Saturday, December 31, 2011


Today I spent 14 hours in the car driving home from Tennessee. I am so tired and the room is still moving all around me. I did, however, get a few minutes to download my 122 pictures from the trip and I think a handful of them are good enough to share. But only after about elenty kajillion hours of sleep and food that is not made entirely of sugar. So I will get back to you on Monday with all my vacation goodies. In the meantime, here is one picture I just can't wait to share...

My handsome son wearing jeans and hoodie. I took a picture so it would last longer :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I went and moved it, moved it!

I have now been up here in Tennessee with my brother and his family for over 24 hours and we have been having a great time. We have eaten, hung out, eaten, stayed up late, been sightseeing, eaten some more and this morning I did something I have never ever done before. Something that I have read status updates about, heard commercials about, seen bumper stickers for but something I have never ever actually tried for myself until this morning. And it is called Zumba. Molly took me with her to the Y for a morning class and I can finally say, I get it. I understand what the big deal is. It is actually insanely fun. It doesn't even feel like exercising! It was like a real life class of Dance Central! So fun! I will say however, there are some moves going on in those classes the likes of which I did not anticipate :) Now I just have to wait to see if I can move when I wake up tomorrow...

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Plan: Never Eat Again

Oh my gosh, I had to have gained 5 pounds over the past week. Despite my running and my P90Xing almost every day, there is just no way to overcome the caloric catastrophe that has occurred at every meal. And also every 5 minutes in between meals. I have no willpower, plain and simple. So whatever is out and available on the counter is what I will eat. If it's brownies, candy, carrots or mung fish, I will eat it. Okay, maybe not mung fish, but you get the idea. Mostly it has been brownies. And cookies. And crackers. And chips. And chocolate. And more chocolate! And best of all is that I leave on a road trip to Tennessee with the kids and my parents tomorrow morning! Which means I am trapped in a car without 1. the ability to exercise and 2. massive quantities of snack foods. Oh, great and glorious metabolism! Please don't let me down over the next few days...

By the way, Christmas was totally fantastic! I called an audible on Saturday night at about 7pm and decided we were opening presents on Christmas Eve. To this news I was hugged ever so tight and loudly proclaimed as "THE GREATEST MOM ON THE WHOLE PLANET!!!!" I just figured that Christmas morning would be kinda busy with church and all, so why not have a leisurely evening and open all the super awesome amazingly fun presents I got for the kids and have something to actually do on Christmas Eve, right? RIGHT. It was great! We got games and movies and ate chocolate fondue (we needed something to wash down all the candy) - and best of all is that Santa still came with their Santa gift Saturday night - so the kids were still treated to one more awesome present and stocking goodies. It was glorious. I highly recommend this schedule :)

So it's kinda good news/bad news. Bad news: Due to my trip, I won't be posting some lame Christmas pictures until much later in the week. Good News: In honor of my trip tomorrow (and because it is Tuesday tomorrow- getting this in a little early):

(wait, maybe that was actually a bad news/bad news situation...)


(I really, really hope we get to visit #5)

10. Captain Blake's Liver Emporium
9. Madame Toussad's Wax Museum of Senate Minority Leaders
8. Oversized Funyun that looks like Ryan Seacrest
7. Secret Bunker for Obama's 14 Backup Teleprompters
6. Childhood home of Joy Behar
5. Four Square court built in the middle of an Iowa cornfield
4. The Wonderful World of Ferrett Fidoras
3. Halloween Costumes of Hollywood's most influential Best Boys
2. Photo Op with Pat Morita's hand twin
1. Little House of Cobras

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from Sweeneyville! We have been having a wonderful Christmas break so far- too much to eat, too much to do, too much time to spend with family and friends - (oh, wait, is there such a thing?) - it really has been awesome. I honestly could keep another entire blog dedicated simply to cataloging all my blessings. They are seemingly without end. And among them, I definitely count all of you. Some of you I even count twice. Some of you half. And still others I count by a factor divisable by 12. Just kidding! It's actually a factor divisible by 13 :)

These two monkeys I definitely count a few times...

Hope you got everything you wanted this year! As for me, I realized I already had it :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Are we positive it's really December?

