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December 9th is National Believe Day – Do YOU believe?

 

santa

My kids with Santa when they were younger.

Did you know that December 9th is National Believe Day? It’s part of a campaign called the #SantaProject. Children and adults from around the country are declaring that they believe in Santa Claus. The mission of the campaign is to keep the story of Santa alive in our modern age by filling the internet with the magic of belief.

I love this time of year. The sights, sounds, smells (gingerbread cookies, real Christmas trees)… you name it, I love it.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were at a mall to see a movie. We have never been to that mall before, except to see another movie. We never walked around. Since we had time to kill we thought we’d stroll around and check it out.

As we were walking we saw the set up for photos with Santa. As we walked around the set up I saw Santa. He looked directly at me, gave me a big smile and waved. I may be a forty something year old, but having Santa smile at me the way he did really made my heart smile.

 

I still remember how anxious I felt Christmas Eve, lying in bed, desperately hoping to hear Santa’s sleigh on our roof top. I wanted to see if I could see the jolly old man himself in person. I never did catch him in the act.

Me, my cousins and my great-grandfather Christmas morning (not sure of the year)

Me, my cousins and my great-grandfather Christmas morning (not sure of the year)

Back in the day we didn’t have the opportunity to get our picture taken with Santa (where I lived growing up), but we did get to see him on the back of a fire truck each year. The fire department would drive him up and down the streets – stopping to greet children, talk to them and hand out candy canes and coloring books. I may be in my late 40’s, and I can barely remember what I had for breakfast let alone anything else, but I still have vivid memories of Santa on the back of the fire truck.

EVERY YEAR when we watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and we finally see Santa at the end of the parade I ALWAYS get teary eyed. I don’t know why. Just something about seeing him on his giant sled makes my heart explode with happiness and I develop “happy tears.” I have no doubt when I’m 60, 70, 80, and God willing 90+ I will still get “happy tears” when I see Santa at the end of the parade.

For Christmas I keep telling my kids the only present I want is a picture with them and Santa. I even tell my husband we (meaning him and I) should go and get our picture taken with him.

As a family, we love to track Santa or NORAD. We do it every year. Even my teens are into tracking Santa. All during the night we let each other know where Santa is so we can see when he’s coming to New York.

We also put out cookies, milk and treats for the reindeer every Christmas Eve night as we are heading off to bed. We take turns doing it because each of us wants to do it.

We don’t have a fireplace, so to make sure Santa gets into our home on Christmas Eve, we have a Santa Key. It’s a magical key that we hang on our front door before we got to bed on Christmas Eve so that Santa can let himself in when he arrives.

santa-key

Our Santa Key

I always try and do nice things for others – even random strangers. I am a firm believer in Random Acts of Kindness and try and do things as often as I can whether it’s paying for the person’s coffee on line with me, holding a door open for someone, giving up my parking spot for someone else or helping an elderly neighbor take out the garbage.

There is something about the magic of the holidays that make me want to do more. My husband and I call it a “Secret Santa,” but it’s not the kind of Secret Santa most people think of.

One of the things we enjoy doing (if we have the funds to do so) is go to a local nursery that sells Christmas trees. We go in and give the lady at the cash register money to purchase a tree – but we don’t actually buy the tree. We tell them to use that money to pay for the tree for the next person that comes in. We don’t need to know the next person’s situation. We just hope it makes them smile and encourages them to “pay it forward” and do something nice for someone else. In a way we are paying homage to Santa by helping to bring the magic of the holiday to others.

There is a wonderful website and article that talks about how Santa is Real. The article highlights why belief is important. It also has some fun FAQ’s and more. It’s very interesting and it was fun to read. I think I’m even MORE into the holiday spirit after checking out the site.

Check out this brief video that explains why experts feel it’s important for children (and adults) to believe in Santa.

 

I love it! What a fantastic video. I also never really thought how important it was to believe.

I am grateful that my children – even at ages 17 and 19 – still believe in the IDEA of Santa, and that they still get giddy putting out the milk and cookies and hanging the Santa Key on the door.

What about YOU? Do YOU believe?

Feel free to share your thoughts. As always, I love to hear from readers. I would most especially love to hear your thoughts about this.

To see what others have to say check out the hashtag #SantaProject on social media.

santa-project

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Macys to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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It truly is a small world after all… (giveaway ends 3/31/16)

 

bear

Me and my Roly Poly Chime Bear which I still have buried among boxes full of favorite childhood toys.

