Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas!

i just realized today that is has been quite awhile since i have posted so i thought i would do my daybook...since it is monday after all. and i didn't do it at all last week. but, the daybook is on vacation for this week so i thought i'd post a short little something to let you know that i'm still here and that my lack of posting is because we are having such a blessed Christmastime around here. my mom visited for the week or so before Christmas and we shopped, baked cookies and all sorts of fun things. then my husband began his vacation. this is so cool! because of the way Christmas and new year's fell this year he was able to take off only a few days and get about two weeks. so, he doesn't go back to work until january 5th. this is the main reason for my lack of posting. we are just enjoying being a family. he has been working so much overtime lately that the sleeping in, eating leftovers for lunch and just being together has been so sweet. we have accomplished alot of things that have been needing to get done but we have also been playing much...and it is so good. there are many things i want to tell you and show you, like our gorgeous church all decked out for Our Savior's birth...or how i actually got all the pajamas done in time for them to go to sleep at a reasonable hour...or about the wii-ally wonderful fun wii have been having as a family...
or the Christmas miracle of all my children not losing any of their Christmas clothing and posing for this picture without crying, hitting or yelling...
but that will all have to wait.

so, have a most blessed Christmas and remember to keep celebrating His most glorious of birthdays.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On This Eve Squared...

...i am proud to report that we have wrapped at least half of our gifts. this is a miracle for us because usually at 10pm on christmas eve i am still sifting through the closet to even find the kids gifts which finally get wrapped around 1am. and it's not that we get the kids millions of things. they each get four gifts total. i'm just that unorganized and that much of a procrastinator. it's been that way my entire life and i'm not expecting a complete change any time soon. although, that would be nice. but anyway, there is one thing i am a bit stressed about. you see. every year our kids get new jammies to wear to bed on christmas eve. and of course, like the completely anal perfectionist i am...i have to make them. but, when you factor in the procrastinator and unorganized side of you know what you get? you get three pairs of pajama pants that are cut out without a stitch in them and three shirts that are waiting for some sort of appliqueing job to be done on them. and with one of those pairs of pants, there's a very real possibility that they won't work. my pattern didn't go small enough for our littlest lady so i pulled out a pair of her pants and just, sort of, cut out my own. all of this will be fine i assume if my sewing machine likes me tomorrow. otherwise, i may be finding out how late the stores are open tomorrow night. does anybody know where they have a sale on kid's jammies? :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Little Family Fun

and when i say little i mean miniature, miniscule, minute and all those other words that mean really small that all start with "mini" and turn on the orthography loving section of my brain which says to myself, "hey self, the prefix min- or mini- must mean small." and to that you all say, "well duh." anywho, a few weeks ago i had a lovely 50% off coupon for the craft store and thought i would pick up a gingerbread house for us to decorate. so, when i stumbled upon thisi thought it would be grand because there are five houses...and five of us. so last night we got it out and realized when they say mini, don't let the picture on the box fool's mini. so mini that i don't think there is any expanse of gingerbread in that box over four inches...and that's being a bit generous. but, despite the size it's a nice kit complete with candy and easy to make icing that actually seems to do what it's supposed to. dry like epoxy. anywho, here are the troops frosting the housesand sticking the candies with careone of the houses got too much snowfall (ie. icing piled) on the roof and accompanied by the addition of three gumdrops loving placed (ie. smashed into the roof) in that snow...the roof collapsed. i am happy to report however with much masonry work from my husband, more frosting and the assurance that a certain little person's house wasn't ruined...all turned out fine. here is the end product.i thought it turned out rather nicely. the kids thought my addition of the fence, trees and walkways was a nice addition. they also got a kick out of the outhouse my husband made, complete with a crescent moon on the front. now they just keep asking when they can eat them all. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Tour

well, better late than never. so here it is. my contribution to the boomama christmas tour of homes 2008. and yes, i believe that i must post the complete and official title at every possible opportunity because well, i'm just like that. so, without further ado...welcome to my home...all hopped up on sugar and evergreens for the holidays.

