Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Past

I went digging through pictures yesterday to find some of my older Christmas pictures. It's so much fun to look at how the kids changed from year to year. I showed some of them to Irv and he commented on how great those times were....when the kids were little....and Santa came during the night and left presents. Such fun! I thought I would share some of them with you.

Tresa three years old in 1977

Tresa and a pregnant mom decorating the tree in 1979Tresa and Michael 1980

Tresa, Michael and Matt 1983
Irv, Tresa and Michael in 1983
Awesome! Electronic Battleship. Michael 6 years old in 1986
Oooooo....a fire truck! Matt three years old in 1986
Matt putting his new dinos on daddy's head in 1987
Matt and My Pet MonsterTresa hugging daddy in 1990 when she got her "Letterman's Jacket"

Matt the ham in 1992 at the age of nine
Matt in a cool warm up suit...Junior High age

Michael and Tresa in 1993 ages 13 and 19Tresa and Michael (1995 maybe) ages 15 and 21
It's just the most awesome thing to look back at pictures. Each one brings back memories of things that were happening in their lives at that time, what they enjoyed, who their friends were and little things about their personalities. Thanks for coming along on my trip down Memory Lane.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Been There, Done That

I started to write a post the other day on my lunch at work about "Pictures with Santa". I wrote about hauling the kids off to the mall, waiting in line, sitting on Santa's lap and getting great photos. I talked about the age where the kids would be screaming for Mommy and trying desperately to get away from this strange looking man and how it made me feel bad when I looked back at the photos.

Lastly, I wrote about how when our kids started to hear things at school and started to ask questions about Santa being "real" and how I use to tell them, "When you stop believing in Santa, that is when he stops coming." I was going to type it up and post it with all of the Santa pictures one day next week. It just flowed from my pencil with ease.

Then yesterday I started writing a post about whether you ever look back at your blog from a year ago, or two or three years ago....the exact see what you were writing about back then. Well, I went back to see what I wrote about on December 18, 2008 and guess what? I wrote a wonderful post about "Pictures with Santa!" Oh my gosh....the post was exactly what I was going to post next week. HAHA! I guess I won't be posting a new one, because it is almost identical to the old one which you can read here if you like! The pictures are great!

So, those of you that have been blogging for you ever repeat topics? Do you remember what you have already written about? Do you ever have a hard time finding things of interest to blog about?

I have only been blogging since October of 2008. There have been a couple of days where I have had to sit for a bit and try to come up with something to talk about.....but since I normally never shut up....that isn't usually an issue for me.

Is it for you?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Love

Have I told you how much I LOVE this time of year?

I love Christmas music....well most of it. I prefer the classics and don't like most of the remakes and I loathe....yes loathe...the red shoe song.

I love how happy the teachers at school are as they count down the days to their much deserved break.

I love the lights.....not the decorations like the big blow up snow domes and cartoon characters...but I love the lights...especially the little white lights. I love the trees just filled with little white warms my heart.

I love planning our family get together on Christmas Day. The snacks, the dinner and the desserts. Mmmmmmm!

I love the aroma of cookies baking in the oven. I hate to bake, but this is the one time that the rewards outweigh the hassle....and my family loves cookies. I love making each person's favorite.

I love having our whole family together at Christmas. This is the one time all year that we are able to do that and it means so much to me.

I love hearing Matt get more excited to come home each time I talk to him. His excitement feeds my own until it's almost unbearable.

I love watching Sparky stick her nose in every shopping bag I bring in the house as she searches for her gifts. I honestly think she knows that Christmas means a new toy and a special treat. I love watching her open her own gifts on Christmas Day.

I love the Christmas tree in the evening with the lights shining brightly, and our little fake fireplace with it's warm glow.

I love giving gifts. I love trying to find things that people will truly enjoy and then seeing the happiness on their faces when they open the box.

I love annoying my kids as I carefully smooth crumpled wrapping paper and snatch up pretty ribbons and bows...because I know I will find a good use for them....maybe even to wrap their gifts next Christmas.

I love snow at Christmas. Fresh, fluffy, white and glittery snow as it falls from the sky and rests ever so peacefully on the rooftops and lawns and trees.

Have I told you how much I LOVE this time of year?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


One old multi-colored old plaid fleece old beige pillow.... one black and gray plaid comforter that doesn't match anything and one couch.

I'll bet for a minute there you thought I was taking inventory of my linen closet until I got to the couch. So, what am I talking about?

These are the things Maggie, our darling little adopted border collie/lab mix has decided to make a meal out of!

The afghan had holes in it already. The fleece was very old and worn. The pillow was a hand-me-down. The comforter was an inexpensive old one we have had for years. The couch was used. We usually keep the new cover on it, but it was being washed.

All I can say is that I am getting a bit nervous because I know one of these days she is going to chew something that isn't holey, ratty, used or cheap and then I am NOT going to be a happy little camper!

