Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Last year, I almost didn't send out any cards. 2007 was not the best of years for us. (That's a very tactful understatement.) It was a painful year, with several people close to us going through separation, divorce, and loss. My dad was in a coma for several days. My cornea started to peel off. Lots of other things happened that I still have trouble talking about. By the time December rolled around, Stuart and I would joke about our Christmas letter. We had several versions going that we could never send. (He still thinks I should write about it in a book, "The Christmas Letter We Never Sent") Somehow, at the last minute, I scraped up enough good things to write about, and sent out a family self-portrait.
We got so many good responses from that picture. I would have never have believed it! So many people commented on it that we decided to make it "our thing". A family self-portrait. Not us at a breathtakingly beautiful vacation spot, or us at a wedding or other event. Us, at home. By ourselves. Taken by one of us (usually Stuart, since his arms are longest). We have to take lots of pictures to get one that we all like, but that's part of the fun. Last year, us on the couch. This year, us with lights.
Hope everyone had a very great Christmas. See you next year!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Making cookies for Santa!
Sally's got mad baking skills.
I got Sam's blanket finished in time! :)
Here they are sprinkling it on the yard.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
And you thought it couldn't get worse - it just did.
Jessica Simpson singing Breath of Heaven.
With strange out-of-focus victorian angels.
I'd love to get a digital frame and load this up for the next white elephant gift exchange!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
"There's room for everyone on the nice list."
"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."
"Son of a nutcracker!"
"I'm a cotton-headed ninny-muggins."
"I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite!"
"Francisco! That's fun to say! Francisco."
"Oooh! It's very sucky."
"Candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup."
"Did you hear that?"
"The yellow ones don't stop."
"He's an angry elf."
"SANTA!!! I know him! I know him!"
Did I miss your favorite? Sing out in the comments!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
i am sure my scroogieness had something to do with the boy being unpleasant this week. he's been surly and stomping his feet and i'm sending him to his room so i don't smack the attitude off of his face and off he goes, stomping and growling at me, and then decides to punish me by having a real loud cry in there. it's wearing me down, people. but, never fear. i've revived myself with coffee and cheerios, and i'm ready to face another day. (but not ready for capital letters - don't know what that's about.)
i've decided that the rest of the posts this year will be about christmas at our house. hold on to your seats, because coming up are our favorite quotes from elf, our favorite songs this year, and lovely pictures to dazzle you and put you right in the christmas spirit. it's gonna be cheerful, it's gonna be sappy, and so help me, YOU'LL LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT. (oh look, the capitals are back)
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
today i cleaned the pool, and guess what? it's green. bah.
in the car, i turned off the christmas music. (sorry sherry, i should have made sure you were sitting down before i told you that i did not listen to christmas music on a day in the middle of december. hope you didn't hit your head or anything.) i put in some big&rich and turned up the volume real loud.
i need some christmas spirit, but sadly, i have to play a video game with the boy and then head off to find some freshly made tamales for my man. maybe i need angry girl rock instead of snarky country songs. maybe my bad mood calls for some kelly clarkson.
i do have the meredith brooks if things go very wrong.
what music do you listen to when you're having a bad day? sing out in the comments. i need inspiration!
Monday, December 08, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
After the first few years, I told him to not get me an anniversary gift - just a card and take me out to dinner. On our ninth anniversary I told him I expected something Very Nice for our tenth anniversary, and he had a year to shop. (He did very very well, but I suspect that his mom "helped" quite a bit. (thankyouthankyouthankyou!))
For the past few weeks, I've been telling him all I want for Christmas is a new vacuum cleaner. I suspect that he didn't believe me and that he secretly is hoping that this isn't some sick kind of joke. It's not - that is really all I want. Bagless. HEPA filter. Attachments that I'll actually use. And yesterday, I got it. A store by us is going out of business, and they are down to 40-60% off. Stuart called me twice to see if I went to check the deals and get my vacuum. The one I got was the last one - the floor model - and I got it for a steal. I'm really really happy with it. I brought it home and tried it out, then called Stuart. "Hi honey! Guess what? I just vacuumed our bedroom, and then I walked out, and I left shoe marks on the carpet! Shoe marks! This vacuum ROCKS!"
Today, Sally and I used every single attachment - which, by the way, all of them are "on board" in nifty little slots - and we cleaned baseboards and corners and the fan vents in the bathroom (ah, yuck!) and then we emptied it and were totally disgusted with ourselves. Then we took the sheets off of the bed and vacuumed the mattress. We kept saying to each other, "It's very sucky!" (Points will be given for the first commenter to identify the movie that quote is from!)
I'm thrilled. About a vacuum. Merry Christmas to me.
Friday, December 05, 2008
"Two for Five. That one's two for six. There's a seven. Oh, ten for ten. That means if we get three, then that's three. Why are you only getting three? Can we get ten? Oooh - there's a Santa!"
Thursday, December 04, 2008
As an early birthday gift and a Happy Twilight Day gift, I gave Beth these:
Twilight fingerless gloves.
