Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I usually don't make too many New Year's resolutions because basically I know I won't keep them. If I did make them, they would be more of the same: get organized, decorate the house (I would have to get a sense of style to do that, I don't see that happening soon), lose weight--you know the routine.

One thing I need to do is take more pictures and videos of the kids. We've never had a video camera, but our digitals have always had camera capabilities. Now that I have a new camera and a 8GB card, I have no excuses.

We had a perfect example of needing to be recording the kids 24/7 the other night at supper. I can't remember what led us to the subject of love, but somehow Emma started talking about how girls have to fall in love with boys and boys with girls. She said something to the effect of, "I've been in love." Oh really? With who? She named a boy from her class. Then with the most dreamy voice she says, "I looked into his eyes and he looked into my eyes and it was attraction." Hubby and I are just looking at each other and cracking up at this point. What 5 year old talks like that?! I guess this exchange took place at the lunch table, one of the most romantic spots in school if you remember.

Anyone have any fun plans for New Year's Eve? Will you be staring into the eyes of your true love? I will make a horrible date tonight since I feel like crap. I'll be lucky to stay awake past 10pm. Poor hubby. Happy New Year's, everyone! Wishes for many laughs in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I started taking down Christmas decorations today and am trying to get all the girls new toys put away. That task led me to clean out three closests--whew! One garbage bag, one box of Goodwill, and about 4 totes/boxes of toys to store and I think I'm about done. We seriously need to get rid of stuff instead of just finding new places to put it.

I've managed to catch Leah's cold and haven't felt the best the past two days. Leah is calling me a "mean mommy" because I may be slightly grouchy. I guess I am mean when I'm telling them to pick up things or turn off lights like I tell them 10 times a day. Horrible, aren't I?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post Christmas Wrap Up

All in all, we had a great Christmas at our house. The weeklong preparations paid off and most things went without a hitch. Our biggest casualty was the rice pudding I attempted to make--it became a Christmas Eve tradition 12 years ago when our Finnish foreign exchange student shared that family favorite with us. I've made it before, but last year it was a flop as well. Next year I will have to remember to cover the pot like the instructions say.

Anyway, we had three rounds of presents under the tree and everyone was happy in the end. Our first round was Christmas Eve which was presents from hubby's side of the family and presents to us from us. Round two was the presents Santa left for Christmas morning, and round three was my family coming on Christmas Day. That's a lot of paper, bows, and tissue.

I will say that I came away with the biggest toys--a Nintendo DS (for me!) and a new camera. Hubby was a little nervous giving me the DS since Emma had started asking for one thanks to the influence of her friends (who probably got their own and won't have to share their mom's). And the camera came in handy when our old camera went through a full battery charge in one night.

The girls have played with almost everything they've gotten. Emma got plenty of art supplies and has put them to good use. Leah had the Christmas straight out of a Disney story book and now has more princess dolls, costumes, toys and books than one little girl could ever hope to have. Hubby mostly got clothes for work, but he did get a new computer game he is dying to try out.

Here are just a few pictures from Christmas. I still haven't downloaded the pictures from my new camera, I may do that this morning.

Decorating cookies on Monday

How many of these do you think are left? Not many, but they make a good breakfast!

Christmas Eve

The first princess gift of the evening

A new guitar for our budding musician

Love it!

Our chefs

Princess Aurora

Christmas jammies

The cookies are gone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Christmas PSA of the day

As the last few hours of Christmas shopping are quickly slipping away, I have a final "tip" for all you Christmas shoppers:

Make sure you have plenty of batteries on hand. Otherwise your child may open a gift from Santa which requires 4 AA batteries and Santa's helper could've sworn the package said AAA, a size on which you bought plenty before hand. You may be stealing batteries from other toys around the house on Christmas morning as you get ready to depart for Grandma and Grandpa's house so your child may take their new digital camera with them. You may be praying that the batteries hold out for just a few hours and hope that your parents' battery supply is better than yours. You may then remember that they are even more battery incompetent than you are. You may spend the day telling your child "Don't play with your exciting new toy too much because the batteries may die and you will lose all the fantastic pictures you have taken." You might have to brave Target on the day after Christmas to buy batteries, one day too late.

Not that something like that has ever happened to me. I'm just saying something like that may transpire if you don't have batteries on hand. At last count (which I made hubby do as I called him from Target before I checked out yesterday) we have at least 15-20 each of AA and AAA. Lord help us if any toys require D's.

Monday, December 22, 2008

To Do Part Two

Let's look at this list again and see how much I've accomplished:

  1. Finish up Christmas cards (need to update addresses, wait for pics from Winkflash, wait for envelopes from my bestest sister ever, buy stamps, mail)
  2. Finish buying presents (need one more thing)
  3. Finish wrapping presents
  4. Try to find someone to watch Leah so I can go to Emma's Christmas party at school
  5. Haircuts for possibly all three girls, if not the older two for sure
  6. Make returns to Des Moines
  7. Do holiday baking (poppy seed bread, sugar cookies and whatever else I feel up to)
  8. Figure out what food to have for Christmas Day
  9. Make said food
  10. Put laundry away
  11. Clean the house for company
  12. Potty train child #2 in progress
  13. Send money off for hubby's side of the family
  14. Shovel 4" of snow off hubby's side of the driveway because I love him
  15. Instill in children the magic and wonder of Christmas while emphasizing the real reason for celebrating--the birth of baby Jesus

At least I can feel like I've accomplished something! The girls and I baked sugar cookies yesterday, so we will frost them today. I'm waiting for my photocards so I can send those out, but the envelopes are addressed and stamped ready to go. There are just a few last minute things I need to get for food, so maybe today. Hopefully the weather will hold and we can all go to Des Moines tomorrow for very last minute things. Then Christmas Eve day will be spent cleaning the house. Still working on the potty training thing. That one may become a New Year's Resolution.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How do you spell . . .

Emma is very into writing and often asks us how to spell words. If we sound it out for her, she can figure out the letters, but let's face it, English is not the easiest language to learn. I mean silent "e", "ph" or "gh" for "f", the same letter can make different sounds--it makes for some difficult writing. At school she is encouraged to use "kindergarten" spelling--pretty much the kids try their best to sound things out and the teacher will help correct them at times.

