Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

The end of the year has gone and a new one has come. Tonight I celebrated with my kids but first kissed Eric at 9:30 before he had to go off to work. Tonight was the first New Year's that i could not kiss him at midnight. But the job is something we are thankful for and we did have Thanksgiving & Christmas together (though he doesn't consider Christmas because he still had to go to work at 9 that night).

So far I don't really have any new year's resolutions. I usually don't but if there are any changes in my life I want to make, I will try to make them and not punish myself at the end of the year for not keeping the resolution.

Shelby took our picture
 I hope that 2014 will be a great year for all. 2013 was a pretty decent year. We were happy, we laughed a lot. I re-started my blog so that I could feel more comfortable about writing about my own life, maybe add some crafts & recipes that I like instead of feeling like I have to keep it all about the kids.

2013 did have it's ups & downs. We added a new member of the family - a tiny little black kitten named Salem (who at this moment is going crazy chasing a little ball around that the cats got for Christmas). She's still tiny and very much an active kitten - I'm so glad Gizmo doesn't growl at her any more. He just looks at her at times like "kitten, calm the F down (F for "fun" calm the fun down lol) I've got this thing going on where I lay around sleeping all day and night - now they're expecting things out of me like playing". He also paces - my "child" cat paces.

2013 is the year where something happened that I never thought would. I became "un-speaking" terms with my brother. I never wrote about it on my blog but oh wrote so much about it on Facebook. It was something that should never had made us how we are today. But his wife is a soul-less person who used Facebook to pick on innocent children - and not just any child - it was my kids! To put it brief, she called Shelby (7 at the time) ugly and Lucas (4 at the time) retarded. Her true comments are a lot worse than just the words "ugly & retarded" and my brother defended her saying "oh when she's upset she says things" Of this I know is true in the past because she has made up lies when she's mad. But this was un-exceptable. Her words were even un-warrented. For my parents defending their grandchildren, my brother doesn't even talk to them. And that is the saddest part of it all. But it's not over because Soul-less still continues to taunt my mother. Latest was a Christmas card that told my parents they were having their second child. What's really funny about this was that news travels fast and we knew about this a month before. Same way we know about Soul-less getting arrested for fraud after wrecking her car and then leaving the scene of the accident to go buy insurance. But how the card was meant to say was - we're giving you another grandchild that you'll never see. There have been other taunts threw out the year and I am getting to the point of why I am really writing about this now. Just in case they are reading this - just in case the Soul-less person who is married to my brother ever checks out my blog I am here saying this: 2014 - watch out! I will no longer let you prey on those you believe are weak. If anymore harassment comes to my mother or anyone else I love, I will put a stop to it. 

Ok, well there's that. 2014 is a new year that will bring many joys and positives into our lives. That I know because any negatives can go right into the trash.

Have a great year everybody out there!

gummy bear art work to bring in the new year by Shelby

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dream House

Last night I had a dream that Eric & I went to look at a house. It was a tiny white house that needed a well done paint job. Going in, the house became bigger on the outside (I started reading Doctor Who fanfiction to pass the time until more Doctor Who comes on - so I blame that). Huge brick walls, the kitchen was a big as what a nice fancy restaurant would have and the whole thing needed demolished. The realtor came along and said the house was for sale for $75,000 and would not let us continue looking around unless we could prove we could buy it right then. Even in reality, that house was not worth that much and it's not a price we could even afford or think about. So continuing on in the dream, Eric painted a green dot on the kitchen window which would attract the Black Hand Mafia - that sent the greedy realtor running for the hills (literally her arms were waving in the air as she ran away screaming).

Carefully walking around the house that had holes in the ceiling and walls, we went upstairs to the second floor. Eric convinced me (as he probably would in real life) to buy the house and fix it up. We love watching those DIY shows and would so be up to the challenge of fixing a house up. I picked the bedrooms that would be perfect for the kids and then found a hidden room that would be perfect for Eric & I. The house became a labyrinth as we found a 3rd floor. More rooms and more holes as we walked the attic. But this mess of a house was going to be ours and I couldn't wait to fix it up.

