Friday, December 24, 2010

{ decorating our Christmas tree. }

We decorated our tree not long ago. Our kids always love pulling their ornaments out of the box. Katie has loved her Dorothy ornament from the time she was really little to now. Each year Dorothy is placed a little higher on our Christmas tree as Katie grows.

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Every year the kids argue with each other who's turn it is to put the star on top. Spencer is almost (just 1.5 inches short) as tall as Jerome. Spencer can reach the top of the tree, the girls cannot.....guess who won this argument this year?

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Jerome put ribbon on Molly, they kept laughing and saying she looked like Max from the Grinch movie. I guess Molly was Jerome's sidekick for the evening....

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We found the Grinch ornament when we were at Universal a few months ago. The kids laugh and joke all the time saying Jerome is the Grinch this time of year. But only when the Christmas tree lights don't work and all the crazy madness out in town gets to be to much.

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Jerome Grinch's sidekick Molly Max loves to sing along to Christmas carols too!

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Natalie put these candy cane hearts all over the tree.

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These mittens were Natalie's when she was three years old.

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Icicles were one of my favorite decorations on our tree when I was a child.

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The girls love this ornament. Spencer did too when he believed in Santa Claus long, long ago. The girls put their letters to Santa in here....

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The "Ruby Red Slippers" Christmas balls we hang on the tree every year....

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My little budding photographer. Natalie took this shot and a few other ones on here. She loves to have the camera in her hands. I like how you can see her reflection in the glass Christmas bulb...

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The girls read me their Christmas wish list after we decorated the tree. They made their list by going on different sites this year, instead of looking at the toy catalog like most years. I think Katie stayed on the Justice sight a little to long, hahaha.

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After we were finished decorating the tree Spencer and Katie started wrestling in the floor. Katie is tough, unlike her sister, she likes to wrestle around with Spencer. Molly goes nuts when they wrestle. She is a very protective dog and she will stand and bark at whoever has the upper hand.

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We have a Christmas dinner to go to tonight and then tomorrow morning is Christmas! The kids are excited. I am happy to be finished wrapping presents! We plan on having a big breakfast in the morning, opening presents (although I think I just put those backwards, I'm sure the presents will be opened first) and then we are dressing up and going to see a movie. We all enjoyed it last year. It was a very relaxing day with the ones we love the most.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

{ sing it with me.....}

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The first thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me
Is finding a Christmas tree

The second thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me:
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The third thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The fourth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me

Sending Christmas cards
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The fifth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me
Five months of bills!
Sending Christmas cards
Rigging up the lights
And finding a Christmas tree

The sixth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me:
Facing my in-laws
Five months of bills!
Oh, I hate those Christmas cards!
Rigging up these lights!
And finding a Christmas tree

The seventh thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me:
The Salvation Army
Facing my in-laws
Five months of bills!
Sending Christmas cards
Oh, geez!
I'm tryin' to rig up these lights!
And finding a Christmas tree

The eighth thing at Christmas that such a pain to me:
And whataya mean "YOUR in-laws"?!?
Five months of bills!
Ach, making out these cards
Honey, get me a beer, huh?
What, we have no extension cords?!?
And finding a Christmas tree

The ninth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me
Finding parking spaces
Facing my in-laws Five months of bills!
Writing out those Christmas cards
Now why the hell are they blinking?!?!?
And finding a Christmas tree

The tenth thing at Christmas that's such a pain to me:
"Batteries Not Included"
No parking spaces
Get a job, ya bum!
Facing my in-laws!
Five months of bills!
Yo-ho, sending Christmas cards
Oh, geez, look at this!
One light goes out, they ALL go out!!!
And finding a Christmas tree

The eleventh thing of Christmas that's such a pain to me:
Stale TV specials
"Batteries Not Included"
No parking spaces
She's a witch...I hate her!
Five months of bills!
Oh, I don't even KNOW half these people!
Oh, who's got the toilet paper, huh?
Get a flashlight...I blew a fuse!!
And finding a Christmas tree

The twelfth thing of Christmas that's such a pain to me:
Singing Christmas carols
Stale TV specials
"Batteries Not Included"
No parking?!?
Gotta make 'em dinner!
Five months of bills!
I'm not sendin' them this year, that's it!
Shut up, you!
And finding a Christmas tree

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Hahaha!!! My husbands FAVORITE holiday song!! Just kidding honey.....I love you!


Monday, December 13, 2010

{ Cozy and Warm. }

School was canceled today because of all the snowfall overnight. I had a good time in the snow with the kids today. I took this one of Natalie and Katie warming up under the blanket and fell in love with this picture of the two of them.

Christmas pictures in the snow

Sunday, December 5, 2010

{ His First Wrestling Tournament. }

We spent Friday evening and most of Saturday at The Pepsi Invitational Classic Wrestling Tournament. Going in to these I had absolutely no idea they lasted so long. I thought an hour or two maybe......boy, was I wrong. I didn't take my camera with me Friday evening, I wanted to enjoy watching my son wrestle for the first time. The coach came up to me after and asked if I would mind taking pictures (something special he has planned for the boys at the end of the season). So Saturday I took a lot of pictures. Looking back I probably should have used my flash and not bumped my ISO up to 2500 but oh well.....according to my husband only I notice the "technical stuff" anyway.

