Monday, December 12, 2011

This is what happens when you try and take a nap while the cakes cool.

Then you have to get creative.

And, in the end, it all gets gobbled up at the ward Christmas party and no one cares.

Cute little instigator, though, huh?

Last week my forlorn kids asked, "Are we going to get a Christmas tree this year?"  So we got one and decorated both tree and living room last Saturday.  Charlie spent the first few days removing all the ornaments within his reach just for the purpose of throwing them on the floor.  He has since discovered the donkey in one of the manger scenes.  He calls it "beebee" and carries it around everywhere.  The tree is safe (for now) but we can never find the donkey.

He also loves this pillow.

Insisted on wearing it to the library the other day.  Actually, once he gets it (on) he doesn't take well at all to having it removed from (off) him.  Sometimes it's a necklace, sometimes a shoulder bag, sometimes a cape.  But it is always CHARLIE's.

See this?

Beauty in simplicity.  Lil'Nathan won the ward Christmas party's table decorating contest on Saturday.  (Joseph was upset b/c he didn't know about the contest and he wanted to win. too!)  The awesome prize can be seen in the background:  huge mug filled with hot chocolate mixes, marshmallows, and candy canes.  I think I should get a portion.  After all, I signed him up AND I suggested the decoration.  But, I was reminded that "success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration."  (So does that mean I get 10%?)

Christmas is coming.  I'm so low-key this year that I think the kids are afraid I'm going to forget.  (Hence the decorating plea last week.)  Haven't done anything with cards other than making the who-gets-one list.  Haven't received any, either, so I don't even have that helpful motivating guilt.  If I wait too much longer, they'll arrive post-Christmas and that's no fun.  Sooo... I'm apologizing now.  If you get no card from me this year, it's because I never got around to it.  Be assured, we all are well and we still love you.

We have been house-hunting.  (Yes, again.  It appears we enjoy giving ourselves a hard time.)  We found a foreclosure in the area, decent lot size, big house, in our current ward.  Needs a LOTof work (roof and some masonry) before we could move in and more soon after (hello, icky bathroom!)  But, for the above mentioned pros, we moved forward with it and put in an offer.  Which was (of course!!) followed by "other offers" within a day or two.  We were then told "no" they went with another offer.  And I was... sooo relieved.  So much pre-move-in work, I hated the hill it was on, and the yard was only okay.  I was truly glad we were out of the running.

And so we kept looking.  We found 3 we wanted to see--none of them distressed homes (no foreclosures, no short-sales).  All on flat lots... but all, at least, 30 miles away.   Hmmmmm...

On Saturday morning (before 7 am!) we were off--180 mi round trip.  (Of course, 2 were south of Boston, 1 way north.)  Two houses were out immediately--one was yucky, one was deceptive.  One glorious, beautiful, huge house remained.  It is 40 miles (and forget not Boston traffic--though there was none on Sat morning) from Nathan's work.  But oh! what a house, what a piece of land, what amazing (affordable) opportunities.  (Think--chickens!)

And then we heard from the first house again, the one we'd bid on right before Thanksgiving.  The winning bidders pulled out and we were being given first right of refusal.

So here are our 3 choices.  Each one precludes the others.  #1-Yes to staying local, though icky, and no to fighting traffic.  #2-Yes to beauty at a distance, and no to extensive repairs (and the feeling of falling off a cliff).  #3-No to both and we keep hunting.

Fun stuff.

And now, enough of all this, here are some more pictures.

I knit this.  Yes, on purpose.  It was meant to shrink...

...and look!  It did.

I made a hat to go with the mittens, and Charlie really enjoyed wearing it around the house... even before it was dry.

My mom visited for Mary's Baptism.  She wanted a cute shot of Charlie--I got them all.

How?  Easy.  I know he always smiles and laughs after the camera flashes.

So I took all my pictures immediately after she did.

Miss Mary at her Baptism.  This picture is courtesy a friend at church.  My mom took some at the Baptism, but only on her camera and has yet to share them with me.  (Maybe she's still mad my Charlie pictures were cuter.)

Yesterday I had meetings all morning for church.  Nathan sat the kids down and let them watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional.  Charlie wondered off into the kitchen.  A little while later Nathan heard, "uh, oh!"  But he didn't think much of it.  (Charlie says that a lot, though, to be honest, usually with reason.)  Time passed and finally Nathan realized Charlie was now being a little too quiet.  He went searching and found him still in the kitchen, standing on the stool in front of the stove.  He had removed the grate cover on the front burner, taken the flame spreader off, and also removed the thingy under that which exposed the center of the stove.  What did he do with this lovely hole?  Why he'd been filling it with coins, of course!  One coin at a time, he'd dropped our whole jar of loose change ($7-$8) into the stove.  The stove whose top does not lift.

He and the kids spent the next 2 hours with a flashlight and a masking tape-tipped pencil removing the coins one at a time.

During that time, Charlie went back into the living room and disconnected the computer.

Yesterday, right before Sacrament meeting, I heard some very, very loud singing coming from the men's room.  Here's what I heard:  "The 3rd thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me is HANGOVERS, rigging up da lights, and finding a Christmas tree!"  I'm so glad my kids use their musical talents for good.

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