Saturday, December 30, 2006

LLB Cooks

The other day LLB decided that she wanted some Ramen soup for lunch. We were going to eat a little later, so we told her that if she wanted it, she could make it. She has made it at least 100 times without incident - until now.

Let me set the scene for you: I was checking my email - yes just off the kitchen.

LLB got a bowl - a lovely green tupperware bowl - out and set it on the counter.

She went to the pantry and fetched a package of chicken ramen.

She opened the package over the bowl. Then she very precisely broke the noodles into her desired shape and lenght.

She very carefully poured the chicken flavor on top and tossed the whole thing into the microwave for 2 min. and 30 seconds.

Did you notice one very important ingredient is missing? Read it again... I'll wait.

When the microwave turned off, she opened the door - OMG!! The stench!!

Her comment: "Oh... I think I didn't do that quite right."

The bowl is smoking. Thick black smoke is billowing! LLB inspects her so called lunch.

I watch in fascination... my mouth agape. I laugh. I finally say, "LLB, quick, put it in the sink and fill it with water!"

"Ummm... I think that might be what I forgot."

Mr. Bug comes in at this moment and says, "Eeewww what stinks?"
LLB says, "My cooking - see?" and she shows him the bowl - with the blackend noodles now melted into the bowl.

He is impressed. He tosses the whole thing in the trash.
He says, "Who taught you how to cook? Your mother?"

Friday, December 29, 2006

Hey - It's Friday and I'm and Empress

This is probably the only time in my life that I'll ever come close to being royalty...

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

So, now it's time for the Friday Feast:
How do you usually celebrate on New Year's Eve?

Actually, for a few years, friends of ours had a party at their house and wow - it sure was fun. We live a little bit too far to go to their house now, but I'm willing to bet that they are still partying on! Sometimes I eat until I'm stuffed and then I go to bed early because I'm so stuffed I can't stay awake... This year we are going to a friend's house for a bonfire.

Name one thing unexpected that happened to you in 2006.

Life is unexpected, isn't it? I got to meet Daisy and FlipFlop and Becki and Melli. That was a total blast!!

Where was your favorite place that you visited in 2006?

Hmmm... I guess I'd have to say our trip to Luray Caverns was the best

Main Course
What resolution is your top priority for 2007?
Resolution... hmmm.... I guess my top priority for 2007 is building up my nest egg. My financial planner is having a fit because I spent so much on the house last year. This year it's save save save.

Using just three words, describe 2006.
Fun, busy, rewarding.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things LadyBug Is Thinking About Today

1. Christmas vacation is going too fast!!

2. #1 is off at basketball camp for 3 days this week and is loving it! He won the layup championship yesterday and scored a silver basketball for his efforts.

3. LLB is addicted to DDR. So am I, for that matter... Heck she and #1 played until 10pm last night! They were having so much fun that they didn't want to stop.

4. Mr. got my film developed. I had 5 rolls - some from as far back as football season... I best get my scrapbooking up and running again...

5. LLB got Brain Age with her DS. I'm totally hooked on it! I love sudoku and puzzles, so I'm always asking to borrow her DS so I can play it. Maybe I should get my own...

6. LLB is having a friend over tomorrow. She didn't want to have friends over before then. She told me she just wanted to play with her toys by herself. The child certainly knows what she wants.

7. I'm still walking for comments, but I decided to do DDR instead. Since my comments are low, I'm doing one dance per comment. If I get too many comments, I'll do the minute thing.

8. Our whole house emergency generators were dropped off today. They haven't been installed, but they are here...

9. Did I mention that our electric company wants to put huge towers through our beautiful scenic valley? We are NOT happy. Those 17 story towers will be within 5,000 feet of my house. If I wanted to have that I would have bought a house in an electrical corridor - not in the middle of nowhere.

10. Did I also mention that these towers don't benefit me in the least? The company wants to put them up so they can sell power to New York. No offense, but if NY needs power, they can get it someplace else... They don't have to ruin my neighborhood and my property in the name of the all mighty dollar.

11. The architect who designed the Grandbug's addition came out to take a look yesterday. He's going to call the builder and square some things away...

12. I have an open house at my friend R's house on Saturday. I'm tickled to be invited. I heard her house is absolutely gorgeous - something right out of Mahtha Stewaht... I'll let you know. :-)

13. We are going to a friend's for New Years. A bonfire - that means jeans and a sweatshirt! I'm all over that one! Do you all have big plans? Are you dressing up?

