Saturday, November 29, 2008

Goodbye Thanksgiving, Hello Christmas!

Well, Thanksgiving is over, and we had a great time! We had Mimi, Papa, and Uncle Hogan join us, and we ate, played games, and then lounged around visiting and watching TV while getting ready to eat some more!

Take a look at my three kiddos at their Thanksgiving best! :) ...

Here is the crew right before the feast...too much light in the background...oops!
I took this one so I could have everyone else in it.
Carson was taking his accident? I don't think so! We gave thanks for a nice, civilized meal!
Yes, he got his feast a little later!
And mom took this one so that I could be in it...
That gathering wound up this morning, and this afternoon, some old friends came by for a visit. We had not seen them in years. Emilee, their oldest of three daughters, was Caylie's first neighborhood friend. They were best buds from the time Caylie was about 1 1/2 until she was probably 4, and they moved to Louisiana. They are both teenagers now, and hadn't seen each other for 7 years. How time flies! We all enjoyed getting some time to catch up.

Now it is officially time to switch gears. The Christmas season has arrived! Tonight, after Carson goes to sleep, I think the rest of us are going to pile into our bed, and watch White Christmas. Maybe that will get me motivated to pull our overwhelming amount of Christmas stuff out of the attic??? I have not even started shopping or decorating...I'm thinking that the decorating might start tomorrow after church...maybe!

While I LOVE Christmas...really, really love Christmas... I dread pulling it all out, and finding just the right place for everything, and then putting all of the partially empty containers back into the attic, only to bring them back down to reload all of the stuff in early January, and then put it back again. I've been dreading that part for a month now! I am going to develop a way to simplify...not quite sure how, but I am determined!

Today, Corey and I saw a commercial where the wife and husband head out to run errands...him to get the tree and lights taken care of, and her to get the Christmas gifts. At the end, it showed her standing in her beautifully decorated living room later in the evening, just soaking it in with a smile on her face (and all of the gifts purchased and wrapped I assume!). I told Corey that was my simplify Christmas to the point that within one day, we could get all of the decorations up, and the leftover boxes, etc., cleaned up, and have the wrapped gifts under the tree, and then just relax and ENJOY....the fire lit, sipping hot apple cider...that is how I imagine it being. Is that too good to be true or could it really happen?

I want the season to be slow enough to be able to focus on what it is really all about...Christ's birth, and what that means for all of us. I want my kids to learn to appreciate that part above EVERYTHING else, and not to associate Christmas with all of the crazy hustle bustle and spending, etc...maybe I can navigate my way into that kind of Christmas...simple and Christ focused.

That's my Christmas wish this year!

Writing The Waves,

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Well, last night was craft night with the neighbor girls, and we were busy making frames, candle holders, and clipboards! We still have plans for coasters and magnets too! We had so much fun, and were so proud to be able to make some pretty good looking gifts to give to family, friends, teachers, etc.! I think we are going to do round two after we get some more supplies...can't wait! I'll post pics later...we left all of our stuff at Amy's house until round two!

Well, my ever changing blog is in transition again! A fellow blogger pointed me in the direction of, and I whipped out the cute little header that I have up top now! It is a FUN site with a video tutorial that can get you started. I did the header on the first night that I used the site! I think I will design our Christmas cards there, and also my next scrapbook...lots of ideas floating around right now! So much to little time!

We are really working on the potty training...going to the potty every 10 minutes it seems like! Gosh, I didn't remember it being this constant...I mean, who goes to the bathroom every 10 minutes?!?! Well, my little guy does I guess...I think it must all be about scoring those potty treats, but I'm watching, and most every time he asks to go...he goes, so what do you do? You spend 1/2 of your day sitting on the bathroom floor talking potty talk with your two year old! Yes, I have lots of other things that must be done, but I also realize how sweet and fleeting all of these times are, so as I sit on the bathroom floor, I try to savor the cuteness of it all! These times won't last forever, so I want to milk them for everything they are worth!

I just made a brilliant discovery! For quite some time now, we have been waging the battle of the water dispenser on the front of the fridge combined with Carson's little hands! Time after time, we realize that we are losing the battle, and we again, have a soaking wet floor, and an equally soaking toddler. Well, I realized today that there is a wonderful little button staring right there at me that says "LOCK", Yea!!!!!! Problem solved...until he figures that out too!

Last night, I whipped out a dinner that the whole family loved! Yea...ya gotta love it when that happens. We had Shepherd's Pie and Green Beans. Both were easy, and turned out GREAT! Here are the recipes...the Shepherd's Pie is my Mother In Law's, and the Green Beans are from a church friend...thanks Barbara and both helped me make my family very happy last night! :) Not the recipes for those that are trying to steer clear of butter I must say!

