Monthly Archives: December 2008

FINALLY!

It took us 3 additional days, but we finally ate Christmas dinner.
No, I didn’t take pictures, but it was ham, baked sweet potatoes, fresh green beans, and rosemary/olive oil bread (thank you, Costco!) with butter. Dessert? Christmas cookies and your choice of egg nog ice cream or peppermint candy ice cream. I should’ve made pies (pumpkin, apple) but I decided to let go of perfection and enjoy having company.

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full tummies and a full house

Things are looking up: once I convinced H-J that drinking milk was taboo , he stopped puking, although he’s still on the BRAT diet. Those of us who have stayed healthy are living dangerously tonight: chicken chili for supper! (It’s spicier than I recalled it being…)

Mount Vernon, December 2007

Mount Vernon, December 2007 (the almost-twins are bookending the group)

Last year at this time, all of these folks were together — in 24 hours, we should be joining up again. My almost-twin brother & his family are making the trek from Wisconsin to brighten our holidays. 🙂 They are so easy to get along with, so we have a fantastic time together. (It doesn’t hurt that my brother brings a cooler of beer!)

I’ve got 5 sticks of butter warming up on the counter. I need to replenish the supply of cookies before our household swells to eleven! Right now, there is Christstollen in the oven and SuperDad brewed up a pot of chocolate-flavored coffee a little while ago. If this was a scratch-n-sniff blog, you would be going crazy with the wonderful smells.

Happy 2nd Christmas Day! (if you are of German ancestry)
Happy Boxing Day! (for my Canadian friends)

Health and Happiness

christmas-2008-007Good things and not-so-good things

  • It keeps snowing back home in Washington State. My mother just told me the governor declared a state of emergency.
  • Noisy cacophony of sounds at the family-centered worship service last night. None of them were my children, and most of the noises were happy and pleasant to this experienced mom. I confess: when a 2yo bonked his head on the wooden pew, SuperDad & I looked at each other and started laughing. Before you castigate us, know that this same kid was head-banging the same way on Sunday morning, with the same results (including dad taking him of the room in tears) –and he wasn’t really hurt, just mad that he bumped his head!
  • SnakeMaster & Humorous-Juniorous did a great job with their lines for the nativity litany. MusicMan rang those bells and looked every bit the handsome young man in white shirt and tie! And I held my own at the microphone, despite my fellow alto being absent. (No, I don’t sing like Knight, so don’t be asking for a video!)
  • I managed to make 4 kinds of cookies, plus we have 2 different boxes of German treats, but I failed to finish making the Stollen. The dry ingredients are mixed up, but the rest is still waiting to be added. I’m not beating myself up over this. It’ll get done when it gets done.  Tomorrow is soon enough!
  • That picture at the top? That is SnakeMaster appreciating one of his new cocoa mugs ala Gary.
  • Before we lit our candles and sang Silent Night at church last night, SnakeMaster wasn’t looking too well… and then I raced him to the bathroom. Once at home, SM had a dose of Tylenol for his fever, ate well, and went to sleep. He’s fine today, except for still being a little tired…and I’m blaming that on waking up before dawn!
  • H-J is running off too little sleep and too much excitement. He thinks SuperDad’s incense cones from Santa smell terrible. He has also been emptying his tummy today.

Running score: healthy people=4, flu=2

I’m getting nervous about the running score, so the nice Christmas dinner is postponed until tomorrow.  Technicolor yawns might be colorful, but they are NOT pretty…not on the carpet, not in the bathroom, nor anywhere in-between.

Now I’m off to play Disney Trivial Pursuit!

Merry Christmas, and STAY HEALTHY!!

Christmas is Coming

december-2008-078
Here comes Santa, riding past our house…
december-2008-079

The stockings aren’t hung
(they’re still in a box)
We’ve got crackers and cream cheese,
but where is the lox?

One trip to the store
for items all dairy
Forgetting the veggies
how long must I tarry?

All night I am baking
come morning, repeat
To fill up the platters
for neighbors so neat

At six o’clock sharp
in our sanctuary
Worship begins
our Christmas so merry!

