Oh, Christmas Tree!

Happy Fall, Y’ALL!

I had the best of intentions of writing earlier, but things have been kinda crazy around here…
I was going to post about Veteran’s Day…
I was going to post about the gorgeous fall leaves…
I was going to post an open letter to the lovely family who bought our house in Pennsylvania…
I was going to post about our trip to see the Radio City Rockettes in Nashville…
I was going to post about Thanksgiving and how thankful I am for Cracker Barrel…

But, I didn’t.

So, now, we are heading into December and my Christmas tree died last weekend…a full month before Christmas.

Now, don’t feel too bad for my tree, it was never alive.

When I was growing up I have memories of traipsing around freezing Christmas tree farms searching hither and yon for the perfect tree! My Daddy or Bubba would either chop it down or dig it up, we would take it home and then have to cut half of it off so it would fit.

You know that scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?

It looked a lot like that!

Our tree always looked beautiful! It was decorated by theme – usually gingham and red velvet bows, teddy bears and red glass balls.

Today, I am rather obsessive about my our Christmas tree! I try to put it up on the day after Thanksgiving. We don’t haul the kids to the tree farm (asthma and evergreens do not mix well), I haul the tree out of the basement and methodically stretch the wire branches into shape.

A few years ago, the Ranger surprised me with a pre-lit tree! I was sooo STINKIN’ excited! I am that person who will sit, year after year, taking my lights off the tree and putting them back onto the original packaging before storing it away for the year…that takes FOREVER, but sometimes my OCD over rules logic!

I have spent the past couple of years trying to loosen up when it comes to decorating my our tree. I have trouble sharing the decorating with my kids. The Ranger learned long ago it is best to back up and let me work. These days I have to share. I have to let the girls put their ornaments on the tree. I get to do the lights, the beads, the angel and some of the more delicate ornaments and the candy canes. I also get to “suggest” locations for placing ornaments.

So, this year I pulled up the tree, plugged it in, and this is what it looked like.

Tree 10 - retouched

Not quite what I had pictured. This is the type of scene I had pictured.

Rockettes 2011 - retouched

So, luckily we have a big box store in Middle-of-Nowhere, TN! We went out and found a new tree in the “Holiday Department” (without lights) and brought it home. I opened the box and realized that there I needed a map to construct this tree. This worked out well, ‘cuz I’m a directions reader! I managed to get the tree set up (with Baby’s help).

Tree 7- retouched

We added the lights, ornaments, etc.

Tree 3 - retouched

And I have to admit, it does look pretty good (if I do say so myself!)…

Tree 1 - retouched

Now, because they’re cute and they were the only pictures I was able to take at the Rockettes, here are my girls:

Big Rockettes 2011 - retouched

Baby Rockettes 2011 - retouched


Big Band Concert – WW

Okay, so maybe it isn’t Big Band as in swinging music from the 1940’s, but it was Big’s first concert!

The 6th grade band was playing together in public for the very first time.

All those caribou noises that came from the back room…

Big Band retouched

All those “Jaws” shark attack calls that chased us through the house…

Big Band retouched 2

Were leading up to this…

Big Band 2011 retouched

And this…

Band program 035

And this…

Big Band 2011 retouched 2

They weren’t bad considering the majority of these children hadn’t even held a musical instrument until 3 months ago. The Ranger said they were fairly, “Tight.” I have no clue what it means, but the band director seemed to take it as a compliment.

Now, we’re on to the Christmas concert coming up in December.


More caribou noises!

Holy Halloween, Batman!

So, we just spent our second Halloween in Middle-of-Nowhere, Tennessee and it was pretty exhausting!

Turns out the realtor forgot to mention that our street is probably one of the most visited by Trick-or-Treaters in town! It’s to the point that they should probably close the street to traffic for the safety of the kids who spent the evening running from one porch to the next.

