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4 weeks of the Holiday Season ahead…

  • November 26, 2012 2:40 pm

Today was REALLY hard.  I know I REALLY shouldn’t complain, because, as a teacher, I did enjoy the entire week off of work last week.  But today was REALLY, REALLY hard.

I was actually looking forward to the extra week in the holiday season this year because it always seems like we have so much celebrating to do, and so little time to fit it all in (terrible problem to have, I know.)  But today, looking ahead FOUR WEEKS until we break for Christmas, I’m not sure I will manage it all.

This truly is the most wonderful time of year, and it’s because of all the wonderfulness that it was SO VERY hard to hit the books today.  Usually I can compartmentalize my time almost seamlessly between work and school, and sometimes get most of it done, but this time of year my home list is LONG, and honestly, my brain hurts as I switch back and forth.  This is when it would be amazing to have my very own personal assistant just following me around and making all the random things that plop into my brain happen…

Order Christmas Cards

Buy extra tree lights

Look up recipe for staff lunch

Get present for book club

Schedule Christmas Celebration with everyone

Take Christmas picture

Get Christmas smelly candle

Organize Christmas Movie Marathon

Make popcorn

Family Bond–well, I think I could do that one all on my own.  It’s the part that all the other leads up to…if I can just switch back and forth faster!

First Family Ski Trip Success

  • January 10, 2012 9:10 pm

We returned with no major injuries, which was high on my priority list.  But, we also returned with pretty gigantic smiles and very happy memories.

We planned the trip with two other families, resulting in a total of 8 kids-the oldest being 10-all living in one house for the week. Yes, at this point in our journey we make decisions like this because we are insane.  I’ve accepted this fact, and will continue to make similiar decisions until my children are grown and my brain chemicals return to normal levels.  On one level I recognize the crazy, but on another level I bask in the fun.

I think the temperatures started dropping as soon as we left Decatur City Limits, and the kids started their search for snow.  It didn’t really appear until we were actually in the mountains, but they figured if it was cold, the snow was bound to show up.  This was a third ski trip for my daughter, having tagged along with her grandparents a few times, but both boys didn’t really have any idea what to expect.  I mean, they expected snow, but other than that I don’t think they really understood the magnitude of the experience ahead of them.

I’ve mentioned our love of road trips before, and because of that we have become experts.  Give our kids a pillow, a blanket, and a few snacks, and they won’t complain about being in the car for hours, even days.  Add in an extra hotel stay and the Scroggins Hoodlums think they’ve won the lottery.

We finally arrived, and found our “dream house” as they called it–four bedrooms, backed up against the mountains with snow in and on every surface.  Very Cozy.  That first day we took time to get our bearings, lift tickets, ski school registrations, skis, boots, poles, etc, etc, etc.  It takes a lot of stuff to send a family of five down a moutain on some skinny flat sticks.  The kids were pumped.

We woke up early to the smell of bacon and proceeded to layer up, boot up, glove up, and coat up.  I must mention again that a family of five takes a lot of stuff to make this happen.  We finally arrived, checked the boys into ski school, and set of with our oldest to remember how to ski.  It had been fifteen years for me, so I needed to reteaching.  Just a couple of falls later, I remembered the snow plow and we were good to go for the day.  To end the day, I took the boys up a small hill after ski school and watched them skid, fall, and faceplant down the mountain–even getting a “why did you pick out such slippery skiis????”  But, a MOST patient Angel of the Slopes helped my oldest boy make it down the hill a second time, and I could see promise of future success.

The second day everyone found that success.  I stayed on the easier hill with my youngest while the rest of the crew took the older kids to the bigger runs.  I tried not to think of the edge of the mountains that were everywhere, and concentrated on getting down this particular run with my youngest staying upright.  He eventually mastered the craft, even throwing in a ski jump faceplant “because he thought it looked fun.”  Wow–that kid.

So, by the last day I had three actual skiiers on my hands.  I was actually a little amazed how fast they picked it up.  I know people say that the little kids always do pick it up quickly, but I’ve taught these kids how to ride bikes and tie shoes.  They can make the easiest of tasks look like rocket science.

We were a little teary to leave that last day–to leave the neverending slumber party, the time away from chores, and the truly beautiful scenery.  But, my husband promised a quick return, and the start of a new tradition–one he had growing up that he wants to recreate for our hoodlums.  I’m a happy tagalong on that journey–hoping to develop more skills at least as quickly as the kids do.  I’m not sure I’ll be successful, but I’ll power through a few more roadtrips, ski runs, and photo opportunities to see.

After Holiday Break…

  • December 29, 2011 3:42 pm

The whirlwind of the holidays are coming to an end, and for those of us in the Decatur school system still have an entire week to recover.  Some people are planning mini-getaways to visit family, to visit someplace warmer, or even to visit the slopes.  We are looking to adventure to the latter for the first Scroggins Ski Trip.  To tell the truth, I’m a little nervous to take our three hooldums to the moutains, balance them on wooden sticks, and send them downhill–just a little nervous.  Our oldest already has her ski legs, but the boys will be learning.  The will be learning how to walk in ski boots, sludge through the snow, and ride the lift.  O my goodness, I hope this works out!

