Thursday, December 24, 2009

Overcoming My Guilt

It seems that every Christmas, since leaving my job to become a full-time stay at home mom, I have been bombarded with feelings of guilt for not providing an additional income to give my kids a ton of gifts. I know in my heart that Christmas is not about getting every present we ask for, but I still feel like I am letting them down. This year, without  fail, those feelings crept up on me yet again. My fear was that my kids would not have good memories of their childhood Christmases and would feel resentment toward me when they grow older and have families of their own. I struggled with this for a few weeks and even considered looking for a job to help out. That would be quite a struggle for me because, at the time, I was in my first trimester and completely exhausted, but if that's what I needed to do, I would!

Then, my Grammy passed away. In the hours after her death, my family all converged on her house and began combing through thousands of photos. One of the photo albums we found was that of Christmas over the years. Our celebrations included delicious treats, tons of laughs, and most importantly, family. Sure, we had gifts, but looking back at those years, I can't remember what presents I received, I only remember the love that we all shared!That was what Christmas was all about to me! Hopefully, I have raised my kids to understand the value of family. I don't need things to make me happy. Just being together is all I need.

My Grammy's passing has been very difficult for me. I never considered the fact that she might not be here for Christmas. She was a fighter! I was so sure that she was going to win this fight as well. I do however, take comfort in the fact that her passing has made me stronger. Sharing those memories with my cousins was a great gift for me! We laughed and cried together, because we all knew that we had something very special, a loving family!  I will not feel guilty for giving my family what they truly deserve this Christmas....LOVE!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Saying Goodbye and Some Good News

Saturday was one of the most difficult days of my life. The church was filled with poinsettias, because my Gram had wanted a lot of them to fill her house this holiday season. My cousin Courtney sang a beautiful song for her and we shared a lot of hugs and tears. But far surpassing the tears were the many laughs we shared while reminiscing about times gone by. We really do have an amazing family and the memories that we share will never be forgotten. We sat for hours in the living room, the floor blanketed with photos from over the years. Many thoughts came to mind. We were very lucky to experience all of our holidays together. Easter egg hunts in the back yard with homemade candy for us all, made lovingly by Grammy. Our Christmas Eve was always spent together, with Grammy handing out gifts  from underneath the tree. And who could forget the mystery gift that we would all shake and squeeze until we came up with our perfect guess. Christmas day would bring Grammy and Pappy to each of our houses so that they could see all of our gifts. There is a picture for every single moment. These are just a few of the moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life. She will for surely be missed, but thankfully, she left us with so many wonderful memories to ease our pain.

After the service on Saturday, I shared with my family some news that I was planning on surprising them with on Christmas. Mike and I are expecting a new addition to our family in June. My only regret is not telling Grammy before she passed, I just never thought that she would not be here on Christmas. It never crossed my mind. But, I like to think that for a few days, before I told everyone, Grammy was in on my secret, and I am sure that she was grinning her sly little grin.

Thank you all for your prayers and cards. It really does mean so much to have so many wonderful friends who are there for me when I need them!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Prayers Please

Please keep our family in your prayers as today my Grammy was called home to Heaven.

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry SITSmas!

Welcome SITStas! I'm glad you could visit on this very special day! I was going to share the perfect family picture for you all to see. But, do you know how hard it is to get five kids (three of them teenagers) together at the same time?! Good grief! It's nearly impossible! So, I thought I would just share a picture of our beautiful Christmas tree. Umm, well...we didn't get one yet. I guess you will have to settle for Charlie Brown's tree! But as an added bonus, I'll share with you a little song I wrote for this special occasion!

It's sung to the tune of "Jingle bells".

Searching through the net
I found a real cool blog
It was the perfect place
for all us comment hogs.

I met some real good friends
and meet more everyday
and now I have a chance to win some awesome giveaways.

Oh, Jingle Bells SITS is Swell I just have to say.
Oh what fun it is to meet a new SITSta everyday, Hey!

