Sunday, November 30, 2008

Family Home Evening

The Eldest has volunteered to provide the FHE lesson for tomorrow... Should that worry me? This is the same child who regularly feigns sleep just to get out of answering lesson questions. Hmm, I'll have to get to the bottom of this. I wonder if the answer is as simple as him wanting to watch a movie instead of having family interaction. I foresee an evening of Veggie Tales.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not morally opposed to Veggie Tales, in fact, I think the theme song is rather catchy! But I was hoping for something a little more personal for our first December FHE. This month is obviously a great time to focus our family time around the Savior.

If anyone has a great idea for December Family Home Evenings that focus on the Savior and the True Spirit of Christmas, please share!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

All I Want for Christmas

Christmas is coming and I'm sure it will arrive on my doorstep long before I'm completely ready. It seems like the anticipation grows at an exponential rate starting from the time the Thanksgiving dishes are washed and peaking late into the night as I herd the kids back to bed (yet again) on Christmas Eve.

The little boys' wish lists are growing and evolving every day, as yet another toy commercial sways their loyalty. The teen and tween are flummoxed as they strive to request the best gifts possible without crossing that indefinable line where they know there is no prayer of fulfillment.

I wish grown-up Christmas Lists were as simple. The Mister buys anything he wants/needs, the grandparents are much the same. What do you gift upon people like that? And for my own wish, I want something that only I can provide for myself, and the reality of achieving that is truly destined to be an unfulfilled wish.

So here we are, hurtling toward the most anticipated day of the year, and I don't know what the outcome will be. I just hope it isn't fraught with disappointment for all. And mostly, I hope we can all remember the true reason for the celebration and appreciate the season accordingly.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I think I'm ready...

I had my day--Thanksgiving leftovers are in the refrigerator--I'm ready to move on. But before anyone gets too excited, we do still have The Mister's birthday to celebrate. In the meantime, I plan to get the tree up and start with Christmas preparations.

So I've started my shopping, but like every other year, I avoided Black Friday shopping. I prefer shopping in the comfort of my jammies and slippers (in front of my glowing computer screen) to the jostling and early morning chaos of the brick-and-mortar stores. So tell me, do I really miss anything? Because I really don't think I do. In fact, I looked through the sales ads to compare prices on the items that I have already bought, and I got better deals last week than were being offered today. So really, what would be the point of going out now? I love online shopping! And trust me, if there is an online deal, I'll find it!

The only think I wish I could figure out is this: What's the big-must-have-item this year? I think I have all the big stuff, but I know that one item will allude me at the last minute. It would really be nice if I could figure out what it is before it's too late to get it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


To all our friends and family, "Happy Thanksgiving." I'm thankful for all of you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Twilight - Not So Stellar

Let me preface my comments by telling you that I loved Twilight (the book). I was very hesitant to read it, but The Eldest insisted. And he was right, I really did enjoy it. In fact, I didn't start reading the series until the third book was about to come out, so I got to read the series straight through. And that's just what I did!

So, along with everyone else, I have been waiting (not exactly patiently) for the movie. What a disappointment! My disenchantment with the movie began when the trailers and promo posters were released. The characters didn't do justice to the vision in my head. But I gave it the benefit of an open mind and bought my ticket, popcorn, and Diet Coke, and hunkered down to watch the show.

UGH! Edward isn't supposed to be a dork! Isn't Edward supposed to be excruciatingly beautiful, and perfect, and intelligent, and perceptive, and charming, and perfect, and considerate, and romantic, and did I mention perfect, and.... and... and... Edward-ly? Aside from not looking right, Edward was just missing that special something, that spark, that intrigue...

And the story didn't flow well, nor was it complete. If this had not already been a book with a cult following, this movie would have died after the opening weekend. The story was not developed adequately, and if you hadn't read the book, I don't think you would really get what was going on. The book was so emotionally charged, but the movie seemed to go for the cheap laugh instead of the true emotion of the story in the book.

I think the only one who captured the true feeling of her character was Kristen Stewart (Bellla). Carlisle was too young looking and too obviously vampire-y. And don't get me started on Jacob and his dentures. And seriously, most depressing of all--what was with the ugly Volvo??? What happened to the incredibly hot S60--isn't that what Stephenie Meyer said Edward drove?

And just as an FYI: The Eldest insists that Alice was amazingly cast. He thought she was dead-on. Also, The Eldest does, in fact, drive a super-hot Volvo S60 (so there!).

