Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our New Year's Eve 'Feast'

As usual, Michael worked tonight so it was just me & Tucker. Michael and I have always done appetizers on New Year's Eve for as long as I can remember so after a long day of playing Mousetrap, GI Joe Command Attack, and Uno Attack (as well as playing in our new 5 inches of snow), Tucker and I settled down to what he called our 'feast'.
I tried making Monkey Bread for the first time
Tucker checks out the hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, and chicken nuggets while we wait for the french fries

Our smorgasbord all set up

Tucker enjoys a french fry

while enjoying our food, we watched "Dirty Jobs" and "Over The Hedge".

Hope you all enjoyed your New Year's Eve as much as we did. (And no, we didn't eat all of it, I reheated more than half of it for Michael when he got home!)

The Actual Words to Auld Lang Syne

If you're like me, you don't really know all the words so here they are....(courtesy of

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Favorite New Year's Eve Movie Moment

Without a doubt, besides being one of my all-time favorite movies, mine is the final scene of When Harry Met Sally at the New Year's Eve party when Harry realizes that he wants to spend the rest of his life with Sally and arrives at the party as she's leaving (whew-good thing they didn't miss each other, huh?! LOL) Anyway-here it is for you to refresh your memory

My all-time favorite line(s) about the song Auld Lang Syne? Okay, the only line I know:

Harry: what does this song mean? My whole life, I don't know what this song means. I mean 'should old acquaintance be forgot'-does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances or does it mean if we happen to forget them we should remember them which is not possible because we already forgot them.
Sally: Well, maybe it just means that we should remember we forgot them or something. Anyway, it's about old friends.

And to scare you even more, yes, I do have that memorized. Let's be honest, I have the whole movie memorized!

Monday, December 29, 2008

What Do You Do With Your Christmas Cards?

While browsing around, I found this on BlissfullyDomestic's blog and thought it looked interesting to pass along. If you're like me, every year, you save the cards and then don't do anything with them.

St Jude's Ranch for Children is accepting used, all-occasion greeting cards from November 15, 2008 thru February 28, 2009. You can mail your donations to:

St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude's Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

Recycled Card Program History

Over thirty years ago, wishing to show our donors appreciation for making St. Jude’s Ranch for Children possible, the idea was conceived for turning the previous year’s Christmas cards into "new" cards for the coming season. The recipients were so delighted with their unique "thank you," they requested the children sell them the special cards. And so, the St. Jude’s Ranch Recycled Card Program was born.

Since then, the Program expanded to include all occasion greeting cards…just about anything that starts with a used greeting card front. People from all over the world have sent us their used card fronts!

The children participate in making the new recycled cards by removing the front and attaching a new back made with recycled paper. The new card is a beautiful, “green” card made by the children and volunteers. The benefits are two-fold: customers receive "green" holiday cards for use and the children receive payment for their work and learn the benefits and importance of "going green".

The ongoing support for the Recycled Card Program has been overwhelming! The Program grew and soon we were receiving over one million cards. We temporarily suspended the Program while we redesigned the process to more efficiently manage the increased production from the increased volume.

To Purchase Cards:

Cards are sold in packets of 10 for $8.00 and are available in the following categories:

* General Christmas Cards
* Religious Christmas Cards
* Easter Cards
* Birthday Cards
* Thank You Cards
* All Occasion General Greeting Cards

Orders may be placed by any of the methods below:

* Email
* Phone 1-800-492-3562 or
* Send your request and donation to:
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
ATTN: Donor Office
P.O. Box 60100
Boulder City, NV 89006-0100

How Could I NOT Acknowledge This?!

It's Mary Tyler Moore's birthday! I saw a reunion show of the whole WJM gang on "Oprah" a few weeks ago...

Born on December 29, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York. As the star of two hit series in 1960s and 1970s, Mary Tyler Moore is one of the most popular actresses in the history of television. A skilled dancer, she started out in commercials, playing the part of a home appliance known as “Happy Hotpoint” in the mid-1950s. Moore also found work as an actress, landing some small parts and making her film debut in 1961 in X-15.

