Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Girls Night Out...

Last night my Aunt Janet invited the girls over for dinner. Paige (my sister and family visiting from out of town) will be leave to go back tomorrow and we always get together with just the girls (big girls that is) before she leaves to go back home. It was a wonderful evening and I am very thankful for my aunt going to so much trouble to make everything perfect. We were missing 2 of the sisters, one home sick and the other out of town but we did not let that stop us from having a wonderful time. She served a yummy dinner and topped it off with Key Lime Pie!! We sat and talked about the past, present and what is to come. Times like these I will remember for a long time...


DSC_0013
Me and My Little Sister Paige!


So it is New Years Eve and we have no plans as usual and we LOVE it that way... We are always so hurried during Christmas, New Years we use for a time of quiet and rest... We will be taking the boys to church for a youth Beach Party to ring in the New Year but then we will have to head out at 1:00 am to pick them up. I am not one to really pick a list of New Year resolutions but if I had to pick for 2009 they would be:

1. Do more for My Heavenly Father
2. Live life for the moment
3. Worry less and put my trust in Him not man
4. spend more time with my family
5. Be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend
6. Give More, take less
7. Slow Down
8. Don't sweat the small stuff (like right now my little princess pushing the buttons on the keyboard as I type) hee hee
9. Sell My House!!!
10. And of course become more Healthy!!! (which is always on my list) hee hee

What are some of your resolution for 2009? Now that I am blogging it will be great to look back on December 31, 2009 and see how many I accomplished. Maybe I should post these on the mirror to remind me daily.
Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Divas in Training!!!

You know after having 3 boys (which are the apple in my eye!!) I am so enjoying having a little girl. Christmas has brought on a new meaning being able to buy those doll houses, strollers and all the girly things.. Yesterday Mae came over to play and hang out with Arden and boy, the Vanity was a big hit!!! It is so cute how it just comes natural for girls to be girly!!!

video

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day!!

We had a wonderful Christmas with the exception of the rage of illness that spread through our family stomach flu, snotty noses and such. Other than that we were blessed with a wonderful Christmas. Myself and Ben both were plagued with the stomach virus that is lurking around, me on Christmas Eve and Ben on Christmas Day. Arden was feeling a little down with her sinus issues but didn't stop her much from enjoying her gifts Santa brought. Now it did however, put a little snag in our plans but nothing we could not handle. God has certainly blessed us this year and we are praying that WE as a family can do more for Him in the coming year! Here are a few pictures from our Christmas. I am sad to say goodbye to Christmas, but the years are flying by so I guess it will be here before I know it. Oh and the 3 little Helpers hitched a ride home with Santa!!! Next year, I believe I heard them say that next year they will come 2 weeks before Christmas instead of the months of December. wink...wink... They kept running out of things to do...

Arden with her Dora Vanity!!


The Boys Checking out their new air soft Guns!


Arden Loving her Giant Hershey Kiss!!
(just like her mommy, yummy Chocolate!!)

The boys Checking out their new computers!
(they look so serious!!)

Spending time with Brother!!

Later Christmas Day we went over to my parents house to celebrate with my extended family. (Ben and David had to stay behind at home Ben was sick, boy did that stink!) This picture is of my middle son Roger and his three cousins. I have 3 sisters and we were all pregnant at the same time and each of them are 3 weeks apart. What a good looking crew!!
This is my sister and her husband (the ones visiting). Oh and Jenny W. this is the sister that you remind me of so much!!!

My dad singing Christmas Carols with the everyone!!

Just had to take a picture of the whole crew packed into my parents living room. Now that is a bunch of people....26 to be exact and 16 of them kids.. Yikes...

My dad reading the Christmas Story before the presents were opened! This is my favorite time of the day! Yes he is holding a flash light.... I guess the older you get the more your eyes play tricks on you, right????


Guess what MawMaw and PawPaw got Arden for Christmas... Dress Up!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I am Back with a Christmas Recipe!