Last night as I was making supper, a courier brought me this note:

ar wei
gana woc
all av
the move

Which when translated into English meant, "Mommy are we gonna watch all of the movie" since we were having a movie night. Before that note, I got this one:

Mommy cod
wii play dog aftr supr

Translation, "Mommy could we play dog after supper." Hubby and I got quite a chuckle out of how she spelled wii--can you see the influence of commercialism there? Nice.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Day!

A big fat, "I told you so", although the storm was hyped up for way too long. The system ended up being slower than they thought, which was just fine because that meant hubby's commute home wasn't affected. I guess all the local schools who let out early in anticipation of an icy drive later were feeling pretty silly. It finally did start sleeting/icing around 7-8pm. Looking out the window in the morning it didn't look like we had gotten too much snow, but once we went outside to play--there was a lot of it.

Last year we had tons of snow, but really only took the girls to play outside once. Usually the temperature was below freezing, so playing outside isn't much fun then. The one time we did go out, Leah wasn't too sure about all the white stuff. She really didn't like to be all bundled up and walking around in it was too hard. I'm so glad she is liking it this year! The girls and I were outside for a good hour walking around, making snow angels, "sledding", and pretending. Even though we don't have any real hills at our house, the drifts were enough that the girls could slide down them--it was just their speed.

Of course I got a lot done during the snow day, just like I had planned. Ha!

I don't think we'll be playing outside again soon--tomorrow's high is supposed to be 3 degrees with windchills of -20 to -30. Yikes!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Want to place a bet?

I bet that there will be no school on Friday, which will screw up everyone's plans at school. They are predicting 5-7" of snow now for our area tomorrow, with the possibility of some ice thrown in for good measure. I know Emma's teacher has a ton of things to send home with the kids on Friday, as well as their Christmas party. I was going to bake tomorrow since I will most likely be snowed in, but maybe I should bake tonight and send the teacher's gift tomorrow. That way I know she will at least get it this year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

To Do List

Let's see if I can get this written down so I can remember what I need to do in the next week:

  1. Finish up Christmas cards (need to update addresses, wait for pics from Winkflash, wait for envelopes from my bestest sister ever, buy stamps, mail)
  2. Finish buying presents (maybe one or two things--need to buy something for Emma's teacher)
  3. Finish wrapping presents in progress
  4. Try to find someone to watch Leah so I can go to Emma's Christmas party at school
  5. Haircuts for possibly all three girls, if not the older two for sure
  6. Make returns to Des Moines--may have to delegate that one to hubby
  7. Do holiday baking (poppy seed bread, sugar cookies and whatever else I feel up to)
  8. Figure out what food to have for Christmas Day
  9. Make said food
  10. Put laundry away
  11. Clean the house for company
  12. Potty train child #2 in progress
  13. Send money off for hubby's side of the family
  14. Shovel 4" of snow off hubby's side of the driveway because I love him
  15. Instill in children the magic and wonder of Christmas while emphasizing the real reason for celebrating--the birth of baby Jesus

Is that enough for the week before Christmas? The weather isn't helping my cause much--inside all day the past two days and probably Thursday as well.

ETA #13 & #14--I'm sure there will be more additions!

It may not look like I got much accomplished today, but I did. Honest!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wanna be my neighbor?

There is a good chance that there will be a "For Sale" sign or two on the street soon, most likely on the house right next to us. Remember this and this? Well due to this that family will probably be moving soon. I have to admit, the kids did grow on me somewhat and their mom is very, very nice. They are just quiet people who tended to keep to themselves. It seems like they took for fact that with his line of work they would move often, so they are probably not too surprised. They did make it through one of the worst winters we've had in a great long while, so they can claim they survived Iowa.

The other neighbor got screwed with this just two weeks ago, before the coach decided to bail. Nice. Maybe with coaching changes there is a possiblity he could be re-hired; he seemed like a great guy and a great coach from what I hear.

Anyone looking to move to a great neighborhood with wonderful schools and awesome neigbhors? I could possibly hook you up soon!

It's a Festivus Miracle!

Remember all the issues Emma has with clothes? She used to be in tears at the mere mention of wearing jeans. Guess what she picked to wear yesterday--jeans. No prompting, no begging, no threats. She wore them all day and proclaimed many times about how comfortable they were. I tried hard to really compliment how great they looked. Today I gave her a choice and she picked jeans again. She only has two pair! She also likes the pants I picked out for her to wear for Christmas, and she even wears the shoes I picked out (ballet flat style). Is she turning a corner with some of her issues? Is it truly a Festivus Miracle?

And on to other miracles . . . .

Leah is still not potty trained and has no real desire to do so. Last week we asked her when she was going to potty train and she said, "Next week!" We took her for her word, and this morning she finally did some serious business on the potty. She was rewarded with an Ariel doll that had been sitting up in the closet for the past 4 months, waiting for this moment.

Update: I just asked her if she needed to go sit on the potty. "No". I asked, "Did you pee in your pull up?" "No, I pooped." I guess next I'll be airing my grievances.

Oh the weather outside is frightful

I live in Iowa. I can take the bad weather, but when it starts the day after Thanksgiving and doesn't let up for 5 months--that's a little much. We've already had ice a few times, a minimal amount of snow (although that is supposed to change tomorrow) and now we are in the arctic icebox. Yesterday morning the temperature was 53 degrees. It went down to 30 degrees within half an hour. This morning the temperature was below zero, and add into that 30 mph winds. What do you get? Wicked cold wind chills. This isn't supposed to happen until at least January or February.

Because of the cold temps, Emma's school is delayed 2 hours. I even woke up early to check the news--no one was running late at 5:45 am. I woke Emma up about 6:45 am. I turned the tv back onto local news (hubby has started watching the financial reports during breakfast) and school was 2 hours late. Went down to check my e-mail and the school website--nothing. Great school alerts I signed up for! The school website did show the delay after I refreshed the page a few times.

Like I said, it is supposed to snow about 2-6" tomorrow (they have no idea on how much it will actually snow--that's their best guesstimate). Seeing this kind of weather forecast has me hunkered down for the next few days. I sent hubby off for the essentials yesterday--overnight pull-ups for Emma and candy to send into class for them to make gingerbread houses later this week. Can't live without those things, you know. Hubby was glad to hear I would be stuck inside for a few days, he feels I can't spend much money that way. I asked him, "Haven't you ever heard of online shopping?" Let's go see what I can find . . . .

