Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tell me...

So here's a big fat What Would YOU Do for your consideration right here in the down time between Christmas and New Years:

Picture the scene... Mark and I took the two youngest with their Yuletide cash to one of the largest retailers in America on the day after Christmas. To say it was a madhouse would be an obscene understatement. People were everywhere.

In the midst of the chaos, I told one of my children (who shall remain nameless) that it would behoove them to keep their cash in their pocket because pulling it out to stare at it like it was their Precious every 5 seconds would heighten their risk of losing it.

I think it must have been somewhere around the 16th time of repeating the aforementioned warning that I made the firm decision to NOT replace any cash that was foolishly lost because said offspring refused to obey.

We finally finished our torturous shopping experience a trillion and a half hours later when we headed to the equally torturous check-out line. "Child" puts their goods up on the belt thing and proceeds to pull out their cash.

Or should I say: What was left of it.

It was very obvious from the look on Child's face that they realized right away that they were not going to have enough to pay for 2 of the 3 things that they were hoping to purchase. Eventually, all of the pulling of the moolah in and out of their pockets caused some to fall out.

Even though I'd told them so, I still felt like crap, but I had no other alternative than to say, "I'm so sorry, but you are going to have to put back these two things. This probably wouldn't have happened if you'd have obeyed Mama, you know."

The child looked at me with big ol' tears forming in their eyes and simply said "Yes ma'am". Child was naturally disappointed, and I can understand that. Tears rolled quietly as they paid for the rest of their stuff, but they weren't obnoxious about it. After all, it stinks when you are learning a lesson the hard way.

In the mean time... The people who were behind us in line made no bones about the fact that they thought I was a HORRIBLE jerk of a Mom. One of them muttered "that's just wrong" when they witnessed the exchange between Child and me. I decidedly ignored it because I don't have to defend my parenting to random people who don't have a clue what's already happened.

We gathered up our stuff and we walked toward the door. We ended up running into some friends of ours on the way out, so we exchanged the usual greetings and kept on going. We were just about to exit when a woman (who I'd never seen before, not even in the line behind us) comes running up to us holding the items that Child had to leave behind. She looked at Child sympathetically and handed them to her. I said (like a goober) "No ma'am, we didn't pay for those things." But she motioned that she had and then she put her hands up as if she wouldn't take them back and then walked off.

I was stunned and humiliated, and then I got M-A-D (all in the time span of about a minute). We got to the car where I had to explain the whole thing to Mark, who had been helping the other Child and didn't know WHAT in the free world was going on. Then HE got mad, but at that point, neither of us knew what to do about it.

So, I turn the question over to you, bloggy friends. Now, go getcha some leftover Christmas cookies and a large drink, and then tell me.... If this little scenario had happened with you and your child (and random strangers), what would YOU have done?

Thanks. And a Happy New Year to you!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My All-Time Favorite Gift

I can honestly say that I received one of the best Christmas presents ever this year. It put the biggest smile on my face AND it made my heart melt.

About the time that the kids were halfway through opening their gifts on Christmas morning, Julianna stood up and handed me this:

You see, her Mama never did get around to taking the poor baby and her little brother shopping this year the way her older brothers got to do. I know. I stink. So she was forced to go on her own resourcefulness:

It doesn't get ANY better than that, I promise you. Even the gift card to my favorite restaurant with free babysitting didn't hold a candle.
But that's just my $.20 worth,
P.S. I hope every single one of you had a Mare Crsmes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Questions Answered

Hi there. I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted! Anyway, here is a little Christmas meme that I found for your viewing boredom on this Christmas Eve. Hopefully I'll be back to yapping (typing) endlessly real soon...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Well, if I had my druthers I'd throw everything in Walmart bags and put them under the tree. But I don't. Have my druthers that is. What are druthers anyway? Whatever. I don't have them. And we wrap our gifts.

2. Real tree or Artificial?


3. When do you put up the tree?

If I'm on top of my Holiday game, it's up the day after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down?

