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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday~Happy New Year!







Happy New Year to all of my friends....real life and on the WWW!


I hope 2010 brings growth, prosperity, and good health to all!

I'll be back with more consistency next week, after the normal school/work routine returns.

Happy New Year!








Monday, December 21, 2009

Another Christmas Meme...Just for Fun!





So, are y'all up for another Christmas meme?



1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot chocolate, hands down. Egg Nog....yuck.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Usually wrapped, with an occasional glorious goodie in open splendor.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White icicle lights on the house and multi-blinkie lights on the tree. I prefe the calm of all white lights but the family out-voted me this year.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Yep, but it's fake. (Looks kinda real, though.)

5. When do you put your decorations up?
We usually put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving if we're doing fake. If we decide on a real tree, we wait a week or two. All decorations go up with the tree.

6. What is your favorite Christmas dish?
My mom's southern stye chicken and dressing. I'm still not sure why we only have it during the holidays....

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
My great-grand parents Christmas celebrations. Crowded with cousins, lots of food and gifts, Silver tree with purple and blue glass ornaments. Every family member got a small brown bag with fresh fruit, nuts, and peppermints. My great-grandfather gave us kids a silver dollar.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Santa brought me a really nice tape recorder one year. I loved it! My uncle commented on it during a visit and my dad told him where 'he' found it and what a great deal 'he' got on it. ( I was like, wha?!?! Huh?!?!)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We've always opened gifts on Christmas Eve with extended family, then Santa comes, and then family gifts on Christmas morning. (Although the kids beg and beg to open presents on the way home from Mamaw's Christmas Eve night! And Daddy always says it's up to me, making me the bad guy!)

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Gold and red with a crazy assortment of special ornaments that we've collected over the past 23 years.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it! But then, I don't have to get out in it. All I have to do is keep supplying dry gloves and hot chocolate!

12. Can you ice skate?
Um....no. I fall down just walking so....no.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Wow. This is a tough one because all of my childhood Christmases were filled with great gifts. I don't think I ever had a Christmas when I didn't get exactly what I wanted, plus extras. One year my dad bought me a clock radio. I was about 7 or 8. He wrapped it in aluminum foil with a big blue bow. I remember sitting by the tree and holding it. It sparkled and glimmered and was so heavy. It was THE most beautiful present under the tree....
As an adult, I received my engagement ring on Christmas.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
The reminder and celebration of the birth of Christ, along with the gift we've all be given. The family fun and festivities are an added bonus!

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
I'm not sure about this one. I would have to say the goodies. I make lots of sweet breads, cookies, and such during the Christmas season.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
We have a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas day.

17. What tops your tree?
A light colored metal and frosted glass cross.

18. Which do you prefer - Giving or Receiving?
Well, it's fun to get a little something, but I'd much rather watch my kids open the gifts we've chosen for them.

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?
Yum! They are all over the tree....

20. Favorite Christmas Show?
Show....Shrek the Halls. H-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s!
Movie...It' a Wonderful Life.

21. Saddest Christmas Song?
Elvis singing "Blue Christmas".

22. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
"Mary, Did You Know?"


I found this meme at Stop and Smell the Chocolates. I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to grab it and play along!

Merry Christmas! (It's almost here!)





Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas "Getting to Know You" Meme....

Cara over at The Momentum of Motherhood tagged me in a fun Christmas meme! And since my blog and brain are dry as a bone....well...I thought it would be fun to post my answers.


(Thanks, Cara, for the nudge I needed!)


1. Have you started your Christmas shopping?
Umm....no. Not really.

2. Tell me about one of your special traditions.
Big holiday dinner on the Sunday before Christmas, and then again on Christmas Eve! Santa comes and we open our family gifts on Christmas morning. We have a birthday party for Jesus and then free time-maybe a movie(?) on Christmas night.

