Monday, December 31, 2012

2012, You Were Good to Us

Well folks, tonight we say adios to 2012...and I've gotta say, it was a dang good year!

It gave me a sister,




And a new nephew.


Gram and I started cooking together regularly,

And I now have a brand spankin' new bathroom.


I was able to witness my big girl experience Disney,


And we logged a healthy year all around.

I pray that 2013 will be as successful, healthy, and happy as 2012! May you all have a blessed and healthy 2013!

Drive safely tonight, if you are out and about!

Happy New Year!



Friday, December 28, 2012

Five Question Friday! 12/28/12

Can you believe 2012 is almost over? And that we all lived through another "world ending" day? Crazy how fast time flies...



I'm thoroughly enjoying my downtime, relaxing, refusing to go anywhere that isn't necessary (hockey games and Tide runs fall into the "necessary" category), and soaking in my family. I'm currently typing away whilst my littlest enjoys yet another bath and breathing in the essential oils I added to her water...it smells a bit like a hippie heaven would, I imagine. :)

Okay, onto the questions!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are recovering from the holidays.

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, December 28th: (Special thanks to Maranda (@MarandaLamping) from Maranda Lamping, Rachel (@runningrachel) from Running Rachel, Alicia (@_AliciaAudrey) from Alicia Audrey, Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, and yours truly, from this here blog that you're reading right now
 for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. If you had to give 1 million dollars to just one person (not your spouse), who would it be and why?

2. What bathroom stall do you typically go to FIRST? 

3. How do you prefer to shop: In-store or online?

4. What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?

5. Do you own a pair of Tom's and what do you think? Overrated, underrated or about right?


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1. If you had to give 1 million dollars to just one person (not your spouse), who would it be and why?
Oh my goodness, wouldn't that be fun?! Just to hand someone a million bucks? I'm assuming that if spouses are exempt, that kids/other family are too? If not, I'd give it to my eldest child, with stipulations that he must share equally amongst his siblings.


If we're talking we must give it to a stranger, I would contact a social worker at a Children's Hospital and give it all to a family in need whose child is suffering from cancer. Just one way I could make their life just a teeny, tiny bit easier. 

2. What bathroom stall do you typically go to FIRST? 

Well, that depends on if I'm peeing alone or with a child in tow! If I'm with a kiddo, then it's the handicap bathroom...more room that way. If I'm alone, then NOT the first one. The first stall has cooties or something, I can NOT go in the first stall...unless it's the only one without "remnants" in the toilet bowl, then I'll force myself to overcome the cooties and go in the "remnant-free" toilet.


I can NOT pee on other people's business. Nor do I like to flush other people's potty down...too personal, or something.

Hmmmm...I guess that means I don't really have a certain stall I go to, but I do have ones I WON'T go in! :)

3. How do you prefer to shop: In-store or online?

Up until my wee little babe was born, I would've said "in-store"...but since her arrival and subsequent hatred of malls (she's getting a tad better), I've been broken of my mall habit.


I really dove into on-line ordering this year, hitting up the on-line Black Friday sales and lemmetellya (that's MinneSOOOOOTan for "listen here"), that was slick! Loved shopping in my jammies (I know, I know, people shop in their jammies all the ding dang time at Walmart...but I can't do that. My psyche won't let me and Kate would disown me) from the comfort of my warm, cozy bed/couch and having the UPS dude deliver it to my door?

Love.

But, I do still love a little mall time.

4. What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Bitter cold. No, I take that back...it's in the teens here, and bitter cold to a true Minnesotan isn't really until it hits double digits below zero with a windchill of -60. THAT is bitter cold.


This? It's just cold.

We've had one good snow fall, and little flurries here and there...I'd LOVE a big ol' snow storm...one that shuts down the whole town...but preferably, it must come before March. When we hit March, I'm ready for spring...but I'm still tolerating winter right now, so bring the snow!

5. Do you own a pair of Tom's and what do you think? Overrated, underrated or about right?

I don't...and I asked because I've recently discovered that I need a pair. Or, at least, I thought I needed a pair until @gasfamily told me they're overrated. They make your feet stinky and they get sloppy big.

