Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1 Day Early

I really try and hold off on decorating, baking, listening, reading anything Christmas until December 1. But I'm stuck in today with a croupy/asthma/snotty JB and he and Miss M are perfectly content to play! (the first Christmas miracle of the season)

Since the day is wide-open I decided to finish taking down all the fall stuff, throw out the moldy gourds and smooshy pumpkins, wash all the fall linens (yeah, by fall linens I mean 3 dish towels with pumpkins, turkey or candy corn on them, linen just sounds soooo Martha), and put them away. Now, by away I mean I put them in their crate where they will sit at the bottom of the attic steps until Prince Charming gets around to putting them away. It could be tonight...or it could be March 21 (I'm betting on March but praying for tonight!!).

I do a couple of quirky things with decorations and packing them up. First, I keep all my Children's Lit that goes with the season/holiday in the box with the decorations. That way I can use them each year and don't have to search like a mad woman through hundreds of titles in storage. I also put their craft projects from that season in the box. Often, when I open it up the next year I just chuck them, but it puts a smile on my face when I open the box and there are little treasures from the previous year. I do keep a few things, like all the hand turkeys with the year written on the back. It's cute to see their hand grow and what they were thankful for that year. And finally I line the bottom and the top of the crate with that seasons throw blankets...yes, I have seasonal throw blankets...apparently they are a great gift for teachers ;)

So it's all packed up ready to go...Christmas decorations will come down tonight, I hope, and go up over the next few days. But I did cheat a little, the Christmas music is playing one day early and I LOVE IT!!

Off to dig out some red and green sprinkles!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Library Day

Way back when I started this little blog I wrote about Children's Literature every Tuesday...somehow I got out of the practice of doing so. Today I am reinstating Tuesday as Library Day!!

I borrowed this idea from Pinterest (if you don't know what that is and want to check it out just let me know, I'll email you an invitation). The thought is that you wrap one Christmas book for each day of December, leading up to Christmas. The kids can unwrap one each day and then you get to enjoy that book together.

The down-side to this is 1) who has that many Christmas books?? Well, I do, actually I could do more than one many days! What can I say, I'm addicted to Children's Lit and I taught for 13 years. My Christmas book collection is extensive and I add two (one for each kiddo) each year now. 2) who wants to waste all that wrapping paper?? I first saw the pic with the pretty paper, the second one used craft paper. That you can get a roll of pretty cheap and if you don't use it all for this then you have paper for another project. 3) And this is the one that is my biggest hurdle, who remembers to do these "one per day every day leading up to Christmas" activities. I mean really, I have tried every year for the last few to do some sort of advent/craft/book/activity thing and every year I fail, epically! I'm considering two options for this one. First, buck up and do it, this one seems especially easy since we read every day anyway. Second, I could just wrap up books for the week leading up to Christmas.

I think I'm going to try and do the whole month because of our reading habits. But all other Christmas countdowns will only be the week before's really all kids that are four and two can handle anyway...right!?

Well, Library Day is back on, if I feel really motivated I may bring back Friday Fun! It's easy this month with all the Christmas plans I have.

PS The pictures are from and

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's all over...

Thanksgiving Day was a success! Here is how I know this...

delicious dinner--check
full bellies--check
lots of leftovers--check
kids behaved--check
kids had fun--check
family enjoyed themselves--check
watched some parade--check
watched some football--check
no arguments--check
no spills--check
dishes are washed and put away--check
already had one plate of leftovers--check
kids in bed by 6:45--check

We really did have a great day. We had a little surprise (read: two extra guests) but you know how it goes on feast day. There is more food than you know what to do with, what's two more mouths???

We are going to relax for a few days (read: Prince Charming goes to work tomorrow so we can lay around and do nothing) and then gear up for Christmas. I think I'm going to take down all autumnal decorations on Monday and then we'll decorate for Christmas on the first of December. I have lots of ideas and plans for Christmas...more on that later!

Oh, and remember those three pics of things I said I was going to do this week...well here are the pics of what really happened. And I added one of our Thanksgiving tree, it's even more full now but I forgot to take a pic of it today!
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Okay, this is like the first day, it has TONS of leaves on it now!! I swear!!

The rice krispie turkey treats...I will never try this again, although they did taste really yummy if I do say so myself!

Turkey hand print placemats instead of cute nature placecards. The grandmoms loved them!!! And isn't that all that really matters??

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Excitement is building...

I could be talking about excitement building in a number of areas of life right now...

