Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Gig is up.

Conversation in our household this evening...

Michael: (Hanging out with Ben, noticing his shirt) This is a good quality shirt. Beth, where did you get it? JCPenney's?
Beth: No, Dillards.
Ben: (With total & complete sarcasm that only an 11 year old can muster) You mean, where did "Barnaby" get this shirt? (You know, that Christmas Elf?)

Darnit!!! So, apparently the kid has been onto us for about 2 years now. I was beginning to worry about him, being 11 & all...but he knew he had a good thing going and has had US jumping through hoops to keep the secret.

For the last few years, I've been looking forward to this day (after all, he is 11, I've been doing this for 18 years & I've never been very good at it... I always felt like I was on the verge of giving it away), but I'm sad. Megan graduated this year & now THIS! Although I'll be a "Mom" for the rest of my life, my "Mommy" years are rapidly coming to an end. How can that be?! (For my 3 readers that don't know me IRL, please note now that I was a VERY young mom, REALLY! I was only 19 when Megan was born, Michael was exactly 20 & 1 week... I couldn't decide which was worse, you thinking we were OLD or knowing we were teen-age statistics, either way it doesn't matter, some of you will probably think we're old anyway, although WE ARE NOT!!!) Anyway, I digress... what I really want to say is that this seems like it was only yesterday...

Wasn't she adorable?! Megan was almost 2 here, about 2 weeks from becoming a big sister and just becoming aware of the big, red, chimney guy who brings presents... SIIIIIIGH!
Although I'm sure that the big, red guy will continue to come down our chimney for many more years to come...

Just so ya know...

Also, Christmas card people, the blogger header is not the Christmas card either. I wouldn't spoil it for you :)

Photo op

For those of you on my Christmas card list, here is a sample of photos that WILL NOT be on our Christmas cards this year...

I guess you need more than just an awesome camera and some gorgeous kids, huh? :)

The weekend that never ends...

Whew! What a busy weekend. We had a lovely Thanksgiving at my parents' house. Add ImageWhich included lots of yummy food and an early Christmas present for Michael & I. I asked my dad if we could borrow his mac-daddy camera to take pictures for our Christmas cards, he said that I couldn't... then gave me my very own mac-daddy camera! Well, actually it's for both Michael & I, but I take 99.9% of our family pictures; although Michael DOES really enjoy them. So I spent most of the day being annoying and taking unflattering pictures of family at inopportune times. They really appreciated that. I did get a few good ones though...

We avoided the Black Friday sales... I spent Friday morning with Edward & Bella (reading Twilight... I LOVE IT!), whilst the children played Ben's new Outdoor Adventure game on the Wii (Thanks Amy, it's loads of fun!!!). I think Michael was at the Y or something or maybe he was hanging out around here, like I said, I was with Edward (oh yeah, and Bella too, whatev!)...

Then we picked up our Jordie Girl at the airport. It was great to see her! She had a great time, but unfortunately came home with a bad cold.

After we picked up Jordan, we went to Michael's parents' house for dinner. While we were there, Barnaby, the Christmas Elf, left a present for the kids on the front porch. The kids got their outfits for their Christmas pictures, plus an ornament and another little something for each of them. Barnaby usually comes on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but now that we have a kid in college, even Santa's elves have to make adjustments.

Oh yes! I know my mom is getting impatient and wants to know how Ben's birthday surprise went... He never got any of my hints (he didn't even realize the King Arthur book we gave him Tuesday was a hint) and never would've guessed where we were going, especially since he had never heard of the place! We took him to Medieval Times in Kissimee, an "Exciting, family friendly dinner theater featuring an authentic medieval tournament and feast with jousting knights, and live horses." A perfect surprise for my little history lover! Here are some pics...

Here is Sir Ben being "Knighted" by the King... "Hip Hip Hoorah!"

Sir Ben with his Court of lovely ladies...

Enjoying some drinks before the show (the color of the crowns represent which Knight we will cheer for during the show...

In the arena...

