Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We wish you peace and joy!

The presents are unwrapped and I am TIRED! Hope you enjoy your holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Feelin' A Little Blue

Sorry for the extended absences lately. I've been feeling really melancholy this Christmas. I just feel like it's not the same anymore.

I miss my family at Christmas. My parents are busy with work and their lives. My sister works full time and has two little boys. My youngest brother is going through a really tough time in his life right now. My younger brother has always been distanced from my life. Christmas was always a really special time for us though. We always came together for Christmas Eve.

This year Christmas Eve is different though. My younger brother and his family don't usually show up at my parents until right before I'm ready to get my kids home and in bed, usually around 9pm. My youngest brother is separated from his wife who was like a sister to me and I'm having a hard time getting over that. My sister spends time with her inlaws which she needs to do. I just really miss having everyone together. I just have to deal with it I guess.

My Dad and I have a little tradition that we do every year. We eat kielbasa and sauerkraut on Christmas Eve and have babka and tons of other food. Every year my Dad and I make the trip to Philadelphia to stand in line at the butcher and a particular Polish bakery in the neighborhood where my Dad grew up. He drives around his old neighborhood and points out all the places that he remembers as a kid. It's funny because every year he tells me the same stories! I let him though because I want to remember them so that when it's my turn to take my daughters I can tell them the stories.

It was great to spend some time with my Dad. We used to work together so we spent tons of time together but when I decided to be a stay at home mom I just don't get to see him as much. We visited our old office to wish everyone a merry Christmas and then went to have some lunch.

My Mom got to spend some one on one time with the girls as well. They love going over to my parents' house but just don't get over there very often.

Tomorrow I'll hit the food store for some last minute things then the girls and I will finish up our last minute baking. Tomorrow night we'll be heading over to my sister in law's house for her birthday. Then Christmas Eve will be spent with my family over at my parents' house.

Today is also my 7th anniversary. It hasn't been an easy 7 years but we're working on it. I think my parents made being married look so easy that I sometimes expect too much from my Hubby. He always gives the girls their baths and puts them to bed and he lets me sleep in EVERY weekend. He even cooks dinner quite often.

Well, the last batch of cookies is out of the oven and I'm off to spend some time with Hubby before heading off to bed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

O Christmas Tree

Well, here she is! I've probably taken about 50 pictures of this tree and I can't get one that I really like so I figured I'd just put these up here for now.

We usually use all colored lights but this year it seems that every single colored light set that I had decided to burn out at the same time so we have white lights this year.

I have a collection of old family ornaments that my Mom passed down to me, some old ornaments that I made when I was in school, some ornaments that I made in the past and now Curly Girl has added a few homemade ornaments as well. In addition, every year Hubby and I buy an ornament that represents something that we did this year or that we experienced. I also buy each of the girls a special ornament.

This year we're looking for the perfect Mickey Mouse ornament for Munchkin because of her Mickey obsession and for Curly Girl we're on the hunt for a ballerina ornament to commemorate her very first dance recital. I'm not sure what Hubby and I will end up with yet but if I keep procrastinating we'll probably not have much of a selection.

So, enough talking, here she is...

Taken with the flash on

Taken with the flash off

A Few of My Favorite Things...

The house is finally all decorated, the tree is up now I need to get started on the baking and wrapping. I'll post some pictures of the tree tomorrow but for now here are a few of my favorite decorations...
My Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer collection

My family is mostly all in the real estate business and one year I remember telling my Mom that I felt like Herbie the Elf in Rudolph who didn't want to be an elf, he wanted to be a dentist. I didn't want to be a Realtor anymore. I wanted to do something different. I saw these figurines one time and had to have them.

My railing and staircase

For years now I've been collecting Dept 56 and Kohl's Christmas houses. Some I've bought, some my Hubby bought and some came from my parents and my friend.

Main Street

Hubby and I got married in December 2001 in a church that looked just like this one.

Here we are!

Dept 56 Dickens Village

This Santa and the pair below are very special to me because my parents painted them when I was very little. I remember growing up and seeing these out on display when I was little. They always remind me of my parents and the beautiful memories they always made sure that us kids had for Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Check out and Julia for more beautiful holiday decor!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Her Very First Christmas Pageant

Curly Girl had her very first Christmas pageant at her preschool this past Friday night. She was one of the angels and she loved every minute of it.

She was so happy when she walked in and saw not only Mommy and Daddy there but her aunt Tia, Mom Mom and Pop Pop and her big cousin LuLu.

She cracked us all up when she literally strutted up onto the stage waving at us like she was a movie star or something.

