Archive | November, 2010

‘Tis the Season to be Merry!

29 Nov

Thanksgiving was a two day celebration this year.  We celebrated with in-town family on Thursday and our out-of-town family on Friday.  Whew!  That was alot of food.

During the drive on Friday, the kids were able to watch two of our favorite Christmas movies; Christmas Vacation and Elf.  It doesn’t matter how many times we have seen these movies, we all still have a good laugh while watching them.

After a day of recovery, we put up our Christmas tree on Sunday.  Now that the kids are older, most of the decorating is left to them.  The part I love the most is listening to the kids reminesce about all of the hand-made ornaments that we still put out every year.  Some are slightly broken or missing pieces, but until they are completely un-usable, the kids hand-mades still go on the tree.

“Whose Girl Scout troop made these?”

“My gosh, how old were you when you made that?”

“Don’t put that on the tree, you can’t even tell what it is!”  (I still know what it is, that is the important part)

When the kids were little we used to have to put the decorations high enough on the tree so little hands could not reach them.  Now we have to do the same thing to keep those pesky cats from getting them!  All during the night I could hear them darting in and out from under the tree chasing each other.  No surprise, this morning I found three ornaments in various places on the living room floor.

In our house we have the tradition of not putting any presents under the tree until Christmas Eve.  I guess I do this because I remember being a sneaky girl and along with my younger sister we would unwrap then rewrap our gifts.  One year we got albums.  We were so bold as to open them and listen to them!  I should be so ashamed.  So I guess knowing my history of peeking, I don’t give my kids any opportunity to peek.  Does that take all the fun?  I don’t know.

This is my absolute favorite ornament………..

I have had this for about 15 years.  It was a Secret Santa gift.  Where I was working at the time had a Secret Santa gift exchange and my Santa knew that I collected snowmen and this was my last gift of the week.  It’s body is about the size of a softball.  It has to be put on the tree where it can almost “sit” on one of the branches.

My son was asking me what kind of cookies I plan on making this year.  I had to tell him “Let’s just get the tree up first, then worry about the goodies.”

Happily, the baking will probably begin this weekend.

Duchess

24 Nov

 

This is Duchess.  Just look at the cute face.  You can’t help but spoil her.  Here is a short story about how she has us trained.

We have this habit of DVR’ing our favorite shows and watching them on the weekend, primarily so we can fast forward through the commercials.  

While on intermission between sitcoms we made drinks and let Duchess out.  She just sat there on the step and did not do any “business”.  When she came back in she still expected her treat, after all, she did go outside.  Well, no business, no treat!
 
John and I were standing in the kitchen just leaning against the counter and the conversation started like this:
 
Me:  “Look at her, she is waiting for a treat”
John:  “She doesn’t get one, she didn’t do anything”
Me:  “Come on, you won’t give in to that cute face?”
 
Duchess realizes that we are talking about her and comes over to sit between us.
 
The rest of this conversation John begins speaking “FOR” the dog.  So this is a one sided conversation from this point on unless otherwise noted.
 
“Um, excuse me, you owe me a treat”  (she tilts her head to the side)
“I’m sitting, do I need to lay down?”  (she starts to lay down, but simply goes into 1/2 sitting, 1/2 laying)
“Rollover?”  (she looks on the floor to see if maybe her treat was dropped and she missed it)
“Am I sitting the right way?”  (She makes her cute face)
“Hello?”  (licks chops)
“I just licked my chops.  Maybe if I lick my chops he will realize I still need a treat” (licks chops again)
(chomp, chomp, chomp) ***** now this is me licking my chops
(turns and looks at me) “Did he give my treat to Mom?  Did she just eat it?”
(looks back up at John) “Maybe he ate it.”
“I went outside, you owe me a treat”  (more cute face)
 
“Have I really been standing here for 5 minutes talking for the dog?”  asks John.
 
My reply?  “You better give her a treat.  She thinks you have been talking to her about her treat.”
 
She got her treat.
 
