Christmas Rewind......

What a wonderful one it was! On Christmas Eve, Mike worked and the boys and I headed over to my aunt's house for a few hours to hang out with some of the extended family. The four of us celebrated and opened gifts after our feast of frozen pizza. Not that I don't love (and thoroughly enjoy) a houseful of family for the holidays, there is just something special about taking it all in with just my boys.
Christmas morning I was awakened at 7:30 by an anxious 6 1/2 year old telling me to "hurry up and get out here. Come see all of this stuff that Santa brought!"
We then headed to my dad's house for breakfast.

Around 1:30 we headed up to The Bay for the long weekend. The drive us uneventful until about 20 minutes before we reached our destination. Right before we got to the Gooseberry bridge, we hit black ice. The back of the truck started to fishtail and I immediately had the death grip on the door. First we hit the shoulder then bounced to the median (thank God that was there). We were inches from hitting a sign before we bounced back to the snowbank on the shoulder. The last bounce straightened us right out and we started heading north again. Somebody was truly watching out for us! All we could think of after was how lucky we were that we didn't end up down the ditch heading towards Lake Superior!
We had a great time at my mom's. The kids enjoyed playing with their cousins and eating as many cookies as they could get their sweaty little hands on.

We hit the slopes (well really the golf course) to get some sliding in. Colton tried out his new snowboard and was a natural!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family!
Wishing you all the best for 2009!


Dear Santa....

Dear Santa,
I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find any more free time in the next 18 years.
Here are my Christmas wishes:
I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.
If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.
Yours Always, MOM

P.S. One more thing...you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa for many years to come.

courtesy from the world of chain emails



Sheena tagged me. The task is to take the sixth folder from your pictures file on your computer and pull up the sixth pic and post/describe it. Then, tag four other friends to do the same.
So here it is. My boys up at Grandma's house this past summer enjoying the pool! The ironic thing is, Sheena's house is in this picture!

I tag - Marilyn, Libby, Jaci and Tammy (now that I know you are back!).


My Boys.....

I really don't have any pictures of my boys and me. So, I bribed them with Tic Tacs and used the self timer.....

Saturday Night Lights......

While Mike stayed home dealing with the chills, body aches and visits to the bathroom, the boys and I bundled up and hopped on the school bus for a cruise around the cities to check out the Christmas lights. Mike's aunt drove the bus of about 30 of us. What a great time we had! There was lots of snack, conversation and beverages to go around. I do have to say, it just seems wrong to be enjoying a glass of sangria on a school bus. I did however get over that pretty quickly! Now, let me just tell you that many of these pictures are blurry. This has nothing to do with my consumption of wine (I kept that to a minimum) but as my friend Jenny told me when I requested some camera setting tips, "shooting Christmas lights is tough."
I was AMAZED how these people had their yards, houses, driveways, etc. decorated! There were bus tours, limos and families all cruising up and down the streets. Amazing I tell you!
We had a visitor hop on our bus at one point. None other than the Jolly Man himself!

This doesn't do justice, but this was the craziest house we saw on our escape. The man did tell us that his electric bill for the month of December is about $400!

I'm a classic gal at heart and love love love white lights. This house looked beautiful (in person).

Me and the boys stopping for a quick photo shoot.


A Good Weekend......

Thankfully my computer is back to functioning! YEAH!
Saturday was spent running errands and then we headed to the Swanson's to celebrate Bree's 1st Birthday. Poor Bree, she's the only girl in our group of friends. I have 2 boys, Jaci has 2 boys, the Smith's have 1 boy (with a GIRL on the way), Jill has 1 boy and Bree has 1 brother. We'll just say that she'll never be short a prom date!
Then I left my boys and headed to Kristen's for our annual White Elephant party. We've been doing this for at least 6 years. We always have great food, plenty of wine and some hilarious gifts. The standing rule is that you can't buy anything. Your gift(s) have to be something you have, you found, or was given to you. There are a few items that make their way around every year.....a Fiber Optic Bunny Rabbit, an Angel clock and some others that shall remain nameless.
Eating, eating and doing more eating at Kristen's. This festivity is so much fun that Jenny flew in from Texas for it!

Here's the crew (minus Mandy who had to sneak out early). Erica, Jayme, Amanda, Carissa, Robin, me, Jenny, Cathy and the hostess with the mostest, Kristen - seriously, she puts Martha Stewart to shame!



