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Showing posts from December, 2012

2013- the Year of Me

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It's that time of year. Again.  Time to take stock, to look ever so closely at our lives and find out what we're doing wrong.  Then, we decide how to make it right and we do it- we resolute  resolutionize reserve   oh, crap, we make those dumb resolutions.

People always ask- "What are your resolutions?"  Why don't they ask the real question- "What are you going to fail at this year?"  Isn't that what we're doing? Setting ourselves up for failure?  How many of us even make it past January?  Not me.  So, I've decided to go at it from a different angle this year.

I'm setting resolutions that I can't help but achieve.  That's right. I'm lowering my expectations. I'm setting realistic goals.  Then, I'll be assured of success.

I looked up the most popular resolutions and took my cue from there.  First, of course is weight loss.  Not this year. No, resolution #1 is to gain weight.  I'm thinking ten pounds should be abo…

A Gift for You

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Have a wonderful Christmas.

Tips # 3-5, Just in Time

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(And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.)


I know, you've been waiting impatiently for my last three tips. 'Christmas is almost upon us, Queen Jewels, we must know how to get through.' Not to worry, I've got your back.

Tip #3-  Decorating

Now, if you think it's too close to the big day, you've already got all your decorating done. Fine. See ya later. Thing is, there's always room for improvement, must be a shelf or doorway somewhere that could use a little more cheer.

But, last minute decorating can be a challenge.  The key is to use what you already have. For example, want that 'snow' look under your nativity or sleigh?  You do not need that expensive stuff they sell in stores.  Toilet paper, people.  It's white, and fluffy.  Layer a few sheets and voila! Your display has that fresh snowfall look. And, it's so handy when your little one has a cold.

As for the tree, the homemade look is totally in this year.  And, the thing th…

Pushing at the Darkness

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Darkness terrified me.  As a child it was all that was wrong.  You couldn't see and in the midst of that unseen world were monsters.  Real or imagined, it didn't matter. A child's mind has trouble differentiating between the two.  I avoided it, hid under the covers and ran from it.

Now, I can handle physical darkness.  I can find my way through the shadows without so much as bumping my shin.  I don't mind the night, there are times when it is welcome.
It's the other darkness that worries and overwhelms me. The kind that comes from within.

This year has been one of joy and discovery.  I've made new friends and learned so much. Yet, amid the happiness and good things, there was also some blackness. It slinked in without me knowing and suddenly I was enveloped in the gloom. My blood ran like ink, making my heart heavy and slow.  My hands hung down, useless and empty. The murkiness sucked at my feet, making each step a chore.  I felt helpless.

When you're in th…

A Guest Post Gift

Can you wait a day for my next tip? I hope so because...drumroll, please.............

I am guest posting today on the most amazing, fabulous, stupendous We Band of Mothers blog.

Marianne is my virtual BFF- in the sense that we have never met, or actually spoken, (and she's never agreed to the title of BFF, maybe imaginary is a better word).  Someday, when I'm rich and famous, I'll get myself to Chicago to meet her.  Until then, I read her blog, and her Chicago Parent articles, and her book.

See, told you she was awesome.

(Click here to read my post.)

Christmas Tip #2- Cleaning

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I was waiting for the maid to show up today. Tapping my foot. Couldn't believe she was late.
Then I remembered.
I don't have a maid.

I entertain during the holidays for one reason- it makes me clean my house. I know, you're probably wondering why a queen would have to clean her own house. Mostly because the princes and princesses are like any other children and they don't understand the concept of picking up.

There are some ways of cleaning that are more efficient than others, and with Christmas just around the corner, we need to make the most of our time.

One, to mop or not to mop. In my experience, as soon as you mop the floor, someone will spill on it. And, it will probably be Kool-Aid. Red Kool-Aid. So, don't break your back trying to get that floor shiny. Spray  some non-stick cooking spray on the floor, then put on socks and skate your way around. It'll be so shiny you'll need to wear shades.  With that non-stick coating, when they do spill, it'll…

Christmas Tips from the Christmas Queen

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(I know we're all feeling less jolly than usual this week. I considered not writing funny posts, lest you think me insensitive.  But, I think one of the best ways to get past the sadness is to have a laugh.  Our hearts may be a bit broken, but life does go on.)


I am the Queen of Christmas. You know, I never procrastinate, I shop early, I serve my neighbors and think only happy thoughts. (Don't be jealous, it isn't flattering. Or Christmas-y.)
As my gift to you, my loyal subjects, I'm going to share my top 5 last minute Christmas tips.  I think these will help you get through the holidays with as much style as me. (You know you want to be me.) Today, is tip #1.

Tip #1-Shopping at Wal-Mart

Now, I know there are those who look down their noses at Wal-Mart for it's many civility violations, but really, there are some positives to the store, too. Let's not forget to be optimistic during the holidays, k?

There are several reasons to do your shopping at the Mart of the…

A Dress is a Dress

Sunday morning at our house varies from rushed to completely chaotic. It depends completely on me and how prepared I am.  Many Sabbaths will find me with an iron in hand, frantically flattening a pair of little boy slacks (or my own blouse, depending on how many times I change my mind).  Sometimes, my boys have worn jeans to church because we can't find their church clothes. It isn't the end of the world.  What we wear isn't is as important as being there.

