Catchin' up!

Thanksgiving was great and the weekend was very relaxing! On Friday we kept Kayden while the 'gang' went "Black Friday" shopping at midnight - she is just the best!

Since we were 'kid less' we decided to head out for the evening. We stopped at Walmart and picked up some decorations, presents and basic needs then stopped by the mall just before closing. I wanted an attachment for my Kitchenaid to make turkey salad (never made it before but love it with leftover turkey). I ran in Country Treasures for some lights and garland for the railing then off to eat. We decided on TGIFriday's because I love the fried green beans! It was a nice night out.
On Saturday, we remained kid less and literally did NOTHING! We slept in, watched many, many episodes of Seinfeld then decided to pick up some seafood and ice cream (not sure where that combination came from but it was good).

Sunday was another lazy day however I did get all the laundry done, one of our Christmas trees up, all of Kayden's bows finished and the railing wrapped.
The kids were both here for most of the day so were energized to get their rooms moved around. Wow, what work! Cierra is all settled in Britt's room (all except the bed which will be here Friday) but we're making Chase wait until after Christmas to move into the other 1/2 of the basement. They are like twins when it comes to this kind of stuff. What one has, the other wants. Oh well, it keeps things interesting!

I also decided to try my hand at using my Cricut for vinyl lettering for my walls....

Here's a blast from the past - when we first bought this for Cierra some people (won't name) thought we were crazy for spending all that money on a quilt. Since I have gotten into quilting I totally appreciate the value of a quilt now though. But hey, I was able to recycle it for Kayden's room. I still love it!

Spaghetti was on the menu for dinner so Britt and Brandon stopped by for the leftovers. I have to admit that it seems really weird not having her around. Don't you agree 21 years is a long time to be around then 'poof', she's gone? :)


I have such a personality

Yes, I had a little bit of fun today with Kayden and her pink bow..

Show Us Your Life - Christmas Traditions!

Christmas has always been a very special time for our family. From a very young age my parents have always made it a time of excitement and adventure but they never let us forget what it is really all about.

Traditionally we go to church on Christmas Eve then have dinner with family. Last year with the excitement of our new grandchild 'on her way', we decided to change it up a bit and have Christmas Eve dinner at home. It worked out really nice and allowed the kids to get everything ready (cookies and milk, notes to Santa then read "Twas the Night Before Christmas") before heading to bed. The kids always get to open one present on Christmas eve which is one of their favorite things.

One of the joys I also love about the season is the annual Christmas program at Church. Last year it was really special because we used live animals and presented a slideshow as Cierra narrated the birth of baby Jesus. This year the theme is really cute, too! Cierra and Chase love to participate in that.

Then there's the Christmas parade! Last year it was really, really cold....Chase and Ronnie are usually with the Cub Scouts while Cierra and I are with the 4H group but once again, this year just might be different (you'll have to wait and see:)

Baking cookies is also one of the traditions that seems to get harder and harder as everyone is so busy but this year we have planned a 'baking Saturday' for all of us to get together and bring recipes to share then just bake all day! (Ronnie has also agreed to get a 2nd oven up and running, yay!)

Every Christmas morning after gifts are opened at home, we head 'over the creek and through the woods' to Grandma and Butch's home and literally, let the fun begin! Breakfast is then served then we head back over the bridge. While the kids are playing with their new stuff, we usually sort and organize then sneak in a nap.

In years past we have always joined in the 'after Christmas' madness! Never know what you're gonna find, right?!

This year is going to be different for a couple reasons - first it will be Kayden's 1st Christmas!! and, she's at such a great age! Just think of all the toys she'll get. This will also be Britt's first Christmas in her new home. Wow, things sure do change quick, don't they?! One other good thing is that Mom is healthy this year. Last year just before Christmas she fell and broke her hip. That changed not only the activities of Christmas but put it all into perspective for our family. So, we're really hoping everyone is healthy this year!

