Monday, December 26, 2005

The tree is lonely and the dog has nothing to chew on

Well, It has come and gone. Christmas day. I will start off the bat by hoping you had a great one and remembered the true meaning of Christmas....Presents. No, I kid... the birth of our Lord Jesus in a barn in the hay with stinking animals around him and the awe of his mother Mary and the man assigned to be his father on earth, Joseph and the true protection of God the Father as God the Son came to earth to teach us how to live.

In our house, I am always striving for ways to make sure that in the hustle and bustle of Christmastime the children in my care do not miss the above truth. This year I may have overdone it, but I know MB "got it" if you will. It started with a frantic search for an Advent calendar. You remember the kind we grew up with. A paper calendar with 25 windows on it, one for each day beginning December 1st through Christmas day when you opened the window to find the Baby Jesus "asleep on the hay". Have you tried looking for one lately? Not a lot of the "religious" Bible story of Jesus coming to earth, but I did find a few with Santa and presents behind all 25 doors, but that, my dear friends, was NOT what I wanted or needed. I needed spiritual truth and depth not a teddy bear and a jack in the box. I DID find a beautiful Italian-made wood advent calendar with all of the appropriate pieces that you put onto the teenie tiny nails in the stable scene..and I'm thankful to say Jesus, Mary and Joseph were not blonde haired blue eyed people. THAT is a huge relief and a discussion (rant) for a different time. But it did not provide enough "edutainment" value for a 4-1/2 year old. Maybe I underestimate his attention span...but part of me yearns to share truth with the step kids who are only here 1 week before (or sometimes after) Christmas too, so no, though I will keep my beautiful Italian Advent calendar, I had to find something different.

I found it just in time for the week before Christmas (I held out on you to see how it went over). It was WONDERFUL. It's called "What God wants for Christmas". You can get it from Focus on the Family (go to but I got mine at WalMart. I just happened up on it and knew about it and thought "what the heck....I gotta get this on a 4 year old level". In this box you will get a harder than heck to keep open manger scene (pop up), 7 boxes and a story book. You can do this any way you like, but for us, we started a few days later than I wanted and since MB is OOH so impatient, we read 2 characters per day.

Day 1 is the angel Gabriel (don't get on me about the angel looking like a woman, yes, I had a HUGE issue with that) and Day 2 is Mary. MB got to put them both in the stable wherever he wanted while Mamaw read the stories of Gabriel coming to tell us the story and Mary about the baby Jesus. Day 2 Mary finds out about the baby. The 3rd day is Gabriel telling Joseph his role in this saga. (biggest brother opened that box) Day 4 (Big brother opened that box) we meet the baby Jesus (at least, again, he is not blue eyed and blonde haired). Day 5 (opened by Uncle J) is the shepard coming to worship Jesus and day 6 (opened by MB) is the wise men (though they only have 1 they do talk about the 3).

Day 7 was the hardest day. Day 7 (which MB had a screaming hissy fit about when I told him he had to wait till the day we opened the presents to open) contains what God wants for Christmas. I'll tell's a mirror in box 7. Yes, what God wants for Christmas is YOUR HEART.

Now I hear you saying "mommaria, that is too simple". Sure, but isn't the gift of God simple to receive. You betcha! Did Monkey boy get it. Yes he did. Did he give God his heart? Not yet. I don't think he totally understands it all yet (age of accountability and all that good stuff we can debate for hours if you don't agree). However, today, 4 days after we opened presents, (yes, we did that earlier than most. We only had the step sons till Christmas day and how horrible to open presents and then not get to play with them before you have to go home to your momma's house) I asked MB what God wanted for Christmas...know what he said? ME and YOU and Mamaw and EVERYBODY (added with arms flowing in big circles and dramatic flair!). You see, he GOT it. I GOT what I wanted so desperately. I know that my son knows that Christmas is so much more than the stuff he got and the food that he ate and the family that was here. That may be important, but you know what...that is not IT. MB got IT. In fact, while we were in church 45 minutes before services started (I had the wrong time again in my head...LOL) he said "mommy, lets sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!".

