Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas highs and lows

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas! I think this is the first year where I don't feel sad for Christmas to have come and gone. I think that is because it is the half-way mark to us leaving Texas, and I'm looking forward for what's to come.

Anyways, here are some Christmas highs and lows!

The Good:

Christmas cookies! I even managed to get Joel to help out. ;) (btw, Sam did the American flag!)

Christmas Eve dinner. All the finger foods you could want! I tried something new and made these "crab wontons." They were really yummy! We ate a bunch of junk food and watched Brave for the first time.

Sam was so excited about his gifts. That's him getting his remote control tank.

Martha Stewart's Monkey Bread. Our Christmas breakfast tradition.
My present! After Owen threw up on my last laptop Joel bought some new parts and got it running again, but it blacked out at least once every 30 seconds. Pretty annoying, and I'm so happy to have a new one! I'm also in love with Windows 8. It made the shower radio and rotating tie holder I got him look a little lame though (haha, I was out of ideas this year!).
my mom got the kids a bunch of craft activities. so much fun!

this lion from my in-laws. So ridiculously cuuuuute!
The bike we got Allie is too big & scared her. I still haven't returned it, and every time she sees it she says "I DON'T LIKE MY BIKE."
this present for Joel. Allie dropped it and broke his head and arm off. I thought for $25 he'd be a little better made :P
(lets pretend it looked something like this)
Christmas dinner. What can I say? I was tired. I threw a turkey breast in the crockpot, & we had French fries, instant stuffing, and canned cranberry sauce. It was easy at least!
This present. Apparently some of the jewels were dropped (actually a lot of them) and Owen ate them. I found "treasure" in his diaper the next three days. That was a weird surprise.
So there it is! Overall, it was a really great time, and Owen left the Christmas tree alone which was awesome!

Friday, December 28, 2012

New year, New blog...

So, I decided to start a second blog. Last year my goal was to do things more healthy, and while I did make some progress, I really didn't get as far as I had hoped. It's a teensy bit embarrassing, but besides salad, I'm really not a huge vegetable person, and I'm really wanting to change that (we have them at every meal, I just don't love them). I think there are a lot of reasons why I never had the follow through I wanted...thinking it would be too much time, too much money, not enough cheeseburgers...the main one I'm coming up with is that I'm too stuck in my way of what dinner is supposed to look like: meat, carbs, and a few veggies on the side.
Basically, I'm starting the second blog as a kind of way to keep myself "accountable." I'm thinking I'll post recipes I try, the families reactions to them, and also how much I spend each week (I'll have $100 allotted each week for groceries, household items, and diapers if I can squeeze them in). I think it would be really really awesome if I could switch us over to a mostly vegetarian lifestyle, but I am a self-professed meat lover. Haha, but who knows, maybe this will be such a success we'll all become vegans.
Here's the link to it, tell me what you think about the whole thing. I know it's not a new idea or anything, but I think it will help. Public shame is a great motivator.

Haha, and just in case you really care, this song is the inspiration to my blog name. I've heard this song on cd in the car about 9 million times.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

gingerbread houses, gifts, & gender guessing

A few weeks ago, our town had a gingerbread house competition, and here were a few of my favorites. One year I want to try making one, but this year is not that year.


I did get things together this year and had a teacher's gift in time for Christmas! I didn't do the homemade caramel sauce like I planned, but that's the least of my concerns.
 Ms. F. didn't get any of the cream cheese since it needs to be refrigerated, so we just did caramel with skor candy on top (in a $1 jar from Hobby Lobby), added some homemade cinnamon ornaments, and a gift card to Olive Garden.

these are the ones we did for the kid's Sunday school teachers. I made a bad judgement call and let Allie watch and she ended up coughing into two of the made-jars, so two people are only getting caramel. :P It did result in us getting some of the dip, which is delicious. I will definitely be making some more for us!


also, thought I'd point out these gift bags that I love. I got them after Christmas last year from Hobby Lobby for about 20 cents each. They are so glittery I can't stand it. :P
Ok. Now to the gender guessing. Annaleigh realized that there are certain people that she can't tell the gender of (namely, elderly people and women with short hair). Anytime she's uncertain she asks-very loudly- IS THAT A BOY OR A GIRL, MOM? It's so embarrassing, and I feel bad for the person in question so I'm definitely trying to put a stop to that. Mostly, I'm hoping that they can't understand what she's saying.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Sam and Annaleigh's different takes on Santa Claus....

