Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Ten Christmas moments from 2010

10.  EXTRA SLEEP!  Thats right...waking up a 1/2hour later than normal because Grandpa Johnnie thought it was a 7:30AM wakeup time and not a 7:00AM wakeup time.  As you can see...the girls were sososososo excited, but they were quiet as mice snuggled up in Grandpa Johnnie's bed whispering about what Santa had brought them...

9.  NAUGHTY OR NICE LETTERS - Madmad got a letter from Santa letting her know he'd be watching her VERY closely this next year to know if she would be placed on the naughty or nice list.  Especially considering her close brush with jail...

8.  FASHION SHOWS - New gloves, new hats, new sweatsuits.  the girls were most thrilled with these for different reasons...
--Bella loves the finger holes....who cares if it takes 20 minutes to put the gloves on!
--Maddie loves the Zebra print. 

7.  GAMES - What fun to play volleyball in the house!  NOT.  Mean old mom (That would be me...) put the kabosh on it after snapping the photo to memorialize it...

6.  LOVES - Snuggling on the floor with new pillows, stuffies, blankets, moms, grandpas, wrapping paper...pretty much whatever you can get your arms around...

5.SANTA PRESENTS - Awesome Santa gifts that you really really really really really rollerskates.

4.  SHARING - Loving sisters who share awesome Santa gifts because their little sister is so enthralled with the idea of shoes that ROLL.

3.  FOOD - Cinnamon rolls for breakfast in particular.  YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM...

2.  LAUGHTER - like when Grandpa Johnnie put on his new neck massager.  Hilarious.

1.FAMILY - Talking to loved ones..or pretending you are while cuddled under our new ABC quilt and using your microphone as a telephone.  Regardless...we got to talk to so many loved ones....including our much missed Daddy-O...

Merry Christmas 2010!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I love to read.  And, I read fast.  So, when a novel catches my attention I like to speed read through it because its a great form of relaxation for me.  Well, as long as its not a book I actually have to think about.

Lately, I've been plowing through these novels by a British writer named Minette Walters.  I just happened upon one of her books one day at the library...  Normally I browse the fiction novels just looking for anything that jumps out at cover art or a title...

And she just happened to be sorted incorrectly so I plucked the book out to sort it where it needed to go ( I am a library volunteer and I love my library so I actually do things like that...saintly, I know.) ...anywho...the title jumped out at me so I took it home and now I can't put them down.

I've read four of her books in the past 3 weeks...staying up until way too late to get my reading fix in. 

These are murder mystery books - and not for the faint of heart.  Sometimes I wonder that I didn't pursue a career in criminal investigation, but the truth is I am way too much of a scaredy cat for that.  I'd end up in a situation where its dark and scary and I'd faint dead away.  I know I would.  Or, maybe I'm a lot tougher than I think, but I don't count on it...  Plus, I never guess correctly who the murderer is...I'd totally send innocent people to jail...

So instead I rely on writers like this Minette Walters to give me my fix.

The whole point to this longwinded story about my reading preferences was to tell you that I actually just read an entire novel in one  The girls played all day long with new toys and I read.  Read alllll day long.  Yup - me...reading. was simply maaaaahvelous.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Clean up clean up everybody everywhere...

I've decided that the absolute worst part of Christmas is the cleanup.  Not the cleanup of wrapping paper and ribbon and boxes and those cursed plastic zipties they use to strap toys into'm talking about taking down the tree, rearranging furniture, sweeping up endless pine needles, reconfiguring the Christmas boxes so that everything fits inside again...THAT kind of cleaning. 

Oh, and losing your camera in the process....


So, today the tree came down, the boxes got mostly packed and I'm still picking pine needles out of my feet after I walk across the carpet

**note to self - need new vacuum cleaner - preferably a dyson that picks up EVERYTHING.**

And, as it happens every year after Christmas...I spent a good 2 hours rearranging furniture.  I moved photos from wall to wall, furniture from room to room, hauled my 12X20 foot rug around until I had it just right and drilled a hole in a bookcase so a plug would fit through....

I'm sure I'll regret at some point that drilling part.  You can't exactly undrill a hole and what if that plug thats currently occupying it becomes obsolete?  I'll forever have to make sure that the bookcase has something strategically placed to cover it up.

