Monday, December 28, 2009

I’ll be stuck in my car for Christmas. You can’t count on me.

Not really.  This story has a happy ending.  The stuck in the car part was only temporary.  If 11 hours is “temporary.”
Christmas Eve day, this family of four left from Grant’s grandparents house in southern Missouri to head to OKC to see Justin, Erin, and new baby Haylie.  It should have been about a 3-hour trip or so.  But there was bad weather, so we were thinking it may take 4. 
Halfway there, the weather got bad.  The kind of bad that stresses me out.  The kind of bad that makes Grant and me fight about the tone of my voice.   The kind of bad where you pass a hundred cars in the ditch.  The kind of bad where you call any car that passes you an idiot.  The kind of bad where it takes you 7 hours to go 11 miles! 
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On top of all those good times, how much gas did we have?  Not much.  The dashboard read “0 miles until empty” for a large part of this trip.  We had to turn off the car off several times, and things got pretty cold inside the Jeep.  There was a lot of praying going on, to say the least. 
The cause of this delay?  14 inches of snow and ice, closed highways, jack-knifed semis, and hundreds of cars stuck in the middle of the road.  If it were a game, it would have been called BlindFoldedBumperCarSlipNSlideMazePrayForYourLife.   
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The boys' behavior during the delay was surprising well.  Thank you Lord for those DVD players.  And thank you Great Grandma Cornell for sending all those cookies with us on the trip. 
When I wasn’t praying, I Facebooked to pass the time.  A couple hours later, when my phone was dead, and the really real reality of having no gas was staring us in the face, I regretted using my phone’s precious battery life on such frivolous social networking. 
Lots more praying…..
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We did our best to make the best of it.  We let the boys get up out of their seats when the car was off, and they were thrilled with that kind of freedom.  We sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” a million or two times, and we had fun counting all the cars in the ditch.  Is that last part weird?  
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Anwho, we made it through without a scratch and have never been so happy to see the inside of a house.  Thank You Lord!  I would have been thrilled to sleep on the garage floor, but luckily Justin and Erin gave us a nice warm bed instead. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Season’s Greetings

I am a loser.  I  just couldn’t get things pulled together enough to send out Christmas cards.  I delayed and delayed, never bought stamps, and the kids would never smile for the darn camera. 

I lost all motivation. 

…Until the last couple of days, when we received some really cute Christmas cards from friends, with beautiful family pictures and heartfelt messages.  Thank You Friends!  Don’t scratch me off your list yet because of I was a non-sender this year.  I’ll do better next year, I promise.  Until then, just pretend I sent this out with a stamp and envelope. 


Friday, December 18, 2009

The Must-Do list at Christmas Time


Write a letter to Santa 

december 09 021 I also tried to have Cash dictate a letter to Santa,

but he just kept saying “Um….. candy cane.  Um…… gold.”  Maybe next year.


Watch Christmas Vacation


Grace?  She passed away thirty years ago.


Visit Santa

We got to see him a couple different times. 

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Make a Ginger Bread House

december 09 002  Or, in our case, a graham cracker house. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A sweet little conversation

Just a few minutes ago, as I was sitting here at the computer sending an email, Jagger snuggled up to me in the chair I am sitting in. 

He says in a whisper “ I love you sooooo much.”

I say back, “Jagger, I love you too!”

He says, “ No, mom.  Not you.  I was talking to God.”

And I think to myself, Well isn’t that just the cutest thing. 

And then I hear him say, “So Jesus, what do you want to do now?”

I don’t know what to say about him.  But I  like the way this kid prays. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas in the Hizzouse

Here’s how things are looking over here this Christmas season. 
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This is Jagger’s little tree that sits atop the refrigerator. 
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This is what we’ve got going on downstairs in the boys’ play area.  
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This is the tree that the boys have most fun with.  They decorated it full of Santas and snowmen and other traditional things like that.  Lots of Aunt Cathy ornaments, if you know what I mean.  No…?  Most of you probably don’t. 
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I got these whimsical stockings on clearance at The Company Store, a few years back.  They were probably just $5 a piece or so. 
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And finally,  this mini tree sits atop Cash’s dresser.  It goes pretty well with his fishy room. 
   Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to Make Your Four-Year-Old’s Eyes Pop Out of His Head


Make a video like this  for him. 

Jagger was smiling from ear to ear as he watched it.  When he saw his own picture he was in awe.  He waved goodbye and promised to be nice to his brother! 