The Red Knight enters the arena...

and then I put the camera away... but we really had a great time. The food was surprisingly good (tomato bisque, garlic bread, chicken, spare rib, roasted potato & an apple pastry) and you have to eat it with your hands (there were no utensils in the 11th century). The show was fun and the best part of all was that THE RED KNIGHT WON!!! (Have I mentioned that I'm hyper competitive?!) No, actually the best part of all is that after a lot of time apart, we were all together as a family & that I think the Birthday Boy had a great time. After five days, I now declare Ben's 11th birthday officially over, but I hope he has a great year!!!
Christmas picture time... don't really have a plan, but I DO have an awesome camera & some gorgeous kids, so I guess I'm good to go!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Even in these trying times, we all have so much to be thankful for. We will be going to my mom's for dinner today, one of her traditions is that during dinner we go through the alphabet and say what we are thankful for. (Dad will have "A", Mom will have "B", etc...) It's fun & reminds us what the day is about.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day & lots of yummy food.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Adventures of Ben & Jack

Remember when I was tearing my house up looking for those pictures from Amy? Well, this is why... I made this scrapblog for Ben & Jack and put the prints into a photo album for each of them for their birthdays. Jack got his a month ago and did a great job keeping the secret! Ben brought his over to his Gramma & Grampa's today to show them. It was so much fun to do & I think it came out pretty cute...

Mr. Pibb, Firebreathing Gator and Pie...OH MY!

Megan got home in time to go to dinner with us for Ben's birthday last night. We went to a Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse (this was not his surprise, we are doing the surprise Saturday night). We shared a table with a couple celebrating their anniversary & the Hibachi chef was really funny & made Ben & the couple feel really special. Although I brought my camera to the restaraunt, I never got it out of my purse, so I won't be amusing you with pictures of Ben's reaction to the onion volcano or of Michael's face when the bill came. :) [let's just say THIS should have been the birthday surprise]

When we got home, Ben opened his presents... and went from being my normally super-chill, mild mannered son to this guy...

Super Caffeinated Birthday Boy Who Had One Too Many Refills of Mr. Pibb

At some point in the evening, either the excitement of being home or her brother's behavior started to rub off on Megan (who only drank water) and she decided to become a firebreathing Gator...

Instead of birthday cake, (Mrs. Smith &) I baked Ben his favorite dessert in the whole wide world, Pumpkin Pie. Because the kid obviously need to add some sugar to his caffeine high.

...and a good time was had by all! Thanks to everyone who wished him a Happy Birthday, he thanked you himself in the comments section of yesterday's post. No, I don't have any idea what Hobey Ho means, I think it's from the series of books he's currently reading (The Pendragon Series by DJ MacHale).
Now, for your Jordan update: The Region III team beat the Region IV (west of Texas) team today 5-3 (I guess there was one super-stud on that team from Alaska who scored a hat trick). Jordan played the whole game. Tomorrow, all of the Interregional participants will have Thanksgiving dinner together & then go to the movies. Her team plays the U16 Nat'l team on Friday, then she comes home! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Birthday Boy!

Who turns eleven today?! This guy! Happy Birthday Ben! I can't wait until Saturday!

Love you all ways for always!
Your Mom

Monday, November 24, 2008

Only the lonely?

I know Ben misses his sisters, but I think he's enjoying being an "only child" for a few days. Most of all because there are no soccer games! But also, I have been catering to his tastes as far as dinners go. Ben LOVES shrimp, so last night I made this. I've had that recipe for a long time & have been wanting to try it, but one of my daughters (guess which one?) hates seafood & will make gagging noises whenever she smells it. It was super yummy and next time gaggy girl goes out of town I will make it again. Tonight is also one of his favorites, pork roast. Then of course tomorrow is his BIRTHDAY, so I suppose we'll have something else he'll enjoy. :)

The Region III team tied the Region II (midwest) team today 1-1. Jordan was disappointed because she thought they completely dominated the first half, but they let down a little in the second half, resulting in the tie. The good news is that Jordan was on the starting lineup & played all but about 10 minutes of the game. They play again on Wednesday...

