Posts Tagged ‘family’

I love Christmas Cards (didn’t my title just say that)!  I love sending them, I love getting them.  I especially love the ones with pictures!  Before e-mail, text messaging, and the Internet, notes inside were the best part.  I love even reading everyone’s crazy Christmas letters.

Even if it isn’t someone I’ve been in close touch with for a while, it is a way to just say “I’m thinking about you as the holidays arrive!”

I can remember growing up and having TONS of Christmas cards arriving around the house.  I loved getting the mail around the holidays and I still do.

Just one observation keeps coming up with me this year (and if you’ve sent one of these they are still beautiful):  We have yet to receive a religious oriented Christmas card.  And I am continually reminded – isn’t the Christ child what Christmas is all about.

Of all the Christmas cards that have arrived this 2010, all but the photo cards and one or two others, have Santa or a Santa reference on all of them (ie:  A Santa hatted dog-several of these, or snowman, or sled with a santa hat.)

I love Santa Claus and the mystique as much as the next gal, but it is becoming harder and harder to keep Christ in Christmas.

A speaker I heard this morning made the statement that Christ gave us the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life for us, and that by being a giving person, we are emulating Christlike behavior.

That is so special and a great way for us to show our love for our friends and families.  But let’s not remember that night so long ago that brought Christ into the world in the first place.

Let’s remember that young girl that made her way on a donkey, pregnant, and I’m sure exhausted, and the hope that God through her brought into the world

Let’s remember what Christmas is all about.  God’s love for us, a wonderful gift that lead to the ultimate sacrifice.

I love Christmas Cards as noted above, I'm just not always the best at sending them out. This is what they look like if yours hasn't arrived yet (maybe it's lost in the mail - yeah, that's it!)

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When we first got married and had our first home, our tree was immaculate.  It looked like it could have been in a magazine.  All pinks and golds and uniform ornaments.  It had the perfect matching tree skirt, and we had great metallic gold stockings to match.

Then our next homes held equally uniform and classy trees, with floral picks set throughout, ribbon cascading down and uniform gold and deep red christmas ornaments hung throughout with beaded ornament hooks.

Fast forward to our tree this year.  Brad and I both noted this year how we like the look of the tree with our more unique ornaments set into motion by our little boy.  We now have Santa on a motorcycle, footballs, teddy bears, a small nativity ornament, and much more.  We now put those Purdue ornaments on our main Christmas tree as well as all of those unique ornaments friends and staff have given us over the years.  Grandparents have already added to the family collection too.

It’s a little more like life for our family in general.  Much more a menagerie of things going on than when it was just the two of us.  And we like it this way (most days…).

We like our more unique tree (and life) and look forward to adding more uniqueness to it each year.  This year the boy’s Christmas ornament is Mickey and Pluto decorating a tree, in honor of his first trip to Walt Disney World this year.  Our next door neighbor said that is one of the first souvenirs they purchase on each trip anywhere – a special ornament, and I must say they always have a beautiful tree.  I like this idea and think it is one we’ll try to institute in our family too.


I think this face just shows the mischief our home has in store for it.



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Fall Days

A few weeks back, when the leaves were changing, and before they all fell off the trees with haste, we took a trip out to the woods at grammy and poppy’s.  We got some good fall pictures.  We’ve taken some each year since the boy was born.  I hope at some point to post the progression.  Right now the boy is telling me to get off the computer…

Fall Family Fun in the Woods at Grammy & Poppys, Late October 2010

Don't know why, I just LOVE this picture!

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A cool pool all to ourselves!

I think yesterday (labor day) was the first day I’ve worn socks during the day at any point for months with the exception of exercising.

It felt really weird wearing tennis shoes and socks during the day.  I thought to myself – the seasons…they are changing.

I still seem to adhere to the summer rule of not wearing white shoes or pants after labor day, so here comes the fall.  Closed toe season is just around the corner.  To my sandals, I will miss you.

Back when I worked for Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare in Louisville, one of the rules was closed toe shoes only.  So when I went to work for the advertising agency, that was one of my questions – Can I wear open toe shoes?  Was that why I went to work in advertising?  The joys of sandals, strappy, cute, or just comfortable and casual.