I think that the mafia did show up because there seemed to be some "hush hush" moments going on that was going on that I couldn't be involved in (and it was my dream!).  The Black Hand Mafia is real (or used to be - I have no idea if they still exist) but I guess a long time ago they were popular in Eric's little hometown, Hillsville, Pa. And I think that the house (at least the outside) was the house I seen on the news last night. But after waking up, it became one of those dreams that felt so real. And now, without the mafia, scarring off anyone or any other illegal ways, I want a house to re-build. That part would be nice.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

More "Holiday" Traditions

I think everyone has the same holiday tradition: tree doesn't come down until after New Year's. Some longer (which I could not do). Why do we keep the tree up? Because it' supposed to be bad luck if you take it down before time. But I swear each year I get closer and closer to taking our tree down before New Year's. It hasn't even been lit since Christmas day and I don't see it being plugged back in again. Kid's don't even ask to turn it back on. Lucas was taking down the stockings yesterday all on his own - guess that's a sign to say we're done with Christmas.

I really want to take the tree down because I want to rearrange the living room. If I move the couch, it will go right up against the tree - pushing the tree right up against the wall, possibly knocking down the ornaments. Possibly giving access for our kitten Salem to have a better way at dive bombing into the middle of the tree without climbing. So is it really better luck in the end?

Our Christmas was wonderful. Shelby got her Baby Alive with the ice cream (this is her 3rd one and this one is very entertaining. Raise the ice cream up to the doll's mouth and her tongue sticks out to lick it. lol, I love it.

Lucas got his light saber - made sure it was red since he's got the Darth Mater mask. Haven't seen his cape since Halloween so I might need to make him a new one. Ok, so I want to make him a new one anyway - his light saber has a hook on it so he needs a new cape/cloak to attach it to. And then I should make him a Jedi cloak to be Luke Skywalker. He does have a small blue light saber - any reason for me to sew :o)

I made both Shelby and Lucas new robes for Christmas. They came out nice - not perfect (I accidentally sewed one of Lucas' sleeves inside out and after having a hard time taking the thread out, I decided to just make the other sleeve inside out too to make it "look" like I meant to do that lol). I'll try to post pictures of how I did it this week.

Minecraft cardboard heads, Minecraft weapons, board games (Trouble & Connect 4 + Shelby bought Mouse Trap yesterday so we are good on boardgames for a while, clothes clothes and new coats. Kids lucked out great. One thing I know about my kids, same way I was raised and Eric too - it's not about the gifts or even getting exactly what you want. As parents, we do our best to get them what they want but there's no stress in "I didn't get this toy or that toy that I wanted!". Most kids who do that (in my own opinion) are too spoiled and the parents have raised them that way. That's got to take all of the fun out of it if a child is going to throw a fit about Christmas.

sprinkling reindeer food Christmas Eve

top of their list: baby alive & light saber

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays: Christmas Traditions - Movies & Music

Merry Christmas! Can you believe it is finally Christmas Eve? Time is exactly 8:00 PM and time for holiday tradition: 24 hours of Christmas Story on TBS. To me, this movie never gets old. I still miss the days when it was 24 hours all day on Christmas Eve - not super late during the pre-holiday.  I tried watching the sequel (yes, in case you didn't know - they made a 2nd one after all these years). Didn't seem bad but felt like they were trying too hard.

Christmas movies are great. All December it has been countless Spongebob Christmas episodes (over and over - yeah, that part can get old) and over on the Family Channel, the Grinch & Santa Clause. There's also the new and old; Charlie Brown & Shrek the Halls. The one Christmas movie I have never seen but would love to if I ever get the chance, White Christmas.

I have listened to a lot of Christmas music too. At a yard sale this year I found an Elvis record for my record player (Blue Christmas) and of course there's the Christmas music they have been playing on the radio since November. My favorite new Christmas music this year has been Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped in Red. I have listened to this over and over. It's also on vinyl record and I would love to get that too. The second one I have enjoyed is the Duck Dynasty Duck the Halls. That family can sing! I love Uncle Si singing about the Grinch. He easily adds "Jack" into the song lol. And for the record.....I support Phil Robertson.

Time to get in bed soon boys & girls. Santa will soon be here. Leave some cookies & milk out.