My temperature gadget over there says 82 degrees right now! Wow, I like warm weather, but whoever is praying for a mild winter, would you cut it out already? I am still running my A/C at night and that is completely uncalled for. (Actually, what the heck? It just came on it's only 5:15!) I can't pay my holiday bills unless I'm not running the A/C, you know? I'm not really complaining, though. I mean, yesterday I packed up the kids and went to the beach! With the possibility of actual swimming!! And it was kinda busy for the first day of Winter! (Actually, I noticed that, much like last December when we went to the beach, there were a lot of visitors there due to the local football bowl games going on- so there were a lot of Marshall fans there that day, fresh off the previous night's win in the "Beef O'Brady's Bowl.")

We stayed for about 4 hours and the kids were completely content to jump over waves, dig holes and beg me to bury them and give them all kinds of "legs."

Cindy of course requested the Mermaid tail... No problem!

Luke then told me he wanted "Iron Man Legs." Now, I'm not an expert on things of life, but here is a tip, Luke: when Mom is making you Iron Man Legs out of sand, it is probably NOT a good idea to say, "These don't look very good" and "I don't think these really are very good Iron Man Legs" while I am building them. It kind of kills my morale.

Besides, I thought they were awesome! So life-like!

And they were soon followed up by my even more awesomer SpongeBob Legs. I promise I didn't take a class that taught me how to do this, I am just super talented.

I also successfully taught my children the art of eating their lunch under a towel in order to fool the disgusting, evil, verminous seagulls that were scavenging all around us. I hate those guys. The seagulls, not my children.

It really was a good day. Lots of sun, a very strong sea breeze and not a cloud in the sky. Florida, you complete me :)

And I can't wait to give a little update tomorrow on how Luke, Grandpa Sweeney and Jacob all spent the day at Legoland today. From the texts and pictures I have gotten from Jacob, Luke might be a closet daredevil! No, seriously.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Cindy Quickie

During the indoor soccer game yesterday, I saw that I had missed a phone call. It was from DeAnne's house. The kids had actually spent the night with her the night before, so I knew that it was probably just Cindy calling me. However, I was worried that DeAnne might need us to come and get the kids in case she had to go somewhere, so I didn't call back but sent DeAnne a quick text telling her that we would be on our way back soon. DeAnne texted me back the following: "No rush- that was just Cindy calling you to tell you not to come." I love you too, Cindy :)

Wait, What Day Is It?

Yeah, yeah. I missed yesterday's post completely, but today I will more than make up for it! Yesterday morning I went with Jacob and his girls soccer team to Kelly Rec Center to play indoor soccer in their annual Christmas Cup tourney. I was really nervous about playing with the girls. I don't really know a lot of them, and I haven't played soccer in many moons so I didn't want to look like some kind of soccer tard and embarass myself. But I can say that it went well. All my running and P90X paid off and I was actually able to keep up with them and play like I had some soccer experience. I guess later at the Varsity Christmas party last night (which I did not attend) the girls were asking Jacob "Who was that girl that played with us this morning?" Really? Who did they think I was? Some girl off the street that showed up with coach? His girlfriend? Maybe it was my straight hair and un-makeup'd face, but sometimes I wonder about those girls...

And now for something completely Bingham

I don't know what Chris has in his hands or why his bathrobe seems to be filled with something to make him a very burly Joseph, but the overall strangeness of this photo makes perfect sense. I think I was a junior or senior in high school in this one???

I like Dad branching out with the striped comforter we had yet to use. Exciting!

Doesn't Chris look majestic in Mom's bathrobe? And I am still the angel! Dave taking the photo maybe?

I must be taking the picture in this one...

I think these four photos bring me to twelve, but I still have a few more that need to make an appearance. I'll see what I can do over the next day or two. I am headed to the beach today, I got some movies I need to watch, I'm finishing up all my Christmas wrapping tomorrow- I'm swamped!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

O Little Town of 12 Top Tens

Just in case you missed last year's 12 Days of Christmas here in Sweeneyville, I am just giving you a friendly reminder that it did feature 12 Awesome Christmas-themed Top Ten Lists. If you need a refresher, check out any of the links below. I won't lie and say I didn't laugh my head off re-reading these this morning. But then again, I wrote most of them, so I would hope I found them funny.

Top Ten...

