Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Books

Christmas is one of my most favorite times of year. It is always filled with lots of gatherings, and many opportunities to celebrate together as a family. This year I want to establish more traditions that my children can look forward to each year. Last week I asked you all to "Tell me your stories." Some of you have already shared your favorites in the comments....Thanks! Here are a few of mine. The Tale of Three Trees (also one of Lindsey's fav): I came across this book a few years ago. It tells of 3 trees who all aspire to be something great only to be cut down, and used in a way they think are less than "great"...yet in the end their purpose is more remarkable than they could imagine. I don't think I have ever gotten through this one without tearing up.

Punchinello & the Most Marvelous Gift by Max Lucado: This is a sequel to the original "You are Special" (which is probably more my favorite), but it has a "Christmas" theme. Everyone in the town of Wemmicksville are preparing for "Maker Day," and all are trying to 'out do' the other with what they think is the best gift. It teaches a great lesson about giving, and where our 'focus' should be. (I actually found out that they have made this series of books into DVD's! I am going to have to look into that!)

Christmas Oranges by Linda Bethers: "This illustrated gift book for all ages tells the classic story of the "Christmas Oranges," in which a young orphan girl named Rose discovers the spirit of generosity that lies at the heart of the holiday. When Rose is eight years old, an epidemic forces the closing of her beloved Greenwoods Orphanage, and she is shipped to Irongates, an austere, loveless institution run with Dickensian cruelty. Headmaster Crampton punishes Rose severely for a tiny infraction, decreeing that she miss the special treat of an orange on Christmas morning. How the other children circumvent his instructions to safeguard a glorious Christmas for Rose is the sweet message of this story, which is beautifully illustrated by Ben Sowards." Growing up we always had an orange in our stocking so when I found this book I thought it was a perfect addition to my collection.

A few more classics
The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore (I have my eye on the Illustrated version by Mary Engelbriet)

Now if you have written a post about your favorites just click on the "Mister Linky" below, and add your link so we can visit each other!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

FREE Photography Session!

Check out this AWESOME giveaway! You can get more details about it here!

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Sunday, October 26, 2008


Last night we were able to go to a benefit concert for
It took a little convincing because Shawn didn't even know who Mindy Gledhill was. I had listened to some of her stuff on YouTube, and thought it was worth it. Besides we were helping out The Nielson's. I am so glad that we went. It was a great evening. Claire and Jane (Christian and Stephanie's girls) even sang with Mindy. It was the sweetest thing ever. This isn't the best quality, and I move around a bit, but you will get the idea.

I continue to think about their family each day. CJane just posted an article that was in the AZ Republic. It gives a lot more insight to their situation, and makes me admire their family even more. They are such a testament of strength amidst adversity. Tears streamed down my face as I read.

I know many think about how awful this whole situation is....and yes it is...yet at the same time there is so much to learn. It could have been much worse. We could have lost 3 wonderful people. I keep thinking about the post that Lisa (a sister in law) wrote. About how we can look at this the wrong way. The hills this couple have climbed are remarkable. Yes, their lives will never be the same. We are all changed forever.

We now are starting down a new path with new possibilities. I am admire the fight that lies within them. The road is long, but promising. If anyone can make the best of it...it is Stephanie & Christian.

For now, I continue to keep them in my prayers.

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5 Before 5

Every Friday The Arizona State Fair has a deal. Entrance fee is only $5 if you enter before 5:00 pm on Friday's. Last minute, Shawn and I decided to take the family down for some fun. The food is overpriced, and so is the rides...but there is alot of stuff to do that is FREE. It is definately something that we enjoy going to every year.

While walking through some of the exhibits I walked past this and had to take a double take.

I can't believe that people actually pay for this sort of stuff.

The fair is open until November 2nd...go and have some fun!!!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tell Me Your Stories

I know this is early, but I need to do some planning....Christmas is going to come much faster than I think!

