Thursday, December 22, 2011

More December Days

December 17:  more tag making

17 December

December 18:  making hand balm for gifts

18 December

December 19:  Hand balm and sugar scrub, packed and ready to give away.

19 December

December 20:  My husband made peanut yummy!

20 December


These days are slipping by so quickly and there are still so many more things I want to do.  Tomorrow, making gingerbread is topping the list, along with making these cute little hot chocolate stirrers to have for Christmas Eve.

I'm thinking this chocolate cake is going to make the menu this year, as well.  It's said to be the best and with that cup of coffee added to the batter, I can imagine it is delicious!

These lemon bars are definitely on the menu...I can't wait to get these made and have one with my afternoon coffee.  Yum!

And, isn't this the most elegant idea for using mason jars, greenery, cranberries, and floating candles?  So pretty.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The last three days

In keeping up with my December shots, here are the last few days, busily blurring by....

December 14:

14 December

December essentials:  four sets of eager-to-help hands, scissors, tape, calendar, lists, ribbon, gift tags, wrapping paper, and most importantly, joy.

December 15:

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15 December

The annual gingerbread house...finished!  It's cute, too.  :)

December 16:

Picnik collage

Bowling!  We had a blast playing a couple of games, eating pizza for lunch along with some fries and cookies.  It was definitely a great way to let go of the stress that can come along with the season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

13 December

I had a  day out for some Christmas shopping with my girls. They grabbed the point and shoot from my purse and made me smile....I made them do the same.  ;)

Picnik collage

We were able to get most things done and they were able to shop for their brothers along with adding a few more items to their own lists...of course.  It was a good day, and I always look forward to my individual shopping days with both the girls and the boys each year.  We take our time, have lunch, and pick out gifts for family, this year was no different.  I love all the memories we make and the traditions we carry on every year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 December

12 december

I love finding little love notes left from one sister to another.  It makes my day.  :)

Todays highlights:

  • school work
  • school work
  • and more school work
  • oh, and laundry too.

On tomorrow's and orthodontist.  Again.

I was really happy to be featured on the These Moments blog.   Click on over and see all the beautiful, daily moments collected there.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

11 December

12 11 11_4129

  • spontaneous meet-up with family and friends for pizza
  • a surprise football signed by none other than Nick Saban!
  • the kids were just a wee bit excited
  • lots of delicious pizza and appetizers
  • lots of laughing
  • and talking
  • and enjoying
  • it was a great evening.

**The photos were hard to come by in this dimly lit and such strange glowing colors from the lamps...everything was heavily cast in a red-orange glow.  Thank goodness for editing software in instances like this, and still the colors are weird, LOL!**

Saturday, December 10, 2011

10 December

10 december

10 december

10 december

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an instant

  • making time to read this new's so hard to put down.
  • a few moments of photo editing
  • gift wrapping
  • new boots for the girls
  • another Christmas parade to ride in
  • beads to throw
  • moon pies to snack on
  • sunshine and cold breezes
  • a Christmas dinner party with the neighbors who will be out of town for the holidays
  • a super-fun Christmas game involving dice and a gift wrapped about 10 times and covered almost impenetrably with many different kinds of tape.
  • glistening Christmas lights
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • a quiet house
  • finally falling into bed tired after a really good day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Catching up...

I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted! Time really does fly.  It makes me wonder how I was able to keep up with daily posting every day in November.  Then again, this has been a busy week with something going on every day.  So, in an attempt to catch up with my December posting...

December 3:

3 December

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12 03 11_4058

12 03 11_4070

Parade time!  The kids were able to ride a float in a local Christmas parade.  The floats were all lit up, music filling the air, and so many happy faces to see along the route.  The kids had a blast throwing all those goodies.

December 4:

4 December

We saw this beautiful nativity scene during our drive around the neighborhood.

December 5:

5 December
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I did a little sparrow watching outside my mom's kitchen windows.  They are the cutest little birds.

December 6:

6 December

More Christmas lights.  I love the solid white lights.  It would be perfectly fine with me if everyone would just leave them up all winter.

December 7:

for real. {7 december}

For real.  This is the state of my house right now.  I'm working on it...

December 8:

making. {8 december}

Making gift tags...just beyond the sea of clutter in the previous photo.  Yep.

December 9:

9 december

Salt dough ornaments are quick and easy.  The girls loved making these.

That's all I have in photos.  Not seen were the school lessons, the grocery/Christmas shopping, the weekly guitar lessons and library run, the several hours I spent this week making photo books (I'll share the results as soon as they arrive in the mail), my boys' new smiles...they had braces put on Wednesday afternoon!  I do have photos, but they're a little touchy with the pictures-of-braces-on-the-blog thing, so I'll have to sneak them in soon.  They did great with the braces, though.  Very little pain and irritation, so we're happy.  Also, not seen was my appointment at the podiatrist yesterday and the second round of a cortisone shot to my heel to hopefully begin easing the pain that I've been struggling with daily.  I sure hope this shot works...ouch.  Then, today along with painting ornaments, we took time to hang some outdoor Christmas lights down the driveway, away from Cooper, our yellow lab, since he has an appetite for just about anything {read: crazy dog}.  We have no outdoor decorations on the house or in the yard, but the driveway is sure to look great!