first, say 'hello' to that's not an official name or something. it just sounded appropriate. this, by far, has to be the largest tree i have ever seen in anyone's living room...especially mine. we have had some large trees in the past but this one is absolutely mammoth. it has taken me the past two days to get used to it being in our living room. all day yesterday i would walk into the living room and jump because "ahh, what was this gigantic thing that was taking up a large portion of my living room." and here's fred in the dark...
isn't he charming? my husband promised when we moved into this house that i could pick out the largest tree that i could find. he actually refers to my taste as a 'christmas bush' because he says they are round and don't even have a shape. but, i think he may be wishing to take back the statement about having any one i wanted and i am insisting that the one this year has a tree shape.

so let's take a closer look at what fred is wearing...this is my favorite ornament of all. it always gets put on the very front of the tree so i can see it as i walk by. this ornament has a little story behind it. i believe i blogged about it last year but i'll give an abridged version for anybody who didn't read my tour last year. three years ago this thanksgiving i gave birth to our third child. i have always suffered with ppd after the births of our children but this one was particularly painful but i was also trying to fight it with all i had in me. in our old house, the chair i would sit in to cuddle and nurse our baby was directly in front of the christmas tree and one day i realized that this ornament was there...staring me in the face. for the rest of the christmas season i focused on that ornament whenever things were going particularly bad. did the ppd go away because of it? no. but it always reminded me that because of what was going on in that manger at the base of our tree, that there was hope, and He would see me through the depression and the pain and He would make me stronger because of it. redemptive suffering. true beauty.

now, on to fred's other adornments.

every year each of the children receive an ornament for the tree. the 'joy cross' belongs to our oldest. we began getting crosses for her when she was born and the ones that sport her middle name are her preferred ones. i just wish that ornament makers would realize that there are quite a few verses in the Bible referring to 'joy.' there are only so many ornaments that say "for the joy of the Lord is our strength" that one can put together on a tree. :) the other cross belongs to our youngest. she always gets an ornament of a nativity scene and i just loved this one. the thomas belongs to our middle child. he has received one of the hallmark puppies for the past five years, but the series ended, so i let him pick something else. he chose trains, so there you have it.

fred is also wearing some things that remind us of those we have lost like these two..the small white angel is the ornament my grandmother gave me while she dying of cancer. she died three days later. and the other angel is the ornament that we purchased this year for noel francis, our little baby we miscarried six years ago. each of the angels we have bought serve as a reminder to me that i may have lost one of my children but in that i also received a tremendous gift. i have a saint in heaven who loves me dearly and is praying for each member of our family every day.

there are also some things which remind us of funnier moments too...

like the heart with a picture of my husband and i on our first christmas morning. when we unpacked it the other day i remarked how young and unassuming we looked. he remarked how especially young i looked. i'm not sure how old he thinks i look now, but in the interest of a friendly night, we won't bridge that topic. there is also the mayor and coroner of munchkin land that the kids especially liked this year after watching the movie for the first time a few months ago. i have to admit it was really nice not having to explain to them who these two little strange men were that we were putting on our tree.

and under fred sits our nativity will note that the only people there as of yet are the shepherds and stable hand type people. mary, joseph and the donkey are over here...on the kitchen window. i was pretty pleased with how this little display turned out. and my son thought it was particularly nice that the sea monkeys had their very own christmas tree.

our advent wreath also has a nativity theme.we light the candles every night before dinner and then we sing a verse of 'o come, o come emmanuel.'

we also put up our jesse treeand read stories from this wonderful bookto trace the lineage of our Savior. the kids love this and can't wait to see what ornament they will get to hang on the tree each day.

and the kids also have their little trees in their bedrooms

and no christmas tour would be complete without showing you this decoration......the blue chair. every year in the old house we put the christmas tree in the spot that was usually occupied by this blue chair. so, it would go into our son's room. well, i thought that we could leave it in the living room this year but considering fred's girth, it wasn't possible. so there it sits, in my son's room.

well, if you're still with me after all of that, it's the end of the tour. i'll try and get pictures of our outdoor decorations up in a few days. but you know, that would take getting the outdoor decorations put up in a few days. :)

make sure to stop over to boomama' site and journey into everybody else's home tours. i was number four hundred and something so don't try to tackle it all in one night.

