Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Recap

Well, I don't know about you, but we are still working on recovering from our stream of Christmas activities. Its a wonderful and busy time of year. We didn't have a "normal" day for almost a week and by the last gathering Nate(3 1/2yr) had a huge meltdown. But we're slowly getting back to normal.
We had several family gatherings filled with good food, good people and fun gifts! Its so great to see people that live out of town, etc. We're so thankful for our families.
We took the boys and my siblings to the Children's Museum. They have great winter wonderland stuff there right now. We also watched their play of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was a fun day.
I participated in a stocking exchange hosted by The Well Rounded Woman. I sent a package of scrapbooking stocking stuffers to a blogger in North Dakota ( I think) and I got a box of goodies from a woman in South Carolina. She included lots of yummy candy and also useful car cleaner kits... it was great! Thanks!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

30 by 30 - The Beginning - my first 13 things

So, I'm gonna be 29 in February... I know... I'm getting old. But anyway... I got this idea from another blog and did a search and checked out a few others who have done similar things. I'm creating a list of 30 Things To Do Before I Turn 30. I'm off to a good start on the list but I'm open to suggestions so feel free to post your ideas! Here is what I have so far (in random order).

Take a "real" vacation with my husband! Not just to the family lakehouse (though its nice, its not the same as really getting away together - ALONE!). ;-)

I want to go to one (and only one) of the following: Colts game, Pacers game OR the Indy 500.... those are huge Indianapolis things to do and I've lived here my whole life and not done any of them!

Go on a trip with my "girls". We've been talking about doing it for years but none of us has had the money... but somehow we need to make it happen!!

Watch a silent movie. I don't know why but I think it'd be really fun! Charlie Chaplain here I come!

Going to a scrapbooking retreat with a group of my Scrappin' Sisters! This one will totally happen! Right girls?!?

Take my older son to an amusement park. He loved the carnival rides at the county fair... I know he'd love the kiddie area of Kings' Island or Holiday World... something like that.

Get really good outdoor family pictures taken of us and the boys. I'm a photographer myself... but its hard to do your own family's pictures!

Have all of my house clean at the same time. (I'm not saying I will do said cleaning... just that it will be done!)

Ok, please don't laugh or think I'm awful! Go skinny dipping. Though I'll probably have to do it alone because my husband doesn't do water much.

Do some community service OR mission trip. I've kind of let stuff like that sit on the back burner since I had kids and I think it'd be good to give in that way again.

I know this sounds lame but... I want to own a minivan. Its hard having two kids in car seats in a small sedan! It'd be nice to have my siblings be able to ride with us instead of having to drive separate cars!

Feel comfortable in my own skin. Whether that includes losing weight, getting in better shape, or not... I just want to be able to look at myself and love me without being so critical of myself and pointing out all my flaws.

Get better at managing my time... sometimes I feel like I work all day and get nothing done! There has to be a better way!

So... if anyone has any suggestions on things I should do before I turn 30... please leave me a comment! For more Thursday Thirteen posts check out the site.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


We've had a long few days here. I've gotten to experience one of the "joys" of motherhood... passing around illness - and cleaning up after it! Every day from Friday until yesterday we have had to clean up puke or poop at least once a day (sometimes as much as 2-3times)... Yuck! I am really hoping that everyone is over it and we'll be settling down for Christmas! We have a few gatherings and outings over the next few days and it'd really stink for Nate to have to miss any more holiday events (he missed one because he was throwing a temper tantrum and another because he was sick). Hopefully our Christmas vacation will be uneventful compared to the last few days!
We wish you all a safe and happy Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008


My cousin (who is handicapped) has benefited from a Medicaid waiver and was on the waiting list for YEARS before getting approved. This would be very helpful for us if we continue to need medical services for Joe's developmental problems. It would be great if we (and other families like us) didn't have to wait several more years before getting this assistance.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Parent Job Description

As seen on

Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop


Long term, team players needed, for challenging,
permanent work in an
often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication
and organizational skills and be willing to work
variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends
and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
Some overnight travel required, including trips to
primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life.

Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily,
until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule
and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat
in case, this time, the screams from
the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges,
such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets
and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and
coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings
for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be willing to be indispensable one minute,
and embarrassed the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a
half million cheap, plastic toys and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for
the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and
janitorial work throughout the facility.


Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills,
so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you


None required unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because
of the assumption that college will help them
become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left.
The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that
you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension,
no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and
no stock options are offered;
this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love,
and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Gift of the Magi by O'Henry

The Gift of the Magi is the story of Mr. and Mrs. James Dillingham Young, otherwise known as Jim and Della. It is Christmas Eve and all the money that Della has scrimped and saved for Jim’s gift totals one dollar and eight-seven cents.

The Young’s are very poor; a point that the narrator quickly establishes by describing the shabby estate of their apartment and by the mention of a salary that has shrunken from $30 a week to $20 a week. Della has humiliated herself by haggling at the shops and managed to scrimp away 60 cents of the $1.87 in pennies.

Della has a fit of self-pity as she tries to determine how to buy Jim a worthy gift when suddenly she jumps up and views herself in the pier glass. She lets down her glorious hair; hair that is the pride and joy of both Della and Jim. According to the narrator, Della and Jim have two possessions that are the treasures of the household, Della’s hair and Jim’s watch, which is an inheritance from his grandfather. The narrator underscores the value of these treasures by saying that King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba would be jealous of them despite their own immense wealth.

Quickly, before she loses her nerve, Della leaves the house and sells her hair to Mne. Sofronie for $20. Then she races around town looking for the perfect gift. She finds it in a platinum watch chain, which she pays $21 for. She hurries home and suddenly realizes what she has done. Della prepares supper and tries to fix her hair so that Jim will not be too upset by her appearance.

