Sunday, November 30, 2008

The LIttle Christmas Bell

I love the holidays. For Thanksgiving we always go to the Oldest Sister's house.

These noodles, of course!

Her youngest daughter is the absolute bestest noodle maker I know. (The funny thing about our family is that the best cooks seem to be the next generation, rather than our generation.) I'm very thankful for these noodles. They are part of our Thanksgiving tradition and it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Becca's noodles.

Another Thanksgiving tradition is to race home and put up the Christmas tree.

The best Christmas memory ever? This little ornament....

When we were little, my brothers and sisters and I whiled away many hours of Christmas anticipation by playing "Hide-the-Bell". One person would hide the little bell and then the others would try and find it.

5 or 6 years ago at Christmas time, my mom told each us to pick our favorite ornament and take it home with us. I chose the bell, and my gardening sister has never gotten over it. (Only because she didn't think of it first!).

For years, she has threatened to steal the bell. My own children worry and stew about this each year. For two years, the bell remained hidden, but this year I convinced the kids that we should display the bell. After all, how much fun is it to have the bell if you hide it away?

So, this year, we put the bell out and displayed it in a special place, guessing that the gardening aunt would be looking for it in the tree.

Just imagine our dismay when we came home from church this morning to find this note in place of the bell. Our greatest fears had been realized! It was GONE! The Gardening Aunt had finally done it! She had STOLEN the Christmas Bell!

No. Not really..... Just the humor of the gardening aunt at play.

Dear Sophie and the others
(how did she guess that it is Sophie who covets and worries over the bell the most?)
It's me, the little Christmas Bell.
I'm not where I was before.
I've moved!
Can you find me?
Here are 3 clues:
Bells don't grow on trees.
Bells have guardian angels.
Bells don't travel long distances.
I hope you find me before Christmas!
The Little Bell.

We did find the Little Bell....
and another tradition continues to the next generation.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why Don't They Stay Little?

Yeah! I found the camera battery charger (under a basket that I keep receipts in), and the phone (in the couch), and a flashlight (while looking for the phone), and the remote (in a different couch...along with a remote that doesn't even belong to us). Now, it's back to tormenting the dogs...

You know, when we got Victoria, she was so small, so cute, so shy. I love her one blue eye, one brown eye. And the vet was so sure she wouldn't be any larger than 20 pounds...or so.....

And baby Sadie...isn't she sweet?

She puts up with so much......

Victoria and Sadie are BEST FRIENDS. BFF's forever.

Don't all BFF's act this way? Neck-to-neck, tooth-to-tooth?

So..I can't believe this tiny puppy grew up to be this big dog...

Notice the table in the background. Yes, she is really that tall. Same puppy that Sophie used to tuck down into her sweater to keep her all warm and cozy. Now she can stand up and put her paws on Sophie's shoulders. I guess she didn't get the 20 pound memo.

And this sweet baby? Sophie can't pick her up anymore. Notice the stool in the background. She is about the same size as Victoria. Trouble is, she's only 3 months old and is still maintaining her same growth rate of a pound a day.
Good thing she's a slug.
All is well at the zoo.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where oh Where

Would someone please tell me where our channel changer, telephone, and most importantly my camera battery charger are?

Have they been borrowed by bowerers? Or maybe carried off by a member of the zoo? Or maybe they just evaporated into thin air?

The two most likely places for electronic doo-dads to disappear to would be the black hole of the boys' bedroom. But alas, we went through every tub, every container, every blanket, every piece of clothing lying every place and came up empty-handed.

The second most logical place would be the playroom/tv room/book room/hang-out room. I did sweep a large pile of debris from behind the couch, but alas, not anything I was looking for.

After 6 hours of searching....nothing. NOTHING!

I can't download pictures because my camera battery is dead, or I'd download a picture of me with a big ole' frown on my face. Instead I think I'll go look for chocolate....

Sighh....... Sympathy anyone?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Auntie's Artic Adventure, a very Martha Experience

What happens when three Martha Stewarts get together?

You get an Artic Adventure* complete with princesses...

And knights in shining armor to protect them.

Every kingdom needs a black knight so the good knight will have someone to defeat, right?

Here is the Matriarchal Martha with a Martha-in-training.

And every kingdom must have a baby Knight in training.

(Don't chew on the sword, please)

"I'll protect you!" says the brave Daniel.

The princesses must stand together and unite against the evil knight that threatens them!

Doesn't she make a beautiful princess?
Check out that tiara!
(The real Martha Stewart would approve, don't you think?)

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most Marthiest of all?

Is it the one who creates the songbooks for the campfire sing-a-long?

Or the one who is in charge of the castle-cake-decorating-activity?

This two year old definitely has "the gene". Look how serious he is about his cake decorating!

Is the most Martha the one who applies princess tattoos to the little princesses?

I think these are some tired little girls.
Being a Princess is a lot of hard work!

Certainly, a very successful Artic Adventure!

*Auntie's Arctic Adventure: Each fall Prince Charming's sister invites the entire family to her home for a theme party. There are games, crafts, activities, and of course singing around the camp fire, smores, and talk of sleeping outdoors in tents (which, in the 8 years of this tradition, has never happened, but each year we like to pretend that THIS year is the year we will be brave and sleep outdoors by the fire underneath a starry sky.)
It was a wonderful Arctic adventure!
Thanks Marthas for making it a wonderful memory for us all!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It Will Be Just Fine

Remember when you were little and your biggest worry this time of year was to find the "perfect pumpkin?"

Remember the joy of roasting marshmallows and getting them "just so"?

There's nothing quite as good as a s'more on a chilly fall evening. Especially one shared with your little cousin that lives far, far away (far enough away that it isn't cold there!)

Did that taste good little one? Did it taste better because Grand-daddy fixed it just for you?

Sorry....must slip in Sadie picture....

S1, the oldest, who lives far, far away in a land of warmth and sunshine, came to visit us last week. She brought her Daddy his grand babies.

2 little Grandsons. So sweet. Not a worry in the world (as long as their mommies are close by)!

Sweet little grand daughters. Their biggest worry right now is to make sure their clothes match.

Remember the hayrides of your youth? The fun and laughter. That warm feeling that comes from being with friends and family?

Who gave that kid a piece of gum?

Every kid should have an aunt and a couple of uncles just the right age to play with.

Aunts who hold your hand and sing songs with you and
mother you so your real mother can take a break
Uncles who torment you and play pretend.

I long for the days of childhood where a good fire, a mommy and daddy close by, and toasted marshmallows made all the problems of the world go away.
For right now, though, I worry. I worry about the elections and how far our country has sunk... How far we have come from the morals and philosophies that our country was founded upon.
I worry about the future for the babies and their babies.
Good thing God is on His throne and I can turn those worries over to Him.
He has a plan.
For each of us.
He is in control.
It will be just fine......

Go check out my friend Sticker's Blog.
Single Mom-of-four-extraordinaire, making it work. She could benefit greatly if Obama is elected, but she isn't voting for Obama. Check out her blog and find out why.
(unless you are a child, in which case have your mom read her post first).
Amen, sister, Amen.