The images are based on the first book (Twilight) and the third book (Eclipse).
Yes, she likes.
Beth, I hope you have a very happy birthday and get everything you want and more.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
(and a PS - if you are planning on making these next year, buy the candy corn in October. They don't sell it in November around here. Luckily I had a few sources - thanks to S and Mom for the candy corn!)
Sally's turkey cookie:
Evan made one too:
Josh really liked it, but you can't tell from this picture :)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Today is back to school, back to normal. I can't help but think of the people who won't be back to normal anytime soon. Those families who lost everything in the fire. My friend told me that the house she wanted - the house she didn't get - is half gone. Several houses on that street are completely burned to the ground. I can't imagine. She also told me of a family who stayed in their neighborhood and when they saw that a neighbor's house was starting to burn, they grabbed garden hoses and put it out. There are still amazingly kind and generous people in the world. Some of them even live in Orange County. Imagine that.
I'm off to kindergarten, to open juice boxes and put kids in time out for hitting each other with sticks. (Don't you wish you were me?)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
It is so sad to think that so many homes have burned to the ground. So many families lost everything last night. We are so blessed to be safe, to be able to keep our friends safe too.
Pray for our firefighters and for the wind to die down. Pray for containment. Pray for rain.
Friday, November 14, 2008
(Samuel walks out of his room wearing only a shirt and heads to the bathroom)
"Sally, don't look at me, 'cause I'm naked. Very, very naked."
24 April 2007
"You know, snow can melt. I saw that on a show."
9 May 2007
"Hey Auntie Tam, can you buy that big bag of meat for me and my dad?"
23 May 2007
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Not my finest moment.
We both freak out and exit the car, screaming like little girls (ok, maybe just me) and I'm yelling "I'M SORRY! I HAD A BUG ON ME! I'M SORRY! WHERE IS IT? A BUG WAS ON ME!"
Yeah, it wasn't pretty.
I found a piece of paper, scooped the bug up (which was now crawling up Beth's seat), and set him free into the parking lot. He flew away, which creeped me out even more. We got back into the car, me still muttering apologies and laughing, and Beth telling me she can't believe I would flick a bug at her.
Then Samuel asks from the back seat, "What was THAT all about?"
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
All that to say that I do have halloween pics, but I have no idea when I'll have time to post them today. Maybe tomorrow!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Peanut Butter Teddy Bear Cookies
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
(1/2) tsp salt
72 mini chocolate chips (more or less, as you see fit)
In a large mixing bowl, beat the milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and egg until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; add to peanut butter mixture and mix well.
For each bear, shape dough into one 1 in. ball, one (3/4) in. ball, six (1/2) in. ball, and one (1/4) in. ball. On an ungreased baking sheet, flatten largest ball for body. Use next size for the head. Use the six for ears, arms, and feet. Smallest one is for the nose. Use chocolate chips for eyes and belly button.
Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets.
This is from a Taste of Home's Quick Cooking magazine from 2002.
Monday, October 20, 2008
We saw Fireproof this weekend (thanks, K&M!) and it is a really good movie. Everyone who is married should see it. (click on the title for a link to the official movie site)
It's 8:30 am, and I've already got everyone breakfast, made the kids lunches, got myself ready, got Sally to school, emptied the dishwasher, folded a load of laundry, started another load of laundry, made my bed, and fed the dog. Now I'm going to get another cup of coffee and knit something. Have a great Monday!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I renewed my teaching credential. I just checked my status, and I'm all legal. It's valid until 2013. It's crazy to think about what my life will be like in 2013. Sally will be a freshman in high school, and Samuel will be in fifth grade. I will have celebrated twenty years of marriage (in 2012). I can't even get my mind around that. Crazy.
I just got an email from the library that the fourth Twilight book, Breaking Dawn, is being held for me. I can pick it up today! I love the library.
That's all for now.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
It's very windy today. There are fires in several places in LA county today, and the wind is making things very dangerous. Days like these are surreal to me.
I'm going to go make some bread. I hope that baking - something homey and comfy and warm and good - will make me and my family feel safe.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Nothing much new around here. School, work, laundry, dishes . . . . . the days go by fast. I was reminded by my dear friend, MaryBeth (I know you go by Mary these days, but you'll always be MaryBeth to me!), to enjoy the trip and focus on each day, to not be so focused on the destination that I miss the point of the trip. Great post, MaryBeth! (click on that last sentence for the link to the post)
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
After reading the first two Twilight books in record time (two days each - pretty good considering I cooked and cleaned too), I did not permit myself to buy the third book. Unfortunately, my library had it on the shelf. I have it now - started it last night. Lucky for me (and for the fam) it doesn't hold my interest as much as the first two did, so I think I'll be able to finish it at a saner pace than the first two. We shall see.
I'm off to bed. To read.
Monday, September 29, 2008
10:43 am - Now it's still raining and there is thunder and lightening. I'm loving this day! (the dog is freaking out, though. he's such a baby.)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I thought of you this morning when Sally spilled her glass of milk. It got on the homework she was finishing, it ran across the table, it dripped through the seam in the middle of the table down to three chairs. It pooled under the table, then ran across the floor. It took me over an hour to clean it all up.
