Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You

I am thisclose to a very important day. It is a date that I have not managed to make for the last 3 years. Not for lack of trying. It was due to lack of picture/letter.

My Christmas cards are done!!!!!!!


Not much in my year causes me such great mental and technological angst. It reaffirms my procrastination skills, AND my lack of computer skills.

The first thing I do to start the whole process is easy. At the after Christmas 1/2 off sales,  I buy the paper and envelopes for the letter. This is simple, as I like to shop and  like to  have things on hand. A good bargain is also near and dear to my heart. I already have my next 2-3 years of stationary, because I am just that efficient.

The second thing is hard. I start off all cocky, because I mistakenly think that I have the whole year to accomplish it. I am almost always wrong. #2 on the list is, I have to get the picture. Usually of just the children, this year, I included Honey and I. Always a challenge, always hard to please everyone.

The third thing is moderately difficult. I don’t usually have a  problem writing the Christmas letter. I write it on paper, long hand. Just like Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote all of her classic children’s novels. She wrote them in lined paper notebooks she purchased for a nickel. Mine were 10 cents from Target. Just a fun fact to share with your friends.   One of the very few ways that I have actually emulated The Prairie Girl. It’s been a while since I slipped the Ingalls into a post. I heart The Ingalls.

The problem with #3 is, I am not a strong typer. I usually ask The Ab-Cat to do this for me. But she doesn’t usually want to. Because she thinks that Christmas letters are stupid and a waste of Earth’s valuable resources. So I am held hostage a little bit, waiting until I have a super good reason to twist her tail into doing me a favor.   

I also have NO IDEA how to get the words on the actual paper, around all of the dang holiday artwork. If I could get this bug worked out, I think I could type my own letter. Because my typing skillz have greatly improved this year, due to the extensive amount of “blobbing” I have done.   I have mastered ye olde hunt and peck.

Number four has never been a problem in the past. Actually getting the pictures from Sam’s. But, just for fun, we had to shake things up this year. We did it online. We  finally got that straightened out, and I picked them up yesterday afternoon. I was mildly disappointed. They said it needed to be cropped. I thought they would crop it evenly. That was far too much to hope for. They chopped from the bottom only, so The Girls and I are looking slightly like disembodied floating heads. At this point, my “give a durn is busted”,  and they are going out. GO-ING OUT!

Fifthly, and lastly, is taking the MASTERPIECE to the friendly neighborhood Office Max to get the copies made.  This whole process was so annoying. Our paper had these dumb swirls to work around, and they weren’t even the same on the top as they were on the bottom. So by putting the bottom on top, it didn’t cut anything off. Which I painstakingly explained to the copy person at the store.

 YES, I had to ask for help, cause I can’t remember how to use the copy machine from year to year.  Give me a break!   BUT, she SO unhelpfully forgot to remind me, that my copy needed to be on plain white paper, not the annoying snowflake paper. It’s a good thing that I made 1 test copy, or I would have pulled my hair out, in one fell swoop, right there in the store.

As it was, the words overlapped the colors a bit. But, guess what?  I.DO. NOT.CARE.

 I then had to have The Ab-Cat do me another favor. I could probably have done this myself, but it’s in her computer. I lose.

I am SO ready to mail these. And it’s all in the nick of time. It would seem that our Christmas card traffic was down this year, and that was my fear. That people would write us off. It has been 3 years.

There were not nearly as many of the  funny, newsy, informative updates that I have come to love. Maybe people were just not in the mood, or didn’t get their acts together. It’s not like I could say anything about that.

There could still be some stragglers coming in after New Years as well. Like mine will be.

 But HEY! If I get them in the mail tomorrow, New Years Eve, I will have made my own personal goal. If you will recall, it was between Christmas and New Years. I am more than satisfied.

I have to say it again.


That feels so good. 🙂


He Hearts It

The Boy LOVES his new phone.

He has spent time adding numbers, taking pictures of his cat, Halle Berry, for his background page, taking pictures of others, so when they call, their face pops up, and texting. Endlessly.

We went out to eat the other night at a pizza place our family likes. We were all squeezed into a booth. Because we are gerbils. Or Bears, wedged in a great tightness.

I was sitting next to The Boy. He kept texting me. He said he was going to do that all the time. They all said “I love you Mommy”.

Well, who can get mad at that? He’s a goof.

Club Capri

About 6 or 7 years ago, I was invited to be a member of an exclusive club.

I had heard of this club for a while, because I knew all of the members, except one. I had a hankering to be a part of this group, but it wasn’t really possible.  They were related. By blood and marriage. And I have my own blood and my own marriage. But, they took pity on me.

