I got this in an email from a friend and decided it was too good not to share.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Well if the presents are for adults it depends on how long I put off getting the gift, but my kids always get wrapping paper.
2. Real tree or Artificial?
I'd prefer real but we do artificial, we can't afford 2 or 3 trees a year. Yes I put up many trees. Doesn't everyone?
3. When do you put up the tree?
Thanksgiving weekend. However the outside decorations are hubby's job and they usually don't make it up until mid-December.
4. When do you take the tree down?
ASAP... um, the weekend immediately following Christmas.
5. Do you like eggnog?
Yes, preferably with lots of nog (aka Captain Morgan's spiced rum!).
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Cabbage Patch dolls the first year they were out. It was a huge surprise and I was really a bit old for them. I also remember that I didn't admit that's what I got until other friends told me they got dolls too.
7. Hardest person to buy for?
FIL who's response to most gifts is "what's this for?" Or my sister as she is the woman with everything.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
Brooke because she wants everything. If I could get a list of advertisers on Nickelodeon that would be her Santa list.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. And the girls each have one of their own to play with as well. Ever since the year one of my wisemen lost a head.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
MAIL! Creative Christmas cards our friends and family will be talking about until the next year is our mission.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Can't think of one, I'm easy. To BUY for.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Christmas Story. Isn't that everyone's?
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Usually around Turkey Day. One year we went to visit my family in Texas for Thanksgiving and I had all the presents bought to take with us. Yep, never happened again.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I'm sure I have, yet I can't think of anything specifically. Remind me to tell you the ultimate re-gifting of the ugly ass mirror wedding present sometime.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Chocolate peppermint cookies I learned to make myself because they cost roughly a dollar a cookie plus shipping from Land's End.
16. Lights on the tree?
Two words for you: Pre-Lit Trees.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Traditional: Angels We Have Heard on High, it's just fun to sing. Modern: The Christmas Shoes, it makes me cry. EVERY.TIME.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Since we've had kids we try to bring everyone to us, we need to be home for Santa to find us ya know!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
Of course. And any self respecting parent of Santa loving kids knows every word to Rudolph too!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Bow on one, Angel on another, the third is up to the girls.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas morning, cause Santa only comes after the children are all nestled in bed.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
The extra pounds on my ass when it's over.
23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color?
For color it has to be real red and green, none of that burgundy or hunter green crap, I don't care if it matches your decor. And I love Mooses... um, Meeses... um, Moose? And I have lots of them.
It all started with this fun little family.
And then last year hubby made me this handsome fellow.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Last year we had pork roast with rice and black beans. Delicioso! We do traditional for Turkey day.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
For my kids to appreciate all they have.

Now don't be a Scrooge, go post your own answers so we can all learn about your Christmases.

"The funny thing about Thanksgiving, or any huge meal, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it and then chopping and cooking and braising and blanching. Then it takes 20 minutes to eat it and everybody sort of sits around in a food coma, and then it takes four hours to clean it up." ~Ted Allen

But I have to next to nothing to get ready for Turkey Day. For the second year in a row only my SIL and her hubby are joining us. It's like one big kids table, no grown ups. Okay, so technically we are grown-ups but things are so much more laid back when it's just us "kids".

Oh, but still there is all that cleaning for company you say. Um, sorry, nope. My SIL is not one I have to keep up any facade of being a decent housekeeper for. I'll vacuum and mop tomorrow night, that is all. Okay, but what about all that food prep you ask. Hubby is the cook around here. He fries our turkey the day of and makes nearly everything the night before. And you know what? He ENJOYS cooking. Now the mess he makes is not fun to clean up, but hey, it's a small price for me to pay and I have the help of SIL.

So you know what I am doing today? Finding old friends on facebook. And cursing some of them for not being on their computers 24/7 like me and not responding immediately. Oh, all of them except my first huge crush. According to my mother I was always boy crazy. But Scott is the first boy I remember stalking. He was a year older and played guitar. At some point he actually talked to me. I suppose thats what makes the memory of him so much clearer than any others. He became that friend that I always secretly hoped would be more. Anyway, he im'd me this morning to say hi after 20 some years. How fun is that? Facebook rocks!

Of course I had to go find pictures of us from way back when. Look at the size of my smile, can you tell I was kinda excited to just be near him?

He referred to the time when we were friends as the Air Supply time of our lives. What a perfect description. Because I am fairly certain if I had a soundtrack for the picture of us slow dancing at my 14th birthday party this is what was playing.

Good luck getting that song out of your head. Remember the title, don't hate!