The boy and I made our last trip to the neighborhood pool on Friday.  Knowing it would be closing on labor day, we headed down despite a cool breeze, and spent a good afternoon there.  I think the pool has been his very favorite thing this summer.

The joys of summer have been plenty this summer, and for those of you who read regularly you’ve been able to share right along with us.  The pool, the zoo, the library, the science center, lots of time with friends, and with family.  Walking around our cul de sac when it is 100 degrees and the boy takes off on one of his ride on toys, sweating profusely each moment we’ve stepped outside (have I mentioned that this has been a REALLY hot summer?)  The boy loves being outside and so do I, so this has been a bit of a challenging summer with so many crazy hot days.

We’ve done crafts inside, and I’m sure we’ll continue those as fall turns the corner.  We’ve gotten creative, crawled through tunnels, made tents, and done the kinds of things a 2 year old likes to do.

As much as I love summer, I also love fall.  The leaves changing, signifying how life changes so much each day.  I already can’t believe our little guy is over 25 months old.  I still can’t believe I’m home with him each day.

Now it is college football season – hooray, and a cool breeze is sweeping in.  Oh how we love to follow our Purdue Boilermakers on good days and on bad ones (like Saturday vs. Notre Dame.)  I think the description of one of my favorite fall days goes like this: walking through campus with leaves crunching under foot, a cool breeze in the air, heading to the stadium with thousands of other fans, but with my favorite fan and best friend – my husband, right next to me.  (Thank you to our family members who help with the boy during football season!)

Sidenote:  Sorry for the rambling thoughts today – not much synchronicity with this post, but lots of thoughts going through my head, and still wanted to share.  Makes me think of an improv group…

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A few weeks back, my grandparents – the boy’s great grandparents – finally got to meet the boy.  I admit, it had been way too long since we had been to visit as I was pregnant the last time  we were there.

I honestly cannot even make excuses with the exception of the one where the 8 to 9 hour drive each way was extremely daunting, and in the end was a pretty exhausting route to make by myself with the boy in tow.

I wanted to share pictures with everyone though, as family is SO important.  The boy ended up with TONS of love from his great grandparents, his papaw, Juji and uncle, and great aunts and uncles and some cousins thrown in for good measure.  A small case of croupe might have also been the gift of the trip, but a wonderful time was had from all and probably worth getting to see my cousin and her kids!

Visiting the park with great grandma and great grandpa.

Reading books with Papaw in matching white t-shirts.

Smiling for the camera - uncle and papaw were doing silly faces behind the camera.

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Our boy had his first trip to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari yesterday.  Weeks ago, grammy and poppy offered to take the whole gang for a fun day at the amusement park and we all happily settled on a day during the week that we could all go.  Aunt, Uncle, cousins, and grammy and poppy, plus the three of us all headed to Santa Claus, Indiana early yesterday arriving despite some sprinkling rain at opening.

We quickly proceeded to the rides towards the back of the park as is recommended at opening, and the fun began.  Here are a few fun pictures and a helpful tip at the end of the blog.  Let’s just say the boy had a blast!!

The kids and the canoes. I think this may have been the boy's favorite!

Mom and son waiting in line for the octopus-type ride. This is the one I had to be let off of not that many years ago.

Aunt and girls waiting to ride the Eagles. The boy was screaming with grammy "But I want to ride the peacocks!!"

Trying to get three kids and an adult to pose with Holidog is like trying to tie down a monkey!

Our biggest tip to all who visit is to always make sure at least one person in your group has a cell phone.  Even if you’re riding water rides, find a way to keep at least one waterproof.

My husband, myself, niece and brother-in-law and sister-in-law got separated from grammy & poppy, the boy and one of the girls while we were riding water rides.  2 and a half hours later in 90 degree temperatures, lost parent locations and miles of searching later, we were reunited and all very ready to leave.  This one small tip will ensure hours of headaches.  This is even more important than that central meeting place everyone refers to.  That meeting place didn’t work, so the cell phone option would be good to have.  See, all 4 of our cell phones were with grammy & poppy and when they called to tell us they had moved locations, well – we never had a way of knowing.

