Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve

Didn't I just do a  New Year's post like last week?? Can't believe it's almost 2011. I can't complain about 2010. Overall it was a pretty good year for our household! 

I do have somethings I'd like to work on. Last year the main one was saving money. I think we did awesome, and we have learned so much about our spending habits! However, I don't think you can ever save TOO MUCH MONEY, so I'd still like to work on this one.  I'd also like to amp up our savings account  AND WORK MORE ON MENUS! Having menus done REALLY saves time and money, it just takes the effort to do it.

My second one I'm working on is me.  I'm sure all chubby people get up one morning and go "UHhh....when did THIS happen?"  I've had several of these episodes lately.  I'm actually really good at losing weight, and I ROCK at gaining's just the maintaining I have problems with.

And the 3rd thing for 2011..FINALLY finish our family room in the basement. I think it's been "bare bones" now for 3 years.  We have the stairwell done, but just kind of stopped on that room. It hasn't helped that my boys just moved on down there and got comfortable with a drum set, posters on the walls and a recliner and play station. It's become a "mini-man man cave." So, anxious to get started on that again, and the list of new projects behind this one just keeps growing and growing. ;)

Happy New Years to EVERYONE!!  Stay  warm!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Our Christmas wasn't what I expected it would be, but it was still nice!  Started off at midnight, JUST after Santa delivered and got all cozy in bed...THEY woke up.  The boys went to see what Santa brought, and bugged us off and on for the REST OF THE NIGHT wanting to open presents. They never did go back to bed, except for a snooze here and there, they said. Finally, just after 6, we headed down.

Later that morning, I felt a pinch in my side, and knew EXACTLY what it was.  I've had kidney stones enough times now I JUST KNOW.  I laid around on the couch most of the day, having a hard time walking upright. But knew it was on the move as the pain was slowly moving down. ( I only get worried when the pain stays in one spot or gets worse. Last time that happened I ended up with surgery and a kidney stent I'm convinced could have reached Africa when it was uncoiled. Fun times!)   It "all worked out" in the end, and I am still very sore in the kidney area, but the pain is now gone. Merry Christmas to ME!

Other than being in pain and sleep deprived, it was a wonderful day! ;)

I'm not sure I can pick a favorite gift. I'm pretty spoiled!  A gift certificate to my very favorite plant company, a handmade APRON that is so-so-so cute,(They are becoming famous, Sara!!) and new RED pots and pans are at the very top of my favorite list!! I'm feeling very cool now cooking with my new pots, while wearing my new apron, cooking on my new stove. ;)  Danny also got me a hot pink fishing pole that I can't wait to use, Tristen got me a leopard print Snuggie, that was just PERFECT for a day on the couch, and Jake got me a very pretty picture frame that holds 3 5 by 7 prints.

Dan and I each, unknowingly, got each other a bottle of "beer bread" mix for a HAHA gift!  So he whipped up some of that last night when I was out on the couch, and it was pretty good!  He smoked a turkey, and I made seasoned green beans and scalloped potatoes for our Christmas dinner. And water...I drank lots and lots of water.

Dan says he can't pick a favorite gift. But I know he's very happy with the BBQ box my parents made up for him, with new spices to try and wood chips.

T's favorite was his new pellet gun, his RipStix, and this very cool box that,  mounted inside, has all the rocks/minerals mentioned in the Bible.  He also got some new rock identification books that he's had his nose in a lot.

J's favorite is his I-Pod touch...and umm...well, I'm not sure he's even LOOKED at anything else but that.

I'm a bit sad it's over already. THOUGHT about taking down the tree and decorations, but I'm just not ready to put them away yet. Maybe later this week.

Off to drink more water!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

I think I over did it.  There was nothing that could escape some sort of Christmas dazzle this year.

Not the cinnamon rolls I made for gifts and Christmas morning breakfast.

 Not the jello salad we had a dinner.

But really...I don't think there is a thing as TOO MUCH dazzle at Christmas!!

We had an amazing Christmas Eve.  We went to the candle light service (I love leaving that little church and looking back as we pull away. The lights are all on, and it looks so pretty and warm.), came back home and ate a wonderful roast with my family. 

Then we shared some Christmas surprises.

This is a  picture we had made for my parents. (Sara Stapleton took the pics, Danny made the frame.) It was VERY loved, and they had already figured out where to hang it before they left. It was VERY hard for me to keep this secret!

