Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday preparations

Gosh, I just haven't been in the mood to blog lately. :o\

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was nervous, having that many of my family members all confined to one house, but everyone got along and Nanny didn't piss anyone off. I spent some good quality time with my little cousins, which was amusing. They make me feel old... they're teenagers. LOL

Andrew did end up being off yesterday after all, so it was a busy, but really great day. I went to Walgreens first thing in the morning and bought 16 Webkinz toys. They were $3.50 each, regular about $12. You just can't beat that. We're going to be swimming in Webkinz. It's cool though - I really like playing Webkinz too, so it just gives Chloe and I something to do together.

After that I came home and we decorated the house for Christmas. Chloe and Andrew went out and bought a fake tree this year. We're over the needing a real tree thing, thankfully. All the garlands and the decorations are out, the tree is decorated. I love it. Christmas makes me happy. The lights outside will go up on Sunday - I let Andrew off the hook since it was cold and wet outside yesterday. I'm trying not to be too much of a slave driver. LOL

After decorating we all got dressed up and went to the Nutcracker. Ah, I love the Nutcracker. It was beautiful, so well choreographed and just... oh, it was perfect. Chloe loved it. Her little eyes lit up over and over as things happened. She was almost asleep by the end, but still pouted because it was over. She's so funny. And I suck, I didn't take one stinkin' picture of her in her pretty dress. I'll have to do that soon.

Keeping the Christmas tree not only decorated, but still standing, is going to be a battle this year between the baby, the cat, and the dog. We have a bunch of little apple ornaments that were my mom's years ago. The baby keeps stealing them off the tree and trying to eat them. It's rather cute. The cat insists on sleeping under the tree, and the baby keeps trying to get under there with him. And Isabel's tail, mind of it's own that it has, keeps flinging ornaments this way and that.

I've got perfect gifts for everyone on my list this year, and that pleases me. A couple ideas to share: my parents got a digital photo frame a year or two ago. It's really nice, but they just stick memory cards into it and sometimes there aren't a lot of great pictures on it. I had Andrew pick up a memory card ($12-ish) and I'm going to load it with pictures. My goal is to find a way to steal some old photos from their house as well and scan them and put those on the card. I think it will please them, my mother especially, to have photos displayed of when we kids were little, when Benny was still alive, etc. And in general, if you're looking for a great gift, those digital photo frames are a good one.

Chloe's getting a ton of cool stuff. I'm just so excited for her to open her presents. She's gonna love them. :o) I hate consumerism, but man I love shopping for my kid.

All around though, except for one or two things for Andrew, I'm done shopping for Christmas, and I'm done decorating. Now I just get to sit back, relax, bake some cookies, and maybe plan a holiday cocktail party. I'm looking forward to this holiday season, tremendously!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The First Thanksgiving

Once upon a time, there were a group of people that called themselves "Separatists." Here you see a picture of Prudence, and some of her friends.

They lived in England, under the rule of a hairy, tiger striped feline named King James.

The Separatists wanted to believe in God in their own way, but King James said they couldn't. So they decided to find a new land where they didn't have to listen to King James anymore. They boarded a big ship called the Mayflower, and sailed for more than two months.

When they got to the new land, the Separatists (whom we call Pilgrims), met people from the native Wampanoag tribe.

The natives were very kind and helpful, especially the chief's daughter, Baby Screeching Turkey.

She showed the Pilgrims how to plant corn for food and how to use the resources of the land to live.

At the end of the first year, the Pilgrims were very thankful for a lot of things - their friend, Baby Screeching Turkey, the food they were able to grow, for their homes and their families and especially, their freedom. They decided to have a big feast to thank God for all they had. They invited the Indians to join them, and feasted for a whole week.

And that's the story of the first Thanksgiving. Kind of.



We giggled so much yesterday. Poor Milo was referred to as "Stinky King James" all day long. After I narrated the story once for her, Chloe insisted I dress up as the Pilgrim, and she would narrate. I think we acted out the story five times altogether. Hopefully she'll remember it... and realize that there never was really a Baby Screeching Turkey.


