December 27, 2010

It's a Wrap!

Once again, we had a white Christmas.  It just doesn't seem like the holidays without it.  
Just for the record........ I like snow on Christmas, then that's it!!!  I'm done!!!  No more!!!

 Dana got a new camera from D.R..  Now between her and I, EVERYTHING will be captured on camera.  No one is safe!  We even found a moment to photograph each other taking pictures.  
 Miles got a Lightning McQueen scooter car from Bob-Bob and Grandma Char. 
 Dana serenaded us to "The Itsy Bitsy Spider".  Too bad I didn't video that.
Christmas evening we headed to Rick's parents for a little r & r (a.k.a. CARDS!)  We played a game called 2500.  I was glad to see that there is finally a game that Larry cannot win.  
 We opened presents the next afternoon the Smith crew.  

Ryan's top presents:
1. xbox 360 (plus games)
2. Paintball gun and supplies
3. Affliction shirts

Ian's top presents:
1. xbox 360 (plus games)
2. paintball gun and supplies
3. air rifle with scope

Gracie's top presents:
1. ipod touch
2. DS lite XL
3. an American Girl doll 

December 20, 2010

A Lesson From the Grinch

 Wanna know what melts my heart?.....................  Handmade gifts from the monkeys.  Gracie-boo made this and wrapped it in a paperbag with, "I love you Mom" written all over it.  
She had me at the bag!!!!  She was so excited for me to open it.  I gave her lots of hugs!  (and held back the tears)
I love my new snowman.  
 This was the scene at yesterdays church service.  
 Then a ruckus broke out between a wise-man (a.k.a. Ian) and a shepherd (a.k.a. Lane)  They are the same age but clearly the wise-man had an advantage.  Namely size!!!
Then they settled their differences and walked down the isle of our annual Christmas Cantata.  Ian's confirmation class served as the manger scene.  All joking aside, it melted my heart.  A quote from Dr. Suess' book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" rang in my ears.......

"Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!  "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.  "Maybe Christmas....perhaps....means a little bit more!"

Every year a wave of guilt washes over me.  Our Christmas tree is JAM-PACKED with packages....... and Jesus only received three.

I understand that Jesus is no longer a baby.  However, it is my prayer this Christmas that he will be born in my heart anew...... my husband's heart anew........ my children's heart anew........... and my family's heart anew.

That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown!

December 16, 2010

3 posts in 1

Because my mind flitters from here to there in less than .05 seconds, I am combining several topics into one post.  I'm doing this mostly because I'm lazy, and that's how I roll!

 It's been frigid outside this week.  And since I have a soft spot for T-bone, I've been letting him inside off and on.  He has enjoyed the spoiling and makes himself at home.  Smack dab in the middle of my kitchen work space!  Sorry about the distasteful camera angle in the above photo.  I tried to edit it, but finally decided......... IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!
  There is no chance of working with this road block.  Especially when Gus decided that he didn't like T-bone getting all the camera shots.
 So, Gus stood on T-bone's gut until he got up.  That was the end of that!  

switch of subject matter warning:

Tuesday was Ian's holiday concert.  I must confess that he was NOT thrilled by the idea!  He wasn't thrilled that he had to wear his Dad's pants....... shoes........ and socks.  He was especially NOT thrilled when I told him he MUST tuck in his shirt!  It wasn't an option!!  Ian, you look so much like your Daddy, it scares me!  
This is how Ryan entertained himself during the program.  

The last switch of subject matter:

The 16th of December.......... WOW!

It seems so cliche' to say, "How time flies?".  I guess that it is said for a reason, time DOES fly by.

I'm still trying to understand how I can be in my middle 30's 20's.  (he he)

It was yesterday that my children were born.

I look in the mirror and see creases that weren't there the other day.  (thank goodness Rick is going to a botox seminar in Feb.)

Either way, here we are,  December of 2010.  Smack dab in the center of another Christmas season.  The words hustle and bustle seem too fun.  I wonder what people would say if I shouted, "I'm in the lunacy and craziness of Christmas!", instead of hustle and bustle.  After all, I looked up the definition of bustle and it says, "briskly energetic activity".  Who the heck is energetic?  I'm not even close.  Then I went out on a limb and looked up hustle.  It says very similarly, "to work energetically".

Nope, not me.
I'm tired (in case you're curious, the definition for tired is), 1. exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or [my favorite] freshness.  2. lacking in freshness or originality [as my blog readers often discover]  3. having one's patience, tolerance or pleasure exhausted [no comment].  

 Just so you don't get the wrong idea, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!  I love what it stands for!  I love being busy!

Yesterday was our annual Christmas Dessert Buffet at church.  It's our biggest meal of the year and people have come to expect an amazing spread!  In order to get everything done in time, we make several things the day before in our own kitchens.  I made the cheesecakes below.  (click on the links for recipes)

I ALWAYS use a water bath for my cheesecakes.  I find this makes a moister cheesecake with no cracks.  Make sure to surround your spring-form pan in aluminum foil first.  This prevents water seeping into your pan.

Many of our desserts came from the TASTE OF HOME Cheesecakes and More magazine.  You can purchase yours at most retail stores or here.  

 There it is!  3 posts in 1.  Didn't think it could be done, did ya?  Doubted my ability, didn't ya?  Don't really care, do ya?  (he he)

December 14, 2010

Hornets vs. Irish

I'm sure that you get tired of me droning on and on about basketball.  I feel a twinge of "I'm boring these people" every time I post a huddle shot.  So, let me explain!!!  I HAVE NO LIFE!!  
Except basketball, baseball, football, Christmas programs, and holiday decorations and a few family get-together's.  

