Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A yammering post 'bout nothing

I can't believe I haven't had a moment since Christmas to blog about the day! Our little Ellie was very sick and not much up for Christmas presents, but Mitchell was wild about the gifts. It was a delight to see sheer joy radiate from him. We had wrapping strewn everywhere as Mitchell plowed through the presents shrieking in delight at each new item.

We had the pleasure of hosting Christmas dinner at our home this year. My grandma and great aunt even joined us. It was quite a feast...I am surprised the table withstood the weight of the fix'ns! It was scrumptious! It was the relaxing day I had hoped for.

Mitchell and my nephew played until they were delirious with exhaustion. We adults enjoyed a few rounds of a new game called Buzzword and then our favorite game of all...Balderdash! The more tired we got the more clever the answers we wrote!

Now I am sitting pondering 2008. What a year! As we leave it behind I find myself down with a wicked cold and holding a heating bill for over $500. Apparently we were almost Smokey Acres revisited. Our heater's circuit board (I don't know what it is but it turns out it is very expensive!) has been "arcing" and at some point caught fire and fried itself. All I knew was I punching the buttons on the thermostat to no avail. We went just one night without heat and it only got to 51 degrees inside. Thank goodness the fog set it and kept a bit of warmth close to the ground. We bundled up in sweatpants and blankets and snuggled in deep.

But heat or no heat, I am thankful to have a house we call a home. I am thankful for my dear hubs and our amazing children. We make it through ups and downs together. Though, I do admit that I am hopeful for a few more ups in 2009! Whatever comes our way we will attempt to take it in stride and have some fun and develop more character along the way!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bringing Back Santa

When my brother and I were young, Santa would come visit us before bedtime on Christmas Eve (or the eve of Christmas Eve). We wanted to have this same tradition for our children. So we called up Santa and he made a surprise visit that left my son and nephew speechless!

Santa was his jolly ol' self! It was wonderful and amazing to see him after all these years. And, like magic, his pack had the exact presents the boys asked him for as they sat on his lap...well, okay, he had the fifth thing my nephew asked for!

Unfortunately, Miss Ellie was under-the-weather. She didn't want to sit on Santa's lap...she was clinging to me like a monkey. When Santa asked her if she wanted a "horsey" she shocked her head "no" and turned away. Then Santa said, "I bet instead of a horsey you want a pony!" Magic words! She spun head around and gave a nod that said, "Well, I wouldn't turn one down if you have it in your bag there." How does Santa know these things!?!? Ellie hung onto that new pony even as she rested after Santa left.

Santa reminded the kids to be good and to mind their parents...Santa is good! And, if they behave today, he will be sure to visit our homes tonight after they are sleeping and leave special gifts for them.

The kids were beyond impressed that, at his most busy time, Santa came to see them. And my brother and I had the joy of giving our children something that was so special to us growing up. We witnessed everything from the eyes of parents and know why our own parents made sure Santa came to see us every year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Katie and my BIG Teeth

One thing I am totally self-conscious about is my overbite. It is a dosey. I have to keep myself in check because if I ever let myself go slack-jaw with boredom I get a look of complete, "DUR!" It was the thing the "Mean Girls" in high school picked on. It is one of those quirky attributes I should embrace, like the bump on my nose, but I am not there yet...even after 35 years!

So I go to pick up my children from preschool. While I am waiting for them to gather up all their gear I look up and see Katie is making a beeline for me. Katie is an inquisitive little pip who tells me her name every time I see her.

"My name is Katie."

"Hi Katie."

"What's your name?"

"My name is Jennifer."

"Jenfur?" she looks at me puzzled. "I thought you were Mitchell's mommy."

"Well, I am, but my actual name is Jennifer."

"Hmmm...Why are you Mitchell's mommy?"

Good gracious! "Well, I guess I am Mitchell's mommy because God wanted me to be his mommy."

"Hmmmm..." She seems satisfied with that answer but begins to hone in on my face. I think she must see a booger or something. I wait with dread...what is she going to say? And, then she spills it... "What's wrong with you teeth?"

"Excuse me?" I feel myself get hot. We have a mean girl in-training here!

"Your teeth. What's wrong with them?"

"I don't think anything is wrong with them." I squirm under the intense questioning. Where are my children? I start to look around.

"Why do they stick out like that?"

"They don't stick out." Total lie. It is obvious they do. But, really, it is just mean to point out.

"Yeah, like this..." And that evil child does an amazing beaver impersonation.

I think I have flashbacks to high school. I may even have lost consciousness for moment. When I regain my composure I kneel down to little Katie's level and I say, "My teeth stick out Katie so that I can bite things. All kinds of things." She looks at me like I have sprouted a third eyeball and she backs away. Thankfully, my children arrive in a screaming fury at their delight that Mommy-with-the-big-honking-teeth has come to take them home.

