Thursday, December 27, 2012

I laughed so hard, snot came out my nose!

Yes, it's true.

My dad has been here for 9 days. He leaves tomorrow for Phoenix. We had loads of fun! We shopped at thrift stores, looked at Christmas lights, saw Santa and played a lot of games of Sorry and Skip-Bo. We celebrated my dad's birthday. We stayed up late talking. We listened to my dad tell stories of his childhood (Amber and I enjoyed that the most). And we laughed and laughed and laughed!

Tonight as we ate dinner, one funny thing led to another and before I knew it, I was laughing so hard, that--well--you know the rest of the story!

My dad and I before we took him out for his birthday dinner.

My dad and the girls with Santa the night we went looking at Christmas lights.

Merry Christmas!

The traditional picture by the tree.

If you can believe it...this is the only picture I got of the two papas on Christmas. I forgot to take pictures of them with the girls. Oops!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas movies are my favorite

I am a sucker for Christmas movies. I’ve probably seen every Christmas movie that was ever made, especially those cheesy Hallmark or Lifetime made-for-t.v. Christmas specials. I’ve seen them all, thanks to Netflix. I don’t even have to wait for the holidays to watch Christmas movies. I can view them any time of the year. And I do. Watching Christmas videos during the summer is fun because for 90 minutes or so, I am transformed from hot Ojai to cold Minnesota or Chicago or New York where it is always snowing and everyone seems happy about that.

I really like watching cheesy Christmas movies during late-November and December, when Ojai finally cools off. Not only do I like the cold weather that comes with Christmas, but I love the whole package--literally. I love the decorations and the trees and the lights and the shiny presents with big bows. Christmas movies deliver all of that. I mean, where else are you going to find presents wrapped with gold paper and tied off with huge, red bows?

Just about every Christmas movie starts out the same—people of all ages are bustling about with smiles on their faces, getting along with everyone as they decorate their homes or shop windows. Deck the halls or Jingle Bells is always playing somewhere in the background and there is snow, lots of snow. (Ever wonder why Hollywood never makes a Christmas movie based in Hollywood?)

Bad acting? No problem. It doesn’t even bother me most of the time. As long as I feel warm and fuzzy when the movie is over, I’m good. I mean, every Christmas movie ends with something unimaginable happening, like it snows in a place where it hasn’t snowed in decades, or a homeless kid finds a family to be a part of, or (my favorite) two people who just met a week earlier fall in love and walk down the aisle. Someone gets their job back. Some kid gets a new mom or a new dad or a new puppy.  

Maybe that’s another reason why I love Christmas movies. I love the hope that is portrayed among the cheesy lines and bad acting.

I love Christmas movies!

Rudolph, Rewritten

My dad is here for 10 days. We've had lots of fun. Today Eric's dad came over and we were just plain silly. Eric's dad started it, we joined in, and soon we had a new version of Rudolph...
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very snotty nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it blows.
All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names. (Like 'Snotty Face')
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games. (Cause his nose ran.)

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say (Blow, Blow, Blow)
"Rudolph with your nose so snotty,
go get a kleenix neat the potty."

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee, (He's clean!)
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history (Like the handkerchief.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cambria Vacation 2012

The first week of December each year, we take a family vacation to Cambria, just 3 hours north of us. We stay at Cambria Pines Lodge and we have many traditions that we do during the five days we are there. We go to Piedras Blancas to see the elephant seals, the beach at Moro Rock, mushroom hunting, thrift store shopping in San Luis Obispo, shopping at our favorite Cambria stores, watching the glass blower in Harmony, touring the gardens at the lodge every morning after breakfast, walking through the Christmas light display at the lodge every evening and hot tubbing sometimes twice a day. This year, we added something: I took Amber on the Hearst Castle tour. History being her favorite subject in school, she LOVED the tour and soaked it all in. Here are some of my favorite vacation pictures.

The annual family picture in the beautiful gardens at Cambria Pines Lodge.

The girls saw Santa in San Luis Obispo.

Moro Rock on a cold, windy day!

Christine & Amber at Hearst Castle.

Eric & Autumn mushroom hunting.

We went to every thrift store in San Luis Obispo!

And...perhaps the most disgusting thing we've done on vacation: Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo. It is a 15-foot high and 70-foot long alley lined with chewed gum. It dates back to the end of WWII. The girls held their noses from the sweet but overpowering smell. It was pretty gross!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Inventor God

Today, as we made a Christmas craft together, Autumn said, "Mommy, you're the best mommy in the whole world. You love us so much. But you love God and Jesus more, right?"

"Yes," I answered. "I love God first, then daddy and then you and your sister."

Autumn said, "I also love God more than I love you because God invented me."

"You mean, He created you?" I asked.

"Yeah, that's what I mean," she said.

If a tree falls in the living room...

It's never to late to blog about a funny story...

If a Christmas tree falls in the living room and no one is around to hear it, did it really fall?

You know the scene in the cheesy Christmas movie where the Christmas tree, decorated in all of its glory, suddenly comes crashing to the floor? Yes that scene. I've seen it many times in movies. Well, it can actually happen in real life, too!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, our family and Papa Hodge joined some friends and boarded a train in Filmore bound for Santa Paula to pick out our Christmas tree. We searched. We found. We chopped the perfect tree down. We ate a picnic lunch and we boarded the train for the ride back to the station. The trees rode back on the train, too.

We tied the perfect tree to Papa's car and drove back to Ojai. That night we decorated it. We went to bed and the next morning we had to do it all over again!

In the middle of the night, our beautiful, perfect Christmas tree fell forward onto the carpet. Funny! What made the story even more humorous was that Eric--having gotten up in the middle of the night with back pain--had fallen back asleep on the living room floor. The tree could have landed on him. Can you imagine...

Anyway, when Eric awoke the next morning, he found a tree lying next to him. He propped it back up and anchored it to the wall with fishing line and a screw. By the time I wandered out of bed that morning, the girls had all of the ornaments on the chair, waiting to redecorate the tree. Amazingly enough, only two ornaments broke; one made of paper and one of clay. Both were not sentimental. Eric didn't take pictures of the tree lying on the floor, but here are a few of BOTH of our decorating times.

Decorating #1: Autumn helping Eric with the lights.

The finished tree #1, Saturday night.

Decorating #2: Amber putting on the Angel.

The finished tree #2, Sunday morning.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Autumn turned 7

On November 17, Autumn turned 7. We took her and her sister to the Build-A-Bear Workshop in the Thousand Oaks Mall. I haven't had a chance to post pictures, but I didn't want to let this special day go unmentioned. Here's a few pics of the birthday girl. It's hard to believe she's 7.

The birthday girl in her polar bear hat that mommy & daddy gave her.

Autumn with her new bear she made. She named her "Pink Lemonade." I love the Christmas outfit she got for her bear.

The Hodge girls after a fun night at the mall.

Eric and the girls. Amber named the bear she made "Brown Sugar Brave." She got a "Brave" outfit to go on her bear!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Small Town Football Team Wins BIG!!!!

If you've read my blog posts for a few years, you know that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE high school football. So, it was no surprise when I cried, literally cried, when I read this title on the internet after the championship game last night.

"Nordhoff wins program's first CIF football title."

Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about! The team has never won, not ever, in its 103-year existence.

It was an away game, but we got little updates from our friends who were there at the game, via texting. I never heard the final score, though, so I went on the web and was overjoyed to read that they had WON!!! With a final score of 31-14, the Nordhoff High School football team took the CIF Southern Section Northwest Division championship title.

Okay, now I need to get another kleenix!