Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Hangover

No not THAT kind of hangover but you know the holiday one...tired, full, bloated, worn out, weak from all of the overstimulation, dreading the mass exodus of the Christmas decorations. Ugh.

We had a wonderful Christmas, a nice quiet time with family. MIL spent the night Monday night and that was fun to have her with us for the Santa frenzy Christmas morning. That experience started at 6am but with enough coffee the adults made it through.

Santa brought a little ranch type vehicle to help move, load, carry any and all ranchy type things and make lots of ranchy type duties easier AND it is 4-wheel drive so there does not have to be any more of these predicaments...

Blonde rascal was over the moon with this new addition. He drove it from about 8:30am until about 7:30pm!

Santa brought hubs and I a digital video camera with a hard drive which means no pesky tapes or mini cd's to fumble around and keep up with. It is tiny and I love it! We knew we has been relatively good this year and were therefore confident that Santa would indeed bring us this camera, so we agreed that we just exchange simple & low key gifts with each other. I kept up my end of the bargain getting him the weird and random horse tack pieces parts that he circled in the catalog. He kept up his end of the bargain sticking to my list of some MAC lipglass, a book, a movie...blah, blah, blah and a dadgum new wedding ring!!!! That was NOT on my list!! It was the year of the Christmas bling! I was shocked, I screamed, I cried, I drooled, I yelled, I fainted, I convulsed!! He ended up NOT sticking to our agreement of low key gifts, but I forgive him for that!! Oh, and he is now forgiven indeed for this too....

Wading in cow poop becomes such a minor offense when gifted with diamonds!!!

My pesky brother-in-law Mark and his family will be arriving from TN. this afternoon and so we will all be gathering at MIL's house for another round of eating and gifting! Then blonde rascal and I will be leaving early tomorrow morning for Houston to be with my parents and sister. It is a 9.5 hour drive, Texas is a big state ya'll! And we will have Missy in the car with us, lots and lots of fun it will be tomorrow! Are you jealous? Can I get an amen for portable DVD players! We will stay a leisurely week. Hubs has to stay home and work to recover from the checkbook drain of the last month!!! Poor guy!

In between packing and getting ready for tomorrow I may take down and few decorations here and there today, just so when we return on the 2nd I won't be faced with that huge dread. I hope each of you in the blog world had a nice time celebrating with loved ones! I think I need to go make another pot of coffee as I bask in the Christmas afterglow...and all of the duties that now await me!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Baby it's cold outside!

We went to see Santa on Thursday after school. For 7 years now I have taken my camera and just snapped pictures while blonde rascal chatted with the jolly big guy. However this year there were "No camera" signs posted all over Santa's lair. So as I stood in line fuming over the racket that is Santa pictures I decided to just let him talk to Santa and no pictures. As we inched closer to Santa I was waging a battle in my mind, sensible vs. sentimental...."we don't need a silly picture....yes we do, this may very well be the last year the little guy believes in Santa." The sentimental part of me won! But seriously, look how cute he is (my son, not Santa)! That was worth $19.99 for 2 rinky dink 5x7's! Right?

I made the master grocery list last night and was at the Super Wal-Mart at 8:30 this morning. Smart move on my behalf, if I do say so myself, because it was not crowded, yet. I am set. I will not leave the house again until the 26th! Yeah! Yippee!I have to finish one gift today, make cookies for Santa, balance the check book (yikes) and pay all bills....then I am on easy street! No thinking, no lists, no errands... I am done. I am eating, drinking, lounging around, laughing and being merry until 2008!

It is 30 degrees, flurrying and the wind is ferocious with a bitter wind chill factor. We had firewood delivered yesterday, got "A Christmas Story" on pay-per-view last night. Of course we DVR'd it......and we are watching it again, per blonde rascal, this morning! Add to all of this Shabee Chick's homemade hot chocolate, dang folks go and get that recipe, it is really and creamy! That is how it is going down today....sugar both in baked and liquid form, fire in the fireplace and the ultimate Christmas movie of all time!

Need a last minute cheap, or it would sound better to say inexpensive, gift? Check these out...

Cute ornaments! So fun and easy! I got the idea off of some, no doubt brilliant and creative, person's blog but forgive me as I don't remember who it was in order to give credit. Glass ornaments, scrapbook paper & sticker letters and a little ribbon. Blamo~ quick, easy and cheap!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What else....

Now that I have shared the most unflattering picture of myself in my previous post, there are no secrets to hide between us bloggy friends! However, I am way too busy right now to do anything worthy of being a secret, which I would in turn immediately share with you. So you'll have to wait until after New Year's, I'll have more free time then!

