Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010-- BE GONE!!

all things considered, this past year was not so bad. that is, if ya don't consider the complete meltdown of just about all our appliances (most recently-my printer), that the ants are STILL residing in our home, that i'm still cleaning up cat and dog messes on a regular basis, that i'm still fighting it out between food and my body and that the hellhole is no more organized than it was a year ago.

but....on the other hand, i have five more fingers!

ha! no, really, on the other hand, my life is pretty good. for instance:

1. no more diapers at the hellhole

2. t.willie no longer takes a nap every day but when he does, he no longer strips naked or demolishes his room

3. kaye's health/life is getting straightened out

4. elle has settled in to her new hours and position at work

5. bilbo's job is secure, as opposed to many many folks who have been laid off

6. i will be going on a cruise to the bahamas next month

7. replaced hated bagless vacuum with a bagged vacuum that i love, and if you vacuumed every day, this would be a biggie for you too!

8. i have pets who give me companionship and unconditional love

9. i have gotten reacquainted with old friends via facebook

10. and most importantly, i have the love and support of my family

so, yes, things could be better, but- they could be worse, much worse! i am lucky and i know it.
good bye 2010--hello 2011!!
i hope this new year brings us all amazing things.

happy new year to all of you, my faithful bloggy friends!

Monday, December 27, 2010

all about him

no, i don't mean the baby jesus, although, i know he's
the "reason for the season".

this is what OUR christmas was about...

click on the image to view larger

i hope you have had a wonderful holiday filled with great surprises.
have a happy new year too!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the elf on the shelf---AS IF!!!!

so, in the past few months (and for years and years), there has been much hoo ha over the book "elf on the shelf". if you don't know the story, it's about an elf who is sent down from the north pole every night to watch the children of a household and to report back to santa on their behavior. now, i know, there may be some easily intimidated children out there who will think twice before misbehaving knowing that an elf is on the lookout. but t.willie is not one of them. oh no, he would soon realize that he is bigger than that silly little elf and, he is smart enough to misbehave in a room other than the one said elf is occupying.

no, it would take more than that elf to make t.w. be good. i was pondering on just what creature would be intimidating enough to keep him in line and i think i have it......

introducing: the OGRE at KROGER

yes, the elf may be the spy of toddlers, but the ogre is the informant for unruly preschoolers everywhere! and i'm not talking about a lovable shrek-type ogre. no, i am thinking mean and nasty, an ogre of nightmarish proportions! just imagine, you are busily strolling along the aisles of your grocery store, scanning your list, looking for the best buys, when that kid in the seat of your cart starts whining and carrying on for ________________(insert whatever your kids whine or beg for).

haha! no problem! you just calmly point over to the frozen food section, where, standing there picking his giant, warty nose, is the biggest, ugliest looking ogre you have ever seen. you say, in your sweetest voice, "hmm, i wonder if that ogre has eaten today?" the big gulp coming from your child is music to your ears, as you know the whining will cease at once.

or imagine this scene: you are strolling down the grocery aisle when your little darling wets himself and smugly says "oops", while smiling at you because he did it on purpose. "hey, don't worry", you tell him, "there's mister ogre to take you to the bathroom to get cleaned up." oh, those "accidents" will never happen again!

so, moms everywhere, check out your nearest swamp or bridge (for that is where ogres live), and see if you can find an ogre looking for some seasonal work. set him up at your neighborhood grocery store and i promise, the next time the check-out clerk asks your kid if she wants a sticker, she will sit right up straight and answer "no thank you, mam!"

1. that t.w. is really actually quite a good boy when we're shopping
2. that he has never wet himself since being out of diapers
3. that the ogre i know is really very nice and answers to the name of bilbo(hee hee)

Monday, December 20, 2010

the elves strike again!

when i saw this cartoon, i had to laugh, it looks a LOT like our tree!

although our elves were three and five years old, named t.willie and haley. and very cute. and quick. and pushy. and giddy with the power of "tree expression".

yeah, i let them just do what they wanted. unfortunately, i have no pictures of the little elves because i was exhausted at the time. do you see that spot at the middle (about half way up) the tree? where there is some ornament congestion? that's because they dragged a chair over and took turns adding ornaments RIGHT THERE!

look very closely here, at the bottom branches of the tree....LOTS of ornaments!!!!

i am usually very picky about my tree but this way was a lot more relaxing for ME! at one point, haley decided to move away from the tree and was hanging things randomly around the room.

oh, but they had fun and it was fun to watch them. kids and christmas- it doesn't get any better than that.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

naughty or nice??

ok, let's talk three year olds. i had a three year old once, who was lucky to survive her third year. she was such a trial to her mother, that, i am not ashamed to admit it, she literally brought me to tears on more than one occasion. yes, she was stubborn and strong-willed and already, in her third year of life, was sure she knew more than me.

now there is another three year old in my life- the first one's son, who makes his mom seem like a meek and mild piece of cake! if she was able to bring me to tears, he will most assuredly cause my undoing by a) leading me to drink excessively b) causing me to repeatedly bang my head against a brick wall until i am senseless c) cause me to run away and join the foreign legion or d) all of the above.

t.willie is stubborn, strong-willed, ABSOLUTELY sure he knows more than me, full of cocky attitude, mean, insolent, determined, and obstinate. he talks back, he is mean to his pets, kicks his teacher and pokes his classmates in their eyes. he daily tells one of us to "shut up" and, just yesterday, told me "i don't want to and i don't care!" he exasperates me on a daily basis and will not listen to me when i am telling him to do (or NOT to do) something.

yes! all of this is true! but the thing is, he can also be the opposite of all those things. at times, he is sweet, loving, funny, helpful, compliant and fun. he will ask to help me wash dishes, will beg his pop to help work in the yard, will listen intently when you explain how something works and will kiss and hug his pets...when he feels like it. he is intelligent, inquisitive, witty, clever and the best hugger around. he is like a celebrity at our local wal-mart because none of the checkers have ever seen him being other than happy and smiling and friendly.

so, how can one small boy be all these things? i'm sure i don't know but santa is going to be hard-pressed to decide between coal or toys. i can just see him, standing in front of the tree on christmas eve, scratching his head in indecision. "hmm", he'll say, "naughty? nice? naughty? nice?" and then he'll just flip a coin and see where it lands. i sure don't envy the guy!

