Thursday, December 27, 2012

Santa Gets Snubbed!

Some kids like Santa, and some kids don't.  In our family we have a little bit of both.  Our youngest monkey girl loves Santa and spent quite awhile telling him what she wanted for Christmas.  And just in case Santa didn't remember everything that she wanted for Christmas, she made sure to give him a list complete with pictures. The list was only three pages long this year.

Some kids like Santa...

"Hi Santa!" "Okay, let's talk..."

"My Little Pony, My Little Pony..."

"Oh, yes and My Little Pony."
And some kids don't...

Santa:  "What's your name?
Monkey: "No comment." 
Santa:  "Hey, where ya going kid?"
Monkey: "I don't need no stinkin Santa Claus!"

Sorry Santa.  We tried, but you know not everyone appreciates you for who you are.  We will try again next year.  Hey, look on the bright side, Santa.  At least he didn't scream at you this year or try to fling poo at you as monkeys are known to do.



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Surprise on the High Seas!!!

Last week, was my sweet mom's birthday.  I can't tell you how young she is because she will ground me for the rest of my life if I do.  Let's just say that you would never guess her age if you tried.  She is one young, beautiful, smart, hot momma!

My sisters, aunts and I wanted to do something really special for Mom, so we decided to take her on a little surprise trip.  We went on a cruise and had an amazing time!

We had so much fun celebrating Mom.  In fact, we were able to surprise her a few times.  Here is how it all went down:

Our Aunt Debbie flew in from North Carolina the day before we set sail.  Aunt Debbie and I arrived at the ship early and decorated Mom's room.  In the meantime, my Aunt Gail and my sister Wendy took my mom for a birthday pedicure.  Mom had already packed her bag for a "mystery trip", but she had no idea what the plan was.  My sister Jessica and her friend Kenya joined up with the rest of the crew post pedicure.

When my mom and the girls arrived at the ship, my aunt and I were waiting in the room.  By now, she knew that she was going on a cruise, but she had no idea that we were going too.  The look on her face when she saw us was priceless.

The fun had only just begun.  As we set sail, we were in awe of the sunset over the Atlantic. 

The next 72 hours was full of laughter, eating, laughter, dancing, eating, playing, shopping, eating and laughter.  My sides still hurt from laughing so much. 

We made some very special memories on that ship.  I can't wait to get together again.  How about next week :-) ?



Saturday, December 15, 2012

On Monday

Elementary school memories are infused with pure kid joy at trying something new. For me, elementary school memories are all about the newness of learning and of life.

Like listening to books on tape in the reading tee-pee that my kindergarten teacher had. Or the day that my mom came into my first grade class and helped us make homemade peach ice cream in an old-fashioned ice cream maker. Playing with my friends on the playground on Field Day. Listening to our school librarian read The Velveteen Rabbit to our class. Learning how to write in cursive and being envious of Jeanie Enfante because her cursive had the perfect slant. Painting a mural on the cafeteria wall. Drinking chocolate milk out of tiny milk cartons and eating rectangle pizza. Being a patrol and helping to open doors for fellow students at the car line.

Then after the school day was over, walking home with my friends. My mom would always be there waiting for me. I would tell her about my day, have a snack, do homework, and play.

That is what a child should remember about elementary school. Not the nightmarish memories that come with cruel, senseless acts of Friday. No child should ever have to endure the horror of what happened on Friday. Years of innocence have been ripped away. Lost.

On Monday, 20 mothers (and fathers, brothers, sisters) will wait for their precious little ones to come home from school, but they won't. On Monday, students will sit in their classrooms waiting for beloved teachers who will never return. On Monday, a school staff will look for the leadership of a principal who is gone. On Monday, all those broken hearts who will be searching for guidance from their trusted school psychologist will not find her.

My prayer is that today, tomorrow, on Monday and always those who have lost so much will feel God's loving arms around them.



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fa, La, La, La, Blah, Blah, Blah...

Me and the Scary, Convict Santa years ago
I feel extra crunchy this afternoon.  Maybe it's sugary highs and lows from all the Christmas "goodies" speaking, but I feel like I am one candy cane short of a meltdown, seriously.  So thank you for reading, and now I am going to vent about what makes this beautiful season of the year not so "wintery and wonderlandish".