Ninja Gingerbread Men fighting it out (they're going to steal your presents in the blink of an eye!)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Holiday: Christmas Traditions - Santa

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a mouse was stirring....
Here is my big question for you: Do you tell your children about Santa Claus? There has been so much debate about it lately and even one of my friends on Facebook that I went to school with asked this question. Some parents feel like it's lying to their kids. I don't think so - it's all about a child's imagination. It's all about the fun and joy you see on a child's face and feel in your heart. Some also say that Santa Claus takes away from the reason for Christmas: Jesus. Truth is, no Santa doesn't. Not if you do it right at least. The retail companies have a lot of commercialization and I think take out Jesus in Christmas. It is our job as parents to make sure our kids know why we celebrate Christmas. It's what I do - I tell my kids that that God sent his son Jesus to us and how Mary gave birth to him. I make sure they understand at Easter time too - Jesus was born and died for our sins. Santa is the fun for the presents under the tree - but there is no other gift than what Jesus did for us.

Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were little? I don't mean to step on any toes here, but I feel the same way when it comes to trick or treating at Halloween time and adults say they don't like kids going door to door for candy because it's begging. What I have to say to that is that's a total lazy cop-out. If it was good for you when you were little, why isn't it good enough for your kids? But that is my opinion and honestly, I don't know how you feel or your own reasons for telling about Santa or not. Sorry for any toes....

With Shelby being 8 now, I have so many fears. How long will she want to play with baby dolls and barbies; and how long will she believe in Santa Claus? Sometimes I pull this card out that I have and say that I have met Santa. I really did lol - when working at Walmart so long ago, an old man with a white beard came up to me and gave me his card. Says Santa right on it. So yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But when Shelby knows the truth - how will she take it? And how will she use this information? Shelby can be such a little brat to her brother (as brother & sisters sometimes do) I am so afraid that she will find out before I have a chance to talk to her and she's going to run to Lucas and tell him - because that is exactly what Shelby would do!

Shelby killed Santa at age 3
We didn't get around to seeing Santa this year (I think we see him like every other year or so) but the kids know he's watching. Shelby did mention last night that she'd like to set up a trap for Santa because she's starting to believe he's not real. I'm like oh crap! I'm going to see if we can't set something cool up to kind of keep her believing (I don't want my baby girl to grow up!). At least she still believes in the tooth fairy (who is trying to get to visit her before Santa comes). One little tooth at the bottom might just come out tomorrow. Easting an apple tonight didn't work.

Lucas is still fun with Santa. He's "scare-able" enough that I can tell him that if he messes with anyone's stockings including his own (both he and his sister were drawing pictures and putting them in tonight) that he will wake up to coal come Christmas morning. I did something like that right before Thanksgiving when we visited his aunt in the hospital. The doctor was in talking with my sister-in-law when Lucas started to bounce around and make noises. He was board. But I told him that if he didn't quiet down, the doctor was going to give him a shot. I'm a mean mommy lol.

Wow - just 3 more days until Christmas! Come back Tuesday for my final Christmas Traditions post: movies & music.

Christmas 3 years ago (Shelby 5, Lucas 2 1/2)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Holidays: Christmas traditions - the Christmas Tree

I think I am finally done decorating for Christmas. No wait....I forgot I need to buy tissue paper to dry and make a fireplace. But I'm mostly done...I think.

I'm trying for a 3 part-er for this blog post on Christmas. This one is on the Christmas tree.

 Do you choose a live Christmas tree or an artificial one? How decked out do you do the halls? For us, it's been an artificial, for I don't know how long. While I was raised with a live tree, and Eric was raised with a live tree (and apparently their tree stand was a missile head!) - I don't think we have have ever had a live tree together.

Our basic tradition of putting the tree up is me: I pull the tree out of the shed and put the lights on. And then Eric tells me that the branches aren't "fluffed" out enough, the lights are sticking inside the tree too much and some how I've even messed the garland up. Then the kids help with the ornaments.

Apparently when my mom was growing up her parents didn't set up the tree until Christmas Eve when all the kids (8) had gone to bed. But my mom was sneaky - she was able to look down the vent and watch.

Do you place an angel on top of the tree or a star? We go about half and half - one year it's an angel and the next it's a star. Me personally, I love the angel. I think we are missing some ornaments this year - I know that we have more ornaments than we have on the tree right now. Maybe it's for the best for right now because I think our tree looks beautiful. Perfect. We're even missing a camel for the manger set. But I bet I know where it is - it's walking around places telling everyone what day it is lol.

I'd like to have the ornament that my sister made when she was little. It's a painted silver styrofoam ball with silver painted (extremely pointy) sticks poking through. It's kind of dangerous when you hold it. But to get it on the tree (at least how I remember doing it) - you have to throw it at the tree and where it lands, it stays.

