Dec 27, 2007

Boys, boys, boys, means noise, noise, noise

Picture it ... my house ... 11:30am ...

Boys: Running, laughing, running, MORE laughing .. Declan walking REALLY fast ...
Me: Boys, please don't run in the house
Boys: Yes mam .. DeClan (ahhhh!)
10 minutes later ....
Me: I said, please don't run in the house
Boys: Yes mam, we heard you ..... DeClan (Yells!)
Noise: Clunk, thump
Me: Running through the house and I see Austin against the wall in his room, lying sideways against the tricycle ...
Me: Boys .. what was that noise?
Austin: Me ....
Me: What happened Austin?
Austin: I really need to stop runnin' in da house ....I hit da wall!
Me: Yes, Austin, let me kiss the booboo
Austin: Yes, mommy .. thank you
Ethan and DeClan are watching and come over a kiss mommy too ...

I wanted to scold, but instead I just held my boys ..

Whew .. no blood, no bandaids

Dec 25, 2007

Christmas Memories

As each Christmas as an adult comes and goes very fast ... I continue to remember my childhood memories and hope that D and I are helping to make great ones for the boys. I remember each Christmas waking up at 4 or 5am, creeping down the hallway, peeking around the corner to see the wonderful display of gifts and getting so excited. My sisters and I would play for hours, wake up my parents, play more and then eat a wonderful breakfast prepared by my dad, because my mom was already working on Christmas dinner. I also remember singing happy birthday to my mother, a Christmas baby herself and hoping she was enjoying her day too. I think I was 9 when I found out who was bringing the Christmas morning gifts .. hehe .. but it didn't make my future Christmas' any less special .. because I was with my family and to me that is all that really mattered. I do remember VERY fondly Christmas Eve service at our church. This is when mother would deck us out in the finest of dresses (all matching colors for her 3 girls) and we would go to church and enjoy the best reason of all to celebrate Christmas. JESUS!

This year our boys are 11, 2 1/2 and 1. D and I got up BEFORE the boys and kept waiting for them to wake up .. but they have settled into a Christmas break routine and wake up later and later each day (I know I will pay dearly later). We finally woke them up around 8 and brought them into the den and boy were they surprised! We don't talk a lot about Santa, he is NOT banned from our household, he just isn't discussed all that much, but the kids still enjoy the surprise of toys under the tree and presents to open. This year the house is much noiser than others .. all three have trucks, remote control cars and tickle me Elmo and Cookie monsters that have made us all fall on the floor!!!!!

We have eaten our share of food through Christmas 2008, but most of all we celebrated what God did so many years ago, thanked Him for sending His son and praised His name for one more year to be together ... My hope for you and and your family to celebrate the birth of Jesus, love on your family, TELL THEM you love them and ENJOY this time together.

Dec 22, 2007

GranGran's Ninja Turtle Love

Who else but a great grandmother who doesn't get to see her great grandchildren more than twice a year would do this?
GranGran, Ethan and Austin at Ethan's birthday party

Dec 20, 2007

Christmas Photos and Kids ...

Somehow those two words don't go together. It never is as easy as the finished product looks ...

I cannot get this picture turned around .. uuurrrgghhh. So ... no finished product ... at least not yet ...
Stay tuned!

Dec 16, 2007

It's been 12 years .. I am still learning and hubby says so is he


It ain't easy, but when done God's way and in God's timing, it can be simply marvelous. It has to be by God's design ... otherwise you don't stand a chance in Helvetica to make it.

You have to die to self .... on a regular basis.

Here's to you honey! (And I'm sorry .. you know why .. hehe)

I love you and that will NEVER change.

Thank you for asking me to share your life!

Dec 13, 2007

Christmas MeMe

Kim tagged the ladies who read her blog .. this is first one I have ever done .. so here goes and YES, it was fun to answer ...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper with Big beautiful ribbons, wish I knew how to wrap presents like you see in the mall.

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial, I love the smell of real trees, but do not like the clean up. I do use real garland sometimes in the bathroom and over the fireplace.

3. When do you put up your tree? The weekend after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the first weekend after the new year.

5. Do you like eggnog? No mam.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Cabbage patch doll (Micheala)

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? No, but I would love one and need an unbreakable one with the two explorers in my house.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My children, they are well rounded and like everything

9. Easiest person to buy for? My sister who's in school, she wants gift cards from Barnes and Nobles to pay for books.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Work out video series (Sorry honey ... my health minded husband). I guess it wasn't so much the gift, but the timing. I HAVE used the tapes since then though.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, the personal touch has been lost with so much technology. I also use this time to send new pictures of the children. I don't know why I wait til November to get all 25 rolls of film from the year developed.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas with Bing Crosby. Everyone looks soooo beautiful. I really only like the singing and dancing.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The week before. Although I am making notes throughout the year and it only takes me 2 hours or so. I am really trying to demonstrate more on giving to others with my children.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, but only because I thought the person I gave it to, needed the item more than I did and it was brand new and I had been given several just like it that year. (I'm just sayin' ......)

