Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I used to love watching Bill Cosby's "Kids Say the Darndest Things" since I am not old enough to have seen the original show hosted by Art Linkletter. That's not say I didn't see reruns and clips of the show on cable. Nevertheless, I got a kick out of hearing what these kids would say about things like love and the Easter Bunny. That was before I had kids.

Now I cringe when I hear some of things that come out of my son's mouth. Most of them are things that my husband or I have let slip out of our mouths. (I have taught my kids at school that actions made in anger have unintended consequences, but I haven't mastered that concept myself yet.) The strangest things my son has ever said have come from his daycare. Glad to know my $350 a month is paying off. The first thing he came home saying was, "I'm going to tell my daddy on your butt" followed by his dialing a pretend cell phone and saying, "Hello, Daddy?" (Who says that?) He finally stopped saying that but replaced it with this little gem, "You're not invited to my birthday." He has since modified this statement for the holiday season by saying, "You're not invited to my GOD's birthday."

It's as if children try to think of the most hurtful thing they can imagine to say to get back at a mate. Of course, what could be more painful to a three year old than not being invited to a friend's birthday party or being left out of Christmas. I giggle on the inside when my son says this because, little does he know, that if I'm not invited to his birthday there will be no birthday. Then I become the adult and have a one sided conversation with him helping him to understand how hurtful he was. He usually responds with a blank stare and returns back to whatever activity he was doing before I insulted his intelligence.

My question is, when do children learn that words are just as hurtful if not more than a slug in the arm? As an elementary school teacher, I hear no end of mean things pouring out of children's mouths everyday - even Kindergarteners . Some days I spend just as much time teaching the use of kind words as I do teaching math, reading and science. I can only hope that my lessons make a lasting impression.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Some Assembly Required...Not When Daddy's Away!

Many of you out in the world of Christmas toys might have had quite an evening with the "some assembly required." I didn't have any of that to worry about, but did have to wrap presents by myself since my husband is still away.

It was all I could do to get the youngest to go to bed. I ended up going to bed with him and then debated with myself whether the presents really NEEDED to be wrapped in order for it to be Christmas. Rational heads prevailed and I dragged myself out of bed at 12 something in the morning worried the dog would wake up everyone. The next morning I woke up with the oldest and realized that Santa's goodies were still sitting by the fireplace. I tried to feed them to the dog who on any other occasion would have stolen them off the plate but, instead, snubbed her nose up at them as if to say, "I am not your garbage can." The oldest ended up running them out to the dumpster since my mother's words were echoing in my head, "You are not a garbage can." I guess the dog had heard it enough too. In the end the lack of sleep was so worth watching the youngest try to open presents from Santa.

We have left the tree up for Daddy, but when he gets home he can wrap any presents he may bring. I will be going on a Mommy Vacation. Any suggestions?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve Crafting & Christmas Day

We had fun last night turning ice cream cones into Christmas trees. James probably put more frosting in his tummy than on the cone.

Caitlin was very meticulous where she wanted here colored sugar.

The results can be seen below:

These are the two that went to Santa with bottled water. We always have to do things a little different around here. Especially when mommy forgot to buy milk.

Christmas Day we opened presents at home and then went to Nanny's for a late lunch. After lunch, James passed out in the arm chair watching Sponge Bob Squarepants.

Gramma gave Cait a new iPod Shuffle to replace the one that was stolen on the school bus. Cait was ecstatic! (Don't ask what she was doing bringing her iPod AND Nintendo DS (also stolen) on the bus. We still don't know. Gramma was a softy and replaced both of them!
Gramma was excited to receive her Scrapblog book and calendar.

Nanny (Aunt Rose) is looking spiffy in her favorite rose decorated outfit.

We enjoyed our time together. I hope you had a great time with your holiday plans.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Curses, Foiled Again!

How many of you out there have a favorite set of sheets? I do. They were a gift from my mother, and whenever I put them on my bed, I feel so comfortable and cozy. Around the same time, she also gave me one of those really squishy things you slip over the mattress to make it last longer and feel comfier. Well, I hadn't used them in a while because it seems since my husband has been away that whenever I do use them, my son causes some catastrophe to occur that I must immediately remove them.

Yesterday, I finally decided that my son had been catastrophe free (no throwing up, no wetting the bed or spilling drinks.) So, I decided that, since it was so cold out, that I should put my favorite sheets and squishy thing on the bed. Man, it really made all the difference in the world. I slept until 7:45. Who would have thought something as simple as sheets and a mattress pad would change your sleep pattern? Even my son slept until 8:15. That, however, turned out to be a problem.

