Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Welcome 2010

Every year, I set a few measurable goals for myself and our family.

I am always striving to grow in my relationship with Christ and in my earthly relationships. So...I don't include these in my yearly goals.

Financial Goal: We would like to pay down our mortgage.

Parenting Goal: I desire to document our family by getting caught up on scrap booking.
Nutritional: I would like to add 5 healthy meals to our menu. This is a challenge because I am a vegetarian, and my family really enjoys meat.

Environmental: I want to consume fewer plastic shopping bags which means that I am going to have to remember my canvas bags.

We Made Soap!

Several months ago, I wrote about this adorable turtle soap.
I mentioned my desire to learn how to make such cute soap.
My faithful reader...aka mother-in-law....bought A all of the necessary supplies for Christmas.
We gave it a try this morning!

It was really easy and quite fun!
Now the kiddos are ready to take a bath!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dick's Five and Ten

Let me start by Scotty has the highest moral standards, and he has NEVER walked away from God's plan for his life.
If you think that the following photos could dampen your opinion of him...please don't continue to read this post!
Several people have encouraged us to visit Dick's Five and Ten while in Branson.
Both sets of our baby boomer parents love this store.
Needless to say, we ended up visiting this "dime" store over the weekend.
Scott and I just couldn't figure out what was so special about this jam-packed, competitively priced store.
We found ourselves laughing at the baby boomers who were tickled pink about a game, candy, hand-kerchiefs, and anything else that they never thought that they would find again. The folks in this store were down-right giddy.
Then I watched as Scott ran up to me with a bounce in his step and a smile on his face.
He proclaimed, "Look what I found....REAL candy cigarettes!"
Yep...he paid $0.39 cents a pack for these candy memories.
He did walk into a store with one in his mouth, and ask the owner about their "smoking" policy. It definitely crossed over into obnoxious!

He also begged for a quarter to put into the "Measure your Lover Personality Type" machine.
And....I had to pull him out of the store in a tantrum over a replica of the Christmas story lamp!

What childhood memory would you hope to find at Dick's Ten and Dime?

Christmas in Branson

My parents blessed us with a Christmas trip to Branson.
Branson proudly proclaims the real reason for the season at every corner.
We heard, saw, and experienced the amazing Christmas story like never before.
However, it was REALLY cold.
Here we are at the entrance to Silver Dollar City.
This was the warmest part of the day! Doesn't everyone ride a roller coaster when it is 27 degrees?
Fire in the Hole....
We experienced the daily lighting of the enormous Christmas tree.
It was absolutely beautiful!

By this point in the evening, I had lost ALL feeling in my toesies!
A little frost bite for a day full of memories......I will take it!
Thanks again mom and dad!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Sweet Girlie

I asked Scott to get O dressed for our Christmas Eve Family Celebration.
This is what I saw when I walked upstairs.
When I asked him what he was thinking, he said, "I couldn't find black tights, and these are the ones that she wanted to wear. I thought 'why not'!"
If anything ever happens to me, please help my fashion-less husband dress my beautiful princess!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Homemade Christmas 5-Gifts for the Birds

I wanted A and O to experience making thoughtful gifts for those that they love.
Our family LOVES to feed the birds.
So, I decided to help them make pinecone bird treats.
I knew that I could find pinecones for free, but I didn't have any idea where to look on such short notice.
I ended up buying 2 packages of 3 at the Dollar Tree for $2.00.
I purchased the bird seed at a local farm store for less than $2.00, and I had a lot left over!
We started by spreading peanut butter over the pinecone.
We then rolled them in bird seed, and I tied a ribbon on each one for hanging.
(I would however advise to tie the ribbon before spreading the peanut butter. Live and learn...right?)

We then placed them in a clear bag, and gave them to our aunts and grandmas.

I think that they are quite beautiful, and I am pretty sure that the birdies will appreciate this winter treat!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The H Family Christmas

I have previously mentioned how my children have been blessed with great Christian role models.
Well, here they are......It has been over 4 years since we have taken an extended family photo.
We have loved ones who have chosen to distance themselves, and every year it has just been hard to say..."here is our family".
This year, we decided that it was time to take a current photo.
However, we are all vastly aware that there are important pieces missing!
We are still praying and believing for that Christmas miracle!

If you know these children, then you are aware that this is why they are so spoiled rotten!
It has absolutely nothing to do with their parents!

Boy has this family changed since I met them 13+ years ago!

J, K, S, and J....if you are reading this, we miss you, but respect your wishes/desires!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Letter

Every now and then, I feel like a good Christian parent. Tonight is one of those nights!
Here is A's letter to Santa:We had the "Santa" talk this year.
However, he still decided to believe or should I say, "play along".
I am so glad that he loves the rele resen bedr!

At the Feet of Baby Jesus

Yesterday, I stepped out my front door to get the mail, and I quickly spotted this dollar bill resting in my flower bed.
Woo Hoo!
You see....we live at the bottom of a quiet cul-de-sac. We haven't seen a visitor in weeks.
Then, I realized exactly where it was placed on the wet ground.
At the feet of Baby Jesus!
So many lessons and symbolization
I painted this small nativity a year after Scott and I were married. I often think about painting them white, but I just haven't been able to. When I look at this nativity, I am reminded of the young, lonely, homesick, over-whelmed young wife who was just trying to make the best out of VERY LITTLE!
What are you laying at the feet of Jesus this year?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reindeer Food

My sweet friend, Cheryl, gave O one of these bags of reindeer food yesterday. She (and all the kiddos) loved it!
This is an inexpensive, creative, homemade way to spread Christmas cheer!
I LOVE it!
Cheryl sent me this photo, recipe, and poem to share.Add green and red food coloring to sugar and whisk until the clumps are gone.
Layer in piping bags.
1 tsp red sugar
1 tsp green sugar
1/3 cup oats
1/2 cup of bird seed (black sunflower seeds)
Sprinkle this reindeer food outside tonight.
The moonlight will make it sparkle bright.
As the reindeer fly and roam,
This will guide them to your home.
So simple and fun to do with your kiddos!
Thanks Cheryl!