Mary Tyler Moore became one of television’s most beloved wives on The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1961. As Laura Petrie, she demonstrated her talent for domestic comedy, and won her Emmys in 1964 and 1966 for her work on the series. After the show ended in 1966, she made a few movies, including Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) and Change of Habit (1970). But it was her return to television that led to her most famous role.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show hit the airwaves in 1970, and Mary Tyler Moore’s character was in step with the times. Audiences identified with her portrayal of Mary Richards, a single thirty-something woman in the working world. The comedy show followed Mary’s personal and professional life as she worked at a television news department and also featured Ed Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, and Valerie Harper. Moore won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in 1973, 1974, and 1976 for the show. Involved in the making of the show, Moore and her second husband Grant Tinker created and produced the series through their company MTM Enterprises. Their company produced a number of other popular television programs, including The Bob Newhart Show, Hill Street Blues, Remington Steele, and several spin-offs from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Ending a seven-year run on television, Mary Tyler Moore tried again to find another series. She made several attempts, including 1978’s Mary and 1995’s New York News, but none of her new shows caught on with television audiences. She did, however, continue to have success in other acting endeavors. She won a Tony Award for her performance of Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1980) on Broadway. Moore also received an Academy Award nomination for Ordinary People that same year.

In addition to her acting, Mary Tyler Moore devoted much of her time to the American Diabetes Association. Married three times, she is currently wed to Robert Levine.

© 2007 A&E Television Networks. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Sunday December 28, 2008 (I'm cheating because I have a home visit first thing in the morning)

Outside my window... it is dark. It was actually pretty warm today, in the 50s.

I am thinking...even though we all slept until 8:30 this morning, I am still tired.

I am thankful for...friends and family. Also old friends. I had the opportunity to get together with friends I haven't seen since high school on Friday night and we had a blast!

From the kitchen...leftovers from Christmas, finished the ham. Probably tacos and chicken this week (not together) and appetizer-type stuff on New Year's Eve.

I am creating...some winter and New Year's crafts with Tucker. Also Tucker finished up his Thank You cards (if you had to watch him write, you'd see what a creative process it is which is why I make him practice his writing as much as possible!)

I am wearing...a purple shirt and gray sweats.

I am reading...I am halfway through Rainbow Valley and just started Moon Shell Beach. With Tucker, we finished Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors. We read Christmas books including Merry Christmas Curious George, Arthur's Christmas, and of course, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve.

I am hoping...everyone has a happy, healthy New Year.

I am hearing...The Pig Farmer episode of Dirty Jobs. (We got the Dirty Jobs DVD for Tucker for Christmas). Also the dryer.

Around the house...Tucker has the army battlefield set up down here in the family room...working on the laundry...still need to move the extra table back into the kitchen (probably will not happen tonight)...dishes are done (thanks, Michael!).

One of my favorite things...the look on Tucker's face when he saw what Santa had left him.

A few plans for the rest of the week...a home visit tomorrow morning...getting together with my friend Dawn, her husband and son, Caleb on Tuesday...Countdown to Noon at our Children's Museum on Wed...lunch with Tucker's friend Andrew after that...probably watching movies with Tucker on New Year's Eve (Michael works until 9).

A picture thought...
Tracy emailed the picture of Tucker and Andrew with their completed gingerbread houses and I thought it would be fun to share!

Christmas Stockings

Every year, we head to my m-i-l's after Christmas to spend the day with Michael's other sister Susan and her family. The kids all get to open the stockings that Santa filled at her house. We fill up on lasagna, cookies, and brownies and catch up on the past year.

Tucker really liked the snow globe he got. Unfortunately, he broke it right before we left.

