Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving morning we had the privilege to deliver food to some families through Mission Arlington. Arlington is about 30 minutes southwest of where we live in the metroplex. We delivered a box of sides and a large turkey to each family. Very neat way to spend the morning!
Like many Americans, we spent the days after Thanksgiving eating leftovers from the big meal, enjoying days off work/school, and putting up Christmas decorations.

I even woke up early and went to a store at 5am for Black Friday shopping. Gasp! I saw a few things that were already on my list (a very short list, mind you) and the prices were too good to pass up. Besides, I had never braved a Black Friday early morning shopping trip. At 31 it was about time!

My friend Corie Anna and I headed out right at 5 and went to Target. I like to get the kids jammies every year. This year they had a good door-buster deal. I got sets for all 3 kids and bottoms for Joel. They were out of the matching bottoms for me. I said to Corie Anna as we got in line to check out "Wouldn't it be so cool if there were a pair of the plaid bottoms for me right by the register?" You won't believe me...there were! Right on top of the Coke case! My size and the right pattern to match the other 4. So hilarious. That little extra blessing made getting up that early worth it for me.

We also hit up a sale at a kids consignment place and I was able to get the girls Christmas dresses for way cheaper than I could have bought them anywhere else between now and when they'll be wearing them. I like that!
We hung lights on our house Saturday. (We have a "funny" out front.) We scored lots of lights last year from someone on craigslist, who either had too many or was sick of hanging them out each year. We strung them out front from the roofline, on bushes, and then out back around the fence and on the kids tree fort. They love it! They were running around outside singing "Christmas, Christmas time is here!"
And, today we put up our Christmas tree. The kids were hilarious with their excitement, again. We let them hang the ornaments. That's always fun. Needless to say, our tree is well decorated on the bottom half! I'll add some more to the top tomorrow.
We hope you're getting in the Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I was playing around with Photoshop Elements today (thanks to the encouragement of Ellie playing on it yesterday) and created a new banner for my blog. What do you think? Not bad for a first try, I think.

Well, if you have tried to create and save something, you might be like me and discover once you get ready to "save" your project that your "file cabinet" of computer files is a complete disastrous mess! Mine are.

Because I have a Mac (which i love!!!), I use the iLife products (iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, etc). So, my photos aren't really easy to get to when I need to open them for use in PSE. I also get sent random pictures that I download (apparently) and save (didn't know that!). I have a whole slew of photos that I didn't know were tucked away in a file folder on my hard drive. Hmmm...

So, I thought I'd bless you with these photos that will walk us down memory lane (if you knew me in years past). I just love looking back at years gone by through photos. My kids sure have grown quickly.
The days may be long, but the years are short!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Rylee had her Kindergarten Feast and play this morning. I'm a "room mom" and helped set up and cook the food (which meant opening cans and dumping things in crock pots with seasonings, along with scooping out pumpkin pie).

The ladies all did a great job. I think there were 8 of us working to get it all ready to feed 40 kids and 50 parents. I was very impressed that at least one parent showed up for every single kid (19 of 'em) in Rylee's class! Yeah families!!!

I took a video of the Kindergarten performing. It was sweet. I will upload it momentarily! video

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Falling Leaves, Falling Kiddos

The leaves are falling all around us. Actually, most of them are done by now. But, last week we had lots of wind and the leaves came pouring down.
We have a great little tree out back the kids have learned to climb.
All the kids, that is, except Jenna. Her little legs are just too short.
Or, they were!
She finally figured out how to pull herself up.
Last week we had two friends hanging out with us for the afternoon. All five kids headed outside to climb the tree and drop into the pile of leaves I raked up below. They were having fun.
Once Jenna figured out how to get up into the tree, she was incredibly proud that she could hang and drop all by herself. (Click on the image below to see it enlarged; you will see the beaming smile she had all afternoon!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Talking Hair...yeah, that superficial

I'm thinking of hair today.

I got my hair cut short in September. It's cute and fun. And, I've decided I won't be trying to get long hair for a really long time. I spent several years sort of growing it out. Then, it got long and it was just blah.
But, I still love to look at cute styles and admire.

As I was thinking of a cute hairstyle I saw today (I snapped a picture), I thought about how much my hair has changed this last year.

