December 30, 2009

We interrupt this Christmas program...

... to make this special announcement.

Only moments ago, we received word of a chocolate deal going down in the living room. Our eye witness, who's name and position in the household is being with held for safety purposes, tells us what happened.

"Well, there I was, taking advantage of a quiet moment in which I took the opportunity to be lazy. It was then that I noticed just how quiet it was. It was too quiet. So I snuck into the living room to investigate."

"Now, I know these little monkeys KNOW that they aren't allowed to eat in the living room (if you've ever read any of my pre-house, apartment posts, you would know why) so I confess I was a bit surprised by the boldness of their black market actions."

"It would appear that they are experts with much experience as the goods being dealt managed to stay hidden from view as I tried to collect evidence. It was later discovered that the items in question were mini M&Ms."

"My undercover partner, who will remain unknown, had no further comment to offer."

Well, there you have it. Never trust extreme silence.

Find out all the breaking news here, at Channel 4monkeys.

December 29, 2009

Crazy Christmas - Part 2

Well, my family is leaving tomorrow, Jacob has been throwing up every few minutes the last couple of hours, about ten loads of laundry has been done in that time, my house is in total self-destruct mode, and I have more ham in my fridge than I know what to do with.

But I'm sneaking in a few minutes to write a bit more about my Christmas. Believe me, there are still a couple more days of Christmas posts to come. Okay, so I probably just scared half you readers away.

(if you plan on snoring, please do it with discretion so as not to upset the other readers, thank you.)

We had planned to keep Christmas simple this year. A few homemade presents, a few stocking stuffers, and one or two bought toys for each kid. But it was not to be.

A few days before Christmas, a family from our ward, who seems to have taken a shine to my kids, stopped by and unloaded the back of their truck. Two huge boxes or bags for each of the kids.  I was completely and utterly dumbfounded. They more or less just dropped them off under the tree and walked back out without saying much. I have no clue why they did it. But man, oh man were my kids excited!

On top of that, I received a huge box of clothes and later a box of gifts from a friend I've never met in person. Then my neighbor came over Christmas day also bearing a large bag of gifts for my family.

I truly felt so humbled I think I may have actually shrunk a couple inches. What can one say to such an incredibly generous group of people besides and mere "thank you". It just doesn't seem like enough.

But Christmas morning dawned late enough that I was able to sneak in a shower before the kids were dancing at the ants in their pants and itching to tear open the presents that swarmed the base of our small tree.

The very first presents to be grabbed happened to be the very ones that my neighbor and I spent hours upon hours making, staying up well past 2am two nights in a row right before Christmas trying to get done. Sewing is not a skill that I have acquired but thankfully, they are masters. I never could have done it without them.

Ta da!!

 Fear not. No close-ups of the sewing were taken for fear that my handiwork would cause some of the skilled ladies to faint in pure horror.

I also made these tutu's for the girls. Gotta love Relief Society crafts!!

Okay seriously, have you ever seen anything so stinking cute!!! I think NOT!

This is what happens when you let a man get a hold of the camera. I tried to stop him, honest I did! But you know how dads can be sometimes. They seem to like taking those awkwardly close pictures. I think I can see my pores....

Oh man, now we are talking extreme cuteness!

WARNING: If you think you're done having kids, please, please do not view the next couple pictures. They have the tendency to change people's minds.

You can't say I didn't warn you!

Joseph with his new watch. He loves watches. I wonder if he'll be one of those men who seem to think that an expensive watch makes them look good. I wouldn't know the difference between a $5 and a $500 one if my life depended on it!

My dad's gift from my mom.

She made it. Just for him. Since he doesn't have a real one.

The rest of the day was spent assembling and playing.

Oh, and eating of course. Can't forget that part. It's very important!

Christmas evening my little sister, her hubby, and my nephew joined the party, bringing the total count to  12 people.

There was toy playing, a bit of toy stealing,

more toy playing,

and a whole lot of talking and laughing.

It had been a really fun day.

About 1:30am, my two other brothers roll in. But I was asleep.

Okay, so I heard them come in but we were all so tired that I didn't bother to get out of bed to say hi, and my brothers headed straight to the basement and crashed. We said hi the next morning.

