November 29, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

  It's officially time to start Christmas celebrations!!!!  I am so excited.  Christmas is literally the most fun time of the year.  I've been trying to make a list of things we can do as a family every day in December (or starting now really).  If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.  Bear in mind I have two kids who don't particularly love cooperating. :)  We'll be taking them to the local Christmas parade, making cookies, decorating cookies, getting our tree, stuff like that.
  Today Mike was able to get off work early today, so we decided to go to Bass Pro Shop in Springfield so the kids could visit Santa.  Andrew was excited, and kept telling me he was going to ask Santa for robots.  ...........this coming from the kid who begged for 2 weeks straight for this toy workbench he found in an Aldi catalog.  I'm pretty sure that's what he's getting from Santa.  (Don't ask me how I know...)  But luckily he changed his tune on the way to the store and said he wanted tools.  :) 
  The kids were super impressed with the free (yay) carousel they had there.  Andrew loved it, and Emily started to say "wee" as soon as she got on the moose, and then I had to literally peel her hands off the pole when we were finished.  It was a big hit...

  About a half and hour before we left, Emily was babbling to Andrew, and he got down on her level and here was the conversation:
               Andrew: Elowee, do you wanna go see Santa?
               Emily:  Yeah.
               A:  Yes?
               E:  Yes!
               A:  Okay, let's go!
  I would have bought them a real robot if they had asked in that moment.  It was the cutest, sweetest little exchange.  I'm so glad they have each other.  Anyway.
  They had a really great Santa.  He had a great smile, and when he saw Andrew staring at him in line, he waved.  Andrew got a huge smile on his face and started waving like crazy.  He was really nice to the kids.  Unfortunately, the man takes a terrible picture.  I don't know if he was talking, laughing, or making weird faces to get the kids to smile, but I laughed pretty hard when I got a peek at the photos.  I had to just take a picture of the picture, so forgive the slight blurriness.

Emily and Ol' Long Beard.  She loved his coat and kept playing with the fur.  Pretty cute. 

This one I call "The Santa Sneeze" or maybe "He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sakes Santa, please stop making that face."

November 23, 2012


This year was the first year we made a whole Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves.  It definitely made me grateful for my mom for doing it year after year.  Thanks, Mom!!
Mike stuffing the turkey.  I was so grateful that Mike dealt with the turkey.  I don't do well with raw meat in the best of times, but as a pregnant lady...not happening.

Kiddos watched Garfield's Thanksgiving special while we made mounds of food.

Our menu!  I'll tell you what, this was the first time I've made homemade stuffing.  It was so simple, cheap, and  SOOOOOOO amazingly delicious.  I'm not kidding when I say it was incredible.


The spread!  We were so stuffed by the end of the meal.  Happy, and stuffed.

A closer look at the stuffing.  We baked some of it in the turkey, and some of it in the oven.  Both were amazing, and with a different flavor, even though they were the same recipe.  The one in the turkey was...turky-er.  That's a new word I just made up.

My plate.  I couldn't finish all of it, but it was seriously amazing.  Especially the stuffing.  Heavenly stuff.  Okay, I'll stop now.

November 22, 2012


I love this time of year.  It causes people to really think about their lives and what they're grateful for.  I know it does for me.
  There are so many things in my life that make me feel thankful.  God has blessed me so much my entire life, and continues to do so.  I've been thinking a lot about how to truly be grateful, and I think if we want to thank Heavenly Father truly for what he's given us, we have to show it.  For instance, if we feel grateful for our health, we should eat well and exercise.  Or if we are grateful for our children, we should make an extra effort to be more patient and loving toward them.
  It seems so simple, but I think if I allow this idea of proving my gratitude to truly become a part of my life, it will make change it for the better.

November 18, 2012

Favorite shots

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the last couple weeks.

Andrew's first picture.  He is convinced the camera is turned around the other way, and has been very frustrated.  He was super excited when he took this one and it worked.  He still doesn't believe me that the lens doesn't go on his eye.  Oh well.  And no, we weren't dressed alike on purpose.

Holding a deflated ball while driving your sister around the patio?  Why not?

Eating a snack in front of the fireplace.

I love this coat, although Mario (baby #3) is making it so I can't wear it much longer.

Emily helping do dishes.

Andrew.  This picture is just SO Andrew.

La Casa

I've been putting off putting up pictures of the house until I could get some decent shots where things were cleaned and organized really nicely.  Um......that's not happening apparently.  It is SO hard to get pictures of a room, dontchaknow?  But here are a few pictures of the house.  I don't have one of the kitchen, but you can just imagine the beauty.  :)  We really love this place.  Our landlord is super nice, there is lots of room, and it's very homey.  We love Bolivar too.  It's been an adjustment for sure.  Even though we don't know many people here, and those we do know we don't know well, I feel like this is where we're supposed to be.  I'm excited to get to know more people though. :)
Emily's room

The hallway, which isn't nearly as yellow as this picture would make it seem.......

The dining room (kinda).  The shelf really is that disorganized.  I"m working on it but can't quite figure out how to get the kitchen organized like I want.  But I do love having my food pictures up on the wall. :)

The bathroom.  I know you're all saying, "More pictures of the bathroom, please Karen!!!" But no, this will have to suffice.

Part of our bedroom.  It's actually the 2nd living room, but we converted it to a bedroom. 

The living room.  I love love love the bookshelves.  And since this picture was taken, we got a new chair and a new couch.  Pretty cool.  (Not "new" new, but new to us and pretty comfy.)

Andrew's room, shot 1.

Andrew's room, shot 2.

I'm pretty proud of these.  Andrew LOVES Winnie the Pooh.  A lot.  I mean, a lot a lot.  We had an old Winnie the Pooh book that was falling apart and ordered another for $1 online.  I spray painted some of those cheapy wood frames from Hobby Lobby, then decoupaged some of the pages from the books onto the frames and voila - cutsy little pictures from the book.  Andrew really loves looking at them, and I have to admit that I do too.  :)