Monday, December 29, 2008

Get It Out!

Christmas is over...get this stuff out of my house! We had our last Christmas with friends last night and we had a good time. But I am ready to take down the tree and pack up the Santas. Stephen won't let me. He says I have to wait until Saturday because that is when he can put it all back in the attic.

The kids got so much stuff that I am gonna have to go clean out their toy boxes and rooms to find a place for it all. Every year me and Stephen buy them less and less but it seems like they still get more. Of course, they get more than they will ever need. I am sure you all can relate to that. I would rather them go through their toy boxes and donate toys they don't play with anymore,mainly to help them learn to help others, but they are worse than my mother with wanting to keep things because of the memories. I like to clean stuff out and get rid of it. I try to give them a sob story about little boys and girls that don't get anything and that they could give them some. It never works. They come up with every excuse in the book. Maybe they haven't been good. They probably wouldn't like their old stuff anyway. But Grandma gave it to them! That was their favorite when they were two! It just keeps going and going. So I get to do the job when they are gone. And today they are at Grandma's house. They always want to spend the night with my parents but they work at night so it is hard for us to find a time when it works out. And last night was the only night while they are out of school that it would work.

I think I have told you all before about how Bryson has learned to blame things on others. He always blames things on Blaine. If he gets a boo boo...Blaine did it. Usually Blaine is at school when it happens, but he hasn't figured out yet when he should and shouldn't blame him, so he does it all the time. We were at my parents for Christmas and Bryson had a dirty diaper so I took him in the other room to change him. While I was changing him I was telling him how gross and stinky it was.

He looked at me and as plain as day said, "Brayden did it."

"Brayden did it?"


"Brayden pooped in your pants?"


I asked Brayden if in fact he had pooped in Bryson's pants. (Just kidding of course!)

"Yeah mom. I pooped in his pants."

They all got a kick out of that one. Blaine says, "Well at least he didn't blame me for it!"

I better get to those toy boxes today! But I do have other things that need to be done first so I probably won't even touch them! But I will try. And now that all the craziness of the Holidays is over maybe I can keep up my blog a little more. And Stephen got me a laptop for Christmas so that will help to, I'm sure!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just In The Nick of Time

I finished it. Brayden's quilt was completed mid morning of Christmas Eve. My machine messed up again and I had to finish with my mom's machine just like I did with Blaine's. I really was hoping to get finished in time to make one for Bryson but he will have to get his some other time. The machine is in the shop...still...and the guy working on it called yesterday to tell me that more was wrong with it than he had originally thought. So basically all the repairs over the last two months I could have probably bought a new one that does a whole lot more stuff.

Tonight is our Christmas Eve. The boys came home from their dad's tonight at 6pm so Santa will come visit us tonight. That is how you have to do things when you have two sets of families. I guess Santa just knows how to do that.

I didn't realize it had been this long since I had updated my blog. And boy have I been up to a lot since the last one. Brayden was sick, and then Stephen got it. I sent out over 115 Christmas cards, only to realize that I think I left a few important people off "the list". I cheated this year and did address labels cause that is a whole lot of addressing. But I do think I forgot a few people, so if you normally get a card from me and you didn't this year, you got left off the list by accident. Oops. I will try to do better next year. I planned Brayden's birthday party only to postpone it due to all the illnesses. So I get to plan it again. Yay for me. I did some Christmas shopping...pretty much all of it...last Saturday. And of course, it would rain the whole time. But my parents kept the baby for us so we got to go by ourselves and that was fun. We went to two antique shops that day looking for something particular for my mom and Stephen's dad and decided that it was fun going through other people's junk. Never thought I would like that because I hate to shop, but I could see things that I could make out of other people's stuff. I guess it is true about one man's trash being another man's treasures. I just never thought of myself as being that other man. I will tell about what we were looking for after Christmas. I don't know if they will read this and I don't want to ruin the surprise!

I also "elfed ourselves" and if I can figure out how to get it to my blog I will share it with you. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Maybe when all the hoop-la is over I will post more often. Not that I will have anything interesting to say.....


Friday, December 12, 2008

Kicked to the Curb

I think it's official. Poor Blue's Clues has been kicked to the curb! Can I get a hallelujah?!?
Now we are on to....The Polar Express! Which, yes, that is a little better, but am I gonna have to watch this through the summer? I guess only time will tell.

It won't be long before Bryson wakes up and as soon as I pick him up from his crib he will point to the TV and start saying, "Choo Choo"! As soon as it starts the snow starts falling and he will say, "Ahhh! NOOOO!" He can hardly contain his excitement as the movie leads up to the Polar Express Train coming down the street. He gets so excited! Then when he hears, it he hollars, "Choo Choo! Ah Uh Boyeeeeee!" That is " all aboard" for those of you who are out of practice decifering the language of jibber jabber. And yes, you can get out of practice on that. I learned that teaching the little ones in Bible Class!

