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holidays in review

I love the holidays.  I love getting out the Christmas decorations.   And, I treasure listening to Christmas carols the entire month of December.   I just keep the iPod on shuffle.

Sure enough though, when January 1st rolls around, I am ready to get everything back to normal.  The sound of peace in the house today was a welcome relief with the children back in school.

So here is a recap and some highlights from the past few weeks:

+ Briggs is officially a TWEEN in every sense of the word.  He has lost four teeth in December alone.  His attitude runs from high to low within seconds.  He irritates his siblings and they irritate him.  He spent nearly the entire Christmas vacation in his pajamas…seriously!  He says things to me such as, “Mom, you better get used to it.  You have three other children behind me.”

+ My beloved brother, Nate, gave a gift to Briggs from AMBER for Christmas.  I should have known from the label what was included in the package with the name Amber.  But sure enough, Briggs opened up the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar.  Ah…I would hardly call what the models wear swimsuits.  In fact, some of them are painted on. The calendar is hiding beside my dryer.  I fully expect that it will be found at some point.  Warning to all of my neighbors:  Your son might come home with an extra wide smile.

+ Bedtime…what bedtime?  A regular routine is absolutely forgotten during the holidays.

+ Polar Bear Express on surround sound.  The glasses is the dining room were shaking as if the train was really coming through the house.

+  Great food…I now have an official muffin top.  UGH!

+ Ice skating.  It was more of a workout for Tim and me tying skates, holding up kids, picking them up from the ice, cheering them on, and untying skates.  Our outing ended.  We returned home and they all decided to get into their pajamas by late afternoon.  At least we got out of the house.

+  Tangled.  Worth the admission for boys and girls.  A great addition to Disney’s collection.

+ X-Box 360 Kinect.  We can now all compete against each other while dancing to Lady Gaga!  Love it.  Maybe my muffin top will disappear.

+ Makeup and more makeup.  The twins’ Christmas dreams were thoroughly fulfilled with a vanity table and the ‘HOLY-MOLY MAKEUP KIT!”  They are four going on fourteen.  They also got a microphone!!!  Campbell says that she wants a stage next.  I have a feeling she will be on stage someday she is so darn dramatic.

+ Sibling rivalry…will it ever end?

+ Visits from family.  Suzy and Drew (love them)!  Papa John (wow…he even stayed overnight). Mark and Terry (always a late arrival but we love to hang out with them).  Debbie and Ray (super sweet).

+ Traditions.  For the second year, we have gone Christmas caroling around the neighborhood.  It started with just us last year.  This year, we had at least 30 in tow with a bonfire afterwards.  Suzy and I are especially excited about this growing tradition.  Seems like we are doing it for Caroline as much as ourselves.

+ We will never forget the year that our new kittens were found napping at the top of the tree.

+ Four believers.  It may be the last year I am able to write that we still have four believers in Santa Claus.  Wish this would never end.

seasons greetings

be good

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

happy fourth

About once a year I feel compelled to post ANOTHER pet peeve.  I think it is a sign of aging.

This one has itched me like sand inbetween my toes for awhile but irritated me even more given the Fourth of July holiday.

During our trip to the Madison Regatta (gotta Regatta!), I took the opportunity to run the annual 10K from the hilltop to the picturesque downtown.  It was a great run.  It is worth doing just for the scenery.

Like most sporting events, it began with “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Herein lies my pet peeve.

When did we stop signing along?  And more importantly, when did we stop putting our hands over our hearts?

I know my Aunt Caroline would belt out a tune anytime the opportunity arose but shouldn’t this be a requirement for all Americans?  Are we so lazy or self-conscious that we no longer sing along to the tune that symbolizes our freedom?

For goodness sakes, place your hand over your heart and sing boldly…especially today.

a mother’s day scare

I think I am fairly easy to please.  Tim may think otherwise.  But I definitely wouldn’t categorize myself as high maintenance. 


On Mother’s Day, the only thing I really wanted to do was rent a six-seater bike downtown along the musuem campus. It is one of my favorite things to do.  Since Tim’s motorcycle accident, I have ploying to replace the Harley with a bike we can all enjoy!  Can’t you just see us tooling around town with a Fred-Flintstone like bike with a cool Stoner Six sign hanging off the back.  We could use it for years…bike ride at night, bike ride to dinner in the village…

Anyway, the monstronsity-of-a-bike is pure fun but hard work considering it weighs a ton and we only have three ‘good’ pedalers.  But on Mother’s Day, we had a great day cruising around UNTIL…

Tim and I were thrown into shock when our sons hold up the syringe they have just picked up behind a boulder.   We had taken a break near the zoo at a boulder park for the kids to play. Clearly the syringe was hidden for no reason other than drug use!  As typical…Tim never panics.  I, on the other hand, immediately have visions of Ryan White in my head shortly after his twenty-year anniversary death.

Thankfully, the cap was still on.  Thankfully, they threw it down as quickly as they picked it up. 

But like all life experiences, there was good conversation to follow that included safety, drug use, and the story of Ryan White.  It never fails…there is always drama with four curious children.

in 2010, wishing you…

dancing with the STONERS

The holidays proved that we like to dance, especially after downloading two new songs to my iPod…Black Eyed Peas’ Boom, Boom, Pow and Lady Gaga’s Just Dance.

Briggs suggested that we hold a ‘Dancing with the Stars’ competition.  He also threatened me NOT to post this video to Facebook to which I agreed.  He mentioned nothing about the blog.  Shhh…

Briggs and Emerson paired up, even rehearsed some moves.  That left Gage and Campbell who really didn’t synch up.

A long video…probably boring for most except this mother who wants to retain the memory visually.

a cabin trip

Instead of exchanging adult Christmas gifts, we decided to take a weekend trip to Wasatch Lake with the family.  Despite the cold, we had a great time and hope we can do it again in the future.  It was nice just to get away for a few days…away from the phone, computer and household duties.  The kids especially loved spending time with their cousins.

it’s true

One of my dreams, goals, and aspirations has always been to make a tradition of Christmas Caroling around the neighborhood while pulling a wagon of warm cider. I think the neighbors have always been in fear I might drag them out with me.  Well, luckily I am not the only one in the family with some crazy ideas. Suzy, my cousin, happens to be a bigger day dreamer than I. And, Nate and Helena are up for anything festive!

So with song sheets in hand. YES…I have had them ready for years, we made our rounds. We didn’t sound good. Most people weren’t even home but we had a lot of fun. My dad had purchased the best wagon and trailer that was perfect for the occasion dragging the girls around.

Here is to knocking one more thing off my list of ’50 Things To Do’ and hopefully starting a tradition.

santa is coming to town

A serenade with Ruditoonz

Gage (3rd row, sixth from the right)
Campbell (1st row, third from the left)
Emerson (absent)

Thankfully, no one picking their nose!

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