Monday, November 30, 2015

The Stockings Were Hung....

The stockings are hung.  Two are handmade by my husband's family, and two are store bought.  Whether by my hand or anothers, we'll all have handmade stockings.  Even for Sleipnir and the Julbock.

We buy the kids four gifts each: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.  Those four gifts are from us.  They'll also get 1-2 smaller gifts to be from Odin and the Julbock, those will be in their stockings.  At least, that's how it is now, this stuff's expensive now and I really want to instill the importance of giving back to the community, to those less fortunate than us.  This is the Season of Charity, in my opinion.  Plus the grandparents spoil them enough at Christmas.   But I may knock the amount to two gifts, something handmade and something store bought...maybe, but definitely lessening the number of gifts received, though.  Do it while they're young.

Our problem is, that we, the parents, get excited and want to give them the world.  Course until you see that receipt, and realize, well, shit.  Do they really need all of these things?  If we have the money to splurge on our kids, why not give to others?  Other than friends and family?  Give to them, too, but to strangers.

We already give donations to various charities, this year we just started Toys for Tots, Habitats for Humanity, and giving to local food drives.  In the years to come, I want the kids to participate.  To pick out gifts for other kids and families, and to volunteer our time to lend a helping hand.  I might start to involve them next year...  Start em young!  I've been looking at a lot of local charities lately.  Time to do, instead of just plan.

December, I'm going to be making a couple more ornaments and a the offering stocking for Sleipnir and Julbock, to be filled with carrots and hay.  And maybe a magical skeleton key to get in, similar to what I did as ornament gifts for gift last year, when I made Santa's Magic Key, to be hung outside, for those who don't have chimney's.

As for Odin's offerings, since Goat is normally served to the Norse Gods on Yule, I was thinking of Goat Cheese (I <3 that stuff!) or goat's milk, instead of mead or whiskey, which is what I'd normally leave out for Him on Yule.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mr. "Hungry" Eyes

Wolfman now pretends that he's Mr. Potato Head. He has his pieces: his hat, daddy's shoes. Does Mr. "Hungry" Eyes, which is when he covers his eyes, walks into the wall, and growls. And even says, "Take my arm" and that he has Potato toes.
Far cuter, more imaginative, and way less annoying that the original....which I have hidden on top of the ancestral shrine. Shhhhh!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Let's Yule It Up!

True to family tradition, I've exchanged the fall decorations for the winter ones.  The tree is also up, but no ornaments yet.  I want to see how Warrior does first, but the box is at my feet and it's getting hard to resist.  I love ornaments.  Like most families, putting the tree up was a family event.  Taking out the ornaments, reminiscing, hanging them.  The boys are still a little too young to help, and too short, as I have the tree up on a tall nightstand.

But I made them coloring pages, with trees, too.  Well, I should say Wolfman, since Warrior will just eat the crayons...

Wolfman's all excited about Christmas.  Course, I'm trying to get him to say 'Yule' instead, since it's what we celebrate at home, then do Christmas a couple days later with the grandparents.  "No, mommy, it's Christmas."  He'll get it one day.  This year, we're really going to start introducing Odin, Sleipnir, and the Julbock to him.  He already knows who Santa is.

Instead of saying that Santa's not real, or that he's just a creation of a soda company, we say that he's a Spirit of Charity.  There's many Spirits of Charity this season.  Santa, St. Nick, La Befana, the Julbock, to name a few.  I don't want to say that Santa or St. Nick are based off of Odin, because I feel that it lessens the experience of others who believe in them.  I don't care about origins or truths.  Okay, so what if Santa is inspired by Odin, Santa is still real to someone, child and adult.  Santa is his own entity.  His own Spirit (ha, he's Pop Culture!).  Inspired by Odin, St, Nick, or revamped by Coka Cola.  Many still love and adore him.  He's still a giver of gifts.

This year, we did the Toys for Tots charity, and introduced that concept to Wolfman.  He didn't quite understand, but like Yule, he will.  Start em young.  I'd like for the kids to participate in picking out toys, clothes, and foods for these charities in the coming years.  Give someone else a happy holiday.

So this year, I'm really going to focus on getting more images of Odin, Sleipnir, and the Julbock out and about the house, as well as continuing the tradition of leaving a boot or a stocking out of carrots and hay for Sleipnir and the Julbock, and a shot of mead for Odin, on Yule Eve as our offerings of thanks.