We have been so busy the past couple of days! Well actually since Wednesday when my sister and her family came to town. We are just enjoying spending time with each other and the kids are having so much fun. We had a busy weekend with a Wedding and a Family Christmas Party. But now things have slowed for a day only because in just 2 days it will be Christmas Eve!@!!! Yeah!!! I hope that everyone out in blog world has a Wonderful Christmas as we celebrate the Birth of our Savior! Spend lots of time laughing, loving and living! Merry Christmas and I leave you all with my most favorite Christmas treat!!!


Butterscotch Haystacks

1 package of butterscotch morsels
1 cup of dry roasted peanuts
1 can of chow mein noodles

Melt the butterscotch in the the microwave for about 2 minutes but stopping every 35 seconds to stir until all is melted.

Then mix together with the melted butterscotch morsels the peanuts and chow mein noodles until all is coated. Then spoon out desired amount onto a sheet of wax paper until all of mixture is gone.

Let sit until sets up and then grab a cup of Milk and Enjoy!!!

Arden sure does enjoy this Christmas treat!!! Yummy!!! Such a yummy treat and so easy to make!


Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Trip To Santa!

Yesterday Arden and Mae went to have a visit with Santa! Can I just say that Arden LOVES Santa... It was so cute she grabbed a hold of Santa's neck and hugged it so tight. (she gives the best hugs) Mae was a little hesitant but she quickly warmed up to get in on the action. I guess pictures say more than I could say so here they are!








My sister and her family made it in and we are just so excited to see everyone! It is so funny whenever they are in town the kids every night pick different places to stay the night. You can see them all huddled up trying to determine who is going where as the adults are getting things together to leave. It is funny I guess now that they are here "the games have begun!!!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day Out to the Big Fish Store

Arden in Santa Land!! At the Big Fish Store.

Yeah that is a Boat! That better not be on his Christmas list
list this year because he will be so disappointed!!

The Boys before we went into the "Man Haven"


Even my little princess liked the Boat! Yeah, she is not getting it either!



Boys being boys! (paintball guns not real ones)





One of my sister, my mom & dad and some of the crew!




This was really cool! This was inside above a waterfall!




This place was enormous!!!!


Yesterday my 2 sisters and my mom and dad decided to go to the new Bass Pro Shop that just opened. Someone at our Tuesday night bunco had raved on how wonderful it was for the whole family, not just the guys. She said they had the place decked out for Christmas and even had a Santa for the kids to enjoy. Well with MUCH persuasion I finally caved and went with them. David was working so it was just going to be me and the kids. After church we ran home and grabbed a bite to eat and jumped back in the car to travel a good 30 minutes to go and see this wonder! Now I have to admit it was pretty darn cool if you were into the whole outdoors thing hunting, fishing, hiking.... but... I should have just went with my gut instinct and just stayed at home! This place was crazy with people not to mention we were trying to keep up with 6 adults and 10 kids!!! Yeah it is was insane...but no worries we only lost one of children for a few minutes. We didn't even get to see Santa the line was just way to long. I would have rather eaten broken glass than to wait in a line that was at least 40 minutes long with a 2 year old with no nap. Yikes!!! We made it out with all of my 4 kids and only spent $30 and the boys enjoyed themselves so it wasn't a wasted day.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Family Night with Lights
















Last night after dinner we went out to check out some of the "tacky tour Lights." Our local news has all of the must see on their website. Now there are just to many to see in one night so we picked the ones that were closest to us. We piled the kids in the car and grabbed our map and headed out. They boys were so funny, they were not very excited to "look at lights" but very shortly into our journey they were ohhhh, awhhhh like the rest of us. Our most favorite was the house (the first picture) that had a radio station you turned your dial to and the lights put on a show to the music. I know we sat there for at least 20 minutes. Arden said her favorite house was the "one that sings", I believe it was everyone favorite. It is so neat to see that people get so into Christmas!!! When we returned home we had a nice yummy cup of Hot Chocolate and then we Cuddled!!! hee hee (inside joke for those who have seen Elf )