Barbara's Shepherd's Pie...YUM!!
chuck roast
dry onion soup mix
dry mushroom gravy mix
beef broth
8-10 Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 stick of butter
cream (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
salt and pepper
shredded cheese

Place roast in the crock pot, and cover with the dry onion soup water or anything. Cook the roast overnight on low. Remove the roast to a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray, and pull apart with two forks, covering the bottom of the dish.

Make the mushroom gravy according to package directions, using beef broth instead of water. I used a little more than 1 cup of broth...maybe 1 1/4 cups.

After gravy comes to a boil, and thickens a little bit, pour it over the roast, and stir to combine.

Make the mashed potatoes using the butter, salt, pepper, and just enough cream to give it the right consistency. Spread potatoes over the roast.

Cover the top with shredded cheese.

Heat at 350 for 30 minutes

Your family's gonna love you!

Sinfully Good Green Beans
2 cans whole green beans...drain 1 can to reduce liquid
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp soy sauce
bacon (I used a bag of real bacon pieces that you find with salad fixings)

Combine all ingredients in a skillet, bring to a boil, and simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally...30 min. or so.

That's it!


Writing the Waves!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Potty Training Fun

Well, my little guy turned 2 on August 10th. I had not really planned on getting into potty training just yet. With Caylie, my oldest, I rushed it, and it was a long, drawn out process, so with Christian, the next in line, I decided to just relax, and kind of play it by ear. It was sooo much easier...he was still potty trained before he was 3, just a little later than Caylie, and without the obsessiveness on my part! Good deal for all involved I thought!

With all of that said, I figured that with little Carson, we would wait until this this spring, when he would be a little older, and there would not be so many heavy layers of clothing to deal with, but I'm thinking he may have other plans. Somehow, he has decided that he kinda likes this whole "potty" thing.

I didn't really even talk it up to him, he just acted like he was "working on something" a couple of weeks Target (of course), and so I decided to take him to the bathroom just to see if we might be able to make it on time. I plopped him down on the toilet, and what do ya know, he did his thing (his BIG thing) right on cue! I clapped and fussed over him, a performance that I'm sure the lady and her son, waiting on the other side of the door enjoyed, and we waved bye-bye as he flushd his special delivery down the toilet!

Anyway, we are in the thick of it now. He has been going multiple times a day. He gets two animal cracker "pee pee treats" and/or "poo poo treats", which he REALLY looks forward to, and starts talking about before he even gets off of the potty! I'm sure that at Mother's Day Out, and church, he will have accidents, because as brilliant and exceptional as my little pumpkin is (no bias here!), he's not the most well spoken guy on the block, so I don't think anyone will have a clue what he is talking about when he asks to go! Oh's a process!

I haven't bought Pull-ups yet, I guess I need to add that to my shopping list for the day!

Writing The Waves,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Craft Time Is Here!

Well, Meredith, one of my old college friends that has a blog, pointed me in the direction of "The Cutest Blog On The Block" web site! Although I did not create any of this myself...I just popped in one of their cute backgrounds, and I am suddenly so much happier with the look of my blog! Yea! Thanks Meredith! I still want to figure out how to do all of that fun digital stuff, but in the meantime, I can revel in the fact that I have a pretty darn cute little blog!

Well, I mentioned that I didn't buy anything at Holiday House on Friday, but I did pick up a whole lot of great ideas for things that I can make at home to give as Christmas gifts! Although I don't do much crafting during the year, when fall comes around, and Christmas gifts are on my mind, I always want to set up shop in the dining room, and get busy making some cute gifts...and for a fraction of the price that they are sold for in stores I might add! It is such a good feeling to not only know that I am giving a nice gift to someone, but to know that I made it myself makes it that much better. I think people appreciate the time and effort spent on them too...unless the gift looks like a piece of junk of course! :)

I got started the other night, while I was motivated, and had some ideas fresh on my mind. I love doing the crafts, but hate the mess that comes along with them. It seems like once the mess comes out, you have no choice but to live with it for a while. It just doesn't make sense to pack it up over and over again now does it? So...this is stage 1 of the mess that I will have on my dining room buffet until I have my Christmas crafts all finished up! See the cute little candle holder with the "G" on it? It is my first completed item!

Anyway, last night, a couple of my neighbor girls and I were talking, and we decided to get together tomorrow after kids are all where they need to be, and have a big ol' Christmas gift making session! I can't wait! We are meeting at Hobby Lobby, and then heading over to Amy's house to get busy! I got in bed last night, and made out my list of supplies needed, and just who is getting which gifts, so by tomorrow night, I will be up to my knees in my fall/winter craft time! Love it!

