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November, 2009:

Looking Forward to 12!

Tomorrow. Is. December. I KNOW!

I was so looking forward to November . . . I had 2 awesome fun vacations planned and they did both turn out to be awesome and fun. So awesome and fun apparently that I’ve been so busy recovering and catching up that I haven’t had time to share my adventures :-) I’ll get to that . . . definitely!

But back to 12 . . . I’m so excited that tomorrow is December! I usually half dread it because it always seems like such a busy stressful time for so many people, myself included. This year? Not so much! Busy? OF COURSE! Stressful? A little, but nothing like usual . . . it’s my own FUN stress – if that’s possible :-)

We get to . . .

. . . go Christmas tree hunting up in the Pike National Forest

. . . go on our first Daisy Scout sleepover

. . . watch Dude get his first Boy Scout patches

. . . go to the Festival of Lights Parade

. . . have a wonderful dinner with some longtime friends to celebrate another year and go check out the wonderful lights at our awesome zoo

. . . attend my first ornament exchange party

. . . attend another fun girly gift exchange party

. . . celebrate (yes celebrate) one year since I was laid off from my previous job

. . . go SHOPPING for gifts! I hate shopping – except at Christmas time – it’s so. much. fun!

. . . put up Christmas decorations

. . . volunteer at the mall for the Salvation Army Giving Tree

. . . GO SNOWBOARDING!

. . . go to MN to celebrate the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 with family

. . . celebrate my baby’s 7TH BIRTHDAY!

So yes – we have tons going on with work and play – but we are so looking forward to it. How about you? What are you looking forward to this December?

$1700 Later

My Jeep is happy as a clam :-) I love my 11 year old Jeep . . . it’s been good to me . . . it’s got 164,000 miles on it . . . it was my first brand new vehicle . . . we bought it before we had our first child. My goal is 200,000 miles before I even consider letting it go. But, with an 11 year old vehicle, you have to make repairs.

Like a couple weeks ago. It started making this nasty terrible noise, intermittently of course, whicle I was driving down the road – and only after you’d driven like 20 miles at highway speeds. Try convincing the shop that you’re really NOT crazy when they can’t recreate the problem! And 3 days later they tell you to pick up your car because there’s nothing wrong with it. Then your Hubby takes it in and they say “Oh ya. That’s the drive train. We heard that last time.” SERIOUSLY?!

Anyhoo – that cost us $1100 to fix.

Then we got new tires. New tires for  Jeep are not cheap . . . Big O wanted $164/tire! Just like plane tickets, that seems cheap, until you multiply it by 4! Hubby convinced them to give us a deal since just last month we paid retail for new tires for the Highlander. They knocked off quite a bit – $200 off the entire set. And yesterday he drove out of there with new tires, saying (for the 3rd time) “This’ll be the last time I have to buy tires for the Jeep.” Ya . . . he wasn’t real convinced the Jeep was going to live this long 😉

So $1700 later, I have a Jeep that is happy, which makes me happy! And I can’t wait to see how much more we have to put into it before it reaches my requisite 200,000 miles!

Wordless Wednesday: Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, SC

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Just In Time For The Snow

At the end of September, we put our popup on Craigslist. We had gotten 3 summers of enjoyment out of it, but had decided that we didn’t need something that big.

It had a king sized bed on one side – Hubby and I DO need that!

It had a queen on the other side – the kids did not need that because one of them always wanted to sleep on the table bed anyway.

It had a bathroom and shower in it – we totally did NOT need that. We’re state and national park campers, so there’s always at least vault toilet available. Why would we use the toilet in the camper and then have to clean it? We used the shower for storage space :-)

It weighed 200o pounds when it was empty!

Our goal was to sell it to someone just in time for hunting season, save a little money on storage over the winter, then get a new one next spring. However, anyone who knows me knows that I couldn’t not have one – I just had to keep looking! Besides . . . everyone knows you can buy a popup cheaper in October than in April! And you’re not fighting with everyone else who’s looking in the spring.

So, we sold our popup the week after our last camping trip – for the same amount we paid for it 3 years ago – 3 years of free family fun :-) And THEN, I found the perfect one on craigslist! It met my criteria of downsize and upgrade . . . we went to look at it, made an offer, went to the bank, and pulled it home the next day – just in time to let it sit in the cul de sac for our first blizzard . . . not the best timing I’ll admit 😉 But now, this little fun mobile is out in it’s storage area just waiting for us to go camping next spring.