8:15 - "Mommy!"
"Yes, James"
"Uh Oh!"
Out of the room comes a little boy holding a wet pair of underwear. Tell me it isn't so. The Curse of the Three Year Old Boy continues.

So now I am off to the laundry room to wash my favorite sheets and squishy thing. Considering how well I slept last night, it will be worth the nuisance.

Tonight, however, James will sleep in a Pull-up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Have a Secret Santa

Yesterday, I opened up my front door to find a box of fudge, a box of expensive chocolates and this....

Isn't that cool? I had to hide it from my kids. Some of these are candies my friend Renee and I would get at the 7-Eleven when we were in junior high school. It was a weekly ritual.

I have been trying to get her on the phone, but she has been mysteriously unavailable. If it's not her, I can't imagine who it could be.

NOTE: I spoke to Renee, it wasn't her...that left my neighbor who has seen me chasing after my son as he ran away down the street. She knew how much I as in need of chocolate. Thanks "Neighbor."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Playing with the Camera

Outside of my town I saw this sunset while leaving the babysitters house.

There is a big issue about the deer population in our town. Personally, I don't mind them. Yes, I have lost a flat of flowers to a deer, but I figure we have built our houses on their homes. The least we can do is put up with a few chewed plants. There are people in town who encourage deer by feeding them (this is illegal). There is a plan in place to allow bow hunting of deer in town to limit the deer population. I disagree with this. Where else can you just be driving through your neighborhood and be able to see a family of deer hanging out in someone's front yard?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Little Christmas Cheer

Click here to create your own video

Well, I figured if we can't all be in the same place in real life, I would create a virtual family get together.

The funny thing is James keeps saying, "Play it again." Then he waves at his daddy and laughs at how silly we are. He doesn't seem to tire of seeing it.

So here's to James...Play it again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Friends in Faraway Places

The one thing people could say about me is that I have never met a stranger. I could immediately strike up a conversation with someone in an airport, queue, or conference without hesitation. My experience on the internet, by sheer nature of the beast, has had to be a little more conservative in my meeting of people. Nevertheless, I have "met" some interesting people through my interactions at Scrapblog and SIStv. Both places are positive sites designed to foster creativity and camaraderie among a diverse group of people. I enjoy going to these sites for inspiration but also for the interaction with people from all over the world.

One of these people is Chimene whom I met on SIStv . Chimene's eye for detail, photographic style and creativity has led her to be one of my favorite scrapbook artists. She recently started a blog to display her work which can be seen at the Art of Dutch Vink. I only wish I had the time to try some of the many interesting techniques she uses on her layouts.

Chimene has been kind enough to bestow this award upon me. Along with this sticker came these words:
This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of the prizes are cut, even more friendships are propogated. Please give more attentions to these writers! Deliver this award to 8 blogger’s who must choose eight more and include this clevery written text into the body of their award.
Far more important than this award, my experience in the blogosphere has brought me friendships, many of which are more than virtual. To these friends, I pass on this award. For the sake of their privacy, I shall refer to them by their internet moniker.

Miruspeg - Middle Age Ramblings
Mrs. Peel - Mrs. Peel's Avenging Adventures
MusicJan - Saga of Our Home
MJ - MJ's Sputterings
Flygirl - Moments in Time
BMWGirl - Tucker Wolek Clan
Sharmaine - 4 Squirts & a Dollop
Merryhear2- Certified Paper Freak

Thank you for being my friends...some virtually, some more so. I enjoy the interaction I have with you.

Signing off today as MommyVictory.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

There have been several versions of The 12 Days of Christmas out there, but this one is my new favorite. It is a 1998 performance of an a capella group called "Straight No Chaser" (SNC) from Indiana University. I heard it on the radio yesterday and promised myself to look it up when I got home...I actually remembered, so here it is. (You might need to pause the Playlist in the sidebar.)

Coincidentally, the kids and I went on our annual journey to Belton Lake where they have a display called Nature in Lights. Enjoy the pictures while you listen to SNC sing this untraditional version of an old Christmas standard.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Two Turtle DovesThree French HensFour Calling BirdsFive Golden Rings!!!Six Geese A-Laying
Seven Swans A-SwimmingFive Golden Rings
Eleven Maids A-Milking
Nine Ladies Dancing10 Lords A-LeapingEleven Pipers Piping (Sorry for the blurry pic)Twelve Drummers Drumming
It was worth the hour's traffic on a country road to listen to James ooh and ahh over the innumerable light displays.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas is Coming

My favorite Christmas show came on today-"Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown." There are so many reasons why I love this show. It's hard to pinpoint the main one.