Oh Yeah! We also started throwing around the idea of getting our act together a little earlier in the game next fall, and starting our own little business! We would get together once a week to make things, and then do some local holiday craft shows. Maybe we could make some extra money for Christmas, all while having fun together! We need to think of a cute name for our little business!

Always thinking of something!

Any ideas?

Writing The Waves,

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Already Want A Facelift...For My Blog!

Well, I love having this blog up and running, but to tell the truth, it's driving me crazy that I don't have one of the awesome, scrapbook style, custom layouts that so many bloggers have.

As far as digital work goes, I recently switched from paper scrapbooking for our family to, just to simplify and streamline, but it is very simple templates, not the fun, creative layouts that I am now wanting to do. It was just fast, which is what wanted at the time.

I have actually done a lot of work in photoshop, but it has been all photo manipulation and layout...not bringing in background papers, new fonts, etc., etc... like I want to do now. I go on sites like, and I get so excited as I see all of the great digital scrapbook kits, and I feel sure that if I could get that into my "photoshop area", that I could figure it out, but that is where I am stumped.

I will have to be on a mission until I get it figured out...someone should really teach classes on this stuff! :) Wish me luck...

Writing the Waves,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Fun Day With Mom!

Well, yesterday was a fun day that I always look forward to at this time of the year...Holiday House! It is the Junior League's Christmas shopping blowout, and it is always so much fun. Mom and I have gone together for years, and although we usually don't buy very much, (in fact, this time, I didn't buy anything) we just love looking at the fun, creative gifts and tasting all of the yummy treats that they hand out!

After Holiday House, was Caylie's big opening night! We are taking turns going to different shows since there will be so many performances, so mom and I got to wrap up our fun time together at the theatre! It was great! When the cast sang "Oh Happy Day", I just lost my breath! Mom and I were both so proud! Mom bought Caylie one of her very favorite treats after the show...a strawberries and creme frap from Starbucks!

Here she is with some of her friends from the show...

Remember me saying in my last post, that maybe Caylie's 2nd "pre-performance" would be better than the first? Well, I guess that turned out to be kind of true. The audience was apparently the least of their problems that night...because TWELVE...yes, TWELVE of the cast members got sick...and we're not talking about the, "Oh, I don't feel quite right" sick. We're talking about the real deal, not kidding around kind of sick, during the performance! Caylie said that some escaped on time, while others barely made it off stage before...well, you know. That poor clean up crew! Fortunately, Caylie was not one of the twelve, and I'm hoping that she will prove to have what seems to be my natural resistance to that kind of thing! I'll keep you posted!
Writing the Waves,

Well, let's get started...

Well, Corey is out on the road with his partner today, and should be back soon. He is excited about both his new business partner, and their new business brokerage, and for that, we are sooo thankful! We feel blessed that he is getting to do something that he loves, and are hopeful that it will thrive.

Over the last few days, I've had at least one sick kiddo home from school, and today, they are all back up and running. Carson has a lingering cough, but it doesn't seem to be anything to worry about. He spent half of the night in bed with us, which I actually LOVE, but worry that it could end up backfiring pretty quickly. We rationalized that since he had a cough, and couldn't sleep, that we could flex a little bit. BUT, after the cough is gone little buddy, ya can't keep camping out in our bed...Daddy unfortunately, isn't as much of a co-sleeping fan, and spent half of the night on the sofa!

Caylie has her 2nd night of "pre-performance" for her musical theatre program tonight. Last night was the first pre-performance, and it was done for a tough audience apparently. (The pre-performances are done for various local organizations.) She said that some of the teenagers on the front row, looked like they couldn't have been more bored...even when the cast was sitting on the edge of the stage right in front of them! I guess it is just an example of how you can't always count on being praised for what you do, even if you put your heart into it! Maybe tonight will be better, and then the REAL opening night is tomorrow night, so I know that will offer the cast a bigger boost!

Yesterday, Christian had a little bit of a scare! He and some friends were playing in the driveway with a golf ball...they bounced the golf ball really hard, and it popped up and hit the mirror of the car, shattering it into pieces! He immediately came in and told us about it, and offered to pay for it, telling us over and again how it was just an accident. While we knew that it wasn't earth shattering, we told him that we would have to think about how we would handle it. We said that he should have known better than to be bouncing a hard golf ball right beside the car. I couldn't help but throw in this very "mom" comment..."Now, if someone is driving dangerously, and they have an 'accident', is it really an accident?" Christian seemed to get the point right away, but we still told him that we would have to think about it. A little later, after dinner, we told him that we would not ask him to pay for it this time, but that we hoped that he would be more careful from now on. I think we played our cards right. He was oh, so relieved, and thankful for not having to dish out the dough to pay for it, but I'm sure he will think twice before he starts bouncing golf balls around again!

Writing the waves,

Design by Deluxe Designs