Thursday, December 31, 2009
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
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
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
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.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
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
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.
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.
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.
Friday, December 18, 2009
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...)
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.
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.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
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
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!
Monday, December 14, 2009
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.
Friday, December 11, 2009
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.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
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.
Monday, December 7, 2009
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
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....
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.