Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Trip

We left the house at about 9am, and had till noon to get to the snow, play, get back home, and get Joe to Kindergarten. We were only a few minutes late for school......

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Saturday Before Before Christmas :)

So yesterday was our Ward's (church congregation) Christmas Party. The decorations were FABULOUS!!! Brooke (the one in charge) really went all out - SO festive. Way to go, Brooke!!! Our theme was "A Whooville Holiday". From, The Grinch. I just LOVE those greens and reds together. That almost lime green is SO cool!

I've been doing publicity for the party with my WordArt skills - LMBO!!! My mom and dad went early this morning to help set up. Here's my dad helping out with the balloons.

And my friend Maren (right) and my friend Luell (left). Aren't they cute, in their Whooville outfits :) We were all supposed to wear jammies, to be festive.

I just LOVE how all of the trees are bending over - so funny!!!
So here's our table. One guy (who will remain unnamed) was in charge of the food. Let me tell you, FOOD NAZI!!! We decided he was the Mayor of Whooville. If you've seen the movie, you'll understand. I'm sure he was trying his best, but he was being a We won't go there. There were 4 or 5 or 6 tables designated for people with small children. The table actually had a sign on it that said "FOR SMALL CHILDREN" or something like that. Whatever. That's fine.

Yeah, see that plate of cookies on the table. Now, if you went to a social, and saw a HUGE plate of cookies on the table, and had 5 children at the table, and knew that they shouldn't go run around, what would you do? I let them eat the cookies. Appetizers, right? Wasn't that why they were there. Well, after my kids ate about 1/2 the plate, He Who Must Not Be Named came over and chastized me for letting the kids eat the cookies. "Those haven't been blessed yet. They're for dessert. Don't eat the cookies". Nice. If you didn't want us to eat the cookies, you shouldn't have put them on the table. Or at least put a note they're saying "DONT EAT ME". Come on.

So soon the party starts. They bless the food, and we're told that there are 2 lines. One for children under 6 and one for everyone else. What? That doesn't make sense. But, my big kids run for the "over 6" line, and I take the little ones over to the little kid line. Well, apparently The Mayor of Whooville wasn't explaining it properly. He wanted a line for FAMILIES with children 6 and under, and a line for everyone else. Now that's a bit different from what he said from the microphone. And he was standing at the beginning of the line, turning away people who he thought were in the wrong line. AHHHHHH.

So we finally get to the front of the line. I have Jim (3), Joe (5) and Eme (7) with me. I'm not eating, since it's brunch, and I've already had breakfast, and I'm trying to be really good on my diet (I've gained 6 lbs since the holidays started - rrrrgh). So, the servers were told that people were not allowed to touch their own plate. It was to be passed by the servers. And they were also told that people weren't to get what they wanted, they were to get what they were given. Nice. Anyway, neither Jim nor Joe wanted potatoes or ham. Just the fruit and bread. So Joe ended up with ham AND potatoes, and Jim ended up with potatoes. And a TINY scoop of fruit, which was pineapple, which he wasn't gonna eat. He wanted the cantelope and grapes.

So we got back to the table, and I was a little miffed about how it was going. My kids had food on their plates, and they were eating, but it wasn't quite the food they had wanted. The Food Nazi was hovering around, harassing others (ok, so i'm exaggerating a bit). But my mom did tell me that he had another mom in tears. He was telling her that she needed to keep a closer eye on her little girl, and that the girl was acting up, or something like that. Well the little girl has a learning disability, and that's just how she acts. Oh my.

I was a little on edge, and as I looked around the room, I saw all the families, sitting and having fun and enjoying each others company. It was my first church Christmas party without my hubby. I didn't think it would affect me so much, but it did. It was all I could do to keep from bursting out in tears every time I looked at another family. Jimmy was done eating, and wanted to go and play. I just KNEW that the Mayor of Whooville would ream me out if Jim left the table, so I made him sit. He was trying to get away, and fell off the chair, and bumped his head on the floor. I was upset, and didn't give him the comfort that he really needed. I know, I can be a heartless mom. I was just trying to keep it all together.

My big kids were hastling me to go and run around with their friends. I knew that they'd get in trouble if they ran around, so I made them sit. My daughter decided to pout about it. I looked over, and my 9 year old was under the table. That was the last straw. "OK, we're going home", I said. I loaded everyone up, and we left.