I love reading, but my time seems to be so limited. Once I start a book, it may take me a while to finish, but I always finish every book I start. I never read the jacket covers, and I never skip ahead to see how things end. I like the the story to unfold as it should, I guess that's just my own little quirk. Also--I never reread anything--no matter how much I enjoyed the story. But I am making an exception here. Since seeing the movie, I have started rereading Twilight. I was hoping to get this ridiculous version of the story out of my head. The problem is, I keep seeing those characters from the movie in my head, and it's ruining everything!

So, my suggestion: beware! If you loved the book, don't spoil it by seeing the movie.

And that's my 2 cents worth... Take it or leave it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm a Loser

Today was one of those days. I overslept, got the kids to school late (after letting them eat doughnuts for breakfast), missed an appointment, and failed a test. And then, to top it all off, I got a badge of dishonor from for not keeping up with my 30 in 30 challenge. Oh, the disgrace!!!

Some day I hope to meet my aspirations of being a good mom--but it's not going to happen today. Sorry kids, not today, and tomorrow isn't looking so good either...

Anyway, on a brighter note, I won't be suffering from untreated allergy symptoms for the next nine months. I did my allergy testing today and I reacted quickly, but not severely enough, so I was disqualified from the study. Oh well, I guess I'll have to come up with another way to earn Christmas money this year!?! Does anyone know if they are still paying for plasma?

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Friendly Feast

The Buddies are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow with a Friendly Feast in Kindergarten. That's all well and good, except that I haven't picked up their contributions from the grocery store. Hmm. Why is it that you never have carrot sticks (or olives, or popcorn) when you need them???

So, I'm off to Harmon's. I guess I can pick up some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies while I'm there!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Looking for Pumpkin Recipes

There's just something about pumpkin in the fall. As soon as the weather starts to cool off, I start the annual craving for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. From the cookies, I quickly progress to all things pumpkin. All things pumpkin, of course, includes our favorite Pumpkin Pie Waffles, but it does not include Pumpkin Pie. I have a severe dislike for all things pie. Don't ask--it's more involved than you really care to know.

I've been collecting recipes for years, and I've tried a lot of interesting pumpkin recipes. The one recipe that I would love to find is the recipe for the perfect pumpkin cookie. I usually resort to buying my cookie fix at Harmon's. Don't get me wrong, Harmon's cookies are great, but there is nothing like eating a cookie while it's hot from the oven.

So here's what I want from you--all two of you who actually read my blog--please send me your favorite pumpkin recipes. It can be a recipe for cookies, muffins, soup, anything but pie. I'd offer the person with the best submission a fantastic prize, but that isn't really going to happen. I can send you a really nice email!!??!! So, if you have a great (or interesting) recipe--Please Share! I'll post my favorite next week.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Art With Heart

Tonight I went to watch my daughter's performance in Art with Heart which is a fundraiser for Shriner's Hospital. Three studios collaborate each year on this amazing show, The Dance Club, Dance Impressions, and Winner School. I attended along with my mom, The Eldest, and our friend. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and I think everyone else did, too.

It's amazing how talented these dancers are, and I'm always impressed at the caliber of their performances. Several of the pieces were choreographed by Travis Wall (So You Think You Can Dance) and there were pieces by Jacki Ford and Joey Dowling (In The Heights, Assoc. Choreographer), as well. How lucky these girls are to have such impressive instructors!

Anyway! It's always nice to know that you are taking part in something that will benefit someone in need. This fundraiser for Shriner's Hospital is such a great opportunity for our girls to use their talents to benefit others.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I know Your Name!

If you're a mom of more than one child, I'm sure that you've called at least one of your kids by the wrong name (you can admit it, it's ok!). I do it all the time, in fact, sometimes I throw in my husband's name or my brother's name for good measure. You know, just to keep everyone on their toes. Of course, if you go so far as to call you husband by your Xs name, that may be crossing the line just a little bit. But that's another topic.

Anyway... One of the Buddies has a definite attitude when it comes to his identity. From the back of the car I will hear, "Mom, it's me, JJ, will you turn on the music?" I will tell him that yes, he can have the music on and that I know who he is.

Minutes later, "Mom, can I, JJ, roll down the window?" Again, I know who you are! You really don't need to label yourself.

At home, "Mom, will you put my initial, J, on this toy?" OK Buddy, I know what your initial is, I'm the one who gave it to you, remember???

It's homework time and I yell, "Ma-Zee-Mi-I mean-JJ!!! Come get your homework done!" See? I do know his name!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Diet Works... So Far...