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wrap it up

I started wrapping gifts last night. After the girls went to bed I got out the wrap and all the trimmings, poured myself a glass of wine, and settled down with a bad movie. I didn't get everything wrapped, but I got a start.

I didn't become an elaborate wrapper until I met hubby. His mom goes wild with the curling ribbon and I think she may have helped him wrap presents that year. That set a standard and I can't tell you how many hours both of us have spent making the presents look good. All that has gone out the window in the past few years where speed and efficiency have become more important than beauty. Add to the fact that the cat will eat the ribbons and I have become a "one bow and done" kind of wrapper.

Hubby's family also has a tradition where you try to guess your present before you open. I do not like guessing games. And of course hubby would try to throw me off by putting rattling game pieces in a box along with the present. I doubt in the past 15 years I have guessed one present correctly. I tried to play along and make things hard for dh to guess. Like the year I put an actual brick in with the sweater I gave him. Wanna know what he guessed? A sweater with a brick in the box. Damn. Now if its shaped like a shirt box, feels like a shirt box, and maked a swishing sound like a shirt in a box, guess what it may be? You are right . . . a shirt! And considering that most of hubby's clothes come from Christmas or his birthday, that guess is right about 80% of the time.

Last year Santa decided to make life easy and wrapped all of Emma's presents in one type of paper and wrapped all of Leah's presents in a different type of paper. No tags needed, just a note that told the girls which presents were theirs. Now the dilemna--will Emma remember the paper from last year? I was going to throw that roll into the mix of paper I use to wrap from us. I decided against it, because chances are she will say, "Hey, Santa used that same paper last year!" I'm hoping that she hasn't seen the two rolls I have set aside for Santa this year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Wishes

We first "officially" saw Santa the Saturday after Thanksgiving when we were at Grandma & Grandpa M's house. Since we were going to go see him, Emma had to write her list out. Grandma actually had a Christmas coloring book that had a page just for that purpose--you could even draw a picture of what you wanted. At the top of her list for this year has always been a dog--a stuffed dog. Somehow the picture got elaborate--it ended up being a hunting dog and there were people on the ground with guns hunting pheasants that were flying in the sky. Huh? We are not hunters in our family, I'm not quite sure where she came up with that scenario.

Since that letter was left with Santa, I keep asking her what is on her list. You know, for purely inquisitive reasons. She always says a dog. Does it matter what kind of dog? Any kind of dog. And a Webkinz. Any certain one? Any kind of Webkinz. Sometimes the list includes things like a train (any kind of train) and a baby doll (any kind of baby doll). At least she's not so specific that Santa goes out of his mind looking for particular items.

One day she brought home a picture in an envelope for me that she had made at school. In the picture is what I want for Christmas--a cookbook, a bracelet, and a cup (she came up with these things). Underneath my items where what she wanted. A DS (as in a Nintendo DS) and a dog. Ah, kindergarten.

At last count, I think Emma may be receiving no less than 4 dogs for Christmas. Will that suffice? I'm not sure, because as you know, she REALLY needed on in the first place as evidenced by this picture:
That would be from left to right: yellow puppy which she received when she was a few weeks old, Butterscotch which she won at the school carnival this fall, Prickles the Beanie Baby hedgehog she "stole" from Grandma's house, Blizzard her husky dog she made at Build-a-Bear for her birthday this year, the legs belong to Teddy which is one of her original lovies, and Elway the one cat in the animal menagerie. And up on the radio is a Littest Pet Shop dog, one of about 50 she has. Missing from the photo is Zach her Rottweiler Webkinz. The poor girl has no animals, especially dogs, can't you see?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This is the Polar Express!

We love the movie and book The Polar Express. A few years ago, all Emma wanted for Christmas was a silver bell--no lie. Aunt G did send her a ginormous silver bell for Christmas that clanged loudly; she hasn't read the book to know that the little boy's silver bell made the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. We have the book, the book on CD, the music CD and the movie, all of which we have already watched or listened to this year.

There is a railway not too far away from us that does "The Santa Express". Just like in the book, you wear your pj's on the train, you read the book, you ride to the North Pole, and Santa comes on to give each child a silver bell. I had always wanted to take Emma on the ride, and finally did for the first time last year--she loved it. This year I felt Leah was old enough to appreciate the ride, so the three of us went on the train last night.

We're ready to go on The Polar Express!

Reading the book along with the leader in the train car

I think I see the North Pole!

As soon as we stopped at the North Pole, Leah started crying loudly. Before we even went on the train, we would talk about how Santa would get on the train and hand her a bell. She was okay with that; in theory. When the actual time came, she was scared to death. I didn't get any pictures of Santa handing Emma her bell because I was holding a crying child, trying to cover her eyes so she wouldn't even have a peek at the Big Guy. As soon as she was reassured that Santa had left our train car and wasn't coming back, she was fine.

Eating our cookies (notice Leah's eyes are still red--this was just after Santa left) They also serve very bad hot chocolate--it was not "as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars" like they serve on the real Polar Express. And the teenage boys passing it out didn't dance and sing in aisles.

We did have a Christmas carol sing-a-long and also Christmas trivia and jokes. What do the Elves study in school? The "elf"abet. Why did the Elf push his bed into the fireplace? He wanted to sleep like a log. What is Santa's favorite thing to do in the garden? Ho ho ho. What Christmas song do parents like the best? Silent Night.

The girls had a great time and we hope to do it again next year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Santa's Watching!"

I don't think we've really had to use the whole "Santa's watching" excuse to bribe our girls into good behavior over the years, but I did pull out that gem last night. The girls took an early bath so they had some playtime before we start our bedtime routine. They were playing around (chasing each other, being loud, playing some sort of game) and then it was time to settle down and watch a bit of TV. Yes, I know what the experts say--don't let your children watch TV and especially don't let them watch TV before bedtime. But it has been part of our bedtime routine since Emma was about 18 months old so it isn't changing anytime soon.

Anyway, the girls had a choice to watch a little more of a Christmas movie on TV or watch a DVD in Emma's room. They chose TV. They were instructed to sit down and just watch TV. How hard is that? I would love it if someone told me, "Just sit there and watch". I went into my bedroom to put my pj's on and I don't think there was much sitting going on. I come back out and Emma says, "I think there is a problem." What? A strand of the Christmas tree lights was out (they are touchy) and all the ornaments and tree were moving slightly. Why is the tree moving? "Because I accidentally hit it with my foot." Uh huh.

