Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some EXCITING news!!!!!!

I just have to tell you.... I have some of  the most  
in the world!!
and one of those friends...
I'd like to tell you about today!
SHE is just one of those people that you are forever blessed because you have crossed her path.... I'm blessed.  I'm grateful. AND.... I'm just lucky! because I not only crossed her path - but I'm still in her path and feel so blessed everyday.... especially days that I get to talk to her or visit with her by email or pass her in the neighborhood..... you know - she is just one of those people that make you want to be better.... that make you feel important ... that give you strength just being around her....(I just hope I don't wear her out!) .... AND... I just wanted to let her know that I have a great BIG ThanK YoU! for her! Not only for being my friend, example, uplifter, example, leader, etc.... BUT .... She is letting me "borrow" her camera too!.... I feel so giddy! Like a little kid again! I'm so happy!  SO EXCITED! Isn't that just crazy!?!?!  I mean... really, it is a camera - a material thing - something that I can LIVE without... but do you know.....  I have become very "bitter" with my cameras in the past..... BUT, anyway,  we (my camera and I) don't even speak anymore.. because one of us was getting close to using words that have never been uttered.... and it just wasn't worth it... She must have felt the not so good "VIBES".... and was inspired to "intervene!"  LOL!  She recently got a new camera and was so DARN THOUGHTFUL and offered her old one to me... and it works!!!!  and that is one thing my other camera's DID NOT have in common!  I'm so happy!  I've had sooooo many things to document... and haven't been able to do so in a PICTURE form... you've had to use your imagination...(and I'm sure YOURS is much better than MINE!)  - which for me could prove to be SCARY .... in the upcoming future.... SO! BLESS YOU! THANK YOU dear FRIEND!  I'm working on getting this back to you - but in the mean time... I'll take VERY GOOD care of it.... and my memory THANKS you even more!   

Be sure to stay tuned.... :) 
It's just the "simple" (but OH SO BIG)  things that make my day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Holiday Baking....

Well, how are the goals coming along?  
Are you on track? 
What can you do to "re-think" the plan if needed?

I am SO determined to just ENJOY December!  DETERMINED! 
Aren't you?

But... I must interrupt my "workshop" progress.... not only does my family THINK that they are going to stave to death.... but it is time to turn to the "bakery" department... It's time to start watching the ads and getting the most with my grocery shopping money this month.  I don't (which I should) plan ahead and "save" some for my "baking frenzy" -but I didin't really think about it until now... SO! Looks like we'll be eating a lot of FOOD STORAGE this next couple months.... :)  Just so I can "enjoy" my baking time! (I wonder how the family "elfs" are going to take to this news... LOL! 
SO... grab your recipe books ladies (and gents-if there are any out there) and let's get some HOLIDAY BAKING underway! 

As I go through my "candy & baking" plan, I'm going to throw in some of my favorite recipes and ideas! Even favorite "CHRISTMAS" meals... so get ready - and let's share - I'd love some new recipes and ideas too!  So, don't be shy - It is the season for giving... and I LOVE LOVE LOVE new recipes! 
(hint hint... wink wink....) 

This is one of my favorites! It was given to my by my cousin... If you like "BIG CHERRY" candy bars... You'll LOVE this one! It is YUMMY!  I'll only have a sample taste this year -(determined to thin the hips this holiday as well!)  and the rest will be shipped away - BUT.... I still enjoy making it and "mmmm" smelling it too!!!!!

Cherry Chocolate Delights
12 oz. pkg milk chocolate chips
12 oz. pkg salted crushed peanuts
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter

Melt together on stove or in a microwave.
Spread half mixture in 9x13 inch greased pan.
Cook in refrigerator.

20 large marshmallows
1 tub cherry frosting

Melt 20 large marshmallows in double boiler.
Add 1 tub of cherry frosting.  Spread on cooled layer of chocolate.  Cool this in refrigerator.  Spread remaining chocolate on top.  Refrigerate and cut into squares.  
**just a side note - the cherry frosting (Betty Crocker/Pillsbury or other brand) is VERY hard to find... I have been DIEING for these yummy little things in the summer - and have YET to find CHERRY frosting any other time then the holidays ... so if you find you ENJOY this yummy treat... you may want to "stock" up on the frosting - for a rainy day.... if you know what I mean.... :) 

While I was looking for my favorite Cherry Chocolate Delights ...
I discovered my second favorite.... NUTS! 
MMMMMM..... I can almost smell them! 

Cinnamon Glazed Almonds
1/3 cup butter
2 egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3 cups whole natural almonds
4 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place butter in a 13" X 9" pan; place in oven to melt butter, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, beat egg whites with salt until frothy; gradually add sugar, beating to stiff peaks. Gently fold in almonds and cinnamon. Pour almond mixture onto pan; toss with butter. Bake about 40 minutes,tossing every 10 minutes, until almonds are crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store cooled almonds in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Well, happy list making! And be sure to share your favorites as you discover them as well! 

