Monday, December 31, 2007

The Past Year

Often I am looking so forward to a clean slate or the feel of a new year I don't take the chance to ponder and think about the wonderful year that is slowly slipping by as the new year shows itself.

This year there have been many blessings such as watching a little baby boy grow and change while his adoring big brother also changed and grew into a longer a toddler...but a boy! Little Bit is walking and the adventures have only begun. Over the past year he has moved from being a a baby to hold to a little munchkin that wants down to roam. He has done well in his MDO class and seems to really enjoy his teacher. For Kannon the year has been full of change from a new home, new friends, new church family, new school...however, he has done it with his big blue eyes taking it all in one step at a time. He has also become a great big brother.

There have also been huge changes such as moving from a secure "home" in Houston to embark on an adventure of establishing our family in a VERY small community. I can honestly say that I feel the move had the biggest impact on me. Moving from "secure" friendships and a church family was probably one of the hardest steps that I have had to take. The unknowns were everywhere. However, through this experience I feel closer to my adorable husband. Our relationship has only gotten stronger. I have found a strength in me that I had forgotten I possessed. I have also had to relearn how to rely on God and not on self. Along with the move I have also recently started a job working in two nursing homes as an OT. I was nervous for many reasons, but I have rediscovered my love of elders and the family has adjusted well to the change of me not being in the home for two days a week. With all of the HUGE changes I have been able to plant a veggie and flower garden, can veggies, go to a rodeo, admire the starlit sky, listen to "nothing" outdoors, and discover who I am becoming as a child of God, a wife , and a mother. Oh...did I mention I turned thirty in all of this-Ha!

As for my adorable husband...over the last year I have seen only his strength grow as he has become even more of the leader of our home. He has taken chances for the good of our family and has gently guided us where we are today. He continues to put family before himself and he has such dreams for us. He has grown and changed in ways that are hard to put into words.

As a family we are making our home here. We still have days that are harder than others, but I feel certain we have not lost friendships or a church family, we have only broadened our relationships to expand over a larger area. We have all grown and changed spiritually and physically over the year, and all for the good. We are stronger...As I look towards the next year I am excited for the adventures to come.

Happy New Year!!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

"Christmas "07"

We have been anticipating Christmas Day for weeks.

Now, the pictures have been taken...

AND more pictures have been taken...

The traditional Christmas movie has been watched...the pizza eaten... *'was the *ight Before *hristmas has been read...

The socks have been placed...the gifts have been wrapped...

The oats for the reindeer and the cookies for Santa have been placed...

AND the fireplace has been checked to make sure it is open...

I think we are ready! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

An Award & Gift Ideas from the Tip Junkie

I am honored to be among the growing list of those who have been given the The Great Tip Award. I have been recognized by our family's tradition of the Angel Tree which we do with our boys at Christmas time each year.

If you have not heard about the Tip Junkie , (AKA Laurie), you are missing out!! She has GREAT tips and ideas! Here are a couple of Christmas gift ideas I used this year for teacher and co-workers... too cute!

"Fleece Navidad"

"We Wisk you a Merry Kissmas"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Cards

I don't know about you, but I LOVE Christmas cards. It's always a huge race to see who can get to the mailbox the fastest and then the HUGE decision of...Who gets to open which envelope. This year I have had to share the "card opening" with not only my adorable husband but also the K-Man! I see in my future one day having to really FIGHT for my chance to open the cards!

Our count only increases each day we move closer to Christmas. On one day we had 8! Yes, 8 beautiful Christmas cards in our mailbox (much to my hearts delight!)!We get cards from college roommates, friends (some we haven't seen in ohhhhh...6 or so years), new friends, family, flamingos...every card and every family is special to us. Through Christmas pictures I enjoy seeing families grow and change.

A dear friend of mine, Holly, made this wreath card holder for me. It was love at first sight! I have hung and filled this wreath every Christmas for several years!

