It’s Momsie’s Twelve Days of Netflix! #StreamTeam

Sing with me:

Christmas time is here…

Happiness and cheer…

Fun for all, that Momsie calls…

A time to watch a whole lotta Netflix.

 

Christmas means a lot of special things for my family. We decorate cookies, and so also the house, with twenty pounds of sprinkles. We argue about the Elf on the Shelf not showing up because I don’t need that kind of hassle and that Elf is shifty, and he’s clearly out to get me. We sing O HOLY NIGHT at the top of our lungs at all parts of the day, and often meow the lyrics when we forget them.

That last one is a bit embarrassing to admit, but when has that ever stopped me from sharing that with you?

Another tradition? Movies. Gobs and gobs of Christmas movies.

Let me be perfectly clear: I love all Christmas movies. If it has a Santa, and some tinsel, and maybe a talking puppy, I am THERE.

If there is a schmaltzy Hallmark storyline? I am there, with a bowl of popcorn, shouting out all the predictable plot points. (I usually watch these movies alone. I wonder why?)

If Jesus actually shows up (about 50% of the time, but you know. Santa has more pull in Hollywood. Don’t even get me started on that) I am SO TOTALLY ON BOARD. YO, JESUS! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

So, without further ado,  here is my yearly list a la Netflix!

Momsie’s Favorite Holiday Movies (in no particular order because I can never get that organized)

 

1.

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Ok, this is a Hallmarky one. She’s a sassy journalist who wears Converse shoes at the palace. Oh, yes, there’s a palace. A big one. And yes, a spoiled little sister with a disability so we feel all Tiny Tim about her. Mean little sister becomes nice within five minutes of meeting sassy Converse girl. And also, there’s a Prince. Thus the title. He’s dreamy and has a cleft jaw. And there’s a wicked ex-girlfriend and a whole lot of sparkly lights.

OH AND DID I MENTION, A MAKEOVER SCENE? It was so Pretty Woman! Except not! Because the hooker with a heart of gold theme is NOT CHRISTMASSY. That would be weird.

So, you know. This movie is not one I watched with the boys because they were over it around the time that the sparkly ball gown showed up (in the trailer). It was just me and my eggnog and that was also FINE WITH ME. MAMA ALONE.

2.

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I’m on a roll here, with the romance. This one is a repeat from my last year’s list, because oh my goodness I just love it so much. Saved By the Bell guy is cute and funny. Blonde girl is sassy, which seems to be a popular trait in all these movies. And, she learns to have good will towards man and all that. It’s a totally innovative storyline, huh?

Ok, not. This movie exists already and THAT’S WHY I LIKE IT. NO SURPRISES. LIFE IS SURPRISING ENOUGH.

It’s a “folding laundry” movie. Meaning, I can watch it and fold laundry and putter about and it’s comforting and cozy and oh my gosh I love it so. All of us parents need a “folding laundry” movie on standby. Especially when the Christmas rush has us frazzled.

3. Speaking of FRAZZLED, did you know this actually exists??

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I know the trailer says it’s not an actual source of heat, but you go ahead and stand in front of it. Go on, I’ll wait. Hold your hands out towards it. Feel it? Warm, huh?!

It’s Netflix Christmas magic.

Also, just so you know:

4. THIS ALSO EXISTS:

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I know it has nothing to do with Christmas, but you know. Just in case you get hot.

5. Ok, now something for the kiddies:

maxresdefault.jpgI know. It’s not exactly Christmas cheer, but it speaks, deeply, to my inner Scrooge. Like, almost too deeply. There are so many moments where I find myself silently siding with Count Olaf.

Did I just say that out loud? I did. So, allow me to redeem myself:

6.

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EVERYTHING THOMAS! THOMASPALOOZA! CHEEKY CHRISTMAS TRAINS!

Disclaimer: I can’t actually get (bribe) my boys to watch anything Thomas anymore. They’re all grown up, at the massively sophisticated ages of 7 and 9. Sniffle. But, I still proclaim that ALL of the Thomas the Train holiday movies are adorable and wonderful and when you watch them you feel all warm and wonderful too. How’s that for a lot of adjectives?

You cannot go wrong. You simply can’t.

7. Also, there’s THIS:3566041.jpg

Um, so you can watch this with your 7 and 9 year olds and not get bored. And it has the woman from Mad TV. And there’s a paintball scene. So, you know, my boys think it’s Citizen Kane.

