Wednesday, December 28, 2011


The closer Christmas gets, the more I think about the New Year.  And what a new year means to me.  We have had a rough last few years.  But, as usual, I am looking forward to 2012, and the new year.  I wonder what it will bring for us.

I love that the beginning of a new year is always such a clean slate for all of us.  A time to move on from the good, the bad, and the ugly.  We have had a lot of ugly this year it seems.  And when a new year comes, those "slings and arrows" are officially behind us.  Oh, how grateful I am for new beginnings.

As most people do, I have already started thinking about my New Year's Resolutions.  I make them every year, and like most people I find that come February 1st they have all been tossed away.  Mostly because I set some pretty lofty goals ~ goals that seem so daunting and unrealistic.  Last year, I said that I wanted to lose over 50 pounds ~ well, that just seemed so unreachable.  BUT this year, I decided it was more do-able to say that I would like to lose 1 pound a week.  That sounds more reasonable.

I also have other resolutions ~ some are personal.  Others I'm gonna share. 

I have the weightloss thing.  I also want to learn a new hobby ~ I'm thinking I would like to learn how to knit.  Or maybe just do counted cross stitch.  I don't know.  I would also love to learn how to sew, but one needs a machine for that one.  So maybe in the future. 

Another thing I want to do is organize and clean out stuff.  I have already cleared out Christmas stuff ~ I got rid of almost 2 full rubbermaid containers of Christmas stuff for donating.  And I am going through my closet and drawers and getting rid of clothes that haven't worn, won't wear, or can't fit into.  I'm really just getting in the "use it or lose it" mindset right now.  I'm loving it. 

I also have goals for the homeschooling side of things.  I want to be more scheduled with our day to day tasks.  And I need to work more with my Tucker on his reading blocks that he has.   And I want to help Xavier learn how to do research, so we are trying to think about some good science projects and history research he can do. 

For our family, our resolutions are to pay off our truck and fix it (it's been needing some work done, and come income tax time it WILL get done ;) ) and we are wanting to pay down our credit card bill and get a new tv and couch.  Those are some lofty goals, but achievable, I think.  I also want to find a family that we can help financially next Christmas ~ food and gifts.  So, I am excited with the possibilities of the new year. 

How about you?!

Monday, December 26, 2011


We had a very wonderful Christmas.  It was just the 5 of us.  On Christmas Eve, thanks to the urging of my husband, we got our presents wrapped early in the day, so while we were waiting for the little ones to fall asleep, which with the anticipation of a soon visiting Santa Claus it took AWHILE!  So, Jesse and I were able to clean up a little and then we watched movies and drank hot chocolate.  
It was wonderful and relaxing.  I'm thinking that is how it needs to be every year.  ;)

After Xavier finally went to sleep, we made our way up to bed and next thing I know all 3 guys are up and asking to go downstairs.  That's the rule around here.  I want to be the first one downstairs so I can see their faces when they see the stash :D.  It wasn't as early as I figured.  They woke us up at 7:30.  So, as usual, by about 8:15-ish all presents were unwrapped and we were getting pestered to open every gift.  The boys LOVED everything (I hope so ;) ) .  But new rules are going to have to be put in place for their new Nintendo 3Ds's.  I've already had to confiscate a them a couple of times.

I did NOT leave my pajamas once yesterday.  It was SO nice!  We had went to church on Christmas eve.  With Jesse working on Christmas day, it was just easier to do that!  And it was an awesome service!  Beautiful singing and a great message!
So, I stayed warm and cozy all day long!  I hadn't done that in so long!  We had a simple pork roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green bean casserole.  Nothing special, except that I was sharing it with the most special people in the world to me.  It was just the 5 of us.  First time in so long since that happened.   Not that we had anywhere to go.  But we are best just the 5 of us!  I am so thankful for the 4 guys I have in my life! 

I have some friends who are divorced or separated from their children's father and they didn't have their kids for Christmas break and that just broke my heart.  I am so very thankful for our cohesive family unit.  We may not have perfect relationships with our extended families, but our family of 5 is truly all I NEED.  We miss our families but are so grateful we have each other.  Oh, how I love my 4 guys!

How was your Christmas?  Were you blessed beyond measure like I was?  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 21

I am just sitting here breathing deeply.  Sitting by light of the Christmas tree and other Christmas lights in the house.  Just contemplating making my way up stairs to start clearing my bed off and climbing into it. 
I'm trying to psych myself up for my busy day tomorrow and the next few days. 

I have gotten quite a few presents wrapped.  I've decided this year to put all the clothes in gift bags.  Which truly does take alot off of the wrapping jobs off my hands.  Today, I took Tucker out to buy presents for his brothers.  He was so cute!  It's so funny to watch a kid with his pocket full of cash.  He has great schemes in his head.  But the cost sort of curbed his enthusiasm.  And with mom reminding him that he needed to buy for his brothers, not himself, kind of hurt his enthusiasm too!  But it was fun! 
Tomorrow morning, I am taking Xavier out too.  I'm hoping he has what he wants to get already in mind, cause it's gonna be CA-RAZY out there tomorrow.  Then, I have to bring him home, help him ;) wrap the presents, then I'm taking all 3 of them out to finish what I am planning on getting for them for their dad.  Then we are hitting up the dreaded grocery store (which, shouldn't be SO dreaded.  Not like it is before thanksgiving).  Then we need to get everything in the house, wrap Jesse's gifts all before he gets up.  OY VEY. 

Then tomorrow, Jesse will get up, go finish up his shopping and I will be here wrapping presents and putting together my food for our family get together on Friday.  And the hope is that there won't be any running around on the 23 or 24th except for the run to Utica on Friday evening!  I'm hoping to be SO ready for Christmas that we can just watch movies and play games and drink hot cocoa all day Christmas Eve! 

I'm finally getting stoked about Christmas.  But, I'm kinda stoked about starting to take the ornaments off the tree and start getting it put away.  I'm ready.  Although it does make for some beautiful soft lighting!  That part I will miss!  I'm also SUPER DUPER stoked about seeing the boys open their presents!  I can't wait. 

