Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year in Review

A quick glimpse back at 2006 in our household...

January of 2006 - Had us ushering in the New Year with our good friends. Of course we have yet to make it all the way to midnight (we usually call it a night after the ball drops in New York)...such party people we are..haha.

February - Is still a blur to me as I had my hysterectomy the first of the month. I don't regret making the decision I did, but the recovery was not easy. All in all I do feel so much better than I did before. The hardest thing for me was the set in stone no more kids at least no more biological. We have kicked around adoption but not at this time, it just isn't time for us to expand.

March - I had recovered enough by the end of March to make a trip to Canton, Texas (I love Trade Mondays there!). Our friends went with us, and my family, and extended family so it was a great trip.

April - A decision was made that would change all of us. We went to a homeschool book fair and spoke to a representative. It was something we prayed about, and looked at from all angles. I absolutely love homeschooling, I truly believe for our family it was the best decision we ever made.

May - Braden turned 7. We also headed out to Florida for vacation. The kids saw the ocean for the first time, we went to Disney and swam with Dolphins it was a wonderful vacation.

June - Was pretty quite it seems, or at least I can't remember much that happened. Hubby turned 35, and I turned 32. The kids attended basketball camp.

July - Brought a new sport into our home...Tennis. The kids attended Tennis camp and loved it! We went to Fort Worth, Texas for a few days. Visiting some friends, celebrating our 11 year wedding anniversary.

August - We started our homeschool! My friend Christy and I braved starting our own girl scout troop.

September - We met the best people ever in different homeschool groups we joined! We started a Homeschool bible study as well as doing homeschool coop classes.

October - Brittney turned 9...she likes to inform me "one more year till double digits".

November - Braden had surgery on November 6, and the month of November was spent in Austin. It was so warm I had to scour the clearance racks for Tshirts because we were all burning up. The end of November had my friend Christy and I traveling to Tulsa with our two girls for Cheetah Girl concert!

December - Braden continues to get stronger. Basketball has started, Braden is so proud he can make a basket now, he has never been strong enough before. Brittney is excelling at basketball. We prepared for the whirlwind that was Christmas!

Tonight we will be staying home, eating snacks, and playing board games. Hubby has to work tommmorow so he won't be staying up, I may attempt to stay up with the kiddos...may being the keyword.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

He told her...

I had the kids out in the garage this morning helping me clean out some of the cabinets we use for school stuff, games, etc.

I had given Braden the job of taking everything out of one cabinet. Britt came over and said "Braden you aren't doing it right, you need to organize, I am a master cleaner I will show you."

About 30 minutes later, I am working one one cabinet Brittney is still clearing out the other one. Braden is bouncing a ball and playing. Brittney says: "Braden you are suppose to be helping". Braden stops playing looks at her and says: "Your the master I am sure you can handle it".

It was funny I laughed. Brittney was not as amused.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Pictures

I was talking to hubby and realized that we didn't have anyone snap any pics on Christmas with all four of us. Oh well. I am also adding tons of pics to my flickr.

Here is a glimpse of our Christmas.

Celebrating Christmas with my family early Christmas Eve...Braden getting a little help with opening his present.

You can't see it well but Brittney got her first really nice piece of jewelry from my aunt. A birthstone ring and she was modeling it.

About to go to bed on Christmas Eve

Cuddled in Bed to excited to go to sleep waiting on Santa. They had to sleep in Braden's room because they could hear the roof better in there!

Santa came!

Both kids loved their new Playstation Guitar game (this is why I was at Kohls at 4:00 the day after Thanksgiving because it was 50% off then)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Reclaiming the house one room at a time

So far the living room is back to normal. I put the Christmas decorations up the day after Thanksgiving and they must come down the day after Christmas.

We are having friends over in the morning so I had to at least reclaim the living room. The kids had a great Christmas. Braden still seems to be fighting off something, not sure what is going on there, but hopefully will know soon. I had a great Christmas I got way more than I thought I would and way more than I deserved...thanks hubby!

The kids rooms are still trashed but the living room is clean and in order, the kitchen and dining room are getting there. Our room had to be rearranged for a tredmill (YEAH!), so it is a complete and total disaster right now.

I will load Christmas pics later this week.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

1:30 a.m., a kid on each side of our bed. No going back to sleep then afterall they had heard hoofprints on our roof!

So up we got, and sure enough Santa had been there, leaving a trail of cooke crumbs to the fireplace where the screen had been moved. They emptied their stocking and looked at their loot.

About 2:30 they opened from us. At 4:00 a.m. I went back to bed and left them playing. Hubby said he took a nap on the couch. My dad called about 7ish. Kids have been up and going since 1:30 and I have a feeling that Braden will nap today but Brittney will keep on going till bedtime.

Yummy breakfast has been had, and the play is still in full swing.

Hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Away in the Manger

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Drama in the forcast

Tonight is in law night. Which means..............drama, drama, and more drama.

Ugh, I dread these get togethers. Matt dreads them as well. Bless his heart I feel so bad for him. We both just bite our tounge and try to get through them.

We have both been unhappy with his mother for sometime now and the decotomy she shows between the grandchildren. Also it was quite hurtful that while Braden was so sick she did not once call, send a card, etc. Her statement was she knew Matt would call her if something went wrong. Ugh. Add that in with Crazy SIL and what a fun evening this plans to be.

Add to that the fact that Braden is not feeling well at all today and is running a fever and it is just a promise for a barrel of fun. I have given Braden some Tylenol and he is laying down (he has been laying down all day, which is so unlike him).

I am cooking everything for tonight, I asked for each of the crazy participants from tonights drama to bring one thing, but that was too much to ask. So I am just doing it. Ugh, frustrating, good thing I have this blog to vent about it.

4 hours and then the drama will begin...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Cooking w/pics *updated*

Starting out...everyone up and about early, aprons on, happy and ready to help mom!

Having Fun with the candy canes

Cooking at the stove (she is on a little step stool, she is tall but not quite that tall).

A short time later............

One little girl still very happy showing off the oreo truffles she dipped herself....

One little boy...whining incessitly and saying he is tired......

So I have given my happy girl, tired boy and myself a 30 minute break before we hit it again.

On the list to do today:
Choc Mint Cookies -done
Snowball Cookies
Sugar Cookies - done
Peppermint Bark - done
Oreo Truffles - done
Pecan Prailines - a disaster that I will never again attempt
Peanut Brittle
Strawberry Fudge Balls - almost done
Anne's fudge recipe
another fudge recipe
Choc covered Ritz peanut butter
(I think that is it but my list is not by me and I am not moving at the moment)

Also going to a party tonight so making crock pot mac and cheese and going to make some pigs in the blanket as well for that.

Update: I am fast losing steam, I have to get the mac and cheese done soon, and the rest to take for tonight. The kids have long ago lost interest and left me!

Charlotte's Web

We had some very good friends in from Texas this week. Yesterday we took the kids to see Charlotte's Web.

I was thinking it would be okay, but wasn't thinking I would like it very much.

I was wrong, it was so cute. I really liked it. All four kids sat transfixed to the screen. Very cute. A great break away from the holiday hustle. It stayed pretty close to the book, with a few new characters added for comedy.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tiger Cub

My Little Scout...

This was his first big scout meeting. He is now a Tiger Cub, he started wanting to leave the house 3 hours before the meeting. It is so good for him to get out and be in a group of boys.

Got It!

My aunt found the movie that Braden wanted! So yeah I told her she was my hero for the season...LOL.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday

Adding fun with the real reason of Chirstmas.

Last year we were told about a box called "What God Wants For Christmas". This is wonderful. We hope to do it as a tradition every Christmas Eve. You can go to the website Family Life and download additional information and a super fun scavenger hunt for the kids. You read the book and then use a scavenger card with clue to find 6 boxes that contain pieces to the nativity scene. The last box contains what God wants for Christmas (it is a mirror and the meaning is significant and easily grasped by the child). The bottom line is you are talking about Jesus and his birth and the meaning of Christmas and injecting a whole lot of fun. It can be used with small or large groups. There are tons of ideas on the site. I have seen it at our Super WalMart as well as at Chirstian bookstores since there is no more time to order it online, but you can still get online and download the free accessories to add to the fun.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Of course

Braden wants one specific movie, I have seen it before. Didn't think he really wanted it now it seems to be the thing he HAS TO HAVE!

I told him Mommy couldn't find it and of course he said "Don't worry I will tell Santa".

I said well you have already talked to Santa and you didn't tell him then so he already has your list. (Thinking this will get me out of it).

His reply "Don't worry I will pray to Jesus and he can get the message to Santa because Jesus knows everyone and Santa is good cause he helps people so Jesus knows him".

I have hit two WalMarts today (after saying I would not be going back) and both are out of it...ugh.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Merry Christmas to Me!

We have been dealing with car issues for months now. It has been crazy. We drive so much with doctors, etcetera that we had to have something dependable. We have been talking, looking at cars, praying about the situation.

Yesterday Matt took a break from work and went and looked and took action. He spent several hours at the dealership and said he got up to leave 3 times, but they stopped him. He told them exactly what payment we needed, what we needed for the car trade in, etcetera and did not waiver. He called and asked if I wanted Red or Black. He got us a Mitsubishi Outlander it had wonderful rebates, etcetera. He did so good and drove this home to us last night.

Such a peace of mind to have something that will be dependable and be able to go when we have to go.

Here is my Christmas Present........

