Saturday, December 26, 2009

The house of joy & love

My mom rented an entire B&B for the week after Christmas. A week of togetherness for all 15 of us. Oh the stories. So far we are at least a few miles from the correctional facility, not far past the hour motel, before the trailer park, and next to the tie-dye buses. But.....the house is beautiful. The company is great. The wine is flowing....

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Can you identify all of us?  This was our Christmas card this year, and I think Abs did a great job, even if it does look like the tank is going to run over us!

Merry Christmas, from our house to yours.  We are thankful that Gunner is home with us this year....

I am scheduling this to post at 6 am, and I hope that we will still be fast asleep.  Wishful thinking, right?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve in our house...

As I was writing the title, she ran upstairs and left a screaming Junior downstairs.  We ran to the basement and found that she was upset with him and had left him in the dark.  Not cool.  She is sitting in time out.

Yesterday Abs went outside to take Sammy for a walk.

Gunner went to check on her....

Gunner:  Abs....Abs....
Abs:  Yes?
Gunner:  Sammy is not a sled dog.  He is not going to pull you around the neighborhood.
Abs:  Oh man.

The spirit of the season has possessed her. 

After her bath, the bathroom looked like this:

 Em forgot to put up her shampoo and conditioner. 

Will we ever get a break?  We called 1-877-HI-NORAD and the nicest volunteer answered and let us know where Santa was, when he was expected in our area, and Abs started in with the questions.

Abs:  I have a dog, will Santa be scared?
Man:  Nope, he likes dogs and all dogs like him.
Abs:  Will Santa come even if my dog is awake?
Man:  He'll come as long as all the boys and girls are tucked into bed.
Abs:  How do you know that?
Man:  Santa let us know!
Abs:  My dog likes to to lick people.
Man:  Santa won't mind.
Abs:  Are you sure?
Man:  Yep, he is friends with all the dogs and cats.

She had a bout a dozen more questions, and I finally had to chase her off the phone.  Then I had sent a video complete with her name, hair color, eye color, and that she was working on not throwing tantrums.  My little firecracker was mesmerized.

Surprisingly, this helped calm her down after she pretended to ride her cardboard house and ask for volunteers to help her break horses.  While she was in her room at one point, I was in our room wrapping presents.  I heard Abs through the vent, so I stared talking to her and telling her to hold it down.  She got really upset and started screaming, wanting me out of the heater.  Junior latched on to this and got upset because "Mommy is in the heater!". 

I'm opening the wine.

Junior's Christmas Eve

Gunner and I needed to hit the mall, so we took Junior with us since the girls had no interest in venturing out in the cold and snow.  It really wasn't that bad, and the mall was practically empty.

We tried to find something specific, but it wasn't available there, but we walked around for a bit.  We rarely have Junior by ourselves, and I think he loved being an "only child" for a few hours.

First we had to convince him to get dressed, which was no easy feat.  Next, Gunner tried to talk him out of wearing the "monkey on his back".

Yes, it's a bear.  We compromised and he just had to take it out of his shirt in the carseat, and then got to put it back up his shirt at the mall. 

We rode every "alligator".

At one point in Sears, he let go of my hand, I looked down, and he was turning and fell before I could catch him.  Gunner was three steps back and broke his fall, but he cried and we had half the store surrounding us.  He was crying and everyone was asking if he was okay and he kept saying "Can you see I'm hurt?" while sobbing on one of the beds.  Poor kiddo.  It happened so fast.  After that he still wanted to ride, but clung to our hands and refused to look anywhere but straight ahead.

There was a Christmas play-land.

A coin operated train.

A larger train.

And the boy kept asking for a run to Starbucks the whole time.  He loves the cold hot chocolate with whipped cream. 

We finally managed to use our gift certificates and get a family present that will be a big hit tomorrow.  Gunner just ran out to get more batteries.  More pics to come of our afternoon adventures...

Christmas Eve

Gunner's present has NOT arrived.  I'm not too happy, but at least my neighbors will be home next week in case it decides to come.

Since it was supposed to snow Tuesday night, what else would we do but hit the pool.  Abs took her swim test to get the green band and passed!  She had tried several times and so it was a long time coming.  When we got to the front of the building to turn in her lock and band to get her id, she had this conversation.

Abs:  Maybe you didn't notice, but I am turning in a green band instead of the yellow one.
Guy:  Great!  Congratulations!
Abs:  Yeah, so do you want to make an announcement about it over the loud speaker or something?
Guy:  We don't usually do that, but I will change it in the computer so that you when you swipe in, they'll know right away that you need a green band!

Thank goodness he was nice and made a big deal about it, because she was so proud of herself!

Em and I had a day out and went and got our hairs cut yesterday.  She got a cute razor cut, and I had mine trimmed and straightened.  How much can you really do with a pile of ringlets?

I started sewing gift bags for Christmas, in order to maybe, possibly, save some time next year when Gunner is deployed.  The key is that I got the idea and I started.  I now have piles of fabric on the kitchen table and Gunner looking at me funny every time I come up with something else to do.

Today Gunner and I are going to head out with Junior to spend two of our Heroes at Home gift certificates.   Can't wait! 

Gingerbread houses were marked down to $3 so we picked up two more so that each of the kids can eat their own make their own.  That's on the list of things to do today. 

The list that keeps growing and growing and growing.  My brother and his family will be here tomorrow and my little sister and her kids are arriving tomorrow night.  Then all of us are meeting my mom and my older sister and her kids at the Christmas cabin.  15 will definitely be interesting!  Actually, I am really looking forward to it, and I am not just being nice because they read my blog saying that!

Merry Christmas Eve!  (And another Abs story to come later today when I have more time!)

P.S.  Not all my Christmas cards have gone out, but I want all of Ab's hard work to stand out, so if you get it after Christmas, that's why.  :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

Gunner and I spent the day getting the final things for the kids.

Tomorrow we take the kids shopping for each other....and Sammy.  Abs has requested that nothing be bought for for her, and instead use all funds to buy presents for the dog.

We got home and finally decided to put up the tree.  Junior saw the stockings and wanted to put them on so that he could be Santa.  The next thing we uncovered was a santa suit--size 12 months.  That didn't stop the boy from wanting to wear it.

 Way too small.  We used the flip and shot video of Abs and Junior dancing.  My mom asked who Junior was watching dance, because he can really shake his booty.

Then Junior went downstairs and stumbled on a mask.

Which reminded me of what I shot a picture of the night before when he was supposed to be sleeping.

The bow tie makes the outfit, or maybe it is the trash can on his head?

We finally got the tree up....

But, we were missing the chimney again, so Abs took care of that for us so we will have a place to hang the stockings. 

I did take some pictures with my camera instead of my phone, but you know how LONG it takes to download them, and I'm lazy exhausted. 

Tomorrow we have a few more errands, presents to wrap, and we have gingerbread houses to decorate.  I love Gunner being home this year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Do you notice anything new on Sammy? Designed by Abs, and the poor dog just takes it. Maybe he really needed a tail warmer?