Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas revisited

Christmas started off this year with the kids and I delivering tins of goodies to neighbors and friends
Once we had done that I allowed the kids to decorate the tree on their own this year, it was one less job for me and something they really enjoyed doing, so what if some of the branches were bare and some were completely laden down, I did however make sure a couple of my favorites were on there
Ben and Reagan couldn't wait to get their new pj's on,on Christmas Eve, who knew something so simple could turn into such a well loved tradition

Victoria didn't want to get left out and so hobbled out to the living room for the first time since her surgery to get her PJ pic taken too, as you can tell she was in a whole world of hurt.

She managed to hobble out again Christmas day and spent a good part of the day in the big green chair

Due to Victoria's surgery we didn't travel anywhere for Christmas and so Marc invited a couple of 'Orphan' families over for Christmas dinner, Reagan loves to set a pretty table and so I left the table setting down to her, she got minimal help from me, she did a pretty good job huh ?
The kids table

We served up the usual traditional turkey dinner and I made an awesome chocolate mousse cake for dessert

The kids received the gifts they really wanted, a guitar and microphone for Reagan, a snare drum for Ben and money that was spent on a new cell phone for Victoria, us adults did ok too, a much requested drill for Marc, in fact he asked so many people he ended up with 2, LOL and cozy UGG slippers for me.
All in all it was a good day and we all felt very blessed, I hope that you all enjoyed a day as full of good cheer as we did.
Now onto the New Year, anyone else looking forward to getting back to normal again next week ? ;-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

So what do you do when life hands you stress ?

Maybe you do the same as me and ignore all that needs doing and go into heavy duty baking mode.
Up until this year I've never been known as the neighbor who dons a Santa hat and goes door to door delivering cookies, this year I'm that neighbor.
Victoria has some major knee surgery happening tomorrow just in time for Christmas, all week I've been stressing over cleaning the house, finishing up the Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, mailing out cards and getting the downstairs ready for her, she'll have to 'live' in our den for a couple of weeks and wondering how she's going to do, between not being able to get around very well and being doped up on pain meds it could be interesting.
So what do I do instead ? I go into freak out mode and don't know which way to turn first and that's where wonderful husband comes to the rescue, for me to decompress from the insanity he took me away for a very mini break to a wonderful hotel about 1hr from here and it was fantabulous, whilst I was gone the house cleaning got taken care of, all 3 kids pitched in and cleaned from top to bottom, what an awesome surprise it was to see it all done when I walked in the door yesterday afternoon.
This morning I gritted my teeth and took off fighting the hoards of shoppers and I believe I finished up my shopping, if I haven't whatever was missed the recipient is getting cold hard cash, I'm done shopping and sewing for a while.
When I got home I knew there was a ton more to do around here, but nope couldn't handle so I baked and made up goodie tins and bags filled w/ Swedish cookies, peppermint bark and cookie bark and bags of homemade marshmallows for neighbors. Some will be oh so happy and some will think I've tainted them with poison, but that's all the fun of the holidays right ? Doing the unexpected.

Sooo I am going to sign off now for what will probably be about a week and tend to the needs around here, celebrate Christmas, visit with friends and spend some quality family time with the folks I love.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, if you don't celebrate Christmas then have a wonderful time celebrating just being you and enjoy the wonderful people around you.

Much love and see you in 2009. oxoxxo

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Little Miss Kitty cat just came home after a week on the lamb, no idea where she went or what she got up to in the last week, she's now pacing and meowing wanting to go back out again, I don't think so. I have to admit though I'm watching her like a hawk, she's a temperamental cat and one that shows her distaste by peeing on everything,with everything going on right now, I really don't have the time or patience for anyone or thing acting out... just ask my kids and husband *OOPS*

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh where oh where could our little cat be ?

Oh where, oh where has she gone ?

Wednesday Ben's cat decided she needed to go air her lungs for a while and so as soon as I opened the sliding door for the dog she took off too. Usually she just hangs out in the back yard with the dog, hops the fence, checks out the front yard, hops the fence into the back yard again and then comes up to the back door meowing to be let in, but not this time, she's been gone ever since and now I'm worried and sad.
The weather here has been horrid, the rains came in Wednesday night and didn't let up until last night, today has been cold and blustery, tonight is just frigid and she's nowhere to be seen.
I'm hoping she ran in somewhere to get out of the rain and got locked in for a day and that tomorrow she'll be let out and come home.
Ben and Reagan haven't noticed her missing yet, thank God Victoria's cat has been sleeping w/ Ben the last couple of nights. Ben is a cat person and loves to snuggle w/ a cat at night, I just hope Sox comes home before he notices, she's his friend and hangs out with him in the big green chair while he reads, he'll be devastated if she never comes home and I don't want to have to be the one to tell either of the little kids that she's gone missing, especially with Christmas just around the corner.

