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.