Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Christmas that wasn't. And was.

So, very long story, very short, the Christmas we thought we would have with Dea and Darius - hoped we would have - went as things often do, very awry.

The whole thing has me in angst and sleeping isn't coming so easily. Sadie came in to 'fnuggle at 2:15 a.m., and I've been up thinking about it ever since.

The boys had both made some really poor choices over the past few months and continued to enjoy the benefits of living in our home without putting much effort into actually participating in our family. We feel hurt, disrespected, and used.

As we watched the Christmas we had planned fall apart, Trey and I realized how often we treat the Lord with the exact same disdain and disregard.

We love the benefits that belonging to the kingdom brings. The gifts. But we take for granted the call to pursue the union. To participate in the relationship, giving ourselves to it wholly, wanting nothing more in return than what has already been given. We are easily distracted by anything and everything that pretends to offer us "joy". The "joy" is artificial and temporary and pales in comparison to the one true joy that was given to us that first Christmas centuries ago.

In this circumstance, we feel hopeful and are learning about how to love these boys without treating them like, or having them act like, our personal Angel Tree Project. We have invited them in as sons but for this to work, it has to be about more than a warm bed, clean clothes, food on the table whenever they feel hungry, and a chauffeur. If it's going to be long term, it has to be about family - for us and for them.

We've asked that they spend the week at their mom's apartment to give us time to pray about this going forward and we've asked them to pray about it as well.

Our pastor used this quote on Sunday from the movie, Shadowlands; "Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn, by God, you learn." It struck me as so true. This whole thing is painful because we love these boys and want the very best for them. We're learning about mercy. And about when mercy limits mercy. We're learning about the darkness in our own hearts of pride and selfishness. And we're learning more about a God who left paradise to come and dwell among us, so that we could be welcomed into His family and our hope could depend on more than our own successes or failures. That our hope could rest on one who has loved us from eternity past and into eternity future and who refines us, even with fire, so that our name is His name.

Please pray for the boys, and for us as we swim once again into some new waters.

If I were still at the Theta house, now would be the time I would walk downstairs and get another bowl of Lucky Charms from a big tub that was available for times such as these. And while I'm kind of spilling my guts - sometimes, when I'm mad or hurt, I say bad words.

It's true.

*

Friday, December 26, 2008

A little somethin' sunny.

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful day celebrating with your family, friends, and eating your weight in cookies and Peppermint Patties.

I'm assuming, for the sake of assumptions here, that the majority of people who read my blog are women. With that being said, I will further assume that most of you have done a slew of Christmas shopping, baking, delivering, and class party planning over the last several weeks. Furthermore, I will assume that, in all your shopping, serving, quilting (not really), tree decorating, and general selflessnesslessness, that a little sussy, just for you, might make you smile.

If you happen to be a gentleman, then this would be the perfect treat for that little lady in your life who's made your Christmas delightful. That phrase sounds like something my grandmother would say.

Guess what?!?!?! I have just the thing!!!

Adeline over at Etsy's Intrigued has gorgeous, unique, beautiful, charming, one-of-a-kind jewelry and she sent me these earrings to give to one lucky winner! I love her creations. They're perfect for gifts or to keep all to yourself.

The colors are great and warm and will be perfect when you need a little mid-January sunshine!

Head on over to her shop and look around. Then, come back and leave a comment. Aren't I bossy? I know. I'll draw a winner on Friday, January 2nd!!!

*

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Because isn't this what everyone is doing this time of year?

I'm interrupting my raging sinus infection to take care of a little blogging. This could be my very last post because, well, I could die of the afore mentioned raging sinus infection. I don't know why I don't run as fast as I can to the doctor at the first sign of a sneeze. Instead, I try Zicam and extra doses of vitamin C thinking it will stave off the inevitable. Not so much.

Maybe my sense of impending death was only sub-conscious sympathy for Olivia's fish. Our day started with the discovery that, while we're were resting all snug in our beds, Caddy Woodlawn ate Olivia's fish, Erin. She was spending the night with a friend so I had the brilliant idea to simply go purchase a new one and replace the, um, one who had gone to a better place. Then I remembered that I live with six children who relish nothing more than telling their sister, using as many words as possible, what happened to her beloved sea-dweller.