The day I put the tree up this year, Eric's cousin came over. Haven't seen him in a while and he promised us a live tree. Yeah, I miss having live trees - going to the Christmas tree farms and picking out the perfect one....but I had this secret wish inside me of "I hope he doesn't". The tree we have now came from Eric's brother 5 or 6 years ago and like I said, each Christmas I am the one who puts it together. This is the first year that I didn't have any trouble figuring out which branch went where because there are a few that are missing their special color tape. Also the first year I think we weren't missing a branch or two and I had to fake it out in the back. And it might have been so easy to put up this year because I was home alone with no one to bother me while putting the tree up.

Got to have a train under the tree

oh no, there's a cow on the track!

 But if we ever would decide to have a real tree or need to buy a new artificial, I would still keep this one. I absolutely love decorating for Christmas and I would take the opportunity to decorate more outside. I would put the old tree up outside and tie it down (so the wind doesn't destroy it) and decorate it for all to see.

One other tree I wish I had: pink one. If I had a pink tree I would buy these pink/purplish sugar-y looking ornaments I once saw and I would name the tree my "Sugar Plum" tree. Some day.....

I believe it was Eric's father who made the Reindeer

Come back for my next holiday post on Christmas traditions: Santa

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Roll Tide

Last night I watched my hometown college football time lose it's final game of the season. It was the only loss of the 12 games season and such a great loss. Both teams were tied - we almost went into overtime. But there was literally one second left in the game and Alabama had the ball. Could a hail mary pass from AJ McCarron get us another touchdown and win us the game? No, a call is made to go for a quick field goal kick. And I do not understand why this call was made because so far all of those quick kicks did not make it and neither did this one. The ball was kicked short, #11 of Auburn (sorry, don't know his name) caught the ball and ran off like a shot down the field with hardly any of the Alabama players able to even come close to him. He got the final touch down of the game and it was Auburn who miraculously won the Iron Bowl.

I was so upset! Why and how did we lose the game?! I hate to be one of those fans to blame the team, but while all of the rest of the games were won of the season, for this season it didn't seem like they did their best on each game. It was like (on some games) - oh we won so big last season, we can play this game with one hand tied behind our backs. I'm not trashing my team - I do not mean to do that (I'm a die hard Alabama fan from head to toe - even living in a different state can bring me down) but I have read these kind of comments on Facebook through my friends and even heard them through my dad and Eric. But I have faith in my team; next year they will play harder. We do have a lot of good players graduating this year and I wish them all well in their futures. But this is college football and every year we lose players and every year we gain new players. And every year I will root for the #1 team (it's always Alabama even if some list says they're not).

Upset as I was last night - I am disappointed with some fans on this side of the crimson and white. Death threats to the kicker who costs us the game? Even me saying that he costs us the game doesn't seem right when there were other players who had the chance to get us ahead in the game only to drop the ball. I really hope that those who were more upset than just screaming into their pillow, biting their nails or shouting out "no!!!!!!!!!!" and instead felt they had to threaten someone's life over a game - woke up this morning and felt terrible for saying or writing that out loud. Think about it - if you messed up at your job (forgot to fill the copier with paper or whatever - would you get a death threat for that? No - so stop with the hate over a game. We'll get them next year.

And lastly as much as a die hard Bama fan as I am (I'm the kind who loves those Alabama/Auburn jokes and I'll leave one at the bottom) but I have to say a big congratulations to Auburn and their fans. We Alabama fans know the feeling of winning the big games. We lost one, we do that every so often and it will be fun next year when we get together again.

Well here's my Alabama/Auburn joke (courtesy  http://www.al.com/fun/jokes/?jokesfb.html )

A guy goes into a bar and asks the bartender if he wants to hear a good Auburn joke. The bartender says, "Before you tell it, you should know that I am 6-2 and weigh 225 and I'm an Auburn fan. See that guy at the end of the bar? He's 6-4 and weighs 250 and he's an Auburn fan, too. And see the guy at the other end of the bar? He's 6-6 and weighs 280 and he's an Auburn fan, too! Now, do you still want to tell your Auburn joke?" The guy says, "Nah." To which the bartender smiles and says, "What's the matter? Are you chicken?" The guy says, "Nah. I just don't want to have to explain it three times." 

That's not the joke I wanted to post (somewhere my dad has this picture of a joke that used to be passed around and I will have to find it and edit it in here. I couldn't find it anywhere online)