I have so many great memories of Christmas as a kid. My parents recently sent me a few pictures of Christmases many moons ago. If you're having the Christmas grumps these should cheer you right up! (These are old pictures so they are a little fuzzy).
Don't I look happy? And seriously, what's with the length of dresses in the 70's?!
Totally diggin the fro and stache Dad!
My Grandmother was always right in the middle of things with us kids. It was awesome.
Close your mouth Robert! Oh and Mom, why does your shirt say Sexy Snow?!
The best mess there is! And yes that is me with all that blonde hair.
Whoa! Too much eggnog! :)
Everyone needs Winnie the Pooh footed jammies.
Love this one! Grandma was such a big kid at heart. There wasn't a snowman built or a mud pie made that she didn't help with.
I hope I helped with your Christmas grumpies! Have a great day!
Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was interesting. The Saturday before Thanksgiving I came down with something short of horrible. I pride myself on not getting sick very often but when I do get something it usually puts me out. This one was no different. My cough would put any 2 pack a day smoker to shame. Just saying.
On top of my virus, my husband had surgery on his knee 2 days before Thanksgiving. I was still quite ill at this point and thanks to a wonderful and maybe a little crazy friend, she took the girls for the night so that Jef and I could be at the hospital by 6:00 a.m. After medicating myself enough that people wouldn't run from me if they heard me cough, we arrived early and prepared Jef for his surgery. The surgery went really well and he is recovering quite nicely. He is up and moving around surprisingly well. I thought his recovery would be much worse. I on the other hand am still coughing and have lost most of my voice. Mind you that doesn't keep me from talking but it sounds like a dying goose.
On a fun note, the day after Thanksgiving brings a much anticipated visitor to our home.
This is Murray or Elf. Murray is a fun addition to the house at Christmas and keeps an eye the comings and goings of our crazy house. The girls talk to him, show him pictures they draw of him, and search for him everyday. Murray is not a mischievous elf but does like to have camp outs and eat candy in our house. Murray is not used a discipline tool for us he just keeps things lively around here.
The first day that Murray visits he decorates our small table in the kitchen and brings the fixings for Elf Pancakes for us to enjoy.
In recent years Jef has been deployed and missed out on Murray's arrival. He declared that Elf Pancakes were the best pancakes. Elf Pancakes, by the way, are just your typical pancake mix (mine is my grandmothers mix) with sprinkles added. Jef said there was something else in them. And of course I said "Yep, Elf Love"!
I hope your Thanksgiving was well and you are entering into the season of giving with open hearts.
*Please note that all thoughts and feelings in this post are solely mine. They are in no way intended to offend or hurt anyone, especially friends and family.
Has anyone else noticed that Thanksgiving seems to be the missing holiday? Maybe it's just me. It's bad enough that the Christmas decorations start appearing on the shelves the same time as Halloween costumes. The minute Halloween is over, BAM! All the shelves are wiped clean, Christmas stuff goes up, Christmas decorations are hung in the stores and around town, and Christmas music is playing on the radio. I was in the mall the other day buying pants for the girls and Santa is already set up. There wasn't one person standing in line and by the slouching, yawning Santa that I saw he had not Ho Ho Hoed all day long. Must we fast forward everything? Are we really that impatient? It almost seems that people use Thanksgiving as a day to carb up before getting up at an ungodly hour to race through the stores spending money that don't have for Black Friday. It makes me shake my head.
Thanksgiving is very important to me. I love having lots of people in my house eating, talking, watching football, and just relaxing. When I was growing up Thanksgiving was always a lot of fun. It was the one holiday that all the relatives came. I'm from a large extended family on both sides and Aunts, Uncles, and cousin came from all over. We would go to my paternal grandparents house and no matter how small the house was there was always room for everyone. It was a loud holiday (at least until after we ate) with kids running around, pots and pans banging in the kitchen and any other room that we needed to cook in, dominoes were banging at the kitchen table, lots of loud talking and the high screeching whistle of at least 6 hearing aids. It was awesome! The best was when my grandmother would sneak away from the cooking and come outside and play whiffle ball with us kids. She was great and a vicious game player. There was no letting the kids win. I miss that and wish that I had the same to offer to my girls. But we do what we can to show them the importance and meaning to all holidays and make them as fun and memorable as possible.
