Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year, New Focus!

What is 2010 going to look like for you? What do resolutions mean if they can’t be kept? What is ingrained in us that makes us have such a desire to do something different and rarely follow through with it? We have such a desire to do what society thinks we should do and we lose focus on what God wants us to do. Do you have a clear picture of how your next year should be spent AND is in line with what God wants for you? Granted we don’t know what the path we will follow will be BUT we can choose to make the path a scenic one along the way.

During this year, I resolve to document SOMETHING about every day that passes. It could be a silly comment from my children that I don’t want to forget, a new recipe I’ve tried that will become a family favorite, a song heard that inspired me, waking up to a beautiful sunrise, or watching snow fall peacefully to cover our earthly treasures.

This year I will slow down, even if just for a moment, and try to see things with a different perspective. Trying not to get through my day and try to get everything done only to know that I will wake up the next day and accomplish the same tasks over and over again. The life of a stay at home mom can seem bleak at times but I have the power to make it a new experience everyday.

None of us know the path that God will lead us on but one thing I know for sure is that we can make the path a scenic one. Those scenes may not always be pretty and inspiring, but we can choose to make the path a one of learning who we are and who God wants us to be.

Will you make sure that the path you are traveling is a scenic one where you can stop and see something in everyday or do you want to go through another year and not really know where the year went? It’s easy to remember the monumental things that happen in our lives such as births, weddings, and summer vacations but how awesome would it be to be able to look back on your year and read how you have documented it with words or photos and realize that you have truly been blessed all year and learned more about yourself through the process. Doing this for a year will surely make it a habit.

Take the journey with me, will you?!


Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Parker,
Happy Birthday to you!!

My little man turns one year old today!  I thank the Lord for the blessing he has been and the joy that he has brought to our family.  WE LOVE YOU!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Favorite Holiday Pics of the Kids

We didn't get an annual Christmas card done with our picture
so here is my favorite one for each of the kids.

This was Alysia making her usual face to the camera.  It's difficult get a real smile out of her!


I think James is adorable with that little mole over lip! Him and his sister were playing their new Uno Spin.


And who could forget precious little Parker! The look on his face is PRICELESS!! That warms my heart :)

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and everyone here in Kansas was able to dig out of the snow to spend time with family and friends.

Welcome the Newest Addition to our Family

This Christmas James adopted a German Shorthair Lab.
Here is a lovely pic of our gentle-mannered, Dixie!!

This is going to be one BIG dog!  I have never owned a big dog so this is going to be an adventure.  Now "I" will start the potty training...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Best Gift Ever!

This Christmas I received a gift that literally brought tears to me eyes!  It was the most amazing and thoughtful gift ever.  To this I owe a HUGE thanks toErick, Tressa, Chelsea and Ericka!!

If you had read this blog any at all you will know that earlier this year I lost all of my data on my computer when my hard drive crashed which caused me to lose about 3000 pictures.  I was completely devastated at all of the special memories that I had recorded that I could no longer get back but the most important was the birth of my son Parker.  He will be 1 years old in four days and I didn't have any pics of his arrival to complete our family.  My brother-in-law took lots of pics on that day and so I have been trying to get them from him.  He brought his camera over to my house one day so that I could download them but for some reason his camera takes a funky SD card and for some reason I couldn't get it to work.  He was then going to bring me the cord to his camera so that we could do it that way.

Almost five months later and I still didn't have any pics.  On Christmas Day I opened a photobook that had been speciall created for me by my brother-in-laws family that consisted of all the wonderful pics from that special day!!  I literally cried when I opened it.  I was so shocked that someone took the time to realize the importance that those pictures were to me.  It was something that could have been lost forever but thanks to my extended family they made sure that didn't happen.  Please forgive me; the pics didn't turn out well.  They even left room for me to journal so that I could personalize it the way that I want. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH ERICK, TRESSA, CHELSEA, and ERICKA!!  There couldn't have been a better gift.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mary Did You Know?!

This is by far one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time.  This is an amazing video and I pray that it helps everyone remember what the meaning of this season is all about.

Merry Christmas to Everyone!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tis the Season!!

I have got to get in the Christmas spirit considering it is the week of Christmas.  Here are some pics to help...

Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

To Regift Or Not To Regift - what do you think?

I am meeting so many wonderful people through Blogland that have the same interests and desires as I.  I absolutely love it.  I am beginning to realize that my chaotic, unorganized life is somewhat normal. 

