Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tales of an Absent Blogger

I hear the cries….where are you (echo, echo)? Nah, just kidding. Yes, I am here but there’s just not much to report. Life has slowed down since Christmas. Well, slowed down is the wrong phrase but I didn’t think you would want a post about

*how Anna Grace is still pitching major fits at bedtime

*how Abby fell off the couch (AGAIN!) because she can't figure out how to sit still

*how I got the kids computer fixed only to find out the monitor has gone bad

*how I have piles of laundry in my room just begging to be folded (I have heard them beg. Really, I have!)

*how I still haven’t mailed my Christmas cards (but they are going out today!)

*how the little ones are sleeping until 7:45 (boy, do I dread next week)

*how I can’t believe I go back to work on Monday (see above)

*how I took the girls shopping by myself yesterday (never again—unless I have duct tape)

*how I just got five new books at the library (but can I finish them before school starts?)

*how the teens have been sleeping half the day (oh will school be hard for them!)

See? Nothing very exciting. So I shall just leave you with this:

From our family to yours…….blessings for an amazing 2009!!
Happy New Year!



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I will be busy the next few days so may not be around. I’ll update you when I have time. It’s all good, I promise! My first hurdle though is conquering a fear. More to come…..

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why is China Special?

Today's post is number 200. How do I mark this day? A special post? Nothing very exciting is happening right now at our house. We're on Christmas break, kids are fighting like usual, so what's new?

During dinner, we were discussing a new gift from Grandma (Dave's mom). A viewmaster series of China. Daddy told the little ones they'd look at those at bedtime. He went on to ask, "Why is China special?"

The first response from Anna Grace? "Because daddy goes there for work and drinks beer".

Uh, not the answer we were seeking. Let's try again.

Her next response?

"China is special because mommy and daddy picked up a monkey and a cricket to bring home forever and ever".

Here is our Monkey (Anna Grace) and our Cricket (Abby).



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PS. Dave wanted me to point out that monkey and cricket are his nicknames for the girls (also called "the babies").

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Visit from Old Friends

We are privileged to have good friends here in town, in our state, and out of state. You've seen our in-town buddies arise during Halloween and Christmas. We've known them for as long as we've lived in our local town----11 years now. Wow.

Our out of town friends who came today are the little girls' Godparents as well. We met around 10 years ago when our boys played soccer together (dads coached) and our girls danced Irish dance. Our two older kids and their three are like stairsteps. They always have fun together---even now as teens. It's wonderful. They've moved twice since we first met but we've always kept in touch.

But today, John and Chris ventured from their town to ours to buy a new car. A three hour drive.....You see, they currently live in south Georgia (been there done that). Since they have connections here in our town, they decided to head to our neck of the woods to pursue the new car purchase.

We met for lunch at a local sports pub where everyone had a great time. They then headed off to buy the new car while we went home. About four hours later, we got a call from them saying they were still in town. Could they stop by? Of course!!

We've seen John a few times lately due to soccer but we hadn't seen Chris in quite a while. We were excited to have time to catch up.





It's funny because a few years ago when my hair was still short, I was mistaken for Chris at our local Blockbuster. But here was us today.....



I hope you all have had a chance to catch up with old friends and family during this holiday season.....

Friday, December 26, 2008

Beep, beep, beep....

We interrupt your regular blog reading to bring you the following announcement:

Well, not really but this may explain my absence today.



Alex and I headed back to the game store to exchange his game which I evidently purchased last year for Christmas as well. Yep, I am old.

He thought he wanted to check out Rock Band, which I really almost purchased the other day. Since I was returning a Guitar Hero game, it made sense to me.

We lucked out and found a deal on the drum set. We already have two guitars so really only needed the drums. And microphone but that’s not a necessitiy.

So here’s been our day




And Katie’s funky shots



No, I have not been there all day but I have to admit it’s fun! I’m terrible at the drums but better at the guitar on this game vs Guitar Hero (all on the easy level of course).

