A Special Visitor



Oliver the Elf arrived last week! He showed up with a box of surprises. Inside were new Christmas nightgowns, and a special movie!


It was a fun night. I love watching the girls get excited over all the Christmas things this season! Also, there is no such thing as too many Christmas pajamas. Am I right?  ;)

Christmas Ornaments


The girls worked on coloring their Christmas ornaments that we bought last week. I think Ella was more excited about getting to hold markers than anything. ;-)


Evie Grace takes her coloring, crafts and any artwork she does very seriously. I love watching her imagination come to life!


I know I'm biased, but I think they are the most precious ornaments. I know I will treasure them for years to come. And these memories. I want to bottle up every second of this season...


Christmas M&M Cookies!



Our church hosted a Festival of Nativity night, and it was so much fun! A first for us, actually. They also had a chili and dessert dinner. I took one of my favorite cookies--pudding cookies--and added Christmas M&M's...because red and green M&M's makes everything taste better, right?

Christmas M&M Cookies (a.k.a Pudding Cookies)

1 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 3.4 oz Pkg. Instant Vanilla Pudding
1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cups M&M's

In a bowl, beat together butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until the dough becomes soft and well incorporated.

Roll into balls by the tablespoon. Be sure to spray your pan with Pam! Then bake for 10-11 minutes at 375. Let them stand for at least one minute before moving onto a plate or cookie sheet.

Enjoy!

A Happy Thanksgiving



We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Lots of pie was had. Lots of visiting with family.

We hosted Thanksgiving Eve at our house this year for Josh's side of the family. Then on Thanksgiving day we headed to my folks house for dinner there.

We watched the Macy's parade, did quite a bit of shopping, and Josh decked the outside of our house for Christmas! The kids went wild over the lights!! It made me want to be a kid again...

So, today, back to salads and walking outside. Happy little routines!

One Year



It's been a year since we bought our home. One year of making memories and loving our "new" place.

Last year, I couldn't wait to spend fall here. Our trees are deep reds of orange and yellow. Our backyard, for two weeks, was a goldmine of crunchy leaves. The girls LOVED it! I knew they would. It's a wonderful backyard for little ones. I'm so thankful.

Today, I'm working on Thanksgiving dinner for Josh's side of the family. I'm making a Butter Roast, Homemade Noodles with broth (made the noodles weeks ago!), Hashbrown Casserole, and his mom is bringing salad and her Christmas cookies. Yum! Also, I need to walk a lot this weekend. ;)

For Thanksgiving day, I'll be making Watergate Salad and a Pumpkin Pie for my side of the family. Good food and good memories!

And Black Friday we have fun traditions that we always enjoy...and yes we like to get out and shop...but, just for fun. I love the music, the decorations and all the bustle.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

PS. My house is decorated for Christmas!!!! Pictures coming soon. ~The Crazy Christmas Gal

First Show



We took the girls to see PJ Masks live this week. Evie Grace was beside herself. She kept saying "I'm so excited" as we drove the half hour trip. We offered to stop and get her french fries (Ella was asleep) before the show began, and she declined. She just wanted to see the PJ Masks show!

One we got there, both girls were mesmerized. For one and half hours, they were glued to the show! I was impressed with how well they handled sitting for that long. I honestly didn't know what to expect.

Ella would yell out for her favorite character, "Green!! Gecko!!" She was all about it. Also, she sat on Josh's shoulders for nearly the entire show. There were no seats behind us, so that worked out nicely. ;)

Evie Grace asked if we could go see it again, I explained to  her it was late, and they all needed their sleep. She fell fast asleep in the car and slept even as we transferred her to bed once we got home. I think all that excitement plumb wore her out.

So thankful for the sweet memories we are creating!

Backyard Tea Party


Last week, I had a last minute idea to set up a little tea party for the girls. I knew they would love it AND hey, I could get some cute pictures out of it.


So, I we primped and pampered. I gave the girls a bath, picked out their sweet little MJ Top Knot Outfits, scrunched there hair, and set up cookies & chocolate milk outside.


