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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

So in my hurry to get this posted, I forgot to link up my Freebee - Hehehehe. But, it's all linked and working now - sorry about that :)

OK, it's a LONG post again, but you'll like it. And, it's a Christmas freebie, so it's worth it - LMBO!

So yesterday was our Ward's (church congregation) Christmas Party. The decorations were FABULOUS!!! Brooke (the one in charge) really went all out - SO festive. Way to go, Brooke!!! Our theme was "A Whooville Holiday". From, The Grinch. I just LOVE those greens and reds together. That almost lime green is SO cool!

I've been doing publicity for the party with my WordArt skills - LMBO!!! My mom and dad went early this morning to help set up. Here's my dad helping out with the balloons.

And my friend Maren (right) and my friend Luell (left). Aren't they cute, in their Whooville outfits :) We were all supposed to wear jammies, to be festive.

I just LOVE how all of the trees are bending over - so funny!!!
So here's our table. One guy (who will remain unnamed) was in charge of the food. Let me tell you, FOOD NAZI!!! We decided he was the Mayor of Whooville. If you've seen the movie, you'll understand. I'm sure he was trying his best, but he was being a complete...um...yeah. We won't go there. There were 4 or 5 or 6 tables designated for people with small children. The table actually had a sign on it that said "FOR SMALL CHILDREN" or something like that. Whatever. That's fine.

Yeah, see that plate of cookies on the table. Now, if you went to a social, and saw a HUGE plate of cookies on the table, and had 5 children at the table, and knew that they shouldn't go run around, what would you do? I let them eat the cookies. Appetizers, right? Wasn't that why they were there. Well, after my kids ate about 1/2 the plate, He Who Must Not Be Named came over and chastized me for letting the kids eat the cookies. "Those haven't been blessed yet. They're for dessert. Don't eat the cookies". Nice. If you didn't want us to eat the cookies, you shouldn't have put them on the table. Or at least put a note they're saying "DONT EAT ME". Come on.

So soon the party starts. They bless the food, and we're told that there are 2 lines. One for children under 6 and one for everyone else. What? That doesn't make sense. But, my big kids run for the "over 6" line, and I take the little ones over to the little kid line. Well, apparently The Mayor of Whooville wasn't explaining it properly. He wanted a line for FAMILIES with children 6 and under, and a line for everyone else. Now that's a bit different from what he said from the microphone. And he was standing at the beginning of the line, turning away people who he thought were in the wrong line. AHHHHHH.

So we finally get to the front of the line. I have Jim (3), Joe (5) and Eme (7) with me. I'm not eating, since it's brunch, and I've already had breakfast, and I'm trying to be really good on my diet (I've gained 6 lbs since the holidays started - rrrrgh). So, the servers were told that people were not allowed to touch their own plate. It was to be passed by the servers. And they were also told that people weren't to get what they wanted, they were to get what they were given. Nice. Anyway, neither Jim nor Joe wanted potatoes or ham. Just the fruit and bread. So Joe ended up with ham AND potatoes, and Jim ended up with potatoes. And a TINY scoop of fruit, which was pineapple, which he wasn't gonna eat. He wanted the cantelope and grapes.

So we got back to the table, and I was a little miffed about how it was going. My kids had food on their plates, and they were eating, but it wasn't quite the food they had wanted. The Food Nazi was hovering around, harassing others (ok, so i'm exaggerating a bit). But my mom did tell me that he had another mom in tears. He was telling her that she needed to keep a closer eye on her little girl, and that the girl was acting up, or something like that. Well the little girl has a learning disability, and that's just how she acts. Oh my.

I was a little on edge, and as I looked around the room, I saw all the families, sitting and having fun and enjoying each others company. It was my first church Christmas party without my hubby. I didn't think it would affect me so much, but it did. It was all I could do to keep from bursting out in tears every time I looked at another family. Jimmy was done eating, and wanted to go and play. I just KNEW that the Mayor of Whooville would ream me out if Jim left the table, so I made him sit. He was trying to get away, and fell off the chair, and bumped his head on the floor. I was upset, and didn't give him the comfort that he really needed. I know, I can be a heartless mom. I was just trying to keep it all together.

My big kids were hastling me to go and run around with their friends. I knew that they'd get in trouble if they ran around, so I made them sit. My daughter decided to pout about it. I looked over, and my 9 year old was under the table. That was the last straw. "OK, we're going home", I said. I loaded everyone up, and we left.