The view down to the full sized bed and the table. The table is quite a bit bigger than the one in the other popup and folds down into a bed. You can also take the table outside and set it up, which is way cool. Princess and Dude are already fighting over who gets the pull out and who gets the table bed – yet neither one of them knows which one they want, but they still seem to find a way to argue about it. And I LOVE all the storage space under the seats and under that shelf over there – it’s all empty for us to put stuff in – yay!

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Here’s the view of our “kitchen” and the king sized pull out. LOVE counter space in the kitchen area. The stove is only a 2 burner stove, but we usually only use it for hot water for tea and hot chocolate anyway, so we’ll survive. Can take the stove outside and hook it up to the side of the camper, which is cool! Also notice all the storage space under the kitchen and on the right side under that counter. YAY again!

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Here it is in all it’s outside glory :-) Ya, it’s a popup – they haven’t changed in YEARS! But what do I particularlyLOVE about this shot? The door. Yup – my favorite thing about our new camper is the door. Because it’s FULL SIZED! None of that 2 piece popup door crap that never stays together and is never level. I know, crazy thing to be excited about, but if you’d felt my pain the past 3 summers with a breaking door, you’d be happy, too. What is MISSING form this photo? The trunk. Yup – no trunk on the front of this one for storage of the dirty stuff – firewood, fire pokers, fishing rods, etc. I think I’ll really miss the trunk, but I also think I’ll get over it pretty quickly :-)

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This popup is 5 years newer than our other one – it’s way easier to crank up, the box is taller and shorter, and it weights 600 pounds less which is a huge thing.

So the Boedies are already looking forward to going camping next spring. Good times ahead . . . good times!

Waiting Patiently

So while Dude was waiting patiently to get the badges and pins he never received, Princess was waiting patiently for the whole thing to be over. They’re both so good when they have to sit and wait for the other one’s stuff! This is what Princess does while she waits . . .

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It never ceases to amaze me how kids can sleep anywhere! Even on a hard gym floor with 40 boys between the age of 5-9 watching a science show and yelling and squealing.

The Night for WEBELOS Badges Has Arrived!

Tonight after over a MONTH of waiting, Dude was so excited to get to his WEBELOS Pack meeting. He’s been to all day outings in 15 degree weather and snow, Den meetings where he’s earned 3 badges, and has worked really hard to earn some belt loops and pins on his own. And since he’s new to scouting, he also had to complete the requirements to earn his Bobcat Badge, so he can actually get the other badges – gotta have that Bobcat Badge first!

So he waited patiently after school until I got home.

Then he worked really hard at his tennis lesson for an hour.

Then he waited patiently while we picked up Duma from doggie daycare.

He waited even more patiently in the car in the drive-thru of McDonald’s.

He did not patiently eat his food in the car – he inhaled it!

He ran up the stairs to his bedroom to change from tennis attire to WEBELOS attire.

He talked nervously the entire time we drove to his Pack meeting.

He sat in the front row quietly watching the science demonstration given by the folks from the Air Force Academy.

He looked at the clock every 10 minutes.

Was it time yet? Time for the awards ceremony?

He could hardly contain himself – he was FINALLY going to get his first badges to put on his uniform!

One more glance at the clock.

Then another.

And another.

It was 8:00 – and they were starting ANOTHER demonstration.

Wasn’t the meeting supposed to be over at 8:00?

How would we have time to get our badges handed out?

He turned around and looked at me with that nervous smile on his face. Was I feeling his anxiety?

Another glance at the clock – 8:10.

The science demonstration was FINALLY over!

It was finally time . . . time to get his first badges.

He waited patiently while the Cub Master walked to the front of the room.

He had his eyes trained on the manilla envelopes that contained the badges and other awards for the Scouts.

His legs kicked nervously in the air.

He waited patiently while the Cub Master raised the microphone to his lips.

He waited patiently as the Cub Master spoke . . . “Unfortunately, we’re out of time for tonight. We’ll award all badges and pins at the next Pack meeting on December 2nd.”

What?! Did he REALLY say that? No awards tonight?

My disappointed little Dude dropped his shoulders in his chair.

He waited patiently for the removing of the colors.

He helped stack up all the chairs and sweep the floor.

Then, finally, he came to see me, a sad little look in his eye.

I gave my Dude a hug – he let me.

I told him I was sorry.

He looked at me, smiled, shrugged his shoulders, and said: “It’s not like it’s the end of the world. I’ll just get an even huger stack at the next meeting after I’ve earned a bunch more stuff.”

Ahhhhhh – that’s my little Dude – always looking at the bright side :-)

Mr. Ford

Dude and I are standing in the kitchen after school, doing the customary empty the backpack, check the planner, look at the homework routine.

