Friday, December 28, 2007

Just had to post

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Not that there isn't anything exciting to post, but when you don't post for days it seems that your mind goes BLANK!! What do I post about? My mind is on vacation at the moment, but I do have some fun things to post that our kids have said. No. They never stop talking, so truly there IS always something to post.

McKenna was opening presents from her grandparents (mind you, they were visiting us and watching them open up gifts). She'd already opened some fun games and then opened up a beach towel that was embroidered with her name. As she took it out of the box, held it up, and looked at it, she said, "It's just a TOWEL?" Sadly, we all laughed. And she was thrilled two seconds later when she found out it had her NAME on it...and then carted it around the entire next day and used it as a blanket. Oh, the gratefulness is oozing from her.

Last night we as we sat down to eat dinner, Laurianna had been singing the praises of that evening's dinner - a pork and mashed potato casserole. After she took her first bite, she got a funny look on her face, scrunched it up, looked at me and asked, "Is this horse meat?" Yes. We're out of beef and pork, so we used the next best thing. Sigh.

I'm sure I'll be posting more soon. I'm missing all of my bloggy friends, but enjoying the time with the kids.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Eating Tips

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A friend of mine emailed this to me and it was too fun not to post! :)

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy . Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Would you like fries with that?

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Yesterday I let Zachary take food to bed. The plastic variety, that is. :) He had a basket of play food with him and had a grand time playing before he took his nap.

Last night I woke up around 3 am to hear Zachary using the bathroom. As I began to fully wake up, I realized that I was holding something in my hand. A plastic, crinkle-cut french fry. I dropped it over the side of the bed, got up, helped Zachary and climbed back into bed. Rick was awake at this point and mumbled, "I woke up and was holding this in my hand." He proceeded to hand me an ear of corn. French fries and corn. Only in our bed. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Blur of Motion

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Christin and her girls came over yesterday to join our absolute household mayhem (it all seems to kick up a notch when you are PMSing). The kids were running wild (my kids, that is!) and the girls came over with ballet dresses in hand and a great video to "practice" with our kiddos. Since we all know Zachary loves ballet, he was quickly on hand too! Thank goodness for the $4 leggings from Target. :)

Many of the pictures I took are literally a blur of activity. Either the kids were moving THAT fast, or I just need to put the flash on. :) Christin was lovely enough to intervene in my girl's dress war as to "who gets to wear what leotard" and placed Laurianna in the 'teacher' role - and the teacher needs to wear the black leotard. That's it. Appeal to her firstborn, leader-of-the-pack, must be "in-charge" gene.

So, here are our kiddos intent on becoming the next world-renowned ballet dancers. And why, when he is the most active, is Zachary the LEAST blurry?

I won! I won!!

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I visit Bloggy Giveaways (when I remember!!) and recently left a comment and won this great book from DK - Alive.

Yes, I realize the cover looks a little...ummm....creepy, but it is an AMAZING book. I emailed DK yesterday and they FedEx'd the book and I received it today. It has pop-ups all over the place, sounds like there is a heart beating on one page, has tons of flaps to explore. Definitely a book my kids will love - and that will be out of reach for exploring little hands unless Mommy or Daddy are nearby.

Sadly, I can't enter any more contests for 30 days on her I can't try to win this lovely amethyst and diamond pendant. You don't need to stay on my site - quick - go register to win it. I'm sure it would look lovely around your neck! ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Swaying Tree

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A friend emailed me this morning to say she was driving by our house last night and saw our tree swaying. I assumed she meant the half-dead, about-to-fall-over, insect-bored birch tree in our front yard that broke branches during our recent ice storm.

After a few more emails, I discovered it was our Christmas tree she saw swaying. As I thought about it I remembered last evening and my attempt to read a story to the kids.

Sit on couch. Tell Zachary to sit on the couch, not the arm of the couch.

Discipline Zachary.

Start reading. Tell Zachary to stop touching the tree. STOP touching the tree and pulling the ornaments.

Discipline Zachary.

Start reading after figuring out where I left off. Pull Zachary off the arm of the couch while he is pulling at the ornaments.

Discipline Zachary.

Try to read a touching and significant Christmas story to the other kids. Attempt to pull Zachary off the arm of the couch AGAIN and this time succeed in his near tree-tipping over experience as he half falls into the tree.

