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Alice Cooper Concert
Things to Do
Hello . . . Is This Thing On?
Friday, 28 December 2007
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Movies

So the family got more movies this year for Christmas.  Some I have seen - either in the theater or because I had to rent them when they came out.  Shrek 3 - it's ok, some parts are pretty funny.  Spiderman 3 - lots of supervillians and Peter Parker looking pretty "emo" through the middle of it.  Pirates 3 (AWE) - still awed with this movie, although seeing it in the theater larger than life still ranks up there with WOW!  Bourne Ultimatum - hadn't seen it until we popped it into the DVD player the other night.  Matt Damon does an awesome job.  I've read all the Bourne novels and no, the movies deviate quite a bit from them, but whoever did the screenplays did an excellent job.  The first 10 minutes I was on the edge of my seat - it was moving so fast!  Addams Family & Addams Family Values - never heard Lurch say "You Rang" (which is a classic TV line), darker than the TV series, but still enjoyable.  Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid - I've seen this many times throughout the years.  Saw it when it came out in the theater.  Nothing to be said except Paul Newman & Robert Redford.  My favorite line - "Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?"  Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix - saw enough to know this is a pretty decent movie.  And there are still more DVDs waiting to be watched.  Cheap entertainment!

So what have you been doing on your holiday vacation?  Any plans for New Years Eve?

Posted by wendylittrell at 8:03 AM CST
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Thursday, 27 December 2007
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: home

So on Christmas Day after the gifts had been opened, the food had been consumed, and the toys played with, I found myself thinking about something else I really needed: A Cleaner-Upper.  Different than a maid.  This person would be able to discard the turkey remains, put all the remaining food in containers of just the right size, find a place in the fridge for all of it, and load up all the trash & haul it off!

Walmart Gift Cards - yesterday several stores in our large metropolitan area had a computer glitch that caused many gift cards to not be read (did that sentence make any sense?).  A lady on the nightly news said she had to swipe her gift card in the self-checkout lane over 5 times before it would take.  Color Wal-Mart red.  Apparently W-M has to check with a supplier who takes care of "taking care of" the gift card amounts.  They have apologized to all consumers who had issues yesterday.

Note to the Scrooges who Broke into a Toys R Us: Surely you really don't need thousands of dollars worth of video games, and 2 different gaming systems.  What do you plan on doing?  Selling them for quick cash?  I would hope that no one would break into stores - let alone at Christmas.  Yet, what they took goes to show that they really didn't need it.  And more importantly they probably will use the cash they end up with for stuff they don't need either (like drugs, alcohol, etc.).  What about FOOD for your children?  Note to all retailers: start putting alarms on the roofs of your buildings as well as surveillance cameras to find these idiots who insist on cutting holes in roofs to get inside.

When does school start?  Another week?  Are you kidding me? 

Posted by wendylittrell at 8:00 AM CST
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Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Scenes of Christmas!
Topic: holidays

Some scenes from our day!


  ornaments on the tree!









1st grader with his new
Spiderman3 Shirt!











    Photographer Daughter holding up her
    new white sweater we gave her!

Posted by wendylittrell at 8:14 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 26 December 2007 8:19 AM CST
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Happy Day After Christmas!
Mood:  lucky
Now Playing: Spiderman 3 (DVD on Television)
Topic: holidays

I hope you and yours had a wonderful day yesterday!  I wish I could say our day was quiet, controlled, and short!  No I don't wish that!  I wouldn't have had it any other way!  Noisy - movie playing, kids playing, and all of us talking.  Chaotic - not so much, but at certain times there were boxes, paper, bags and parts of toys scattered hither & yon.  Short - no way!  Time actually went by pretty fast and some of us didn't eat our 2nd Christmas dinner until way late! 

First Grader said Santa brought him everything he always wanted - which was actually a good thing since every time I asked him what he wanted Santa to bring, he'd respond "I'm not telling YOU!"  Clothes fit him and he stayed busy playing with every Spiderman toy, Star Wars toy, Transformer Toy and Hot Wheels car that Santa brought.  His Auntie & Uncle and cousins gave him a Spiderman 3 Monster Truck - which the dog just hates!  He's having a grand time with that truck.  And the stories he makes up about what Spiderman can do and what the "bad" guys are doing, are so imaginative!

Senior Daughter actually liked the clothes I bought for her!  Guess it just took me awhile to figure out her "style".  She spent lots of time reading the Ripley's book she got for Christmas.  Loved the DVD's she received and we watched both Addams family movies last night.  I hadn't really seen them before - boy, the movies are a little more "dark" than the TV show was! 

The Dog loved her gifts - pig ears and a pig hoof!  She chewed & chewed on that hoof!  Took it outside but was constantly on guard in case something or someone else tried to take it!  She wasn't too thrilled with all the people (baby especially) or toys that moved or made lots of noise.  She did, however, enjoy her Christmas dinner.

Hubby played his Sudoko game most of the day.  I think his favorite gift came from our niece.  She sent wonderful literature and great framed picture of the castle that is purported to be an ancestral home in my husband's lineage (in England).  I couldn't tell her thank you enough for that gift.  She sent me a beautiful ceramic refrigerator magnet from her trip to Germany recently.  I'm so afraid it will break that I won't put it on the fridge.  Hubby also liked the DVD's, gift cards, and tools he received.

Photographer Daughter (GO TO HER WEBSITE: received a fantastic gift from her husband - a Digital SLR camera.  She'll have so much enjoyment out of learning all the things it can do!  I thought she took great pictures before - I can't wait to see the photos she takes with this camera!  That was my wish for her - to have a professional camera! 

Son-in-law received several gifts he can use and enjoy.  Have I told you how blessed we are to have such a wonderful, caring, and hard-working Son-in-law?  I'm so thankful that he is part of our family (course, I'm sure there are times he wonders about us all!)

Florida Daughter sounded like she had a great Christmas!  Her fiance' gifted her with a new, big jewelry box that she raved about.  I can't wait to hear how her Christmas dinner turned out!  When I talked to her, she had pies cooking, a turkey in the oven of her family down the street and doing a ham in her oven! 

Florida Son had to work and called late in the afternoon.  I know he wished he was with family and we sure wish he'd been with us, but to know that he is healthy and happy and taking care of business, is comforting.

Extended family chimed in through the day - either with us calling them or they called us.  All in all it was a Great Day!

How was your's?

Posted by wendylittrell at 7:52 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 26 December 2007 8:12 AM CST
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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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