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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011. The perfect Christmas??

Okay, we did have a "rough" start to the Christmas weekend, but despite all of that, it turned out really nice.
 The girls were thrilled to watch the process of the septic tank being pumped out. After I got over the fact that we had to dish out cash that I really didn't want to, I couldn't help but get a case of the giggles. The girls complained about how gross it was...but yet they chose to sit right there and watch/smell it all. I was content to watch from a distance. ;-)
 We spent Christmas Eve with Sweet Man's sweet family, and enjoyed an afternoon of food and fellowship.
 We came home and prepared the "sleepover" spot, and read the Christmas story.
 All tucked in and ready to watch Miracle on 34th street.
 We didn't get snow this year for Christmas, but we pretended. See our snowflakes?
Christmas morning we had a lovely breakfast with too much food, with my parents and my Dad's sister. Wait. Did I say too much food? Not really sure if that's possible. ;-)
 Sweet little hats for sweet little girls, given to them by my Sweet Aunt.
Every cowgirl needs a pony in the house. This is where Sweet Man pipes up and says, "FOR REAL!!??"..."No, Sweet Man not for real...FuRreal!" Thanks Mom and Dad. This gift was a hit for sure!
 This pony has been letting the girls practice all kinds of things: riding backwards, lassoing, shooting "wild dogs" with their pop guns, and with the help of Junior Mints and a pitch fork...stall maintenance. ;-)
 Princess #1 was able to play a few Christmas Carols for us.
 Probably should have fixed the girls hair that morning...:-o
 And mine. ;-)
 Sweet Man giving cart rides through the house with Princess #1's big surprise. Sweet Man got this for her to help in her barn chores. I must say I was a little envious. It's a dump cart! I just might have to borrow this from time to time. 
 I received the most darling tea cup and plate from my mom. 
After a fun filled morning with my family, we spent the afternoon setting up train tracks, playing board games,
Trying out all of the new arts and crafts,
 And doing pony rides.
I realized something two days before Christmas, right after my little meltdown, I was trying too hard to make this the perfect Christmas. I was wearing myself out, and it seemed like my attempts were failing. I decided to just sit back and let the peace and joy of the day happen. Did I say peace? Well, there were still sibling fights, stinky dogs, dirty windows, a broken furnace, mud surrounding the house that you could not only loose a boot in, but perhaps even a small dog or child, and a to do list that was a little too long. But you know what? It turned out just fine. We had a wonderful day and made some wonderful memories. We were able to flush the potty without fear of "it" showing up somewhere that "it" shouldn't. That was pretty awesome!

 One of the things that surprised me the most was how sweet the girls were with their gifts to each other. They loved them, even though they couldn't figure out what they were half of the time. They were so sweet to each other and kept saying thank you and that they loved this "little piece of fabric", or that hand drawn picture of ??. It really did bring tears to my eyes, and made me realize where all my craft supplies have been going...LOL  Was it a "perfect" day....not really, but it was lovely and I am beginning to realize that perfect does not always mean lovely.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Too high of expectations?

Perhaps my expectations were to high. I get that. I often am let down by a situation just for the mere fact that I expected too much out of it. But wow....this week has been rough. We have been a little too busy on homemade things.

We had a set of braces put on. Have you ever had braces? Do you remember how painful that is? Well, I have been reminded....several times. :-(

We have lost a vehicle, only temporarily, and I am thankful it wasn't much worse. Sweet Man was driving through town when his brake line busted. He came super close to being hit by an ambulance on it's way to the hospital. Had to drive straight through the light. He joked that if he was going to be hit by anything, an ambulance was probably the best choice. We signed up for life insurance a couple of days later....

One little princess has decided that she doesn't like a single thing that I make in the kitchen. It has been an all out war every meal time. I did not expect this. I have worked super hard on their eating habits. I do not have the patience for this at all. Lord HELP ME!!!!!

One of the other little princesses decided to throw a fit during school this week. She didn't want to do work, she wanted to just play and listen to Christmas music. She doesn't realize that I start night shift in 13 days, and I am starting to freak out wondering if I perhaps have bitten off more than I can chew.'ll be okay...Right??

