Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Christmas



Dear Christmas,
Why is it as we get older you come on quicker and are over with way too soon? What happened to that childlike wonder of feeling like the big day would never get here and the excitement that keeps you going throughout the holiday season? Where you find yourself checking the local stations to see when Charlie Brown is going to be on so that you can make sure not to miss it. Or the original Grinch and it's roast beast feast. That excitement that came along with the arrival of the Sears or JCPenney Christmas catalog and continued to build, with momentum, until the BIG DAY. I miss that feeling - of wonder and excitement. The urgency to load everyone into the van and drive around oohing and awing at all of the Christmas lights people use to decorate their houses. Going to a local tree lighting and drinking hot chocolate and humming carols. Baking sugar cookies in the shape of a gingerbread man only to turn it into a reindeer instead. Sending and receiving Christmas cards....when did people stop doing this?

The excitement in wrapping presents and adorning them with homemade bows... how many years has it been since I made a bow that did not consist of curling ribbon? Dressing up in my Christmas sweaters and enjoying the season. A season of shopping and music and entertaining and fun and laughter? Why is it as we grow older Christmas changes? We stand and marvel over the fact that Walmart, Target and Hobby Lobby bring out the decorations in time for Halloween and yet, with a blink of the eye, the holiday is finished and we are instead talking about taking down the tree and setting new year's resolutions? I wish there was a magical way to experience those feelings again.

So until next year, I will hope and wish that the feeling of excitement will return. I will prepare for the best holiday season ever - in hopes to feel that 'spirit' again and that I will remember the reason for the season and that it's also okay to enjoy the season with that childlike wonder...

Merry Christmas,
The Momster

In a Word

There's a lot of buzz around the Internet about choosing a word for the new year. Alli Edwards has a post about it HERE and there's another post HERE at Just a Minute... It makes me think, should I participate? Should I sit down and really think about one word that I want to encompass my upcoming year?

This next year - well, I will graduate with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education (Grades K-12). My daughter will begin high school.But is there a way to sum up what I want the year to be in just one word? I've really got to think on this one. Why bother? Because we spend so much time looking for motivation - I will put Bible verses on the refrigerator. I have famous quotes sprinkled around the house to help me stay inspired. I tuck notes into my textbooks and my Bible. I send little encouraging notes in The Bug's lunch box when I know she needs some extra encouragement. So what if I were to decide to focus my energy in one word, what would it be?

I'm going to think on this for a few days. It can be my fodder while I work on cleaning out the house. I have twelve days until my classes start back. In that time, I am going through every nook and cranny and cleaning and vacuuming and dusting. Maybe my word should be clean. or sparkle. or organize. or prepared. That might be a better option for me.

What about you? If you had to sum it up in one word, what would it be?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's Snowing!

We are having a White Christmas afterall! We haven't had snow here on Christmas Day since 1882 or something like that. But as I type, the blow ups in my front yard are covered with snow. There are four deer grazing in my front yard, eating the berries from my trees. As crazy as it sounds, I was wondering where they bed down when it snows, so it's nice to see that their evening ritual is still in effect.

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick note at 1:06 am EST to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas! We spent the night at church, Outback Steakhouse and driving around looking at Christmas lights.

Time to get some sleep before the fun begins!

Regards and Best Wishes!
The Momster

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Silent Night

This should be a post about the holidays and how much fun we are having since school has gotten out. It's not been fun. Monday was fun - fantastic even. The Bug got her braces off and looks gorgeous! I made her an appointment to have her teeth cleaned for Tuesday afternoon. That did not go so well. She has to see an oral surgeon about a suspicious spot that showed up on her jaw in the panoramic x-ray. We have a friend who was able to make some calls and get her in to see one tomorrow morning. We are all nervous and dealing with it in our own way. In the midst of this, I have realized that I lost a day this week. I kept saying that today was Tuesday, until she reminded me that Glee was on last night and that today was, in fact, Wednesday. I am sure it's the shock.

We are praying that it's nothing and have given it to God. But it's so hard not to take it back and worry about my precious little baby who is worried herself right now. She hasn't told any of her friends what is going on. In fact, she's turned off her cell phone completely and has not checked her facebook except to update her picture to a braceless image of her laughing with her friends at the local Chickfila Monday afternoon.

I can do all things through Christ, who give me strength. Sometimes I wonder why some of us are tested more than others?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wrapping Around the Christmas Tree

So I've taken some liberty with the title of today's "Song" post because tonight I have finally broken down and started wrapping the gifts that will go under our tree. Mostly gifts that will belong to The Bug. She picked out this cute pink penguin paper one day when we were at Joann's so of course I bought it and now it's her paper this year. I would put them under the tree but the cat is napping there...peacefully.

