Saturday, December 13, 2008

Meet Sam!

Sam the Elf has come to spend some time at the Fritsche house!

For those of you who haven't heard, we started a new tradition this year! It's a book called Elf on the Shelf. It's a very cute book and comes with a little Elf. Our elf who the girls named Sam, came the weekend of Thanksgiving. (I've been wanting to get this post up for a while and just haven't got around to it! ;)) This has been such a fun new tradition for the girls. Sam reports back to Santa every night and then moves to a new spot in the house. The girls fly out of bed in the mornings running to look where Sam's new place will be. And let me tell you, I often hear the girls remind each other, "Sam is watching us!" Talk about a change in listening! I'm wondering what other "little guys" I can come up with for the rest of the year! ;)

On Thursday Sam was finally sitting somewhere so the girls could have their picture taken with him. Kayla is still in that cheese ball smile stage but seems to be getting a little better with it! It drives me nuts!!!! Anyway, we thought we would introduce Sam and our new fun family tradition this year!

I'd recommend starting this fun tradition with your family. We purchased our set from Border's which was cheaper than buying online. Check it out and have fun!

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our stressful week ~ 12/10/08

Here's last weeks re-cap!

Where does time go? I know I'm a little late in posting our weekly "update" and I actually haven't posted anything in a week. But this last week has been so busy, there just hasn't been the time. AND now with us in the middle of snow season, we have freezing rain last night so right now I'm going on 38 hours with NO SLEEP!! So I'm going to actually make this pretty quick and simple, I'd like to go to bed and catch up on some sleep but I told myself I HAD TO update before I go to sleep!! So last week.....Monday was Cyber Monday so the Boutique had some specials going on that kept things busy, Along with the girls getting to shop for Christmas presents at the Christmas store at school. They had a lot of fun, so much that they couldn't wait until Christmas to give everyone their gifts. So come Wednesday evening, we opened a few presents. All very cute and fun! Tuesday was busy getting things done around the house. Wednesday was also busy with around the house stuff along with a few errands. Thursday was busy and then I got to enjoy an evening at the Ladies Advent Candlelight Dinner at Church. It was nice to have an evening out and the ladies all did such a wonderful job decorating their table. Friday came around and it was another busy day full with a million things to do! The weekend was no different but I will post more about our weekend later.

Here's the news for this week.....

'Tis the season to be jolly!!! This week is half way over already! Monday was super full and yesterday was the same. But I got called into work for snow removal at 8:30 Tuesday night and worked all night into Wednesday morning! I am tired!! The rest of the week will continue to stay busy with lots going on. I need to catch up on sleep so hopefully I get the chance to do that before the next storm comes in Monday night into Tuesday. While I'd love one more snow event before Christmas for the extra money, they are saying this time we will be getting ice!!! And I hate the ice! I makes life stressful while we are working. But like I've said before, for whatever crazy reason, I love working at the snow removal company. I don't know why since right now I've been up for 38 hours with NO sleep but we have fun working!! Crazy as it sounnds! Sorry to be so short and quick this week but I REALLY need to go to bed.

So good night to all, be safe in the crazy snowy weather....More to come later!

Until next week, have a great week!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 it right? Or wrong?

I found this article today and thought it was rather interesting. Why? I have no idea. But as it mentions with the economy the way it is today, this is happening more and more. Do I think it's wrong? That depends. I can honestly say I have done it once. I remember what the item was, who I received it from, and who I "regifted" to. The item and people will remain nameless to protect all parties involved but I will say the gift I received, I honestly had NO use for it. I never opened the box and knew the item was something I would never take out of the box. On the other hand, the person I gave the item to, it was perfect for that person and he or she LOVED it! I've seen them use it many of times. So is regifting wrong? Well, in my book not always. It really depends on the item and the people. And as long as the item is BRAND NEW and the person you regiving it to has a use for it, then I say go for it!

Anyway, here's the article I was reading today. Some good information if you are thinking about being a regifter this year. And by the way, as of right now, no one on my Christmas list this year will be getting a regift! :)

The Do's and Don'ts of Regifting

C'mon, stop being such a Goody Two-shoes. Everybody's doing it. Well, maybe not everyone, but according to a survey by Harris Interactive last year, more than half of us admit to regifting -- that is, passing off unwanted gifts as if they were being bestowed for the very first time. Given the state of the economy, you've got to imagine that even more people will be putting idle presents back into play this holiday season.