We certainly should have seen this one coming. The other night, Olivia woke us up screaming at the top of her lungs, "She's gonna die!! She's gonna die!!!" As Trey grabbed her and tried to figure out what happened, he heard, "...fish", and sent me running into her room to save the pet in peril.

Erin was on the floor next to a spilled water bowl. Flipping. I'm going to admit I hesitated. In a flash, the thought of one less pet to feed appealed to the practical side of me. But in the end, I did the right thing and picked up that slimy beta with my bare hands (shiver) and flopped it back in her bowl.

Caddy would not be deterred. She would come back with a vengeance.

So along with doing a little fish replacement, I also spent the day helping our neighbor, Kim, with a school project. Her assignment was to interview various health care professionals and then put together a binder and presentation with all the interviews.

One of the requirements was a mortician.

Unfortunately, he had to reschedule at the last minute because of an emergency. (Shiver again.)


On a positive note, seeing this place, with it's iron security doors chained and padlocked shut only cemented my resolve to beat my raging sinus infection.

Next was our neighborhood doctor's office. They fit us in between patients which I'm sure made those guys ecstatic. The fact that we never got the Dr. to clearly tell us where he had graduated from medical school gave us some pause, but my only criteria was whether or not he could prescribe a Z-pack. When I'm sick, my standards drop significantly.


What is it about this sign in the office window that makes me nervous?

The fire station was our final destination and they were great. I think, honestly, it had been a little slow that afternoon and our little interview broke up the monotony. The fact that they threw in a station tour at the end only confirmed my theory. We saw the engine and everything.


At the very end of our interview, the firemen got an emergency call. Like a six year old, I got all giddy and took pictures of them leaving the station. It was awesome.

On our way home, a sweet friend called and was dropping of dinner at our house. Seriously, it brought tears to my eyes. With all I had to do still, and how terrible I felt, dinner was absolutely the last thing on my mind. It was an incredible blessing from an unbelievable cook. Our whole family, and then some, ate like kings.



Now, I'm simply looking forward to spending some special one-on-one time with my pillow tonight. Prayerfully I'll wake up feeling better tomorrow and ready to celebrate our Saviors birth.

Good night.

*

Friday, December 19, 2008

Since you're probably already in the kitchen.

It's been a fun week of celebrations around here starting with a last minute visit from my friend, Kitsie.


We met in Nashville before we had children and have prayed and laughed each other through four kids each. She was my first phone call, in hysterical tears, when I found out I was pregnant with Graham. At the time, Tee was two and Olivia was five months old. Sobbing, "I CAN'T BE PREGNANT!!! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WHOLE, 'NURSING IS BIRTH CONTROL' THING? SOMEONE'S FOR SURE GETTING A LETTER ABOUT THIS ONE!!!" I love her more than words, and tolerate her husband Ray who, for some crazy reason, Trey loves like a brother.

For my birthday, she gave me some Buxom Lip Gloss. Oh, my stinkin' goodness it rocks. It made my lips so voluptuous and, well, Buxom. It may come as a shock to you that Buxom has never really been a word used to describe my build. A more accurate description would be, say, 'skinny white girl with no moves'. I love this stuff so much I've thought more than once about the benefits for other parts of my body. Anyway, moving on.

Speaking of my birthday, I had one this week and thanks to so many of you who sent your birthday cheers my way!

Each Christmas, our Supper Club girls get together for dinner and an ornament exchange which, has indeed, turned vicious more than once. Not really, the truth is, everyone is so painfully nice about it, sometimes I want to see a little scrappin' just to keep things interesting. Just look at those faces, you know they're secretly thinking, "I wish I'd taken her ornament while I had the chance. Now I'll have to tell her it's tacky and wait to buy it in her next garage sale."

