Welcome to the craziness....

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I love giving.

I love helping.

I love sacrificing my time, talents, _______(fill in the blank) in order to make someones day.

Do I do this all the time?


Do I try really hard to do this all year?


Does it happen?

No. (I tend to blame the three kids, and husband...which is not a good enough excuse if you ask me)

What is about the Christmas season that really brings out the need to help others?
Is it the churches we go to, whispering in our ears that this is the season for giving?
Is it the homes we were raised in, that taught us, "tis better to give than to receive"?
Is it the realization that we are so abundantly blessed, so much so, that probably all of us can at least give something this Christmas season? Even if it's just our time!
Is it the fact that we know we are all afflicted with "stuff-itis" (me included) that we in fact NEED nothing this Christmas?

Whatever it is...it's true, this is the season for giving. And as I said before I LOVE it.

I love reading the stories, like this one of the people paying off the Christmas layaways at K-mart.

How awesome would it be to walk up to pay on your account and realize it has been COMPLETELY paid off. No strings attached! What a blessing it must be to know that it is one less thing that family has to worry about this Christmas!

I don't know all the science-y stuff behind it, but I know there is some kind of "feel good chemical" that is released into our brain when we do something for someone...
Whether it is something big like paying off a layaway account, or something small like taking a plate of cookies to a hospital waiting room...
Something about it just makes us feel good.

And I don't know about you....but I don't EVER want to lose that feeling.

And it's a feeling that I want to bottle up and pass on to my kids.
I don't want them to come down with "stuff-itis" too...although I know it is a contagious disease...an epidemic...that has infiltrated our society.

I am definitely one of those people with a servant's heart, and I want to help EVERYONE...I see the story about a woman who was killed in a house fire and I want to find out where her family is and what they need...
I hear about a mother who was killed in a car accident and I want to provide a Christmas for the kids that will take their pain away...
I hear about a family who's dad was injured and is now back in the hospital and I want to find out if a hot meal or gift card to a restaurant would ease some of the burden...

It's just the way I am wired...

I just wish I could help everyone.

But you know what? I can't.

But if I can make a difference in ONE person's life.
If I can just make ONE person's day.
If I can bring a smile to ONE person's face.
I will feel like I have made a difference.

And I would be remiss to leave out perhaps the most important reason why I feel like I need to do this.

Because I know it is what He would do.
And if anything, that little bottled up feeling that I want to pass on to my kids is wrapped in the most precious paper of all.
His love.
The love of Jesus Christ.

Why do I want to do all these things?

Because I have a Savior who has done so much for me...and there is no amount of giving that will ever measure up.
But I feel like the best thing I can do is to spread the word of His love.
To be the hands and feet of Jesus.

So this Christmas, I pray that my kids will take away more than just the presents under the tree...that they will see the love that their Father has for them and spread it around to all those who need it.

I love this song by Matthew West, I think it sums it up... Give This Christmas Away

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Of mice and men...

Actually (I hope) it is is just "mouse" not mice.

Sorry to leave you hanging, but earlier in the week I mentioned we had a mouse in the house.
Yes, we also recently got rid of fleas too.
Why do I feel like we are one creature away from being on the cover of the Orkin Pest Control Christmas card?!?!

Anyhoo, I went to our bathroom a few nights ago to get ready for bed and lo and behold a small gray mouse went flying across my vanity. I suppressed the need to scream since all the children were sleeping...and there is hardly any creature that would scare me enough to scream and wake the kids. That in itself would cause pure pandemonium...

So I quickly rushed out to the living room to alert J that we had an intruder in the house! He stared at me blankly then said, "what"?!? In the most exasperated tone you could imagine...I cannot even convey it with mere words.
I then possibly choose a minor expletive followed by the word mouse. Then bathroom. And then COME NOW.
Needless to say I finally got him up off the couch and moving.

Sure enough when we arrived back on the scene the "said intruder" was behind my collection of various face washes, hairsprays, lotions, and anything else I have over there that can hide the fact I have three kids and showers don't always happen...

I told J I could not go to sleep if we didn't catch it so he headed to the garage to grab some old boxes. He was going to capture it.

Did y'all know field mice are quick?

Real quick.

Needless to say the mouse decided he had just about enough of our shenanigans and he tried to end it all by leaping to his death off the vanity counter.

I, in turn, also nearly met my maker when I tried to leap up onto the edge of the tub...
(I swear that little thing was coming after me)

I lost my footing, and ended up sprawled out in the tub like some sort of circus act gone bad.
It wasn't pretty.

It turns out the mouse ran for the safety of the linen closet. I mean where else would ya go when very large humans are after you...

J declared he was no match for the mouse so we stuffed an old bath towel under the crack of the door and I prayed to the big Guy that the little furry guy would stay in there for the night.
I slept with one eye open.
And let the record stand, I never thought a bath towel would prevent the little varmint from escaping.

But alas, it did.

So the next day I head to the local Lowe's in hunt of semi-automatic weapon in order to take this guy out. I was lured to the traps with the words "KILLS INSTANTLY". But alas, J has heart for animals.

