Friday, December 29, 2006

Sew Buttons on a Rubber Duck

I have a sewing machine. I've taken a sewing class. Other than the purse and letter pillow I did in the class I haven't sewn a thing. Not even all the things piling up that the kids have asked me to sew. I've known that would take hand sewing and all my hand sewing up til' now has been crap so really I didn't want to pull everything out just to do a crappy repair job that may or may not hold. This morning I pulled out my sewing machine and basket, set it on the table, and set to work googling how to fix tears in fabric and found this gem (if you click on the link Google gives you at the top it will give you the option to download as a PDF which will have the illustrations) . I realized I didn't know how to stitch and that's why my repairs looked crappy. So four cub scout patches later the first one being pretty darn bad as I figured out exactly how to do the stitch through the experience and the last one being so beautiful you can hardly see it, I can do a stitch! Yay me! I also repaired Shawner's stuffed leopard gecko whose tail had ripped, two pairs of pajama pants, and Justinbustin's cub scout hat - that one took sewing through plastic! Thank God for thimbles.

Dinner With Friends

I've felt so cramped in our small (really not so much because it's the same size as our 3 bedroom house was only this is two bedroom) apartment that I haven't had people over but once in the last 6 months which is highly unusual for me. I mentioned it to my friend, Jen, at her ornament party that I felt our place was so small and she says, "Oh but we love coming to dinner at your place. It's so cozy." which was really sweet. It was our turn to do diner with them any way so I set up a date for them to come over for dinner tonight.

I forgot how much fun it was to have them over! I remember the first time we had them over I was in the middle of taking my art class and Justinbustin was on a roll with the art, using my materials, and practicing with me. He did an impromptu art show all over our living room for them and they ate it up. Shawners even got out some of his drawings. It was precious.

We sit and talk and the night flies by, pretty soon we're looking at the time and widening our eyes at how late it is. They like pretty much whatever, it doesn't have to be fancy food so I just have fun with whatever I make. Tonight I made a German dinner, an ode to my hubby's childhood dinners made by his Tante, with German Rouladen, Red Cabbage, and Spaetzle Dumplings. It was delicious, went perfectly, and they loved it.

Her birthday was yesterday so we did a birthday cake for her for dessert and celebrated her day as well. I made her a basket out of some bath stuff and a steel looking container which turned out so cute.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Alyssa told me she hasn't been able to access my site for over a month now! So I went into Windows bootcamp on my Mac to see if I could check it out in Internet Explorer and I got the same problem she got - only the banner would load up. So I went through the code line by line until I found something that didn't match up with the original code and I think I fixed it!! If anybody else was having problems, please let me know if you can see it the way it's supposed to be now!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hugs & Kisses

Did you know when you search hugs & kisses in google image search an image from my blog shows up as first page results? It's a broken link but somehow people still keep clicking on it - thirteen people in the last three days alone. So just for those that find me via google hugs & kisses image search I've unbroken the link and posted it again for you here!

Monday, December 25, 2006

You Call Us Perfectionists, We Call it Smart

We created a pros and cons list for keeping the (adorable) dog. They were pretty even with the pros falling behind by a tad so we assigned a point system to each pro or con. The cons won out by 6 points but we solved one of the dilemnas, which was car travel, which took away 8 points, which made the pros win by 2. Then we thought of another pro - that it will actually help Justin with his pronoun usage, which we assigned a point value of 8. So pros were up by 10 at that point. For now...

Santa Got Stollen for Christmas

Shawners was worried that we didn't have cookies for him so he wrote him a note that said this stollen is for you Santa, sorry it's not cookies. Justinbustin wrote him a note that said Merry Christmas. As you can see Santa was just fine with the stollen.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

We had a flurry of presents this evening, a German tradition of opening gifts on Christmas Eve, and saved the very best few for tomorrow morning. And of course Santa Clause will be bringing gifts tonight and filling our stocking with Christmas goodies! We all exercised patience of the greatest kind waiting for tonight to open presents... and really enjoying the day together. Really enjoying what Christmas is truly about - the gift of love and the birth of the baby Jesus. So the loot list will wait until later. Merry Christmas to all of you! Hope your day is filled with the ones you love.

On a Planned Note

We opened gifts from Opa this morning and Shawner's gift that he was entirely unhappy with he is now completely engrossed in. It must be the age. Justiners, the one we were worried about, was perfectly happy with his Learning Case and says, "Yay! Math!" The stollen is yummy, the coffee is warm, the Christmas tree is full of presents - and this is a tough year. Our lives are full of people who love us and it's a beautiful day to cozy in and be.

stollen: An annual holiday tradition hailing from Germany, stollen is a sweet dessert bread made with nuts, raisins and other dried fruits. Oebel is a world favorite, known for their delicious varieties (the moist marzipan is especially popular), superior quality and rich buttery flavor. Try it toasted for Christmas morning breakfast, or use for a memorable French toast, as well as for dessert, snacking and gift giving throughout the holidays.

