December 30, 2008

Anniversary - 10 years!

The year is 1998, on the cusp of a new year: Dec 31st... The scene is an odd little golf clubhouse garden in Florida, chosen by my father-in-law because he owns the little house where we've all been staying in the fun-times-and-theme-park-heavy week leading up to the ceremony.




My Dad and I wait inside while the rest of the family gathers together. He takes my arm and we walk out of the building, around the pool and toward the arch at the water's edge, cracking "here goes nothin'" jokes and laughing the whole way. I'm wearing a red velvet floor-length evening dress. Dad is in a suit.


The arch is decorated with pink and white balloons and waiting under it are my brother (as my bride's man), Hubby's brother (as best man) and Hubby, all looking grown up and handsome in their suits. Behind them stands Big Judge Thunder, an enormous brick wall of a man with white hair who towers comically, in distinguished judge's robes, over the rest of the men. Nearby stand my parents, Hubby's parents, my grandmother, my great-aunt and my brother's wife (then girlfriend).


My Dad hands me over to Hubby and Big Judge Thunder leads us through our marriage ceremony. We kiss. And the rest is history.






Happy 10 years, Hubby! It's been swell! And here's to 10 more!


Interesting side note:

I wore the dress I was married in two years later to a company Christmas party:

and won us a honeymoon to Spain!

That's one LUCKY dress.


And Hey! Go check out my cool handmade Christmas ornaments at Lulu's Hook.

And Hey! I've been married for ten WHOLE years. Can you believe it? I can't... quite. I really must be getting old. Ha!


Edited to ad: And Hey! I'm linking this post to Wordful Wednesday because... why not? It has words and pictures, after all.

For more Wordful Wednesday go to:


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December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

by Weezer



and


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

by Frank Sinatra




This is the last day of my Christmas song posts. I hope you've enjoyed listening along. If you'd like to listen to the songs all at once, I've put them in a playlist on YouTube. The playlist can be accessed over there on my right-hand side bar.


Whatever holiday you're celebrating, here's wishing you a happy holidays and a prosperous and happy New Year from me and my family!

I hope your having a great holiday break!

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December 24, 2008

School Pictures

This year's school pictures were odd because we had to pre-order them. We had to let the photo-taking company know what pose we wanted, which package we were ordering and we had to pre-pay before the photos were even taken. In our old hometown, we were always sent a sample picture and offered the chance to purchase photo packages if we liked it.

This year, we had to send Buddy back for retakes. He looked downright sullen in his first picture, kind of sad and kind of angry. We asked him why he was sulking in his picture and he told us that there was no real reason - he just didn't feel like smiling. So we practiced smiling and sent him back for try #2:

Buddy, try #2.

I ordered the 1/2 body pose for both boys' pictures but, for Monkey's picture, they took a head-and-shoulders shot by accident. Monkey's teacher called me and asked if I could bring Monkey back in for another picture. I did and, as a result, I ended up with two sets of photos of Monkey for the price of one. Yay!

Monkey, head and shoulders shot.


Monkey, 1/2 body shot.


They turned out cute, didn't they? (Except for the dorky blue background). I totally dig them.

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Put a Little Love in Your Heart

by Annie Lennox and Al Green



From Scrooged, of course. Such a fun holiday movie. I love Bill Murray.


Now, everybody... Let's sing along!

Lyrics:

Think of your fellow man
Lend him a helping hand
Put a little love in your heart

You see it's getting late
Oh please don't hesitate
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see

Another day goes by
And still the children cry
Put a little love in you heart
If you want the world to know
We won't let hatred grow
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see
Wait and see

Take a good look around
And if you're lookin' down
Put a little love in your heart

I hope when you decide
Kindness will be your guide
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see

Put a little love in your heart
Put a little love in your heart
Put a little love in your heart
Put a little love in your heart
Put a little love in -
Put a little love in your heart...



Merry Christmas eve!

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December 23, 2008

The First Noel

by The Crash Test Dummies



A bunch of dummies tell us the story of Christmas. (ha!)

His deep voice does this song justice.

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December 22, 2008

Let it Snow

by Frank Sinatra



It's been snowing here all month long. The snowbanks are taller than I am. It's unusual in Canada (at least in Southern Canada) to have this much snow in December. This year there's no threat of a green Christmas!

