Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

It's been a long day here and I doubt I will be ringing in the new year, except in my dreams. Just wanted to let everyone know that Soph is home and resting well after her surgery today. Thanks for all your prayers and please keep her in them as she still has quite a bit of recovering to do. I'll write more details later, but just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Look at what Santa brought in the girl's stockings!

Okay, I just love little girls and bows and ribbons and such. Well, actually I've learned to really love these things after God gifted me with three girls. I, myself, didn't do "frilly" that much when I was younger, took too much time. But, anyway I digress. Santa brought these cute barrettes for my little ones and they are just too cute. I found them at Oopsie Dazie and I am so glad I did. They are priced right and well just look...These little clips have Velcro on the inside to help them stay!
This one is a barrette.
Too cute!
Anyway, they are just perfect for my girls and Santa had a great time browsing the ribbon selection. Just wanted to pass along a good find:)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's Snowing Again and Tonsils

Well, another cold front blew through and it is snowing again. Em is off to sleep over at a friends and Soph, Little One, Hubby and I are trying to keep warm. Soph had her pre-op appt. today for her tonsillectomy on Monday.
I nodded and smiled as the nurse told me the do's and do not's before and after surgery. I watched as my hubby left the room to go to the bathroom as the nurse began to speak. I listened to how I'm supposed to keep my five year old quiet and calm for two weeks. I shoved the fussing baby in my hubby's arms when he returned and motioned for them to leave the room. The nurse began to go over the risks of bleeding and what to do if she started to bleed. Gurgle with very cold water for ten minutes. Check if bleeding has stopped, if not go to ER. I said I understood the difference between a lot of blood and a little. Vomiting blood would be a significant amount I was told. Um, hmm. Yes, she'll be given something for pain. Expect her to hit a wall on the third to fifth day with the pain. That will be the worst time for her, just keep giving meds. Around the clock, give meds. Um, hmm,....okay. Drink lots of fluids, don't let her sleep too much. Okay. Her tonsils on a scale of 1 to 4, 4 being the largest, are a 3+. Yes, quite large for such a little lady. Oh, don't worry she'll get a "cocktail" before going into surgery. Rest assured she will wave goodbye as she is wheeled off without any anxiety. And on and on we went. Any questions? Umm, can I get one of those "cocktails"?

And just so you know as my sweet Sophie got poked to have her blood drawn she was very brave in a 'you better hold me down before I scratch the nice nurse's eyes out' sort of way. She cried and screamed when it was all over. Why? Because she was mad at me for letting them stick a needle all the way into her skin. I let them poke a hole in her arm. And I was forbidden to talk to her for a good 30 minutes.

But, we will get through this and you know why I know this? Because for one, God is watching over us and hearing our prayers. And two, because my Momma will be here :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Twas the night before Christmas...

and off to Christmas Eve mass we went. Beautiful voices lifted to heaven above as Em sang in the Children's Choir.

Back home we dashed outside and the girls and their Dad were up to something good. Looking out my upstairs window what should appear but glowing lights and a landing strip for Santa and his reindeer!
Inside we opened our Christmas jammies.

Then we left out cookies and milk a'plenty.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Not only is my blog looking more holiday like, but so is the weather outside. Yes, we went from 60+ degrees outside yesterday to blowing snow and temps hovering around the 20 degree mark with windchill in the single digits today. What a way to bring in the first day of winter and to help get you in the holiday spirit!

Last night I listened to the wind howling outside my window. I watched as our live Christmas tree swayed and bent as the gusts topped 40 mph. Sometime in the middle of the night the ice and snow began to fall. Since our house faces North and the wind was coming from that direction our front windows frosted up pretty quickly. This morning the winds are blowing at about 20 to 30 mph (that's sustained wind speed) and with gusts up to 50 to 60. That is a cold wind!!

