Sunday, December 27, 2009

Best. Christmas. Ever.

Christmas at home, no company, no where to go, nothing we have to do.... It doesn't get any better than that. I love all our family to pieces, but there's nothing like having just your own immediate family with all our own traditions and expectations. It was wonderful!
Christmas Eve, the kids opened their gifts from the "Christmas Elf" and surprise, surprise they got their new Christmas PJ's. That way everyone looks nice for pictures on Christmas morning. Damn that Elf is smart!
7am Christmas morning, the kids wake us up. Can someone explain to me why the two children who are comatose until 1200pm every other day of the year, pop out of bed at 6am and hover outside our door until 7am? Coffee is made, quick breakfast is eaten and then they dive into the stockings that Santa has left.
Lots of great gifts this year. I have to say, that Brenna was truely funny and sweet. She seemed genuinely appreciative and happy with everything she got whether it was face masks or socks... she loved it. She is really turning into a delightful young woman.
Zack was appreciative and happy as well, but you can definitely tell he is in the middle school phase of life. While he was in no way rude or unthankful, there were certian presents that really hit the nail on the head and others (spanish a day calendar - educational, man jewelry box - uncool) that were less than stellar choices. It was humorous. Best stocking gift he got.... Duct tape! Yep... just goes to show you, you can spend $60 on a Xbox game or you can spend $6 on 3 rolls of duct tape... you guess which one he spent the ENTIRE day playing with... The kid loves origami with a passion and I found a book called Ductigami that combined with 2 rolls of colored duct tape and the kid forgot there were other presents to open!
Even the dogs got stockings. Full of yummy treats and toys. Santa doesn't forget anyone.
After the unwrapping was all done, it was a day spent killing zombies, napping, eating, reading and playing with duct tape!
It was the perfect kind of Christmas... nowhere to be, nothing to do - but to be thankful for all our blessings the least of which were the gifts we got.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Don't Ask... Don't do it...

It's Christmas Eve... the stockings are hung, the gifts are wrapped, the zucchini bread is thawing, the scrapbooks are scrapped, all is waiting in anticipation for the Big Guy to arrive and I am fighting myself not too ask THE QUESTION... I ask it every year and every year it throws my relaxing "everything is finished" Christmas Eve into a tizzy! Every year I remind myself not to ask The Question...
Every year, like an idiot I ask each child... "If you could only have ONE thing for Christmas, what would it be?"
I think I do it in an effort to reassure myself that I've done all the right shopping, I've purchased the right gifts and no one is going to be unhappy on Christmas morning... Maybe I'm falsely confident, it could be I'm just a moron, but each year without fail... I ask. And each and EVERY year... the one gift they want is NOT under the tree!

Generally, it's a gift that I've never heard mentioned until this very moment, it wasn't on their multiplely updated lists, it wasn't mentioned in passing, it never appeared on FaceBook... it in fact I believe was pulled out of their asses just to mess with me. For instance there was the year that Zack wanted a Silver Sleigh Bell from Santa's Sleigh (Polar Express year). It was also the year that only Gold Bells were produced and even so, do you know how many gold or silver bells are left ANYWHERE on Christmas Eve of the year that The Polar Express came out? Or the year Brenna was 10 and wanted Barbie Butterfly Princess or Barbie some sort of money sucking Princess. The child hadn't played with barbies in years, but suddenly.... Barbie Butterfly fucking Princess was ALL she wanted??? The ONLY present she wanted??? Really???
Or the year that Zack was 5 and he wanted a TIE! Are you kidding me... a 5 year old and he wants a TIE!! Who did he think he was Georgio fricking Armani?? Again ties for 5 year olds not the easiest things to find, let alone on Christmas Eve...