Christmas Cheer? Or the Joy of Having a Mother Who Takes Your Photo ALL of the Time?
These photos were taken hours of each other, and they make me laugh!A at his church Christmas program.
He learned the meaning of commitment!
I don't know if he will ever "commit" to anything again.
Merry Christmas!
What face are you wearing today? Is it one of joy?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Pieced Together Nativity

My grandmother has a beautiful, hand-painted Nativity that I have admired my entire life.
When A was born, I set out on a hunt to find a similar one.
Believe it or not, I found this one at a garage sale for $1.00 that very summer.
I finished painting the pieces (with the exception of the camels).
This year, I visited a local pottery store in hopes of finding a stable.
The only stable was $57.
That didn't fit into our budget!

Today, I visited one of my favorite thrift stores and found this one for $7.00. I want to add a few extra touches before next year, but what a blessing!

Maybe, I will get around to finishing the camels next year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wooden Blocks

This summer, I bought this box full of 2x2 inch wooden blocks at a garage sale for $2.00.I didn't know what I was going to do with them until I read this blog!

I used one of my favorite spray paint. I ordered black and white wallets of some of my favorite photos from 2009 and decoupaged them onto the blocks. I added some fun paper and a little twine.
I don't think that these will get packed away with all the Christmas decorations.
I can see them hanging from a shelf or hook.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Seriously....aren't they just too sweet!
Well, don't let the photos fool you!
It is really starting to feel like Christmas in our home!
What is your idea of a perfect Christmas photo?

Homemade Christmas 4

I just have to share what A brought home yesterday!
His teacher made him this ADORABLE stick horse ornament.
This is our newest Christmas treasure!
It will be found on our "perfect" Christmas tree for years to come.
I think that he was almost as excited about it as his crazy mother.
I am pretty sure that hundreds of children have these hanging on their trees reminding them of their wonderful kindergarten teacher.
Love it!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Homemade Christmas....Our Day at the Mill

I have been busy today finishing up a few of my Christmas gifts.
This summer, my family spent the day at a local mill.
It was so much fun, and I took some photos.
I decided to make a scrapbook of the day for my grandma and grandpa.
It isn't real fancy, but I know that they will treasure it.
Here are a few of the photos that are in this book!
My Parents, Grandparents, and kiddos

My dad is explaining how the mill works to A. I am pretty confident that he understood every word!

This was a "perfect" day!
I hope to have many more just like it!
So...that is one of the Christmas gifts that we will be giving this year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Homemade Christmas 3

I have heard countless stories of individuals stressing about buying Christmas this year.
I think that we all need to take a closer look at our traditions and the priority that we put on gifts and gift-giving.
How can we make what we can afford look like more?
Here are just a few suggestions:
-photos....everyone LOVES photos
-create a scrapbook of a special day, adventure, the year in review....
-write a letter of thanks and appreciation
-create a "coupon" book that consists of simple things that are free yet special to the individual that they are created for
-let your kiddo paint his room the color of his choice
-give something that is full of family history
-board games
-Homemade goodies
-Make a scarf, blanket, shelf....
-Create a "Make Your Own Snowman" kit or a science kit for all of those young scientists
Give the gift of TIME!
How are you making your dollars stretch this year?
What are you making, creating, writing?
I would love to know!
We can all choose to celebrate the greatest gift of all...the birth of the Savior!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Little Man Turned 6!

So, today was the day that we were supposed to celebrate Andrew's 6th birthday at the bowling alley surrounded by his favorite friends.
However, he woke up with 2, count 'em 2, pink eyes.
He was such the trooper.
This was such a teachable moment for my little man!
We ended up eating and celebrating at home with family who weren't scared off by pink eye!

We ate "bowling" cupcakes that A decorated last night.

It is so hard for me to believe that my 9lb 13oz baby boy is now a reading, bike-riding, toot-letting 6 year old little man!

...who still has ownership of half of my heart!
We are going to have a momma/son date tomorrow at the local pottery store.
God....thank you for choosing me to be his mother!

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Not-So-Favorite Things Friday

My friend, Traci, blogs every Friday about her favorite things. Of course, she calls it...Favorite Things Friday! I, being in a complaining kind-of mood, decided to post a Not-My-Favorite Things Friday blog.
When I worked in Chicago, I had a pair of gloves/mittens. They were perfect for taking care of stubborn shoe laces, wiping noses, etc.
So, I was super-de-doper excited when I saw this pair. Until I put them on this week and discovered a problem....
What am I suppose to do with my exposed thumb?

I guess this is why they were at the Dollar store.

This is the only thing that I haven't rushed to get out of Skipper's ever so busy mouth! of my Not So Favorite Things!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The "F" Family

This is one of my newest favorite families. The list keeps getting longer and longer.

They invited me to take family photos in their beautiful home, and they are allowing me to post a few of my favorites.N was just not feeling this pose. She had her own ideas and in her opinion this was "stupid".
After a little (or a lot) of parent intervention, I managed to get this shot.

But...the drama continued.

Don't you just love J, the older bother! He is tired of the drama!

More drama.....

I can't seem to find the photo of the family laughing about the entire incident!