Saturday, December 27, 2008

Come on in, Bossman Dan. Please have dinner!

I have survived it. My husband reports that not only did I survive it, but apparently everyone walked away well fed.

His boss came to dinner.

Now, in all fairness, Hubs has known his boss for years. When Hubs and I were first married, Hubs was doing an internship with the National Park. After his internship, the National Park picked him up seasonally. For our first few years of marriage, he bounced every six months between park districts. (Literally just down the road from each other.) Dan, Hubs' boss, was one of his co-workers back in the NPS days. Having Dan over for dinner was going to be a casual type of affair, but I still had tons of work ahead of me.

Hubs decided to make good on his promise to finish painting our hallway. We had started it a over a year ago and all painting halted. It was too cold, Hubs doesn't like the smell of paint . . . You know when something goes unfinished for so long that you don't even see it anymore? Well, we had hit that point. I told him that if he wanted his boss to come for dinner, the hallway needed to be dealt with.

Add Christmas into that equation, as well. Oh, and a birthday for a 5 year old. And a mama who worked far too much and was up far too late working on Christmas things. That spells into a giant neon sign-- OUR HOUSE WAS A WRECK! I reclaimed it, though. It was all with the help of sugar and caffeine. That conversation I had with God last night helped, too.

I decided to work from the back of the house to the front. I made my turkey tenderloin in the crock pot with potatoes and carrots. I had frozen rolls out rising. Hubs requested homemade cornbread stuffing (sorry BooMama), so I had that to make later on. His boss is a single guy. I refused to serve him the rotisserie chicken that Hubs suggested. Dan doesn't get home cooked meals and I was going to make him one if it killed me! Our room needed reclaimed from the piles of clean laundry that needed put away, the sweaters that needed hung and the furniture and pictures that needed to go back out to the hallway. K-'s room was cleaned this AM, but tidied about 4 more times as the day went on. As I moved through the house, I got hot and realized that on December 27 at 3 PM it was 62 degrees F outside. I turned the heat off and opened the windows and doors and turned the ceiling fans on. I like to get fresh air piped into the house when I can, so this gave me a great wintertime opportunity. (I didn't end up closing the windows until after 8!) I busted a move and got through the whole house. K- stayed downstairs in her play area for most of the day playing with her Polly Pockets, Legos and Play Doh. She did go out to the front step to play with her chalk.

At 5:30 PM, they arrived. I was just finishing wiping some surfaces in the kitchen. K- went to entertain as I continued cooking.

In the end, Hubs told me that it was the best meal that I ever made. He also told me that he has no idea how I got everything done that I did. He was convinced that I had to have a closet somewhere that was overflowing with crap. I admit having made one dump bag, but that I'll go back to tomorrow. Most of that is Christmas stuff that I had no time to put away.

Dan ended up staying until 10 PM. But I did it. I survived the test of the boss coming for dinner. I survived it, but I'm exhausted. Pardon me, as my pillow is calling me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Our 1008 Square Feet Overfloweth

But first really, why do we bother giving the gift?

The box is certainly sufficient. At least in this case, the box for the luxury Barbie Bus with Hot Tub is sufficient enough for a fairly decent sized 5 year old to fit in. Should I add that Hubs turned it top side down and she was fully in it? Mum and Dad-in-law were having a heart attack over it. "She'll hurt her head!" Oh gee-- we've done much worse goofing with her. They don't recall that time that her turtle neck was so stuck that I was able to pick her up suspended from the turtle stuck on her head. Later that night, I went to wash her hair and found a completely purple ear. Her ear got stuck and I turned it a deep purple! UGH! But, that's not what I'm really here about.

We've had a lovely day. We got up early, read the Christmas story then opened gifts here. After that boatload was dispensed of, we loaded up and went to my in-law's for Christmas breakfast. We sat down, ate a lovely meal and enjoyed each other. We opened gifts and talked to my sister-in-law (she lives in Chicago but they are celebrating Christmas at their lake house about an hour north of Milwaukee.) Hubs and I drove separate, because I needed to go fetch my brother. My brother's car is still broken and he is just having a hard time getting it properly repaired. Add to that his bipolar bit and it can get a bit interesting. He, his family and I shuttled off to my family's house while Hubs and K- arrived a bit later. (Hubs was attempting to install my in-law's new printer.) We were able to hang there, open gifts together and eat-- again. I've eaten enough for a week! It was good to see my brother kicked back and relaxed. My mom wasn't feeling so well and was kind of ouchy. She apologized later. It's all good.

It was great for all of us to get together!

Now we are home. I'm taking a break from assembling Polly Pocket habitats and the Barbie luxury bus, which I'm certain has more square footage than my humble home.

