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Showing posts from December, 2007

LOL

Free Bird!!

Last night we took our kids (and Kailani and Dusty) to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. We've been before but this time our seats were a mere ten rows from the front. It was Dusty's first introduction to TSO (she was worried she'd be bored by a quiet performance of classical music) and she is now a rabid fan.

Items of note from last night:

1. It's the first time I've gotten snow in my eye during an indoor concert.

2. It's the first time I've heard someone yell "Free Bird!" between performances of Christmas carols.

3. It's the first time a rendition of Beethoven's Fifth has made me want to throw up the fist of rock.

All in all, it was a fantastic night. =)

Vote or Die

Isn't that what the ever-insipid Paris Hilton said before she - oops! - forgot to not only vote in the last Presidential election but failed to even register to vote at all?

Don't emulate Paris.

Blogger has a new feature: polls. I just couldn't resist. Place your vote (you can choose more than one answer) for the topic of the week on the sidebar to the right.

Happy voting!

For Paul

Beware.

Gingerbread...WHAT??

I spent some time talking about the Christmas traditions that have been a part of my family since I was little and that I've carried on today (with some alterations...)

But one tradition is unique to my immediate family alone.

The tradition of making Gingerbread Poop.

I did not start out my stint in motherhood with the goal of instituting a tradition whereupon all the participants would use cookie dough to create replicas of excrement.

I planned on baking plates full of all sorts of homemade goodies, an apron wrapped around me, my cherubic children lined up to stir, roll, decorate, and lick the beaters.

Of course, I neglected to plan for boys.

Boys change the rules of the game by virtue of being boys. They don't stir cookie batter, they attack it with the sole intent of mastering the flour, sugar, and eggs and demonstrating who is boss.

Boys don't roll out dough, boys annihilate dough with a wooden rolling pin as their weapon of mass destruction.

Boys don't decorate cookies…

Nativity Cake

My hubby made a cake recently for a Christmas party for the elders of our church and he videotaped the process. The banner he wraps around the back of the base cake is the Christmas story from Luke 2. The nativity scene figurines are made of white chocolate. Enjoy!


Merry Christmas

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Fo unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
- Luke 2:8-11

May your Christmas be full of great joy.

Favorite Christmas Memories

1. The reel to reel tapes of Christmas music my dad played on a continuous basis for the entire month of December. He copied them recently onto CDs for me so now I can do the same...though with my 6 disc changer, I have other musical influences in there as well.

2. The time my mom got me Strawberry Shortcake underwear - 7 pair. Each labeled for a specific day of the week. And yes, I am just anal enough that I never wore a pair unless it matched that day.

3. The year my little sister panicked because she felt our stockings and they were empty (a week before Christmas, I think). Worried that I wouldn't get anything in my stocking, she gathered "treasures" from her desk and dumped them into my stocking. I was so suprised when I upended my stocking Christmas morning and my pile of little presents was topped by used erasers, pencil shavings, and rocks. =) Starshine has filled each of his brother's stockings with hand-drawn notes and pictures or used items he thinks the…

LOL

I laughed so hard the first time I saw this pic, I nearly choked. =)

LOL

Friday Flashback: Interesting Injuries

You all know that recently I took a walk across my yard and ran straight into a tree. Weird injuries like that are not unusual for me. Here are a few of the more memorable ones for this Friday flashback.


1. A few months ago at work, I was told to "marry" the half-used bottles of Tabasco sauce together. The only way to do that is to pry off the tiny plastic top with a fork. Unfortunately, when I popped off the top, a drop of Tabasco flew into the air and straight into my left eye. I learned two things: 1. Given the right incentive, I can scream like a little girl. 2. You can develop a welt inside your eye. These were both unwelcome discoveries.