We also started another tradition last year. I have a great group of people that work with/for me so we thought it would be fun to have an annual holiday party. We were successful (however it was actually after the holidays) and have this year's planning underway (and I think there might even be some new faces there, too)....
So, HAPPY HOLIDAYS all my blogger friends!


Where do I start?

There is SO MUCH to be thankful for! I don't think I can top Ronnie's post and have to admit I was very surprised. When I first logged on and saw that picture, I was certain my "blog" had a virus....where did that picture come from?! Then as I began to read I realized all the thought that went into a few paragraphs for all my blogging friends to read. Wow - I too, am very thankful for my life with Ronnie and do realize we are very blessed as well as 'fortunate'. The world is a tough place these days but our journey just keeps getting better. There have been some remarks out there calling us "Barbie and Ken". Call it what you want but we do have a pretty good life and don't take it for granted, ever.

Today was full of traditions; fried turkey, dinner at our home, family around the table, talk about Christmas and then there are those sales that start at midnight. We also started some new traditions, had some new faces and even some new food! Yeah for Paula Dean, right?!

Cierra, Kayden and I even ventured out to Michael's tonight to pick up some things for those 'hand made' gifts.

Now Kayden's in bed, Cierra is napping until she's picked up at 11:30 (for a night of shopping) and Ronnie and I would be relaxing.

I hope everyone out there had a blessed, memorable and thankful day!

Here's a run through of our day -

Our morning tradition - It's hard to believe it's been 6 years since Britt was in the parade...
Our family...
The 'bird' getting ready be dropped in the fryer. Ronnie says this is the only day of the year he drinks a beer before noon, lol! Yum...all golden brown..Lord, please bless this food....Now it's time to exchange names....All the grandkids w/Grandma and Butch....And here's the smallest blessing that means so much to all of us!

Thanks givin’ To My Wife

I may be stepping over my boundaries, but that’s nothing unusual for me, so here it goes. Anyone that knows me knows that I let you know up front and honestly how I feel. Now it’s time to touch on a subject that usually escapes the conversation in many households these days… the importance of the wife in our life. Speaking for myself, my wife is my best friend, my lover, the best mom to 4 children (5 counting you Ash), and doing a wonderful justice to the newly coined phrase in our house, “GiGi”. Making sure all are treated equally and being involved and supportive is always at the forefront of her mind. She strives to capture the moments that they will one day cherish, whether it be in her still photos on paper, on video, or on the blog which you are reading now. Anyone (who truly knows her) knows that she blogs to archive the now for the later for those who are the nearest to her heart, her children and grandchild. She wears many hats and never fails at anything she does. She is our Thanksgiving and why I wrote this. There’s nobody else, no other role in the world, where a person sacrifices so much for others. So, on this 19th Thanksgiving we’ve spent together I say “Thank you Lord above for blessing me with such a wonderful wife for whom I’m so thankful." Have a great day, Bev!




Thanksgiving Turkey Bowling!

Since Chase is a Boy Scout now, he was able to help out with the Cub Scout meeting tonight. They decided to have a little fun and use a Butterball turkey breast as a bowling ball. After the meeting, a drawing was held to unveil the ticket wrapped in the turkey breast so three families went home with some turkey. (hey, it's always a good back-up, right?!)


Just in....

Cierra and Butch have been very busy lately buying and breeding goats. I have lost count as to how many they actually have but they have been watching 'momma' really close (even checking every hour) because she is ready to have babies. They are betting whether she is having twins or triplets because she is sooo big.

After church, Grandma called to let Cierra know that the babies (yes plural) have arrived! They are so sweet but guess what!? It wasn't 'momma' that gave birth, lol. It was Bitsy! They thought she was pregnant but didn't think she was quite ready - well they were obviously wrong.
These two are so cute - Cierra's thinking of names now but wants their names to have something to do with Thanksgiving. She is throwing around Cranberry and Stuffing but I'll have to let you know once that is confirmed :)


As all the stockings were hung by the chimney with care I realized I need two more this year. Our family just keeps growing - isn't that what having children is all about?! I love it!
And the elves climbing the tree.....looks like we have a few missing there, too!
By now you have figured out that decorating is underway at Crockett's Corner, ha! I'm listening to Christmas carols and have my Yankee Christmas Wreath candles burning. Sometimes I wish I could leave some of my favorites out all year....

