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Hello dear friends! Life is…chaotic right now. I’ll give you all the details in a couple further posts over the next week, but for now let’s deal with the most dramatic.

Like many of you, we’ve been enjoying some exceedingly nice weather lately. (Side note: As nice as the sunshine and warmth are, I think I’d rather have our typical March snowstorms and the reduced chance of fire than the drought conditions we’re facing.) We’ve been taking advantage of it as best we can: bike riding, grilling out, a campfire and the first s’mores of the season, and of course, plenty of swinging on the swing-set.

The Boy has always loved to swing. Always as high and as fast as he can go. Unfortunately, his swinging times have come to a screeching halt:

The kids were spending the day at Josh’s parents Tuesday as they normally do once a week. It was another beautiful day so the kids of course wanted to be outside playing. Besides gathering sticks for their campfires and creating pine cone families, the swing-set always gets plenty of action. And so, a swinging they went. And all was, as the Girl is saying lately, “Awesome. Super Cool.” until *SNAP* the chain on the Boy’s swing broke launching him into the air. He might want to be a superhero, but he has yet to learn how to fly. Wish he could! The Boy met the ground, hard, with his face and his right arm. Thus ensued much crying. The Grands gave him some children’s tylenol and put ice on his wrist but over an hour later he was still crying and saying it hurt. I left work a bit early and had Josh come meet us to scope out the situation.

Remembering well tales from when I broke MY arm back when I was 5, I tried to have the Boy hold something – no go. He couldn’t hold anything in his hand and was cradling the arm to keep anyone from even touching it. A quick call to our doc’s nurse and we decided to bring him in to check it out.

Again, remembering well the tale, and like mother like son, by the time we arrived for the appointment (a bit over 2 hours from when the accident occurred) the Boy was in fine spirits and while not exactly USING said arm he was not freaking out about it either. Josh was positive this was going to be a wasted trip. I figured better safe than sorry. They ushered us back, checked him out for signs of a concussion (to add insult to injury, his face is pretty scraped up), and decided to do an x-ray. Josh went along while I stayed with the Girl.

10 minutes later…

The Boy has what is called a buckle fracture. It does not go all the way through the bone. This is a good thing because apparently they also tend to heal more swiftly. In adults, they may not even put a cast on. Being a rambunctious 5 year old the PA recommended a cast.

They sent us home Tuesday evening with a velcro-on splint to keep it immobilized and directions to give him children’s tylenol and ice if it bothers him. We made an appointment for today for casting, went home, and spent a miserable night with a miserable Boy. He and I were up from about 10:30 until 1 am. Ugh. Of course sure enough Wednesday night he fell asleep on the couch at 6pm. (Me? Not so lucky.)

Today, we made the return trip to the doc, the Boy all gung ho to get a rainbow cast (and if that was not an option, then he’d take bright yellow thankyouverymuch). However our regular pediatrician recommended we give the splint a go. I queried the likelihood of a 5 year old resisting the urge to fiddle with it constantly. The doctors recommendation? Duct tape. Well okay then. His reasoning is simply it’s not a total break, it should heal rather swiftly (3-4 weeks max), and this way he can still easily take a bath/shower and we don’t need to worry over him getting it wet. (It’s nylon and cloth, not plaster so it will just dry out.)

Wish us luck. I’ll let you know if I resort to duct tape. At least that they’re making it in all sorts of fun designs now…

New you? Has everyone made their resolutions for 2012? I’m afraid I’m not much of a resolution gal, but I am planning to make a few “to-do” lists. Books to read, crafts to make, clutter to organize, recipes to try. Of course I’m sure I’ll edit those lists numerous times between now and December 31st 2012, but at least they’re a jumping off point. To start? Plowing through the thousand some pages of 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

Also? Spend good time with these two crazies.

May all your battles through 2012 by as fun (and funny) as this.

Alright kids, it’s that time again! Time for the Holiday Homes Tour. Thanks again, Jen, for hosting. Also, thanks for giving me no excuse not to post at least something in the last quarter of 2011. Yeesh. What happened there? (A whole lotta life is the answer. Hopefully more later. Hopefully.)