If you believe in the power of prayer, would you send one up to the Big Guy for us and ask him to return Sox home safely ?

We love her and it'll be a sad christmas without her.

Need a quick and easy Christmas treat ?

Then look no further. I have the perfect recipe for you, and the best part is it takes no time to make and if you are in a pinch for time you can go shower while it's setting, no hanging around waiting for the timer and then waiting for cookies to cool.
My friend Tracey made this for our Moms cookie swap last week and I think everyone agreed how yummy it was, too good not to share, that's for sure.


1 12oz bag of milk chocolate chips

1 12oz bag of white chocolate chips

15 Oreo cookies

1) Break up the Oreo cookies

2) Melt the chocolate chips in 2 seperate bowls

3) Add 1/2 the crushed cookies to the melted milk chocolate and stir together add the other 1/2 to the melted white chocolate and stir together

4)Spread the melted chocolate over wax paper layed on a cookie sheet, with a knife or a spoon swirl the 2 together.

5) Place in a refrigerator for 20 mins or until set

6) Break the bark into pieces and ENJOY !!

See how simple that is ? No more slaving in the kitchen for hours baking cookies ... gotta love that ;-)

To all you pattern makers out there

Please tell me why you don't make patterns for tween / teen boys.
I just sat and cut out PJ patterns for the girls and Marc and then it was time to cut out Bens and no can do, the patterns don't go up to his size.
The Father / son patterns are apparently only designed for boys up to 8, after that, maybe they're too cool for PJs and remain that way until their waist hits 34inches ?? My mind is fuddled I don't get it. Even while looking in the pattern books at the fabric store I was only seeing patterns for boys going up to a 27 inch waist, now maybe I'll luck out and when I measure Ben tomorrow I'll see that Ben is in fact only a size 8 in Butterick, Simplicity and McCalls terms, afterall their size 5 girls swamp Reagan and she's a size 6 in manufactued clothing sizes.

Ah well, off to bed, it's super late, it's windy and stormy outside and my lights are flickering inside so I think it's time for bed before I get left in total darkness.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Somebody caught this Gingerbread Man

Looking around for projects to do while I am sitting down watching TV I came across this poor half eaten Gingerbread Man ornament and fell in love with him, he looks to be saying "Oh my"
If you would like to try your hand at making one too go check out this site, where a tutorial has been graciously posted for your enjoyment.

I'd have hung mine on the Christmas tree to show you, but alas ours is still up in the attic and it's too rainy to take pics of him on the Christmas trees outside.

Come back tomorrow, I'll have the yummiest Christmas cookie recipe ready for you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Well maybe not a lot, just a little, so far.
One of my favorite things about hosting a Giveaway is that some of the people that enter may have blogs that I haven't found before and there are some pretty cool ones out there. A couple had cute tutorials for Christmas decorations, some of which I have had to try my hand at, I'll be posting some of those in the upcoming days.
My first homemade decoration this year was the gumdrop wreath, the tutorial for it can be found here
Here are a couple of little tips I think are worthy to pass on. I had decided that I wanted ours big enough to hang on the front door, therefore it went from a 10 inch wreath to a 15 inch wreath which equals 8 pounds of gumdrops *EEK* which in turn makes a very heavy wreath, it was a bear to hang from the door, but I like the finished look of it, so in my little world it was worth it. BUT every time the door is closed, or in this household slammed one or more of the gumdrops works loose and a couple have gotten trod on, making a gum droppy mess.I have to keep reminding everyone to close the door and take a look on the step before they leave.
Who knows by the end of the Winter my children may have actually learnt that you don't have to slam a door to close it properly... a lesson learnt by the sugary wreath on the door.

And the winner is

Deb please contact me A.S.A.P w/ your mailing address and size S,M,L or XL.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Giveaway #2

In the spirit of Christmas and due to a little glitch over at Sew Mama Sew I'm hosting another giveaway for another apron just like the last one.

To enter just leave a comment and tell me what your favorite Christmas song is.

Good luck and have fun. This contest is open until midnight on Tuesday December 9th. I'll post the winner first thing Wednesday morning

And to those of you at S.M.S ... thanks for the post ;-)

What more does a girl need...

When she has friends like these ?