I am a very sentimental person. I have A LOT of wonderful memories from my youth. I have things around my home and in storage that have a lot of great memories attached to them. All I need to do it look at an object and all those wonderful memories come pouring back into my mind.

Take for example the poreclin dog I have sitting on my bookcase. It belonged to my great-grandparents. Every time I visited their home (they lived next door to me), I always saw that dog.

From what I know they had the dog when they got married. Usually these dogs come in pairs and sit on the mantle or on the fireplace. My great-grandparents didn’t recall what happened to the other one.

The dog I have much be close to 100 years old. It might be worth something to someone ($$$) but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me are the found memories attached to that dog. The same applies to a kitchen magnet that I also have that belonged to my great-grandparents. It’s just a magnet but whenever I look at it I remember the times I spent in their kitchen.

I have a lot of toys and books that I held on to from my youth. In my father’s basement are all my Fisher Price Little People I had grown up (the original wooden ones). I also have the first two plush animals I ever owned from when I was a baby. They don’t look like much now, but they went on many adventures with me growing up and traveled all over the place with me.

Pal an Bridgette

I loved to read as a child and young adult. These days I barely get a chance to read.

I kept my favorite books from my youth to share with my children (which I did). I saved my children’s favorite books too so that they can share them with their own children, as well as my books. I hope they do the same for their children some day.

Some of my favorite books included:

The King, the Mice and the Cheese

The King, the Mice and the Cheese

Ma Lian and the Magic Paintbrush

Ma Ling and the Magic Paint Brush

Put Me in the Zoo

Put Me in the Zoo

book

Gidappy (pictured above) was the first book I ever purchased from the school book fair.

I still have my original copies of these books. They are currently stored in my father’s basement because we ran out of room in our bookcases to keep all of my childhood books.

Another favorite book of mine is called One Kitten by Kim. My name is Kimberly so I thought it was super cool to have a book with my name on it, even though the name was Kim and in the book, Kim is a boy. I didn’t care. The book was named after ME.

One Kitten for Kim

In the book, a boy name Kim has a cat who has kittens. His parents tell him he can keep ONE of the kittens as long as he finds homes for all the other kittens. Kim does find home for them, but he also picks up a lot of “things” along the way that also need homes (I won’t spoil it by telling you what the “things” are).

I love that book. I read it over and over again. It never got old for me.

One Kitten for Kim is the reason why I always wanted a Radio Flyer Red Wagon. In the book Kim toted around his kittens in a wagon. I always wanted a wagon so that I could do the same. Sadly, I never received a wagon.

One Kitten for Kim was written by Adelaide Hall and illustrated by Don Madden.

Fast forward several DECADES.

I was chatting via Facebook with a relative. She was married to my brother-in-law’s brother. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago at a very young age.

I won’t mention her by name for her security. I’ll refer to her as Ms. C.

Bucket List

Ms. C. and I were chatting on Facebook one day and I had mentioned to her that writing a book and having it published was on my “Bucket List.” She told me that her father wrote and illustrated books. She told me his last name and I tried to look him up on Amazon. One of the first books that came up with his name was ONE KITTEN FOR KIM!

No way!

It’s true! The man who illustrated one of my all time favorite books from my childhood was her father – Don Madden.

Talk about a small world! That is crazy!

Her father went on to write and illustrate several books over the years. He’s also alive and well and living in upstate New York.

He was kind enough to send me a copy of One Kitten for Kim that he personally autographed for me (along with beautiful illustrations). He also sent me an autographed copy of one of his books, The Wartville Wizard, which I think it a fantastic book to give to a child.

Autograph

The Wartville Wizard is the story of tidy old man who lives just outside Wartville. He has a clean and tidy home, just the way he likes it. Sadly, the people of Wartville think differently. They litter all the time. The tidy man’s garden and yard gets filled with trash and he is constantly cleaning up after others.

Time goes by and the tidy man spends his days cleaning up the garbage and litter the people’s of Wartsville mindlessly toss aside every day.

One day the tidy man took a walk into the woods and sat in a field and apologized to Mother Nature for not being able to stop the people of Wartville from littering. Mother Nature heard him and gave him a special power – the power to make litter find it’s way to the person who tossed it aside and have it become stuck on their body and unable to be removed.

The Wartville Wizard

Autograph 2

Soon the careless people of Wartville find the trash they mindlessly tossed aside sticking to them. Some residents – the biggest offenders – find themselves covered in trash.

