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Snow and Cookies

I don’t know how Christmas is less than two weeks away.. but, it is. Where did the time go?  Thankfully, we are mostly done Christmas shopping. We have one gift left to get and then we are DONE.

Saturday morning, Scott asked if I wanted to make Christmas cookies. I had it written on my planner, and I’m thinking he saw it. I don’t have molasses to make gingerbread cookies, and couldn’t find my great grandma’s sugar cookie recipe. (I also cannot find a recipe that was handwritten by my grandmother, and cried a lot.. moving really is awful.)  I made some obscure cookies that my husband is thrilled about. haha!

First up was gooey butter cookies. I didn’t have yellow cake mix (seriously, I’m a mess) so I made them chocolate. Yum. This is all you need. A box of yellow cake mix (or chocolate), 8 oz of cream cheese, a stick of butter, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Bake them until they are dull but soft. Seriously.. these are the baking instructions I get from my mom. I understand them and can do them.. but if that doesn’t make sense to you, I’m very sorry. haha! There’s no egg, so you won’t get ill if they are “undercooked”.

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We also made some molten lava cookies. These are such delicious chocolate cookies that have melted chocolate in the center. I’ll have to share the recipe on here soon!

We also made some candy cane cookies, but I didn’t get any pictures of them. Any cookie that is a struggle to make will never have a picture taken. I’m too busy trying to resist the urge to throw the dough in the garbage. 😉

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It also snowed here. I have been really excited for snow during the day. If I don’t have to go out in it, I really love watching the snow from the comfort of my heated home. We have windows all around our main room upstairs; including sky lights. It felt like we were in a magical snow globe, and I loved it. It has been unseasonably warm here, so none of it stuck. The girls were disappointed, but Scott and I were not!

We still have more that we want to get done before Christmas. I still haven’t set up our village, which is mostly because I’m not sure where it will be safe. I HAVE to make sugar and gingerbread cookies before Christmas. It’s tradition.

We drove around for two hours last night looking at Christmas lights. The girls were pretty quiet since they were entranced by the lights. Harper also fell asleep, which helps the noise level. Driving around enjoying my husband’s company is the best. Magical Christmas lights make it 1000% better.

Are you ready for Christmas to be here? Are you done with your shopping, or do you still have quite a bit left?

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End of the Week Slump

Happy Friday!! How was your week? It’s been rough over here this week.

I have been battling one of my children all week about finishing school work. She has been finishing at dinner time.. seriously.. dinner.. hours after other kids are home from school she is still stubbornly fighting me.  Its no different than the parents whose kids battle them over doing homework. It’s just a struggle.

Yesterday was the first day she finished before dinner. I went to the post office to take care of an errand and then to steak and shake because.. well, HOLIDAY SHAKES. Apparently I shouldn’t have gone for the shakes because on my way home the van dinged at me about tire pressure.

No big deal, it does that sometimes with our front left tire. It says it’s a little lower than the others and then it adjusts and is fine. Our van has this cool feature where you can see the tire pressure in each tire. I kept driving and it dropped from 28 to 24. Hmm. Stop at a stop sign and it drops to 18. Shoot. Turn the corner and it’s 16. I roll the window down and hear air blowing. I get out and look and there is hole in the SIDE of the tire. A perfect circle. What on earth. I’m not THAT far from home.. maybe I can make it. Suddenly it drops to something like 9 PSI and I pull into a parking lot. I call Scott with no answer. My brother-in-law with no answer. My dad.. no answer. My mom..maybe she is with dad. No answer. COME ON, FAMILY!

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I walked home…leaving my milkshakes in the car because it was cold. I really wasn’t that far, but it was below freezing out and I was cold and incredibly frustrated. Christmas is soon and we still have one big gift to get. We were finally getting back on track after a difficult year and our stupid tire goes flat.

Scott walked to the van and put the spare on…and it was flat..  My dad showed up just in time to take Scott to get air in it. It all got taken care of and we have a brand new tire now. I’m still frustrated.. but I’m trying to focus on being thankful that I wasn’t any farther from home and that Dad was able to take Scott to get air in the spare.