Go  here to make your own and personalize it for your kiddos or whoever. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

TurkeyChristmas Replay, Part II

Other than displaying our love for Eastern Michigan, the family did some normal things for TurkeyChristmas also. 

We feasted.

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We made silly faces. 

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We took the obligatory annual photos. 

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We exchanged gifts. 

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We played with those gifts….. Notice the ottoman arranged in front of the TV, for safety purposes.   You can’t really trust a four-year-old with a Wii remote and the thrill of sword fighting. 


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And we watched some football….An awesome game to be at, by the way…. with the exception of the last two minutes :(

Do we seem less weird  now? 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

TurkeyChristmas Replay, Part I

Because we all now have in-laws, and hectic schedules and whatnot around the holidays, we go ahead and throw Christmas into the Thanksgiving weekend.  It has affectionately become known as TurkeyChristmas.
I am just going to go ahead and throw this out there:
My family is a little goofy, and a little weird.  But in a good way.  We had a blast together this past weekend. 
We really love Eastern Michigan. 

And Gang Signs.

And awkward family photos. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


That’s what we’ve got in this life we live.  More than we could ever need. 

Without it all, we’d be okay. 

We’d survive. 

We’ve got family, friends, health, freedom, faith, and hope. 

We must be so grateful for that.  Do we need anything else? 

No.  But I am thankful for all that other stuff too. 

It’s nice to have a little “fluff” in life.

As I write, here is the fluff that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving season:

sweet coffee

a mopped kitchen floor

an organized closet

bright sunny days

the smell of rain

great photography

heated seats

live music


spray paint

50%-off-already-reduced-prices sales


fun necklaces

unexpected beautiful weather

With a list as fluffy as this, I’ve got not excuses to whine about anything.  nov 09 003 edited

Happy Thanksgiving Friends! 

Friday, November 20, 2009

A few family photos

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These are just a few of my favs.  I am loving how they turned out. 

I can’t decide which one(s) will be in the Christmas card. 

Our photographer was my friend Becky, from Bex Photography.  If you’re here in town, she is totally recommended.  

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Thanksgiving Feast – Preschool Style

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The four year olds feasted their eyes out.   The Cheetos were the big crowd pleaser.

We were responsible for bringing the tater tots. 

I wonder if I can get away with only bringing tater tots next Thursday? 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Statistics for the Grandmas

The boys had their yearly well child checkup today. 

Along with that came 4 shots for Jagger and 3 for Cash. 

So the boys are are little grumpy today.  But they are healthy. 

Here is what can be said about them in a nutshell:

Jagger         Height  43 1/2”,  >95%     Weight:  44#,  85%

Cash           Height  31 1/2”, <5%      Weight:  22#, <5%

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christmas….. err Fall

I’ll start with a disclaimer:  I do realize I am crazy. 

This morning when I got up, the Christmas bug bit me.  I felt a deep need to get the house all decked out for Christmas.  I had Christmas spirit, yes I did.  But I also felt conflicted, because I knew it was too early to be overwhelmed with such spirit.  I don’t want the neighbors talking. 

“Did you hear about Brei, and her spirit?”

So I did what any normal person would do, and took a little Facebook poll to see if it was too early to put the tree up. 

My friends supported my Christmas spirit.   So with the feedback I wanted, I started going through storage to bring out the tree and all the other goodies that adorn it.   Let the neighbors talk. 

About an hour later, I had the  tree up. 

About an hour after that, I regretted it.  I am not ready for Christmas.  What’s this tree doing in my living room? 

I need to undecorate for Christmas, and I need to undecorate now.  But without taking the tree down, because that’s a lot of work.  So after a couple seconds of thinking really hard, I had my solution. 

I present to you….. my Fall Tree.   Full of feathers, and golds and bronzes.  It’s like fall threw up on my fake tree.    There’s nothing Christmasy about it.  

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It’s not that crazy of a notion.  It’s not.  I know other people that do this.  Yes, they are crazy, but only in the clinical sense, and that’s beside the point. 

The current state of this leaves a lot to be desired.  I am sure  I’ll be poking and prodding at it all the time.   But, in a couple weeks when I am ready for Christmas, I am going to just throw some more  ruby red ornaments on top of all that other junk and turn it from a Fall Tree….. to a Christmas Tree.  Presto-Chango.  And then I will put a lot more crap around my house and it will be the merriest Christmas this place ever saw. 

But for this next week or so, I only have Fall Spirit.