Saturday, December 25, 2010

From Our Family to Yours


"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.''  ~Burton Hillis

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's all Christopher's fault

Without a doubt it's official- every time Christopher comes to visit this poor blog is abandoned. The blog that brought us together just gets swooshed to the side. Clearly we're just too busy doing lots of other exciting things together.

Saturday was our first Christmas celebration with Erika, Debbie, and Christopher and according to the reports, it was a successful first.

I'm not sure what was making Grandma laugh so hard, but she certainly was enjoying herself.

Here we have a group of adoring fans listening to Christopher tell his version of how we got engaged. Our versions of the story are very similar, especially the part where I said yes. 
{Notice the paparazzi.}
Look how happy the adoring fans are!
I have never seen anyone get so excited about a key as Aaron did about the key Andrew and Debbie gave him to their house. Who knew a little key could bring so much Christmas cheer?

Monday night we went to a Fezziwig Christmas Ball.
It was a very Christmasy event and many in attendance took the invitation to "come in costume" quite seriously. Below we see the ever fab Hannah and Willie M.
Unlike the Civil War ball where my dance card was overtaken by a boy named Brandon, my dance card for this ball was primarily taken over by someone whose name starts with a C and ends with an r.


Tuesday
found us doing errands, eating Chinese food and getting together with Katie for ice cream. Katie and I hadn't visited in approximately forever so we did a lot of talking. Poor Christopher was subjected to listening to many conversations that to the unaccustomed sounded like a bunch of half sentences and quite a bit of nonsense, but in reality it's just the way Katie and I generally communicate. We've learned a unique brand of communication over our 20 years together.

Mr. C. and I are Christmas lights people so we drove around looking at the beautiful and not so beautiful sights. It's a little disturbing what some people find attractive when it comes to Christmas lights. After looking at neighborhood lights, we went to see a huge display of beautiful Christmas lights at a former monastery. The picture below does not do it justice.
I had to babysit on Wednesday but while the kids were watching their show, we had Wedding Planning Meeting #1. Daniel and Erika gave us this very helpful book as an engagement present and we plan on studying it from page 1 all the way through page 293.


As tends to happen when he comes to visit, Christopher had to leave this morning BUT I'll see him {as well as Stephanie, Logan & Co.} on Sunday when I travel to Phoenix!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Have a mipy christmas

Scott the Mailman recently delivered this Christmas card to my mailbox.




My favorite part is the way she spelled merry
Poor girl, not only did we share a crafting gene, apparently we share a terable speling gene as well.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

We have some big Christmas questions

We interrupt the romance of Tuesday to discuss the Christmas shopping trip Autumn and I took yesterday. It only rated about a 7 for productivity, but easily a 10 for everything else. "Everything else" includes talking at an inappropriate volume {something we're very good at}, Autumn's very excitable driving which made us leave the lane we were supposed to be in, the mechanic Autumn takes her car to, sales and more sales, Autumn telling me 15 times in 4 hours that she "JUST CAN'T BELIEVE" that I'm engaged, and discussing some of the world's biggest Christmas questions.

Question #1: Why does the Lexus dealership tell us that "a Lexus is the perfect gift for everyone on our list" when nobody {except maybe Donald T.} can afford to buy a Lexus for everyone on their list?
Question #2: Why do plastic surgeons offer gift certificates at Christmas time? You might as well just hand that special someone a card telling them you think they're a nice person and all, but for goodness sake, they are so ugly!

We just don't get it.  

We also took 60 seconds to compile this very incomplete list of a few favorite Christmas songs. It was shaping up to be a good list but we were interrupted by a trip into Hallmark and we forgot to finish it. I blame the Star Wars ornaments for that.  

Away in a Manger 
Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart {This song "brings out the 80's" in Autumn.}
Walking In A Winter Wonderland
"The song about the walking magi" {I can't be sure, but I think she meant We Three Kings}
Oh Holy Night

Our next stop was TJ Maxx. Almost immediately we found these:  
Someone made a terrible fashion error with the production of these yellow pants. 

