Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Merry Christmas!

I truly hope your Christmas is full of 

From my house to yours....

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 Christmas Quiz

Last Christmas (kind of like this Christmas season), I took a blogging break.  It wasn't really planned on, it just sort of happened.  I was busy. Busy enjoying my family.

Anyway, when I finally logged back on, and began visiting blogs again, I came across this fun
Christmas quiz.  But since Christmas was over, I couldn't bring myself to fill it out and post it. So what did I do?  I saved it, for this year!  Lucky you :)


1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Given the choice of these two, I'd choose hot chocolate, but really, I'd choose a piping hot Tom and Jerry!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He wraps them ~ I sure hope the elves help!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Tree ~ colored (I try every year to convince the kids to let me put white lights on the far, they are holding out!), House ~ white

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.  Not sure why, just don't.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Typically the week following Thanksgiving, however this year it was 2 weeks after since hubby went on a week long hunting trip with his dad.  Couldn't do it without him ~ it's a family affair.  That and I can't carry the tree by myself :)

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (not including dessert)? Hmm.... I don't really have one, they are all so good.  I hardly ever make mashed potatoes or gravy, so I always look forward to that... and green bean casserole.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?  Talking with my brother through our vents and him sneaking up to my room (from his room in the basement) and us playing cards all night because we couldn't sleep.

8. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yep, we are always with hubby's family and we exchange gifts with them. 

9. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Colored lights, sheer red ribbon and lots of ornaments.  Some are from my childhood, ones I made or received. Some are random ones I've purchased as gifts for the kids or hubby, or just because I liked them.  And, my mom purchases the kids each an ornament each year, the kids love looking for their special ones!

10. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it!  Last Christmas there was none and it felt a little wrong!

11. Can you ice skate? I can skate forward ~ not backwards very well.

12. Do you remember your favorite gift?  A purple bike with a sparkly white banana seat.

13. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Relaxing and spending time with my family 

14. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Probably my mom's cherry pie ~ I have the same recipe, but it just tastes better when someone else makes it :)

15. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Growing up we would always go to mass on Christmas Eve, come home, eat pizza, clean up, then open up gifts from each other.  Now we are constantly going from house to house trying to see all of our family, but I still carve out an evening with just Hubby and the kids to eat pizza and open up gifts from each other.

16. What tops your tree? A grapevine star

17. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving.  I love searching for just the perfect gift for each person on my list.  

18. Candy canes: yuck or yummy? I'm indifferent.

19. Favorite Christmas show? I like the Polar Express

20. Saddest Christmas song? Christmas Shoes

21. What is your favorite Christmas song?  There is no way, I can choose just one.  I love Christmas music and play it constantly from the day after Thanksgiving until just after Christmas.

22.  And finally, what is your favorite Christmas cookie or candy?  Toffee.... I love toffee!

I'd love to hear some of your answers!  Leave them in a comment, or if you blog about it, be sure to let me know!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baking with my Girls

The before school bickering.
The endless questions.
The interrupting.
The whining.

Oh, but.....

The love.
The smiles.
The joy.
The carefreeness.
The easy laughter.
The snuggles.

These are the things I have been thinking about lately.  Especially when the top four seem so prevalent some days.  Because my kids are still on this earth.  Still here with me, while so many parents and families are unable to say the same.

Like all of you out there, my mind has been reeling and my heart breaking over and over and over again the past few days.  Why, why, why...........  The tears have come and come some more.  We will never understand ~ what, why or how.  We will never understand the depth of pain too many families are feeling right now.  And all I know to do is to pray.   I am praying hard ~ and I am loving and holding and cherishing every minute.

As I wrapped presents today, I thought of the many that will go unopened.
As I baked cookies with my girls, I prayed for the families who won't hear the laughter and "sprinkle" debates fill the air of their kitchens.  Noises that should be there.  But are not.

And while I feel so much sadness, I am reminded in Matthew 24:36

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, 
but only the Father." 

So I will continue to pray.  Pray for those families who lost their "babies"their son's and daughters, the staff and teachers, they are daughters, girlfriends, mothers,  wives and so much more to so many.  But that is not where my prayers will end ~ there are so many who hurt, who need, who are lost, hungry, abused, and forsaken.  Many who need forgiveness and love.  But there is also so, so much to be thankful for ~ for people ~ for things ~ for words and actions.

And I will continue to love ~ love those I randomly encounter throughout the day (a bag of chocolates for the mail man, a door held for a stranger, a smile, a compliment) and especially for the family I have.  The ones who are always on my mind and completely in my heart.

And we will continue to love, laugh, learn and make memories.  As we did tonight.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What we're in to ~ Tween edition

Sassy has been on my case since I wrote about what her brother and sister are in to right now.  She has not let me forget that I need to write about a few of her current favorite things.  So, here we go, these are a few of the "things"  my 11 year old Sassy is in to.

Like her brother, #1 is the same:

1. iPod Touch
Sassy definitely likes her iPod.  Like her brother, she also saved her money to purchase this herself.  She doesn't have a cell phone, nor is there one in her near future, but she does use this to text a handful of friends as well as for games and music.

2. Vevo
Speaking of her iPod, Vevo is one of her favorite apps.  Here she is able to find some of her favorite songs, listen to them and watch the music videos.

3. Cut the Rope
Still on the iPod subject, Sassy likes to play the game "cut the rope". She likes that it's kind of a puzzle that makes you think.

4. Fuzzy/Fleece comfy pants
The girl is beginning to LOVE "comfy" clothes.  Changing clothes is about the first thing she does when she gets home from school. And these pants from Wet Seal are an absolute favorite. 

