Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our Christmas tree hunt continued...

View coming down the mountain on the hayride. The farm was right on the river it was beautiful.

We took some time to roll down the hills..always fun!

Great day with the family. Noses cold, bellies warm with cider, memories made...

We went to Blowing Rock afterwards to walk around but didn't stay long it was so cold with the wind and the boys love our Friday night movie nights so we picked up some pizza and went home to watch a movie. It was a blessed day.

Our Christmas tree hunt continued...

Daddy sawing down the tree...

We did it!!

The tree was small enough for the boys to carry. They felt like such big boys!

Back down the mountain...

Our annual Christmas tree hunt...

We headed to the mountains Friday morning to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. We unfortunately missed the snow flurries but boys was it cold!! The wind was blowing at it was in the low 30's...perfect for Christmas tree hunting!

First stop-The barn to warm up with some cinnamon apple cider..mmm...

Next stop: Tractor pulled hayride up the mountain...

Matthew loves the apple cider!

Boys ready with the saw to find the perfect tree!

We found it!! It's little for our little place but perfect!

Our Thanksgiving

I usually enjoy cooking Thanksgiving at our home but this year, with having such a tiny kitchen and our apartment being a bit squished, I wasn't really feeling it. Thankfully, we had an invitation from a dear friend to join them for Thanksgiving. We headed up to the mountains and joined our long time friends for the day. We certainly had a spread! Yummy turkey, mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, yeast rolls, cranberry, etc. Sweet Isaac made pumpkin pie and we had apple pie as well. It was all so good!
But even better was the company. We got to visit with Steve and Wendy, Isaac's grandmother, and Isaac and Devon. I hadn't seen Devon is so long and here he was a grown man!! It was very surreal.
I got to sit outside(in the freezing cold) bundled up and have a wonderful talk with Wendy. We always have these wonderful discussions on faith and she always surprises me with her wisdom. We got to know Steve a bit better and he's such a great guy. I'm so happy for my friend Wendy for finding a wonderful man to spend the rest of her life with. We all got to share stories and laughs and it was an enjoyable day.
The boys had a blast as usual playing with Isaac and we were all sad to leave.

The cold front blew in while we were there and it was freezing when we left. We said good-bye to our sweet friends and hope to get together again soon.
It was a blessed Thanksgiving and we all have so much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An artist study-Mary Cassatt

For art this year, we are learning about different artists. Each month I choose an artist to study. We read books about the artist and study works of art and the time period that the artist created their paintings. This month we studied about Mary Cassatt. She is an Impressionist painter born in the U.S. but spent most of her life in Paris. I found it interesting that she loved to paint mothers with their children, yet she never married, nor had children of her own.
After our study is over at the end of the month the boys can choose a painting we've studied and copy it. They loved the painting above called "Jules being dried by his Mother" painted in 1900.
Here are the boys renditions:




Things I'm thankful for this year:

My Lord-He is my protector, my healer, my father
My Jesus-yes I claim him as mine, but he can be yours too of course (-:
My husband( I really believe I won the husband lottery with him)
My children( y'all know how much I love them and feel so thankful for them)
My husband's job (he has's a good one..'nough said)
That my husband's boss let him have the week after Christmas off. This is huge and he may not even realize it. It's usually against company policy to do this, but last year he let him and it was so wonderful to have him home from Christmas to New Years. He's allowing him again to take this week off and I'm very grateful.
Bo Bear-he drives me nuts with his fur but he's the best dog and I really feel protected with him around.
No car payments as of September!
My new Bosch-It's my favorite kitchen appliance at the moment
Music-sometimes it just really cheers me up and sets the mood for the day
Knitting and sewing-I love to be creative
Homeschooling-I know not everyone is called to do this and at times, I wonder if I really am, but the good days outweigh the bad and I love the relationship I have with the boys.
Books-I love good books
My blog-I'm glad I finally got off my hiney and did this. It's been fun to share our moments and I love to journal
Blogs-I love to be inspired by other creative women
Friends-I have such a wide variety of friends and the Lord has a purpose for each one in my life and I'm grateful for them.
Our camper-It's granted us so many fun memories this year
The mountains-boy do I love the mountains. It's my favorite place to go to.
Little league Baseball-I'm the boys biggest fan!
Snow-love it, can't wait for it!
Fall-I didn't grow up with fall being raise in Fl(although it's weird I moved from NY when I was very little but still have memories of seems that it stuck with me somehow) Anyway, now that I live in a place with a proper fall-I savor every minute!
I'm thankful for new possiblities in our near future. I don't want to share yet because nothings definite but am excited about the new ventures coming our way.