We May've Been Given A Dog For Christmas


Brando's brother came downstairs this morning with a puppy in his arms asking if we could watch her while he's away the next few days and asking to talk to B and I. Then said that was his thought of a Christmas present to us and the boys if we wanted and that he has everything for her, the huge kennel, the dog bowl, the leash and collar, complete shots and free vet visit. He adopted her from some Christmas adoption thing. She's colored black and brown and the same as Shawner's little puppy, Brownie. We're watching her for the next few days and thinking on it. I've never had a puppy before, but I know they are almost as much darn work as a baby - only you can leave them alone at home when you need to go somewhere. What are your thoughts? I'm thinking a bunny would've been easier :) .

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I swear I didn't dissappear! Things have been really quiet around here with J on break from school, the Christmas parties over, and everything else on break as well, and we've been enjoying every moment.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Walkway of Lights

in order of appearance...

The Price of Life

It's 6:57pm on a Saturday evening and Brando is still working his butt off. Girl, how the heck do you deal on those weekends when he's working? I guess it'd be one thing if I KNEW he'd be working but he said he'd be home at 2pm. So? No plans. It sucks. Oh I must mention if all goes well he DID make a $1500 commission today. Whoohoo! Ra-ra! Or so I should say... funny how I don't feel like it.

What the Hey

It's been posted before but I haven't been taking my calcium and acidopholus recently that I usually take to help balance my hormones and I am having an unusually bad week of PMS. Being out of calcium and not being able to take it even if I wanted to doesn't help. My little 5 year old has been telling me how beautiful I am, that I am the most beautiful woman in the world, since I took them clothes shopping with me last week and asked them what they thought of how things looked on me. They were soooo sweet with their "You look beeaaUtiful." "The most beautifulest woman in the world." that I told them I wanted to take them shopping with me every time I go. Shawners has continued to tell me how beautiful I am, even when I'm completely broken out and just woke up. I'm eating it up.

On the PMS note, Extreme Home Makeover has been in town all week and I haven't gotten the energy to go check it out which I normally would hop on right away, like I did the benefit concert. Mostly because I heard children under 18 aren't allowed, but also because I just don't want to face the crowd and get turned away if they don't in fact allow children. Also? I'm in a really. really. bad mood and can't seem to bring myself out of it. As soon as Brando is done working for the day though I do want to drag him out there and let him do all the manuevering and see the set while it's in our town.

Christmas Cuteness

Shawners says tonight as we are walking the Walkway of Lights and he sees the big tall Christmas tree of lights that's set up. "No one is taller than that except for one person I know that is taller than that. God is." Now that was something to record.


We went to the Marble Falls Walkway of Lights with our tenant tonight. He paid the guys at the hot cocoa stand to sing a carol for us, just like last year. They sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in chorus for us and the kids loved it. I filmed it and as soon as I figure out You Tube it will be in this post. We meandered along the Walkway of Lights and enjoyed the company and the view of the lights reflecting off the river. His son was twelve when we first met him. He would come over to our apartment and play with Justinbustin, who was a year and a half. We had this huge ball at that time that was bigger than Justinbustin was and Josh would play ball with him. Once they were playing in the driveway and Josh knocked him over with the ball. He always remembers that and feels so bad and I always laugh at the thought of how huge that ball was. Tonight he was all grown up, almost 18, and with his girlfriend. He reached to shake my hand instead of hugging me, but I wouldn't let him. Boys grow into men, but somewhere inside they are always still boys. I realized tonight how big Justinbustin has grown. He doesn't even need a stepstool to reach the bathroom sink anymore at all. He's at least a head taller than when we used to live at that house. He's growing into a man quicker than I can become the best mom I mean to be.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Please Don't Ask Me Again

Why is it I have said those five words over and over and over and over and over (I'll spare you the more overs) again today?!

Major Case of Cabin Fever

If there was a backyard nearby for the boys to play in, heck it could be the neighbor's backyard even, I would've been saying "GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!!!" four hours ago. Instead they are in their room very sweetly wrapping present after present of their belongings to give away to Mommy and Daddy and each other. So far it's been a chess set from Justinbusting and a ball from Shawners for Daddy, a batman car and the madagascar lion from Shawners for me, and there's quite a few other things not identified under the tree.

Satsumas and Sunshine

It's a gorgeous 75 degree weather day out there. They are building an extreme home makeover home in our town and the boys and I went to the benefit concert with Trace Adkins on Monday night. It was invitation only and Brando received an invitation. I was expecting a mob, but there was less than a hundred people there which was really nice. Ty Pennington was standing next to us and Paul introduced himself to us. I was a little awestruck mostly because Brando wasn't there and I REALLY wish he could've been. That is his. favorite. show. ever. He cries. The boys are too young to volunteer so we're content with the concert. Keep an eye out for them on the show. They spent a little time with the cameras in the boys faces!