Usually, we do a potluck dinner but since there was going to be just seven of us, I volunteered to host and cook. Basically, it's less than the number of people I cook for every night anyway and, although my friends are fabulous cooks, I was concerned they might not feel the need to put bacon in as many dishes as possible, thereby putting the kibosh on my whole menu.

I used some recipes I hadn't tried before because I live on the edge. Sometimes, I also go to bed without washing my face but that doesn't always turn out so well. This risk, on the other hand, worked like a charm. Delicious was every bite! Seriously yummy and I can say that without bragging because I had absolutely nothing to do but follow the recipes. No creativity required.

And now, because I'm incredible organized and efficient, I'm going to list the dishes that made up my Birthday/Christmas Ornament Exchange Dinner so you can make the entire meal for someone you love soon.

Just let me know what time I should be there.

HoodMama's Birthday/Supper Club Christmas Ornament Exchange Dinner

Easy but Delicious Puff Pastry Appetizer

Pecan Crusted Pork Tender with Red Onion Marmalade

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Spinach Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette Dressing

Melt in Your Mouth Biscuits

Chocolate Italian Birthday Cake


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Homework

Some of Darius' friends were over tonight doing their homework when one of them asked for help.

"MaMelissa, could you help me with this problem: the sum of the interior angles of a polygon is 24 more than 38 times the sum of the exterior angles. How many sides does this polygon have?"

Um, no habla mathpanol.

Then, with semester projects wrapping up, Sebastian asked Trey to read his final draft.

"Sebastian, you totally copied this verbatim from the computer."

"No, I didn't. I wrote that myself."

"Son, the first word of your paragraph is Manifestation. Why don't you tell me exactly what manifestation means?"

"Yeah. Uh. It's something nasty. Real nasty."

Almost, Sebastian...almost.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Party in da hood.

Last night, in our humble abode, we hosted the Second Annual Mercy Street Family Christmas Party and White Elephant Gift Exchange and oh what fun it was.

Here's the post from last year and I will say, the 2nd annual was looking like it was going to be a little less stressful. Not that it should have been stressful last year but speaking with an angry tone (translate: yelling in tears) at my husband about plates - in front of my mother-in-law, certainly didn't help me to get that whole laid-back vibe going. The difference this year may have to do with the fact that I cashed in on Trey's Mother's Day gift to me which was a day of house keeping. Lupe, the angel in pink sweatpants, and her daughter showed up at nine and cleaned until three. When I walked in from picking up carpool, I almost cried. And I'm not kidding even a little. The smell of Fabuloso Lavender is a scent so intoxicating, I didn't care what kind of plates we used; as long as they were Christmas-ey, but not tacky-Christmas or cheesy-Christmas. Ok, I still cared a little.

Not having to clean my house top to bottom gave me time to get everything else taken care of in plenty of time for the party to start without speaking in an angry tone to anyone.

Even though we had a day of crazy weather in Dallas and the high was only 32, we had a great turnout and enjoyed a yummy dinner as you can see here...


And the White Elephant gifts were awesome, especially the one Joey brought...

Oh, can you not see anything? Yeah, that's because about five minutes before the party started, our POWER WENT OUT. NO POWER. NOTHING BUT DARKNESS. D.A.R.K.N.E.S.S.

We lit every candle in the house, every votive, every taper, every sconce, and every pillar. By the end of the evening, we had a great blend of 'Holiday' candle mixed with 'White Linen' and 'Orange' along with Mexican food which was thankfully kept all piping hot on chafing dishes. With that little cocktail for the senses, the wine was just a bonus.

We had no heat but a roaring fire, and we asked every guest to say something positive about having a party totally by candlelight. I loved the fact that no-one could tell I didn't really have time to do my hair or put on lipstick, and my mother in law, and Hannah, thought everyone just plain looked better by candlelight.

My children thought it was the best thing ever. Maybe because they could hide in a dark corner, drink Cokes, and eat an entire box of Peppermint Bark without being seen by anyone. They've been studying the Settlers this year in History and thought it was great to get a feel for what life was like before electricity. Olivia said, "They would just light candles like we did, but I don't think they had 'Aloha Orchid' back on the prairie." She's a thinker, that one.