So, I thought I'd do a two-year-review of my hair. I don't even know if I have that many pictures that would show what it looked like, but we'll see. December 2007 ~ Just after moving to Texas

Dallas Zoo ~ February 2008
Easter 2008

July 2008

October 2008 - PA trip

Christmas 2008 (above and below)
It was cute when I pulled it back, but blah when down.I had to do two years because it really didn't change from Christmas 2008 until this picture below, on my birthday in August 2009. Sad.)

My birthday ~ August 6, 2009
I liked this new style, but the bangs were bothering me; I think I needed some. I liked the "flip out" style, however one side would flip well and the other would droop and then end up turning under...ugh.

And, I know...this is totally vain. It's not that I think I'm all that cute. I just think it's funny how we change our hairstyles.
My new short style (not styled with anything; sorry, I was being lazy; it's usually spiky in the back). This was the end of September 2009.
I think I'm going to stick with it shorter, for sure. I have had it cut once since the picture above and I like it longer, like it is in this picture. I think I'll just aim at sticking with an even slightly longer version of this cut. It takes way less time to do!

Sorry for the vain post about my hair. But, I was all out of something interesting to write about and this was on my mind!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flying High

Last weekend we were blessed to have an additional kiddo with us. He added to the fun of our family with lots of giggles. It helped that he was boy...Asa really enjoyed the balance of boys to girls.
Saturday was beautiful with sunny skies and a light breeze. It was prefect for kite flying.
We went to a local park and everyone got to try their hand. The kids did really well. And, I realized as we were teaching them what to do that I actually have never flown a kite before (that I can remember, which means it probably is true).

The kids were very fun to watch as they learned to lift their arms, move around, and not to cross each other.
Then some guys doing some sort of sword fighting thing showed up and started "practicing". The boys really liked watching them.
At one point I snuck up to take a picture and heard Asa and Timmy saying to one another
"You go."
"No, you go."
"I don't want to. You go."
"I wanna fight, but I don't wanna go."
So sweet!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Food, Free Bread Cookbook, My Own Attempts

I wanted to start making my own bread a few years ago when a close friend started making loaves for her husband, who had to be strict with his diet due to treatments for cancer. (Praise the Lord, he is now cancer-free.) She bought a bread machine and told me how easy it was. She also mentioned the Yum factor.

Fast forward a year or so and find our family on staff with many people who are into eating healthier. Many ladies bake their own bread and know lots of stuff about healthy things like whole wheat flour, flax seed, wheat germ, ...stuff I knew nothing about!

So, for Christmas, Joel bought me a bread machine. It's this one--available at WalMart for quite a cheap price, as far as bread machines go (we got it for about $40).
I started using it and liked the breads I could make. However, I could not master using the machine for whole wheat dough if I wanted to bake it in regular loaf pans in my oven (if you bake in the machine the loaf is a weird size and the paddle creates a big whole in the bottom of the loaf). I still use my machine quite a bit in intervals. I love to make cinnamon rolls (posted about them here), some great white bread that's delicious but offers no nutritional value, I'm sure, and loafs of white/wheat mix.
I read my friend, Beth's, blog today (catching up) and saw a post for a cookbook she has. She's giving away a cookbook, so I entered of course! You can enter too. Just make sure to mention I sent you.
And, as a final thought, I have a blog dedicated just to the foods our family eats. That may seem weird to you, but my plan is to create the blog so I can easily find our favorite recipes, share those with anyone who might be interested, and eventually print the blog into a family cookbook for me and my children. (Lofty goals, I know!) I've been slow to post new things on it, so be patient.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Our Motley Crew

We dressed up as pirates for trick or treating. (all except Daddy, that is)
We went to a fall festival at the church where Rylee's school meets. It was quite crowded, so we didn't stay long.
We stopped by Taco Bell to get everyone a free taco (they were giving away one of their new Black Jack tacos to each person...very nice cheap dinner). Then, we went to see if we could find our friends, the Davids. They were already out gathering candy, so we let the kids go door to door in their neighborhood for a bit. They got loaded up with goodies! Then, we stopped back by to see the Davids and say hi before heading home. Once in our neighborhood, we hit up a few houses before we called it a night. The kids absolutely LOVED getting candy from all those strangers. At one point Rylee said "Mom, it is so much fun to get candy from all these people!"