2. Two years ago, I was vacuuming underneath my dining room table - on my hands and knees with the extension hose - and I misjudged the edge of the table. I sat up too soon and knocked myself silly. By the time my husband got home, it was clear I needed medical attention. I went to the emergency room with a severe concussion, had to con…

LOL

Considering Killing A Dutchman

I just read this article about a Dutch diplomat and his wife who adopted a girl from South Korea when she was a baby (she's now 8) and are now "returning" her to foster care.

Their excuse is that Jade (their daughter) is emotionally remote and has been diagnosed with severe fear of attachment.

You think??

And dumping your daughter because she has emotional difficulties is going to what - make it better?

The father said that Jade never assimilated Dutch culture and food (and yet he never, in all their years petitioned for Dutch citizenship for her. Why not?) and that was part of why they are rejecting her now. Seriously, you want me to believe that a child living in your home since she was 4 months old doesn't eat your food?

Give me a break.

Nannies and caregivers who've worked for the family were interviewed and stated that Jade was mostly cared for by nannies and was rarely in her mother's arms and that her mother treated her as if she weren't her "re…

Hobbits Don't Have Adventures

Until now. Peter Jackson has signed on with New Line Cinema to produce The Hobbit!! And even better...it's a two movie deal so I get to be all excited and go to midnight openings twice!

Paul and I were just talking last night about how much we wanted to see The Hobbit done right but that if they got anyone other than Peter Jackson to do it, it just wouldn't have the same incredible impact of the LOTR trilogy.

Seriously thrilled now!

Here's the link, Paul. =)

Random Tuesday List

1. I'm sending out my Christmas cards today - minus any newsletter this year since my computer and my printer are currently not on speaking terms.

2. Half of the kids' presents are wrapped.

3. Starshine asked how old I am. I said 33. He then informed me that this was my thirty-tooth Christmas. I didn't correct him with "32nd" because thirty-tooth is just so cute.

4. The laundry has formed ranks, elected a general, and is now staging a major coup to take over the house.

5. I need to bake cookies...but when? When??

6. Sunday. I can bake cookies Sunday.

7. I forgot to buy more tape last night so now I have to go back to the store. I'm thrilled.

8. Paul and I introduced Dusty to The Lord of the Rings Sunday night. Always fun to cultivate a new groupie.

9. Saw I Am Legend Sunday afternoon as part of my anniversary date with hubby. It was good enough but not something I care if I see again.

10. Hubby is taking kids to see National Treasure 2 tomorrow night (previ…

13 - My New Favorite Number

Today marks our 13th wedding anniversary. I can say with honesty that there were hard years and glorious years and that I don' t regret a thing.

Here are 13 things I've learned about marriage:

1. The feeling of being in love comes and goes but a rock-solid friendship never wavers.

2. Men really don't appreciate advice on how to hang Christmas lights.

3. Sometimes men need a hint the size of Texas to know what you want or need from them but the fact that they care enough to want to get it right means more than their inability to read minds.

4. Women have stronger stomachs when it comes to cleaning up things like vomit and excrement. (or is that just a vast conspiracy to convince us to do all the dirty work?)

5. It's better to be kind than right.

6. Fight fair.

7. Laughter is the second most important ingredient in a successful relationship.

8. Integrity is the first.

9. Making time spent together a priority is an excellent way to stay connected at the heart.

10. Any man who agr…

LOL

Some ideas just don't meet your expectations.

Things I've Found Funny Recently

1. The fact that alpacas can "spit" at will - using either end. (I've added this to my "Reasons Why I Never Want To Own An Alpaca" list.) My hubby and I decided that spitting from the anal region was a combination of spit and fart and therefore a spart.

2. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "This is Sparta!!"

3. A quote I saw recently on a friend's page in facebook said "Ninja turtles are the real deal. Chuck Norris swallowed some baby turtles and when they came out the other end, they were five feet tall and had learned karate."