Here's a picture out my office window this morning:

And here is a picture of our quail and some finches gobbling up the corn left out for all our wildlife:
Today we are staying inside and making bread. I love the smell of baking bread on a nice cold winter's day!
This is our upstairs temperature reading for outside. It's showing it is 67 outside. Obviously, this thermometer is basking on the beach in Florida somewhere. (Look at that dust, my, it's a good thing today is cleaning day!)

Now here is our reading downstairs. 23 degrees without windchill, that is more like it. This thermometer is obviously sticking around and braving the cold!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday...Holiday Edition

So this Wednesday Shannon has asked for it to be a holiday edition. Sharing any little tips or last minute holiday ideas. So here it goes...

I store all of my stocking stuffers (the one's I help Santa with that is) in a box in my closet. This keeps me from forgetting where I put those little odds and ends when the time comes to use them.

I also try to store all my gifts in one place, again so I don't forget where they are. Every Christmas there is that one present that after everyone has opened their gifts I realize I forgot to put under the tree!

Traditions: Okay, this one is starting this year. Every year we get Christmas pjs for the kids. Hey, it looks nice in the Christmas morning pics if we are actually wearing jammies and not sitting around in our underwear! So, because the kids are already begging to open one present on Christmas Eve I am going to wrap the new pj's I got them and let them open it on Christmas Eve. See, that way everyone is happy! This will be a new tradition:)

Along the tradition line, Em has asked that there be one gift we have to go on a treasure hunt to find. So we are going to do this. There is one surprise gift that Santa will be bringing for the family and we are going to ask Santa to leave clues around the house for us to find it. Yes, he is a busy man this time of year but hubby has offered to help if needed.

So there it is my holiday edition. Have a blessed holiday season! And for more tips head over to Rocks in my Dryer.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Memorable Moments Monday...

My moment or moments happened today. Em stayed home with an earache and Little One continued to have a runny nose. Soph actually made it to school since she was already on antibiotics! I hurried around wrapping up the last of my packages. I listened as they announced today as the busiest day for the Post Office on the news. I ignored it and hoped our post office would be void of last minute mailers. I was shipping off not only Christmas but baby gifts and "just because" gifts that I should have done a month ago but didn't. I ended up with 3 large padded envelopes, 1 small shoebox, and 1 large box.

I rushed to pick up Soph from school a little early so I could get the other two into town to the doctor. We had time to stop at the Post Office. The parking lot didn't seem too bad, so I unloaded the car gave packages to Em and Soph, grabbed the baby and in we went. The line was to the door and the do it yourself postage machine had several people waiting. Well, I choose the do it yourself line. Immediately my nose picked up a distinct, but familiar smell. *For those of you whose lives do not revolve around dirty diapers and are offended by such talk you should stop reading now* I quickly checked Little One's britches and yes she had a dirty diaper. I had been waiting for this poopy, I knew it was coming, but she has an amazing knack to do this at the very worst time. I wasn't getting out of line and hoped no one noticed the stink or worse thought it was me!

Finally, it was our turn. A very nicely dressed Postal worker stood at the machine and offered to help. Well, yes, I would love an extra hand or two or seven. So between him, my two little elves and myself we got our packages mailed lickity split. I even bought stamps! I'm not sure how much it all cost, but we won't think about that. So we thanked the nice man and headed out.
"Uh, Mom look at her pants."
Yep, sure enough, Little One's diaper had leaked all over her pants. Carefully, I carried her out to the car. Sitting in the passenger seat I spread a blanket out on my lap. The parking lot was too crowded for me to stand with the door open, plus I realized I didn't have any wet ones. Yes, I had remembered a change of clothes, but I had failed to check and see if I had wipies. So with screaming baby on lap I barked orders to Em and Soph to find tissue, napkins, paper towels, anything to clean up their little sister. Finally, armed with Kleenexes, I was able to wipe Little One up enough to put on a new diaper and pants. I figured I could get her good and clean at the doc's office. Then I had to sit there and nurse her, the ordeal had taken it's toll on the two of us.