Do you hear me squealing with excitment through the screen?


Hi: 35 Lo: 28

Mostly cloudy; Blustery; Snow flurries (snow showers at higher elev's near the TN/NC line); Cold
Courtesy of Rays Weather Center

We always go to the mountains the day after Thanksgiving to cut down our Christmas tree. There are always lively discussions on finding the perfect tree. A couple of times, I'll admit fights between Darryl and I(we always laugh about it afterwards) Darryl usually goes for the huge ones while frugal, mackdoogal me is always checking the price and tending to be more conservative...but we do always agree that we like fat, jolly skinny trees for us!!
We LOVE LOVE LOVE to go up to the mountains to do this and some years we've had snow and others not. One year is was warm enough for jeans and a t-shirt..yuck..I want it super-duper cold. Well, this year it will be!!! And it will snow!!! I love the ride up and the anticipation on whether it will snow or not. Christmas music on the radio, usually some knitting in my hands, and everyones bellys still full from the night before. I can't wait to get to the Christmas tree farm and load everyone into the hay ride pulled by a big tractor up to find the perfect tree. Hot cocoa in hand and bundled in coats, hats, scarves and mittens. The boys usually running around like mad trying to find a good one to show mommy and daddy. Then when we find the perfect one everyone can agree on, daddy gets on his hands and knees and saws it down. They usually come running to chain saw it down for us, but we usually do it ourselves.
Then it gets baled and loaded ontop of the car. I love afterwards riding into Blowing Rock, which is the most picturesqe town, afterwards to see snow on the ground and all the cars with Christmas trees ontop of them. Shoppers are bustling around and fireplaces are billowing wonderful smelling smoke into the air. We usually stop for dinner and a quick peek in the cute shops in town to savor all the perfect decorations. Then it's time to head down the mountain to our home to decorate the tree. I love it and look foward to it every year.
I truely believe the boys will remember these times more than the gifts they recieve under the tree. Traditions they can look foward too and memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.
I have much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last night we had a family art night. You see Mr. Turkey was cold and naked without his feathers. He was we made him some feathers to keep him warm.
We copied our hands on construction paper and wrote what we are thankful for this year.

Daddy is thankful for:
Fun times with the family

Mommy is thankful for:
Books and Blogs
Crafts and Cooking
Good Friends

Nicholas is thankful for:
Bo Bear
Video games
Chuck E Cheese and Monkey Joes

Matthew is thankful for:
Bo Bear

It was a fun project to do together and we rounded out the night with some homemade fudge. It was funny while we were hanging the hands and telling what we were thankful for, Nicholas kept trying to hang his hands all at once because all he kept doing was eyeing the fudge. NiNi!!! He's so silly! He then picked up a piece and licked it so he could claim it for his own before we were finished with the project...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Changed settings

I just finally figured out how to change the setting so anyone can post a comment, you don't have to be on Google Connect, now. Yeah!!

On a postive note...

I do Choose Joy even in the midst of sad situations. I can't change anyone but myself, right?

Why do I do this to myself?