We needed a little time for our eyes to recover so we went to children's section in search of a gift for a certain small sister of mine. We found something for her, but almost more exciting was this discovery:
 
Adorable baby shoes 
We instantly began searching for babies to go with the shoes but we found none. Autumn asked me if I want a girl or boy baby first and when I said girl, she said she wanted a boy first. Naturally my little girl will marry her little boy and we'll have the same grandchildren and life will be beautiful. 

Please don't ask why we like to discuss the marriages of our future, as of now unborn children. It's very hard to explain to those who don't understand.

Next on our agenda was the mall. We stopped by Crazy 8 to visit Marissa, looked in on Autumn's friend Kory at another store, and shopped around two other stores before leaving with slightly less money than we arrived with. 

That's another big Christmas question we have: why do you always end up on the other side of Christmas with less money than you have before it? 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yes


December 10th, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Gingerbread Couple

This picture is dedicated to the one and only Christopher.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh Christmas tree, thy branches are so lovely

We finally put up our Christmas tree last night. In an effort to avoid a lot of words about how it took three people twenty minutes to get the tree to stay in the stand and how I fell in love with my Baby's 1st Christmas ornament for the 21st year in a row, I'll just show pictures of the tree.

Before


After

That's quite the transformation, don't you think? It's possible I say this every year, but I think this is our prettiest tree yet.
***
I am now going to start packing for my very exciting trip to visit Christopher this weekend. The Office of the Official Timer has told me departure time is T minus 12 hours. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Shopping Extraviganza

Yesterday morning Marissa and I got together for our first annual Christmas shopping extravaganza. First we went to the store that sells way too many things for way too good a price, thereby making you spend way more money than you really should for stuff you don't really need. The store is commonly referred to as the Christmas Tree Shop. We wandered around looking for cookie cutters of which there were none, but Marissa did find a Marilyn Monroe book that excited her to no end. Apparently Marilyn and Betty Boop are her new favorites. I was completely unaware of that fact until standing between aisles 7 and 8 of the Christmas Tree Shop.

Our next stop was the craft store. I have a well-documented addiction to craft stores so I'm very proud to report that I did not buy ANYTHING thing that I don't need. I'm just as proud of the fact that everything I bought was on sale. It was a big day for me and my craft needs. 

Next we headed to the mall because our shopping was finished and we still had some time before we had to be at our respective homes. We wandered the mall for a few minutes before remembering our deep and abiding love of trying on fancy dresses. We headed to the closest store and spent a good deal of time trying on dresses we'll never get to wear anywhere.


I learned another new thing about Marissa yesterday: she has a rotation of 4 boys she likes to see every time she's at the mall. Since she works at the mall she sees them quite a bit. I don't know any of these boys but since I'm her relationship counselor I felt it was necessary to meet them. And you know what? I don't approve of any of them. Not that Marissa asked my approval, you understand. I just like giving my opinion on things. Besides, I probably have 3 people in mind who would be so much better for her.

As all things must, our shopping day finally came to an end. I dropped Marissa off, wished her luck in all her babysitting endeavors {to quote her, "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE KIDS!"}, and realized as I was driving away that I had to go to the craft store again. Like I said, I'm addicted to the craft store. Luckily I had another coupon so I saved a whopping $2.00. 

Knowing myself as I do, I'll probably just spend those $2.00 on another craft item down the road. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Christmas Carol

"Stunning, breathtaking,and funny."
The Ultra-Cool Homeschoolers Times


So say the reviews after tonight's performance of A Christmas Carol.

Our family loves to attend shows. When a show happens to involve 1. one of our own {in this case, Elizabeth} 2. our friends and 3. fellow homeschoolers, the fun is tripled. A Christmas Carol involved all three so we knew it was going to be good. In fact, I think it's accurate to rate it as superb. The acting was fabulous, the singing was wonderful, and the children were adorable.

