Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An Unexpected Visitor

This evening we had an unexpected visitor. Scarlet the elf! We heard some jingle bells coming down the stairs and suddenly Scarlet the elf appeared around the corner.

There appears to have been a very bad boy sitting behind Scarlet when I was taking a picture of our surprise visitor. Apparently, he is not concerned about his standing on the naughty or nice list. Scarlet will be reporting back to Santa about those bunny ears!

Scarlet was dressed all in red (appropriately), but the elf shoes on her feet bore a remarkable resemblance to the elf hats that I had purchased for Savannah and a friend to wear during their school Christmas program (which were never worn).
She even had a Build a Bear bow on her ponytail. Very authentic.

We were all very glad to have this visitor for the night. She was very cute. And with the exception of Myles, we were all on our best behavior. I guess when piles of coal are found in his stocking, we'll know why.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One light goes out, They all go out!!

Tonight, I have experienced one of the 12 pains of Christmas. (Thank you Bob Rivers, I love that song.) Hanging Christmas lights. No, not on the outside of my house, but on my Christmas tree. At my house we have a Christmas forest rather than just one Christmas tree. 4 trees of varying heights, each with it's own decoration theme. Earlier this week, Myles noticed that the tallest tree and second tallest tree were not lighting up. GREAT!!

So, I decided that I would test the lights and buy some new ones to replace the non-working lights. Tree 2 has multi color lights and plugs into Tree 1, which has clear lights and plugs into Tree 3, which has pink lights and plugs into the wall. Tree 4 has no lights at all and is now my favorite of the trees because it causes me no problems. After isolating each tree and testing the lights, I discovered that it was Tree 1 that was causing the problem. I went to Walmart and purchased a new package of clear lights and today I buckled down to remove all of the 5 million tiny colorful glass ball decorations, blown glass decorations, and strings of blown glass garland.

About an hour later, I was ready to remove the lights. This is a task that I absolutely hate, which is why the trees get put away every year with the lights still on them. Part way through the removal process I realized that I had 4 strands of clear lights wrapped around this tree! 4! And, it turned out that only the one in the middle of the tree wasn't working. So, I only had to unwrap half of the tree. Yipee!

I unwrapped, opened new lights, connected the plugs, and re wrapped the tree. Then, I pushed the tree back into position, connected all the trees together again and called in the kids for the Griswald-esque reveal of the working lights. And, in true Griswald fashion (drum roll, please), this was the result (notice the dark area in the middle of the tree)...

The middle portion of Tree 1 was, for some unknown reason, repelling working Christmas lights. Turns out only half of the new strand of lights was working. Half? I thought if one light goes out, they all go out. So, I grabbed one more strand of lights and decided to just layer this strand over the non-working half and call it good. Separate all the trees again. Wrap lights around and around. Push trees back into position. Connect all plugs. And this was the result...
Now, I had lost the lights on Tree 2. At this point I invented some new, especially festive curse words and considered turning the trees into mulch.

Some time later, I unwrapped Tree 1 again, completely removing all of the lights on the tree. I decided to just use the one strand of clear lights that were working and re wrap the entire tree with just the one strand. Surprisingly, it worked! And Christmas is not cancelled. The Christmas tree forest is slightly less bright than it was originally, but so is my Christmas spirit. (Hopefully it will recharge after I start wrapping tonight. Ha!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Time Flies!

It's nearly Christmas and I'm really not sure where the time has gone. I'm also not sure where all of my available spending cash went either. Maybe it was sucked out of my purse while I was at Target attempting to grant my children the greatest Christmas of all time!! (I may have succeeded this year, but I can't talk about that until after Dec. 25th. I have learned that my kids have quickly caught up with me on computer abilities. Their snooping skills are still sadly sub par, however.)

So, to catch every one up...
1. B hit a deer and wrecked our car. Boo-hoo. But, we got a rental that I sort of grew to love. Until...
2. We got hit by the blizzard of 2009. On that day I learned that our rental car hates the snowy weather nearly as much as I do and prefers to stay tucked away at home.

During the blizzard, the kids got 3 snow days in a row! Greatest 3 days ever as evidenced in the photos below. I am pretty sure that Myles is campaigning for larger xmas gifts by doing so much work for me outside. He shovelled all the sidewalks and cleaned off the car for me. I may have to start shopping for a snow blower to give him for Christmas.

3. Another great event that just happened in our house was captured in this picture:

Myles finally got to eat his first ear of corn on the cob since getting his braces off. It's incredibly difficult to track down some corn on the cob that looks edible in December, but we finally did it and it was delicious!
4. We were able to meet a couple of Santa's reindeer last weekend. Dancer and Prancer. They were very uninterested in us and preferred to eat. They also didn't fly at all!! But they were fun to see. Just prior to our meeting the reindeer, we spotted Santa driving a blue Oldsmobile. I guess that's his back up transportation when his reindeer are out doing PR.

5. Last night was the Christmas program at the kid's school. The kindergarten through third grade performed and the 5th and 6th grade band opened up the show. It was a smash hit! You can watch the most important parts on my youtube page here. The incredible camera work explains why hollywood is constantly calling me. (I think I need a tripod. Or possible some arm muscles.)
6. Finally, I am now gearing up for the last few days left before Christmas. I have shopping to finish. I haven't even begun to wrap anything. And, I really have no idea if the gifts I have purchased for the kids are in any way even. The school parties are coming up next week and we have Christmas cookies to bake. I've been waaaayyyy too busy lately and have decided that all I really want for Christmas is a nap. A long, uninterrupted nap. Please, Santa, please.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Super Mario Mania!!

This weekend I thought it would be fun to rent the New Super Mario Bros. for the DS. I have always loved playing the Super Mario games and kicking some Koopa butt. I still remember playing the original on my old Nintendo which was hooked up to my parents console television (and still is). Savannah is the sole owner of a Nintendo Ds in our household. She is also the only one in our house who doesn't enjoy the Super Mario games. This weekend we planned to change that.

I brought the game home and immediately began to test it out. Then Myles caught wind of what I was doing and quickly demanded a turn. Savannah remained distant, determined that she didn't like the Super Mario games. So, we let her watch as Myles and I would raise the DS up over our heads attempting to help Mario leap a large gap, or kick our feet violently up into the air after Mario died a premature death. Finally, the nervous ticks, sweat, and bad words lured Savannah over to us. She wanted in on the action. And she promptly died. That was it. She wanted nothing further to do with the "stupid Super Mario game!"

Myles and I have been fighting over it all weekend and we have learned one thing: Super Mario causes ulcers. (and creative bad language) Our goal had been to beat the game before I have to return it, but it's going back tomorrow and we have only made it to world 6. (Ugh, the frustration.) The good news is that this has totally renewed Myles's interest in the Mario games that we do have. And, since he has only been interested in playing sports video games (boring!!!!), I am very excited about this. I can finally play video games with him again and enjoy myself. (And also have a chance at beating him) However, the housework that I have already put off for 500 other reasons, will still sit undone because we are busy playing video games. Who needs clean clothes or home cooked meals, when we are desperately trying to rescue Princess Peach? A poor princess's life is hanging in the balance!