Usually on New Years Day. I can't stand to have it up much past that.

5. Do you like eggnog?

I sure do! And I'm pretty shocked that each of my kids do, as well.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

I'd have to say the year I received my Cabbage Patch and Care Bear together. That was a GREAT year. :)

7. Hardest person to buy for?

My boys, but only because I don't understand all of those "boy" things that they are into. I guess it's because I'm a GIRL. However, I am married to an overgrown boy who always knows exactly what they want, so no one knows how clueless their Mama is. I will say that I am the one who surprised everyone...and I do mean the Overgrown Boy included....with a Wii this Summer, so that bought me some serious gift-giving points.

8. Easiest person to buy for?

Julianna. <----girl.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?


10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Pffft. Neither. I've released myself from Christmas Card Bondage years ago. Freedom is amazing and you should try it. Actually, nevermind, because if you heed my advice I won't love my mailbox as much as I do this time of year. Moving along...

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

In advance, I must apologize to my Mom for revealing this terrible lapse in judgement, but the horror happened somewhere around the 5th grade and it was at the hands of the woman who bore me.

It was this denim shirt thing with pink leather tassels ALL over it. Dear GRA-CIOUS. It was truly heinous. TRULY. And she really could not understand why I wasn't wearing it and then begging for her to wash it so that I could wear it again.

I didn't want to hurt her feelings because she was SO happy about this gift, but I probably still need therapy over that little nightmare of Christmas past.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Ummmmmm.... Grinch? Frosty? Rudolph? All of those old kid's movies. LOVE. THEM.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

I'm not consistent enough from one year to the next to say when I traditionally do it, B.U.T. since I've only mentioned it 768 times, it bears repeating that I've jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon. The benefits continue long past that day because I have been done shopping since then and it feels amazing. ~happy, contented sigh~

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?


15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?


16. Lights on the tree?

Do people actually refrain from putting lights on their tree? Weird. Well, I guess it could be a fire hazard, but I've never heard of such.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

Oh Holy Night. ADORE that song.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Stay home, fo sho.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Probably, but I don't want to,

20. Angel on the tree-top or a star?


21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Morning! I'm so excited for the kids, too!

2. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

Honestly, I've got a bit of a Grinch reputation because all of the materialism grates my nerves, but it's Christmas Eve, and I'm feeling pretty festive, so I will respectfully decline answering this question with my usual diatribe.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?

Handicapped ballerinas

24. Favorite food for Christmas dinner?

What the heck? Didn't we cover this already on number 15?

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?


:~: Have a wonderfully blessed and MERRY Christmas, dear friends! :~:
Much love,

Friday, December 12, 2008

And the Winner IS....

#36 ~ Javamamma! How incredibly appropriate is that?!

Enjoy your coffee, girlfriend! Just email me your address and I'll get it right out to you. Thanks for playing, everyone. I can't tell you how much I loved reading all of your drinks of choice. :)

P.S. This is the website I used to generate the number if you ever need one:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

O Christmas Tree...(and a mantle for good measure)

Sara over at Butterville is having a Christmas carnival and I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. Because I'm a bandwagon jumper, you see. Well, that is unless it's a bad bandwagon.....if it's a bad bandwagon, then I'm not jumping....

So without further discourse, this is our tree:

There is a star at the top, but for some reason it seems to blend into the picture. Rest assured, it's there, though. I just knew you might lose sleep if it weren't, so I wanted to be quick to point it out. I really do care, folks, and it's the least I can do. Really.
Since Mark has an allergy to pine, we've never had a real tree. Honestly that's perfectly alright with me since it's less work. And I'm pretty consistently all about less work.
This next picture is of our mantle. We are huge Nutcracker fans around here and I found 2 of these fellas at Old Time Pottery on Black Friday for only $4. I was ecstatic because it made my mantle. And since my mantle is made, I find it important to share that with you.