I know that a flat tire isn’t that big of a deal. It could be so much worse. But, it’s been one of those years (the last few years have been) where every little thing goes wrong along with really major things happening. Everything just feels so unstable. I long for a little stability.

2018 will be better, right? I say that every year.

Moving on…  Look at this!

Gah. My heart. They grow up so fast. These little girls CANNOT wait for Christmas. Holidays get more and more magical every year. I can’t wait for Christmas either. But, wishing time away just makes them grow up faster. We have lots that we want to do before Christmas. I hope to do some holiday baking this weekend! There are so many Christmas cookies that we love to make, and the girls have lots of friends that they can give treats to.

I love this time of year.

I hope that all of your tires stay inflated and your weekend is slow and relaxing!

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Just Be

This was my day yesterday. I said that i was the day we were getting back into the grind after a long weekend. Nope. We got a slow start because the big girls slept in.. especially Chloe. They had a big day Monday, so I wasn’t surprised.When your child doesn’t wake up until 8, you get a much later start to the day.

We ate breakfast and were going to get started with school. I could see that one of the girls was really struggling. Addi had a REALLY rough day yesterday. Sometimes the enormity of what has been lost hits at very random times. I could see that we needed to slow down and just be. We snuggled on the couch all day watching Christmas movies and reading books. It felt really good.

Sometimes I think we need to pay closer attention. We are in tune with ourselves and realize when WE need a break. But, do we pay attention to our kids. They are little humans who are trying to figure out how to be people. They are figuring out how to deal with emotions and life. Sometimes we don’t show them any grace and we ignore the signs that they really need a little extra from us. Slow down, mamas. Pay attention and take a day to just be with your kids.

I am thankful that my husband works so hard so that I can stay at home and raise our daughters. I feel like I’m losing my mind a lot of every day. All stay-at-home moms do. But, I am grateful. Really really grateful. I haven’t missed a moment; good or bad.

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Weekend in Pictures

Happy Tuesday!! We had a bit of an extended weekend around here. Chloe took her turn spending the night with my mom and dad Sunday night into Monday. The past few months, she has ended up very upset at bedtime and has to call me to calm down. My mom let her invite Addi to come also, so they had time with Mimi and I had time with just Harper. It was a wonderful weekend; the first that Scott has had off in quite a while.

Friday evenings, we always make or order pizza and then watch a movie. We will obviously have Christmas movies on repeat around here.

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On Saturday, we had a full day. We went to the Christmas parade in town. My nephews were on the wrestling float and so stinking cute.

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Harper was holding her bag out before the parade even started. Girlfriend really wanted some candy. Chloe was the best big sister and gathred all the candy and filled Harper’s bag with candy she could have (dairy allergy). Cousin Eddie in the parade made my whole day.

The girls had their rehearsal for the Christmas program in the afternoon. After that, we went to Scott’s family Christmas/Thanksgiving party. I stayed up later to put  up some more decorations around the house. My bed was calling to me, and I was very thrilled to crawl under the warm covers and watch a Christmas movie.

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Harper was so tired she fell asleep on the way to church.

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Chloe and Addi had the church program Sunday night. Chloe had a line, and had been nervous for WEEKS leading up to it. She did such a great job and remembered all of her words. The girls sang their hearts out and I am so proud! This moment that I took a screenshot of may be my very favorite.

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The girls spent the night with Mimi and Papa. Mom had a full day planned with them on Monday. She sent me these pictures and my heart melted.

She taught them to sew with the sewing machine and made a gingerbread house. They went to the park and store and had so much fun. The girls couldn’t wait to show me their pillows and sleeping bags that they made for their Wellie Wisher dolls.  (Chloe’s / Addi’s)

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I basically snuggled with this peanut all day. It was a really perfect Monday!

We are back to the grind and dragging today, but our hearts all feel very full after a fun weekend full of family and fun activities.

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Weekend Links

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Happy December!! How on earth is it already DECEMBER?! This year has gone lightening fast.