I feel so very, very blessed to be part of this awesome group of women, they truly are what everyone looks for in a best friend, the best part is I have 40 of them.
Never have I been part of a group of women where everyone is truly there for one another, when one of us hurts the others do too, when one of us needs help w/ something we have 40 pairs of helping hands, when we need a shoulder to cry on we have our pick of the crop, when we need a reality check we can take our pick and when we need a night on the town there is always a willingness to oblige.
I love you gals. It was a wonderful night tonight, those of you who couldn't make it were sorely missed.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The winner is......

Belen Rodriguez.

Many thanks to all of you who entered. I loved reading some of your favorite memories, the one that has really stuck in my brain is the one from Cateling, I don't know that I would ever be able to look at jello again after that experience.... Gaggle.

I'll be doing another Giveaway in January, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Holiday season with all of your loved ones making fresh memories.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Give Away Day

Had you noticed the button over on the left and wondered what it was ? Well today is the big reveal day.
Sew Mama Sew is sponsoring a Giveaway Day and today is the day, go on over there and see the whole list of wonderful crafters who have some wonderful giveaways for you today.

I'm giving away this cute little Christmas apron.

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me your favorite Christmas memory, a favorite tradition or what you like the best about this time of year. Be sure to leave your size, S,M,L this apron will be made just for you, no one size fits all here ;-) Be sure to leave me an email address or a link as to how I can contact you and tell you "You're a winner"
This giveaway is open to ALL of you, yes if you live overseas I'll mail to you too, just be aware that I'm not the postal service and it may not arrive in time for Christmas, though fingers crossed it will.
This is a quick turnaround contest and will close tomorrow (Thursday) at midnight west coast time.
Good luck, have fun and go check out all the other crafters.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas countdown

Advent is possibly my most favorite time during the year. It seems that as soon as December 1st hits there's a whole new excitement in the air, everything smells better, the general feeling all around is for lack of a better word "different" but good different, everyone (for the most part) is in better spirits, there is a feeling of goodwill t'ward all men in the air and I like it that way.

Advent this year started off a little different than expected, yes the kids were each given their chocolate advent calenders as soon as the last bite of their breakfast was devoured and that was about the only routine thing that happened around here.
Right after the breakfast dishes were put away I received a call from the high school asking me to please go get Victoria, she was complaining of a sore throat, blah,blah,blah. Not being the most sympathetic mother, my first question was "Does she have a fever ? " I was told no, so I'm thinking "Bah, humbug she needs to suck it up." but I went and got her anyway. All the way home she's telling me no it's not a normal cold, there's something else going on would I please make an appt for her to see the Dr, all I'm thinking is $10 for a sick note, I don't think so, but let me look at your throat any way." So equipped w/ flashlight I peered in to the caverns of her mouth and GROSS, her tonsils are as big as Christmas baubles, so a call was indeed made to the Dr, the whole town is sick so she will be going later today and I'm sure we will be given the verdict that, yes Virginia she does have Tonsillitis, here is a prescription to make it go away.

Once phone calls were made and appointments locked in, I took Reagan to school, ran errands, picked Reagan up, came home and EEK, no power, nothing new around here, if the winds hit 10 miles an hour our power will go out, so not thinking much about it I went on w/ my routine until at 5pm I noticed the neighbors porch lights were coming on yet alas we were still in darkness, with no heat and no water. After a trip to the neighbor it was apparent that we were in fact the only house with this affliction and so a call to the power company was made, 4 1/2 hrs later, our power was restored. During this time we broke out the camping stove and made burgers which were eaten in the living room under a blanket *EEK*, milk was warmed on said stove to make hot cocoa as we were all freezing and had nothing else to drink, the kids played board games and read by candlelight and we froze our tails off because I'd turned the heat all the way down to 60 before leaving earlier in the day, to conserve power. HA, the irony.
During that time though, we also spoke about the season and what it meant to each of us, as we (I) was complaining about being so cold we thought about the homeless and how they are cold like this every night and vowed that by the end of the week a package will go out to Bean for her hat and glove drive for the homeless, as I was whining about how freaking hard it was flipping a burger while holding a flashlight and not splashing myself with grease, Marc reminded me that at least we were able to feed our kids a hot meal, so stop complaining. The kids were upset that they weren't going to get to watch the Shrek Christmas movie, but again we were reminded how there are kids in other parts of the world that don't even know what a T.V is, the best they get in the way of entertainment is a stick and some rocks and yet still they are happy.
A lot of reflection was done and I don't think it could have come at a better time. So many of us get caught up in the commercialism of the season that we forget what it is really all about.
So today as you go about your business take some time to smell the holly and think about what this holiday season really means to you. Hopefully it'll be more than the plastic underneath the tree.

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