So are you guys ready for Christmas yet?! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas shopping

Well, today I went Christmas shopping.  Oh, I'm so glad that Jesse let me do it a little now!  We don't get paid till Thursday, then we have to coordinate shopping trip with the boys, for the boys and separately with each boy for each other ~ plus all the other people ~ each other, extended family.   PHEW.  That just makes me tired just thinking about it.
So today, I went to Kohl's (yes, I used my credit card, but we are going to pay it off when we get paid).  Found lot's of great deals.  Got an extra 20% off.  Plus got back some pretty significant Kohl's cash!  So, all in all a good deal!  Anytime I shop at Kohl's I usually use my card and get the extra off anyway!  Saves me money and that is always a good thing!
I just hate trying to shop for anybody but my 4 guys.  It's so hard to know what to get them!  I have some friends that I can easily buy for, but family is always difficult for me.  So, I hope they like what they get.  If not, I'm never offended by them using it as a regift or taking it back (only, I forgot gift receipts.... :/)  So sorry!
But I told Jesse when I got home that UGH, I was so glad he suggested doing it this way because I probably would just collapse in a heap of tears in the middle of some crazy hectic store full of last minute shoppers.  Oh, how I used to love to shop.  I just don't have the energy to do it anymore.  I have to take it in small increments.  It does nothing for my anger issues.   It usually just annoys me.
So I am so closer to being done than I was yesterday!  And ALOT  less stressed!  Yay!!!!!!

Tomorrow, I am getting up early and starting to bake 4 dozen cookies!!  I have a cookie swap tomorrow evening and I am SO very excited!  It's a group of ladies from my MOPS group.  I had been wanting to try MOPS out, but I guess hadn't been brave enough to try it.  So when my pastor's wife had a Christmas party for the church ladies, there was a ministry expo ~ little tables set up to see all the different ladies ministries available and I got a chance to ask about MOPS.  I went the next day and I had SO MUCH FUN!   And I ended up getting in a small group that is having a cookie swap.  So I lucked out!  I'm looking forward to it.  It's been so long since I have had some "girl time"!!!!!!!  Yay!

So, I better sign off!  Lots to do around here!  Blessings to you for this Christmas season!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Season of Giving

Or is it more aptly named the "season of constantly getting hounded by things your kids want, and the focus on getting more than giving"?  And I will be more than ashamed to admit, that I know where my kids get it from.   My parents were talking the other day, and my mom reminded me that for quite a while before every Christmas, I browsed all the toy catalogs, commercials and newspaper inserts and made an equally large Christmas wish list that I am pretty sure I handed to all that I met.  I know Santa got his fair share of my "wish list" every year.
And I am also pretty ashamed to admit, that even still, I have no difficulty making a list of things I want.  But I get so tired when with EVERY commercial they see, and EVERY store we go into it's "I want this, I want that" and it drives me insane.  I finally banned that kind of talk.  They are not allowed to ask for anything else.  I want to instill in my guys the desire to be generous, to give to others, and it just seems that it isn't getting through.  Sometimes it annoys me to no end that they just seem (at times, I'm not saying all the time) to just be so selfish and stingy.  And then, I remember.  That's because their mom is.  Not that I do it intentionally.  But when things like Christmas, birthdays, Mother's Day rolls around I can be counted on for saying "oh, this would be a great gift" or other, apparently not so subtle hints.  I say not so subtle because it's obvious now that they get it.  ALWAYS ASK FOR STUFF.  They are picking up the notion that it really is an "all about me" mentality.  And that is SO my fault.  And that sickens me.  {Now, this doesn't mean asking for what you want isn't terrible.  I just need to figure out where to draw the line!  Know what I mean?}
So, now, I'm faced with how do I teach my little men to be generous and giving?!  Better yet, how do I model that, because I am apparently not pulling it off so well.  So, this is what I have seen that I need to work on with my kids!  And hopefully, this time next year, I won't be as concerned about it because it will have gotten better!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Maybe I need to publicly express my desire for snow more often ~ late last night it started to snow and we got about an inch or 2!  Enough to cover the ground and let the guys play in the snow!  It was pretty!  But, it isn't going to stay.  It will be in the 40's next week.  And plus, very little survived the 'heat' of the day today.  But, it was snow! 

And today was a Rankin Bass marathon on tv ~ you know, they were the ones who did all the claymations, rudolph, the year without a santa claus and all those classics!  And now, we are watching a Star Wars marathon!   All 3 of my boys are all feeling a little under the weather.  Xavier is the worst.  I'm not sure if we will  be able to make it to church tomorrow at this rate.  We'll see.  I'm hoping to.  I am enjoying our church!  Love the praise and worship.  Love hearing our pastor preach.  It's been refreshing for me. 

I have lots going on (who doesn't) this next week.  A girl in our MOPS group is hosting a cookie swap.  So, I have 4 dozen cookies to make for that.  Then, we get paid (Yippee!) on Thursday, and it's going to be a task to get all the shopping done that needs to be done.  I was sitting after dinner talking to the boys trying to figure it all out.  OY VEY!  But it will be fun.  What I'm having a difficult time doing is coordinating taking them each out by themselves to buy presents for their brothers.  They want to do it separately so that just adds a little twist to the plans!  But I'm sure it will be all figured out soon.  I've learned my lesson finally {or so I hope} that I need to start saving my money throughout the year for Christmas shopping OR just shop throughout the year.  Now THAT would just solve my entire problem!  ;)

Friday, December 16, 2011

That time of year

You know, living in central New York, aka the frozen tundra, one would think that there would be absolutely no issue about snow for Christmas.  Well, let me tell ya, so far, we haven't even accumulated a full inch yet.  You can still see the dead leaves on the ground and the still green grass.  WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?!?!?!   I mean, I am so not a snow girl EXCEPT at Christmas.  And you better believe my philosophy is, if it isn't going to be a white Christmas, we better be in Florida.  But, it's not looking like it is going to be a white Christmas.  And I am not going to be in Florida.  So, it feels really weird.  We have our house all decked out, heater on (well, as on as our heater gets ;)  We never go over 68*) and no snow. 
So this year, I'm kinda not feeling Christmasy.  And it's the first year I have ever said, I can't wait to take it all down.   I guess it kind of doesn't help knowing Jesse is having to work on Christmas day.   But, I'm glad he has his job!  And I really don't mind him working, he'll be here in the morning for presents,  and dinner before work.  So.  I'm grateful, just not grooving on the whole Christmas thing this year. 