For years considered a clear social no-no, regifting is shedding its stigma, whether it's due to economic hardship, eco-friendly attitude shifts, or bulging closets and drawers full of stuff we never wanted in the first place.

Today, anywhere from 60% to 78% of us, depending on what survey you read, think regifting is A-OK. In fact, giving gifts that have past lives is so routine, there's an official day dedicated to celebrating the practice: Dec. 18 -- the Thursday before Christmas -- has been christened National Regifting Day by Money Management International (MMI). (As with all new calendar additions, it's best to check with your boss before taking the day off in observance.)

What? Me, Regift? Pshaw!

The personal reasons people regift have little to do with, say, the inability to find a parking space at the mall, or plain old laziness. More than 60% of re-packagers have their heart in the right place, passing along items because they believe the next recipient will appreciate it more than they do, according to MMI. About four in 10 more pragmatically cite regifting as a way to save some green. Frankly, can you blame them?

Lest you think the well-to-do abstain from the practice, consider that one-third of households with annual incomes in the $100,000 to $150,000 range recycle unwanted presents. (Data on whether they regift cooler stuff was unavailable at press time.)
The Rules of Regifting:

Whether you do or you don't (riiiight), there's one single critical cardinal rule to follow before you release your stampede of white-elephant gifts back into the world: Don't get caught.
Following regifting etiquette to the letter will keep your karma right and ensure that a failed regift doesn't end up back under your Christmas tree someday.

The Do's and Don'ts

There are plenty of obvious "tells" that a gift has been resurrected from holidays past. To avoid them:

Don't confuse "barely used" with "brand-spankin' new": If there are any signs of wear and tear -- a broken seal, scratched part, pit stains -- the item's a no-go for regifting. Particularly discerning recipients will notice even the subtlest signs of use (e.g. mismatched or missing twist-ties on cords).

Do not pass off items that were clearly purchased for you: If it's monogrammed, sorry, you're stuck with it. (Unless you've got a knack for creative needlepoint reinterpretations.) Same for anything that obviously was meant to coordinate with your peach-and-purple sitting room decor, or relate to whatever hobby you might have.

Don't give away anything handmade by someone you know: Handmade items are off the list of possible regiftables for two reasons: First, it was likely given with much more sentimental intentions than, say, a coffee grinder. Second, such gifts tend to be extremely recognizable. If it was lovingly crafted and signed by someone you know (who isn't a famous artist, that is), hold onto it. A personal rule-of-thumb I've set which you may want to follow: Pretty much anything in the macrame category is automatically out of the running for regifting. (With the possible exception of the estimated seven remaining macrame enthusiasts in North America.)

Don't use different sentimental criteria for regifts: Re-circulating a problem gift just to get it out of your sight is bad form. Same goes for slapping a new bow on an old tchotchke just to check someone's name off the holiday gift list.

Don't give unused (or even "lightly loved") gift cards: A gift card with a $43.22 balance is an obvious regift. Same with any card that has an expiration date less than a year away or has had any fees from non-use already deducted.

Don't declare "It's vintage!" when it's really just plain bedraggled: Just because it's old doesn't mean it's a cherished collectible. Remember, those who truly love antiques -- or even kitsch -- will likely be as charmed by your dusty basement cast-offs as you are by theirs. A truly vintage baking set from your great-great aunt is one thing. (If you're giving it a new home, cop to its provenance -- heck, that adds to its charm.) Unused baking pans you received for your wedding eight years ago are another category entirely: donation or giveaway.

Don't regift swag: Skip the stuff you got from that trade show you went to earlier in the year -- you know, key chains, coffee mugs, and outerwear with some random company's logo. If it was free in the first place, it's worth even less in round 2.

Do not bestow a white elephant regift out of spite: Funny, sure. But that flicker of sheer horror on the recipient's face will come back to haunt you.

The Right Way to Regift

Follow these regifting tips to come off like a sentimental big lug during the big reveal.

Keep track of the flow chart of gifting: There's no bigger horror than returning a gift to its original giver. Avoid this by keeping track of each item's past (formally, on a spreadsheet, if you want to be a regifting pro). In fact, regifting pros suggest that to play it safe, it's best to repurpose in an entirely different social circle than the one from which the original item arrived. (For reference, check your family tree and office organizational chart.) That way, the original gift-giver won't find out that those potholders he painstakingly picked out have found a second life elsewhere.