This is the fourth year I’ve participated in the tour. You can find the other posts here (that’s the old house), here, and here. Typically, I’m a traditionalist (and a cheapskate); I don’t change up my holiday decor. But this year something was eating my brain. Or maybe my subconscious was looking to clear the cobwebs after the Grinch I was last year. I tried, but I just could not get into the holiday last year. Not so this year! In fact, I’ve tried to do so much that I’m afraid a whole bunch of stuff is getting done late.

To start…we have two beautiful blue spruce gracing our home with their wonderful scent and beautiful branches. We trek out into the wilds of the Black Hills every year to cut our own trees. This year we brought home two especially full trees. So full, that I ended up needing to buy more lights. I swear I buy lights every darn year. My husband says one day I’m going to stumble across a whole box of them somewhere ridiculous like in with 4th of July stuff. Any who. A few years ago, they logged the area where we find our trees for the Ponderosa Pine. This left the spruce to grow straight, tall, and full. And it’s shown the last few Christmases.

The tree in our foyer is about 12 feet tall and is decorated the same as always, featuring my Marshall Field’s Santa Bear collection. It looks pretty much the same as it did here.

However, the tree in our living room received a make-over this year.

For the two previous years we’ve been in the house, this tree has been decked out in red and green. This year I wanted something new and fresh, so I picked up a pack of blue and silver shatterproof bulbs from Tar-zhay with an awesome coupon they were offering. (50 ornaments for less than $10? Yes please!) Good thing I chose the shatterproof ones. Because shortly after we finished decorating this beauty, this happened:

Oops. A larger tree stand and a few well placed cords/boxes so our robot vacuum wouldn’t yank on it and she’s tall and steady once again. She’s also giving me all the opportunites to play with fun holiday bokeh.

Moving on…

There are two other new additions to our main first floor living space:

The first is the new card wreath I made. It’s simply one of those foam wreath forms that I covered in some pretty holiday ribbon. As the cards roll in I just use my stash of straight pins to tack them to the wreath. The second are the little bells you see hanging there in the windows with the snowflakes. Those are pretty ceramic bells my mom made way way way back in the day. (I can say that because it was that long ago. I was about the Boy’s age I think.)

They have long been one of my mom’s favorite holiday decorations. So this year I asked if I could borrow them. (We’ll see if she gets them back. Ever.) There are 6 bells, each one featuring two of the twelve days from the classic Christmas carol. I hung them from our windows where they can catch a bit of sun and twist and turn.

Here’s the last bit of switcheroo I pulled this year. For the previous two years I decked out the railings in our foyer with fake greenery and numerous red/green/silver ornaments. This year I simplified a bit, skipping the greenery to start. Then I hung these fun ornaments from the ceiling over the railing running along the hall at the top. Normally they hang in a nice straight line. But I let the kids play a bit here so they’re swinging. The kids especially love the glittery blue reindeer on each end. My favorite is that big ball in the middle:

Oh! And look! There’s a wreath back there (all blurry)!  My mom gave that to us this year. It’s beautiful and hangs outside in the middle of our second story picture window in they foyer. But that’s really the only photo I took of it. Oops.

Just a few final things…When we moved into this house, I wanted to create our own spin on a tradition from both our childhoods. Growing up, every year (as in many families) Josh and I received a new ornament. I started the same when the Boy was born. But once the Girl joined us and we were in our new house, I wanted something that tied them all together. And so I chose monogram ornaments. The first year was a simple silver letter I picked up at Hobby Lobby for each of us.

Last year I stitched up some cute felt ornaments with our initials.  (Inspiration from Dana.)

This year, I’m following the glitter theme:

They’re simple cardboard letters I’m covering in glitter glue. Mostly green, with 2011 in blue on the back. When I finish them…

And you may have noticed our advent calendar way way way back up there in the card-wreath photo. Yes, we’re still doing our activity based advent. The kids love it…to the point of arguing over whose turn it is to open the door each day. We’re repeating many of the activities from past years, and throwing a few new ones in to. And since no post is complete without a bit of cuteness, here’s the kids and I enjoying a new Christmas story (Curious George’s Christmas).

Thanks so much for stopping by! May your holidays be warm and filled with the joy of friends and family.