Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Christmas

Hello again my friends. I hope you all have had a lovely holiday. We managed to have a pretty good one here even though our big trip to Florida was cancelled and we had some money saved for the trip. We managed to celebrate for 3 days. Wanna see what we did?

Dec. 23
On Dec. 23 we decided to load our kids up and head down to the Cincinnati Zoo to the PNC Festival of Lights. We got a little lost in the city trying to find the zoo but once we arrived we had loads of fun. We paid for the Total Experience Package which included unlimited Carousel rides and unlimited Train rides. It also included a 4D movie. We could choose between Happy Feet and The Polar Express. The choice was a no brainer...Polar Express. The movie was awesome. It was in 3D but they had snow they blew at you, you could smell the hot cocoa and the pine of the Christmas tree in the movie. If you ever make it there the movie is a must see!!!!!

Here we had made it to the gingerbread land and I snapped this pic of my hubby and kiddos looking at Santa's Reindeer.

Just above the gingerbread land was the carousel. Here are my girls laughing and having a wonderful time.

This was my boys' first experience on a carousel! Sj was a little too short to ride by himself so I got to ride too!

Here, as you can see, my kiddos wrestled a loose alligator to the ground. 
Oh was a statue! Hope looks like she is beating it in the head and Eddie seems a little smug doesn't he.

Here, Eddie is has the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Faith points to were we are in the jungle.

Hope is trying to pick up the world.

And Sj is holding up the world like Superman.

After walking around a bit and looking at animals and since night was falling we decided to take the train ride to look at all of the Christmas Lights the zoo had on display.

Here you can see Faith patiently waiting in line for the train.

Poor little Sj was still not feeling up to par from his being sick but here he is VERY excited to ride the train.

Eddie is waiting very patiently as well.

Here is Hope making a weird face at me while we waited. 

Unfortunately, this is the only picture I took of all the lights :( I had a major ditzy moment when I uploaded my pics to my computer. I have to say the Zoo was absolutely GORGEOUS! Tons and tons of lights everywhere and I wish I would have taken more pictures of them!!!

Dec. 24

On Christmas Eve we decided to make Santa some cookies hoping he would show up at our house!
My hubby is a pro at cutting out and rolling out cookie dough.

What goes best with homemade sugar cookies? Homemade icing and sprinkles! We had white, red, green, blue, and yellow icing. We also had snowflake and gingerbread sprinkles. We also had a container with cute colored sugars and sprinkles.

Tinkerbell also got in on the action. She has flour all over her nose!

Can you tell someone is missing?

Poor Eddie caught what his brother had and was snuggled in his bed with a fever! Poor little guy.

Look it is my hubby and I holding hands with an angel watching over us!

My youngest kiddo is really concentrating hard on decorating his cookies.

Faith (in pink) and Hope are having tons of fun.

My hubby made a not so Christmasy Darth Vader cookie.

Here is half of our decorated cookies. The kids did a great job!

Dec. 25

My kids didn't think Santa was going to show up at our house because they had already opened their presents and because we were supposed to be in Florida! To their surprise, they had a stocking full of goodies and each one of them had a gift from Santa under the Christmas tree!

Here you can see our two kitties, Wickett and Daisy wondering why everyone is so excited.

Santa brought Hope the movie Garfield.

Eddie who was still sick got a car that would go, flip over, and go again.

Sj got a set of monster trucks!

And Faith, our little singer, got a microphone.
Our kids couldn't believe that Santa came to our house! They were certain they wouldn't have anything to open on Christmas morning. Thank goodness for sneaky Christmas Eve shopping to make sure they were not disappointed!!!

And on a family note, in one of my past posts I said we were trying to find a nice home for two of our pets. Our bunny and our lab mix. Well, we did find both of them really good homes! The bunny is now the favorite playmate for a family with a little boy and our lab mix (seen below) found a new home on Christmas Eve. She is with a nice family who has a huge yard, who also has a wiener dog and two kiddos. We wish them well.
Well that is all for tonight everyone! As I said before I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday! 

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Great Trip that Never Was

Hello again friends. Don't you just think that pic is the funniest one ever?

