Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cute little doggie....

My son came to borrow my car for his move tomorrow and brought his little dog, Reese. She's so adorable. I bought this sweater for her for Christmas.

It's kind of weird. I am so anti-pets. I sit on the floor and pet this one and talk to her. We have this little connection, I guess. My son cannot believe it!

There will definitely be some Reese layouts in my future!

Friday, December 28, 2007

IPod Ear buds

A few of my blogger friends asked to see these so I thought I'd post. I actually haven't had a chance to test them out other than putting them in my ears without pain. My Ipod died because I had it on the docking station which was unplugged for the Christmas lights.

Anyway, here is the box and what is inside. I used the smallest ones and they feel good - not at all like those huge buttons that came with it. Thank you, Santa!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Where the problem began....

Here are a few snow on the roof photos which caused my dh's problem. He's planning on taking my son out through the bedroom window this afternoon to get rid of the rest. We are supposed to get more tonight. Right now it's freezing rain. Just lovely weather!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A few shots of the gorgeous sb gift...

Here are the front and back covers and a few pages of the scrapbook that my son's gf made me. She was such a doll to put it all together. I am pretty sure it's one of the kits from The Button Farm (side bar) but I forgot to ask her.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

We had a nice day. First my oldest came with his gf and little dog. We all opened presents at the same time which was nice. They headed to ME and we headed to my aunt's house.

I had several cousins in town - one from NYC and one from Washington, DC, and lots from the area. My aunt & uncle came up from FL too. It was so nice to see everyone.

I ate too much and I'm exhausted but it was a really nice day. DH is feeling better but still a little off. He will have to follow up with his cardiologist on Wed.

I got some nice gifts which I did not expect. I got several Giga punches to nest with others that I have, a Tonic guillotine cutter and paper piercer, some Stickles, glue dots, daubers, a scrapbook and several paper packages from CTMH, a SU gift cert., a Take Ten magazine, even a small scrapbook that's all done. My son's gf made one from a Button Farm kit. So cute! I'll have to try and post some photos later.

I also got some nice non-sbr gifts - new ear buds for my Ipod that actually FIT; Bath & Body Works stuff, camera case, jacket, LL Bean fleeces, scarf & glove set, sweater, I can't remember what else, but it was a whole lot more than I expected since we cut way back this year. Some of the above was from my mom & my ds.

I hope Santa was good to all of you!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

No party for us...

DH was feeling miserable after shoveling/raking snow off our porch roof yesterday. Came in to rest and felt worse. He waited for it to pass but it didn't. He said he'd never felt like that before. He was dizzy, nauseous, and had a lot of pressure on his chest & his arms were tingly. I called 911 and they took him to the hospital. The initial tests came back ok but they kept him overnight and they'll do more today before releasing him (as long as the tests are fine).

The head nurse said he'd be lucky to get out at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. So....even if he gets home earlier, we won't go next door. He doesn't want to relive the incident and answer a million questions. I still wonder if anyone saw the ambulance, police car and fire truck.

And I still want to know why the fire truck has to go to a call like that. I will ask my cousin, the cop.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Eve...

Well, I'm having a hard time again coming up with a memory that I can post. So I'll tell you what we have done for the last 8-10 yrs. on Christmas Eve.

Our neighbors have an open house from 4-9:00. We used to take the boys to church, let them open their one gift and then head next door. We haven't been to church in quite a while (sorry) so we head next door around 4 or so.

The boys were always allowed to pick one gift (non-Santa) on Christmas Eve, AFTER they behaved in church. My youngest (17) still likes to do this even though he's the only one. I have no idea what he'll pick this year since there's not a lot under the tree! Maybe he'll wait until the morning. My oldest is having a big party at their apt. so they won't be around.

Anyway, a lot of the neighbors gather to chitchat, have some wine or beer and a ton of appetizers (can't spell hors d'). We have a lot of laughs and it's hard to head out the door at 9. Sometimes it's at 9:30-10:00 for those who don't have wrapping and all that to do. Some have left a little tipsy, only to go home to pull gifts down from the attic in that condition! LOL

I make this appetizer every year. I start with fused oil w/garlic, oregano, and several spices. This is brushed on small baguette slices and then topped with thinly sliced mozzarella and proscuitto. Then it's broiled until the ham is a little crispy. This is a favorite of a lot of the neighbors but the real reason I keep making it is one of the boy's birthdays is on Christmas Eve. I always feel bad for him. His mom always brings a cake over and everyone sings but I still feel bad with it being so close to Christmas. His eyes light up when he sees my app! It's so cute.

