Invasion of the Stomach Bug

Is it bad to ring in 2009 sick as a dog?
Because I am.

We had a family dinner last night at Mom Mom's, lots of fun, Ryan turned 20.

(pictures will come)

We had spaghetti with Mom Mom's sauce.

I loved it going down.

Not so much coming up.


I am the first vicitim of this stomach bug, and hopefully the last, or God planned me to drop it off in my house and recover so that I can catch the vomit of others.

Happy New Year.


My Husband is in the Playoffs

I have blogged about this before, but this time I will explain it at a whole new level, because, really, when I think about it for too long I laugh out loud about it. I will admit that occasionally I get annoyed or angry about it, but when I looked around this morning at what it left behind, and as my husband calls me about it to go on and on about them,
I have to laugh.

The Eagles and my husband.

I kid you not.

This man has actually called me 3 times today to see if I can really believe it. That they made it to the playoffs, that they beat Dallas by that much, that some really great teams lost yesterday so that they could have their victory. Andy has officially known me for 10.5 years, we have been in a relationship for that long, because as soon as he met me he knew he would be an idiot to pass me up. ;) (I will share our story sometime later) I am telling you that in 10.5 years I have never once shown any other emotion in regards to the Eagles then happiness and mostly disappointment for my husband, because as I have said before, he is part of the team. So why would he call me to ask me if I can believe it? Because my friends, he is obsessed. I am certain that not only has he called me 3x, he has called all of his friends 3x to ask them the same thing every time, and has probably emailed them on the subject as well. I guarantee, they have all done the same thing, so in essence, they have repeated the same conversation to each other more times than humanly possible. I would put a million dollars that his butt has been sitting in his chair at work all day, on the Internet looking at sport related sites to read about the game.

And guess what? He was there. I try to equate it to a movie I really enjoyed, but there is no possible way that the following day I would talk about the movie numerous times to every one I know, watch the trailer for highlights over and over again, and read about it over and over again.

Sometimes I wish I had the whole team spirit thing going on, but lets face it, I don't. I have Leto Sheppard's jersey. I think we actually got it for the super bowl party when the Eagles lost and Andy punched the visor in my car, shattering the mirror, awesome. I will sit and attempt to watch the game but within 10 minutes I am either making fun of what the commentators are saying, trying to decide who the best looking player on the team was, who as the best throwback jersey, or making fun of Andy Reid,(again, fat man coaching a team of athletes, strange. If he were yelling at me to run faster, I might look at him and say, 'your fat behind can't do it.' It is similar to Weight Watchers in my head, why would you want an overweight person counseling you on your diet? It just does not go together). I then move on to something else that I can do while pretending to be watching the game. I did this in high school as well. I would go to the games, and really make a whole hearted effort to pay attention to the football game, have the my favorite players numbers painted on my cheeks, wear my school colors, the whole bit, but within 10 minutes I was engrossed in similar activities and talking away in the bleachers to my friends. And similar to a conversation with Andy today about an Eagles game, I would say to my friends on the team if they asked if I saw this or that play they made, 'yup, it was awesome.' Now I am done pretending, I don't get that which is sports enthusiasm.

Soapbox: I know that there are girls out there who truly know about football and they watch the games and know all the fancy calls and all of that, yeah for them, I am not referencing them here. But a certain pet peeve of mine is girls in their pink Eagles jerseys acting like the love the Eagles, but lets face it, they might as well just wear a shirt that says, "I would have on my Eagles jersey right now, but it is clearer for you if I just say that I am only wearing it to look cute and to impress this hot guy I am standing next to." Because I can bet you that if you ask pink jersey girl to explain the last play to you, she would look at you like you had 4 heads or walk away.

Back to my husband and his team. I feel like the Eagles always make the playoffs. I sometimes feel like this whole NFL thing might be fixed. Those in the know that watch these kind of things know that Philadelphia Fans are like no other, you piss them off they are going to get loud and draw a lot of attention, which in the end only publicizes the team more = $. Now if we start to get them to improve when it really matters, when it really might count for something, they are like a super team, winning all the games that matter, and in fact crushing a team to smithereens, does that seem a little strange to anyone else?