(Which again, I know I say this a lot, but is another post entirely. Like when he nearly gave us all whiplash because he was avoiding hitting the wooly worms in the neighborhood... Or the time we rescued a baby bunny and I told him to let it go, but he took it up to the office and left him in a box to supposedly let go the next day. Well, the rabbit got out over night and they had to hunt all over the office for him the next day.)

So I bought 12 dozen of the "live traps" and was ready to go into battle.
Ok, really I just bought 2.
But I wanted to buy 12 dozen, to be certain we got him.

That afternoon we placed the trap...and to make a long story short, we had him captured by the next evening.
(I think he was leery of the gourmet cheese I laid out for him.
We had just hosted a Christmas party so the only cheese I had in the house was Gruyere cheese.)

So I am thinking to myself, all right, let's take him out to the field and dump him.
Oh, noooooooo!
Dr. Doolittle had other plans.
I had to clean out one section of the hamster cage so that we could gingerly place him in there, keep him until morning (we wouldn't want to put him out at night, that wouldn't be safe), and then set him free into this big bad world.

Well, I had news for Dr. D, ain't no way I am keepin that thing in the house one more night.
So you know what he did?!?!
He put it in the hamster cage, then put the hamster cage in a box, then put that box in another box. And then put him in his car.

I thought to myself, now who's the animal killer??? He's going to suffocate. But I didn't say anything.

And to sum it up...next morning: mouse still alive, kids got to see him, he drove it to some remote field and let it go.

Where 5 minutes later a hawk probably ate it.

(But we won't tell him that)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Picture-y Post

I have several things I want to share today.
I noticed I have quite the backlog of pictures and I figured they could do a good job of showing what we've been up to.

First off, we are all decorated for Christmas! Now as I have mentioned before, we might STILL be decorated for Christmas in July. But hey, that just means when Thanksgiving rolls around next year we will be done!

O' Christmas Tree...
Which I must admit, I had help with. My amazingly talented friend Heather assisted... She had me buy two dozen lights to add to the "pre-lit-ness"...if I had been calling the shots we woulda just gone with the half lit tree.

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...not by momma...Heather did this too. See, on the talent front again, she can just look at a pile of tinsel and stuffed snowmen and make it into something pretty. Me? Not so much.

And the other mantle...I will save you the explanation. I had help. Again.

And here are a few other little decorative touches....

We hosted a little Christmas soiree the other night and I tried a few new recipes...thought I'd share the links in case you too had a soiree of your own that you might need a yummy appetizer for!

Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus These were a HUGE hit, I followed the recipe, but also wrapped a small piece of Havarti in there as well!

Mac And Cheese Cups...I wish I had taken a picture, I was quite proud of these...and they were YUMMY! The kids LOVED having them as leftovers the next day! (**I did 2 cups cheddar cheese and one cup mozerella)

I also made a little potato dish, that on paper sounded fabulous...however, it was not a hit, at least in my book. I'll spare you the details!

For dessert I made red velvet cheesecake brownies. Again, no picture.
I made two batches of the icing.
Because I ate the first.
My guests are lucky they got any at all! :)

Finally...I have been doing a little baking. Again, I have a few recipes and one dud.

Peanut Butter Fudge
I use the Jet Puffed marshmallow creme recipe. Substitute the chocolate chips for PB chips...and I never add nuts. Totally ruins it for me.

Hershey's Candy Cane Blossoms
Super easy! And I think you could even use the pre-made cookie dough to save yourself the time, measuring, flour mess, and sanity...

And now for the dud...again, on paper it sounded fabulous. In reality. Not so much.
Pre-baking they looked good...

After baking...


And finally, I will leave you with this...
The kids were playing the other day and broke a vase sort of thing I had on an end table.
After resisting giving them a good 'ol fashioned beating I calmed myself and decided to try to salvage the vase.

I contemplated my options and settled on good 'ol super glue.

Luckily it was just in two pieces and so I figured I could totally handle the task.

I diligently applied the glue. And easily pressed the two pieces together.
I did not have a lot of time so I got two pieces of masking tape and put them on either side for a little reinforcement while it dried.
I then sat it on a table in our laundry room.
After an hour or so I figured the super glue had been super and done it's job.

Wellllll, it had been super all right.
Here is where I set it to dry:

And this is where it shall forever remain.

It's stuck.
Like glue.

Well, I now must leave you to go check a mouse trap.
More on that later.
It's a post in itself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas christmas...time is here...

...in 19 days to be exact.

And I have one gift purchased.


I LOVE LOVE LOVE giving gifts.

I HATE HATE HATE shopping for them.

I wish I could be one of those savvy people who go online and save all this money and buy their gifts free of the hassle of the shopping mall.

Who are these people?!

I went on Amazon...because I was feeling brave...or perhaps more accurately because I was feeling too lazy to fight the crazies that come out of the woodwork this time of year.
Well, I picked Amazon because I hear it's name thrown around all the time, FB statuses mentioning how Amazon boxes are lining up on people's porches, or how Amazon takes over their credit card statement, or how they are wrapping presents at Amazon...