What I hate about the app is that I have to buy the baguette at the last possible moment so I have to go to the crowded store either today or tomorrow morning. I am going to one that's not near the mall. I heard the traffic was on the highway waiting to get off the ramp yesterday. Nope, not me.

I wonder if my 17 yo. will come over and visit everyone. They love my boys. They are much older than the other neighborhood kids and they've babysat or done landscaping so they love to see them. They haven't seen my oldest in a couple of yrs.

I will really miss my neighbors when we move out. We have some great traditions like the block party, the Christmas Eve open house, the Super Bowl parties, New Years Eve bash, summer deck party, etc. We are lucky to have such fun neighbors!

What do you do on Christmas Eve?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Guess what?

Got another Christmas cd!!! I'm so excited. One of they guys at work gave me an Elvis Christmas to add to my collection!! Yay!

Believe it or not....

Ok, first off, I have to admit that I lied. I do not have 50 Christmas cds. I have close to 40. I didn't mean to exaggerate.

I found out about the real Santa from my aunt when I was about 10? Not really sure about the age but I remember the conversation in detail. I can picture the apartment we lived in and my mom's bedroom.

My aunt is 9 months older than I am. Yes, my Nana had my aunt and my mom found out she was pregnant with her first at 20 yrs. old, 2 yrs. after she was married. My Nana had 11 pregnancies, 8 children, 7 daughters and one son who is no longer with us due to a motorcycle accident at 21 yrs.

Anyway, I'm rambling. My aunt, Rose, told me that Santa was my mom and how did I think that one guy could possibly get around the whole world in one night?! I was incredibly disappointed but I was glad to know. I told my mom and Rose got in trouble! We were very close growing up. She was always at my house or I was at hers. It was nice since I didn't have sisters, just two brothers. I felt like I did with my mom's younger sisters. Three of them shared a bedroom and that's where I was many weekends for sleepovers.

How did you find out?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas music...

Ok, it's not a memory but I just wanted to talk about Christmas music. I have a collection of Christmas cds. It ranges from traditional Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Willie Nelson all the way to Moody Blues, Jon Bon Jovi, Run DMC, Springsteen, Sting, Sheryl Crow, even some Alternative/Punk Christmas songs. Oh yeah, and Transiberian Orchestra.

I think I have close to 50 cds. This is the first year I'm not adding to it. I usually see one or two I just have to have. My dh tells me I have too many but I just love a variety. He likes traditional. I prefer the newer versions.

Some of my favorites are: Sheryl Crow & Jon Bon Jovi's versions of Blue Christmas (Nancy Wilson of Heart also does an excellent version of this); Sarah McLachlan and Bare Naked Ladies, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; (forget the name - maybe Ronnie Spector?) Rockin Around the Christmas Tree; Sarah McLachlan's version of Joni Mitchell's Wish I had a River to skate away on song. Of course, I love Transiberian Orchestra too.

Can you tell I love music? I know I'm missing some great ones but there are just too many to name.

I keep 6 in my car at a time and put it on shuffle. After two or three days, I take the 6 in and bring 6 more out. It's time for a change tonight.

I will try to come up with a memory for tomorrow. My brain is currently fried.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Philly Christmas....

One year while we were living in PA, my BIL & SIL came to visit just before Christmas. It was so nice to have family with us at that time.

We took them into Philly to tour the Liberty Bell and all of the sights. We took a carriage ride and it was so much fun. The kids got a big kick out of it. The photo is kind of blurry - sorry! It's the only one I have. (I'm on the right)

The other place we went is to Peddler's Village. This was a cute shopping village in the country (15 min. from us). There is an old carousel that is beautiful. It's indoors and they had it decorated for Christmas. I do have pictures of that but they're in my old trunk somewhere or on a layout. I just searched Peddler's Village and found this photo of the carousel.

Anyway, it was a nice time and it was really nice having family with us for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Way back when.....

Way back before we had kids, my mom and stepdad owned a restaurant in NH. They were always working so when you went up to visit, you were put to work. My dh always got the dishwasher job. I was put on the ice cream machine, chopping veggies or filling the ketchup bottles. That was a disaster one time! I had a bottle explode all over me. I ran into the kitchen laughing so hard, they thought I was crying and bleeding!

Anyway, back to the Christmas Christmas Eve we waited until the restaurant closed so that we could celebrate with the family. My two brothers and three stepsisters were there, some with spouses or significant others.

