Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Night my World got Turned Upside Down.


Last night, I was minding my own business...casually surfing the web, possibly, maybe, perhaps, but I'll never tell for sure, looking for a giant tub of Nutella.


(Courtesy Google Images)

As visions of Nutella (with sparkly pink heart bubbles floating around it) danced in my head, I stumbled upon a site. (Say that..."a site"...with the most disgust and disdain you can possibly muster.)

A site that suggested that Nutella was not pronounced "NUH-tella" but, actually, "NEW-tella".

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!??!?!

What does this all mean? What is this world coming to?

I cried. And prayed. Then cried some more...and took it to Twitter. I had to know...was I the only one living in the dark?

Dear Nutella Dudes: I realize you're from Italy, or Germany, or, you know, one of those countries over there...but c'mon! I just spend the best part of my adult life calling your product "NUH-tella"...and think about it! It only makes sense!!

It is made with "NUTS". Not "NEWTS".

The least you could've done, oh dear and lovely Nutella dudes, was put a little umlaut or a cute little line or something above that 'u'! Anything to give this "midwestern to the core" girl a hint that even tho this delicious little treat was made with NUTS it wasn't prounced that way!

Throw me a bone here!

This is just...I just can't...well...I can't wrap my head around it.

It's just so wrong. (Don't even tell me that it's right...'cuz I'll still think it's wrong.)

NUH-tella. It's the only way I can say it!


And, sometimes, I wonder...


Why I can't keep my house clean...


Why, no matter how hard I try...


I just can't stay on top of it.


Snicker wrappers on a high up shelf?


Seriously, dudes...the garbage is way easier to reach.


Monday, November 29, 2010

4500 Calories? Psh...


I ate that 4500 calories for breakfast! Twice!

For real...what is it about Thanksgiving that turns a stomach into a bottomless pit? I have no willpower.

Another serving of mashed potatoes? YES PLEASE!!

Another helping of stuffing? WHERE DO I SIGN?!

How 'bout another piece of pie? YES, YES, YES!!!

I need new pants. In a size 87, please.

But, man, oh man, was it worth it!

The Annual Football Game was a blast, with a shoulder injury (no, not mine...in case you were reading my Twitter feed from last night...) but nothin' else!

We played a mean game of charades:


I taught everyone how to make their crystal ring (okay, so I really didn't...they figured it out themselves...):

There were plays written by the tweens:


Baby Girls backlit by Christmas trees:


And siblings/cousins (to be?) ;) all snuggled up:


I love this time of the year...size 87 pants and all!



Holiday Gift Guide Blog Hop! Week 4..."Favorite Children's Toys""


"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, ev'ry where I go..."

I LOVE IT! Tree's up, smells like fresh cut balsam in here, lights twinkling, kids excited...it's fabulous. Simply, fabulous.

Photobucket



Thanksgiving is such a fun holiday...the pressure of gift buying isn't there, but the celebration with family over good food and great fun is ever present! And, nothing says "Get Shopping!!!" like the end of Thanksgiving, right?!!

This week's theme for our Holiday Gift Guide is: "Favorite Children's Toys...Bonus for Battery-free"!!

I'm gonna toss out two of our favorites...then throw in some other ideas of things our kids like to get...so, get your writing pens out, and get your typing fingers ready to link up YOUR post!

The first gift that I recommend is a new discover to our home...and, BONUS!! it's battery-free!!

It is the, Ezy Roller!

This is a kid powered "scooter" that our children have each fallen in love with since the very day Hambone received his as a gift! Now, 3 out of 5 children in our family own one!!



I love that they are easy to operate, require minimal assembly, and encourage lot's of "active" time! They drive very smoothly, and the weight limit goes up to 125 lbs!!

Get one...you'll love it!

Next up is a toy our family is outgrowing, but one that I will love 'til the day I die...this one requires batteries, but is well worth it!

Leapfrog's "Fridge Phonics" is a great electronic "educational" toy that, I'm convinced, helped our children learn their letters and the "Alphabet Song"! I now use it for Hambone for his preschooling that we do at home, by having him pick out the upper/lowercase letter that we are working on!