Jingle Bells SITS is Swell I just have to say,
Oh What fun it is to meet a new SITSta everyday!

I must say, the best part of being in the SITStahood is meeting some great new friends. It is a fabulous community of very supportive bloggers. No drama, just good times! Thanks so much Tiffany and Heather! So, if you are not already a SITSta...what are you waiting for?!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday Theme-Christmas Morning

It's that time again! Time for Muffin Tin Monday! Only this week, we have a theme and it's Christmas Morning. I'll admit, our typical Christmas morning breakfast is usually sticky buns and hot chocolate, but this was fun for Mady! I just made her a regular breakfast, with a little twist.

She had: Gingerbread Man Pancakes, Maple syrup for dipping, bacon. diced green apple, and a cinnamon roll. Oh and we can't forget the hot chocolate with marshmallows! Yum! Even though it wasn't too fancy, Madelyn said it was the most awesome breakfast ever!

If you would like to participate in Muffin Tin Monday, go check it out here!
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Snowy Day

The flakes began to fall this morning and shortly after the giggling erupted.The three littles (Felicia, Madelyn, and our nephew Alvie) were bubbling with excitement and ready to get out in the frigid air to play. It wasn't easy finding everything necessary to venture out in such conditions. Alvin is only staying with us for a few days so we did not have any snow clothes for him. We doubled up socks and pants and found some extra gloves and a hat for him to stay toasty. We won't talk about the princess boots that he somewhat reluctantly put on his feet. It's amazing to me how something that is such an inconvenience to most adults can elicit such joy in children. I must admit, that I love it too!

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Very "Handy" Wreath!

Holiday decorating can not be complete without a wreath! Kid made wreaths are sure to brighten any home, especially when they are made from your little ones hands!

1. Trace your child's hand. You will need to make several of these to go all the way around the wreath. (I used two full sheets of construction paper for each wreath.)

2. Cut a circle from a piece of cardboard to glue the hands to. I used an old cereal box, but you may also use a paper plate.

3. Glue the hands around the circle overlapping as you go along.

4. We then added a bow and berries that we cut from red construction paper.

Your wreath is now ready to hang up for all to see!

If you like this project, check out the Christmas Trees made with our hands from last year! You can find them here!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hooray, It's Muffin Tin Monday!

Once again, it's Muffin Tin Monday and my girls are very happy about that! They seriously would eat every meal from a muffin tin, and why not! It's so much fun! You know, I eat my lunch from a muffin tin on Mondays too! So here it is, our muffin tin lunch!
If you would like to participate please visit
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Friend Making Monday

It's time once again for another edition of Friend Making Monday with Amber at {aefilkins}! I had so much fun doing this for the first time last week, so I though I would play along again. It's a great way to "make friends"! So, here we go!

1. Favorite website Well, I am a complete blog addict! So I would have to say my favorite is blogger, but I am also on Facebook quite a bit too!

2. Favorite color Green!

3. Facebook? {Post a link or share your name if you want some new Facebook friends!} I love Facebook and would love some new friends! Please join me here!

4. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night! I cry every. single. time. I hear it!

5. Christmas tree: Real or fake? Real! We like the whole Griswald experience! Taking all the kids out with us to cut it down. They always look so much smaller in the field!

6. Hottest celebrity? I have to say that I have a slight crush on McDreamy!

7. Favorite restaurant? I don't really have a favorite! We don't eat out much, so any restaurant is good enough for me! LOL!

8. Favorite magazine? Family Fun! They have so many awesome things to do with your kids!

9. Favorite thing to drink around the holidays? Hot chocolate with a candy cane to stir it! Yum!

10. Favorite Christmas movie. I love the Polar Express! But the movie that always kicks off our Christmas season is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation! It still makes me laugh after all these years!

Now it's your turn! Head on over to {aefilkins} to make some new friends!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are You In Need Of A Turkey Craft?