We sat opened gifts, ate and drank all we wanted. It was so much fun taking over the restaurant. My stepdad made the best drinks. I remember one of my favorites was a Bahama Mama. Yum. They used to make fried veggies (mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and peppers). I can't remember what else we had but it was all delish! For dessert we had ice cream sundaes. So we nibbled, drank and opened. What fun!

I still wish my kids could have been around when they had that restaurant. They would have had a blast visiting Nana and Gramps and running the ice cream machine! I wish I had a photo to share but the only one is in one of my scrapbooks.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Blasted with Snow....

We got 8 inches on Thurs. and an additional 10 or so yesterday. I took some photos
from the inside (too cold to go out).

The last is my favorite. The sun was so pretty but I would have to go out in the snow to get it. I stood on the upper level of my porch and shot throught the window without a screen.

This brings me to my next memory. My dh and I moved away from our families to MI and we were really lonely. I was pregnant with our first child. Anyway, we were dying to fly home for Christmas. We got out just before a huge storm. When we got home, we had to dig our way into the condo! It had been plowed but our walkway was completely covered. I think they had over 2 feet of snow. They were known for having tough winters. We were happy we missed the storm. The rest of the winter wasn't so bad and we moved out the following November, before any storms.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My old life in PA...

I used to have a great job and a lot of work friends when we lived in PA. It was a start-up company and everyone was pretty young. Most of us were in our early 30's.

Anyway, each Christmas the upper mgmt. would let us fly down to Tampa for the Christmas party. First it was just the management team (5 of us). My dh would take care of the boys and household duties for the weekend. We would have a great time socializing with our counterparts who lived in the Tampa area. It was nice to bond with them since we dealt with them daily on the phone. We would jump from nightclub to nightclub. I seriously don't know how we did it.

The last year I was there they decided to invite the whole PA office to go down for the party. I think there were probably 18-20 of us. We stayed at a nice resort on the beach. The Tampa folks got to stay too. After the official Christmas party was over we went out.

We were up until the early dawn hours just partying away! I remember going to breakfast around 3 a.m. or so. We all crashed after that. On the flight home, it was very quiet because we were all sad to leave and exhausted. Ah, those were the days. Back to reality!!

I decided not to be lazy and post a few photos. Don't laugh too hard!

The two Michelle's (I'm on the right).

The girls on the beach. I'm on the left.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Twinkling lights...

Our neighbors directly across the street in PA were our best friends. We did everything together. Our youngest children were even born on the same day! LOL It was weird because we were due two weeks apart but I had my son two weeks early. It was the talk of the neighborhood. That's another story though...

Anyway, their family adopted us for holidays. Our families were back in MA so we didn't have anyone to celebrate with. We would go over for dinner on Easter, Christmas, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, etc. They were Arabic (the wife and her family). I swear after a while I could tell what they were talking about! I was usually right.

Ok, I'm rambling. The reason I bring up the M's is on Christmas night, we would load the kids up in the van and go riding around looking for the best Christmas lights/display.

There was one house in Northeast Philly that actually lit up their lawn! They had rows of lights covering the entire front lawn and also the house. I wish I had pictures to post!

There was another house not too far from us. It was a million dollar home which was huge at that point (13-14 yrs. ago). Now it's not so rare. They had a walk through display. They had glass cases with beautiful moving Santas or Christmas scenes. Our kids loved this. The house was completely lit as well. They had a little box for donations but it wasn't required.

There was another neighborhood we went to that had a huge amount of lights. I don't know how their neighbors stood the brightness! It was a very posh neighborhood and their house lit the entire street! They had santas and elves who popped out at you and lights that blinked and did all kinds of cool things.

To this day, my kids remember those rides with the M's. We miss them dearly. I wonder if they still go for the ride....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Matching pajamas......

I came across this photo last night and remembered how cute the boys always looked in their matching pjs. This particular Christmas was Dick Tracy. There were many shots like this (Superman, Ghostbusters, you get the picture). It wasn't always easy finding matching ones because they're four years apart.

I really miss those days. The boys would watch Santa go down the street in the fire engine, take a nice bath and get into their new pjs. They'd get to open one present, have a little time to play, and then it was bed time. They were so excited, they could hardly stand it!

Monday, December 10, 2007

More memories.....

When I was younger (actually up until my Grandfather passed away), my whole family on my Mom's side would go to my Grandparents on Christmas Day. There were probably about 25-30 of us. We would all be sitting around the kitchen table nibbling on whatever Nana put in the middle. We all brought stuff and there was enough for an army.

What was really funny is, the majority of us would be in the kitchen. You could barely make it out for the bathroom or to check on the little ones. If you got up, someone would steal your seat. The motto in our family is "Move your feet, loose your seat!" The rest of the house was empty except the finished basement where the kids were.

