Christmas Cheer

Come on guys, we’re gonna go Christmas caroling. Won’t that be fun?

Do we get paid for it?

Um, yeah, that’s the Christmas spirit.

We do?

NO!!! How is that spreading holiday cheer if we get paid? We sing outside people’s homes to bring joy to them. We do get cookies and hot chocolate afterwards, however.

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pjdaddy with my mom and graham and madeleine. Garren is with, who else? Mariah.

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We had a pretty good crowd show up. It’s funny because we went down the same neighborhood my youth group and I used to carol on when I was a teenager. There was less of us back then, so we were able to be towed on a flat bed and sit on bales of straw. Very cool.

There was probably about 100 people there on this night and it was neat to see all the people come out of their homes so they could listen to us sing. One house, that just happened to be my Godparents’, knew we were coming and had hot cider and brownies waiting for us.

img_3137A photo of the crowd with my family

img_3138Here’s everyone scattering because of cars. Bruce, the guy with the guitar is my old youth group leader and one of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet.

We finished and went back to the church social center for cookies and hot chocolate. It was  a lot of fun. I’m hoping  that it’ll be a good memory for my kids and when they’re older maybe they’ll pass on the tradition to their kids.

December Nights at Balboa Park

I’ve always loved Balboa Park, noooo, not the part where the men hook up for sex in the public restrooms, the part with the museums. Back in my early 20’s they had one museum a month free. Aside from the beach, this was a fun activity for a starving college student.

Another thing that’s really cool about Balboa Park? “December Nights” It was called, “Christmas on the Prado” when I was a kid, but it’s still the same. Santa, The Nativity, The Christmas lights, hot chocolate and holiday cheer.

Pjdaddy and I took the kids Friday night. It was wonderful. We took a 2nd cousin who’s 5, not sure if he’s “removed” or anything because I don’t know how all that cousin stuff works, and we went with some long time friends. We brought the cousin thinking he’d play with Garren, but it turns out he developed a crush on Madeleine and spent the evening walking into walls and being silly to make her laugh. At one point we were in line to see The Nativity and he and Madeleine were having a deep discussion about what were to happen if they got lost, he told Madeleine, “I will never leave you. I am a boy and it is my job to take care of little girls if they get lost.” The people behind us thought it was hysterical. I did too. 

They had an ethnic food fair and an International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. My kids got to try soda from Sweden, a chocolate dessert from Scotland and my non-adventurous children ate hot dogs from America.

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You know how many shots I went thru to find one where I didn’t look like a complete and total lard ass? And no, I have no idea why pjdaddy felt the need to spread his legs SOOO freaking wide. Although he has impregnated me 6 times. IYKWIMAITYD. Here’s our family Christmas photo taken in front of a big tree they light up every year. No, it didn’t dawn on me to actually get a picture of the tree.

Our kids got a picture with Santa. We waited in a long line to see him. Interesting how well behaved kids are when they’re in line to see “The Great One”. I didn’t have to behave as I already knew I was getting coal. They have it set up so you can see Santa, but if you want a picture with him, you have to pay $5. Of course if you don’t pay to get a picture with Santa, you get stink eye. I got a whoooole lotta stink eye as kid, after kid, after kid, after kid, after kid went and sat on his lap and my friend Laurie took their photo. In all 6 kids got their photos taken. Santa told them to hurry up and get the show on the road. If he’d actually asked him what they wanted for Christmas he prolly would have told them they’d shoot their eye out, or something to that affect. He did look like Santa however, so I’ll give him that, but that’s it!

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I’ve never seen Gavin so fascinated with anything as he was of Santa. Unfortunately I didn’t get the photo, but he turned and just stared into Santa’s eyes with pure awe. Santa took every photo with his mouth open. Cotton mouth anyone?

Here’s Graham finding out I want him to sit on Santa’s lap.

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Ha, just kidding Graham. You can stand next to Santa.

Poor Garren was starting to not feel so well and wound up looking like crap in his Santa photo. To make it up to him, I’ll post a picture of him at the train museum.

Madeleine insists on having me take photos of her eating all the time. “Mom, take a picture of me eating this.” Mom, take a picture of me eating this.”  I freaking hate pictures of me like that. I picture people thinking, “no wonder she’s chunky, she doesn’t stop eating” . “She’s eating in every picture.” ” COW!”  Issues much?