3. Are you a Black Friday Shopper?
Heck no!

4. When do you put up your Tree?
Between Thanksgiving and December 1st.

5. Do you Travel at Christmas or Stay home?
Only an hour away on the Sunday before Christmas and again on Christmas Eve.

6. What is your funniest Christmas memory?
When I was very young, my dad dressed up as Santa and came into my grandmother's crowded celebration. I sat on Santa's lap and after he left, I remember thinking (not sure if I said it out loud) that Santa wore the same aftershave/cologne as my dad! (I didn't put it together until several years later....)

7. What is your favorite Christmas Movie of All time?
It's a Wonderful Life....hands down!

8. Do you do your own Christmas Baking, what’s your favorite treat?
Oh, yeah! I make cookies and lots of them. Today I'll be mixing dough for Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Cream Cheese, Fudge cookies w/vanilla chips, and mint chocolate chip w/pecans.

9. Fake or Real Tree?
Both. Prefer real but some years we resort to the 'tree in a box'.

10. What day (as a mom) does the actual panic set in to get it all done?
It varies. Today is the last day of school until January 5th. I have a feeling the panic will set in very soon. Maybe even tonight....

11. Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?
Yep. Usually a long marathon of wrapping, locked away in my room by myself. Which is okay. Really!

12. What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?
I don't know. It just depends. It always relates to the kids because, well, it just does.

13. What Christmas craft do you like the best?
The baking and tree decorating! Not really a craft though...

14.Christmas music. Yes or No? If yes what is your favorite song?
Um...No. Bah Humbug. I don't dislike Christmas music but I don't want to hear it 24/7 from Thanksgiving to New Year's. My favorites are the more contemporary Christian songs or versions by contemporay Christian artists.

15. When do you plan to finish all your shopping?
Probably Christmas Eve. Can you say....PROCRASTINATOR?!?!

OK and I will tag:

Sheri

Bobbi Janay

Chocolate Lisa

Richelle

Lynn







Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear Family, (Confession Time!)



Will the guilty party please step forward and accept your deserved flogging?!?!

The little one is hankering for a cup of vanilla Instant Carnation milk but refuses to drink from the gallon in which the nice, white milk has been changed to blue!

Very funny....NOT.

Who wants to drink blue milk?

Not Eli!

Grrrrr.....







Dry as a Bone....AKA.....Blogging FAIL





Yep. Blogging fail. I have reached a point of dry brain. Nothing,to.write.about.


Maybe I should participate in one of the Christmas memes going around. *sigh*


Maybe I should visit my friend's blogs and spread some comment love. (So they don't forget me....) *sigh*


Maybe I shouldn't let the busyness of the season take all of my energy. *sigh*


I don't know....


It seems to be pretty common this week. I saw several "I'm still here" type posts in my Google reader this week. Maybe it IS just the season...


I may not be having much success here in the midst of the blogging world right this minute but I have been (or plan to):


~Taking care of a sick child. (And doing mounds of laundry because of it!)
~Praying that no one else gets what the sick child has had! (So far, so good. Thank you, Lysol.)
~Getting started buying Christmas presents. Yes! I said S-T-A-R-T-E-D. How many days do I have?!?!?
~Planning to start the Christmas cookie baking tonight! Chocolate w/vanilla chips, mint chocolate chip w/vanilla chips and pecans, and something with cream cheese....not sure yet, but I love me some cream cheese....
~Celebrating Christmas with my husband's family this weekend.
~Working on curing my dry brain! (Any ideas?!?!)


But right now I'm going to sit for a minute and watch Diego with my little one. He LOVES Diego!







Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What to do, What to do....

I think I've hit a wall. I just keep looking at everything that needs to be done, and then I go and watch TV. Not very productive, huh? I keep making these to-do lists and nothing seems to get done. Maybe I need to make a done list so I can visualize exactly what I have accomplished. Psych myself out, if you will....