I am disheartened when scrolling through my facebook and instagram feeds and I see that people have already put up their Christmas trees. I'm glad they enjoy Christmas that much but it's not for me. I want to celebrate Thanksgiving. I want to enjoy the time with my family. The girls help me with the cooking and baking which gives me the opportunity to share family recipes with them and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
This year will be a very quiet Thanksgiving for us. All of our friends here have plans, family is just too far away, and my husband will be re cooperating from knee surgery that takes place just two days before. But it will be fun and special and when all the turkey has been eaten and the first of December rolls around then I will spread all the Christmas cheer I can find but until then I will set my sites on Thanksgiving.
You can't have Halloween without Jack-o-lanterns. My dad and I have a serious love for pumpkin carving. We have a lot of fun carving them, when he actually lets me do the carving. :) The girls always talk about using a pattern to carve their pumpkin but always end up drawing it themselves.
I am so glad that my girls are not squeamish about the pumpkin "guts".
This year we let both girls do most of the carving themselves. We have lots of those little saws from the kits. I don't think I'm ready to hand them a knife for this yet.
Hannah wanted a basic jack-o-lantern face this year.
Kaitlyn wanted a ghost. It turned out really cute. It looks like a pac-man ghost.
This is probably my favorite time of year. The weather is changing, the light is changing, and everything is beginning its winter slowdown. Fall on the east coast is lovely. I grew up in the desert southwest and while I love it there, cacti do change colors in the fall. The leaves are just starting to change for us here and soon I will be cussing the same said leaves because I have to rake them all up. But for now we are looking forward to Halloween. I love Halloween. I remember the excitement of picking out a costume, carving jack-o-lanterns, trick or treating, helping hand out candy and my mom's popcorn balls. I don't even have to think hard to remember that smell. I've only made them once and I still am reminded to this day of the burns my husband sustained while helping me. Oops! Our girls love Halloween too. They love the decorations, getting to wear a costume, of course candy, and our yearly trip to the pumpkin patch for this year's jack-o-lanterns. On Sunday after church we headed out to get our pumpkins. We have gone to the same pumpkin patch for the last 3 or 4 years and its a lot of fun.
Kaitlyn loves the little pumpkins but always settles on a big one.
Hannah does not make decisions quickly for anything. She wants the perfect one.
There are lots of fun decorations around the pumpkin patch along with Halloween decorations to purchase, gourds and all the interesting looking pumpkins, hayrides and refreshments.
The girls and I loved these funny guys. Their eyes light up and they play their banjos. That song you just started singing in your head, yep that's the one they play. Hilarious!
This past weekend we packed up early and headed out of town to the mountains. It was a much needed break from the craziness that is home. October always seems to be so busy and this was the little bit of sanity that we all needed. I learn new things everyday about being a mom and an adult for that matter. I have learned over the last couple of years that the only way I can give all of myself to my husband and girls is to go out of town. I don't think "stay cations" work well for me. I love being at home but even if we are all here trying to relax I am thinking of all the things that need to be done or I should be doing. Sunday was a great day for apple picking. It was rather busy but the weather was great and we all had a great time.
Our first stop is always at the barn for apple cider donuts. The are so warm, melty and delicious.
After the donuts we grab our bags and map to go pick our apples.
Last year we went apple picking earlier in the month so the apples were low enough to stand and grab. This year our picking looked like this...
Jef held the girls up so they could pick and I may have climbed a tree or two. Shhhh.
We had a lot of fun and I now have lots of apple for apple butter, apple sauce, apple pie, and anything else apple. I'm so glad we got to go and can't wait for next year's trip.