Simpy Monday - December 15th

for today...

outside my window - it still looks pretty nice...but far from sunny and clear. from the looks of the weather forecast this morning, the next five days are all a combo of rain, ice and sleet. hmm, what a delightful outlook.

i am thinking - that i threw away our costco rebate check and renewal information. i'm glad that i enjoy throwing things away by the bundle but sometimes i wish i was a bit more thorough and selective.

from the learning rooms - not much going on except the necessities...reading/phonics, math and writing. the extra subjects have been giving away to story books, christmas cards, decorating, baking and crafts. and well, it's a joy to report for the first time that even in doing this, i don't feel like a slacker. aah, progress. :)

i am thankful for - oh so many things, but right now in particular, a husband that has five days of work left until his much needed and deserved large chunk of vacation time. he won't go back to work until after new years.

from the kitchen - hopefully today we will make our ginger bread house and make a list of the five...and i mean only five...types of cookies we will make (i can dream of keeping it to five, right?)

i am wearing - my jammies, purple/navy/white and grey striped. hair is still wet and slippers are on. i just couldn't pull myself out of bed after the busy weekend we had. i did exercise but it was a little later than usual so the shower, breakfast and consequentially, blogging, got pushed back a bit.

i am reading - well, i picked up a copy of a biography about tolkien to read, but i haven't started yet. at least i purchased this one so the library isn't going to be calling saying "are you done with that yet?" i also need to read the gospel of mark as per an assignment given to all of us by our parish priest. hmm, i think it was mark. maybe matthew. anybody?

i am hoping - to get the sinks and showers scrubbed and the kitchen organized before my mom arrives on wednesday or thursday. i know she doesn't care but i would like to at least give the illusion that i know how to keep a house.

i am creating - a blog post for boomama's christmas tour of homes. please join in. it's always delightful fun! and homemade gifts...a few pillows, two bags, some pajamas, a doll, doll furniture cushions, a hat and mittens set...and ten days (or less for some items) to do it in. yes, before you debate, i am a big time procrastinator and a wee bit crazy. and then there are jesse tree ornaments and o antiphons to make.

i am hearing - my two youngest playing around me. the quiet chatter of galactic heroes and littlest pet shop. you'd think that within feet of each other and me that they could possibly learn to share. think again.

around the house - laundry, and did i mention laundry. there's also much tidying of the halls of left overs from decking the halls. there are boxes and misc items, oh...everywhere. i also need to put together the swags to hang on the outdoor garage lights and a little glitter snowflake menagerie for the front porch. oh, i do dream. but maybe if i finish this i can entice my husband to help me put up the outdoor pine garland when he gets home.

one of my favorite things - having my christmas shopping done...i think.

a few plans for the rest of the week - just a few activities for the kids and finishing up the plethora of things that need to be done.

here is a picture thought i am sharing with you -yes, it's rather large. trust me, i know. but it has a great shape, not one bald spot and the price was right.

take a one horse open sleigh over to peggy's to check out all the other daybook entries.

have a blessed third week of advent everyone. may you continue to prepare your hearts for the coming of Our Lord.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

They Never Look Quite As Big... they do in your living room!(and in case you're wondering...that IS a gigantic picture window that it is standing in front of, or covering completely as the case may be)

hey kids! looks like we'll be using ALL of the ornaments this year! anybody got some more lights?

