Friday, November 30, 2012

#30 - I Made It!

It's a miracle! I blogged all thirty days! Tonight I am cheating... this is my Facebook status and that's all I can even think to do for a blog post at this point:

One FBF delivery, 7 hours spent organizing things for Angel Tree, got some Angel Tree donations from What Goes Around Comes Around consignment store in Southern Pines, ate dinner with some of my favorites (my family, parents, and sister's family). What an exhausting but BLESSED day!! I think I should probably go to bed soon... I'm going to attempt to NOT drink coffee before the Reindeer Run tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

#29 - Another Accomplished Day

I got so many more presents wrapped today! I really need a bigger car to take all these gifts to church. I guess I could load up the truck but it uses so much gas...

I am super super pumped about Angel Tree right now! That is all I can think about and all I can talk about! I can't wait to put all my thoughts into a blog post. God is so amazing and the people who let Him work through them are so amazing!

Can you tell I'm excited?  :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#28 - Oops, Almost Missed It!

Almost missed another blog posting after a long day!

Spent the morning doing laundry, dusting, vacuuming, decluttering and going through Angel Tree stuff. Suddenly it was lunch time. And then suddenly, we were off:
  • Meeting a girl in Carthage to buy something for Angel Tree
  • Running to church to unload my trunk and reload for some errands tomorrow
  • Going to the post office to buy stamps (in line for about 25 minutes, spent another 20 minutes with my two kids sitting on counter tops putting stamps on Christmas cards and dropping them in the mail slot... I have to say they were totally adorable the entire time we were in there!)
  • Getting gas and getting cool juice bottles for the kids since they were being so totally adorable
  • Going to the bank to drop off our paperwork for re-financing the mortgage
  • Going to Walmart... yes, Walmart, to do shopping for Angel Tree. Stopping to look at every Barbie, baby doll and truck in the store and making it out only buying Mountain Dew and diapers for our family. Score! (Bought $150 worth of Baby Alive dolls, other baby dolls, gift cards and a couple of other miscellaneous toys for Angel Tree though!)
  • Giving the kids money to put into the Salvation Army bucket, and watching their faces when the man let them have his bell and take turns ringing it
  • Get home in time to unload my goodies from Walmart and reload my trunk one more time
  • Run to the Family Dollar to meet a girl to give her dishes and towels for her coworker whose house burned down (Fed By Faith delivery)
  • Run home and load up my trunk yet again with miscellaneous wrapped gifts in our laundry room that are going to Angel Tree
  • Get to church about 3 minutes before church starts
  • Teach the lesson on praising and worshiping God, have an awesome discussion with some of my favorite teens
  • Home by 9:00 from church for the first time in ages!
  • Dinner
  • Sing some songs together instead of reading books
  • Bedtime for kids
  • Bedtime for Stephen
  • Play time for me (I am shopping on Facebook for more Angel Tree gifts... oh, and I may have scored something for Brianna as well!!)
So it was just another normal day around here!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#27 - Busy As Usual!

Super busy today!
  • 9am - on our way to pick up a couple of items of clothing for Angel Tree
  • 9:30-12:30 - the kids are staying with Mom and Dad while I have couponing one-on-one with some girls at the Head Start in Candor. We also go over Angel Tree loose ends.
  • 12:30-1:30 - lunch with my parents
  • 2:00 - meeting a girl for a Fed By Faith clothing delivery
  • 2:10-3:30 - running errands as quickly as possible and going to pick up the kids
  • 4:15 - meeting a girl to pick up some things for Angel Tree and then running home
  • 5:20 - on our way to Asheboro to eat at America's Roadhouse with some friends from church
  • 9:50pm - home from dinner, getting the kids ready for bed 

Falling into bed... now!

Monday, November 26, 2012

#26 - Lovely Assistants

Got a lot more accomplished with Angel Tree this morning with one of my favorite assistants... my sister!!

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Gift wrapping is coming along quite nicely! I did a whole other tote yesterday of just clothes, and today was more about board games, puzzles and books. Exciting!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

#25 - Blessed at Church!