Unfortunately, I was unable to take pictures during the performance because the director made it clear in no uncertain terms that photography was NOT allowed. Last time, she said, the camera's got in the way of people's view of the stage. Completely understandable. I briefly considered being rebellious because I feel it's essential to have photographic evidence of any and all events, but then I considered being dragged out of the show because of unlawful behavior and I decided to obey. Just think, if I had been dragged away, I could have yelled "it's for the blog! It's for the blog!" on the way out. It would have been just thrilling to behold.

Anyway.

Hannah came to visit during the intermission so we seized the {completely acceptable at this point} photographic moment. I'm not sure where Amanda was to begin with, but all the sudden she was very much there in our picture.


 This is where I would insert any Act 2 pictures if I had them.

The lovely Elizabeth, the charming Hannah, and the trying-to-look-aristocratic Daniel

Daniel told me that he would dress like this everyday if he could and I totally believe him. His main goal in life is to own a home in England where he can ride a horse through the woods with a pack of hunting dogs at his side. When he's done for the day, he will retire to his library and socialize with fellow aristocrats. His brother Brandon has similar goals except his location of choice is Paris. 

Look who else graced the stage tonight: 

It's our slightly flushed and tired friend, the one and only Mr. William the Great.
He was quite suave and debonair.

I have saved the best for last...Elizabeth played the charming, witty, slightly flirtatious Miss Besty. Even if she wasn't my sister, I would say that Elizabeth's character was one of my favorites. Miss Betsy is a guest at the Christmas party who is head over heels in love with Mr Topper, another guest, and is completely giddy the whole entire scene. She was, without a doubt, one of the shows most popular characters.


PS. Because she IS my sister and I take her potential love-life very seriously, I fully approve if she wants to like the boy who played Mr. Topper. They were so cute together!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some December 1st Thoughts

Today is December 1st.


That can mean one thing and one thing alone- it's almost Christmas and I'd better get moving with my Christmas shopping. I am a HUGE fan of giving Christmas presents and if it wasn't completely against tradition, I'd give them year-round. 

Trying to gain useful information from Aaron regarding what he would like for Christmas was similar to pulling teeth. The first answer he gave me was a very vague, not-really-paying-attention, "it doesn't really matter". I think he put so little effort into his answer because he was on Facebook looking at pictures of Christiana which always renders him completely useless. I asked him again a few days later and he replied that he'd like an external hard drive for his xbox. That would be a useful answer except that I have no idea what an external hard drive for an xbox actually is. I think I'll stick with the "it doesn't really matter" idea.


Zachary, on the other hand, provided us with an in-depth list of his Christmas wishes and desires. Notice how he even ranked everything just in case there's any question about what he wants most. 

Because today is December 1st, and because I am a fan not only of Christmas gifts but Christmas decorations, and because I am slightly proud of the babysitting skills that lead me to conjure up such a time-consuming activity as making Christmas decorations, I present the Sarah & Molly Christmas Creations, Edition 2010.

I have yet to figure out why Santa's trademark 'ho ho' was painted in hippie colors. That just doesn't seem Christmas-y to me at all. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

There are no pictures to document it, but our Thanksgiving started off the way it always does- a pumpkin bread breakfast with Grandma. When Grandma left, Mom and Elizabeth rescued the turkeys from Grandma's oven while Aaron and I sat on the couch and watched part of Forrest Gump. Because that's such a Thanksgiving movie. After a very long while, the CCE and Andrew and Debbie arrived and we began our festivities.


This was the main theme of the Thanksgiving speech Daniel prepared for us:



He read parts from Of Plymouth Plantation, then we did an "interactive activity". I think we got a little too excited about the interactive part. Just the passing out of the pens caused quite a ruckus. Not surprisingly, Aaron and Andrew were 95% of the ruckus. They can't just be handed a pen. They have to throw them, trade them, complain that they don't like the color, start drawing on their hands, attempt balancing them on their fingers...and the list goes on. Finally Daniel "RANDOMLY!!" handed out a card with a family members name on it to each person. After we had written a few things we were thankful for about that person, we gave them back to Daniel and he read them aloud "ANONYMOUSLY!!" He was big on the 'random' and 'anonymous' part. It was an interesting twist to our normal "say what you're thankful for" tradition.