My guys have been dying to see Santa.  But I doubt that is going to be able to happen before Christmas.  So they sent him an email and they got an email and personalized video back.  They loved it!!!.  So fun for them!  I'm hoping my sour spirit doesn't diminish the magic that they should be feeling at this time of year.  I'm really trying to keep it from them.  And I hope I'm doing a good enough job! 

I am not yet done Christmas shopping.  Are you?!  I have so much left to get.  I have 2 sisters in law to buy for, cash to get for older nephews, presents for the younger nieces and nephews, finish up Jesse, and my boys.  We decided to wait until Jesse gets his bonus.  But oy vey, that is putting such a time crunch on me!   That is one thing I LOATHE doing a few days before Christmas.  But, it will get done.  And if it doesn't, then, I'm gonna have to just say que' sera sera! 

We are looking forward to going to Aunt Terry's on the 23rd for a family dinner!  That has been one of my most favorite things at Christmas!   Other than that we don't really have any other traditions ~ besides EARLY Christmas present opening!  The boys and I made cookies the other day and decorated them and they had a great time!   I'll post those pictures soon. 

Hoping you all are having a blessed Christmas season!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mommy Guilt

Do you ever just come to the end of the day tired utterly exhausted?  And in the utter exhaustion, you just go off on those around you?!
Ugh.  Well, tonight that was me.  I was up WAY too early today.  My husband came home from work and for some reason was a chatty cathy, and I interacted and couldn't fall back to sleep.  So, I got up early and got ready and it just seemed like I was go go going.  Had to go do some Christmas shopping.  And one would think that would be fun, but yeah, not so much today because I was just in a hurry.  Then when I got home, the house was torn up from leaving the children home ~ not by themselves, my hubby was home, although in bed.  So, I came home and rushed them around tried to straighten up and then bundled them all in the truck to go to the library.  Every 3 weeks or so, we go to the library for computer/library skills.  Otherwise known as a nice "field trip" for mom!
Today has just been one of those days.  For all the running and then coming home cleaning, cooking, and such I was exhausted by the end of the night.  And as a mom, I failed tonight.  I totally UGH.  I messed up.  Before bedtime I sent the boys to their rooms to clean them ~ and I threatened no Christmas presents if it didn't get clean enough.  And, they heard in a very exhausted mommy voice ~ I'm tired of their pig sty's, I'm sick of always telling them and telling them.  How disappointed it made me at their lack of assistance when it came to toys everywhere in the house.  You know the drill.  Well, maybe you don't.  And if you don't ~ Do you have kids, and if so WHAT'S YOUR SECRET?!?!?!?!

And so tonight, I put the guys to bed after this confrontation and I fairly collapsed ~ after picking up a little downstairs ~ in bed, fully expecting to fall asleep fast.  Nope, I have a horrible case of mommy guilt.  I know I handled everything poorly.  I know I was wrong.  I know I wasn't a good, let alone a half way decent example of Jesus.  And so, I blew it.  I made empty threats that I won't follow through on.  I raised my voice when I could've spoken with way more love than frustration.  And in the process, I made my guys cry.  I didn't show love the way I should've or could've.
And so here I sit, blogging my failures.  And full of mommy guilt.  Debating if I am actually going to post this.  But I think I will.  So it can remind me that I need to work on this more.  That I need to become more kind and loving ~ even through exhaustion, which is NOT an excuse to get away with being thoughtless and harsh.
And I'm thankful that tomorrow, we can start with a new fresh clean slate.  And I pray that I will be able to do things differently tomorrow!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


During the Christmas season is about the only time you ever hear about Jesus earthly stepfather.  I have always wondered about him.  He really isn't spoken about in the Bible much.  By design ~ obviously ;). 

But have you ever sat and just pondered him.  In school we are going over Christmas stuff.  But in the guide I'm using, there's really not a lot about him.   BUT, in my favorite book series by my favorite authors ~ The A.D. Chronicles by Brock and Bodie Thoene ~ they fictionalize the advent of Israel's Messiah and our Saviour.  And they write about Joseph.  It is SO worth the read ~ the nativity/advent stories are books 4, 5, and 6.  Their books always make me think and make me see the stories in the Gospels a new way.  Oh, I can't get enough of their books.  Awesome, spirit filled writers!  Love them.

Anyhow ~ they write about Joseph.  And I love that because he is a very important puzzle piece in Messiah's birth.  And he is in the Holy Word for a reason.  Just think about it.  Everything means something.  Every jot and tittle of the Bible is there for a reason, not just to fill up space.  God could've stopped at "In the Beginning ~ I AM."  And that could've been enough for all eternity, and it is.  But God decided to give us more of HIM.  He gave us a portion of HIS wisdom, knowledge, power and the desires HE has for us.  God is SO awesome. 

Anyway ~ I'm always off on trails, sorry!

Back to Joseph.  We won't know until we get to heaven how old he was or what he looked like.  But we know what kind of a man he was.  And I love this next thought.  God chose Mary to be the mother of HIS SON.  But, had she not been betrothed to Joseph, would he have still chosen her, or would he have chosen someone else?  Did you know that Joseph was also chosen by God in HIS plan?!  I think that is awesome.  We are told in the Holy Word that Mary was chosen, but I happen to believe that it wasn't just her ~ but Joseph too! 

