Thursday, December 31, 2009

3 pm on New Year's Eve

Well, we finally found someone willing to hang out with us (X 2 kids) on New Year's Eve! The Hagel Braids are coming for a kid friendly dinner and festivities. I had most things I needed on hand, but did make a Super Target run this morning. I drove out of my way to go to Super Target because I thought I would only need to load and unload the kids once. Let's face it.. two toddlers consume extrodinary amounts of time just to get out the door in winter. If only they allowed MN grocers to sell liquor inside their stores. (Lobbiests - are you reading this!)

Dinner menu - (check) Beef Stroganoff (in my crock pot since 9:30 am), fresh green beans, bread. That should do it. I have fresh salami from Costco, cheese, crackers and olives for snackie fair. Heidi is bring something desert orientated.

Table Setting and decorations - (check) Table is set with china and white napkins wrapped with that silver tinsel stuff 75% at Target. The kids have blue demin napkins. Also last night I took much of the red off the Christmas Tree and add silver tinsel stuff. I took the green garland off the banister and put up some silver garland stuff we use around New Year's Eve when entertaining.

Liquor - (Sort of)... I have red wine on hand, one bottle of champagne, vodka and tonic, and I asked Mark to pick up a bottle of white and another bottle of champagne on his way home. (Back to my rant that they should be able to sell liquor at the grocery store.) Yes, this is too much for 4 adults.

NYE fair including those cracker pull/pop things, annoying noise maker blowers, etc. specifically for the Dean, Marly and Cale (DAMN IT!) I have just discovered I left an entire bag of items I purchased at Super Target in my cart in the parking lot at Super Target (DAMN IT - Again!) Well... that was money well spent! GRRR... often I feel pleased with myself once I get BOTH Twinners back in the car and buckled in, since one of them always starts to cry about SOMETHING, and FOR SURE they will throw a fit about who gets which car seat. Today is was Dean bawling... and TODAY I left half my merchandise at the retailer. Here at home, I thought - Okay, I have a whole package of white balloons Mark had for something at the 'Bou. I'll spread those all over the floor downstairs. That will add some hoopla! (DAMN IT!) I think I recently asked Mark if he was going to bring those back to store. He must have listened to me for a change!

Too late now! We will have to go with it! Shoot - lemons and limes were in that bag too...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday after Christmas

Christmas has come and gone... and still no photos. I just don't have the patience this moment to download while the kids are napping. Actaully, I desperately want to catch just few minutes of rest myself. Afterall, this is my vacation time too. Honostly, I am typically too high strung to take a nap these days. I simply feel there are too many needs to attend to in my home, so even when I try, and can't relax enough to sleep.

Yesterday I hosted a play date for anyone who wasn't working. It was a delight to see my friend Molly with Charlie and Owen, Jenny with Vivi, and Gretch with the kids - and to have them for lunch. I really enjoyed getting time to talk with my gal pals while the kids played. Let's face it, having small children makes many of us feel a bit isolated, each in our own way, so I needed this time with them. Gretchen stayed overnight, so we got some real quality gab time too.

All is mellow today, but the kids still have snotty noises. I geared up the kids, pulled the sled up and down the street, and then we made snow angels. Mark would be happy to see me enjoying my precious time with my wee ones.

The Thomberg's still have no definite plans for tomorrow (New Year's Eve).

Wishing you all a SAFE New Year's Eve, whatever your plans.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday after Christmas

It is the Monday after Christmas. Daycare Cindy is off this week, so I am also off this week. It is great to have time away, and time with my children. All is quiet at 7:40 am. In general, we have had a quiet Christmas... which can be mournful to me actually.

We had a great Christmas Day with Mark's immediate family. We cruised up to Kelly's, socialized, ate and opened gifts! Everyone had a very nice time.

Beyond that, we have been here at home. I hear co workers and friends talk about heading to their parent's house, hanging out, and spending a few nights, even those that live nearby...and then I get a little sad.

You see if my mom were here (and well) we would probably go out to the country and spend a few days, just like everyone else. We would hang out and probably encounter quick visits with friends and relatives. (Who are are busy with THEIR family.) Weather wouldn't be an issue. We would do this and that. But alas, there is no where to go. I face this logistical fact every year, multiple times a year, and the long and the short of it is it makes me pretty darn sad - and really disconnected too.

