Monday, December 9, 2019

2019 Christmas Parade

Sunday afternoon the kids walked in our town's annual Christmas parade. Usually it is held the Sunday following Thanksgiving, however this year they have new organizers and they moved it to the 2nd Sunday after Thanksgiving. It really didn't matter to me, however I heard a lot of people complaining that it wasn't the same and took something away from it. 

Anyhow, this year's theme was "Christmas at the Movies." There were several Grinch themed floats as well as one's inspired by "The Polar Express." The kids walked with their scouting troops--- Rebecca with her American Heritage Girls troop and the boys with their Trail Life USA troop. The troops worked together and their theme was "A Charlie Brown Christmas." 

The kids were 13th in line in the parade, and that meant that there was still a lot of the parade left to go when they were done so they got to enjoy a good portion of it as being spectators as well. And they got to see the jolly guy himself--Santa! 

Overall, it was a nice way to spend an hour on Sunday afternoon. 

Does your town have a Christmas parade? Have you ever walked in a parade? 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

St. Nick came to visit!

As per tradition in our house on the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas, the kids put their shoe by the door before bed and go to bed waiting to see if St. Nick will surprise them in the morning. This year was no different. Thursday night the kids put their shoes by the door and on Friday morning they woke to find a new ornament and chocolate in their shoe. 

This is a fun tradition in our family and a way to give the kids an ornament that tells about their year in some way.

This year, Rebecca received the ruby slippers from the "Wizard of Oz" to symbolize her involvement in the musical this past Summer.

Jacob received a MVP sports ornament to symbolize his love of sports and that he is an MVP in our lives. 

Benjamin received a basketball themed ornament to symbolize his playing basketball. 

Bill received a video game controller ornament to symbolize his love of playing football on his PlayStation 2. 

I received an Ohio Amish Country ornament to symbolize a highlight of our Summer--- our trip to Amish country. 

The kids look forward to this tradition every year. I know some families do a more traditional St. Nick gift--- chocolate coins, oranges, etc. This is just what we do in our family. And when we put up the Christmas tree, we love to look back at all the sentimental ornaments that we have gotten over the years and reminisce. It adds to the fun of Christmas. 

This weekend, I am busy taking Rebecca to various activities--- last night I had to take her to a movie marathon/sleepover with her school book club. Tonight I have to take her to a friend's b-day party/sleepover. Tomorrow is our town's Christmas parade, which all 3 kids are walking in. Add in all the extra stuff that comes with this time of year and just the normal weekend stuff of laundry, housework, etc and I am super busy. What are you guys up to this weekend? Any fun plans? Do you celebrate the St. Nick? 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

AHG and Trail Life Awards Ceremony

Thank you to those who offered advice on yesterday's post. It is a sad situation in which my niece and nephew were abandoned by their mother (she never picked them up from school)… come to find out they were homeless, filthy, etc. My brother will never get custody of them as he has a known record of angry outburst and violence. The judge and children's services gave their mother a list of things she needs to do get custody back and she hasn't done any of the list so far. They see their mom every Sunday for a couple of hours and that is it. My niece definitely has some major psychological issues going on; but they are just in survival mode right now as far as I know. My sister, who is in graduate school to become an art therapist, has tried to get my parents to look into counseling, etc. for her but I think they are just so overwhelmed right now. She does see a psychologist at Children's Hospital every 2-3 months I think. I just know that I need to protect my kids and my family unit and Thanksgiving was just another major reminder of that. 

In much happier news, Tuesday night Bill and I attended the American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA winter awards ceremony for the kids. The kids really enjoy their time in these scouting organizations. They have 2 awards ceremonies a year--- one in late Nov/early Dec and one in the spring. 

Rebecca received several badges and patches, as well as 2 service stars meaning that she has done 30 hours of community service.

The boys received their joining awards for their new levels. Ben is now a hawk and Jacob is now a mountain lion. 

I am proud of the kiddos and their accomplishments! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Thanksgiving was weird

So Thanksgiving 2019 has come and gone. It was a weird day all around. As most of my blog readers know my parents have custody of my 15 year old niece and my 8 year old nephew. They got them in February of this year. Life has been challenging for my parents and honestly things are not getting easier. In fact in a lot of ways things are rougher. I say that to say that this Thanksgiving was just weird and not in a good way. 

The day started out great. I had to run to Kroger to get candles for Rebecca's birthday pie and a can of whipped cream. I was in and out as I was there at 7AM. When I got back home, I woke Rebecca up and wished her happy birthday. She wanted to help me put the turkey in the oven. I had to laugh as she about vomited when I pulled the neck out of the turkey. LOL After I got the turkey in the oven, the kids watched the Macy's Day parade, I made Rebecca her birthday waffles that she requested and we just kind of hung out and gave Rebecca her birthday presents. 

Then it was time to go to my parent's house. When I got there my mom was in tears doing dishes and she wouldn't tell me what was going on. Apparently my niece had broken an end table and my sister said that was what caused my mom to break down. My gut is telling me that there was more to it than that. Dinner was tense and my mom kept saying she was done and wasn't cooking anymore etc.