How totally awesome is that.  The angel appeared to Mary and explained to her.  She became pregnant.  She was a virgin ~ as predicted ~ she was engaged to Joseph.  I think it had to work out that way.  She would need the protection of marriage.  She would need a protector and so would the Babe she carried.  God used Joseph in mighty ways.  But can you imagine finding out your betrothed was pregnant.  What Love Joseph possessed.  He had decided ~ after what I am sure was MANY heartbreaking sleepless nights  ~ to not cast her out of the city, not to condemn her publicly.  Why?!  Oh the great true love he had for her because as he thought even though she broke his heart (because he only had her word that it was as the angel told her) he still loved her enough to protect her life.  He was just going to quietly end the marriage, but he wanted her to live.  Oh how he loved her. 

Not only that but after the angel appeared to him in a dream and confirmed that she truly did carry the SON of God, he gladly married the love of his life.  But he married her knowing full well that they would not be able to consummate their wedding vows for several months.  Oh, how much he loved not only Mary, but oh how he loved his heavenly Father and trusted HIM.  That would be so difficult for any man ~ to be married to a woman and not be able to "know" her as a husband should.  But he was strong and selfless for the souls of the world.  And can you imagine the threat that was around Mary and the Babe?!  Think about it, they lived under threat of crucifixion at mere thought of rebellion and for Mary to be carrying the King of Kings.  The stars in the sky told of the coming Messiah.  The heavens shouted that the PROMISE was coming true.  And it wasn't just the wise men who could interpret the signs.   And, he protected Mary.  He was a shield for her.  I doubt it was easy to conceal that she was further along in her pregnancy than their marriage.  Joseph had to protect Mary's hearts from the slings and arrows of cruel people around her.  Oh what a wonderful man Joseph was.  Such love.  Their marriage is a beautiful example that I want to follow in my marriage ~ I believe Joseph and Mary were knit together, closer than best friends.  They bore a secret that not everyone knew or understood.  He understood the gravity of what Mary was carrying.  Such a couple they were.

But just think.  What if Mary had been betrothed to some self righteous, pompous Pharisee who when he found out she was with child, took her to the city and threw the first stones at her?!  Granted that wouldn't have stopped God's plan.  But it would've been a small hiccup.  I am so thankful for Joseph.  I think he is my favorite Christmas story character.  He was such an honorable man who was so in love with his betrothed and with his God.   And he earned a mention in the Scriptures.  But he didn't do it for that.  He did it for his God. 

And as I read the Christmas story, I ask myself ~ would I befriend Joseph and Mary, scandal and all, or would I be one to call for stones to be thrown?  Such thoughts. 

I am grateful that God chose not only Mary, but Joseph to work his plan through, also!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas movies

What are your favorites? 

Currently right now, we are watching The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause!  I just love this trilogy of movies!  It's awesome!  Tomorrow, we will probably break out Santa Clause 3: the Escape Clause.  These are must's in our house!

Around here, we have a few must watch movies during the season:
Elf {of course}
White Christmas ~ a friend of mine used to live with us and we watched this movie all year long and we would sing Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters!  So many good memories with this movie!
It's a wonderful life ~ and it is, and that movie just tends to put things back in perspective for me. 
Scrooge ~ the musical with Albert Finney.  LOVE that movie.  I have to watch it a few times during the Christmas season. And DEFINITELY on Christmas Eve.  Some days, I feel much like ole' Scrooge ~ I hate people, I HATE PEOPLE.  And I love how at the end he LOVES LIFE.  Such an AWESOME movie!  LOVE it! 

What movies must you see during this season?

Friday, December 2, 2011

It isn't the same

Jesse and I were talking about Christmas time.  And I was kind of griping to him that I am just not feeling excited and just feeling blah about it.  Yesterday my guys were just literally running around screaming "I'M SO EXCITED IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS".  Oy vey, settle down little ones, I kept saying.  Occasionally having to raise my voice to tell them to settle down.  Sheesh. 
But I can recall so much being like that.  Oh, how I loved Christmas.  I loved everything about it.  Counting down the days.  I spent months looking at toy catalogs and meticulously crafting my Christmas wish list.  I wrote SO MANY letters to Santa.  {I wrote my last letter to Santa the Christmas before I got married, so I was 20}.  I loved making sugar cookies and cutting them out, then baking them and painting them.  I loved going to the mall and waiting in line to sit on Santa's lap.  I remember begging my mom and dad to let me stay in HUGE lines while my parents shopped.  They never let me, but I was willing to wait hours for an audience with the big guy.  I loved driving around looking at Christmas lights, Christmas caroling, and definitely decorating the tree.  Oh, I begged God every night for feet (not inches, feet) of snow for Christmas.  I loved getting Christmas dresses and wearing them to church.  Oh, I just LOVED Christmas. 

But, I've been feeling kind of glum because I just don't feel that excitement anymore.  And that totally bums me out.  Jesse actually did a good job of pointing out to me that kids feel the magic so much more than adults.  And that it's our job as adults to promote the excitement, to provide the most exciting experience for them.  And you know, that TOTALLY makes sense to me.  And it makes me feel so much better.  I never thought I would lose that "magic" of the season, but I feel jaded about it.  Maybe it's because now, I'm the one wrapping the presents, eating the cookies and drinking the milk.  The magic is just naturally not the same. 

So, with all those thoughts in mind, I decided that instead of trying to settle my guys excitement, I'm going to try to make the most out of their excitement.  I want my guys to feel the magic so that maybe I can feel it too through them.   I want them not to remember that during the Christmas season, mom was always depressed, suppressing their excitement.  I want them to know how to make Christmas magical for their kids that they swear they will not have {THEN, I will be disappointed if they don't}.  I want them to just be completely immersed in the excitement of the season.  I also want to teach them to be giving even if they don't feel it all the time. 

It may not be the same for me as it once was, but I want it to be better.  And I'm working on it being that way!!!!!!!! 