I have blonde rascal's Christmas party at school to attend at noon, so I will be brief.... let's see....

Here is how God greeted us yesterday morning...

This is the payoff of living in West Texas with no trees, you see some incredible sunrises, and sets too. It was the marking of a good day yesterday...ALL of my online ordered gifts arrived in the mail AND I got the email from Wal-Mart that Guitar Hero was in! Yeah! No worries now, we are wrapped and ready to roll around here!

I sat and worked on my scrapbooky gifts while watching "Miss Potter" on my trusty laptop. Good movie, chick flick for sure so don't torture the men in your life with it.

I got this little desk top calendar completed....

Then I made chocolate covered pretzels, with sprinkles of course, as treats for blonde rascal's class.

Whew...that was a mess. Hmmmm, the kitchen is still a mess this morning. Drats.

My pesky brother-in-law Mark emailed this morning and said that my wonderful sister-in-law Sherri will be on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on Sunday January 13th. I believe I briefly somewhere in a past post mentioned that Sherri's brother is Christian recording artist, David Phelps. The recipient of this home makeover is a fan of David's music and that was part of the wish to hear him sing. If you are not familiar with David's music go pull him up on iTunes and take a listen. The man can hit notes that makes your spine tingle and bring a tear to your eye! However, my wonderful sister-in-law Sherri, who sings backup for David, has an even MORE incredibly beautiful voice! Not that I am playing favorites or anything! Sherri would probably slap me for saying this because she does not want attention, but she fought breast cancer this year and won! She is a trooper, a miracle, totally adorable and blessed with a God given stunning voice. So mark your calendars and I will remind you as it gets closer!

I will sign off now. It is time to party like it's 1999 with 22 2nd graders! Has anyone seen the Tylenol?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It always starts out so sweet.

The phone call from hubs. For example the one that came after I dropped off the carpool bunch at school yesterday morning...

Hubs: "Hi hot mama, did you already drop the kids off"
(Hmmmm a cute little term of endearment, I am suspicious.)

QC: "yes"

Hubs: "Now what are you going to do?"

QC: "Just go to the gym and then back home"

Hubs: "Will you do me a favor when you get home?"
("favor" usually means some kind of grunt work outside, ALWAYS messy and probably perilous!)

QC: "uhhhhh.... OK"

Hubs: "Well I think the hose to the trough in the back pasture froze and popped off so the water needs to be turned off. No big deal, I will fix it when I get home but would you turn the water off for me please?"
(sure this sounds innocent but it means wet, messy, cow poopie, sloshy mess!)

QC:" Uhhh, water spewing everywhere, are the cows in the pasture, is it flooded...?"

Hubs:"ThankyousomuchIloveyoubye!" Click.

When I get home I am thankfully smart enough to pull on sweats and a jacket over my gym clothes and put on hubs mud boots. As I traipse out to the pasture I am greeted by the pesky wildlife...

"Hey silly pansy ass human fast can you run?"

You can't tell in this picture but yes the water is spewing and yes the wind is blowing some 50mph! So I wade my way through the muddy, stinky, poop enriched water and turn off the faucet.

To this punk I say...

"You are HAMBURGER dude, now scram!"

As I return safely from my adventure, albeit sufficiently sprayed and now shivering, look who is waiting for me,

It's Skeeter looking all dapper in his coat.

Then there is Leo.

He did not give me the time of day, a little preoccupied you might say.

But never fear, my sister friend Josie was so glad to see me!

I told her I was sorry about the blue coat. I assured her she did not look fat in it. I explained that I really rooted for the pink one with leopard trim when the coats were being ordered but her masculine owner dude wouldn't not have it. We chit chatted for a little while longer, I told her Jamie Lynn Spears was pregnant and then we posed for a self portrait...

Hey don't hate! Not everyone can look as incredibly fantastically beautiful as I do after a sweaty 3 mile run and then being doused with cold water WHILE walking thought pools of cow crap in 45 degrees & high winds!!! It's just the way I roll!

Monday, December 17, 2007


I am done. Finito. Washing my hands of all shopping. Yesterday I went out with my final, revised, edited, re-edited and scratched through master list. I got it ALL. I am done! Even down to the stocking stuffers! Everyplace was crowded but since I knew exactly what I was getting and where, I pretty much zipped in and out. OK well, except at Circuit City with the pimply faced teenage holiday help who have no customer service skills and only begrudgingly have jobs because their parents made them! I do have two catalog orders that I am keeping my fingers crossed will arrive this week. Not to mention the Guitar Hero I ordered from WalMart online...and chose to have it shipped to the store, because it is free and I am cheap. Well it would be the nature of the beast that I will probably sweat that one out until Christmas Eve!!!

