Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Hiatus

I am currently out of town visiting my parents and extended family. I have soooo much to blog about, but staying in our keystone camper with one mactop to share has not provided me with the opportunity to do that. I have hijacked a computer at my mom's office to let you know that this blog will resume regularly scheduled posts in 2009. Here's just a little preview of what's to come:

Christmas in Texas

Christmas in Louisiana


The Great Independence Bowl Debacle

New Year's Blowout

and reflections on the year that was.

Have a fabulous holiday season and we'll catch you on the flip side :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Milk & Cookies and a whole lotta garland

As is our family tradition, Christmas eve usually involves cooking/baking/dipping of some sort. For the past 3 years, it has also included grandparents & neighbors galore. This year, we're having ourselves a merry little Christmas all by ourselves. Which meant the cooking/baking/dipping was mine alone to conquer. Let's just take a moment to reflect on my kitchen aptitude. Raise your hand if you remember this shining example. But somehow, I block out those little moments and plunge right on in. I figured the slice and bake cookies were my best bet; a few sprinkles and tada!
Look at this yummy dough, just waiting to be transformed into sugar cookie deliciousness.  src=

How about while they bake, I show you around. Let's start with the tree. We usually have several trees in the house each with it's own ornament set. Not theme per se, but more of a cohesive look :) Each year we pick out an "old world" style glass ornament.

Oh, that's one from our first Christmas... straight from Vegas!


And how can you live in Texas without a gingerbread cowboy on your tree?


This is one of the young un's favorites.


Now how about some garland? I loved these bird picks (17 cents!) and thought the gold would kind of add a little to it. It's a start for next year :) We also hung Christmas Cards and Stockings from the railing. There are 38 gold engraved ornaments hanging from the garland. My parents got one for my brother and I every Christmas since we were born. I continued the tradition with the young un.


 src=Last but not least, we have the guest bathroom. A little more 17 cent wonderfulness and I can feel satisfied that Christmas has indeed been here.

 src=Now let's go check those cookies.


WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me? Burnt? How do sugar cookies burn in less than 8 minutes? I don't think frosty's going to be coming back to life from this one. What to do, what to do....

Maybe I'll see what my friend Bailey suggests.


That's a great idea!


Marshmallows? Check. Melting chocolate? Check. Sprinkles/Peppermints/Coconut? Check.

 src=And yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he's going to need some cookies. Let's try dipping them in a little chocolate too.


Maybe I should try one before setting them out...Yummy! (even if they are a little crispy)

Alright, that looks like it just about does it, all we have to do is plate them (I've been watching the Top Chef Marathon) and we're good to go. How can Santa resist those cookies?

And just in case the cookies aren't enough, look at that sweet note. This boy is trying to cover all his bases, no?

So with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads, I wish you all a Merry Christmas & the most wonderful of holidays.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A liddle stobbed ub

Christmas break is here, and that means one thing; I'll be getting sick. I don't know if it's allergies or a cold but my eyes feel like they are just about to pop out of my head. I've steamed, I've pressed, I've vaporised. It's just not working. Those sinuses are hurting! But I pressed on and went to run all the first day of break errands: bank, post office, craft store, department store, outlet mall. And did I mention I had two 8 yr old boys in tow? I'm pretty sure that by noon I was certifiable. But just in case I wasn't, the trip to the gym did the job!

I have all the shopping done, but not a single thing wrapped. If it weren't for the in-laws we wouldn't have anything under the tree. And yes, the tree is fully decorated, with a snazzy looking tree skirt/bedsheet. I even hung some garland and put a mini-tree in the loft. I will post pictures later this afternoon when I can think of where I've put the camera. Until then, I'll lay here in bed and watch the Regis & Kelly holiday pajama party.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fondue is my friend

Last night for our anniversary, the Mr and I went to one of our favorite restaurants, the Melting Pot. We opted for the "big night out", because it was, after all, a big night out. Spinach & Artichoke fondue, kicked up a notch with a little Tabasco started out our dinner. I have been dreaming about this fondue, and in my excitement, forgot to take a picture. Entrees are fun, you get to cook it up yourself and they have a plethora of sauces to choose from. How fun is this?