Alternatives to a Lump of Coal
Off-season Elf Jobs
Signs You Hate Christmas
Carols Sung at Hogwarts
Ways to Mispronounce How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Rejected Christmas Cereals
Other Things Stolen By the Grinch
Little Known Grinch Facts
Worst Christmas Gifts
Surprising Fruitcake Ingredients
Reindeer That Will Not Be Pulling Santa's Sleigh
Leftovers From All the Top Tens

And now, because it is Tuesday, here is one more for your reading pleasure:


1. Jimmer

Monday, December 19, 2011

Squeaking It In

You can see why I wasn't exactly chomping at the bit to get this picture on the blog today...Behold! My chubby phase! Yes, this picture obviously skips a few years since yesterday's picture, but Dad gets the beard going again, you can see my pet parakeet in the lower right hand corner and Brian does a fabulous job in his impersonation of Frauline Maria. I think this was the Christmas right before Dave left on his mission, so he was about to wake up to an awesome trench coat and a lot of socks. Lucky!!

A Dad Quickie

On Saturday my parents and I attended a white elephant gift Christmas party. When it was my mom's turn to go up and open a present, she got a fruitcake. When she announced what she got my dad yelled out, "A fruitcake? Hasn't this poor woman suffered enough?!" Indeed, it is just like the comedian Jim Gaffigan says, "It just doesn't add up. Fruit: good. Cake: great. Fruitcake: Nasty crap."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oh, What a Night!

To say we have been busy over the past few days is an understatement. In fact, I can prove we have been really busy and that is by the fact that Luke has slept in his clothes for the past three nights in a row. I am such a pajama freak that I can't even believe I let that slide. THREE NIGHTS! Poor kid is gonna need therapy... But luckily things are about to hit a nice even pace for a week. Jacob and the kids are out of school and we still have some parties and fun things scheduled, but nothing like last week. Oh, and I just have to give a huge shout out once again to my awesome parents for helping with the kids through all that madness - taking Luke to gymnastics, babysitting, taking them to see lights - you guys are the best!

Okay, back to business!

Nativity Pictures #6 and #7

Finally! Brian arrives! And he makes his entrance as baby Jesus, of course. (On a side note- I am not a betting woman, but something tells me that President Obama would be partial to playing that role year after year.)

And I know this is a horribly fuzzy and non-focused picture, (and my mom is groaning looking at it probably) but it's all I got for the following year??

Last night was also the infamous white elephant gift Christmas party for 2011. This year I decided to re-gift the Frankie Avalon self-tanning set that I got at the same party 3 years ago. And would you like to guess who ended up with that? DeAnne! I'm so sorry, DeAnne! Really. Truly. I mean it. (Although Karl did end up with "Satan's Snowman" so you still made out like bandits...) It was also kind of determined at the end that that the other gift we brought was pretty much the worst one and that was simply an 8X10 framed picture of Elvis. There is simply no love for The King anymore! Another highlight of the party had to be when my dad went up to open a gift and before my mom could flag him down to tell him to stop what he was doing, he had already opened the gift they brought. Rimshot!

However, it was nothing short of pure magic when I opened up my gift because I happened to pick one from Rich and Lisa McKendrick, who search year-round, I am sure, for their white elephant treasures. They are yard sale-ing legends in these parts and they never disappoint with what they are able to find. When I opened my box and saw what was inside, I could not stop laughing. I seriously almost was in tears because this item was just simply the most tacky, weird, wonderful and baffling gift. Truly it belongs in the front display case of the "Why do you exist?" Store. So here it is:

It's a decorative Troll Plate! And best of all is that it is: (and I quote) "Plate one in the hand-numbered collection "Monday's Troll is Fair of Face..." Why, troll plate? WHY?

At one point Jacob did own a XXL Snuggie (which he did try on backwards and he was one good lookin' Jedi, if I do say so myself), but that was stolen and we ended up with a snazzy "Planet Earth" DVD from the Discovery Channel. Not bad!

And speaking of things that make no sense, here is what Cindy has been up to for the last few hours:

Dressing herself up with Hot Wheels track. That weirdo Lady Gaga hasn't thought of this yet! HA!

Friday, December 16, 2011


This was named funniest commercial of the year by TBS. And it is about cats. Cat people, 1, Dog People, 0.