I believe I have mentioned once or a dozen times, that I am sister-less. I know, it’s so sad. So this group of sisters graciously invited me to join their club. We are The Capri’s.

There is Capri Lis (otherwise known to you as Mrs. Schmenkman),  Capri Patt, Capri Deb and Capri Kel!  They grafted  me onto their Family Branch! Just like Ruth, and Rahab, and the Gentiles!

We get together at least once or twice a year to do Capri-ish things. Like eat, shop, lounge, get our hair done, you know, girl stuff.

One time, while visiting with my Aunt Phyllis, who I AM related to, I saw that she had the cutest bag. I believe she said she bought it in France. It could have been somewhere else, but I’m going to stick with France, because in her heart, she is French.

I’m not kidding. She has been taking French lessons for years now, and even went over there to live for months so she could take a heavy duty immersion class. She has little post it notes all over her house with the French word on them.

My French is severely limited to what I can remember from when Honey and I lived in Canada. And that would be “butter”, said “beurre” very exaggerated. While sticking your lower lip out like a trout.

Ok, I’ve gotta get this train back on the tracks.

SO, I commented to Aunt Phyllis that I LOVED her bag, and went into some detail about The Capri’s. And that was that.

On Christmas Day, she gave me the bag! She said she was in a purge mode. Getting rid of what she didn’t use. And she was NOT using the Capri bag. She wondered if I might like it? WOULD I ?

I would!


Merci beau coup, Phyl! Or something like that!

Potent Quotable

It takes some of us a lifetime to learn that Christ, our Good Shepherd, knows exactly what He is doing with us. He understands us perfectly.

Phillip Keller

Calling Mr. James Barnum…..

The Boy asked for, and received, his hearts desire for Christmas. A phone.

 Unfortunately for Mousey, as it was also her hearts desire, she did not receive a phone. But that is another post for another day. She liked what she received, in spite of the unfulfilled hearts desire.

Back to The Boy and his phone. Look how happy he was!


The first thing he did was call our house phone. The caller ID read James Barnum. That is not his name, by the way.

 Honey had spent some time on the phone with our representative before Christmas, taking care of business. The entire order was wrong. We received three phones, as it was time to upgrade our phones as well. We selected three colors, to ensure NO CONFUSION of whose phone was whose. I selected a fabulous lime-ish green, Honey an electric blue, and a cool black for The Boy. I ended up with black, Honey the green and the blue went to Mr. Barnum, aka The Boy.

None of that mattered to The Boy. He immediately began texting friends, to make them aware of this latest, up to date, avenue of contact in his previously phone free life.

One of the first contacts he made was to his friend, and personal chauffeur, KT. Since he knew he was masquerading as Mr. Barnum, he took advantage of his anomynity. They played 20 questions. Him: Guess who this is? Her: Do I know you? Him: Yes. Her: Are you a boy or a girl? Him: A Wookie. Her: Have I slept with you?

At this point he looked at the number again. It wasn’t quite KT’s number. He said “sorry wrong number” and hung up on that unsavory character!

We Got It!

We have tried to get a Family Photo on several occasions. It is never far from my thoughts. All year round. I believe I may have mentioned that this is always an obstacle for us.  Honey and his wandering eye, and The Boy and his antics, you know, the usual. PLEASE click on “wandering eye” above, it explains SO much.

This has also been the deterrent in getting the Christmas cards out before  Christmas. But, if you will recall, I would be thrilled  to get them out between Christmas and New Years. My own personal cut off date is July, because as I have mentioned, later than that is just tacky.

Our first try was on December 14th. Well within our before Christmas  target date. I have decided to not include the dog in any of my decisions, as she almost always has devil-eyes and crazy hair in pictures. I wish I could discount certain children as easily.

Just a disclaimer here, all photos have not been sent to The Photo Shop to be lightened, brightened, cropped and airbrushed to their full potential YET.



We tried again on Christmas Eve. Which was an infinitely better choice all around for two reasons.

1. The Hostler’s were over, and Lauren (BLESS HER PATIENT HEART) photographed us. It saved Honey the trouble of setting things up on the tripod, then running to join us in the picture, which caused the dog to bark ferociously, as she does when ever anyone runs toward her Girl, The Ab-Cat. It is her only job, and she takes it seriously.

2. I had received my Christmas present early, (I signed for it!) a Canon Powershot sx10IS, that is truly phenomenal, and it took a far superior photo of us. It, unfortunately, could not control the bad posing, but it greatly enhanced  the clarity of the badly posed pictures!




And FINALLY, shot #58!


Merry Christmas from The NutHatch!!!

Merry Christmas!

