Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Birthday Girl

Our precious daughter is 3 today! I can hardly believe it. I can't figure out where the time went. It has definitely gone by far too fast!

This sweet little girl brings so much sunshine to our lives. She makes us smile and laugh-sometimes to the point of tears.
She loves to sing, dance and entertain.

I could write all day about this child.

But I won't.

Instead, I thought I'd list a few of her favorite things.

    • chicken (especially nuggets)
    • spaghetti
    • popcorn
    • marshmallows
    • green beans
    • tomatoes
    • macaroni & cheese
    • hot dogs
    • yogurt
    • sausage & eggs
    • cheese
    • cucumbers
    • oranges
    • chocolate

    • I'm A Little Teapot
    • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
    • You Are My Sunshine
    • Itsy Bitsy Spider
    • ABC's
    • Jesus Loves Me
    • I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (and she can sing most of the words!)
    • Jingle Bells

    • Care Bears (Funshine Bear is her absolute favorite)
    • Dora the Explorer
    • Yo Gabba Gabba
    • Curious George
    • Calliou
    • Toy Story
    • Shrek the Halls
    • Charlie Brown (Christmas)

    • Blocks
    • Baby Dolls
    • Puzzles
    • Play Doh
    • Color
    • Play Games
    • Play in the water - pool, lake, tub - any body of water

And today her favorite color is purple. That changes regularly. Most of the time it is pink though.

I was going to write about the things I love about this child. But that would take all day. And at the moment I can't even come up with my favorites. So I'll stop for now.

Our baby is three! How can that be?

We love you baby girl!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Hope Yours Was Merry

Ours was! We had a fabulous Christmas. It was very relaxed and so much fun. I will be sharing more next week, but I need to get through Ruthi's birthday and one more Christmas gathering first! Still have lots to do!

But I thought I'd share a couple of pictures. I took these Christmas Eve before we went to my Aunt's house. (Because it would have been dark when we got back.)

Ruthi had been counting the days until she could "feed the reindeer." And she had lots of fun spreading the reindeer food.

I can't believe I forgot to take pictures of Ruthi putting out milk and cookies. And she was SO CUTE doing it! But Chip took this picture Christmas morning when I carried her in to see that Santa had enjoyed them!

This was a lot of fun for me. You see, this is the first year we've ever "allowed" Santa in our home. Yes, we totally deprived CJ of Santa. But at the time he was this age, we made the decision that we weren't going to 'do' Santa. He knew about him, and knew that other kids believed and never spoiled it for anyone. He'd even play along when someone asked him what Santa was bringing.

We had good reasons for not doing the whole Santa thing. But I won't go into them, or this will be a very long post!

I grew up not believing in Santa, and it didn't hurt me. Chip grew up believing and it didn't hurt him. We knew either way it would be fine, but that was our choice at the time.

Now we are a little older, and much more relaxed. It was kind of funny - we never even discussed what we would do about Santa with Ruthi. We didn't sit down and decide to make a change. It just happened. I was still ok either way, it didn't really matter to me.

Ruthi caught wind of Santa through our neighbors. And she was so cute talking about it. I didn't discourage it, but I didn't make a big deal either.

Then one night we were all watching a Christmas movie (I think it was called Prancer) and Ruthi asked where Santa was. Chip answered, "At the north pole making toys for good little girls and boys."

I busted out laughing. It was then I knew we were totally on the same page. And so Santa was now "allowed" in our home!

We then apologized to CJ for "robbing" him of the fun that was believing in Santa. He kind of rolled his eyes and assured us it was ok! (Whew!)

We decided there was no harm in having a little fun with this. We will not go to great lengths to keep her from finding out, but we will have fun with this as long as she wants to.

And we will never let her forget the real meaning of Christmas.

One of my favorite things she did on Christmas? She sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. (And she has been singing it ever since!)

I most likely won't be posting again until next week. I'll be very busy all weekend, so I'm letting myself off the hook with blogging. LOL!

If I'm not back by Monday, then HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Aren't They Cute?

Just sharing a quick picture - so my Dad will know my camera really isn't broken!

Tasha has become a house dog again. She's getting so old and doesn't handle the cold weather as well as she used to. We felt sorry for her. I think she's loving being inside. And Ruthi is even happier. Tasha may want back outside just to escape all the Ruthi hugs!!

Tasty Thursday

Hosted by Trista at the Pumkin Patch.

I can't believe how long it's been since I participated in Tasty Thursday. Shame on me! But today I'm playing along.

I made this last Christmas and it was fabulous.

