Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Our second Christmas water incident...

...the first incident happened two years ago when it rained and rained on Chrismtas Eve and our chimney sprung a leak.

This was the scene shortly before our Christmas came crashing down all about us. My husband and son were harmoniously assembling a Lego space craft, my daughter was playing with her virtual dog and I was trying to keep the house put together. Then my son went to his room and we heard him say, "I am in such big, big trouble!" This was our heads up that he had left his sink, which he stopped up, with the tap running for I can't imagine how long. It was almost like the cartoons where you open the door and a wall of water comes crashing towards you!

Every single drawer (removed and drying now on our screen porch) was FILLED with water! My husband sucked up two shop-vac containers of water! I can see us in our eighties recounting the Christmas our son flooded his bathroom in graphic detail to a room of disinterested people.....

On a happier note, check out all the awesome books my father-in-law gave me for Christmas! Can't wait to dig in!!

We're heading to OH-IO! tomorrow morning for a week so the posts stop here until 1/3/08. It's silly to post since all my readers are the people we're going to see but, just in case there are lurkers...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas the night before Christmas....

It's Christmas Eve and I'm waiting for my kids to fall asleep. I'm drinking a pomegranate martini that anorexic Barbie has served me. Look at her! She's lost all her boobs and her head is mutantly large!

We had a good day of snacks, opening presents, and doing good deeds. A few years back we started the tradition of opening on present an hour. It stretches out the fun and makes the kids appreciate each gift a little more. My son is a little materialistic at the moment and today, if he opened a gift that was not quite exciting in the mind of a six year old, he let his displeasure show. Like when he opened this.

We had to have a few talks throughout the day and I'm not sure how much has sunk in. I hope it does because my dad and I have been discussing gift-giving for the kids and I assured him that my children will be properly grateful no matter what they receive. I picture that scene from "Babe" where the little girl screams, "I want the one I saw on the television!" when her grandfather gives her a beautifully detailed doll house that he put his blood, sweat and tears into making. If something like that happens with my kids, I'm packing up all the toys and taking them to Goodwill!

Everyone dream of sugar plums!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lost present

My husband mentioned he wanted this horrible compilation the other day and I've hidden it somewhere in the house and for the life of me, I can't remember where. It's only been a few days since I bought it and my brain cannot recall a thing! The only thing I can remember is putting it in a place that I knew he wouldn't look (the cleaning supplies closet?, the litter box?, in my box of Tampons?). I have tomorrow to keep looking and you can bet that I WON'T buy another one! It might have to be a Father's Day present......

I've either killed more brain cells than I previously thought with alcohol or I'm beginning down the path to Alzheimer's earlier than most people. I'm going to sharpen my brain with more Sudoku puzzles, I think!

Update: I woke up Christmas Eve morning and knew EXACTLY where I hid it! It's a Christmas miracle!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Best Christmas movie ever......

I get a lump in my throat every time I watch this:

Not to water that scene down, but check out the internet version here. My favorite quote, "When you hear a bell, a baby website gets its own URL."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The OTHER tree...

As promised, I am showing off some of my more bizarre ornaments. I was complaining about this tree earlier thinking it was as beautifully ugly as it could get and I now know I was wrong. It can get even uglier! For the last eight years we've been buying our tree from the Christmas tree farm that grows only blue spruces. Well -- this year they ran out in early December with no warning whatsoever! I was devastated. By the time we found out, most of the other tree lots had shut down and we were left with one option - the artificial tree! Time for our daily trip to Walmart! I wanted to fully surrender and buy the fakest looking white pipe-cleaner one. The kids wanted to get the tallest, priciest one and my husband wanted something that would fit in the car. He won and now we have the almost-fakest multi-colored short tree that the store had to offer. Not only did he get the tree he wanted, but he also got me to promise not to complain about it for the next three years! As you can see, I had my fingers crossed when I made that promise. So mature, I know. So now the tacky ornaments can be hung on an even tackier tree!

Yoda looks right at home next to Sinterklaas's side kick, Black Piet, doesn't he?

Check out my homemade tin foil star!

Christmas Homer was nestled all snug in his branch.....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

OSU knows how to party!!!!

I SO WANT TO GO TO THIS!!!!!! Anyone want to babysit two lovely children and buy me an airline ticket for Christmas????

The Max M. Fisher College of Business
Invites you to attend Pre-Game with Fisher
at the National Championship

Monday, January 7, 2008
2-5 p.m.
Red Fish Grill
115 Bourbon Street
(BCS Game kickoff is scheduled for 7:00p.m. / Central Standard Time)

Spend the afternoon at a private all inclusive reception at
Red Fish Grill, the award-winning New Orleans seafood
restaurant reserved exclusively for Fisher College of Business.
Red Fish Grill is located on Bourbon Street in the heart of New Orleans
and is operated by Ralph Brennan, owner of some of New Orleansê most
famous restaurants including Commanderês Palace.