Mambo #5 (where Mambo is code for Nativity)

This was definitely our first Christmas in Lakeland, which was 1987? Chris now has the open chested white linen robe, Dad is now sporting a rockin' beard, Dave is a shepherd pulling a ridiculous face, and I still got that nightgown and I'm still the angel. Good thing we took pictures of these every year because otherwise we could have never pieced together what we probably looked like.

And patience Brian, you will soon make your appearance...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Four Squares

Day 4~

I am not 100% sure where we were living for this one. Kansas City? Miami? Lakeland? My guess is Miami because Dave is looking very tan and casual in his white linen robe. I do remember how much I loved that nightgown, though. It came in handy while playing the angel, which was my favorite part to play year after year. Even if it was typecasting...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Truth Comes Out

My sister-in-law Misty left a comment on yesterday's Nativity picture laughing at Dave (her husband) and his expression. She mused, "I wonder what he was plotting." As luck would have it, I was having a conversation with my Dad as to that very thing. I think it was something like this:

Time to fess up, Dave! You knew exactly what you were doing.

And as for today's pictures:

Day 3~

This year we had Aunt Lori (mom's sister) as Mary - with the blue shawl - and Grandma Widdowson (mom's mom) joining Chris on shepherd duty.

Which is apparently pretty hard, what with all the time you have to split between tending the sheep and playing Atari...


"I have fought a good a fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

I know you thought this day would never come, Mom, but it's finally here! YOU DID IT! And we all love you :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I'm pretty sure Jacob has never said any of these. Well, maybe #11, but those were suicides, not push ups...


12. Are you on this team?
11. Drop and give me 4,260!
10. Thanks for trying out, you made the team that trims my toenails
9. Tebow, if you turn that Gatorade into wine one more time, you're sitting the bench!
8. That cup ain't for drinkin' with, son
7. Of course I am qualified to coach you, I was a community organizer and that makes you qualified for anything
6. Welcome to the Penn State Football Team, my name is Jerry
5. Dude, I crawled all over inside your box of Lucky Charms last night. Oh wait, that's something you never want to hear from a roach, sorry....
4. Practice will start as soon as the alien that abducted me last night gives me back my clipboard
3. Hold on, give me that back- that XXXL jersey is WAY too small for you
2. Whoa, whoa, whoa...slow down there. So when it's 3&2 it's 3 balls and two strikes?
1. Great practice, see you in 12 years

Does This Shawl Make Me Look 3?

Day 2~

I believe this to be the nativity for the year following the one I posted the picture of yesterday, but I can't be totally sure.

Loving my dad's curls in this picture. And the boys' jammies. And those TV rabbit ears. And the groovy curtains. And by the way Jacob, this is why our children cannot sleep unless they are wearing official "pajamas." I never slept in regular clothes. I would have died.

And I really love my dad's record player there on the speaker behind us. Totally explains my obssession for music :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Never Fear!

I am aware that my just-announced 12 Days of Sweeneyville walk down memory lane might not be all that exciting to everyone, so in order to avoid boring both of my readers to death, you can be assured that I will still be sprinkling the blog with the usual entertaining posts about nothing. For example:

Well, they can.

The 12 Days Of Sweeneyville

From now until Christmas Eve, I will be posting a picture or two from my Christmas past. These pictures are mostly of the Nativity that my family and I acted out each year on Christmas Eve until we all grew up and moved out of the house. And I might mix in some other things I can find. Like this one of me when I was almost 2. I love the fact that most of the ornaments on that tree behind me are still on my parents' Christmas tree at this very moment :) And yes, I am taking liberties, but these pictures must be preserved in the annals of my family history.

Day 1~

I am pretty sure that this is the earliest Nativity picture we have. I am about two and Chris just turned four. I would just like everyone to watch the costumes over the years and how they change from person to person and the combinations that we came up with. We are very creative! And consistent :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

We Got Mugged!