Hopefully I'll be updating the blog in December with some interesting Yule Tide things for families.  I make no promises, though.  :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Turn "We Should" into "I do"

I got tired of people on Facebook complaining about how we shouldn't accept refugees into our country, because of our own homeless problem.  A few people I've asked, "That's fair, I guess.  What are you doing to help the homeless?  If you're doing something, aside from just praying, bravo.  If not, stop complaining.  Stop using the homeless as a reason why we shouldn't help foreigners in need. Stop waiting for someone else to do it.  Get up and give what you can.  There are plenty of places that accept charity all year round for the homeless.  As well as Vets, the sick, the poor, the battered.  Do something instead of just contributing to the drama."

We do our part to help.  My husband participates in Habitats for Humanity.  We give donations several times a year.  If I see a homeless person begging, I try to give them what I can, preferably food and drink.  This year, we're participating in Toys for Tots.  One of the reasons why I'm learning to crochet is so I can donate to charities: hospitals, shelters, and other organizations.  I want to do more.  So I'm working for it.

I'm not saying this to brag, but too often people complain and bitch and don't bother lifting a finger to do.  We're not one of those people.  We know how it feels to have very little.  We're not rich, by any means, nor are we poor, but we still give what we can to help.

If you don't want to help, don't, but don't use those people in need as an excuse to not help others.

So, I did some work and put together a list of charities for my Facebook friends to contribute to if they wished.  Gave them some ideas and asked for information about charities that they give to.  I wanted to know what they cared about and who they try to help.

Here's that list for you.  Most of these organizations are in Ohio.  But all it takes is the right keywords and a browser to find charities in your area.  If some of these are untrustworthy, or just not good at giving what's needed (I know some places are corrupt or they take more for their employees/volunteers than they give), comment on the bad ones, please.

Good luck and happy holidays:

  • Battered Women’s Shelter Donations - https://www.scmcbws.org/donate.asp
  • Central Ohio Homeless Veterans Stand Down - http://www.centralohiostanddown.org/
  • Charity Blossom: Military and Veteran Organizations - http://www.charityblossom.org/directory/OH/Columbus/category/public-societal-benefit-w/military-veterans-organizations-w30/
  • Choices: For Victims of Domestic Violence - http://choicescolumbus.org/blog/get-involved/
  • Clothing Donations - For Vets and Families - http://www.clothingdonations.org/schedule-a-pick-up/?gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeADeMMOYwapRUClvq4mJjfofd2f-l4W0gGQlIXd0GL0BoCksLw_wcB
  • Columbus Coalition for the Homeless - http://www.columbushomeless.org/get_involved.htm
  • Columbus Turkey Trot for Autism - http://www.columbusturkeytrot.com/#!about-the-race/cfvg
  • Crochet for a Cause: Homeless scarves - http://www.suzannebroadhurst.com/2014/01/06/crochet-for-a-cause-simple-scarf-for-a-homeless-one/
  • Donation Drop Off Locations - http://donationdropoff.org/
  • Donationtown: Donation Pick up - http://donationtown.org/ohio-donation-pickup/
  • Faith Mission: Helping the Homeless - https://donate.faithmissionofohio.org/columbus/main.php/micro_sites/showpage?id=8&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Bhomeless+columbus&utm_campaign=paid
  • Feeding America: Food Bank Donations - https://secure.feedingamerica.org/site/Donation2?df_id=21340&21340.donation=form1&s_src=Y15YP1F1X&s_subsrc=c&s_keyword=food%20bank%20donations&gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeArsjSNAhHErcJZEt-uvYZSR8R8Di7WdwRjGPMmT-DARoCzqTw_wcB
  • Food Pantries - http://www.foodpantries.org/ci/oh-columbus
  • Goodwill - http://www.goodwill.org/donate-and-shop/donate-stuff/
  • Habitat for Humanity - http://habitatmidohio.org/
  • Homeless Families Donations - http://www.homelessfamiliesfoundation.com/
  • Jared Box Project: Helping Hospitalized Children - http://www.thejaredbox.com/index.html
  • Kidney Foundation of Ohio - http://www.kfohio.org/
  • Life Care Alliance - http://www.lifecarealliance.org/
  • Marines Toys for Tots - http://columbus-oh.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx
  • Meals on Wheels - https://meals-on-wheels.com/?gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeAKBdn1GUTqZdZ5lgRJXrtETnaGzOYPWrGAEUZIKFkLhoC_Czw_wcB
  • Mercy Housing - https://www.mercyhousing.org/
  • National Coalition for Homeless Vets - http://nchv.org/index.php/help/help-ohio/
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Donations - http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/wish-list-for-donations
  • No Kid Hungry - http://actioncenter.nokidhungry.org/?gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeAX-xFXiDOYv1PHZQle8u_3o57rWiUHW8MsbX9e4QMxBoCzKPw_wcB
  • OSU Star House: Helping Homeless Youths - https://starhouse.ehe.osu.edu/get-involved/
  • Pennies of Time: Teaching Kids to Serve (those in need) - http://penniesoftime.com/category/service-projects-for-kids/
  • Project Night Night: For Homeless Children - http://www.projectnightnight.org/
  • Purple Heart Foundation - http://cardonation.purpleheartcars.org/?r=google_adwords&g=brand&phone=877-743-4111&gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeA36WtYCDT3UySwNubmTK18csQKbZQyHNGf7WThiRrAhoCRrHw_wcB
  • Ronald McDonald House - http://www.rmhc-centralohio.org/
  • Salvation Army Donation Pickups - https://satruck.org/Donate/choose
  • Shriners Hospital Donations - https://secure2.convio.net/shfc/site/Donation2;jsessionid=5F4938E9B2257EA706329DB919AB2601.app20103a?df_id=4363&4363.donation=form1&gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeAmVhLK9g37mNcduqDgR8xGesI_FlAs1_8ALw_as2FtxoCHoTw_wcB
  • St. Jude Hospitals - https://www.stjude.org/get-involved/other-ways/st-jude-thanks-and-giving.html?gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeAAiytTkzeHFNnP8kK668MeeXn8_afk1fatPLys0HuHhoCtwLw_wcB&sc_cid=kwp6941&s_kwcid=AL!4519!3!77798522722!b!!g!!charities%20hospital&ef_id=VftFuAAAABIT63u9:20151122210924:s
  • Stitching With Love: Cause Patterns - http://www.mooglyblog.com/free-crochet-for-a-cause-patterns/
  • Veteran’s of Foreign Wars: Ohio Charities - http://www.vfwohiocharities.org/
  • Veteran’s Site: Making Care Packages for Homeless - http://blog.theveteranssite.com/homeless-care-package-tips/
  • Volunteers of America - http://www.voago.org/donate
  • Wounded Warrior Homes - http://woundedwarriorhomes.org/get-involved/
  • Wounded Warrior Project - https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/Default.aspx?tsid=168&campaignSource=ONLINE&source=BS15140&gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeA-1ZTuD2wFci1rLBLfNNLbNiF8o7o59cYJuUUfAW13BoCLdbw_wcB