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December 21, 2008

Three Funny Holiday Tunes

1. The Hanukkah song by Adam Sandler




2. If you like funny holiday songs, you might also like Sarah Silverman's Christmas song (but if you click over keep in mind that Sarah Silverman's schtick is to be sweetly offensive (very, very offensive). This is not appropriate for kids (or for easily offended adults)... And just remember - I didn't write it, I just think it's funny (very, very funny)).

And finally...

3. Please by Patient, sung by Feist. From the Stephen Colbert Christmas Special



Do you have a favourite funny holiday song?

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December 20, 2008

Winter Wonderland

by Anne Murray (more Cancon)



Please don't be frightened by her purple tights, or by the fact that she, her children and her dog have obviously taken the man captive during the fireplace scene.

Just focus on the lyrics, do a little deep breathing and you'll be just fine.


One time, when we were in university, Hubby and I took a drive and, much to our surprise, ended up in Anne Murray's home town. That was weird.... Just sayin'.

And it's only 5 days 'til Christmas! Crazy!

Merry pre-Christmas weekend, everybody.

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December 19, 2008

What happened?(!?)

I want to know something....


But first... here's the evidence:

Britney Spears circa 2007




Nelly Furtado circa 2007




Is it just me or do these two songs sound alike? Especially in the chorus. Maybe it is just me... but I think they do (they don't sound the same, but I hear many similarities).


More evidence:

Nelly Furtado circa 2001:



See? Nelly Furtado used to be cool. And she didn't sound a thing like Britney Spears:

Britney Spears, circa 2001:



See?

And I don't think Britney's sound has changed all that much...

So, my question is this:


Nelly! What the hell happened?



Edited to add: Hubby thinks it has something to do with production - both 2007 albums were produced by "big" producers, apparently. Hubby thinks this might be effecting Nelly Furtado's sound. Hubby also isn't sure that the two songs do sound alike... So it's entirely possible I'm just crazy.


What do you think?

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Our Homemade Christmas Tree

This year we were not going to have a Christmas tree at home because we're traveling for the holidays but I couldn't resist picking up a tiny little tree when I saw it on sale. We had lights for it, but no ornaments. The boys and I decided that we would hand make the ornaments this year. We got out paper, glue, paint, markers, glitter, pipe cleaners, pompoms and stickers and went at it. Here are some pictures of the results:


Hard at work




We made stocking-shaped ornaments




And angel-shaped ornaments




And circular ornaments




And star-shaped ornaments




Pipe cleaner candy canes, a crochet garland and a star for the top.




Here are two very proud boys.




It's not the most beautiful tree, but we think it's very special.




For more Photostory Friday, go to

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek



This is also posted at Lulu's Hook.

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Sleigh Ride

by The Ronettes



This song is so much fun. "Just hear those sleigh jingling. Ring ting a ting a ling, too." And the horse sound effects... And friends calling "Yuhoo!" And rosy cheeks. And "Snuggled up together like two birds of feather would be." And the background singers: "Ring a ling a ling ding dong ding!" Whee! Fun.


Hey! How do you spell "yuhoo", anyway? I can't figure it out - yuhoo? youhoo? youhou? yuhu? yoohoo? Yeesh.

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December 18, 2008

Santa Clause is Coming to Town

by The Jackson 5



Funny Jackson 5-related aside: When Monkey was a baby, his favourite of the songs I sang to him was this song by the Jackson 5:



One time my parents picked Monkey and I up to drive us to their place, an hour away. Monkey was fussy that day, so I sang this song to him over and over and over again to keep him happy until my voice just about gave out. My parents were surprised that I knew all the words. They were also amused by how much the baby loved the song. Every time I stopped singing, he'd start crying. It's questionable which was more annoying for my dad, who was trying to drive the car - my singing or his crying.

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December 17, 2008

First School Concert... Stupid batteries!

This morning was Monkey's Christmas concert. It was adorable - all the junior and senior kindergarten kids singing songs with actions. Planning ahead, I put fresh batteries in my new camera this morning. When I turned the camera on to take some pictures at the concert - the batteries died after three pictures! They were rechargeable batteries - I guess they must not have been fully charged. As a result I have no pictures or video of Monkey's first school concert. Sucks. I will be wiser for the next concert... I'll bring an extra set of batteries.

I did get a picture of Monkey when we got home - here he is looking all grown up on the day of his first school concert.


For more Wordful Wednesday, go to

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It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

by Andy Williams



I used to love the Smurfs! Did you watch them? Who was your favourite Smurf? Mine was Jokey.