Now it looks like Andrew might have Friday off after all. Cross your fingers for me - I really want him around! (I think he'd rather work than have to hang up 50 strands of Christmas lights.) I bought Chloe a Christmas dress yesterday for the Nutcracker - I can't wait to see her in it. I wish I could wear formal dresses like that. She's really excited about it, and insisted on telling the woman at the cash register that she was going to see the Nutcracker, that she was excited about seeing the Sugar Plum fairy, and that the lady could go too, if she wanted to.


Baby Screeching Turkey has insisted on waking up at 6 am the last couple of days. That's just too darn early for me. I need my quiet mama time in the morning!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a quick whine

Blah - Andrew told me last night he won't be home on Friday, he'll have to work. It's supposed to be a paid holiday. That means no early morning shopping for me, since I won't take the girls out, and that means he won't be home to put up Christmas lights while I decorate. We also have tickets to the Nutcracker that night, and a baby sitter, but it looks like it will probably just be Chloe and I going by ourselves. :-( I'm bummed. But I suppose I better make the best of it.

I made my list of gifts to make coming up - Christmas/Hannukah gifts, birthdays, new babies, all kinds of things coming up. I really better get moving, but they should all be fun projects. Andrew's sweater is gonna be on hold for awhile though....

Baby's awake... I better cut this short!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Yes, Deb, I've neglected my blog. Sorry. :o) LOL

I was busy enjoying my husband all week! We stayed home mostly, and it was splendid. We're always so busy, and he's always off doing things, so it was a wonderful change. We went ice skating, painted our bedroom green, did some shopping, had some meals together at home, went on a date on Saturday night, and watched some movies. I love him so much, and really needed that time together. :o)

Have y'all seen PS I Love You yet? It's a movie with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. Oh my goodness, if you haven't seen it, do. I cried like a baby all the way through, but it was a beautiful movie. Just have some tissues ready.

Thanksgiving this year will be at my mom's house, after much discussion amongst the family. We have two families that moved here this year to add to the guests, and I'm looking forward to it, quirks and all. I've got it easy, I'm making the cranberry sauce. My mother doesn't trust me to be able to cook yet, I think, but that's alright. Chloe almost always goes to Mark's house on Thanksgiving, but I think this year I'm keeping her. I just don't see any reason for him to have her on holidays.

I'm totally ready for Christmas. I have all my cards made - just need a family photo and I can mail them all out. I can't wait till we have our Christmas lights up, and the tree and all the decorations. I can't wait to bake dozens of cookies. I love Christmas. So many wonderful holiday traditions and memories.

I'm not, however, enjoying Christmas knitting. I should have started preparing for this back in, what, August? But no, I'm just starting. I'm not really making too much... I finished a hat for Ashley (actually, that's for her birthday, also in December) and I'm making a scarf for Tori (her kid, Chloe's friend) for Christmas. Two cousins that just moved here asked for socks, so we'll see if I can get them done. I'm kind of burned out on knitting (amazing!) and just haven't been in the mood to do it much lately.

Miss Cora got a fat lip yesterday. Somehow or another, she smacked her face on the floor and her tooth punctured her lip. There was blood, which made me a little panicky. I just always hear horror stories about teeth going all the way through lips, and stitches and such, and I really didn't want that to happen! But she's fine, her lip is just a little puffy. She's still not walking all the time yet, I think crawling is too fast for her to give it up. I'm not worried though - walking scares me. LOL

I think I'm gonna close here. I need to get showered and start mopping the floors before the girls get up. It's back to our regular routine today, and that's always hard after a week off. I better get crackin'.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pictures of things...

Two little girls, playing in the leaves...

The first batch of Christmas cards... I have about 50 to make.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

'Tis the Season...

...for impatience, anger, frustration, and general grumpiness.

The holiday season is upon us. Have you noticed how it keeps on moving up in the year? It used to be we waited until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas. Now it's Halloween. Five years from now, we'll start decorating in August.

