Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

Oh Christmas 2013, you have come and gone and I haven't wrote about you yet. I've been too busy doing nothing. I'm a little sad to see it over. All the lights, festivities and overly excitable children. Santa was good to us all this year. The kids got what they wanted, and it is all still spread over the living room. I haven't cleaned it up yet and I'm ok with that. Our elf Christopher did make an appearance this year even though I was pondering "forgetting" him. He came in from the North Pole on the night of the 20th which meant I only had to reposition him 5 whole nights before he returned to the North Pole on Christmas eve. Guess what? Three of those five nights I sat bolt upright in bed at 5 am because I just remembered I didn't put him in a new hiding place. Over half of the nights I forgot. Parent of the year here. Ugh. Oh well, they never were disappointed in the hiding places and Christopher is safely back at the North Pole now....away from my absent mindedness.

All Wesley wanted this year was a remote controlled R2D2. This was something that the school offered as the top prize in this years fundraiser. He really wanted me to buy enough fundraiser items so he could win it but I didn't want to spend the thousands of dollars needed to do so (I'm not even kidding). Instead I told him to ask Santa and maybe he could get it for him. That at least gave me a few more months to locate such an item. A big thanks goes out to Amazon for carrying every bizarre item ever created. The result was one super excited kid.

R2D2 has already played a few card games and board games with us and even shared a meal. Right this moment he's upstairs sleeping next to Wesley too. Silly kid!

Greta kept it simple this year just wanting a Mermaid Ariel doll and a couple of other little things. She's easy! Randi went all out this year making awesome animal hats for us. They were a big hit and I'm sure they'll continue to bring joy to all that see them (they sure make me smile!).

I got a special gift this year from the kids. Pink eye. What a gross experience. I've never had it before and just had the pleasure of dealing with it from the kids. Now I get to see it first hand, all the goop and crusties. Eye drops every three hours and no contact lenses (boo). A full week of glasses now and I'm ready to be done with it all. But, of all weeks for it to happen, this is a great one. I haven't needed to step foot out of this house in a full week. Pure lazy bliss. Another full week of the same coming up.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a great New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Burning Lungs

A few weeks ago the local evening news put together a piece about snow pictures and how nearly all the viewer submitted pictures of snow accumulation are taken of their deck, or patio furniture or grill covered with inches upon inches of snow. Then they started showing picture upon picture of viewer submitted photographs to prove their point. It was really quite hilarious. Apparently after a snow storm every human likes to take their camera and, from the warmth of their house, take a picture out the back window.

I have to admit I was always so jealous. People with snow piled up on their decks and patio furniture. I so wish I had a deck full of snow to take a picture of.

Oh wait! I do now.  (insert giddy laughter)

I should submit it to my local news station.....just. because. I. can.

We got maybe an inch or more of snow, it wasn't much. A nice layer of ice under it. Not nearly what they had forecasted. Which is good I suppose. Hubby took the kids out to enjoy it yesterday. I think he got quite the workout. After seeing this video you'll understand why his lungs burned for hours afterward. This video is after he'd already pulled Greta once. He's superman, I would have collapsed after about 50 feet.

My folks came over last night to feast on a lovely ham and all the fixings and then we finished it up with some really tasty (if I do say so myself) triple berry cobbler. They are going to be visiting my sister for Christmas so we exchanged gifts last night after the kids went to bed. They were very generous and we can't wait to try out our new present.

Friday, December 20, 2013


I'm done. Finished. Completed everything. There is no more Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, no kids to take to school or pick up, no more sculptures to ship out, no parties to help out with, no more programs and no more errands. The animals all have hay and feed piled up, stock tanks topped off. It feels so good! Technically I don't have to look presentable for the next 18 days. What a gloriously lazy feeling that is.

I hit the library with Greta this morning and we stocked up on books, DVD's and games. It should be enough to keep two little kids entertained until Christmas arrives and the presents take over. We used to buy all the new release movie rentals off of Amazon but have found the library to be a wonderful way to keep up on all the newest movies. You just go put them on hold and when they are available they notify you and you get to watch all the newest movies for free. I love free stuff! It's been a nice way to keep our entertainment budget on track.

