Inspiration for today...

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

Philippians 4: 4-8

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And the Thursday Thirteen Winner is...

Kristie of Kristie's Notes. Congratulations! As soon as I hear from you then I will send the prize out. If I do not hear from her within 48 hours then someone else will be chosen.

Here are the answers...
1. I S M K S C - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
2. I C U A M C - It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
3. I H A B C W Y - I'll Have A Blue Christmas Without You
4. F T S W A J H S - Frosty The Snowman Was A Jolly Happy Soul
5. A I A M N C F A B - Away In A Manger, No Crib For A Bed
6. I H T B O C D - I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
7. O C A Y F J A T - O Come All Ye Faithful, Joyful And Triumphant
8. U O T H R P - Up On The Housetop Reindeer Pause
9. J O S N L Y E T W - Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Lean Your Ear This Way
10. O T F D O C M T L G T M - On The First Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me
11. S B R A Y L - Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening
12. I D O A W C - I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas (It is white enough now and can stop though!)
13. J T T W T L H C - Joy To The World, The Lord Has Come

BONUS A W H H O H - Angels We Have Heard On High

Thank you to all who played...Hope that you have had fun with this one. I will be doing another Tastefully giveaway again soon. In the meantime check out my other gveaways - Country Bob's and one coming in the next couple of days...

Happy 6th Anniversary!

Doesn't He Look Handsome!

As if December isn't busy enough, today my hubby and I will celebrate 6 years of wedded bliss. Granted there have been some disagreements but for the most part we have not had any major arguements. We both know that we are stuck with each other because divorce is not an option so we might as well get along. JK We met just over 7 years ago on a blind date - set up by a mutual friend. The ironic part is that both of us had sworn off blind dates because of past experiences and look what happened!

Now, after three kiddos and his work schedule, it is hard to find time for just the two of us. I would really like to work on that in this next year. My friend Lisa and her hubby made a 2008 New Years resolution to eat at one new restaurant every month...someplace that they had never been before. That was a great idea - I think I will steal it for 2009 - hope you don't mind Lisa and Donnie! That would at least give us two hours of talk time per month...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to my big boy - D!

Dan's finger compared to his arm!

Today is D's 5th birthday...I can not believe that he was so little when he was born - 5pounds 3ounces. He was born 5 weeks premature and spent 10 days in the hospital. It was a very hard Christmas because we could not take our sweet little boy home with us. We actually spent Christmas at the hospital to be with him. We missed Christmas with our families that year. Dan's family graciously made the trek down to the hospital to spend a couple of hours with us even though they could not get into the ICU because the hospital was limiting visitors - it was a really bad flu season and they didn't want the babies to get sick! Here are some pictures of him along the way...

And today, you would never know he was born premature...he is a smart (sometimes too smart for his own good), healthy boy with a HUGE imagination. He loves to cuddle with his mommy and is also very sweet (most of the time) with his brother and sister. It is so fun to watch him WANT to learn how to read and various other things. He has been into Dinosaurs and Ocean Life lately and "thinks" that he is an expert at it. he can sometimes be the biggest pain in the **** but most times is a great joy in my heart! Here are some recent pics of him...

So - Happy 5th Birthday my wonderful firstborn - I love you!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Picture Tag

My friend, Jeannie from I'm Losing It! tagged me to play this fun game.

The rules of this game are as follows:
*Go to the 6th picture folder in your documents.
*Find the 6th picture in your 6th folder.
*Pray that you remember what it is about.
*Blog about it.
*Tag 6 people to do the same.

Here is my picture:

The picture was taken in April of 2005 and is of my nieces and nephews making silly faces. That is my D in the front looking back at them like they are crazy. All three of my nieces shown here have a birthday in April and so we were at their birthday party. We were getting pictures of all of them together on the stairs, when they were being goofy so I told them to make silly faces. One of my nephews at the time is not in we have four more boys and two more girls to add to this picture. I will have to get a picture of ALL of them at Christmas time and post that. I love big families - especially when they are all so close in age so that they have someone to play with!!!

I am now supposed to nominate 6 more players but don't know if I know six more bloggers that Jeannie didn't pick...I guess I have to wait a bit until I get more familiar with some bloggers...

If you want to do this feel free...just let me know in your comments you are doing it so I can go to your site and check out your pictures.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #5 Christmas Songs with Giveaway...