Speaking of, it looks like a toy store blew up in here. I'll be making my annual trek to Target tomorrow to retrieve clear lidded containers. We must, must, must bundle these parts up into proper creature homes!

A very Merry Christmas to everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hello 2:30 AM. You came to me so quickly.

I had lots to do. I wanted to make last night the big push so that I could be calm, collected and FOCUSED on the meaning of CHRISTmas. Oh, that is a thought. I've realized that more than anything this year, I've been running around in circles and leaving tornadoes in my wake. I baked cookies, but they aren't my typical lot that I put together. I've wrapped gifts, but not always capable of just thinking or praying for the recipient. I've attended things, but with my heart and mind in other places.

Oh, I have a list of change for next year.

First, the annual Christmas cookie box will be changed to the theme of quality, not quantity. I'll pick a few sure-fire hits and bake those in mass. Doing three different cookies well, rather than a bunch to pull numbers is a more preferable way.

I need to go back to wrapping in October. I do this as a good hunk of my job for 2 months during the holiday season. I don't so much mind doing it at work, but I get home and fall flat like a cookie with conked out baking soda. (Yes I had that problem this year, too.)

I will be less rushed. I will purposely SCHEDULE family time in, instead of it happening on accident. We need to do this during the holiday season to make certain that we are all cruising along at a lovely speed with the love thing. I get scattered, K- gets scattered, Hubs gets really moody and we bicker. We don't normally, but stress will do that. I resolve to solve that problem.

I will take in everything that I do. I will take in the time that I'm involved in. I will stress less. I will plan more. My family will be happier.

In the meantime, the last day of Christmas retail awaits. I pray that we're all able to sit down and truly concentrate on the reason of why we celebrate Christmas anyhow. Santa is a cool guy, but Jesus is cooler. Take notice of your "Away in a Manger" (as K- calls it) and really look. Are you there? Are you adoring Him?

Merry Christmas, my friends.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Home Day, Baby Girl!

It was 5 years ago that you came into our lives. There aren't enough words to tell you how much we love you.

Recently, we dealt with the great humidifier flood in your bedroom. When that happened, we had to pull half of your room apart. That left me to wade through your library of books. I found one that I thought that I would share with everyone in honor of your day. Sadly, I don't know who gave it to us for you. I would thank them again!

A Blessing From Above
By Patti Henderson
Golden Books

Once upon a time there lived a mother kangaroo who had an empty pouch.

Every night before she went to sleep, she prayed that some day her pouch would be filled with a baby to love and hold and care for.

One day, Momma-Roo decided to go for a walk.

During her walk, she saw a pair of butterflies fluttering about in a field of flowers.

She later came upon a mother duck leading her ducklings to a pond.

Next she spied a mama and papa squirrel gathering acorns for their family.

She was looking forward to the day she could share all of these wonderful sights and activities with a baby of her own.

Momma-Roo was getting tired. She decided to rest underneath the branches of a beautiful willow tree.

When she looked up she saw a bluebird nest stuffed full of baby bluebird eggs.

One by one, the eggs began to hatch open. The baby bluebirds stretched their wings and cried for food. The nest was getting very crowded.

Just as the last and littlest bluebird cracked open his shell and stepped into this world . . .

. . . one of his brothers stretched his wings. Before the littlest one knew what was happening, he was bumped from the nest and falling . . .




. . . straight into Momma-Roo's pouch!

The baby bluebird peeked out from the pouch and gazed up at Momma-Roo.

"Hello Mommy," he chirped.

The mother bluebird looked down and saw her littlest one.

She knew her nest was not big enough for all her chicks. It made her happy to see her baby bluebird in such a warm, cuddly place.

"Hello, Little One," said Momma-Roo.

Then she hugged her blessing from above.

"At last! My very own baby!" she cried joyfully. "I will cherish you forever!"

On their way back home, Momma-Roo and Little One frolicked through the field of flowers.

They stopped for a sip of water at the pond.

They shared grass and berries together. They were so happy!

Now, every night before they fall asleep, Momma-Roo and Little One thank God for all their blessings . . . but especially for each other.

In love he destined us for adoption to himself . . . Ephesians 1:5

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mrs. Doubtfire, Is That You?

Are you seeing the same thing I do? Does this scream Mrs. Doubtfire? Maybe it's flashbacks from the wedding boutique days. I did have a gentleman who went by the name of Dawn have me measure him for an evening gown for the Ms. Tri Coun*ty Page*ant. If this isn't Mrs. Doubtfire, in the very least I believe it could be Dawn.

By the way, this was one of the gifts that K- received for her birthday yesterday. My mother-in-law looked for Tinkerbell but couldn't find one. K- loves it!