So, I'm taking a poll...do you have Toms? Do you like them? Would you like them in a house, would you like them with a mouse?

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And with that, I wish you a wonderful weekend! I'm feeling an itch to get back to some good ol', hearty blogging, so be prepared! 





Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!

Woooo hooo!! Back in the 5QF saddle and rarin' to go!



Did you all have wonderful Christmases (is that a proper pluralization of Christmas?!)? I enjoyed every minute of it!

Okay, since it's getting a bit late, let's get right to the questions!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are recovering from the holidays.

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, December 28th: (Special thanks to Maranda (@MarandaLamping) from Maranda Lamping, Rachel (@runningrachel) from Running Rachel, Alicia (@_AliciaAudrey) from Alicia Audrey, Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, and yours truly, from this here blog that you're reading right now
 for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. If you had to give 1 million dollars to just one person (not your spouse), who would it be and why?

2. What bathroom stall do you typically go to FIRST? 

3. How do you prefer to shop: In-store or online?

4. What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?

5. Do you own a pair of Tom's and what do you think? Overrated, underrated or about right?

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See you right back here in the morning, wherein I PROMISE my answers will be posted!




I Finally Get to Enjoy it.

A few days before Christmas, as I was held tight in the clutches of sleep deprivation, last minute Christmas preparations, and work schedules, my Gram said, "I'll bet you can't wait until Christmas is over!" and I was all, "NOOOOOO!!! I don't want it to be over!". :)

My dad made a comment about "How much the kids...well, and Mama...enjoy Christmas!"...so true. I love Christmas. Everything about it...the Reason, the giving, (the receiving...*gasp*! did I say that out loud?!), the family time, the celebrating, the generosity of people everywhere. It warms my heart and puts a smile on my face.


I do admit, I could go without the lack of sleep (I blame the bathroom...video tour coming soon!!), and the stress of making sure everyone has just the right gift...except for my mom, who kind of got the shaft from us this year...she was the one person I wasn't quite done with, so she got a bottle of Crown Royal from my kids. Classy class. It's how we roll around here. 

But everything else? I love it. All of it.

So here I sit, while the rest of the world fervently rids their homes of any and all trace of Christmas, I just sit. And enjoy. Listening to Christmas music, taking in the smell of evergreen, and gazing at our decorations. 

Yup, I finally get to enjoy it. :)


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! May your day be filled with love, laughter, merriment and memories, and may your travels be safe!


Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The End of the World...and a 5QF postponement.

Okay, seeing as how it's 10:46 and I still have a list so long it could wrap around the world 4,289,311,234 times, I'm going to postpone 5QF this week. I know, and after I begged for questions all dang day.

Please don't hate me.

So, what do you all think about this whole "world ending" thing tomorrow? Selfishly, I'd rather go out like that, with all my loved ones than to go out singularly, you know? Is that bad? Anyway, how, exactly, is, the world supposed to end? And when? 'Cuz I'd like to know if I need to worry about supper and whether or not I need to make sure my kids have clean underwear for Saturday.

Seeing as how it's already tomorrow in other parts of the world, I'm guessing we're in the clear. But...WAIT. Has anyone heard from the Australians?

I was hoping to get my Christmas baking done this week, but instead? I made a hockey meal, I shopped, I baked with Gram (posts coming...at some point), I wrapped presents, I broke my agitator, I called for new parts, I helped with a bathroom remodel, I took a bath (squee!!!), I went shopping again even though I swore up and down and side to side that I was not going to go back to the mall EVER AGAIN, I watched a couple of hockey games and a couple of dance classes and now? Now I'm facing 4 days of work.

Hopefully I'll get lucky enough to get on call on Christmas Eve...and on Sunday as well. Slacker, I know.

It is my goal to get some cookie recipes posted for you soon...so stay tuned! And, watch for 5QF to be back in action next week!! Thanks for your patience!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

They Make Me Smile.


(Let's try this again...last week's post got eaten by my Blogger app, a kind reader had saved this post--Thank you, Mary!--and emailed it to me!)