8. I also got to sneak this movie in with my boys, because Blonde had just finished reading Sarah Plain and Tall, so I told him this was the same kind of thing, all old-fashioned and old-timey and… old. But in a good way.

Also, I read ALL the Mandie books as a girl. The movies do right by the author. And they wear those cute hats and MUFFS. When did MUFFS go out of fashion? I could rock a muff, I tell you.

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ALSO, I PROMISE. THEY DON’T ACTUALLY FORGET CHRISTMAS IN THIS MOVIE.

9. And this:

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NEWS FLASH: The Christmas Candle actually ACTUALLY HAS JESUS IN IT.

10. And now, we must move on to one of my absolute favorite traditions EVER this time of year:

FOOD.

Sing with me (to the tune of O Holy Night):

FOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.

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So we start with the Great British Bake Off Masterclass, Christmas Edition. Paul makes a gingerbread house, because he can.

Paul Hollywood could make a peanut butter sandwich for all I care.

11. So, also there is this:

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I mentioned previously that we decorate cookies. Every year. EVERY flipping year, my sweet boys ask if we can bake cookies and then decorate them. And I get it, boys. I really do. It’s a Christmas thing, so we make the cookies. And then, we frost them.

But y’all? WITHIN FIVE MINUTES I AM IRRITATED.

So, we’re just gonna skip the cookies and watch this instead, MmmK?

12. And! THIS:0a5c641e7e2e7050b86ff0dc5d55c7b9acd65ebb.png

I know. It’s not a Christmas show at all, so I added a Christmas tree for you. THE NEW SEASON IS OUT AND IT’S BRITISH RESERVE AT ITS BEST.

By the way, are you planning on traveling during the holidays? Netflix is here for you!Pack Your Phone - Parent.png

Or, if you’re thinking “It’s not about me. It’s all about the children.”

 

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And so, that’s it. My 12 Days of Netflix. Enjoy your viewing and Merry Christmas to you!

Oh, and also?

This:

 

 

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As a Netflix #StreamTeam blogger, I get to watch the fabulousness that is Netflix, and then chatter about it on my blog. It’s a great gig.

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Momsie’s Annual Top-Ten Thankfuls!

Here’s what you have been waiting for, all year!!!!! I know you have. Me too.

Gratitude is the best reset button EVER. I belong to a facebook group where we post, every day, five gratitudes, and did you know? Every time I do it, I feel better. Even on the no good, very bad, worstest days ever. Gratitude is a multi-vitamin for the soul, I tell you.

So, here goes. My annual Thanksgiving Day Top Ten Thankfuls:

(In no particular order, because I’m doing this right after I had some coffee and a Clariton and I am totally squirreled out right now):

  1. Squirrel One and Squirrel Two. Might as well keep it in the rodent family right now. img_57831
  2. Also, of course, head squirrel, the hubster:

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4. Lemon Bars. I know. Kinda random. But really? Everything has been all pumpkin spice all over the place and I’m so over it. Let’s start a new thing – Lemon Bar Season! It could happen.

5.  That The Force Awakens did not rely on bad CGI and there was no Jar Jar in it.

6. My mom’s oyster dressing. I know that I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.

7. That Black Friday will be over soon.

8. This guy:IMG_5652He has hopes that one day he will be able to FIT in that box. But, as he keeps getting fatter, and the box stays the same, I admire his optimism.

9: This:

 

10: Also, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  And he is good.

Amen?

Amen.

 

Bonus #11:

Sober Momsie. I just am who I am supposed to be when I don’t have alcohol in me. I operate better.

I know, some would say, “Really?” But, if you knew me before you would not argue, believe me.

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

Countdown

I’m walking the boys home the other day and noticing the trees. All the oranges and reds and yellows. It’s your basic God’s glory kind of material. The usual off-the-hook stuff that He specializes in.

And I’m all:

 

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Prancing home in the leaves, like a happy little Leonardo.

Also, since Halloween is on Monday, we are having one of those “Dress Crazy Every Day Because This Will Help Us Not Do Drugs” weeks at school. Because Halloween is scary, and so are drugs. And dressing up is fun!

Ok, I am not, my friends, providing any snark about this. Ok, maybe just a little, but it’s from MY end, not the kids’. The kids are cute and adorable and yes, we need to tell them about drugs. But, just a note: Sometimes, when I am trying to find the ONE Captain America glove that has curled up in a little ball and is hibernating VERY SUCCESSFULLY in our house, at 6:46 am, and yes, I know, it’s Superhero Day and if a Superhero doesn’t wear his gloves then he’s Captain Loser and the world has lost all meaning… Sometimes? It’s at times like these that I, just for a teensy tiny minute, think something like this:

“I might really like to have some of those drugs right now.”