Today I decided to do something different - yes, there is a catch - You can win some yummy Tastefully Simple product for your troubles. I am going to list 13 Christmas Songs (OR lines from the songs), but it will only have the first letters of the word. If you can figure out all of the songs you will be entered into the drawing for a chance to win. The prize is the Artichoke & Spinach Warm Dip Mix, Warm the Oven! Savory Dip Mix, Spinach and Herb Dip Mix and the Bountiful Beer Bread Mix - Retail Value just over $35.00 with Shipping and Handling. Perfect for entertaining your New Years' Eve guests or anyone in the cold to warm up a bit. Make sure if you are entering that I know who you are and have a way to contact you back in case you are the winner! (HINT: You don't actually have to know them to enter, that would require thinking - just post a comment!)

Here is an example: H A H J C would be Have A Holly Jolly Christmas

1. I S M K S C

2. I C U A M C

3. I H A B C W Y

4. F T S W A J H S

5. A I A M N C F A B

6. I H T B O C D

7. O C A Y F J A T

8. U O T H R P

9. J O S N L Y E T W

10. O T F D O C M T L G T M

11. S B R A Y L

12. I D O A W C

13. J T T W T L H C

BONUS 1: A W H H O H for an extra entry - need not have all thirteen to get the extra entry but you DO need to know this one.

BONUS 2: If you actually know all 13 enter another comment letting me know that you have all of them - I will be testing you if you do this!

BONUS 3: Blog about this on your site and let me know the link - or if you are not a blogger, email five of your friends this Giveaway link and copy me on the email. Make sure you come back here and leave a comment!

BONUS 4: Now if you have never heard of Tastefully Simple - you are missing out on yummy food - click on the name above and go to the website and check it out - come back here and post another comment telling me what your favorite product is - or what yummy one you would like to try - for an extra entry.

YES - that is a total of FIVE chances! Again, make sure if you are entering that I know who you are and have a way to contact you back in case you are the winner!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, December 20th at Midnight and the winner will be chosen by Random on Sunday and I will ship your package out to you as soon as I hear back from you. If you do not reply back within 48 hours another winner will be chosen.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Comfort Foods - Made Better With Bob's

Country Bob's All Purpose sauce is pretty good as a sauce. I tried it over little smokies in the crock pot this past weekend. I like the smokies already, but I took seconds with the Country Bob's sauce on them. I made myself stop! Everyone at the party liked them, too. Even some that normally would not eat them. I have not tried a recipe from Country Bob's website or the pamphlet that came with the sauces yet but as I sit here I am finishing my second bowl of Chili made with some of the All Purpose sauce. I made it for a work potluck but find myself wondering if I could just keep it myself and bring something else??? Hmmm....okay - I will share.

Country Bob's is a Christian company that gives full credit to their CEO, Jesus Christ. I love that about their company. It is on the website and on the bottles. That is one of the reasons why I would like to promote Country Bob's site.
Would you like to try Country Bob's with your favorite comfort foods??? Country Bob would like to help you satisfy your cravings for some yummy new recipes. They are giving TWO lucky readers of my blog TWO bottles of All Purpose Sauce EACH. But if you are not a winner OR when your bottles run out, you can head on over to your local Wal*Mart store and pick some up.
Entry is simple...just head on over to Country Bob's website and let me know what recipe you would like to try with this sauce.
Giveaway ends December 31st at Midnight. I will email the lucky somebodies on New Years Day! What a yummy way to start off the New Year. You have 48 hours to reply before I pick someone else...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rewards Received...

I have recently received an award and I need to say Thank You to my dear friend Sarah, from Sassyfrazz, who gave me the Marie Antoinette Award! Thank you Sarah! Sorry it has taken so long to acknowledge this. You are very thoughtful and sweet.
Here are the rules of the award:
1) Please add the Marie Antoinette award photo on your blog
2) Place a link to the person from whom you received the award
3) nominate 7 exceptional blogs to receive the award
4) put the links to those blogs on your blog
5) leave a message on their blogs to tell them they are the chosen ones!

Now, I have not been around the bloggin' world too long so I don't have 7 blogs that I frequent yet but would like to give this award to these FIVE great bloggers:
Congratulations - love your blogs...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hey Baby - It's Cold Outside!

It is cold and blowing out today - didn't want to chance taking the three kiddos out. This is a picture looking out onto my deck right now. It started as rain, then ice, and then turned to the big fluffy snow. Now it is snowing again - not the big fluffy flakes - the yucky kind of snow. I love the big fluffy snow and probably would have gone out in it except that all that other junk came with it. Right now it is 16 degrees but feels like 2 with windsheild. Tomorrow, the high is only supposed to be ZERO and that doesn't include windsheild - so I guess we are not going anywhere tomorrow either.