Most years, but not all, after hours of searching, miles of driving - I often was able to find these MOST COVETED gifts... but not always. Did it ruin anyone's Christmas...NO... Did it make my Christmas Eve nightmarish and stressful... yes....
So here I sit... the kids are still sleeping and I'm fighting with myself... To Ask or Not to Ask....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Letter - Virtual Edition

Many of you may have already recieved the snail mail version of our Christmas Letter. I wasn't quite ready to go completely green and do only a virtual, so I compromised. Cut down on the mailing and do a blog letter.

Happy Holidays 2009

The tree is up, but not decorated. The decorations are out, but not unpacked. The presents are purchased, but not wrapped. The Christmas letter is…Do you see a theme here? I have my Rubbermaid Christmas containers placed strategically throughout the house ready to be unpacked, but I’m seriously considering just taking the lids off to reveal the beautifully packed away Christmas decorations and calling it done! It will certainly make clean up a lot easier.

2009 has been an amazingly uneventful year. I’m not complaining I’ll take uneventful over ♫DRAMA♫ any day! John is still plugging along at Booz, Allen, Hamilton, impressing everyone he works with and making himself generally indispensable. He completed the 4th Annual Hyzy Alaskan Fishing Trip; the freezer is full of salmon and halibut. He has hunted every Saturday since time began and is gunning for deer #5. Our freezer is full of his 10pt buck and Hunters for the Hungry got the rest. He purchased the new Droid phone “for work” and it has become his new BFF. It seems he has morphed into a 12 year old girl, I recently caught him texting Brenna… who was sitting right next to him! He also uses the Fart Application at the most inappropriate times!

Brenna has grown up in the blink of an eye. It seems as though I just put her to bed with her stuffed animals and blankie and she woke up 16 with a driver’s license and a boyfriend! Yes, we now have a licensed driver in the house. I love it when I’ve forgotten something at the grocery store, but hate it when she wants to go to the mall or “out” with her friends! Last year’s “friend boy” has finally morphed into Boyfriend Brennan. I know Brenna and Brennan, too nauseating for words. I’m not sure how long the romance will last as John and I take great pleasure in sneaking up on them and screaming, “Lights On! Doors Open! Show me your hands!” It’s bound to be a little nerve-wracking for poor Brennan since he comes from a normal family!

Zack “SuperBoy” Hyzy is 11 and in 6th grade! It makes me feel slightly dizzy and light-headed to think that my baby boy is in Middle School. He is loving every minute of it, has his own Facebook page and is lobbying for a cell phone. Yep… he’s a middle schooler. He’s gotten straight A’s, done Lacrosse and Flag Football, is taking guitar and just recently got his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do! He’s growing up too fast.

As for me, I’m doing whatever it takes to keep the family up and running. Subbing at school, driving everyone everywhere and volunteering at both schools. I’m proud to say I’m not in charge of anything, but doing a lot of everything. I have started a blog, although I find the stress and pressure of coming up with something “witty” to say daunting! I’m not promising anything but if you want to check it out you can find me at Google over and leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
Hope this finds you healthy, happy and on the way to a fabulous 2010. If your travels lead you this way, the door is always open, the sheets are usually clean and while I can’t promise I’ll cook there is plenty of food in the freezer!

Love to all,
John, Julie, Brenna, Zack, Cooper, Zoey, Orio and Blaze

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful...Not..It's really delightful!

So the blizzard of 2009 is over, the sun is shining and the shovels are working in overdrive! I
don't know the technical definition of blizzard, but we sure had lots of snow. We played football in the snow, went sledding, built snow forts etc... It was nice enough outside that the boys spent
the entire day outside, minus about an hour for lunch and hot chocolate. Of course I kept yelling at Zack to "put on a hat!" "put up your hood!" He is way too cool to mess up his hair. John kept yelling at me to "leave him alone, he's a boy!" Now I ask you, what the hell does that mean? What... boy's heads don't get cold? Because he has a penis, he's immune from frostbite???
Even the snow plow got stuck in the cul-de-sac. We waved as John's little CRV drove right past him. It is hence forth called the "Man Car."
It's funny, Virginia is not like Buffalo or Michigan, the panic begins early here... When the first "potential" for snow annoucement goes out - people go into overcompensation, panic mode. I ran by Blockbuster to return some movies and it was like the end of the world. People had 10-12 movies in their hands, fights were breaking out over Milk Duds. It was not pretty! I decided once I saw that I would avoid the grocery store like the plague. We had a gallon of milk, 2 loaves of bread and extra TP. Bring on the Snow.

