Friday, December 16, 2011

School Christmas Treats

I swore after Halloween I was done with treats for the year.  That lasted about, oh, a week?  And then I saw this...

A Lightening McQueen Stocking.  Red embossed felt with a silk topper with a picture of Lightening from Mater Saves Christmas.  It practically leaped off the shelf into my cart.  But I was going to be good.  Just 2.  For the boys.  And I actually walked away.  I think I even got two aisles over before the little voice talked me into going back.  And even then I counted them out, and then put them back.  And then grabbed them again... Along with princess stockings for the girls.  But I was good - just as many as I thought I needed.  Not half a dozen extras, just in case.... [yeah... so totally kicking myself for that later.  When will I learn?]

So then there had to be something to go in them.... And just to show how destined I was to get the stockings in the first place at the very next stop I found Christmas character cups.  And then red and white striped crazy straws.  Perfect.

It was coming together so nicely.  All I needed then was one more "big" thing and a treat and I would be done.  And I knew just what I wanted to get - a puzzle.  So I headed to the store and picked up the puzzles.  Easy, right?  All done.  Until I came home so execited to assemble a sample and see what it looked like and realized that the puzzle box would not fit in the stocking... Ack.  I still really wanted to include a puzzle, but since I was going to have to disassemble the thing anyway....  I decided I would rather get the wood puzzles.  So back to the store I went.  And that's when the insanity really started.  Between the disassmebling, packing, rolling, gluing, stuffing, packaging, taping, tying, touching my nose and jumping on one foot hoopla it was quite an adventure. 

So then all that was left was the treat.  And I could have done some nice candy canes, or chocolate santas, but oh no... that would be far too easy... Instead, the second I thought about treats holiday popcorn came to mind and my mouth started watering and I knew that was what I wanted to do.  On the bright side it is really easy to make - just takes a little time and drying space.  But of course it also meant more packaging, and stuffing... And making toppers.  And gift tags... And I may have gotten a little carried away...

Just a smidge.  But they were oh so cute.  

And the popcorn?  Really tasty...

Then it was just a matter of tying tags.

Getting everything together.

And then stuffing.

And stuffing en masse...

Needless to say I think they turned out really cute.  And if my kids are any indication the kiddos are going to love them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elfie and Santa Cow

You just can't sneak anything past that elf.  Before I even told the kids we were headed to Chick-fil-a for dinner tonight Elfie and Santa Cow were conspiring in the tree.  The Chick-fil-a near our house always has some sort of event going on - like the Home Depot building thing that the kids did back in September where they built wooden heart baskets and a personal charging valet station from a kit (they were already out of birdhouse kits by the time we got there... :)) using hammer, nails, and glue.  Yes, real hammers and nails.  And no I don't know what we were thinking either.  :)   Today they had a Marionette show of the Night Before Christmas. 

We got there just in time to get the last booth, say hello to Santa Cow, and eat our dinner before the show started.  The boys were entranced during the show.  They had to stand up to watch it and they didn't move a millimeter the entire 30 minutes.  Santa Cow on the other hand??  Ryan thought he was awesome.  Connor, not so much... Kid LOVES the Chick-fil-a cow.  I mean L.O.V.E.S.  But he wanted NO part of Santa Cow.  At least the show was a hit.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Message from Santa

The boys found special messages from Santa waiting for them this morning.  All the way from North Pole.  Or the Portable North Pole as the case may be. :)

Santa pulled out his book and checked their files.

He even reminded them of some of the things they did this past year.

And told them that he knew they had been asked to be nice to one another.

And then he told them that he had heard what was on their wish list this year (probably from their letters!)

Then he told them that he would have his elves check to see if they were on the Nice list.

So the elves pulled their cards and put them into the machine...

And then waited...

 and waited...

And waited anxiously to see what it would say...

And look at that - the machine said they were on the NICE list!

Everyone cheered and was so proud of them.

Then Santa wished them a Merry Christmas and told them that he would be seeing them soon...