Just in case anyone is keeping track, my diet is working. The results (so far) are at the bottom of this page. Woo hoo! I like that downward trend!

However, I have to admit that the last couple of pounds were the result of the flu (ugh!) and an inability to keep anything down for two days. So I may reclaim a little of that loss. Those are the breaks, huh? You win some, you lose some--and hopefully you keep losing them!

But it is working. Of course, it would be nice if someone actually noticed (without checking my SkinnyR Graph first). Oh well. At least nobody has asked me if I am pregnant lately, because that was certainly a low point.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Day Full of Gratitude

I know, I know, I've been doing a lot of complaining about people ruining my Turkey Day by pushing other holidays on me. I'm going to put that aside for a bit and tell you why I love Thanksgiving Day.

First of all, I love everything about fall. I love the intense colors of the changing leaves. I love the golden sunshine that streams into my living room. I love the rich flavors of fall baking. I love the smells of cinnamon, vanilla, and baking bread. I love how the fall landscape changes overnight with the first dusting of snow. And at the end of natures gloriously spectacular display, I love the arrival of the end of November and Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving has always been a warm and family-centic holiday for me. I remember years past when we celebrated at my grandparent's house. The cousins came down and it was a fun and festive day of wild games and an abundance of incredible food. A favorite pastime was trying to snitch a nibble before the prayer without getting caught. I'm sure my grandma wanted to strangle us by the end of the day--but we always had the best time.

And boy, could grandma lay out an impressive spread! The table was always set with the fine china and crystal. The turkey and side dishes were always mouthwatering. And nothing sparkled like grandma's special holiday drink--always served in beautiful cut crystal. Of course, the special holiday drink was just red punch mixed with Sprite, but to us it was a very special tradition.

I loved spending time at grandma and grandpa's house. I loved seeing my cousins (I'm sure I enjoyed seeing my Aunt and Uncle, too). I loved the traditions. The smells. The leftovers. I loved the whole day.

I can't wait for Thanksgiving this year. I have so much for which to be thankful. I am grateful for my family and friends. I am grateful for a husband that I both love and like. I am grateful for my health and the health of those who are most important to me. I am grateful to have more than I need, and opportunities to share. I am thankful to live in such a beautiful location. I am most grateful that my parents are still here to help create memories for my children.

This year, I would like nothing more than to provide for my family the same traditional Thanksgiving holiday that I remember. I know, some of the recipes may be new, the desserts of choice may have changed, and some of the faces are different. Regardless, the fundamentals of the gathering of family, the warm feelings, and the mandatory shrimp cocktail remain the same!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Now Accepting TP Donations

No, we are not in the grips of a bout with diarrhea (that was last week). The TP is requested for battling those pesky, and all-too-premature, Christmas Holiday decorators. You know who you are (don't you Sue?).

I know, I know... I'm a little obsessive about acceptable Christmas decorating protocol. As previously mentioned, I just can't help but feel off kilter when the December holidays encroach upon my Turkey Day. While I love Christmas as much as the next person, I want to enjoy my turkey amongst the glorious colors of the fall harvest.

My vision of fall loveliness is hindered by the boughs of pine swagged across the front porch of the house across the street. Flashing lights and singing Santas somehow detract from that feeling of gratitude for all we are blessed to enjoy. So please, I'm begging you, unplug the lights. Put away the inflatable reindeer. Enough with the carols and snow machines. And about the elf named Fruitcake.... really, he never needs to be seen again.

PS. Sue's house looks really lovely. Really! But I refuse to enjoy it until after the Thanksgiving dishes are done! And no, she is not responsible for the inflatables.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What a Weekend

What do you get when you fill your weekend with one neighborhood party, one ex-husband visiting, a demanding dancer's schedule, two buddies puking, and a partridge in a pear tree?

A tired and crabby Bebe!

Hope your weekend was less stressful!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Waffles

This is one of our favorites for the holidays. The perfect Thanksgiving morning treat.

5 Tbs melted unsalted butter
1 c. pumpkin puree (make sure you get puree and not pie filling)
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger (you can use fresh grated, but I never have it)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 Tbs rum extract (I actually like the extract better than true rum, you decide)
1 tsp vanilla extract (obviously Mexican if you have it!)

Combine pumpkin, sugars, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mixture will be thick and lumpy.

Mix together milk, sour cream, eggs, rum, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined. Fold in melted butter.

Original recipe from "Waffles from Morning to Midnight." Minor changes are my own.

