Sunday, December 28, 2008

I was wrrr...

For the record, it appears I was mistaken about the number of college bowl games on tap. There are not 19 as I said earlier, but 34. As in, thirty plus four. Pete also informed me that over half the eligible teams go to a bowl game. Which means if your team is staying home, you probably need a new coach. Or some under-the-table deals.

So there you go...continue your football-watching marathon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You know you're done baking when...

...your socks stick to the kitchen floor. Ya'll will be happy to know I ended my Grinch-dom about being overwhelmed with Christmas preparations. And even though I didn't get to the day-long process of making sugar cookies *...which a certain sister of mine may never forget, I am ready for the holiday and ready for Santa's sleigh to land on our rooftop.

(But just to keep myself on my toes, I decided to spill a half-gallon carton of orange juice on the kitchen floor this morning. Pete made the ever-so-sweet comment that the floor needed mopping anyway...)

And by the way, pray a prayer for my friend Shannon who, today and tomorrow, will be suffering the worst effects of her first round of chemotherapy. And for my little friend Jonas, who is only five months old and in the hospital with labored breathing, the cause of which is still undetermined.

Here are a few pics from the season; everyone be safe and enjoy the holiday! See you, several days.

* J the Sister: don't freak out when you see these pics of the boys making sugar cookies; they were gone in a day. I'm really not sure how that happened...

Saturday, December 20, 2008


"Honey...did you know there are 19 bowl games?!"


"Yep. And they start today!"

Thanks for the warning.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stop. The. Madness.

Ranting time: I would really like to show up for Christmas Eve festivities and not be sleep deprived. Or have a headache. Seems like every year I commit myself to too much pre-Christmas activity and then I wind up too tired to even enjoy the holiday itself.

The thing is: I don't have to do most of it. They are things I've signed up for, things I want to do. In spite of my husband still ailing from foot surgery. And my nasty head cold. And ugly weather that causes the boys to miss a day of school.

Part of me likes the busy-ness. The hustle-bustle of the season. The feeling of accomplishing a lot in a short amount of time. The "yuuuummm" look on people's faces when they taste something I've baked or made them for Christmas (wait, have I ever made any Christmas gifts?). Finding the right gift, taking the boys to holiday activities, baking...I love all that.

Then a minute later I'm like...why did I need to go to all that trouble? No one is grading me on my Christmas efforts. No sugar cookies this year? D MINUS. That gift wrapping job is mediocre! C Plus. Slaved over a countertop painting meringue snowmen with fondant scarves? A PLUS!

Yeah. Not happening. This year or ever. And yet maybe it does in my own little head. Maybe I'm a little proud of all that baking I did when Alex was only three months old. Or maybe I feel like since I stay home I should get more holiday stuff done (okay, that doesn't make sense even to me).

So anyway, for me it's a constant struggle between doing what I enjoy and simply overdoing the joy. I have to find the happy place that's comfortable.

And allows me to keep my eyes awake during Christmas Eve Mass.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Last minute shopping? No problem!

I've done a ton of online shopping this Christmas. "Shopping" being the keyword...haven't actually bought but one item by mail order. (Except for that I-really-deserve-this-and-I-don't-care-if-Christmas-is-for-giving splurge I went on last week at Sephora. If you haven't tried Philosophy products, you really need to throw a shopping tantrum, too.)

Anyway, it occurred to me while I was shopping that people will buy anything. Why else would the following items be available:

Racing Nuns -- holy hilarity for only $5.99.

Hug Me pillow -- how much if you want the whole man?

The Ex Five Piece Knife Holder -- with "unique holder." To say the least. There was a day when I would have bought this.

CD Destroyer -- Die, CD! Die! I'd buy one but I have a three-year-old who can also accomplish the task of ruining a CD, and he's free. (By the way, once I found this site, I stopped looking for wacky items people actually buy, since they are all for sale here.)

Ya'll have fun shopping out there...

Overheard: learning Christmas carols

Mickey is currently practicing for two different Christmas programs so he's knee-deep into learning carols for both of them. Yesterday I noticed his twist on a classic:

"...let evvv-rry haaart, prepaare HIS rooommm...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Anniversary of ice storm

This week marks the one-year anniversary of By Far The Worst Ice Storm to Ever Hit Oklahoma. Ask anyone here and that's what they'll call it.

Our house was dark for 11 days, during which the boys and I hibernated at my mom's in Hometown about an hour away. I posted a little from there, beginning here. Enjoy the icy blast from the past. And if anyone still needs to buy me a Christmas gift, a built-in generator would be nice.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

House decorated

Tonight I finally finished putting out all our Christmas decorations. We don't really have much, but what we do have fits nicely in our house. It's been half done for days and I even contemplated just forgetting it and calling it good that I got the tree up.

But I persevered, and amidst kids and laundry and a laid-up husband, I unwrapped all my decorations and got them in their designated spots on the mantel, etc. Ahhhh, I love it when it's all done and I get to see my Christmas stuff for a few weeks. Every one of my decorations evokes a special memory when I open it, even if it's something I bought for myself. There's the Pier 1 phase I went through in the late '90s, the craft show phase in the late 80's (thank goodness that was short-lived), and the Hallmark phase that...hmmm, still in that one.

The neat thing this year is that unwrapping all the Christmas stuff still seems new for Mickey and Alex. Mickey even said "I can't believe there's so much Christmas in our house!"

I just thought of something: Mickey's four years old. This may be the first Christmas he remembers forever.

That's right, honey...lots of Christmas in our house now and always.

Drink this for instant Christmas spirit

My friend Shannon posted over at BlogHer about gifts for teachers: very enlightening for those of us whose kids are just getting started in school. Her article pointed to a great idea for a teacher gift...heck, for anyone: Fireside Coffee. A perfect blend of coffee, chocolate, and spices of the Christmas season. Yum! (And at that link there's also another hot drink idea.)

Here's the incredibly simple recipe (and it tastes good no matter how you package it).


1 cup powdered creamer
1 cup powdered hot chocolate mix
2/3 cup instant coffee
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg

Mix together in large container and distribute into jars. Instructions attached to jar should read “Mix 3-4 heaping spoonfuls in a mug of hot water.” (For the instructions, I went to the scrapbook store and had them cut cardstock to fit on the lids. I wrote out the instructions in silver ink...hard to see in the photo. Then attached them with double-sided tape.)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Overheard, but not from Mickey or Alex

Pete had an outpatient procedure done on his foot today. He's fine and resting downstairs...might be a while before he makes it up here unless he improves on his skills with the crutches.

So during the pre-op the nurse was going through the millions of questions about Pete's health history and everything about his current health. Of course, the subject of his pulmonary embolism came up and then she mentioned, sort of to herself, that he'd "had a bout with it."

At least that's what Pete heard.

What she really said was "when was your last bowel movement?"

To which he said " 2006."

I wish I could say I've been on vacation...

...but not so. Posting has just taken a back burner lately. The Home Team is in the throes of decorating for Christmas, shopping, going to local Christmas plays, practicing for two Christmas programs...

...and trying not to get too overwhelmed with it all.

(Think if I use another one of ... I'd set some kind of record?)

Here's a pic to tide you over until the real content starts back up. It's the boys mocking the Christmas Card Photo experience:

Come to think of it, I have more than one of those. Mickey calls this one "Will. Not. Look. Happy."

And Alex's "Mom, you're scaring me."

Early Merry Christmas, everybody... ... ... ...