Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year, Communication

Today, December 31, 2011 . . . the last day of the year. 

Tomorrow, January 1, 2012 is a renewing of sorts . . .
a FRESH start.

Many people around the world decide on New Year resolutions.
Do You?

I have tried my hand at New Year resolutions and find . . .
they never seem to pan out. Sure, I start all excited . . . 
but then slowly and surely the new "resolution" is forgotten and goes by the way side.
This year . . . I will not make a New Year resolution. 
Why set my self up for disappointment ~ who needs that?


Katelyn and I were having a discussion yesterday about Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, etc.
It is amazing to us that people do not realize the poor choices they make and then post about it.
Commenting on this or that . . . 
simply going with the majority rather than standing up for what they truly believe or feel.

Personally, I love Facebook, Blogging and Emails.
It is amazing that each of us can connect with friends from the past . . .
don't forget those "enemies" too.
Each method of communication can be wonderful . . . if used correctly.

How many times do people rant about someone that has wrong them (in their own eyes)?
How many times is the wrong thing said?
How many times is someone hurt by something written?
How many times is someone encouraged?
How many times is someone made to feel special?
How many times does a person smile about something they have read?

Communication is a powerful tool that can be used in a powerful way . . .

How do friends, family or acquaintances feel after they have "chatted" with you?

Are they:






How do YOU "communicate"?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Recap

December 29 . . . wow, it is hard to believe the year 2011 is just a few short days of being "History".  
I am not going to ask, "Where did it go?" as 2011 was a very long and hard year for our family.
I could write this post and recap the "hard times", but you have all been through them and we have shared many, many tears. Today is a simple post . . . reviewing the past year . . .

Are you ready?

January, 2011: 
  • Grandma "Ro" turned 90 . . . a big party was thrown for her
  • JC "Fat Dog" spent the day with me
  • Katelyn rescued "George" a pitbull that found our home
  • Extreme winter storm warnings were issued for our area
February, 2011
  • Blizzard 2011 . . . 18-20" of snow for Central Illinois
  • Katelyn turned 18
  • I began 1,000 gifts . . . and finished it before the year end
  • Randy had a radical knee replacement - Valentine's Day
March, 2011
  • My Ryan was being bullied - the sad thing, it continued through to this school year too
  • Katelyn received 1ST in State for her Monochromatic drawing
  • Cody turned 5 years old
  • March 28, Aunt Ding Ding had her first computer lesson at my house - she rocked it!
April, 2011
  • Katelyn was accepted to her college of choice AND received a scholarship for part of the tuition
  • Randy became enthralled with a "Green Egg" smoker/grill . . . a Green Egg became part of the family
  • Turtles were everywhere . . . they became a favorite creature and we went out on the lake specifically to count them
  • April 13, our little Beckett was born
May, 2011
  • Sr. picture time . . . Katelyn and I had a blast taking her Senior pictures
  • Katelyn's "prom"
  • EJ's 7th birthday
  • Cameron's 8th birthday
  • Katelyn began the "firsts of the lasts"
  • Katelyn Graduated
June, 2011
  • Katelyn's Graduation open house
  • Beckett came home
  • Serious storms through our area
  • Heavy Duty Heat throughout Central Illinois
July, 2011
  • Cowboy night - the kids dressed like cowboys, ate beans on the fire, fished with a string & hook, slept outside with Daddy (in a tent)
  • Lethal temperatures in Central Illinois
  • My birthday
  • Car show - we all enjoyed
August, 2011
  • Grandma Ro passed away
  • My Daddy turned 70 and there was a big Birthday Sock Hop at my Sister's house
  • Aunt Darlene passed away
  • JC "fat dog" passed away
  • the boys returned to school
  • College began for Katelyn
September, 2011
  • September 2, the adoption of our three youngest was finalized
  • Cody underwent Allergy testing - Peanut Allergy - Severe
  • Uncle Frank passed away
  • Ryan's 9th birthday
October, 2011
  • Randy and I celebrated our 29th Anniversary
  • I went on strike . . . Mom style
  • We went to the pumpkin farm
November, 2011
  • Pneumonia hit Katelyn HARD
  • Thanksgiving
  • Lego - the toy of preference in our home
  • Pneumonia hit Randy
December, 2011
  • Uncle Sam passed away
  • We began planning an Old Fashioned Christmas
  • LOVE radiated from family and friends
  • the stomach flu hit
  • Christmas
  • We made the decision to Home school Ryan
  • Katelyn and Grandma took a shopping trip 
Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Still in my Jammies!