These waffles stay very moist. Don't wait for them to crisp up, it just won't happen. I know it's a little disappointing, but I think you'll love them anyway!

Some people like these with maple syrup. I think they scream for cinnamon cream syrup and whipped cream. They could even use a sprinkle of toasted pecans for good measure!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ode to the Easily Cleaned

Leather Couch, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love that when a child vomits (ALL OVER THE PLACE), I can wipe you off and you're as good as new. I love that when a diaper leaks (and thank goodness that we don't have that problem anymore), I can wipe you off and you're as good as new. I love that when my child (who is not allowed to eat anywhere other than the kitchen) spills his *insert messy, wet, soggy, food item here* in your cushions, I can wipe it off and you're as good as new.

Shiny Concrete Floors, how do I love thee?

When anything (anything at all) spills, splashes, or in other ways defiles you, it takes nothing but a broom or a mop to make you pretty again. Bleach doesn't scare you and Lysol is your friend.

Comfy Blue Denim, how do I love thee?

Wash and dry (without the dry cleaning bill), need I say more?

This is dedicated to those with puking children. May we all get some sleep tonight!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Qwest is Dumb

I got a call from a collection company yesterday. What? A collection company??? What bill have I not paid???

I was informed that I had an outstanding balance for October on my Qwest wireless service. Hmmm, interesting, especially since I've never had Qwest wireless service. And by the way, why on earth am I being sent to collections on a bill that is less than a month old??? (No response)

Oh, I guess it's not your wireless bill, it's for long distance. Hmmm, I canceled my Quest home service (including long distance--obviously) a few months ago. And since I paid my final balance then, how can I have a balance? The collector went on to reiterate that I must not have paid my final bill. Well, I can assure you that I pay every bill that is delivered to my mailbox...

I told the collector that I would be contacting Qwest directly.

The Qwest Rep informed me that yes, indeed, I did owe a balance for my October long distance. They explained that I had paid the final bill for my Qwest services, but long distance is a third party vendor. He said that third party charges sometimes don't get billed as promptly as regular charges. While I had indeed paid my final Qwest bill, these charges had come in since that payment was applied to my account.

OK, so then I asked why I had not received an updated *final* bill. Why had I been sent to collections instead of being sent a new bill. And on a bill dated October? Really, it's only the first part of November! I was then informed that because I had paid my final bill, my account had been closed. Because my account was closed, they couldn't bill me. What??? They have my contact information, including my address--they looked it up just now by my phone number! They couldn't put a dollar amount on a piece of paper, put it in a stamped envelope and mail it to me? They had to send it to collections instead??? Yes, I was told. That is the process. Seriously Qwest! Give me a break!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Coughing and Sneezing and not a Cold in Sight

I have allergies. If you can eat it, if it has pollen, if it flowers or grows leaves, I am probably allergic to it. I'm even allergic to many prescription drugs. "Take Benadryl," you say? Nope, I'm allergic to that, too. It gives me hives. I know it's not a death sentence, it's not even all that serious, but it is really annoying. I watch what I eat. I annoy waiters with questions about preparation. I keep the windows closed, even on beautiful summer evenings. I sneeze all year long. It's just a fact. Need Kleenex? Just ask me, I always have a stash.

The phone rang today and it was an allergy research clinic. My doctor had passed along my results from a recent skin-prick test. Gee, imagine that, I'm a candidate for a grass allergy study.

So here's the question: Is it worth my time to quit taking my allergy meds (that usually work at least a little) to test drive a new medication that may or may not be at all helpful? Factor in that I will have a one-hour visit with the doctor every month, and I will be required to keep a daily diary of my treatment and symptoms. Is it worth it? This is the dilemma for the day. If I agree, I have my first appointment on Monday. The bonus? I get paid. Pay is good, right?

So, if you see me puffy, sneezing, coughing, with itchy, watery eyes, don't worry. I'm getting paid!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things To Do - Kid Version

The Princess is dancing in a benefit for Shriner's Hospital next weekend. Her studio joins with two other local studios every year to put on this fund raiser. If anyone is interested in attending, let me know!

Anyway, while I was online buying tickets, I found this: Kid Time at the Covey Center. I think I might try this when the weather gets bad and we all have cabin fever. The only downside I can see is that a parent has to attend with the kids. I wish I could drop everyone off and get some holiday shopping done!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Good Intentions and Even Better Food

I am going to try to redeem myself for missing a day in the 30 in 30 posting challenge.