So, here is a list of things I've gotten done:


  • The laundry is caught up and has been for over a week. I even had empty baskets a couple of times!
  • All the Christmas decorations are in place: outside lights and wreath, Christmas tree, mantle is covered in assorted Santas, nativities, and a multitude of bright red stockings...
  • The house is acceptable (carpet needs cleaning, but that will have to wait). Really need to declutter though. Wait. This is supposed to show my accomplishments.
  • Successfully celebrated my 4 yr old's birthday Sunday-and even blogged about it!
  • Also welcomed St. Nick Sunday morning with a variety of shoes by the fireplace. They were filled with chocolates, candy, and a small toy.
  • Picked up a million pieces of discarded foil candy wrappers due to the St. Nick celebration!
  • Made and devoured two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread. (6 more days for the new batch.)
  • Bought one Christmas gift. Hey, it's a start! Sad, huh? It IS a start....

Okay, I am feeling a little bit better! Let's see what I can put on this week's to-do list:


Crazy Adventures in Parenting To-Do Tuesday

*Join us by clicking the post-it note and adding your list

on Lisa's McLinky over at Crazy Adventures in Parenting.


  • Watch the Biggest Loser Finale. Hello!?! I already have the timer set. Can't wait to see how everyone did this season.
  • Christmas shopping, and lots of it! Wait. Maybe I need a plan first. A list of some sort....*sigh*
  • Birthday plans for my dear husband.
  • Christmas baking. By my calculations, I'll have a total of 40 loaves of Amish Friendship Bread over the next two weeks. Can you say, Christmas gifts?!?!?! I'll add in some mint chocolate chip pecan cookies, too, and probably some more chocolate meringue pies.
  • I have a whole host of various blogging tasks I'd love to get done. I keep adding these to my lists and they keep getting pushed aside. Maybe I'll just hold off until after Christmas on this one.
  • Ditto on the furniture redos. I so WANT to do this!
  • Writing regular posts for this blog, as well as Deep South Moms.
  • Finish this week's writing assignment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, what do you have planned for this week?

Do tell!







Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reflecting on a Miracle

Four years ago, God gave us a gift so unexpected and so extraordinary, that our faith was stretched and grown and our family was changed in ways we could have never imagined. Not only were we affected, but many people witnessed our miracle and were also affected.



His name is Eli.


I'd like to tell you a little of his story.

It's always good to reflect on where you've been and where you're going. It's good to remember, good and bad. Adversity creates strength, and God allows it so that we become who He expects. It isn't easy and sometimes we don't understand. But if God allows it, we must accept it and know that in the end, it will be good.

At this time last year we were waiting for the date of Eli's fourth heart cath procedure; it was just days away. An ablation was planned to eliminate his SVT episodes, an ASD closure, and data collection for planning his soon-to-come open heart surgery.


As I once again asked for prayers for my son on his birthday last year, I decided that it would be good to remind others of the miracles we had seen since Eli's birth. Following is the letter I sent out last year:


August 2005
We stared into space as we heard the news. Very significant heart defects, missing and misplaced organs, probable chromosomal abnormalities. "Terminate this pregnancy," doctors urged. Less than two weeks later, after taking our requests before our God-all organs correctly placed and accounted for, chromosomes normal. Heart defects are present, but doctors are hopeful.


God is good


December 2005
With friends and family waiting, specialists were in the delivery room preparing the baby for NICU. "He looks great!" we heard, but probable medication, ventilation, and surgery within the next few days. Four days later we took our baby home-after observation only-no medical intervention.



God is good


March 2006
We sat with the surgeon as he explained the procedure, signing permission for him to perform open heart surgery on our infant son. At pre-op testing, we learned that his heart had changed, healed itself a little. This surgery was no longer needed.


God is good


April-July 2006
We sat beside an ER bed, an ICU bed, a hospital bed....many times....as Eli's heart struggled to regain and maintain a normal rhythm. 300 beats a minute, life saving drugs, a shock cart standing ready. Many times, many trips, many prayers. A new medication regime was introduced and all became stable.


God is good



Eli-5 months old


August 2006-October 2007
Heart-wise, all is well; Eli is stable. A heart cath is performed on November 1 to plan his open heart surgery. We listened as the doctors agreed-no intervention needed at this time.


