Thursday, November 29, 2012

December Celebrations and Remembrance and more

Would you believe I missed announcing 1200 posts have been made on this lil' ol' blog? 


Tonight, I cannot sleep. I guess it could be because I took a short little snooze late this afternoon. It also could be that I am a bit itchy . . . I ran out of Zyrtec and wasn't able to take any last night. So now, I am itchy through my arms. Guess I should have had an extra bottle on hand. Katelyn stopped and picked up some Zyrtec before coming home tonight. Hopefully, it will kick the itch soon.


Two more days to the month and we enter December. So hard to comprehend another year is almost done. I am thankful for my little blog . . . I can look back on the year to see what we actually did.


I am thrilled to say I have finished my Christmas shopping and have begun wrapping gifts. I secret code the gifts so the boys won't know which gift is theirs. Madagascar names . . . Mort, Melvin, Alex and Marty. Ryan claims he knows who I gave each name to. We shall see! :-)


Randy's 54th birthday is on December 2. He is older than I am . . . by almost six years. We hope to have a fun family time celebrating his birthday. I am sure the kids will want to bake him a cake and decorate it for him. I watch my husband and have to smile . . . he is like no other and God set him aside just for me! 

My Mom's birthday is on December 5 . . . sorry, not sharing her age! I have Mom's gift all ready for her. This year the gift is "different" and I think she will really enjoy it. Sorry Mama . . . it isn't an RV! Love you! (insert smiley JuJu face here) I am so thankful my Mama is still on this earth. So many of my friends have lost one or both of their parents. I am so very thankful to still have both Mom and Dad so close.

Our Ding Ding's birthday is on December 12. This will be her second Birthday celebration in Heaven. I was looking through pictures the other night and came across several from Katelyn's Graduation Open House. I really miss her. There are times I think of her and I can hear her voice as plain as day. There was a precious woman at the hair salon that reminded me so much of our Ding Ding.

December 9 will be the first anniversary of Uncle Sam's passing. I came across pictures of him as well. There were pictures of him at Katelyn's party . . . with a head full of hair. He looked tired and little did we know he would have a tough road ahead. Then there were photos of Uncle Sam at Ryan's Birthday party. Ryan had some of his friends over for his 9th birthday and he invited Uncle Sam too. That was in September, 2011 and Uncle Sam was as bald as a billiard ball by then. Little did we know he wouldn't live to celebrate Christmas 2011.

Thinking of Aunt Ding Ding and Uncle Sam I often wonder what they would think of my kids. They always stressed the importance of college . . . Katelyn is now almost 1/2 way through her sophomore year and doing very well. I think they would be so proud of her and Aunt Darlene would say . . . I am so proud I am busting my buttons! I think they would be proud of Ryan too . . . he also held a special place in their lives. Ryan loved spending Friday nights with them. Aunt Ding Ding would make him his "special" eggs. I think they would be proud of my other boys too . . . although they didn't have enough energy to keep up with all of the boys . . . we knew they still loved them. 

As we enter the Month of December I pray we all take time to LOVE, APPRECIATE and TREASURE our LOVED ONES. You never know when God will call them home.

God Bless, 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

The day is ticking away . . . it is 9:25 p.m. as I write.
The boys are in bed, the fuzzy ones are curled up in their favorite spots. Randy is upstairs watching television, Katelyn is enjoying quiet computer time and I . . . I am enjoying coffee and time to write on my blog.

I am amazed, our Thanksgiving Holiday is coming to a close.
It seems like we just got out of school on Tuesday . . .
we were so looking forward to three days off PLUS the weekend.
Now . . . Thanksgiving 2012 is a memory.
One to treasure in my heart forever.