Tucker also really liked the Spiderman car that his cousins got him

Cassandra liked her new UConn Santa hat

The annual cousin picture
Back row: Cassandra (19), Bobby (16), Shannon (15). Front row: Brooke (13), Taylor (7), and Tucker (6).

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Have you Done?

Found this over on AllyJo's Erudition. Copy, paste, and bold what you have done!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (I'm counting school band, marching band and pep band!
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Gone rollerskating
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Acted in a play or performed on stage
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Won money
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Had to put someone you love in Hospice Care
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day with Family

Our moms, Michael's sister Doreen and our niece Cassandra always join us for Christmas Day. Once we got the kitchen under control (thanks Mom and Doreen!
Have I mentioned I'm not good in the kitchen?!), everything went fine. We sat down to eat and Tucker took a group picture.

Tucker showed off his newly acquired cutting skills (it's hard to teach a leftie anything, particularly cutting for some reason!) He actually ate a LOT of ham, all the peas and one bite of the mashed potatoes! Much better than Thanksgiving!

For some reason, I only took pictures of our moms opening their presents-Tucker gave them each a ceramic snowman and a candle and I made them calendars featuring Tucker.

My mom opens her usual Christmas present from me-a cat desk calendar (always the same kind, I tried a different one one year and she didn't like it as much).

Tucker got remote-control army tanks from Gra Doyle and Uno Attack from Aunt Doreen
(our new family obsession since Cassandra got it for her birthday in October). He also got art supplies from Gra Tucker in a great container! I got canvas bags and Eeyore pjs from my mom, a scented diffuser from Doreen. Michael got Dunkin Donuts coffee from my mom and new shoes from Doreen. Dorren gave me "Mamma Mia!" which I am so excited about! Cassandra gave us fixings for ice cream sundaes and Eileen gave us a portable GPS unit to share.

We all made out pretty well, don't you think?!

I'm hoping someone has pictures of everyone else; it all happened so fast!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa came and brought LOTS of presents!!!

This is what the tree looked like with the presents before Tucker came down and attacked it...
Tucker usually opens his stocking first. It's amazing how much stuff Santa can fit in that stocking!
He got a lot of really great stuff
One of two army sets he got (he specifically asked for these from Santa)

These games were labeled "To: Tucker and His Dad". Both were very excited to have some Army games to play on the Wii!

Here is a very cool G.I. Joe tank (Are you seeing the theme here?! He is very into Army this year!)

This set is similar to the checker set we use at the library and he couldn't wait to play it!

He did actually receive non-Army presents including Mousetrap, a Wii game (Catz), Star Wars books, computer games (castle and viking ship), Balloon Lagoon, some art supplies, a cash register which is also a calculator, and a very cool Nerf gun.

Michael got me a digital picture key ring, I got him a do-it-yourself book for home repairs (he wanted an updated one). Tucker got me scrapbooking stickers and got Daddy Homer Simpson pjs.

Our moms, Michael's sister and niece all came over for the day but I am too exhausted to post those pictures tonight so they will have to wait until tomorrow!

Cookies for Santa

Tucker always enjoys baking cookies so making cookies for Santa is definitely part of our Chirstmas Eve. Here he mixes the dough...

Rolls out the dough...

Adds the sprinkles

The finished products

And the cookies presented to Santa...(yes he really did make that huge cookie and Santa ate ALL of it!)

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Check out our Elf Dance

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

A Mom's Night before Christmas

It was the night before Christmas, when all through the abode
Only one creature was stirring, and she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
While visions of Nintendo and Barbie, flipped through their

The dad was snoring in front of the TV,
With a half-constructed bicycle on his knee.

So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
Which made her sigh, "Now what's the matter?"
With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, and saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes and soot, which fell with a shrug.
"Oh great!!" muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the rug."

"Ho-Ho-Ho!!" cried Santa, "I'm glad you're awake.
Your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is some time alone."
"Exactly!!" he chuckled, "I've made you a clone."
"A clone?" she asked, "What good is that?
Run along, Santa. I've no time for chit-chat."