Mom wasn't too happy, so she brought out the old, "Even if I can't see you, Santa is watching and he knows if you are being naughty. What would Santa say?" I did feel bad playing the Santa card because usually they are fairly well behaved.

Many people are also using this as a form of behavior modification before Christmas:

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition™ is an activity the entire family will enjoy. Based on the tradition Carol Aebersold began with her family in the 1970s, this cleverly rhymed children's book explains that Santa knows who is naughty and/or nice because he sends a scout elf to every home. During the holiday season, the elf watches children by day and reports to Santa each night. When children awake, the elf has returned from the North Pole and can be found hiding in a different location. This activity allows The Elf on the Shelf to become a delightful hide-and-seek game.
We may have to try that one next year. I also had a friend who resorted to actually "calling" Santa when her 2 yr old wasn't behaving. She literally picked up the phone and tortured her poor child by making her believe she was on the line with the Big Guy. I haven't gone that far . . .yet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snow Delay

We have our first official school delay today--school is 2 hrs late due to winter weather. We actually only got an inch or less of snow, but that is on top of a nice layer of ice we got first. Just an hour to the north of us they got 5-6" of snow and today the winds are going to be blowing at a nice 30 mph clip. That means it still looks like it is snowing and the roads drift over. When hubby left for work this morning, travel was not advised at all. Now it looks like road conditions have improved but the wind is still howling and the windchill is in the teens.

Where my mom works, they follow the school weather dismissals. Yesterday schools were getting out early because it had started snowing already, so she got to come home early. Now today the school up there has a 2 hr delay which she is hoping will turn into a full cancellation--all the other surrounding schools have cancelled.

I haven't even told Emma yet that school is late; I let her sleep in. I'm sure she will figure it out when she looks at the clock and sees it is almost 8 am.

My big plans for the day? Cleaning. How fun is that?!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More Christmas Memories

This is what I was originally going to post for my 200th post--Memories of Christmas Past






This may not even be a Christmas photo, I can't remember for sure. I will say that the outfits my sister and I are sporting were lovingly made by my mom. Gotta love the early '80's!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Memories

I have many memories of Christmas from growing up. There are certain things things that define Christmas for our family:
  • Food--my mom always made Christmas treats. Perennial favorites were peanut clusters, almond bark cookies (cheerios, rice crispies, marshmallows and peanuts covered in almond bark), frosted sugar cookies and poppy seed bread. The way my mom (and I and my sisters) make poppy seed bread is to bake it in cans so the bread is in the shape of a cylinder instead of a loaf. Top it with some orange juice/sugar glaze--yum! We also started a tradition in our family to have soup on Christmas Eve as well as homemade rice pudding. Most of those I carry on at my own home now.
  • Stockings--my mom also made our Christmas stockings. Each of us girls have ours from growing up, and she has made all the husbands stockings from the same pattern and now our girls have stockings made by Grandma.
  • Hallmark tree--growing up we had a real tree, and I even remember the tradition of going out to the Christmas tree farm and picking it out. Hubby and I even did that . . . once. Our ornaments were a mish-mash of homemade ornaments our Grandma made for us every year, wooden painted ornaments my mom collected from the local hospital auxiliary, ornaments collected from trips, and Hallmark ornaments. I would hate to even guess at the number of Hallmark ornaments we have among my mom and my sisters and I. No Martha Stewart tree at our house; we hang our Hallmark ornaments proudly. The girls each have an impressive collection of ornaments they've received as gifts over the years as well. Now hubby and I just have to find the time to assemble our behemoth 9' tree and decorate it with thousands of lights and hundreds of ornaments.
  • New pajamas--Christmas means new pajamas, right? It seemed like we would always get a new pair; there are many pictures from Christmases past of us in our new pj's relaxing after opening presents on Christmas Eve. This year my girls will get their Christmas pj's before we go on a Santa Express ride next week. (Like the Polar Express--ride the train in your pj's, go to the North Pole and get a visit from Santa who gives you a silver bell)
  • The Nativity Set--my mom and dad had a very nice ceramic nativity set. Every year my sister's and I would fight over who got to put what items up. Now I have a Willow Tree Nativity Set that I love, and my girls have their own Fisher Price version that they play with. Last I saw, the Three Wise Men were standing on each other's heads to give the angel presents and the animals were all lined up watching TV. I believe you can find all of those historically correct details in the bible.
  • Christmas Eve--this is when it all happens in our family. Growing up, we always went to church on Christmas Eve. At some point during the service the congregation would sing "Silent Night" by candlelight (and the my sisters and I would either a) try to keep our candle lit the longest in the whole church or b) try to blow each others candles out). At the end of the service, you would leave with an uplifting "Joy to the World". As you left church, you got a brown paper bag filled with peanuts, an apple and/or orange, and a small candy bar. Our dad would torture us by taking his time driving home, maybe taking a slow route to look at Christmas lights, and when we came home Santa had visited. Christmas morning was all about the stockings, and then we would head over to our Grandparents' house for Christmas dinner. Now that we have celebrated Christmas as our own family, Santa comes overnight like he usually does for 99% of the population. Somehow we never got suspicious when one of our parents conveniently "forgot" something before we left for church and had to go back into the house. One year the weather was too bad to even make the 3 mile drive into town and go to church, so my younger sister and I had to take a Christmas Eve bath. Surprise, surprise, Santa came while you were in the bathtub! I will never forget that year because that was THE year--the year of the Cabbage Patch Doll.

I hope to keep following old Christmas traditions with my girls and introduce some new traditions each year as well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

200, Baby!

