Christmas Letter

I’m supposed to be writing our Christmas letter right now, but I’m just staring at a blank computer screen.

Maybe I’m still a bit brain dead after directing the children’s Christmas program over the weekend.

I’m not sure if I could correctly identify my own children right now, let alone describe in coherent sentences what they did all year!

But at least I have the family picture taken!

We took it on a horribly hot day back in August when Matt was home.

Well, actually, I should say “they” took it.  I made them get all dressed up, go to a nearby park in excessive heat and high humidity so Pedro’s special gal (bless her!) could take their picture –  while I stayed in the air conditioning. :)

I’m such a good mom like that.

DSC_0281She did a wonderful job – especially considering the hot, sweaty and slightly goofy group she was photographing.

Each with their own personality and quirks.

The girls had searched Pinterest for cool ways to pose.

But they didn’t always work the way they were supposed to.

DSC_0243 Gotta love the awkward group hug.

At least they like each other.

Most of the time.

But maybe not so much when they are sweaty.

And then there’s this shot…

DSC_0285It pretty much sums up the entire year.

Life with these kids is never dull.

Now to put it in words and get it sent.

And my mind goes blank…

Hallmark Addiction

800px-Flickr_-_law_keven_-_A_parting_gift...In the past I have confessed to you all an addiction to Hallmark Christmas movies.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I have not conquered this addiction. Actually – it has become worse.

I might have actually watched a Christmas movie in October.

But I recently learned that I wasn’t the only one who suffered from this malady.

An anonymous person close to me (who might actually be married to my husband’s brother and whose initials are a.u.n.t.j.u.l.i.e) recently shared this true story with me.

Working full time with 2 active sons she doesn’t have a lot of time to sit and watch entire Christmas movies – but she would frequently catch parts.

She saw the end of one particular movie that she greatly enjoyed, and was anxious to see the beginning.

Not having a way to record it, she had to watch it live. So she checked the listings and saw that it was on from 3 am till 5 am on Friday night.

Perfect! She always got up to go to the bathroom around 3 am – so she could catch the first part of the movie. (Because actually setting an alarm to get up 3 am was just too extreme!)

Friday night came – but alas – she slept through the night and woke up at 5 am,  totally missing the movie.

But not too worry! It was scheduled again for the next Friday night at the same time.

She spent another busy week obsessed with seeing the first part of this movie.

Friday night finally came – this time she went one step further and had the TV turned to the Hallmark Channel before she went to sleep to save time.

She woke up right at 3 and rushed downstairs.  The few seconds the TV took to warm up seemed like an eternity – but finally – there it was – the long awaited movie.

Her husband found her there – on the couch, in a dark family room, wrapped up in a quilt, engrossed in a Hallmark Christmas movie at 4 am.

That, dear friends, is an addiction. :)

Photo courtesy of law_keven

‘Possum Problems

Dear Dagmar,

Remember that bucket of kitchen scraps I set by the back door after lunch?

I fully intended to have Buddy or your Dad take them out to the chickens – really I did.

But things got kinda crazy making the food and getting things packed up for the 4H Christmas party and I forgot.

At least until Buddy and Angel Girl got home from helping at Awana’s.

Buddy walked up the steps and there, laid across the top step, with his head stuck between the railings – was a possum eating those scraps.

Buddy was startled.

But Angel Girl was traumatized.

Just think about it. You walk up to the step in the dark, humming Christmas carols and you see this –

800px-AwesomePossum-AmericanOpossum

She’s still shuddering hours later.

She ran into the dark, forgetting for a moment that Mr. Possum might have friends, and came in the house through the side door.

When your dad heard the excitement, he opened the back door to evaluate the situation. But quickly discerned that the possum was not stuck and could easily turn tail and run between his legs and into the kitchen.

Not wanting to explain to me why there was a possum in the kitchen, he wisely shut the door.

Meanwhile, Buddy was still outside ready to become the hero of the hour.

He bravely found a 4 foot stick, and while staring down the possum, he hooked the stick around the handle of the bucket and slowly moved it away from the steps.

He carried it to all the way to the compost pile.

Across the farm yard.

In the dark.

With who knows what matter of four legged critters roaming freely.

All that so that you wouldn’t have a shocking surprise waiting for you on the front step when you got home from work at midnight.

You’re welcome.

Love,

Mom

PS If you want to make Angel Girl jump and shudder just walk up behind her and hiss. Not that I have done that or anything.

Photo courtesy of Piccolo Namek

In Which I Embarrass Myself – Again

We were gathered in my parent’s kitchen the day after Thanksgiving.

There were at least four conversations going on around us when my brother-in-law said to me, “I read your blog about the bladder.”

I look up quizzically, “A blog about the bladder?”

Then one of my sisters chimed in, “Oh yeah – you remember – the time we four sisters drove to Minnesota for Uncle Dale’s funeral.”

Then all of my sisters started adding to the story for the benefit of everyone standing in the kitchen.

“Teresa was driving and you had to go to the bathroom and there was no place to stop till we got to Faribault.”

“But there was road construction and all the exits to Fairbault were closed.”

(Seriously – is that even legal to c lose every exit to a city?!”)

“You were so desperate you begged her to stop at the port-a-potty in the median but she wouldn’t.”

“So you had to wait all the way to Owatonna and were so miserable!”

“And Sandy – enjoying your misery way too much starting singing songs about water!”

There shall be showers of blessing…”

Some through the waters, some through the flood….”

“Even Winnie the Pooh’s – And the rain, rain came down down down a mighty rushing river…”

(Each new song brought a new round of laughter from my sisters. So cruel!)

“And when we finally got to Owatonna, you ran all the way through McDonald’s to find the ladies room!”

At this point the entire kitchen is laughing.

“But wait” I said, “I never wrote a blog post about that event. I would never put that on my blog – it’s much too embarrassing.”

My brother-in-law stops laughing just long enough to say, “I didn’t say bladder – I said ladder, you know the blog post about the attic stairs.”

Oops.

And We Were Thankful

We did Thanksgiving.

Two days.

Two hundred miles.

cousins

Two sides of the family.

Two sets of grandparents.

Two complete turkey dinners with all the fixings.

Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Babies.

IMG_0853

Shopping.

Snow.

Laughter.

IMG_0857

Games.

Memories.

Twas a glorious time.