This morning, our power was still out and it was cold and dark in the Hill house which smelled faintly of burning logs and Chili con Queso. We reminisced about the fun party, the good food, and the crazy electricity, but we were most thankful for the amazing staff and board who have partnered with us in this ministry and who, no matter the circumstances, radiate the light of Christ wherever they go.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Now would be a pretty good time.

We've had ourselves a pretty fun and festive Christmas weekend chock full of miscellaneous Christmas parties and festivities. I'll write more about those later but what I need to talk about now are the stinky teenagers living in my house. More precisely, one of the stinky teenagers.

Last night, one of the boys, who will remain nameless (Darius) went to dinner with his mentor and was dropped off at his friend Monkey's house to spend the night. Sounds fine doesn't it?

And fine would it have been had he not told Trey and I he was going to spend the night at his Momma's house. Momma and Monkey may start with the same letter but they are not the same person, or house.

Instead relaxing after our last Christmas party of the weekend we were tracking down Darius. This involved several late-night phone calls and a road trip for my very frustrated husband. Not exactly the way Trey wanted to end his Saturday night if you know what I mean. Wink. Wink. You know, watching the Office on TiVO in our pajamas. Tee hee hee hee. Wait. What did you think I meant?

Anyway, by the time they got home it was midnight and we all went to bed agreeing to talk about it in the morning after church. This was correctly interpreted by Darius who was up, showered and dressed, reading his bible by 7:05 a.m. Trey and I went to bed praying for wisdom beyond our years and experience and woke up praying for the ability to correct without condemning and asking how in the world were we supposed to discipline this one.

Our morning sermon was on the second coming of Christ and how we wait in anticipation, much like children at Christmas, for the gift that we know is coming. To be free of our fallen bodies and souls and see Jesus face to face is overwhelming. We, along with all of creation, groan with longing for a moment that will come like a thief in the night.

I don't think I've ever wanted Jesus to come back more. I wanted to be rescued from having to deal with a child who isn't mine but whom I loved like he is. Who had sinned against us in the same way I had sinned so many times against my own mother at his age. He was acting like a typical fifteen year old but, a year ago, we didn't have a fifteen year old and we didn't know exactly how to move forward. The four year old thing, we own that. We're pros. But fifteen, we got nothin'. I wanted His return to rescue me from relying fully on Him to handle a situation way beyond my experience in parenting.

Instead of returning, the Lord did something else that we have to trust is His perfect provision for now. He gave us boldness and wisdom to speak into this child's life in love and in honesty about what he had done and who he is. He gave us the ability to recognize that we weren't looking to catch Darius but, through a random series of events, he was found out because the Lord wanted to protect him from himself. His sin was exposed so that it would not compound upon itself and so that he could be reconciled.

This is a long road and we feel incredibly unequipped to handle what may lie ahead. I'm not using 'incredibly' or 'unequipped' lightly. Our prayer is that the Lord who's hand has been upon these boys, protecting them in the midst of chaos since they were born, will remain upon them, upon us all, and that, in our incredible weakness, His strength may be made perfect.

Or, that He would go ahead and come back right... now...or...now.

*

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Who's the Genius Now?

One day, after Trey and I had been married a couple of years and living in Nashville, my husband stumbled upon something on the internet that has forever changed the way we look at one another.

An I.Q. test.

He, of course, being the most competitive person in all of Creation, immediately took the test and, low and behold, the results showed that he was a certifiable genius. Certifiable, yes. Genius? Hmmm. I think he also got a coupon for a free oil change with the test so I was a little skeptical.

He persuaded his best friend Ray to also take the test. Again, genius.

Now I really started to get suspicious and decided, if Trey and Ray could be geniuses, then dogginit, so could I. Plus, we had two cars so we needed another coupon for the oil change.

Anyway, not so much.

I tested slightly above average; certainly not genius.

Now where do you think that's left me all these years? Yes, that's right. On the losing end of every argument ever since. "I'm for sure right on this one, baby, 'cause remember, I'm a genius."

FOILED AGAIN!!!