Why do I allow a certain family member to continue to hurt my feelings? Why do I try and let go of the past(which I have done), try and reach out, and feel rejected, yet again...over and over and over. I am really hurt right now by someone in my family that has hurt me over and over and yet I always come back to this person because I desperatly want a relationship with this person. I know how short life is...I realized that this year with the sudden passing of Darryl's dad. He was still so young and I always thought he was as strong as an ox. I always made those kind of comments to Darryl-how his Dad always looked so healthy. He was tall, had a healthy tan, he was stocky...He always *seemed* so strong...but he wasn't and we sadly lost him this year. I know Darryl misses him terribly and feels a sadness for not being able to see him more. May you rest in peace Harold and I know we will all be together again one day.
I took this as a lesson for me to try and maintain and nuture relationships more with family. I really feel like I've tried to reach out to both my immediate family as well as family through marriage. I wish we all lived closer because I would *LOVE* to live near Darryl's mom and sisters and brother. His mom has such a peace, wisdom and humor I love and really enjoy talking with her. His brother and sister have new babies that we rarely get to see and that saddens me but they are always in our thoughts and we talk about them frequently. My side of the family I rarely see and would love to see my brothers more-they are almost grown and I feel like I've missed out on so much.
But in saying this, in reaching out this year, one family member continues to reject me (unless it's convenient for him/her). This person doesn't DESIRE a relationship with me or my family. It hurts my feelings that he/she continues to choose THINGS over family...unless it suits him/her perfectly. That experiences, traditions, and family moments mean less to this person than money and experiences that he/she will enjoy. I feel like this person always chooses himself/herself first and if everyone is along for the ride then fine, otherwise he/she isn't going to do what YOU or ANYONE else wants.
I got some roundabout news today that hurt my feelings. Not from this person but someone close to him/her. Trust me, it's not surprising but it still hurts...I really believe this person doesn't care about me or having a relationship with me...I was rejected and replaced years ago and nothing has changed...and it breaks my heart...for I long for family...I really do...
I don't know...I just really had to get this out.
I love my family, all of my family, and pray that the Lord will someday bring us all together but today I'm sad...
Am I unrealitic in what I think family should be? I certainly didn't have an ideal family situation growing up and maybe I romantized what family should be like in my mind...I don't know...
In saying all this, I do have many things to be thankful faith, my husband, my children, and I do believe I have some family members that really do care...

Edited to add: I don't say all this to air out my families "dirty laundry" so to speak. It's my blog, my journal and I want these moments-the good and bad, to be remembered and reflected upon. I truely believe all of these moments are used for HIS glory(meaning the Lord)and am thankful that through everything my heavenly Father never rejects me, never betrays me and always chooses me as his daughter...I couldn't ask for anything better...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

We bought some gifts for Operation Christmas Child this year. I don't know why we've never done this before. It's a mission from Samaritan's Purse that focuses on bringing a shoebox full of Christmas gifts to children around the world as well as sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to these children. It's a wonderful organization headed by Franklin Graham and we were so excited to be a part of it this year. You get to choose what age and gender you want to buy for and, of course, the boys picked a boy age 5-9. We hit the stores shopping and the boys were so excited to pick out toys for him. Both my boys LOVE stuffed animals so they had to pick out a special one for the boy and kiss it for them. They also filled it with candy, a football, and lots of little goodies. They also took some time yesterday to make lovely cards filled with information about them and questions for the little boy, a picture, and an address with hopes of the little boy writing back.
It was really fun and helped reinforce to them how much greater it is to give than receive.
We had a little photo session last night with our wrapped shoeboxes and while Darryl made the boys laugh, I took some pictures...

Show and Tell with Daddy..

Nicholas is showing daddy what we've been up to in science this year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sometimes you just got to give a little...

We had a pretty rough day. It has been raining all day and the boys have been climbing the walls. I was on the phone with a realtor this morning which turned kindof ugly and I was pretty mean(I was hiding in the closet but with only 1000sq ft we are climbing all over each other and the boys caught some of the conversation). They were upset at the realtor instead of upset with me. After I calmed down and realized how my actions affect them way more than I realize sometimes, I first asked the Lord for forgiveness, asked the boys for forgiveness and then contacted the realtor and apologized to her as well for my actions. Gosh, when I'm a bundle of stress and someone crosses me, watch out I can be so ugly!! I've really tried to work on that and even though I can't take it back, I know I'm forgiven and hope the boys see that when we do something wrong, we can make it right.
So, we finished school and had to drive 40 minutes in the rain to pick up milk. I had some more phone calls with the realtor(much nicer this time) and we came home and had a quick dinner. Darryl is out at a business dinner tonight and the boys were really missing him. He has had so many events lately and it seems so much worse when we are stuck here. I sound so ungrateful and really I'm not, it's just hard when you have two hyper little ones and no where to play unless you take them somewhere. We are so used to just opening the door and going outside to play. So, anyway, Darryl's out for the night and when we are saying our dinner prayers and giving thanks for what we are thankful for(a daily routine) all the boys could think of was a piece of candy they had today. That made me really sad. So, I surprised them with an impromtu movie night. They screamed with excitement. We never watch movies during the week and rarely watch t.v. so this was a special treat. I set up their computer to play the movie-we've never done that before and they thought it was so cool. They got in jammies and cuddled in bed-it's freezing here today-and settled in for a movie. Hugs and kisses were in abundance-it was just what they needed...
Here is a picture of them watching the movie-Scooby Doo Pirate's Ahoy!