May you all have a very blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's beginning......................

to look alot like Christmas around here.  :D  We got our tree up today, decorated, and I'm pretty much done doing the rest of the house.   I think I'm done.  I tend to over do it, but I'm really not feeling it this year!   It may look like Christmas, but it doesn't feel it.  I just feel kinda blah about the whole thing.  Which is so unusual for me, sorta.  I usually get in a funk right after Thanksgiving, then get out of it by December 1st, but not this time.  I think it has to do with the snow. 
What snow, you say?!  EXACTLY.  There is no snow.  I think that may be the exact problem!  I'm not really a snow kind of gal, but at Christmas time, from Thanksgiving til January 2nd there needs to be LOTS of pretty, glistening snow.  But come January 2nd it needs to melt and be a balmy 75* around here.  I seriously dream of a white Christmas.  I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.  It's supposed to snow a whopping inch tomorrow. 

But, I'm feeling better right now.  I just got off the phone with a couple of friends.  I love them.  They are so awesome!  It is wonderful to have someone to just pour your heart out to.  To share your heart and know that you are heard.  It is a blessing to have people to share your "triumphs and tragedies" with.  I double blessed because I have 2 friends like that!  We try to touch base every few weeks.  And I just love them!

So, anyway, I'll post pictures of the tree soon!  Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season! 

Merry CHRISTmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Q & A

1. Wrap­ping paper or gift bags? Wrap­ping Paper, I LOVE ripping into presents.
2. Real tree or arti­fi­cial?  For the last few years, real.  We've kind of done both.  Prefer pre-lit fakes, but I love the realness too.  But I think I lose one ornament in the real ones every year
3. When do you put up the tree?  I try to have it up within the first week of December. 
4. When do you take the tree down?   When I get around to it.  I usually start on New years eve stripping it of ornaments and lights
5. Do you like eggnog?  Not really.  I prefer wassail.  YUMMY.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?  Hmm.....This is a tough one.  I ALWAYS loved getting the next couple books in the series I was reading.  And I got a Mickey mouse watch.  And of course baby dolls and barbies :D
7. Do you have a Nativ­ity scene?   We did, but I got rid of it this year because I just didn't like it.  A friend gave it to us, BUT I hated it ~ Mary was blond haired blue eyed, baby Jesus had a halo.  I'm in the market for a new one.
8. Hard­est per­son to buy for?   I would have to say Jesse and any male in my family that ISN'T my kids
9. Eas­i­est per­son to buy for?  My boys are pretty easy!  But they give me a list 10 miles long!
10. Worst Christ­mas Gift you ever received?   Xavier got me a purse that was a horrible color a few years ago.  I ended up receiving quite a few purses that year so I took it back.  Now I feel bad because he feels like he can't pick the right thing out for me :(
11. Mail or email Christ­mas cards? Mail, I feel some things should be done the “old fash­ioned” way and mail­ing Christ­mas Cards is one of them.   I LOVE opening cards!!!  It's not the same clicking the link.
12. Favorite Christ­mas Movie?   Another toughy.  I love Elf.  But I think my all time fave is the musical Scrooge ~ Albert Finney!  LOVE it.  Watch it several times during the season and ALWAYS on Christmas eve.
13. When do you start shop­ping for Christ­mas?  I keep my eyes open all year long, but find that usually start seriously in November
14. Have you ever recy­cled a Christ­mas present? Once or twice
15. Favorite things to eat at Christ­mas?   Um, IDK ~ Aunt Terry's ham and raisin sauce ~ Yum.  I also like cookies and peanut butter fudge!
16. Clear lights or col­ored on the tree? I LOVE clear lights.  Jesse loves multi.  So, I put several strands of white on the tree and use multi around the rest of the house.
17. Favorite Christ­mas song?   I love them all ~ from the funny, to romantic, to nostalgic, and Biblical.  I think the ones I love the most is I'll be home for Christmas and White Christmas
18. Travel at Christ­mas or stay home?  As much as I like to travel ~ up until the last 4 years, we pretty much did all the traveling.  That is expensive and exhausting.  So now we stay home.  If people want to see us, they are always welcome :D
19. Can you name all of Santa’s rein­deer? Well of course I can.. you know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen.  Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen.  And of course Rudolph
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?  Star.  It's metal and not lit up, but it's all primitive looking and I love it!  I love a country look
21. Open the presents Christ­mas Eve or morn­ing?  We open jammies on Christmas eve and we can't open presents that Santa hasn't brought yet!  So it's Christmas morning.
22. Most annoy­ing thing about this time of year?  Every time we go into a store, ANY store, all I hear is what is on my boys Christmas lists.  UGH.
23. What is the “sil­li­est” fam­ily tra­di­tion you do, or miss doing?  I can't think of any "silly" family traditions.  I have silly memories though.  I won't share them though because some might not understand them.  All I can say is it has to do with mistletoe and cousins :D
24. Ugli­est Christ­mas Dec­o­ra­tion ever invented?  Purple and pink foil trees
25. Which looks best, theme trees or homey trees?   I think country, homey, nostalgic trees are the best!
26. Gin­ger­bread or sugar cook­ies? Sugar Cook­ies and Cranberry Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles
27. Do you like Fruit­cake? NO, but I make Jesse one every year.  And it's not a fruitcake, per se ~ although that is what his mom called it ~ it's more spice cake with raisins!

Christmas Traditions

What are some Christmas traditions at your house? 

For us, we don't have too many "must do" traditions ~ besides a tree.  But we do like to watch movies together.  Tonight, we are watching Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer.  I love it.  I just love the horrible claymation, bad audio, and all that.  That is truly what makes it a classic.  I hope they never remake it and not show this one.  It is awesome.

We also do Santa in this house.  I LOVE Santa.  And I am not ashamed to admit that "I believe, I believe.  I know it's silly, but I believe."  Although, I haven't gotten a good present from him in years.  What's up with that?!  ;)  Sheesh, my guys get some pretty kickin' stuff, but none for me for several years.  But, no, that doesn't affect my belief in Santa!  I love him :)   My guys still leave cookies and milk out every year.  I'm not sure how much longer Xavier will believe, but he's still there, but I think he's on the precipice of "knowing". 

