Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Back (and laughing).

I got this idea from Sandy at Falling Like Rain and thought it was a good one.

Some of my favorite posts from 08.

In January I got a little philosophical.

In February I celebrated an anniversary and joined a 12 step program, sort of.

In March we went on Spring Break to the beach. It was such a crazy trip that it required not one, not two, not even three, but 4 posts to tell the whole sad tale.

In April I tried to cry Uncle but they wouldn’t let me.

In May I went on a road trip with my sister and saw things that can only be seen in Texas and wrote a letter to my future daughter in laws.

In June I experienced a strange range of emotions and took issue with Wal-Mart.

In July I met some of Sir D’s new employees and made an impression I’m sure, and celebrated my birthday.

In August the Teenager had some trouble with his car and the other Teenager had the entire youth group laughing.

In September Sir D began to see clearly and I read some books.

In October I found another reason to worry about The Other Teenager, and spent a little time in the ER.

In November I watched some soccer and made some stuff.

In December Ann made a video and we dipped some stuff in chocolate.

Overall, a pretty darn good year here on the Hilltop.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I totally scored today! (Not THAT kind of score, what are you 14? Oh, no one thought that but me? Never mind.)

I went to Jo Ann's Fabrics today. I wasn't going to, but well the girls used up all of my scrap fabric, and they were having a big sale and well, I was right there nearby, and somehow I found myself inside.

This is what I scored for $40! Can you believe it? Everything is on sale (okay maybe not everything, but a lot of good stuff).

I got 2 yards of all of those fabrics, enough pink and brown yarn for a cute hat and scarf, some new white thread (the good kind only, because my aunt who gave me my machine said she'd kill me if I used cheap thread on it and even though she lives some 300 miles away from me, I am quite certain she'd instinctively know if I tried to slip some Walmart thread into The Bernina.) and two baby quilt kits that were originally $20 and I got them for $4! Did you hear that! $4!!!!

Now, If I could just get my hands to stop hurting so I could sew or crochet something...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Because We're Texans

For Christmas this year I got Sir D something I knew he would love. Something I know nothing about. I spoke his love language, you could say.

I paid for him to take the class at our local shooting range to get his concealed handgun license.

When he opened that envelope and saw that sad little printed-out-on-a-cheap-printer-at-the-gun-range gift certificate telling him everything he needed to legally tote a firearm had been paid for, well let’s just say he was a happy man.

(Yes, that is his 'Happy Man' look.)

Today, we went to early church and then came home. I’m a bit worn out from all the holiday festivities and the thought of sitting for the entire morning on those uncomfortable church chairs was more than my sad achy joints could take, because apparently I am 80. Once we got home Sir D decided he needed to go to the gun show.

Today is the last day it is going on and he simply had to go. The boys decided to stay for 2nd service at church so they were not home. I had no intention of going to the gun show; I would have rather stayed and sat on the horrid church chairs for 2 more hours than go walking around the gun show. Eve was also not too keen on spending her Sunday afternoon looking at various weaponry. Know who was interested? Ann.

She even dressed the part. She just left with Sir D in his Chevy Pick-up wearing green and pink camo pants, a pink shirt, pink cowboy boots and a camo cowboy hat.

And I totally let her.

We do what we can to perpetuate the myth.

I’m only sad I forgot to take a picture. And I am a little worried she’ll come home with a pink pocket revolver. This is Texas after-all.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Favorite Thing

The thing I liked the most that I received this year was a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea maker. I never thought I’d like one of those. It seemed, I don’t know, silly. But we drink so much iced tea around here I was making two pitchers of it every other day. I LOVE this little thing. It is so cool. (It doesn’t take much to make me happy apparently! :o)

The thing I enjoyed giving the most this year was the sewing machine I got for my dd’s. They have really enjoyed this gift. They have used up almost all my scrap cloth already and are begging to get started on the pj pants I gave them cloth for as part of their gift.