We have had a lovely time together over the past five days.
Plenty of time to do whatever.
Christmas movies are our current challenge . . .
we want to see how many we can enjoy before Christmas.
So far we have watched:

Elf, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Kung Fu Panda's Holiday, Arthur Christmas, Christmas with the Kranks, Charlie Brown Christmas, Prep & Landing

We have also watched:

The Incredible Mr. Limpett and The Apple Dumpling Gang


Tonight, we FINALLY took photos for our Christmas Card.
Woo Hoo . . . the picture is done, edited and Shutterfly Cards are on the way! Whew!


Facebook has been filled with beautiful photos and sentiments.
I thought I would share a few:

I think I might be a little jealous of the people that are enjoying the beauty of the "white stuff".

and to all . . .

Good night!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkey, Elf, Gifts, A Story

I want to apologize . . . I am late getting my annual Thanksgiving video posted. Here it is:

Katelyn reminded me I hadn't posted the "hilarious turkey video". 


Today was a busy day overall.
I decided this morning the pantry and medicine cabinet needed a bit of an overhaul . . . the boys helped me. It was a real chore, but we accomplished it together.

Randy ground up the left over turkey and made some Turkey Salad.

Ryan and Cameron helped me make these beauties for Christmas.
Beautiful Pottery Barn jars with snowflake toppers.
Filled with a variety of Hershey's Kisses, Cookies and Candy Apple lotion . . . I was short a Candy Apple lotion on one of the jars. :-(

The boys are thrilled Our Little ELF Max has returned!
Yesterday they found Max within seconds . . .
this morning was another story and they were beginning to think Max left. It wasn't long after I reassured them he was still here that they found him in the curio cabinet sitting in a little birdcage.

The little pink doily under the bird cage belonged to Aunt Darlene.
I believe she made it.


Katelyn went on a shopping outing with Grandma today.
She had a great time today and came home all bouncy and excited.
I love that they spend time together.


I LOVE these cute little birds!
They arrived today from Joss & Main.


My post would not be complete without a story from our day.

This morning I put on a crock pot of beans and ham for dinner tonight. It simmered all day long and made the house smell so yummy. We all sat down and ate our dinner ~ which was a HIT and then began clearing the table. EJ was taking bowls to the sink and I asked him to rinse them before putting them into the dishwasher. (I didn't want any rogue beans zinging all over the dishes.) I went on with other kitchen duties when I saw a bowl in the dishwasher, (the only item) that had not been rinsed. I looked at EJ and asked him if he heard me when I instructed him to rinse the bowls before putting them into the dishwasher. He answered "yes . . . I just didn't do it yet." I then asked him why the bowl with the beans was in the dishwasher . . . I was thinking he actually forgot about rinsing it. EJ had a puzzled look on his face, so I repeated my question. "Why is the bowl in the dishwasher?" His answer was quick . . . "because it is dirty." 
I have to tell you, I couldn't believe my ears. Yes, I knew the bowl was dirty . . . I basically was trying to get EJ to realize he put the bowl in the dishwasher without rinsing it, but I actually think he thought my brain had totally had a blow out!

His expression and words basically hit me that he was thinking . . .

MAN Mom . . . the bowl is in the dishwasher because it is dirty . . .
why else would it be there?

I stood there and then thought . . .
Hey Randy, come over here . . .
you gotta hear this!

I repeated everything . . .
EJ watched as I presented an instant replay for Randy.
Once the replay was over, Randy turned to EJ and calmly said . . .

"EJ, we know the bowl is dirty . . .
we want you to see that you didn't rinse it.
Now, what happens if we don't rinse food out of the bowl and we run it in the dishwasher?"
EJ looked at Randy and shrugged his shoulders.

"Well, if you don't rinse the chunks of food off of the plates and bowls, the dishwasher will clog up. That wouldn't be a good thing now, would it?"

EJ shook his head no as I rinsed the bowls and EJ put them in the dishwasher . . .
Because they were dirty.

Anyone else shaking their head back and forth?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving prep began yesterday . . .
Katelyn began by making apple, cherry and sweet potato pies.