Next up is my favorite part. It's our collection of handicapped ballerinas. We are all about being P.C. around the Westie abode, so just because a ballerina loses her extremity is no reason for us to chuck her into the trash.
This poor gal below has really had it. She even asked me to shoot her in less than stellar lighting because she's such a shell of who she once was. Bless her heart, she's sadly been reduced to a seated position rather than hanging, which is the bottom of the barrel in Ornamentland.

Well, that was fun! I have many more decorations that I could share with you, but since this is really a carnival about Christmas trees, and I've already cheated once by showing you my mantle, I'd better stop. Plus, my laundry is threatening to overtake me.
For more Christmas Tree Bling, head here, and if you didn't get the chance to enter my contest for free Starbucks, you can go here. You've got until Friday!

Friday, December 5, 2008

No Longer a LOOOOSER! (Giveaway at the bottom)

I had a post all planned out about "A Few of My Favorite Things", but it'll have to wait until my camera finds it's way back home from the wild blue yonder with Mark and Ty. I'm just hoping that my sieve-like brain will retain the info. It is questionable, you know.
HOWEVER. Something pretty awesome has happened to me. Something that usually....well....doesn't. That something is that I, Gayle, actually won, not one, but TWO contests in a 24 hour period this week!!
Are you kidding me? I never (and I do mean NE-VER) win anything, so when I saw this post at Holly's, I nearly peed myself. .....Ok, not really, but you never know when you are dealing with a Mama who's birthed 4 children.

Just look at these plates y'all!

Aren't they absolutely gorgeous?!

And this verse is is so powerful...

I must confess, I totally stole these pictures from Holly. Nice, huh? She gives me this beautiful present and I swipe something from her. Some people, I swear....they just take and take and take....

Anyway. If you like-ah what you see-ah, head on over to sweet Lindsee's, the creator of these Most Beautiful of all Plates. There are plenty more to choose from. What awesome talent!

Ah, but the story doesn't end here, because remember, I won not one, but TWO things!
I was barely able to stop squealing from Holly's prizes, when Linda posts this! GET.OUT! Not only did I JUST post about my rekindled love for fiction, but now an autographed copy of this book is showing up at my doorstep!

I love prizes. I really do. And these two things made my week. SOOOO, I've decided to share the contest love. Y'all know I'm all about Starbucks, right? And you definitely can't do Starbucks without a friend.....well, you can, but it IS better when you can sit and chat.....

Anyway, you can enter to win a $10 Starbucks gift card by leaving me a comment telling what your drink of choice is when you're lucky enough to be there. And since Friday is my FAVORITE day of the week, I will leave the comments open until next Friday, December 12. Then, I will do one of those Random Number do-hickeys to choose the (hopefully) happy winner.

Happy drinking,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

1,2,3 GO!

Donna, over at Way More Homemade just tagged me for a meme that I can totally do in 5 seconds flat.

The directions for this meme are: Find the book closest to you, turn to page 56, then type in the fifth sentence plus a couple more after that.

Okey doke.

"In that moment Jesus turned to him and said, 'Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise' (Luke 23:43). I expect to see that man in Paradise. Not because he could come down from that cross and be baptized. Not because he could come down from that cross and take communion. Not because he could come down from that cross and give money to charitable work. Not because he could come down from that cross and live a good life. He had been a wicked, godless man, but he was saved by the tender mercy and grace of God."

Oh my stars, people. I swear that wasn't planned! It comes from a little devotional book that used to be my sweet Grandma's that I keep on my dresser (which is right next to me now). It's called Breakfast With Billy Graham. And yeah, I went a little further than a couple of sentences more, but with text like that, I wasn't stopping. I just know God means to use that for someone today.

Anyway, I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to do this on your blog, please feel free... just let us know so that we can come and see. Actually, I'm going to ask you to do it rightthissecond and put it in the comments. I thought maybe we'd get a good laugh, but now, I'm not so sure we won't be blessed too.

Ok, you're up...