Monday, November 29, 2010

♥ Countdown to Christmas 2010! ♥

Countdown to Christmas

Oh my goodness, I can't believe we are only two days away from the first of December! It is definitely time to get organized for Countdown to Christmas!

So, the details: I think we'll link up on Thursdays throughout December {December 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd}. Since we'll only be two days in for the first link up, I thought we could blog about what our plans were for the first week {or even the entire month}. Or, if you don't care to link up until the following Thursday, join in on the 9th! Either way, we'd love to have ya. It's a great way for all of us to gather ideas for crafts, activities, and outings to enjoy with our own children as we count down the days until Christmas! And, of course, feel free to post about your fun creations, projects, outings, and recipes each day, if you like. And on Thursdays, we can do a recap.

Grab my button for your blog, if ya like. I worked REALLY hard on it {just kiddin'!}
Most of my projects will be centered around my children, but if you do not have children {or they are too young to participate}, please consider linking up some of your favorite crafts, holiday traditions, recipes, anyway. We all could use some inspiration!

Need ideas? Have a look through my December 2009 archives. Last year we made our own advent calendars, hair clips, gift boxes, gift tags, and snowflake decorations ~ to name a few. If you're not feeling super crafty, think about making Christmas cookies, going for a drive to look at Christmas lights, or snuggle up with a cup of cocoa and some good Christmas stories {or a movie!} I've found that children just love the idea of having something fun to do each day.


Oh, and also, there may be a giveaway at some point ;) I'll give you more details about that later!

Now go! Plan out your activities, and think of joining us. We had so much fun last year!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving in Pictures

We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving ever!
It started with the making of some de-licious cornbread dressing. I found the recipe on It's the Neely's Holiday Cornbread Stuffing Recipe, and it was scrumptious. If you are in need of a recipe for Christmas dinner, try this. You won't be disappointed.

We mixed the yummy ingredients together {which included bacon, mmmmm}. And I used cashews instead of the pecans. What can I say? I love cashews. Anyway. This was my first year cooking a turkey, and I think it turned out well. I love turkey ;)

First stop: My Mom and Dad's.

Kam went right to Aunt Nat . . .

And cuddled right up to her. Is that the sweetest thing ever?

Once it was time for food, I had a happy little camper on my hands. Poor thing, we'd been telling her about turkey all day long, and I think she was wondering when on earth she was going to actually get to eat some! She was the last one at the table, lol!

Sis snuggled with Daddy.

Kenners smiled for the camera.

And we celebrated Aunt Nat's birthday with some yummy chocolate cake.

Oh, and Kam announced her big news ;) Thank you all for the sweet, sweet comments, by the way. We are super excited!

Then we hurried up to Jeremy's parents for more turkey, more dressing, more potatoes, more, more, more. I was too stuffed to take any more pictures ;)


Hope you all had an equally blessed Thanksgiving day! And no, I haven't forgotten about Countdown to Christmas. I'm just a little behind this year. Monday. I will get a post up on Monday. ;)

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

This is my first time linking up with Carissa at lowercase letters for Miscellany Monday. Shocking, really, since all of my ramblings are pretty random.

1. I'm making the turkey for Thanksgiving this year. Can you believe this will be my first ever attempt at cooking a turkey? I'm a little nervous, but excited too. I found the yummiest recipe ever for cornbread stuffing!

2. Saturday I went on an all day shopping trip with my dearest friend for the first time in . . . ever! I think I've only been shopping without my girls once, two years ago, before Christmas. I missed them like crazy, but uninterrupted conversation with another adult is so wonderful.

3. I have been horrible about taking pictures lately. I got out of the habit a couple of weeks ago, and then we got hit with the flu, and I just haven't picked up my camera more than a time or two in the last few weeks. I miss having it permanently attached to me.

4. I'm still drawing up my Countdown to Christmas list of activities. I'm excited that some of you are interested in participating. Of course, that means I need to get movin' and start planning things out a little. I'm thinking maybe we'll try to link up on Thursdays {if you're not ready for a post by December 2nd, no biggie}. That way we can finish off the countdown on the 23rd. I don't know about y'all, but I can almost guarantee I won't be near the computer much on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, so it might be nice to wrap it up on the 23rd. I'll think more on this, and get back to ya :)

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Friday, November 19, 2010

A little bit o' random

Wow. A whole week has gone by without even a glance to poor ol' blog here.