1. Thankgsiving tomorrow!! Kids can't wait for Uncle Don and Aunt Sue and Grandmom to arrive, Miss M has asked me about 20 times today "what day is it?". We've made rice krispie turkeys (which is no easy task as those things are stinkin' hot and sticky to roll into a ball...not a kid friendly activity), I've made coleslaw and the house just needs to be picked up. Tomorrow will be all bird making and potato cooking and EATING :)
2. A job interview...yes folks, I'm applying for a part-time job. I could tell you about it but then I'd have to kill you. More details later, but I do have an interview on December 5th...boy it's been a long time since I had to write a resume, fill out an application and interview. I'm feeling a bit rusty!!
3. Prince Charming's new job should actually start paying this week...don't ask...let's just say it's a good thing we got that free turkey!
4. Wait for it...POTTY TRAINING :) I don't mean to get my hopes up but JB peed on the potty twice today without being prompted. Both times Miss M went and then he wanted to go, he's the ultimate copy cat. But both times he went and both times he got an m&m. Later when we were decorating turkeys with m&m eyes he said, "m&m's?? I didn't go potty yet"

I look forward to all these things! I might just have to go eat a whole bottle of sprinkles :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

I took my turkey to the mall...

I earned my free turkey at Giant again this year. I was thrilled, since I spend most of our livelihood there. It's nice to feel like I got something back. I noticed they got a little smarter this year, you can only earn one! I have earned two in previous years...oh well...beggars can't be choosers!

When I checked out on Saturday morning I had the usual sticker shock. Either grocery prices have skyrocketed or my new Giant has raised their prices or I'm not being as careful as usual. Probably all of the above!

Finally, at dinner on Saturday night I had a minute to check my register tape. This is a very good habit to get into, I often find mistakes. Unfortunately when I'm shopping with Miss M and JB, by the time I get out of the store they are at DefCon 9 and I don't have 10 seconds to review the tape. So, I'm perusing my register tape, looks good...looks good...WAIT ONE HOT SECOND...what did I pay $21.19 for????? Yup, my free turkey cost me $21.19.

Needless to say, after dinner we packed the kids up and ran a few errands. First we dropped off the $1 Red Box movie rental that we didn't watch and kept for five days (we're dumb people, really). Then we high-tailed it to Giant where I was ready to fight. I had my receipt, my Giant card and THE bird, frozen solid and weighing in at 15+ pounds. But alas, they gladly reimbursed me and even gave me an apology and a Happy Thanksgiving.

By then the kids were done being troopers so we headed off to the mall to let them run around. Prince Charming was very worried about leaving the turkey in the car. I told him our options were a. put the turkey in the stroller and take it in or b. leave it in the car and let it continue the 5 day process of thawing...

The turkey never made it in the mall...but it did enjoy some peace and quiet in the JCPenney parking lot :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving: Part Deux

I'm cooking the bird! Haven't cooked the turkey for extended family in 10 years...however I have cooked it for my little troop. Should be fine. I am only in charge of Tom and potatoes. One thing I always appreciated about my Mom's Thanksgiving is she always tried to make everyone's favorite dish. Even if that meant we had three kinds of vegetables, or three starches, or even a dish only one person really liked. So I think I'm going to make some sweet potatoes for my mom and my sister and some old school coleslaw, the way my Nana used to make it. My mom and sister are bringing everything else...woohoo!!

The Thanksgiving Tree I posted about earlier is going so well! The kids actually remind me when I forget to do it and they think of mostly new things every time. Although JB is stuck right now on "Miss Cathie" the woman that watches him on Tuesday mornings at church.

Next week I hope to try a couple of Thanksgiving projects I found on pinterest. We'll see how that goes with cooking and cleaning, but we'll give it a college try! Here's what I'm thinking about doing....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Looking back

I've been working on a photo book for my MIL's 83rd birthday. I collected pics from the whole family and I made the book on Walgreen's website. It was easy, once I figured out how to upload all the pics. I chose Walgreen's because their price was the best. Now that I've seen the book I think I'd try snapfish or shutterfly, probably a much nicer quality!

Anyway, it got me looking at old pics of the kids and I picked out a couple of favs...

Monday, November 14, 2011

New perspective

Prince Charming took on a new position at work, it's a sales job and we've been hoping and praying for this change for over a year now. Now we've got what we asked for and I'm not loving it! When the commission checks finally start coming in I might be able to grow some appreciation for this job, but until then...ugh!

I know many of my friends are married to men that work insane hours, travel regularly and are working into the wee hours from their home offices. I've always felt badly for them and been glad that we didn't have to deal with any of those scenarios. Sure he had to work later than I liked here and there, and an occasional Saturday, but really, I had nothing to complain about.

Things are different now! Every night is a late night, every other Saturday is a must (and he's been asked to work every 'off' Saturday since the switch) and when he finally gets home there is lots of paperwork to catch up on!