In light of the season I thought it would be fun to start a discussion.  To regift or not to regift.  Have you ever regifted?  Have you ever caught someone regifting something that you gave them?  What have you regifted or WOULD LIKE to regift?  What gifts have you received that you absolutely have no idea why you received it?

This post is simply to encourage comments and discussions.  I don't want anyone feelings hurt in this process so please don't name names.  This is supposed to be a light-hearted discussion and I hope that you enjoy.

I can't wait to read all of your comments!!

Merry Christmas or Bah Humbug!??

It's the most wonderful time of the year...there will be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near......WAIT!!!  Back up just a minute!

Hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near?!?!?  Not in my family!!  This doesn't seem to be the year that this is the scene for our Merry Christmas.  I am sure that by now we have all come to the realization that no one's family is normal.  So how do you, and I in particular, deal with those idiosyncrasies at this time of the year.  I've decided that "Normal" is a relative term.  Do I sit and let this raw emotions control how I will celebrate with my immediate family that means the most to me or am I supposed to be a "big girl" and move on in life.  It's pretty hard to move on in life when you feel as if you've been ambushed and don't know where things went wrong and you have no way of fixing them.  Sometimes people want things to be the way they are no matter what the outcome.

So I am trying to apply the following things and know that this is a constant struggle for me EVERYDAY.  I am not perfect in anyone's eyes and I have never claimed to be.  So this is how I will be TRYING to deal with these issues.

1.  I need to normalize my expectations.  I need to realize that our family is messed up, but so is everyone else's.  Mixed feelings, resentment, and emotional baggage are typical issues of all families.

2.  Accept my lot.  Extended families idiosyncrasies aren't intended to make my life miserable even though it may feel that way.  Even though I may disagree, I need to have compassion.  Acceptance takes friction away, or at least most of it.

3.  Practice proven coping techniques.  I can't pick my relatives and I can't change them either.  The only thing I can control is my reaction to behaviors that drive me crazy.  The more I pick up that rope, the more I fuel a situation.  There are times I want to YANK that rope so hard and prove that someone else is wrong but it doesn't work.  It only makes things harder.

4.  Avoid embarassment.  The less I say the better.  Someone else's actions are not a reflection of me.  

5.  Help myself through humor.  If I wasn't laughing most times I would be crying.  Silent humor is a great tension release that helps me feel adult and powerful rather than trapped and powerless.

There you have it.  What I consider to be CRAP and almost impossible to accomplish.  Even though I know it may be the hardest thing to do, I know that this is best thing for the situation.  I am sure through this process I am going to learn a lot of things about myself and most importantly to stop worrying about what others think or feel.  It is very important to take others' feelings and emotions into consideration but when it comes to the expense of your own you have to pray and do what God tells you.  I just have to know in my heart that the things I am doing are right with me and God.  That is ultimately who I have to answer to and no one else.

Pray for me in this situation and hope that this is a Merry Christmas with or without loved ones.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"There are better things ahead than any we leave behind"

I have a dear friend who writes The Sweet Life and I read whenever she posts.  She has lots of recipes, crafty projects and overall goodness.  After reading her post today I sent her a comment expressing how much I enjoyed reading her posts.  I received an email from her stating her gratitude and at the bottom of her email was this quote by C.S. Lewis.  "There are better things ahead than any we leave behind."

I feel that as I go through like I learn more and more that things happen for a reason.  I beleive that I was meant to see this quote on this particular day.  I have been going through some extended family issues and understanding how to deal with it can be a challenge.

So where do I go from here?  I must continue doing what I feel in my heart is right and not let any outside influences affect me or my actions.  This can be very hard to do when you are deeply invested in a particular situation, and trying to remove your feelings out of it can almost be impossible.

I must have faith that every road that we are on is the one that God intended for us to be on and truly beleive that "there are better things ahead than any we leave behind."

Thanks Alisa for the encouragement I needed today!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Comeback of the Apron!

I LOVE aprons!!
I have a weakness for them and I want to own several to match special occasions, holidays, seasons, etc.  Aprons seemed to be so much a thing of the past but they seem to making a comback in today's society.  I made my first apron a few years ago because I was tired of ruining my shirts while cooking, baking, and cleaning.  The original purpose of the apron is what inspired me but it has since evolved into another way to express myself.

I plan to expand my apron wardrobe in the next year so that I have an apron for everything.  I do tend to prefer the full body aprons simply beucase I am messy and I need something over my shirt.