Still counting down!! My sister and her family will be here in just 3 days!!!! Please pray for safe and smooth traveling for her. Traveling with 4 children can get a little crazy while changing planes and did I mention their taking the red eye! They are gonna need some prayers!
We found our friends this morning hanging out in the dish washer! I myself, was wondering why in the heck they did not put up the clean dishes but I guess I am expecting a little to much! The other night they were found at the computer desk and typed at little note to kids.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Memories of Christmas







There is nothing more that I remember most of Christmas was the smell of Christmas in the air at my home. My mom always made our Christmas one to remember. She would bake and decorate our home so it would have that warm and joyful feel. My most favorite were her butterscotch haystacks! (recipe to come next week) yummy!!! I knew when I saw her put lo mien noodles in her grocery cart it was Christmas and all was well. Those wonderful memories that I hold so close to my heart is why I love this time of year. My parents did not have lots of money but their wealth was far more valuable than anything that you could buy at the store. They taught us the meaning of sacrifice and showed us by example that it is better to give than to receive. My parents gave up so much so that we could have the latest electronics, toys and clothes. But most of all they shared with us the true meaning of Christmas. To this day my father reads the Christmas story before any gift is opened. He reads it with love in his heart as if he were there so many years ago. You can see the hope he holds for his King, for he knows him by name. I can only pray that my children will one day remember me not for what I have done but for how I lived for Him, My Savior!!

I love you Mom & Dad! Thank you for sharing with me the greatest gift of all! Salvation!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who doesn't Love Some Cookie Dough!

Yesterday, my niece Mae came over for a visit. They had a great day playing together and torturing the dogs. Aaron was also home sick for the day so I decided to make a them a yummy warm lunch. So I get the girls and Aaron settled with their lunch and I go to do some "laundry" the never ending chore around here and I am sure your neck of the woods to. After I folded and switched over the load I made my way into the kitchen and this is what I found!

That would be a HUGE tub of cookie dough! Last week I made it to Costco to buy somethings and picked up one of their large tubs of cookie dough to have on hand for Christmas. Apparently, the week prior my boys had showed Arden the goodness of cookie dough. This wasn't the first time I caught her in the act but I guess this time she had a partner in crime! I guess I should be a little proud of my little princess, at least she pulled out spoons for everyone instead of using her fingers. What I found even more comical was the cookie dough was 1/2 gone??? I had not baked a single cookie and the dough was 1/2 gone? Humm??? Looks like I have some little cookie monsters around here...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa's Helpers Just Hanging Around







The helpers have been just hanging around making all kinds of messes the past few days. We found them hanging from our ceiling fan with 4 little jingle bell necklaces for each of the kiddos. Arden had so much fun with this one, she could see that they were missing but couldn't seem to find them. (i guess being small it didn't seem so obvious) Finally with the help of the boys she found them and she belted out "They are sooooo funnyyyyy!!!!" The next day they had a tea party with some of Arden's dolls and made a big messy doing it. Then the next one it seems someone had to think quick because I awoke and forgot about our guest and ran down stairs to "see" wink wink what they had done. Wasn't a very creative day, they must have been a little tired from their party the night before. Hee Hee! That is what the little stinkers have been up to and they have caused a lot of laughter around here.
Last night we had our annual Christmas Bunco Party. We got together at one of the girls houses and had a wonderful meal. Gloria is such a wonderful host. She always goes way out to make you feel welcome. Our bunco group has changed over the years and have brought all different kinds of amazing women to our group. We have been playing for over 8 years together and have formed wonderful friendships. We laugh together, cry together and sometimes we even get grumpy together. I love this group and I enjoy my time with them. Every year we do a "exchange" we bring something from home that we no longer want and wrap it and do secret Santa swap together. We have so much fun stealing gifts, cracking up at who is stealing what. So I put my things together in a cute little basket and added a little something special. I found this Christmas exchange idea from one of my hair bow forums and thought it was so funny and just had to include it in the basket. This is a picture of the one my bow buddy made (i forgot to take a picture of mine) so here it is an affordable homemade Christmas Gift!
Yest that is what you think that is Slippers@!!! made from Maxi Pads! This is what the tag said that was attached to the slippers:
Fashion Slippers
Non-slip soles
Biodegradable/environment friendly
No need to bend down and wipe up spills/very absorbent
padded for comfort
Hope this will inspire you to make a pair for yourself or for that special friend! fa la la la la la la!!!! I just love Christmas Fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lost!!!!!!