As I write, I am still in my jammies . . . it is 1:30 p.m. I know . . . Shame on me! I have not really accomplished much today . . .

  • I have been refereeing the boys
  • Made the boys' lunch - omelets with turkey and cheese, plus a banana ~ and eggnog ~ they were thrilled
  • Sent my youngest to bed for a nap . . . he was being VERY disagreeable ~ with everyone
  • I ate a salad with turkey for lunch ~ yum
  • Tonight I am making the family a version of shepherd's pie . . . with turkey. Yep, we are eating turkey 1,000 different ways and I have to say ~ the boys love it!
  • I checked emails and facebook . . . 
  • I even thought about digging into the upstairs - deep cleaning time you know, but that was simply a fleeting thought!
This afternoon I think I am going to grab my iPad and begin a new book . . . I have read and Finished two books this past week. Hurray for Me! 

I was going to take the boys to a new zoo near us . . . but I decided NOT . . . I really don't want to referee them out in public . . . why make some unsuspecting soul grumpy?!

Off to grab my ipad!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27, 2011 is going down in the Price Family history book as a "get it together" kind of day. Like many others across the world, we had a bit of a mess since Christmas. No matter how we tried we just couldn't get it "together". Well, today was the day! I got my troops together and began instructing them about what needed taken care of. We had quite a list . . . and we took care of it all. Yep, the entire list.

The list:

  • tidy . . . boy THAT was a job!
  • fold laundry as it came out of the dryers
  • clean two 1/2 bathrooms on the main floor - all sanitized after the sickies
  • murphy oil soap the kitchen cabinets
  • clean and polish the kitchen counter tops
  • tidy the pantry - at least it is tidied . . . although not exactly how I like it
  • wiped counters in the laundry room
  • scrubbed all tile surfaces on the main floor
  • wiped the stairs
  • tidied the nintendo drawer
  • tidied the game drawers and cabinet
  • tidied the video drawers
  • vacuumed the sectional
  • watered plants
  • tidied my desk . . . again
  • wiped down baseboards - main floor
  • Katelyn took care of upstairs chores . . . floors and dusting
  • sorted and matched a basket of socks
  • wiped down the breakfast bar stools
  • murphy oil soaped the chairs to the table
  • emptied the dishwashers
  • filled up one dishwasher and started it
  • tidied the laundry room
  • the piano room floor - wiped down
  • the library room floor - wiped down
  • the stairs - wiped
  • replaced batteries in our flameless candles
  • replaced wax in one of our scentsy warmers
Randy was home from work at normal time . . . he was thrilled we had accomplished so much. 

I made turkey & cheese panini sandwiches for the family for dinner . . . they also had tortilla chips and salsa and cherry fluff. I heard yum yum yum yum for quite some time.

I am not certain what tomorrow will bring . . . we do need to clean the basement . . . of course, we still have plenty of vacation days left! It sure would be fun to have a movie and snuggle kind of day . . . maybe I will talk myself into it! We shall see . . .

Monday, December 26, 2011

a day of Christmas at our house in pictures

Christmas Day at our house . . .

Ryan with the first of the gifts.

All of the boys promptly dug into the gifts . . . finding their name and tearing open the paper.

 Cameron and Ryan are discussing the new Tank Ryan just opened . . . they all four received a tank.
 Cody was enjoying his gift opening.

 Ryan found another as Cody is watching.

 Woo Hoo another for Cody! 

 Cody has the craziest expressions!

 EJ is behind this box.

 Cameron and EJ are searching for their names.

 Cameron is watching as he takes the bell of of the ribbon.

 Yet another RAISED eyebrow expression!


No matter how I try, some of the pictures were a blurr . . . they were moving pretty quickly! 

 Busy, Busy boys . . .
totally in the zone!

 EJ finally found his tank!

 I am thinking he kind of likes the tank!

 see . . . blurr

 I am really surprised Cameron had as much opened as he did . . . he stopped and checked out his brothers' gifts several times. 

 Katelyn finally decided she would get in on the action.

 She was thrilled with her Burberry purse.

