Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Christmas

Christmas this year was a wonderful day!!  Our "big" day is Christmas Eve moreso than Christmas Day because thats when we have my parents down to our house for all the appetizers I make every year and when we open gifts to each other!  Christmas Day we celebrate at their place with a nice dinner of ham and all the trimmings...

Of course I forgot to take any pictures of the apps I made this year..but I promise you it was quite a feast!  I made ham and cheese pinwheels, stuffed mushrooms, brie and goat cheese stuffed puff pastry w/jam, wrapped weenies, chips and dip, fluffy grape jello dip w/graham crackers, chex party mix, Christmas 'crack', and sugar cookies! was quite the spread! 

She was more happy about it than she looks in the picture!

I think I caught Damon off guard!

My mom loved the sweater I got her!

We had a great time together and opening gifts, of course!  Makayla loved her table set from her grandma and grandpa and I was tickled to get some new jeans!  Damon got a new drill so that was right up his alley too!  We just couldn't wait and let Makayla open her 'big' gift from us in front of her grandma and grandpa.. a vintage pink kitchen!!

Yes..she started playing with it before it was totally unwrapped!

"Wow..I can't believe it!"

We read the story of Jesus' birth before we opened our gifts..something we want to do each year now as a tradition to remember why we exchange gifts in the first place.  This year we used Makayla's book instead of actually reading from the Bible (thought it would keep her interested for a longer period of time)..but in the coming years will read from the Bible when her attention span is more than 2 seconds long!

Then we opened gifts!!  It was more fun this year..Makayla could actually open them herself so she was pretty into it!

I bought us all some semi-matching pjs this year to wear Christmas Eve night so we could have similar outfits on when we got up on Christmas Day!  I think I did pretty well..thanks to Target!

You can barely see them..but my pants were a green paisley print...

And of course, Ravey and Jake had their stockings to open..can't forget the kitties!!  

"Ray-Ray" was pretty happy to get some special catfood!
And then Jake came in....
Ravey's day was officially!

At grandma and grandpa's house for Christmas Day!
Not too sure about dinner....

And a family pic!

Now you wouldn't have known it through these days posted here..but I was slowly but surely coming down with 'something'.  It started with a teeny tiny tickle in my throat on Dec. 23rd and by time this last picture was taken on Christmas Day I figured it wasn't going to leave.  By that night, it hit me full force and I was pretty much on the couch suffering for the rest of the week.   I guess just the common cold only superman sized.  I hadn't been that sick for a while and what always gets me the worst about a cold is the sore throat.  I cant..stand..a..sore..throat.  But..I'm finally starting to get back on my feet after alot of prayers and alot of otc meds.   Funny story there..I usually have everything on hand in case something like this strikes..but where I couldn't/wouldn't take anything while I was pregnant/nursing Makayla..that had been like over 2 years so yeah..I didn't have a thing on hand!  Damon took friday off work and went with me and the baby girl to get some meds and groceries.  He even suprised me one day last week with some roses.


I look back at this post and now think I probably should have made it into 2..but oh well.  I hope I didnt lose you all somewhere halfway through! 

Due to my being sick for so long last week, my poor house was neglected.  Alot.  And since tomorrow is a New Year..I'm gonna take the week to get my house cleaned up and ring in the new year with my sweet family..and pray our new year in our household is a good one. 

Be safe and see you next year!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to all!

Well its officially here!  I hope all my followers of "Country Roads" has a very Merry Christmas.  I can honestly say this is my favorite time of the year.  Not because of presents and all that..but because #1 its when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ..regardless if December 25th was really the day He was born..its the day we've set aside to remember His birth.  And also #2..because I love being with my family..making precious memories..and having our quiet time by the tree.