And as I nursed I remembered a time about 8 months ago when we cheered and did the poopy dance when Little One would finally have a dirty diaper. She wasn't gaining weight, she actually lost some, and seemed unable to have a poopy. She would go for a week and then finally it would come. I would be so happy I could cry and the girls would dance with joy. I would even call my parents to share the good news. Yes, it was that dire of a situation. So it's no wonder that when she has one now she smiles with delight and she must surely wonder why the dancing and the smiling and the praise has stopped. So as she nursed I whispered, "You did it. Good job!" After all, I don't want her developing some sort of complex:)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Look at This!

A couple of weeks ago I found Angie's site and her adorable crochet sets. Yes, it makes me wish I could crochet, knit, basketweave or something. I did do macrame in the 70's with my mom's help, does that count? Anyway, I promptly ordered a set, I just couldn't resist. And when I got it I went ga ga over it. So, of course, here are some pics of Little One wearing her very stylish outfit.

"It's so yummy I'm drooling!"

"Yes Mom, I feel beautiful and warm."

Thank you Angie for crocheting me one of these (she had it done within a week!). We love it! Check out her collection if you need to buy a gift for a little one of your own:)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday_Recycled Packaging and Giving Change

Okay I have two tips for this week. One is a repeat from a couple of weeks ago where I left the wrong link and a new one.
The new one is about giving to the Salvation Army. Every store and mall has a bell ringer outside this time of year and I just feel bad not putting something in the bucket. But it can add up if you do this every time you go in and out of the store so this is what I do. I wait until I'm leaving to drop something in the bucket. I keep all my coin change from my purchases in my pocket or the stroller drink holder so when I leave I can easily grab my change in put it in the bucket. I just have too! I watch as they ring their bell, smile, wish you a Merry Christmas and hold the door open for a mom struggling with a squeaky stroller and packages (that would be me) and I feel like they are helping me remember the true spirit of Christmas.
Okay, here is my tip from a couple of weeks ago:
Hubby is a paper shredding fiend. In fact we are on our third paper shredder because we finally decided to invest in a decent one after realizing how much paper we actually dispose of. Normally we dump the shredded paper in our compost pile, we're trying to be green around here!

But during the holidays we get tons of catalogs, we must be on some sort of list that says send these people every one ever made.

This is from two days of mail!

So off to the paper shredder it goes and since most of these have a glossy coating it is not biodegradable. So hubby and I almost simultaneously came up with this idea (not only do you complete each others sentences, but you complete each others thoughts after so many years of marriage). This would make great filler for all those holiday packages we are going to send!

And the holiday catalogs give your shreds all sorts of pretty colors as a bonus!

So there is our WFMW tip- it's will help save our planet (work with me here), it will save you money in packing, and it will free up the counter space these pesky catalogs take up!

For more tips head over to Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Don't Make Your House An Idol

A new friend of mine recently said something to me that I have latched onto. She said, referring to her newly built home, I will not make my house my idol.

That is good advice. Don't you know people who do this? The state of their home rules every living moment. To the point they can't relax or let their kids play. I remember next door neighbors of ours when we lived in Virginia who literally lived in their basement because the mother didn't want the kids to mess up her house. I got to walk through part of it once. All I can remember is white shag carpets (yes I am dating myself), huge gold colored vases, more white this time the furniture and I think several pictures of Elvis on the wall. This was definitely more of a shrine than a home. Kind of like the houses you went to where all the furniture was covered in plastic (really not a bad idea when you have sticky fingered toddlers running around, ahem)!

At this point if my hubby is reading this he's going to think this is just another excuse to not do housework... But really no. Everyone likes a tidy, clean house. I think the point is that things will spill, get broken, fall apart, etc. and you need to just take it with a grain of salt. A home full of love and happiness beats a dust and smudge free house any day.

So don't make your home an idol. That's all I have to say:)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Memorable Moments Monday

I am so late with today's post but determined to get it done. I still haven't posted any pics, but well, that would take much more energy than I have at the moment!