It's that time of the month and I haven't been taking my calcium and acidopholus like I should so it has been a roller coaster week. Monday I was in tears and lost on the east side of town. Tuesday was okay. Wednesday I don't think I wanted to go anywhere and yesterday I actually did go nowhere and stayed in my skivvies until 3pm. I even succeeded in painting my nails, letting them dry, talking on the phone, and falling off the chest in our living room that doubles for a day bed. Today I didn't eat all day until now when I finished off the fig newtons and started searching for something else. I went for the marinated beets and came up with an avocado, beet, and spring mix salad drizzled with balsamic and olive oil. Mmm. Not quite filling, so then I ate a delicious satsuma orange with the super easy peel skin. In a minute I'm going to finish the other half of the avocado.

This time last year I was looking forward to going to my Grandma's for Christmas. This year we are staying home, and with the rush of events we've had so far this year, I'm glad for that. At the same time it's always a little sad when there's not going to be extra family around. After the holidays last year I was extremely sad family wasn't around. Not so much this year, though I do miss the free whenever babysitting! Seriously so much drama has gone on back home that it reminds me daily of so many of the reasons why we are here and not there. Not that we don't miss them. It's just good that we're here. I'm glad I can say that now and mean it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


If you want the best pictures and the most fun, memorable, HAPPY picture taking experience ever with the nicest couple I've met contact Aptos Photography . Or just read George and Nancy's blogs to see how fun and goofy they really are. Especially this post.

Williams-Sonoma Overload

All this showed up at our door in addition to three more hot chocolate tins, peppermint bark and kinder-chocolata. We have plenty to give away this year! That or get really really sick with all this sugary goodness.

Oh. my. God. Literally. I just received three more packages from Williams-Sonoma.
And that doesn't include the two box holiday cookie sampler that I couldn't find the picture of. My holiday shopping is complete. By the way for those of you that aren't awares this is all from my mil. Becky I so know you're reading this with your jaw dropped. It's no joke.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Code Adam

There was a Code Adam in the mall today at JCPenney. A little boy in a blue long sleeved shirt with dark hair. I had Shawners next to me, in his blue long sleeved shirt and dark hair. I could just imagine if he had no idea where he was at. We stayed where we are but I kept my eyes peeled. The little boy who came wondering down the aisle looking in faces and all the merchandise around him finally had enough people pass him as I kept my eye on him that I realized he wasn't with anyone. I took his hand and we went up to see if he was the boy they were looking for. Shawners followed along. They found his Mom who was much relieved. She must've been of some other religion or ethnicity because she was covered, not her face, but her whole head. My first thought was how could she keep an eye on him without any peripheal vision, my second thought as I glanced at her handful of coupons was to realize saving money is not worth losing an eye on my children, my third and final thought was how easy it would be to lose a child in a mall full of people.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Shawners says tonight as we are discussing the star on top of the tree, "Santa will climb up the tree on the little branches that bend but they won't bend when Santa steps on them when Santa puts the star on the tree."

*As I tell him the title he adds, singing, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star How I Wonder Where You Are Cute Mommy - You are Cuter Than Anyone Else"

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blue Ridge Christmas


We are putting up the Williams Sonoma christmas tree from the Blue Ridge mountains my mil sent to us. It came in a long box. We took it out and it slowly poofs to Christmas tree goodness. Shawners says while Brando is opening it, "You're the best Daddy ever for opening the Christmas tree."

Christmas Cheer

We had our young marrieds class Christmas party tonight at our wonderful host's home. They've hosted it three years in a row and always have their house decorated to the T. This year I got to help decorate and went over there last Saturday and got to help put up all her fun (read: expensive) decorations. The party itself was sooo different from last year. I knew so many people this time and my favorite girl, Kelly, was there and we were Twinkies (which means twins, dressed the same, peas in a pod) totally unintentionally. Strangely it was more fun, but not by too far, than last year. There was a white elephant gift exchange. Brando wanted so badly the "it" gift of our group last year - a 70's drinking glass on a string. You wear it around your neck "so you can smoke, eat, dance, and even hold another drink". Somebody stole my Willow Tree Angels so I stole the drinking glass for him and then he stole my angels back for me. Only the hubby who had stolen my angels had stolen it for his wife so when I saw her later I had to share one. I gave her "Angel of Happiness" and kept "Angel of the Heart". There was also an ornament exchange. I brought a BEAUTIFUL ornament my MIL bought for me to give - a cross with turqouise stones in it. I'm not sure who got it thought I wanted Ms. Kelly to have it. I ended up with some crappy Target angel ornament. It'll be on the back of the tree. Hehe. Somebody took the ornament Kelly had for me so she had one sitting in her car that she gave to Brando to give me and it's beautiful. There was also a catered fajita dinner, flowing alcohol, and lots of dessert. I was good! Brando wasn't. Now it's bedtime and I'm exhausted.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wake Up Call

Good little me hasn't had my hair cut in six months, haven't had my nails done in four, and God forbid I should have my eyebrows done. But parties are coming up and a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Until she's stopped in her tracks by carelessly leaving her debit card and driver's license, that she randomly puts in her pocket to avoid having to carry her purse, at home. Then she's stuck to groveling and begging that they'll take her check without her license number.