Irony, eh? It’s here to keep hitting us upside the head every once in a while. Helps us feel alive.

And I know. I’m awful. I promise I won’t take up drugs just because we didn’t get organized enough to find all the Captain America accessories (of which there are more than BARBIE has, for the Love of Thor). That would just be silly. Hugs, not drugs.

ANYHOW. Back to Fall, where we take the Obligatory Pictures of Children in Costumes (these are of Superhero #2, also known as Flash, which is SO not really in his personality profile, but for the time that he did wear the costume, he did actually TRY a few times to be quick while moving at the same time. He ran into a wall. It was endearing.)

I like to call this series:

The Dog Gets Increasingly Embarrassed

1.

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2. IMG_6059 2.png

 

3. IMG_60603.png

 

Oh, and there was Crazy Hair Day. Also known as: Spray a lot of Glitter on my Children Day and Hope They Don’t Get Close to An Open Flame.

I took this picture of a rather grumpy Red:

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And I realized something….

He kinda looked like:

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Which, as you KNOW… is part of the cast for this classic:

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So, I am reminded, logically….

CHRISTMAS MUSIC EVE WILL BE HERE IN FOUR DAYS!!!!!! Woo HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

 

Thank you for staying with me through my thought process on this post, which was brought to you by:

  1. Allergy medication
  2. NO other drugs
  3. Possibly a little glitter

 

Merry Christmas Music Eve!!

I’m coming for you, Joshie!

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The Lego Underpants, or Star Wars?

Linking up with my Beloved Five Minute Friday today!

The theme?

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This morning I had to face a rather major decision:

Do I change out my husband’s underwear drawer with my five year old’s Lego undies, or shall we go with a slightly more refined Star Wars option?

You know, when it’s around 5 am, it’s decisions like these that really can break you.

If you are wondering if we kind of do things rather loosey goosey around here when it comes to undergarments, let me remind you that today is One of the Best Holidays in the History of Mankind Like Ever!

April Fools.

And no, I am not trying to be super clever. I gave that up for Lent, and then, for some reason it just stuck. Anyhow, it is not an April Fools that I feel this day is one of the grandest celebrations on our calendar. I am a HUGE fan of this day. HUGE.

Let’s do a quick review of past Momsie Fooled You  moments, shall we?

  1. Two years ago I emailed my dad and told him that Brian and I were “expecting.” This one, for some reason, got everyone really riled up at his office (my brother in law works there. My sister immediately texted me after the email because that’s how it works. You drop the bomb, your phone explodes.) Again, I thought I was being clever. They were freaked out more on the “holy cow you are so old and I gotta go sit down” scale of things. Thus, IT WAS AWESOME.
  2. Last year, I called my husband and told him, as I had both boys start meowing in the background, that we “had” to adopt some kittens. By “some” I think I used the number four. As I started telling him what we had already named all these poor widdle kitties, the panic in his voice was, again, TOTALLY AWESOME.
  3. I tried to tell my friends that my book had been picked up by a agency in Hollywood and so… BOTTLED, THE MOVIE was coming! And a sequel might be in the works! BOTTLED, SHE STILL DOESN’T DRINK. Wooo hoooo! They were all over it until I pushed it too far. I told them Sandra Bullock was gonna play me.  But still, for that one moment, BOTTLED THE MOVIE WAS AWESOME!

So, this morning, as I was trying to stuff my husband’s underwear drawer with impossibly tiny whities, I sniggered in evil glee. This is the most glorious thing, this April Fools stuff.

I also might have poured cat chow in the boys’ cereal bowls for them. I know. This is perhaps going over the line into “crass” territory with all the Fooling. Momsie was never one to shy away, though, with going right UP to the line of crass. I reserve the right to get dangerously close to crass every once in a while. I have two boys. And, also, may I just say that while they were sitting there, all disheveled from sleep, their hair poking up all over the place, watching their squinched  up little faces as the cat chow clattered into their bowls? IT WAS AGAIN TOTALLY AWESOME.

