Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Confessions

Okay, guys- now that we have another Christmas behind us (ours was wonderful, btw- hope yours was, too), it's time to play "Christmas Confessions." I want to hear what the absolute, all-time, Worst Gift was that you ever received. I'm thinking of mine right now, but- since I'm not sure whether or not the giver will read this post and I would never want to hurt his/her feelings- I'd better not tell you. But you can tell me yours! Come on- your crazy Aunt Sally won't read my blog, so go ahead and tell us all about it.

You can also share your Best Gift, Strangest Gift, Silliest Gift, etc.- whatever you want. Heck, create your own category if you need to, just spill it.

I do have a story that would fall into the "Strangest Gift" category that I can share...

It was the first Christmas I'd spent with my birth mother after meeting her, and I had no idea what to get her. We hadn't known each other very long at all. What do you get for the person who spurted you into the world, yet is still basically a stranger to you? The budget was tight, too- which only made choosing the perfect gift harder.

I ended up taking the safe and practical route and chose a nightshirt for her. I figured most birth moms probably wear something to bed, right? So, there you go. It was a dark, pretty shade of emerald green, with a few little flowers embroidered on it.

When we got to her house, I was nervous and second-guessing the gift I'd picked. I should have chosen something... better. She's going to hate it. What a dumb gift. Oh well, it was too late. I figured- once I get to know her better, I'll be able to choose something more suited to her tastes next year.

We started opening gifts, and a box was tossed my way. I was a little distracted by helping the kids open their gifts and watching all the activity, so I didn't even take time to read the tag on the package before I started opening it. Once I had the box open on my lap, I took a look inside, and I...

Was mortified.

Under the tissue paper, staring back at me, was the dark green nightshirt. One of the kids must have accidentally handed me a gift that was FROM me, instead of TO me, and without paying attention, I just tore into it and opened it. I was so embarrassed. I looked over at my birth mom to explain I had mistakenly just opened the gift I'd brought for her (what a dufus. Way to make a good impression, there, Michelle!) but she was sitting there...

Holding up a dark green nightshirt.

I was confused at first. I even looked down quickly to read the tag on the paper from my package and it said "To: Michelle, From: Barb." It took me a sec to realize what had happened.

We had gotten each other the exact same gift. Same color, same little embroidered flowers, same everything.

I waited for Rod Serling to pop out from behind the couch, but he didn't.

Strange, huh?

Now, let's hear your stories!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

From our family... To yours.

We wish you a blessed, Christ-filled Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Photo Tag

Tracy at Tracy's Corner has tagged me. Here are the rules:

1.go to your documents
2. go to your 6th file.
3.go to your 6th picture.
4. blog about it.
5. tag 6 friends to do the same.

I'm going to cheat a little bit because I'm on a computer that doesn't have a ton of pictures, so I can't go to the sixth file. But here's the sixth picture in the file. Fortunately, it happens to be a picture that I absolutely love. This is my son, Kyle (from Darrell's first marriage), and our granddaughter, Jaden.

I think it's so sweet the way she's walking along looking up at her daddy. I don't get to see her as often as I'd like- she's growing up so fast. She reminds me of her dad when he was little. He was about 18 mos. old when I met him and just the cutest little thing. She has his big, beautiful eyes and blonde hair.

Here's another picture of them from the front: Isn't she a doll? Or am I just a proud Grandma? No... She's a doll. Her daddy's not too bad-lookin,' either. I can say that without bragging, since I had nothing to do with his DNA.

I'm cheating again and not tagging six people, because I'm too lazy busy right now to link to six blogs. I'm going to give an open invitation to any and all of my blog buddies to play. If you do, leave me a comment so I can check out your photo!

Now, I'm off to spend the day baking Christmas goodies with my babies, then we're going to watch "It's a Wonderful Life." Gotta have my George Bailey!

Thanks for the tag, Tracy!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Yesterday was an interesting day here at And Sam Makes Seven. Yes, sir. I started out by stupidly believing I was putting up a simple, goofy, fluffy post about our new puppy.

