Tag Archives: holiday

Green is good

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Green is good

I know it’s past St. Patrick’s Day, but to be honest, I don’t really care.  I have cute pictures of my kids and I intend on sharing them 🙂

I decorated the kids’ shirts this year.  I got all of the shirts on a clearance sale at Walmart for a dollar and I already had the supplies to decorate them at home… Super Score!!  Each child has a different shirt.  Sporty, Pork Chop and Bubba all had freezer stenciled shirts and Short Stack had an appliqued shirt.

For Pork Chop’s shirt I did a freezer stencil of the words “Lucky Girl” and then added some polka dots with a sponge brush.  After it was dry I added little hand painted hearts to the center of each polka dot.

I appliqued a shamrock onto Short Stack’s shirt and then painted some gold fabric paint over the top of it.  When she wore it, she had braids with bows tied in them from the same fabric.  This is her “new” smile…  She said she’s trying to look “dreamy”.

Sporty is getting to the age where he doesn’t really like all the bells and whistles on his clothes so I just did a simple freezer stencil of the phrase “Pinch Proof”.

Bubba had a freezer stencil shirt that said “IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY” with the word “lucky” done in gold fabric paint.  He’s wearing a pair of seersucker pants I sewed  him last week (so proud of myself) from a tutorial I found on MADE.  It’s such a great tutorial and easy to follow!

One more picture and then I’m done… My husband asked me to sew him a kilt for St. Patrick’s day.  That’s just the kind of guy he is.  I have never sewn a kilt before, nor did I have a pattern for it.  I burned the heck out of my arm ironing pleats.  PLEATS PLEATS PLEATS!!  I am tired of pleats that is for sure!  Anyway, I think it turned out pretty awesome and I made sure not to remind him that kilts are Scottish and St. Patrick’s Day is Irish.  Why ruin his fun?

 

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A Christmas Adventure

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I love my children all the time… sometimes I don’t like them very much, but I always love them.  There are times though, that my heart just BURSTS with love for them.  Today was one of those times – and it didn’t come easy, let me tell you!

My husband’s grandmother passed away recently and his plan was to fly back to Idaho this weekend for the funeral.  The kids and I have stayed home, and although it’s hard to be separated during the holidays, I am thankful that he is able to be with his family during this difficult time.  He flew out of DC today which was kind of a change for us.  I don’t like dealing with DC traffic so I automatically fly in and out of Baltimore.  This time though, we decided to go through DC and just take the Metro to the airport.  That was the plan.

First, we left half an hour late so right out of the gate we were stressing out.  After a quick fill up and a bag of powdered donuts (hubby said he thought they would be “cleaner” than chocolate”… powdered donuts + young children does NOT = clean!!!) we headed out.  Traffic was of course horrible because we had to deal with morning commuters.  When we got to the Metro station, I bought hubby his one way ticket, then got three all day passes for me and the kids.  My husband went right through the turnstile, but when it was my turn, my ticket wouldn’t work.  Try as I might, it just wasn’t working.  The (not so kind) employee informed me that the all day passes don’t work until 9:30 (aren’t they supposed to be ALL DAY?) Well, no matter… time was slipping away and I was starting to freak out.  I went over to buy some one way tickets to the airport with my credit card… CARD DENIED.  Tried again… CARD DENIED.  WHAT THE???  For no reason at all the machine decides not to take my card.  I run over to the turnstile with tears in my eyes and try to hug my husband over the gate thinking the kids and I would just have to say goodbye there.  Out of nowhere a complete stranger, a CHRISTMAS ANGEL handed me a $20 bill.  “Your card’s not working?  Will this help ma’am?”  I was shocked.  “Merry Christmas” he simply said and quietly went through the turnstile and down to the train.  I ran over to buy three one way tickets when low and behold, grumpy metro employee informs me “That won’t work ya know 😦  That machine only gives a maximum of $5 in change.”

I started crying a bit again.  My husband was going to miss his flight if he didn’t get on that dang Metro like NOW.  Again, another Christmas angel came to my rescue.  “Here ma’am… I’ve got two tens.  Will that work?  Don’t cry!  It will be okay”.

Long story short, thanks to these two complete strangers, the kids and I were able to get our tickets and ride with my husband to the airport.  We took a moment to thank the Lord for sending us such wonderful friends during a time of need.  What a precious Christmas gift, a reminder that God cares about even the somewhat insignificant things in our lives.

After (barely) making it to the airport on time, we dropped my husband off at security and promptly went to drown our sorrows in some Cinnabuns and an hour of watching planes take off (hey, I’ve got two boys… they like that kind of stuff!).

The day only got better from there.  The kids wanted to go to the Natural History Museum, so away we went!  Dinosaurs, dirt and bugs were on the agenda.  I even impressed my kids by holding a Giant Madagascar Cockroach IN MY BARE HAND!!!!