If my hubby had been there, it would have been a TOTALLY different scenerio. We'd have just laughted at how dumb the guy was being. He'd have helped me out with the kids. I have SO much respect for you single parents out there. I admire the struggles that you go through. I was struggling today.

This picture was taken right before I lost it. Not the big happy smile I usually have, but still, not too bad. Calm on the outside has it's advantages. But I was crying before I made it to the truck.

We went home (my mom and dad and grandma and niece were still there), and the kids seemed fine. They recognized that mom was upset, and that the party wasn't so much fun for them anyway. They'd eaten, and were fine with it. The big kids jumped on the computer, and the little kids watched some cartoons. Me? I went in the bathroom, and had a really good, long, hard cry. I hadn't had one in a long time. I did feel a bit better afterwords, though.

So these pictures are from the rest of the party. Apparently, it got better. After the food was done, He Who Must Not Be Named wasn't in charge anymore, and the atmosphere relaxed. My mom said that it felt Uptight during the food, and I'd have to agree. That's a great description. Check out the crowd as they watched the "Grinch" play.

And then the Grinch showed up. Apparently he was HYSTERICAL!!! He frightened all the little kids, and they were supposed to sit on his lap. Most of them warmed up to him, though. They'd sit on his lap, and say what they wanted for Xmas, and he'd says "Nope, not gonna happen" and rude stuff like that. TOO funny . heheh.

Here he is sitting with Marens son, Clay. Mom said that his fingers (gloves) were the best. What a GREAT costume!

So my parents came home after the party, and I had to explain what happened. I tried not to cry when I said that I was looking around the room, and noticed all of the families, and I knew that my husband wasn't there, and I noticed that my mom was trying not to cry too. We quickly changed the subject to The Food Nazi/He Who Must Not Be Named/The Mayor of Whooville. Much nicer to blame all my problems on him - LMBO! Anyway, she said the last 1/2 of the party was a blast.

After the party, we went to Eugene for some shopping. I had to buy presents for extend family members. We went to Wal-Mart (about 2 hours), to dinner at Izzys (pizza buffet - but it has other stuff too), to Staples (mom just ran in), to Big Lots, and to Target. It was a GREAT time. JUST what I needed. AND, I got all my Christmas shopping done. Woohoo!!!

Here are some pics from the trip.

Here's Eme with her Whoo Hair. Isn't she cute. She left it in, because it was SO stinkin' cute - LOL!

Here's a pic of my necklace and earrings from my birthday from Maren. Aren't they SO cool!!!

Here's Jimm and I at dinner. YUMMY food :)

And Joe and Jake at dinner.

And Tom and Grandma in the truck. It was a FULL vehicle. We looked like a clown car as we unloaded all 8 of us. LOL
Ha! My mom is so weird (yeah, that's where I get it from - LMBO). She started it off by putting her head in a wreath, and we all followed suit.

Here's Jacob with beads on his head in Big Lots.

Eme with a wreath of bells. SO cute!

Tom, um, being Ceasear? Eme was walking in front of him in this pic, so we took another, but the look on his face is priceless!

Me in the wreath - hehehe.

And the woman that started all the fun - hehehe.
We didn't get home until about 11pm, but boy was it a fun trip. Really, it was! Who would have thought that Christmas shopping 2 weeks before Christmas (yeah, Walmart was FULL - we had to park almost across the street it was so full) with 5 small children could be fun, but it WAS. I had a GREAT time with my family. It lessend the sting of having my hubby gone. I hardly thought about it the rest of the day. Hardly.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Birthday

Wow, it was a GREAT birthday :) I just LOVE that I don't have to do anything fancy or out of the ordinary to have a great day - hehehehe. My hubby lucked out on that one. I'm not very high maintenance, and VERY easy to please - LOL!

So we went and did the tree job yesterday. I took a TON of video, but can't seem to figure out how to get it from my video camera to my laptop. It has a IEEE cord (or something like that), but I don't have a port for it in my laptop. For my old laptop, I had a removable one that I purchased, but I gave the old laptop to my hubby. Rrrrgh. I'll need to think of a solution for this one soon :)

Anyway, I did take a few pictures on the video camera. They're not such great quality, but you get the idea :) So, here's the tree. It was over 70 feet. Yeah, it was pretty big.