When Jim comes home, his response is none of the responses, which Della had anticipated. He seems dumbstruck but Della cannot figure out why. Finally, after assuring her that he loves her no matter what, Jim gives her the gift he bought for her. It is a pair of tortoise shell combs that Della has long coveted. Della is thrilled but her joy is quickly followed by sorrow as she realizes she has no hair to wear the combs in. She resolves her feelings by telling Jim that her hair grows fast.

Suddenly, Della remembers her gift to Jim, which she quickly presents to him. Jim’s response is to smile and tell Della that he sold the watch to buy the combs and that perhaps they should put their gifts up and save them for a later time.

The narrator closes the account with a short homily about how the gifts of Della and Jim are as wise as the gifts that the magi brought Christ (the magi being the first givers of Christmas gifts) because their gifts were given out of surrendered treasures and a loving heart.

Wow! What a story to treasure and learn from! How many of us truly give gifts of the heart like Jim and Della? This is a beautiful depiction of love between two people. What a Christ-like love... both caring so much for the other that they'd give their prized possession in order to bring a special gift to the one they love! I think it shows how we can learn through the hard times. If they had not been struggling financially, they might not have known the depth of the love of the other and the length they were willing to go to bestow a gift to them.
What a blessing to know someone loves you so much. It moves me to the core! But you know... we all have someone who loves us that much! Jesus was willing to give himself completely, to the point of dying on the cross, just for us. We, who are so undeserving... yet He did it anyway. Take a moment to remember the gift that Jesus gave for you: His Life.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..." James 1:17 NIV

** I thought of posting the entire story since I found it online at Project Gutenburg but it was kind of lengthy for a blog post. This summary of this great story was found HERE. I love this book! If you want to buy a copy of your own check out

Thursday, December 18, 2008

13 Links about Santa

My parents never did the "santa" thing with us when we were kids. My husband and I have no intentions of doing it with ours. We still watch movies about Santa, read books, etc. But we do not treat him as a real person or anything like that. No gifts are given "from Santa". I think its a great fairy tale or story to tell but not something that should be taught as a truth. I'm not trying to convince anyone - just stating why we do things the way we do.
So anyway... just for fun I found some interesting Santa related websites... and boy are there a lot out there! Some are pro-Santa and others are not. Some are just funny!

St. Nicholas: the real Santa

Give your child "proof" of Santa in a photo of him in your home.

Its fine to foster belief of Santa in kids.

The Santa Claus Conspiracy.

Will Ferrell Santa switch video.

Santa is God in the eyes of children.

Miracle on 34th Street trailer.

Santa Claus: Naughty or Nice?

Will the "real" Santa Claus please stand up?

Santa Clause 2 clip.

Should I encourage my kids to believe in Santa?

Put your face on a Santa picture.

You better not lie, I'm telling you why...

There you have my Thursday Thirteen... check out other's TT posts HERE!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

O Christmas Tree

Ok, I don't have a houseful of Christmas decorations like some Martha Stewart wannabes... just kidding... cause I'd really like to do more holiday decorating but I'm too cheap!
Pictured is the Diego dressed as Santa ornament that my three year old picked out. and below is a picture of our lovely tree. I think it needs something. I'm not sure what, but something. Anyway, there you go, thats about the extent of our holiday decor. But I'm open to suggestions if you have any frugal decorating ideas! Thanks!



This idea is care of my awesome sister, Lauren. She shared this with me and I'm totally gonna use it! She likes the Big Mac sandwich at MickeyD's. But its one of the more expensive sandwiches. So she found a way to get all the flavor of a Big Mac but for a little ole dollar! She orders a double cheese burger and gets lettuce, pickles, onion and special sauce - none of which costs extra! How cool is that?!? So you get all the same taste (minus a little extra bun, but who misses that?) for less than half the price! That definitely Works For Me!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Date Your Spouse

One thing that my husband and I try to do is go on regular dates. They are not always expensive, they are not always romantic, but we try to set aside time to spend together one on one. Sometimes when we let the busy-ness of life keep us from getting that intimate time together we can start to feel the strain on our relationship because of it. It is definitely worth the time and money to help stay connected and show one another that we value our relationship and desire to deepen and strengthen it.
For more info check out the article I found: "How to Date your Spouse" on There are also some good resources related to the movie FireProof.

I did a yahoo search for Cheap Date Ideas and got tons of good sites ( a few not so great) here are a few that I liked:

Cheap Date Ideas for Parents

Cheap Romantic Dates

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Sunday Scrappers - here is my craftiness for the week (or two). I made an album for a baby shower gift. We're filling it with pix from the shower and little notes of encouragement from the ladies that attended.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

1 Corinthians 13 - Christmas Style

Ok, so its not the typical Thursday Thirteen post but I think it works.

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Style
©By Sharon Jaynes

If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family - I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family - I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family - It profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost; golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dining Out for Less

Check this out!! offers gift certificates at discounted rates! You can buy a $25 card for $10 OR a $10 card for $3!!! Can't beat that!! Its great for gifts or personal use! This definitely Works For Me!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

This Just In...

Searching for medical answers can be expensive. I'm very excited to say that we got a packet in the mail today saying that Joe has been approved to receive financial aid from Children's Special Health Care Services. We're not exactly sure how much that it'll cover dollar wise but it's effective date goes back to June so that will include a lot of the bigger expenses that we've had. What an answer to prayers!
Also... Joe has been working in a therapeutic walker with the physical therapist. For the first couple of weeks he'd just stand with it. But this week he has been taking steps on his own! Its been exciting! Both the PT and I were a little teary eyed the first few times! He has also been increasingly verbal. Its been a good few weeks here. We're very thankful to see this progress.

The English Language According to Gallagher

My husband showed this to me this morning and I was cracking up!! Check it out!