4. Yes, I laugh at things like that.

5. I took a walk today and ran straight into a tree. For the whole story, go two posts down.

6. My hubby is working on an incredible Christmas cake sculpture and is experimenting with various techniques. Today, he had me hold a large balloon filled with air while he poured warm white chocolate over it, trying to create an eggshell-shaped mold. Either the chocolate was t…

Lesson Learned

So today I decided I'd recovered enough from my bout with pneumonia to take a brisk walk through my neighborhood. I pulled on my running shoes, plugged in the headphones for my ipod, and left the house.

These were all good ideas.

I turned my ipod on as I walked across the yard and Evanescence began playing.

This was also a good idea.

I decided I wanted to listen to a different album so I looked down at the ipod screen and scrolled through my musical choices while still walking across my yard.

This was a really bad idea.

We have trees in our yard.

We had a tree directly in my path.

I know this now because I walked straight into the tree and managed to body slam the poor defenseless plant with one toe, both knees, my chest, and the top of my head (looking down, remember?).

The tree didn't care. I can't say the same for my body.


So far, any potential neighborhood witnesses have failed to come forward.

Toy Nostalgia

Cross-posted from my LJ:

So last night I was lying in bed and for reasons I couldn't possibly explain, I started thinking about some of my favorite toys from when I was little. Some of them I don't think I could find anymore, except maybe on Ebay (and I might look for them, once I have my daughter!)

Here's my list, feel free to add your own!

1. The Fisher Price record player.



2. My bright pink hula hoop. I don't want to brag, or anything, but I was good. Really good. I could start it on my neck, go out to each of my arms, and then send it up and down my body. I was pretty proud of that. =)

3. My entire Strawberry Shortcake collection, complete with the trolley and the bakery. My only regret is that I never owned Sour Grapes.

4. A set of play dishes with a yellow daisy in the center and swirly edges.

5. Friendship pins (okay, I know it's not a toy but hey, deal). This was before the days of the bedazzler and all those fancy "make your own beaded jewelry" …

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

LOL

I'm adding this as one of my avatars on LJ. =)

A Writing Experiment

In September, Wandereringray did a fun writing exercise in her journal where she started a sentence and invited her readers to finish it. Because I misunderstood her intention (just finish the ONE sentence...) and because it sparked my imagination, I wrote something that I'm going to use in the next series I write. To read my response, go here.

I thought it would be fun to try a new twist on that exercise. So...I'm inviting you to post a first sentence (or partial sentence) and I will use it to write a paragraph (or more...).

The only rules are these:

1. No profanity please.

2. No sexually explicit/disturbing subject matter.

Anything else is fair game. I'll take your sentences and post my responses over the next week or so. =)

And since I've already responded to the "It was a dark and stormy night", we'll take that one out of the running. :)

LOL

Just for Paul. =)

Missing Johanna

A letter to my daughter:



I had hoped this Christmas would be easier to face than last. Last Christmas, I was so sure. So very, very sure that I would have you. A year and a half was longer than anyone had ever waited for their baby to come home from China and I was so sure you would make it home by then.

When it became clear you weren't coming home for Christmas, your brothers put up a little stocking for you anyway and filled it will old Halloween candy and a few of their favorite Matchbox cars. Take my word for it, this was a huge indication of love for their baby sister.

I cried a lot last Christmas, looking at that little stocking. Envying all the moms who had all of their children beneath their roof. Struggling to explain to others why I missed you when I've never met you.

It's hard to explain instant, overwhelming, life-long love for the child you know is coming to someone who hasn't experienced it. It sounds crazy. Grieving for you sounds crazy but I do it…

Disregarding Traffic Laws

My friend Kailani (link to blog on the side bar) is working toward her dream of traveling the world for a year (by plane, train, and pack mule) and a recent blog of hers got me thinking about what it takes to passionately follow the dreams in our hearts.