Don't you just LOVE holiday baking??!!??!  

Monday, October 25, 2010


I woke to SNOW! YES SNOW on the ground this morning!  
Oh- it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

It is now LEGAL to play Christmas music - so CRANK it up LADIES!!! 
oh - and men!!!  :) 

I feel like I'm getting somewhere - finally!
I looked back at my list and it is dwindling! YEAH! 
Oh how I wish I had a camera- I'd post some pictures... 
Or wait! Maybe it is best I not have a camera!
It would certainly give away my "SURPRISE GIFTS!"
We surely don't want to SPOIL Christmas for anyone now do we???? 

I've been checking my list 
and reviewing my list 
 and yes! Even re-vamped my list!
BUT for the better! 

I just can't wait to set up the tree and place my wrapped packages underneath it! 
Some of these gifts have been in the "making" process for several months so it is so fun to see them "come to life!" I just can't wait! I'm getting so SUPER excited! 
I surely hope that they are received well....

This past week I was at our local home improvement store picking up so "wood" to create my gifts... 
And I was ever so grateful that they we willing to "cut" my wood for me ... I was having a heck of a time cutting 2" wood with my scroll saw.... agh! I bet I broke about 8 blades.... frustrating!
Anyway- while the kind gentleman was cutting my wood for me another older man asked me what I was doing with all the wood... I simply said "Oh, I'm making Christmas gifts with it."  He looked and seemed a bit puzzled and then said "do you mind me asking just what you are going to do with that wood, to make it a "GIFT?" I mean, I just don't see how you can make gifts with a piece of wood."... So I kindly explained to him what I was making,  He accepted it - then he said "do you mind me asking "why" you would want to make your Christmas gifts, isn't it easier to just "buy" a Christmas gift?"  Well, I was a little taken back by his question, but he seemed rather harmless - just curious - so, I said "Well, of course it is a "little" easier to just run out and buy a gift, but I feel like a homemade gift has more thought and meaning to it. A lot more personal. And... I enjoy making gifts, and for the most part, I think that the people that receive them enjoy getting homemade gifts as well.... (I know my sister-in-laws fight for me to have their name for Christmas...) plus, this way - they can't put a price tag on it - AND... they can't return it!" I kinda chuckled.  Well, he must of liked my answer because after about 3 minutes he said, "well, I think you are a very smart lady! And, that is a great idea.... do you mind if I copy your idea?"....  So I was pretty excited that a younger older man in his late 60's was impressed and willing to "try" and "attempt" homemade Christmas gift.... After my wood was cut, I noticed the older gentleman was purchasing the same wood I had just purchased

Well, I must say - they turned out DARLING!  
I'm so super excited too!
With every gift I get done - I'm more and more excited! 

Stay tuned for pictures... I'll get this figured out SOON!
In the mean time... 
Get your HOLDIAY BAKING hats on!
I'm working on my BAKING grocery list.... 
I'm so afraid I'm going to gain back the 30 pounds I've taken off! 
So... I've decided that I'm going to be "making"...and all the while someone will be receiving my goodies... and it WON'T BE MY HIPS! 

I just LOVE holiday baking! 
SOOOO excited! .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So..... how is it going?

I'm sure you are all aware of the cute little SANTA over to the right..... looking OH! SO JOLLY
Did you see that 1 month, 1 week and 3 days part???? YIKES!!!! I mean YEAHHHHH!!!! Well, I am HAPPY to announce that I'm 100% certain I will NOT be sleeping through Christmas this year.... BUT I am afraid that I WILL be sleeping through HALLOWEEN and possibly THANKSGIVING .... Frankly, I don't mind sleeping through Halloween... Don't get me wrong - I LOVE EVERYTHING about OCTOBER... just not that ONE day... You know the day.... HALLOWEEN day! I don't like the "SCARY-DISGUSTING" creepy, crawly, UGLY stuff.... I don't like having to THINK of COSTUMES for the kids... I don't like WASTING money on CANDY that ends up COSTING me more money!..... such as... sick tummies....sick teeth.... HYPER kids....ORNERY kids (because ONE MR DAD in our home takes it upon himself to "SCAN" the TREATS collected, all the while picking out HIS favorites... which usually end up being THEIR favorites too) and then TEARS become part of the festivities... and I could SO do without the TEARS.... not to mention, WRAPPERS everywhere..... because WHY would we want to walk to the garbage can... we do have a MAID..... somewhere... somewhere out there... there is a MAID!  I'm sure....  it's all just TOO much stress for me.... I LOVE the colors, I LOVE the "CUTE" side of Halloween... you know... "cute decorations... I even LOVE cut costumes... on other people! I LOVE having family and friends over for our CHILI cook off, hot homemade bread sticks, bobbing for apples, ghost for quarters, playing games and of course hot cocoa and donuts....  So...do we really have to "trick-or-treat?"  ... REALLY!?!?!  I really have contemplated just getting a pinata this year, putting in all the candy we (and our friends) would purchase for trick-or-treating,  and let the kids just have at it here.. it would just be..... so....convenient.... easy.... less stressful... HECK - I think it would even be FUN!  :)  BUT  I KNOW they will NEVER go for it... so here I go... doing what I DON'T want to do.. and DREADING every minute of it.... I guess I better start thinking about COSTUMES.....agh. I usually wait until the night before... But this year - I'll be better prepared... maybe... IF I can convince myself to just do it.....