Spencer's first match he didn't win, but he fought hard for it.

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A little advice from the coach.....

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His second match ended up being with one of his best friends, Adam. I (and several other moms) don't like how they match up kids from the same school....but I know there is a reason. He fought hard on this one too, but didn't win this match. He put up a good fight though.

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Then they took a break and the kids did some more warming up before beginning again.

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Spencer was very determined not to lose his next match. I think that determination carried him through because his third match he won. It was great hearing his name being yelled by our home team, "GO SPENCER!".
This was the first round of his third match....

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Getting more advice from the coach....

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I can really see the determination in him here....

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I'm proud of my son! So proud.

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His coach was proud of him and Spencer was happy he had won a match. He told me he didn't want to go home without winning one.

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Spencer didn't meet the standard for his weight class, he was just a few pounds over and was bumped up to the next weight class. He was at the bottom of the weight class they put him in and wrestled several that were in the top of the weight class (Spencer and Adam both are in the same weight class and both were bumped up). He is working hard to get back down in the weight class he belongs in so that way he will be at the top of his weight class.
It was a long day. When we left the school that was hosting the tournament everything was covered in snow. We made it home safely and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

{ Thankful. }

This year I am thankful for many, many things. But most of all family.
We hosted Thanksgiving dinner in our home this year. Jerome was called out to work an 8pm to 8am shift both Wednesday and Thursday night. Savannah and I spent the evening making a last minute trip to the grocery store and stayed up late baking. We made two pumpkin pies, the stuffing (prepped but not baked), deviled eggs and a cake (thanks to the help of Paula Dean for that one). Katie and Spencer both fell asleep long before we started baking the pumpkin pies. Natalie loves to be in the kitchen, cooking, stirring, baking whatever needs to be done (except of course the dishes). After we put the pumpkin pies in the oven, I was busy cleaning up the kitchen and happened to look over and see Natalie asleep on the hardwood floor, dressed in her apron still, laying next to Molly. She made it through getting her pie in the oven, which I will say she did very good, she made this one all on her own.

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My parents drove out early Thanksgiving morning to make sure to get the turkey in the oven. My sister's and I were opting this year for an already made turkey, but mom insisted we have a "real" turkey. Mom was prepping the fresh turkey getting it ready to put in the oven, when I heard Savannah yell "What is that?", it was a few small feathers, both her and I looked at each other and snurled up our noses. Mom's reply to our reaction, "Be glad you didn't have to bake a turkey in the old days, when you had to go out and get one and defeather it yourself!". Yes, I can say that is one thing I am definitely thankful for.

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Mom called us all in the kitchen, because we all four sisters have complained about not being able to make a good gravy, she wanted to teach us how she makes her gravy.

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We had a lot of wonderful tasting food to be thankful for!

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Savannah putting the finishing touches on her deviled eggs before we sat down to eat.

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Paris found my chalkboard I keep in the dining room and wrote this sweet message with a little piece of chalk.

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With all the baking and cooking the house was getting a bit warm so we opened up the door on the front porch. I guess Molly could smell the food we were making and was wanting to come in, but one look at the number of people and the chaos and she quickly made herself at home on the front porch.

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Little Caleb could smell all the food and was ready to eat too...

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We all sat down, held hands and thanked God for all the blessings we are given. My dad was a little tearful saying the prayer, I know since my grandpa passed he has been very thankful for our family, I'm sure he was missing him this day. It was a beautiful prayer. We managed to seat eight adults, two high chairs and five children with two tables. We were certainly close this Thanksgiving dinner.
The stuffing I made didn't last long. I found a recipe for it years ago, made it one Thanksgiving, and since then it has been one of the favorites as we gather around the table.

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Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
12 cups dried French bread crumbs (use French bread from the bakery, pull apart the night before, lay out on table and cover with foil so that it will dry out)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black ground pepper
1/2 cup minced FRESH parsley
1/2 tsp. of each - sage, thyme, marjoram
2 cups chicken broth
3 large eggs

(for our large family Thanksgiving dinner I double this recipe so that we have plenty for stuffing the turkey and for enough dishes for everyone to have a serving)

In skillet melt one stick of butter. Add the chopped onions and celery. Stir occasionally, until onions seem transparent.
In large bowl mix the French bread crumbs with these mixed ingredients: salt, pepper, fresh parsley, sage, thyme and marjoram.
Add chicken broth and mix well.
Add the eggs, beaten, mix well.
Place in buttered pan and cover with foil.
Bake 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 15-25 minutes without foil.

It is VERY important to use FRESH PARSLEY...I used dried parsley one year and the stuffing came out green!!

My sister Savannah and her youngest, Caleb.

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It was a wonderful day. We spent time with family, we baked together and laughed together. We watched the Macy's day parade with a cup of coffee. It was a day to be thankful for.
Now if I could just be thankful for the dishes.....I am thankful I have dishes to cook with, bake with, eat with......but it takes a good bit to say I am thankful for washing dishes (only when there are this many).

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