Regardless, I've found the arrangement I like and am quite pleased with the new look.  AND...the best part is there is space in the dining room now for a nice antique European hutch.

Normally, I would never say something like that outloud.  I can't.  I'm married to a furniture whore.  Yes, you heard me right - my husband will go out to buy some new underwear and come home with a bedroom set.  He just can't help it...its his addiction.  I'll never forget the day I sent him to the recycling center and he came home with more crap than I sent him there with.  He actually had a bench seat strapped to the top of the car and a patio umbrella hanging out one window. 

He just simply can't be trusted to go alone to any place that sells, refurbishes, gives away or junks furniture of any kind.

But, I can say it outloud now because I've decided that its time for us to invest in a hutch.  He'll read this and start salivating.  He'll spend hours planning the exact shape, size and configuration he wants.  I'll probably have to measure the room just so he can sketch it all out perfectly.  It'll give him something to look forward to over the next 5 months before he returns from his deployment.  ha ha ha

And me...well, I'm going to sit on my buns and eat bon bons while he works it all out.

nom nom nom...I did get some lovely Lindt chocolate for Christmas...nom nom nom.

I'll share if you click me.  :)
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Starts with an E and ends with xhausted.

I can barely even type.  Too many late nights playing boggle.  Too many early mornings with kids jumping up and down wondering if its Christmas day yet.  We're going to bed early tonight and I think I'm the most excited about that of all of us.

I know I'm a day late, but MERRY CHRISTMAS.  It was a magical day at our house...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the night before Christmas...

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, because they were all at the Peterson's house for
dinner and the Nativity Pageant.

The stockings were hung on the wall with some nails...

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there...

The children were nestled in froggy PJ's for bed...

While visions of yesterday's trip to Nurnberg danced in their heads...


And Bella in mom's snow hat

 and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer (and a moose.)

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Let's eat our cookies and milk and then dash away all!"

As leftover ham to the sandwiches do fly

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and cinnamon rolls too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And when dad and I played boggle we gave lots of slack (for crazy words like hooey and hoer.)

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
He waved his arms around when he told the story
of Santa's trip to our all its glory

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sock me in the stomach....

If you recognize the following little song from a certain movie with Tom Hanks in get a prize...

Down, down baby, down, down the roller coaster.
Sweet, sweet baby, sweet, sweet, don't let me go.
Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock.
Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock.
I met a girlfriend - a triscuit. She said, a triscuit - a biscuit.
Ice cream, soda pop, vanilla on the top.
Ooh, Shelly's out, walking down the street, ten times a week.
I read it. I said it. I stole my momma's credit.
I'm cool. I'm hot.
Sock me in the stomach three more times.

...and the prize get to be part of my new club! 

Have you ever been in a club before?  I remember exactly two clubs that I was in.  The first was the bird club.  I think my sister Sarah and I were the members until we coerced invited our neighbor, Patti Bridwell, to also be part of it.  I can't exactly remember what we did in that must have had something to do with birds.  duh.

The second was the pickle club.  Sarah and I, again, were the only members.  In this club we invited ourselves over to our other neighbor's house...her name was Robyn...and her mom would give us pickles.  We LOVED pickles.

I think our neighbors must have really thought that my family of 7 kids who ran wild and pilfered pickles off of them...and made their own bows and arrows and traumatized Patti Bridwell's little sister Katie with them...did I mention the hotdog slingshots we made to try and hit our OTHER poor neighbor who was a flautist...she'd play on her back deck and we'd fling hotdogs at her. 

Oh my...

Yeah...I'm not so sure they were glad we moved in way back when in 1983...

Random memories over...Getting back on track now...We took the train back from Nurnberg today...ok...backup for a minute - we went to the Christmas Market in Nurnberg today and while taking the train back I was attempting to entertain Bella because it was after 8PM and she was tired and it had been a long day of all kinds of festivities...all of which I'll blog about later, alligator...

Anywho...I sing this song to her and in true "mom with toddler" style made up a little dance to go along with it.  (PS...I WAS voted "most likely to dance at random occasions" at our last family reunion so you can stop laughing now...)

Of course Bella LOVED it and then I realized that I wasn't the only one singing it...thats right...on a random regional express train from Nurnberg to Vilseck I met a guy who not only knew the song, but loved the movie BIG as much as I did when he was a kid.