Last week, as we were winding down for bedtime, my two littlest kiddos were playing a rousing game of hide-and-seek...what? Doesn't everyone wind down
with a wild game? 


I called all the kiddos to come and pray and I made my
way to the girls' bedroom, which is where we say our nighttime prayers.

I knelt down, all alone at this point, and Baby Girl comes tearing into the room, barrels into the closet and becomes quiet as a church mouse (hide-and-seek, remember?) and one by one, the older four kiddos join me (the Mr. was away at a work conference).

We say our prayers (I know, I know, I should've called Baby out of the closet but I was pooped and just ready for bedtime.. ..don't judge) and, like every night, we add in a few "extra" intentions that are heavy on our hearts.

When the last person had said their "extra", this tiny, muffled voice pipes up from the depths of the closet, "I pray dat Verd gets to Heaven and dat daddy comes home safely and dat mommy is a good mama.", the laughter that bubbled up from inside me escaped from my lips and I saw 4 heads turn to
look at the closet, then back at me and suddenly, all of us were laughing hysterically...including the muffled little voice from the closet.




These are the moments that I hope are burned in my memory for a lifetime.

Oh, how we laughed, and laughed...and laughed!

And then we said "Amen"!

Christmas Came Early!

Here I sit...relaxing in my brand new tub taking the inaugural soak!

Oh, I'm sorry, did that make you uncomfortable? That I just told you I'm sitting in bathtub?

Well, I am. And it's heavenly. And I can't wait to show you all the finished product!



Yup...Christmas came early for me!! :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Wasn't Going to Say Anything.

I really wasn't. This whole thing is just heartbreaking...absolutely crushing.

20 innocent, sweet babies.

I made the mistake of re-posting "Morgan Freeman's" statement about the tragedy in Connecticut, only to find out later that it was not, afterall, Morgan Freeman who wrote the piece. Regardless, the words in that statement were poignant, well said, and spot on.

First, let's stop "celebritizing" these awful people. Stop plastering their names and faces all over every media outlet. It's exactly what they want, and we are feeding right into it. Giving them exactly what they wanted, when they made the God awful decision to shoot innocent people in malls, movie theaters, and, most horrifically, kindergarten classrooms.

They want to be known, even if it means being known as a monster.

Second, I truly don't feel that strict gun control laws are going to help because guess what? Criminals don't obey the laws. If they want to do something, they will, EVEN IF IT IS ILLEGAL. Like obtaining a gun to kill people.

Case in point: Prescription pain meds? Regulated. Law abiding citizens who need them for their back surgery, neck injury, broken leg, abscessed tooth, etc. obtain them legally, through their doctor. Criminals? They get them too...ILLEGALLY, on the street or stolen from a neighbor/friend/relative.

And folks, it isn't difficult for them. I see it almost every time I'm at work. Felons don't follow the laws...it's what makes them CRIMINALS. They don't use regulated items in the way they are intended. They shoot up prescription pain meds and they'll use guns to shoot up people.

I also just read the article from the mom who is parenting a son with a mental illness and I think her view is right on...let's focus on helping the mentally ill. This speaks volumes to me, as my daughter has a child in her classroom that falls on the autism spectrum and threatens suicide, allegedly brought a knife to school (that only a fellow student saw and didn't report), and is frequently verbally aggressive with students. This student needs to be focused on. She needs to not be brushed off and passed along...she needs help before it turns into something more.

And that thought strikes cold fear in my heart.

So friends, let's forget the names of these tortured souls who choose to kill in cold blood, wipe them right away from your mind and instead, remember and pray for the victims of these awful events. Perhaps if we take the spotlight away from evil, it will instead shine upon the innocent victims, who so often are hidden in the shadows of that spotlight on evil.

My prayers are with the families of those from Sandy Hook Elementary. May God grant them the peace and strength to make it through the most horrendous nightmare any of us can even imagine.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Five Question Friday! 12/14/12


Sorry, didn't get the sneak peek up in time...it's been a crazy day and here it is 1 am and I'm just gonna go ahead and post 5QF as soon as I'm done with this post!



