Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's a Bird; It's a Plane; It's...TOURETTE'S KID!

Here's a picture of Z with his favorite Christmas gift...his black trenchcoat. To complete his "geek ensemble", Z insisted on wearing his headphones around his neck. The boy is extremely proud of his geekiness.

Z is also sporting his first "store-bought" haircut. I've been cutting Z's hair for the last 15 years. I finally convinced him that it was time for a change, since I can only cut his hair in one style. I think he was worried about the stylist losing patience with his tics, but she worked quite well with him.

I hope this picture satisfies all of you who have been Googling for a "tourette's kid picture".

We all had a wonderful, peace-filled, family Christmas.
Our 5 day holiday passed much too quickly, but we enjoyed every minute of it. No holiday stress here!

Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Turkey Noodle Soup with homemade noodles turned out beautifully, don't you think?

Unfortunately, the holiday peace doesn't last forever. We returned to a very hectic work day today. Oh well, I only have to work Thursday-Saturday. Next week I only work until 10:30 on Monday and then I have Tuesday off. I think I can handle that schedule.

Update: I've had 3 more hits that were directed to this post when they searched for "tourettes pictures". I certainly hope Z's picture satisfied them!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Tag from Tweety

1. Wrapping or gift bags? I sometimes use gift bags for others. Here at home, it MUST be wrapping paper. My guys are too snoopy to use bags.

2. Real or artificial tree? Artificial. We can keep it up longer that way.

3. When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving weekend.

4. When do you take the tree down? Generally the 1st weekend I have off in January.

5. Do you like eggnog? LOVE it! I rarely buy it as my guys don't like it and I can't drink a whole carton by myself.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Every gift was magically special when I was a child.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Absolutely! That's what Christmas is all about.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A wooden hair dryer/curling iron storage unit that my boss got for all her employees one year. I rarely use either of those items.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Email.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? I LOVE just about every Christmas movie I've ever seen. If I have to pick just one, I guess it would be It's a Wonderful Life.

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I shop year 'round. I'm usually completely finished shopping by December 1st.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Lefse.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I like the look of white lights outside. On our tree, we prefer the warmth of colored lights. White lights are too stark for us.

14. Favorite Christmas song? I honestly can't choose just one!

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? As much as we'd love to spend EVERY Christmas with both of our kids, we don't get enough time off to travel at Christmas.

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph.

17. Angel on the tree top or a star? A star.

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Christmas Eve. Christmas morning we do stockings. At our house Santa only fills the stockings. All the other gifts come from each other. We celebrate Christmas for 2 complete days around here.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People, especially my boss, bitching about how stressed they are, and how they wish Christmas would be over.

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? NO! We're 100% traditional. Every one of our ornaments has a story or memory behind it. They're precious to us.

21. What do you leave for Santa? Nothing anymore. The kids used to leave Santa sugar cookies and eggnog, with a carrot for the reindeer.

22. Least favorite holiday song? Blue Christmas

23. Favorite ornament? The ones my kids made.

I'm not tagging anyone this time. Let me know if you do this meme. I LOVE learning how others celebrate Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What We've Been Doing With Our Time

Recently, I've been a slacker at posting to my blog. I've been around visiting you all, but I just haven't had time to write anything. Don't get me wrong. I'm not feeling stressed out over the holiday season. I'm thoroughly enjoying all the activities of the season.

First of all, L and I have been taking the time to strengthen our bond as a couple. Our relationship is improving daily! We are no longer forgetting each other in our daily routine of struggling through life.

I de-stressed Christmas shopping several years ago. I now shop year 'round for all the gift-giving occasions in our lives. If I find an item that I know my loved ones will enjoy, I buy it and squirrel it away. When a holiday approaches, I check my stash and fill in the holes.

Online shopping has also been a HUGE time saver! We try to support our local economy by buying what we can in town. However, small town choices are limited. We used to make an annual trek to Duluth to complete our shopping. Now, I shop in comfort, in our bedroom, with a cup of coffee.