And so we sang it together and formed a club right then and there...

Oh, and the annual fee to join is $5.  (its so we can have triscuits at our annual meetings...) You can send it via paypal.  :)

P.S.  There is NOTHING fun about a building.

...but its really fun when you click me!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The smoothie was invented....

...when Chuck Norris needed information from a banana...

This is "old photo day"...  I came across this one from 2007 when I bought John a Chuck Norris t-shirt because when people ask why there isn't a Chuck Norris day...I just have to say, "You're wrong...every day is Chuck Norris day."  So, today we celebrate past Christmas presents and CHUCK!

And now just a few select favorite Chuck Norris jokes...

When Chuck Norris plays chess he doesn't say "checkmate."  He says, "Chuck Norris."

They found Chuck Norris' diary and published it.  Its called the Guinness Book of World Records.

Chuck Norris knows a word that rhymes with orange.

Chuck Norris is what Willis was talking about.

When taking the SAT test write Chuck Norris for every answer and you will score an 8000.

Superman wears Chuck Norris underoos.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books, he just stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them.

Chuck Norris has already been to Mars.  Thats why there are no signs of life.

There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq because Chuck Norris lives in Oklahoma.

Chuck Norris.....the end.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The tale of...

I have a little story to tell...

Ring ring...went the phone and when I answered it I heard the sweetest voice in the world...errrr....scratch that....redo...

Ring ring...went the phone and when I answered it I heard the manliest macho machismo voice of the studliest soldier in Afghanistan on the other end of the line.

And my heart went pitter patter...

But thats not the story I actually wanted to tell you...  You see, when John is actually able to contact us it is the highlight and brightest spot of my day.  His voice...  Well, lets just say that when you haven't heard the voice of the person you love most in the world for a very long time...  That voice melts you into little puddles of errr...well, in my case, tilapia, rice and carrots...since thats what I ate for dinner...

So, if I'm blogging, I HAVE to put in the bright spot of my day - even if it has nothing to do with the actual blog I'm going to write...

Anywho...the real story I wanted to tell you is about 4 snowmen people..

The Grandpa snowman...the mommy snowman...the little girl snowman...and the baby girl snowman...

They all lived quite happily in the backyard in 12 inches of fresh snow.  The snowpeople were very happy with their family who had worked so hard to build them just right...hauling giant snowballs to just the perfect spot to build the little snowfamily...

They patted and molded them just right...

They hung out together all the time...just lounging around in the snow...

And they gave hugs and kisses as only snowpeople can do...

Then one day the little girl and the baby girl turned on the grandpa...

"Oh no!  Run grandpa!  Run!"

And poor grandpa was pummelled with snowballs...

First by the baby girl...

Then the little girl got into the fight with a giant snowball...but it was too heavy to throw....

So the mama snowman stepped in and got grandpa really good...

But, she remained safe behind her snowperson...person...? who saved her from a snowball beating...

And poor grandpa had to just drip dry...

And the snowpeople lived happily ever after through the end of February, but it better not be much longer than that or the mama will not be happy with winter.

The end.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Candy Mountain

I don't get to see my dad very often.  He's a pretty private guy...Yeah...that and the fact that he lives in Kuwait kind of puts a bit of a kink in our "gettin' together regularly" plans.  So, when he tells me he is going to fly into Germany to spend the holidays with us, well, lets just say that I was suddenly on the magical bridge of hope and wonder with Charlie the Unicorn.

The hope and wonder rainbow lasted for exactly the same amount of time we got in the car and started to drive home from the airport in the swirling snow and our GPS suddenly couldn't find satellite reception.  So, I winged it and would you believe I actually got us home all on my own and we didn't even take any detours like through Berlin or Munich or Czechoslovakia....all of which are very possible routes for one who has no sense of direction in this lovely snowy Deutschland.

Luckily, Grandpa Johnnie has an eternally positive outlook and instead of stressing out like I was he asked me first, if we had anywhere we absolutely had to be today... and second, didn't I find the snow absolutely beautiful?

And I must admit that after releasing my death grip onthe steering wheel and just letting the car glide over the icy roads it was beautiful to watch the snow come down...

And when all was said and done - we arrived home safely...and the girls got in their Grandpa Johnnie snuggles...

And I took a mini-break to watch Charlie the Unicorn again. 


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