Friday, December 19, 2014

This is Worth Fighting the Traffic

 Who would have guessed our wild child Kara would be the shy one during her Christmas program this week! She has been singing at the top of her lungs and dancing to "Frosty The Snowman" for weeks. At the program....we could hardly hear her.
 Even after the program as she was giving us a tour of her pre school she was quite and reserved :)
 Karsyn too was not her normal bubbly self when it was her time to hit the stage with "We wish you a Merry Christmas" So sweet and serious.
 The show stopper was Mason Man as one of the Wise men. How sweet is this little face I ask you!!!
 Giving the family a smile and wave before his walk down the isle to Baby Jesus
I couldn't stop the tears as these two and three year olds put on their play of Christ's birth
I will say it again as I am sure I have a million times how VERY blessed we are to be a part of our Grands little lives. They are a loud, sloppy, sticky, buggery, mess of wonderful!!!!
After having the pleasure of attending all three of the toddlers Christmas programs the past two days I look around our home this morning at the 101 not finished To Do's and just smile. Really and truly who gives a crap :) All of this mess is just stuff, the real reason for the season we have been able to share with our big and little kiddo's.
Enough said :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Crunch

 I should have taken a photo of the one and only semi hand quilted Christmas quilt before I washed it!
 The hand stitching is hard to see once it's washed and dried. I used (8) weight red pearl cotton, love the warm cozy look it gives to any quilt.
 However.....My planning was WAY OFF!!! I had not one, not two, but three Christmas quilts on my gift giving list. Hand quilting each one was out of the question if they were to be in their new homes in time for Christmas. Free motion quilting to the rescue!!!!! Two down one to go!
 While the days are filled with shopping, errands, sewing, and such (notice no mention of cleaning) My evenings are spent in what hubby calls my nest. As much as I have enjoyed hand stitching in the evenings watching Christmas specials with him it's crunch time, they need to be done!!!!
 Four done two to go, I think I can, I think I can
All the beautiful pictures of Santa's workshop....Ya right!! This is the reality!!! Every surface of our kitchen and breakfast room is covered in gifts, lists. and sewing.

While the bug has decided to linger a few more days with saltines in hand I tried to get organized this morning. Hubby has 4 piles of gifts to wrap tonight if he expects anything for supper. Carry out....forget it, the table is also covered, the traffic is a mess in the evenings here, and lets not talk about the check book balance. Not only does hubby stepping up to the plate in the gift wrapping department help me out enormously it also helps curb his "Did we buy enough? Should we shop some more?" tendency's. No doubt there will be gift holes to fill before we are done but on the whole the big kids have plenty!!!

Time to fire up the sewing machine, there is no time to waste, pre school Christmas programs begin this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Cheer

 Saturday morning was our 25th annual Lawn Mower Christmas Parade.
 Hubby was looking sporty on his 1969 tractor with it's modified pipe :)
 I hope Blake isn't disappointed once all the sights and sounds of Christmas is over. He is so enjoying all his Papaw's singing dancing snowmen
 After Sunday dinner the little ones got busy on their Christmas gifts for the birds. Peanut butter/seed pin cones. Sweet Mason took a lick of his hands, "Nanny I no like crunchy peanut butter" Oops, thankfully it didn't make him sick :)
 The little girls decorated one of the Peach trees for the "Burdies" . They dug little holes around the trees and planted the extra seeds so we can "Growed" more seeds for later. Be still my heart maybe they will be gardeners!!
After the parade Saturday we picked out our live family tree, ouch they have gotten sky high! The grands job as I was finishing up Sunday dinner was to get the thing decorated. I love that the big kids share their memories of the different ornaments with their own kiddo's. Nothing fancy about this tree, lots and lots of things our big girls had made over the years from pre school to College.

Just when you think it's about to come together, things are falling into place, the shopping is almost done, the bank account is not bone dry (yet) something is bound to go wrong....The stomach bug hits!!! Holy cow, I have been down since Sunday evening. Today I think I might live :) If I can get the last of the boxes in the mail today I will feel like I have won a gold medal!!

I am putting hubby to work tonight on wrapping. There is no doubt that we will need to do a bit more shopping most likely for the big boys but I have lost count of who got what and how many of whatever. I lost my list of lists, more than likely one of the little girls have used it for drawing.

The house is looking down right shabby, somebody needs to do some cleaning but with 3 gifts still in the works it will just have to wait. I have been so sick hubby had to cook supper last night, OK so it was only canned soup but still he found the can opener, warned it up, served, and cleaned up!!!! He is a keeper for sure :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Be somebody's Christmas Blessing

 Our Christmas Angel for this year ask for very little. A doll house, roller skates, and a Frozen doll. Having 3 daughters of our own I know from experience girls always enjoy a new outfit at Christmas so we fluffed up her list a bit with a cute purple outfit. We have already had some record breaking cold weather, might as well add a coat to her loot :) When hubby and I were picking out her doll house  he suggested we should buy a little extra furniture and accessories :) Her skates....I had regular pink skates in our buggy, hubby questioned why weren't we getting Frozen skates since we know she must like Frozen. Bubba the frozen skates are $20.00 more. His words to me "Christmas is not the time to go cheap, get the ones she will be excited about!!"
 Yesterday a good friend posted on FB that there were a whole lot of Seniors left on a local Angel tree. That will not do!! After sharing the post with others hubby and I went to pick out a Senior Angel. As you can see we ended up picking a few :)