Well yesterday was a great day until I sat down at my kitchen table to read the mail. As I was thumbing through the mountain of bills, credit card solicitations and Christmas sale ads I got to one of my most favorite stores. Kay Jewelers!!! You know the one "Every Kiss Belongs to Kay!" Well it is no secret I LOVE Diamonds!!!! or really anything that is sparkly for that matter. So I was looking through the ads drooling over the "Leo Diamonds" when it hit me in the gut of my stomach. My necklace!!!! Last week we were at church and Arden grabbed a hold of my necklace while putting her down to go into the nursery and she broke the chain. I quickly grabbed the pendant and went to sit down in church to see what the damage was. Well all was good except for a broken chain and David took it and put in safely in his wallet. Later that week he had come home from work and was doing something in his wallet and found the pendant and handed it to me. Well in all of the craziness in my house between the hours of 3-5 (when kids get home) I just stuffed it in my pocket. Yeah not a great idea. So here it was 5 days later and Now I realize I never took it out to put away somewhere safe. So I was freaking out, turning the house upside down. I looked in the washer, dryer, the hamper, every inch of my floor and even the most disgusting place ever the dumpsters outside. YUK YUK YUK!!!!! Never finding the necklace.





Last night we were eating at the dinner table and the subject came up. When my wonderful husband tried to cheer me up and comfort my mistake I acted like a true brat would and rolled my eyes. (yikes who was that person) Well I am sure you know where this is going.... So David dismissed himself from the table and there was this awkward silence between my kids and I. Finally, one of my children spoke ever so gentle and said "Mom, I don't mean to be disrespectful but.... I know it was an expensive necklace and all but it was only a thing and things can be replaced but how we treat each other is more important and besides you will have lots of diamonds in heaven."

As I picked my heart back up from falling into my tail!!!!! Yes my tail!!!! That is what I felt like! Here I was suppose to be the one setting a good example for my kids and he was teaching me what I should have been doing. This was just a piece of jewelry not a life!!! There are people who are hurting around me and I was pouting about something with so little value. How shameful I was but also so very touched at my son's words. As much as I would love to take all the credit for raising such wonderful young men and princess, I know that it is Jesus who lives in their hearts and has guided my children into who they have become. Wow!!! Can you just say that I was on my knees last night getting my priorities in check and it took me losing my diamonds to do it. It was funny the whole time I was searching the house my cell phone kept ringing and I recently added that song by Mercy Me "Bring the Rain" as my ring tone. I remember thinking as the song played "Bring me joy bring me pain... bring me anything that will bring you glory" what?? this now???? God uses the most simplest (or shiniest) things to get our attention... I am so thankful it was only rocks He used! I what a merciful God we have.

I've Been Tagged~
Lea at over at the Shabby Old Potting Shed tagged me today for this Christmas meme!
This is My First Tag!!! I am so excited!!! For those who I tagged you must copy the question and answer them on your blog and tag 5 others!!! Yah!!! Fun!!!! Christmas!!!!



1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?



For sure Hot Chocolate!!! Yummy Chocolate!!!



2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?



Santa wraps and put them under the tree



3. Colored light on house/tree or white?



White with my white tree



4. Do you hang mistletoe?



No I get all the kisses I want without mistletoe! (lucky girl)



5. When do you put your decorations up?



The day after Thanksgiving! I am normally chomping at the bit I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!



6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?



Stuffing and Mash potatoes I am so a carb girl



7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?



Christmas Eve spending time with all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents!! We would go to my grandparents house and celebrate together.



8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?



What truth?? He is so real!



9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?



We open one gift on Christmas Eve and then the rest on Christmas Day



10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?



I have a kiddy tree! Mainly things the kids would like and things they have made



11. Snow. Love it or dread it?



Love it!!!! Bring on the snow!!!



12. Can you ice skate?



Your kidding right?? No way, gravity is not a friend of mine.