Now, all that said, my guys know and LOVE the real meaning of Christmas.  We all know that the only reason we have anything to celebrate is because of the Babe in the Manger so long ago.  And we love HIM so much more!  Right now in school, we have taken a break from the major curriculum and are doing a Christmas unit study ~ studying what life was like back when Jesus was born.  We are using it for our geography, history, reading, spelling and vocabulary.  I am also supplementing an astronomy study for science.  My favorite authors ~ Brock and Bodie Thoene ~ have done exhaustive study about the star/stars the wisemen followed.  And we are using that.  Did you know that thanks to some awesome computer programs you can see the same sky that the wise men saw?!  I think that is totally awesome. 

Thursday we are getting our Christmas tree.  I hope.  It's supposed to snow.  And I hope so.  This is the only time of year that I want snow.  And lots of it.  It just makes it so festive to traipse through a field or lot to find a Christmas tree.  I love the smells of the tree.  Since we have lived back in NY, we have only had real trees.  We didn't have room to bring our pretty pre-lit fake tree when we moved, so I'm glad we live someplace to get gorgeous real trees! 

Well, anyhow, when we get our tree, I will try to get pictures posted!  Wishing you very blessed moments leading up to Christmas!

Monday, November 28, 2011

So you've probably noticed I redecorated my blog!  Yup.  That's about the most Christmasfying that has gotten done around here.  I'm trying, I just don't have the motivation to do it yet, which is just so odd to me!  Oh well, it will get done eventually.  Or so my kids hope! 

We are going to attempt to cut a tree down this year.  Not that we can't but it seems quite daunting a task.  And requires a little more effort than going to Lowes and picking one out.  Although much cheaper :D 

I have some Christmas shopping done.  Still have so much left to do.  And half of it I don't really know what to get which is a dilemma.  But, I'm grateful that I have such variety!

For school we are taking a break from our regular curriculum and will be doing a fun (I hope) unit study on the history of Christmas ~ what life was like for Mary, Joseph, and during the time of Christ's advent.  Although we are still doing our math, as the unit study doesn't have math with it.  And that is fine.  I'm trying to get school started earlier each day than 10, but it isn't easy :/

We had a good thanksgiving.  The guys went with me to best buy at midnight for a blu-ray player that Jesse wanted and we actually got it even though we were lined up around the back half of the store outside waiting for the doors to open.  They were so good and they enjoyed it!  {You are very welcome, my future daughters in law}.  I had a great time with them, and they even said I could take them to Kohl's if I let them stay up to 3 a.m. but I was exhausted so I just went out later in the morning and left them at home! 

So, that's what's going on here!  How about you?!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17

Today, I'm grateful for the library. 
I took the boys today ~ apparently they need to have library skills (even though outside of being forced in there by me during their school years, they won't ever darken the doorstep again).  And I have to tell you ~ I had so much fun today with them today! 
Do you know how long it has been since I've been to a library?  WAY. TOO. LONG.  This one is super duper nice.  I taught Xavier how to look books up on the computer catalog.  Although I was kind disappointed that they still don't have the whole card in a drawer catalog.  And teaching Tucker how to locate the numbers.  And getting free books to read :D  Now, the trick is getting them to read them! 
So, it was a GREAT school day. 
And I think I have to say that I'm not grateful for the Library more than what it provided for me today.  A chance to get out of the "school house" with my "student children" and just go to a different environment and teach them so fun stuff!  I'm thinking that we are going to make a monthly if not a bi monthly trip out of the library.  It's awesome!

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14th

You know, I'm really horrible about keeping up on a daily basis. 

But, I have so many things to be grateful for ~
Tonight, I am thankful for a nice warm dry place to live.   It may only be 57* out, but it is rainy (for me a wonderful Autumn rain) so it makes it feel chillier (is that even a word?!).  And I know there are so many people out there who don't have such a nice place to live as I have.  It is big enough for us.  We have all of our (way too) many belongings under one roof with room to spare ~ even though at times I will admit to having ungrateful thoughts such as, I can't wait till we can get a bigger place ~ I'm grateful for it.  My husband had to talk me into it.  I had my heart set on a couple of different places ~ single family homes ~ but he is ever so wise.  We discussed the pro's and con's of them all and he eventually convinced me this was the place for us.  And I'm grateful! 

It's a townhouse in a fairly large housing community.  But on our block, there are so many kids!  And my guys just absolutely LOVE it!  They play outside all afternoon, most days.  And it is a safe neighborhood.  And I am grateful!  I'm grateful that we have 3 bedrooms.  Our room is huge, Xavier has the smallest, but it is also all his ;)  and Tucker and Gunner share the middle sized room.  The full bathroom isn't large, but I can't complain because it has a tub, shower, toilet and sink comfortably in it!  And downstairs, I have a not-large-at-all kitchen, but you know what ~ it serves it's purpose.  We have a dining room/living room combo.  And although at times I gripe about it, it works for us.  And in the basement, I have my washer and dryer.  Along with all my pantry shelves, a spare refrigerator, all our seasonal decorations (much more than my husband would like there to be) and my scrapbook area!  I have a desk I got for my birthday that is absolutely perfect for scrapbooking!  I haven't been able to use it much yet, but soon because we just cleaned the basement yesterday and I have finally cleared the way to my desk!  I'm so excited! 

So, tonight, as I was able to hug and kiss my 3 little guys, tuck them in with their nice cozy blankets, and turn on the hall light for them, I am grateful.  This house is what we needed, and what I am grateful for every single day! 

What are you grateful for tonight?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9th

Oy vey!  I'm just a few days behind!  Can't believe it is already the 9th.  Where does time go?!?!

Well, on Monday, I was so stressed having to get out my quarterly reports for the school district.  I worked on them pretty much all day.  But thankfully, they are done and over with for another 9 weeks.  If these reports get approved, then it's awesome cause all I have to do after this is just change a few items each time.  And won't have to stress over it much anymore!  YAY!!!

