payne_n_diaz: (Super Squirrel)
Our Christmas Tree this year lingered on well past Christmas Morning. We took it down a week and a half ago and I put it out in front of the house but I guess we must have missed the tree pick up. Then after that we had some interesting weather and HIGH winds, and it went exploring our street (but always managed to find its way back in front of our house). Than one morning it was completely GONE after a night of super duper high winds, and I looked all around and couldn't find it - but when I came home there is was in our drive-way. I was hoping it had run away to join the circus or something, but I guess that was too much to hope for.

So this morning I took it to the Farmer's market because they have a Christmas Tree Collection Site. After dropping off Emily at day care I headed over to the site with the tree in the truck bed. As I got there and put on my gloves (because anytime I touched the tree I ended up with sap stuck to me), I went out and I was hit with a wall of pine scent. The collection site was strewn with the carcases of a Christmas gone by, a veritable herbicidal burial ground. Perhaps they'll erect a memorial for all those dead trees, but I doubt it.

Anyway, after seeing all that I drove off to work and I thought more about it - I think a fake tree is a purchase we'll be making soon. I just can't justify spending between $50-$80 for a tree year after year, and than witness the carnage collected in the aftermath. (Don't get me started on the paper used to wrap the gifts, more dead trees for the cause)
payne_n_diaz: (Default)
*Yawn* I know, I am up early...

Christmas has come and gone and left a pile of spent wrapping paper and cardboard boxes in its wake. The recycling truck is going to love us this week!

Emily had a wonderful Christmas morning, after fighting the need to fall asleep on Christmas Eve (she didn't give in until 10 pm). After we finally got her into her bed, Santa's elves went to work wrapping up her presents and putting them under the tree. One elf in particular, who shall remain nameless, put together her Princess Table & Chairs and her new Baby Buggy (which were both surprisingly easy to assemble). Fortunately for me, I only had two presents remaining that needed wrapping for Mindy, so was able to hide in the bedroom and watch a Christmas Movie on Comedy Central... Who knew that Jackass: The Movie would be playing? Uncut, and uncensored?! Oh yeah, that puts ya in the Christmas spirit! We both were able to go to bed around 2-ish.

Emily let us sleep until a little after 8 in the morning. According to my MIL as each Christmas arrives, we'll be staying up later and later, and Emily will be getting up earlier and earlier. I hate to admit it, but she is probably right. Well, as we came out into the living room Emily walked in and exclaimed, "*GASP!* PRESENTS!" Uh huh, way to send themessage of Christmas to my child... (j/k) So she walked right past the table, right past the buggy, and went straight to the package of dog cookies for Dixie. "No no Emily, come look at these things... These are for you!" She jumped right in and started opening up her gifts like a champ. Mindy and I realized that we may have had too many gifts under the tree because eventually she stopped opening gifts and wanted to play with her bath-tub crayons, and we had to explain that those were for bath-time, so she couldn't play with them just yet. She didn't really like my logic, but she lived with it. Now, what Christmas post wouldn't be complete without some photos?

Read more... )

Dinner turned out great! Cooking by temp, as opposed to time, is the way to go thank to the bitchin Alton Brown inspired digital thermometer we bought the day after Thanksgiving. I started the roast on high temp for one hour, turned it down low, and waited for the timer to go off. It was PERFECT! Even Mindy commented on how tasty, juicy and tender the roast turned out. Emily, who is sometimes my worst critic, ate a bunch, and I even made a plate for Dixie, complete with Au Jus gravy...

I'll write about my specific gifts a little later. I'm gonna go back to bed.
payne_n_diaz: (Default)
Merry Christmas to all of you!

(I'll fill you in on the Barnes Family Christmas Eve/Morning excitement a little later... Must prepare to cook a roast for dinner tonight! Nummers...)
payne_n_diaz: (Default)
I have started my Christmas wrapping of Mindy's gifts. So far, I count a total of fifteen gifts to get wrapped and ready for placement under the tree for her. It would have been seventeen, but the SpotBot and mini chopper were sacrificed so that the others might make it under the tree. I am sure she'll be happy at the numbers, but as always I worry that she may not like what I got her. Than again, it's the thought that counts, right?

This year all presents will be placed after Emily goes to bed on Christmas Eve, and it is very possible that this will become our Christmas Tradition (until some yutz tries to destroy Emily's innocense by trying to tell her there is no Santa Claus). There is just something magical about going to bed with a barren tree and waking up to a glorious Christmas tree filled with presents.
payne_n_diaz: (Default)
We finished decorating the tree last night. Emily wanted to help of course, so we let her, but it appeared she was collecting the ornaments rather than hanging them. :-) We only suffered two casualties, both of which were purchased at a local dollar store, so no big loss.

Now as it pertains to Christmas Trees, I am of the mind that a minimalist approach can be just as pretty and enjoyable as those full blown theme trees with all the ornaments the same shade of color, etc., etc., and I have always been that way. One year, I just put up the lights and I liked it that way so I left it. My friends would come over and would say, "Hey, where are the ornaments?" I would say if you want ornaments, bring some and put them on the tree! Hmmm... Y'know, that is actually a pretty cool idea. Maybe I'll do something like that one year and invite friends over and have them bring ornaments. Yeah, that would be pretty cool. (Lemme guess, it already exists? Knowing me and my luck, probably!)

Oh, and the fireplace people came out FINALLY and now we have fire in our gas fireplace. Which is right next to the tree. he he... And the Christmas cards that we have received thus far are on the mantle of the fireplace, and we have stockings hanging from the mantle as well. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea!

Hooray for fire safety! ;-)
payne_n_diaz: (Default)
I am screening comments on this one so feel free to reply in confidence!

Do you want a Christmas Card? If so, please comment with your address and proper name so I can send you some holiday greetings! If we have photos, do you want to receive a photo as well? Once again, let me know and I'll make sure you receive a healthy dose of holiday cheer (after all, with Emily in the photo, you can't help but smile).

Everyone who comments, I will comment back with my address as well so if you want to send one in return you can.

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