And, I kid you not, within 2 minutes of getting her treat, she is scratching at the back door to go out and actually do her “business”.  Did she get a treat when she came back in?  Of course!
 
I swear sometimes we act like 12 year old children. 
 
Just a funny story I felt like sharing!

Carpet Skates

23 Nov

One of the first fond memories the kids have of my husband, John, has to be the carpet skates incident.  One of the girls received a pair of carpet skates for Christmas and John, being the big kid that he is, just had to try them out.

If you are not familiar with carpet skates here is a brief description……. smooth plastic which is velcroed to the bottom of your shoe that allows you to “glide” across the carpet.

John attaches the skates to his feet and takes off running from the back of the house into the family room.  Once he hit the carpet he begins to slide but he quickly looses his balance and does a power slide on his hip into the couch.  Needless to say we all had a great laugh at his expense.  We still laugh about it now.

Here is a picture of the two of us, one of my favorites, that was taken before we got married……

Not only is he just a big kid but he has one of the most contagious laughs I have ever heard.

I just love him!

Tissue Please

22 Nov

Talking about my kids is something that I do very well.  Of course, don’t all Mom’s?

All three of my kids are very loving and compassionate.  When they were little all three of them were very snuggly.  My youngest still is as long as there is no one around to see (he is 11 and after all, snuggling with Mom might not be cool any longer).  They are always the first to comfort a classmate who needs a friendly shoulder.  There are so many examples of things I have seen them do for their friends I would be here all day.  But I am going to share one story in particular.

All of the kiddos attended Day Camp at the church we were members of.  This program was absolutely the best thing since sliced bread and is still going strong.  I never once had to worry about them while I was at work because I knew they were having the time of their life in a safe and loving environment.  The camp counselors are college students, members of the church and already know almost all of the kids who attend the Day Camp.

The following was taken directly from the church bulletin.  Camp was over and school was back in session, the Camp Director was sharing a few memories from the summer.

“Finally, I thought I would share my favorite part of the summer.  There is nothing that could compare to the close relationships that we made with so many of the kids.  They made us laugh, imagine, think and they warmed our hearts.  One conversation that I will never forget was one that I had with 5-year-old Maggie.  I saw her one day and she looked very cold.  I asked, “Maggie, are you cold?”  She responded, “Yes”.  As she crawled up into my lap I asked, “Well, do you need a sweater?”  Her response was, “No, you can be my sweater.”  If there is anything that I have learned this summer, it is that God has made every child special.  Children have touched me through laughter, anger and their softer sides.

I get all weepy every time I recall this story.  All of these years later I can still hear exactly what Maggie’s voice sounded like when she had this conversation.  Here is a picture of her from camp…….

Here she is now……

That’s her on the right.

Enjoy those snuggly moments.  Children grow up way too fast!

Addicted

17 Nov

It’s not what you think.

When a well known fast food restaurant started selling Sweet Tea, I quickly became addicted.  I found myself planning my errand running around stopping by and purchasing a large sweet tea.  I will say, at the cost of $1 for a large it was not as expensive as my other addiction, Chai Latte’.  But that is a whole other post.

I have been a Diet Coke drinker for many, many years.  When my kids started asking to have a diet soda with their breakfast I decided it was time for a change.  So became my quest to find a “copy-cat” sweet tea recipe.

I swear to you my kids drink milk!  They may ask for tea with their breakfast but I make them drink milk or juice.  But alas, my two youngest have my taste in beverages, what can I say?  So with their assistance I have finally found the perfect replacement for my “fast food” addiction.

The brand of tea you use is totally a matter of taste.  Personally I use Luzianne……

Here is the recipe……

1 gallon cold water

4 family size tea bags

2 cups sugar (I know this sounds like alot, but if you were to make a gallon of Kool-Aid, it is the same amount of sugar)

Bring to a boil 3 quarts of water.  Remove from heat and add sugar.  Stir until dissolved.  Add tea bags and let steep for  15 minutes (20 if you like your tea a little stronger).  Remove tea bags and combine with remaining quart of water. 