God is good


February 2008
Doctors send us to Vanderbilt for a second opinion. We watched and listened as the doctor performed a scan on Eli's heart. Comments were made about the band of scar tissue visible around his artery-a surgical procedure commonly performed on hearts like his. And yet, Eli has never had this procedure, or any heart surgeries to date....


God is good


September 2008
After many evaluations, Eli is given a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Within 2 months, therapists from Harwood Autism Center tell us that Autism will most likely be undetectable by first grade, if progress continues.


God is good


We wanted to take this chance to reflect on the journey, to relive just a few of the miracles we've witnessed, to remember the times God has carried us, and to thank you all so very much for your prayers.



Eli at the park-Summer 2009



Eli-Summer 2009






Eli-Early Fall 2009-being silly while waiting for the bus







Eli-posing for the camera 2009




Eli-At the zoo-Fall 2009


Today, we celebrate. Thankful for the miracle of that successful cath procedure last December, the open heart surgery, and the miraculous recovery that followed-home in 3 days!

Today we'll watch as he blows out four candles. Four candles!

We'll reflect on where he's been and we'll rejoice.

And we'll wonder what miracles God has planned for his future.

Happy Birthday to you, sweet baby boy!










Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday-Mommy's Little Hero?!?!?!



Okay, Dawg...


I guess I can accept the fact that you are wearing my little one's favorite shirt. After all, it is a bit chilly here today.


Did you have to rip the neckline? It was a borrowed garment...





But.....

Mommy's Little Hero?!?!?

I.THINK.NOT.






Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Daily Blog Review: Special Edition









Yeah....I'm finally posting another Daily Blog Review. I have really struggled with these lately and I think it's time to change some rules.


Of course, you've all heard enough about my assorted Internet and computer problems, so I won't go there again. But the end result has been a real limiting of my computer time. (Which may not be a bad thing, I'm finding, and a bit hesitant to admit...)


Limited computer time means not a lot of extra time to randomly search out new blogs to share. When I started the Daily Blog Review, my idea was to have a certain type of blog highlighted each day of the week. This worked well for several weeks. And then I began to find great blogs, but not necessarily on the right days. So, I'd try to post ahead, or bookmark the blogs. Soon, I discovered it was becoming a chore. *sigh* Don't.need.extra.chores.


So, from this day forward, I will share Daily Blog Reviews when I find great blogs, period. Every day will be a surprise! I still want to do this every day, but once again, I think my limited computer time may get in the way of those plans. I'll do my best!


Now, for today's blog....


About a month ago, I became a contributor at Deep South Moms, a regional blog that is a part of the Silicon Valley Blog Moms Group. If you haven't heard of this organization, I urge you to click the links to learn more. There are SV regional blogs all over the country.


Anyway, just a couple of days after my bio was posted, I received an email from a fellow mom blogger. It just so happens that we have a lot in common and she wanted to introduce herself. Sophia and I share an art background with a love of mural painting. We both have homeschooled and public schooled our children, have sons with Congenital Heart Disease and Autism, and sadly, we both have lost our oldest boys due to their heart conditions.


Sometimes it is really nice to know that you are not alone! Even if the circumstances are less than favorable. At the same time...It's hard to know that others have lived your pain.


Sophia shared with me about her past experiences as a public speaker and encourager to those living with grief. And she shared her blog. Now, I'm sharing Sophia with y'all.



Dare2Shine is the name of Sophia's blog. On her blog, you will find everything that Sophia loves: her art, her family, her encouragement, and information on her son's condition, IDIC 15.

Sophia has also written a book called Shiny Things~Lessons I Learned From My Wild Boys.





Sophia's book is an encouraging word to women who need a lift from the daily weight of marriage and parenting. Click the link on her right side bar to read more about her ebook and to purchase your own download.


I think y'all will really enjoy getting to know Sophia and learning more about the many topics that hold her interests.




Until next time~




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