Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happiness Is...

Happiness is mailing Christmas cards to family and friends each year. 

Receiving Christmas cards from family and friends makes me pretty happy, too!

I just placed our order for (85) Christmas cards tonight!  I can't wait to get our cards in the mail so that I can turn around and mail them to all of the special people in our lives.

Here's a preview of what it looks like.

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

A special thanks to our favorite photographer Lauren Wensel.  She took all of the photos for our Christmas card.  She's wonderful!

Linking up to Walk with me by faith Christmas Card Carousel 2011.

*After I posted this I realized that I still needed more cards and I ordered 20 more! 

What I Wore Wednesday 11/30/11

WIWW 11/30/11

Only one outfit this week :)

Saturday: Birthday party celebrating my cousin's daughter turning one
Tuesday: School (I'm a history teacher)
Skinny jeans: Target
Sweater: Forever 21
Boots: DSW
Earrings: Ike & Co
Ring: Sundance

pleated poppy

Happy Wednesday and thank you for stopping by!

Monday, November 28, 2011

No Photos. Just Words.

Today my Monday morning randoms are just words.  I've had the camera out a lot lately, but I didn't want to take the time to upload photos, edit, upload to blogger, etc.  Do you ever feel that way? 

I'll be linking up to lowercase letters.
lowercase letters

Did you survive the gluttony of Thanksgiving? 

We did, but I'm afraid the scales don't lie and Mark and I are going to have to get back on a healthy eating and exercise regimen.  I hate to admit that we are too easy to stray from the course.

I'd love to blame our lack of self-control on our busy lifestyle, work, children or family commitments, but I can't.  It's simply weakness.  My lack of self-control reminds me of this verse.

Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Something to think about and consider.

Let me tell you about our unconventional Thanksgiving day.  We've had a non-traditional Thanksgiving for the last three years.  Since my grandmother went to live in the nursing home in the summer of 2009, I've had a very hard time celebrating Thanksgiving.  That was always a holiday I associated with her.  She exemplified the Proverbs 31woman on this day.  She selflessly served her family and did so with such joy.  My grandmother had tables full of food--the most savory cornbread dressing and turkey, delicious homemade pies and a fruit salad.  When she didn't live at home anymore, it just didn't seem right to celebrate Thanksgiving without her. 

So, here's where I'm going with this.  On the first year she was in the nursing home we went to visit her on Thanksgiving day.  Not very many restaurants are open on Thanksgiving day so we ended up eating at McDonald's.  We did that three years ago and this year, too.  Last year we ate at the assisted living home with my grandpa.  It was extra hard this year with the passing of my grandfather and my grandmother still in the nursing home.  I found myself crying in the kitchen as I prepared pecan pie.  The strangest things trigger memories and emotions.

One bright spot was getting to spend some quality time with my great-aunt who is 96.  She is my grandmother's oldest sister and lives in the same nursing home as my grandmother.  She's truly a treasure. 

Another bright spot, I talked to my brother on Thanksgiving day and he and my niece were going to serve a meal to the homeless at a local church.  He's such a great dad.  I texted my other brother and sister-in-law.  They are all in Virginia so we don't see each other often, which makes me so thankful for texting and facebook.  I also received a sweet email from a dear aunt.  Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most.

After our visit at the nursing home and lunch at McDonald's we ran some errands.  We stopped by Cracker Barrel.  We are giving Will and Ben's preschool teachers gift cards from there.  We also bought each teacher a Christmas ornament.  FYI: Cracker Barrel has the cutest ornaments, and a big selection, too.  At Cracker Barrel, it was a mad house!  I'm so glad we weren't eating there.  The wait was an hour and forty-five minutes!  Once we purchased our ornaments and gift cards we made our way to Wal-Mart.  Believe it or not, Wal-Mart is really enjoyable on Thanksgiving day.  It's not crowded and the store is getting prepared for the Black Friday insanity.  We leisurely walked around and bought a few things and then headed home.

My Christmas tree is up!

We got home pretty early on Thanksgiving day and I had all afternoon to get Christmas decorations down from the attic.  Mark usually helps with that but he was watching the Cowboys game.

I've had so much fun decorating for Christmas this year.  I totally skipped decorating for fall.  Fall is my favorite season (if you follow me on Pinterest I have an entire board dedicated to it), but I just didn't have the energy to get it done this year. 

Since August we've had some hard times, but Christmas is bringing some much needed happiness back to our home.