I am sure little Katie will mention me in therapy years from now. She probably has dreams of enormous teeth chasing her around. For now, she will likely continue to stare at me from a total awe of my big teeth. Though I doubt she will, but should she ever question me again I may have to add in a little growl for the full effect!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Cuties!

Mitch and Ellie were combed and polished for their Christmas program at school. It is rare to see their cheeks so clean and their clothes stain-free! Ellie does have a Kung-Fu Panda tattoo on her arm, but we'll let that slide!

Monday, December 15, 2008


... is super cute!
A dear friend provided us with these pj's that are hand-me-downs. I love hand-me-downs! And now, Mitchman is properly attired to save the a single bound of course!

Friday, December 12, 2008

White Christmas

We are gearing up for another White Christmas...Central Valley style! Instead of snowflakes and flurries we get fog. The kind of fog that has traffic reporters stating how many feet you can see rather than how many fractions of a mile.

The view from our doorstep at noonish is not too bad actually (isn't our "grass" lovely?). You can't see the school, but you can see across the street. These are the kinds of days when I love working from home. Pounding away on the computer with a cup of hot java is much better than battling the fog that wrecks havoc on all types of hair and makes the skin "glisten" in an unflattering way.

Looking at the picture above makes me laugh. It looks like our tree has a wild hair. What is that about? The smaller tree next to it is working on the same design. There is actually an even smaller three to the right just outside of the picture frame. They remind me of the Three Bears...Papa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby Bear.

But, I digress...back to the fog. The fog has Mitchell very concerned about Santa's ability to find our house. He is asking very detailed questions that have Todd and I creating wild answers that always seem to involve "magic." Santa is magic. No, Santa is not at all like God, but Santa is magic. Santa can hear you with magic ears. Santa knows when you are being naughty because he is magic. Santa's sack is magic and that how he fits toys for the whole world in it. It is a magic time of year!

So, Mitchell is somewhat convinced that the fog won't hinder Santa too much. He did ask that we set carrots out for the reindeer so they will be able to keep their strength up. His says Rudolph's nose needs to shine extra bright to cut through the fog!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

OK Santa! We're Ready! Almost... we still have cookies to bake and packages to wrap...but the tree is up and decorated! And, the yard is very merry indeed!
Two ornaments met their demise at the hands of Miss Ellie. She wanted to see if a glass ball would bounce and if an angel would fly. Todd and I wanted in on the action also and we broke an ornament apiece. Thankfully, our two were not fatally destroyed. They are propped up on the kitchen counter while the Elmer's glue takes hold. Mitchell was too busy supervising the whole process to break anything.
The kids are getting very excited about the big night when Santa will come and fill their stockings; have some cookies; and leave some special presents under the tree. Actually, I should say that Mitchell is excited. Ellie seems a little freaked out about a jolly ol' fat man walking through the house at night. We will be working on that!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Brutely Honest

I admire honest people. The friends that love you enough to say, "As a matter of fact, you do look like a hippo in those jeans." Or, "You have a chunk o' chives in your front teeth." I don't consider these comments rude. I think they are helpful. Seriously. Hipponess is bad and chives are gross.

I live with two very honest people. They can't help it. They don't know about white lies. They don't attempt to spare feelings. They tell it like they see it. They are children.

At first, this was an adjustment for me. It took my dear hubs to put it into perspective for me...they are 2 and 4. They are just observing, not trying to be critical.

Here are some comments I have heard in the last few days...

From Ellie...

I was kneeling on the floor getting her dressed and my slacks had that fabric pooch. Ellie patted this and said, "Look Mommy! You are a fatty."

From Mitchell...

While I was mindlessly singing along with the Christmas CD in the car I heard a growl from the backseat followed by, "Momma! Quit making that horrible noise!"

From Ellie...

I came in from doing yard work and was getting undressed for the shower. Ellie walks in and waves her hands hollering, "Shooie! Shooie Mommy! You smell like a poopoo ball."

So that is the bad...but then their honesty forms the sweetest words sometimes...

From Mitchell...

"Mommy, you sure are handsome."

From Ellie...

"I want you Mommy! I loooove you Mommy!"

From Mitchell...

"I have my happiest days with you Mommy. You make my heart happy. I thank you and God for my whole world." (This one I heard at bedtime a couple nights ago and it still makes me tear up.)

So, I say we be like children. Go out and be honest! Shake someone up! Make them smile! Make them laugh! Be a true friend! And do an honest to goodness chive check for your buddies!