This is from Kraft food & family magazine, Holiday 2005


1 pkg. (2 layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Chocolate Instant Pudding
4 eggs
8 oz. Sour Cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
18 small candy canes, coaresely crushed (about 1 cup), divided
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, oil and water in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping side of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 min. or until well blended.
Stir in chopped chocolate and 2 Tbsp. of the crushed candy canes. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake 50 min. to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min. on wire rack. Loosen cakes from side of pans with spatula or knife. Invert cakes onto rack; gently remover pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
Place 1 of the cakes layers on serving plate. Spread evenly with 1 cup of the Cool Whip. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost cake with remaining Cool Whip. Garnish with additional crushed candy cane, if desired. Cut cake into 18 slices to serve.

Notes - I used the soft candy canes instead of the traditional ones, I thought the regular ones would be too crunchy. These worked out great.
You really need to use 9 inch pans, as the baked cake filled the pans to the top. 8 inch pans would not be big enough for this batter.
My cakes only took 45 minutes to be completely done, so be sure to check them before the 50 minutes is up!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I've Been Tagged for a Hoopla!

I'm usually pretty terrible and doing these posts where I've been tagged. I have good intentions, I just have a hard time following through with doing them. So I'm doing this one since I was tagged twice.

First, Stacey tagged me, then Trista - so I suppose I should do this one.
tagged by Stacey -

So, I've been has tagged for this fun idea wherein I have to share 12 random things about myself that are Christmas related. Here are the rules:

1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.

Here goes:

12 Random Christmas Things About Jennifer:

1. I love Christmas trees and would have a whole bunch of them if I had the space. And they would be in all different themes. Since I don't have much space, besides our family tree, I usually put small trees in the kids' rooms; a small tree in the kitchen with cookie cutters, mini whisks, wooden spoons, etc; and in the guest bathroom, a small one with seashells. And sometimes we put a tree on the front porch. However, this year I only put up the family and kids' trees. If I had a big house - I would have a tree in every room. I'd love a snowman tree, a firefighter tree and a Santa tree plus a few more! (Wow that was a long #1!)

2. I adore snowmen, and have been collecting them for some time. I love to add to my collection. Although sadly, they aren't out this year.

3. Eggnog is one of my favorite Christmas indulgences.

4. My favorite part about Christmas is the giving. Sure, I like to receive gifts, but I love to give gifts to others.

5. My absolute favorite Christmas song is I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, and it's just not Christmas without it. I finally got the CD with it on it so I can listen to it as many times as I want. (And now Ruthi loves the song almost as much as I do!)

6. I always buy Reece's Peanut Butter Trees for our stockings.

7. I dream of a white Christmas. However I know that the only way I'll ever have one is to go somewhere it actually snows!

8. I love to make handmade gifts for Christmas. This year is my favorite so far, as I've expanded in to some new things...and I'm very pleased with the results.

9. I love to fall asleep with just the light from the Christmas tree.

10. I used to decorate my tree with red and silver. Since we painted a few years ago, I switched so it would match and now use blue and silver. I love the colors!

11. All the gifts under my tree have to be wrapped in similar colors - and they must all contain blue! This year everything is in the same paper - I had a HUGE roll I bought last year. I've wrapped everything so far (which is almost everything) and still have quite a bit of this paper left. (It's reversible, so some gifts at least have the reverse side used!)

12. I would love to have a Christmas winter wonderland in my front yard with lots of lights and decorations. But it is just too much work. And I love to have my whole house decked out. But this year is the bare minimum - the family tree and kids' trees. Yep...that's it. It's a sad year for decorating. I've just been too busy making gifts to want to put my energy into decorating. Hopefully I'll do better next year.

OK, that was harder than I thought it would be! But there you have it - 12 random, boring facts about Christmas for me.

Who can I tag? How about Jan, Lori and Kirstin.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today is the birthday of two very important people in my life.

My hubby turns 35 today.


And my Mom turns a beautiful 57 years young today.


I love you both very much!!


I have been very busy and now I'm feeling very tired. I even went to bed around 11 last night (early for me!) and slept until 9 or so this morning. But I'm still tired, and I have a terrible headache today

And I still have a few Christmas gifts to finish up. My goal today is to get the baby blanket made for a new baby in the family. That's the last "big" thing.

I really hope to be completely finished with everything by Thursday. Then I plan to spend Friday cleaning. Then hopefully everything will stay nice and clean until after Christmas!

I think I need a nap! I don't understand why I'm so tired today!

So I'm sorry Daddy, I'm not posting any pictures today. My camera really isn't broken! But I promise I will get some on here soon!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Christmas Pageant

OK, so I don't make it a practice to post an email I received. But this was in my box this morning and it made me laugh. I thought it was just too cute not to share, so here goes:

The Christmas Pageant

My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years but hadn't been blessed with a baby.

I decided to do some serious praying and promised God
that if he would give us a child,
I would be a perfect mother,
love it with all my heart
and raise it with His word as my guide.