SO Jesus, Happy Birthday and may we be able to celebrate many more with understanding that it's not about's about what YOU want for Christmas, which happens to be US.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Every year you get them. Letters about all the fun stuff your friends and family have been doing all year while your year was ho-hum at best. Here is the Family Christmas letter I really want to know, honest and ugly.

Merry Christmas to you all.
Well, Mary asked me to do this letter this year and we had a great big fight about it. I told her that she would be lucky if I remembered what we had for dinner last night, but she said she would never let me touch her again if I did not write the family letter, so here I go. She has given me some event ideas, but I'm doing this my own way.

Lets start with the kids. Stuart started school this year. He was so far behind that the teachers recommended we wait till he was 7 to start him in kindergarten. I don't think this will affect him negatively. He is now the biggest kid in the class and I dare anybody to laugh at him. He finally knows his colors and can write his own name. He is still trying to read Dick and Jane. I try not to laugh. Sometimes I can't make it.

Stuart's big brother Jake just got into the 5th grade chior. Darn kid can't carry a tune with a bucket but the teacher wanted to be nice. It's a shame...he sang Jingle Bells so loudly in the school's Holiday Celebration I was proud! I did, however, teach him the alternative phrasing. I bet next year she will let him play the triangle.

And Sissy, well, Sissy is 16 now. Hard to believe. She is not getting a car, ever. I will make sure of that. She took driver's education but flunked when she ran into the teachers lounge while taking the range portion of the test. I bet they don't build the new teacher's lounge so close to the driving range again. Don't worry about Sissy, she will be out of the body cast and back in the passenger's seat by January.

The wife is just as she always is. I sure wish she'd stay out of the Christmas Pudding if you know what I mean. Santa may have to leave his suit behind for her if she bakes any more of those cookies. She wants to take a trip to the ocean this year. I told her we could do it in January to save money. We can just dress warmly. She refuses to shower before noon or clean the house. I am not sure when the last time the toliet was clean is. But don't mention the mess. That's all I gotta say.

And me...well, I imagine after she reads this letter I will be in traction for a while, which will be a good thing. Maybe I'll be in a coma so I can finally have some peace and quiet around here. What's a guy gotta do to be left alone. Honey.....what are you doing.....put the cast iron skil......

This is Mary. As usual, no help from the "big man of the house". I want to invite you all to come visit us this holiday season and as for John, ignore him if he does not recognize you. The goose egg should be gone in a week or 2 and the doctor says the memory loss should be temporary. Can't wait to see you all. Watch out for the Christmas lights outside. John got lazy and they are all heaped in a pile in the middle of the yard, but the dog dragged some into the driveway.

Merry Christmas.
The Family.

I have come to the conclusion that I am a terrible mommy.

No, really, no protestings my dear blog readers....I shall have to confess many things in my life, and this one is true.

I have recently become a digital camera printer owner (thanks K, you know who you are) and I FINALLY got a print cartridge. So I dug through pics of MB and printed a few out to hang in my cubicle at work, you know, to remind me why I am here and how much I miss hanging out with him. But as usual, I digress.

I realized today that my MB is almost 5 (okay, so I have till May) but I am YET to get a professional (or even semi-professional) 4 year old picture of him. Yeah yeah, I hear ya. Lady you have over 5 months to get this done, but you don't understand dear friend. I usually do this right before he turns his new year. It's a progressive picture sort of thing. He has gone from cute baby to almost school boy and I missed the transition because I just never got around to it. *sigh*. I'm a terrible mommy.

There I confessed it but don't feel any better. I thought about combining Christmas and 4 year old shots, but that would just immortalize my laziness and slackerhood. If I do them separately now that is too much money at once. What is a mom on a budget to do?

