Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Enjoying Presents...

Well, Christmas is over, and we're trying to get the house back in order. Today will be a big cleaning day, as the house is still destroyed. And it's driving me NUTS. We did get the tv moved so that we have more room to play the Wii. And while I HATE the new layout, we had a blast playing last night. And yes...I'm VERY sore. LOL!

Clarissa LOVES the hair stuff her cousins got her, and she's asked for hair dye and extenstions every day. She really likes this look and was thrilled last night at the mall when people were commenting on her "punk rocker" hair.

Jacob has been bouncing from Legos to board games to Legos to his remote control car back to Legos. The Legos are by far is favorite gift. But since they are all currently in his bedroom and no girls are allowed in there (hee hee), I haven't taken a picture of that mess yet. Here he is doing his car. Don't mind the mess -- we're still trying to clean!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas is officially over here.

Our Christmas celebrations started on the 20th of this month with Christmas in Ohio at my parents' house. Great fun was had by all, watching the nine grandkids run around and play.

Then, we had Christmas here at home on Christmas Day. After lunch, my parents came up with more presents and we had a big dinner. Following dinner, we went to their hotel to go swimming, and the kids had a blast. After swimming and showers, we came back to the house for Jesus' birthday celebration. It was a hit.

Yesterday, we had Christmas in Toledo with Ron's family. Of course, the kids got more presents, and they had a lot of fun playing with their "Kentucky cousins." We only see them about once a year, so they always have fun running around in the basement while the adults talk upstairs. It was a lot of fun, and we got home LATE last night.

So this morning when we woke up, the kids realized that Christmas is now over. I must say, I was delighted to find out that they weren't *only* interested in the presents. Of course they liked the presents, but they both said that they were sad they won't see their cousins for a while again. It was heart warming to know that they enjoyed the family time, and they both really got into the spirit of giving this year. We didn't have a lot of money to give this year, but we did our best. And the kids really enjoyed it.

Christmas was a success. But it's over. :( Until next year...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas was a Success!!

Santa really came through for Jacob this morning. He was THRILLED when he opened his Lego set. He never thought he'd get it because we kept telling him it was just too expensive. It's ALL he wanted, and he kept looking at it with a smile while he opened his presents from us. Thank goodness for Santa!!!

Clarissa liked her doll bed from Santa, but she REALLY liked the play computer Jacob got her. She's been asking for it for sometime, but it was too expensive, too. Ron found it at Kohls on Black Friday for $15, so we got it for her. She was thrilled with it and has been playing with it since!! She was also shocked with her Camp Rock DVD and game. I'm sure we'll play the game later today...and even watch the movie!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

We've had a wonderful time getting ready for Santa today. The kids helped me bake a cake for Jesus' birthday tomorrow, they made cutout cookies with Daddy to leave for Santa and they got all ready for church tonight. They have been very excited all day, and they are just getting around for bed right now.

I thought I'd share some photos of us before church tonight. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow!!!!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas in Ohio

Well, I made the decision Thursday afternoon to pack up and hit the road to Ohio. When I picked the kids up from school and told them we were leaving for Mamaw and Grandpa's house, they were pretty confused. Both of them were concerned about possibly missing school Friday, and CJ was DEVASTATED about missing dance. But, when I explained that we may not be able to go if we didn't go that evening, they both jumped at the chance to get on the road.

Well, we got over 10 inches of snow early Friday morning and into the afternoon, so school everywhere around here was canceled. Thank goodness I made the right decision!! I would NOT have wanted to be snowed in here with two kids that were missing Christmas with their cousins, nor would I have wanted to screw up my mom's family pictures!

On the way there, CJ got sick. Unfortunately, it wasn't just car sickness -- it was the flu!! :( By midnight, she had a raging fever and was shivering like crazy. That poor kid was miserable until later Friday afternoon. Luckily, it passed quickly, so she was able to enjoy the time with her cousins Saturday.

Here she is after she opened one of her gifts. She was THRILLED to get hair dye and a hair extensions kit. She LOVES that sort of thing!

Jacob also loved his gifts. He is infatuated with Legos right now, so he smiled ear to ear when he opened this. He also got an authentic Detroit Tiger jersey, which immediately went on over his shirt.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

To go...or not to go. That is the Question.