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is this week and then Christmas right behind it. Gotta get moving!!


Worth the wait!

Twilight's next saga was released tonight at midnight so a few months ago I purchased our tickets on-line. I was soooo excited and couldn't wait but now I totally feel like it was worth the wait.

The kids went to Grandma and Butch's while we headed to Winchester. Britt and Brandon went to Frederick as the original plan included J and Ash but since Kayden is not feeling the greatest they decided to stay home. We went to Olive Garden for dinner (drank lots of iced tea) and were entertained (to say the least) by Mark. He was pretty funny and very interesting.
After dinner we headed over to the mall where the line was already around the building.
It was still pretty early but just after 10:30 they let us in to get our seats. At that time they had sold out 4 theaters and were working on the 5th. So, we got settled in and waited for the show. By 12:30 New Moon started and it was literally action packed from beginning to end. It was the best! Sleepy? absolutely not! Tomorrow? absolutely so!

For now, it's off to bed to get about three hours of sleep then get the kids off to school. Luckily it's a Thursday night and Ronnie doesn't have to work tomorrow. And...since I travelled this week and put in some extra hours, I'm good for at least a 1/2 day tomorrow.

We had a great time and are already talking about the next one, ha!


Oh those furry, furry friends of our's!!

This week Kelly's Korner is all about our pets!!

I have to admit, they really are a part of our family! I've always had a cat but when Santa dropped off a puppy nearly 5 years ago I was really surprised! (no joke either). I've never been a 'dog' person - they always seemed needy to me where as my cats have always just gone on their merry way and taken care of themselves. What can I say though, it's very true that we will do just about anything to make our kids happy. So over the years, we have had lambs, a goat, a pig, a few lizzards, hamsters, salt water and fresh water fish, hermit crabs, but those that have survived the test of time are "Scanlon" (hunter) and "Java" (hyper), lol!

Scanlon was here first so tends to 'smack' Java around from time to time. He even teases by getting in her crate....

Scanlon has always been really good with our Christmas trees however has been known to lay underneath and play with those low hanging decorations...
And Java - where do I start? She joined our family during the busiest time of year but fit right in. Cierra was not too crazy about her but Chase started carrying her around immediately. The table turned within the first 3 months though and Java soon became Cierra's best friend as well. Even today they fight over who she is sleeping with. It's not surprising to see items such as "doggie stroller", a carrier and even a doggie carseat on Cierra's Christmas list. She has also completed two yaers of her 4H Dog project learning more about caring for Java. Although Java is a Jack Russell, she is very calm and loves to be included in our family outings. She enjoys being strolled around or even chilling out on the boogie board....She has even earned a spot in the motorhome so she travels with us most of the time.

So all in all, I have to admit that our lives certainly wouldn't be the same without them!

San Antonio!

I am home! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to share :( It was a long three days packed with W.O.R.K! We worked from 7:30 each day until nearly midight so there was no sightseeing for me, shew! But the group I met with was great and it was really nice to put faces to the many names I have come to know over the past few months in my 'new' assignment. They were great and we got a lot accomplished. I was greeted with gifts and I couldn't have picked them better...simply perfect...a shot glass (perfect in our bar), a coffee mug which will get used frequently, an ink pen with RIVERWALK (which is where I really wanted to go) and a magnet that shows some of the beauty of the city. Thanks to that great team for welcoming me and showering me with gifts!! It does sound like I will be making a trip back there before my assignment ends and they are already planning a whole day to take me around the town....such great people!


Autumn Beauty - I Heart Faces Week 45 Challenge

This is a picture I captured during our recent trip to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Looking back, I think we made it just in time as the "peak" time of the season was the very next week. There were so many people there that Sunday, soaking up the Autumn Beauty!


