Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas This Year

The three days of Christmas went off well this year.  I could bore you with pictures, but they look just like every other year's pictures.

You know, pictures like people calling BINGO...

Or people winning butter dishes...

Or my son being posed with empty liquor bottles...

Or my children lacking Christmas spirit...

Nah. That's all pretty dull stuff.

How about a dense descriptive paragraph?

Christmas Eve the little smokies messed up my oven. I drank a whole bottle of wine myself at the party.  I won a little box at bingo that The Man broke. We stayed out until midnight. Christmas Day the turkey was too big for the crock pot. It cooked just fine anyway. My table that sits eight had to fit eleven and it was amazing! The puzzle I bought was way too hard and it made everybody miserable. We got the kids a Flip Video and they followed everyone around recording them.  The day after Christmas we all slept until eleven when we had to be to Grandma's at noon. Opps! That night we worked a soup kitchen at the Salvation Army and then took ourselves to Pizza Hut. My house is a disaster. 

Ugh.  That doesn't work either.

How about this picture of my dining room table.

I love how this looks.  Just my beautiful Christmas tablecloth on the table before it gets anything slopped on it.  Before it gets cluttered up with dishes and then positively overloaded with food.  It's just lovely.  Putting it on the table just makes me smile.

And that was Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Consider this...

...your Christmas card. If I don't have them out by the solstice, then it's just not going to happen. I should be like Grandma and have all of my cards made out and ready to go before Thanksgiving. Maybe next year.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday in the City

It was bright, clear and sunny on Saturday so we headed into Cleveland to take in the sights from the observation deck of the Terminal Tower.

Here's looking into Progressive Field where they are having Snow Days. Tubing, ice skating, bonfires and all kinds of wintry fun inside the stadium. Hopefully they put this on next year and we'll get a chance to go.
The lighthouse, which if I could have zoomed in on it, who would see is completely covered in ice.

An obstructed view of Browns Stadium is the only view of it you'll get from the Terminal Tower.
The Great Lakes Science Museum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame looking...unimpressive.

And the all important Ladies Room at the top of the Terminal Tower. Fancy!
Tower City was the same old crowded mess as always but they had a terrific Gingerbread contest display. This was my favorite. A whole little village of tiny gingerbread man having a jolly time.
Including these guys in the hot tub. These are my kind of gingerbread men!
All of the sightseeing made us hungry so it was off to Fat Fish Blue. Look out Heather and Jim. We've got two new fans of this place on our hands now!

Finally, what's not to love about this shot? It sums both of them up perfectly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is looking up

Christmas Tree Day this year landed on a Sunday. The kiddos felt justifiably ripped off by this since they were going to miss out on getting out of school for half a day. But between The Man's schedule and The Girl's, Sunday was the only day it was going to happen anyway. As it was, the day was extra busy. It was the weekend of the play. Neither of the kiddos were in the play, but The Girl got herself recruited to make-up crew. She had to be at the school to do the make-up by 11:30. We picked her up at 12:30 and headed right out to the woods.
The snow wasn't knee deep this year out there, but it was really cold.That kind of cold that cuts right through you. We had to make this decision fast.

We had our choices down to three different trees that we named Double Trunk, Twelve Foot and Tubby. Double Trunk got kicked out of the running because... it had a double trunk and we worried about balance and toppling trees. Tubby also got the boot because we decided it was too short. (Looking back, it probably was fine but you lose all your perspective out there in the trees.)

That left Twelve Foot. As you can probably guess, it was a really tall tree. It was an odd tree too. The branches didn't go out sideways from the trunk as much as they went straight up. How was a tree like this going to work? In the end it was our best choice besides getting in the car and going to another tree farm. My toes were frozen and The Boy's shoes were soaked, so Twelve Foot was the winner.

The Man trimmed off the bottom branches...
and cut it down.It's not Christmas Tree day until we get this pose.

It was a monster of a tree. The biggest one ever we would soon discover.

Once we were home, we realized that Twelve Foot was probably more like Fifteen Foot. Even with the amount of trunk we left behind, we still have to cut about two more feet off to make it fit in the house. Once it was up we had to rush the kids back to the school for set strike. While they were gone, The Man strung the tree with lights and lights and lights.

And that's how it stood for the next five days, just lights draped on branches reaching for the ceiling.