It isn't so much that I miss our actual house at the farm. It is just that things are really different when your mom dies (even if it was 9 years ago). Today I miss her as "Grandma," when I use to miss her as "Mom". And...for me at least, the natural born 'gatherer' and entertainer of the family is gone. I don't know how to fill that role in my space and time in life.

My heart hurts deeply, because I always refer to the country and farm as home...and I guess it may be time to change my definition. But...I really am not ready...and I know I NEVER will be.

Mark has loved every moment of being at our home the past few days - the four of us. He even has today off too. We have had a nice time. A quiet time. I know Mark has truly appreciated it. Why can't I? Why can't I bask in M&D's simple play with their wonderful new toys here at home?

I must learn to appreciate all that I have. I also need to understand the Twinners will be a year older next year, and I suspect we will find more to do then ever, and them more able. I will also work harder to create new traditions for us in the years ahead. Maybe we can gather with Brett and Rachel, and have them spend the night sometime during the course of the holidays.

In the mean time, as I have sat here, thought, re-wrote, and wiped tears... the Twinners are awake - The minutes are slipping by.

Maybe I should make some sausage to go with the pancakes I think Mark may be making upstairs...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear'

That is my favorite Christmas song - A traditional hymn, not on the play list of Cool 108 during the holiday season.

Although I am not sure of the page number in the green LBW (Lutheran Book of Worship), I can picture my family on Christmas Eve, holding their books open to 'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear', while standing in a pew of a small, white country church called Trinity, in the very dark county, set out amongst the open, fertile farm land.

Every Christmas Eve the Melberg family would gather - My Dad, his older sister, older brother, and all of my cousins. Jan, Carol, and my mom would take turns hosting. No matter whose house we gathered at, we ate Swedish meatballs, sausage, and cheesy potatoes. Every year in the evening, we travelled the gravel road to Trinity Lutheran for Brett and my Sunday School Christmas program. Every year we sang "Away in a Manager" and my mom's voice would drift above the children's little voices, since she was helping lead us. Every year as we we departing, every child would get a brown paper bag filled with peanuts, a few chocolates, an apple, and an orange. Every year, we travelled back to the host home and opened gifts.

As we got older,and grew beyond Sunday School age, we went to Christmas Eve services at First Lutheran in town (where all the other Melberg's attend), where Uncle Loren sang in the choir.

Last year my aunt and uncle and their family went to Hawaii for Christmas, and we stayed in the metro. Until last year, I had never not been with my cousins and home for Christmas Eve. This year, we were set to return.

But it was snowing...

And the kids desperately needed a nap. You see, they have snotty noses and couldn't forgo a nap, and stay up late too...

So we let them take a condensed nap, tried to dress two toddlers quickly, and finally got all parties buckled into the car, and ON THE ROAD.

We hit the highway, and the car started shaking. Alas... after stopping and starting and checking again, it was only ice stuck in the tire well.

So then we got on one interstate, and the next.We slipped around the on ramp, and it just didn't seem safe...

We exited off....

I called my Dad to alert him we weren't coming. As I disconnected I began to cry. We changed direction to return home. I called my Aunt Jan, disconnected again, and sobbed in earnest...

And so we headed to our own church and worshipped as our family of 4 at Peace Lutheran. After, we stopped by the "Wings Joint" nearby to pick up an unconventional dinner. Their neon sign was bright - beaconing us to hot, fried food we didn't have to prepare ourselves at 5:15 pm. Next we hit the Red Box for movies. We ate, the kids opened one gift (a childhood tradition of both Mark and I), and we had a fire.

At the end of the night, I am 98% sure we would have made the journey to Jan's and back with out incident. I am equally sure Mark and I made the right decision earlier in the afternoon to stay closer to home.

When all was very quiet on Christmas Eve, after my stuffy nosed kids were sound asleep... after enjoying a warm fire.... after sipping wine with Mark...

I spent time sitting on my couch in my quiet living room, watching the snow fall gently in the middle of the great big metro area.

In my head, 'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear' was being played by Gail Grim on the pipe organ, in the middle of the dark county, in a small,white Lutheran church...

This Christmas, I am faithful.

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Storm...

Well, tomorrow we are suppose to be driving home to Hector and back. We hope to attend the Christmas Eve service at 5 pm at First Lutheran, and go to my Aunt Jan's after. We hope to drive back that night. Laura has kindly offered us a place to stay should we want to come earlier, and her special consideration of her metro cousins (in law) is kindly appreciated.

