Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Few Things I Love about my Husband that You Probably Don't Know*

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

  • He does a wonderful Julia Child impression.
  • He's an excellent provider, and is very concerned about making sure we have what we need.
  • He makes a delicious batch of garlic mashed potatoes.
  • He will always come and take care of spiders for me...
  • ... and centipedes.
  • He changes dirty diapers (on request, with fairly little complaining).
  • You may not believe it, but the man can scat a mean streak.
  • Also, he's the King of Making Our Lives Adventurous!
Happy Birthday, Mr. Kluges!!!
from your loving wife

* That I'm willing to share with y'all. *wink*

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 in Review Meme

Syl over at Watching Paint Dry
was the first one to pull out this meme this year so I figured I'd jump aboard the bandwagon again. Here's last year's, in case you're curious.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Joined a CSA and so got a box o' veggies each week for 19 weeks!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Oh, there's a whole post in this question - more for me to reflect than as great reading for y'all, though, probably. Overall I did well, with some room for improvement, toward which I'll continue to strive next year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Our good friends TSB and Jaysan had a lovely little baby boy!

4. Did anyone close to you die? An uncle, but not one I knew. Hard on that side of the family though.

5. What countries/states did you visit? Just MN, besides WI here where we live.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? Some shelves in parts of my biggest low cupboards to make stacking the pots and pans and other stuff easier. Also, a bathroom and guest room that are actually painted instead of being in the hideous partially-peeled state they've been in for months.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory and why? Um... apparently none? 'Course, my memory resembles shifting sand dunes more than long-lasting etchable stone. Ok, well, Pumpkin's first day of school was beginning of September... and Penguin took her first steps during the last week of April... That's as concrete as it gets this year, folks.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Almost completing all my resolutions. I'd even gotten down to within about a pound and a half of my goal weight...

9. What was your biggest failure? ...and then between eating more junk food and slacking off on exercise, I lost ground. Disappointing, but I still weigh less than I did last January, so that's something anyway.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Only several dozen colds, most brought home by our girl who goes to school and is surrounded by dozens of other children and therefore lots and lots of GERMS!

11.What was the best thing you bought? A second car!!! Thanks again, Grampa Pharaoh aka Paaahpah, for finding it for us!

12. Where did most of your money go? The House of 42 Doors. And how! See here for the big ol' list.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Penguin's first steps. Always a thrilling moment for a parent! Also, Pumpkin's first day of school ever. So exciting for her, and she loves it, and it looks like we made the right choice to send her.

14. What song will always remind you of 2008? Pop Fly. The girls loved it and requested it quite often.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? a) about the same. b) slightly thinner. c) about the same.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising.

17.What do you wish you’d done less of? Whining, being petty, wasting time. Also, eating Halloween candy. Not that I didn't enjoy it...

18. What was your favorite TV program? I often watched one of the CSIs while folding laundry, but really enjoyed watching Swingtown and The Mentalist. We also discovered Sid the Science Kid, which I highly recommend for the kids.

19. What was the best book you read this year? Reading nonfiction was one of my resolutions, and I really enjoyed both The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary.

20. What was your greatest musical discovery? Justin Roberts. Thanks, Cool Mom Picks!

21. What did you want and get? That second car. Also, lots of the Xmas presents on my list - way more than I expected. Thanks, generous families!

22. What did you want and not get? Well, I wouldn't'a turned down Rock Band, or an elliptical, or sack of hundreds...

23. What was your favorite film this year? I think I saw two in the theater this year - The Dark Knight and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Since I've had a crush on Indy forever, I have to pick that one. Even though I never really like Cate Blanchett, I thought she was actually rather enjoyable in it.

24. What did you do on your birthday this year and how old were you? I turned 36 and enjoyed a lovely, relaxing day with the whole family because Mr. Kluges took the day off and Pumpkin ended up having a snow day. Plus, I didn't have to make supper.

25. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A second bathroom? Winning the lottery? Oh, I know - not having to change any diapers.

26. What kept you sane? You all. No, seriously.

27. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Harrison Ford/Han Solo/Indiana Jones... even though he's looking a bit older these days...

28. What political issue stirred you the most? The elections were quite exciting, in case you hadn't noticed. :)

29. Who was the best new person you met? Probably Suzuri at GAW. *waves* Hi, Suzuri! But meeting our new babysitter was also a bonus!

30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. Um, it always takes longer than you think? Two kids are more than twice the work of one? Patience is a virtue? Sensible eating & regular exercise are important in weight loss? When in doubt, use the big bowl?

31. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "Time to get busy, such a lot to do, Building and fixing till it's good as new!" (Did I mention all the house projects that were done this year?!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Brain Dump, Part 2

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Back. Had a wonderful, relaxing time with family and friends. Got LOTS of presents. Enjoyed yummy food and interesting conversation. Tolerated long drive quite well. Already feeling harsh reality of nobody having done the dishes while we got girls ready for bed. :)

Speaking of which, must go do dishes. And begin long process of washing clothes, putting away stuff, tidying up house, finding homes for new stuff, etc.

But, you know, Happy Holidays to y'all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Brain Dump

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Blargh. Stupid snow. Doesn't it know we're supposed to be driving to MN this afternoon?!?!

Also, I spent 15 minutes this morning searching the house, my coat pockets, the basket where they're supposed to be, places things accumulate, etc. searching for my keys. Which I found upon returning home from dropping Pumpkin off at school (using Mr. Kluges's spare key) IN MY JEANS POCKET. Am idiot.

Too, too, too much still to do since I - silly girl that I am - opted to sleep last night instead of do stuff. Which is frustrating since I started doing prep trip LAST WEEK with wrapping stuff & washing/choosing/setting aside the girls' outfits, etc. So WHY do I still have so much to do today?! That's not going to teach me to avoid procrastination!

Plus, still snowing! Can't even tell Mr. Kluges did some snowblowing before leaving for work at 6:30.

Argh. Ok, gotta throw in the last load of laundry (towels, pjs, etc.) so it's not sitting around for a week. And finish packing toiletries, get DVDs from library, charge DVD player, etc. etc. etc.

Oh yeah, Happy Holidays to you all. Not sure how much posting I'll be doing while traveling, but we're looking forward to getting to see some of you in person! Hooray!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

p.s. Thank you, Neighbor C for blowing out our public sidewalk, own sidewalk & driveway since snowblower kill-key fell out this am and is lost in the snow. If it's not one thing, it's another.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Things about the House of 42 Doors in the Winter

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

  • We get really pretty frost designs in some of the windows, which can be used to make a pretty header.
  • The compost container in the back hallway doesn't smell...
  • ...especially now that it's frozen.
  • Who needs frosted glass privacy windows when we've got... glass windows that are frosted over, providing privacy.
  • Custom-made draft stoppers (by my mom!) provide protection from icy toe-level winds, plus they coordinate with the custom-made bench cushions!
  • Radiators are awesome and cozy and lovely to stand right next to.
  • It looks pretty.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Advent Calendar

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ok, in non-grumpy news, here is our Advent calendar, which I made and am proud of and have been meaning to post for, oh, say about 12 days. Got the idea from Kids Craft Weekly, just so you know.

I bought a book of 12x12 inch fancy Christmas paper and chose 24 different sheets. I folded each one into a cup, then sorted them into the order I thought looked nice, wrote on the numbers, and hot-glued a ribbon on each one, alternating red and green. Bonus - the color at the top says who gets to pick their candy first - red is Pumpkin, green is Penguin. So, if you've got 3 kids, you could just pick 3 colors.

Then I covered a cardboard tube with wrapping paper, figured out a way to suspend it from our picture rail, and hung them from it and filled 'em. Voila!

I like how big they turned out - big enough for a few pieces of candy or a couple of candy canes and a piece of paper with our Xmas activity for the day written on it with ease. You could put very small toys in it, too. I like that Pumpkin no longer asks me ALL THE TIME if it's Christmas yet because it makes a lovely visual to show how many we've done & how many are left. Since we're traveling for Christmas, I can even take the last few days off and bring 'em along, if I so desire.

I don't like how the tube with wrapping paper looks like a tube with wrapping paper. Maybe a thick wooden dowel or pole painted would look classier. ... But that's NOT a this year project!

Also, hanging it higher than the kids can reach works well. :)

P.S. Hippogriff.

Open Letters from Mrs. Grumpypants

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Dear Mr. Kluges,
You know how when you open a new box of cereal with freeze-dried strawberries in it? And the strawberries, being so light, have all sifted up to the top? Well, please QUIT EATING UP ALL OF THE STRAWBERRIES! When you eat 30% of the cereal in the box with 70% of the total amount of strawberries, you make my life very difficult when Child #2 wants cereal with "rahbahbah!" and there aren't any.
Mrs. Grumpypants

Dear Child the Second,
I know there weren't any strawberries for your cereal today, so thanks for settling for rice krispies. However, no matter how many times you try to convince me, 5:30 am is NOT morning! Ok, technically it is, but not in my playbook. And it's not like you've gotten enough sleep and are raring to go - you get all tired and whiny a couple of hours later, when you'd usually be taking the morning nap you've outgrown. (Outgrown 'cuz if you take it, you no longer take the more necessary afternoon nap.)