Oh yeah...Sweet Man and I decided to give our presents to each other early this year. We just couldn't wait any longer. LITERALLY! A backed up septic system 2 days before Christmas. Are you serious?? "Let's spend the holiday digging it up and having it pumped out."...:-( You better believe that wasn't budgeted for..
As I scroll through the posts on Face book, yes I am on Face book again, I can't help but feeling a little sad by all the joy filled posts. Families playing games together, or baking.  That is what this time of year should be about. JOY. Instead I have one child out in the barn crying, because I expected her to eat spaghetti and meatballs, one hubby digging out in the cold on his much needed day off, and a whole lists of stuff I am supposed to get done for other people. I am plum wore out. I think my expectations were indeed too high for this day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

This Farm girl learned a new skill

A couple of times a week, I walk past it. I stare at it, and try to figure it out. I ask myself, "Can I do that"? It's the Log splitter. Last week I decided to try. It didn't look too hard. So, I rolled it out of the garage, put gas in it, and tried to figure out how to start it. Once I started, I didn't want to stop. It really was fun!

I split this little stack, and moved it up to the porch. 
 Then this one..
 And this one...
 Then this one. Sweet Man informed though, 
that the middle of the driveway might not be the best place for it. ;-)
 So I rolled the splitter over 'here' and split some more. All in all it took me about 4 days to split a couple of months worth of wood. The neatest thing about this? When the Log splitter is going you can't hear a thing. Every once in a while one of the princesses would come out to tattle on the other one. Some one wasn't sharing like they should, or finishing their school papers. I would just wave and mouth "Merry Christmas". :-) It was about the most peaceful 4 days I have had in a long time!
I was so proud of my new skill, I even took a day to go over and split some of Dad's wood. Although, I am realizing just where all the muscles are in my body, for they are all pretty sore right now. ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Traditions

A couple of weeks ago, out our Women's Christmas luncheon for the church, the question came up about traditions. We were to share what Christmas traditions we had as a family. I just sat back and listened, not only to get some really good ideas, but for the life of me I couldn't remember what we did...LOL. Never fear, the kids will remind you if you forget. ;-)

Seeing the Christmas lights is a big one. We try to hit several light shows during the month of December.

Apparently we always take our kids to the mall to eat at the picnic place, and enjoy the Christmas decorations. This is a really big deal since we only go to the mall once a year. 
 So last week, we took our annual mall trip. We were very fortunate to be able to add seeing a play to it too! Our print shop printed the programs for "The littlest Angel", and we had complimentary tickets!!
 The girls were thrilled, and so were the parents. ;-) It was such a cute little play, and definitely added to the magic of the evening.
 Of course another tradition is baking. We do a lot of baking. I ran out of oven space this year, so we improvised and used the wood stove too. ;-) It worked beautifully.
 We also make a paper chain to count down the days till Christmas morning. Every day, one little princess, gets to tear off a link and proclaim how many more days they have to wait for that super anticipated morning. 
 Some more baking. Princess #1 found this recipe for us, and it is quite yummy. You bake up some homemade chocolate wafer cookies. Sandwich two together with vanilla icing in the middle, and then roll in crushed candy canes. It was a little bit time consuming, but the girls loved it!
 This is the product of a full day of all that baking, and a couple weeks worth of crocheting while the girls would read to me.
One of the girls favorite traditions happens on Christmas Eve. We pull out the sleeper sofa, and they all "camp out" by the wood stove and Christmas tree. I tuck them in all nice and tight, and Sweet Man reads the Christmas story to them, from the Bible. His Dad always read it to him growing up, and he is keeping that tradition alive with reading it to his girls. It is a very lovely time. We put out some cookies and milk on the counter, for us parents to eat. The girls giggle all the while doing it, wondering which one of us will eat the most. Haven't they learned yet? Of course it will be ME!! I LOVE cookies! ;-)

The next morning, Christmas morning, I will be up bright and early fixing a Christmas breakfast for not only us to enjoy, but my parents as well. This year we will have a special treat. My Sweet Aunt will be joining us for breakfast too!