Miracle in Minnesota

Ok, somewhat Boston but I'm not sure if you pay close enough attention to notice that the "praying for Stellan" banner on the right side of my blog is gone and that is a good thing. If you're interested, check this out!

We ave been supporting Stellan since I began blogging earlier this year. The kids even drew his name in the sand while in St. John in participation of the 'world' praying for him. Such an interesting story but we are so happy he was the lucky candidate of a miracle. This is one of those times that I wish I was going to Minneapolis instead of San Antonio because MckMama is actually not far from where I typically go.

Prayer really does work and he's a wonderful example of that!


Gathered at the table...

We finally got around to having J's birthday dinner. It was nice having them all for dinner tonight especially since I'll be heading out tomorrow. We did have a new face at our table though...
She came all dressed in her pj's and got to taste a little of the ice cream and peanut butter icing. I think we were successful at getting her all wound up before she headed home to get in bed :) She is just too funny! She does L.O.V.E. Mickey Mouse and we are so hoping she will be just as excited as we are when she takes her first trip to Disney World! Gosh, that will be here before we know it!

The Birthday cake...

J's birthday was on Tuesday but we haven't yet celebrated with dinner and 'cake' so that would be today! In years past Grandma Peg has always made cake with peanut butter icing for everyone's birthday. She hasn't been in the best of health lately so I decided to pick up the wand and make J a birthday cake with peanut butter icing, ha! Luckily Paula Deen's Christmas Special Collection magazine had a recipe. I gave it a try and think it's pretty good. Ronnie seems to think J might need more peanut butter but we'll have to see. Britt even likes peanut butter so I might have covered both birthday's with one cake.....

If you haven't picked up your copy of the magazine, you might want to. I fixed her macaroni and cheese last night and it was really good, too!

A GREAT food drive!

Thanks to all our Jefferson County Supporters for helping us bring in over 14,000 lbs of food yesterday! Wow...it's a tough time for everyone right now but this was a great success! We started out just past 9:00 a.m. and stopped at a variety of homes that Chase left door hangers.....we only had one small snagJust kidding!! But wouldn't you be nervous if this is what greeted you?

Traditionally Cierra has always donated money and gone with us to purchase her food prior to the drop off. This morning she was 'goat' gear shopping with Butch and unable to attend so Chase and Ronnie took her money along with our donation, grabbed a cart and loaded some canned goods.

Selling Trails End popcorn is the main fundraiser for Cub/Boy Scouts each year in the Fall. The boys have the option of getting prizes or taking the extra % of sales in cash to put back into their Pack. During the past few years the decision was made to take the boys shopping with the cash to purchase food. They love this and it gives them the opportunity to feel like they are really contributing, too. We realized (just a tad late) that Chase had some money to use since he opted out of prizes, too. So back in he went and out he came with some additional cans.....In total Chase collected 366 lbs of food!
The overall goal this year was set at 17,500 lbs however Ronnie felt getting 16,000 which was just a little bit higher than last year would be a huge accomplishment. After all was unloaded and weighed, the Jefferson County Mannahoac District contribution to this year's goal was Drum Roll please........14,308! YES!! Now, keep in mind we are still awaiting totals from six units in Clark County which are also a part of Mannahoac but this is the most we have ever done and it looks like we will probably hit the original stretch goal of 17,500 lbs! Way to Go!

Take a look at the scene inside Jefferson County Ministries..amazing, huh?

Chase spent the whole time back in the back, unloading the carts with bag upon bag of canned goods. For those of you that know him, he has been known to straighten shelves in Wal-mart, grocery stores and any shop that might have their precious goods out of order. At one point we even questioned whether he had OCD because everywhere we went he wanted to straighten everything from toilet paper to canned goods. So guess what!? This morning Chase is in his glory! He went to Community Ministries and is helping unpack, check dates and stock the shelves. He got right out of bed, ate breakfast and was ready to go! I'm sure I'll have a follow-up story but for now, that's that, ha! Thanks to everyone in our County!