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December 16, 2008

Watch This. Seriously.

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It's Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)

by U2



Love it.

Isn't it weird to see Bono with long hair? I'm glad he cut it.

An aside: If David Letterman were hosting this blog post he'd say, "U2, YouTube. YouTube, U2."

If you're enjoying these Christmas songs and you'd like to listen to them all together (put them on as background music while you putter around, clean, crochet, make snacks for your kids, meditate, do yoga, hang upside down (whatever it is you like to do while listening to Christmas music)), I've put a link to my YouTube Christmas playlist on the righthand sidebar.

Merry Almost-Christmas!

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December 15, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer



I love this song. I first heard it sung by Bette Midler and James Caan on the For the Boys soundtrack, which I owned in high school. I like the Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer version better. I also like the Doris Day and Bing Crosby
version:



Which is your favourite?

And as a fun little bonus, when I was looking on YouTube for this song and listening to the various available versions, I noticed this gap ad (featuring
Selma Blair and Rainn Wilson) which uses the same song:




And I only have 8 crochet days left until we leave for NB for Christmas! Yikes. I shall not have idle hands, this I can promise you.

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December 14, 2008

Fiestaware Giveaway at Ravings of a Mad Housewife

Hey everybody!

Click over to Ravings of a Mad Housewife and enter her Fiestaware giveaway! She's giving away 4 sets of dishes - plates, bread plates, bowls and mugs. You get to pick what colour you'd like if you won, from among:

(which is fun, at least for me - a bit like shopping)


If you're not entering then cross your fingers for me!

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Waiting for the Man with the Bag

by Kay Starr



Jazzy!

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December 13, 2008

Little Drummer Boy

by Bing Crosby and David Bowie

Okay. Ready? All together now - the David Bowie chant:


Bowie! Bowie! Bowie!

Thank you.


And now back to our regularly scheduled program...

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I Am Such A Winner

When I was a kid we used to hold our hands up to our foreheads in the shape of an L and say, "Loser!". That was our way of keeping anyone from getting too comfortable in their own skin.

When I moved away from the small town in which I grew up and graduated from school for the last time to start in my career in Toronto, I was surprised that the popular put down wasn't "Loser!". It was "Winner!". Whenever anyone did anything stupid, people would roll their eyes and intone, "God! You are such a winner!".

Winner was the new loser.


However...

That is not the case here today. (aren't you relieved? I know I am.)


I've won some giveaways. Yay!

The first one - and I might have already told you this, but I don't think I have - was a $20.00 Chapters giftcard giveaway at SPOTLIS. The card arrived in the mail the other day and, instead of spending it on Christmas gifts for other people, I decided to spend it on myself! Novel idea, I know (pun intended - you know "novel" cause it's new, "novel" cause I spent it on books... at Chapters? Har! Hmmm - an aside - are jokes made funnier or less funny when you explain the heck out of them?).

ANYWAY... Yes. I bought myself Twilight and Wicked. Wicked is pretty enjoyable. I've been reading it in the bath. The musical based on the book is coming to town and I'm hoping to see it.

I bought Twilight because I've heard so much about it on the blogs. People seem to love it like nothing else. So I bought it and... Meh. It was enjoyable, but I'm not obsessed or anything. Maybe obsession grows in the next book? I don't know. I could stand a little getting caught up in a good book right now, though, so here's hoping.


I also entered a bunch of crafty giveaways during the Sew, Mamma, Sew! giveaway day. I won three of them. I know. Must be my lucky month. I'm very excited about them because I love crafty stuff. Check out the giveaway list at Sew, Mamma, Sew! The giveaway is over, but it's a great list of craft blogs, all of them worth a look.

I won a really cool zippered bag at Craftermath. Click the link to check it out - it's super cute.

I won a surprise at Mola coser. I don't know what it is yet but I know it's either something to keep me warm or something for me to keep things in. Either way, Yay!

And I won a lovely bag at Hot Butter! It's so pretty and I really needed a new bag.

Thank you to everyone for having the giveaways and for the great prizes!

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December 12, 2008

So... A new look for me.

Many changes...

I was reading a bunch of stuff about blog design... I read that it's better if content is visible on the front page, AKA don't have too big a header. My header was huge. You had to scroll down just to find my content. So I made a smaller header.

And I read that it's easier to read a blog which has dark text on a light background. So I made some more changes.

And I read that it's better not to clutter up sidebars too, too much... So I got rid of some stuff...

