Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! TToT 81

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Anyone else completely messed up as to what day of the week it is?  These mid-week holidays really mess up my internal calendar.  I'm not complaining.  At least 10 times on Thursday I had the thought, "Ugh, it's Sunday" only to remember it was only Thursday a few seconds later.  I was blissfully happy each time.  Nothing like a good break from school.

We Catholics see Christmas Day as the first day of celebration.  We celebrate all the days until the Epiphany, so our tree is still up and we will still be saying Merry Christmas while we greet you with new year good wishes.

Somewhat related...

I don't tweet, but I saw this tweet from "Professor Snape" on the sidebar of The More, The Messier and it made me laugh:

There are 364 days until Christmas, and people already have their lights up.  Unbelievable.


1.  I'm thankful for funny people.

2.  The week between Christmas and the start of school is one of my favorites of the year.  There are no deadlines.  There is no homework or commitments.  It's full of relaxation and a bit of organization.  We even had most of the time off from sports.  Of course, 6 months ago I was an idiot and scheduled 5 dentist appointments for this  week, but it didn't deter us too much.  This week was awesome.



3.  The kids got some new games and we pulled out some old ones we had never played with the kids before.  If you are in the market for some fun, might I suggest Clue, Wits and Wisdom, and Beyond Balderdash?  The kids have asked to play those more than any others this week.

4.  I also use breaks to get some organization and cleaning done.  Each day the kids are assigned one job that must get done.  For example, yesterday was clean out under and around your bed.  Depending on the child, that job could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes, but it makes a huge difference in my sanity and the overall look of their rooms.

5.  New Years Eve was spent with my book club and our spouses.  As always, we had a great time playing games and laughing our fool heads off.

6.  New Years Day started off early (The little boys who went to bed at normal time didn't seem to understand that Bryan and I went to bed WAY later than normal, so they woke at their normal 7:30 and expected us to do the same.) but beautifully.



 7.  The day brought more laughter and fun, as we had dinner with one of our favorite families.  After we ate, all of the kids (ages 20-6) went upstairs to the "playroom" to play a game.  After about an hour, we moms went up to see what they were doing.  All 9 kids were in a circle around the room, boy-girl-boy-girl, playing "Catch Phrase".  They were having a ball.  My friend and I watched for a little bit, then went back downstairs.  We wanted to stay up there with them to play, since we knew we'd have fun, too, but we both thought it was best for the kids to leave them be.  We've known this family for 11 years.  We've gone on vacation with them twice.  But as the kids grow, we see less and less of each other.  It melted my heart to see them all pick up and have fun just like they did when they were little.

8.  I always like it when kids want to help in the kitchen, and breaks give the big kids more chances to do so.


9.  All 6 kids have been to the dentist, and not one cavity was to be found.

10. Yesterday, I received a package in the mail.  Denise from Girlie on the Edge had mentioned last week that she gave some relatives flashing light teeth for Christmas.  I commented that I had never even heard of such a thing, so she secretly sent some to me.  Hilarious.


When I started this blog (four years ago!?!?) I never imagined I would make friends through it.  Yet here I sit, with friends all over the world sending me gifts and cards.  We chat online.  We text.  We pray for each other.  We laugh with each other.  We even meet sometimes.  It's been a wonderful surprise.

Alrighty folks, you're up.  What bit of wonderful has happened to you this week?

Have a lovely day!


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45 comments:

  1. I am right with you...Christmas until Epiphany and the quiet downtime make my list this week too. I wish I could claim as much in the cleaning and organizing department but I'm at least in process.
    Sounds like a wonderful week...enjoy the rest! Happy new year to all!

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    1. Don't think that our house is clean. We aren't spending a whole mess of time on it, and 6 kids can make a bigger mess than they can clean in a day. :)

      It's been grand, thank you!

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  2. Cool flashing teeth and Kudo's to all the kids with no cavities. That's always a great report! Happy New Year.

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    1. With the poor job most of the kids do on their teeth, I'm actually shocked every 6 months when we come out without cavities.