I am NOT a total Eagles hater, if that's what I sound like. It is just sometimes a girl gets a little overloaded and I do find the obsessions quite funny. My basement, have spoken on it before. It was completed first when we moved into our home because Andy had to have the biggest HD television known to man to watch the Eagles on so that it seems as though we are right there, floating over the players like little guardian angels willing them to make the perfect plays. The decor; Eagles. A little less than half of the basement is the playroom, and it is as if there is this imaginary line that we are not to cross into Eagles territory with toy set up. Sorry Charlie, we are about to cross over to the other side.

To cap off the explanation, I will give you my husband on game day, ok, one step further, actually going to the game. I do not care what he thinks. He goes to a lot of Eagles games. I am not complaining, sometimes it is nice to have a Sunday to get this or that done and visit with people and do non-football related things, but he will actually try and tell you that he doesn't. Andy and his friends go to more Eagles games than anyone I know, lets put it that way. They have been to a playoff game or more every time the Eagles are in them, and actually contemplated the thousands of dollars it would have been to go to the Superbowl. The wives nixed that. You might think this may cost Andy quite a bit of money. Nope. He loves the Eagles so much that they are one of his contacts with the Chamber which of where he is employed. I would put up a stink about him getting free tickets through his friends or through work, but he knows the deal and covers, we just sat in box seats to watch Disney on Ice. I wanted to know who actually pays to sit in box seats for Disney on Ice? Seems strange, but it was nice. And you better believe I will be on him to get Kendall and I tickets to see the Dancing with the Stars tour.
So, game day. Let's say the game is at 4 p.m., like it was this past weekend. Actually, correction, it does not matter the time of kick off, Andy and his friends are there by 9a.m., cooking breakfast in the parking lot. His one friend actually has an Eagles vehicle specifically designed for tailgating. Could you imagine if I had a crafting RV parked outside that I drove to all craft fairs? If it were modge podged with pieces of scrap booking paper, pictures, and stickers? Sounds insane right? To the Eagles fan, this is not. So they get all decked out in layer upon layer of clothes, with their 'bigger' jerseys, because everyone has different jerseys depending upon the weather and what you may or may not have to wear under the jersey. They have so much man food that it would seriously feed a family of 6 for a month. Do they get cold? No they have a generator with a space heater. They pack silly games, yell, holler at each other, chant, what have you. Does it ever get old? No. Never. Not once.

So by the time they get to the game their adrenaline is so high thanks to the thousands of others doing the same exact things, and beer, that the game itself is do or die.

I have mentioned this also before in a previous blog its reasoning, but lucky for us, the Eagles won yesterday.

My husband's reaction again, is like he is part of the team. It is like a victory of a battle that he was part of. Sure I was happy for the team, but Andy I am 100% certain felt the same level of elation as Brian Westbrook. (He also would have felt the loss on the same level as well)

Don't even mention to me when they were having a stinky start and middle to the season. Andy was so angry with Andy Reid and Donovan that at times I think he felt personally hurt by them and their constant defeats as if they were doing it purposefully to him to make him angry.

So the remnants of the game? I don't even have to ask who was there and what they did it was clear by walking around my house this morning.

1. Gonzo was there. (yes my husband as a friend with the nickname, Gonzo, it is all starting to fit together now for you isn't it?)There is a new Under Armor hooded sweat shirt on the floor. Gonzo works at Under Armor so there is typically some new something or other every time they are together.
2. Things got a little rowdy. On the top of the railing to go downstairs is my husbands skull cap, under the cap, a brown long haired wig. I now have a collection of wigs my husband is gathering from Josh. Who thinks when they are packing to go to a game...'Don't forget the wigs!' Because they are essential for game day, right? Don't ask me.
3. It was a great game, ticket on bureau, because Andy wants to look at it every time he goes by and recall the sweet victory.
4. There is heartburn. Because my husband thought it might be a good idea to stuff a box from WaWa in the fridge that contained a 2 foot Italian Hoagie with just 2 small pieces left. Have you seen a 2 foot Hoagie Box? Does it seem like it might fit in a fridge properly? No, it doesn't. And why did we save the two pieces? So that every time we open the fridge the lovely smell of onion and italian spices can fill the kitchen air? It was good, I had a half of a piece, but it wasn't worth the box jam up in my fridge. There is also open packets of heartburn medicine left on the counter, yummy.