Somehow we finished the story. But I guess the neighborhood was all witness to the saga.

These are supposed to make me feel smarter...

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I love Sudoku puzzles. Mainly because at this stage in my life, there are times when I don't feel super-smart...wiping noses and bottoms all day can do that to you. Along with answering endless pointless questions, listening to children endlessly argue about who looked at who know how it is.

I have a masters degree, yet sometimes the simplest question can completely throw me. My brain just doesn't seem to want to kick into gear quickly at times. Perhaps if questions were asked in a whiny voice kicked up a notch I might do better, but who knows. Completing a sudoku puzzle, as trivial as it seems, makes me feel like I still have a brain. It is active. It does work. And I have the proof to show it. My reasoning skills are still intact.

I haven't done them in awhile, because they also tend to get a little bit addicting for me. I start and just can't stop. I dream about them. Sad, but true.

This last weekend I printed off a few, starting myself off with three easy ones and one moderate one. Just to wean myself back into them. I found a website that I could print 4 on a page, so YEAH! I worked on the first one for about 20 minutes and got stuck. On an "easy" one. So as not to end the night on a bad note, I started on the second one ... and my husband decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, that one too started wearing thin, so I moved onto the third one. And again, stuck. Huh? I tried working on the moderate one and wasn't getting to far and beginning to feel a little frustrated with myself.

These things are supposed to make me feel SMART? And I can't complete one of the four puzzles! As I looked over the three easy puzzles and realized they were all the SAME PUZZLE, can you guess how incredibly smart I felt then? Brilliant I am.

At least I had the same answers for all three. :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

From the Backseat...

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On our way to visit a live nativity the other night, McKenna piped up from the backseat, "We need gas!" After explaining that we didn't need gas, Zachary added his two cents.

"I've got gas. It's in my seat. It's in my booster. I tooted!"

*****Addendum: :)
I remembered the other thing! Amazing as that is...

The kids were all getting their jackets on the other day and each of them (except for Zachary) has a heavy winter coat and a lighter weight winter coat. The girls each put their lightweight jackets on and Zachary was not too happy that he had to wear his:

"This is NOT a lightweight jacket. This is a DARKweight jacket!

(so while he might not have the correct opposite, at least he is understanding the concept!)

That's all that I have for this week - I know that there was another thing too, but our computer is apparently taking after Christin's and is on the fritz. So, if I am a bit sporadic over the next little bit, please forgive me (never mind the holidays are coming up too!). Our computer screen is blacking out at times and it makes it a bit difficult to get on the internet when you can't see a thing. :)

Don't forget to head over to Mary's for Tiny Talk Tuesday!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Coffee Personality are You?

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I took a little coffee quiz that is supposed to tell you about your personality based on how you take your coffee. I'm tempted to go back and do my "alter" coffee choice - the "evening" version - minus caffeine, and see how that one turns out. For those of you who know me, do you think this is me?

What Your Latte Says About You

You don't treat yourself very often. You find that indulging doesn't jibe with your very disciplined life.

You can be quite silly at times, but you know when to buckle down and be serious.

You have a good deal of energy, but you pace yourself. You never burn out too fast.

You're addicted to caffeine. There's no denying it.

You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You're occasionally playful, but you find it hard to be carefree.

You are honest and genuine, but you are never tactless.

Holiday Par-tay Recipe

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If you are one of my friends, have attended MOMS group with me...or just know me well, you know how much I love coffee. And especially coffee punch. I can't remember who all started this recipe, but it is great in that it can be adjusted in so many ways - flavored coffee, decaf coffee, sugar substitute, etc...depends on your current diet or lack of caring thereof. :)

Karla at Looking Towards Heaven is hosting a Holiday Par-Tay recipe exchange, so this is my little contribution to it. I am hoping somewhere at one of the holiday parties we attend that it will be present. Or I may have to make some myself!

Coffee Punch


1 Pot of coffee (decaf, fully caff, half caf, get the point)
1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/2 gallon of Breyers vanilla ice cream, softened
1 tub Cool Whip, softened
1 quart of milk (skim or otherwise)


Make the coffee and mix in sugar and milk. I then mix the ice cream and cool whip together and leave them in the fridge so they are liquid and mix them in with the coffee mix when I am ready to serve the punch. You can otherwise mix the ice cream and cool whip together and then freeze it in a lovely mold and add it to the coffee when you serve it so that it keeps the punch cooler. This is great!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to Heather!