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Baaaack...

it's always nice for somebody to go to the creepiness of psycho isn't it? anyway, i've been on a bit of a case you've actually noticed the low volume of posting. this is not to say that during these last few weeks (scratch that)less than two weeks before christmas i'll be posting like the wind or something. cause well, i've still got rosaries to make, gifts to wrap, a few to buy, a tree to purchase and decorate, a house to decorate, company to entertain and various items left to bake and/or cook. but i am going to try and be a little more frequent so i don't have to do another blanket post like the one you are about to endure.

first, while we have hit upon the topic of rosaries, i have posted pics of my rosaries and jewelry over at my flickr account. if you like what you see, let me know...and we'll work out a deal. ;)

now, let's see. first we had the artisan fair. it was a little chaotic at first but things turned out fine and i made a good profit. i forgot to take my camera with me. you can go to michele's to see a picture of my table and a few others. it was a fun day and it is always nice to spend the day chatting with fellow parishioners.

where to go next. how about here...

winterfest! every year the little town we now reside in has winterfest where they close off the entire downtown area and there are local organizations, restaurants, shops, music and all sorts of stuff lining the street. and yes, as you can tell from the was snowing. quite alot. yes, it added to the christmas ambiance but have you ever tried to convince three small children that eating pizza and this mondo stack of french fries (which was a steal at five bucks by the way) is the most fun that they could be having on a friday night? that's not an easy thing to do. and they are even less happy about it when they find out later that two of the local churches were open for you to come INSIDE...OUT OF THE eat. but hey, it makes a good story for them to tell to their kids, right? but despite the cold we had a good time. they had games for the kids, st. nicholas and even a narcoleptic reindeer. and we had...a little girl who was throwing a fit because she lost her gloves and now had gigantic hands (from borrowing daddy's gloves).

then this week porcupine head (or stegosaurus head, depending on how you look at it) had a dance performance at a local nursing home. she enjoyed herself and of course little miss crazy face had to get in on the action too. now come to think of it, that was such a gorgeous tree...i should have had all the kids stand in front of it and pictures. darn. think they would notice if we all randomly showed up in our sunday best, snapped a picture and ran?

and then the little man had what he thought was going to be his last gymnastics class. he really loves this class and so he was overjoyed when he found out that he could start up again in three weeks. i guess we know what the money i made at the artisan fair is going to pay for. that's alright. it's the cheapest gymnastics class we could find and the teachers (a homeschool mom and her daughters) are really top notch and so good with the kids.

and with that, i guess there's only one thing left. that's right. it's what emily has been waiting all week i'm sure you have too. yep, the unveiling of the living room furniture.tada! so what do you think? it's such a step up from the ghetto that used to inhabit our living room. this was our christmas gift from my terrific father and his wife. this was so nice of them and we are really enjoying it. in fact, i took a nap on it the other day and i am pleased to report the virtues of its comfort level.

so there you have it. our week in a nutshell (help, help, i'm stuck in a nutshell). are you worn out? 'cause i am. actually, i spared you the details about the stomach bug this week too. but i thought you would be glad to be spared from any info about that. so far it has only hit one of us and for that i am grateful. we are going to get our tree tomorrow so it can just stay away. i don't think i want that to hit in the middle of the tree farm.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Simply Monday - December 8th

outside my window - it's rather chilly and overcast. OK, "rather chilly" doesn't begin to explain's just my way of trying not to complain too much. but, on the upside, yesterday was definitely worse. yesterday we had what i swear would classify as gale force winds and it was downright, bone chilling cold. i think the high was like 19 or something. but don't quote me on that.

i am thinking - that i have received many blessings today...we were able to find a mass despite the fact that the one that we showed up for that we were told was at a certain time actually happened 1 1/2 hours earlier, my husband has the day off and i can stop stressing about the doctor a bit.

from the learning rooms - we are doing nothing today and i'm not sweating it. when daddy is home i don't expect them to spend time on school work.

i am thankful for - friends who truly care, who pray fervently for you and who check in on you.

