Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Christmas Hoopla.

I see that I've been tagged for a Christmas Hoopla by Crooked Eyebrow where I have to list 12 things about myself that are related to Christmas. That seems like a lot! So here I go on my first attempt at a "meme" or should I say hoopla.

1) I do not particularly enjoy decorating my house for Christmas. Now before you get all "Bah-Hum-Bug" on me let me explain. I pretty much suck at decorating. Period. I don't have good ideas as to what looks good together and I like to keep things simple. I hate clutter. Nuff said.

2) It just wouldn't be Christmas without watching my favorite Christmas movie, A Christmas Story at least once if not more during the month of December. The movie Elf has become my 2nd favorite Christmas movie. Will Ferrell is hilarious and makes me laugh every time I watch him.

3) My birthday falls 3 days before Christmas, which yes, does stink quite a bit, but my family has always been so good about making me feel special on my day and not wrapping my birthday presents in Christmas wrapping paper.

4) I love the old traditional Christmas songs sung by Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Roger Williams, etc.

5) When I was a young tot my brothers and I had some very cool Christmas records that we loved to listed to. Such as Star Wars Christmas and Christmas Disco. Can you tell I was born in the 70's?

6) OMG! I am not even half way done yet and I am starting to struggle! UGH! Okay, how about this. One of my favorite Christmas drinks is spiced eggnog. I even have a homemade recipe that is from middle school home economics class. I just recently found a new recipe that I am looking forward to trying out called City Tavern Eggnog. I copied it from the Southwest airlines magazine when I flew out to Cleveland a few weekends ago. It calls for egg yolks, granulated sugar, heavy whipping cream and whole milk. It's not fattening or anything!

7) I enjoy sending out Christmas cards. This year we sent out ones with a family picture. They turned out good considering everyone smiled at the same time. Amazing! I have found the best way to display the cards we receive is to tape them around the 12 foot door frame opening between the kitchen and family room. See. Just picture them completely down the other side and the purple tree on the right is our backup card display which we have just begun to fill.

8) I was a firm believer in Santa until about the age of 10. My brother and I were being snoops. All of it was totally his idea of course. And we found wall calendars hidden in my parents closet. Mine was Alf and his was sports cars. When we opened them up on Christmas day the tags said they were from Santa. What a way to spoil it. But that reminds me of the time I found out the truth about the tooth fairy. As a small girl stumbling upon a box of little teeth I was scarred for life. I felt betrayed. My parents were impostors! I've since forgiven them and am now following in their footsteps.

9) One of the most memorable presents I received as a child was a 4 foot Barbie townhouse. Let me tell you, it was sweet! And it was complete with a pink elevator that would take Barbie and her friends from the ground floor up to level 3. I played with that for many years and wish I still had it to this day. But, I do still have my Pretty Ponies, or were they called My Little Ponies? Either way, they are in my closet and when my friends bring their daughters over, I bring out the box of ponies for them to play with. Brings back good memories!

10) Growing up, my family would always get a real tree to decorate for Christmas. The first few years I was out of the house with my own family, we did the real tree thing, but then decided to get a fake one. Less mess and less pain from being stabbed by dry dead needles. I do miss the fresh pine scent of a real tree, but Febreze makes a killer pine tree spray called Fresh Evergreen and Snow. You must try it! Plus it's a limited edition so don't wait too long.

11) Okay, this seems like it is going on forever. Bless you if you are still reading this and are still awake. What else can I bore you with? So, I am a fan of colored lights. I really do not care for white. They're pretty, but I like me some color - makes it more festive. This is the first year that I can remember that we actually did not put up any lights outside. I am very sad about this. It seems the weather snuck up on us and who wants to put up lights in an ice storm? Our neighborhood makes up for our lack of outdoor decorations. There are some fanatics around here and I will leave it at that.

12) Drum roll please! My last required entry. And what the heck is there left to say? I love to play in the snow with my boys. I have so much fun building snow forts and snowmen and snow angels and snow hills. Gosh, I could go on and on. I enjoy ice skating and sledding, but I do not enjoy downhill skiing. I have only attempted it once in my life back in high school and didn't really get the hang of it. Maybe I should give it another try.