What about you? Do you guys have any fun traditions that you would like to share? Don't you just love how this time of year brings about so many neat activities?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas decorating

Sunday morning I woke up feeling very much in the Christmas spirit. I did a little Christmas party for the 1st and 2nd grade Sunday School class, which was so much fun. I only had two students though...and they were Princess #2 and#3. What fun that was to hang out with just the two of them and celebrate.

When we came home I was excited to see that out of the four channels we get on our TV, two of them were playing Christmas movies!!! :-) 

After watching several people decorate their houses for the Season, on TV, I decided I wanted to do a little more decorating on our own home. I needed to take a hike though. I asked if anyone wanted to join me, and was secretly a little excited when they all chose to stay inside. ;-) I just love being in the woods alone. I have seriously thought about taking up hunting, just for the fact that I could sit and stare at the scenery for hours on end, and still call it being productive. ;-)

I came home with a bag full of fresh evergreen trimmings. So many trees to choose from. Of course it helps that I planted 800 pine trees the first year we lived here. Oh does that bring back memories. Memories of Sweet Little Princess #1 riding in a baby carrier on my back, mid November, while I dug and plopped trees down all over this place. Oh yeah, back to my original thought....
 I scrounged up as many containers that I could find.
 I made a couple of these...
 and these...
 Oh, and one of these too.
I just love this time of year. :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brunch with buddies :-)

Last week we had the pleasure of spending the day with our good buddies. Both families have been so busy with so many activities, that we haven't been able to visit as much as we would like. The kids remind us moms of this frequently. So, we set a day to visit to our hearts content. We started off at their house for a delicious brunch, and so many cups of coffee that I lost count. ;-) Now, anytime you get this bunch of kids together, they are going to get creative. But I was not prepared for the question that my oldest came running down the stairs to ask. "Mom, can I sit on the roof?"....."What? Are you serious?"...She was. Her buddy has a window that looks out onto the flat porch roof. He has a little camp chair that he can sit in to take in the most magnificent view. What was a mom to say? "Sure"....I did go up to help them out, and make sure they knew to  not get near the edge. I would have taken a picture, but my cup of coffee was waiting for me back down by the fire. ;-)

We came home for a quick dinner, and then were off for more adventures. Sweet Man had three college exams the next day, so I was looking for somewhere to go, to give him a nice quiet evening at home to study. Four ladies can make a lot of noise ya know. The library was having a family craft day, so we "kidnapped" our buddies and took them with us. Trying to make up for lost time of not visiting. ;-)

They made cute little Christmas trees out of ice cream cones, and LOTS of frosting.
 They decorated these little trees too.
They also made these light bulb necklaces. It was a crafting palooza!
I just think these trees turned out so neat. I think they will look great on our kitchen counter. I am thinking about making a Christmas village with gingerbread houses, and these will add a nice touch.

 Or not! "Hey, who ate the decorations?"

How did Sweet Man's exams go? Well, he passed all three!!!!!!!!
He is just so amazing! :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

The past couple of weeks have been so busy. But oh so fun! 
We had dinner with the dogs. ;-) 
 Were able to redeem some rewards for reading.
 Yes. We always get this excited over free pizza...LOL
 Visited the festival of lights...
 And was able to tell "Santa" what we wanted. Although he seemed a little nervous when Princess #1 said "another pony". This poor Santa didn't know that our girls knew the truth about Santa, so he tried to so hard to have her come up with something that she might actually get...LOL She settled for telling him to bring a toy horse. :-)
 We enjoyed the hot chocolate and cookies there too!
 We have been still trying to stay on track with our schooling....whenever the cat will let us. ;-)
 Lots of baking going on.
 And sewing. 
 And even some Christmas caroling! :-)
Last night our AHG troop visited a home for Alzheimer's patients. It was amazing to see that even though the patients  have forgotten so many things, most of them still knew the words to the Christmas songs. This time of year has always been accompanied by so much joy and wonder. It was so nice to get to see this group of girls share that excitement with others. Holidays with children are just so precious!