In certain circles, I look like the most submissive wife ever but, those close to us know it's just because, who can argue with the free internet I.Q. test that comes with a coupon? Can I get an Amen?

Really, I think the smartest one of the bunch was Ray's wife, Kitsie, who opted out of the test altogether. Her I.Q. remains a mystery and that makes her a genius in my book.

Yesterday, though, we may have seen a chink in the armor of our resident brainiac. A cold front blew in and dropped the temperature about 30 degrees. Trey, being unprepared as he was, jumped out of his car and rushed inside to quickly get out of the cold. In his haste, he locked his keys in his car. While it was still running.

Well, that's ok, let's just get the other set and open the door. Oh, what's that? We don't have another set? Hmmmm. That presents a problem....a problem only a genius could solve. Or a locksmith, whichever was available first.

Now, because I'm all too aware of my own faults, and I don't want to sound like I'm throwin' Trey under the bus while sitting on my intellectual high-horse, I need to be honest about how I spent my afternoon.

Instead of taking care of all the things I have to do on my Christmas list, I bought fake dog poop at the toy store and laughed hysterically each time I tricked one of my poor unsuspecting children or my husband with it.

"Oh, NO!! Look what Caddy Woodlawn did!!! YUCK!!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

So he may have, in haste, made a foolish error, but I laughed my head off at it because I have the sense of humor of an eight year old. I guess we're a match made in heaven.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Brotherly Love

A few days ago, Tee and Graham were arguing and generally producing mayhem in the car and had been told to "simmer down" more than one million times. Although I firmly believe in first time obedience, my children are still up in the air on the issue.

Something, unseen by me, escalated the situation and both were told they would receive a consequence when we got home. Translate, S.P.A.N.K.I.N.G.

Enter weeping and gnashing of teeth.

When we got home, Trey took both boys upstairs to give them each four spankings.

He had them explain to him exactly what happened and during the explanation, Tee confessed that it actually wasn't Graham's fault, but his own and Graham really didn't deserve to get a spanking.

Let me pause this story to say that this is a rare, rare occurrence in our home. Our children are of the age and predominate heart condition that there is always someone else to blame. As I reread that, I think it matters less about the age and more about the predominate heart condition because I find myself doing the exact same thing much of the time. Needless to say, pigs flew, Hell froze over, and I ate vanilla ice cream without hot fudge sauce.

Trey was so surprised he almost fell out of his shoes. Tee stuck up for his bro' and threw himself under the bus in the process. As Trey was picking himself up off the floor and excusing Graham from his consequence, Graham asked if, instead, he could take Tee's spankings for him.

Say wha'?

"Daddy, can get a spanking instead of Tee?"

Note to self, when I'm cast opposite Brad Pitt in his next blockbuster and I need to cry on command, remember that moment. Check.

Trey was dumbfounded and conflicted for a minute. Tee was obviously as conflicted because he was nodding his head but saying "No way, Graham!" at the same time.

In the wisdom that attracted me to him in the first place, Trey decided to let Graham take half of Tee's punishment for him. He felt that, although it wasn't fair, it was right. He needed to honor his son's prompting to love someone greater than himself, and to be willing to suffer in his place. He needed his other son to see how much he is loved and how, when he defends the cause of the innocent, mercy abounds. It gave us a teachable moment where we could talk more about the perfectly innocent Son who took on not half but all of our consequence so that we could have life with the Father. Each boy received two spankings but loved and respected each other more when they left the room than when they had come in. Through the process of sin and consequence, they saw an aspect of the Father's love in one another they had not seen in the backseat of the car. And we were giving a gift as parents we won't soon forget.

Thank you, Lord, that you were pierced for our transgressions, you were crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought our peace was on you; and by your wounds we are healed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Something for your Saturday afternoon.


Have you seen the billboards for the I Am Second campaign?

They're intriguing to say the least, so I spent some time on the site this afternoon. The photography is by Trey Hill, not my husband, and is spectacular. Spectacular.

The videos are honest, real, and point to the First and the Last. The Alpha and Omega. The Author and Perfector of our faith who beckons us, "come".