Well that was depressing....
I know I was going somewhere else with this post... I know it was not here, anyway...
Where was I?????

I won't be sleeping through Christmas - or at least I hope I am not...
I've been up nearly every night for the past 3 weeks now until at least 2:30 - and even as late or early as 5:15 am...
I'm pooped! I won't lie... but I've got to keep pressing forward!
I WISH I had a camera... that worked! STUPID CAMERA!
(wink-wink...hint-hint family.... :)) 
I have so far completed a few gifts - and I am so SUPER excited about them!
I wanted to share them with you...
BUT my telling you "what" they are -will just not "do it" for me....
So... be patient with me... I'll get this figured out....
Even if I must BORROW one really soon!!! 
In the mean time....

Have you set your goals for this week?
Have you reviewed your "check" list?
How is the budget looking?

I must confess... I'm pretty good about making lists...
BUT... the actually remembering where the LIST is...
It's sometimes difficult - and all I'm going to say about that is...
I have a "SHADOW" (agh-hem Mr. O) that doesn't think I KNOW what I am doing, so my shadow (man) will pick up such things (like my planner, scriptures, note books) and place them in places that HE- I mean - said SHADOW thinks that they should be placed and when I question the other elves in the shop, I just get "shrugging" of shoulders... so when I questioned about my "cute little note book" several months ago... the shrugging began... not one little elf knew what I was talking about... but I SWEAR - I mean PROMISE you I left it on my desk where it would be easily accessible, easily reviewed, checked and re-written (who doesn't re-write their "lists" a gazillion times ... ) and it has vanished- into complete blizzard air. GONE. NOWHERE.
So, I dug through my old posts to find my list - and I FOUND it!
I must confess - things have not gone as they were "PLANNED" in my little LIST book... but.. I did at least (and am still) making progress - SO, did you keep your list handy?  Have you checked it? 
Here is my list from last January with my monthly goals.
All I can say is "YEP - I have learned to be flexible"
"YEP - I hope that what I have and will continue to accomplish will just be habit for next year, and those things that I did not accomplish will be easier to accomplish next year."
and.... "I'm not out of time yet... and niether are you!"
So come on, get your list
Remove things that are no longer important
re-prioritize the things that are
and let's get ready to really MAKE CHRISTMAS COUNT!
Are you in???

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I didn't win "THE" Pumpkins.... and I'm slowly getting over it.... It really would have been a nice way to end a very CRAPPY week.... and an even CRAPPIER day... but oh well... I'm very happy for VINTAGE SANDY... What a LUCKY GAL!  I'm sure she was just a happy punkin today! :)  I'm really happy for her! I really am... just sad for me... so I'm gonna have to sell a kid or two so I can just purchase me some of "THE" Pumpkins! Anyone want to start the bidding?  LOL!!! JUST KIDDING! (kinda... it has been "ONE" of those weeks.... One of those weeks that I'd LOVE to wave my magic wand and "POOF" have toddlers again!  These "tweens" are killin' me .... just this week.... I surely hope that they are getting it out of their system and next week will be much better.... crossin my fingers I am! 

Well... I guess I'll go do some laundry and see if I happen upon some "pay" so I can purchase a set of "THE" Pumpkins... :) 

Congrats Sandy!!! Way to go!!!!

And THANKS to Brenda for giving me something to look forward to this week!  I truly was so excited I just couldn't sleep... but I'm sure I'll sleep fine tonight... if I get there.... 

Oh... I promise to get my head back in the game now... now that "THE" Pumpkins are gone... I'll try and stay focused! I had just a slight lasp... fell into the "HALLOWEEN" spirit... it was a good break... but back to Santas shop I must go..... 

OH! Did you realize it is 44 days left until Christmas counts.... how's the check list coming along????

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't worry.....

Don't give up on me....
It will be coming....
Those gift ideas for the person who has EVERYTHING!

Trust me... I've got SEVERAL on my list! Just trying to get them done - so I can post them - and put up pictures too!

Sleep good tonight everyone!

Guess what tomorrow is......

Come back and see!

Visiting Teacher/Home Teacher gift Ideas....

Snowman Soup!  