Up til now everybody has so sweetly in the holiday cheer said yes, until I decide to get my nails done and the lady runs by the bank with my check on the way to pick up laundry and comes back and tells me my account has no money in it.

Fast forward half an hour, my credit card that we're not supposed to be using any way is expired as of last month, my debit card is home, no way will they take my check, and my nails are freshly wet. Five phone calls later there is money in the account and they are taking Brando's debit card number over the phone.

And the girl walks out in tears. Oh yeah that would be me. Whatever. It's easier to write about in third person. After some hard thinking and realizing this isn't as horribly bad as it could be, just horribly embarrasing she realizes this may have been a SOFT version of a wake up call to do what we need to do now.

We need to 1) Sell the house (currently getting a CMA done on it), 2) Get rid of storage back in Marble Falls (storage owner is finding someone to take the huge playset that's been hindering getting rid of that $55/mo. payment) 3) Sell a car.

Maybe I am nieve or stupid in thinking people float around on the money they do, or maybe it's just not aired enough that we don't actually have the money, it's credit. When, like us, we decide not to do credit it's overdraft fees or seriously sucking it in. Any way I'm airing it in case there's someone else out there like me who nievely thought it all came easy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Best White Elephant Gift

Brando and I have to come up with white elephant's gifts for two of the parties we're going to. I came up with the idea to do a cd of the most annoying Christmas songs ever. Inexpensive, if not free, and horribly perfect. Hehe.

First on the list is I want a hippopotamus for Christmas by Gayla Peevey. Brando thinks we should put some overtly Christmas tear jerkers on there too like The Christmas Shoes by NewSong and Teddy Bear by Ferlin Husky. Some others I just googled are Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth by Bing Crosby and David Howie, Jingle Bells by Barbara Streisand, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer by Elmo & Patsy, Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms & The Anita Kerr Singers, and just for Kelly, The Little Drummer Boy by Harry Simeone Chorale. Suggestions from my MIL are 12 days of Redneck Christmas by Jeff Foxworthy and White Christmas by Bing Crosby for a tear jerker. GFF suggested The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) by Alvin and the Chipmunks and my mil called this morning and suggested it as well. Okay that was a lot I didn't expect to find. Anything I missed? The funny thing is I'm a total dork because I actually like some of these.

Great, now Shawners is singing "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas..."

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sugar & Spice

Justin came up with the idea to take the head off a gingerbread cookie and cut it into a triangle to make this Santa suit. He did so fabulous!

The boys and I spent the day at Kelly's house making cookies and decorating them. We were both SO excited!! The boys, too! We made thumbprint cookies which were delicious until we decided to add milk to the batch to make the dough less crumbly and made them taste like biscuits, then we made sugar cookies for the kids to decorate and orange spiced tea. Yum! Kelly had never made cookies before except for store bought. I love doing things with friends that they are doing for the first time!!

PS Where is everybody? It's been quiet lately!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree


Spent the day at the host's of our Christmas party next weekend house helping her decorate. She has this GORGEOUS house and three Christmas trees. I had so much fun decorating with all her pretty ornaments and fun decorations. She must have at least thirty different nativity sets, all beautiful from all over the world. It's so special that her and her hubby are offering their house up and spending all this time decorating it and having dinner catered for our Sunday school class's Christmas party!

Oh and that's the pretty rosehip wreath my mother-in-law sent to us from Williams-Sonoma! It's hanging on the wall where you can see it as soon as you walk in the house and I looove it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Unexpectedly Nice

Yesterday K and M and her boy toy Jake and the boys and I went to Whole Foods to ice skate. The wind whipped up just before we got there and they shut it down. We hung out and ate gelato then K and I headed to the hospital to take a new Mom from our Sunday school class flowers. Then I rushed up north to have dinner at a friend's house, which I forgot to bring salad AND my scrapbooking stuff to. I felt so bad, but we had a nice time, though we mostly talked about the curriculum for our sunday school class so I told her we'd have to plan another girl's night. I didn't scrapbook, we didn't ice skate, but it was an unexpectedly nice day.

Advent calendars start today!


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