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

Man - that was some Christmas!
Zebbie survives his first Christmas at Ladybug Crossing. He's still a little shell shocked and definitely stuffed with treats. Marmalade - who has been through this before - sleeps it off...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Most Fun You Can Have With Your Clothes On

#1 Son purchased a gift for the family this year. He bought us Dance Dance Revolution. We have been playing almost all day and boy is it fun!! LLB actually ran up and changed into shorts and a t-shirt because she was too hot! LOL!! We got pretty darned good -- at the beginner level...

So we aren't the best dancers around here - except for LLB, but we sure can follow the arrows! I scored a couple of A's and so did the Mr. We have two dance pads, so we can dance together. I think it's actually harder to dance together because you end up sort of following each other and if one person's timing is off, you are both off. We have had more fun!!

If you don't own DDR, go and get it - with the extra dance pad -- it's the best $65 you'll ever spend!!

Ok - I gotta go rest. I'm bushed!!

Monday Memories on Tuesday

Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you About The Clothes in the Driveway?

I've been wanting to tell this story since my cousin, J, called me last week telling me about her messy teenager. According to J, her son's room is a disaster - clothes on the floor and stuff everywhere. She put all of his clothes in trash bags and tossed them on the porch. I told her she was too nice - that Grambug tossed mine in the driveway for that very same infraction. J couldn't believe it! I had Grambug call her and confirm the story...

The story goes like this:

Our house was a ranch and my room was right off the kitchen. You could pretty much see my room when you walked into the house. My mom is and always was a neat person -- a very neat person. I, by nature, am not that neat. I'm cluttered. I can't help it... I just am. I'm better than I was, but....

Anyway - we had 2 rules. Make the bed every morning and keep the room picked up. Sounds simple... My biggest faux pas in my room -- my tiny room -- was clothes on the floor. I had a hamper. I was too lazy to walk over to it (we're talking maybe 3 steps) to put the clothes in it, so I'd toss the clothes in the general direction of the hamper. More often than naught, they'd land next to the it. In my mother's world, that was totally unacceptable. (As an adult, I can understand it -- but as a kid -- um... it made no sense to me what the big deal was.)

One day she gave me an ultimatum - Get those clothes off the floor and into the hamper or I'll throw them all into the driveway. Now, when Grambug issues and ultimatum - she always follows through. I made sure all of my things were in the hamper and that the cover was on it. I took off for school - secure in the knowledge that my clothes -- including my unmentionables -- were safe in the hamper and would not land in the driveway for the world to see.

Auntie was one to always test Grambug. She wanted to see if Grambug would really toss the clothes into the driveway. She snuck into my room and put a shirt on the floor next to the hamper. (Yes, she was and still is a little scamp!)

When I got home, I found all my clothes on the driveway. I was mortified and furious!!! I assured Grambug that my clothes had all been inside the hamper with the cover tightly closed. She told me that the cover was off - as a matter of fact it was on the floor. Then she gave me a look - a look that told me she knew who was behind all of this....

She confronted Auntie - the 1st grade scamp - as she walked through the door after school. Auntie confirmed her suspicions and had to appologize to me.

So - yes, my clothes did end up in the driveway -- not in bags on the porch. I'm thinking that clothes in the driveway are far more effective than bags of clothes on the front porch....


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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!!

It's finally here!!

Merry Christmas!!

My nose is runny and I can't stop sneezing...

I hope Santa was as good to you as he was to us.

LLB and #1 received their very much desired Nintendo DS game systems -- pink for her and black for him. Is there anything better?? They were both very excited to get them and have already figured out how to communicate with each other. That would have been a wicked handy feature when Auntie and I were kids... Alas... youth is wasted on the young...

Auntie and Uncle sent great gifts - pottery for me and Gram, a metal detector for LLB, a Beer Can Chicken Head for Mr., slippers for Grandpa, and Legos for #1. She knows what we like!! We miss Auntie terribly, but we will get her for Christmas next year... This year she's off to the in-laws.

Mr. got to open the Magic Bag this year. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the tradition of the Magic Bag - it's like this: There is a santa bag. There is one item in the bag. Anyone can guess what is in the bag but only the bag filler knows who gets the magic bag. On Christmas Day, after all the other presents have been opened, the Magic Bag is passed around for one last guess. The recipient is revealed and the present opened. ) This year the bag contained and Ipod Shuffle. Mr. Bug was shocked! Yup - made my day!!

Enjoy the rest of your day! I'm off to find my box of tissues...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

It's Christmas Eve...