My moment came early this morning as I tried to hurry the girls along as they got ready for school. Clyde was caught last night and was shaking his trap loudly, one reason for the lack of sleep, in the hall. The girls wanted to see him, to which I responded, "If you hurry I'll let you let him go."
Let me just tell you that they were ready in record breaking time. Em very carefully carried the trap down the stairs and out to the car. She bravely held it on her lap as we drove to the park. I think I mentioned once or twice that she needed to hold on tight so the lid didn't come off and let the mouse go in the car. Can you imagine?
Both girls got out and set Clyde free. He made a quick get-away and we were off. The neat thing was the pride Em and Soph took on letting this little creature go. They chatted about Ralph and Clyde all the way to school.
Anyway, it was memorable and I'm glad they found joy in it. Alright, off to bed with my tired self!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Brrrrr, It's cold!

The cold front came through early. We are sitting amongst icicles here on Cotton-Top Hills. Yesterday's fog never lifted leaving the temperatures hovering around freezing for most of the day. We're supposed to get more ice/snow in the next couple of days, yippee... In with the cold another relative of Ralph's came visiting.
From the blurry eyed glance I got of it, in the late night hours, as it scampered across my hall it looked more like a member of a larger rodent family. Hubby says no, no it just a mouse. He of course did not see the varmint as it danced circles in my hall. Those performances are reserved just for me apparently. As the ice pelted the nursery window I told myself it was very charitable of me to share my house with this creature who would surely freeze outside. And I welcomed Soph as she curled up with me as I nursed Little One because I knew her loud snoring would keep Clyde (hubby named this one) at bay. And, yes, today we are vacuuming and straightening like crazy around here hoping to stir Clyde out of hiding. Hubby put fresh peanut butter in the trap and we'll see if Clyde reappears.
Okay, I realize that some of you may be tired of my rodent updates, but hey, it is our excitement around here!
I'll try to post some weather pics later for those of you basking in the sun down south, some of you are even at the beach!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Santa Claus, Indiana

"I've been to the North Pole and seen Santa, his elves, and even the reindeer!"

This is a boast I made to anyone who would listen during my early childhood years. I had memories of candy cane lined streets, workshops filled with elves, hot chocolate, and even a visit with the big man himself. I even have proof, because I've found pictures of me sitting on Santa's lap and one of myself standing by a giant striped candy cane. Was I a lucky kid or what? My parents obviously thought so highly of me that they booked a trip straight to the North Pole when I asked them where Santa lived and if I could go visit.
I believed myself to be a world traveler. I remember feeling very proud of myself when my friends eyes would grow large as they asked me just what the North Pole really looked like. They always wanted to know how much snow there was and how cold it was and if the reindeer did a little flying demonstration for me. I'd always answer, straight from my young memory, that I didn't remember the snow. Actually, I thought it was kind of warm the day I visited, but there was plenty of white powdery stuff sprinkled on the rooftops of the village. The reindeer, were just munching on same hay, and really just looked like deer with big antlers. I assured them the magic must happen on Christmas Eve, but of course you can't visit then because Santa is way to busy!
It wasn't until I was older, much older, that I realized I hadn't been to the North Pole at all. I'm thinking the conversation went a little like this:
"So how old was I when we went to the North Pole?" I asked my parents.
"North Pole?" Mom asked looking at me strangely.
"You know. When we went to see Santa, the elves, the reindeer..."I prodded.
"Oh, the North Pole!" Dad exclaimed, nodding his head in remembrance.
"Yeah, so when was that exactly?" I watched as my parents looked at one another.
"That was back when I was helping Santa with some HR problems he was having with his elves.." responded my Dad about to launch into one of his stories.
"Spencer", my Mom looked at my Dad with the look that told us that he was full of bull. He got that look often.
"Honey, that was Santa Claus, Indiana, not the North Pole." Gently she patted my shoulder and smiled.