I however, am not quite ready for that yet. I have too much cleaning up to do before I’m ready to tackle that project.

So how about you? What was your favorite?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

From those of us at Hilltop Inc. Or, you know, me.

I think the Grinch said it best...

"And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!" And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. "Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"

Praying that your Christmas is 'A little bit more' this year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Everything is better dipped in chocolate.

I thought y'all might like to see what I did today.

I spent most of it like this. Sometimes without the phone. Mostly I was alone today, which was weird. Bob and Will had some teenage stuff to do with friends, Evelyn also had some teenage stuff to do with friends even though she is not yet a teen, she thinks she is.

Ann went to my SIL's house for a Gingerbread making marathon with her cousins (God bless you SIL R!).

She made our family in Gingerbread. See? Ginger-Mom, Ginger-Dad, and Ginger-siblings.

This is what I did today. Pretty huh? I am sending this to work with Sir D and his employees, and the other plates go to the neighbors.

I made chocolate chip/peanut butter chip oatmeal cookies then I dipped stuff in chocolate; cherries, strawberries, gingerbread men, peppermint sticks, really anything that wasn't nailed down got dipped in chocolate and stuck on a plate.

That's what it looked like once I had packaged almost all of it up. I wish I'd have thought to take a photo of everything all finished. It was covering the whole table. Things dripping in chocolate everywhere. YUM. I hope everything I dipped in chocolate was actually edible...

I have little more baking to do for Christmas Day and wrapping. Here is a photo of our tree. Those are gifts to\from the kids to\from each other. Also my gifts are there since Sir D bribed the children to wrap them for him.

On a totally different note. I have to take Bob to the Dr tomorrow and I am not looking forward to it. See, he had a birthmark removed from his back last week on Tuesday. I won't go into detail, but let me just say OUCH! It was a bit more invasive than I was anticipating. They basically cut a golf ball size hole in his back, through all three layers of skin, down to the muscle. Then they did two layers of stitches. YIKES!

He was told not to lift anything heavy or do any roughhousing for two weeks. Sure, no problem. Sounds reasonable. Um, see, the thing is...Bob is a pretty tough kid. He is also not a complainer. So when it came time to help his uncle move on Saturday, I sort of forgot that Bob should not be lifting heavy things. And he mentioned nothing about the giant healing hole in his back. He just went along and lifted refrigerator and couches and a washer and a dryer and whatnot without a word.

Then that night he asked me to put the ointment on it and cover it for him. Suddenly I remembered. I looked at his wound and some of the stitches have come out. The wound is not open and it really looks like it is healing nicely, but I am pretty sure the stitches were supposed to still be in there. Oops.

So now I get to go back to the dr and tell him that Bob was lifting refrigerators a mere 4 days after the surgery. Oh, joy.

Perhaps if I bring him a plate of cookies and stuff dipped in chocolate, he won't report me to CPS.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holy Where-Did-the-Time-Go Batman?!?!

Christmas is on Thursday! Did you hear me? CHRISTMAS IS ON THRUSDAY!!!!


I have 5 kazillion things to do. I have not wrapped one single gift!

Um, if the blog goes eerily quiet for a few days, it is okay. I am just scrambling to get it all done before Christmas.

And I have to go to the store...and make the potatoes...and buy a few more gifts...and...and...and...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hold the pose!

I went to the Rheumatologist yesterday. They had a cancellation and I got in early. I am very glad I got in early, but sweet mercy that was a long day! I was in his office for 3 hours! 3 HOURS!

First I was in the exam room, wearing an icky paper gown. I hate those gowns, they are so degrading. It is hard to feel an equal to the dr, one intelligent person speaking to another, when one of you is in dress pants, shirt and a lab coat, and the other is in paper. At least this gown ties in the back so I wasn't hanging in the breeze.

The office visit lasted about an hour where we discussed everything under the sun, including, but not limited to; professional soccer European leagues or American Leagues? (the answer of course, is European Leagues). TV, Good or Bad? Should I have finished college and should I go back when the kids are older? And finally, why the heck my hands, feet, knees and wrists ache and are swollen.

