A product UN-recommendation

Avery asked for Candyland Sweet Celebrations for her birthday. I believe it was her Aunt Tanya and Uncle Shawn that got it for her. If you are reading this Tanya and Shawn…please don’t think of me as ungrateful. You had no idea that this game was invented by the devil…and Avery LOVES it…us adults on the other hand…

If this is on a child’s wishlist near you…DON’T DO IT. When Jenn and I babysat the other night we got the joy of playing this with Avery. First off, you need a free area approximately the size of a football field to lay out the game board. The one nice thing about the game is that you design the board each time you play…it is a giant puzzle. So you can make the game board as long OR AS SHORT as you want.

Now I love me a good board game and a good puzzle. But when you have a four year old standing next to you itching to play the game and you can’t figure out how the heck to put it together…it gets a little frustrating!!! It took me 45 minutes to set up a VERY short version of the game. So short in fact that Avery had won within 10 minutes. Which doesn’t bother me any, but then she was done playing that game and ready to play something else. So 45 minutes of prep for 10 minutes of fun.

Here is the picture I took…of about 1/3 of the surface of the game…and I still had at least 30 pieces leftover to make it bigger. It didn’t fit on the kitchen table.

So…unless you live far away from the child in question, or really don’t like the child’s parents, I DO NOT recommend giving this as a gift this year. Consider yourself warned.


Just a little more thankfulness

I am thankful for my other mother…Joni-Mom, sometimes referred to as Baam, or J-Mo, or Mom, or hey you!!

You are so much fun to be with. I often forget that you are “Mom” and say things in front of you that embarrasses Lyz…but see, that is the joy in the fact that you aren’t my real mom!! I can say those things in front of you, and you laugh with me.

I’ve watched you go through some very rough patches over the years, and your strength astounds me. It was part of my inspiration in getting through losing Blue…Joni has been through worse, I can handle this. And honestly, though the times were rough and awful, you made them fun. Some of my best memories are from those rough times, I mean, who else will dig through bags of trash with you at 1am??

You have raised three wonderful daughters. Lyz is hands down my favorite. Thank you for sharing her. Thank you for being such a wonderful Baam to the girls…I love the way they smile at you and wrap their arms around your neck.

Thank you for long talks, in the middle of the night, putting in the appropriate gasps and tears.

Thank you for coming to the hospital for Jenn’s surgery, you knew I needed you there, even when I said no.

Thank you for teaching me how to crochet!! Thank you for being the other one with a crafty bone.

love you.

(and thanks to Granny Franny, without who I wouldn’t have Joni, Lyz, Avery or Delaney…and I guess Chris too)

Opening day at Landis Christmas Trees!!!

On Monday, Chris and Jenn made their first sale and delivery-to The Hotel!! It is such a beautiful tree-especially compared to last years horrible tree.
Jenn next to it, just to show off its size:

All decorated:

Wednesday we spent the day over at the farm waiting for the trees to be delivered. While we waited we:
Learned how to use the cash register:

Painted and cleaned the windows in the office:

Tried to teach Delaney to say the word ‘pencil’:

and saw a BEAUTIFUL rainbow-we could see both ends of it:

Then we waited some more for the trees to come. We were worried that the company delivering them might not show until Friday when…THEY CAME!!!!

A big huge pile of trees that needed unwrapped and set up so that people could see them.

Delaney and I watched while everyone grunted and worked. I felt kinda useless, well, I guess I kept Delaney happy:

Today everyone is at the farm waiting to wait on customers. Well, everyone but me, I’ll join them after work. But I’ve been getting picture updates, so I thought I would share a few with ya’ll!!

I feel it coming…just a little bit of Christmas spirit seems to be creeping into my veins….

A little more thankfullness

I am thankful for A&D.
Not this kind:

Although I have been calling them my little ointments lately.

This kind:

My cheeks hurt after spending time with them, all of the smiling is just too much. We went to dinner on Monday night with Jenn’s family and all I could find myself doing was telling wonderful stories about the two of you. Sunday night we got to babysit you both and it was so fun to hear you (Avery) rationing out time for each of us to spend with each of you. “Heidi can play The Game of the Devil with me, while Jenn keeps Delaney away from ruining it, and then we will switch and Jenn and I will play Trouble while Heidi talks to Delaney.” Spending time with the two of you is such a wonderful blessing.


I have loved every minute I have watched of you growing up. It pains me often all of the time I missed with you. I have so much fun with you. I love to watch you getting excited over things. Big things like vacations we take…and little things like hearing that you’ve been asking mommy when we are coming over again. I love watching you learn. I love watching you teach. Your knowledge is never ending. I’m so surprised with the things you say to us. My favorite game to play with you this year has been “Oh…so you must be a cow” and then you say “I’m not a cow…I don’t eat grass” “Oh, so you must be a alligator” “I’m not an alligator…my teeth aren’t sharp enough”. It keeps us both entertained forever!!

I love the fact that you want to do things that we like. You know I like pink so you will point out things to me that are pink. I love the fact that you have already picked out your own football team. I love watching you. And you are simply the cutest little kid ever!! I love when you call at random times through the day and just say I love you. I love you too Avery, thank you for showing me what living is all about!


This picture sums you up to me. Getting in to trouble and being simply thrilled at getting caught, and so proud of yourself for what you have done. Since the moment I found out you were coming I have been so enamored with you. You are simply the most beautiful child I have seen. Your kisses, though rather wet, are the best. I love when you look up over the edge of the couch, or out the back window of the car and see me and a HUGE smile lights up your face. You make me feel so important and wanted. Thank you for loving me unconditionally!!

Mingo Monday-11/24/09

Why yes, it is Tuesday…hush.

My lack of Christmas spirit has caused me to go “Flamingo on a Budget” for this years Christmas decorations. I had originally planned on purchasing a “Santa-mingo and three Reinmingo’s” set for our lawn. But…bah. We were at Target the other night when I came across a bunch of mingo Christmas decor. In fact when I got home that night a friend had written this on my facebook wall”

JAS (names have been changed to initials to protect the innocent): Heidi!! Get thee to a target! They have MINGO GARLAND!!!

While I did not purchase the mingo garland….I did get this years first new outside decor for our front yard…and I happen to like them!

They are so fun!! The bright pink gets even brighter when they are all lit up for the world to see!! Maybe Santa-mingo will come to visit us next year?? Maybe he will bring the best present of all??? Yes Virginia, there is a MingoClaus.