1 package of hot chocolate mix
3 Hershey's kisses
15 or so marshmallows
1 candy cane

Poems: (choose one) J
Was told that you've been good
this year, always glad to hear it.
With freezing weather drawing near,
You'll need to warm the spirit
So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Add hot water & sip it slow
It's sure to do the trick.

# 2
When it's so cold that you holler and whoop,
It's time to bring out the snowman soup!
Pour the packet in a mug add marshmallows too
And throw in these kisses that are special just for you.
Now add some hot water and use the cane to stir it.
Sip slowly and soon you'll feel the warm winter spirit!

# 3
When the weather outside is frightful, snowman soup can be delightful.
May it warm your spirit and your soul, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!
When you feel a chill or burrrrr', Use the peppermint stick to stir.
Add hot water and sip it slow, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

# 4
A little cup of cocoa I'm sending your way,
For you to sip and enjoy on some cold and lonely day.
As you sip this cocoa it's warmth will warm your heart,
Just like our friendship warmed mine right from the start.

# 5
Was told you've been real good this year, Always glad to hear it.
With freezing weather drawing near, You'll need to warm the spirit.
So here's a little snowman soup, complete with stirring stick.
Just add hot water, sip it slow, It's sure to do the trick!

Hot Cocoa Bags
Use two of the Wilton bags. Put the cocoa in the first one and twist tie the top. Cut off the extra where it was twist tied, and then place it inside another bag. Then put in raspberry chips,(or any flavor will work… we quite enjoy the “mint” chips!)  then add marshmallows, and sprinkle with the red & green Christmas tree sprinkles. Before you tie the top of the second bag, add two raspberry candy canes (or again a flavor to go with your chip choice) to use for stir sticks, tied with a ribbon, and add a tag. The tag has a graphic on the outside and opens up to a poem (choose one from above) on the inside.  Put the directions for making the cocoa on the back.


As you sit there sipping your cocoa so hot,
Do you realize the symbols in your hot choc-o-lot?
It's symbols of Christ's birth which we revere
Now sit right back, as I explain ~ to make it clear.
The chocolate represents Jesus' sweetness supreme
As kindness was his forever theme.
Its warmth is like His encircling love
That comes directly from above.
Many small, but one large star
Were also seen from afar
So are the marshmallows so clean and white
Which reminds us of His purity bright.
The candy cane looks like the Shepherd's crook
Those great men who came to take a look
At the newborn babe so sweet and gentle
Whose life would be so fundamental.
The 3 kisses remind us of the 3 wise kings
Who traveled as they heard the angels sing.
And when they arrived they saw a beautiful sight,
Mary kissing her son on that wonderful night.
Now may we remember these wonderful things
As we enjoy what this glorious season brings.
May you feel His warmth each and every day
As you wish others a Merry Christmas as you go along your way!


This little sundae will sure make you warm.
It's a hot cocoa treat in an odd little form.

Just add hot water, or even some milk,
For yummy hot cocoa that's smoother than silk.

Now add your sweets to make it even more dreamy,
Then stir, and stir, and stir until creamy.

Stir with a spoon and enjoy the flavor,
Or stir with a candy stick for something to savor.

Share with a friend, if you dare give it away,
Or save for yourself for a cold winter day!

Tile Quotes
I chose this quote from Pres. Monson in his address to the Sisters at the General Women's Conference in Sept.   You can pretty much do any "quote" "thought" or "saying" on a tile... 
Cut in vinyl and wah-lah! Tiy gave a great gift... and a daily reminder to everyone in their home...

So.... have you decided on YOUR gift for your Home Teachers, Visiting Teachers, those that YOU visit and what about school teachers.... oh my ... my list just keeps getting bigger and bigger.... but it's nearly time to "STOP" adding to that list! Just a couple more days to make adjustments and changes!!!! 

We are at just 47 days til CHRISTMAS REALLY COUNTS!   

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Left... Right.... Left... Left!

This is one of MY favorite traditions... and I'm not sure really why - other than it DRIVES my little brother CRAZY! And... It is just my WAY of getting even with "the little brother!"... hee hee hee!!!  On Christmas day, we (all 8 of my siblings, the "honeys", and all the grandchildren & even GREAT grandchildren) meet for lunch at my parents... yep! We are squished ~ but it is OH SO FUN! This year there will be,... 8 children (my siblings & I), 6 honeys, 11 grandchildren and 5 of them have honey's and 3 and 8/9ths GREAT grandchildren.... that's 35 and 8/9ths in my parents home! (hopefully everyone will make it this year!)  After lunch we "squish" really close together and we play the "LEFT-RIGHT" game as we pass a gift to the person next to us going whichever direction we are told... it is CRAZY! it is FUN! and... IT DRIVES JUSTIN CRAZY! and....I LOVE IT!  So... that is WHY we do it! And that is WHY I love it! Oh.... I just can't wait for this year.... anyone have any other stories to use?  I've used all of these - so I'd like a new one if anyone has one...and maybe even little brother might enjoy a "NEW" story!  :) 

