Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Christmas Meme

One of my Pampered Chef customers sent me this, then I found it on Cindy's blog. It looked fun, so I thought I'd do it, too!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
If it's easy to wrap, I'll wrap it, but if it's got an odd shape or I don't have a box big enough or small enough, I'll use a gift bag. Those are harder to load into boxes, though, when we travel for the holidays.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Artificial. I love the smell of a real tree, but you get more for your money with an artificial tree because they last longer than three weeks. Plus, the boys are allergic.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Always after Thanksgiving. Sometimes it's the week after; sometimes the week after that. It all depends on our schedule and if the boys are home with us or staying with grandparents for a week. They would die if we put it up without them!

4. When do you take the tree down?
We take it down a few days after Christmas - always before New Year's Day.

5. Do you like eggnog?
I can't stand it, but Billy loves it. So does our cat.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I really can't remember, but photos show me riding around on a inchworm and a tricycle on Christmas. When I was older, I was thrilled to get a Merlin electronic game (Daddy tricked me by putting a banana in the box because I had bragged that I knew I was getting it...). Other favorite gifts were an Atari, a bicycle, and a Pac-Man phone. (I think I got those when I was in middle school or high school.)

7. Hardest person to buy for?

8. Easiest person to buy for?
Caleb and Jacob

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
I have a Fontanini nativity set that I keep up all year long. I "hide" baby Jesus after Easter and put him back in the manger after Thanksgiving.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I mail them, if they get sent at all. Last year we made our own cards to send, but I don't think I'll have time for that this year. I'd like to send out cards with the boys' picture on them, but I might not get around to that, either.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Although I'm sure there is a worst, I can't think of it right now. Most likely it was a white elephant gift.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
We can't get through the holiday season without watching these at least once: A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Carol (with George C. Scott), and A Charlie Brown Christmas. I also love Holiday Inn.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Ha! When I have ideas and money. Inspiration usually hits me sometime before Thanksgiving and I start making lists, but I wait to buy until the sales start. I do not go shopping the day after Thanksgiving, though. I'd rather pay the few extra bucks to skip the crowds!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I've definitely recycled white elephant gifts, but I don't think I've ever done that with a real Christmas gift.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Turkey, ham, and sweet potato casserole.

16. Lights on the tree?
I can't imagine a tree without lights! We have a pre-lit tree, and it's really nice to not have to untangle endless strands every year. What I want to know is this: Colored lights or white? I honestly can't remember what ours are right now; we've had both. I guess it'll be a surprise!

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Carol of the Bells, Silver Bells, White Christmas, and Christmas Canon by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
We always travel. Christmas Eve is with Billy's side of the family; Christmas Day is with mine.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph, and Olive (the other reindeer)

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
I think we've been using a metallic gold cloth star ornament near the top.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Eve with Billy's side of the family. The boys get their "Santa" presents on Christmas morning, then we open presents with my side of the family on Christmas afternoon.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Definitely the crowds at the stores and malls. I try to go during the week when everyone else is at work. That's worked nicely in the past.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I like handmade ornaments. I've made different ones the past several years: beaded and sequined balls, Christmas spiders and snowmen from clear glass beads, and crocheted snowflakes.

24. Favorite dessert for Christmas dinner?
Sweet potato pie!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Just to spend time with family.

26. Any special Christmas traditions?
None other than what I've described above.

I'd love to read your answers!

Monday, November 24, 2008


I've been needing to get the boys' playroom and their bedroom cleaned out and rearranged for some time now. I started on the playroom back in April, then put it all on hold until October. It was looking better in some areas, but still cluttered in others. Their room was horrible! They have too much stuff and everything doesn't have a place. They're also notorious for "losing" things under the bed and for just throwing things into the closet instead of putting them where they belong. (Well, those things that actually have a place.)

Saturday morning, as the boys were hauling their many Hot Wheels cases into the playroom for a day of racing, Billy decided we needed to tackle it. We had no plans for the day, so we got busy.

We moved Jacob's old toddler bed, which had been serving as an unused "couch" and general hiding place for stashing tubs of Legos and K'Nex, completely out. (And by "out", I mean it's standing on end in the garage while we figure out what to do with it. There's some sentimental value since Billy made it himself.) Then we moved the toy box full of Little People in front of the window where the couch had been. (The boys don't play with them anymore, but we decided it'd be good to have on hand when our friends with small children come over.)