Merry Christmas! -- Almost...

I just realized that I have been blogging about a year now. I started this thing because I was too lazy to write a Christmas letter. I figured if people wanted to keep up with our comings and goings, they could drop in and read throughout the year... It seems to have worked AND I have made a bunch of new friends in the process...

Our open house was a smashing success! We had a house full of people and they all seemed to have a terrific time. We got many compliments on the food - for which I could take little to no credit. Mr. made a wonderful chili. Grambug made the most wonderful Swedish meatballs ever! Her turkey - yumm - tender and juicy. Her ham - perfect... Her presentation was beautiful - right out of the pages of Southern Living or Martha. Basically, things haven't changed since I was a kid. I fetch. I pour. I do as I'm told. I carved the turkey. I put wine on the table. I generally stay out of the kitchen. I know my limitations. With a professional on the premises, I let her work her magic.

One couple arrived at 9:30 - they drove over an hour to get here and got stuck in traffic. They get the prize for traveling the farthest -- and staying the longest. They stayed until 11:30 - Momma K's guests still win the booby prize for staying too long!

A lot of people brought me gifts - I love that! I got some really beautiful things. I got a lovely white ornament with little tiny cardinals on it from my friend G. I got the best mug ever from my friend L. It can probably hold a whole pot of coffee! I got a gorgeous jingle bell wreath - I think that one came from my friend T. It had no name... The people next door gave us a beautiful snowman nutcracker. I have a lot of thankyou notes to write - that's for sure!! I did save one to open tomorrow - MommaK's. :-)

We were sitting around chatting with our last few guests when Grambug mentioned that she was mortified that she forgot to change her socks to her black nylons when she flew off to change before the party. I giggled and pulled up my black pants to expose my white socks! LOL!! The apple sure doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

So, what time are you getting up to open presents tomorrow? #1 is voting for an 8am start. It's really up to Grambug - she's the one who likes to sleep in...

Have a very Merry Christmas Eve, everyone.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It Pays to Shop the Garden Center at Christmas

I suppose you are all wondering where I have been...

I've been busy wrapping gifts, getting ready for our Open House tonight, shopping, and today - yes today - I went to Home Depot.

I have another HD escapade to tell you about.

Grambug and I inspected our lawn outside our new entrance area and discovered that it was a little on the soggy side after two days of rain. Not only is it soggy, it's muddy. Mud here isn't brown it's red and it stains everything. I know that red is a Christmas color, but I really don't want it all over my rugs.

We decided that we should go to HD and get some pavers to set on top of our grassy mud. We headed out. It is a gorgeous sunny day here - about 65 degrees. It's not as hot as it was the last time I went to HD, but... It sure felt like it after a while...

We arrived at our favorite HD and grabbed one of those pull carts - the kind with the wagon handle that you can actually steer. We figured that since each paver weighed about 32 lbs and we needed 15 that maybe we should be able to steer the cart. Bowling for patrons is fun, but not this close to Christmas - we didn't have enough cash for the pavers AND bail money.

We select our pavers... We notice that there are 20 left. We need 15. We can immediately see that 3 are cracked. We definitely don't want those... We decide to stop looking and start loading. The pavers are located under a huge shelving unit. They are towards the back. Of course they are. Okay. I crawl under the shelving unit grab the first one. OMG! That sucker was heavy. I scootch myself out and try desperately not to give myself a concussion on the shelving unit while I attempt to stand up with this 32 lb paver. Lord knows if I drop it on my foot, I'll be in a cast for 6 weeks or more!

Grambug helps me set it on the cart. The cart didn't roll away - write it down!! We get the next 3 and all of a sudden I notice that we are both panting and sweating. Such an attractive thing to be doing... I take off my jacket. Yup, I'm stripping in the HD garden section. I grab the next few - one at a time. Did you know that with each paver we pick up they get heavier? The sign said they all weighed the same, but I don't believe it. Oh yes, and with each paver we get we have to crawl further and further into the shelving unit. I had Grambug all the way in there at one point. It's a good thing she's short! She said, "Are you going to blog about this?"
"Umm... Yup."
"Thought so." She wipes her brow...

So, we get the cart loaded with 15 pavers. We are sweaty. Our hands are red from the dye they use to make the pavers red. I don my jacket. I'm a dribble of sweat, but don't want to lose my favorite jacket.