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Merry Christmas from Kcinnova’s World!

WWC #66, and more

This week’s words are NAUGHTY and NICE.

Sunday afternoon we attended a lovely open house/Christmas party. We were gone for over 2 hours. Before we left, my husband opened a box from my mother and placed the wrapped gifts under the tree. In the box there was also a nice Christmas treat for Cleopatra. SuperDad set the non-gift-wrapped (but still in plastic) catnip mouse in a dish on the counter.

bowl made by SnakeMaster in art class

bowl made by SnakeMaster in art class

In our absence, 0ur naughty cat got up on the counter (a major no-no!!), helped herself to her gift, and proceeded to remove it from the packaging. I wish I had it on film, to see how long it took her!

Teeth and claws are good for opening presents!  Packaging was found on the floor, but my floor does not make a pretty background for pictures!

Teeth and claws are good for opening presents!

By bedtime, the mouse was in danger of being disemboweled. I’m sure she had this accomplished by midnight:

Cleo had the munchies (Vitamin M for cats?)

Cleo had the munchies (Vitamin M for cats?)

That is some powerful-good catnip! I highly recommend it.

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A few weeks ago, our Cub Scout Den visited the county’s safety center. They got to see how the 911 system works and then they got to sit in the nice deputy’s car.

police line-up

police line-up

This picture was taken the week after we finger-printed all of them!

May he never ride in the back seat!

May he never be so naughty that he rides in the back seat!

The Weekly Words Challenge is brought to us by Tink of Pickled Beef.
We’ll be taking the next 2 weeks off from this photo meme, but it’ll be back on January 6th. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday update

Turns out, I lied. Not knowingly, of course! But yesterday, when I said I was frantically baking cookies? Umm, no. I was actually in the mother taxi, ferrying EB to lifeguarding class (45 minutes one way), doing my own last minute Christmas shopping (because I realized on Saturday night that I forgot to get a few gifts so that my own husband and kids would have something to open!), taking kids to do their Christmas shopping (to give them credit, they have been asking to go for the past 10 days–school sort of got in the way), getting MusicMan to handbell rehearsal).  And oh, yeah, I have to drive in rush hour traffic to pick EB up from his lifeguarding class at 6pm!  Then MM calls at 9:20pm for a ride home from the 2nd handbell rehearsal.  Sometime in there I read a few blogs and answered a few e-mail messages and wrapped a few gifts.

Today is another lifeguarding class (repeat next Monday and Tuesday).  I have a training session to attend (new format for the newsletter, coming to local mailboxes January 1st…or 2nd, or whatever) plus a trip to buy more crickets for “Spots” the gecko (the critter needs to eat, and the pet store was waiting for today’s shipment).  We’re down to our last 2 gallons of milk.  Did anyone notice that Christmas is this Thursday??

So…. I really do plan on baking cookies today…and Stollen.    And making dinner (something else that didn’t happen last night because I was driving in rush hour traffic instead).

I feel like the evil magician in Frosty the Snowman.  You know, at the end of the show?  After Santa chastises him?  And he runs down the snowy hills calling out that he’s got to get busy, busy, busy!

Yeah, that’s me today. 

Monday before Christmas

The kids are out of school and hoping to sleep ’til noon (except for the ones who are too excited about Christmas). Of course, moms everywhere have TONS to do, making the Christmas magic happen on time.

Over at Moo’s Moo today, we’re talking about greed.

And I’m frantically baking cookies.

What are you doing today?

Spreading the Love

I would like you all to pop over to Mizfit and comment. For every comment she gets by Christmas Eve, she is donating a dime to a local womens shelter. Lets make her dig deep shall we?

The above words were found on my friend Reb ‘s blog. I “stole” them so more help (and more love) could be given.

“Blessed is the Season which engages the whole world in a Conspiracy of Love.”
~Hamilton Wright Mabie

4th Annual Blog Cookie Exchange

I’m taking part in Susie’s 4th Annual Blog Cookie Exchange today. Luckily, there are no rules –just suggestions– because if there were rules I’d be apt to break them. In fact, know now that the name is a misnomer when it comes to me: this is my first year to participate and I have no cookies to exchange.

