Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's Over...

Can you believe Christmas is already over? It went way too fast and there was just something not right about it for me this year. I love Christmas - it is my favorite time of the year but it didnt have the same feeling of warm and cozy this year as it has in the past and I really think it is because I was working in a retail store! I haven't worked in at least 6 years and I was and still am shocked at how rude,rushed and annoyed people are at christmas time! Being at home I haven't had to deal with the rush of people during this season and so it has been a much nicer time to spend with family and much more peaceful but working retail it is the busiest time of year and so we worked until 630 on christmas eve and were right back at work the day after christmas - what fun is that??? My husband works retail but we have gotten used to his schedule and we just work around him but I was thrown for a loop myself this year and didn't like it!I am looking forward to a full on christmas next year - with all the tacky lights I can get in the yard(i did miss doing that this year but the electricity bill didn't) and lots and lots of family time!!!

My mom got me a sewing machine and I am soooo excited to sew things!! I have never sewed before - well maybe in home ec in high school - and I decided i wanted to learn how so my mom jumped on board (she is a big sewer) and hooked me up! I have practiced a little and I already have grand ideas running through my head and can't wait to take a trip to JoAnn's - it is an hour away and the local wally world material section just isnt cutting it - so I have to move in slow motion with the whole sewing thing and it is killing me!!! I want to do projects - I do so love projects!!! I am pretty sure we will have all new curtains by february but i am stuck after that about what to sew - any ideas???? not clothes!!!

The boys got a Wii - finally!

even grandma had fun with the Wii - a little golf!!!

I am looking forward to the slowing down of things and being able to try to get back on track with school and schedules. It has gotten crazy around here and I need some order to be reestablished - of course it is my fault there is no order I do struggle with staying on a schedule and routine even though we desperately need it!! Maybe that should be my New Years Resolution????
This was the sunset Christmas Day - isn't God good!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I don't know what I want to say - I just know I want to say something!!! My Mom and Dad got here today and I was so excited all day at work to get home and give my mom a hug! We haven't seen them since May and I didn't realize how much I missed them until I knew they were on their way! It is so nice to have "Mommy" around - is this how my kids feel all the time when I am around???
I want to show off some of the things I worked on recently for my house and for christmas - is that okay???
I saw something like this in a magazine about a year ago and I have been holding onto the picture so I could make one for myself and I finally did.....I also made one for my sister!!
I see things that I like and I immediately think - I could do that - so I embark on a mission to do it or I save it for another time but mostly I immediately start trying to do it myself! This is where I get into trouble becasue I get consumed with a project and ignore everything else!! The Lord is helping me to stop this 'project obsession' but it is a slow process and in the meantime I am still getting more ideas added to my list!!
This is another one that I saw in Michael's one day so I bought the letters and paper to do it and this is how it turned out......
each letter has one of our names on it!
These are a couple things I did for christmas....
I made these stick people ornaments for a couple friends and all my sisters in laws and my sister - of their own kids not mine! I love the stick people and think they turned out kindof cute for my first try making them! After I painted the blocks I put a screw hook in the top and tied some ribbon to them to make them into ornaments.
A friend of mine from church asked me to make these for her nieces and nephews for christmas. The ball has the swirly paint inside with the kids name on the outside and a bunch of ribbon on top. I liked the way they turned out - I wasn't sure when I started but I do like the finished ball! I don't think it is something I will do again though - it was kindof a pain to swirl around the paint and wait for it to dry, then redo it again!
I have a few more ideas I have gotten from some blogs that Iw ill share with you as soon as I get them worked on!!! Right now I am going to enjoy my time with my mom and dad. My mom and I will be starting to work on the quilt we are making for my bed - another project!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ready for Christmas

Every year I say I am going to start on all these gifty things earlier and every year I DON"T!!! I have one last gift to make and it is so NOT what I want to do but I just can't bring myself to buy a gift when I make such nice ones and they seem to be appreciated by most! I have learned to not cry anymore when I see something I painted in the local thrift store!! So - here it is 12:37, I got home from work an hour ago and now I am off to work on gifts and the christmas cards I still haven't sent out yet!! Being crafty SUCKS right now!!!

After I check out the sale stuff at Ikea!!! I drove there the other day - about 2 hours - and found some stuff I really want for my bedroom! Which has gotten my brain going on how to redo my room! We have lived here almost 4 years and our room is still the horrible off white it was painted when we moved in and is a hodge podge of furniture and kid stuff! My mom and I are in the process of making a quilt for my bed - lots of reds,oranges and pinks - which is the starting point for everything. I love bright colors but I am learning to tone it down and use the bright colors in smaller areas so the rest of the room will be simpler but the quilt will be bright! I am sooo excited to have a cozy room for me and my hubby! The bed i found is black as well as a black dresser and a red bench with drawers for the foot of the bed! This will all happen slowly and will take awhile but I will be dreaming of its finish.......