Finally we had a day when we were all home and able to decorate.
It came out lovely, but it's not easy to hang ornaments on a tree whose branches reach up and not out.
Our hope was that the heavier ornaments would help pull the branches down making the tree look fuller.
It sort of worked.
And sort of didn't either. It's all good though.

Happy Christmas Tree...week.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

First Game

Grueling try outs, an exhausting week of dance camp and month of practice all boiled down to tonight's perfect performance.

One of these girls is my girl. Really.

They did two numbers and they both were amazing! They are the cutest dance team ever!

And the basketball team won in the end, even though they put an amazing amount of effort in trying to lose in the fourth quarter.

Next game on Friday! Go Pioneers!

Friday, December 03, 2010

What do you do with new cans?

Our city is starting a new trash program soon. Everybody is getting two new cans, one for trash and one for recycling. Our new cans were delivered yesterday.

And what do the kiddos do as soon as they see these brand new giant cans?

What do you think? This year's Christmas card?

And then things got really silly!

Friday, November 19, 2010

End of Cross Country

Any sport season is a long affair. Conditioning and practice before the season starts and then the weeks and weeks of the sport itself. Cross Country ended about a month ago and last night was the awards ceremony marking the end of the end.

(The program called it an Awards Banquet, but being that it was only desserts brought by the families, "banquet" is a bit of a misnomer. I'm just saying.)

Here's The Girl getting her second year varsity award and her scholar athlete award. She had a rough season with her knee, but she ran every race all the way through.
The Boy getting his first year varsity letter and his scholar athlete award. He says that his favorite part of season was the bus rides home from the meets.

One of the things that I love about cross country is how close these kids are to each other. You can tell they really enjoy each others company.
Most of the boy's left before I could get a group picture, but here's some of the lovely ladies with their amazing coach.
I've said before that I wouldn't run even if I were chased. You can't help but admire kids who run as much as these kids have and can still smile about it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Lunch Bag

A duct tape lunch bag only lasts about a quarter before it starts looking really sad.

Here's The Girl's new bag that I made yesterday for her.

Now her lunches can go to school in style.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marco loves leaves

It's not easy to photograph a leaf crazy dog.

Especially one who just discovered how much he loves leaves.

And who has a ball to throw around.
And occasionally lose said ball in the leaves and have to dive in after it.
And searches and searches...

And finds it again!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Trick or Treat with Mystery Inc.

On the radio they were having a debate on when you were too old to go trick or treating. Some communities are actually cracking down this horrible crime. My opinion has always been, "Geez! It's just candy. If you're cool with begging for it, then I am cool with giving it to you!" I would like to see a costume. I would like to hear Trick or Treat followed by a Thank You, but that's not a deal breaker around here. Last night we had one group of six foot tall costume-less boys show up. Much less than we usually get. I'm not ever going to kick up a fuss about that. (Now the mommies collecting for the invisible kids who are "in the car"...That I have a problem with.)

The teenagers in my life went out on Trick or Treat night but they were collecting canned food for Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat again.
As you can see they were the Scooby Doo gang:Shaggy, Daphne, Velma and Fred(rica). They couldn't find one kid to agree to be Scooby. Bummer.

They collected a ton of food, coming back to the house to unload the Mystery Machine when it got to heavy to pull before they headed out again.

Again this year we gave out glow stick bracelets. It's a huge hit and it's come to the point that some neighbor kids are expecting it. Can't let the kiddos down now!

Kids are thrilled to get a glow stick. But this was the first year I had not one, but many kids instantly put it in their mouth. What is up with that? It's glowing! What makes you think you can eat it?

We got more glow ball connectors with our order this year and made a couple of pumpkins to hang in the trees.
They looked so awesome that we are going to have to buy even more glow sticks next year to make even more pumpkins. I wonder if I can buy just orange? (Note: Tiny investigation yields the answer is Yes!)

Finally the jack-o-lantern part of Halloween.

The Girl's...

A bit gruesome...or romantic. Hard to tell.

The Boy's...
Just plain scary.

And my pumpkin snowman all lit up with his own glow bracelets.

Insanely cute, if I do say so myself. Trick or Treaters were going nuts for him. Kids posed with him and got their pictures taken. That was a surprise. My favorite part was when then tiniest kids would walk up to him and they were the same height. That killed me everytime.

Now it's time to go score clearance stuff and store it for next year!