Um, yeah... And how did that work out for you, Michelle?

Not good. Not good at all. Thank you for asking.

You know the old saying, "No simple, goofy, fluffy deed goes unpunished."

Apparently, good Americans should think twice before using the words "evil" and "Obama" in the same sentence. Whether or not they actually intended to call Mr. Obama evil doesn't matter. It Although, just for giggles, I Googled the words "Bush" and "evil" together, and OY... The quotes about our current President including the word "evil" (among others) were aplenty. I guess that word is supposed to be saved for history's worst offenders- like Satan, Hitler, Bill Maher, George W. Bush... I didn't know it wasn't supposed to be used jokingly to describe dogs, or even remotely connected to the Great and Powerful Ob. Because of my unpatriotic faux pas, I had unknowingly (unintentionally) picked a fight and apparently attacked a reader, all before noon. The whole flap blew up out of nowhere, and it was, um... I'll just say unexpected. Very unexpected. I did try to explain the intentions and thoughts behind the blasphemous error, but then threw in a joke about enemas and underpants, and it all went downhill from there... Apparently, it is immature to suggest a reader needs an enema. It Who knew? I lost said reader (actually before I ever said anything about enemas)- which, you know... if we're being honest, I'm betting it's not the first time that has happened, but it was the first time a disgruntled reader let me know they were not returning. It was also the first time I lost someone I considered to be a blog buddy. Funny how upsetting it can be to lose a person one never really knew. The whole thing made me feel rather like Howard Stern must feel at the end of the day, albeit on a much, much smaller scale. It was all very exciting, in a small-town scandal kind of way, but that is not the kind of excitement I like.

I don't like confrontation. Some folks thrive on it. Not me. I don't like being "upset." I don't like knowing that someone else is upset with me, at me, around me, or because of me. Some people are great at the whole cat-fight thing... Me? Not so much. I start feeling like I want to throw up. Even when I am the offended party- the one who has been wronged- and I have every reason to be angry, I still feel bad. No, not just bad... Guilty. Like I shouldn't be allowed to be upset. I'm pathetic. I'm also one of those that can never say just the right thing at the right time, but it will come to me later- much too late for it to do me any good. I hate that. I'm one of those that takes things waaaaay too personally when someone says something mean. I don't just shake it off as I should. I internalize it. I let that one crappy remark define me and direct the course of my whole day (or week... or month...). I've always been so jealous of my husband's sense of self-assurance and confidence. He's not easily fazed by others' opinions of him. Not me. I don't do well with the knowledge that I'm not liked. And I'm one of those that tends to react to all strong emotions with tears. I really hate that. Even anger comes out with blubbering. What a pansy I am. And is all of this way more than you ever wanted or needed to know about me?

Anyhoooo. The point? By last night, I was "Up Worrying." Do you do that? I was awake long past the time I should have been snoring with my mouth hanging open, thinking and worrying. Worrying and thinking. Feeling like crap. Not just about the little dust-up on the blog yesterday, but about everything- About the fact that I didn't get any cards mailed out this year. Well, one. Yippee. ONE (By the way, Friends and Family, you're not getting a card from us this year... I'm so, so sorry. It's nothing personal, and you're not being snubbed. Really. It's been a crazy couple of months. I bought cards. They're sitting right here. Thought that counts, right?). Anyway, I was Up Worrying ...about the fact that I still have soooooo much to do before Christmas. About finances and the economy, The Future... The adoption... About the fact that I've been so busy trying to make Christmas special for my kids, that I haven't been spending any time with them- except, it seems, to snap impatiently at them... About the fact that I've been so sick (off and on) for the past 6 weeks, that my sympathy level for my fellow sickos- my own babies- has been, uh... oh... nonexistent. ...And should I really try that new apple crisp recipe for Christmas? What if it sucks? Like I said- EV-ER-Y-THING. And knowing people were mad at me just made it feel ickier. I seriously felt like having a good long cry, both preceded by and immediately followed by a thorough vomit. See? I told you. Total Pansy.