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  3. Wow that sunrise! The kid does the same thing. Goes to bed way later than normal. Still gets up at her normal ungodly hour-usually singing.

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    1. The sunrise was fantastic. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it, but I never could get what I wanted. The photo didn't do it justice, but the house was asleep and it was cold out, so I couldn't use the real camera or take it from the right vantage point.
      It really is a nuisance when the little kids get up early after going to bed late. You just know the day is going to be more difficult than it needs to be.

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  4. I just saw those flashing teeth for the first time THursday in the Dells on some kid. Freaked me out, man.
    Sounds like a perfectly restful kind of break to me--glad you are enjoying it.

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    1. Ha! I bet it did. :)

      It has been marvelous.

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  5. Sounds like you've had a wonderful Christmas/New Years time with your family. It doesn't get any better than that.

    Have a fabulous weekend. ☺

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    1. I have had a good time. I'm pretty sure they are enjoying it, too. I'll find out when they are adults and talk about their childhood. :)

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  6. Happy New Year, Christine. All great dental check-ups? That is awesome. I love the idea of a specific daily task/chore. Must better and less pressure on the kids than, "clean your room." Catch Phrase always comes out when there are any group of (adult) children at our house, which is frequently. Apples to Apples is kind of fun, too. Enjoy the last two days.

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    1. I really am surprised each time we go to the dentist when we come out without cavities.
      I learned a long time ago that I needed to break the tasks down into smaller jobs. We can do more of them, kids don't complain, and they really will get done the right way.

      I had never played Catch Phrase before. What a fun game!

      We have played Apples to Apples lots and lots of times. Great game.

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  7. We spent hours last night playing Phase 10. We've been playing a lot of games of Agricola this break, too.

    It is amazing how bloggy time flies, isn't it? I never imagined that I would make friends through blogging, either, and yet, I find myself saying, "Christine (or another blog friend's name) said. . . " to John all the time. AND, John knows who I am talking about. I don't have to explain who the person is.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. We owned Phase 10, but the kids never played it. I don't know why. What is Agricola? I've never heard of it (that I recall. We all know how horrible my memory is.)

      It is still odd to talk about you all with non-blogging folks, except for my family that reads my blog or lives with me. They don't quite get it. My family, though, they know who you are! :)

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    2. Agricola is a game (that oldest daughter and youngest son gave us this Christmas) that is similar to Settlers of Catan. You start with a small hut, which can be upgraded to clay or stone. You can increase your family size, plow and sow fields, and acquire livestock. Just think, you, as a "fake" pig farmer, could really pretend to be a wild boar farmer! :-)

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    3. Oh, we like Settlers of Catan. I'll have to keep this one in mind!

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  8. I love Balderdash! What a great, funny game! My most memorable moment from it was when my seven year old nephew made up a definition and said with a very straight face... "It's a French word meaning steak."

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    1. Hahahaha!
      It is a funny game. My favorite moment was way back when Bryan was in law school. We were playing with a bunch of friends, and the word was "athar". One guy wrote "something that is not clothe" (as in afar/close). I still laugh when I think about it.

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  9. I was so having the same problem with the days. Messes you up for sure. Kept thinking I had less days than I really had before having to head back to work on Monday. Which is 2 days from now. Because today is...Saturday:)
    Thanks for sharing Professor Snape's tweet! Made me laugh too!
    The sunrise pic is beautiful. Good thing the boys didn't know your schedule or might have missed it. Perfect for the 1st day of the new year.:)
    What serendipitous timing..."look Ma, lights but no cavities!"

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    1. The sunrise did make getting up that early much more pleasant. I thought the same thing, about a perfect start to the new year.

      Ha! That didn't even cross my mind until you said it.

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  10. Yay for no cavities!! I bet your kids are not afraid of the dentist!! Your New Year's Day indeed started beautiful. Pink sky!!!!! I hope you got some sleep later in the day though. Our kids all stayed up until way after midnight (even the baby!!!) and therefore slept until 9. Lucky us!

    Enjoy some more celebrations and the tree! :-)

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    1. No, my kids aren't afraid of the dentist. Thank heavens. I, on the other hand, and petrified. :)

      I did not get any sleep, but I went to bed a little bit earlier that night.