I have had many requests for this recipe, so I'm going to share it with everyone. I originally got it from my friend Genn who told me it was "way better" than my yams with marshmallows. I didn't believe her, but she was right! Since then, I have altered it a little, I think it's even better now.

I serve these every year for the holidays and I make everyone try them. Even people who tell me they hate yams usually come back for more! Enjoy!

Holiday Yams

1 large can yams
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Whip preceding ingredients together and spoon into an 8x8 casserole. Mix topping and spoon topping over yam mixture. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.

1/3 cup flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
Pecans (optional, but awesome!)
Flaked Coconut (I don't believe this is optional--you decide.)

Note: I use the pecans and the coconut every time! YUM!

Let me know if you make these, if you changed them, and if everyone liked them! I'd love to hear back from you!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day

Today was a special day for two reasons. The Eldest has been away and we were able to spend the day with him today. He is growing up and becoming a mature young man. I know that he is working at making a difference in himself and for himself, for his friends, and for his family. I'm so proud! And boy did he look handsome!!!

The other reason that today was special was because our friend (and neighbor) reached a milestone today. We celebrated with his family and were able to share in their joy. We wish him the best and know that he will continue to make good decisions in his life. Congratulations!

Friday, November 7, 2008


I took this photo several times. The first time the background was in focus and you couldn't discern the branches and leaves.

Life would be easier if you always knew where to put your focus. I have been contemplating relationships, responsibilities, realizations, desires, and expectations. I wish there was a way to achieve everything without sacrificing anything. I know it's not possible, but it sure would be nice.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gobble Bag Got It

Yesterday I was running a little late (ok, ok, I'm often running a little late) and I couldn't find my purse. I asked one of the little buddies (the triplets) if he had seen my purse. He looked at me very seriously and asked,

Do you think the Gobble Bag got it?

For a second I didn't know what he was talking about, and then I laughed.

About two years ago I was fed up with all the stuff that never seemed to get put away. I was always removing piles of paper from my kitchen counter, stacks of books from my stairway, backpacks from the entryway, toys from the living room, you get the picture. Anyway, I created a Gobble Bag (a pillowcase with an angry face painted on it) and presented it to my family.

I no longer had to be the bad guy! Instead of me telling the kids to come get their junk, the Gobble Bag would simply gobble it up. The item would be gone until the lesson was learned. If the Gobble Bag took something repeatedly, that item might disappear all together. The Gobble Bag worked for a while, but after a few months I realized that the same stash was still in the bottom of the bag and had not been reclaimed. It was easy to see which items wouldn't be missed and those items were donated to charity or tossed. It was nice, though, to be able to remind someone that things needed to be picked up so the Gobble Bag wouldn't get them. Kind reminder--no nagging.

Anyway--we haven't seen the Gobble Bag in nearly two years. I can't belive that my little buddy even remembered that little blip in our family life. As I get ready to start dinner, I see lots of stuff in the kitchen. Maybe it's time for the Gobble Bag to schedule a reappearance . At least it makes the Gobble Bag the bad guy instead of me!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Concede to Winter

I left the house early today in a flurry. It wasn't the typical flurry of activity that occurs when you have to get three five-year-olds out the door for the bus. It was an actual, bona fide, undeniable snow flurry. Winter has arrived.

I have made my peace with the fact that I missed fall. Winter??? Bring it on! My parka hangs at the ready... And boots? Look at these cuties!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall or Winter?

It snowed on my pumpkin.

I think that's a little like "it rained on my parade."

Do you remember that post (just 2 days ago) when I hoped that we would get some time to enjoy Fall? I wanted to enjoy the cozy fireplace and bake yummy treats. Do you remember that??? I wanted to listen to the wind as it swept the leaves away... I wanted to enjoy the shapes of the gnarled and balding tree branches... I hadn't had time to do any of those things yet because it was still 70* outside.

It snowed today. Technically it wasn't the first snow, but the first snow blew in on the day we left on our cruise, so we didn't actually experience it. Anyway, does that mean that I missed Fall? Is it Winter now??? If the snow all melts and goes away, does that mean it's Fall again? Or does it irrevocably become Winter at first snowfall? And if so, has it been Winter since the first snow? Was I living in denial already??? hmmm.

I guess we could always throw the calendar into this little discussion. But I think it is certainly Winter, with or without a calendar, once there is substantial snow on the ground--no matter what month it is! Really, could you say "Happy Autumn" while toting the snow shovel out to the driveway again for the second workout of the day??? Ok, I do realize that nobody says that, but you get the idea!