The best part of dinner? Dessert! We always have a hard time choosing which of the scrumptious calorie-laden melted goodness to try. This time bananas foster won out: white chocolate, caramel, bananas & cinnamon flambeed tableside. yummmmmmy!

 src=Graham cracker & Oreo coated marshmallows, strawberries, brownies, cheesecake & rice Krispie treats... hello lover!



At the end of the night we were miserably full... but it was sooooooo worth it!  src=

On an unrelated note, this is what we woke up to this morning:


You can't tell by his face, but he was excited about breaking out the hoodie :) The even crazier part? It's supposed to be 70 again by Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

3 years

Happy Anniversary to my handsome, smart, talented, bargain hunting husband whom I married 3 years ago today at the top of the Stratosphere. I love you! src=
 src= src=

Christmas Crafts Part Deux

Late last night I finished the teacher gifts. For the young uns teachers (all 6 of them) and for my team. I'll be honest after the third time I burnt myself with the glue gun I started taking shots of butterscotch schnapps. It was like my own little Christmas party. And also explains why some of the pictures are a little blurry ;)

The young un picked out the papers for his teachers and they each received a push pin and 2 magnets. I have searched and searched for more of those clear block stamps, but no such luck. I used clear decorative stones for these.


It's hard to wrap something that small, so I put them in mini cupcake wrappers. So cute, especially when placed in the party favor/treat boxes I gussied up with some $1 ribbon.

Once I got the system down (cutting out all the circles takes the longest) it went pretty quickly. I may make a set of these for family Christmas gatherings as well. I'm already planning a Christmas in July party to get theses done early next year! On a teacher front, I racked up quite a bit of loot as well; starbucks, subway & wal-mart gift cards, oreo truffles galore, fudge, turtles & chocolate dipped pretzels, and some delish hot cocoa mix. I will be in a sugar coma for days :)
P.S. How about this festive Friday sweatshirt? src=

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A few more things

I am pretty sure that huge chunks of time are missing from my days. Because every time I look at the clock it's 1 A.M. and I'm just turning on the computer. I tried to finish up the teacher gifts tonight. I ran out of the clear blocks and went to three separate stores before locating them at Michael's in the dollar bin (score!). My kitchen table will be so happy when it's time to put away the mod podge.

I started decorating the tree at 8:30 with the young un cheerfully announcing each ornament and when he got. Just so you know, everyone is his favorite ;) So those of you who were thinking of reporting me to CPS for lack of Christmas Spirit can rest easy. It is done.

Life has been moving right along at warp speed lately and I haven't had time to post about my very first award! It's from Mikki over at Here's what let's do. The lemonade award... you know, like when life hands you lemons... I must say that lately my philosophy has been when life hands you lemons grab your spray adhesive, glitter and some ribbon to make a centerpiece. It's been a battle to remain positive at work and I have done everything within my power to make it fun for me (wonder twin powers with the teacher next door, my easy button, eating a whole plate of cake balls by myself),


So with that being said, here are the rules:

Put the logo on your blog or post.
Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

I nominate:

Monica @ Monica's Musings

Tricia @ Fabulous since 1961

Colleen @ Anything but Nice

Kelly @ Fabulous K

Enjoy your awards!

Also, on Tuesday I got a lovely package in the mail from Michelle at Monkey's Mama. I won a giveaway on her blog for some gorgeous photo cards and a matted print. She is in a conundrum concerning a new blog layout, so stop by and help her out. You'll be back, I promise.

Bits and Pieces

I would so love to join the "Christmas House Tour", but let's face it; that tour would consist of my front door and the young un's bathroom, cause that's the only place I've had to do anything. The tree still looks much the same as it does in the pictures below. I did take a few minutes to fluff it though. The kitchen table looks like Christmas threw up after a hard night of partying. I'm thinking I may just go with a glitter theme from now on in there.

I didn't craft last night because of the Mr's high school band Christmas Concert. I'll be honest with you, it does not get any easier to sit through those when you don't have a child playing in them. I'm going on year 5 of sitting through band concerts. I also realized that that is the longest amount of time I have been still for probably 3 months... it was becoming increasingly hard to stay awake.

My brother is officially back home after a 27 day hospital stay. Miracles still occur, and it is nothing short of that to be pulled from a truck nearly dead and 27 days later be at home, sitting on the couch watching TV. He still has several months ahead of him in therapy for his leg, but things are looking really good right now.

