Martha Thinks

Friday, December 23, 2011

uGLy sWeAtEr dAy - no shame

Brave boy, er - confident is more like it, my #2 son. His older brother would sooner be dropped in Antarctica with no jacket on than take part in Ugly Sweater Day at school. He asked me last night if I had any "ugly sweaters" and I thought I had something. But fortunately or not, I have outgrown that phase and didn't even have anything leftover from the past decade upstairs.

It is a two part ensemble with tassles and glitter and Santa. Go Carter!
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Friendship is the Greatest Gift

How much work it is to throw a party. To make your busy house shine. To make lists of grocery and liquor store items. To stash the miscellaneous papers and electronic devices. To find a place for earrings left by the computer, muddy tennis balls for the dog park and sweep up the dusty bits on the floor. Put down the tablecloths, put out the food, light the candles, have a friend come early to help...race to the finish line. And a swoosh of a seems like everyone is saying goodnight!

I have great friends, I really do. And we laugh a lot and have fun together. And sometimes way too much time goes by between visits.

Champagne punch, chocolate covered strawberries and eclairs, hot artichoke and spinach dip, scallops wrapped in bacon and lots of sparkly cookies added to the night.

It's an effort to plan and an effort to come. There are many other directions we are pulled at the holidays when life is lived by the hour, not day it seems! The greatest gift is the gift of friendship and taking time to spend together. And that, aching feet, makes it all worth it.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Where do you work?

LOL! My dining room floor full of stuff waiting to be wrapped. Is there a theme here?
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Time with Trees

We have had a great time with our fundraiser this year and the band makes a fair amount of their budget from selling these trees. Lots of competition in our town and as of this writing, we have quite a few left. Last year we had early snow in December and we sold out by this time. This year I fear we may end up with some by Christmas.

I love seeing this scene. Just perfect. Little kids running around choosing their favorite tree.

This is the truck of the man who runs our tree sales. His name is Pat and a more dedicated band parent I have not seen. He is out there every single night in the cold. All parents and students are supposed to take a shift or three, but these busy days come so quickly that not all of the slots are always filled. But Pat is always there. Great dad.

We used the band exhibition backdrops as a stage for the young musicians to play - encouraging sales! There have been years when there have been hours of standing around in the crunching snow, drifting snow, falling snow, so this year's mild month has been a gift!
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Monday, December 12, 2011

There's $ in them there trees!

Working at a farm stand is mostly tedious and tiring work. Things brighten up considerably when you get an outdoor shift on "tree" duty and tips are a welcome part of the process. After this 6 hour shift my son brought home $103.00. Say What??? Yup, you heard me. Last night he was inside working and the kid working outside got a tip that will become the stuff of legend.

$50.00. Tip. On one tree. He was driving a Mercedes, they said ; )
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stuck Puppy

Doing my part to help the band during the big Christmas Tree sales, I volunteered to pick up an order for 36 wreaths and 6 kissing balls.

I'd say today I even have the Yankee Candle Balsam & Cedar air freshener beat.

One small problem. Bono wanted to come for a ride as always. He jumped in the back seat. We arrived home at 4pm and I don't deliver the wreaths until 5pm. I guess Bono has dinner in the back of the limo tonight.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Story

Not so much kicking and screaming, but I definitely dragged them to get a family portrait done. I brought props, greens, a wreath, scarves. For a bunch of boys it was major eye roll time, but they knew better than to raise their protest flag. The photographer was great, very experienced and not even a little ruffled by 3 boys who kept cutting up during the whole thing.

I do love this picture. It was supposed to be sort of a joke, but I think it's sweet.

Playing in the Holidays

I just love the annual Tree Lighting event downtown. By this time of the season after competitions and football games, working the band booth, food shack, setting up displays and chaperoning, chilly evening practices ~ both parents and kids are about out of steam.

But this event is so cheery that I know the parents love it and the band members put on their Santa hats and have fun. They are the big kids now looking out on a sea of little expectant faces.

Can't get more charming than this. Santa rolls up in the firetruck and pulls the switch on the lights. Hundreds of people in the downtown clap. The band plays Christmas carols. All is right with the world.