Tomorrow, it seems, there is a group who believe what we wear is as important as being there.  There is a 'movement' within the Mormon faith that I was completely unaware of until this week.  Mormon feminists. I learned about this through CJane's blog.  I then clicked my way around the internet trying to understand what it was all about.  (I'm not going to try to explain it here, lest I be accused of getting it wrong. If you're interested in more of the full story, you can read here, or here.)

The gro…

A Prayer for Peace

And in despair, I bowed my head,
"There is no peace on earth," I said:
"For hate is strong
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
"God is not dead nor doth he sleep.
The wrong shall fail,
The right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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The Good- I'm feeling back to normal after two days of the stomach flu running rampant through our house.

The Bad- My hair after two days on a pillow.

The Ugly- the way my house looks after two days of me laying in bed.

Guess I should get off here and do some cleaning/hair straightening.


*Here's another Christmas family picture-


Ding-dong, Ding-dong

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I love Christmas music.  I've been known to start listening to it in October November. Some songs are better than others, though.  I refuse to listen to Jingle Bell Rock, or Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. Maybe I have some deep-seated issues with rocks?  Here's some other songs and my thoughts about them.


Santa Clause is Coming to Town- so are your in-laws. Better get cleaning.

Blue Christmas- Not here. We have two choices- white or butt-ugly brown.

Deck the Halls- you know, the halls are the one place around here that doesn't get decked.

Holly Jolly Christmas- I know Holly.  The reason she's jolly has nothing to do with Santa and everything to do with Jack Daniel.

Must Be Santa- or maybe it's the Handy Man, can't be sure.

The Twelve Days of Christmas- Why 12? Why not 25?  I think the song writer was lazy.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year-  It is, for retail and school teachers.

Up on the Housetop- Holly, get down from there, right now!!

All I Want for…

How to Stay Married for 21 Years

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The Handy Man woke me this morning at 5am.  "We should be together today," he said between kisses. I agreed. He left for work and I laid awake.  This is what you do when you have a big family and your anniversary is a couple weeks before Christmas.

I'll spend my day going to the laundromat and working on my book.  Tonight, we'll have pizza with the kids and watch a movie on TV.  (Don't worry, we'll get a real celebration after Christmas.)

As I curled up under my blanket, I thought about the last 21 years and what we have to show for it.  No big house, fancy car or even a date to mark the day.  What we do have is eight beautiful, healthy children who aren't bothered by things like saying 'I love you' to us and each other.  We have more memories than I can count.  And, the best thing? We're more in love than ever.  We don't get those butterflies anymore, instead we have a familiar, comforting feeling of knowing that this person is there for…

Do You Take Advice?

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21 years ago today, I was a one excited girl.  The flowers were paid for, the cake made and my dress altered.  Best of all, I was going to marry my best friend.

We went out to dinner at Pizza Hut, and then he dropped me off at my parent's house.  The Handy Man went to our apartment where he'd been living for a week.  I know I slept that night, though I'm not sure how.

If I could go back and give that girl advice, I'm not sure what I'd tell her. She's never been very good at taking it.  I might tell her to read this blog post by Single Dad Laughing.  It's great.

I guess I have some ideas about how to make a marriage last. And, in celebration of our anniversary, I'll share them tomorrow.

Until then, here's a few pictures from the big day.  I try not to look too close at how young I was. *sigh*







Tis the Season for Commercials

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I'm watching a commercial right now.  People are excitedly opening Christmas gifts. They are happy and smiling.  Thrilled.  What's in their presents?

5 Hour Energy

Oh, yeah.  You want to make my Christmas day?  Give me some energy in a bottle.  Don't worry about the side effects. I need a few heart palpitations to make my holidays better.  While you're at it, throw in some Nyquil, that way I can go to sleep after my artificially peppy day.

It's amazing what people will try to sell in the guise of the Christmas spirit.  No wonder those advertising execs get paid so well.  I've been job hunting, maybe I could get a job in that area.  I think I'll start on a few for my resume.


Acme Plungers-- It's the holidays, you have guests, they're eating like there's no tomorrow.  Our plungers now come in festive colors to brighten up your bathroom.  You'll be happy you were prepared.

Jim's Horseradish-- mayo, mustard?  Boring! When your holiday dishes …

A Good Day

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It's December.  I always love tearing off the last month's calendar page.  I like the way a new month looks--all clean and open.  A new beginning every 30 days or so.
This month is one of my favorites.  It's filled with the possibilities of good days.

It's a good day to...

...celebrate my oldest's birthday.  While I like to think of him like this-


he's actually turning 20. Of course, that means I was a child bride and had him when I was ten.

...play Christmas music and pray for snow.  I know you can have Christmas without the white stuff, but I have a hard time getting in the mood when my grass is green. I don't know how you warmer weather folks do it.  There's just something about the blanket of shiny snow that makes it feel like the holidays.  Plus, it makes my really ugly lawn look like everyone else's.

...be prepared. But, I'm not. I live in a house full of scouts who follow that motto. Me? I'm belong to the PSA- the Procrastination Scou…