Thursday, December 24, 2009

All I Want for Christmas... to the Mom's

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of cookies to raise money for Audrey's cheer. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple,which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze,but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle
in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy with Ben. HA!

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint
resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the
use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice
seems to be just out of my childrens hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being
served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a
vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding
payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,


P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa:o)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Eating Tips...

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving some real food.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips, start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO, HOO, what a ride!”

Have a Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Political Statement for 2009

It is remarkable that the press can find every woman with whom Tiger has had an affair in the last few years with photos, text messages, recorded phone calls, etc. They know not only the cause of the family fight, but they even know it was a wedge from his golf bag that she used to break out the windows in the Escalade. Not only that, they know WHICH wedge !

The is the same press (or is it?) that cannot locate Obama's birth certificate . . . or any of his papers while in college.

Truly remarkable !

Monday, December 14, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas

As I have ordered 50 Christmas Cards to send out and put addresses on them I then decided that I will never make it to the mailbox and get the letters to my dear friends and family. There is snow on the ground and I am from Southern California and strongly believe in the philosophy that if it is not sunny outside, you don't go outside. SO here you go... here is a recap of my little family in the year 2009.

Tyler is currently working as a police officer and loving it. I think he just likes to carry his gun and hand cuffs with him wherever he goes... but that might just be my opinion. I can't see that being very comfortable when we go to the movies. He is now home 3 days of the week, all day. No complaints here (Ok, so seriously if you are talking to me I would be complaining cause he messes with my groove when he is home, but...) only because him and Emma are the bestest of friends in the world and she makes him laugh as hard as he makes her laugh. I think really over this last year, Tyler has become a true "Dad" and really has shown this family how important he is and how much we need him. Don't tell him, but I am so in love with him.

I am working 2 jobs, no pressure. This next year I would like to swim with the dolphins in Mexico and visit my long lost relatives in Hawaii... wish me luck. We will be hitting our 10 year mark in April. PHEW! Who knew that we would last this long? I have to mention that I got bangs this year and I look totally hot!

Benjamin Stewart Cluff- 7
My little baby Benjamin will be baptized this April and can't wait to go on a mission. He is the best example to our family. I was talking to Audrey and she told me that Ben has been reading the scriptures to her when I leave for work. I asked him if he did that and he said "we'll somebody had to... you keep forgetting". He LOVES LOVES LOVES BYU football and playing with his best friend, Gabe (who has the same personality). Right now he is into GI Joe and Lego's Halo (whatever that is, thanks Jenna). I don't know how I could survive without this kid. He does the dishes, the laundry, feeds the dog, and always has a smile on his face. He holds a record in our house for not having missed a spelling work yet in 2nd grade! Really, where did this kid come from? He is so kind to his sisters and every morning gets up and pours a bowl of cereal for all 3 kids. He wants his hair like Justin Timberlake, which would work out fine because he has so many cow licks (Yes, Kayley it is called a cow lick).

Audrey Jean Cluff- 5
Audrey is the most perfect child. She is kind and loving and always smiling, even when she is coloring on the walls or gluing her fingers together. She is now writing novels... did I mention she doesn't know how to read yet. I guess she is just phonetic like her mother. Lol. She just finished in 3rd place for her cheer competition and might qualify for nationals in January... HOLY CRAP! That would be so super amazing. I have totally seen "Bring It On" like a million times! Audrey is the girl that everyone in the neighboorhood will take anywhere without hesitation because she is SO EASY GOING (I can say that is not the Roberts side of her). She has also decided she is going to hyphenate her name to Roberts-Cluff (why does it seem my kids keep doing this and I don't?). She is the artist in the family and if you come over you will see that (I mean really see it... she hangs pictures up on the wall in the office and writes us all love notes) I can't talk about Audrey without mentioning her hair. DANG, she has the best hair that will do anything that you want it to! Right now, she wants to get the bop it to make it puffy in the back.

Emma Rae Cluff- 3

Can you believe that my baby is 3!! About Emma... enough said. She is a spit ball of fire. I keep asking my mom how and why with this child and it is always the same answer "she is you". She is the funniest girld I have ever met whether she is beating up her older brother or rubbing my head. I had to cut her hair last week because every morning I would say "Emma, we have to brush your hair" and she would say "I already did it yesterday". Makes sense. She loves that she is the only person in the family that has blue eyes. I don't think a day can go buy that she will not bust out a song and dance. Also, not a day goes by that she doesn't ask for a Diet Coke, my downfall of parenting I must confess. She is in school at Challenger and LOVES IT. In fact, when we were at my parents house for Thanksgiving she stood up and said in front of everyone "My name is Emma and I am a Challenger student". She just got her alphabet crown, meaning at 3 she knows all her letters and sounds. Genius, I am telling you.

I have to mention the dog, Ben said. His name is Mac and I really like him.

Overall, we are happy and excited for the Christmas Holiday. Ben said he didn't need presents for Christmas this year because all he wanted was a happy family. The next day when we were driving to school he said that we had already given him his present just by being us. I hope we can all have that same attitude this year! Merry Christmas

Love, The Cluff Family

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Little bit of Sunshine in December

As always, there is snow on the ground, in the trees, and in my doorway in December, but at our house we have a little bit of sunshine that makes the dreary cold days warmer....

Here is Audrey's latest design that brought a smile to my face as I walked up the stairs to find that she had turned her bed into a drive through (Did I mention that I was out with the ladies in the neighborhood and Tyler had been on bedtime duty. ALSO, Emma had taken the entire bottle of lip gloss, the kind that is pure baby oil and has a little ball at the end, and dumped it on her head) .... I mean, what parent wouldn't just beam with happiness that her daughter is sounding words out. I can translate (she does things like this alot):
French Fries
Chicken Nuggets
Translation: Drinks Soda Lemonade Coke Diet Pepsi

And then the happiest moments of my day, that really brings a true warmness to my heart... they are sleeping, that means they are not talking to me (and hopefully can't make a mess, but you never know with my kids)! It reminds me why I had kids.

I once read somewhere that nothing is more beautiful than a child's dream in Santa Claus and I have to agree. I have been know to use it as my main parenting tactic...Smile or you don't get presents. Do the dishes or Santa might only bring coal. Let me say, that is just a little bit of sunshine in December in itself.

Then there is this little ray of sunshine... Can ya hear me laughing in the background.... I swear she is my mini twin. Remember, time spent laughing is time spent with God.

Well, I hope your days are as warm as mine in the upcoming month! All in all, you only need to have Faith, Trust, and a little pixie dust.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hasn't this happened to ALL of Us or is it just me?

How I learned to mind my own business

I was walking past the convalescent hospital the other day,
And all the patients were shouting, '13....13....13.'

The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a
Little gap in the planks, so I looked through to see
What was going on.....

And someone poked me in the eye with a stick!

Then they all started shouting '14.....14....14'...

A Son's Perspective

My son had to write about his greatest influence. It was on Mother's Day, so he chose to write about his dad ;) It was such a good essay...