You know how the sand in an hour glass seems to run out six times faster right at the end? That's me and the end of 2011. Holy smokes, Christmas is in 2 weeks! Good thing my shopping is done :) This week however, is going to be VERY busy. Parties, soccer games, church meetings, a trip to the airport, wedding reception, cleaning my house, still exercising every day to avoid gaining a million pounds from my relentless consumption of Christmas goodies in all their varieties...Whew! I am already exhausted! One very excellent thing to observe in all this chaos however, is the fact that our 7 day forecast does not include a high temperature below 77 degrees. I am in love! But, there was this one day last week where it was kinda sorta cold enough to break out a surprise gift I got for our family. Okay, Sean. Again, don't be too jealous...

(And I am not talking about my ravishing good looks, my awesome sleep shirt or my bookworm glasses in this picture...)

Star Wars cocoa mugs! And one day in the distant future (hopefully before Cindy leaves for BYU)when the weather once again takes a dip, you can bet we will be using these again :)

And just how does Millenium Falcon cocoa taste? It may not look like much, but it's got it where it counts...

By the way, I saw they sell these mugs at Walmart- 2 mugs for about $8, but I found these bad boys at Big Lots and got 4 mugs and cocoa for $10 :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

True Christmas Confessions

I HATE Candy Canes.

And the song "The Christmas Shoes."

And the way the guy says "goose" in the third verse of "Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer."

And actually the whole song of "Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer."

And I don't like fudge.

And it's borderline painful for me to drink hot chocolate that is not reduced calorie or sugar free.

And I absolutely hate it when anyone utters the phrase "Happy Kwanzaa" because we all know that this is a made up "holiday" and there is not one human being on planet earth that celebrates Kwanzaa, let alone celebrates it instead of Christmas.

And secretly, deep down, in my heart of hearts, I hate singing Silent Night at church. Regular people should not sing this song. The song is so beautiful that really only professionals can make it sound like it should. The unskilled simply destroy it.

On the other hand...

I LOVE advent calendars. (Jacob is currently leading our family, 2-0-0-0.)

And never giving Cindy a straight answer about whether or not there is actually a Santa Claus.

And that scene in Elf where he jumps into the Christmas tree to put the star on.

And my yearly quest for a good soccer-themed Christmas ornament and adding it to my collection.

And getting my yearly ornament from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito!

And taking two weeks to decide whether or not to put Christmas lights on my house and so by that time it's too late to put them up anyway.

And the irony of people feeling inconvenienced that this year we have to actually go to church on Christmas Day. Ugh!

And watching the Grinch's heart grow three sizes ♥

And most of all, hearing my mom use the phrase, "Okay, Dad and I are really going to cut back and not spend as much on Christmas this year" and then getting the same amount of presents we always have, if not more :)

Another thing I was thinking about is whether or not it was possible to find different versions of Christmastime songs I hate and whether those versions could make me like them. I have to say that this version of "Wonderful Christmastime" by Jars of Clay doesn't suck. I didn't say it was awesome, but I can tolerate it. Unlike the original song by Paul McCartney that makes me want to drive my car off a cliff.

p.s. Despite the fact they are a Christian rock band and I don't agree with all their personal politics, I think I have a slight crush on Jars of Clay. Love, love, LOVE that guy's voice :)

and if you have Spotify, Almost Christmas by Jars of Clay is really blowing me away right now...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Luke Quickies

The other day I was helping Cindy get ready for soccer practice. She asked me to put on her shinguards, then her socks, then help her get her bag ready, and then she even asked me to fill up her water bottle. I was a little exasperated and said, "What am I, your butler?" Luke happened to be right there and when I said that word and he made a funny little chuckle under his breath. I told him what it meant and he seemed to understand. Then later that evening, I heard Cindy and Luke playing together in his room. It was the regular playtime chatter until I heard Luke say real loud, "What am I, your butt-roller?" Good times :)

Sunday my mom had given the kids a pack of paper ornaments that they could color and give to people. Luke told me that he was going to color all of them and give them to all the kids in his preschool class. I told him, however, that there were only 9 ornaments and that would not be enough for everyone. Luke didn't see a problem and told me, "Then I will just give one to the kids I like and there will be enough." Ahh, the Spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Sweeneyville!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Parade of Top Ten Awesomeness