First, it is hard to be in the Christmas spirit when you loose at least a pound of water weight just getting in and out of your car to go anywhere here in Central Florida.  I am sweating bullets people, and it's December! Someone please let Santa know that he needs to dress in layers this year as he delivers toys. When he gets to Florida, he should just wear his bathing suit.  I hope it's not a Speedo though, because, well, that would be very frightening. 

Second, driving anywhere around here these days is enough to make you want to...I am not going to say what it makes me want to do because it's not very nice.  Although, I am probably already on the "Naughty List" because of my Santa Speedo remark. But really, are you in such a hurry to spread Christmas cheer that you have to drive like a maniac? 

Third, Christmas music...I really do not like it.  How many versions of, "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" does this world need, really?!?

Fourth, Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how unlovely are your brown, crumbling branches, even though we just bought you two weeks ago and we are watering you everyday? 

Fifth, shopping carts really hurt when someone runs into the back of your heels with them.  Hey lady, you may want to be careful not to run over people in the store with your death cart in order to get to that last Deep Fried Twinkie Maker. Just saying.  Oh and Cart Lady, Twinkies are no longer on the market, so good luck with trying to find some to fry up.

Sixth, lawn ornaments are okay in moderation.  Does anyone else find it eerie to have your lights flicker every night around sundown as all the lawn ornaments turn on? Do you think it's okay that I haven't seen my neighbor's dog in several days, and the blow up Christmas alligator across the street has a slimy look on its face?

Seventh, I don't like tinsel.  Do they even make tinsel anymore?  If they do, I don't like it.

Eighth, Attention department stores: it might be a good idea to hire "Santas" that are actually old enough to grow facial hair.  Something about the cracking voice and acne of the teenage Santa just doesn't seem authentic.

Ninth, "Some Assembly Required" ?!?

Last, why are throw pillows so expensive?  $50 for a pillow?  Why, just why?

Wink, wink,


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

If Genes Could Arm Wrestle...

Scandinavian versus Mediterranean 

If genes could arm wrestle we would have a stale mate on our hands.  Pete's genetic material comes from his Scandinavian ancestors.  The blonde hair, blue-green eyes and oh-so-fair skin is the calling card of his family.  My family hails from the Mediterranean region.  We Italians are olive-toned, have an overabundance of brown hair, brown eyes, brown hair, and brown hair.

When Pete and I got married and our genetic pools mixed (slightly awkward wording). We were amazed at how some of our children were all the way Scandinavian and the others were completely Mediterranean.  We did not have any brown hairy babes with blue eyes or brown-eyed, blonde fuzz ball babies. It was as if the genes decided that they just could not compete. 

So we have our blondies...

And our brownies...


Oh, never mind. 

And it's all because, two people fell in love...and mixed genes.

Now, as far as personalities go, the "weirdo" gene was dominate and they all inherited it from their dad, not me.  No, really.  



Monday, December 3, 2012

Picture Perfect?

Most of the time, I love blogging.  I feel like it has many positive aspects.  Blogging is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends and to meet new friends :-).  It is a creative outlet for me; therefore, I find it relaxing. I love being able to document snippets of our life through words and photos.  I envision our grandkids looking at the blog and enjoying the stories of their moms and dads (sniff!)

In my opinion, there is also a downside to blogging.  I feel like it can give people a false sense of "reality".  Obviously, I can't blog about everything that happens in my life or the life of our family nor would I want to. Believe me, you would not want to read it if I did.  In fact, you might be scarred for life if you knew what really goes on here on a daily's scary at times :-). 

Anyway, my point is that life is not picture perfect, no matter how "put together" things may appear on a blog.  There are good days and bad days.  There are those messes in life that are too painful and private to share.  I never, ever want to be a discouragement to someone who reads this blog.  I never, ever want to give a false impression that the life that I live is somehow charmed or better than anyone else's life.  Believe me, what you see on this blog is just a teeny, tiny part of our life.  There is so much more.  We have our issues and they are many, my friends. 

To prove my point, let me leave you with an example in the form of a picture...

Real family life captured by Heather at Lisbet Photography

In hindsight, I could of just posted this picture and not even typed anything else.  

Keeping it real,