Me: Dude, looks like you have another big book report to do before winter break.
Dude: Yup. It has to be on an inventor or scientist of something like that.
Me: Do you know who you want to do it on?
Dude: Not really. I thought about it in the library, but there are too many to choose from.
Me: What if you did it on Henry Ford?
Dude: Why would I do it on Henry Ford? What did he do that was so amazing?
Me: Um, he only invented the CAR!
Dude: Oh totally, then! I totally want to do it on Henry Ford. That’s so cool that Han Solo invented the CAR!”
Me: (gasping for air from laughing to hard) Um Buddy, they are NOT the same person. HARRISON Ford was Han Solo – HENRY Ford invented the car.
Dude: Oh. Bummer. Oh well, inventing the car is cool anyway – I’ll guess I’ll do Henry Ford.

What The Hell Has Happened To Me?!

I’m going to Savannah for 5 days with my Mom and 4 other women for Girls’ week. I was online printing maps/addresses etc. when I found myself Googling Starbucks to find one close to our rental house on Tybee Island. STARBUCKS! WTH?! 6 months ago I wouldn’t have stepped foot in one without a need to ask for directions. And now I just Googled one for when I’m on VACATION!

I blame it all on Taunya.

BOO!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I hope you all had a great Halloween. We had our little blizzardish snow storm Wed-Fri to close schools for a couple days, but it cleaned up nicely and warmed up perfectly just in time for some trick or treating.

This year, we decided to make our costumes. Dude wanted to be  Lego Darth Maul, so we went for it. Here’s a picture of the real Darth Maul . . .

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And here’s our homemade Lego version :-)

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I think it turned out pretty well! Dude painted the face himself – it wasn’t the most practical costume for parties and school since they can’t wear masks at school parties, but he got tons of compliments on it while trick or treating, so he was happy.

Princess wanted to be Madeline. We ended up buying her costume because we couldn’t find the right yellow hat, and everyone knows that the hat is what makes Madeline Madeline :-) Princess was soooo cute in her costume and got lots of compliments as well. She even cut 2 1/2 inchess off of her hair so she’d look more like Madeline – now that’s dedication!

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Next up were mine and Hubby’s costumes. I just couldn’t decide what to be. Princess wanted me to be Miss Clavelle, but I didn’t want to be a nun again – been there, done that – and a pregnant nun wouldn’t have gone over very well at the school parties 😉 I thought about being a Lego person as well, but wasn’t in the mood to walk around in a box. So, the Monday before Halloween I brainstormed and decided to be the Tooth Fairy! I had all the stuff for my costume, except for the wings, at home . . . it pays to keep all that spare fabric and those unwanted pillows! Hubby was a traditional Lego Minifig. Here’s a picture of a real minifig . . .

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Here are me and Hubby as the Tooth Fairy and our homemade Lego Minifig Costume.

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I giggle every time I see Hubby! We made all of his costume . . . I had to giggle when Dude’s favorite part of the minifig was the tie 😉 He kept saying “You just made that tie! OMG I love that tie! That is sooooo cool!” HAHAHAHAHA!!! Here is a picture of my fairy wings on my huge molar costume.

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Princess helped me pick out the wings – she of course went for the biggest sparkliest pair they had at the store! I’m taking a shot in the dark here that she knew she’d get them after Halloween was over 😉 Dude was hilarious when he saw my costume! He laughed so hard, then he got all concerned and said to me, “Um Mom. Do you know that the tooth fairy isn’t really a tooth? I’m pretty sure she’s just a regular fairy person.” HAHAHAHA! He was so concerned that people were going to laugh at me because I didn’t know that the tooth fairy wasn’t really a tooth 😉

We had a family over for dinner on Halloween evening, then took the kiddos out trick or treating. My little Princess is always such a trooper. She’s the only girl in a sea of boys, and she’s always wearing a cute little girl costume while the boys are black and big and scary.

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We had a great time trick or treating, and the kids went home with their friends for a sleepover so Hubby and I could go to an adult party! We had a lot of fun at the party – it was nice to see friends we don’t get to see often enough! Queen Taunya was one of Charlie’s Angels and held up the Lego Man!

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HAHAHA! I have to giggle at all the photos with the Lego Man – the big grin on his face is hilarious every time!

Today, we went through the kids’ candy and sorted out the keep versus give pile. Our dentist is awesome and trades the kids $1 for each pound of candy they bring to him! I think it’s a wonderful idea! Together, Dude and Princess have just over 2 pounds of candy in the give bag, so $1 each, which I’m sure they’ll use to buy gum at some point 😉

So that was our fun Halloween . . . I hope you all had a good time as well!