I gotta' admit, I'm tuckered out and often feel in desperate need of adult conversation. I start to lose my mind around 4 pm and if he's not home by's either to bed for the kids or a movie, 'cause momma' ain't playin' no more!!

We will adjust, I really am thankful for the job. Prince Charming loves the new responsibilities, talking with customers, coming home clean and the hope of nice, juicy, commission checks.

My respect for single moms and those that have hubbies that travel for days/weeks at a time has gone up a notch! Our men work hard so we can live the lives we dream of, well, sorta...I think he'd have to rob a bank to really live the way I dream :)

I just need to by some extra sprinkles for those long nights :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Truth be told, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, actually, it is my favorite holiday. I love Christmas too, and Fourth of July ranks pretty high due to the great picnic we attend every year with our church family. But Thanksgiving is really the top on my list!

Here's why:
1. the food--and to be honest, I would like my mom to prepare my Thanksgiving dinner every year until the end of time. I'm nostalgic and I like homemade comfort food!
2. fall--stands to reason that my favorite holiday is also in my favorite season. I love the colors of fall, the decorations, the crisp air and the excitement of everything starting back up after a fun but lazy summer!
3. the simplicity--all though if you've cooked Thanksgiving dinner yourself you're probably laughing out loud at this comment, but I just mean there is no other pressure to the day. Just enjoy family, friends and food!
4. the story--I have always loved the Thanksgiving story of the Pilgrims and the Indians. Whether the way I learned it is accurate or politically correct matters not to me. When I was teaching it was also one of my favorite themes, I developed some wicked cool Thanksgiving lessons if I may say so myself!!
5. Thanksgiving Eve--usually a great church service full of testimonies of God's amazing faithfulness followed by a tradition with some of my favorite peeps--fondue! We won't be having this traditional pig-out fest this year because the peeps have literally "moved on" but I will always remember with fondness those evenings of dipping and laughing and chatting!
6. the food--oh wait, I think I said that :)

This year I decided Miss M is really old enough to comprehend the real meaning of thankfulness. I saw this great idea on pinterest to make a thankful tree. First, we went out and collected a bunch of stick, of course they loved this activity! We looked for sticks with character, not just straight ones. Then we brought them inside, put them in a vase and waa la...thankful tree! I cut out a bunch of leaves from construction paper and every night at dinner we each say one thing we're thankful for, write it on a leaf and tape it on our tree. Then we read Psalm 100, one of my favorite Psalms, and we end with a thankful song. I have a few of them up my sleeve but their favorite so far is "we've got so much, so much, so much...". It's a fun time and I'm finding that Miss M is telling me things throughout the day she is thankful for! Perfect, that's what I was hoping for!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Years before we had children we talked about Halloween and whether or not we would celebrate it when we did finally have our own little goblins. Prince Charming and I both grew up "doing Halloween" and we loved it. Well, truth be told, I always HATED the dressing up part, but I loved the candy, the jack-o-lanterns and the excitement of being outside after dark :)

It's funny, we both have such vivid memories of the exact route we took in our neigbhorhoods, what candy each neighbor was "famous" for giving (the lady around the corner from us gave us dimes...really???), our dad's "checking" the candy and eating a good 10% in the process, and the mad rush about an hour before trick-or-treating to get the costume together. We also remember getting older and going to "the good neighborhoods" so we could get even more candy!!

I find these memories sweet and fun and part of childhood. So we have chosen to celebrate Halloween in much the same way. My kiddos are so young that the last few years have really been, mommy picks out cute costume, kids scream when you put it on, you showcase them to grandparents and the few neighbors that care, then you go home and get them to bed by 7:30. This year Miss M was way more interested and very vocal about her costume and trick-or-treating.

We had a ballerina and a pirate. I do refuse to spend much money on Halloween costumes, it's just not in our budget! I was able to make Miss M's costume using our dress-up box and just bought a little "bling" to make it special. JB's costume proved more difficult and I ended up buying a five dollar job from Five Below...great deal! Prince Charming whipped up a hook so JB could be Captain Hook, he loved it!

Trick-or-treating was lots of fun, they loved knocking on doors, saying "Trick or Treat", "thanks for the treat" and Miss M's line for the night..."And a Happy Trick or Treat to you".

Our doorbell only rang one time! There were about 10 jr. high girls, some in costume, some not. I gave them candy anyway, they were very polite and giggly!

I did go in a few Halloween stores looking for accessories and did find them to be creepy and sleezy and overall full of a very "dark feeling". Lesson learned, stay out of the Halloween stores, make fun homemade costumes, enjoy seeing neighbors and take lots of pictures!

I tried to post a cute pic but it will only show html code...maybe I'll post some later :)