Well, I guess it's fortunate that I like Winter, too. But if it really is Winter, I am so sorry I missed Fall. I'm not sure I want to jump from short sleeved shirts to parkas. Oh, for just a little sweater weather. I guess there's always next year.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Am I in Kindergarten?

Yesterday was supposed to be my perfect fall afternoon. Unfortunately, it was interrupted by assorted kindergarten homework assignments. I am pretty sure that I attended and completed kindergarten at one time in my life. Yes, it was a long time ago, but I'm pretty sure that the lessons I learned are still active credits on my lifetime-of-learning report card. What I would like to know is why on earth my buddies' teachers send home assignments for me to complete. Do they think I need a refresher course???

I understand teachers wanting to involve the parents in what their kids are learning. Thank you. I certainly do appreciate being kept in the loop. But please!!! Don't send home assignments that you know I will have to either do myself or be so involved in that I may as well just do them myself. What some teachers don't take into consideration is that I have three kindergarteners! When you send home a poster project, I have to do three of them. When you send home a "decorate the turkey" assignment I have to do three of them. When you send home a holiday activity, I have to do three of them... Do you see a pattern here???

Instead of baking some tasty treats, I spent last night decorating turkeys. We made a spy turkey, a football player turkey, and a snowman turkey. And no, it was not fun! I did not enjoy it. And I hope to get a free pass from similar assignments in the future. So teachers, please, send home books to read, spelling words to practice, math sheets to complete, but I beg you, no more creative, family-fun assignments. Thank you!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Best Type of Sunday

Sundays are a lot of work. Every week we get up and do our level best to get to church on time. This isn't an easy task to accomplish with five kids, especially considering that 5/5 would rather stay in bed. And if I'm honest, I have to admit that I would rather stay snuggled in bed, too.

Today was one of those rare Sundays where things were just a little more leisurely. With the daylight savings time change, everyone got that little extra snooze that is needed on the weekend. We got up at a leisurely rate and had a little time to enjoy the morning. I love getting that extra hour!

And this day has just gotten better (in my opinion). There is a fall storm rolling into the valley. It rained all night, sprinkled all morning, and now there is a delightful drizzle. Delightful? Yes! Delightful! There is nothing better than a true fall afternoon. I love the way the colors are all deepened. The bland colors of late summer are now saturated and rich. The earth is no longer dusty brown, but a rich and fertile chocolate. The grass is greener. The twisted limbs of the scrub oak trees are black and more distinctly visible. The view is so much more vibrant and interesting.

Along with the view, which I will appreciate from the cozy warmth of my family room, I hope to have some time to enjoy the company of my family. Days like today are perfect for playing games, snuggling with a book, or watching a movie. At some point, I will probably be prompted to bake a tasty treat to share with my family. I love to share a freshly baked something hot from the oven. Nothing says "Love" like baked goods!

So from my cushy chair by the fireside, with cocoa and a cookie in hand, I wish you a happy fall. And may we have a little time to enjoy it before winter arrives!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November Dailies

Disclaimer: I am going to post daily for the month of November. If you are looking for exciting and entertaining posts, I might be pushing it this month. Read at your own risk.

Last night was Halloween. I like Halloween traditions: trick-or-treating, costumes, baking with pumpkin, getting a sugar high... What I don't like are houses decorated with Christmas lights--even if they are orange and purple lights. And I especially don't think people should decorate their houses with twinkling white lights for Halloween, there's no excuse for that!

Last night The Eldest and I drove past two houses that were decorated with Christmas lights. There was not even an attempt to use orange or purple holiday lights, these were full-on Christmas lights. Who are these people??? Do they own calendars? Do they know how offensive it is to have to look at Christmas lights for that many months? Are these the same people who keep their Christmas lights on until February???

Honestly, I love Christmas lights. I love the twinkle as they glow through the falling snow. I love how they outline the eaves that are weighted with thick blankets of clean white flakiness. But part of what makes them so special is that they are so fleeting. I have a firm belief that the Christmas season doesn't start until after Thanksgiving, and it ends just in time for New Year's Day. People, please! One holiday at a time!!!

So, for those of you who are lighting your houses for all the world to see, you've been warned. I, for one, do not appreciate it. And if you should find your yard adorned with toilet paper one of these mornings, you'll just have to realize that if you can celebrate ahead of schedule, I can celebrate in a belated manner. That being said, I am giving myself permission to continue Halloween pranks until Thanksgiving. Watch out you early revelers!

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