New screen at church! Officially in use!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

#24 - The Kids Love My Phone

AKA How to Keep the Kids Entertained for 30 Minutes:

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Friday, November 23, 2012

#23 - Season of Giving

As many of you know, we are in the midst of the Angel Tree season around here. I am very focused on that right now, because we had 18 "angels" (out of over 100) that didn't get "adopted" and so now I am using cash donations to shop for these 18 children. Needless to say, I was Black Friday shopping for three hours this morning! (I actually got all the gifts I was hoping for between Goody's, Rite Aid and Burke's Outlet!)

Anyway, we had a couple of girls ask for baby dolls and baby doll accessories. And I started thinking about this baby swing we got for Brianna last Christmas. She outgrew it very quickly, and while both kids do play with it from time to time, it's definitely not a toy they would miss. I was about to donate it to one of the Angel Tree children without even mentioning it to the kids, but I decided to have a conversation with Brianna about it because she is old enough to understand the concept of the Angel Tree, and I want to make sure she understands from a very early age how blessed our family is. So I had this conversation with her, about this baby swing. Of course the very first thing she said is, "Well, we do play with this all the time!" to which I rolled my eyes very generously. I explained to her that not all families can afford to buy toys for their children for Christmas, and so a little girl would really love to get this baby swing. She decided that yes, she wanted to give this toy away and I was really happy because, one, I didn't want to keep tripping over this toy that hardly ever gets played with, and two, I really want her to understand about helping others, having compassion, sharing, giving to the needy, and all those other characteristics at play here. She has already given some of her clothes and a winter coat, and I have not forced her with any of it. I really want her to want to give these items away.

All that to say, about 30 minutes later I went upstairs to get Hunter up from his nap. The very first thing that happened is he walked into the living room and I heard this:

Brianna: "Son, I need to have a talk with you. Okay?"
Hunter: "Uh huh?"
Brianna: "Is it okay to give that toy to a little girl? Is that okay?"
Hunter: "K."
Brianna: "But you won't get it back. Ever. Okay?"
Hunter: "K."
Brianna: (yelling to me in the laundry room) "Mommy, Hunter is okay with giving the swing to the little girl!"

I just thought it was cute, her little sit-down with him.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

#22 - Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving! Honestly, I can't decide if Thanksgiving or Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love spending the day with family - the problem with Thanksgiving is we can never see all of our families for as long as we would like to. We are torn between my family, Stephen's here in town, and his family in Eden. This year we didn't even get to see his family in Georgia (in person) because his stepfather just returned from a deployment!

Today was the best Thanksgiving I can remember though, although I'm pretty sure I think that every year.

We started off the day at my family's Thanksgiving lunch. I took some quick pictures to prove we were there! We were only able to stay about 30 minutes.

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You see the Brianna blur in that last picture? That's how the kids were! They did eat a little bit, but they loved playing with their cousins!

So about fifteen minutes after we got to Stephen's family's Thanksgiving lunch, this happened:

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We ended up staying at Stephen's uncle David's for three hours due to the fact that Hunter was just... sleeping. And then when he finally did wake up he was starving of course! So what did we do while Hunter slept?

Ate tons of good food. Met some family we'd never met before. Had great conversations with family members. 

Brianna with Grandpa and Kathy:

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 Cousin Kaleb chows down!

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Oh, and of course - FOOTBALL! Brianna got into the big game this year. Grab a ball, and run with it? She was made for this sport!!

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 Kaleb: "I'm outta here, y'all. See ya next Thanksgiving!"

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And then we came home and were able to Skype with our family in Georgia!! We talked to Opa for the first time in several months. The kids were quite entertaining!