Cranky...I tried to add some code to my post yesterday, a super cute story about bedtime prayers and my Baby and I used my Blogger app and it ate my post. ATE it. Poof. Gone. Vanished. Ugh.

Remember writing papers in college and forgetting to save to your floppy disk and then all of a sudden the newly invented internet had a hiccup and BOOM your paper is gone? And then you went and drank and cried to your roommates and rewrote that paper 1/2 drunk because it was due in 2 hours?

That's how I felt.

Like crying. 

Anyway, enough of my sob story, let's get to the questions!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are too busy sleeping away while they should be doing more important things...like baking, or wrapping, or shopping, or writing posts for you.

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, December 7th: (Special thanks to Cate (@rndmcrftygagrl) from Random Crafty GA Girl, Melissa (@Melissa_M80), Lindsey (@bloggerlinds) from A Dollop of my Life and yours truly, from this here blog that you're reading right now
 for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. If you bake during the holidays, what is your favorite thing to make?

2. Present giving: Gift bag vs wrapped box?

3. What do you keep your thermostat on during the winter/summer in your house?

4. When thinking of your "Christmas to-do list" what percentage "done" are you?

5. Do you do the "Elf on a Shelf"? If so, is your Elf naughty and what shenanigans has he gotten into?

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Okay, watch for my questions to be up in the morning, this old lady needs to get some shut eye!




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

BlogHer Gift Guide...Who Knew?!

Turns out BlogHer has a round up of links to a holiday gift guide. It's kinda awesome...awesome in the sense that you will find suggestions for everyone on your list. EVERYONE. Even your great aunt Ethel.

I went and hopped around a bit on the page and lemme tell you what I found for ideas (myself and/or otherwise):


1. An iPad. Yes, I know I have one, but it's almost a year old and by golly that means it's practically archaic.


2. A "giving tree" for the teachers in your school. Teachers write their wish list on grabbable ornaments that the parents can nab and get them something they'll actually love? Brilliant. The teachers I know have a few too many Christmas knick-knacks and I know not everyone appreciates home baked items. My hat off to the thinker upper of this one!


3. A list for moms. All fabulous ideas that we would like...like a good massage without, well, you know what, expected afterward or three uninterrupted hours to ourselves, no texting issues about kids, no "when are you going to be home", no interruptions...good stuff on that list!

Check it out...there are some fabulous ideas on there!






Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Reason for the Season.



Gram called me over to her house the other day because she wanted to show me something.

That something was this:

DSC_4030

The display on their mantle. So breathtakingly heartwarming...the picture doesn't do it justice.



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Let's Wager a Bet.

So, basically the entire state of MinneSOOOOOta is under a "Winter Storm Warning" with anticipated snow accumulations of up to 10" in some (my) area.

Who wants to bet that we'll not even see 1/2 of that?

Someone *coughmecough* is a bit gun shy after last season's "SNOWMAGGEDON" storms that barely brought a dusting to us.

Mother Nature? Bring it.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Five Question Friday! 12/7/12

Is anyone else surprised at how busy life has become? I keep waiting for things to slow down a little bit, to have a period of time where there are no obligations, no plans, no nothing and it never seems to happen? 

Our bathroom is really coming along! I'll post some pics soon!

Let's get goin'!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are too busy sleeping away while they should be doing more important things...like baking, or wrapping, or shopping, or writing posts for you.

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, December 7th: (Special thanks to 
Brooke (@HallBro) from Brooke and Michael, Erin (@Midnite592) from Dreaming with MidnitePam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, The Gassy One (@gasfamily) from The Gas Family, and Dawn for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. How many times have you moved and do you have any tips?

2. Do you have a budget for the holidays, or just keep sliding the credit card and have a heart attack in Jan?

3. What is the one medical thing you avoid like the plague?

4. What your least favorite Christmas song?

5. This Christmas are you spending more, less or about the same? Why?


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1. How many times have you moved and do you have any tips?
Do we count back and forth to college? I say no. So...4 times. That is, 4 times as an adult...we moved an additional 2 or so times as a kid, but I was just along for the ride for those moves!