Ok, so here’s the lesson behind the awesome (I always try to have a lesson. I may be almost crass but I’m all about the lesson):

It’s a decision, these little traditions. These are markers your kids will hang on to throughout the days, the months. They won’t ever forget them. It’s these little moments of wacky that keep my house running on good energy, and I love them. It’s a decision that every year we decorate our kids doorway and bed with so many streamers and balloons on the morning of his birthday, so much so that Steve the Cat gets decorated too. It’s a decision that we  make a huge deal out of the First Day Of School. And the Last Day. We pay attention to these events with goofy and joyous ceremony. So much of life is doldrum. And a lot of our days, especially for my littles, seems to pass by at the speed of life. We need markers, little pinpointed moments that stop us, if only long enough for a good laugh.

And also, I leave you with this:  The husband always leaves for work long before out household is out of bed. And I have heard nothing, NOTHING back from the husband on the underwear switcharoo. This really makes me stop and wonder with shock and awe:

Did he just not notice? 

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‘Tis the Season for a Giveaway!

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Hey! You!

Are you worn out from all the Christmas shopping and shindigs and endless holiday cookie swaps?

Would you like to just get in some sweats and huddle up to House episodes (my recent binge) while eating the weight of a small child in snickerdoodles?

Well, have I got a deal for you!

Free Netflix for 6 months! YEAAAA!

If you would like to be entered in the drawing, comment below, and I will announce the winner TONIGHT!!!

No one can ever have too many House episodes. Hugh Laurie’s character is an angry, angry man, and thus, I love him.

Also: You can watch these fabulous holiday wonders:

 

Ok, Momsie’s favorite parts of all the above, in no particular order:

Scrooged: attaching the antlers to the mouse. You’ll see.

While You Were Sleeping: the dinner conversation. You’ll see.

Love Actually: Bill Nighy’s character’s very candid opinion about his song. Oh and the Mr. Bean cameo. You’ll see.

A Muppet Christmas Carol: “This is my island in dee sun…” You’ll see.

 

Comment below to enter. And then, you can decide how you want to tackle the whole  “Netflix and chill” thing. You can imagine my surprise on how this phrase seems to be a bit more complex than I realized. I would explain further, but it’s not that kinda blog. 🙂

Merry Christmas and a Happy Netflix!

 

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As a Netflix Stream Team blogger, I get to watch the awesomeness that is Netflix, and chatter about it on my blog. It’s a great gig.

 

 

 

 

Monday Manuscript

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 4.28.11 PMHere it is… December 2.

Wait, what?

Well, just so you know, I have my advent book all ready to go and we’ve been reading and discussing.  Blonde is working in a diorama…

Last night my children made an entire Nativity scene out of marshmallows and some fresh greenery.

And we have also memorized the birth of Jesus in Luke.  Not bad for a 3 and a 5 year old, eh?

Oh come on, I am completely full of tinsel.  (chortle).

We got back from our weekend of family and gluttony and in all the post gluttony haze, I realized – HOLY CHRISTMAS CANNOLI, IT’S DECEMBER ALREADY!  HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

If you are feeling a bit wobbly from this sudden attack of December, take heart.  Relax.  Take a breath.

Celebrate Christmas with help from my author friend, Franziska Macur.  She has written a gem of an advent book for children.  It’s sweet, simple, and it has fun little activities and even (gasp) crafts that I might be able to handle (meaning:  NO GLITTER IS INVOLVED.  AT ALL. PRAISE JESUS.)

Go here to read more about Charlie and Noel.  You’ll be glad you did.  And don’t worry, you still have time to start an advent season that really is an ADVENT season, and not just a survival of December and all its overboard merriment.  I love merriment just as much as anybody, but it can get a little frenetic, this merry time of year.

Charlie and Noel will keep you grounded.  Cuddle up with your little ones and enjoy!

And, speaking of merry:

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HAPPY DECEMBER!  I GET TO LISTEN TO PANDORA CHRISTMAS MUSIC NOW!  (I have five stations all devoted to Christmas – it’s very important, to have a variety. )

Monday Manuscript

Today’s post was brought to you by my absolute giddiness that it’s now (cue drummer boy):  TIME TO GET READY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!  Two full months of music and trees and white lights.  I’ve got my Pandora Christmas all ready to go, and it’s gonna be me, and Josh Groban, and some chestnuts.

And it was brought to you by this little book:

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That being said, there are two big problems with today’s post:

1.  ALL I really, REALLY want for Christmas is Jesus, the music, a tree, the white lights, and two little boys who don’t go nutball for every heavily packaged, impossible-to-open toy in the universe.  Oh, and maybe my peanut butter balls.