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bloody Nose....

Stephen conked me in the house last night and gave me a bloody nose! I was on my way out the door to a "girls night out" and he jumped up to give me a kiss and I bent down - Smash went my nose! This is by no means the first time this has happened in my house but it definately was the worst!I immediately started crying and he felt soo bad - the look on his face made me want to cry even more but I was in so much pain I could barely say anything to comfort him! I spent the rest of my "girls night" with a horrible headache and an ice pack on my nose - that is no way to watch Mama Mia!!! I barely evn got to drink any wine I was so miserable! My nose still hurts - can you believe that???

Monday, December 15, 2008

Goings On at Our House...

We have been super busy this season...

Another decoration I wanted to share. We have bookshelves in our kitchen that I decorated with frames I have painted and a yearly picture of our family each christmas! We have all walked over to those pics more than once,looked and said....that was me??? Last year is missing(I am working on that) and I will add this year after my parents get here and take a family photo of us!!

School - what is that? asks the Homeschool Mom in this house! We have been doing a lot of Life Learning since I started working with some Math and LA thrown in every once in a while for good measure! After all the chaos of Christmas I won't be working so many hours and our lives can calm down for a week or two until the next thing comes along and hopefully we can get back on track. The boys will be very upset with Mommy when they are doing all this catch up work!!!

Advent....I shared with you the wonderful calendar thing I put together and all my ideas that I put together from a variety of sources and now we are doing NONE of it!! We found this great book called Jotham's Journey that has everything in it!! You read the story - which has Jotham traveling to find his parents - and after each story is scripture and a blurb to read for advent. It is awesome and the boys love it!!! It has all the scriptures in it that relate to the story but it doesn't have some of the fun games and activities I had found so I am still gonna figure out a way to include those into our advent celebration or as part of school! There are also two other books that they are rereleasing that we will snatch up as soon as they come out so we will have 3 books to switch off for each year! I have heard so many people tell me what great books they are and how much their kids have loved them!
Christmas Parade....
Alex's school had a float in our local city parade and the boys couldn't wait to go watch!!! Of course that had a lot to with all the candy they were sure they would get - they did!! Mommy helped a little bit with the float but not as much as she would have liked to because of work!
They were actually in 2 parades - one at night and one during the day. These pics are from the one in the day so you miss out on all the beautiful white lights that were all over the float!! It was awesome and got lots of compliments!!
The Middle School kids walked alongside the float and carried signs that told what programs are offered at the school.
The parade watchers.....

Our Church did a Christmas Play that the younger boys would have Nothing to do with! They went to about 2 or 3 practices and then they were done with that foolishness! Alex did participate as a Stage Hand - he loved that! Can you see him in his hiding spot during the performance.......

There he is..........

He popped out every once in a while to supply props and move stuff around!!

Now it is time to get our Christmas Letter written and get the cards in the mail!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Great Movie

I have been really sick today so I wasn't able to do all the things we had planned for today but I did have some quiet tonight while all the boys were at our Home Group Christmas party so I rented a movie. Saving Sarah Cain is the name of it and I loved it! It was soo good - I am still crying over the ending - happy of course! What a good chick flick but you do need to watch it and do nothing else while you are watching!! Just wanted to share!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Tree is Up...

We actually put the tree up before thanksgiving but we didnt get to decorate it until last week!
Thought you might enjoy a looksie.....

It was Ben's turn to put on the star this year....
Grandma made these Huge stockings when mommy and daddy were first married and there was only 1 kid but once we had 3 more Santa said no way am I filling those things anymore!!! So now the boys have found a new use for them!! Getting out the Christmas stuff is so much fun!

This is one of the Christmas presents I made for my sister......

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Over at Tip Junkie I was passing along an idea I had done a few years ago and she entered it into her Christmas Card contest so....I need all of you to go over to her site and vote for my I Spy card!! I must admit I am feeling pretty proud that she wanted to put my card in her contest - Fun!!! You can vote on the left hand side bar - go now - the voting has started!!!
While there make sure you check out all the goodies on her site - it is amazing!!!

To Gift or not to Gift...

