Thursday, December 31, 2009

Little Bits of Not-Much

I've so enjoyed the past week and a half, having all three of my babies at home to play with. I forget just how much I miss Abi when she's in school!
Other than celebrating Christmas with family in Hot Springs, we've done a whole lot of not-much, which has been refreshingly wonderful ...

A little bit of Santa-impersonationA little bit of present-openingA little bit of sicknessA little bit of scootering
A little bit of free-playA little bit of snow-play
(after missing out on the White Christmas in Greenwood)A little bit of pee-peeingA little bit of marshmallow tossing

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kid-Friendly Baking

I love to cook with the kids and especially love recipes that they can actually do most of themselves. I found a great candy recipe that Abi could do solo. She enjoyed making it and giving it to her Sunday School teachers for Christmas.

Chocolate Cookie Bark
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 pkg. (6 squares) BAKER'S White Chocolate, melted
10 OREO Cookies, crumbled, divided
1 pkg. (8 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

ADD peanut butter to white chocolate; stir until well blended. Stir 1/2 the cookies into each bowl of chocolate.

DROP spoonfuls of the chocolate mixtures onto waxed paper-covered baking sheet, alternating colors of chocolates. Swirl with knife.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Little Trinket from College

Anyone else remember this . . .
You could take home a little souvenir of the good ole' college days! I think they're asking less for it than Nick's truck is worth -- if you can believe that!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What we do when B's at Grandma's . . .

Eat chocolate cake . . .
And make dangly snowman ornaments . . . If it makes you feel any better, B, Abi said today (completely unsolicited), "It's boring at home when Brandon's not here! I miss him!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Difference 20 seconds makes

Here's little Miss Claus having a throw-down temper-tantrum in the floor . . . .And here she is literally 20 seconds later, the cheeriest elf you ever did see!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Best $4 He Ever Spent

I am declaring the $4 my brother spent for this get-up at a yard sale . . .as the best $4 he ever spent!

Align Center

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holly, Jolly Christmastime

The kids loved putting ornaments on the tree this year. Abi especially liked knowing which ornaments belonged to whom and when we got them. So far, Cam has not discovered the art of ornament moving or package-destruction yet

One of our other favorite Christmas traditions is "Christmas Camping." The night we finish decorating the tree, the kids get to "camp" around the tree. This is the second year that Abi has actually fallen asleep under the tree. Brandon likes the idea of it, but just can't fall asleep there.Nick went a little Griswold this year and put up our Christmas lights -- as much as I hate doing lights, I sure love the way they look! Thanks, Honey! We love it! Especially the playhouse!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Why can't life be like my satellite?

I love my Dish/DVR. I wish my life could be lived like my satellite system!

This afternoon, I decided that there was no time like the present to start working on the Christmas tree. Anyone who knows me very well knows that one of my most pronounced flaws is a profound inability to tolerate anything that involves wires, cords, straps . . . things like hooking up computer equipment, installing car seats, and, probably number one on my list, stringing Christmas lights on a tree make me insane and instantly enraged!

So, to attempt to bring the Christmas decorations and tree out of the attic and put lights on the tree with three young children, dinner in the works, and a horrible migraine headache was purely stupid. However, I turned on the Christmas music, opened a window nearby to make it more frosty in our home, and started assembling that tree.
At first, I was feeling rather Scrooge-ish. Then, white Camryn was poo'ing her pants behind the tree, Abi was very proficiently unwinding lights from the reel, helping me light the tree. Brandon was singing Christmas carols along with the radio and playing with their new nativity set.
I realized that I need a pause button to capture these precious moments and a replay button to see, over and over, Abi's precious silhouette in multi-colored Christmas lights, hear Brandon's little voice belting out Christmas tunes, to have little people who need diaper changes behind the tree. I remember putting lights on the tree with a big belly, trying to squeeze between the tree and the wall, just 2 Christmases ago, and now Camryn is toddling around the living room, fighting over playing with Baby Jesus this year. I remember Abi's first Christmas, spent in adorable flannel one-piece pajamas, with a little white bow at the neckline. Now, she's my big girl, who gave me a kiss tonight and then said, "Just one more kiss, Momma, cause I love your kisses so much!"

Oh, to have a DVR life!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Traditions

I am working on assembling our advent calendar tonight, one of my favorite Christmas season traditions as a child. Growing up, my brother and I would open a piece of paper from our advent wall hanging on each day of December, leading up to Christmas. Continuing this tradition, I write something on each day's paper -- sometimes an activity for the children to do, such as taking food to the food pantry, singing and dancing to Christmas carols, driving around to look at Christmas lights, or making cookies for a neighbor. Sometimes, it's a small gift to open, other times a Bible trivia question to answer. I like this tradition because it allows our Christmas activities to be spread out throughout the month and allows lots of opportunity for conversations about the meaning of Christmas and opportunity for sharing with others.

Our kids are just now getting to the age that meaningful traditions are beginning to be important. I want to be intentional about establishing holiday and family traditions that they will enjoy and possibly carry into their families someday.

So, I'm looking for ideas . . . What are your favorite Christmas season traditions?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who Stole My Dog?!

Somebody stole my furry bundle of energetic pup and replaced her with a poodle-looking, sweater-wearing pansy dog!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Red & White Momma

Yesterday morning, my true colors were shining through . . . I've discovered, sadly enough, that my colors are red and white.

The bus pulled up and stopped at our driveway, and I was standing on the front porch, watching Abi board the bus, just like every morning. As Abi was crossing in front of the bus, she suddenly stopped and let out a horrific scream, turned and started running back up the driveway. She stopped after about 15 feet and started having a meltdown. I yell from the porch, my breath visible in the morning air, "What is the matter with you?!" She says, "I forgot my glasses!"