Oh, horrors upon horrors. My whole childhood was a lie. Okay, just this one itsy, bitsy, tiny part. But, geez, the disillusionment. I could have been scarred for life. Lucky for me I was a resilient child.

Have I told you the story about overhearing my parents plans to take us to Paris?
Paris, Texas that is...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday- Quick Supper

This week Shannon has asked we share with you some quick dinner ideas. You know the dinner you whip together while your head is pounding, the dogs are barking, the baby is crying and your two older children are screaming, I mean singing, the latest hit from Hannah Montana at the top of their lungs. Oh, and your husband just called to say he's almost home and he's starving.

Here are a few staples I try to always have on hand so a quick meal is possible:
ground beef
Bisquick mix
shredded cheese
flour tortillas
canned soup
peanut butter

Now for quick fixes:
Quisedellas: You can put whatever you want in these. If you have some leftover chicken, pot roast whatever throw it on top of a flour tortilla, add some cheese and whatever else might go well with your combo. Top it with another tortilla, put it in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray and brown on both sides. My kids love refried black beans and cheese, how simple is that! Quick and easy and everyone is happy!

Cheeseburger Pie:
Bisquick is a gal's best friend in the kitchen. This recipe is right on the box and is so simple and so yummy.
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Heat oven to 400. Spray 9 in pie plate . Brown beef and onion, drain. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate. Stir remaining ingredients with fork in bowl until blended. Pour into pie plate.
Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clear.

And one of my favorites as a kid:

Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches with a Milkshake. This combination is right up there with chocolate chip cookies and milk. We make a huge milkshake in the blender and everyone makes their sandwiches and we sit down at the table and no one talks for 10 minutes because we are too busy slurping our shake or chewing the gooey peanut butter....yum, yum.

For more quick fixes check out Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Michael W. Smith Christmas CD

A few weeks ago Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer posted about a chance to get a new Christmas CD. Since I am all about free, I hurried over to the Michael W. Smith website and signed up. I got my CD just in time, as I was sitting in the middle of my den where Christmas had upchucked (must read comments) all over my floor. Looking at such chaos can be daunting, but I popped in my Christmas CD and quickly got in the spirit. Before I knew it I had my six boxes of decorations condensed to three and I felt ready to spread my Christmas cheer.

If your looking for a good Christian Christmas CD click on his button on the side of my blog for a sample playing. You'll love it, I promise!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Memorable Moment Monday

Sunday evening December 2nd, my birthday, we are at the hotel frantically getting ready after a quick trip to Old Navy to find the girls some scarves and mittens (along with 3 pair of jeans, 2 long sleeved shirts, a top for me, and a vest jacket). Hubby looks great in his black suit as he will be going to a fancy dinner thingy on campus with his Spirit Scholar.

Finally, we all pile into car with hubby's parents following us. Plan is to take Christmas card picture on campus with lighted campus behind us. By the time we get to our destination two kids are almost asleep and the temperature is rapidly dropping while the wind speed is increasing. And guess what the lights aren't on!! We quickly decide to take pics by lit University seal. Click, click. Hurry run to car to drive to stairs by giant wreath thats lights are still not on. Run, run. Soph get hair out of your eyes, Em take your hands out of babies face, smile. Click, click.

Little One begins to cry. Too cold. Run back to car. Baby in car seat, doors closed, heat on..sigh... Flicker, Flicker on come the lights. Hubby and I begin to laugh, girls look out window in awe. Hubby looks at me, I look at him. Turn off car, get fussing baby, hurry girls up the stairs. Mother-in-law snaps one pic. Battery dead.

Fiddlesticks, fiddlesticks!!

Do you have a moment like this?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Quite A Day

Okay, it was such a day that the title of this post was up, but nothing else! I was going to say I spent the day doing some shopping with Little One and my mother-in-law and we found our live Christmas tree. It was a busy, but fun day. We celebrated my birthday a day early and hubby got a delicious chocolate cake with chocolate covered strawberries. Very yummy:) Off to Lubbock tomorrow!