II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In the past month...

On December 18th, Grant was awarded "Tiger Cub of the Month" at school. Here is a picture of him getting his ribbon put on and then smiling proudly for the camera!

These are a couple of pictures I took from Brooklyn's class Christmas party. In this first one she is standing in line waiting her turn to play the game. I just thought she looked sweet and pretty.
Here she is playing the game. The girls were racing against the boys to reach into "Santa's bag" pull out a hat and gloves, put them on, open a peice of gum, chew it up and say Ho! Ho! Ho!
Here is one of Grant doing one of his favorite things: Chin-ups! He's gonna be one strong kindergartner! He can do about 5 at a time right now! (and he does them all throughout the day!--over-handed even!)

On Christmas Eve while we were getting "snowed in", our power went out for a few hours. During that time we had our big Mag-Lite flashlight out so we could see. While Matt, me and Grant were in the bedroom, Brooklyn turned it on and decided to hold it out in front of her while she spun in circles in the living room floor. Well, a minute later Grant entered the room and CRACK!!!-the maglite hit him SMACK in the head! It was so loud I thought she had dropped it on the tile floor or something. Then the screaming started. Not so much him--as her screaming, "MOM HURRY! GRANT'S HURT!!!" It bled a little but mostly I think it was just the impact. He's got a wound there for sure...but I'm sure it'll heal up just fine.Also during our power outage, Brooklyn made this and I found it laying on my desk. I thought it was so cute...I had to take a pic.

On Christmas morning, Matt and I got up and made chocolate chip snowman pancakes with bacon for us, my parents and my brother (who all came over from next door).
My handsome big brother, Doug!
The REAL Santa (my dad):
After our yummy food, Brooklyn read us the Christmas story from the Bible. It was precious and I caught the whole thing on video tape! (yay!)
After we opened our gifts and stockings, Kinley found her "spot" on top of my stocking.
And Sam kept his "spot" right in front of the treat cabinet, where he pretty much hangs out 24/7 just in case someone should walk by and get him a treat out of it! ha ha Doesn't he look handsome with the Santa hat on? He's such a sweetheart. He's getting so old that I'm pretty sure his hearing is 90% gone now. He rarely hears anything and the only way we can signal him to come in from outside is to flash the porch light on and off. (sniff, sniff) He was my first baby...it's gonna be soooooooo hard to ever let him go!I was determined not to be behind the camera this whole holiday season, so this is the only picture I got of the kids opening their gifts on Christmas morning. With our budget being so tight this year, the kids pretty much only got practical gifts from Matt and I. Now that it's over, I see that I was making a much bigger deal of this than the kids did. They didn't even care (or notice) yet Matt and I were fretting on Christmas Eve that they were going to be so disappointed. Here they are: Grant is showing off a new t-shirt he got and Brooklyn is showing off her new socks.
On Sunday, the 27th, we decided to make a last minute trip to our hometown (3 hours away) to celebrate Christmas with Matt's family. I did AWFUL at taking pictures and only snapped a couple. Here is one of the kids getting their stockings at Matt's Nane's house. I guess I should have warned Brooklyn I was snapping a picture. That's not her nicest looking face! This is Matt's Nane (grandma) and also where the red hair in our family originates! We just looooove her! Here is one of Kinley. I don't know what or why this was taken, but I thought it was cute so it went on the blog! ha ha And lastly, me and my girlie. I hate to admit it, but I really LOVE this little pup. I mean...it's a different kind of love than I have for Sam. He is my BABY. He has woven his paw prints on every inch of my heart....but Kinley...she's my little cuddle-bug and we're starting to bond even more than ever here lately. (probably because I am constantly resquing her from a certain rowdy little 5 year old boy who thinks it's pure bliss to tie her up to things and shoot her with nerf darts!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

there's gotta be more to life...

I bet most, if not all of you, have heard the Stacy Orrico song that came out a few years ago called "There's gotta be more". Here are the lyrics to refresh your memory:

I've got it all, but I feel so deprived
I go up, I come down and I'm emptier inside
Tell me what is this thing that I feel like I'm missing
And why can't I let it go

There's gotta be more to life...Than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me
Cause the more that I'm...Tripping out thinking there must be more to life
Well it's life, but I'm sure... there's gotta be more
Than wanting more

I've got the time and I'm wasting it slowly
Here in this moment I'm half way out the door
Onto the next thing, I'm searching for something that's missing

I'm always waiting on something other than this

Yup...that's pretty much how I feel today. I'm sick of "chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me".

Today on the way home from our holiday trip, Brooklyn and I were playing one of her Nintendo DS games. You write a question to the other person on your DS and send it to them and they answer and send it to your DS.
Well, I wrote "What is one thing that makes Mommy happy?"
You wanna know what her answer was???
"Being away from me and Grant".
Yes...that was her serious answer. It made me cry.
Why......why am I like this? Why are my kids growing up thinking that the only time I'm happy is when I'm AWAY from them? Where did I miss it? What if I don't figure "it" out soon and their whole childhoods are ruined and wasted?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dirty Santa goes Dirty!