It was cold here Friday and we got a little dusting of snow Sat. morning. It is warming back up to the 60's this week. Saturday night we had dinner with two of hub's friends from high school and their wives. Those 3 boys were trouble makers of epic proportions back in the day and are still the best of friends. We had an uproariously good time at dinner and no doubt made way too much noise with our laughter at the quiet reserved restaurant we were at!

So today, today I am wrapping (in order to keep a curious blonde rascal out of trouble.) I am cleaning this house. Oh my heaven above it is a mess. Blonde rascal's room looks like the end of civilization as we know it! I am throwing away broken and/or missing piece toys, giving to Goodwill what the child no longer plays with and I bought a shelving unit to put in his closet. (Architects should hire moms as consultants before designing closets, yes?) Of course I must do the throwing away and donating before the little elf gets out of school! You know what I am saying!?!? Then I must finish my scrapbooky gifts AND I saw some cute and easy ornaments on a blog that I am going to make. I will show you later.

My neighbor is having some sort of book party tonight. Osbourne is the name of the company I think. Never heard of it. I am a sucker for children's books, but really need to lay off the check writing...for the rest of the year!!! Tomorrow night is book club, we are going out for Mexican food as a little Christmas celebration and drink margaritas....oops well I mean discuss our book! Thursday is blonde rascal's party at school. Finally that is it, the obligations are OVER! Then comes the reward of the crazy month, when you can relax with your family and enjoy the beauty of the season. Ahhhhhh.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sewing Room Fun!

This picture has nothing to do with my sewing room. Why should my blog start making sense now? Anywhoo, I was looking at past Christmas pictures and dadgumit, here is blonde racal 2 1/2 years old Christmas morning 2002. He is checking out all of his sweet loot from Santa. Kristen, (hi Kristen!) don't tell me that Carter is now wearing those jammies. Please no, I will cry big sad Mommy tears realizing how quickly my tiny love of a boy has grown!

I started out my morning in my sewing room to finish the tote bag. Here is what some ill-mannered puppy did while I was slaving away at my machine...

So much for that random Nerf ball. I doubt that its trajectory will be as straight as it once was when launched from the good ol' Nerf gun now!

Naughty Missy then scampered off to wreak havoc somewhere else.

Thinking the coast is clear, Val comes into the sewing room for a visit.

"Hello, I am insulin dependent. Good heavens woman, why is this room such a mess?"

Uh-oh, looks who's back!

"Hello, I am unbelievably cute, I know, but I am also irrationally, insanely jealous when any cat gets near my human!"

I am trying to sew and this ruckus is going on right under my feet!

The little game, between those two dopes, then continued like this...

There was lots of hissing, gnashing of teeth, slaps to the forehead but it was all in good fun. In the end they licked each other (well Missy licked Val's ear but Val would never stoop so low to lick a dog) and made up!

Despite all of this rowdy interruption I did manage to finish the tote!

Here is a glimpse, there is a small remote chance that the recipient may read my blog so I won't show too much!

The pattern was fairly easy to follow. There was some talking to myself and mumbling of measurements but I got it done! The next time around it will be much easier to make.

Look, I even put a pocket on the inside!

That was not part of the pattern, but Aunt Gay puts a pocket in hers...and well I do what she does because she is wise beyond her years! (That is not a reference of any type to her age. Honest! Actually it makes her sound young!! I'll be back in her good graces now!) And besides all that, I hate a big tote bag with no smaller side pocket. Don't you? I mean then you have to rummage through your sweaty gym clothes or whatever to try and find your cell phone or lip gloss!

So, I got that present finished AND mailed the Christmas cards. Score for me today!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Yep, it's Monday. It is a cold and cloudy and misty and grey Monday. I did not go to the gym this morning...BUT I have already taken all the trash to the dumpster, fed the horses for hubs who was in a huge hurry this morning, put a load of laundry in, moved some firewood onto the porch, gave Missy a bath, have beans soaking and a ham bone defrosting so we can have a big ol' pot of beans for dinner!

Now I am resting for a minute with my cup of coffee. I have the tree lights on....ahhhhh. Missy, who is mad because of the before mentioned bath, is sitting behind me by my neck, shivering. I put the heating pad on her as a peace offering and now I think she may be a little less mad.

