Saturday, December 26, 2009

Letters to Santa

Gigi's cracked me up. You might look at it and think... what a sweet little girl. But I know the whole story. She was really complaining about her sis'. I asked Greta if she had been nice this year. Of course she said "YES". Then I told Gigi that her Christmas is complete and that she need not ask for anything else.

Greta's letter to Santa took some time for both Greta and I to decipher.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Night Night

When we tuck the girls into bed Gene and I both have little things we like to say with the girls.


Me: What are you going to dream of?
Girls: Rainbows and hearts.
Me: I'll see you when?
Girls: When the sun comes up.


The night was dark and the moon was blue.
Down the alley the poop wagon flew.
(girls make horse hooves noise)
It hit a bump,
(girls make bump noise)
and a scream was heard.
(someone screams)
A man was killed by a flying turd.
(girls make crazy tongue hanging out faces)

That is one of our bedtime rituals. The other is snuggling with a book.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Piano Recital

What a proud moment. Gigi had her Christmas Piano recital this month. She practiced her songs every single day... some days she practiced over and over. The practice paid off.

She did fantastic. It was a wonderful accomplishment for her, all the other students, and her piano instructor.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Advent Calendar

We replaced the chocolate in Gigi's Advent Calendar with natures candy (raisins)... only once. It was so FUNNY!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gene's Been Home

Remember all those weepy broken down posts about how painful and exhausting this past year has been? Deployments - I say this with disdain - GRRRRRRR!

Gene has been home for two months now... it is like he has been home forever. The little things that I thought wouldn't bother me for months are back. I had visions of being this sweet "little" women who would have all this new-found energy. I would never be crabby. You know... love is patient, love is kind...?

I had plans to look better when Gene came home from work. My hair was going to be brushed and not in a ponytail. I was going to go to the extremes of wearing jeans and not sweats. Most importantly, I planned on greeting him with a hug and kiss every day when he walked in the door so he knows that he is a valued member of our family. So far, I am usually wearing an apron when Gene gets home from work so I don't get any additional stains on my old t-shirt.

I have spent an untold amount of energy the last two days being frustrated with Gene. Here is the story... I'll try to be short. Sunday, Greta and I didn't feel well. We were two fevered whiny peas in a pod. Sunday is also the day I plan our meals for the week, make the grocery list, and buy groceries. Gene was kind enough to offer to get groceries so I wouldn't have to go out and contaminate the rest of the Quad Cities. What a nice guy.

Gene left at 2:30 in the afternoon and didn't come home until 6:00 in the evening. Strike one! There was 27 -30 items on the list (I counted). Now, my list is pretty detailed... the only thing it was missing was the UPC codes. Did he make it home with the EXACT items on the list? Some of the stuff even had rotten spots on it. Strike two! Did he call to tell me that it was taking him 7 minutes per item (yes, I did the math)? Strike three! Plus, he made a pit stop at Best Buy that was "only 15 minutes".

So, for the past two days all I could think about was the 3.5 hour grocery shopping vacation Gene took while I was home sick with the kids.

Today I feel better. I also feel ashamed, selfish, and a bit ridiculous. Three months ago, having someone to get the groceries while I was home sick sounded like a bit of heaven. Where is my perspective? Oh, here is it. It was hidden behind ME, ME, ME.

I am also much wiser. The moral of my story is... don't send Gene, who is easily distracted when he doesn't have me around to keep him focused ;), to get the groceries alone. Maybe I'll put some lip gloss on around 5pm tonight - or not.

A 3.5 hour grocery shopping experience... really? You gotta be kiddin' me!!!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Cards

Two Fridays ago I went to a four hour card making marathon with a friend. It was hosted by Heather Cousins who is a Stampin' Up girl. Making cards is one of my guilty pleasures... I never make them at home. If I make a card it is at an event with friends. Not a bad way to indulge in a hobby, right? So, if you can hold a pair of scissors and use glue - beware, I may drag you to a card making class.

I walked in and staked my claim at a table. Heather handed us a large package with everything we need. There was enough paper already cut to make 18 cards. Then we went and looked at all the card ideas... I bet there was 40 cards to pick from. I picked a card I liked, went back to my spot, and re-create that card. They were all simple designs and worked off of the same color scheme so everything mix and matched.

If was so much fun. By the end, I was just making up my own cards. I walked out of there with 24 completed cards and left over supplies to make more cards, if I can get myself motivated at home. They also came with envelopes - which I have already misplaced in my well organized home (not).

