Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 top ten

Another year is coming to a close.  It’s hard to believe that my kids are a year older.  I’m trying to avoid the fact that I am as well.

Here a list of the top ten things that have happened to our family this year, sort of a la David Letterman, I’m just not as funny.

1.The princess started preschool.

2.The TRMintator started his last year of elementary school.

3.Hubby put his car in a car show for the first time.

4.Hubby also got to race his car around the track at Miller Motorsports Park, and he didn’t do too shabby!

5.Hubby and I celebrated 12 mostly blissful years together by going shopping in Park City!  (my idea, not his)

6.We got to travel (yay!) and celebrate 2 nephew’s baptisms, one in Kemmerer, WY, the other in Las Vegas.

7.The princess and I went home to Iowa to see my family.

8.G-man finally mastered the art of tying his shoes.

9.TRMinator graduated from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and earned his Arrow of Light award.

10.Both G-man and the princess got stitches for the first time, in the chin and forehead, respectively. 

11. (I can throw in an extra one if I want!  It’s my list!)  We have all made it through another year healthy and happy and grateful for all that we have.  We have been very blessed this year when others have not been as lucky.  We have wonderful family and friends and are grateful for all that the Lord has seen fit to bless us with.  On to another great year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

So this is Christmas

Christmas is a magical, fun time for kids and parents.  Once the calendar hits December 26, though, I am ready for it to be over.  I am ready for the mess to be put away, for all the new toys to have homes, and for life to be back to normal.  Does that make me a Scrooge?  If so, so be it.  I can only take my house being in a chaotic state for so long!

For some reason, I never get very many pictures on Christmas day, and I’m not really sure why.  I think I just forget to grab the camera.  I always remember to take pictures of the kids in their new jammies on Christmas Eve, though!

Christmas 09 010   One of our traditions is the kids get to open one present on Christmas Eve.  Which is usually the pajamas that I made them.  This year they got new robes and slippers also.  I’m not even going to go into how many stores I went to looking for kids slippers!  You wouldn’t think it would be hard to find kids slippers, especially this time of year.  You would be wrong!

Of course, I didn’t get pictures of the kids opening their presents, so I told them to get 2 or 3 of their favorites so I could take their picture… 2 days later.

This was TRMintaor’s

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This is the G-man’s

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And the Princess

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Then there was me!!

Christmas 09 031Dude!!  I got a Dell!  Isn’t it pretty?!  The design is called Princesses Rule!  I think that is hilarious.

Hubby asked me a month or so ago if I wanted a laptop for Christmas.  I think I laughed at him.  I thought, “why on earth would I want a laptop?  I would never use it!”  Well, lo and behold, when Hubby got his new Macbook for work, I found myself using his old one just about everyday, and I decided that I did want one.

Well, Christmas morning rolled around, and I saved what I thought was my laptop as my last present.  When I opened it and found that it was a new electric griddle instead, I tried not to be too visibly disappointed.  I really didn’t think that he would pass on an opportunity to go computer shopping for me, but maybe he decided to be super responsible - you never know, it could happen!   Then he pulled out one more present.  When I opened it, it was a laptop sleeve with a piece of paper sending me on a scavenger hunt through the house.  After deciphering TRMinator’s clues (he helped with this scheme)  I found my beautiful new computer.  Hubby spoiled me yet again!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas aftermath

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Christmas afternoon.  I think at this point, I turned around and went upstairs to my bedroom to avoid the mess and bedlam.  That, and I wanted to go play on my pretty new pink laptop in peace!  I’ll post some pictures of that later!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tales of Christmases past

Join me blog buddies as I tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a little boy, we’ll call him Bubba.  Bubba was a happy, cheerful boy with an active imagination who liked to play  with his 2 big brothers.  Christmas was one of his favorite times of the year.  He loved the magical season when Santa always seemed to know the deepest wish in his heart.   

One Christmas, when little Bubba was eight years old he anxiously waited for Christmas morning to dawn.  After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, he rushed from his bedroom to join his brothers and sisters to see the Christmas tree and to find what Santa had left for him this year.

Imagine his surprise and excitement when his two older brothers saw BB guns lying there under the tree with their names on them.  Little Bubba looked at their guns with marvel and awe, then looked for his.  Santa would know that he would want one too, wouldn’t he?  After all, Santa was magical!  He always knew the things that you wanted!   After hunting around for his gun for a few minutes, he found something else with his name on it.  This couldn’t be his, he thought!  Why, it was a pop gun!  It had a cork that was on a string!  That was for little boys!  He was a big boy like his brothers!  Where was his BB gun?  Santa wouldn’t have let him down?  Would he?

After searching through everyone else’s presents he realized, that yes, indeed, Santa had let him down.  How could this be?  Santa had always known what he had wanted.  He just couldn’t understand how this had happened.

Little Bubba grew up.  Eventually the sting of not getting the BB gun faded, but he never quite forgot that day, and his disappointment.   Then, one day, during his now grown up family Christmas party, after all the games and laughter had died down, and the bits a wrapping paper had been thrown away, his mother found a letter stuck in the Christmas tree.  It was addressed to Bubba, and it was from Santa Claus!  As his trembling fingers opened the envelope, he pulled out the letter and began to read.  He found that Santa had not forgotten about him!  Santa had realized his mistake so many years ago, and wanted to make it right.  Then right before his eyes, out came his mother with one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen!  A Daisy Red Rider BB gun!  He couldn’t believe it!  Santa finally made one of his biggest wishes into a reality!  After all those years, he never forgot, but neither did Santa.

The end


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Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas season smorgasbord

I thought I would post a few pictures of our Christmas season so far.

TRMinator had his piano recital on Saturday.  He played 2 songs and did really well.

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I think I was just as relieved as he was when it was over.

Last week G-man had his 3rd grade Christmas program at school.  They sang lots of Christmas songs, and thankfully it was only a half an hour long.

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Sunday they wore their Christmas outfits to church.  TRMinator had a tie that he had to learn to tie.  He was pretty protective of his knot!

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That’s the rundown of the last week.  Stay tuned for more action-packed activities!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh alright fine, random Friday

I wasn’t going to post anything today since I just did yesterday.  Really, I wasn’t.  I guess I just can’t resist a random Friday, when I can just throw out all those random thoughts in my head and not tie them all together.  (Sometimes that’s harder than you think!)

My boys are out of school all next week.  I am quite happy about this because they will be home to entertain the princess instead of me.  And by entertain, I mean they will be on the computers playing games and she will be sitting next to them watching and giving “helpful” hints the whole time.  Thankfully, they either don’t mind her little hints or completely tune her out.  They are even nice enough to let her play for them when they take a bathroom break.  (They are filled with brotherly kindness.)  I will also get to run all my errands sans children because TRMinator is old enough to stay home with them.  I’m sure that I will have more than enough of other people’s children to deal with while I am at the store!

I think I am done with all my Christmas shopping, really.  I thought that two days ago, but Hubby and I ran to the store last night and got some more stuff.  (I’m not mentioning what store because TRMinator reads this and he will figure out what we got, he’s smart like that.)

Here’s yet another example of my craziness, I think I’m going to make new Christmas stockings.  Never mind the fact that I made new ones last year, thinking that I hadn’t made new ones for several years, when in fact, when I pulled out my Christmas stuff, I realized that I made new ones the year before.  In case you got lost in that long, run on sentence, this will be the third year in a row that I’ve made new stockings.  Here’s the reason why, first of all, when I bought the material for them last year, I bought way too much, so I have enough to make more.  The second reason would be that Santa has told me some of the things that he’s bring for their stockings and I don’t think they’ll fit, and bigger ones would be oh so helpful.  So, since I’m done with all my other sewing, I figured, why not?!

I’ve got a few other random things running through my head, but I need to get off the computer, and try to be productive.  Namely, get those new presents wrapped before the kids get home!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The lovely stages of childhood

When the G-man was younger, he spent a lot of time in the corner.  And by a lot, I mean that sometimes he took his naps there.

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Thankfully, I’ve blocked most of his naughtiness out of my mind, so I had to ask Hubby to refresh my memory on why he was always in trouble.  He said that he would ignore us, and never listen.  Then the memories of counting came flooding back.  You know, give them to the count of three before all heck breaks loose, counting.  I would say in my, I’m the parent, and you will listen to me, voice, “ONE!”  And after enough training, (for some reason Pavlov’s dogs come to mind) he would come running.  For those of you who know G-man in his current greatness, the fact that he could be a naughty little boy might surprise you.  By the time the princess was born he was out of that particular stage.  (he’s been through a lot of stages, *withered sigh*) 

The princess hasn’t had any really naughty stages till the ripe old age of four.  It’s been about 4 or 5 years since I’ve had to put anyone in the corner or in time out, so I’ve kind of forgotten that is an option.  I don’t ever send my kids to their room when they’re in trouble  because that’s where most of their toys are, they will just go and play.

Case in point, when I was a kid, I only remember being sent to my room once, and it was by my dad!  Let me tell you, that was on odd occurrence.  He was not the disciplinarian in our family, my mom was.  My dad is a pretty mellow, easy going guy.  He doesn’t get riled up.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him angry.  He gets annoyed by things every once in awhile, but I can’t really even picture him actually angry at something or someone.  I have no idea what I did that day, but it must have been something!  I remember my mom was gone, (probably working) and after I was banished to my room, I roamed the upstairs to find something to do.  I don’t think I took it as seriously as I would have if my mom had done the banishing,  I actually remember being somewhat amused, it was just such an odd occurrence!  Anyway, I found some crayons and a coloring book to pass the time, and for some reason felt the need to ask him if I could use them.  I called downstairs to ask and he told me no, (Wow!  He was asserting his authority!) but I figured, I have them, I’m still going to use them.  So the time I was sent to my room actually ended up being play time.  (sorry dad, to let you know 20+ years later that your attempt at discipline didn’t go so well!)

Oh yes, the princess and time out!  (See, I get back to my point eventually!)  She is going through a mouthy stage right now.  She likes to argue and huff, and roll her eyes at us and generally try to make us feel like we are the dumbest people on the planet.  (and I was under the misperception that wouldn’t start till she was a teenager!  Ha!!)  I generally just tell her to knock it off and to not talk to me like that.  Then I remembered time out!  I make her sit in the front room by herself for 5 minutes and she doesn’t like it!  She’s not used to it, and she really doesn’t like having to sit there by herself.  Hopefully we can nip this little behavior in the bud, because I don’t want a bratty child!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Card Conundrum

Is it bad that my Christmas cards are a bit impersonal and have no handwriting on them anywhere?

Let me give you my background on Christmas card-age.  My mom never sent out Christmas cards when I was growing up.  That’s not to say that she didn’t enjoy receiving them from other people.  In fact she still has all the cards that people have sent her from the last several years.  (I’m not sure which I find more amusing, the fact that the queen of no clutter and throwing things away has actually kept several years worth of Christmas cards, or that she keeps them in a tacky, clearly out of date plastic canvas Santa holder.) 

I decided several years ago, that I should break my family’s non-card sending tradition, I figured people might want to see a picture of my children.  So I went to the store and got those cards that you just stick a picture in.  Then I realized that I actually had to write in all of them!  I don’t have the best handwriting in the world, so between trying to keep it legible and trying to think of something somewhat witty and person appropriate, I just about gave up on the whole institution. 

Then I discovered a beautiful little thing called photo cards.  I had Hubby create one from scratch one year, but then had difficulties finding a place to print it for me at card rates instead of picture rates (card rates are cheaper!)  So I found a lovely online place that has lots of templates and you just drop the picture in, click order and they magically appear in your mailbox about 4 days later.  I was happy with these, people saw how much my kids have grown, I don’t have to write on each one, but I still hand addressed the envelopes, so they still had a bit of a personal touch.

This year I decided to involve Hubby.  I had him sit down with me last night to address the envelopes.  Now if you know my hubby, you know that if he’s involved, so is the computer.  I read off addresses, he typed them into the computer so we could print them off, which I was actually okay with, because it sure made getting them addressed snappy!  Then as I was stuffing the cards in, I thought, “Umm, there’s no handwriting on here anywhere, some people might perceive these as a tad impersonal.”  So my conundrum is, do I care?  I know that I will be receiving beautiful, handmade cards from all my sisters in law, but at this point, I don’t think I care how impersonal mine are.  I think I’m just going to be happy that I can check that task off my list and call it good!  I guess conundrum solved, right?  Right!  (at least that’s what I’m trying to convince myself!)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Random Friday

I posted yesterday some of the things I didn’t like about winter.  Well, here is one thing that I do!  My car.  I love my car in the winter.  I have an Explorer with 4 wheel drive and tires that are bigger than the standard ones, so I have a bit extra clearance also.  (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have huge, mongo, montster truck, I’m going to run over all the smaller cars, tires,  they are very tasteful.)  I have found that I can get through pretty much anything.  That being said, when I finally get stuck one of these days (you never know, it might happen), I’m sure that I will be stuck good!   I’m also sure that hubby won’t be able to pull me out with his little Mustang!  Let’s just hope it never happens so I won’t have to worry about it!

Have I mentioned that it has been cold and snowy?  If I haven’t, it has been cold and snowy around here lately.  I’m talking highs in the teens and lows in the low single digits.  Today it is supposed to warm up to 25(!), so I decided to get out for the first time this week and go for a run.  (When I went it was still 17, but that’s almost a heat wave!)  It wasn’t too bad, I put on 3 layers, and did my usual loop.  The only problem was that some sidewalks weren’t shoveled, so I either had to go out into the street, or run very lightly over them so I didn’t fall. 

Running in the winter almost makes me wish I had a treadmill.  Almost.  I hate treadmills because I get sooo bored.  As soon as I’m out of breath I’m done, which would mean that I’m on there for a total of 2 minutes.  When I’m running outside, I’m half a mile from home when I’m tired and want to be done, but I have to get home, so I have to suck it up and finish.

Hubby and I are going on our annual date/shopping night, tonight.  We take the kids to my parent’s, then we go Christmas shopping and go out to eat.  I love it.  I kind of  have to take Hubby shopping with me now, because he knows which Lego set is better and what the boys would think is cool better than I do.  I’m the better clothes shopper, he is the better toy shopper.  We usually eat when we’re done shopping, then I get to enter my version of nirvana, and sit at the table with my notebook and write down everything that we bought and make a list for each of the kids to make sure that they are equal.  Aaahhh!!  I love lists and organization!  It almost makes me giddy just thinking about it!  The best part is, the kids are spending the night there (the princess has been wanting to spend the night at grandma’s for some time now) so we don’t have to hurry and can take our time to find everything that we need.  (I’m one of those crazy people that doesn’t want to take advantage of my parents or have my kids overstay their welcome, so I start getting nervous to pick them up after a couple of hours.)

My kids are off from school the whole week of Christmas. I’m trying to think of some fun, maybe crafty things to do with them while they are home.  Any ideas?  I don’t want to make a tons of treats that will be calling my name.  If I come up with something good I’ll post some pictures!  We’ll see what happens.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter idiotsyncrasies

I’ve discovered that I have a few odd idiosyncrasies, or as I like to call them, idiotsyncrasies about winter.  I don’t like the sound of snow crunching under my feet.  For some reason it gives me the willeys.  It’s almost like I can feel it crunch through my whole body, and I just don’t like it.  It’s the same thing when I’m driving over crunchy snow, it just kind of icks me out.

I also don’t like frozen, matted down tire tracks of snow in my driveway.  I like it to be completely clear and free of snow.  We live in a south facing house, so usually the sun takes care of any tire tracks we might drag in from the street, but the last few days have been so exceptionally cold that the sun hasn’t been able to do it’s job!  It’s been kind of bugging me lately that there are still tire tracks, but I’m trying to ignore it and let it go… probably unsuccessfully.  I’m sure I’ll be out there scraping them away as soon as I pick up the princess from school.  I know, it’s silly, but I don’t care, I’ll feel much better when it’s clear.  And double bonus!  I won’t have to listen to my tires crunch over it anymore!  (shudder!!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

It just dawned on me that it is Wednesday, how sad is that?  So here’s one to make us think of warmer days!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree!


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Putting up the Christmas tree, a yearly family tradition, right?  Well, not in my house!  Hubby puts it up for me, (we went to pre-lit artificial several years ago, he got tired of stringing the lights)  then no one gets to touch it but me!  Yes, that’s right, I and I alone decorate the tree.  I take decorating the tree very seriously, and it has to look right.  All of my ornaments have to be in the color scheme that I have (this year gold or silver) and they have to be put up in the right place.

I know, it should be a fun family tradition to decorate the Christmas tree together, but not for me.  I got my kids their own little trees that they have in their rooms that they can decorate however they want, so long as they don’t touch my tree!  I don’t care how lopsided and thrown together their trees look, no one sees them but them!

I’m not really sure when I became so OCD about my tree.  I think maybe one year I got it just right (when my kids were still to young to want to help) and from then on I realized that tree perfection had to come from me and me alone. 

Let’s all enjoy this holiday season and enjoy the time we have to spend with our family and loved ones, just please…                           


Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving pics

When I pulled the pictures from Thanksgiving weekend off my camera, I realized that I didn’t get any pictures from the actual big day.  Which is pretty typical for me.  I never do, and I don’t really know why.  I see my sister’s in law getting out their camera’s, but I guess I don’t feel the need for more pictures that I’m not going to do anything with.  (I think I’ve pretty much given up on the whole scrapbooking thing, except for the 2 times a year that I go and scrapbook with my SIL’s and let me tell you, I don’t get much done then.)

This year, we decided that we wanted to do a little bit of the touristy stuff because TRMinator wanted to go to M&M World.

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Just as a side note, we hadn’t been to the strip for years, holy cow, I forgot how R- rated it can be!!

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The one thing the boys wanted to know about when Hubby and I went to New York last year was the Statue of Liberty, so I had to take a picture of TRMinator in front of the Las Vegas version.

On Saturday, while everyone else went riding motorcycles and four wheelers, we took the two younger ones to a children’s museum.

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They had an exhibit called Grossology, which was a bunch of things about how the body works.  Of course they loved it.  That is a big piece of skin that they are climbing.

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This was a big bubble station.  It was pretty cool.

We had lots of fun, and it was good to see everyone.  Till next year!!