So, then, I was planning on hunkering down in front of the computer with some more Russian tea to try to enter some more contests and hopefully win some Christmas presents while the kiddos were sleeping. But by the time I got set up and ready, K woke up and D came out of his bedroom to talk on the phone with Daddy - not taking a nap. That will help for tonight because then he will go down earlier but no chances of winnings - not that I have been successful anyway! C loves his naps - just takes a bit for him to relax and fall asleep.

K has a cold - hopefully she will get over it quickly. I do not like when the little ones are sick - I would rather be sick. She is a little congested. Here is a cute picture of her from LNO modelling one of Lisa's butterfly bows in her hair. She made lots of others that are cute as well. You will see more in K's hair that is for sure! Aren't they adorable! Isn't K adorable!!

My Review of Oscar the Pig - Mommy Goes to Work

Megan Calhoun recently finished her first book and has asked me to review it...which was perfect timing since recently I went back to work after having K. My boys, at least D, were ready to go back but still maybe a little apprehensive. I wish I had had this book when I first went back.

This book is for preschoolers who are experiencing separation anxiety - which can hit at any stage no matter what your child's personality. It is different from other separation anxiety books in that it allows and encourages your children to use their imagination. And, that is one thing both of my boys have - a huge imagination. It also gives them a sense of adventure - they may not know what is happening but that they can make things exciting.

The book starts with Oscar knowing something was happening but being a little apprehensive that everything would be okay. As Mommy is going to work she reminds little Oscar that he is okay and that he has meet his nanny before and Nanny Tutu has remembered that he loves trains and that she has an adventure for them. Then it's "piggy kisses" and Mommy is out the door to work. Nanny Tutu shares an adventure in China with Oscar and she helps Oscar feel comfortable in new situations. Oscar is kept busy until Mommy comes home and then he shares his day with Mommy showing her something special he has learned that day.

My boys loved the story...they are still when they play talking about going to China and Nanny Tutu. They loved the colorful pictures and ask to look at the book. The pictures are simple yet, colorful and catches the eye. The part I like about the story is how Oscar voices his concerns and feeling and the Mommy addresses those fears and shows Oscar that there is nothing to worry about. And how it shows that Mommy always comes back! The book is available at ($16-$18) or at Even if your little piggy is not suffering from separation anxiety - it will be well worth the money.

Thank you Megan for letting me review your book!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ladies Night Out Christmas Cookie Exchange

Last night was LNO - and this month - being December - we did a cookie exchange. Yummy cookies! They were all sampled for my breakfast. Out of twelve people making cookies, only two did the same kind which are great because they are the Ritz crackers with peanut butter and dipped in chocolate - everyone's favorite!?!
We had so much fun last night...there were lots of new faces and all of us seasoned veterans (Pauline if you are reading this we missed you!). We ate, laughed, played games, laughed, chatted, ate, laughed so hard liquid almost spewed (several times), and ate some more. It is so much fun to get together and laughed. Lisa brought some new games that will be coming soon to a store near you so she could review them. They were fun games! K was such a good little girl through it all...someone even commented on how she never even heard her cry all night! She was cooing and talking, loving all the attention.

Group Shot...

Action Shot...

The boys were enjoying time at home with their favorite Auntie so I had no worries over them. They were hankered down for the night with snacks watching Frosty movies and the new Flight Before Christmas movie. They conned her into watching TinkerBell afterwards so they could stay up later because they didn't get to watch it all the last time she was over.

Looking forward to January LNO already!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Where does time go???

As I sit here, sipping my Russian Tea that I made for tomorrow night's LNO (I had to taste it - so yummy), waiting for my two cakes to get done in the oven and it is only 11:30 at night, I think where has this week flown off to? My last post was actually done on Friday night and once again it is almost Friday (actually is by the time I posted this)! Let me give you a little rundown on what has happened.

Saturday Night was the Old Fashioned Christmas Dinner and a show at church. I (supposed to be Dan and I) hosted two tables with our GREAT friends Donnie and Lisa. We decorated one that was a little fancy for the ladies to eat at and then we decorated one Outdoorsie/Hunting for the guys to eat at. Once the entertainment started we went to sit with our hubbies - Thank you Anna for being my "date." I was getting a little afraid you were going to back out on me too. ;) Anyway, here is a picture of each of the tables...See if you can guess who's is who's?

Yep - You're right! Was it the beef jerky that gave it away or the orange on the guy with the four wheeler? Anyway, a good time was had by all - it was fun to hang with my girlies and visit with some old friends as well.