Fisher College alumni and friends will be treated to lavish New Orleans
cuisine, open bar and live jazz music. The cost per person is
$100 and includes all taxes and gratuities.

Space is limited.
This event will likely sell out quickly.
Reservations will be accepted until the event has sold out
or until December 31, 2007.
Confirmation will be via email.

Casual attire

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Contract - Part Two

For those of you who haven't read the first part of the saga, read my entry titled "The contract" and the other one called "Law & Order" so that this part will make sense....

It's been fifteen days since we've asked for our money back via certified letter and our pockets are still bare. There was a brief moment of hopefulness about a week ago when CC's girlfriend called and said she had talked to CC and he wanted to come back and set things right. We strongly encouraged her to pass along the message that, if we got our money back, there would be no need to file criminal charges and we could all go on with our lives. I also took the opportunity to advise the girlfriend that she should be very careful and not let a con-artist like CC, who STOLE HER CAR convince her to aid him in anyway as she would be probably be charged with something as well. It's the meddling mother in me that couldn't hold back on the well-intentioned advice.

WELL, after speaking with the investigator today, it looks like she did not heed this advice. Mr. Investigator told us he's pretty sure CC is back in town and holing up with the girlfriend. UNBELIEVABLE! Also, very scary! This guy knows where we live, smokes crack, and probably won't be pleased that we're filing charges. Needless to say, my house is locked tight at all times and I'm walking around like John Belushi in Animal House right before the horse prank.

Nintendo DS overload

I went shopping yesterday with a Nintendo DS on the list of things to buy. Little did I know the Pandora's box I was opening. Walmart (yes, I was there again but don't criticize me until you've lived in a town where this is your only retail option without driving sixty miles) was sold out of them so I had to go on-line to buy it.

First I had to figure out what a "Lite" version was. Instead of meaning a simpler watered down version with less features as I intuitively guessed, I find that it has MORE features and that "lite" refers to its reduced weight. OK. I'm getting the "Lite."

Now I have to pick the color. My choices are gold (limited edition), crimson & black, coral pink, onyx black, metallic rose (also limited and my favorite) and polar white. Why does it matter what color it is when what you're looking it at is on the LCD?! Do kids really care? Is my nine year old going to say, "I need my metallic rose Nintendo today to match the pink iridescent lip gloss that I'm wearing." This one I was buying was not for her but for a boy so I went with the black onyx. Very macho looking...

Of course you have to get a game with it or what use will it be? There are about a gazillion of those which I have neither time or space to list here. You wouldn't believe all the advice I' got from adults on which ones are good, user-friendly, or so complicated that an adult can't figure it out. Am I the only one on the planet that hasn't played with a Nintendo DS?! Luckily the boy who is getting this one listed two specific games so I could tune out all the other options.

Scott has purchased one of these evil gadgets for our children as well this Christmas. I now live in dread of Christmas morning when my kids will turn into video game junkies who stare hypnotically at a tiny screen all day and lose all social skills.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Scary Atheists

The USCCB recently reviewed The Golden Compass suggesting that instead of a boycott, it may be appropriate for Catholic parents to "talk through any thorny philosophical issues" with their children. Then, on December 10th, they withdrew their review with no explanation. Hmmmm. The Catholic League calls for an all out boycott. Of course all this guarantees that I MUST now read the books and see the movie! I respect the beliefs of atheists just as much as I do Muslims, Hindus, Buddists, and any other belief out there (exceptions for Scientology and Mormons - sorry guys, I like you, I just think your beliefs are a little whacked out). I don't find atheists scary or dangerous at all. In fact, I read a FANTASTIC essay by Penn Jillette (off Penn & Teller) explaining how a person can be good and an atheist at the same time. At first, I thought that I wouldn't take my kids to see the movie but I'm rethinking that. I don't want them to turn into atheists (but, if they do, I won't try to dissuade them). I don't really think that will happen to ANY kid who goes and sees the movie anyway. So with that being said, check out my daemon then go take the test and let me know what your daemon is!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

BUNKO time!!!

I love gathering with my BUNKO pals once a month! It's the best group of girls and we get silly, raunchy, profound.... There is no topic that is taboo. Last night, the conversations ranged from someone sharing experiences of her stroke and her near brush with death, to discussing Desperate Housewives and speculation of who died, to showing off the hostess' new closet, to this off-color joke which took twenty minutes to spit out because Kellie was laughing so hard. It's a group that I can totally relax around and not worry about saying the wrong thing or casting the wrong impression. Here's the gift table from last nights extravaganza. I love the lime green/pink wrapping motif!