On Christmas Day, we are suppose to be celebrating with Mark's family at noon at Kelly's.

In the mean time, with a forboding weather forcast looming, I am stocking the fridge and pantry with supplies to make lasagna, an egg bake, chex mix and carmel puff corn. I will probably pick up a small ham and the ingredients for those cheesy hash brown potatoes I love. Just in case...

God may have alternate holiday plans in mind for us Minnesotans. For once, I will try to just let it be what it will be. I will prepare. I will pack accordingly if we head west. But, I will desperately try not to worry too much about where or when in the next three days.

Truthfully, I have worried greatly and at length about what I have not done or accomplished for and with my family and children this holiday season (cookies, festivities, time with extended family, and so forth). Maybe the impending storm will be a message for me to take to heart.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Our Christmas Card

Every year Mark and I become obsessed with our Christmas card. It's our personal thing. We try to find just the right card design to match just the right photos. In past years, I may have been known to stop in at Target, Walgreens, Walmart, etc. checking out everyones background selections. For several years, I printed them on the machine at Archivers. Last year we had family photos in November and paid a rather pretty penny to get them printed from the photographer. This year, I mentioned we had family photos taken with Deitrick Gesk. He gives you a CD after the shoot, so we used Shutterfly. Deitrick's photos also graced our Christmas cards the year we got engaged, and the following year with our wedding photo. Two years in a row, our now brother-in-law Pat took our photos. One year I was showing off my very round belly, the next year the Twinners were in matching Land's End sweaters and hats. That card had blue and red snowflakes. The backround was a red barn and Mark had on a blue sweater in the same tone. You get the picture!

With out further ado, here is this year's card, printed through Shutterfly. Unlike the actual card you may have received in the mail, the colors are washed out. I never did figure out how to take the image off Shutterfly, but my cousin Laura kindly scanned and e mailed it to me.

As for a Christmas letter, I did not write one the past two years. Because I blog, I just didn't feel I had anything to say, even though I know my blog is not so interesting that many of my card recievers read. I may go back to a tradition letter in the years ahead. I do enjoy getting them!

Every year we put several copies of our Christmas card in our little fireproof safe box. They are treasures to us and we love to examine them all in each passing year.

To all of you who send us cards and photos, they are a blessing to recieve.

Christmas with the Melberg's

This Saturday I had my family for our holiday gathering. Here is our pictorial review.

Let's start with the element Brett has deemed most important - a fine piece of red meat. I was chatting with Brett on the phone in the early afternoon and he said to make sure and take a 'before' photo.

I purchased my prime rib at a meat market/liquor store called Morelli's on Payne Avenue in St. Paul. This is neighborhood HOT SPOT know for the best liquor prices in all of the metro. It is kind of like taking a step back in time. I dropped in after work on Friday, and the place was packed with customers and staff. There is a police officer directing traffic in and out of the lot, they do NOT accept credit cards (I had my old school checkbook in hand), they do have coupons on line, and they offer carry out service. My co worker clued me in to their booming business. Her fiance is one of their liquor representatives. Saturday morning I had to run to our nearby Mills Fleet Farm to get a roasting pan with rack. I am sure we once had one, but I have no idea where it might have gone...They have EVERYTHING at Mills Fleet Farm!

Friday evening and Saturday morning I was wee bit anxious. How will I get everything done just right? I usually take my anxiety out on Mark, who remains calm. He knows I will get it all done. To combat my nerves, he decided the best thing he could do on Saturday morning was to take the kids and go run errands at Lowe's and etc. By 10:15 am I was calm again. Later in the day, Mark also cleaned, decorated, and set up the lower level while I cooked and worked on the upstairs. Everyone was dressed and waiting even before the guests arrived. There was plenty of time to pour ourselves a cocktail!

Here I am - proud to be cutting the meat, which I packed in a harb/salt paste many hours earlier.

While I was cutting, Chris was pouring champagne. What a lovely evening.

I served a sour cream horseradish sauce, fresh green beans drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt, smashed red potatoes with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, and rosemary potato bread.

Gift opening. I served Poinsettia champagne cocktails (see flute with the reddish drink on the table on the right) made with Grand Marnier orange liquor, which I picked up for a great price while at Morelli's.