In the meantime, daddy has been ever vigilant at playing games with the little ones.




We now return you to your regular blog reading……

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And, I still have not mailed my Christmas cards. Been too busy with other things. :-) Whoops!!

Oh, and I just realized I started this blog one year ago today!! Two more posts and I'm up to number 200. Wow.

Ah, Christmas.....

The day dawned bright and early at 6:45. Pretty good in my book! In fact, at that time, we only heard voices. No one appeared in our room until the appointed hour of 7am. Yeah for us!

We had to wake Katie up at 7:20 because the girls couldn’t wait any longer. Okay everyone. Stuff some doughnuts into your mouth or no presents! Yes, our Christmas Day breakfast. Well, “before presents” breakfast.

Here is the before



And here is the after



The kids all had fun today. Here are a few scenes:



Alex’s stuff (minus a movie on backorder and a video game that I purchased which we already own. Good grief.)



Katie’s stuff (complete with a Georgia State frame for next year!)




Anna Grace and her Shooting Ladders



At one point, I looked up and found this



Yes, Katie and Alex playing Lincoln Logs. In fact, they were “fighting” over the pieces.

Fast forward a few hours and we add the fun of our friends for a casual stromboli and pizza dinner.






Alex being super cooperative once again for pictures. I will get this boy's picture even if it causes bodily harm to one of us.




Ah, then the brilliant idea to head outside and play Manhunt in the dark and the rain. What fun. I am then summoned to come see my son. He is half way up a pine tree in the backyard, in the rain, in the dark. I really don’t want to go to the ER today so get your sorry little self down that tree, NOW!

Here are the four wet kids after their great excursion



The two little ones in their new jammies



And the four adults



We capped off the evening with a new game



Think Trivial Pursuit type stuff. Boy did I feel dumb!

But the ultimate gift of the day.

Think back a while ago when I talked about the new Barbie movie the girls love. Barbie and the Diamond Castle (or something like that). They can reeact the movie scenes, sing the songs, and many other fun annoying things.

Well, Santa got the brilliant idea to buy the Barbies to go with the movie. Not a big deal, right? However, Santa forgot to read the fine print. These Barbies actually sing the songs.

Yes. They do.

AND, if you have the two Barbies (from the movie) hold hands, they sing a duet. Aren’t we so lucky?

Now you are too. Here’s a taste of what we’ve heard today. I think the batteries may mysteriously disappear tomorrow. Shh, don’t tell….

video

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring….

Including Anna Grace.

What a day, what a day.

The morning dawned bright and we headed out to the Headquarters of the GA Army National Guard to update our ID cards. Since it takes a while to get all of us done, I craftily borrowed some post it notes from the desk where we were based and set the girls off to drawing pictures. All was going along perfectly fine until I heard Anna Grace announce to anyone who was listening that she was drawing mommy and her boobies.

Excuse me? That ended the drawing right there.

Add to that the two girls questioning the soldiers in the department what they were doing, assisting in laminating ID cards, and being generally nosey, I am sure they were glad to see us leave.

Home again for the dreaded wrapping of gifts. I hadn’t done any. At all. None. Zilch. Nada.

As stated yesterday, Alex wrapped all the little girls stuff for me. We did solve the dilemma of the unlabeled gifts. I sliced the tape on each gift to see what was inside. I hope (fingers crossed) that everything is correct now.

The big kids wanted to wrap the gifts for each other so I divvied it all up, gave them the paper, and let them go for it. Whew.



Okay, time for Mass. Everyone dressed up, cooperated for tolerated pictures and headed out the door.



Let’s just say Anna Grace was not on her best behavior during church. I know. Shocking. I finally got her busy writing in her journal to keep her focused.



It helped enough for us to make it through church. Barely. And don’t you just love the comments from well-meaning parishioners?

Oh, they are so cute! We love to watch them play during church. They are adorable.