When Sam was three, he had a disappointing Christmas because he thought Santa would be in our house handing out presents in the morning. Last year Sam was starting to doubt the validity of Mr. Claus, so I just told him Santa only brings toys to kids that believe and he quickly deemed himself a believer. (Smart boy!) This year, so cute...the two things he really wanted and was asking for was a DS and a remote control helicopter. Unfortunately, those two things weren't happening this year (no to the ds just because, and no to the helicopter because it would be broken in a day, but we did get him a remote control tank complete with  firing "missiles" so I think he'll be happy.) I let him know that mom and dad wouldn't be getting him those things so he wouldn't be expecting them, so he said he'd ask Santa. I told him Santa doesn't make those kind of things in his shop. Here is the letter he wrote in school:
He let me know as soon as I saw it that he knows that Santa probably can't make a car, so what he is really asking for is crayons. That is just so Sam. Such a logical little boy. He decided he needed new crayons, and that Santa should be able to make those, so that's what he's going with. Maybe this is just cute to me though, because I am his mom. :P

Now Annaleigh...
she reeeeeeeally wants a pink computer (where do kids come up with this stuff?) She's been asking for months. Thankfully they now make toy laptops, so Walmart is going to fulfill her greatest dream. Last night I asked her if she thought Santa would bring her one for Christmas, and she totally gave me the three year old equivalent of rolled eyes and she said, "there is no Santa." What!!?? 

We don't really push Santa, still, you'd think at three you wouldn't question it, but that is Annaleigh for you.

Monday, December 17, 2012

count your blessings

Three posts in a 24 hour span~ that has to be some kind of record! Anyways, I just wanted to give a little update on my decision for Sam, because I spent a long, hard time deciding what to do with him today. My first thought was to pull him out of school today, and possibly the whole week, but after a while I realized that more important than what the principal and 3rd grade teacher did, is how I felt about Sam's actual teacher. How I feel is that I am grateful that she is Sam's teacher. I feel confident that she has her students best interest in mind. Basically, if I can trust her tomorrow or next week with my baby, then I can trust her today. I sent Sam in with a letter telling his teacher as much.
Second, after I dropped Sam off, I went  and bought a fruit tray and some chocolates for the receptionists. I figured that if the angry outpourings online was any indicator, they'd be having a bad day since they were the ones that people would be taking their frustrations out on. Two of the ladies started crying when I brought it in, so I felt good about showing them some compassion.
So, while what happened at his school was absolutely not okay, and something should be done, the people that are there right now are the very same ones that we as parents would hope&pray would protect our children with their lives if it ever came down to it. I think now, more than ever, it is important to let people around us know that what they do counts, and that we appreciate them, and not to take out our fear and anger on those that don't deserve it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

a little bit of fluff

and now for a little fluff, because I think that is the key to not becoming overwhelmed. To focus on the here and now...the moments that you do have, rather than the fear of what may be.


Here are a few highlights from our week:

Our snowman fridge

Playing cards is fun, buuut:

not so much when your losing ;)

Owen getting into the Christmas spirit

Snowball cookies

this one really cracks me up for some reason :)

nor doth He sleep

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
 Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

I've absolutely and completely come to realize that I cannot watch (which I haven't done) or read the news. It almost feels impossible with the media frenzy out there, but  after reading a story last night about how the children just wanted to have Christmas (such a sweet, childish thought...), I spent the next two hours crying in bed. In general, since Friday I have been feeling pretty down and depressed.  I think it's because before Friday it felt like our children were still safe, that there was a line that would not be crossed where they were concerned. How do you get past the fact that now that line has been crossed?

And then, to make things a little worse, I found out this morning, that there was a gun incident at Sam's school back on the 3rd. Apparently a student brought a gun (broken & unloaded thankfully) to school and threatened to kill two students. The schools principal had hopes of joining the student counsel and becoming superintendent, so she decided to try and hide it and didn't let ANY parents know what happened. It wasn't until ten days later that parents found out. I've always loved Sam's school, but this is just so wrong on so many levels.