This is not a picture of me by the way... I found it on an Entomolgoy website

This was possibly one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever done in my life, but the looks on the kids faces was totally worth it!  We spent a few hours exploring the museum when I realized that I didn’t bring any extra diapers for Bubba.  DISASTER!

After schlepping around trying to find a drugstore or grocery store- anything!  We ended up in a seedy little store that smelled very strongly of pee at which point Short Stack announces that she in fact needs to use the bathroom.  Of course the pee store had no bathroom, but the checker who took my money for the ridiculously over-priced diapers mentioned that I should go to the restaurant next door and ask them.  “Tell them I sent you”.  We hustled over to the “restaurant” which was actually just a single room deli sort of thing with no food in site and two women speaking only Spanish standing there arguing.  I begged for Short Stack to be able to use the bathroom and they stared blankly at me.  “PLEASE!  BATHROOM!  She’s going to pee!!”  They quickly pointed to a door at the back of the room with a piece of paper taped to it.  The paper had a stick figure of a woman drawn on it.  Really.

Thankfull Short Stack is quick when it comes to bathroom breaks so we ran out of there and on to our next museum… the National Botanical Gardens.  It was MAGICAL!  Christmas decorations everywhere, trains, scale models of area attractions constructed of seed pods, bark and moss and an entire fairytale room  with waterfalls, hidden nooks and more trains.  We wandered around for a couple of hours, lingering in the Orchid room and reading about the connection between poinsettia and Christmas.  The kids would hop happily from one plant to the next shrieking with delight over all the odd specimens.  They loved it!  Seeing their faces, listening to their little voices, watching them laugh when they ran smack into a giant leaf hanging into the path.

One of the amazing creations at the Botanical Gardens

Next stop of the day, McDonald’s of course, where I kid you not, a real live SANTA came in for lunch.  Real beard, real round spectacles, and a Santa hat.  He sat a few tables down from us and the kids spent the entire time trying to decide if he was the real thing or not.  So funny!!

We left McDonald’s and stopped by the Air and Space Museum where I got the kids some Space Ice Cream (they didn’t believe me that astronauts like ice cream too) and we marveled at fact that such HUGE machines can actually fly!

Finally, we jumped on the Metro and headed home ahead of the winter storm that’s making its voice heard over here.  When we got close to the house, I drove around the neighborhood so the kids could see some of the Christmas lights.  It was beautiful and perfect and just the BEST day with my kids.

They are all sleeping soundly now and I’m sitting here smiling as I remember one of the best days ever, hoping they will always remember it too.

HOT DOG! That’s a lot of sugar!

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So it’s been a while, hasn’t it?  This holiday season flew right by and now we’ve jumped into the new year with both feet!  Our family made a monumental decision to cut our soda intake down to practically nil.  While this may not seem like a big deal to some people… well, let me break it down to you like this.  Each can of soda has 40 grams (or 4 teaspoons) of sugar in it.  My dear hubby and I drank so much soda it was the equivalent of drinking 5-8 pounds of sugar a month (about 3-4 sodas a day).  Each.  That’s FIVE TO EIGHT POUNDS.  EACH!!!  On the low end that worked out to about 60 POUNDS of sugar each year.  Are you grossed out?  Cause I know I was!  So I’ve ditched my beloved Dr. Pepper in favor of good old fashioned delicious nutritious water.  Which is awesome except that I had a soda the other day (we were eating pizza, can you blame me?) Just one soda… and two days later I had the biggest freakin’ caffeine withdrawal headache.  I could barely open my eyes.  Now, I know there are alternative caffeine sources, but I’m trying to limit that too… I paid the price for my indulgence, and I’ll be thinking twice the next time I hear a Dr. Pepper calling my name!  

Now I dare you drinkers of soda… find out how many pounds of sugar you drink a year.

1 can soda = 40 grams sugar = 4 teaspoons sugar

96 teaspoons of sugar = 1 pound of sugar  (this works out to roughly 24 sodas)

 

Anyway, hope your New Year is starting out awesome… I know a lot of people have been affected by this horrible economy.  Just remember to love your family every day… tell them that you love them.  It’s something more valuable than you can ever find in a dollar bill.  Your kids will never remember how many toys they had, how many times they ate out.  They’ll remember the hugs and the kisses and stories.  

Talk with you soon!

Letter to Santa

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My daughter wrote her letter to Santa today.  I thought I’d share it with you.  I typed verbatim what she said… although you can’t see the facial expressions that make it particularly cute, it’s still pretty adorable.  