And yes, there mattress' are on the floor. The room is so tiny we can't fit their bedroom suites in's like least that's what we tell them....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My love affair with the Bosch continues...

So, I found this recipe from FrugalGirl that is a combination of garlic knots meets monkey bread and thought I'd give it a whirl tonight. These were really good and to make it even better I made an olive oil dip with spices(ala Carabbas style) for us to dip these in. Well, it calls for 1lb of dough(basically white bread dough made with raw milk and butter-Oh My It's good) Anyway, intead of just whipping up 1lb of dough, I made 4lbs in my Bosch. I then took the other 3lbs of dough, separated them into 1lb balls, let them rise for an hour, punched them down and froze them in freezer bags. Now, when we are in rush and I need hot dog buns or a loaf of quick bread, I can just pop one of these out of the freezer, let it rise, shape it, let it rise again and bake-Easy Peasy!!!
If you are reading Bosch we will be moving soon and I could use some new appliances..hint..hint...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Our weekend at the Renaissance Festival, continued

We became sportsmen shooting arrows at targets...

We rode elephants (notice Matthew displeased with certain odors...I was the same way with all the patchouli...but I think he smells something different)

It was fun and the weather was great! We all got an ear full, an eye full and a nose full of the experiences at the Carolina Renaissance Festival...Huzaah!!

Our weekend at the Renaissance Festival

This was our second time going to the Renaissance Festival. The first time being last year. I think once every 5 or so years is enough for us. My head hurt after awhile from all the pachouli smellin' and boobie gawking(I know some of these women were in *costume* but one woman's errr...assets were pushed up to her chin-she looked as if she had no chin). I think we had forgotten that most of the shows, even the ones that are labeled *kid friendly* really caused us to raise our eyebrows several times. Our favorite show last year was our favorite show this year. It was a 3 guy act called "London Broil" They were really, really funny and the kids could watch them without us plugging their ears or covering their eyes. But, we did have a fun time and here are some of the pictures from the day.

Sir Nicholas and Sir Matthew...

King Darryl and Queen Tanya...

Our favorite show!

This is the three guys-they really are funny!

More baseball pictures

Nicholas after the game...

Matthew takes playing 2nd base very seriously!

Fall baseball

The boys in practice.

Matthew practicing his swing.
Nicholas watching and waiting for his turn.

Good catch!

We had a good season in fall ball. The boys mostly played second base, short stop and some outfield. It was a challenge moving 40 minutes away and commuting for most of the season, but well worth it. The boys have really improved this season and enjoy playing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm in love...

With my new Bosch universal plus mixer..oh my It's a homemakers dream machine(I sound like a commercial).
I love to make all the bread items for our family. I make all of our sandwich breads, artisan breads, pizza crusts, quick breads, and would like to make homemade tortillas (I already purchased a press) and pita breads. I love that they are free of nasty preservatives and are made with whole ingredients we can pronounce and they taste so much better. But, as much as I enjoy making these things, it takes time and time I don't have alot of...
Well, I asked for the Bosch for my birthday and Darryl said he just couldn't buy me an appliance but gave me the blessing to go ahead and order it if I felt it would benefit our family. Well, of course, it's not something we needed, I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and my hands knead perfectly well, but it surely would make my life a little easier. It took a little more convincing after he saw the price tag, but gave me the go ahead. Oh my!! I made 5, yes 5 loaves of whole wheat sandwich bread this morning and it was so easy!! I just dumped some of the ingredients in, let it proof for 20 minutes, added the rest, and let the machine do all the kneading. It was so easy!! My KitchenAid would start burning up with just enough for 2 loaves of bread, this one did 5 and it was no big deal. I am so excited about all the possibilities this machine has opened up for me. I'm thinking of later this afternoon, making just a bunch of freshly, ground soft white dough and freezing it in smaller portions for when we want garlic bread or an artisan loaf with soup, I can just thaw out a 1lb portion that I've previously frozen and we can have bread with all our dinners quickly.
And mostly, I'm thankful that:
1. We could make this unnecessary purchase in this economic climate we are in..I'm so thankful for my husband's job as much as I complain about how much he has to work(because we miss him) I'm thankful he has a job.
2. That my husband let me to purchase it because he knew it would make my life easier and I think that's so sweet.
3. That he appreciates all the hard work I do to make wholesome, good foods for the family . He's always bragging to people about my cooking(I couldn't boil water 13 years ago).
So, in this season of giving thanks, I have much to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wow..just wow...