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Our friend Heather (above left) had a birthday! And a significant one at that. 3-0. Thirty. Three decades. We celebrated with her and some of her family and other friends last night at one of her favorite local restaurants. Randy, her hubby (below), called us all together so that she could usher in this new era with all of us (and since we were all older, maybe it would make it seem less scary? (hee hee). And Randy, I saved the really good picture of you as ammo for future use. You just never know when those things can come back to haunt you.... *grins*.

I don't really recall a time in the last 4 years or so that Rick and I have ever taken all of our children out to a place that involved someone serving us (for real), involved taking an order and waiting for food. Golden Corral is about the closest that it's come. So that said, I think our children did remarkably well and am very proud of them. And I, being the mom that didn't think about this fact, didn't bring a stitch of ANYTHING to occupy my children in the restaurant. You'd think after 4 kids that perhaps something might have triggered in my brain. But no. Thankfully Heather came prepared to the max and the kids had stickers, magnets, and there was LOTS OF FREE BREAD.

And by lots I mean that Kaleb ate 4 pieces before dinner showed up (along with dropping a fork, knife or other object on the floor about 100 times) and McKenna we later found out (after only one bite of her hamburger) had eaten SEVEN. Yes. 7.

Back to the party.

Friends. Family. Food. Truly what more could you ask for? Gifts - yes, she had those too!. Lots of cards from all the kids and even the family dog. :) After we finished up at the restaurant, we headed back to our place for some cake and coffee so we could put 4 of the restless kiddos to bed....and hoard the sugar ourselves.

Before leaving the restaurant I had taken pictures of everyone else, and realized I wasn't in any of them, so decided to take some of myself. Yeah. Bright idea. Despite the fact that they are truly comical in nature and well worth deleting, I figured I should at least share them to prove that I did not send my husband out alone to dine with 4 children. I was there too. Hopefully this is not how I truly looked all evening. And I promised Heather that I would at least post them so everyone could have a good laugh.

Take 1:

Take 2:

So Heather - Happy Birthday again. May this year coming up be one filled with more fun, family and a deeper revelation of who God is. :) I'm praying that God will just knock your socks off and surprise you in so many amazing ways - because He's a God that likes to do that! Dig deeper into Him and let Him show you new things, especially His heart for you.

Love you, Heather!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For "Really"

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Zachary and McKenna were playing together the other day and at some point during their play we heard them talking to each other about killing each other (why, oh, why must this happen?).

Since we were in our bedroom folding laundry, Rick raced out of the room to deal with it right away and I heard him telling the kids that we don't talk about killing, even though we are pretending.

Zachary's answer: (and I could picture him patting Rick's arm as he said this)...It's ok, Dad. We're playing for really.

(So it's not ok if it's pretend, but it is ok if it's for real. He's grasping this well, isn't he?).


To get more in the Christmas spirit, be sure to check out the video I posted of Laurianna and McKenna in our church's Christmas program yesterday - click here. I'm not proud or anything!


Head on over to Mary's for more Tiny Talk Tuesday and also to join in her fun Holiday contest by clicking on her logo below.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Shamelessly Bragging

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Today was our kids Christmas program at church and Laurianna (6) and McKenna (5) were both involved this year. And so I must post a video clip of the entire group singing the last song since both of my girls were part of that song (and Christin's girls too!).

If you are having trouble figuring out who is where...Laurianna is toward the left of the screen - right next to the angel (she's wearing a red shirt). She sings the first verse of Away in a Manger and also narrates a little bit during the song.

McKenna is the angel in the middle of the top row. Charis (Chistin's oldest) is next to McKenna - just to the right as you watch. Selah, a cow visiting the manger scene, is in the front row next to the right of the chicken. She is out in the pasture at the beginning of the song, due to a little potty break need, but she joins in about halfway through. *grins*

Yes, shamelessly bragging on our girls. :) Can you blame me?

Last Year this time...

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We were trying to get everyone sitting "just so" for our Christmas picture...which of course was edited. But memories are fun, so just a glimpse back a year ago into our house...

