Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Letters from Santa!

Hey folks!

Obviously, I really, really, really love Christmas. Obviously. So I wanted to draw your attention to one of my buttons on the right...the North Pole Secretary. This is a fellow blogger (hah! can I even put myself on the same level with the popularity of her blog?) who writes Christ-centered letters from Santa and sends them to your kiddos. Complete with post office stamp from the North Pole. AWESOME! I love anything that helps our family remember the reason for the season and keep our focus on serving others and giving rather that what we get.

Right now, she's running a special...$5 per letter until Sunday, Nov. 1st. I know my kids are gonna LOVE this and it's for a good cause, too! If you put her button on your blog, tell her about it! She'll give you the first letter free!

She is a mother of six, two of her children are adopted and this is her contribution to the family's budget to help pay off those adoptions. You can visit her blog here! She's very talented and gives lots of good tidbits for organization. Did I mention she has six kids? She only has about seven weeks (because the season is only so long) to make a dent in their adoption fees...let's help her out!!!

Look, I'll make it easy on you and put the link right HERE!

Merry Christmas!! It'll be here before you know it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TWOC: Christmas Traditions of FOOD!!!

Oh! The food!!!

Oh! The aching stomach!

Oh! MORE food!

Oh! Am I glad I wore my elastic-waist pants!!!

Let's see...Where do I start? How about baking day?

We typically made:

homemade bread loafs (and I'm not talking two, here, people..I'm talking more like ten or fifteen)
crescent rolls (about 100)
sugar cookies (about 100)
magic cookie bars (1 or 2 9x13pans)
lemon triangles (1 or 2 8x8 square pans)
Russian tea cakes (lots...these are so good with coffee!)
peanut butter candies
chocolate chip cookies
Cranberry Salsa (with cream cheese and Wheat Thins)

We eat of lot of this stuff on Christmas Eve along with a whole bunch of sandwich stuff...ham, turkey, cheeses, the crescent rolls. A couple years we have made Christmas Eve a Hispanic food night and made enchiladas and taco soup with a whole bunch of chips and salsa.

For dinner on Christmas night we have:

mashed potatoes
green bean casserole
brussel sprouts and bacon (my fav)
green salad
sweet potato casserole
and more bread

For dessert we have:
pumpkin pie
apple pie (usually the sugar free kind)
boysenberry pie
ice cream
and coffee, of course!

Sometimes we make:

Brazillian torte
Waldorf salad
Banana/wafer pudding

Did I mention that I follow a low-carb diet? Yeah. Did you see it flying out the window like I do every year. Picture it. It happens. Trust me.

And this is just on MY side of the family.

Linkin' up to Twelve Weeks of Christmas!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fingerprint Friday

Dear Son,

It's your birthday party today. You are four years old.

Full of life, love, and hugs. You were a bit of a surprise to us, but not to God. He knew we needed you as much as you needed us. They told us you were too big to deliver naturally and that I needed to have a c-section. But God saw them coming a mile away and sent a wonderful lady to warn us that God was with us and you would be just fine.

I had you in three hours. Of all four kids, you were my biggest at 9.5lbs.

But you were the easiest delivery I've ever had.

When you were three months old, my smiling baby's eyes rolled back, his color went white and his body went limp in my arms. I called 911 and prayed.

And prayed.

I thought, for a moment, that I was losing you. But then, your color came back. The EMT's took your vital signs and asked us what hospital we were taking you to. I was so afraid for you.

But God knew.

He knew I needed your here with me for longer than three months and knew that this moment would be replayed in my memory as a precious reminder of His Grace and the gift of children and the preciousness of their lives. And especially of how special you are.

And you were fine. You stayed four days in the hospital and you were fine.

Months later, after you had just started walking, you bit right through your lip and blood gushed out all over Auntie Becky's kitchen. Your Aunt thought you needed stitches. Did you? You might have. But after it stopped walked away and played some more.

You have a scar on your beautiful big lips.

You have toppled, head-first, over a ball pit. I caught this one in action:
You were fine. I believe you giggled and then tried to re-create your topple.

And recently, you've drank from a bottle of Benadryl and ended up in the emergency room for a two-hour observation. Again, you were fine.

If I didn't believe in God, I'd say you were very lucky. But I do believe in God.
It's not luck that brought you to us. It was God and His plan, His purpose, was for you to be in our family. You help make us a better family.
Nor was it luck that has kept your curiousness from seriously injuring you. You have God's fingerprints all over you. (And a whole legion of His angels watching over you, I'm sure.)
(Gosh, you look like your Uncle Adam in the picture!)