I grab the handle of the cart and pull. Nothing happens. I sigh. I set my feet and pull. It starts to roll. "Gee, I wonder if I can stop this thing if I have to", I think to myself. Grambug says, "Here, I'll help you pull." Then I notice that we are hauling this 500 lb load up hill. What?? HD has hills in the garden center? Who knew? So there we are... struggling with this stupid orange cart... BTW - we can't stop it if we have to...

We approach the door to the main store. I pray that it opens in time... It glides open and what do we see? Two really nice HD associates. They looked like angels to us when they offered to help us. They were strong and fresh. They took our cart and hauled it to the cashier. I tossed money at Grambug and ran to get the car. I knew they wouldn't let a little old lady struggle alone with that cart...

When I pulled up, one of the associates dragged out the cart and even helped me load the pavers into the car. It definitely pays to shop in the garden center at Christmas with your resident Grambug...

We got home and Grandpa helped me unload the pavers right onto our grassy muddy spots. There was one that was a little wabbley. LLB got a small stone to keep it from rocking. As I jumped on the paver to make sure it was set, I cracked it. All that work and I cracked one! UGH! I'm stronger than I thought!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things LadyBug Is Thinking About Today

1. The children have a concert today. Grambug is going to come and see it with me.

2. My IKEA purchase is arriving today. I'm so excited. Mr. Bug bought me this for my Christmas/Valentines/Easter/Mothers' Day gift:

3. I can't wait to load it up with my scrapbooking stuff. The kids will love it for projects, too!!

4. Grambug ordered 2 chairs. They are these:

5. Our Open House is on Saturday. I'm NOT ready!

6. My house is a disaster! The laundry pile is enormous. I'm getting it done now thanks to Grambug allowing me to use her washer and dryer. You know... If I had the room and the $$ I'd invest in another washer and dryer... It makes laundry so much faster!

7. LLB needed a gift for her secret santa today. Guess where she left it... Yup - kitchen counter. It's a good thing I'm going to school today, huh?

8. I'm off to Costco tomorrow for food for the party. Any requests?

9. My guinea pig cage desperately needs a cleaning. Poor Pumpernickel is so ready for new bedding that she's flipped her house!

10. I still have to wrap. I still have to wrap many many items...

11. I still have to mail two items. One for my friend Julie and one for Momcat...

12. I have to hang up a couple of items for Grambug. Grandpa Bug hates to hang pictures or anything that might resemble a picture or require a level. I told him that I'd take care of it...

13. My sweet Mr. took my car in for an oil change today. Guess what I forgot under the front seat... my good camera. I certainly hope it is still there...

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

Marmalade the Wonder Cat says, "Hey, Dawg... I've got your leash and I know how to use it!"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fa La La La La Laaaa

It's over!

The Nutcracker was a success! I have no idea how much money the ballet made, how many tickets were sold, how many tickets had a problem, or how many cookies I made... I just don't care. It's over and the kids did great - that's all that matters...

The kids were pooped last night, but the show went on and it was beautiful! #1's science teacher and his wife came to see the production. I hope they were impressed. #1 did a great job. He was magical. Our pastor and her family came to see the show as well. It was really neat!

After the show, we were allowed to take pictures of the kids in costume. It was pretty funny to hear all the mothers telling their respective kids to fix their costumes, change into the other one, fix that collar... At one point #1 just didn't get it, so another dad helped me out - he told #1 to fix his collar and -- Presto! #1 fixed his collar. That's all it took, everyone was telling everybody else's kid who wouldn't listen to his/her own parents what to do! Hey - it worked. We all got the pix we wanted and the kids looked presentable.

LLB was so tired she was almost in tears because someone got some water on her hideously ugly arabian costume. I looked right at her and said, "Who cares? It's ugly and it's water not coffee. Go change into something pretty." That snapped her out of it for a little while...

One of the parents is a professional photographer - I don't mean he takes portraits at JC Penney... I mean he shoots for National Geographic and other big names. Poor guy, his brand new camera died and the batteries he put in - according to the manual I might add - were (as the camera told him) incompatible. The ballet lady asked him to take a group picture. He was standing there with his wife's teeny tiny point and shoot digital. He looked almost embarrased. I handed him my Canon (with 5 shots left on it). He was snapping away and I hadn't taken my kids' pix yet. (Mr. Bug had our digital, so we were okay.) I mentioned that I didn't have another roll of film. He sheepishly handed me back the camera with one shot left. I gave it right back and told him the least he could do was to use the last shot to get one of just my kids for me. He did.