Oh and I thought I'd share this. I was at the grocery store this morning as well, getting enough food for the next week. As usual I stocked up on lettuce. All types of lettuce: red, romaine, endive, and baby greens. I get to the check out line and the cashier gave me a strange look while ringing up seven heads of lettuce and a giant tub of baby greens. She asked "You got a bunch of rabbits to feed or what?" I informed her that it wasn't rabbits but rather tortoises that all the greens were going to. In the summer those tortoises graze outside or I bring weeds inside and that makes up 100% of their diet. In the winter I have to buy them food. Even with buying seven heads of lettuce a week they are the cheapest animals I own.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tiny singing humans

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is the holiday programs. Last night was Greta's program and it was too cute. Little tiny people up on stage belting out Jingle Bells at the top of their lungs, not much beats that. She's got a wonderful teacher that puts a lot of time and energy into these programs and I'm thankful we found her.

I know, I know....this is probably something only a parent or grandparent would enjoy so I'm posting this for her out of town grandparents. Plus the kids love watching videos of themselves.

Her teacher always asks the parents to bring some cookies for after the program. This year I wanted to do something like a whoopie pie but with chocolate chip cookies. So that's what I did. They were (and are) sinful and unfortunately I didn't send them all with her last night, I kept a few for, you know, the kids. Yeah right. I want them for me but I'm trying not to think of them in the kitchen right now. I'm probably going to have to throw them away to keep them from padding my hips (and then pour dish soap on them to keep myself from digging them out of the trash can).

This is the filling (talk about a heart attack waiting to happen):


-1½ cups marshmallow crème
-1 cup vegetable shortening
-1 cup confectioners' sugar
-¼ tsp salt
-1 Tbsp water
-1½ tsp vanilla extract

Monday, December 16, 2013

A birthday weekend

Man, I feel like superwoman after a big cup of coffee. I have gotten so much done this morning it's crazy! I have the big kid home today with pink eye. He's missed so many days of school this year, it's not good. I told Sean we are going to just stock pile the eye drop medicine since it's so common in our house. Poor kid.

We had a lovely weekend. Got quite a few fun Christmas projects with the kids accomplished. They love making gingerbread houses so this year I got the gingerbread village kit instead of the house kit (four little houses vs one big house). This was a good decision, each person got a house to decorate as they wish. It was fun and then they got to eat them after I got a picture. 

 Luckily we were all healthy this weekend. It was the Hubby's birthday and we celebrated in style. We asked oh so nicely if Rich would be willing to watch the youngin's so that we could go have another relaxing weekend at the casino. If you remember we did that for my birthday and had a blast. Well this one was even more awesome. We waited until the last moment to reserve the hotel (since I wasn't sure we'd all be healthy, or if some freak snowstorm would appear and our babysitter wouldn't be able to make it), there were no more normal rooms available so all that was left was this massive king suite. It was at least the size of two normal rooms. We watched movies and soaked in their salt water hot tub. Very cool and very relaxing. It was much needed and much appreciated. We stuffed ourselves at the attached fancy restaurant and finished the meal off with the most gigantic chunk of carrot cake we'd ever seen in our lives (it was at least 18" tall, not even kidding). It was so nice to have some adult conversation and time alone. Happy birthday to my awesome husband, I'm one lucky gal.

We celebrated Thursday evening with my folks and a cake. I even added 35 candles this year, almost burnt the house down (kidding). A big thank you to Rich for watching the kids overnight and allowing us to do this, probably the best birthday present you can give parents.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Friday

If you are like me then you are excited that this week is nearly over. Only one more week until I get to pick the kids up from their last day of school and have them home for a very lazy and well deserved two week Christmas vacation. I'm so looking forward to lounging around in sweats, not waking up at 6:30 and doing all the last minute fun Christmas traditions. We've got a gingerbread village to assemble, the big Christmas lights show to see and at least one movie to go see in the theater (I'm thinking Frozen). One more week, I can do this! Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts

-Wesley was super excited about this morning. You see, this morning is Donuts with Dad at the school. It's pretty self explanatory, Sean takes Wesley to school and they have donuts together. Taking the kids to school is my job so this morning I'm lounging around in my pj's, drinking tea and thoroughly enjoying the morning off. Wesley is pumped to get to ride in the corvette for the very first time. I'm not a huge fan of him riding in the front seat but there really isn't an option with that car. Have fun boys!