Our Christmas wasn't quite the same with Daddy sick, but the kids and I made it work!
They helped clean up all of the wrapping paper and took their "haul" to their rooms.
They have had a blast opening each item and playing.

The pictures below are from today . . .
we were working on our Happy New Year photos.
I saw this little idea on Pinterest and fell in love with it instantly!

Katelyn and the boys totally rocked it out.
How did we go about it?
Two strings of lights wrapped loosely around four little boys . . .
One willing Sister . . .
Vinyl tape . . . very non sticky cut into strips to resemble duct tape.
One cute lil' puppy.

The boys were thrilled to be "tied up" with Christmas lights.
I told them to act like they were being shushed and
tied up to make them behave.
Ryan's expression was priceless!
As you can see by EJ's face . . . he was trying not to laugh.


I certainly LOVE my lil' family! 

Happy New Year 2012!

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

It is almost 8:30 p.m. as I write . . . things are beginning to calm down around here. Our Christmas began early, early this morning when were abruptly awakened from our Christmas Eve slumber by the sounds of our five year old ~ hit with the stomach bug. Poor little guy had no rest until just before the sun began to rise . . . by that time, Randy began his bout with the stomach bug . . . he had it a bit worse than Cody did and stayed upstairs most of the day.

I had a BIG day planned for everyone, BIG breakfast, BIG lunch/dinner and plenty of snacks in between. Everyone was fine with very simple today . . . hopefully, all will be better tomorrow so we can have our BIG yummy day . . . Turkey and all the trimmings.

Our official Christmas began with a cup of coffee and my camera. The boys were thrilled to dig into the gifts all the while my camera was clicking away. Screams, jumping around and even a few BOO YAs were heard! There was wrapping paper strewn across the family room, a gift pile for each of the boys was began, Katelyn and I enjoyed coffee while Emma and Mia slept and Beckett lay very content on Katelyn's lap watching all of the excitement.

The boys opened their gifts, gave BIG hugs and Thank Yous . . . ear to ear smiles filled our family room. I sat back and watched them . . . my boys, helping one another opening gifts, taking off ribbon or finding just one more gift with their name on it. 

Finally, the gifts were all opened and the wrapping paper mess had been cleaned up. I sat down at my computer, accessed and played the beautiful song . . . Happy Birthday Jesus! I wasn't sure my children were listening, but you know what? They were . . . a bit later I heard them singing Happy Birthday Jesus! This Mama's heart was thrilled beyond measure!

This is the song they heard:

Although our Christmas Day did not turn out as we had planned we are thankful we had each other and we felt Blessed to be celebrating the Birth of Our LORD Jesus Christ!

I end this post tonight by simply saying this:


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve . . . our family joined my Mom & Dad, sisters and brothers PLUS their families for our family Christmas Celebration this afternoon. We all headed to my sister's house . . . Randy took three of the boys while I had Ryan, Katelyn and Aunt Doris with me.

We had a WONDERFUL time and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with our family! Now, we are home and beginning to gear down for the evening. Tomorrow will be a busy day, but we will be home all day.

I will post pictures in a day or two . . . have over a thousand to process from our two Christmas parties. Tomorrow I am quite certain there will be another thousand or more. Shutterfly is going to be thrilled as we have plenty of pictures to put together several books!

Good Night All and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve's Eve

Tonight we had our FIRST Christmas Party . . . family style. We got together with Randy's side of the family . . . and it was a BLAST! Melissa and Josh treated us to a lovely dinner and evening of relaxation and laughs. EVERYONE had a GREAT time! Josh and Melissa are such awesome hosts!

We watched as little ones opened their gifts . . . the joy in their eyes AMAZING! Listening to squeals of delights and AWE YEAHs . . . PRICELESS! We took plenty of photos, so in the days to come I have plenty to share . . . after processing them so they look their best!