Then off to a local church for cookies and cocoa. We were a little late. This table *was* filled with cookies ; ) For an hour I really felt like I was in a Hallmark movie. And by the way, I love those Hallmark holiday movies.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Intersecting Seasons

This year in Massachusetts we had an unbelievably long growing season. Mild temperatures lasted and lasted and lasted. It is very unusual that almost until the end of October we still had blooms on flowers. Until last night that is, when we got our first blast of 30 degree temps and a few hours of wet rain and snow.

The morning glories, you gotta give them credit, they've got heart.

The Montauk daisies upright and standing at attention yesterday, have fallen like wounded soldiers.

And the sudden glaze on my back table left leaves fossilized under the ice.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Halloween Howl

Can't imagine...from a parent's point of view...who was the first to hatch such an idea. Let's have an event called the Halloween Howl, plan games, prizes, food and decorate the heck out of the elementary school and invite all the students and their younger siblings to have the run of the place for two hours. But it has existed for the 8 years our family has been part of this school.

Of course, no event is perhaps more anticipated by the kids and well, kinda dreaded by the parents. It's wall to wall kiddos from babies all the way to 10 years old. Lots of games in the hallways, face painting, a dj, food in the cafeteria, two hours of rock and rollin' fun. Just back from this event, I am enjoying a glass of pinot noir right now. Ahhh, silence is golden, or does that just mean I am getting old? I hope not.

This scary old guy guarded the cafeteria and looked so real he did fool some of the kids!

And my "necromancer" in red with this 5th grade buddies are now the big kids in school. Enjoy this year boys, 'cause in the blink of an eye it will be time to start middle school where you'll all be low man on the totem pole again. I can't say that it's not hard ~ having history with my older sons ~ knowing that when I turn around again this 5th grader will be graduating from high school. Once again, I am trying to live in the moment and not get swallowed up by these passages that can sometimes knock me over with a feather if I think about them too much.

Go on outside and howl at the moon. I will howl right back.

Around every corner

Around every corner there were new surprises like Autumnal fairies...

and awesome mom's volunteering to run the games...

and a little princess with blue hair and pink teeth....

and a very brave Dad dressed up as Batman much to the delight of his kids!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gimme Some Sugarland!

What a fun afternoon...into night we had! 8 hours of FUN. Off to Mogehan Sun in Connecticut I went on my maiden voyage down some pretty boring highways arriving inUncasville to see Sugarland with my friend Julie and sisters-in-law Jean and Karen. We left around 2pm and two hours later were in the middle of nowhere...but right in the middle of all of the action. I've only been to Las Vegas once, but this casino pretty much mirrored the look and feel of the Vegas casinos. How I had never been here before now kind of baffles me, but it is certainly someplace I would visit again. From the moment you get out of the car it's playtime!

The stadium they performed in was huge and it is attached to the casino making it very convenient to get in and out. Lucky for us we had the good seats right up front ; ) Sara Bareilles opened up and she is so cute! I've never seen her before though I knew several of her hits.
Although Jennifer Nettles grabs the spotlight with her energy and powerhouse vocals, Kristian Bush the other half of Sugarland, is also quite spirited and talented and comes off very friendly and warm onstage.
"Why don't you stay? I'm up off my knees. I'm so tired of being lonely, you can't give me what I need..." Brought the house down again! I've been fortunate enough to see Sugarland twice this year and it's always a great show. So much twang in her speaking voice but "Little Miss" Jennifer just shows power when she sings. It's very moving to hear her in person.
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

I Covet...I Will Have!

5 minutes ago I checked the mail and the awesome new Garnet Hill catalog was there. Don't you just love Garnet Hill? Ok, maybe a little expensive, but those dino sheets that I bought for Brady and Carter 10 years ago are still working on Ronan's bed! Seriously. Well, the pillowcases not so much if I'm being honest ; ) But the quality is superb.

Oh I digress. Whenever I opened to this page I knew it WOULD BE MINE. Immediate reaction, not just sorta cute, but totally cute and if you see me in it - and you will - you'll know where it came from. I am getting the whole outfit. Perfection.

Love everything from sheets to pajamas to boots to clothing. I think it's my favorite catalog.

Did I never see this before? Hmmm. Because this will also be mine. Can't get more perfect for running around with kids and dogs than this one.

Unless of course, I am walking my llama.
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