Searching to the land of Blogosphere I have come across some absolutely amazing designs and creations for aprons.  I don't know where to start.  My original idea was to make another one of my own but there are just too MANY cute ones out there that I might just have to buy one from a fellow crafty blogger and help their addiction as well. 

Here is a pic of an apron design that I absolutely love.  I love the coordinating colors also.  $30 just seems a little steep for my budget.

Maybe I can just leave some OBVIOUS hints to my husband since it is the holiday season.  If you are looking for apron inspiration you will not find a shortage on the web.  A great site to browse is

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Elf on the Shelf - Nicholas

This is something that I had never heard of before but after Brian's cousin in the Ozarks started it for her children, Brian's mom bought one so that we could start the tradition here.

Nicholas (this is what we named our elf) comes around Thanksgiving time and stays until Christmas Eve where he goes to the North Pole until next year.  You place the elf on a shelf, mantel, in the tree, where ever you think of so that he can watch over your children.  Every night the elf goes to the North Pole and reports the days findings to Santa Claus.  Then when the children wake up the next morning the elf has taken residence in another spot to keep an eye on them for the day.  There is a book that goes along with it so that the kids know exactly what to do.

There is only one rule: children can not touch the elf.  This will make him lose all of his magic.  Now I must say that when we got this and James knew he couldn't touch it, it devastated him.  He cried so hard because he didn't think that he could resist and he didn't want to be the reason for the magic being gone.  We assured him that all would be well and the elf just has to make sure that he is in good hiding places that are well out of reach.

I have to admit that this is neat for the little ones.  James might be getting a bit old and next year we might not be able to pull it off but it will be a lot of fun when Parker and heaven forbid grandkids come around!


**Today is a snow day and the kids are home from school.  James had a friend come and play and this is not turning out to be the quiet day that I had planned.  Maybe I can sneak in a nice bath this evening but I doubt it.  Everyone has tried out my new bath but me.

**I am blessed to have the wonderful home that I do BUT having a hill for a driveway makes getting into the garage a booger!  I didn't succeed last night after many attempts so my car was left out in the cold.  I am going to have to buy stock in rock salt so that I can park inside on nasty days like these.

**The other day I was cleaning the garage to make room for my car and I noticed mouse droppings on some of our furniture.  I haven't bought any mousetraps yet.  Today my son goes to the garage to get his boots on and they found the little rat inside of the dog food bag.  That would have scared me to death but my children want to adopt him as a pet now.  I guess I shouldn't take them to the store with me when I buy the mouse traps.

There you have it, the reason for my moodiness lately.  Hopefully tomorrow will turn out better.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We had a busy, fun-filled weekend.  It seems I haven't posted in forever but it just seems that the month of December seems to fly by in a wink.

Friday night Alysia was in the Madrigal Feast with her choir.  The entertainment for the night was wonderful and it was well worth the $15 ticket.  This is a big production that the high school puts on every year and I am sure that it is one that I will be attending for the next few years.  The yummy food consisted of wassail, DELICIOUS homemade whole wheat bread, ham, almondine green beans, fried potatoes, and spiced apples.  The dessert was a strawberry tart.  From what I ate of my meal it was yummy.  My daughter didn't get to eat before hand though so she kept coming up to the table as she was serving and getting bites of food for her and her friends.  The choir teacher's eye caughter her once but she survived the evening on little food and lots of singing.  Her friends were glad I was there too to share the food.

Saturday I spent the day cleaning the house and runnign some errands and then had the company of Ashley and Brenna that evening.  Brenna brought over a gingerbread train for them to do and I bought a gingerbread house.  There were a lot of laughs for sure.  The train ended up crooked somehow and my chimney kept falling off my roof no matter how much icing I used to try to get it to stay.

Today I spent the day cleaning up from the mess we made last night and then did some more Christmas shopping and clothes shopping for our Christmas card pics.  It is my goal to get the pics of the family done this week so that I can get the cards done and in the mail.  I'm just trying to decide on the best spot to take them.  We are going to take them at our new house and I am deciding on the front porch, although I need it to look a little more Christmasy or in front of the tree.  We may do both and see which turns out best. 

It looks like this week will prove to be busy like the past few.  We have a birthday party to plan for a 15 year old and all of the other obligations that seem to pop up during this month.  Somewhere in there I'll get some baking done.

Happy Holidays!