 We have  slowly been getting things done around here. Working things in between a lot of snow and sub zero temperatures. Because that is when I yearn to get in and out of my car 47 times in one day. I think my face was chapped on Monday.

We have a small family, and therefore, not a ton to shop for. Plus, we have tried to scale back this year. Because, quite frankly, our needs  are not many. And Honey needs  for us to give him some piece of mind and stop with the spending. We will be implementing the Ford Fiasco Financial Planning Budget on January 1, 2009.

Mainly,  I have been finishing up the few Christmas gifts that I made. That I will show you after Christmas. Just in case the gift-ees happen to stumble on over to the “blob”. Oh, that and making  peanut butter fudge, shortbread, cut out cookies, and as of last night, the Girls and I waded into chocolate covered pretzel territory. I personally  love a good chocolate covered pretzel. And considering that the Girls are now 19 and 14, the mess was not catastrophic. As it surely would have been several years ago. Our main problem was due to the dog. Who was totally underfoot, as usual, waiting for a dropped schnibble. She dusted the floor on several occasions. Accidentally, of course. What part of “GO LAY DOWN” was she not getting?


We decided to break all the pretzels, therefore ensuring maximum chocolate coverage, except for the small part that was being held. I can’t wait to try the ones we dipped in crushed candy cane. Cause I wasn’t in the mood to taste one when we finished at 10:30 last night. Super easy and fun. We will do it again. And we will keep our eyes open for new and improved ways to make them tastier and more attractive. Maybe we will become known  for our extreme chocolate covered pretzel ways!!!!!! Or it will all fall by the wayside. Who can tell?

This afternoon, we are going out to lunch with our dear friends, The Hostlers, and then this evening we will do our family thing. That involves Honey setting up the tripod, the kids whining that they don’t want to be on camera, one of the kids reading the Christmas story from Luke, and having our Happy Birthday Jesus party. This year, our special “cake” will be Honey’s cookie creation of snow covered mountains, considering God made all mountains. And the sun.


And then we open our presents from each other.

I don’t have a ton of work to do, cause I’m not sure if I mentioned it or not, but we are OFF this Christmas!! We are heading over to Beeve, Stacey and Goomba’s house for Christmas day!!!!! It’s good to be OFF!!!!!!!

This came in a little RBC thingy that we get daily on e-mail. Just so someone won’t think I plagiarized  or something.

Paul wrote that God is at work among people of all nations “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28).

We should be alert for the Lord’s presence where we least expect to see Him. Jesus may invite Himself to any Christmas party. After all, it’s His birthday. —David McCasland

Merry Christmas to you all. Praying you experience the true meaning  of joy, peace and love. Jesus, the real  reason for the season.

The Center

These are some of my favorite decorations of the season. We have had them forever, and all of our children liked them. Especially Mousey.


I always set them up with Jesus in the middle, and the others gathered around Him. But once Mousey was tall enough to reach them, I never knew how they would look from day to day.

Some days they were in a circle, other days a straight line. Sometimes a square, sometimes several lines. Animals to the right, people to the left. All spread apart, and then all crowded together.

 But somehow, the Baby Jesus was usually in the middle. Just where He belongs. Right in the middle of our lives.

Potent Quotable

Faith is not a feeling. It is not even the feeling that something is going to happen in answer to our prayers . Faith may be easier to exercise when such feelings are present. Nevertheless, feelings of that sort never constitute faith. Faith is a response on our part, the obedient response of our wills to who God is and what He says.

John White

SNOW DAY!!!!!!!

They were projecting 4 to 10 inches. For the last 2 days. Incessantly.

Because our weather people are like that. They just take a story and run with it. They kept saying it was the biggest storm of the season. Oh, the season that starts on December 21?

 It looks like we got a foot. The school district finally called a snow day at 5:15 a.m.

Honey went out to plow when he got up around 1.


He  kind of looks like a Jawa from “Star Wars”. No face, but no beady glowing eyes either.


When he came inside, we decorated the cookies that Mousey and I made.


This was his attire during the creative process.


Back off, you all get your own, he’s MINE!

I have decided something. We should not quit our day jobs and become bakers.


Much frosting was used. Sprinkles were sprinkled. Generously


The Boy started with us. He decided it wasn’t his skill. Then Honey banished him to the “special” table. He came back to try again. Katie is looking for refreshments under the table. She likes food related activities.


The Ab-Cat, hard at work. She is task oriented.


Them’s some ugly cookies! But they are ever so tasty!


This was Honey’s masterpiece. It was a snow covered mountain, with the sun shining on it. Yeah. Alrighty then.


These guys live on the porch.


I believe this is called a “whitewash”, poor little guy. At least it was, back in the day.

It was a very nice start to our 2 week vacation!

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