After everyone ate, the kids went outside to play while I did dishes and my brother dried them and put them away. I cleaned up the kitchen, put all the food away, etc. Just as I was getting ready to tell the kids to come in to do pumpkin birthday pie for Rebecca, Ben came in to tell me that my niece broke Jacob's glasses. I went outside and they had been playing in a pile of leaves. According to Ben and my nephew, Ben and Jacob were wrestling in the leaves having fun and my niece came over and threw a ball at Jacob's face 3 times hitting him. The 3rd time it broke his glasses. His lens (which is a bifocal lens) was missing in the leaves. Thankfully I found it but was unable to get it back into the frames. This is the second time in as many outings that she has thrown something at Jacob's face at a family gathering. Last time she threw a rock at this face and hit him just above the glasses. I was furious. My brother, her father, didn't say anything and I am just done with the drama. 

We did end up having Rebecca's pie and she got her gifts from my parents. We left shortly after. We had to take my brother home as he doesn't have a vehicle. It was out of our way but I had already promised that I would take him home. Needless to say the drive was silent and tense. When we got home I told Bill that I was ready to not go over there next year. I am done with the stress. Thankfully, Bill was able to take Jacob to Walmart on Friday and they were able to fix his glasses. When I talked to my dad on Sunday, he said that my mom had spent most of the weekend in bed as she wasn't feeling good. 

I don't know. I just know that Thanksgiving 2019 was weird.  

Friday, November 29, 2019

Rebecca is a teenager!

It has been over 2 weeks since I have written on here. There really is no reason except the busy days of life and also some depression in there too I think. Last time I wrote I was having some physical issues caused by stress. That is all that it was. I had a couple of readers suggest that I go to the ER. I know what the symptoms of a heart attack are, I have taken CPR/First Aid classes, etc. I also know my body. It was a reaction to too much stress. I appreciate their concern though. I would like to say that I am back to 100% but after Thanksgiving yesterday I am back to having back/neck pains caused by stress. 

So what has been going on? A lot of day to day stuff that is keeping all of us super busy. I was able to take 24 hours to get away to Pepper Pike to visit my sister with my mom. We had a blast and was much needed time away. Bill, Jacob and Rebecca have been fighting colds. Yesterday, was Thanksgiving and it was weird, depressing and stressful. I will expand on it later as I still need to process everything. 

Yesterday was also pretty special because Rebecca became a teenager! She is now 13 years old and I am oh so proud of the young lady she is! 

She started her day off early helping me prepare the turkey for the oven. I was in charge of cooking the turkey here. 

She requested waffles for breakfast and pumpkin pie instead of a birthday cake for dinner. She will get her dinner choice tonight ;)


We gave her her birthday gifts before we went to my parents for Thanksgiving. We got her a "Rhett and Link- Good Mythical Morning" shirt, the book "The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek" also by Rhett and Link, a fashion sketch book, and a bracelet. She loves designing clothes, sketching, "Good Mythical Morning," spending time doing crafts, reading, etc.  We had her pie and gifts from Grandparents after Thanksgiving dinner. My parents got her a new pair of "Vans" shoes, some fabric, embroidery set, and a new pair of boots she can wear in winter with her jeans. 

She is so smart, loving, kind and loyal to everyone. She made the Power of the Pen team at school. She is involved in her school book club and loves her American Heritage Girls Troop. She spends way too much time playing games on her phone; but also spends hours chatting with her friends. One of the best things in the world is to hear other moms come to me and tell me what a great friend Rebecca is to their child. Really does my heart good. 

I sincerely can't believe that I have a teenager in my house! I can't wait to see what the future holds for her! Happy 13th Birthday Rebecca! We love you! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

This and That

Life has a way of keeping on and being busy and I am finding it hard to keep up with this little space. But I love this space. I do read other's blogs usually while I am grabbing something to eat or as I am laying in bed getting ready to go to sleep. I am usually on my Kindle which isn't very conducive to typing up a post but I have a few minutes today to sit at the old laptop and write out a post. 

So what has been going on in our household?

The other day we came home to find over 25 buzzards flying around in the near distance. They were just congregating. I am thinking there may have been a dead deer in their sites as it is officially that time of year when deer are on the move. It was weird and freaky to see that many birds.

On Election Day, Bill and I took the kids with us when we went to vote. Rebecca stayed with me and the boys went with Bill. We were voting for only a couple of races (mayor, city council, school board and a renewal for the school levy) but I wanted the kids to understand the importance of even voting in a little election year. 

It was snowing on Thursday! It is too early for snow. Thankfully the kids didn't have school due to parent teacher conferences. Speaking of which, we had conferences with the boys' teachers and they are both doing well and their teacher's sang their praises. Always nice to hear especially when they are driving me nuts at home :) 

Cold weather equals beef stew. Thursday I went to the book warehouse and a new to me thrift store with my mom and when we got back it was starting to spit snow. That put me in the mood for beef stew. It was yummy! I wasn't a fan of the cornbread mix that I used; I will stick with my old faithful Jif brand. 