After a young sees the tidy man commanding that litter he found be returned to it’s owner, she tells the people of Wartville that he’s a wizard and they confront him.

Will they learn from the tidy man and stop littering? What will they do with the so-called “wizard?” To find out you need to pick up a copy of The Wartville Wizard.

The book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book seller locations.

This book is a fun way to teach children the importance of not littering. Not only could parents/grandparents utilize this book to teach children an important lesson, but teachers could use it too to segue into lessons about our environment and the importance of doing what we can to take care of it.

Earth Day is on April 22, 2016 this year. This would be a perfect book for Earth Day.

Both of Mr. Madden’s books sit in my bookcase in the living room along side other autographed copies of books, some of my favorite books and the porcelain dog that belonged to my great-grandparents.

bookcase

Mr. Madden was kind enough to offer a lucky reader an autographed copy of The Wartville Wizard. There is even a place where the lucky winner can insert the child’s name among the author/illustrator’s autograph.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on April 1, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win an autographed copy of The Wizard of Wartville?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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The Little Red Wagon…

Pal and Bridget

Think back to when you were a little child. Was there a toy that was very special to you? For me it was my Fisher Price Little People (back when they were made out of wood) and my stuffed animals. In fact I still have the first two stuffed animals I was ever given – Pal and Bridget. Pal is in bad condition. In fact, he doesn’t even have a piece of hair left on him. I THINK he was dog at one point because he used to have long ears.

I loved my toys. I loved them a lot. I was fortunate that my mom and dad provided me with a lot of great toys over the years.

One of my favorite outdoor toys was my my Radio Flyer tricycle. I wrote that bike all over – the front yard, the driveway and up and down our road. Once I put a great big teddy bear that I had on my Radio Flyer tricycle and took it to a hilly part of our road and let him ride down. My poor bear ended up with dirt and tar all over his feet which I was never able to clean off. None the less I had a great time doing it.

You can even make out my Radio Flyer tricycle in the background of this picture of me. I have another photo of me riding the tricycle but off hand I don’t recall where that photo is.

Tricycle

One thing I always wanted as a child, but never did get, was a Radio Flyer red wagon. I’m sure many people know exactly what wagon I am talking about. It’s the classic red wagon that is seen in many books and old photos from years go by. The wagon looked like this;

classic-red-wagon-model-18

I wanted the Radio Flyer red wagon because there was a book I loved to read called Kittens for Kim where Kim (a boy), had a wagon he used to carry around some kittens and other fun things. I also used to love to read my father’s Dick and Jane books and Dick and Jane had a little red wagon.

Books

I thought it would be fun to have a little red wagon of my own. I would use it to carry around my plush friends and take them on adventures with me. I also secretly wanted to sit in it and ride it down the hill on our road, which is probably why mom and dad never got me one. LOL.

I’m an adult now and in the back of my mind I’ve always longed for that elusive little red wagon that I always wanted as a child. I know I would be able to play with it like a child would, but I still think it would be fun to use it as a decoration. I have seen people display potted flowers on a red wagon. I love that idea, except we don’t have a yard or any place to display it.

As odd as it sounds owning a little red wagon was on my “Bucket List.” It was just something from my childhood that I always wanted and I someday wanted to finally get one.

That day is now.

Radio Flyer sent me a little red wagon, but there is a “twist” to this – it’s a miniature version of the little red wagon. It’s the very same Radio Flyer little red wagon that I always wanted, except it’s itty bitty. It’s just the right size for a toddler to pull around or to use as a decoration.

As luck would have it the little red wagon arrived the day before my husband and I went on a quest to find him a new water jug. We checked out a few stores. In one store there was a toy section. My husband and I love checking out the toys (we are big kids). As we were looking around I came across a plush tiger. Right away the tiger looked like one of my favorite comic book characters – Hobbes from the Calvin & Hobbes comic series. I love Calvin & Hobbes so much that I am planning on getting them tattooed on my ankle as soon as I have the money for it.

Incidentally Calvin and Hobbes rode around in a little red wagon. Maybe its kismet with me and the little red wagon?

I had the perfect place for my new plush friend – in my Radio Flyer little red wagon which I am now proudly displaying on my bookcase.

Radio Flyer and Hobbes

@ Bill Watterson

@ Bill Watterson

Now my childhood wish for a Radio Flyer little red wagon has come true. And on top of that I found a way to pay homage to one of my all time favorite comic book characters.