Yesterday it seemed crazy busy.  Jesse worked overtime, for which I am always grateful for such a hard working guy who does as much overtime as he can to help us with our goal of getting out of debt.  But, he didn't work until the evening time.  But I just woke up feeling blah.  Got the guys school done, and usually by that time I am just wiped out.  But last night I got to talk to a couple friends of mine.  And that just always makes me so grateful.  It is absolutely wonderful to just jump on the phone with them and we can just share the good the bad and the ugly without fear of condemnation.  But knowing we will pray for each other.  Those phone calls always bring a tear to my eyes as we are on the phone just praying for one another.  I am humbled at how I see how God in HIS infinite wisdom brought one friend into my path for a seemingly short time, but we kept in touch via facebook, and now through her, God brought another friend into my life.  You know, the way God works is just so awesome.

And today, I woke up feeling so much better physically than I have in a while.  But I have a little bit of a heavy heart.  There are just some things going on with some people in my life that hurts.  But I'm ever so grateful for such a kind, compassionate Saviour.  He has experienced all that I am.  And that is so comforting. 

Today, I am grateful for a knowing, loving, comforting Saviour.  HE gave up EVERYTHING to be humbled and to live a sinless life on earth so that HE could die a most excruciating, painful, humiliating death so that HE might spend eternity with me.  ME!  Of all people, I am most unworthy.  But, I will never cease to praise HIM for HIS kindness and grace to me.  Okay, okay, to all you guys too!  ;)

What are you grateful for today?!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 6th

You know, I have so much to be thankful for everyday!  And I find it most difficult at times to narrow it down to one a day!
But, today, I am thankful for the church we have found here.  It's big ~ I don't know hardly anyone there yet, but I will.  It's totally different than what either Jesse or I grew up in (it's a Southern Baptist church ~ gasp ;)  ).  It's contemporary ~ oh, the music in this church is so AWESOME.  {Music I guess you could say is how I best worship my Creator}.  I love that every week at least one song just brings me to tears knowing how unworthy of God's grace that I am, but still I get it!  WOOHOO!  I'm so glad that when those words touch me, I can raise my hands in abandon and just praise my Saviour.  IT'S AWESOME, Y'ALL. 
But, I'm most grateful for the Sunday school class that I found to be involved in.  Today was my first Sunday in it.  It is led by our pastor's wife, Kathy Aubrey.  She chose the newest Beth Moore Bible study for us to do.  And just this first week in it is so spectacular.  Beth Moore has some awesome studies, from what I hear, but this is my first, and let me tell you, I am planning on doing more! 
This Bible study is on the book of James, called Mercy Triumphs.  This first week we are learning about the beginnings of James' life.  And it is spectacular.  I'm not gonna spoil it for you, but just what I came away with today is that even though Jesus' family (James was his brother) wanted him to "go public", Jesus didn't come to be a public figure, but a personal Saviour.  And that no matter what we've done ~ every need in our life, every mistake, every misjudgement, every wrong was/is in our life for a reason.  And that is so it could make a space for grace!  WOW.  that is life altering. 
So, today, I'm grateful for a church that I get to be a part of, participate in, and just get fed in! 

And seriously ~ you should look into this Bible study.  IT'S TOTALLY AWESOME!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5th

Today, is the 13th anniversary of 2 very important events in my life. 
The first event was that the only grandpa I knew in this life passed away to heaven.  My Poppy was such a fun guy.  He was loved by all.  Oh, he was such a one of a kind.  His laugh was so incredible.  And he said some of the silliest things.  "Fan my brow with a crow bar"  "I'll mow your ears down"  "Shaw shaw shaw" And so many other things that I can't think of right now.  But, oh how I loved him.  And I'll never forget the last things he said to me "Just serve Jesus.  Do right.  I love you".  That was a few days before he died.  I remember it well.  I was at college and working the switchboard during Chapel, and I answered the phone and it was my mom saying Poppy wanted to talk to me.  After I hung up from that, I couldn't answer another call, and I just wept.  A few days later, he was gone.  November 5th 1998, my Poppy left us.  But, he's where he longed to be ~ He's in heaven with Jesus.  Oh, how he loved Jesus.  And he loved his grandkids like nobodies business!  Oh, how I miss him! 
The same day that my grandpa died, I was filling out absence forms and passes from school.   Arranging time off from my work scholarship job.  And all this time, my wonderful boyfriend (now my hubby) was helping me.  If I hadn't have been able to find someone to take me to the airport, he would've (even though it was against the rules at the college we went to.) driven me himself.  He helped me load my luggage in the car.  And right before I left, he said 3 little words that rocked my world and forever changed my life.  He told me that he loved me.  And, I was so shocked that I was speechless.  And if you know me, you know that isn't easy.  But, I eventually said it back to him.  But, not until I  got to my aunt's house in Missouri and called him.  Still the same night.  But, those 3 little words "I love you" changed my life forever. 

So, today, I'm grateful for 2 things.  Heaven because I know I get to spend eternity with my Poppy (and the many who has went on before and after him).  Heaven keeps getting sweeter everyday.  I can't wait till we get there, to just be done with the trials and pains of this life ~ and just worship at the feet of Jesus, lay everything at HIS feet, and just be humbled before our AWESOME GOD. 
And I'm grateful for Love.  My husband loves me so profoundly.  I'm humbled by it.  I'm not worthy of it.  But I will gladly accept it ~ and do my best to give it back.  And you know, God's Love is like that too.  We so do not deserve it, we are not worthy of it, but HE gave everything to us because HIS love for us is so great.  Oh how HE loves us. 
So, I'm grateful for heaven and for Love. 

