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Monday, 24 December 2007
These are a Few of My Favorite Things . . .
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Holiday Sounds of the Season
Topic: holidays

So Christmas got me thinking on some of my favorite gifts over the years and not just the ones from Christmas:

Gifts of Children - Each of my children.  What a wonderful, delightful, and beautiful gift each one has been (although there have been times . . . no, seriously . . . ) - they were born healthy and have grown into wonderful adults

Gifts of Childhood - My doll babies. Each year as a young girl I'd get to pick out of the Sears catalog the ONE doll that I couldn't live without. 

Gifts of Love - Gifts my husband has given me - just because he shows me how much he loves me with whatever he's given me!

Gifts of Surprise - Gifts my children have given me - too numerous over the years to list - but they have always given me gifts that I won't part with!

Gifts of Baked Goods - All the homemade goodies friends and family have given us!  Nothing says love or friendship like handmade cookies, cakes, breads, etc.!

Gifts of Family - Family visiting from out of town on Christmas.  When my first daughter was born, I stated that while I had small children that Santa Claus needed to visit, I wasn't going to travel anywhere so it's always been wonderful when family comes. 

Gifts of food - The Turkey a friend dropped by one year when we were struggling.  We didn't even realize that they could tell we were in need.

Gifts of music - from all the LP's my family gifted me with as a teenager - to concerts my husband has taken me to - to a cassette tape someone made for us of music they had recorded.

What have been your favorite gifts?

Posted by wendylittrell at 6:10 AM CST
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Sunday, 23 December 2007
Almost Christmas!
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: "Spiderman 2" on Television
Topic: holidays

WHOO!!!  Wrapping is almost done!  Still have my daughter's & her family's presents to wrap yet.  At least I know I won't be up 'til the cows come home 3 a.m. Christmas Eve - well I guess that would actually be Christmas by then, right?

Slept funny so my neck has a "crick" in it (yeah, I'm from Ohio & that's what we say - go ahead, make fun of me!)  Put heat on it & laid down for awhile.  Hubby took Senior Daughter to work & took 1st grader with him so they could wander the local sportsman/outdoor store for awhile.  Had a nice nap - yet the "ouchie" is still there - not as bad tho.

Yeah, I think I'm ready for Christmas!  Have so many cookies here, we'll be waddling around in the days to come!  My wonderful next door neighbor brought us some home baked cookies - they are so good!  Want my cookies to turn out as well - they never do so I guess I need to stop trying!

Are you ready yet? 

Will be back after Christmas so from me to you - may your family have a Healthy and Happy Merry Christmas!

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:28 PM CST
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Saturday, 22 December 2007
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: something on the PBS channel!
Topic: holidays

why is there only 3 days left before Christmas?!

It's not like I don't know what day it is.  It's just that one person can only do so much and I think right now I'm in the "don't wanna do it" mindset.  Usually happens this close to Christmas.  Which explains why for more years than I can count, I'm rushing around at the last minute getting those "last minute" gifts (they are only last minute because we wait that long!), baking cookies, and wrapping. OMG - WRAPPING! I've decided that to accomplish all this I really need:

  • A Personal Shopper - This person must know exactly what I want for each person on my list and be good at sniffing out the sales, dealing with idiotic people, and smiling the entire time while Christmas Songs play in their head!
  • Someone who is like that lady who does all the home decor projects on TV (also has a show) but we don't ever utter the name in my home (initials are MS) - they can decorate like a pro, wrap gifts that look seamless, create awesome bows to place on said gifts, and once again - smiling the entire time.
  • An accountant - to keep all the buying under control while keeping tabs on the money in said accounts to make sure nothing gets overdrawn.
  • A Chef - this person must know exactly what time each dish will go into the oven or on the stove in order that nothing is done before something else.  They must also know exactly how to deal with the leftovers.  Cookies must be all homemade and so delicious they could win awards.
  • A Maid - to make sure the house sparkles from top to bottom in all rooms at all times throughout all the chaos that will rain down come Christmas Day.
  • An Organizer - to go through First Grader's dresser and closet and remove all those items that are too small as well as go through all the toys and remove those that are broken, pieces are missing, are out of the age range (i.e. "baby" toys) as well as organize everything else in the house.
  • A Professional Photographer - actually I have one of those - my daughter (please check out her website: ! (shameless plug) 
  • The Energizer Bunny - someone who can keep going and going (remember: the smile!) without stopping and deciding that it's nap time!