It goes without question that I will have a good time when I gather with this group!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I spent a good portion of yesterday shopping. Here's all the goodies I gathered. I hit Target and the mall before I ran out of time. The crowds were totally manageable, thank goodness! My favorite is this Yoda ornament. It's SO beautifully ugly!!!

I have a few ornament gift exchanges and I'm so tempted to wrap it and use it just to see the reaction of whoever gets it! They'll be all nice and polite but they won't be able to hide the reaction on their face. In their head they'll be thinking, "Oh my God! What loser bought this and thought anyone would like it!?" I know I won't be able to keep a straight face and I'll totally give myself away. My husbands says everyone will know it's me right away. If I chicken out, I can always give it to my brother, the ultimate Star Wars fan. (Notice on the bed - I bought two so I can keep one for myself. It'll go perfect with my Spock in the transporter room ornament and my Roswell UFO one.)

Other finds, the new David Sedaris' Christmas book (one for me and one for my boss), Knuffle Bunny Too for my son, Toss Across (I loved that game growing up!), Sweet Tart paste that comes in a toothpaste tube and you squirt in your mouth, ugly Christmas cards (sorry everyone) and lots and lots of clothes from Limited Too, and Old Navy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A new haircut


I got my hair cut yesterday. She took off about four inches! At dinner we always go around the table and take turns thanking God for something that happened that day. 99% of the time, my husband says, "Thank you for this food," really fast so it sounds like one word. Yesterday, when it was his turn, he said, "Thank you for my wife's new haircut which looks very pretty." I was totally speachless! For an unromantic guy, he can sure be charming when he wants to be!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ready for a good cry???

Dooce.com posted this a few days ago. I'm pretty good at keeping the tears in but this one got me. It's worth watching the entire ten minutes! At first I thought it was going to beg the case against our family plans of adopting a dog but it ended up the other way.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's finally looking like Christmas!

I finally carved out a little time to set up some of the Christmas decorations in my house. My husband says that anything beyond one Christmas tree and maybe a wreath on the door is excessive. What a Grinch!

I found this lovely wall hanging at Walmart of all places! It looks quite nice over the fireplace. I hope it's not too flammable...

This is my fancy living room tree. All my life I have wanted a coordinated tree with harmonious ornaments and accessories and WHITE LIGHTS. For some reason, I wasn't that motivated to get it together before kids and now that the kids are in the mix, it's been impossible to decorate the family Christmas tree in anything but the tackiest lights and mismatched ornaments. Since I've added the second tree, I can fully embrace our tacky Christmas tree with the star made of aluminum foil and the stuffed Homer Simpson doll hidden in the branches! Wait'll I post pictures and you'll see what I mean...

Check out this close-up of my FAVORITE photograph taken by my very talented cousin in Mexico. With the Christmas lights reflecting off it, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling!

Lastly, there's my daughter's cat. He has this habit of spreading himself across the dining room table as soon as I put on a fresh table cloth. It ensures us of a nice mouthful of cat fur when we next sit down to eat. It's a wonder we're not all hacking hairballs! I was trying to make some Christmas cards last night (didn't get very far and am hoping Target will have a nice alternative as homemade cards are not happening this year) and the cat was taking over!

I still have about ten boxes left to unpack! By the time I get it all out, it'll be time to start packing it up again!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Spirit of Christmas

I came across my co-worker the other day. She was outside warming up a dog who she noticed was shivering. She had no idea who's dog it was or when the owner was coming back. She just wanted to make the pooch's life a little more comfortable. Now THAT'S the spirit of Christmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bee sweet!

I was in Walmart today (as I am almost every other day of the year) and I saw these cute little honey containers. I was looking for something to give my kids at Children's Liturgy tomorrow and I started wracking my brain trying to figure out how honey bees could tie into the messages of the readings. A light bulb finally went off and here's what I came up with. The kids are going to love 'em! :)

At least I'm promoting The Bee Movie and not The Golden Compass right?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas memories

Here's a contest for the family (and anyone else who wants to join in, but you're at a disadvantage). Name the years of all these Christmas pics!

Picture One: Dad, grandma, and Ellie (Dad - Is that a smoking jacket?!)

Picture Two: Ellie and her very hip (or should I say "hippy") mom.

Picture Three: Christmas in a fifth-wheel.

Picture Four: Christmas family portrait

Picture Five: Shogun Warrior Christmas

Picture Six: Ellie in her festive Journey concert T-shirt! That was one wild looking Christmas tree we had that year!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Intolerance again

I took this picture of a poster at my local post office. Look! Someone loves Muslims because the tore a heart-shaped hole out of the Eid greetings stamp.

For those of you not familiar, Eid ul-Adha is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide as a commemoration of Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael for Allah. Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing, share their feasts with the poor and hungry, and are expected to visit their relations, starting with their parents, then their families and friends. Sounds nice, huh? The festival moves around because it's set by the Islamic calendar which is lunar. This year it will be celebrated on December 20th.