After the play, the kids sang some Christmas songs that they've been practicing since Thanksgiving. They all did great! It was obvious the excitement that they all felt at being on stage with family watching.
Munchkin was dying to get on stage just like her big sister. After the play was finished she climbed up on the stage so that we could take her picture too.
Curly Girl and Mommy

Daddy and his girls

Afterwards we headed down to the classroom for refreshments. My sister in law brought some flowers for Curly Girl and she's still got them. She insisted that I put them into a vase in her room as soon as we got home.

We were so proud of Curly Girl and how well she did on stage. She definitely loves being in the spotlight and she's now looking forward to her dance recital in June.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Christmas Tree Hunt and the "Best Day Ever!"

Wow! It's been almost 10 days since I last posted. Sorry about that. Life just got in the way I guess.

Hubby finally got my computer all fixed up and running again. Thank goodness he works with computers otherwise I would've been in big trouble!

Last weekend we got our Christmas tree. It was quite an adventure. The day was cloudy, overcast and really cold (just about 35 degrees!). We bundled up the girls and grabbed some hot chocolate to take with us.

First we went to the tree farm where we've gotten our trees since 2003. After traipsing around for awhile we couldn't find a tree that was tall enough. We need one that's between 8 and 9 feet tall.

They were all just too small.

Charlie Brown Christmas anyone?

So off we went to the second tree farm. The trees were shaped nicer but still just too small.

The third tree farm was Christmas tree nirvana! We had a hard time choosing a tree because they were all perfect! We finally all agreed on this one.

Then we spent some time wandering around the tree farm. They had hay rides out to visit Santa, an indoor train set that the girls were in love with, Christmas carols, a giant train to climb on...

Then it was time to head home. So we packed everything up and headed home.Later that night we walked down the block to see our town's tree lighting ceremony. When we stepped outside we found that it was snowing! We went down and sang Christmas carols, there was a marching band and Santa arrived via firetruck.

We headed over to the fire station to get warm and the girls got to sit on Santa's lap. Munchkin hopped right up and told Santa that she wanted a candy cane for Christmas. After some prodding from Santa though she finally told him that she also wanted some Mickey Mouse toys for Christmas. Curly Girl asked for a princess Barbie doll. Santa also had a little toy for each of the girls, a Shining Star puppy for Munchkin and a game for Curly Girl.

It was a perfect day and the snow falling down made it even better. When we tucked Curly Girl into bed later that night she told me that it was her "best day ever!".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This Is Why My Husband Has Grey Hair Already

Getting ready to go for a playdate at Curly Girl's the other she informed me that she HAD to wear a dress and her hair HAD to be placed in a ponytail.


"Because I want to look like a woman."

Uh, ok.

This friend we were going to see? You guessed it, he's a boy.

God help me.

Still no pictures yet, Hubby's still working on my computer.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hey Stranger!

Where have I been you may ask? Well, here's a few of the "fun" things that I've been up to for the past week and a half.

1. Baked and cooked like a fiend for Thanksgiving
2. Attended Curly Girl's Thanksgiving feast at preschool
3. Cooked a 25 pound turkey for Thanksgiving
4. Got the house cleaned and decorated for Christmas
5. Wrote 4 term papers for school (can't wait till this semester is done!)
6. Baked 4 dozen cookies for a fundraiser at school
7. Registered for my spring classes
8. Had to have Hubby fix my computer because of some darn virus it picked up while shopping online
9. Had to have Hubby fix the oven because it decided that it didn't want to work anymore (it's working now but who knows how much longer)
10. Had to call the fire department at 4:30 in the morning on Saturday morning because our carbon monoxide detector was going off. Everything was fine, we had to get some new detectors.

That's all I can think of right now. I hope to get back into the swing of things this week and post some pics of our Christmas decorations. The girls and I will be doing our gingerbread houses this weekend and visiting the tree farm for our tree.

I have a appointment with a foot doctor this Friday because I've been having severe pain in my foot for a while now. Apparently, they think I have plantar fasciitis. All I know is that it sucks! It hurts all the time and makes me want to just gnaw my foot off. It keeps me from exercising and even doing simple things like running up and down the stairs and getting the house cleaned up. I've never been so excited to go see the doctor in my life.

So that's what's been going on in my little corner of the world. I've got over 350 things waiting to be read in my Google Reader so if I haven't stopped by to visit you in a while, I'll get there!

