Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gearing Up For Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering up the ones you love around you, sharing a delicious meal (from soup to nuts), and reflecting on all you have to be thankful for. Although money's been tight, and we've had to sacrifice quite a bit this year, I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's in the world. I have a husband who's the love of my life, three beautiful, healthy kids, and an abundance of family and friends, whom I hold dear to my heart.

I thank God that I'm able to have people jammed around my dining room table tomorrow, eating a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, gravy, my husband's incredible sour cream mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, fresh green beans, glazed carrots and rolls with butter. We'll have to make some room for my homemade apple or blueberry pie, too! :)

I know, deep in my heart, how truly blessed I am, because I am fully aware that there are those who (for one reason or another) will be unable to gather together with their family and loved ones, to celebrate their season's bounty.

I'm also blessed to have gotten to know so many of you. When I'm going through my list of all I am thankful for, you all will definitely be included, too.

May you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Please Vote for Brandon!

Hi there!

My friend Don has asked me to pass the word around that his younger brother, Brandon, is in a contest to help showcase young and "up and coming" talent. Brandon's written a beautiful song called "Thine Own Son", which is the one that he's premiering as his entry into the showcase.

The link to the site is:

If you could PLEASE take a moment, create an account, and then vote for Brandon's song, I'd truly appreciate it. And, if you feel so inclined as to go back every day and vote for him, that would be incredibly awesome!

Also, if you're up to it, it would be wonderful if you could pass along this information to any other people you know, who might also be willing to vote.

On behalf of Don (a very proud big brother) and Brandon, I thank you very much! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (In OCTOBER??)

My friend and blogger bud Don posted about the overkill of Christmas and holiday music. His main gripe (as you will) is that it is played way too early, and that we should give each holiday its just due.

While I totally agree that the commercialization of Christmas leaves a LOT to be desired, and thoroughly takes away from the REAL reason we celebrate and value the holiday of Christmas, I have to admit... I love hearing the holiday music. Granted, radio stations who begin solely playing the festive tunes THE DAY AFTER Halloween may be pushing it a tad, but for me, their reasons are sound. The deejays explain that their rationale behind playing that particular genre of music so soon is to "lift people's spirits", by getting them in a holiday mood. I certainly enjoy tapping my feet to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", or "Here Comes Santa Claus" while I'm driving, or doing work on the computer, or whatever. And you know what? It does certainly work to lift my spirit some!

My own personal feeling is that Christmas music falls into the same category as every other type of music.... I love hearing it, as long as it's good. There's nothing more moving than hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing "Silent Night", or nothing more fun than hearing my little ones singing along to "Dominic the Donkey". (You can keep such pitiful pieces like "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" How dreadful!).

I, for one, am glad that the music is being played now. With the economy in flux, and our country on the brink of turmoil, maybe a little lightness of heart and lifting of spirits is in order for all of us.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah....

I have a lot of simple ramblings to update you guys on.... hope you don't find it too boring! :)

Mid-week last week, my mom decided that she wanted to take R. on a bit of a shopping spree, for some new sneakers and jeans. Miss R. has definitely "sprouted" over the past several months (gaining curves in places I really don't care to discuss! :(, and it's been quite the challenge to keep up with her growing frame.

Because she's grown so much, and her body is jutting out in all sorts of funky ways, I can no longer simply go into a store, pick a certain size off of the rack, and bring the clothes home, knowing they'll fit her. She has to try everything on. And, being a nine-year-old girl, I think she'd rather have all of her fingernails pulled out with pliers than try on clothes. So, going shopping with her is a daunting task, to say the least.

We went to Marshall's first, because my mother needed to return a (too small) pair of jeans she'd gotten for R. previously. My mom wanted to check out the sneakers in Marshall's, but after a few minutes of scoping around, I quickly decided that the designer labels (and designer prices) were just a bit much for a girl that's way too hard on her shoes. With that, we headed off to Payless Shoes.

We went into the girls section, and I promptly started hunting for sneakers in a girl's size 4.... all of which had some kind of problem with the fit. So, I moved over to the 4 1/2's... all of which were still too small. I went around the corner to the women's sizes, and pulled a bunch of size 5's and 5 1/2's. STILL too small. I moved on to the 6's. And, you guessed it... she still had some issue with each of the pairs.

