As a family, we love the magic of December. Baking, Christmas lights, time spent with family and friends, giving to others, celebrating the birth of our Savior.The past few years, we have tried to scale back on the amount of presents we give. However, we always try to find one special gift for someone. Something unexpected. This year, it was my Dad and step-mom. For two people who have everything, I thought a group photo would be perfect for them. Organizing the schedules of 12 people can be a bit challenging, but we made it work and with the help of an awesome photographer (photobymitzi.com) this was the end result:
Two happy parents :)
Clyde the elf, was busy during the month. I'm glad that Stephen still plays along and joins in on the adventure of finding Clyde.
While Mike was busy outside, I was busy inside. I was fortunate to have both of my boys at home on Thanksgiving day. What better time to decorate the tree:
This is usually the weekend that Clyde the elf returns. However, Santa needed extra help this year so Clyde's arrival has been delayed until December 1. We are counting down the days. I can hardly wait to see what mischief our little guy gets into this year.
Oh brother! Did I really miss another month of posting. November flew by. My great idea of doing a thankful thing each day fizzled out. We finally just decided that if something came up we would put it in the bowl. Stephen was sick for a few weeks (which has now passed on to mom), so he wasn't feeling thankful for much. I understand-it's hard to think about being thankful when all you are doing is coughing. Great time of year to be sick (sarcasm). Thanksgiving was spent with my Dad and my 2nd mom. This is our annual tradition. There is always so much yummy food. Thanksgiving is also the kick off for our decorating. Inside and out. Mike spends days setting up outside. We have been in our home for almost 5 years. This is our 4th Christmas and each year we like to add something new outside. Mike had a great idea for adding a border around our yard. This was inspired by something similar done by our neighbor last year. A lot of pvc pipe, duct tape and C7 lights and this is what we have:
Wow-I can't believe it is November already. Last year for the month of November, Mike, Stephen and I wrote one thing we were thankful for each day. I used our monthly calendar and it was a good reminder on how truly blessed we are. I'm writing this a few days after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. Our dear neighbors are living in Connecticut temporarily and have been without power all week. I cannot imagine going through that with a 3 year old. They are safe and for that we are grateful. One of the blogs I follow: balancinghome.com had a great idea for showing gratitude this month. I took her idea and changed it up a bit.
I found this printable here: http://howtonestforless.com/2012/10/30/thanksgiving-subway-art-free-printable/
This picture frame sits on a table with all of our family pictures. I have multiple printables for different holidays/seasons/birthdays.
The banner I printed from balancinghome.com. She has quite a few free printables
This year we are going to write our thankful things on a piece of paper each day. At the end of the month I am going to put them away. What fun is that you ask? Well, my brilliant idea for this year is to wait until New Year's Eve to look at all of our thankful things. What better way to end the year and start the new. My hope is that we can look back and remember how blessed we have been even through the storms of life. Life is busy. November is a good time to stop and reflect on how fortunate we are. What are you thankful for?
I wanted to take Stephen apple picking as a fall activity. I found a place in the far off land of Bakersfield. Stephen, Vinnie and I had quite the adventure. Our first stop was Murray's Family Farms in Bakersfield. Great place. Unfortunately, we missed apple picking by one day. We had lunch in the restaurant that is part of the farm. I guess I really am a city girl. Ever heard of fry pies? Me neither. But let me tell you, they were YUMMY. We enjoyed apple and cherry fry pies (apple of course for Stephen). We also had a fry pie with bbq chicken and another with country fried steak and mashed potatoes. Definitely not diet friendly.
Enjoying his apple fry pie
Brothers goofing around:
I decided we needed an adventure, so with the magic of the Internet and a smart phone, Vinnie was able to locate a muffler man (check out weirdca.com, or roadside.com) in the middle of nowhere. So now we were on a mission to locate a giant Indian off highway 178. I had never heard of muffler man before, amazing the knowledge that can be obtained through modern technology. So after a few wrong turns and traveling the wrong direction on the freeway (even with gps I am directionally challenged), we found the giant Indian on a back road next to the Old Corral Cafe.
The Indian's story
And that is how we spent our Sunday. I'm glad my boys still enjoy hanging out with their crazy mother.
I have started a part-time job working from home. It allows me the time I need to build my business and finish my quickbooks proadvisor program. I am enjoying learning about an industry that is completely foreign to me-contractors. Anyway, back to the reason for this post. I have the BEST friends. They are my sounding board, my co-parents, my support system. I would be completely lost without them. They are also fun to hang out with. Mitzi had 2 extra tickets for Go Fest with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan and invited me and Stephen to join her and Logan. Can I just say that Luke Bryan is HOT. This was our first experience with a country music concert. It was fun and definitely different than what we are used to. THANK YOU, Mitzi :)
We always seem to be busy. I just don't understand where the days go. Here's a recap of some of the things we have done recently. Stephen had his first middle school progress report. He has been doing a great job. He has been responsible in doing his homework and studying for his tests. All without any argument. To celebrate his success, I made red velvet cookies:
Vinnie, Stephen and I went to the Harvest Crusade at Dodger Stadium. This is becoming an annual event for us. Greg Laurie always has a timely message. The experience always leaves me feeling overwhelmed with God's love and grace. I am grateful that I can share this with my boys.
Stephen and I also attended a free concert at our church-Phil Wickham, It was GREAT.
Stephen is at his first Middle School dance so I thought I would take advantage of some free time and post an update. I've been trying to change things up in our house without spending a lot of money.
I found this frame at Goodwill.
It was dark green. I sanded it down, used some Vaseline and spray paint to distress. Not bad for my first try. I was going to post the link for the printable here. I can't find it. The saying is perfect for our home.
I needed a change in our bathroom. We had so much fun at the beach this summer, I decided to add some of those memories into our decor.
We have been collecting shells for years and wanted to use them for my beach theme. I found these at the dollar store:
I glued them together with my hot glue gun, added some 'beach' sand from Walmart and came up with this:
The smaller jars I have had for years.
I needed something to hang my jewelry own. Pinterest is always inspiring. I took a piece of scrap wood that we had, scrapbook paper, mod podge, and new and used knobs.
Walgreens had a free deal on an 8 x 10 collage. I found a frame at Home Goods.
Here's how it all looks together:
The last thing I did was a new (old) vanity tray for my perfume. I found this old tray at Goodwill.
I sanded it and then spray painted it white.
Found this great scrapbook paper, mod podge and sealant. All done.
Now it's time to start thinking about those holiday projects...........