I’m a very happy person right now.

Radio Flyer wagons have come a long way since I was a child. They still carry the classic little red wagon, but in addition they carry some really cool wagons that are ideal for toting along your children whether it’s around town or on vacation.

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Check out the Radio Flyer EZ Fold Wagon. It’s the only folding wagon for kids to ride in. It’s big enough for two children to ride around in comfortably. It even sports 4 cup holders, seat belts (which is important) and a removable canopy to protect little ones from the elements.

My kids would have LOVED to be driven around in this wagon. I wish this was available when my kids were younger.

When my kids were younger we had to push them around in the stroller. It was not very comfortable for them, especially when they got older. Plus my kids felt confined and there were not able to move around as freely as they could in a super cool wagon like this.

There were so many times a wagon like this would have come in handy like parades, strolls around the lake, the county fair and even just taking a walk around town.

It looks like it might be hard to fold up but you can fold it up with just one hand.

Wagon

I haven’t seen this wagon in person but it looks like folded up it should easily slip into a standard size truck for easy transportation.

If you have ever traveled with a toddler you know how easily they tire out. Having a wagon like this is not only fun for the children, but it is also less stressful for the parents. Parents won’t have to listen to little one whine and complain about being tired or their feet hurting, and they won’t have to carry their child around on their person.

Check out this brief video about the Radio Flyer EZ Fold Wagon.

 

The Radio Flyer EZ Fold Wagon is for children ages 1 1/2 and up. It retails for $199. That might seem a bit pricey but this is a product you will find many uses for (you can even us it to haul other things aside from little ones) so it’s more of an investment rather than an expense.

If I was little I think I might have wanted to have this wagon in addition to my little red wagon.

If you would like more information about the Radio Flyer EZ Folder Wagon or other Radio Flyer products please visit www.RadioFlyer.com. The brand is also found on the social media sites. All the links are found at the top left of their home page.

Do you currently own, or have you ever owned, a Radio Flyer product? Do you have a favorite product? Do you have any fond memories involved Radio Flyer products? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

3900_IMG_Lifestyle

Kimberly

*I received a mini little red wagon in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Finding the “missing piece” to the puzzle

 

Me as an infant.

Me as an infant.

I have a secret. It’s not really a secret to family and close friends, but its something that I don’t often talk about. My secret is that I no next to nothing about my biological mother. She abandoned me when I was a toddler and I was raised by my paternal grandparents.

All I know is what I have been told by family members.

According to my paternal grandmother my biological mother was very young when I was born (I was told she was 16). She had married my biological father and he went into the Army and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan shortly after I was born. For some reason my biological mother and I didn’t go with him. We stayed in New York.

I was told that I was treated like a doll more so than a baby by my biological mother. She would dress me in doll clothes and only feed me powdered milk mixed with water. I take everything I am told with a “grain of salt,” meaning I don’t necessarily believe everything 100%. People’s recollection of things change over the years.

My paternal grandparents offered to help take care of me. They saw how my biological mother wasn’t doing well raising me. Then one day, out of the blue, she called my paternal grandparents and told them “If you want her, come and get her.” (referring to me). When they showed up at the apartment they found me and her dog and nothing else. She had moved out of the apartment leaving us behind.

I know I was a sickly child. I was brought to hospital right away and found to be severely anemic from lack of proper nutrition. I mostly lived on powered milk and water until I was a toddler (around 18 months old). My paternal grandmother refused to keep me hospitalized and brought me home. She was determined to get me to eat real food and get healthy. I won’t go into details about that now, but for this reason I am obese and I am still anemic.

My biological mother was only seen one other time after she left me and that was at the courthouse when my biological father divorced my biological mother. She also granted my father full custody of me. She wanted nothing more to do with me.

Me as a toddler

Me as a toddler

By the time my father had come home from Japan I was already calling my paternal grandparents “mom” and “dad”. I was raised with my aunt, and I hear her call them mom and dad so I did the same.

In effort not to confuse me my paternal grandparents offered to raise me as their own child.

I grew up thinking my aunt was my sister, my uncle was my brother and my biological father as my brother too.

My mom (paternal grandmother) finally told me everything when I was 21 years old. Some how I always knew. There were too many tell tale signs. For example, I went on dates with my “brother” (biological father). He also bought me my first car and took me to Europe for my high school graduation. He didn’t do those things for my “brother” and “sister” (aunt and uncle).

