Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You've Got to Trust Me on This One

I think it's time to get that crazy picture of Britney Spears off of the front page of my blog. :0)


Did you all have a great holiday? I hope so. Mine was busy and full of family. It was wonderful. I was very spoiled this year, as was the rest of my family. We got OODLES of yucky snow that made it miserable to drive around in. But, "thankfully" it rained for an entire day and now we just have mounds of slush all over the roads to deal with. {BTW...trying to keep kids from splashing in the slush puddles that have formed in store parking lots is maddening!}


I have begun the massive process of decluttering my house and re-organizing everything. With no school to worry about I have been able to let my OCD run free. It's great. :0) I got some awesome new dishes for Christmas from my mom and so yesterday I had to reorganize my kitchen cupboards to make everything fit. My junk drawer has been compartmentalized. {don't you love that word?} My laundry room is sparkling. The movies have been re-alphabetized. Christmas decorations are almost put away. And.....


I have watched 16 episodes of '24'. You know... the television series? Yeah...that one. The hubby started watching it at the beginning of season 5 but felt like he was missing out on some important information. He's been wanting to start at season 1 and get through all of the episodes before season 6 starts. Santa must have heard his cry for help because he brought season 1 and season 2 to our house this year. And every night since, the two of us have lazily sat in front of the television for HOURS trying to get through the first season. It's now 4:00 pm...so that means we still have about 8 hours {or 8 episodes} to go. Ok...without commercials it takes way less time than the normal hour tv block, but still. I don't hardly ever watch tv anymore so I'm feeling kind of naughty. :0)
BTW...for those of you who watch the show...have you ever counted how many times Jack Bauer actually says "You've got to trust me on this one" each episode? For a guy who basically trusts no one...he expects an awful lot of trust from everyone else around him. :0)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Potentially Dangerous...

Do you remember when Britney Spears went crazy and shaved her head....and then attacked a car with an umbrella. Sometimes....

I get it.

You know...a string of frustrations and you just need to scream. Or talk with a British accent for no apparent reason.....

Thankfully....I tend to resort to coloring my hair rather than shaving it all off. And instead of smashing in a car window with an umbrella I eat chocolate. {I don't have to worry about all those papparazzi taking pictures of me stuffing my face like poor Britney}

Why am I talking about Britney Spears you ask? Good question.

I have been going to school full time, non-stop since February. One set of classes ends on a Sunday and the next set begins the very next day. My brain is on overload. Just as I finish up my final projects for one set of classes, I have to hurry and get familiar with the information for the next set. After this last change up I thought I was going to go crazy. Understandably, as I get further along in school, my classes keep getting harder. Want to know what else changes with each new rotation of classes?

The level of cleanliness in my home....it's scary.
The amount of time I sit in front of this computer.....can you say blood shot eyes?
My ability to stay organized in other areas.....freakishly erratic.
My extra time for me.....almost non-existent.
The quality of the meals I make for my family....it's almost a form of neglect.
The time I have for hanging out with my family....NOT ENOUGH.

My OCD tendencies are screaming for attention. I can't block out the clutter in my home any longer. I can't cram one more piece of random information into my head. My kids and my hubby need some quality time with dear old me. My son wanted to know how much longer I was going to have to do this. He went bug-eyed when I told him I had at least 2 1/2 years before I could actually get a position in the field of psychology. What I didn't tell him was that I would have a couple more years after that in order to get my master's degree.

So, hallelujah! Today is day one of fourteen where I have NO schoolwork. I've got two weeks of holiday time where I don't even have to crack open a book. AND....when holiday break is over, I only have one week of school left in this block before I am taking a personal break for another week. That will give me time before I have to jump into more deep thinking. :0)

And....I won't have to worry about ending up like Miss Britney Spears. I don't think I would look good with a shaved head...it's kind of bumpy. :0)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Optimism




Your rating: Cynicism (44 out of a possible 100)

Summary Report:
According to your responses, your perspective of humankind is neither na├»ve nor jaded. Instead of assuming the best or worst of someone, you wait before making a judgment. You prefer to have others earn your trust, and although you won’t necessarily assume everyone has a hidden agenda, you’re also not the type to accept everything people say or do at face value. Tempered with a hearty dose of skepticism, this is a relatively healthy perspective. You may however, benefit from being a little more trusting. Unlike their less positive counterparts, optimists will at least try to find the good in even the most difficult of people, and are much more willing to place their faith in others. Although this doesn’t mean that you should trust the good intentions of everyone you meet, a leap of faith every once in a while couldn’t hurt.
Sounds about right :0)
What about you? Do you lean towards the glass being half empty or half full? Or...are you like me and just see some water in a cup? :0)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Shmow

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate snow? Sigh. It's been a long day.