But first, we had to take out some sections of fencing. Right where my dad is now is where he was gonna drop the branches. So, we unscrewed the sections, and removed the fencing. My friend Maren came to help, and the little boys were there too (yeah, not so much help from them - LMBO).

See, no more fence - hehehe.

Then, Dad got his stuff together and was ready to go. Here he is getting his saw all ready.
And here he is putting on his ... um.. don't know what they're called. They're attachments for his work boots, with long spikes. When you walk up the tree, the spikes go into the bark, and keep you from falling. Quite handy :)

See the spikes?

So, he has a rope that he puts around the tree, and it attaches to his belt somehow, and he can walk up the tree. Really quite impressive. His chain saw is also attached to a rope to his belt. Then he can pull it up when he needs it.

He climbed up that tree, and as he got to a branch, he'd pull up his chain saw and cut off the branch. Some were small, and some were large. Some made a REALLY cool loud THUD when they hit the ground. And a few fell and planted in the ground. Those were really COOL to watch - LOL.

Look how high up there he was - OMGosh! I'm deathly afraid of heights, so you'd NEVER catch me up there - hehehe. I won't even go over 3 rungs on a ladder. But I digress. hehehe.

So when he got up near the top (so that it was starting to sway a little bit), he cut off the top, and it tumbled down. Then, he went down a few feet, and cut off another chunk. He did that most of the way down the tree. When it was only about 15 feet left, he got down and we started to clear the brush.

There was a MASSIVE pile at the bottom, and while Dad was sawing the branches into smaller chunks, Maren and I hauled them off to a branch pile up the driveway. Needless to say, I got REALLY dirty. Hehehe. While dad was up the tree, it started to lightly rain. When he started sawing at the bottom, it started to bring it. We got SUPER wet. The wet branches didn't help.

The kids and I had to stop at 11:40 to talk Joe to school. We were soaked to the bone (Maren and I), but Joe managed to stay dry in the truck. Jim had escaped for a few mintues and was a bit wet. I had to take Joe to school all nasty. Hehehe. My light blue running pants were HACKED, even my socks were wet, and I had saw dust chunks all over me - I must have looked really hot - LMBO! But it was a ton of fun. Thank, Dad, for letting me tag along.

My mom took me out to lunch at Taco Bell at 1:00, and I went over to Marens house to watch Season 2's season finale of Doctor Who. LOVE that one. Makes me teary every time. Back home before the kids got off the bus at 3:45. Tom had a Cub Scout pizza party at 4:30. My party was at 7:00 pm.

Check out the YUMMY desserts at my party! We had homemade cheesecake, chocolate raspberry cake, and sugar cookies with frosting. Let me see if I can remember the recipe for the cheesecake, because it was DIVINE!!! Ha! I found the cream cheese box in the recycle box, so this is the REAL recipe - hehehe.

Philadelphia New York Cheesecake

6 Gram Crackers, crushed
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butter
5 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Cup sour cream
4 eggs

Heat oven to 325. Line 13x9 inch pan with foil. Mix crumbs, 3 Tbsp sugar, and butter; press onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add sour cream. Mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 40 mintues or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Top as desired (we didn't top it at all)

Serves 16 (and they're VERY generous slices)

Here's my b-day cake. It was NASTY. We had ice cream with it, and I still didn't eat it. Gross. But, others seemed to like it. I guess everyone has their own tastes, right? I'll just stick to the cheesecake - LOL. So family birthday parties consist of the kids playing in the living room/watching cartoon, and the grown ups sitting in the kitchen, eating dessert and chatting. That's about it. It's PERFECT - LOL!

And I even got a few gifts. Grandma Ida and Aunt Sue got me money, Tammy and Russ (my cousin and her hubby) got me an AWESOME candle (Berry and Brown Sugar scented - I LOVE candles), Aunt Toni and Uncle Harry got me lotions and bath gel (yes, I need a shower. no, really, I do - I had sawdust falling ALL OVER myself at the party - LMBO). Maren made me the COOLEST necklace and earing set. I'm wearing them today, so I'll take a picture of myself and post it tomorrow. Thanks, you guys! You're the best - you made my Birthday SO much fun (even without my hubby).

He did call and text me at the party. He was at a hockey game with his buddies. He said he wished he could be at my party, and be there with me. Awe, he's such a sweetie :) Miss you, honey!!!!

So, that was my day. It was fabulous! Just perfect for me!