We received this BEAUTIFUL pink Poinsettia from my Mom!
Thank you Mom!!!

SEVEN pies were made . . .
crust and all from scratch.

This one is Sweet Potato.

Today, my entire crew got in on the "action" . . .

Ryan began slicing the cheese.
(His first time.)

Cody began helping with the deviled eggs.
(His first time.)

Cameron tore bread for the bread dressing . . . sorry no picture.
EJ helped keep the garbage empty . . . missed that one too.
(Actually, Katelyn was taking the photos during dinner prep.)

This year was quite different for us . . .
we usually spend the day and have a meal at my sister Janeie's house, however we spared everyone there a case of the creeping cough crud by staying home. Although the day was full of food, laughs and fun . . . Ryan said it didn't seem like Thanksgiving because we weren't at Aunt Janeie's.

Anyway, our Thanksgiving dinner included:

Mashed Potatoes (Yukon Gold . . . YUM!)
Green Bean Cassserole
Old Fashioned Bread Dressing
Stuffing - for the guys
Deviled eggs
Cranberry sauce
Cheese slices

Giving Thanks
(A quick photo, sorry for only getting your hand Katelyn!)

My crew does not need any instruction to "dig in!"
Stay clear!

EJ and Cody are watching as Katelyn dishes out stuffing.

Onto Dessert:

Apple pie
Sweet Potato Pie
and Araceli's (Alice) Tres Leche Cake

Clean up is ALMOST complete.

After everyone pitched in to help clean up we headed for the family room to watch the Macy Parade finale. We had recorded it because I knew we would miss it if we didn't.

The parade was beautiful and in Macy tradition, ended with Santa.

The display was beautiful!

I clicked a photo of Cody before turning on:

We love watching ELF!
Then the kids watched Home Alone and Snow Day. 

Thanksgiving 2012 is winding down.
Our day has been full as are our tummies!

It is time to relax and enjoy the remainder of the evening . . . but 
not before I let you in on a few Thankful moments of the day.

I am so very Thankful for my family. I smiled and treasured many moments throughout my day as I watched them play.

I am Thankful for laughter. Hearing my children full out belly laugh makes me stop and take notice.

I am Thankful for our home, a place that is crazy beyond belief but also a sanctuary . . . our door is always open.

I am Thankful for loving family and friends.

I am Thankful for the quiet moments . . . although at times it causes me to panic . . . when the boys are upstairs together 
and it is too quiet!

I am Thankful for our business.

I am Thankful for the opportunity to share what God has given us.

I am Thankful for those who serve or who have served in the military to protect us and others. 
May we never forget their sacrifices!

I am Thankful for the Unselfish Sacrifice of Jesus!

I am Thankful Jesus Rose from the dead!

I am Thankful for the Gift of Eternal Life!

I am Thankful for the promises in God's Word! 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From Our Home . . .

Change in Plans

This morning has started slowly . . . of which I am thankful! Our lil' Home School "partied" Monday and Tuesday in celebration of Thanksgiving. The kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Today will be a calm day with a bit of cooking/baking for Katelyn and I. 

I LOVE being in the kitchen with Katelyn . . . she makes cooking/baking fun, albeit messy! lol

Nasty cold/cough virus germs have invaded our home. It all began with me a little over a week ago . . . hit like a freight train. Two of the boys began at the same time . . . our home was a little science experiment of sorts ~ definitely a petri dish! I was hoping all would be clear for Thanksgiving . . . well, not so much.
This morning six of the seven of us are coughing . . .
lingering coughs for some and all out coughing for the others.
Randy has yet to be hit with the "bug".
Our Thanksgiving will be spent at home this year . . .
of course, it wouldn't be the "holiday" without someone being sick.

Today we will be making pies - or at least I will be.
I will drop them off at my sister's house tonight, 
along with the ham. 