We had good weekend. Friday hubs took me out to dinner with MIL and blonde rascal for my birthday. We had mexican food and, as is always the case, post- dinner I felt uncomfortably full and questioned why I would stuff my face like that! Not too full, I should mention, to pass up ice cream afterwards. Hey, it was my birthday afterall!

So I got the results back from my blood tests and everything is completely normal. My thyroid levels were right on track. Obviously that day at the dr.'s office my thyroid was simply having a puffy day. It happens to all of us! I guess what I thought might be symptoms i.e. dry skin...hello eczema on my face..and hair loss...I thought I was losing more hair than normal when I combed it after a shower....are all just a part of my quirky self. Of course the eczema could be explained by the fact that I live in a desert...and the hair, I am letting it grow so maybe longer hair seems more substantial leftover in the comb, than shorter. The trauma of having blood drawn...all for nothing! Well, I am thankful my blood is normal though. That is very nice to know!

Saturday I was busy in the kitchen. I made cookies for Christmas Cookie Lorie's Christmas Cookie Exchange Party. (Say that three times fast!) And I made Shabee Chick's homemade hot chocolate mix for the neighbors.

The best part of that day in the kitchen was Pioneer Woman's "Penne a la Betsy" recipe, which is shrimp penne pasta. Holy cow, THAT was good. Blonde rascal even chowed on it! It had heavy cream in it......gee maybe I should have gone to the gym this morning!

Blonde rascal put on his dancing shoes Saturday morning!

Getting his groove on!

That kid, he is good for my soul. He does know how to crack his Mom up!

So, today. I am making this cute (and hopefully easy) tote bag...

out of this CUTE fabric...

for someone for Christmas.

I got the email from Shutterfly saying the Christmas cards are on their way! I have to get cracking on the address labels. Then, there are 2 remaining scrapbooky type gifts to be finished. Looks like I have enough to do today to keep me out of trouble. Better luck tomorrow!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Live like you were dying.

My mom called me yesterday to tell me that the daughter of some life long family friends had passed away suddenly. Gretchen had been sick for a week or so, pneumonia was the diagnosis. Her husband rushed her to the hospital yesterday afternoon and she died of a heart attack. She had battled with her weight most of her life and I am sure that had taxed her heart. She was in her mid 40’s with 3 kids, late elementary to preteen.

I am just sick for this family that I have loved my entire life. So tragic and devastating. It made me think of Tim McGraw’s song “Live like you were dying”. The lyrics talks about loving deeper, talking sweeter and giving forgiveness we had been denying, Rocky Mtn. climbing, sky diving...

How do I want to live my life today? I may be gone tomorrow. The people in my life are what really matters to me. Today I want my husband to know that I adore him, love him dearly and appreciate him....EVEN in all of his type A crazy ways! My son? Man where do you start with that? Because of him I know what fierce, raw, unconditional love is. Before childbirth I could not have fathomed that kind of love. I hope he knows everyday that he has brought me joy unlike anything else and I would fly to the moon and back for him. And of course the list goes on and on with special people in my life.

I am predisposed to not be a worrier, I try to approach each day with some gusto and I refuse to take life too seriously. I honestly believe there is a silver lining in every situation if you are willing to look for it. I whole heartily believe life is too short to not live it to its fullest. I am sure most people feel like this, but as each year goes by I feel more comfortable in my own skin. I don't really care what other people think, I will laugh loudly, sing & groove in my car when I want to, wear something that makes me giggle, try something new, take a risk now and then and most importantly find the joy in each day. Even for an optimist like myself, life and its craziness does interfere sometimes. On those days when I am cranky, overwhelmed and my fuse is short, I hope to be reminded by Gretchen's sudden & unexpected death to stop and remember what a gift my wonderful life is.

And oh heck, our bodies. God gave us these bodies. I hope to continue to find enjoyment (on most days) from physical exercise! I want my ticker and my muscles to be able to carry this body around as long as possible!

Bloggy friends, pray for comfort for the Horton-Thomas family, especially the children, please. And join me as I try to give each day, and those I love, my all! Go give a loved one, or your dog, or the mailman a big hug!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hello Christmas!

It's coming whether we are ready or not! I think I am on the downhill slope of the craziness...I hope. The weeks surrounding Thanksgiving were where all of the madness took place for me with parties and obligations. From here until Christmas the hustle and bustle is more evenly dispersed on the calendar so I am sort of breathing a sigh of relief!