As children, anything seems possible. I remember watching Mary Lou Retton win the Gold Medal in gymnastics and thinking (with absolutely no regard to my staggering lack of coordination) that I too would be a gold medalist, but not just in gynastics. I would medal in figure skating too. And I would do that while writing stories and performing concerts where I would sing, play the piano, and play the violin. And in my spare time I would race horses and live in a castle and keep a pet dragon that I took out for night flights to burst through the curtain between this world and that of the faeries who would, of course, crown me their long-lost Queen. And when I was done with that, I would go to college, get married, have children, bake…

My Reading Checklist

I recently finished reading a book that I really, really wanted to like. It was the first novel for this author but he is involved in the composing and production side of the music industry here in Nashville and since I'm a fan of his creativity there, I figured I'd be a fan of his written creativity too.

My problem was that he "pinged" every item on my reading checklist - a sort of mental standard of what I can't stand in a novel. He made me laugh outloud on page three and again on page four and it wasn't because he was trying to be funny - it was me laughing in disbelief that his editor let him get away with this stuff.

Here are a few of my pet peeves while reading:

1. Starting a paragraph by clearly denoting which character is speaking or doing and then feeling the need to remind me halfway through the paragraph of that character's name again. i.e. "Ashley raced to pick up the phone. It was a wrong number. She put the phone back into its cradle. …

It's Like Caffeine - On Steroids

Reasons why I shouldn't drink caffeine:

1. My hands shake.

2. It goes straight to the part of my brain whose sole function it is to control rational thought processes.

3. I tend to find everything extremely funny. I do mean everything.

4. I give new meaning to the term "motor-mouth".

Reasons why I shouldn't drink caffeine right after taking an energy-inducing steroid:

1. Forget my hands shaking - my whole body vibrates like a tuning fork.

2. Rational thought processes, like volume control and the ability to blink without developing an unsightly twitch, fly right out the window.

3. People find me extremely funny. Or terrifying, depending on their tolerance for the wierd.

4. Motor-mouth morphs into the equivalent of OhandIjustthoughtofonemorethingtosaybutthenitflewoutmybrainjustlikethatbecausewowI'mfeelinghyperandthatcan'tbeagoodthingbutthenagainmaybeitisandWOOOOOOOOO.

10 pts. if you can dicipher that last sentence.

50 pts if you were within range Tuesday night and ex…

Random Wednesday List

Just because:

1. Paul made me snort a crumb of pumpkin bread (okay, it's a possibility that I just need more practice swallowing but he's a handy target. I blame him) and I have to say that having a crumb of anything lodged firmly in one's sinus cavity is most uncomfortable.

2. I really love the movie Unleashed starring Jet Li.

3. We now have six foot tall penguins on a sled in our yard. It's considered cute.

4. Our Christmas tree is beautiful.

5. I tried turnip greens (for those of you who don't live in the South, that's kind of like cooked spinach with bacon in it) and I surprised myself by enjoying them.

6. Still won't touch okra though.

7. My dog is one big lazy baby. He even lays down to eat his food.

8. There should be a mandatory age cut off for yanking driver's licenses. Like, before age 90.

9. I'm getting stocking stuffers for the kids tonight. =)

10. My mom was once treed by a herd of pigs when she was a child.

11. I've never been treed by an…

December 1982

I'm wearing my pajamas, the fuzzy red sleeper-blanket with glittery snow flakes across the front and a hole worn through the heel of the left foot. I'm curled into my window seat, nose pressed against the glass, watching the condensation from my breath fog the window in a rhythmic circle.

I'm supposed to be in bed.

But it's Christmas Eve and I can't sleep. Not yet. We've opened one present already, like we always do. One small gift to tide us over to the wonder and sparkle of Christmas morning.

I got a set of Nancy Drew books, hardback. I'm relieved my mom didn't pull out the soft, squishy package with my name on it. I found it while rummaging through the brightly wrapped gifts and stuffed it to the back of the tree. I'm pretty sure it's underwear.

My books are lined up neatly on my desk but I don't look at them now. My lights are off and the house is settling for the night, though I can still hear Christmas music drifting down the hall…