Our town used to be a cozy, nice little town with one little shopping mall and a few other stores. But now, we're a big fancy town, with big fancy shopping centers and big fancy highways. And with all this "big fancy" comes lots of angry, rushed, rude people. It used to feel like we still had a little bit of country here... now, it just feels like a city.

I went to Michael's today to pick up some paints for a craft for Chloe. The only parking place I could find was about fifteen miles from the store entrance. In the process of finding this parking place I was flipped off once and honked at three times (how dare I let the poor people cross in front of me, instead of just running 'em down?)Oy vey. It just made me sad.

Everyone gets so worked up at the holidays. "Hurry! MUST SHOP! Must buy fancy expensive things for spoiled children. Must be in and out of store in less than five minutes. MUST BEAT EVERYONE to it!" It's horrible. People forget that everyone around them has feelings to, that they are real people and not just pawns in the simulation of their life. I pity the poor people who work customer-service jobs this time of year - people treat them terribly! What must it be like to deal with all of these irritable, rushed, frustrated shoppers for 8 or 10 hours every day?

If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that there really is no rush. Things will get done. It won't hurt anyone if you have to wait an extra five minutes in line - and your time is no more important than anyone else's, believe it or not. NOTHING is so important that it's worth getting worked up over, or hurting another person for. Life's WAY too short to get your panties in a bundle over silly, stupid little things.

I think we should all make a pact with ourselves to BE NICE this holiday season. Even if you're one of those crazies that's out at 3 am on Black Friday - or perhaps I should say *especially if you are. Every single person you come in contact with has their own agenda, their own family, their own feelings, and they should always be considered. Take a deep breath when someone steals the only parking space for miles, and let it go. Remind yourself that you can use the exercise anyway. Smile and offer reassurance to the overworked, poorly treated store clerk, even when she screws up your order and you have to wait ten minutes to have it fixed. SHE DIDN'T DO IT ON PURPOSE. Drive the speed limit, stop for people to cross, smile and wave. Strike up a conversation when you're waiting for half an hour to buy that stupid widget that your kid absolutely insisted Santa bring them. LAUGH IT OFF. Life goes on, Christmas happens, no matter what happened in the weeks leading up to it. If it's not something that actually causes you harm, don't sweat it, and for heaven's sake, don't take it out on poor, defenseless other people.

Is it a deal? Are we gonna be nice? :o)

Happy "Holiday Shopping Season" to all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Random Bits of Education

With the husband gone for the weekend, and both little girls in bed by eight, I decided I deserved a bit of 'me time' this evening, and it proved to be wonderful. A glass of wine, a fresh ball of good Peruvian wool, and "Becoming Jane" starring Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen - I can't think of any more pleasant and quite nearly perfect way to spend a couple of hours. I feel rejuvenated.


I always hear older women talk about how they wish they had gone to college, had been more educated, had been able to have a career. I wonder (and slightly fear, if I'm being honest) whether I'll feel that way, years from now. I went to college... only for a semester, but I did go. I made a quick determination: I can learn as much as I want to learn, about any subject, without paying $5,000 a semester for it. I don't desire a career, and don't think I ever will. I find it too appealing to be able to immerse myself in my children, my home, and my hobbies.

I find it amusing sometimes, the hobbies I have when I actually list them - the list seems to go on forever! I realized tonight though, that I ought to add "learning" to my list. After watching Becoming Jane, I got sucked into internet biographies, book clubs, fan clubs, fan fiction, for nearly two hours. What a fascinating life that woman led... though by the standards held in her day, her life was nothing to speak of.

I don't think I'll ever stop learning. I'll read anything that happens to find it's way in front of me, and almost always, I can find it interesting. History absolutely fascinates me, especially the history of women. I don't think it requires going to college, having a professor tell you specifically what to study, and obtaining a degree, to be educated. Perhaps that's why we're homeschoolers.


I have a splendid little plan for next week, when Andrew is off work. It'll take a lot of work to pull it all off though, and I'm afraid I don't have that much motivation.