There is a trend here if you noticed. Like me, she loves fabric....only I don't eat it. I make things with it. We do keep a close eye on her, but she ate the comforter while we were sleeping. The comforter was on the bed! Since we crate her during the day, I refuse to crate her at night.

I have never had a dog that chews...have you? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where Have All The Shoppers Gone?

When Tresa and I were shopping on Sunday, we made purchases in a number of stores. Some of them were J. Crew, Anthropology, Eddie Bauer, Starbucks, Lord and Taylor and Sears. We made purchases in IKEA, and when I was headed home, I made purchases in Walmart, World Market and Kohls. In all of those stores.....the longest line we stood in was in Starbucks. In every other store, we either had one person in front of us or none.

Yes, it was Sunday morning, but there is only one more weekend before Christmas. Normally when I shop at this time, the stores are mobbed. The lines at the registers are very, very long. Waiting 20-30 minutes to check out would be expected. Not Sunday.

Sure, it was awesome to be able to walk right up to the check out....but when you think about the reason you are able to do doesn't feel all that good.

Irv and I are very, very fortunate to have our jobs, to be able to buy food for ourselves and to donate to the local food pantry. I am able to throw a little money into every Salvation Army bucket I see. Even though we set spending limits for gifts this year, we are still able to shop for our family for Christmas.

I know what the unemployed are going through. We were there at one time many years ago. I know what it feels like to cry yourself to sleep because there isn't enough money to pay the bills. I know what it's like to be behind on your mortgage. I know how it feels when the phone rings and you don't want to answer because you know it is the collection agency. I know what it's like to charge every single thing you buy, because there is no money to pay for it.

I know that not being able to Christmas shop isn't the worst thing in the world that can happen, but when you have young children that don't hurts.

My heart goes out to all of those who are living that life right now. I hope that they know that people care, and that one day things will be better. There are so many ways to help....we can donate a toy, or food, or money or time. I hope everyone that can.....will.

Make it a wonderful day for yourself today.

Monday, December 14, 2009

HO-HO-Home at Last!

The sights and sounds of Christmas shopping 2009, but first things first!!

Parents......please leave your little kids at home when you do your shopping. They really have no interest in shopping with you all day. They don't care what you buy Aunt Martha or Uncle Joe. When you are grabbing your little one by their arm and dragging them through the upsets me....and I really want to slap you right in the head. UGH!!

Shoppers....when you aren't sure where you are going....pull your rear end over to the side of the walkway and THEN look around to see if you can see the store you are looking for. DO NOT....I repeat....DO NOT try to walk and look up, down and all around, because you just might run into someone and make them dump their hot tea all over themselves!

Stores....if your piped in music is stuck....please go fix it quickly....because as much as I like the Andy Williams rendition of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" 3:00 on Sunday afternoon....I doubt anyone in your store wants to hear Andy sing, "It's the Most Wonderful Time, It's the Most Wonderful Time, It's the Most Wonderful Time, over and over and over and over again! It's enough to make this shopper head for the exit!

Okay, so with those things said, I had a wonderful day shopping with Tresa yesterday. We had a great breakfast and then hit the mall.

Tresa likes her picture taken about as much as I do.
I did get just a wee bit nervous when the first three stores produced nothing, but after that it was pretty smooth sailing.

Macy's Christmas decorations area outside their store.

Somewhere down there is Santa and about a thousand screaming and crying kids waiting to chat with him!
More mall decorations....
Awesome fabric I found at IKEA!

The loot!Maggie helping me relax after a long day of shopping!
I am almost done with my shopping. Just a couple of things for Irv, one more thing for Tresa and then gifts for six dogs and two cats! HO-HO-HO!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Super Duper Sunday

We said good-bye yesterday to our old....very old dryer and said hello to our new one.

We also said good-bye to Mr. Fish. No, Mr. Fish did take the plunge...after we redid the living room, got the new chairs and moved things around...there was really no room for Mr. Fish. We had him on top of the little fake fireplace and I really needed that space for other things. So I posted an "ad" on our online bulletin board at work, and a nice kindergarten aide e-mailed me and said she would love to take Mr. Fish off our hands. Sweet! More room for "things".

I hurt my back again on Monday moving some boxes around in our archive room. I was SOOOO careful and lifted properly and it just didn't matter, so I've been hobbling around again this week and yesterday I needed a healthy back. I had so much computer stuff to do in my etsy shop FourDogDay, and sitting is the pits when you have an unhappy I just did a little at a time, and then walked around and then did a little more. I'm not done yet, but I did get some pillows in my shop that I had never listed.

I got a good nights sleep and I am headed out this morning to meet Tresa at Richard Walkers for breakfast!
We will fill up on some high energy foods and then over to the mega mall....Woodfield! (Woodfield photo from

After what I am hoping will be a super successful Christmas shopping venture....we will bop on over to IKEA and have some fun looking at home decor and fabric!

When I get home....I will collapse! What's on your agenda for today?

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