Turns out I was wrong in my previous post on this topic and you CAN purchase these stamps now! I think that's awesome and I've decided that in the spirit of tolerance towards all faiths, all my Christmas cards will be sent using these stamps!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I am the family blabber-mouth. I've come to terms with it and accepted it. That doesn't mean I tell everybody everything. If I hear something that I know would hurt someone else, or I think they can't handle, I keep it to myself. My family and I suppose even my friends, operate at some other level. They view some secrets as power, a power they can bestow on you, if it behooves them to do so, or a power they can withhold, if they deem you unworthy. My tendency is to dispel this power by blabbing it to the whole world. It's like the hero's have discovered, if you expose the secrets, they no longer have power.

They are also much more private than I am. While I don't mind telling you how many times I've gone to the bathroom, or how much money we lost with our crooked contractor, or my opinions of anyone or anything, others in my family keep this stuff close to their vest. They're uncomfortable sharing it. I can't fully understand this, but I do respect it as much as I can. Sometimes, it doesn't occur to me that what I am sharing with someone else is classified as private to another person. That's when the trouble starts!

I have recently discovered that two separate family members live in fear that I will rant on this blog about them and publicly expose them in one way or another. I think one family member thinks I've already done this (go check out the post now - you no longer exist). I want to assure them all that ranting about my family, and friends too for that matter, will be taboo subjects on this blog from this point on. You may all feel free to live your peaceful, secret lives.

It's snowing!!!!

It's our first snow of the season. They should be closing school any second.....

Monday, December 3, 2007

Law & Order

Play this first to get in the proper frame of mind. Bounce back here when you're done, I'll wait!

Part One: This is my first dip into the small-town criminal justice system and so far, I'm discouraged. I called the sheriff's office on Saturday as I began to realize we were in the process of being scammed. A very nice man there asked me a bunch of questions but finally determined that there was no crime that had been committed by our contractor yet. The low-life had our money and had not done what was promised, but the dates committed to were all verbal and there was a possibility that he was just running behind. I guess stealing his girlfriends car wasn't a bad enough sign that he was up to no good. The sergeant recommended that I call back today after lunch, if I still hadn't heard from him.

I just hung up today with whoever answers the phones at the sheriff's office and I asked for the investigator who the sergeant told me to call today. Apparently he is not working today. I then told the good-ole-boy that I didn't want to wait because, if there's a chance to catch this guy before he slips into Mexico, I want to file the report sooner rather than later. He told me that someone would call me back sometime. I wanted to know when and he said he had no idea. I asked him if it would be today and he said yes it would. There was nothing left to do but hang up.

It's now been ten minutes since that phone call, and the good-ole-boy has called me back! Apparently, he called the investigator who is headed into the office and will be calling me when he gets there. Mr. Investigator is probably pissed that he couldn't finish hunting whatever's in season right now and has to take some crazy Yankee lady's report about some piddly amount of money that's already been spent on strippers and Jim Beam. I asked if it would be helpful for me to meet him there and he told me to sit tight and wait for his call.

Time for another "doink doink" sound effect.

Part Two: Mr. Investigator turns out to be a very nice guy! Good-ole-boy has been a little more helpful too. Mr. Investigator found out that our crooked contractor (or CC, for short) is not using our money for Jim Beam but instead is probably using it to support his known crack habit! Not only that, CC no longer has a valid contractor's license or driver's license!

Mr. Investigator asked us for the contract, and a statement from my husband detailing the transaction between them. He also told us to write and send a certified letter to CC's last known address dissolving the contract and asking for our money back. This is a formality since CC has left town in a stolen car and is on the lam. After we do this, we have to wait FIFTEEN DAYS to give him a chance to reply. That gives him plenty of time to smoke $5,000 worth of crack before we start hunting him down to spend Christmas in jail. Looks like it could be a happy ending, huh?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Whadaya know?????

Congratulations to my Buckeyes! Once again, the number one ranked college football team in the country and headed to the National Championship for our third appearance since its inception. I can't believe BOTH Missouri and West Virginia lost yesterday! I hope the crooked contractor who stole our money is a fan of one of those two teams! GOOO BUCKEYES!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The contract

This is the contract that my husband signed on Wednesday for a new roof. Not very official looking, I know. In retrospect, that should have been a clue. Another flag was the contractor asking us to make out the check to his girlfriend. The next flag came yesterday when the shingles didn't arrive like he promised and we checked with Lowes and no order had ever been placed. I talked to him after that and he assured me he'd be out with them first thing this morning. Today he disappeared with half the money we put down. I don't even want to tell you how much it was but it's sure put a damper on Christmas. Theft is such an awful experience. I feel like I've been hit in the stomach. How does one human being do it to another human being? I just don't get it....