By then, I was getting a bit irritated. It was 45 BAZILLION degrees in the store, and in between listening to my oldest daughter whine, trying to wrangle my youngest daughter in (as she proceeded to use the entire store as her own personal playground), and maintain my quickly frazzling nerves, as my mother's temper grew more and more short with each new pair of shoes that were being tried on, I decided that I'd had enough messing around. I looked for a salesperson, and asked if I could have R's. foot properly measured.

The salesgirl asked if I wanted her measured in a children's size, or in women's, and I opted for women's (to assure that her shoes fit properly).

After a few moments of wiggling R's foot back into the contraption correctly, and finding just the right spot where her foot measured up, the salesgirl looked up at me and said, "Well, her foot is really in between sizes, but it's sitting somewhere between a women's 7 and 7 1/2."


You can't possibly mean MY daughter! My baby girl??!! The same one who was fitting comfortably in a girl's size 4 back in August.... is now a WOMEN'S size SEVEN????!!! Yikes!

Well, no WONDER why she was fretting over the girls shoes!

I made my way over to the proper section, and scoped it out, finding a couple of pairs of cute sneakers. She picked out one plain white pair that she liked a lot, and said they were really comfortable.

Done deal.

We then made our way to Tello's, to look for some jeans. They had a bunch of Junior's sizes on the clearance rack, and we grabbed several in a size 3. Of the four pairs we picked out, two fit and two didn't (see what I mean about having to try EVERYTHING on???). My mom took the two pairs up to the register, and paid for those too. Thank goodness for her!


Miss S. missed out on the majority of the school week, 'cause she had a dreadful cold, complete with a dry, hacking cough, all last week. And, as a total act of generosity, she decided that her life wouldn't be fulfilled without sharing her sickness with her Mama! I'm sick as a dog today, and feel like I've been plowed over by a Mack truck, but I'll persevere. I'm just glad the rain is gone... all that moisture in the air wreaked havoc with my asthma, and I was having a difficult time breathing, especially yesterday.

And, even though I truly wanted to just sack out in bed yesterday, we had to take my car to Sears to have it looked at. The dreaded engine light came back on again, but this time, it won't go away.

The crew that does the diagnostics wasn't working yesterday, so we decided to take a quick walk around the mall. I thought maybe Santa might be there, so the girls could stop and say "hi". I also wanted to go into Sears, to see if I could find a good deal on a portable CD player for R. for her birthday.

As expected, Santa was all set up, and ready for pictures, in the middle of the mall. Since my girls were in their play clothes, I didn't really want to have their pictures done, but they could still go up and talk with Santa, and tell him what they wanted most of all for Christmas.

While we were waiting in line, S. turned to me and said, "Mama, I'm going to tell Santa all of my wishes!" She was so excited! Still, I wasn't quite sure how she would react when she got face to face with the Jolly Old Elf.

Quite to my surprise, her excitement remained as she walked up to him. He asked them if they were both good girls, to which they promptly answered with a resounding "Yes!" He asked R. what she would like for Christmas, and she rattled off, "An XBox 360, a PSP, a phone, and some Bakugan toys." He shot her a look as if to say, "Yeah, right" (and frankly, I couldn't agree more! :), and said, "Well, that's quite some list! I'll have to see what I can do."

And then, he turned his attention to S. He said, "What about you? What would you like most of all for Christmas?" She replied, "A pee-pee doll", and he thought she said a baby doll, so he asked, "Which baby doll would you like? Do you like Barbies? Or maybe Dora? Or how about the Princess dolls?" Again, she said, "No... a pee-pee doll!" He looked to me for help, and I said, "She's saying pee-pee doll. She wants the Little Mommy Baby Gotta Go doll" "Oh!" he said, "I see! Well, if you're a very good girl, then I'll do my very best to see what I can do for you, too, okay?"

"Okay, Santa!" she squealed, and she gave him a big hug. He handed both girls a candy cane, and wished us all a Merry Christmas. The girls were on cloud nine.

In Sears, we found a cute little portable CD player, with an AM/FM radio. Just right for Miss R's. room. My husband went back later last night to get it for her. It was Friends and Family night at Sears, and the store was open from 6:00 to 9:00, for Sears employees and their families ONLY. And, everyone who made purchases got an extra 10% off of everything, with special deals on certain items. With all of the discounts, the CD player I'd picked out was only $20.

He also swung by a fellow Freecycler's house, to pick up some children's videos she had up for grabs. When he came home, Miss S. was so excited to see all of her "new" Sesame Street, Dora, Blues Clues and other videos. She picked out the Elmo Saves Christmas one, and watched the entire thing in her room last night, without making a peep! :)

With the purchase of the CD player, I'm officially DONE with both Christmas and R's. birthday! I've also begun wrapping things, so we won't be up until the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Eve. Goodness knows our little one will have us up before the roosters on Christmas morning!! She's SOOOOO excited this year!