So please, tomorrow morning, go back to sleep until at least 6. Please?

Very, very sincerely,
Momma Grumpypants

Dear Child the First,
This one isn't really your fault. You're just not used to being around as many germs as you get exposed to at school, so of course your immune system's getting a workout and you keep getting sick. But dang it, I was hoping to take you and Child the Second to the children's museum today since there's no half-day K scheduled. But between your marathon-running-runny nose and Penguin's early morning, I don't think it's necessarily going to happen today.

But hey, thanks for not getting up at 5:30 anyway.

And wipe your nose please.

Nurse Grumpypants

Dear Self,
Quit being so grumpy. Life's pretty dang good when that's all you've got to complain about. Sheesh.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WW - A very gracious Santa

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

You can find more Wordless Wednesday here.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Snow day!

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Oh yeah, it's a snow day. Doesn't look too bad out there from the windows, but,hey, we'll take it. Girls still sleeping (*fingers crossed, knock on wood that they stay that way for a bit*), so back to bed for me. Yay!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Stuff Related to Snow

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Last night, Mr. Kluges cleaned out the garage enough that, for the first time ever, I got to park the Blazer in it! Hooray! It's what I'd requested as my birthday gift, and I was thrilled to receive it even a tad bit early. So, no more having to brush the snow off in the morning after it snows. Yay!

Speaking of snow and tomorrow, we're supposed to get some white stuff. Rather a lot, I hear. I think the technical term is "DUMPED ON" or maybe "YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CLIMB OUT YOUR SECOND STORY WINDOWS."

Ok, maybe that last one was a bit of an exaggeration, but the radio was just saying we could get 10-14 inches before the snowfall is done. That's up from the 6-10 they'd been saying this morning.

So, in expectation of school likely being closed tomorrow, or two hours late, which would be no half-day kindergarten, I swung by the store today & got milk and cookie baking supplies. We could probably make yummy sweet treats ALL DAY. Fun family snow-day activity, don't you think? Even Mr. Kluges will be home as he took the day off for my birthday/to use up vacay before the end of the year. The plan is for Christmas cut-out cookies (cheated & bought a tub o' store dough), Pretzels & Hugs, K&H with caramel kisses & pecans on top, and Oreo balls.

I think I gained 5 lbs. just typing all that. Good thing my plan is to divvy a lot of it up into gift tins/bags right away! (For teachers, the nice mail carrier, babysitter, etc.)

Ok, gotta run, trying to get a head start on supper since it's Pumpkin's dance class tonight.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Yes, he still owns a Monster Manual.

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Scene: Us four, sitting at the dinner table, tonight

Mr. Kluges: So, [Pumpkin], what was your advent calendar activity today?

Pumpkin: Um, hanging up the stockings!!!

K: (Looking through the doorway to the living room) Oh, yeah, there they are. Which one is yours?

P: The one with the Christmas tree! (runs over to it)

K: And which one is Mommy's.

P: This one!

K: And which one is mine?

P: This one!

K: And which one is [Penguin's]?

P: This one!

K: (to me) Man, how come the kids have the cool ones?

Ms. Huis Herself: What do you mean?! Ours have that cool knotwork at the top and match each other.

K: Yeah, but hers has a hippogriff on it! That's way cool!

MHH: (bursts out laughing) Hippogriff?! That's a REINDEER!

K: What? What? It looks like a hippogriff!

'Cuz, you know, everybody knows hippogriffs are very seasonal. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Hippogriff.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I guess it's ingrained after 30 days...

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Hi! So, you know, I was just wandering by... 'cuz it's rather a habit to be here daily now.

...not that I've got anything to say, really...

...except that we painted the ornaments that I won. In fact, I'm posting while I wait for the back side of mine to dry so I can turn it over and do the front. The girls enjoyed doing a star and a mitten each. Well, more like 3 of the 4 sides of their stars and mittens, but we finished up Penguin's and Pumpkin can finish hers later this afternoon.

Not that we'll probably get them back in time for Christmas, but I didn't want to paint them before Thanksgiving and I DID want to do them when Mr. Kluges was around, which he was today to use up some vacay.

Ok, I think I hear that "quiet time" is done upstairs, so cheerio!