Today was the last day of school for her for 2010. Where does the time go? Last night she asked me to make the candy bar snowmen that I've made in the past. She needed eight. Found out this afternoon she gave them to her teachers at school. She is working on a special project for her friends. They are each getting a scrapbook of the pictures we have of them all over the years. Of course she's got to get busy and finish these. Tomorrow night there's a party with a white elephant gift exchange... so we've got to go out and get a gift for that tomorrow, too.

Busy weekend ahead...decking the halls. Parties. Baking. If it's the most wonderful time of the year, why do I feel so much stress?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

(S)he's Making a List...

Part of my mind tells me if I make a list, and someone sees it, I have to accomplish the things on my list. Otherwise, I'll look bad. So I am up at 1:16 in the morning, freezing my toes off waiting for the dryer to go off so that I'll know Hubs coat is dry before I go to bed. Thinking about what I need to do here at home since school gets out for Christmas break after Thursday. There is too much to do and I am so far behind. One thing that I want to remember next year - put my trees up early - that means at least start decorating before I throw all of my effort into doing the trees at my parents' house. Six trees later, one seems to lose their enthusiasm for all things to be decorated.

I did manage to dig the rest of the tree decorations out today. Not only is the living room tree decorated, but there's garland on the mantel! So seeing how I made some progress today, I have decided to make a list of tomorrow's goals in hopes that I'll achieve them.

1. Wash the dishes - this should be an easy thing to do considering the dish washer washes the dishes for me. All I have to do is load and unload.
2. Rehang the kitchen curtains. They've been folded in the laundry room for over a week now. They really need to be up. My windows look naked without them.
3. Clean up the dining room. It looks like a personal shopper had a melt down in there. Too much stuff! Too much stuff! This also means that I'll have to wrap presents. (Killing two birds with one stone as they say.)
4. Purchase a new terra cotta pot. Because my husband bumped the one I had just painted to make my toy soldier's face..and it cracked. Let's just say... I am not happy about purchasing a new pot. But I said nothing and walked away.
5. Clean out my desk
6. Vacuum upstairs. I am saddened that I even need to write this on my list...

Okay, so in my mind, my list is much longer than this one. But I think this much is manageable. Anything above it - well that's just a bonus, right?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Don't Be Late....

That's the title of the song by The Chipmunks. It was just playing on the On Demand Christmas channel that I have playing on the television right now. It's a funny choice for today, because I am behind in my Christmas preparations! Seriously behind! I am just putting the finishing touches on the living room tree this morning. I had to crawl around in the attic to find the rest of my decorations.... which was strange because they were not with the usual Christmas stuff. But mission accomplished and the tree is looking more festive with my collection of ornaments... and I discovered that I have too many ornaments. How can someone have TOO MANY ornaments? Must be left over from the tree at our first house. We had cathedral ceilings in our living room and a tree that went nearly to the top. Several years ago we decided to purchase the pre-lit tree that we still use today. It is smaller...and fits inside our house!

I am having trouble deciding what to get my parents for Christmas this year. I have thought about a few things but I am just not sure. It is driving me crazy! I am hoping if I take a few days just to think about it - and try not to shop for them - something will come to me. Any ideas and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated before I have no hair left on my head!

Why is it the people we love the most are usually the hardest to shop for?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mele Kalikimaka

We're having a heat wave...of sorts. Today was a warmer day with the sun shining that somehow found me outside working in the yard after I went to drop off our recyclables. I cleaned up some stuff that Hubs had left behind the garage as well as at the side yard when he cleaned out the bed of his truck last week. I unhooked the water hoses, which should have been done weeks ago. I cleaned up the leaves in the front yard. Took some stuff out to the shed. Painted the pots for my toy soldier. Hopefully I'll be able to put him together tomorrow and he'll keep guard over the front porch before the weekend is over.

Tonight we had the middle school chorus concert. The girls did a great job. The choirs are much smaller this year - which concerns me because I am a big supporter of the arts in school. We will have only two more concerts at the middle school... and then we'll have a high schooler on our hands.

Tomorrow I plan on working in the yard a little bit more before the rain gets here. If I were brave, I would get the ladder and hang some icicle lights, at least off the first floor... Or I'll just wait and see if Hubs can do it this weekend.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Angels We Have Heard On High

My daughter is awesome! I mean, really... I know parents say that all the time. But if you could have seen her tonight in the play at school... you would be calling agents NOW. But instead, she's going to build a space station and find a cure for cancer and space station disease. Hollywood's loss is the rest of the world's gain.

