Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Merry Little Christmas

Our annual Christmas Eve program was hijacked by the kids this year, and they rocked it!
A Live Nativity :)This year's new books to add to the collection were Gingerbread Baby and Christmas Day in The Morning. Both are ExCeLlEnT!
Making Cookies for Santa! (and some leftovers for the helpers!!)Everyone was "big enough" to help this year. (Notice the self-cut bangs?! She thinned them out all on her own, and was NOT HAPPY to be interrupted before she "finished". Merry Christmas Eve Mom!!)Do you remember EVER being this excited?Dress-ups were delivered by Santa!New Hooded Towels! All the rage.Apparently there is an award for the recipient of the largest gift. It's all about size, baby. (I was unaware of this before...)
And they spent all day creating and being creative with their gifts!

And at the end of the day, which was very merry, we were happy and tired, indeed.

Happy Birthday Jesus! Thank YOU for the best gift of all!

What was your favorite part of the holiday?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Teacher Gifts

...are an unspoken expectation. My kids don't ever want to be the student, who, on the day before winter break, arrives with empty hands. They brought this up at the dollar store this week, the best place to be IMO for that conversation.

Cute felt buckets, $1 each. Check!

Easy cookie recipe with ingredients I have on hand. (Which isn't easy...can you believe I have NO chocolate chips in the house? And I've been here over 2 weeks?? I know, scandalous!)

This is only the 2nd time EVER that I have made Gingersnaps. It's a really sad thing too, because Chris loves them! Good thing we have some left over to treat him to when he deplanes tomorrow!

Note to self: Buy more GINGER...and chocolate chips!

Peeee Essssss....
Recipe found in the good old standby - Red & White, Better Homes & Gardens

Thursday, December 17, 2009

That's IT!

Sydney realllllly wanted to get her way today.

She asked nicely.

I politely said, not right now.

She asked again....not so nicely. I said, "No."

She asked again, meanly.

This time I walked away.

She hates when I walk away and don't engage. Then she can't manipulate.

She runs after me.

She says, "THAT'S IT MOMMY! You are NOT the genius! I AM THE GENIUS!"

I start laughing, uncontrollably.

She responds,"It's not FUNNY!!!! ARrrrghhhhhhhH!!!!" (the tears and snot start to flow)

Ahhhhh, the lovely, terrible twos. (and threes)


out for a REAL table.

This kid table has been better than nothing, but now that the clutter has hit the nook really needs something more...ummmm...dignified!

It only needs to serve as a breakfast table, or lunch for 2, since that is all that usually is here at lunchtime.

Search as I might, I'm having a hard time finding the "right" table. I'm thinking cherry, square (42x42), counter height (36) 5-pc dinette.

Every time I get close, there is something missing..

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


...and they have the nerve to complain when they're told it's Leftover Night.

Traditions Continued

We usually decorate for Christmas the 1st weekend in December. This year, as the moving boxes had puked all over the new house, that just wasn't possible that weekend. However, we finally caught up and were able to do it the 2nd weekend.

We love Noble Firs, but those are not common here, so in a new North Carolina Tradition, we selected a Fraser Fir. It is a little floppier than we are used to, but it smells DIVINE! It's also reeeaaaallllly thirsty!!
We put on our Bing Crosby Christmas CD, and Daddy does the lights. Next, Mom does the tinsel, it's something only she can do just right.

Then we break out the ornaments. Everybody loves looking for the ones that are special to them. It is wonderful to have a hodge-podge ornament tree, when the ornaments are sentimental. We generally share lots of laughs as we remember the years we acquired them, and in some circumstances, the loved ones who gave them.
The kids are all big enough to do a pretty good job selecting the right branches based on the ornaments. Sydney had a favorite branch, and ALL of her ornaments ended up there. Not to worry, the elves fixed it up after we all went to bed, wink, wink..
And when all is said and done, the skirt goes on, the lights are plugged in, and we sit back and admire our beautiful tree...and think of the reason for this beautiful season...sometimes with hot chocolate...

What is your favorite Merry Christmas tradition?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deep Thoughts From The South

As seen on a bumper sticker on 485 ...

If going to Church makes you a Christian, does going to the Garage make you a Car?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Tunes

On the way to school the kids and I were discussing how much we love Christmas music. I asked each of them which song was their favorite of all the ones they know and/or have heard.

Here is our list, this year...

Dad - Jingle Bells (the Batman Smells version) and also O Holy Night
Mom- O Holy Night, especially sung by Josh Groban (this has been mine since about 2002)
Savi - Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
Gunnar - Feliz Navidad! (I think this has something to do with the fact that his class has been practicing it all week for a performance next week)
Sydney - "Santa BeeeeBeeeee" She went on to sing the cutest rendition of this song I have ever heard....I could hardly contain myself as she belted out, "Hurry down the Chimneeeeee to-niiiiighhhht!"

I've included below the link to my favorite Christmas song EVER (as mentioned above). I also love Mary's Lullaby AKA "Baby, All Mine"....but it'll take a lot to knock this one from it's current spot.

Have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas enjoying all of the music with your loved ones!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Love

FREE MUSIC on iTunes!

I became a fan of iTunes on Facebook and got this for my trouble:


Enjoy your free 20 song Starbucks "Pick of the Week" Sampler from iTunes. This free sampler features music from Sting, Moby, Iron & Wine, Metric and more. Codes are available while supplies last. Be sure to redeem the code before it expires and check back often for more free music, TV shows and more. And spread the love around, share this with your friends so they can get their free music sampler too!

