Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful Christmas eve...our annual tradition of celebrating with the Osto clan almost didn't happen this year as Nana was pretty sick earlier this week. She rebounded like a champ and the festivities were underway!

We went over to Nana and Papa's (in a snowstorm) for the appetizers and the annual family photo. Then it was off to 4:00 mass where we jammed in like sardines and celebrated the reason for the season. Then we trucked back for great Polish food like kielbasa and golabki ("guwump-kee" or cabbage rolls for you non-Polocks!) that Missi and Riley made this year. Bobo and Mike joined us for dinner and dessert ~ this year it was five types of cheesecake ~ and who can forget the presents!!!

Of course we ate too much and cried a little and make a lot of noise and just had fun with our family. What better tradition is there than that? Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We are having a blizzard. The weather geeks have confirmed this by color coding my county RED on the tv, instead of blue. It IS snowin like a mutha out there today. Since Friday we have received about 20 inches of snow. Maybe work will be canceled tomorrow?!

I guess it is time to get to start baking some Christmas cookies.

Stay warm and shoveled out!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not so Currier and Ives

Last Saturday, the family loaded up in the Yukon to head to our favorite local tree farm. It was time for the annual cutting of the Christmas Tree. In my head this is my perfect Currier & Ives or Norman Rockwell moment, (In fact, my "dream job" is to own and operate a Christmas Tree farm, even though I know zero about this) but alas, this is no perfectly scripted Christmas card we are talkin' about!

So we arrive, the sun is shining on the freshly fallen snow and we make our way back to the blue spruces. (I like this picky stiff tree because it really can hold up my heavy ornaments). After several minutes of negotiations, we finally settle on "the perfect tree". Osto goes to task on cutting the bugger down, while T-bird proceeds to throw a snowball in Chooch's face, sending him crying (but only a little...I would have cried too). Meanwhile the kids are fighting and being loud and crazy. Then each kid wants a turn at the saw, which is not an easy task since the branches reach the snowy ground and it is difficult to maneuver. Bird makes little progress, Cal can't move it at all, and Chooch wails because he doesn't get a turn, which leads to another little breakdown.
We finally get it down, and then swing it up on top of the truck because it is too far to drag it to the barn where you pay. (This is where I am saying, "If I owned a tree farm, there would be a horse drawn wagon to load your tree on to pull it back to the barn. They would have a roaring fire where you could sip complementary coffee or hot chocolate with marshmallows...I digress).

Since our tree is not tied down yet, Osto suggests I stand up through the sun roof and hold on to the tree. Fine. Until he proceeds to take the bumpiest route at a pace way faster than he should with an unattached tree on the roof his car and his lovely bride sticking out of the sunroof holding on for dear life (ok, that's a stretch), getting her ribs smashed with each rock and roll of the Yukon. Swear words ensue, even the "F" word! (gasp).
Upon arrival at the barn, the tree is stuck in the shaker, shoved through the binder and thrown back on top of the truck, where Osto proceeds to "instruct" me on the art of tying down a tree, while proclaiming his vast knowledge of tree tying down knots. (Which, if you ask me, he makes up on the fly and do not constitute "real" knots anyways). So, I am cold and I am not doing it right and I get in the car. More swear words, this time one with a "A" are said.
So on the way home, everyone is mad or tired or upset or on each other's last nerve. Exactly the way I envisioned it in my head! HA! Luckily, apologies were made and the day was salvaged with the help of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. The tree was trimmed and turned out to be our most beautiful tree ever (of course).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Ideas

In the 250 catalogs I have received this December and in my perusals of the Internet, I have found some strange things pawning themselves off as Christmas gifts. So if you are in need of any last minute ideas (not for me) for that hard to buy for person on your list...
Find your way with a belly button light.

Tattoo Sleeve

The Moo Mixer - my kids would love this!

Crime Scene Scarf

Beer Bra! Handy for work, probably!

Dog Poop Calendar - ah yes, one for every month!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Papa Hunter

Warren J. Hunter
March 26, 1921 ~ December 1, 2008

Saturday we laid to rest Papa Hunter, who lived to the grand old age of 87. In life he said what he meant and he meant what he said. If he thought the world of you, he told you so, and if he thought something else, well, you'd hear about that too with some "colorful" words thrown in for good measure.

I only knew him the last 13 years of his life, but I knew he loved his family and how much he appreciated the things people did for him. His youngest daughter, Kathy, took special care of him. She was his chef, chauffer, personal shopper and assistant...his window to the outside world. And the papergirl or the mailman who would stop to visit with him or the cleaning lady who did more talking than cleaning. Or the neighbors who would stop in to say hi or drop by with their pets. A dinner, a card, a phone call from some old friend and their stories are the things he would tell me about.