I’m totally cool with everything. I know it was all done out of love and I ended up with a mom, dad and a father. In fact I have a wonderful relationship with my biological father. He’s even best friends with my husband. I also have a step-mother that I adore.

I love my family and I wouldn’t change a thing. But there is still a missing piece in my life that I doubt I can ever fill.

To be totally honest I don’t think I could ever have a relationship with my biological mother. As a mom I can’t see how you can just up and abandon your child. Not only that, I lived at the same house with the same telephone number until I was 28 years old. If she wanted to reach out to me she could have called or sent a letter. My family was in the phone book. Not only that she had parents, grandparents, a sister and cousins who all lived locally. One of them could have reached out to me on her behalf, even to find out if I was OK. It’s as if they fell off the face of the Earth.

Me as a toddler. My hair looks almost yellow!

Me as a toddler. My hair looks almost yellow!

I do know that I have at least a half brother. Long story short, a young man called my paternal grandmother (my mom) and asked her how they got custody me me. From what he told her he had a son with my biological mother and he was sick and in the hospital. He wanted to get full custody of his son, like how my father got custody of me.

No one knows what became of that. Hopefully the baby survived and is doing well.

It bothers me that I know NOTHING about my maternal side of my family. I know some illnesses are inherited. For the health and well being of myself and my children I would very much love to know about my biological mother’s health and any issues from her side of the family. My daughter has Raynauds. No one in our family (my paternal side and my husband’s family) has it. Where did it come from? Did it come from my biological mother’s family?

I would LOVE to know medical history. I would also like to know about my half-brother. I think it would be wonderful to find him and get to know him (if he wanted to have a relationship with me).

My paternal grandparents are deceased now and my biological father doesn’t remember much. He was just a young teen when I was born too. Clearly I was an “oops” baby. They only got married because it seemed like the right thing to do. I don’t even think they dated too long.

The only thing I have are two photos of my biological mother and three baby rings – one with her initials and two others whose initials I don’t recognize.

Linda Sue Smith

LSS

I have tried for years to track down my biological mother, or anyone in her family. The problem is that her name is very common. It would be like finding a needle in a haystack the size of the Empire State Building.

Her maiden name is Linda Sue Smith. Do you know how many Linda Smiths there are in the world? Sigh…

I “guesstimate” that she’s about 62 years old (give or take). Chances are she’s married and goes by her married name.

I see stories on the internet and in the news all the time about people finding long lost relatives all the time. I wish I knew how. I have tried everything within my power to find my biological mother, or at least a relative willing to talk to me and tell me about family health issues and whatever happened to my half brother.

I don’t have the funds to hire a private investigator. Even if I did I have nothing he/she could go on other than a name.

I always feel like something is missing in my life – like a piece of a puzzle. Not knowing anything about my maternal side of my family makes me feel like I don’t know who I really am – only bits and pieces. Where does my hair color come from? Do I have more siblings? What were my maternal grandparents like? What nationality am I? These are questions that will never be answered.

I do know that some of my personality “quirks” stem from all of this. I’m a “people pleaser” and will do anything to make people like me – even if it’s something I don’t want to do. I also feel like nothing I ever do is good enough, even if people tell me it is. I truly believe these “flaws” come from being abandoned – as if I wasn’t good enough for my own biological mother to love and want me in her life. I guess deep down inside I feel like my mother didn’t like me, that is why she left me and that maybe if I was a cuter baby, I slept through the night, cried less or anything else she might have liked me and wanted me to be in her life.

Chances are she probably had “issues” and it was all for the best. Still, it’s hard to get over those feelings that are buried deep down inside. Plus there are two sides to every story. Maybe what I’ve been told so far is not 100% accurate. I would be interested in hearing her side of the story.

Is your life story similar to mine? If so, how do you deal with not knowing anything about the missing side of your life?

Have you found a long, lost relative? Did you hire someone or did you find them by searching on your own?

I was a cute little girl.

I was a cute little girl.

Kimberly

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Welcome 2015! 15 Fun Facts about Me

 

New Year

I can’t believe it’s 2015. What happened to 2014? It’s like I blinked and BOOM! It was a new year. That’s kind of scary if you ask me.

I would like to wish all my readers a happy, healthy and successful New Year. May all your hopes and dreams come true in 2015.

To kick off the new year I thought I would share 15 fun facts about yours truly – ME!