Mark playing with Marly's Dora camera that goes with her Dora book.

Tonka toys - we suspect Dean can play with them outside next summer when they get their swing set!

Of course Marly loves dollies! Brett and Dad named this one 'Inga'.

Below - Marly in dress up clothing she got as a gift from Nana and Papa.

Afterwards we returned upstairs for dessert. Rachel brought a chocolate cheese cake.

This year, like every year... I am thankful for my supportive, kind and loving family, who are near me and very, very dear all year round.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another project complete

Saturday my immediate family will be coming over for our Holiday celebration. Of course I wanted to complete another project before they arrived - so here it is!

After the offer on our home was accepted, the Thomberg's took a trip to IKEA to get some design ideas for our new home. While there, Mark spotted these small frames, and recalled seeing something about creating a mural of mirrors on a wall. About $45 later we cruised away with 20 of these mirrors which we planned to place on our north dining room wall (once we closed on the house of course). Ah yes, there is so much excitement before you actually have the home and the endless projects ahead of you.

Upon moving in, the 20 mirrors took residence in our upstairs hall closet for the summer. They were at least near the kitchen & dining area. Sometime this summer, Mark slapped some primer on some of them. You see they came in natural pine or red, but we wanted white. After completing the buffet, I was chomping at the bit (in my 6 free minutes of time in each day) to move on to the next decorating feat. So for the past week and half, after putting M&D to bed, I have been sitting on the kitchen floor with a craft paint brush in hand. Meanwhile, the dishes wait until 10:36 pm to be loaded into the dishwasher (when Mark gets testy at how noisy I can be, while he trys to get desperately needed sleep... and he is right...)

Three coats were needed. They were finally finished and dry on Monday. On the way home from work I purchased 3M Command Velcro fasteners, and was itching to hang those bad boys once the supper dishes were cleared. Before I could bark my protests, Mark slapped one mirror on the wall on the lower left side. After expressing my disdain for his lack of for site in measuring, he went downstairs. I set to work cutting out 15 newspaper templates and mapping out the wall.

Once I had it just right (and had Mark weigh in on the lay out), Mark and I began to adhere the Velcro and work our way down and up the wall.

And there you have it! We stood back to admire our results. Yes, we were pleased with the light bouncing off our 15 $2 each frames. (No we did not use all 20. I did break one. Dean also broke one when he decided to walk across my project one evening.)

For true disclosure, I will alert you the lower two on the far left fell down at about 9:57 pm. (Naturally, Mark and I had been too impatient to fully follow the instructions and allow the one side of the Velcro to set for 30 minutes before attaching to the wall.) I stuck them back up. Then they fell down again at 10:27. I added more Velcro. Then again at 11 pm. I added DUCT TAPE. They were on the floor in the morning. They are now firmly attached with additional removable mounting tabs. No other mirrors have dropped and they seem secure.

In case you are curious, these frames did not have a nail hole or brackets for hanging. They came with string and little round things you were suppose to screw in. Seriously!!??? But, for about $2 what can you ask for.

Even if they had taken nails... I think we would have went with the 3M Command method. Once we got the first one up, we used the level and a 2 inch strip of paper to space them, and we just worked our way down and up the wall, sticking as we went.

Do you think I can get some free product from 3M Command? I have now mentioned then in two seperate posts!

FEEL FREE TO POST A COMMENT! I would love your opinion, even if you don't like it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blogger Shutterfly help! - Checking my list.

I am checking things off my list...slowly.

I am DONE with on-line shopping, and still busy bopping in stores for gifts this week. I am getting together a menu for my family (Dad, Chris, Brett, and Rachel) for our Christmas gathering on Saturday. I am going to search the garage for the wrapping paper tonight. I already have things to RETURN (I know, I know, how is that possible). I am DONE searching for the perfect headband for Marly's simple Gap Christmas dress on Etsy and it arrived in the mail on Monday. We are DONE with our Santa visit. I hope to hit Costco tomorrow for the RED MEAT and wine I will be serving Saturday, and will be grocery shopping Friday night. I will be cleaning and cooking Saturday morning. I am DONE sending out our Chirstmas cards (besides the two that I can't locate addresses for)...

Now I would like to post our Shutterfly card here at Thomberg Times. Does anyone know how I save the card proof as a .jpg so I can add it here? I was able to save it as a teeny, tiny photo. It is too small. Hey folks - Comment or e mail me if you have an answer. I am sure it is simple and I am missing something easy!