I've got alot to be thankful for this Christmas.  Seems more fitting to say what we're thankful for on Thanksgiving..but each Christmas I'm reminded how thankful I am for things as well.  Like the fact that Jesus was even born.  Just think how hopeless this life would be if He had never been born.  If He never came to this earth..we wouldn't have had the hope of eternal salvation.  What a blessing it is that He was born to a virgin..Mary!  I'm also thankful for my precious family God has given me.  I prayed for a long time for a good husband..and after many years God granted me that blessing in Damon.  I thank God every day that he is in my life.  We have a sweet life together.  Last year, after many years of never thinking I ever wanted a child of my own..I was blessed with my daughter, Makayla.  I am so thankful that God put the desire in my heart (on Christmas of 2010) to want to have a child and that He saw fit to make me a  mother the following year.  My life is totally complete with her..I can't imagine how we ever managed to get along without her!

I'm also thankful for all my dear friends (you know who you are)..sometimes I don't know how I'd manage without my wonderful friends!!  The followers of "Country Roads" are my friends as well..I've come to know many of you personally (as I have come to know you through your blogs)..and it makes me ever more thankful that I started this blog.  If I hadn't..I would have never met many of you! 

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas with your families..whereever you may be celebrating whether its at home, relatives, a cabin in the woods, or under an umbrella at the beach..I hope that God's peace and hope fills your heart this Christmas.

And always.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Tree Shirt!

This is one I 'almost' forgot to share with y'all!  I made Makayla a Christmas tree shirt from alot of ideas I saw guessed it..Pinterest!  I bought my ribbon at Michael's during their Black Friday sales (it was like 70% off!) and the shirt at Walmart.  It definately cost me less than $5 to make!

I tried to ruffle the strips of ribbon w/my sewing machine..but ahhh..that I'm not too good with yet.  I've sewn for years..but doing ruffles is something new to me.  So I'll have to practice some more on it!  Anyways..I just kinda eyeballed the whole design of the tree and can see now why laying out each strip and having them cut before you put them on the shirt would be a good idea!  My tree was a bit lopsided..but hey..that just means its homemade, right?!  I love how it turned out though and we got tons of compliments when she wore it out on one of our shopping excursions! 

I actually used the sewing machine to sew each row of ruffles to the shirt.  Some people on pinterest used the fusible stuff you use to iron stuff to shirts.  But I've NEVER had luck w/that stuff!  I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or what.  I think the stuff just rejects me.

But it wasn't hard at all.  From start to finish it probably took me 30 minutes (give or take).  Not bad for a project that was sewn! 

Even if it did turn out lopsided...


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Just some pictures....

Since I've gotten my new camera for my can probably guess I've been experimenting with it some and trying to get some good shots of my girl!!  I've done pretty good so far, I think!  Here is a look see for ya!

Any tips, as far as settings go, anyone out there would like to share with me?  I know you can change aperture settings and things of that nature..but I'm pretty clueless on that stuff still!

Monday, December 17, 2012

What a weekend!

Its been quite the weekend around here (and week to come from the looks of it)!!  Here is a bit of a recap....

  • Makayla and I went Christmas/grocery shopping on saturday!  Had a great time out w/my girl and we got daddy's shopping completed!!
  • Had a good friend of Damon's (well..he's my friend now too!) come by saturday evening spreading some holiday cheer!  He worked w/Damon before they all were laid off back in March and he's now in CDL training.  He even came bearing gifts..very sweet and very unexpected!  We had a great visit though!
  • Makayla woke up twice saturday night screaming in HYSTERICS.  I was  I thought something was seriously wrong.  She'd NEVER done this before.  The only thing we could figure is it was a combo of several things.  Lack of sleep/nap from our shopping trip that day.  She's cutting her top molar on the right side right now.  And possible belly ache from dinner (I didn't feel too good after eating the take out I'd brought home myself).  Maybe even a nightmare.  Who knows.  Its hard when they are at that age that they can't really tell you what it is.  I tried giving her gripe water (for belly ache) but I couldn't even get her to take it she was crying so hard.  After alot of prayers the second time, she slept thru the night.  Praise God!
  • Church was a no-go for us today after all we went thru with last night.  Makayla slept in until 11am!  I kept going in to check on her just to make sure she was ok (and breathing!)..but she was fine..and was all day today!  Praise God...again!!
  • I did attend choir practice this evening though because we have a program that is this wednesday!!  I'm very excited about it and am looking forward to it alot! 
  • Speaking of that..we have practice AGAIN on tuesday to get things down pat.
  • Wednesday night is the program!
  • And of course, by time friday or saturday rolls around again..I'll have to do last minute Christmas shopping.
  • Did I mention I want to make eggnog fudge this week?
  • And make a camera strap cover?
  • AND would like to go to Hobby Lobby for the supplies??
  • And oh yeah..I'd like to go to KY to visit my grandma for the holidays too..but I don't know if that can/will happen this week or not!
Whew..I'm exhausted already and the week hasn't even begun!