from the kitchen - i need to make another batch of applesauce and get a good start on the christmas baking. actually, first i need to narrow down what i'm going to bake. i always pick too many varieties, buy the supplies and then run out of steam. this year i think i'm setting my sights on five different cookies...that's it...yeah, we'll see. :)

i am wearing - jeans, a dark brown knit shirt, a lighter brown cardigan sweater and slippers.

i am reading - nothing yet again. wow, i'm exciting, motivated and intellectually stimulating.

i am hoping - that i am able to garner a bit more quiet and help my family to prepare in this season of advent for the birth of our Lord.

i am creating - christmas gifts for the kids. a dora hat, cushions for doll furniture and a boy doll for a little guy who is severely jealous of his bigger sister's doll.

i am hearing - my littlest watching veggie tales "the toy that saved christmas." it seems all tv rules fly out the window when daddy is off from work.

around the house - i need to put in some laundry. the downstairs is pretty clean since we had company over last night, but the upstairs could use some definite attention. and the basement? well we won't even talk about the basement.

one of my favorite things - is the red and green plaid down blanket we have in the living room. there is nothing warmer and it seems that every year i get colder, and colder, and colder. i think by the time i'm fifty i will be a block of ice from november to april.

a few plans for the rest of the week - take oldest dd to a meeting today, then everybody out to dinner and to her dance performance at the nursing home. tuesday is piano and praise and worship, wednesday to the doctor, thursday is gymnastics/spanish/dance/aaaaaah and friday we will be celebrating the feast of our lady of guadalupe. but i'm not quite sure how...yet. oh, and saturday we will go cut down our christmas tree. :)

here is a picture thought i am sharing - a preview to our new living room furniture that i have been promising a shot of. maybe i'll do the big unveiling this week. i know, you're holding your breath in expectation.

don't forgot to jog on over to peggy's to check out all the other entries. and yes, we all should jog, because those cookie exchanges are coming up.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Just Checking In

tomorrow is the artisan fair at our parish. and heading it up, i've had a bit of a full plate. tonight things were a little sketchy for a bit but after some deep breathing, a good laugh with some great friends and a large cherry vanilla dr. pepper from sonic it was all okee-dokee. so, say a prayer that we all sell out tomorrow. yep, it's a big prayer i know. but, He's a big God and there's nothin' wrong with hope. :) have a blessed second sunday of advent y'all.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Yes, I Can...

...and i will get things straightened and put together enough around here by december 15th to participate in the...
it was a jolly good time last year (and frankly, i'm still getting visitors to the ol' blog from it...and ya gotta love that) and i wouldn't miss it. unless of course it still looks like an atomic bomb of clutter went off here at the house. but in that case, i may just revel in the loveliness of having a walk in closet and do some creative mess shifting.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's Been A Whirlwind...

...and it shows no sign of slowing in the near future. i know it's been rather quiet here in bloggy land and the reason for that, well, i'm taking any spare time i can find to screw my head on straight. we had company for the week or so before/of thanksgiving which was also accompanied by the birthday brunch bash (or, the tons o' eggs it has come to be called around these here parts) which i believe i blogged about previously. so, the company left early on saturday morning just in time for us to run a whole slew of errands that had been neglected, and then mass (cantoring too), a few more errands and stuff around the house for sunday. and well, i thought this week was going to be quiet with all those naps. let's just say things look a bit rosier...when you forget to enter three appointments and/or meetings on your calendar. so, the nap was relegated to hmm, monday. yep, it's's over...and i didn't even nap. i cleaned and did laundry. then, this weekend is the artisan fair at our parish. and wouldn't you know it, it's arranged by...yours truly. yes, i enjoy it but frankly i'm ready to just plan and set up the whole thing and not even sell any items myself. does anybody want to take a whole bunch of handmade rosaries and jewelry, plus a few gift baskets and food-esque items off of my hands? so yeah. all of this hot air to say i've been busy. makes me start to wonder how much of my issues could be solved by better time management, but that's another whole story all together. i'm dying to tell you about my shopping on black friday and our new living room furniture and our plans for various feasts and holy days...but those will have to wait. pretzels need to be chocolate coated and beads need to be wired and strung. let's hope i don't get confused or else we're going to end up with chocolate covered glass bead clusters and pretzel rosaries.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Simply Monday - December 1st