It was the mother's twin.
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.
"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch the Young and the Restless."
"Fantastic!!" the mom cheered. "My dream come true!
I'll shop. I'll read. I'll sleep a whole night through!"

From the room above, the youngest began to fret.
"Mommy?!? I'm scared, and I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She knows her part."
The clone changed the small one, and hummed a tune,
As she bundled the child, in a blanket cocoon.

"You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled and sighed, "I love you, too."
The mom frowned and said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal.
That's my child's love that she's trying to steal."
Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed here."

The mom kissed her child, and tucked her into bed.
"Thank you, Santa, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget it won't be very long,
When they'll be too old, for my cradle-song."
The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."

With the clone by his side, Santa said, "Good night.
Merry Christmas, Mom. You'll be alright."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Monday December 22, 2008

Outside my window...despite the snow turning over to rain yesterday afternoon, we still have at least 6 inches of white stuff out there. It is sunny and windy and just downright bitterly C.O.L.D.

I am thinking...I am in denial that it is really Christmas in 3 days!

I am thankful for...finding my "livestrong" bracelet. One of Michael's co-workers gave them to us after my dad died and I haven't taken it off for 4 years. I noticed in the shower Friday that it wasn't on and thought for sure it had broke and was gone. When I went to fold some laundry, it was sitting on top of the laundry basket.

From the kitchen...chicken and veggies from the crockpot last night. Tucker and I will be making cookies this week. Probably appetizer-type things for Christmas Eve because Michael works until 7. I'm making Christmas dinner.

I am creating...putting the final touches on the gifts for our moms...Christmas crafts with Tucker.

I am wearing...jeans and a blue/green striped shirt.

I am reading...I read the entire Mel Thomas book in two days. Finished "A" is for Alibi last night and started "B" is for Burglar and Rainbow Valley (the next book in the Anne of Green Gables series). With Tucker we are reading Christmas picture books and still reading Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors.

I am hoping...that everything gets done in time (it always does somehow!)

I am hearing...the weatherman tell me how cold it is all over the state and the fishtanks gurgling.

Around the house...laundry needs to be folded...actually, not really messy over all.

One of my favorite things...driving around to look at the Christmas lights.

A few plans for the rest of the week...wrapping Tucker's presents (got everyone else's done), cleaning, cleaning...helping make gingerbread house at Tucker's school in about an hour (postponed from Friday because of the snow)...back to Target to get gift cards for our nephew and nieces (I swear I've been there everyday for the past week; I was determined that today's run would be my last!)...CHRISTMAS!!!!! mom, m-i-l, s-l-l, and niece always join us Christmas day...getting together at my m-i-l's for Christmas on Sat with Michael's sister and her family.

A picture thought...
Tucker's friend William stayed over Saturday night (they informally alternate weekends) and I took them to Chuck E. Cheese's. They had a great time and I always love William's smile!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy First Day of Winter, also known as Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice marks the beginning of winter and is the shortest day of the year. On this day, it seems as if the nighttime darkness lasts all day and all night. At the North Pole, the sun never rises on this day. It is not the coldest day of winter, as the northern hemisphere continues to lose more heat than it gains. This will continue until late in winter as the longer daylight hours at that point begin to have a net warming trend. But for now, heat up a cup of hot chocolate and put another log on the fire! Winter will be here for a while.

By the way, while the northern hemisphere is experiencing it's shortest day, the southern hemisphere is basking in sunshine and enjoying the first day of summer.

For thousands of years, Winter Solstice has celebrated the new solar year. It celebrates the return of the sun as every day now will see more sun. The sun is at it's northernmost part and now begins it's long, six month journey north.


