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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Slightly belated Holiday Greetings from our little family to yours!  Consider this my digital Christmas card to all of you.  Hope you had a wonderful Christmas day with the ones you love.
Belated due to major computer meltdown URGH!  I'm up and running again with a new computer (which we bought in a panic Christmas Eve but couldn't pick up until yesterday) and I didn't lose any photos/files so happy dancin' going on over here.  I was sick to my stomach thinking of how long it had been since I backed up photos - I would have lost this family photo session plus both kids' birthdays and all the other minor events in life for the last 4-6 months.  Giant note to self - back up photos regularly!  And to you too - quick!  Back up your photos!
It's kind of been a month of disasters (like the night of Kaitlyn's dance recital where it was raining cats and dogs and we got to the car only to find out the battery was dead!) and busy-ness around here but I'm taking this week to shake it all off and get back on track so we can start the New Year off on the right foot. 
Again - happy holidays to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It really is a Wonderful Time of the Year

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year.  I love everything about it.
Decorating the tree

planning the perfect gifts, buying and wrapping them (even better when I find great coordinating paper that matches my tree!)

putting out the Christmas decorations and adding a few new ones
the tree all sparkly and shiny during the day and brightly lit at night
that feeling of accomplishment when all the little gifts are accounted for - like the one for the dance teachers, classrooms, bus driver, etc.  And even better when we reach the end of the last week of school before vacation and all of them have been handed out.  All the parties and the dance recitals - done!
and all of the fun family activities like seeing Santa and baking yummy treats.  And did I mention the Christmas music?  I'm a sucker for Christmas music, especially the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and any version of the Carol of the Bells.

That's just a quick glimpse of what we've been up to this month as I feel like this poor blog has been thoroughly neglected throughout.  What does your Christmas season look like?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Elf Antics 2012 Week 2 & 3

May as well finish up the list of Elf Capades I started yesterday, right?
Week 2 & 3:
-one of the elves was trying to hitch a ride in Tyler's backpack while the other one was found trying on Kaitlyn's dance hoodie and knee-high boots
-everyone seems to be taking turns getting sick around here, including the elves
-the elves were found hanging out in the sunroom one morning.  One was working on Kaitlyn's latch hook kit while the other was playing a new Christmas peg game (you know - like the old fashioned ones they have at Cracker Barrel!).  The kids were pretty excited to get their own peg game

-One night they turned tissue paper into all sorts of paper doll strings - reindeer, snowmen, trees
(cutting templates can be found here)
-they snuck into Tyler's room one night and played with his stuffed animals.  Tinsel put a Santa hat on Shamu and took a ride on his back while Twinkle snuck into the basket full of teddy bears
-popped popcorn in the microwave
-not to be left out, they also snuck into Kaitlyn's room where Twinkle read one of her books and Tinsel got to know the other stuffed animals

-took the stack of Christmas books into the "secret hideout" (that's the dead corner behind the love seat where the kids like to play during December, which is the only time the love seat is moved into that corner) along with some stuffed animals and had a big old party reading to each other
-hid Christmas jokes all over the house - in shoes, cupboards and drawers, the pantry, fridge, under the table, by the countdown blocks...  (printable jokes found here)

-used a small candle/light to "roast" chocolate covered marshmallows
-tea party with some of the toys on the bed in the guest room
-must have had a craving for chocolate peppermint pancakes

-no idea what they will be doing tomorrow morning, but I do believe we will find them with these Naught/Nice Progress Reports for Santa on Monday

Elf Antics 2012

Three days until Christmas!  We're all so excited!  With the last half-day of school for vacation yesterday, we have hit the end of the Have To events, planning, parties, and prep and I'm looking forward to spending the next 3 days just relaxing and having fun with my little family.
That also means we only have 3 more days with the elves, which have been visiting us the entire month of December and reporting back to Santa.  So it's probably a good time to do a quick recap of what those mischief-makers have been up to.

Week 1:
-showed up with Hello letter
-wrapped the toilet with wrapping paper (and themselves!)
-brought Christmas cereal - and got stuck in the box!

-played with the legos the kids left out in the playroom.  Tinsel built himself a sleigh and turned the monster trucks into reindeer.  Twinkle disassembled the Lego Friends shop (Kaitlyn wasn't happy about that) and built a winter scene with christmas trees and a snowman.