Well a big thank you to all of you who commented on my last post. I don't think I have ever been so frustrated/annoyed/upset/disappointed in my entire life! It seems as though everything that could go wrong did go wrong and alas we are still in Ohio!

My sister-in-law tried everything she could yesterday to rent a van. Unfortunately, even through her company, we could not rent a van. I just think the trip was not meant to be.

Also, my youngest son and I have a cold. My poor little red headed Sj  still has a fever today. Yesterday it got to 103 but he is acting better today and it is a little lower. 2 of my other children are also stuffy and not feeling up to par. I guess it is best we are at home so they can get well in comfort.

The most disappointing thing of all is my kids missing that trip to Disney. They don't know about it but I do and it kills me to think about it. I think it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for them. Especially since we are a single income family and it takes all we have to keep the bills paid, the mortgage paid, food on the table, and our cars going. We sometimes have a little extra and something always happens to where we can't save it. 

Anywho, that is completely off subject. 

So since we are still at home I think we are going to do our best to make this holiday great for our kids. They have opened their gifts already but I think I will try to get some stocking stuffers for them. We are going to take them to Cincinnati to the PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo as soon as Sj's fever stays down. We may even take them ice skating at Fountain Square in Cincy. 

Also, our town has a resident Santa and Mrs. Claus who have lights set to music we love to go visit and one of our local churches has a live Nativity set up. Not to mention all of the riding around we can do to see everyone's light displays.

So all in all, I think we can still make this a great holiday. It isn't a trip to warm, sunny Florida to see family or a once in a lifetime trip to Disney BUT it will be a time for my little family to spend time together and enjoy the holiday!

(If it would just quit RAINING and start SNOWING it would seem a little more Christmasy)

Until we meet again friends. Be Blessed!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What A Day!

Hello again friends. Today has been one of the most annoying frustrating days I have ever encountered! As my faithful readers know, my family and I were supposed to embark on a weeks trip to Florida. During this trip, my kids were going to be surprised by their Aunt and Uncle with a trip to Disney Magic Kingdom in Orlando. We were supposed to be leaving today at 5 pm after the kiddos got out of school BUT we are still at home! It seemed NOTHING went right today!

Last night we packed all of our bags and had everything we needed sitting in our living room. We were all so excited about our trip we could barely sleep! This morning my hubby got our kids off to school and let me sleep a couple hours longer since I would be doing all of the driving on our trip.

I got up at 9 am this morning and got myself ready to go. We put all of our big dog Shiloh's stuff in my car and headed to pick up our rental van and to drop Shiloh off to the dog sitters. We had to go to our local drug store to pick up one of my hubby's refills and to pick up some Dramamine as 2 of my children get car sick. Everything went smoothly there. Then we drove to the town where we will be picking up the van and dropping off the dog. We had to stop at Walmart to do some money transferring to the card we would be using to pay for our rental van. Well, we accidentally left the lights on in my car and our battery died. A kind gentleman tried to give us a "boost" but to no avail as our negative terminal connection piece was broken. UGH

We were able to contact a friend and he drove us to the rental car place and dropped us off. Now over the phone with these people we had discussed everything we would need to rent this van. We get in there and encountered NOTHING but PROBLEMS. #1 we couldn't use the debit card as it  was not associated with a checking account. #2 Since the rental would be in my name the card had to be in my name. #3 We had to have $175 dollars more than we thought would because we had to purchase their insurance. #3 We found out we could use a money order to pay but we had to have 2 utility bills without a past due amount in my name (no problem) and  pay stub. 

Well, we obviously didn't have the bills or money order in hand and we were dropped off and we didn't get the van so we had to walk over a mile to the auto parts store to get a new negative battery terminal connector for my car. Then we had to walk to where my hubby works because the same friend who picked us up told us we could use his vehicle if we needed to. So we picked it up and wen't all the way back across town to fix our car.

Once we got back to Walmart I took poor Shiloh to potty (she was so good in her kennel!!) while my hubby tried to fix the car. Well, the cable was too short to fix the car!!! Somehow my hubby the magician was able to keep the car running long enough to get back to his workplace so we could return the truck and get cable and a connector to fix the car. It worked and then we headed home to gather the things we would need to finalize the van rental.

