Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas is Coming!

Okay,'s time for this blog to feel like Christmas. (And I'm kind of hating my header, but hey, it's better than looking at those fall leaves.)

We have been doing many Christmas-y things around this place.

First up, I hauled the tree up from the basement (so proud of myself for doing it without asking Jarom for help) plugged it in and.......nothing. Not even one strand of lights worked. I was so bummed. I was ready to rip all the lights off and start from scratch (or worse, have an unlit tree this year), but my Dad came over with his trusty electric gun thingy (he said he bought it at Walgreens) and suggested we try replacing a few bulbs first. Well, a few turned into over 150 lightbulbs and 6 hours of work. Our fingers were chewed to bits by wire pricks, but we got the tree lit. Although it was hours and hours of work and probably would have been easier to scrap the whole dang thing and just start over, I am glad we did it. These lights are fastened on with plastic clips and it would have been just as huge of a nightmare had we restrung it. (Thanks for your help Dad.)
Here's the moral of the story: If you have a burnt out bulb, replace it that same year. Do NOT go 4 years without replacing any bulbs. Because apparently if too many bulbs blow out, it sends too much electricity to the remaining bulbs causing them to short out. We replaced all visibly black bulbs to start with, then shot the wire with the electric gun and got the strands working. Then we were able to replace any other burned out bulbs on the string that weren't black. And if you try this and it still isn't working, replace the bulb closest to the plug and try again. That bulb seems to be the culprit of many problems.
Let there be light!
And just for kicks, check out how the lights turned into candy canes when I was trying to be "artistic" and get a shot of the lights.

After the lights were lit, it was time to decorate the tree. The problem? The ornaments were in boxes at the top of the garage and Jarom was working 80 hour weeks with no time to help me get the boxes down. So, I took it upon myself to get them. I got the step stool out, stood on the top rung, slid the rubbermaid boxes -2 high- on top of my head, came back down the stool and into the house perching the boxes on my head the entire time. I could have rivaled some of those women in Africa who carry everything on their heads I tell ya. (And NO, I won't ever try that stunt again. Those boxes are moving to the basement this year.) But...the tree is decorated -and don't forget, lit- and as always the best part is adding my new ornaments I've collected throughout the year. This year includes Mickey from Disneyland,
and my new Mt. Rushmore ornament.

We've also decorated our gingerbread houses. I really love doing this. Kate was kind and let me share with her this year, but I don't know if that will be the case next year. I may have to splurge and buy 5 houses next time. I just think it's so cute how each child's personality shows through in their little candy houses. This picture of Alyssa cracks me up. I had told her to move the popcorn making goods (Jarom is on a quest to create theater tasting popcorn at home) and she thought she was being so sneaky. Left to right Alyssa's house, Kate's & mine, Carter's, and Halle's.

So Christmas is going full speed at this house. Before we know it, it'll be time to put it all away, but for now, we're doing our best to enjoy the season.


Mama Williams said...

You Rock! NOW it's Christmas, your blog is updated! You even got the dog in the photo. Well done!

I'm such a cheap skate Mom. I only get one house and make them share it. Guess I could splurge and get 3 next time. Ha! Love traditions!

Seems like everyone is on the slow speed to get things done this year. Cards, tree, decor, etc. I don't even want to think about taking it down yet. Maybe in Feb....?

becky ward said...

oh elena! i am so impressed that you were able to fix your lights. I don't know if I could have tackled that. NICE WORK! and your "Candy cane" lights are awesome.
i love your gingerbread houses too. a little jealous over here since we have yet to do a fun activity like that. and i must say, carter's house CRACKS ME UP with those candy corns sticking straight up on the roof. FUN!

Lee Ann said...

You are an amazing woman!!! :) I think it's funny what we CAN actually do when our husbands aren't home, and we're determined!

Love the houses. I'm glad you think it's fun. It seems every project I've done in the last few weeks, thinking it will be FUN, I finish thinking, "why in the world did we try that?"

Deidra Smith said...

cute houses, one of these years we'll have to do the bigger sized ones.

The CEO said...

GORGEOUS tree. How fun. Looks like you've got everything covered. Santa will be proud. :) Shanna

CB said...

You are the woman...Hauling that tree up and getting those ornaments down!! I love your new Mt. Rushmore ornament!!

Your gingerbread houses are SO cute!

Christmas totally IS coming fast!!

Have a GREAT day Elena!

The Manwaring Family said...

I love Christmas!!! Great Gngerbread houses! the cadey cane tree rocks!! :)

Natalie and Quin said...

I am quite disappointed that you don't have a Bakersfield ornament, because you know Bakersfield is quite a memerable place and I am sure you loved every minute of your trip here!
Also, Quin and I ask for a cup of the salt they use at the movies everytime we go and then use it when we make popcorn at home, it is so good, buttery and salty!

Tonya said...

Yeah.. you got the tree up and working and the gingerbread houses look great!...