Back at the end of October we got ourselves a nice, new computer. She's a beauty. Until Wednesday that is. Something happened and I have no idea what, but I cannot get on the Internet. I get a message that says "Internet Explorer has stopped working." What?! Where can I get me a message like that so I can stamp it across my forehead when I want to "stop working"???
Thankfully my neighbor is an IS guy and is willing to check things out for me tomorrow. So in the meantime, I'm on our old computer (and I do mean old, pretty sure this is one of Dell's first creations) which is slower than slow, but at least it hasn't decided to "stop working. "
I hate computer problems....probably worse than I hate car problems.
Where is that bottle of wine. Kidding. Well, kind of.


Tis The Season.....

I really don't get stressed. I figure it is what it is and find a way to deal with it. There is one tiny little thing that comes about each year that does cause my stress meter to rise just a tinge....The Christmas Card Photo.
I'm not all about trying to get the "perfect" family photo. But I'd like it to look somewhat decent right?
I've already got the Christmas gifts purchased, wrapped and under the tree, but I've only just begun to think about what to do for the Christmas Card Photo. Do I just look through all of my pictures from earlier this year and pick one of those? Do I just include the kids? Do I include all of us? Where should we take the picture? What should we wear?
What do you all do?


No. 93.......

My alarm woke me at 3:50 a.m. For the life of me, I cannot remember a time that I've gotten up that early unless I never went to bed!
My sister-in-law and I met at my mother-in-law's house at 4:30 and we were off with those other crazies that want all those "fabulous" deals the day after Thanksgiving.
It wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined nor heard. We got to the mall about 5:15 and got a parking spot right away. I think the longest we stood in line for was about 15 minutes.
By 8:30 we were ready for lunch! I kid you not. We grabbed a quick Junior Roast Beef at Arby's, recollected our thoughts and went back out to the crowds.
I'm happy to say that I am done shopping for all but 3 people. That. Is. Awesome.
Will I do it again next year? Never say never.


Game On....

This was one intense game of Candy Land!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Weekend Rewind.....

Be prepared for picture overload! I took the boys up north this weekend. Mike had to work overnights, so I thought we'd get out of the house to give him a little piece and quiet.
The boys kept very busy at Grandpa and Grandma's house.
Ate cookies...... Made turkey hats........
Watched cartoons........
Made candy.......
And toured the Station Eight fire station in Duluth courtesy of my friend Pete.....



Jaci tagged me, so here goes...

I am: happy
I know: how to play the trombone
I want: to lose 10 lbs.
I have: a great life
I miss: Leah - any chance you're moving back from CA?
I feel: tired
I hear: the hum of the computer
I smell: my perfume
I crave: Peanut Butter M&Ms
I cry: very rarely
I search: for missing parts to toys, games, etc.
I wonder: what people's lives are like - when you drive past somebody in a car, I always wonder where they're going, what is their life like and then I make something up.
I regret: sweating so much of the small stuff in years gone by
I love: my husband, kids, family & friends more than they'll ever know
I worry: rarely. It is what it is!
I remember: so much from my childhood
I dance: badly
I don't: like mashed potatoes
I argue: occasionally and only about things that I'm passionate about
I write: on my blog
I win: at Scategories. Remember that game. I rock.
I lose: my mind with my kids sometimes
I wish: I could change the world
I listen: with an open mind
I can usually be found: making lists of things that need to get done
I am scared: of losing people I love.
I need: a vacation on a warm beach by the ocean
I forget: to hold grudges. ;)

I tag Libby, Jenny and Tammy!

The Concert......

We met up with Matt and Steph for dinner before the concert. Caught up on each other's lives and then it was go time.
Mraz was great. I really couldn't see all that well given the fact that a 6'2" girl in a white sweater dress was standing in front of me texting her boyfriend about the fact that she was having fun, but missing him, but there were screens and if people moved their heads just right, I could get a glimpse of my Geek in the Pink (that's a reference to a song of his for those of you that don't know).
I had never been to a concert at The Myth. It's a really neat place and would be cool to have a VIP spot like one of the Vikings players that plowed through to get to his. Geez. Anyhow, back to Mraz. He put on a great show. He played for about 2 hours and then did a little encore. As Jaci would say, I heart Jason Mraz, and can't wait to see him live again!

Today I am tired. Very tired. I'm surprised I didn't turn into a pumpkin last night. I rarely see 9:30 on a weekday evening. Last night as my head hit the pillow it was 12:14 a.m. What a rude awakening it was to hear Christmas songs blaring out of my alarm clock at 5:15. No sleep for the weary! Tonight it's a camera class so I can figure out how to use my new camera that is intimidating.