One thing we did at Uncle David's Thanksgiving meal was totally awesome. Everyone in the family made a huge circle - I think there were 30ish people there - and we held hands and went around the circle and just praised God for the things we were thankful for. We prayed, and then we sang a few verses of Amazing Grace. It was really awesome because that is what Thanksgiving is all about. And I'm so grateful for a family (both blood and by marriage) who know where all of the good things in life come from. I'm so grateful for a family who will praise God not just on Thanksgiving, but every day. But it was so nice to take the time to stand together and do that. The food could wait. The football game on TV could wait. It was gorgeous weather outside. What a day, what a day!

Thank you, Lord!

Hope you all had a great day with family and friends!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

#21 - Early Thankfulness

I know we have soooooo much to be thankful for (all the time) but in this household we are especially thankful this year because Hunter and Brianna's Opa (Stephen's stepfather) got home safely yesterday from his recent deployment to Africa. We won't see them for Thanksgiving for the first time in MANY years, but at least it's for a good reason. We love you, Opa!!

On another note, when we ask Brianna where we are going tomorrow for Thanksgiving lunch she keeps saying, "Steve and Kathy's!". Not sure why she's calling her grandfather by his first name...  too funny!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#20 - Hymn Angel Instructions

I uploaded this picture to Facebook last night and got so many reactions to it! Like I said on this blog last night, my friend Maria at church led this craft for our ladies group. She basically saw it somewhere and knew she could make it, went home and made it, without instructions. But she had to instruct the rest of us how to make these beauties, so I'm passing on my findings to you!

You will need:

  • Hymn book (we had plenty at our church that were old and outdated; you can probably find them cheap at yard sales or thrift stores too)
  • Styrofoam balls for the head (you can also use wooden ones that have the flat bottoms and create a face)
  • Spanish moss for the hair 
  • Gold twine or wire for the halo
  • Any color ribbon you want to use for the bow, or a white doily
First of all, the most time-consuming part. You need to fold about 50 pages on either side to make the wings. We did 48 pages because this is what Maria told us - I'm sure if you do 45 or 50 it ain't gonna matter! Fold even any white pages at the front and back of the hymnal and include those in your counting.
Start at the beginning of the hymnal. Fold your 45-50 pages by taking the bottom right hand corner and fold it up, so the corner is touching the spine.

Next, fold your 45-50 pages from the back of the hymnal the exact same way - bottom right hand corner up to the spine.

Now, the pages left in the middle are going to create the skirt. You can do either the upper left or upper right corner and bring it down to touch the spine. I took the upper left corner and brought it down.

Your angel should stand on her own now.

Next, you'll work on the head. We took styrofoam balls and ripped out one page of a favorite hymn to wrap around the head. (You can rip out your favorite song before you start the craft, but we had extra hymnals so we ripped from those.) Wrap it around her head, you can't use too much tape.

I used "At the Cross".   :)

With a hot glue gun, glue the top of her head and stick some spanish moss on. Put as much as you want to, as long or short or quirky as you want.

Hot glue the head onto the bottom part of your angel. I had absolutely no issues getting mine to glue right onto the pages and binder of the hymnal.

Make your halo out of gold wire, or tinsel. Hot glue it on top of your angel's hair.

Now that your angel has an entire body, you can add her accessory. We used ribbon. We had gold, silver, and colored to choose from. You can also cut a paper doily in half and glue it onto her neck.

And voila!

We had a blast making these! Thank you Maria!

Monday, November 19, 2012

#19 - Ladies Group

November is always craft month at our ladies group meetings at church, so instead of having our usual meeting we do a craft together. Every year is something totally different and something I probably wouldn't try on my own. We always have a TON of laughs and make some really cute stuff. This year was no exception!

Tonight one of our ladies, Maria, led this craft. We made angels from hymnals and I think she is just darling!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

#18 - A Few Pictures

Just a few pictures to move off my phone...

The new favorite game for both kids at our house: Old MacDonald game. You play to try to get all the animals on your card and sometimes you have to take an animal off if you roll a -1. It's a great game to teach the kids how to be a good sport when losing - you can't cheat your way on this game! Hunter got this from Granny for his birthday this year.

 Game night at church: Having one person feed another ice cream from behind is always funny!

Hunter's new favorite shoes: