Thursday, December 26, 2013


The days after Lil's birthday were hectic and chaotic and I found myself racing around trying to do fifteen things at once.Friday was spent taking my neighbor in for surgery and babysitting her little guy.A procedure that was supposed to start at noon and take twenty minutes didn't take place until 2:00 and she wasn't ready to go home until almost 4:15.Eek!I had to be at Christmas Pageant dress rehearsal by six and had told a friend I would stop by her place to pick up her two guys and take them with me since she didn't get off work until six.My church and the hospital are on the opposite side of town from me.I had to go to the hospital, come home to get Lil off the bus, race back across town to pick up Alicia and back here to drop her off, race to the house to pick up Lil's costume and hit the road back across town once more.Oy!

Saturday was glorious (and I need to get the photos uploaded)--think mid-70's--so we headed west to the Blue Ridge Mountains and took a hike.It was so good to be out and hiking and spending time with my family.Bean made it the entire way.I was really proud of her.We stopped by IHOP for dinner (haven't been there in ages) and made it home in time to CRASH.

Sunday saw us at Mass, then home with a sick Bean and weary Bitty.They both "rested" (HA!) while I pulled together a San Joaquin salad and hot wild mushroom and artichoke dip,and we were back out of the house by 4:15 so we could get to church in time for dressing for the pageant.Did I mention I was in charge of the costumes?!? UGH!!! Stupid spooty angel wings...

The pageant was, as always, delightful and made me all verklempt.

Given I had run myself ragged the past three days, I did absolutely NOTHING Monday.Oh how wonderful it was.:o)

That brings us to Christmas Eve.We had planned on attending the 7:00 Mass, but Bean was sick.She's still sick.Her nose is a leaky faucet and it pours forth something rather gross and she has the most delightful accompanying cough.So, we opted to skip Mass, choosing to instead keep our germs within our own family.We were to go to Nana and Pop's for dinner, so we had to plan ahead for that evening.

I got two loaves of bread going and made a sticky chocolate orange loaf (that is beyond heavenly).

The girls and I put together our traditional Christmas morning monkey bread in the afternoon.

We went to dinner (and found a punky Nana as well) and visited until around 7:30 and came home in enough time to open Christmas Eve presents (new pj's and slippers for each girl--it was a first time thing for us), and get ready for bed.

I turned on all the candles and the girls snuggled in to listen to The Night Before Christmas (I read that one) and The Cajun Night Before Christmas (B read that one with quite the Cajun accent).Milk and cookies and two carrots were left and the children were nestled all snug in their beds while I enjoyed the peace and quiet and just sat and...was.

Before Santa's arrival.

Santa came!!

Along with the scooter and roller skates, he brought these big old bricks, and two indoor snowball fights! :o)

My poor tree...:sigh:

We told Lil not to emerge from her room before seven and told Bean we would come and get her.B and I like to go down as a family and watch the looks of surprise, wonder and delight cross the girls' faces.

This didn't happen this year...Lil was downstairs by herself scoping out everything by 6:30.She was up in Ellie's room by 6:45 showing off her roller skates.Ellie was then downstairs as we were expressing our disappointment to Lil.


I really was disappointed--that I didn't get to see the joy, that Lil deliberately disobeyed, that she exercised no self-control.I know it's Christmas and kids are excited, but drat it all, that's all I have now that I'm a grown-up.:*o(

We recovered and proceeded to have a joyous and joyful day. :o)

Santa put hats in each girl's stocking. :oD

Lil made us a gift at school.Don't you love the wrapping paper?:o)It's a calendar and she illustrated each month and included photos of herself.It's utterly delightful and will make us smile all year long. :o)

Oh boy! Christmas happened!

Guess who loved her 'Punzel braid best of all!

Robin made this baby, the outfit and an extra outfit.She has been christened "Baby Jewelry".I asked Bean to think of a name she thought was beautiful."Jewelry" it was.

She also made this rocket and the alien monsters that ride in it! :o) Lil named all her monsters as well, but I can't remember them all at the moment.

Nana and Pop came over for Christmas Dinner, bearing the turkey (holy smokes was it GOOOOOOOOD!) and a killer pecan pie, and we had Christmas part two after we ate. They left around 5:30 and well all crashed.

Today has been lazy.Very lazy.

Lil received a number craft kits for Christmas and today worked on the one Nana and Pop gave her.

Isn't that the cutest pillow? She's taken it upstairs and put it on her bed for decoration.

We've been quite crafty of late.We're late to the Rainbow Loom party, but are having a super fun time with it nonetheless.:o)We discovered the "fishtail" is far easier and nicer looking than the "original" bracelet.

Then, Lil and I got a wild hair and went searching for even more designs (this was prior to yesterday when I was doing nothing all day even though I had ten million things to do) and found many a fun tutorial on YouTube (aside: what in the world did we do before the internet?!?) and I pinned up a storm.We decided to tackle the "challenging" "Hexafish".It wasn't that hard.The tricky part was finishing it.I might possibly have a Rainbow Loom problem...