What do you think? do you like it, or did you like it better before? Does it suit the personality (if I can call it that) of the blog?

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Jingle Bells

by Skid Row



Loud and badly animated. You're welcome.

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December 11, 2008

Hey! Blog Friends of Reluctant - A Question!

Oh hai!

Is anyone thinking of going to BlogHer '09?

I'm kind of just a little bit maybe considering wanting to go. And I'll have more amo when trying to convince Hubby that this is a good idea if I know a bunch of people who are going...

So if you're kind of just a little bit maybe considering wanting to go, too OR if you're definitely going... I'd like to know about it.

Thanks!

kisses n' all that stuff.

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Some Bloggy News

So you might have noticed... We now have THREE columns here at Adventures of the Reluctant Housewife. Three columns give us so much more room for all the stuff we want to have hanging around. And by "we" I mean "me" because I am single-handedly responsible for the content contained herein and I am very, very sorry about that (haha).

Edited to add: I've also completely sold out and added some google ads to the ol' blog. Sigh. But, you know, I deserve to earn pennies a day for all my hard work, too, don't I? Oh well, either way... Onward and upward, yes?


And also, I have been awarded a wonderful blog award by the multi-talented Knit Purl Girl who, as you might have guessed by her name, is a knitter AND (according to her profile) she also is a "crafter, scrapbooker, stamper, paper crafter, reader, cook/baker, wife, mommy, autism activist, and sipper of $4 coffee." She also has three blogs: a mommy blog, a knitting blog and a scrapping blog. Wow. When does she find the time to sip that coffee, I wonder? I bet she does what I sometimes do - buy the coffee and run out of time to drink it, it goes cold and has to be dumped out (so, so sad).

Anyway, she has very nicely awarded me a Friends Award.

What is a friends award, you say? Well it comes with this very helpful descriptive paragraph:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.
Thank you, Knit Pearl Girl! What a wonderful award!

The eight bloggers I'd like to pass this award onto are (cue drum roll, please...):

1. Sue at My Home Wellingtown
2. Sass at One Strangely Lush Mother
3. Working Mum at Working Mum on the Verge
4. Amanda at Amanda's Life
5. Elaine at the Miss Elaineous Life
6. Kelly at Don Mills Diva
7. Nag at Nag on the Lake
8. Ami at Writing: My life

These are some of my first bloggy buddies and they're still hanging around, reading and commenting and they also have really stellar blogs. So a great big bloggy hug and thank you to each one of them. I hope you're following these blogs. If you're not, you're definitely missing out!

Thanks again, Knit Pearl Girl!

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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings

by The Barenaked Ladies and Sarah Mclaughlin (Hey, my blog's gotta have a little cancon*, after all).



I like the We Three Kings bit, with Sarah, better than the first bit with just BNL. I'm not a huge fan of either, really... My kids really like BNL's kids' CD Snack Time, which features this fairly catchy song:



This video was done in a bathroom in one of the BNL's houses, which has really good acoustics. They've made an entire series videos in the bathroom, which have been quite popular on YouTube.

*Cancon = "Canadian content" (Canadian radio and tv stations (but not actually Canadian blogs) are required to have a certain percentage of their content be cancon).

Hope you have a great Thursday!

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December 10, 2008

Hallelujah Chorus

by the Hallelujah Chorus Nuns




I sang this in show choir in high school. We also played it in orchestra. At the Christmas concert, the orchestra and the choir got together to present the Chorus. I had to choose - sing, or play the viola in the orchestra. I chose to sing and I don't think my orchestra leader ever really forgave me. I wasn't very good at either singing or string instruments, but I do love to sing.

Anyway. This video made me chuckle and I needed something to cheer me up today - so here you go. I hope it puts a smile on your face, too. (sorry it's late!)

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December 9, 2008

We Need a Little Christmas

by The Muppets.



One of my favourites. I love the muppets. Just for good measure I'd also like to share these:






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December 8, 2008

Jingle Bell Rock

by Bobby Helms




This is, in my opinion, the best version of this song. I'd like to hear a more rockin' version of this one, but if you don't want canned drums and annoying wailing a la Girls Aloud, there's none to be had (that I could find). Although (Hey!) I just discovered Kylie Minogue's which is pretty rockin' and not bad at all. If you'd like a creepy version (which SHOULD have been rocky) check out Billy Idol who looks sort of like he's being forced to sing it at gunpoint, or something. For some ACK there's Hillary Duff's. And then there's THIS.

