Freebie Friday: Disney Animated Calendar

Look what I have … *waves box tantalizingly in front you*

Pretty cool, no?

Here’s a description:

Slide the amazing animation picture frame across the calendar page and be thrilled as mIckey Mouse and his friends magically march and frolic their way through the year.

Want it?

Tell me your favorite Disney character in the comments below. Winner announced Wednesday!

And he wonders why I’m “not in the mood” …

Last night, I arrived home from the grocery store to find Hubs drinking a glass of wine on the front porch, seemingly oblivious to the cold.

And then, under the kitchen light, I examined his attire.

My husband's version of loungewear.

Lest you not grasp the reason for my horror, take a look at the closeup below.

Along with the big puffy parka, he is wearing plaid jammies and cowboy boots.

Christmas, Frye-style!

Christmas Eve dinner with my stepkids has come to involve a staple: manicotti. I’m not sure how it happened, really, but this dish has become a tradition. This year, I had a little help in the kitchen from a most eager participant. I questioned her motives, however.

OK, like seriously — you can trust me with the cheese, Mom.

This “helper” can’t be trusted either.

Beware, humans. I will seek revenge for this indignity. Puppies do NOT wear antlers.

Setting out cookies for Santa, carrots for reindeer.

They’re not REALLY eating carrots. Ranch dressing must be present for that to happen.

From left, clockwise: My stepdaughter Claire; Hubs; my stepson Tycer; Tootie and the E-man.

Normally, Tootie is our late riser. Christmas morning, however, found her in the living room, cuddling a blue merle Aussie Santa left in her stocking.

And my early bird wasn’t so early Christmas morn. He had to be pried from his cozy bed.


Tootie’s Aussie took a special interest in the E-man’s electric train.

So did Daddy.

A Christmas Freebie Friday: The Gifts

If, like me, you’re trying to stress to your children that Christmas is about not just getting, but giving, here’s a book that may help further your efforts. Since the holiday is so close, this is going to be a quick and dirty contest. Leave a comment below explaining how you emphasize the giving aspect of Christmas and I’ll draw a name and announce a winner Sunday.

Mia is almost ready for Christmas — all she needs now is a Christmas tree. But on her way home with the three, an old man slips right in front of her. Of course, Mia stops to help him up. Then she meets a little boy who has lost his hat. Mia can’t just let him stand there crying. When she finally gets home, it is too late to get a Christmas tree. Or is it? This magical story about the true spirit of Christmas giving is sure to become a holiday favorite.

The dangers of bubbles

In 2000, when Hubs and I had just started dating, we took a trip to Eureka Springs to see Willie Nelson. I don’t remember what hotel we stayed in, but it had one of those lovely whirlpool baths.

Which I loaded with bubble bath.

By the time Hubs entered the bathroom, I was barely visible beneath the froth. An empty bottle sat next to me. It took us an hour to scoop out all those bubbles. Of course, I had totally dismissed the little sign: Please do not put bubble bath or oil in tub.

So I suppose that paybacks being what there are, it’s only fitting that I found this in the children’s bathroom tonight.

Yes, they poured an entire bottle into the tub.

I KNEW there was a reason to fear outhouses and port-a-potties

There’s something about sitting over a deep, earthen hole that just totally creeps me out. I mean, who knows what’s down there, inching its way up, ready to sink its fangs into my a– EEK!!

You will never convince me that creepy things don’t live down there. Mutant things.

As a devoted X-files fan, I felt ever so vindicated when they aired the episode about the tapeworm dude who lived in the sewers. Completely plausible, I say!

And then today, on CNN, I find this clip about a granny who called 911 because there was a squirrel SWIMMING IN HER TOILET.

The cop who responded said that when the squirrel leaped out, he hopped onto the counter.

The theory as to HOW a bushy-tailed rodent ended up in some poor, unsuspecting woman’s potty?

The sewer drain.

I KNEW it.

The House(s) of Plague

So Monday, we got the first call.

“Don’t worry! Nothing’s wrong. It’s just that the E-man’s tummy is hurting.”

So Hubs picked up our little kindergartner and I took the afternoon off to stay home with him. Thankfully, he never developed any symptoms of full-fledged stomach flu, which has been making the rounds in his class.

Today, we got another call from the school.

Tootie had a sore throat and fever. Oh, and strep throat has been making the rounds in her class.

One trip to the pedi and a throat culture later, we learned that yes, Tootie did indeed have strep.

I called Moody Mom to report the verdict, since little Bear is especially prone to strep and the girls are in the same class.

A few hours later, she called me.

“Bear’s been throwing up all afternoon and evening,” she said.

“Oh, the poor little thing,” I said.

And then I thought: Oh, please, please, don’t let us get a stomach bug on top of strep throat. Eek.

And I’m quite sure that Moody Mom is thinking, Oh, please, please, don’t let us get strep throat on top of a stomach virus.

Let’s just say that when I refer to our children as little Germinators, I’m not being facetious.

My baby’s wee broken heart

They met as toddlers at daycare, my little E-man and his buddy Cash. (name has been changed)

For at least two years, these little boys shared a Thomas obsession. They were inseparable, whether playing trains or leaping off the playground swings.

On the first day of kindergarten, the E-man was delighted to learn that Cash was in his class. And they were assigned to the same table. Cash, on the verge of tears when he entered the room, promptly forgot his terror when he saw his best friend sitting there.

Two months passed.

And then — “Cash broke up with me,” the E-man declared one evening.”He said he’s not my friend anymore.”

“Oh, I’m sure he doesn’t mean it,” I replied.

But he did.

And the E-man has been inconsolable.

It’s tough, watching my little guy suffer through the loss of his first friendship.

It doesn’t help that the two boys attend the same aftercare program.

Cash plays video games with the bigger boys. And the E-man mopes.

I expected this with Tootie. Little girls’ allegiances are made up of shifting sands.

But boys? I thought their friendships were sturdier.

I thought wrong.