The season is almost over. Well not quite, there is an away game on Sunday, which means party at our house, because that is what we do.



Reason 794 trillion that I am in love with my children...
To me, when they are sleeping, they make me think of what angels might look like.


A Mix Tape for you, for Christmas

I have been terrible these past 2 weeks, and have not delievered a Mix Tape, and for that I am sorry, but you are getting a great Christmas present, you dear wonderful blog readers, some favorites from some friends I chose to give them to me...I also included the conversational emails I had with them over this subject, (because some were so precious), and a picture of them at their finest. I know, I know, best present this year...no need to thank me. ;)

I simply asked each of them what their favorite Christmas song was, and why it was that...I will go in order of the mix tape so as not to confuse you or anything.(Keep in mind, if you weren't asked it doesn't mean I don't like you or don't respect your musical taste, it was a random selection, maybe you will get chosen next)

My first response was from Becca McCall, Becca and I met our first year of college in Wisconsin, we also then continued onto PBU together and remained close friends. Becca has since married Matt,has 2 dogs,is a nurse, and a mommy to the most adorable baby boy, Noah,I have included my favorite picture of him too.

hi melis, i guess it is Mariah (c: because of the memories associated with it. i was just thinking of that yesterday! hope your having a good december!

Next up Mike Smiley...I also went to college with Mike, but I also worked with him when I was a social worker. Mike was the only male in the office and so he was tormented beyond belief, but well prepared for a future wife.;) Mike is an awesome guy with a kind heart. His birthday is today, Happy Birthday Mike!(David Hasselhoff is one of his favorites! :) )

Christmas song?? Hmm...
I'm a huge fan of "Christmas Eve Sarajevo" by Trans Siberian Orchestra
But I guess if you're talking an actually sung song-
White Christmas, because that is my dream every year, -a white Christmas.

Kellie Woods is a dear dear friend who I met when I was Social Working. Kellie is probably the nicest person I know, seriously. Kellie is married to Scott, who has since befriended my husband, she also has 2 girls Emma & Meghan who are friends with Kendall and Ethan, and a cat, Maggot. No really the cat is Maggie, and she really dislikes me, always has. So because of that, Lily is not allowed to be friends with her. But other than that, their little family has been great friends to my little family, and I am so thankful for that. Kellie will be listening to this mix in the middle of the night tonight as she wraps her Christmas presents, she always does this, and always has, I think I may be joining her this year...

Hi Mel,
Let's see my favorite Christmas song. That is a tough one. I really like that one song that you put on one of your Christmas CD's...the one with Sarah McClaughlin and I think Barenaked Ladies I can't remember what song it is, but I remember I really like that one. Maybe you will know what song I am talking about. Why I like it...well Scott and I both like it, I guess it just get's me in the Christmas spirit. Plus I really like Sarah.

Next up is Katie Drebes. I currently work with Katie, but have known her and bits of her family for a few years. Katie is such a sweet heart with an honest innocence that even though I tease her about sometimes, I really think is a great quality to have.

my fav christmas song is Chestnuts Roasting on a open fire because my dad always sings it to me during Christmas.

Now is Meggan Judge, I actually typed Green as her last name first, which is her maiden name and I have no idea why, she has been Meggan Judge for a long time now, and was in fact my first friend married and to have children, so the slip has no purpose. I met Meggan and her hubby Eric my first year of college also, that is where they met and their love story began. Meggan and Eric live in Alaska, that is where Eric is originally from. They have 4, thats right, 4 children, Noah, Selah, Jonas, and Ezra. You can read all about them on their blog which has a link connection on my blog. Just when you think you were cold or you wanted to complain about the weather, think of the Judges in Alaska, beautiful place to live, freakish weather.

my favorite christmas-y song is Just like Christmas by Low. It's on a mix tape a friend from high school gave me and I put it on when I am cleaning to get me in just the right mood. I like most any song with sleigh bells in the background.

My favorite hymn is What Child is This? cause the tune is Greensleeves, and my maiden name is Green, and I'm all about me. Seriously, though, Sufjan Stevens does my favorite version of this.

