Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a belated birthday party

JW turned 9 the week of Thanksgiving ... then we left for Atlanta to work in the OCC Processing Center (something I have yet to blog about...) and from Atlanta we drove up to Tennessee for vacation (something else I haven't blogged about...) and when we got back it was December and the mad dash for Christmas had begun.  The result of all that busyness is that JW missed having any real birthday celebration, even though he had been promised that he could have a couple of friends sleep over instead of a party.  We finally settled on a date and yesterday was it.  We made the house a sister-free zone by trading children with Amy ... I got her son, Gogurt, and she got LB to hang out with Poptart.  The drama level may have dropped a little with the departure of my girl, but the noise level has risen exponentially.  Along with JW and Gogurt we also have another of JW's friends, Bubba (his sister's nickname for him).

The boys have played extraordinarily well with each other.  There have been a few times when the three of them each had a different opinion about what to play, but they have been able to work it out themselves, so that has been nice.  I only threatened to turn off the Wii once when they were discussing which game to play.  Most of the time yesterday they were doing their best to fill my yard and the empty lot across the street with 5,000 airsoft pellets.  Later, they held some sort of jumping contest that involved the top bunk of JW's bed.  Ronnie finally had to ask them to stop when the pictures on the living room wall started bouncing.

Needless to say, the kids' new Wii has been a top attraction around here, but I did take them to my parents' house this morning where they played fort and shot their airsoft and BB guns and rode down the hill in the wagon and tramped through the woods and whatever else boys can find to do in the great outdoors.  I did take some pictures but will have to add those later.

As a side note, I have to share my new favorite fun breakfast.  I have to give credit to the kids ... they saw these on a Pillsbury commercial and wanted me to make them for Christmas breakfast, so I did. 

Let me just say that they were easy and actually pretty good, so I thought it would be a good breakfast for the boys this morning.  In case you are curious, it is just a crescent dinner roll (I used the actual triangle ones for Christmas) unrolled and then layered with ham and cheese and rolled back up and baked.  Like I said ... EASY!

Hopefully, JW enjoyed his birthday party because it is about over.  Bubba has already gone home and Gogurt will be returned to his family at church tonight, and so, with three days to spare, we are finished with birthdays for 2010 ... only a month and five days late!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a family first

At the request of our friend Brad, Ronnie took on a two night acting job as the guy in the red suit.  Amazingly, he thoroughly enjoyed playing the part and had great fun talking to the kids.  He did say that he was amazed by the kids and what they asked for ... things like four-wheelers, cell phones, and other electronic gadgets.  Then there was the little girl who only wanted a new dress for her Mom.   I am sure that there were many children who fell in the middle of these extremes, but when I asked, Ronnie said that there were so many kids that he really couldn't remember much of what they said. 

The people who made the biggest impression on him were the adults ... not the adults bringing kids, but the older teens and adults who wanted to sit on his lap and have their picture made ... too funny!  There was even one rather large man who asked if Santa would sit in his lap!  I think he was rather surprised when Ronnie agreed ... I hate I wasn't there to see that!

I did take our kids out to see Santa last night and even though they knew it was their Daddy, they didn't want to stand in line to talk to him.  We waited until he was done and then I took a picture of them with him ... their first ever picture with Santa!

Our friend, Amy, had some nice things to say about my hubby on her blog today, along with pictures of my Santa with her Poptart and Gogurt.  Thanks, Amy, and thanks Brad (Amy's husband) for asking Ronnie to do this ... I really think he had a wonderful time!

While we were waiting on Ronnie to finish up, I took a few pictures of the kids around the other decorations in the park and a nice lady offered to take a picture of all of us.

I have to share that our time last night was a great way to end what had been a really nice day, overall.  LB spent the day with her friend H and their family so that she could go to dance class with H for their Christmas party.  I have to take just a moment to brag on my little girl who won the dance contest (for remembering the most ballet steps ... she missed 1/2 of one step) for the 2nd year in a row!  With LB taken care of, I took the boys to my brother's house since he had volunteered to keep them while I went shopping with Mama and his wife.  We ate lunch together and then did a little shopping together before splitting up to make the best use of our time.  I don't spend a lot of time shopping all by myself, and I must say that I enjoyed the freedom while I finished up our last minute gifts.  I am thrilled to be finished with my shopping and ready to spend my time preparing for our family time this week.

I would like to think that I will find time to blog again before Christmas, but in reality I probably won't, so ....

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

please pray

If you have a moment, please read this post written by my friend Amy and lift her family up in prayer.

An Untitled Post

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the fun side of things

Now that I have had my bah humbug post, let me assure you that things are actually quite festive around our house.  We have our tree up and decorated and much to the chagrin of my children we are playing my favorite Christmas game of stump the kids.  I rarely put names on gifts under the tree and the kids have to wonder and guess which one is theirs.  Before Christmas arrives they will have at least one named gift to shake and rattle, but most will be a surprise.

