Grinch she was being. Did she offer a cart switch? Nope. I think she should get coal in her stocking for sure. I saw other moms, struggling with kiddos. We exchanged those knowing glances that said, "I am a hair's breath away from assault too. Hang in there."

Like I said, Alden was angelic, and I even rewarded him with a talking Dora toy. I made the fatal talking toy error and forgot to check for the off switch. There isn't one. It was ok, as he hit the play button over and over and over again while he sat patiently on the floor at the checkout... driving all the cart hogs crazy. Ahhh... sweet toy revenge.

Hey, I said I behaved, I didn't say I was perfect.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brit love

Make no mistake, I am talking Brit, as in England, not Brit as in Britney Spears. I have no desire to shave my head, smash cars with an umbrella or kiss Madonna. I do however love two things that are distinctly British...

Lemon Curd and Tea.

I no longer care for coffee.I know. Weird. I have a sip here and there, but never even make it in the morning any more. I feel cheated that I have not lost at least 10lbs by giving up my morning brew. I mean, really. A guy can give up soda and in a week he looks like he had a tummy tuck. I gave up (ok, without trying, but still...) my favorite morning sugar and cream laden beverage and nothing.
This post has nothing to do at all with Christmas, except that it is cold. Beastly cold. So cold I was happy to wash dishes tonight because of the hot water. Cold weather = more tea time. See, I just used the term "tea time". I am practically part of the royal family.
This was pretty lame blogging I know. Maybe we should have "Mute Monday" to follow Silent Sunday?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Silent Sunday

Some people have "Wordless Wednesday" on their blogs, I shall have "Silent Sunday" . Of course, now I typed that so it is not technically silent. I am the worst blogger ever.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Needles, Boys, and Popcorn, OH MY...

Who doesn't love a good popcorn strand? Maybe it was the daily-Alden requested reading of the Little House on the Prairie Christmas book, but I decided my children needed to do some good old fashioned popcorn stringing. At first thought, I realized, handing my three gentile boys a needle, that might not be such a great idea. But, then the pioneer-Laura Ingalls-loving-mom in me took over, and I said, "If Laura and Mary could string popcorn so can we!"

So, we popped two bags of corn. I know, nothing screams "early America" like microwave popcorn, but microwave it we did. (and right now, some young punk is thinking, "I don't get it. How else would you pop popcorn?")

I threaded three needles with lovely green thread, placing a bright red bead at the bottom. Then we sat down, and whilst ELF was playing in the background, we strung.

Aren't they cute? I know, you are waiting for some funny story where Hadji needles Lincoln in the knee cap for looking at his popcorn string funny. You are waiting to hear who stuck their finger straight through. Whose blood hit the carpet first?

Well... NO ONE! Those three boys sat there, stringing like little Almanzo Wilder wanna-bes, and strung like seasoned popcorn stringing champs. I admit it, I was shocked. I mean, these are boys who can turn saltine crackers into weapons of mass destruction. They could have a blood battle over a piece of lint. Now, when I hand them needles, thread and popcorn, they are calm and sweet and listening? Dang, that Ma Ingalls was one smart chicka.

I will have to admit, Alden only strung like seven pieces of popcorn before I looked over and saw him face first in the bowl and come up like this. You can't win 'em all.

My little Pioneer Boys

Friday, December 10, 2010

Retro Holiday...

Christmas 1980something

I wish we had had digital photos in the 80s. Perhaps, then, there would be more than approximately 13 pictures of me from birth to age 16. Oh, wait, what was that noise? Yes, there it is. It is the sound of Jude, hopping on the Bitter Bus for a little ride. I am the underphotographed fourth child, and have no qualms about sharing the far reaching effects of that mistreatment. Hang on, this chip is slipping off my shoulder. Ok, back to my tirade, I mean, post.

Since I have so few photos of me as a child, not only do I have no clue what I even looked like, but I usually covet and cling to photos from yesteryear. When a friend said she had some from when were in Girl Scouts together, I had to remind myself not to stalk her for them, or encourage her to purchase a scanner that very day.

In my mother's defense, and for anyone who was born post 1990, if you were a child of film, you know, pictures were more costly to acquire back then. Holy Hannah. I just used the term "back then" in relation to my own childhood. I think I just felt a wrinkle form somewhere on my face. Anyway, film was not cheap, developing it was expensive, and you didn't get to take 50 shots of you and your pals for "fun". Closed your eyes in that shot? Too bad sucker. You would never know until you got back that envelope of photos and negatives from the local drugstore, or if you were brave, York photos. (Here is where my sister will be cursing mad, and join me on my bus, as York sent her someone else's photos instead of an entire roll of my graduation. She mailed theirs back. Apparently, the other people liked me, and kept ours. She never used York again, and we still question if I really did graduate.)

So, the point? Pictures were not plentiful and they are now thought of as precious in my book.

Here are a few. Happy Retro Day. And for the love of all that is digital, take some pictures of your kids. Every day. Lest they turn into bitter... well, just pick up the camera and shoot ok?

My first Christmas at the 2361

I don't know if this is the holidays, but there is snow.

My Micah. I will include him, though he is an overphotographed firsty.

Micah+tissue paper=cute.

PS If you had to ask someone what a negative is, please just don't tell me.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Santa Claus Day and the under-appreciated Lifesavers

This morning was Santa Claus Day here at the casa. My three little boys put their shoes out by the door with the excited expectation that Santa would stop by and drop them off an early little Christmas Treat. This is an old German tradition. (However, in Germany, kids leave the boots outside the door and if they have been bad, they get a branch instead of a treat. Poor Hadji would have a forest by now if we were really following this tradition closely...)
Anyhoo, I stuffed the boys shoes with smarties, some kitkats, nestle crunch bars, and topped it off with lifesavers. (Lifesavers, are in fact a candy that if I have, they always want, so I thought them a good idea. Plus, they were on sale. Even St. Nicholas has to consider the current economy you know)
Well, Hadji came down, looked at those lifesaver filled shoes and made this face:
Yes, I wanted to smack his ungrateful behind as he disdainfully noted, "Lifesavers?" with a tone the implied St. Nick had stuffed day old fish in his shoes. After a brief rebuke and a stern warning of impending doom, he seemed more appreciative. Or... maybe it was just that he had finally discovered, there was indeed chocolate.

Alden of course, who has no memory of previous Santa Claus Days, was E-LATED about the lifesavers; a normally verboten candy. (you will have to look that German word up)
Lincoln immediately dumped his out and counted his Lifesavers and proudly proclaimed how many he had. I reminded him that bigger shoes did NOT equal more candy, and any number comparison would render his candy count to a zero. Then we all loaded the candy into one big bowl. I think Santa would want me to be in charge of the candy distribution, don't you?

This last photo has nothing to due with above story. I simply like the mammoth snarl that my little stinker woke up with.
Happy December 9th, and please, this holiday season, don't forget the Lifesavers, one of the most looked over mints of the season...