Seriously! By this time, the bus driver has his side window open, trying to assess what kind of girl drama just happened. I yelled at her to just get on the bus and that I'd bring them to school in a little bit. The bus driver coaxed her onto the bus and hollered to me that he'd wait while I got them. While that sounds incredibly generous, I was now in a pickle . . . and my true colors were about to shine!

You see, I'm standing on the porch, in a pair of workout shorts, a t-shirt, no shoes, freezing to death, shamelessly using my 1 1/2 year old to shield the fact that I am also not wearing a bra.
What to do?
So, I do what any redneck, white trash Momma would do, and I go inside, get the glasses, run bare-footed, child-shielded across the front yard and unabashedly hand the glasses to the poor man unfortunate enough to be involved in this drama.

Red and white.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Woo! Pig ...

Love them on my kindergartner!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Time Dyslexia

I spent the bulk of the morning with the small peeps in the tire shop -- again. It's on my to-do list for tomorrow to have the oil changed in the grocery-getter. Everything in life requires so much maintenance. I feel like all I've accomplished today is one task, on one vehicle. While I did workout this morning, a little maintenance on the ole' body, and a short quiet time, a much-needed refreshing for the Spirit, I've done virtually nothing to maintain the house that needs scrubbing, the trim that needs painting, the eyebrows that are screaming for a waxing, the yard that's knee-deep in wild onions, the kids' check-ups, socks that need darning (is that still a word?), grocery-getting, any of the 80 nails that I'm responsible for clipping -- 96 if you count the dog's, relationships with friends and family . . . everything requires so much maintenance. Let alone the time required for growth in any way.

42 -- not 24. That's how many hours it would take to live your life "right." Nick read an article not too long ago that said if we follow every recommendation for our lives, from getting 8 hours of sleep to brushing and flossing for 2-3 minutes twice/day, it would take 42 hours to get it all done.
So I'm not crazy! There isn't enough time for all the things I need to do!

Now I'm discouraged. I'll never accomplish it all, so maybe I should just sit on the couch, watch a little "Baby Story," and drown my overwhelmed spirit.

Then God speaks: Prioritize and Pray.
I know that I am torn in a gazillion different directions every day, and there is no way I'll accomplish everything. However, God will provide me the time I need to complete the tasks He has for me. Using a lack of time as an excuse to not fulfill God-glorifying tasks in our lives is a lie. God only gave Jesus 33 years, only 3 of which were years of full-time ministry, to save the world!
So, do I really not have the time to cook nutritious meals for my family to sit down together and eat each evening? Do I really not have time for Bible study every day? Do I really not have the time to stop what I'm doing and effectively rebuke and train my children, as opposed to yelling at them across the house? Do I really not have time to take care of the temple of God by exercising every day? Do I really not have the time to listen to my husband and love, encourage, and serve him daily?
I do not have time to seek after all of the selfish desires of my heart, to run after every entertaining, yet empty, opportunity for my children, or follow the many misleadings of the world.
However, by God's grace, I do have the time to do the things He calls me to do. I will not believe the lie of the world that I don't have enough time. Prioritize and Pray.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Tablecloth

Fun Thanksgiving tradition I saw in a magazine . . . .

Using fabric pens, have family members take turns writing what they're thankful for on a linen tablecloth, trace around youngsters' hands, document important family events for that year . . . and reuse the tablecloth each year, adding to the memories.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

We had such a fun time tonight at the Fall Festival. Our church sponsors an all-out carnival, complete with dozens of carnival games, pony rides, bounce-a-rounds, face painting and more candy than a pre-schooler can haul around. Abi and Brandon were certainly old enough this year to love the games and had a great time seeing their friends and what they dressed up as.

Camryn didn't care one bit about any of it . . . just the end result. By the end of the night, she was opening candy and then just staring at it, as if to say "I really want to eat this, but I just can't." She'd hand it over to me and say, "Trash." Five minutes later, she was back in the plastic pumpkin, opening another piece, only to end up trashing it, too.

After the Fall Festival, we scored a free hot dog at Sonic for everyone and set off trick-or-treating in a neighborhood where several friends live. The kids had such a fabulous time. I'm just thankful that tonight is when we set the clocks back and gain an hour to sleep off some of this sugar!P.S. Any of you who knew me and Nick in high school might recognize these costumes from our sophomore year . . . the stuffing has sagged down a little, but hasn't everything!!Nick and Mischelle, Halloween 1993

I Can See Clearly Now . . .

Other than being the lyrics of a song my mother sang relentlessly when I was a child, "I Can See Clearly Now" is what Abi is saying now that she has her glasses.
I got that "You're a crappy mom -- your kid can't see" letter in the mail on Monday. So, we went to the eye doctor, and, sure enough, she can't see. Who knew? You take 'em to the dentist, get their vaccinations, schedule well-child visits -- but don't consider that your 5-year-old has vision three times worse than yours!
Abi enjoyed browsing through the frames and trying on countless pair. She finally selected an adorable black pair with pink on the inside.
Despite the silly voice, I think she's pretty excited about them. I wanted to make this as positive of an experience for her as possible. I'm just hoping that "Four-Eye" jokes have gone out-of-style since I was a kid. :o)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Eating!

Just wanted to share a fun Halloween dinner idea. I saw this pizza on an advertisement for Papa Murphy's and thought, "We can do that!" So, we're having Pumpkin Pizza for dinner on Halloween Eve.Now that our pumpkin pizza has baked, I thought I'd post a picture to show you just how easy it is. And a few pumpkin cakes for dessert.