I was told that I am well spoken and have very good reflexes (I hate that little hammer!) I had to laugh at the well spoken part. Little did he know I've rehearsed this conversation in my head about 60 times, but I'll take complements where I can get them.

Then, the maniacal syringe wielding nurse returned. (Actually this lady was nice and gentle, but maniacal syringe wielding nurse sounds better.) She took my blood, then took me to the x-ray room.

I spent about an hour and a half in the x ray room. The dr wanted an x ray of everything! I think the only thing he did not want x-rayed was my elbows. It sounds like it would be simple. Lay there while the giant machine that looks like something out of a Star Wars movie shoots radiation into my body. Not so. I had to stand in strange positions and 'hold that pose' for 30 second intervals. Still does not sound too bad, but the poses were weird and those 30 seconds add up.

I felt like I was playing twister, only without the cute little dotted mat and giggling friends.

It seemed to go something like this. "Take your right arm and cross it over your chest. Now take your left index finger and stick it in your right ear. Good. Now open your mouth wide, and lift your right knee. Good. Now hold that pose!" and she would disappear behind the safety shield to click the photo.

Of course I have no clear answered yet. Just less blood in my body more sympathy for professional models. They are going to run more tests. His guess is Rheumatoid Arthritis. Though I don't quite fit there either. I never seem to fit into any category. He said I have some classic symptoms of both Fibromyalgia and RA, but not really enough of either to give a definitive diagnose. And also I have some weird symptoms that don't fit into either category. I'm unique. (I prefer that term over strange thankyouverymuch!)

So, I wait again. I was really happy though, with this dr. He was thorough. He listened. He seemed interested in getting to the bottom of this. He even explained how the test were run and how some of them they do in-house with an actual person and not a machine. An actual person can detect changes in the cells that a machine cannot and that is why I may have been testing negative to things that I am actually positive for. He said this is common since they moved to machines about 10 years ago for several of the tests. So I feel like he is going to help me figure this out, and not tell me to get more rest/exercise/ and take this pill like the other Rheumatologist I saw 4 or 5 years ago said.

He did give me a prescription for the inflammation. It takes about a week to see any results and about a month to feel the full effects. So hopefully by Christmas I'll feel marginally better.

Today, I am going to have a low key day that includes taking my kiddos to Walmart to buy gifts for each other. Trust me, I think that will be easier than having a maniacal syringe wielding nurse contort my body and then yell "Hold the pose!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Surprising Enthusiasm

I may have mentioned a time or twenty that my hands are a wee bit achy. I am finding it a tad bit tricky to get all the things done that I wanted to get done before Christmas.

I have given up on the homemade Christmas gifts this year. Hopefully everyone will be getting homemade birthday gifts throughout the year.

On that note. I went to get a pedicure and my eyebrows waxed yesterday. Wondering how that relates? Yeah so did Sir D. But it does. Follow me as I walk you through why I needed a pedicure and an eyebrow waxing.

See, I have an appointment with a Rheumatologist on the 24th. Said Dr. is going to want to check my feet. My toes had some toenail polish still on them. A sad unfortunate and garish hot pink that seemed like a good idea back in September when it was 100 degrees. My hands simply hurt too much to chisel the now semi permanent polish off my toes.

Also, I have enthusiastic eyebrows. They are nice, I think, when properly groomed. When not properly groomed they look a bit like this.

I wouldn't want to scare the little children this Christmas season with the mustache over my eyes. And remember? Hurting hands? See, I needed to go to the salon!

So I was so busy thinking up the above excuses giddy that I forgot to tell the eyebrow wax girl how I wanted them done.

That was a mistake. One I will be paying for for a few weeks. See the eyebrow wax girl was a little, shall we say, overly enthusiastic in her waxing.

