Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Card Reveal

I've received feedback from several of my card recipients, so I know the Post Office did their job OK this year. Thanks Postal Workers! So for the curious, here is the results of a day of photo searching, a day of playing with elves, a day of Photoshoppery and ordering, and a day of label making/sticking/envelope licking:


My Christmas Elves
Add in the fancy border, mom and pop elves (cartoony) and the wishes for a Happy Holiday on the side and voila...here it is! Thanks to Walmart for doing such a nice job on the finished card. I just wish they sent nicer envelopes, but I do get the whole "keep costs low" and "use recycled materials" thing. Maybe next year the boys will cooperate with my whole "Let's get dressed up and pose for a Christmas Photo like loving brothers!" thing. *snort*

On another topic... My annual pre-Christmas anxiety has set in with a vengeance. Every year I stress. Am I really done with my shopping? Did I forget any one? Did I buy enough to cover Santa's butt? I fear it looking cheap and skimpy under the tree. I know. I really AM grateful that we have a home and a tree and the ability to put something under it. We are blessed. Telling myself these things helps a bit, but I am still waking up multiple times at night in a sweat. That's why my FaceBook pals are seeing me on at such odd hours. Heh heh.

Oh crud, I am watching a commercial for Sobakawa pillows. The boys both asked for one this year. Darn these dumb "As Seen on TV" products. A couple years ago it was those stupid Snuggies. Both boys got one, wore them once, and I've never seen them again. Idiotic backwards robes. "Wearable Blankets" my butt. *grumbles* But shoot! I didn't get the cheezy pillows. I have a feeling they will be super uncomfortable and a total waste of money. Let's hope the interest in this magic pillow has faded. I'm not adding them to my shopping list. Not gonna do it.

No! Not gonna call your 800 number. Not going to your website. No no no!

Shoot...why do these commercials have to be so compelling?!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santa

Tyler caught me by surprise the other day. We were driving in the Mom Mobile on our way to Wendy's for Tyler's favorite after-school snack. We were talking about Max's visit with Santa the weekend before and Tyler kept mentioning how all the "mall santas" were fake. Then he suddenly blurts out "Plus I think it's Mom and Dad doing all the work. I don't think Santa really comes to our house..."  Ouch.

If Max hadn't been in the car I probably would have had a frank discussion on that topic, but because Max WAS in the car I had to do some fast shuckin' and jivin'. I decided to take that opportunity to drive home one very important point. Santa isn't FREE anymore. I told the boys that 100s of years ago, the elves made all the toys by hand and Santa gave away all those neat wooden boats and wagons for free to all the good little boys and girls who believed in him.

Then the modern age arrived with machine made toys created in factories. Over time, the little boys and girls wanted the slick new toys they saw in the store windows and not the home crafted things Santa made in his workshop. So Santa had to make some changes. He was happy to bring those shiny machine made toys and put them under the tree, but he would need some help. Those toys cost money, so parent started including cash along with the plates of cookies and glasses of milk to help Santa offset his overhead.

The world's population grew and demand for modern toys at Christmas grew right along with it. Santa needed more time and money to get ready for his Christmas deliveries. So Santa modernized. He got himself a computer, email, a website...everything he needed to take orders all year long, process credit cards, upgrade his sleigh, and so on.  So Santa was happy to stay in business, the kids were happy with their video games, skateboards and bikes, and Mom's and Dad's...well...they tried to keep the bills from getting too crazy.

Tyler nodded his head in understanding. Then said..."Can we set up a hidden camera on Christmas Eve? I want to SEE Santa come down the chimney."

Yeah. I am working on that one now.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

I've been toying with ideas for this year's Christmas card. I wanted to do something clever this year. Turning all of us into elves with that JibJab tool I posted yesterday on FaceBook may give a clue to what I was looking for, but it wasn't perfect. I couldn't do a clean screen capture and they want $80 to make all the cards I need for my list. Yeah. $80 is INSANE!

So I dusted off Photoshop and set out to turn us into elves myself. After various iterations, I determined that I make a really hideous elf. The boys look adorable (including John) but I can't send a card with just them and leave me out. People might wonder where the Mommy elf went. So I decided to just elf the kids. No one really wants to see us old farts anyway, right?

So I slept on it and looked at my work again today. I still like it, so I'm running with it. I'm debating whether to post my efforts here or just make you all wait until you receive your cards...

...

Yeah. I'm making you wait. *insert evil grin*

Watch us all dance as elves!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Growing Pains and Growing Older

26 degrees out. If I could feel my face I'd be blushing. Never been late bringing Tyler to school before.  This is just a couple days after getting a warning letter from his school (addressed to all parents) about chronic tardiness. I gave him a 20 minute warning. Then 10. Then 5. When I said "Time to go!" he said "But I'm not dressed yet!" *sigh*

We need to make some serious changes to the morning routine again. I used to have a "no video games or computer" rule but let that slide because he was waking up at DAWN and had nothing to do but pester us for hours before it was really time to wake up. LOL!  Allow computer time to buy me 30 or more minutes of sleep? You bet your sweet bippy! Maybe the new rule should be no computer or video games until he is fully dressed? Hmm. That might work. I'll have to get him to lay out his clothes on his desk chair the night before. He's not going to like new rules. But it will save our sanity just a little on these cold, dark mornings.

Now...how do I get a stubborn 10 year old to wear a winter coat, hat and gloves?! 26 degrees out and he grabs a sheep fleece lined hoodie. That's it. He flat out refused to put on anything else. Good gravy, I hope they don't send the kids outside today.

Speaking of 10 year olds - technically he doesn't turn 10 until tomorrow, but here is a slightly early birthday montage to remind us of how far he has come:

SlideShow

Happy Birthday son! I love you heaps and bunches!