The next morning, I discovered the only thing I didn't have was extra birdseed. All those hungry little birds pacing on the deck... the guilt was too much. Fortunately my neighbor Debbie came to the rescue... they were making a grocery store run and brought me a new stash of seed! :o) Now my birds are fat and happy. I love the little birds. I also had to shovel Cooper and Zoey a "poopy path." The snow was deeper than Zoey was tall. She would try and run through the snow and disappear into the snow drifts. Then her little black head would pop up and she'd "swim" out of the snow bank and bound off again. Quite entertaining!

Now we're all hoping that the snow will throw the county into such a tizzy - that they'll cancel school for the rest of the week! Christmas vacation come early!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

I spent all day Sunday baking magical Christmas treats...voluntarily. Wait don't go... you're at the right blog... This is Julie Hyzy's blog, but I did spend all day Sunday baking treats. I know it's pretty much unheard of for me to bake. I can cook, but even with Betty Crocker's or Mrs.Smith's help, I am sadly lacking in the baking talent department. So, I started with something easy... something to build my confidence.
I made these DELISH Rolo Pretzel Turtle Bites. They are too die for, as a matter I've eaten so many before that I've wanted to die. They are bite-sized deliciousness that is unparalleled!
Generally, I just dip them in chopped pecans for the turtleness, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and stray from the beaten path. To step out of my comfort zone for a moment and live on the dangerous side...I dipped some in crushed candy cane (festive!), I placed a peanut butter M&M on some (chocolate, caramel and peanut butter... no brainer) and a mini marshmallow a few others. On the whole very successful and TASTY!!!

Then I moved on to the family favorite... Zucchini Bread and muffins. The only vegetable my children voluntarily eat! Makes the house smell yummy.

New Recipe Night... Christmas treat edition. I made White Chocolate Peppermint Bark. Brenna loves this, me frankly I think white chocolate is fake and so I avoid eating it at all costs. The other is Crunchy Chocolate Bark. A delightful concoction of dark chocolate, chex cereal, pretzels and a drizzle of white chocolate.

Then the tried and true and utterly magnificent... Debbie's homemade granola. We eat this like trail mix around the house, but you can put it in yogurt, pour milk over it and eat it like cereal. I was going to give it as Christmas gifts, but Debbie beat me to it.

Lastly, Frosty the Cheeseball... almost too cute to eat. I took him to Girl's Night Out (GNO) and he was delicious as well. I mainly ate his ass, so that he continued to look cute throughout the night!
It was a truely successful day, although I was so exhausted that I fell asleep at 7pm and I haven't cooked all week. It's Wendy's tonight!!! $2.99 Meal Deal... really why cook!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Makes me Smile

Brenna is vacuuming for me today because I am deep in Christmas baking hell. Pictures and documentation to follow on that since it so rarely happens. Sort of like Hailey's Comet, you really want proof that it actually happened. Anyway, Brenna is vacuuming for me today. A few months ago I purchased a canister vacuum for the first time. After reading all the reviews we decided we'd try one. So, now when you vacuum you have a little "friend" that follows you wherever you go. The one drawback to the canister is that as it follows you around it often gets confused by corners and sofas and anything else that might cross it's path. So, it really makes me smile as I listen to Brenna encourage the vacuum as she goes. "Come on, just around the corner." "You can do it, come on." If only she were as encouraging to the rest of the family!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas!

The house is decorated, the tree is up and decorated and presents are beginning to trickle in. It's starting to feel a little Christmasy. This year marked a first for us and is just another indication that the kids are growing up. Brenna put the lights on the tree.