Great news everyone! I can officially say that both my children have been in a parade and they will no longer need to put that experience on their bucket list. Last Thursday night was the Lakeland Christmas Parade and a good friend of ours asked us if we wanted to ride on an old-time fire truck sponsored by his law firm. (McKendrick Law: Representing the Naughty and the Nice Since 1999. Ha! I love that slogan :) Anyway, we jumped at the chance, and so Cindy, Luke and I got to smile, wave and say Merry Christmas to the throngs of adoring fans. And Luke got to almost have his bladder explode during the last 1/2 mile stretch. Seriously, I took Luke to the bathroom twice before the parade started, but of course, he had to go when there was absolutely NOTHING I could do about it. Poor kid was in tears by the time we got off the parade route. But at least he is a boy and so as soon as we could get off the truck and find a good bush, all was well :)

I didn't take any spectacular pictures, including any of the fire truck itself (how did I neglect that?), but here are a few I snapped while my decision making skills were functioning at at least 49%.

Cindy, Maddie Adams, and Luke in the background. We were up on the fire truck for a while waiting for our turn...

I thought my antlers were pretty stylin'! And yes, it was 62 degrees so we dressed in our eskimo best.

Cindy and Maddie. Yes, I do own a scarf so I gave it to Cindy.

Luke and Justin chillin' like villians.

The parade itself was quite the show. I hadn't been to this parade since I was a twinkle in my father's eye. There were 140 entries and we were number 68. There were soooo many people there- somewhere of about 30,000 people according to the paper. And I would say that only a good, whopping .01 percent of them were smiling and looking like they were happy to be alive. Seriously, those Lakelanders were a rough-looking crowd! Probably because they all had not yet gone to the tent I saw that was selling the Deep Fried Oreos. We almost had to stop the fire truck for that one :)

For those who are really bored, if you go to 9 minutes into the video- you will see the fire truck. This is just a video we found on YouTube taken by a random stranger. Isn't technology wonderful that you can steal videos from people you don't know and share them as your own? :)

And speaking of parades, did you catch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade a few weeks ago? Standards are falling quickly up there...


10. Justin Beiber's Hair
9. US Capitol Building (comes pre-filled with enough hot air to last 10 years)
8. Lacey the disgruntled TGIFridays hostess
7. Lint-covered candy cane from Santa's pocket
6. Rudolph, the One-eyed Reindeer
5. Coca-cola polar bear dying in the hot, hot sun
4. Obama's Ego (Oh wait, that's way too big to fit in the streets of New York)
3. A deflated Kris Humphries
2. Festive clogged artery sponsored by McDonald's
1. Grinch bunions

(thanks to Dad and Dave for thier contributions- #s 4 and 8, respectively)

Monday, December 5, 2011

For Santa

Found the camera - it was tucked away in the recesses of the couch. Cash rewards have ZERO effect on my children, by the way...

Luke finally reminded me enough times that I remembered to sit down and help him write his letter to Santa. I explained that we can ask Santa for three things but he only chooses one to bring you. Luke was not very fond of this idea. He would like Santa to bring everything and so what is so hard about that, huh? Well, I made an exception and he got to ask for four things. Take a look at Luke's deepest wishes...

"Dear Santa, I want a green ranger or new iron mam or star wars backpack or star wars book that I never ever had before. Love, Luke"

Luke was apparently very worried about the big guy re-gifting from his own bookshelf.

And I'm shamelessly proud of Luke for knowing all his letters! He wrote the entire letter himself, I only told him how to spell everything. He is such a smartie :)

And finally Cindy wrote her letter as well. I was very curious to see this one. It usually includes three things I have never heard of in my life. Here is what she ended up with:

"Zobblesand" is not some kind of new play-doh. It actually means "zoobles and"- zoobles being those little animal pop-out thingys that she even asked for last year. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. And so does Santa, because picking one of these three is gonna be pretty darn easy :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I have lost my camera- as soon as it is located and I offer a big enough reward to my children for finding it (although I am pretty darn sure one of them is to blame for its disappearance in the first place)- I will resume with regular Sweeneyville programming...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

For Sean

Getting out the Star Wars M&M ornaments this year was WAY more exciting than last year. Luke wanted to play with these guys much more than put them on the tree. Here is the Boba Fett. Try not to be too jealous, Sean. Besides, what we have to show you next will really make you green with envy. Stay tuned!

