Christmas 2011


promised pictures

How’s this for a PhotoOp Friday.  ON TIME. Four pictures, because I owe it to you for bearing with me through the last few weeks of PhotoOp Faildays.

Christmas tree decor.  Since 2 of our kids are still very much into putting things in their mouths still, I decided to go for all edible decor this year.  Popcorn and cranberries!  [note: no picture of fully decorated tree because by the time I got the whole tree decorated and went to grab the camera, Belle ate all the berries and was busily munching most of the popcorn off.  Hey, that was the whole purpose, right?] mocha truffles I thought I might try eggnog truffles this year.  They were BETTER than they sound….and they sound pretty good!

The truffles were gifts for Ben’s fellow teachers.  Surprise!  I made a little gift bag for him too.  He took all of them in a big bag and handed them out to find one with his name on it.  I love to surprise him.  I think it makes my day more than his, and his was pretty made!

(please excuse the messy kitchen…..baking: it’s not pretty, but someone’s gotta do it.)

Gross, but I had to.

For those of you who are weak of stomach.  This post is not for you.  I will spare you, if you think this may make you queasy.  Do not scroll down.  The following photos are pretty icky.  However, if you feel you are up for it, read away!

But, I have to share this because I am impressed.  Many of you know that I am an independent sales consultant for Norwex.  But, even then I know it isn’t magic.  There are limits to some of the things it can and cannot do.  However, I did not realize it was this good. 

See this little guy?  Well, little guys can make BIG messes.  And belive me, he did!

So, Tyker had what we like to call a MAJOR blowout….on the carpet.  YIKES!!!  (Yeah, I know, gross.  But I figured I had to take a pic to prove how gross it really was.

Then I pulled out my Norwex cloth.  I wiped up the “solids.”  This is what it looked like:Then I used just water and scrubbed a bit.  MUCH Better.  But not perfect.I sell a non-chemical carpet stain remover.  So I used a little of that….and this is what was left after a total of 9 minutes and 22 seconds.  (I used the timestamp from the camera to know the precise amount of time.) That time includes taking pictures and running upstairs to get my carpet stain remover, rinsing out my rag.  I AM impressed.  I really didn’t know if it would do that well, but it didn’t even smell afterwards.  Trust me, I braved it an did the “sniff” test.

a public apology.

If you read my post about the “camera-to-computer” cord being lost, you know that I  blamed suspected my husband of hiding the cord to teach me to put things away.  WELL, it turns out he did NOT hide it.  Because I made public accusation, I feel that I must make public apology.  I am sorry, Ben, that I thought you would hide the cord.

That’s better.

Now, you must have figured out that I found the cord…….so… are some pictures!!!  Yeah, what we’ve all been waiting for.

Buddy & Puddi

Puddi & Belle

Tyker For those of you who might be wondering, I found it in the spice rack.  No, I don’t know what I was thinking, yes, I did learn my lesson.

Good Morning!

Hello World!  It’s a bright and cheery day at the Marx household, even though it is gray and dreary outdoors.  MANY, many things have happened since I wrote last.  It’s been super busy around here!  First, Tyker has started pulling himself up to standing and I need to lower the mattress in the crib because he’s about to go over the edge.  Also, Buddy was in a Christmas program at the school where Ben works (they needed one more kid for the Christmas alphabet).  And, I got a ‘new’ oven!!!  YES!  I just want to formally thank my wonderful husband for trekking 2 hours [each way] in the middle of nowhere to find the place of the guy who was selling a gas stove on craigslist for cheap (and Buddy for keeping him company on the trip).  Also, for the headache of getting old stove out and new stove in and converted from LP to natural gas.  [I’ve got an awesomely handy hubby!]

I think my husband is trying to teach me the very important lesson of putting things back where I got them from.  I know that I left the photo transfer cord on top of the file cabinet the last time I uploaded pictures onto the computer, not in the tiny drawer clearly labeled: “CORDS”  (which is where it actually belongs).  But, I remembered where I left it, and was going to come back to it later.  [procrastination: friend or enemy?  for me, it’s an enemy that I treat as a friend in hopes it will be friendly back, but it never is.  I should learn.]  ANYWAY, back to my story.  So, the cord is not on the dishwasher, (did I say dishwasher?  I meant file cabinet.  It isn’t on the dishwasher either…I checked) or the entertainment center.  Neither is it in the ‘cords’ drawer.  I think Ben may have hidden it in hopes of my learning, he is a teacher you know.