      Lucky you! The big kids were up late and slept late, though.

      Thank you!

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  11. did the teeth come in the mail before the dentist appointments? (it would have good to have worn the teeth… speaking as a some-part-is-still-5-years-old person, I would applaud such a fun idea).

    I totally agree about the surprising depth and dimension to the social environment in this here blogosphere here, glad I came.

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    1. Unfortunately, no. Our dentist would have gotten a kick out of them!

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  12. I love board games, even though I often have to force other people to play them with me. Over the holidays my sister-in-law-in-law (Yeah I said in-law twice... she's my brother's wife's sister, so that makes us, um,,,) introduced me to Bananagrams, and I loved it so much I bought a set for myself!

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    1. As amazing as it sounds, I've never played Bananagrams. I have purchased a few games for a teacher's classroom, but I've never played. Now with two people saying they like it, we may have to add it to our game closet.

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  13. I wish I lived near you. For the very first time ever, Tucker is into games and most of them aren't great. We got Creationary for Christmas but it's WAY HARD and we got Mustache Smash and it's kinda dumb and we well, I love love love games and want some good ones. You mentioned Beyond Balderdash and Clue, and something else. I know Clue is too sophisticated for Tucker but Balderdash??? Is that easy?? I need some good games to keep a 5 yo brain happy who has 3 yo skills... since you've raised a kazillion kids??? Ideas??
    Anwyay, ,happy happy New year and Merry Christmas!!! I've been big time out of the loop (my stupid stupid step daughter is pregnant as you know and well it's big messed me up but I think I'm maybe back to connecting at least a little).

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    1. None of the games I mentioned are for Tucker. I'll be sending some to you.

      I'm sorry to hear the pregnancy is causing turmoil. I pray things get better for all of you. Good to see you back, though.

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  14. this has been a quiet week and I am sorry that it is practically over, and having some time off from work was divine... i love board games the kids not so much Amelia more than James but in time I will win them over with my board game enthusiasm ... i love all those games you mentioned - this year Amelia got a Spirograph game - or kit and a wooden art set with paints, markers, pastels, I was going for creativity , something she is good at... I think the decorations are coming down today the Epiphany is on Tuesday and because of work schedules I think it will be hard to pack it up and put it away during the week.... we leave one of the many nativities out and maybe our baby Jesus too. Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year!

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    1. People were asking me if I was ready to get back to normal. Heck no! I want last week to be our normal! :)

      I am very fortunate to have kids who love to play board games and card games. How does she like the Spirograph? I used to like them when I was a kid.

      It's perfectly fine to take your tree down whenever you need/want to. :)

      Thank you!

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  15. Yep, breaks are the times we can actually get that stuff done! To a great year ahead, Christine.

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  16. Well done you guys for no cavities at all! That's awesome. And the cleaning schedule...aiiee...something I shall have to put together and keep up with, to stay on top of the madness and chaos that is my home. But I have a PLAN, at least!

    The sunrise is GORGEOUS (I stole it for Pintrest....which, by the way, I think you'd enjoy...just puttin' that out there) and I'm glad you got to see it, and gladder you got to photograph it.

    I saw in the New Year (as you know) in that violently pink 'Murica Tee you sent me, and I LOVED that I have it, and that it causes me to remember your visit, and truly one of my high points of last year. Looking forward to my next high point THIS year, of coming over and seeing you all *excited already*


    The games sound fun. I've never tried Balderdash before! Perhaps a new one to look out for. Just wait til yours are old enough for Cards Against Humanity ;)

    Happy New Year, my friend :)

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    1. Yeah, as for the cleaning schedule, that was about all we did. I have been so, so lazy this week. Making dinners has dropped off quite a bit. Today I've been productive, though, which is good. I needed to be. A plan is the best way to start!

      Glad you liked it. :)

      I'm so happy that you like the shirt. When I saw it, I knew I had to get them for you all. We are going to have so much fun!!