-I have a new routine every morning that I'm loving. I take out my little blender and blend together a handful of baby spinach, blueberries, a few teaspoons of chia seeds, a scoop of almond butter and some coconut milk. It might not sound appetizing but it's quite good and it jump starts my day.....even if it looks like mud.

-Ok, I know this is the time of year when our creepy little elf is supposed to make an appearance, but I can't seem to muster up the energy to go down and retrieve him from his box. The kids really enjoyed Christopher last year. They loved waking up each morning and finding him and seeing what he was up to. That made me smile. BUT, I'm tired this year. I'm stressed. I do not need something else to do every single day. I don't feel creative enough to think up some new and exciting place for the elf to be each morning for the next 13 mornings. So I'm thinking Christopher is going to stay in his box up until the 20th (or so) and then I only have to think of five creative ways to display him. Lazy? Heck yea. But I know my limits. See you in about a week Christopher.

-I was at Cabela's doing the last of our Christmas shopping yesterday. I have a confession, I don't love that store. I know that every male on the planet adores that store. Heck, some women even like it. It's an outdoor lovers paradise. Perhaps if I was a hunter, or a fisher, or loved to kayak or ski or camp I would like the place. But there is seemingly nothing in that store that can hold my interest. Or so I thought! Here I am wandering around and ran into a whole display on conceal carry. It had nice leather purses (I'll admit the only reason I was drawn to the display) with hidden compartments built in to hold your gun. How cool! It made me realize I really want to get my conceal carry license. Not because I want to carry a cool purse with a gun compartment, but because I want to have my license so that if I wanted to carry a cool purse with a gun compartment (and a gun in it) I legally could. So that's now on the short list of items to do.

Monday, December 9, 2013


We had a very low key weekend. No big plans, nothing big accomplished. It's very cold so nobody wants to do anything but stay warm inside. I did get out and get the grocery shopping done which is so nice to do without my little mini me in tow. She does pretty good most weeks but lately it's been a bit stressful so a nice alone trip is lovely. I got a little more Christmas shopping done while I was in town too. I thought I could get 100% of the shopping done on Amazon this year, I planned on that. Then I started comparing prices and found that for the most part Amazon is a better deal, but on a few selective presents I had to actually haul my rear end into a store. Greta is set on this Ariel doll that turns from a fish into a human (and sings songs too!) and it was $15 cheaper at Target than online. That's worth it to me. Plus with Amazon Prime (which we now can't seem to live without) we get all the presents in two days. Love that Prime! So I'm about 90% done with Christmas shopping with just a few people left to shop for.

Yesterday was exciting for the kids. Every year the library gets decorated up for Santa's big arrival. They have crafts for the kids to do, write letters to Santa and have a room full of toy trains. We went last year and the kids loved it so I knew we'd be going again this year. They have a professional photographer and this year they gave you a thumb drive full of pictures instead of emailing them (which took weeks to receive, but it's free so beggars can't be choosers right?). I thought they turned out super cute. This year they weren't shy around the big guy and chimed right in on what they want for Christmas. Wesley wants an R2D2 toy (it's some big remote controlled thing....good thing I found one!) and Greta wants a stuffed jelly fish she saw at Target a few months ago.

Friday, December 6, 2013


I think I've successfully taught compassion to my children. Every time they find a bug in the house they gently scoop it up and let it go outside. Well it's bitterly cold outside. Not the kind of temperatures to be releasing innocent little insects into. After all, they took refuge in our house to get away from the deadly cold. So when Wesley came up to me with a ladybug on his hand asking to let it go outside I told him we'll have to keep it inside until it warms up. So he placed it on the table and I covered it up with the measuring cup from a children's Tylenol container. We decided it needed water so every day we go over and lift the lid and deposit a little drop of water on the table. The ladybug goes over and drinks the water. So it's been this way for about a week now. Now our little ladybug gets a drop of honey water or a chunk of banana every day. Then today it gained some company. Three more ladybugs appeared inside. We might have to invest in a bug house to get them through the Winter, especially if they keep multiplying.