Go look around and let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Vintage Ornament Giveaway Winner!!!

Ok, I know I need to announce the winner of the vintage Christmas ornament giveaway but first I just need to thank all of you who encouraged me yesterday in the midst of our lice lockdown.

Your comments, emails, phone calls, and cash gifts were incredibly helpful. Oh, did you not send a cash gift? Yeah, um, it's a new custom. In Dallas. Yeah, um, whenever a child gets lice, or really any other disease carrying parasite for that matter, everyone sends the mom cash gifts, usually in multiples of 20, for her suffering. And her chapped hands from all the chemicals and laundry. Cash, no checks. Small bills, please. I know. People are so great.

Oh, I kid.

Seriously, it made me feel so much better to know so many of you had been in my shoes. I loved all the tips and lice stories. Hilarious. My favorite was my friend who's children got it while her mother-in-law was staying with her so, in an effort to not freak out her husband's mother, did a covert extermination process. In camo, in the cover of night. She basically hid in the bathroom treating her children while her husband distracted his sensitive mother with magic tricks and feats of strength.

We're all clear and ready to go and my house, surprisingly, smells not like Tropical Breeze Gain, mayonaise, and Tea Tree Oil, but of dog vomit because Fern and Scout decided they'd get in the pantry last night and eat an entire box of Pop Tarts.

Ok, onto the important stuff!

The winner of the Vintage Ornament Giveaway is Gayle!!!!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

16

Timestamp: 2008-12-05 11:27:55 UTC

I used Random.org to pick my winner. Many of you are probably wondering why I didn't just put all the entries in a bowl and take a picture of one of my children drawing while standing in front of my perfectly decorated Christmas tree. With six children, that process would have involved crying, pouting, whining, and me having to perfectly decorate my Christmas tree and I just didn't have it in me. Instead, we made s'mores and everybody was happy.

Big thanks to Leslie at Leslie Jansen's Shop for the great eye candy and thanks for all of you that entered! It was fun!

Have a great weekend!

*

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Seriously? Am I being punked?

Let me begin by saying that I really did hesitate writing this post for about five minutes. Then I decided that, if you can't be brutally transparent with your internet blog friends, who can you be brutally transparent with?

Now, that assumption may break down at some point but, for right now, I'm going for it and don't try to stop me. You may regret that later but let's move on.

For the past several days, we've been getting emails sent home from the school that went something like this..."Blah, blah blah...lice outbreak...blah, blah, blah...check your children...blah, blah, blah...infestation."

So, if you can't already tell, I wasn't that worried.

We checked all the kids heads and sent them on with the all-clear-thumbs-up of two parents who have never had lice and honestly, wouldn't know what to look for if our kids had it anyway.
Proving my point was the phone call from the school I received at precisely 9:30 am.

"Olivia has lice. Can you come pick her up? Loser."

She didn't really say 'loser', but that's how I felt. That and a slight twinge of nausea since, as soon as I hung up the phone, I had to walk into Chapel School and grab Sadie where she was already surrounded by little girls all wanting to share hairbrushes, headbands, hats, and pillows.

Exaggeration is what makes the world go round, don't you think?

Ok, anyway, LICE!!!!!!!! Shudder. Gag. Shudder.

Olivia has lice. Do you know what that means? It means that I picked up that little blonde bombshell and took her infested self to the drugstore for some pesticide and a lollipop. We spent the rest of the day going from the shampoo station to the nit-removal station and back again.

After we had done this little rotation about infinity times, Trey told me I should stop "nit-picking". HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Knee-slapper, Trey. Knee-slapper.

Oh, yeah, then I did about one kadjillion loads of laundry, vacuumed the entire house nine times, sprayed every square inch down with some concoction I'm sure is illegal in the six states including Nevada, and washed everyone's hair in the house with the pesticide shampoo. We actually looked on the internet to see if dogs could get lice. They can't so we've got that going for us.

This is where I ask for any advice you can give me to expedite the extermination. Anything? Anything? Bueller?