Once upon a time in this very blog, I had a post with many comments. More than any that came before or after it. This post was a Movie Quote Meme. It was very fun, and all the bloggers were doing it. So much fun that I decided to do it again, because well hell, I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night. Sad, but true.

Behold, the rules which I have altered slightly for the new and improved Holiday version :

  • Pick A Baker's Dozen of holiday movies, because it's all about the food this time of year.
  • Go to IMDB and find a quote from each movie.
  • Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
  • Fill in the film title once it's guessed.
This part is for the reader:

  • No Googling or using IMDB search functions.
  • Leave your answer(s) in the comments.

I will give a few hints right off. All the flicks are box office, not tv specials. Some are not traditionally considered holiday flicks, but the majority (really all but one) are main stream movies. *I have added new quotes to number 11 and 12 to help*
*Okay, I'm just giving you the last two before I forget this post didn't get finished*
  1. That's ridiculous. Jealous. Jealous of WHAT? That is... The ugliest lamp I have ever seen in my entire LIFE!--A Christmas Story--Lynette
  2. You have a freak flag. You just don't fly it.--The Family Stone--Lynette
  3. Those aren't pillows!--Planes, Trains & Automobiles--Domestic Spaz
  4. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.--Elf--Lynette
  5. It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!--How the Grinch Stole Christmas--Raven
  6. They're watching Snow White. And they love it.--Gremlins--Domestic Spaz
  7. Is this toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association?--Home Alone--Raven
  8. Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.--Die Hard--Raven
  9. The thing about trains... it doesn't matter where they're going. What matters is deciding to get on.--Polar Express--Domestic Spaz
  10. It means: If you put on the suit, you're the big guy.--The Santa Clause--Lynette
  11. Are you Wayne...? Wayne with the new stove...? This way, instead of April showing up with some new piercing or some ugly new tattoo and, God forbid, staying overnight, this way, we get to show up, experience the disaster that is her life, smile through it, and before you know it, we're on our way back home. Pieces of April- it's a little indy film with Katie Holmes, before she married the Crazy.
  12. Our lips are moving and words are coming out. They're savings bonds. In seven years you will get enough money from them to buy something nice. Alvin and the Chipmunks
  13. I know it is a little early for Christmas, Edward, but; I have a present for you.--Edward Scissorhands--Domestic Spaz
Ready. Set. Start your guessing!

"I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the "history" I was told in second grade. But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America's traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it's a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all." ~Ellen Orleans

Okay, so I admit, I am curious. I want to know all about this Twilight everyone is raving about. Ever since I read the Interview with a Vampire series I've loved me a good vampire story. And I keep telling myself that eventually I will find a very worn copy of the book at our local library. Or I'll be the only one awake at 2:17am when someone lists their copy at BookMooch and grab it. Hell, I'll probably give in and buy a copy for myself soon, but until then I do not want to see the movie. I am a stickler for reading the book before seeing the movie. Yet, I can not escape all the hype surrounding the big movie premiere. So I am going to just put this out there even though I am sure to get reamed by rabid fans.
This guy:IS NOT, I REPEAT NOT THIS GUY:Nor is he This Guy:Or even this guy:
Hell, he isn't even this guy:
Sorry but I just don't see it. Now before ya'll head to the comments all "Edward is so sexy how dare you dis him you crazy ho". Remember that I am going only by photos here, not the character he plays. But honey anyone who thinks he can come anywhere close to Spike in SEXY has a bad case of the crazies.

Ya'll know I am now working as a retail merchandiser, right? I am purposely not saying for what retail chain because I don't want my blog searchable by that. Paranoid, who? But I think I did tell you I work in my neighborhood grocery store. When I was hired I was told that eventually I would have another store but for the foreseeable future I would just be working at the one. Which was fine with me, I figured it would make the adjustment of going back to work easier.

By now I know the job, even though I'm still kinda slow. Hey I've only been working for 6 weeks during the BUSIEST time of year. But I feel like I've got my schedule worked out and things are falling into a routine. So, guess what? Tomorrow I am headed out with my boss to meet the managers at my new store. My confession? I am just getting used to going to work a couple hours a day two days a week. I am not sure I'm ready for this, although my boss assures me I am.

Anything you are feeling insecure about lately you'd like to share. Please don't let me be the only nervous Nelly around!

Dear gracious this question is a favorite around here lately. And if you answered by telling me the actual time... FAIL! I didn't ask WHAT time it is, just if you knew what time it was yourself. Um, yes, it is indeed just that annoying in person. According to my hubby I often give much more information than he asked for in his question. Newsflash, it's called CONVERSATION! I realize you are male, but you've been known to actually talk at length about various topics on occasion, so I know you are familiar with the concept. Yes, hubby knows it pisses me off when he responds with the aforementioned question, he does it because he likes to push my buttons.