The Wright Family Story #2   Persons sit in circle and pass gifts right and left according to directions in the following story: 
Once upon a time there was a little boy named Tommy Wright. He lived with his mother, Mrs. Wright and his father, Dr. Wright and his sister Sara Wright. He had four shiny quarters left from some birthday money Grandma Wright had sent him besides the $8.12 left in his piggy bank. Now it was time to buy the right present for each member of the Wright family. So one morning he hopped right out of bed and quietly left home and went carefully across the street to the big store on the left side of Main street. The store was decorated with lights and Christmas ornaments. Tommy Wright thought and thought about Christmas presents and he looked at all the things for sale. "Let's see," said Tommy, "I know, I'll get Mother Wright some warm gloves. Here is the right one but where is the left one? Here it is, right under the right one. They cost $3.06 so I have $6.06 left to spend. Now, for Daddy Wright. Would he like a truck or maybe a ball or a left handed catcher's mitt? I know. I'll get him a football so we can play catch right in the park across the street from our house, when he comes home from work. That was $5.06 so now I have $1.00 left for Sara's present. Here is what she wants. He saw pretty new purse right across the aisle and I think I have just enough money left. Tommy Wright clutched his presents happily and went running right up to the lady at the counter and took out all the money from his left pocket and then his right pocket, and slid it across the counter to her. "Is that right?" asked Tommy Wright as he gave her his money, "It will be $1.05 with tax," she said. "Oh no," said Tommy Wright. "I forgot about tax."  Tommy then checked his left pocket again. Nothing was there. Tommy Wright started crying. Tears streamed right and left down his little face. Right then the door burst open and in came Santa Claus who had left the North Pole and had come right to Tommy Wright's town to take orders from children for Christmas. "Ho, Ho, Ho," said Santa. "We can't have Santa's helpers sad like this. Let's see now, I bet I have five pennies right here in my left pocket." Santa Claus checked his left pocket and found nothing. "Oh no!" said Santa. "I must have put them into my right pocket instead of my left. Here they are right here, Tommy, Ho! Ho! Ho! and Merry Christmas to all the Wright's from Santa Claus and his helpers." Tommy Wright left the store and ran across the street to his home to tell Sara Wright that he had seen and talked to Santa. He was so happy that he wrapped his presents right away and put them under the Christmas tree. Dr. Wright, Mrs. Wright and Sara Wright were thrilled with the presents Tommy Wright had purchased and Christmas morning left nothing to want.
The Wright Family Story #3 (22 moves)    This is a story about Mr. and Mrs WRIGHT. One evening they were baking cookies. Mrs. WRIGHT called from the kitchen, "Oh , no, there is no flour LEFT! You will need to go to the store." "I can't believe you forgot to check the pantry," grumbled MR. WRIGHT. "You never get anything RIGHT!" "Don't be difficult, dear," replied Mrs. WRIGHT. "It will only take twenty minutes if you come RIGHT back. Go to Fifty-first and Peoria, and turn LEFT at the stop sign. Then go to Sixty-first Street and turn RIGHT, and there it will be ACROSS the street on your LEFT," declared Mrs. WRIGHT. Mr. WRIGHT found the store and asked the clerk where he could find the flour. The clerk pointed and said, "Go to aisle four and turn LEFT. The flour and sugar will be on your LEFT, or perhaps it may be ACROSS the aisle, on your RIGHT, I just don’t remember for sure."
Mr. WRIGHT made his purchase and walked RIGHT out the door. He turned LEFT, but he couldn't remember where he had LEFT his car. Suddenly he remembered that he had driven Mrs. WRIGHT'S car and that his car was in the driveway at home RIGHT where he had LEFT it. He finally found Mrs. WRIGHT’S car ACROSS the parking lot and to the RIGHT.Eventually, a weary Mr. WRIGHT found his way home. Mrs. WRIGHT had been waiting impatiently. "I thought you would be RIGHT back," she said. "I LEFT all the cookie ingredients on the kitchen counter, and the cats got into the milk. You'll just have to go RIGHT out again. " Mr. WRIGHT sighed. He had no energy LEFT. "I am going RIGHT to bed," he said. "Anyway, I need to go on a diet, so I might as well start RIGHT now. Isn't that RIGHT, dear?" MERRY CHRISTMAS