And this is a toy box Uncle Danny also made for Hope.

 Mostly, we just enjoyed each other.  And tormented each other...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Week

I just love Christmas week!!  You can feel the excitement building up and the magic IS real!

 At OUR house it means:

We attended a VERY ADORABLE church program Sunday evening.   I love that little country church. Driving up, the lights were all on and it look so beautiful all lit up.

The gifts are all wrapped and put under the tree. I know my boys are growing up, because I've hardly had to chase them out of the presents this year.

Goodies have been started, though I'm doing most of ours on Christmas Eve. (Cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning!!)  These pictured were made for the daycare kids. We had hot chocolate too...some even sipped it out of sippy cups! :-)
My jeans are already fitting a bit more snug than they did a few weeks ago. Evidently, Christmas calories REALLY DO count! Who knew!  I guess I know what my New Years  Resolution is THIS year. =(

 Those are melted snowmen, by the way. I had some "help" making them. ;) 

And these little bits of heaven haven't helped the pound situation, but they are just so good. For some reason, I had about 10 pictures of this candy cane kiss when I took the pictures off my camera. Someone was bored..

And speaking of daycare, the daycare Christmas party is done, and the megaphone has been unwrapped. of my daycare families got me a megaphone. Isn't that hysterical?? (The dad came to pick up and said other than liquor, they thought it was JUST what I needed!)  The boys thought it was HILARIOUS until I told Jake I was taking it to his next basketball game! MUUUHAHAHAHA!!

Christmas will be here and over before we know it! Enjoy the magic and wonder of this wonderful season!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winters Vistors

We've been enjoying some very busy activity at our bird feeder this year.  Dan has to refill the feeder every couple of days or so. It's always got somebody getting a snack.  The boys also threw some corn down, as well as the decorative corn...the squirrels have been going CRAZY over that!

I've always loved watching birds. But I never really thought enough to learn what they actually were until recently. Before now I identified by "that cute little bird with the red head" or "the one that cracks his seeds open on the tree", but now I've been researching.

I blame my friend Melanie.. ;-) has been VERY useful to me!

I  learned I have a pair of Nuthatches. I believe they are White-breasted Nuthatches, but am not really good at positively identifying yet. I thought I only had one, but there is a pair as they were dining together just the other day.

And this guy...oh how I love him. He brings a smile to me every time I see him. My grandmother LOVED cardinals and always made sure to point them out to me when I was little. (I NEED a better zoom.! NEED!)

And he brought his wife too!!

I see her more than I see him.  There is a particular bush I always see them at. Perhaps there will be little ones there in the spring?

Everybody is pretty round and well fed!

Make sure you keep YOUR feeders full! You will never know who might stop by for a snack!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Crafty Sunday

A couple of years ago, my boys were digging though our garage, and found an old sled. It's been laying around here and there, but I never wanted to throw it away. It's one of those things that I love, but at the same time was never sure what really to do with it. Until today.

It went from this:

 To this:

 I picked the pine from our back yard, and bought the ribbon for a dollar at the Dollar Store. I was nervous about the bow, because my bow-makin Aunt now lives in Texas. However, going on YouTube and typing in "How to make a bow" did it!!

I love it! Maybe I'll strip it down again, and put it away with our Christmas decorations and dress it up every year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What I love..

..about Christmas time:

Catching that oh so adorable 5 year old daycare girl quietly singing "Away in a Manger."

The hunt for the PERFECT gift and that feeling of joy when you think you've found it.

Tearing up during that BEAUTIFUL favorite Christmas song.

The breathtaking candlelight services.  I'll never forget the candlelight services at our church, and the beautiful sight of all those candles lit.  One year, I remember holding my dad's hand, and pretending to sing, but really just mouthing the words, listening to my dad sing harmony to Away In a Manger, thinking it was the coolest thing I had ever heard.  (I still think that, by the way.)

The magic of Christmas snow.

The memories of Christmas Eve dinners at my grandmothers house.  This is a tradition I now do at my house, and is so special to me.  I remember how my brother and I would always listen so closely as we were leaving her apartment, listening oh so close for bells from Santa's sleigh.

Cookies and candies taste SO much better around Christmas time.

It will be over before we know it!! Enjoy the season and make some memories!