These next was chosen by my Aunt Amy.If I might interject here, many people chose O Holy Night, so I placed 3 different versions on the bottom, Amy was the only one who picked an artist. Josh Groban. Yes, I put Josh Groban on a mix tape I made, many know, I cannot stand Josh Groban, sort of like Clay Aiken they just bother me, and I know that is wrong with me, because I don't even know the guy, but I don't know, just something about them. But since she picked him, I must put him on...its Christmas, a good deed.

Amy is the mother of Brynn and Molly which I mention frequently on my blog, because Kendall and Ethan adore them. Yes, it could be weird to have an aunt with children the same as mine, but I think the Duggar Family will have it stranger. Amy has really always been more of a sister to me than an aunt, she is my Dad's youngest sibling, but I won't give away her age. Amy is married to Tim, and they have 3 kids, besides Molly and Brynn is their big brother Aidan, pictured below with Amy.

tough one!! I'm going to have to say it's a tie between have yourself a merry little Christmas because I've always loved that song and just reminds me of Christmas and all the big family parties. Oh and my favorite version is Luther Vandross'. The other one is O Holy Night. That just reminds me of being little and decorating the house because it was Pop-Pop's favorite Christmas song and I think we used to listen to a Johnny Mathis record of it. I like Josh Groban's version now. So that's it!!!

Next is my sister Michelle. Michelle is my youngest sister. She picked a good one, one of my favorites. Whenever I sing along to it in the car I wish that Andy would learn the guy part so that we can sing along to it. We would sound terrible, but that would be awesome. Michelle is dating an awesome boy, Brent, who my kids adore. He is quite simple with them, but they talk talk talk about him. 'Brent,' was one of Ethan's first words.I can post this hilarious picture of Michelle because she is my little sister and because I have normal pics of here somewhere on my blog.

"Baby Its Cold Outside" but it has to be the Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer version! Absolutely love this one and who wouldn't love this songs clever wit and sultriness!

My cousin, Erin. Erin will be 16 the day after Valentines Day, Kendall will turn 3, the day before Valentines Day. So more than likely they will have Happy Birthday sung to them both at family parties, forever, and I think they love that. Erin is the 3rd child in the Casey bunch. Our families are super tight, and in many ways Erin is more like a little sister than a cousin, and for that I am thankful. Erin is a beautiful girl who Kendall enamores. When we housesit for them Kendall just stands in Erin's bedroom doorway and stares taking in everything of which is a big girl. Love it.

lol sorry i didnt get back to you..
but i guess jingle bell rock idk why thouggh, it just makes me happy hah :]

goodness, isn't she lovely?

And then the 3 'O Holy Nights.' Besides my aunt, I find it ironic that the other two who chose this song seemed to want to give me a hard time about it...hmmm...

Ben Bailey chose the Mariah Carey version. No really, I could not find the one he wanted, and he said he liked them all, so here I chose Mariah for him. Ben and I also met at our first year of college in Wisconsin. Ben and I share the same birthday and both turned, 30 this year, ugh. Ben is originally from Georgia. So yes, he has a southern accent, and yes he is loud. I always think of southern people as loud, but I am loud and not southern, so whatever. Ben is very funny, and an all around great guy. I could say some embarassing stories about Ben back in the day, but I will save that for another time. Ben is married to Sarah, and they have a sweet little girl Sonya, and another babe on the way. Oh how we grow up.

Ben: my fav is o Holy Night
Me:if you don't tell me what version and why you picked it I will just pick mariah carey and write on my blog that you picked that version bc she is your favorite singer.
Ben:LOL It is my fav because of its speaks of the night our Savior was born and gives an interpretation of what it was like that night. I also love all the different arrangements of that song and the different artists that have sung it including Mariah Carey. My favorite version is by Shane & Shane. Hope this helps.

And lastly, Christine Keegan. Christine and I met in college also, and I also worked with her while being a Social Worker. Christine is one of those people who is sarcastic about 80% of the time, really. But she is quite funny about it, and it really isn't annoying like you might think. I think it must be the red hair, it just fits. Christine lives in China, yes China, with her hubby Josh, who is from Australia, yes Australia. They are missionaries in China, Josh's are missionaries in Australia. They have 3 children, Riley, Ari, and Sadie.