If you have never seen the Polar Express you really should watch it this holiday season. It is a cute movie. Every season someone will come and tell me they watched it and say, "Have you seen the Polar Express? There is a kid on there that looks just like Blaine!" And it is true! I think so anyway....even the kid's mannerisms. It is really weird. So if you have it, watch it, and those of you who know Blaine, see if you can tell which character it is!!

I am slowing checking things off my Christmas list. Checked off the birthday party and moved it until after Christmas due to illnesses. I do not want to be responsible for everyone else's kids getting what Brayden has had. I have finished the PJ pants for both boys. Today I will try to get started on Brayden's lazy denim quilt. I have a few other gifts up my sleeves for family that I will propably tell about after Christmas. I don't know if any of them read this or not....

I will get off here now so maybe I can get something done before it is Polar Express time!

I hope everyone has a great, not so busy (who am I is too close to Christmas!) eventful weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Count Down to Christmas

I am slowly crossing things off of my to-do list this week. This time of year creeps up on me faster and faster each year and I find myself struggling to keep my head above water. Last night I finally got something done that I usually start as soon as the Turkey is eaten from Thanksgiving. I started this when Brayden was a year old. It is always hard for little ones to understand quite when Santa will come when all we do is Christmas for a whole month. To help count down the days I wrap books up like presents. I don't do bows or dress them up. Just use the scraps from the previous years that I think are too big to throw away but too small to wrap a gift with. I usually pick seasonal books, Christmas books, snow books, that sort of thing. Then each night one of the boys gets to pick which book we will read together and that child gets to open it. Then on Christmas Eve, we always read The Night Before Christmas.

I thought that maybe this year Brayden wouldn't want to participate since he is almost 11 and doesn't believe in Santa but says he does out of fear of getting anti-bacterial underpants for Christmas. That is what I tell them children get when they stop believing in Santa. Anti-bacterial underpants. It works like a charm. But, I guess since we have always done this countdown thing it is tradition and my kids are all about tradition. I guess most kids don't like change. Last night's book was Snowmen at Christmas. It is a really cute book. They also have Snowmen at Night and that one is even better. If you don't have either of these books you really need to get them! In fact, Brayden liked Snowmen at Night so much when he was younger that when it was time to start planning his birthday party a few years ago, he wanted a Snowman Party. All I could think was how in the world? But we pulled it off and I think it was the funnest party they have ever had!

Planning a party this close to Christmas is another thing that adds to my stress. We got Brayden's invitations sent out (late of course, because that seems to be how I do things lately) and now he has come down with a stomach bug. He got up last night as soon as I turned my light out and told me he thought he was going to throw up. I rushed him to the bathroom and he didn't quite make it all the way to the toilet. So I got to wash bathroom rugs before it was all over and several sets of clothes since it was coming out the other end just as fast. Needless to say, we got to sleep around 3:30. Not that moms get to catch up on sleep or anything. Brayden is sleeping on the couch now, Bryson is watching the Polar Express for what seems to be the hundredth time since I introduced him to it on Saturday, and I am fighting to stay awake since it isn't his nap time yet.

I guess I will go finish that laundry and get lunch started.


Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Good To Be Home

We are finally home and getting back into our routine. We had a great trip with our couples from church in Gatlinburg the weekend before Thanksgiving. We go every year to a Chalet there. It has 11 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. It has a living room with big screen tv, couches and a couple of chairs, kitchen, and two big kitchen tables. Downstairs has an area for a tv and pool table. It is kind of a circular building and looks like it is gonna fall off the side of the mountain. It also feels that way driving to it. We had 20 couples and a 4 week old baby girl. Did you catch that? 41 people, 11 beds, and 4 bathrooms. That is the largest group we have ever taken and we still had a lot of fun. Most of the people went to the Dixie Stampede on Saturday night but I am deathly allergic to horses so me, Stephen, Candy and Andrew went out to eat at Calhoun's and then walked the strip in the freezing cold. Then we decided we should play indoor golf and go to the mirror maze. It was heated. And it was a lot of fun. We always have fun when we are with Candy and Andrew. They keep us laughing!
We got home Sunday afternoon in time for the evening church service. Came home, unpacked and started laundry, and washed and repacked like a crazy woman. The boys had been at their dad's house since Wednesday and there was a lot of dirty clothes between all 5 of us! I wanted to update you all before we left town again, but there was no time. I hate feeling rushed when I am packing to go out of town. That is when I always forget things. And with a baby you can't be forgetting things. I wasn't sure if I would have stores close by if I forgot diapers or wipes. I was a nervous wreck the night before. Then on top of that, I knew it took my parents 11 hours to get there last time. Without us and only stopping when they had to. The boys did wonderful! I could not have asked any better from them! And yes, we told them that over and over! We headed out Wednesday morning at 7:30 sharp. We stopped for breakfast in Ardmore and didn't stop again until somewhere in Indiana for gas. Then we ate lunch there at Cracker Barrel. When we got back in the car Bryson took a nap (I think he napped a little after breakfast too) and didn't get restless until it started getting dark. That is when I broke out the DVD player that he had never seen before! I turned it on and when he saw Mickey Mouse he grinned behind his thumb that was hanging out of his mouth. Brayden and Blaine had their own DVD's too and that is what kept them from going stir crazy. They read a little bit too at the start. And I do mean a little.
We met my sister when she got off work and went out to eat next to the hotel. Bryson didn't do very well there, but it was 2 hours past his bed time. But the waitress seemed to be fascinated with us. She announced to the others that we drove there all the way from Alabama. She even hugged the boys when we left the restaurant. Then we headed for the hotel and went to sleep. Bryson was in our bed, and needless to say, we did not sleep well at all. He got a pallet in the floor the next two nights and we all slept much better.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's the next day and had a lot of fun getting to visit with her. Right before the sun went down she took us on a tour and showed us around town. We went to Lake Michigan and saw the building that she lived in before, that overlooked the lake. We walked on the beach a little. It was really cold at the beach so we didn't stay long. She showed the boys the baseball stadium and the Bear's stadium. Then she drove us downtown to Michigan Ave and showed us where she works. There were a lot of people down there even though none of the stores were open. All the windows were all lit up with Christmas decorations. It was really pretty. They had the "lighting of the magnificent mile" the weekend before. Then we went back to her apartment and ate left overs and planned what we were gonna do the next day.
On Friday we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. That was a lot of fun. We got to go on a submarine called the U-505 that we captured from the Germans in WWII. The boys really liked that. They had one whole section about farming. It was funny to go to Chicago and see all these kids from a big city looking up at a Combine with their mouths wide open. They learned about dairy farming, how milk is processed, pig farming, soybean farming, and about going green. We saw so many things there that I can't even remember them all to name them. We were there from the time they opened until they closed and we didn't see it all. That is how big this place was.

We asked the boys what their favorite part was and Brayden with his 5th grade humor said, "The hot chicks."

They had a chick incubator and they got to watch a baby chick hatch. That was my favorite part. But the boys liked the sub the best. Brayden just thought it was funny to say the hot chicks. Boys....

For dinner that night Rachael took us to a place that is famous for it's steak sandwiches and hot dogs. Portillo's, I think is what it was called. And yes...the hot dogs were real beef! Yum! Topped with mustard, onions, lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, and a dill pickle spear, on a poppy seed bun! I was sharing mine with Bryson and he ended up eating most of it and crying for more so we got another one and shared it, too! Stephen had the steak sandwhich with peppers. It wasn't nice to him, but he said it was good.
After all that fun and excitement I am so glad to be back in my own bed. Of course, it is way past my bedtime now and I can't sleep. I have all these things going through my head that I want to get done. Every year I say I am going to get my cards out earlier. After all, I did buy them the day after Christmas last year! I told myself I could have them all ready to go out and when the pictures come in, stick those bad boys in there and throw them in the mail! Thanksgiving weekend. Didn't happen. We had our pictures taken on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I haven't even dug them out of my secret hiding spot. Not that they are secret, that is just where they ended up getting stuck. I have Brayden's quilt ready to sew as soon as he leaves for his dad's this weekend. I have the patterns cut for their p.j. pants I am going to attempt to make. Attempt. That fabric may end up in a quilt if I crash and burn!

My mom asked me the other day why I have been having trouble sleeping. I told her that if I told her why she would laugh.

"I craft in my sleep. You know...I come up with ideas to do. In my sleep."

She did laugh...and roll her eyes. Then she told me she decorates rooms in her sleep. Now I know where I get it! Never make fun of your mother. You will end up just like her.

Well, that is enough for today. I realize I have written a book. Sorry for that. Oh...and where are the pictures from our trip? I got there and started looking for the camera. I asked everyone if they had seen it. No one had. So I finally decided that I had left if on the kitchen table, which was weird because I thought I could remember sitting it in the front seat with my purse and my purse was there! On the way home Stephen says, "You know...I think I stuck your camera under the front seat in that drawer." Thanks Stephen.



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