Tonight as everyone has FINALLY settled down and are cozy in their beds, I am THANKFUL beyond measure! To begin our Old Fashioned Family Christmas . . . here are a few things I am Thankful for . . .
  1. Family . . .
  2. Hugs
  3. Hearing, "I LOVE You!"
  4. Children's squeals of delight.
  5. Laughter
  6. The twinkle in a child's eye.
  7. the Sacrifice of others
  8. the sound of an Antique clock ticking (all the while I wonder . . . what the families were like that owned it through the years) Amazing!
  9. Memories
I am truly BLESSED beyond measure and I am Thankful!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Prep, Homeschooling

What a BUSY day we had today! Our little elves (and their mommy) were all busy getting pre Christmas stuff done. Yesterday we all worked together on the reindeer dust. The boys each had a "duty" . . . add the oatmeal, add some glitter, more oatmeal, more glitter, put the lid on top, add the pretty fabric and string to hold it on.  Everyone had a blast . . . 35 jars done . . . one jar dropped and broke. Tonight the last of the "reindeer dust" was delivered . . . we are thrilled to have it done.

Today we worked around the house to get some things done before Christmas. The kids were pretty good most of the day . . . then it happened. Two of my boys were arguing over a bathroom . . . apparently, they both needed to go to the bathroom, both wanted to use the exact same one ~ so, they argued. I couldn't believe it . . . two boys arguing over one bathroom ~~~ we have FIVE bathrooms in our house. I couldn't believe they were arguing! Sheesh!

Katelyn began her Christmas baking today . . . then we delivered the cookie trays while we were out delivering the reindeer dust. Katelyn made some very pretty cookies and brownies!

Gifts are all wrapped, the Christmas breakfast, lunch/dinner menu is made as well as the shopping list. Not much remains on the TO DO list!!! Praise the Lord!

Randy and I are thankful to finally know exactly what we are to do for our son Ryan. He has been struggling for a while now. Ryan was extremely close to Aunt Darlene and Uncle Sam . . . as well as Kamie our precious Sheltie. We have been keeping our eyes on him and yesterday I finally knew exactly what we needed to do. You see Ryan has been dealing with some kids at school that have bullied, teased and are just plain mean to him. I certainly wouldn't want to deal with it if I were only nine years old. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am VERY pro-active and have no problem talking to whomever I need when something comes up. This time . . . no talk is needed . . . at least in my opinion. My Ryan got into my car yesterday after 1/2 day of school . . . Christmas party day. Ryan was very quiet and I knew something was not right. I asked him what was wrong and he didn't want to tell me . . . I didn't push him. Later I asked my Cameron what had been going on with Ryan at school . . . some of the kids are just mean to him Cameron replied. They make fun of him, call him names and are mean to him. Later I asked Ryan . . . "honey, would you like to be homeschooled?" He didn't answer me, but I could see that he was thinking about it. I told him to "think about it" and we would talk later about it. This morning I sent an email to his school and ordered up his curriculum . . . the same he has been studying. Ryan arrived hom a bit later and I asked him, "Ryan, what would you think if I told you that you are going to be homeschooled for the remainder of 4th grade?" My son looked up at me with a HUGE smile on his face. "Really?" he asked. "Yes" I answered. He gave me a HUGE hug!!! Tonight I have noticed glimpses of my HAPPY Ryan once again. I am thankful . . . and thrilled. I have homeschooled before . . . Katelyn through 5th and 6th grade . . . we can certainly get through 4th grade.

Homeschooling is not for everyone . . . but, there are times when a parent feels their child's pain and sees the desperation. Homeschooling is something I can do for my little boy . . . nothing is too hard or impossible for a Mom.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

946th post, recap of the day

This is my 946th post on this lil' ole' blog. I was hoping to make it to 1000 by New Year's Eve, but I am not sure I am going to make it!

This morning the kids had parties at school. Two of the boys were in classes that went ice skating for a few hours. Ryan has a big bruise on the back of his calf . . . he said he fell more than he was up. Cameron also fell and hit his head on the ice. Me . . . I am not a big fan of ice skating . . . or the injuries. Tylenol and careful watching for injury problems.

The kids are now officially on Christmas Vacation . . . let the par-t-a-y begin! lol I am just kidding! The boys are in FULL party mode now and it is a bit difficult to calm them down a bit. I have kept a few craft items for them to do while waiting for Christmas to come. We will be attempting to make wooden angels and something fun out of pine cones. Of course, while we are being crafty the boys will be served yummy hot chocolate.

Katelyn and I were talking tonight about how things seem to be speeding up but the preparations are slowing down. Tonight I began working on our Christmas breakfast and lunch/dinner menu. I don't want to spend the day in the kitchen, so we will have most of the prep work done before hand.