Whew! I guess that wasn't too bad. Who can I tag next? How about Say Anything? Are you up for it?

The directions:

1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas.
2. Please refer to it as a hoopla not the dreaded “m” word.
3. You have to specifically tag someone when you’re done, no leaving it open.
4. Do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over soon…

Wordless Wednesday

They are such hard workers and having so much fun at the same time!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

I know we were frugal, but seriously?

I have been reminiscing on Christmas’s years ago.

Back in the day when it was just the three of us, money was tight even though we didn’t think much of it. When Christmas time came around, we (or really I should say I) had to get inventive and make the money stretch.

I vividly remember (thanks to the help of home video) one particular year when Taylor was probably 3 years old. I bought him a collapsible laundry hamper. Plain.old.white. No, there was not a Thomas the Tank Engine on it or even a Spider Man. Momma was cheap and bought white. I thought it could double as a toy basket. I could get away with it since he was so little. Sweet Taylor opened it and immediately used it as a fort, placing it over his head. It was almost as good as giving a kid a cardboard box to play with. He brought a toy in with him and ended up getting stuck due to the lack of room. It was funny to watch.

That same Christmas morning Jason was preparing to open one of his “gifts” I had bought him. I still look back at this and say to myself, what in the world was I thinking. (And I can’t believe I am admitting this.) I bought AND wrapped him a package of fire log starters. You know, those wax bricks that you light to help get your fire going. Lame, yes. I completely agree. But practical and cheap – there is no doubt about it. I am not sure if the look on his face was that of surprise or that of “my wife has gone off the deep edge”. We laugh about it to this day. Also that year I put together a stocking for him. And of all things, I included bungee cords, circus peanuts, a bottle of water, a toothbrush and gum among other useless things. All this for an adult. No I am not kidding. You think I would make these things up?

But, isn’t that what Christmas memories are all about?

What fun is it if you can’t look back and chuckle?

I like to think my gift giving has improved; therefore there will be no fire starter logs or white collapsible hampers to wrap this year. I will be classy and step it up a level. I just need to figure out what the next level will actually be.

So now it’s your turn. Have you ever given a really bad gift or have you been the recipient of one? I’d love to hear all about it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

What would your caption be for this picture?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out Kid!

My all time favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story. It is such a classic. The setting of the movie is actually 30 minutes from where I live, but the house where is was filmed at is located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Well, this past weekend on Friday I flew to Cleveland to meet my hubby and attend his company's Christmas party. On Saturday afternoon we had some time to spare so we decided to go tour the house from the movie. It was almost surreal. I felt as if I had gone back in time and was part of the film. I could picture the different scenes of the movie with each room we entered.

Across the street they have a museum and a gift shop where you can purchase your very own full size leg lamp. Although we didn't come home with a leg lamp, we have great memories and pictures of our adventure. Enjoy!

The front of the house.

In the back looking towards the front.

The backyard with the shed where Ralphie shot Black Bart.

The infamous leg lamp. It's a major award!

In the corner sat the Red Ryder BB gun just how it was in the movie.

Here is the kitchen with the Christmas turkey cooking apparently before the turkey thief hounds came around to devour it.

The bathroom and LifeBuoy soap that poor Ralphie had to endure.

The actual car restored to it's former glory.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just shove it in there. It'll fit.

With winter upon us and freshly fallen snow, we've had to pull out the winter gear.

Having 3 boys allows me to save their clothes, outerwear, shoes and boots. These "hand-me-downs" have worked out pretty well up until this winter.

At the end of the season last winter I bought a pair of winter boots on clearance at good ol' Wally Mart, in size 10. I don't recall who I thought was supposed to fit in them this year as I have a really hard time keeping track of what shoe size the kids are in from month to month. It seems to change quite frequently and we have a huge tote filled with shoes that range from size 7 to size 3. That is 10 different shoe sizes. And I wonder why I'm confused!