15. Favorite things to eat at Christmas? This year we have a new cookie in our home "The Sugar Cookie", thanks to Melanie and it has become our signature cookie and man o man, is it delicious. I love making these with my children. We also eat a lot of these. (Oh, my, my!)

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? We always use clear lights on our main tree and outside.

17. Favorite Christmas song? A Holy Night and Now behold the Lamb (Kirk Franklin version)

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes, dasher, dancer, prancer, vixen, comet, cupid, donner, blitzen, rudolph

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither, we have our last name initial painted gold and wrapped in a beautiful gold bow. I have tried toppers and they have not worked for our tree. Our colors are gold, silver and cream.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Both. We open one gift on Christmas Eve-- the rest on Christmas day after we have had dinner.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Probably the materialistic attitudes. Afterall, it is Jesus' birthday!!!! I do NOT like hearing Happy Holiday!

23. What is the "corniest" family tradition you do, or miss doing? Our corniest tradition is this: We pile in the car, go get hot chocolate and drive around town looking at Christmas lights singing Christmas carols. We always laugh and have fun! (This is exactly what we do Kim!)

24. Ugliest Christmas Decoration ever invented? Sponge Bob

25. Which looks the best, theme trees or homey trees? I like both.... my theme? Things that represent our family. (Musical notes, church, initials, an ornament with my daughter's name) The colors are gold, silver and cream.

26. What does Christmas mean to you? (This is what Kim said and I couldn't have said it better.) Christmas is a time to celebrate God becoming flesh! Christ left his throne and place at the Father's side to become a helpless baby in a poor, poor family - to grow up despised and rejected by men, and live a perfect life and die a sinless death in order to completely absorb all of God's wrath against my sin! Now when God looks at me, he sees me through Jesus!

Dec 12, 2007

Christmas Traditions ....

Someone recently asked me what our Christmas tradition was OR what would we like to start as tradition for MY family. My husband and I grew up with very different ways of celebrating Christmas and when we got married, we decided we would do something for our kids to remember and treasure.

We, I mean Me, (he, he) love to decorate my home for Christmas. I don't feel I have the skillz of decorating my home for everyday, but something about Christmas gets me inspired. We purchase a special ornament each year for the tree and all of them have a special meaning behind them. We usually stay in town, the two Christmas we tried visiting Hubby's parents, we got stuck an extra week because of weather, so no more of that. Before the house full of kids .. we would spend Christmas eve night at my parents home and stay with them all day Christmas (also my mother's b-day). The last two years we have stayed in our house, woke w/ the kids, spent time with each other and then went to my parents house for dinner. (Even though they are both in heaven). My brother, his wife and their 4 children, my two sisters and neice are there as well and we enjoy time with each other the whole uninteruupted day.

During the Christmas season: We read Christmas stories to our kids, play of LOT of Christmas music and bake a lot and talk about less fortunate families. We choose a child from the angel tree or someone at church to buy a gift for. I would say it has not been about a lot gifts for us at Christmas, because Hubby, Ethan and DeClan have November b-days and my anniversary is in December which has provided an opportunity to focus more on Jesus and what he would really want.

For the future: I want to start a tradition where we feed a family, go do something ON Christmas Day or Christmas Eve for someone else with the kids and make those the memories for Christmas' for years to come. My kids are terribly spoiled by their families and we want them to know while it is nice to get things, it feels good to give. The older I get, the more I see the need to impress upon my children how would you feel if we didn't celebrate you on your birthday .. I WANT to celebrate the birth our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Dec 7, 2007

Soup, soup and more soup!

It's A Soup-Tacular!

Here are some soup reciepes that mean a lot to me, my family AND my pocketbook! (SMILE) I love cold weather, soup and a big ole blanket! The first two reciepes are souper easy .. the last one takes time, thought and ingredients I do not keep on hand, so I don't make this version very often, but I always make it the Saturday before Christmas. It is amazing what a couple of sorority girls can drum up in college ..... forever memories.

There are more reciepes for you here.

Broccolli Cheese Soup

2 onions chopped
4 Tbsps. Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
2 cans chicken broth
4 broth cans water
8 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups milk
1 cup instant brown rice uncooked
2 cups Velveeta Cheese (cubed)

Place everything in the crock pot for 4 hours on low. Serve HOT! Top each serving with cheese.

Italian Sausage Soup (a take on the Macaroni Grill version)

1 pound of ground italian turkey sausage (browned, made into meatballs or diced links)
1 1 /2 cups of cooked small pasta (your preference, NOT bowtie or macaroni)
2 cans of italian seasoned diced tomatoes
2 cans of chicken broth
2 cans of northern beans
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1 packet of italian dressing mix
parsley flakes for "color"
1/2 cup italian blend shredded cheese
2 dashes of dried basil (chopped fresh sprigs if you have them)
1 tsp. hot sauce (added when almost done)
Mix all your ingredients together, simmer for 30 minutes on medium low. Add toasted garlic bread and salad if you like. Enjoy! This is soo much better the second day.