More traditions to think about...

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Some of you have posted, some of you have emailed, and I've found some other great ideas for traditions and wanted to share them all with you.

Joesette shared these traditions from her family. Love the ornament idea too, although our tree would get crazy fast! *grins* And helping out as a family is a wonderful idea.
  • Each year we make a Happy Birthday Jesus cake...year 1, child 1 (6months old)...footprint in top of cake. Year 2 (same child) hand print in top of cake (lost her balance and fell in...sigh...)

  • Each child gets a new ornament (this year, I'm cross stitching them, what was I thinking????)

  • We ring the bell for the Salvation Army as a family (mental note, pick the Mall NOT an outside location).

Val at 3 little munchins shared this additional tradition. It sounds like fun!

  • About 2 years ago we started having a Christmas Eve picnic in front of our Christmas tree. We spread out a blanket and eat your normal picnic style meal. We talk about Christmas, why we celebrate it... we just have a wonderful time together as a family. The kids love it. This is one we will be doing for a LONG time.

Erin emailed me to tell me that she and her husband sit down together Christmas Eve and she makes him he lovingly offers to help her wrap all the presents while they watch Christmas movies (some lovely classics) until they are all done...but are usually still watching movies til the wee hours of the morning.

We also have some friends whose children are a little older now and they have a lovely tradition of waiting up until midnight to open their presents. Then they can all sleep in nice and late Christmas morning. :) Someday when our kids are older and don't wake up at 6am, I'm sure that will be a lovely thought!

Some other things that Rick and I have talked about (but have yet to put into action) are caroling together as a family (nursing home, etc...). This of course would involve having children that knew all the songs so that they weren't just la-la-laing along with us. :) So this is a "for the future" tradition to start.

Today as I was visiting some other blogs I stopped by An Ordinary Mom's blogsite and she has an amazing tradition that we will definitely have to implement as a family. If you would like to read the entire post you can click here. During the month of December she and her family write a note to one other family member each night until Christmas (taking turns writing to each one). It can be a "thank you" for helping with something, a long letter to another, etc... When they finished the note, it is put in that person's stocking - not to be opened until Christmas. Then Christmas morning, everyone "opens" their stockings first and read all the notes.

I think that this would be an amazing family-building tradition to start. We don't do stockings right now (we figure the kids have enough toys already) but this would definitely be something I would run out and buy stockings for!

Hopefully that gives you a few more fun ideas for the Christmas season. Have fun!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's technically baking if it goes in the oven...

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Baking with my kids can inevitably lead to a loss of control in the kitchen on my part. Flour here. Little tongues licking this. Fingers where they shouldn't be. And how many ingredients exactly have we already put in?

I promised the girls (and by promise I mean I promised them during our advent devotions so I had to follow through!) that we would make cookies this week, before we light the second advent candle. Not even 24 hours after the promise was made, I was wondering what I was thinking - despite the warm fuzzy feelings baking with your children should generally evoke.

I was ever so happy to come across a relatively simple, flour free, chocolate involved, "baking" recipe of sorts this week to use with the girls. Hardly any mess. Easy. Quick. And we did it together without me losing my mind.

Here's what you'll need: a bag of waffle pretzels, a bag of Hershey's hugs, and a bag of holiday m&m's.

Step 1: Unwrap the hugs.

Step 2: Place the pretzels on a baking sheet. Center precisely Top with one of the hugs.

Step 3: Bake at 170 for 4-5 minutes til the hugs are a little bit melted.

Step 4: Top with an m&m (patterning is optional *grins*).

*** To help them set faster, it helps to put them in the fridge or freezer for a little bit after finishing them.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Expect to be surprised

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Have you ever received a gift at Christmas that you really weren't sure what to think about? You had your heart set on something and then opened up a gift and it was not what you were hoping for. One of those gifts that you smile nicely, but internally you are thinking " there a receipt in here somewhere? Is it possible to return this? Can I return this without offending?" A gift that just went completely against your expectations?

What about all the craziness leading up to Christmas? Do you set expectations that everything will be just so? Unrealistic expectations in part: the kids will attentively listen (and comprehend) the nightly devotions. The tree will remain perfectly decorated and ornaments will not be found hiding in various parts of the house. Making cookies with the kids will be a bonding experience - not one where it would be easier to whack your head on a brick wall.