A Change to My Music

I watched the Grand Ol' Opry last night and they had Julianne Hough, Carrie Underwood, and Martina McBride! They each sang one of their songs and a Christmas song. Then they joined together at the end to sing "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" which has always been one of my favorites. Martina sang "o Holy Night" a Capella and it was AMAZING! I would so have loved to hear her sing it in person. So anyway, that is why I changed the order of the songs again. It seems like I keep adding more Christmas songs everyday!
Here's the video of Martina, Carrie, and Julianne

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You Want Snow? We Got Snow!

Tucker had a snow day Friday. One of those, we're-not-sure-exactly-when-it-will- start-snowing-or-how-fast-it-will-get-bad-so-let's-cancel-without-even-a-flake- falling-from-the-sky-days (we actually have quite a dew of these here in New England). So around 12:45pm, as I'm looking out the window wondering where all the snow is, it finally started to snow. By about 5 (when Michael got home), we had about 4 inches and when we got up this morning, there was at least 3 inches on his truck. It's unusual for us to get so much in one storm because we live close enough to the shoreline (about 10 miles to the ocean) so we usually get less. Here's what it all looked like this morning...

We're expecting 1-3 more inches today.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mel Thomas

Last night I had a fun night listening to Mel Thomas, former UConn basketball great, speak at our local library. She was actually very nice and very funny! She talked about being recruited for UConn (Geno basically told her "If you come, you come. If you don't, you don't"). She talked about the difficulties of being a freshman after UConn had just won 3 National Championships and graduated Diana Taurasi. She talked about the family of UConn players and how Geno treats them all like his own daughters. She had "no comment" when asked why she thought Pat Summit didn't want to continue to play UConn and said "I don't think I could ever say I know what that woman is thinking". It was very funny!!!

She has a brand-new book out journalling her senior year at UConn. Of course, I had to get two books for my mom (and her friend Sue) and stood in line and had them signed. (I'm going to read my mom's before I give it to her.)
It's only available at the Uconn Co-op or on her website

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Go, Winnie!

Most of us remember Winnie Cooper (AKA Danica McKellar) from "The Wonder Years"

Now she's all grown up

She's also a math genius and was on "The Today Show" this morning promoting her latest book aimed at making math fun for pre-teen girls. Check her out:

(I would have liked to see her wear something a little less, um, revealing, but she still has a good message.)

Gingerbread Houses

I'm finally getting around to posting these pictures from making gingerbread houses at Andrew's on Sunday. Tracy, his mom, had all kinds of great fixings to add to the houses! (Tucker took the first picture of me, Michael, Tracy, Andrew, and his little sister Emily).

We did take a picture of Andrew and Tucker together with their houses but my camera battery had died so I'll have to wait to get it from Tracy!

Did You Know? Christmas Trivia

As you may know, I love these kind of trivia things...I thought this was appropriate for this time of the year...

Did you know that Christmas is the largest card-sending holiday in the United States? More than 1.9 billion cards are sent to family and friends every year -- one billion more than the 192 million cards given or sent on Valentine's Day, the nation's second largest card holiday.

Did you know that December 19th is the busiest mailing day of the year? The U.S. Postal Service delivers some 20 billion letters, packages and cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with December 19th seeing double the number of parcels than any other day of the year.

Did you know that as many as 30 million live (real) Christmas trees are sold every year in the United States? In 2004, live Christmas tree sales amounted to more than $506 billion in revenue for America's 22,000 tree farms. The state leader in Christmas tree production is Oregon, with sales of $143 million.

Did you know that for every live Christmas tree that is harvested, three seedlings are planted in its place?

Did you know that it takes an average of seven years for a Christmas tree to reach six feet tall? Some trees take as long as 15 years to grow to their harvesting height; others reach it in as little as four years.

Did you know that China is the leading manufacturer of artificial Christmas trees? According to the U.S. Commerce Department, more than 80 percent of artificial trees are made in China.

Did you know that in 2005, Americans spent more money on Chinese-made Christmas ornaments ($561 million) than on Christmas trees grown in the United States?