I just love to be crafty! I want to make things for everyone I know or for anyone I can think of that might need a handmade gift! I know - adding to my level of stress but it is just somehting I really enjoy doing! I had thought I would go dull this year and get some $5 items from my work but I found some blogs with some great ideas and I just couldn't bring myself to BUY a gift!! I can't wait to show you guys what I come up with but in the meantime - check out these blogs to see where i got my ideas!! we are That family I am all over the frame idea with a twist of my own - of course!!! I am very good at using others ideas and expanding on them but I am not good at coming up with my own ideas so I love these blog ladies who are crafty and love to share their ideas!!! This website is Fantastic - executive homemaker - i found some great fun ideas for gifts that are very inexpensive and easy and fun for the recipient - check it out!
i will share what i do when i finally have the time to sit down and do it! First I have to finish painting wine glasses for my sister, making nativity ornaments for the kids in the christmas play, making my christmas cards and then I want to start on the ideas I found tonight!!!! Amongst all that I have to Homeschool, go to work, clean the house(i cleaned our bathroom today and i think it had been at least a month - if not longer since the last time it was done - GROSS!) and hang out with my hubby and kiddos!! Itis a good thing I am a night owl or I would never get anything done!!! I do so love being crafty but boy is it time consuming!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I got an Award.....

Wow! How cool is that?? I forgot to mention it before because I was wallowing in my self pity! Thanks by the way for all the encouragement - it is so nice to know I am not alone in my struggles and that I can share and you all don't think I am crazy! God is good.....
Back to the award.....Read about it at Our Peculiar life
Even though it was a couple days ago - I still feel special!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Why do I continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over ???? Why does God continue to forgive me - guide me back to the right path and then off i go again on my own - into the wilderness??? There have been some big changes in this house - spiritually - and it has been and is going to be an amazing ride to follow this new path He is guiding us on. My husband is a new man and what an awesome man he is! You can see Jesus in his face, in his actions and reactions, in his words and in his life and it is truly incredible to see and experience - I can only imagine how my hubby feels on his side of these changes! But ME -I am still doing the same dumb things - not setting/following priorities, going off on project after project and ignoring the kids, the house and the relationship I have with my Lord Jesus Christ, feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in my pity party. Why can't I stay on track - maybe because I am not making my relationship with the Lord my priority - which is what I say to myself over and over but I still keep jumping off into my own little world and getting caught up in all the things I think I am supposed to be doing! I am not supposed to be doing anything extra(other than homeschooling and now work) this year but it is sooooo hard to not offer to help so I am in it up to my eyeballs - AGAIN!!! I am doing painting projects for my christmas presents, my sisters christmas presents, gifts for the kids in the church play. I have been working 20 plus hours each week. I did some signs and a few other things to help CCS with the float in the christmas parade - does that seem like nothing to you???
The Lord has been showing me that I need to be focused in on my family right now - this is the season we are in- and I am struggling with letting go of the other "stuff" that I think I am doing for the good but I am really doing it for myself - for the praise, the feeling of accomplishment and for the satisfaction of helping others plus the fact that i REALLY have trouble saying NO!
I am slowly getting on board with His plan and maybe one of these days I will ride the train all the way to the station but for now I am jumping off and on and struggling but I know I will get through it - with a lot of prayer and blogging!!!! I am is late....gotta get some sleep....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent Calendars

I am frustrated with this whole idea of advent calendars! I have been doing a little research - reading a bunch of books I have stockpiled from thrift stores on the subject of advent and advent ideas,etc.. - and figured out how I wanted to do this whole advent thing and then it came time to make the necessary stuff! I am not a store bought kindof girl - my first thought is always "how can I make that at home?" So - I did more research online to get ideas for the wreath and the calendar and I was confused....It is my understanding that advent is started on the 4th sunday before christmas so you would have 4 sundays and the weeks following each sunday up until christmas day. so - why is every advent calendar a countdown to christmas with dates from 1-25 on it?? it is a countdown calendar not an advent calendar!! how are you supposed to figure in the sundays when the first sunday of advent is almost always in Nov and that date is not on your countdown calendar??? does my confusion make sense to anyone else??

so - this is what i did......and i am already unhappy with the calendar and am going to redo it so I am not going to put up a picture for you to see until i redo it!!! but here is the wreath....

I know that the traditional candles are purple and 1 pink so I bought those colors but when I read in one of my trusty books that someone else had used red I immediately threw away those candles and bought red ones to use! Red is my favorite color and I am not going for traditional anyways so i can adjust things to my liking and pick and choose what I want to use!!! I also read about some symbolisms for the different things in the wreath - the circle is a symbol of God's neverending love, the evergreens are a symbol of everlasting life, the holly symbolizes the crown of thorns and the berries symbolize the blood He shed for us - so that is how I put the wreath together - the pinecones are those cinnamon smelling ones and I just thought they added a nice touch and they smell really good!

Here is the plan I have put together for the 4 sundays and each of the days of the week. I have combined a bunch of ideas from different books I have. They all have some good ideas and some I didnt really care for so I pulled out the ideas I liked, tried to do the scriptures in order of how it happened and I am hoping that our first Advent will be a success!! We also will be reading a book called Jotham's Journey that has been recommended by a friend and all the other Christmas books I have stored away for this month!!!!