When I started blogging, I never even thought I would reach 200 posts. I think the 100 post milestone came and went without much fanfare. I was going to post pictures of Christmas Past, but I think I'll save that for another day. I just found this meme that I thought would be perfect for my 200th post:

Favorite Christmas…
01. Non-Jesus-related song? "Must've Been Old Santa Claus" (Harry Connick Jr.)
02. Jesus-related song? “O Holy Night”
03. Santa-related song? “Santa Baby"
04. Fictional character? The Grinch
05. Dinner’s main course? Soup
06. Dinner’s dessert? Rice pudding
07. Scent (pine, gingerbread, candles…)? Gingerbread or cranberry/cinnamon
08. Animated movie? The Polar Express
09. Non-animated movie? Elf
10. Personal memory? Going to church, getting our brown paper bags with peanuts/orange/apple/candy bar then opening presents
11. Story/Fairy Tale? The true Christmas story--Jesus' birth

This or That
12. Candy cane or peppermint patties? Peppermint patties
13. Sugar or gingerbread cookies? Frosted sugar cookies
14. Tinsel or beaded strands? Beaded strands
15. Multi-colored or same-colored lights? Same colored
16. Flashing or still lights? Still
17. Wreaths or mistletoe/holly? Wreaths
18. Rudolph or Frosty? Rudolph
19. Sledding or snowball fights? Sledding
20. Snow or ice/icicles? Snow
21. Snow hat or earmuffs? Hat
22. Getting or giving? Giving
23. Snow days or plow trucks? Snow days
24. Stockings or presents? Presents
25. Cookies & milk or letter to Santa? Cookies and milk
26. Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Christmas Eve
27. Log Burning Channel or real thing? Real thing
28. Cards or emails? Cards, preferably with a letter so I know what you've been doing all year
29. Shoveling or cleaning off the car? Neither, but I have to shovel since the car is in the garage
30. The Inn’s manger or the animals? Animals.
31. Mary & Joseph or The Wise Men? Mary and Joseph
32. Hot cocoa or eggnog? Hot cocoa or a peppermint mocha ;)
33. Jack Frost or Little Drummer Boy? Drummer boy

Yay or.. Ugh
34. Holiday shopping? Yay
35. Icy roads? UGH!!
36. Limited driving visibility? Ugh
37. Christmas carolers. Yay
38. Mall Santas? Yay
39. Salvation Army Santas? Ugh
40. Blizzards? Ugh
41. 24/7 Holiday radio? Yay
42. Freezing cold? Ugh
43. Setting up the tree? Ugh
44. Wrapping presents? Ugh
45. Visiting/seeing family? Yay
46. Ad-Lib on “Rudolph…” (like Monopoly!) Yay--for the kids
47. Free mint red/white candy? Yay
48. Belief in Santa Claus? Yay
49. Chocolate countdown calendar? Ugh
50. Peeking at your gifts (or by accident)? Ugh
51. Making out with Santa under the mistletoe? Only if hubby is wearing a Santa hat
52. Decorated houses? Yay
53. Extreme decorated houses? Yay--to make fun of
54. White Christmas morning? Yay
55. Searching for ornaments in the attic? Ugh
56. Santa knowing when you’re sleeping and awake? Yay

Name That Tune
57. “Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling.” Sleigh Ride
58. “Good tidings for Christmas and a happy New Year.” We Wish You a Merry Christmas
59. “The lights are turned way down low…” Let It Snow
60. “In the meadow we can build a snowman.” Walking in a Winter Wonderland
61. “Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!” Jingle Bells
62. “Remember, Christ, our Savior was born on Christmas Day.” God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
63. “Not only green when summer’s here, but also when ’tis cold and drear.” ?
64. “And Heaven, and Heaven and nature sing.” Joy to the World
65. “Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la.” Deck the Halls
66. “Down through the chimney with lots of toys…” Up on the Housetop

First Thought That Comes To Mind When You Hear…
67. Snowflake! It's snowing already? It will be snowing for 5 months now!
68. Pinecones! Evergreen trees
69. Elves! The little boy in "Polar Express" when he sees the Elves at the North Pole
70. Sleigh! Horses pulling a sleigh
71. Presents! Christmas
72. Cookies! Yum
73. Misletoe! Kissing
74. Rudolph! The red-nosed reindeer
75. Blizzard! Being snowed in
76. School’s Canceled! Sleep in
77. Ice Skating! Never done it. :(
78. Santa’s Lap! Not my kids
79. Black Friday! Shop, shop, shop!
80. God’s Son! Jesus our Savior
81. Melting Snow! Its not spring yet
82. Lumps of Coal! Bad kids
83. Nutcracker! Ballet
84. Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!
85. North Pole! Santa

What’s a Winter Activity YOU Do…
86. …In the snow by yourself? Shovel--yuck
87. …Inside by yourself? Try to write my Christmas letter
88. …In a public place (with/alone)? Christmas shop
89. …With friends/family in the snow at home? Watch the girls play in the snow
90. …With friends/family inside at home? Watch movies or play games as a family

Grade/Rate Holiday Movies A - F
91. A Christmas Story. A-
92. How The Grinch Stole Christmas? B--Jim Carrey version
93. The Santa Clause? B
94. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer? B
95. Frosty The Snowman? B
96. Home Alone. A
97. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. A
98. Elf. A+
99. Miracle on 34th Street. (never seen it--gasp!)
100. A Charlie Brown Christmas. B

The ____ Present You’ve Received?
101. Most expensive? Treadmill
102. Ugliest? Can't think of one
103. Worthless? Don't remember
104. Most-wanted (personally)? A boom box one year
105. Most-wanted/popular (media frenzy)? Cabbage Patch Kid
106. Unwanted? I think I've blocked all the bad gifts from memory
107. Never-used? Candles/knick knacks I got when I was teaching
108. Exchanged for something else? Clothes--different sizes/colors
109. Biggest (size)? Treadmill
110. Most meaningful? Ornaments we've gotten from special places/events

Christmas At My House…(one or the other)
111. Tree is fake/real? fake (usually had real until last year we put up our monster artificial tree)
112. Tree is under/above 4′? Above--9' tall
113. Open presents Christmas Eve/Day? Both
114. House/entire yard is decorated? Yes
115. Amount of presents under the tree? Total? Too many
116. Snowman is a male/female? Some of each, more male than female
117. Go for Santa/Jesus? Jesus
118. Homemade/delivered/takeout Christmas dinner? Homemade
119. Bedtime is before/after midnight? Usually after, have to wait for kids to be asleep
120. Wake-up is before/after 7am? Right around then, whenever the kids get up
121. Go/don’t go to church on Christmas? Christmas Eve
122. Pray & sing Happy Birthday/do nothing before bed? Pray
123. Do shopping before/after Thanksgiving? Mostly after
124. Low-key/over the top decorations (inside and out)? Fairly low key, but inside and outside is decorated