It worked

I told the kids Saturday morning that if they didn't clean their rooms, and really get rid of toys, and broken things, etcetera. Then we wouldn't be able to open presents. It worked, I had to of the best helpers. And Brae who hates to part with anything was much more agreeable that he had to make room. So that is all done now. It was much needed and glad to be able to mark that one of the to do list.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Done, finished, kaput

Yep done with Christmas shopping. I had a few little things I wanted to pick up in town. Nothing major, but ugh it took me forever to find what I wanted. Then the lines were crazy, I thought it wouldnt be so bad being midday and midweek...wrong. Then the parking lots...ugh...the roads...that's it I am in the house until after Christmas!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Works for Me!

My idea for Works for Me Wednesday is organizing gifts with wrapping paper.

I get different colors of wrapping paper. Gifts that have to be had for Matt's families gathering are all wrapped in red and white striped. My families gifts are in green holly. Brae's gifts in power ranger wrapping, Britt's in snowmen, etc. That way when it is time to go to someone houses, etc. I know what color the paper for that gathering is and grab. The kids sort it out this way much easier. I still place name tags on them but this is a quick and easy way to organzie the gifts at a glance.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Too much

I am once again feeling overwhelemd, not the first time and I am sure not the last. I have too much, too much to do, too much to think about, too much to worry about.

Braden's latest blood work is not good. I am trying to keep upbeat, and positive and pray about it and leave it with the prayer and no longer worry, but that is easier said than done for me.

As for my paralegal work it is a double edge, on one hand very blessed because I have gotten in extra freelance work which for finances is great, but the strains it puts on my already limited time, is just crazy.

Add the holiday preperation, dealing with family issues (a brother who is about to drive me insane), and various other items and I just feel that it is too much.

But I am still smiling and offering to do anything anyone asks....ugh...why is that about me? Why can't I just say no I am sorry I am overwhelmed right now and it is not a good time for me to help you out. It sounds good, polite, but instead what comes out of me is "Sure I can do it, no problem."

So I will quit my venting, and get to work on the much too long to do list.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Gingerbread House time

Every year the kids and I make a gingerbread house. We have fun, I dont obsess, I let them put things where they want, any pattern, etc.

The first year I attempted making it all on my own...disaster...could not even fit it together to resemble a house, some pieces spread more when cooking, it was awful.

Year two I bought one that the pieces were already baked and I just had to put them together, better but still a pain.

This year...I absolutely am in love with Wilton. They baked the house, put it together and put it in the box with icing pack and candy. I just cut the plastic around the box and the kids started in. It was so much easier and fun too!

Here are the kids with their masterpiece.

Break Time

Kids and I have been working non stop since we got in from church. Trying to find the house I know is under all of the clutter, toys, Christmas deco, mess, etc. I am a pretty maticulous housekeeper usually, but it just seems since we have been back from Austin I have just not been able to get back in the groove of things. I have let things go that I would never have in the past. Add to that the extra stuff that needs done at this time of year and it equals a mess.

Today I was determined to at least get the house in shape again. It is much better now. I feel so much better having it in better shape. I have a to do list that is single space typed one and half pages that I printed off. I have accomplished about half of that this weekend so that also makes me feel better. I still need to do some deep cleaning before Christmas.

Break time is over and time to clean the refrigerator over (oh doesn't that sound like fun)..ugh.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hot Chocolate and Chirstmas lights

I have been a little down and not as into Chirstmas as I usually am. So tonight we got the kids together, hot chocolate and headed out for the drive thru Nativity story and then looking at Christmas lights.

It was so nice. Just getting out the 4 of us, hot chocolate, the drive thru Nativity is always enjoyable the kids loved it. Christmas lights were fun, some houses were so extravagent.

One house had me looking twice, beautiful lights all around and on the front porch was lighted dolphins hanging with santa hats....okay I have seen lots of stuff for Christmas but never dolphins.

All in all a good time, the plan for tommorow is to do school, then tommorow evening we are meeting my aunt in Muskogee to go look at Christmas lights with her. The kids are so excited about Christmas and usually I am too but this year I am having to work a little harder to be excited. Oh well Raspberry hotchocolate and driving on a cool night sure helped!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas Goodies

For my Works For Me Wednesday Post I will post some of my favorite Christmas goodies.

Super easy. I take crescent rolls shape into a circle, bake then cool. I then coat with the vegetable cream cheese spread, top with brocolli, cherry tomatoes and make a bow from a red bell pepper.

Nutter Butter Santa's
Take Nutter Butters and melted white almond bark. Dip both ends in the white chocolate. One end will be the beard and you will do nothing more to it. The other end you will place red sprinkles on and place a small mini marshmellow(I cut one into 1/4's and use it), place a dob of almond bark and place mini choc chip eyes and a red hot nose.