As Christmas cards begin to arrive in the mail, it's fun to look back at the pictures we used to send. My apologies to the rest of the family, but you knew what you were getting into. Here are my ghosts of Christmas past (and as soon as I can get that 12 Redneck days of Christmas to load, you know I'll have it published!)

The obligatory fireplace shot.


The family Christmas gathering. Check out that nifty sweatshirt. I made them every year. (on an unrelated note, 5 of those kids are either teachers or on the way to becoming a teacher)


Ahhhh, the excitement of Christmas morning. Dad always got the first look and then caught our smiling faces. Eventually I learned to fix my hair before this shot :) Note the deer head on the wall...he had a santa hat too! src=

Thanks for all the sweet comments on the teacher gifts. I tried to think of things I would like to get and went from there. As much as I love some sugary sweets, I know that there are only so many oreo truffles one can eat. I did end up donating a few to my school's silent auction as well. Only 2.5 more days to get through and I can go on holiday autopilot :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

I need to start in July...

Ok, first of all let me say that my weekend was out.of.control. It involved a three ring circus auction, the purse & accessory meca of Sam Moon, pizza and U-haul. It will be posted about later, when I can find the cable to connect the camera. If you want the short and sweet version read C's recap here.


I am pretty sure that people who make homemade gifts start in July. Or they don't sleep. I have so many ideas running through my head that last night I talked in my sleep. I mean really talked... for several hours. I only do that when I'm stressed to the point of breaking. So how to channel all the pent up energy? I started at the gym, for a little filthy fifty workout. I have to brag on PR time of 39:50 on only my third to attempt this W.O.D. The gym was great, but there were still so many things running through my mind during the workout that I had no other choice. I had to craft. I had to cut, glue, glitter, wrap, glitter more and mod podge.

I love my flame-less votives, so I made something sparkly for them to sit in. Mod podge, glitter and some ric rak= fabulous! I also had several of the snowflake mini ornaments left over from the charm bracelets. A little hot glue and presto!

With only 4 school days left before Christmas break, I needed some quick and easy teacher gifts. A search through my boxes located clear acrylic stamp blocks courtesy of the $1 spot at Target. A little mod podge, some scrapbook paper and some magnet tape= cute holiday fun.


Oh, and with 10 days to go, my tree is now up in my living room. No ornaments, but we'll get there eventually. src=

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Christmas Card Picture

Finally took pictures for the Christmas card... it was an organized chaos involving lights, garland and an overweight cat. Here's a little taste:
 src= Working our lighting... a little too bright!
 src= And now a little too dark... the cat is clearly getting a little antsy


Seriously, can we just take the picture already?

 src=The Mr's secret identity is flash gordon

 src=Almost there... just need to fix those lights coming out of his neck.


Playing around after the shoot.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My fingers are numb...

Ever since I saw these fantastically mesmerizing charm bracelets, I have been scheming and plotting how to make my own. How fun is it to sit for hours and entertain yourself with your personal "I Spy" arm candy. It's taken several trips to the dollar store/hobby lobby/wal-mart, and at least 2 broken nails (even though I used pliers) but I think I did an ok job.
(I say ok, because I planned to make some Christmas Record Album charms, but the printer was running very low on ink so I couldn't make the shrinky dinks. I think it's what would put this over the top). src=

I used mini ornaments, bells, old earrings and beads to fill this in. It took a while to get all those jump rings attached. Hence the loss of feeling in the finger tips. One more craft done!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho It's off to school we go...

I went to sleep dreaming of

 src=But woke up to this.


Looks like we'll be going to school after all :( But at least I can break out my new Old Navy Fleece Scarf ($1!) and hat. And I have to say that this cold "spell" may be just what I need to get in the Holiday Spirit! Aren't we cute :)


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A girl can hope

Oh how I love December in Texas!

 src=Oh your eyes do not deceive you my friends,that does indeed mark a record high of 73 with tonight's low of 32. The low started blowing in right about the time school got out, just in time for me to make a coat-less dash to the car. By 5:45 not only was it cold, but it started sleeting. And the evening news had this lovely prediction.


There is nothing better than a snow day in the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas break (or as I like to refer to them, the days that violate my 8th amendment rights). I can assure you that I am hoping & praying harder than any of my students! I may even have to break out the fuzzy slipper/flip flops...