As I was gritting my teeth against the frustration and anger, I realized that I never properly thanked you for never yelling at us when we spilled our milk (or our juice or water or any of the other dozens of things we spilled over the years). So, Mom, thank you for never yelling at us. Because of your fine example, I didn't yell at your granddaughter today.
I even held her hand on the walk to school and told her it was no big deal and that I wasn't mad at all. Once I said it, I knew I meant it, too.
Sam: "Sometimes aliens are real and sometimes they are mass-kes."
Sam: "When it's Halloween, they probably aren't real, and then you just pull off the mask, and there is a person. Not an alien."
Me: "So you think that aliens are real?"
Sam: "Yeah, they can be."
Sally: "I don't believe in aliens."
Me: "Me either."
Sam: "Well, I believe in dinosaurs, too."
Sally: "I believe in dinosaurs, but in the past. They're dead now."
Me: "All of them?"
Sally: "Yeah. Oh, well, maybe the Loch Ness monster."
Me: "You think the Loch Ness monster is a dinosaur?"
Sam: "No. Those are just machines or sticks with people holding them."
Sally: "Sam, not everything is the way it is on Scooby Doo."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
However, I know lots of you readers are living in California, and I don't know if you have heard of AB 2567. This is a bill in California that would make May 22 a holiday - Harvy Milk Day. He was "one of the nation’s first openly gay leaders" and he "inspired his community to stand strong and proud in the face of adversity.” (Read more here and here and here.)
My issue is not with this man - I don't know of his work so I can't speak to it's value - or even with the fact that the California Legislature wants to honor him. My issue is this: "The bill would encourage public schools and educational institutions to conduct activities teaching students about this important LGBT leader." Please tell me how this day would go in my son's kindergarten class - my five year old son, who has not even asked the sex questions yet. Or what activities my fourth grader would participate in, who knows some of the facts of sex, but who does not know what the words lesbian or bisexual mean (and probably she doesn't understand gay either.) Can you imagine the scene when the kids ask what LGBT means? (Do you know what it means?)
My issue is not with choice - regardless of what I think is right and wrong or what my choice is, people in this country are free to choose who they want to be intimate with. My issue is this: why does it need to be the defining characteristic about a person? What you do in your bedroom is not my business - and it is not my children's business either. I know that sex education in public schools is important because not all parents are involved with teaching their kids about sex (and morality) (and they should be, but that's another soapbox), but can we keep it age appropriate? Bottom line: I'm not anti-LGBT; I'm pro-privacy.
Now that the state budget was passed yesterday, our govenor will be looking at this piece of legislation. Make your voice heard. You can call Govenor Schwarzenegger's office at (916)445-2841 and let him know what you think of AB 2567. I just called and voted NO.
For ease of the phone menus, when you call:
press 1 (to continue in English )
then press 2 (to voice your opinion on legislation)
then press 1 (to select AB 2567)
then press 1 (for YES) or 2 (for NO)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It's funny the way that Dr. House's character is so abrasive and at the same time so appealing. And it amazes me that almost everyone I talk to who watches the show has the same reaction.
So my friend, Beth, and I were watching Sense and Sensibility (the Emma Thompson version) and in walks Charlotte Palmer, and I laugh because she plays Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter #5, and then Mr. Palmer comes on the screen and I scream out "IT'S HOUSE!" because he's played by Hugh Laurie and then I laugh and laugh. Beth had to pause the movie because I wouldn't stop. I'm a mess sometimes. (And for you, Joelle, because my ignorance about famous people amuses you so much, I had no idea he was born in England. So he is talking with the accent and I laugh again and Beth says, "Well yeah, he IS English" and I an a goner. English actors who have to learn to speak with an American accent - that's too much for me.)
Monday, September 22, 2008
Samuel: "Why did that car park right next to you?"
Me: "They can park where they want. It's a free country. People can do what they want."
Samuel: "No they can't."
Me: "Yes, they can. That is one of the great things about America - freedom."
Samuel: "People can't do what they want to."
Me: "Yes, actually they can."
Samuel: "No, they can't, because if they could, then when you tell me to do stuff, then I could say 'Naa naa I can't hear you I'm just going to play this game anyway' and you know I can't do that."
Me: "Well, yes, you can, but there are consequences for that choice. You'd get in trouble. But you are still free to make that choice."
Samuel: (mumbling now) "No I can't."
Stuart: (laughing at me) "Your son just called you a dictator!"
Me: "I prefer benevolent monarch."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Both kids are doing great so far this year and both of them love their teachers. What a blessing to have such qualitiy people teaching at a public school!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
It says "Naughty children deserve to be punished" - one of Professor Umbridge's tradmark sayings. It's embroidered in a french script with yarn that is actually purple (it looks a little black in this picture).
It makes me laugh every time I look at it. Special thanks to Stuart for the idea, and to my mom for the tea pot.
Knitters: I'll be posting the pattern here soon. You can have it free and make one yourself!