1. that three year olds eventually become four year olds
2. that stubbornness and determination can be attributes later on
3. that santa has to make the tough decision and not me!

Monday, December 13, 2010

fisher and price

many moons ago, when i was in 4th grade, i met a little gal named nancy jane. now, nancy jane was nice and sweet but best of all, she was an only child (cue the hallelujah chorus). i was the third child in a family of four children and what i really wanted to be was ALONE! ok, not all the time, but mostly when the others were teasing me or when i wanted mom to myself or when i wanted more than my share of devil dogs or when i was tired of sharing a bedroom.

so, yeah, nancy had the whole shebang to herself- her parents, her room, all the devil dogs, all the toys and even a really cool playhouse in the back yard. oh, and no siblings to tease her. so, needless to say, i thought nancy was SO lucky and pretty much wanted to be her.

but the best thing about nancy jane, besides being nancy jane, were her toys. she seemed to have a LOT of toys, all the toys i wanted anyway. (see this blog post) the best of the best were her fisher-price little people toys. she had 'em all- the camper, the house, the houseboat, the ferris wheel, the farm, the jet, the school, whatever- a whole fisher-price village!!!

and i know, right about now, you are thinking "wait, didn't she say they met in 4th grade? isn't that, like, too old for fisher-price little people?" and, okay, ordinarily i would agree, but in this case, since we are talking about me, i would say "no, no it is not!" because for some reason, nance and i just clicked when it came to the fisher-price thing. it also was kind of fate because my last name was fis(c)her and hers was, okay, not price but she maybe wished it was! so when we played, i was fisher (go figure) and she was price and that's how we addressed each other while we were playing. and this did not seem weird or strange to us, although i do remember getting some teasing about the whole fisher-price thing when my older sis found out.

me(on the left with freckles) and nancy jane
fast forward many years to our 20 year high school reunion. when joanne fischer and nancy jane (not price) met up again, what did they talk about? their fond memories of that long ago time of innocence and the hours spent playing fisher and price. and it still did not seem weird or strange.

here's to ya, nance!!

merry christmas from the jensens
bilbo, joanne, kaye, elle, t.willie and buster

grateful today for:
1. snow!
2. fond memories
3. once again having a chance to play with those fisher-price friends

Friday, December 10, 2010

visions of sugar plum

no, not that kind!

i'm talking about this kinda sugar plum-funny, sweet, clever food blogger emily hobbs. i have been following em's blog for some time now and she is a hoot! still in her early twenties, she creates her own recipes and some have even gotten her recognition. she competed on food network's ultimate recipe showdown, as well as many other contests. she wins some, she does not win others, but she is a real winner when it comes to personality. she shares more than just her recipes, she shares her life- which includes boyfriend, eric.

recently, emily was chosen as a finalist in midwest living's "best of the midwest" recipe contest. emily will be representing her home state of missouri. she is a wonderful baker and she has a real chance of winning the $10,000 grand prize. the competition is tonight and i just want you all to send her some positive vibes.

please, if you like cooking and especially baking, (and even if ya don't) check out emily's blog, you will thank me for it!

1. for humor
2. for internet friends
3. for the aroma of warm baked goods

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

my childhood christmas list

my childhood christmas list was a mile long. no kidding. i wanted it all. i waited around in early november for the sears catalog wish book to arrive. i'd quickly sneak it away to my room like an addict with his next hit. oh, i'd be drooling before i even turned back the cover, just anticipating all the wonders inside. i'd pore over the slick pages with a pen at the ready, circling all the treasures i wanted santa to bring.

when mom finally got around to asking for our lists to santa, somewhere in early december, i was READY!! my list was the picture of organization. each item was written down with item number, page number and full description. i didn't want santa to mess up and bring me the wrong toys.

my younger sister, on the other hand, would ask for a stuffed animal or two. that's it! two silly stuffed animals! what a fool, i thought, she's missing her chance at the riches from santa's wishbook...i mean workshop! what's wrong with her???

my older sister and brother had lists too, i suppose, but i don't remember much about them. because, let's face it, it was all about ME!

but when christmas morning FINALLY came, santa brought all kinds of presents for them and most of what i asked for too. the christmases of my childhood were always magical, always filled with family and toys and fun. just as a child's christmas should be.

when our two girls were young, i tried to bring that special magic to their christmas holidays. they were good girls and i loved playing santa. and now, with t.willie, i'd like that element of enchantment to be his too. but maybe with less of a focus on the material gains and more on the spirit of giving and goodwill.

nah, who am i kidding? it's still all about the toys.
and maybe i'll even let him play with some!

here are some of my faves from way back when:

barbies and all their stuff

coloring books and crayons

play doh

paper dolls


school supplies for playing school

pretty dresses

art supplies

feel free to send this list to santa...