Generally that's John's job. Our Christmas decorating follows a carefully crafted and after many years smooth process. You see, after 18 years of marriage and 20+ years together John and I have discovered that there are certian things we DON'T do TOGETHER! Under any circumstances... For instance we don't buy cars together. He surfs the web, test drives, hangs with the salesmen etc... He narrows the choices down to a couple and then I enter the picture. I view the choices and choose the one I like best. Done. Car purchased, no one cried, no one yelled and more importantly no one died! We actually followed the same procedure when we bought our house. He shopped, he toured, he smoozed... I looked at one or two and voila, house purchased. I just works better that way. Too many choices overwhelm me, too much changing of the mind frustrates me, I never want to hurt anyone's feelings including criminal salespeople. "What do you mean the tires don't come with the car? Are you sure? They are $5000 extra... Hmmm... Okay if you say so..."

We also don't hang pictures together. As you can imagine being a military family and moving quite often this almost proved to be our undoing not very long into the marriage. I approach picture hanging with a pencil, a ruler, a level and sometimes even a predrawn layout. John on the other hand approaches picture hanging with a hammer and his finger. "I think the picture should go somewhere about here" he says pointing with his finger. BAM... the nail goes in and the picture goes up. The first few moves not only did I almost hyperventilate and passout, but I almost took all my pictures and moved out!!! Now when it's time to hang pictures I generally leave the area if not the house and return when all the hammering is done. 90% of the time... it all works out fine.
So you can imagine in the early years the decorating of the tree proved to be quite challenging for this OCD girl and the caveman!

John always put the lights on. I left the room, generally going upstairs to read my book or out to finish Christmas shopping. Returning later to find the tree beautifully a light!
Then, the kids and I would pull out all the decorations and begin to decorate the tree. The kids always divide the ornaments into "their" piles, we talk about where the ornaments came from (they all have a story or a meaning behind them) and then find "just the right place" to hang

each and every one. John has generally left to watch some sort of sporting event, generally Ultimate Fighting Thing since that's such a Christmasy kind of sport. Occasionally he'll poke his head in the room to see how we're doing, but if you offer him an ornament to hang, he'll pale visibly, stammer "that's not my job" and immediately leave the room. So, this year Brenna did

the lights and she and Zack did most of the ornaments. I hung a few special ones, but really they managed quite well. Once again, no one cried, no one stomped off in a snit and no one screamed obscenities and drank an entire bottle of wine before anyone noticed. I'm just saying... it was a nice, peaceful holiday evening. I guess we're all growing up. :o)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This is not as easy as it looks!

I'm having trouble doing this Blog Thing on a regular basis. I'm finding the pressure to be funny, witty or even remotely interesting...daunting. So instead of actually writing in my blog I just continue to write "Blog" at the top of my list every day. I do all the other things on my list and then just transfer Blog to the next list. Maybe I should publish my To Do list so that you all would know that I'm not just eating bon-bons and watching soap operas. Eating Sour Patch Kids and watching Top Chef...maybe... but bon-bons and soap operas... give me a little credit. :O)

I did accomplish something pretty exciting if you ask me... I am completely caught up with my scrapbooking! Yes, you heard me correctly... I.Am.Caught.Up.With.My.Scrapbooking! I finshed the Thanksgiving Day pictures yesterday!! Yeah for me... Sound of applause is washing over me...So, while I haven't been blogging I have been productive. Just come check out my scrapbooks and you'll see.

Today we went and picked out our Christmas Tree. And.... NOBODY CRIED!!! Nobody got mad, nobody stomped off in a huff and nobody threw a temper tantrum because we "never pick the tree they like ever!" We went up to our local nursery and after about 30 minutes of "here's a good one" "How about this one" "No wait, look at this one" and "too skinny" "too tall" "that one has a empty spot" "that ones ugly" we all finally settled on one. We took all the requiste pictures and brought that baby home. It's not decorated, but it's up and in water and smelling great! It's starting to look a little bit like Christmas around here.