I just love the girls faces. They loved it! They may not remember it in the years to come, but I sure will. They are sweet dolly babies.


I love being their momma.


Trunk or Treat 2017


Presenting Cinderella and Snow White! Apparently, BFF's!


"Mommy, I'm pretty!", says Evie Grace.

We stopped for 50 cent Corndogs at Sonic, and Ella pipes up from the back seat: "Trick or Treat!!!" when the waitress arrived with our order. I got so tickled. ;)


Sisters forever. I love them so much. I don't want to forget ANYTHING.

Our Home at Fall


Tiny white pumpkins! I am slightly obsessed with them. And Evie's pumpkin craft moved to the window seal. Happy reminders while I work in the kitchen.


We've been eating a lot more at home, plus, with the weather change, it makes me enjoy being in the kitchen area much, much more. Josh bought me a new Scentsy burner, and I'm really loving it. 


Their fall artwork on display in our little schoolroom/family room. The leaves are my favorite! Also, that vintage barn came from my mom. It's my favorite little toy. So cute.


I lined up a few of their fall board books. I love how colorful they are! I need to add a few more to my collection this year.


That little leaf banner. Simple.


Sunday night baking: Pumpkin chocolate muffins! I need a new muffin pan, mine is ancient and starting to look at bit scary. ;)

Magic of Fall


Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons. ~Jim Bishop


Josh took me around our neighborhood to take pictures of the fall colors...I love the vibrant contrasts between the red, yellow, orange and gold. There's nothing quite like the paintbrush of our Heavenly Father. It's magical, isn't it?


Even more magical when you have little ones to share in the fun and beauty around us! Now, I'm off to sip my coffee, my cocoa, and devour pumpkin pie like it's my job. Happy Weekend! ;)

Moments



Things I want to remember...

How much they love to color at this stage.
How much they love playing with blocks, or "Box" as Ella likes to call them.
How Evie Grace has worn her Tinkerbell costume for two days in a row.
How Ella's hair just keeps getting curlier and curlier.
How much I love being a mom even when I'm so tired, I think I could sleep standing up. ;)

Life is full and oh so happy.

A Happy Friday Post


"Preserve your memories. Keep them well, what you forget, you can never retell" ~ Louisa May Alcott 

Fall colors have finally arrived! Nothing beats the color change...it's my favorite. :) We were all a bit worried that we wouldn't get a colorful fall due to no rain and such a late arrival of fall weather. We've been spending time outside every day, and I'm loving the fact it's cool enough for hoodies at night! If I could live in my jeans and hoodie, I would.

I stumbled on an iced coffee brew that you can purchase at Target. It's called STOK coffee. Ever heard of it? I picked it up on a whim, and goodness, I am addicted. The carton is only $5 and usually lasts me all week. It has a smooth flavor with caramel undertones. Delicious!!! Try it if you like to mix up your coffee routines like I do. I drink mine with half and half. Creamy, goodness.

We have been busy little bees with pre-school. It makes me giggle to watch them interact. Most days are focused on reading aloud to them, coloring while listening to classical music, and plenty of time outside to play and let their imaginations run wild. We've also had mini "nature walks" in the backyard to collect leaves, sticks, and acorns. They also love it when I bring out the flash cards! We are focusing on counting to 10 right now.

Also, I've had my nose buried in mystery books over the last couple of weeks. I'll have to do a book post soon!

Happy Friday!

Life Lately October Edition


Look at those two! My little toots. ;) This cute picture was followed promptly by melt downs from both. But, it was worth it to get this shot. Hee hee! Life with littles, right? ;)


Such a big girl now! She was impressed with the pumpkins, and was determined to pick one up and hold it. ;)


My big girl. She makes me so proud! She is LOVING pre-school and works so hard at it.