Saturday Rebecca and I were gone all day long at her American Heritage Girls annual craft show. This is one of 2 fundraisers that they do each year. This year Rebecca had her own table and sold scrunchies that she made-- She made $52, but after paying me back money she owed me for supplies, etc, she made $26. I helped out in the snack shack, etc. 

At the craft show, I bought myself a bracelet and my mom bought me another one that I was drawn to. These are "Papparazzi" bracelets and they were only $5 a piece. I love the saying and felt drawn to them. (Especially as shortly after my mom came, I realized that I was missing the diamond out of my engagement ring. My stomach was in knots and I was upset. I had no idea when or where it had fallen off. I figured it was gone forever. HOWEVER, at the end of the day I went to get the money bag out of the snack shack drawer and underneath it surrounded by a handful of quarters was the diamond! It must have gotten snagged on the bag and when it was put in the drawer it was underneath. I truly believe that it was God's hand in me finding it. )

Saturday night I crashed into bed at 7:30 PM as I was exhausted. Sunday I woke up with lots of energy and wanted to do some restful things. I made a new recipe for peanut butter cookies using cake mix that my aunt had shared on Facebook. They turned out pretty good. 

Sunday night I was making tacos for dinner and I looked out my kitchen window and just thought the moon and the sky was pretty. 

Sunday night after the kids went to bed I decided to get crafty. I always have a welcome type sign on our door. Well I took my Halloween one down and I can't find my Thanksgiving one. I don't know if I donated it over the Summer or what happened to it. I sat down to make a new one and I am totally in love with how it turned out. It felt so good to paint and create. 

Snow came last night. We probably got about 2 inches or so. It is really early in the year to have measurable snow. 

Unfortunately we are also under really cold temperatures. Real feel right now is 3 degrees! So that means the snow and ice isn't going anywhere. Thankfully the sun is out right now so we shall see if that helps. 

I am not sure what today will bring. The kids are off to school. I am not feeling that great. Yesterday I came home from picking Rebecca up from school and I had a strange sensation like I needed to lean toward the left side. My left shoulder blade felt weird---not tingly, or hurting just different. It is hard to explain. I still feel off this morning and my left shoulder area still feels weird. Not sure what is going on. Bill says he thinks it is stress related. I am planning on taking a shower, and maybe laying on the couch and vegging to Netflix until I have to babysit "A." Hope everyone has a great day and is staying warm! 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Tried another new recipe....

So with the weather being colder, rainier and typical crappy weather in Ohio in late October/ early November I have been looking for new soup/stew recipes to try that would be easy for those crazy busy nights. Well last week, I stumbled across a recipe for "Copycat Panera Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup" from Mavis Butterfield's One Hundred Dollars A Month blog. It looked delicious (even though I have never had Panera soup and was also something that I thought Bill and the kids might even like. The reviews on the soup were all very positive so I thought I would give it a try. I originally had planned to make it Sunday night for dinner, but my plans for the day had changed and so it got bumped to Monday night. 

My verdict:: the soup is DELICIOUS!!!! Creamy, yummy and not overpowering in any of the flavors. SO GOOD!!! And everyone in my family loved it! (Bill even requested that I put the leftover soup in his luch for work.) (It should be noted that up until recently my kids have complained on nights that I have tried making soups for dinner...) I served it with warmed up "snowflake" rolls that I had bought on clearance from Kroger. So good! 

So if you are looking for a creamy, hearty, yummy soup perfect for fall and winter make sure you check out Mavis' recipe for "Copycat Panera Cream of Chicken and Wildrice Soup." You won't be disappointed. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Halloween and Trick or Treating 2019

Last week Halloween was on Thursday. Our town originally had their trick or treat night scheduled for that night as well. Well Mother Nature had other plans. We had rain all day long (over 2+ inches) and then the winds started. We had wind gusts of 45+ miles per hour during the time that trick or treat was supposed to happen. Thankfully, the mayor and city council decided on Wednesday to postpone trick or treat until Saturday. The kids were kind of disappointed but happy too because that meant that I made pancakes and sausage for dinner since we had a free evening. LOL 

Saturday we had an extremely busy day. Bill was working covering cross country state tournament and I was running the kids around-- first to basketball evaluations for the boys for their upcoming Upward season, then to a birthday party, then home to get ready to go trick or treating. Our good friends decided at the last minute to join us so that was fun. 

This year, we had.....



and (The Wrestler) "Undertaker."

The kids had a blast trick or treating and they got a ton of treats. I literally took one photo during the actual trick or treating as I really wanted to be present and take it all in.

After trick or treating we decided to order pizza from the pizza place across the street and just hung out and chilled. It was a very relaxing trick or treat night. The rest of the weekend was kind of crazy as well.... Yesterday I had a headache all day and felt run down. Today it is raining here and I have another super busy day-- I am watching my niece and nephew so I have been up since 4:30 this morning. After I get my kiddos from school, I will go vote and then the kids have their AHG and Trail Life meetings tonight. Always something going on. Whatever is on tap for you today, remember to get out and vote (if you are in the USA) and try to have a great Tuesday! 

2019 Christmas Parade

Sunday afternoon the kids walked in our town's annual Christmas parade. Usually it is held the Sunday following Thanksgiving, however th...