The kids and I are supposed to leave for our family Christmas in Ohio as soon as they get out of school tomorrow. I have the day off and was going to plan on picking them up at 4:00 and getting straight on the expressway.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature may change those plans. :( :( We are now expecting to get anywhere from 6 - 15" of snow, as well as some freezing rain overnight. They first estimated that it would start around 4:00am, and now they're saying as early as midnight. I honestly think they don't have a clue and are just throwing darts!

I got to thinking that maybe I should just take them tonight. If we really get that much snow in such a short amount of time, school will be canceled. But I have reservations about risking them missing a day of school in the event it's NOT canceled. I know it's only elementary school, but I don't pull my kids out of school for things like this. What if we go and the storm is weaker than they expect or even misses us?! They will have missed school for NOTHING.

On the flip side, if we stay and it comes, we may not be able to get to Ohio tomorrow. As much as I love snow, I wish the timing was a little different on this. I'm not sure what to do. I'll have to check the weather radars later this afternoon and make a decision.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Mania

It's the start of ANOTHER week -- where does the time keep going?! I have a lot to do this week, so I'm a little stressed out. (Maybe THAT'S what gave me a migraine last night!) We have Christmas with my side of the family this weekend. I already wrapped all the presents, but I need to find something to make for dinner. It's hard because my brothers live close, so they make their stuff at their house and bring it. I have to make something in the crockpot or get something to serve cold, because I stay at mom's -- and she cooks the ham in one oven and the turkey in the other. She has a roaster...but she won't use it!!!

I'm also a little stressed because we're going to attempt a family photo this year - with all 18 of us. This ought to be really interesting!!!! There are 9 kids, with the oldest being my 7yo son. Normally, we just get a picture with the grandparents and the 9 kids, but this year, they would like it with all of the adults, too. My dad always gets upset when they just take one or two -- they are planning on taking A BUNCH, so we'll be there for a while. After we leave the studio, I'm hoping my brother will take a few pictures of my family of four. We normally have one done at Sears every year, but that's not in the budget this year. If he can take a nice one, I can print it at Costco.

The kids have a Christmas concert for school this week, and Jacob is VERY excited. Clarissa, however, is not and says she is not singing in front of all those people. Seeing as how she got up with her Sunday School class yesterday at church and just stood there, I think she's telling the truth. I'm not sure what started this stage freight stage -- she never used to be this way. Oh, well. We'll see what kind of memories she gives us on Tuesday! LOL!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Love them and leave them...

Yesterday, I got to go out and spend some time with Tiffany and her family, including meeting new baby Ashlyn. They are all doing great - Tiffany looks amazing, Morgan is the best big sister there is, and Ashlyn is just a doll. Here is a picture I took of Morgan and Ashlyn during our visit.

When I came home, the neighborhood Christmas party was just ending. The neighbors were outside talking, and they were all giving me crap about missing the party. One of our neighbors said I must me longing for another baby. Just the opposite, I explained. I love to hold babies, and I love the baby smell. I'll even feed them and change them when necessary. But I am a "love them and leave them" kind of gal. I will spend hours loving them, but have no problems leaving them! LOL.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What a Lovely Surprise

Yesterday when we got home, I asked Jacob to get the mail out of the box for me since my hands were full. He opened it up and shouted "there's a box. I hope it's for me!"

He pulled it out, and it was a small white box. I couldn't figure out what we'd be getting in that size box. By this time, he said "Aw, man, it's for mom." Hmmmmmm. What on earth did I order?!?!

NOTHING. I didn't order anything. I got a lovely box from Brynn -- full of hair clips for Clarissa. That was so nice of her!! I took the Christmas one out and gave it to her immediately (she thought that was all that was in there), and I hid the rest. I intend to put them in the purse I had made for her for Christmas. She loves the Christmas one and wants to wear it to the kids' Christmas program at church this weekend, so I'm sure she'll love getting the rest on Christmas.

Thanks, Brynn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hectic couple of days ahead...