(they don't carry these exact ones anymore, but here is a link to a similar pair at Wet Seal)

Sassy likes to read.  And like me, she likes to read lots of different types of books.  But one of her favorite authors has to be Rick Riordan.  He is the author of The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (starts with the book "The Lightening Thief"), The Kane Chronicles series ("The Red Pyramid" ," The Throne of Fire", and "The Serpent's Shadow") and The Hero's of Olympus series (which includes 3 books and  begins with book, "The Lost Hero").  
Sassy has 


"Mark of Athena"  from the Hero's of Olympus series

on her Christmas list this year.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Embracing our Tree

Well, here I am.  Finally taking the time to sit down at the computer and get a few words out.  It's been a couple of crazy weeks ~ Thanksgiving travels, Hubby gone for a week, kid stuff, home improvements.  The list goes on and on, but finally I'm stopping to breath and do one of my favorite things.  Blog.

And since today is Thursday,  I thought I would embrace the camera.  And this is easy for me this week.  You see, last night we decorated our Christmas tree.  Christmas music was playing in the background.  The kids were arguing over whose ornament was whose and who got to hang up the next one.... it was pure loveliness.  No really though, besides the occasional, "No, that's my ornament, I get to hang it up."  and "Moommm, can I do the next one?" We had a fun time.

Once the tree was decorated, of course I had to break out the camera.  

First for a first look at the fully decorated tree

Then a couple in front of it

Sassy girl and I

Hubby and I

It was a fun night.  Full of reminiscing over ornaments (like the ones that were glued back together after the fully decorated tree tipped over a couple of years ago), enjoying the picture ones, seeing how much everyone has grown and of course personal ones ~ like Smileys favorite "Minnie and Mickey" ornament, Action's "Elvis" ornament, Sassy's ice skating ornament and the "Santa Clause" ornament I painted when I was in 8th grade ~ way back in 1989 :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What We're In To ~ 8 year old boy version

Today I'm continuing my "what we're in to" posts.  Yesterday I wrote about the things Smiley is in to.  Today, it's all about Action.

1. Ipod Touch
Action really enjoys his Ipod.  He listens to music, watches videos and plays games.  He saved his own money to purchase it and in his eyes, it has been worth every penny.

And a sneaky little addition ~ one of my favorite things ~ the Otter Box iPod Protector case we purchased for him.  After having his iPod for about 3 weeks, he missed his pocket and it fell onto the driveway, shattering the front.  We got that fixed (told the kids we would pay for one iPod repair each) and purchased a better, heavy duty case (he had a cheap one from somewhere) for him.  We ended up getting this one:

I can tell you that thing has been dropped since and you would not know it!  Love this case!

2. Ipod games
Two that his is currently in to playing are:


3. Titanic ~ anything
The boy LOVES anything to do with the Titanic.

He searches for Titanic documentaries on his Ipod Touch.  He draws pictures of the Titanic
And creates lego Titanic replicas (Seriously Lego people..... my son would LOVE an actual Titanic Lego Kit)

(the one above and the one below greet you as you enter Action's room)

4. Legos

Besides using his Legos to create his own version of the Titanic, he also loves playing with them to build other boats, planes and vehicles.  He likes to make little objects for his little sister to play with too :)

5. Kendama

This little wooden toy is fantastic for hand eye coordination.  He has a black one,  but now has put another one on his Christmas list.  And I know a few boys his age on my Christmas list who will be getting one of these.

Come back tomorrow for Sassy's list :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What We're In To ~ preschool girl version

So with Christmas just around the corner.  I thought I'd give you a peek into our house and the "things" we are in to.  Maybe these will spark some ideas for you, or perhaps you can direct me to some new fabulous items along these lines.  If nothing else just be a fly on the wall and come see what we are "in to".

First up, our little preschooler, Smiley.  This little 4 year old is a girly girl through and through.  She loves pink (purple is ok too), sparkles and flowers.  Here, is what she is into:

1. Dress Up

You may recall when asked at school what she was thankful for, she replied "dress up".  The girl LOVES to dress up.  She loves leotards, plastic heels and fancy dresses.  A typical daily outfit will consist of a dress or skirt (tutu's being a favorite) however sometimes both are worn ~ at the same time.

2. Coloring
Smiley has always loved coloring, but as she gets older, her attention span is growing.  She will now sit at the counter and color and color, and color.  She is beginning to draw actual pictures.  Trees, people, flowers and other things that I'm sure are something :)

She is happy to color in coloring books:

or draw on plain 'ol "computer paper:
Some days she gravitates towards markers (and yes, I am a Crayola snob)

other days, she's all about crayons.

3. Headbands
The girl LOVES headbands.  These are her favorites right now:

details: left - right, top to bottom
* Gap ~ 1-2 years ago 
* maybe the $ section at Target ~ we've had this one for a long time 
* made by me 
* got a pack of these somewhere......
* $ section at Target a few years ago
* Claires ~ although they don't have this one on their website :(
* Made by me (never did a tutorial on this one)
* Not Sure.....
* This one was a gift 

4. Dora
She has always been a fan of Dora.  Last year I took her to a little Dora meet and greet.  Ever since, she's been asking me to "call her for a play date"  This year for Christmas she has her eye on these two toys.


5. Barbie
Smiley got this movie last year with a Barbie.
And it  has been an all time favorite! 

She is also liking Barbie The Princess and The Popstar.

She received the movie for her birthday and likes it, but says it's "scary" because there is a "mean mom".

6. Play Food
She has these sets from Ikea and loves making me food :)

7. And she's into the iPad.  She doesn't play it very much, but she likes this game:


Anyway, that's about it for now.  Come back tomorrow and I'll fill you in on what my 8 year old son is in to!