Life in general does not always go according to our expectations. Reading again about Mary and Joseph and then thinking about expectations that they might have had - and the things they didn't expect to happen made me start thinking. Mary wasn't exactly expecting a pregnancy (and a virgin one at that!). Mary didn't expect to be the mother of the MESSIAH! I'm sure that they didn't envision baby Jesus being born in a stable (the birth plan she had in place went out the proverbial window). The shepherds probably weren't expecting to be startled by a choir of glorious angels. The wise men - searched and searched and then had to sneak out of the country (again, probably not in their initial plans). Jesus went completely opposite in most ways to what everyone expected. What they anticipated.

It's so easy to get caught up in how we want things to be. How we desire things to turn out. To set our expectations and then be crushed in the process. We can't always expect things to turn our the way we want - BUT we don't have to lose our joy in the process. We can't expect everything we wish for to happen - but we might end up with more than we ever dreamed or expected. We can expect that God will always keep his promises to us - no matter what the situation is that we are in. He WILL heal our hurts. He DOES hear our cries. He LISTENS when we call. He GIVES exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. He is ALWAYS with us. He NEVER leaves us. He LOVES us. That will never change. We can expect that and never be disappointed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Favorite Christmas Movies

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Are there movies that you watch every year at Christmas? That you just have to watch. Can't miss? Watched them every year since you were a kid? I have a few that I love and figured I'd check in with you all and see if there were some other great ones that I was missing. If you haven't seen the ones below, find them and watch them! (or borrow them from me if you live near me!).

Christmas in Connecticut - cute classic where a single woman ficticiously writes about her husband and new baby and has to introduce them to her editor and a single war veteran...

It's a Wonderful Life. I'm guessing that you've seen this one, but it is a great classic. If you haven't seen this movie, you more than likely haven't had a television the last 20 years or so. :)

White Christmas. Another classic, but so great. Singing. Dancing. And of course the song "White Christmas".

So, what are your favorite Christmas movies?

Dirt is protein, right?

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Left Kaleb alone today for a few minutes. Happily so. He crawled into the living room after about 5 minutes and his face was covered in black stuff. Zachary followed him in saying, "Kaleb ate chocolate!" What?

It took a few minutes to realize that it is no longer safe to let him play in my room. I forgot we moved a plant in there for the Christmas season.

This is what I found in my room.

But technically, if I remember correctly, dirt is a protein, so that means that Kaleb got his recommended daily allowance of protein.


On a side note: About 15 minutes after I posted this, Kaleb got REALLY funky - lethargic and just so not himself. I was seriously considering taking him to the ER (it was that bad) and I finally just prayed, "God, whatever it was - get it out of him now." To which he promptly turned over and threw up all over my kitchen. Again and again. And then got all perky on me. :)

I did call poison control too and talked to them. Apparently, there must have been something lovely in the dirt he ate. And in case you are wondering, peace lilies are toxic to kids and pets. Nice to know now.

First Snow

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Last night (and this morning) we were under a snow "advisory". To those of us who grew up somewhere much farther north, translation is "it's going to look like someone sneezed snow". Around these here parts....schools close. People drive like maniacal idiots. Things come to a standstill. All for the possibility of 2 inches of snow.

Rick is from upstate NY where they get lake effect snow and I'm from Maine, so growing up we were used to the snow. So we laugh when we wake up and there is a dusting causing school delays.

We told the girls last night that there might be snow this morning. When they finally remembered and looked out the window, listening to them discover the little snow we had was rather comical.

Laur. e. ANNA!! Look outside! THERE'S SNOW!!!!!

And this is what all the excitement is about. And I am very serious when I say that some schools have already CLOSED today!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I Know What I'm Getting for Christmas...

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It's Tiny Talk Tuesday again (so be sure to click on the graphic to see some other fun kid's talk at Mary's site). Mary is hosting a fun contest too for the holidays with some free cd's - so be sure to check it out!

I have quite a few to share this week, along with some video from the kids (asking some fun questions about Christmas).

Yesterday we were laying on the floor on our stomachs and McKenna said to Zachary: You have some long legs, Zachary."