In my defense we have been battling some horrible stomach bug . . . YUCK! The first few days I couldn't pick myself up off the floor, let alone turn on a computer. But I think we're finally on the mend.

In other news, our sheetrock is finished, and the inside of our house is completely painted. Also, our garage door was installed on Wednesday. YAY! Next up, we lay the underfloor in preparation for the cabinets and flooring that will all be installed within the next month or so. It's so fun to walk through and actually get a good idea of where things will go. We're starting to envision ourselves living there someday ;)

I can't believe Thanksgiving is six days away! Seriously, where does the time go? We're going to hit the grocery store today, so I've had my cookbooks out. My mouth is watering just looking at some of these yummy recipes. And that's a good thing, because I haven't had much in my stomach lately.

We're trying to plan our Countdown to Christmas this year. Last year we had such fun with a special activity, outing, or craft each day of December, I knew we'd have to continue the tradition. If anyone is interested in linking up again this year, let me know. Otherwise I'll probably just do a regular post on our activities, and maybe a few tutorials on our chosen crafts.

That's all! What's been keeping you busy?

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Friday, November 12, 2010

And The Winner Is

I think we've chosen our Christmas Cards . . .

With Love Chartreuse Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.
Have you?
If you haven't already, go HERE for your own Christmas Cards from Shutterfly.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WordFUL Wednesday ~ Christmas Photos

The other day we did photo re-takes for Christmas Cards, and it went more smoothly. Kam was in a better mood, and actually sat for more than a millisecond ;) And I've let go of my perfectionist ways, and am learning to be happy with the photos we got.
I only got one {out of over three hundred!} shot where all three were looking at the camera, and not in some stage of a blink. So this is it. My only one of the three. But that's okay. I'm fine with doing individual pics on the card too.

Christmas Card 08
I just love this one of Sierra. I know I may have a little Mama bias, but I think she is so beautiful. {That's inside and out} And she loves the camera. I think it's safe to say that the camera loves her too ;)

Christmas Card 03
And I was so happy to get one of Makenna. She has the sweetest smile, and an infectious giggle.

Christmas Card 05
And Kam. Oh Kam. She wasn't into sitting much, so I just followed her around while she did her thing. She got a kick out of playing peek-a-boo with Nana's door. That's her. That's my Kam. So full of joy and energy. This photo just sums her up.

Christmas Card 06
I think she locked herself out ;)

Christmas Card 07
Another one of the older two that I love. They are so close, and I love it. It's everything I imagined when I found out I was expecting my second girl. I was so excited to give Sierra a sister. They are delighted to share a room together, and it's been months {maybe a year or more?} that they've insisted on sleeping together in Sierra's bed every night. They can't go to sleep without one another. Ohhhkay, getting teary. Sorry.

Christmas Card 04
Oh how I love this one. Their smiles just light me up!

Christmas Card 02
So . . . now comes the difficult task of narrowing these down. I can probably only use 3-4 at the most on our cards. Any opinions would be welcome! ;)
And Happy WW! As you can see, I have a hard time keeping it WordLESS ;)
Hop on over to Miller Racing Family for the Wordless variety.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

FMM ~ Giving Thanks

It has been such a long time since I've participated in FMM {such a long time since I've had the time to participate in any blog carnival, for that matter}, and I've missed it. So imagine my surprise when I see that my dear bloggy friend, Becca, is hosting this week! I just had to link up.

She asks about our Top 10 of 2010 ~ What we are most thankful for.

{This should be easy, right? Unless you're like me, and can't narrow down the 4 MILLION things I have to be thankful for to just 10}

Here goes:

1. My three beautiful daughters. My life *revolves* around these people. I love them so much, and cannot imagine spending my time any other way than taking care of them. How quiet and boring and sad my life would be without them. Some days are chaotic, and others I'm praying for bedtime to come ;) But I wouldn't have it any other way.

2. My husband. This year we celebrated 8 years together. I love our time together {though sometimes limited}. I love all that he does to provide for us. And don't tell him, but I even kind of enjoy all his teasing. I think I'd worry a little if he became too serious.

3. My faith. Specifically the opportunity to go through several Bible studies this year, thanks to my sweet MIL for hosting them {and allowing me to bring my wild little monkeys!}. I love the fellowship. I love the accountability. I love going deeper into His word.

4. Our new house! We've got a ways to go but have also come a long way! And I'm still in a state of shock that we are actually going to have a brand new house to enjoy in a few short months. Mostly I am thankful to my husband who has put in countless hours working on the house {after spending countless hours working his "real" job at the fire station}.