Tonight will be a little crazy. DD has dance, I have to make cookies for the kids to take to the church Christmas party tomorrow, I REALLY need to vacuum, I need to do a load (or two) of laundry, and I really need to put clothes away. I'm not sure I can get all the chores done since we have to go to dance, but I'm going to try.

Tomorrow the kids have their Christmas party at church, so I'll have about an hour to myself (unless they need me to stay and help). If I can drop them off, I plan to go home and power clean for a good 40 minutes or so. The house is picked up (except the hanging clothes and laundry baskets in the basement), but I need to dust, wash windows, scrub the counters and do the floors. I can do it fast if the kids aren't around. If they need my help at church, I'll do my chores early Saturday morning before we head out.

Sat AM both kids have dentist appts. I'm getting a much-needed haircut and we have our neighborhood get together Sat afternoon. We also need to get to Home Depot to get parts to fix an electrical problem we're having, so hopefully our neighbor will have time to go with us -- we have NO idea what we need! I just pray our neighbor can fix it like he thinks he can--and that it's done right!

Sunday is the kids' Christmas program at church. I can't wait to see it - the kids do the entire service Sunday, including the message. It's really fun, and they always do a great job. Clarissa is singing like she did last year, but Jacob gets to help with the service. YAY! He's very excited, and so are we. After church, we'll clean up the house and have the day to spend playing games (or outside) until DH leaves for KY. The kids and I will probably watch a movie before bed since swimming doesn't start until January. Ever since swimming ended last month, we've been watching a movie most Sunday evenings. I like the new tradition. :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Need I say more?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Christmas Time...

and that means pictures in front of the tree! We got in front of the tree today to take a few pictures. Clarissa and Buster didn't want to cooperate, so we didn't get many good ones this year. Here is what we came up with.

Here is Jacob. He's SO ready for Christmas. He's also so tall now!

And I had to post this one, too. He was being so darn cute!

This is about the only picture I could get of Clarissa this year. She was being quite the little stinker today.

The kids...

Here are the kids with the dogs.

And the family shot. I look AWFUL, but I feel that way, too, so I figured I mine as well post it. UGH! Oh, and you can see what I meant about Clarissa being a stinker...

Friday, December 5, 2008


I think my title says it all. LOL!

I am VERY happy that it's Friday and this week is almost over. I have been waiting for this day since Sunday night. And I know how bad it is to wish time away, but it's been AWFUL at work and I knew Sunday that I didn't want Monday to roll around.

Ron's birthday is next Wednesday and since he won't be here, we're celebrating tomorrow. We have a giftcard to Texas Roadhouse (and two of those chips for free kids' meals), so we're going there for dinner tomorrow. We'll come home, sing to him and have brownies. Then he'll open his presents, which is very pathetically a package of socks and a $5 movie! The kids love birthday celebrations, so they are really excited.

I have let the entire house know that I'm sleeping in tomorrow, and they better let me! LOL!!!!! I just need to get my dog to understand that, as she normally starts nudging me by 6:30am if I haven't gotten up yet. (She's used to going out at 6:00am.) Hopefully she got, and understood, the memo.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One Proud Mama!!!

Tonight were parent-teacher conferences at school tonight, and I got the kids' report cards. I was so impressed with both of them -- they are doing really well! .

Jacob is having the normal attention issues from his ADD, but the teacher said he's making an effort and trying to stay on task, so we're still working on that. Academically, he's doing phenomenal. She said he excels in his classwork and is always willing (and able) to help others. She told me no less than five times that he's a very smart boy (which I already knew, but it was so nice to hear.)

Clarissa's teacher was the big shock for me. I expected to hear that she's fully capable but not working to her ability and that she's got behavior issues. I was right about not applying herself -- her teacher thinks she's doing just enough to get buy, but she rushes her work so that she can talk. (The talking was NOT a surprise, BTW. LOL) BUT -- her teacher told me that she is GREAT in class. She has minimal issues, and is one of the best behaved children in there. UM, HELLO. WHY DO I GET LUCIFER AT HOME THEN??????????????? I guess I'd rather her be bad at home than at school, though. Her teacher also told me that she's very smart, and she's the only one in her kindergarten class that can identify all the numbers through 100 when they're out of order. YAY for her.