Did you know that the character of Santa Claus is based on two Christmas legends: Saint Nicholas and Father Christmas? Saint Nicholas was the patron saint of children, who generously gave gifts to poor and orphaned young ones. Father Christmas was the spirit of good tidings.

Did you know that Santa Claus arrived in the United States in the 18th century via the Dutch founders of New York City? The Dutch introduced America to their "Sinterklaas" festivities. Sinterklaas is the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas.

Did you know that the first recorded mention of Santa Claus in the United States was in 1773? The New York press reported a story about a "St. A Claus."

Did you know that the tradition of giving gifts for Christmas is rooted in the story of the wise men, who gave costly gifts to baby Jesus without the expectation of receiving anything in return?

Did you know that in 2008, with an economic recession in full swing, the nation is expected to spend significantly less on Christmas gifts than in 2007? 46% of Americans say the will spend "less" than in 2007, which is the highest negative response to this question in two decades.

Did you know that during the Black Friday shopping weekend (the Thursday through Sunday after Thanksgiving), consumer spending rose 7% over 2007, to a total of $41 billion.

Did you know that American shoppers say they are planning to spend an average of $431 on gifts for the holiday season, down from $859 last year? During the Black Friday shopping weekend, the average person spent $372.57.

Did you know that the Monday following Thanksgiving is referred to as Cyber Monday and is a time when many on-line retailers offer deep discounts? In 2008, 36% of consumers said they would spend half of their Christmas shopping budget or more on-line.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Look Out, I'm Dangerous Now!

Now that I know how to do this, it could be dangerous!

I got this via email and it is HILARIOUS! I like to watch it over and over just to laugh! It's long but definitely worth it! (just make sure you pause the playlist music so you can enjoy it better!)

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today...Monday, December 15, 2008

Outside my is cloudy and actually not too bad temperature-wise. It has been sprinkling since I dropped Tucker off at school.

I am thinking...I need to get motivated to clean and do laundry.

I am thankful for...good friends.

From the kitchen...beef stroganoff (the "poor-man's" version) last night for dinner. Probably will eat at Target/Pizza Hut for dinner.

I am creating...still working on Christmas presents. Tucker made a gingerbread house at his friend Andrew's yesterday.

I am wearing...jeans, navy blue/white striped sweatshirt.

I am reading...finished Anne of Ingleside and still reading A is for Alibi. With Tucker, we're reading Christmas and counting books. (He really liked A Million Dots and tried to count them all!) We finished Dragons Don't Throw Snowballs and started another Bailey School book, Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors.

I am doesn't really rain for the next two days like they're saying it will (We had 4 inches of rain Friday/Saturday)

I am hearing...Bob from "Survivor" being interviewed on Regis and Kelly. (Yeah, Bob!) The fishtanks gurgling.

Around the house...the Christmas lights are up (and working!) outside...laundry needs to be folded and more needs to be washed...
family room definitely needs to be cleaned table needs to be cleared of Tucker's stuff (Eileen will appreciate this); he uses it as his playarea/battlefield. I have a new table runner I want to put there for Christmas.

One of my favorite things... I LOVE this commercial! I just think sleeping babies are beautiful!) (Make sure you turn the playlist music off so you can hear the song!)

A Few Plans for the rest of the week...mailing the care packages Tucker and I put together for the troops(we went on and picked a soldier)...Senior center tomorrow to help with more Medicare D enrollments...Cub Scout Pack Meeting Wed night...Mel Thomas (From UConn) at our library signing her new book on Thurs...Christmas crafts with Tucker...wrapping presents (because I didn't get it done last week)...finishing Christmas presents...possibly Tucker's friend William staying over Sat night...baking cookies with Tucker...helping Tucker's class with making gingerbread houses on Friday...Tucker has a field trip tomorrow to the West Hartford Children's Museum (I didn't get picked for a chaperone).

A picture thought...

Well, okay, two. This is the finished gingerbread house Tucker made at his friends Andrew's house yesterday. Though it looks like a church, the ice cream cone is supposed to be a chimney!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

100 Things

It's hard to believe it's been 100 posts already. Here we go...