Now, I have to focus on Thanksgiving. We typically have Thanksgiving dinner here, with various family members popping in to eat or to have dessert. I have to go grocery shopping today (but only because we have NOTHING in our house at the current moment!), and I'll start picking up things for Thanksgiving dinner. I typically have a turkey with stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, a few vegetables (like broccoli, green beans, corn, glazed carrots), and rolls for dinner. I also make an apple pie and a blueberry pie, and some kind of other simple dessert (like brownies, cookies, or a cake).

What is your typical Thanksgiving dinner like?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Shameless Plug (well, kinda)

I don't typically participate in any kind of "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" postings, where people give away free stuff on their blog, and in return, I'm supposed to give them a shout out on my blog, with a gazillion links back to them. My theory typically is, if you wanna give the stuff away, just go ahead and DO IT already.

But, I gotta tell you guys.... this woman makes THE cutest darn stuff! Her hairclips, hats, leg warmers, and other little doo-dads for girls are just too adorable for words! And, since I think her stuff is so amazing (almost works of art, really), AND because I would love to be the winner of her current giveaway, well... I've succumbed!

The URL to her blog, Hair Flips, is located amongst "My Favorites" (over there, on the left of my page). And, if you want to go and check out her products up for sale, here's the link to her Etsy website:

If you need to pick up a cute little gifty for a girly-girl this holiday season, I'd really recommend you take a look. Or, if you want to just "ooooh" and "aaaahhh", you can go check it out, too! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Memoriam, and In Tribute

In honor of my father, who swiped his older brother's birth certificate and faked his age in order to enlist in the Navy and serve his country to fight against Japan at the tender age of 16;

In honor of my oldest brother, who also enlisted into the Army at the age of 17, during a time when guys were enrolling in college to refrain from being drafted, and fought in the trenches of Vietnam, experiencing things so traumatic that he can't talk about them, even all these years later;

In honor of my nephew, who enlisted in the Army at 18, and is actively working through his tour of duty over in Iraq;

And, in honor of all of the noble men and women, in our past and present history, who have nobly stood up to represent, serve, and protect ALL of the freedoms that we hold dear --

With humility, I salute you and thank you, for all you have done to make and keep this country, our country, free.

Monday, November 10, 2008


If you Google 1:24, you come up with a lot of interesting tidbits.

For example, did you know that 1:24 is the true (and apparently only technically acceptable) scale for any model car?

Or, how about the fact that the Schweizer SGS 1-24, also referred to as the Schweizer-Burr SGS 1-24, is a United States single-seat, mid-wing, Open Class competition glider?

Inevitably, there were a LOT of entries that contained the date 1/24 (with lots and lots of different years attached), telling tales of meetings minutes, science and medical experiments, individual and group blog entries, birthdates, dates of death... those listings were endless.

I also noted some particularly interesting Bible passages, listed as a result of this particular search:

Colossians, 1:24:

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.

Matthew, 1:24:

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife.

Wait...what? Joseph awoke from his sleep??? Was it at that EXACT time? Is that the relevance...the Holy Grail... the meaning behind it all?


Is Joseph trying to communicate with her? Is she being told to rejoice in Christ's sufferings? Or, is she merely trying to torment her poor mom???

Like clockwork, every SINGLE (early) morning, that child enters into our bedroom, waking me up out of a sound sleep. At 1:24 a.m.

I guess now I've added one more Google entry that is just as random as the thousands I've pulled up, and makes as much sense as her 3-year-old internal clock.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blogging for Susy

Okay, so I'll be the first to admit that I've been shirking my blogging duties as of late (sorry, Sus...and thanks for the nudge!). I promise you guys it's not because I haven't wanted to. It's more because I've been INSANELY busy, with the holiday season kicked into gear. I've also been rather boring, with nothing more than general ramblings to post. And, I didn't want to turn my high-falootin' blog into a total yawn fest. That would be pure torture! :)

So... the day after Halloween, two of my favorite radio stations started playing Christmas music. Now, I know that some of you may hear that and start screaming your fool heads off, but let me tell you... I actually rather enjoy it. In fact, I just about love it. It SOOOOO puts me into the "Christmas spirit" (more than our current 60-ish degree weather does, that's for sure!). So, for the past week, I've been coming home from dropping the little one off at preschool, taking care of whatever things need to be done around the house first, then getting the live feed from the radio station on my computer, and putting myself into a wrapping stupor!

