2013 Countdown to Christmas - Day 9!
2013 Countdown to Christmas - Days 16-17!

2013 Countdown to Christmas - Days 10-15!

It's 10 days until Christmas. 


Last week was just crazy. The kids had activities and homework and appointments and sleepovers. The dogs had a vet appointment. I had a class to prepare (my final class for Sizzix) and a preview video to shoot for some of the new dies for Elizabeth Craft Designs (sneak peeks coming soon) and photo cards to send (no letters or personal notes, sorry guys) and baking for two school holiday parties. 

Whew! It was a brutal week. The two things that did not happen were daily clues and housework.

Today was the day to get caught up. Well, caught up on clues anyway. The housework . . . still too busy!

ME: Hey kids, let's get caught up on the clues. Oh, you're still in your PJs? Showers first then. I picked out some clothes for you that will look nice in the photos. The outfits are on your beds.

EMMA: (rolling eyes) We don't need you to pick out our clothes!

ME: I know, but humor me, it's for the blog.

It wasn't for the blog. 

More on that later.

Once they came down, wet hair and all, it was time to start the hunt. Clue #10 was hidden five days ago, I might add.

ME: Start with Clue #10. Hey - neither of you accidentally found the money, right? It's been hidden for five days.


Of course they didn't. Don't even know why I asked that.



EMMA: Do you think it could be a laundry basket?

KARL: But they don't have lids.

EMMA: The one in our bathroom does! Come on!

They took off toward the stairs.

KARL: But what about the "gravity" part?

EMMA: Because we drop our clothes on the floor instead of putting them in the hamper!

ME: Well aren't you smart, Sherlock!

EMMA: I'm not a psychopath. I'm a high functioning sociopath. Do your research.

ME: Huh?

EMMA: It's a quote from Sherlock.

By then they had made it to their bathroom, where they trampled across the carpeting of dirty clothes on the floor and over to the hamper, where the dollars had been sitting right on top and undetected for five days.



ME: Step out here and close the door. That's a decent backdrop. It's going to be challenging to take photos today with the house being messy like it is.

KARL: That's what Photoshop is for.

ME: Yeah, but I don't think I can Photoshop a mound of laundry!

KARL: (superiorly) It's called the Clone tool.

ME: Yes, yes, you're very smart. Smile!


Looks like the hearts held up pretty well for being in that hamper almost a week!


We headed downstairs for the next clue. I was looking at the photo on my camera. Emma has always been my challenging kid for photos. She has a hard time smiling naturally on cue.

ME: Looks like Emma is actually smiling!

KARL: If you want to make her smile for photos there's a device you can get that's an electro shock for facial muscles. It'll make you smile for 5 minutes straight!

EMMA: Rude.

Karl took Clue #11 out of the box.

EMMA: Karl, give it to me - it's my turn to read it.

I knew they loved these clues!



KARL: What's a looking glass?

EMMA: It's a mirror. It says it has space behind it.

KARL: Do you think she means literal space or outer space?

EMMA: Probably literal space.

KARL: OK, let's be systematic and check every mirror in the house. (opens the door to our room) Mom has a mirror in her closet but she wouldn't want to take a photo in there.

ME: (running to close the door) Gasp! Never! It's not there!!!!

Remember the episode of Friends where Monica has a closet that's untidy? One word . . . amateur!

They tried a couple of other mirrors and then went into the powder room.


KARL: Emma, it's not the money - it's another clue!

EMMA: What does it say?


KARL: "I'm big and loud and purple, You'll find me with any luck, Although I am not broken, People say I suck." It's the vacuum cleaner.

We have two vacuum cleaners - one for the downstairs and one for the upstairs. I had actually put the clue on the upstairs one, but they spotted the downstairs vacuum where I had left it out in the foyer (did I mention the deplorable condition of my house?) Even worse, the other day I was wearing my ugly pink bathrobe because I was cold, and I had taken it off and draped it over the vacuum in the foyer! 

KARL: (pulling bathrobe off the vacuum) Oh THAT'S why this robe was there, to hide the money!

No, Son. The bathrobe was there because the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.


They were examining the wrong vacuum cleaner, and my Photoshop skills were not up to the challenge of erasing the damage the dogs did to the front door when they scratch at it barking at dogs walking by outside. And I also couldn't Photoshop in the door to my office being closed, so there's a little dose of reality, those of you who watch my videos! Heh heh heh.

I reminded them of the second vacuum and they went upstairs to the guest room closet and found Clue #13.


ME: Wait! Read it here in the guest room - I can take a photo in here!


EMMA: Well if it's a shelf used only by Mom it's got to be in her office.

KARL: I think she has a Brother printer.

Oh wow! I DO have a Brother printer. That kid is smart! And observant about technology. (But only about technology)

He also happened to be wrong about the hiding place.


They stood staring at the wall of shelves for a while and then finally spotted it.



EMMA: "We pick it out, we write the year, With a Sharpie (this can be tricky) This year we ended up with two, One's an owl and one's named Mickey." Karl, it's the ornaments.

She was right. We get one family ornament a year that documents something we did that year. Emma and I picked out the Mickey ornament at Disneyworld when we were there for her band trip at Spring Break. But then John pointed out that he and Karl didn't go on the trip so we should get a second ornament. We picked out an owl when we were shopping as a family on Small Business Saturday a few weeks ago.


They found the final clue behind the Mickey ornament and turned to read it.



KARL: "Searching high and searching low, It's fun . . . you shouldn't knock it. But if you want to find the cash, Reach deep into your pockets!" 

He just stood there puzzled.

EMMA: What pockets? Of the jeans we have on?! How-

KARL: (sudden realization) Emma, she picked out our outfits!

Emma started checking her pockets.


 EMMA: NO WAY! Karl, check your tiny little pocket.

Karl dove into his pocket and pulled out the money.


EMMA: (looking at the origami bills) What are they?

ME: They started as houses, but I had to fold them extra to make them fit in the pockets.



KARL: (unfolding them all) Oh I see - they're fives because it was multiple clues.



As they went to put their money in the envelopes I asked Emma if she was impressed.

ME: That was pretty funny, huh? You guys were going all over the house looking for the money and it was in your pockets the whole time!

EMMA: (grinning) Good job, Mom. (she clapped)

ME: Hey, that looked like sarcastic clapping!

EMMA: No, THIS is sarcastic clapping. 

She demonstrated a much slower clap.

ME: Ah. 

Well in any case, I was super impressed with myself for pulling that off. When Emma came down after her shower her hands were in her pockets! Good thing I chose to use those tiny little jeans pockets that nobody uses unless they need to hide some money.

I will try to stay on track next week with daily clues. 

See you tomorrow for Clue #16!