Now this is important….DO NOT SQUEEZE the tea bags, this will make your tea bitter. 

I find that the tea tastes much better if you allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator.

Sweet tea is a “southern” thing.  My Granny was from the south (as am I) but her sweet tea was made with instant tea granules.  Not as good as brewed tea but it did, however, build the foundation for my love of sweet tea and many other things “southern”.

I miss my Granny.

(Luzianne has no idea who I am.  This post was made with no input from the Luzianne folks, all opinions expressed are strictly mine)

Another Season Over

15 Nov

My son plays football. I love to watch him play. Our season for Junior League Football starts at the end of July and is over in mid-October.  It was a hot season this year.  It has been very hot and dry here in the midwest and alot of those games and practices were brutal.  The parents just sat on the sidelines sweating simply because we were breathing.  Imagine how those boys felt in those pads and helmets!

For those boys who are talented enough to make the All-Star team, that season continues until now. My little guy has made the All-Star team the past three years (I’m sure he does not like me to refer to him as “my little guy”).

That’s Dub (his nickname) up there with his Grandpa.  Aren’t they a handsome pair?  This was at one of the final games of the All-Star League.  The Bulldogs played an undefeated season and no other team was able to score against their defense.  It was an awesome season.

I get way to caught up in the game!  One year during the final game of the season I started crying when Dub scored a touchdown.  It wasn’t like this was his first touchdown, but it was the final seconds of the game and our team was down by 7 points.  That touchdown was not enough to get them the win so they placed second in the Minor League, but it was still a fantastic game.

This year he played in the Major League.  He’s got one more year of Junior League football before he can try-out for the Middle School team.  Once he plays for the school team there will not be anymore practices for me to attend and no more Saturday morning games.  This makes me happy and sad all at the same time.

Here he is with his sister’s before a game………

Don’t they all look so excited? 

So, football is over and now we will continue to cheer for Maggie (that is her on the right) at her volleyball games.  Her school season is also over but she is playing in a rec league which goes until just before Christmas.

My crock-pot deserves a break!  It works overtime during football and volleyball season.  Between the two sports’ games and practices we have been gone every night during the week.  This requires a crock-pot meal so that the 5 of us can eat whenever we have a minute to grab a bite.

What sports keep your family on the go?

Mom is hiding!

10 Nov

That is what I sometimes feel like shouting back.  Why is it so important to know exactly where I am the second they walk through the door?  I will say this…..I would much rather hear one of the kids asking “where’s Mom?” than to get a phone call every day at 3:15 pm asking “when will you be home from work?”  Yes, I am a “stay-at-home Mom”.  Although, there is not much “staying-at-home” that is done.

I have had a job ever since I was old enough to work.  In December of 2008 the company I worked for closed it’s doors.  I have been home caring for my family ever since.  I feel very fortunate and I love every minute of it.

So, why a blog?  I have no idea really.  I never read a blog until I didn’t have a job.  It started slowly with food blogs then I moved on to “mom blogs”.  I am just here to share stories about my family, my pets, my life in general.  I may even throw in a recipe every once in a while because I really love to cook.  I don’t have any desire to turn this into a food blog there are way too many fantastic ones out there already.

My family is a blended one.  I have three children, two daughters and a son.  The girls are 16 and 13 and my son is 11.  My Hubby does not have any children and he loves mine as if they were his own.  In addition to the humans living in this house we also have 3 cats and 1 smelly Bassett Hound.  It won’t take you long to figure out that our dog is spoiled to the point of ridiculous.  

Slowly you will get to meet all of us as well as all of the dirty laundry, dust bunnies, cat hair, dog hair and all of the other messes that seem to appear out of no where!

Please bear with me as I learn about “blogging”.  I look forward to sharing stories and photos with you about my family. 

Here is a little sneak peek into our Family Room.

Right before I took this picture, Duchess had been using my daughter as a pillow.

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