BEN: “I have humbly learned my lesson (for now, i think).”

So, Christmas baking and candy making are well underway.  I have taken TONS of photos (and will be posting as soon as I locate that crazy cord).  There are mocha truffles, eggnog truffles, sugar cookies, rolled sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread (nativity) house [with animals!!!], edible christmas tree ornaments, homemade eggnog.  Ohhhh, the list goes on and on and on.  The house smells like what I imagine the houses of fairy-tale grandmothers smell like: wonderful.  There is ginger and nutmeg and cinnamon and apple and cloves all mixing in the air with the aroma of fresh-baked goodies.  I wonder if I can upload smells on here.  Perhaps one of these other cords will work?  Probably not.

Anyway, there are LOTS of photos coming in the near(?) future.  I will post them with recipes if I have enough feedback asking for it.  Otherwise, just pics.  Have a wonderful Christmas season spending time with your families, and remember to keep Christ as the center.  [I also have a pretty cool post coming soon about some neat traditions for doing just that, but for now I need to go spend some time with my 4 little kiddos.]


Today, Ben made a quick stop by the store on his way home from work.  When he arrived, he gifted me with a package of 8 rechargeable batteries.  This means…even when my camera dies, I won’t have to wait to go to Wal-Mart for more batteries.  The package says they’re good for 500 charges.  Wow!  That seems like a lot of charging.  I just thought I’d let everyone know that I’m back in business.  I did not put any pics up tonight, because it is getting late, and I am tired.  He didn’t have to pick them up, and he could’ve just got regular batteries.  He was so excited to show them to me when he got home.  It was like watching someone be REALLY excited when you open a Christmas gift from them.  AND…..It was pretty much like getting a Christmas gift.  Grateful sounds so mechanical; thankful, cliché; appreciative, stuffy.  I am learning to truly appreciate the littlest things in life.  Contentment, I think that sums it up.  Paul put it well:

What a fun stage of life to be going through, although it doesn’t always come across that way.  I am learning a lot.  I am being stretched even more that I think I can handle, and in that process, I am growing.  God is very good, indeed!

 Oh yeah, one more thing: I just wanted to say, “I have the most thoughtful husband.”  The funny part is that he subscribes to OAF, so he’ll be getting this post in his email and then get all embarrassed about this last comment.

another NOphotoOp Friday

Well, the camera batteries are still dead.  And I still haven’t purchased more.  BUT, you know what?  It’s OK.  “No pictures” really isn’t the worst thing in the world.  Frankly, I’ve not seen too much outdoors to take photos of lately anyhow.  My FAVORITE season of the year is fall!  I love it!  A very close second is winter.  However, the short span of time between when everything falls off the trees and the first good snow, that one comes in favorites list somewhere after summer and just slightly before the rainy season of mud spring.

Anyway, it’s the first Friday in December.  Everything is brown.  Everything outside is a bit chilly.  My oven is broken. BUT, I’m enjoying my warm home.  And pink-faced children when they come in from an outdoor romp.  And serving LOTS of hot chocolate.  And candy making.  And getting ready for Christmas.  And just being thankful to God for all that He has given me to be thankful for (and for those things I don’t really want to be thankful for).  Some days I feel that I’ve a right to complain about all the drear around me, but honestly, if life didn’t have broken ovens and seasons of brown, would the toaster oven be appreciated?  Would the brilliant colors of flowers and leaves and birds and bugs?  Or, would they all be so commonplace that we would simply take them for granted?  For me, I believe the latter is most likely the true statement.  So, I thank God for brown and for broken ovens and for blahness and for the opportunity to really be able to appreciate the little things in life.

By the way, I think I have some really fun posts brewing as we get closer to Christmas!  I had better put those crazy batteries on the grocery list, eh?