Tomorrow, our lil' Home style Thanksgiving will feature:

Mashed potatoes - requested by Cody
Green bean casserole - requested by my boys
Stuffing - for the boys
Bread Dressing for Katelyn and I
Sweet potato pie

If things go as planned, I will also get Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls made. The kids go crazy over them!

Our day will include . . .

watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade . . .

Plenty of movies:
The Love Bug
The Incredible Mr. Limpet

Game time . . .
we have plenty - who knows what they will choose!

I am praying for a lovely Thanksgiving, although we will be missing our large family Thanksgiving at my Sis' house.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I am reminded to be Thankful for Family . . . Last year several of our loved ones moved to Heaven.
Last Thanksgiving was our final Thanksgiving with Uncle Sam. Although he didn't attend Thanksgiving Day at my Sis' house, we had a little mini Thanksgiving for him at our house. Little did we know, fifteen days later Uncle Sam would join Aunt Darlene in Heaven. I am so thankful we were able to celebrate one last time with Uncle Sam and he celebrated Christmas 2011 pain free in Heaven! We think of them all the time . . .
enjoying Heaven and it makes us SMILE!

I came across this beautiful song ~

I pray it will touch your heart too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Petri Dish

Tonight our house shakes with the sounds of coughing . . . the type of aggravating cough that comes with a nasty cold. Our home has become a PETRI DISH of sorts, no matter how much hand sanitizer we use. Five of us have the dreaded "bug" . . . so far, Randy and Katelyn have escaped the cold virus. Two days in a row, we have returned home from school to take naps in the afternoon. Cough medicine dosing X five. The silver liner ~~~ hopefully, we will all been over this nasty cold by Thanksgiving!


This week will end nine weeks of school for my boys.
Report cards will be figured on Friday for Ryan and Cameron.
The other two boys are on six week schedules . . .
they will simply get a progress report.


My Christmas shopping is almost complete . . . 
I am thrilled!

My goal . . .
have everything purchased by Thanksgiving.

How about you?

Have you started Christmas shopping yet?

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Yesterday, Katelyn, Ryan, Beckett and I took a little road trip. Katelyn had been assigned a project that required a trip to a museum to view Asian Art. We found two options . . . Chicago or Champaign. We chose the closer of the two . . . Champaign . . . two hours verses three to three and a half. 

We enjoyed a calm, quiet drive. It was lovely after that past  several weeks of non-stop busyness. Ryan was in the back seat with his Nintendo, Katelyn was my co-pilot and Beckett was on her personal perch . . . my shoulder.

We arrived in Champaign in good time and meandered through the streets of College town. It had been years since I had been in Champaign . . .  I totally forgot how busy, clogged up and wall to wall people it was. 

Game day meant plenty of blocked off streets . . . some we really could have used to get to our destination. After twenty minutes or so of driving around trying to locate the museum, we asked a security person to direct us. She was as "lost" as we were and she could not help us to get there because of all of the closed roads. So, we sought out another "helpful" soul . . . this Security person didn't have a clue and actually told us we were on the wrong side of town. YIKES! So, we did what any other CRAZED ADVENTURE SEEKING family would do . . . we drove around Campus Town until we found it. All in all it took us about 45 minutes to find the museum that was located with the many other campus buildings and dorms. Parking was a nightmare and I was thankful I didn't send Katelyn alone on this "field trip". 

We continued around and around the many blocks in an attempt to locate a parking space . . . I finally dropped Katelyn off at the museum and continued driving around while waiting for her. As I waited, I people watched. People were everywhere . . . walking, sitting under tents, grilling out, setting up lawn chairs and sitting just about anywhere. I was amazed that people were actually just hanging out anywhere they pleased. There were guys looking for tickets and others selling tickets. There were scads of porta potty stations . . . totally mind blowing!

They even had wheelchair accessible potties! Cool, right?

Katelyn didn't take long inside the museum  . . . she found exactly what she needed and headed back out. By the time she came out, I had found a parking space in front of the museum. Figures!