This is what Elizabeth looked like when Daniel was reading the card about her.

Apparently Aaron thought the activity was getting a little long because he said that his "stomach would be extremely thankful if it actually had some food in it." After applauding Daniel for his efforts {he really did do a good job}, we all agreed that yes, Aaron might have a point and so we moved on to the eating portion of the day.


After washing the ridiculous amount of dishes that always make an appearance at major holidays, we ended the day by visiting with Grandma and Nicholas and watching Christmas movies.

ps. Elizabeth and I braved Black Friday and not only did we return successful, we returned alive

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another winner

Selissa very kindly offered to give away another pair of cowboy booties, so the second winner is...................The Canday Family!! :-)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The FCCC


I take my job as president and CEO of the Family Christmas Card Committee {aka the FCCC} very seriously. I do allow my dear mother to have some input on the cards since they are from her as well, but I do most of the picking, licking, labeling and stamping myself. I don't seek much input from the rest of the family because having 5 additional people say what they like and don't like on such an important matter is like signing your own death sentence. Bad idea. 

{Can we pause to discuss for a moment the chaos that is the taking of our family picture? This was the first time in almost 14 years that someone whose name starts with Aa didn't turn a simple photographic moment into a half-hour nightmare. We used to dread going to Sears for our Christmas picture because of that small brother. Daniel would sigh and roll his eyes the whole entire time.}

Last year Melissa made our cards and we loved them. This year we're getting our Christmas photo cards from Shutterfly  which means I only had something like 400 designs to wade through.{There are also holiday photo cards from any politically correct in our midst.} I thought these designs were especially cute.



Notice how all these cards have cute children on them. I don't think that is a coincidence. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be a productive CEO of the FCCC when there are such cute people staring at you from the computer screen? 


We have two card options we'll be deciding between but I can't put them up because certain people who read this blog will be receiving one and I'd hate to ruin the surprise. Hint: they're both very pretty and they both feature cute children. 


I think I'll host a cookie swap just so I could use this invitation.

There's a small possibility I might like to host a cookie swap just so I'll have a good excuse to make myself some oreo balls and snickerdoodles.

Thankful

I wasn't able to write out my Thankful ABC's this year, but I did have time to make this little collage of just a few of the people I am very thankful for. If I had made a collage of all the babies and little people I'm thankful for, we'd be here until Easter because there are so many.



"Thanksgiving, after all, if a word of action." W.J. Cameron

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The very over-due weekend recap*

* Said weekend recap only covers one day of the weekend so I'm not sure it really can be filed under the  "weekend recap" category. You know what I have to say about that? Whatever.

On Friday Molly and I went to see Haitian and African drummers perform at her school. 

    I had never heard of the Bamidele Dancers and Drummers before, but I am now aware of the fact that they are a trio of highly talented and energetic individuals who seem to be powered by the Energizer Bunny. Molly wanted to sit with her school friends during the show and since I'm not in that elite group, I was relegated to sitting with the mothers and grandmothers. I had no idea that children started the whole "I don't want to be seen with you" thing when they're only 5 years old. We have so many wonderful years to look forward to. Towards the end of the show, the dancers were telling us how drums were used as a form of communication. To demonstrate this, a drum and a conch shell had a conversation the topic of which was every person in the room over the age of 18 had to come up to the stage. As I generally don't volunteer for things unless I know what's going to happen, I chose to forget the fact that I'm over age 18. I am so glad I did. If nothing else, Molly might have been embarrassed. 
    When we got home, we got Zachary off the bus and played outside for a while. Molly is in a fairy phase so we spent a while building fairy houses in the trees behind their house. After a while, we heard a lot of crunching and crashing from the trees in the general direction of the neighbors house. These noises can only mean one thing- the neighbor girl is coming over. She's not allowed to play over when my aunt's not home so I'm always telling her she has to leave. This week I thought of a brilliant new approach. I told the kids to be very quiet so maybe Danica wouldn't notice we were outside and she'd leave on her own. Molly liked this plan but Zachary, normally the quieter one, decided this would be a great moment to shout out, "WHY DO WE HAVE TO BE QUIET?"