Today we were surprised to receive a beautiful turkey from one of our favorite neighbors! The turkey is a beauty!!!

Well, that is about all I have for tonight . . . sleep well.


Katelyn's first semester at Bradley is officially over . . . grades have been posted. My girl has a 3.37 GPA as of the end of the first semester and ranks in the top 28% of the freshman class and in the top 29% of the freshman of the arts college. Here are her grades: Art - Drawing A; Art - 2D design B; Survey Art History B; English Composition A; Spanish B.

We are so proud of her and THRILLED with her dedication and hard work!

The kids have a half day of school tomorrow and then Christmas vacation begins. They have been occupying their time playing wii . . . they love the cooking game. The game shows a restaurant and the players have to cook . . . or burn the restaurant down. It is hysterical to watch them play as they cut, dice, slice, fry and prepare food. The inspector comes for visits too. It is a great game for them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday, Lists and a Great Book

Today is a bit of a "down" day . . . I have yet to shower and get dressed, although I have thoroughly enjoyed two yummy cups of coffee! This morning I have a hair appointment and I am REALLY ready for a bit of pampering!

I have given Katelyn a list of things I need picked up or delivered today. I love delegating!!! lol I love that I can ask her to take care of things and don't have to worry about them from there.

I am making lists . . . I have little post its all over to remind me of things I need to do. Nothing huge, but I have so much going on in my mind I am afraid I will forget something.

The boys only have today and 1/2 day tomorrow of school . . . then the crazy days of Christmas vacation begin. They have class parties tomorrow and are so excited about them.

My pantry is beginning to empty out . . . the Christmas craft items had taken over. I am beginning to see a bit of normalcy in there once again. I have to laugh when I am in the bulk of Christmas crafts as we have this and that for the crafts. The overflow and storage goes into the pantry as I don't like leaving things out. Having said that . . . our breakfast bar is loaded down with whatever has been thrown there . . . definitely a chore I need to tend to today. Does your home have a "catch all" place? What do you do about it?

Gifts are beginning to make their way under our Christmas tree. The boys have brought things home all wrapped up pretty from school. We also have gifts for our delivery people under the tree waiting for the day to hand them out. We love that little tradition in our family as it is this time of year we can give to those who work so hard all year long . . . the paper guy, mail lady, fedex and ups guys, the milk guy and the schwans delivery guy too.

I began reading a book last night . . . Have Heart . . . a beautiful book written by a Mom and Dad after their 19 year old son went to Heaven. They have written so many beautiful and encouraging things in this book and I could hardly put it down. With so many of our loved ones dying, I found comfort in this book. It is refreshing to read that the authors do not use the word "loss" in their home and know their son Josiah is alive and well in Heaven. I encourage you to download a copy of this book to your ipad, computer or kindle . . . or even order the book.

Time is ticking away . . . gotta go.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Life, Questions and Make Memories

Life is hard . . . knowing what to tell your kids every time they ask you questions about this or that can be difficult. The "what, why or how" can stop you mid sentence. These past months have been some of the most difficult in terms of heavy duty questions from my kiddos . . . questions about life, death and everything in between. I am thankful for those simple child type questions . . . the ones I can answer easily and chuckle to myself that they were asked.

Questions like these:
  1. Mom, are black jeans the same as blue ones?
  2. Why can't Christmas be today?
  3. Do we have to go to school when we are on Christmas Vacation?
  4. Why do I have to go to bed when I want to play games on the ipad?
  5. Can I have waffles today?
  6. Can we open ONE present on Christmas Eve?
  7. Have you seen Max the Elf today?
  8. Why do I have to sleep in my own room?
  9. Why do we have to do homework?
  10. 5 minutes after dinner . . . Mom, can I have a snack? Really?
I am certain in the coming years those "Hard" questions will return. Many prayers between now and then are my goal!

Our Old Fashioned Family Christmas is getting closer and closer . . . less than one week . . . six short days from now. Today my office staff were my wrapping elves and they all did a FABULOUS job! I am more than THRILLED they accomplished so much! I have a few gifts here at home that I need to get wrapped and there are a few more at the office to wrap and tag . . . but 90% are ready.

