Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Holidays are upon us

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I was able to take a week of vacation during the Thanksgiving holiday so I worked on getting my house in order for Alan's parents coming to visit from Florida. We were fortunate enough to spend the holiday with my family for lunch and his for dinner. I have so much to be thankful for and definitely spent the day with those I am most thankful for!!

Of course, 3 am the next morning I was out finding those Black Friday bargains with Melanie, Angela, and Samantha (Mel's sil). By 11 I was so tired and had to call it quits!! Although I was able to get the majority of my shopping completed in a mere 8 hours! Gotta few more gifts to buy for my parents and Alan and I will be done!!

Speaking of presents....

I decided the "best" place to hide Santa was in my closet...WRONG!! Let's take it back to last week....

Morgan and Hannah has this HUGE list of presents they want Santa to bring them, so we decided to write a letter to Santa I would mail it for them. The lists start and may I add it took up the entire front and back of the paper!! Most of the things Santa already knew, but there were a few things on there that were surprising...Morgan: horse, guitar, and a diary with a lock and key so no one can read her "secrets"!!...Hannah: monkey, real airplane she can fly, and shoes (of all things a kid would want, shoes??)

So I "mailed" the letters...Well....on to the exciting part....Santa has been EXPOSED!! Apparently the girls have been snooping around in my closet because Morgan told Alan her "secret" yesterday! Mommy bought the presents and has to send them to Santa....and she even asked me last night if she could play with one of them before I sent them to Santa to make sure that's what she wanted Santa to bring her!!!! I AM SHOCKED!! The mind of a 5 year old!!

So what age do kids "stop believing in Santa"?? I am trying to think back to when I was a child but as far back as I can remember I always knew where the presents came from. But now I am in a pickle...Do I play along and yes mommy and daddy buy the presents and send them to Santa or No, those aren't Christmas presents for you, Santa brings his own presents, or tell them that the real meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with a man that lives in the North Pole who sneaks down your chimney on Christmas Eve after you have gone to sleep to leave you gifts he "knows" you want because he "knows" if you have been bad or good all year long???

Is it wrong to not want to play along with the story of Santa? Is it robbing them of the youthful experience of believing in Santa? We have taught the children that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ but I just don't know how to explain how "Santa" comes to play in all of this??!! My children are finally getting to an age where I will have to do some explaining and I guess the time has come sooner than I expected!! I have a lot of thinking to do!! Any suggestions on how and when Santa was exposed in your home??

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What is it like to be a Christian?

I found this on this blog I have been reading...She is very inspirational with her writings. Please add this family to your prayers over the upcoming holidays, for this will be their firsts of many without their little angel Miller Grace.

A woman was asked by a coworker, "What is it like to be a Christian?"The coworker replied, "It is like being a pumpkin." God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bring on the Bakin...

I LOVE the holiday season for so many reasons! I get to pull out all of my recipes and start baking!! I am not too good at cooking, but baking....that's a-whole-nother story!!!

I decided to bake some Dishpan Cookies last night. I have been promising cookies to some people I work with and just have not been able to find the time to bake. My house has been a wreck, we are putting new wood floors down in the living room, and I wanted to get all of this done so we could decorate for Christmas this weekend. But since I am taking a week of vacation next week, I had to get the cookies to them soon!!

If you have never tried this recipe, you MUST!! My mother-in-law made these for us a few years ago and when she told me what ingredients were in them, I turned my nose up. But they did look good, so I tried one....then two....and probably three or four more!! This recipe is awesome! I was told it makes 10 dozen, but I never seem to get that many. Guess I make them too big! But, last night I was able to get 9 dozen!! So I had enough to give away and keep my kids and hubby happy for a little while!

Here's the recipe and I "borrowed" a picture Melanie took of her cookies. Thanks Mel for such a beautiful artistic representation of my favorite cookies!! Warning: You will need a LARGE bowl!! I have changed the recipe a little from what I was told because once you start combining everything, you will get a work-out! I always have to get Alan to mix it for me!
2 C Oil
2 C Packed Brown Sugar
2 C Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
4 C Flour
2 C Regular Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 C Oats
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 C Crushed Corn Flakes
1 C Flaked Coconut

In a medium bowl, cream oil, brown sugar, sugar, eggs and vanilla. In a large bowl, mix flour, chocolate chips, oats, baking soda, salt, corn flakes and coconut. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the large bowl and mix well.Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes. Do not overbake!! Makes 10 dozen. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy Fall!

Fall is officially here!! It's been awhile since I have posted so I need to update on all that has been going on...

MS State Fair
The kids are finally getting to an age where they can ride the rides and its actually enjoyable for me and Alan because we are not carrying kids around and begging them to walk!! This year we all had fun!! This was Ethan's first year to the fair and he seemed to have fun....He rode in his stroller and ate a little of everything! He really enjoyed these slushies!!

Pumpkin Patch
Here are a few pictures from our trip to the Pumpkin Patch a few weeks ago! We took a hayride, saw a few farm animals, and the kids picked out their own pumpkins. They had a blast! Ethan enjoyed every minute of it! He had a hard time choosing which pumpkin he wanted! It was too cute to see him running around and trying to pick up every pumpkin!
Pumpkin Carving Party
Afterwards, we had a pumpkin carving party with The Smiths at our house. Should have known that it would have ended with the adults doing all of the carving!! The kids weren't too sure about all of pumpkin goo,but they seemed to have fun!

Halloween night we were invited to The Smiths house for a "Hall-O-Weenie" roast and Trick-Or-Treating. This year, Morgan wanted to be a ladybug, Bella was a kanagroo, Hannah was a monkey and Ethan was a pirate.

Mistletoe Marketplace
This past weekend, Melanie, Angela and I went to Mistletoe Marketplace! We had a blast! I went to get my Christmas shopping started, but came out with more presents for myself than anyone!! It has really brought on the Christmas spirit and I am really excited about getting my house decorated for Christmas. I am trying to wait it out until a little closer to Thanksgiving but its getting harder and harder!!

As you can see the past month has been busy and seemed to have just flown by! Thanksgiving is almost here and Christmas is right around the corner!
As I was getting my pictures together to post, I came across several pictures of my girls with Andrew and Avery, Melanie's boys, and they were just too cute not to share! They just LOVE these boys!! We are so blessed to be friends with such a wonderful family!! We love ya'll!!