Next we unloaded the countless Play-Doh sets and containers, puzzles, and games from the plastic shelves we got at Home Depot a while back and moved that to the boys' room.

Billy took down the train table/race car track and moved all of that from the boys' room to the playroom. Then we pulled out the tubs of various cars and Hot Wheel tracks and sorted through them, getting rid of some broken and unused things and consolidating others. Those we stored under the train table in its new location, along with the numerous Hot Wheels cases.

We took all the games out of the top of the closet and off the top of the dresser and stacked them on the shelves that we moved to the boys' room. Then we were able to put the Lite-Brite and Play-Doh things on the closet shelf. The dresser top still has a little clutter that I need to take care of, but not much.

Whew! I'm tired. And I'm not through yet, though that's all we tackled over the weekend.

I'd like to get another set of shelves for the boys' room so we can put their puzzles, Legos, K'Nex, etc. on instead of just shoving them under the bed or stacking them in the corner. Then again, that might make it look cluttered again...

Maybe when I finish cleaning out from under the bed, I'll find some of the tubs will fit under there. My goal is to be finished with it all by Christmas so I won't have all that stacked on top of what else needs to be done.

And speaking of Christmas, I think we're going to just add to what they have (Hot Wheels and miscellaneous car things, Legos, K'Nex, books, games, etc.) and not add something new that we'll have to find another place for. (Hint, hint.) :o)

Blog Analysis

I found a link to a Blog Type Analyzer through Bag of Nothing. Curious, I typed in my blog address and this is what it said:

"The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. They enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions."

For the most part, it's pretty accurate; however, I DO like to plan ahead, and I haven't had trouble with any of the management positions I've been in (either professional or personal).

How does your blog reflect your personality?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Used To

Here's a silly little iPod meme I came across on a friend's Facebook page... I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you'd like to join in, please let me know so I can read your answers.

1. Put your iTunes on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 10 friends who might enjoy doing the meme as well as the person you got the meme from.

If someone asks, "Is this okay?", you say...
Beautiful One (Jeremy Camp)
Suck up...

What would best describe your personality?
Sing a Song (Third Day)
Not quite, though I do sing alone in the car. Loudly. When the boys are with me, they ask me not to sing.

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Saved (Kutless)
That's a good thing!

How do you feel today?
Second Wind (Petra)
Truly, though it's about gone...

What is your life's purpose?
Give (Third Day)
Certainly feels like it sometimes!

What is your motto?
Realize (Colbie Caillat)

What do your friends think of you?
Broken Vow (Josh Groban)
Well, I hope not!

What do you think about very often?
Come Away with Me (Norah Jones)

What is 2+2?
Not What You See (Kutless)

What do you think of your best friend?
Tell Her about It (Billy Joel)

What do you think of the person you like/love?
Even Then (Nichole Nordeman)

What is your life story?
Redemption (Switchfoot)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Come One, Come All (Mercy Me)

What do you think when you see the person you like/love?
Down (Kutless)
Not sure what this means...

What do your parents think of you?
Only One Thing (Todd Agnew)
And what would that one thing be?

What will/did you dance to at your wedding?
Because of This (Mercy Me)

What will they play at your funeral?
Come Ye Sinners (Todd Agnew)

What is your hobby/interest?
That's Why God Made the Moon (John Elefante)
Astronomy? I have a telescope in storage...

What is your biggest secret?
All the Time (Jeremy Camp)
And I'm not telling, either!

What do you think of your friends?
Everything Is Broken (Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
Okay, most certainly not!

What's the worst thing that could happen?
Your Glory Goes On (Mercy Me)
Maybe these last two should be switched...

How will you die?
Romans 12:1 (Todd Agnew)
A living sacrifice? Hopefully not literally!

What is the one thing you regret?
On Fire (Switchfoot)

What makes you laugh?
Home (Daughtry)
Yes, I probably laugh at home more than anywhere else.

What makes you cry?
To Where You Are (Josh Groban)

Will you ever get married?
Thank You (Mercy Me)
I did!

What scares you the most?
Crazy (Mercy Me)

Does anyone like/love you?
Happy Together (David Cook)
And we are!

If you could go back in time, what would you change?
Take My Life (Third Day)
Sounds bad, doesn't it?

What hurts right now?
Daydream (Jason Castro)

What will you post this as?
Used To (Daughtry)
And sometimes still do!

This was fun! Thanks, Ashleigh!