So, what's on the agenda for today?
Handbells in church. A party over at Momma K's with everone. A party over at my friend J's house -- just the girls. I best run and get my presents wrapped...

I'm still walking for comments. The two from yesterday won't take me to the mailbox, so I'll run the stairs twice.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

One Down...

Two to go.

The performance last night was simply magical. I still don't know how the ballet lady does it.... She takes what was chaos on Thursday (and all this week for that matter) and turns it into a terrific production.

#1 Was a terrific Drosselmeyer. The audience loved him! #1 is handsome and tall, but he looked taller than ever up there on the stage... It was really cool. LLB was so graceful. She just floated across the stage. The ballet lady came out after and simply gushed about both my kids... It was really nice.

There were a few very funny things that happened on the way to the finale.

The first was when the backdrop for Snow snagged on a prop and the stage crew ran around like chickens to fix it. We were totally entertained!!

The second was when LLB came out to do the Arabian dance. It's supposed to be sorta seductive. They are supposed to shimmy and wiggle their butts and such. Their costumes have coins on them that make noise when the kids wiggle. LLB is graceful, but certainly NOT seductive. She is skinny and gorgeous, but she has no butt and no chest. LLB can NOT shimmy - it's a genetic thing -- none of us can shimmy. We were totally hysterical! Grambug was giggling so hard, I thought she was going to lose it. She had to cover her mouth so that she didn't gafaw! Nobody else thought the whole thing was as funny as we did - probably because they don't know the sad non-shimmying family history behind it all...

The little ones who dance are so cute, but some of them are totally out to lunch - there was one who decided she was done with her part of the dance and went to her last position well before it was time. Too cute and too funny. I think that's what makes the show so wonderful...

So, in about a half an hour, I'll get my cherubs out of bed. #1 Will not be happy with me. He will shower. They will get dressed and head down to breakfast where I will use hairspray and gel to turn LLB's mop into a ballet bun. Then I will put the makeup on her face and we'll blow out the door. Their first performance is for young audiences at 10:30 this morning. It's always a fun show - complete with audience participation, lots of giggles, and a shortened program. We should be done by noon! Yippee!!!

I'll try to check back later to let you know how it went....

Friday, December 15, 2006

Feelin' Fried - Or Half Baked

Yes, it's Friday. I'm totally fried. I could use another couple hours of sleep. But, we all know that there is no rest for the wicked.

Here's my list of things to do before noon:

1. Make another couple of batches of pizelles.

2. Fix the Nutcracker will-call tickets. You know, make sure that the ballet lady has it all right and that she hasn't double booked any tix... Fun Fun Fun!

3. Make a poster for the You're A Star donation program.

4. Get to school for 11 or so for the teacher appreciation luncheon. I ran into the poor woman who is organizing the thing yesterday and she's so fried that she told me to dress festive. LOL!!

When I get home I have to iron up #1 Son's white shirt for tonight and make sure he has his whole costume together. He's Drosselmyer - a very good one, I might add.

I have to get some poster stuff together for LLB - she's got a project due on Tuesday.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? I'm not sure...

We have one Nutcracker performance tonight. The kids were told to be there at 4:30. It's not happening. They will be there at 5:20. Not one second sooner. If the ballet lady were organized and did something with the kids when they arrived, maybe. But, she makes them sit around. I'm not rushing so they can sit. I have had enough.

Tomorrow morning they have a performance at 10:30. They are supposed to arrive at 8:30. Ummm... No. They are exhausted. They will sleep until 8. They will be there at 9:15.

Tomorrow night's performance should be the best one - if the kids can stay focused. I hope to get mine to take a nap - yes they are 11.5 and 14. Yes, I will tuck them in and hope they sleep. If all they do is listen to the radio or read a book, that will be fine...

On Sunday, I have a handbell performance. At least we don't have to show up until 10. I might have the Grandbugs bring the children with them at 11. (Heck, I might leave the kids home!) After that, the fun starts: It's party time, baby!! So, yes, I guess you could say there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. A fun one!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things LadyBug Has To Do Before Christmas

1. Make pizelles for the teacher appreciation lunch tomorrow - I hate those lunches. I think they are stupid. I appreciate my teachers - I write a letter for their file every year. I think they'd rather have the letter than the fattening lunch.