Which, speaking of lazy, brings me to a whole other point. Why pay the extra to get the gift wrapped?!?! It's like 3.50 to have the gift wrapped!
Did y'all know you can get a whole roll of wrapping paper at Hobby Lobby for $3.50...and maybe less, because let's be honest, if it's not 50% off this week, it will be next week!

So anyway, where was I...

Amazon. Yes.

I went online to shop and I did a simple search of a DS game I knew Will wanted. Well, it came up with about 12 prices...
There was the "new" price.
The "used" price.
The "Buddy's Electronic Superstore" price.
Along with about 5 other ones...

Well, what the heck?!? I guess you just pick the price you like.
I resisted choosing the "used" even though at 6, Will could care less.
I choose the second best option, Buddy's price.

Fast forward to me putting about 12 other things in my online cart and I get to checkout.

Well, the other thing that always amazes me is that shipping doesn't deter more folks from this whole online shopping thing. Don't get me wrong $12.95 for shipping is probably worth dodging the rednecks in the shopping mall parking lot...but still...it's the principle. I cannot pay 20 bucks for something that causes 12 bucks to ship.

I'm cheap.
What can I say.

(*sidenote: when Elliott, our elf, toilet papered the bathroom I rolled the whole thing back on there the next day. Granted, it was about 12x bigger than when it was originally on there, but hey, I am not wasting a roll of Charmin! Plus, the hubby makes me buy the expensive "aloe" toilet paper...don't get me started...that's a post for a whole other time...)

So I get to checkout and half the items are not even coming from Amazon..and of course those items don't include the FREE shipping...and my order is going to come in about a dozen different shipments...on a dozen different days...one of which may be after Christmas.

So you know what I did?

I cancelled the order.

I think I will just take on the shopping mall.

And curse about it later.

At least I still have 19 more days.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Playing Catch Up...

So, I have clearly failed in the bloggy department lately. I am sure you are highly disappointed and you aren't sure what to do with all of your time now that you haven't had any riveting updates from yours truly...
Or perhaps what you are really thinking is, oh wow, I had forgotten about you, you never updated...you are yet a whisper in the wind to me...what's your name again?!?!
To tell you the truth I had thought many times about updating but things have been a bit CUH-razy 'round these parts.
You see, I want this blog to be fun, light, humorous snapshots at our daily life...
And I feel like lately those times are few and far between.
You see, around here we are under what we call the throws of parenting our very "spirited" 4 year-old daughter. She is testing us.
And I am afraid right now we are failing.
There are moments where I think to myself, you know if Steven Spielberg had needed someone to model Linda Blair after he should have come here.
Ok, I kid.
Sort of.
Seriously though, I have considered googling witch doctors, calling them up and having them come pull the evil spirits right out of this child...
Momma is at the end of her rope.
Barely hanging on.
By the little tiny frays you find at the end.
With two fingers.

In all seriousness though, I thought that about the blog.
You know, making it happy, and cheerful, and full of fun.
But then I realized, that's not real life.
No one's real life is all sunshine and roses.

However, my personality is that way and I despise the fact this is dragging me down...
So, after three cups of the most wonderful coffee this season, some time with Jesus, and some great advice from so many friends and family I have come to this conclusion...

This is life.

If it were easy then what kind of people would we be. You know what they say, whatever doesn't kill us will make us stronger.

So I look at it this way... If I live to tell about raising my sweet spirited child then I will most likely also be able to win the World Strong Woman competition. I'm not sure there even is a World Strong Woman competition...but I feel certain I could at least flip a few of those really large tractor tires.

So, I am going to keep praying, keep reading my Dr. Dobson, re-read my "Power of a Praying Parent", try to refrain from dangling her by her toes from the balcony (again, I kid. Sort of.), and just love on her as God instructed me to do. Because you know what, this parenting thing ain't easy, it ain't pretty, and there is no instruction book...
But there is one thing I know... He picked me to be her parent. He knew that I could handle it. And He knew that I would be tested. And most of all, I will always love her just like He loves me.

Ok....I wanted to end it right there...but y'all know I can't resist a little fun with the hubby. Many of you know about his love of keeping things...my nice way of saying, "yes, we will be on Hoarders one day"....

Well, I was straightening up the basement for the MIL to come in town a few weeks ago...
This basically consisted of moving all of his junk off her bed and into the closet and I came across this tee shirt.

I do not know why he has this still...
Who am I kidding...I don't know why he still has 99% of the stuff he still has.
But this shirt made me laugh.
I can see him wearing this while he plays hoops at whatever the cool place to play ball was in the small Kentucky town he grew up in...
I am certain it was worn with a very short pair of basketball shorts, some very tall socks, and some Air Jordans.
I will say this though.
The boy had moves.
Or at least that's what I hear.
He has since retired...two achilles tendon tears later...
The only league I am letting him play in now is the old man church league.
(I told him it was time to hang up the Air Jordans)

And with that I am off...I will try my best not to leave you in suspense for so long next time...
Have a happy weekend y'all!