(On a side note...I didn't forget about the tragedy that happened on friday in Connecticut.  It was a terrible, unthinkable thing.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those who were affected.)


Friday, December 14, 2012

Stuff for Stockings!

So as I was getting ready for my day this morning, I kept thinking of all kinds of ideas for stocking stuffers!  I knew I had to share my random thoughts on the subject..what are some of your favorite things to stuff stockings with??

Here are my thoughts....

~ For Guys ~

shaving 'stuff'
pocket watch
nice socks
beef jerky
gift card to his favorite store (hello Lowe's/Home Depot!)
customized keyring (think initials picture)

~ For Gals ~

nice mascara/lipstick/nailpolish
gift card to her favorite  store/shop/boutique
keys to a new car (if your rich!!)
hair accessories
bigger camera card for her camera (cause lets face it..she's taking all those precious pictures!)
gourmet chocolates (think Godiva)
unique scarf
ballet flats

~ For the Kiddos ~

crayons/coloring books
educational dvds
new stuffed animal
pacis/bibs (for babies, obviously)
headbands/bows (for girls)
new stuffed animal


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 = 34!

At least for me, it does!!

In case you haven't figured it out is my birthday..and I am all of 34 years of age. did I get to be in my 'almost' mid-thirties already? Wasn't I just crusin' through my 20's? 

Time flies folks, don't let life pass you by!


2011--first as a mommy!

2010--around 16 weeks pregnant!

Way back in 2007..and in our 'old' place before we moved!

My big '30' snowed!!

All in all..I love "the 30's".  I feel more established as a person, as a Christian, as a wife, and now even as a mommy.  I'm past that 'I know it all stage' and more of a 'been there done that' stage and a little more laid back least I think I am!  Basically, I take life as it comes!

I was looking up the meaning of 12/12/12 because as you all know..every year its been something or another with the 'dates' since 2000.  Like 7/7/07 (the 'lucky in loves') and I think the Chinese lucky number is 8/8/08 was a big deal for them.  And lets not even talk about 6/6/06.

Apparently though, it holds alot of 'meanings'.  None of which I buy into, mind you, but I just find it interesting that my birthdate happened to fall on one of these rare dates.  Everything from good fortune, significant planetary positioning over the pyramids (say that one five times fast!), the end of times according to the Mayan calendar, and I'm sure alot of other..well..hogwash basically. 

Nobody knows when the end of times shall be.  Not even the angels in heaven. 

But this post isn't about the end of times or when the planets are going to align up a certain way!  Today is my birthday..and I'm celebrating another year of life that God has given me.  I feel blessed.  Truely.  As I mentioned in the previous post on monday, this year has been a rough one.  In a lot of ways.  But God has brought us through. 

Good time for a celebration, don't you think?!

Monday, December 10, 2012

An Awesome Weekend

There are just no words to describe how great my weekend was.

But don't worry..I'll try!

Damon came in from work on Friday (the fact that I can actually say that has alot to do with why my weekend was so great) and said he was off for the weekend!  That was great..since (one) I had alot of grocery shopping to get done, (two) we were 'celebrating' my upcoming birthday, and (three) I had a church dinner to cook for and this meant we wouldn't get home super late like I was anticipating. 