Friday, November 4, 2011


Have you ever had just "one of those days"?  I am today!  It's just makes me say UGH.
Today was also one of those days that when I woke up and dragged my butt out of bed the first thought that went through my head was "I don't want to do school".  LOL.  I sound like a kid, don't I?!  And that is how I felt!  These are the kind of days that I REALLY wish my guys could have went to school.  Now, mind you, I think that thought runs through my head at least as a whisper at least once a day.  But, today, that was like the anthem being sung LOUDLY in my head.  Usually, I truly ENJOY homeschooling, even though there is much frustration involved. 
And, tonight, the later the night gets, I know why my whiny anthem was singing in my head.  I just feel completely ran down and my throat hurts.  Which with me is a sure sign of ickyness.  You know, when we lived in South Florida, we never really got ill much.  I think I got too accustomed to South Florida, and now that the we live in this frozen tundra, we get hit hard and fast.  ICKY.  But, I'm dosing with lots of Vitamin C and am going to take some cold medicine before bed (in a few minutes ;) ), so that when I wake up, MAYBE I will feel better.  It is the weekend after all!
Tomorrow, when we get up (Jesse works this weekend, so it's just me and the boys) I'm putting going to wrestle the little men into some nice clothes and we're going to climb in the car and go to the park.  I am wanting to get a photo card for Christmas, so we are going to attempt to snap a few pictures and *fingers crossed* get a half way decent one to put on a Christmas card!  We'll see how that goes.  When I told the boys about it, you should've heard the moans and groans.  Oh, boy, what am I getting myself into?!  But, oh, well.  It will be done and over with by lunch time ~ or at least I hope so.
So, that is what's going on with us!  I can't believe it is that time of year already!  I'm ready for a trip back to Florida, but I'll save that begging for after New Years when we are buried under a gazillion feet of snow.  OH. JOY.
Anyways, I'm gonna go get my meds and throw the munchkins in bed and crash for the night myself!
Have a wonderful weekend!

November 4th

Yes, I missed yesterdays post.  Sorry! 
But I sat here last night with these words typed:
Today, i am thankful for......................
And I just couldn't narrow it down.  You know, I have so many things in my life to be so thankful for.  And everyday, I just want to say how grateful I am for my husband and sons.  they are SO wonderful.  And I am so grateful I get to share my life with them! 
But I do have so many more!  But it's hard to just say it!

Today, I want to say that I'm thankful for my sister!  She is 6 1/2 years older than me.  Growing up, we were never really that close.   But, now as we've gotten older (her far more older than me :D  LOL)it seems as if we have become quite close.  And I'm so thankful for that!  It is so nice to chat with her on facebook.  And text back and forth, usually everyday.  And it is wonderful to call each other!  I'm so thankful we  can call each other and ask each other for advice, vent to each other, or just talk about non-sensical things.  It's so fun having a sister, and I'm so grateful for her!  I do regret one thing though ~ and that would be that we don't live close to each other so the times we get to see each other are really too few and far between.  But I'm so thankful for the technology we have today to be able to keep in practically constant contact.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2nd

Today is Wednesday, November 2nd.  Today, I am thankful for my church.  We go to a Southern Baptist church.  And it is just right for us.  I love it.  On Sundays, we sing some of the most beautiful worship songs.  And I just can't help but close my eyes, raise my hands and just worship my Saviour and my God who gave me such great things and has blessed me beyond my wildest imaginations! 

But the thing I love the most about my church is Wednesday nights.  They have Awana's for my guys.  They don't have Wednesday night services.  But on Wednesday nights, I take my guys to church, drop them off at their classes and I have close to 2 hours to myself.  And I love it.  I have some friends who suggested I volunteer, and I may eventually.  But right now, I don't mind not working in a ministry for this season in my life!  I have spent pretty much near 25 years just going going going.  And it's nice to just have a breather.  It's nice to take time away and just allow myself to be ministered to rather than always always busy.  And personally, I think EVERYONE needs that for a season in life!  Anyway, I digress.

I love Wednesdays because my church has Awana.  And what makes it super duper nice is that every other week, my husband and I get to have a date night.  Can I tell you how nice that is?  We haven't ever been able to have a date night.  And up until September, we had had 2 date nights in a year.  And one of those was our anniversary.  So it is so refreshing to just have a short couple hours 2 nights a week!  It's glorious.  Wednesdays are the highlight of my week! 

So, I guess my "thankful for" is kind of a twofer ~ Wednesdays and my church. 
What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. What is your favorite month?
I absolutely ADORE November.  It is my favorite month with my favorite holiday.  I love the colors, the crisp air, the shopping!  And I love Thanksgiving.  Gratefulness.  Counting your Blessings!
2. What is the best candy to get while trick or treating?                                                                                            I don't really have a favorite candy that is given out on Halloween.  But my favorite candy is  pop rocks and whatchamacallits
3. What kind of pen do you use?
I will use any, but I have a couple favorites ~ my favorite pens are super fine tips black ink.  I hate ball points, or felt tips.  Makes my writing look sloppy!
4. You go to a new Italian restaurant, what is your go-to order?
Usually it's a fettucini alfredo.  But I never like it any more than my homemade alfredo.  I like to order chicken with it!
5. If you could choose to have any celebrity’s hair, who’s would you choose?
Celeb's change their hair so often, it's hard to say a particular one's hair. 
6. What’s your favorite board game?
 Now that my guys are getting older, we're gonna start playing more board games, but it's been mostly card games lately.  I love Monopoly and cranium and balderdash!
7. Do you know how to play poker?
Yes, and I love it!  My hubby taught me after we got married.  It helped pass the time when we couldn't afford to get cable.  We often played with friends ~ used poker chips with no money to back it up!  Its fun and no loses their hard earned cash!  And sometimes, just him and I would play strip poker ;)  TMI?!?!?! 
8. What do you think about Old Navy commercials?
Can't say I love them, but they usually make me smile, if not laugh.
9. What hurts worse- a stubbed toe or a paper cut?
Papercut, hands down.  I can forget a stubbed toe, but a papercut always replays in my head and I hear the scary movie music in my head when I just think of a paper cut. 
10. What’s your favorite kind of pie?
I like the Marie Calendars Dutch Apple pie.  I am NOT a good pie maker.  I'm not much of a baker.  I can cook like it's nobodies business, but baking, not really my thing.  I do it, but it doesn't always turn out. I can make a mean cheesecake though.