Not sure if the photo is clear enough to read their wish lists
Ronald ask for : Socks, PJ's, blanket, deodorant, and a radio
Robert ask for : Sweat suit, throw blanket, chocolate, toothbrush and comb
Flora Mae ask for : Robe, toaster, and toilet paper

All of these list hit our heart, they have ask for so little. Flora Mae's broke my heart :( who of us have toilet paper on our wish list?  So I am standing at the tree in the chamber of Commerce looking at Flora's list crying (without water proof mascara). How in the world in a country as wealthy as ours have elderly people who look forward to toilet paper under the tree. My emotions were all over the place today while shopping for these sweet people. Happy that we have more than enough to share with others, glad we have friends who pass the word to others the needs of our community on FB, and MAD that elderly people are doing without the basics. BTW I think I might be the only person in the store today weeping as I added Flora's toilet paper to my buggy.
Our adopted Seniors got every single thing on their lists. This was one time I went with Biggy size :) They all got minky blankets, they all got socks, they all got PJ's, they all got a radio/CD player, Ditto on every toiletries I could think of . Added some lavender hand lotion to Flora's stocking, we girls are never to old to smell good. Chocolate for betcha, along with lots of other store bought holiday snacks for all.

Certainly this is the season for giving but not just at Christmas. Winter is a wonderful time to do some giving without breaking a tight budget. Most of us are stuck in the house early during winter, its the perfect time to play the coupon game.

One of my favorites is CVS, coupons matched with sales in addition to CVS bucks, be still my heart!!!! EBT cards (food stamps) can't be used for hygiene products or cleaning supplies. Why not start a giving box of everything you can pick up for free or almost free playing the coupon game? Get the kiddo's involved, this is some hands on learning about saving and spending wisely along with helping children develop the "heart of a giver"

This is the best time of year to stock up on baking supplies, spices, and lots of the extras. The sales are great, the coupons are plentiful you can score some killer deals. Poor Mothers and Fathers are no different than any other parents, they too want to provide some special treats for their family. Trust me on this, your cakes and cookies will be so much sweeter knowing a family less fortunate is having some too because you took the time to search out the deals :)

Don't be that person who tells your kiddo's to clean their plate because children in Africa or wherever are hungry. Kids learn by example not words. Be the Mommy or Daddy who gets their kids involved. Have them help clip coupon, study the sales flyer's, shop for the food, and stock the charity box. Remind them when they are eating their special treats of how many children are enjoying the same special cookie, cupcake, or whatever because of THEM and all the hard work they have done putting that charity box together with you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Christmas Photo's

 What would Christmas be without the traditional Christmas Jammies photo? It's like trying to get a litter of puppies to sit still
 The boys had to get some wrestling in of course
 The girls were dancing and prancing
 Finally we got them in one place and looking forward, to heck with smiles at that point
 Don't let this sweet photo of the girls fool you, they are still a handful
 Together they rock our world
The boys can't wait until Tater Tot can join in for some tag team wrestling
I am over the top excited to have finally gotten our Christmas photo of the grands done last night!!!! As an added bonus we went to DD#1's home to take them so she was the winner of the mess they make :)
Hubby and I then hit the toy store to finish up shopping for our Christmas Angel. Yippee Skippy we are done with days to spare :) before it all needs to be turned in!!
Once home I ordered our Christmas cards. As much as I have loved doing hand made cards in the past some traditions just gotta go!! Thanks to Walgreen's and their great coupons I will be addressing Christmas cards by 9:00 AM today!!
DD#1 took the day off to try and catch up on her holiday goings and doings the kiddo's are in school/pre school. Excited to meet her for an ADULT breakfast this morning
Hubby also took the day off to work on his vintage lawn mower. Our Christmas parade is Saturday the pressure is on :) Once he gets his pride and joy street worthy we will begin to wrap gifts!!!!
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We still need to do a little more shopping for the big boys, pick up GC for the big kids, and pull a few more late nights of hand quilting but we are well on our way to the finish line.
What the heck was I thinking by doing just a "Little" bit of hand quilting on THREE quilts? I had visions of sitting in the evenings in front of the fire watching Christmas special with my man, maybe even nibbling on a cookie or two :) CRAZY!!!! Plans have changed. One quilt will now have a "Little" hand quilting, the other two will be machine only.
This season is all about knowing when to hold them and knowing when to fold them. Folding those quilts and getting them in the mail it is :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Some Fun Savings