That brought the total count to 14 people in our three bedroom house. But it actually worked out just great. We put the three older kids in the same room and my parents got the spare upstairs bedroom. We put everyone else down in the unfinished basement. And it worked, thanks again to my awesome neighbors and all their spare mattresses.

Huh. How did this picture find its way here? Oh well, I'll explain it.

My mom started a Christmas morning tradition many, many years ago. She buys each person in the family their favorite box of cereal to eat. That way Christmas morning breakfast is a no fuss deal. It's awesome.

And there you have it. Christmas day.

I hope yours was awesome too.

If you made it to the end of this post, I think you deserve a chocolate. If can actually think of something to comment on, you deserve two. 

See? Permission to eats even MORE treats. After all, its not the new year yet!

December 28, 2009


I can sense the paparazzi already! Check out my guest post over at Mormon Mommy Blogs!

(sniff) I feel so loved.

Crazy Christmas - Part 1

(sigh) So many pictures, so little blog. Between my mom taking 177 pictures and counting, as well as me, my dad, and my brother all taking pictures, lets just say, I have a lot of pictures. Does that seem too obvious of a statement?

But which ones to choose? Which ones to leave out? See what life-altering, life and death choices I have to face everyday?

I'll accept sympathy gifts in chocolate.

Well, I guess I'll just start at the beginning.

Wednesday, December 23.

It was a day filled with me, myself, and I, cleaning, cooking, and bribing my kids to not touch things or make messes as we awaited the arrival of my parents and youngest brother who were coming to spend Christmas with us.

Their 8-hour drive ended just as it was time to put the kids to bed. But we let them stay up and bask in the attention of Granny and Papa.

This is where my creative side comes from. I use to spend hours upon hours doodling with my dad. Now, its Savannah's turn. She loves to doodle too.

I admit, even I was impressed that my dad managed to draw her a whole maze just before bedtime.

Christmas morning came and my hubby had to go into work. So, the rest of us loaded up and spent all morning shopping for food and other neseccary items. Seeing as how there are currently 14 people in our little house, it was a very brilliant idea.

Don't be too surprised. I get some of those occasionally.

At this point we were awaiting news of my two brothers who were driving up from the east coast bringing a U-haul full of my dad's old propane tanks. This U-haul was later lovingly named, "the Spawn of Satan".

That's when we got the call.

In an attempt to avoid the big blizzard sweeping through the mid-west, they ended up right smack in the middle of a storm in Texas. They had crashed. But I'll let them tell that story themselves. As soon as they have the story up, I'll send a link to it.

For the next couple hours, all that could be heard was the pinging and ringing of cell phones as texts, pictures and phone calls were on a rampage.

After a family prayer, things worked out so that my brothers could continue to drive the smashed vehicle across the country and arrived here about 1:30am the day after Christmas.
But jumping back to Christmas Eve.

Can you tell the kids had a lot of fun? What? I can't help it. I'm a state the obvious kind of girl.

As is Christmas Eve tradition for my family, we had clam chowder in bread bowls for dinner.

I'll be happy to share my top secret recipe with you all, just because I like you so much. Ready?

Serene's Famous Clam Chowder

Drive to Sam's Club, buy a case of Progresso Clam Chowder, open the cans and warm up over medium heat, Wa-la! A culinary masterpiece everyone will enjoy! (Unless you have a shell fish allergy like my little brother. Then it probably wouldn't be the best of ideas)

Savannah came home from school one day declaring that we needed to make cookies for Santa. We have never done that before so I thought it would be a fun tradition to start.

Santa likes chocolate chip cookies the best.

WOW! Look at me! I look like I belong in a Martha Stewart magazine! Its amazing what an apron can do for one's personna. Maybe I'll be asked to model in, "Pretending to Cook" next month.

With the cookies made, there was nothing left to do but wait... and lick the oven in an attempt to swipe a cookie.

And make cool ribbon hats.

The next morning, Savannah came tearing into my room yelling that Santa had come and ate all her cookies. He even left her a thak you note. Because Santa is thoughtful like that.

And that was only the beginning of the craziness to come.

To be continued....

I'm always looking for new ideas. What are some of your Christmas Eve traditions?
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