13. Do you remember your favorite gift?



Yes, One year I wanted a horse for Christmas and I just knew it was to much money for my parents (there were 4 girls and we were a single income family) so I asked for horse tack, brushes, saddle pad, hoof pick and tack box. I told them one day I would have one and I could be ready. Well Christmas morning came and as we all were opening our presents I had only one to open. When I tore the paper back and saw exactly what I wished for "horse tack" I was a little disappointed at myself for asking for something so silly. Well as I began to take the things out of the box there was a cute jersey shirt at the bottom and it had written on the front of it "I love my Horse". Hmmm, I thought I do not have a horse???? Well my parents told me to turn it around and on the back was the letters HOLLY! They had bought me a beautiful White Quarter Horse named Holly! I was the luckiest girl in the world!



14. What is the most important think about the holidays for you?



Jesus' birth.


15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?



Butterscotch Haystacks!!! Yummy!!!



16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?



Well most folks decorate their houses with tacky lights and my parents decorate by having all the grandchildren (16 of them) do a live Nativity at their home. What makes this so great there is a house 2 doors down that is on the local "tacky tour" so their is so much traffic that comes through limos, buses and tons of cars! I love that it shows other the real meaning of Christmas but most of all it lets my children let their light shine and it means the world to my parents!!



17. What tops your Christmas tree?

Star



18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?



GIVING



19. What is your favorite Christmas song?



O Holy Night, Joseph's Lullaby



20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck?



YuK!



21. What do you want for Christmas?



Joy, love and happiness!!



22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party.



my house



23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's?



dress up we go to Christmas Eve Service



24. Do you own a Santa hat?



No.



25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?



Family.


Now it my turn to tag 5 people! Merry Christmas!!!

Fireworks and Fireflies
The Miracle of Adoption
The Journey to Anne Marie
The Next Five Minutes
Steps in Our Journey

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Cookies and a Birthday Party

Today was a very busy day. My sister who lives down the street from me invited us down to decorate some Christmas Cookies. Yummy!!! Arden and Mae had so much fun playing in the flower and cutting the cookies. The most entertaining part was watching how the girls different personalities were while decorating the cookies. Mae was all about dumping a pile of sprinkles and quickly gobbling them up.













Arden's OCD was kicking in hard today. She was very careful and put one sprinkle at a time on her cookie. She did not have time to stop eat for she had cookies to decorate.














Later that evening everyone came to my house to celebrate Bryson's 14th birthday!!! It was a long but joyful day spending time with family. We are all getting excited and counting down the next week and a 1/2 for my sister who live in Utah (they are military family of 6) will be coming home for Christmas with her wonderful family. We just can't wait for them to come it just adds more fire to our already crazy fun life! We wouldn't have it any other way, I am so blessed to have such a close family.
Oh and the elves came last night they dumped all of Arden's toys out and Arden got to eat her first Fun dip!!!






Saturday I had a craft show. Well I have not done but one craft show this year and for some crazy reason I decided to participate in this one. So yesterday morning Ben and I got up early and rode off to sell some BOWS!~~ After spending an extra 15 minutes getting lost we finally arrive at our designation. Now before I go any further let me give you the 411 that I know about this show. I was told that it was at a retirement community and it would be heavily advertised to the general public as well. When we pulled up there wasn't a sign in sight about a Craft Fair. (probably 1/2 the reason I couldn't find it) As we begin to unload some of the first things and go inside it was coming to light where we were. This was no retirement community this was a Nursing Home. Now please don't get me wrong I have nothing against nursing homes but I SELL HAIR BOWS!!!!! Hello, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that hair bows and nursing home residents just don't match. Ben looks at me as we are setting up and says "Mom things aren't looking to good!" I replied "I'm thinking, No." So we chuckled a little and got everything set up and ready to go, for who I'm not sure but I decided to just go with this and smile.

