My Five Things – Week 1

I love to write to-do lists and check items off.  However, my nature is to become so detailed that my lists grow incredibly long only Samantha Stevens could accomplish them all.  I could have a good number done by the end of the day but still see the unchecked items as proving I’m less than.  The usual questions begin playing in my head.  “Why am I not naturally tidy?”  “How come I don’t have as much energy as [insert intimidating woman’s name here]?”

In an effort to ditch the whole party pooper persona that so easily rears her ugly head, I have decided to participate in The My Five Things Challenge over on $aving Toward a Better Life.  Rather than limiting myself to a one-day deadline, I will give myself five things to complete within a week’s time.

Here is my list for this week:

  • Begin packing up Christmas stuff and decide what should be kept out for January.  Snowmen are not just for Christmas!
  • Write and mail thank you cards.
  • Laundry.  This could really be a one-word list, but having only laundry listed would be almost as bad as having a more detailed list.
  • Plant fruit tree.
  • Move books from cabinets to bookcases.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you want to participate, sign up here.

Thanks, Tabitha, for this helpful idea.



Christmas Family Traditions

Growing up, our family had the usual traditions for Christmas like trimming the tree together, leaving cookies for Santa, and opening one gift on Christmas Eve.  Now that I have my own family, it’s been fun continuing these and creating our own.  Some we’ve consciously come up with, and others formed more organically.

We were pretty broke when the boy was a baby, so our Christmas Eve routine was simple (and cheap).  Our trip to IHOP before going to Christmas Tree Lane started because we needed to kill time before the lights came on.  Reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas while drinking hot chocolate (garnished with a candy cane) began in an effort to defrost after looking at the lights.

As Keith grew, we borrowed more traditions.  A magazine article inspired the annual visits from the elf who brings new pjs on Christmas Eve.   The kid looks great for gift-opening pictures in the morn.  After talking to a coworker years ago, we began observing St. Nicholas Day on the 6th.  The boy puts his boots out on the porch before bed on the 5th and finds them filled with treats and small gifts the next morning.  We’ve always taught Keith the history of the real Santa, and he knows now that Santa’s a character who helps us celebrate Christmas.  When gifts are involved, he’s willing to play along.

Here are some fun ideas.

  • stringing popcorn and cranberries to make a tree garland (stale popcorn works best)
  • caroling in your neighborhood or at nursing homes
  • snuggling under a quilt while watching a Christmas special marathon
  • researching your family history to see what special observances you might adopt
  • saving Christmas cards to read aloud on Christmas Eve

What does your family enjoy doing?


Thanks to Urban Debris and Art-E-Cats for pointing me to some great free clip art!

Fulfilling and Oddly Minty Things and Those That Aren’t – #1

These things are Fulfilling and Oddly Minty

  • my six-year-old son pronouncing it “Ugly Minty”
  • God placing people in your life who are going through what you are and can offer advice
  • finally parking in a space without car butt sticking out and having pictures to prove it
  • remembering John Lennon
  • rice pudding debate
  • Mom’s retirement
  • Bles-id limited edition present for Daddy-O
  • black spray paint
  • time-saving laundry service
  • getting to know someone a bit better after having been acquainted for years
  • Christmas lights
  • the hide application button on Facebook’s news feed
  • rearranging furniture
  • crackling fireplaces
  • Rankin/Bass Christmas specials
  • wrapping presents
  • poinsettias fundraisers for youth arts
  • fruit tree fundraisers for 4-H
  • dinner at Uno fundraiser for school
  • receiving a brag book at the women’s ministry Christmas party and using it partly for scrips
  • seeing the women at the Christmas party get exactly what they needed/wanted and it being “random” [read:  Providence]
  • my year in status FB application
  • ending up in a parade with my sock-monkey-jammie-clad boy
  • discovering waving for nearly an hour is a great workout

These things are not:

  • nearly taking the tree out with my car after skidding on wet leaves
  • having to refresh City Ville because of a number-of-goods glitch
  • purchasing earrings that claim to be for sensitive ears and discovering they not only irritate my ears, they weigh a ton a piece
  • playing the city school shuffle
  • sending out a second pair of certified letters with the correct wording only to realize that only one was sent the correct address
  • getting locked out of the house . . . again
  • wondering if I should be upset I was added to a FB group without prior consent
  • wondering who Chuckles  is and why said group felt it necessary to let me know via email that he is also a member
  • engine light
  • discovering it’s not spelled “pointsettia”
  • receiving the 10th tardy this semester
  • serving undercooked meat
  • forgetting said meat under the broiler resulting in its growing charcoal
  • the inability to convince my husband he won’t get in trouble for getting me that combo sweeper/mopper for Christmas