Category Archives: holidays

It Got Quiet

I’m not sure what happened here on the blog, but it got really quiet.  Trust me, I wasn’t.

The stupid stomach virus kept me pretty wiped out til Wednesday.  Then it was the gift that kept on giving.  I wasn’t able to take my meds for most of a week thanks to being sick.  Once, I started to get better, my mind decided to kick it up a notch and cause some lovely mood cycling.  It was scary and truly the worst I have felt in over a year.  Today I am starting to feel a little more like myself, a little more even keeled.  And I am so thankful.

The days of mood cycling and fluctuations were hard.  Crazy hard.  I am so thankful for the people in my life who reached out to me, not when I got better, but right where I was.

Today was lovely.  We went to the traditional service at our church, the earlier one we never seem to make it to, where they sing the glorious hymns of the Christian Faith.  I grew up on hymns.  The beauty of them, the truth in them, has always been nourishment for my soul.  Today I realized what had been missing in my worship, it is those hymns, and this morning my soul came home.

Plus, after a horrible winter in these parts, Spring seems to have arrived and today was just right.

Yesterday, we loved on our girls with an Easter Egg hunt and lesson about what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross and rising from the dead three days later.

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Then today, the girls were extra spoiled with an Easter Egg hunt at their Aunt’s house.

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So, it’s been quiet around here, but all in all, we’re okay.

From Our House to Yours

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Okay, my pictures are kind of out of order.  Ah well.

Here’s how we made them:

First, we went to a friend’s house on Wednesday where she made them with the kids.

Second, we came come and did our own version today.

Third, I cut strips of paper 12 inches long by about an inch and a half thick.  My scrapbooking paper cutter wasn’t long enough, so I cut those babies by hand.

Fourth, we folded them in half, back/ugly side showing.

Fifth, put a small piece of double sided tape in  the fold.  Squeeze it so the paper sticks well.

Sixth, fold them into a heart, so the pretty side now shows as the heart.

Seventh, put a piece of double sided tape on the inside of the point of the heart.

Eighth, staple them into a circle.

Ninth, staple curling ribbon so it can be hung.

Tenth, Give them away to spread Valentine’s Day cheer.

Eleventh, tell all of you Happy Valentine’s Day from our house to yours.

Our Three Wise Men

We have been doing a Christmas Unit Study as part of our schooling.  I enjoy the learning we are doing, we all enjoy the crafts the author, Amanda Bennett, has been adding recently.

Today was a hand print Wise Men scene.

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It was very simple to create.

Our blank canvas, was, just that, a blank artist canvas I got on sale.  You could also do it on heavy paper.

We did hand prints in brown acrylic paint, upside down, to create the camel.  I had the girls put them in order by size, then we did the pointer finger in a pretty color of acrylic paint for the body of the wise man.  Finally, we painted the crowns on with glitter glue and added camel tails in brown and hooves with glittery glitter glue.  We had to have some royal pizzazz, right?  Caitlyn added the Star of Christmas and smaller stars with glitter glue to light up the night sky.  Once it dries, I will put their names and ages on the back.

Growing a Tree

We started growing a tree today.

In the Living Room.

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It’s our thankful tree.  Each day we are going to write things on leaves for which we are thankful.

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Next step is to write our thanks on them and put them on the tree every day until Thanksgiving.

I have much to be thankful for, but here is one I shared on Facebook and want to elaborate on here.

Today is one year since I unexpectedly became a stay-at-home mom when my job, for all intents and purposes, was eliminated.  It was a welcome, albeit challenging, transition.

I didn’t know what to do with myself.  And due to car issues, I was not only stay-at-home, I was ALWAYS stay-at-home.

Suddenly I was Patrices’ whole world.  I changed the diapers, I decided how much tv she watched and what she ate.  THAT PART?  WAS AWESOME.

Slowly, all of it was awesome.  A lot of the anxiety I had dealt with since Patrice was born, was gone or reduced.  Life was so uncertain,  but so much easier to bear.

It’s been a good year.  Now am I not only home, but so our the girls as we have taken on homeschooling.

