Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Family

Every year (or at least for the past 4) on Thanksgiving Day, I make my family take pictures.  Hey, why not....we are all together, dressed, showered, and hair is fixed all at the same time.  I could do it on Sundays, but we are always rushed to get to church and afterwards is no good. My husband usually grumbles a bit, but that is ok.  In the end, we capture memories that will last forever. I especially liked our pics this year.  Here are some of my favorites...

I wish that I had captured a more narrow field of focus but what's done is done. More on photography....I want to learn so much more. I took a couple course at South, but that was a long time ago. I found a great blog with great tips. I thought some of you might enjoy it too.
The Bonnie 5

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Camera Strap Cover

Don't tell my friend Kelli, but I have been wanting to make each of us a camera strap cover. ;) Our WONDERFUL, GENEROUS, LOVING husbands bought us each really nice cameras to take pics of our kiddos.  I think we need to dress up our cameras with a really cute camera strap.  I know that our husbands will NOT want a frilly, girly strap on them when they are using the cameras.  So, I want to make covers rather than disassemble our current strap(s). I have been looking on other blogs for ideas.  Here are some that I like so far.

Kevin and Amanda: Ruffled Camera Strap Slipcover

the Cottage Home: Gathered Camera Strap Cover

A Small Snippet

I am a lover of ruffles (and polka dots!) so I think they will definitely have ruffles on them! Kelli, I hope you like yours!  I will need to get the measurements for your strap so I guess it can't be a surprise. :)

Meeting my Resolutions Face-to-Face

Ok, I told you about my 3 New Year's Resolutions yesterday.  I am trying to get a jumpstart on them.

1.)  Being more faithful to read God's word: I am going to call my church and check into a women's bible study.  I need accountability!

2.) Lose weight:
Breakfast: will consist of 2 eggs and 1 slice of toast OR a small bowl of cereal with a banana OR yogurt
Lunch: salad and cottage cheese
Dinners: turkey burgers, baked chicken & broccoli, a healthy meatloaf, etc

3.) Get organized: This week's goals are to put away the Christmas decor AND clean out the pantry
Plus, I am going to start the 21 day challenge as mentioned in yesterday's post.

Here are some inspirational pics for me to help me with the pantry!

House of Smiths

The Stories of A to Z

Monday, December 27, 2010

21 Days to Organization

I have 3 New Year's Resolutions this time around....

1) Start spending more time in God's Word
2) Lose weight (I had a baby in August, and I have about 15 pounds I would like to shed.)
3) Get this home organized!

Sooooooo, when I heard about a 21 day challenge to getting organized, I thought I should try it. If you would like to participate, check it out:

Friday, December 24, 2010

I am in bed hoping that I fall asleep quickly as there is no telling what time we will wake up to see what Santa brought for the kids. If Daddy has anything to do with it, we will be awake VERY early. He gets really excited this time of year. I know Madison and Brantley are so blessed to have him as a daddy, because he does everything he can to make everything in life as special as it can be. Christmas is definitely not an exception.

Santa has delivered his goods and everything is set up perfectly in the den. Breakfast is ready to be put in the oven, the table is set and the wood is ready for our Christmas morning fire.

I can't wait for the excitement on Madison's face in the morning. Although Brantley is not old enough to get excited about what the day holds, I am still equally excited for him to experience his first Christmas.

I am so blessed. I love my kids, my husband, our family and friends. I love that our Saviour was born in the flesh on Christmas day many years ago so that he could be a teacher, a healer, an example here on earth. I am thankful that he also gave his life so that we could be forgiven. Jesus, the decorations, presents and hype of Christmas is fun, but we know the real reason for the season. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More pics of Tucker

Tucker (our beloved pet for almost 8 years)

I just wanted to let you all know that last night my husband and I had to make one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make.
We laid Tucker to rest on 12/20/2010. He had been battling a second bout of a mystery ailment that wrecked havoc on his body. He was left with an extremely low red blood cell count and a white blood cell count so high the machine
could not read it. After spending several days at the vet last week he was sent home with meds on Saturday only to relapse. In his last state he would not have been able to handle much more. After some additional test results
last night and discussions with the ER vet we came to this extremely difficult decision.

Tucker was with our family for almost 8 years and went through a lot of changes with us. He was with us the first day in our first house and for our first child. He moved with us to our second house and saw our second child enter this world. We will miss him dearly, but he will always be a part of our lives and in our memories.

We appreciate all of your love and support during this difficult time for all of us. I have included a couple of pictures I found. He will be missed...

This week:

Last Christmas:

As a puppy:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Goodbye Tucker

Sunday, December 19, 2010

At the moment I am on the floor
sitting in the middle of all of this...