Needless to say the boys were thrilled to hear from Santa and find out that they were on the Nice list and that Santa was coming to see them soon.  :)y

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kemah Boat Parade

We headed down to the Kemah/Clearlake area to catch the Boat Parade for the first time.  On the way we made a stop by Tookies.  Or at least to begin with the Tookies overflow parking lot (which was packed by the way!)

As we wandered around the relatively small place looking for the main entrance we realized the only entrance was this one...

We headed up the steps and found the inside door mysteriously locked.  Then as we turned around to head back out we saw the actual restaurant down the block.  And some folks out on the patio having a good laugh at the lost "newbies."  And as it turned out it wouldn't be the last laugh at my expense before the day was over.  :)

Despite the fact that it was late afternoon the place was absolutely packed and still had a 20 minute wait.  The wait however, was well worth it.

Lisa had recommended the Bean Burger (beans, fritos, and picante) which sounded intriguing so we had to give it a try.  We decided we would halve it and a regular cheese burger just to be on the safe side.  I went ahead and made the cheesebuger a double expecting the typical quarter inch burgers served by most places.  When the waitress came out with the burgers she automatically started to hand me the bean burger and Kevin the double cheese burger when we told her it was just the opposite.  By the time our actual waiter came back to see if everything came out okay Kevin had halved the bean burger and put it on my plate while I was checking on the kids' food (the plates and the mac were pretty hot).  So not only did I have my gigantic double cheese burger, I also had half of Kevin's burger and a blob of pilfered mac and cheese from Connor plate as well.   Talk about gluttony.  We did eventually sort out the food and devoured practically everything on our plates.  That bean burger?  To.die.for.  Both burgers in fact were absolutely delicious.  We will definitely be stopping back by Tookies again next time we are in the area for a bean burger.  Next time though we will skip the tour of the storage shed, and make it a single not a double.  :)

After dinner we made a quick stop by the Christmas store on the way into Kemah and then headed on to Mike & Lisa's.  They were super sweet and had some Christmas presents for the boys which the boys thoroughly enjoyed and kept them entertained for the short while before we headed to the marina.

Mike had been busy that afternoon decking the sailboat out in multicolored Christmas lights.  The boat was gorgeous and even more so with the glow of the lights and the reflections off the water. 

Our view of the parade anchored out in Clearlake couldn't have been more spectacular.  Though getting there proved to be a bit more challenging than anticipated.  Clearlake is much more shallow that you would ever suspect.  Even with the tide coming up the depth finder read just under 5 feet and at one point was somewhere in the 2-3 foot range - just a little too shallow for our boat and we dragged along the bottom and got thoroughly stuck.  :)  The kind of stuck where the police boat comes out, lights flashing, to see what is going on and a requires a tow boat to get you out.  It was all just a part of the adventure, a part Mike probably would have preferred to live without.... :) 

But in no time at all we were to our destination and anchored along side the parade route.

The parade boats started coasting by shortly thereafter.

There were probably somewhere around 100 boats from tiny fishing boats, to sailboats, all the way up to multimillion dollar yachts and everything in between.

We enjoyed our hot chocolate and watched them float by, oohing and awwing appropriately.

And by we, I mostly mean Kevin and I - in between trying to corral the kids of course.

The boys on the other hand seemed a little less impressed with the parade and much more interested in the snacks below decks.  Though where they put it all I cannot even begin to imagine.  They should have been stuffed after our early dinner at Tookies.  Though that didn't stop them from eating enough for 4 people on board in between watching spurts of the parade.  :)

After the parade we headed back to the Marina enjoying the smooth ride and beautiful reflections on the smooth as glass lake.  Though of course that wouldn't be the end of our adventures...

Disembarking turned out to be a whole other adventure all its own.  It's a good thing the boys were wearing life jackets, but it is their mother who probably needed one most... :)  The boys were helped off and safely down the narrow walkway as I started off myself.  In a comedy of clutzishness that I can't even begin to explain I ended up with both feet on the walkway, hanging on to a rope strung along the walkway with one hand, bag of stuff in the other, arched backwards out over the water and the boat.  It's a wonder that I didn't fall in.  With a helpful push from the boat side I made it safely back on the dock.  And after I stopped laughing so hard that I could finally put one foot in front of the other again made it to dry land without any further incident. 


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