I'm starting to think I've also instilled a love of plants and planting in the kids. A few weeks ago they were outside playing on the raised strawberry bed when they came running in talking about the seed pods hanging off the trellis. Sure enough after all the pole beans died off there were some bean pods there that I failed to harvest. I showed them that if you break open the dried pod you can gather the seeds inside. The seeds were dried and at the perfect point to harvest. They were so excited! They each got a plastic bag and started collecting seeds. I explained that we can keep those seeds to plant in the spring. Greta was far too excited to wait until spring so I filled one little Dixie cup with soil and let her push one seed into the soil. A week later five sprouts emerged from that little Dixie cup. Greta must have returned later and planted more on her own. This weekend I planted the seedlings in a large pot by the south windows in the living room and added a tomato cage in the off chance they thrive in this environment and decide to twine their way up the cage. Greta loves to watch them grow and I told her perhaps we'll have some green beans to eat in January. Wouldn't that be a fun learning experience?

Thursday, December 5, 2013


We are all finally feeling better around here. Which is good because it is back to being bitterly cold outside and our furnace decided it didn't want to work this morning. Actually it's not as bad as it could be. Sean pinpointed the problem to the blower motor so now he's on the phone looking for a new one.  It's only down to 67 degree in the house but with it being 20 degrees outside it will keep decreasing rapidly. We have a couple of space heaters running which takes the edge off. Here's to hoping the hubby can successfully get it back up and running before tonight's low of 16 degrees and tomorrow nights low of 8 arrives. Brrrrr.

Yesterday Miss Greta and I needed to get out of the house so we hit the library and then went and got our hair cut. It was Greta's first professional hair cut. I say "professional" because she cut her own hair a few months ago and it was time to get all of that mess evened up. I walked in the kitchen that morning to find little golden curls all over the kitchen floor. I stood there racking my brains trying to figure out which dog had caused such a mess. It took me nearly a minute to decide we didn't own any golden haired dogs, but we did have a golden haired little girl. With her mass of curls it was hard to even notice she'd cut her hair. The hair stylist yesterday got it all cut and adorable and she was a champ in the chair. We got back to back chairs so we got to make funny faces at each other the whole time. I'm trying to grow my hair back out after chopping it all off back in 2011. Slow going but it's nice to have all the split ends taken off.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nurse Mom

I do believe everyone, including the dog, is currently on some form of medication. I can hardly keep it all straight every day. It's exhausting. I caught Strep from Wesley on Thanksgiving and that wasn't too pleasant of an evening. I've never had a sore throat come on so quickly before. Since my doctor office was closed Thursday through Sunday I decided to visit the ER for a strep check. We hit our family deductible way back in July with the whole Wesley seizure incident, so I thought "Hey free trip to the ER!". Just what I wanted to be doing on black Friday. So this would mark our third ER visit this year (four if you count Rich and the ladder incident). Busy year!

The quick strep test came back negative but the ER doc thought my throat looked like strep especially since I'd been exposed. Apparently the quick test only tests for strep group B, doctor said I could have Group A which takes a three hour test. He treated me with antibiotics as a precaution. Looks like Sean now has it (imagine that).

Greta's pink eye is slowly clearing up. She gets drops every three hours. Wesley gets antibiotics twice a day. I get antibiotics three times a day. The dog gets Prednizone every other day. And Sean? I'm sure he'll be on antibiotics very soon. Will we ever be all healthy again?

On a positive note, the kids are happy and crazier than ever. The drugs are working.  Today we had the most beautiful weather. 62 degrees, sunny and downright warm.....and the first day of December! We got outside and enjoyed it. The kids found boxes and turned them into space ships. They ran around outside in their boxes while whacking each other with the giant remains of the dried up sunflowers. Good times!