I like these cards because they hold a check perfectly. I usually give checks to the kids in the extended family... we all know that tweens and teens really just want the dough. I was spending $2.00 per money card each Christmas(I am thrifty so there was nothing fancy on my store bought cards). The class was $35 and I didn't have to go to the store to pick out the cards. Now these lucky "kids" will get these cards until they are too old to qualify for gifts! ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

First Snow of the Season

I kept wondering when the snow would come to us. It seems like it was behind... just like I am with my Christmas To-Do list. Well, Mother Nature caught up and had one of those super productive days... okay, she has had a couple of super productive days.

BTW, Gene was deployed last year and was in Florida the year before for most of the winter. I can't tell you the joy that the first picture brings to my heart. Have I mentioned that it is great having him home?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Owl Ornament for Daisy Girl Scout Troop

I was so proud of our Daisy troop... they did a great job making these owls.

I found that cutie paper and glue dots at Scrapaganza... my favorite scrapbooking store. The googly eyes and feathers came from the craft section at Wally World.

I had all the pieces cut out for them and they did the assembly. It was the first time we tried glue dots. They can sometimes be difficult to get the plastic a part... not for these girls. It was neater and no big glue blobs. I'll use them every chance we get! We did use a tiny bit of traditional glue for the feathers.

Love it!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Decorations

In a previous post I mentioned my love of pine cones. Here are a few ways I have used them. They are scattered all over the house. There are some giant ones in an old green wood tool box with greenery and clear lights underneath. I have them on top of my kitchen cabinets in wooden vintage Pepsi and Coca Cola crates; I have them around my orchid on the kitchen table; they are in a vintage five gallon crock with greenery as you walk in the front door. I can't get enough.

Did you notice the vintage crocks on the porch? My Mom had dug most of them up from my Dad's farm when they first moved there and started breaking ground for the farm crops. She was a city girl who was willing to change her whole way of being to help support my Dad. It is a great reminder of her spirit and who she was.

The old door in my front yard comes from the original tiny farm house on my Dad's farm. The house is original to the farm and so old that it is falling down. You literally can't step foot into it anymore.... unless you are my husband who was on a mission about five years ago to get me an old door. What a hero!

Gene found the cutest vintage window frame at the thrift store on post. I pulled some of the dated decorations off of it, added some pine cones, and a burlap bow. I love it and I love him for noticing it and thinking of me.

Our main tree is a beauty. I don't mean the decorations, although they do add something to it, it is just a gorgeous tree. The most wonderful part about it is that it is donation from Tree For Troops. I cried a couple of mornings ago as I sat and appreciated our tree and the donation from the Kidman Tree Farm in Polk City, Iowa. This tree was money out of their pockets during the holidays. It means something special to me... a thank you to our family for the ups and downs of being a military family. Gene is home alive, healthy, and with us this Christmas.

This is the first Christmas I haven't had a Macoroni Tree in the family room. That's what I lovingly call our tree with all the handmade with love ornaments that we have collected over the years. That tree is set up downstairs in the play area. The girls decorated it all on their own. It is a bit bottom heavy but it is beautiful because the girls are proud of their handy work and they love it.
Have any other pine cone ideas for me?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fleece Argile Dress

I was fleece shopping and got a little carried away. I absentmindedly bought two different fleece patterns for Greta's cape (it's on a previous post).
In another moment in time I had purchased a pattern I didn't have a plan for... until now.
Greta is the proud owner of this fabulous pink argile dress with... wait for the drum role... a matching headband and a matching scarf.
I still have some left so she (and probably the neighbors) will soon get to have a hat and scarf.
I promised myself that I won't buy anymore craft and sewing supplies until I use what I have. We'll see how that works out.

Farm Fresh Eggs

Aren't these pretty?!? I have always loved the beauty of different colored eggs. These farm fresh eggs are from Ms. Effie's "girls."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Big Behind

Greta checked out this very elaborate story of Cinderella from the school library. I believe it is even written in old English... she can't read a word of it. Plus, it is one of those books that make parents cringe. You know, the ones with a million words in a font size of negative eight.

Anyhoo, I passed on the joy of reading this literary masterpiece to Gigi. Every night Gigi has been reading a page or two to us before bed. Today, I was making dinner and Greta was examining the extraordinary pictures in the book and pointed out to me that one of the stinky step-sisters has a big behind. She said:

Greta: I bet the prince won't like her. She has a big butt and princes don't like big butts.

Mom: Well, we don't know that for sure. Different people like people of different sizes. (trying to point out that everyone has value no matter their size - I'm no skinny minny so this is important to me)

Greta: Well Dad likes YOUR big butt but princes don't like big butts. (and Greta exits the scene)

I guess she gets my point... kinda.