All joking aside... it was an incredible night. First, the club's sponsor, who wrote the script, did an amazing job. The Bug did an awesome job of delivering her 197 lines. She improvised when others in the scenes could not remember their lines. She showed emotion. She was funny. And a little scary... I don't think people will ever MESS with her after seeing how she threw two parents, a couple of social workers, some students and an ungrateful art teacher out of HER school.

To be honest, I was worried going into tonight. That's a lot of lines to learn in a short amount of time. She was in every scene and had something to say. When I had gone over the script with her once or twice, she just basically 'recalled' her part. No emotion. But tonight...this little girl.... she was incredible! My sister made the comment that she seemed SO GROWN UP. Parents were coming up to her after the show telling her what a great job she did. We were just proud of her. Whenever she puts her mind to doing something, she gives it all she's got.

The next production is a musical. Before tonight I thought she might not be interested in having a part. Now I'm not so sure. She's already sang in front of large audiences with solos at school and at church.

Doodlebug, if you read this...you make me SO PROUD! Go Wildcat, go!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You're A Mean One...

Principal Scrooge is tonight. If you were to ask The Bug if she is nervous...her answer would be yes. Not because she's afraid she won't remember the 197 lines that she has in the play. She's nervous what people will think as in her peers. So she told me this morning she'll be glad when this is over with even though she loves the sleep pajama pants she gets to wear through most of the play! We will buy our tickets at the door and I have two dozen gorgeous roses for the star of the show...even though she doesn't like it when I point that part out.... Go Doodlebug, go! Now I just need to find my camera to preserve the moment.

So the play is tonight. She gets fitted for her retainer tomorrow. Has to recite a poem in her English class as well. Chorus concert is Thursday. Then, perhaps if I'm lucky, our family life can return to something that resembles normality by the weekend. The cat and I miss her being home most evenings. I see a night of Christmas cookies, movies and hot chocolate in our very near future!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Steve


Today we deviate from the Christmas carols titles to remember someone who was (and still is) so important to my life. Today would have been my brother Steve's 48th birthday. To me, he's always this little boy. Well, not little, but still that 13 year old boy who loved to follow Momma around the house and always went fishing and hunting with Daddy. I wonder so many times how different our lives would be if he were here with us now? I love you Bubba...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Last night my daughter went to a spend the night party for one of her friend's 14th birthdays. The girls had fun...and only got 2 hours of sleep! Yeah... so that being said, guess who was in bed asleep at 8 o'clock tonight? She has a busy week ahead. Play dress rehearsal, the play, a chorus concert, a fitting for her retainer, poetry recital and an assembly where the choir will also be singing. All this week. Not to mention homework and studying for finals. I don't know how she does it! I have the greatest admiration for her determination to be the best that she can possibly be! Keep up the good work...but take a break, too!

I discovered today two things: 1....she has grown and most of her slacks no longer fit. So we had to buy a new pair for a scene in the play. 2. I have a final that is due Tuesday. I thought it was due Friday...nope! Guess who will be studying all day tomorrow?

Still haven't finished the tree. Or wrapped the first gift. Maybe tomorrow....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Put One Foot in Front of the Other...

Today's title is paying homage to that song from Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I love that cartoon! Absolutely one of my favorites.

Tonight I will be home by myself for a while. Hubs is out and The Bug is going to a birthday party. What will I do? Well hopefully the title will give me some inspiration and I'll finally put up the Christmas tree! I had hoped to get it up this morning, but got side tracked with some errands we had to run. Then the weather isn't exactly cooperating either. I know this will sound crazy, but I want to take the tree piece by piece and blow it with the blower. Why? Because a few weeks ago I discovered a black widow spider in the garage. I killed it. Then I discovered that they like to hide out in closed storage containers. This includes Christmas tree boxes. I stored our tree this past year on the shelf in the garage. I will not do that again! I now have a bad case of spiderfobia. Simple explanation for a crazy situation I know...

I also hope to get some wrapping done tonight. I have presents hidden in way too many places and I need to get everything corralled together and under the tree. I'm thinking it's the perfect night to pull out the Christmas DVDs and watch White Christmas and a few of my other favorites while I get the house in shape for the holidays. I think my problem has been all of the trees I decorated at my parents a few weeks ago did me in. Next year I'll remember to at least put up our tree in the living room/family room first.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have pictures to share. That should help to motivate me to decorate!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Twelve Gifts of Christmas

Ever heard that song? FUNNY! So it's the topic song for tonight. Google it if you have time.

