Thursday, December 31, 2009

Recycling Love

Is everyone ready for New Year's Eve? Oh yeah, I have plans for an awesome spin class, a new movie to watch, and Thai food. Plus a bottle of sparkling cider to share with the kids before their bedtime. I'll sure miss that first kiss of the New Year...

Just wanted to share a really neat way to recycle those beautiful Christmas cards we all received over the Christmas Season. St. Jude's Ranch accepts used, all occasion cards that the kids then remake into new cards and then resell. It's a great way to go a little green, to help out these remarkable children, and a way to not let those beautiful cards go to waste. I know we've mostly gone to photo cards, but there are always a few real cards that I always hate to throw away at the end of the season. I'll be sendng mine in as soon as I can bear to take them down.

St. Jude's Ranch will be accepting used, all-occasion cards from:
November 15, 2009 - February 28, 2010.

You can mail your donations to:
St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude's Street - Boulder City, NV 89005
877-977-SJRC (7572)

Read more about this program here.

Have a wonderful New Year!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Look What Santa Brought Us!!

Tony was able to surprise the kids with a quick 2 1/2 day visit over the Christmas Holiday! Despite the long days of travel for him, it was such a blessing to be together for just a little while. Made us appreciate being a family just a little bit more...

I have so much to blog about, but I have found myself running out of steam and time most evenings as I try to balance the demands of my job as mommy and daddy. Please stick with me...I'll be back soon with some fun ideas for the New Year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Winner & The Collector

I have just consulted with my random picker, a.k.a. Anna, and she selected ROSANNE as the giveaway winner!!

I'll be getting your loot in the mail to you after the Holidays. Thanks to everyone who played along...even during the busy crunch of the season.

And just a funny photo before I take the next few days off to enjoy Christmas with my family. I found this little blue bin on the floor in the basement and obviously Josh had gone through our big bin of plastic animals and picked out all the zebras. The kids a collector.

At least he got something from his mother.

Merry **CHRIST**mas everyone!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Giveaway Extension

I talked to my Scentsy lady yesterday and the warmer I chose to giveaway was back ordered, but should be delivered tomorrow. Thus, the giveaway will be extended to Wednesday morning. All other rules still apply. Go here to enter!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Scentsy & Door Hanger Giveaway

I'm back from my trip and all thawed out. I sure missed my kids, but a trip was just what I needed to get myself centered again and revved for the rest of the holiday season!

Just a reminder...we will be drawing a winner for the Scentsy warmer and door hanger giveaway first thing on Monday morning, so click here to get in on the action.

Good Luck!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunshine Bound!

So, my big exciting news may really just be exciting to me. But it is. Tony and his mom arranged for a 5-day trip for me, all by myself, where I get to fly on an airplane to someplace warm. And Joan is coming up to stay with the kids. I get to relax. Renew. Read. Sleep in. And thaw out. I can't wait.

But I made a promise to myself that I would disconnect from the computer while I am gone, so there will be no blogging, emailing or blog visiting. Sorry. But I'll catch up when I get home and I hope this giveaway will make up for it.

On Monday, December 21st, my impartial 6-year-old will draw a winner of these:

A new Classic Scentsy Warmer (IN CREAM) with a block of Snowberry wax. Yum.

And this Christmas doorhanger made (with love) by me.

Now on to the rules. You can have up to two entries by doing the following:

1: Leave a comment on this post and then say something nice about the person that commented above you. If they don't have a blog or it is private, make something up. :-) (Thanks for the GREAT idea, Laurel!)

2: You can become a follower if you aren't yet and would like to be OR you can link directly to this post from your blog. Let me know in your comment and I'll add your extra entry.

Have fun this week, ladies!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa's Magic Key & Goodies Galore

Our regularly scheduled Christmas festivities came to a screeching halt this week when Sam and Anna both made a very keen observation. We don't have a chimney. For the first time in their lives, we don't have a way for Santa to make his stealth entrance into our home on Christmas Eve. So what's a mom to do?? Take the advice of the many other military wives that have gone get creative. Hence, Santa's Magic Key. Did you know that this special key can open ANY door for Santa on Christmas Eve?? Lucky I got my hands on one of these...

We've also been chin high in Christmas goodies for neighbors, friends, bus drivers and the other great everyday people of our lives. LOVE these reindeer take-out boxes from Target's $1 bin. They are the perfect size for a little bag of treats tied with twine.

Check in later this weekend...I've got a HUGE announcement and Christmas giveaway in the works that you won't want to miss.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gingerbread in the Air

Last week, Sam performed in his school's Christmas play, "A Gingerbread Christmas". We were so proud of him for being chosen and he has worked very hard to memorize his...line. He was very anxious for us to see the play and even committed the cardinal sin of acting and waved to us from the stage. We didn't mind. He made the most handsome toy soldier...

And this morning I spent a couple hours in Anna's classroom helping her Kindergarten class make gingerbread houses. It was so much fun to watch these little creative minds work. And what a mess they made!!

My sister-in-law Lena just sent this YouTube video to me that you have to watch if you haven't seen it before. Mom, just push the play button. Nothing will happen to your computer. Promise.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Paying It Forward

**UPDATED** I hear from Debbra that she hasn't been sending out books over the last year or so because of the increase in use of Skype and other ways of communication. HOWEVER, we still have our books and will be donating them to our base's Family Support Center which offers a similar program. If you're still wanting to participate, any base with have a Family Support Center that would be happy to take your donation.**

While Tony was deployed in Iraq, he took advantage of a really wonderful thing. A woman named Deb Johnson had organized a program that sent books, blank tapes, and in some cases, mini tape recorders to troops stationed overseas. The parent could then read the story onto the tape and send it and the book home. My kids LOVED this...especially to hear their daddy's voice when phone calls were sporadic at best.

Last week, we were giving Anna's room a good once-over and we found the tapes of the books that Tony had made during his time in Iraq and hunted down the corresponding books. On our way to the valley later that week (a 40 minute drive), the kids listened to the tape of their daddy's voice and followed along in the book. They were enraptured.

So as a service project this Holiday season, one of the things we have chosen to do is pay it forward so that other military children missing a parent this year might be comforted by a parent's voice. We bought some books new and went through our stash to find some gently read ones and are sending them to:

Ramsey's Read Me Home
c/o Debbra A. Johnson
P. O. Box 4335
Greenville, DE 19807-0335

If you are interested in doing the same, please read about the beginnings of this program and the wonderful lady who keeps it going.

Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

'Tis the Season...

...for Christmas cards!! We received our first Christmas card of the season yesterday and it was delightful. It really is one of my very favorite things about the hear from our friends and loved ones all over the world. And since I finally finished our family's Christmas cards (which took all Fall to complete, call me crazy) I have had a few moments to make some Christmas thank you notes as well.

We also spent the weekend putting up Christmas trees! Our big angel one is in the living room, but this year Anna had her own pink tree in her room and the boys have a trio of trees with our handmade and collectible ornaments on them in their room. Our "m" tree is in the family room. I absolutely LOVE using our Christmas trees as nightlights!

As we were unwrapping ornaments in the boys' room, I looked over and saw this. Hey, we get our kicks where we can around here...