Hope this can help someone else out.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

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Months ago, we booked our family vacation to Perdido Key, FL to go to the beach for a week.  We were so looking forward to this trip when the oil spill occurred.  Without accurate forecasts to go from regarding oil on the shore, and rumors of gas smells in the air, we made the decision just four days before we were set to leave, to cancel the trip to the gulf.

Still wanting to have a family getaway, and searching for a place where a kid can be a kid, we decided to head to Walt Disney World.  The trip some families plan a year or months in advance, we decided on just 3 days from departure.

While an exhausting trip (a bit more stressful than the gulf), we had some great family times and the boy really had a great time.  I’ll probably post some tips, and observations here in the near future.  For now, here is a small picture gallery.

This was a trip of a lot of firsts for the little guy including his first airport rides.  He actually did pretty well on them, with only a couple of minor melt downs when he realized he couldn’t get up and run around.

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I simply can’t believe that we’re already into the month of April.  Yesterday was a GORGEOUS day here.  More playing with neighbor kids, mom and dad, and just enjoying the fabulous world that God has blessed us with!

Playing outside Round 1: Wagon Ride

Playing outside Round 2: Dirt Digging

Pointing to the plane with daddy - Boy the sun is bright!!

"Flowers," he says! The boy with mommy by pretty flower tree

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I haven’t posted in a few days, mostly because my dear husband has been off work for a few days, and we’ve had some great family days.

On Monday we got to take the boy to the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati.   He loved it, and much to my germ phobias, he insisted on kissing each of the fiberglass frogs in a play area, each on the mouth!

Here are some of our pictures.  These days with all three of us are great, we even got to take a couple of good spring walks around the neighborhood since the temperatures were a little nicer early this week.  Not to mention we moved around bedrooms, and the boy slept in his new bedroom last night.

The boy poses for the camera, while beating the drum at the aquarium

We are so blessed!

Side note:  Daddy is back to work today, and we just left the library because the boy almost got kicked out of Mother Goose Storytime for being so disruptive to the other kids.  I say almost, because we left the room before it got any worse!

The momma and the boy outside the aquarium

2nd sidenote:  Just when you think you get ahead you take a step back.  Why is it that washing machines choose less than ideal times to quit?  The new one is coming shortly today.  What is on my agenda:  LAUNDRY!

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We're ready to get baking! This is the before picture - see the kitchen is still kind of clean.

I sure do like those Christmas Cookies Babe….

Okay, It’s some crazy country western song about Christmas Cookies.  I couldn’t resist.

The holidays are here!  Can you feel it?

My mom came down this week for our annual Christmas Cookie baking extravaganza.  I have to give my husband much thanks for keeping the boy occupied while we were in the kitchen.

The boy loves cookies and so do we.  This is always such a fun time and a nice chance to spend time with my mom.  I will say, my cookie decorations get a little crazy the longer we are decorating them.  I usually end up eating some of those myself as I get kind of hand with polka dots, stripes, etc. by the time we’re almost done.

The boy is saying - "Mimi give me that cookie!"

This year I bought some cans of decorator icing with tips that you just pop on.  This was so much fun.  It’s like squeeze cheese only frosting, and a blast.  If you don’t have much time to decorate cookies this is certainly the way.

My mom decided she’d make some cookies that looked like baby Jesus in the swaddling clothes.  I didn’t get a picture of those, and I ended up keeping them myself instead of giving them away, as we couldn’t figure out who would actually want to eat baby Jesus.  Kind of an odd thought.

The finished product!

Anyway, I had to share some pictures and the tip on the decorator frosting.  Not to mention the McCormick’s neon food coloring makes a lime green that is so much fun to use on decorating mitten cookies!

Also, In addition to the sugar cookies I made some easy chocolate cream cheese truffles.  Here’s the recipe:

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese softened.

4 oz Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate, melted

3 1/ 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

Crushed Pecans or Nestle Quick to roll them in.

Beat the cream cheese with the mixer, and add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth.  Then add melted chocolate and beat until completely mixed.  Refrigerate mixture for about 30 minutes or more, until consistency is fairly firm.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the mixture out, roll into a ball, and then roll into nuts or Nestle Quick.

Enjoy.  These are awesome.

"Uh Oh... Mom just caught me swiping this cookie from the counter. I like me some cookies!"

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