Today we tried on the entire ski outfits from under armor to turtle necks to goggles.  Man, it takes a lot of clothes to ski.  I had to convince my middle child-the one that refuses to wear all winter clothing-that all the layers were necessary, and he needed to adapt.  Quickly.  I almost want to make him wear the layers for the next few days so he will be used to it.  Right now all the puffy clothes are piled around my bedroom, and somehow I’m going to make them fit in my car for the drive up there.  Wow.  This is going to be an adventure!

After the holiday cheer…

  • December 27, 2010 6:39 pm

We finished up our celebrations late last night, and today have been reflecting on all our blessings while we try to find our house from the inside out.  I don’t know if it’s the constant coming and going, the presents, the cooking, or the general piling up of chores, but the week after Christmas is always dedicated to cleaning up and cleaning out.  This is when we Spring Clean and make those stacks for future garage sales.  It’s nice to start the new year freshly organized, and to make goals to continue that organization!

Other than feeding my OCD, I love the week after Christmas because of the lazy factor.  In the Scroggins house, we tend to watch a lot of movies, play with our new gizmos, and spend a few days in our PJs.  This is the only time of year that even seems possible, and it’s becoming more sacred as the years tick by.  Maybe it even counts as one of our many holiday traditions?

Gotta run, time to play pictionary with the hoodlums.

A Lion’s Club Christmas…

  • December 15, 2010 9:06 pm

Tonight, my Lion husband hosted our family at the Lion’s Club Christmas Party–a tradition three years in the running for our household.  I always hold my breath as we trudge into the old building with our three hoodlums, hoping we survive without too much crazy.  I’m not knocking the Event-it’s a great event that my kids honestly now look forward to every year.  It’s just that some social events are more difficult to contain than others.  This one has wooden floors, folding chairs and close quarters.  All three can be elements for disaster in the hands of a nine, seven, and four year old.  But, to our kids’ credit, they are getting easier and I almost see the glimmer at the end of the tunner.  No actual light, but a glimmer.

There are two things I love about this event.  One, I love talking with Decatur Community Members, and hearing them say “to enjoy the kids while they are young.”  It’s easy to roll my eyes at that, and wish for calm, but I take that advice to heart, reminding myself that Moms in the Trenches do need to take the time to embrace the Crazy Love our children give to us so freely every single day.  Looking through someone else’s eyes, I can see my children for the Free Spirits they are, and appreciate that moment.  A quick moment.  Before they need to sit and be still.  Secondly, I love watching our children build friendships.  I love setting up the kids’ table and sitting back while our children talk, laugh and play with eachother–even asking eachother about past years’ dinners.  Tonight they were referenced as “Future Lions,” which made them giggle, but made me wonder.  They will be grown someday?  Is that even possible?  For me, it’s hard to see past the messy, loud, energetic conversation of the kid table.  A picture perfect, messy moment.  I guess someday it will be more refined and orderly.  Surely not.  I don’t know that I will know how to function without digging through my purse for pens, or quietly discussing intensive seating arrangements for best friends.

Ok, so there are three things.  Twice we’ve caught Santa driving through the streets of Decatur on a Firetruck as we were leaving.  The kids piled up on the corner of the Lion’s Club and waited patiently to give Santa a high five or a hug, and to eagerly accept a waiting Candy Cane.  Then, we waved Santa on as he walked from house to house checking on all those kids on the “nice” list.  On the way home, I listened to conversation about friends, dinner, Lions, Santa, and the beautiful lights on the Courthouse…

Does it get any better than that?

Is it just Me??

  • December 9, 2010 6:37 pm

Speaking of Charlie Brown, I’m feeling his pain a little this year.

Charlie Brown: I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.
Charlie Brown: I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.
Linus Van Pelt: Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest

I’m the biggest fan of the Holiday Season there is, but this year I feel like I’m doing all the things I normally doing, but the Holly Jolly is missing from my Deck the Halls, and I can’t really figure out why.  I guess I sort of feel that it snuck up on me, and that my Holiday To Do is endless.   Don’t get me wrong, I love my Holiday To Do.  I actually enjoy decorating the house, shopping, listening to music, and seeing Santa.  I love it all, even in my old age, I still love the possiblities and Magic of every part of this Season. In fact, one of my absolute favorite parts is The Christmas Card.  I’m one of those annoying people that write Letters every year summarizing our ups and downs in one page or less, and I love it.  I really do.  I love sitting down to write the letter, getting the perfect picture to include with the letter, addressing and stamping the envelopes, and sending them out in the mail.  I love hearing people say they liked our card, or enjoyed our letter. I love going through past years’ letters and reading about the life we have lived, both as a couple and as a family.  I love love love the letter, and just as much, I love opening my mailbox everyday during December and receiving Cards and Letters from friends and family, checking in with those I love.