Once we got home we called the rental company to verify we had everything AND found out we had EVERYTHING except ONE THING!! Since I am a Stay at Home Mom I don't have a pay stub so even though we had all of the other things we couldn't rent the van! No one else could rent it for us.....It has been a mess....

The cherry on top of all of this disappointing youngest son had a fever when he got out of school. It was a low grade fever and came right down with some ibuprofen but he isn't feeling well none the less and I am not feeling very well myself after being in the cold all day!

So.....we have one last thing that we are going to try in the morning to get a van and if it doesn't work we are just staying home for Christmas. Maybe it is best that we stay home. I am so discouraged right now I don't even want to go on the trip anymore. I want to stay in my home and enjoy myself right here BUT if we do get a way down, I wouldn't let the kids miss Disney for anything!!!

I hope all of you who read this has had a better day than I!
Be Blessed!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Preparing for our trip.

Hello again friends. Let me tell you I have been a lunatic the last few days baking, preparing, going here and there, cleaning, I haven't had much time to sleep.

Our trip is a definite Go! We will be leaving from our home on Dec. 21 after the kiddos get home from school. I will drive 12 hours to Georgia where we will spend most of the 22nd visiting old friends and some family. Then the evening of the 22nd we will drive the 4 hours down to Jacksonville, Florida. We will spend the 23 hanging out with and visiting all our family we have missed for so long. Then on the 24th the kids will get their ULTIMATE Christmas gift: Their Aunt and Uncle have decided we will be driving the 4 hours down to Disney!!!!!!!!! The kids have NO IDEA and they are gonna be super excited when we arrive.
Then we will spend most of the 25th with family and will be leaving out that evening to make the entire 16 hour trip back to Ohio. My poor hubby has to be at work at 1 pm on the 26th so I hope he sleeps most of the way back home!!!

We have been doing a lot of prep and planning for our trip. First, we decided to go ahead and let our kiddos open the pressies we got them so they will have a week or so to play with them before our trip.

As you can see, my boys were super excited to get the Nerf Dart Tag set. It is really cool. I came with 2 nerf guns, 2 velcro shirts and eye protection. The darts stick to the shirts. They have had a blast and have enjoyed torturing my hooky time as the velcro darts also stick to yarn...Naughty boys.

The girls got the game Minute to Win It. This game is awesome. We have had so much fun playing it and making fun of the eachother's abilities (or lack there of) to complete the tasks at hand.

My oldest got some nail polish. 

My youngest a Hot Wheels set

My #2 child received this awesome magnetic bulletin board.

#3 got this great battleship.

#2 also got her pink touch screen MP3 player

#1 got more art supplies

Dear sweet daughter #2 got daddy some screwdrivers.

And she got mommy this wonderful snow globe. It has an angel and unicorn inside.
And this wasn't even all of the gifts. 

We have also had to go to some school functions. Here is a picture of the 3rd grade music program. My son is sitting on the floor on the right hand side in the light blue shirt. He was a bell ringer in the program.

I have also been baking and making goody bags for friends, teachers and neighbors. I have a few more things to make today and I will be finished (Finally). I also had to bake 8 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange I was invited to. We have so many extra sweets I swear we should be diabetics by now.

Oh yeah. My last blog post I wrote about getting rid of our animals. Well we did find the bunny a new home with a little boy who absolutely adores her and even sleeps with her at night. Shiloh had a couple interested but they backed out at the last minute. So now we have 2 dogs and 2 cats.

Here you can see Shiloh is really happy to still be here. She is such a goof!

We also found someone to check in on our cats while we are gone and found someone to keep Shiloh while we are gone. We are taking our 3 year old Dachshund with us as she has NEVER been away from us overnight. Things are working out FINALLY!

I will leave you today with a cute picture.
Shiloh and Daisy sleeping on our couch. They are soooo  cute!
Until next time friends...Be Blessed.

Oh and be on the lookout for posts about our trip especially DISNEY!!!!! I AM SOOOO EXCITED FOR ME AND ESPECIALLY FOR MY KIDS!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Christmas Trip

Hello again friends. I just had to share with you somethings that are going on in my life right now. 