Sunday, I dropped the boys off at Donnie and Lisa's and "kidnapped" Lisa to go to the Granite City Sound Chorus Presents: Songs of the Season, a Christmas Tea. Our friends, Sarah and Jean were singing - along with an old friend that I've known since High School - yes, way back then LK! Here is a picture of the group...It is a little foggy because it is so stinking cold outside!!!

Monday and Tuesday I worked, Monday night I had a meeting and with the snow didn't get home until late. Tuesday night we stopped to get groceries because I still hadn't made my 12 dozen cookies for the Cookie Exchange and some of the food for LNO. Wednesday we were home and I know I did something - I just don't remember what it was. Wednesday night was AWANA, D went to cubbies and C & K were in the nursery with me.

Today, I baked my goodies for the Exchange, baked yummy beer bread some other food for tomorrow night. The Pound Cakes (almond and chocolate) came out of the oven about 20 minutes ago and smell so delicious I want to go grab a fork and start eating! Tomorrow I will finish the food for LNO and bag up my goodies...Lisa, Do you still need help decorating???

And of course, in there somewhere, I took care of the kiddos - feeding them, giving them a bath, reading stories, etc. Or actually, dealing with temper tantrums and tring to keep them from making too much of a mess (most days, I am not very successful at this). They like to make these "machines" or "contraptions" with anything and everything they can find. I usually trip over everything, if I even have the courage to attempt to walk across my livingroom. And then of course there is taking care of my Miss K - feeding her every three hours, snuggling with her, getting her to fall asleep, and praying she will always be the even-tempered, happy-go-lucky girl she is now.

Now I should really go to bed but I might just have to take a look see to find any good giveaways for Christmas before I go...that is after all what they make caffeine for isn't it?!?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Dan!

This is the most recent photo I could find of him - I 'borrowed' it off of Jean's blog. That is her husband Ray on the left and Lisa's husband Donnie in the middle. And yes, for those of you who know him - Dan DOES sing Karaoke. They did a great job with the song, "Wake Up Little Suzy." The wives all wanted to know who Suzy was...maybe she goes with Dan's truck (see yesterday's blog!)

Anyway! Dan turns 45 today even though he doesn't act a day over 25. ~JK~ The Kiddos and I want to say a big Happy Birthday to you - way out in California. Just think, you can now cross off earthquake on the list of things to experience before you die. Crazy!! We love you and wish you were home so we could celebrate your birthday together.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Funnies #1

D has been totally into making up words and then saying "That is spanish for ______." (Watches too much Dora and Diego!) Well, the last couple of days he has been using the word "hooker" with the meaning: something that has a curve or hook on the end. But some of the sentences he uses it in just makes me laugh. For instance, did you know that Captain Hook has a hooker. A couple of days ago, one of the boys asked me if Daddy's truck had a hooker. I told him, It better not or he won't be your Daddy anymore....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #2 - What I love about Christmas time/December

  1. Praising God for the real reason we celebrate this season.
  2. Getting together with Family and Friends
  3. Yummy foods - appetizers, meals, desserts...
  4. Giving gifts to those I love - I don't expect any in return - I just love giving...
  5. Christmas stations that only play Christmas music.
  6. Christmas lights - driving around looking at all the beautiful decorations (the boys love it too, they are sad when one has more on the other side then they have on theirs).
  7. Celebrating the wonderful gifts God has given me because it is also when my hubby's and boys' birthdays are...the 6th, 20th, and 26th...and HIS Son's on the 25th
  8. Seeing how my boys want to celebrate Jesus' Birthday this year.
  9. We also are celebrating our 6th anniversary this year on the 21st.
  10. Having an excuse to go SHOPPING!!
  11. Watching the delight in my boys' eyes when they open their presents.
  12. Receiving all the Christmas cards from loved ones - especially pictures - all cards go on my entryway closet until after the holiday season...any pictures stay on it all year until I am ready to start getting the new ones for the year. (I'll have to do a WW on it after Christmas!).
  13. Rejoicing for another year of God's blessings and praying for another year of God's graces.

Isn't Christmas - "The most wonderful time of the year!"

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sitting on Santa's lap

Here we are sitting on Santa's lap - Sorry the picture isn't that great, it is from my cellphone. K was sleeping but woke up just in time to say "Hi" to Santa (at least she didn't cry!). D asked for a train and C asked for a set of sleighs - one for him, one for D, one for Mommy, one for Daddy and one for K. Isn't he sweet!

D had been having conversations lately with his dad on how there are a lot of fake Santas. After sitting on this one's lap he said, "Mommy, this one is the real Santa because I saw his white beard thingy." I know some of you may not do Santa at your house...but we make sure that they know what the true meaning of Christmas is!