2. Dress rehearsal at 4:30 today

3. 3 Nutcracker performances

4. 2 Open houses to attend

5. 2 Handbell performances at school

6. 1 Handbell performance at church

7. 1 Open house at The Crossing

8. A bunch of presents to wrap

9. 1 more box to ship out

10. 1 trip to Costco

11. 1 trip to Ikea

12. 10 loads of laundry

13. A gajillion pictures to take and therefore many rolls of film to have developed.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

I know you want to see pix of the kids all dressed up... So - this is the best I can do. They do have faces, but my photography skills don't permit me to show them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Find Your Bliss

I read something that said to be truly happy, you need to find your bliss. Zebbie, has definitely found his bliss:I hope your day is as wonderful as Zebbie's is!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday Memories

Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you About the Holly Ball?

Yesterday was the Holly Ball.
The kids go to the Holly Ball based on years in Cotillion - the 1st years went at 2 and the others went at 6.
Let me first tell you that I was standing at coffee hour at church when another mother told her daughter that they had to get a move on because the ball started at 2. I told the mother I thought it started at 3. She said, "Oh, no - it starts at 2." She was right. I was in full panic mode when I blew through the door. I had serious hair to curl!

We got the hair curled, the petticoat on, the nylons up, the dress over, the makeup on, the shoes buckled and the pashmina ironed in record time! LLB was simply stunning!

We - Grambug and I - stuffed LLB into the back seat and took off. LLB said she felt like a puffy package... I kinda thought it was more on the order of a stuffed turkey, but what do I know?

We arrived at the venue - a lovely historic home that was turned into a conference center. The grounds are gorgeous, the weather was perfect -- about 60 degrees and sunny. She looked very elegant as she arrived. I noticed a lot of mothers checking her out. (Hey - I know how to dress my kid to make an impression!)

The Handsome Prince arrived sporting an adorable Christmas tie. LLB thought it was cute, too because she mentioned it to me on the way home.

LLB and HP got split up at the beginning, but they soon found each other. They are great friends and have a wonderful time together. We left when we decided that
1. they had found each other
2. they were chattering a mile a minute while they danced
3. they weren't going to come close enough to let us take a picture of them dancing

When we picked them up at the end, another mother mentioned that LLB and some handsome young man were having the best time. They were dancing with a spring in their steps and her skirt was twirling! I thought to myself, "She must be dancing with HP." She was. My friend R (the Handsome Prince's mom) had arrived a little earlier and snuck in. She saw the whole thing. They were having a terrific time and they even got their picture taken! Woo hoo!

R and I were poised at the bottom of the stairs to get the perfect picture of them. We laughed because we realized that we actually live for this stuff... It's frightening, but really - it's all about the picture!

We flew back home to take pix of #1 Son before he left for his ball. He looked terrific in his khaki pants, navy blazer, white shirt and snowman tie. I combed his hair, took his picture and sent him out the door with Mr. Bug.

Mr. Bug called a little while later and told me that #1 refused to pose for any pictures while he was there. What a noodge!! Alas, that is the way he is. I only have 2 pix from last year...

When #1 arrived home, he said that he had danced with a bunch of different girls and had had a wonderful time.

The Holly Ball was a huge success!

That's one more activity to check off the list before Christmas... Now we head into Nutcracker Hell Week -- rehearsals every night... exhausted kids... But - it will all be over on Sunday!


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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday Summary

Yesterday was Mr. Bug and my 17th anniversary. We celebrated with mimosas and munchies at about 7pm last night. We were joined around our island paradise by the Grandbugs and the kids. We munched until we could munch no more and then we hunkered down for some serious Christmas TV watching. I made it through the new show - I think it was called Holidaze - it was okay. The kids started The Grinch, but by then, I was so pooped I gave up and went to bed. I wasn't the only one - Grambug was crashed on the couch!

Why didn't we celebrate our anniversary earlier in the day? Why were we so pooped? I'm sure you all want to know.

Well, the kids and I got up at 6:15, took showers, and were out the door with Grambug in tow by 6:55. We headed off to District Band Auditions at some high school south of Manassas. We arrived there at 7:30 and then stood in line until 8:30. At 8:30 we started moving towards the registration area. Based on our position in line, I thought we'd be sitting around all day, but I was incorrect. #1 Son was the 5th alto sax to audition and LLB was the 7th trumpet. We were done by 10am and the auditions, that were supposed to start at 9, started late. We thought we did pretty well - timewise.

#1 came out of his audition and said that he did super on his scales and his audition piece. He thinks he may have made a few minor mistakes at the end of the sight reading piece. He sounded very confident and I certainly hope he makes it. Last year he was #5 - they only pick 4 saxophones. He wants to be first chair. He's good enough - let's just hope the judges think so.