I hate driving in the snow. A lot. It's not my driving that I'm worried about so much...it's all the other crazy drivers out there. Anyway...we won't get into that. I had to go into work today for payroll and it took me a couple of hours to get through everything for the day. When I went outside to leave....my windshield was covered in ice! Are you kidding me? Sigh. So, I got out in the insanely cold snow and scraped my windshield so that I could see. {Just so you know...it was completely clean before I went to work. This was all new ice!}

Then...I got back in my car and as I attempted to pull out into the road, I realized my car was stuck. Yep. Tires spinning, not moving...stuck. Are you kidding me? Thankfully I had drivers education with Mr. Mecham and so I knew all about the "rocking" technique. You know...reverse, forward, reverse, forward...back, forth, back, forth...until you are able to "rock" out of the sticky spot. I made it out...whew. Off to Costco.

Did you know that apparently it was A-ok to ride your bicycle down the middle of a busy road if the sidewalks are covered in snow?

I didn't know that either. Hmmm.....

Did you know that apparently it is A-ok to WALK down the middle of a busy road if the sidewalks are covered in snow?

Again...me either. See where I'm going with this?

Did you know that if you drive a BIG truck you don't have to worry about slick roads because...hey! You're in a BIG truck. Those other people in their cute little Pacifica's? They should stop for you. Oh wait! Not all Pacifica's have 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive? That's right! Wow....should have thought twice when you thought the lady with the angry eyes behind the wheel would actually stop for you and your BIG ass truck.

Ahem. {Calming down now}

Yeah...some dumb guy in a truck tried to pull out DIRECTLY in front of me in a non-snow plowed parking lot. My car doesn't stop on a dime in the snow. Let's just say he learned a lesson today. And that is....don't pull out in front of people in the snow! Dumb!

Continuing on...

Did you know that snow tires are about $150 each? And that by the time you pay for all four of them and have them installed and balanced and whatnot it's going to cost almost $900? FOR TIRES! THAT YOU ONLY USE WHEN IT'S SNOWY OUTSIDE!

Have I mentioned that I hate snow?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thanks again ladies!

I am keeping to my word and updating all my girls night girls about my grade on the assignment you all helped me to complete.....





Drum roll please.....
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That's right...you all receive an A+++++++++

Thanks again for your help!

Friday, December 12, 2008

This tag is from "It's What I Love" by my good friend Bonnie B.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial
3. When do you put up the tree? weekend after Thanksgiving
4. When do you take the tree down? week after Chrsitmas
5. Do you like eggnog? it's ok....not my favorite
6. Favorite gift received as a child? don't remember...there was a cabbage patch doll once (that I still have)
8. Easiest person to buy for? Mackenzee
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Several- I've started to collect them
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mine have already been sent out in the mail.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? ???
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Polar Express
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? August
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes
5. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? mom's sticky buns
16. Lights on the tree? Yes, it's pre-lit
17. Favorite Christmas song? When Christmas Comes To Town
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? yes
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? neither..no room because my tree is too tall
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We open pajamas on Christmas Eve and everything else on Christmas morning.
22. Favorite Christmas Tradition? Christmas jammies
23. Favorite ornament, theme or color? I love gold on my tree with dots of red in there too.
24. Favorite Christmas dinner? Whatever it is that I haven't had to cook. :0)
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? world peace. :0) Oh wait...how about that my house sells, that the housing market will pick back up, that I will get through school in one piece because I'll falling apart with that one, and perhaps some rammekins so that I can make individual molten lava cakes. :0)

You guys want to play along? It's a tag...and so since you read all the way through mine consider yourself tagged! :0)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Such a cutie patootie. :0) This is one of my daughter's best friends and she is such fun to take pictures of. This is one I nabbed while taking pictures of her and her family a few weeks ago.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little People Nativity

My favorite Christmas decorations are my nativity sets. I have four so far, but would love to collect more. A couple of years ago I purchased the Willow Tree Nativity set and fell in love with the simplistic beauty of it. Last year at a craft fair I was thrilled to find a white ceramic nativity set identical to the one my mother has had since I was a little girl. My first nativity set was purchased six years ago and consists of little ceramic figurines as well. The other set I have was given to me by my grandmother and is actually made up of those cute little nesting dolls. You know, the kind that fit inside of each other?
I put these decorations out a couple of days ago and threatend my children with their lives afterwards. I fear we will have broken pieces before the week is out. My daughter loves to touch the decorations in my home and often rearranges them. And though I remember rearranging my mothers ceramic nativity set as a child, I am way too high strung to be able to watch her handling the delicate pieces. She could hardly contain herself yesterday and stood as close as she could to the table they were on.
Guess what I found today though? I was out shopping for presents and found this adorable Little People Nativity set at my local church bookstore. I was so excited and knew I had to get it. Not only is it another nativity for my collection, but my kids can play with it all they want. I put it out as soon as I got home and my daughter has rearranged and played to her hearts content ever since. As an added bonus, it is a fun way for her to learn the story of the birth of Jesus. My son isn't as excited about it because...you know....he's cool like that.
Anyway...any of you looking for a new great Christmas decoration or even just a great new Christmas toy for your kids...I highly suggest it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

When Christmas Comes To Town

Christmastime is crazy. Since Jaysen and I got married we have made sure to share the holiday with both of our families. Every other year we are with his family and vice versa. On the years that it is my families turn, we go to my Grandma's house. Ever since I can remember my family has gone to her house for Christmas Eve. She has always made it such a huge event and takes no shortcuts when it comes to making sure it is a fabulous evening for everyone. In fact, as the family has gotten larger and larger {her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids} the family room was made bigger in order to accomodate everyone.