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Dear Santa,

I would like a motorcycle that isn’t too fast that I won’t trip off and it is just my size.  I want princess stuff like a dog, everything.  And I want even a purse that is big enough that I can put everything in there.  A hippopotamus, an alligator and celebration.  And if you don’t mind that I might have a pony that is real that could go outside.  Don’t put him in the house cause he could ride around.  I want him to be outside.  And make him have a rope to tie him on the tree.  And I want dollys that can talk and have a microphone and a wagon.  That’s it.  I’ve been a good girl.  I have cleaned my room.  Mommy helped me and I did all the other stuff.  I did very well today.  And that’s it and I love you too.

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I’m writing a letter to Santa too…

Dear Santa,

I know I haven’t kept in contact, but the last 20 years have been kind of busy.  What have you been up to?  I heard you were starting a new macrobiotic diet, trying to keep the poundage down this year.  Hope that’s working nicely for you.  Don’t worry, I’ll eat plenty of Christmas treats in your stead.  Hey, if you’re not enjoying them, I’m certainly not letting them go to waste!  How’s the Mrs.?  You guys still getting along after all these years?  Let me know your secret.  I know my hubby’s got a place on your “naughty” list this year, but if you could find it in your heart to bring something other than a lump of coal, I sure would appreciate it (especially if you were to bring diamond earrings for him to give to me instead.  Really it’s pretty much the same thing, right?).  Well, I don’t have any real requests for myself this year.  I don’t think even you can add extra hours to my day.  In any case, drive safe.  We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you come the 25th.

Sincerely,

Me


 

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells Ringing In My Head

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Okay, I promised Christmas music, and gosh darn it, I’m gonna deliver!  First, you need to know that I love Love LOVE the Christmas season. When I was little, it was  just my folks, me, and my younger sister.  We’re only 16 months apart, so we shared a room for most of the time growing up.  She was the sister who loved to sleep in Christmas morning.  It would be an understatement to say that I was the opposite.  I would spend most of the night with my face pressed up against the window, straining to see a ray of morning sun.  The rule was, it had to actually be morning before we could get up.  I would shake my sister, whispering fiercely “I think I see some sun, I think we can go into mom and dad’s room!!!!!!”  She would turn over, unimpressed and fall back asleep.  This would usually go on until about 6 in the morning at which time I would be fairly bursting… I’d drag her in to my parent’s room where we (I) would wait impatiently for my dad to check if Santa had come, and to start the coffee (a step I find much value in now that I have two kids of my own!).  When the Christmas music was finally playing softly in the living room, Dad would come in and give us the all-clear.  I am told I would literally shake with excitement upon seeing the Christmas tree, much like one of those little dogs that pee all over you because their little bodies just can’t handle all the excitement.  In later years it was the same thing.  In high school I tried taking sleeping pills the night before to keep me from driving everyone nuts.  I thought for sure they would work, but alas, they didn’t kick in until about 8 o’clock Christmas morning.  I look drugged out or passed out in all the Christmas pictures from that year.  Now that I’m a mother, I’m excited to say, I finally have someone who gets up as early as I do…  my daughter and I are the ones shaking Daddy awake saying “is it time, is it time????”

So in honor of my favorite season, here are some of my favorite Christmas songs!

White Christmas as sung by Bing Crosby (this also happens to be my favorite Christmas movie.  It’s not Christmas without Bing!)

I’ll Be Home For Christmas as sung by Diana Krall (this always makes me cry a little bit when I hear it)

Let There Be Peace On Earth as sung by Vince Gill (this was my grandpa’s favorite song, and every time I hear it I think of him)

Christmastime Is Here as sung by the Peanuts (I also love playing this one on piano)

Christmas Dreaming as sung by Harry Connick Jr. (just try and stop yourself from swaying rhythmically while listening to this!)

Song For A Winter’s Night as sung by Sarah McLachlan (it’s so haunting and beautiful.  Close your eyes and you’re in a big squishy armchair next to a roaring fire watching the snow fall outside.)

In The Bleak Midwinter as sung by James Taylor (in my family you just can’t have Christmas without some James…)

Christmas Songs That Make Me Bleed From The Ears (aka Christmas Songs I Never Want To Hear Again As Long As I Live or Sorry If You Like These, But They Make Me Want To Stab A Fork In My Hand To Distract From The Pain I Feel While Listening To Them) I’ve included the link just in case you want to subject yourself to the torture.

Jingle Bells as sung by Barbara Streisand (sorry Babs… and I have to hear this every year cause my mother LOVES it)

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time as sung by Paul McCartney

All barking dogs/yowling cats edited to sound like a Christmas song

Now, if you don’t listen to a single Christmas song listed here, I’m asking sweetly for you to listen and enjoy my daughter’s favorite Christmas song… It’s one of my favorites, and I promise if nothing else, it will bring a smile to your face

Short Stack’s Favorite Christmas Song

What are some of your favorite songs at Christmas time?  Any that make you want to scream?  Let me know… I always love hearing from you 🙂