We got back Tuesday from our trip to Dallas. It was such a quick trip but fun none the less. I was so glad to see my pesky brother-in-law Mark, my SIL and niece & nephew! I sure miss those turkeys! It was fun running around with Aunt Gay and MIL..."older ladies" can be entertaining you know! (They are both terribly guilty of "blurking" so maybe now as they gasp in disbelief that I called them old they will be prompted to LEAVE A COMMENT!!!) I had fun laughing both AT and WITH them!!!!!!

Yesterday I ordered the Christmas cards, put my thinking cap on and made a list ( yes pesky brother-in-law Mark there is something big and very, very expensive on the list for you...however, you should know, just being "on" the list does not insure that said item will in fact be purchased!) and now am feeling much better about the whole thing!

I also had a dentist appt. yesterday and then had to go and have my blood drawn. At my yearly exam my Dr. said my thyroid was enlarged, to which I told him no way I just need neck lipo! Anyway, I went and had a sonogram and thankfully there were no masses or growth on my thyroid. So off to run blood tests. I am a needle phobe of epic proportions so this is not my favorite thing to do. I have notoriously hidden and rolling veins! The blood drawer guy, who was very nice & funny, tied off one arm and could not find a vein. I told him I was a robot. So he tied off the other arm and found a vein, stuck it and then told me I was the bionic woman because I had no blood! At which point I start to feel really pukey because I know he was moving the needle around looking for blood. Ugh. However, it did not hurt, he did indeed finally find blood AND then he gave me a sucker. I did not think I had thyroid symptoms but after a little research I think I actually might. So who knows I might start taking the meds and feel like a new woman!!!! My big 3-0...opps I mean my big 3-7 is on Saturday and I attribute this new malady due to my rapid approach to 40! I will begin to fall apart no doubt! Well, I have always been so very healthy and so if thyroid problems is all that is wrong with me right now, then I will take it and continue to be so thankful for my health!

I took my machine quilting class last Thursday and I think I will be able to do it!!! I am going to make my first attempt on the quilt I made in my beginners class. Appropriate to do my first machine quilting on my newbie quilt I think. I am excited about it. I'll keep you posted on my progress but I won't show close ups of the finished project!!!

After my weekend in Dallas and then running around yesterday it is really time to get with the gameplan today. Namely, laundry. Yipee for me. Before I go I'll give you a little Christmas tour of our house.

Here is the tree. Placement in this house has always been a bit of a predicament for me. We have an open living room with not much wall space which usually means I have to move a chair out to make room for the tree. Which leads to another predicament because you need all the seating you can get at Christmas time. So this year we put the tree sort of between the living room and dining room. The final predicament is what to do with the presents as I know of a little puppy elf who may think it would be fun to spend her free time unwrapping!

This was our first fake tree. A little rustic looking Charlie Brown-ish tree. We did not have a lot of room in our previous house so this sweet little tree was perfect. I put it in the corner of the breakfast area. Notice the irritating grapes/vine/brick faux painting number sprouting out of the top of the tree. Ugh...must paint!

Yeah! Looky what I got! While in Dallas Macy's was having half off of their Christmas Spode. I have collected some random pieces through the years but did not have a complete set of the dishes. So sweet MIL bought me a 12 piece set for my birthday, and hubs (who was not with us but that did not matter!) happily, although unknowingly, bought me a set too! So now I am fixed up! I need to work on the "table scape" but just wanted to show a picture. I also bought those adorable Spode s & p shakers.

Next in the dining room is my Willow Tree nativity which I simply adore.

More nativity action on the end table.

Here is our shout out to Christmas in Texas!

This is blonde rascal's favorite way to count down the days!

Here is the fireplace. Those glowing red orbs are really cute red sparkly bandana print balls. The are not lighted so I have no explanation for the glowing phenomenon.

Some of our favorite Christmas books to snuggle up with and read. Along with the plate and cup ready to leave offerings for Santa!

More Texas fun with cowboy Santa stocking holders!

Here is my Dickens Village collection. We bought our first piece on our honeymoon and then continued that tradition for a few more years...but then you run out of display room! So I am happy with my little collection that fits perfectly in the bookshelf.

With blonde rascal, you always know where he has been by the trail of hot wheels. He does not wander far without a hot wheel or two. It seems that the blonde elf procured the step stool and worked his magic in my village! Upon closer inspection here is what I found....

It would appear that there is a Christmas tree buying frenzy in the village and people are loading up their cars!

Opps a little traffic mishap! Someone drove into a tree! Hmmmm, a little too much eggnog at the company party perhaps?

Finally we have the "Po-Po" pulling over a muscle car. Damn teenage drivers.

Nothing says Christmas like hot wheels in the Christmas village!