      Balderdash is loads of fun for older kids and adults. You would like it, as it is all about odd words and their definitions. We actually have a version called Beyond Balderdash, which has words and definitions, but also unheard of movie and book titles and trivial happenings. We played Cards against Humanity at our NYE party. Good heavens! That game is horribly offensive! So bad that I couldn't help but laugh. :)

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  17. Love the sunrise photo! I have been enjoying the Christmas decorations here, too. I probably won't get a chance to take them down until Thursday, and it will definitely feel bare in this living room for a while.

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    1. Thank you! I wish it did the actual sunrise some justice.

      I'm thinking it's going to be a slow process of taking the tree down over several days. It's a big tree, and I'll need to climb up and down the ladder a lot. The kids will be glad to have their empty room back, though. :)

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  18. What a great vacation you have had! Fun AND productivity! Congrats on the cavity-free kids!

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    1. It has been a marvelous break!
      Thank you!

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  19. My inner calendar has had it be Saturday so many times this week! Oh, and love the tweet!
    I have been on a purging spree this weekend. Probably should have started sooner, because I have little piles of things in every room that need to be transported somewhere else, and now I have to go back to work tomorrow and won't have the kind of time I've had the past two weeks.
    We played Bananagram last week when I was in Nashville. I love that game, but it's probably because I'm really good at it and usually win.
    I hate making dentist appointments 6 months in advance. How am I supposed to know if we're busy on a certain day 6 months away?
    Gorgeous sunrise photo! Today was the first day we saw the sun in a couple of weeks.
    You know, now that we've met IRL, we have to do it again AT LEAST once a year.

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    1. Ah, how I love a good purging spree. It seems like my life is a continuous purging spree. How we have so many things to get rid of is beyond me. I don't buy anything for my kids except on birthdays and Christmas!

      That's two high recommendations for Bananagrams!
      Exactly! Fortunately, our schedules are usually predictable, in June and December, so it's not too bad.
      Thanks!

      AT LEAST! and for much longer periods of time!

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  20. Belated HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Trying to get back in the routine and caught up on blog reading. Forgive me if I don't comment on all I've missed over the holidays. :(

    Without reading all 42 comments before me...

    2. I love, LOVE jigsaw puzzles!! Way to go Phoenix!
    3. Do you actually play these games with your kids??? Wow! Just…WOW!!
    4. “I” cleaned R’s room today while he was out. Then I had to take a nap. Youza!
    5. We’ve never done a spousal book club before…something to think about. Ummm…thought about it and nope. Not gonna. ;)
    6. Gorgeous indeed!
    7. Brings back memories of when I was growing up and seeing family friends on special occasions. Loved it!!
    8. Wait. You have kids that “want” to help out in the kitchen??? Where did I go wrong?!?!? *sob sob*
    9. Yippee!!!
    10. Those teeth are AWESOME!!!!!!!

    4 years eh?? You, my friend...are AMAZING!!! Cheers! D

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    1. Forgiven. :)

      2. It's a tradition. We always do a puzzle over break. This one is taking longer than usual, though. It's still sitting here less than halfway done.
      3. I do! See, I learned long, long ago that I am NOT a person who can play barbies or cars or any other thing the kids want to play. I got them into games, because I like the rules and the time limit and the competition. :)
      4. I'm pretty sure the kids would love it if I cleaned their rooms. Not going to give them the satisfaction.
      5. Oh, we don't do a spousal book club. The spouses are just invited to the parties.
      6. It was!
      7. It is so much fun when it is with certain family friends. Some families it's more the parents are friends, but not the kids. Then they don't have so much fun.
      8. Well, Giant wants to own a place like Panera Bread when he gets older, so I can get him in there just about any time football isn't on.
      9. You ain't kidding!
      10. They are fun, for sure.

      I just looked, and it's been more than four years! I cannot believe it. Nothing amazing about it. If I stopped, my dad would kill me. I have no choice. :)

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  21. I'm glad you explained the Epiphany thing. Someone mentioned it and I had no idea! I've learned about a lot of traditions and holidays since I started blogging! With all of your kids and their schedules I can only imagine how wonderful this time off was for you. It looks like you all had some amazing quality time. Love that!

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!