The show started at 10 o'clock and we had a few minutes to spare so we sat and began to give our guess on how the day was gonna go. As we sat there God began dealing with my heart. Yep in the midst of the craziness God was talking to me! God was telling me it was not about ME and not what I can get but what I can give. You see it all started to come clear for me. I had not done a single craft show all year (except one that my sister dragged me along and it was a vendor show) long and why I picked this one which I knew nothing about???? Well it wasn't by chance, God had a purpose for Ben and I that day and it didn't involve selling hair bows. I began to share with Ben what God had showed me sitting in that nursing home. He smiled and said that's right mom and we waited patiently to see what God had in store for us this day.

I thought that I should probably give Ben a little heads up what goes on in a home of this sort and I even explained to him that he would be the "hit" of the day because is young. He kind of smiled and his wheels began turning taking in all that I had said. Now this is a 13 year old boy, on a Saturday sitting with his mom to sell hair bows in a nursing home. That is miracle in itself don't you think? Not even 10 minutes had gone by and this sweetest little lady dressed in pink from head to toe was pushing her walker toward our table. I cheerfully said "Good Morning" and she replied "what in the world is going on here?" I tried to explain to her what was going on and she look very concerned. As she was scanning the room to try to figure out who we all were her eyes met Ben and the biggest grin overcame her face.
She looked at him and said in a loud sweet voice " I know who you are."
Ben said "you do???"
"Yes I do"she said "you are a child of the King."
( Well hello God!!! Is this the Divine appointment we had for today. Yep I am thinking so!!)
She began a long conversation with my son that made my heart sing. She was the sweetest little lady I had ever met and she loved my Ben. She went on to tell him that he was chosen by God because of his special heart. She told him to never leave Him because He will never forsake you. As this woman was speaking to my son he had the most wonderful smile on his face and after she was done she reached over to give him a hug. Ben gave her the biggest hug back and told her Merry Christmas. It was the sweetest sight I had ever seen.... This is how our lives are suppose to go. It isn't about Me! I don't know the story on that sweet woman but she touched Ben's life and mine in away that we will never forget. We didn't make a ton of money that day selling hair bows but we got to see the face of God in that sweet little old lady. As we sat a watched the daily life of these men and women it became very clear why God ask us to look after the Orphans and Widows. They have a strong connection to one another and I saw what that was yesterday. Watching as they wandered the hall in their walkers and wheelchairs it was just like the pictures I have seen of the orphanages in China where the little ones were wondering around in their walkers. God has opened our eyes and hearts to what we need to do as believers and he used a Craft Show to do it! Oh how we have work to do on this earth.......

Friday, December 5, 2008

Play date with Mae






Today we invited Mae (Arden's cousin and best friend) over to play. We haven't seen her a lot lately because her and Arden are on different schedules at school. They had so much fun catching up and playing pretend. It is funny Arden was so excited to share with Mae about the Christmas visitors we had staying with us and once Mae got wind they come to life at night it totally FREAKED her out!!!! She stuck like glue to me the rest of her stay with us. Arden just could not get why she was so upset. As I watched them play today it made me very thankful of their wonderful friendship.

This morning we awoke to yet another "big mess"! The little suckers decided to pull out the snow in a can and write all over our back door. They also left some yummy Gummie LifeSavors. Arden got the biggest kick out of this one but boy was it a T-total mess to clean up!!!!!! Yikes.... They wrote Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas. See even those little stinkers know the true meaning of Christmas why the heck can't the rest of the retail world....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

That's My Boy Ben


Well yesterday my oldest son Ben came home with paper in hand and so very excited. The paper said that one of his teachers at school had nominated him to be a part of the exchange program this summer in England. How cool is that!! You see Ben made straight A's on his report card thus far and he worked for everyone of them. There are kids that are just naturally smart and then there are those that have to work for every grade they get and that is Ben. I am so proud of the young man he has grown to be. He also applied for a specialty program called Spanish Immersion that he could be a part of next year in high school. Now I am not going to brag on Ben without included my other 2 boys. Aaron also got straight A's and Roger missed it by 1.5 points. I am so proud of all of them but what makes my heart warm is seeing that they are following Christ and they stand firm for what they believe in. That is what I am most thankful for!!!












This is the Scene we woke to this morning!!!!! Messy, Messy, Messy!!!!!! They also left some treats for an offering for the mess they made, sparkly lip gloss and slinkies....