-Were found with Tyler's presents on his birthday, with Tinsel trying to peek into on of the packages!
-had a Nerf gun war with all the new toys from Ty's birthday
-Twinkle fell asleep in the decorative sleigh on the ledge in the stairway while Tinsel tried out his repelling skills
-hid in the Christmas tree
-on the day after Ty's Nerf Top Shop party, were found in the garage where the obstacle course was still set up with Tinsel on the hanging rings (bow and arrow targets) and Twinkle had taken a tumble off the balance beam

Saturday, December 15, 2012

When life tells you to take a break

Sometimes you have those little a-ha moments when you get hit with a tiny piece of inspiration or clarity about something in your life.  And sometimes life hits you with a sledge hammer.  This week it took the latter approach.  It was inevitable, I suppose.  I've been running practically non-stop since school started and have managed to not get taken down by the small colds the kids came home with.  But this week, after a crazy week of birthday festivities (Tyler is 6!  more blog posts on that soon!) and my mom visiting, and girl scouts and... I got taken down by the monster of all colds.  I was seriously flat on my back on the couch - or more specifically in the fetal position wracked by chills and whimpering about body aches and a screaming throat while trying to ignore the migraine quality headache.  There was no way I was going to get anything done.  Forget the To Do List.  Cancel girl scouts (my coleader was also sick - go figure).  Put it off, toss it aside, or get someone else to do it.  That was my lesson this week.  Not the greatest time of the year to have it hit, but when it does you have to deal with it right?  Luckily my husband quickly stepped in and handled dinner and homework the first night.  He also had to take my daughter to her dress rehearsal on Thursday.  And I still wasn't feeling good enough to attend his work party last night so he took Kaitlyn to that as well.  I was wondering how Tyler would react when I told him he would be staying home with me and was amused when he let out a fake cough and told me "it's ok.  We will take care of each other."  And we spent the rest of the night cuddling and watching the Game Show Network (it's either that or Food Network when I find I can't stand to watch another cartoon).
Obviously I'm feeling marginally better or I wouldn't be able to sit here on the computer and look at it from this perspective.  Fingers crossed it continues this way because I don't want to face the mess life would be if I had another week like that one. 
Look, even our elves were sick!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Furniture Upgrades

Welcome to December!  We've had so much going on and I have SO much to blog about!  I'm hoping to spend a little time in the next few weeks playing catch up, because you know I love to share the projects I've been working on.  Like the furniture I refinished a few weeks ago - weeks!  Aaaaa I'm so behind.  *sigh*
My husband, like most men always wants the biggest and best when it comes to technology, particularly TVs.  So I finally let him upgrade the TV in our bedroom for Father's Day  (Yes have a TV in the bedroom, which I know some say is a No No.  But if that's what it takes to shut my brain off so I can get to sleep at night, I'm all for it.  Plus it's nice to have an extra TV when the husband is watching something I really don't want to see) and eventually I got around to buying the wall mounting bracket for it.  Which happily led to me getting to play Musical Chairs with the furniture as I was then able to move the dresser than we had been using for a TV stand into the playroom.

The dresser matches the nightstand and headboard that are in the guest bedroom (that's through the doorway to the right in the photo above) and is now being used to hold the TV and electronics in the playroom.  I moved all the video games and DVDs into the drawers on the dresser which freed up not only the nightstand that was originally holding the TV, but the small bookcase next to it.  And I knew exactly where I wanted to use both pieces.
The nightstand was a high school shop project that my husband did, so we've had it pretty much forever.  It needed a little work as part of the trim on the bottom was coming off and the doors weren't exactly square - I repeat High School Shop ;)  But my husband is now a much better carpenter and those were easy fixes.  I added a few coats of white paint and now it's good as new!

Pretty!  The nightstand now lives in Tyler's room where he quickly loaded it up with all his stuff.  I actually had to take half it of back off and stow it in the closet before I took these photos :)

And then there is the nightstand.  I think we got it for about $20 for my first room at college to give me some extra storage.  It's dated, but in good shape so out came the spray paint.

And then into Kaitlyn's room it went.  She's been trying to find a good spot for her "library" so this was perfect.  She spent a lot of time categorizing her books and she even went as far as to put little code stickers inside each cover so she knows where to put her books away after she uses them.  LOL  This kid is going to be quite the powerhouse when she's all grown up.
So wouldn't you know it right in the middle of all this furniture switcheroo-ing the TV in the living room died.  And now we are left with a completely blank wall where the TV in the bedroom used to be with a sad pile of electronics in the corner including the dead TV that we have no idea what to do with.  Cross one thing off add another to the List, right?