So, that sums it up, these last seven days whirring by in a quick blur.  I'm hoping planning to slow down for the rest of this season and try to savor the moments as they come and go.  For the rest of today, however, I need to put it in gear and clear the clutter lurking on every surface.  An orderly house will be just the thing to help me slow down and enjoy.

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, December 2, 2011



Today we did things a little differently.  The boys woke up at 6am and we were doing our lessons by 7:30.  They are usually allowed to sleep in until about 8am because, at thirteen, I feel like they need as much rest as they can get. The trouble is that we're always so late getting started with our lessons, nearly 9:30.  That means that we are always barely finishing by 2pm or even later.  And since the girls are more active with their lessons at this stage, it can be really difficult to manage all four of them doing different things at the same time.  

With the shift in start times, our lessons went well today. I was able to spend time with the boys first, covering our English and grammar, science, and history.  By that point the girls were awake and ready to start their lessons while the boys went separately to finish the day with their math lessons.

All of this means earlier mornings for me, too, since I like to wake up much earlier than the kids for a little peace and quiet before the day begins.  I'm thinking that I'll be up by 4am most mornings, but it will be a good trade-off if things continue to go as well as they did today.  It was nice to be finished with the boys by 11:30 while having time to devote to the girls alone.

In our spare time during the day and at night while the television is playing some sort of Christmas movie, the girls and I have also spent some time making Christmas gift tags.  It has been a fun thing, spending time with fancy scissors and mod podge and twine.  Maybe I'll get some photos up this weekend.

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I'm still trying to recover from Thanksgiving last week, too.  For the last several days, most meals have included lightly sauteed greens of some kind and plain brown rice. Those two simple foods have been so delicious and satisfying, and hopefully cleansing as well.  This morning I added an egg to my rice and collards and was full all day, right up until dinner tonight.  Last night, however, was an utter fail.  Without getting into an enormous amount of detail, the whole summary involved a propane tank that was running on fumes due to my failure to pay attention to the gas level and a delivery driver not showing up until after dark.  All of that led to an order of pizza...and soda.  I suppose I could have managed without eating any, but I gave in and had some, knowing the whole time just how I'd feel afterward.    :-/

This morning I put myself back on track with my greens and rice and water and am still on track this evening, so I'm hoping that last night's dinner won't turn into an even bigger failure.  I also happened to read this blog post today and it pretty much sums up the past week for me.  I have done exactly the same things and feel exactly the same way about my actions.  It reminded me about eating for power and energy, both of which I'm going to need so much of over the next few weeks.  It reminded me just how bad it feels once that piece of pie is finished, once that ice cream cone has been eaten, and for me, once that piece of bread makes its painful journey through my digestive system.  It also made me realize that to feel well, I have to eat well.  I know this.  I've experienced it time and time again.  But still, there are times of utter weakness where I eat all the bad stuff anyway, even knowing how I'll feel.  It's crazy behavior, I tell you.  

Ultimately, I know where I stand right now and that is a major accomplishment for me.  I know I have choices to make to keep these thirty pounds permanently off while ridding myself of even more.

Tomorrow is another day - with choices to make.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Homemade Lotion


Now that I'm finished with my month of Habit and gratitude I wanted to tell you about homemade lotion.  Yes.  I finally made my own.  I've had this on my to-do list for a long time and have never taken the time to gather the ingredients and just do it.  The simplicity of this recipe from Amanda at The Habit of Being made me dive right in.


I ordered my beeswax since I couldn't find a local supplier.  I bought the one pound bar of beeswax and I'm sure it will last for years.  I always have a good supply of both olive oil and coconut oil around here and even some favorite essential oils.  I chose to mix the oils, about one-fourth cup of coconut oil and one-half cup of extra virgin olive oil because I wanted it to be a medium weight lotion.  I also added several drops of orange essential oil and it smells divine.

I hope this natural lotion will help with my insanely dry skin.  My skin has become so much drier over the past year or so and nothing, no matter how much I pay for expensive brand lotions and creams, ever works.  I've been using it for only the past few days and I like the results so far. The most important thing to me is knowing what is in the lotion.  There is no long string of mystery ingredients to worry about and I don't mind that my kids slather it on whenever they please.  I'm also hoping that this will help to soothe Isaac's eczema.  I think I'll make another jar just for him with tea tree essential oil for the added benefit of its antibacterial properties.

November 28 - Habit

I do wonder about one thing though....would light olive oil work as well?  My main concern is if it would be sticky, because extra virgin is absolutely not sticky. I was thinking too, this could be a wonderful homemade gift idea for the holidays. I'm considering pairing it with a recipe for sugar scrub and giving it to all the ladies on my list. I would love a gift like that!


On another note, can you believe it's December first already?  Yesterday I went out to do my Christmas shopping and thankfully I'm about 95% finished!  I had a list, a plan to keep things simple, and I reminded myself to keep focused.  I'll have one more trip to make to finish up just a few things that I couldn't find the energy for late yesterday and I should be done.  That is such a huge relief.

One thing I'm looking forward to today is beginning an Advent storybook, Jotham's Journey.  We read this one a couple of years ago and the way the story unfolds is just beautiful.  The kind of beautiful that sends little shivers down your spine as you read each day, getting closer to Christmas.

Have a beautiful first day of December.  xo