Other things we hope to accomplish - Holidazzle parade (Sunday maybe?) and photos at the Como Park Conservatory (probably in the days following Christamas.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The rest of our weekend

After a nap on Saturday, we headed to a the H-we's for an overnight.

Here are the kids praying hand in hand over plates of green peas. Gretchen told them if they ate their whole plate of peas, they could have holiday cupcakes. Needless to say, we quickly encountered three members of the clean plate club.  I will also note they had been playing and snacking on crackers, cheese, fruit and meat earlier in the evening while us parents socialized, but hadn't yet gotten any veggies!

We are blessed to share similar religious beliefs with Gretchen and Dan. Yup - Wild crazy Lutheran's we are. As noted above the kids are praying here. My kids went to fold their hands, but M taught them a new way to break bread with friends. Like us, the Huwe's believe in worshiping regularly with their children. Gretchen even teaches Sunday School, which I aspire to do someday when the kids are older.

The adults ate Gretchen's homemade soup after we put the munchins to bed.

M and Dean were the twins for the night in their matching Carter's PJ's. P was at Disney's Princesses on Ice, which is why you don't see her.

Sunday we headed back to the metro (skipping church!). Mark and many individuals from 'Bou had been given tickets to the Vikings game for outstanding promotion of a particular product. Papa and Nana watched the kids while we were away. Neither of us have ever been to a Vikings game. I don't ever need to go again. It is just not up my alley. Next time I will give up my seat to someone who would get more excited then I did. I kept thinking if I were at home I  could be wrapping gifts. I know, I know... these games sell out...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday's Santa Visit Update

Santa gave Marly a stuffed little penguin at the breakfast on Saturday. Marly was delighted because she has a stuffed large penguin from Kohl's, and penguin pj's. She toted the new little penguin along when we went to to visit the Huwe's later that day. Guess what - Little Penguin was left behind. Guess what - Marly just figured out today (Monday) that Little Penguin is missing. Yup, you GUESSED it - She has now cried about missing Little Penguin for about an hour.

Breakfast with Santa

This Saturday we went to a 'Breakfast with Santa' at the 5-8 Club Bar and Grill near our home. The Lyon's cruised up to the north metro to join us in Champlin for our 10 am reservation only seating.

Dean was all smiles before we departed for our morning adventure...Mark got out the camera to get a few cute shots before we left the house. I think we knew what kind of photos we would encounter when we tried to place the kids on the lap of a strange man decked out in red later on.

Marly was not cooperating for the camera. Just prior, I had put pony tails in her hair, which she gets excited about. Yup... I have alerted her even at the ripe old age of 2 1/2 that beauty may be painful. Pony's requires some pulling, but I think she was just being a wee bit dramatic, and putting on quite on act proir to snapping the shutter. She always insists on seeing her hair in the mirror when I am done tugging and tieing.

Dean was not ready for a kiss from sis by our tree at home.

At the 5-8 Club - " Look kids, isn't this fun. Look at the nice man in red!"

" Dean, It's Santa. He wants to know if you want a present for Christmas.... "
Mom and Dad are smiling.

Sorry we neglected to snap any pictures of Vivi and the Lyon's family. Not sure how that happened.

The Santa event was generally well put on, and we suspect we will be back next year. They only seat as many families as tables, and there is plenty of time to sit with Santa and snap your own pictures. And honostly folks, what could be better then eggs and sausage, a bloody mary, and Santa all rolled into one family activity!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas at the Thomberg's!

Welcome to our house this holiday season. I thought I would show you around a bit while everything is decorated. The tree and additional decorations covers the areas where a piece of furniture should be placed, or a wall hanging should be hung! It's only been 6 months, right!

Here is our tree in the red and white theme. We have remembered to water it every day so far!

We were excited to hang the snowflakes and angels made by Grandma Elna for my mom's tree. They look lovely and are loved and cherished items.

Loving our IKEA throw pillow covers on the couch. (I know, I know... we need to find somewhere else to place our giant cactus on the left and ficas tree on the far right.)