With SME's family living in Canada, I've been forced to get their Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. If I don't mail their package by then, they won't get it in time for Christmas. I also include SME's and Demi's birthday gifts in this package.

This year we became honorary grandparents to Tweety's 2 girls. It was a joy shopping for little ones again!

We also eliminated stress by mutually agreeing with our in-laws to stop giving each other Christmas and birthday gifts. We've all reached the age where we don't need to be increasing the clutter in our lives. The only exception to this is L's mother. She is constantly bailing out the rest of the family with her small reserve of cash, which leaves her little for herself. We've found that the only thing she'll use is a WalMart gift card. She spends her card at Sam's Club, stocking up on groceries.

Christmas cards are a chore, and expense, that we also eliminated several years ago. I have learned to stay in touch with friends and family several times throughout the year instead. Why add stress to the Christmas season when greetings can be exchanged at Easter or Valentine's Day?

Once the shopping and mailing of gifts is complete, we're free to indulge in the Christmas activities we enjoy as a family. Last Saturday we made a double batch of sugar cookie cutouts. I bake the cookies and the guys decorate them. Last Sunday, L and I made 9 dozen lefse. During the week, I made a batch of fudge. and 2 batches of Peanut Blossoms(peanut butter cookies with a chocolate star in the middle). Yesterday, we made umpteen chocolate covered peanut butter Ritz cookies(Z's favorite). Today, I will make a double batch of Mexican Wedding Cakes(aka Russian Tea Cakes or snowballs), while L clears the rest of the snow from our roof.

For the first time in several years, we have received a normal amount of snow for the season. Wednesday, Z and spent the entire afternoon moving snow. I widened the driveway with the snowblower, while Z removed the snow from our small metal shed, camper, AC cover, and small generator shed. I then cleared the snow away from the vents on our roof, as the snow was starting to cover them. Normally, the snow slides off our metal roof. This year, our snowy days have been followed by -20F days, which prevents the snow from sliding. This is what I get for wishing for an old-fashioned, snowy Christmas.

This final week before Christmas, I will finish my gift-wrapping, shop for stocking stuffers, buy groceries for our Christmas Eve dinner, and indulge in my birthday dinner of prime rib at my parents' house.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Alrighty Then....

I was just checking the searches that brought people to my blog. The most interesting hit, by far, is for "dedbods" from the UK. What makes this search interesting is that Google directed this person to my I Love Menards post. To my knowledge, Menards doesn't sell corpses.

I've been getting a lot of hits for Menards since I published that post. Perhaps they should put me on the payroll?

The search that aggravated me the most was "tourette pictures". I've posted several pictures of Z here. He looks like a normal kid, doesn't he? That's because he IS a normal kid! I take that back. Z isn't a "normal" kid. IMHO, he's better looking and more intelligent than a "normal" kid. SO THERE!!

I've also been getting a LOT of hits for dog poo ornaments. WHY didn't we patent our creation SME? I actually got an email from Things You Never Knew Existed, thanking me for mentioning their catalog. Yeah, yeah. How about paying me some money for stealing my idea?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's Beginning to Look....

I'm so excited!
I went outside at dusk today to take some pictures of the most snow we've had in 3 years. When I loaded the pictures to the computer, I was amazed to discover that I had captured snowflakes in the glare of my flash! These are tiny flakes, so I was even more surprised when they showed up in my pictures. I"ve NEVER been able to get a decent snowfall picture.

The front row of arbor vitaes in this picture were only a single frond when I planted them 20 years ago. The spruce trees behind them were dug out of a friend's pasture. He was happy to get rid of any trees I wanted to dig up.

I've lovingly planted, watered, fertilized, and trimmed all the trees on our property. They have become my babies, and I'm quite proud of the way they've grown up.

As I was returning to the house, I was struck by how cozy our living room window looked. Nature's beauty added to the view of our Christmas tree lights through the window with icicles, snow, and frost.

The Christmas bug has bitten, and my family is infected with the Christmas spirit.