Me: Where did you get your long legs?
Z: From God and Jesus.
Me: That's right.
Z: Yep. (Lifting his left leg a little) This one's from God (and lifting his right leg) and this one's from Jesus.

Our first night of Advent we lit the candle and Zachary was mesmerized by it. He just stared and then asked, "Why does the candle do (insert a bobble of his head slowly back and forth)?" We started laughing realizing he was asking why the flame flickers and just didn't know what word to use. :)


We were sitting down and Zachary was looking at my eyes and pointing to them, so we started talking about the parts of our eyes.

Me: The black part of your eye is called the pupil.
Z: Pupil.
Me: And the brown part of your eye is called the iris.
Z: Iris
Z: What's the white part called?
Me: Um.....I'm not sure.
Z: (thinking...and then making his hands into a sphere shape) I think it's called the earth (I think he meant a globe).


And now for the video portion (and hopefully this should work). We asked the kids what Rick should get me for Christmas and what I should get him. If you aren't understanding Zachary's answer, read my post on ballet a few posts back. :) It's rather comical listening to the kids' answers - and seeing the progression of answers as it goes up the line. If you can't quite understand what they are saying, let me know. But it's fun.

We asked them: Why do we have a Christmas tree? What should Daddy buy Mommy for Christmas? and What should Mommy buy Daddy for Christmas?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Guess what I found....

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...celery. A half-chewed, nice little piece of celery.

In my bed. Between the sheets.

Who do you suppose put it there? Hmmmm...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Last minute gift ideas....

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Are you still searching for that perfect gift for someone? Need some ideas? I got a catalog from someone recently and figured I should share some gifts that might be someone...somewhere...

Genuine Leather Credit Card Holder

This lovely leather case holds 32 credit cards. That's right. 32. If you seriously know someone that needs a case for 32 credit cards, perhaps it might be better to refer them to a great financial counselor, buy them a book by Dave Ramsey, or perhaps pay a minimum balance on one of their 32 cards for them. It's also possible that if they have 32 cards, they probably don't need much of anything...what with credit limits most likely maxed on 32 cards.

Laser Hair Remover - Remove hair painlessly!

Yeah. Right. Forgive me for being a bit skeptical on this one. The last time that I bought into the "painless" notion involved the Nads all natural waxing bee product - a lovely item (not so much). Which didn't hurt. HAH! I tried that one and it was truly not a fun experience. Rather painful. Definitely not worth repeating. Needless to say, I am a little bit leary of anything that touts "painless" in the first few words.

Hot Dog Toaster (a real "weiner")

I'm still shaking my head at this one. Yet someone, somewhere has purchased one or two. Someone will receive this as a gift this year - will it be you? Apparently boiling water is too hard. Or using the microwave isn't fast enough. I suppose since I have four children who will be over-anxious to eat (as always) I should probably buy two of them and just line my counter-tops with them. To be as efficient as possible, of course.

Color Wheel

This wheel (and I quote) "spins its magic into your home to add a new dimension to any party. Set an extra festive mood." If your party needs a color wheel to add "life" too it, it could possibly be beyond true help. I can see it now. Christin and her family come over for a rousing night of "watch the wheel spin". WOW. That will be a night to talk about for years to come (perhaps not in the way I would intend it).

Dog Watering Bowl

A pint-size puppy potty. Luv-lee. Just another toilet for my children to play in, I suppose. Or try to drink from themselves. Nice. Sorry, Dad. Charlie will not be getting this for Christmas.

Reindeer Car Decor

Alerts everyone to your Christmas spirit. No one can miss this set mounted to your car, van or truck. don't need tools to attach them! This might be worth buying just to see what Rick's reaction would be. The kids would love it for sure. It will also go nicely with the wreath mounted on the front of our van...hee hee...

Hair Umbrella

This is my personal favorite by far! An essential tool for the home stylist in each of us. If hair cutting time in your house already isn't difficult, I'm sure that this little tool won't add to the embarrassment of having your mom be the one cutting your hair (as happens in our house). I'm sure this won't bring any obvious stares or looks when it is worn. Of course this would be a lovely addition to your household if you already own this great tool.

So, there you have my list of Christmas recommendations. :) Yes, there are more, but I will spare you the pain and agony. It just amazes me what people will sell, try to sell, and worse, buy.

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