1st Sunday – Prophecy Candle
Reminding us that Jesus’ coming was prophesied hundreds of years before he was born.
Isaiah 9:1-7//Isaiah 7:14
What would it have been like to be alive during the 700 years between Isaiah’s prophecy and the Birth of Christ? Would you have given up hope or would you have clung to God’s promise?
Make a prayer chain of family/friends far away from us during this season. Hang a ribbon w/pictures or names of each family and/or family members. We will take turns praying for them throughout the next weeks.
Read: Luke 1:1-25
Pretend to be Zechariah and Do Not Speak for 3 minutes. Other family members can ask questions to try to make Zechariah laugh or speak! When the time is up – Switch!
Read: Luke 1:26-38
Watch ‘The Nativity Story’
Make a Treasure Box of Memories
Decorate an empty box with wrapping paper. Find pictures, draw pictures, write memories to put inside. Add to it each year.

2nd Sunday – Bethlehem Candle
Read: Micah 5:2
Sing or Listen to ’O Little Town of Bethlehem’.
Look on the map at the distance between Nazareth and Bethlehem.
Talk about what it would have been like riding the donkey all that way and the different ways we would have gotten there. What would they have packed for their Journey?

Read: Luke 1:39-56
Read: Matthew 1:18-25
Read: Luke 2:1-5
What is a census?
Watch Christmas Movie
Pretzels were originally made to represent people with their hands folded in prayer. Hang a pretzel on the tree with a ribbon to remind us to Pray and to Thank God for his Gift of Grace.

3rd Sunday – Shepherd’s Candle
Read: Luke 2:8-14
Make Angel light-draw the outline of an angel on a white paper bag. Make wings and glue to back of bag. Put bag over a flashlight & fasten with a rubber band.
Read: Luke 2:15-20
Shepherds Cane is like a Candy Cane
Read: Matthew 2: 6-9
Wise men Treasure Hunt – cut out stars to write clues on. The final clue is The Greatest Treasure of All – baby Jesus in the Nativity
Read: Matthew 2:1-5
Drive around to look at Christmas Lights
Read: Matthew 2:10-11
Matthew 2:12/16
Watch Christmas Movie
Make cookies to tell Story – Angels brought the Good News of Christ’s birth; Star for the Wise men to follow; Candy Cane for the shepherds who watched over their sheep; Gingerbread person as Mary/Joseph, Shepherds & Wise men; Bells to ring out the Message.

4th Sunday – Angels Candle
Read: Luke 1:30-33
Play ‘Spread the News’ – sit in a circle and one person starts by whispering a message about the birth of Jesus into the ear of the person next to them. Each person passes the message until it gets back to the person who started. They then say it out loud and tell how different or similar it is to what they started with!
Read: Matthew 2:13-17
Read: Matthew 2:19-23
Make a Birthday Card for Jesus
Christmas Eve Service
Christmas Day
Read: John 8:12
Light the middle candle as a symbol of God’s Love

Okay - here is the calendar I made.It is not a very good picture but I think you can get the idea! I made little paper pockets for each day of the week and then typed up what we are going to do for each day on a business card and stuck it in the pocket to be pulled out that day! You can't read the days of the week but other than that it is cute and will work! Even though I am not completely happy with it and another idea is already forming in my mind to change it and I still might but right now I have WAY too many other things to do!!!

Well - it is off to bed for me! I have had a busy night and I am done!! I am very excited that I do not have to go to work tomorrow and I get to psend the whole day with the boys watching Prince Caspian(excellent movie by the way)!!!

I hate having to go to work....

I got teary eyed at least 4 times this morning before I left for work! You would think I would be thrilled to leave the house for a few hours and get away from all the chaos -but crazily enough I don't want to go!!! When I was leaving Ben gave me a BIG hug and wouldn't let go - I almost lost it! Then when I got home Thomas gave me a really HUGE hug and told me "Momma - I really like you". My heart broke again! Stephen was too busy playing video games both when I left and when I got home to notice but he does cling extra tight to mommy when I am home now!
It is so nice to feel loved..but I still miss them!
My hubby and I have really started to have some good conversations (he is not much of a talker and is quiet - unlike me) so this is a big thing for our relationship and now we never see each other because I am always at work!! I am only working 4 & 5 hour shifts but it feels like I am gone all day because it takes 20 minutes to get there and another 20 to get home!!
It is only for another couple months!! I think God is trying to waken me up to what I really have here at home and open my eyes to the task he has given me of being a mom, teacher, encourager, wife, lover, friend,etc..... to all the boys/man in this house!
Enough complaining - today was just a hard day for some reason and I needed to vent - thanks for listening!!!! Now - off to bed so I can get up early to take my oldest to school - make some posters for his school's float in the parade and then go to work myself.........It is a good thing that "His mercies are new every morning"