 Hubby and I headed out for a bit of Christmas shopping last night with GC's in hand. I wanted to check the price for an electric knife we need for a Christmas gift. Well now what do you think a cordless electric knife might cost you? Drum roll...... $149.99, holy cow!!!! Needless to say the electric knife was moved to the big box store shopping list. Figured I might as well shop around for any deals they might have. Score!!! Turkey brine regular priced at $18.00 was marked down to $6.99, apple caramel sauce regular price $15.00 marked down to $5.99, Sanding sugar regular price $7.99 sale price $4.99. The little girls are head over heels for anything "Frozen" the sanding sugar will be a real hit with them. I do believe apple caramel sauce is yummy no matter what time of year:)
 We LOVE to brine our turkeys. The brand pictured above is really, really good however with a price tag of $18.00, the brine would cost as much as the turkey :) To get the great flavor of this brine but without the high cost I mix up a simple home made brine then mix it in with the fancy stuff.
 Results 4 pretty fancy brine mixes at a cost of $3.50 each. Regular price for the fancy stuff $72.00. Love that :)
The grands would like tree skirts for their mini Christmas trees Papaw and I picked up for them last week. After checking around for mini tree skirts the best price I found was $14.99 each. No way!! I found some leftover minky backing along with leftover ruffles to make "frozen" tree skirts for the little girls. Used leftover green felt for the boys along with rick rack in their favorite colors.

The last of today's savings was to make new bows for our window wreaths. I picked up the cutest ever door wreath after Christmas last year on sale at 75% off. Totally forgot until I hung the door wreath yesterday that the window wreaths no long matched, sigh We have a pretty cool store not far from home that has tons of floral supplies at dirt cheap prices IMO. 25 yards of sparkly wired ribbon for $6.99, nice....9 bows with enough leftovers for an additional one if needed for $6.99. I have no idea what a pre made bow runs but I do know even the dollar store they couldn't beat this price :)

I have spent the entire day going from one project to another in high gear. Some things I was able to complete others are a step closer to completion. I sew need to get two gifts in the mail no later than Friday of this week, I hope I can, I hope I can!!! Next week MUST be holiday baking. Our girls are always hitting us up for a cookie/snack platter at the last minute. A freezer full of goodies keeps this Nanny from pulling an all nighter!!!!

How are your holiday prep's going? Are you able to stay on budget so far? How about home made gifts? Do you feel like your chasing you tail trying to stay/get caught up?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fun After Christmas Activity

 One of the million and one extras we have accomplished the past few weeks was to clean the carpets in each and every room in the house BY OURSELVES!!! This was not in the plan :) I couldn't get carpet cleaners over until the week before Christmas which just wouldn't work for me. Hubby and I worked our tails off tag teaming that big old carpet cleaner. The nastiest room of all was of course the play room. It was the perfect time to take it ALL out, we found lots of little missing things from my kitchen :)
 While we were at it we steam cleaned all the furniture as well. Area rugs were not left out. Hubby and I rolled them up then moved them to the driveway for some redneck steam cleaning :) It was so nice to start the holiday off with fresh furniture and carpets. The savings were over the top, companies want an arm and a leg for furniture cleaning!
 This is a must try recipe for Amish Cinnamon Bread, SOOOOO yummy. These loaves didn't last long, I need to whip up another batch for these cold dreary days, paired with a cup of tea it can't be beat.
 One of the many activities we did over Thanksgiving was to have a blast with family photo's from Hubby's Sister she brought along for me to scan. This one is of bubba's Mom and Dad when they first meet. Ma was a nurse in the Army, Dad was one of her many patients.
Here is another of Hubby's Grandma and Papaw.
I am still working the candle at both ends due to all the activities over Thanksgiving but I wouldn't trade the fun for a million bucks :) One of the biggies was to scan in all of Hubby's old family photo's his Sister shared with us, also to get the names, dates, and story behind each of the photo's.
 I did my families heritage album some years back with my Aunt when she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Each time we made a visit back to IN I would scan, print, and get the story of old photo's she had. The next visit was to share the pages I had made with her before we got started on more photo's. We worked on this album for close to 3 years together...long distance for the most part. There were many times my Aunt couldn't tell you what she ate for lunch or if she had even eaten lunch, she didn't always recognize her Husband, or how to put her clothes on but one thing she did remember was the old days and every single person in every single photo. It was amazing!!!!
Another BIG activity we all participated in during Thanksgiving was to set up a Group FB page for hubby's family. One of my cousins had done this over the summer for our family to share old family photo's talk about COOL!!!! I set the page up the night before Thanksgiving but waited until Thanksgiving day to invite everyone to the page, during the day we posted a few photo's with the story behind the photo. By that evening I think everyone in hubby's family was on FB sharing sweet stories and memories. Double way COOL. The next evening one of hubby's cousins had his Mom and Dad (he is 80 now the last in the family of 6) over to share leftovers and let them look at the posts, they took it a step farther by video taping Uncle Ike and Aunt Phyllis reaction while viewing the page. Over the top COOL!!!!!
So here is something to add to your must do list :) Get your old family photo's scanned!! Don't have a scanner? What a great gift to ask Santa for, or you can take the whole pile to Walgreen's, CVS, etc and do your scanning there. Set your family up a group FB page and share the fun, encourage everyone to join in so you will have your families memories preserved all in one spot :) It's like having a family reunion but you are setting on the sofa in your PJ's. Added bonus you won't have the  expense of travel nor do you have to worry about those extra pounds you put on during the holiday's.