Friday evening our Family Christmas begins at our niece and nephew's house. We will have a blast! Saturday, Christmas Eve will be at my sister's house . . . more fun! Christmas Day . . . we will stay home. We discovered a few years ago how wonderful it is to spend Christmas Day at home with our children. Usually, my Mom and Dad join us for a waffle breakfast . . . although this year Christmas is on a Sunday and that throws breakfast waffles up in the air. So, we are thinking about Monday morning waffles instead. I am planning a turkey dinner and all the trimmings on Christmas Day . . . a very unhurried and enjoyable meal. Our Christmas Day will be relaxed . . . watching our kids open their gifts, take plenty of pictures and treasure each and every moment.

I urge you . . . this Christmas focus on FAMILY. Christmas isn't about getting yourself all stressed, freaking out when things aren't perfect or overloading each other.

This past year has reminded us . . . life is too short to fret about the small stuff. Celebrating life and spending it with those you love is the MOST important. Making Memories . . . having family together and loving one another . . . the ONLY things that matter!  So, take the time to snuggle with your hubby, your kiddos, grandchildren . . . and grandparents, aunts and uncles. Make those memories . . . the ones you will ALWAYS remember!

The Monday Before Christmas

A full weekend is now behind us and the week before Christmas before us. The excitement is mounting with each day, especially since the kids only have 2 1/2 days to go. Today the boys were so excited  . . .  NO SPELLING or MEMORY VERSE this week! I am quite certain it is a highlight for them.

I have finished up all of the faux gum ball machines . . . they are ready to be given to their recipients. We will be working on putting together reindeer dust again this year . . . the boys are excited to help with that project. There are still gifts to be wrapped and groceries for Christmas, before, during and after to be purchased. Randy is finishing up a few gifts for guys this week as well. I am thrilled as gifts are finished . . . my pantry looked like craft central threw up all over it! lol

Looking at how busy we have been, I now wonder what are we going to keep busy with AFTER Christmas? hmmmmm

The clouds are dreary this morning . . . we are hoping for a big Christmas snow! Probably not going to happen!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The final week before Christmas is upon us . . . it seems that it has been coming for a long time. Much preparation and planning involved to make sure everything is just right. We have chosen to keep it a bit more simple this year and I am certainly glad we have.

Last night was the Christmas program at school for the kids . . . the place was extremely full and extra chairs had to be put out so everyone would have a seat. Randy, Katelyn and I sat in the very last row with my Mom and Dad. We could still see and were able to stand up for a better look if we needed. I took a few photos with my cell phone . . .

 Three of my boys are in this photo . . . Evan James, Cameron and Ryan. Cody was in a different group of photos.

Grandpa, Grandma, Cameron and Ryan. (Katelyn was standing behind talking to a friend.) Randy,
Evan James (EJ) and Cody had already left to go and pick up McD's pies
(a tradition of our after the Christmas program).

Ryan took Grandpa's hat . . . he looks so handsome!!!

The pictures I took of Cody were blurry . . . bummer!

After the program, we headed home. Mom & Dad and our friends Doug, Kristi and the kids came over for coffee and hot chocolate. We were thrilled to have a house full and everyone had a great time! Before we knew it, the hour was late and everyone needed to head home. The kids were all wound up and it took a bit, but everyone finally fell asleep . . . AND they slept in this morning!

Today was pretty much a quiet day. I took care of paperwork and did a little online shopping. Katelyn worked on laundry for me. The boys played and Randy had some things of his own to do. My furry ones stayed pretty close to me today . . . guess they thought I was going to escape on them! lol

Tomorrow we will tidy the house again, finish the laundry, wrap school presents, decorate our clay ornaments and watch some movies. I am looking forward to it.

Tonight the boys are playing the Wii . . . I love to watch them work together to figure out games. They are working on a cooking game right now. They are "trainees" and the program tells them what to do. It is fun for them . . . cute to watch too!

How many of you are "into" Pinterest?
I joined up about a month ago and absolutely love it!
So many great ideas, fun stuff and more!

Salt Dough Ornaments

I was asked about our Christmas ornaments (that will be decorated today) that we made last week from the Crayola Air Dry Clay.

I purchased it from: Amazon . . . click on Amazon and it will take you to the product.

I also found this recipe that would be easy to do at home and the kids can still roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to make the decorations.

Baked Salt Dough Ornaments

Do not eat the "cookies", which taste REALLY bad.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

Mix ingredients together and knead. 