Wait!! Please don’t leave… I just bought a bottle of egg nog (the spiked kind) for SuperDad to give at his office party, but I can always buy another tomorrow if I need to. And I’m told I make awesome margaritas. I’ll put on a fresh pot of coffee for you. Please make yourself at home while I unload the car. (I just got back from Target, Kohl’s, and Costco.)

egg-nog

There, that’s better. Sorry, we’re rather informal here. With 4 boys, I’d rather focus on life than fancy foods and decorations.

november-2008-070

Oh, see that picture above? That’s the official Christmas picture of the boys. We aren’t all into matching outfits – I guess you can tell?

Traditions:

When the kids were smaller, younger, and more compliant, I made a birthday cake and we would sing happy birthday to Jesus. A few years ago, I asked what traditions they loved and which ones they didn’t care about. Driving around looking at Christmas lights was a resounding success, but the birthday party went away. Sorta. I now bake breakfast breads (cranberry orange, anyone?) and a wonderful German Stollen (dry and PERFECT with coffee). Bread is almost like cake, isn’t it?

december-2008-043
For the 4 Sundays before Christmas, we light an Advent candle. Last Sunday was the pink candle. On Christmas morning, we will have this wreath (sans the African violet) as our centerpiece on the table, and in the center of the wreath will be a white “Christ candle.” We will re-light each of the Advent candles, in order, and then the white Christ candle. And since they won’t let me make a birthday cake for baby Jesus, we’ll have to sing happy birthday with the Advent candle!

The kids get their stockings when they wake up (and there will be a granola bar, a tangerine, and perhaps a bit of chocolate inside to ruin their appetites tide them over until breakfast. But there is no present-under-the-tree opening until after breakfast and the singing of happy birthday. Gotta remember whose birthday it is, after all!
Well… everyone does get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. When I was a kid, it had to be a gift from a grandparent. Our rules now are less stringent, so the kids get to choose which gift they want to open. (Which means sometimes I keep gifts hidden until later!)

da tree, assembled and decorated by boys

da tree, assembled and decorated by boys

This year, one of my favorite gifts to give will be these mugs by my potter friend (and facebook cousin) Gary

gift mugs

gift mugs

Gary also made this lovely pig ornament:

piggy ornament

piggy ornament

Don we now our gay apparel…

I’d post a picture of my “let it snow” pajamas, but they are all wrinkled and in the hamper. I’m not taking a picture of THAT!!

I’ll be making the Par-Tay rounds so let me know if you stopped by in my absence. Help yourself to the German cookies that I stashed on the top shelf in the cupboard!


WWC #65: Pine & Contribute

The words for this week are:
Pine (As in “pine for” or “pine tree”)
and
Contribute

december-2008-071

Our pine tree is artificial, but this way we don’t contribute to deforestation. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) Smack in the center you can see a blue glass pine cone ornament, and a little lower on the right you can see a straw pine cone ornament with red trim (both came from Germany).

The boys put the tree up themselves. I carefully strung all 600 lights (actually, I think 2 are burnt-out or broken, so make that 598 lights), and then the boys decorated the tree with a wide variety of ornaments.

december-2008-070

Gary made this lovely pig ornament, so in a way he helped decorate the tree, too! It was his contribut[e]ion.

Victorian Ball

Victorian Ball

MusicMan and his date contributed to keeping the past alive on Friday night. After a series of dance lessons and etiquette lessons, they dressed up in period clothing and attended a Victorian Ball. It was held at an historic plantation with live music provided by a group which loves to play from songs from the era. (History Club rocks!)

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And now a message from Tink :

If you haven’t joined the fun yet, go here for details. Don’t forget, we also have a Flickr group for easy shareability. Plus, you get to find out the new words at least an hour earlier. Happy snapping!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Next week’s WWC will be the last for 2008.  2009 will kick off on January 8th.