And it is beautiful, and for this I am so very thankful.

I think I should go add the first leaf.

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The tree trunk is free hand, but the leaves are from a template at Live Craft Eat and can be found here.

The Goings Ons

It has been a crazy two weeks around here.  Crazy I tell you.

I ended up in the hospital on Caitlyn’s birthday and was there until the night before Patrice’s birthday.  Besides some tears at the end of a hospital visit from Caitlyn, I think the girls have come through it ok :)  I on the other  hand am facing more tests and a severely restricted diet.  I am living on nutritional shakes.  But that’s not very fun.  I’d rather share pictures from our girls birthdays and party.

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Caitlin went on Pinterest and searched for birthday breakfasts and found this waffle recipe.  I was sick as all get out but got them made…

When daddy got home we went for dinner and bowling.

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Then it was time for cake…

IMG_20130813_29I was too sick by this point to take pictures of her opening presents but did get a few of the cake.  This is my favorite!

Then, after a few days in the hospital, it was time to celebrate with Patrice.  We didn’t do near as many fun things due to me still being really sick, but hopefully she won’t look back and feel short changed.

IMG_20130813_31 IMG_20130813_39She wanted a candle in her waffles like Caitlyn had (hers were store bought toaster waffles–sorry kid)

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Then, a few days later it was on to the birthday party.

IMG_20130813_82It came down to Sue and Logan for musical chairs.

IMG_20130813_84With Logan coming out on top.

And we had a pinata, which may have caused me to accidentally turn Patrice into a homicidal maniac.  We bought a Dora pinata when Sue was her age.  Then hubby said, what if it freaks her out when we knock the head off?  We never used it.  I thought I would avoid this problem so I told Patrice a few days before the party, “now when we do the pinata, we’ll have to knock Dora’s head off to get the candy, ok?”  It totally did not freak my kid out.  She spent the next four days asking when we were going to “knock Dora’s head off?’  Countless times.  The day after her party we were at church and one of the Sunday School workers asked if she had a party.  Patrice said, “yeah, knocked Dora’s head off.”  You should have seen the horror on the teachers’ face.

I’m so proud…

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And of course there was cake made by Casserts.

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And at the end of it all, daddy was the pied piper of bikes as he lead the neighbor kids home.

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It was a great celebration.  We love our girls so much.  It is so hard to believe my baby is 3 and my big girl is 7.  Wow.

Thank you to all who helped make our days great and helped while I was out of commission.  Prayerfully my girls will be no worse for the wear.

 

Easter was Quiet

Normally Easter is rush, rush, hurry around here.  We have breakfast and church, and egg hunt and then time with family.  Yesterday did not include all of that.  We still did the breakfast, colorful waffles and the egg hunt, but otherwise, the neverending stomach virus kept us home.

Home, home, home.

Again, again, again.

I cried.  I pouted.  I sulked.

But we did have some fun.  Grandma dropped off presents, at the door, and ran.

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Daddy tied Easter grass in the girls’ hair.

IMG_20130401_3Daddy did an age appropriate lesson on Easter.

And finally…

IMG_20130401_4We gave them very small peices, but luckily, none of them got sick last night, so maybe now, 4 weeks into this virus, we are coming out the other side…Maybe.

Honestly, I hope your Easter was better than ours, but we were home, fed and safe, celebrating Jesus.

Happy Easter.

 

 

My Christmas Story

Money is tight with me home and not working now.  People have been so good to us.  We have definitely learned the value of community and we feel so loved.

And we are working hard to stretch each dollar.  Especially with Christmas coming.  And three little girls who don’t understand money, or lack thereof.

I have been scouring for good deals.  Facebook and Twitter have been great sources of information.

Right after Thanksgiving I saw on facebook that a friend had made a purchase from a Michigan based work-at-home mom.  It was a great deal.  5 tutus and a dozen hair bows for $10.  I jumped at it and paid her via paypal right away.

Days went by.  I saw her posting on facebook that other orders were shipping.  My name never showed up.  I waited patiently.

Until this week.

I posted a note on her facebook wall.  No answer.

I sent her a facebook note.