This is the tray we made last year for our neighbors. Starting from the bottom:
Angels (these are not one of the easier things that I do, but I think they are worth the extra effort): coat a sugarcone with white almond bark add sprinkles, the head is made from marzipam which you can buy at any grocery store or craft store. I then took a toothpick to draw the face, dyed coconut for the hair, pretzels attached with chocolate for the wings, vanilla wafer (also attached using melted chocolate for the halo---Cherry Thumbprint cookies---Snowman Nutter Butters: Take a Nutter Butter dip in White Almond Bark push in the pretzel arms, place the mini m&m buttons, the choc chip eyes, I used a tooth pick and dyed some melted white chocolate orange and placed on the nose.---Chocolate Mice: Use a Hershey Kiss, then dip a cherry with stem in melted chocolate almond bark place on the kiss, use choc to attach mini choc chip ears, I also use white almond bark to make little eyes.---Peanut Butter Rudolphs: Make your normal peanut butter cookie dough or buy refrigerated on cookie sheet place a small ball and then touching it place a larger ball on top of the large ball place the mini pretzels. They will spread out and give you your reindeer as soon as they come out of the oven place chocolate chip eyes and red hot nose.

Santa Cupcakes These are new to us and I just thought they turned out adorable. Make your basic cupcakes and frost them white. Then on wax paper you are going to use white almond bark make it thick and form a hat shape and a beard shape, the hat shape sprinkle with red sugar and place marshmellows on the brim and top, on the beard do nothing, wait for them to dry and place them on the cupcake (the icing will hold them in place), I use choc chip eyes, red hot nose, red sugar for cheeks and red smile for his mouth.

Rudolph Cupcakes: Regular cupcakes, chocolate frosting, I break off the large pretzels for antlers, m&m's with a dot of black decorators frosting for eyes and a candied cherry for the nose.

Fruit Wreath (my picture got wet and didn't scan well) Basically just cut up lots of fresh fruit dip parts in chocolate and place in wreath shape.

Snowflake cupcakes, these didn't turn out exactly as I pictured but I thought still cute. Regular cupcakes, frosted blue. On a piece of wax paper use a toothpick, spoon, butter knife whatever works for you and make snowflakes out of white melted almond bark. Let them dry and gently (I broke a lot of them) remove and place ont he cupcake.

This is a tray I took to a Christmas party last year. It has most of the stuff I described above. I made large snowman shaped sugar cookies, used fruit by the foot for scarf, m&m buttons, an M&m turned sideways for a nose, mini choc chip eyes, and m&ms for ear muffs, connected with decorator icing.
I also did santa hat cookies just triangle sugar cookie, red icing, coconut for the brim and a marshmellow for the top.
The poinsetta cupcakes are made from gum drop candies that I rolled out placed on the frosting, the yellow centers are mini m&m's

This picture shows my vegetable tree. Just take a cone shaped styrofoam and place the veggies on with toothpicks.

Can you tell I love to cook and make fun things, if I wasnt out of time and space I would show even more!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gossip and lonely

Rumors and Gossip if I listend to those then I would be discouraged and crazy 24/7 in regards to Brae's medical condition.

Hubby and I have tried to keep things close this time with his medical needs, diagnosis, etc. I was really thinking we were doing a good job until I heard the "gossip" about what someone else had heard about my son. Ugh made me so mad. The problem is I know exactly who is doing it, and I am trying not to go off on her. I don't know if we made the right decision or not but we chose not to be as open this time as we have in the past in regards to Braden. In some ways it has helped tremendously in others not so much because those that don't know are tending to draw their own conclusions and repeat it as truth.

The other issue I am trying to deal with right now is no one seems to know what to say to me so they don't say anything. I am trying to understand as I have dealt with situations before that are sensitive and people don't know what to say, but it is hard. I kinda feel lonely lately. I don't know if that is the right word or not but just like I don't have the close knit that I used to have which is frustrating.

Okay enough on me venting. Tommorow I will be posting lots of Christmas goodies.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tidbits from the weekend away

We left Friday morning around 5:30 to begin our drive to the otherside of Oklahoma. The drive was soooo slow as the roads were awful. We made it.

We met up at my aunt's house, my parents were there as well as another aunt.

A few observations:

One aunt had all the presents wrapped so pretty. As they were handed out you were told exactly how much she spent not only on the gift, but also how much the bow and bag cost. After you opened the present she immediately requested the gift bag and bows back telling us that we could not keep those. Quite humorous

Also decided my 7 year old son is more mature than my 18 year old cousin. He got mad and sulked if he didn't get to play a game he wanted. I also noticed him and Brae have the same movie posters displayed in their rooms. Needless to say he drove me crazy most of the time.

All in all it was a nice visit. My cousin was in from Alaska and her tales have made me want to visit. Glad to be home with lots of laundry to get caught up this week.