for today -

outside my window - it's still dark...and wet. we had a doozy of a rain storm yesterday and through last night. it was rather yucky out (we had to run some errands)but i will take the rain anytime if the other choice is snow or ice. the weather says it's actually warmer outside than it looks so hopefully if the rain has to continue this afternoon (like they say it will) it will stay only rain.

i am thinking - that the kids need to put on their boots and get outside today. sure, they will complain that it's chilly but at least it's a little fresh air.

from the learning rooms - we are heading into the final week of our first term. hopefully last week's break has done us good and we will be off with new vim and vigor. also i hope the advent and feast day activities we have planned will help with the enthusiasm.

i am thankful for - having almost all of my christmas shopping completed so that i can focus on advent and preparing myself and my family instead of spending it out in the craziness. did i mention that i refuse to go near the mall again until after the first of the year? :)

from the kitchen - a meal plan needs to be made. i slacked quite a bit with company last week and with leftovers from a variety of things coming directly out of my ears. i want to concentrate on using what we have and hopefully only traveling to the store for milk and bread.

i am wearing - my brand new winter coat that my husband so graciously talked me into on saturday.i think i mentioned in the past how much i disliked my old one and how it didn't really fit so this one is delightful. it's pretty much just what i was looking for. (ok, it's not really so cold in the house that i have to wear a winter coat, but since i like it so much maybe i could turn down the heat and...)

i am reading - nothing. i'm too fixated on projects that i would like to do for advent with the kids and things i would like to complete for them for christmas.

i am hoping - that this week goes well in the schooling frontier and that i can get lesson plans completed which will take us up to christmas break.

i am creating - a plan on how to transform a regular child's winter hat and mittens pattern i purchased last week into a hat that looks like "dora" and mittens that look like "boots." i'll let you know how that goes through fits of screaming "this isn't working."

i am hearing - my husband bringing our littlest one from her bed to hear her say in a squeaky and rather groggy voice, "good morning mommy, i love you." ahh, music to my ears.

around the house - laundry, with an extra set of bedding from our house guests. much clutter that needs to be tackled and organized and a basement and garage that are in need of much help. i have a garage. something we dreamed about for years...but it doesn't house my car. it houses my husband's car (because he doesn't have heat or defrost...and well, his car can't get frosted up or he can't see to drive it...and, that's just another story all together) and my garage also houses stuff. i'm not even sure exactly what stuff is out there. all i know is that it needs to leave. quickly. if i don't know what is in the boxes i can just toss them all out without abandon...right?

one of my favorite things - is feeling rested. i think (and hope) that this last week of r & r did us all good. (aside from my lack of sleep last friday, but that is another post for another time).

a few plans for the rest of the week - a much slowed week with some activities missing, which i am grateful for. nothing today, piano tomorrow and picking up a surprise for the kids which i was offered by someone on freecycle and practice for myself in the evening, wednesday nothing, thursday is busy with gymnastics, spanish and irish dance and then friday nothing. ooh, looks like three nap days. :)

here is a picture thought i am sharing with you - my oldest leaving last friday night for her first sleep over. i almost cried. yes, i'm a sap. but she's getting older. she had a great time. they painted nails, wore cucumber slices on their eyes and watched all the american girl movies. but, much to her dismay...they didn't get much sleep. she said that she tried to sleep but couldn't with the others awake. she was astounded that they didn't sleep. i guess i didn't fill her in well enough about what goes on at a slumber party...a lack of slumbering.

have a blessed first week of advent and stop over to peggy's to check out all the other day books.