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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hello! And yes, I am still alive. Thanks for asking!

O.k. so no one asked but just in case anyone was wondering and was just too shy to ask, I am still alive!  Kicking, even!

Since my last post, I have completed all of my Christmas preparations, packed up the family, driven to MA from NC, wrapped all the presents, and celebrated a lovely Christmas with the family and Dan's family. 

We have also endured a blizzard, dug out from the blizzard, gone sledding multiple times in borrowed snow pants because the only thing I forgot to pack were the kid's snow pants, and have eaten so much Brigham's ice cream that I now have what I like to refer to as "ice cream gut" or sometimes "big fat Brigham's belly". 

We are in MA until Sunday after which point life will resume as normal on Monday morning.  And normal means work for Dad, school for the kids and Wal-mart for me.  I may even try to get in a run...which hasn't happened since Thanksgiving Day. 

Monday could be a bad day with lots of tears for everyone.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The REAL Princess, indeed!

I was flipping through my People magazine this weekend and Sarah started quizzing me about the pretty girl with the long brown hair.

"Who is she, Mommy?" she asked.

"That's Kate Middleton.  "And she is going to marry him, "I said pointing to Prince William who gets horse-ier looking by the year.  "And then she will be the princess."

Sarah looked at me as if I had slapped her across the face.

"Hmmph!  I'M the real princess!  Not her," she said as she crossed her arms and stomped her right foot.

I guess she's right - sort of - because Sarah really does mean "princess" after all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Loaves and fishes...buns and hot dogs. However you tell it, it's still a miracle!

My mom and dad were asked to prepare and serve chicken stew to their church after the children's play on Sunday evening.  My mom asked my brother to cook the stew and Dan and I were going to help in the kitchen and serve the meal.  Peter and Sarah were to play quietly in the background while we were working.

In addition to chicken stew the meal was to include hot dogs for the kids and for any adults who didn't want chicken stew.

My brother had two giant vats of chicken stew going and we cooked up 60 hot dogs.  We had 80 but somehow we only had buns for 60.  I have that problem at home too...seems like my dog count and my bun count never match up.

We looked out of the kitchen and guesstimated that there were at least 75 to 100 folks out there.  I started to get uneasy because I knew that many adults were going to want stew and hot dogs.

It was 6:00 and time to start serving.  Mom and Dad were in charge of serving the stew and Dan and I were in charge of serving and dressing the hots dogs.  Dan looked at the long line of people waiting to be served and said, "We are going to run out of buns."

And sure enough, almost everyone that came through the line wanted chicken stew and a hot dog.  My stomach grew a little queasy and then I prayed, "God help us have enough hot dogs buns. Amen."

We continued to serve and for every one that didn't want a hot dog with their stew, I said a little prayer of thanks.  And then there was the woman who said, "I don't want a hot dog."  Thank you Lord! I prayed.  "Just give me a bun with chili and slaw," she continued.

I laughed and thought to myself, "Good one God!  You have such a great sense of humor!"

As the line dwindled, so did the hot dog buns.  There were about 10 people left in line and less than that many buns.  And I felt my stomach sink when I realized there several teenagers in line.  Surely they are going to want hot dogs.

But what do you know!  The teenagers wanted chicken stew only!  We completed serving dinner with exactly zero buns left and everyone that had wanted a hot dog had received one with a bun.

And just like God  - It was perfect!  A true loaves and fishes moment - 2010 style!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ugly sweatshirts and a cute gingerbread house.

Now that all of my Christmas shopping is done, I can relax and enjoy the holidays. (Well, at least until we get to Massachusetts where I will have exactly one day to get everything wrapped. But I'll worry about that next week!)

On Friday night, while Dan and the kids were baking Gingerbread cookies...

...I attended an Ugly Christmas Sweater party.  At first I was reluctant to attend, but once I found an ugly Christmas sweatshirt to wear, I was ready to go!

My grandmother made the sweatshirts that Jennifer and I area wearing in the picture below, in the late 80's. She was very proud of her handiwork. I think I only wore mine once or twice...I was in college at the time and it wasn't really cool for a 20-year-old to wear a sweater with a teddy bear on it.