The Right Family Story #4   The Right Family
Christmas was almost here and Mother Right was finishing the Christmas baking. Father Right, Sue Right, and Billy Right returned from their last-minute Christmas errands. "There's not much left to be done," said Father Right as he came into the kitchen.
"Did you leave the basket of food at the church?" asked Mother Right. "I left it right where you told me to," said Father Right. "I'm glad my shopping is done," said Billy right. "I don't have any money left."
The hall telephone rang, and Susan Right left to answer it. She rushed right back and told the family, "Aunt Tillie Right left a package for us right on Grandma Right's front porch. I'll go over there right now and get it," she said as she left in a rush. Father Right left the kitchen and brought in the Christmas tree.
By the time Susan Right returned, Mother Right, Father Right, and Billy Right had begun trimming the tree. The entire Right family sang carols as they finished decorating. Then they left all the presents arranged under the tree and went to bed, hoping they had selected the right gifts for their family.
Now I hope you have the right present for yourself, because that's all that's left of our story...except to wish you a merry Christmas... Isn't that right??
This is a story about Santa and LEFTy elf. LEFTy received this nick name one Christmas when he couldn't seem to do anything RIGHT. Santa said " LEFTy, sometimes I think you have two LEFT thumbs". On the day before Christmas Eve Santa and LEFTy were finishing up the toys that were LEFT. LEFTy called from the workshop, "Oh no, there is no glue LEFT! Santa do you know where any might be?"
"I can't believe you forgot to check the inventory, sometimes I wonder if you can get anything RIGHT, LEFTy!" said Santa. "Santa don't be mad", replied LEFTy. "It will only take me a few minutes to find some, I'll be RIGHT back". Santa said "I'm sorry I am so grumpy, but we don't have much time LEFT, LEFTy. "I'll try our packaging and delivery outlet RIGHT on the edge of town", said LEFTy. "It would be faster to stop by my house, Mrs. Claus is sure to have some LEFT, she just might not know RIGHT where it is," Replied Santa. "Take the short cut, go to Candy Cane Lane and Rudolph Rd. and turn LEFT, RIGHT at the Lollipop stop sign. Then go to Holly Drive and turn RIGHT and there it will be on your LEFT." LEFTy found the house RIGHT away and asked Mrs. Claus where she might have some glue LEFT. Mrs. Claus' hands were all doughy from making the last of her Christmas cookies. So she directed him RIGHT to her craft room.
"Go RIGHT down the hall and turn RIGHT, open the first door on the LEFT. Walk RIGHT in and turn RIGHT. It should be on the bottom shelf, RIGHT next to the LEFT-over glitter."
LEFTy found plenty of glue to finish the toys RIGHT where Mrs. Claus had directed him. LEFTy hurried RIGHT out the door. LEFTy looked LEFT, then RIGHT, then LEFT, but he couldn't remember where he had LEFT his sled. Suddenly he remembered he had taken Santa's sleigh, because it would be faster, and that his sled was in the garage at the workshop RIGHT where he had LEFT it. Eventually, a tired LEFTy found his way back to Santa's workshop. Santa said " LEFTy, I thought you said you would be RIGHT back, so I LEFT jolly elf take over your station. He used all that was LEFT of the red paint instead of gold, so now there is no red paint LEFT to touch up my sleigh. You will have to go RIGHT out and get some, LEFTy " LEFTy sighed and happily said " I knew we would have no energy LEFT by now, so RIGHT after thanksgiving, I fixed up your sleigh for the big day. Santa said "I'm so sorry I said you couldn't do anything RIGHT, because of you, there is no work LEFT and I can go RIGHT to bed, so I'll be all rested and my jolly old self again. Good night LEFTy." and Santa went RIGHT to bed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Favorite traditions......

December is a month filled with traditions…but then again, if you are a "O" family member, every month has some sort of family tradition to participate in.  However, December seems to be the busiest. We have many traditions – some we like and continue every year, some we somewhat like and do every 2 -3 years and some we may just do with out the next year.  But all in all – we have a fun filled family month.

 One of my most favorite traditions:   Since we have been married (just a couple of years…haa haa-it's actually 27! years today! OH MY how time flies!) , I have kept nearly every Christmas card that we have received from family and friends, co-workers, ward leaders etc. At the end of the Christmas season I always write on the back where we lived, the year and a little bit about the “person” or “people” that we have gotten the card from.  We bring them out every year and hang them on a door or wall – wherever they will fit… It is really quite fun, because it looks like we have LOTS and LOTS of friends and receive LOTS of cards every year.  When in fact, the cards have slowly dwindled over the years,  I’d like to think it is due to the economy and such, and not that we are loosing our friends… The part I LOVE about this tradition is when my kids will look at and read them, then they ask “Who is that?”  “Where do they live?” It is very fun to reminisce and share stories with the kids and try to help them “recall” who these people are.  It is really fun for us as a family to reflect on the friends and neighbors that we have shared life’s experiences with through the years.

  When our oldest children were little, and cassette tapes were the “in thing” we would set a tape recorder out on Christmas morning and just record all the going-ons during the morning hours.  Then we would play it back later at night along with the prior years.  This was a fun because they would listen for the things that they may have received in the prior Christmas’s  and get all excited again.. Sometimes it would cause a few tears because they may have lost or broken their “favorite” gift and they were missing it.  The other fun part was listening to their “voices” – they would always ask “WHO IS THAT” – and it would be them!  It was fun to see how their voices had changed even as little as they were.