Let's just say I will be walking around looking very surprised for a while.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I try to live by the old adage ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’, that is why ye olde bloggy is usually pretty upbeat.

Today, not so much.

It’s not that I have ugly things to convey, just not so happy things.

See, I have been in quite a bit of pain since Thanksgiving. My hands and wrists are swollen and painful, I’ve got a pretty good overall body ache going on and my feet and ankles hurt too. My knees hurt generally, and my right knee sends a shooting pain up my leg at irregular intervals. This makes it hard to walk, when you have to wonder with every step if your legs are going to hold you. So all those sewing Christmas projects I had in the works? Not going so well. Cooking? Shopping? Wrapping gifts? Yeah, none of that is getting done either.

It’s making me grumpy. I had great plans for how this holiday was going to be low stress. Relaxing. We were going to read and do crafts and bake and sew and generally have fun family time together. These plans did not include pain, grumpiness, and an overall inability to get anything done.

I can’t get into the Rheumatologist until the 24th so it will be after Christmas before I start feeling better (hopefully!).

I guess this is how Mary must have felt, having things so totally out of her control; not going at all like she envisioned. Riding for miles in a donkey, while in labor, only to give birth in a barn.

Something tells me Mary didn’t whine and complain. I have a lot to learn.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Few Things

My friend Becca who lives in Spain but who I know in real life (she used to live in TX), has tagged me.

So 7 random things…hummm.

I think at this point in the bloggity game, I have already told you all the random things you could ever want to know about me. But I’ll try…

1. When I first got married, I did not know how to cook. AT ALL. Poor Sir D endured a few years of Chef Boyardee Ravioli and Hamburger Helper before I got it figured out.

2. Every car I have ever owned has been HUGE. An 81 Chevy impala (land yacht), 89 Pontiac Perissian (land yacht), 89 Suburban, (the old kind, man they were HUGE) a ford 12 passenger Van(AKA The Mother Ship) and now an Excursion we lovingly call Tank. When I get into a small car I hardly know what to do.

3. We somehow ended up with a 1\1 computer to person ratio in this house. I’m still not sure how this happened, but it is handy since I don’t really like to share my computer.

4. I am allergic to eggs. I developed this allergy during my pregnancy with Ann, my dairy allergy girl. Weird.

5. My husband loves to cook. I know that is technically not about me but it sure benefits me, being as that I don’t like to cook. I do it because my family likes to eat and Sir D has that pesky job thing that keeps him from being home at cooking time.

6. I am dyslexic. I was tested in the 5th grade and I was reading on a 12th grade level and spelling on a 2nd grade level. I baffled them. So on that note, please remember on the Hilltop blog, spelling does not count.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cute, Little Fluffy Birds

My son’s just went into the attic to get out the Christmas boxes (I know, I know, it’s the 13th and we’re just now getting out the Christmas stuff!) and they found something. Something disconcerting. The bag of birdseed that we store in the attic was opened in the night and spread around the attic floor.

It must have been some very hungry, cute, little fluffy birds that found their way into the attic to eat the birdseed. Never mind that there are several bird feeders outside filled with the very same birdseed and never mind that it is a physical impossibility for very hungry, cute, little fluffy birds to enter out attic. That is what happened.

It must be that some very hungry, cute, little fluffy birds got into the attic because that is THE ONLY possibility I am willing to consider.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you...

*****Tricia's Temper Tantrum*****

MY STINKIN' HANDS STINKIN' HURT! I am finding it exceedingly difficult to get anything done with my STINKIN' HURTING HANDS!!


Not my regularly scheduled Thursday.

Today Ann and I are home instead of out doing our normal Thursday stuff. Usually I run errands and have lunch with my friend, and Ann and her siblings go to co op and Ann goes to her Scottish Rite class.

However, she has that lovely croup cough and a little fever. So I sent The Teenager off with his siblings to co op and Ann and I are here. Other than her not feeling well, it is probably a good thing.