Those are my two "main" suggestions...what follows are things that have been hits with our kids or gifts I enjoy my children getting...

Along the Leapfrog line..."My Pal Violet (or Scout)" is a fun toy that you can personalize with your kiddos name, and he/she teaches your child how to spell their name! Cute, cuddly, educational, not annoying!


We're also big board gamers over here (can you say that? "Board gamers"? Or is "gamer" just reserved for the video kind?)! Some of our faves: Apples to Apples, Clue, Guesstures, Would you Rather, Last Word...fun times!!

And...as evidenced by the "theme" behind this whole Gift Guide, we love BOOKS!! We've recently discovered "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", and even our babe will sit through it! Course, the little kids still love a great Children's Book, but we'll take anything!

Remember, all linky's will be left open until the very end! So, if you are a late comer, and would like to join in, feel free to link up your post! Our themes thus far have been: Children's Books, Man Gifts (which could use more ideas!!), and Handmade/Homemade! Here is a list of all the theme's from here on out!

Thanks for joining in the Gift Guide Blog Hop!!

(PS-all linked items take you directly to the manufacturer's website! These are all my honest opinions of products we love and I was not compensated by any of the above companies to tell you how fabulous their stuff is!)


Friday, November 26, 2010

Five Question Friday! 11/26/10


*Big, long, contented sigh*...what a great day! Great food, fun with family, lot's of laughter, a little charades...perfect!


I'm full, I'm tired, and I'm thinking about doing a little on-line Black Friday shopping after I get this posted!

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

Now...onto Five Question Friday!!

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky to appear Friday morning and link up! (I'll make sure to get this week's up bright and early for all you Black Friday shoppers...possibly even a bit after midnight?!)

Question for Friday, November 26th: Today's Questions all come right off the top of my wee lil' brain! (PS...feel free to come to my community to offer up your best question suggestions...we're in need of some new ones!)

1. What is your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal?

2. Are you a host or a guest for Thanksgiving this year?

3. When you think of one Thanksgiving tradition, what comes to mind?

4. You have two pieces of pie in front of you and you HAVE to eat one...do you choose pumpkin or pecan?

5. Are you a Black Friday Shopper?

---------------------------------------------------

1. What is your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal?

Um...all of it?

I love food...so, this is kinda like asking me to pick my favorite child! I like 'em all!!

BUT...if you made me pick just one thing to eat of the Thanksgiving meal, I'd hafta say my Grandma's stuffing. I LOVE her stuffing.

My mom made a new recipe this year, and I've gotta give it to her, it was purty dang good!! However, I think I'm partial to my grandma's.

So...Gram's Stuffing. Final answer.

2. Are you a host or a guest for Thanksgiving this year?

Guest. Always.

We host Christmas here for the Mr.'s side, so Thanksgiving is my "holiday off"! We go to my parent's on Thanksgiving Day, then on Saturday, my extended relatives all go to my mom's for more fun!

It can get pretty crazy over there...it's a fun bunch we have!!

There've maybe, possibly, perhaps, you can't prove it, been a time or two in which the Mr. has woken up the next day feeling pretty dang miserable.

But, ahem, never me...'cuz I volunteer to be the sober driver/responsible adult in the morning am the smart one.

3. When you think of one Thanksgiving tradition, what comes to mind?

Football.

The men folk of our families (on the extended family Thanksgiving celebration) take on a no-holds-barred football game. Us vs. Them.

We kick their butts. And, by "we" I mean I have absolutely nothing to do with it. Oh, sure...I've done a little video taping here and there, but to be honest with you, it's usually too dang cold for me to last long out there.

I prefer to watch the carnage from inside...(and, yes...there is usually some kind of injury). And by "watch" I mean, glance out occasionally while I chat with my gram/cousin/aunt/mom/brother's girlfriend.

It's serious stuff, this football game.

4. You have two pieces of pie in front of you and you HAVE to eat one...do you choose pumpkin or pecan?

Pecan. With a big ol' blob of real whipped cream on top.

Yum. I want a piece. Right. Now.

Although, my mom makes a mean "Luscious Pumpkin" dessert that is to die for. But, straight up pumpkin pie? Meh.