(also posted on From the Mud and Book of Hearth & Home)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Skeddi-os!

"Uh-Oh!" Vin.
"Sked-ohs!" Lycan.
"Uh-Oh!" Vin.
"Sked-Ohs!" Lycan.
"Uh-OH!" Vin.
"Skeddi-ohs!" Lycan.
"UH-OH!" Vin shouted.
"Be Quiet!" Lycan.
"UH! OH" Vin shouted again.
"Be quiet." Lycan.
lol, this was the back and forth on our way home from the store this evening. Who needs a radio?

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Dose of Cute

Lycan was annoying his brother by putting a walrus on his butt, as he lay on his belly playing with a truck. I asked, "Lycan, what are you doing?"
"It's a eyeslin!"
"Lycan, your brother's butt is not an island."
"It is an eyeslin!"
"No, his butt is not an island. You're annoyin him now, stop."
"Wally Eyeslin!"

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Treats and Lightyear

Trick or Treat was a blast!  I was super busy yesterday, brewing, baking, and cooking, getting things ready for Samhain and such...and I didn't have time to get my costume together (I just grabbed a broomstick).  Nor did I have time for many pictures....we were kind of rushed.  But Wolfman went as Leonardo, Warrior went as Raph, and hubby went as Casey Jones (TMNT).  We went with my mom, step dad, step brother, and his kids--Cinderella and Snow White.  



Although. if I had the money, I would've made Wolfman a bottle of milk or a milk man (because he milks for sympathy) and Warrior a a Sour Patch Kid.  

Now I have a couple other holidays to plan for, especially Wolfman's birthday.  He's old enough to tell me what he wanted for a theme: "Buzz Lightning!"  Aka, Toy Story.  Good thing I hadn't started buying for the Bubble Guppy party.  Now I have to start over and plan for a Toy Story party.