One of the tradition's that I wanted to start with my kids this year is reading a Christmas Book every night before they go to bed. I want to get 23 different books that I will wrap, and then they will choose one to open each night. The nice thing about this is that it will also serve as a 'countdown' to Christmas.

The problem now lies in finding 23 GOOD Christmas books that will be interesting to my little kiddos. This is where I am asking for your help. You know how some of the best recipes are ones that people give you and not one found in a recipe book. I think the same concept applies with children's books. I don't just want to peruse the Amazon search of Children's books, and then buy one that is a dud!

I want to get some really good stories that my kids will love and look forward to reading year after year. So here is the deal.... I will give you until Wednesday, October 29.

  1. Dig your brain, closet, bookshelf, or whatever to find some of your most favorite Christmas books.
  2. Then I want you to post it on your blog. Tell me what the story is about, and why you love it!
  3. I will do the same & also post a "Mister Linky" so come back here and "link" up so we can all share our favorite stories!
If you don't want to do a post, but still have a great book...just leave me a comment! I need all the ideas I can get!

Can't wait to see what you have come up with next Wednesday!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008


When I was working on the kids latest birthday post, I was going through lots of photos. I ended up looking at alot of their previous birthdays, and seeing the variety of cakes that I have made for them over the years. I thought I would share with you my 'sucesses' and 'failures'.

When Caden turned 2 we had a 'duck' party. This was a bath tub...the center had blue jello. The kids got a kick out of it.
This was for Caden's 3rd Birthday...Didn't quite turn out how I would have liked. It was supposed to be a Firetruck. :) Atleast Caden didn't realize how bad aweful it looked!
Sydney's First Birthday and also my first attempt with fondant. I was really happy with the results.
This was the year Caden turned 4 & Sydney turned 2...I was lazy and made only one cake.
This turned out okay...I ended up running out of time, and wasn't able to frost it until during the party! Considering how crazy the day was...I was pleasantly surprised.
This was the latest cake. I used a Wilton cake pan. Sydney loved this one & I was really happy at how well it turned out.

Do you make or buy your kids cakes? If you make them...I would love to see some pictures. Does anyone know of a good cake decorating class? I would love to learn more!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Now We Wait

This time last year we had got a great deal on a Disney Cruise....only to find out that we could not go because I was too far along in my pregnancy. We were so bummed. It was supposed to be our last vacation before we had the baby.

Since having Thomas, we haven't been able to take a vacation. A few weeks ago, Shawn called me and said that he had all this vacation time that he had to use otherwise we would lose it. So the planning began.

We ended up deciding to take a trip to DISNEYLAND! So the reservations have been made, and our countdown has begun. Our family made a countdown chain to help them visualize when the the FUN will begin! I really can't wait! We haven't been to Disneyland for 3 years! We also decided to get annual passes so we will be able to enjoy Disney all Year long!! Yay!!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

80's BUNKO

Who would have ever thought that we would be caught dead wearing stuff like this again! We had so much fun, and laughed so hard at all our 'looks'.

I can't believe this was 'cool' at one point! Thanks for the like, totally fun night ladies!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Day Well Spent

Due to Parent/Teacher conferences Caden didn't have school Monday, Tuesday or Today. So on Tuesday we decided to try to meet up with some friends from school to go to the Zoo. Our target was to get there around 9, but my kiddos made it almost impossible to get out the door.

Instead we ended up getting there around 11. We only got to see Kim & Brooklyn for a few minutes before they headed out. We thought we were going to be solo for the day, but shortly afterwards we ran into Killion. Caden was excited to see his old friend (from his 'other' school)
We had a great time (minus Caden falling and scraping his knees only to scream like a girl until some nice boy with a first-aid kit attached to his belt offerred him some bandaids), and the animals were surprisingly cooperative. It has to be this wonderful weather we are having. I LOVE Arizona in the Fall!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Music to my ears!

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Monday, October 13, 2008


On the 13th of September our Caden turned 5!

He had his very first 'friend only' birthday party.
I hadn't seen him so excited about a party ever.

The Superheroes all had a wonderful time

The following day the family got together for more cake and ice cream.