This scares me..big time.

An answer...

I've been talking with a few very close friends lately about an *issue* I've been facing for some time now. One of my dearest friends, Wendy, is one of the strongest Christians I've ever met and while visiting with another friend last night, I found myself repeating constantly what my friend Wendy told me the previous night on the phone. She is so wise...
Well, this morning, I asked God to give me an answer. I gave it up to him and told him if he wanted me to make a decision, HE HAS TO MAKE ME!! I'm too dumb to figure it out on my own. My friend Wendy was right. As soon as I gave it up and told him to move me, within hours I felt peace . I just pray he gives me the strength to follow his will and to continue to physically and mentally move me toward what his will is for me.
Please pray for me to have the strength to continue to give it up to Our Heavenly Father.
And if I fail, well at least I know he's still got my back...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Matthew was just laying with Bo Bear(our dog) and informed me his snout needed to's stinky...

Monday, November 2, 2009

News to share...continued

I jumped the gun and can't share yet..there is a bump in the road and I don't want to tell unless it's more official. It'll come soon (-:

Halloween part 2

On Halloween, we went to our old neighborhood(not our last neighborhood, but the one before that...following me?) to trick or treat with some friends.
Check out Matthew again, almost every picture is of him's so cute!
One thing worth mentioning that I thought was so cute. Nicholas was so great with the little ones that night. He kept trying to hold Baby Sophia's hand or when it started to sprinkle he would cover her or Julianna with his shirt so they wouldn't get wet. He was very chivalrous and it made me so proud of him to take it upon himself to be such a gentlemen..even while being a dude...

Daddy came armed with a costume as well-He was the Budweiser Donkey. All the kids loved it(it took Baby Sophia a little bit to warm up to him)

Me and my jack... well you get the idea (-;

Matthew's shell-He loved that it looked so much more real than the store's costume. At first, he was upset I wouldn't buy one from the store so I was a bit scared I could pull this off and him be pleased...He loved it!

Showing our score with our friend Indiana Jones..aka..Luke..

We had a great Halloween and I was so glad the rain held off for most of the night. Even though we are living in an apartment, it managed to still be special.
I hope the boys have wonderful memories of this day.

Halloween part 1

Halloween is always super fun for me and the kids. This year we had 2 days of Halloween fun. On Friday, we went to a local town that was having a Halloween costume parade and the local merchants were giving out candy. The leaves are just about peak right now and it was so wonderful to walk through town with all the colors and leaves on the ground. The wind was blowing slightly so ever so often we would get hit with a blanket of leaves... It was lots of fun!

I love to plan what the boys are going to be for the big day and how I will create it. We have a tradition that I must make the costumes, so this year we had one challenge.

Meet Leonardo...Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle...aka..Matthew

His costume was a bit of challenge from the start, but nothing I can't handle~
I made his shell from wire, bird netting and insulation foam. I bought a white turtleneck and white tights and dyed them green...Then, of course the yellow shirt with painted on turtle muscles, the homemade mask and belt and brown things on the elbows and knees and special Nerf swords and we have a complete costume! He loved the costume I made and kept thanking me for it. He really played the part and most pictures of him are posing in the standard Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle way.

Meet Dude...aka Nicholas...

His costume was fairly easy. He wanted to be a punk...So we hit the local thrift store and luckly in one outing I was able to buy some pants, old skater-type sneakers, a white t-shirt and a plaid overshirt-all for 1/2 off!! Wednesday's at Salvation Army are always 1/2 off and I got his whole outfit with shoes for $7.00. I then ripped the pants at the bottom and ripped the sleeves off of both shirts so we could see his cool tats...
He wanted me to write Punk Not Dead on his shirt. He got the idea from a Party City costume that wasn't nearly as cool but really expensive. I then mohawked his hair and we colored it three different colors. He loved it!! Everyone kept commenting about his hair. He played the part all night as well requiring us to call him "Dude"...

Matthew enjoying his loot!

Nicholas enjoying his bubble gum. I don't know if it was his costume or just the fact that he's going through a growth spurt, but he looked so big to me today. I fought back the tears several times. In fact, that night when we were watching our traditonal viewing of It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, while I cuddled with Matthew, I cried several times.
These boys are such a blessing to me.

Matthew playing the part. He kept trying to battle several other children and had a battle with Buzz Lightyear at one point.

It was a great day!