1. I am an only child.
2. I grew up in a small town that only has 1 stoplight (my mom still lives there)
3. I went to an elementary school that was K-8.
4. I have brown eyes and brown hair
5. I have worn glasses since I was in 4th grade.
6. I have had bifocals since I was in 6th grade.
7. My first car was a 1978 light blue AMC concord Pacer.
8. My second car was a 1983 brown AMC eagle (actually copper-colored, which is why I called her Penny)
9. I got a flat tire within 2 hours of getting my driver's license.
10. I totalled my mother's car when I was 17.
11. I have totalled 3 cars all together.
12. Only one was not my fault.
13. I'm not especially proud of this.
14. Fortunately, I was never seriously hurt.
15. I started dancing when I was 5 years old.
16. I stopped dancing when I was 35 years old.
17. I never liked ballet.
18. I was in the dance company in college.
19. I played the flute from 4th grade to 12th grade.
20. I played the viola in 9th and 10th grades.
21. I was a Cadette in girl scouts.
22. I was in the drama club in high school.
23. I was in "Guys and Dolls" and "Working".
24. I was known as a music department geek in high school.
25. I was in band, orchestra, and chorus.
26. When I was 9 months old, I had pneumonia and had a trach.
27. Around the same time, I had an ear infection that resulted in my eardrum rupturing.
28. I have slightly less hearing in my right ear.
29. I have difficulty hearing higher pitches with my right ear.
30. I always put the phone on my left ear.
31. When I am in bed at night, if I lay on my left side (with my right ear up), I do not hear anything.
32. My favorite color is red.
33. I have never gotten drunk.
34. Half of a wine cooler gets me buzzed pretty good.
25. I don't like beer or wine.
26. I have never smoked.
27. I am right handed.
28. I wear my watch on my right hand.
29. I've been told this is unusual for a right handed person to do.
30. I met my husband 19 years ago while working at A&P.
31. We started dating two summers later.
32. We dated for 5 years before he proposed.
33. We got married 2 1/2 years later.
34. We bought our house a year and half later.
35. We had our son a year and a half after that.
36. My son's name is my maiden name.
37. We have been married for 10 years.
38. When I grew up, we always had an average of 20 cats.
39. We also had ducks, chickens, and rabbits.
40. I had a cat named Roscoe for 8 years.
41. He went into congestive heart failure the day I went into labor with Tucker.
42. I had him "put down" 3 weeks later.
43. It was one of the hardest things I ever did.
44. I know I did the right thing.
45. I didn't know either of my grandfathers.
46. I spent every Saturday night until I was almost 12 at one of my grandmothers.
47. We went to dinner every Sunday at the other grandmothers.
48. I have one cousin on my mother's side.
49. I have 11 cousins on my father's side.
50. My favorite cookie is Girl Scouts Tagalongs.
51. The only vegetables I don't like are onions, mushrooms, and eggplant.
52. Yes, I even like brussel sprouts and lima beans.
53. The only way my mother could get me to eat meat was to put ketchup on it.
54. I still eat ketchup on turkey sandwiches.
55. I only use mustard on bologna.
56. I don't eat shrimp, lobster, etc.
57. I do like fish.
58. I used to watch "Guiding Light".
59. My favorite soda is Coke.
60. I was 10 when I got my ears pierced.
61. I was 18 when I got the second holes.
62. My mother wouldn't let me until I turned 18.
63. I got a third hole in my left ear when I was a freshman in college.
64. I got the fourth and fifth holes in my left year when I was a junior in college.
65. I let the fifth one close after tow months because it was constantly infected.
66. I only use the first holes now.
67. I used to collect cows.
68. My favorite show right now is "Jon and Kate plus Eight"
69. My favorite reality show is "Amazing Race".
70. I have never colored my hair.
71. I started doing counted cross-stitch when I was 10.
72. I still like to cross-stitch.
73. I cannot sew a hem or a button.
74. I like to read.
75. My all-time favorite TV shows are "Wonder Years" and "Mad about You".
76. When I was a senior in high school, I dated a freshman.
77. He broke up me the weekend before finals my freshman year of college.
78. I have known my two best friends since I was in elementary school.
79. I only put salt on cucumbers and steak.
80. I don't use pepper at all.
81. My favorite type of lettuce is iceberg.
82. I like to eat the crunchy inner part with mayonnaise.
83. I was 27 when I went to Disney World for the first time.
84. We went to Disney World for our honeymoon.
85. We hope to take Tucker to Disney World next summer, if I get a job.
86. I have a bachelor's degree in sociology.
87. I have a master's degree in social work.
88. I have always worked in health care.
89. My first "real" job out of college was in a nursing home.
90. I worked at an AIDS facility for 3 years.
91. It was one of the most rewarding jobs I ever had.
92. This is harder than I thought it would be.
93. But I'm almost there...let's see, what else?
94. I have never broken a bone.
95. I have had stitches once.
96. Both pretty remarkable if you know me.
97. I have had my adenoids out twice, at 9 months old and 9 years old.
98. I didn't learn to swim until I was 11 because I always had ear tubes in.
99. I had my tonsils out when I was 21.
100. My first job in high school was at a Caldor.