I want to sew some clothes for Chloe and I - pilgrim dresses, bonnets, etc. For Andrew, I'd probably just rent a costume for a day. My intention would be to keep it a surprise, though now that I'm writing this, my husband will know, at least, that I've had the idea.

From there, I'd love to dress the girls (Cora in her Raggedy Anne costume - minus the wig) and have a "Pilgrim Day". Play games that Pilgrim children might have played, spend a whole day with no electricity, using candles at night and such. Perhaps making candles or some other fun activity during the day, and maybe even eating "Pilgrim" food, if I could figure out what to serve.

Doesn't that just sound like fun? Good education, to be certain, but far more like fun. I can already see the sparkle in Chloe's eyes...

Monday, November 10, 2008

My sexy man :o)

Can you think of anything sexier than the man I love, dressed in camo, holding up a dead deer? I sure can't. :o)

He got back from hunting on Saturday morning. They also had elk tags, but didn't manage to shoot any of those. Ah well, I'm satisfied with a freezer full of venison.

After he got back Saturday, we had quite a job on our hands:

They had already skinned and gutted it, but we had to get it all packaged up to put in the freezer. I was a little creeped out at the thought of helping him butcher a deer, but I sucked it up, and ya know, in some twisted sort of way, I found it kind of enjoyable. We all know that I have an obsession with food preservation, and I think that's where my enjoyment came from, but really, it was kind of a fun day. He did all the cutting, I did all the packaging. We made a good team, and got it all done in just about 4 hours.


In other news... Chloe never did end up sick after that day she spent with a fever. She's got an amazing immune system. Cora and I weren't so lucky - I'm at the tail end of a cold now, and Cora's just starting. Last night was rough - I was feeling yucky, Cora's got a fever, and woke up fussing about every hour. I was in bed for 11 hours, and don't feel very rested. :o\ Let's hope this passes quickly - Chloe was always so good when she was sick, she just laid around quiet and didn't complain or whine, even as a baby. (Of course, she's only had like 3 colds in her entire life.) Cora's a whiny sick person, just like me. I see a couple more rough days ahead.


If you have a Michael's close by, go check out their fall decor sale. Everything fall and Halloween related is 80% off. I got quite a few really cute decorations for $2-3 each. Wal Mart also has their stuff on clearance - I got a ceramic serving bowl shaped like a leaf for $3 and some other similar things for $2-3 too. I always try to buy holiday decor when it goes on clearance, and then just stash it away for the next year. It's fun to go through and see what new stuff I have, because after a year goes by, I usually forget about it.


Christmas is almost here! I'm so darn excited. I need to take stock and see what presents still need to be made and purchased, but I'm doing pretty good I think.Both girls are really into baby dolls right now, so I might need to get them each one. I bought some Webkinz for $7 each the other day for Chloe, and I need to make Cora a blankie like the one I made Chloe when she was little.

I'm just so excited for Christmas - not just the presents, though that is fun. I love baking cookies, singing Christmas carols, decorating, doing crafts, and just... the whole season is so much fun. I hope my kids always enjoy it like I do.


I mentioned Webkinz - if you have children, and you haven't discovered Webkinz yet, you need to! Oh, these little things are awesome. You get a little stuffed animal and it has a code attached to it's tag. You put the code in on their website, and you can play games online with a digital version of your toy. It entertains Chloe for hours, and I kind of enjoy playing it with her. Walgreen's had them on sale for $7 each, which is an incredible price. I bought three, but now wish I'd have bought more - they'd make great gifts for birthdays and such.


Well, I think that's enough rambling for now. Sicky baby is in my arms and I'm tired of typing one handed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oy Vey... someone please come save me!

Today was chaos. Cora woke up around 4 am and began dancing and patty-caking in bed, mingled with the occasional body slam. Then she gleefully started sprinkling Chloe and I with water from her bottle. Chloe was up for about an hour, then went back to bed. I gave up on Cora, and got up and made a pot of coffee, then settled in to entertain her until her sister was up. By the time my coffee was done, she was asleep on the living room floor. And of course, i was wide awake by that time. At least I got to do some knitting, I suppose, something I haven't done much of in days.