Growing up, we used to watch all of the holiday movies including the original "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman," and "Santa Claus is coming to Town." The problem with all those movies is they scared me for some strange reason. The puppets in these movies and Grinch were just a little too creepy. "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown," however actually shared the true Christmas story of the birth Christ. I felt that this was one of the few times people actually heard the true meaning of Christmas outside of all of the commercial hype.

Another reason I love this holiday special is the music. Lucy & Linus theme song featuring everyone dancing on stage hopping back and forth from left to right bobbing their heads accordingly makes me smile.

Vince Guaraldi (1929-1976) is the amazing jazz pianist who composed the scores for all sixteen of Charles Schulz's Peanuts movies. Something about his style is so recognizable to me. I can hear a song on the radio and just know that it is one of his tunes. Funny thing is, until recently, I didn't even know his name...I would just say, "Wow, that sounds like that Charlie Brown pianist." Even though I know his name now, I may still call him the Charlie Brown pianist. :-)

Regardless of the reason, I am just glad my kids and I were able to enjoy at least one of the few holiday traditions I had growing up.

What is one of your favorite holiday shows or movies?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I should have stayed in bed.

Every now and then I write about those kind of days when you would should have stayed in bed. Thursday was one of those days.

It was a typical Thursday where I had to pick up Caitlin from school and run her over to the dance studio. I called my mother to see if she could pick my son up so I didn't have to run back and forth between the studio, house and daycare. Unfortunately, she had made plans and couldn't do that for me, so I had to take James with me.

After Caitlin's class, I went to dinner with the kids to pass the time until my dance class. Upon returning to the dance studio, Caitlin said that James was asleep. Not wanting to disturb him, I asked Caitlin to stay in the car with him until he woke up (usually only takes about 5 minutes.) Caitlin had a novel and the car radio to keep her company. I kept leaving the studio to check on them and James stayed asleep through the entire class.

After my class, I went outside only to find I had run down the battery. You should have seen a studio full of women trying to read the instructions for using a jumper cable under a single street light at 9:30 at night. We finally figured out what to do and had to figure out how to open the hood ("bonnet" for my friends of the Queen's English.) Then we had to locate the battery. Time to get out the car's instruction manual and stand under the street light again. Come to find out, the car doesn't have a battery under the hood, only a post for charging it should such a situation arise. The actual battery is under the back seat. Who's bright idea was that?!?

Even after letting the charging car run for a while, my car would not start. My friend, S, drove me to the local auto parts store that had closed at 9:00, so we went to the Wal-Mart service department. We read the catalog to determine which battery to buy and found that there was no such battery even listed in the catalog...Huh?

By this time, my mother had come to pick up the children and drive me home, and S's husband T had arrived to install the new battery. Since there was nothing I could do until morning, I decided to leave the car in the parking lot overnight and take part of the school day off on Friday and get a tow truck to take the car to the car dealer.

Well, I found out why Wal-Mart doesn't carry that battery....Not even the dealer had a battery. It's because it was a special $169 battery (three to four times the cost of a regular battery) that is supposed to last 6 years. The dealer had to search the parts stores for one especially for the car. When it was all said done, including the tow truck, I spent $270 (£184.)

Merry Christmas Victory Clan. When you go to your stockings hanging on the fireplace this year, you will each find a copy of the service receipt. Ho ho ho!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Tip? I'll Give Ya a Tip!

This may seem petty, but yesterday I went to get tea from my favorite restaurant...You know the one with the big giant billboard on the highway that says, "Tea, 46 cents!" Never mind that that the sign is falsely advertising cheap tea, since you can only get that price between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00. Nevertheless, I went to get my tea and not knowing whether they would be honoring their proclaimed price. The carhop said, "50 cents, please." I handed the him a dollar, and he quickly returned with my beverage but no change. I looked at him questioningly but said nothing, to which his reply was, "Oh, did you want your change?" I said, "Yes," and quickly took my 50 cents and left.
Now, I know in the big scheme of things 50 cents is a mere pittance, and this young man probably only makes minimum wage. But isn't it rude to assume that I am going to give you a 100% tip for bringing out a glass of sugar water? Furthermore, what would be an appropriate tip for such a task - 15%, 20%? Doesn't that then defeat the whole purpose of the billboard advertising 46 cent iced tea? Don't get me wrong. I am all for generosity. My mother taught me that I shouldn't be going out to eat if I am going to have to worry about how much of a tip I am going to leave. I was just surprised when he didn't return with my change, and it is because of THAT, that I didn't give him a tip.

Am I wrong?...let me know what you think. I promise not to drop you from blog reader if you disagree. :-)
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