Oh, wait a minute - my family already thinks I have all those people - they think it's me!  Wow, how have I managed to pull the wool over their eyes for so long?!  To tell you how time crunched I feel - I had a fleeting thought about ordering pizza on Christmas day - to get out of cooking!  Yeah, nothing says Christmas like Dominos Pepperoni pizza!

So tell me, have you suddenly (after many years) decided to change your Christmas dinner, present exchange, or something else so drastic that your family thought the sky would fall in and the earth would open up and swallow you whole?  What? And did it make the day seem less chaotic?  I'm all for suggestions!  Please leave some!

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:57 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, 22 December 2007 8:00 AM CST
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Friday, 21 December 2007
FOUR Days to finish Shopping!?
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Whatever is on "Rick Springfield Radio"
Topic: holidays

So what happened to December?  I remember when it started but I sure didn't realize that the 21st would fall the day after so close behind!  I do remember sleeping sometime and drinking coffee - ok, LOTS of coffee, and doing some shopping, but seriously the TWENTY FIRST OF DECEMBER IS TODAY?

So the party yesterday for First Grader's class went very well!  I feel so lucky that at least 5 other parents showed up - including one who is also a teacher at the same school (for a few minutes at least!).  There was plenty of food (so I could grumble about parents not letting me know that they were bringing tons of goodies - but I'm too thankful for that!), wonderful music - courtesy of the Christmas CD the school choir and each grade recorded, happy children, and smiling faces all around.  The Holiday craft - no, we're not supposed to utter the "Christmas" word for fear of offending someone - was jingle bell bracelets and necklaces - which went over VERY well!  It was simple, the mess was very contained which mainly consisted of beads & bells rolling off the table, and cleaned up fast!  It took just the right amount of time, too.  I guess my "Room Mom Super Powers" arrived in the nick of time!  Now, they'll be gone again until at least the week of the Valentine's class party!  I don't call on those super powers very often as I'm afraid I'll end of volunteering for PTA President or something like that!

Oh, you wanted to know how much wrapping I've accomplished?  Zilch. Zero. Nada.  Unless you count the gifts I had to ship out - those I wrapped - or my husband's "gift swap" gift for work - I also wrapped that. But the stuff that goes under the tree - nope.  Still sitting in the same bags they were in when I carried them out of the store.  Maybe tonight?

So are you ready?

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:52 AM CST
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Thursday, 20 December 2007
Christmas movies, songs, whatever . . .
Mood:  cool
Topic: holidays

Favorite Christmas Songs (tho in no particular order!) - and I'm not including the artist because, well, it's 7:24 a.m. & I've had NOT enough coffee yet to even remember!

  • White Christmas
  • The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting . . .)
  • O Holy Night
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Mary, Did You Know
  • Silent Night
  • The First Noel
  • Jingle Bell Rock

Yeah, I'm sure there's more but again - NOT enough coffee yet!

Movies I like to watch during the Holiday Season:

  • Miracle on 34th Street - The original with Natalie Wood
  • It's a Wonderful Life - I still get teary at the end!
  • White Christmas
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  • Home Alone - although this is probably the only time of year I can stand to watch it (for the umpteenth gazillion time!)
  • The Grinch (I'm NOT a big Jim Carrey fan - so this is fine for me because he's completely hidden behind make-up & prosthetics - although he is still WAY over the top) - again, I can watch it ONCE during the Christmas season & that is almost too much.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas - loved it annually growing up but since I have a 1st grader in the house, he likes to watch this in July which is so not my thing!
  • The Santa Clause - haven't seen the 3rd one but I do like to watch the first 2 during Christmas

Again, I know I've forgotten some "classics" or those which are not so classic, but I haven't had enough coffee yet to process what I've seen in the (no number given) years I've been on this earth!

Other stuff I really enjoy at Christmas:

  • Snow - as long as it starts Christmas Eve after we are back from church services & the rest of my family gets home safely & it melts the day after Christmas.  Here in Texas - we don't see very many White Christmases.
  • Homes that are decorated - I really have a pet peeve about people throwing net lights on bushes or wrapping it around tree trunks or throwing lights up in the branches of trees.  I grew up with evergreen trees in my front yard so you could say I'm a little spoiled - if you decorate your front yard trees - they better look like Christmas trees.
  • Reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and the Nativity Story on Christmas Eve.  This was a tradition I started when my own children were just wee little ones & it has continued through 3 grandsons.  I hope that someday (far into the future) when I'm gone, that when Christmas rolls around, that the kids & grandkids all get sentimental about Mom/Nana reading these stories.
  • Listening to Christmas Music 24/7.
  • Taking children to see Santa Claus (but not at the mall I previously blogged about!)
  • Baking - for some reason the spirit of the season sets my Betty Crocker Homemaker personality into overdrive.  Baking pies, cookies, whatever I can put flour, milk and eggs in!
  • Drinking Egg Nog - although trying to go "low cholesterol" has completely taken the fun out of drinking egg nog.  In other words I've had 2 glasses of egg nog in one year!
  • Attending Christmas Parties - although the darling husband & I rarely do that now.  In the past we always went to his office Christmas party.  The type that they rented the entire floor or two of some swanky hotel for and stockpiled every room with food from different countries, different music playing in all the ballrooms, and getting dressed to the nines - ok, maybe the sevens - to go party with the grown-ups!  We also had a good friend who had an annual Christmas party which she'd been throwing for at least 10 years.  She started cooking early in the year for the party & hired a younger gal from church to do the serving & taking care of the food as it came out of the oven.  But, she and her family moved up north, and we sure do miss her. Not just because of her parties (ok, that's partially it) - but she was a wonderful person with great common sense and a true friend.
  • Feeding people on Christmas.  Seems like for so long we've always had extra people at Christmas dinner - boyfriends of my daughters, friends of my kids and now we have grandkids.  For so many years I had to cook for 6 people + every day so as the kids started moving out and moving away, I've had to learn to cook less.  I really enjoy cooking for an army - so I'm glad that on Christmas I can cook beaucoup food and say "you better eat that up, I don't want any leftovers" to those around the table.
  • Sending and receiving Christmas cards.  Years ago, I used to wonder why folks would send those computer printed family letters each year but now I really look forward to them.  What they've been doing, etc. 

So what are your favorite things at Christmas time?

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:45 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007 7:57 AM CST
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Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Christmas Shopping
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: holidays

So I went to --- today and picked up ----- for ------ (CAUGHT YA!  YOU THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO ANNOUNCE WHERE I WENT SHOPPING AND WHAT I BOUGHT!)  No Dice!  My children read this blog & I can't be announcing all over the web what I bought them for Christmas.  So you - and they - will have to wait until at least Dec. 26th!

I left for my shopping bonanza at 8:30 a.m. - first stop Post Office to pick up something from a relative that needed a signature.  Then over to the new stores at a town north of me - wow they have a Coldwater Creek store!  Hit about 4 shops over in that section, then went to ship gifts to the Missouri relatives before heading to the bank at the very opposite end of town & then grabbing some Popeyes cajun rice & mashed 'taters for lunch. 

Somehow I have to figure out when to wrap!  Midnight Christmas Eve?!

Posted by wendylittrell at 4:03 PM CST
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Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Rain, rain & MORE Rain!
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: home

Well right now I feel like I'm back in the summer - except for the cold & damp.  The saying in our neck of the woods - "if you don't like the weather, stick around. It'll change every 10 minutes."  The change is basically rain & then some misty rain, then a downpour, then nothing, then a couple sprinkles, & on & on!  And why is it that when it's rainy & icky (that's my "meterological" term for the day!) - that's when I have to get out in it! 

Put a pot of vegetable soup on the stove to simmer all afternoon.  I really love soup so in a way, it's nice that it's soup eatin' weather!  But I still wish it would either just rain, stop or go away. 

What's your day like?

Posted by wendylittrell at 1:32 PM CST
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Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Santa Picture
Mood:  silly
Topic: holidays

Here's the picture of 1st grader & Santa that I was NOT supposed to take!












Posted by wendylittrell at 2:25 PM CST
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Monday, 10 December 2007
Our Tree
Mood:  cool
Topic: holidays

Ok - here's a (cropped) picture of our Christmas Tree! Enjoy!

  Did I mention that this is a picture before it was really done?  We have ribbon garland on it - instead of the traditional garland or the pearls I've draped on it from time to time or the tinsel I've "thrown" on it!

  Do you spend lots of time making sure your ornaments are just so?  Is your tree color coordinated? Fess up!

Posted by wendylittrell at 2:51 PM CST
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Friday, 7 December 2007
We are High Speed!
Mood:  happy
Topic: home

Mr. Service Man / Technician showed up yesterday to install our new DSL internet service!  Yes, sad to say we were still living in the prehistoric age the 20th century!  Bye - bye dial up!  Hello, superhighway or should I say Autobahn!  All of us had to try it out.  Wow I can actually watch stuff on Youtube now instead of waiting a lifetime over an hour for just a minute or two to download!

So please tell me I am not the only one who was still living with dial up - I know there are others out there - who are you?  And I do feel your pain!

Have a happy, wonderful weekend!

Posted by wendylittrell at 8:09 AM CST
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