I have had a sewing nook up until now. Joshua graciously said I could have the office for my sewing ROOM. Sooooo, I am going through all of my stuff to get ready for the big move. I have grand ideas for my room. It will all happen one day. For now, my goal is just to make it functional.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I have the house COMPLETELY to myself right now. I think this is the first time in four months! I actually have more than 5 minutes here and there to get some things accomplished. I guess I better get off here and make the most of it! Toodles!


P.S. I'll post pics when I get settled into my new space!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Christmas Parade

Christmas is so much fun with kids. Seeing the sparkle in their eyes and the excitement on their faces is priceless. Today we attended a Christmas parade with friends. It is a tradition that is five years in the making. We eat breakfast and watch the parade together. This parade is in a little country town outside of our city. You will see everything from Elvis impersonators to tractors, Santa in a horse drawn sleigh and several marching bands. It is always a fun morning! Here are a few pics that I captured on my phone. (We all forgot to bring a good camera.)

I hope that you are enjoying the holiday season as much as we are!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tortilla Soup

As I told you, yesterday we went to a friend's house for some Christmas fun.  She made a delicious soup called, Tortilla Soup.  If you like Taco Soup, you will definitely like this one too.  They are very similar. Here is the recipe for anyone interested:

Taco Soup
1 pkg frozen creamed corn (or 1 can)
1 can Rotel
1 can yellow corn
1 can chicken broth
1 can black beans
1 can refried beans
1 jar of salsa
1 packet of ranch dressing mix
1 packet of taco seasoning
8 oz. sour cream
1 lb. ground beef, cooked

Mix all ingredients in a large pot over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with cheese and serve with corn chips.

Serves 6-8

Christmas Fun with Friends

We had a great morning with friends! My BFF, Kelli, organized a nice play date for us today at her home. (I should have taken pics of her home-IT IS GORGEOUS!) I didn't even have to bring anything to this play date. She planned and prepared everything. It was so cute and perfect for our little ones! Our time together started with yummy coffee for the mommas. :) Then, the kids made a Christmas ornament.

Next, we enjoyed a delicious lunch.  She made Tortilla Soup and salad. Perfect for the cold day.

After lunch, the kids decorated Christmas cookies.  Ok, we did too.  They were yummy!

While they decorated their cookies, they enjoyed some yummy hot chocolate with LOTS of marshmallows. Look at the adorable mugs that they got to use!

Here are the littlest ones who were with us this morning. Still too little to participate but just as special.

Thanks, Kelli, for such a fun morning!

Mr. Jingle is here!

Our elf, Mr. Jingle, is here to stay with us until Christmas Eve!  Last year was our first year with him.....and to be honest, we couldn't remember what we named him last year.  Madison was only 2, and doesn't realize that he got a new name.  Mr. Jingle was the first thing that popped in my mind this year. So, alas, he is now Mr. Jingle. I got the cutest idea from Jessica at Little Pumpkin Grace to do a North Pole Breakfast.  I read her post late one evening, and I decided to try to pull it off the next morning.  Sooooo, mine is not nearly as cute as hers, but I tried!.....and Madison loved it. Mr. Jingle set the table for our breakfast the next morning.

Mr. Jingle

Letters to the kids from Mr. Jingle

We enjoyed snow covered pancakes.  Jessica's elf brought snow covered doughnuts from the North Pole.  Unfortunately, we had none on hand, so I had to whip up some pancakes with the small amount of Bisquick that I had in the pantry!

Thank you, Jessica, for the adorable idea!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Tradition of Christmas Cards

Although most non-verbal forms of communication have evolved to an electronic format, traditional Christmas cards still remain. Most people still send their cards through the USPS just like it has always been done. However, we no longer have to go to the stationary store and pick up a box set that a lot of others might buy. We get to choose from thousands, and customize them with pictures and personal sentiments. Well, if you love the simplicity of ordering your Christmas cards online like I do... Shutterfly is the way to go. It is easy to use, and you will end up with beautiful, fun Christmas cards!   I can't wait to receive mine in the mail!

I have ordered several personalized birthday cards from Shutterfly in the past.  I was very impressed with the quality and speed.

Check out some of my favorite Christmas photo card options from Shutterfly:

Snowflake Bliss

Sweet Chocoloate

Joy Ornament

Love 2010: I really like how you can add lots of personal events to this one.

In addition to ordering my Christmas cards from Shutterfly this year, I may order some of these adorable coffee mugs for Christmas gifts.

ATTENTION BLOGERS: Shutterfly is offering 50 FREE Holiday Cards from Shutterfly.  Check out this offer here.