However, I think it is time to make a another one. It is starting to loose it's shape-Ha! I am completely thrilled that I have to make another one. It only means that my family is loved by SOOO MANY!!!

(layout done through shutterfly)

For those that love Christmas cards as much as I do...and for those I have just met (through blogging) and don't have mailing addresses- Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our Angel

Tonight was the Christmas "get your camera because the cutest first born child is singing his heart out in an angel costume"...Play. The K-Man was adorable so just hang with me as I do a Grandparent (and Proud Parent) photo shoot!

Here is the K-Man with his adorable angel costume. I need to remember this picture on the days when he's being a bit of a stinker!!!

Sing away you cute little thing! I have never heard Jingle Bells sound quite so...what's the word...LOUD, childlike, joyful, adorable, fun...

Now this just sums up the whole night! It's just plain tiring being such a cute little angel...I think it is time for some ice cream!

Oh, you ask if there were more children at the play? AND were there more then just angels? Hmmmm. Very Good questions.

I hope all your children also stole the show in their Christmas productions.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Pink Flamingo Christmas

How far will you travel for a, oh about 5 hours!

Thursday morning I left my "special place" out in the country and headed for H-Town for the annual Pink Christmas with the flamingos. I dressed in my PINK BLING and loaded my car up with PINK...PINK...and MORE PINK. Then I was off...

To say the least we had loads of fun... Can you tell???

We are PINK Inside and Out AND Head to Toe. Notice the flamingo socks??

We usually eat, talk, laugh, drink (coffee and our flamingo drink), exchange gifts (this years theme was BLING!), make a pink craft (one year was flip flops, another was a recipe book we add to ever year, and this year was a coozie), eat, laugh, talk, know girly stuff!

Then it was back in the car Friday morning to the land of horses, trees, cowboy boots, trucks, AND my adorable husband and boys who missed me tons!

Thanks girls for a wonderfully PINK Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Original Snow Villiage

The Department 56 Original Snow Village is a big deal for us at Christmas time. We received our first piece as a wedding gift (A Wedding Chapel) and over the 7 years (almost 8 years now) we have been married we have added to the collection for various special occasions. For example... Graduation from Grad School (the Bank), the birth of Little Bit (the Baby Store), My 30th Birthday (The Beauty Salon). I have also gotten some very special ones from family...Starbucks (my Parents-the 2nd piece), the Holiday House (my Grandparents Farris-a family favorite), The Crosby House (My Parents In-Law), the Big League Sports Store (the Stewarts-friends from college)...the list could go on! Many of these are now retired which makes them even more special. I have a total of 17 last we counted. Wow! We have them all over the place a Christmas time! I just love them...and the memories each one brings to mind. They also have an extra special meaning to my adorable husband who always remembers his Nanaw having a village up at Christmas time.

I wouldn't mind living in that snow village...looks festive. I love the detail of each piece.

You can't have a SNOW village without a coffee shop...and why not Starbucks?

This is the Holiday House it is a light EXTRAVAGANZA!!! The boys love this one! (The picture does Not do it justice!)

I love the Garage Sale it is truly one of a kind!

Thanks for letting me share something special to our family with you!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,
My boys have been very good this year! I know the oldest is learning the difference between lying and teasing AND the youngest is learning NOT to bite, but they are just little kids that in reality have only been on this earth a very short time. They are also learning how to share with each other and I know it will work out eventually so, could you please just excuse that right now too. The K-Man can't wait to give you cookies and milk. The other day he told both me and my adorable husband we couldn't have any milk,"because we have to have enough for Santa!" He has also asked everyday (for a VERY LONG time), "is Christmas Day today?" I know Little Bit has cried the two time we have come to see you, but I have been told that it's just a phase. However, at home he loves to listen to books about you and the elves..really he does! I just wanted to send you this letter to let you know my boys are still working on things, but they are wonderful and we have all been blessed by them this year!

Forever Flamingo

Here are the letters from my boys to Santa.