My tips? Liquor boxes. Sure, you can buy bigger boxes, but they're cumbersome. Liquor boxes are small, have built in lids and handles and are easily stackable and not at all awkward to carry. KEY.

Also, LABEL!! And label appropriately and sub-label! For example: "Kitchen-Dishes" "Kitchen-Gadgets" "Bathroom-Towels"...but to be honest, I think we used a lot of our towels as packing cushion. You can't over label 'cuz you can be certain that when you're spending your first night in your new place that you'll be looking for your can opener ALL OVER and you can't find it, but if you've labeled well (I'm talking OCD labeling)...BOOM.

Can. Opened. 

2. Do you have a budget for the holidays, or just keep sliding the credit card and have a heart attack in Jan?

We're pretty much "heart attack in January" people. I have a general idea of what I want to spend, but usually, I just spend until I get the job done.


I try to equally use our checking account and store credit cards (store savings, baby!) so that it's "doable"...but yeah. No hard and fast budget.

3. What is the one medical thing you avoid like the plague?

No one thing in particular, really. 


I have this...thing on the side of my nostril that I need to get removed and I've been stalling on that. For one, 'cuz I asked to see a plastic surgeon to have it removed (vain much?), for two...do you have any idea how sensitive noses are?????? and for three, I got the referral quite awhile ago and there was some miscommunication (I thought they'd call me, I was supposed to call them) and now it's been so long I'm embarrassed that I haven't called.

So that's really the only thing I avoid much.

4. What your least favorite Christmas song?

Oh goodness...until yesterday, I didn't realize I had so many. There was a little Twitter debate/Facebook poll and wow. People need to stop making bad Christmas music.


Here are my standouts:
Merry Christmas, Darling...makes me want to vomit.
Christmas Shoes...Ugh. Dying moms in Christmas songs? Awful.
I Wanna Hippopatomus for Christmas. ANNOYING.
That song that says "A whoop de doo and hickory dock blah blah blah don't forget to hang up your sock! It's a merry little Christmas time." Ranks along side Hippo.
Santa Baby. Like my mom says, "There is no space for sluts in Christmas."

I'm sure this list is longer...but that's what I can come up with right now!

5. This Christmas are you spending more, less or about the same? Why?

'Bout the same. See question 2. Every year it usually ends up being about the same...unless one of the kids asks for a big ticket item, which they usually don't unfortunately.

Yes, I said unfortunately. Why? Because I'm so sick and blasted tired of the cheap, plastic CRAP that they ask for. Little hunting figures or Polly Pockets that are certain to be lost before the end of Christmas Day, not to be found again until we do a toy purge and then they're usually the first to go.

Weird, I know, wishing my kids would ask for expensive things. It would just save a lot of wasted money on things I know will end up in the garbage.

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You have until tonight to enter my iPad case giveaway!

Have a wonderful weekend...we have our first Christmas celebration this weekend! Yay!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!

I had all intentions of getting this up earlier, but I ended up sleeping of a headache...it seems that I so often leave work and wind up getting a headache by the time I get home? Thoughts? Please share.



Anyway, it's gone and now I've got a 3 hour nap under my belt which is a FABULOUS thing to do right before bedtime, right? Ah, no.

Okay, so I can get this posted right away, let's get to the questions!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are too busy sleeping away while they should be doing more important things...like baking, or wrapping, or shopping, or writing posts for you.

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, December 7th: (Special thanks to 
Brooke (@HallBro) from Brooke and Michael, Erin (@Midnite592) from Dreaming with MidnitePam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, The Gassy One (@gasfamily) from The Gas Family, and Dawn for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. How many times have you moved and do you have any tips?

2. Do you have a budget for the holidays, or just keep sliding the credit card and have a heart attack in Jan?

3. What is the one medical thing you avoid like the plague?

4. What your least favorite Christmas song?

5. This Christmas are you spending more, less or about the same? Why?

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

And there they are! See you in the morning!

Oh! And don't forget to check out my iPad case review/giveaway! It's a good one! 



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