If my hubby had been there, it would have been a TOTALLY different scenerio. We'd have just laughted at how dumb the guy was being. He'd have helped me out with the kids. I have SO much respect for you single parents out there. I admire the struggles that you go through. I was struggling today.

This picture was taken right before I lost it. Not the big happy smile I usually have, but still, not too bad. Calm on the outside has it's advantages. But I was crying before I made it to the truck.

We went home (my mom and dad and grandma and niece were still there), and the kids seemed fine. They recognized that mom was upset, and that the party wasn't so much fun for them anyway. They'd eaten, and were fine with it. The big kids jumped on the computer, and the little kids watched some cartoons. Me? I went in the bathroom, and had a really good, long, hard cry. I hadn't had one in a long time. I did feel a bit better afterwords, though.

So these pictures are from the rest of the party. Apparently, it got better. After the food was done, He Who Must Not Be Named wasn't in charge anymore, and the atmosphere relaxed. My mom said that it felt Uptight during the food, and I'd have to agree. That's a great description. Check out the crowd as they watched the "Grinch" play.

And then the Grinch showed up. Apparently he was HYSTERICAL!!! He frightened all the little kids, and they were supposed to sit on his lap. Most of them warmed up to him, though. They'd sit on his lap, and say what they wanted for Xmas, and he'd says "Nope, not gonna happen" and rude stuff like that. TOO funny . heheh.

Here he is sitting with Marens son, Clay. Mom said that his fingers (gloves) were the best. What a GREAT costume!

So my parents came home after the party, and I had to explain what happened. I tried not to cry when I said that I was looking around the room, and noticed all of the families, and I knew that my husband wasn't there, and I noticed that my mom was trying not to cry too. We quickly changed the subject to The Food Nazi/He Who Must Not Be Named/The Mayor of Whooville. Much nicer to blame all my problems on him - LMBO! Anyway, she said the last 1/2 of the party was a blast.

After the party, we went to Eugene for some shopping. I had to buy presents for extend family members. We went to Wal-Mart (about 2 hours), to dinner at Izzys (pizza buffet - but it has other stuff too), to Staples (mom just ran in), to Big Lots, and to Target. It was a GREAT time. JUST what I needed. AND, I got all my Christmas shopping done. Woohoo!!!

Here are some pics from the trip.

Here's Eme with her Whoo Hair. Isn't she cute. She left it in, because it was SO stinkin' cute - LOL!

Here's a pic of my necklace and earrings from my birthday from Maren. Aren't they SO cool!!!

Here's Jimm and I at dinner. YUMMY food :)

And Joe and Jake at dinner.

And Tom and Grandma in the truck. It was a FULL vehicle. We looked like a clown car as we unloaded all 8 of us. LOL
Ha! My mom is so weird (yeah, that's where I get it from - LMBO). She started it off by putting her head in a wreath, and we all followed suit.

Here's Jacob with beads on his head in Big Lots.

Eme with a wreath of bells. SO cute!

Tom, um, being Ceasear? Eme was walking in front of him in this pic, so we took another, but the look on his face is priceless!

Me in the wreath - hehehe.

And the woman that started all the fun - hehehe.
We didn't get home until about 11pm, but boy was it a fun trip. Really, it was! Who would have thought that Christmas shopping 2 weeks before Christmas (yeah, Walmart was FULL - we had to park almost across the street it was so full) with 5 small children could be fun, but it WAS. I had a GREAT time with my family. It lessend the sting of having my hubby gone. I hardly thought about it the rest of the day. Hardly.

It's Day 3!!! Have you girls been grabbing all of the AWESOME freebies for our AWESOME designers in the Orchard? I sure hope so - LOL!!! Today is Becky's day, and she has a great sale and a fun freebee for you guys!

Click HERE to go to the Orchard to get the freebee crowns (aren't they fabulous!!!). Remember, you have to be signed into the Orchard's market to get the freebee :)

OK, and now on to my Freebie. I got home LATE tonight from the city, and realized I had nothing for you guys. But you know me, I can't let you go with NOTHING! So, I whipped this out really fast. Really, like it took me 3 minutes to make it - LOL! Hope you like it, and hope you can use it!!!

Click on the image below to go to my box.net account, and leave some love if you like my account.

Christmas - Stephanie Marie JF
All rest - Kon Tiki Aloha JF


Lois B said...

I fully understand how you felt at the party. It is hard when things are going wrong and you don't have a spouse around to bounce things off. It won't be long now and the two of you will be together for a great holiday time.

I wish more people would have empathy for the single Moms out there - it is not easy at all.

