Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
(Editor's Note: The following column is one of 195 included in ''Forever, Erma'' (Andrews and McMeel), a recently published collection of the best-loved writing from America's favorite humorist, Erma Bombeck. This column originally appeared Jan. 1, 1987.)
You say you've had enough people around to last you a lifetime?
You say if you don't get some time to yourself you may start braiding your hair and humming?
You'd like to clear everyone out of the house and be able to have some quiet time alone?
Read my lips and slowly repeat after me: ''I am going to take the Christmas tree down.'' You will only have to say it once and feet will scurry, doors will slam, car motors will turn over. In 30 seconds you'll feel like the last person on Earth.
No one loves a Christmas tree on Jan. 1. The wonderful soft branches that the family couldn't wait to get inside to smell have turned into rapiers that jab you. The wonderful blinking lights that Daddy arranged by branch and color have knotted themselves hopelessly around crumbling brownery and have to be severed with a bread knife. The stockings that hung by the chimney with care are hanging out of sofa cushions, and they smell like clam dip.
And the angel that everyone fought to put on top of the tree can only be removed with an extension ladder that is in the garage, and no one can remember how to fit it through the door.
Next to the presidency, detrimming a tree has to be the loneliest job in the world. It has fallen to women for centuries and is considered a skill only they can do, like replacing the roll on the toilet tissue spindle, painting baseboards, holding a wet washcloth for a child who is throwing up or taking out a splinter with a needle.
How to undecorate the tree is my business. There's no one around to give advice, so I do it my way. I take the end of a rope of gold tinsel and give it a jerk. The tree spins around, and I clean the whole thing off in eight seconds. I eat the candy canes as I go along. Better me than the mice. I never bother with sheets to catch all the dry needles. I just vacuum them up until the sweeper smokes. Then I empty it and start all over again. The balls near the bottom I catch in a box, and the ones near the top I shake off and sometimes catch in midair.
If this creates wear and tear on the ornaments, tough. Next time around, my husband can marry a tall girl who plays basketball.
Any gift left under the tree legally reverts to the person who untrims the tree. This includes money left on branches and magazine subscriptions.
In nearly 38 years, you'd think someone would be curious enough to ask what happened to that large tree that was in the living room last week. No one ever does. Somewhere between Arizona's first down on Michigan's 15-yard line, Christmas '86 passed into history.
Friday, December 26, 2008
On Christmas Day in 1914, German and British troops held a temporary ceasefire known as the 'Christmas Truce'. Both sides sang carols, exchanged Christmas greetings and gifts, and there are even stories of soccer matches taking place. In the above photo, German troops decorate a tree in their trench.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Juergen took the kids to Church while I get the tree ready with the gifts. We open our gifts on Christmas Eve. We do not tell the kids the gifts came from Santa or the Christ child, they come from us. We give gifts because the wise men gave gifts to bless Jesus. Tonight when they get home we will all light a candle and say what we want to give Jesus this year. This will be hard for Philip, Thomas and Sarah but it's a tradition we want to start tonight. I've got time, and prayers to give him. I also want to read the whole Bible in 2009. I also want to teach my kids more about Jesus. Maybe next year this will not be so hard for them. Then they get the gifts and later we will eat.
A funny story I want to write down before I forget...
Juergen went to the store today to buy us this special hair dryer and a juicer. The hairdryer helps you fight lice. It dries out the bugs and the eggs. Sarah gave us all lice this past week. We washed everything, and used a special shampoo. We just want to be extra careful we get all the bugs. The juicer is for our fresh orange juice, this is a Christmas tradition. Anyway all the people in the store looked at Juergen like, "poor man, last minute shopping, and look what pitiful gifts he is getting". He said they all gave him the funniest looks!
God bless you this Christmas.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I shopped and now I am ready to drop! I got all (God willing) the food a family of 7 need for a week of celebration. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THE STORE for awhile. I am DONE, FINISHED, RETIRED, on VACTION!!! What will we eat? Well, I have had Mexican food every Christmas Eve of my life. My Dad's family is from
Monday, December 15, 2008
HERE is the Global Rich list. According to this list, we are in the top 1% richest people on the planet. The truth is, you probably are in this group too. Most of the world lives on less then $5 per day. To whom much is given much is required. How do you spend your money? $8 could buy you 15 organic apples OR 25 fruit trees for farmers in Honduras to grow and sell fruit at their local market.
$30 could buy you an ER DVD Box set OR a First Aid kit for a village in Haiti.
$73 could buy you a new mobile phone OR a new mobile health clinic to care for AIDS orphans in Uganda.
$2400 could buy you a second generation High Definition TV OR schooling for an entire generation of school children in an Angolan village.
I don't know who is behind the global rich list, but I encourage you to think about what you have. Chances are, you have a lot. Give some of it to the poor. Buy one of our tie dyed bags, or give some to another good cause. You are rich. Your money, even $5 could help change a life.
I'm the 10,113,171 richest person on earth!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I hope you will visit my new fundraiser blog and order a Tie Dye bag. 100% of the money made from the sale of these bags will go to the Christian Care Foundation for Disabled orphans in Thailand. All the important information is on THIS WEBSITE. My 5 kids will be doing tie dye over Christmas vacation. They will each dye 10 bags (all signed and numbered). If you order a bag you can request one from Jessica, Nicole, Thomas, Philip, or Sarah. The bags cost only $5.00 each + shipping. You are also welcome to donate more money because it all goes to help make life better for disabled orphans in Thailand.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
It is made of hard plastic. It is old, maybe 1940's? It's missing the sheep and I think an angle from the box it came in. They always gave Mary blond hair in Europe. I have a wooden Nativity that’s made from olive wood. It was made in Bethlehem. A good friend gave it to me as a gift. I actually keep it up all year around. I like this plastic set. I was telling Sarah the story of the wise men bringing baby Jesus gifts for Christmas. We tell our kids this is why we give each other gifts on Christmas.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Juergen had a full weekend. On Saturday he put up Christmas lights with the kids. They are pretty simple by American standards but we are very pleased with the results. On Sunday he took a walk with Nicole in Mannheim. They went up the TV tower and also watched some knights fighting by the river. He's such a great dad!!!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I just bought a collection of classic Christmas stories on MP3. You can buy it on Audible.com
It is over 5hours of great listening. Now I'm going to grab a cup of tea and turn on my new electric fireplace and listen to a Christmas Carol! Juergen put up the lights. The gifts are all wrapped. I'm getting ready to enjoy the season!!! No stress!
PS. This would be great if you have to be in the car allot, or plan on taking a long drive. Also, you are legally able to burn 8 copies of the books you buy on audible.com. If you are short on cash, you can buy one good book and make copies to give to friends.
Friday, November 28, 2008
The only "normal" thing we have for Thanksgiving was pie. We had apple and pumpkin pie. I have made maybe 5 pies in my whole life. I never was much of a cook. They actually turned out well. I also made real whip cream. It was great! We had a very nice dinner. After dinner we watched Prince Caspian on DVD.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I always find it odd being in Germany on Thanksgiving Day. While my family is getting ready to gather together for the feast I was at the Doctors with Philip all morning. We are trying to figure out why he has learning problems, and why his hands are so weak, and why he has speech problems. I got a hand full of referrals to specialists. The first was an audiologist. I went to the audiologist to get an appointment. The next appointment is in May 2009! No kidding!!! I took the appointment, but I will look around for something sooner. My feet hurt from walking from one clinic to the next. I basically got nothing done. Now I am making our traditional Thanksgiving turkey soup. I never actually go to the expense and trouble of cooking a whole turkey. Actually, my stove is so small I don't think I could fit a turkey in it! I cook a turkey soup with potatoes and vegetables. We eat bread and salad. I'm going to try to make an apple and pumpkin pie too. Some of the Thanksgiving flavors without the calories and work. Thomas has drums tonight until 7:30pm. We won't have time to actually sit down until then. I have one American friend coming over. It's kind of sad we can not have a traditional Thanksgiving but it's just another busy school day here. Juergen works. I guess you can always just thank God...even without the stuffing and cranberry sauce! I thank God for my family. I’m grateful to God I got to see my parents and brother and sisters this year. I wish I was with them, but I send them a hug!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"Thousands of anti-government protesters partially shut down Bangkok's main international airport, some armed with golf clubs and long wooden sticks. All departing flights are canceled but officials said incoming flights would be allowed to land". -CNN
I personally would not mind being stuck in Thailand for awhile! The last time we were there we missed our flight home. We forgot the days and just missed the flight by a day. That last day was very expensive but worth it!!! I would love to escape this dark cold Germany and go get stuck in Thailand!!!
I saw this on a friends blog. Oh it is so sad!!!
of 512 Obama Voters from 11/13/08-11/15/08
97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates
The results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions
57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)
71.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)
82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)
88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)
56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).
Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes
Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter
And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her "house," even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!
Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.
Only .5% got all of them correct. (And we "gave" one answer that was technically not Palin, but actually Tina Fey)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
We had snow on the ground this morning. I can hardly believe it's already acting like winter. The winds have been very strong and cold. Juergen got me an electric fireplace for my birthday. I also got a mantle for an early Christmas gift. Isn't it beautiful? It sits in my bedroom. I am loving to lay in bed and listen to books on mp3. What a great way to de stress!!! Now I just need to get Juergen to paint my bedroom. A bedroom should be more then just a extra storage room. That is what my bedroom has looked like for years (a storage room). I’m working on it!!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
We sat around the breakfast table this morning trying to come up with a name for our new car. It's a big car so we want some kind of fat name. Thomas kept interrupting us talking about helicopters. He is obsessed with helicopters. It gets kind of irritating when all someone wants to talk about is helicopters or another subject like, politics! I'm so glad the election is over!!! Anyway, we thought of Monstro the whale from Pinocchio, Aunt Fannie the robot from the movie Robots, and The Arch as in Noah’s Arch. I like The Arch because our car is a big boat and it's always filled with wild animals. Have any name ideas?