You can have it.

5. Are you a Black Friday Shopper?

I have never gone. Never, ever even once have I gotten up at the butt crack of dawn to go shopping.

Once or twice I've gone later in the afternoon, and still found some pretty good steals...in fact, last year, our local WalMart still had some big screen TV's on sale through the weekend...apparently they never ran out or something!

This year, tho...I'm trying my luck on-line. I must've gotten 8,000 emails today about "Black Friday" on-line deals.

What I wanna know is: What happened to "cyber Monday"?

-----------------------------------------------

Hope y'all have a fabulous weekend!



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

I realize that many of you are probably stuffing yourselves full of turkey and stuffing and gravy and pie and potatoes and more pie and turkey sandwiches and cranberries, and you'll probably not have much time for 5QF...but, for anyone that didn't want to miss out...this one's for YOU!! ;)


We're gonna do a Thanksgiving theme this week...how original, huh?

Remember that this is just a preview post...your chance to see the questions ahead of time and get your post ready to go for tomorrow's (Black Friday!!) linky post!

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky to appear Friday morning and link up! (I'll make sure to get this week's up bright and early for all you Black Friday shoppers...possibly even a bit after midnight?!)

Question for Friday, November 26th: Today's Questions all come right off the top of my wee lil' brain! (PS...feel free to come to my community to offer up your best question suggestions...we're in need of some new ones! Oh, and while you're there...check out the last couple of Live Chats...they've been crazy fun, and I'm thinkin' we need to do another one soon!!)

1. What is your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal?

2. Are you a host or a guest for Thanksgiving this year?

3. When you think of one Thanksgiving tradition, what comes to mind?

4. You have two pieces of pie in front of you and you HAVE to eat one...do you choose pumpkin or pecan?

5. Are you a Black Friday Shopper?

-----------------------------------------------------

There you go! I hope you are all enjoying your holiday...and for those of you not celebrating Thanksgiving...I hope you are all having a wonderful day, too!!


Thankful...



For my loving man,


Thankful for my great big clan.

Thankful for these blessings galore,


Thankful that life's not a bore.

Thankful for a job I love,

Thankful for blessings from above.

Thankful for a big, full belly,

Thankful for deodorant, so I'm not so smelly.

Thankful for my awesome friends,

Thankful that I don't wear Depends.

Thankful for my happiness,

Thankful that I am so blessed.

Thankful for this wonderful life,

Thankful that my husband has such a wonderful wife.

;)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Day I Schmoozed Nintendo...


I'm not a schmoozer. I can't talk someone down on price to save my soul. I end up feeling bad for them, 'cuz, you know, they're working so hard to rob me of my money, that it makes me feel rotten.

Here is a typical wheel and deal Mama style:

Car dealer: "Well, ma'am (gosh, how I wanted to type "miss" there...but it seems those days are over for me...sigh, this getting old thing sucks...), have I gotta deal for you! I'll sell you this here, three wheeled, rusted out, broken heatered VEE-hicle for $13,000!!"

(Courtesy Google Image)

Me: *clears throat* "Do you think you'd take...*shuffles feet*...well, um...I wonder if you'd consider accepting...*averts eyes, wipes sweaty palms on pants*...gosh, sir...I just *heart racing, nervously*...well I...BAH!! CAN I GIVE YOU MY LIFE SAVINGS FOR IT???!!!!" *begins crying, feeling guilty about the money I just tried to take away from this poor man's family!*

Yeah...that's about how it goes. I just can't find it in myself to negotiate. I've tried to send the Mr. in to do my dirty work...but he's not much better...

Furniture Salesman: "This table is $75."

Mr.: "I'll give you $74.99."

See? We suck at this stuff...which is why, when I talked Nintendo down in repair price, I was shocked at my boldness. My sheer ability to wow a mega company with my wits and sweet negotiating skills.

With a little Twitter temptation thrown in.

Oh, yes. You read that right.

My son's Wii had not been working for months so we finally decided to take action. I called Nintendo, and got the most wonderful customer service rep known to mankind: Pablo.
(Courtesy Google Image)

Pablo is my new best friend. He talked me through a couple of troubleshooting things, then decided that, indeed, the console needed to be repaired.

