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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out

~HEADS or TAILS is below

It's a SECRET! Over the weekend hubby drew out names for a special group of ladies who, online, decided to make it an annual affair and draw names to ship a holiday gift to each other. I got my special name, and yesterday I shopped for one special gift for the name I got! It's fun. Hope she likes what I found for her! Happy Holidays my secret buddy! You'll be getting your gift in the mail soon.

For my shopping trip I went to one of our larger malls. And I took some photos --

This particular mall has in the center lobby, a place for kids! A place for them to hang out with Santa, and while doing so, they can then sit around the themed park for POLAR EXPRESS.

Here is the main "gate" and a wax replica of the train's conductor [played by Tom Hanks] is there to greet you, and take your ticket to board. "Alllll Aboard"

Here I am next to Tom H! It's quite realistic...the statue so looks like the character in the movie, it's kinda spooky being so much of a look alike. I was tempted to see if the head was bald under the conductor's cap, but I refrained from getting myself into trouble.

And naturally I grabbed a "Round Trip Ticket off the tree! I'm on my way to the North Pole, of course!!!

You'd find around the entire east, west and south sides of the train depot beautifully decorated Christmas trees! All with golden, special tickets to board!

And within the depots wall boundaries, looking through the windows, you'll view a most spectacular scene from the movie! With sparkling snow, the infamous mountain just before hitting the North Pole...'s amazing! And when Santa is there, the actual Polar Express Train is winding its way up the mountain and through the tunnels! And this is all done to scale, so it's really quite realistic and very reminiscent of the movie scenes.

The P E runs the entire tracks! Through mountain tunnels, over bridges [even with deep, deep ravines] and there is even a herd like in the movie!!

...a herd or caribou, a village where the train picks up the children to take them to the North Pole on Christmas Eve!!

And who's there on the North side? The North Pole? Why Santa Himself! He's there to give out the first Christmas Present of course! Christmas for kids is just so delightful. I'm sure glad I'm a kid in a grown-up body!!!


And I figured it wouldn't hurt to show Bud something that he should add to my wish list! I could just see this framed painting hanging above our fireplace come Christmastime!! You do know Bud's my Santa, right? He's making a list.

And after everything was oogled and ahhhhed over, I did find something for my secret name. I got home with it and took liberty of getting it wrapped securely before kitty and kitty #2 got too snoopy around the house [I learned a new word this morning --"snoopervise"! Yep, that's a definite cat trait!!]---

Now all I need to do is get my fanny to the Post Office!! EWWWWWWW!! I guess the rules of the gift exchange includes a trip to the P U ----errrr, ummmm P O?!!


Join Here

November 27: HEADS - Mark

Mark. Mark? Lordy, lordy, lordy. Mark you say? Are you sure Skittles? You really want us to write about Mark in some way? Okay....but, gimme some time to think this out some. :::donning my dunce thinking cap!!:::

"Mark" she says!
There's Mark Twain!
[either Samuel L Clemens or the actual term MARK Twain!]
Now personally, I only knew of the first segment here....I didn't know the one about Nevada, but here goes: " As a riverboat pilot, you would have heard the term "Mark Twain," which means "two fathoms," on a regular basis. According ot Justin Kaplan, the term many also have come from Mark Twain's time in Nevada, where saloon keepers used "Mark Twain" to represent two drinks on credit."

Nah, I don't think I'll use this idea 'bout "Mark". :::drumming my finger on my chin, thinking more:::

Mark Spitz! Remember him?
"He holds the record for most gold medals won in a single Olympic Games (seven), which he set at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. Between 1965 and 1972, Spitz won 9 Olympic gold medals, 1 silver, and 1 bronze; 5 Pan American golds; 31 National U.S. Amateur Athletic Union titles; and 8 U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships. During those years, he set 33 world records."

Nah, again, I don't think I'll use this idea. :::Thinking, thinking:::

OKAY!! I GOT IT!! I'll go with this:

MARK was one of four canonical gospels. And, "according to Mark, when Jesus came to Bethsaida, a town in Galilee, he was asked to heal a blind man. Jesus took his patient out of town, put some spittle on his eyes, and laid hands on him. "I see men like trees, walking," said the man. Jesus repeated the procedure, resulting in clear and perfect eyesight." [Mark 8:22-26]

The four canonical gospels all agree that it was Mary visiting Jesus' tomb, though which Mary this Mary is, and whether she was on her own, varies between the texts:

Mark 15:40]- -
"And there were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph and Salome," Or "Erant autem et mulieres de longe aspicientes inter quas et Maria Magdalene et Maria Iacobi minoris et Ioseph mater et Salome".

St. Mark wrote the second Gospel, probably in Rome sometime before the year 60 A.D. Tradition tells us that St. Mark was requested by the Romans to set down the teachings of St. Peter. This seems to be confirmed by the position which St. Peter has in this Gospel. In this way the second Gospel is a record of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles. His feast day is April 25. He is the patron saint of notaries.

NOTE added 6:05a.m.: I just left Baldwin's Girl Heads or Tails blog today, and it is so profound I wanted to notify some bloggers who love to visit others....this is one awesome entry for "Mark"!! Go read it. You won't be disappointed!!