We love our Little Luke!!!! Thank you for making me a better mom by reminding me how important it is to pray for my children! :) Happy Birthday! I hope you have a day full of memories and love that will last a life-time. Your love will certainly last for all of mine.

Click HERE to visit more Fingerprint Friday's!

Monday, October 19, 2009

TWOC: Christmas Accent Craft

No. 1?! That's what she how many of these are we gonna have? I dunno.

Am I up for it? Um,
yeah. It's Christmas, people!

Twelve Weeks of Christmas

So, this crafity-craft, craft, craft is gonna be a throwback to last year's Christmas craft...and yes...I'm still working on these. Don't. get. me. started.

I am in the process of making stockings for our family of six. I currently have 2 and 7/8 completed and then another one that is about 1/3 done. I started these in July of
last year. No joke.

Here is one of them, completed except for the name (which I'm still debating about for font).

Here is my daughter's. She is the 7/8 one that is finished because I haven't put the fur on her's yet.
There are loads of sequins and itty-bitty little pieces of felt that I'm appliqueing on using the color-by-numbers kind of directions. Oh, mama-mia!

But it's a sugar-plum fairy...what's not to love?

I'm hoping to have my youngest son's done by Christmas this year....

...Mommy and Daddy's will have to wait until next year.
Or five years from


Monday, October 12, 2009

TWOC: Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions are HUGE! I love all the ones I grew up with:

1. Decorating the tree while drinking egg nog and listening to Christmas Carols.

2. Christmas Eve neighborhood party (that has now turned to a family party because we moved from the old neighborhood).

3. Making homemade bread, crescent rolls, and all kind of cookies and treats with my mom during Christmas vacation.

4. Watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus is coming to town when they came on tv.

5. Watching White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney with my mom...five hundred times in two weeks.

6. Christmas morning brunch.

Now that I have my own family (and my kids are young) some have followed us...and some we've put aside. But this is what we still do:

1. Christmas Eve party...either at my in-laws or with my family (they both always have Christmas parties, so we switch off years).

2. Watch all the movies...but now I watch the animated ones with my kids (they actually watch Frosty all year long...I know, I know!) and I watch White Christmas by myself. Sad, huh? I just can't seem to guilt the hubs into watching it with me. Go figure!

3. Decorating the Christmas tree while drinking egg nog and listening to Christmas carols. This is one that I'm thankful my kiddos are still too young to do (for the most part) because I am ANAL about what my tree looks like. Like, TYPE A, my-way-or-the-highway-anal. Seriously. Did I mention that I bought the kids their own trees to decorate? Yeah. 'Cause I did. That way my my tree. Is that wrong?

4. Go to my mom's house and my sister and I decorate her tree and her house for her.

5. The three gifts at Christmas.

6. Make a birthday cake or cupcake and sing happy birthday to the baby Jesus.

7. I bake sugar cookies with my sister-in-law.

8. Go to Christmas Tree Lane to look at beautiful houses with beautiful decorations!

Things we are planning on doing as the kiddos get older:

1. When we pull out the nativity set, have each person tell the story of the person/animal/thing they got from the box and how it relates to the story of Jesus' birth.

2. Go into detail about the three gifts at Christmas.

3. Read the story of the birth of Christ before we open gifts on Christmas Day.

And probably more as they get older and our lives change!

Head over to RedWriting to see lots of other ideas for Christmas Traditions!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Burlap Banner

This could be addicting.

I've seen some cute little banners that have popped up all over the blogasphere. (I'm sure that's a real word, spell checker, with your annoying red line.) I've seen them with scrapbook paper, fabric, burlap...

Oh, wait. Did you say Burlap? 'Cause that's one of my new favorite things. Seriously.

So, of course, I had to jump on the band-wagon!
Hey, I know when to be a follower...

First, I cut out pieces of triangular burlap.

Then, I cut out square pieces of scrapbook paper and glued them together.

I just used alphabet stickers for the letters and then I sewed the paper-blocked letters onto the burlap. Zig-zag style. (I cut out the leaves on my own, but they were super easy.)

I sewed the triangles together with some jute and a ginormous needle. Done.

I says "Give Thanks." I was telling my sister about it and she said, "Oh, that sounds so cute. But it's not Thanksgiving."