For 90 something odd bucks.

Er...um...that's like 1/2 of what we paid for it.

So, I hesitated...said I wanted to talk it over with the Pal and my husband and he immediately offered to lower the price to 80 and waive the shipping fee.

"Negotiate? A repair deal?", thought I.

Back to the Pal...who was unsure if he even wanted to get it fixed. So, I casually mentioned to sweet Pablo that the "Xbox" was calling my son's name, and we weren't sure we wanted to plug more money into his Wii.

So, Pablo says, "What if I bring it down to 75?"

Then...the beast was released within me. It was like he set off a spark (plus, he was so dang nice, I wasn't afraid of him). I said, "For 50 bucks flat it's a done deal."

The Pal: *laughing, shaking head* (embarrassment? pride? I dunno.)

Pablo: *chuckles* "Well, how about this: I'll take 25 bucks off and that can bring it down to 65."

Moi: *growing bolder by the second* "Well, how 'bout this...50 bucks, and I'll let the world know via Twitter about the wonderful customer service I got from Nintendo!"

The Pal: "If you talk Nintendo down half price...*shakes head*...man, I can't wait to tell my friends!"

Pablo: *chuckles again* "Hmmmm...my supervisor might just like that, will you hold please?"

Little ol' me: "Of course!" *holding*

Pablo: "Well, my supervisor likes that idea, so yup! 50 bucks, plus tax, done deal."

Me: *high fiving myself* (which looks really goofy)

The Pal: *mouth agape*


I am now the coolest mom in the world.

I schmoozed Nintendo. (And, I wasn't lying...the customer service really was awesome! Pablo deserves a promotion. He even thanked me for being "such a nice customer"!)

I will now, and forever be, a Nintendo fan.

Take that Xbox.

(PS...this post was NOT a part of that negotiation...I'm just proud of myself and pleased to have gotten some great customer service. Word of mouth, baby!)


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blast from the Past.


I love coming across old photos. They make me feel all nostalgic and warm and fuzzy.

So, here's one for you...

My two biggest boys...back when they liked each other:


(Dear iPhoto: Please communicate more quickly with Blogger. Those red eyes that I edited out right before uploading? Look...they're still there. All my best, Mama.)



Oh no.


I think it's starting.

THE PLAGUE.

It's weaseling it's way into my home. As. we. speak.

The start of drippy noses. Sneezes. A cough here and there. Much more waking at night by random children than is usual.

I tried, for quite awhile, to chalk it up to anything else...the fireplace? Oak allergies. The fantastic cleaning I've been doing lately? Stirring up dust. Heck, I even considered a snow allergy.

But, I think it's time I face the music.

This Thanksgiving might just be a snotty one.


There's Something I haven't Told You.



My boy...


That handsome lad, shot himself a deer! Last year, he took two deer within minutes of each other (and I inadvertantly made it sound like he took two deer with one shot...I meant, it just took one shot apiece, as opposed to the, ahem, more than two that it takes the Mr.) ;), after only being in the stand for about 20 minutes each time.

This year, it was just a little guy. I'd show you pictures, but they're...well...they're nasty and bloody and gory and the kind of thing that makes small children weep.

Look, see?


I told ya...so, I'll spare you the images.

And now, we're in the same boat as last year. Deer meat.

In our freezer.

And, I can't do it...I just can't! I've tried eating venison...and, honestly, it doesn't taste too bad, but then I get this image in my head:

(Courtesy Google Images)

And I'm done for. I can feel that meat try to climb up out of my tummy...as if it wasn't hard enough getting it to go down the first time! Which means, according to my BIL, that I'm too well fed (Hey...wait a second!! Did he see my saddle bags????). That if I weren't so well fed...this mind game that Bambi plays with me would be a non issue.

Well...until the next famine comes around...I'll stick to cows. Pigs. Chickens. Or, heavily processed Bambi with the correct ratio of pork to deer. Like 90/10.

That I can handle. Because, in my mind, watered down Bambi is okay.


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