Poor Sorority girls Lousiana Gumbo

6 tablespoons Crisco
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 pound chicken breasts
1 ring of Hillshire or Eckridge Sausage, chopped
2 14.5 ounce tomatoes
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups okra (frozen will do)
1 clove garlic
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper (you can buy the peppers frozen and packaged together for less)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf (if you can find one)
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups chicken stock or water
1 pound cooked shrimp (medium to large, the small ones shrink .. hehe)
Hot sauce to taste

Heat shortening over medium heat (large stock pot) Add flour, a tablespoon until browned, Stir constantly. Add all the meat, except shrimp and tomatoes. Cook 8 minutes. Add vegetables, garlic, seasonings, and stock. Add hot sauce, if desired. Cook over high heat until meat is done, about 10/15 minutes. Add shrimp in the last 5 to 7 minutes. Oh and take the bay leaf out before you eat! Serve over rice.

Dec 5, 2007

Twas the month before Christmas ...

'Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.

How the PC Police had taken away
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings,The teachers would say.
December 25this "just a holiday".

Yet the shoppers were readywith cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks to the floor to be the first to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X-box, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken and Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas was nowhere to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penney's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive and sensitive
Di-ver-si-tyAre words that were used To intimidate me.

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzer
On Boxer, on Rather, On Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, There arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, In all public matter.
And we spoke not a word
As they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream Tree"
Sipping your Starbucks,Please Listen to me.

Choose your words carefully, Choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, Not Happy Holiday!
Author Unknown

Dec 3, 2007

Jesus IS better than Santa Claus ..

(author unknown)
Santa lives at the North Pole ...JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh ...JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year.JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies ...JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited ...JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and enters your heart.
You have to wait in line to see Santa ...JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap ...JESUS lets you rest in His Arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is"Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?" ...JESUS knew our name before we did.Not only does He know our name,He knows our history and future, andHe even knows our hearts & how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ...JESUS has a heart full of love, grace, mercy & forgiveness.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO ...JESUS says "Cast your cares on me for I care for you."
Santa's little helpers make toys ...JESUS makes a new life, mends wounded hearts,repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but ...JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree ... JESUS became our gift and died on the tree,For you & for me.
It's obvious there is really no comparison.We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.We need to put CHRIST back in Christmas,Jesus is still the reason for the season.
Yes, JESUS is better,He is even better than Santa Claus.

Dec 2, 2007

Merry Christmas NOT Happy Holidays!

Jesus was BORN to die. (Christmas) He died for our sins. He rose and He lives! (Easter/Resurrection Sunday)

He was born on Christmas morning. Biblical scholars say it was really around modern day April or possibly August, not December, but one fact we cannot dispute is that what we celebrate as Christmas is HIS birthday. It is as simple as that. Without Christ there would be no Christmas. I don't care how you slice it, skip over it, try to erase it, it happened and that will never change. FACT:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

I never thought I would be so bothered by people telling me Happy Holidays! But as I grown in my relationship with Christ, it does rub me the wrong way how many people, sayings, things on TV, the newspaper are now all saying Happy Holidays. I was checking out at Sam's the other day and the young lady struggled to say Happy Holidays. You could tell she wanted to say Merry Christmas, but it was if she had been told, you better not! Then I was Food Network today to get some ideas for my cookie exchange and what HAD been called the Christmas Cookie presentation, was now being called the Holiday cookie hour. What is the world is a holiday cookie? I'm sorry, I have never heard of that ... Ethan is having a Holiday gift party at school, Huh? Not sure what Holiday gift he will be giving his classmates this year.

What I am struggling with is that there are no marches, lawsuits or threats if you say Happy Hannukah. I don't hear anyone saying we can't say that. I don't celebrate Kwanzaa, but I don't hear any outcries about that either. Remember a few years ago when Lowe's wanted to sell Holiday trees? Are people really so mad, scared or living in that much unbelief of Christ that you can't say Merry Christmas and acknowledge the Birth of Christ? Good grief! With all the outcry and hullabaloo ... I'm shocked I can still watch Charlie Brown Christmas ...

People, Jesus IS real, He is real whether you choose to think so or not. Without Him there would be no reason to celebrate. Even those who choose to celebrate Santa, even this fictional character would not have existed or even been created by someone without the birth of our Savior Jesus. If Jesus had not been born, there would have been no gifts for the wise men to bring.

So I applaud anyone, everyone who will NOT bend over and bow down to pressure and keep the Christ in Christmas!

And so, from my family to yours .. Merry Christmas!