Know what I like? When I can use someone else's smartassedness (hey, it's my blog, my words, eat that spell check!) against them. Sadly I can't even remember the original question but I used the old "Do you know what time it is" on hubby last night and it was fun.

Wanna know what's even more fun? Using it on my daughter. Seriously, the kid doesn't just have buttons to push, she has one big fat EASY button. I know, wonderful parenting skills at use there. But sometimes she just needs a bit of what she dishes out daily thrown right back at her.

Yeah, that's all I've got, not even a good wrap up. Sadly, this is how most of my ideas for blog posts are lately. Not really enough for a full post, but more than 140 characters for twitter and facebook updates.

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope."--Maya Angelou

Normal household chores that are left undone for an exorbitant (which apparently I've been spelling and pronouncing wrong (exorbinant) my entire life, thank you google and dictionary.com) amount of time become huge projects. Seriously my house was beginning to look like a candidate for "Clean House" and I'm not just looking at the girls' rooms or closets here.

It literally took me all day Sunday to help the girls clean their rooms. And by help I mean I cleaned and they occasionally put things I handed to them away. And by clean I mean finally find the floors.

Then Tuesday (okay not all day) I cleaned the bathrooms. And by cleaned I mean launched chemical warfare. Neither of our bathrooms have a window, and all those cleaners in such a small contained space can not be good. I usually try to do this chore when someone else is home in case I pass out. I'm only half kidding. Wednesday I spent most of my day cleaning the rest of the house. Well, I never made it to our bedroom, but I rarely do. And now finally my house is back in order.

After letting everything go to hell in a hand basket what was it that prompted me to get off my ass and clean? Besides basic sanitation? A friend of my little one was coming for a play date. A play date she called me about then somehow planned to have at my house. How the hell that happened I'm not sure. Yes, she was that good. Then the day of she canceled. Yes she did. Okay everyone has car trouble once in awhile, not a biggie. So she asked if we could postpone the play date until the following day. Okay, the house was already clean, not a problem. But then, get this. She asked if her little girl could ride home with me, then she'd come pick her up later. Dude I have met this woman for about 2 minutes at a school skating party and she is sending her 5 year old daughter home with me? She doesn't even know our address! The irony icing on the cake is the night I met her at the skating party I had a friend of my oldest daughter with us and I had never met her mom either. Who sends their daughter off with complete strangers?!

So lets count them up. My lazy ass let my house practically become a candidate for a reality tv show. I can not spell. And sometimes I judge other parents. Yep that's a pretty much sums up my confession this week. What ya got? Come on share with us!

We are quickly entering a gray area here at Casa Wente. See our oldest is 9 1/2. We said she's too young for PG -13, although many of her friends are allowed to watch them. I was even the mean mom who said no when a friend brought a movie to our house to watch for a sleepover. Then my kid, she read every single Harry Potter book in 6 months. Well hell, if she can read and understand (she made 100% on every AR test) then why for the love can't she watch the later movies? So we decided she could. But of course there is no 700 page Simpsons book. How do we decide she's ready for that cultural phenomenon? Huh? Someone? Anyone?

Then my fellow bloggers and parents of similarly aged children Steph and Stu at Badmom said they let their offspring watch The Simpsons Movie. Woot! This meant someone knew the answer to my question which I promptly asked in their comments section "I'd just like to know the official age for watching the Simpsons. Please and thank you." Which resulted in the following email exchange.

In our house it's 10; Mason very nearly planned an entire Simpsons party for his birthday this year. He did, however, have a marathon Simpsons-watching day to himself after turning 10 (we have all the seasons on DVD).

I feel a little ridiculous that is has become such a big deal. The Ingalls family would be appalled that this is our growing-up milestone...

Thanks. I do wonder if we are too worried about this, my parents didn't edit what I watched as a kid, I don't think it hurt me. I think I'll be blogging about this issue soon.
Hey if we were the Ingalls family we'd be getting our teens ready to marry and build a house of their own. Of course then we wouldn't have to live with the whining and complaining. Maybe they were onto something there!

Good point about pioneer families...Hmmm.

I also watched TV 24/7 and turned out a reasonable person (so I say), though I do wish I'd done more reading & writing as a kid. We just felt like there is so much grown-up dialogue in The Simpsons that everyone's life would be easier if watchers were nearer to jr. high age so they'd get most of the jokes & innuendo.

