Saturday, December 27, 2008

Prolonging Christmas

There's a lot of people out there who can't wait to yank down all the Christmas decorations and let their normal lives resume. Then there's people like me who wish it were Christmas all year! I will not even THINK of pulling anything down until after Epiphany. With my Mexican heritage, I have an excuse! The three wise men will visit our house and leave something in our shoes on the morning of January 6th. I have to keep it Christmasy for their visit!

Here are a few festive snapshots to keep the Christmas spirit going a little longer!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gift tags

Every year, my husband and I overindulge our children with numerous gifts. It's not that we spend a lot, we just like to see them open presents! In the past, we've had enough for them to open one every hour all day on Christmas Eve. This year, the presents aren't quite as numerous and that tradition will end (no matter how many tears my seven year old shed this evening). With so many gifts, it just seems too boring to make them all from mom & dad so, each year, we get creative about who they come from. It's influenced by whatever is important to them at the time. We've had gifts from ghosts of our dead cats (macabre, I know), Bernard the elf (pictured right) from The Santa Clause, superheroes, and beloved stuffed animals.

My favorites this year are one from a dead mouse that my daughter found in a glue trap on the driveway last week. It says, "To Katie from the ghost of the dead mouse on the driveway." Another one is from the deer that frequents our back yard with a bad leg who we've named "Gimpy." The kids love getting these gifts from the most unlikely of givers and my husband and I amuse ourselves with what we make up! We're such nerds! It's definitely a win-win!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thoughts on prayer

I came to the conclusion recently that I don't believe in the power of prayer. My thought process went something like this: A. God is omnipotent. B. Good things happen to bad people. C. Bad things happen to good people. D. Both B & C seem to happen randomly. Therefore, if prayer had any impact, wouldn't good things happen to good people more and bad things happen to bad people more? Also, wouldn't it be safe to assume that millions are praying for starving Africans yet they keep starving. If God is omnipotent, and prayer worked, wouldn't starving Africans be seeing some kind of relief by now?

Here's the problem, though. I've been praying all my life. I can't just stop. I can't just quit saying bedtime prayers with my kids. My husband is currently out west in all that crazy weather. I can't not pray for his safe return. I know it's crazy to be so ambivalent about prayer but I don't know how to move on to the next step and be at peace.

I wish everyone but do not pray for everyone to have peace this holiday season!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Small tokens

I've been very busy today with getting gifts wrapped and out for shipping as well as putting together teacher gifts to send with the kids tomorrow - their last day. My inspiration was "A Christmas Story." Do you remember when Ralphie put that HUGE basket on his teacher's desk in hopes that his theme would get a good grade?

Well, I bought two baskets - one for each of my kid's teachers - and filled them with assorted goodies. In them, I put some citrus from a ginormous crate I bought from the HS band fundraiser, a lottery ticket (an idea I got from Kindness Girl) , a cracker, a bag of popcorn, a miniature Kahlua that I got from buying the gift box that included a mug and 3 minis for only $2 more, and a homemade card from my children. I bought plain baskets at Walmart and hot glued the ribbon on. Tomorrow, I'm going to add some fresh cuttings from the yard to fill it out and I think it'll look really nice.

In a smaller version, I bought a funky snowglobey kind of cup and put in another lottery ticket and a clementine in tissue paper for the janitor of the school. He's our secret pal for the year and is diabetic so I didn't want to put in candy.

Hopefully it'll make them all smile!

UPDATE: Adding cuttings from the yard when your husband is off on a ski trip and you have to shower, dress, fix breakfast, pack lunches, put a crockpot on the front porch for someone to borrow, throw toddler furniture in the trunk for someone who is willing to take them off your hands, pop a bag of popcorn for your daughter to have at school when she watches her Christmas movie, and get the kids to school by 8:15am is not a realistic expectation......

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rick is spending Christmas with me!