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My Godmother, Shirley, was kind enough to buy ALL the kids hot chocolate and a ginger bread cookie.

All the museums were free that evening, but the kids were getting pretty worn out by this time and wanted to go home. There was however, one museum that was required visiting as far as I was concerned. The Train Museum. Garren and Gavin are obsessed with trains and I would be a fool to not hit this place when it was free.

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Poor kid looks miserable doesn’t he?

We found out too late there was a beer garden, but all in all it was a wonderful evening. Oh, and it turns out they still have free museums on the first Tuesday of the month, but it’s even better now, all the museums are free that day.

Did I mention I’m glad to be back home?

My House Is Too Small. I Got Super Spies!

We get all the kids in bed and pjdaddy and I are in the living room and he says to me, “Did you hear about that sea monster that washed up to shore?”

Yeah, I saw that. I think it’s a bunch of crap.

Graham calls out from his room, “What? A monster?”

*pjdaddy and I discuss quietly with each other about how we’re gonna have to tell him to shut his door because he keeps listening in on our conversations

Graham, you’re gonna have to shut your door.

What? Why? Why do I have to shut it?

Because you kee-

Madeleine interrupts and yells from her bedroom, “They said it’s because you keep listening in on their conversations.”

Save Ferris- Super Spy

Warning: Do NOT Listen to Reverand Horton Heat While Baking!

You will be in the kitchen gettin all rockabilly with your bad self and you will not pay attention to what you’re doing and you will put 3 tablespoons of baking soda in your pumpkin cake instead of 3 teaspoons.

Your children will run from the table screaming and the dog will not even touch it. Your 2 year old will bring a water bottle to you and say, “put in the mouth, mom. put in the mouth.” Ok, he knows full well how to put water in his mouth. I think he was making a point because as soon as I put it in his mouth, he tried to gargle.

Thinking my kids were insane to not enjoy my mom’s recipe I tasted it myself and shot my blood pressure through the roof.

Damn, it was such a pretty cake too. It fell out of the pan. It was moist and was a great color.

For future, I’m just gonna have to put Simon & Garfunkel on instead. It’s easier to concentrate and measure and pour properly listening to them sing about the comeon’s “from the whores on 7th Ave” than it is to hear the Reverand sing about his, “Big Red Rocket of Love”.

For anyone that wants the recipe, when made correctly, it is divine. My mom used to make this when I was a kid, either with bananas that were on their way out, or pumpkin. I’m  not generally a fan of banana bread because I find it to be usually too dry for my tastes. It’s bread. This recipe is more of a cake and it’s nummy.

Banana/Pumpkin Bread Recipe

This recipe makes two loaves.

3 cups sugar (evil white processed sugar)

1 cup oil (I use coconut oil, it’s spendy, but it’s good for you, most “vegetable oil” is soy and I’m not a fan of soy the way it’s prepared today, processed and unfermented)

2/3 cup water

4 eggs

2 cups pumpkin or mashed ripe bananas

1 teaspoon cinammon

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

3 TEASPOONS baking soda

3 1/2 flour

1 cup chopped walnuts

mix, add nuts and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes use 2 9 inch bread pans

I may not have gotten a picture of the cake, but I got a picture of a “really cool city” cool is subjective in this case.

please try to ignore how the dog has beaten the hell out of the door in the background. He’s bound and determine to get into that room and have a showdown with the trash truck through window. Oh yeah, he’d totally kill that truck if I’d only give him a chance.

Summertime and the Livin’s Easy

Hah, after KD commented on the pool, I figured I’d better post a couple more photos to show how awesome the pool really is. Below the pool has its waterfalls on.

Hah, I don’t know if they want to be associated with me, so I’m too nervous to give the name of the pool company. They’re the best in Jacksonville, Fl if I do say so myself.

Garren’s on an exerciser

I will have a pool like this when I grow up.

I just posted this one because Graham is actually smiling. I think it’s because he’s about to fiend on sugar.

Doin’ Time- Sublime

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY EVERYBODY!!

Happy Birthday to The Greatest Country on God’s Green Earth!

The Cactus Cuties sing The National Anthem

Ok, kare-kare posted her song of the moment, here’s mine

The Damned- History of the World (1980)

h/t fatherfigurefour