Our tree is up and so are all of our other Christmas decorations.  Presents are even wrapped and under the tree.  AND, it's not even December!  Woo Hoo!

You can hate me, but I'm going to tell you that most of my Christmas shopping is complete.

AND, it's not even December!  (Oh, right, I just said that!)

A lot of our nieces and nephews get gift cards, which we've purchased.  For those who aren't getting gift cards, I've ordered a lot of stuff on the internet and most of my internet shopping is complete.  My nieces who are out of state get a gift card or a gift from  I just wised up to the thing about a year ago.  For years we've been shopping and we always take advantage of the free shipping, but it never occurred to me to have items shipped for free to another person/address.  We've taken advantage of this several times.  We get to spend more money on the gift and avoid the hassle of going to the post office.  Win-Win!

Three weeks until Christmas break!  Will keeps saying "I'm ready for Christmas."  I can totally relate.  Ben's ready for Christmas, too.  We took the boys to see Santa over Thanksgiving break.  Now that Ben's seen Santa every time we see something related to Christmas he says, "Oooh, Christmas.  I've been there." kind of like Christmas is a destination not a season.  Love my boys and their cuteness!

I'm watching the weather right now.  It's going to be cold this week.  I love most things about the colder weather except for two.  Leaving the warm house and getting into a cold car and stepping out of a hot shower into a cold bathroom.  Brrrrrr!

Last thought, this verse was used by our preacher this morning in church.

Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Somehow I hope this blog does that.  Usually I write about a lot of fluff, but I hope ever so often that you are encouraged and spurred on toward love and good deeds.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving, Silly Boys, Baby Shower and Giveaway Winner

I'm joining in the fun and linking up to InstaFriday at Life Rearranged

The Let's Go Activity Pack winner is

Congrats, Shannon!

Now on to the photos.  I used the Hipstamatic app for most of the photos and the Instagram app for a few.


The boys helped me prepare the pecan pie for Thanksgiving.
We used my grandmother's recipe.  I wrote about Mama Winnie's pecan pie last year here.

We celebrate Thanksgiving with Mark's family on Friday instead of Thursday.  The pecan pie and rolls are my contribution to the meal.  Mark and I woke up at 5:30a.m. to set out the rolls so they could rise.  Here are 90 Rhodes yeast dinner rolls.   They completely cover our kitchen!

After we came home for the Mark's parents Ben fell asleep in the floor.  He was exhausted from having so much fun with his cousins.  Poor little guy missed his nap, but he didn't care because he was busy playing. 

Silly boys

My boys love the brostache app. 

We took advantage of a few days off at Thanksgiving to run some errands.  Will had fun waiting for our car to get serviced.  I'm so glad our dealership has fun toys to occupy the kiddos.

Baby shower

The last day of school before the Thanksgiving break we had a baby shower for a sweet teacher at our school.  She's expecting a little girl and this is her first baby.  These photos are for my dear aunt who has given me almost all of the pieces in my milk glass collection.  We've been waiting for two years to have an occasion to use the milk glass.  Jourdan's baby shower was the perfect event. 

Here's a shot with the tissue paper pom poms. 

Several of the teachers (including me) have DSLR cameras and we all forgot to bring them.

Keep in mind this is our teachers' workroom so it was a challenge to make it pretty for a baby shower.  We did our best to make it pretty and pink. 


Christmastime is here!
You know I love Peppermint Bark Ghirardellli! 

Candy canes remind me of my grandmother who is 88.  She was very poor growing up and treasured simple things like candy and fresh fruit.  They often went without that and it was a treat given at Christmas.  When I see these it reminds me that I have so much and to be thankful for it.  Simple things, right?

We took the boys to see Santa. I'll have an entire post about that in a few days. 

There's a giant snow globe that you walk through before you seen Santa.  My boys are mesmerized by the falling snow.  I am too! 

Our Christmas tree is up!  We even have some gifts wrapped and under the tree.

life rearranged

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Psalm 107:1

Psalm 107: 1
"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday 11/23/11

Thank you so much for checking out my WIWW!

I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving with the ones they love the most.

School (I'm a history teacher.)
Denim trousers: Old Navy
Brown top and burgundy cami: Banana Republic
Beige cardigan: Target
Flats: Aeropostale (bought them years ago and still love them)
Earrings: GoJo Designs 
Thanks for these pretty earrings, Kathleen!  Blog friends are the best! 