And just for fun, I did another day in the life vlog for Vlogtober:




Happy Tuesday, friends!!! :)

Our Fall Home Tour 2017



Here's a quick peak at some of our fall home decor. This year, I am loving my B&B Works Candle, and my new wax melts from Scentsy! I think candles might be my favorite thing during this season. Also, I'm sipping a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Latte as I sip this...it's going to be a perfect fall day!

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Homemaker Monday - Fall Edition!




Fall is finally here! And with that came another heat wave---aka---living in the south! However, word has it that it's supposed to cool down again later this week, and I am READY.

The weather...Fall is finally here! And with that came another heat wave---aka---living in the south! However, word has it that it's supposed to cool down again later this week, and I am READY.

Right now I am...

Blogging and watching a few of my favorite YouTube channels. I've enjoyed learning about a few random things lately.

Thinking... 
About my new vehicle! Josh bought me a small sport SUV that I am just in love with it. He spoils me!

On my TV...
I've been watching romantic comedies lately. If you have Netflix, check out the movie "Coffee House", it's a Christian romantic film, super cheesy, but still cute. ;)

What I'm Reading... 

Anne's House of Dreams. The Anne of Green Gables series is my favorite hands down, and it has been so fun to re-visit my favorite characters!

On the menu for this week...

Sausage & Veggie Stir Fry
Chicken & Rice
Breakfast for Dinner
Soup & Sandwiches

On my to do list...

Speed clean
Laundry
Sweep/Swiffer
Dust

One of my simple pleasures...
Going for drives around town with the windows down, sipping coffee, and listening to music. Usually classic rock or oldies. :)

Public Service Announcement: The new Maple Pecan Latte from Starbucks is delicious!!! I ordered half the amount of syrup and added whip cream. Deeeelicious!

Linking up with Happy Homemaker Monday!

September Days


I've been waiting for the heat break that usually greets us a few days into September...and it finally arrived. The nights are much cooler (enough for hoodies! my favorite!) and the mornings have that crisp, new, feel to it.


Our roses are still blooming away, but our last blue hydrangea is still holding on. I am obsessed with how vibrant and blue it is!!


Happy Wednesday!

I Remember


I remember. It was the day I "grew up". The rose colored glasses were replaced with a new understanding of what "evil" meant. 2,996 lost their lives. Over 6,000 wounded. To this day, there are many who still relive that nightmare. Standing at ground zero reminded me of that.

Never forget.

Love


Nine years ago, in the early summer of '08, I moved into my first "little home" (a duplex with weird, extremely rude neighbors). He helped me move. He picked up my dryer & hooked it up, and stopped by when he found out my washer flooded my laundry closet.

For the next two months we started hanging out 'round the clock: taco bell dinners, church activities, bowling, coffee chats & guitar time.

As summer neared it's end, he asked to make it official. I said yes, and the rest is history.

And every year, as the end of summer tangles with the beginning of fall, I feel that crisp newness. It's all the memories coming back. All the sweet stories, the fun times.

I found a stack of  pictures from our dating days, and carefully put them into a little photo album.

"That's my mommy and daddy!" Evie exclaims with each picture. Ella, gets equally excited, yell's "Josh, Josh" at each one. It makes me all sappy silly inside.

This week may not be filled with romantic dates (I've had a stomach bug, Josh is working like crazy, and then all the little things that daily life entails...you know ;)), but  goodness is it filled with the wonderful satisfaction that I am with the right one. He is good, kind, handsome and faithful.

I love him so much more now than I did then.


Home


I loved having a extra long weekend with my favorite guy and my girls. We ate tons of food, took long drives around town, had a date night, de-cluttered the house, and visited with family. It was so nice. A comfort for me during such a crazy season of life.

And by crazy I'm referring to toddler life and preschool life. Most days I'm just winging it at everything. ;) :P


As my girls get older, I see things differently. I feel things differently. I realize that they are going to grow up in a tough world. Those things have made home all that much more sweeter for me. It's our safe place. It's our white noise against an ever increasingly noisy world. It's where we laugh, we fight, we cry, and we love. Home is important. I've always known this, but goodness, becoming a parent makes it even more apparent.