Christine:that is weird message and I'm not replying til you explain yourself. was this a mass message or something?
Me:you act as if i am asking for your social security number. it is a christmas song for crying out loud. i should have known you would interrogate and would be the only difficult one. i need to know for my blog. just give me your favorite christmas song and why.
Christine:ok, ok. "o holy night" because it has beautiful music as well as beautiful words and I don't think I ever tire of listening to it. I also think it could probably be sung by almost any artist and still be magnificent. Unless they couldn't hit the high note.
by the way... 642-94-9838. just kidding-don't try to steal my identity cause you'll be embarrassed.
merry christmas!!

Sadie was just born a little over a month ago, and this is a goodand recent family shot.(hence Christine in a robe) Note to pregnant women, women of thinking of one day becomming pregnant, or have given birth: Christine is a freak of nature, no one looks this incredible after giving birth and still in the hospital. ;) (that was a jealous compliment)

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes


In Memory...

God's purpose for our lives is so powerful that when I am reminded of that I am often left speechless, on my knees, and pleading for His grace.

The little girl that you will read about within the link to a blog which I will post at the end of my entry, is Norah. Norah is the daughter of Josh & Abby, a couple which we are friends with through our dear friends Jake & Trista. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to hold Norah in my arms, to cuddle with her by a fire place as she slept, and to be witness to the great love Josh & Abby have for her. As I remember Norah, I remember her as a sweet little girl that lived up to her name, Norah Pearl. A gentle presence that was filled with grace and femininity.

My friend Trista explained Norah's sudden and unexpected passing so eloquently as she shared some of the heart wrenching moments that Josh & Abby experienced. Norah was not alone when it happened, she was not under the care of doctors and nurses poking and prodding at her, she was in her Daddy's arms in her home, what a comforting moment of peace in such a tragic cirumstance.

I cannot fathom living through something like this. I can only imagine the great sorrow they must feel. I cannot pretend to understand God's purpose, although I am certain there is one greater than we can comprehend right now. My only peace is that Norah is in heaven right now experiencing a love and comfort greater than she has ever felt, and that must be incredible because she certainly was loved tremendously here on earth.

Please keep Josh & Abby in your thoughts and prayers.

Here is the link to their friend's sight. What a blessing to know such a talented photographer to capture such beautiful photographs of this angel.


A Visit from the Virgin Mary

Kids were downstairs playing, I was straightening up. Kendall came up and asked for her rain poncho, ok, must be playing that it is raining or something. A few minutes later she comes upstairs and says, 'Look Mommy, I am Mary, and here is Baby Jesus.'

I have been reading the Christmas Story to them and reenacting it with their little Fisher-Price Little People Manger...low and behold, she is starting to understand it.

She even got the poncho on upside down and buttoned so that it resembled Mary's cloak...and who knew Jesus was a redhead and preferred to be swaddled in pink.


Yeah Christmas is officially around the corner...Boo, I still have to much to do! Right around the 20th of each December, every year, I get into this sort of, I have a million things to get done loony kind of state. Each year, I say, next year will be different, through the year, when I see something that would be great for someone for a Christmas gift, I am just going to get it then and there, so that I can enjoy the season, make spectacular cut out Christmas cookies, and not go out in the madness that is the Christmas Rush, and every December 20th, for the last 10 years or so, it is the same. So next year will be different, there it is out for everyone to see.

One of the fun things we have gotten ourselves into this holiday season has been seeing Santa arrive into town on the train. I have pictures of the pre-train festivities, it was bitter cold, it was so cold that my camera refused to work when pointed in the direction of Santa, which was also the direction the wind was coming. I couldn't blame it, I was so cold, Kendall was so cold, so cold in fact, she did not want to wait in line which was partially outside to sit on Santa's lap. Of course E was ecstatic at the sight of the train coming down the track, once he got a clearer view of who was on the train, the portarideluomophobia set in, (I have self-diagnosed him with this phobia, which is fear of people in costumes, which he will grow out of so help me...). He did not look up from my shoulder once, until I assured him that Santa was in the building, nowhere in sight.

Doing whatever it takes to see Santa come to town!

We also went to Bob White's Christmas Tree Farm to cut down a Christmas Tree. This is the place I wanted to go and get pumpkins, but we weren't for certain where it was, and so we settled for another farm. This place was very efficient, and very festive. Types of trees were clearly mapped out, the saw worked great, well so Andy says, they had Christmas music blaring over some speakers, and there was ample choices of trees. The kids loved it. They weaved in and out of the trees playing some sort of tag, you can't find me, nanny nanny boo boo game, which had them giggling and preoccupied so Andy and I could decide on a suitable tree. Andy wanted a smaller tree this time, but somehow, it needed to be shortened on its arrival home. Kendall named the tree Frosty, and by the time the kids and I got back up to the van, it was nicely wrapped and waiting for us to take it home.