Dirty Santa...most all of us have played this Christmas gift-giving game at one time or another. This year, I will be involved in 4 different Dirty Santa's. One at our Sunday School party, one at my family's Christmas party (last weekend) and 2 more this next weekend with Matt's family.
It has come to my attention, disappointingly, that this game has turned truely "dirty" and has none of the Christmas spirit of joy and giving included. I suppose it could be played "nicely" but really, the whole point is to "steal" your gift of choice, thus giving it the name "Dirty Santa" right?
This year, and in recent years past, there has been an increasing number of people "stealing". In the last Dirty Santa I played, people were stealing things just to take them away from the person who REALLY wanted and needed it! (and even vocalized that they didn't want or need X-gift but was "just playing the game haha"). And it's become more acceptable to show obvious disapproval of the gift you open. (RUDE!) Furthermore, when the price limit is set at $25 per gift, and you bring something that you were given as a gift that you thought was dog-ugly and didn't actually spend a penny on it, but then expect to receive a gift that someone actually went out and purchased and especially picked out, in my opinion, this is just WRONG.
I know it's all "meant in fun" but don't tell me that if you went out and spent $25 on something that you LOVE and think that everyone else will LOVE and instead the person who gets it opens it and says, "NO FAIR! I don't want this! Somebody please steal this thing from me" that wouldn't hurt your feelings just a bit?

In one game, there were 16 people playing. Everyone hoped to get #16 so they could go last and pick from anything. Oh...no! It did NO GOOD for #16 this time. By the time we got to that person, everything that anyone wanted had been stolen 3 times and was already frozen. Poor #16 was left to either steal something that noone wanted (the re-gifted items) OR open the last gift, which turned out to be something for a girl..and he was a single guy. Bummer.

I'm just saying that there has to be a better option. We've tried the drawing names thing. That doesn't work either because these days, not everyone keeps their word or will commit to coming, and so you end up with a few people not showing up-which means they didn't bring the gift they were supposed to get and they aren't there to collect the gift that was brought for them.

I know, you might say, just drop the whole gift thing altogether. It's crossed my mind, but I think that would be sad. Even us adults enjoy getting a little sumpin-sumpin for Christmas and quite honestly, in our family, if we cancelled the Dirty Santa games, the adults would get NO gifts for Christmas except for what their spouse and children buy them.

Maybe I'm too hung up on the gifts. Call me materialistic if you want, but I do recognize that I LOVE gifts. When I read Gary Chapman's "The 5 Love Languages" I hated to hear it (it just feels selfish and non-important) but one of my love languages is definitely gifts. I LOVE to give gifts and I LOVE to receive gifts. So there. Say what you want. :o)

So I'm wondering, does anyone have any other suggestions for ways to give gifts among families without it turning into this awful, mean, rude stealing game?

Monday, December 07, 2009


What's new?---December is crazy-busy around here. I just thought I'd drop in and say HI to all my buddies! TOTALLY looking forward to the Biggest Loser finale tomorrow...and then on Saturday we celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. I'm hosting again this year and we're playing Bunco as well as Dirty Santa. It should be a fun time if we can (somehow) leave the drama out. Lots of crazy stuff is happening in my family this year and it's really frustrating for a control-freak organized person like me!

A house divided against itself cannot stand...and I think that goes for families too! :o( sniff, sniff

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well and enjoying this Christmas season!! It's funny...we are on the tightest buget we've ever been on this year--which means WAYYYY less shopping--which has actually been a blessing as crazy as that sounds, because for the FIRST time EVER, I am not stressing about gifts OR money!!! I am enjoying the simple (free) delights of the season like hot cooca (from HOME not Starbucks!) and driving around looking at Christmas lights and decorating the house, making homemade gifts and reading my kiddos lots of Christmas stories! We've played more games, watched more movies and laughed more this year than probably ever. Yesterday Matt and I were hugging and I said into his ear "You're my best friend!" and for some reason, that threw us into a fit of giggles that was uncontrollable. It sounded good in my head but when I said it, I felt like I was back in junior high! Ha ha (maybe had to be there!?!)

Anyway, my point is....even in the "bad", if you look hard enough, you can totally find some "good". Maybe even way more than you would have imagined! :o)

Friday, December 04, 2009


If this doesn't get you giggling...you need to loosen up! This is HILARIOUS!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Good Friends Warm the Heart!

This past weekend I got to meet up with one of my "oldest" friends, Amy. She's actually only 3 days older than me...but we go wayyyyyyyy back. If I'm not mistaken, she is the only person I'm still friends with from that far back (4th grade). She has been one of the most special people in my life all these years and the love I have for her (and her beautiful little family) grows more each year! It is always such a joy and blessing to get to see her when they come for a visit. Here are a few pics from our lunch together!

She is actually the one who talked me into blogging in the first place! I hadn't even ever heard of a "blog" before her...and now look at me. I'm a full-blown addict! ha ha