The giant poinsetta in the right hand corner is available at Costco. I picked up the little terra cotta pots (sitting on our thrift store buffet) on a nearby street from a FREE pile this summer. After purchasing the 3 little ponsiettas, I dusted them off the shelf in the garage and slapped some white paint on them. The red candle holders on the table are from IKEA. Mark just couldn't leave the store with out them several weeks back. He did discover the table runner wasn't the most kid friendly decoration/embellishment. I didn't even bother to tell him, "I could have told you so."

The kitchen door to the patio with IKEA rug. Yup, we will be applying for the engery efficiency tax credit! Is anyone else addicted to those 3M Command hooks? I use them EVERYHWERE, including on the door to hold the wreath!

Our split level entry and staircase. Since we moved in, I have been looking for an affordable bench to place at the landing. It needs something LESS THEN 30 inches. One day at Good Will I saw an organ bench for $4. I didn't buy it, and I don't know why. I am still kicking myself for leaving it there! I could have tightened the screws and thrown on a few cool coats of paint in just the right accent shade. Even if it had not worked.... it was $4! (the cost of a large latte for goodness sake!) In my head, I even have a secondary spot (in the living room below the window) choosen for the item I LEFT BEHIND. Yes I did look for it when I returned at a later date. Yes it was long gone.

Anyway, we finally settled on this bench, baskets, and mirror from Target. It cost a few more lattes. Marly and Dean each have their own basket for their hats and mittens. Dean gets very aggrivated and upset if his basket gets moved from the far left position.

Garland with LED battery lights.

Here they are, the orange stripes in our lower level bathroom. I have mentioned them before, but never showed a photo. When I asked the paint guy at Lowe's in Maple Grove to mix these shades, he told me he had NEVER heard of anyone painting their bathroom orange, and gave me a look of general distain for our choices, but we like it. You can't see it, but on the floor there are orange (as in the true color of the fruit) IKEA rugs on the floor. The towels are white.

Mark and I changed out the traditional/standard flush to wall, mounted mirrors for framed ones in both our bathrooms. It makes for an easy decorating upgrade.

Our fireplace and Charlie Brown tree (which has served me well since my St. Paul apartment days) with fun ornaments for the kids. The lower level family room paint job is complete. Mark plans to paint the fireplace framing around the doors (or whatever you call it), but we haven't gotten that far. In case you are curious, I often visit the website/blog Young House Love for affordable home improvement ideas, inspiration, techniques and do-able tutorials.

From our house to yours - MANY HOLIDAY BLESSINGS TO YOU!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Toothbrush Time & The best bathroom stool ever!

Pictured below is the best stool ever. This was my stool as a child. My Uncle Jon made it for me. The handle for easy transport makes it a FAVORITE for this mommy, more then 30 years later. When Brett and I were little, we use to stand on this stool together just like Marly and Dean, to brush our teeth. Just like Marly and Dean do now, Brett and I use to push each other off.

In my childhood, this stool lived in our bathroom WAY out in the country in our old, two story, white house, with blue trim and shutters. The bathroom in our old house was a funky green color. The tub, toilet, sink and PHONE ON THE WALL were all this stange minty aqua green. I am not discribing it right, and I am not sure I will ever encounter that shade of green again in my life. I will alert you it is NOT comparable to the green we painted our own bathroom.

Dora and Deigo spin brushes make tooth time much easier. If you have toddler and DON'T have the spin brush, I HIGHLY recommend you pick them up on your next visit to Target or Walmart. It is worth the money! Not only are their teeth cleaner, but they like using them.

This photo was taken last Friday evening. Saturday morning I took Marly and Dean for haircuts at Pigtails and Crewcuts in Champlin, so Dean no longer looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

**Yes, that is the Mrs. Meyer's Iowa Pine scent hand soap to the left in the photos, as mentioned in the previous post!**

Monday, December 7, 2009

Favorite Trivial Holiday Things

I am feeling a bit UN-inspired today, but just felt a need to post... so I thought I would mention a few of my favorite TRIVIAL things this holiday season.... (because JESUS is the reason for the season, and I can still hear my mom telling me that X-mas takes the CHRIST right out of Christmas!).

Here is goes -

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day counter top spray cleaner & hand soap in Iowa Pine scent for the holidays! It smells like the most fresh cut Christmas tree, and it is on sale at Target. I do consider high end cleaners to be a luxury, so I am currently LOVING every time I clean up my counter tops or wash my hands. Mark encouraged me to buy it last weekend... he loves it as much as I do. I had to go back this week and buy more, because I wanted to give my girlfriend Jesse some for her birthday. I suspect I may indulge in another bottle of the spray before Christmas actually arrives. Seriously folks, I highly recommend you go and indulge yourself... just this once... you won't regret it. On line at Mrs. Meyer's they appear to have pretty good deals too.