He told me for my go ahead and get myself a new camera.  I had just started talking about this idea literally a week or two ago.  It occurred to me that my trusty point and shoot Nikon..while I love was just not doing the trick for getting good shots of Makayla anymore.  A toddler that can run faster than that camera could keep up with..I felt like I was missing out on alot of good pictures.  Originally..I didn't think we could quite afford the 'camera of my dreams'..but after doing some figuring..adding in money I'd earned..etc..I came to the conclusion that we could definitely wing it! 

I was so excited about our trip out on saturday that I couldn't sleep a wink friday night!

No..not all because I was 'getting' something..but also for the quality time w/my sweet family.  We (as in Makayla and myself) hadn't been out shopping with daddy for quite some time.  His schedule and things weren't permitting us to go out as a family since he started back to work.  So it was nice. REALLY nice.  We ate out at my our favorite restaurant..a locally owned Greek family runs it but its Italian.  They put an AMAZING twist to some Italian dishes!  If your ever in the Charleston area..look for Pizza Barbarossa.  We had a fantastic dinner and then went about doing some shopping!  I got my mom's Christmas shopping camera purchased..a few things for us..had a nice look see at Cabela's (Makayla loves the fish tank..I wish I had taken my camera with us!) my hair cut (I'll spare you all the details..but I thought I was going to wring the lady's neck who cut my hair at first..but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise that she did what she did!) and of my much needed groceries.  Came home and unloaded..and I started my cooking for the next day.  I was beat...but in a good way!

My new 'do'!  Can't tell it..but she cut my bangs thicker and blended them into my hair!

Sunday we had church and a church dinner afterwards.  It was a combined Thanksgiving/Christmas I had to make the big chocolate cake.  If you don't know me might not have heard of this before. But trust is just that.  A BIG chocolate cake!  All 3 layers!  All from scratch..and the most amazing chocolate icing you've ever put in your mouth. 

Over the years..I've learned that this cake has control.  Not me.  I guess with the rush rush of the morning..I forgot that.  Because I tried to frost it quickly even though the cakes had cooled over night and the icing was made the night before as well and was refrigerated overnight. 


I saw the layers were starting to run on after I got the whole thing frosted I threw it in the fridge real quick hoping it would set up.  Wrong again.  When I opened the door about 15 minutes later..I could see through the clear cake cover that the cake had split-in-half.  Mind you..I'd NEVER had this happen to me in all the 15 years I figure I've made it.  But..I figured oh well..nothing I can do and its not going to affect the taste of it!!  I only brought home a sliver of that went over well with everyone despite how terrible it looked!  I even joked that I should have grabbed a bunch of fake poinsettias and stuck it in the middle!

My evening ended with choir practice.  We have an upcoming candlelight service we've been practing for for a while now.  Might sound boring to some..but we had such a good time (as we always do) and I laughed my head off at my friend in practice for mispronouncing a word..I was in TEARS!  We were all laughing (with her not at her!) but it just made it worse how it just tickled my funny bone so badly it got to where everyone was laughing at ME and that just made me laugh harder!! 

It was what I needed.  A good weekend with a good laugh to end it.  :-D

The Life Of Faith


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas..

In our house, that is!  Here is a peak of how our house is decorated for this special time of year!

Love this..

Living odd spot but it looks good..considering!

Makeshift tiebacks for the dining room curtains..a little sparkle goes a long way!

The off a peaceful glow..

Her can tell how excited she looks about it!

Dining room..

A new rug I bought last year day after Christmas @ Macy's!

Kitty's stockings..and yes..I couldn't bear to leave out Thomas'..miss my buddy.

Notice the sneaky little hands getting ready to grab a village house!

Living room...

And of course, the tree!!

View from below looking up..

I was VERY happy to get it up and decorated!  A first this year..I got it all done (tree put up, lights, decorations) all in one 'swoop'..took me all of 3 hours!