Kendall assisting Daddy towards the perfect tree!

Andy's Pick

Watching our strong and determined Daddy bravely cut down our tree!

It took 2 nights to decorate. Kendall waited for me to arrive home from work last weekend to assist me in the decorating of the tree, and since I am an anal Christmas decorator, I moved everything around once it was done. Terrible, I know, it gets worse. The kids even have a small fake tree downstairs in their play area that is decorated with ornaments from when I was little and the ornaments they get each Christmas, which I let them decorate and then once they went down for their naps redecorated and pretended that that was how it was when they went down, 2 hour earlier. Yeah, I am like that. I don't care. I LOVE holiday decorating, and I love my decorations, many of them are hand me downs, or bazaar collected but fit into my criteria of vintage looking, I have actually passed on offered decorations bc they weren't my style, who has a Christmas decorating style? Me, that's who. And it costs me nothing more than a new string of lights every couple of years, a fresh tree each year, and a few bargain finds, awesome. Here is what I am looking for though, a good set of lights with the large colored bulbs, circa 60-70's. I had them in my room at WWC, they were found in this cubby/attic off of my room, and I loved them, and I still do, I am looking for a good set, with no frayed wires, yes I have to include that, with a large percentage of the bulbs working, bc I refuse to pay top dollar for a replacement. I have no idea where I would put them, but just the same, they would be fabulous.

So Santa sighting? Check. Decorating done? Check.

This past week we were able to spend time with Molly & Brynn. I went to watch them and spend the day with them while my aunt went to New York City with my other aunts, yeah, who got the bad end of that deal? No, but really, I have been to NYC way too many times at Christmas, and Kendall & Ethan LOVE playing with Molly & Brynn, so someone else can have a turn.

You would think 4 kids, all day long, raining a majority of the day, not being able to work a DVD player might send me over the edge. But actually it was pretty smooth. There were melt downs, and I won't mention any names, just my favorite melt down. (insert blubbery sob sounds) "When Kendall and Molly dance with me, and we hold hands, I do not get to hold Kendall's hand that has the pretty ring on it, and that is just not the fairest of them all." Just another convincing example that little girls interested in Disney Princesses cannot just stop at one or two things, it becomes a lifestyle.

We played princesses of course, because every girl has a tub of princess dress ups, did you not know? Kendall asked within the first half hour, "Brynnie, where is your box of Princess dresses." And like she was asking something as normal as where the bathroom was, Brynnie replied, "Oh in my room, let's go." So as I cleaned up behind them, because order is a must when 4 kids are involved, they went to become princesses. When I arrived upstairs, they were attempting to put Ethan in a Cinderella dress, which he wore dutifully, until they lost interest. and he then came running up to me, pulling and tugging, telling me, "Off, Off."

We had 2 different baking expeditions that day. One involved reindeer cookies, and the other sugar, in requested shapes. I forgot my cookie cutters, so half way there, I am like, 'oh man, but Amy will have some.' Who doesn't have cookie cutters? Well if she has them, they are hidden quite well, because all I found were 2. A crooked snowman and a clover. Not very festive. So I decided to cut shapes upon request, and the girls decorated while Ethan fascinated over Sammy the dog licking up the dropped sprinkles, there was that many. This intense sugar high induced another non-sensical melt down, again, no name mentioning... "But I want my name to begin with K, not B, can't it just be a K?' (blubbering sob sounds again) We were cutting out the letters our names start with and singing the alphabet. But she did have no problem scarfing that B down when it was all said and done.

We also did reindeer cookies. I showed the 4 of them how to do it, Molly was excited because it was. 'just like a show', and then let them have at it, with them each having their own pile of ingredients and bag of icing. Kendall, Brynn, & Ethan required assistance. But Molly, what a pastry chef, too bad her Mom only has 2 well actually 1 1/2 cookie cutters. She asked for no help and decorated a slew of beautiful reindeer.