THAT’S IT!! (in true Charlie Brown fashion)

I haven’t written my letter yet, and it’s usually at the top of my List.  I guess I haven’t had time, or more accurately, taken the time to reflect on our year, and truly know what it is I am thankful for, because that’s what my letter does for me.  Many years I’ve actually had tears come to my eyes as I’ve typed out our short history.  Yes.  I am that sappy.  But, sometimes, until it’s right there in black and white it’s just so easy to take for granted the many many blessings we have-even those years where it felt like the cards were stacked against the Scroggins Clan, I was able to bring it home with tidings of Great Joy.

So, this weekend I will write my letter.  I can’t let this crazy chapter of my life get the better of me.  Sappy Danielle will prevail.  In fact, as I type this, I can’t help but smile as my youngest watches A Charlie Brown Christmas (for the 300th time) and hums O Christmas Tree.  What more could I possibly need to get me in the Spirit?

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

  • December 8, 2010 8:11 pm

One of my favorite additions to our Christmas Traditions is our very own Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  We watch A Charlie Brown’s Christmas almost daily around here, and I tear up almost every time either when Linus tells the audience about the Real Meaning of Christmas, or when Charlie Brown and Linus are walking through the Christmas Tree Forest, and find this tree.

Linus:  Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees?
Charlie Brown: This little green one here seems to need a home.
Linus: I don’t know, Charlie Brown. Remember what Lucy said? This doesn’t seem to fit the modern spirit.
Charlie Brown: I don’t care. We’ll decorate it and it’ll be just right for our play. Besides, I think it needs me.

The kids love this little tree just as much as the big one, and I just love that.

Santa Calls

  • November 29, 2010 8:17 pm

Anyone heard from Santa lately??  Here’s a way to get a REAL LIVE call from Santa-personalized for your kiddos.  Click on this link for details on how to make the call happen, and donate a few dollars to charity in the process.

All money donated benefits The WARM Place in Fort Worth, an organization provides grief support counseling and services for children 3-18 whom have lost a loved one. 

A little Magic goes a long way in the heart of all kids-yours and theirs.

Happy Halloween!

  • October 31, 2010 8:29 pm

If I didn’t know better, I would have thought we were on a hidden camera TV show tonight.  We were beyond dysfunctional, and now that the evening is over, I can laugh about it.

First, the costumes.  We had major costume malfunctions going on left and right at the Scroggins house.  I had two X Wing Fighter Pilots (for you Star Wars Fans out there), and those costumes came with straps and Velcro that took a Master’s degree to figure out (literally.)  Secondly, there was a helmet issue.  The masterful packers of the online costume store very productively packed two right sides to the X Wing helmet, instead of a left and right side.  Being that my husband is a great problem solver, we made due with the helmet, but it was tense for a good thirty minutes.  While the Star Wars Costume dilemma was occurring, I was frantically trying to make up a witch, with JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT of glitter.  Not too much, and not too little.  The Pressure.  Once we finally were dressed and headed out the door, it took a minute to snag a picture.  WHEN will my children quietly stand and pose for a picture?  You’d think I have beat them down enough by now that they would be trained, but nope-my husband and I are still doing everything but dancing like a monkey to get them to not only LOOK at the camera, but also have a pleasant look on their face at the same time.  I snapped as many as I could, and hoped for the best.  As we loaded the car, spooky fingernails popped off the Witch, an X Wing Pilot’s belt unvelcroed, and I dang near dropped my fancy Fall Punch all over the driveway.

Whew.

We made it to Grandma House #1 for Tricks and Treats, OOOS and AAHHHS, and talked a couple kids off a ledge when Grandma wasn’t quite sure the difference in a Storm Trooper and an X Wing Pilot, or a Vampire and a Witch.  Assured they looked fantastic, we went on to Grandma House #2, and the same routine for Tricks and Treats.  Back in the car, we finally headed to our Halloween Destination just in time to make the rounds with all the Crew for even more Treats-no tricks this time. 

They were off before we even closed the door to the truck.  The older kids literally sprinted from house to house, frantically filling their buckets to near overflowing with candy.  We managed to reign them in at a house or two, much to their dismay.  Apparently, it’s super cool to be on  your own WITHOUT parents during the Tricks and Treats.  Really?  But I thought we were such fun parents!

After a quick breeze by a Trunk or Treat, we settled down to cheer on the Rangers, and the kids gazed at their stash…a successful night despite the Crazy it started with.  Now, Go Rangers!

I’m beat!

Fall!

  • September 29, 2010 6:52 pm

Do you have your pumpkins out on the porch yet?  I have waited for this crisp air!  I thought hot summer days and nights were going to last FOREVER!  We have a few witches, ghosts and goblins scattered around the house, and are starting to look for those Halloween Costumes.  Any favorite shopping websites out there?