I mostly began the whole wrapping spree out of necessity. I had so many boxes and bags jammed into the corner of my room that their edges started creeping more and more onto the floor, to the point where I started tripping on them (more than once). When I stubbed my pinky toe on the hefty box (that housed several of my children's treasures), that was the proverbial straw. I hiked out all the wrapping paper, tags, Scotch tape and scissors, and went to town! I'm proud to say that that mountain is down to a mere hill! :)

How many of you use completely different wrapping paper and tags for your "Santa" gifts? I started down that particular road quite a few years back, when N. said, "Hey, Santa uses the same paper as you, Mom!" Smart little whippersnapper! Ever since, I've used EVERYTHING different for the stuff that "Santa" gifts. It can get a little confusing sometimes, but so far, I haven't made any profound mistakes.

I'm going to try and score tickets to this year's Polar Express ride, too.

We were fortunate enough to go last year, and it was a total blast. The ride is only limited to certain towns, but if you have the chance to go, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's great fun!

I also want to really try and go to see the Festival of Lights at the Stone Zoo this year. We went one year, when N. and R. were very small, and it was so wonderful. I wanted to go last year, but we just ran out of time. I'm hoping we'll get to see it again this's so beautiful!

What are some fun things YOU want to do this holiday season?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More General Ramblings

This morning, after dropping our little one off at preschool, I took my husband to an oral surgeon to get one of his teeth extracted. He woke up Sunday morning looking like a lopsided chipmunk! The left side of his face was all swollen, and he said it was very painful and tender to the touch. He took our oldest daughter to school yesterday, and then went straight to our dentist's office from there. That's when he found out that he had a severe abscess, and that the tooth had to come out before it got any more infected. They gave him prescriptions for both Vicodin and Penicillin, and sent him home, with copies of his x-rays, and a chart indicating which tooth was affected (he had to bring both to the oral surgeon's office today).

The entire procedure took about a half hour, and he was pretty groggy when they called me into the "recovery room" (a.k.a. a leather lounge chair for the patient, and an office chair for the "designated driver", in a teeny tiny room!). He said he'd just woken up, so they must have given him some of that medicine that puts you into a twilight (and not the nice, Edward Cullen version -- that's for you, Michelle! :), as well as the Novocaine. He came home, and shortly afterward, settled into bed. He took a much needed snooze, and just woke up a little while ago, saying he was hungry. Thank goodness for Sunday Baker, and her plethora of recipes.... I made the taco ring, which is nice and soft enough for him to chew! The swelling in his face has gone down a whole lot too, which is a good thing. Now, to just get him to continue to follow all of the "rules" he's supposed to adhere to over the next couple of days!

I can't even believe that I'm typing this, but, with a BIG thanks to the help from my mother, my Christmas shopping for the kids is just about DONE! :) I had one more thing to get for my oldest daughter (apparently, she needed some game board to go along with the Bakugan "accessories" I picked up for her a few weeks back; otherwise they'd be rendered pretty much useless! What do I know??). I also had quite a bit to get for my son, whose tastes have become VERY expensive. And...only two months to do it in. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how I was going to pull it off, without putting bills aside to do it (which I really didn't want to do, for very obvious reasons).

Then yesterday, I got an e-mail from KB Toys. It contained an e-copy of their "Big Toy Book" (or whatever they call it there). Underneath the header of the e-mail, there was an icon that said "Bill Me Later". I clicked on it, and to my pleasant surprise, found out it was a feature that could allow a person to purchase items now, and delay the payment for up to 90 days!!! Since this feature requires good credit (and mine's less than stellar), I asked my mother if it would be all right if I could plug in her information, and she totally agreed to let me do it!

So... next Friday, I'll give her some money towards it. Then, mid-December, I'll give her some more. Then again in mid-January, and again in mid-February, when the bill comes due. By then, it should be all paid up!!

This definitely frees me up to not only get a few things for both my husband and my mom (neither of which I thought I could get much more for at all), but it also gives me peace of mind in case I wind up having to get my car checked out (the stupid engine light is on.... AGAIN... and this time, it won't shut off!).

What a nice thing to do, huh? See...she can be a real pain in the patoot, but she definitely makes up for it sometimes! :)

Oh, and by the way.... I voted! Did you??