T minus 5 hours until the doors open for the Mraz concert.......


Good Night.....

This past Halloween our neighbors down the street had a little get together after the kids went trick-or-treating. Mike had to work the next morning so he and Brett stayed home and Colton and I went and hung out for a few hours. I learned a lot about my neighbors down the street that night. Good stuff. Fun stuff. I like them.
Anyhow, throughout the night I learned that one of my neighbors was going to school for massage (I don't know the technical term, so I apologize to those that work in profession). He was looking for some people to massage for experience and requirements of the program. Of course I offered myself up. I love massages. Love might even be an understatement.
So tonight was the night. He tells me to undress to my comfort level, lay down face down on the table and cover with the blankets. OK, I can handle that. Then the massage started. It was a full body one hour massage with no child yelling "MOM" to get my attention.
Once my back was done, he moved onto my legs. No matter who it is giving me the massage and they get to my legs, I always tense up at first. I mean, really. They've lost any color that I may have had during the summer months and I'll be honest, really are not as firm, long and slender as I'd like them to be.
As I catch myself drooling and about to fall asleep it's over and I'm heading home to check homework and tuck in my lovely boys.
Now that was a good Tuesday night.


More Random Thoughts....

The other day I was driving somewhere with the kids. I was flipping through the radio stations and the new one by Flo Rida was on. Colton quickly shouted for me to "keep it here" and proceded to sing the following phrase:

Oh hot damn. This is my jam.
Keep me partyin' to the a.m. Y'all don't understand.
Make me throw my hands in the ayer, ay, ayer, ay ayer

Of course I quickly asked him how the heck he knew the words to the song. He just looked at my and said "I don't know, but everybody knows this song." Lord help me.

My kids are on a sugar high today and it's all my fault. We started making Christmas cookies at 8am today. I realized that I didn't have enough eggs so off to the store we went. I was feeling bad for making them get dressed and bundled up so early in the morning on a Saturday so I let them each pick out a doughnut. Of course they both picked the biggest ones with the most frosting. I'm pretty sure they broke a world record shoving them down their throats. Then as we were making cookies they had to taste the batter and a few of the finished products. Now they are bouncing off the walls, playing air guitar and bugging each other. Is it bed time yet?



I've intentionally not joined in the whole facebook world. I don't have time to get sucked in to more time on the computer. Well, that is until now. I've caved and joined the madness. It's fun to see all the old SB crew and the SCSU gang too.
However, I had to peel myself away from the computer as I've noticed that 1 hour and 36 minutes have miraculously disappeared from my life.


Making a List.....

I asked Colton to go through the many toy catalogs we've gotten in the mail this week and write his name by the things on his Christmas Wish List. As I was flipping through the pages tonight, I came across this and couldn't help but giggle.


It's been a productive Saturday. It started at 7am when I heard Brett yelling from his crib, "Mama, eat oatmeal please."
I decided rather than starting a home improvement project like I'm one to do when Mike is deer hunting, I'd get started on my Christmas cookie baking. I made 98 Snikerdoodles, 58 Chocolate Crinkles and 50 Christmas bars. I lost motivation to make Gingersnaps and Peppermint Snowballs.....I'll get to those next weekend.
The most exciting part of my day? The furniture arrived! I ordered 2 nightstands, the head board/foot board and the dresser. Our room is pretty small so unfortunately both nightstands don't fit on the sides of the bed given our closet doors fold out to open up. So, I had to put the other nightstand on the side of the dresser, which for right now works fine as a tv stand until Mike gets it mounted on the wall.

I wrapped up the day making a few Lincoln Log houses, playing Matchbox cars and teaching Colton how to leg wrestle. Right now the boys are enjoying some popcorn and watching a movie. Me? I'm blogging and sipping on some wine. Life is good.


Cannot Wait.....

Can I just say how excited I am to FINALLY be getting our furniture delivered on Saturday?!
It will be so nice to have a dresser again! Not to mention, a bedframe so we can get the mattress off the floor!