Later in the day we went to get Aidan at the bus stop, it had stopped raining, Sammy needed to get out, and so did they. So we walked, and sang Jingle Bells, and tattle taled.

Kendall and Ethan had so much fun with their cousins, as usual, and they cannot wait to see them again.

Today we went to visit Grammie Fink for Christmas and her birthday, something we do each year. The kids were much more behaved then I thought they would. And later when we got home, I got them into bed and ran out to conquer some of Santa's list since where I needed to shop was open until midnight, I know, I know, a machine I tell you.


So this past weekend Andy's college friend, the last from a tight group of guys, married. Todd was the stereotypical self-proclaimed bachelor until he met his love, Mandi.(Que Barry Manilow song, I know, it is stuck in my head every time we talk about her, it is Todd's ring tone for when she calls as well.) Todd lived with his parents until just this past weekend, and the amount of girls he 'dated,' was record worthy. Finally he has settled, and he deserves her as much as she deserves him. We are so grateful for this wonderful lady, as we wondered if this day would ever come.

If you are not familiar with Andy's closest friends from college, here is the basics, well of course from my point of view, this is my blog. There is Kyle, who is pretty much the tie that binds, over the years he has kept the circle intact and has kept communication even as 3 of them each are 2 hours away from each other, and the other is in Washington. Kyle is funny, well at least 75% of the time, if you ask me. Sometimes his humor reminds me of a 9 year old boy, like this weekend, when he kept repeating, "awkward," in this voice that drove me nuts, and once he finds out it drives you nuts, it happens over and over and over again. On occasion, like this weekend, I have been known to yell at 9 year old Kyle and want to put him in time out, but then he will say something absolutely ridiculous and you forget what you were going to say in the first place. Kyle has a very patient wife, Kristi, and 2 children, Mia & Micah. My adoration of toddler boys just grew this weekend while playing with Micah. Oh how I love being a Mommy to a boy, you have to have one to know. Micah is very similar to Ethan, and is just a cute, solid, food shoving in mouth, monster.

Then there is Josh. How do I explain Josh? Chris Farley comes to mind quite often, well without the crazy drug taking and all. I really think he should get out of the apple sales and become a comedian. He can make you laugh all of the time. The things he does are just hysterical. His face is one of those faces you can just read and know that he is making the most hysterical commentary of a situation at hand in his head. But beyond being just plain silly, Josh is kind and genuine, the makings of a good friend, I'd say. Josh lives in Washington state with his wife Emily and their two girls Hailey and Violet.

Then there is Todd. Todd just fits into this group of fools. Todd is typically always game for whatever, and I know that he is the perfect audience for Josh and Kyle since he pretty much laughs at whatever they do. Todd, although one of the oldest, has taken on the little brother role of the group, ( I mean this kid can whine and be difficult until you give in or body slam him, like no other, )and it was fittingly so that all of them supported him on his wedding day.

Then there is my dear lover Andy. Andy is just bossy, and so he probably made them be his friends. Really though. Andy is outspoken, a loyal friend, and really good at soccer, and these boys played soccer, so why not have the best player on the team be one of your best friends, it can only help, right?

So the wedding weekend begins Friday Morning, when we arrive we go to the place to pick up the tuxes, this is what happened:

Josh modeling the awesomely fitting tuxes.

None of them were correct, just a little stressful right? To add to this the lady was that sickly sweet calm calling the boys, "Mr. Andy," or "Mr. Miller." I mean really lady, just get the right sizes and call it in. I realize that we are in Montoursville and things really aren't up to speed there, but given the option of having tuxes not fit would leave these gentleman walking down the aisle in jeans and a tee shirt, and I think they would be fine with that. Just get it done.

So then by the time this fiasco is over it is time to get ready for the rehearsal. Rehearsal goes fine. There were some comments from the hen house, which I got to be vocal about, but that is expected, I mean we have been in or gone to a trazillion weddings. (My Definition of a Hen in this context, one of the soccer boys wives, because when we are together we cluck, cluck, cluck away loudly at each other and at the boys)

Oh I guess I should mention that we did not bring Kendall and Ethan, technically they were not invited, I guess in a pinch they could have come, but when the invite arrived with just Mr. & Mrs. Fink on it, I was more than willing to comply. So my parents came up and watched them at our house. Lovely.