The adults would all eventually move downstairs for gift opening (sometimes a Yankee Swap). My Grandfather always played the organ and the kids would sit on the bench and around him and sing.

Those were some of the best days of my life, just being surrounded by my family. I seriously missed all that when we moved away. I'm so thankful we came back so that my kids could experience it.

I really wanted to post photos but I didn't have time to dig. (***Edited: Finally got a couple to scan. The first is my grandfather playing the organ and the second is me and my mom sitting at the kitchen table).
Thanks to everyone who is playing along. I just love reading about your memories!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

The stockings were hung, well...not really....

When our kids were little, we started a tradition (or continued one) on the stocking delivery.

Santa always left DH's family stockings at the foot of their beds. The child would have fun ripping through it and playing with whatever they got. That would delay the trip into their parents' room for the rest!

We thought it was a good idea too. Up until last year, we carried on the tradition. It was a completely different year last year....maybe that'll be tomorrow's memory.

Friday's Feast One Hundred Seventy One

What was the last game you purchased?

Gee, I have no clue! Well, I have the game Clue but...I honestly can't remember that far back. It was probably Scattegories many yrs. ago!

Name something in which you don’t believe.

I'm not a big believer in fortune tellers/readers.

If you could choose a celebrity to be your boss, who would you pick?

I'd love to work for George Clooney. Of course, I wouldn't get much done, but I know he'd be a nice guy!

Main Course
What was a lesson you had to learn the hard way?

I learned not to steal at a young age. My mom would NOT buy me a pack of gum when I was little. She didn't allow us to chew gum because she didn't want to ruin our teeth. So.....I decided to pocket it instead. When we got home and she discovered it, she marched me right back to the store and made me apologize to the mgr. It was not worth the pack of gum! LOL

Describe your idea of the perfect relaxation room.

While not perfect, I do love my porch. It has a nice relaxing watery green/blue color with lots of windows that face the woods. The furniture is really comfy and I love to just sit and read in there during the summer or early fall. It would have been perfect if we purchased the hot tub that the room was built for but now we are moving.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Older memory.....

My mom has a large family and I have a lot of cousins. We're all very close because our mom's (7 sisters) always brought us together. So.....with that said.....

When I was little, we used to go to my grandparent's house for Christmas day. The first thing we would do is run down to the basement. Theirs was finished off. So the reason we ran down those stairs was to see if our grandfather got coal in his stocking.

He would always tease by saying that Santa was a big fat...and then he'd cover his mouth as we all gasped. He wouldn't finish the sentence most times. Once in a while he'd say slob. We just could not believe that he'd say such things!!

Of course, he ALWAYS got coal and nothing else in his stocking.

We still laugh about that with my cousins.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas memories....

I want to be positive on this blog so I'm ignoring the bad stuff for now.

What I wanted to do is post a Christmas memory each day of December. I know I'm a few days late but I thought I'd start today anyway, in random order.

When we lived in PA, the Fire Dept. used to have Santa on the fire engine each Christmas Eve. He traveled throughout the town, waving at the kids as he went by.

I used to tell the boys the could see Santa and then they'd have to get ready for bed because he'd be coming shortly.

So we would get the boys Little Tikes chairs out and sit them at the storm door with coats ready. When we started to see the flashing lights around the corner, we'd put the jackets on and run out to wave. My boys really enjoyed this as they were pretty young (from 4-8 yrs. for my oldest and infant to 4 yrs. for my youngest).

I have photos of them from the back. I wish I had them electronically to share! It was so cute, just the two of them sitting on their little chairs, waiting for Santa. I did scrap this by the way!

Feel free to play along. I would love to read about your holiday memories.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Snow day here....

I was so excited when I called the number to find out if the univ. was closed today. I almost jumped for joy but I didn't have the energy. I was awake most of the night listening for noises or cars coming up the street. I don't want to get into it here (I posted on SBA), but we had someone squirt our cars with lotion and it was a mess. My son was threatened on the phone and we had the police involved. I'm sick to my stomach over it. The only upside to it is I've lost a couple of pounds finally.

I didn't sit down all day. I did at least 5 loads of laundry, cleaned bathrooms, dusted, vacuumed. Then I baked banana bread again & made a no carb meatloaf for dinner. It came out great!

I'm really tired and my back hurts from standing all day. OH yeah, and I baked a batch of cookies for a Christmas party tomorrow night.

Anyway, no sense complaining. I'll try to be more positive tomorrow. Here's the view from my door today.