At seven they were both up, so we all got dressed and headed to my mom's for the morning. We headed home around 11, since we had a birthday party to get ready for at 1:00. I figured two hours was plenty of time to shower, get changed, and get over there. On my way home from Mom's though, a friend of Andrew's family called to see if she could stop by to chat. All was fine and well... except she stayed until 12:45. I frantically raced around dressing my children, dressing myself, and made it to the party at 1:05. The party was chaos in itself, with a dozen or so kids, two dozen adults, all of whom are people I wasn't exactly thrilled to be around - the sort of "rough around the edges" type.

So we get home around 4:00, but not before agreeing to go out to the in-law's for MIL's birthday dinner at 6:30. Cora has been whining non-stop for two days for some unknown reason, and it really kicked in when we got home. Then Chloe started whining a little too, since she was tired, and a thunderstorm rolled in. I called and said we wouldn't make it out there - I didn't need anything else to deal with!

About that time, I kiss Chloe on the forehead and realize she feels a little warm. Sure enough, a fever of 100.3, and she's been complaining that her legs and ankles and knees and arms hurt. I have no idea what's wrong with her, but she was asleep on the couch by 6:30.

And of course, the time change isn't helping matters. I already put Cora to bed, it's only 7:00, but I just couldn't deal with any more whining. :o( She didn't complain at all and is already asleep, but I'll regret it when she's up at 5 in the morning.

And when you add today to yesterday, which was supposed to be a "sit around and relax" day but wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination, relaxing, and last week's running around like mad doing everything under the sun, I'm just plain exhausted. I'm ready for a week off. :o)

And tomorrow we start up school again, so there should be all kinds of stress and chaos again. AND we're supposed to leave tomorrow afternoon to camp with Andrew and my dad at their hunting camp, which means I need to pack, but I kind of think we might not go afterall, especially if Chloe's sick.

I'm sure I'll be up all night with her, sleeping on the couch and taking her temperature every hour, just because that's how I am. A little cough, a mild fever, and I'm convinced my children are dying.

::sigh:: anyone wanna come over and babysit for an hour? LOL

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Did you vote yet?...

...I did. We went through our mail-in ballots Thursday night and I dropped them off in person on Friday.

We read through our little State of Colorado book, discussed each amendment and formed opinions. I actually enjoyed it, probably because I don't usually get to actually think that much.

I'm just so irritated with this election. I hate that it always feel like I'm choosing the lesser of two evils, instead of really being excited about a particular candidate. I don't like one much, but I really don't like the other, so I made my decision that way. Andrew made a good point - if you vote for some other party, you're giving at least half a vote to the person you really DON'T want to win. Isn't that terrible? Instead of voting for a person I really want to lead our country for four years, I simply chose the only one that doesn't scare me.

On a side note - I found the book _George and Laura: Portrait of an American Marriage_ in my grandparents' yard sale stuff yesterday. I'm about a hundred pages in, and as much as I really don't like W., it's' proving to be an interesting read. It's funny though, at the end of each chapter there are quotes from different people that know the Bushes, from Laura, and from W. himself - and even in the quotes, he sounds like an uneducated twit. Can you believe he went to Andover? I'm shocked. I had no idea he'd ever received an education...

Now I'll sit back and wait to see what happens Tuesday night. If you haven't voted yet, go vote. Especially you girls - after reading all that pioneer-era women went through to earn us our right to vote, it seems like sacrilege not to.

I'm closing with a cute story of my very smart little five year old. Some people came to the door today from the Obama campaign, assumedly since I'm a registered democrat. Chloe was standing at my side when I answered the door. "We're from the Obama campaign. Have you voted yet, and can we count on your vote for Obama this year?"

"I've already voted." I told them. I was just about ready to shut the door when my darling daughter shouted after them, "My mommy voted for John McCain!"