A couple of weeks ago, Colton started showing quite a bit of interest in the election. He spent a weekend with his grandparents and from then on knew he was voting for McCain. He wanted to know who his dad and I were voting for. He was asking all the neighborhood kids who they were going to vote for.
I asked him why he wanted to vote for McCain. His reasoning was perfect for a six year old boy....."Because he's got cain in his name, just like one of the guys from Friday Night Smackdown" (just an fyi - we DO NOT let him watch that kind of tv, but he does pick up a few things from daycare).
When he found out that his dad and I were not voting for McCain he begged and pleaded for at least one of us to. Why can't you? Pleeeeeaaaaasssseee Mom!
Anyhow, his elementary school voted yesterday. He excitedly came running down the driveway after getting off the bus to tell me that "McCain won. Well, not in real life yet, but at my school!"
He proceeded to tell me that Will, a boy on the bus, told him that if Obama wins we might as well put our guns on the front porch.
Which led me to an explanation about gun control with a six year old. Fun.


Here's my boys all dressed up in their Halloween gear.... My cute little puppy dog.

My fearless White Power Ranger from Jungle Fury.

School Pictures......

At the end of September, Colton had his school pictures. I filled out the envelope with our order and put it in his daily planner. I made sure there was no toothpaste on his shirt and that his hair was combed. It was a chilly day, so I made him wear his Old Navy zip up hoodie. He hates wearing layers (he gets that from me) and so it was a battle as it is everyday that a coat of some sort is required.
So the day is over and I'm going through his backpack and daily planner. I see a note from his teacher. It says....."Colton couldn't find his picture envelope until the end of the day. You'll have to save it for picture retakes at the end of October."
WHAT? So I quickly call the phone number on the envelope to see if I can just place my order over the phone. Success. No problem. Perfect.
Soooooooo a few weeks later, still no pictures. I put in a call and right as the gal was looking up my information, their system went down. She tells me she'll call me when the system is back up. I don't hear from her. So, I call again a couple of days later. I learn that it will "still be a couple of weeks until they are ready." In the meantime, picture retakes are coming up so what do I do? What if Colton is winking or has something between his teeth. I won't see the originals before retakes. Mike's advice was - who cares? You have a million pictures of the kid and if his originals are the greatest, big deal. So I decide to let go of the issue and move on.
Well, today, the pictures arrived. I quickly pull them out of the package with Colton hovering over my shoulder. He has a great smile and looks very handsome. And then I notice it. He his wearing his damn Old Navy hoodie over his "picture shirt." AHHHHH! That's not so bad, but you can tell the hood is tucked down inside, which by the way has to be so uncomfortable. I look at Colton and ask why he kept his hoodie on. His reply? "Big deal, mom, and least I've got a good smile." Ain't that the truth.



Here's just some random thoughts, questions, fodder.....
  • We had Mike's grandparents over for dinner tonight. It was great. I think we should really do this more often with all of our family and friends. I would hate to have all those woulda, coulda, shoulda moments should anything happen to the ones we love.
  • I'm excited for our new computer to arrive. Luckily our lovely friend in Arizona did all the research for us, found us a great deal and called me when he was ready to place our order. Now that's what I call service. I gave him a few details, he ran with it and I've got myself a new computer that should be here in a couple of days. Now I just have to figure out how to get all the things on our current computer onto the new one. Yikes.
  • I'm trying to decide what big project I should take on this year while Mike is deer hunting. In the past I've painted the family room and the downstairs bathroom. I'm thinking it's time for an upstairs bathroom update. For those of you that have been to my house, is chocolate brown (with silver accents) too dark for that room?
  • My poor boys have been fighting a nasty cough. Colton has had "sick breath" - c'mon, you know what I'm talking about - for the past couple of days. He told me today that, "Kids at school tell me I have bad breath. That really hurts my feelings." Poor dude. I insisted that it was due to his cold and that I'll send him with some extra cough drops tomorrow.
  • These darn Halloween snack size candy bars are going to kill me. By the time I have one.....and then ok I'll have just one more....ok this time I mean it...this is my last one.....I'm pretty sure I've eaten more than a full size candy bar.
  • I broke the zipper on Brett's Halloween custome. Now he's going to have to have safety pins keeping it together from his hip to his arm pit. Now that's going to be adorable I tell ya.



This - from my child who thrives on structure......



For the past three or so years, I've always made Halloween cookies with Colton. I decide we'd let Brett into our tradition this year. So Saturday evening, we made the dough. As soon as Brett got his bowl in front of him he took a big old scoop of the powder (no, I didn't make them from scratch) and tossed it into his mouth. His eyes got big and then he yelled out, "Yummy, yummy mama!" After that he pretty much lost interest. Here's my troopers making witches, pumpkins, ghosts......
After Sunday school Colton was itching to get those things frosted and decorated. So we pulled out the 66 shapes and dove in.
Aren't they BOOOtiful? Sorry. I couldn't resist.