Good luck :D
10 for the Simpsons huh? Well, I know that as far back as I can remember I was watching The Young and the Restless, As the World Turns and Guiding Light all summer long. I think I was 10 for the summer of Kelly and Morgan, ah young love. That began my life long dedication to The Guiding Light and John Wesley Shipp (who played Kelly) ya'll may know him as The Flash or most likely Dawson's daddy. Oh yeah the point here, I can't imagine letting my daughter watch a daytime soap. And apparently the TV Ratings agree as daytime soaps are TV-14. Oh and those cartoon people? The Simpsons is TV-PG which is not recommended for the under 10 set.

Black and white, right? I wish! Fairly recently we started letting both girls watch PG movies from when we were younger. Except guess what. We are OLD and those movies were before they added that pesky little 13. Gremlins and Beetlejuice, whoops those would so be PG- 13 now. In fact in 1984, explicit violence in the PG-rated films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins were "the straws that broke the parents' backs". Their complaints led to the MPAA introducing the PG-13 rating. Wow, way to undo all that careful parental control we'd been working on for 9 years. Just a side warning for anyone who hasn't recently watched Gremlins, there is a scene where the girl talks about her father dying stuck in the chimney as he was playing Santa for her and "that's when she found out there was no Santa Claus." Um yeah, I SO didn't remember that either until I was watching WITH my kids. Luckily I was trying to divert their attention with bright shiny objects as she was telling the gruesome tale and they missed that last part. Now they are only allowed to watch with us so we can say, oh that's a sad story she's telling, lets skip to the naughty gremlins, click.

Not only did I watch soaps but I have a laundry list of movies that my parents let me watch that I can't believe. They took me to see both Ordinary People 1981 and Reds 1981 when I was 11. My hubby counters this with inappropriate but BORING. Which, well he has a point because I don't really remember either movie, but I do know I was NOT allowed to see Endless Love 1981 or Blue Lagoon 1980. But I distinctly remember going to see Saturday Night Fever 1977 and Grease 1978 as a double feature at the drive-in. My dad slept in the backseat while my mom and I watched the movies. I was 8 years old people, I am thinking most of the sex stuff went over my head, I was just there for John Travolta. Another lifelong boyfriend. NO he does not believe in Aliens, sticks fingers in ears, la-la-la-la I can't hear you! Where was I? Oh yeah, so if the movie is over their heads or BORING that doesn't make it automatically okay, does it?

Also in the gray area, Outsiders 1983 now listed as PG-13 originally PG. Is my Harry Potter reader ready for this one? I believe I may have to review it first for myself. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for my daughter, I mean do you remember the cast of this flick?

So Internets... how closely do you monitor what your kids watch? Are we just too concerned? We all turned out fine, right?

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.

-- Maya Angelou

Those of us who feel like all people should have the same rights. Those who are upset by the passing of Prop 8 in California. And others like it, hello Amendment 2 in my own BLUE state of Florida, I'm looking at you here. We'd like to let you know how we feel. The idea started here, where Allen says:

I decided to snap a photo of my wedding band placed on a slightly different finger than normal to express exactly how I feel toward every single person who voted Yes on Prop 8. It’s my personal version of ‘let freedom ring’. The battle for equality changes course but it’s very far from over.

I welcome supporters of gay rights to snap your own photo showing your wedding ring on your middle finger. Spread the word that this fight isn’t over. Whether you’re gay, straight, bi, white, blue or tan — show your support by letting freedom ring on your blog! Please forward this page to any friends and family who may find it of interest.

Great idea Allen. Here ya go!

If you decide to join the movement a list of all the bloggers giving Prop 8 the finger is over here.

I can not express how wonderful I think it is that this is going to be our new first family!
There is just something so magical about a dad and his little girls. I was one of two girls, and hubby and I have two little girls. I know of what I write.These are certainly "staged" photo ops, but the love and pride in that family's eyes is undeniable.
Look at them, they are so ... normal! I just want to set up a play date with the girls and have a glass of wine with Michelle. And I'm certain she would want me to call her Michelle.

I knew after I heard this story told that this is a family my family could identify with.
When Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Denver after their mom Michelle's speech, they had no idea their dad was going to be beamed in live via satellite. When Mrs. Obama told the girls she had a surprise for them, the potential first lady was pretty surprised at the response, according to CNN. "Is it the Jonas Brothers?" Malia asked.
Now that is a normal little girl! They are just two little girls who have been waiting for this election to be over, because daddy promised them a puppy. I have a picture in my mind of those them tired late last night waiting for daddy to make his speech and the clapping and squeeing when they heard daddy say,"I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House,"during his victory speech.

Malia and Sasha welcome to the White House! I hope you get to play with that puppy on the south lawn and that you get to create a pink room, because the white house seems to be lacking one.


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