He loved my kids, his great grand children. He loved to hear about stories from school, tales of good grades or Tyler's fishing trips. Cal's cartwheels would delight him and he often asked to see her dances. Chooch loved to play with his large die-cast cars or scratch his back with the long handled back scratcher or "drive" him up and down with the remote control from his chair. All around his home were the photos of his family, grand kids and great grandkids.

It is hard to say good bye to people, no matter how old they become or how ready they are to move on. It is nice to know he is at peace. I'm sure he gave St. Peter a real earful about how long it took too!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

40th Anniversary Celebration

Last Saturday, we celebrated Nannie and Pop Bob's 40th Anniversary
by having a nice dinner with the whole family.
Congratulations on this great milestone, Mom and Dad! We love you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I am thankful for:

Mom - for your friendship, for our great times together, and your turkey cookin' skills
Dad - for your advice, sense of family and for your love
My kids - who make my life hectic and happy and for showing me unconditional love
My extended family - for always being there to help, to laugh with and to love
Matt - for your support, for loving me through thick and thin and for being the worlds greatest dad.

Even though times are tough right now, I have a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sock Attack!

This clip shows Marley, age 9 months, "attacking" the Chooch, age 4-1/2 years!
(Turn off the music first). No animals or children were harmed in the production of this video.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

For my favorite veteran. I'm proud of your service Dad, and I love you very much!

Monday, November 10, 2008

200th Post: More Politics

I can't believe I am on my 200th post.

Did you check out my stats for my election post? So many hits, for one word. That was my easiest post ever, but obviously the most interesting. Whatever.

What will be interesting is our political lives in the coming months and years. The Republicans will be searching for, or masterminding the creation of, a super-republican who will rise from the ashes in the next four years, chanting the mantra of Reagan Conservatism! Bring back the religion, capitalism, patriotism, individualism, and optimism!!

The dems have finally found their messiah, but the conservatives will be waiting for him to slip up, to fail in providing the "hope" for which he was elected. The rest of the country will have no one to blame if he does fail, well except for the 57,753,783 people who didn't vote for him. We will be saying "I told you so," 'til the cows come home. Maybe it is sort of a relief in a way for the will no longer be "our fault". How will the new savior ever live up to his expectations? How long before he will be blamed by his own party? Somehow this will come back to be the fault of the damn Republicans or rich white people. You wait.

I mean, when Obama fails to do this...what will happen?

Or fulfill all this (see Jake Tapper's story here)?
Will there be an uprising in the streets?

Let the countdown begin...

P.S. Obama is seriously considering Jennifer Granholm as a member of his administration? Does he know she is the governor of Michigan, known for its very own "state recession", the highest unemployment in the land, the failing auto industry, and the most homes lost to foreclosure? That is a great idea! Then maybe we can get a new governor to clean up her mess.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Halloween 2009

This Halloween the kids dressed as the Sparkling Spider Witch, a Clone Trooper
and a Vietnam-era Army Soldier. We celebrated with our good friends,
Ella, the scary cheerleader and Gage, who was Aniken.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Punkin' Carvin'


Here are some of the latest and greatest words of wisdom from the Chooch...

"Dad, I need to put on some deodorant. I smell like a guy."

...Chooch picks up some dainty heart shaped soaps at a shop.
His Nannie says, "Your dad wouldn't think you are very manly if you brought home heart shaped soap."
Chooch spies some soaps shaped like squares and says,
"these soaps smell good and they are boy-ly".

"Everytime you look at this ghost I made (arts and crafts from preschool),
I want you to think of me."
"Mom, are those shows you are watching appropriate?"

You have to love and appreciate four-year-old wisdom!

10 year old collection

I had to run my 10 year old's coat through the wash machine the other day. It felt like the pockets were full, so I reached into them. All of them. Here is what I found...

Seven quarters
Basketball game ticket
twist ties
a gold ring
animal skull

Yes, you read that right. Animal skull. Like maybe a skunk? Or possum? A porcupine? Some smallish rodent head with fangy teeth. I love it!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Glory Days

This weather has me happy! I guess I must have that seasonal affective disorder because I sure feel better when the sun is shining and it is 75 degrees and the trees are turning their beautiful fall colors.
We spent the weekend at my parents for the annual duck hunting opener. It was Bird's first official hunt, so we were all excited. I can't get into all the muckety muck, but there were a couple of run-in's with an evil DNR lady and now they won't be able to hunt in the spot they've hunted for the past 30 years (for my dad) and 11 years (for my hubby). It was all a big missunderstanding, but I feel bad for the guys. Anyways, they managed to snag 3 ducks and a goose and we had a great meal this afternoon that my brother, Chris, always prepares. Yum!

Marley also got to try her hand at retreiving a real duck (she didn't go with them on the hunt yet), but was very interested in the ducks they brought back. After a little coaxing, her instinct kicked in and she did a great job retrieving the ducks out of the river.
The other kids had a great time fishing off the dock with Papa and going to the park with Nannie and me.