The K-Man working hard writing his name.

He was so proud of his letter. He wanted to write another, but I told him Santa only had time to read one from each child.

All he wants from Santa is a BIG Dinosaur. We have tried to get him to name other things...but nope...just a DINO! Anyone surprised?

Little Bit wants to write a letter too!

Little Bit couldn't really ask for anything himself, but he loves cars, balls, and books...So, Santa is just going to have to go with it!

The letters are on their way to the North Pole as I type (I hope I put on enough postage)! I think Santa is going to have fun this Christmas--nothing too challenging.

What do your kids want for Christmas? Any challenges?

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Love of Christmas Trees

Ok, I have read on several blogs about things people tend to collect during the holidays such as Megan and her nativity scenes. I decided it was time for me to share my Christmas Tree Addiction!

I decorate with trees from my...

Dishes that I have been collecting for over 4 years. I just pick up a piece here and there. We get them out after Thanksgiving and use them up until New Years Day.

To our...

Lawn. The tree has been with us for about three Christmases and is joined by lights on the house, a lighted wreath, and of course a lighted train that is "running" around the tree!

We also have a traditional tree in our living area along with...

An Outdoor Tree and...

A Cooking Tree (in the kitchen) and...

a Pink Flamingo Tree and...

a Cowboy Tree (in the boys cowboy bathroom) and...

A Toy Tree (the K-Man decorated and has in his room) and...

A Ceramic Tree (in Braden's Room) and I almost forgot my...

Christmas Tree Cookie Jar!

What do you collect or decorate with over the holidays!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Angels

We have always wanted our children to understand the "Full" meaning of Christmas...not just about the toys. We want our boys to understand that life for everyone is not the same. Some have a lot of money some have little...Some are healthy and some or sick...Some have families and some don't. One way we have tried to help the K-Man understand this is through angel trees. This year we picked to little boys our boys ages...AND to K-man's joy, one liked DINOSAURS!!!

This has been the first year that I feel the K-Man kind of "got it". We loaded up and spent much of the morning shopping for "the angel boys". K-man was very picky about picking out "just right" gifts. Once he had his mind made up about what he wanted to give them...we were on a mission. He understood one was his age and one was Little Bit's age- I really think it made the whole idea sink in a little bit more. We also talked a lot about why we needed to buy clothes and jackets along with the toys. It was truly a blessed day for all of us. The gifts will be delivered tomorrow and I know at least 4 lives (my family) have been touched by these two special little "angel boys".

Monday, December 3, 2007

Let the Baking Begin!!

Let the Baking Begin!!!! I had to make sure the stores didn't run out of butter. This will probably last me two weeks!

It is no secret that I love to bake. Christmas is a time where I can bake until I drop. I usually start the first of the month and by Christmas we are fully stocked with goodies for EVERYONE!!!!

Before the baking begins I have to make the traditional drink of Half Sprit and Half Cranberry juice to quinch my thirst while in the hot kitchen! My sister-in-law introduced this drink to me my first Christmas in the family and I have shared it with those around me!! It is really good for those warm Texas winters!

I am so lucky that the K-Man likes to get in the kitchen with me and bake...well, lick the spoons and spatulas! He also loves the cool Christmas drink he gets when he helps.

Every year we always have the basics which includes "Puppy Chow". The K-Man got a kick out of the name this year! He also got a kick out of the mess it makes-HA!

This was a new recipe called "snow balls". It was a winner and now has been placed in the "Lacie's repritror of Christmas Goodies". Anything with Cream Cheese is usually approved by the boys!

Start your "oven engines"! This is only the first day in the kitchen.

This is one of my favorite Christmas recipes for a snack mix. It is "healthier" and K-man will eat all of it while Little Bit can have the Chex in it! It has cranberries, cocunt, almonds, pecans, 4 kinds of Chex...And other good stuff!

My adorable husband loves this time of year and has his own list of must haves. More cooking to come! What are some of your family favorites?