Skinny jeans: Target
Sweater: Old Navy
Boots: DSW
Earrings: Ike & Co 
Scarf: a beautiful gift from my sister-in-law Andrea
This scarf is unbelievably soft.  I wish you could touch the computer screen and feel it. 
Andrea is talented at crocheting and knitting.  I wrote a post about her and her work here.  Contact me if you would ever like to purchase an item.  She donates 100% of her profits to an amazing charity Knitters Without Borders which supports Doctors Without Borders. 

Jeans and black flats: Gap
 Teal top: Banana Republic outlet
Black cardi: Gap outlet
Necklace: Old Navy
Earrings: Ike & Co

11/20 & 21/11
Sunday to church and Monday to school
Chambray ruffle dress: Gap outlet
Brown tights: Kohl's (Simply Vera Wang and they are awesome with control top, ha!)
Boots: DSW 
*Edit:  I forgot that I wore the belt.  I'm always nervous about wearing belts, but I gave this one a try.  I texted my friend a photo before I wore this outfit and asked if I was too old for it.  She assured me I was not and said "When it doubt, belt it out!"  Love her!
Boots: brand Matisse, style Becky, color Saddle 

Tomorrow is the last day to enter the giveaway for a fun-filled Let's Go activity pack for preschoolers. 
Check it out here and enter!

pleated poppy

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cuteness, Birthday Parties and Giveaway

Cuteness overload!
Ben tried on this hat at Target last Friday.  I should have purchased it, but I didn't.

On Saturday, we went to the Dallas Arboretum for Will's 5-year photos.  We also had family photos taken for our Christmas card.  It was a beautiful day, and the photo shoot went well.  I can't wait to see the photos and share them with you. 

The Arboretum still had pumpkins for fall. 

Colorful mums were in full bloom. 

The flower beds were spectacular (one poor little mum was squished). 

My in-laws went with us.  Mark's dad found this bur oak acorn.  Will and Ben took it to school to show their teachers.  I wish I had a dozen of them.


My guys like Icees so much that I even bought the Icee app for my iPhone. 

I found these photos of Will's 5th birthday party on my phone.

He had a monster bash and we played "pin the eye on the monster". 

My niece took this photo of the top of the monster cake.  I forgot to take one so she shared hers. 

Will had so much fun at his party that the next day he recreated the party.  He set the table all by himself.  How cute! 

Ben must still have birthday party on his mind because the Little People had a party last night. 

He was singing "Happy Birthday to you..." and then he blew out the candles. 

Ben made a pair of binoculars out of building blocks.  He was pretending to be in the jungle looking for animals.  I just can't get over the imaginations of my boys.  They are so creative. 

Go here for a great giveaway!
I'm hosting a giveaway for a fun-filled activity pack for preschoolers. 
Check it out and enter to win :)

life rearranged

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let's Go Giveaway

Are you the mom of a preschooler?

If not, do you know a mom of a preschooler?

Chances are, you're either a mom of a preschooler or you know someone who is. I think that pretty much covers everyone who reads my blog.

I have a great product that you have to check out.

Let’s Go

Let’s Go Activity Pack has been created to encourage interaction between an adult and a child. The activity pack contains craft ideas and supplies, games, sign language, Spanish, kid-friendly recipes, and many other enriching activities designed for children, ages 2-5.

Look at the super cute "Fun on the Farm" pack!

As a busy mom, coming up with fun activities to spend quality time with my little ones is a challenge. Our time together should be enjoyable and meaningful. If I’m stressed out because I'm trying to think of fun crafts and projects, then my children are not benefiting from our time together.

Let’s Go is the perfect solution to my lack of creativity. These pre-made craft packs have everything you need for fun-filled quality time.

You have the chance to win a Let’s Go activity pack!

Even if you are not the mom of a preschooler this would make a great gift to a friend who is a mom or a grandparent of preschoolers. So enter anyway—it would be an awesome Christmas gift!

Four ways to enter the giveaway:

Go to Let’s Go Activities website and view the gallery. Leave a comment letting me know which kit you would like if you win (there are 5 great themes to choose from).
Click here to go to the website.

Become a fan of Let’s Go on Facebook.
Search "Let's Go Activities"

“Heart” Let’s Go on Etsy
Click here for their Etsy shop

Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a separate comment for each entry.

I’ll announce the winner next Friday, November 25. So, if you are one of those brave people who takes on the crowds on Black Friday, don’t forget to check back here to see if you won.

Let's Go

No compensation was received for this post.


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