Finally! My Christmas is complete! Rick Springfield has recorded a Christmas CD. Is it good, you ask? How could it NOT be? Its got Rick in it, doesn't it? He could be singing with a bagpipe and a banjo (he didn't) and it would sound awesome! All proceeds from the recording of "Christmas With You" are donated to support the US Military Veterans Organization American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. Rick is so cool!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I made these pretty orange and clove ornaments to hang outside. The Crafty Crow gave me the idea. They were fun to do and the kids loved decorating them with the cloves! I'm thinking it'll be an annual tradition.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lego drama

About a month ago, my seven year old son got it into his head that he HAD to have a Lego Boba Fett. He came to this conclusion after trying to alter no less than three Lego Clone Troopers with a Sharpee (pictured on the right) and not being satisfied with the results. The problem with wanting a Lego Boba Fet is that Lego does not sell them anymore. That makes them only available through third parties who charge crazy inflated prices for discontinued/rare items. We located one on for a mere $34.98. That the price.....for ONE, ONE INCH Lego guy. My son thought that was totally reasonable and forked down his entire lifetime savings in front of us and pleaded for us to order it. We thought, "Wow! He must really, really want this!" So the order was placed.

He seemed happy about his purchase until last week when he decided that what he really wants is 99,999 Clone Troopers to form an army (this has actually now been requested in his letter to Santa despite my warning that greedy kids end up with coal). He asked my husband if it was OK to trade his Boba Fett for a Clone Trooper from Jeremiah. My husband said no way and then made a tactical error, in my view. He offered to buy back Boba Fett and let our son have the money to buy more Legos! My son did this one other time when he got the Transformer Helicopter guy and then, after playing with him for awhile, decided he really wanted another Transformer and got my husband to buy him another one in exchange for giving the helicopter guy to Scott.

Today, he LOST Boba Fett! He posted this sign on his door:

He was inconsolable surrounded by his thousand of Legos MINUS the Boba Fett. I had zero sympathy for the guy. Seriously. Does this not sound spoiled to you? I wish I had the guts to actually go through with the coal threat (I don't). What I do have to do is get my husband to quit making it worse. We have since found Boba Fett after he got stepped on by one of my daughters friends. I think I'll kidnap him tonight and hold him ransom......

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Parade planners note

Marching camel in a nativity - bad idea.....

Ask the planners in Delaware, OH. It was front page with a headline along the lines of "CAMEL CHARGES CROWD."

Here's the picture I snapped!

Monday, December 1, 2008


That was the license plate in front of me as I drove to work today. It struck a chord. It's something that I need to remember to do no matter who I'm dealing with. I think too often, we get into a mindset that we should only be kind to people we like. If there's a stranger or someone who annoys us or someone we genuinely dislike, we don't feel obligated to be kind anymore.

I was having a beer with my husband before the Buckeye game and the bar was completely packed. In the midst of the wall-to-wall people, there was a table with about 12 open chairs around it. There was an attractive couple sitting at the table but the rest were empty. I went up to them and asked if we could sit at their table and the girl said they were saving them for their friends. My husband and I leaned against the wall and drank our beers. During the twenty or so minutes it took for us to finish, their friends never arrived and they sat there as content as could be while a bunch of us found places to perch with our drinks. I saw them turn a few more people away after us. Would it have killed them to let us sit there until their friends arrived? It was a very small thing they could have done for the sake of kindness but it never occurred to them.

Back in October, I was waiting in line to buy an apple pie. In front of me was a woman with about four really big, really heavy pumpkins. The cashier next to the one we were waiting behind opened and the lady told us we could move over there to pay. The pumpkin lady didn't want to because she had small kids and was having trouble managing them and her pumpkins so I thought she was going to wait where she was until the first cashier came back. I took up the second cashier's offer and went over there to pay for my pie. My brother was standing behind the pumpkin lady and heard her say something bitchy about me cutting in front of her. Honestly, if she would've starting moving her pumpkins over, I still would've finished paying for my one pie WAY before she finished so I don't see how I inconvenienced her any. After my brother told me, I thought, life is too short to get that pissed off at a stranger and made a mental note not to send bad thoughts towards anyone that gets in front of me in line.

Yesterday, someone advised me that since I can't control any one's actions except my own, the best I can do is to be kind without expecting anything in return. I think that's good advice. Today's license plate reinforced that message. I will be working hard to achieve that goal - especially through the holidays.