We have also been participating in Christmas activities with our wonderful group of home schooled families.  The kids decorated graham cracker houses and we now have a cute little gingerbread village on our hearth. 

We were a little later than usual putting up our tree this year since we were out of town when we would have normally done it, but it got done and I had a great time watching the boys help their Daddy get it set up.

D still likes to hang multiple ornaments on the same branch, but he is getting better!

LB and I spent Saturday morning shopping with Mama.  Mama got most of what she had left to do done while we were out and I got my niece and nephews finished in one stop, which was wonderful!  It was kind of fun to try to hide a couple of things from LB while I shopped.  I was able to buy one thing for her and some stocking stuffers for the boys without her knowing it.  She is a very sharp little girl and misses very little, so it was a challenge to distract her, but Mama helped and we got it done.  We finished up with lunch at Chik-fil-a.  The one closest to us has just re-opened after being remodeled.  Let me just say that it was absolutely crazy in there, but we enjoyed it anyway.

LB was in the city Christmas parade with her dance class on Saturday afternoon.  The weather was threatening to get bad, but thankfully the rain held off until after the parade was over.  It was quite cloudy and windy and I had a hard time getting any good pictures.  That kind of makes me sad since LB and her friend H got to carry the banner for their group.  This is one of LB's favorite Christmas activities and she was thrilled to get to carry the banner.  I wish I had a clearer picture of her smiling and waving as she passed us.

JW and me fighting over a Nestle's Crunch bar that was thrown during the parade.
He won, by the way ;-)

Sunday, after church and lunch, LB and I went to Mama's to make fudge for our cookie/candy swap (LB and H decided that it should be renamed the Sweet Swap ... maybe next year) with our Keepers group.  The idea was for each girl to choose a recipe that had some meaning to them and besides sharing the goodies, we would also share the recipe and why they had chosen it.  The recipe for fudge that we used was originally my Granny's recipe for chocolate cake icing.  It was the go to birthday cake for most of us kids growing up and still is a favorite of mine and what JW asked me to make for his birthday last month.  As a side note, my oldest brother and I had a great thing going when we were still at home ... I am not a big cake fan and he's not a big icing fan so we had a deal going where he would give me the icing off of his cake and I'd give him the majority of my cake ... worked out pretty good for both of us.   Mama also modified the recipe to make wonderful fudge, adding crunchy peanut butter (or just peanuts) and marshmallow creme.
LB's completed haul from the Sweet Swap
Added to these activities we had our Christmas fellowship at church following the choir singing on Sunday night.  As usual, we had a wonderful time with our church family.  Our pastor's wife gathered the kids around a table and Ronnie told them the Christmas story.  It looks like they were having fun with it.

I have one final picture to share with you, just a simple reminder of what it is all about.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I admit it.  I didn't want December to come this year.  I even dreaded the coming of Thanksgiving because I knew that the Thanksgiving turkey would usher in the December gimmies ... and I am not talking about my kids.

No, this problem doesn't lie with my children, it is in me.  I find myself fighting a desire for isolation from Black Friday until Christmas.

I don't want to know what I could be giving my kids if only ...

I don't want to think about all the the beautiful decorations that won't be hanging in my house ...

I don't want to feel the pressure to do more and celebrate better and create the perfect holiday for my family.

Don't get me wrong.  I know that many, many people celebrate Christmas from pure motives of worship and honor for the birth of Christ.  I also know that materialism is rampant year-round in the culture we live in today, it just gets to me more around this time of year.  And this year, more than ever before, I have had to force myself to even participate in the trappings of Christmas.

I am not exactly sure what the point of this post is.  I suppose I am just feeling the need to vent a little.  Nothing will change, Christmas is going to come and go and be celebrated no matter what I feel or do.  There are always going to be those around me who do Christmas bigger and better than I do.   These are facts that I cannot change.  I suppose that the change has to come from within me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

another belated birthday post

Just over two weeks ago, on November 24th, my oldest son turned 9. 
One more year in single digits.

Unfortunately for JW, his birthday always gets caught up in Thanksgiving.  This year was even worse.  Not only was Thanksgiving the day after his birthday, we were leaving for our vacation the day after Thanksgiving and there just wasn't time to have much of a party.  I did make his favorite cake and had a "celebration" of sorts while we got together with Ronnie's family.

Sadly, I took very few pictures of JW on his birthday.  Here's the best of what I got.

please ignore the unfolded socks on the couch behind him ;-)

JW has been asking for his own bat (not a hand-me-down) and batting gloves for a while now, but we just couldn't justify the money.  BUT, this year when Wal-Mart had all their summer sports stuff on clearance, we got a really good deal on these items and put them up for his birthday.  He was thrilled, even if baseball season is still several months away.  He is still hoping for a spend-the-night party with a couple of friends, but that may have to wait until school is out for Christmas break ... we'll just have to see!