First, I am giving away two of our beloved pets. Our bunny Salem is going to a nice little family where she is sure to get many hugs and possibly our Lab mix Shiloh.

I feel really bad about it but we just can't handle all 5 animals anymore. The bunny sits in her cage most of the time and rarely gets a chance to hop around. That just cannot be a good existence. Shiloh is a big dog and needs so much more room to run than we have. She needs fenced in yard and loads of space. She will take off if she gets out without her leash and in town we just can't have that. I am so afraid she will get hit by a car. 

I feel like I am doing what is best for them but I also feel so very bad as well. These pets didn't asked to be picked out or taken in by us and yet I feel they will feel like we didn't love them. I dunno I just want to do what is best for us all.

My second bit of business to share is a biggie. My hubby's family lives in Florida. We live in Ohio. We haven't seen most of them in years. For one, I had the battle with anxiety. Two, we have really crappy vehicles that I wouldn't trust to go all the way to Florida. Three, our finances would never allow us to save enough to go.

Well, my hubby's siblings, 4 in all have decided that if he can get the time off (which I think has already happened), then they would provide all our other needs. One of his siblings wants to rent a van for us to drive down to Florida, around Florida, and back home again. Another of his siblings wants to send us money for gas and food to get down there. Yet another of his siblings wants to give us money to get gas and food on our way back home. And another of his siblings wants to give us spending money to use while we are visiting!!! How crazy is that?

We will be most likely staying in a hotel (maybe on the beach, yes that would be nice). We will be gone for 5-6 days. We will first drive the 6 hours to his sister's house in Tennessee and stay the night and then follow her to Florida which will be 8 additional hours. We will spend time with family and friends. I also want to take one of those days and make the 4 hour trip up to Georgia to see my Bestest Friend in the Whole Wide World! And then when we come back home we will be driving the whole way 14 hours.

I honestly don't know how I feel about it all. First I am excited because some of his family has never seen our youngest son who is 6 years old. I am scared because those "what if" thoughts associated with anxiety are hitting me pretty hard. Also it will be the longest trip since we moved up here 8 years ago.
I am worried about driving and being anxious. I don't really feel anxious right now but we aren't leaving right now. And two of my children do get car sick.They have the little bracelets that put pressure in the wrists which seem to curb it but for 16 hours I'm not sure.

So what do you all think about my two matters of business?

Be blessed yall

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Simple Christmas Wreath Ornament pattern

Hello again my friends. I have been super busy lately with Christmas shopping and goody baking and making I have barely had time to breathe let alone anything else.

However, I have been able to create and make my first ever crochet pattern. Do you wanna see a pic?

See that cute little wreath? Yup that was my creation. I wanted something small, simple and traditional to make. So I took out my hook, looked through some yarn and got to work. 

For the green I used Lion Brand Fun Yarn in Green and I used a little bit of Sugar n Cream cotton yarn for the red.  I also used a size F/5 3.75 mm hook.

Would you like me to share the pattern?

With green, Ch 8, join with sl st to 1st chain.
Ch 3, dc 16 times in ring, sl st to top of ch 3.
Ch 1, *sc in same st. (dc, tr, tr, dc) in next st * rep from * to * around. Sc in last dc, join with sl st 
to beg ch 1. Finish off leaving long tail to form a loop for hanging your wreath ornament.

For the bow:
Using red, Ch 30. Finish off.
Tie ch into a bow and attach wreath with a length of red yarn.
Weave in all ends.

There you go...Your very own wreath ornament.

This is the first pattern I have ever created and written out for use by others and I hope I have done a good job. Thank you all for reading my blog! Be blessed Y'all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Decor Around the House

 Hello again friends. I hope all of my U.S. readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I sure did. I made tons of food as usual and invited some people over AND as usual no one showed up to eat. My mom did make an appearance but only stayed about 10 minutes. I am okay with that as I have decided to not let others' actions get me down. The only people who truly matter in my life right now are my kids, my husband, and God. 


We are completely ready for the holidays around here. My kiddos convinced begged me to put up our Christmas decorations a little early this year. We usually wait until Thanksgiving evening or even the day after but the outside was done last weekend since we had a wonderfully sunny and warm day. The inside was done earlier this week. Wanna see?