And thanks Mom for giving us your old tree this year! It is about a thousand times nicer and bigger than the little one we had and considering how the stand totally broke last year, this gift was just in time :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Goodie Bag

No, I am not dead. Do not adjust your browsers. It has really been since Friday that I blogged. I just had a very busy/lazy/relaxing weekend. Which led to a very busy catching up kind of Monday yesterday and now finds me on a very Holy Crud! Is it actually Tuesday? kind of Tuesday. So here is a little mixed goodie bag of a bunch of different things...

Just for posterity:

A few weeks ago Cindy won an essay contest for Polk County Family Week. I pretty much forced her to do the essay, she was the only one in her school that entered, she was ready to disown me and live with a new family because of how hard and annoying it was (yeah, 75 words was a near-death experience)- but in the end it was worth it :) Congratulations to Cindy!

(I love how the blowing flag is covering up the other two kids that got 2nd and 3rd. Chumps!)

2 Luke Quickies

We rented the new Winnie the Pooh Movie the other day for the kids. Luke has never ever been really interested in Winnie the Pooh. I kept asking him if I should rent it and he kept saying no. Finally, I got it anyway and brought it home and he yet again kept telling me he does not like Winnie the Pooh!!! I asked him why and he finally said, I just don't like it because his name is POOH! Oh, Luke :) I asked him if we should call him Winnie the Roger instead, but I am not sure he got my joke.

Luke did actually get sucked in and watched the whole movie. (It's very cute and not very long) At the end he was telling me about his favorite part. I love it when he can't remember the names of characters because he just describes them. So Luke's favorite part of Winnie the Pooh was when they tied a balloon on "the horse-dog's" tail. The horse-dog being Eeyore :)

And speaking of Luke, today I made him wear jeans and would you believe that he FINALLY fits into the 3T Levi's he got two Christmases ago???? NO. WAY.

Thanksgiving Movie Review

Besides that Winnie that Pooh movie, we watched 5 other movies during our Thanksgiving break. That is not a typo, I watched 5 movies. Well, watched/slept through 5 movies. Still, it was a holiday miracle! So here's what we saw...

Captain America- I fell asleep at the end and woke up right when he runs out into Times Square with Nick Fury. So it was a little confusing, but the eye candy that is Chris Evans MORE than makes up for that. Wowzers :)

Green Lantern- I pretty much fell asleep at the beginning and didn't see anything else. Jacob thought it was better than Captain America on account of it was way more exciting and not as tame. Captain America is still much better looking than Ryan Reynolds, however. According to me, not Jacob. I don't think he has an opinion on that.

Super 8- I did not fall asleep at all in this movie! Which certifies it as completely interesting and non-predictable. I loved this movie! The kid actors were incredible and JJ Abrams can still do no wrong. The language is a little strong, but a fun film nonetheless.

Pirates of the Caribbean 4- I heard some reviews that this movie was really awful so I guess my expectations being really low made this movie surprisingly average! To me it was almost exactly like the first movie only different actors on a different quest. (But just as much, if not more, eyeliner.) Jack Sparrow doesn't have as many of those one liners that you just love about him and the screenplay is not as punchy, but it's worth the dollar to rent for sure.

Unknown- I fell asleep during the middle and then woke up for the end. And in this movie plot, that will confuse the living daylights out of you. I had Jacob explain it to me and I actually thought it was really, really clever! It's kinda violent and not a real pick-me-upper kind of a movie, but very original, I have to say.

As we speak the kids and I are hard at work on putting up the Christmas tree. If Cindy were as dedicated to soccer as she is about holiday decorating, I would be overseas right now watching her play with the Women's National Team. She does not mess around :)

And finally, Top Ten Tuesday has been rescheduled as Top Ten Thursday. And might be officially changed to Top Ten Every Other Tuesday.

See how busy I have been?? This is exactly why I don't watch movies. They are blog killers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Luke Quickie- With Visual Aid Bonus!