I know. I just can't bring myself to like Halloween. So, "Give Thanks" it is. On my new mantel that I love....

I think I'm clairvoyant because I see more of these in the house in my future. I've already got a variation in my mind just waiting for my banisters at Christmas time. Yippee!!!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Toy Wreaths

Need to know what to do with those old toys that are missing pieces or those McDonald toys that your kids play with for a whole five minutes and then use them as flying ammo as they dig through their toy chest looking for the stuff they really want to play with? Uh, huh. Me, too.

And then I visited my Infarrantly Creative friend (alright so..."friend" is kind of stretching it. I stalk her and she hides in fear) and I decided when you can't decide what to do with stuff....go blog stalking. Preferably at a person's blog who is more creative than yourself.

Now, I'll admit that I thought I had waaaaay more stuff than I do, but I toy purged before we moved and that resulted in a loss of many toys that would have been great for this. BUT, since these kind of toys multiply like bunnies...I'm thankful that this is a project that you can keep adding to more and more...and more.........and more....for-evah.

I didn't get the chance to get to Joann's for her cool wire wreath, but I did have an old baby gym that had wired arches that you hung toys from. I used tape to keep them, once the toys are full, you won't notice!Since all my kiddos have used it and some of the hanging toys were missing, I used the wire arches to make a circle or wreath rather than sending it off to Goodwill. I also used their old wooden names that hung in their room, took their first initial and added it to their wreaths because they'll each need their own, of course.

Now, it's obviously going to take some time to get it looking nice and full like the original, but it'll get there. Trust me.
Poor polka-dot'll soon have lots of toys on you, too!

Monday, October 5, 2009

All I want for Christmas...

Twelve Weeks of Christmas

Is it too soon for a Christmas list?

We limit our kiddos to three gifts each. This is specifically for the three gifts given to Jesus by the three Wise Men: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (And it helps our pocketbook, too!) These three gifts represent Christ's three roles. Gold is for His Kingship. Frankincense was typically used in worship in the temple symbolizing Christ's role as our High Priest. Myrrh was used in embalming to anoint the dead representing His death and resurrection.

We have modified those to relate to ourselves in saying that Gold is the one gift you really, really, really want. THE gift. The ONE RING.
Oh, wait...that's Gollum. Your frankincense gift is something that will draw you closer to God and aid in your worship towards him...a Bible, a Bible Study, devotional book, a worship cd, to name a few. The myrrh gift is something that will adorn your, shoes, robes, hair bows, lotions, bath stuff, jewelry, etc.

Now, our oldest is just 5 so we are still improvising on this. Their Frankincense gift, for example will be a VeggieTales video or a book about Jesus. Last year, the boys' myrrh gift was superhero capes. Their gold gift was a Geo-Trax set. You with me now? the spirit of keeping with our family's are mine!

Gold: A trip with my husband. Alone. As kids. Any destination would be lovely, but I'd really love to go here:

Frankincense: The three schools offered on (Theology, Apologetics, Critical Thinking)

Myrrh: Gift Certificates either to adorn myself....or my house! (In which case, we all win, right???)

Chances of my getting my Gold gift are pretty slim this year. You know, the economy and all. Oh, that and we bought a new house. Yeah. I'm ok with that. I guess.

But the others are pretty doable unless you wanna translate my myrrh gift into a new sectional couch which case my #1 is cheaper. Just sayin'.

I won't even bother to mention that we could get the couch in the same city as my #1 and kill two birds with one stone.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oh, Sister! It's a pumpkin!

I wish I had a picture for the look on my sister's face when I showed her this:
"Great. Um...what is it?" Was, I believe, her exact words.

"Grapevine, I think."

"What are you going to do with it?"

"I don't know. It was cheap and looked crafty. So, I got it."

"Uh, huh."

Well, I took it...I cut it. I wrapped some jute on it. I wired tied it. I scratched my hands everywhere. They now look like my dad's. But I made this:

And then I didn't like it there. So I put it here:

It was still missing something. So I dug out some of my Christmas stuff (don't judge me!):


And then I painted a wall.

All while chasing a newly crawling 9 month old!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I made 'em!

Zucchini muffins from my FIRL (friend in real life), Lora.

Loved 'em! I only had a taste, or two...or four. But my kiddos gobbled them up! I omitted the carrots just 'cause I don't have any. *Gasp* I know.

I'm thinking they might make my freezer breakfast list!