Have You Ever?
125. Built a snowman? Yes
126. Heard Santa’s sleigh? Yes
127. Seen Santa & Rudolph in the sky? Yes--on radar
128. Sat on Santa’s lap? Probably
129. Shoveled the driveway/sidewalk? Yes, unfortunatley
130. Made snow angels? Yes
131. Built a fort/igloo? Yes
132. Wrote a Christmas list? Yes
133. Wrote a letter to Santa? Yes
134. Left cookies/milk for Santa & reindeer? Yes
135. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes
136. Went caroling? Yes
137. Got hurt during the winter season? No
138. Gone ice skating/sledding? Yes--sledding
139. Kissed under a mistletoe? No
140. Experienced/saw a miracle happen? Yes
141. Get everything you wanted for Christmas? Yes
142. Cooked/baked? Yes

Complete The Line
143. “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, lean your ___ this way.” ear
144. “And children listen to hear ___ bells in the snow.” sleigh
145. “And on every street ___ you’ll hear silver bells.” corner
146. “O night divine, O night when Christ was ___.” born
147. “All I want for Christmas is my ___ front teeth.” two
148. “It’s beginning to ___ a lot like Christmas.” look
149. “Round yon virgin ___ and child.” mother
150. “Sing praises to our Heavenly ____.” King (?)

Christmas 101
151. Color of Rudolph’s nose? Red.
152. Jesus’ Virgin Mother? Mary.
153. What made Frosty come to life? His hat.
154. Two main colors of Christmas? red and green
155. Does Mrs. Claus have a first name? Layla (According to the fictional series by Jeff Guinn--very good reads if you are looking for some Christmas reading: The Autobiography of Santa Claus, How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas and The Great Santa Search)
156. Where does Santa live? North Pole
157. True love gave what on the second day of Christmas? Two turtle doves
158. What kind of nuts are roasting on an open fire? Chestnuts

Make Up Your Own Christmas Tale
159-161. I wrote a Christmas story in HS for a writing class and it was published in the local newspaper. It was about a poor family who had nothing to give on Christmas. Out in the forrest a bunny rabbit froze and turned into a stuffed rabbit. The little girl received the stuffed rabbit for Christmas and it was the best Christmas ever. (It was better in its original form, although the thought of a live animal turning into a stuffed animal is a little morbid/twisted).

How Does He Do It?
162. Get down the chimney? Christmas magic
163. Deliver presents all over the world? He has fast reindeer and some help
164. Get so fat and still act so jolly? All the Christmas cookies help contribute to the weight and the sugar rush raises his endorphins ;)
165. Recruit reindeer for sleigh-pulling lessons? They are bred for flying
166. Provide compensation for elves making toys? He gives them shelter, food, and a great benefits package
167. Stay unseen from the rest of the world? You can see him if you believe

Would It Still Be Christmas Without…
168. Candy canes? yes
169. Snow? yes
170. Stores opening at 5am? yes
171. Winter vacation? yes
172. Visiting family & friends? No
173. Fake Santas? yes
174. Christmas trees? yes
175. New holiday movies? yes
176. Getting holiday greeting cards/email? yes
177. Holiday tunes? yes

Share Your Stories in 1 Sentence
178. The best Christmas you’ve had. Too many to remember, but they all involve family, good food and good times.
179. The most upsetting Christmas you’ve had? When I got a stereo system instead of a boom box (which we exchanged, I was a bit of a spoiled brat at times) :P And Emma still uses that boom box which is probably 17 years old or so.
180. One hilarious Christmas blooper? Not so much a blooper, but we had a Charlie Brown tree one year--it was small and pretty sad looking

True Or False
181. You prefer to stay inside where it’s warm? True
182. You’ve given something (or $) to charity? True
183. You spent more than what people spent on you? False--hubby and/or my parents usually spend more on me than I do on them
184. You like to take your time opening presents? False
185. The thing you want most this year costs $100+? False
186. You expect to get more than 10 presents this year? False
187. You’re a Scrooge/Grinch? False
188. Christmas = snow? True most years, looks like it will be this year
189. You know the lyrics to more than 25 Christmas songs? True

Grab Bag
190. Three best things about Christmas? 1. Buying gifts for others 2. Getting Christmas cards 3. Holiday baking/food
191. Worst Christmas song? Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer
192. If you were a Christmas character, who would you be? Mrs. Claus
193. What type of decoration should stop being made? Cheap felt stockings
194. Tastiest holiday treat? Anything with chocolate
195. Favorite pop culture/stereotypical Christmas icon (noun)? Elf
196. Know how to make cookies/brownies/cake from scratch? Yes
197. Ever cut your mouth on a candy cane/candy? Yes
198. What other culture would you like to experience Christmas with? Christmas in Germany
199. What kind of pattern/pictures do you like on your wrapping paper? Anything that doesn't look tacky. ;)
200. Will you make a Christmas picture for your blog/website/profile? I've already gone Christmas on my blog! :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A couple of firsts

Here is our toothless wonder:

She missed school yesterday from being sick so today was her first day back after vacation and losing teeth. Today is also her sharing day, so she was going to share her new smile. We told her she couldn't open her mouth or talk to anyone until sharing time. Ha!

This is the other "first" that occured over the weekend:

We have gone to see Santa (usually multiple times) every year since Emma was about 18 months old. That first year she sat on Mrs. Claus' lap and didn't have too much fun.
Every year since then, she has been too scared to go see Santa and we haven't pushed the issue.
See the tears in the eyes? All that from after just seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus walk by. This year she was finally brave enough to go sit on his lap and give him her list. About time! ;)

Now the other child is afraid of Santa. I will say that when we went on Saturday we were pushing it with naptime, so she wasn't in a good mood. I have a feeling she will still keep her distance this year. If I got within two feet of Santa while holding her, she locked her arms and legs to my body and hid her face. We even had a few tears. I hope I can get the picture of what she looked like--so sad.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Home Again

We had a great visit with family over Thanksgiving. We hadn't been home to hubby's parents since Easter, so the girls were more than excited to go. Hubby's older brother and his wife also flew in for Thanksgiving, and his sister and her family live in town. All that was missing was hubby's younger brother and wife who are in California right now.

First off, let me say I ate way. too. much. Good food will do that to you--I bet I gained about 5 lbs in the last 4 days. But I will say I went the whole long weekend without a trip to Starbucks/Caribou Coffee/other coffee place! Like hubby said, I didn't need any extra calories.

Hubby's sister has two kids, so the girls get to see their cousins when they are at Grandma's house. Cousin #1 is only 2 months older than Leah, so they were best buddies all weekend. Cousin #2 is just over a year, and the girls had fun making her smile and watching her eat and she loved watching all the big kids play. Emma was the ring leader of it all.

The adults had some fun, too. Hubby and I won the inagural playing of "Seinfeld Scene It!" For all you Seinfeld fans out there it is pretty fun, but some of the clips/questions were lame. They would show a 2-3 minute clip and then ask a very obvious question. The questions where you had to fill in the blank or come up with a qoute were a little more challenging. We also played "Battle of the Sexes" and I can't remember who won. ;)

During our trip Emma's two bottom teeth became very loose. They had been lose for awhile, but she never wanted to pull on them or try to get them out. One night before bed one of them was hanging on by a thread--she could lay that tooth out flat with her tongue. I told her she might lose it during the night, and sure enough she said when she woke up it was under her pillow. A few hours later she pulled the second bottom tooth out. She decided she didn't want to keep her teeth for show-and-tell, so she put them under her pillow for the tooth fairy. The tooth fairy somehow found her at Grandma & Grandpa's house, so Emma is now $2 richer. Its about time she lost those teeth, they came in when she was 4 months old!

All the weather reports last week said that the weather would hold for traveling on both Wendesday/Thursday and Sunday to get back. They claimed it was a 30% chance of snow. Wrong again. The drive wasn't bad for the first two hours, but by the time we were headed south on I-35 through southern MN/northern IA, the interstate was pure ice. There was no traction and you could just feel the vehicle being pulled and sliding all over. Hubby said, "You need to watch out for people coming through the median" and pretty much 5 minutes after he said that, there was a car headed straight for our lanes. Thanks to hubby's stellar driving skills (both his assessment and mine) we were able to get out of harm's way, but the car in front of us wasn't so lucky. We actually pulled off the interstate about 40 miles down the road from there to weigh our options. By that time travel was not recommended anywhere--you think? And we did not see a single sanding truck in our lane the entire trip. We thought about getting off the interstate at my parents house and spending the night there, but we kept going. Thankfully we did run out of the icy stuff, but the roads were still bad. Then we got hung up for 20 min while they were clearing an accident. We finally made it home after being in the van for 6 hours. Not a fun trip!! Thankfully Grandma had given us our Christmas present early--a dual DVD player for the van. Each girl was set up with their own screen, movie and headphones. Certainly helped them pass the time.

As for the puking, that thankfully happened after we got home. I think Emma was just having some indigestion/tummy issues and once she got things out she felt much better. We did come away from the trip with a nice cold, so that is a bonus. ;)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wait for it . . .

After a long holiday weekend, I have many blog posts rattling around in my head. Since I am just mainly thankful to be home in one piece after ice skating for hours on I-35, I'll give you a quick preview:
  • fun with relatives
  • coming home minus two teeth (Emma, not me)
  • drive home from hell
  • wouldn't be fun without someone puking

Hope you can wait for more details!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shop 'til You Drop

Or shop until you get a raging migraine; you pick. Yes, I am one of those crazy shoppers who is out early on Black Friday. This year there was nothing in particular that was pulling me out of bed at 4 am. But there must've been something pulling my hubby out of bed at 4 am and I subsequently couldn't fall back asleep, so I was at the stores by 6 am. One of the toys I was looking for I couldn't find at Kohl's (they opened at 4 am, so everyone had a 2 hour head start) but it will still be there at the same price sometime in the next few weeks. Otherwise I bought things for the kiddos and maybe a few things for me.

Black Friday shopping isn't that bad when you encounter nice people, which was the majority of people. Yes, we may have been up at an ungodly hour and yes, we may have all been fighting for the same $49 DVD player, but over all most people were overly polite today.

The biggest example of how "safe" and trusting people here are in the Midwest occured at Target today. Target was c.ra.z.y. when I got there around 7:30 am. I only had a few things on my list there and after grabbing those, I got in line to wait what I thought may take 2 hrs (the line snaked around the entire store). I started chit-chating with a nice guy behind me who was buying a $300 TV. An older gentleman approached him with a cart and the same TV. He said something to the effect of, "Here, use my cart. Here is some money for the TV. I need to go meet my wife in front of Kohl's and I'll be back." From the way the conversation went, I assumed the two men knew each other. The guy in line and I were chatting some more and he said, "Wow, I must really look like a trustworthy person." The two men had never met before. Here a guy hands another guy $300 cash and trusts that he'll get his TV at the end of the line. We made comments about "Oh, take the money and run" or "Sell the TV for more money once you get out the door." We were joking, but I'm sure those thoughts would cross most people's minds. The line at Target took about 1/2 hr and right before we got to the cash registers, the older gentleman came back and said, "I sure appreciate you doing that for me." He introduced himself and the two men chatted for the next 10 mintues until we hit the front of the store. I'm glad I live where strangers are nice and don't trample each other to get in the stores.

By the time I had shopped for 5 hours (hitting Kohl's, Bed/Bath/Beyond, Target, multiple store in the mall, Toys R Us, and Walmart), I was about done. What put me over the top was the lovely gift of a speeding ticket I received as I drove to meet hubby, BIL, and two SIL's for lunch. Merry freakin' Christmas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am Thankful

With the rush to Christmas, it is hard to slow down and remember to celebrate Thanksgiving. It has been a crazy year but we still have been blessed and are thankful for many things (in no particular order):
  • A job for hubby--Even though it's not a dream job, he doesn't get paid enough, and his commute sucks, I am so thankful that he has a job and we were able to stay where we wanted to be.
  • Insurance--With the presidential election, there were many discussions about insurance and how a lot of people go without. We used ours to the max this year and are taking advantage of everything we can before Jan. 1. CT scan anyone? We've already had two in the family this year--let's go for three. We may not have had the healthiest year, but at least we were able to take care of things and not worry too much about the cost.
  • Doctors--Goes hand-in-hand with insurance. We are thankful for skilled surgeons and doctors who take care of our whole family.
  • Family--we have an awesome family. From hubby who works too hard and makes many sacrifices for us to our dd's who make us laugh everyday to our parents who are always there to our siblings whom we love each and every one. Who else do you know is as excited as I am to go to the in-laws for 4 days and see all our family?
  • Friends--in real life and online. I have found a group of friends IRL where we have fun and help each other out. And to all my online friends, you are what keeps me going throughout the day! Don't mind all those high numbers on your tickers, it is probably me checking your blog 20 times a day.
  • Our home--we've been here 1 year on Sunday. I love our house and our neighborhood.