So today I met with my advisor. I am on course to graduate a year from now. When I told Hubs he said it's always a year from now...which is true. But this time next year, I will be graduating with my Bachelor Degree of Science in Special Education. I will actually be qualified, by state standards, to educate students, heaven help us!

But after that, I stopped at a Bealls Outlet. Because of Fridays if you are under 49, you get 15% off. Know what I found? A case for my daughter's iPod that smells like jelly beans. A cute little bank for her room in pink, black and white. And... a thigh master! Remember those from the 80s when Suzanne Somers would sell them? Yes... I bought one! It is hidden in my van right now... I'm not sure I want the Hubs and the Bug to see it just yet.

After The Bug's drama rehearsal she and I headed out to dinner and some shopping. We found some great deals at Aeropostale, Belk and Kohls. I think that I can say I am finished shopping for everyone but my parents. I have NO CLUE what to get them this year!!! Why is it that our parents are the hardest people to buy for? At least I hope I don't have to go back to the mall anytime soon!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

My husband has been asking me for a Christmas List. My Mother asked me if I wanted a surprise this year...or if I wanted the money to buy my own gift. My daughter keeps asking me what I want for Christmas and if there are any hints she needs to give to Daddy about what I want. Problem is: I have no idea what I want this year for Christmas.

What I want... and what I need... are two separate things. I would love something frivolous like a Cricut but that is not practical. I'm all about the practical. I do not want clothes. I am trying to lose weight. While I have bought myself a few things recently, that does not mean that I want more to add to my wardrobe. I like boots. That's the one item I keep waffling on whether or not I want a new pair of boots. I would sort of like an iPad, but again, that's being frivolous. What I want is my family to happy and healthy and content. Easily said and hopefully easily delivered. I love Reece's cups...not a practical gift, but always fun to find in my stocking on Christmas morning!

I went to the mall today. The Bug needed some more Proactiv so away I went. While I was there, I decided to get my fill of mall shopping. I ate a snickers bar and had a coke zero from the Dollar Tree for lunch. How nutritious is that? I've like I'm on the Elf Diet! I did pick up a few things but not nearly what I had envisioned on the way home.

Speaking of diets... you need to check out theses Cupcakes in a Jarover at Today's Creative Blog. What a neat idea! A few years ago The Bug gave her teacher's Cake in a Coffee Mug. They were awesome and tasted great. We made up the cake mix and the icing mix and packaged them for the teachers with the directions. Much better than that microwave brownie that seems to be so popular by Betty Crocker!

Anyway, I think I should get back to work on my Christmas list.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

No, we don't have snow here in the great south...but a girl can hope. Actually today's title fits 2 purposes... 1. It is a Christmas song and 2. My Dad said the weather guy said we could have SNOW for Christmas this year. This contradicts the report that I have heard that it will be a tropical 73 instead. I like Daddy's forecast much better than my own...so I am going with it!

Today was to be the day of accomplishments. I started out doing well. I had errands to run. Then Momma called and I found myself sidetracked at their house. I love spending time with the parents though so it was not a bad thing. The bad part is that I failed to get back out and accomplish everything that I needed to do. Now Hubs is on his way to the house. I have to pick The Bug up from drama club in 2 hours. Not much time to do all of the things I had hoped to accomplish. But as Scarlett says, "Tomorrow is another day" and surely as the sun rises, I will live to shop again! Okay, poetic license, but you get the drift?


The funny thing about raising a teenager is when you reach that point where they really don't know what they want for Christmas. Like the idea of making a list is unbearable. Clothes...that's usually a given. Electronics...another popular choice. It's just filling in all the gaps to come up with something that will wow their socks off come Christmas morning. That's the stage I am at in my shopping. When I was her age I think I got my first personal stereo. You know, one with a record player and BIG speakers and a CD deck and it would play the radio. I loved that thing and would sit and listen to my albums over and over again. We had a funny conversation the other night about albums because kids today really have no idea what they are unless they've seen them in their parents' stash of keepsakes. I was explaining how you'd buy an album or if you only wanted the song, you could get a 45 of the new release. I was explaining how records had an A side (the hit) and a B side (usually NOT the hit). This concept seemed foreign...like I was speaking French in a Japanese movie.

What about you? What was the big 'gotta have' when you were 13?