Ha. You come sit with them next time. They might be so adorable.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

As I started dinner, I told Dave to pull up the NORAD Santa tracker. Oh my. We had two little girls glued to the computer. They’d run away, come back, and say, “Where is Santa now?”



After dinner, we took a drive around the neighborhood seeing the lights while the big kids cleaned up. Yes, there is a method to my madness. We wanted to see the blow-up Grunch (as Anna Grace calls him).



But sadly, he was deflated.

Our hopes dashed, we returned devastated happy to have treats and prepare the snack for Santa.



Stories read, favorite Christmas ones. And who could leave out this infamous book? Do you recognize the author?



Yep, if you look at that closely, you’ll see Alex published that book in 3rd grade.

My teenage elves are chomping at the bit to set up Christmas for the little ones. They keep asking, “are they asleep yet?” Hopefully soon…..

As we head off to complete our evening, we wish you all a very merry and blessed Christmas. May you enjoy the day with your family and friends.


Gingerbread House Fun!

Well, on Sunday, we left the four kids at home while we enjoyed a lunch out...alone. Wow, what a concept! Now, they didn't starve since I left my debit card for Katie to get everyone McDonald's for lunch. Happiness abounds.

After lunch, it was gingerbread house time. Catlan's mom, Tracy, bought the girls this kit. They couldn't wait to get started.







Looks like a fun time was had by all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Want to go Downstairs........

Yes, I am alive. Barely. Yes, I have only been out of school for a few days but.....

Read the title to this post again. Yes, this has been my nighttime routine with my sleep challenged, non-compliant, hard to settle down child. Who, you may ask? My kids don't act that way. Ha! Ever lived in my house???

The culprit would be Anna Grace of course. She is so off her routine that most things during the day are a battle. We have had melt-downs upon melt-downs. It has not been pleasant to say the least. Imagine the fact that she does NOT want to go to sleep at night. Shocked, aren't you? It doesn't matter what we threaten, who we plan to call (ie: Santa), or anything else. She cries herself to sleep because she cannot have her way. I can lay with her, pat her, just be with her, or leave her alone----but then she bothers Abby's sleep. No matter what I do, it's a good thirty minutes for her to settle down most nights. Yeah for us.

She wants to go downstairs.

She doesn't want to be upstairs.

She wants her daddy (because he's downstairs).

She wants to go downstairs.

She doesn't want to.

Do you get the picture?

Spoken, cried, whined for..........endless amounts of time.

Whew.

My days have been crazy enough with Wal-Mart (UGH!!), Target, sporting goods stores, music stores, grocery stores, friends for the night last night, and everything else that adding Miss AG pitching night time fits is the icing to my day.

I have lots to post about: daddy and mommy's day out on Sunday for lunch with NO KIDS!; Katie making a cute gingerbread house with the girls; and Alex wrapping the little girls gifts today BUT forgetting to label them (a vitally important part)----so now I have to unwrap them to see who gets each gift!

At least the shopping is done, gifts are half-wrapped and groceries are mostly done.

Please remind me of that when I am hearing.....

"I want to go downstairs..." (add dramatic effects)

for the umpeenth million time.

Please bring me something fun to drink. Whatever you'd like.
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More to come.......

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Case of the Missing Toilet Paper

Where oh where is my toilet paper?

I can buy a package



and less than one week later, it’s gone.



I realize I have four kids, six family members, and four bathrooms, but this is crazy.

There must be a mysterious use for toilet paper that I have yet to uncover.

So I went sleuthing today to find clues about where my toilet paper seems to go each day.

Maybe it’s being used as new fashion accessory.



Or, long sleeves for when it gets cold.



Oh, I know. Extra pillows for the couch!



Nah. That’s too simple.

Here’s one I never imagined. Toilet paper as a food source.



Maybe additional tree decorations?



Bows?




My toilet paper must be somewhere. If you come across it, please let me know.

We will probably need it very soon. I would hate to resort to the alternatives.

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Note: No toilet paper was harmed in the creation of this post.