God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son.

The next year God blessed us with another son.

The following year, He blessed us with yet another son.

The year after that we were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we'd been blessed right into poverty.
We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old.
I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it.
As a minister once told me,
"If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella."

I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs.

I was off to a good start.
God had entrusted me with four children and
I didn't want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding...
when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs.

When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog,
I tried to see the humor rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn't keep my promise to be a perfect mother - I didn't even come close... I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God.
I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to "wash up" Jesus, too.
Something was lost in the translation when I explained that
God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his "last wife."
My proudest moment came during the children's
Christmas pageant.

My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man.
This was their moment to shine.

My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line,
"We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes."

But he was nervous and said,
"The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes."

My four-year-old "Mary" said,
"That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly.
That's dirty, rotten clothes."

A wrestling match broke out between
Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel,
who bent her halo and lost her left wing.

I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus,
and it bounced down the aisle crying, "Mama-mama."

Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and
held it tightly as the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe
and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced,

"We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts
of gold, common sense and fur."

The congregation dissolved into laughter,
and the pageant got a standing ovation.

"I've never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one," laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes.

"For the rest of my life, I'll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense and fur."

"My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest
blessing," I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
Had no army, yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.
Feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us.
If you believe in God and in Jesus Christ His Son,
send this to all on your buddy list.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nothing Like Laying Low!

Well, as I said in my last post, I may lay low for a while, but I really didn't mean I'd go 10 days without posting. It just happened.

I have been rather busy. I'm making a lot of gifts this year, and I've been quite occupied with that. Not to mention trying to keep my house in some kind of livable condition and tending to the family.

Thankfully, my awesome hubby has helped out more than once. He knows I'm busy and I'm trying to get everything done without wearing myself out. So, more than once, he has taken care of dinner (takeout) so that I wouldn't have to cook or clean. What would I do without him?

There's been quite a few things going on that I've been meaning to blog about, but just haven't had (or taken) the time. But to keep this from being a very long post, I will just briefly mention a few things.

I actually have a post that I wrote in the car on the way to a family Christmas gathering. I will try to write it tomorrow - it's not that long, but I'm not going to include it here with my attempt to keep this semi-short.

So just a few quick things:

**We had a blast on the 1st at our first family Christmas get-together. The kids really enjoyed playing with all the cousins (who they don't really know because we only see them about once a year.) I have lots of pictures I will post soon.

**I finally got our tree up and decorated. We opted to use our little 4 ft. artificial one at least one more time. I don't have to worry as much about keeping Ruthi away from it. (It sits up on a table.) And we didn't have the extra expense of a real tree PLUS the new lights we would have needed to purchase. The kids have their trees in their rooms, and Ruthi loves them all.

**CJ had an incident on Sunday. He was running through the woods and stepped on a rusty nail. A nail he had left back there, stuck in a piece of wood from all his building. One of the nails he's been told time and time again to pick up. It went right through his tennis shoe. Guess he learned a hard lesson.

I wasn't at home - I was at the grocery store. He went to the neighbor's house (he was playing with their son) and Robby cleaned it up for him and bandaged it. CJ called me and said, "Mom, you're not going to be very happy with me!" I guess he thought I'd be mad. I made sure he was ok and told him I'd be home as quick as I could. It didn't look too bad, but I know he was in some pain. We cleaned it up with peroxide before bed and re-bandaged it. He took some Motrin for the pain. It was hurting him a lot more by bed time. Monday, we went to the doctor and he got a tetnaus shot. Today he's limping around.

**We are finished with school until January. Hooray! Of course, CJ is bummed because he has no school work, and he's stuck in the house until his foot feels better. Poor guy.

**My oven is working!!! The part finally came today and I was able to use it for dinner! What fabulous meal did we have? Um, Pizza! Yep, frozen pizza, some cheese sticks and cheese bread. MUCH cheaper than the same meal ordered from Dominos!

Unfortunately, it's way too late in the game to get in a lot of Christmas baking. So the breads I was planning to do will have to wait until next year. Oh well.

Ok, so much for this being short. So I'm going to cut it here. I've got to get back to working on gifts. Still have several to go. I'll try to pop in more often. But until Christmas, it may not be very much!

Oh - that hubby of mine? He was in his office, and we were talking on the phone. He says to me, "You haven't posted on your blog lately." So that's why I posted today. I told him I was planning to, but had other priorities. I'm sure he'd rather have a clean uniform than an update here! LOL! But I thought it was kind of cute that he mentioned it. Apparently he reads so he can keep up with what's going on with us too! LOL!

Saturday, December 01, 2007


So. Glad. It's. Over!

I won't disappear, but don't be surprised if I lay low in December!

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