2.  I had to actually read today’s manuscript all the way to the very. Last. Page.

Don’t worry.  I loved the book. Adored it.  I simply didn’t want the magic of it to come to an end.  Sounds corny, but it’s true.

Franziska Macur of Home, Naturally has written an endearing story about an impatient six year old named Charlie.  All he wants is for December 25th to get here, already, so he can tear into his Christmas gifts, hoping it will be the biggest Christmas ever. Our author has also told a story that helped this mom with my impatient desire to tear into every Christmas craft and notion that sweet Pinterest has ever thrown at me, all to make this year the best Christmas ever.

And our author gets me.  Her writing shows me she understand that sometimes Christmas can feel like a full-on run and tackle between Walmart, Martha Stewart Specials, home made everything, Keeping Traditions Alive by Jolly, making the pageant(s) on time, and oh, yes! the baby Jesus.

And she gets that children are sometimes the most unwitting targets and victims of all this.  They are targeted for their simple desires to play and play some more, so, of course, TOYS ya’ll!  Keep ’em coming!  And they are victims too.  I strongly feel that all the emphasis on all these making magical Christmas memories is simply a way to take our Savior and put Him in a very non-magical, serious time slot (sorta like the news verses watching the Rudolph special – a toddler has no choice but to hunker down to Rudolph).

There is a great scene in the book where the history of our Christian advent is explained:

“…even people in the 17th century had something resembling an Advent calendar. Some families put up a new religious picture each day, others painted 25 chalk strokes on the living room door and each day a child could erase one. Others set up the nativity scene without baby Jesus and put one piece of hay into the manger on each day.”

Charlie looked up. ”I think I like chocolate better.”

Said like a true toddler.

And yet, Jesus understands our longing for magic.  He created it.   And Franziska Macur has written a very magical story that illustrates this well, for kids, and for tired momsies.

The book is set up in simple, daily readings.  Each reading tells the continuing story of Charlie and Noel (yes, he’s a talking donkey; he’s adorable), and I tell you, it is lovely.  It has simple crafts and follow up questions on some days; other days provide thought-provoking reading for the parents.  It gives some really great ideas on how to find joy through service, through giving, and it even gives great counsel to your toddler about that dreaded List o’ Presents You Really Should Get Me.  (I loved this list as a kid.  I used to outline mine with subcategories and multiple headings.  Color coded.  Spiral bound.  Good times.)

As someone who always, ALWAYS, starts out her Christmas season with this rally cry: “This year we are going to tone it down.  It’s going to be simpler.  But memorable.  Magical. But biblical. We won’t get caught up in the Walmart Shuffle.  We’ll make memories, not spend money.  It will be service oriented,  but not too hectic, AND- (at this point I have totally cued the Braveheart theme and have slowly crawled up on top of my couch.  I am William Wallace, ready to slay Toys ‘R Us flyers and overstuffed calendars, for the glory of The Perfect Christmas.)  – AND this year every gift we give will be homemade!  No one will want our gifts!  It will be the best Christmas EVERRRRRRRR!!!”

And then the Rudolph special airs along with a commercial for Thomas the Legoland Wii Extravaganza Playset (with extra Star Wars play set engineers – Obi One Kenobi as Sir Topham Hatt!),  and I’ve lost my sword and my horse, and my lousy Scottish accent.  And my mind.

The Christmas season is not meant to be jetted through at a calendar-scorching twelve parties a week.  It is not meant to be feted to death or over-scheduled or, for some, just endured.  It is meant to be magical.  And not in a Rudolph kind of way.*

In a Jesus kind of way.

We all long for it; sometimes we just don’t know how to put this longing into words.  Charlie and Noel is the kind of book that will first help you remember the Christmas your heart knows.  And then, it will help you teach this remembering to your children.

Click here for more information about Charlie and Noel at Home, Naturally’s bookstore:

And here  at Amazon.com.

Welcome, Christmas.

 

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* I would like to add, for sweet Rudolph’s benefit, I really have nothing against the little glowing guy.  Rudolph is an innocent stop-motion animated bystander (along with his annoying dentist elfin friend).  Rudolph is a classic.  He is beloved and a wonderful part of Christmas cheer.  I’m just saying he is not the “reason for the season.”  And these days, the whole Reason seems to be lost amidst the nuttiness that starts BEFORE Halloween in the aisles of Target and Walmart across this nation.  (And… as much as I like to lambast Walmart, we buy it, don’t we?)

But not the Abominable Snowman.  He’s not an innocent.  He still scares me.

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