Today was another low-key day, spent sitting around doing nothing but play with new goodies and veg.Sometimes you just need days like that.


1.My loot:

Okay, how much do you love these socks??

My girls got me a Sheldon-style clothes folder.May I please just tell you how absolutely chuffed I am with this thing???? I had to race upstairs and try it out on a stack of B's white undershirts.I am IN LOVE.This thing is AWESOME!Every time I would see Sheldon using it I would say to B, "I really need one of those!"

When I saw my friend Karen with messenger bag, I fell victim to the sin of coveting they neighbor's bag.I loved the color, the size, the simplicity, and, best of all,

the fabulous inner color!Even more exciting? The Great Big Book of Everything (henceforth and forevermore known as the GBBoE) fits right down in there.No more Great Big Bag of Everything for me! Now, it's just this sleek beauty.

My husband thought it was perfect for me, as did my wonderful in-laws and I came away from Christmas with two of these bags.Oops!Seems my honey wasn't such a good listener when his mama said she was going to get it.

So, no worries, I'm keeping the one from Nana and Pop, and B's exchanging his for this:

I've been waffling for quite awhile now about whether or not I want/need a sewing machine.I definitely want one.A lot.A whole lot.But, do I need it?GG seems to think so and was pleased when B told her I was going to exchange one of my bags for one.

But, I'm not a sewist (who knew that's the new term instead of "seamstress"?).I want to learn. I'm in love with fabric.I have all sorts of delightful projects pinned, and I keep thinking about quilting (because, you know, I have no other hobbies and so much free time...)

I spent FOUR HOURS researching sewing machines last night.Jess has Grammy's old (which I also secretly covet), and I knew at one time Singer was known as a top notch brand.So, I started there.

Singer is not the thing anymore.I've been shopping around for sewing machines for quite some time (not with the intent to buy, mind you, just looking...) and I've been so disappointed with the ones I've seen in JA and Target.They're plastic and really don't feel that substantial.Additionally, I'm already somewhat intimidated by sewing machines and didn't feel the need for anything computerized.I just wanted something metal and solid that did basic stitches.Oh, and that was well-regarded.That's not asking for much, right?

The Janome name kept popping up all over the place so we started there and narrowed it down to that one.I'm still anxious we spent the money and am having buyer's remorse and some guilt associated with it. What if I don't use it?When will I find the time?ACK!

The flip side is, I'm beyond giddy with excitement and can't wait to start taking some classes and learning!I think I'm going to try to find classes Lil and I can take together.I know JA offers some.I'll look into it in the new year. :o)

2. My new GGBoE arrived last week.I held onto it until Christmas Day.I had no idea I had such self-control.After all the last gift had been opened I raced upstairs for my box.

So pretty.


Isn't she beautiful???:happy sigh:I've already noted a number of differences/improvements from last year's book but haven't sat down and really pored over her yet.I might have been busy yesterday...

A side-by-side comparison.I just love the paisley.What can I say?I didn't pay full price and, in fact, got quite the discount this year.I'm so giddy over it can hardly stand it! :o) It's all about the simple things in life, isn't it?For those of you who are nutty about planner like I am, I'll do a post with the new and improved features.:oP

3.These two goofballs:

That's George in the front.

And, more George.He's such a shameless hussy when it comes to begging from belly pettings.And, contrary to what you might believe, it's NOT a trap!

4.Time spent with my family.B's off through to the sixth and Lil's home until next Thursday.Tomorrow we go to Richmond and have Anderson/Davis Christmas.Whee! Oh, and a trip to as well.

5.I'm not too blue today.That's something, right? I always fall victim to post-Christmas letdown.Combined with the knowledge that down yos typically happen when I've been super stressed and haven't gotten enough sleep and/or exercise, I'm ripe for a down.Seeing Hannah's stocking hanging all alone doesn't help.So, the fact I'm not too down is really a good thing.


Christmas number seven without Hannah.I hate that we've had more without her than with her.I hate seeing her stocking hanging all by itself once Christmas day has come and all the gifts have been opened.It hangs there as a reminder things aren't how they're supposed to be, that something is missing, that things should be different.I have to figure out something to do with it--and NOT pack it away, that is definitely NOT a solution--once the stockings have served their purpose.I might have missed photographing and posting a couple of days.Oops.This was Monday morning:

Naughty boy!!

He redeemed himself the next night by making brekky for the girls:

They were rather dubious and Ellie informed me in no uncertain terms they would get sick if they ate it.

Drat him, he even wrote down his recipe in the family recipe book! Under "Special Diets", of course. ;oP

Silly elf.

The girls, while appreciative, skipped his food and instead packed it in a zipper bag to go with him on his return trip to the North Pole with Santa.:o)
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