I got back a note that she was sorry, but could not get the supplies and would either refund my money or give me credit.

Notice, she did not contact me.  I had to contact her.  Twice.

I was so upset I started crying.  Sobbing.  In sadness and anger.  How dare her not contact me.  How dare her leave me hanging.  How dare her leave such a hole in my Christmas shopping.  The little I get to do.

I posted on facebook a status about my frustration.  And a couple tweets on twitter.  Not expecting anything.  Just needing an outlet.

I really didn’t expect a solution.

And yet within a couple hours, one of my mama friends on twitter had organized people to make three tutus and some hair bows.  People reached out and loved on us.  Women I have never seen face to face.  Loved us.

And that love, is my Christmas Story.

 

Thanksgiving Project from Pinterest

I don’t really “get” pinterest.  It has never once let me pin something.  Not once.  But it does let me like things.  And I did find some things to like. 

And a friend does a pinterest project link up on Tuesdays, so here I am.

Here is my project that fit the bill!

First the girls and I talked about what pilgrims were and why the came here, to be able to worship God freely in the way they chose.

Then the chocolately fun began.

Each hat goes together like this:

One fudge striped cookie, stripe side down, cover with think layer of chocolate frosting, put one miniature reeses peanut butter cup upside down in the center, put small dot of frosting on front center of peanut butter cup, attach a reeses pieces.

And Voila!

Lessons in Helping Others

I was given the opportunity yesterday to volunteer at a local food help organization, Gleaners.  It was an amazing experience.  And it was heartbreaking.  I was looking at this food and realizing how much it would bless the people we were packing the boxes for, and mourning how picky our family and kids are about their food. 
1.  I felt guilty being at a food bank and being overweight, thinking how I would be going to the store to spend extra on food to help me loose weight.  I do need to lose weight, as pictures from the event proved, but it seems selfish to have gotten myself to this point.
2.  I was amazed at the generosity of people, organizations, and food corporations in America.  A heartfelt thank you to everyone.
3.  I was also amazed at some of the things people donated.  Half used boxes of stuffing mix, peanut butter and macaroni and cheese are not helpful.  Neither are water chestnuts.
4.  All items used in food boxes must have a nutrition label on them.
5.  Dried goods, spaghetti, oatmeal, noodles, are all great things to donate.  So are items that are good sources of protein, peanut butter, tuna fish, kidney beans, beef ravioli.  Breakfast foods are needed.  If you donate cake mix, please donate frosting as well, same with peanut butter and jelly.  They try very hard to have complimenting items in the box. 
6.  I can take my older girls to volunteer.  The coordinator has worked with kids as young as 20 months old.  You can drop in to volunteer any Saturday 9 to 2:30 starting in January.  You better believe we will be there!
7.  Getting involved and helping was a great learning experience and a lot of fun!
8.  I will find a way to make this a family tradition.
What have you learned lately?  Link up with Life Ever Since.

A Short Rant–Witches and Jesus

I’ll try to keep my rant short. 

I did not want to send Caitlyn to public school.  I knew we would end up hearing ideas I did not like.  It’s not that I don’t want her to be well rounded and grow up to be a critical thinker.  I do, but I also want information she is given to be balanced.  Time given to different ideas to be equal, with all sides presented.

I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed and upset with the situation.

In case you didn’t know, Monday is Halloween.  For the last month she has been bringing home papers, books, stories and books related to Halloween.  Yes, we do trick or treating and carve pumpkins, but we are careful to talk about what we believe as it pertains.  For example, we do not dress up as witches because witches don’t love Jesus.

So let me tell you how thrilled I was to have my 5 year old tell me all about two witches and how one came to the other and was upset.  The one told her she didn’t have to be evil, but she said that was what she was made to be…there was more and with every word my heart sank. 

Not because I think she is now going to turn to wicca, but because I know in December she will not spend a month preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  That will be considered taboo because it might offend someone.  That will be silenced because it might upset people. 

In the name of tolerance I must accept her hearing about witches, but that same tolerance is not extended to Jesus. 

That ruffles my feathers.  What ruffles yours?