So thankful you have a wonderful Mom and Dad to se you through.

Blessings to you all.

Crystal said...

Oh sweetie! Huge (((hugs)))!

Anonymous said...

I would have done exactly the same thing...left. Perhaps there is a way to kindly suggest that next year's party should be split into two parties, one for seniors, people with older children or no children and one for members with children. The food choices would be more appropriate as would the entertainment. I'm sure it was as stressful for the older people there as for the rest of you.

Cheryl said...

So being on the activities committee myself...Wow! What a rotten party! I live in a ward that is about 50% retired 'financially completely stable' people and the other 50% is struggling families with children. My husband & I are the youngest on the committee by at least 20 years! This year they wanted it to be 'Sunday dress or Holiday attire' ... on a SATURDAY night! HA HA HA. The chairman and his wife were both under the impression that kids are more well-behaved and wouldn't run around while they were in their church clothes. Yeah. We fought to get it casual. (And I think we're about to get kicked off!)

And I can totally relate to the Food Nazi thing. Last year it was buffet style with 2 choices: a waffle bar (don't ask!) or a baked potato bar. When people were putting the chili beans on their waffles, the chairman about threw a tissy fit. The whole time people were getting food, he was on the microphone telling them what to do and to save some...blah blah blah!

So this year, being that it was a nice pork roast, potatoes, etc, it was pre-dished in the kitchen and they had the YM/YW to serve it.

Yikes. I think we need a new committee. They always think things have to be super nice and perfect.

I'm sorry your experience was so rotten this year! Merry Christmas though!

Simply Sarah said...

I think it is hard in general to go out with the kids and expect them to sit still, eat everything on their plate and act like adults. It was totally uncalled for that man to dictate the food. Seems to me more food may have been wasted than consumed by forcing you to take what is server. Yikes. I think you held it together pretty well... I probably would of lashed out and left in the middle of food.

It is hard to be without your spouse in times like this, holidays are rough but be grateful you have your parents there to save your sanity. So many young military members don't have anyone close by.

Jennifer Dove said...

Your story made me cry. My son is in Alaska, so I know how you feel when someone is missing in your life. I just keep telling myself that it is only for a time...but it doesnt fill the empty void...just thought i would send you some love and let you know that you are not alone. Merry Christmas to you and the boys.

Jennifer in Arizona

xashee's corner said...

i am sooooooo sorry your party ended the way it did... it all started out soo well. CONGRATS on getting all the shopping done too! the necklace and earrings are very COOL!!!! Glad you all had such fun shopping! i LOVE all the photos! LA LA LOVE what you just knocked for us!! lol you are soooooo creative & generous!! Thank you for all that you shared!! it was another FUN post! :D Happy Holidays!!

Anonymous said...

It can be very irritating when children aren't included as 'people'. It sounds like you made a good decision for yourself and your family to take yourself out of the situation. And how wonderful your mom was there to help brighten the day and end it on a better note. Laughter is the best medicine, aside from your hubby being there. You are being strong for all of your family, but it's ok to give yourself a break every now and then. And don't forget to pat yourself on the back while you are at it. I hope you have a wonderful week.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 14 Dec [LA 09:00pm] - 15 Dec [NY 12:00am, UK 05:00am, OZ 04:00pm] ).

Zara-licious said...

LOL i almost cried reading your post! (I just woke up, what can I say :-p ). I'm so sorry you're having a rough time, and I'm glad you realized after the fact what a loser that guy was (the food nazi). Ugh ... he really ruined a good time though. That's not church behavior, that's just ridiculous. But whatever ... at least it's over now right?! I'm sure the kids were just as happy to get out of there! You're very beautiful though and I'm sure your hubby is missing you too. I hope y'all are together soon!

thanks for the ADORABLE word art! It's awesome!! :D

Anonymous said...

I can't remember how I found your site but I'm glad I did. You have so great stuff.

Rose said...

I have to say I would have told the food nazi where to go and how to get there. I can't get my three year old to sit still for 5 minutes, let alone hours...and it sounds like he didn't want children there at all, a separate lineup and separate tables for kids? That guy deserved a smack upside the head with a wooden spoon! I can only empathize with you for your husband being gone, mine is home almost every night, although there are lots of days where I feel like I can't handle it and I just can't wait til he gets home cuz things are always so much better. Good for you being able to cope with FIVE!!! kids, and keeping it together til your hubby makes it home safe!! I truly hope your Christmas is terrific!

NittyPearl said...

Awesome Word Art

Unknown said...

Thank you for the awesome wordart