But I had a moment of clarity early this morning as I looked at Bri's precious little sleeping face. I thought to myself, "This is what matters." Not blog "feuds"- people I will never know IRL being mad at me, disliking me... whatever. Not cards, cookies, gifts, and all that crap. Not bills and budgets. I know this sounds so pitifully corny, but it was a nice little epiphany (or "epiphery," as Michael Scott would say, for fans of "The Office"). For once, I was able to say "So What?" about all the stuff in my head, and all the circumstances swirling around me, and honestly mean it. I think I even laughed out loud. I reminded myself that I have everything I need, and so much more than I ever dared to want. I'm so blessed, it's ridiculous. I have a beautiful family, a roof over my babies' heads, good friends, and most importantly, an awesome God who loves me. There truly is nothing to worry about.

Clarity. It's a good thing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Evil has a face...

and it looks like this: You thought it was going to be a picture of Obama, didn't you? Another day- I promise.

J.D. has unfortunately chosen to perform not one, but two- TWO- unsightly, malodorous, altogether unholy bodily functions on my lovely ivory crocheted lace tree skirt.

The honeymoon is over, apparently.

Monday, December 15, 2008


J.D. (as in John Deere) He seems to be a real lovey little guy- very sweet!


Yesterday was a gorgeous day. A little overcast but the temperature set a record high. It was 71 degrees and I was out Christmas shopping in just a t-shirt (I did have pants on, too). Alex went golfing in shorts. And then...


It started to sprinkle. Then it got chilly. Then it got *&%$#! cold. Once the temp. started dropping, the rain turned to sleet. Darrell and I went out yesterday afternoon with the intention of stocking up on groceries and supplies and running a few errands since we knew bad weather would be heading our way this week. We fiddled around too long I guess, because we ended up having to come back home before we ever got any food since the streets were getting bad.

The windchill is currently 3. From 71 yesterday to THREE. School has been canceled. The streets are icy. They're saying it's going to be this way all week. And there's no food in the house. Yay! I get to venture out today to go to the store. I'm such a pansy when it comes to driving on ice.

I also have to go pick up a Christmas present for Alex tonight. I'll give you a hint... It barks. His friend's Lab just had puppies and the kid is giving one to Alex. He's been wanting a good hunting dog.


I don't know how I managed to spawn such a redneck. He loves hunting, John Deere crap, country music, all things cowboy. I don't get it. I raised that kid on a steady diet of good music. Def Leppard. Van Halen. You know... The classics. He prefers George Straight. Where did I go wrong?

This hunting kick of his is fairly recent. He got a bow and started buying all kinds of doo-dads for it, then he bought a shotgun (or a rifle... which is which? I don't know guns). I wasn't happy about that one at all. He's hoping to murder Bambi's dad. If he thinks for one second he's going to hang the head in this house, he's out of his mind.

A couple months ago, he was invited to go dove hunting. DOVE hunting. Am I confused? Doves are widely considered to be a symbol of peace, are they not? Is it just me, or is there something a little funny about shooting at the symbol of peace? ...Ahhh, look at that beautiful bir... KABOOM! That just doesn't seem right.

Anyway, we're going to pick up his future retriever of dead animals puppy this evening. Olivia is presenting it to him (our kids draw each other's names to exchange Christmas gifts, and she drew Alex this year) and she's really excited. It will be fun having a puppy in the house again. So.Much.Fun. Going outside in my nightgown and coat at 3 am (with a windchill of negative-flippin'-40) because the puppy needs to pee and Alex is sleeping right through the yelps and cries... Waiting for the puppy to pee because the puppy isn't stupid and he doesn't want to step out into the frozen yard. Seeing the sad little puppy eyes looking up at me like I'm the devil for continually placing him back on the frozen grass. Waiting. More waiting. Watching the puppy pee on the front stoop right outside the door because the puppy isn't stupid and he doesn't want to step out into the frozen yard. Now, that's some quality entertainment right there. You can't beat that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Out of Control Christmas

You know that saying "Too blessed to be stressed"? Who made that up? I want to meet the idiot who created this phrase and sock her in the teeth. Really hard. Twice. Then I will laugh and laugh. Merry Christmas.