The other day I went to CVS with Luke. When we got up to the counter to pay for our stuff, there was a giant stocking hanging up in the air behind the register. Behold Exhibit A:

He saw it and thought it was highly amusing, so while laughing he said to me, "Hey Mom, look at that giant Santa Leg!" Therefore in the Sweeney household, they shall not be known as stockings, we shall hereby call them Santa Legs. So don't forget to hang your Santa Legs over the chimney and to get plenty of Santa Leg stuffers for the little ones. And if you make me some Christmas cookies, my favorite ones are the Santa Legs :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Will Run For Food

I thought that while I sit here completely bloated and ready to explode (and waiting for any online Black Friday action to hit the Internet), I could do a little blogging. Because moving my fingers is about all I want to do right now. Wow, it is amazing just how different I am feeling now compared to this morning. Once again, dark and early, I dragged Cindy over to Lithia to run with me in a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K and Fun Run. And once again I have the greatest father on planet earth, who not only drove me there at the crack of dawn (on his Thanksgiving morning), bought Cindy some hot cocoa, took pictures, held all my stuff, bought Cindy shaved iced AND bought us some breakfast afterwards. Seriously! He is the BEST :)

This year there were over 1600 runners. Isn't that ridiculous?! It was so crowded on the starting gun that it took almost half a mile before I could run at my normal pace, which is a little frustrating because I know my time suffered. Grrrr. But on the other hand I felt amazing during the entire run and felt like I really pushed myself, especially toward the end, which is usually my weakness. Final results will be posted tomorrow, but I ran somewhere about 27 minutes. I realized that I have missed the adrenaline of a real race. It is so much fun to pass the super fit gym rats, weave in and out of traffic and especially fun to toast some unsuspecting people right at the finish line. Ha! I think I took out 7 people in the last 20 yards with a supersonic sprint that no one saw coming! Hi-yah!

And my turkey hat was a big success after the race- I got several compliments, tons of smiles and even one person took my picture :) And here are a few of mine from the race:

Post race exhaustion (and you can kinda see Cindy's shorter new haircut too)

Cindy got a shirt this year! Score! And it isn't ugly! Double score! And it fits! THAT NEVER HAPPENS!

Cindy did a 250 yard dash and she came in 5th. I totally force her to do this race and she completely hates running, but at least she is a good sport and moves when the gun goes off :)

Done! Yay!

Getting a picture with the big guy himself. That hat was the best $2 I ever spent :)

I do want to say that we had a great Thanksgiving this year. Lots of food. Lots of relaxing. Lots of football watching. Some backyard activities and most importantly a high of 76 and no real need to wear pants. Wait, that came out all wrong. I meant no real need to wear pants, instead of shorts.That's much better. Although maybe I should have taken a page out of the Joey Tribbiani handbook of life and at least have worn maternity pants to dinner. The extra room would have come in handy :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And the Winners Are...

It's that special time of year once again! It's the results of the annual Polk County Thanksgiving Food Drive! My dad is in charge of collecting, sorting and dividing up all the donations each year, which means I get to showcase all the bizzare, odd and otherwise mistfying things people try to give. Without further ado, here are this year's award winners:

"Tender Rounds: a Vegetable and Grain Protein Product." Well, that clears things right up, doesn't it?

And you were buying just the regular old sweet potato-flavored kind. BO-RING!

Because we needed a detective to figure out what this was: Adult Dog Food. Well, it is the turkey and potato formula, so it does make sense in a Thanksgiving-y kind of way. But in absolutely every other way, NO it's horrible.


"....Well, I don't want to give the WHOLE box of soup. One packet should be plenty. No one likes to each that much seaweed in one sitting anyway...."

I am not going to say one thing about this :)

According to the label on the back, and I quote: "Baconnaise is the continuing story of two bacon fanatics (Justin and Dave) who won some money on America's Funniest Home Videos and decided to use it to make everything taste like bacon." If nothing else, you gotta admit this would taste awesome on a day-after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. Or a hamburger. Or fries. Or lasagna. Or scrambled eggs. Or an ice cream sundae.

And the big winner...

First off, why would you even HAVE a 4-year-old package of microwave popcorn you took from the Residence Inn? And what on earth goes through your mind when you think about putting it in the donation box? Probably, "Look at me, people! I am a giver! Especially of things I got for free which are not edible by man."

Not a bad year! Nothing has yet to top the Pokemon ball we got last year, though. Well, gotta run. Got some tender rounds in gravy cooking on the stove and later we are gonna watch a movie with some aged popcorn and Coke. Happy Thanksgiving to us!