Busy decorating the house here! And the past couple of days while decorating and such, the TV was running to keep me company as hubby had gone to the grocery store. Me? I didn't want to face the After Thanksgiving Mob, so I stayed home and kept my sanity. But, while placing things here and there, I stopped to sit a spell, and the program that was on had all kinds of decorating one hundred ideas for you that were UNDER $100. Okay, I have all my traditional stuff; didn't need anything, but it was fun to see the clever ideas no matter!

One of them that I had watched entirely was this home decorator lady who was doing the mantle of the fireplace with a theme. [Of course her firelplace had a mirror--mine doesn't] Anyway, she placed all kinds of artificial trees across the mantle [small to extra-small in sizes] and wooden candle holders. Along the wood part of the mantle, she placed evergreen garland, decorated the small trees with glitter and miniature ornament. Very festive!! And the part I liked most was instead of candles in the candleholders she placed sparkling ornaments where the candle would normally go. [upside down --the 'hanger' part of the ornament went into the holder as if it were the candle]...pretty! So, as much as I liked it, I took out my candles and before we went out to our Sunday brunch [early enough to beat the crowds] I ended up at Wal Mart to get the tiny ornaments. I found some matching ones and they were just the thing! I placed them in my brass candleholders and they look quite festive....if only I had a mirror!!


  1. Seems like great minds think alike! Hey, I have 2 2 2! awards for you! Stop by and pick em up!

  2. Geez, you find a lot of "Mark"s ! The only one I would have found and written about is the territory mark from a cat !
    You really made me work this morning with your Christmas meme ! I had to dig out old albums to find some old pictures, take a photo of them, make them better (now they look better than the originals, lol) etc.etc. But now I can tell you the meme is done !
    Can't you put the links on your blog of people who participated ? I will leave the meme link on top of my post for a while.

  3. Hi Anni. Sounds like an exciting secret. That's a lovely place. I like that movie. My son doesn't get tired of watching it. Glad you had a wonderful time shopping.

    Thanks for visiting my H or T. I'm amazed by your answers. It's nice that you included passages from the bible.

  4. I like your "mark" write up!! :D

  5. I like your ideas for mark.
    Have a great tuesday!

  6. I loved your HoT this week, but loved the mall, that is something my kids would love to see. Our nearest mall barely decorates except for a little area where Santa sits.
    Beautiful post....and when you read mine I hope you know you are one of the online pals who has left a mark on me.
    I'll get that signature in place one of these days, or pull my hair out trying :)

  7. Anni,

    That Polar Bear Express Santa set is awesome! I would love to see it. We have nothing like that here. Wow! And my friend Anni has a ticket off the tree.

    Loved your post about Mark. You did a great job on that one. Of course you always do a great job on everything. I love visiting your blog.

    I want to thank you for starting the Christmas meme. It is so much fun reading and writing about Christmas traditions.

    Take care. I'm looking forward to more Christmas decorating photos. I want to see ALL of your Santas.


  8. You really ARE a HOOT! And yes, sad to say, I am old enough to remember watching Mark Spitz win those medals.

    Baldwin's was a wonderful post.

  9. That is an incredibly elaborate mall scene! *agrees with sassy lucy* Good HoT, but the mall photos and write-up kept me distracted. Thanks for sharing. And someone looks to be getting quite a gift... *snoops*

  10. That's a lot of Mark ideas - Happy H/T!! :P

  11. Excellent entry for H/T. I agree, Baldwin's Girl was excellent also! :) Have a great day! :)

  12. That's a lot of different kinds of 'Marks' - I enjoyed reading them all! :)

  13. I love the way you wrote this! I found myself laughing, inspired, and smiling. Thank you so much.

  14. I love this post!! A great choice for Mark's.

  15. Anni,

    Please drop by my blog. There's a little something for you there.


  16. I enjoyed your post. Loved the fun facts about "Mark Twain." Have a great week!

  17. OH! I do like that ornament idea too! I actually just ordered a wreath to go over my mantle... and haven't gotten much further along in THAT area of my decorating yet. The rest of the house is coming along nicely -- but the tree isn't going up for another week or two! All my Santa's are out ... and my snowmen ... and angels ... and nutcrackers... I'm gettin' there! I'm gettin' there!

    Your trip to the mall looks like it was fun! I'm going to make a trip there too ... but I'm waiting until I have access to Luz! LOL!

  18. You really hit the "mark"! LOL!

    I love your layout by the way! Quite festive!! :)

  19. An interesting take on "Mark". Always nice to see someone remember the Gospel too. A good post for the meme.

  20. THAT was creative. Mark that. *giggles*

    A lot of Mark'ing going on, I have to check up Baldwin girl too :-)

    I'm way behind, been busy with family matters.

    We're waiting for the weekend before putting up our decorations. Not so many, since we have sorted out the old stuff and don't wanted to get so many new ones before we know if we're going to stay here or move.

  21. very interesting post on your 'Mark's - I forgot about the gospels ...I should have included that everyone all calls my husband Mark ... his name is Matthew.

  22. Oh, and that mall looks like a wonderful place for kids and grownup kids :-P

    I don't think that I ever have seen such a good xmas decorated mall over here. How FUN to shop there.

  23. You and Baldwin's Girl have given me a blogging idea to fill a need that my church has let me down on. I may e-mail on you about it to see what you think. Does your church use the lectionary readings every Sunday? I have check the "follow comments" box, so you don't need to e-mail me or visit me to respond.

  24. I agree...that Soy nog is not anywhere near the real thing...and I'm so glad that Helio won. Yahoo!