I think it’s always nice to get to know the person behind the blog. Who knows, we might have a lot in common. 🙂

1. I would do anything to have a house. We live in a tiny condo with no yard and it’s awkward to have people over because we have so little room. I dream of a house where I can plant a garden, decorate both inside and out on the holidays and have people over all the time. I think family and friends would get sick of me because I would want to invite people over all the time just to make up for all these years of not being able to host a holiday party or backyard barbecue.

2. I love cheese. I can’t go a day without having a slice of cheese. My favorite is New York Extra Sharp Cheddar.

3. I can’t watch those commercials for helping pets in need (like the ASPCA commercials). I quickly change the channel or leave the room. It breaks my heart to see an animal in need, which could explain the “mini-zoo” we have at home.

A Dunkin Donuts gift card from my boss.

A Dunkin Donuts gift card from my boss.

4. I go to Dunkin Donuts so much they know my coffee order without me even having to say anything to them.

5. My husband and I want to go back to Disneyland desperately. We’ve only gone once as a family and our kids were very little then (and barely remember any of it). They are teenagers now (our daughter graduates high school this year) and we worry that we won’t be able to before both of our kids leave the “nest.”

6. My desk looks like a mini-toy store. I have toys all over my desk including a small plush Olaf, a zombie gnome, Walking Dead bobbleheads, Fisher Price Little People and a Breyer Horses. I also have on my desk a bottle of Skull Vodka because I think the bottle is cool looking as well as a glass paperweight that belonged to my great-grandmother.

7. I enjoy photography. My outdoor/nature shots usually come out great but my indoor shots are always awful. I don’t know why.

8. I am a very sentimental person. I have several items that belonged to my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents that I hold on to because they bring back such fond memories.

Peanutbutter cups

9. I find Reese’s Peanut Buttercups very addicting.

10. I LOVE The Walking Dead. I was into zombies long before everyone jumped on the Walking Dead “bandwagon.” My best friends from high school and I even have the nickname “Dawn of the Dead Girls” from a band we were friends with because they hung out at my house one night to watch Dawn of the Dead (the original) with us.

11. I have an eclectic taste in music. My playlists might include a sequence like this – Elton John, Metallica, Josh Groban, something from the 80’s, Nickelback (don’t hate me because I like Nickelback – LOL), Placido Domingo (opera), Adam Lambert and Bon Jovi. The only thing I can’t get into for some odd reason is country music.

12. I find British comedies funny. My favorite is Are You Being Served?

13. I cry watching commercials, YouTube videos or anything I find beautiful and touching (“happy tears”).

Tom Kenny

Tom Kenny

14. I get star struck. I know celebrities are people just like we are, but sometimes I still get star struck. I could barely speak when I had the opportunity to chat with singer Josh Groban. I’m still amazed that Sir Elton John hugged and kissed me on the cheek and that I had a wonderful conversation with Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob Squrepants and many other characters) and his lovely wife.

15. I have a “Bucket List” that continues to grow, even though I know I’ll be lucky if I can knock even one thing off that list.

I have no idea what is in store for me in 2015, but I am hopeful that it will be a very good year. I hope it’s a great year for YOU too!

Do we have anything in common? Feel free to comment and share a fun fact about you.

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Kimberly

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Farewell to Frosty…

 

My childhood home at Christmas time. Notice Santa (by the stairs) and Frosty over by the farm corner.

My childhood home at Christmas time. Notice Santa (by the stairs) and Frosty by the front of the stairs.

I had a wonderful childhood. My mom and dad made a wonderful life for me. Because of that I have very fond memories of when I was little.

FYI… My mom and dad were my paternal grandparents. I was raised by them. Even though they were not biologically my parents I they raised me from when I was a toddler. They always have been – and always will be – mom and dad to me.

The holiday season has always been my most favorite time of year. I loved everything about it.

One day I looked forward to every year was when my dad would drag down the holiday decorations from the attic. Mind you he didn’t do it willingly. My dad hated hauling down all the boxes and decorations from the attic. Our attic was not easy to get into. You had to climb up a latter and squeeze your body through a very narrow opening. Once in the attic you had t walk bent over so as not to hit your head on one of the nails sticking out (my husband found that out the hard way).

I would anxiously wait downstairs for mom my to bring down the boxes that my dad handed her from the attic. No sooner did she plop the boxes in front of me I was opening them up and taking everything out.