He ended up with a new bike, and a whole bunch of new goodies.

Then on the 29th of September our little Sydney celebrated her 3rd Birthday.

I still can't believe that this little girl is 3.
It has all passed by in such a blur.
She is a true princess in every shape and form.
Since Caden got a bike for his birthday...we had to get one for Sydney too.
Whenever we asked what she wanted all she would say is 'a bicycle!'
After gifts we blew out the candles on her Ariel cake.
She couldn't have been any happier!

Having birthdays so close together make things pretty crazy. I think we are going to have to start implementing a rotation so that I am not having to do double birthdays every year.
Do you have a big birthday party every year for your kids? Or only on certain years?

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wanna Come?

Hey Ladies! Have you seen these

These are the newest craze...Scentsy Warmers! They are fabulous! They make your house smell pretty without the fuss of lighting wicks!

Also, What do you think of these?

Are they not some of the cutest things ever!?

If you are here in AZ...Come play with us!

Julie and I are having a little party.
Thursday, October 16
@ 7-8:30pm

All this fun stuff will be there. You can check out Heartfelt Expression's for more of the fabulous vinyl stuff that Heather has to offer. The stuff is so cute...AND affordable (the little beauties above are only $10-$15!!!)

******Casey (the scentsy consultant) just called Julie to let her know that there will be a FREE door prize! It will include a warmer & 3 scents (Welcome Home, Pumpkin Roll & Winter Wonderland)*******
E-mail me at crissybug at gmail dot com or leave a comment if you are interested in coming, and I will get you all the info! I hope to see you there!

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Fall Soiree


Lindsey posted about this awesome blog that I just had to check out. Now I am hoping to win some of the fun stuff that Natalie is giving away. She is hosting 3 different giveaways per week for the next 6 weeks!!! So here's to hoping that I get something! Who doesn't LOVE free stuff, right!? I put a link to her blog in the sidebar or just click on the picture in this post to get to her fabulous blog!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Conference Mischief

This past weekend our family was able to enjoy General Conference. I love conference for several reasons.

  1. I get to hear from many inspired people, who always seem to speak on a topic that I need to hear at the time

  2. I don't have to get 3 little rascals ready for church, and then try to keep them quiet during sacrament meeting.

  3. It is fabulous to be able to sit in my pj's on the couch and be spiritually edifyed.
This year's conference was no different, and now that we have TIVO it was nice to be able to watch it through out the day, and when we wanted. Our kids are pretty little, and have a hard time watching it so we let them decide what they want to do. While Shawn and I were sitting there watching...I suddenly realized that the house was eerily quiet. We paused the Tivo to go hunt for the children. That is when we discoved this...We do this all again in April...so maybe by then Caden can work on the cool conference packets that a friend made up. I guess I need to be thankful that it was on their bodies this time. (Caden has been on a drawing spree lately...he has colored on half of the walls in our house, and his latest endeavor was coloring Sydney's face & arms with black marker while I had run inside the house to get something 'quick'...he also took that same black marker and colored all over the seats in our car *joy*)

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Monday, October 6, 2008

How fast time flies

My plan was to have monthly update on Thomas. I wanted to be better at keeping record of his milestones, but obviously I am not very good at this. Today Thomas is 7 months! I still can't believe at how fast my little boy is growing up. He has developed so much over the past few months. Here are some of the highlights...

By the time he was a little over 5 months he mastered sitting up!

At the beginning of September, we took our trip to the Doctor's for his 6 month check up. We had fun playing in the room while we waited for the Doc.


Weight: 18 lbs 1 oz
Height: 27 inches
He has really developed quite the personality. This is one of my favorite faces. I love his little scrunched up nose.
He got to try rice cereal for the first time.
The weather is starting to cool off & we have been able to enjoy some time outside.
Then we started on carrots. He really loved those.
Now he is mastering this...

And just this week he learned how to sit up from a crawling position by himself!!!
He is not making this easy! Why do they have to grow so fast again?

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