Whew! I made it!

Four of a Kind

I got this from Julie over at Winchester Academy. I also get a lot of these email "games" and never seem to get responses back. I thought this one was kind of fun...

A) Four places that I go to over and over: Tucker's school, the chiropractor, the library, and Target.

B) Four people who e-mail me (regularly):, Children's Book of the Month, 100 Days of Holidays (I think it's from Better Homes and Gardens; they send a daily holiday tip) and Heather (one of the PTO moms)

C) Four of my favorite places to eat: Olive Garden, Leventi's (a restaurant near my mom's), my mom's, 99 Restaurant.

D) Four TV shows I watch over and over: Jon and Kate plus eight, Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, Two and a Half Men.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Monday, December 8, 2008

Outside my window...the sun is out but baby, it's cold outside!

I am thinking...I need to eat lunch after I finish this, I'm hungry!

I am thankful for...Tucker's laugh amd smile.

From the kitchen...roast in the crockpot last night--yum! Tucker and I will make cookies after school today and probably pizza for supper.

I am creating...almost done with the Christmas presents.

I am wearing...jeans and a blue and white striped sweatshirt.

I am reading...I've decided to put off reading the Little House books; just not enough time. I am halfway through Anne of Ingleside and started "A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton (Shelfari book tag this month is Mystery and I've always wanted to read this series. With Tucker, we've read Curious George, Berenstain Bears, and winter and counting books. We're going to start reading Christmas books this week and I want to start Dragons Don't Throw Snowballs (A Bailey School Kids book.

I am hoping...that I get a job soon (really missing medical benefits!)

I am hearing...the fishtanks gurgling and the TV.

Around the house...the tree is up, still need to put out the rest of the decorations...Michael and Tucker put up the lights outside...laundry needs to be folded and one more load to be done.

One of my favorite things...waking up to the snow when it is still untouched.

A few plans for the rest of the week...making cookies with Tucker this afternoon...finish decorating the rest of the house...getting my hair cut tomorrow...wrapping presents...finishing making presents...hopefully mailing presents...sending out the Christmas cards...Tucker's sleeping over my mom's Friday...going to dinner and shopping with friends Friday night...going to a post office processing place on Saturday with Cub Scouts...making gingerbread cookies with Tucker's friend Andrew and his family on Sunday.

A picture thought
Every year the fire department at the end of our street brings Santa around to hand out candy canes. We always joke that we can tell they're coming because it sounds like the whole town is on fire! Tucker did accept a candy cane from Santa but stayed a safe distance away!