 Every year I purchase a new Christmas story book.  I wrap and place it under the tree. Each night, starting on December 1, we gather together and read a Christmas story and when we run out of books, that is the night we will open the “NEWEST” Christmas book.  It is always fun to see what each of the kids favorite stories are. The night we open the new book, I write the date/year in the front cover – just so we will remember when we got that book…

This is probably the FAMILY favorite!  On Christmas Eve, we meet at Grandma & Grandpa "O's" home with all the aunts, uncles & cousins for dinner and our traditional family gift exchange.  The last gift of the evening is a “special” one that all the grandchildren wait for with excitement.  Their aunt makes pajama pants for all the grandchildren (and great grandchildren now).  On the count of “3” they all open together their new PJ’S!  The fun part is…you just never know what kind of wild and crazy fabric she has found.  She usually finds something to go along with something that has happened that year in the family.  Like the year everyone went to Disneyland, the PJ’s were Mickey Mouse.  One year a cousin was on a mission in Indiana – home of the “Certified Livestock” and the PJ’s were COW PRINT… Not one child is left out, and being that several of them are married with children of their own, they are still sports and put on the PJ’s for the “Cousin PJ Photo Shoot!”  So fun…  (I wish "I" were one of the "grandkids".... hint hint ;) ) .... I wonder what it will be this year….

 This year, grandma made all the grand-kids a teddy bear... each of them "cherish" this little bear!
The "COW" print PJ'S!

Another one of MY favorite traditions... well, I'll post it tomorrow... stay tuned.....

What are your favorite traditions? 

Monday, October 11, 2010

We intterrupt this blog ....

For a little PUMPKIN message!

I know ... I know... but we have to have a little something to fill in the spare moments... so we can just ENJOY the fall..... SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.......

If you like pumpkins... I mean... REALLY LIKE PUMPKINS! You will want to head on over to this PUMPKIN PATCH and enter the giveaway.... but... only if you LOVE pumpkins.... which I really do... and I hope I REALLY win!!! ................... but if I don't... and you do... I'll still be very happy for you! :) Happy Fall- ya'll! hee hee hee!


Need some ideas for neighbor gifts.... Give em POOP!

Christmas Mouse Poop! 
On Christmas Eve when I was snug in my bed
Guess what some little "creatures" were doing instead? 
Little mice were making their stops 
And, of course, they left their teeny-tiny "plops." 
On Christmas morn, I did awake,
Oh me, oh my, oh goodness sake!
Those adorable rodents had left such sweet gifts,
So I gathered and packaged them up in a jiff! 
And, now, this Christmas I present to you
This little bag of  mice "doo-doo!" 
(this can be chocolate covered raisins, or my favorite, chocolate covered sunflower seeds!)  

 Reindeer Poop!
We were awakened when we heard Santa call,
"Dash away, Dash away, Dash away all!"
But soon we discovered, out on our lawn
Santa and his reindeer were all but gone
With our little shovel we started to scoop,
All of the droppings... YUCK! Reindeer poop! 
But then we so generously filled up your sack
Hope you have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your snack!!!
(this can be Whoppers, or brown only M&M's even Sixlets are fun too!)

Elf Poop!
This year Santa's elves got quite sick,
And couldn't make toys quite so quick
So what could I do
To find gifts for you?

I hope there elf poops do the trick!
(this can be "green" m&m's, "green" whoppers, or even a bag of "tootsie" rolls) 

Snowman Poop! 
You've been naughty
So here's the scoop
Your Christmas present 
Is SNOWMAN poop! 

(This can be a bag of miniature marshmallows, homemade divinity, or wedding cookies (my fav!) )

Sunday, October 10, 2010

On the First day of Christmas.....

I know... I know... I've promised to post some gift ideas for that darn person that has EVERYTHING!  And I will... I promise... just give me a little more time... I'm still putting them together.... so, while you wait... I thought I'd just share a couple  "Twelve Days of Christmas" ideas that we have used in the past. and maybe... MAYBE  you have some ideas that you would like to share as well! I LOVE new ideas!
Please share! 

On the first day of Christmas
I’ve often heard it said
It’s nice to give someone you love
A loaf of YUMMY bread!
(You can wrap it up in a "fun" Christmas towel or even just plastic wrap and a cute bow.) 
On the second day of Christmas
Two rolls of sticky tape
To help you wrap your Christmas gifts
For that extra special date.
On the third day of Christmas
Three packages of Jell-O
The light dessert and bright dessert
On the forth day of Christmas
And I bet you thought we’d miss you
We didn’t though and here you have
Four rolls of bathroom tissue!
On the fifth day of Christmas
Five treats of sugar sweet
For you to enjoy, and of course
Share with friends that you meet!
Now it’s the sixth day of Christmas
With six more left to go!
Take time to trim the Christmas tree
And hang some mistletoe!
We’re sure by now you need a break
So have a nice cold drink!
Six cans of pop is sure to help!
At least that’s what we think!
For the seventh day of Christmas
We wondered what to do
But then we found these oranges
So we’re giving them to you!