I know I'm blessed. Tremendously. Yet I'm about to have my 19th Annual Christmas Conniption. I still have shopping to do. Cookies to bake. Cards and letters to send. Laundry to wash. People keep getting sick here. Everyone is just... well, gross. So.Much.Snot. Oh, the humanity. I want nothing to do with any of them. We've gone waaaaaaaay over our Christmas budget. As the world sinks deeper into a global financial crisis, I am spending money on "one more" %$#!* gift. I have this vague, icky feeling in the pit of my stomach that I've accidentally gone more overboard on spending for some kids than others, which I won't know for sure until I dig the stupid wastes of money gifts out of the closet and see exactly what I've bought and what I still need and since I can't find time to do this I can't finish the shopping. And, by the way, I want to go back to Toys R Us and Walmart one more time to deal with selfish shoppers and snotty, tired salespeople like I want to be covered in hot grease. And have I mentioned lately that I'm fat?

My, that was a mouthful. Let's all just take a deep, relaxing breath, shall we?

This was supposed to be The Year of Scaling Back. The year when we really concentrate on The True Meaning of Christmas. The year when all the commercialism and materialism gets kicked out of our lives, once and for all, as we focus on God's gift to us. Um... Yeah. Not so much.

Am I the only one who is so pathetically disorganized? Am I the only one who gets sucked into the hellish world of lists and gifts and buying "one more thing?" Am I the only mom who gets so caught up in trying to make Christmas a wonderful, memorable experience for my family that it winds up sucking for me? Am I the only one with my head eternally up my...

Anyhoo, it could be worse. I know that. It could be like last year (see the rest of the story here, here, and here ). I truly am blessed and I shouldn't complain. Christmas will come, whether I'm ready or not, and it will be wonderful. Snot, laundry, and all.

*On a totally unrelated note, I should warn you all that I'm getting ready to import all the posts and comments from my old blog over to this blog and delete the old one. I've noticed that a few readers still access this blog from the link on the old one. If that's you, you'll have to update your link. Also, if you use Google Reader or something similar, you're going to see a bunch of "new" posts from me. Just ignore them, unless you are so totally in love with my idiocy that you want to go back and reread my old posts. And who could blame you?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas program pictures

Tuck felt good enough to go to the Christmas program last night. All three kids did a great job and seemed to have a good time.

Have you ever seen a cuter Mary?
Yeah, the mother of Christ was Chinese. Who knew?My three superstars: Olivia was a bailiff (the play was a riveting courtroom drama where the shepherds were put on trial) and Tuck was one of the shepherds.

And here's one from Thanksgiving. Darrell with 88.9% of our kids and 33.3% of the grandkids.Kyle and Kindra (and Braden) got to come, but Nick couldn't make it. We had a really nice day, although I felt pretty yucky and was in a fog all day. I'm told the food tasted great. I wouldn't know. My head was too clogged up to taste any of it. Since Kindra is pregnant, I was so worried about her getting sick that I kept fanatically scrubbing my hands all day like Monk.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm back... kinda

I've been a horrible blogger. A few of you have been checking on me (thanks for that!!) so I thought I should check in. I didn't fall into a hole, although I would have preferred it...

I've been sick. No, that's not quite right. I didn't get sick. I got SICK. For weeks. Finally went to the doctor and I'm better now, after two prescriptions, but I'm waaaaaay behind on... well, on everything. My attention has been elsewhere.

Now Tucker seems to be getting sick. He was running a little fever yesterday and he's supposed to be in the kids' church program tonight. Oh, yay. I imagine the director of the play will have my head on a platter if he's too sick to be there.

Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving. Are you all getting ready for Christmas? I haven't been reading any blogs and don't know what's going on out there in Bloggerville. Miss my buddies.

I'll get back to you as soon as I can.