Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year!

From my family to yours, I wish you a very happy holiday season! Enjoy this time with your family and friends. Many blessings to all of you for the new year! Thank you to each and every one of you that take time out of your day to read my blog.

I will be taking a small blogging break until the New Year to enjoy this time with my family. I am excited for what is in store for this upcoming year!

See you in 2012!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Handmade Ornaments

I made these ornaments in 2009 before I started blogging. They were a easy, inexpensive way to make some really beautiful ornaments to give as gifts.

Supplies needed:

  • Glass ornaments
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Ribbon
  • Embellishments (Optional)
Step One:
I used scrapbook paper that had different Christmas/holiday sayings on it. Cut the words into long strips

Step Two:
Open the top of the ornament and place the strips of paper inside.

Step Three:
Put the top back in place and secure a ribbon on the top. I added some small snowflake shapes I found near the buttons to the ribbon. I just added a jump ring to the snowflake and attached it to the top.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

In honor of this great holiday, I thought I would share a few blessings in my life. So without further ado, in no particular order:

I am thankful . . .
  • for my family
  • for my children and all that they teach ME
  • for my husband and how wonderful he is to me and our kids
  • my 22-month-old daughter is FINALLY sleeping through the night (at least most nights)
  • for my friends
  • for my furbabies - our kitties and our dog
  • for my health and my family's health
  • each day we have food on our table
  • we have everything we could possibly need
  • for this blog and having a place to share my creativity
  • for ice cream (in particular, Chubby Hubby)
  • to have hot chocolate on a cold night
  • for snuggles on the couch in the morning with my two kiddos
  • for date night (even though they can be few and far between, sometimes)
  • I get to be a stay at home mom
  • for the first snow of the season
  • for a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning
  • enjoying holidays surrounded by my family and wonderful things to eat
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bittersweet . . .

The  holidays are a magical time.

It seems as if we get to do so much more with family friends. People tend to be a little nicer, give a little more. Everything seems a little more sparkly and pretty!

And me? I am the hostess. Especially ever since we expanded our family to include children, we always celebrate the holidays at our house. And I love it that way. I love cooking, baking, and decorating, welcoming a houseful of family and friends into our home. Even not around the holidays, I love to plan parties and have friends over. It makes my heart feel full to be surrounded by the people that I care about most.

But, every year, especially around the holidays, I am reminded someone is missing.

My mom.

She passed away when I was only 8 years old. It seems to me like it was a lifetime ago. And really it has been. I have finished grade school, middle school, had my first kiss, learned to drive a car, graduated from highschool, graduated from college, got married, bought my first house, brought my first baby home from the hospital, brought my second baby home from the hospital, celebrated 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th birthdays of her grandchildren - all without her there.

I know she was there is spirit, but it just isn't the same. I can't hug her. I can't call her on the phone to tell her about the rotten day I am having with my kids, with her responding about some way I misbehaved as a child. I can't ask her for advice about my life.

Most days I am fine. Don't get me wrong. I think of her every. single. day. But the days that make me want to crawl back in bed because my heart is breaking from missing her so badly don't happen nearly as often. I suppose that is what happens after 24 years of her being gone.

But then there are those days where it just hits me like a speeding truck. Bam. Your mom is not here.

For example, at the dentist last week, he was asking me if I sucked my thumb when I was little. I told him I didn't know if I did or not. So he says to me, "I guess that is something you will have to ask your mom."

What a simple, logical thing for the dentist to say. But, for me, it made my heart break a little more. Because I can't ask her. I am sure he didn't think anything of it, but I have been thinking about that visit ever since it happened. And every holiday, as much as I am so filled with joy and love, it will always be a little bittersweet for me that my mom is not there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Fun 2011

Here is how we do Halloween at our house. We start during the middle of October with all the festivities and end on Halloween night. 
It starts with the decorations. Many of these will stay up throughout November.
Fall Wreath for front door

Add in a pumpkin festival and pumpkin patch.

Mix with a sprinkle of pumpkin carving. This always includes roasting pumpkin seeds and drinking hot apple cider.

Lastly, trick or treat the night away.

It all adds up to one of my favorite holidays. We had such a fun time this year! I love that we have the family traditions that we do. It warms my heart.  
And now it is time to gear up for Turkey Day!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Out of Commission, For Now

I wish I could say I hurt myself doing something cool, like scuba diving or a ninja fight. But, alas, no.

On Thursday night I was running races in the backyard with my son (and the rest of my family) and I landed completely wrong on my ankle. I wasn't very smart and I was wearing flip flops and not tennis shoes. I either sprained it badly or possibly broke it. I am waiting out the weekend to see how and if it starts to heal. Needless to say, I am going to be out of commission for a while.

There may not be too many blog posts on here for the next week or so. Possibly because I am laid up on the couch, I might actually get a few little crafty things done. And then you will all be overwhelmed with the posts once I am up and around. We will see. I do have a 4 and 1-year-old that need lots of attention. And a one-legged mommy doesn't go very fast!