Our holiday decorations were like my long lost friends. I was delighted to see them again. I missed them throughout the year.

Two of my favorite decorations was our 5′ light up Santa Claus and our light up Frosty. They were my dear friends. I would actually hug them when they were finally retrieved from their attic prison. I would actually talk to them as if they were alive (no… I’m not crazy. :-)).

When it comes to my childhood memories many things have great sentimental value to me. Santa and Frosty are two such items. Even when I was little I would ask my mom if I could have them when I got older so that they would always be a part of my Christmas.

Years went by, I grew up and moved away and Santa and Frosty left their attic home less often. Eventually my dad never set them free anymore. My parents were not into decorating anymore once the kids were grown and on their own.

After my mom passed away (sadly just a few days after Christmas) I had asked my dad about Santa and Frosty. I asked if I could have them and let them be enjoyed once again. Dad would tell me that he’d have to ask my sister (my biological aunt)  if she wanted them before letting me have them. For years I would ask and for years he would never ask her about them. Finally my father took things into his own hands. Since he was the oldest child he had first dibs at Santa and Frosty and he opted to give them to me and my family.

I still remember the day my father brought them to us. Mere words could not expressed how over joyed I was. My Christmas friends were back with me.

Every year for the past 10 years (give or take) Santa and Frosty have been proudly displayed on our balcony for all to see. Our neighbors also appreciate seeing their smiling faces light up the night (not too many people decorate their balconies in our condo complex).

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One year is snowed just before Halloween. My husband, being the crazy person that he is (in a good way) went into our basement storage area and retrieved Santa and set him up on our balcony – surrounded by Halloween decorations. We even turned him on that night for all to see. Our neighbors thought it was hysterical and appreciated my husband’s sense of humor.

In a couple of weeks we’ll wake up Santa and Frosty from their year long slumber in the basement and set them up on our balcony so that they can light up the night and spread holiday joy.

Sadly Frosty is not doing so well. The years have not been kind to my dear old friend. When we was still locked away in the attic his head cracked. That crack led to another crack, then another. We’ve tried to mend Frosty with glue and clear packaging tape, but it’s not holding up. Each year Frosty’s condition worsens (thankfully Santa is holding up well). I’m afraid the end is near for Frosty – the same holiday decoration that has brought me such great joy all through the years ever since my childhood.

Is it “wrong” that I can’t part with him? Frosty has ALWAYS been a part of the holiday season. Things will not be the same without him. Even Santa won’t be the same without his trusty sidekick.

It has taken me years to consider finding a replacement Frosty. But these days you cannot find the same plastic Frosty from yesteryear. They don’t make them anymore. The Frosty we have was made in the 60’s and they stopped making them in the 70’s.

They don’t even make plastic Frosty decorations anymore. These days they are all blow up decorations.

I believe he’s known as a Poloron Frosty the Snowman and/or a “blow mold.”

I know I might not ever find a perfect match, but even a cute and friendly look Frosty would be nice.

Our daughter (who is now 17) enjoying our friend Frosty - long before he started to fall apart - literally.

Our daughter (who is now 17) enjoying our friend Frosty – long before he started to fall apart – literally.

Every chance I get I check out yard sales in hopes of finding another Frosty to bring into our lives and let my beloved Frosty go. I have never had any luck finding one.

I have searched the Internet to find a new friend. I have found him on places like Ebay. Last year we found a dealer who had a warehouse full of Frosty friends, but they wanted A LOT of money for shipping.

Even on Ebay Frosty is too expensive for us. I would bid or buy one in a heartbeat if we could afford it. I have several auctions bookmarked but I am unable to make a bid.

I even told my husband that when it comes time to let Frosty go I wanted to keep a piece of him so that I’ll always have something to remember him by. My husband completely agrees with me because he knows how much Frosty means to me and Frosty has been a part of his life too.

How do you let go of a beloved friend like Frosty? Our balcony will be dim without his warm, friendly glow.

I’m an adult, so why does the idea of throwing away a piece of my childhood upset me so much?

Even if there was a Christmas miracle and we found a similar Frosty, I would have a hard time throwing him away. I know that eventually I’ll have no choice. The poor little guy is literally falling apart. It’s time to let him go to the “North Pole in the sky”.

Sigh…

If anyone has ever seen a similar Frosty to my dear friend Frosty, online or elsewhere, PLEASE keep me in mind. Christmas will never be the same without Frosty.

Frosty the Snowman

Kimberly

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