Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Has it been a week already? Geez.

We're leaving for AZ in the morning. Totally snuck up on me. I made the reservations earlier this month and then slid into some kind of denial/coping technique where I had a vague awareness that we would be traveling at some point after Christmas so I was certainly not going to think about it before Christmas.

Yikes. Now we're leaving in the morning and I have no idea what we're doing in Arizona. My father's wife is on a cruise and asked me and my sisters to go watch over my dad, who is absolutely adamant that he DOES NOT need to be babysat and we're welcome to come for a vacation, but not to take care of him. I think that's his way of saying, "I'm not paying for your trip."

So we'll be shopping and cooking, I know that much, all the while pretending that that's what we do on vacation. I think we'll visit a few resorts and show the kids the ginormous fountains and begin teaching them how nice life would be if they could find an heiress to marry. We'll visit Rawhide and scare the shit out of Ben with fake gunfire. On New Year's Eve, we'll probably fall asleep by 10pm.

The hot tub better be working, that's all I have to say. There's something we do on vacation.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I've been cheating on my blog with Facebook. I'm sorry.

Here's a video of Ben's part in the Christmas play. You can't understand what the older angels are saying, but they're doing some sort of checklist to make sure they've got everything they need to go see the shepherds. Ben and Seth's lines are clear, though: "Me too."

And if you make it to the end, you'll notice that Ben is reluctant to give up his spotlight.

And here's a repeat that bears repeating: A's version of "Hark the Angels Herald Sing," from two years ago.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Trying To Keep Up With Everyone Else....

The boys and I made an Elf Yourself video today and I tried to embed it here, but it got posted to my other blog. Go check it out there.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Homemade Holiday

We've been busy with the semi-successful holiday crafts here.

These are the cinnamon-scented ornaments seen here at Sycamore Stirrings. I bought large cinnamon and applesauce jars at Smart & Final. The finished product ended up being a little crumbly even after 3 days of drying. I think it might work better if we turned them over during the drying, and maybe if we used the glue. Also, they need to be kind of thick. The thin ones didn't hold up. But they do smell good.

Here we have wooden ornaments the boys painted. They're cute and worked great - probably because they were our neighbor's craft, and done at the neighbor's house, overseen by said neighbor, not at our house or involving me in any way.

Have to do Christmas cookies. I make it easy and use the refrigerated Pillsbury dough. The problem is, the dough was sticky. I guess I didn't use enough flour on the rolling pin or the table, but I thought I did and it was annoying to try to roll it out and then to peel the cookies off the table onto the cookie sheet. I think we made them too thin again, because they spread in the oven so much the original shape was lost. The boys didn't mind, though. Ben made his little gingerbread-men cutouts anatomically correct (but, my husband would like me to note, not to scale).

But here's my favorite. One of my favorite crafts ever is Scrumdilly-do's Tin Foil Festive collages. We made note cards a while back with the boys' foil collages. And then I saw the fabulous idea at Bethany Actually to make simple trees out of the collages. I set the boys down with foil, watery glue, paintbrushes and strips of christmas-themed scrapbooking paper.

Neighbor boy did his very orderly-like.

Ben used lots of pom-poms.

I cut them into triangles and rectangles, and the boys glued them to cards.

They make great cards for teachers, etc. Except for the ones that kind of stuck to each other and all the ones that Ben did backwards (with the tree on the back), this craft actually worked pretty well.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bad Things Happen to Good People

One of my very favorite blog posts ever anywhere is here. I'm just going to link to it because I've been thinking a lot about prayer and how God works, and the post by Lizard Eater explains it better than I ever could.

Friday, December 12, 2008

O Harmonica

In the car today......

Ben: Mama, I want to hear the harmonica song.

Me: The harmonica song? I'm not sure which song that is.

A: Yeah! You know - "O Harmonica...."

Me: You mean "O Hanukkah?"

Ben and A: Yeah. That one.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The 14 Days of Christmas

Yesterday, A. put his presents, wrapped in computer paper, for us under the tree and insisted we open them immediately. I was especially charmed by his gift to Ben: his own Pikachu figure, complete with both ears, to replace Ben's Pikachu which had lost one ear in a tragic fall.

For G. and I, he had written "Plees do not rip it" on the outside, which required some forethought. Inside he'd written an acrostic:

Curulrs singing
Happy Speerits
Ringing Bells
Ise evreewer
Scateing on Ise
Majic evreewar
A roof has lots of snow
Soon Santa wil cum.

On a side note, where are we gonna store all this stuff? We're going to have to build a shed in the backyard just to house A.'s Library, Ages 3-6.

Monday, December 08, 2008

How We Choose a Tree

G. finally relented and agreed that my ability to breathe was more important than the smell of real pine tree and so we went shopping for an artificial tree.

We visited Lowe's and Target.

Me: Decides any of these 5 would be OK with me. I prefer dark green to the blue-green. Otherwise, I don't really care. 7 feet looks good. Am done.

G: Has to visit Home Depot, Sears and "Pool, Patios and More" to make sure he has a good sense of the full selection. Deems Frasier Fir too sparse after seeing it at eye level in Sears. Decides his favorite is the 9-foot Bavarian Spruce at Target. Measures the family room ceiling and finds it only 8.5 feet high. Has existential crisis about the perfect Christmas tree being the wrong size.

Me: mentions that the artificial tree I grew up with looked like crap until we put decorations on it, and then it was fine!

G: Knowing a little bit about my lack of attention to detail (I didn't notice he'd hung the Christmas lights on the house, despite arriving home after dark WITH the lights fully glowing), G. is not convinced.

We ended up with the 9-foot tree anyway, and it'll just bend a little at the top. I'm surprised he's OK with this and fully expect him to be trying to saw a couple of inches off the green metal "trunk" tomorrow.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

You hav givin my lots of presints so I dusideid too give you wun. And yer beard is as white as snow and yer jolee as eneewun and I think yer the best man ther ever wus.

Ho ho ho
Mery Chrismas

Love, A.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

2009 is Already Shaping Up to Be Difficult

OK, first off, that looks nothing like a mimosa. Looks more like French's mustard.

Second, that color looks horrible on me.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm baaack

Hey everyone! I'm back and just getting out from under Mt. Laundry. Speaking of laundry, go here to read what I think about Clorox 2 and maybe get yourself a free bottle.

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