5. Extended Family. I love that we live so close to grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We aren't short on love or family gatherings around here!

6. Friends. My sweet IRL friends, and my bloggy friends. What would I do without you?

7. Blogging. Seriously, I love looking back on blog posts ~ remembering where we've come from, and the places we've stopped along the way. Months seem to speed by, and I can't always remember the little daily moments that can be so special. I love having a place to document so that I can remember.

8. My camera. Can I take a moment to be materialistic? ;) I love my camera. I love that I was able to get a new one in August. I love that in less than 3 months I've already snapped over 3,000 pictures on that thing. I love capturing everyday moments.

9. Homeschooling. We are in our 4th year of homeschooling {Holy moly, how did that happen?!}, and I am so thankful to continue to have this opportunity. I cannot imagine sending my girls off to school to spend more time with teachers and classmates each day than with me. I love having them at home. I love that our first year homeschooling TWO daughters is going so smoothly. And I love having them at home {did I already say that?}. Mmmkay.

10. Clickin' Moms and several other photography-related sites and blogs that have offered so much in the way of resources, support, and help. I have grown so much in photography because of them.

10. Mini Trips, Vacations, and Family Visits. It's been awhile since we've had a "real" vacation, but we've been blessed to be able to take several mini trips this year. A couple of visits down south to visit my sister and her family, trips to the beach and Kah-nee-ta, and a birthday trip to Great Wolf Lodge were so much fun!


Head on over to Becca's to see what others are thankful for!

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Have You Ordered Yours?

Can you believe it's November already?! Soon we'll be eating Turkey, and then . . . the Christmas season will be upon us. I love the holidays. And one of my favorite parts? Designing, ordering, and sending Christmas cards. I love choosing the perfect {or not so perfect, in our case} photos, and sending off a Christmas greeting to those we don't see daily.

One of my most favorite places to browse Christmas cards is Shutterfly. We used Shutterfly to print our Christmas cards last year, and they did a beautiful job. I've also used Shutterfly to print Photo Books and other prints, and have always been pleased with their quality and service.

When I hopped on over to to browse their Christmas cards, I could not believe how many different designs they had to choose from! I couldn't choose just one favorite, but here are a few of my top choices:

Can you tell I love the cards with lots of space for photos? ;)
Shutterfly not only offers an extensive selection of Christmas Photo Cards, but also Gift Tags {SUPER cute!}, and even invitations for your big holiday bash ;)
Okay, so now for the best part! If *you* are a blogger, and you would like to receive 50 FREE {that's right, free!} cards from Shutterfly, you will want to click HERE to find out how to receive your own. What a fabulous opportunity!
Now I'm off to try to choose a favorite design. Wish me luck! :)
And stay tuned for a sneak peek at the photos I'll be using in said Chistmas cards ;)
Disclosure: Participating bloggers are reviewing Shutterfly's line of holiday cards, choosing their favorites, and are then compensated with coupon codes for 50 free cards.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Trickin' & Treatin'

Oh my goodness, we had such a fun Halloween evening! We live out in the sticks {have I mentioned that before?}. Not even a stop light in this little town. I had prepared the girls ~ they're used to it by now ~ that we would probably just trick or treat at Grandma and Grandpa's, Nana and Grandpa's, and Nana and Papa's. Then we'd come home, put on a Halloween special, and call it good. And they were fine with that. In the end, we hit a few more houses than expected, and they came home with TONS of candy. {Sshhhh, don't tell the dentist}.

Get ready for some pictures. And definite cuteness overload. Just sayin'. Oh, and please don't pay any attention to the photo quality. My lens is having a hard time these days, and we were workin' in some low light conditions ;)

I could not get enough of this little kitty. She sat perfectly still while I painted her face.

And the finished product :)

I love how Kam is looking to her big sissies in this pic. She's always paying close attention to what they're doing, to see what she should be doing {in this case saying "trick or treat"}.

After all the talk of "nanny" {known as candy to you all}, Kam was getting more than a little irritated that we were taking pics and not getting on with the trick or treating.

I know this one is dark, but I love it. Kam was pretty enthralled with the glo sticks ;)

Not sure what Kenners is pointing at, but she's excited! :)

It didn't take Kam long to get the hang of it. 'Hmmm, say "treat", get a treat. I could get used to this'.

We had so much fun! Hope your Halloween was equally memorable!!

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