There were quite a few ugly sweatshirts at the party. And the winner of the Ugliest Sweater award was in fact wearing an ugly sweatshirt dress.  There were gold glitter embellishments on the sleves and the hem of the dress.  And to think, someone wore that holiday sweatshirt dress with pride in the late 80's! 
Gives me cold chills.
Here we are with the winner of the Ugly Sweater Award.

But I would have to say that the best part of the evening was Dirty Santa.  There were some horrible gifts in the mix but that made the game even funnier.  I had tears running down my face I was laughing so hard. 

After Sarah's basketball game on Saturday, we headed to our church to make a gingerbread house.  The kids insisted that they do all of the decorating  themselves this year, so Dan and I happily sat back and relaxed as they did all of the work.  I think they did a great job!

The finished product!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The bigger the gap, the cuter the Sarah!

Sarah has lost two teeth already - both on the bottom.  And now after much wiggling and tugging, she has finally lost one on top.

She has always had a gap between her two front teeth.  She loves that gap and had been concerned that she wouldn't look the same without it.  My brother calls it her "David Letterman gap".  I just call it cute!

I think after she saw the new giant space on top, she was no longer worried because she's even cuter with the bigger space!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

If Mommy won't buy one for me then I'll make one myself...or maybe call Grandma!

"Mom?  Do you know those shirts that have Jack-o-Lanterns on them at Halloween and Santa on them at Christmas and hearts on them at Valentine's Day?"  Sarah quizzed me after school on Monday.

"Yep.  Holiday shirts.  I know what you are talking about," I replied knowing where this conversation was headed.

"Why don't you ever get me any of those?  All of my friends at school have them." 

Um...because I'm cheap and they seem like a waste of money.

I didn't respond that way but that's what I was thinking.  I've seen the holiday shirts and they are adorable but a shirt that can only be worn a few times each season and then outgrown by the next seems frivolous to me.  

That night at bedtime, she had her markers out and asked me for a white shirt.  She told me she was going to make a holiday shirt since I wouldn't buy her one. The thought of her wearing a t-shirt to school that she had drawn on saddened me a little so I told her I was headed to Target the next morning and would get one for her.

I guess she wanted to have all of her bases covered in case I didn't buy her one because I found this hidden on the other side of her bed the next afternoon:

She took stickers and spelled out "reindeer".  (Which would explain why she came downstairs with a pad and pen after I tucked her in and asked how to spell it.)  And when she ran out of "R's" she made one out of another sticker.  Industrious, isn't she?

And of course, when Grandma found out about the whole thing, she purchased  FOUR Christmas/winter themed t-shirts for Sarah.

Looks like Sarah is going to know who to go see when she when February 14th rolls around!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's ugly CHRISTMAS sweater...

I'm going to on Ugly Christmas Sweater Party on Friday night.  All of the ladies who have been invited are supposed to wear one of those ugly Christmas sweaters that you see when you are out and about this time of year.  Usually they are being sported by little old ladies.

I was at the dinner table the other night and reminded Dan that I had an "ugly sweater party" to go to.  I inadvertantly left out the word Christmas because he knew what I was talking about.

I then mentioned to him that I didn't have anything to wear.

Sarah piped in and said, "But Mom, you have lots of ugly sweaters!" 

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (Or alternately titled...I hate to be cold.)

We had snow on Saturday.  Apparently Mother Nature failed to get the memo that I don't like snow or cold weather.  I'm such an old curmudgeon.

As the kids squeezed their feet in their too small boots, I realized that I needed to make a purchase before we head to Massacusetts in a couple of weeks - where it is supposed to be cold and snowy by the way.  Not here.  There.

They played in the light dusting of snow just long enough to get wet and rosy cheeked and then came in demanding hot chocolate.  So I obliged like the good mom that I am and then cleaned up the  mess of shoes, boots, gloves and hats that were dumped at my backdoor.

And even though I complained about the cold weather and the snow, it was all very Christmasy and put me in the mood to finally sit down and shop.  Which is a very good thing because I am running out of time.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.