That's it, guys!!!

I don't travel often to exotic places.
Eat at fabulous restaurants.
Or mingle with famous people.

The most exotic place that I have been to this week is Wal-mart.
I did take the monkeys to Sonic Drive-in on Monday
Most often, our dinners include 5 belches, 2-3 passing of gas and a knock-knock joke.  (That is, if we are at the table.  Usually we are grabbing concession stand popcorn or drive through.)

So, out of your love for Mandy Jean, bear with me.

We loaded up the family and headed to St. Joe last night.  
Chillicothe Hornets
Lafayette Irish
 I'm not sure what licking your hand, then wiping your shoe does........ 
they all do it though.  And since I'm "the dumb mom (who thinks it's gross!), I will write all future comments about the nastiness of this in small print! 
1.      I do know that it makes them squeak 10 times more than normal when running up and down the court. 
2.        In the above photo Ryan is wiping spit on his shoe.  Just so you know.  He does this to EACH shoe.  Which says to       me..... he is not only licking his spit the second time, he is licking the bottom of his shoe.   Ummmmm.....GROSS!
 If you place a group of boys together, they will pat each others hiney's, grunt, and say things like "DEFENSE" in unison.
Mr. Marsh talking to Ryan about his math homework (kidding)
 We have hauled Gracie to the boys games since she was in diapers.  She has found a friend who's parents do the same to her.  
They have become BFF's.  
Her name is Maggie.
I'm aware that this isn't the clearest photo.  However, I wanted you to see who my boy was guarding all night.  Do you understand now why my blood pressure goes up during games?  Do you understand why I can't sleep for hours after a game?  Do you understand why I'm a FREAK?  He had to outweigh Ryan by 60 + pounds.  Really!!
  He won two of three tip-off's against this young man.  I hear the confusion.  Why 3 tip-offs?
Because, my loves, this game went into double overtime.  Yes, you read right!!  Double!!  As in dos, deuce, pair, and couple.

At this point, I'm taking a sigh of relief because.............we WON!
Ryan made 11 points, numerous rebounds, and a zillion blocks.
I love my Hornets.  Especially #33

December 13, 2010

Christmas Festivites Have Begun

Friends..... I'm just about Fa-la-la'ed out!  I wonder sometimes if I do too much running, will I do a 360 and run into myself.  You never know, right?

Rick and I had office party (which was an overnight stay in K.C.) We didn't even stop at the house on the way home to go to the Carroll County Hospital party.  We had lots of fun however I learned something about myself.  
1. My bedtime is a STRICT 10:00 p.m.  I lose my spark after that.  The yawning begins, I think slower, move slower, etc.
2. My wake-up time is a STRICT 7:00 a.m..  Despite a cool room, comfy bed, no children stomping down the stairs, or alarm clocks waking me up.  7:00 it is!!!!  

We ate at a restaurant Friday night on the Plaza called Fogo De Chao.  Then stayed at the Sheridan Suites.  Everything is so pretty at Christmas on the Plaza.  Lights galore and pretty store windows.  I love it!  (just wish that it were a bit warmer!)
This was Gracie's Christmas program from last week. Tuesday the 7th, more specifically.  She had a solo and a speaking part.  I was floored at how well she did.  I hear her sing all the time, so I wasn't surprised about that.  I was mostly in awe of how well she sang in front of a full auditorium!!  She sounded like an angel and I'm very, very proud of her.
 She was also the cutest 3rd grader I've seen in a long, long time.  He he
I love the cocked leg and smirk.  It's so Gracie!!!!
I thought that I would leave you with a photo of our church dinner punch bowl dessert.  I made this one. It's called "Toffee Caramel Trifle".

You bake a cake with a store bought cake mix.  Let it cool.  Divide it into three even sections.  Remove the first section and crumble it into the bottom of your trifle bowl.  We make these for large amounts of people so we multiply the recipe by four.  
Prepare two small boxes of instant pudding.  
Put a 1/3 of the pudding on top of the crumbled cake
Add a layer of whipped cream on top of the pudding.
Drizzle caramel topping over the whipped cream.  (don't get this case.... MORE IS MORE!)
Divide a bad of Health with milk chocolate into 1/3's.  Pour it over the Caramel.  
Then repeat until your trifle reaches the top of your bowl.  

Delish and easy!!!!!

December 7, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!!!!

I proudly introduce the 2010 Freshman Boys
Winners of the Chillicothe Freshman Tournament
I realize the quality of photos isn't my best.  However, I had to include the celebrations afterwards!!!!!!

December 3, 2010

Buddy Our Elf

This is Buddy.  He is our family elf.  
This is our third Christmas with him.  He shows up the day after Thanksgiving every year, then leaves Christmas morning.  He came with a book explaining what he does.  It begins like this.........

The first year that Buddy joined us, the kids made a competition out of it.  They kept track of who was first to find Buddy every morning.  I put an end to that when they started setting alarm clocks for 3 a.m. so they would know where to look in the morning.  (ahem.....Ryan)

Now, they hardly notice him.  
But he still comes to stay.......
He still goes to see Santa every night with a report.....
And he still comes back in a different spot every morning.  (well.... most mornings, that is)
Sometimes he doesn't move in the night.  We aren't sure why.  Maybe "he" forgets.  

Go to THIS link, if you would like to have a family elf.