I think the prize goes to Bobby Helms. Yup. What do you think?

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December 7, 2008

Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer

by The Irish Rovers



This song reminds me of my dad, who delights in all things funny and absurd. I can remember him singing this at Christmas time when I was a kid to make us laugh. We used to cheer when it came on the radio. Good times... Good times.

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December 6, 2008

Carol of the Bells

By The Celtic Women




I've loved this carol since I played it on the violin as a.... well, as a violin player I suppose, when I was in school. I liked the harmonies. I had a hard time finding a version of it that I liked, but I love this one (who cares if their dresses are sort of weird and they smile too much? Not me. Nope.). I like the Celtic violin and, speaking as someone who played the violin in her distant, murky past, I can tell you with some authority that the woman playing the violin in this video is da bomb (but was anyone else worried her hair was going to get caught in her bow?).

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December 5, 2008

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

by Brenda Lee



This was the only Christmas song that I could only find one version for. Even if I had found others, I would have chosen this one. No one could sing it better.


Does anyone else have a strong association between this song and the movie Home Alone?

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December 4, 2008

Parent teacher day

It's parent/teacher day at the boys' school today.

Based on my track record so far...

Yeah. Just wish me luck, okay?

Thanks.


After that, I'm taking Monkey out to lunch and then to the farm to see the animals. His brother is on an all-day field trip to an outdoor education centre (sounds fun, right? They're going to learn about winter in the woods and look for animal tracks) and Monkey was feeling a little left out. So, I'm taking him on his own mini field trip, just the two of us.


So that's what I'm up to today - what are you doing?

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Oi To the World

by No Doubt



Oi to the Mommy bloggers, Oi to their kids, Oi to the world and everybody wins.*

I was only able to get the live version of this to share with you because embedding was disabled on all the regular version videos. If you'd like to hear the recorded version, which I actually prefer, you can right here.


*Please note: This is not to say that mommy bloggers are in conflict with their kids, like the punks and the skins in the song... I'm just playin'. Don't hate me like you hate motrin. heehee

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December 3, 2008

Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway!

Oh Hai again!

Sew, Mama, Sew! Is having an enormous giveaway today... Each person participating is offering a handmade item, or the stuff you'd need to make your own hand-made item. I'm blown away by all the talent. I'm too late to take part this year... but now that I know about it, I'll definitely be taking part next year.

Go and check it out - It's awesome.

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Mr. Linky at June Cleaver

Oh Hai!

So... What's new? I'm crocheting Christmas presents right now and, so, my hands are too busy to type much.

I'm sharing this post over at It's not me - It's you, hosted by Texasholly at June Cleaver Nirvana.
Today Holly is asking us to share our shopping-related posts. Mine currently has ZERO comments (shocking, I know) even though it's quite funny - or, perhaps, it's quite insane and stalkery (I'm not sure which). Give it a read and let me know what you think... and then go over to June Cleaver Nirvana and share your shopping-related posts cause it's fun to share and it makes everyone LOVE you!

Yay for Holly for giving us a chance to link! Thanks Holly!

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Mary's Boy Child

by Boney M



Man, I love that there were "tears of joy AND laughter". Tears of laughter? Cool!

This was, hands down, my favourite Christmas song when I was a kid. It ranked right up there with I hate Christmas by Oscar, All I want for Christmas (is my two front teeth) by the count and Grandma got run over by a reindeer. I had very well developed taste when I was small.

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December 2, 2008

It's Christmas Time at SITS!

Welcome SITStas!

Christmas at the Reluctant Housewife household is full of:

Decorations


Excitement



Winter clothes



Playing in the snow



Visits with family



and presents from Grannies



Merry SITSmas to all the SITStas from the Reluctant Housewife family!


The next SITSta on the Mr. Linky is: Natalie at the FL Home Blog. She's having a great giveaway with her SITSmas party! Go and check it out, you'll be glad you did.

Visit SITS for lots more SITSmas and make sure to join in - they're giving away a prize every hour and a final GRAND prize of a $200.00 target gift card!

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All I Want for Christmas

by (Ack!) Mariah Carey



This song is so catchy once you get past the opening. And who doesn't love gogo dancers? And those background singers are da bomb.

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December 1, 2008

Holly Jolly Christmas

by Burl Ives




I don't know who Burl Ives is, but it's definitely his voice I hear when I think of this song.

Gotta love those cups of cheer.

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