 The entrance to the museum.

It took less time for Katelyn to get photos of the Asian Art than it did to find a parking space! She jumped in the car and we headed out of CRAZY town!

While in CRAZY town, we saw many things . . .
1. People stopping anywhere to let someone cross the street - not just at the "stop for pedestrians" areas.
2. Mobs of people gathering in one little spot of a wienie roast.
3. People parking their car anywhere . . . it must have been allowed as long as their hazard lights were on . . . 
4. There was absolutely ZERO motorist courtesy . . . just pull on out, doesn't matter if a car is already there . . . they will move!
5. Security everywhere . . . except they were all chatting with one another!

To sum it all up . . .


We headed out of Champaign and headed for home!

We were a few miles from home when I noticed my car was turning over 1,000 miles. 

 Once home, Katelyn, Beckett and I took a lil' nap. It was wonderful.
After our nap, we all sat and watched the newest Spiderman. It was very good!

This morning, Randy has covered the jetskiis in preparation for winter. The winds are blowing hard and we are expecting the temps to drop dramatically. 

The kids are playing with Lego, Katelyn is working on a project for school, time to chill out and maybe read a book!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Catch Up

I apologize for my lack of posts recently . . .
Life has been TOO busy!

Home Schooling has been a bit challenging the past few weeks, but today went very well. The kids were all excited it was Friday . . .
I was too!


This afternoon we took the kids to see Hotel Transylvania.
We were the only ones in the theater!
The kids loved the movie . . .
Randy thought it was weird, but I found myself laughing several times during the movie.


I have Christmas gifts purchased for my kids, seven nieces and three nephews. I still have a list of gifts to purchase, but feel I am officially half way done.


Tomorrow, Katelyn and I will be heading a few hours away to a museum. She has a project for school that she needs to complete before Thanksgiving. Ryan and Beckett will be joining us . . .
The remainder of our brood will be staying home with Daddy.

They will be just fine . . .



Cameron, EJ, Cody


Seeley Booth, Emma, Mia


the guinea pigs




This weekend will be a relaxing weekend!
Last weekend - we worked on boys' rooms . . .
it made for a very long week!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


There are never enough hours in the day or energy in the body to complete everything that is needed in a house full of boys. So, yesterday I dedicated the entire day to BOY bedrooms. Three of the boys ~ two bedrooms. We were BUSY . . . ALL DAY! There were bags, totes, laundry baskets of toys and books either my boys have outgrown, failed to put away, broken or never play with. I am thankful we have a place to donate and hope our garbage man isn't too irritated with us after next weeks pick up!

I didn't take photos of the before and during . . .
but I did get some photos of the after!

First, we tackled Cameron and EJ's room.
I was mortified at the state of their toys!
Games without game pieces, clothing thrown in with toys, broken eyeglasses thrown in with toys, candy wrappers here and there.
Of course, nothing was on the floor . . . 
just stuffed here and there so it "looked good" at first glance.

Here is the finished room:

Lego storage.

Sorry the photos are a bit grainy . . .
cell phone photos don't enlarge well.

I am sure you can see . . .

Now before you feel sorry for my boys and their LACK of toys . . .
their Rokenboc and Playmobil sets are in the basement and most of their games are in our library cabinets.

After SIX+ hours in Cameron and EJ's room, we headed to Cody's room. His was not as bad . . . although we did eliminate toys from his room as well.

Lil' Zeus lives in Cody's room.

Today I want to get more organization accomplished, but I am almost afraid to mention it for fear of my troops forming a Coup.

First thing . . .
organize the newly renovated boys' bathroom.
It is almost complete and pictures will follow shortly.
Randy has a few things like shelving, paint touch up and grouting to finish up . . . then let the decorating begin!

Then I would like to tackle Ryan's room.
It will be such a relief to have it finished as well.
He has much that needs gone through . . .
If you don't hear from me by tomorrow . . .
send in the troops!

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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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