Happy, safe, warm, loved. I hope that's what home will mean to them as they grow up and spread their wings.


Happy Homemaker Monday Vol. 31




The weather...
Partly cloudy...The weather is slowly fading into fall. I'm a big fan!

Right now I am...

Blogging :)

Thinking... 
About chores that need to be done!

On my TV...
We finally watched the new Beauty & The Beast this week. It was SO GOOD. And the music...stellar!

What I'm Reading... 

I  just finished reading Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. One of the most difficult books that I've read (emotion wise). It's based on the Roman Empire (their lifestyle) and what Christians would have (most likely) faced as they lived out their faith. Not for the faint of heart. 

On the menu for this week...

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Hamburgers & Veggies
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Chicken Caesar Salad
Black Bean Nachos

On my to do list...

Speed clean
Laundry
Sweep/Swiffer
Dust

One of my simple pleasures...
Sipping hot chocolate with extra whipped cream. Preferably with my blankets and in my rocking chair. ;)

Linking up with Happy Homemaker Monday!

First Day of Preschool


Well, the last few weeks have been busy! I was planning to wait until next month to start Preschool with Evie, but every morning for the last two weeks, she has asked, "Mommy, can I learn my ABC's?"

She was ready, and so excited to start. So we chose today. We took about 100 pictures this morning, worked on flash cards, made a craft, and of course, made a mess. That's what it's all about right?

She loves learning, coloring, crafts, chalk, playing outside, going shopping, dressing up, and playing with her sister. She a mini me in so many ways, but she's has Josh's sneaky smile and sense of humor. ;)

Coffee and A Saturday Night Drive


Last weekend, my kids spent time with grandparents, so Josh and I could have a much needed date night. Except we were SO tired. We decided to pick up coffee and go for a drive.We stopped at a little coffee shop and I ordered an Almond Joy Frozen Coffee. It was delicious! I love dessert coffee every once in a while.



We drove around the countryside for a while, and then headed to the lake! Surprisingly, the lake was fairly empty, so we walked around for a while. It was nice for a chance to talk and dream about the future.


The sunset was breathtaking. This was taken out of a moving vehicle, so yes, grainy! But, I had to take it anyway. Memories. :)

I Might Be Awkward



1) When I am feeling blue, I like to listen to upbeat music. Mainly Disney soundtracks, oldies or Christmas music. They make me feel good and bring a smile to my face. I grew up as a "radio kid" (my dad has been in radio for 40 years), so I think this may be why music is my escape.

2) I am a really slow text-er? Is that a word? Anyway, I like texting, but to me it's like an e-mail. I have to sit down and think out my response and what I want to say. It drives most of my friends crazy, but I think they love me anyway. I think? Haha! Also, my husband does NOT text unless he is in a meeting or can't get a hold of someone.

3) I really, really love decorating. Switching out pillows, changing out candles, moving accessories around the house make me happy. I've always enjoyed seasonal decorating over the years. Decorating for fall and Christmas are my FAVORITE. I'm already making plans for both. I also love decorating the girls rooms. What is it about sweet pastels that make me so happy? I don't know, but they do.

4) My style is a mix of country and traditional. I love traditional layouts and accessories with a splash of country patterns or wood. I think this just makes my ADD brain happy. Ha! Also, I love adding white & blue around my house. My grandma ALWAYS decorated with blue, and now it's my go to color scheme.

5) When it comes to dessert...I almost ALWAYS go for chocolate unless there is Tiramisu in the house. There's just nothing like it. Who wants to bring me a slice?

6) I am seriously old-fashioned and just slightly awkward. Ok, maybe I'm super awkward. I avoid TMI conversations like the plague. I think little girls should wear smocked dresses. And why do people post weird, over the top pictures of intimate situations? I just don't get it.

7) My guilty pleasure is most definitely Instagram. I might need therapy. Or something. Or maybe not. I tell myself my kids will love looking at all those photos someday, right? Right?

So, there you go. Random for the win. ;)