On the plus side, the lice shampoo did make my hair soft and silky with plenty of volume and bounce so I'd consider working it into the regular shampoo rotation IF IT WASN'T FOR KILLING DISEASE CARRYING PARASITES!!!!!!

To keep Olivia occupied while I picked through her hair like an orangutan I popped in the movie Annie. We love a good musical and I thought Olivia could relate to Annie because, being in an orphanage in the United States during the Roosevelt Era, Annie surely had her fair share of run-ins with lice. And can you imagine going through that hair with a fine toothed comb?

Yikes! I'd think Miss Hannigan would insist on buzz cuts for sure.

So, it's been a hard knock life over here today and I'm tired and ready for bed. I'm praying that we'll wake up tomorrow and be free from this present nightmare and that it will not spread to any of the other children.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow. You're only a day, away...unless the lice isn't gone, then I'm hiding under my covers.

And just to clarify, if you put your name in the hat for the Christmas ornament giveaway, I'll draw Friday morning. Don't worry, it's been hermetically sealed in a mailing envelope in my car since I got it so it is all sanitary and ready to go! Promise!

Ya'll have a great day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm sure it will be a positive trait someday.

Olivia, made the mistake of losing a tooth over the Thanksgiving break and found herself without a visit from the Tooth Fairy. Two nights in a row.

She was more than a little irritated.

I told her the Tooth Fairy was probably on vacation. Perhaps she'd eaten too much pumpkin praline pie right before bed and couldn't tear herself away from her cozy, cozy pillow until at least nine each morning.

Total stab in the dark.

She didn't buy it. Not one little bit.

Last night, I found this note on my pillow...my cozy, cozy pillow.

DEAR MOM:

I'M PROBABLY ASLEEP RIGHT NOW BUT IF I HAVEN'T TOLD YOU ALREADY; (She didn't use the colon, I added that. I don't even know if i used it correctly.) IF THE TOOTH FAIRY DOESN'T COME TONIGHT, I WON'T BELIEVE IN HER ANYMORE.

FROM: OLIVIA

Is that a threat? Uh, yeah, ahem, the Tooth Fairy got off her duff and made an appearance last night with a cool crisp dollar and has cemented Olivia's belief in the little twinkling lady once again. At least for a little while.

And I think she's gotten, burp, rid of all the pumpkin praline pie.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Vintage Ornament Giveaway.

Surprisingly, my husband, who hates to shop, loves him a little Black Friday mayhem. This year, there were too many stores opening at the same time that had something he thought we needed so he made me wake up with him at the stinkin' crack-o-dawn and go stand in line with a bunch of other crazy people.

I was 0% successful. He was 100% successful and I heard about it for the rest of the day.

Plus, when I got home, I pulled the car into the garage but realized I'd forgotten my house key. I didn't want to wake anyone up by knocking so I sat in my car, in the garage, for a good 30 minutes waiting for my professional shopper to get home and let me in.

It was a great start to the day, let me tell you.

I decided, I was going to do absolutely as much shopping as possible on-line this year because venturing out into the chaos with small children really should be avoided at all costs, so that should pretty much cover shipping.

One of the places I've loved treasure hunting is Etsy. Many of you may be way familiar with this website but it's a little new to me and I'm in love!

It's full of handmade goodies from around the world. You can find distinct and creative gifts for everyone on your list and you never have to get out of your slippers and Thanksgiving pants. Score.

Each Christmas, some friends and I have a fun dinner and ornament exchange. We're big fans of old finds with character so this year, I bought a great vintage ornament from Leslie Jansen's Shop. I love this store! She has great vintage textile items and some fun holiday gifts. She fashioned my ornament from vintage keys, a vintage earring, and green gingham wired ribbon.

Leslie was kind enough to send me this additional ornament to give away to one of you! Score, again!

It would be a great addition to your own tree or wrap it up and give it to someone special.

Check out Leslie's shop and then come back and put your name in the comment section. Be sure to include your email so I can let you know you won! I'll draw a name on Friday, December 5th and let you know who the lucky winner is!

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