I am SO proud of both of them. They are also proud of themselves. :) :) :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Receiving Graciously

Some time ago, my friend Stacy blog about being a gracious receiver. I'd link her blog if I just knew how, but I don't know how to do that. LOL!

In her post, she asked if each of us was a gracious receiver. I immediately answered NO in my head. While I LOVE to give, I have never been very good at receiving -- ESPECIALLY when it's something that is helping me out and not just your standard birthday gift. Oh, don't get me wrong. I get embarrassed when people give me birthday and Christmas gifts, too, and I often find myself telling people that it's too much. It's just that the feeling intensifies when people give me something "just because" or with the intent of helping me out. While I appreciate every act of giving, I just have a hard time receiving gifts. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I feel as though I'm not worthy of their gift. I'm not even sure WHY I feel that way...but I do.

Some time ago, someone offered to pay for me to attend a retreat. I declined, telling the organizer that I'd back out before letting someone do that. I am a firm believer in not buying things you can't pay for. At the time of the retreat deposit, I had a firm plan on paying for it. That fell through with some very unexpected and costly car and furnace repairs. I reluctantly agreed to borrow money from family so that I didn't have to back out, but I could never ever accept the gift of a retreat. Again, it isn't because I don't appreciate the thought. It's because I don't feel that someone should spend their hard-earned money for me to attend a retreat. While they are FUN, FUN, FUN...they are not a necessity.

You're probably wondering why I'm rambling on about this. What made me think about Stacy's post? Yesterday, someone offered to do something EXTREMELY generous for me. As usual, my response was basically thank you for the offer, but I can't accept it. The offer was unbelievable, and I'm still smiling from the selfless thought of this angel. I can't fathom why someone would want to help me in this way, but I will never, ever forget it. My heart has been touched by this wonderful person, and that will live on with me.

And to be honest, this couldn't have come at a better time for me. My heart has been very heavy with guilt and sorrow about this holiday season. Finances are so tight that we can't afford to adopt a family for Christmas as we have every other year since we got married in 1997. I've been having such a hard time coping with the fact that when MORE people need help, I had to decline my normal giving when I should be increasing it. And if I could afford it, I would -- I'd adopt more families this year. But with our current dual-state living arrangement and our jobs on the line, we just couldn't swing it this year. Paying for two households has not been easy, and I'm having a tough time paying for my own family this year. But even the logic and the numbers behind my decision don't make it any easier. It was extremely difficult for me not to help a family in need this year. That's just my "thing" every year. I love to shop for others, and I love to see the joy and relief on the faces of parents that know their children will have presents and food for Christmas.

Thank you to my own personal angel. Even if the intention doesn't work out due to the logistical problems you faced yesterday, I appreciate your offer more than ANYTHING, and you've put a smile on my face during a difficult holiday season.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December -- already?!

Man, I feel like I just wrote my post about wondering how we got to November and here we are in December already. What in the world is going on?! HOW CAN I SLOW TIME DOWN A BIT????

The kids and I put all the Christmas decorations up Saturday, and they decorated the tree in record time this year. They are VERY excited for Christmas, and we've been spending a lot of time talking about Advent and the Christmas season. Jacob is doing a reading on Sunday and lighting the second Advent candle during church. I am SO excited for him!! When the youth director asked him if he'd like to do it, he was so enthusiastic when he shouted "YES!" I asked her to give him a small reading since he's only seven, and her jaw dropped. She said she forgot he was only in second grade because he's so big for his age. Normally the 3rd - 5th graders do them. She gave him reading 2, which was easy enough for him to read the first time, so now he'll be practicing that all week. YAY for him! He's not nervous at all.

I have two gifts to buy for my kids and then my nieces and nephew to buy for. After that, I'm officially done Christmas shopping. Oh, crud. Except for the candy for our stockings. But then I'm done. Hopefully I can find something for my kids very soon so that I can have some peace of mind about it. AACK! It's driving me nuts not being done. My nieces' and nephew's stuff will cost less combined than the things I need to buy my kids, so that won't be too bad. And if their mom doesn't send me ideas soon, they are all getting giftcards!

I hope you all have a wonderful December leading up to Christmas!! I will feel much better when I'm done shopping and can plan our Christmas day meal.