This advent calendar is adorable. I’ve wanted to do an advent calendar for a while, but haven’t found the right one or the time. My girls would love this one.

This would smell SO good.

It’s time to stalk Jessica’s blog for all of the holiday inspiration. I love how she decorates her girls’ rooms each year. Mine would rip everything off the wall and destroy it.. so I’ll live vicariously through her..

Lists like this make me happy. Bring on all of the wellness information.

Wow.  (Our recycle bin got dropped off last week and I was giddy.)

If you need a laugh, read this.

 

It’s a short and sweet list today. I hope you have a good weekend. We have a FULL weekend ahead, and I already need a nap.

 

family life · kids · story telling

THIS is my Motherhood

This is my Motherhood
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I saw this picture on Facebook in October. It has really stuck with me. In fact, every time I read it, I feel like the breath has been knocked from my lungs. The days are long.. they are SOO long. The years just keep flying by. I just looked at baby pictures of my girls. How did they become 7, 6, and 3 so fast?

I follow a lady named Ralphie on Instagram. GO FOLLOWER HER. She did an #Iamthiskindofmom hashtag where moms shared what their STRENGTHS are. Too often we focus on our shortcomings as mothers, which I believe robs us of a lot of the joy in motherhood. I often think about how I am not a patient enough mom. I’m not creative enough. I’m not fun enough. Her movement shifted my thinking. What kind of mom am I? That is the only way to not miss out on your children’s childhood; and your own motherhood. Focus on the good.

It is absolutely insane to think that my motherhood only has approx. 11 years left for Chloe. In 11 years (or more) she could be moving out of our house and starting her own life. ELEVEN YEARS. Seven years have gone by in the blink of an eye. I know I have fallen short in SO MANY areas. I have messed up and have regrets. But there is a lot that I hope my kids remember.

I AM the kind of mother who loves having my kids join me in the kitchen. I love baking with them and teaching them the life skills of preparing a meal. I am the kind of mother who tells my kids “the best chefs are the messiest chefs” so that they don’t feel bad about making a mess.. or me making a mess.

I am the kind of mother whose kids ask for their vitamins and probiotics daily. I teach them the best ways to take care of their bodies; because they only get this one.

I am the kind of mother who spreads paper, markers, stickers, etc. all over the table and lets her kids be creative. There is always a massive mess to clean up afterwards, but I love seeing what my girls create with some paper scraps.

I am also the kind of mom who teaches her kids to clean up after themselves. It’s important that they learn they are not “cleaning up for mom”, but they are cleaning up for themselves. We are a family unit, and everyone needs to do their part in order for us to function.

I am the kind of mom who lets her kids play in the tub until they look like raisins.

I am the kind of mom who gets festive like crazy for all of the Holidays. Food must be festive. Decorations must be festive. Colors must be festive. I’m completely bananas about any holiday.

I am the kind of mom who lets my kids get dirty. They can play in the dirt and throw leaves in their hair. The can jump in puddles and play hard. They learn best that way. Sensory play is my favorite.

 

We, as mothers (and fathers also), need to slow down. We need to realize that this is our one shot with our kids. What kind of parent are you? Make a list of all of your good traits. Don’t focus on your shortcomings. Focus on ALL of the good that you do!

 

baby · holiday · kids · recommendations

Holly Jolly Kids Outfits

Holly Jolly Outfits

Santa Hat Dress // polka dot santa dress // striped deer shirt and pants // knitted deer romper // You Serious Clark? // Fair Isle leggings and ruffle shirt // CC beanie // Dinosaur shirt // earflap hat // cloth diaper // Christmas socks // hoodie outfit // bandana bibs //

Hopefully there is something there for everyone. If that Santa hat dress came in my size, I’d wear it all December long.

Someone better put their babe in that YOU SERIOUS CLARK? outfit. Mine are all too big, and it’s too good.

Happy Wednesday!! We are halfway to the weekend!

family life · kids · story telling

Harper Says

This little stinker is so full of funny words, phrases, and actions. She’s always saying or doing something silly and fills our home with loads of laughter.. and frustration.