I have much to do and can't get it done if I'm not home. I am trying to make several Christmas gifts on my sewing machine. The thing is, I'm a novice seamstress and the first time I make a project, it looks like a 6 year old did it. Needless to say it is time consuming to have to make two of everything. And on another note I have decided Double Fold Biased Tape is from the devil.

Also, I got our Christmas Cards in the mail yesterday. They look great. I love them. I would love them more if they came addressed and stamped.

I think I also may have promised Ann that we'd make Christmas cookies together since she is missing the Christmas parties and co op and SR.


Perhaps it is not good that on this day of a million things to do, I am still in my pj's on the computer at 10:30.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Winner IS....

And now for the final reveal! I know you have all been waiting with bated breath to find out what photos we chose for the Christmas Cards this year. Well, wait no longer...

THE Winning Photos!

And here are the photos in the actual card I picked out...the names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

The fact of the matter is, these are not necessarily my favorite photos, but they are the best ones that would fit in the space provided. The ones of us all together in a row were too wide to fit in the dumb cards. Someones head was always cut off. So, this is what we ended up with. Not quite what I had in mind, but not bad either.

Now to get them addressed and mailed...

This Years Christmas Photo Attempt: 2nd Try

Pose 1

An attempt at a couple photo. Sir D would not quit cracking jokes!

This one's not bad.

Pose 2

Eve looks thrilled to be taking part in the 'Family Photo' eh?

This one's pretty good of the kids. Though I do wish The Teenager would get rid of the pointy hair cut.

Pose 3

This is a nice photo of everyone but Sir D. Sir D was not very comfortable there on his tummy.

Bob! Look at the camera, not your dad cracking jokes!

Eyes open Tricia! That sun was at a really unfortunate spot on Sir D's head. Also, did you notice the toes in the bottom left hand corner of the picture? Those would belong to the teenage neighbor boy who was bribed into taking our photos so kindly took our photos .

We didn't use any of these in the card. Tomorrow I'll show you the winners. Though that's not saying much. My family is apparently not very photogenic.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas FUN!

Today on the Hilltop we’re having a little Christmas FUN.

I was determined this year to not try to do it all. I want my kids Christmas memories to not be one of a crazed mom, scurrying around trying to MAKE IT A MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR GOODNESS SAKE! So this year all but the academic essentials have been put on the back burner for the month of Dec.

Today my three younger kids did their math lessons, copied the Advent verses (3 or 4 sentences) in their Journal, read 2 chapters in their various books, and did their chores. Then each of us (even Will, who was home from his college classes by then) took turns reading aloud from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. This is a yearly tradition in our house. It is a little bittersweet that I started reading this to two wiggly boys, an energetic toddler and a nursing infant, and now we each take turns reading aloud and no one needs my help sounding out the words. *sigh* another example of life marching on.

Then we started our Christmas craft.

I don’t remember where I got this idea, but we’re making gumdrop Christmas trees!

Originally we were going to make a wreath, but when I saw the little Styrofoam cones in the store I thought this might be a little easier.

This is all you need. Styrofoam cones (or wreath) toothpicks cut in half, a wire cutter because regular scissors don’t cut toothpicks in half well, trust me on this one, and some gumdrops. Lots and lots of gumdrops.

Take half of the toothpick and stick the blunt end into the gumdrop, stick the other end in the Styrofoam tree, lather, rinse, repeat, till the whole thing is done.

We’re going to add a cutsie little gift tag and give them as teacher gifts.

So there you have it.

Christmas FUN on the Hilltop.

Don't forget to check back later for the rest of the Christmas Photos from Casa Del Loco.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

This Years Christmas Photo Attempt: 1st Try

Pose 1

Ann looks a little crazed in this one.

Will's eyes are closed in this one.

This one is not bad, but it looks like my kids have little slits for eyes. It was a tad bright outside.

Bob's eyes are closed in this one.

Well, no winners here. Come back tomorrow for pose 2, it get's better folks.