No pictures because Hubby's still working on reinstalling everything back in my computer!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

CVS Deals and the Littlest Reindeer

Can you believe I got all of this for just $2.99?!!! Here's what I got:

(2) 2 packs of Magic Erasers
(2) Revlon Color Stay Eyeliners
(2) Revlon Color Stay Eye Shadow Quads
(2) 4 packs of Scunci No Slip Headbands
(1) Maybelline Mineral Power Foundation
(1) Silk Drops Hair Serum
(1) Complete Saline

Not too shabby, huh?

It was a nice quiet weekend around here. All in anticipation of the upcoming week. I got done some of my Thanksgiving dinner shopping and baked a couple of pumpkin pies. Tomorrow Munchkin and I will finish up our shopping at Walmart after we drop Curly Girl off at school.

Here's a pic of Munchkin getting ready for the holidays:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas 2008 Pictures

I took the girls to get their pictures done in their Christmas dresses last night. They had a great time hamming it up for the camera. The promise of a lollipop and some muffins at My Favorite Muffing helped too.

When we were done we stopped off at the food court for our muffins. As I was sitting there I thought about how many times I've gone to the mall with my Mom and sister and shared a muffin and some tea in the food court. It made me feel so happy to be sitting there with my own daughters just hanging out. I can just picture us when they're teenagers doing the same thing.

Anyway, here's some of their pictures. I think they turned out pretty good!

Christmas 2007
They sure have grown in just 1 year!

Our Thanksgiving Menu

Curly Girl's preschool Thanksgiving Feast 2007

With just 1 week until Thanksgiving I've finally gotten around to figuring out what I'm making for Thanksgiving dinner. Here's what we're having:

Turkey: Of course! I usually brine mine overnight. It makes the juiciest, tastiest turkey around!

Sage Stuffing: My Mom makes the best stuffing and every year I try to duplicate it.

Gravy: I finally mastered the art of making a good gravy!

Cranberry-Apricot Sauce: A great recipe that I started making almost 10 years ago. Here's the recipe.

Easy Corn Casserole: Another great recipe! I love this!

Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole: The best sweet potatoes in the world!

Green Beans Almondine

Glazed Carrots

Crescent Rolls

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Pie

My SIL and her family and my MIL will be having dinner with us at our home and then afterwards we'll be heading over to my parents' home for dessert.

I really miss the days when I used to have all of my brothers and my sister and my parents together on Thanksgiving. I know that once you start to have your own families that things change but this time of year makes me feel really melancholy for those days when we'd all hang out at my parents' house looking at old photo albums and remembering things we used to do.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Getting Ready for the Holidays

See more Wordless Wednesday over at 5 Minutes for Mom!

With Much Appreciation

I wanted to thank Donna over at Frugal Mom Blog for the awesome Inkubook giveaway that she hosted. I was one of the lucky 5 winners of a free photo book.

I was able to finally get a photo book done of all of the things that we did this fall as a family. The next one I plan will be for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Be sure to check out Donna yourself!

Monday, November 17, 2008

CVS, Walgreens and the Return of the Squirrel Thief

Munchkin and I got some great deals at CVS and Walgreens today. I thought I'd show them on here because my sister is always saying that she just doesn't know how to do it. So here's what I did:


3 Cans of Butterball Chicken Broth @ .79 each
3 Cans of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce @ $1.69 each
2 Boxes of Lipton Tea Bags @ $4.79 each
1 Puffs @ $1.79
1 Disney Game Set (Christmas present for Curly Girl) $9.99

Coupons & Walgreens savings:

Broth: $1.20
Tea Bags: $5.60 (addt'l coupons for $1.35)
Puffs: .80
Game: $4.00
Cranberry Sauce: $2.70

TOTAL OOP: $13.57

1st Transaction:

4 8pks Duracell Batteries
Loreal Advanced Revitalift
Loreal Age Perfect Moisturizer

minus $13.50 in coupons
minus $15.99 in Revitalift raincheck
minus $6 in ECB's
minus $14.87 on gift card

TOTAL: $13.96 OOP

2nd Transaction:

2 Pledge
2 Boxes Quaker Oatmeal
1 Fig Newtons
1 Nutter Butters
1 Vaseline Clinical Moisturizer
2 Kleenex
1 La Looks Hair Gel

minus $5.90 in coupons and $15.99 in ECB's used

TOTAL OOP: $4.38

And I still have $18 in ECB's to use next time!

Oh, remember that crazy squirrel that looted my porch decorations? Well, Hubby caught him having a chat with one of our cats on Saturday morning.

Apparently he was asking the cat to bring some more food out for him.

Sorry for the blurry shot, Hubby doesn't really know how to work the camera yet.