Here we have the front of my house. Above the steps are snowflake lights and of course we have blue (my favorite color )icicle lights around my porch. We also have 2 blow up decorations on my porch this year. Last year we had a blow up of Santa playing golf and someone decided to take a razor knife to it and killed poor Santa so we decided they would be safer on our porch.

You can see a different Santa here. Santa is popping up out of the chimney. I Love him!

Just look at his jolly ole face!!!

Moving on to the side of our house. We have a lovely front porch that wraps around one side of my house (one of my favorite features). Here we have the continuance of the blue icicle lights and we have our other blow up decoration of Eeyore pulling Tigger and Pooh Bear on a wooden sleigh.

Here is a shot of the entire side of my house. Lights on the wrap-around front porch. Lights on the little overhang on my back deck and lights lighting up my absolute favorite spot in my gazebo.

Here is a shot of the gazebo from the side. I love to crochet in my gazebo, read in my gazebo and take breaks from my gardening in my gazebo. Also, if the kiddos are being rather naughty, I will take a breather in my gazebo. They know if I am out there doing nothing, I am in a self-imposed time out and need to stay away for a bit.

Oh bother (in my best Pooh Bear voice) I have forgotten to show you the Eeyore, Tigger, and Pooh blow up. Well here it is from the front. They look like they are having so much fun!

Here they are from the side! A little side story about an adventure they had: I didn't tether them to the porch since we rarely get winds down this side of the porch. If we do it usually blows from the front to the back. Well a couple days ago it was particularly windy and I saw Eeyore, Tigger, and Pooh slide forward. Luckily I am pretty fast when I need to be and was able to run out my door and catch them before they made it all the way out in the road!!!! Eeyore moved pretty fast that day and now they are safely secured to the porch.

Here is an artsy fartsy shot of the front porch from the left side.

Another neat shot (a sneak peak really) of my dining room from the outside.

Here is one of my most favoritest decorations. Poor Santa went skiing and he ran right into one of our trees! (Although some of the kids who walk by from the school says he is (sorry vulgar) humping the tree).

This one isn't really a decoration but I had to take a picture of my wonderful little kitty Daisy watching me. She loves to sit in our bay window and watch all of the goings on outside.

So...are you ready to move inside? 

Okay our first stop will be in my living room. Here we have the top of my electric fireplace. I have 2 beautifully blooming :) Christmas Cacti in the center on my lovely red runner. On either side are metal Christmas Trees. In the back we have my tart warmer and a tea light snow man. 

A wider angle view shows our stockings cautiously pinned to the wall above our fire place.

I also have a little table decorated. I just love the little church and the little people outside. In the back we have some snowmen and a wonderful old (and heavy) Santa tin.

See this GORGEOUS tin? Oh how I love it. It was given to me in a box of Christmas decorations. It has some spots on it..wonder if I could buff them out ....hmmmm....

The top of my movie/book cabinet. I just love this awesome reindeer made of logs and sticks.

The decor above the door leading into the kitchen.

Our Christmas tree. 

Again with the flash off so you can see the lights. We have those multi-function lights that fade, chase, flicker, all kinds of things. Here they were fading into green. 

And Mrs. Teresa here is the lovely ornament you sent to me displayed proudly in the front of my tree!

Here is a picture of the decorations in my kitchen above my sink. (and me in a very dirty window. Wish I would have caught that sooner.....OH

Looking from my kitchen to the dining room. Do you see that spot of messed up ceiling? We had a water leak when we first bought the house and needed to replace the dry wall there. While we were fixing it my hubby painted I love you on the dry wall. I just can't make myself paint over that memory!

The entrance from my kitchen to my dining room.

Dining room window.

Our Table from above!

Here is the little centerpiece.

I think this little sleigh is too cute! Had to get it up close for you all.

Finally, a pic of one of the bedroom doors. My sons decorated it.

Well my friends that is pretty much my whole house decorated. My sons and daughters have their rooms decorated but I feel they should be off limits to the world. I hope you have enjoyed the journey through my home all decorated for the holiday. 

Until we meet again....Be Blessed.

P.S. All the trees look so sad. I love the way this one looks at night though..Spooky.