Today is going to be a very busy day for us! We have pies to bake, cleaning to do, and all the other prep work for tomorrow's big feast. Not to mention, making a few turkey crafts to decorate for our guests. If you have some time, here are a few links to some of the turkey crafts we made last year! Have fun!

Turkey Hats

Monday, November 23, 2009

Friend Making Monday-Thanksgiving

 I decided to do something new and participate in Friend Making Monday hosted by Amber at {aefilkins}! Today it's all about Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday)!

1. Turkey or Ham? Turkey, of course!

2. Favorite side dish., sweet, mashed potatoes....oh, I like them all!

3. Favorite dessert. Pumpkin Pie!

4. Black Friday: Are you going or not? You bet! I love the rush!

5. If so, what's on the top of your list? I'm not sure yet. I guess it depends on the best deal!

6. Going out of town or staying close to home? Staying home!

7. Hosting or helping? Hosting! My parents come every year!

8. Name one family tradition at Thanksgiving. Watching the Macy's parade on TV and throwing candy to the little ones!

9. What do you do after dinner? Watch football, play cards, and nap!

10. What are you most thankful for this year?  My family! I would not be who I am without them!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Just Can't Wait For Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday! Being together with my entire family, making a fabulous feast, and of course watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on TV is the best! Here is a little video from a Thanksgiving past!

I wonder how long we are going to be able to get away with that;0)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Taking a Much Needed Break!

I can't believe it has really been a few weeks since I last blogged! It's crazy how getting behind sort of snowballs rather quickly. The truth is, I have been trying to take care of a few things around the house and have put this blog on the back burner. I am sorry for that. I do promise, that when I get myself together, I will be sharing some rather exciting news with you all. But not just yet!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Perfect Fall Day

Every fall, our family gathers together for a fabulous picnic. The views are gorgeous!

Although, at times a bit chilly!

The big kids take the littles for nature walks!

We crunch the fallen leaves beneath our feet!

We walk a few trails.

Throw rocks to see who can make the biggest splash!

We force the kids to pose in trees!

But most of all, we enjoy the glorious colors of fall with our family!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Who doesn't love a Whoopie Pie? These are delicious and just scream fall!

You will need:
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves

For the filling:
1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 cup shortening

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease baking sheet.
  2. Combine the oil and brown sugar. Stir in the pumpkin and eggs, mix well. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix well.
  3. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the baking sheets. (I use my cookie scoop to keep them all the same size.) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool.
  4. To prepare the filling, Beat the egg white and combine with the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup of the confectioners sugar. Mix well and then beat in the shortening and remaining cup of confectioners sugar. Beat until fluffy.
  5. When the cookies are completely cool, fill them with the filling. Enjoy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Create a Ghostly Glow

Halloween decorating is so much spookier when there are flickering candles around. Here is a fun candle holder that you can make to create a Ghostly Glow!
Let's get started!
My kids love tearing up paper!
This might get a little sticky!
Cover the entire jar with tissue paper!
When it's completely covered, allow your jar to dry. After that, you can draw a ghost face and add a candle. We used the same technique to make Jack O' Lanterns as well!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Madelyn's Special Day

Being the youngest of five does not exactly give you the opportunity to have a day to yourself. Today was Madelyn's special day! It was the first time she ever got to go to the fair without all of her siblings. She was excited indeed!

She visited the animals!

She checked out some pretty big pumpkins!

She saw a few super cool scarecrows!

She played games!

She picked prizes!

She had a tasty lunch!

But most of all, she had a wonderful time!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No Mess Finger Painting

The truth is, I have never really been afraid to make a mess. In fact, we do it quite often here! This technique is just another fun way to finger paint!

Let's get started!

Lay a piece of wax paper on the table and put a piece of construction paper on top of it. Then add a few colors. Try to keep your paint towards the center so it does not ooze out the side when you start painting!

Add a second sheet of wax paper.

Now the fun begins!

Carefully remove the wax paper.

The colors all blend really well! With no mess!

This is a great way to make:

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