Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Non-Traditional Christmas Letter

I actually love getting Christmas letters with Christmas cards. I enjoy getting to know my friends' kids through these yearly letters and hearing about their jobs and vacations. However, I often wonder about everything that is left out of these letters. I didn't do a Christmas letter this year but here are some things I would have probably left out...

  • We got our first call from the principal last month when Carson punched a schoolmate, causing him to bleed (OK- so this kid had been teasing Carson for months but my first grader did hit someone and this is never excusable).
  • My eldest son, i.e. the offspring of an English teacher, made a D on a book report he worked on in class for three days. The worst is that it was barely a D. He said he got "distracted" and I was thinking "for three days?" He is going to have to rewrite it over the holidays. I am such a witch.
  • All of our animals are somewhat crazy. One of our cats now uses the sandbox as a litterbox and we can't use the sandbox anymore. It is about to be remodeled into a playhouse with the sand dumped into the woods behind our house.
  • We went to the Gulf Coast this year and that's it. No wild vacations, no romantic getaways, no pictures with Mickey Mouse. We stayed in Prairieville. We go to Baton Rouge every few weeks; does that count as a vacation? I didn't think so.
  • Lila is really cute but she must be held 90% of the time and she poops like there's no tomorrow. She also drools.
  • I am a housewife. That means I do a lot but talk about a big yawn to describe in a newsletter! And what woman doesn't do all that I do? It's kind of like writing "this year our whole family breathed and had pulses every day!!!" Big whoop-de-do.
  • Our hobbies... well, that's always hard because we really don't have any hobbies that truly count. Is child-rearing and all that it entails a hobby? Kevin goes to the LSU games but that couldn't really be counted as entertainment this year (at least not for LSU- maybe for the opposing teams). We watch TV together and like reality TV... wait, are you falling asleep as you read about our sad existence? I am going to start making up hobbies. This year it will be tornado chasing and sky diving.

Here are some of my other favorite things I have read in people's newsletters in the past that made me chuckle: one described their son as "trying his hardest" at T-ball (read: he sucks), another described their job as challenging (read: I am not up to my job title), yet another described their job as "comfortable" (read: boring as heck). I also know that anytime someone describes their child, husband, or life in general as too perfect that they are lying.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Not a creature was stirring except two little mice!

Carson and Despereaux
Both boys and their mice in their little exercise balls. Jake also had to be part of the photo! The mice make him nervous.

Cool place for two little mice to live! They sleep in the upper level.

Here are some shots of the boys and their mice. Despereaux is white and is Carson's mouse. Darth Vader is primarily black and is Cullen's mouse. Both are girls despite their masculine names.

Merry Christmas

This Christmas I took very few pictures. This one of Lila is actually one of the few I got. I actually was enjoying everyone and everything so much that I forgot to get out the camera! I also cannot seem to get a good shot of the boys' "big" Christmas present (by big I mean most exciting). They wanted pets this year (like I don't have enough creatures to take care of already) and as we decided what to allow Santa to get we went from an iguana, to a bearded dragon, to a gecko, back to bearded dragon, then to mice. The pros of mice are as follows:

  • Cheap. Both the mice and their habitat would have cost about $80 but of course Santa got them and we all know children view Santa's pockets as bottomless. Bearded dragons and their habitats cost Santa upwards of $400 and Santa likes to keep things even for all of the children all around the world.

  • Short life span. Why is this a good thing? Well, if I were a nice mom I would want my children to never experience the pain of losing a pet. However, I am a practical mom and I know their attention spans are still short. Therefore a pet that dies in 2-3 years is a good thing. Bearded dragons live over 20 years! I do not want to retire with a "beardy" in my house.

  • Easy... yes, mice poop and they will probably stink a little too. However, the boys' room already stinks of little boy sweat all the time anyway so a little more odor doesn't bother me. I have thought of keeping the kitty litter and Lila's diaper pail in there as well to make it where just one room in the house stinks. Also, bearded dragons need to be misted with water and be fed live food. If I did that daily for an animal then that animal would then be getting more attention than my husband, which is not quite right. I only mist Kevin every other day and he never gets live food. He's lucky if he gets chili dogs and oven fries.

  • Mice also don't gross me out or scare me. I don't like reptiles and am still confused about where my reptile lovers came from. I think it may be part of an evil experiement. Or maybe it's God's way of keeping me versatile.

  • They are funny. I like the way mice run around. Call me simple minded but it's cute to watch them in their little wheels.

So Happy Holidays to everyone as we begin the real twelve days of Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Cullen and his good friend from the neighborhood. We love him and would keep him if we could!