I love my kids, but there is nothing more tension inducing then children away from home attending wedding festivities. Everything has to be planned precisely so that they behave and do not go into fits of rage in a public setting. Nearly impossible.(you can refer to previous blog entries when we have had to do this)

Kyle, with Micah, proving my point.

Mia was the Flower Girl, and what a perfect Flower Girl she was and if anyone is wondering, and wanted my opinion, 3 1/2 and up is the best Flower Girl age.

There was 20 people in the wedding party, 22, if you count Mandi and Todd. That is huge. But typical for these guys. We all had huge wedding parties. It is as if the guys think that if some of their closest friends are sitting in the pew and not standing up next to them that the marriage is destined to fail, or that their friendships will just end. And I know, it is nice that they are so tight, but really it does make for a lot of rowdiness, and there was, if you were wondering.

Some of the boys, behaving.

The morning of the wedding there was a slight crisis when Mandi called Todd to say that she got charged for all the hotel rooms that were not used by the guests, because she had reserved them. All turned out just fine, the only reason I mention this is because as Todd is on the phone with the girl that he eventually made cry, he says, "Listen, I know people, and if you don't fix this, I am going to make this bad for your business, I mean real bad." As if he is the mayor of Williamsport. If you know Todd, this would crack you up even more.

On to the ceremony. Which I loved. I love Christmas weddings. Attention to my sisters, Kendall, any future daughters and granddaughters: this is a good idea, I can really make it all decorated fantastic. This wedding was just that, perfect decorating, subtle, but still, 'tis the season.

All was going well until this chick:

Passed out during the ceremony. I can write this because she doesn't read my blog, she doesn't even really know me. But as luck would have it, she was Andy's partner. I mean she went down. It was during a song was being sung, and the pianist even said afterwards, 'I was thinking the entire time, is this alright to be playing the piano with a girl passed out on the floor in front of it?' I mean how embarrassing, right?

Oh she recovered by the way, and walked down the aisle for the recessional and was later spotted on the dance floor, dancing, not passed out. But I just heard today she is in the hospital,
and that is terrible. But it still happened, I have to mention it, she walked with my husband for goodness sake, its noteworthy,I am terrible. Get Well wishes.

The reception was so nice in a lodge type setting, fireplaces and all. Josh made everyone laugh with his dance moves, and Kyle decided to dance a lot, even if that meant dancing with his wife, and a group of children, and Todd's 80 year old grandmother.

In typical fashion, the guys heard the wings were good from the bar on the other side, so they decided mid ceremony to get 3 plates of them and bring them over to chow on.

So it was a fun wedding weekend. Once again, I cannot believe Todd is married, but he is and he is getting a Christmas card addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Westphal this year.

Did I mention it was FREEZING? It was, but it was perfect for Mandi, who had the perfect reason to show off this wintry cape, enhancing the beautiful bride she was, while exiting the church to a candle lit path to her awaiting trolley.

There is no Mix Tape Monday this week, as you can see, I was a bit preoccupied.


Mix Tape Monday

Our Monday Mix DJ for this week is in honor of a very special guest in our home that came Thanksgiving morn', Freddie the Elf. Good old Freddie came to us for the first time last year, Aidan, Molly, and Brynn's elf, Magic, knew that Freddie was looking for a place to work over the holiday seasons so he recommended our home.

Freddie comes from the North Pole and you can read all about him in The Elf on the Shelf book. Every morning he is in a new hiding spot in our house and we all get to find him. At night, when we are all fast asleep he flies home with all the other elves and reports back to Santa if Kendall and Ethan and all the other children have been good or not that day. There are a few rules in regards to Freddie, which Kendall will review for us at another time. But so far he has been a warmly welcomed guest. Freddie will leave on Christmas Eve when Santa comes. He will jump on Santa's sleigh and head back to the North Pole until next year, but if we have been really great hosts, he leaves us a gift.

Here he is in today's hiding spot!

To honor Freddie's return to our casa, and to celebrate the commemorative event of opening the first door on the advent calendar, here is some Christmas cheer. Some songs that we get down to around the holidays. There was so many we love, it was so hard, but here are those that made the cut.

We realize that #11 is a bit strange, and pardon the name of the group, but their singing is so terrible it is funny, even Kendall and E laughed.

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