Please note this free music offer is only available on the US iTunes Store. Codes are available while supplies last.

If you already have iTunes installed:

To receive your free sampler, click HERE and click Redeem in iTunes.

If you do not have iTunes installed:

  • Download iTunes for Mac or Windows, free of charge, at
  • Open iTunes and click iTunes Store.
  • Click Redeem.*
  • Enter the code below. Your download will start immediately. Enjoy.
Please wait for iTunes to open.

Free music code: AKKRXLYEJW39
Code Expiration Date: 1/31/10
Also, this week they are offering a free music sampler with 20 songs...go to the iTunes store NOW! Just follow this link:

Or if that doesn't work, go into iTunes and search for the "free Holiday Sampler."

Happy Sing-Alonging!! (with 40 free songs!!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Like


It glows when it rains. I'm not sure what it is that does it, maybe it grows during the wet period, but it is almost other-worldly.

Love it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Setting Up House

We have been in our new home for about a week and have been busily setting it up. It has been quite a chore finding a new "place to live" for every item we have...some things have not made the cut...and it was with relief that we were able to put the trashcan on the curb yesterday. I still have to make a LARGE trip to Goodwill after I finish everything upstairs.

After pleas for pictures the last few days, I finally feel ready to share our main floor with you, so you can picture us in our new space.

This is MY kitchen. I love it. Really. There are too many words about all the reasons why. The whole main floor is laid out around it. It rocks.
Pantry...although just a standard size, I have so many cabinets, that it works just fine. All the kids dishes and cereals/snacks etc..are in the island cabinets and on pantry shelves where they can reach them. NO MORE CLIMBING! (I also invested in a handy-dandy folding step-stool, because EVEN I can't reach the top shelves of the cabinets....strange, I know) Also, I stole the idea of the over-the-door shoe organizer from my smart sister, Kasey. It houses granola and protein bars, dry mixes, packs of gum, water mixers, etc. You know, all the small stuff that ends up kicking around on a pantry shelf. It's working great so far!
Formal Dining: I still need to get hefty enough hanging wire to hang my GONZO mirror behind the Ikea Shelf that will serve as my buffet table.
The view just inside the door. I love how I can see the woods through the house. (Mirror on wall temporary...too high, needs to be horizontal...maybe needs to be bigger..)
The "family stairs" that go up from the family room to a shared landing with the entry stairs.
View through the cut-out from the family room to the kitchen. Perfect spot for a Nativity! :)
View from the kitchen into the family room through the cut-out. (See my picture of Christ? Better, yes?)
The formal living room. Awaiting the tree, that we will set up this weekend. Once it's up I can start wrapping the gifts for the kids I am hiding and that will free up more organizing space!
Also, I was able to find THE matching coffee table to the glass and rod iron end table we've had for 7 years. Should be coming next week, I'm stoked!
The entryway. It's vaulted and has a chandelier that lights up almost the whole house when it's on. I love the leaded glass in the doors, so pretty at night with the porch lights on outside..
And I couldn't resist sharing my find of the day! Matching wreaths on suction cup hooks! Looks so pretty and festive from the street!!

Maybe next week, I can show you how the 2nd floor has shaped up. It's really pretty much done except for the craft/guest room which needs some serious organization...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stopping IN for Thanksgiving

After being on the road and in a different hotel each night for 3 nights and 4 days, it was SO nice to stop in and have a home base for 4 nights and 3 days! Lucky for us, Kasey and Jimmie live about 1/2 way to Charlotte from Utah. (or we would've been flying and shipping BOTH our cars!) Also, we were thrilled that we were able to time our move/visit with the holiday. It was so great to share it with extended family. Especially, ones who cook so well! Kasey makes a MEAN cheesecake, and Jimmie, the grilled cheese master, much to the critters' delight!
Who goes to B-ville and doesn't visit the Walton Five and Dime?? Not us!!
We went for a stroll along the gorgeous pathways off the town square...also where Aunt Kasey gets her RUN on!
We found some Osage Oranges that we gathered for a natural centerpiece, they were heavy to carry back to the car, but they looked and smelled wonderful!!
We made new friends! "My Kasey. NO, MY Kasey!!" LOL
We played at the zoo, Ozark Style! Nothin' like it!
The Dad of the dude (or was it a chick?) we cooked up the day before...sorry Mr. Turkey, but your kid was GOOD!
1/2 was petting zoo, the rest was a drive-thru zoo. Pretty cool to see zebras and such wandering freely..
White Bison.
Longhorn! Check out those you know where they get their name!
The Emu and Ostriches liked the cars, and kept trying to see who was inside.
This camel wiped it's spit and snot along the side of my car. SICK!
Look at all the little Bambis running around!!
And this poor guy was hanging out with them. He seemed to be wise to the ways of the humans....and not happy that we were there. He just needs to get that string off his head and he'll be okay!
Have you ever pet a hedgehog?? No?? It was a first for us too! They kind of stink.
We all got to feed and hold this cute baby monkey through the cage.. so much fun.
These goats would eat ANYTHING you gave them. Luckily we just had bread and dried corn kernals.. They had some behind the fence and others in the area we were in...not sure why... BTW, I don't like goats, they look evil to me.
BEST.PART. Kangaroo petting! WOW! They were SOOOOOO soft. And it was so fun to see them jumping all around. There were at least 20 of them!
We left the zoo as the sun was setting after spending about 2.5 hours there. It is so beautiful in the area that my sister lives. We really enjoyed being there and resting up for the week ahead and all the excitement and stress that a new home and setting it up brings.

Thanks K and Jimmie!