Last year we went through all of our 600 pieces of candy in literally 20 minutes. This year I decided to get a little bit more just to see I could make it last a little longer. We lasted nearly an hour with 920 pieces of candy! Pixie sticks to be precise…and, yes, I did give out more than one to each kid! Most of the time we had kids lined all the way out our walkway and down the sidewalk. I looked across the street and they were having the same problem as us. We just couldn’t pass it out fast enough!

Have you ever wondered what 920 pixie sticks would look like?

Pixie sticks

Now, ya know.

The candy was distributed by none other than Rapunzel…

Rapunzel 2011

(Who’s dress, I might add was GORGEOUS! and made by my Mama!)

Complete with the hair…

Rupunzel 3 2011

Which attacked her!

Rupunzel 2 2011

“AAAAARHHHH! MAMA! It’s got me!”

While Baby was having her bit of fun, Big dressed appropriately as the Cleopatra, or the Queen of Everything. Who decided on her costume because the Greek goddess was all sold out, and she did already have an Ankh necklace.

Cleo 2011

She was thinking about being Nepheret, but decided on Cleo instead. I’m wondering if it is just my child who would know the difference between the two?

Cleo 2 2011

So, another Halloween is done. We’ve added Rapunzel and Cleopatra to our costume closet. Big has picked all the cherry lollypops out of the candy, and the Great Pumpkin has come. Now…on to Thanksgiving!

It’s a Chick Mama Life

Three Chicks and a Dude.

That could be the title of my life.

I’ve been thinking the past several days about what it means to be a Chick Mama.

I’m surprised that it has taken me this long to put my feelings into words.

The Ranger and I have been blessed with 2 Mini-Chicks, and as we don’t have any Mini-Dudes living in our house can sometimes be an estrogen-fest.

Horses 1

I love being a Mama, I love being a Chick Mama!

In this household, we keep hairbrushes, hairclips and bands in the drawer next to our silverware. (Not in the same drawer! The one next to it! EW!)


We have more “Babys” than Chicks in the house, and they have better wardrobes than I do.

We have more Barbies than Wally World, and have been informed that, “Just one more and I will have enough!” several times.


There are more purses in our house than people, and only 3 belong to me and most are decorated with Barbie or Hello Kitty. We also own more shoes than most shoe stores.

the Designer

But, just so you know, it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows.

Chicks cry, they whine, they scream.

They giggle, they tease, they are huggers!

Being a Chick Mom is pushing through your PMS to deal lovingly and with understanding a pre-teen who is coming to terms with her own hormones. And hearing the phrase, “You all hate me!” screamed several times a week, followed by a flood of tears, stomping up the stairs and a slammed door. I never realized me telling someone that they needed to eat supper before desert meant I hated someone. Not sure I’m looking forward to the teen years, I have the Mother’s Curse on me and if you know what that means nothing more needs to be said on that topic.

Years Day 7 - revised

Being a Chick Mom is to explain to your Mini-Chicks that we dress according to our ages. i.e. You are not an adult and you will not dress like one. Tights are a fashion must and the crazier they are, the happier the Chick! Unless you’re Big and then you think dressing up means wearing jeans with sparkles on them and no holes with a T-shirt that is clean (Big does not do dress up, Baby makes up for it in spades!).


Being a Chick Mom is to explain that you cannot date or have a boyfriend until you are 16 and here is why. Basically, by then we are hoping you decide to enter the convent or at least taken advanced self-defense. It is also having the awkward “Talk” with the female children while the lone male hides in his office.

My Chicks run the gamut between Eccentric Chick (Baby) and Nerd Chick (Big). There is nothing “normal” about being a Chick Mom; just as I’m sure there is nothing “normal” about being a Mom in general. It’s hard to put into words what it means to be a Chick Mom. It’s what I know. I’m not sure what I’d do with Dudes, but if I knew that I wouldn’t be a Chick Mom!

Nicole at

is talking about being a Chick Mom and what exactly it means. She’s the one who got me thinking about the topic. You can join her on Mondays to see what it’s like to be a Chick Mom as she features one Chick Mom or another on the topic!

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