And just because I am an over-sharer, I thought I would post some pictures of the ankle.


If you get queasy easily, now is the time to click out of this post and get on with your day!
Oh, and these are not the best. They were taken with my cell phone.

Hopefully, I will be back soon!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seven Things About Me

I received "The Versatile Blogger" award from That's What {Che} Said. I am very excited to receive this award. It is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers.

One of the rules is to share 7 things about yourself, so here goes:
  1. I think I use the word "super" too much. For example, I am "super" excited or I heard something "super" funny. And I use WAY too many exclamation points when I write. I guess I am just highly excitable.
  2. I am Type A and a hyper-organizer. I am extremely good at organizing other people's things, but my own stuff I struggle with. I guess I am a bit of a packrat at heart and can't seem to part with my own stuff. 
  3. I have been crafting since I was a little girl. I used to watch the old craft shows on TV. Anyone watch the Home Show with Carol Duvall in the late '80s? I think I was only 9 or 10 when the show came out. I would watch the quilting shows and then I would make small quilts for my Barbies from the patterns they demonstrated.
  4. I am a total sap for a good romantic comedy.
  5. My absolute favorite food is Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby - a little salty, a little sweet, plus ice cream. It is the perfect snack.
  6. I have been slowly working on turning my brown thumb into a green one. I think I am finally getting the hang of not killing every living plant I touch!
  7. I love to play board games.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering 9/11/2001

Source: ABC News

I don't think any of us who lived through that terrible day will ever forget it. If you were old enough you remembered where you were, who you were with and what you were doing.

I was driving in my car on the way to work when the radio station I was listening to interrupted the song playing to say that the first twin tower had been crashed into by a plane. By the time more information was known about what was happening I was already at work. I was working as a daycare teacher and as I arrived at work I went straight to the break room to see if I could find out any more about what was happening.

Over the next several days as the mystery of what happened that day unfolded, I often found myself in tears as I watched the devastation on the news.

Source: Yahoo News

I will never forget that day. And I will never forget the days and weeks that followed. At that time I was incredibly proud and humbled to be an American.

In light of all of the current economic situation, it is easy to forget. It is easy to get so wrapped up in my own problems and start to doubt this great country we are in. No country is perfect, including America, but I am proud to be an American.

My thoughts go out to all of those who lost their lives that day. My heart breaks for the families that lost loved ones that day. And I would like to give an extra special thank you to all the people that were there to help pick up the pieces after that fateful tragedy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lake Mary, Arizona

This last weekend we went camping and fishing at Lake Mary, Arizona with some great friends of ours. It was beautiful up there! I feel so blessed to live in an area where we can get to so many beautiful places in less than a two-hour car drive.

Lake Mary, Arizona

The boat really wore out my littlest one. (I am just grateful she took a nap, or it would have been a REALLY long day for the rest of us!) It is hard to sleep with the life vest on, but we managed to get her to go down.

Up from her nap and ready for boating!

My hubby caught the first fish of the day! 

Meet Mr. Pike - he had scary teeth.

The grand total of fish caught was 2 (and my hubby caught them both). Not the best day for fishing, but the best day for fun!

My little guy was super excited about fishing!

The weather threatened rain all weekend, but we ended up with only a few sprinkles. We were blessed by this beautiful rainbow. (We did, however, get poured on as we made our way out of camp).

Can you say, dirty? This is what camping is all about.

We love to be outdoors as a family and we are trying to squeeze in some fun before the end of summer. (Although I am secretly looking forward to the fall, my favorite time of year).

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Monsoon Season is Here!

Is there anything more fun than being a kid in the rain?

We live in Arizona and are usually blessed by monsoon rains this time of year. We had our first one over Fourth of July weekend. The kids had so much fun playing in the rain.

They each took a bucket (and a dog bowl) to catch rain out from under the porch roof.

My littlest one wanted to go down with the "big" boys. I was worried she would get upset once the rain hit her, but she loved splashing around in the puddles.

The boys had fun racing from the porch to the fence and back.

Poor little baby got caught when the rain started to really come down. She was yelling for someone to come and get her. The awesome mom that I am, I didn't really want to get soaked, so I tried to coax her back up on the porch by herself. It wasn't going to happen (I did eventually go down and grab her, but not before I took a picture of it!)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Garden Beauty

I wanted to share some of the beauties I have growing in my gardens right now. My thumb is looking greener every day! All of these flowers are perennials I planted this year.



Butterfly Bush

Blue Salvia

Cooper's Ice Plant

No idea what this one is called - if you know, could you tell me?

It is very low growing to the ground and is starting to spread out.

English Lavender

Pineapple Sage


Baby Zucchinis

Blackberry Bush


Vegetable Garden

(Green beans - purple and green, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, peas)