The limited edition "Silver Screen" collection from LORAC make up with 2 blushs, 8 eye shadows, and lip gloss, out for the holiday season. I haven't invested in decent make up since before Marly and Dean were born. It is hard to justify the cost when I can get two for one at Walgreen's and add on clipped coupons... but the long and the short of it is the more expensive products often do have more pigment, and I often find myself somewhat unhappy with many of the things I buy at Walgreen's. This past weekend when running errands, I bopped into Ulta to pick up the item I had seen in their ad. Of course I had an additional $5 coupon, but OF COURSE it didn't apply to their prestige cosmetics! It was still a great deal at $30, and it is making me quite happy.
IKEA - Okay, not everything there is all it's chocked up to be... but I got red and white throw pillow covers for the holidays, and they look GREAT to enhance our red and white theme. The red ones were $4 each, and the white $6. And , for regular readers... you may recall I have a bit of an obsession with throw pillows! I also got off white rugs with red stripes for the kitchen. They were $2.99 each.

Shutterfly - Our Christmas cards arrived last Friday and they turned out awesome. I can't wait to get them out. I should be addressing right now instead of typing!

Bear Stays Up for Chritmas - Marly and Dean like the 'Bear Snores On' book, and this is the author's holiday take off her first book. I love reading it to Marly and Dean.

Really, I will ask that God make me less materialistic! But in all honesty, I am sure you all know what makes me most happy and my true FAVORITE this holiday season are the Twinners, and watching their delight at the tree, the lights, and so much more to come.

Take Care all and God Bless You!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The rest of our weekend...

Friday - we strung colored LED lights in the overgrown bush near the road and our two low lying bushes in front of our house. Many of our neighbors have had their lights up for a good week... so we needed to get on it!!! Later, took the kids to their first movie on the big screen - Fantastic Mr. Fox. Marly devored plenty of popcorn and Dean was enthralled. I was glad no one had an accident and peed their pants!

Saturday - We purchased our first real Christmas tree. We had grandious plans to go to a tree farm, cut our own, and strap it to the top of the Pacifica, but we lost our ambition, didn't have the time for that kind of adventure, and went to Lowe's instead. The tree fit into the back and through the seat, so it wasn't even loaded on top of the vehicle! That night we went to my Dad's pizza party. It was a small crowd because all of our cousin's and uncles are still harvesting. It was a delight to see Michelle, Toots, Dee and Kris (and their families).

Sunday Afternoon - I worked morning/afternoon at the Mall of America for the Miss MN/Brooke Kilgarriff CD release/holiday concert. We got to invite a group of Gillette families to a pre-party before the show. Booke is absolutely lovely, not to mention she is a wonderful singer. - Check out here CD HERE. Proceeds from sales benefit Children's Miracle Network/Gillette.

While I was working, Mark took the kids to Martin Huwe's 3rd Birthday Party.

Sunday Evening - We began to decorate the tree! After hanging a ball or two, Marly ran to her room and decided her step stool would be helpful. What a smarty! Love the stiped leggings with striped shirt Marly! What happened to your polka dotted sweater....

Mark and I decided on a red decorating theme with white accents for our kitchen/living area. The tree skirt is a $1.99 Good Will purchase. It was one red thing I didn't already have. It still had the Target tag on it (it is a cheap one, it was only like $5.99 anyway). Getting tired of thirt store mentons yet? I dragged Mark and the kids there on Saturday when we bought the tree, because I saw the skirts there on an earlier visit, but hadn't purchased it.

I think Dean got in a tussle a cat or a kid or something at the birthday party... Also, I swear we always comb Marly's hair... but it always seems to look mussy! More product perhaps?

Look at our Twinners! I think Dean may now have even more then 2 inches on Marly???

Tuesday - Pretty much the last of the Thanksgiving left overs are in my lunch for work. My turkey carcuss is in a trash bag in the freezer. I hope (with Toot's help, or advice, or information) to make some turkey soup with it down the road... but I didn't think to save the neck or gizzards and there is no more left over turkey... so it may not be possible.


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