After I left Z and M's house, I drove home to pick up the twins then went to our friends' grandfathers wake. Two interesting things happened on the way.

1. We pulled over to let an ambulance pass which started a conversation about how interesting it would be if the ambulance was going to the funeral home. Something about an emergency at a funeral home seemed to strike us a little funny. We also discussed how someone passed out during Ronald Reagan's funeral and if indeed the ambulance was going to rescue someone from a funeral home emergency, the person could say that the same thing happened to them as happened to someone at the funeral of a president. {If you're confused by this whole conversation as well as why we were having it in the first place, I completely understand.} As it turns out, there was an emergency at the funeral home. The brother of the man who died passed out in front of the coffin. Of course, that is not funny, but we did slightly enjoy that our what-ifs because an it-happened.
2. As I pulled into the parking lot, I did a fancy little turn. I like to add a little excitement to my driving every now and then. Almost immediately the twins started ooohhhing and aaahhhhing with a great deal of enthusiasm. I looked over at them and explained {once again} that I can be a cool driver when I so choose and I was glad they were there to witness it. I could almost hear them roll their eyes as they said, "we were NOT talking about your driving. We were talking about that sports car over there." Ok then. I will just go back to my normal, abide by the rules, highly boring methods of driving. {I still think it was a very fancy, cool driver turn.} 

Monday, November 22, 2010

winner! winner!

Since he did such a superb job of choosing the winning numbers last time around, Mr. Dapper is back again as our winner-picker.

        

The winner of the CSN giveaway is...............................................Chelsey! 

Some of my favorite quotes from this giveaway were:

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
"If through a broken heart God can bring His purpose to pass, then thank Him for breaking your heart." Oswald Chambers
"Wherever you go, there you are!" {Could there possibly be a statement more profound?}
***
The winner of the Forever and a Day cowboy booties is..............................Kizzie!

We will now thank the following people:
CSN
Selissa
all you wonderful people

Thank you and have a wonderful evening! :-)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

a very important message

Today is the last day to enter...

&

Go forth and cast your vote comments!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meet the Eggberts

The female citizens of Babysitterville are avid crafters. We often find ourselves buried under piles of construction paper, scissors, markers with no covers and cries of "where's the glue???". Our latest and greatest inventions were various members of the Eggbert family. This family provided  us with hours upon hours of creative entertainment {see also: Molly was perfectly happy to sit in one spot for hours}.

Aunt Gigi is a reforming hippie/fortune teller
Caitlyn is Aunt Gigi's daughter and, according to Molly, wants to be just like her mother
I don't know why we have two Sarah's
Such a well-groomed Eggbert couldn't possibly be named anything other than Daniel
Having never seen Christopher was not an issue for Molly. She cut, glued, and drew like they were best friends.

Jason is a paper rendition of my dear friend, Jason Varitek. 
Elvira is just some Eggbert great aunt 
Grandma is our Grandma 
Contrary to popular belief, Hank, Danny, and Zack are not triplets- they're cousins. 

The real Zack loudly voiced that he was not at all pleased with the fact that his egg was so grumpy looking. In her great kindness, Molly looked at him and said with a shrug of her shoulders, "oh well." She's so compassionate. 
***
As a matter of fact yes, I do have a life outside of babysitting. As proof, let's discuss my sociology class for a minute. Ever since the second week of class, a distinct pattern occurs every week: 

1. Mr. Louis begins teaching at 4 o'clock to 30 students who are divided as follows: 1/3 pays attention, 1/3 sleeps, and the remaining 1/3 texts/Facebooks/talks to their neighbor/makes loud and annoying comments. {Yes Craven, I'm looking at you.}
2. Around 5 o'clock, people start making noises and loudly hinting that they NEED a break. {Because we just started one hour ago and can't possibly be expected to act like responsible people.}
3. Mr. Louis decides that we can have a 15 minute break and before the words are fully out of his mouth, 2/3 of the students are out the door never to return.
4. The remaining 1/3 of the class sits quietly during the break and stay for the remainder of the class.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 every Thursday from 4:00-6:45