I need to bite the bullet and find the time to get his 4 year old shots done.
Then maybe I can start on my Family Christmas letter, from last year, after all Christmas is not here yet.

How do you spell SLACKER...>MOMMARIA~!!!! (and don't you forget it!)

Friday, December 16, 2005

when you find something awesome, it's nice to share

SO I have a secret I have kept for 1 month and i'm busting with it because I know it can help so many more people.

We are having steak for Christmas. Now before you sigh, roll your eyes and 'walk' away to another blog, stick with me a minute. We are having steak for Christmas because my Mother-in-law (whom I adore) turned me on to a WONDERFUL ministry called Angel Food Ministires. Go ahead, type that into your browser when we are done here and see what happens. This is what will happen. You will open a web page to a wonderful food ministry. If you are struggling to feed your family or a friend or family member is struggling to feed their family this is the site for you (I hope). What is it, you ask before you look. It is a church ministry that buys food in bulk based on "units" sold and provides the units to you at a low cost of $25. What do you get for $25. Go look. It changes every month, but I guarantee you would probably be spending $100 or more on it at the grocery store. Oh, and there are specials every month, that is where the steak for Christmas comes in. December's specials were Strip steaks (6 -10 oz) for $18. We are having steak baby!!!

You see my excitement here, right?! So go check it out, spread the word and feed your family. There are no income guidelines and this is not a government hand do have to pay for it when you order it (though you could use food stamps to pay for it) I will pick up our food this Saturday and let you know how that goes since this is our first month doing this. The new menu is available now and is this :

(1) 5 lbs. Chicken Leg Quarters(1) 1.5 lbs. Boneless Pork Tenderloin(1) 3 lbs. Chicken Breast Filets(2) 1 lb. Ground Turkey(1) 1 lb. Ground Beef(1) 2 lb. Chicken Tenders(1) 14 oz. Philly Steaks(1) 12 oz. All Meat Hot Dogs(1) 17 oz. Birds Eye Simply Grillin'
(1) 2 lb. Shredded Hash Browns(1) 1 lb. Cut Broccoli(1) 1 lb. Carrots(1) 16 oz. 16-Bean Soup Mix(1) 7.5 oz. Mac & Cheese(1) 7 oz. Pancake Mix(1) Dozen Eggs(1) Dessert ...

all of that for $25 and you can buy as many units as you would like, 1, 2, 10, whatever you need. To find out if there is a distribution church near you go to the host sites tab and look for your state and then a place near you.

If this helps one person (and I know it will) it was worth it.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Wow, it's been a while hasn't it.

Sorry for the disappearing act, but wow has life been slipping by quickly. It has nothing to do with the holiday season because I have not really done much. Yes the house is decorated and the tree is up. I even managed to bake cookies (but they are gone already, but really there were not many to begin with).

I started the new job and it sucked the brain right out of me. INTENSE training in 2 weeks and then thrown into the deep end of the pool with no water wings is how I describe my last 2 weeks. I got my desk assignment today (I control the thermostat in our corner of the ready for snow babies around me LOL). I am surrounded by guys...loud guys except my cubicle neighbor..he's very quiet.

Not much else really going on but a lot of adjusting to change. I got my new schedule and it is full of change again. Did I ever mention I am not a big fan of change?

We had the working holiday dinner....and I say holiday because it incorporated EVERYBODY not just Christmas. I hate the whole politically correct holiday misnomer, but in the case where it truly is inclusive, fine...but people, it is a Christmas tree no matter what Governor Goober in Tennessee wants to call. If it's got Jesus in a stable, it's not a holiday display, its a Christmas Nativity scene.

enough of that rant. I am tired, sore and full of holiday fried chicken. I need to get into the attic to get and wrap the presents and figure out what to wear to the company Christmas party tomorrow night. Yep, Christmas party. It's been 5 years since I have been to one...I'm nervous excited...what will I wear???

I'll let you know how it goes whether or not you care. I just missed you and wanted to let you know I was still around.