Make sure all original packaging is intact: Does it pass the shrinkwrap test? If the item originally came hermetically sealed from the factory, it should move up the gift chain in the same condition. (Review the "barely used" versus "brand spankin' new" entry above.)

Triple-check for all telltale regifting signs: Gift tags stuck in the bottom of the box's folds, gift receipts, the whiff of someone else's perfume, an actual picture of someone you know in the frame (and not the standby camera-ready studio family shot) -- remove all signs (dust for fingerprints if you must) that the gift has a past. Finally, before you present it, step back and re-evaluate the regift from the recipient's perspective to make sure it passes muster.

Give with good intentions: The sentiment behind your regift should be the same as the thought behind any new gift: You're passing it along because you think the recipient will appreciate it.
Give it away anyway: If you received something that doesn't pass the regift test, you don't have to be stuck with it forever. Pass it along without the guise of the "new gift" (minus wrapping paper, bow, and card) and give the recipient an easy out (e.g., "I wore this once and was told it made my complexion come off as puce. If you like it -- or know someone else who would -- it's yours.").

Finally, we all know that when it comes to gifts, that whole "it's the thought that counts" yarn really doesn't fly with anyone but your parents. For all others, it is all about the gift (though no one will cop to it, at least on record). So put some thought into your gift -- er, regift -- and pat yourself on the back for finding it a permanent home.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our first week of December 2008!

Here's last weeks re-cap!

What a week! It's hard to believe Thanksgiving has come and gone! We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Our week was busy, but not crazy busy like the last several weeks. Monday was round 2 of a foot detox for me. And let me tell you....I am loving these!! They are so interesting and I'm anxious to see if they really work. I'm going to post a blog later in the week with more information about these. If you've never had one done, I'd highly recommend one. The place where I go is taking the month of December off but they will start back up in January so for anyone interested, let me know. :) Now, onto Tuesday. I spent the morning and early afternoon helping my Grandma put up for Christmas tree and some decorations. It was so nice to spend the morning with her and enjoy some peace and quite. Wednesday the girls had a half of day. Dave and the girls took Cosmo to the park for a while in the afternoon and then we spent the evening relaxing! It was so nice!!!! Thursday morning we spent watching the parade on TV and enjoying some Cinnamon muffins that were so yummy! Dave and the girls headed to his sisters house for a little bit and then we all headed to my aunts house for the afternoon and evening. We had a very yummy dinner with all the traditional Thanksgiving food!! We were all pretty tried and stuffed so we headed home around 9:00 and we in bed and out by 10:00. At least I know I was. The weekend wasn't too bad for once in a long time. Saturday I played catch up on a lot of things and we put up the Christmas tree. Once Sunday got here, it started off with a soccer game for Courtney and then a very quick day of decorating. Sunday flew by so fast! Probably because I had so much I wanted to get done. And I didn't even get half of it done.

Here's the news for this week.....

Here we are....December 1st! Unbelievable!!!!!! This week is back to "normal" I guess, busy with lots going on! Monday the girls got to shop at the Christmas store at school. They both were worried about buying double of something so I made a trip up to school twice during the day to "help" them shop. They actually had a lot of cute stuff and the girls had a lot of fun shopping. Especially Kayla! Tuesday will be a busy day at home. I have a ton of stuff that I REALLY need to get caught up on! Starting off with laundry! I hate laundry and for those of you who really know me, you know I have a serious problem with doing laundry! I hate it for whatever reason. It will pile up and pile up and everyday I will look at it and think, "I should really wash some clothes!" There's just not enough time in the day to get everything done. I keep telling Dave, I'm going to start paying someone to do our laundry. I hate it that much. And there is a laundry mat right up the street the charges 90 cents per pound. I wonder how much a pound of laundry is?? I will probably be finding out here pretty soon! So onto Wednesday....Kayla's class is leading the chapel service for school that morning. So it will be rise and shine for all of us that morning. Dave and I will be staying to watch. She has a speaking part! :) Thursday will be a super full day and a Ladies Candlelight Dinner for me in the evening! I'm looking forward to a relaxing evening! I could use it right now. Friday will be yet another busy day. And then the weekend is here! The girls are going to see Mannheim Steamrollers in the evening with my parents. They are very excited!!! Sunday will be a full day! There's a soccer game, baby shower, and 2 Christmas Parties! Then it's the start of a new week!!! :) 'Tis the season to be jolly!!!

Until next week, have a great week!!