Anyways, how do you let things not get to you? How do you keep yourself from letting the fear of the world for your children overwhelm you? Obviously, there is the thought of homeschooling. If they don't go to school, this can't happen...if only it was that simple, but it doesn't actually work that way, does it? Are we also never going to the mall again? The movies? How about church? I suppose the only thing you can do is believe that God is in control, that He is faithful and good, and that there is a purpose and a plan for our lives....

I'm going to go out on a limb here and recommend the book "The Shack." I say a limb, because in my opinion it is a bit irreverent in it's portrayal of God (God the Father is a woman, and the Spirit is some sort of female wind...) BUT it does do a very good job of showing where God is when bad things happen and why He allows things to happen...

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6

Friday, December 14, 2012

Good Wife, Bad Wife

It's been a while since my last Good Wife, Bad Wife post. I'm feeling a teeny bit shaky on which side I fall on for this one.
Subject matter? Yesterday's post. I'm going to skip ahead and show you a few of my very favorite home ideas:

Notice a theme? White. I absolutely love white. It's bright and cheery and clean (at least before the reality of three kids and a dog set in).  As much as I love it, Joel hates it. He leans toward color & modern designs, while I am monochromatic & traditional/farmhouse. This is probably the biggest area where we don't see eye to eye.

We're (I'm, haha) planning on a new bedroom once we move, and we've looked at probably hundreds of bedsets, until we finally found  this bedroom set from Kohls that we both like. I however can't get rid of my want for a white comforter...

Good Wife:
 1. Being economical. I was given about ten yards of white fabric, so it's pretty much free.
2. I'm not forcing him to buy the $180 Pottery Barn one.
3. I'm standing firm on this one. Being confident in one's choice has to be a good thing, right?
4. I'm not subjecting him to future pouting.
Bad Wife:
1. I know that Joel hates it as much as I love it.
2. I also know that by making the thing myself, there is no way he can say no to it. That would just be wrong. ;)
3. Thanks to a friend (Thanks Christine!), I learned that Target has a $40 version, so if mine fails, I'll probably still buy it.
4. There was actual horror in his eyes when I showed him what I was working on, his response was, "I thought we were buying one??" (we still are).

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Currently trying to duplicate this:
Let it not be said I'm not ambitious. And while I may be ambitious, I also have an uneasy feeling that I may be crying because it ends up being a complete disaster, that I poured hours of work into. The  good news is that I was given a never ending supply of white fabric, so at least it won't cost me anything monetarily...anyways, I'll let you know how it goes. I currently have 1/15 of the squares I need completed (then I'll quilt them together, and then make a duvet with sheets...). So far so good. ;)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flip Flop

Joel's schedule changed again, so instead of going to work at 3 pm, now he gets home at 3.  Both have good and bad points, but a surprisingly good one is that I've begun waking up at 5:30 with him. It's an hour earlier than my normal time, but it has honestly been the best thing for me. I am a g.r.u.m.p. in the morning, but by getting up an hour before the kids, I have time to wake up, and enjoy some coffee and silence before the chaos begins. It has really helped my mornings start better, and I'm sure not having a crabby mommy makes the kids morning more pleasant too. ;)

Anyways, here are a few other things from this past week:

Annaleigh's Christmas cards for the grandparents
Yeah, the kid growling at your kid at the park? She's mine. In her defense, she's a "shark-horse" so she really can't help it. 
My sewing're also not seeing the table which is covered in my junk ;)
After is a little better, but I'm starting to dream of a little hutch type desk I can close up...
The product of all that mess:
An apron for Sam
and one for a friend
The kid's tree (which I adore)
our tiny tree with Christmas books (the kids get to take turns unwrapping a book each night). Cute in theory, awful in practice. An awful lot of whining and arguing is involved, this will definitely NOT become a tradition :P
something else we're trying, an activity advent calendar I made with felt & felt ornaments, this may be a keeper
Potato leek soup. It's been in the high 70's all week, so I'm trying to convince myself it's Christmas time with seasonal foods ;)
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