LLB came out of her audition and said, "I stink!"
We said, "Why? What happened?"
"I nailed the audition piece, I did okay on the scales, but that sight reading thing was so hard! It had a whole bunch of high notes that I don't think I have ever seen and he only gave me 35 seconds to look at it before I had to play it. I had only figured out the first line when he said time was up!"
"Every trumpet that came out said the same thing, honey."
"Mom, I stunk at it."
"Well, you know they pick 10 trumpets. 40 are auditioning. You just have to hope that you stink less than the others. Besides, we will love you even if you don't make District."
LLB grinned... "I know... but I wanted to be the first 6th grader to make it." (She has no self esteem issues!)
"Okay, let's be realistic. You started learning the pieces on Wednesday because before that you were learning your solo. You cleaned up your scales last night and finally got them memorized on the way here. Most of these kids have been working on this stuff for months. Just think how good you would have been with another couple of days rehearsal time.."
"Yup, I would have been first chair." (Like I said, no self esteem issues with this one!)

From the audition, we went home to make lunches. The kids had Nutcracker rehearsal from 12 - 5. Grambug and I dropped them off and then came home to a wonderful lunch of bratwurst in beer. Yummy! Then, I made some royal icing and put the kids' gingerbread house together. They had been begging me to do it for a couple of weeks now, but we just had no time.

I arrived at the dance studio at 4 to get some chores done and at 5:15 I hauled the kids out of there. They weren't done, but I was definitely finished! I told them to tell the teacher that it was their parents' anniversary and that we had plans. The kids asked what kind of plans - I told them that we had to decorate our gingerbread house. I got cheers for that one! We hit the house, washed our hands and got down to some serious decorating.

The beginning:

Almost done:

Her sides are finished:

His sides are finished:

Where did all the extra candy go? He he he... I'll never tell! Actually, I told Grandpa Bug... Hm... I better go see if there is any left...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Feline Fetish

Our cat has a fetish. She licks bags. We call her "The Bag Licker". She's done it since she was a kitten. Bring in a bag from the grocery store, Target, Walmart, the dollar store, or anywhere for that matter and she's in heaven. She sniffs it and then it starts - lick lick lick... I have a ton of presents still in plastic shopping bags on my bedroom floor in the corner. Do you know what that pile means to her? It's a veritable orgy of plastic bliss! She licks all night... Have you any idea what that noise can do to your dreams???

I guess I really need to wrap!

Did I mention that she also likes to lick bows and use ribbons as dental floss?

Yes, our cat needs therapy. Yes, we know... our cat is nuts!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things LadyBug Is Thinking About Today

1. The Grandbugs arrived on Monday.

2. On Tuesday Grambug and I went shopping.

3. The weekend to end all weekends is approaching.

4. We have a Jazz Revue on Friday.

5. #1 Son has a birthday party after the Jazz Revue.

6. Both children have District Band Auditions on Saturday morning - early.

7. Both children have Jazz class at 10:30.

8. Both children have Nutcracker rehearsal on Saturday afternoon

9. Both children have their respective Cotillion Holly Balls on Sunday

10. The next weekend is Nutcracker performances - 3 to be exact.

11. That means that the children have stage rehearsals all week - except Wed.

12. Next Sunday - we are partying!!

13. One more week and we are FREE!!! Free from rehearsals, performances, and the "stuff" that goes with it!

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006


The handbell performance went great. The kids are very funny, though. I brought 2 octaves of bells and 2 octaves of chimes. 12 kids showed up on time and one was late. I set out the bells and doubled a few parts on the chimes because outside, the sound goes where the wind blows and usually it blows behind you.

Anyway, the kids were playing their easy carols and simply having fun. One of them says, "Mrs. Ladybug, can we play Twas In The Moon?"
I reply, "I don't have all the bells."
"Oh, Mrs. L, pleeeeaaaase. It's our favorite."
I sigh in defeat. "Okay - get it out."
I turn to the audience and tell them that we don't have all the bells and we don't have all the kids, but they really want to play it. (It didn't matter that they hadn't played it for two weeks...) Then they wanted to play Wizards in Winter - that piece that was done by the Transiberian Orchestra. Again, we don't have all the bells and we don't have all the kids. Who am I? The teacher? I let them play whatever they wanted... They did great.

I met my friend K at the church. We decorated the advent wreath with my fake greens and added some real greens - right off the big pine in our yard for scent. We put holly in some vases and POOF! The church is ready for services today.