Roll out flat and stamp with cookie cutters. 

I use a straw to poke the hole in the ornament while before the dough is baked or dried.

Place on an ungreased sheet and bake for 2 hours at 250 degrees (F). You could let them just dry out like play dough but that would take too long.

After the ornaments are finished cooling lay out paints and brushes and give the kids painting shirts. OR use glue and glitter OR markers . . . whatever you choose, Have fun! 

Oh, and parchment, wax or butcher or newspaper would also be a pretty good idea! 


Friday, December 16, 2011

a Special Visit!

Friday . . . I never thought I would see you again! It seems this week has gone on FOREVER! 
How about to you? Has your week seemed felt the same way?

Uncle Sam's passing has been emotionally hard for me . . .
yesterday my favorite Lil' G came to see me
(his Momma brought him!)
Lil' G brought me these . . .

When I saw Lil' G my heart filled with joy . . . 
I LOVE him so much!
(and his momma too!)

I snagged one of his pictures from his Momma's facebook!
Isn't he a doll baby?
Lil' G - not Santa!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Aunt Darlene and Uncle Sam

This morning as I write, the skies are extremely dark . . . it is pouring rain. The skies match match the way I feel this morning . . . these past weeks are catching up with me and I feel a bit sober this morning. Monday, December 12 was Aunt Darlene's 78th Birthday . . . her first she celebrated in Heaven. I miss calling her to tell her Happy Birthday and hearing her say, "Well, Thank You Very Much!" While I was getting myself together Monday, I sang Happy Birthday to her. I miss my Aunt Darlene, I miss our little chats and her hugs. I miss her impromptu calls about this or that. I miss her emails from Florida during the winter . . . reading about her feeding the fish in the lake (she was fishing), going here or there with friends or simply doing nothing. I miss calling her "Ding Ding". I still struggle with the realization she has moved to Heaven and I can't simply stop in at her house or call her on the telephone.

In the course of three and a half months we buried both Aunt Darlene and Uncle Sam. Yesterday was Uncle Sam's Memorial/Funeral service . . . he was in Heaven with Aunt Darlene to Celebrate her birthday with her and I have praised God for that. Uncle Sam missed Aunt Darlene so much! Our lives will never be the same without them. Uncle Sam and Ryan were great buddies . . . there is a big empty space in my nine year old's heart. Ryan lay his head on my shoulder the other night and told me that he really misses Uncle Sam and Aunt Darlene. Uncle Sam and Ryan enjoyed hanging out together . . . they loved going to Long John Silver's or GodFather's Pizza to eat. They took long walks and hiked in the woods together. Uncle Sam was VERY hands on with my boy ~Ryan had a special bond with them both.

Uncle Sam loved to golf . . . he loved getting out in the sunshine and walk that golf course. He also loved to help others with whatever was needed. He also loved to drive . . . when they headed down to Florida and back each year he would not let Aunt Darlene drive . . . he drove the entire way. I miss Uncle Sam's impromptu drop ins . . . he would drop in anytime, sometimes staying for coffee and other times just to tell or show us something. He loved teasing my boys.

Our lives were certainly blessed by having Aunt Darlene and Uncle Sam in our lives.

Enjoy Heaven Uncle Sam and Aunt Darlene . . . We Love You and Miss You Both!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

an Old Fashioned Type Christmas Prep, part 2

Our Sunday has once again been a day of togetherness and sweet Christmas preparation. More pictures:

The Clay came out today . . . it is an air dry type of clay and was easy to work with. I separated out clay for three of the boys (a third was in trouble and could not participate). Each had a lump of clay and a can of beans to roll the clay with. I lined the table with parchment paper so each could work with less mess. We used cookie cutters to cut shapes once the clay was rolled flat.

 Cody is taking this task quite seriously!

 EJ is rolling his clay and is very determined.

A few of the cutouts.

 Cody with his angel.

 Ryan is rolling his clay. 

 We used a straw to put a hole in each cutout.

Chocolate covered popcorn.
Sending some yummy goodness to our neighbor "Grandpa".

The kids have already dug into their bowl of yummy goodness!
Apparently, it was really good as the bowl is now empty.

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Our Lives Uncripted is written by me. All pictures are personal and cannot be copied. No portion of this blog can be copied and/or sold. All content copyright JCP, All Rights Reserved!

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