Santa Claus comes every year so that the kids can get in their last minute requests. We eat until we are so full we can't move. We sing carols. We play the bells. We learn about the true meaning of Christmas. It has been this way forever. Traditions are a part of what make the holiday so great.


About eight years ago a few of the traditions were changed as the families grew. Instead of going to my Grandma's house again on Christmas morning to open presents, we open them on Christmas Eve. This is done at the end of the evening. My grandparents pass out gifts to EVERYONE. {That's a lot of gifts!} They love to give these gifts and give them from their hearts. I appreciate them and all they do for their family. There's a lot of us and I know it takes months of work for them to cross everyone off of their list.

This year we are spending the holiday with my husbands family. I am new to their traditions but have found that no matter what activities take place, all that matters is that we are able to spend the holiday with family. This mean that this year we will be eating pizza from the favorite local pizza place. We read the Christmas story. We play fun games. We exchange ornaments and the kids open up their pajamas from Grandma and Grandpa. The opening of the pajama boxes is almost like an unveiling ceremony. The kids get so excited to see what their new jammies will look like each year. And every year as we put up our Christmas tree we get to reflect on the ornaments of Christmas' past that we have received from Jaysen's siblings. I have come to love and appreciate these traditions of his family and look forward to them every year.


The past few years I have struggled with the overwhelming amount of gifts that my kids receive every year. Not only do they get presents from me and Santa, but from cousins and grandparents too. My daughter receives presents from four sets of grandparents. My son...wow. His birthday is this month as well so he is in present heaven. To top off that...he has two sets of parents and six sets of grandparents that give him presents {that I know of}. Yeah....I don't know if he even knows what he gets every year because there is so much. Now, I'm not saying that grandparents and cousins can't give gifts to my kids. In fact, my kids give gifts to their grandparents and their cousins themselves. It is just disheartening to see my kids simply looking for the next gift to unwrap. What is interesting though, is that the gifts that have had a lasting effect on my kids have never been the toys. Even so.....

I worry that my kids don't grasp the true meaning of Christmas.



I worry that the commercialism of the holiday is all they remember.


I worry that they will grow up and the only traditions they can look back on are opening presents.

I have been struggling with this for a few years now. There are so many other kids that receive little or nothing for Christmas. If you have seen the movie, The Polar Express, you will remember the adorable little boy who doesn't believe in Santa because he's never gotten a present from him. His family was too poor. And then there's my kids who have never wanted for anything. Am I the only one struggling with this? I worry that I have enabled my children to have this cushioned view of life.

I have tried to reign things in this year. After seeing the piles of presents that my kids opened, I told myself that was it. I wasn't going to do it again this year. Their presents are bought and I am done. I wanted to focus this year on teaching my kids the true meaning of Christmas. I want to take them caroling to the nursing home. I want to have them take presents to those who would otherwise go without. I want them to learn about the reason we give gifts in the first place.


I told them yesterday that we were going to be giving presents to baby Jesus this year because it is his birth we celebrate. Trying to keep things on my toddler's level I told them that we were going to have a birthday party for Jesus. The Wise Men took him presents to celebrate his birth and we have been told to give to others to honor His life. Not necessarily materialistic things, but of ourselves as well.

If any of you have other ideas that would help me to continue to keep the true meaning of Christmas as a theme for my family this year I would love to hear them. One aspect of Christmas that is identical no matter where we go to spend the holiday is that the story of the birth of Jesus is told. I grew up playing characters from this story as me and my cousins acted out the scenes. I am so grateful that my grandmother has kept this tradition alive. I love her so much for all of the time she puts into every Christmas Eve. She is 76 years old this year and I worry there won't be too many more years of her Christmas programs.

Sorry for the ramblings here....I've been frustrated over a few aspects of Christmas this year and needed to ramble on a bit. :0) Thanks for listening.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Twilight

I have had to avoid your blogs my interpeeps. At least those of you that went to see the movie, Twilight, before me. I didn't want to spoil it with your opinions. Did you like it...did you hate it...was it lame...were you left in awe.....

I couldn't know the answers to those questions until I had seen for myself.

And now...now that I have seen for myself..... I will visit you again. Never fear! :0)

BTW...I was totally let down. :0( I'm hoping they get a bigger budget for the next one because this one just didn't do it for me. Now...my neice on the other hand...she is in love. :0) For me...it played out like a badly shot "made for tv" movie that would have played as an after school special for teenagers. It jumped so quickly from scene to scene that the overall flow of the book was lost and the building of the real love between Edward and Bella ended up seeming more like stalker infatuation. And honestly...didn't Jasper look more consipated than "struggling" to fight his vampire urges? Sigh.

Anyway...I can move on. The anticipation is over and I can once again enter the blogosphere without the fear of spoiling anything. :0)