On the eighth day of Christmas
We’re nearly out of rhyme
But here is a family journal
To remember your Christmas time!
(I purchased the Composition Notebooks and decorated the outside, my favorite ones were the ones I did in solid colors (deep reds and greens) and placed a picture of Christ in the center- this is a fun way to "journal" Christmas and keep for many years.)
On the ninth day of Christmas
We know you’re on the run
But wanted you to stop, relax
And have some FAMILY FUN!
 You can purchase this book here for $6.95 - it's great!
On the tenth day of Christmas
It was really hard to choose
But we decided on chocolate
And felt we could not lose! 
(Who doesn't love a little "Fernwood Mints" at Christmas time...)
On the eleventh day of Christmas
We thought your wallet might be low
And could use a little extra surprise
Perhaps…a little extra DOUGH?
(I made a fabric tube out of material that had money all over it and tied it up with a piece of jute) 
On the twelfth day of Christmas
A special gift you’ll find here
Sent with love and with the hope
That we’ve brought a touch of cheer!
And as a final note we’d like to add
A message loud and clear
Thanks for all you do!
One year I made these nativity sets, it stood about 2 feet tall, the next year I just made a manger and put straw and the little baby wrapped up inside it.)

This was a REALLY fun one too!  
On the FIRST day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
A partridge in a pear tree…
Sorry, but I couldn’t find the
Partridge so I am giving you some
Pears from the tree the partridge
flew away from.
 (You can use your own bottles pears, or a store purchased can of pears)
On the Second day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Two turtle doves…
Unfortunately, I don’t have
Any REAL doves,
So these chocolate ones
Will have to do!
On the Third day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Three French Hens…
The French Hens were
Not available, so I’m giving
You some chicken noodle
Soup, compliments of the
Three French Hens.
On the Forth day of Christmas
Your true love gave you~
Four calling birds….
I can’t find those calling birds!
But here are four messages
They left for you before
They flew off! 
(I just printed out 4 messages and "cute-sied" them up with scrapbook paper and such, and put a magnet on the back) 
#1- Let us keep Christmas beautiful
Without a thought of greed
That it might live forevermore 
To fill our every need.

#2- Somehow, not only for Christmas
bur all the long year through
The joy that you give to others, 
Is the joy that comes back to you. 

#3- The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree,
Is the "presence" of a happy family
all wrapped up in each other. 

#4- A song was heard at Christams
To wake the midnight sky
A Saviors birth, and peace on earth
And praise to God on high.
(Depending on the family(s) you are choosing, you may want to choose scriptures, or even talks from the Christmas fireside from the General Authorities.)

On the Fifth day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Five Golden Rings…
Sorry, I’m too poor to
Buy five real gold rings…
But will some golden
Pineapple rings suffice?
On the Sixth day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Six geese a laying…
You don’t really want messy
Geese all over the house do you?
How about some of the eggs
They left behind?
On the Seventh day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Seven Swans a Swimming…
All of the swans have flown
South for the winter,
but they left behind
their “soothing” soap.
On the Eighth day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Eight maids a milking…
Looks like they left the milk
Out to dry...and we think
They were milking some
Brown cows. Enjoy it anyway!

On the Ninth day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Nine ladies dancing…
And here are some canes
Used by the ladies to
Help them walk home after
They were out dancing
All night long!
On the Tenth day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Ten Lords-a-leapin’…
After the Lords get done
Leapin’.  This is what they
Use for their sore muscles!
On the Eleventh day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Eleven Pipers Piping…
Well, here is a “pipe” of your
Own… Have fun and don’t
Blow the whole day!
On the Twelfth day of Christmas
Your true love gave to you~
Twelve Drummers Drumming…
No drummers, we thought
You could use some quiet time
So here is a special treat
We drummed up for you,
So relax and enjoy!
 (I used a can from the cannery, sealed it then opened it and we filled it with caramel popcorn and put a plastic lid on it.  Decorated the outside of the can with paper, fabric and such....this was a great family night activity I let the kids decorate the "drums" while I made the caramel corn...)  

I like to select my 12 days of Christmas early, so that I can incorporate the items into my "grocery" shopping and such.  If I wait too late then it becomes a "burden" almost and takes all the fun out of doing this...., so plan ahead and set your limits.  I also purchase as much as I can at the dollar store, or even buy from Oriental Trading....so it really helps to "plan" ahead.