We hope that your year has been filled with many blessings as well.

Since it is that time of year, Emma has made many turkey crafts at school.




(Note that it says she is thankful for her dog. She doesn't have a dog, except her stuffed dogs--I guess she's thankful for those)


She came home wearing this yesterday. They must've made them at the end of the day because her hair was all full of glue. Nice.


This Emma created at home all by herself. At the time, she and I were having some "issues" so she went off to play in her room by herself. She came down to show me what she made--this turkey, and inside the cup were things she was thankful for. (Including the plastic spider ring and candy that were still in the cup from Halloween, but you get the idea). Very creative and heart warming.

Now, go forth and eat lots of turkey!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shopping Karma

Yesterday the girls and I spent the day running errands, which mostly included shopping malls and big box stores. Going shopping on a Saturday is usually busier than during the week, but now that Christmas is approaching, its starting to get crazy. I first noticed it at our small mall last weekend. The girls and I ran to drop "letter" off to Santa (he wasn't there yet, just his mailbox). The mall was fairly busy for a Saturday evening, especially since there was a home football game going on. Okay, so it was 20 degrees out and most people would prefer to shop in a controlled environment rather than sit outside in 20 degree weather plus windchill, but you get the idea.

The first stop I had to make was to a mall. I knew which entrance I needed--it was a quick in-and-out operation--I just needed to exchange the size of the shirt. Shopping karma was with me as I found a parking spot right outside the door. The next stop was to Kohl's for a couple of returns. Once again, shopping karma with a great parking space. I did my returns, picked up a couple things, and we were out the door.

The next stop was to Old Navy where I had to exchange a winter coat for Leah. The shopping karma was especially good to me there when I walked up to the coats and there was one left hanging on the rack--the size and color that I needed. It was like the hand of the shopping maven reached down and handed it to me herself. How could I be that lucky? When I went to check out, I had to return the coat but in buying it again the gal would give me the price I paid for it. The coat was selling for $27, but I had paid $18. I had an extra 20% off, so the $42 coat cost me $15 and change.

Our final stop was to another mall, where our main purpose was to play on the large, germ-infested, foam animals and objects in the middle of the mall. It was the girls reward for letting me drag them around for half the day. First we had to eat and the food court was a zoo. At 1 o'clock in the afternoon every table was taken and I had to wait in line 15 minutes to order Subway. We did score a booth right as we were ready to sit down. The girls did get to run around (and catch multiple illnesses) for a good 45 minutes after we ate.

I guess all the shopping, the constant Christmas music on the radio, and the inch of snow that fell while we were shopping put me over the edge into a Christmas mood. I put the girls in their Christmas pj's last night and we had our first holiday viewing of "The Polar Express".

I do realize we still have Thanksgiving coming up; I have a whole post I want to do about Thanksgiving. I'm not ready to skip to Christmas just yet, I need a turkey sandwich with some mashed potatoes and gravy first.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Can you tell me how to get

How to get to Sesame Street? I was watching a bit of Sesame Street with Leah yesterday morning and the show just cracks me up. You really need to watch it as an adult and appreciate some of the humor and parodies they do. Yes, my child may be learning her numbers and letters and how to speak Spanish and learning a few sign language signs, but this stuff can be hilarious.

I was only half-way watching yesterday morning when I heard this dialogue. Telly (big, red furry monster who is a little scatter-brained) was reading a book with some others and you could hear a motorcycle revving sound. One of the other characters asked, "What's that?" Telly says excitedly, "It's a herd of lactose intolerant antelope and they've just eaten cottage cheese!" No three-to-five year old is going to understand the gastric ramifications of this statement, but to me it was quite funny at the moment.

The parodies they do are also witty. Yesterday there was a segment called "A's Anatomy". There is also "RSI: Rhyme Scene Investigation", "Law and Order: Special Letters Unit", "Meal or No Meal", "Dr. Feel"---you get the idea. Once again, I don't think that the kids know the shows they are referencing, but it is entertaining for the parents.

There are still the classic pieces on Sesame Street as well, and our library just got in DVD sets of "Old School" Sesame Street which the girls love to watch. If you have nothing else to do today (and I know you don't--ha!) take a few minutes to watch a classic that still is around for a reason.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gettin' in the mood

The holiday mood, that is. I have always liked Bath & Body Works holiday scents, so this year I picked some up again. I am constantly getting awesome coupons from them that are "Free Item w/ any purchase". That means a cheapskate like me goes in and buys something for $1.50 and then gets an $11 item for free. Gotta work the system. Anyway, the past few years they have had a peppermint lotion out during the holidays and I've always steered clear. I didn't think I wanted to go around smelling like a giant candy cane. But this year I gave in and bought this

I used it once and I was hooked. It smells wonderful, and it left my bathroom smelling so good for hours after I used it as well. Then I got brave and bought this

Can I just say "love it"?! The smell is sweet without being overpowering and it makes your skin tingle, too--in a good way. ;) I have since gone on and bought this

and this

At least I know I will smell good for the next few month, and will also be clean and germ-free. And with my bargain abilities, I think I paid about $13 for all of it.
I also found a new favorite lip gloss. I love the B&BW C.O. Bigelow lip gloss, thanks to my loving sister (she has a bit of a lip gloss obsession), and have at least 3-4 at a time. My latest addition was this

It is a ginger mint with a hint of sparkle. It's what I'm wearing right now.

B&BW has also come out with a new kids line, and the girls will be getting some stocking stuffer items from there as well

Should I be worried that the gals who work in B&BW know Leah and I by name? Everytime we go to the mall we have to go to the "lip stuff" store. They get her all dolled up with lip gloss, lotion, and sparkly body spray.

I did pick up one more thing for me. I'm going to wrap it up and put it under the tree with a label that says "To Mom, Love your girls"

The gift would be the robe, not the girl. If that were the case, the tag may have to say "To Hubby, Love your wife".

I know I may come off sounding like I'm being paid by B&BW, but that isn't the case. I haven't been paid by them for the past 12 years--I worked there for awhile right after the store opened in our mall. As long as they keep sending me the good coupons, I'll keep coming back. And smelling great is a bonus.