I guess that pork roast isn't going to put itself in the oven... bummer!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Love

I just got my Kenmore vacuum cleaner back from the vacuum repair shop. It stopped working a few years ago, but I had a spare (piece of crap) vacuum so I never bothered to have it fixed. When the p.o.c. died last week, I finally brought the Kenmore in. Thankfully it only needed to have to plug replaced. We picked it up yesterday & I just used it this morning. I forgot how much I LOVE THIS MACHINE!!! It just looks at dirt & the dirt runs away in fear. Hallelujah!

In other news, Jordan left yesterday for her trip to Coral Springs. So far, so good. She said their training session last night went really well. Right now we don't have plans to go down & watch her this year, but if they do well in their first 2 games, I imagine Michael will want to go down Friday to watch them play the Under 16 National Team. There are some super studly girls on her team this year from North Texas (they weren't there last year due to a scheduling conflict) so it might be fun to watch. I'm sure Megan & Ben would beg to differ though.

Megan is coming home on Tuesday for Thanksgiving weekend. It also happens to be Ben's 11th birthday. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My little guy

Dear Ben,

As to your request via the comments on my previous post, these your only hints, there won't be more...
1. The place we are going is in Central FL
2. The name of the place is 2 words
3. The name of the place contains at least one "E", yes "E", the most common letter in the English language
4. Your dad & I think you'll really like it. I mean REALLY like it. It might even spark a new obsession & we're willing to risk it.

Love you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And I would walk 3.8 miles...

I live 3.3 miles from a Super T & 2.7 miles from a Super W. These two stores are 3.8 miles apart. I would LIVE at the Super T if Michael would let me, I really LOVE LOVE LOVE that store. Today I was running errands close to the Super W & needed 3 small items, so I stopped. Granted the T has only been open about a year (has it been a year of HEAVEN already?), but... Really? REALLY? What a difference 3.8 miles makes! I'm really not a snob, but I feel like I need to scour my body after being in that store for 10 minutes. I know times are tough. Believe me, we are pinching our pennies too, but WOW! I didn't take the time to do a lot of price comparison, but are the prices at W that much lower than T that the clientele would be so different?

I'm really curious & may have in investigate, as long as investigating doesn't mean going back to the W. Please don't make me go back to the W!

Layers Smayers!

Cooler weather = more laundry.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So today I was driving to Jordan's game & talking to Michael on my cell phone when all of a sudden there was a really load explosion outside & I lost the cell signal. I was still moving along with traffic but I felt the heat through my window & saw sparks flying very high in the air in a local church parking lot. It happened just as I was passing, but I couldn't really make out anything... traffic didn't stop at all. It was the weirdest thing. As I was coming home from the game, about an hour later (Jordan's team won in an 8-0 mercy rule game) there was nothing. Only one car in the parking lot, no police or firefighters... WTF?! I got home & got online to all the local news station's websites. NOTHING!!! I'm very perplexed. It was rush hour, there was tons of traffic & an explosion, for goodness sake! Obviously and thankfully, whatever it was, no one was injured, but I'm just curious.

Anyway, if you're a local & know anything about an explosion in the or near the Bloomingdale parking lot at St. Andrew's, please let me know what the heck happened. I'm not crazy, I swear.

And yet another birthday...

It's birthday season 'round here. Actually, not around here, per se, but in the family. From October-February, it's nuttin' but birthdays (and holidays).

Today is Michael's sister, Amy's birthday. You know, the super organized sister-in-law who lives on Cape Cod. :) This would be the sister-in-law who has already sent Ben 2 packages for his birthday (which is NEXT week). Unfortunately, she's not fortunate enough to have a super organized sister-in-law in return, so she should be receiving her birthday package in the mail TOMORROW. And it may or may not be in the box we received Ben's package in last week. :)

Happy Birthday Amy! Hope you have a wonderful day!