Mr. Bug and I got the bed moved. You know what I learned from that experience? Some of us are spacial and some of us are special. We are still speaking, we aren't divorced, and we will never move that bed again.

We did a few other chores around the house and then took off to get the kids from their Nutcracker rehearsal by 5. They got realeased after 6. We were supposed to go get #1 Son some new tennies, but we just went to dinner and went home. The kids were fried - they had been at the studio all afternoon. Mr. Bug and I were fried - we were at the studio for an hour. (As we age, we are limited in the time we can stand to be around chaos.) We got Mr. Bug to spring for burgers at our favorite burger joint, though. My friend R and her two cherubs, the Handsome Prince and the Dancing Princess, joined us. It was nice to sit and chat over burgers and wings...

Today, I'm off to ring handbells at a fellow teacher's church. I am accompanying the hymns. No biggie. Then, since that church is close to Target - I'm going over there. I'm on the prowl for 2 battery operated candles with sensors. I'm not asking too much, am I?

I'm still walking for comments. I said I wanted to lose my 10 lbs., but I didn't say I was going to stop eating the good stuff. Yesterday I walked my requisite minutes - Zebbie loves a good long walk. Keep 'em coming!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's Saturday...

I'm still walking for comments. Yesterday I had 11, but I walked for 30 minutes.

Well, it's Saturday, but it might as well be Monday. My day is full full full!

I have a hair appointment at 8:30 - okay, so I only go every 8 or 9 weeks, but it's on the calendar, so it counts.

I have the handbell performance outside at the bank at lunch time. Think Mr. Bug will treat us to burgers after?

The kids have to be at the dance studio for their Nutcracker rehearsal at 2. We pick them up at 5. While they are there, I have to get the rest of the decoration boxes and haul them to the attic. While I'm up there, I should see what stuff the Grandbugs left up there and haul it down for them. I'd also like to change all the beds and - oh yeah, I forgot.. I have to move the bed and the rug from the guest room to the Grandbugs' master suite. (Ladybug just wrinkled her nose.) Mr. Bug and I can run that up this afternoon. It shouldn't take but a minute or two or 20.

I need to vaccuum and dust over here. I'll assign that to #1 Son to do tomorrow afternoon (he's very good at that) while LLB finishes decorating her mini tree that resides in our family room. Once that's finished, I'll put those boxes up in the attic with the others.

Oh.. my desk... I should clean that up, too.
I hate it when it looks like this! Let me see... The measuring tape is here because I have a bunch of stuff out on Ebay and people keep asking me for measurements and I didn't put the tape away when I was done. My recipe book is on top because I just sent Katherine my pizelle recipe - that will go back in a second. There is a stack of music I need to go through, envelopes I need to put away, and a ton of kid stuff that isn't even mine - how come this stuff is on MY desk?? To the left I have directions to all the places Grambug and I are going to go while she is here - including the IKEA store - I loooove that store. I haven't been to the one here, yet, but I can fix that! I have a couple of bills in there, but they aren't due until the end of Dec. I have a book I need to read and get back to its owner. Maybe I'll just send that back unread... Think they have cliff notes for Penrod? Hey, I just found some pointe shoe elastics... That's interesting... Oh, look a ruler! I'm going to finish digging out... Catch you all tomorrow!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Walking With a Friend

My friend Barbara over at Trying To Catch Up is excersizing for comments. She will excersize one minute per comment. Go on over there and drop her a hello. I thought her idea was terrific, so I decided to give it a try - The more comments you all leave, the longer Zebbie and I have to schlep around the neighborhood.

Help me drop my excess 10 pounds -- Comment!

Friday Feast

Have you ever flown in a helicopter?

What color is your warmest coat or jacket?

What is your favorite rainy day activity?
Curl up and watch TV while I check my eyelids for leaks.

Main Course
Describe your hands.
My hands are not those of a hand model... I have long fingers that wear only two rings - an engagement ring and a wedding ring. They don't like too much decoration. My nails are short, but not too short. They don't do nail polish. My hands are soft, but not too soft - They are not afraid of hard work. My hands are flexible, and gentle, but firm. They can pinch a cheek, give a high five, send a quick thumbs-up across the room, they can help with homework, give directions, and express many emotions. They get cold very easily and they adore mittens.

If you could eat only one nut for the rest of your life, what nut would you pick? That's a toughy - I love hazelnuts but I think I'd have to say peanuts because you can afford them, you can make many different things to eat with them, and they taste pretty good!