I cannot believe that it is snowing! No, we haven't moved... we're still in sub-tropical South Louisiana. The boys have really been wanting to see snow and we had thought about going on a vacation somewhere where there is snow. Now we don't have to! God just saved us thousands of dollars. He also probably saved us some frustration as well because after about an hour the boys were inside playing with Legos, having deemed the snow "too cold" (duh). Kevin has gone to work despite the winter warnings so we're just hanging out at home! It is amazing to look out of the window and see this.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Tis the Season to Wrap Gifts

I love wrapping presents. I usually have some wrapped before we even get our tree up and the tree just doesn't look complete without presents. In fact, I think it looks kind of sad and empty after Christmas is over and there is nothing but empty space and maybe a few birthday presents for me underneath! Here is the top of the present I have wrapped for my newest little niece, Cecilia. The ribbon and felt snowflake are from Stampin' Up! and the little fleur de lis spoon came from You R Invited in Geismar.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Baby is Seven

I can't believe that Carson is seven today! He will always be my baby. My friend Angela Whitaker has read up on birth order information and she says that if there is a five year or more gap between children the birth order starts over. That means Carson will have the tendancies of a last born (i.e. "baby" of the family) and Lila will have characteristics of an only child. It makes sense if you think about it! That is what I try to remember when Carson still comes and gets in our bed at night (scared) or asks me to rub his back until he gets to sleep (just with one finger- he is very specific). Two nights ago he fell asleep on top of me on the sofa and at sixty pounds and over 4 feet in length it was comical. Reminds me of a big Golden Retriever puppy... they just don't realize how big they are and neither does Carson! He was hanging off of me but he was happy as a clam. I was smushed. He says he is going to live with me forever but he adores girls so much that I doubt it, unless his wife moves in with us too.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Where the heck does Cullen sleep?

Lila has been sleeping for TWO HOURS straight and I have done more work in those two hours than a team of Merry Maids could do in an entire day. I was going up to Cullen's bed (top bunk) to try to change the sheets when I saw this (see photo). Good Lord, where does this child sleep? Why does he need to sleep with so much junk? He and Carson both remind me of little crows or Gollum (sp) from The Lord of the Rings series because of the way they covet and shelter their little treasures. I have no such love of all of their junk and I am the opposite of a pack rat. I am a Throw-that-crap-away rat. There has been more than one occasion where they have happened upon something "special" of theirs (which can sometimes be confused with ordinary trash or junk) in the trash can. When that happens and they get upset I'm always up and arms saying things like "Oh my goodness! How did that get in there? I am so glad that you found that piece of lint/broken toy/nasty rock before the garbage man came!" What I am REALLY thinking is "Man, I need to use garbage bags they can't see through." Needless to say I have decided not to change Cullen's sheets until he tidies up his bed. He will be very sad indeed if I end up having to tidy it for him.

Happy Birthday Kevin

Today is Kevin's birthday. Poor Kevin gets little celebration these days with Carson's birthday being the very next day. I don't think he really cares that much but I feel a little bad that the last time we had a real celebration was the night before Carson was born when I had his family over to celebrate Kevin's 30th. Now I won't come right out and say how old Kevin is but Carson is going to be seven tomorrow. I can hear your wheels turning.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Gifts Class

Every year I do a Christmas Gifts class and this year is no exception! Here are photos of the projects. One project is not shown because I don't have all of the supplies yet. The project not shown is a gift card tin. We will use a stainless tin and decorate it with gender neutral holiday paper and add ribbon and an adorable felt snowflake. I will be using these tins for my teacher gifts this year (with a gift card inside, of course!). They are also a good way to wrap jewelry. The total cost for the class is $14, which is an absolute steal! I really don't know what I was thinking. It is at my house on Friday, December 12 from 4:30-8:30 (open house- projects should take under an hour). Please let me know right away if you'd like to join me as I do have limited spots available.

Glass ornament with stamped image... classic!

This will be my Christmas card this year as well as a class project. It's a card that can double as an ornament. It comes with a dark brown square envelope. I checked with my postmaster and it won't cost extra postage to mail these! I am putting a photo on the back of mine.

A classic set of informals. I did my sample using red ink but you can use whatever color ink you want. The ribbon and layering paper will be olive (no options there). Of course I have the whole alphabet set so you can use whatever letter you want! Instant gift.

This is perhaps the simplest but also maybe the best little gift. It uses a while tile from Lowe's and black Staz On Ink. That adorable little chef is from the set "Voila" and "Bon Appetit" is stamped on the bottom. I simply colored in his scarf with a sharpie. This is meant to be used as a kitchen menu or notes dry erase tile. You can't scrub/clean the stamped images but you can clean all around them.