 

The other day, Scott  had drawn a heart on me. I asked her who did it.
H: “I dunno”
Me: “Did Rocci do it?” (FYI: Rocci is our puppy)
H: “No, him don’t have hands!”

We are in the potty training trenches… candy is our bribery.
H: *sits on potty* ” Me go pee and me get CANDY!!!

She has been singing Elsa’s “Let it Go” at super speed.
“Let it go let it go can’t hold anymoooore”

Me: Harper, I love you.
H: I like you.

Again, potty training… She walks around with a bare booty most of the time. Rocci sniffs her rear with his cold, wet nose.
H “EW YUCKY DOG!”

After Mom had her knee surgery, Harper used her cane as a microphone singing “Sussa weens sussa weens” (super wings super wings)

Pointing to my belly “Mommy, you big”
Me “Yeah?”
H “Yeah. And Daddy big.”
Me “Is your belly big?”
H “No. It wittwe.”

As soon as she refuses allllll the food at any meal.
“Me want chiiiiiips.”

Good thing she is so snuggly and cute. 😉 She’s ornery as can be, but I am so thankful to have this girl in my life!

deals and steals · holiday · recommendations

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday

 

Lego sets up to 30% off

Instant Pot (I’d love to hear what you think if you have one.)

Kindle Fire 7 ONLY $29.99

Kids Kindle Fire  We are buying these headphones

Edifier Headphones (fit kids and adults)

Crazy Vitamix Sale

Nursery Items Sale

TOOLS— the easiest husband gift

Lightning deal on building discs (will run out soon)

Really great deals on Hasbro GAMES and toys

Apple Macbook

Melissa & Doug train set

Micro Mini Scooter

Cars track set

Interlocking builder blocks

 

cybermonday

 

Gathre mats 15% off and free shipping            Code: MONDAY

Free shipping on Nickel and Suede

Lily Jade on sale

Tubby Todd 15% off  SOO good for eczema

CUTEST mugs by Rachel Allene 30% off with code CYBER30

June and January

 

I’ll add more to the list throughout the day if I find more deals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

family life · holiday · story telling

Thanksgiving Recap

Isn’t Thanksgiving food just beautiful? I love making things from scratch. To me, it is really satisfying to see it all come together.

The day before Thanksgiving, I made a giant cinnamon roll for breakfast. (100% a tube of cinnamon rolls) The girls freaked out. I achieved cool-mom status for the first time ever probably. I put frosting on it and cut it like a pie. Sprinkles had to be added, of course. They gobbled the whole thing up leaving their poor cool-mom to starve. 😉

Cut to Thanksgiving, and all of its beautiful food. I didn’t get many pictures on that day. Scott and I really tried to soak in the goodness of having family around us… plus it was bananas. I took a few pictures while I was cooking. Cranberries are a beautiful color. They were frosted by the sugar and it looked like a Christmas decoration. They were SO tart, but yummy.

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My mom came over the day before, and we made pies together. She also helped me get sweet potato casserole assembled since I had never made it by myself. Mom made a really pretty apple pie that was equally as delicious. I also baked the rolls and heated them up on Thanksgiving so the butter would melt on them. (Note: this WILL dry your rolls out, even if you cover them in foil. Bummer.)

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This Thanksgiving was so bittersweet. It was our first big holiday without Jim. I think we all felt the hole where someone was missing. It was very sweet to be surrounded by all of our family that was in town. I really am thankful that God brought us back for this time. Everyone signed our Thanksgiving tablecloth with what they are thankful for this year. (Except Josh. Get your butt back here.) I think I will probably cry every year that I bring it out since it is so full of memories.

 

I also have to share this. When my mom came to make pies, she also brought a little something for the big girls. She made a carseat poncho for Harper, which we love. Chloe and Addi were jealous that they couldn’t wear a poncho.. which made me laugh. My mom, being who she is, quickly whipped up two more ponchos for the big girls. They were so thrilled, and it’s really cute to see them running around in them.

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Little stinkers.

 

I hope that you had a really blessed Thanksgiving.