I put the new boots I purchased on Carson and send him off to school and watch him hobble into class thinking nothing of it at the time. Later that day we decided to play out in the snow. I notice Carson struggling to put his boots on and getting very frustrated. I go over to help him out and am pushing pretty hard wondering what in the world is stuck inside the boot that is not allowing this boy's foot to slide in. So I take it off and look inside which there is nothing. I try again and get his foot in and he begins yelling that his foot hurts. I feel where his toes are and they are completely shoved to the front of the boot. Then I start to question that maybe these boots were supposed to go to Luke. I take a look inside and see the size 10. I compare them to the boots that Luke is wearing this winter and his also say size 10. Well, I know that can't be right. These boys are 2.5 years apart and I know for a fact they do not wear the same size shoe.

Sure enough, I compare the boot to the bottom of Carson's foot and there isn't even a half of an inch extra. I then take a look at one of his regular shoes and he is wearing a size 13. That is 3 sizes more! No wonder his poor little toes were hurting. Mom's trying to shove them into cramped quarters. I kinda felt bad and all sending him to school in these toddler sized boots. But then I got over it.

So then, I search through our shoe box for a bigger pair of boots thinking surely we'll have something that will work. I find two more size 10's and the next size up is a 3, which is huge on him. But he really wanted to go outside and play so we layered on the socks and put on the size 3 boots and headed out to play.

And believe it or not, they actually stayed on the whole time. Even if they would have fallen off, Carson wouldn't have cared too much. This is a kid who runs around the house wearing only shorts whether it is 80 degrees or 8 degrees. He could care less.

And you'll be happy to know I sent hubby out last night to pick up the proper size boots for this boy. He'll be trying them out at school tomorrow.

I also had to purchase new boots for Taylor since his feet have grown a whole 2 sizes since last winter. How is that possible?

Today when he came home from school he wanted to go play out in the snow. But he forgot his snow boots at school. Of course, he doesn't have another pair that fit him and here goes mom again trying to shove his old size 3's on him.

When will I learn?

So the solution I came up with (and I still can't believe he went for this) was to wear MY snow boots. They are very gender neutral thankfully. But I am a size 9 which I think would compare to a size 7 in mens'. Doing the math that would make them 2 sizes too big. But, he was okay with it. Just as long as no one found out that he was wearing girl-y boots.

I may have to use that one against him someday. Blackmail!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Appreciation from a two year old.

Luke, who is 2.5 years old, is the youngest of my three boys. Having two older brothers gives him plenty of opportunities to absorb everything they say and do. The good and the bad. For the most part Luke is a mild mannered, sweet and loving boy until someone or something aggravates him.

We were driving in the car just the other day and Luke wanted a package of fruit snacks. I told him he would have to wait until we stopped so I could give them to him. Well, that wasn't going to work for him. He had to have them now so he started to crinkle up his nose and give me a sour face while continuing to yell, "phoot snacks!" I finally had an opportunity to reach back and hand them to him. I asked him, "what do you say to mommy?" And he replied in a quiet disgruntled mumble, "Thank you butt face."

What a sweetheart.

Wordless Wedesday

"See Mom, I'm brushing my teeth all by myself."

For more Wordless Wednesday photos click here.

My Mom is too funny!

The other day I was talking to my mom and were discussing places to eat. Panera Bread came up during the conversation and instead of using the actual name of that restaurant, my mom literally called it Pantera Bread and didn't think anything of it. I had to clarify to her that Pantera is a heavy metal rock band. Just a slight difference. We had a good laugh out of that!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Oh Yeah - These are good!

Last year I was introduced to a new candle called WoodWick. If you've never heard of these or do not own one yourself, you are completely missing out.

Not only do they come in a huge array of scents, the wick itself is made out of wood. When you light it, it sounds like a fireplace with it's crackling noise.

What a delight!

These are definitely on my Christmas wish list and also make a great gift to give to others.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I Love Cookies

If you are anything like me, you love Girl Scout cookies.

And again, if you are anything like me, your supply of Girl Scout cookies is completely gone.

Don't panic. I have found the BEST and CHEAPEST solution to your cookie cravings.

Keebler brand has a line of cookies called Fudge Shoppe and there are replicas of the Thin Mints (Grasshopper) and Peanut Butter Patties (Peanut Butter Filled). And they are (I hate to admit it) better than GS cookies. Yes, it is true. Try them yourself and I think you will be hooked. They are amazing!

The local grocery store I bought mine at today had them on sale for buy one at $2.99 get one free.

Imagine that - free cookies! Rock on!