There are some in our midst who weekly go through the should-I-go or should-I-stay fight. My friend Matt is one such individual. After weeks of flip-flopping on the issue, he decided to flip a coin to decide his fate. Seeing how I sit behind him and we're friends, he turned to me and asked for a coin. Now I'm not one to encourage people leaving the class, but I knew he'd just get a penny from someone else if I didn't give him one so I wouldn't be doing any good by refusing. Besides, we've been through a lot of sociology torture together. He flipped the coin and it landed on heads which meant he would stay. He decided to leave anyway. My model-student attitude did not do one bit of good. 
It's worth noting that while I say Matt is my friend, for the first three weeks of the class I was convinced his name was Ben. I have no logical explanation for this other than he looks like a Ben. 

As you can see, we're very good friends.


--> CSN giveaway
cowboy boots giveaway <-- 

Monday, November 15, 2010

The main home-slice and Sir Barxalot

Our very beloved big brother/main home-slice/slightly crazy/family fashion icon Andrew found himself in a bit of a pickle on Friday night. To quote my mother, "he's ok,but he got hit by a car." He didn't break any bones or have internal bleeding of any kind, he's just very sore and quite bruised.
 
Being the kind people that we are, Christopher and I went to Build-A-Bear to make Andrew a soft, cuddly, lovable animal of his own to cheer him up. {Because we all know that 24 year old guys love stuffed animals.} After a great deal of pomp and circumstance{and almost as much confusion and just as many decisions}, we presented Andrew with... 

We were quite proud of him. Naturally we needed a card as well so we choose this highly appropriate card for the invalid and his new friend.

I'm pleased to report that we just returned from visiting the sick one and he's doing slightly better. In fact, he was singing a very off-key rendition of 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport'. It was rumored that he had just taken some very strong medicine which probably contributed to his loopyness, but improvement is improvement even if it is loopy and off-key.



To quote Andrew on this picture, "WE TAKE CUTE TO A NEW LEVEL YO!!!"
I feel the 'yo' gets the point across in a way ALL THE CAPITALS don't.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Giveaway Goodness Continued

Dear ladies and gentlemen {or gentleman, as the case may be},
    
You know I love gifts and giving things away. My Christmas gift-list is never shorter than 3 3/4  miles. That fact is really neither here nor there because this has nothing to do with my Christmas list, but have something to do with yours.{As a side note, I  LOVE Christmas but I do not love how people start playing Christmas songs two months early. I heard "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" yesterday in the craft store and almost died.} But back to Christmas lists. A certain company by the name of CSN emailed me and said 'we have stuff to give away, you  like to give stuff away, so let's get together.' They said it in a much more professional manner, but that's what they meant. Naturally, I emailed back and said sign me up asap, thank you very much.

We now come to the portion of the story where I spent a week deciding what I wanted to review. 
  Sassafras Kid's Gigi the Giraffe Plush Pull-a-Long
A Mid-Flo FXF Water Mattress?{I was so tempted!}
American National Med-Flo FXF Water Mattress

Instead, I settled on reviewing this wall vinyl.
 It certainly is nothing like a FXF Water Mattress, but it is much more helpful when it comes to fulfilling my decorating needs. 

Art-A-Peel Wall Wisdom Family Is Forever - 22651
Stay tuned for a review and in-depth analysis of this lovely product very soon. 

One of you dear, lovely people will be the recipient of a $20 gift certificate to CSN stores to spend on whatever your heart so desires. Perhaps it will help you check something off your Christmas list....or perhaps you'll get something just because you like it and you don't even have an outside-of-your-head Christmas list to speak of yet. I certainly am not in that second category. Ahem. 

To enter:
For one entry- tell me one of your favorite quotes
For another entry- follow this blog
For two additional entries- blog or tweet about this giveaway and leave the link

* You may enter if you do not have a blog, but you must leave an email address so I can contact you if you win.*

This giveaway will run through November 21st and I will announce the winner on the 22nd. 


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